FrankTrollman

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About FrankTrollman

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  1. The bottom line on these "What is a card worth?" discussions is that a card is balanced at cost X if: The decks that might want to run the card are willing to pay X for that effect. The decks that run that card don't become overpowered when using it. That's it. That's the whole rubric. When comparing cards to other cards with similar effects or similar costs, it is imperative that you consider whether the cards you are using as comparison points are in fact good, bad, or indifferent. It's all very well and good to compare a card to Abyss Beast, but keep in mind that Abyss Beast is terrible and never sees play. On the other hand, Unica and Lyrial are great cards that saw play in six of six of the Tier 1 decks during the Wonderland Dreams cycle. So saying a card is "better than Abyss Beast" doesn't say very much, while "better than Unica" is a serious accusation that a card may well be OP. The accusation that Eachtar is OP is particularly pernicious. Overpowered in comparison to what exactly? The sum total of 7 cost followers that have ever seen play in any major decks in any meta is pretty short. And most of the 7 cost followers that have seen play have seen play in some variant of Control Shadow. Very few have seen play in any kind of midrange deck. Consider the list: Gabriel (used to be played in Storm Haven) Sahaquiel (Ramp Dragon, Ginger Rune) Arriet (various combo decks like Queen Shift and some Ramp Dragon) Elf Queen (sometimes played in Wolf Bolt) Frontguard General (used to be played in Control Sword) Roland (Control Sword) Lord of the Flies (used to be seen in Control Shadow) Khawy (Nephthys) Eachtar (Midrange Shadow) Immortal Thane (Midrange Shadow) Alucard (used to be seen in Midrange Blood) Soul Dominator (Midrange Blood) Ice Blade Warfiend (used to be seen in Control Blood) Emeralda (Midrange, Vengeance, and Control Blood) That's a pretty comprehensive list, and that's not much for the 47 different seven cost followers in the game. Crap like Orcus and Skull Dragon have never seen play and probably never will. And pretty importantly, pretty much every 7 cost follower that has ever seen play in any deck in any context has been something that either disrupts your opponent's board or does direct damage to your opponent's face or both. Turn 7 is very close to the end of the game, a card that doesn't do damage to close out the game or heal you a bunch or kill your opponent's biggest attacker or some combination of those things just isn't worth playing at all. Unless they come up with a combo that makes you win the game instantly, cards like Mail of Obliteration will never see play. It's a 17/7 most time's it's played, and it's still just not even worth playing at all.
  2. Yes. Rune was nerfed for having a playrate that was too high, but it didn't have a winrate that was too high. Daria Rune had a master's winrate of 52.4%. And really that was 53% against the field because it was overplayed so much that the fact that it definitionally had to win and lose against itself 50% of the time was statistically significant. Not as significant as it was for Alice Blood in the WD Bloodcopalypse, but still significant. The thing is: that's not unreasonable. I understand Cygames panicking because the Daria mirror was settled by the coin flip more than one game in five (the Daria player going second won that match more than 60% of the time). But the reality is that the deck wasn't overall overpowered. People played it a lot because they liked it a lot. I think it's clear that Daria decks in Tempest were underpowered. Rarely played, and with a winrate less than 44%. Some of that was just that the only Daria support in Tempest was Chimera while Midrange Shadow and Ramp Dragon got all those cool toys. But a big part of it was the Piercing Rune nerf. Nerfed Piercing Rune looks pretty bad compared to Orthus. Would Daria have remained competitive in Tempest? Possibly not. But it certainly would have been closer, and a lot more people would have been willing to experiment with lists. But I don't think Cygames had much of a choice in moving against Goblin Mage. OTK Forest had a winrate north of 55% and its playrate was climbing every week. It had a losing record against Daria and Control Sword but was just too good against pretty much everything else.
