file Which Master do you most hate to see played in a tournament?


Poll: Hated Master card (was ended 0000-00-00 00:00:00)

Total number of voters: 0
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09 May 2012 23:49 #29853 by Killiam
I don't hate seeing any of these, but I do sometimes sigh sadly when my prey makes it to his Villein, so I went with that.

IMHO, the biggest game-ruining master card is easily Temptation of Greater Power. Pay three pool and end a Methuselah's game (or pay lots of pool and take someone's star vamp.. ending his game.) Sure, some decks aren't so vulnerable, but most are, and between your predator and prey there will almost always be a good target. Despite my hate, however, I put this card in any deck that can support it. It's just too powerful to leave out.

After that, I'd go with Ashur Tablets, which I know were deliberately left off the list. Note that my hate is not for multiple-MPA-play (that's just cheesy and annoying, like Villein) -- it is for the Ashurs themselves.


(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

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10 May 2012 06:01 #29877 by Izaak
I agree that ToGP is broken in a way that it always ends *someone's* game when it gets played. It doesn't see a lot of play fortunately, but it's really a stupid card.

it is for the Ashurs themselves.

This puzzles me. What is so insanely broken about them that makes them so hated? I have never actually seen a proper argument why they are broken.

People seem to arbitrarily hate Ashur Tablets because they possess none and they cost $15 each. I play them a lot and the more I play them, the less powerful they seem.

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10 May 2012 09:09 #29891 by Ohlmann

People seem to arbitrarily hate Ashur Tablets because they possess none and they cost $15 each. I play them a lot and the more I play them, the less powerful they seem.

Well, they are not powerful in the PTO way. They are powerful in the 'skew the probability in my favor' way, which is really harder to pinpoint. So it may both be you underestemating their effect on your deck and people overestimating it.

Also, it is linked to MPA since MPA help Ashur a lot (in the same way as Lillith is helped by MPA), and MPA + Ashur can allow you to screw another Ashur user. So the best response to Ashur is MPA + Ashur.

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10 May 2012 09:50 #29896 by ReverendRevolver
ashurs are only really annoying because of the mmpa. its kinda hypocritical for me to say, sine my first deck that used them was anson, but the first deck i used them in that really needed them was g2 gargoyle combat, i just kept running out of cards, primarily since red cards are sadly not permanent.

the fact that temptation of greater power requires nothing more than pool, and lets you get pool on credit (seriously, wow, there should be a card called "credit check of greater power" that makes sure you're not going to "borrow" pool to pay off the temptation with parity shifts....:) ) makes it obnoxious when it hits you.

cards like hostile takeover and from a sinking ship are more fair by leaps and bounds, and still would be more fair even if they could take bigger vamps.

and bad players still use threestar cab company? i've always wanted to see my prey play that card when i'm using Santaleous......

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10 May 2012 14:03 - 10 May 2012 14:18 #29910 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple

I have never actually seen a proper argument why they [Ashur Tablets] are broken.

Then I offer this for your consideration. It's lengthy, but you asked for a "proper argument."

There are 2 related aspects of library recursion that suggest brokenness.

First, V:tES is a card game. Intimately tied to the definition are common threads: the random draw of objects from a face-down, predefined set and the imperfect knowledge that results from that action.

Second, V:tES is structured for each player using 3 basic resources for play.

- pool as the global resource,
- crypt-based minions to act in one's playspace and
- library cards to connect resources and manipulate the playspace.

Its time to look at how Ashur Tablets can violate both of those fundamental design properties.

Ashur Tablets accesses a fourth resource, the Ash Heap. This resource is not innately available to every player. It seems reasonable to conclude that any player who accesses additional (valuable) resources might gain a strategic advantage.

This 4th resource either develops naturally or can be profitably grown. Beyond the cards used to access this resource, there is no opportunity cost in using it. Arguably, even that cost is offset by the 3 pool gain realized triggering a set of Ashur Tablets.

So far, we're up to free access to a resource not every player has. But since we haven't proven that resources is valuable, it is best to continue.

Some might suggest the Ash Heap is not an independent resource, but is completely redundant with the library. True in definition, not in practice. If Ashur Tablets read "shuffle your Ash Heap. Put 13 randoms cards from your Ash Heap into your Library," then it would be a truely redundant resource and I wouldn't be writing this post.

Selecting 13 tactically appropriate cards to return is a different matter. It significantly reconstructs a deck at point of use. We're using perfect knowledge of cards in the Ash Heap and reliable information about other player's minions and and his Ash Heap to rebuild a deck at point of use.

Ooops. Perfect knowledge (and solid inferences) in a game of imperfect knowledge. That seems like a strategic advantage in the hands of any capable player.

Large-scale recursion impacts card drawing probability. As fewer cards reside in the library, the probability of drawing desired cards (the situationally useful ones recurred) grows. Now we have further optimized the deck to any task immediately at hand.

That's messing with the random nature of drawing from a predefined set. Its not really pre-defined anymore. We're starting to stack the odds in our favor as the library empties.

Even when a deck is perfectly designed for the tasks at hand, variability in draws can affect its ability to perform. either immediately or some point in the future. We call it "clumping." Recursion can smooth variability in past card draws. Hit too many of card "X" in the first 1/4 of the deck......recur as needed to re-balance the set of available objects again.

Wait, isn't that counteracting risk of unfavorable permutations in drawing from a predefined set? And it creates a new set of a more favorable options for subsequent draws? Seems like a double whammy on the whole randomness aspect of the game.

The way I see it, we just ripped the fundamental fabric the game. Two for two now.

In short, hand-selected recursion undermines the reliance on one's library as one of the three primary resources, can smooth variability in draws. In extreme cases, it can transfer the focus of card flow into to "working the Ash Heap."

As an analogy, imagine playing poker and being able to draw your cards from a face-up muck1. Immediately, you transform the probability of "hitting your draw" into a simple function of your ability to reach into the muck.

As the ease of recursion increases, the mechanic becomes increasingly broken. Nothing is easier than Imbued recurring Conviction. Second on the list is Ashur Tablets (MPA only, no clan or discipline requirement).


1 The muck is the agglomeration of discards and folded hands in a game of poker.
Last edit: 10 May 2012 14:18 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Amenophobis, Jussi, Dorrinal, KevinM, Jeff Kuta, Ashur, Ohlmann

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10 May 2012 14:43 #29915 by ReverendRevolver
so, dialing in a closer-to-perfect library structure is the primary strategic advantage of the tablets, unarguably, and the card to the hand is a benefit as is the 3pool (making it so you were playing delayed ascendance with the first 2 tablets).

the effect is very pronounced when you repeat the process multiple times, allowing you to pick specific cards and rebuild your deck based around game state.

all not arguable, anyone who has played with the tablets know that you weed out cards you don't need and leave them in the ash heap and take the cards with future potential.

if each Methuselah could only benefit from the tablets "popping" once a game, i think they would remain good but not problematic (i use them in big decks to get my red cards back, but abusing them to perfect what you draw does make your deck go from efficient to barely random).

library recursion in card games has typically been a tool to use or not use, but in a game with 5 players it becomes used very differently than if only 2 people were doing things to re-play cards.

tablets allows for extreme maximization of some resources and the ability to ignore others. i see the amount of principles it displaces, and can't argue that players take advantage of it, but i'm not sure its unbalanced our game in an irreparable way. limiting it would hurt MMPA decks, but they'd still be playable, but not table-crushing.

i don't like trashing good cards, but abused cards sometimes need curved down some.

i'm just tired of girls decks winning tournaments, and i think ashur tablets, non lilliths blessing, is largely responsible for their current effectiveness.

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