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Rajam

Canceling treacheries?

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I'm wary of having more straight up cancellation cards available. I think A Test of Will is too powerful, (Eleanor slightly less so, with the exhausting and revealing another card) and introducing more cards in a similar vein is likely to result in worse treacheries (that the designers just expect to be cancelled) or "This effect cannot be cancelled" appearing more often.

 

I would much rather have a wider array of cards designed to mitigate / nullify the effects of a treachery rather than completely cancel it. I think Caleb / Matt have said in the past they want to give players more options and ways to play rather than necessarily more powerful ones. We've seen this with Celeborn vs Dain, O Lorien vs Steward etc. I'd like them to take a similar route with treacheries.

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Instead of outright cancelling a whole card, cards that target the likely effects of a treachery would be welcome.  Kind of a 'limited cancellation' constellation of card effects.  We have some: spirit has Free to Choose (after encounter card raises your threat, lower it by same amount), Lore and Tactics have direct damage cancellation (Raven-winged Helm, Weather-stained Cloak, Close Call...).  The existing effects work for only one player, but you could make a card that says something like:

 

"Response: When characters controlled by two or more players would be damaged by a card effect, cancel all the damage."

 

The major effects of treachery cards are:
-Direct damage

-Exhaust characters

-Discard cards from play or in hand

-Fetch cards from the encounter deck

 

And then there are less common ones like discarding resources or reducing willpower.

 

So with that in mind, you could make cards that cancel specific types of effects for all players, and distribute them into spheres with matching themes.  Tactics cancels damage, leadership could cancel ally or attachment discard effects, spirit and leadership could cancel exhaust effects.  Lore could become an "anti-draw" for the encounter deck and cancel Fetch effects.  It kind of does similar things like that already, Quick Ears cancels an enemy (but the enemy needs to have been revealed), Out of the Wild and Scout Ahead effectively discard from the encounter deck's "hand," Scout Ahead and Risk Some Light "fix" the encounter deck's "hand," etc.

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I'm torn on treacheries. In solo, they are often harsh but rarely insane. In multiplayer, some treacheries scale with the number of players and become rediculous cancel-or-lose-the-game. So some more cancelation wouldn't hurt just for multiplayer.

 

The flip side is that treachery cancelation is often just super powerful if you play it. 1 resource and 1 card in order to completely negate the encounter deck one turn in solo is super value. Especiallly since treacheries are often the cards the encounter deck uses to try to even the playing field if the player has already 'set up'. (Think of how Necromancers reach scales along with how powerful players are.)

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I'm torn on treacheries. In solo, they are often harsh but rarely insane. In multiplayer, some treacheries scale with the number of players and become rediculous cancel-or-lose-the-game. So some more cancelation wouldn't hurt just for multiplayer.

 

The flip side is that treachery cancelation is often just super powerful if you play it. 1 resource and 1 card in order to completely negate the encounter deck one turn in solo is super value. Especiallly since treacheries are often the cards the encounter deck uses to try to even the playing field if the player has already 'set up'. (Think of how Necromancers reach scales along with how powerful players are.)

Well then what about a MP-only card that makes a treachery only effect the player who drew it? So those "search the encounter deck for an enemy" only drops one instead of four baddies into the staging area.

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I've no objection to any of the spheres getting treachery cancellation.  Spirit isn't "the treachery cancellation sphere" because it has a wealth of cards that deal with treacheries.  It's the "treachery cancellation sphere" because of one Hero and one player card -- and the player card doesn't even single out treacheries!  The only sphere that can cancel a treachery card outright (with  the help of Out of the Wild) is Lore.

 

I don't see any philosophical reason that *every* sphere can cancel shadow effects in one way or another, but only Spirit can cancel a "when revealed".  While "when revealed" effects are generally more powerful, the cost can correspondingly be higher.

 

That's true, but Out of the Wild doesn't specifically go after treacheries. It fit's more into Lore's theme of messing with the Encounter deck. Right now Spirit is the cancellation sphere--it's probably Spirit's biggest strength (possibly after Glorfindel). 

 

And sure--I'm all for every sphere having a way to cancel When Revealed effects. I just think the designers should be careful to always make it's more conditional than Spirit's tools to do the same. Otherwise we are talking about a stealth nerf to Spirit generally and it takes away another of Spirits defining characteristics. 

 

 

ffg_out-of-the-wild-rtr.jpg   ffg_MEC42_92.jpg

´Nough said.

Even works on doomed and surge  :)

 

Combo with

ffg_MEC40_35.jpg and ffg_MEC41_62.jpg

For even more options

 

Great cards, but they are all a little situational and/or deck specific. 

