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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bar Sark's Avatar
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    Health is a resource!

    I've seen quite a few threads detailing the importance of tempo, card advantage, and draw probability, and they are absolutely correct; You will not win very often if you don't have at least an elementary understanding of these concepts. However, there is one more aspect to the game that I feel needs to be included...

    Your Hero's health total is a resource! By this, I don't necessarily mean that you can spend life to create an effect, although in some games this is possible. Indeed, even within the currently limited card pool of SE, we have Blood Frenzy (although this is more a passive auto-include than a conscious choice) and Supernova (where 5 of your own health is arguably part of the casting cost).

    Like a lot of other people on this board, I've spent many years playing M:TG. Black is, was, and always will be my favorite mana color in that game, and this has had an effect on how I view life totals in CCGs, tabletop RP, and even MMORPGs. It boils down to this: You're not dead UNTIL IT HITS ZERO. This sounds like an obvious and pointless observation, but too many times in this game have I witnessed someone making bad play choices based on the fact that they're trying to never take even one point of damage. They feel that taking damage somehow means they're losing, and this isn't necessarily the case. Taking damage early in the game so that you can reach a comfortable position later is acceptable; sometimes this is even par for the course with some deck types, e.g., a Nishaven deck running no allies.

    Continuing with the Nish example, if your opponent casts Fire Snake first turn, followed by Brutalis second turn, most of the time your response should not be to cast Rain Delay in fear of taking damage before you can remove them. Each of these allies only does 1 damage, and while this damage can EVENTUALLY add up, this early in the game it is mostly unimportant. It's better to wait until they have more potential damage on the board. A prematurely played Rain Delay can actually cause you to take MORE damage up until you can wipe the board with Nish's ability, as you will then be taking damage from even more allies on turns 3 and 4.

    I'm 90% sure there was more I intended to say in this post, but I watched the new Melanie Iglesias flipbook after typing the previous sentence, and now I've lost my focus.

    TL;DR - Damage you take in the early game is not as important as the damage that takes your opponent to zero.

    EDIT: Look to BlanketEffect's comment on page 2 for his helpful completion of my original idea.
    Last edited by Bar Sark; 12-16-2011 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Completion of original thought
    Bacon Berserker of Shadow Era, ETC. Eat. That. Cholesterol.

    Read my strategy article, Health is a resource!

    Winner of Shadow Era's First Community Flavor Contest! Radiant sunlight and Poor quality

  2. #2
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    Excellent read. Recommended. Esp true for this meta.

    About me: An Interview

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bar Sark's Avatar
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    Thank you, Raph! That means a lot to me. While I am experienced with CCGs in general and M:TG in particular, I am fairly new at SE, and so I was a little apprehensive to offer advice so early.

    In a related note, I would love to see future cards that use health as cc or activation cost, at the very least for Shadow. I don't play that faction much, but it would definitely fit flavor-wise.
    Bacon Berserker of Shadow Era, ETC. Eat. That. Cholesterol.

    Read my strategy article, Health is a resource!

    Winner of Shadow Era's First Community Flavor Contest! Radiant sunlight and Poor quality

  4. #4
    DP Visionary TripleHBK's Avatar
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    You know, it's kinda my philosophy in 1.28, given the nature of my deck: wait for late game, send some allies to sacrifice themselves and then crush your opponent.
    Of course, everything would be more easy with rogue's better support cards, but still... We must do the best we can with what we have, don't we?
    However: very good reading, and +1 for having made me know Melanie Iglesias!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bar Sark's Avatar
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    I've tried quite a few decks since starting SE (Allyless Nish, Allyless Amber pre-1.28, Allyless DC...Hmm, I sense a trend here.), but this thread made me miss my Suicide Black deck in M:TG, so I immediately went and started building an Elementalis Shard Rush deck. In retrospect Zaladar might have been a better choice, but it's late, I'm giddy on coffee, and honestly I don't play much Shadow, so my knowledge of it is comparatively lacking...lol.
    Bacon Berserker of Shadow Era, ETC. Eat. That. Cholesterol.

    Read my strategy article, Health is a resource!

    Winner of Shadow Era's First Community Flavor Contest! Radiant sunlight and Poor quality

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anqwa's Avatar
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    Very good post ^_^
    ~||There is no team,.. in Axe!||~
    Former White & Blue MTG player.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scion's Avatar
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    Nice reading. I am happy that more and more experienced players post tips and tricks. This means shadow era is expanding and growing as a community and as a game!
    "When I get sad I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead. True story!"
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A1: Evolution in Theory

  8. #8
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    Nice post. I think it would be helpful to have a checklist to go with each deck before you play it, to help with choices during the game:

    * Does taking early damage matter to me?
    * Does giving early damage matter to me?
    * Do I have any means of board wipe?
    etc, etc

    If you've played a deck enough then all the answers are there for you as soon as you ask the question (and, for some players, I expect the questions are automatically there in your head too!), but new players especially would benefit from developing the habit of asking and answering these questions of themselves.

  9. #9
    Junior Member cutlass44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bar Sark View Post
    I'm 90% sure there was more I intended to say in this post, but I watched the new Melanie Iglesias flipbook after typing the previous sentence, and now I've lost my focus.
    Excellent post. I've taken the liberty of quoting the most important parts of the original post. However, I noticed that some facts were not included to provide a conclusive summary of the topic thesis (hence the missing 10%) - mainly the Youtube link of above mentioned female's flipbook. I have taken the trouble of providing it to subsequent readers below.

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goF37gZpu_I

    tl;dr: Just click above Youtube link.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bar Sark's Avatar
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    Ah, yes! Thank you for correcting my oversight, cutlass.
    Bacon Berserker of Shadow Era, ETC. Eat. That. Cholesterol.

    Read my strategy article, Health is a resource!

    Winner of Shadow Era's First Community Flavor Contest! Radiant sunlight and Poor quality

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