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What a Shocking Behaviour


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#1 Carioz

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:19 AM

Shocking Transformation has always been a nice card: featured in two World Champions decks (Shock and Awe and Drained Domains of Doom), with a long history of reliability, sturdiness and general power, it deserve some attention and, despite my lack of knowledge, an article.

Here's the card.

 

========== Shub-Niggurath ==========

 

Shocking Transformation

-----------------------

Type : Event

Cost : 3

Subtype :

Game Text: Action: sacrifice one of your characters to search your deck for a non-Ancient One character and put it into play. Then shuffle your deck.

Collector's Info: UT U121

 

Now, what does Shock do? Basically it lets you play at Event speed (that means as soon as your opponent has brought down that pesky Yig, or after he has commited is chars no the offense, or after he has started his evil combo of doom) any non-ancient one character, provided you have at least another one on the boards.

 

How to use it.

 

  1. Accelerator. It might not be the best use for the card, but sacrificing a cannon fodder to get out a fatty earlier should not be underestimated. You could Shock a Ghoul Khanum in play or a Professor of Archeology and have their cost lowered by 3 or 2. Not a bad deal, but one of the least efficient use of the card.

  2. Tricks and Traps. Shocking into play a refreshed character during unexpected times (say, after your opponent has committed in his turn) might bring you good fortune. And none say the character is not some roadblock like Ravager from the Deep or Bestial Shoggoth.

  3. Searching. Sometime you really need that Mentor of Vaughn surreptiously hidden in the last 10 cards of your deck. Sometimes you just want to seal the deal with a Messenger from the Spheres, but can't draw him for your life. Or your evil combo just lacks that Ancient Guardian that's avoiding getting drawn like he is limelight shy. Here Shock comes to the rescue and lets you search in your whole deck. Combined with 1 this makes for some early potent rushes. But using this jewel for rushing is probably the worst way to employ it. A recent game with an extremely talented player showed me that Shock shines as a Control player card.

    A big bonus of Shock is that it becomes inherently stronger the more strong characters are published, so investing in a good Shock deck will seldom leave you torn between playing this or that faction for resource match with the new wundercard.

  4. 911. Emergency call. This versatile card allows you to mimic a wide range of event speed actions through responses in shocked characters. A staple of this strategy has been using Shocking Transformation, after your opponents play some mean but vulnerable character (Yig or Ithaqua, for example), to field T-Men. The accountants with guns will just storm the place, kill that pesky GOO, and offer their neck for further sacrifice. Maybe another shock.

    But Shocking T-Men isn't the only 911 call you can make. Shock interaction with Elder Thing allows you to ready for recycling two used cards (which might incidentally be the Shocking transformation you just used). Bonus points if you manage to start an Elder Thing Assistant cycle to get back your Shocks every turn.

    Hard Case and Victoria Glasser earn a minor in 911 too.
  1. Fetching fetchers. Now, Shock has some limits. Namely that it can't search for Ancient Ones, it cannot search in the discard pile and that time I tried Shocking in Beyoncé it didn't really perform. Guess she is either a Great Old One or my copies of Shock are somehow faulty.

    But Shock is a team player, an awesome buddy and will never let you down. Need an Ancient One? Shock Lavinia Whateley in play and hurry fetching that Ithaqua! Need that awesome Nyarlathotep lying unused in the discard pile? Shock in an Hungry Dark Young.

 

Pretty awesome, isn't it? Now, Shock me with your ideas on how to exploit it.

 

 



#2 Walter Corbitt

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:27 PM

 Nice article. Thanks a lot.

It has always been linked to tha great Khanum though it´s true that it can be really multi-purpose.



#3 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:07 AM

I built, some time ago, a Yog/Shub toolbox deck which featured ST and it worked pretty well.

Nice card in almost any building. Doesn't need particular deckbuilding, IMHO. It's simply a wounderful event in any Sub based/supported building.

