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Isawa Tsuke

Restoration of Balance is a seriously broken card

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It was because of this one stinkin' card that I lost a game in a recent L5R tournament.

I'm a Phoenix clan player, so winning games is hard enough. I was playing against a Dragon player, and I was doing pretty well. I had broken two of his provinces, and he hadn't broken any of mine.  I had attacked a third province and was held off, but it was Public Forum, so I was going to have to break it twice. I decided to go for his fourth province, which happened to be Restoration of Balance.

I had twelve cards in my hand, meaning that I had to discard eight cards. I had three characters on the table with no attachments on any of them, and he had two characters on the table with no attachments and two characters on the table that had about five attachments on each one. I needed those cards in my hand to stand any sort of decent chance of finishing him off. I hit this card and lost all but four cards in my hand. And because of that, he was able to swing in with both of his beefed up characters individually to break two of my provinces that turn, then one province and my stronghold the next turn, all because I hit that one lousy card. And to add insult to injury he got one card (I forget the name of it) that allowed him to flip that province back upside down. So aside from the fact that his characters were too beefed up for me to do anything about, I had to make a choice to either try and break his Public Forum twice (in which case, he could just let me attack once and swing with his beefed up characters to take my provinces) or attack the Restoration of Balance and lose most of the cards I had drawn that turn.

What were they thinking with this card? As soon as I hit it, I felt dejected and I stopped caring about the game. It's situations like this that make me seriously consider giving up on this game.

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Learn to play against it.  If you're facing Dragon, don't waste Honor drawing a huge hand until you know where Restoration is.  If you had 12 cards and you'd revealed three of the other Provinces then you already know where Restoration is.  Spend a turn playing defensively and putting those cards to good use (and paring down your hand while his voltrons stutter) or resign yourself to breaking Public Forum twice which, yeah, is a time sink but doesn't have any consequences other than the time sink.

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I'd never played a Dragon player who used it before. I wasn't expecting it because frankly, I didn't know the card exists (yeah, I do have it from buying the pack, but as I'm not a Dragon player, I wasn't too focused on what their cards do). There are seven clans. It's not easy to keep track of what cards you have to look out for with each clan, especially when I already know that Lion and Scorpion are the two clans I have the most difficulty against and I'm trying to rack my brain to try to figure out how to win a game against them. Plus, without a card that lets me look at provinces, it was luck that prevented me from encountering it the first three times. So it's not like I can anticipate it if I don't already have three provinces revealed.

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15 minutes ago, Isawa Tsuke said:

I'd never played a Dragon player who used it before. I wasn't expecting it because frankly, I didn't know the card exists (yeah, I do have it from buying the pack, but as I'm not a Dragon player, I wasn't too focused on what their cards do). There are seven clans. It's not easy to keep track of what cards you have to look out for with each clan, especially when I already know that Lion and Scorpion are the two clans I have the most difficulty against and I'm trying to rack my brain to try to figure out how to win a game against them. Plus, without a card that lets me look at provinces, it was luck that prevented me from encountering it the first three times. So it's not like I can anticipate it if I don't already have three provinces revealed.

Restoration is in the core set and all Dragon players I know use it. In your situation you should have known that the last province is restoration. Cards aren't balanced around playing blind into them and if you want to play competitivly, you need to know the card pool and play acordingly. Scorpion is a pretty bad MU for Phoenix, but Lion is beatable by using kuroi mori as your stronghold province and saving Censures for his Captive Audience (if your oponent uses the Unicorn splash). If you use the Unicorn splash in Phoenix, you can play Iuchi Wayfinder to peek at your oponents provinces and if you are unsure, you can play attachments before the conflict or pass your conflict oportunity and play some of your cards as the defender.

Edited by Ignithas

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4 minutes ago, Ignithas said:

Restoration is in the core set and all Dragon players I know use it. In your situation you should have known that the last province is restoration. Cards aren't balanced around playing blind into them and if you want to play competitivly, you need to know the card pool and play acordingly. Scorpion is a pretty bad MU for Phoenix, but Lion is beatable by using kuroi mori as your stronghold province and saving Censures for his Captive Audience (if your oponent uses the Unicorn splash). If you use the Unicorn splash in Phoenix, you can play Iuchi Wayfinder to peek at your oponents provinces and if you are unsure, you can play attachments before the conflict or pass your conflict oportunity and play some of your cards as the defender.

