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Stopping the rush


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#1 HappyDD

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:47 AM

In the thread on the Polish 2012 National Championship Kaine82 mentioned that the rush seemed strong in his area. The North American Championships were won by a Call the Brayherd rush, which is a common enough archetype that its success might have surprised some people: If you know you are going to face a Call the Brayherd deck, why not build against it? Is the rush so powerful that it destroys everything else? I have a book from when I was a small impressionable child about Magic cards that said "Rush decks have a lot of appeal to new players". It's true, and it seems really powerful when you can throw down 10 power by turn 2 with some badass goblin deck. What is an Invasion player to do?

Kaine's comment on indirect damage's success at the Polish tourney:

Looks like there is a lot more indirect damage going on over there. In my area at least, rush seems to dominate. How fast do these High Elf decks take off? I've played against a similar build once, but it seemed a little slow.

Below is what I wrote in response to this quote, which I moved over here so as not to kill that thread:

Stopping a rush deck, or a "swarm" deck, which is probably a more accurate word for your Warrior deck that gets buffed off warriors and other units (I have no idea if that's a real term, I might have heard it somewhere or made it up), is probably the first thing you should test a deck against if you are going to a tournament. Pleasure Cults, for example, really slows down a rush (h/t to Mallumo for opening my eyes to that card, I used to be a hater), Offering to Hekarti is awesome as we all know. Flames of the Phoenix gives you more time, Plague Bomb / Sorceror of Tzeentch help you kill weenies, Troll Vomit / Smash 'Em do similar cool things. Lots of decks have tools to deal with the rush, the key is finding balance, and that is a seriously annoying key to find. I'm guessing that if rush is seeing a bunch of success in your group, then people aren't building against it in a way that makes it pointless to play anymore.

Let's look at the first place deck DaRKeR posted: fledgling chaos spawn sac to daemon prince kills rush guys with 1 hp, ungor raiders to D-Prince blows up devs which means units can enter the battlefield corrupted if Den of Iniquity is in play (descrated temple blows up devs on the sac too), seduced by darkness works in a pinch, plague bomb, warhounds, sorceror, unleashing, branded + other damage doing stuff, spoils of war seems weird but I guess it tempts someone to attack a burning zone (?)… Anyway, we all know Chaos has the best killing power in the game, but all of these cards together means that stuff will be dying on the other guy's side. The question is whether the kill rate is greater than or equal to the rate at which the other guy can play cards if he commits to a rush, which requires annoying levels of playtesting that a lot of groups just don't want to do. In my group it's common to switch decks after 2 games, which means rush decks look awesome, because we never refine decks to the point of deciding whether I want 2 or 3 plague bombs to make room for another raiding camps. You mentioned indirect, well the second place deck has flames, judgement, master rune (which is devastating if you flames the guy on your turn, his units did nothing), and v-mage, which lets you dig for any spell you might need if you realize you are playing a rush deck. Now, you aren't guaranteed to beat a rush every single game, but you have all the pieces you will need. If someone puts down a Chaos board across from you, you can mulligan for the mage and some supports, then try to draw up a bunch of useful cards.

Story time: My friend here (Rzarectz, our glorious champion) had this annoying High Elf deck that kept injuring and healing the dreamer of dragons until he hit for 12 power. I made a DE deck with Eye for Cruelty in it, a very specific card that never gets played, and it annihilated his combo. The only reason I played that deck was to make his HE deck was less effective. I made that deck to ruin his fun, it was mean, but it had to be done. Similar action needs to be taken against rush-style decks if they are seeing a lot of success in your group. In the super-advanced rock-scissors-paper of a meta, if you beat the dominant archetype you win. It may not be the best deck ever, but it wins all the time until people stop playing rush.