  3. This is a very myopic way of looking at things. There are several things wrong with it. When it comes to costs, 5 + 5 does not equal 10. You don't start at 10 PP, you start at 1 PP. A card that costs more doesn't just use up more PP on the turn you use it, it also can't be played at all until a later turn in the game. Being a dead card on earlier turns is a real cost that higher PP cost cards have and if they don't get something for that cost they are real bad. The presumption that Will of the Forest is worth 5 PP because it costs 5 PP is unsupported. The truth is that Will of the Forest is a quite marginal card that is often not worth playing. Back when Alice decks were more than half the meta and Alice gave defense bonuses, Will of the Forest was just plain unplayable. Even now it looks extremely foolish to follow an opponent's CoCKs with WotF. That's 9 defense and immediate storm value to your 8 or less damage reply with no rider. Attempting to figure out what each piece of a card is worth and then adding them together to figure out how much they should cost is an endeavor that is doomed to failure. that kind of activity cannot help but give you the wrong answer every single time. You evaluate a card by asking what they do for the decks that can actually play them in the matches those decks actually face. Anything else is worse than wasting your time. Deepwoods Anomaly has 8/8 of stats and an ability that makes you literally win the game if it is not answered. How much is that "worth?" The correct answer is "nothing." That card is hot garbage, because it's too slow, too easy to counter, and has too little effect on the board the turn it comes down. There are no Forestcraft decks that want to play Anomaly. It's a very bad card, despite being overstatted and having a very powerful ability. If you put the same ability on a 1/1 that cost 3 PP, obviously it would be broken beyond belief. But that ability on an "overstatted" 8 cost follower is actually worthless.
  4. So what? How many "on curve" 7 cost followers see play? The answer is zero. There are zero followers with roughly standard statlines at 7 mana that are played in any competitive deck. And further, that's not a factor of power creep, there simply has not ever been a card with standard 7-cost stat array that has ever been playable in any meta. People didn't put Imperial Mammoths into play outside of Take 2 until they let us cheat them into play for 3 PP. If you compare Eachtar to a bunch of cards that do not see play and have never seen play, so what? What are you trying to prove? That Eachtar is still better than some literally unplayable garbage that people can't even remember the name of? What is that supposed to prove? If Eachtar is better than Orcus or Forest Archelon or White Knight, so what?! You probably can't even remember what those cards do because they are never played in constructed environments because they are terrible. Showing that Eachtar is above the "standard" for his cost slot is insufficient to show that he is over powered. You'd have to show that that standard was something worth defending. But since all the cards that live up to that standard do not see play and have never seen play, that is going to be impossible. No crafts had zero answers to Eachtar. There are no crafts that can't win by Turn 7. Eachtar's zombies only get the boost to attack with rush, not with storm. If you just don't care about Eachtar spending a bunch of shadows to clear the board then you just don't care. While he also can be used with a board already in play to squeeze out some storm damage, that's a 7 cost follower doing like 4 points of storm damage. Whoodedoo. This is so wrong that it's hard for me to even wrap my mind around someone saying this. Individual cards don't matter. Only decks matter. It's literally the opposite of the thing you said. Seraph has an overpowered effect. It has the most overpowered effect it is possible to have. It makes you win the game outright. No other card can possibly have an effect that is more powerful than that. It is literally impossible for any card ever printed at any time in the future to ever have a more powerful effect than that. Is Seraph too good? At this time, no it isn't. It isn't too good because the deck it lives in is not OP. If Haven got access to some Ramp effects or some Bane Ward followers such that they could get Seraph out faster or survive to activate it more reliably, then Seraph could become OP as a deck. Decks are never out of control because of individual cards. Decks which are out of control are out of control because of the way cards interact with each other. No card can be evaluated in a vacuum. It can only be evaluated in the context of the decks it can be played in. Aegis would be broken in Dragon but isn't broken in Haven. Roach would be broken in Rune but isn't broken in Forest. Sweetfang Vampire would be broken in Haven but it isn't in Blood. And so on.
