exclamation-circle Cards Bans 2016 (Anthelios, the red star, Seeds of corruption,Temptation of Greater Power)

20 Jan 2016 14:25 #75072 by Myrdin
MMPA decks are known to use Anthelios every turn (Girls will find... decks, Malkavian dementia decks etc. where a main throughput component or similar is from masters). Not just 2-3 times a game. Considering game length (10-12 turns) I would hazard a average use of about 5-8 times. Having the optimal mastercard available 60-70% of the turns is extremly strong, also reusing the same master each turn is silly, the recursion drawback is almost totally ignored. If you want a measurement the increase in recursion capability is increased in MMPA deck by 100% and seeing as you approach maximum usage from half usage the net gain is insane.

The ban is understandable from my point of view.

Ivan - Prince of Stockholm
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20 Jan 2016 22:32 #75079 by daniel.malk
Hello everybody

It’s happening again! The same thing that happened with Lilith’s Blessing. We are once again going around and scratching the surface of a problem, instead of attacking its core.

Indeed, Anthelios provides resource recycling in such a particular way that makes it very hard for other players to counter. Besides, even though the card is in play for everyone to use, opponents that didn’t optimize their decks for it will take little or no benefit at all from it. As it was mentioned, it also makes it much easier to build and play a Multi Master deck, because it allows you to put more copies of setup cards to make sure they will come in hand in the early game, without worrying about they stack and congest your hand in the late game, since they will be traded for other needed cards through Anthelios.

I guess those were the basic allegations in favor of banishing Anthelios. Forgive me if I forgot any other.

I understand those statements and I will not disagree with then. Indeed, Anthelios does all of those things.

But this is just the surface, not the core problem!

I invite everyone participating in this topic to make an effort to forecast what will be the consequences of the banishment of Anthelios.

I will do this effort for one specific deck archetype, which is the only Multi Master Anthelios abuser deck I play: the D&D, Derange and Dementia deck. In terms of deck building, I will have to redistribute proportions, removing some copies of setup cards (such as Parthenon, Heidelberg Castle and Secure Heaven) and adding copies of the cards that make the core strategy (Malkavian Dementia + Villein + Golconda or Social Ladder). This is no ordinary task! It took me 3 years and 9 versions to reach a balanced, competitive, viable version I’m comfortable playing with. The way I see it, I have 3 options: a) I can give up this deck and use the good, rare, expensive cards in other decks (which I will not do after so much investment); b) I can invest another year in the deck in order to find new working balance (which is probably what I’ll do); or c) since my deck is a short, 60 library cards, version of this archetype, I can add 3 Ashur Tablets, 3 Dreams of the Sphinx and 10 to 15 other cards, without modifying proportions, hopping the additional Tablets will give the necessary amount of recycling and that the additional Dreams will help balance both the increased size of the library and the risk of stacking setup cards in the late game (which is the easy way out I think most people will adopt in their own Multi Master decks). In terms of playing, I will no longer be able to play multiple retaliation Golcondas on a minion who just kicked my Lutz’s ass out to the ash reap while I influence another one, because I’ll have to retain that Golconda to play when I take control of that minion, in around 4 turns. And maybe I’ll discover other setbacks of not having Anthelios in the following year…

My point is: my D&D deck will still be a contender in every table I play and, I guess, so will be every Girls or TGB AAA or Guillaume or any other Multi Master decks, for the very simple reason that the core strength of those decks come from the Multi Master mechanism, in which Anthelios is just a shiny polish on the surface. The banishment of Anthelios will not irreversibly cripple and change those decks; it will only slow then down for a few months. Just as the banishment of Lilith’s Blessing did to decks like Girls and Mono Dominate. Once again, we are just scratching the surface.

