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RadicalX

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Everything posted by RadicalX

  1. RadicalX

    Analysis of the 25 Card Deck

    We might be able to talk about this in a few years, but right now it would create more problems than solutions for balancing. Only a few decks do have sufficient options, that really improve decks at higher slot numbers. If almost every deck has 35+ truly viable cards for PvP, an increase might be an option, but for now most decks would just overload their T3's or add oppressive conditional strategies rather than providing more interesting game dynamics. Stonekin is the only exception right now as it has many different unique and viable T2/3 cards, that are not used for slot reasons. Adding them would improve options in T2 and allow different game styles (Attacking f.e. can revolve around different core units, that work against specific factions: Burrower, Mountaineer, Stonetempest, Crystalfiend, Stormsinger, Razorshard) or stick with current options, but with an actual T3. Standard meta deck Lost Souls has a very solid core deck structure, that wins scaling games consistently once you are ahead of the curve. This playstyle would be totally unaffected by increased slots, you just increase the options of getting that little lead throughout the game by adding counter cards like Lost Reaver, Lyrish Knight, Skyelf Templar and solidify the raw T3 power level by slot increase (6 slots are really powerful). Some decks Like pure Pure Fire could add something like Global Warming or Spitfire, but these cards don't really add anything and don't reduce any core issues. Relative to other decks pure Fire gains nothing new, while facing some more versitile decks with specific counter units (Twilight Brute, Skyelf Templar) and much more oppressive attack patterns (heavily supported L units, undead army etc.). Playing off meta decks is always possible, but people usually prefer to stick with the most powerful and most well rounded strategies. 25 slots won't change this. They won't randomly start playing things like Tower of Flames + Architechts call even at 40 slots, because these things are bad and not situational sleeper combos, that are restricted by slot investments. Stuff like Enlightment + Earthshaker might be more realistic, but that's just another toxic basenuke. PvE implications are also huge on a sidenote, since it makes deck building much more efficient and alot of speedruns are affected by this too. Makes the game much easier in that department. Creating more strategic options through card balancing and removing opressive matchup imbalances should be current priority. If we ever reach that goal in a couple of years and get to a larger healthy card pool, slot increases might be reasonable as a result of this.
  2. Hello Skylords and Skyladies! Today I want to announce the next big Battleforge PvP Tournament! Who is going to be the new Master of the Forge to show the world, that he mastered his decks and strategies to beat them all for fame, glory and obviously tons of bfp? Time to find out! Who can participate? Everyone! I will be thankful for every single participant! Even if you're not that confident at reaching grand finals to get a shot for winning the whole thing, there will be lots of opportunities to win prices and I would like to stream and review as many games as possiblle through all skillbrackets! It would be great to see a large variety of decks and playstyles! SIGN UP TO THE TOURNAMENT: https://challonge.com/tournaments/signup/aUNkP0atnG#/signup/205xjl4u7pp If you end up having problems with the registration talk to me! Format It will be a 1vs1 Double Elimination best of 3 tournament, the grand final will be best of 5 (one match, no reset). Winner and losers finals will be all played on stream (the basic Toggy-format). Prize Pool 1st place: 5000 Bfp + Promo Construct 2nd place: 3000 Bfp + Wheel of Gifts 3rd place: 2000 Bfp + Juggernaut 4th place: 1500 Bfp Every other participant, that shows up and plays his matches gets 1 Booster!! You don't have to reach top 4 to win something in this tournament! Awards There will be special awards for special and entertaining plays during the tournament. Everyone, who sends me the replays at the end of the tournament gets a shot at winning!! -> Best match of the Tournament: By that I mean the closest and most instense games! Perfect mechanical execution isn't necessary to win this award, it just has to be super exciting! The 3 best games will be rewarded with 500bfp for each player who took place in one of the matches. -> Creative Player Award: Make a creative deck or non meta strategy work in this tournament! The 3 most impressive strategies will be rewarded with 500bfp each. -> There will be even more hidden awards like the Toggy Award, so stay tuned! In total I will use up more than 5.000 bfp (I might even increase that number) to reward special plays and matches regardless on how high you placed in the tournament. UPDATE: We got another 10.000bfp donation for awards! To be considered for the award ceremony you have to send me your replays! You can upload them in this forum thread or send them to me via discord (RadicalX#0952)! Please consider, that I had to change my discord account, so don't send your replays to the old one! I want to upload as many tournament replays on my youtube channel as possible! When? On 11.07.20 starting at 2pm CEST (Berlin time), the stream will start about 30 minutes in advance! How to watch? There will be a livestream during the tournament: https://www.twitch.tv/radicalx5 I also want to cast alot of replays on my youtube channel and also announce the award winners: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rZG7pzo3GYO0wR3Jx9F7w Will be thankful for every viewer! Rules Disconnection during a game results in a default loss. If both sides agree it is possible to have a remake! Not showing up to your match within 15 minutes results in a default loss. The plan is to play a round of matches every ~30 mins. After your match go to Challonge and insert the result. That is done by clicking on your match and selecting the winner/stats. The brackets will be updated automatically. The Map Pool is: Haladur, Simai, Wazhai, Elyon, Lajesh, Yrmia and Uro (same pool as in ranked duel). The first match of the round will be played on Haladur, then it is losers choice. Second round will start with Simai, third one... you get the drill. The brackets for the tournament will be shuffled before the tournament starts. Please save your replays by renaming them after you game or selecting the safe all replays option and send them to me unless your game were played on stream! Internal rules like "no wall agreements" have to be agreed on in text form to be an official ruling and if any of those internal agreements are violated it counts as a default loss No insulting! BANNED CARDS: CURSE WELL; MORTAR TOWER; PHASETOWER - using one of these cards results in a default loss. If both sides agree it is possible to have a remake! Reply in this thread, if you have any questions! Big shoutouts to Yuah & MephistoRoss for donating huge amounts of bfp to make this large price pool possible! Quick reminder, that we have a discord tutoring server. If anyone wants to prepare for the tourney, feel free to join here: https://discord.gg/dZzKexQ All I can do at this point is quoting Toggy: "I would love to see this community grow again and the competitive scene develop aswell. Because BF is fun!" Looking forward to a great tournament! Best regards, RadicalX
  3. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    The Award Ceremony is here. I watched more than 100 matches, so things were kind of hard to decide. Alot of replays will be cast on my channel at some point in time, since there were alot of great matchups! Thanks for making this tournament great an I hope to announce another one at some point (can't really tell a date though, might take some months). But let's get to the awards: Award: Most intense match of the tournament #5 Fodasseman (Shadow Nature) vs Showaren (Shadow Frost) (200bfp for both players) #4 Ultrakool (Fire Nature) vs thelight288 (Shadow Frost) (Shadow Frost) (300bfp for both players) #3 TopS3cret (Pure Shadow) vs Hyp3r (Shadow Frost) (400bfp for both players) #2 Fodasseman (Shadow Nature) vs Killbuster (Fire Frost) (500bfp for both players) #1 TopS3cret (Pure Fire) vs DragonLogic (Shadow Frost) (1000bfp for both players) Most creative deck builds: #3 ndclub, playing an interesting off meta pure Frost deck around White rangers (250bfp) #2 DrStrangelove, the only player who did play Bandits in the tournament and he even went off meta here utilizing stationairy buildings to compensate for the weak defense. (500bfp) #1 Blueberryboy, with a massive pure Frost deck going up to a massive T4 combo, replay will be uploaded soon. (1000bfp) Starcraft Award (Highest APM peak) #3 Ultrakool with 123 APM (250bfp) #2 Zappyx with 151 APM (500bfp) #1 Duelllord with 177 APM (1000 bfp) Hyperaggression Award (Fastest well kick in the Tournament) #3 TopS3cret 2:20min (250 bfp) #2 Ulv 2:07min (500 bfp) #1 Quickshift 1:59min (1000 bfp) Spam Slam Award (Most cards played of the same type) #3 Hyp3r 21 Forsaken (250bfp) #2 Navarr 22 Silverwindlancer (500 bfp) #1 Draken 24 Silverwindlancer (1000 bfp) Toggy Award (most eruptions used in a single game): #1 Impossible with 12 Eruptions in his game against Blodir (1x Wildfire) Lowest deck lvl on stream award: #1 Navarr with 114 (yes, everyone else was actually higher) - (2x boosters) Hirooo likes Grigoris award sponsored by Hirooo (Most Grigoris played in a single match) #1 BKGurke with 6 Lost Grigoris in his match against Niq (1x Lost Grigori) Stonekin Award: Longest game of the Tournament #1 Hyp3r (Lost Souls) vs Afrobrook (Stonekin) with 19:34min playtime (500bfp for both players)
  4. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    Main stream tourney VOD is available now. I will update this post here after uploading the other one to avoid further doubleposting!
  5. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    I really hope the export to youtube function works, I have to upload 2 15GB files otherwise ^^ btw. I've got more than 100 replays already, thank you guys! I will try to upload some of them on youtube & announce the award winners as soon as possible, might take a little bit of time though because of these high numbers.
  6. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    What a tournament! Thanks to everyone who participated, we had some entertaining, high quality games on stream today and I'm looking forward to watch all your replays in the upcoming days. It might take a while, but I will announce the award winners here once I finished watching all games! And our final Tournament results for everyone, who didn't get to watch it. 7th-8th Place: Impossible / Fodasseman 5th-6th Place: Navarr / Deldrimor 4th Place: Draken, taking the 1500 bfp price 3rd Place: Hyp3r, taking the 2000 bfp + Juggernaut price 2nd Place: DragonLogic, taking the 3000 bfp + wheel of gifts runner up price 1st Place: TopS3cret, taking the Trophy, 5000bfp & a Promo Construct We had 39 registered participants and most of them also ended up showing up! Really great numbers for our community! Thanks for the games, it was a great experience! I will try to hand out the prices as soon as possible! And please send me your replays to be considered for the award ceremony! Stream might be uploaded to youtube (if the twitch export function works this time ...) and I will try to cast alot of your replays in the end! Edit: Boosters for tournament participation should be sent by now! Please contact me, if anyone didn't receive their booster for participating Thank you and best regards RadicalX
  7. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    Yeah that's reasonable. Added the rule to the main post!
  8. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    I wanted to keep my banlist rather simple. Phasetower, Mortar and Cursewell seemed to be the most oppressive cards, especially when I think about how previous tournaments played out. SunWu already gave a good explanation for my decision to ban out Mortar Tower. There also are some very powerful mortarspots on maps like Elyon where it's possible to build them protected by cliffs, while still being in range to directly hit the enemies powerwell. Nature and Frost both had very low play- and winrates across the previous tournaments and I want to support them a little by removing these very oppressive game elements. When it comes down to walls I would agree with zappyx here. Walls are a very interesting strategic element, that can be used in various ways, so I don't want to remove them completely. I agree, that basewalling can be quite annoying to play against though. You can make a no-wall agreement as long as both parties are fine with that (Please play fair after making internal agreements though, as it's hard to track these things rule wise!).
  9. RadicalX

