Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

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Manuel
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Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by Manuel »

Along with River, there's Beorning Skin-Changers. Both are forcing most moving decks to have multiple characters that are warrior/ranger and have 5 or more power at least. All characters that have mind 5 or more, need to have a very solid reason to be in your deck if they don't satisfy these requirements.

I.e. when playing hero I always find myself choosing the same 5-mind characters: Beretar, Faramir, Fram Framson. I almost never get to play Saruman, because there is one single card that will never allow him to move by himself. The list is big, but when you search through the different options for hero companies, you'll see there are many many characters that rarely or never seen any play, or at least not "competitive" play. And it's because of this two cards: Beorning skin changers and River.

I think we would have various possibilities here:

a) Two wilderness in the site path also required to be played as an short event (not only as a creature)
b) The company needs to have an untapped character with strenght 5 or more, but it doesn't need to be a warrior.

...and I guess there could be more, and better.

Just wondering what are the community thoughts on this. Again, I'm not talking about ICE intentions here, just talking from the perspective of a veteran player that would love to see more variety in decks. And I believe I'm not alone :)

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CDavis7M
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by CDavis7M »

(A) Requiring Wilderness steps on Snowstorm and Long Winter and (B) Saruman is the only Hero with 5+ prowess that isn't a warrior. And the FW can Govern the Storms. Instead, the roadblock paradigm would seem to require Doors of Night for Beorning Skin-changer's alternative effect, but that requirement is missing. This also fits expected roadblock counter-play.

Also, what about Elrohir and Elladan? Aragorn, Thranduil, and Thrain? Or a 2-mind Dwarf/Hama/Beregond with a Dagger and a 2/3-mind Ranger? Are all of these characters really not competitive? Why? Isn't this a moot point anyway? I'm pretty sure everyone is playing Beorn if Hero, and no one is playing Hero.

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If the idea is to see variety in decks why not play the 3-deck game? The 1-deck game used to be the tournament standard and it got stale after what, 18 months? No kidding the 2-deck game is as stale as a brick after 22 years. There are many cards and strategies that were not apt for the 1-deck game, and there are many cards and strategies better fit for the 3-deck game. Sure the 3-deck game might take an extra 40 minutes but most MECCG events are over multiple days.

Items would actually need to be stored (Gems of Arda becomes useful). Corruptionless effects (Ent-draughts, No News, Pass the Doors, Fate of the Ithil-stone, Smoking Cone) and other long term bonuses (When I Know Anything, Tales of the Hunt) are more worthwhile. Direct Influence bonuses become much more helpful. And the game just has more time to develop. Of course, One Ring has more time to develop as well, but that could accounted for by reducing points or considering the opponent's MP.

No amount of messy balancing errata to cards and rules would achieve the variety offered by the 3-deck game. The games might still be full of Rivers but at least you'd get value from Knowledge of the Enemy.

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Theo
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by Theo »

CDavis7M wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:35 pm
I'm pretty sure everyone is playing Beorn if Hero, and no one is playing Hero.
Heh. I almost never play Beorn when I play Hero!

I wonder to what extent we don't see more variety in decks simply because the high level players at tournaments are the same dozen people with the same old ideas. "It needs gold to breed gold."
It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.
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miguel
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by miguel »

I think what makes River and Beorning Skin-changers problematic, is that they are so widely used. That's because even when an opponent has prepared for them, they can still be effective in conjunction with creature attacks / tappers. Out of the two cards I think Beorning Skin-changers is worse, because with River your company can at least play something next turn, but Beorning Skin-changers can keep bouncing your company turn after turn... It's especially tiresome when a badly wounded company tries to reach a haven. I would not be opposed to nerfing it, but unsure what would be the best way to do so.

panotxa
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by panotxa »

I totally agree with miguel’s analysis.

And in my opinion these two cards are too much meta defining, and is not only a matter of using hundreds of butterflies or playing with Beorn to counter them... when a card becomes a staple in (almost) every deck it usually means that some revision, restriction or nerfing is needed :roll:

I’m not talking about cards like Mouth or Uvatha which just speed the game for both sides but don’t make your opponent stick to a narrow selection of characters or strategies...

I don’t like the idea of nerfing per se, and if the game was alive I’d rather getting a new card that really deals with the issue (for me the untappers are not enough) instead of nerfing an existing one, but maybe something could be done to allow a little more variety than we have now... :| :?:

Just sharing my thoughts :)

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Theo
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by Theo »

miguel wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:42 am
I think what makes River and Beorning Skin-changers problematic, is that they are so widely used.
Glancing at the deck lists from Worlds, at least for 2019 Beorning Skin-changers appears in zero of the posted decks. River is also totally absent from Patric and Heiner's qualifying decks.

I do not disagree that they promote runaway leads, e.g., if a character gets wounded/corrupted away it can be hard to recover (Butterflies doesn't help!). But is it bad to encourage hazards that actually have a chance at wounding?
It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.
One [online community] with hammer and chisel might mar more than they make... Cautious skill!

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miguel
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Re: Beorning skin-changers erratum (proposal)

Post by miguel »

Looking at those decks, River seems to be present in nearly all of them (vs. minion as well). It would not be used in a corruption overload hazard strategy though.

The lack of Beorning Skin-changers at least to me just means these players did not expect decks heavily affected by it in the meta. If someone were to succesfully bring back a deck like four hobbits in dragon country to the competitive environment, that would quickly change because Beorning Skin-changers is so easy to add to nearly every hazard portion. The mere possibility of Beorning Skin-changers has affected the meta in a limiting way, which is of course bad.

As for wounding, Hero players are already most affected by it because the single best card for healing, Foul-smelling Paste, is not available to them. They are also unable to get around it by simply using We Have Come to Kill to keep playing MP cards (A Chance Meeting is considerably more limiting).

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