An Analysis of Racial Skills

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by Jade303, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    An Analysis of Racial Skills​

    So the goal here is to cover all of the available Racial Skills for each class, to compare skills within each class, and also to compare skills over all classes. Where possible I would like to use a numerical system to analyse the potential of cards and therefore items.
    First, I am going to analyse all of the available cards you can get from racial skills and give them relative values. Then, once I have discussed and valued those cards, I can later move onto the skills themselves.

    I have a few premises that I will have to cover before I can explain the valuations.

    What is a +1/What is a Plus? What is a Net plus?​
    Every turn you must play a card or pass. Normally, you don't want to pass (you may be in a bad position, you may have a good hand, your opponent may have a bad hand, or the victory location, etc). Seeing as normally, you want to play a card each turn, you can consider every card you play a -1 (you have one less card available to play by playing it) unless it accomplishes something.

    The simplest example of a +1 I can give is to play a card like Inspiration. The effect of Inspiration is to "Draw a card". Therefore, Inspiration can be considered a Net 0 since playing Inspiration has used one of your turns, and you end up with the same number of cards as you had previously in the same state as before. It doesn't matter if the player (the character that played the card) or an ally receives the new card, the total number of cards you have available hasn't changed. Inspiration can be considered a +1 in theory and a Net 0 in play.​

    What about Traits? OK, well let's consider 'neutral' traits that don't prevent you from playing cards (Trip, Fright) or force you to discard cards (Dropped Guard, Cowardly). These cards cause you to draw a card but also allow you to play again immediately, essentially a Cantrip effect. This is much better than Inspiration since each consecutive instance is actually a +1 until you finally run out of traits to play. However, since each trait disappears from your hand, and at the end you have the same number of cards as when you started, Traits are effectively a Net 0. Net 0 cards still factor into Cycling which I will discuss later.​

    What about other cards/effects? What is a "situational +1/-1"?​
    Cards that don't draw you more cards can't be considered an absolute +1, 100% of the time. However, many cards do function as a +1 of sorts, and based on (relatively) how often a card can be a +1, it may or may not be considered as such. For example, negating an enemy card can be considered a plus. Avoiding damage (and avoiding death) can be considered a plus sometimes. Killing an enemy character can be considered a plus of sorts in many situations. However, playing a card that does damage doesn't necessarily kill that enemy, and killing an enemy doesn't directly give you any sort of card advantage.​
    I will denote cards with ranges like this: -1/+3 where the card can be any integer value between -1 and +3 (-1,0,+1,+2,+3). The reasons for the ranges differ from card to card. Some cards have a range but the probability of some of the values are so low that it is ignored. (EG Unreliable Block as 0)​
    Move Cards​
    Normal Movement cards, basically the part of a card that allows you to move (and not any secondary effects like damage, Push, drawing cards or cantrip) are generally a plus of sorts seeing as this can cause counterplay and advance the game forwards. Even if you are heavily encumbered, changing your facing can be considered a legitimate advantageous move in some circumstances. I consider Move cards a +1 in most situations and a -1 in some other situations (where Halt is applied or you simply have no reason to move your character) so overall I would say that they are a +1 conditionally.
    You are depending on other cards to benefit you and not the Move card itself.
    So therefore a card like Run is considered a Net 0.
    What about Cantrip? Well, Cantrip effects can enable you to perform some interesting moves, and may enable you to gain a +1 in some way. By themselves they are always a net 0.​
    What is the Value of Damage?​

    Attack Cards: Well, in truth it is hard to measure the usefulness of a card that does damage.​
    It is simple to compare it to other cards that do damage, the card that does more damage is better right? However, unless you kill an enemy character with it, an attack card is not any sort of direct plus. Also, you cannot play an attack card unless you have an enemy in range.
    Therefore, for my calculations, every non-step attack card can be considered a -1 in most situations.

    Armor Cards: Same goes for damage negation. Armor is impossible to evaluate in terms of​
    advantage; again you can compare armor values but that's it.
    Armor is considered a net -1 in most situations.

    Block Cards: Blocks negate damage as well, however Blocks essentially NEGATE an enemy card.​
    It's a one-for-one trade, so I can consider this a conditional plus (with some exceptions).
    Cards that only block Melee or only block Magic(/Projectile) are naturally a -1 in cases where your opponent doesn't have a card to play that would trigger the block.
    Blocks are a net 0 in most situations.

