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PickleTheHutt

Possible errata/changes for a better tournament game

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There have recently been many discussions regarding broken combos. The most troubling, in my opinion obviously, is the infinite card draw combo and 1 round win (with Library Access and certain other cards once they're in your hand).

While I only play casually, so none of this really affects me, I envision the high level tournament scene being nothing but this combo at the top. There are already several such decks registered with obviously more in existence.

In general, I'm of the belief (and I stress that this is my opinion only again) that any sort of infinite possibility should see errata (it seems they wanted this with the rule of 6 but didn't go far enough to cover all cases).

There are 2 changes to the rules (not card changes) that I think would solve this problem and would not affect 99+%  of the player base.

1.) Expand the "Rule of 6" to include ALL effects and cards. For example, Library Access' draw a card could only draw 6 cards regardless of how many times Library Access itself or other cards are played. This very slightly nerfs a few cards but in a vast majority of cases it only affects game breaking infinite combos. In all the games I've played or watched, I don't think we've had an effect go for more than 6 anyway although I do know it can happen with other cards sometimes that aren't as problematic overall.

2.) Add a rule that allows a player to call "no house" (or when forced to call no house) to entirely skip their turn (no forging, no using omni, etc.) in order to discard their entire hand and redraw. While this is less of a tournament winning issue than 1.), it is still an infinite loop stopper (player infinitely forced to do nothing until opponent wins).

I think the above two rules takes care of virtually every major issue brought up since the game's release and requires no card errata, just an update to the online rules.

There is a third errata that I would like to see, but it is a card errata and much less important than the above.

3.) Change: The Horseman of Death when played returns all Horsemen, except for Death, from discard to hand instead of all Horsemen. This ONLY affects double Horsemen decks and is also an infinite loop stopper. Currently, unless you can purge or get a lucky forced discard of Death (this is why it's not as important as it is possible to stop for some decks, but not all), it's possible to have a battle line of 7 Horsemen every turn. If the above infinite card draw engine is stopped, I see every tournament winner being double Horsemen with other houses that have good control and stealing to bide time until the Horsemen are brought online.

Before anyone mentions it, I know double Horsemen aren't unbeatable, but when played well it requires such a specific deck AND luck to even have a chance that I think it breaks the game. Single Horsemen decks are totally fine. I did watch the Team Covenant match where Stephen beat Zack's double Horsemen, but Zach massively misplayed it (not calling Sanctum for multiple turns to avoid "wasting" a turn unstunning) when he could have turned on the reaping machine much earlier before Stephen could have gotten his own stuff rolling. Even then, with Stephen using a deck almost tailor-made to stop/slow down Horsemen decks, the game went down to the very end.

I'm not here to argue with anyone as I've stressed this is all in my opinion and since I only play casually the tournament scene doesn't directly affect me, but I thought I'd proffer some suggestions that I see as beneficial to the game as a whole.

Peace to all the other Archons out there.

Edited by PickleTheHutt

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Agree for the most part.

My issue with the no house rule is it opens the possibility to metagame. Discarding everything is really strong. If I'm on a 1 ae move for each house, a full card refresh might be the best move.

It also doesn't solve all locks. If the opponent can consistently force you into a no house situation, what does discarding get you? Hooray, you have 6 new cards you still can't use.

I wouldn't mind being able to discard if you are unable to play or use your cards. It does nerf those cool plays where you guess the right thing for a turn - that I like about those lock cards - but limits some of the abuse on multiple turns. Reveal hand to prove you can't play, and recycle.

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I would disagree, but I don't have any desire to argue about it either.

There's always going to be worst cards or combos to face in a game like this. For me, learning how to play against them is most of the fun of the game.

I love the lock down win con. I'm looking for a really strong purge/lock combo to play, and right after I learn how to play it, I want to find out how to beat it. 

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I agree on both points. I have a logos deck with infinite draw and its not really a game when that happens - I won't ever stack library access effects as I play to have fun, even in tournaments.

The fact the rules account for house lock by missing a turn is the one bad design feature of this game - missing a turn in modern game standards is just very bad design because its simply not fun. I also have a deck that can do this but never will - if I play combos that are not fun to play against, I'll soon have no-one who will want to play me!

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Disagree on most points. LA can be fixed in a much less clunky way by having continuous effect cards not discard until their effect ends (introducing a new play area for active effects), double horsemen are such a super edge-case and still just a bunch of creatures. A way to break lockouts I could get down with, though I also like how pit lord punishes players who play it carelessly.

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I’m in favor of FFG making updates when there are combos that are dominant, meta-warping (for top tournaments at least), and unfun to play against.  Even if I never play against an infinite-draw deck, knowing there’s a specific combo that every top-tier deck is based on diminishes the game for me and makes me less interested in tournaments and even in opening new decks.

i agree on expanding the rule of six as a good fix for Library Access and other potential issues.

