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  1. #1
    Senior Member bobrossw's Avatar
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    Stealth and its variants

    I remember when a certain other CCG came out with a new ability called "shadow" which was just like flying, except that decks that can deal with flying couldn't deal with shadow. It felt cheap...like unoriginal, but just a way for us to be forced to buy the new cards and make decks that didn't feel as elegant if we wanted to take all-comers.

    I see that there are two brands of stealth in Shadow Era. There's the kind that stealth specialists get, like moonstalker and many rogue allies. And then there's the kind that goes into warrior decks: Valliant Defender and Eleanor, Princess of Ellos (not just for warriors, but common in warrior decks). These are cards that read "can't be attacked", which is essentially the same as what stealth does, but they don't say the word stealth on them.

    This is a problem because there are other cards out there that specifically deal with stealth, but don't work with these cards. What this effectively does is make it so there are two versions of stealth. A regular stealth and a "super stealth" that is immune to anti-stealth cards. This seems silly, because there are cards that specifically target stealth, and are mediocre in other ways. People should be rewarded for putting those cards in their deck when going up against people using stealth. Instead, they quickly learn; you're just going to have to bring some direct damage, or straight ally killing cards, because the rules don't work consistently.

    This practice isn't wide-spread in this game but it generally limits the diversity in competitive decks, since there are a few general ways to deal with all allies, and alternatives that deal with specific abilities don't work consistently enough to be viable. It also goes against the flavor of the game, since moonstalker and rogues are stealth specialists, but warriors wind up with one of the best stealth cards (Valliant Defender: because it isn't called "stealth").

    I suppose its possible that the aim of valliant defender is to effectively give your hero something like protector - but then it should say that, because there are other ways to deal with protector that should work in that situation as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chamthabo's Avatar
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    I wonder if Layarian Diplomat and Morbid Acolyte could remove "super stealth" from allies affected by Valliant Defender, like when used on Eleanor. Though I am sure that they can remove stealth from Cover of Night because it's simply Moonstalker's ability (bar hero).

  3. #3
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    It would go against the flavor of the cards. Every class has a way to deal with it so it's no biggie. There's a reason those two cards aren't played much.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member bobrossw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganjamus View Post
    It would go against the flavor of the cards. Every class has a way to deal with it so it's no biggie. There's a reason those two cards aren't played much.
    right...that's true but it limits the types of decks that can be viable in each class, and makes certain cards that are already mediocre, even more useless. For example, wulven predator and nowhere to hide.

    Regarding flavor - I know giving warriors a card that grants stealth goes against the flavor of warriors. But granting allies an effect that is better than stealth, but still the same thing goes against the flavor even more - just because they don't call it "super-stealth" doesn't mean that's not what it is. It would be much better to just call it stealth.

    Regarding diplomat and acolyte - that's what got me thinking about this stuff initially. They actually work on Eleanor, but not on Valliant Defender, which to me is just confusing (since valiant defender is an equivalent ability to moonstalker's SE ability, which diplomat and acolyte do affect).

    Tala decks often give Eleanor protector, so she makes all allies immune to attack. Years ago, Lance's ability was much cheaper and gave only stealth and ambush. There was a deck built around this using Brigitte to have the same effect - stealth + protector on an ally. That Lance deck was nerfed (with Lance's current ability) because people couldn't deal with it. Yet the Tala + Eleanor combo achieves the same thing much more efficiently (and permanently, with the added bonus that Eleanor becomes a 4/2 as opposed to Brigitte, who remained a 0/2 in that old deck). There are many more ways to deal with allies now, so this Tala deck doesn't pose a balance problem, but the fact that Eleanor has "super-stealth" unnecessarily limits the number of effective counters to this tactic. I'm not trying to build a deck that uses these counters, because those anti-stealth cards aren't really good anyway, but it just makes sense that an anti-stealth card should dismantle this strategy just as well as a direct damage card does.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bobrossw's Avatar
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    Just realized there's a similar thing going on with Living Armor, which essentially gets "super haste" since it bypasses Braxnorian Soldier's anti-haste. And in the current meta, its drawback (discard) is actually an advantage, since there are so many cards that have on-discard effects. It's not game-breaking again, but it's annoying that you build decks with specific aims, like "counter haste" or "counter stealth" and then new cards up with versions of those abilities that are immune to those counters.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobrossw View Post
    Just realized there's a similar thing going on with Living Armor, which essentially gets "super haste" since it bypasses Braxnorian Soldier's anti-haste. And in the current meta, its drawback (discard) is actually an advantage, since there are so many cards that have on-discard effects. It's not game-breaking again, but it's annoying that you build decks with specific aims, like "counter haste" or "counter stealth" and then new cards up with versions of those abilities that are immune to those counters.
    i think it is meant to be this way, same with the stealth/can't be attacked thing. Dont you think such things make the game better with more variety. I personally think these subtle differences are very good for the game, and if u cant counter a strategy via certain ways, u should have other ways to go about it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bobrossw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archm4ge View Post
    i think it is meant to be this way, same with the stealth/can't be attacked thing. Dont you think such things make the game better with more variety. I personally think these subtle differences are very good for the game, and if u cant counter a strategy via certain ways, u should have other ways to go about it.
    I think it adds a layer of needless complexity. It's great to add new rules (such as all the on-discard stuff, tribal cards and on-play effects that were added in this expansion), and cards that introduce new mechanics (like vozitian orders). But when a card has the same mechanic, just repackaged, it winds up feeling like unnecessary complexity.

