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RadicalX

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  1. With the recent events of implementing the reward system, grinding and the open stress test I got to feel again how underpowered some of the cards in Battleforge were. While there were definitely some overpowered cards there were also alot of super underpowered ones, that never got any attention. I would argue that at least 10-15% out of the cards were almost unplayable. Most of the time you would pick some op cards, build up your deck and start farming tokens, while some cards will be left behind for like ... forever. I'll leave this thread as a simple idea for possible future plans since I'm aware, that balancing isn't priority for the devs right now. The cards and potential changes don't affect the overall gameplay (because they will remain weaker than really powerful cards), but it would lead to more diversity and refreshing playstyles. I will always comment about why changes are necessary. Most buffs would result in buffs for PvE, because even though there are some cards, that would seem great for PvP, this gamemode is more sensitive for balancing. I just included cards, where I'm 100% certain, that they have no potential of being broken after receiving their potential buff. Also most of the changes I suggest are very simple and don't go into any deep or complex mechanic, so it's easier to predict possible outcomes of potential changes. In general there are some things, that are completely underperforming: -> The majority of turrets are underpowered. Outclassed by the top tier buildings like Necroblaster or Church of Negation there isn't much room left for alot of the basic turrets with underwhelming abilities and low dps -> Pure Decks are simply weaker than splash decks. In order to fully solve this problem Enlightment & Amii Monument need to be nerfed, because most pure T4 cards are just used in nature splash decks, because of the superior healing support. But this isn't part of this thread here, because these changes would affect gameplay massively. To add some last words before heading into the list: These cards will probably remain underpowered after their nerfs, but maybe a little bit more fun to play. 1: Strikers Strikers are probably the weakest swift unit in Fire T1. Outclassed by Scavenger and Nomads no one would ever pick them up. In fact they are a nonfactor in PvP because they are too expensive, S units and melee creatures. Buffing them sadly isn't easy, because once they are viable things can go out of hand due to the looter ability (just look at thugs), but a small buff would make them a little little bit less underwhelming. Possible buff: Cost down to 85 power (from 90) 2: Fire Bomb Probably the most unfun card in the game. Takes ages to build up, covers up a small radius and gets destroyed up on activation. While there aren't any QoL buffs, that can make this way easier, at least some additional damage would give that underwhelming card something, that makes it worth to play in PvE Possible buff: Damage up to 950; 2200max (from 715; 1650max) 3: Executor This guy is supposed to execute things. But in PvP he's underwhelming and ends up getting kited forever. To make this card at least a little bit more useful a slight damage buff would help, especially since he has an ability, that muliplies the bonus Possible buff: Damage up to 650 (from 600) 4: Lifestealer Lifestealer is supposed to deal alot of damage, because the turret can't move like Phasetower and also loses hp once it attacks. The idea is similar to what worked for the Shadow Mage. But that card has something to make up for it's weakness, while Lifestealer just has some unspectacular dps. Possible buff: Damage up to 1625 -> 130 per hit; 195max splash (from 1380 -> 110 per hit; 165max splash) 5: Soulsplicer (Red) I think everyone who used to play with the green affinity knows who powerful Soulsplicer can be. Sadly the Red Affinity is completely underwhelming (I think it was the only rare card worth as much as a common in the AH). 25% extra damage is legit useless, especially when you think about what motivate gives to Shadow T1. Possible buff: dmg buff up to 50% per unit (from 25%) 6: Northguards Outclassed by Frosmage and Masterarchers as an S-Counter in every way. Melee units need some benefits over ranged units if they aspire to be useful in any situation. Making Northguards a little bit stronger leaves them as cool stat-monsters for PvE, that will be useless in PvP anyways. Possible Buff: dmg up to 700 (from 630) 7: Defense Tower Its single target dps (680 per 20) is lower compared to some other T1 UNITS with equal cost (like Wrecker). The tower needs more damage to be in consideration for any kind of play. Especially since the other Frost turrets do have some cool abilities, that leave the Defense Tower in a poor spot. Possible Buff: dmg up to 975 -> 78 per hit; 117 max splash (from 68 per hit; 102 max splash) 8: Tunnel I think the Tunnel System offers so much potential. But right now it's just not worth it using the thing, because you have to invest deck slots and alot of power to make combos work around this card. I recommend making this card cheaper since it allows more potential for cross map plays in both PvE and PvP Possible Buff: Cost down to 30 power (from 40) 9: Envenom (both affinities) A pretty situational card, but it has its specific use for PvP tournaments, because the poison negates Ravage healing. A very cool counter against instant T2 rushes from fire splashes against nature. Sadly it's still a 70 power card negating a 50 power spell, that is useless in every other scenario. It's okay, that Envenom costs more than Ravage (it's still a T1 vs a T2 card and the 150 power malus from going T2 needs to be considered), but for a card, that does nothing than a little bit single darget damage 70 power is a high investment. Possible Buff: Cost down to 65 power (from 70) 10: Morklay Trap Pretty much the same useless card as Fire Bomb just with a cooler animation. The ability is quite expensive and the damageoutput for such a high time and power investment is way too low Possible Buff: dmg up to 1100; 3300max (from 880; 2640max) 11: Rocket Tower One of the more outdated cards. It does next to no single target damage and is more of an utility card with it's M-knockback onto multiple targets. I think it isn't suited to be a pure Fire only card and definitly weaker than Pyromanic who fits way more into the pure fire deck. Adding this card into different decks makes it way more interesting for some cool combos Possible Buff: Orb requiredments down to 1 fire + 1 neutral orb (from 2 fire orbs) 12: Eliminator Not just weak in general since it's a casual melee unit without outstanding stats, but also has a useless ability. The buff to a specific unit class is a nice idea, but the values are simply underwhelming, for a 50 power spell Possible buff: Ability cost down to 25 (from 50) + affected friendly units don't lose any hp anymore (from -5hp per second) 13: Ripper They are supposed to be some sticky annoying units with their ability to soak up corpses to regenerate hp. Most of the time they simply die before they can soak up anything though. Makes them feel underwhelming especially when Darkelf-Assassins are around. A bigger hp pool would give them their own identity and also some sweet nasty potential. Possible buff: hp up to 840 (from 780) 14: Mountain Rowdy The damge reduction idea is quite nice, but the radius is waaay to small. You won't be able to make any use of that in a real scenario, therefore there is no reason to play this card. Slow Melee cards without any special abilities tend to be quite useless, so buffing the ability would give some cool additional feature to pure Frost PvE decks Possible buff: Ability Radius up to 40m (from 20m) 15: Phalanx They used to be unique with their reflect ability and setting this up in combination with Lightblade was a pretty funny combo, but apart from their ability Phalanx are just underwhelming and only used in PvP as a nasty bot. Their damage is nonexistent and making them more useful would be a nice addition for some PvE decks, because they are a very intersting card, that is still quite tanky. Possible buff: Damage up to 850 (from 750) 16: Frost Crystal The thing is waaay weaker than cannon tower. So the only reason to use that card is its freezing ability. But that thing has a nonexistent radius. A ranged unit, that is attacking the tower directly is still out of the freezing range. This make this turret totally pointless and without an increased radius I don't see a single reason to use it in any game. Possible buff: Freeze Radius up to 40m (from 25/30) 17: Sunken Tempel The card is producing mediocre units for 200 power. With 120 bound power through the building it would take ages to make it worth it. You would need like 6 or 7 ability rotations, which is impossible to achieve in any game. Making the ability rotations cheaper would allow to at least increase the value over time. Possible buff: Ability cost down to 60 (from 80) 18: Healing Well The card is charging up way to slow. Even though it caps at like 265hp regen per second, the pool is exhausted way too fast and also regenerating at a 20hp per second rate. That means it takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds to charge up ... which is an eternity. Right now this Nature T2 building is completly inferior compared to a shadow T1 building (Soulsplicer) in terms of healing power, which is sad. Possible buff: Recharging speed up to 60 per second (from 20 per second) 19: Twilight Minions Early game Twilight units are simply inferior to some other ones. Just compare Twilight minions with ghostspears (who are more versitile and tankier) and you will realise why noone uses them. Increasing the stat efficency would be necessary so that they can somewhat keep up with their counterparts, allowing people to properly build up some Twilight PvE combos later on) Possible buff: hp up to 840 (from 780) 20: Slaver This guy is an L counter with an awful stat efficency. It is completely inferior to all other L counters Fire Nature has (Mauler, Gladiatrix and even Firesworn). His damage is lower, the guy costs more and it's a melee unit. To make it at least somewhat fair, the unit shouldn't cost more than all these other units, who are even stronger statwise. Possible buff: Cost down to 70 (from 80) 21: Banditos Banditos are underwhelming, because they are S-Melee units with stats that could be equal to a T1 unit. The only thing that makes them somewhat strong is their ability, which allows them to get very good dps values that remains unused though especially for the green affinity. Allowing the card to be spammed easier would enhance its passive ability and make give the card some new fresh power. Possible buff: Cost down to 50 (from 60) 22: Bandit Launcher Another underperforming turret with mediocre stats & a weak suicide ability. But I feel like destroying the building through the ability is more than enough punishment, it simply shouldn't cost additional power. Possible Buff: Ability cost down to 0 (from 20) 23: Skydefender Anti Air turrets are just useful in specific scenarios. Such an expensive & situational card simple isn't worth a slot in every deck. You can simply pick up casual turrets, that are more versitile and have a similar cost stat efficency. By enhancing the unique strength of this building (which should be the high dmg against air units) it simply shouldn't be more expensive than other casual turrets. Possible Buff: Cost down to 65 (from 80) 24: Stone Hurler Another underperforming Turret, that is way too expensive. No one would ever use that thing, just compare it to cannon tower, which does nearly double damage. In order to make turrets more usable simply reduce some of their high cost, because without the high amount of bound power they can be used to cover certain spots and will be picked over units in at least some scenarios Possible Buff: Cost down to 65 (from 75) 25: Tower of Flames The basic stats are fine, just the ability is a little bit underwhelming. You would never spend 50 power to use that thing. Making this ability cheaper would enhance its possibilities, because you could also use it to increase the burst Possible Buff: Ability cost down to 20 (from 50) 26: Frontier Keep 250 bound power for a card that offers nothing but a little bit of defensive crowd control is nothing but a joke. Like noone would ever spend a single bfp for that building, which is in contention of beeing the most useless card in the game. Even a huge buff would leave this card in a place, where no one would consider playing it, if he goes for serious gameplay Possible Buff: Cost down to 150 (from 250) 27: Sylvan Gate The nerfing approach for root network was "nerfing the individual power of some cards like razorleaf, but add some more strength through complexity to the root network system". Sadly it isn't as strong as some other defences and in a weak spot. Buffing the supporting cards around the root network would strengthen its overall power without making some of it's key cards too overpowered. Reducing the cost of this card would also be nice since this big defence requires alot of bound power which often isn't effective. Possible Buff: Cost down to 90 (from 110) 28: Mind Weaver The ability is so underwhelming. Spending 100 power to get control of a mediocre unit for 20 seconds is something that wouldn't be worth it even in T2 or maybe even T1. Just compare it to the other mindcontrol cards and you will realise how outdated this ability is. Making it cheaper and spammable would give some fresh air to this mediocre turret (especially since it's an ultra rare card). Possible Buff: Ability cost down to 25 (from 100) 29: Twilight Hag A sweet card with a nice idea. The ability has potential, but the unit is waay to squishy to be played in any serious way. Most T1 unit do have a better health/power efficency. Possible buff: hp up to 900 (from 785) 30: Stone Launcher Why in the world does the ability cost 70 power? Stormsinger can do the same thing for less power in T2, while she is a mobile unit. Even gravity surge is cheaper. I don't see any reason for this ability to cost any power, because Stone Launcher is just an anti air turret without much use. Possible buff: Ability cost down to 0 (from 70) 31: Boom Brothers The approach of giving the ability XL konckback was nice, but the card still need some survivability in order to survive the T4 stage in any way. Most of the time XL units are way easier to support and scale well with percentage heals, while most smaller units in T4 end up beeing left behind. Possible buff: Hp up to 3000 (from 2555) 32: Emberstrike The M damage for this low cost unit is apparently very good. Still there is the same problem mentioned above for smaller units. They need something to stand out. While I played this unit alot during the last weeks I felt like the card would be way more amazing if you could simply spam the ability, which isn't possible right now with the high cost (even though it is just 50 power it stacks up once you start using it multiple times). The card has the potential to provide fun gameplay, but simply is too expensive in order to do it effectively. Possible buff: Ability cost down to 10 (from 50) 33: Fire Worm T4 Worms feel so underwhelming. They do have such amazing mechanics, that allow some crazy plays, but right now it's simply not worth it, because their damage output is way to low. While I agree with the idea of having a low hp pool onto these high mobility units, there is next to no use for them when they don't do enough damage even though you are able to use its abilities on a high level. Possible Buff: Dmg up to 6000 - 600dmg per hit; 900max splash (from 4800 - 480 per hit; 720max splash) 34: Magma Fiend The dps is quite nice, but the ability is so weak, it somewhat feels like you lose strength, because of the long duration of its animation. I don't see any reason for this ability to cost that much power for next to no benefit Possible Buff: Ability cost down to 50 (from 100) 35: Fire Sphere The card has many downsides. It takes alot of charging time, it even requires 3 fire orbs, it is quite expensive, yet it does just decent damage. Dealing with one of these heavy "weights" makes the card way more interesting to use and somewhat worth it for someone who invests 3 of is orb into fire. Possiblte buff: Cost down to 100 (From 150) 36: Bloodthirst This card is a T4 single target healing spell, which is inferior to Ray of Light unless you've got a dps monster (like Batariel). And Ray of Light is an AoE spell ... and it's cheaper ... and it's a T2 spell. Possible buff: 330 hp regen per 1000dmg (from 165 per 1000) 37: Void Maw This card is an ability bot. It has the combat stats of a decent T3 unit which is simple not enough to be played in higher Tier environments. In order to keep the unit somewhat useful a bigger hp pool would be nice so doesn't end up dying in these big T4 fights. You also could make better preparations for your ability usage. Possible buff: hp up to 2500 (from 2090) 38: Shadow Worm This card is only useful with its ability, which is still worse than the church of negation one. But I don't think buffing its ability would be useful, because this doesn't buff the weak pure Shadow PvE faction, but more the enlightment version. Therefore I do think it would be more useful to buff the damage of this unit, which is underwhelming for a card, that requires 4 Shadow orbs. Also I don't think buffing the raw damage would go over the board in combination with enlightment usage, because you only use the shadow worm in nature splashes for its ability which has to remain untouched as long as Enlightment exists. Possible buff: dmg up to 5500 - 550 per hit; 825 max splash (from 4000dmg - 400 per hit; 600 max splash) 39: Infernal Chain I do think the card has some potential for instance in combination with overlord, who would take less damage while regenerating with its ability, so could make some tank out of it. Sadly the infernal chain costs alot, which makes this kind of play mediocre and is simply not worth the deckslot. But I think with some good micro and a small buff to this card it has potential to be used in some scenarios and would also provide healthy gameplay Possible buff: Cost down to 100 (from 150) 40: Plaque I think this spell is somewhat outdated and it simply doesn't do enough damage even when it's hitting it's max value. A strong damage buff would be nice so this card starts seeing at least a little use in our games. Possible buff: Dmg per target up to 150/s (from 100/s) 41: Winter Witch The card is a nice support card for pure Frost decks, but with its high requirements it is just way to expensive to use it properly in offensive scenarios. The card doesn't do damage anyways, but the shield is not worth the high power and micro investment. In order to make it a decent supporting unit it would be nice to make the Shield ability for free, so it's worth it building up the 3+ frost orbs. Possible buff: Ability cost down to 0 (from 100) 42: Battleship The card is slow as hell, but also doesn't have any special combat stats. Only the ability is somewhat useful, but that doesn't make the card viable at all. It's fine having these slow cards in a Frost deck, but without any strength to make up for that there is no reason to use a card like that. I feel like a nice buff would be a general enhancement of its combat power, so it ends up beeing a stat monster, so you get something for the very high power investment Possible buff: Dmg up to 5625 - 150 per hit; 225 max splash (from 3750dmg - 100 per hit; 150 max splash) 43: Grove Spirit The problem is somewhat similar to the winterwitch, especially since other healing spells are just somewhat op in comparison to what this card offers for the price of alot of power and a deckslot. In order to make it somwhat useful a cost reduction of the heal is necessary. Possible buff: Ability cost down to 40 (from 90) 44: Primeval Watcher An outdated card, that has in interesting mechanic that brings free crowd control into the mix. But in order to offer that crowd control in big T4 fights you need to get into the middle of the fight, which requires a big amount of hp. That's something Primeval Watcher lacks completely. Increasing that hp pool would be nice and add a supporter function to this card, that fits the nature style. The damage output from this card isn't relevant anyways. Possible buff: Hp up to 5500 (form 4650) 45: Artillery I really do like the card, it is cool and fits the bandits style with a big nuke attack, mines and a cool animation. Yet it is a mediocre T4 building and used rarely, because the immobility is a huge problem for T4 buildings anyways. Making it cheaper would be quite nice, because you don't have to invest that much bound power into a non mobile object. Possible buff: Cost down to 170 (from 190) 46: Deepgorge This card has a similar problem. You just don't use many buildings in T4 anymore, that don't have long range (or global) effects/abilities. They just bind power and slow down your overall tempo in through the game. Deepgorge simply isn't worth the power investment. Possible buff: Cost down to 180 (from 225) 47: Earthern Gift The card is rare and you can buy it on the AH right now for 10 bfp. I haven't seen any player in this game use this card once outside of the forge. The effect is cool, but the orb requirements are very harsh. In order to provide more diversity in gameplay you could reduce the orb conditions, so you could really use this card (to support church defences for instance) Possible buff: Orb requirement changed to 1 Frost; 1 Nature & 2 Neutral orbs (from 2 frost & 2 nature orbs) 48: Ravenheart Such a beutiful promo card, but just way to expensive to be used. Investing 350 power for this legendary card feels underwhelming. You can play these cards just once in the game and then you get something that has worse stats than your classic units. The combat stats aren't even that great. Possible buff: Power cost down to 280 (from 350) 49: Shatter Ice I think the idea of this card is nice, because it synergizes with the overall pure Frost gameplay. But even though it does alot of damage it still doesn't feel like it's enough, if you want to go pure Frost with your deck. I think a small damage buff would increase the fun you will have with this card by a big amount. Possible buff: dmg up to 4000 per target; 12000 max (from 3300 per target; 9900 max) 50: Easter Egg Just kidding, Easter Egg is op I feel like these changes would be some big improvements for alot of cards and decks, without touching anything relevant balancing wise. If you disagree with anything or if you think I missed some major points: Tell me and let me know what you think about this
