I had an idea for a post about deckbuilding styles, and this post could relate to that, but I think I’ll address something else first.
I played Shadowfist for the first time since my trip last night. By playing, I mean one game. One, three-hour game.
It was a good game. I think it helped that I was playing a gigantic, bloated deck to give variety over the course of the game. Sixty cards of pure excess, baby.
Anyway. There was a takeaway from this game. Deckbuilding for me is incredibly different between Shadowfist and V:TES. Wait, I’ve said that before? Well, yeah. Is it because I know the cards in V:TES and don’t know how cards in Shadowfist play? Sure. That has something to do with it. I mean, it’s not just my decks that I don’t really understand in Shadowfist, it’s everyone else’s.
V:TES just feels so repetitive at the moment, not in terms of play but in terms of putting together decks. There’s such a strong “Do I play with commonly played cards or do I jump through hoops to avoid playing commonly played cards because they are trite?” element to building decks for the game.
Shadowfist does have a certain element of repetitiveness in that stuff gets nuked and bids for victory get turned away, repeatedly. Well, at least, in the fun games these things happen. The games where the first bid for victory succeeds are often pretty terrible.
This game was kind of amusing because of how little removal, how little event play at all there was. Sure, two of my Golden Comebacks were for Horus who mostly nuked sites when he came into play. I didn’t actually read his specials that carefully or consider how good just blowing up any card in play is … when further added to a 12 Fighting character.
As is usually the case, it’s incredibly hard to explain all of the things that happen in a game. Ray’s Bush Pilot survived for most of the three hours. My Horse Thief (or Thieves) kept getting shot by Moon Bases while trying to infiltrate Trade Centers. At one point or another, every player had a Trade Center in their structure. One of my four Golden Comebacks was for Horse Thief just to jump in front of somebody. Ting Ting and The Golden Gunman kept getting Golden Comebacked by Ray, while my fourth Comeback was for Dunwa Saleem … because I could afford a searched out Reascended.
On my penultimate turn, I had two Black Helicopter Squads, Horse Thief (three damage), Arachne, Serket, Kauhuhu, Horus. On the last turn of the game, I started attacking a face down LaGrange Four with Horus, Arachne, two BHSs, Junkyard Boys, with a Whelps in hand and Kauhuhu (with seven damage) hanging out to be all Independent. Between three Demon Whiskey taking down a Haunted Horus, CHAR dropping a BHS, Destroyer Drone dropping Arachne or some such, I got exactly four damage through with a BHS and the all powerful Junkyard Boys (that I had played that turn expecting them to be key to victory). I had Anubis, Jormungandr, and Ursus in my hand, though not enough to play any of them.
Conversion Drone, earlier, was the tech needed to slow down Demon Whiskey/Bloody Hordes. Besides Trade Centers, Fortress Omega made a couple of appearances, The Library of Souls got seized, then returned. Lots of late game shielding, to where I had to punch through a Trade Center just to expose a soft underbelly of Hartwell Iron Works that kind of pointlessly dinged CHAR.
Name: Reascended Comeback
Faction: Ascended and Dragon
Ascended Cards (29)
5x Black Helicopter Squad
1x Dunwa Saleem
4x Horse Thief
1x Everything Falls Apart
1x Fistful of Dollars
1x Gunboat Diplomacy
4x Advance Notice
1x Blood is Thicker than Water
Dragon Cards (12)
3x Junkyard Boys
5x Techie Apprentices
4x Golden Comeback
Generic Cards (19)
2x IKTV Special Report
Feng Shui Sites (13)
2x Booby-Trapped Tomb
1x Kowloon Gate
2x Manufactured Island
2x Mobius Gardens
1x The Dragon’s Teeth
1x The Iron Palace
My first non-dumb multifaction deck. It was quite funtastic. Advance Notice is a lot better than I thought it would be at first, even my goldfishing this deck was showing how often I was happy to ship cards to the bottom.
I see Dragon being a natural for Reascended precisely because Golden Comeback works so well, plus Techie Apprentices is just so stupidly not useless late in games, even if I didn’t run a bunch of other Tech requiring plays.
Getting back to the differences between V:TES and Shadowfist for me, this deck is symptomatic of how deckbuilding is really different at the moment. I can just throw together cards that sound interesting, add in staples (4-5 Dockyards, 4-5 Scrounging), and have a Shadowfist deck. With V:TES, I just keep thinking “How does this deck not get ousted?”, “How does this deck oust anyone?”, “If I put Conditioning in, I can’t play this in a tournament.”, “I’ve built seven decks just like this.”, and so on, which is rather discouraging.
Would new V:TES cards help? Well, we have new cards, I just don’t have the interest in playing with them. Yes, playing with cards I’m not familiar with would help. Instead of fixating on what I can’t play … because I’ve played it already, because it uses cards I won’t play with in tournaments, because it’s like someone else’s deck, or whatever … I can focus on what the efficient and synergistic ways are to play the cards. Or, the silly ways.
Does this mean Shadowfist is preferable to play? I wouldn’t go that far. I enjoy the play of V:TES quite a bit because so many funny things happen, even if the number of crazy things that happen is so much less than a Shadowfist game. I just find that trying to put together a decklist I’m interested in for V:TES is challenging, where I just keep trying new cards and new combinations with Shadowfist.