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Help! I don't understand Order of the Silver Twilight


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#1 Saint7

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:08 PM

Hey all,

 

Order of the Silver Twilight was one of the first expansions that I got when I introduced myself to the wonderful world of CoC LCG.

 

I was super excited to try them out. After a couple of months playing with them and comparing them with other factions, I can officially declare:

I don't get it.

 

What are the Twilight's powers???

The only theme I can detect right now is the act of sacrificing characters in order to do other cool stuff. That and returning a character/support/whatever back to a player's hand. Whoopdeedoo.

 

On top of all of that, some of the Twilight characters are embarassingly underwhelming for the price they command: 4 cost so I can get an old dude with 3 Arcane, 1 Skill, and some effect that MAY or MAY NOT happen during the course of a session?

Am I missing something here?

If there is a kick-ass strategy with them, someone please tell me because obviously I don't see it.


Edited by Saint7, 07 November 2013 - 03:56 PM.

~*~
Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#2 Yipe

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:48 PM

While the Silver Twilight's strengths are more difficult to wrap your head around, and they're generally considered a more advanced faction to play, do not under any circumstances discount their power.

 

Bouncing characters back to your hand (or your opponent's) can win games, especially if you can bring those characters back into play to re-trigger their "enter play" effects.  Think Deep One Rising or Many-Angled Thing.

 

Two cards that I feel are must have Silver Twilight characters:  The Master of Myths and Initiate of Huang Hung (who is restricted).  For an unprepared opponent, the Initiate can be a serious threat.

 

Other cards I like are Steal the Soul, The Doorway, and Hermetic Seal.

 

As for a strategy, try pairing them up with a Yog sacrifice deck.  First you bounce your opponent's characters back to their hand with Initiate of Huang Hung or Lord Jeffery Farrington (and they generally pick their weakest ones, leaving their more expensive characters on the board to block).  Now you play a sacrifice card such as A Single Glimpse or Cursed Skull forcing your opponent to sac whatever character is left in play.  This leaves you free to go to the stories unopposed.  Sprinkle in some cheap investigation and you're gold.



#3 Saint7

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:03 PM

Hi Yipe,

Thanks so much for your help. This is what I was looking for today. You've definitely opened my eyes to their powers.

After considering your explanations, I think these are viable strategies. However, I also think playing a serious 'Silver Twilight' deck could be about as "un-fun" as playing a Yithian deck. Most beginners and casual players of this game wouldn't invite you over again if you kept "pushing" away their characters to go for stories. I think this is a technique best left to the tourney world, right?


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Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#4 Yipe

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:04 PM

First off, I gave you only one deck type.  Another of my favorites is a Silver Twilight/Syndicate exhausting/character bounce deck.  While the characters are individually weak, it can be very fast and has lots and lots of tricks that make it exciting to play.

 

To answer your last question - I completely disagree.  Character bouncing is a regular part of the game.  It's not a strategy reserved simply for the "tourney world" (which I don't think even exists with this game).  When you have roughly 15 people show up to the World Championship event, it's hard to say there's much separation between the casual and tournament scene so I wouldn't worry about it too much.  Just make your decks to suit your tastes so you enjoy playing the game.  If that means building highly tuned and effective killing machines, great!  If you're more into theme decks or whacky combos, then go for it.  Whatever you do, your opponent will respond in kind.  Competition is the nature of deck building games, and they're better off for it in my book.

 

A few things to consider about character bouncing:

 

The Initiate of Huang Hun is a restricted card, which means you have to weigh him vs the usefulness of the other restricted cards for your deck.

 

When you play the Initiate repeatedly in the same turn you aren't advancing your board position.  This may leave you with a weak defense that your opponent can exploit.  Knowing when and how much to play the Initiate isn't always a no-brainer.

 

There are several simple ways to shutdown the Initiate's bouncing ability - Rich Widow, Uroborus, Dreamlands Fanatic to name a few.  Being able to continually play a lot of characters each turn also helps negate the Initiate's effectiveness.