    As for Buffs/Healing/etc they do not factor into racial skills, and they would be nearly impossible to analyse anyways.

    What about Move, Team! cards?​
    Any team move you can consider a +2 when you have two allies, a +1 when you have one ally, and a 0 when you have no allies. Yes, it is a playable card when your allies are dead, but then you get nothing out of it whatsoever unless you are stalling against an (un)intelligent opponent.
    Overall it plays as a net +1/0/-1.
    HOWEVER, seeing as there are very few situations where you would only have that one character alive, I would like to consider it as a 0/+1 only. These situations do not last very long, since most of the time it means your imminent defeat. Let's just work on the assumption that 90% of the time you will not have 1 character alive.

    Specific Card Explanations
    This is where I will evaluate individual cards. Some cards will be analysed by the items they appear on while most will have a general take. If you like, skip this section and proceed to the Master List.
  2. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Unreliable Block
    So why isn't this card a +1? It is a block right? Let's take a look.
    -Always fails against Hard to Block attacks, which is notable.
    The main problem stems from compound blocking. This is what happens when you have
    multiple blocks triggering in a row, or over the course of several turns.

    So what are the odds of Failing?
    5+: 67%, 44%, 30%, 20%
    4+: 50%, 25%, 12%, 6%
    3+: 33%, 11%, 4%, 1%
    2+: 16%, 3%, 0.5%, ..... (0.00077%)
    6+: 83%, 69%, 57%, 48%
    As you can see, the chances of Unreliable Block failing FOUR TIMES in a row
    is about the same as a normal Block failing once. Seeing as, how often will
    you have 4 chances at blocking stuff, I consider Unreliable block to be as
    dead of a card as Rusty Armor but slightly worse. So it becomes a Net -1.

    Similarily, if Parry has ever failed you 4 or 5 times in a row, I believe
    you may have missed your chance to buy a lottery ticket.

    Parry/Weak Parry
    These cards only block melee. On one hand, that's a dead card against magic
    cards (which is bad against 90% of wizards), on the other hand, these cards
    can't be triggered by cards like Bad Luck, Misguided Heal, or any other
    spell your opponent would use to try and force blocks out of you. In this
    case Weak parry is a nice, low-cost card of Net 0 in most games. On the other hand, Parry is an
    undervalued and very useful Net +1. Remember that the actual card blocked doesn't matter, and the only way for it not to count is if your opponent plays around it. So both of these cards can be considered a -1 in some situations, therefore the ranges.

    Hit The Deck
    This card can be considered a situational 0 when it blocks a card; however when it attaches to yourself, it can become a very heavy -1 in many situations.

    This card can be considered a strict 0 except in situations where you need to play move cards and can't. The card draw may be worth the Halt effect.

    This is a 0 but can easily be a -1 or -2 depending on the other cards in your hand.

    Again, normally just a 0 trait but on occasion it can minus your entire hand.

    This is a bad -1 card. It reveals itself when moving, it can't be played,
    and it can prevent you from playing a card due to the 50% nature of the
    move, and it may prevent you from playing another card, since you can't
    discard it unless you have 2 or more other cards in hand. In effect Slowed
    can be a net-2.

    Elf Cards

    Now this is an interesting card. Essentially, it is an almost guaranteed +2
    as long as there are 2 move cards in your deck. You can tweak your odds
    signifigantly by using hybrids like Dodge, Jump Back, All Step Attacks, and
    Thick Hide/Dynamic Armor.
    On the downside, Pathfinding is a one-shot deal on elf skills and always
    comes with a Move card instead of anything more useful for an Elf.
    Tokenless comes with Cowardly (which discards your attacks!),
    Tokened comes with Elvish Mobility/Cowardly, or Dash/Cautious Sneak, whilst
    the Major token skills come with Dodge or Escaping Run.
    Probably your best use of Pathfinding is on a Priest with mainly support
    cards, (Mail of Succor might be nice) and some boots with Team Run.
    Alternatively, you can use this on a Step attack warrior, possibly with
    Team Run on Martial as well as Boots.
    At the end of the day, Pathfinding is nothing more than a net +1 with a
    nice Encumber discarding effect, but comes on items with other mediocre cards.

