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COCLCG

THE DARK BYAKHEE

32 posts in this topic

NOTE: skip 11 responses or you'll end up reading the same thing twice.

 

I’m presuming we’ve all made a dreamlands deck. It’s such a powerful combination that’s it’s a bit hard not to try one out. It’s rather difficult to be original with the idea, so when I decided to make mine a long time ago I thought I’d put my own spin on the ones I’ve seen and create a servitor themed deck around the dreamlands idea. I never playtested it though until recently and discovered that it does a **** fine job of doing what it does. I have developed a variant which I’ll post after this one which removes the dreamlands to make it an original servitor theme deck which I can call a lot more unique.

The temptation to go beyond the cards that it contains and get a bit fancy was strong, but I think it plays better just as it is, that being :

 

THE DARK BYAKHEE

Priestess of Bubastis x 3
Performance Artist x 3
Ward Phillips x 3
Stealthy Byakhee x 3
Ya-Te-Veo x 3
Hungry Dark Young x 3
The Mothers Hand x 3
Shrieking Byakhee x 3
Moonbound Byakhee x 3
Byakhee Servant x 2
Ancient Guardian x 3

Cavern of the Flame x 2
Vale of Pnath x 2
Guardian Pillar x 2
Stygian Eye x 2
Infernal Obsession x 2

Burrowing Beneath x 3
Power Drain x 3
Writhing Wall x 2

 

The synopsis is simple:

Performance Artist, Ward Phillips, Power Drain and Writhing Wall shut down any fancy pants decks with lots of character tricks and in story card effects, especially bouncing decks and when enters play characters, three bells and ice shaft etc, and can also protect the destruction of supports ( even disrupts in the case of Writhing Wall ). It evens the playing field down a bit more to characters versus characters in story, which is the way it’s meant to be.

The majority of the characters are servitors ( 23 of them ) and are designed to come out at a fair rate of speed. Hungry Dark Young drags a 2 cost character with it ( usually a sac’d artist or Ward ), Mothers hand combined with Priestess refreshes the domain for another 3 cost character. Shrieking Byakhee pulls another 3 cost Byakhee out of the deck for 2 cost ( usually Moonbound to give all the servitors an extra terror icon or Servant for some fast oomph ), and it all seems to happen lots quicker than it should. Shutting down any of the opponents attempts to remove characters with the aforementioned protection also lends to an ever expanding playing field.

Then of course there are the annoying dreamlands. I’ve purposely only put 2 copies of all of these and Infernal / Stygian to lessen the chances of clogging multiples in the hand, and they’re all great cards so it doesn’t really matter how they come out and in what order, but the nice spread seems to make them flow alright throughout the turns.

Ancient Guardian is my favourite card of the entire deck. At 3 cost ( with the Priestess ), I’ve used this guy multiple times to refresh the dreamlands locations and Ward Phillips ( even better when the opponent has forgotten that this deck can do that ). Invaluable and far better suited to this deck than Y’Golonac. I’m still testing Thunder vs Burrowing but along with all the ability control I’m liking the immediate removal of major supports that burrowing provides. The extra servitor terror icon i'm finding useful too to combat cards like rays of dawn and misk type characters trying to hide behind a terror faction shield.

So that’s it. Stop any tricks, pump out the characters and use the supports to do what they do best !! its pretty much becoming my benchmark test deck when making my trickier decks that rely on surprises and abilities. I’ve found that I’ve been getting a bit too fancy with my decks in an effort to build something I haven’t built before ( and believe me I reckon I’ve done them all ), so returning to and actually playing this deck has taught me that sometimes less is more : simple is sometimes more effective.

Finally, i also got to include my 2 favourite character illustrations in cthulhu, The Mothers Hand and Ancient Guardian ( now with a similar Ya-Te-Veo ). LOVE EM !!  

 

( And yes, yes, you could reconfigure with byakhee attack and some card discarding byakhees for a different approach, but this is where the ‘trying to be tricky’ sometimes gets in the way of a good solid game plan ).
 

