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Balancing Sith Holocron


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#1 flipperlord

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:38 PM

A little background on me to [hopefully] establish credibility. I am an avid card game player and I compete competitively in numerous tournaments for A Game of Thrones and Star Wars LCG. I also play Netrunner, Warhammer Invasion, X-Wing, Mage Wars, and I grew up playing Magic. I own the entirety of all the LCGs I mentioned, all of X-Wing, and all of Mage Wars. I am a tournament caliber player in A Game of Thrones and Star Wars LCG. I have easily played a hundred games of Star Wars since holocron came out and I know the best ways to play it and against it. Please give my thoughts on this issue some thoughtful consideration because trust me, I sure have.

 

First of all, I am basing this thread on the assumption that Sith Holocron (and by default the pod The Executor Arrives) is overpowered. This is hard to debate considering this pod's IMMENSELY successful tournament showing. A Black Lotus does not seem overpowered right? (sarcasm) ... anyways, I want to discuss the impact that this pod/card has had on the meta.

 

Sith Holocron has increased the dark side's ramp by a ludicrous amount. It is hard to justify not playing 2x The Executor Arrives in EVERY dark side deck. There are no better options. This incredible pod is coupled by vader and emperor ALREADY being super good BEFORE the holocron arrived in the meta. (Not to mention that The Executor Arrives pod has 4 other good-great cards plus an average objective... and do I need to mention how silly it is when there is an Executor on the table and a Killing Cold?).

 

This ramp has made the light side need to scramble to win early, resulting in two different deck types for the light side: Rebel rush and/or Smuggler rush (I am oversimplifying, but most light side decks right now are essentially rush ... while I think rush needs to be a deck type, it should not be the only type of deck that is competitive. Rush decks TEND to be less interesting to play as and against, because they are more dependent on good early draws and have a "play my units and attack... and repeat" style of play) ... Jedi are not very tournament caliber right now. Not to mention the disgustingly bad Scum faction. (they actually had a decent deck right when edge of darkness came out though).

 

The result is a very boring meta without much innovation and variety in deck types. Yes, I understand that the game is young and needs time to grow. I get that. BUT, Sith are SO incredibly overpowered right now that the game has rapidly lost my interest. When most games I play (and that I have seen played, so it's not just me haha) are coming down to "Nice I drew a holocron early. I win." Or "I drew a holocron late... I might lose," it suggests that there is an imbalance.

 

Here is what I propose: Change the text on Sith Holocron to read as follows: Limited. Sacrifice this card to reduce the cost of the next Sith EVENT you play this phase by 3. 

 

The pod would still see play. I guarantee it, and the pod is no longer so disgustingly overpowered. Discuss. :)


Edited by flipperlord, 15 January 2014 - 04:57 PM.


#2 KennedyHawk

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:06 PM

See this thread.

 

http://community.fan...-sith-holocron/

 

I recommended (about the opposite). The sith already have the Emperor's web to reduce event cost, and the sith events are some of the most nasty in the game. I agree it would keep the pods usefulness but one of the weaknesses of the event cards is needed the resources, if we see a DS sith player holding back three resources (or 2 with Emperor's Web out), we can antipacte a force lightning and play appropiatly. Likewise if you have a crap hand you can leave three resources open to bluff a force lightning.

 

I don't think it's likely that we will see an errata to the holocron but I certainly wouldnt want people to be using it for events. We should be thankful, so far most people have used it to bring out the Executor or a Vader/Palpy. It's going to get really ugly when people start using it for events on those first few turns to really push back the light side. Force shock wave with another event or reaction can wipe out a fleet of sleuth scouts, or a sea of tauntauns. Imagine a free force lightning on the yoda you just got 3 enhancements on to.

 

I think if lets them play these units faster at the beginning but if you had a 2 cost or 1 cost limited resource if you can outlast the first few turns you are in better shape than them. They keys is for the LS meta to be prepared for this and a rush deck isn't the only way. LS has plent of units with tactics to try to help against the big units that can be dropped in the first few turns. But limiting it to events may dampen this strong card initially but as more powerful sith events become available it will be at almost the same strength level.

 

If anything I'd rather see it limited to units, so if you do want to use it to it's fullest you'll be dropping a 3 cost unit (good for sleuths and blockade runners).I wouldn't want it errated to never be used.



#3 flipperlord

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 06:13 PM

See this thread.

 

http://community.fan...-sith-holocron/

 

I recommended (about the opposite). The sith already have the Emperor's web to reduce event cost, and the sith events are some of the most nasty in the game. I agree it would keep the pods usefulness but one of the weaknesses of the event cards is needed the resources, if we see a DS sith player holding back three resources (or 2 with Emperor's Web out), we can antipacte a force lightning and play appropiatly. Likewise if you have a crap hand you can leave three resources open to bluff a force lightning.

 

I don't think it's likely that we will see an errata to the holocron but I certainly wouldnt want people to be using it for events. We should be thankful, so far most people have used it to bring out the Executor or a Vader/Palpy. It's going to get really ugly when people start using it for events on those first few turns to really push back the light side. Force shock wave with another event or reaction can wipe out a fleet of sleuth scouts, or a sea of tauntauns. Imagine a free force lightning on the yoda you just got 3 enhancements on to.