    Elvish Mobility​
    This is an interesting card, for an all-elf team this is essentially a
    lesser Team Run where the player can move 2 even if encumbered. This card
    is a 0/1/2 depending on how many allies are alive. Notably this might help
    your opponent as well if they have any elves.

    Elvish Insight​
    This card is a simple +1 that targets all of your enemies (assuming they
    aren't elves!) and forces them to reveal their hands. It can give you an
    edge over an opponent for sure, in particular if you can force 2-3
    opponents to block it somehow.
    Knowing your opponent's hand is a good thing; whether or not you need to
    actually see their hand to know what is in it or not, that is an indicator
    of how skilled you are as a player.
    Notably Elvish Insight should be played as soon as possible (to decifer
    your opponent's strategy) but not too soon- if you play it before your
    opponent plays their Traits it could leave one or more cards you can't see.
    On top of that, if your opponent plays draw cards like Demonic Power or
    Inspiration, they will draw new cards you can't see.
    Anywho, it's a net 0 that could be considered a +1 on the average game
    where number of elves is<3 && number of blocks that trigger is ~1. The
    value of revealing enemy hands is not measurable as advantage and is sometimes insignifigant.

    Slippery is an amazing trait. It allows you to move quite far (ignoring
    Encumber!) at the start of each turn, saving you from terrain effects,
    allowing you to pin an enemy against the wall, get behind an enemy, or you
    can simply use it to change your facing. And it possibly makes your elf
    slimy and smell like fish. There is no denying that Slippery is good.
    Slippery is basically a 0/+1/+2/+3 depending on how long it is attached, and
    whether or not the move helps. On a good day it is a +3 but sometimes Slippery is useless because you don't want to move anyways, or you lose Slippery, or you die.
    It suffers from the same fate as Pathfinding, in that it always has a move
    card attached to the item it is on, and you can only have 1 Slippery per
    deck. There is nothing wrong with having extra move cards, but it simply
    doesn't help Elves very much.

    Escaping Run
    This card can be considered a +1 in many situations and a 0 in others. Pretty simple.

    Jump Back/Dodge
    As mentioned elsewhere, Dodge/Jump back are not inherently a +1, however
    since they have potential to essentially negate enemy cards (multiple)
    times, these cards should be considered slightly better than a normal move.

    Dwarf Cards

    It's a block, and it steals cards from your opponent. It has some gimmicky
    shenanigans, but let's not worry about those. It's a nice little +1
    Duck is a +1 (it gains your opponent's card) and a +1 (it negates your opponent's card). It is noted that it suffers from the weaknesses of most blocks, and it only functions on a 50% basis, but for our consideration it is a +2 overall, making it a net +1 in my books.
    The psychological aspects of Duck may cause additional benefit depending on your opponent and the situation, but these "shenanigans" aren't going to be discussed or counted here.

    Negate any damage, draw a card. Toughness is pretty great. Unless your
    opponent has some insight and uses a card like Dissolve/Boiling Armor or
    Shredding Strike, Toughness will negate any damage. On top of the damage
    negation, it allows you to draw a card, so that's a simple +1. Overall
    toughness is a net +1 from the damage negation and card draw combined.
    The damage negation, like a Block card, can be anywhere from 1 to infinity. The difference with Toughness (and all other armor cards) is that it doesn't actually negate the effect of that card (if any), just the damage. However, the effect of said cards is a bonus property of the card itself and insignificant for these calculations.

    Dwarven Battlecry
    You can get 1 Dwarven Battlecry per deck, and it confers to you up to 3
    cards for a net 0/1/2. The problem is that enemy dwarves will get to draw
    cards too. The advantage lies in that you can always run 3 dwarves, but you never know how many dwarves your opponent will be using.
    and in the current meta, there are enough dwarves around that
    people tend to stay away from this card. *EDIT* Meant to remove this.

    Shrug it Off
    This card gets a bad rep overall. It's pretty much a guaranteed -1, unless
    you happen to have enough enemy cards attached for you to benefit from
    playing it, but even then it is not a +1, it is simply causing you to
    benefit from playing other cards you have in your hand you would not have
    been able to play otherwise. Also, even if you play Shrug it Off to discard
    your Stun or Halt or Encumber or even Burning effects, your opponent could
    easily follow up with another copy of that card and you will have gained
    This card comes on two rare skills: Untrained and Apprentice Toughness.
    They both have a -1 in the form of Reliable Hide Armor, but Untrained has
    Parry over Apprentice having Spin Around. Untrained is also tokenless, so
    you can see that it is usually a superior choice. I mean, you pretty much
    use Untrained Toughness JUST for the Parry. That is how you know something
    is wrong here...
    The other skills are Epic and Legendary and only moderately 'better'.
    Toughness comes with 2 copies and Desperate Block, while Superb Toughness
    comes with 2 copies and Violent Spin instead.

