Howdy, all, Just a little while ago, I watched a match between an Ancient Grudge + Pathfinding combo vs. focused Radioactive attacks, (which was great, btw, each player in the 16–1700s!) and it got me thinking about Rad attacks being nowhere nearly as rad as in their heyday. The clarifying Purge nerf hurt all Rad attacks more than any other change in my anecdotal estimation. Radiation Bomb's requirements and 2 base damage got hurt hard after the much-needed nerfft—"buffed burst nerf" for anyone unaware. Accelerate Time's nerf to 5-squares-out might not have hurt as badly as Purge, and Radioactive Goo's range 4 is less affected anyway, but the generally more attractive Radioactive Spray and its potential range 7 lost that little bit of Accel love. To address the 2 base damage a little more, Armor has gotten better and better over time, (everyone cuts a side glance at Monstrous Hide–some even remember to cut another side glance at Lycanthropic Form's Armor 2—neverminding plenty of other options of course,) and Priests have only a couple Armor-removal options (at range 1 only) which take away from Rad focus, while Wizards can help plenty with Armor-removal also at the cost of Rad focus, especially if you want control spells for the sake of defense & offense, too; Warriors can be some fun help to the priests here, but again, almost entirely range 1. Compare to how easy it often is to focus for other builds (rarity not being the difficulty discussed). Rad Goo & Rad Spray each got hurt so very much when Castle Mitternacht introduced way too many extra movement options. If you do manage to get the piddly 2 damage, it gets hard to stack for an attrition build when Vengeance, Vanguard, and team Moves/Pushes have more and better options. Castle Mitternacht only added one Sparkling Cloth Armor item, but oh wow, it's now one of the very best in the game, and thus easily becomes incidental counterplay—same as Vengeance, Vanguard, etc. Destructive Purge is great, but practically didn't exist until CM's great itemization plus Aloyzo's Arsenal's Epigenetic Eraser, but that's post-CM with all the above anti-Rad issues, and thus this is pretty much the only Rad card anyone plays in PvP anymore that I've seen. Even the Rad Assists don't see much use: Gene Therapy requires s despite being bronze quality. It's not strong counterplay these days due to the lack of Rad seen in battle (and due to the lack of Spark Of Undeath due to its own mixed bag of issues). It's pretty costly to be a mere Handicap fixer for your own builds. Gene Therapy and Genetic Engineering always had the "Adapted to" pot luck—which generally couldn't cause any harm—and Invisibility—which sometimes got a grimace from party support—but CM brought in some Form Boosts which (much to everyone's dismay) actually do more harm than good for most people's decks. If Vampiric Form and Ethereal Form were more viable, more desirable, then the "risk" of random Boosts would become more enjoyable. As usual, thinking about Rad terrain got me thinking about Acid terrain. Similar difficulties, y'know. CM tried to ramp up Acid usage, but all the aforementioned CM-induced Move/Push options killed Acid's trap nuance. One attempt to ramp it up was Acid Leak, which is certainly interesting, but perhaps even worse than Volcano as a trap setter since you can leave your own party members with good Armor on Lava to bluff your opponent into passing. You play Acid Leak, and you're less likely to even try to equip decent Armor, which can be scary for a Wizard: Elves have Fleet but must spend to get even 2 copies of it and thus once again get the racial short stick; Dwarves like to rely on Armor but will more likely rely on 25 HP in this case; Humans have everyone's favorite tokenless Human Skill, Subtle Positioning. You're more likely to stack Acid Leak () with Dimensional Traveller (), or Hover perhaps more likely for free. Losing Armor (or playing without it) might seem scary to Priest/Warrior allies, but really, varying your party loses a lot of the necessary Acid focus for Hex of Dissolution to work. On that note... The other CM attempt to ramp up Acid was the sad disaster, Hex Of Dissolution. Too powerful in testing, too impotent in print. Damaging 