Dwarven Racials in the Current PvP Meta

Discussion in 'Deck Building' started by Flaxative, Jan 7, 2014.


Best dwarf racial skill in the current meta?

  1. Perfect Toughness, duh: more Toughness, more better. 8)

  2. Untrained Stoutness—3 fewer cards in my deck! ;)

  3. Solid Rock. Strong answers to every deck type. ^_^

  4. Ferocity. I like to move in formation. >:)

  5. Perfect Stoutness, said the duck. :()

  6. Raging Battler is where it's at: tokenless Reliable Mail in a bad item slot with no baggage! :D

  7. Other—maybe you like Charge, you deviant. :S

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Warning: wall of text. I'm gonna start with something controversial.

    I hate Perfect Toughness.

    And I don't hate it because other players run it on their dwarves—that's a reason to hate Toughness, and that's not what this post is about. I hate Perfect Toughness because I run a dwarf, and I think Perfect Toughness sucks.


    Rusty Armor is basically just an extra 3 hp in your deck, and that's the best case scenario if you ever draw it. (Other scenarios include it preventing only 1 or 2 damage, or never triggering.) In my mind it's a dead draw, on par with Arcane Feedback, Slowed, and Demonic Miasma. It's a black-quality card in disguise, much as how actual black-quality cards like Trip and Vulnerable are actually bronze-quality cards in disguise for their deck-thinning ability.

    Just as some cards are so strong that you can't adequately balance them simply by limiting the number per deck (Dwarven Cry, Slippery, etc.), some cards are so weak that you can't really make up for them simply by putting strong cards in your deck. Now, to be clear: Rusty Armor doesn't lose you the game when you draw it. But it makes your chances a whole hell of a lot worse, and basically any other card drawn would be better. On the spectrum of unplayable cards, it's pretty close to unconditionally unplayable.

    Perfect Toughness, because of its inclusion of two fantastic cards and one of the worst cards available to players, increases your deck's variance relative, say, Untrained Stoutness. Untrained Stoutness gives you Immovable, Immovable, Trip, for the low low cost of one minor token.

    I prefer Untrained Stoutness to Perfect Toughness overall.

    Let's look at its cards.


    1) Immovable. Much like Toughness, it replaces itself. Instead of negating one damaging attack, it negates two turns' worth of forced movement. It (at least partially) turns off your opponent's Winds of War, (Improved) Telekinesis, Whirlwind/Whirlwind Enemies, Force Bolt/Blast, Acrobatic Flip, Muscle Through, Barge, Bashes of all stripes, and yes, even the dreaded Maze. The main card advantage that Immovable has over Toughness is that it doesn't end when you hit yourself with a low-damage attack, and it replaces itself immediately, rather than sitting in your hand until an enemy strikes you. The main card advantage that Toughness has over Immovable is that it actually takes your opponent's attack, rather than simply turning off your opponent's cards. Both of these cards are very strong, and I am not claiming that Immovable is necessarily better than Toughness. I do, however, think that it is at least on par, especially in a meta so heavily saturated with 3DC/Roulette builds.

    2) Trip. Comparing this to Rusty Armor is laughable. You thin your deck, and tripping basically never matters. That's an overstatement, of course—much like Loner, it can randomly hose you and lose you games. But part of good play is avoiding situations where handicaps kill you, so I wouldn't worry about this. Trip is clearly bad on a warrior who needs to be able to use step attacks, as it turns those off, but on a wizard or priest I'm happy to trip any day.

    What other good racials are there for dwarves?

    I feel like Solid Rock is pretty good.


    You get a Toughness—fantastic. You get an Immovable—yay! And you get a Parry? Parry is basically a second, more conditional Toughness. It's a dead card against 3DC, but basically every other comp is trying to smack you in melee. Worst case scenario the Parry becomes a slightly worse Rusty Armor against 3DC. Best case scenario it becomes a better Toughness (by not triggering on your own Winds of War/Barge/etc.). This is the item I'm currently running on my VE wizard, and I enjoy it immensely. In a different meta, I could see either the Immovable or the Parry being useless, but never both, and right now they both seem pretty sweet.

    What else is there?

    • Toughness: Raging Rock seems like it's probably the best of them, with two harmless cycling handicaps and a Toughness for an infinite Toughness : Dead Card ratio (1:0). That one's an epic, though.

    • Duck: As is Superb Stoutness. And Perfect Stoutness and Raging Battler (the best tokenless Dwarf racial?) are both legendary. Speaking of those rare+ Stoutness traits: what do people think of Duck? High-variance blowout card? Or hilarious gimmick? Perfect Stoutness seems like it could be super strong, but I'm not sure if I could ever justify running a 4+ block over a guaranteed cycling bomb like Toughness or Immovable.

