question-circle Emerald Legionnaire — First Black Chantry Nerf?

17 Oct 2018 07:24 - 17 Oct 2018 07:29 #91232 by Bloodartist

Unmasking MAKES ally decks. It's not enabling.....

You think these two words have different meaning?

There's no reason for a non-interactive, nigh-unburnable card


A wall is the DEFINITION of interactive. Unmasking lets you interact with the cards of your predator/prey. Thats what interaction means. Loads of cards (stealth/intercept/combat) are going to be flying back and forth. Combat is way more interactive than bouncing bleeds.

You have a very interesting mind.

ps. Increase in wallish elements is a natural direction if we are to increase the effectiveness and importance of combat. Something which as far as I know, has been requested/talked about when discussing future cards.

A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.
—Gotthold Ephraim Lessing



Last edit: 17 Oct 2018 07:29 by Bloodartist.

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17 Oct 2018 09:05 #91238 by LivesByProxy
@BloodArtist: There is a slight difference in meaning, the way he's using the words and the emphasis on the word 'makes'. He means to say that Ally decks, as a high-tier tournament level archetype, could not exist without Unmasking. Ally-based decks are not just less potent without Unmasking, but what makes them viable is Unmasking. To use a (probably poor) comparison: !Malks would still be able to stealth-bleed, but what makes them an archetype is Kindred Spirits. Confusion + Lost In Crowds enables stealth-bleed for !Malks, but Kindred Spirits makes the archetype.

As an aside, I've been wondering how potent !Gangrel would be if Cat Burglary read:
+1 Stealth Action. :cel: (D) Bleed. If more than one pool is bled this way, ignore the excess. If the bleed is successful, gain 1 pool. :CEL: As above, and this vampire gains 1 blood.

It would absolutely make an !Gangrel archetype as powerful as !Malks.

Now, I do think you and Lonkka are right to an extent about how +intercept is interactive. The unfun thing about Wall decks is how they stop you from playing your game unless you have a serious stealth or combat package. A comparison might be counterspells or land-destruction in MTG. They offer the possibility of interaction, but unless your opponent has the appropriate cards - counterspells of their own, in this case - the interaction is minimal and often in a way that takes the fun away from your opponent.

Also, VTES' lack of card limits combined with the mini-game nature of its rules, make decks hyper-focused in a way that minimizes interaction. Why play intercept when you can bounce? What use is stealth when you want to rush / get blocked so you can torpor the opposing vampire in combat? With a political deck, why fight when you can play 1 card to S:CE and untap? Relevant to this discussion: why bother with politics when you can swarm with 4-6 minions each with 2 bleed? (Yes, I know the Harbingers lack political titles and disciplines, but it is the principle of the matter.)

I will also add: I like Boris The Blade's suggestion the best, and it isn't recursion itself that is deterimental to deck-building games, but that unlimited or unbounded recursion is problematic. Emerald Legionnaire is fairly well constrained, and IMO, at a power-level that the rest of VTES needs to be increased to. (Let us get some love for the Nos/!Nos and Gang/!Gang please.)

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.

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17 Oct 2018 11:03 - 17 Oct 2018 11:04 #91244 by Kraus

The unfun thing about Wall decks is how they stop you from playing your game unless you have a serious stealth or combat package. A comparison might be counterspells or land-destruction in MTG. They offer the possibility of interaction, but unless your opponent has the appropriate cards - counterspells of their own, in this case - the interaction is minimal and often in a way that takes the fun away from your opponent.

No, not really. A proper wall deck will pack a combat package of their own, but there is really no need for a dedicated combat engine to deal with Legionnaires. Any offensive number above standard hand strike will deal with a single legionnaire. Granted, there are X+10 or so Legionnaires in there (X being the number you slot into your deck, the 10 being roughly 70 other cards in the deck) to deal with, but any permanent or pseudo-permanent damage output will do. For instance, pick a vampire with +1 Strength, or slot a few Weighted Walking Stick. You'll kill some wraiths, no problem.

Surviving the 2 hands of theirs is trickier, but has nothing to do with damage output. In reality I call if far-fetched to compare that situation with counter spells or land destruction.

Or, much anything that has to do with MtG, unless you play multiplayer MtG. Maybe then. The duel game analogies aren't that useful here, I'd say.

(Anyways, counter spells and land destruction are specific things that not every deck plays, I understand. Legionnaires just do numbers. Very efficient numbers in large quantities, granted, but it's just numbers - the same thing other decks do.)