1:1 for Acid squares vs. damaging 1:3 for Acid squares. If only there were a simple mathematical compromise. $;^ D This is where I make a couple hackneyed suggestions. Acid: Acid Leak potentially dumping Acid Blasts all over the place is funny and interesting, and especially helpful to Hex of Dissolution—but only if anyone's willing to play Hex of Dissolution. Has anyone (in BM—understandable if not TKoU yet) ever actually tested, just for kicks & giggles or anything, Hex with 1:2 damage:tiles ratio like, frankly, so many of us have suggested soon after CM went to print? Meanwhile, if you really want Acid Leak to randomly "Boost" toward attacking one's own Party (this is called a Handicap (hybrid))... well... it's just not as pleasant, just not as viable, unless I guess your whole point is to make it like Volcano (an Attack—not a "Boost") (which also notice how much less play that sees after all the above terrain nerfs happened). It's been suggested by various players to only Leak under enemies' feet. If Hex were more powerful usable, that might not be necessary, but still, I have a Rad idea below that touches on this... Radiation: The funny thing here is that I actually don't have much help to offer on how to make Rad seem more playable. I just know it suffers a lot. ("But look at all those points you wrote below!" Yeah, and read 'em. I don't have much help to offer Rad playability.) Obviously, one difficult way to make the Assists less a liability is to fix the "Boost" Forms to feel more like Boosts (after, once again, their overpowered testing went to print,) and, I dunno, maybe to change Invisibility to only prevent enemies from targeting? I don't know/recall if this would utterly mess up any 1P stuff. New less-than- items might also help. After all, I do see Epigenetic Eraser get played sometimes (if for nothing else another Destructive Purge, lol). Oddly enough, I have one idea that could seem in part awful for Radiation... If Acid Leak were adjusted to only target enemies underfoot, then in its place, it could be pretty interesting—and dare I say MUCH more on-flavor—for a Radiation Boost to do it instead. Some new "Radiation Leak" (or "Radioactive") Boost (maybe Handicap hybrid) Trait attaches, and now your Rad cards (perhaps both Attack and Assist) suddenly drop Rad Goo on anyone's occupied square. This would certainly give more reason to equip the Rad Assists (and/or Arrogant Armor, let's face it,) since your own team becomes more likely to be pelted with Handicaps than before. (Again, much more on-flavor imo than Acid oozing out Who-knows-where.) Now, it could further be that "Radioactive" could pump up all the healing/damage of your Radiation by ..2? $:^ . Suddenly, Rad Bombs are doing the same direct damage as Fireballs, Gene Therapy Heals for 5, and Rad terrain might not feel as absolutely worthless against Vengeance spam (with Monstrous Hide continuing to laugh at Magic damage per the norm). Even upping by 1 might be okay. Testable at least, eh? To help something like "Radiation Leak" not completely overtake Blight, which I do love in certain contexts, Blight might need a minor adjustment, too? (Add 2 Handicaps perhaps? Or, add 1 Handicap and then hit for 2 (or 1) damage?) Still, Holy Presence rarely gets used, and was clearly best when it synergized so well with Expedition to the Sky Citadel era Radiation. Like I wrote re: Blight, perhaps this could finally see a reason to play if Rad were given some love again, and/or Heal 2 instead of 1, and/or (dare I say) even attach a random Holy Assist or Boost to allies (after discarding other attachments, as is the original point of the card). (Boost was my obvious first thought, but Holy Presence might be more on-flavor to add an Assist—even moreso, $:^ b a Holy Assist.) Or, of course, it could get a better version of past treatment: "At the start of each round, discard all enemy controlled and Handicap attachments from adjacent allies then Heal 1 those allies. Keep." That's it for now. Curious to see mere fellow players' thoughts of course, but I'd love to hear 1. "the new Flaxative" (lol) comment especially since it's been some years since anything has changed and 2. The Knights' considerations, obviously.