I’m not sure on a rule to address lockouts.  Lockouts are bad (NPE), but explicit rules to deal with them are clunky.  Do you think that if other issues were fixed that decks trying to lock their opponents out would be strong/dominant?

For 8-Horseman decks, I think the cleaner errata for Horseman of Death would be to add “Destroyed: Purge this creature.”  However, I think FFG is unlikely to issue actual card errata and for good reason.  If 8-Horsemen decks end up being dominant, I can live with that.  They win the game by doing “normal” things and just being really good at it, which doesn’t bother me in the same way.  I can have some other type of deck that’s generally very strong (not chosen specifically to deal with 8 Horsemen) and still feel like I have a chance.

So I’m currently bothered by Library Access infinite combos and they make me a bit less interested in the game, but I’d be pretty happy with the state of things I think if they just fix that by expanding the Rule of Six.

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It’s way too early for knee jerk reactions to decks that are doing well in the first 3 weeks after release. Having said that, I still like some of what you wrote.

Your first point is a great idea if it becomes necessary. We don’t have near enough data 3 weeks in to pull the trigger on this though.

I don’t agree with your 2nd idea. The ability to lock someone out should exist in the game. The lock should be difficult enough to achieve that playing a deck dedicated to achieving it is a high risk/high reward choice. If a deck like that ever becomes too efficient we will have a problem depending on how frequently the combination of cards that make it efficient show up. If they show up in 1 out of every 10,000 decks I don’t see a problem, chain or ban the decks.

I’m definitely not sure 8 Horsemen decks are a problem. I watched the Team Covenant video too and I’m not sure why you think the deck that Stephen beat Zach with was custom made to beat double Horsemen decks. Decks that have multiple ways to purge creatures (to increase the likelihood of getting it) can easily put an end to repeatedly cycling the Horseman of Death. 

In summary, it’s way to early to pull the trigger on major changes in KeyForge. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of possible decks. The decks that seem strong now may have more ways to counter them than we realize or show up so infrequently as to not be a problem. If in time, the combos you bring up prove to be real issues I’ll be all for implementing changes.

Edited by Starbane

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I disagree with this HUGELY, because there is a big difference between effects and cards that each go 6 times.  If you remove this balance, then creature decks will have more of an advantage.  I enjoy the game where it is now.  Just because you have a cycle or "rule of 6" deck does not mean that you win.  It's very difficult to get these combinations off.  Perhaps you just feel that it's too powerful, because you've lost to it.  Playing the deck, I can tell you that it's not as uber as you think.

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Basically, without contradicting previously written rules, the devs could add rules that either an action card remains in play until any lingering effect has been resolved (could be temporary placed besides the artefacts in the play area), or that certain card effects do or do not stack. 

The written rules deliberately exclude the rule of six from repeat effects, so this is unlikely to change.  To resolve lock-down constellations would also require modifying rules, so this is also unlikely to change.

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Last week, I pulled off an impressive Library Access combo where my 5 minute turn got me enough AEmber to forge 3 Keys... but my opponent won before I could, because he was ahead on Keys, and just reaped his way to his second and third Key before I could.

Personally, I'd like to apply the tools that already exist in the game to clamp down on abusive combos. Chains on particular cards or decks. Players using metagame knowledge to use decks that prey upon dominant decks. I'm not opposed to using power-level errata to solve a particularly problematic card, but the spirit of Keyforge (take what you got, learn your deck, outplay your opponent) would be hurt if the game had to rely on that.

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I don't think everyone understands the Library Access combo that is the major problem. The specific combo WILL win in ONE turn if it has the 3-4 cards needed in hand. Make sure you understand that does not mean that it earns 18 aember in one turn (lots of decks can do that). The specific combo lets you draw your entire hand and by using Phase Shift (which will be immediately redrawn due to Library Access) can play Key Charge (or some other instant forging card) and then redraw that card back to your hand (by playing any Logos card) then using Phase Shift again to Key Charge another key and repeat a third time.

Since there are no interupts, there is no way to respond as the game is OVER once they have Library Access, Phase Shift, and a retrieve from discard card (there are several) to play Library Access a second time.

While getting one of these decks from a random pack is extremely unlikely, once you have one (they will be thousands or eBay) you will win immediately once those cards are in your hand. There are already enough such decks registered that unless you have one, you may as well skip national level events until things are changed.

Make sure you understand the problem before dismissing it.

Edited by PickleTheHutt

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This guy is way too worried about a 3 or 4 card combo ...... Again, suggesting to change the mechanics of the game, before handicapping is ridiculous.  Even your explanation of the 3 card single turn win is ridiculous.  Do you know how many combos there are in this game?  Are you looking to kneecap each one of them?  