  2. The closed beta is here & therefore Hirooo and I made the decision to write a 1vs1 PvP deck overview. This may help you as a new player to find a deck that fits your style and makes PvP more enjoyable from the beginning, but also be informative for you as a veteran since we will give you an overview about all the different matchups with some detailed analysis. What do these deck descriptions contain? 1. Basic deck descriptions where we point out major strengths and weaknesses and show a viable deck for the faction. 2. Comprehensive matchup discussion. 3. Final overall rating about the strength/usefulness for new players and in a competitive environment PURE FROST 1. Deck example Pure Frost is a very defensive oriented faction, but also very dominant. War Eagles are one of the most powerful T2 units and with proper support they'll ensure air control for you next to every game. Your units are strong and your scaling into late game is fantastic, but your units are slow and expensive, which can give you some trouble in certain matchups. Especially in T1 the lack of a swift unit can get exposed really hard, therefore you may have alot of trouble acquiring map control. The risk of playing Frost is pretty high, but the reward can be great too since there are really easy matchups for you if you manage to survive the early stage of the game. 2. Matchup discussion So, how does this rating work? This will go from the easiest matchup (1) to the hardest matchup (9) for each faction. In addition to that the matchups are divided in 3 categories: easy, advanced and difficult matchups. The matchup description follows afterwards. Easy matchups: (1) Pure Frost vs Pure Fire This is one of the most onesided matchups in Battleforge! Survive the T1 and the game is yours. Skyelf Templar destroys Skyfire Drakes and War Eagle exterminates every single other Fire T2 unit. There is honestly not alot to say about the T2, since it's so heavily Frost-favoured. But you shouldn't play too hesitant since Pure Fire has a shot to win the game in T3. Juggernaut is still one of the most powerful T3 units overall. (2) Pure Frost vs Fire Frost First Frost has a limited amount of playable units and you have a way to counter every single one. Shielddrakes are still not strong enough to give your Skyelf Templars any sort of trouble and if you control the air you can apply so much pressure, it's even possible to turn around games with a big power disadvantage from the early game. Your T3 is superior too, so this is one of the easiest matchups to play. If you have trouble dealing with Rageclaws consider using Icefang Raptor as a counter. (3) Pure Frost vs Fire Nature The early T2 is slighty Fire Nature favoured. Your opponent will win trades on an open field with Ghostspears/Skyfire + cc, but if you stay in a defensive position you shouldn't get in trouble at all, because Stormsinger is a really good allround counter. From the mid T2 stage you start to outscale Fire Nature heavily. War Eagle + Defenders is a deadly combo, because Defenders are really strong counters to Skyfire Drakes and they are suuuuper hard to kill with their ability. If you add Area Ice Shield Defenders get up to 3700 effective hp (that's more than a Juggernaut btw). Skyfire Drakes will die to them super fast, because they have low hp and the L bonus damage makes even the low dps Defenders relevant against them. And if there are no Skyfire Drakes left Defenders are still annoying to deal with. You can't use hurricane against them anymore, so there will be constant damageoutput against the powerwells, which prevents them from repairing too. Your opponent dies slowly and he can't do anything to prevent it. Skill matchups: (4) Pure Frost vs Pure Nature Your advantage lies within the T1. Frostmagespam is next to unbeatable against nature if you manage to get a critical amount of units (7+ Mages with Icebarrier & Homesoil). This changes the dynamic of this matchup dramatically. Unless the map is extremly big you should be able to prevent instant T2 aswell, because nature has no M/M counter and as long as the mages are splitted against incoming cc there is no unit left to deal with Frostmages (S Units get knockbacked & Deep can be kited very well due to Frost Bite). Only Treespirits can be a little bit tricky, but if you manage to time it well you can build up Ice Barriers between the shots to block the incoming damage. If your opponent reaches T2 you are at a disadvantage, because Frost has alot of trouble against the pure Nature core cards (Deep One / Energy Parasite / Shrine of Memory). Your core unit (Wareagle) is also pretty inefficient because Parasite Swarm can just take it over and then the Nature player can support the Wareagle with his heals & cc which is really dangerous for you (same stuff applies for skyelf templar). So be careful about the use of T1 towers (Primal Defender, Mark of the Keeper) as they may work as a stalling tool in order to reach the critical T2 stage. (5) Pure Frost vs Bandits While most fire splashes tend to struggle against the mighty air control Bandits does surprisingly well against Frost. The reason for this is pretty simple, because Bandits has more tools to remove War Eagles and Skyelf Templar from the map. Windhunter is an excellent unit and combined with well splitted Darkelf Assassins pure Frost starts to struggle a little bit. Your advantage lies within your reliabilty. You have builing protects and cc to withstand big attacks, while Bandits has ... well ... nothing apart from Aura of Corruption as a 40s zoning tool, which is decent against the slow Frost units, but usually still not enough. While this matchup goes still in your favour, it may be tougher than the previous ones. (6) Pure Frost vs Shadow Frost There are no real advantages for each faction. Shadow Frost has Darkelf Assasins & Stormsinger to remove your units, but on the other hand there is no Shadow Frost unit, that can put you under alot of pressure. In the late T2 stage multiple War Eagles with appropiate support start to be a little bit better, but these games often reach the T3 stage. This is why you should try to secure as much mapcontrol as possible in T1. On some maps your T3 spots may get denied, because Shadow T1 is faster than Frost and superior in dazed fights, which can lead to a big problem in the late game. Curse Well may be insanely powerful in this specific matchup and almost guarantees a T3 win, if you don't bring it into the figh by yourself. (7) Pure Frost vs Stonekin Aggressor is kinda annoying since he knocks back your War Eagle. Stormsinger & Spirit Hunters are really efficient against air units in the early T2 stage. Stonekin has what it takes to prevent you from excecuting succesful attacks, especially because Stonekin has superior cc. Once 2 of the most defensive decks in Battleforge meet each other things are going to be really boring and your win condition as the Frost player usually is either T1 or T3. Most Stonekin Decks are lacking strength once the games reaches T3 as they don't invest too many slots into it. Difficult matchups: (8) Pure Frost vs Pure Shadow Pure Shadow can give you a little bit more trouble, because it has 2 big powerspikes. The first one is in the early stage of the game, where Shadowmages delete pretty much everything and the second one is the Harvester spike. Against Frost the first spike is actually even more important. Shadowmages & Darkelf Assassins are really hard to remove and can delete single units pretty efficiently. Nether Warp can be used to dodge Cold Snap or War Eagle screams and heal up Shadowmages when they attack and since Shadowmage & Darkelf Assassins are pretty high dps units you may even lose powerwells at this rate. If you survive the early T2 stage Wareagles take control over the game again. Since most Shadow units are pretty cheap it will get harder to split them up later into the game which makes the Wareagle's abillity way more efficient. You can also deal with an incoming Harvester really will due to lyrish knights & frost bite, but never underestimate him. If you are at a disadvantage (doesn't matter if it's temporary or permanent) the Harvester can seal the deal and close out the game by himself. A sweet trick in this matchup is to cancel out War Eagle screams in order to bait out a Nether Warp dodge attempt. (9) Pure Frost vs Shadow Nature For some of you maybe a little bit unexpected, but Shadow Nature is the most difficult matchup for Pure Frost. Darkelf Assassins and Nightguard supported with nature cc are really really dangerous and can deal with nearly everything pure Frost has to offer. The Shadow Nature player can pretty much ensure to steal your War Eagle and take out the Nightguard safely afterwards. Shadow Nature has everything it takes to beat Pure Frost in the early T2 stage and is therefore the hardest matchup out of all 9. 3. Ratings Competitive Rating: Let's start with the competative rating, but first I'll sum up the most important positive and negative aspects of Pure Frost. Pros: + Very solid deck with many advantageous matchups + One of the strongest Air control decks + solid choice against most meta decks Cons: - Vulnerable in the early stage of the game - No mapcontrol due the lack of a T1 swift unit We talk about one of the stronger decks for sure, but since the T1 can get heavily abused on some maps it's sometimes really risky to play pure Frost. You would lose map control, T3 spots or in the worst case scenario you would end up on Uro where you can't even take a single well without a dazed fight, where you are probably going to lose. Final comp. rating: 7/10 New player experience: For new players Frost may be a very solid, but also a pretty boring choice. It has great upsides due to the strong scaling (means you don't have to be proactive and take risks to win games), but it's slow and the T1 can get abused pretty easily, especially when you are an unexperienced player. Final NPE rating: 5/10 PURE FIRE 1. Deck example If you want a deck with offensive strength, this deck provides it. Insanely high dps units & spells and an immense siege potential with firedancer. In addition to that pure Fire has one of the best T3 units also known as Juggernaut, which leads you to alot of wins against people who may be even superior to you in terms of skill. Your downside is the lack of deck variety. The amount of viable cards is insanely limited and you end up with only M ground units in T2, which is a problem in the pure Frost matchup, where War Eagle exists as a massive M Unit counter. 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Pure Fire vs Shadow Nature This matchup is pretty easy to play. Shadow nature has no L unit and this means they have nothing to apply alot of pressure against you. Only well coordinated early attacks with the cheap nature cc's may give you some trouble, but if you don't lose immediatly you will just outscale your opponent pretty safely and you can set up unstoppable attacks afterwards. Wildfire is a really nasty card against Shadow Nature since it removes the low hp units while protecting your units in offense & it does alot of damage against the power wells over a good amount of time (therefore it's impossible to repair them). And if you are a toxic player you can use cliffdancer in this matchup too. The only way to remove them is aura of corruption, which is hella expensive and not power efficient at all. (2) Pure Fire vs pure Nature Nature is pretty helpless against your offensive strength. You need SoM + Deep One + permaheal to get anything done as a Nature player and before this happens he's usually already dead. It's so hard to remove the Fire units especially at the mid T2 stage, while your damage output against powerwells is massive. Nature mostly has low dps units and their cheap burrower attacks are easily defended by Enforcer. Skyfire Drake onehits Energy Parasite which leaves you in a really comfortable position in this matchup. (3) Pure Fire vs Shadow Frost The praised shadow frost deck at number 3, what a surprise. But pure fire does insanely well against it. Enforcer is superior to Nightcrawler and Firedancer are really hard to remove. This gives you a solid advantage in offense and without a cliffdancer counter in Shadow Frost you can litereally destroy people. It's a really "lame" playstyle, but super efficient. The only thing you need to be worried about are the L Units. Mountaineer is really hard to remove, it sometimes feels even impossible. But keep in mind he costs a huge amount of power and if you manage to dictate the tempo of the game you can take your opponent down before you get into an uncomfortable position. In T3 Juggernaut may be the best tool in the game to break through a Timeless One Defence, so even scaling is on your side. Skill matchups: (4) Pure Fire vs Bandits Bandits is a little bit tricky for you. Skyfire drake + Life Weaving is pretty nasty against pure Fire and pretty much Bandit's trump card in this matchup. Apart from that both of your decks are super offensive oriented. The difference: pure Fire has the stronger offense. In T3 Juggernaut is still superior to Soulhunter or nerfed Sandstorm, so this matchup still goes in your favour. (5) Pure Fire vs pure Shadow Tricky matchup and pretty much 50/50. In the early T2 stage Shadow has the advantage due to the high effiency of shadow mages on a low void level. But in mid T2 pure Fire starts to shine. Lavafield demolishes the Shadow units and you can apply constant pressure with your high dps attacks and destroy alot of power wells. But if you fail to do alot of work at this point you will reach the late T2 stage. And from that point on Harvester takes over. You can't take him out without losing at least a power well or an orb, even if you are ahead. So chose the right moment to attack or you'll lose. Once Harvester is out he will drop at least one well and it won't take long up until the next one is about to appear. (6) Pure Fire vs Fire Nature Also a pretty specific matchup, maybe not as complicated as the one against Shadow. At the early T2 stage Ghost Spears + Skyfire Drake is really hard to remove, because your own Skyfire Drakes get oinked and die without dealing damage at all. Ghost Spears are M Counters and stronger on a low void base than scythe fiends. Since Pure Fire has no S or L ground units in T2 it's really hard to play against these kind of attacks early on. Later in the game you'll have an easier time, because you will regain air control on a higher void level, since Skyfire + Oink can be countered by an immediate double Eruption (155power vs 150power) now and you can attack with Ravaged Scythe Fiends and keep Ghostspears away from you with Wildfire support, which leaves you in the game leading position. (7) Pure Fire vs Stonekin Stonekin has really strong and solid units to remove the pure Fire units in the early T2. Stoneshards are insanely strong against you and are pretty much the main reason why Stonekin is ranked here as one of the more difficult matchups. Stormsinger + cc stands a small chance against the Enforcer, but he is still the strongest T2 M unit, so your only problem are still the Stoneshards. Stonetempest does knock back M Units which can be troublesome at some point, but you can remove him with Scythe Fiends + Skyfire + Wildfire (in case he gets permahealed) at the later gamestage. While Stonekin does well in defense, there are no high dps units, that can translate this stability into pressure. And believe me, even the strongest defense doesn't stand a chance if pure Fire reaches late T2. Difficult matchups: (8) Pure Fire vs Fire Frost Here we are. The First matchup that doesn't go in your favour. Shield drakes are a big threat in the early game, but what really pressures you the most in this matchup is the Mountaineer. Mounty + Skyfire applies huge pressure and also scales very well into mid T2 so you have alot of time to beat the Fire player before he starts to get enough power to set up his own attacks. In the late T2 stage the pure Fire dps just gets to high and you'll roll over your opponent like in every other matchup. If you manage to get up to a 7-8 wellbase during the T1 stage you may consider skipping T2 entirely. Fire Frost has no tools to fight against Juggernauts in T3, which can be very important on big maps, that allow uncontests tech ups. (9) Pure Fire vs Pure Frost This is the most difficult matchup for you. I will be honest, you are at a massive massive disadvantage. As already mentioned in the Pure Frost section War Eagle deletes all your ground units, while Skyelf Templar gets rid of your Skyfire Drakes, because of the massive difference in combat stats. You can carry Global Warming in your deck to make this matchup at least a little bit easier, because it hard counters Area Ice Shield, but even then this matchup stays as the hardest one. Mortar Tower is pretty overpowered against Frost T1 though, which may give you a chance to win the game before it gets to T2 on some maps. 3. Ratings Competitive Rating: Pure Fire summary Pros: + Insane offensive potential with long range, high dps units + Best M/M unit in the game (Enforcer) + high dps spells who can have a great zoning effect + Super solid matchups against most meta decks esp. Shadow Frost + One of the strongest T3's in the game Cons: - Relies on an extended T1, because you need a high void level to be efficient - struggles against some underplayed deck like pure Frost and Fire Frost - struggles in defense against L units and its counters are next to useless in offense Pure Fire does really well against against the meta decks and since some of these matchups are ridicilously easy pure Fire is one of the strongest decks for ranked games. From the moment on where pure Frost & Fire Frost start to get more popular pure Fire will decrease a little bit in popularity, because it really struggles alot against strong air control. But in the current meta pure Fire is in a perfect spot and extremely powerful. Final comp. rating: 9/10 New player experience: If you are really new to the game pure Fire is maybe not the best choice. It requires a really extended T1 to make scaling into higher void stages easier and this is difficult to excecute in some situations. In addition to that pure Fire struggles against L-units and as a new player L-Units often seem overpowered and it's really frustrating to lose against this type of playstyle. Therefore I don't think you should play pure Fire to learn the basics of this game. But if you reached a decent level you can play the deck and achieve some wins even against some players who are in theory better than you. Final NPE rating: 5/10 PURE NATURE 1. Deck example Pure Nature is one of the most interesting decks in the game, but it's also one of the weaker ones. There is some sort of variety in terms of deck building since there is also the Root-deck, but since this is inferior to the classic version I will make my matchup descriptions based on the stronger SoM/DO/EP deck. In fact pure Nature is one of the weakest decks, not because of its T2 matchups, but because your T1 is utter garbage against Phasetower and Magespam (Treespirits can kind of neutralize Mages at best, but they are shitty designed themselves and don't give you a freewin either in T1 since Icebarriers can block their damageoutput). Your late T2 is actually top tier with Deep One + Surge of Light and the huge powergains through the voidmanipulation thanks to Shrine of Memory. But reaching that stage is sort of difficult in most matchups. You have no M/M counter in T2 which causes huge problems. Therefore you mostly try to avoid taking to many powerwells, so there isn't alot of room for your opponent to attack, while you keep yourself relevant through Energy Parasite up to the point where your Shrine of Memory is ready to go and you can take over. 