  5. YES IT IS! And the reason for that is quite simply that the problem is the nerfs. The problem is not that cards were made that supported various decks. Ultimately all decks should get cards that support them. That statement should be completely unontroversial. The reality is that Cygames makes cards so slowly that it's definitely going to take a really long time to get full coverage for everything. With Aggro, Control, Midrange, Combo, and Trait decks for every craft and every deck needing at least 14 cards to be a full deck and each expansion only making 13 cards for each craft, it's going to take a lot of expansions before every deck is even complete. And as long as decks are incomplete, it's thoroughly incoherent to make claims about what individual cards are or are not overpowered. Consider the example of Chibi Medusa. She's 4/4 worth of stats for 4 PP. If you evolve her, she gets +3/+3 worth of stats. That's above rate. Also she is a "must kill" that can force your opponent to spend an evo point because if she somehow survives until the next turn she adds a huge pile of value. Is that overpowered? Who even cares! There are only 4 Serpent Blood cards. You can't make her deck because the "filler" cards have to outnumber the "on-theme" cards by more than 2:1! The deck she's for doesn't exist, so it doesn't really matter how good or bad she is. The new Medusa won't be, and can't be OP unless and until they actually make enough cards to complete Serpent Blood and the rest of those cards synergize with her well enough that her deck is overpowered. Most decks that have managed to be Tier 1 haven't really been overpowered in the traditional sense. Midrange Shadow never actually did anything that is particularly hard hitting. Carabosse Blood never had any roll outs or turns that were particularly impressive. These decks were popular and had high winrates because they were consistent. And they were consistent because they didn't have to use a lot of filler cards - those decks were reasonably "complete" in the sense that there weren't a lot of points on the curve where they were waiting for on-theme cards to come out. But when Midrange Shadow curves Attendant into Urd it's decent, but it's not something that people can't fight their way out of. But the bottom line is that the claim that pre-nerf Eachtar was a terrible design is simply wrong. It's provably wrong. It isn't like you're claiming that hazelnuts are better than chocolate, it's like you're claiming that 2+2 is 5. Now don't get me wrong, chocolate is better than hazelnut as a flavor. It's not particularly close. But it's still a matter of taste, and people have a right to like hazelnut flavor over chocolate flavor. The overpoweredness or not of Eachtar is a matter of numbers, it's not a matter of opinion. It's not up for debate. If pre-nerf Eachtar was OP then post nerf the deck would still be viable. The nerf happened, Midrange Shadow has been meme tier ever since. The discussion is closed. Post-nerf Eachtar is an underpowered card. There is no respectful debate that can be had on that point. There is a number that shows how good Midrange Shadow is now: that number is 45.2%, which is pathetic. The only way you can claim that nerf is acceptable or reasonable is to willfully ignore that 45.2% number.
  6. The point is that Magic doesn't have this problem. One of the big driving factors in there being so few competitive decks is that very few decks actually have enough cards to fill their curves. This is not really an issue for decks in Magic because card sets are larger and there aren't as many unique cards required for a deck. No one would ever look at a Standard format and tell you there were not enough 2 cost Red creatures to make an aggro deck in Red. The sentence simply wouldn't make sense. You could say that the card quality of available 2 cost Red creatures was not high enough for an Aggro Red deck to be competitive, but you absolutely would not ever even conceive of there just not being enough to make a deck in the first place. And yet, that's where Shadowverse is right now. There simply are not enough on-theme cards to make most decks function. And nerfing cards obviously makes this problem worse. Midrange Blood did not have enough 4 cost followers to fill its curve until they made BKB, and when he got nerfed to 5 cost Midrange Blood went back to not having enough 4 drops to be a complete deck. It's worth noting that of the six different decks that were Tier 1 at various stages of the WD nerf cycle, all six frequently used Lyrial or Unica. I'm not saying Lyrial is OP, I'm saying that most decks don't have enough on theme cards made for them, and decks that can fill their curves with generic neutral cards of reasonable card quality will be at a huge relative advantage until there are enough on theme cards made for the other decks. The meta right now would be better if Midrange Shadow, Aggro Blood, and Alice Rune were still competitive.