Yes, I can imagine it would be a mainstay in the average Dragon deck, but I've beaten Dragon players before, and this is literally the first time I've run into it. Perhaps I've just been exceptionally lucky when choosing which provinces to attack.

Edited by Isawa Tsuke

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'A card beat me! It's broken! But everything I do is fine.'

Restoration is powerful, but it's far from broken. You just need to be aware of it and play around it. If you got blown up by it in one game, don't do it next time.

As to 'what were they thinking'....Probably 'we should have some kind of counter to people drawing five cards a turn'.

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I do think restoration of power is broken.  It is too powerful of an ability for such a simple thing "when this province is revealed."  I don't like it at all.

That said - its there, and that won't change.  You must play around it or through it.  If you are at all flexible in your ally try Crab for Pathfinder's Blade.  Going blind into a province is risky no matter who you're against (although restoration is probably the worst) so being prepared with this handy card is great.  If you aren't flexible with your ally choice then I recommend attacking every province you can quickly against dragon.  Even if they flip Restoration back down knowing where it is means you can play around it.  This also helps disarm Mirumoto's Fury.  It might change your tactics, but it can't be helped.  Just hope they don't tuck it under the SH.  Discarding down to 4 is almost an assured loss for the attacker.

Edited by shosuko

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I don't know what kind of players you guys are that you consistently have 12 cards in hands (or let me rephrase that: 33% of your conflict deck in hand)...


Your conflict deck is probably way too expensive if that is the case. If I already have 7 cards in hand, I'm probably betting 1! (If I have 7 in hand at the beginning of the turn, I didn't enough fate to play many of them last turn. So I'm unlikely to have enough fate to play 5 more).

Finally, learning ALL the nasty cards is part of playing a CCG or LCG. If you don't want to do it, fine! But don't blame the game... Restoration of balance is a 0 card discard often enough, a 1 or 2 card discard sometimes and once in a blue moon a 3+ card discard. My first turn against Dragon often involves betting low, buying a 3 coster with 2 fate, a 1 coster, attaching a 0 or 1 cost attachement before attacking. Bingo, I'll lose 0 cards from your restoration of balance! Such an amazing card! On top of it, from now on I can farm it all I want.

 

Edited by Seawhale

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Just learn to play around it. Many recommendations have already been made. 

I personally still get caught by it sometimes, because we  don't have a Dragon player in our local meta, but it's defo a card that you can minimize the impact of. 

A card that you can't play around for example is Pathfinder's blade ....  :D

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2 hours ago, shosuko said:

I do think restoration of power is broken.  It is too powerful of an ability for such a simple thing "when this province is revealed."  I don't like it at all.

That said - its there, and that won't change.  You must play around it or through it.  If you are at all flexible in your ally try Crab for Skirmisher's Blade.  Going blind into a province is risky no matter who you're against (although restoration is probably the worst) so being prepared with this handy card is great.  If you aren't flexible with your ally choice then I recommend attacking every province you can quickly against dragon.  Even if they flip Restoration back down knowing where it is means you can play around it.  This also helps disarm Mirumoto's Fury.  It might change your tactics, but it can't be helped.  Just hope they don't tuck it under the SH.  Discarding down to 4 is almost an assured loss for the attacker.

Personally I think Feast or Famine is worse, but Dragon is Seeker of Fire so you'll probably see both against them.

Also, Phoenix is Keeper so Skirmisher's Blade isn't an option for them.

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5 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

Personally I think Feast or Famine is worse, but Dragon is Seeker of Fire so you'll probably see both against them.

Also, Phoenix is Keeper so Skirmisher's Blade isn't an option for them.

Feast or Famine is currently broken imo.

3 hours ago, Seawhale said:

I don't know what kind of players you guys are that you consistently have 12 cards in hands (or let me rephrase that: 33% of your conflict deck in hand)...


Your conflict deck is probably way too expensive if that is the case. If I already have 7 cards in hand, I'm probably betting 1! (If I have 7 in hand at the beginning of the turn, I didn't enough fate to play many of them last turn. So I'm unlikely to have enough fate to play 5 more).

