Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Nellac

Balancing Shadows in AoA

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

As most people have figured out at this point Shadows has a very distinct advantage over all of the other houses. Does this bug anyone else? Personally it kinda frustrates me. I enjoy playing Untamed, Dis, Logos, or Sanctum far more than Shadows, but to be competitive I have to. I've been wondering, and hoping for, a balancing of shadows in Age of Ascension. Does anyone else want to see this? Also how likely is it for this to happen? Are there any other houses that you think should be balanced?

Edited by Nellac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

IMO, one of the problems is that it's too easy to do direct steal. Not enough of the steal ahve conditions.

B&S in itself is OK most of the time, because it can make meagre gains. However its power is just mad when combined with miasma, or when you just forged before, or archived it/masterplan'd it. Basically, it's a bit too easy to use. If it was an "omega" card for example it would be fine.

The problem really comes with how many of the steal cards are just immediate and don't require any setup:
Nerve blast
Routine job (sort of)
Urchin
Bait and switch

The "good" steal cards for me are the ones with previous conditions:
Ghostly hands (requires a specific number of aember on the opponent. Once again, because of immediate steal with no conditions, it may be too easy to do that)
Finishing blow (requires a wounded card)
One last job (requires a sacrifice of sorts)
Relentless whispers (requires a low HP target from previous damage or by nature)
Customs office (sort of. Not really a steal, but still eneds some setup and conditions)
Carlo Phantom (requires artefacts to play)
Faygin (requires cards in play or in discard)
Magda (has a risk associated with her)
Mooncurser (fight)
Noddy (Not on the turn he arrives)
Dodger (fight)
Umbra (fight)
Dusk runner (upgrade)
Too much to protect (Requires set amount of aember from the opponent, and is a good card for the game balance)

These are OK because they either require you to plan to use them, or don't have a too immediate effect. Routine job is special in that you can plan around to make it even better. But all in all, these are rather conditional and may not always work, which is why I'm ok with them.

The ones that just say "OK, I'll steal from you now" are just bad gameplay wise.

And that's not counting broken cards like sneklifter, subtle maul, treasure map...

 

Edited by Deuzerre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/14/2019 at 4:57 PM, Nellac said:

As most people have figured out at this point Shadows has a very distinct advantage over all of the other houses. Does this bug anyone else? Personally it kinda frustrates me. I enjoy playing Untamed, Dis, Logos, or Sanctum far more than Shadows, but to be competitive I have to. I've been wondering, and hoping for, a balancing of shadows in Age of Ascension. Does anyone else want to see this? Also how likely is it for this to happen? Are there any other houses that you think should be balanced?

I believe the Vault Tour tournament at Adepticon was won by a Dis/Logos/untamed deck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

True, but that is the exception more so than the norm. I did an analysis for my statistics class and found that the chance of having as many shadows decks in decks with more than 6 chains, if the houses were all equally powerful is .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000642% chance.

This shows that, for the most part, a deck that has shadows is much more likely to be powerful and do well in tournaments than one without

 

Here is the full analysis

Keyforge Stats.docx

Edited by Nellac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Nellac said:

True, but that is the exception more so than the norm. I did an analysis for my statistics class and found that the chance of having as many shadows decks in decks with more than 6 chains, if the houses were all equally powerful is .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000642% chance.

This shows that, for the most part, a deck that has shadows is much more likely to be powerful and do well in tournaments than one without

 

Here is the full analysis

Keyforge Stats.docx 7.65 kB · 0 downloads

Get a career in politics , that is an amazing display of absolutely nothing substantial (that is a compliment even though it doesn't look like it). Seriously, fun project.

Everyone brings a deck with Shadows to a tournament because it is an easy straightforward house to use. It does what it does (stealing) well and runs quickly and efficiently. Because everyone is bringing it, player skill (who plays their shadows better) is the deciding factor. 

The hard counter to shadows is (hear me out this will sound crazy) is over-generating aember. Essentially generating so much that they can't steal enough to stop you from forging. Get ahead, keep their board presence non-existent and deny them their "shadows engine." They want to steal with shadows? Capture with Sanctum, frenzy generate/kill with Brobnar, Establish a Mars engine (Shadows too weak to kill it), purge and hinder with Dis, flat-out out generate them with Logos/Untamed. Forge keys out of process with Sanctum/Mars/Untamed. 

Shadows can be beat but everyone is so heavily focused on Shadows being the house to play that most are too afraid to play counter-meta. Playing counter to it heavily depends on playing at a higher level of awareness to what's going on in the game, and it is exhausting. So why do all that when you can just play what everyone else is playing and hope to win with good match-ups. If these decks are all so good then eventually they will be retired and then what? Something else is going to become the new flavor.

