Is Codex balanced?

Discussion in 'Codex' started by Momi, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Momi

    Momi New Member


    I bought into the hype, as well as the reputation of Sirlin games, and backed at the Deluxe Set level. I've been demoing Codex online, and think it's a fantastic game.

    One of the other things I liked was Sirlin Game's commitment to balance and updating, trying to help ensure that their games are as balanced as can be; However, upon reading the forums, that focus has seemed to have been pushed back, due to outcry from the publics reception, etc.

    I'm not commenting on the change in stance, though I do think it's a bit unfortunate; I'm just curious - what are your thoughts on the balance of the game so far?

    I know it's not even out yet, and so the mass testing potential/real tournament results just aren't there yet; in a game like this, balance will determine if it lives or dies. I'd hate to fall in love with a color/spec combination, and find out it's not particularly viable at a tournament level - or worse, a particular combination is overbearingly powerful.

    Anyways, I'm hopeful, loving the game from what I've played so far. Glad I backed, and looking forward to the full release.
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  2. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    Every known combination in the current version of the game seems to fit within A through D tiers. There are undoubtedly F-tier multicolour combinations with no useful synergy and cards negatively affecting each other, but there was never much of an effort to avoid this.

    There are suspected S-tier combinations, but none has been clearly established and several have been proven beatable by essentially building a tower.

    When I lose I think about what I did wrong or should have done differently, not how the game is rigged. The colour considered weakest, Blue, annoys me to no end when I play against it.

    Compared to fielding a starter and two boosters versus a tournament deck, we're not even in the same galaxy.
  3. Bryce "The Rice" Fieldworker

    Bryce "The Rice" Fieldworker Patreon Supporter

    We sure hope so!
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  4. CarpeGuitarrem

    CarpeGuitarrem Well-Known Member

    What this means, I think, is not that Codex won't try to be as balanced as possible; rather, we're unlikely to see a "Codex 2E" or anything remotely resembling that.
  5. EricF

    EricF Well-Known Member

    The worst possible combination of 3 specs is about 3-7 against any mono-color deck, which are, in turn, about 4-6 against the best multi-color decks (counting Neutral+2 of sane color as a multi-color).

    There are, however, more than 6 good multi-color options, and that is counting Spec 1/Spec 2 + (almost) any third spec as just 1 deck.
    Archon Shiva likes this.
  6. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    Yea @Momi I think @EricF is spot-on here. I suspect most mono-color matches are < 6-4, some are 7-3 at worst (though I am still looking for ways that Blue beats Black, it may be one exception!), and most sane multi-colors are 6-4 or 7-3 against mono-colors (again, mono-blue vs Demon / Necro / X perhaps being an exception).

    I also agree with @Archon Shiva that in the majority of my games, I can pretty readily find 2-3 key mistakes the losing player (often me) made that decided the outcome. There are some "bad beats" on card draw that can have moderately high impact, but overall if you recognize early your deck's win conditions vs the other deck, tech properly, and make good trades, you win against an opponent who didn't do this as well.

    We definitely aren't even in the same universe of matchup deficiencies and card draw randomness that MtG or the little I've played of Hearthstone encounter. I'm not convinced the claim that "you can't lose by sitting down at the table with a bad deck" is true (I think you can get 8-2 or worse deck matchups if you're really trying to have a terrible deck and your opponent did a good job crafting their deck), but I do think in the majority of cases matchups are fair fights winnable by both sides.
  7. Leontes

    Leontes IYL2 Yomi Bowl Champion Staff Member

    Even in the supposed 8-2 matchups though, each spec in a vacuum is pretty good, whether we're talking about their heroes, spells, or tech cards, and all of the starters are pretty good, too.

    So basically the game isn't in danger of anything being completely unplayable. I was pretty sad to see very little Blue being played at FSX (because I was streaming! I would have run mono-blue T_T) but I think it's really just a matter of time before players start to observe the meta, feel out what specific multicolor decks are trying to do (always remember that this is perhaps an inherent weakness of a multicolor deck; if it's a meta-defined option or the synergies are REALLY obvious, you are almost teching face up) and we should see a lot more variety in what is being played.