    Skylords Reborn Championship (11.07)

    Wow thank you! That's huge! Will update the main post And I'm also quite hyped, that we have 17 registered participants already (+4-5, that might participate aswell)!
  10. I am fully convinced, that PvP in Battleforge is a fantastic gamemode, but has certain flaws, that we might need to adress in order to make the game mode more attractive, especially for newer people. I want to make a longer post to get a discussion going about what we can do to get a more attractive gamemode and a larger playerbase, especially post reset. I'm following the current thread, where new player experience got discussed, which mainly focussed onto reward system, so I will move away from that in this thread, trying to adress some other problems and possible solutions. If you are looking for the discussion it is linked below. Balancing While there was alot of dicussion in the seperate balancing discord, we haven't seen any progress for a while, because access to the testserver has benn denied. In terms of PvP balancing we somewhat got to a consensus about what needs to be adressed, but it was hard to find a solution that really fixes the problem. We really need access to the testserver in order to make a progression, so we can implement changes, that make the majority of players happy What I'd like to talk about the most is the T1 diversity. With Nature and Frost being very underwhelming, alot of deck variety gets shut downed, especially for 1v1s. With only Shadow and Fire T1 being consistently viable at a high level, the amount of T1 matchups we can watch, consists of: Fire vs Fire - Shadow vs Fire - Shadow vs Shadow This is only a small part of what would be possible. If all T1's would achieve a "viable state" we could see 7 additional T1 matchups: Nature vs Nature -Nature vs Shadow -Nature vs Fire - Frost vs Frost - Frost vs Nature - Frost vs Shadow - Frost vs Fire In order to win with Frost or Nature you either have to play much better than your opponent or abuse the enemies inexperience with the matchup, which just is not a consistent win condition, especially if you want these factions to be played more frequently. With a static gamestate alot of people get frustrated about the current balancing situation. In addition to that, there are 3 T2s (pure Nature, stonekin, pure Frost), that completely get shut downed by this deficit. Their T2 strength is actually decent, but you just don't want to play that frost or nature T1. Back then I really advocated nerfs to mortar and Phasetower and I'm still fully supporting this idea. It is not possible to make healthy balancing changes around these two cards with their current stat cost efficiency and an almost nonexisting building counter system in the early stages of the game. That said, in order to fix the entire T1 issues, we need to adress more than just these two cards (but that would make a good first step). Nature is too weak at defending a +1 well situation. Even after taking a lead in initial fights, you won't be able to well up as split attacks are just destroying the faction, that can't fight on low unit number with these units being super expensive. Similar issues occur once you get into a T1 vs T2 situation with more bound power than your opponent. The dps/power against M and L units is just way to low in order to allow healthy defences. Frost got gutted through Homesoil getting nerfed and the faction can't fight on open ground effectively. You always need a power well close to your unit in order to contest. Against Mortar and Phasetower you can't even win these close well situations making things alot worse. Current proposals from the skylords balancing discord: Phasetower: Nerf idea 1: Decrease the damage by roughly 20% Nerf idea 2: Increase the cost per Tower by 10 Mortar: Nerf idea 1: Increased costs by roughly 15 power Nerf idea 2: Cooldown increase Nerf idea 3: Adding an initial cooldown to weaken the card against high tempo. These are different single nerf ideas and NOT a single combined proposal! Maps I've seen many players (especially newer ones) complaining about the map pool and also some people seem to dislike map X for various reasons. Just to give some examples. -> Lajesh has Walls close to the main base. Once you make a mistake and give one up to the opponent, he might win the game of that, especially in lower elos. -> Some people seem to dislke Yrmia for making some matchups very difficult to play -> Alot of people dislike Whazai as you can cliff onto the main base. While there is the issues of generated maps not being included to the ranked pool for some reason, I think it might be a good thing to just widen the map pool rather than reworking the existing PvP maps. I think we could work out some more balanced, fun and interactive maps to get less repetitive games. High ranked players could work around some balanced maps and we've got really good map creators, who could easily create those maps if they're willing to work with us here. After some testing you could consider which new maps might be introduced into the new ranked pool, which would give us some fresh, new content. What does a good map need? I think we need some different maps, that adress different kind of win conditions to give different decks and playstyles small advantages or disadvantages. Battleforge has very low RNG based components in the game, so games might feel repetitive on the same map, if you play the same matchup or player many times in a row. 1) The amount of Monuments I think having a range from 7-8 is the best number for orbs on 1v1 maps. 2) Orb placement I think T2 should be easily achiveable for both parties. Maps like Uro do have this poor condition, where Frost doesn't get to T2 without contesting it, which is really bad. T2 should be uncontestable, for T3 the case can be different. Lajesh for example has good orb placements in my opinion. If the map is played without offensive wall action, it can provide strategically interesting gameplay. 3) Well distance Needs to be carefully selected as there are alot of components, that make matchups either toxic or snowbally 4) Center of the map Can grant a strategic advantage due to shorter attack paths, but shouldn't be a win condition itself as some colors simply can't contest in these early fights. The center on Simai is a good example for a healthy center positioning. 5) Terrain/Cliffing Choke points are very important to increase the value of cc and AoE, while open space allows more micro management based fighting. In addition to that, important well & orb positions shouldn't be accessable by cliffs to avoid long range Sieges without proper counterplay. There are more important aspects, but this could be discussed internally with the people, that are willing to work on these kind of map creations. In the end there could be community votings, if a finished map should be included into the ranked PvP pool. Maybe there could be specific tournaments to promote and test these maps beforehand. Activity requirements I think they are straight up too high. 1 match per day is way too much for a game like Battleforge in order to stay relevant in the leaderboards. Right now alot of players are inactive and aren't motivated to play 30 ranked games with long que times, lower game quility compared to current sparring matches & the low comparability based off your current rank. There are probably about Suggestion: Lower the acitivy requirements to about 10 games per month. This makes the leaderboards alot more interesting and meaningful, because you can compare yourself to a much larger playerbase as base elo is the much more relevant stat. Since we are a rather small community I feel like this is important to keep people motivated after dropping inactive. Player Base We need a higher amount of players to enable fairer matchmaking. There are large skill gaps in and they lead to very snowball based games. Top 5 base elo beats Top 20 base elo with 90%+ wr, Top 20 base elo beats Top 50 base elo with 90%+ wr etc. leading to very frustrating game experiences between stomping and getting stomped. Games are very fast and you don't really get to enjoy the game, especially when you haven't experienced the great games of PvP, that happen upon facing an enemy on a similar skill level. Ideas for improvements: -> Increased game promotion to attract newer players -> Support the current Tournaments like the Stress Test Open Overall it would be nice to collect some ideas on what we could do, to give people a better experience while playing PvP, especially post reset. So let me know your ideas, so I can implement them into this thread. TL DR; -> Balancing changes are important: Getting a testserver to evaluate proposals would be huge to make progress -> Adding more maps would be nice, maybe someone of the community map creators could work with PvP players on this -> Activity requirements are too high, especially when there is a rather low ranked participation -> We need to build up a solid player base after the reset (attract new players, keep the current ones) Best regards, RadicalX