 

While it may seem "un-fun" for your opponent (if they're caught unprepared), there are plenty of other cards that are brutally efficient in wiping out characters and winning stories.  Each faction has their specialty and can be devastating under the right circumstances.  That's the name of the game.  I mean, this is Cthulhu we're talking about!  You're looking to either wipe out humanity or save it, not have your characters get together for a spot of tea and a little light reading of the Necronomicon ;)


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#5 Saint7

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:58 AM

Yipe, I can't argue with your sound logic.

Thanks for all of the tips and tricks. No doubt, you've been around the CoC block a couple of times and I respect that.

Just really quickly, the reason I bring up the issue of "un-fun" is because, while I love CoC a lot, we both have to admit that this game is really niche and finding other kindred souls who play this game are few and far between.

As an example, I taught a fellow co-worker yesterday how to play. It takes quite some time to explain the nature of struggles and what the icons mean and what are the consequences for failure. What new players understand - at least from the rulebook - is that the fun of the game happens when Characters go tête-à-tête and pull the proverbial rug out from one another.

Using a brutally efficient deck like bouncing Silver Twilight (or Yithian mill deck, or Tesla Token Harvesting deck, etc....) the first time circumvents all of that understanding and compounds the complexity of "getting" the game. Now, anyways, having said that, I know what everyone will say: just don't use those decks for someone's first time. That's all I was getting at. :)

Anyways, it would be great to chat some more with you as I am heading to my first tournament in Toronto next week and I really need to train and understand all of my cards. I am nervous about the 'meta-game' and I've never participated in anything like this before (not even during my Magic days).

Have a great day and thanks for responding.

Edited by Saint7, 08 November 2013 - 08:02 AM.

~*~
Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#6 Yipe

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:27 AM

I'm a little confused.  It seems we're discussing 2 very different topics - utilizing the strengths of the Silver Twilight faction for a competitive deck, and making decks that are good for introducing players to the game.  I'll tackle the latter first.

 

I agree 100% that, at its heart, Call of Cthulhu is about fighting over the stories.  Therefore, your intro decks should emphasize this part of the game.  They should also demonstrate how some of the more common rules and character traits work, such as Willpower and Toughness.

 

I've found that a Miskatonic/Cthulhu deck works well in this regard.  First, it will include a smattering of all 4 icons so new players don't feel like they are guaranteed to lose any particular struggle.  Beginners are apt to overemphasize the effects of the Terror struggle, so having a few scary monsters to help out their professors will make those initial games more enjoyable.

 

This deck will also have plenty of character destruction with cards like Deep One Assault, Pulled Under, and Deep One Rising, as well as some support card destruction and text-box blanking through Get if Off! and Called by Azathoth, respectively.  You can use cards like Sacrificial Offerings, which to many beginners seems like a terrible card at first glance, to demonstrate the importance of the timing structure (playing it before your first Operations phase) and cards that work best during the open, middle and end game.

 

This deck should include a variety of low- and high-cost characters to teach the importance of resourcing, and a little cost reduction from Lord of the Silver Twilight or Seeker of Mysteries doesn't hurt.  It's always nice to bring out the iconic Cthulhu once in a while so make sure to include him.  Depending on your card pool, a similar spin on this is to make a mono-Cthulhu Deep Ones deck.  These decks are easy to build and easy to play.

 

Along the same lines, I often use a mono-Yog Servants of Glaaki deck for intro games.  Again, it has access to all of the icons (gaining investigation through Constricting Elder Thing and Blood Magician) and lots of fun event cards to spice up the story struggles.

 

The main difference here is that it introduces the concept of sacrificing (vs the Miskatonic/Cthulhu deck's destruction) with cards like Calling Down the Ancients and Initiation of Glaaki.  It's important for new players to understand the difference between wounding, destroying and sacrificing.  Again, I toss in some cost reduction with Servants of Glaaki and of course the big slug himself, Glaaki.  Finally, I include a few cards that allow me to filter my deck (Journey to the Other Side) and pluck cards out of my discard pile (Gathering at the Stones) to highlight Yog's strengths.

 

Does that help at all?