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Pure Nature vs Fire Frost This matchup is pretty easy. Pure Nature is a hardcounter to Fire Frost, since it's able to remove all Fire Frost units in the early stage of the game and in addition to that Parasite Swarm is a huge threat for these big 100+ power cost units. Stormsinger is the only one that can cause you some trouble in the early T2 stage, but you can safely build your SoM and wait for your big Deep One attacks and there is nothing to prevent this as the Fire Frost player. Skill matchups: (2) Pure Nature vs Bandits Bandits has some tools to give you a run for your money. Rallying Banner attacks are pretty efficent and can overload your cc. Also Windhunter are pretty difficult to remove for you, since they have that S knockback against Spirit Hunters & Parasite Swarm, but since the knockback was pretty unreliable and buggy you still have a good shot against them. Apart from that you have solid units to remove the bandits attacks and good cc to make pressure yourself with Burrowers. That leaves you with a solid advantage in this matchup. (3) Pure Nature vs Shadow Frost Don't get me wrong here. Pure Nature does really well against Shadow Frost in T2. But there is one big Problem. Phasetower. Like honestly, Phasetower is legitimatly broken against Nature. On maps like Elyon or Whazai you can pretty much sacrifice the T1 immediatly against a strong Shadow player who uses him. It's so frustrating to lose games because of this and you should consider playing Primal Defender because of this. In T2 you have a good shot, since EP/SoM/DO is really really efficient but you need to close out the game in T2, because in T3 you will just lose to Timeless one and Lost Grigori. (4) Pure Nature vs Pure Frost Pretty similar stuff as the Shadow Frost matchup. Your T2 matches really well against pure Frost, but your T1 and T3 are straight up worse. You can neutralize Frostmagespam with Primal Defender to an extend, but without that you are done. Attacking very quickly is always a good idea, as you may be able to remove some of these Frostmage charges in early skirmishes, to delay the breakpoint, making a Defence slightly easier. But apart from that you are left in a pretty desperate situation. A well splitted Frostmagespam can even take down an early T2 attempt, therefore your possible options are pretty limited. (5) Pure Nature vs Stonekin This matchup is kinda funny, because both of you have the tools to smash the other one. Nature can't deal with Burrowerspam due to the lack of an M/M unit (Ghost Spears & Spirit Hunter can be perma cc'd), Stonekin on the other hand can't block Energy Parasites and if your opponent doesn't carry Aggressor in his deck, your Deep Ones will destroy him entirely. Always keep in mind that your T2 scaling is superior, but in T3 you'll have a hard time. Overall this matchup still does go in favour of stonekin since it has the stronger T3 and the possibility to play a superior T1 (Frost T1 > Nature T1). (6) Pure Nature vs Fire Nature Fire Nature is really aggressive and hard to deal with. Pretty much the same deal as against every nature splash. Your opponent has the tools to defend against Burrower. In the meantime your are screwed against them, because you lack an M/M unit. Fire Nature also has a very good counter to Energy Parasites since Skyfire onehits them as already mentioned, but you can still use your Energy Parasites to force your opponent to play the way more expensive Skyfire Drake at a spot where he is useless for a while. It's a timewindow you can abuse to launch a powerful attack with a temporary advantage on the other side of the map. It's pretty much your only chance to be succesful at the early stage of the game. Apart from that your job is to survive the game up to a point where SoM starts running. Gladiatrix is just an average L Counter, so Deep One + Surge of Light is pretty powerful against Fire Nature, especially when your Shrine of Memory provides so much power. But due to your heavy weakness in the early T2 this matchup is still Fire Nature favoured. Difficult matchups: (7) Pure Nature vs Pure Shadow Pure Shadow is really tricky to play against, because you can't really deal with Shadow Mages properly. Especially Magespam + Nether Warp is really dangerous in the early game due to the lack of an aoe damage spell in pure Nature. In addition to that Shadowmages can deal really well with early Burrower attacks and oneshot Energy Parasites. Your win condition pretty similar to most other matchups, you need to survive the early T2 stage. Harvester is powerful against Nature though, but you can defend against him either with Deep Ones, who pull him away from your orb or with cc chains (oink -> root -> rogan kayle ability -> oink = 1min cc). But at some point you have a way to launch an own attack. Deep Ones are really powerful in offense since Knight of Chaos is just a mediocre L counter. Therefore you are next to unstoppable in case you survive the early stage of the game and start to pressure by yourself and keep in mind: Even if alot of these matchups look pretty bad in the first place alot of people don't use their powerspikes to close out games which is a great advantage for you as a Nature player, because your powerspike lies within the first activation of your SoM. (8) Pure Nature vs Shadow Nature Okay, now things get really terrifying. Alot of Shadow Nature players use burrowers and as we already learned pure Nature tends to struggle against them. What makes things even worse is the fact, that Motivate empowers Burrowers by a wide margin. Your wells drop nearly in an instant. On the other hand your Deep One is pretty much useless, because next to every Shadow Nature player uses Nightguard in his deck and she is super efficient against Deep One. The Shadow Nature player has counter cc to make sure he can catch your Deep One and his ability will make it even easier to kill the Nightguard afterwards (in this case the Shadow Nature player can also use the Deep One ability to catch her). Your only shining light is the Energy Parasite. Shadow Nature can't remove him before he gets his ability off and this is really important and the only tool that can keep you in the game. But still this matchup is one of the most difficult ones to play. (9) Pure Nature vs Pure Fire Pure Fire, we meet at last. As I already said: You are just helpless in the mid T2 stage against pure Fire. Your units don't have an outstanding damageoutput, therefore it takes time to remove the high dps pure Fire units. In fact that is too much time to save your powerwells. At least Deep One can deal with cliffdancers to an extend due to his ability and your late T2 scaling is superior, but reaching that stage without dying is quite a challenge. Splitted Skyfire Drakes will put up a very powerful defence against anything you may try to throw against Fire T2 3. Ratings Pure Nature summary Competitive Rating: Pros: + Great scaling into late T2 + Can win games through voidmanipulation, even when you're down by multiple wells Cons: - weakest T1 in the game - lack of an M/M counter in T2 - very DO/EP/SoM reliant - very unreliable Pure Nature has alot of abusable weaknesses in the early game and therefore you often get punished before you manage to reach the point, where you are able to control the game. But Shrine of Memory should never get underestimated, because he gives you so much additional power, that you'll be able to pull of some incredible comebacks. Overall the deck sadly still can't compete with the top tier meta decks and it also struggles against other Nature splashes, because they can set up Burrower attacks with Hurricane support, which is really difficult to play against. Final comp. rating: 3/10 New player experience: Pure Nature may be a very interesting and micro intensive deck. But if you really want to be a successful player please stay away from it at the beginning. Nature T1 is the weakest and also the most complex T1 (unless you choose to play Treespirits zZz). It's way more useful to learn Shadow & Fire T1, because they are way more versitile and also easier to understand. Pure Nature in fact has alot of bad matchups and gets exposed by turrets like phasetower which is honestly really annoying. In addition to that pure Nature is a really specific deck, therefore it's very hard to translate the stuff you learn with Nature when you are playing different decks later on. Final NPE rating: 1/10 SHADOW NATURE 1. Deck example Shadow Nature is my personal favourite deck. It's one of the most aggressive ones (at least you have to play it that way if you want to have some sort of success) and in my opinion it's one of the most skill intense decks aswell. You've got no L unit to rely on in offense, neither do you have any building protects or high defensive capabilities. Your strength lies within strong split attacks with spammable high dps units like Nightcrawler, Darkelf Assassins or Burrower. The cheap nature cc spells & Shadow's Motivate are the perfect support for these type of attacks which makes Shadow Nature super dominant in the early/mid T2 stage and fun to play. 2. Matchup Discussion Easy matchups (1) Shadow Nature vs Pure Frost Pure Frost is pretty easy for you. As I mentioned earlier in the Pure Frost section Darkelf Assassins & Nighguards with the superior nature cc are your key to success. Frost dominates due to its strong air control, but you can take deal with it. War Eagles are countered with ease and then there is not alot left for pure Frost to be a serious threat. (2) Shadow Nature vs pure Nature This matchup was also discussed already. Burrower + Motivate are huge in offense & Deep One is pretty much a nonfactor due to Nightguard, who is amazing in the Shadow Nature deck. Some top level Shadow Nature players decided to exclude Burrower in their decks, which makes this matchup a little bit trickier, because your offense isn't as powerful anymore. Energy Parasite is your biggest enemy and if you don't pressure properly you may get outscaled in the later stages of the game, so don't get lazy. Your units are cheaper, your units are faster! So close out the game as soon as you can. (3) Shadow Nature vs Bandits You are in a great position in this matchup. Burrower with cc support are really painful for your opponent. Even just Darkelf Assassin spam with proper support is really powerful, because it removes the strong air units from your opponent and his only Darkelf Assassin counter are his own Darkelf Assassins, who are really susceptable to your Hurricane. Big Rallying Banner attacks can be completely removed with a sweet Shadow Phoenix + Nightcrawlernasty (or Burrowernasty) combo. Most of the time your Shadow Phoenix will even come back to life afterwards. Overall a pretty easy matchup to play due to the fact, that Shadow Nature has an efficient way to remove every potential threat from the Bandits deck. Skill matchups: (4) Shadow Nature vs Shadow Frost This matchup is also pretty easy. You have the same core units (Nightcrawler / Darkelf Assassins / Amii Phantom (she is similar to Stormsinger)), but your cc support is better, therefore you have the distinctive advantage. Your early/mid T2 is way superior and you can set up constant pressure up to a point where your opponent get's overwhelmed by your units and he loses the power to keep his powerwells up. You just have to be proactive and micro your units well and you will win due to the superior support tools, but if you just wait for things to happen Shadow Frost will outscale you and you'll end up in a T3 where the dynamic of the matchup changes dramatically. (5) Shadow Nature vs Fire Frost Still a favourable matchup for you, but a little bit harder as the previous ones. After Stormsinger got buffed Fire Frost got a really nice increase in terms of deck strength. The other units in this deck are pretty expensive. Accordingly, Shadow Nature has a pretty solid advantage in the early T2 stage due to cheap & strong units with cheap cc support. If the game goes into a higher void level you need to be aware of Mountaineer with Ravage & possible Disenchant support. It's really difficult to remove him, so make sure your Nightguard timings are on point, because if you mess it up you are in big trouble. Getting the Mountaineer can be really useful, because a combination between Stormsinger & Skyfire drake is a really solid counter against your Nightcrawler/Burrower and a Mounty would increase your offensive potential by alot. (6) Shadow Nature vs Stonekin There was a period of time where Stonekin was litereally the hardest matchup for Shadow Nature out of all decks. But 2 big things changed, that turned the outcome of this matchup. First of all Razorshard got nerfed. This card used to be able to deal with every S or M unit in the entire game and Shadow Nature doesn't have an L-Unit. The second important thing is the introduction of Amii-Phantom. In it's melee form she's a hard counter against many Stonekin units, because Amii-Phantom is litereally a spammable swift Mauler. In her ranged form she is pretty much as strong as Stormsinger (Amii Phantom has even slighty better stats, but inferior support spells in Shadow Nature). Games would end up in a Stormsinger vs Amii Phantom spam, which is kinda weird, but Frost Bite & Homesoil leave Stonekin with a slight advantage in this matchup. (7) Shadow Nature vs Pure Shadow Pure Shadow feels kinda unfair to play against. Nighcrawler, Burrower, Darkelf Assassins. All these units lose really hard when they face Shadow Mages. As long as the Shadow Player doesn't run out of charges he will always defend himself against these attacks with great success. He won't be able to attack by himself in the early T2 stage, because Shadow Phoenix offers great AOE damage and Amii Phantom is very strong in this matchup, but honestly the Shadow player doesn't have to launch strong early attacks, because he can just win the game over superior scaling. With his abillity and proper buffs you can't remove Harvester with Aura of Corruption. While Darkelf Assassin spam + cc may be the best way to remove him, you need a big well distance in order to kill the Harvy in time. If you struggle to much with this defence Rogan Kayle is a good addition to create cc chains, that can deal with a Harvester, but apart from that Rogan is an entirely useless card, so decide wisely, if you really want to include him. From a leading position an Amii Phantom spam is able to stop a Shadowmagespam since you can you an oink to set up an engagement. With their melee mode they can disable ranged attacks, which perfectly works against Darkelf Assassins and Shadowmages. Nightcrawlers are a big threat, but for that you can switch some of your units into range mode and kite well due to the slow. Difficult matchups: (8) Shadow Nature vs Fire Nature While the previous matchups were all decent for you, the upcoming ones are truly difficult. Fire Nature has a really big advantage over Shadow Nature. Skyfire Drake & Scythe Fiends may be availabe in decks like Bandits or Fire Frost too, but in a Fire Nature deck their efficency increases tremendously. I guess this showcases the true power of the nature support spells. Fire Nature often struggles against larger units, while Shadow Nature doesn't have any of them. For your defense: Burrower + Skyfire attacks are really hard to defend at some point and therefore Fire Nature has an easier time in defense and also in offense and is the superior deck in this matchup. (9) Shadow Nature vs Pure Fire As I already mentioned this matchup favours pure Fire heavily. Enforcer just destroys Nightcrawler, Burrower & Amii Phantom. Your only card with a decent value in this matchup are Darkelf assassins, who can do alot of work with cc support in the early T2 stage. But as the game goes on aoe damage spells will take them out and while you have a really hard time to attack, pure Fire just crushes your defence. Your units get countered by Enforcer & Wildfire, your cc is weak against Rallying banner attacks (btw. wildfire can constantly damage power wells during cc periods so there is no chance to repair them in time) and Firedancer is really hard to remove for you, especially over cliffs. 3. Ratings Competative Rating: Shadow Nature summary Pros: + pretty much the best early T2 in the game + has alot of easy matchups aslong as you make proactive decisions Cons: - does very poorly against pure Fire & Fire Nature, who are pretty popular - poor scaling into late T2 stages due to the lack of L units (Shadowphoenix doesn't count btw.) Shadow Nature does well in alot of scenarios and if you play the deck well you can crush your opponents in the early stage of the game, which is great, because your aggressive gameplay gets rewarded. Sadly the deck struggles alot against all meta decks apart from Shadow Frost. This kinda prevents Shadow Nature from reaching a top rating here. Final comp. rating: 6/10 New player experience: If you are a new player, Shadow Nature is maybe a little bit too difficult for you. It's definitly one of the harder decks to play, but on the other hand it teaches you how to play aggressive and spending time to learn the deck is kind of rewarding. In addition to that Shadow T1 is really good for a beginner in PvP, beacuse its basics aren't as complex as Nature T1 for example. Final NPE rating: 6/10 FIRE NATURE 1. Deck example Fire Nature is probably known as one of the most solid decks, because it has pretty much an answer for everything. Strong counterplay in T2 against S & M units and also sort of decent against L & XL units. In addition to that you've got some sweet ways to launch efficient attacks against nearly every deck. Overall the deck is really fun to play with a big variety in T2, which is its big strength. 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Fire Nature vs Bandits Bandits struggles alot against Burrower with cc support. You can use this to your advantage and destroy power wells for free. Your deck is better in all aspects at the T2 stage. Stronger units in offense, more counterplay in defence and great air control due to Curse of Oink. Since Bandits tends to spam many units due to the low costs of Darkelf Assassins & Nighcrawler Lavafield has a higher efficency in your deck especially since you've got Surge of Light as a solid counter against these AOE damage spells unless they are perfectly timed. Your T3 is inferior, cards like Sandstorm destroy your orbs & wells in an instant, so make sure to close out the game in T2 to win without any big risks. (2) Fire Nature vs Pure Nature Your early T2 is superior due to Burrower attacks and the lack of an M/M counter in the pure Nature deck. Just make sure to use your Skyfire Drakes well to get rid of these annoying Energy Parasites and you are ready to go. I guess I repeat myself a little bit at that point, but pure Nature starts to get rolling, when SoM starts running, so finish your opponent off or try to take out at least as many powerwells as possible before that happens. If you use your huge advantage in the early T2 stage this matchup isn't even remotely close. (3) Fire Nature vs Pure Shadow Alot of your strengths comes with Ghostspears / Skyfiredrake + Lavafield / cc support. Pure Shadow tends to struggle against that, especially in the mid T2 stage, because all these low hp units are kinda vulnerable to lavafield, especially Shadowmage. You need to be aware of flanking units to prevent a nasty suprise against your Skyfire Drake. Your defense against Harvester is also pretty nice due to the highly efficient Root & Disenchant combo. Just leave some Skyfiredrakes and a Gladiatrix behind that and they will take the Harvester down before he reaches your powerwell/orb. The shadow player needs superior micro to win this matchup, which implies, that you are in a pretty good position here. (4) Fire Nature vs Shadow Nature In this matchup your defense is straight up better, which leaves you in a very comfortable position. You have good ways to counter Nightcrawlers, Darkelfassassins & Burrower and in case your opponent overcommits at some point you can lauch insanely powerful counterattacks, that are way harder to defend for the Shadow Nature player. Fire Nature is just overall solid and Shadow Nature has some distinctive weaknesses (No big unit in offense, unreliable defense since most units are susceptable to cc), that can be abused and this turns the matchup heavily in your favour. Skill matchup(s): (5) Fire Nature vs Pure Fire You shine in the early T2 stage with Ghostspears + Sykfiredrake, while your opponent will outscale you in late T2, where Scythefiends + Ravage + Wildfire take over and delete your power wells one by one. Since I've described that matchup already in the Pure Fire section here is a short, but important tip for your decisionmaking: Since Pure Fire scales with high void power you should actually try to play your T1 accordingly to avoid this game stage. In other words: Play a short, but aggressive T1. Try to get a small advantage, but then don't hesitate and make your fast transition into T2. Your position here is favourable already and if you've got a small lead in T1 you can use this to snowball and finish the game. If you still struggle in this matchup consider the addition of vileblood in your deck, because pure Fire struggles against L units, especially the ones with high dps against building. (6) Fire Nature vs Fire Frost This gets kinda interesting. The tricky matchups for Fire Nature are the 4 Frost splashes. While some of you may think it's because of the building protects, that's actually not the case. Double Burrower attacks used to be really power efficient against Frost splashes, because the cc support was usually cheaper than the amount of power, that had to be invested to keep the power wells alive. What changed the dynamic in alot of these matchups, especially in this one was the Stormsinger buff. She allows you to defend Burrowers way more efficiently in the early T2 stage and is simultaniously strong against skyfire drakes with that gravity surge ability. Stormsinger defense in the early T2 with a transition into shielded scythe fiends & drakes mid T2 and a Ravaged Mounty late T2 is really hard to deal with. Difficult matchups: (7) Fire Nature vs Stonekin The second ugly matchup. Stonekin can be really nasty when it reaches a critical unit mass and Stormsinger allows you to reach that state. Your Burrower/ Scythe fiends / Skyfire Drake attacks are at least kinda dangerous and Mauler can deal with some Stonekinunits like Stone Tempest, but you are still at a disadvantage. Stonekin has an insanely good defense thanks to cheap cc and building protects and this allows your opponent to either stack up a big T2 army with the powerful stonekin units (especially the Crystal Fiend support is annoying at that point) or scale into a strong Timeless One T3. (8) Fire Nature vs Pure Frost Pure Frost can give you alot of trouble. You need to use your advantage at the early T2 stage. If your opponent is too greedy and goes aggressive in the early T2 stage you can outtrade him with Skyfire + Oink. Add Ghostspears into the mix and as long as you split them well against Frostmage knockback you can start to attack and apply alot of pressure. You need to get a solid advantage in the early T2, otherwise you'll end up getting outscaled. Defenders are so painful to deal with as a Fire Nature player. If they get mixed up with War Eagle & Skyelftemplar and Area Ice Shield support you have no way to clear these units without losing wells / orbs. The moment you are in a defensive position against Defender the game is over. 820hp + 660hp with 60% damage reduction are more effective hp (3700) than a Juggernaut (3550) can offer. If your War Eagle and your Defenders are well splitted your powerwell will get attacked constantly and you have no opportunity to repair it. Skyelf Templar & Defenders destroy Skyfire Drakes and War Eagle deals with every type of M unit in your deck. Ghostspears don't have enough dps to take out Defenders in time and at some point a Frostmage gets into the mix which will give you even more problems. Since your T3 is also not strong enough to crack the pure Frost defense you need to win the game in the early stage or you'll have a bad time. (9) Fire Nature vs Shadow Frost This matchup doesn't even feel that bad. You can apply pressure with Burrowers in T2 and as long as you carry Mauler in your deck you can sort of deal with the Shadow Frost attacks, which may give you the impression you are in an even matchup. The thing some people don't realise is the fact, that Shadow Frost is like a ticking time bomb. You may get a favourable trade here and there, but at the end both of you will just well up together and suddenly the game goes into T3. At this moment you are dead. End of the game! You need to kill your opponent in T2, otherwise you will just lose. Due to Stormsinger alot of the early Burrower pressure in T2 is gone and you have only one timewindow in the late T2 stage with splitted double Burrower attacks supported by Skyfire Drake. If your opponent defends your attack successfully you lost the game. Finishing off a good Shadow Frost player is truly painful. Your micro has to be on point, otherwise your Burrower will get sniped by Stormsinger + Frostbite before you can retreat. 