Fisticuffs [20160317]

I now know two people who have birthdays on St. Sucatus’s Day.  One is Chinese, the other Irish …

Joren (Dragons w/ states) -> Justin (Insurance Caches) -> Ian (Dragons) -> Don (Architects/Lotus Plague)

Don comboed off with his Plague of Moths deck.  I hear it’s going to get nerfed.  How it didn’t end up being Limited and Toast It I’m not at all clear.  But, Year of the Goat is just generally way overpowered and other cards, like Ejector Seat Malfunction, also didn’t get fixed before publishing.

I don’t hate Plague of Moths, but this was a perfect example of why combo decks are bad.  At a certain point in the game, it was just over.  Maybe could have beaten the player down so much that it couldn’t get there, but how’s that remotely fun?

“But, dude, at a certain point in any game, it’s just over.”

Lot’s of things are hard enough to articulate to where the argumentative can waste my time.  The essence of a combo deck is that you stop being able to interact with it, while they are inclined to endeavor to minimize any sort of interaction.  If I’m not interacting with other players, why am I playing at all?

Yes, combo decks are interesting.  I get why puzzles attract players, especially players of games as complicated as CCGs.  Metagaming the countercounterbreakers is an interesting subgame.  Etc.  But, interesting and fun aren’t the same things.  It’s interesting to see how much you can deprive a Shadowfist deck of resources.  It’s interesting to see how much you can prevent a Magic player from playing cards due to hand destruction, land destruction, or whatever.  It’s interesting to see whether you can hospitalize someone’s entire inner circle.  It’s interesting to see if you can murder+steal every minion in play with Tupdogs.  Don’t like my examples because they are all about preventing someone from playing the game?  Stopping people from playing is not exactly the same as stopping people from mattering.  But, I kind of prefer mattering.

I know, because I’ve asked and because I’ve read about CCGs, that players enjoy playing combo decks.  I’ve enjoyed playing certain combo decks.  Does anyone enjoy playing against them?  I don’t mean tolerate.  I mean, does anyone think they make for fun games when the game finishes?

“But, dude, you may play all of these multiplayer games that are more social and full of questionable decks where people aren’t optimizing for the win.  I play two-player games where the game ends and we play another.”

True.  However, combo decks often lose.  When they do, it’s not pretty.  I’m just not a fan of extremes.  I like games to be close*.  You can respect Kentucky beating Pitt by 40 on the hardcourt, but the sporting events I enjoy are when you get to the last end and you need your last stone to be shot rock.  Destroying someone because the deck doesn’t do anything besides go off is not remotely interesting, though I’m also aware there are plenty of people who just really enjoy winning, even if the events in the games are crap.

*  If every two-player game with a combo deck is “if I didn’t win this turn, you would win next turn”, that’s far more interesting, of course.

Don (Monarchs) -> Joren (as above) -> Justin (as above) -> Ian (Hand)

Don got four Auramancers in play.  I had a “Mooks” survive much of the game, plus had enough power to take the King of the Thunder Pagoda from Don before my turn and could have played a 9-Fighting Superleap guy on my turn.  After a couple of turns, I played Violet Meditation four straight turns.

Don eventually won with the Queen of the Darkness Pagoda and an Ice Diadem.  I didn’t bother making a bid for victory as there was too much to get in the way, even for my superleapers.  Joren had a Monster Truck Ambulance on somebody.  Justin had Death’s Shadow with a way to unturn her.  Don had two unturned Auramancers after I used his King of the Thunder Pagoda to murder his Once and Future Champion.

Joren got to four sites plus a Chop Shop, but he didn’t have much in the way of characters, even less so after he lost a couple sites.  Justin managed to figure out how to play Entrapment by having his characters turn to change sites to stop a bid for victory.  Equal Opportunity Butt-Kicking savaged my board right before Don won, wiping some five characters of mine.

But, all that really mattered is that I stopped making a bid for victory because my Peasant Mob attacked an unrevealed site that turned out to be … wait for it … stay on target … wait for it … Hidden Sanctum.

[Hand] Peasant Mob
Angry Rabble

4 fighting
Requires: [Hand][Hand] 3
Provides: [Hand]
Inflicts +2 damage on any Site with a printed Body of 7 or more and -2 damage on any Site with a printed Body of 5 or less, even if the Site is unrevealed.

[Un] Hidden Sanctum
Feng Shui Site

1 power, 4 body
Sites at this location gain +5 Body.

 

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