  11. How to play Nature T1 - a PvP Guide by RadicalX - -General talk- Okay I'm almost finished with the entire T1 section. I'll say the the same stuff as I did before, with this guide I want to provide information for newer players (Stuff like: Which cards do I use against which color), but also for the ones who are already dedicated veterans (going for in depth analysis here). Again I want to remark that every statement I make here refers to 1v1-PvP since 2v2 works in a different way (especially for nature because in 2v2 you can cover up most of its weaknesses while benefitting even more from the strengths nature offers). Let's just start with a short summary of what nature is good or bad at: + Nature T1 has a good scaling in extended T1 fights (it outscales Shadow & Fire units by a wide margin and can get really opressive due to free sustain) + Many people, even some of the top players, have no clue how to play against nature T1, because they never play against strong nature players. Since nature has a very different playstyle compared to other factions this can be a massive advantage for you. + Nature T1 spells scale well into mid/late T2, which opens up for very strong mid game options + Nature T1 is simply fun to play and practicing the micromanagement is really rewarding - Nature units don't scale into T2 at all with the exception of Dryad (playing T1 vs T2 with nature is also quite hard and requires alot of experience) - The deck is hard to play as it requires very crisp decisionmaking (can be good for you if you invest alot of time into practicing) - Nature has no clean answer against Phasetower (resulting in a matchup that is really hard to deal with and you need Primal Defender in your deck to survive). But Phasetower is disgustingly strong in any matchup. Nature has some weak points that can be exposed. The units are expensive, which makes you vulnerable for cross map action and aggressive T2's. You usually just want to avoid playing Nature as Shadow and Fire usually bring up much more stability to your decks. People who mastered their respective T1 could actually abuse nature T1 heavily. That said most high ranked players are very inexperienced when it comes to playing against nature. Even the “average Prime” from the old days would hide himself behind Phasetowers & instant T2's to get throught this early matchup regardless of strategic advantages. Deck building Let's start to take a look the cards, that are available in Nature T1. I'll simply set up groups like in my other guides to give you an overview of what cards I'd consider as strong or ... well not so strong. S - Tier Dryad (blue): Super essential card with an insane ability and passive. Definitely must have in the traditional nature deck. Does synergise well with pretty much everything your T1 offers and as an ranged M unit with splash damage almost perfect. Her damage often gets underestimated as her card description is wrong (should be 660 attack and not 550 since the splash damage is not part of the calculation). The additional crowd control can be used to very high value in micro trades. Ensnaring Roots: Super essential spell, one of the main reasons why you want to play a nature splash - it is useful in every stage of the game against almost every type of melee unit. Synergises really well with the wide arsenal of ranged units, that nature can bring on the table. Hurricane: Very powerful mid game spell, helps alot against S units in T1 fights and allows you to survive against stronger S units like Darkelf assassins in T2. Surge of Light: Grants you extra safety against AoE damage and makes your opponent think twice, if he wants to nasty that Dreadcharger into your full hp units. In addition to that this spell is almost always useful throughout the game, especially on open fights. It empowers very simple attacks (Playing Deep One + perma heal can put your opponent onto a massive amount of pressure in the later stages of the game). A – Tier Shaman: Also very important in a good nature T1 deck. The sustain it offers leads to great importance of micro, which gets rewarded heavily (saving these 1 hp units is so damn satisfying). It's super important for nature mirrors and overall useful in many ocasions. Clearly a must have for extended trading. Windweavers: The double shot ability makes them super useful in big fights and against squad targets. Windweaverspam beats out Nox spam, which is quite important, when playing against Shadow. Just struggles against knockbacks (Firesworn, Hurricane, Frostmage) so spamming it against anything else than shadow is rarely useful. Swiftclaw: Technically the best swift unit, if you're interested in playing an aggressive T1. If you want to avoid fights or save deckslots for stonekin, a different swift may be the better option. Its high dps is very useful against Frost players (Swiftclawspam can punish greedy early well choices) and also good as a front liner in early (!) nature mirror fights. Useless against shadow though, but still worth a deck slot most of the time as the high dps also brings up potential threatening to early T2s by your opponent. Spearmen: Very Important in alot of matchups. Their high hp pool makes them easy to micro, which leads to a very high heal efficency. Very good in dazed fights against Shadow and they also make the difference in early nature matchups. Underrated card, which is sort of similar in its function as skeleton warriors are in Shadow T1. In their M-Counter form they also get a little bit of extended range, which allows you to safely attack rooted melee units without taking damage by yourself. Primal Defender: Helps you alot to slow down phasetower-players on dangerous maps like Whazai and can slow down the game in general. Provides alot of safety and is a very good addition in your deck. I recommend playing it and at a certain point it is even a must have card. It also allows you to stall out at certain choke points against aggressive Frostmagespam in order to survive the early stage of the game. Treespirit: Destroys every type of healthy gameplay (has arguably the highest cost efficency out of your T1 units), but sadly doesn't help you against the real threats nature has to face (Mortar, Phasetower, Frostmage) as you can soak up damage rotations. Treespirits always just hit the closest target, which is an exploitable weekness, so while I see alot of people try that “only Treespirit T1”, it doesn't work out well. The card is insanely good, if you are weak at T1 looking to slow down the game to survive for later gamestages, but is very slow when it comes to transitioning into offense. B - Tier Amazon Blue: Very good, if you look for a fast T2, because its an L counter and its ability is deadly against Nightcrawlers (You can swap and activate them immediatly afterwards). Therefore it simply scales better than Swiftclaw, but is inferior in T1 fights. The beast damage reduction can be useful against some creatures (Swiftclaw, Treespirit, Sunderer). Mark of the Keeper: Defensive Building, which can be very strong in certain spots on the map and deadly against some decks, that rely to much on mid range units & spells. But usually you fall to far behind to protect every single base since 70 power is quite a huge price. Aura radius is too small to block Phasetower from attacking so it doesn't work as a replacement for Primal Defender. Evenom (red): Very good to support your army in T1 vs T2 fights. Helps alot to bring down skyfire drakes as it is a soft counter to ravage. Can be used to play out and punish instant T2s of fire splashes (don't do this against pure Fire though!). C – Tier Dryad (green): Synergises well with an endless amount of cards, which is very nice to have, but rarely useful enough to justify the 60 power investement. Can be nice to cheese your opponent with some sort of Darkelfassassins burst combos or and also denies small debuffs and anti magic areas. Werebeasts: They cost 75 power which is slightly less than the other swift units ... if you want to go instant T2 to safe 5 power this is your choice! Also a potential choice to swift start against Shadow T1 even though their combat ability is still lackluster. Mumbo Jumbo (both affinities): Cheese card that has to be used on an isolated unit, otherwise it has pretty much no effect. This card belongs to rPvE bossfights. Manawing: Troll card, which is fun to play and microing the teleport ability is super fun. But its hp pool is just too small to make serious use of it outside of the PvE area. All T1 factions do have good anti air units in their basic composition, which makes the air unit stat malus pretty bad for you. That said you can still use it to bring down annoying cliff mortar attemps (I'm looking at you DasToggy). Stranglehold: The card has huge damage and provides huge safety, but the cost is too high. Also doesn't hit buildings, which is very bad vs Phasetower/Mortar. D – Tier Amazon Green: The blue version has a damage reduction, which makes it just straight