    Human Cards

    Lateral Thinking
    Forward Thinking
    Inspirational Thinking

    Lateral Thinking is considered a -1 since you end up with 1 less card than you started with without
    gaining positioning or any other benefit. However, Lateral thinking can be considered a 0 if you discard a dead card, something unplayable or useless to you. Still, it functions as a poor
    cycler in the best situation unlike Inspiration or something similar.

    Leadership- Like lateral thinking, you get to pick what you discard, and if
    the cards you discarded were dead cards anyways, you can technically
    consider them +1's. So if you have two allies in play, you can get anywhere
    from -1 to +3 by playing Leadership. In practice, Leadership usually
    equates to -1/+1 in most situations, but the potential for +3 is there.
    Net -1/+1/+3 (Optimal)
    Net -1/-1/-1 (Bad)

    Forward Thinking is a Net 0, Inspirational Thinking is a meager Net +1.
    Yes, you do get some choice in which cards you get, but at the end of the day it's still just a minor card draw.
    Violent Spin/Muscle Through
    These two Move cards can actually be considered a +1 or higher since you
    can move both allies and enemies with them in addition to their movement. Like Dodge and Jump Back, it functions as a 0 but it has potential to be a +1 or greater.

    Spin Around
    As exceedingly rare as it may be, using Spin Around to change your facing may confer to you a +1 (due to another of your own cards.). Overall, it is still a Net 0.

    Reliable Mail
    You can consider this card, like all other armor cards, a -1. However, if
    you draw it early enough that it prevents enough damage that it would have
    saved your life, you can see how it can become a plus of sorts. It is far
    from guaranteed however, and this card should still be considered a Net -1.

    Officer's Harness
    This card is certainly a -1, however it is apparent that given enough other
    cards in your hand that you don't have to discard one of them due to the
    Officer's Harness, this card can become a 0 of sorts. The damage reduction
    of A1;4+ is unimportant. It can then be made into a plus by cards like
    Leadership or by being fodder for an enemy's Perplexing Ray.

    Master List

    Flanking Move 0*
    Quick Run 0*
    Escaping Run 0/+1
    Jump Back 0/+
    Dodge 0/+
    Dangerous Maneuver 0
    Cautious Sneak 0
    Shuffle/Walk/Run/Dash 0
    Muscle Through 0/+
    Violent Spin 0/+
    Charge 0
    Spin Around 0
    Flimsy Block 0
    Weak Block 0
    Unreliable Block -1
    Weak Parry -1/0
    Parry -1/+1
    Desperate Block 0
    Hit The Deck 0/-1
    All Out Attack -1*
    Shuffle, Team! 0/+1
    Walk, Team! 0/+1
    Scuttle, Team! 0/+1
    Run, Team! 0/+1
    Dash, Team! 0/+1
    Sprint, Team! 0/+1

    Rusty Armor -1
    Reliable Hide -1
    Reliable Mail -1
    Hardy Mail -1
    Mail -1
    Chain Harness -1
    Officer's Harness -1/0
    Immovable 0
    Blind Rage 0
    Trip 0/-1
    Loner 0
    Slowed -1/-2
    Cowardly 0/-
    Superstitious 0/-
    Vulnerable 0
    Obvious Maneuver 0

    Toughness +1
    Dwarven Battlecry +2
    Duck +1
    Shrug It Off -1

    Pathfinding +1
    Elvish Insight 0/+3*** ~+1
    Slippery 0/+3*** ~+2
    Elvish Mobility 0/+2

    Leadership -1/+3***~+1
    Lateral Thinking -1/0
    Forward Thinking 0
    Inspirational Thinking +1

    Battlefield Training -1
    Advanced Battlefield Training -1


    After this point, I started to look at Racial Skill items, comparing their rarities, values and their relative usefulness compared to other items. However, this whole thing has been extremely time-consuming so I will have to leave this for another time (or person). Based on my numbers, it is pretty simple to add up a value range for each item.
    For example:
    Escapist (0/+6) [+2 card draw]
    Raging Rock (+1) [+3 card draw]

