Latent opinions on why the new Garb is OP

Discussion in 'Celestial Forge' started by doublequartz, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. doublequartz

    doublequartz Lizardman Priest

    As soon as CF testing begun, I had noticed that Medium's Garb has become very strong. Fast-forward to April, and there has been no announcements for changing it again. It took a while but now I'm ready to compose some rants.

    It was argued that the Garb is fine because it is "slow"; for example, it's a dead card if the enemy warriors Sprint, Team! in and kill your wizard(s) on the round you draw it. This is essentially the same argument against Accelerated Thought. I'm not going to deny that Garb has this weakness - I just don't think it's enough to keep it in check.
    The secondary weakness of Medium's Garb is that it takes a space at the end of round. This can be significant if that wizard need to save control spells or blocks to prepare against an attack, but I argue it can be mitigated.
    First, with multiple wizards, one can often afford to lose a hand size or two and still has enough room for everything.
    Second, Dastardly Curse and Unholy Curse are HUGE threats when they're paired with multi-hit attacks. Once someone is Cursed they are easily picked off, and if they retreat they are effectively out of game for two rounds.
    Curses function as Attacks for the purpose of positioning. While Attacks are not control spells or blocks, these are interchangeable as long as you are ahead in health.
    Telekinesis was removed from the Spirit Card pool, but I think the change only served to thin it further.

    Medium's Garb is also better than Accel. Thought in several ways.
    First, Accel. Thought damages your character. Medium's Garb on the other hand, prevents it. Assuming Garb armor triggers once per game on average, the difference is equal to that of a human and a dwarf at 4 points.
    Second, you need to play Accel. Thought for it to begin drawing cards. Medium's Garb is not revealed until it gives you a card, so the opponent probably won't know you drew it on the round you drew it.
    Finally, since Medium's Garb is not an attachment, it does not preclude the user from running cycling traits or receiving other priest attachments when they would otherwise replace your card draw. A parallel can be drawn between "2 cards at the end of round" and "3 attachments at any given time", but the former cannot be exploited by the opponent and even when you have to discard something, you get to choose which one. Your other cards are probably weaker than Medium's Garb.

    Armor removal does not change any of this. Armor removal and purging is both card parity, and Boiling Armor is much more costly to include in a deck compared to Purge. There is no such thing as Boiling Burst. Sundering Strike does not even work most of the time!

    In the new form, Medium's Garb gives significant card advantage at very little risk, and basically auto-win against any other low-damage build that doesn't themselves run more Garbs. I think this is pretty dumb in an otherwise strategic game where card advantage is not cheap to get.

    As I suggested before, removing the Keep is possible and would retain its potential while making it easier to remove. Additionally, I think 2/9 chance of drawing a strong Curse is just too much - it's 2/7 with Ethereal Form. I'm going to repeat that Form card pools should be larger. Is it a hard requirement that the three Form card pools have the same size, with only one copy of each card? I think we could duplicate mediocre cards like Repulsive Cone and Enervating Touch without much problems. We could also re-add some of the removed cards. We could even add "new" cards like Strong Hack, Mind Worm and maybe Healing Dash.

    My solutions need not be the best one. You could think of others if that is preferred, but anyways some changes are desired.
    Flaxative, Sir Veza and fatcat__25 like this.
  2. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Hi, we're probably not going to release a concrete list of changes again before announcing the expansion changelog, but the last playtest iteration is not going to be the final iteration on all these things. :)
    Sir Veza and doublequartz like this.
  3. doublequartz

    doublequartz Lizardman Priest

    I just ran fire-garb to 1700. It's my favorite Elf-Human-Elf 1-1-1 setup, but it could as well be done many different ways. Based on this experience, I'm going to say this architype is nigh-unstoppable and garb is not the only thing that makes it strong(though it certainly contributes to the party strength).

    With werewolf armor gone, there is nothing that adequately mitigate fire without giving up on other matchups. Only Investigate gets even close, and that still costs a token most parties do not have.

    Defense staples like Defender's Block and Reliable Mail only protects a single character. These cards are decent for lone attacker, but if you have even one unprotected character it is practically impossible to keep them safe from Burst spells. If a single attack is forcing you to keep three Armor cards in hand, you are likely at a card disadvantage and cannot stop other things the opponent is doing. Also, Armor-protected characters still take solid 3/4 damage from the Burst spells. Stronger counters like Auto Block, Arrogant Armor, or double Reliable Mail make your party even less efficient.

    Rushing with a melee character works decent, but you have only 2-3 turns (not rounds!) to kill the mage before the attacker is killed themselves. Blocks and Armors extend this limit somewhat, but so does their blocks, and it's not easy to draw ~25(~50 against 2 mages or 1 mage plus 1 heal priest!) damage worth of attacks, let alone getting it through all the defenses.

    Another problem is that while cards like Martyr Blessing still usually work, due to the sheer number of attachments a wizard can now run, it can be said:

    In Celestial Forge, Wizards purge Priests.

    And it's frankly ridiculous. Almost everything priest can do is attach things to people. Heals are easily outdamaged by fire, and non-attachment card draw just got nerfed(though Darkwood Tonfa is pretty good).

    Fire may not be quite the strongest architype out there, but it surely have very few counterplays.

    Sidenote: In a game with competitive PvP, I usually run fun anti-meta builds, "heroes" as I call them. It's very satisfying to win with one of these builds, but if everyone run fun builds, it can make an existing balance problem less apparent. So I believe someone ought to run usually less fun "villains" builds, to develop a metagame and to make statistics actually useful. This is harder when the playerbase is small like is the case with CH. If you're a player you don't have to take this upon yourself, but a developer should take this tendency before concluding that something people don't play is necessarily bad.
    Surestrike AoA, Burfft, Nimbus spam, Parry spam, etc. fall in "strong but not played" state most often, but even more mundane things like Step Attack spam and TK spam can become rare in maps where they are strong.

    Possible Changes
    Not all of those changes have to be considered together. They might interact poorly, but a subset of those changes could work better.

    Increase max attachments to 4, 5 or even more. I understand this is such a gamechanging thing to do, and I'm not entirely sure, but it could be for the better. It does allow for even more burn attachments, but doing so is largely overkill, and this change would give Purge type cards some more distinction from other spells. It could also be used to buff Genetic Engineering after all this time. Be wary of Inquisitor's Strike before going down this way, however.

    Completely rework Firestarter. You don't have guaranteed-trigger Altruism at Bronze+. I don't have anything too creative here, but the easiest change would be to remove the Keep.

    Maybe there should be Armor equivalent of Defender's Block:
    Shimmering Field
    Armor 3 affecting you or an ally within 3 squares. This Armor only prevents damage from Magic and Projectile Attacks. Keep.

    Holy Presence is useless in part because it doesn't always trigger before the adjacent allies' attachments. It's probably not feasible to modify this trigger order, but it's more feasible to add a clause that cancel those attachment triggers.

    Mythical Hides are pretty good, but is limited to slot where you can get garbs and other powerful cards. Making them available to other classes might make harmful attachments more palatable.
    Sir Veza and fatcat__25 like this.

Share This Page