    At the very least, we won't see THREE decks be the only strong options that exist in the Codex meta at any given time. That's highly unlikely. Even if it WERE the case that there were only three good decks or something, at least they aren't hidden behind prohibitive costs and obfuscated by card rarities, lmao

    But I really believe that all of the mono colors are playable and that there should be at least 20 powerful multis out there, and I'm probably selling that number WAY short. If anything, the more time spent messing with multis the more awesome stuff we're gonna find. I'm pretty happy that people are already doing "random select" specs because those players are going to discover what things work and what things don't much faster than those who are spending all of their time theorycrafting!
  8. sharpobject

    sharpobject Well-Known Member


    We tried pretty hard to balance it, but you can definitely build a bad deck if you try. I don't think there's any multicolor that's 6-4 or better against all monocolors btw that's crazy
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  9. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    If there was ever a deck builder where it was impossible to build a terrible deck, I haven't heard of it. But in Codex, "pick three heroes you like" has pretty good odds of being no worse than 3-7 against anything. It takes skill to craft a deck that will go 2-8 when played well.

    There was actually a thread about this, making the worst possible multi-colour, and people kept finding cool (and often pretty powerful) tricks every single time.
  10. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    @Leontes and @sharpobject you did a great job and it's a testament to how good the game is that it's as well balanced as it is.

    This is a big ask and if you're too busy I understand, but would either / both of you mind doing a play-by-post or video of a live session of Blue vs Black? Especially the two of you together (since I know @sharpobject plays means Black and @Leontes I want to see how to play Blue!), I really want to be wrong about that being a tilted matchup!
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  11. lettucemode

    lettucemode Patreon Supporter

    Here's one for you:
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  12. keybounce

    keybounce Active Member

    More to the point, if there is a multi-color that is 6-4 or better against all single-colors, then a simple change to the multi-color penalty would solve that. Right now, it's one gold for the first building, and one gold each time a starter spell is cast by an off-color hero.

    If, for example, it was made 2g for each building, no multi-color deck would be comepetitive. So, there's a range for simple fine-tuning errata there.

    As for the "nasty colors/specs", basically Demons is probably one of the best, just because misplaying against Vandy hurts really, really BAD. I have lots of experience on that. :-0)
    frozenstorm likes this.
  13. sharpobject

    sharpobject Well-Known Member

    2g for each building is in "literally can't win a ton of the time" territory. So was the old penalty of 1 gold on turn 1.
  14. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    I think what he meant was that we've got everything in between. +1g on Tech III building probably borders on insignificant, +1g on all Tech buildings (but maybe not on add-ones) isn't as bad as +2g on Tech I, etc.

    Also, it's possible to make the penalty per colour. This, red/red/green is 1g the first time you build, but red/blue/green is 1g the first two times. This makes Bashing and Finesse a bit better, as well, because then they'd always help.

    At any rate, multi vs mono is something that can be tuned without touching a single card, and could even reasonably be adjusted at the tournament level, much like rules on swapping decks.
    frozenstorm likes this.
  15. Scarbo

    Scarbo Well-Known Member

    I think the biggest issue with monocolor is that swapping one of the specs for Finesse is usually just a huge boost, and that isn't affected by the multicolor penalty at all.

    I still don't see why we should care about monocolors more than any other decks though.

    Edit: I think that if one considers Color/Color/Finesse to be "monocolor" then monocolor actually holds up very well.

