View Full Version : Nibblin Hunting Pack is a bad, overcosted card

08-16-2013, 11:14 AM
I would like Nibblin Hunting Pack to be rebalanced, because as it stands now I do not ever expect to play it or see it played in any format ever. While it is unlikely, there are some poor commons that I would expect to see occasionally in Draft play, like the Mangled Zombie, Soothing Breeze, Honeycap, Mortar Strike or Zodiac Shaman. But the Nibblin Hunting Pack just costs way too much for play and activation for me not to wish I had drawn anything else.

While comparing Commons to Rares is a bit like apples to oranges, comparing the Nibblins to a Living Totem demonstrates the distance between the Hunting Pack and a good, solid card.

All that I think would need to happen to make this a reasonably good card for a common is to close some of that distance. I think the best balance would be to drop the Cost to 3, and to reduce the cost of the activation effect to 3 as well. It is in both ways still not nearly as good as a Totem, but is a somewhat reasonable 3rd turn drop and resource sink in Limited play. (Albeit one that would still leave me wishing I had drawn a Glimmerglen Witch instead.)

Another way of looking at this is to compare it to the next worst 4-cost 2/2, the Shadowgrove Witch. Also a common, the Witch has an ability with a reasonable chance of killing or nerfing an enemy troop before it ever sees play. This just gets more likely in Limited where she'll see high troop ratios. Not a great card, but still better than a card that has to pay for itself all over again just to get +1/+1.

Just my 2 cents, and keep up the great work Crypto-minions!

08-16-2013, 11:25 AM
Nibblin Pack's pretty decent in draft. If you look at it purely as a 2/2 for 4, it's bad. If you look at it as a 2/2 that has the potential to be relevant well beyond the lifespan of other 4-cost commons, then it's decent.

Comparing Nibblin Pack and Living Totem is comparing a card designed specifically for limited play with a card that has potential to break into certain competitive PvP decks, as well as being fantastic in PvE. Card companies have learnt that making cards good in limited actually gives players a chance to play with those cards, even though under the ruthless chopping board of competitive deckbuilding those cards would never get given a second look.

If it became 3 and 3, it'd be far too good for its intended role, and would go from being a mid to late pick in draft to being a mid to high pick. Relevancy of cards is a huge issue in all formats, but especially in draft where you don't get free reign of what cards you pick.

Honestly, in wild/blood I'd probably prefer this - this will always have the chance to be relevant on its own. If you get unlucky with the witch, then she's always just a 2/2 for 4. It's certainly not a Boulder Brute, but as far as commons go, not bad at all.

08-16-2013, 11:57 AM
It does seem like limited formats degenerate to draw-to-draw play more often than constructed, and there is a lot of turns with tons of unexploited resources. If Nibbin Hunting Pack hits the table during that situation, it may lead to victory.

08-16-2013, 12:17 PM
We had a lengthy discussion on the merits of 'bad' cards here. (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=26830) There were some articles written by MTG devs which I thought were particularly enlightening.

Anyhoo, one of the points that was made was that the limited format, in part, is about challenging yourself by putting yourself in sub-optimal situations, such as using a deck with 'bad' cards. And yeah, this one's not too shabby in that situation.

There's also the fact that it's literally impossible not to have 'bad' cards, as 'bad' cards only exist in relation to 'good' cards. Burn is only a good card because there isn't a 3-damage 1-cost quick action, for example.

08-16-2013, 12:21 PM
You beat me to the link, Hemlock. I was about to post the same thing.
It's also worth noting that if Wild continues the pattern it has, (and the pattern that green shows in MTG) generating additional resources, quickly, should not even be slightly difficult. If you can get enough resources to empty your hand, it's good to have permanent resource sinks that improve your board state, even if they are expensive.

08-16-2013, 12:30 PM
I'm down with cards that remain relevant over the course of a game, and digital mechanics that support that are one of the things I'm really looking forward to in Hex. But at 4-cost for a 2/2, the Nibblins are starting off nearly irrelevant by taking up space for a better common 4 drop. Or 3 drop. Or 2. And if you should be in such a bad game situation that you have 4 resources lying around and nothing to do with them and the Hunting Pack is still alive, you can pay for the overpriced Nibblins yet again just to turn them into a 3/3 that you could have had to start with. (Glimmerglen Witch being a Wild, common counter-example.)

I respect your thoughts, Jax, but I would challenge you to run some test drafts with even our incomplete card set and see if/when you would actually draft the Nibblins, and having drafted them whether they end up in a Limited deck. I think Wild is one of the strongest drafting shards at present, and there are many better common and uncommon cards that in my thinking push the Nibblins out of the running every time.

After dropping the cost and activation to 3, I think it just begins to compete in the same arena as other common 3 drops like the aforementioned Witch, Buccaneer, Shamed Gladiator, Phoenix Guard Scout, Wrathseeker, etc.

08-16-2013, 12:52 PM
It'd be a mid to late pick, but I wouldn't call it bad. Without doing a draft - I haven't done a draft since the first sim came out a while ago, which had no AI so wasn't 'quite' representative of an actual draft :-P - I'd imagine I'd be content to run up to 2 in a deck. Of course, this is in a vacuum, and if the set 1 draft environment ends up being towards the aggressive end of the scale that opinion might change.

I couldn't imagine running 3+ though, because multiples would quickly become a weight dragging you down.