up better than this version, that does almost nothing. Evenom (purple): dps is too low to justify its power cost. Fountain of Rebirth: PvE card, does litereally nothing for you due to its initial cooldown. This is my T1 I use most of the time when playing nature T1: Swiftclaw Dryad (blue) Shaman Windweavers Spearmen Ensnaring Roots Hurricane Surge of Light Primal Defender Even though 9 slots look like a huge investment you need to keep in mind, that nature has alot of key spells (Root, Hurricane, Surge of Light) that scale very well into later stages and will be strong through the entire game. If you look for higher slot efficency you may consider cutting Spearmen. Matchup Discussion 1 Nature vs Shadow 1.1 General matchup discussion 1.2 How to deal with Nox Spam 1.3 how to deal with Dreadchargers 1.4 How to deal with Phasetowerspam 1.5 How to punish beast Shadow T1 players 1.6 What to do against instant T2 1.7 How to rush greedy power wells 1.8 Map advice 2 Nature vs Frost 2.1 General Matchup discussion 2.2 How to deal with Frostmagespam 2.3 How to punish early wells 2.4 How to deal with Ice-Guardians & Master Archers 2.5 How to deal with early T2 2.6 Map advice 3 Nature vs Fire 3.1 General Matchup discussion 3.2 Dryad spam dicussion 3.3 How to play the classic matchup 3.4 How to survive the early game against Wrecker 3.5 What to do against Mortar 3.6 How to deal with early T2 3.7 Map Advice 4 Nature Mirror 4.1 Swift unit starter 4.2 Swift vs ranged starter 4.3 Treespirits 4.4 Playing against early T2 1 Nature vs Shadow I want to start with the matchup against Shadow, because I think it's pretty easy to understand the dynamic from the nature perspective for a basic level. I want to describe how to beat the average Shadow T1 player: There are multiple scenarios you will encounter, when playing against Nature T1. I will go through all of them. First of all I will show you how the average Shadow T1 player plays & how to demolish him with ease. Then I'll go further to discuss what to do against dangerous unit compositions and strategies and how to survive against the overpowered Phasetower. 1.1 General matchup discussion Nature has a general strength, when fighting against S Units due to Windweavers double damage bonus & Hurricane. This makes Forsaken less effective, espcially in a spam they are absolutely weak against Hurricane. On the other hand nox troopers make your Swiftclaw/Amazon entirely useless as you want to get off max value out of ensnaring roots. Starting with your swift unit may result into an autolose, which leads me to one of the golden rules, when playing nature T1: Always let your enemy spawn his first unit before you. This gives you the information about his T1 therefore you can react properly. The matchup against Shadow is probably the easist one to learn at the beginning, which is my main reason why I'm starting right here. 1.2 How to deal with Nox Spam This is quite an easy task. All you have to do is spamming Windweavers and pull back that unit in a fight, which gets focussed. Most of the time your Windweavers will survive, because Nox Trooper need extra hits to kill squad units. Therefore you can save multiple units and heal them with surge of light. Even with motivate there is no way you're gonna lose that fight if you micro properly. Tip: You can select damaged units on the small screen at the right side. This allows you to pick your targets faster and more precisely. 1.3 How to deal with mass Dreadchargers Some people may try to circle around you with Dreadchargers, which is a little bit harder to defend. Spearmen do a good job though to protect you. Against a massive amount of Dreadchargers it's quite useful playing a second squad of Spearmen. The important part in this scenario is to avoid open areas in the early stage, because you may get crushed from multiple angles. Just hover around choke points and punish overagressive pushes by using ensnaring roots (best case scenario is to catch 2 units, who are close to each other so multishot of windweavers increases your damageoutput during the cc time). 1.4 How to deal with mixed unit combinations Probably the most effective way to play Shadow T1 is a combination of 1 Forsaken squad (to finish of S squads, because Nox struggle with this) and an equal amount of spammed Dreadchargers/Nox Troopers. You need to be careful with your micro and a good amount of Windweavers are necessary to eliminate threads quickly. Always try to kite back up until you have a big army and some additional power to support with your spells effectively. It should be easier to stay safe as Nox & Forsaken aren't that fast. Just be careful and don't fall back too far, otherwise a straight wellfocus into T2/Phasetower defence may put you far behind. 1.4 How to deal with Phasetowerspam This card ist probably your worst enemy when playing nature T1. It destroys windweavers with its absurd splash damage and has an insanely high cost efficency ... pretty much a cc immune long range high dps tank. You will face Phasetowers in 2 possible occasions (Defensive and offensive situations). If you are trying to rush against a phasetower player (because he picked up a greedy power well or something like that), keep in mind that you're still going to lose an engagement. Try to set up your mobility advantage to and walk up to the main base to bait out a Phasetower, then walk back to the extra well. This way you can soak 60 additional power out of your opponent's power pool. Keep in mind it simply doesn't work on large maps like Haladur. Phasetower will always favour the Shadow player unless he makes major mistakes. Maps like Whazai are even worse, because a straight phasetowerspam in the middle can reach your powerwells just after 2 ports. You need to set up a primal defender defence before your enemy gets to port in. Otherwise the game is just lost. 1.5 How to deal with a Shadow T1 Master This will be really tough. Your goal is early survival. The Shadow player has some ways to create massive advantages within the first minutes to build up big advantages. I'll show one of these powerful early attacks, that will end up with a clean 80+ power advantage for the shadow player most of the time. I'll give Yrmia as an example (Your opponent starts with a Dreadcharger. You have to respond with Spearmen or Windweavers . The game is over if you make one single missstep. You opponent will just start picking up a power well ... 1) Now you can decide if you want to rush him. If you decide to rush him he plays a defensive Phasetower, that can port to the main base if you try to switch (even though it takes more damage there, fighting at the enemies main base will be hard, because the Monument will also constantly attack you with its splash damage and finish off squads before you can heal them). 2) You take the well by yourself. This lowers the early voidlevel and leaves you open for a split attack which favours Shadow. An immediate double attack at your well and your main base will follow soon with 2-3 units per base. Shadow units are more effective without additional support while the expensive nature units need to synergise with each other and their support spells. In addition to that crowd control is nearly useless (1Dreadcharger, 1 Nox, 1Forsakensquad), because you won't be able to cc multiple units, you don't have enough crowd control in your base to make the cost investement worth it & you lack the units to kills cc'd units. If you try to overwhelm your opponent at one spot, he can just spam units at the other spot and get your powerwell over there (especially when he motivates the unit from the weaker side). You lose at least 1 powerwell. 3) Instant T2. If your opponent mimics your movements early and stays on the same side as you do, there is no way you can reach an orb fast enough with your slow first unit. If you decide to start swiftclaw, your opponent will read your plan in about a second and won't pick up the power well, so he can rush your T2 immediatly if it's needed. You can't go for a dazed fight anymore, because Nox Troopers demolish Swiftclaw/Amazon and winning a fight while being 80 power down this early into the game is just not compensable just by good micro. Shadow T1 is very powerful at the start of the game and you definitely need to respect that. But don't worry to much, you won't meet such a strong shadow T1 player on a regular base. Most of the time people do make mistakes, so you can pick off some units with your cc or simple do favourable damage trades that keep you alive until you start to scale up. You will still face turrets and instant T2's alot, but you can survive that by using primal defender or picking up instant T2 by yourself. In the best case scenario you may be able to rush your opponent. 1.6 Rushing an opponent who plays instant T2: 1.6.1 Pure Shadow Pure Shadow: Very hard to deal with. Rushing is only a good decision if you're close to your opponent's orb already and even then it may be close. You need spearmen as tanks and M counters to deal with Shadow Mages, who will destroy your units faster than you may think. If you are not in position there is no way to rush that, you need to be in position with your spearmen, when the T2 is finished already. 