[MP Tip] Don't use whirlwind.

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by Snugglepotamus, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. This may just be a learning curve everyone has to go through, but I thought I'd put the tip out there, and suggest that in MP, you probably ought not use Whirlwind or Whirlwind Enemies. I'll unpack why down below (and suggest that it is possible to build a deck entirely around these cards that is pretty spiffy), but if you're just here for the tl;dr.

    tl;dr: If you wouldn't trade your chance at winning for a coin toss, don't toss coins.

    Why is Whirlwind bad?
    It's not, it's an extremely powerful effect, probably the single biggest effect in the game, but it is asymmetric in your opponent's favor (i.e., it makes a huge change, but your opponent comes out better off). To use a magic analogy, it gets dumped into builds for it's "Timmy" power factor, but it is really a "Johnny" card that you have to very carefully construct a build around, and "Spike" wouldn't use it. Whirlwind has 3 main draw backs:

    1. Whirlwind is expensive:​

    WW is roughly equivalent in budget (that is, how many clear/gold orbs they require and how good the other cards on their items are), to cards like winds of war, cone of cold, and wall of flame. Whether WW is better or worse is situational, but think about how strong winds of war is. That's the comparison, your deck needs to get more value out of WW than WoW to bother including it.

    2. Whirlwind is negative tempo:

    It's generally considered sort of a worst-case scenario to leave say, an elven mage standing next to a fighter at the end of the turn (because Obliterating Bludgeon is a thing). But whirlwind can create this very scenario. If your whirlwind dropped his fighter next to your mage, he gets a free turn of beating on you. Even if it's not as extreme as that, your opponent will have one turn to respond to the new positioning before you do. He gets to toss his frost jolts first. He gets to walk onto the control point. He gets to pass etc. You're rolling the dice that this positioning is so good he can't dig himself out of it even when he acts first.

    3. The big one: Whirlwind destroys your positioning.​

    If you are a good card hunter player, and you move a character, you are choosing a place on the board that you think it is good for that character to be. The position of your characters right now is due to a combination of chance and your best guesses about good positioning. When you play WW, you trade chance and all of your hard work for chance alone. Playing whirlwind is like saying "My opponent has completely outflanked me and I need a reset or I will lose. I am willing to give up every move card I have played so far just to try to dig myself out of this." If you are in a very deep hole, and that hole is full of lava--WW is a good play. Otherwise you are giving up one of your most precious tools for winning the match: your skill at putting your characters on the right square.

    WWE is ok though right?
    Not really no. It has all of the problems above. It's not really much different. Your units stay where they are, but those were good positions mostly because of the spacing and LOS to your opponent's units. Your opponent's characters are the most important landmarks on the board hands down. Whether you move them and your own guys or just them doesn't matter that much.

    I really want to use these cards though!
    There are great builds that use them! But the build is based around these cards. Every unit needs to be tough, mobile, and have either out-of-turn options like Slippery Shield or control like Freeze and Winds Of War. I've seen some fiendish examples of decks that use these options to control the victory point. But if you don't have your deck built to manage the huge shift that occurs with WW, you are probably losing money when you play it.
  2. OneMoreNameless

    OneMoreNameless Goblin Champion

    I am willing to bet pizza that this post was written after losing to somebody spamming whirlwind in PvP. :D

    (Seriously, though, these are good things to consider when building your deck.)
  3. Ricey

    Ricey Kobold

    The biggest thing WW/WWE have going at the moment is that they counter card draw decks, so if you run a mage its stupid not to carry any.

    Its more like rolling a d20 where a 1 makes you lose

    In general i feel WWE is superior to WW but there are some situations where it can be useful.

    You talk about how using other cards to provide all your defense, but often those are not enough or maybe you just got a bad draw. There are so many situation where only WW/WWE could save a character that its not even worth mentioning.
  4. Chompman

    Chompman Mushroom Warrior

    Well with these new maps WWE is actually very useful a few turns in as it can take 2-3+ turns to get back to victory squares at times and this can help a lot.
  5. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I don't agree WW/WWE is that bad. Not on every map. I do agree those 2 cards suck and make the game into a luck-based lottery tough, as I stated in much more detail in another thread.

