question-circle Pentex Subversion Poll #2 and Discussion

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Poll: Possible fixes for Pentex Subversion (was ended 0000-00-00 00:00:00)

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14 Mar 2014 18:25 #59943 by Jeff Kuta

Fewer actions means less fun for me and everyone.

See, this is where i disagree.
Fewer actions of YOUR minions mean less fun for YOU. However, possibly more fun for everyone else at the table, who can enjoy their game while your "megafreakdrive Una" or "Megatooledup Gerald Windham with ankara" or Enkidu or "Cybelle with soulgem" or "insertannoyingsolitairestardeckhere" sits nice and locked and pentexed, unable to steal other peoples buzz.

Thank you, Pentex.


I can see the point that Aaron makes that more actions is good. I can also see the point that Pendargon makes that too many actions by a single minion can be very bad.

Which kind of brings me back around to the reason I resurrected this thread in the first place.

Johannes, on Facebook, had posited an idea out about changing the functionality of Pentex Subversion. As you can see by the 4 new pages of posts, this card is still controversial. I think that changing the functionality of the card would be even more controversial.

That's why I suggested upping the cost to 3 or 4 (ICLee's observation that may be tantamount to banning, notwithstanding). Doing so would make it a harder decision whether to play or even include the card in your deck, but it doesn't wreak havoc on the game in nearly the same way as a text change would.

If your metagame includes a bunch of Turbo trick decks or unbreakable Walls, then it might be worth continuing to include a more expensive Pentex. But I am not so sure that it is worth spending a lot more pool early in the game to lock down Vignes, or Cheesequake, or Nosferatu Royalty. Maybe it would.

I think the game needs players to make tough choices over powerful cards. Right now, sadly, Pentex Subversion is a "no-brainer", and that's not really a good thing.

When you are anvil, be patient; when a hammer, strike.
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14 Mar 2014 20:24 #59946 by Squidalot

That's why I suggested upping the cost to 3 or 4 (ICLee's observation that may be tantamount to banning, notwithstanding). Doing so would make it a harder decision whether to play or even include the card in your deck, but it doesn't wreak havoc on the game in nearly the same way as a text change would.


This is why i'm not a huge fan of your card design Jeff - higher costs don't make cards more balanced they just reduce the decks that can abuse said card.
Master cards decks wouldn't care if pentex was 3 or 4 pool as on a general basis they're running on shed loads of pool due to villein/liquidation tech - what you would do in that situation is reduce the incidence in decks with low pool gain or decks that would find it difficult to defend e.g. everything else that isn't a wall or flush with parity shifts.


3 pool wouldn't impact how much it's played currently in Europe and 4 probably wouldn't have a lot of impact either but would probably strip it from the less abusive decks.
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15 Mar 2014 01:41 - 15 Mar 2014 01:42 #59954 by Jeff Kuta

This is why i'm not a huge fan of your card design Jeff - higher costs don't make cards more balanced they just reduce the decks that can abuse said card.


So breaking it down, there are 3 possible options to deal with Pentex (or any "problem" card):

1) Do nothing. The card isn't worth changing.
2) Change the card text. The ability is too strong.
3) Change the card cost. The ability is reasonable/needed, but it is undercosted.

All three are debatable. I think the card is too strong, but it is necessary. The ability to break walls is crucial. The ability to stop multi-acting superstars is secondary. However, I also think that the Pentex unfairly screws over too many people because it frequently locks down the first controlled minion. For minions without access to bounce, that is often the kiss of death.

I don't advocate #1. I think a change is warranted.

I don't advocate #2. Tinkering with the card mechanics of a too powerful existing card is a bad thing. In the past, cards were banned because they were too powerful. They, as yet, haven't been reintroduced in a reasonable format. I guess you could argue that The Eldest Command Undeath is a replacement for Protect Thine Own, even though it is a bad card. As stated before, the law of unintended consequences heavily applies here.

So, I advocate #3. It is very clear what happens if the cost is increased: In general, people will use the card less. Fewer decks with Pentex Subversion would be an admirable goal.

I fully get the point that VtES *should* be a game about small(er) effects. But Pentex Subversion exists. It is a holdover from the wildly uneven Dark Sovereigns expansion which was made during the crazy drunken party days of WotC. If it is to change, I think that changing the cost and not the text is the best solution. Otherwise, make a substitute and ban the original.

When you are anvil, be patient; when a hammer, strike.
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Last edit: 15 Mar 2014 01:42 by Jeff Kuta.