1.6.2 Bandits Bandits: Actually easy to rush if you are close. That is a big 'IF' since you can't start swift vs Shadow and this gives Bandits more space. Just split against crowd control, play 1-2 dryads and sleep incoming drakes. Bandits has no crowd control, so you can even rush over a decent distance. If your opponent is to far away, picking up a power well with primal defender (that thing demolishes drakes) is also fine. Just make sure to defend proactively & keep an eye on nightcrawlers aimed for split attacks. you need to catch units before they get close to your power wells (rallying banner attacks are annoying). I recommend practicing this, if you are a pure nature player, because Bandits has the upper hand in this matchup due to cards like windhunter and powerful rallying banner attacks. 1.6.3 Shadow Nature Shadow Nature: Don't overstay your welcome T1 against Shadow Nature. This deck is probably the deadliest out of all against T1 units. Cheapest high dps units + cheapst crowd control. A common strategy with this deck is to sacrifice entire T1 armies just to get a powerwell and then defend counterattacks with Oink + Phoenix (+Nightcrawler-Nasty). Don't fall for this bait 1.6.4 Shadow Frost Shadow Frost: Hard to rush, easy to defend against. You can just pick up a powerwell and defend early attacks with good micro. Just don't push to aggressively, as Shadow Frost does really well at defending power wells and orbs (but that should be well known). From a defensive spot you won't be surprised by any Lyrish Nasties or some stuff like that. 1.7 How to rush against greedy power wells This is a pretty common scenario when facing unexperienced shadow players. Most of them will put up very aggressive extra powerwells without the needed ressources to defend them. If you want to punish that, you still need to keep an eye onto two things. First of all you need to be in range to punish a potential defensive tower. Secondly you still need at leasty 3-4 combat units and some power to make good use of your support spells. Even with a 100 power lead an early engagement may be very bad for you, because Shadow units work much better on a very low power level. So taking like 20-30 seconds to build up your army in the first place might be a wise choice if you don't have enough units in the mix, but as I said you need to be at least somewhat close to 1.8 Maps (Tips and spots to watch out for) Lajesh: With the walls it's a great map for you as it blocks any early action and you control the only attack areas with your crowd control. Allows you to scale up to critical points, that allow you to take control over the game. Elyon: Phasetower or instant T2 by your opponent may lose you mapcontrol right from the start on, you need to fight from an uncomfortable position. At least the wall protects your main base, so you won't be pressured early, which is good for you to scale up safely, especially when playing pure nature. Haladur: Your main base is far away from the center of this map. This means you are open to get split attacked. Defending that on equal power level can be very tough, escpially due to the strength of motivate. Centered fights will be in your favour unless Phasetower is played. Yrmia: As seen above, this map gives you alot of trouble due to multiple spots to get flanked from, if your opponent mastered his T1. Phasetowers from the center position are very dangerous. Small entries can be covered by ensnaring roots though, which may a possible opening for you. Whazai: If you see your opponent starting with Phasetower you need a primal defender at your entrance to the center of the map, otherwise you will be destroyed by phasetowerspam. They just need 2 ports to attack your powerwells. Even T2 isn't enough to stop this. If phasetower isn't played you should be fine though, Windweavers are more valuable than spearmen in this scenario, because they can attack the powerwells at the main base over that cliff. Uro: Troublesome map. Gives you some issues due to the high distance between wells since you have to start with a slow starting unit, but it's not as bad as the Frost vs Shadow T1 matchup on this map since you've got a chance to win the dazed fights. Fast T2 is valuable for you on this map unless you win early trades. Simai: The is somewhat fine to play, but you may lose entire map control upon playing an extended T1 agianst Phasetower. So early T2 is somewhat necessary if you see your opponent prepare anything at the center of the map. Apart from that you've got 2 power wells next to you main base, that are somewhat safe to take, which is pretty useful. Generated maps (small): Similar problems as on Elyon. You may lose mapcontrol, rushing against instant T2 or phasetower is hard, but not always impossible. You make your decision based on your distance to your opponent if you want to rush or play the game slowly with less mapcontrol Generated maps (big): Games most likely shift to the T2 stage before anything dangerous may happen. You should be careful about sacrificial well focus strategies by your opponent as you can't counterattack over such a wide distance. 2 Nature vs Frost 2.1 General Matchup discussion Frost is an uncomfortable opponent for you, because Frostmagespam is negating your scaling power, therefore you can't sit back and scale up safely like in other matchups. You either need to be more proactive to get early advantages or try to use defensive buildings to stall out up until later stages of the game. That's easier said than done. The Frost player can fall back and also use its Ice-Guardians, but with strong micro plays you can force good early fights and create very nice advantages for yourself. 2.2 How to deal with Frostmagespam There are 2 options for yourself to deal with a Frostmagespam. You can either go for a Swiftclawspam, that is beating Frostmagespam very early into the game. You can try to force an early fight, if the Frost player oversteps. But you aren't guaranteed to get the fight you want if your opponent stays at his main base up until he scales up. If you play stonekin an aggressive T2 position may be an option due to the high amount of M knockback in, but as a pure nature player I don't recommend doing such things. The Frostmages S-knockback is negating the option of using spirit hunters & ghost spears to full effect. On bigger maps you can take an early well to force a response to create an easier target compared to the main base (keep in mind an orb also does formidable damage). It also lowers the void level which delays the big Frostmage burst breakpoint. A less aggressive strategy would be mass Dryads/Shamans against the magespam and hope, that your opponents splits up his mages a little bit too far. Then you can use ensnaring roots to pick up mages, that are placed too far from the main group to get your advantages. If your opponent picks up to many mages, because he doesn't allow you to outtrade him early, you need to rely on a more defensive strategy. Turrets work quite well in this case, because once the mage army gets to big the turrets will buy you some essential time. Frost units are too slow to run around your bases, therefore you are safe for a while with the option to prepare your next move. If you get to kill some Frostmages early on, you may be able to win this in the late T1, because Frost Mage charges are limited, while you have access to two combat units with the Shaman & Dryad. The mage player is still favoured in this matchup, but the homesoil nerf at the last patch in 2013 was apparently beneficial for the balancing in this matchup (I guess that was the only good thing about that nerf). 2.3 How to punish early wells On maps with big well distances like Haladur I recommend going for an aggressive early game. Swiftclawspam is an option here. You can switch targets once your opponent spent alot of power into Ice Guardians. They are too slow to follow your units when there is a great distance between power wells. You simply run away from the Ice Guardians while destroying the undefended power wells. If your opponent wants to go for a Frostmagespam, you can simply pick up an early powerwell to open up a spot to attack if the Frost player responds by taking a well on its own in the center. On a low void level the Frostmagespam is vulnerable to heavy aggression. Tip: Keep an eye onto the Glyph of Frost. Always try to anticipate it and try to bring up less predictable movement patterns on the board. Even though that seems a little random sometimes, it may be harder for your opponent to predict your movements correctly. 