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THE (VERY) DARK BYAKHEE

Priestess of Bubastis x 3
Performance Artist x 3
Ward Phillips x 3
Fledgling Byakhee x 3
Ya-Te-Veo x 3
Hungry Dark Young x 3
The Mothers Hand x 3
Shrieking Byakhee x 3
Moonbound Byakhee x 3
Byakhee Servant x 2
Messenger of Hali x 2

Stygian Eye x 2
Infernal Obsession x 2
Terrors in the Dark x 3

Nightmares x 2
Sweet Dreams x 2
Back From the Dead x 3
Burrowing Beneath x 3
Power Drain x 2

Same basic principle and only a very rough version to begin playtesting. without the dreamlands i've incorporated a night aspect to power up the Fledgling Byakhee, increase a couple of in story tricks of my own with Nightmares and Sweet Dreams, but most importantly ramp up the opponent character control with Back From the Dead. Terrors in the Dark helps to feed the opponents discard pile ( hopefully with some uniques before they're played ) to be pinched with BFTD. Also its playable anytime and not unique, so with Infernal and Stygian it is POSSIBLE to permanently control 5 characters while it is night. Thats about all to say about it until i start field testing and I'm sure it will undergo some changes, but you get the idea.
 

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If someone looking for the deck to use at Championship - DARK BYAKHEE is a very good choice. it will grants you place at top 3.

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haha. i think what keasanya is referring to is that we play nightly for 3-4 hrs with a day off here and there, and we've got a good build up of different deck styles and sneaky deck tricks which we are beginning a round robin tally rotation to uncover the best universal ones (he's a ridiculously good synergiser with tricks i aint even seen or heard of and im not about to give away here, and the best competition / deck tester i've ever faced on tables or lackey as he pulls some insane bull out of the card pool, along with being a marvelous tactician and 'mathematician' of whats on the board and whats possible with the spare domains / possible cards from the factions), and he's a bit miffed that his best decks haven't beaten this one yet (though i know they will with time). i put it down so far to luck of the draw in having what i need when i seem to need it.

apart from the almost nightly ritual, there's my weekly group meet of between 6-10 people, and the deck is proving to be just a reliable, no-frills, gets the job done deck, and seeing the amount of time dedicated to the game, its had a fair trial to say the least.

it's relatively fast with the characters, has a good deal of control, and a fair amount of disrupting of abilities and events.

i'm still playing around with the byakhee servant spot though, and wondering whether to go the extra 2 events to make a 30:20 mix, but maybe its the (unusual for me) 32:18 that's making it work. also im leaning back towards thunder in the east for the draw card, as along with writhing wall it's certainly helped on 1 or 2 occasions, getting the perfect card when i wouldn't have with burrowing beneath. further playtesting (to death) will tell.

but yeah, if anyone thinks it's worthy, and i can't raise the few 1000 dollars i'll need to make it to worlds, then feel free to take it along. it's quite easy to get used to and once played a few score times you should have it down pat. resourcing for ward phillips is the main thing you need to get your head around, but its quite simple once you've got the knack. its just a shame neither he or i can afford to be part of the 'world' competition.

the biggest boons so far revealed are the hungry dark young recurring performance artists / ward phillips (or bringing that loyal little bastard in with him), and the mothers hand refreshing its own domain for shrieking byakhee (along with moonbound / servant ) for 3 x 3 cost with a 3:2 domain, or mothers hand refreshing the domain for writhing wall / power drain during the 'tricks' phase.

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The combination of the Dreamlands locations with Ancient Guardian is very good - I just wish they'd hurry up and reprint the Dreamlands cycle :)

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haha. another reason there's only 2 of each. so i can play it on the table !! only missing 3 AP's of the original printing to complete the set, but yes, it's quite annoying.

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as a further response to this reprinting issue, i fail to see how any company worth its salt can promote a tournament, self proscribed as a world event, and yet not have the cards available to each and every competitor to make it an unbiased and evenly accessable field of play.

shame on you FFG. haha. reprint these cards so your tournament can actually be one.

 

as for the byakhee servant spot, im trialling a couple of Arthur Todd's in there, another servitor who can bring in ancient guardian if the dreamlands comes out early and can make use of the priestess, but as i said, im loathe to screw with something performing so well or trying to get too fancy with a deck that is fairly basic and working because of it ( because this also then invites shub-niggurath into the deck, and of course i'm going to have to test that one too. ho hum ). but, at the moment, im happy with it as it is.

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THE DARK BYAKHEE
( fancy pants edit – or something like it )

 

Priestess of Bubastis x 3
Performance Artist x 3
Ward Phillips x 3
Stealthy Byakhee x 3
Ya-Te-Veo x 3
Hungry Dark Young x 3
The Mothers Hand x 2 ( x 3 )
Shrieking Byakhee x 3
Moonbound Byakhee x 3 ( x 2 )
Arrthur Todd x 2
Ancient Guardian x 2 ( x 3 )
Shub-Niggurath x 2

Cavern of the Flame x 2
Vale of Pnath x 2
Guardian Pillar x 2
Stygian Eye x 2
Infernal Obsession x 2

Thunder in the East x 3
Power Drain x 3
Writhing Wall x 2

 

numbers may vary according to playtesting. im still not convinced it will play any better as hand clogging will be an issue, as instead of a nice simple flow of draw and play, the temptation to be holding out for the combo might be detrimental and you might lose the immediate oomph of the byakhee servant for a later but quite powerful character, but we will see.
 