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1 hour ago, PickleTheHutt said:

I don't think everyone understands the Library Access combo that is the major problem. The specific combo WILL win in ONE turn if it has the 3-4 cards needed in hand. Make sure you understand that does not mean that it earns 18 aember in one turn (lots of decks can do that). The specific combo lets you draw your entire hand and by using Phase Shift (which will be immediately redrawn due to Library Access) can play Key Charge (or some other instant forging card) and then redraw that card back to your hand (by playing any Logos card) then using Phase Shift again to Key Charge another key and repeat a third time.

Since there are no interupts, there is no way to respond as the game is OVER once they have Library Access, Phase Shift, and a retrieve from discard card (there are several) to play Library Access a second time.

While getting one of these decks from a random pack is extremely unlikely, once you have one (they will be thousands or eBay) you will win immediately once those cards are in your hand. There are already enough such decks registered that unless you have one, you may as well skip national level events until things are changed.

Make sure you understand the problem before dismissing it.

There are currently 1,811 decks out of 272,450 decks in KeyForge Compendium that contain those 3 cards. That is .00664709 percent of the decks. Even if you toss in the 470 that includes Chota it is only .00837218 percent, less than 1 percent.

I just don’t see this as a problem. Not only do you have to get one of these decks, you also have to pilot it through to victory. In a major tournament it’s unlikely you will hit that combo every game so the rest of your deck better be good. If you have a deck that good you deserve to win a national or world title before FFG chains it or bans it.

Edit: Don’t you need a Nepenthe Seed or Reverse Time to make sure you draw the cards you need a second time? If so, that would lower the number of decks capable of pulling off the combo.

Edited by Starbane

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Library access + Nepenthe Seed is a problem because its very easy.  Other way to draw your entire deck are much harder.  I did once using only library access by performing it will only one card in the left in the deck but that was a rare occasion (I just happened to redraw it).

People get distracted on this forge 3 keys in one turn thing.  If you draw your entire deck into your hand the game is over.  You have a ton of amber for cycling six times and all the cards to respond to anything your opponent can do.  If they forged 3 keys as part of the combo it was a mercy.

Odds are that they will leave it as is, just like they did with Biomatrix Back.  After that I have little confidence in them fixing anything.

Perhaps whenever they get their chain system running, that these decks will receive enough chains to slow the combo to a point when it becomes a fun race against time kind of game.

Edited by Dalek5

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1 hour ago, PickleTheHutt said:

I don't think everyone understands the Library Access combo that is the major problem. The specific combo WILL win in ONE turn if it has the 3-4 cards needed in hand. Make sure you understand that does not mean that it earns 18 aember in one turn (lots of decks can do that). The specific combo lets you draw your entire hand and by using Phase Shift (which will be immediately redrawn due to Library Access) can play Key Charge (or some other instant forging card) and then redraw that card back to your hand (by playing any Logos card) then using Phase Shift again to Key Charge another key and repeat a third time.

Since there are no interupts, there is no way to respond as the game is OVER once they have Library Access, Phase Shift, and a retrieve from discard card (there are several) to play Library Access a second time.

While getting one of these decks from a random pack is extremely unlikely, once you have one (they will be thousands or eBay) you will win immediately once those cards are in your hand. There are already enough such decks registered that unless you have one, you may as well skip national level events until things are changed.

Make sure you understand the problem before dismissing it.

Just nitpicking here, if you are looking to win in one turn by somehow playing Keycharge 3 times you need 21 aember, not 18. :P 

Back to actual discourse, despite the discussion going on in (many) other threads, I honestly still doubt any deck's ability to legitimately generate 21 aember and win in one turn. I'll even go as far as to say I don't think the algorithm allows for it. This is all irrational and hypothetical fear about an extremely rare combo that people think can break the game. It sounds a lot like the over-hype and concern for Horsemen decks that was around before the game came out. I'd love to be proven wrong and see this in action, feel free to stream some matches on Twitch to prove me wrong, and you had better let me see all the shuffling and everything!

I've seen what I am calling the "mob mentality" before in other FFG games and even though no one will want to listen I'll say it right now. Nothing needs to be changed. If FFG gives in to the mob and changes these Library Access combos (either through errata or how cards are played or whatever) you will just go find another combo you don't like and do the same thing until it is "fixed."

How do you judge this? How do you determine which combo you will go after next? It comes from either hypothetical fear of a perceived broken combo or someone getting beat bad by something and deciding they don't like it.

The game is fine, we should wait and see how the chain tournament system works before we suggest major changes. In fact the only change I'm in favor of right now is errata to Biomatrix Backup to remove the word may so that the card works as originally intended.