    Monopurple is Good because Past/Present is Good and doesn't need much else to function. Future isn't even bad as the third and actually the optimal third in some matchups.
    Monoblack with Finesse over Disease is one of the best decks in the game.
    Monowhite with Finesse over Discipline is pretty good.
    Monored seems pretty good idk

    Monoblue is a mess. All three of the specs are good, but they don't have much inherent synergy at all imo. Its best tech 2 plan by far (Peace) doesn't gain much from the other specs, none of the three have good targets to copy with Truth's mirrors, and Law has pretty specific needs that the other two don't fill imo. Finesse/Peace/Truth is ok, but there are better ways to take the Peace tech 2 imo.

    Monogreen is bad. None of them have great tech 2s, none of them have reliable hasty damage, and they have one (weak) removal card between them. Except unlike blue, it's not an issue of three good specs not working well together. It's three kinda meh specs not working well together (well Feral is good, the others are average or bad imo). I think Feral/Balance/Finesse might be ok but please please please don't take Bashing/Balance/Growth seriously.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  16. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    The reason to care about Monocolor is that they are the game's official "recommended decks", and Sirlin always said they had to be reasonably competitive, in the way that he considers everyone in SSFIITHDR is (which Zangief winning a major tournament supports pretty well). Finesse isn't Monocolor in that sense.

    I'm pretty sure Balance is still considered a great spec, with Midori's mere existence forcing an air defense plan. The fact that two heroes have anti-synergy feels like a problem, though.
  17. Scarbo

    Scarbo Well-Known Member

    Sure from a designer standpoint there's some reason for caring about the balance of prebuilt decks. From a player/tournament organizer perspective though the only thing that matters is having a diverse set of interesting playable decks in the format. As long as that condition is met (and it definitely seems to be in codex so far), further attempts to push mono color are unnecessary and a huge slap in the face to everyone who likes trying new things.
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  18. ClanNatioy

    ClanNatioy FSOCL Yomi Champion Ambassador

    The main reason I heard that Sirlin wanted monocolor to be viable was because he didn't want to sell some one a lame/bad product. When some one purchases Codex they're buying a couple of Monocolor decks and he wanted that person to have just as much a chance at winning tournaments as a person that bought everything for the game.
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  19. EricF

    EricF Well-Known Member

    As Sirlin has been so fond of saying "design is done, just play the game."

    Finesse, Anarchy, Blood, Balance, Demonology, Necromancy, Peace, Truth, Past, Present, and Strength (plus and/or minus one spec) can all be mixed and matched at will, and all of those decks are competitive with each-other.

    The other specs are all usable as well, but you do need to be careful about how you pair them up.

    Also, this is still relevant:
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  20. MooseKnuckles

    MooseKnuckles Active Member

    I think monogreen is pretty misunderstood and is really strong. Calamandra is the strongest opening hero in Codex, given the unstoppable threat of a turn 2 hero kill with her + rampant growth. Going the other way, it's really reasonable to get an econ advantage as green. Rich Earth/prospector/Galina are all situationally good at this, but just being able to summon the volume of units green does makes it so that patrol spots and/or tower get a ton of value if your opponent wants to put any pressure on you.

    I'm pretty confident that growth is a top tier Tech 2 - what do you think is stronger than it? I'm surprised to see @EricF not list it in the top specs.
  21. Scarbo

    Scarbo Well-Known Member

    I think Growth is easily a bottom 5 spec due to its weak hero, bad spells, and bad tech 1s. At the very least its tech 2 is directly outclassed by Peace for general use, which also has better cards at every other level except tech 3. I don't see a niche for it other than exactly growth/Necro/strength and maybe Growth/Ninjas/X. This thread isn't really the place to discuss specific specs though. :(
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  22. sharpobject

    sharpobject Well-Known Member

    Green without growth might just get destroyed by mono red?? Not sure. Argagarg is a pretty attractive hero for early defense too, but if you play the green starter you don't really need help there I guess.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  23. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    I've seen that game, Blue lost (despite getting a HUGE lead early!).

    I want to see Blue WIN!
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  24. deluks917

    deluks917 Yomi League 1 Champion

    "The worst possible combination of 3 specs is about 3-7 against any mono-color deck, which are, in turn, about 4-6 against the best multi-color decks (counting Neutral+2 of sane color as a multi-color)."