 

AoA can't change that. AoA won't change that. All the decks that are doing well now will keep doing well, AoA isn't going to have some magical power creep formula that stops current decks. If you can't beat quick steal decks now you won't be able to beat them in AoA.

tl;dr - It all comes down to player-skill and a willingness to not follow the perceived meta.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to start a career in politics. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem with politics is that it would take too much time. I'd have to actually pretend to be responsible and productive instead of wasting all my time analyzing things like keyforge ;)

Do you really think there is really no advantage shadows has over the others? Stealing seems a really overpowered mechanic in Keyforge. It not only takes Amber from your opponent, but gives it to you. This makes it worth double either gaining amber or making your opponent lose amber. Capturing only works for one turn so I'd say stealing is like four times more powerful than capturing. There are definitely decks without shadows that work great, but I'm just thinking on average. Having such a high steal count seems to put it way above the other houses. To have a competitive deck without it you need a lot of really good cards in the other houses. Granted, just because something has shadows doesn't make it great, but it gives it a much better chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the mix of cards, and it also depends on the other houses in the deck and synergy between it all. I would also cop-out and say you can say that about all the houses. If you get a Logos mix with a double Time-Traveller and Library Access, or an Untamed with Nepenthe Seed/Key Charge, or Sanctum Horsemen, or Brobnar with the Warsong/Iron Obelisk/War Chest shenanigans, I mean each Faction can put together some amazing combos that swing the game very quickly. I think Shadow Stealing just seems to be the most prevalent at this time.

Shadows is really strong, but so is Logos. So is Untamed. So is Sanctum. So is Mars. So is Dis. NOT BROBNAR. Just kidding, so is Brobnar.

I'm at work and I can't link the decks directly, but if you want to have some fun look up these decks of mine:

The Ogre that Sets upon Music

S. Falconsen, the Temple Sentinel

Tuya, Den Guardian

They are probably my best decks with Shadows in them (Ogre or Falconsen probably have the best spread).

I guess I just look at House Shadows the way I've looked at everything else that everyone initially said was overpowered and too strong (double horsemen, Library Access/Nepenthe Seed, etc). There's ways to beat them and while they are really good they aren't infallible. Eventually people will start getting creative and look for ways to beat Shadows and when the best ways to win without them start to emerge I think we will be having the same discussion about that house. I just don't see AoA mixing that up too much (and I'll be quite happy to be wrong on that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

The hard counter to shadows is (hear me out this will sound crazy) is over-generating aember. Essentially generating so much that they can't steal enough to stop you from forging. Get ahead, keep their board presence non-existent and deny them their "shadows engine." They want to steal with shadows? Capture with Sanctum, frenzy generate/kill with Brobnar, Establish a Mars engine (Shadows too weak to kill it), purge and hinder with Dis, flat-out out generate them with Logos/Untamed. Forge keys out of process with Sanctum/Mars/Untamed. 

Yep. This past weekend I brought a counter-shadows deck just for the lulz.

https://www.keyforgegame.com/deck-details/e10dd48f-106b-404d-83a3-affd13004f9f

I like to nickname it, "aember? we don't need no stickin' aember!"

9 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

I mean each Faction can put together some amazing combos that swing the game very quickly. I think Shadow Stealing just seems to be the most prevalent at this time.

I think one key issue that is at the heart of most people's complaints is that each faction's "power combos" are at higher rarities, while shadow has amazing stuff at the common level. So if you buy a large number of decks, the chances you'll get a solid shadow selection are far higher than you will any other house (except Logos).

Though I swear I saw a shadow deck once with no stealing. (i have one that's very nearly like that)

9 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

So is Mars. So is Dis. NOT BROBNAR. Just kidding, so is Brobnar.

Disagree about Mars.

I mean I like Mars, but it has about a 50/50 chance of either being amazing - or awful.

Edited by Simplegarak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you still enjoy Shadows after the Bait and Switch errata? 

Bait and Switch (COTA 267) Should read: “Play: If your opponent has more A than you, steal 1A. Repeat the preceding effect if your opponent still has more A than you.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rabbitball said:

Will you still enjoy Shadows after the Bait and Switch errata? 

Bait and Switch (COTA 267) Should read: “Play: If your opponent has more A than you, steal 1A. Repeat the preceding effect if your opponent still has more A than you.”

I will enjoy Shadows a lot more after errata. Can finally play it for the house it is instead of “the cards that came with Bait and Switch”. More fun to play against as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, now that age of ascension has been out for a little while now, I wanted to take a look at this again. I think that shadows actually was balanced out in Age of Ascension. I haven't had time to do a full analysis like I did before, but taking a quick look at the number of decks that have 3+ chains they look a lot more equal then last time. Yes, as of the time I'm posting this, shadows is around 200 decks more than the average but that is a much smaller margin, even considering there are less decks in general, then it was before. This could also be, and this is just a hypothesis, because people got used to shadows playstyle or still think it is much more dominant. We'll definitely need more time to see but at this point it looks like it might have gotten more balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...