2.4 How to deal with Ice-Guardians & Master Archers This is probably an easy task for you. If Frostmage isn't involved you win the scaling game since you ranged advantage over Ice-Guardians and the Hurricane against a potential Master archerspam are simply way to effective. Just keep in mind that you need a good amount of units on the board to make your crowdcontrol worth its use as Frost units are very tanky. In the early game you need to be on point with your micromanagement in order to keep your units alive (Shaman heals, Dryad cc, kiting) before cc starts winning these trades for you in the late game. Frostbite is very dangerous here, you might lose units, that are out of position! Keep in mind to stay in an aggressive stance when commiting to an attack. Your opponnent might tech up and suddenly your poor Shamans are infront of a War Eagle, which is a situation you probably do want to avoid. 2.5 Playing against instant T2s I mostly would recommend picking up T2 by yourself in that case because you should have strong T2 options, when playing pure Nature here. Frost Fire, Frost Shadow & Pure Frost are very good T2 matchups for you and instant T2 give you an optimal position to gain leads over Energy parasites. Stonekin is pretty difficult to rush with nature T1 as Stonetempest is super effective against your M heavy unit composition. You need to be very close to be able to rush this effectively (getting a tempo lead by dealing damage to the orb during its construction time). 2.6 Map advice Lajesh: Again the walls are very valuable to block Frostmages as they can't shoot through them. If you get into a leading position here, you may consider trying to get mapcontrol as this blocks T3 for the late game. You always have the option of playing safe if anything goes wrong. Elyon: I usually recommend looking for an early T2 in the corner on this map. Your mainbase is safe, but you can't contest the center in an extended trade against Frostmages. If you're playing pure nature your opponent will be forced to go T2 by himself as he can't defend Energy Parasites with T1 and doesn't reach your T2 orb in time. Haladur: The big distance betweeen the main base and the center are always and advantage against Frost. Taking an early power well is your best bet here. Lowers the void and can't be rushed effectively as long as you've got a defensive building as back up. You've got at least a minute to prepare yourself before the Frost player gets into a meaningful range to do something useful. Yrmia: Very small map and very dangerous against Frost. It's really hard to safely aquire any position on the map here. The wall segment gives a 75 power boost for both players, which favours the Frostmage spam as your opponent will reach his critical mass earlier into the game. Wazhai: Keep in mind that melee units are less effective here due to the cliff. Going aggressive with Dryad + Shaman can work out pretty well, as most people will be nervous and overcommit into an early engagement, that nature wins due to the Shaman sustain. Against experienced Frost players a Primal Defender behind that cliff can block early center aggression. Uro: If you play Stonekin, you can go instant T2 against aggressive magespam. You most likely identify your opponent's itention as he either needs to take the long path in oder to get wells or the short path in order to fight. I think playing against this as a pure nature player is dangerous, because Magespam can rush early T2's and it's hard to defend any position apart from your main base. Simai: You can take that early well to create a big tempo lead in your advantage. Low void level, big map with walls to intercept Frost players for a good amount of time. Should be fine to play this matchup here. Generated maps (small): You most likely lose map control on these maps, which is a little unfavourable for you. But sometimes you can go for a swiftclawspam due to the big distance between center and main base. Generated maps (big): Early advantage for you as Swift units are very valuable here. You can try very aggressive Swifclawspam into T2 as there is no option to counterattack in time for non-swift units. The distance between both players is huge. Keep in mind that Frost T1 players usually play super strong late game decks so getting an advantage pre T3 can be very important for you. 3 Nature vs Fire 3.1 General Matchup discussion The matchup against Fire is very interesting and there are alot of ways this could play out. There are some easy & effective strategies, but also some advanced ones, that are way harder to execute, but more useful in the end. Fire T1 is often played differently dependend on the deck you are facing because there is a big variety in deckslots that are invested in T1 within the Fire deck. Pure Fire can throw 8-9 cards into its T1, while Fire Nature will simply use 4-6 cards, because it requires way more slots in T2. Some cards like Wrecker & Mortar turn around matches heavily and you need to know and respect their specific power once they are used. Before going into specific T1 fight discussion I need to warn you here. Fire players tend to skip T1 against nature quite often and nature units are very weak against T2. So keep in mind to avoid binding power into to many units while being in a passive stance. This frequently leads to frustrating losses and you want to avoid that. 3.2 Dryad Spam Discussion I would say this was a very famous way to play the matchup from the nature perspective. Alot of players would simply spam dryads to scale up to a point where they simply outscale the opponent. I agree with the fact, that Dryad is a very powerful card with good stat cost efficency and especially against Fire T1 the damage reduction is huge because of eruption. A double Eruption doesn't kill units anymore and its damage gets reduced to 225 per target (from 300). Anyways you need to be careful when to use this strategy. You lose alot of mobility and versitility, which makes you weaker against early T2 and Mortar tower. These are strategies you will face quite often and this is why I don't consider spamming Dryads in this matchup unless your opponent tries to go for a Fireswornspam. Dryad has a superior stat cost efficency and Firesworns can't use their ranged advantage or S knockback against such an army. 3.3 How to play the classic matchup The classic unit composition you will face is built around 1-2 scavengers combined with Sunstriderspam and maybe 1 Firesworn. Your opponent will try to fight on an open field or at least attack from multiple spots at once, so you can't use your cc onto all units. On most maps I recommend a Swiftclaw start to match the speed of Scavenger, because especially on mid centered maps Fire can pick up a well + mortar or instant T2 which is very unpleasent to play against. In rare occasions you may consider starting with a Dryad. In order to win this fight you need at least 2 Dryads, because you need the damage reduction against the Eruption on all of your units. Before you manage to do that try to avoid every possible fight. Tip: Spawn order is an important here. Your Dryads need to get spawned early on, because they need to be undazed to switch their mode for damage output. Shamans on the other hand are incredibly good dazed as they already heal for full value. This is very important to know to win extended trades. 3.4 How to play agianst Wrecker Wrecker has insane M damage. I think it's the best basic cost stat efficency out of all T1 units if you simply look at its damage output. This is something you need to respect in this situation. Most of the time only pure Fire players will carry Wrecker in their decks, because they do have the slot left to use them. But sometimes Fire Frost also goes for the Wrecker, because it has a weak T2 against pure Nature. They most important part in this case is your use of crowd control. Because Wrecker has the ability to allow undazed summons so your CC can end up being used against you. If you use ensnaring roots onto a wrecker, he can use the ability and spawn undazed melee creatures out of the root range while his sunstriders will be placed inside the root area, because they are immune to knockbacks over there, which is a safe spot against Hurricane. In addition to that Wrecker empowers split attacks by alot. Bringing up an undazed Sunderer or multiple Wreckers right front of your powerwell is a huge threat and you always have to respect that. 3.5 How to deal with early T2s 3.5.1 Pure Fire Don't rush this. It doesn't work unless you get a big gifted lead. Enforcer and Wildfire are a powerful defense against T1. Pure Fire will completely roll over you, you have to respond with T2 by yourself and avoid having more bound power in your T1 units. The pure Fire matchup is very unforgiving to play, so be on guard! 3.5.2 Fire Nature Fire Nature is a threat for you, but not as bad as pure Fire. As long as you are close to your opponent's orb, you can attempt to rush it down. If you won a trade beforehand it should be even better. Your biggest task is keeping all units splitted against cc, while keeping the dryad buff applied to all units. Make sure to sleep any T2 unit immediatly. Skyfire Drake is especially Dangerous. Envenom can work as a soft counter to Ravage here, as it is unlikely to kill a skyfire Drake without it. Always try to be ready for a lavafield. The Fire Nature options are powerful, but there is only limited power and time available for him and that can be your advantage. Keep in mind that a missed rush onto a fire nature T2 always means game over. So be careful. 