A conversation the first night of our Orccon trip was what people would ban for V:TES. A lot of folks have specific cards they really want out of the game. I don’t.
I have a very long list of cards I want out of the game. But, within that list, there are a lot of cards that are about equally undesirable to me. The first thing I’d change about the game isn’t even card related, it’s a rules change – eliminating Scarce.
That night, I forgot a whole category of cards I’d like to see gone. And, that’s the thing, for me, it’s more about categories than individual cards. The reason why Eyes of Argus is bad for the game is not because of Eyes of Argus but because of the vast number of layerable intercept effects for Auspex. If Enhanced Senses wasn’t legal, then, sure, have some other Auspex intercept variant. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The first two categories I thought of were Imbued and promo cards. I pretty much include 10th Anniversary cards in the promo category, including such reprints as Bowl of Convergence and, uh, Channel 10. The only two 10th cards I’d miss at all would be Powerbase: Los Angeles and Rastacourere, and I don’t play either all that much.
Saturday’s tournaments reminded of the other obvious category – events. Of Imbued and events, events are far more annoying. The Unmasking is the primary offender, as the game was far better when you weren’t constantly getting blocked by allies. Veil of Darkness, The Rising, The Slow Withering/Blood Weakens would be the next most in about that order, in my experience. I’m sure some would be happy for Anthelios to go away, or whatever.
Sure, Ashur Tablets is incredibly bad design being nowhere near limited enough. Govern, Conditioning, Aire, Foreshadowing are all too much bleed. Parity Shift is both swingy and overly controllish. First Tradition reduces interaction. Out of turn acting ability is terrible and leads to awful decks like Reversal of Fortunes. Voter Cap makes Presence too votesy. No Secrets is a ridiculous lock card. Sensory Dep is a ridiculous lock card. Pentex is exceedingly antifun. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.
But, there are just so many about equally offensive things that none of them really stand out to me. To truly stand out to me, something would have to be more consistently played or just end people’s games in one shot. The closest I can think of is The Unmasking, which doesn’t even show up all that often in my casual play as Imbued are rare and other ally decks are even rarer.
But, the beauty of no events is it takes that away. The beauty of no promos is no more Gran Madre, Carlton, Bowl, Erciyes.
But, the problem with all of this beauty is that it doesn’t address the underlying issue with the game, which is that it has too many cards. It’s not so much that abilities have bled from one discipline to another. I don’t really care that Protean gets casual intercept. It’s that there are so many cards that once were viable that just kind of don’t do much, anymore. A long, long time ago, I thought of Necromancy as a stealth discipline, but Spectral Divination seems like so much filler these days, where it was a truly fascinating card back when stealth and intercept from the same card was odd and paying one blood for that didn’t seem all that bad.
Actually, that last paragraph is mostly a load of crap. Bleed for six has always been around and constantly trumped playing other cards. Tap and Cap has always been around. Etc. I got way off focus.
What is the worst thing about the game?
I don’t know. I don’t like multiple master phase actions, never have. I don’t like people doing a dozen different things before their minion phase – I brought up why in a previous year’s post. I don’t like one thing from one game and something else from another game.
But, I lost every game I played over four tournaments and three casual games in one recent weekend and I still had fun and I didn’t find a problem with any particular table or deck. Sure, I didn’t play against either Imbued deck. But, I did get locked down twice in endgame situations because I didn’t play better to engineer not having to win those endgame match ups.