Finally, learning ALL the nasty cards is part of playing a CCG or LCG. If you don't want to do it, fine! But don't blame the game... Restoration of balance is a 0 card discard often enough, a 1 or 2 card discard sometimes and once in a blue moon a 3+ card discard. My first turn against Dragon often involves betting low, buying a 3 coster with 2 fate, a 1 coster, attaching a 0 or 1 cost attachement before attacking. Bingo, I'll lose 0 cards from your restoration of balance! Such an amazing card! On top of it, from now on I can farm it all I want.

 

This actually happens quite often. I currently play Dragon and Scorpion and both like to bid 5 as long as they can, so having games where both players simply bid high for the whole game are not that uncommon. The problem with bidding low against Dragon T1 is that you are often lacking the answers or don't have the tempo to deal with Dragon the first two turns. If you use your mentioned strategy, Restoration of Balance has basically made its Job.

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This is a common experience in L5R. There are many terrible things that can happen to you if you are unprepared for it, and there are many things out there for players to foresee. Generally speaking you should get ruined by things like this exactly once, like losing a first turn clan champion to Way of the Crab. You know it's out there now, so you can play around it. Until you see it: don't bid high, play attachments/characters before the conflict to lower your hand size, send a character every attack opportunity to reveal those provinces (also reduces Mirumoto's Fury).

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6 hours ago, Isawa Tsuke said:

It was because of this one stinkin' card that I lost a game in a recent L5R tournament.

I'm a Phoenix clan player, so winning games is hard enough. I was playing against a Dragon player, and I was doing pretty well. I had broken two of his provinces, and he hadn't broken any of mine.  I had attacked a third province and was held off, but it was Public Forum, so I was going to have to break it twice. I decided to go for his fourth province, which happened to be Restoration of Balance.

So your telling me that instead going for the easy break on public forum you swung at a new province when you had 12 cards? You deserve exactly what you got. You made a big play mistake and got punished.

>Phoenix

>Hard to win with

I have not laughed so hard in days.

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This is what's supposed to happen every time you play the game...learn, improve, move on. LCGs have a small enough card pool that most people can be aware of just about all of it, but if you're not, things like this will occasionally happen.

Learn, improve, move on. 

Let your experiences make you better, not bitter.

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7 hours ago, Abyss said:

'A card beat me! It's broken! But everything I do is fine.'

Restoration is powerful, but it's far from broken. You just need to be aware of it and play around it. If you got blown up by it in one game, don't do it next time.

As to 'what were they thinking'....Probably 'we should have some kind of counter to people drawing five cards a turn'.

Ignorance isn't a good look on anyone. Perhaps you should stay out of the conversation if you're not willing to understand where a person is coming from.

This Dragon player was also drawing five cards a turn. And he had a board state that I couldn't even come close to replicating. It's not a "counter to people drawing five cards a turn," it's a card that gave him an unfair advantage and won him the game.

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Restoration of Balance is well balanced by being one of the only clan provinces that can be essentially blank. If my opponent hits it with 4 or less cards in hand then it’s a blank 3 strength Province. While it can be very powerful, it can also be completely negated unlike other Clan provinces. 

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6 hours ago, shosuko said:

I do think restoration of power is broken.  It is too powerful of an ability for such a simple thing "when this province is revealed."  I don't like it at all.

That said - its there, and that won't change.  You must play around it or through it.  If you are at all flexible in your ally try Crab for Skirmisher's Blade.  Going blind into a province is risky no matter who you're against (although restoration is probably the worst) so being prepared with this handy card is great.  If you aren't flexible with your ally choice then I recommend attacking every province you can quickly against dragon.  Even if they flip Restoration back down knowing where it is means you can play around it.  This also helps disarm Mirumoto's Fury.  It might change your tactics, but it can't be helped.  Just hope they don't tuck it under the SH.  Discarding down to 4 is almost an assured loss for the attacker.

Those are some good suggestions, thanks. I'll keep them in mind.

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6 hours ago, Seawhale said:

I don't know what kind of players you guys are that you consistently have 12 cards in hands (or let me rephrase that: 33% of your conflict deck in hand)...


Your conflict deck is probably way too expensive if that is the case. If I already have 7 cards in hand, I'm probably betting 1! (If I have 7 in hand at the beginning of the turn, I didn't enough fate to play many of them last turn. So I'm unlikely to have enough fate to play 5 more).

