Goat Droppings

Been playing with Year of the Goat cards for a couple of weeks.

Maybe it’s a sign of change in general philosophy.  More so, I think it’s an indicator of how Shadowfist is a different hooved animal for me than other CCGs.  Sure, I picked out a list of three to five star cards to figure out how many copies of the precons I wanted.

Card Faction Stars
Agency Support Ascended 3
Agent Provocateur Ascended 4
Aimee Sprigg Jammer 4
Ancestral Home FSS 4
Angie Dao Dragon 3
Balancing Stones Site 3
Baxter’s Irregulars Dragon 3
Betrayers of the Crane Ascended 4
Desolate Mountain FSS 4
Bustling Metro Station FSS 4
Cat Stance Chi 3
Clueless Heroes Dragon 3
Corners of the Mouth Hand 4
Death Masque Magic 3
Decked-Out Moped Tech 3
Defending the Innocent Hand 3
Disintegration Blast Magic 3
Double Feature Dragon 5
Ejector Seat Malfunction Tech 4
Empire of Evil Lotus 3
Extortion Ascended 3
Faith in the Halls of Power Ascended 3
Familiar Spirit Magic 3
Firework Display Jammer 3
Frenzy Monarch 3
Grave Robbers Lotus 4
Heroic Rematch Dragon 3
Hidden Sanctum FSS 3
Highway Ronin Hand 4
Honor and Glory Monarch 3
House Arrest Ascended 5
Huang Yi Hand 4
Humble Beginnings Chi 5
Journey’s Reward Hand 4
Just Getting’ Riled Up Dragon 3
Kitsune Hand 3
Knight Templar Monarch 4
Maze of Little Passages FSS 3
Mesmerism Lotus 5
Mobius Portal Site 3
Mogwai Lotus 3
On the Wire Tech 5
Operation Hidden Tiger Ascended 5
Operation Tethered Goat Ascended 4
Plague of Moths Lotus 2
Political Favors Ascended 3
Rainforest Bridge FSS 3
Reformed Bandit Hand 5
Remix Artist Dragon 4
Renewal Chi 3
River of Lights FSS 4
Roar of the Lion Ascended 5
Rocket Launcher 5
Salamalah Sade Monarch 4
Scroll of Pain Lotus 3
Shadowed Ascended 4
Sky Burial Chi 3
Snap of the Crocodile Ascended 4
Snapping Turtle Cove FSS 4
Song of the Nightingale Hand 3
Sorcerous Return Lotus 3
Spirit in a Bottle Magic 5
Spontaneous Combustion Monarch 3
Stone Gargoyle Lotus 4
Sublime Melancholy Lotus 2
Sulphurous Cenote FSS 2
Touch of the Abyss Lotus 3
Twin Thunders Monarch 3
Underground Lake FSS 3
Undisturbed Meditation Hand 4
Wei Tian Hand 2
Weird Scientist Jammer 2
White Wolf Monarch 3
Wired to Blow Jammer 4
Yanyuedao Blade Hand 3
Zhuha Lotus 3

But, I didn’t do that for this blog or for some argument on a forum or to send out to a local list.  One knows.  Like I have done for other CCGs.  I did it to figure out where to spend money because somehow FCGs (fixed card games, to explain my own term) are [supposedly] less annoying than VCGs (variable card games … genius).

That list might have been pre changes to certain cards like Bustling Metro Station.  Actually, though, the earlier BMS should have been a 5, so maybe not.

Anyway, actual play.

I thought card images were available.  Oh well, guess I won’t have cool graphics to break up the monotonous letterings.

Netherworld Trickster

I hate this card.  I find the art disappealing.  I hate the effect.  I hate that it’s a foundation character.  I get that foundation characters are getting better so that people feel less bad about including them or drawing them late.  Dockyard is interesting in that it vastly reduces the need to play them, yet also makes ones you want to play that much more valuable.  The list of ones you want to play is surprisingly long.  Razor’s Hotties has counter action.  Imp is just another Rattlebones grower.

Anyway, back to the card.  It’s just antifun.  Balanced?  I don’t know.  I’m not an expert on Shadowfist’s competitive environment.  It’s griefy.  On Reddit, mention how it seems too much like an Ascended effect.  There’s a reason I don’t like Ascended and don’t play many of their best cards.  I’m not into griefing people.

On the other hand, some people like that sort of thing.  That’s the thing about CCGs – they do want to cater to a variety of players.  Cuz, business, yo.  Fair number of people like locking other people out of games.  I’m somewhat more tolerant of that in two-player CCGs because then you just concede and the irritation ends.

Oh, I should mention that I’m not going into everything, just some thoughts on some cards.

Heroic Shoulder Wound

In the vein of adding more alternate power to the game so that people don’t get locked out of playing it, we have a goofy way to do this.  I don’t know.  How about just giving people more power or having cards cost less rather than jumping through weird hoops to generate enough power to function?