It's really easy for me to just sit back and list off cards that kill units and say "That's how you stop a rush", but coming along with that is play style. Knowing how to be patient, when to act, whether to put that 1 power into your kingdom or quest zone, those are all tough decisions that I used to think could be easily solved with an internal set of rules. As I play more I realize it's all contextual and hard to make those decisions. So on top of all that stuff I just said, knowing to play a deck is part of stopping the rush, and if your play style is to rush, then it will seem very strong. Being a simple man I enjoy simple things, like throwing lots of power in the battlefield. Better players realize that there are ways around this if you exercise some finesse… which I never do… my avatar is an orc.

Also keep in mind that metas evolve, and when they do, there is always the possibility that someone playing a straight rush deck might sneak in and steal a bunch of wins. Maybe a rush is awesome, then a slight change beats all rushes, then through evolution we have decks that almost neglect the rush, in which case rushes make a massive comeback. Sunrise, sunset. It's really good that we can see examples from giant tournaments that win, as they presumably had to beat rushes. Just take a list off the internet and try it out against some local decks until you get a feel for it.



#2 Kaine82

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:06 AM

Great post!

Though I understand how metas work and play test quite a bit.


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#3 HappyDD

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:40 AM

Right, obviously you are not a new player who is in wide-eyed amazement of rush decks, I just had to cover all the bases if I was writing this much text.

But then I have to ask, if rush is seeing so much success, why isn't anyone taking advantage of that and playing a deck that can crush masses of units? Not fun to play? Not enough serious practice? I know that those are the two main reasons around here. The amount of extra effort to "get serious" about testing decks is not worth it to most of us.



#4 DaRKeR

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:51 AM

HappyDD spawn sacrificed for Daemon prince cant kill anything :) it works only when unit is destroyed.

 

But after all you got the point, i really dont understand how in Destro based mate game rush can win tournament ;)



#5 Kaine82

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:18 AM

we play test against the things you mentioned and know how devistating those effects can be for a rush deck, but find ways to play around them.

Leon, our regional winner with a brayherd deck, has gone back and forth running mob up in his deck to combat valaya. The butts on chaos units are too big for DE to handle with negative hit points and pleasure cults wasn't legal at GenCon. On top of that not many decks can handle 5 free units on turn 2.

There are many ways to shut down a rush deck, but a good breyherd build can win pretty consistently. Understand I'm not saying this to take away from anyone's deck builds, but you can't write off an entire deck when it is winning.


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#6 HappyDD

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:04 AM

DaRKeR said:

HappyDD spawn sacrificed for Daemon prince cant kill anything :) it works only when unit is destroyed.

Oops, yes of course.

If someone gets 5 free units off of Brayherd then they are going to be devastated when you kill them all or corrupt them all, they probably don't have a ton of tactics if they hit 5 units in a row so their ability to bounce back is necessarily limited. No one will question, though, that the person with 5 battlefield units is definitely in a good position, which is why rush decks are so appealing: simple, not a lot of moving pieces, they win within a game mechanic instead of breaking anything, and can be played effectively with little practice.

DE 1 HP sniping is not effective against a bunch of guys with a lot of HP, true, but I didn't really want to turn this into "Brayherd is winning all the time, it's the best" versus "Brayherd wins because you don't know what you're doing and your meta sucks". These are all just general ideas about how someone who loses to rush decks all the time would go about beating them if they didn't want to run a rush deck themselves. The devil is in the details, obviously. And I still think that effective testing is the key, which is impossible without a big community unless you are a super genius at cards.

Also, don't worry about being interpreted as insulting particular builds, it's just cards, most people won't take it personally. I like to think that everyone respects everyone else's groups and the fact that we're talking about a game we like. If they don't, well, then they get ignored and that's it.
 



#7 Kaine82

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:19 AM

Your right hypothetical games are pointless. I wouldn't call all rush decks simple and all control Mensa only material though.

I'm really hoping there will be a good turn out at worlds in November. Any chance there will be some Canadian representation? I had a great time playing against WWaSP at GenCon.