 

Out of the Wild is amazing in secrecy but very expensive after 20 threat. The others...obviously you run them with Rossiel but without her? I don't know. I can see how they might work well to keep bad cards from recycling but the non-unique modifier hurts for that. Otherwise you want to setup for The Door Is Closed...

 

I don't know--are people having good success with these outside of Rossiel?

 

 

Instead of outright cancelling a whole card, cards that target the likely effects of a treachery would be welcome.  Kind of a 'limited cancellation' constellation of card effects.  We have some: spirit has Free to Choose (after encounter card raises your threat, lower it by same amount), Lore and Tactics have direct damage cancellation (Raven-winged Helm, Weather-stained Cloak, Close Call...).  The existing effects work for only one player, but you could make a card that says something like:

 

"Response: When characters controlled by two or more players would be damaged by a card effect, cancel all the damage."

 

The major effects of treachery cards are:

-Direct damage

-Exhaust characters

-Discard cards from play or in hand

-Fetch cards from the encounter deck

 

And then there are less common ones like discarding resources or reducing willpower.

 

So with that in mind, you could make cards that cancel specific types of effects for all players, and distribute them into spheres with matching themes.  Tactics cancels damage, leadership could cancel ally or attachment discard effects, spirit and leadership could cancel exhaust effects.  Lore could become an "anti-draw" for the encounter deck and cancel Fetch effects.  It kind of does similar things like that already, Quick Ears cancels an enemy (but the enemy needs to have been revealed), Out of the Wild and Scout Ahead effectively discard from the encounter deck's "hand," Scout Ahead and Risk Some Light "fix" the encounter deck's "hand," etc.

 

I love the idea, I just think these will rarely if ever make the cut in a deck not custom-built for a given scenario unless you were running something like Noldor-discard or Protector of Lorien so you could make use of the dead cards for Quests that don't need a given type of counter. Though I suppose Erestor could help with that... 

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Test of will + Great Harvest in any deck other than spirit. Works great.

 

A Good Harvest is an action, so this doesn't work (unless you know a bad treachery is coming and play harvest at the beginning of the quest phase).

 

 

****! That's right!! Then, replace Good harvest by Song of travel.

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I've no objection to any of the spheres getting treachery cancellation.  Spirit isn't "the treachery cancellation sphere" because it has a wealth of cards that deal with treacheries.  It's the "treachery cancellation sphere" because of one Hero and one player card -- and the player card doesn't even single out treacheries!  The only sphere that can cancel a treachery card outright (with  the help of Out of the Wild) is Lore.

 

I don't see any philosophical reason that *every* sphere can cancel shadow effects in one way or another, but only Spirit can cancel a "when revealed".  While "when revealed" effects are generally more powerful, the cost can correspondingly be higher.

 

That's true, but Out of the Wild doesn't specifically go after treacheries. It fit's more into Lore's theme of messing with the Encounter deck. Right now Spirit is the cancellation sphere--it's probably Spirit's biggest strength (possibly after Glorfindel). 

 

And sure--I'm all for every sphere having a way to cancel When Revealed effects. I just think the designers should be careful to always make it's more conditional than Spirit's tools to do the same. Otherwise we are talking about a stealth nerf to Spirit generally and it takes away another of Spirits defining characteristics. 

 

That's where I disagree -- I don't see cancelling when revealed as "one of Spirit's defining characteristics", or see Spirit as "the cancellation sphere".  I see Spirit as "the sphere that has Test of Will", and through lack of alternatives that certainly has made Spirit more popular than it otherwise would be, but it's still just one card.  Spirit's defining characteristics are dealing with threat and willpower, and there's a metric ton of those cards in Spirit.  Between those two effects and spirit's dominance of Rohan, and all the great spirit heroes, I don't think we need to worry that Spirit would fade into obscurity if its prize card had weaker alternatives in other spheres.  What it would do is prevent players from feeling that they *have* to run Spirit or feel the full wrath of the encounter deck.

 

For a project I'm posting about on BGG, I took a look at 100 decks from different people on cardgamedb.  Spirit had the largest number of heroes (90) and was in the largest number of decks (60).  Test of Will, as you might expect, was by far the most popular Spirit card, but there were other popular cards (by presence in a deck, not number of copies):

 

46x Test of Will

35x Unexpected Courage

32x Galadhrim's Greeting

28x Hasty Stroke

27x Arwen Undomiel

23x Elrond's Counsel

23x Northern Tracker

22x Light of Valinor

 

Test of Will is in a bit over 75% of the spirit decks and in nearly half of all the decks.  Only Core Gandalf (55 decks) was more popular.  Gandalf has two alternative versions.  Why not Test of Will?  The other six popular Spirit cards all have inferior alternatives in other spheres, and still do good duty to this day.  Why not Test of Will?