I don’t feel strongly about it, but Möbius Gardens was already the best FSS.  Not superclear on what the intent with the metagame is.  Maybe, it gets to the point where power is so abundant that people stop trying so hard to acquire it.

Turf War

This was just brutal.  Get a couple victories, have some starting Toughness, even dorks become insanely hard to remove.

On the Wire

I have a build already written up to try to accelerate power as much as possible.  Will it work?  I’m not that clever when it comes to trying to break CCGs because I find brokenness rather boring.  Still, it’s almost like playtesting, where it’s your job to figure out brokenness.

Rocket Launcher

I’m really unclear on how some of these cards got made.  Where a bunch of cards require a bunch of hoops, this is just 1 power to do 3 damage to anything in play, assuming the card doesn’t “fizzle”.

Humble Beginnings

Speaking of adding power to the game, I don’t get why this card is so much worse than the others.  With tons of alt power generation, why develop a site structure?  This is antiparasitic in that your Chi opponents and you are going to be trying to undersite each other all game, while Bottle Spirts and Wire Ons continue to pay off.  Note that I would downgrade this card to like a 3 at this point, possibly even a dreaded 2.

Pacifists

One of these got to 7 for me.  They are weird.  I threw one in front of Guerilla Nihilists (see below) to Quixotically Defend.  I have a hard time imagining why I’d bother in constructed play, where I’m already Fu Lionsing my Humble Dojos so that no one sane will ever look my way.

Gao Family Banquet Hall

Does offering more of the same (Fox Pass, Kinoshita House, etc.) mean anything?  In other words, does it make things suck more?  I used this a lot, I guess because people weren’t paying attention to what it did.  That you don’t unturn is rather wicked.

Well, whatever.  It’s not like my environment currently is into the attack-failers.

Quixotic Defense

This it totally my kind of card.  It is rather silly, though, to sacrifice a dude just to get this out of hand.  Sure, can Iron and Silk or about 300 other things in Shadowfist not to lose somebody, but it’s just going to get me to play dumber cards and just keeps feeding M. Gardens.

Kitsune

Such an amazing thematic fail.  When I first saw this card listed, I was intrigued.  Then, I read it.  Then, I saw the art.  What is so hard about putting out some foxy chick who does spirited things?

Yeah, he comes back … like a spirit.  Yeah, I actually like the art.  It’s just a misnamed card.

Journey’s Reward

Alt power.  Toasting.  Event stopping.  These are things I see a lot of in the set, with event stopping being seen in a bunch of character abilities.  Some alt power I can see to balance things.  Not sure the rest of this stuff is all that great an idea.  On the other hand, have to do something with new cards.

Extortion

More affecting than I thought.  I expect to see a lot of edges in play, what with Empire of Evil and the Ascended deck.

Quanqiu Wishing Well

This ended up getting a lot more power than I expected.  Hidden Sanctums are making smashmath harder.  Just more power everywhere.

Campaign Manager

Steal.  Beget antisteal, I suppose.  That and ways to toast annoying characters like Netherworld Trickster.  Yet again, I just don’t feel the Ascended’s CCG role.  They are actually kind of interesting in the RPG (not the humans).

M.A.D.

What is the only precon deck I have won every game with?  After removing all of the monkey cards?  (There’s a reason I didn’t just get 5x every precon – Jammers have much more limited appeal due to my antimonkey stance.)

This is another obnoxious card.  I get that there are tons of ways to stop attacks in ‘Fist, but why add more?  It’s such a frustrating experience when someone can not only shut down a bid for victory but can do so in a way that additionally helps them.

Remote Temple

This just seems bad.  Why does it need to be in a back row other than first turn plays?  Could have just said “If you control at least two sites and control no characters at this location, turn :: Play a Character at -1 cost.”  I guess it encourages you being the one to play site movers.

Guerilla Nihilists

I already hate this card.  I wasn’t a fan of Dark Traveler, which to me is undercosted.  Not only is this undercosted, but it’s easy to play, triggers off of any sites, and helps a faction that doesn’t need more Fighting (unlike, say, Ascended).  I guess it will encourage more Discerning Fires, as putting two 12 Fighting dudes in play for 6 power is harsh on my decks.

Weird Scientist

Too random?  As much as I’m not big into weird cards, this effect does odd things, almost like how Math Bomb does even things.

Bottles?

I’ve opened up a Lotus deck.  Played against both Lotus and Monarchs.  Can’t say it’s thrilling to have yet more Lotus character steal or have them toast a bunch of cards.  As I consider Lotus the greatest recursion offender, would rather see recursion control in other factions.

I don’t know.  Worrying about metagaming Shadowfist doesn’t seem like an issue.  I metaed a lot for other CCGs because I cared about what was effective.  In ‘Fist, I’m just prone to playing cards I like or find interesting and have so many of those that it’s only really an issue when I’m not pulling enough weight.  For tournament play, maybe I go simple decks that just try to pop out Fighting and lose to Tortured Memories.  Then, in real play, I go back to trying to find the all-Loyalty deck.

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