3. Ratings Competitive ranking: Pros: + Very balanced deck with no big abusable weakness + insane diversity in T2 Cons: - Very slot instensive in T2, which results in a small T1/T3 - Bad matchup against Shadow Frost Overall Fire Nature is a really good deck for ranked games, beacuse you have an allround T2 to deal with so many different possible scenarios and you have no real "autolose" matchup. Shadow Frost is really tough though, which is a big Problem, beacuse it's also one of the most played decks. Final comp. rating: 7/10 New player experience: If you are a new player I would suggest you to play this deck. It teaches you the basics of the game, is really fun to play and due to its versitality you can learn how to use your specific units in specific situations to understand how to counter unittype X. Fire T1 is also really solid and its basics aren't really complex therefore you've got an ideal learing experience with this deck. The only small downside would be the fact, that its defense is a little bit harder to play compared to Frost splashes, but your great, cheap cc makes up for that a little bit. Still I would recommend you to play this deck, if you are a new player (But you should play a bigger T1 than the one in the deck example, because it's really hard for a new player to win without Thugs/Sunderer against T1's like Shadow). NPE rating: 10/10 PURE SHADOW 1. Deck example Pure Shadow is one of the more unique decks, because it has Shadowmage & Harvester in T2, who are vastly different from classic T2 units and give pure Shadow 2 big powerspikes, that can be used to win alot of games. You lack hard-cc in this deck, but you have the highest dps/power Unit & the only XL unit in the entire T2 as a trade off. The deck surprisingly didn't see alot of play in the top ranks, but I guess in the low/mid ranks everyone loved the Harvester and I've seen people in the forums aswell who seem to be addicted to this unit. One of the weaknesses in pure Shadow is the fact that Shadow Mage has got only 12 charges. For this reason you shouldn't waste them otherwise your strongest T2 unit isn't available anymore at some point in the game. Note: The voidmanipulation (FoF Balsa) type deck is excluded from our analysis, because I despise this type of gameplay where you just play voidmanipulation into Harvester into voidmanipulation into next Harvester until you either win the game or lose due to the huge permanent power loss if you mess up your attacks. 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Pure Shadow vs Bandits Both of you lack cc, but you've got Shadowmage to outtrade all Bandits units at the early T2 stage. The only troublesome attack for you is pretty much Sunderer + lw or buffed Scythe Fiends with Lavafield support at a high void level. But you can play Knight of Chaos to delay these kind of attacks or just use a Nightguard as a threat for these bigger units. If you play your Harvester the game should be won anyway. Just make sure to use nether warp to dodge aura of corruption and then there is nothing left to kill the Harvester in time bevor he takes down wells and maybe even orbs too. (2) Pure Shadow vs Pure Nature You have good tools to deal with pure Nature. Shadowmage + Nether Warp (Green) is really hard to deal with as a Nature player, therefore you can apply alot pressure pre SoM to close out the game. Harvester is also a really good tool to snowball a lead and close out the game, but keep in mind that cc chains with Rogan & the Deep One ability exist and therefore there are ways to defend against your Harvester if you are in an even position. Use your superior T1 and early T2 to create leads, pay attention to Energy Parasites and finish your opponent off with Harvester, if he isn't dead already. With that gameplan you should win this matchup unless your opponent is alot better than you or prepared a cheesy counterstrategy. (3) Pure Shadow vs Shadow Nature Shadowmage works as an allround counter in this matchup and as long as you don't waste your charges you should be able to control your opponent at every stage of the game. Harvester is pretty hard to defend for Shadow Nature and therefore you have perfect conditions. Just make sure you don't spawn your Harvester to aggressive. An instant root aura will make your Harvester disappear in a second. Even with lifeweaving your opponent just needs to invest 175 power into the aura and the Harvester dies immediatly and you can't even use Nether Warp because Ensnaring Roots will keep the Harvester in place. (4) Pure Shadow vs Pure Frost Shadowmages + splitted Darkelf Assassins are the key to success in this matchup. You can maybe even add a Nightguard into the mix to deal with War Eagles and you are ready to attack. You have a solid advantage at the early T2 stage and as long as you use it you will end up winning, but always be aware of the fact, that Lyrish Knights can deal with your Harvester and pure Frost has a superior T3, so as long as you aren't too passive you should be fine in this matchup. (5) Pure Shadow vs Fire Frost Fire Frost can't do to much against you aswell. Shield drakes / Scythe Fiends are kinda okay against pure Shadow and this is pretty much the main reason why Fire Frost is here in the ranking, but it's not enough to really put you in danger. Fire Frost rarely uses Frostbite, Lyrish Knight or Homesoil, therefore your Harvester will be really damn effective. Gladiatrix & Skyfire drake won't stop the Harvester and especially not without reliable cc. Coldsnap has a cast animation which is more than enough time to dodge it with nether warp and get your Harvester in position to destroy powerwells/orbs and win the game. Skill Matchups: (6) Pure Shadow vs Stonekin The difficulty in the matchup is pretty much card choice depended. Stonetempest & Razorshard can give your Shadowmages some trouble, you won't be able to attack early at least. Removing big Stonekin attacks can be pretty annoying too, because you can't use aura of corruption against stonekin since the stonekin player would just use the Aura for himself as protection to build up offensive Cannon towers. These turrets are also used pretty regularly in stonekin decks and combined with the strong nature cc it's really freaking annoying to play aginst this type of deck. A buffed Harvester is your chance to break the defense. You can add up Corpse Explosion in your deck to push up the damage even further, which helps to overload the building protects. While this matchup is really annoying to play it's still not too hard after the Razorshard nerf. (7) Pure Shadow vs Pure Fire As I mentioned earlier, this matchup is all about timings. As long as you hit your right timings to attack there is not alot of counterplay left for your opponent. Pure Fire can't deal with shadow mages in the early T2, pure Shadow can't deal with pure Fire attacks at the mid T2 stage and pure Fire is doomed against Harvester. Since I've talked already about the T2 in the pure Fire section I want to add something about the T3. If the game reaches the T3 stage pure Shadow is in a favourable position, beacuse nether Warp can entirely counter a Juggernaut stampede. In addition to that you have alot of counter play against the Fire units regardless if you go for pure Shadow to play Voidstorm or play Frost in T3 and use Grigori who can disenchant the Juggernaut. Still this matchup is overall 50/50, because it doesn't reach the T3 stage most of the time. (8) Pure Shadow vs Shadow Frost Shadow Frost is really annoying to play against. Darkelfassassins with Frostbite & homesoil support are really hard to deal with, even when you play Shadowmages. You could litereally defend a Harvester with that. Pure Shadow gets into a good spot when you get a temporary advantage at some point and translate this into an immediate Harvester attack. Since you can dodge cold snap with Nether Warp there is no time left for the Shadow Frost player to recover. At that point you can close out the game. Be aware of the fact, that Shadow Frost will destroy you in T3 so make things work in T2. The matchup is btw. even harder if you face Lyrish Knight, who can deal with Harvester and blow up mages with Lyrish nasties. Difficult matchups: (9) Pure Shadow vs Fire Nature Skyfire Drake in combination with cc is the most difficult thing you have to deal with as a Shadow player. With proper support for them you are under alot of pressure. There is some micro stuff you can do with your Nether Warp to make advantageous trade like warping out of Lavafield or using Nether warp on your Harvester in offense to dodge Ensnaring Roots by prediction (if this works you litearlly win the game off that). Splitting your units against cc & Lavafield is also really important. As long as your Mages are well positioned you can take down the Skyfire Drakes (A motivated Mage onehits a Skyfire Drake btw). This matchup is super difficult for you to play, but you've still got a good chance to win it as long as your micro is on point. 3. Rating Competitive rating: Pure Shadow summary Pros: + Great dps deck with huge offensive potential + Crushes alot of the weaker decks + Shadow Mage is one of the best cards in T2 + Has no "terrible" matchup (40/60 in the worst case vs Fire Nature) Cons: - The most difficult matchups are against the most played decks - Shadowmage may be really strong, but its charges are limited I feel like pure Shadow was sort of underplayed by most top players. The deck has really solid matchups and even tho the meta decks are a little bite more difficult to play against there is still a good chance for you to win it anyway. Shadow Mage is a great allround counter and Harvester is just ideal to snowball your advantages. Final comp. Rating: 8/10 New player experience: Pure Shadow is a really good deck to start with. Shadow T1 is pretty ideal to start with and the basics of your T2 aren't that hard to learn (Shadow Mage has a great efficiency in lower elos even without insane micro skills). Harvester is also really powerful in low elo games, because alot of people have no clue how to defend against him, while it's pretty easy for you to execute this type of "strategy". You will end up winning alot of games in the lower ranks just because of that, which makes playing this deck even more enjoyable. No cc and the missing building protects are the big downside, which is the only reason why pure Shadow doesn't get 10 points in this rating. NPE rating: 9/10 BANDITS 1. Deck example *Some stuff in this deck seems to be quite questionable in some situations, but there is no optimal Bandits deck, that can deal with all possible scenarios in the different Tiers. I will be honest at this point. Now we talk about the weakest deck out of all 10. Bandits does really poorly against alot of decks and has many abusable weaknesses. The biggest one is actually the lack of defensive capabilities. You have no cc at all apart from Aura of Corruption as a zoning spell and no building protects either. Simple Burrower attacks with cc support can be insanely dangerous for you if you let them come too close to your power well without any reaction. Your offense is kind of solid, you can do massive Rallying banner attacks in T2 and you have a pretty reliable T3 with Sandstorm. 2. Matchup discussion Skillmatchups: (1) Bandits vs pure Frost This is pretty sad, but you don't have a single easy matchup. If you play Bandits expect things to get really difficult at a higher elo. Pure Frost is still the best deck you can play against, because your Drakes combined with Darkelf Assassins offer strong counterplay against Air units and without its War Eagles pure Frost tends to struggle. It's still hard to get through the pure Frost defence, especially with Northstar the deck is such amazing defensive capabilities with a great scaling into T3. So try to get a decent T1 lead, which can be pretty easy on some maps against Frost and try snowball with your strong air control. (2) Bandits vs pure Nature Nature has the advantage in this matchup, but it's honestly not that big. You can't defend against Burrower attacks and Energie Parasites are a distraction for you, beacuse it forces you to play Skyfire Drakes at unfavourable positions where they are isolated and bind 100 power for the duration of the attack. But you aren't helpless in this matchup. Nature T1 is weaker than Fire T1 and substantially weaker against Shadow T1 so try to secure an advantage at this stage of the game and translate this into aggressive Rallying Banner attacks in T2. Since you are able to spawn undazed units at any given time it's really easy to overload the cc and take down power wells. I personally prefer a Shadow T1 Bandits deck in this matchup, because Shadow matches well in T1 against nature and you can play Nightguard as an L counter, who is better against Deep One than Firesworn, because you can pull the Nightguard with your DO after the swap. (3) Bandits vs pure Fire Your ground units are vastly weaker in defence and in offense. Your only chance of surviving against Fire is air control. The crucial spell, that can help you alot in this matchup is life weaving. In combination with skyfire drake it's really good against pure Fire, because there is no real efficient way to beat it as long as you time it well. The easiest way to remove skyfire drakes is usually Gladiatrix or Skyfire Drake + Eruption, because that can burst them down and you technically spend just the 75 power, because your Gladi / Skyfire will remain witch full hp. But if you play the Life Weaving just a split second earlier, your skyfire survives and you can get rid of the counterunit leaving you with a 100 poweradvantage in the best case. But make sure your timing is on point. If you use life weaving to early disenchant comes into play and using it to late is the worst case scenario. If the Eruptions hits before your lifeweaving you won't even get a good trade out of this because, your drake will be at 75 (62) hp if Lifeweaving just blocks the Skyfire (Gladiatrix) hit. Therefore your Drake will just die with the next hit. Advice: In case you still struggle in this matchup you can add Rageclaws in your deck, they match really well against all these pure Fire M units. Difficult matchups: (4) Bandits vs Fire Frost Fire Frost is actually the easist out of the 3 remaining frostsplash decks, because you can deal well with its units. Darkelf Assassin spam combined with Nightguard against these 100+ power units is efficient, so you have at least a good shot at winning. Your defensive capabilties are still nonexistent though and a straight wellfocus + cc will put you in danger if you don't react to incoming units in time. So keep in mind that you are still at a big disadvantage. (5) Bandits vs Fire Nature Curse of Oink is the card that kind of decides this matchup. It provides superior support for Skyfire drakes compared to pure Fire and helps you alot in every situation. You can delay attacks to save your wells, you can protect your units in offense against every type of unit. You lack cc and this is why you are at such a bad position against alot of decks. Your deck lacks synergy and in the meantime Fire Nature is such a well rounded deck, with no big weakness. That makes it superior to your Bandits deck. (6) Bandits vs Shadow Nature As I said in the Shadow Nature section, Darkelf Assassins with superior cc support are really hard to deal with and if Burrowers are added into the mix you just run out of time. You need a substantial T1 advantage to survive the early T2 stage and afterwards you need to use you AoE damage (Shadow Phoenix / Lavafield / Aura of Corruption) to reach the T3 stage, where you have an easier time. (7) Bandits vs pure Shadow Litereally every single unit in your deck gets destroyed by Shadow Mage. This is pretty much your main problem, because you can't apply any sort of pressure in the early / mid T2. And when you finally reach that point, where your attacks could be potentially successful, you will end up against a Harvester. Your defence against it is sort of mediocre with Darkelf Assassin spam combined with Disenchant against potential buffs. You can clear the Harvester, but usually not without tribute. That will put you at a serious disadvantage against pure Shadow. (8) Bandits vs Shadow Frost Here comes the good old Shadow Frost deck. Darkelf Assassins, Stormsinger, Cold Snap, building protects. Getting around this defense is really hard, and honestly from an even position it's even impossible against a good Shadow Frost player. But you still need to make your Rallying Banner attacks work with some magic, because otherwise you will just wait for your own death. The classic Shadow Frost T3 is just better and you will just get outscaled if you can't snowball. In case you fall behind at any given point, you will slowly get behind even further up to a point where the game is just over. (9) Bandits vs Stonekin In T2 you will stand no chance. Stonekin has like everything you want to have. Building protects and the insane nature cc combined are so incredible efficient against a deck, that has none of those. Stonekin has better units to deal with you anyway, so there is not alot you can do at the T2 stage. You actually have to abuse the fact, that Stonekin has to chose between the unreliable Frost T1 or the weak Nature T1 and decide the game there. Either win entirely or play such a long T1 to raise the void level to a point, where you are able to litereally skip the entire T2 stage. Otherwise I don't see a way how a skilled Stonekin player could lose in this matchup. 3. Rating Competitive rating: Bandits summary Pros: + Alot of possible deck building options (can even be played with both, Shadow and Fire T1) + Strong Air control thanks to the drakes and Darkelf Assassins Cons: - At a high level you will lose next to every game due to tons of unfavourable matchups - Has no defensive capabilities (No proctects, no cc) - There is no optimal deck, that covers all possible scenarios and matchups - Has no special units or combos who make the deck worth playing Bandits does really poorly in 1vs1. As long as you are a really experienced player you can use your skill to cover up the major weaknesses in the deck and reach a high rank in the ladder, but if you're up against really strong players like in tournaments for example you won't get far at all. Bandits is the worst out of all decks and without proper cc support from a teammate in 2vs2 you will end up losing power wells against ridiciously weak attacks. The deck is simply outclassed by the other ones in so many aspects. Just your offense is pretty solid, therefore you need to snowball hard if you want to win. Final comp. Rating: 0/10 New player experience: If you are new to the game don't start with Bandits. You will regret it at some point. The deck is really hard to play in T2 and if you reach a somewhat decent rank you will lose games against people who are technically speaking worse than you. And if your opponent does well it feels sort of impossible to win which is really frustrating. The only upside I can see with Bandits is the fact, that you've got the choice between Fire T1 & Shadow T1, but this doesn't make up for anything. NPE rating: 0/10 FIRE FROST 1. Deck example Fire Frost is pretty much the deck, that gets overlooked all the time. The amount of people who played the deck was really small and I feel like many many players didn't recognize the strength this deck gathered due to the Stormsinger buff because of that. Stormsinger as a reliable M/M unit was like the last missing part of a pretty strong PvP deck. Fire Frost has strong, expensive units and good support for them. The most common tactic in this deck is probably Frost Sorceress + Skyfire Drake, which gives you very good air control. The weakness in this deck is the fact, that it doesn't have a reliable offense against certain decks (especially the ones, who can handle the Mountaineer). 