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Yeah, Byakhee Servant has pretty good icons, you may end up putting him back in there - but the deck seems to be shifting a bit from the original concept and turning into more of a Shub/Dark Young theme.

I take it that's the Dark Mistress of the Woods version of Shub you've got?

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yeah, i'm really just fiddling and farting around. the original DARK BYAKHEE is the version i will probably end up keeping, but its always nice to have fun versions.

i was correct in assuming that in some games the shub change created a much more powerful deck, but then in others was definately effecting its performance, depending on the card draws. it definately led to a shift in the stability of the deck, which is what i liked about it in the first place. id much prefer a good solid performer than one that is sometimes fantastic, sometimes less so.

most decks i post arent polished subjects, just ones that have been playtesting well and i feel like sharing with the community to possibly generate some new ideas or show what is out there. they change in subtle ways over time as i playtest rigourously different versions and as new AP's come out. for example the original deck list was created in the ancient relics cycle, and only just got edited with ya-te-veo and playtested in any form for the first time a couple of weeks ago when it finally got its turn. there's a huge list of partially built and prototype decks sitting in my folio, and each one takes time to check / adjust / check again. if it seems to be going well, i'll throw it up on the boards, but the process of testing it over and over is never truly finished.

but, after saying all this, i'm fairly sure this one is almost completed and ready to ink in.

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getting there. i think i may have solved my byakhee servant spot, but as usual, only playtesting will tell !!

i did have a concern about a certain style of deck that would contain a couple of supports that would be an issue for this one, and was the main percieved weakness, as i wouldn't have the required amount of support control to defend against it. an agency day deck is one example which doesnt use a huge amount of character abilities and has some great support cards, so grasping chthonian SEEMS like a logical choice for this spot. it has the same icons as byakhee servant, but loses the fast, though gains the support destruction and the possibility of being played for 2 cost. shrieking byakhee to date has only ever brought in moonbound byakhee, so this is not a general concern i have, and the ratio would then be 22 : 25 : 3 which also suits me better for the further stabilising and predictability of faction drawing, as does the increased control aspect of the deck, now bringing support control up there with event, ability and character control. so i'll be field testing the following version for a while. at least until a situation occurs where i play a shrieking byakhee and could really do with a byakhee servant !! haha. i hate these final position on the list decisions………

 

THE DARK BYAKHEE


Priestess of Bubastis x 3
Performance Artist x 3
Ward Phillips x 3
Stealthy Byakhee x 3
Ya-Te-Veo x 3
Hungry Dark Young x 3
The Mothers Hand x 3
Shrieking Byakhee x 3
Moonbound Byakhee x 3
Grasping Chthonian x 2
Ancient Guardian x 3

Cavern of the Flame x 2
Vale of Pnath x 2
Guardian Pillar x 2
Stygian Eye x 2
Infernal Obsession x 2

Thunder in the East x 3
Power Drain x 3
Writhing Wall x 2
 

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imported from cardgameDB to save you the trip.

 

the DARK BYAKHEE

Total Cards (50)

 

Story (0)

Character (30)

Priestess of Bubastis Core x3
Performance Artist Core x3
Ward Phillips SotD x3
Stealthy Byakhee TTotT x3
Ya-te-veo TUP x3
Hungry Dark Young Core x3
The Mother's Hand SoA x3
Shrieking Byakhee CoC x3
Moonbound Byakhee TGS x3
Ancient Guardian Core x3

Support (10)

The Cavern of Flame ItDoN x2
The Vale of Pnath SftSK x2
Guardian Pillar SftSK x2
Stygian Eye IT x2
Infernal Obsession TAD x2

Event (10)

Thunder in the East KD x3
Burrowing Beneath Core x2
Power Drain Core x3
Writhing Wall SoA x2

Conspiracy (0)

well. i think this is the best you're gonna get out of me for a while ( whatever that may be ), cause i'm spent for a bit and need a break from building and playtesting decks !! 3 hours a day building and 4 hrs a night online refining them for a month solid. its too much !! haha.