 

I think if lets them play these units faster at the beginning but if you had a 2 cost or 1 cost limited resource if you can outlast the first few turns you are in better shape than them. They keys is for the LS meta to be prepared for this and a rush deck isn't the only way. LS has plent of units with tactics to try to help against the big units that can be dropped in the first few turns. But limiting it to events may dampen this strong card initially but as more powerful sith events become available it will be at almost the same strength level.

 

If anything I'd rather see it limited to units, so if you do want to use it to it's fullest you'll be dropping a 3 cost unit (good for sleuths and blockade runners).I wouldn't want it errated to never be used.

 

With utmost respect, I do not understand your argument... the sith holocron as it is can be used to play events. It's ANY Sith card. not just units. Not only can I imagine someone playing a Sith Lightning with a holocron, I have seen it and done it myself. My errata limits the holocron to be used only on Sith events, which purely nerfs the card.

 

Also, I understand how to play against the holocron. I have played against it a TON. I haved placed (and won) in tournaments and compete at a high level. It is my humble opinion that for a variety of decktypes to exist in this game, there needs to be a change to Sith Holocron or something in The Executor Arrives pod.


Edited by flipperlord, 15 January 2014 - 06:24 PM.


#4 KennedyHawk

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 06:26 PM

I'm not saying no one uses the holocron for events some people do. What I was saying is from what I've seen most people save it for the big cost units. I think limiting it to events will not see nearly the nerf the card would have by restricting it from use with events. But we'll have to agree to disagree. The pod is no more broken than the Falcon was when it first came out, it's just the perfect pod for it's faction.

 

I think the reason it seems like a boring meta is that only a deluxe (mainly) multiplayer expansion has come out since we've seen the executor. When new cards come in a month that will all change again.


Edited by KennedyHawk, 15 January 2014 - 06:27 PM.


#5 flipperlord

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 06:47 PM

I'm not saying no one uses the holocron for events some people do. What I was saying is from what I've seen most people save it for the big cost units. I think limiting it to events will not see nearly the nerf the card would have by restricting it from use with events. But we'll have to agree to disagree. The pod is no more broken than the Falcon was when it first came out, it's just the perfect pod for it's faction.

 

I think the reason it seems like a boring meta is that only a deluxe (mainly) multiplayer expansion has come out since we've seen the executor. When new cards come in a month that will all change again.

 

There are fewer events than units. Therefore, it is more difficult to use a holocron for events than for units. Simple math :)  ... There is also a reason most people use the holocron on units, because that use is often more powerful than using it on an event, so honestly your argument kind of contradicts itself. I will agree with you though that a contributing factor to the stale meta is obviously the lack of new content. The Falcon is overrated and always was; it's a good card, but nowhere near the raw power of a holocron :)


Edited by flipperlord, 15 January 2014 - 07:53 PM.


#6 MasterJediAdam

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:32 PM

I am alright with the Holocron. It is powerful, but I am also okay with powerful cards. What I am not okay with is the distribution of powerful cards; it should be pretty even across the board and not localized to one faction.


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#7 tk426

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:29 PM

My change to the card would be "While you control a Force user the next Sith unit you deploy is minus 3. Then place this card out of play". While on the subject I think Force Lighting should also say "while you control a force user" as well.

#8 chimera255

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:16 AM

Flipper's got it right. Limiting Sith Holocron to events is a great way to tone down the overpowered Executor pod. I've played with and against this pod more times that I care to count, and its biggest threat potential comes with the early game unit drops. Whether it be a fatty or even something like snowtrooper vanguard, having that resource burst in the sith decks brings out almost impenetrable board control. I could however. care less if they use it to play events. There are two events right now that a Sith player has that maximizes holocron's usefullness; tdoh and force lightning, both of which you can easily see coming and play around. No matter what though it's a huge benefit for the Sith because they get to play a card for fricken FREE. While other factions like Jedi struggle to even get  three resources in their decks, Sith are barreling them out like no tomorrow.

 

I will agree that as a stand alone card there is nothing wrong with Sith Holocron. Powerful cards should have a place in Star Wars, but then the rest of the pod should balance that out, which is not the case here.

 

I know that a major opposition to this change could be the fact that the executor will be very difficult to play. While you can't turn one play it anymore, I feel it will not be a dead card. For one, it has three force icons which is alwasy useful and secondly, sith has more than enough resource ramp to get it out mid to late game, especially in Motti builds. By making changes like this to the Holocron you turn the Executor into a late game bully like it should be, and most importantly, rejuvenate the variety of viable decks in the meta.

 

(as a side-note, I may not post a lot, but I know what I'm talking about. My credentials for this article come from playing start wars since they first gave away the core set before it was released, and from playing games for almost fifteen years including magic, thrones, warhammer invasion, netrunner, mage wars, and numerous others, plus i help friends playtest and balance homemade games.)


Edited by chimera255, 16 January 2014 - 02:25 AM.