    • Dwarven Battle Cry: Advanced Ferocity and Perfect Ferocity both seem sweet on all-dwarf teams, if you have warriors who either want to boost their step attack damage or are afraid of tripping. But Dwarven Battle Cry seems bad against 3DC, and bad in 3DC, so these skills don't present competitive to me.

    • Violent Spin: The only racial I can see being on par with Untrained Stoutness and Solid Rock is Ferocity, another legendary. Violent Spin is fantastic, obviously, and the double Blind Rage means you're taking two cards out of your deck. Essentially, trading the 3 cards of your racial in for a single "bomb" card. Elves dream of this possibility—their best racial, Escapist, has two cyclers, like Ferocity... but the third card's a Walk.

    Anyway, I've probably gone on long enough. What do you guys all think?

    Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with my thoughts on what is fair or unfair in the game currently. It is not directed at the devs, but at the players. :)
    KarbonKhan, Bearson Onyx and Farbs like this.
  2. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    Well, I've never thought about that, actually. You have a good point. Rusty armor does suck. Solid rock appears to be much more better for warriors, and untrained stoutness appears to be better for priests and wizards.
    But a 3DC deck could also make goos use of solid rock, because it adds one different trait to the cycling engine what means two things: even less cards and a better possibility to have the "good traits" on your guys by replacing the "bad ones" (vulnerable, squeamish, combustible). Anyway, I think that a well planned 3dc deck doesn't worry too much if rusty armor appears, they always have what they need to keep your distance.
    Flaxative likes this.
  3. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    Sorry for the double post, but you also made me think about the dwarves dominance. Players are always talking about they should be nerfed, like with toughness, but what if they add better elves racials? That would be interesting.
    Flaxative likes this.
  4. Vakaz

    Vakaz Guild Leader

    I'm glad someone else sees the value of Solid Rock over Perfect Toughness :) I used a slight variant of SLG's build a few weeks ago, and that was one of the main changes I made. However, Rusty Armor is not -that- bad. That along with the Cloth Armor on most control dwarves can help to keep them from really burning up when they're Combustible, which is one of their few weaknesses. I definitely prefer Solid Rock though, because often savvy players will try to ping your control wizard for Toughness or Hard To Pin Down before attacking. But when the warrior comes in to do the real damage, you might still have that Parry left.

    I think my favorite card that I can get on a character is probably Duck, however it's a little too unreliable to be super competitive. All too often it gets drawn out by a cruddy card (or is revealed by hard to block), or fails at what could have been an awesome moment. But when that warrior runs up to you with his Obliterating Bludgeon and you duck it... priceless :cool:

    One minor item I think you missed is the tokenless Apprentice Ferocity. It's just arguably just as good as Raging Battler, but a little easier to get.
    Flaxative likes this.
  5. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Cloth Armor is just like Rusty Armor except worse (max hp gain of +2), so I cry myself to sleep at night for running Robe Of Lightness. Isn't there a version of it that costs a token but replaces Cloth Armor with Thick Hide Armor? Seems almost worth it...

    Interesting thoughts on Duck, matches my expectations (I've never run it myself).

    Desperate Block is so much worse than Reliable Mail it's not even funny. But yeah, for 0 tokens I could see someone running that skill.
  6. PaladinGP

    PaladinGP #1 in Spring PvP Season

    There are some insanely good Epic and Legendary Dwarven racials. I feel underpowered for not having them (Raging Rock looks superb, as does the tokenless Raging Battler. Escapist and Leadership are the only things that are close, but they lack the extra cycling.
    Cycling and card advantage are still the big things the game doesn't weight adequately.

    I think what you also need to account for here is the character they're on. I think dwarven wizards need the extra shielding of toughness, and I'm sticking with Perfect Toughness for them, over Solid Rock by a small margin because of the ability to cycle toughness from a distance, or by your own attacks, or lava floor tiles. For my warriors, I'd play Raging Battler if I had it.
    Aiven likes this.
  7. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Definitely. I agree completely, and think honestly a lot of these racials need to be nerfed unless Elf/Human racials get brought up to the same level. But that's the subject for another thread!

    I tried! Note the comments about tripping :)

    But for every game in which you draw a second Toughness (instead of a Parry?), there is also a game in which you draw Rusty Armor instead of Immovable... I don't know. But I'm not really in a position to question your deckbuilding decisions :p
  8. ArcadianRook

    ArcadianRook Goblin Champion

  9. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    What do you think of Superb Toughness, flaxative? I've just got it in the 11th chest... I think I prefer Raging Rock for a blue token.
  10. Vakaz

    Vakaz Guild Leader

    I don't think there's as big a gap between them as you seem to. Remember that the skill is probably going on dwarven fighter. The main threats to a dwarven fighter? Big attacks, that do tons of damage to whittle down his huge HP. The desperate block is much better there. The other threat is encumber/control. The mail is much better there (although there's a good chance you'll have to discard it in order to keep your big attacks/blocks after getting frozen). Sure, if someone's trying to kill him with a bunch of little attacks (or firestorm or something) the mail is also better, but the dwarven fighter is usually the last target for those kinds of attacks.