 



#4 dev/null

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 03:23 PM

I like "The Mother's Seed" a lot better when it comes to getting Ghouls out early. Mix that in with "Mi-Go Brain Case" as well as "Escaped the Portal" and I tend to drop Ghouls quick and early. ;)



#5 Carioz

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 01:45 AM

dev/null said:

 

I like "The Mother's Seed" a lot better when it comes to getting Ghouls out early. Mix that in with "Mi-Go Brain Case" as well as "Escaped the Portal" and I tend to drop Ghouls quick and early. ;)

 

 

Statistically speaking, at t1 The Mother's Seed is a lot better only if you are using equal or less than 3 accelerators in your deck. Here's the statistical breakdown (this stats assumes an inordinate amount of Shockable or Motherable amounts of characters and 3x each in a deck).

Chances of a Mothered GK at t1 are: 0,159

Chances of a Shocked GK with 3 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,159 (some of the less significative decimals are lower due to the chance of drawing 3 GK)

Chances of a Shocked GK with 4 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,198

Chances of a Shocked GK with 5 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,233

Chances of a Shocked GK with 6 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,262 (Notice that was the chance of a Shock or Mothered GK in 4x)

Chances of a Shocked GK with 7 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,283

Chances of a Shocked GK with 8 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,309

 

Statistically, each accelerator you add to the deck raises the chances of a t1 GK with diminishing returns.

At t2 a shocked khanum is stastically more frequent than a mothered one no matter the presence of accelerators in the deck. This trend lowers as turns pass.

In another, more Optimization oriented forum people would scream: "The Mother's Seed is a trap!!!"

 



#6 Carioz

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:11 AM

And just to be a ****, and to prevent the "But you can use both Mother Seed and Shocking", chances of a t1 Ghoul Khanum using 3 GK, 3 Mothers, 3 Reducers and 3 Shocks are 0.22, using 3 GK, 6 Reducers and 3 Shocks the chances raise to 0.26.

In other words, a Mother's Seed strategy is winning only if you are desperate for free domains (and considering Shub has the monopoly on refreshers this should not be the case) or if you need to employ 3 or less cost reducers, or you can generate by t1 around 6 or 7 turns worth of card drawing.



#7 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:14 AM

In another, more Optimization oriented forum people would scream: "The Mother's Seed is a trap!!!"

maybe the ghoul is a trap



#8 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:16 AM

did i screw up the quote format, or is this just another thing not working on these boards?



#9 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:27 AM

lousy lack of editing.......i totally forgot to actually comment on the stats.

how do you lower the cost of ST? still life, speaking cells? or am i over looking something? if thats the case your turn one ghoul is just as vunerable as mother's seed, plus you cant use those cards in a mono-shub deck.



#10 RobertIain

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:32 AM

PearlJamaholic said:

did i screw up the quote format, or is this just another thing not working on these boards?

 

Seems a lot of HTML doesn't work 'right' here, whereas the 'quote' button, and the 'link' button, etc, that are there when writing a post, do the job.... bizarrely, since all they appear to be doing is inserting the appropriate HTML, but typing it direct seems to be disallowed.



#11 Carioz

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:31 PM

@PearlJamaholic

Hmm, I never said a Shocked Ghoul is less vulnerable than a Mothered Ghoul as it would be a plain lie: a GK is a GK, no matter how you put it into play...

Actually, the only thing one can presume is that a Mothered 1 or 0 coster is a juicier target than an un-mothered one, but since it opens a new can of worms and it doesn't help Mother's case, I've left it out.

How to play a T1 Shock using non-faction dependant cards:

- Temple of Nephren-Ka

- Decrepit Mausoleum

- Sanctify the Stone

Just enough to reach 9 reducers. If you go Shub-Yog or Shub-Hast or Shub-Synd you can add 3 reducers each pairing.

 

 



#12 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:54 PM

i forgot about decrepit mausoleum. i guess either way though arent you counting on one creature to sacrifice, and one support? but with shocking you need to draw that card and in mother's seed case you need GK in hand. so you basically need to draw the two cards plus a cheap character to sacrifice. and in the case of temple you need to discard a card yet. so that will really hurts on having card advantage, but then it is shub so.....it should matter that much.



#13 Carioz

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:57 PM

---------------------------------------------------------

Statistically speaking, at t1 The Mother's Seed is a lot better only if you are using equal or less than 3 accelerators in your deck. Here's the statistical breakdown (this stats assumes an inordinate amount of Shockable or Motherable amounts of characters and 3x each in a deck).