  7. The cycle of nerfs that began at the end of Tempest and continued the entire length of Wonderland Dreams was terrible. And continuing this process would continue to be terrible. The only possible justification for nerfs is to create space for more decks in Tier 1, but there haven't been more than three Tier 1 decks at a time since this process began, and we only got up as high as three different Tier 1 decks for one solitary month (Midrange Shadow, Aggro Blood, Alice Rune in month 2 of WD). Every other month it's been worse than that, which means that the nerf cycle has not succeeded on its own terms. And there is no reason to believe this course of action will ever deliver the goods. In fact, there is every reason to believe that the overall trajectory will get worse, not better. CONSISTENCY AND POWER There are broadly two things that make a deck "good," and they are Consistency and Power. Power itself comes in two flavors: there is the ability to win quickly (a deck that can win on Turn 5 is "powerful") and there is the ability to play a win condition that is difficult to stop (a deck that can win against a fuly healed opponent is also "powerful"). But consistency is just that: decks that brick less win more. The best decks are usually very consistent or very powerful. Many top tier decks have been both consistent and powerful (pre-nerf Tempest-era Aggro Shadow or pre-nerf WD Alice Blood, for example). But some decks can get good records simply by having only one or the other. Lion Haven was Tier 1 on the back of virtually unbeatable high rolls (fifty percent of the time it works every time!) and PDK right now is actually pretty low power but has a tremendous amount of redundancy, card draw, and healing such that it can hit the beats it needs to a very large amount of the time. You always win because you did something your opponent couldn't stop - because your draw was better than your opponent's draw. That can be because your draw was better than anything your opponent could have drawn (power) or simply because your opponent draws a brick and you did not (consistency). Sometimes power is the result of individual cards like Aegis that present unstoppable win conditions. But more frequently, Power is a factor of card combinations like Wolf Bolt or Baphomet + Spawn. Consistency is always down to card draw or card redundancy. If you see more of your deck, you are more likely to see specific cards. And if you can effectively have more than 3 copies of a particular card, obviously you are more likely to have one of them. Nerfs hit individual cards, and can reduce power (see the nerfing of Piercing Rune) or they can reduce consistency (see the nerfing of Goblin Mage). Sometimes they can even reduce both (see the nerfing of Baphomet). When the power or consistency of a deck is reduced, obviously it wins less games. If a deck loses more games it may stop being Tier 1, and may even become a bad deck (Midrange Shadow now has a 45.6% winrate). THERE AREN'T MANY CARDS There honestly aren't a lot of cards. A Shadowverse deck is required to have more different cards than a Magic deck is (both because the limit is 3 per card instead of 4 per card and because there are no land). Meanwhile, the number of cards that are made for each faction in each expansion is very much lower - only 13 cards total for a faction in Shadowverse. That and the complete lack of 2-faction decks means that potential decks are playing with a very limited card set compared to other similar games. Most decks suffer from the fact that there simply aren't enough on-theme cards that exist to fill the deck. Sure, there are many decks like Elana that have to use on-theme cards that have low individual power-level because there aren't enough high power-level on-theme cards to fill the deck. But there are decks like Serpent Blood where there just aren't enough on-theme cards period. Serpent Blood only has four on-theme cards, which means that you couldn't make even a third of your deck be on-theme no matter what. Commander Sword has zero on-theme playable 2-cost followers. Discard Dragon doesn't have enough madness cards. And so on and so on. When nerfs hit, they reduce the card space. And that's terrible.
  8. PDK classically plays both Oracle and Fervor, which do indeed pass the turn for value later on when played on curve. One of PDK's best starts is T1 Staircase, T2 Oracle, T3 Matilda, T4 Fervor, which involves playing cards that pass for future value on 3 of the first four turns of the game. It's literally completely the opposite of the way you've described it. And let's not forget, Atomy works at all by spending turns putting bad amulets into play or sacrificing its own skeletons/chimeras for card draw. Atomy loves non-countdown amulets where you just pass for future value. The whole deck requires playing multiples. And Storm Haven is literally a value engine where you play amulets to no effect so that you can get storm followers on later turns. It's the whole concept of the deck. Of the decks you mentioned, only one of them doesn't set aside turns to pass for future value. I'll give you Aggro Sword. Every other deck you mentioned has points in its curve where it wants to pass for value on later turns. You are hitting one for four.