3.5.3 Fire Frost Probably the easist deck to rush as Coldsnap is useless against nature. The 50% damage reduction is very good for your shamans. Still don't underestimate the power of Skyfire Drake and a potential Lavafield. You need tempo to force protects or cc to keep down the powerlevel in order to prevent a lethal strike. Think twice if you really want to run into the risk of rushing against Fire Frost when having a favourable T2 matchup anyways. 3.5.4 Bandits Nobody plays Bandits and we talked about that earlier in the guide. 3.6 What to do against Mortar This card is probably the most dangerous one for you in this matchup. Completely blocks any form of aggression. Once you lose map control and a mortar is up, the position is fone forever. In addition to that Mortar eliminates the ability to basetrade effectively as his damage/cost efficency is even above T2 level. Try to avoid mortar in every way. Cliff mortar attacks also can be difficult to defend once you fall behind, that's why I always recommend playing the game on a low risk level when playing nature in its current state. That said you can't get into a super passive stance as aggressive Mortars may force you into a fight. 3.7 Map advice Haladur: Bad map for you. Split attacks from the side paths are very dangerous. Defending a Sunderer in your main base isn't just dangerous and expensive, it also leaves alot of bound power in your main base making any center position very exploitable. Elyon: You can take fights if your opponent agrees on going for a T1 Battle. Center position to fight over, you should win extended trades, but lose early circle engagements. Be careful about instant T2 though. Lajesh: you can stall, but you won't be able to attack effectively either. Don't lose control over the postion close to your main base. That can end up pretty ugly when playing against pure Fire. Yrmia: You either have to be aggressive to pressure against potential instant T2 (with extended void power extremely dangerous!) or try to set up T2 at the other side of the map. T1 trades should be manageable, because you should be able to reach your critical amount of units pretty early. Uro: Big map, so keep an eye onto split attacks. Apart from that you should be fine by contesting the center position. Whoever gets it in the end will be at a massive advantage as it is a great setup for both players (split attacks for your opponent and EP management for yourself). Wazhai: Cliffmortars everywhere … super tricky to play against it. I would even consider playing manawing in a tournament to prevent this … When Mortar isn't used you should be able to play very aggressively as the wells at the cliff are very vulnerable, even when your opponent picks up early T2. Simai: Slow starter. As long as you don't lose map control entirely you should be fine for the early stage of the game. Be careful about welling up too much as this leaves you open for split attacks. Generated (small): Center rush + Mortar is disgusting to play against. Fire is clearly favoured on these type of maps due to this and you should try to bait out an early fight even though it may be difficult to win. Center control is key on alot of small generated maps. Generated (big): Just make sure you don't bind too much power in T1 units as this makes T2 pickups much more juicy for your opponent. Should be difficult to apply serious pressure here. 4 Nature Mirror I still feel like Nature mirrors are one of the most fun matchups in the entire game. Especially since Treespirit got nerfed and doesn't destroy the faction entirely anymore there is alot of room to show of crazy skills in this matchup. There are 3 ways to play out the game and I will explain the basic concepts right here. 4.1 Swift unit start Probably the most common way to play this. Swiftclaw or Amazon start into spearmen into dryad into shaman spam. This is the most effective unit composition in the early stage. You will try to use your dryad to keep as many units cc'd as possible while Shamans will switch between attack and healing rotations. Keep in mind, that it's your priority to keep your units alive. Important note: Don't use any spells in the early game! Your Shamans are more than enough to keep your units alive in the early game. Spells are wasted power, because once you use them your opponent can just play another Shaman while keeping his other units alive during the cc duration. At some point it may be useful to add a second Dryad to increase the damage output and protect your other Dryad from burst rotations. Shaman & Dryad micro is key in this matchup. Switching between damage and support modes while maintaining correct unit focus is incredibly hard and really allows you to show off your skill with the deck. Keep in mind that Swiftclaw will me more dangerous than Amazon, because Amazon damage reduction doesn't work against other units even though she can take on the Swiftclaw in a simple 1v1. Her damageoutput isn't sufficient in extended trades. Using the ability onto the Swiftclaw is a NoGo by the way! Dryads could just cc the swifclaw resulting in 65 power being almost wasted. In addition to that the unit ends up getting unbound, which is a huge advantage for the 4.2 Swift unit vs ranged start The second way to play this matchup is the Dryad start. You can't fight your opponent in the early game, because your dps is way to low and Swiftclaw + Spearmen are a huge thread to your units, but once you have 10+ units you can try to burst them down with crowd control. The melee units are somewhat useless, because they don't reach your units anymore while there is no way to heal them against the burst rotations in the late T1 anymore . But as I said if you get into a fight to early you will lose, because the Melee units do way more damage and Shamans will be able to sustain through your damage output, especially with a Dryad in the mix. In addition to that the lack of swifclaw reduces your pressure onto early T2s. EP spam vs Nature T1 can be a huge turning point. 4.3 Treespirits This is the third and probably the easiest version to play out the matchup is Treespirit spam. Beats out the dryad spam due to the high dps, but struggles alot against Spearmen, because they can soak up the damage early and get healed by Shamans later on. I feel like playing them is less effective after the damage nerf, because the sustained dps version beats them now unless you get enough Treespirits to Burst down Spearmen with one rotation (and you need many of them). Keep in mind, that you need to use your Dryad wisely here. Using the sleep animation just after a Treespirit used his attack is useless, because it has up to 10s cooldown between his attack rotations. Treespirit spam is even worse against early T2s though, that has to be considered here. Tip: Amazon takes 50% less damage against Green Treespirits and soaks up burst rotations aswell. 4.4 Rushing an opponent who picks up instant T2 4.4.1 vs pure Nature This isn't a big deal, because pure Nature doesn't have any high dps units do deal with your natural Sustain. Also you do have good cc tools to deal with Ghost Spears and Spirit Hunters. With many ranged units it should be easy to kite Deep One and apart from that there isn't too much pure Nature can offer in T2. If a pure Nature players goes instant T2 at least somewhat close to you I recommend to attack immediatly. Adding up 1-2 S units into the mix may be valuable as they deal well with the S units pure Nature can bring into the fight. Defensive T1 vs T2 is not recommended as Energie Parasites are impossible to defend with Nature T1. 4.4.2 vs Stonekin Way more difficult but still possible if you are close to build up a tempo lead by damaging the orb (preferably with a swiftclaw). Razorshard/Stonetempest can be quite annoying, so you need to make sure, that your unit split is perfect, but in the end there is no “burst combo” that can take you out, so there is nothing you need to be afraid of as long as you play your game perfecly. Spearmen can be really useful to support your unit composition in this matchup. 4.4.3 vs Nature Shadow Nature Shadow has huge potential against your T1 and is pretty big in the early T2 stage. Pretty dangerous to play agianst, but pretty unpopular deck. 4.4.4 vs Nature Fire Rarely played with nature starteres, but somewhat troublesome. At least Natures Swift units are more expensive than scavenger, so your opponent won't be able to use his power as effective as in the Fire T1 version and may be more open to an immediate rush. So that's it for now. I may be able to add some replays for some matchups later on. Thanks for reading this wall of text and I really hope to see some new nature starters in the future! Feedback's always welcome! Best regards RadicalX
  12. RadicalX

