Bless overpowered? plus possible solutions....

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by mckeen, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. mckeen

    mckeen Hydra


    Somewhat controversial, and I don't expect anything to happen about this; this is just a lightly held opinion on how to balance the game a bit. Happy and interested to hear alternate views...

    I think that Bless is somewhat overpowered, and it is getting more frequently used, which is what prompted me to write this. Bless can have a huge impact on a match, all things being equal, it allows you to draw 50% more cards than your opponent in a turn. Many top decks I have seen recently pack multiple copies (sometimes on multiple priests) and high level matches often come down to who draws bless most frequently. Personally i find this kind of match fairly stale... and due to its power, gameplay is being driven down a more narrow path which i think is bad for the game. One of the things that attracts me to card hunter, and has kept me here, is the number of different viable strategies.

    Due to its itemization on a divine armor and a divine item, it is very easy to get many copies of Bless in play even with one priest. Blessed terrain lasting 2 turns magnifies this effect. The two items with bless: St Ulrich's Bones and Stargod's Raiments are both in the rare position of having no bad cards encouraging their use further. The only saving grace is that they both need a major token. Ulrich's in particular is challenging because it synergizes so well with the other two cards on the item, (Martyr Blessing and Cleansing Ray) having draw effects also.

    Compare Bless to Consecrate Ground, they are both gold quality (with no extra pluses), the only difference being Bless is rare compared to the uncommon Consecrate Ground. Bless is quantitatively at least three times better (and no line of sight is required!). I would propose that it better fits as an emerald quality card as one that can change the course of a game on its own (a good argument could be made that it should be amethyst but I won't go there!). Compare Bless to other powerful emerald cards such as: Laser Block, Laser Whip, Lava Pool, Obliterating Spark, Pulverizing Bludgeon, Reflect Missile, Rocket Charge, Scatter Laser, Spell Skill, or even the amethyst Delegate. Which would you rather have? Which impacts a match comparably?

    So IF Bless is changed to Emerald, then you would need to tweak both Ulrich's and Stargods to keep them in line with the power levels of others items, I would aim to keep them powerful but to have some drawbacks to use that would require some further consideration. This is along the lines of the changes made in the past to Savage Curse and Raging Battler during the last balance changes. I would propose change the Bronze Cleansing Ray on Ulrich's to a Savage Curse to balance the draws with a discard. For Stargods I would probably change the Enervating Touch to a Sapping Spear. Both changes keep them playable and the same rarity, but puts them in line with the true value of Bless.

    As I said at the beginning, this is a lightly held opinion and I am interested if anyone agrees or has different thoughts...
    jts00, vitreo84, FDrybob and 2 others like this.
  2. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    Although Bless is preferred to Consecrate Ground in nearly every case, you're incorrect that C.G. has no additional benefit. Besides being able to target any square you want (within range and LOS) -- vs. Bless only able to go under all allies' feet -- it also has Duration 3 instead of Bless' Duration 2. (Another mistake: Savage Curse is paper quality -- not bronze. Your swap would make Ulrich's drop in level and token cost unless manually adjusted, just fwiw.)

    But yeah, Bless tends to be an eye-roller for me. I felt like I'd conceded something nearly personal when I made a "traditional" priest with St. Ulrich's Bones etc. to supplement even my funky characters otherwise -- but it also felt like I had to just to remain viable. Like you said. Who can play the most Blesses. (It actually comes full circle and gets amusing again when seeing two players have a Bless-off where the card gets played 4-5 times in the same round. Like, l-o-l funny, for the sheer absurdity of it.)

    It's interesting that it's gold quality, while Volcano is, too, despite it also planting Lava under your own team. Maybe Bless should give the enemy Blessed Terrain, too, to keep the gold quality? Otherwise, I can't help but agree that making it green quality (and perhaps adjusting the two items) might be the fix it needs. ~ Btw, Flaxative has said Rocket Charge is overcosted at green, thus it might not be the best example, but still, yes.

    One last nitpick: this post might belong more in the Feedback and Suggestions subforum. $E^ J

    vitreo84 likes this.
  3. mckeen

    mckeen Hydra

    Bob, apologies if I was not clear... My thinking about replacing some of the cards was that if Bless was costed at emerald rather than gold (12 points vs 9 points) I wanted to keep the overall item level for Ulrich's and Stargods the same. So I replaced the rare Bronze card on both items with a rare Paper quality card (going from 3 points to 0) to keep the item level and hence token cost the same.

    Good point about the duration of Blessed terrain for consecrate ground - I wasn't aware of that; probably because it gets played so infrequently!
    I can't see it acting like volcano - that would make it really weird! The only other change I considered was requiring line of sight to play... just to make sure the priest has to be a bit more exposed.
    FDrybob and ParodyKnaveBob like this.
  4. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Bless is really good. And I do think it's most apt comparison is Delegate, which is 2 grades higher. However, if I was to ask would you rather have Bless in your hand, or Elvish Insight, which is silver quality, I think the answer would be situational. Interestingly when Delegate or Insight are played by my opponent I see it as such an advantage I will play entirely defensively. When Bless is played, I'm actually equally likely to be aggressive or defensive. The inherent weakness with Bless is that the opponent is announcing "I don't want to move again" which gives a lot of information if you can take advantage.

    Overall I do think Bless is undercosted and that's why it's a good card. But so are many other cards (looking at you parry). I'm not sure it's overly problematic. However, if we're theorizing adjustments, here are a few:
    1. Make it duration 1.
    2. Make it all allied occupied squares within X range.
    3. Or as you said, require line of sight... in which case it would probably be "Create up to 3 squares of blessed terrain..."
    4. Or require the squares be connected like most other terrain: "All adjacent allies..."
    In the end, I'm really fine with it remaining as is.
  5. Just one very small point: I'm not sure making Bless duration 1 would be a good adjustment. Right now there's a risk that if you leave a square that has been Blessed, an opposing character can get on and benefit from it on the following turn. If Bless only lasted one turn, it'd be very difficult for your opponent to take over a square you Bless. (I'm also not convinced the extra duration from Consecrate Ground is an unmitigated advantage, for similar reasons.)
  6. Goodwin

    Goodwin Ogre

    line of sight would be a nice nerf.
  7. tolkien

    tolkien Thaumaturge

    Y0uthpast0r pulls his usual move of equipping more of whatever folks are complaining is unbalanced.
    ParodyKnaveBob and Sir Veza like this.
  8. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    A time-honored way of testing any thesis. Good job!
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  9. Dark Brightness

    Dark Brightness Orc Soldier

    Bless may be powerful,but it has a lot of minus,first of all it grounds the character on the blessed ground,which means that they won't move more. You can quickly overpower the enemy and salvage that spot for yourself. Also the thing is that after it ends,that's it,you are on the same grounds with the same card draw,which means if you are patient enough to wait or out maneuver your enemy ,except for posible better quality draw,that's all,no more advantages the other party receives.
    The consequence of having bless is that it will cost away a lot of heals posible,it may be overhelming during the effect of when cycling kicks in,but in the long run a non blessed character will easily heal way more than a bless cannon priest.
    The main mechanic of bless to give burst of power to overhelm the enemy,alas punishing is is counterbane of it,but hard to weild thanks to 4 range.
    Wanna beat bless canon team? Be patious and utilize big hits and when you se you can't win it,run
    ParodyKnaveBob, Sir Veza and gurel2 like this.

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