That's not an argument. I'm just not seeing it.
Restrictions on cards weaken the card. Obviously you would agree that runeplate would be better if it wasn't required that you have a knowledge above 4 and a rune weapon to reap all the benefits of it. Those restrictions pretty much limit it to a mage. Having one grey and one black defense die is not that powerful. Yes, it's good. Yes, it's way better than not having it, and it's better for the mage than any other armor. But it's not even remotely close to making the mage unkillable or invincible, and it in no way shape or form improves the mage's resistance to skills that neutralize them (like using throw to put them in a shitty position, or hitting them with conditions to prevent them from doing anything useful), it doesn't help them against most overlord cards, and it in no way shape or form makes the mage better at killing your things in fewer actions. It might make it more willing to take a few risks, but that's okay. And 175 gold in act 1 is a lot of money to spend armoring one of the characters who gets hit the least if played correctly, because it should never really be in melee range.
As for act 2 armors, it's not even close to the strongest. First, Aurium Mail (a relic) which is obtainable in act 1 is superior due to fewer restrictions. It doesn't give the +2 health, but it gives an extra brown die on one attack and can go on anyone. Obsidian Scalemail is better than runeplate, especially on a warrior who doesn't really use that kind of action more than once per turn anyway. Immunity to curse and bonus fatigue regen? Yes please. Stone armor is quite restrictive but in terms of raw power to survive, nothing beats it. With proper use of equipping and unequipping on a ranged character, this armor becomes frustrating to the extreme. It also doesn't limit movement through skills at all, like Oath of Honor, or wildlander abilities etc., making the limitations more than possible to deal with without too much difficulty. Runeplate is better than platemail (for a mage), but for a healer like say, Auger Grissom, which cannot make use of runeplate properly but can use platemail with no negative at all, platemail is clearly superior. It beats demonhide leather and scalemail, but again, only a mage can use runeplate where these armors have the advantage of being able to go on whoever needs it. Cloak of deception is just plain hilarious as well. Runeplate beats inscribed robes, but only if you're being attacked frequently.
So no, Runeplate isn't in the high end of act 2 armors: it is for the mage, but the mage can't use anything else for armor really. It's in the middle at best. For a warrior, scout or healer, it might as well not even exist.
When looking at a piece of equipment or a skill or other ability, you need to ask yourself: in what way does this card actually help? If there was a card in the deck that read "All of your attacks deal +50 damage" yet required you to have 3 hands to equip it, would that be useful? No, of course not, nobody could use it, despite the ability being outrageously broken. Does a mage having +2 hp and an extra black defense die really seem game breaking? Because I don't see it. Hell, proper use of creatures with piercing will have that mage dead no problem. Or an act 1 ettin who happens to roll 5 damage + a surge, which hits for 8 damage. Throw in a dark might and a critical blow and watch the mage lose half his health in one blow. Volicrux Reavers will tear a mage with runeplate to shreds. Many other monsters can invalidate the mage with skill usage.
Rune plate is a good card. It is strong. It is not game breaking or overpowered.
Edited by Whitewing, 28 March 2014 - 09:16 PM.