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Fire Frost vs Bandits Bandits has 5 matchups that are harder than Fire Frost, but it's still the easiest one for you (just think about this for a while). As long as you pay attention to incoming Nightguards and respect the strength of Darkelf Assassins in the early game you should be fine in this matchup. Your attacks will be successful anyway later, especially if you apply pressure at multiple positions, beacuse the only defence Bandits offers is Aura of Corruption. Apart from that you can just cc counterunits and destroy the powerwells. (2) Fire Frost vs pure Fire A really valuable strength in this deck is the good matchup against pure Fire. Shielddrake gives you superior air control and with mountaineer you have a really strong mid T2 power spike and pur Fire doesn't have the units to react properly, which leaves you at a really advantageous position. Stormsinger adds some safety to the matchup, because you can kite Enforcer in the early T2. Your late T2 & T3 in general is weaker, so get a solid lead or close the game out before you reach that stage. Skillmatchups: (3) Fire Frost vs Stonekin Fire Frost matches well against Stonekin. Scythe Fiends are a really good removal against the S units and stuff like stonetempest couldn't knock them back properly. If you use Frost Sorceress to support them they are a true force against stonekin and since Aggressor wasn't included in alot of Stonekin decks Mountaineer is also a big big threat. Stormsinger would deal with early Burrower attacks and But stonekin does still have some awnsers. Stoneshards are really high dps units to deal with scythe fiends if you don't support them adequately. (4) Fire Frost vs Fire Nature Due to the Stormsingerbuff this matchup got turned in your favour. Mounty & Shielded Skyfire Drakes are solid ways to attack (supported Scythe Fiends are also sort of hard to remove) and Stormsinger allows you to defend against Burrowers. Things just get a little bit annoying, when Fire Nature gets to attack with alot of units at multiple positions, because Stormsinger can't clear them fast enough. So make sure you are the first one who attacks when the voidlevel starts to rise too high. Difficult matchups: (5/6) Fire Frost vs Shadow Nature The previous matchups were pretty easy to deal with, but the upcoming ones are really hard. Shadow Nature does pretty well against Fire Frost, because Nightguard is such a big threat for your 100+ power units. Unlike Bandits, Shadow Nature has the tools to make these Nightguard swap succesful with its cheap cc. With all these highly efficient low cost units/spells Shadow Nature gives you a really hard time at the early T2 stage. Stormsinger isn't enough to compensate in this case. (5/6) Fire Frost vs Shadow Frost Shadow Frost and Shadow Nature are pretty much tied in terms of difficulty. Shadow Frost isn't as hard to deal with as Shadow Nature in T2, but against Shadow Nature your goal is pretty much to survive, while Shadow Frost tries to survive against you! If you don't make your Mountaineer attacks worthwhile you will end up against a stronger T3 and lose. Stormsinger & Darkelfassassins are really strong in a defensive position, because they defend well against Skyfiredrake. Scythe Fiends get slowed with Frostbite and therefore it will be pretty easy for the Shadow Frost player to kite them. Mountaineer is your only way to success, because alot of Shadow Frost players don't play Nightguard in their decks. But keep in mind, that Shadow Frost can use Mountaineer aswell and stay focussed! (7) Fire Frost vs Pure Shadow Shield Drakes with Lavafield support are pretty decent against pure Shadow, but this matchup is a ticking time bomb. As I mentioned in the pure Shadow section Lyrish Knights aren't included in the traditional Fire Frost deck. This leaves you with huge problems against Harvester. Since your units are already pretty expensive you will most likely be unable to apply enough pressure to prevent the Harvester from beeing played and without the proper counterunit you will end up losing most likely. Advice: If you play Frost T1 you can include lyrish knight, because you have Homesoil, Ice Barrier and even Frost Bite to support them. This makes the matchup easier, but usually Frost T1 is inferior, because it's just unreliable and you lose matches based on map-rng. (8) Fire Frost vs Pure Frost This matchup is horrible. You have next to no options against superior air units, a strong defense and a superior T3. Even distinctive T1 leads won't help you to survive this matchup unless you can close out the game entirely. So all I can tell you here: If you want to win you need to play way better than your opponent. (9) Fire Frost vs Pure Nature Pure Nature is also really annoying to deal with. You can stop early Burrower attacks, but you can't really attack yourself. Your expensive units are vulnerable to Parasite swarm and a combination out of Ghostspears and Spirit Hunters will deal with the rest. While this happens the pure Nature player can build up his Shrine of Memory safely and wait until it's ready. If it starts running prepare yourself. The permahealed Deep Ones are coming. 3. Rating Competitive Rating: Pros: + Strong air control with Shield Drakes + Good matchups against popular decks (Stonekin, pure Fire) + Isn't as bad as it used to be, because with Stormsinger a reliable M Counter got added to the deck Cons: - Does really poorly against some decks (especially pure Frost & pure Nature) - really expensive Units (vulnerable to unit swaps) - using Frost Sorceress properly at mid/late T2 stages is really difficult and micro intensive Fire Frost has alot of difficult matchups, but most of them aren't as bad as they used to be. The Stormsinger buff was really good for this deck and the good matchup against pure Fire makes the Deck attractive for higher ranked players because there were quite alot pure Fire mains up in the ladder. But you can't call this deck reliable, because there are some matchups, that are just awful. You sometimes can't even close games against pure Frost with a massive T1 advantage. Final Comp. Rating: 5/10 New player experience: As a new player Fire Frost might not be ideal for you. Fire T1 is honestly great and Stormsinger and Mountaineer are really easy to play, but the Frost Sorceress micromanagement is really difficult and the deck isn't as strong as the top tier ones. On the other hand playing a frost splash is easier, because they are more forgiving in many situations. If you exclude the Frost Sorceress the deck is easy to play, but because of that it just gets a pretty low rating. NPE rating: 4/10 STONEKIN 1. Deck example: Stonekin is one of the most boring but also most powerful decks. It slowly builds up in strength and overwhelms your opponent at some point in the game. The T2 is honestly one of the strongest ones and the combination of crowd control and building protects leaves you with an insanely strong defence. The card diversity was also pretty good, so some matchups may change a little bit dependend on the cards you use in T2. 2. Matchup discussion Easy matchups: (1) Stonekin vs Bandits Massive defensive capabilities vs no defensive capabilities. The T2 in this matchup is incredible onesided and there is no way you can lose this as long as you don't get destroyed in T1. Burrowers with proper support will destroy wells pretty fast, especially with home soil. Skillmatchups: (2) Stonekin vs Fire Nature The following stonekinmatchups are pretty similar, so there is not alot to talk about. It's mostly about using your strong defense to stall the game into a gamestage, where you end up winning, which is generally speaking the T3. Against Fire Nature it's pretty easy to reach that point because of Stormsinger + cc and that pretty much sums up the entire matchup. (3) Stonekin vs Shadow Frost This matchup favours you too. Your Burrower attacks are sort of power efficient, but not a big threat for Stormsinger + Darkelf Assassins. Your advantage lies within the fact, that stonekin can match the big Shadow Frost T3. Therefore you don't get outscaled and there is no pressure for you to be offensive, which makes this matchup much easier. (4) Stonekin vs Shadow Nature The Stormsinger vs Amii Phantom matchup. Honestly the one who micros his M/M unit better wins the T2. Apart from that there is not too much Shadow Nature can do to pressure you too hard. In T3 you will win this matchup so there is no reason to be overly aggresive. (5) Stonekin vs Fire Frost Also a pretty managable matchup. You need to respect shielded Scythe Fiends and Mountaineer. But you have stoneshards to deal with the Scythe Fiends and the Mounty can be perma cc'd by Aggressor. Apart from that you are ready to outscale your opponent. (6) Stonekin vs pure Frost Since Aggressor can deal with War Eagles there is not alot Frost can do to attack. But honestly you can't do alot either in T2 so this game will end up in T3 aswell. But pure Frost has a powerful T3, so don't underestimate it. (7) Stonekin vs pure Nature This is the first matchup with a different game pattern. Playing against pure Nature is way more aggressive oriented. Nature struggles against Burrowers and you have to use this to your advantage and finish your opponent off before he gets to activate his Shrine of Memory. Energy Parasites are really annoying to deal with for you and keep the Nature player often in the game and therefore this matchup is one of the harder ones for you. (8) Stonekin vs pure Fire Your units are more efficient in the early stage of the game while pure Fire scales really well into the late T2 stage. You want to avoid the late T2 or at least go with a solid advantage into this gamestage, because otherwise you will be in trouble. Given the fact that your T3 matches well against Pure Fire, because Timeless One + Stonewarrior is incredible against XL units it's not the worst thing to scale. You can use your early T2 advantage to reach this stage as safely as possible. Stoneshards are really efficient against all these pure Fire M units and as long as there isn't enough power to use wildfire support you will win many T2 skirmishes and that advantage can be used to survive the late t2, where the pure Fire attacks get to powerful. Difficult matchups (9) Stonekin vs pure Shadow You lack a serious XL counter and therefore Harvester is really hard to counter. Sure you could consider playing with Lyrish Knights, but most of the time you don't have the slot. In case you still want to use him you will be at a disadvantageous position in different matchups, keep that in mind. Shadow Mage + Nether Warp is also a serious threat, because most of your damage is damage over time, which is way less efficient against Shadowmages than burst damage. Razorshard can be useful to make this matchup a little bit easiert, but with the classic stonekin deck you will have some trouble here. 3. Ratings Competitive Rating: Stonekin summary Pros: + Really strong defence with strong cc and building protects + Very good T3 + Has the least bad matchups out of all decks Cons: - Apart from Burrowers + homesoil there aren't many ways to play aggressive at T2 - You are forced to play either Frost or Nature T1, who are unreliable and risky Stonekin is definitely one of the top decks. Especially after the Stormsinger addition there is litereally nothing, that gives you trouble at early T2. You don't have many "freewins", but on the other hand you can pretty much handle every deck and with your strong T3 scaling this is a big advantage. Your T1 is honestly your biggest weakness and the main reason why Stonekin is not ranked as the strongest deck here. Nature T1 is too weak and Frost T1 way too unreliable due to the lack of swift units. Final competative rating: 8/10 New player experience: Pretty much the same stuff applies for newer players. The T2 is really strong and also really easy to play, but Nature T1 is way to complex to start with and Frost is also not the best T1 to start with. But with the massive CC and the strong defence in general stonekin deserves some credit. Final NPE rating: 5/10 SHADOW FROST 1. Deck example Shadow Frost was one of the most played decks in PvP ... for a good reason. The deck is the most solid one with no big weakness and an outstanding defence. You may struggle a little bit in T2 to set up efficient attacks that don't include Mountaineer, but this isn't a serious issue, because your T3 is fantastic and therefore you aren't forced to be aggressive. It's already enough to defend efficiently against your opponents attacks and build another powerwells up to a point where you can afford to switch into the T3 stage, where you'll most likely win. 2. Matchup Discussion Easy matchups: (1) Shadow Frost vs Bandits Bandits is really easy to play against. Your units in T2 are equally strong if not even a little bit better and you have access to crowd control and building protects. Your T3 is superior and in T1 you always stand a chance with Shadow T1 against any given colour. Just look out for Nightguards if you decide to go for an attack with Mountaineer. (2) Shadow Frost vs Fire Frost Fire Frost is also really easy to play, because you aren't really forced to make proactive decisions. You just need to defend incoming attacks and scale into your superior T3. As long as you stay even in T2 there is nothing you need to fear in T3 (Brannoc is only a dangerous if you are already behind). In T2 you can defend Scythe Fiends & Skyfiredrakes easily with a combination out of Darkelf Assassins and Stormsinger with Frost Bite support. The only card, that is sort of dangerous for you is Mountaineer, you really need to pay attention here and get rid of them (in case you have Nighguard in your deck this is pretty simple). But since you've got Coldsnap and building protects you should be able to save your powerwells in time and go for a counterattack with your own Mountaineer afterwards. (3) Shadow Frost vs Fire Nature This matchup got pretty easy after the Stormsinger buff. You can defend Burrower attacks with a very high efficiency in the early game and establish a very solid lead, that can be used to transition into a T3, where Fire Nature doesn't stand a chance. The only gamestage where you are sort of in danger is the late T2, where splitted Burrower attacks with massive nature cc support are powerful enough to overload your building protects, so make sure to reach the T3 as soon as possible, because Timeless one can deal with a massive Burrower push, if the Fire Nature player decides to rush you at that point. Skillmatchups: (4) Shadow Frost vs pure Nature You are heavily favoured in T1 and T3, but at a disadvantage in T2, therefore it's important to use the right timings to win this matchup. In T1 Nature is really vulnerable and unless the Nature player plays Primal defender (which is pretty rare, but possible) you can solely win games with Phasetower, who is overpowered. He can usually apply his splash damage consistently in a fight against nature units and does more than 1000 dp20s for 60 power. His hp pool is also insane in defense (1200) and even after the port in offense the 600hp are still high if you keep in mind, that nature has no T1 unit with bonus damage against buildings. For more in depth information you can check out my Shadow T1 guide (insert link), because the T1 is really important in this matchup since the T2 is nature favoured. Deep One is really hard to deal with if you don't play Nightguard in your deck and there is no reliable Energy Parasite counter in your deck. In addition to that Nature can deal with your S and M units really with (Ghostspears and Spirit Hunter do a really good job at this point) and Mountaineer gets either destroyed by Deep Ones or taken away by Parasite Swarm, so make sure to establish a solid advantage in T1, that either wins you the game entirely or allows you to scale into T3 before nature manages to get a big voidpool and an activated Shrine of Memory. (5) Shadow Frost vs Pure Frost Your advantage is usually the fact, that you can deny alot of mapcontrol against Frost in T1, mostly important T3 spots, because your T2 is sort of equal. Darkelf Assassins and Stormsinger deal fairly well with War Eagles and this is Pure Frosts core unit. On the other side Shadow Frost doesn't have the tools to apply pressure in T2 either which leads to T3 fights, who decide the games. But in case you've got a map like Elyon for example you can block all T3 spots and win the game off that, because War Eagles may be able to deal with T2 units, but if Ashebones & Grigoris come into play they will struggle even with a power advantage. In case the game goes into T3 vs T3, cards without any counterplay are more valuable. Since both Frost Frost Shadow and Shadow Frost Frost have access to some of the strongest T3 units, cards like curse well can make the difference in this matchup. (6) Shadow Frost vs Pure Shadow You honestly have the tools to deal with pure Shadow. Darkelf Assassins, are so efficient against this deck and in combination with Stormsinger you can defend every sort of attacks. The only thing that can sort of outsustain this damage for a while is Shadowmagespam + Green Netherwarp, but this tactic is very susceptable against Nightcrawler- or Lyrish Knight-Nasties. Harvester is also usually not successful against you, unless the Shadow player has a lead already, because Frost Bite is really valuable against Harvy. He needs such a long time to reach the Power wells/orbs while Darkelfassassins or Lyrish Knights deal so much damage against him and if the Shadow Player decided to port him forward he loses the chance to dodge coldsnap which slows the Harvester down even more. Your T3 is superior as usual and therefore your winning condition. (7) Shadow Frost vs Shadow Nature Shadow Nature has a distinctive advantage in the early T2 against you. They have similar units (Nighcrawler + Darkelf Assassins + Amii Phantom vs Night Crawler + Darkelf Assassins + Stormsinger) and superior cc which allows your opponent to set up massive attacks against you. Therefore this matchup is pretty much a survival game, because in the later T2 stages low hp unit spam gets countered by AoE damage like Shadow Phoenix, Aura of Corruption or Nasty, because it's impossible to split all these units and in T3 you will simply win the game of Timeless One beeing able minimize the incoming damage while it's way harder to respond to your attacks. (8) Shadow Frost vs Stonekin Stonekin can be a really nasty matchup, because its defensive capabilities match your power in T2 and even in T3. Therefore this matchup can be really hard to play and sometimes you have to make sure to win the game based on your score, because you can't finish off your opponent in 30 minutes. On smaller maps you can avoid this by winning the game in T1 which is kinda the most reliable option to beat stonekin, because Shadow has a big advantage over Frost on alot of maps and Phasetower wrecks nature (it's also useful against Frost, don't get me wrong here). Difficult matchup(s): (9) Shadow Frost vs Pure Fire This is the only matchup with a distinctive disadvantage for Shadow Frost. Enforcer is superior to Nightcrawler and Stormsinger which allows the Fireplayer to protect a Firedancer who shoots constantly at your power well and forces you to spend power into your building protects, which leads to very unfavourable trades. In case the Firedancer is able to abuse a cliff as protection you are pretty much done. And in addition to that Juggernaut is insanely strong, even strong enough to break through a Timeless One T3. Your only shot at winning is a short, aggressive T1 with a transition into an early Mountaineer attack since Pure Fire tends to struggle in defense against L units (No cc and just mediocre L counter). 3. Rating Competitive Rating: Shadow Frost summary Pros: + No weak gamestage + Insane T3 + Very forgiving since you don't have to be proactive most of the time + Alot of easy matchups + Very flexible and well rounded defence (cc + ranged high dps units + building protects) Cons: - low pressure T2 - Bad matchup against one of the most popular decks (pure Fire) Shadow Frost is next to pure Fire the top deck in PvP. It does great in nearly ever matchup and is strong at any given point in the game. Sadly its only weak matchup is against its biggest rival pure Fire. Otherwise the deck would be in the best spot out of all possible 1v1 decks in Battleforge. Final Comp. rating: 9/10 New player experience: Shadow Frost is the perfect deck to play if you intend to climb in the ladder as a new player and even at the higher ranks it's one of the strongest decks to play with its opressive T3. No major weakness and the possibility to play a viable counter against nearly every incoming attack (with the small exception of cliffdancer) make it really easy to play. The high late game scaling is also really good, because you don't have to be proactive in T2. The high defensive capability makes the deck really forgiving and it's one of the decks to start with. Final NPE rating: 10/10 At this point the deck overview is finished. I hope you can get some valuable information out of it, we put alot of efford into creating this list (Writing 15.000+ words took some time ^^). In case you have any questions regarding some factions or matchups feel free to ask us. Best regards Hirooo & RadicalX
  3. Emberstrike • Card Changes Ability dmg 1100(1650max) -> 1300 (3250max) Passive dmg: 500(750max) -> 900 (2700max) There is a general issue with current L units in T4. They have several downsides to XL units such as scaling limitations through unit & charge limit, L knockback, higher vulnerability vs burst, lower movement speed, damage loss as only a limited amount of creatures are able to attack one target (melee problem only) or the inability to attack air units (melee only). There is almost nothing that makes up for these downsides leaving L T4 units mostly behid. The AOE increase for Emberstrike is supposed to open up a somewhat unique playstyle by using their ability more frequently in order to clear big camps alot quicker than before. In addition to that you should be able to spawn them alot more aggressively into fights with a massively increased passive. I might extend this thread and add some more information in about 2 weeks (I'm short on time for now). Best regards RadicalX
  4. RadicalX