    Please let me know if I have missed anything or if this makes any sense to anybody.
    Bwahahaha! 15000 characters....I can't believe this madness.
  3. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

  4. I have to disagree with some of your initial premises. Inspiration isn't a net +0, at least not a static+0. Not only is inspiration influenced by altruism (which completely invalidates the concept of net+0), your analysis of the card doesn't consider the actual value of the cards you can draw, or the potential of these cards to create more card draws. Let's say you run two human priests with altruism, both running inspirational thinking as their racial. Inspirations in your deck would have a greater than +0 net value, as these priests can simply cast inspiration on the other priest, potentially proccing altruism and or inspirational thinking. In that scenario, the total number of cards you received has certainly increased, netting you card advantage.

    I'm going to skip responding to most of the rest of your analysis for now, but I will say that anyone who doesn't understand Dwarven Battle Cry simply does not understand the advantage of playing it. You can construct your deck so that even if you routinely play 3 other dwarves, it is more advantageous for you than it is for your opponent. Let's say, again, I run a deck that includes card draws and my opponent does not. Let's say I run a deck featuring forced discards (S p rays) or debuffs like mindworm, or accelerated thought. Every draw for me is more valuable than it is for my opponent, so I would always want to draw more cards even if my opponent does.

    Another factor is the timing and context of using it. If you are using it when an opponent doesn't have a wiz, you know they won't draw a ww/wwe, so you have more ability to use it at the beginning of the game, without fear. If your wiz has nimbus, and they aren't running a priest, even if they get equal draws, you may value your draws over theirs.

    People keep saying people at high rating don't run this... That's not true. Even if it were true, which it isn't, players at high rating that think this ability isn't good, are probably bad players carried by VPs.

    I think the attempts by players recently to assign numerical values to abilities that don't factor in:

    1) The ability to gain card advantage
    2) Context
    3) Timing
    4) The Map
    5) Team Comp
    6) Enemy Comp

    ...are really just wasting time.

    Its cool that you did the analysis, and some of the parts I agree with, but, its going to be hard to take the numbers at face value, when you assign hard and fast numerical values to numbers that will necessarily fluctuate based on a variety of factors.

    *Cards (abilities) don't exist in a vacuum. They are part of a complex equation. The entire equation and variables must be accounted for.
  5. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    I wouldn't dismiss any item based on having negative cards on it. I mean, Perfect Toughness is [+1/+1/-1] ( +1 overall) whilst Solid Rock is [+1/0/+1] (0/+2 overall).

    Also, there are enough Nimble Strike and a Vicious Thrust on Lochaber Axe to justify the Unreliable Block and the cost of the item. Granted, a superior weapon would have Stab or Flimsy Block instead, but there is a balance to things.
  6. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Card Hunter isn't a numbers game. For every three games in which you draw a Nimble Strike, there'll be at least one where you draw Unreliable Block, and then you'll lose like 80 points because it'll be the one game you're up against a 1200 hero. I wouldn't risk it.
  7. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    First off, I was using Inspiration as an example. The point is in card draw, this discussion has nothing to do with cycling or Priests and Altrusim and deck building combos. I am well aware of Altruism's small % chance to cause a +1. You can certainly argue that drawing cards out of a deck which contains more cards that allow you to draw leads to an extended + of sorts; However each Inspiration is still only drawing one card, don't be fooled into thinking that drawing Inspirational Thinking with a +1 like Inspiration is somehow making that +1 better, the fact is that it is simply riding on the Inspirational Thinking. And again, Inspirational thinking is truly just a net+1, nothing more.

    My bad on the Dwarven Battle Cry description, that wasn't supposed to be there. However, even if you build your deck to minimize your opponent's card advantage, every single time you play Dwarven Battle Cry, your opponent's dwarves are going to draw a card; they could potentially play that card because it is their turn. Also, while you could be discarding their new card you could also be discarding their other cards instead.
    Who isn't to say that their deck isn't going to gain an equal advantage by drawing a card? You would have to run a phenomenal amount of +1's and/or cards like Short Perplexing Ray (against an opponent who doesn't have a similar advantage) in order for you to truly argue that your draw is better than their draw. We don't need that sort of... um Dwarf-fest? around here.

