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Dobbler

Have we entered a new era of the metagame?

13 posts in this topic

I've played this game for a decade now.  And I simply don't remember another time when the houses were as balanced in the competitive scene as they are right now. 

 

As reports of more and more regionals comes forth, I find myself less and less surprised by the diversity of house winnings.  

 

Does anyone else feel the same?

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I feel somewhat similar. I think Targ is clearly #1 at the moment, but an argument can be made for all the other houses to be in the 2nd slot*.

 

edit: *so long as they are running TLV.

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I don't know if the meta is balance so much as confused. We are still experiencing the shake-up of FAQ 4.0, combined with the infusion of some new meta-defining cards. We'll have a clearer picture going into Gencon, but I predict that in a year everything will still shake-out to having a clear leader.

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dcdennis said:

I feel somewhat similar. I think Targ is clearly #1 at the moment, but an argument can be made for all the other houses to be in the 2nd slot*.

 

edit: *so long as they are running TLV.

Glad you included that edit, lol. It may not necessarily be 100% accurate, but the cool thing about TLV is that it's a no-brainer to include. That means that when you're building a deck you actually are now deciding between an obviously good, ubiquitous agenda, a bunch of good no agenda/chargenda cards, is it better to have a smaller or bigger deck, is there a better agenda for me?

The fact that you can tack on TLV to any deck and have it function fairly well is probably what is bringing the most equality to the meta right now. Once unfeasible decks have a draw engine that smooths out their volatility. With more card draw in the environment, any single game is more likely to have less luck elements and more skill elements in it. When more skill is involved, there will be an inherent balance to the houses due to the fact that skill is not house dependent.

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I have only played since may 2012, but I agree whole-heartedly Dobbler.

I am loving the balance in the metagame, and the viability of previously unconsidered archetypes…

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OrangeDragon said:

Bomb said:

Let's just change the draw phase from 2 cards to 3 cards without an agenda.

+1

I am sure this was a joke, but I'll take the bait.

I think that notion would make it too easy for bad decks to win tournaments--you should be punished for overextending or not managing the exact amount of cards in your hand at every phase.

TLV has a drawback--is it a big one? Not really---

However, if you have a really jaime'd out 60 card deck, like I had in North Carolina 2 weeks ago--then you can start slaying those 85 card decks because your cards are better--and I was barely ever drawing an extra card (maybe 1 or 2 times during luwin or condon procs, and 1 special plot in negotiations).  

 

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kr4ng said:

I am sure this was a joke, but I'll take the bait.

I think that notion would make it too easy for bad decks to win tournaments--you should be punished for overextending or not managing the exact amount of cards in your hand at every phase.

TLV has a drawback--is it a big one? Not really---

However, if you have a really jaime'd out 60 card deck, like I had in North Carolina 2 weeks ago--then you can start slaying those 85 card decks because your cards are better--and I was barely ever drawing an extra card (maybe 1 or 2 times during luwin or condon procs, and 1 special plot in negotiations).  

 

Yarly! (I wonder who will get this, lol)

The 85 card drawback is such a great consideration. It's a non-issue if you just want to put a bunch of good cards in, but when you want a tight deck, you have to decide whether the lowered odds of getting the combo is off-set by the higher average value of a draw.

And to explain that, basically what it boils down to is that for X number of cards those cards will have a contribution to the game (value) of Y. A combo of cards might have an additional value of 30 when together, but the odds of drawing it are 50% in a given game. The average value of 2 cards drawn is, let's say, 10 in that deck. On the flip side, the TLV deck's 3 cards drawn have a value of 15. So over 4 turns, the TLV deck has drawn cards that add up to 60 value, while the non-TLV deck has a 50% chance of its cards adding up to 40 and a 50% chance of its card adding up to 70. Which do you play?

The numbers I used are mostly in favor of TLV in this case, but clearly those numbers will change dramatically dependent on how each deck is built. There's a huge, and really cool, decision point that everyone now makes when building a deck, but it adds almost 0 complexity to the game. Don't want to think? Don't play the agenda or do play the agenda. It doesn't really matter! Are you a min/maxer? You get to do all the math in the world to make your deck uber awesome! Stepping up the draw phase to 3 cards dilutes the contributions of TLV fairly significantly. Instead of 10/15 split (+50% with TLV), you get a 15/20 split (+33%). TLV is therefore 11.33% less effective if you increase the draw phase to 3. That could be enough to make it fall out of favor and lose the awesome considerations it currently brings to deck-building.