im going to try to slip in demon lover and make a couple of x 2 like stealthy byakhee for example, to combo with ya-te-veo for those pesky 4 skill + toughness characters that you see everywhere, and the ridiculously overused Master of Myths ( though ward phillips can stop this guy if he's about ), and it's another servitor to boot !! but i'm wasted and will come back to the fine tuning in the future. i don't really want to do it, but i can even see just replacing stealthy byakhee with demon lover, as the aforementioned cards are so common.

i may also muck around with Stone on the Peak for shuffling control events back into the deck and Altar of the Blessed instead of Stygian / Infernal, but there's a few score hours of playtesting to go yet, and i'm far less certain about these changes being advisable.

as it was made in the Ancient Relics cycle, it may also need some updating to remain competative, perhaps with the inclusion of Black Dog or the likes for some more early game pizzazz, and perhaps the new necronomicon. it was used recently in a european tournament, and whether due to this old design, unfamiliarity with the deck, or differing playstyles, it did not fare well. in over 100 games myself though it has won 80 - 90 % of it's matches so whether this is indicative of it's calibre cannot be said, as it is fair to say i may be able to squeeze some extra juice from the old girl and have in no way given up on her.

The synopsis is simple:

Performance Artist, Ward Phillips, Power Drain and Writhing Wall attempt to shut down any fancy pants decks with lots of character tricks and in story card effects, especially bouncing decks and when enters play characters, three bells and ice shaft etc, and can also protect the destruction of supports ( even disrupts in the case of Writhing Wall ). It evens the playing field down a bit more to characters versus characters in story, which is the way it’s meant to be.

The majority of the characters are servitors ( 21 of them ) and are designed to come out at a fair rate of speed. Hungry Dark Young drags a 2 cost character with it ( usually a sac’d artist or Ward ), Mothers hand combined with Priestess refreshes the domain for another 3 cost character. Shrieking Byakhee pulls another 3 cost Byakhee out of the deck for 2 cost ( usually Moonbound to give all the servitors an extra terror icon which i'm finding useful to combat cards like The Rising Dawn, Scotophobia, and misk type characters trying to hide behind a terror faction shield. ), and it all seems to happen lots quicker than it should. Successfully shutting down any of the opponents attempts to remove characters with the aforementioned protection also lends to an ever expanding playing field.

Then of course there are the annoying dreamlands. I’ve purposely only put 2 copies of all of these and Infernal / Stygian to lessen the chances of clogging multiples in the hand, and they’re all great cards so it doesn’t really matter how they come out and in what order, but the nice spread seems to make them flow alright throughout the turns.

Ancient Guardian is my favourite card of the entire deck. At 3 cost ( with the Priestess ), I’ve used this guy multiple times to refresh the dreamlands locations and Ward Phillips ( even better when the opponent has forgotten that this deck can do that ). Invaluable and far better suited to this deck than Y’Golonac.

So that’s it. Stop any tricks, pump out the characters and use the supports to do what they do best !! its pretty much becoming my benchmark test deck when making my trickier decks that rely on surprises and abilities, and returning to and actually playing this deck has taught me that sometimes less is more : simple is sometimes more effective ( it was built in the Ancient Relics cycle and has only just got it's turn for refining and updating).

Finally, i also got to include my 2 favourite character illustrations in cthulhu, The Mothers Hand and Ancient Guardian ( now with a similar Ya-Te-Veo ). LOVE EM !!

i'm stuck down here at the bottom of the world so feel free to learn and use this deck for playing or testing if you so wish, as you won't come across it being played by myself ( and i STRESS the word LEARN. this deck in no way plays itself and presents many paths that only familiarity with will determine which to choose, especially in the resourcing department. it is a simple design, but not simple to play unfortunately and as stated will take a few score games to get down pat - a score being 20 ). like most net decks, it is easy to pick it up, play it, and pass it off if it is beaten, but of course using net decks doesn't come with the playtesting experience the poster has behind them. this is something to take on board when using ANY posted decks. with time though, and understanding, i hope it serves you as well as it has me.
 

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oh. i forgot to mention that Amaranth has also caught my eye as a candidate for the deck, also being a servitor.

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COCLCG said:

 

this deck in no way plays itself and presents many paths that only familiarity with will determine which to choose, especially in the resourcing department. it is a simple design, but not simple to play unfortunately and as stated will take a few score games to get down pat - a score being 20 ). like most net decks, it is easy to pick it up, play it, and pass it off if it is beaten, but of course using net decks doesn't come with the playtesting experience the poster has behind them.
 