If we want to see less Multi Master decks in our tables and in the TWDA; if we want the actions of the vampires to be the protagonists of the game, instead of the actions of the Methuselah; if we think those decks are abusively overpowered and we want bring then down to balance; if we want all this, we must attack the core: we must limit the Multi Master mechanics. To do so, we don’t have to make any radical changes. We already have that solution!!! The text “you get two master phase actions (instead of one)” that cards like Anson, Nana Buruku and Rumors of Gehenna already have. We can’t stack multiple master phase actions with this text. With this text, we can make up to 1 trifle and 2 regular master phase actions. It is the text “you get an additional master phase action” and close variations that cards like Cybele, Huitzilopochtli, Isanwayen and Parthenon have that allow us the obscenity of performing 4 or 5 master phase actions in a single turn, that makes the core strength of Multi Master decks. This is the text we must change if we believe those decks are truly unbalancing and overpowered.

If I get limited to the maximum of 2 or 3 master phase actions, I will be forced to make a very different and radical change in my D&D deck: I will have to modify the proportions between master cards and every other kind of library cards on my deck. Today it has 30 master cards and 30 other library cards. If I keep the same proportion of master cards making just half of the master actions those cards will stack and hand jam. Besides, without the possibility of making 4 or 5 master phase actions, it will have be a completely different deck. I’ll have to lower the overall capacity of my crypt, so I can influence more vampires and have more minion actions to make up for absence of those extra master actions. I will have to put more valuable actions and reactions in the library for those extra minions to perform. This will slow down the speed to spread deranges around the table and the frequency to convert other players vampires into my pool. And since I won’t be able to make that much pool that fast, I will have add resources to defend my pool more effectively. The deck still will be a D&D, but will have to be something more than that in order to survive. It will lost some of the focus on masters in favor to minion actions. It will more like a regular deck. I guess the same thing will happen to other Multi Master decks. The limit of possible master phase actions per turn will force a radical change. They still will be Multi Master decks, but the amount of power granted by the Multi Master mechanics will be significantly reduced.

But the most important question is: why would we want that? I don’t want to play with or against weaker decks. I want to play with and against the strongest possible decks. I want to play against the faster stealthy bleeder, the blood thirstier rusher, the unflinching entrenched wall, the stronger politician, the most consistent turbo, the creepier bringer of the Gehenna and, why not, the trickier multi master. I want to face then all and be better. Those are all strong decks that scare the opponents to the point of making every one cooperate to oust then, or at least consider the possibility. But all of those decks have weaknesses. None of them are invincible.

I don’t want to cripple my opponent’s Multi Master decks. I don’t think this is necessary. I don’t think they are strong enough to justify that. I’ve learned the strengths and weaknesses of most of them. I’ve learned my way around most of them. We all did! We all can list the weakness of those archetypes listed throughout this topic. And this is also true to all of the tier 1 decks. I’m not always playing a deck capable surviving the strength or exploring the weakness of those great proven decks, but what the hell? Shit happens… I don’t want to cripple any of the tier 1 decks. I want to beat them as strong as they can be.

To stick with the Multi Master decks, they all have something in common: they all make the significant sacrifice of being Methuselah oriented decks instead of minion oriented decks. They sacrifice minion cards in order to make room for master cards. Some of them give up actions, some of them have few or no reactions and some of them are weak to combat. Even a Multi Master deck depends on some vital actions or reaction from their minions; if you deprive them from those, they won’t win. Most Multi Master decks depend on some level of setup and, therefore, are vulnerable to large amounts of pool damage in the early game. And so on… We all know those things. We all know how to beat them.

I read a lot of complaining against the “Girls” decks. Back in 2009, a friend started to play one of those and won a lot of games. But in a month or two, we learned how to beat him: we just beat the hell out of those girls; we burned them before their owner could play Golconda and influence them back to play. Since I rarely play with combat decks, I would cooperate with the player who was playing with a combat deck until the girls were no longer a threat. If I can't hurt them, I cooperate with someone who can for as long as it is convenient. I guess this is how you win against every tier 1 deck. I’m sure this is how you win every game of VTES. It’s a multiplayer game… you have to play with the circumstances of every particular table. A tier 1 deck is one of those circumstances. I don’t want to change that. I want to adapt to that.

