question-circle Emerald Legionnaire — First Black Chantry Nerf?

09 Oct 2018 18:33 #91096 by DJHedgehog

First off, let me say that I never want to see cards banned. I don't think any of these other cards mentioned should be banned, or even nerfed. I don't think Liquidation should be banned or nerfed, since in normal circumstances it has a significant enough drawback that I don't normally put it in my decks. It is a full master, reduces your hand size for your whole turn, and makes you lose some good cards from the top of your deck. It is Legionairres that make Liquidation unfairly strong.

The whole liquidation + Ashur Tablet interaction is beyond silly for a game like this. Liquidation just becomes a master that says "Gain 3 pool", and then it has the side effect of letting you later fix your deck.

If it said "Gain 2 pool" instead do you think you would still play it? I think so, and that's a pretty good gauge on if cards are overtuned.

My argument is that not only is it overtuned, but it has consequences that limit the creation of new cards. Case in point: without liquidation EL wouldn't be nearly as oppressive unless your name is Bill Troxel and do some dumb shit with infernal pursuit :lol:

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09 Oct 2018 18:41 #91097 by DJHedgehog

So the argument you'd make is that Emerald Legionnaire can be meta gamed against, it's just that doing so warps the meta game in a direction that is problematic in terms of deck building?

It does create meta decisions, and that much I do like. Knowing that at least one person in a tournament will probably play that deck, and because it's good you'll have to face it in the finals is the one good thing it has going for it IMO.

I came from 1 v 1 games, so you would prepare for certain decks. That doesn't bother me.

The answers to allies in this game are mostly half measures. Nothing outright hoses them, nothing can deal with swarms. Allies weren't supposed to be good: they all historically cost a lot and were not as good as a vampire could be. Renegade Garou costs 5. Nephandus is the closest comparable thing and they didn't get off the ground until that 5 cap who can fish them out of your deck was printed.

So, I have to tech against a really great deck with crappy cards that will be less than useful in the games I don't face EL.

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09 Oct 2018 18:47 #91098 by brandonsantacruz
As soon as I saw how fast you can bring out a swarm of free 2 bleed 2 strength allies in a tournament it was clear this card needs to be nerfed. There are many options for doing this (some have been previously mentioned):

1) blank their text box (other than Wraith). For one pool they are still great allies. I a most in favor of this. Consider other strong allies:
War Ghoul

Legionnaires are immune to your tastes and other vampire affecting cards like all these are, but recruit each other and have a better strength/life/cost/bleed balance than all but imbued. Don't forget how stupid they are with Unmasking. FBI, Special Affairs Division? Icing on the cake. One combat card (Target Vitals) can lead to a vampire losing six blood (2 str, TV, FBI) and then they just come back on the next untap. Get real.

2) reduce the number you can get to one per turn (two is still silly, considering how OP the ability is in general)

3) Change text to say that Legionnaires cost one less to recruit so that the first makes the later ones easier to get, but still require actions (outside of piper).

4) Make Legionnaires unique and free, "wraith" as text.

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

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09 Oct 2018 21:25 #91106 by skimflux

I was looking at WoN wins in the *last 5 years*, not the first 5 after it came out.

I realize that, but you must account for the 'new toy' effect in the meta to make a fair comparison: people will tend to try new strategies more often when they first become known/available. It's also at that time that effective counters are probably less known and less common.

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09 Oct 2018 21:54 #91107 by skimflux

Try these for comparison: Zillah's Valley also got its first 4 wins in 4 months. Deep Song got 13 wins in 10 months. Ashur Tablets had 8 wins at 4 months. None of these have been nerfed.

Ashur Tablets came out during what was probably the height of VtES popularity and activity. What's the ratio of wins/all tournaments, for each of those deck types in the first four month period? And for WoN, I'd run the stats again against Tumnimos and see what effect that had.

2017 has 89 TWD registered, 2018 will probably finish in the same ballpark (58 by the end of August).