    Instead of posting a tl;dr; myself, I'll just state what really matters: people are not playing WW builds because of how unbelievably powerful those are. They are playing WW builds because they let not-that-good players get to the epic chest in a timely fashion.
  6. Armoek

    Armoek Mushroom Warrior

    I see many top players using these cards, I think WW and WWE can be very effective when correctly used. I do think it is very match up/map dependent though and will backfire on you every now and then, but even parry fails sometimes and people will still use that because it is effective.

  7. I wish my opponents would more frequently run ww/wwe. I'm ranked 16th right now, and I play a high mobility deck with two fighters. I think I've only lost about two matches out of the dozens my opponents have used WW/WWE in. It's not a good card. When someone plays it I feel pretty confident. I had just won a match where my opponent used it before writing this post (and he was cool about it, we had a nice chat. He was very good, and just running it to test it out, he was planning to remove it because of most of the reasons above, and deserves some credit for motivating the post). That's why this is a tip and not a feedback. I'm fine with WW being in the game, I think there are fun decks it can be in, and playing against it doesn't bother me, but I think it's sort of like Iron Star in magic, a card that newbies think is amazing but is actually very marginal.

    If you want a card that makes opponents resign immediately, you're looking for Sprint Team. WW slows you down in getting the epic chest because it is so inconsistent, and works only at very low ELO against people who don't keep their cool and resign frequently. I want to push back against the notion that WW is a lottery card. Chance is a factor in every cardhunter match, and you won't win every match, but saying that a bad WW or WWE shuffle cost you the game is sour grapes. WW and WWE can be easily responded to by most decks. The point of the post is to explain how WW and WWE give the person who did not play them an edge in the match. They are gambling cards, but the person who did not play them is the casino. If you build your entire deck to mitigate that gambling, and you wait for exactly the right moment, then you can gain an advantage off them. Yet the majority of people I see run them do so in decks where they have no business being because they actually put the deck in a worse situation than it was in if they were running something else.
    Phaselock likes this.
  8. ElShafto

    ElShafto Goblin Champion

    So what you're really saying is, use WW/WWE if you're a smart player and don't if you're not. Thanks.
  9. Guises

    Guises Goblin Champion

    If you wanted to organize some kind of WW/WWE boycott I could certainly get behind that, but claiming that they aren't good cards is just... untrue. Sure they might not always be the best idea if your opponent is running a high mobility deck, but all cards are situational. As long as you don't play them without thinking they're very good.
    piotras likes this.
  10. Forduc

    Forduc Orc Soldier

    Gotta agree with Snuggle. WWE (or WW) teams can be good, but just slapping them to wizard doesn't work that well. Opponent getting the first move/attack is huge in the long run.
  11. xienwolf

    xienwolf Goblin Champion

    If you draw it, say "Yipee!" and launch it immediately... yes, that makes any card potentially terrible. That is why we can all beat the AI in the campaign.

    Waiting for your opponent to use up their visible move cards, while you have lots of move and range attacks available means that you will almost certainly come out on top. They will have a low chance of being landed in melee range of someone, so having first move after the flip is negated, as long as you waited for a good time to use it.

    And yes, positioning is King. And this messes up positioning. Which is why using these when you have lost the positioning meta-war is always a win for you. The opponent out-maneuvered you, and you are now trapped in a terrible situation. Any roll of the dice is better than the current situation, so being allowed to roll those dice is strong. Admitting that you will not win every match is solid and thoughtful. But failing to admit that you will not flawlessly position yourself every single time you move goes contrary to that realism demonstrated.
    Bandreus and Flaxative like this.
  12. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I wanted to post something on the line of xienwolf's own words.

    In short, Snugglepotamus, you're outlining the most evident of WW/WWE's drawbacks. Which is a very trivial way to criticize a card, but doesn't really say much about how good a card can be "if used in the right way".

    WW/WWE has enormous potential. Mindlessly using the card can definitely lose you a game, but a competent player will now you only use it to get yourself out of an already terrible situation. In that regard, the ability to potentially put yourself back in the game from a state of severe disadvantage is lidicrously good.

    I would like to point out WW/WWE remeber me a specific MTG card: Timetwister (widely considered among the most powerful cards in the game, to the point it's banned from most tournament formats). I do wonder if that card served as inspiration for the WWs.

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