I see some archetypes of decks making a lot of success in a cyclical basis. Back in 2014 we observed a hype over the Tupdog + Nephandus deck here in Brazil. In 2015 I hosted the National Championship and among the promos and boosters given to every player in attendance there was 1 copy of Gran Madre di Dio. I wanted to enable people to fight back, to terminate one cycle so that other could rise. We can do that against the "Girls" and other Multi Master decks without having to banish such na iconic card.

So, to return to the main topic and wrap everything I said until now:
1 - I don’t believe there is any need to underpower Multi Master deck in such an extreme way as to banish a card.
2 - If there is the need to underpower Multi Master decks, it should be done by putting some sort of limit to the Multi Master mechanics itself. The change of text from “gets an additional MPA” to “gets two MPAs instead of one” is a viable and simple solution.
3 - As far as I can foresee, the banishment of Anthelios will not achieve success in underpowering the Multi Master decks; they will adapt and remain strong.
4 - If the purpose behind the banishment of Anthelios was to limit or to offer a counter to the possibility of recycling and using a master card in the same turn, it should be done by changing the mechanism of Anthelios itself, possibly by transforming it in a minion action instead of a master action.
5 - We just had a new series released! Since the rules team already stated that they will not make changes in the texts of existing cards, they should have joined the design team in an effort to create a new card that could limit Multi Master or limit Anthelios.
6 - Banishing a card should be a last resort reserved only to the worst unfixable case scenario.

I apologize for such a long text and I’m looking forward to continuing this debate in a constructive way.

Best regards

Daniel Malk
Archbishop of Belo Horizonte – Brazil.
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21 Jan 2016 00:31 - 21 Jan 2016 00:37 #75081 by cordovader

Brum wrote: Soon we'll be discussing the definition of the english word "fact".
Regardless:

Anthelios falls into the category of cards that allows someone to play without many of the drawbacks of VtES, while all the other players still have those drawbacks.
That is unfair.
Some of them:
-Having multiple copies of unique masters are no longer a problem. In fact, it is so twisted that it becomes a benefit.
-You have less randomness of hand than your opponents.
-You spend less library to do the same things than your opponents do. Couple that with the above point and it gets ridiculous.
-You take less time to do the same things your opponents do. You use Anthelios AND get to use the master in the same turn. Join that with the two previous points and it gets over 9000.

The last two National tournaments I played, I used Nephandus with LiquidAshurs and 5 Parthenons (obviously).
I won 7 out of 8 of those games.
4 or 5 of those wins were because of Anthelios. The card is strong and unfair.

Oh, I have many decks that will suffer as well.
And the argument of "if you don't like it, go around it or learn to deal with it" can go right back at you.
Change and learn to play with your decks without it.
I will try.


Unfairness is a subjective judgement, it's not something you can mesure (unless you set arbitrary indicators to mesure "unfairness") and anyway, life is not fair. So it's not a valid argument.

-You have less randomness of minion cards in hand (that means they are most likely the same cards all the time), not master cards. In fact, when you already are around 1/3 of your library in master cards, it happens often that you only have master cards in hand, or that you have so many that you have to spend one turn doing nothing. Not knowing this means that you have probably seen MMPA decks played, but you haven't played them yourself.
-You spend less library to do the same thing your oponents do by using Ashur Tablets, not Anthelios. Using Ashur Tablets it's a deckbuilding choice with it's drawbacks.
-You don't get less time to do what other people need to do. Having, for example, 2 MPAs allows you to play 2 masters in a turn. Having Anthelios and using it only allows you to play 1 master card per turn. Your statement is not correct.

Myrdin wrote: MMPA decks are known to use Anthelios every turn (Girls will find... decks, Malkavian dementia decks etc. where a main throughput component or similar is from masters). Not just 2-3 times a game. Considering game length (10-12 turns) I would hazard a average use of about 5-8 times. Having the optimal mastercard available 60-70% of the turns is extremly strong, also reusing the same master each turn is silly, the recursion drawback is almost totally ignored. If you want a measurement the increase in recursion capability is increased in MMPA deck by 100% and seeing as you approach maximum usage from half usage the net gain is insane.

The ban is understandable from my point of view.


As you say, it's your point of view, but many of your statements are false.