 

 

NOTE: a bit of a waffle. only read it if you please or are interested.

i'll amend that little statement in that its not playing the deck that you need to get used to, but how to react to other decks that you need to learn.

i dug it out of the deck box to give it a whirl at our group meeting tonight, and we tried it first for 3 games against mzi's tournament deck. here it was able to win by resourcing characters, only playing out a single character / support per turn, and saving the other 2 domains for power drain / burrowing beneath / writhing wall. the opponent deck simply didnt have the icon legs to withstand its main combo being repeatedly blocked by either these or ward phillips / performance artist. one game was 3-0 with nothing more than guardian pillar / cavern of flame / hungry dark young / ward phillips / mothers hand and a performance artist reaching the table ( 6 non event cards played ).

we then ran it against a friends more aggressive and solid mini rush deck and the emphasis radically changed to resourcing event cards and pumping out the hungry dark young / mothers hand / byakhee combo to keep up with the opponents deck.

so yes. sometimes you don't dare resource a card like power drain, and sometimes there's not much in your resources but power drains. haha.

it was interesting to have this little insight into my old friend 'the dark byakhee', and is something i guess you take for granted after so many games. it was obvious though that you need to know how to play some decks against all the different types of decks available, as decks like this one aren't a bullet that you point and shoot, or one where you hang on for dear life until luck throws out the combo card you've been waiting for, and is something only rigorous playtesting will prepare you for. it is essentially a reactionary deck, without a defined game plan of its own beyond exploiting the weaknesses in other decks or cancelling / matching its strengths. if you dont know how to react, you wont be winning any matches.

i liken it to an ebb and flow. you only play out as many characters as you need to maintain the slightest advantage if possible while you guage the opponents deck, keeping power drains and burrowing beneaths handy, and then once you've read the other deck, the resourcing takes it aforementioned paths. it's quite unlike any other deck that i've ever made, that does what it does and tries to do it quickly, and certainly not something you can just pick up and use as you'll most likely fail if you try and play it like this, a concept / strategy which might be foreign to some. its not about flash in the pan combos or blitzing the opponent 3 - 0, but rather being patient and adaptable to cater to all deck types, minimising weaknesses, and being happy to stay a couple of success tokens above the opponent to take the win if that be the scenario. the downside to this ability of staying just a step or 2 ahead of any deck is that one single mistake and you're gone. you need to know this deck !! haha. 

most important of all though is learning what to let through the cancellation net and what not to. most important. any opponent worth his salt, upon seeing ward phillips or the like, will on occasion try to throw a dummy ability to back up with his main one. its imperitive with this deck to keep an eye on their domains / cards in hand. if its not seriously damaging to me, and they have plenty of both, sometimes i find it best just to let it slide. having a solid background playing poker certainly helps !!

i hadn't fully realised until now upon studying it, that in summation, i wouldn't advise using this deck unless you're willing to play at least, lets say, 50 games minimum against a variety of all deck types, otherwise you simply won't have the experience to realise its potential, and in reality you need to be constantly playing it to keep the necessary edge. i'm confident that, as always the draw gods willing, it can be competative against any deck though with the research.

thankfully i'd also revived it to see if it was as bad as the tournament result painted it to be ( i must admit i was a bit concerned ), but was relieved when it maintained its good record of winning matches for me. hurrah for that one. 'the dark byakhee' lives on.

POST SCRIPT: i am mulling over the possibility of removing one of the supports for the 3rd copy of burrowing beneath and writhing wall ( or simply switching the thunder / burrowing ratio ), to emphasise this reactionary concept even further. it won't be either the pillar or cavern, as these are perfect for this strategy, so i'll trial a few different options replacing the others. snow graves might also be a better option than another support, to complete the cancellation wall.

i'm also pondering a tri - faction version with yog and something like faceless abductor instead of ya-te-veo and the large man instead of ancient guardian ( both servitors ) and replacing a support with speak to the dead or gathering at the stones for recursion reaction cards, but this one will take a lot of work to fine tune and prepare, and might just end up being poo.

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From 20 to 50, soon the barrier will be too high and you won't be able to use it either :)

Let me offer maybe a simpler explanation…

With any good deck (and good player), you will play it better the more experience you get with it.  It's not because this specific deck is magical, they all do that (admittedly to somewhat varying degrees).  Reacting to the situation at hand is THE central skill of the game, and this is easier with a deck you're familiar with than one you're not.

You can beat mzi's deck with yours because you have lots of experience with it and the person running mzi's deck had very little.