    Nature T1 PvP Guide by RadicalX

    They dynamic for nature in 2v2 differs alot. Dryads & support spells can be utilized to very high efficiency, which makes the faction insanely strong here. Shadow + Nature (Nox-/Forsakenspam + double dryad) is by far the best T1 combination in open 2v2 combat and probably the strongest T1 combination overall, while Fire + Nature is probably ranked second as it is the most flexible combination with alot of cross map support and spell synergy (mine + root in T1 can be extraordinary powerful and win games on its own). Just the passive pressure a nature mate exerts just by threatening a potential hurricane support on 1v1 based maps like Zahadune can completely alter the T1 dynamic on the other side of the map too. It also scales well into later gamestages as you have options to pick the strongest T2 compositions like Pure Fire + Stonekin for instance.
  13. RadicalX

    PvP Rank Drops too Fast

    I initially recommended 20 games, after talking to some people in the PvP community I think 15 games per month might be even better. The activity check just should ensure, that people are still playing ranked PvP so you can't sit back after reaching a high rank without playing anymore. In fact it should make ranked PvP competitive and keep players active, but right know it does quite the opposite. Base elo is the more relevant stat to evaluate a players skill (it doesn't reflect it perfectly ofc, but is still much more important than activity) and right now the ladder doesn't do this. For example Draken, Bubbalo and Navarr & Hightech are players, that should be listed quite high in the ladder based on their true base elo score. All of them are quite active players and they played some ranked games during the last month (23, 14 ,15, 21). They still aren't part of the top 20 due to the high barrier (R28, R56, R57, R49). With a 15 game requirement they would be rated completely differently (R6, R5, R4, R10). When I look at the ranked PvP ladder I want to see things like "who are the best players in the game?". Right now the ladder doesn't really give me that information. It is okay to exclude completely inactive players, but I still want to be able to compare the people, that are actually playing the game.
  14. RadicalX

    PvP Rank Drops too Fast

    It takes 3minutes and 20 seconds up until an extra power well grants you the power, you have to invest into it. You are on a power deficit up until that point. Early T2s grant a 25% difference in void, which requires you to make much more efficient trades in order to even get some kind of a lead. It is impossible to crash mortar defenses pre T2, dependend on your deck you might even need T3 on maps like lajesh or Elyon. Based on my experience it can take 10 to 20 minutes for an average player to crash a decently executed turtle strategy. Considering that most PvP games are decided before 5 minutes due to skill gaps between alot of playergroups, it would be bad to force people for 5 minutes into ranked games. I agree with Lebovin, that the upgrade issue will be solved with the upcoming changes. That said, I still think 30 games per month are too many and make the ranked ladder less representative and reaching activity requirements can get really painful after dropping to 0%.
  15. RadicalX

    PvP Rank Drops too Fast

    With the current ranked participation 30 games per month are too many in my opinion. I think it is good to have an activity check, but I still think 15-20 games per month should be more than enough to see, that a player still participates in the ranked que (even during EA times the amount of games required to get back to full activity was much lower). Finding opponents is really hard and you really need to grind alot to even see your "true" rank on the leaderboard.
  16. RadicalX

    The Phase Tower Spam is Strong Lately

    Well Phasetowerspam is broken and makes the overall game quality straight up worse. Sadly all plans regarding balancing changes got postponed to an unknown date.
  17. RadicalX

    Cannot find Ranked PvP Games

    Alot of PvP players just stopped playing for multiple reasons. The reset didn't happen so far (alot of people don't want to farm for all cards and upgrades twice), potential balancing changes got postponed, unbalanced matchmaking because of large skill differences, very longs searching times etc. Right now there is 1 player with full activity when there used to be roughly 150. I think the best chance of rebuilding a solid PvP playerbase is proper promotion and work around it after the reset.
  18. RadicalX

    Let's Talk Shrine of Greed

    SoM used to work for all players in the team, but it got nerfed as it was overpowered in 2v2.
  19. RadicalX

    New BFP Earning System: Playtime and Reserves

    I think removing the daily boosters is good for the economy. It completely removed the reason of buying boosters in the game to regulate the total bfp amount, which is kind of important with no existing regulation at the market. I think I didn't buy a single booster during the entire CBT phase even with some people selling them for sub 400bfp. I also do like the general idea of removing the hard cap as some people seemed a little dissatisfied, when they did their daily quests and there was nothing left to do. The reserve system is a good solution to add some extra bfp for being dedicated without creating a massive income gap, but as Vovano already stated, it highly rewards people, that are able to play multiple times on each day and therefore shouldn't reward people too heavily. From my first impression the bfp/min numbers are looking a little bit too low, especially for players that don't play the game as frequently. The biggest gap in bfp income will occur through abusing the instable market prices and not the actual reward system. Removing the daily boosters is a good step into the right direction here, but doesn't remove the issue. People who don't use that income source for various reasons like lack of interest or experience will be much more affected by a lower daily bfp gain. Without knowing the actual data, I assume, that the percentage of players with a daily 90min+ playtime is really really low. I agree with Halis that this number looks really really high. And there are alot of people, that can't play the game every day leading to a high loss of potential bfp income without a method available to compensate. This leads me to the following proposal: -> Limiting daily boost time from 90mins to a lower number (45mins with 5bfp/min gains sound alot better for me, exact values might be discussed) -> Slightly lower the reserve refill rate to put less pressure onto players to play multiple times per day -> Let daily boosts stack up once or even twice, so people can compensate with high playing time at a single day for being unable to play on a daily base.
  20. RadicalX

    Change MS can balance?

    I don't see how this would help the PvP balance to be fully honest. As long as I didn't miss anything, there are 9 non swift melee creatures with (I exclude Sunderer here as it is faster than T1 ranged units already and not an essential part of the counter system as a siege unit). -> Thugs -> Wrecker -> Northguards -> Ice Guardian -> Imperials -> Spearmen -> Executor -> Wrathblades -> Skeleton Warriors Imperials are supposed to contest Scav & Dreadcharger, who also are melee creatures, a MS change would have no effect here. So 8 cards affected by the change are left here. Out of these 8 cards I'd argue that 4 cards are in an acceptable balancing state already (IG, Wrecker, Spearmen, Wrathblades), 2 cards too strong (Thugs, Skeleton Warriors) & 2 cards too weak (Northguards, Executor). I don't see a necessity for a global melee buff here tbh. I think it is possible to buff some of these cards to create a better matchup balance in general. Wrecker buffs can compensate for a Mortar nerf, IG buffs could help Frost to survive dazed fights and make a late compensation for the 2013 homesoil nerf, Wrathblade hp buffs could help Shadow to contest Thugs at high number fights etc. I would clearly prefer balancing changes aimed directly at critical cards rather than global changes.
  21. RadicalX

    How to make PvP more attractive (Discussion)

    Thanks for the comments! I edited the main post. I included the aspect of creating a larger playerbase for better matchmaking. @LagOps I agree with the Nature & Frost part, we probably need a larger set of changes with compensation nerfs to reach an acceptable balancing state for T1. The ideas I initially posted were aimed to support T1 vs T2 scenarios. I removed this part from the main post, because I think it will be better to discuss specific ideas within the actual balancing threads/discord. I don't think, that T1 is too ranged heavy though as ranged units mostly are more micro demanding and I feel a decent amount of melee units are in a decent state. The only thing that might need to be adressed at some point is the opressive single unit spam in some matchups (Frostmagespam, Fireswornspam, Dryadspam). @Kubik Thanks for your input here! If we get to apply changes to just one server at some point though, is there a chance of just testing balancing changes before the wipe? Even if nothing goes to the main server pre reset, testing several proposals can help alot to improve them. As this is quite time consuming, it would be great to start as early as possible. And do you know anything regarding the possibility of changing activity requirements?
  22. RadicalX

    PvP Balance

    To give you a short answer: Yes there is an ongoing discussion about balancing. There is a separate discord server for that, where community representitives can work together to get proposals done (finished ones are already in the forums). That said, we don't have the permission to get proposed changes onto a test server yet. As critical cards like Phasetower or Mortar for instance might need iteration based balancing, we have to wait up until we can test certain changes to get to a consensus about what is good for the game, so these changes can be useful in the end.
  23. The players at the top of bfp incomes do not reflect the efficiency of the quest system at all, because they do not generate their main income through quests. They abuse the inconsistent trading values at the market. I would clearly agree, that the current quest system needs improvement. A higher questdiversity (I guess we get this after reset) and a removal of the hard cap should be really beneficial.
  24. Great map! Looking forward to the competition. Do you have any plans on how to make the replays public in the end? If you are interested I could record and upload the winner replays to youtube either on my or the skylords community channel. I've got just one question regarding the rules. Why aren't 2 replays per player allowed for the competition (1speedrun + 1style run)?
  25. I agree, that you want to avoid having very experienced players going up against the new ones. They are way to good at snowballing games, especically after gathering so much experience over the years. These kind of stomps are really frustrating. I think a good idea to bring more players into PvP are beginner friendly events. Toggys Rookie Tournaments are a nice example with a solid amount of participants and there were a good amount of games, where the outcome was alot less predictable. If these kind of Events get promoted via ingame newsfeed, it might grant the opportunity to lower the entrance barrier.
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