question-circle Pentex Subversion Poll #2 and Discussion

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Poll: Possible fixes for Pentex Subversion

Total number of voters: 0
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26 Jun 2012 18:12 #32536 by Bell
I think also a big part of why it gets included in decks is to contest and because people make such a big deal of how it's a "broken" card. There have been several decks where I only put it in as an after thought. It's an extremely strong card which needs to exist, if there is any problem it's in recursion + MMP.

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27 Jun 2012 16:32 #32550 by Ohlmann

Jeff Kuta wrote: The card should probably exist, but it *is* problematic, and the problem is getting worse.


The rise of bigcap deck mean the counter to big cap is more and more played. The solution, obviously, is not to buff midcap or nerf the dominance of bigcap, but nerfing the solution to big cap. Make perfect sense !

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27 Jun 2012 17:12 #32552 by Jeff Kuta

Ohlmann wrote:

Jeff Kuta wrote: The card should probably exist, but it *is* problematic, and the problem is getting worse.


The rise of bigcap deck mean the counter to big cap is more and more played. The solution, obviously, is not to buff midcap or nerf the dominance of bigcap, but nerfing the solution to big cap. Make perfect sense !


Ironic intent noted. But you can look at this from a couple different angles.

Newer large vampires are generally better than their forebears with notable exceptions like G2 ICs, Anneke/Anson/EuroBrujah, and Dom/Obf P/Js. This means there are more people playing with them.

The "old" counter to large vampire decks was speed. Before Zillah's Valley and more recently Villein, all you had to do was get your power bleed deck up and running and SR their Minion Taps. It's not so easy any more.

As the power curve by capacity has recently skewed toward older vampires, it seems that the relative power of Pentex Subversion has increased at a faster rate. This meta consideration has clearly been noticed by the community at large.

In some ways the existence of Pentex Subversion is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is its greatest problem. People who hate the card, myself included, have to acknowledge that it is necessary for the game--some wall decks can be hard to break.

But IMO the problem with Pentex doesn't lie with breaking down a wall which has become entrenched. The problem with Pentex is that early in the game is can randomly shut a player out of the game entirely. V:TES is a social game. When each of us sits down at the table, we commit the next two hours of our lives to some (hopefully) friendly competition. When someone plays a turn 3 Pentex on your large capacity vampire, your game could be over in the next 10 minutes, even if you do get substantial help.

A single card should not have that kind of power early in the game.

I think the fact that this poll exists acknowledges that a Wall-breaker/game finisher should exist. But the fact that people are trying to find a way to make the card better, or at least more proportionate in power, says volumes.

I haven't voted for any of the proposed solutions yet. I think there are still more interesting possibilities. Here are some more:

* Increase cost to 3 pool. Simple, easy to remember solution.
* Change text to "Put this on an ally or a vampire who is not older than a vampire you control." Age should matter more in the game IMO.
* Add: "This card cannot be played unless any Methuselah has earned a victory point." Gives people time to actually play their game.
* Add: "During your untap phase (the Methuselah who played the card), burn this card if you have more pool than the controller of the minion with this card." A bit complicated, but giving the person who got Pentex'd an out as they get closer to being ousted.

Anyway, the main point is to let people play the game. The interactions between minions should have the largest impact on the outcome, and Pentex Subversion totally undermines that fundamental V:TES principle.

When you are anvil, be patient; when a hammer, strike.
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27 Jun 2012 18:36 #32554 by Haze

Squidalot wrote: mattias you clearly have not played enough games against Una :), to realise how flawed she is (or specifically the fact that she can act 10+ times in a row on turn 3) that's very hard to counter.
She's probably the biggest single reason to need Pentex, Enkil Cog in combination with other stars e.g. Nergal, Lucian etc is another reason. These vampires are extremely powerful and very hard to stop.

oh you have no idea how often I've seen superstar decks in my playgroup. I know how scary they can be, and yet I've also seen them fail without any involvement from Pentex. might be that my local metagame is too used to them.

I believe Freak Drive is the problem, not Una herself. and in this thread where we hypothetically errata Pentex Subversion it makes sense that we could just as easily errata other problematic cards. covering all the holes at the same time, and not just letting Una get even stronger.

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27 Jun 2012 20:39 #32555 by Ohlmann

Jeff Kuta wrote: A single card should not have that kind of power early in the game.


But there is no reason to make big cap even more powerful, exactly like there were no reason to buff small cap at the very start of VtES, when bigcap were pretty weak.

Everything you said don't change the thing that the real problem is the prevalence of big cap, and nerfing Pentex is only another way to ensure their dominance.

Maybe pentex can be changed to be less frustrating, but in any case it should not be lowered in power - in fact, it would be better for the game not to touch it than making superstar even more super.

A lot of other options are possible, like making support vampire easier to put in play (like Grooming the Protege can already do in some case), or mayvbe thing more exotic like support ghoul to help big cap for action.

It would in the same time make non-multiacting big cap easier to play (because freak drive is less necessary with 2-4 minion than with only one), and avoid the next step in the loop, which is nerfing combat (and other minion removal) to the ground because torporizing / burning a star is doable almost as soon as early pentex and even more punishing.

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27 Jun 2012 20:46 #32556 by Squidalot

Jeff Kuta wrote: Year / TWDs Total / TWDs wPentex / %
1997-2008 / 1076 / 235 / 21.8% (prior to KoT/Ashur Tablets)
2009 / 236 / 111 / 47.0%
2010 / 231 / 130 / 56.2%
2011 / 253 / 144 / 56.9%
2012 / 89 / 62 / 69.7% (reports as of 6/26/2012)

The card should probably exist, but it *is* problematic, and the problem is getting worse.


nice stats Jeff - a little intimidating. I'd be interested to see Europe V US V ROW as well in an anecdotal way Pentex didn't crop up a lot stateside even 2 years ago.

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