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The problem with the lack of competent blockers.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:27 pm
by Maximvs
My opinion on why spellweaver needs better blockers and the negative consequences of having such emphasis on spell removal.

First I'd like to say I find it weird that most card games have good blockers ( 0 atk 8 hp for example ) but not Spellweaver.

Most good decks runs about 8 spell removal in it. Some even more than that. The first thing a spellweaver player will notice if he doesn't run spell removal is that a rush creature can deal half your hp in damage, even more, if he rushes and starts the game. He plays a 2/1 goblin. You play a blocker. He removes it with a spell and attacks your face. You play another blocker. He removes it with a spell and attacks with his goblin again. Rinse, repeat.

Because of that, spell removal is indispensable in most decks. Because of that, most decks you will play against runs spell removal. Because most decks runs spell removal, most of your creatures with only 1 or 2 hp will die really easily. Because of that, most decks with creatures with only 1 or 2 hp can suck very quickly. Now, that some early creatures sucks after a few rounds of play is normal. But what about all the midrange creatures? I mean, every midrange creature with only 1 or 2 hp isn't worth a damn. That 3 atk 2 hp archer with ranged? That creature has a lot more chances of being a loss of tempo than actually doing it's job.

Because of this game design, every midrange creature with 1 or 2 hp just plain sucks. Even those with 3 hp sucks somewhat. There are a lot of early creatures with nothing but brute statistics ( atk, hp ) but most midrange creatures don't necessarily have brute statistics ; most have the same statistic as a rush creature but with an extra ability that you will very rarely get to use unless it's an ability when it enters or exits the field. It's as if removing a midrange creature is -almost- as easy as removing a rush creature.

If spellweaver had better blockers, people would play less spell removal. If people played less removal, more decks could work better. Fey decks would stand more of a chance. Your 2 hp 2 level 3 mana archer wouldn't die to a 1 mana noxious fumes all the time. Creatures with 1 - 2 hp would see more play and midrange would stand more of a chance. A board could stack more creatures and make the game more interesting rather than just play 1 creature each turn and watch it being destroyed 5 times in a row, because in spellweaver, the first 5 creatures you play will be destroyed, whether it be rush, midrange or even if you wait until the endgame to play creatures.

Another aspect of this problem is how being the attacker is almost always an advantage. Whoever's turn it is is the attacker. During combat, you get 2 moments to cast an instant, the blocker only gets 1 moment. The attacker sees the field on how it is and knows exactly how it's going to turn out, unless the blocker kept spare mana. He can decide not to attack and this mana is most likely going to be wasted if so. Not only that, but by using certain cards in his deck, the attacker can put the current turn's mana in combat as well. By using any spell that affects combat right away, any might token and etc. There are so many of those, I'd say more than half the combats in average includes such an effect.

Consider the mana spent in total as the average power of the player.
Turn 1 : Player 1 gets 1 mana
Turn 2 : Player 2 gets 2 mana ( assuming he uses the spark of initiative right away )
Turn 3 : Player 1 gets 2 more mana, for a total of 1 or 3 valid for combat ( Which is usually 1 if it wasn't needed or 3 if it was needed ) where as the blocker has 2 mana total power.
Turn 4 : Player 2 gets 2 more mana for a total of 2 or 4 valid for combat ( Which is usually 2 if it wasn't needed or 4 if it was needed ) where as the blocker has 3 mana total power.

By having so many cards that can affect combat right away, and by playing said cards only when you need to, it means that most combat will result in the attacker having more mana power total than the defender, along with all the other advantages. Another reason why it's easier to go the spell removal route than attempting to play a blocker. The only way to remove that attacker advantage is to empty your opponent's hand, by discarding cards, or just forcing him to play his cards until he got none left. To get to the point where the blocker has his 1 mana advantage ( which is almost nothing ), the game needs to have been going for a while. And after a while, when peeps got at least 2+ levels and 5+ mana, this 1 mana "advantage" isn't really worth a damn anymore.

Examples of better blockers :

0 atk 6 hp protected cannot attack

1 atk 1 hp protected deadly cannot attack

0 atk 6 hp protected cannot attack, must block a creature if able. Destroy it and the creature blocked at the end of combat. Sacrifice this creature at the start of your turn and draw a card.

Target blocker you control has 0 atk but +2 hp until end of turn. Draw a card. 0 mana cost instant.

0 atk 5 hp cannot attack cannot be attacked by more than 1 creature


What do you think?

Re: The problem with the lack of competent blockers.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:56 am
by Drygord
spell removal != removal spell

Re: The problem with the lack of competent blockers.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:56 am
by iLikeCookies
So if you make protected blockers, they would crowd control an enemy creature without opponent being able to stop it. Protected dedicated blocker creatures should then be fairly costed. Use of basic zash, and deadly creatures would become more important. I think we could print some protected blockers, but these must be very carefully tuned. There is room to nerf rush a tad. But you also don't want it to become way too easy to survive until late game against aggressive decks.

When both players have a protected blocker, it can also swing the game in the favor of the deck that has better value/tempo generation. As you'd have to wait with attacking until you can end the game. Soldiers would be spawning a 1/1, and stacking emblems. Tombs of the Damned would be spawning a few zombies.

Never attacking is also not great gameplay. So protected blockers must be done in a way that they don't threaten to kill anything. ie, have 0 attack.

You could also make unprotected blockers that will cost more mana to remove than to play. Relic Guard is a good example. Rage will likely have to spend 2 mana on it to kill it. Even if it took damage from a creature that turn. Voidtouched Subordinate is not a good example of this. As it merely goes 1 for 1 in tempo and cards.

Re: The problem with the lack of competent blockers.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:59 am
by Maximvs
I'd like more options than start the game going full rush or full spell removal.

Re: The problem with the lack of competent blockers.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:17 am
by ripDreyla
You would have to have blockers that aren't target-able by spells, but that would basically kill any aggro completely from the game, it wouldn't actually balance anything, it would just make aggro obsolete. Which isn't good either.

If you don't make these blockers UN-target-able by spells, people will just find other spells to run to remove them, there are many now.

So what is wrong with say Vampiric Ashes? In your example they would need to use their goblin and a fireball to destroy it which is pretty good value for a blocker. Or if they have assassinate they just use that, so in that case it isn't beneficial as a blocker, so it depends on what spell type they have.

Guess we could do with some more blockers like that.