    Do people actually agree with this? This seems like an incredibly strong claim.
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  25. sharpobject

    sharpobject Well-Known Member

    I don't know how good the worst deck is, but it might be worse than that??

    It's easy to build "A deck with a really bad matchup against X" by not having the stuff good against X, but the worst deck is more of a challenge. Here's an attempt at the worst deck that I built in irc earlier:


    This deck tries to fall behind unrecoverably in the early game. Its best "early game combat hero" is Troq, and it has no "early game turtling hero" at all. Most of the spells do very little to fight on the board. Exeptions are Sickness, Intimidate, and The Boot. The tech 1 units are very redundant (3 guys like Gilded Glaxx, 2 guys like Crypt Crawler, and hopefully you never get to use Knight). The purple starter ensures that you can never sacrifice a cheap guy to Orpal's midband, and not playing Past makes it unlikely that Knight of the Conclave, Double Time, or Mech will come out in time to matter.

    One force that might keep this deck from sucking TOOO hard is the purple starter's pretty efficient defensive guys.

    What do u guys think of this deck.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  26. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    I'm not an expert at the game yet, but it seems a reasonable blanket statement to make from what I've seen so far.

    I suspect tournament results will bear out something like this.

    I think that deck sounds awful and might be 1-9 to the likes of past peace X or demon necromancy X
  27. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    I helped come up with that "worst deck". Though it still has wrecking ball for denying tech buildings. Final Smash is kind of like "win the game" when it goes off. Disease can still kill stuff and spread -1/-1 runes. Future is solid and is totally intact there, including the purple starter. So Tinkerer is an absolutely-must-kill guy still. Seems stronger than ST Cammy overall, or similar at least. That said, it's paying the multicolor penalty for no real reason. It can play mono-future and be reasonable; it can mix in some neutral stuff if needed, but it's probably(??) not getting much synergy from disease being in that mix, yet it's paying 1 gold every game for it being there.

    In case anyone has lost perspective, the fact that it's even a question that weakest if a thousand decks or whatever is maybe slightly stronger or slightly weaker than ST cammy is pretty mindblowing. Normally there's a struggle for there to be even 5 or 10 decks stronger than that, because that is the natural result you'd get if you allowed full customization. The strongest decks would be MUCH stronger and the weakest decks MUCH weaker then.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  28. sharpobject

    sharpobject Well-Known Member

    Yeah a few big ways for the deck to win are to use the purple starter's stally guys to protect a hero and resolve Death and Decay or Final Smash. That and you still get SOME time rune manipulation for playing purple, it seemed like that was worth it to make Orpal's midband hard to use though.
  29. lemaster

    lemaster Member

    Having Future around is great because the threat of assimilating buildings and upgrades makes the opponent reluctant to play things like hotter fire or might of leaf and claw. Not having to deal with those gives you a lot more space to manuever.
  30. keybounce

    keybounce Active Member

    In that "worst deck" example, isn't Brick Thief a neutral starter, and you are using the purple starter?

    As for mono-green:
    1. Under what circumstances do you ever play Rich Earth? As player 2, you lack the tempo you need -- basically not playing a combat unit in order to play that puts you behind. I've learned (from Race, LLL, etc) that this is not the way to win. And as player 1, it's a bad play turn 1, and by turn 4 the game won't last long enough to pay off the investment. So ... When?

    2. Since the base game is sold as red vs green, mono-green needs to be competitive against mono-red. Blue is sold as an expansion for people that want to do unusual stuff.

    Red and Green both play very much like Magic's Red and Green, right? Both of those are generally good colors (well, at least as well as any mono-color M:tG deck). ...

    Of the three green heroes, one has a good early attack, and brings in tiger T2's early; one threatens aerial assault at L8 (and very little else :-); and one can give a +1/+1 buff.