#7 Yipe

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:56 AM

To address the issue of making tournament level decks and Cthulhu's "meta", I'll say this:

 

There is no meta.

 

The Call of Cthulhu player base is small and scattered.  It's definitely not like Magic where the top tier decks are known and copied.  I've organized 4 tournaments, including 2 Regional Championships, and the biggest thing I've learned is that you can't predict what decks will show up.

 

Sure, cards come along that everyone online chats about.  Right now it's Interstellar Migration, last year it was Glimpse of the Void, and before that Khopesh of the Abyss.  While it's nice to be aware of these cards, I wouldn't overly worry about any particular card or deck.  Instead, make a deck you like and understand how to play.

 

For some generic advice, I recommend the following basic principles for your first tournament:

 

Your deck's purpose should be focused.  50 cards of win.  Cards that seem cool but don't reinforce your overall strategy shouldn't make the cut.  Also consider having a back-up avenue of attack/end game in case you need to switch gears vs a particular type of deck, or are struggling to grab that 3rd story (for example, see Beneath the Surface).

 

Your deck should be fast, and be able to either establish your board position or disrupt your opponent's rhythm starting on turn 1. 

 

What is the cost of your deck and how will you resource?  Can you use all 3 domains every turn (whether on your turn or holding some for defense), or will 1 or 2 domains sit unused for awhile until you build them up?  In other words, how many resources do you need under all 3 domains before your deck is firing at 100%, and what is the best road to get there so you can use all 3 domains each turn?  Is it 2-1-1 then 3-1-1 and done?  Or is 2-2-2 better?

 

This is key.  When creating my decks I lay out all the cards in a "cost pyramid."  If my card cost is evenly distributed between 1-4 for example, then that's a problem.  It means I'll need to build up at least 2 domains simultaneously to maximize playing my hand.  Conversely, if I have a lot of 0-1 cost cards and then some 3-6 cost cards, it means I can focus on 1 domain to get out my high-cost cards faster, while still using the others for cheap characters and events to stall/attack my opponent.

 

You'll need ways to control your opponent's characters (for example, by killing them, stealing them, or moving them out of the way).  And it doesn't hurt to have some support card destruction either.

 

Know what cards you need in your opening hand to win.  In my decks I identify 3 cards that are essential to controlling the first few rounds, and if I control the match right from the start, I have a much better chance of winning the entire game.

 

Know when to Mulligan.  If I don't see 2 of these 3 key cards then I draw a new hand.  I firmly believe that taking a Mulligan at the right time wins games.  My philosophy here is "when in doubt take a Mulligan because it can't get worse."

 

I'll say it again because it's worth repeating - like your deck.  Pick a faction or factions that inspire you.  Do you like combos?  Great!  Are theme decks more your speed?  Go for it.  In the end, it's nearly impossible to predict what you'll be facing so make a deck that you're comfortable playing, has at least 1 clear path to victory, is fast, has some defense, and then call it good.

 

I go into every Cthulhu tournament hoping to win but expecting to lose.  If I've taken a deck that I enjoy playing - as opposed to some soulless thing that I don't find interesting - then losing doesn't sting quite as much.  Just a little ;)


Edited by Yipe, 08 November 2013 - 12:06 PM.

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#8 Saint7

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 03:45 PM

If I place 3 copies of the same card in my deck (an important card that is the lynchpin of my strategy), how frequently would you say I would receive that card in my hand on my opening draw?


~*~
Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#9 Yipe

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:48 PM

Assuming your deck is 50 cards and you've included 3 copies of the card in question, I believe you have a 41% chance of drawing 1 copy of that card in your opening hand.



#10 Yipe

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:16 PM

A quick follow-up to this:

 

I find knowing the percentage of how often you'll see a particular card in your opening hand isn't important.  That's just science.  A big part of successfully piloting a Call of Cthulhu deck is art.

 

It's far more important to 1) know what combination of cards you want to see in your opening hand and 2) how to resource your deck properly.