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15 Mar 2014 02:00 - 15 Mar 2014 02:01 #59955 by Juggernaut1981

This is why i'm not a huge fan of your card design Jeff - higher costs don't make cards more balanced they just reduce the decks that can abuse said card.


So breaking it down, there are 3 possible options to deal with Pentex (or any "problem" card):

1) Do nothing. The card isn't worth changing.
2) Change the card text. The ability is too strong.
3) Change the card cost. The ability is reasonable/needed, but it is undercosted.

All three are debatable. I think the card is too strong, but it is necessary. The ability to break walls is crucial. The ability to stop multi-acting superstars is secondary. However, I also think that the Pentex unfairly screws over too many people because it frequently locks down the first controlled minion. For minions without access to bounce, that is often the kiss of death.

((snipped text by Juggernaut1981))

I fully get the point that VtES *should* be a game about small(er) effects. But Pentex Subversion exists. It is a holdover from the wildly uneven Dark Sovereigns expansion which was made during the crazy drunken party days of WotC. If it is to change, I think that changing the cost and not the text is the best solution. Otherwise, make a substitute and ban the original.


It seems that you missed ALL of Hugh's comments that:

#1 Increasing the price merely restricts it to decks that aggressively bloat pool. Since the current archetype to aggressively bloat is the MMPA archetype, this does nothing to stop its abuse. Instead it ensures that an archetype which many consider to be weakening the tournament game will continue to do so because it will be the only archetype capable of playing Pentex reliably.

#2 Power-balancing is more than a bang-for-buck equation. Heading down that path there should be a card which basically says "Annihilation Master 10 pool Your prey is ousted. The next player begins their turn." And that if the effect is too powerful, then its price should be increased.


Separate to Hugh's comments:
#3 Your argument on the uses of Pentex are incoherent. Firstly you say that it is crucial to break walls, then suggest that it is bad that it breaks non-flick defenders. You have basically said "It punches a hole in a player's defences" then advocated that it is both good and bad at the same time.

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Last edit: 15 Mar 2014 02:01 by Juggernaut1981.
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15 Mar 2014 08:33 #59956 by Squidalot


1) Do nothing. The card isn't worth changing.
2) Change the card text. The ability is too strong.
3) Change the card cost. The ability is reasonable/needed, but it is undercosted.


*snip* key discussions with a large and diverse group of people [anyone who would listen to Brian Moritz] around the EC were actually:
4) ban the card and replace with a a new card(s) that do the important things we need.

You're also barking up the tree on the 'pentex to break walls is essential but the single multi acting vampires is also good' it's definitely the other way round.
Walls at least interact with the table be that balanced or not - Una/Gerald and friends do very little interaction & whilst that deck exists pentex needs to stay along with Di etc as it's one a limited number of ways out to stop a very unfriendly deck being played.
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15 Mar 2014 16:05 #59963 by ReverendRevolver


1) Do nothing. The card isn't worth changing.
2) Change the card text. The ability is too strong.
3) Change the card cost. The ability is reasonable/needed, but it is undercosted.


*snip* key discussions with a large and diverse group of people [anyone who would listen to Brian Moritz] around the EC were actually:
4) ban the card and replace with a a new card(s) that do the important things we need.

You're also barking up the tree on the 'pentex to break walls is essenti0al but the single multi acting vampires is also good' it's definitely the other way round.
Walls at least interact with the table be that balanced or not - Una/Gerald and friends do very little interaction & whilst that deck exists pentex needs to stay along with Di etc as it's one a limited number of ways out to stop a very unfriendly deck being played.


I think multiacting is possibly my favorite thing in vtes, but i dont run super tooled solitaire decks.

I run like11 ish freak drive in a maryanne lawfirm stylish alastor deck, and doubt ive ran more ever. I have parts to Gerard, probably una as well, but what i di to other players and vice versa is part of that nonquantifiable fun thing for me, so Una is unappealing, and Gerard is better for me as a non cheese star.

Big minions need multiact for me to see them as playable, but i value pentez for things other than the brittle crutch or "solitaire hoser". Big minions arent all printed eith"yoir deck wims, nobody else has mightier kung fu ever at any table" so support minions are essentials.

I love walls, 8+ caps, and pentex. Una? Hopefully DI2 never gets banned ,is in my hand and i can crush una somehow after playing it on freak drive.

Weak on the last part, but just chiming in that pentex isnt pto and edge explosion rolled into one agaimst fatty allstars, it doesnt say"burn target deck as target methuselah gets suplexed through a table if they control an 8 cap and you have 3 midcaps"

Its lesz heinous, and it still has a niche.

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