 

In the beginning, Test of Will had a monopoly on cancelling "when revealed", and Hasty Stroke had a monopoly on shadow cancellation.  But in the second AP we got our first non-spirit cancellation card in A Burning Brand -- and the second AP also had the *last* Spirit card to have "cancel" in it, Frodo Baggins.  In the subsequent releases there are three tactics cards to cancel damage (once Frodo's monopoly), two Leadership cards and a hero to cancel shadows, and three additional Lore cards to cancel enemies, quest damage, or any encounter card at all (with setup).  There are also cards that discard shadows (instead of cancelling them after seeing them) in all four spheres plus neutral.

 

It seems to me that Lore has the widest variety of cancellation effects, and since manipulating the encounter deck actually *is* a personality of Lore, that Lore would be a logical place for expanding treachery handling.  Indeed, Lore already has the only other card that mentions "when revealed" in Don't Be Hasty.  Indeed, in order to broaden treachery handling in the card pool in general, it is necessary to do it in other spheres, simply because Test of Will is so cheap and effective.  It wouldn't do away with Test of Will any more than even A Burning Brand did away with Hasty Stroke.  (Actually, a lore attachment that made a character immune to treachery effects would be pretty sweet without unbalancing, I think).

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I've no objection to any of the spheres getting treachery cancellation.  Spirit isn't "the treachery cancellation sphere" because it has a wealth of cards that deal with treacheries.  It's the "treachery cancellation sphere" because of one Hero and one player card -- and the player card doesn't even single out treacheries!  The only sphere that can cancel a treachery card outright (with  the help of Out of the Wild) is Lore.

 

I don't see any philosophical reason that *every* sphere can cancel shadow effects in one way or another, but only Spirit can cancel a "when revealed".  While "when revealed" effects are generally more powerful, the cost can correspondingly be higher.

 

That's true, but Out of the Wild doesn't specifically go after treacheries. It fit's more into Lore's theme of messing with the Encounter deck. Right now Spirit is the cancellation sphere--it's probably Spirit's biggest strength (possibly after Glorfindel). 

 

And sure--I'm all for every sphere having a way to cancel When Revealed effects. I just think the designers should be careful to always make it's more conditional than Spirit's tools to do the same. Otherwise we are talking about a stealth nerf to Spirit generally and it takes away another of Spirits defining characteristics. 

 

That's where I disagree -- I don't see cancelling when revealed as "one of Spirit's defining characteristics", or see Spirit as "the cancellation sphere".  I see Spirit as "the sphere that has Test of Will", and through lack of alternatives that certainly has made Spirit more popular than it otherwise would be, but it's still just one card.  Spirit's defining characteristics are dealing with threat and willpower, and there's a metric ton of those cards in Spirit.  Between those two effects and spirit's dominance of Rohan, and all the great spirit heroes, I don't think we need to worry that Spirit would fade into obscurity if its prize card had weaker alternatives in other spheres.  What it would do is prevent players from feeling that they *have* to run Spirit or feel the full wrath of the encounter deck.

 

For a project I'm posting about on BGG, I took a look at 100 decks from different people on cardgamedb.  Spirit had the largest number of heroes (90) and was in the largest number of decks (60).  Test of Will, as you might expect, was by far the most popular Spirit card, but there were other popular cards (by presence in a deck, not number of copies):

 

46x Test of Will

35x Unexpected Courage

32x Galadhrim's Greeting

28x Hasty Stroke

27x Arwen Undomiel

23x Elrond's Counsel

23x Northern Tracker

22x Light of Valinor

 

Test of Will is in a bit over 75% of the spirit decks and in nearly half of all the decks.  Only Core Gandalf (55 decks) was more popular.  Gandalf has two alternative versions.  Why not Test of Will?  The other six popular Spirit cards all have inferior alternatives in other spheres, and still do good duty to this day.  Why not Test of Will?

 

In the beginning, Test of Will had a monopoly on cancelling "when revealed", and Hasty Stroke had a monopoly on shadow cancellation.  But in the second AP we got our first non-spirit cancellation card in A Burning Brand -- and the second AP also had the *last* Spirit card to have "cancel" in it, Frodo Baggins.  In the subsequent releases there are three tactics cards to cancel damage (once Frodo's monopoly), two Leadership cards and a hero to cancel shadows, and three additional Lore cards to cancel enemies, quest damage, or any encounter card at all (with setup).  There are also cards that discard shadows (instead of cancelling them after seeing them) in all four spheres plus neutral.