    I agree that overall reliable mail is a better card, but on a dwarf warrior there's really not much of a difference.
  11. happymachines

    happymachines Kobold

    If it wasn't for the fact that Immovability is so important at upper ranks, my favorite dwarf skills would be Raging Battler, then Apprentice Ferocity. Unfortunately that is not the world I live in at the moment, so they have to sit on the sidelines while I jam Solid Rock instead
    Flaxative likes this.
  12. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

  13. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Shrug It Off is pretty bad and a rare to boot. Explain to me how this card is better quality than Purge???
    I've also seen a few people using Advanced Toughness exclusively. On one hand the Jarring Blocks are pretty good and will stop both encumber and movement effects (along with melee). On the other hand the thought of the 2 damage from Jarring Block triggering Toughness is enough to make my head spin. Nope! I would take Raging Rock instead for sure (I have 3, but I use the Beer Skill instead.)
  14. Perfect Toughness vs. Solid Rock is a really tricky question but I agree that generally speaking Perfect Toughness is better, mostly because of lava, and opposing teams that have no melee attacks (Parry useless).

    I currently use Solid Rock though because every other build I encounter uses WW/WWE and that Immovable helps a lot more than I would have imagined. When the meta changes, I'll probably change back to Perfect Toughness.
  15. Sazanami

    Sazanami Orc Soldier

    I like to compare dead cards like rusty armor to fumble.
    Fumble is the trait that forces you to discard the oldest card, as well as the fumble itself and let's you draw a new one. Effectively it is a card disadvantage of 1, much like drawing a rusty armor is.
    The difference is that with fumble, the player is confronted with the memory of holding the card in his hand.
    If your toughness gets discarded because of fumble it feels like you lost something important. I have played fumble and I sometimes cursed fumble for letting me discard a card that could otherwise have won me the match.
    If you never draw the toughness because the rusty armor came up first,you'll never know it was the toughness that you were missing out on, but the chances of discarding a toughness with fumble are about the same as not drawing a toughness because the rusted armor found its way into your hand.

    In short, dead cards like rusty armor are fumbles with bedside manners. And trust me when I say, I hate drawing fumbles.

    Solid Rock for me.
    ParodyKnaveBob and Flaxative like this.
  16. KarbonKhan

    KarbonKhan Mushroom Warrior

    I enjoy Advanced Toughness on the dwarf warrior due to the versatilty of the jarring block - good against all types of attacks including blocking short perplexing ray 2 out of 3 times. Toughness is a nice bonus, sure you will loose it to silly dmg most of the time on a warrior but I can't spare a major token for the racial and the jarring blocks prove great asset.
    Flaxative likes this.
  17. tuknir

    tuknir #3 in Spring PvP Season

    What, no love for Perfect Stoutness or Superb Stoutness? Sure its a 50% change, so its a bit gambling, but when it works it can be a game changer. Ducked a 20 atk card from cardotron, ducked a s.p.ray that i used right back, ducked a wwe that i used to mess the enemy formation etc etc
    ParodyKnaveBob and Flaxative like this.
  18. The problem with duck is that it's a toughness that works only half the time and only if you are facing correctly. Those are some pretty big ifs. Drawing a card from your deck or getting one from your opponent is mostly the same. It has some advantages vs frost and fire spells though.
    Flaxative likes this.
  19. tuknir

    tuknir #3 in Spring PvP Season

    duck was big if's sure, but duck can net you that enemy spray, or ww or wow or that 17atk card you going hit him in the face. sure toughness is more safe but imo duck is more fun
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  20. Sazanami

    Sazanami Orc Soldier

    People tend to 'probe' for blocks with lower quality attacks before using their more powerful ones. Duck will either steal the less powerful attack, or the more powerful attack will be directed at another character.
    In other words, Duck is excellent for making your opponent switch targets.
    In my opinion, it is much less effective at stealing Obliterating bludgeons. (It happens of course, but at an unreliable rate)

    The thing with duck is that it gets revealed with any attack (such as the common whirlwind), but it will steal the attack only half the time. Fortunately, the unreliability of Duck goes both ways. If Duck happens to be revealed, your opponent will think twice before trying to waste a probe card on a 50% chance to remove the duck in your hand.

    I think that Duck is most effective on characters that would be secondary targets. The "Hit it if it happens to be in range"-type of characters like support priests. It keeps them safe. I would definitely never use it on a warrior. Warriors tend to be susceptible to attacks from behind, so any block that doesn't reliably trigger won't be very effective.

    I do have to agree with Tuknir though, Duck is fun =)
    ParodyKnaveBob, Aiven and Flaxative like this.

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