Zillah's Valley from 2001 - there were 75 TWD in that year and 93 in 2002, so it looks like a slightly higher rate than EL.
Deep Song and Ashur both came out at the end of 2008 - there were 221 TWD in 2008 and 240 in 2009, so roughly 2.5x as many as in 2018. That puts EL clearly above Deep Song, and slightly better than Ashur too.

OTOH EL is part of the first printed expansion in 8 years, and it's a mini-expansion with a very limited scope - so there is a significant anticipation buildup and not that many archetypes to try out with these cards.

In other words: it's too close to call without further data, check again in 6 months.

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09 Oct 2018 22:10 #91109 by Killiam
Count me in with the folks who think the card is a bit OP and that its annoyingly non-interactive special text could stand a slight nerfing. But I admit that it is early to tell for sure.

That said, rumors of the Alcoan deck are getting out of proportion, so allow me to set the record straight on that. It is a fragile novelty deck, as most turbo decks are. The whole thing centers around a single trick, which lands you with 7 or 8 Legionnaires on turn 4 or 5 that I am guessing will typically be mostly dead by the time you have ousted your first prey. It’s NOT the sort of deck I can imagine sweeping through a 5-player table.

I have played the Alcoan deck three times, all of which were 4 player games:

The first was a casual Lackey game in which I had good seating and swept the table. That gave me the confidence to try it in league.

The second was the league game (Lackey again) where for a while it looked like it was going to lose with 0VP, but eventually things turned around for a 3-1 GW. I did have an army of ELs on turn 4 or 5, but Mark J came at me cross-table w/Mambo Jean, stomping Alcoan into torpor and then bringing down a couple ELs for good measure. My prey had 4 weenies to block with, all sporting Protean and heavy use of Combat Ends. I was low on pool with 5 or 6 ELs, Carlton and a 1-cap, and I had to leave 3 allies untapped (w/Unmasking) for fear of being ousted by bleed/vote. This left me, for no fewer than 3 turns, in the position of contemplating whether I should go forward with a bunch of Legionnaires, probably injuring some of them, just so I could get a single bleed of 1 through. So I sat there, pretty much useless. Eventually I recouped some minions and got Anu, my prey lunged unsuccessfully, I bled him out, then Mark lunged forward (gaining a VP) rather than rushing back at me, and so I was able to oust him right afterward. In short, things played out well for me; it was not a story of total table domination.

The third game was in-person at my local playgroup, where I scored 0VP. My predator was Kelly playing Inner Circle. Darby was my cross-table “ally” who was playing Xipe Totec (who can steal allies as a +1 stealth action). On turn 3, I dumped my library, brought out a Legionnaire and Carlton, and dropped the Unmasking. My prey still didn’t have a vamp out, and I was holding D.I. in my hand (as engineered), so I was feeling pretty good about protecting the wraith. Darby comes to steal the Legionnaire, and since it’s not a carded action, I can’t D.I. it, so I try blocking with Carlton at 2 intercept. Darby plays 2 different +stealth cards, and I have to D.I. the second one. Carlton blocks successfully, but then Xipe Totec plays superior Form of Mist FTW. My wraith is gone. I only get to play one more turn after that; Kelly pummels me with pool damage over the course of his next two turns and I die —— no time to trigger another EL army and recover.

Moral of the story: fragility is the cost for speed, as it goes with turbo decks, and that is no less true for a turbo Emerald Legionnaire deck. Alcoan alone does not prove that EL is broken; it’s just one stitch in the tapestry.

Now I do have a Babalawo + Specialization + Liquidation EL deck, on the other hand, that has a similarly high win ratio, and I consider it much more robust...

Thanks for reading. Cheers!

(Bill Troxel)
"I look back from where I'm from
Look at the woman I've become
And the strangest things seem
Suddenly routine"
-Hedwig Robinson
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lönkka, Loughman, lionel

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