 

For example, are the event cards in your deck primarily from 1 faction? Do they cost 1?  2?  If so, you'll want 1 of your first turn domains to match your event-heavy faction, in addition to what you need to play characters.  Otherwise you may end up with a 1-resouce domain that's not getting used for the first few turns, and that's not efficient.

 

Knowing how to run your deck during the opener, mid and end game is far more useful than crunching the numbers (beyond paying attention to cost distribution).  At least I think so.



#11 Saint7

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:57 PM

For specifics, I really got fascinated with The Key and The Gate and made a variation of the 'The Great Race of Yithian' deck. I'm currently testing and debugging the bejesus out of my mono-Yog deck (with a few neutrals splashed in to help with the lack of 'Investigation' icons.)

 

The lynchpin of my deck is Nikola Tesla and the aim of the deck is.......yup, you guessed it, Kill Tesla when he's burgeoning with success tokens.

 

So Tesla costs 2 which is extremely cheap. I also splash in a few 1 - 2 cost henchmen to help rush and overwhelm my opponent in the beginning. They are:

 

Yithian Scout, Professor Nathaniel Peaslee, Tunnel Lurker, Pawn Broker, The Sleepwalker, Lost Oracle.

 

Middle Tier henchmen for 3 cost include:

 

Amaranth, Scholar From Yith, The Red-Gloved Man, Guardian Pillar, The Mage Known As Magus, and Wilbur Whateley (old version).

 

You'll notice I chose a bunch of these henchmen based on the fact that they have 'Terror' icons and 'Arcane' icons.

 

Having played against many different decks I created (controlled by my friends at work), I find that the Miskatonic Nerd Rush defeats me the most. That is why I need Terror to ward them off while I mill my own deck for a bit to get the cards in my discard pile. Then I activate these "Trigger only from your discard pile cards" and get the tokens onto Tesla.

 

To kill Tesla, I have:

A Gift of Knowledge, The Mage Known As Magus' ability to sacrifice a character from hand, and Hypothermia x 3 knowing that I have Polar cards in my discard pile.

 

Finally, to bring back Tesla and keep this cycle going is '607 Walter Street' and 'Rite of the Silver Key.'

 

This is a 50 card deck with the most expensive cards ever being at 3 cost. I can generally put out a lot of stuff in my first two rounds.

I feel confident with this deck but I continuously play every day to find weaknesses.

Note: I have NOT seen every Yog or Neutral card in the game so perhaps you could recommend something that I don't have.

 


~*~
Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#12 Yipe

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 08:37 PM

It sounds like a fun deck to play.  And of course, Tesla!

 

You seem to have everything in order.  I'm not a topflight player so my useful suggestions probably end here.  For more advanced advice, I recommend putting your deck online at CardGameDB and seeking in-put from some of the players who frequently post there.  Plus it's just a great forum for Cthulhu LCG enthusiasts.

 

One thing to note about a Tesla-focused deck - you have to keep him alive, sane, and under your control in order to win.  He'll have a big target on his back, and it may be hard to protect him.

 

The moment Tesla hits the table I would be looking to destroy him before he can accrue any success tokens.  Otherwise, I would try to drive him insane (A Small Price to Pay) so he'll lose his tokens, steal him for myself so I could use his success tokens on my stories (Stygian Eye), bounce him back to your hand (Lord Jeffrey Farrington), blank his text box or sacrifice him.  Note that sacrifice isn't the same as destroy, so even if he's loaded up with tokens he can't use his disrupt if you're forced to sac him.



#13 Saint7

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:49 AM

Totally, I definitely am concerned about having Tesla bounced back or driven insane. Thanks again, Yipe.

I decided to add a new card to this mix. What do you think of 'Elder Chasm'? Is it an effective card to slow down the Miskatonic Nerd rush? Does it hinder my opponent?

Only 3 more days to go until Arkham Nights Canada 2013!


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Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#14 Yipe

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:26 PM

Elder Chasm works well, though MU rush usually excels at putting down a lot of cheap characters. At least it will keep them from hitting all 3 stories with investigation on the first turn if you're having a slow start.

