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Showing posts from November, 2023

My Watchlist

We know the BCP has a watchlist for cards that are under review for banning/nerfing.  With the upcoming changes to Ashur Tablets and Emerald Legionnaires announced, but not detailed, I thought I take a few minutes to talk about some cards that I feel are problematic in the game.  I'll forego any talk about the upcoming changes. (I don't know what they are and any more talk about those cards at this point is just tilting at windmills.) My Watchlist This probably isn't my full list, but it's what is on my top of mind right now, which means they're important enough to remember that I have problems with them and important enough to think about what we need to do about it. Veil of Darkness A card that Black Chantry must be concerned about because it wasn't even reprinted in Echoes of Gehenna. The effect is powerful, a permanent chance to cancel cards.  There may be some problem with the effect, which is never going to be applied evenly.  Some decks run more Master ca

How Variants Improve Skill: Applying What We've Learned

Well, that was a lot of decklists and a lot of minutiae. So, we're going to take a step back and review deck variants from a higher level. Some Basic Tenets for Variants Honestly, most of these apply to building decks from scratch too. 1. Understand what the original deck is doing. It may be obvious, but you can't play the original or hope to create a workable variant without first understanding how the deck works.  How does it intend to oust?  How does it intend to survive being ousted? Breaking down the deck into categories, similar to the way I broke down the variant comparisons will help you gain this understanding if you're struggling to sort it out.  Notice how some decks have polyvalent cards and how those cards end up in different categories.  That provides flexibility at play time. 2. Understand how you want to alter the original deck. There are many possible ways to create deck variants.  Switching groupings, changing clans, V5-

How Variants Improve Skill: Overview

A while ago, I was honored to participate in a survey of top players by Oriol Pubil ( BcnCrisis ).  He compiled and analyzed the results for his YouTube channel .  The first question that he asked in his survey was "How good is your deck building skill? (1 worst to 10 best)."  I responded with 7.  I honestly feel that there are many better deckbuilders than me.  However, that question got me thinking more about how I improved my deckbuilding skill over the years. The survey hit during the same period as the Week of Nightmares and Origins , so I was contemplating deckbuilding a lot as I saw what folks were playing.  For the Friday night tournament, I played a group 2 Setite (the old school guys will always be Setites to me) Death Star deck.  I won that event.  It was the third time that I've won with a Death Star deck and each with a different clan. That's when I realized one of the ways I got better at deckbuilding: don't cl

How Variants Improve Skill: Ravnos Example

Tow variants down and one last one to go. As we've seen previously with the Followers of Set and Daughters of Cacophony versions, adapting the Death Star to a new clan opens up new options. My Original Ravnos Version I never played this original version in a tournament. After a test of two and some more experience with the other designs, I realized that I had taken an incorrect approach. I won't make that many updates in the winning version, but what was I thinking trying to play Durga Syn in this deck? Deck Name: Shilmulo Death Star Author: Karl Schaefer Crypt (13 cards, min=4 max=30 avg=4) ==================================== 1x Durga Syn 9 CHI OBF THA ani aus dom for Ravnos:4 1x Alexis Sorokin 8 CEL CHI OBF PRO for Ravnos:4 1x Tatiana Stepanova, Alastor 7 CHI PRE ani for obf Ravnos:4 1x Vassily Taltos 6 aus cel chi dom for obf Ravnos:4 1x Irena

How Variants Improve Skill: Setite Example

In our last post, we talked about the original Death Star design and I shared some of the criteria that I used when determining what clans might be suitable replacements for Banu Haqim in a Death Star variant. In this segment, we'll discuss my Followers of Set variant. They were the first clan I chose to make a variant with. My Original Follower of Set Version This is the first version that I made.  (Keeping all of my versions of decks finally pays off!)  I was able to reach the finals with it, gathering 2GW 7 VPs along the way.  A poor seating choice and a misplay cut my chances to zero.  Let's take a look at the deck. Deck Name: Death Star (Setite Version) Author: Karl Schaefer Description: Original version. Crypt (13 cards, min=4 max=26 avg=3.77) ======================================= 1x Qufur am-Heru 7 OBF PRE SER cel tha Ministry:2 1x Sarrasine 7 OBF PRE aus nec ser Ministry:2 1x Ezekiel, Lord of Montreal 6 PRE S

How Variants Improve Skill: Daughters of Cacophony Example

In our last post, we reviewed our first Death Star variant , using the Followers of Set. Using the criteria from my original post, I decided that the Daughters of Cacophony would be the next clan I tried to create a Death Star variant with. My Original Daughters of Cacophony Version This is the first version that I made.  I earned 1 GW 3VPs, which was enough to make it into the finals.  I was ousted holding an oust for my prey on my next turn.  I had a solid chance of doubling-up and grabbing my grandprey too, but alas never got to take that turn.  Let's take a look at the deck. Deck Name: (Death) Stars of the Stage Author: Karl Schaefer Crypt (13 cards, min=4 max=23 avg=3.31) ======================================= 2x Yseult 6 FOR MEL PRE Daughter of Cacophony:3 1x GaĆ«l Pilet 6 FOR MEL chi pre Daughter of Cacophony:2 2x Angela Preston 5 MEL PRE for Daughter of Cacophony:2 1x D