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Thread: Primordial Knowledge Building Tempo

  1. #1

    Primordial Knowledge Building Tempo

    by Varranis

    Tempo is one of the most frequently misunderstood concepts in TCGs. Merriam-Webster defines tempo as:

    the speed at which something moves or happens

    With a definition that broad, it’s no wonder the concept is so often misunderstood. Sure, things happen in card games, but what does that have to do with speed or moving? When things get complicated, I try to simplify them through quantification. While tempo is not as immediately measurable as card advantage, there are several ways for a player to gauge tempo.

    https://www.hextcg.com/primordial-kn...uilding-tempo/
    Please tweet me @HEXWilliam for a reliable, quick response. Thank you.

  2. #2
    More deck building that talks about servant makes me happy.

  3. #3
    I hope everyone enjoys the article! As it mentions, I'll be streaming the Servant deck in a Constructed Gauntlet tonight (4/8/2016) at 7:30 PM EST on https://www.twitch.tv/varranis. I'll also be giving away 6 free draft codes! (I don't have the sealed codes yet, but I'll give those away as well when I do!)
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  4. #4
    Gigantisaur
    Join Date
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    Again, brilliant article dude. Keep them coming. Every time I read brew articles it makes me want to go experiment.
    Now I just need to complete my playset of sunsoul and kindling to give this a whirl!

  5. #5
    Hi Varranis,

    First I want to say I've really enjoyed your other article on the site. This article really makes me uncomfortable though. Many of your examples of "gaining tempo" aren't actually a gain of tempo, and your theory is much more like a theory of stock mana ala AJ Sacher than a theory of tempo.

    Answering your opponent's card with your own card is tempo neutral. Say your opponent plays a buffalo on their turn 3 and you spend your turn killing it with crackling bolt. The game state at the end of round 3 is therefore the same as it was at the end of round 2 so neither player has gained tempo. Say this occurs every turn - your opponent always plays 1 buffalo, and you always only play 1 bolt. Your article seems to indicate you've gained a lot of tempo, but the game never actually progresses. The same argument applies to verdicting your opponent's kill. Say you both have a 1/1 baby yeti on board. Each turn your opponent tries to kill your yeti, but every turn you verdict their kill. The game state remains unchanged at the end of each round so neither player has gained tempo.

    A player only gains tempo when they commit an action which leaves the board state altered at the end of a round. In your examples, the verdict/bolt give you the opportunity to gain tempo by saving 1- mana, but you don't actually gain tempo unless you use that mana. You can use the 1- mana saved by verdicting your opponent's kill or bolting your opponent's buffalo to play a 1- drop threat. However, in that case it is playing the threat which is the gain of tempo, not the verdict/bolt themselves.

    All that said, your Servant deck is pretty cool, and it can only improve as new sets are released. Hopefully set 5 will bring a cycle of dual shards which don't enter play exhausted so that we have a better shot at curving out properly in two color aggressive or tempo decks like Servant.

  6. #6
    Gigantisaur
    Join Date
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    But the article *does* say that the gained tempo resources are then used to play a 1 drop or 2 drop (depending upon which turn you crackling bolted).

  7. #7
    The article says "The most common removal actions grant positive tempo at a one for one rate of card exchange. " That is the line that makes me uncomfortable because it isn't really true.

    The article later says "Removing our opponent’s three drop and playing our own two drop puts us ahead on the board – thanks tempo!" That is true. But it is the combination of your opponent making 1 change to the board state and you making 2 changes to the board state within a single round which is responsible for the gain in tempo. Just playing the removal spell is tempo neutral.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bmon View Post
    The article says "The most common removal actions grant positive tempo at a one for one rate of card exchange. " That is the line that makes me uncomfortable because it isn't really true.

    The article later says "Removing our opponent’s three drop and playing our own two drop puts us ahead on the board – thanks tempo!" That is true. But it is the combination of your opponent making 1 change to the board state and you making 2 changes to the board state within a single round which is responsible for the gain in tempo. Just playing the removal spell is tempo neutral.
    My intention with the example was definitely that the tempo materializes when you play the troop (ie - when you get ahead on board). My goal was to parse out what created the tempo - namely the Crackling Bolt costing one less than the Frigid Buffalo giving you the opportunity to make multiple plays. Cards like Bolt/Ripple/Verdict are really what allow a deck to be a tempo deck and I wanted to emphasize why that is. I thought my example was almost identical to what you said in your third paragraph of your first response and I apologize if it could have been clearer.
    Official HEX TCG Columnist
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