  9. There are in fact times when you play a follower that doesn't have Rush, Ward, or Storm and then don't spend an evo point. Such turns are different from playing an amulet only in the sense that oyur opponent has the option of attacking them. But if you play a "can't be attacked" follower, or a follower your opponent does not wish to attack, the effect is the same as if you'd played an Amulet. If the effects of having the amulet on subsequent turns are more impressive than had you spent that turn playing a dude, then the Amulet is good. Elana's and Support Cannon do a lot more work than some rando 3/2 or 4/5 Follower would likely do, so those Amulets are actually very good. And yet, we note that Elana Haven and Commander Sword are negative winrate decks. And I submit that the reason for this is not because the amulets involved are bad, but because the decks are forced to run bad cards in order to synergize with their amulets. If Elana's Prayer could fit into a deck that was made out of cards of sufficient quality that it could plausibly brawl it out when it didn't draw Elana's Prayer, then the deck would be fine. Unfortunately you find yourself drawing hands filled with Rabbit Healers and that doesn't work out well. Similarly, Commander Sword just doesn't have any playable 2-cost followers at all. Basically, your pick of 2-cost Commanders is basically a couple of 2/1s with effectively no text, which is so far below the card quality that other decks are using that the games you don't land a Support Cannon are just blowouts.
  10. I don't think Masters is quite that bad. In fact, I would say that people are still gravitating to fun decks. Here's the top two decks in Masters: PDK Playrate 27.2% ; Winrate 53.3% Aggro Sword Playrate 14,5% ; Winrate 53.6% And here's the top two decks in Masters in February: Daria Rune Playrate 20.1% ; Winrate 52.4% OTK Roack Playrate 16.0% ; Winrate 55.2% The top decks today only account for 5% more of the meta than the top decks did in February. And the bias towards the deck that's more fun to play over the deck that has a higher winrate is even higher. The stats from April are less clear, because Shadowlog never got a good method of reporting Ramp Dragon vs Storm Ramp Dragon or Aggro Shadow vs Midrange Shadow. But those four report slots were mostly talking about two actual decks and compromised a total of 44.7% of the meta - more than PDK and Aggro Sword command right now. PDK is a great deck. And it's a really dominant deck. But it has a massive playrate because it's a blast to play. If there were other fun decks that were at least Tier-2 competitive, PDK's playrate would be a lot lower than it is simply because people would play those other decks more. But right now the most fun and interesting deck is also one of the two Tier-1 decks and nothing else really comes close.
  11. Dragonewt Scholar is a 2 cost follower that triggers PDK if you have Overflow. Mystic Ring is a 1 mana spell that provides card disadvantage. I don't honestly have any idea what you are trying to say. The PDK + Dragonewt decks don't seem to run Dracomancer Rites. It's not about setting up the value engine, it's about playing some synergy followers in the "random 2-drop" slots that PDK decks need.
  12. PDK is listed with 48214 plays. Aggro Sword is listed with 28924 plays. Aggro Sword is played 60% as much as PDK, but has a slightly higher winrate. Any claim that Aggro Sword is somehow having a difficult time or is less of a problem than PDK or whatever is absolutely ridiculous on the face of it. It's self reported to the Shadowlog people by people running the game logging program called Mastodon. It's only in Japanese, and is mostly being run by people who started playing the game last December to February. So it's a weird sample and the sample gets weirder and more biased towards older players over time. Last week it logged less than three thousand games at B-Rank, and is pretty much worthless at telling you what things look like lower down on the ladder. It also has several key data collection errors, based on the fact that the decks you can click on don't exactly correlate to the archetypes that actually exist. Right now the most glaring issue is that whenever you face Aggro Sword it's up to you whether to log it as "Face Sword" or "Aggro Sword" and roughly 50% of players click one box and roughly 50% of players click the other box because it's two names for the same exact deck. So you have to know that and stick the two data piles back together to get any real information about how the archetype is doing. But there are plenty of other issues. For example, some archetypes are difficult to identify by the other player. The classic is Seraph, because basically you're just up against any rando Control Haven list unless and until they play Seraph at some point. And they are rarely going to play Seraph unless they intend to win the game pretty much immediately. Neutral Forest is based on having Neutral Cards in their hand, so often they wouldn't play any of their Nautral cards the entire game, leaving them back in their hand to boost a potential Elf Twin Assault or Beauty and the Beast. Figuring out that a Combo Forest deck is a Neutral Forest deck can be quite difficult, especially as how them playing and evolving a Feena doesn't settle the matter. Well the idea with Dragonewt Scholar is that you don't actually lose card advantage. You play a 1/2 for 2 that can't be attacked and then you also discard and draw every time she attacks and sometimes you get a bonus Dragonewt trigger from Wildfang or Luxfang or get card advantage from Trail of Light. Jabberwocky also loves both sides of Pyroxene Dragon. My big problem with the whole enterprise is that I do not want to replace Ivory Dragons with more expensive cards in my hand under pretty much any circumstances.
