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  1. #1
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    THE first 5 turns of the game.

    i remember back in cotc days, the first 5 turns determined whether you win. who went first was the big obstacle but if they didnt have the optimum plays, they lost. games went quick, maybe lasting 8 minutes. if they went longer, people complained. at the time, being the first mobile card game and most of the player based liked to play it on the bus or train to and from work, play it on their lunch break and they wanted to be able to play 3 or 4 or more games in that short span of time. having a game take 20-30 was awful. as you could only play one and it put you in a bad mood. first turn advantage needed to be dealt with by the game maker. the best he could do at the time was the -1 card draw at the start and no shadow energy at the start. wasnt that good then but it was all that could be done with the amount of cards we had.

    death racing was a big term and it was basically how the whole game was played. many articles were written about this. as well as how to disrupt the player going first. not as many because there wasnt much you could do but hope they didnt have the optimal start (which was fairly easy to do actually, have the optimal start). humans dominated because puwen, jasmine, aldon was just too powerful a start. for shadow, pretty much only logan and darkclaw could compete against humans and of humans, eladwen dominated. those early plays plus her ability, she was a goddess.

    what happened to them? puwen, jasmine and aldon, nothing did, they remained the dominate early plays for human for a long time and shadow struggled. logan, darkclaw and eladwen were nerfed/changed. pretty much only eladwen survived those changes. she couldnt hit the hero anymore, just allies. not a bad change, but it slowed her down a bit. solo darkclaw, pretty much died. you might think that was a good thing with all the stall hate, but he was actually really fast. it didnt take him long to kill you, he did it around turns 7 or 8.

    as the years progressed, new cards came, changes to the game happened. and slowly, very slowly, longer games took the place of fast games. midrange and control took over from aggro/rush. new cards and nerfs had a huge effect on those early turns of the game. making midrange and control, stall and mill more possible. making larger decks more and more viable. consistency of a 40 card deck became less and less of a dominate power. with rush dying off and cards that helped you survive those first few turns being made, nerfs to early advantage cards happening, this is where the game has moved to and keeps moving to.

    the all powerful puwen/jasmine/aldon, which had no changes made to them, is no more. very few play puwen and no one plays jasmine. aldon is still around but he helps later game more than early game like he used too.

    so here we are now. early game isnt as important or strong as it was. not saying there are not some great early games. those that do well in the early game can dominate, until they get nerfed. but the overall power of the early game across all heroes is in a weakened state. and that means three things happen. one: a deck that has a super early game (sosilo, homun, etc) can over dominate. two: larger decks can do well. three: stall decks can take over.

    the game has changed, it has evolved and i dont see that as too much of a problem. i dont even see how the current game is much of a problem.

    i do see one problem, which continues to lead the game down its current path. thats nerfing what becomes good. rush decks took major hits, mage rush and other ally rush. very rare to see either anymore. which is one of the things done to the early game. twilight took advantage of a weakened early game and dominated. where is it now? templar had some fun but took some nerfs. sosilo dominated, took some hits, still does some dominating, hard to nerf something when you are nerfing the wrong things. but still, its taking advantage of the weaken early game. more things dominated and were nerfed, usually because one person did extremely well with a deck, people copied it and did not do too bad, other people complained, devs looked at it, saw it was popular now, nerfs came. rinse and repeat.

    baduruu took several hits. and they were really the wrong things to nerf. why? because baduruu himself is just set up to be a really good early hero. unless his bows are nerfed, he is going to stay that way. nerfing the deck he currently does well with, doesnt change that, just kills cards. the decks he used were just well tuned and worked together. he has gone through a lot of deck types, currently, unless i am wrong, its undead baduruu. and i hear complaints about undead.

    so here we are. with a meta where stall decks are pretty good. decks that can make allies huge in the early turns dominate. more than 40 card decks are probably better since the early turns are weaker and the consistency of a 40 card decks doesnt matter as much. and that leads us to lay low lance. who pretty much takes advantage of all three of those things.