    Balance Proposal: Emberstrike

    This was discussed in the discord channel too. I think it is a reasonable idea, but impossible to implement for now.
  5. RadicalX

    Balance Proposal: Winterwitch

    Winterwitch • Card Changes Hp: 1350 -> 1700 Shield value: 1500 -> 2000 Ability power costs: 100 -> 65 Winterwitch lacks power that makes her worthy for a T4 card that demands 3 Frost orbs. The biggest current issues we see with this card are the low survivability in a T4 environment & the nonexistent synergy with AoE damage reductions. Cards like Ward of the North or Revenge have no effect onto iceshields. Therefore we want to increase her supportive strengh. Chosen card changes: The hp buff mainly is supposed to increase her survivability to get a proper positioning and good shield area placement. Regarding her ability a shield increase of 500 seems to be a low amount, but as Winterwitch provides up to 15 shields therefore it stacks up. An ability cost reduction is supposed to help players that have no access to voidmanipulation, which isn't guaranteed in a triple Frost deck.
  6. RadicalX

    Shadow Mage spam + Green Nether Warp counterplay?

    To give you an answer to some of your questions and some general information: -> The buff gets applied to all units near the entrance zone, the exit zone does not affect units at all -> There are 2 effects applied by nether warp: Port immunity & the specific healing or slow effect dependend on affinity -> There is an instant healing tic once the buff gets applied which is the main reason for this interaction -> The buff refreshes every second always applying this instant tic which doubles the healing speed -> The max healing per target gets increased from 200 to 960. Intended healing: Instant starting tick + 4 ticks per 2 seconds (+200 hp over 8 seconds) Maximum healing: 20 starting ticks (1 per second) + 4 ticks per 2s (+960 hp over 28 seconds) The speed is twice as fast, but due to the constant refreshes the duration also gets extended by 20 seconds making the healing even more valuable. -> Cards like Incredible Mo or Green dryad suppress the port immunity, but healing is not affected by this -> Card descriptions are bad in general. There are so many missing information like damage caps for Shadow spells (even Nether Warp has an unmentioned healing cap). I could probably name more than 100 "Features" in this game that do have an effect onto the overall gameplay. About the balancing question: In in the current high elo environment a change is not necessary. Lyrish Nasty, Amii Phantom spam, War Eagle scream, Lavafield, Razorshard/Stonetempest are sufficient answers to this specific combo. Pure Nature ends up getting destroyed, but that is more due to the awful T1 conditions. You always lose on tempo unless the enemy makes a mistake early on and Magespam is just really good at snowballing leads. The stategy is easy to use, very oppressive and unfun to play against though, so from a mid to low elo standpoint a change could be reasonable.
  7. RadicalX

    Balance changes Balance changes to game

    I think a set of balancing changes would be able to influence both PvP and PvE in a positive way. PvE casual: From my perspective the casual player benefits from changes because it would open up more variety and playable decks. Splash decks are able to do everything (and even more) compared to pure and faction based decks making them underwhelming to play. Also by having all core advantages that factions provide (Crowd Control, Void Manipulation, Charge Manipulation, damage reductions and healing combined with a mobile high dps unit composition) you don't have to play as a team in order to suceed. I think every faction should get more unique strengths. In addition to that some dead abilities could be fixed by small changes to make them more useful and units more interactive. Right now you usually lose tempo and dps in most fights as abilities are expensive with a high cast time and low to medium effects. PvE Speedrunning: I think the only negative aspect regarding balaning would be within the PvE speedrun setting. They want to have a fair competition and with constant changes around cards this aspect is not given anymore for cPvE alltime records. Certain nerfs may weaken current strategies and certain buffs may open up new superior ones. By looking at the games history I think nerfs regarding PvE were justified and made the game a little bit healthier overall. Lost Spirit Ship, Second Chance, FoF+ embalmer + Splicer void manipulation fixes were good first steps. Overall I think some changes do make speedrunning more interesting as it forces people to create new strategies and not play current ones to perfection to get extra seconds. I'd clearly like to see the new T4 strategies without Batariel & LSS being super dominant. That may just be my opinion though. In the case where changes are applied they should be brought up in a way that allows speedrunners to have a fair competition: -> If changes are applied please do it at the start of the month to allow a fair competition. If there is some big nerf applied in the middle of a month records aren't comparable anymore. PvP I think there is a crystal clear consenous, that PvP players want changes. But we need to be very cautious about who is in charge of those changes. I don't think being at the top of the ladder directly qualifies a person to work on healthy balancing ideas. I've seen very questionable balancing ideas from people, that are reasonably high in the ladder. Majority votes also lead to some terrible decisions by EA back then. Alot of things need to be discussed in order to find the correct cards that need to be changed and also find healthy changes. I think the forum is the best place to discuss changes to have an open discussion due to better visibility of older posts.
  8. RadicalX