    The 6 green T1's include: Protected (flying) money generators, deathtouch, A decent 3/3 anti-air, a 3/4 overpower (as I understand it, 3/4 is a really good set of numbers for T1), a money generator that could generate very large amounts if you have board tempo, and ... that panda.

    If you are P1, and have tempo, that will let you go for money; you might lose tempo in the process, but you can bring in big units, or numbers of units.

    If you are P2? Deathtouch lets you set up trades, maybe, unless your opponent has a cheap, 0-cost T1 unit (... grr :-) that they can force for a trade. And the 3/3 and 3/4 let you defend, and maybe gain tempo.

    What green seems to lack is card draw. There's plenty of gold if you have tempo, but no good way to spend it that I've seen yet.

    And ... Green's best "flexibility" is circle of life -- turn your T1's into a variety of "as-needed" T2's. You can select from all of green's T2 choices -- but you are spending 2 cards for each T2, and bloating your deck in the process. That hurt me when I tried it.

    At tech 2, Growth has an "all or nothing" win, Feral has the "wear them down" win, and Balance has ... what?

    At spells, Balance has a turn to recover tempo, eliminate upgrades/building cards, and unit flexibility; Feral has general combat boost, making weak units stealthy, and pumping that growth "win" creature; growth has "Shrink to a squirrel", "Grow massive", and ... a panda spell?


    Green has good combat cards at T1 (deathtouch, anti-air, straight stats). The spells cover a variety of needs. There is combat quality in the heroes. So, what is it about green that makes the sum of the pieces not as good as the parts look? Yes, there's the whole "balance's midband doesn't help mono-green much" issue, but that's not enough to explain why it's a mess. Yes, there's plenty of ways to use two cards to do something, but that's no different than "promise of payment" being two cards to do something. The money generators are probably a perfect match for "Surplus" when you've got tempo and don't need tower.

    So what makes it a mess as a whole when the parts look so good?
  31. fodazd

    fodazd Active Member

    My personal impression when I played mono-green is that I felt constantly starved for cards. I don't build Surplus at all, because it feels prohibitively expensive, and also really fragile for a 5g investment.

    I didn't have the same problem with most of the other decks I played.
  32. Marto

    Marto Well-Known Member

    Well, 5g isn't that much if you manage to get value from Prospector, Rich Earth, Galina... And you have a good way to use excess of gold with maxband Cala if you wish to save cards.

    My major problem with green is the lack of counterstrategies. Green has near no unit hate, no hero hate, no direct damage. Balance has two good cards to deal with upgrades/spells, but well. And on top of it, there is no unit with haste, or with special resilience (no abilities preventing death, no double life, very few untargetable).
    When you add up everything, you see that you have no way to come back from a difficult start, or to be immediately threatening after a reset. You have difficulty to adapt your strategy, especially against hero-based decks.

    Note that changing one spec into Finesse damper many of the weaknesses I pointed out, so 'extended' monogreen is totally playable imho !
  33. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    Just want to add context that while it's an interesting and fun thought experiment, and even potentially a game mode, "worst possible multicolour" isn't actually something that needs to be remotely good - even if the worst 10% of all possible decks were 1-9 against half the Monocolor decks, that'd be perfectly fine because while buying the correct box shouldn't be a tested skill, mixing colors has always been intended to be. It's perfectly fine if you can shoot yourself in the foot.

    Examples of things that would be actually bad:
    • Decks that go 7-3 or better against all mono-colors;
    • Specs that can't ever improve any deck in any matchup;
    • Specs with a single win condition and no alternative.
  34. EricF

    EricF Well-Known Member

    2nd what Archon said - the worst decks are really bad, but that doesnt matter because none of the mono colors are among the "worst decks" and anyone exploring build space knows the risks they are taking.