    ive been here 3 times, with fairly large breaks in-between. maybe thats why i can see this. maybe i am full of crap. what i see, as the years have went by, is a change from faster games to slower ones. decks that won by taking advantage of the early turns are nerfed away. decks that one person does really well with, get copied and over played and then are nerfed. pretty much anything that helps early turn advantage after DP gets nerfed.

    the first 5 turns are still important, not as much, but still is, but the importance of it has changed. its no longer about dealing early damage or having board control. its changed to setting up a longer game. i think that is an inadvertent change, with the devs thinking something dominant or just popular needs to be fixed. which has slowly removed most of the advantage of early board dominance. so much so, that the only ones that can do it are decks that can generate a 10/10 ally by turn 4 or 5.
    Last edited by BlastMan; 11-16-2017 at 09:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    now is all of that really bad? depends. what kind of game do you like? does it hurt the game and chase people off? in the long run, if they ever advertise the game, will this help the game be popular and make them money to make the game better?

  3. #3
    Senior Member maskee's Avatar
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    Nice article BlastMan. I am here from CotC times, and game changed a lot. And yes, the biggest change is the average game duration. I completely agree that there is lack of rush decks.
    On the other hand, make good rush when there is lot of control and antirush cards is hard.
    I always loved hard fight games, where are many changes and comebacks of loosing player. And there are many of them now.

    Result? I prefer when the SE is now, but bit more rush and bit less stall/mill will help :-)
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  4. #4
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    I remember the days of Eladwen Rush. It was a blast, man! (See what I did there?)

    It was also pretty mindless. Heck, I got into the top 10 one season! You would just play what came to hand and secure a win based on luck rather than skill, where the luck factor began with whether you went first or not. Some people used to quit turn 1 just because they didn't go first, it was that bad. Lots of complaints about rage quits came in and not getting rating or rewards for games not being long enough. Remember those?

    I don't blame them for rage-quitting. If you faced a rush deck and your opponent got one of these perfect starts going first (which was more likely in the past due to fewer cards overall, fewer cards to turn things around and poor variety of ally stats and 30-card minimum) then most of the game was autopilot for you, which feels quite similar to facing a stall deck, right? You are not playing a game any more. You are playing a role in a movie with the script already written. Except you know the plot really well because you just faced it in X other games this day. BORING!

    So Eladwen's ability to end the game quicker with her ability after a fantastic lucky start was indeed changed and Darkclaw was stopped from being able to autopilot to victory without opponent being able to do anything to stop it (aside from hope they draw their Shriek of Vengeance or Focused Prayer or other tech in time). There were a few other non-interactive decks around that time (before Dark Prophecies) and generally the availability of a lot of draw early (e.g. Blood Frenzy at 2cc) compounded the problem. Whoever started first had a major advantage and could run away with the game before the opponent could respond.

    I'm going to stop there to see if you agree with this assessment. No point building on that to address what I think is your main point otherwise.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
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    Puwen got really powercreeped over time. You can argue all you want that Bandit and Feasterling had their downsides but for early game dominance those downsides are irrelevent especially with FTA. Head on both of them eat Puwens for breakfast.

    Jasmine isn't played because of her health. 4hp on 3cc doesn't cut it anymore if the card doesn't have immediate impact (LS for example) or you can generate enough tempo early on (DMT, Aldon follow up to t2 ally, Banebow and Baduruu abilities) or you can protect them somehow (Tala, Banebow, Grave Resistance). If Jasmine would've been changed to 2/5 she would prob see play even today.

    Anyway what once was Puwen/Aldon powerplay now evolved into Feasterling/DMT powerplay which is just superior opening. So good in fact undead decks use it too. And is basis for aggro Maj deck for example.

    Human mage rush is def still playable btw. I think atm it is more of a meta issue while shadow hunters dominate.
    Last edited by Veles; 11-16-2017 at 01:31 PM.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gondorian View Post
    I remember the days of Eladwen Rush. It was a blast, man! (See what I did there?)

    It was also pretty mindless. Heck, I got into the top 10 one season! You would just play what came to hand and secure a win based on luck rather than skill, where the luck factor began with whether you went first or not. Some people used to quit turn 1 just because they didn't go first, it was that bad. Lots of complaints about rage quits came in and not getting rating or rewards for games not being long enough. Remember those?

