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Thread: IQ Results - And what the real problem is with the current metagame

  1. #1

    IQ Results - And what the real problem is with the current metagame

    First off, huge congrats to Vazrael for winning the 3rd IQ and first constructed one with Tetzot Azurecannon. This thread is to not dishonor that win in any way at all and the victory was well earned with no controversy (outside of Funktion losing game 2 by disconnect).

    I wanted to just state my opinions on the health of the game at the moment by providing results as evidence to the problem and try to figure out what should be done. I'll preface this by saying that all games try to limit non-interactive decks because quite frankly they're not very fun to play against and sometimes even play with. It should be the main goal of a game/set designer to create cards that encourage interaction and close back and forth games. Unfortuntely, in Hex right now, that simply isn't the case.

    For those new to the game, the Ruby direct damage prime gem has been the topic of discussion since set 1. In fact, it was even nerfed once waaaaaay back in set 1 alpha. The gem stopped seeing play for a while and then we started seeing it pop up again during set 2 and now it's running rampant in the set 3 meta. Why is this gem in particular bad for the game? Well, due to cards like Arborean Rootfather and Azurefate Sorceress it creates non-interactive games where players can stall long enough to deal 20 damage to an opponent without attacking, without caring what is on the field. Sure, there are ways to stop this in the game but having to play certain cards in your deck to be able to interact the little that you can with these decks is not the sign of a healthy game.

    The top 8 of the IQ was 3 Ramp decks, 2 Mono blood decks, 2 Azurecannon decks, and 1 unknown. For sake of argument we'll say that the unknown deck was a r/w ramp deck. By that we can see that 6 of the top 8 decks utilized the ruby prime gem in question and the finals were a battle of "best ruby damage gem" deck. Ramp isn't the boogeyman here. Rootfather isn't the problem, fast resources isn't the problem, Periwinkle isn't the problem. Those are all perfectly fair cards. The problem is that the game immediately becomes non-interactive the moment a player plays an Arborean Rootfather with the direct damage gem.

    The gem at the very least should be 2 threshold. It's entirely too easy to splash as it is. I don't think that it should exist at all personally. Just putting out a feeler to see how the community feels. This is not a rant thread. This is just trying to get opinions from the community and input from the designers. Keep it civil please.

  2. #2
    I lost to periwinkle, he is my problem

    Seriously tho, I wouldn't have a problem with the direct-dmg gem being double threshold

  3. #3
    I do have a very big problem with the 16 damage onto an empty board with rootfather, though ramp is just nuts either way.

  4. #4
    I couldnt agree more. The direct damage gem has to go. Even if it would not cause decks to be too powerful the thing is that it makes not-interactive games. The only thing you realy can do is to coutner magic and marty. Azurefate can be answered with a bit more options. Honestly the more pressing issue is the ramp deck anyways. Everything that reduces its power is good imo. It would still be powerful enough even without the gem. Rootfathers direct damage just wins games that the ramp deck probably "should" not win anymore. Like you need so much counterplay and/or luck to win against ramp anyways. The extra reach with direct damage gem realy is just too much on top.

    So then the question is what could you replace it with. You could round it down by half or maybe something like double damage. Double damage seems strong without being broken. And since we dont have a crush gem rootfather would be balanced. Its still 16 damage damage but now you can block all of it or even murder or bounce. Basically it opens up more interactions.

    Btw...grats Vazrael/Crayl
    Last edited by Metronomy; 10-31-2015 at 09:25 AM.

  5. #5
    I wouldn't mind if it was 3x Threshold. That makes it a bit harder to Croc+Rootfather before turn 5.
    I think threshold requirements being a bit higher for gems will go a long way to balancing their stranglehold on the meta game for more "non-interactive play"
    It's not specific to "damage on enter gem"
    I think a lot of the gems allows for unplanned gameplay with few reactive counters.

    If the majority of gems were tuned to a 3x threshold minimum, it would favor mono-decks with generally less versatility to begin with, or late-game dual or tri+ color decks running them for utility late-game.

    Personally, I'd love to see something like:
    2x Threshold for all minor gems
    3x Threshold for all major gems
    Reconsider the damage on enter and spellshield gems.

    Cards like Periwinkle also allow for non-reactive play, and are another unaddressed problem... but it's a relic from MTG I guess we can't complain about..
    Last edited by nicosharp; 10-31-2015 at 09:26 AM.

  6. #6
    Altering the damage gem to be double damage instead is an interesting idea. I like that suggestion.

  7. #7
    The lack of interactivity in this game is at an all time high. Not only are many of the decks (r/w, urgnock) borderline single player, but for some reason many of the most powerful effects either literally can't be interacted with (periwinkle double on cast), or can't be stopped for reasons that don't seem to make sense (direct damage gem damaging you even if the monster is sent to graveyard).

    It's really just unfun. I find the game tedious, and I love these kinds of games. I have theorycrafted to death trying to come up with something to compete that actually has strong amounts of decisionmaking. I don't think it's there, nothing consistent at least.

    The game isn't even rock paper scissors. And that's a huge problem. It's just 3 or 4 rocks butting heads. There is no figuring out the meta, it's figured out, and it's terrible.

    So, hopefully they learn from this and future sets include more interactivity and decisions and thought.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jtatta View Post
    The gem at the very least should be 2 threshold. It's entirely too easy to splash as it is. I don't think that it should exist at all personally.
    Example today vs R/W IQ (I was on the draw):
    Turn 1. Brave
    Turn 2. Puck
    Turn 3. Rootfather

    You explained it well. I have no problem with the ramp. But the 16 dmg there (I'm @ 2 ressources) is too much.

    Good post. +1!
    Last edited by Gaeas; 10-31-2015 at 09:37 AM.
    Pain Is Temporary - Glory Is Forever.

  9. #9
    I remember playing WOW TCG at a local shop, and how much everyone there hated this card, and how many people played it. It's not the same power level, or comparison, but I just remember how eager people were for it to rotate out.

    I think a lot more is on the line now for a digital TCG that still has not found it's place in the gaming community, mainly because of the lack of developed features promised and a hard to swallow marketing model to folks unfamiliar to the genre. Hopefully they can fix this kind of stuff on the higher end, to eliminate the WOW TCG mass exodus that happened soon after the initial hype of the game died down in its early infancy.

  10. #10
    HXE will never nerf a card, but they've never said anything about Gems...

    A double damage gem could end up being worse, but at least it would give players a chance to interact with them beasties.

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