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Card Changes & Updates (May 22)

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If a Take Two match is interrupted and you have any of the following cards in your deck, the changes mentioned below will be applied after maintenance has ended on May 23:

– Prince Catacomb
– Wind Reader Zell
– Lightning Blast

 

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In anticipation of the May 22 update, we’d like to outline some upcoming changes to cards and why we’re making them.

Summary

1. The silver Shadowcraft follower Prince Catacomb will cost 4 play points instead of 3.
2. The silver Dragoncraft follower Wind Reader Zell will cost 4 play points instead of 2.
• Its attack will be 3 (or 5 when evolved) instead of 2 (or 4 when evolved).
• Its defense will be 4 (or 6 when evolved) instead of 2 (or 4 when evolved).
3. The silver Dragoncraft spell Lightning Blast will no longer have the effect “Enhance (10): Banish all enemy followers and amulets.”

For a limited time after changes are made, these three cards will produce more vials when liquefied.

Details

Since the March 29 release of the fourth card pack, Tempest of the Gods, the Dragoncraft and Shadowcraft classes have been the strongest in ranked matches. Decks built around Demonlord Eachtar (the “Midrange Shadow” decks) have had high use rates and high win rates. They’ve been among the strongest—the so-called Tier 1 decks. Another type of deck with low-cost cards and fewer copies of Demonlord Eachtar (the “Aggro Shadow” deck) has seen wide use as well.

An early May tally of highly ranked players’ match data revealed that the combined use rate of Midrange Shadow and Aggro Shadow decks was high at 26.1%, and Midrange Shadow’s win rate was similarly high at 56.6%

In addition, there’s a significant gap between Shadowcraft’s win rate when playing first and when playing second. Some classes and deck types inevitably have an advantage when playing first or second, but game balance is negatively affected if this tendency becomes too pronounced: the outcome of matches can more easily end up becoming a matter of luck.

To summarize, Shadowcraft is currently experiencing two issues:

1. Taken together, Midrange Shadow and Aggro Shadow decks have a high use rate.
2. There’s a significant gap between Shadowcraft’s win rate when playing first and playing second.

To resolve these issues, we’ve decided it would be appropriate to change Prince Catacomb’s cost to 4 play points instead of 3.

There are three reasons for this:
1. Three copies of Prince Catacomb are typically included in Midrange Shadow and Aggro Shadow decks.
2. The card’s Fanfare effect is stronger when more allied followers are in play, which makes it advantageous to play first.
3. The card costs little given how powerful it is.

We believe that this change will bring Shadowcraft decks’ win rates and use rates in line with where they should be; however, other Tier 1 decks could become too powerful as a result—namely, Dragoncraft decks that increase a player’s play point orbs at the beginning of the match and then use high-cost cards in the middle of the match (“Ramp Dragon” decks). In the early May match data, the Ramp Dragon play rate was the highest at 26.8%, and the win rate was second highest at 54.0%.

At the same time, there are many types of Ramp Dragon decks. Some use a slew of followers with Storm to overwhelm the opponent from the middle of the match; others use many defensive cards as a way of dealing with aggro decks. Certain decks use combos of Sahaquiel and Neutral cards, while others don’t. Because of this, it’s hard to point out any single card that serves as the nucleus of Ramp Dragon decks.

Any changes to cards that increase play points would end up affecting the entire class of Dragoncraft; such changes therefore seemed inappropriate.

So while it was necessary to change Dragoncraft cards, no one card stood out as being central to Ramp Dragon. For that reason, we decided to make changes that would allow a greater number of classes and deck types to see play. It was with this in mind that we decided to change the cards Wind Reader Zell and Lightning Blast.

In combination with Ouroboros or Sahaquiel, Wind Reader Zell makes it possible to deliver match-ending damage in a single turn. When including the Fanfare damage of Ouroboros, 11 damage can be dealt at once; when using Sahaquiel to play Bahamut, 13 damage can be dealt at once. If combinations like these were difficult to pull off, there might not be any issue. But in fact all of these cards are powerful on their own, and it’s possible for players to pull off these combos without significantly affecting the other cards in the deck or their play style.

Wind Reader Zell is a 2-play point follower that has the standard 2/2 attack and defense. At the beginning of the match, it can be used to attack enemies, and later on it can be used to end the match. As such, it’s an all-around useful card that helps make Ramp Dragon powerful. The change to Wind Reader Zell’s cost will make it more difficult to deal a large amount of damage on a single turn, thereby raising use rates for currently underused slower decks.

In the early May match data, Lightning Blast’s use rate wasn’t as high as Wind Reader Zell’s. Although some Ramp Dragon decks contain three copies of Lightning Blast, not every one does. All the same, the mere presence of Lightning Blast ends up limiting the decks that see play.

Lightning Blast’s ability to banish all enemy followers and amulets was designed to raise the use rate of Dragoncraft, which had been low prior to the fourth card pack’s release. Now that Ramp Dragon has the highest use rate of any class, Lightning Blast’s Enhance ability is discouraging the use of amulet-based decks and slower decks that that need to have multiple cards in the play at once.

We anticipate that these sorts of decks will see more play once Lightning Blast is changed, thus making for a better game environment.

Temporary Vial Bonus

From the May 22 update until the next major update, Prince Catacomb, Wind Reader Zell, and Lightning Blast will produce more vials when liquefied.

Normal and animated copies will both produce 200 vials.
After that time, the number of vials each card produces will return to normal.

We’ll continue to analyze players’ match data in order to ensure game balance, adjusting card effects when necessary. In such cases, we’ll notify players in advance and offer bonus vials when changed cards are liquefied.

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