  13. If you're going to do the meta reports, could you please stop being such a relentless Sword booster? At least for the duration of the post where you are laying out the meta. PDK Winrate: 54.0% Aggro Sword Winrate: 54.2% For heck's sake. Aggro Sword is the second most-played deck and has the highest winrate overall of any deck with a playrate of at least 1% of the meta. It has a positive winrate against the most-played deck and there are no tier 1 decks that have a positive winrate against it. It is totally unacceptable to call that "not having an easy time." I mean, seriously who are you trying to fool? I've seen some people teching some Disco Dragon cards in PDK. Dragonewt Scholar loves Luxfang Kit and PDK loves them both. Those decks are still PDK decks, and I don't think they are all that great, to be honest. But it wouldn't surprise me if "Discard Dragon" picked up 50% in plays and 16% in winrate because some small number of PDK games are being counted as Discard Dragon because they are playing 2 cost Discard Dragon followers to feed their Keeper with.
  14. There aren't enough cards for most decks to be made at all without Neutral cards. Each expansion has 13 cards of each faction. Each deck has a minimum of 14 cards. It is literally impossible for Cygames to introduce a new theme and have it be fully supported. Consider some new themes from the last few expansions. Serpent Blood has four on-theme cards. The entire Serpent package is, at most, 12 cards out of your 40. Commander Sword still does not have any playable 2-cost followers. You literally can't make a full Commander Sword curve. When you make new decks they have to use cards from outside the new cards you make in an expansion to support that deck. These can be old cards that can repurposed into the deck (like how Soul Dealer got new life with Vengeance Blood in Tempest), or it can be Neutral cards to fill up slots (like how decks without enough dedicated cards can fill their curve with cards like Unica). Decks that genuinely can't make use of Neutral followers like Commander Sword or PDK are usually terrible because there aren't enough cards to complete most decks. PDK is a rare aberration - a deck that doesn't need Neutral Followers and still works at all. And let's be honest, it does so by having a truly weird looking curve. Can you imagine how screwed PDK would be if it was critically important that it had a playable 7 cost Dragoncraft Follower?
  15. Cards can only be too strong or not too strong in relation to specific decks. Neutral Cards are more dangerous than other cards because there are more decks they can potentially fit into. Matilda is the one and only card that they actually made as specific PDK support, and it's a good card because it can be used in a PDK deck and PDK is a deck that wants that effect. If the exact same card was Haven, and couldn't be used in a PDK deck, it would be unplayable in all decks because no Haven deck is interested in that effect. A Neutral card is by definition playable in any kind of deck. So any Neutral card is a good card if there are any good decks in any craft that are interested in the effect it provides. If you made a Neutral card that was a cheap and effective spell it might become a good card because of Daria or D-Shift. If you made a Neutral card that was a decent Turn 6 Storm Finisher, it might become a good card because Aggro Blood or Aggro Sword wanted something decent for the cost slot. Staircase is a good card because there are several good decks that want the effect. There are lots of decks that are looking for a hand refill on turn 5 or 6 and have an extra PP lying around on turn 1 or 3. And some of those decks are very good decks. Cards are only good or bad in their appropriate context. It's just that Neutral cards happen to be potentially available in more contexts.