 

It seems to me that Lore has the widest variety of cancellation effects, and since manipulating the encounter deck actually *is* a personality of Lore, that Lore would be a logical place for expanding treachery handling.  Indeed, Lore already has the only other card that mentions "when revealed" in Don't Be Hasty.  Indeed, in order to broaden treachery handling in the card pool in general, it is necessary to do it in other spheres, simply because Test of Will is so cheap and effective.  It wouldn't do away with Test of Will any more than even A Burning Brand did away with Hasty Stroke.  (Actually, a lore attachment that made a character immune to treachery effects would be pretty sweet without unbalancing, I think).

 

 

So, I would argue that between Hasty Stroke, A Test of Will and Eleanor straight out of Core Spirit absolutely is the cancel sphere. Yeah, it's only three cards. But there really aren't any cards in the other spheres that do a better, less conditional job than these. Years later. For me that is a defining part of the sphere along with threat reduction, action advantage and high willpower. 

 

Now that doesn't mean I don't want more ways to cancel outside of Spirit. I just hope they don't undercut Spirit in what I consider to be one of its niches. 

 

Have a Tactics cancel--just make them engage an enemy or take an attack for it. Have Lore--but make it only work for one character (ala Burning Brand). Have Leadership--but make them discard a ally for it. 

 

But honestly, forget all that. We can agree to disagree. The main reason I wanted to reply here was to commend you--because ****, dat research, tho. I love that you went to that length and supported what you were saying with that kind of detail. Yeah, I personally see it a little differently but I am still super impressed. 

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Now that doesn't mean I don't want more ways to cancel outside of Spirit. I just hope they don't undercut Spirit in what I consider to be one of its niches. 

 

Have a Tactics cancel--just make them engage an enemy or take an attack for it. Have Lore--but make it only work for one character (ala Burning Brand). Have Leadership--but make them discard a ally for it. 

 

But honestly, forget all that. We can agree to disagree. The main reason I wanted to reply here was to commend you--because ****, dat research, tho. I love that you went to that length and supported what you were saying with that kind of detail. Yeah, I personally see it a little differently but I am still super impressed. 

 

I think we agree on the main points.  I have no desire for any other sphere to have more effective treachery cancellation than Test of Will, if such a thing were even possible.  I fully agree with your second paragraph I quoted.

 

Thanks for the compliment on the research, but what really prompted me to go through the decks was actually the thread on new cards to prop up old ones.  I wanted to see which cards I thought were fine weren't actually being used, and what cards I thought were coasters are actually in use.  (Though between thematic and experimental decks, use is not a guarantee of quality.)  I'm posting results over at BGG in the strategy forum there, though it'll take a while to get all the information out.

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Great cards, but they are all a little situational and/or deck specific. 

 

In regards to them being situational, just remember that lore is also able to create a huge card draw engine; for me it is very rarely a problem getting these cards into my hand. Sure it definitely works in your favor if you can pick and chose exactly what goes in the victory display but just getting a good mix of bad cards out there really is the primary concern and works just fine.

 

In regards to some of this being too expensive: we play 3-man and each have 3 copies of Keen as Lances; with the card draw provided by lore, I´m definitely not gonna use KaL to draw even more cards. Free resources for me you say? Yes please :)

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Great cards, but they are all a little situational and/or deck specific.

In regards to them being situational, just remember that lore is also able to create a huge card draw engine; for me it is very rarely a problem getting these cards into my hand. Sure it definitely works in your favor if you can pick and chose exactly what goes in the victory display but just getting a good mix of bad cards out there really is the primary concern and works just fine.

 

In regards to some of this being too expensive: we play 3-man and each have 3 copies of Keen as Lances; with the card draw provided by lore, I´m definitely not gonna use KaL to draw even more cards. Free resources for me you say? Yes please :)

I've played 2-handed mono-Lore, one Ranger Trap deck and one Victory manipulation + healing support deck. By about turn 7, the Rangers had drawn their entire deck and the other had maybe 10 cards left.

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 Have Lore--but make it only work for one character (ala Burning Brand). 

 

I'd argue that Burning Brand singlehandedly made people use Song of Wisdom in solo and made lore the sphere to consider when talking about shadow cancelation. 

 

Burning Brand is awesomely powerful for dedicated defender decks.  Meanwhile, an attachment that made one hero treachery-immune would still expose the other two heroes.

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 Have Lore--but make it only work for one character (ala Burning Brand). 

 

I'd argue that Burning Brand singlehandedly made people use Song of Wisdom in solo and made lore the sphere to consider when talking about shadow cancelation. 

 

 

I can see that, but burning brand IS more conditional. You can only put it on a Lore Hero and it only protects that one Hero. Honestly, if we are not counting the conditional nature of the effects outside of Hasty Stroke then I would say Leadership has the best Shadow cancellation in the form of Balin. 

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