    All specs, including Bashing, can be part of a deck that is as good as the mono-color versions. The difference between Demonology and Bashing is that Demon + x + y works for 90% of possible x and y combinations, while Bashing + x + y only works for less than 5%. (Where "works" means "goes approximately 30-30 or better when played 10 times against each mono-color)
    Leontes likes this.
  35. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    I agree with this post, and I think all those "bad things" are absent from the game.

    • Yet to see a multi-color that would be 70% winrate when played 10 times against all monocolors (we need a name for "plays 60 games between two experts, 10 games against each mono deck". "Rainbow Expected Winrate / REW"?). Maybe stuff like Demon / Necro / X or Past Peace X would be 55-60%? I think that's fine and a sign of great balancing work
    • Certainly not true. As Eric said, even Bashing could give a few decks better than 50% REW (stop trying to make REW happen, it's not going to happen!)
    • Don't think this is true. I'd be open to a debate on it, but even the "weaker" specs like Bashing and Law have options. Bashing has some burn and some stealth and some flying. Law could win by Community Service OR Lawbringer OR judgement day + a strong hasty pairing like Blood or Anarchy.
  36. enomus

    enomus Banned

    Why are people talking about Demons/Necro/X when the real threat is Demons/Finesse/X
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  37. frozenstorm

    frozenstorm Active Member

    I don't know if it's "people" or just me. I find Vandy and Garth to be insanely good partners in crime just from my personal experience, but Demon / Finesse / X (or specifically Demon / Necro / Finesse!) are also nuts from the little I've seen of it!
  38. keybounce

    keybounce Active Member

    So, are you saying that mono-green is, in fact, playable, just a matter of learning how to play it? (i.e.: Hard to play, but competitive if you know how)?
  39. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    "Is mono-green PLAYABLE?"

    Like what are you even talking about. Yes of course it's "playable". It has a whole lot of versatility and also a lot of internal synergy. On top of that, it just has strong stuff. A beefy starting deck with very good buffs and strong tech Is that let you go for beef like Centaur or econ. It's kind of too much even list all the strong stuff. Calamandra's existance counters a bunch of stuff you might die to, Nature Reclaims counters a bunch of other stuff you might die to. Random stuff like Spirit of the Panda being generally good. Generally good tech 2s such as Barkcoat Bear, Rampaging Elephant, Faerie Dragon. Having Artisan Mantis as anti-red and anti-one-plan-of-black.

    I'd recommend mono-green above all other decks as a first deck to get good at actually. Because it's just generally strong without needing complicated plays to work, but also has so much synergy, so many tricks, and such good ability to counter specific plays that it continues to be interesting even as your skill improves.
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  40. Archon Shiva

    Archon Shiva Well-Known Member

    Mono-green is absolutely playable, and the reason it doesn't have many counters to board presence is that its core strategy is board presence - the other colors need haste and removal just to stay in the race. On the other hand, since Green's not reactive, it means you must play while being aware of what the opponent could do.

    To think that a colour with Might of Leaf and Claw cannot be a serious competitive threat baffles me, though.
  41. Sotek

    Sotek Well-Known Member

    Green has a couple things where you have to recognize a potential threat and preemptively tech an answer - if you don't tech tiny basilisk first turn and you needed to kill a hero on turn 4 ... well, oops. Don't make that mistake.

    I think green has a bit of a U-shaped power curve - It's good at low levels when neither player knows how to do much of anything and just flailing with big bodies is a winning strat, then at intermediate levels where people know how to threaten with heroes or backliners or various other things but don't know how to answer them with green it's not so great, and then once you know how to handle those things it's definitely competitive.
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  42. deluks917

    deluks917 Yomi League 1 Champion

    My opinion is that it is impossible to tell if codex is balanced or not. I am even skeptical of numbers for specific individual match ups. While you could have alot of experience in a mu at present you can't tell if one side is just misplaying badly. A game needs an active community before one can seriously evaluate balance claims. This goes for ALL balance claims. Both "the game is pretty balanced and all the mono-colors are good" and also "XYZ are totally broken."