Chances of a Mothered GK at t1 are: 0,159

Chances of a Shocked GK with 3 accelerators in the deck at t1 are: 0,159 (some of the less significative decimals are lower due to the chance of drawing 3 GK)

---------------------------------------------------------

So yes, it is two cards in hand plus a sacrificial lamb. As previously stated the advantage of Shocking Khanum over Mother Khanum is in scaleability. As long as you add cost reducer the chances of getting a t1 GK approaches asimptotically uhhh 0,49 (on the top of my head, so it could be wrong). Since there are no cards which can sub for Seed, it has a fixed chance of comboing (which is higher until the shock deck doesn't hit the 4th accelerator).

Card advantage is a trickier matter, since it has not yet been defined what card advantage is. If you consider card advantage the number of cards in your hand - the number of cards in your opponent's hand then Neph Shock Khanum generates one card more of disadvantage than Mother Khanum.

If you consider card advantage the number of cards in your hand + the numbers the cards you own on field - the number of cards in opponent's hand - the number of cards in opponents field using the following system (movement to discard pile = 0, movement to field = +1, movement to hand = +1, movement to deck = 0, movement from discard pile = 0, movement from field = -1, movement from hand = -1, movement from deck = 0) you get:

A Mother Khanum leaves you at: 6 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 + 1 = 4

A Nephren Shock Khanum leaves you at: 6 - 1 + 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 + 1 = 4

A Decrepit Shock Khanum leaves you at: 6 - 1 + 1 - 1 - 1 + 1 = 5

A Sanctified Shock Khanum leaves you at: 6 - 1 - 1 - 1 + 1 = 4



#14 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 02:58 AM

i consider cards in hand card advantage and cards in play board advantage. took a minute to see what you were doing with the card advantage thing, but i see now. but really with the new 3x limit i think most decks are able to fit both ST and MS, so then now your chance of a first turn ghoul has to really go up.



#15 Carioz

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:07 AM

PearlJamaholic said:

i consider cards in hand card advantage and cards in play board advantage. took a minute to see what you were doing with the card advantage thing, but i see now. but really with the new 3x limit i think most decks are able to fit both ST and MS, so then now your chance of a first turn ghoul has to really go up.

Well, as shown in previous post, if your goal is to get GK out as quickly as possible, you are better off with Shock and 6 reducers instead of Shock + Mother's Seed.



#16 PearlJamaholic

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:52 AM

that may be the case, but having both cant hurt your chances can it?



#17 Marius

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 04:47 AM

I was going to go into card advantage this week, a little. I consider card advantage the number of potentially active cards, so cards in the active zones: Hand and Board.

I don't see why Mothers' Seed would be a problem in this case.

Shocking Transformation needs a sacrificial lamb as well as Mothers' Seed, but MS does reduce card advantage more by taking the card from your hand instead of from your deck. MS does boost tempo a little, because it's free to play. The extra loss of card advantage of MS is mostly virtual in many cases, as usually a Ghoul Khanum is a "dead card" otherwise because of the cost of 6. Sure, you can invest in cards to reduce the cost, or just plain make more resources, but that's another investment in card advantage, depending on your resource cost curve.

Mother's Seeding a Ghoul Khanum does bring out a lot of virtual card advantage, as she's very hard to get rid off. Toughness deals with most wounding effects, Arcane does wonders against most of Yog's removal and the printed cost of 6 makes DOA a costly proposition. That combined with the fact that an unanswered Ghoul gets ugly very, very fast, and the fact that Shub can deal with the few popular choices to deal with characters (Forgotten Isle for instance) makes it so that MS generally makes the cut.

Add to this that you are likely to have more ST targets, like T-Men to deal with Yig and maybe a Rat-Thing to deal with Glimpse of the Void and you most likely want a backup plan for your ST's.

The thread mentions Mi-Go Braincases as well. Unfortunately, these don't work as well with ST or MS, since they only trigger of a "destruction" effect, not of a "sacrifice" effect.

Cost reducers generally don't help card advantage; They do a lot for tempo and help getting ahead in resource development. They cost virtual card advantage though, because they don't directly contribute to winning the game, or neutralising your opponents cards.






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