And with regards to skill vs. luck. It's bad too reduce luck too much. Let's say an individual player has an x factor that they apply to the cards they draw. The x factor of a great player is 2. The x factor of a noob is 1. Noob draws 20 value in cards, multiplied by 1, ending with 20 value in cards. Great player draws 20 value in cards, multiplied by 2, and can produce 40 value with his superior play. This results in being 100% stronger, and +20 value more effective. If you changed the draw, you change how much power a better player has. Noob gets 30 value in draw, and 30 value in productivity. Great gets 30 value in draw, but 60 value in productivity. He is still double the noob, but winds up with +30 value. That could be the difference between wiping someone's board and them being left with a character or two. It would probably be great for tournaments, but damage the already fragile equality of casual play.

Tangent: It'd be funny to see something silly for the next agenda like look at top 3 and choose 2, put the third on the bottom of your deck. These little manipulations are awesome.

 

TL:DR - Increasing the draw phase dilutes TLV's effectiveness 11.33%. Increasing the draw phase favors skilled players and would probably be great for tournaments, but would damage the already fragile equality of casual play.

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I really was kidding, but left out the "~" for fun.  I guess what I was saying was that drawing at least 1 more card each round seems to be the standard that is sought in building a top deck.  It almost feels like it would make more sense to change the draw phase from 2 to 3 cards drawn per round. 

Historically, do a majority of winning regional/tourney decks have +1 card advantage through an agenda?  I guess, if not an agenda, some other consistent modal of card advantage?  And when I say consistent, I mean a single source of card advantage through out a game, not 3 or 4 different cards. 

I'm really curious.

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Have you notice that having so many TLV decks opens for alliance decks to be competitive….since they are already drawing a lot and probably have the resources what will more water do to the fish!! 

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Francisco G. said:

Have you notice that having so many TLV decks opens for alliance decks to be competitive….since they are already drawing a lot and probably have the resources what will more water do to the fish!! 

Did you forget a ~ before that comment?  I think it makes Alliance even more unplayable.  Its easy to spend 2 addittional gold when you get an extra card every turn; alternately you're letting TLV player draw four cards each turn and that kind of access to resources is a recipe for the win for any decent TLV deck.  Alliance might be a good answer if KotHH was all over the place since it forces your opponent to choose between the Alliance benefit or the two Influence on their House card, but even that idea is kind of a stretch.

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Bomb said:

I really was kidding, but left out the "~" for fun.  I guess what I was saying was that drawing at least 1 more card each round seems to be the standard that is sought in building a top deck.  It almost feels like it would make more sense to change the draw phase from 2 to 3 cards drawn per round. 

Historically, do a majority of winning regional/tourney decks have +1 card advantage through an agenda?  I guess, if not an agenda, some other consistent modal of card advantage?  And when I say consistent, I mean a single source of card advantage through out a game, not 3 or 4 different cards. 

I'm really curious.

Well considering the ubiquity of Summer and Maesters for a while, it was pretty much built into every top tier deck wasn't it? I doubt there were TMP decks that didn't run Valyrian Steel Link and Summer was getting a card off of the Agenda. I imagine most good Stark builds include Harrenhal, Guard at Riverrun, Ser Condon Kyle, or any combination of the three. Lanni always has Golden Tooth Mines. GJ always has Longship Iron Victory and Saves are the substitue and/or superior form of draw. Martell has nothing, but weren't they the ones predominantly running Summer? Their preferred Restricted Card seems to be The Viper's Bannerman. Targ also has little, but again I think they were running Summer or Targ and now have Meraxes plus the recursion of Daeny's chambers. The only faction that really got shafted on draw was Bara. It was Knights, Summer, or nothing. Lo and behold, they seem to be competitive now.

The deck that breaks this mold is GJ/Stark Winter, but it equally has card advantage. Rather than having more draw, your opponent has less. You wind up +1 on the draw scale relative to them.

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