    Of course an alternate view is that Sirlin deserves the benefit of the doubt. This view has some merits. But "Benefit of the doubt" should only produce extremely tentative opinions.
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  43. lemaster

    lemaster Member

    Wow, way to choose THE most controversial way to make your point.
    "It's possible the game designer and playtesters had a clue, but I doubt it."
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  44. keybounce

    keybounce Active Member

    Green, so far for me, seems to have one "winning" T2 path: growth, for the might of leaf and claw and blooming ancient.

    Internal synergy? One hero buffs only a few units, and then another hero removes that buff. Right away that seems like a conflict, not a synergy.

    Take the following as my observation, not as "truth":
    You can mix and match all six of the T1 units, but you have to select a single set of T2's. Mono green does have a way to use a spell plus a T1 unit to make use of all of the T2 units in the codex, but having tried that, it results in your deck being bloated, and you're spending 2 cards and extra gold per "off topic" T2 unit. You need that hero out and a spell card -- it's not reliable.

    Any deck is "playable". The question is, can it compete at high-end play. I can't answer that -- I'm no where near good enough. But I can see what I've tried, and what I've done, and what I've been told by others when I asked people who are much more knowledgeable than me.

    An Econ build has a horrible Rock-paper-scissors problem. If you are putting out cards for econ growth, you aren't putting out cards for board control, and so far, board control has been the number one most important factor in every game I've played -- losing board control has always resulted in my death when I was player one, and failing to maintain parity / contest control as player 2 turns into a wipeout. There does not seem to be any room in this game for an econ build. The classic example of the problem with an econ build is that Rich earth is a bad play for P1T1, and "too little too late" by P1T4.

    Most of the other colors have some way to draw extra cards in their specs. Whether it's a maxband hero, a spell, a card that draws when it arrives, etc. Green has, I think from memory, one single T0 unit with that. Green's T2 flexibility comes with the same -1 card cost as purple's promise of payment -- and I've used both of those, and found them both to fail horribly for me.

    Heck, even Finesse's ultimate spell is easier to draw extra cards than green, and neutral is supposed to be a lesser choice (no multi-color penalty, etc).

    Which gets back to the whole "You have to focus on combat units".

    Can you afford the cards for the econ build? You have to not tech in additional combat cards, and you have to play combat cards for the board plus non-combat cards for econ.

    Can you afford the cards for the boosting build? You have to not tech in additional combat cards, and you have to play additional spell cards, plus bring in the right hero.

    Green has flexibility when it has card draw, and it lacks that.
    Surplus is a generic way to improve draw, and it requires that you have board dominance first.

    In mono hero starter, River building Surplus is a no-brainer -- her units are cheap, and she can't spend her money otherwise. She can put down enough cheap units to keep bashing out of the back field.

    In 3v3? If I'm spending 5g for surplus, I'm giving my opponent easily 1.5 units of field advantage, or a midband hero. That makes it very hard to defend the surplus -- it's too expensive and too fragile.

    As for Cali?
    Start band: Discard 2 cards, so she can attack with stealth. In a spec that is already tight on cards.
    Midband: Resist on units (not heroes)
    Max band: After putting 7g into Cali, you can spend 4g to bring out a tiger unit. Yes, that lets you bring out tigers without spending cards. There are two good tigers in mono-green -- both in Feral. Predator means that if you have board control, and wiped out your opponent's T1 patrol units, you can now start killing workers and preventing them from getting back.

    So, player 1, turn 3: after buying 3 workers, you have 3+4+5=12 gold total. Not yet. Turn 4, earliest, you bring out a predator tiger. Turn 5, earliest, you attack with it. Your opponent will have played T1 units, so the "ignores T0" isn't much of a stop yet. Yes, Cali has stealth so she can (pay 2 cards) get rid of one T1 patroller, maybe; a strong T1 patroller behind a T0 SQL, or two T1 patrollers, and your tiger's big ability doesn't work. (P2 may have T2 built turn 3, and a unit out turn 4, just before your tiger can attack). And if you're later than that? Then it's just "normal" units -- paying 4 to bring out a 4 cost tiger that's just another on-time T2 unit.