Someone else can beat your deck with theirs at the European tournament because they have lots of experience with their own deck and the person running your deck had relatively little.

See the pattern?

We still don't know which is the better deck (if such a concept even exists, more accurate to say that it's just which one is better in this specific matchup).  That would require BOTH players to be very experienced with their decks, and as far as I know this test hasn't been done.

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COCLCG said:

COCLCG said:

i dug it out of the deck box to give it a whirl at our group meeting tonight, and we tried it first for 3 games against mzi's tournament deck. here it was able to win by resourcing characters, only playing out a single character / support per turn, and saving the other 2 domains for power drain / burrowing beneath / writhing wall. the opponent deck simply didnt have the icon legs to withstand its main combo being repeatedly blocked by either these or ward phillips / performance artist. one game was 3-0 with nothing more than guardian pillar / cavern of flame / hungry dark young / ward phillips / mothers hand and a performance artist reaching the table ( 6 non event cards played ).

 

 

It's clear that your deck would be well matched against mzi's (esp. if you know the composition of his deck ahead of time). But there are very few decks with so much disruption (so mzi's plays well against a typical field of opponents), and it would *seem* that including so much disruption would weaken your deck versus many other decks (i.e., a bit of a rock-paper-scissors situation). The extent that this a liability of your deck isn't perfectly clear, of course. Perhaps I'll try play testing it.

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oh of course. every deck cannot possibly cater to everything, and like any card game, luck of the draw plays a significant part.

and thats the point i was trying to make. against a deck that doesnt require disruption, these cards then become your resources while the reduced cost / draw from deck / discard / hand character engine plows along ( hopefully ). its got a decent whack of icons to be played solely as an in story deck if needs be, with the occasional disrupt here and there, and doesnt rely on one particular strategy for its win goal, instead letting the opponents deck decide how to go about it. but yes, determining the right method is all part of the trick and why it needs to be repetitively playtested against each deck type to find the required mix. also that knowing the decks composition is not that important. if i see only a couple of weak characters come out, i'll just play enough to beat them in story and hold the disrupts, instead of some who would try and blitz the opponent with a multitude of characters. this deck only trys to JUST win, and thats all it needs to do.

thanks for the comment.

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dboeren said:

 

From 20 to 50, soon the barrier will be too high and you won't be able to use it either :)

 

 

haha. it was never 20. a FEW score = 60+, so the number is actually decreasing. all valid points mr dboeren. there are no magical decks, and experience with a deck is certainly the main ingredient. i'm supposing i'm just a little miffed that someone slaughtered my deck, and wish to try and put perspective into the picture. haha. and dont take that the wrong way either. im super chuffed that he thought it was worthy enough to try, am only too pleased that he did, and sorry for him that it didnt perform as well as it could have.

i also play around 50 games a week, so i don't think i'll have a problem keeping up with it. for the past 6 months i've lived, breathed and excreted this game. even took a semester off uni to catch up with the veterans. this though ( along with a couple of others ) is possibly my last deck contribution for a while ( and so im defending it !! haha ). i need to get back to life and back bench the game to simply a hobby. im also none too pleased with the new release format as im sooooo not a fan of miskatonic and can't see me even buying the expansion, and don't like the prospect of possibly waiting till this time next year for my factions turn to come up. interest in the game, after that intense period, is waaaannnnniiiinnnngggggg………..

also, sorry if it seemed like i was comparing decks. i didnt mean for that, just using the games as an example of different resource patterns and the difference between playing a tentative low card on table game compared to a pump out the characters as quick as possible, and the fact that the deck can do both to suit the situation.

but in the end, like i said, its really just a waffle not intended to be seen as definitive or all encompassing.

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Dark Initiate said:

 

Can someone please explain "FEW score", or provide a link where it's explained?

 

 

no problem. its an archery term ( specifically relating to crossbows ). historically, a quiver held 20 arrows, and in the old old days this was referred to as a 'score' of arrows ( or i should say bolts ). so a few score = a few times x 20.

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I don't know if it's specifically related to archery or not, but a score is 20 of something.  Yeah, as far as I know it's an archaic term handed down from England.  You know, the same crazy guys that thought measuring things by the size of the king's appendages would be a good idea :)

If you look at Abraham Lincoln's famous "Gettysberg Address" speech it starts out "four score and seven years ago".  So at least by that time it had passed into common speech here in America and wasn't an archery specific term anymore (if it ever was).

I do remember playing AD&D way back in the day though, and indeed a quiver held 20 arrows or crossbow bolts in the game, so there may be something to that after all.