    This is highly conditional, and even if your opponent doesn't have card X it doesn't mean they don't have card Y and they can't counter your card Z. You can always hope that your opponent gets dead draws from your battlecry and ends up discarding, but it is still possible you could end up in the same position.

    I have been looking at card advantage as best as I can, at least the straightforward drawing effects like Inspirational Thinking.
    I have touched on the context as best as I could, I have left a lot of my notes out of this post but I have tried to point out situations where a card may or may not be playable.
    Specific maps for racial skills seems like a bit of a .... quandary? I would like to talk with someone about how one Dwarf Racial Skill is better on a map than another. The map seems to have more to do with A: default movement B: team composition C: maindeck composition then it has to do with 3 cards from the racial skill.

    And I am well aware of the inaccuracy of everything on this page. The value of a particular racial skill will change based on :
    Enemy races (elf, dwarf)>Insight, Movement, [Battlecry]
    Enemy classes (Wizards)>Parry, Weak Parry, Toughness
    Enemy build (Firestorm/Encumber/Frenzy/etc.....)
    Your Build
    But some skills are pretty straightforward and they can be assigned a potential card advantage value range. That is all I have been trying to do. The results were quite surprising (to me).

    Flax, one thing I know for certain about Card Hunter is that Consistency is important but it is more effective to have Variation. There will be turns when you are discarding cards, and you will have to choose what do discard. Would you rather choose two cards out of Nimble Strike/Vicious Thrust/Weak Chop or two cards out of Vicious Thrust/Vicious Thrust/Dancing Cut? Similarily, would you choose to run 3 Hardy Mail or 1 Reliable Mail and two Mail?
  8. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    I was joking around, sorry :(
  9. illkkill

    illkkill Mushroom Warrior

    Very interesting... You considered movement 0 and block 0 yet considered attack and armor -1.....
    Also, you never mentioned how the KEEP keyword affect the game, and treat reliable armor the same level as rusty armor....
  10. One question I have for you based on your number scheme and choices:

    Why is toughness a 1 and not a fluctuating (higher) number? Assuming it procs, you completely counter (at least 1 card - think aoa) the enemy attack AND draw a card. In any normal scenario your opponent loses 1 card, you gain at least 1 card, and potentially rotate in x number of traits (altering your buffs/debuffs), and then gain the next turn (on a non-cantrip) opponent attack (non-vampire).

    Next question - how can duck be a flat 1; equated to the same level as toughness, when it's a 50% proc rate? Should duck not be a conditional number rather than a flat 1? If you draw duck, an opponent attacks you, duck does not work, you've gained nothing and in fact, it's just a dead card for that action, taking the place of a more consistent card that would have triggered 100%.
  11. Karstedt

    Karstedt Goblin Champion

    This is why I like to have a low rating. Not so I can stomp on low ranked players, but so I can give big point losses to the high ranked ones.
    Pilgrim Bailey likes this.
  12. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    First off, everybody, sorry this page is such a mess, you have NO IDEA what the original looks like... I have made some omissions and now I will try and fix them.

    Basically, any card that you would discard instead of play can be considered a dead card. Some cards are always dead, some depend on the situation.
    I consider Reliable Mail, Mail and Rusty Mail to all be "dead cards" - they are a strict -1 because you can't play them and they don't give you any benefit, WITH the exception that given enough time/luck/damage prevented, you could consider that armor as having saved that character's life, which I am certain has some intrinsic value but it can't be measured in terms of simple card advantage.

    Similarly, consider Powerful Bludgeon VS Potent Stab VS Dancing Cut. The former two cards have a very limited range and are only of value to you when they contribute to killing an opponent. I'm sure many people have discarded normal (melee) attack cards like this in order to keep other, move flexible cards... like Dancing Cut. This card is definitely more useful. At any time, a step attack is basically a move card. But with step attacks you can also make an attack at the same time. If I were to try and put perspective on a point system for attack cards, I would value them as 0.22/0.24/1.04 points. The damage is not nearly as significant as the utility.