When you play an MMPA deck you don't use Anthelios every turn. It's as simple as you need either Parthenon, Rumors of Gehenna or a vampire that gives you an extra MPA to be able to use Anthelios every turn AND play a master card. From turn 1 it's not possible, being only possible from turn 2 IF you have Anthelios in your departing hand and at least an additional MPA on turn 2. A lot of conditions to fulfill your statement.

If you're saying that Girls or Malkavian Demetia decks use Anthelios every turn means that you haven't seen them played a lot and you haven't played them yourself. Can you answer me what are the odds of having Anthelios turn 1 if you have 1 copy in a 75 card deck? And in the first 3 turns? This doesn't happen a lot, so no, you do not use Anthelios an average of 5-8 times per game, it's more likely to be 3-4 times at most during a game. It's also funny that you say that a game lasts around 12 turns, when it's usually at most. Games tend to last between 7-14 turns (depending on the decks being played and the amount of talk on the table). Just check the verbatims of played tournaments.

You're also stating that you are able to reuse the master card you want 60-70% of the time. To do so you need to:

-Have more than 1 MPA
-Have the chosen card in your ash heap
-Anthelios in play on the table

So tell me, please, what are the odds of having a card you own in 1 copy in your deck in your ash heap + Anthelios on the table, given that usually you will play 1 copy of Anthelios yourself, at most 2 copies or 1 copy + 1 Fortschritt Library?

Another question: what is this overpowered master card that you want to search each turn? Of course, there are master cards that are strong with recursion (mainly out-of-turn masters and Pentex). Can you afford to play during a game 5-8 times Pentex (10-16 pool)? That means you're in hell of a good situation. In this case, it's not the deck that it's overpowered, it's your table seating...

alek wrote: Also don't be folled by number of times the cards appears in TWDA. You've listed basic cards in comparision to anthelios. Following this way of thinking we can assume that cards like:
blood doll (1147 times in TWDA), wake with evening freshness (721), lost in crowds (661) and many other are much more overpowered than every power card in VTES.


OK, let's do a more close comparaison with the TWDA (secretlibrary stats):

-Unmasking (event, being ONLY profitable by someone playing allies) 328
-Anthelios 336

Anthelios is overpowered and you're the new Messiah. None of this statements is true.
Last edit: 21 Jan 2016 00:37 by cordovader.

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21 Jan 2016 00:56 #75082 by cordovader
Just to be sure you get my point. IN MY OPINION (yes, it's subjective, it's a sort of cosmovision), there are some reasons to ban a card:

-It's problematic for the rules
-It unbalances the game
-It includes "ante" wording, not legal in tournaments
-It doesn't fit in the Desing Team's wishes (and this can be discussed, because it should be better to edit one or more new cards that adress that solve the situation than to ban a card, at least IMO)

OK, I'm not going to speak about ToGP (unbalancing during a game if not able to be countered), nor about Seeds of Corruption (cumbersome in terms of ruling).

Why was Anthelios banned then?

-It's not problematic for the rules
-It visibly doesn't unbalance the game (it's difficult to do it, since VTES has contest mechanics), but in case it did so, we would see it reflected in the TWDA and it's not the case
-It doesn't include the word ante

So, in my logic the only reasonable explanation is: the Design Team has it's vision about the game, the Rules Team bans the card, end of the story.

In this case at least you should have said: "in our vision of the game, Anthelios has no place, since it's mechanics go against what we expect of the game". Just don't fool the community searching for fancy explanations about the mechanics of the card.

I hope I am right and it's not just a decission to keep all the MMPA/Ashur/Anthelios-ban groupies happy, because that would be really disappointing. At least the first option would show that you have a clear vision of the game and guts to take difficult decissions...

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21 Jan 2016 07:35 #75087 by brandonsantacruz
Cordovar: War is peace, freedom is slavery.

Any other nonsense you want to share?

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

brandonsantacruz.blogspot.com/

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21 Jan 2016 07:42 #75088 by cordovader

brandonsantacruz wrote: Cordovar: War is peace, freedom is slavery.

Any other nonsense you want to share?


With this you are proving you are a really intelligent. I'm sure you're a better person.

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