Does it need to be rebalanced? It's a tough call. If you reduce both by 1, you risk making it better than all the other 3 drops. A Gray Ogre that can actually go on-curve for an echo cost? While we don't know how this and future limited environments will pan out, from a Magic background that seems pretty good. However, many of the commons/uncommons we've seen thus far are on-curve, so perhaps Gray-Ogre status isn't good enough for Hex limited.

Relooking at the commons and uncommons currently seen in wild though, you're right, most of them are capable of being on-curve or above on their own without mana investment (though the ragers are conditional on attacking, which might not always be feasible).

At this point, I'll move more to the fence rather than staying on one side or the other, and wait to see more spoilers - though I kind of hope it does end up proving to be a fair cost for the card and the ability, so that we are once again reminded that the devs know what they're doing. ^^

Edit: looking over Magic cards, the closest in cost and effect to Nibblin is Feral Hydra, http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=220684 - for 4 mana you get it as a 3/3, and it costs 3 to put a counter on it. However, that's also a rare card. Of course, the biggest issue isn't so much the rarity; it's that at this point I'd say the overall power level of common and uncommon troops in Hex seems to be higher than in Magic, so 4 mana for a 3/3 with a 3 mana perm +1/+1 ability might be uncommon or even common level in Hex. Just food for thought I guess. :-3

08-16-2013, 01:23 PM
I'm down with cards that remain relevant over the course of a game, and digital mechanics that support that are one of the things I'm really looking forward to in Hex. But at 4-cost for a 2/2, the Nibblins are starting off nearly irrelevant by taking up space for a better common 4 drop. Or 3 drop. Or 2. And if you should be in such a bad game situation that you have 4 resources lying around and nothing to do with them and the Hunting Pack is still alive, you can pay for the overpriced Nibblins yet again just to turn them into a 3/3 that you could have had to start with. (Glimmerglen Witch being a Wild, common counter-example.)

It's more relevant than you think; it trades with or just eats all but 3* troops at common and 4 cost or less (and that's taking into account a toughness boosting gem on Shamed Gladiator). Then it has the ability to mess up combat, and become an inevitable threat. I'm not saying it's good, I wouldn't play it over Glimmerglen Witch, but Glimmerglen Witch is one of the best troops at common. The choice will never be between the Witch or the Pack, it would be the Pack over Runts of the Litter, or over Honeycap and even in its current state there are situations where you would rather run the Pack over either of those.

*Granted, 3 more troops at common have flight, but they would still trade if they had to block the Pack.

08-17-2013, 10:57 AM
I think I see what Cryptozoic did here.

Everyone is agreed that Nibblins will never see the inside of a Constructed PVP deck. I believe that in the final valuation in Limited/Draft play they will always be a draw in the latter half of the pack, and given the quality and numbers of good Wild draft picks just as revealed so far, I think the Nibblin Hunting Pack as-is will hardly ever be drafted into a deck.

However, as part of a very easily available PVE deck that is especially good against swarm dungeons, the Nibbllin Hunting Pack could shine. With both pieces of equipment these cards become Crushing monsters that get bigger every time an enemy dies. You can just forget the fact that they're also pumpable resource sinks if you don't happen to have 4 mana around. The Pygmy Slippers and Kawarimi Seal are Command and Uncommon respectively, and everyone will be able to put 4 Hunting Packs in a deck. I see these now as being an early PVE power play available to even casual players, and still a reasonable consideration later on if a dungeon is throwing swarms at you.

That said, I still think the cost or activation cost or both should be reduced to also make this an interesting card in Draft.

08-19-2013, 11:38 AM
Anyway you look at it, this card is mediocre for the cost. Most of the 4 and lower mana creatures we'd seen so far are well tuned to their cost, this is well below the scale with an ability on its own is mostly only useful for suicide attacks on larger creatures at very high cost.

08-19-2013, 12:51 PM
It's a mid to low draft pick, but I can guarantee you there are worse creatures, even just in wild. You'd often be ok with including one in a wild/x deck, and because of the large number of commons in set 1 vs the number of commons an entire draft pod will see, on average the whole table will only see 1-2 (and there'll generally be 2+ players in each shard).

08-20-2013, 09:35 AM
To be honest, when i saw the Living Totem revealed i thought, thats a 2/2 for 2, decent card, but i probably would never play it since it is diamond and rare (rare means only viable in pve or competitive pvp but not in draft).

when i saw the Nibbling Hunting Pack i thought, that is a cool card 2/2 for 4 is pretty bad but it is common and i can dump mana i do not need into it, and it is wild (the colour that is supposed to produce a ton of resources)
in draft probably 4 copies playable
and in a mono wild shin hare deck a card to dump the huge amounts of produced resources.

weird assumption i know^^

08-20-2013, 03:18 PM
having a resource sink can be very valuable to avoid no plays if you are drawing resources etc and while totem is amazing, if you are playing wild then pack is what you get. Even if you aren't pulling nothing if you are pulling 1 or 2 drops you are still likely to be able to pump this. I certainly wont be complaining if people don't draft this though because I will take 1 or 2 of them if I can get it last pick even better :).

I would be very careful basing any assumptions on the limited draft simulator we have available - while it can be a lot of fun we are not seeing representative packs come out in those drafts with so many cards remaining unspoiled or not updated.

Also don't be knocking the Shaman too hard it may be junk and I know it seems revolting to me but there aren't a lot of troops spoiled which can actually kill it without buffs, seeing that come down against you may shut down your attacks entirely.