Finally, learning ALL the nasty cards is part of playing a CCG or LCG. If you don't want to do it, fine! But don't blame the game... Restoration of balance is a 0 card discard often enough, a 1 or 2 card discard sometimes and once in a blue moon a 3+ card discard. My first turn against Dragon often involves betting low, buying a 3 coster with 2 fate, a 1 coster, attaching a 0 or 1 cost attachement before attacking. Bingo, I'll lose 0 cards from your restoration of balance! Such an amazing card! On top of it, from now on I can farm it all I want.

 

My conflict deck isn't very expensive at all, and like I said, I was on track to possibly win the game. He was getting five cards a turn, too. I needed to have that many cards in my hand to try and keep up with him, and I was using cards like Mirumoto's Fury (I splash Dragon) to help win battles, so there were times when I was only getting one card out of my hand.

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If your opponent was consistently drawing five cards a turn, you should probably adapt and start bidding one, relying on things like Forgotten Library, the Lighthouse, and Imperial Storehouse to pseudo-draw. You'll quickly put him under dishonour pressure, and a timely Display of Power when he's forced into going for Air to stem the bleeding can seal things for you.

The good news is this was a (I'm assuming) small local tournament, and while it's frustrating to walk into Restoration, you're extremely unlikely to do it again in future games. I chalk that one up to valuable knowledge!

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So you flipped his other 3 provinces and saw that they were all not Restoration of Balance and then attacked the one that you knew MUST have been Restoration of Balance? Sounds a bit like user error. Or, if you didn't know for a fact that was Restoration, then it is still user error due to lack of knowledge of Dragon's card pool.

 

It's a strong card, but it only actually matters if you don't expect it. I often bid 2 to 3 on round 1 against Dragon and then start hunting for Restoration, usually after playing a card or two like attachments or characters. Then, if I hit it, worst case scenario, I lose 1 or 2 cards. Then, you can bid 5 from then on if you really want to.

 

It punishes people who thoughtlessly bid high all game and don't play with it in mind. For that reason, it is definitely a pub stomping card. Which are not great in a game that supposedly wants to promote casual play.

 

In that way, I agree that it's not a well designed card because it is very unforgiving to new players and may lead to people rage quitting the entire game. I feel the same way about Feast or Famine.

 

If you're a casual player, then I understand your complaints and agree with them. If you're trying to be a competitive player, then it really isn't that bad.

Edited by Joe From Cincinnati

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1 hour ago, Hinomura said:

This is what's supposed to happen every time you play the game...learn, improve, move on. LCGs have a small enough card pool that most people can be aware of just about all of it, but if you're not, things like this will occasionally happen.

Learn, improve, move on. 

Let your experiences make you better, not bitter.

This right here. The first Nu5R event I went to (the single core casual one) I flailed around, going 1-3 and not having any clue what was going on. Next two tournaments I went 2-2 slowly learning my way. I'm starting to feel like I'm grasping the card pool now and managed a nice 3-1 record this Saturday, including the mirror match and managing to deal with Restoration Of Balance and Feast Or Famine along the way.

There are tactical and strategic answers to almost everything in this game. Sometimes you just have to bang your head against he wall a few times to find them.

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Pardon me while I sit here wishing I had "broken" cards.

Restoration of Balance is a thing that has a good chance of happening ONCE in a game, against one clan. You made the choice to hit an unknown province instead of taking the time to hit Public Forum twice. Had in been in your position, being up two provinces, I'd've gladly slammed the Forum twice. 

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12 minutes ago, twinstarbmc said:

Pardon me while I sit here wishing I had "broken" cards.

Restoration of Balance is a thing that has a good chance of happening ONCE in a game, against one clan. You made the choice to hit an unknown province instead of taking the time to hit Public Forum twice. Had in been in your position, being up two provinces, I'd've gladly slammed the Forum twice. 

Endless Plains can have the exact same rage-inducing effect as Restoration of Balance.

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12 minutes ago, Yogo Gohei said:

Endless Plains can have the exact same rage-inducing effect as Restoration of Balance.

It can, sure. But, as others have said numerous times, not if you play around it. Just like Way of the Crab, and other supposedly "broken" cards. Noone who's ever played against a Unicorn would send one big important character against a Unicorn province, in effect nullifying our clan province. Heck, more often recently I've not broken it and defended instead, in hopes to keep it a threat on the board.

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