" im also none too pleased with the new release format as im sooooo not a fan of miskatonic and can't see me even buying the expansion, and don't like the prospect of possibly waiting till this time next year for my factions turn to come up."

Well, we have no idea yet what the ordering will be so maybe it will be sooner.  Someone on BGG is rumoring that Yog will be next, but that's unconfirmed.  I guess I dont' feel like I have a "my faction", so I'm OK with whatever order and anyone we get I feel is useful to me.  I kind of hope Syndicate will be up soon because I think they can use it, and personally I'm less of an Agency fan so it's OK with me if they're later on, but everyone's going to get their turn sooner or later.  My biggest hope/fear is wondering whether Silver Twilight will get an expansion or if they'll decide that the existing one is more or less the same thing so that another is unnecessary.  To be clear, I'd like more Silver Twilight cards please, not for them to fall even further behind than they already are.  If anything, make their box BIGGER than the others to get them fully caught up :)

 

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yes. syndicate next would be nice and might rekindle the spark. my last new deck, the one i'm working on right at this moment, is a fun theme deck named 'the gambler', so having something that includes possible additions to this would be good. yog im kinda fearing. as a faction it was my first love, but only for the recursion aspect. PERSONALLY ( and not in IMO ) i cannot abide the milling strategy, and struggle to see how people gain satisfaction from winning in this fashion as you're not actually beating the opponents deck, and it all seems…… well…… a bit…… cowardly ?? PERSONALLY !! so if they move away from this ill be overjoyed, otherwise it could be a bit of a dissappointment. fingers crossed.

for the first time a couple of days ago i counted the deck lists in my deck builder and there were 68 of them in various stages of refinement, running from theme decks, to combo ideas, to the ones you've seen posted as they are nearing completion, not including the multitude i've deleted as impractical. i think probably 5 - 10% of them include human factions. im definately an old ones kinda guy ( except cthulhu ). so the release schedule will certainly effect my continuation with the game as something else might come along as i wait in a state of stasis, or i might even return to boardgaming as this is my first and only card game.

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dboeren said:

With any good deck (and good player), you will play it better the more experience you get with it.  It's not because this specific deck is magical, they all do that (admittedly to somewhat varying degrees).  Reacting to the situation at hand is THE central skill of the game, and this is easier with a deck you're familiar with than one you're not.

You can beat mzi's deck with yours because you have lots of experience with it and the person running mzi's deck had very little.

Someone else can beat your deck with theirs at the European tournament because they have lots of experience with their own deck and the person running your deck had relatively little.

This is definitely true. Usually no one will be as good playing a deck than the player who designed the deck.

I doubt anyone could play my deck as well as I do. When I'm playing CoC against friends we sometimes switch decks and a typical reaction is: "Wow, how did you just manage to win with this crap deck?"

And then of course, there's also the problem of luck: In my first three test games using Dark Byakhee I didn't draw a single Power Drain or Writhing Wall.

So, even if you know the deck your opponent is playing, there's a chance you won't get the cards you need to defeat it.

In the tournament I was mzi's first opponent, so I didn't know what to expect. If I'd known, I'd taken a mulligan after not drawing Snow Graves. He played first and when I took my first turn, there was no telling this was a combo deck. After his second turn it became obvious but by then it was already too late. Only luck could have saved me then.

In my test games using Dark Byakhee, the biggest weakness I noticed was: No investigation. Unless I managed to take control of an opponent's character with an investigation icon I would always fall behind at placing success tokens even if I had more character out. I've also found it's easy to run out of cards with the deck. If Moonbound Byakhee was killed by a Khopesh or my opponent took control of it, I would fall behind in the Terror struggle, if it wasn't neutered by Chess Prodigy, anyway. Now, playing an Ancient Guardian could be a real game turner but in one game my opponent took control of it, causing me to lose after everything seemed to have been decided. Ya Te Veo proved toothless because it couldn't affect skill 3+ characters. Only once did I manage to counter a Khopesh using Burrowing Beneath, in all other cases it killed two or three characters. The most effective card against my deck was Stealthy Byakhee because almost all of the characters have an Arcane icon. And that was another weakness against my deck: It had too few Arcane icons compared to my deck, desperately requiring an Ancient Guardian to make up for it. Guardian Pillar is also a very strong card - if you manage to draw one!

In the tournament Jonathan managed to prevent Master of Myths from entering play in one turn using a Power Drain and saved his hide by cancelling Noden's ability late in the game. Luckily he never drew an Ancient Guardian, but disrupted my play a lot by taking control of my Julia Brown early in the game and using her to good effect for several turns.