Walls are, actually, very interactive, and can be dealt with in plenty of ways. If you don't come prepared, you'll have a bad time. That stands true in every game (not only VTES), every interaction and every deck type. At the moment, if you don't have an answer to slightly grindy combat, +1 'cept (was always doable with media locations and equipment btw) or allies, you're not paying attention.

Stealth, 'cept and combat are, after all, the foundation of VtES since '94. Pack one or some of those things to even play the game. That has been true from the beginning.

Also, VTES' lack of card limits combined with the mini-game nature of its rules, make decks hyper-focused in a way that minimizes interaction. Why play intercept when you can bounce? What use is stealth when you want to rush / get blocked so you can torpor the opposing vampire in combat? With a political deck, why fight when you can play 1 card to S:CE and untap? Relevant to this discussion: why bother with politics when you can swarm with 4-6 minions each with 2 bleed? (Yes, I know the Harbingers lack political titles and disciplines, but it is the principle of the matter.)

Plenty of reasons. Bounce only affects bleed; intercept slows down enemy tool-up actions and defends against votes. 'cept also helps against bleed, but doesn't neuter it. Stealth rushes are so much more effective than non-stealth rushes when you need to get into combat with a specific opponent; namely, stealth through to get that Famed guy, or past Carlton to reach Stanislava. Political decks need to survive, and block/combat political or bruise/rush political are as valid as stealth variants.

It's easy to assume that every 10+ player tournament has a good chance of having at least 1 Legionnaire deck present, as they're so good. For the past half a year, they haven't won all tournaments (check TWDA). Not even most. People play other decks as well because they're good and have a fighting chance against EL.

They're super strong. No one is denying that. They're not stupid strong because they play a different game than others. They, actually, play a lot like other decks. Just really efficiently.

I'm not saying it's absolutely wrong to say they'd need a nerf, but now doesn't seem like the time to state that as a fact. I'd like to see what's the situation come January or February.

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Last edit: 17 Oct 2018 11:04 by Kraus.
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17 Oct 2018 15:46 - 17 Oct 2018 16:13 #91252 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple

Am I correct in assuming you consider wallish decks inappropriate for the game?
Not proper decks at all?


Walls are proper decks - as long as there is an ousting plan outside Smiling Jack.

Wallish play encouraged by a single card with inappropriate scale, in decks which are designed to be intrinsically active (e.g., War Ghouls), is not something I appreciate.
Last edit: 17 Oct 2018 16:13 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple.

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17 Oct 2018 16:02 - 17 Oct 2018 18:58 #91253 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple

A wall is the DEFINITION of interactive. Unmasking lets you interact with the cards of your predator/prey. Thats what interaction means.


You miss the point, perhaps through communication on my part.

Please describe the myriad ways in which Unmasking can be stopped when played. Then please describe the myriad ways in which Unmasking can be burned after being put into play.

I suspect you'll end with lists involving cornercase cards, only one of which is typically seen in the tournament meta, because it's not as time-sensitive as other options.

This was the intended gist - its VERY hard to prevent the Unmasking from hitting the table, because stopping a DPA is pretty tough. It's almost as hard to get rid of it as it is to prevent it's successful play - and the best method is equally bad in terms of being stoppable. Isn't that the definition of a non-interactive CARD, even though it's in-play EFFECT encourages blocks and combat?

For something with the potential for generating a powerful and persistent effect, the Unmasking ITSELF in too difficult to interact with. I dislike permanent effects that scale horizontally (i.e., with growth of the controlled region) to begin with - and I suspect there's a reason there are so few of them. I very certainly hammer the crap out of them in playtesting because of my concerns. When the removal effect requires a silver bullet card, it's even worse.

Honestly, I believe Unmasking was less of a problem before Anthelios was banned - more people ran the Uncoiling then. Now, it just squats on the table forever.
Last edit: 17 Oct 2018 18:58 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple.
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17 Oct 2018 17:15 #91254 by DJHedgehog

For something with the potential for generating a powerful and persistent effect, the Unmasking ITSELF in too difficult to interact with. I dislike permanent effects that scale horizontally (i.e., with growth of the controlled region) to begin with - and I suspect there's a reason there are so few of them. When the removal effect requires a silver bullet card, it's even worse.

Honestly, I believe Unmasking was less of a problem before Anthelios was banned - more people ran the Uncoiling then. Now, it just squats on the table forever.


The cost is basically nothing, it has the potential to be a massive benefit for the person who played it and there is little counterplay outside of slotting in a card to deal with it.

Unmasking is on my list of cards that shouldn't exist. Events are largely unwelcome in my opinion. Tacked on pretty lazily and the effects range from unplayable to insanely powerful.
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