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#8 HappyDD

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:46 AM

It is highly unlikely that anyone from our group will attend. We are poor pauper folk and cannot afford to leave the confines of our hovels to travel to the mighty FFG events centre. I think WWaSP was able to wrap up an Invasion tournament with GenCon, but otherwise the cost is quite high. I go back and forth, but I'm pretty sure I'll be cleaning toilets for a month at home if I ask for permission to spend $1000 to go play cards.

Hopefully 1 measly Canadian shows up!



#9 HappyDD

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:47 AM

It sounds like the European champs get plane tickets, which is awesome!



#10 Kaine82

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:17 AM

Seems like the North American champ should have got something. Its around a 12 hour drive for us so I'm trying to get a group of guys together to make the haul.


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#11 WWaSP

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:20 AM

I'd love to attend worlds but GenCon sapped the last of my unspoken for vacation days for the year. As HappyDD mentioned, the cost is the primary roadblock though… that and the potential ferocity of wife aggro.

I probably won't make it back to Indy for at least a few years so the best I can hope for is a better regional tournament next year.

 

Re: the OP. Very nice post. What book is it that you were talking about?



#12 HappyDD

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:45 PM

WWaSP said:

Re: the OP. Very nice post. What book is it that you were talking about?

A godawful book called Mastering Magic Cards. This book was out a long long long time ago, when I was not fully aware that buying a few boosters when I could afford them was not going to help me beat my evil friend who had a giant head start on the rest of us in terms of collecting. The reviews don't really do it justice. It was designed for people that had every card but had no idea about probabilities or deck types, and that's it. It's way too old now to be helpful since it refers to cards by name and doesn't describe them. So the deck archetypes insights are old and probably not as well done as stuff you could find on the internet today. It also said stuff like "With 4 Mox Emeralds, you can make this deck!" Even back in the day those were hard to find.

You can get the same probability insights from the first chapter of a basic stats workbook ("Schaum's Probability and Statistics" is one), and it will probably be more than you need for cards. The book told you stuff like "Here is a formula for the probability of an opening hand containing at least one land", so that you could adjust the number of lands in a deck, but really they just conclude with rules like "Use X lands in a # card deck".

 



#13 Teokrata

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:24 AM

wanna stop the rush? DE suits best, You have Offering to Hekarti, Temple of Spite, Seasoned Corsair, Sacrifice to Khaine, Blood Dragon Knight and even Pleasure Cults, also long winters works well to counter RIPs -> that means autoloose for rush decks ;-)



#14 HappyDD

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:47 PM

Pleasure Cults is definitely an annoying card to have dropped into your battlefield if you are rushing, and it works perfectly against Call the Brayherd or any basic rush. Are you saying that Long Winter is an auto-lose card for rush decks? At best Long Winter makes them pick up a unit they tried to Rip Der 'Eads Off on, which is damaging to the rushers plans, but not auto-lose. Dark Elves are super annoying in early game / small unit situations, which is all a rush deck is.



#15 SeanXor

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:55 PM

 Dark Elves is one of the main factions I play, and Pleasure Cults is the best way for the faction to handle the rush.  From my plays the most troublesome rush decks for Dark Elves are Empire rush and brayherd decks.  The empire is problematic, because a first turn church of Sigmar makes it hard to knock out the small units with negative hit points.  The brayherd is tough because of so many units entering at once.  However, causing the units to enter corrupted slows that down dramatically.  Now that a zone can not be burned the same turn the units are played, gives Dark Elves a lot more options.  Since only one unit can be uncorrupted a turn, there are plenty of ways to destroy the just uncorrupted unit.  This is also true for the unit that is questing on Pleasure Cults.  As long as that unit gets killed before the second resource counter is put on the rush is not quite as scary.  



#16 Luckyfer

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:15 AM

 and thats why all brayherd decks play khorvak Grimbreath.

if he's out early, then you gonna have a bad time






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