#9 chimera255

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:31 AM

My change to the card would be "While you control a Force user the next Sith unit you deploy is minus 3. Then place this card out of play". While on the subject I think Force Lighting should also say "while you control a force user" as well.

 

Sorry one last thing. While this is an interesting idea, the problem with this is that there are only 2 force users for sith right now, (I say two because the Mara Jade pod is basically unplayable right now in duels.) and it really would make those cards useless. Their only purpose would be as edge battle fodder until late game when you got vader or palp out.



#10 tk426

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:04 AM

I didn't stop to think that the dark side only had 2 force users other than Mara Jade. I just started play the game 3 weeks ago. How many characters are force sensitive.

#11 KennedyHawk

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:42 AM

Flipper's got it right. Limiting Sith Holocron to events is a great way to tone down the overpowered Executor pod. I've played with and against this pod more times that I care to count, and its biggest threat potential comes with the early game unit drops. Whether it be a fatty or even something like snowtrooper vanguard, having that resource burst in the sith decks brings out almost impenetrable board control. I could however. care less if they use it to play events. There are two events right now that a Sith player has that maximizes holocron's usefullness; tdoh and force lightning, both of which you can easily see coming and play around.

 

I still disagree. If a player wants to tie up all their first turn resources dropping an executor let them and find a way around it! This card can already be used for sith cards only (so no Stormtrooper Vanguard). Limiting it to events will only eliminate a first turn devestator, it's still possible to get a first turn vader or palpy (although you'll need some objective luck). Limiting it to evens just means the sith will focus all their resources on units and save the holocron for costly events. Saying you can play around sith events is true, but crippling the holocron to not use events would really make them more playable around. Also there are 4 sith events costing three or more (some are not played as much as others).

 

Everyone pushing forth their credentials in this thread isn't convincing me we should change the card at all. It's just making people look arrogant.



#12 Keffisch

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:53 AM

My first encounter against the Executor pod resulted him dropping it, attacking me, one of my units struck first, dealing one damage, then he destroyed my remaining un-exhausted unit - which was an X-Wing Escort....

 

Easy peasy. :P


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#13 Toggle

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:41 AM

With an immature card pool in a game like this, versatile cards will be dominant until enough cards with synergies are released to make other deck types more competitive.  It's dominant and powerful now, but in no way breaks the game.  

 

As new things come out, the value of the ten objective set slots in your deck will rise, and not all decks will want to go with this set.  It would be a different story if this game largely revolved around accelerating to a win condition or combo (like Magic), or you could cherry pick cards for your deck (rather than having to commit 20% of your deck to something to pick up 2 cards).


Edited by Toggle, 16 January 2014 - 02:20 PM.

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#14 flipperlord

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

With an immature card pool in a game like this, versatile cards will be dominant until enough cards with synergies are released to make other deck types more competitive.  It's dominant and powerful now, but in no way breaks the game.  

 

As new things come out, the value of the ten objective set slots in your deck will rise, and not all decks will want to go with this set.  It would be a different story if this game largely revolved around tempo (like Magic), or you could cherry pick cards for your deck (rather than having to commit 20% of your deck to something to pick up 2 cards).

I sincerely apologize for possibly offending you, but LOLz .... Star Wars is based on tempo more than ANY other card game I have played... I was not going to post any more on this issue because I have already provided sufficient evidence to prove my point, but this was just too much!  :P


Edited by flipperlord, 16 January 2014 - 02:08 PM.


#15 Toggle

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

I derped on terminology there.  I meant to articulate how a temporary resource burst in Star Wars is less of an issue than in games where accelerating to a win condition / combo / big card is the primary goal.  In Star Wars, there is a continuous engagement / attrition battle and you start the game with a standard pool of resources.  In Magic, you start the game with nothing and need to build resources over time, so a card like Holocron / Lotus could buy you a couple turns' worth of advantage.  

 

Paying a card for three resources can help set up an objective blast push, but is not a game breaker.  It would be far more troublesome as a light side card, because they can better capitalize on an early game advantage.  The other advantage of the card (being able to bank resources later for a Force Lightning, etc) opens it up for enhancement removal (which there is admittedly little for LS at the moment).


Edited by Toggle, 16 January 2014 - 02:36 PM.

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#16 ScottieATF

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:44 AM

 

I am a tournament caliber player in A Game of Thrones and Star Wars LCG.

 

Well lets start here.  What level of events and where?  Because that statement is fairly meaningless in this game without that qualifier.  And if it is meant to buoy up your following statements in regards to you knowing best about the card, I think the qualifications you put forward need to be vetted a little bit further.

 

 

I sincerely apologize for possibly offending you, but LOLz .... Star Wars is based on tempo more than ANY other card game I have played... I was not going to post any more on this issue because I have already provided sufficient evidence to prove my point, but this was just too much!

 

Also if this is going to be a pattern with you please let me know so I can just not go on with this.  If you don't feel like responding to rebuttals, then maybe you should avoid posts such as this.  Additionally, if you need to preface your post with a warning about offending another poster, maybe you should just not pile on another flippant dismissive remark.


Edited by ScottieATF, 17 January 2014 - 03:34 AM.

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