To conclude, I don't think it's a bad deck. But I wouldn't play it without making some changes to it that better fit my play-style since I feel it's too defensive. I would definitely add a character with investigation; Amaranth, as you mentioned would be a good choice. I would also definitely either add Demon Lover or get rid of Ya Te Veo, since the latter is otherwise useless except very early in the game. And I'd either add another copy of the Guardian Pillar or use a different restricted card, maybe Sewer Rats or Descendant of Eibon.

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thanks very much for that insight jhaelen. it was very nicely explained.

yes. its an old design and i do believe it needs updating to some degree so i agree with you that its almost but not quite there. i have also noticed the lack of investigation icons and my wins are generally based upon a very defensive game while slowly nibbling away at the stories. amaranth is definately clawing to get in there somewhere. vale of pnath SOMETIMES slows the opponents inv successes down but you have to be lucky to draw one.

i don't believe i've ever used ya-te-veo's ability. haha. in the original version it was collector of sacrifices. early on it is a deterent to the opponent comitting and i guess thats why its in there as on occasion with a bad draw it can take a turn or 2 to get mobile. also i felt i really needed a terror / combat character and hastur is pretty poo in that department. i have been fiddling with the 2 cost spots, sneaking in black dog.

i am definately including a 3rd burrowing beneath and will most likely just swap the 3rd thunder card. ive been running it like this for the past week or so anyway and its greatly improved my chances vs the khopesh and other immediate use supports. in truth, when i posted it, i just liked the neat little package that combination made ( 10 x 3 / 5 x 2 / 3-2-3-2 ). haha.

i've found guardian pillar far too uselful to swap it i'm afraid. being able to commit after all other characters is such a mind trick for the opponent and suits the defensive / reactionary nature of the deck.

as always, it does appear to all boil down to luck of the draw. i have been fortunate in my games to either draw the ones i need, or have enough experience with the deck to have saved them. perhaps my deck just knows who its master is !! haha. to be honest, i play with my deck all the time ( hee hee ). a couple of them sit in a hallway and i cant walk past them without picking one up and having a flick through or a quick 3 or 4 turn mock draw.

im also supposing my success with such a defensive deck has something to do with my knowledge of the cards and combinations. its been an intense last 6 months of nothing but cthulhu, to the stage where you can name any card from the huge pool and i'll be able to describe it in full, what it combines with, what other cards i can expect to see played around it etc. hell. name a set of icons and i could probably rattle off every character that has that specific mixture. although i don't really enjoy the humans, i've thoroughly researched all the factions and all the possibilities and likely combinations, to the point where most of the time, based on what i see in the resources, i've been able to name the majority of an opponents deck with no prior knowledge of them.

my mind thrives on interconnectivity and the complex workings of massive systems and just seems to have a knack for it ( a typical INTJ personality trait, hence my past studies in engineering, computer science and now microbiology ). but, singular focus is severely lacking. luckily this strength / weakness translates quite nicely to card gaming. also playing around 200 games a month helps with familiarity of what to expect based solely on the resource cards. at the moment im running at the peak of my performance ( whatever that is ) and now, after i take a break, im pretty sure i wouldn't be able to play this deck without getting right back into it, as without this ability to predict the likely substance of an opponents deck you're just grasping in the dark. so yes. perhaps that has something to do with using this deck properly ( with the luck going my way ), as what you resource and what you keep, and the style you need to play the deck ( as it has a few possible ones ), depends solely on what the opponent has and how he plays. i think the fact that the deck can't be played with any particular strategy or win goal is the hardest thing for someone to get their head around, as most decks have a purpose. be it to get bokrug or glakki out, rush the opponent with characters, pull off a logan / necronomicon combo etc.

also its interesting to note how well a background in playing poker serves you in this game, and i think most would be surprised. ive noticed that during table top games a lot of opponents are focused on what is on the table, whereas i spend the majority of the time watching eye movement between cards in hand and subtle facial expressions that indicate that something is building up or about to happen. everyone has a tell, and not many are good at hiding it.

im definately going to do some work with the deck before my hiatus, and may get back to you with the finished version, though im thinking it might still be too defensive for some peoples playstyles. but, each to their own. if it wasn't this way it would be a very boring game.

thanks again for the comment.

POSTSCRIPT: god i can talk a bunch of crap……… breathe a sigh of relief that you won't have to listen to it for much longer. haha.

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