    It may just be me; I tend to dislike games of rock-paper-scissors (e.g., all-or-nothing style decks, where there are certain match-ups that are auto-wins and others that are auto-losses). I prefer to build decks that have a chance to take all-comers. When there are these odd exception cards, then those balanced decks become difficult to build (for example, because I brought an answer to stealth, but it doesn't work on super stealth), or there wind up being a very restricted range of possible balanced decks (like decks that have generic ally removal or damage cards). Half your deck winds up being pre-determined by necessary counters to common strategies that are also generic enough to work on those odd exception cards. By adding unnecessary variety in the card descriptions, it actually limits the variety of viable decks.

    A card like "nowhere to hide" may serve as a weak substitute for assassination if someone decided to use it in a deck, but because it doesn't even work in all relevant scenarios, it becomes that much worse...it's not even good at the thing it's supposed to be good at. So you wind up having to pack assassination (or garth's concoction or black garb) instead, even if you prefer the flavor of nowhere to hide, and could make it work in your deck. - I'm not trying to build a deck around nowhere to hide, it just serves this example well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Daemon Rayge's Avatar
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    @Valiant Defender comment:

    Moonstalker's ability temporarly grants all of your allies with Stealth. Valiant Defender does not grant the ally any type of passive temporarily. But rather it affects the player, rather than the allies.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member bobrossw's Avatar
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    I get that, so it's like protection-light on the player. And that is kind of interesting but in terms of flavor, the mediocre card, nowhere to hide should work (targetted on the player) to cancel it, since it is one of the only ways to remove protection from a player (which only a few cards can bestow anyway). Again, because it's a unique ability that's sort of like stealth, or sort of like protector, but not called anything, it becomes immune to specific counters...and then the only counters are abilities that directly target allies, or ability destruction (to take out Valliant Defender). If at some future date they want to make a specific counter to those cards, then it needs to have similarly broad wording like "X can attack any ally, regardless of other abilities". And those broad descriptions open up problems of interpretation, like - can attachments prevent it from attacking?

    So in the end, those counters will never be made, and those "super-stealth" and "super-haste" cards will always have those advantages and never be specifically counter-able. This is only a problem in that it forces players who want to counter other decks to pack generic anti-item, anti-ally and anti-ability cards, rather than more specific and interesting counters. I believe the end result is less deck variety and less flavor for certain cards (i.e. there is somewhere you can hide from "nowhere to hide" - behind a Valliant Defender).

  10. #10
    DP Visionary FDL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobrossw View Post
    Just realized there's a similar thing going on with Living Armor, which essentially gets "super haste" since it bypasses Braxnorian Soldier's anti-haste. And in the current meta, its drawback (discard) is actually an advantage, since there are so many cards that have on-discard effects. It's not game-breaking again, but it's annoying that you build decks with specific aims, like "counter haste" or "counter stealth" and then new cards up with versions of those abilities that are immune to those counters.
    Actually, haste only works on the turn the card is summoned so you played Living Armor T6 then activated it next turn, giving it haste would de nothing.
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