file Harbingers of Skulls Strengths But Mostly Weaknesses

18 Oct 2012 17:11 #39439 by Dorrinal

The funny thing is that as much as ousting power is their problem, bleed boost is incredibly easy to find. Bleed equipment, bleed retainers, Computer Hacking, Leverage, Fiendish Tongue, Monkey Wrench, all options before you ever get to their disciplines, if not all in the same deck. Of course, they have an additional problem that, say, a clan with Obfuscate or Protean doesn't have, which is that they also aren't all that good at getting actions through. As has become noticed over time, Necromancy used to be an evasion discipline but doesn't really qualify as such anymore. Fine for inherently stealthy actions, fine with Dominate's support of Seduction/Bonding/whatever but hasn't kept up with the rise in intercept options, while Celerity and Thaumaturgy have closed the gap.

Necromancy has always been a problem. Recall that in Dark Sovereigns it had exactly one stealth card, strike: combat ends, and a bunch of awful other cards. The discipline effectively did nothing. Looking at the cards, I guess WotC intended for some Jar the Soul tap-and-bleed deck, but the card doesn't even appear in the TWDA! It wasn't until Final Nights that Shambling Hordes and Call of the Hungry Dead opened up viable deck types for the Giovanni, who can always fall back on Dominate to provide the ousting power and bleed defense.

So is Necromancy an "evasion" discipline? It's half evasion, half crazy actions that don't do much. Take a look at the list on secretlibrary and sort by card type:
21 actions (Most of them strange or terrible, one of them provides stealth and combat protection - Ex Nihilo)
8 action modifiers: 1 stealth, 1 block fails, 1 bleed modifier, 1 conditional stealth, 4 "other" (Shroudsight might be good though)
1 Shambling Hordes
8 combat cards: 2 avoidance, 2 unpreventable damage, 2 aggravated damage, 2 wtf

:trem:

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18 Oct 2012 17:53 #39442 by Ohlmann
After shuffling through Necromancy cards, I see three possible way to give Herbinger an unique touch to harbinger :

* giving them a feasible option to burn vampires, so they can actually use all the card that key off burning another player vampire. Problem being that burning vampire is often either unplayable or too powerful, and in any case it's annoying to play against.

* giving them a card to burn a vampire in uncontrolled version that is considered burned from play (to play necromancy fancy stuff on it). There less potential annoyance for other player (not none, but if the card is well designed it could be bearable), and it can be a reasonably strong move by itself that give a lot of good thing to do with.

* giving them a free Freak drive for necromancy action, so that they can use all thoses way too much action-expensive necromancy card. Alternatively, do a second path for Harbinger that instead of lowering blood cost allow to untap after the first necromancy action.

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21 Oct 2012 17:15 #39604 by Azel

After shuffling through Necromancy cards, I see three possible way to give Herbinger an unique touch to harbinger :

* giving them a feasible option to burn vampires, so they can actually use all the card that key off burning another player vampire. Problem being that burning vampire is often either unplayable or too powerful, and in any case it's annoying to play against.

* giving them a card to burn a vampire in uncontrolled version that is considered burned from play (to play necromancy fancy stuff on it). There less potential annoyance for other player (not none, but if the card is well designed it could be bearable), and it can be a reasonably strong move by itself that give a lot of good thing to do with.


It's funny you mention these two as I was commenting elsewhere about creating a card that reopened "since your last turn" targeting and then untapped you. It might reinvigorate those wacky NEC cards, or just end up wacky. But it's an interesting bit of kismet that the same design directions are bubbling up.

The other thing I think should be looked at is the sect or trait design templates for disciplines. Cards like Ancestor's Insight, or better yet Psychic Assault, show a way to create a discipline card while favoring an additional benefit to another group. That way aus/nec dual discipline templates are not the only design avenue.
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01 Jul 2021 21:19 #102614 by Overthrower
Hoping to resurrect this thread; while some of these concerns have been addressed with HoS specific cards and wraith allies and retainers, I don't think those are enough to make the HoS a truly competitive clan. However, the Capuchin had opened up a combo I hadn't seen before to push thru actions. From big bleeds to graverobbing, you just put the target methuselah in whatever difficult choice you want to attempt by threatening to pretty much auto torpor their blocker. The combo is Dawn operation + Weather control + Skin of night. For actions you really want to succeed in you use DO at inferior to give them the choice to back out,  but if you want punish then for blocking them you play it at superior. They take one unpreventable agg during prerange and then treat your damage as normal skin of night. 
That coupled with Burst of sunlight + Rotschreck or skin of rock on defense makes this deck ugly to face. !Ventrue, Tremere, and !Tremere give you some midrange vampires to build out your crypt plus give you access to their hunting grounds. 
So my deck is focused on 4 disciplines, Auspex, Fortitude, Thaumaturgy, and Dominate. While it's not unbeatable, the deck feels like a table bully. The Capuchin is the star but the other vampires are really good because the combo is really good even if the vampire is inferior at both Thaum and Fort.

I would love if they gave Necromancy a card like Weather control, it would make sense as some type of "soul" attack too.

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02 Jul 2021 07:55 - 02 Jul 2021 08:04 #102616 by Timo

 I don't think those are enough to make the HoS a truly competitive clan.

I will just adress that : 

WHAT ??? :o

Well, according to TWDA, 29 decks have won with legionnaire since they exist (about june 2018).

In the meantime, the card "Govern the Unaligned" - arguably one on the 3 best cards in the game which is not clan specific but available to a whole bunch of clan (I count at least 7 of them) and is a discipline often found outside of these clans - is in 66 decks in the TWD since June 2018.

What do you want for them to be more competitive ?

EDITH : I looked on amaranth to have a count on both :dom: vamps and HoS vamps.

out of today, we have 1572 crypt cards, 504 with :dom:, 244 with :DOM: and 21 HoS.
Last edit: 02 Jul 2021 08:04 by Timo.
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03 Jul 2021 17:24 #102620 by ReverendRevolver
Using fortitude with weather control and burst aren't Capuchin new. I've seen decks from before I even started playing that centered on Muaziz eating people with no risk,  and for a minute I ran a ventrue second trad deck with that combo and Lucinde, Victorine, ilana,  and some great support cast. Using the action from KOT that heals combat agg and elemental stoicism makes numerous clans (including Gangrel) better at the combo you mentioned than HoS.

Now, Harbingers are better than ever thanks to Legionnaires.  They also got much better crypt support in the same set, but NOTHING can be said to have done more than that single wraith getting printed.  
disciple of Lazarus and the retainer were good, but any HoS support going forward has to focus on not breaking legionnaires and advancing them. As weather control doesn't with games like Legionnaires,  I'm not seeing a :nec: version of a middling :tha: combo piece being that helpful. Ranged environmental is good, but HoS aren't going to be winning with just that; I tried crows with Mordechai after HttB came out, and standing intercept with :AUS: : ANI: :FOR: is great,  crows, deep song, EoA, freak drive, prevent,  StsW, rats, Abbot, etc. But it was just OK, and without deep song it wouldn't have done nearly as well. 
Any support needs to improve the whole thing (except the aforementioned recurring legionnaires) not be :nec: deep song, crows, and rats. 

Theres middle tier decks I'm sure haven't been made yet that someone could try still.

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