    Balance Changes

    I'd argue there are a good amount of cards, that don't even have a niche use due to really poor design. EA didn't really understand alot of game concepts. An example would be the importance of bound power which led to very poor balancing choices between buildings, spells and units. Like Amii Monument wouldn't be as overpowered by costing 390 bound power with 0 abiliy cost compared to the current 250 bound +140 toggle, which even returns the full amount of the ability power into the void (which means it's completely free in any void manipulation deck anyways). This is the thread I once made to talk about some cards, that could be buffed without touching the balancing by alot (I improved the list by now, so the thread isn't fully up to date though). Also there were alot of dead abilities that could be statbuffed or even reworked (Colossus has probably the worst ability design, because some people simply expected PvP would go to T4 back in 2009). In terms of PvP the major problem lies within some cards being overpowered, especially T1 towers like Mortar and Phasetower. Frost T1 got a hard hit by a questionable homesoil nerf, that was aimed to shut down Frostsplashes in higher tiers without getting a healthy compensation buff for the weakened T1 in return. I made a threat, that revolves around that topic, aswell. To add something for the nature T1 part, I do think that the faction gets shut downed, because you lose early fights and split engagements without the proper ability to trade in return as base trade threats get shut downed by turrets. I also do believe, that Thugs do have an unhealthy ability especially for extended trading in Fire mirrors, but that is something else. In T2 there are also factions that are overperforming (like pure Fire for instance) or underperforming (like Bandits for instance). PvE: Splash decks just overperform here and pure decks are completely dead in a competitive environment. Only a few cards are really worth to play and usually end up being used in splash decks with Enlighment. This eliminates the need of synergy between teamplayers to play the most powerful combos like having one pure fire player for Batariel and a Shadow Nature player to support it. Right now everyone can do everything on his own. Almost every speedrun strategy nowadays revolves around Enlightment -> Batariel -> Buffs or oneshotting specific bosses with something like selfstacked Mutating Frenzy. Voidmanipulation and power funneling are additional problems in that regard. If anyone likes to discuss balancing in any way, feel free to hit me up on discord, the forums or ingame. I'm looking to find overall balancing issues and work on potential solutions. Having many opinions about certain cards may help me to get a bigger picture as I would like to see how different type of players do experience the game. I'd like to present a full set of ideas once we get to a stage where balancing changes may be a possibility. Any help would be great here!
  9. RadicalX

    to fast to boring.. nerf rPVE!?

    Soultree spamming could be seen as an exploit for instance since Amii Monument allows you to skip the last mission of clearing the enemies main base. I think regarding PvE we had good ideas from community and devs that could improve the game experience in the future: -> A less repetitive quest & achievement system after the reset, which makes maps outside of Soultree and Guns of Lyr attractive for the players (there is a post in the forums where many ideas got collected). -> Adding good and proven community maps to the "official" mappool to ensure more variety and maybe even more difficult challenges compared to classic expert maps. -> Setting up a community based balancing team to improve countless of poorly designed cards, for a much more comfortable gameplay for every type of player (casual & competitive - PvE & PvP) with alot more variety in gameplay. For PvP there is the problem of a wide skill discrepancy between a low amount of people leading to unsatisfying games for both parties. I still think that the removal of multiaccounting/multiple characters decreased the gameplay experience by alot as there is a much higher level of "ranked anxiety", leading to less participation in ranked, a smaller variety in decks and excessive que dodging, which decreases the effeciency of matchmaking even further.
  10. 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
  11. Why is Yrmia even considered unbalanced? It is arguably the best map in terms of T1 balancing. Fire is good due to many chokepoints for effective Eruptions. Frost is hella strong due to small well distances and 75 extra void for the wall is insanely important for early scaling. Shadow is solid, because there are many paths on the map to allow unit circling and strong split attacks with motivate. Nature has some options to survive the early stage without getting locked out of the map, but probably the worst faction on this map due to its vulnerability against Phasetower. But that is 1 matchup and this is due to phasetower being broken, not due to the map being unbalanced. Frost on Haladur or Uro, Nature vs Phasetower on Whazai, that would be imbalance caused by map issues The center of the map is not necessary to win the game as there are 7 extra wells easily contestable without going into any danger of getting cliffed. I don't think pure Fire is overpowered here at all (at least in comparison to the strength on other maps). This map even used to be my personal strongest weapon against any pure Fire player in tournaments ... For Whazai I could agree onto a removal from the ranked pool as Phasetower is completely busted on this map. 2 Port from main base to wellrange of the enemy with guaranteed map control. This simply forces almost every player to carry a turret in his ranked deck (I mean this may be a strong strategic choice on alot of other maps aswell, but you aren't forced to play turrets every time). Outside of that any sort of cliffing is very powerful on this map and may be abused by pure fire players (even Termite hill can be insanely powerful, when being used on correct positions). A rework for some elements on this map would be nice, because it has alot of interesting potential especially due to a different scaling curve of the void level (the only map with 3 starting wells, but just a few spots to take safe additional power wells), but I' not sure if this will be a possibility in the future. Generated maps were fun, not necessarly well balanced, but some of them had alot of interesting strategic elements and it favours different factions dependent on map size and structure (I think nature may end up suffering a little bit, but that's okay). Would be cool to see them back in the ranked pool, because it brings more diversity into games. TL DR -> Yrmia is more balanced than the majority of the maps in the current pool. Sorry, but the idea of removing it is awful. -> Whazai is a fun map, but Phasetower and Cliffing are clearly overpowered here. A removal could be considered -> Adding generated maps again would be very good from my perspective
  12. RadicalX

    Quest & Achievement Suggestions Megathread

    -> Reach 60 minutes que time without finding an opponent Jokes aside I think reaching certain rank points at the end of a month is a very good way to consistently reward people. This somewhat got mentioned, but only for the top players as far as I know. This would exlude the majority of people. I think you can reward everyone in the top 200, giving lesser experienced people motivation and specific rank goals to aim for. It could be done in steps like this: Rank 200-151 -> Reward X Rank 150-101 -> Reward 1,2*X Rank 100-61 -> Reward 1,4*X Rank 60-41 -> Reward 1,6*X Rank 40-21 -> Reward 1,8*X Rank 20-11 -> Reward 2*X Rank 10-6 -> Reward 2,2*X Rank 5-2 -> Reward 2,4*X Rank 1 -> Reward 2,6*X (+some fancy stuff like a trophy) My scaling values here are arbitrary, but rewards should slightly scale up for each rank class you end up reaching (just don't make it exponentially, lower rank rewards should be meaningful too). I think the mentioned elo ranges are somewhat representative for gaps in terms of skill. If we see bigger ranked participation after the reset, additional steps for rank 80 and 125 could be added aswell. People that want to keep their reward income are forced to keep playing PvP as the activity decaying rate is 30 days so you would be unable to cash in twice unless you play at least 30 games every month. This also encourages a fight for that sweet rank 1 spot. Achievements like play card XY in PvP isn't really a good thing. Your goal in PvP should be to improve your strategies, style and gameplay. Bringing up different optional goals that are rewarded by bfp hurts the competition. You could do achievements like win X Fire Nature games to encourage people to try out new decks. This could be done for all 10 orb combinations in T2, leading to 10 meaningful achievements. You could also show some basic starter decks for the factions, so people get some assistance with deck building here, if they are unfamiliar with all the different orb combinations. Sadly rewarding losses here is risky due to potential of abuse (just rush T2 and leave the game etc.). Daily rewards could be done like this: -> Split up the current "play X PvP matches to 1v1 and 2v2s". 2v2 is a very good but underplayed gamemode. Rewards could be helpful for that. -> If you intend splitting PvP and PvE quest trees, you could simply allow people to reset their PvP quest a few times each day limited to a number X dependend on where you want to set up your grinding cap. Additional reward idea that I would generally support: -> Hotstreak rewards (3;5;10;50 wins in a row) Most of the things are not really innovative here, but I think we need a healthy reward modell for PvP, not an insanely fancy one. I think PvE is much better suited for creative ideas and we got alot of good ones in this thread already.
  13. RadicalX

    The Stress Test Open#8 04.05.19

    What exactly do you need in terms of editing? If it's just about rendering and uploading I could do that easily. I also tried to do some tourney runthroughs with my replays, but sadly alot of files from spectator maps don't work anymore after a short time.
  14. RadicalX

    Current Proposal: PvP Rewards (AOT rPvE)

    Hello MrXLink, First of all thanks for making this thread. I'm really convinced that a remarkable part of the PvP community would benefit from higher gold incomes and it can clearly enhance the overall game environment. Sorry for the upcoming wall of text, but I really need to talk about this topic! Current PvP Values I would like to start with some basics about the current reward system and potential problems. So let's get into the current formulas to check current rewards (They should be accurate as I double checked my calculations with gold incomes in some of my own games). 1. Winning player During the interval [0;2] the gold reward is at flat 250. During the interval [2;20] the amount of gold f(t) get's calculated as a function of time (t=minutes) -> f(t) = 250+((t-2)/18 * 1100) After 20 minutes the gold cap of 1350 got reached and it won't get higher regardless of gametime. I assume this is done to prevent abuse of 2 people agreeing on completely afk'ing in the game. 2. Losing Player During the interval [0;2] the gold reward is a flat 100. During the interval [2;20] the amount of gold f(t) get's calculated as a function of time (t=minutes) again -> f(t) = 100+((t-2)/18*400) After 20 minutes the gold cap of flat 500 got reached. What does this exactly mean? I'll show some rounded GPM values at 5 relevant game spots throughout the game for some clarity. 2, 5, 10 and 20, 30 minutes marks will be used here. time -> Winning player (Losing player) [50% wr player] 2min -> 125 GPM (50 GPM) [88GPM] 5min -> 87 GPM (33 GPM) [60GPM] 10min -> 74 GPM (28 GPM) [51 GPM] 20min -> 68 GPM (25 GPM) [47 GPM] 30min -> 45 GPM (17 GPM) [31 GPM] Comparison: I'll take your rPvE 9 value from one of your previous posts for that (145GPM). This implies that our average rPvE player aproximatly needs 29 minutes on average to win one map. Given that I think the average game time is faster, but there is no 100% winrate for all of these players that may be a quite accurate value. The average player in PvP has a 50% winrate in a normally distributed PvP environment. I'm pretty sure it isn't given (players with avg. skill should sit at sub 50% winrates), but I hope some gold changes may motivate more players to step into action again to fix that matchmaking problem. Anyways, these numbers lead to some problems I see with the current system and make me think that just raw stat increases won't be the solution to the issue. The big problems I see right now -> GPM constantly decreases with increased game time. -> Winning PvP (highly skilled) is getting compared to average rPvE times (moderately skilled) -> Losing income is really low, which is very counterintuitive for new players The constant decrease of GPM over time is a problem for balancing. If you straight up increase GPM values on by putting in a multiplicator onto the formula you end up promoting the easiest way of abusing the game which is straight AFK'ing & wintrading. An AFK player will always be finished off after 2-4 minutes. If GPM are at their peak during this time this is a problem for potenial buffs to gold rewards. The question about rewarding 30min games over 20min games is another discussion (maybe you could check the percentage of 30min PvP games, if that is possible for you). From my perspective I would set a soft cap for these last 10 minutes rather than stopping at 20min. If equally skilled players face off against each other in certain matchups games tend to last much longer than average PvP games once the players reach higher tech stages. Another problem I see with most arguments is that the PvP Winner gets compared to the average rPvE player. I would consider myself pretty experienced in rPvE, but not top tier. I still get to finish 4 rPvE 9's in an hour. This puts me at a GPM of 280, which is completely out of the range of what I would achieve with my current 92% PvP winrate even in the proposed improved system. This is something that really should be put into consideration when talking about these calculations. Matchmaking issues So let's talk a little about this problem beforehand. Right now GPM are vastly decreased by high que times and a very high participation of Top 10/20 players in ranked games resulting in que times. I really hope that after the upcoming reset and potential improvements to the PvP environment it may be possible to overcome some of these issues. With more motivated PvP players there would be a higher gold outcome for everyone as it minimizes the loss through que times. When talking about values it should always be considered, that the gold loss during waiting times has a clear implication onto the true outcome. That said I don't want to include this inconsistent variable too much into my arguments. Abuse of strong gold incomes Let's talk about it as you emphasized potential abuse as an issue. I don't think it is possible to abuse the system in a way, where it ruins game experience for serious players. If a change manages to make PvP interesting enough to attract abusers it will attract more serious players aswell, which has a much greater positive impact onto the PvP scene. There are 2 ways of abusing a high gold outcome for PvP: 1. Que up and stay AFK 2. Try to delay the game as much as possible For the first case, this may be a delay of 2 minutes. Finishing off an AFK is an easy task, should be done in less than 2 minutes and grants some valuable gold. I don't think anyone will be too sad about a free win. Since there is a report system nowadays you could also just threaten to ban people that are doing such things. The second case I mentioned is doable aswell. People that try to delay by turteling or running away will run out of gas pretty quickly. Mass towers allow early free wells that result in a fast T3 finish while running away without ressource generation will also be a death sentence, since ressource generation just works through immobile buildings, that can get targeted directly. Sure there may be different ways to abuse the system to get gold with a friend, but that doesn't ruin the game experience for anyone as you won't participate in these matches. Even with an increased gold income for PvP it will never get close to certain abuse strategies. You could also team up with a friend in dwarfen riddle expert to let him solo the map. You can make some food during this time and get a 500 (?) GPM value for that. Soultree is also an option to boost gold incomes into different levels in case you are a solo player. Unless PvP rewards for losing players start being competive to What are my goals? Before I start talking about real numbers, I want to talk about long term goals. Overall I want to see an attractive game with enjoyable gameplay for the majority of players in all gamemodes. I think the PvP community right now is quite small, but this wasn't always the case. During early 2013 times we had a very strong community and a strong PvP environment. 1. Better new player experience (increased rewards for losing players that tried their best) 2. The possibility for veterans to grind without spamming PvE I'm convinced, that the amount of people that would try out PvP within a much more begginerfriendly environment gets a little underestimated in general. A more consistent income would increase the ability to get decks and cards, that you see in your first games, where you surely end up getting crushed. But with a quicker removal of competitive discrepance through ressources you can start learning the game much faster and enjoy its beauty when the real PvP gameplay starts. Under equal conditions it is much easier to identify mistakes and improve. At that point the wins start to come in which brings in more motivation to go on. So the next thing I'm talking about is also about the veterans, that used to play PvP during 2013. I think the majority of people in the PvP community do want to achieve their first playable PvP deck within one month of active gameplay. To get the big picture that means 170.000-260.000 gold depending on the faction you want to play. Sure you somewhat can start playing seriously with some cards being on U2, but I made the estimation, this value may probably the difference, that my final modell doesn't catch due to the loss of gold through que times. With a GPM of 125 this would range from 22-35 hours. Looks bearable for the cheaper decks, but keep in mind only the best players do have winrates above 80% over many games and I used the winner values here. Average values of 125 for winning and 35 for losing imply a 80GPM for 50% winrate players. Back to 35-54 hours of raw gameplay for the first deck again. But without a competive deck the winrate will most likely be lower than 50% at the start even as a veteran. A state where grinding for a deck still isn't worth it. Sparring grounds Not much I can add here. The potential for abuse is very high, but no rewards at all aren't satisfying especially for people who are afraid of ranked and the ones who want to get practice beforehand. Setting up a low percentage based on ranked income seems like a good solution for me. What changes I would like to see The gold value I would like to see for a reasonable grind would be the possibility for people to get an upgraded PvP deck in about one month of gameplay. If we say Mr. XYZ plays 1 hour on average each day, this means we "ideally" do have 30 hours of gameplay. A full deck roughly costs 200.000 gold on average. In order to achieve that, we would need 111 GPM. An average player shouldn't earn less than that if PvP should end up in a reasonable state in terms of gold gains. The second value that I use to adjust my final proposal is the rPvE average value of 145 GPM. If an average PvP player ends up earning more than that, PvP might get vulnerable to that. So I would like to see an average GPM between 111 and 145. This would push PvP into a position where it still gets outshined by rPvE and especially cPvE, but may be able to bring some satisfaction to the people, that simply don't enjoy playing PvE. So let's try to get to the final formula. AFK players shouldn't be rewarded here, so flat loss income for the first 2 minutes should stay the same, while the flat bonus for the winning party could get increased by a little bit. It's less vulnerable to abuse and brings more excitement to very dominant games and decreases potential frustration upon facing an afk player. I decided to keep the income between 20 and 30 minutes for now in my modell. It could see a slight change in the future, but for now it should affect the lowest percentage of games. My model also brings rewards for the losing player, that ended up putting a long fight. Unless the enemy manipulates the game aswell no abuser will last long in these games and I really think PvP needs to be much more beginnerfriendly than it is right now. Final formula and comparison to initial values and other game modes Winning player: [0;2] -> f(t) = 300 [2;20] -> f(t) = 300+((t-2)/18*3200) [20;30] -> f(t) = 3500 Losing player: [0;2] -> f(t) = 100 [2;20] -> f(t) = 100 + ((t-2)/18*1700) [20;30] -> f(t) = 1800 Gold income comparison by using the marks of 2, 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes time -> Winning player (losing player) [50% wr player] 2min -> 150 GPM (50GPM) [100 GPM] 5min -> 167 GPM (77GPM) [122 GPM] 10min -> 172 GPM (86 GPM) [129 GPM] 20min -> 175 GPM (90 GPM) [133 GPM] 30min -> 117 GPM (60 GPM) [88,5 GPM] These GPM values are what I would look for. It would be possible to farm upgrades for an entire deck within a month and a decent PvP player still gains below avg rPvE values while high lvl PvP player are still out of contention with PvE speedrunners. TL DR; -> Increased scaling for losing players by 240% -> Increased flat winner bonus for winning games during the first 2 minutes (150% -> 200%) -> Decreased gold over time multiplicator for winners (175% -> 88%) -> GPM for an average PvP player will roughly stay 15% lower than the average rPvE player -> GPM for a high ranked PvP player will roughly stay 70% lower than a top rPvE player Thanks alot for reading and I really hope, that the PvP community can come back strong again! If there is anything you want to talk about, I'll be around for discussion Best regards, RadicalX
  15. RadicalX