    I don't blame them for rage-quitting. If you faced a rush deck and your opponent got one of these perfect starts going first (which was more likely in the past due to fewer cards overall, fewer cards to turn things around and poor variety of ally stats and 30-card minimum) then most of the game was autopilot for you, which feels quite similar to facing a stall deck, right? You are not playing a game any more. You are playing a role in a movie with the script already written. Except you know the plot really well because you just faced it in X other games this day. BORING!

    So Eladwen's ability to end the game quicker with her ability after a fantastic lucky start was indeed changed and Darkclaw was stopped from being able to autopilot to victory without opponent being able to do anything to stop it (aside from hope they draw their Shriek of Vengeance or Focused Prayer or other tech in time). There were a few other non-interactive decks around that time (before Dark Prophecies) and generally the availability of a lot of draw early (e.g. Blood Frenzy at 2cc) compounded the problem. Whoever started first had a major advantage and could run away with the game before the opponent could respond.

    I'm going to stop there to see if you agree with this assessment. No point building on that to address what I think is your main point otherwise.
    no, i agree with all of that. the only point i was tyring to make was how much the game has changed over what, 6 years. even with slow development. maybe i did over emphasize nerfing but that wasnt the point of this. make people think about the game now and the direction they want it to go. do you like where its going? do you not like it? etc. is it good to grow the game and player base?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veles View Post
    Puwen got really powercreeped over time. You can argue all you want that Bandit and Feasterling had their downsides but for early game dominance those downsides are irrelevent especially with FTA. Head on both of them eat Puwens for breakfast.

    Jasmine isn't played because of her health. 4hp on 3cc doesn't cut it anymore if the card doesn't have immediate impact (LS for example) or you can generate enough tempo early on (DMT, Aldon follow up to t2 ally, Banebow and Baduruu abilities) or you can protect them somehow (Tala, Banebow, Grave Resistance). If Jasmine would've been changed to 2/5 she would prob see play even today.

    Anyway what once was Puwen/Aldon powerplay now evolved into Feasterling/DMT powerplay which is just superior opening. So good in fact undead decks use it too. And is basis for aggro Maj deck for example.

    Human mage rush is def still playable btw. I think atm it is more of a meta issue while shadow hunters dominate.
    yeah, maybe a jasmine at 2/5 could see some action. but it wasnt her ability that made her so good. it was that 3 attack with aldon coming. nothing was better at the time than jasmine for human or shadow.

    as for bandit and feasterling, i laugh, LOL, puwen maybe be mostly retired but no one will ever take his place in SE history. he dominated for so very long and he did it first.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gondorian View Post
    I remember the days of Eladwen Rush. It was a blast, man! (See what I did there?)
    yeah, i did

  8. #8
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    The current game is hardly any less mindless as right now you are basically building engine decks so you can auto-pilot to victory.

  9. #9
    Junior Member cecilofril's Avatar
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    I will say that in the digital version of the game, Eladwin was an almost unstoppable force of nature when the game first came out. Yes, you can't do turn 5 kills, but then again, sometimes drawing out your opponent will kill them slower than most. I can see that many people either love the new changes, or hate them with a passion. I, for one, am a slower, more developing player. Strategy takes time, and I am glad that they revised some of the cards.
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  10. #10
    Chat Mod Ross013's Avatar
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    Those who know me know me for playing control decks, something which is to me, the greatest challenge this game has to offer, and the fact the game is evolving to allow control to play more of a role is obviously something I enjoy.

    I'm no stranger to aggro decks (I played aggro for a solid 8 months at one point) but to me it's a very linear playstyle. You know what you want to be doing on what turns before you even start a game. With control, you have to be a lot more versatile, particularly because everything you do has to happen on your turn, unlike mtg where a control deck can primarily play on the opponents turn with instant speed spells, which results in some of the deepest strategy and most intricate lines of play that shadow era has to offer, as opposed to the almost blueprint strategy that you adhere to when playing aggressive decks. It gets particularly interesting when you have a control v aggro matchup and you are able to overcome the beat down from the aggro deck, like overcoming a storm

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