    Check the entry on Toughness again, basically the point is that unlike a Block card, toughness only negates the damage and then proceeds to be discarded and give you a +1(new card). Naturally, this presents a problem to you from cards like Frost Jolt and Flame Jet and other cards your opponent may play that will in effect reduce or remove that +1 advantage you gain from preventing the damage. If the card played only did damage, and did significant (mortal) damage, than you can consider that damage prevention a total plus, but again it is questionable just like normal armor cards. Toughness is basically a Net 0 with a +1 on top because it can potentially negate ANY amount of damage.
    As far as give and take (play and counterplay), like you say, your opponent loses 1 card, you gain 1 card and it is now your turn. However, this is not a property of Toughness but rather a game construct. As for the card drawn by Toughness affecting your current situation, the probabilities of your attachments changing significantly are staggeringly low, and it is more about the composition of the rest of your deck (non-trait cards) that will determine any further benefit; but once more, this has nothing to do with Toughness itself.
    Also, if your opponent gives themselves an extra -1 by using an AOA (essentially playing/losing 2 cards!) against your Toughness (and this doesn't happen very often), then you can consider your Toughness a +2 overall but again, this is because your opponent decided to -(minus) themselves, not because Toughness rocks.

    As for Duck, I did a brief analysis of probability, and given that it is likely for a 4+ Block Any card to function at some point in a game, I have no problem considering it a +1 overall since it negates a card (+1) and you add that card to your hand (another +1). I mean, it's not just Duck we are talking about but every block in the game. If you look at the numbers you can consider everything but Unreliable Block to be a factor in an average game. Blocks aren't true +1's, they are conditional +1's because card advantage is the same whether it takes away an enemy card or gives you a new one.
    People have discussed Duck at length, about how it affects what cards your opponent plays in what order in what situation, etc etc, but this psychological aspect is another immeasurable and debatable factor of the card.

    I can consider a model that discounts Movement, Blocks and basically everything but Traits and Draw effects as being a +1, this model may be more accurate but I decided that it was better to describe a wider picture with less % accuracy than a smaller picture with higher accuracy.

    For example, if we take another look at Reliable Mail, we could begin to estimate the amount of damage it prevents (or doesn't) in a game. In this matter you may be able to prove that Raging Battler is superior to Apprentice Ferocity, but that is not a simple calculation!
  13. I just don't see how you value a Duck over a parry. A parry blocks any melee on a roll of +2 and gives you a card in your own deck (which should be superior to a card in your opponent's deck). You have parry at -1/+1 but duck at a +1, and it simply seems as thought there is some personal bias influencing your numbers. Sure, duck seems cool. But its not even better than parry overall if we are being honest. And that's without factoring in parry being bronze or duck being gold.

    Also, due to duck's quality level (gold), it makes it even less of a deterrent to teams, rather than more. Players that use reason and focus on the odds and value of opponent cards know that a single war cry will devastate their entire gimmick build, AND even if there is no war cry, they won't have very many ducks due to the difficulty in obtaining them. And if they do, their build is probably bad.
  14. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Take a look, take a read. Point out that Parry=Duck except where Melee cards do not exist.
    Also, as someone else has pointed out, Duck is guaranteed to give you a playable card, not just something out of your deck.
  15. My deck has traits. And other useful abilities. Not weak chops, or random bad abilities that a smart enemy uses to fish for hard to pins (I reference hard to pin because that is what most normal good players try and fish out, not ducks, because duck isn't good, but if a person was running a duck, an opponent fishing for the better defensive abilities would see their duck, or fish it out with a bad attack).

    The point that duck is guaranteed to "give you a playable card" isn't a good point. The best point to take from this whole conversation is that duck isn't worth the gold rarity, isn't consistent, and shouldn't be valued higher than better cards that consistently give value.
    CT5 likes this.
  16. illkkill

    illkkill Mushroom Warrior

    based on your system, wouldn't dodge be considered infinite plus because it can block unlimited damage?
  17. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Duck does consistently give value. It always gives you a playable card, and what that means, is that specific card in that specific situation should be playable and not a -1.
    Parry consistently gives you a card as well. What the card is, is irrelevant with reference to Parry itself, I have already been over this.
    I'm not going to argue that Parry (bronze) and Duck (Gold is complete bunk; however for the sake of my calculations they are exactly the same for the average game. No more, no less.

    I have already said that I didn't want to discuss Duck shenanigans and this is why. I am not looking to prove that Duck is going to give you a "bad card" the greatest percentage of the time. If someone was able to prove this (>50%) then maybe that would sway my numbers and would make Duck into more of a 0 than a +1. For the moment, I don't care what card the +1 from Duck is. I don't care what card the +1 from Parry is. For the sake of simplicity/sanity it doesn't matter.