Play the game, have fun. If you aren't planning on going to high level competitive events don't worry about it. I plan on playing at Gencon this next year and I'll let you know how founded or unfounded your fears are after I do so. Either way I'll be winning and losing with my blood money punching deck, enjoying the game just as I am now. Cheers.

Edited by TheSpitfired
"may" not "way"

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31 minutes ago, Dalek5 said:

Library access + Nepenthe Seed is a problem because its very easy.  Other way to draw your entire deck are much harder.  I did once using only library access by performing it will only one card in the left in the deck but that was a rare occasion (I just happened to redraw it).

People get distracted on this forge 3 keys in one turn thing.  If you draw your entire deck into your hand the game is over.  You have a ton of amber for cycling six times and all the cards to respond to anything your opponent can do.  If they forged 3 keys as part of the combo it was a mercy.

Odds are that they will leave it as is, just like they did with Biomatrix Back.  After that I have little confidence in them fixing anything.

Perhaps whenever they get their chain system running, that these decks will receive enough chains to slow the combo to a point when it becomes a fun race against time kind of game.

Ok, if we make the combo LA, PS, and NS there are 698 decks or .00256194 percent of the 272,450 decks currently in the data base. I still don’t see this as happening frequently enough to be a problem for OP.

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53 minutes ago, Starbane said:

Ok, if we make the combo LA, PS, and NS there are 698 decks or .00256194 percent of the 272,450 decks currently in the data base. I still don’t see this as happening frequently enough to be a problem for OP.

While I don't think we need the rules changed, if there is a problem and it costs the game players then then sooner FFG fix the issue the better. Those 700 decks could be in 700 play groups and by just causing 2 players per group to up and quit that is 1400 players we don't have any more.

I think the app is the first step, lets hope they have it ready for Christmas.

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Honestly the Rule of 6 thing isn't just about this ONE infinite combo. The Rule of 6 I always saw as a means to prevent all potentially broken infinite combos. If they made the rule of 6 happen on all effects (library access, Bait and Switch, and Numquid the fair to name a few) they could prevent any kind of potential FUTURE broken combo in addition to solving this one. You should only be able to draw 6 cards per library access played, steal 6 aember per bait and switch or kill 6 creatures per numquid. It just solves a lot of future problems and makes the game more fun to just sit down and play with a deck without having to worry about your opponent having something that completely breaks and makes the game unfun.

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20 minutes ago, Amanal said:

While I don't think we need the rules changed, if there is a problem and it costs the game players then then sooner FFG fix the issue the better. Those 700 decks could be in 700 play groups and by just causing 2 players per group to up and quit that is 1400 players we don't have any more.

I think the app is the first step, lets hope they have it ready for Christmas.

I don’t want to see the player base reduced, but this really shouldn’t cost the game players. The groups should take FFG’s advice and chain the decks appropriately.

I played in a local tournament Saturday. I didn’t bring my best deck and neither did a couple of other players. I brought a fairly average deck that I wanted to play some games with. I’m not saying my fellow players would have had a problem with me bringing my best deck. I just thought it would be better to bring something lighter for our second tournament. We are not even a month in yet. Groups should be able to police themselves for a brief time while we are waiting for FFG to get serious about OP.

We don’t have a problem yet. When or if the deck becomes a problem that can’t be fixed with chains ( in casual now, in OP when the app is ready) FFG should deal with it in an expedient manner. I would prefer we actually have a problem before we start fixing it.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not too early to discuss a potential problem. It is too early to try to fix a problem that might not even exist, at least in my opinion.

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My problem with library is less about one turn win, and more about entire deck in hand tends to be a subpar game experience for both players. Whether or not it actually breaks the game, it feels broken. The game is about making do with the cards in your deck, and then making the right house choice with the cards in your hand.

Having all the cards feels against this spirit. Whatever house you call, having no resources means you are going to barf out a grotesque amount of cards, and every combo available in the deck is now open to you. And then you can pull off the draw all cards combo again.

I agree with those who say its too early to implement without seeing what answers show up or how chains can help. Its probably good to have something like this in the game to see what the balancing mechanisms can do.

But god it is terrible and boring to sit there watching your opponent draw and play 1000s of cards with no agency to stop it. Maybe you could have prevented it before hand, but they can still luck into it. This, and being completely locked out are the most feel bad parts of keyforge to me.

And at least the first part with library access activating twice feels more like a bug than an intentional design.

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Still haven't seen a good argument for why you have to lame up the card with the clunky rule of 6, changing how lingering effects cards are discarded (once their effect runs out, create a new 'ongoing effects' play area for this) is much better and improves the use of other cards as well, since now they can still be referenced while active. It makes the game easier and faster rather than clunky and obtrusive. Making the rule of six apply to everything just kills a bunch of unrelated cards for no good reason in a way that is obnoxious to track and error-prone.

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