    And once those tigers have died? If you're going for growth for the big win, they can't be resummoned (neither circle of life, nor Calimandra's ability let you play from your hand or discard, only from your codex), so they are only usable for workers. Feral T2 for the win? No flying or anti-air. The two big units -- Gigadoon and elephant -- are expensive. Gigadoon at least gets a good discount if you summon frogs first; the rest of the spec looks like typical T2 combat units.

    Speaking of summon frogs: Over in Ninjitsu, Sets' summon spell summons Ninjas, and she has T2 and T3 support for ninjas (her T3 brings in more). Here, Cali's summon spell summons frogs, and her t3 summons/works on squirrels. Both are 1/1, yet there's another example of lack of synergy. There's no T2 support for either. (The polymorph squirrel spell is a different hero.)

    Green has "all the options", like bashing. But they are across 3 T2's.
    The old phrase: "Jack of all trades, master of none, better than a master of one" doesn't hold in Codex -- you need to have a master strategy because your opponent will. Green's master strategy seems to be (have I missed something?) blooming ancient and/or might of leaf and claw (consider that 4 frogs can attack for 4 of the 5 needed pips.)

    Cali doesn't help with that. Midori doesn't help with that. Well, Midori without Cali will help, but Cali's "gift" of resistance wrecks Midori's help. So you need Cali to bring out the frogs, and then have to lose Cali for Midori's bonus.

    Something to try next time: Finesse + Feral -- use Appel Stomp to clear the patrol zone, so that tigers can kill off workers. Not sure which starter to use, nor which 3rd spec.
  45. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Only 153 of the 171 possible x and y combinations when you start with [FIRST SPEC] exclude [SECOND SPEC] So to hit 90%, at least one Demonolgy combo has to include Bashing. Conversely, 5% of 171 is between 8 and I want to ask for you list of the combinations where you feel Bashing is viable without Demonolgy. Because your post above claims there are strictly fewer than 7 of them.


    But I'm willing to bet that you didn't realize that is what you were claiming. And that is my real point about Codex balance discussions.
    Alextfish, Bomber678 and Sotek like this.
  46. zem

    zem Super Moderator Staff Member

    Is codex balanced? Let's use math to find out.
    GRAG, lettucemode and mysticjuicer like this.
  47. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    lol at only one "winning" set of tech2s. Seriously you are being way, way reductionist and exaggerating here to the point its infuriating. It's pretty crappy to outright claim two thirds of green tech 2 paths are unplayable junk. Frankly I think you have no idea what you're talking about, keybounce. And I'm fed up with your endless stream of threads that make claims like this.
    Alextfish and GGBergen.nei like this.
  48. lettucemode

    lettucemode Patreon Supporter

    I won a pretty hype game as basically solo-Balance here. I wasn't playing mono-green, but even if I was I would have still gone Balance anyway, because Wandering Mimic.

    So much for "synergy"!

    There are lots of examples of PbF games where someone goes Rich Earth turn 1 and wins. Merfolk Prospector is popular too.

    How easy is it to pull off those things compared to Young Treant, do you think? What are the costs of doing so, again compared to Young Treant?

    Calamandra's maxband + young treant are pretty good at getting you back up on cards. You don't need a Tech II building to get the tigers either, remember.

    What about Huntress, Water Elemental token, Polymorph: Squirrel, heck even Circle of Life in a pinch. Also if your opponent is playing flying stuff when you have a bear or elephant, that seems fine. They can't block your guys and the flying things will have lower stats, so you win in a damage race.

    Injunction is pretty good at this too, and easier to set up.
  49. enomus

    enomus Banned

    How else would you determine if a game is balanced if not through math?
  50. CarpeGuitarrem

    CarpeGuitarrem Well-Known Member

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