    Dodge can be considered any sort of plus you like (even +100) in any game where it actually "blocks damage" that many times. In reality, that percentage might as well be 0, so let's consider the more likely scenarios: Once (+1) is 50%, Twice (+2) is 25%, Thrice (+3) is (12%), etc etc... (NOTE: All of these % will become lower!) however even when Dodge succeeds it isn't always going to prevent you from being hit. So taken these percentages with a grain of reality, the actual + advantage is not a solid number but rather a rolling average %, somewhere between 1 and 2. I left it with the crypic value [0/+ ] because I am not ready to give it a hard value yet.
  18. Your argument is not consistent. What you are really saying is that: 50% of the time, duck activates. When duck activates, 100% of the time you get a "playable card." The value of said card is unknown, but the card itself does not result in the possibility of a drawn trait.

    How then, based on what is really happening, do you argue that duck is consistent? And are you saying numerically that it's better to draw a "playable card" than a normal parry or toughness result (cycling your deck, which can convey traits or other results)?

    Any system that value duck equally or superior to the actual superior abilities is flawed in my eyes, because consistency AND the actual value of the cards you do draw do matter. If you are trying to argue that the results don't matter, then there isn't a point in debating further because the debate becomes meaningless. Results do matter. Consistency matters. Value should be a formula that incorporates value and consistency, not an abstract argument ignoring actual gameplay.
  19. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    No, it's quite the opposite. No matter how you look at it, Duck and Parry both negate an enemy card and replace themselves, which is a +1. End of story.

    Trait Cycling and Deck Composition have nothing to do with this subject yet. There is a much more complicated system in the background here, just not yet.

    Block cards have around 2 - 3 chances to activate in a given battle. Even at 4+, Duck still has a significant chance of working in a game. I mean, you can't just discount Block/Icy Block and all other 4+ Blocks because they only work 50% of the time, compared to "better" blocks. Cause Fumble and Unreliable Block are much more questionable, however- I would like to discuss Cause Fumble at a later time but Unreliable Block is consistently useless.

    And if you would like to ride on the duck hate train, do it somewhere else. This is your personal opinion.

    If you don't understand how Duck gets the value of +1 compared to other cards, then that's your problem to figure out. I wanted to round out all of the numbers and eliminate the low % situations, along with arbitrary arguments about cards like Duck. Please go discuss this somewhere else. I will not say this again.
  20. I want to add an important point about stealing your opponent's card via Duck vs. drawing one of your own via Parry:

    Taking their card could very well give you something great to play...or crap. For your purposes it's just a nebulous +1 card, I understand. However, here's the part that I think Bailey was driving at, and that is that drawing a card from your own deck is different and better for several reasons.

    First, if you are a good player, you have made every effort not to play bad cards. You choose equipment that doesn't carry bad cards if you can, and you most likely play as many traits as you can. This means that the card you draw from your deck will probably be good, or cycle to the next card because it is a trait (maybe even a good one!). A Duck cannot allow you to draw Slippery, for example, and then draw into Nimble Strike. That's two cards! Furthermore, stealing from your opponent is great, but I prefer to draw from my own deck. First, the cards in my deck are there because I want to draw them. I do not want my opponent's card as much as I want one of my own, and even if they were the same exact card I would still prefer my own because it gets me one card deeper into MY deck. Imagine that there is a card you really want 5 cards down in your deck. In a situation where your Duck or Parry is successful, if you play Duck, you draw that desirable card in 3 turns (2 every turn, assuming no other draw tricks). If you played Parry, you get it in two turns because you dug 1 deeper. I know this may seem trivial, but every card that lets you dig one deeper into your deck lets you sift through that Weak Chop or Unreliable Block to the Obliterating Bludgeon you are aching for. It's the very same reason all those traits are so good. Duck nets you a card, sure, but it doesn't dig into your deck and that makes it inferior in my opinion. Also, I know Parry is melee only, and I like that better. I am not very concerned with blocking wizard attacks compared with warrior attacks. Warriors do significantly more damage, and I'd simply prefer to eat the wizard attack and skip out on the potentially very high Warrior damage. I can see a wizard doing double digits of damage with enough buffs, but only a Warrior can snuff you in one attack (think AoA).
    Pilgrim Bailey likes this.

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