If this kind of deck is a worry, you may consider taking Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris for your restricted card. Initiate of Huang Hung is restricted too, so it's a tough call.

#15 dboeren

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:16 PM

Sorry for being late to the party here, my wife and I have been on our anniversary vacation the past week and just got back...

 

 

One of the great things about this game is that there are ways to counter just about anything.  Tesla can be very strong in a deck built around him, but there are also numerous ways to stop him.  Not every faction has the right tools for every job though.  Silver Twilight or Hastur may find him easier to deal with, but you have the advantage of knowing that if you're playing a friend he can't have the Silver Twilight cards since they're in your deck :)  In a bigger pond, of course this advantage would vanish.

 

Miskatonic is often rush oriented which means you'll see numerous cheap characters and a fair number of them with Investigation.  There might be tricks for gaining extra tokens too.  Explorer decks are a different direction built around synergy and building up very strong characters.  Plus they can mix in bits of whatever else they want - you aren't forced to play 100% pure anything.  And that's *before* you start teaming up with another faction…  What I tend to find annoying with Miskatonic is that they can ignore a lot of struggles.  Here I go to all the trouble of setting up my guys to kill them or drive them insane and they go and cancel it!  However, if terror and violence isn't working you may just not be using enough of it.  I find that I often have to overwhelm them.  They can cancel, but not everything everywhere.  They don't have enough cards for Alternative Historian, enough domains for Professor of Folklore, enough domains to replay all the guys saved by Infirmary.  They can plug the holes for a while but if you sustain pressure on them they can't keep it up forever and soon the key cards are left bare without protectors to take the hit for them anymore.  Your own experience may differ quite a bit, this happens to be how my main opponent likes to play his nerds.  Less rush-y, but a lot more durable.


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#16 Yipe

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:03 PM

Sorry for being late to the party here, my wife and I have been on our anniversary vacation the past week and just got back...

 

I realize this is a complete thread derail but... congratulations!  Vacation + anniversary = good times.



#17 Saint7

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 08:58 AM

Hey dboeren,

 

Glad to see you chime in with your thoughts. Congratulations! I didn't have a big vacation this year, just a bunch of small ones and going to Toronto for the regional tournament will be my last one. Like I told Yipe, I've never done anything like this before so I don't know what to expect. I could get blown out of the water by strong players or perhaps very few people will show up at all (meaning the pool of opposing strategies will be reduced).

 

I am aware that Tesla can easily be taken down if: a) he goes insane, he loses his tokens b) if he gets pushed back into my hand, he loses his tokens c) if someone steals Tesla including his tokens, I could be screwed.

 

For the Miskatonic problem (as I was telling Yipe), I have a line of cheap costing footsoldiers that have Terror at the ready. Of course, over time, this first line of defense will not be enough and that's when I hope the Tesla machine can kick into overdrive and win the remaining stories for me.

 

For Hastur and Silver Twilight problems, I don't really have an effective strategy except for knowing when to kill Tesla quickly (as opposed to being greedy and steadily building up his success token reserves).

2 more days until the tourney! I'm scheduled to be practicing with my colleagues today at lunch. They are rallying for me :)


Edited by Saint7, 14 November 2013 - 09:01 AM.

~*~
Le monde tourne sur mes roues, je pédale sous les chaudrons
Je file sous les constellations sans faire trop attention
Et si ça se trouve, je ne rêve à rien...


#18 dboeren

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:28 AM

> For Hastur and Silver Twilight problems, I don't really have an effective strategy except for knowing when to kill Tesla quickly > (as opposed to being greedy and steadily building up his success token reserves).

 

Stupid quote thing, I'm not doing it over again...

 

Anyway, I think this is key with Tesla almost whatever you're facing - not to get too greedy.  Whatever your opponent has to deal with him, it's probably going to strike with little to no warning so my advice is to pop him as soon as he has "enough" tokens to give you a good advantage.  This could be just a couple if it helps you overturn a story.  It's not as sexy as dumping a huge pile of tokens but it's a lot better than a sad story of what might have been :)

 

Good luck in your event!






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