    pvpPlayerMatter Pls make pvp reward higher

    I think at least 2 things are clearly problematic in this calculation. 1. No one will use rPvE 6 to farm gold. Almost no player will use rPvE 10 to farm gold unless the MotM is super easy to allow 3 runs per hour. rPvE 9 is the realistic measurement for an average PvE player that farms gold. You can easily go for 12.000 gold per hour here without being super experienced at the game. Just build 8-11 Windweavers, fight to T3, build Amii, spam lost spirit ship and that's it for the 1p version. 2. In rPvE 9 it is at least 20 times easier winning every single game. Especially with Map of the Month you can collect information about difficult camps beforehand and improve strategies to get more effective with each run. These maps are easily beatable in 20mins, which gives you about 12.000 gold. An average rPvE player should get about 95-100% winrate while an average PvP player probably sits at sub 50% due to the top 20 being much more active than other PvP starters.
  16. RadicalX

    pvpPlayerMatter Pls make pvp reward higher

    This is the one point I don't understand. In which world does PvP have higher rewards than PvE on paper? While the PvP high ranked community seems to be always begging for gold people from the PvE faction are laughing about me with millions of gold. A high elo speedrun PvE team could farm about 100.000 gold in an hour. A high elo PvP player can get up to 6000 gold. An average PvP player will sit on about 3000-4000 in an hour (searching times not even included into the calculation). Might be even less since the skill level isn't normally distributed due to the high activity of the top10/20. I somewhat got in touch with a big amount of former/new PvP players and discussed their problems with the gamemode and alot of them are simply not playing because they hope to see an improved PvP reward system. I will make a video quite soon to break down the problem a little more specifically with a possible solution about the current problem of PvP for new players and former veterans without an upgraded deck.
  17. RadicalX

    The Stress Test Open#7 21.04.19

    Toggy managed to chose the only day where I ended up being completely unable to attend to the tourney this week. At least I can go through the VOD this evening and rewatch the games
  18. RadicalX

    Boring for beginners

    Just to throw in a certain idea here -> Make more PvP quests and let people choose between a PvP or a PvE quest tree. So no one ends up being forced to play a game mode he doesn't want to play. -> Give PvP meaningful gold rewards, especially for losing players the experience is awful. As I already stated, the current values are even worse compared to EA times. This would give people a choice of playing PvP to farm upgrades and cards and it also would be less frustrating to lose matches if you get decent gold/bfp rewards. Someone lost 5 games in a row because of bad upgrades and cards? At least he does get to buy/upgrade some cards then in order to get competitive. Especially people, that don't have the time to grind hours and hours for upgrades and cards, do want to get the cards by playing the games they enjoy, may it be PvP or PvE. I mean just take a look at the amount of people from the PvE community, that started crying about the PvP quest before rerolls got introduced. People don't want to get forced into a gamemode they don't like. This is a quick overview for one of the current Shadow Frost decks that shows the difference between U0 and U3. Almost every single card gets a significant buff, making it more effective from a range about 10-60%. This is huge. Just for comparison: The stat difference between T1 and T2 units ranges about 10-25%. So this is somewhat worse than starting a T1 vs T2 match. Alot of combos aren't working anymore, which decreases the cost efficency of cards even further (burst breakpoints are the most important thing here). One simple example: Nightcrawler + Nasty Surprise is a standard combo for 4/10 decks to burst down the Skyfire Drake, who is used in 4/10 of available color combinations. With an U0 Nasty it doesn't kill the Drake anymore leaving couterplay potential with healing spells like ravage. This has huge implications on how these matchups end up playing out. The lack of charges for core trading cards makes things worse on top of that as you will run out of effective counter methods much faster than your opponent. I'm the current rank 1 player in PvP, yet I wouldn't stand a chance against any decent player, who has an upgraded deck even if my winrate was up to 100% against that person beforehand. There definitely is a decent playerbase outside of the "top 10/20", just take a look at toggys recent rookie tournaments. People are willing to play PvP if there is an environment to do so and there are alot of people from the PvP community, that simply don't bother playing before the reset, as they want to avoid as much PvE grinding as possible. If we take that comparison to the old Battleforge, it is looking pretty grim for PvP. There was a way to get cards and tokens for upgrades just by investing a small amount of money. People had the chance of getting cards and upgrades for a strong PvP deck and PvP players used that opportunity as they wanted to play PvP, not PvE. Right now the game suits to players, that like PvE and you did a good job at that so far, but honestly it is worse compared to vanilla BF for PvP players. I'm pretty sure, that the majority of PvP mains would rather invest 10€ rather than being forced to play 30 hours of PvE over multiple weeks to start playing the game mode they do enjoy. Right now this possibility of paying money is gone for good reasons, but there is no compensation for it for a player who just likes playing PvP.
  19. RadicalX

    About dat repair costs

    That's correct!
  20. RadicalX

    Best Player for Each Faction

    Killroy started playing again about one or two weeks ago.
  21. RadicalX

    Current Proposal: Rewards

    From a competitive side a slower grind would be a problematic aspect for the game. Right now I want to talk specificely about the huge entrance barrier for PvP as I'm not as experienced at the competitive PvE aspect as some other guys here in this discussion. In order to start playing PvP on a competitive level you need at least 1 upgraded and nearly fully charged deck. Otherwise you are at a clear disadvantage, as nearly every single upgrade changes trading patterns. Witthout upgrades you can not use your charge upgrades aswell which simply weakens your late game capabilities by alot. I will start with Lost Souls because it is very popular and one of the cheapest decks. 8*4 Common Cards 4*4 Uncommon Cards 8*4-3 Rare Cards (Motivate charges are unneccessary) 0 ultra rare cards (There is Mountaineer, but 4 mounties are more expensive than the entire deck and you can play without him) Keep in mind that these are specific cards and more than 80 percent need to be obtained through the market. I can't drop an exact bfp number here as the market is way to inconsistent, but from experience it takes about 5-6 weeks to get these cards for an average player. Without these cards you will be unable to compete with serious intentions. If this time window would be even greater after the reset, it would be a serious hit for the PvP scene. A new player would be forced to compete with hardcore players, who are the ones that invest the needed time to get their cards and upgrades asap. Less cards, less upgrades and less experience create a very frustrating triple disadvantage. Something else I want to talk about is the amount of rewards you get for playing PvP. The current gains are worse compared to the token system. Back then you got honor tokens for each victory, that were somewhat valuable for upgrades as rPvE mostly gave you Battle Tokens. Sorry for being a little harsh here, but right now the amount of gold you get in PvP is just useless. In order to upgrade the Shadow Frost deck I mentioned above, you need 168.000 gold. I'm not sure about the maximum value for PvP gold gains, is it 5000 or 6000? (I will show potential grinding times for both values, both are equally low) The god lvl PvP player, that has a 100% wr and plays PvP in a world without que times and loading screens gains 5000 (6000) gold/h. To gain a fully upgraded Shadow Frost deck this means 36 (28) hours of straight PvP gameplay. To be more realistic: The average PvP player has a 50% winrate and has about 20% playtime loss due to que times and loading screens (something like 10 minutes playtime, 3 minutes loading/searching). This reduces the gold/h to 2800 (3360). To gain a fully upgraded Shadow Frost deck this means 60 (50) hours of straight PvP gameplay. Trying to upgrade something like that is atrocious. And keep in mind that alot of other decks like pure Fire require even more gold (246.000) to get upgraded. If this is your first PvP deck you will be forced to play with a competitive disadvantage during that time as everyone else will just farm PvE and get a serious upgrade advantage Just in comparision: An average PvE player can still go for 4player rPvE 9 in order to farm gold and do 3 rounds in an hour which equals 12.000 gold/h. A very good cPvE speedrun player can get waaaay more. If you are here in the game to play PvP, you will be forced to invest gold, bfp and alot of time into PvE even if you are not interested in the game mode.
  22. RadicalX

    Estimated time for release?

    Right now the average player gets 7 boosters & 1050 bfp at best in one week. Getting 21 promo cards from that is impossible (Even a single one could be considered lucky). The people, who got these insane amounts of cards and bfp were simply abusing an unstable market that allows huge benefits through effective trading.
  23. RadicalX

    All-time fastest speedrun rankings

    rPvE 10 1p 14:45, this month is truly super easy.
  24. How to play Frost T1 a PvP Guide by RadicalX - General talk - Hey everyone, apparently I didn't plan on releasing this guide so early, but since I have this finished guide lying around for such a long time I'll just post it now. This time I will talk about Frost T1. I'll try to do pretty much the same I did with my shadow guide: I'll try to provide some basic informations for new players combined with some deeper analysis of matchups and tips for more experienced players too. The stuff I wrote refers only to 1v1, because 2v2 is different in many ways (I said the same stuff in the other guide). General question: Why should I play Frost T1? Let's start with an essential question here. Why would somebody consider playing Frost T1? Because Frost T1 isn't as reliable as Shadow or Fire T1, since Frost has got 2 major weaknesses: 1. no access to a T1 swift unit 2. Frost does very poorly in open fights without a near power well Those two weaknesses combined make Frost very inconsistent in a way, because the difficulty of your game depends primary on the map you are playing on and not the opponents deck-color like in other matchups. Alot of people consider Frost T1 as too risky and that is a big reason why next to no high ranked players used it (only nature T1 was actually even less common). But lets take a look at the upsides of Frost T1. First of all Frost Units are the strongest T1 units in the game in terms of combat stats. Their cost efficency is amazing and they have such an incredible amount of hp which makes aoe damage useless unless your opponent is already T2. Frost may be weak if you can't get a close well situation, but when you manage to take a favourable power well you can smash your opponent from that point on. Frost T1 is unbeatable in a close well fight as long as your opponents doesn't build turrets or is T2 and even then it's possible to win due to the incredible stat efficency of Ice Guardians next to buildings. In addition to that Frost T1 offers a very strong late T1. There is pretty much no colour that stands a chance against you at the late-T1 stage (not even nature as some people may think). Your units already have got an incredible amount of health and homesoil adds another scaling effect in terms of damage which lets you outscale your opponent easily. I guess you can describe Frost T1 like this: "High risk, high reward" - the Deck - This list is going to be short like the one for my Shadow Guide. It just gives a slight overview about the cards to show what was essential/viable/trash. Group 1 - The "must have" Units (You would suffer alot if you decide to play without them): Master Archers Frost Mage Ice Guardian Ice Barrier Home soil Glacier Shell Group 2 - Very strong additional cards, which provide safety for some matchups: Lightblade (purple) Frost Bite (purple) Ice Shield tower Glyph of Frost Group 3 - Cards that are only useful for higher Tier combinations: Frost Bite (red) Frost Sorceress Group 4 - Cards that are only useful in a single certain scenario (usually not viable): Imperials Lightblade (red) Wardens Sigil (both affinities) Northern Keep (blue) Glaciation (blue) Wintertide (both affinities) Group 5 - Trash Northern Keep (red) Northguards Glaciation (red) Construction Hut Defense Tower Some of you may noticed the surprising fact, that I included Wintertide in group 4 despite the fact that the card used to be pretty popular. I want to talk about it a little bit more in detail, because alot of players rated it pretty highly even tho it was a very unnecessary card and pretty much a wasted deckslot. And this is the reason for it: The only unit, that has any kind of synergy with Wintertide are the Master Archers. The other M Units, don't get anything from the knockback immunity and even if you can give your units insane amount of effective hp for a good amount of time, it wont make a difference due to its self-root. Wintertide + Masterarcher spam is not useful against any deck and there is always a better option for Frost T1. -> Master Archer spam + Wintertide loses against Dreadcharger spam if the shadow-player stops every movement command so he doesn't kill his own units with the reflect damage through stomp and it is not really hard to execute that. Motivate makes it even worse in this matchup. -> Master Archer spam + Wintertide is useless against nature, because you wont have enough burst to kill units effectively. Hurricane will at least do a single knockback before you can react unless you are a master at predicting the enemies actions and even tho it seems like hurricane does no damage at all it can deal up to 500 damage in total against a massive unit spam (10 damage that gets applied 5 times against up to 10 units). That is at least a respective amount for 50 power. -> If you try Master Archer spam against Frostmagespam you are going to have a bad time. A very bad time. Frostmages will just demolish you, because it's an S-counter and has a constant knockback. This means you have 0 damage without the use of wintertide and still less damage when you decide to use it and this is just bad. -> In the matchup against Fire Scavenger is just a better version of Dreadcharger, because there is no stomp-effect, which makes it even more reliable (Therefore the blue affinity of Wintertide would be actually better in this matchup). Apart from Firesworn there is no real knockback (Sunderer doesn't count) that makes Wintertide useful in any way. You may think Wintertide helps you to scale better into the late T1 stages since you get a higher efficency the more units you affect with a buff, but honestly ... you already outscale every deck in the late T1 stage due to homesoil, which is the superior buff in every perspective. Wintertide just doesn't have any kind of synergy that makes it worth a slot for a 1v1 deck. I consider Wintertide a 2v2-only card and this is why I would recommend to take this card out of your Frost deck. - The maps - I want to mention the maps right away, because they are super important as a Frost player. I want to give you a little overview about the strength of Frost T1 on each map, because in case your opponent plays shadow or fire as his T1 (which happens probably around 80% of the time) he will try to prevent you from getting map control and close wells. Against nature things are much different, but I'll talk about that a little bit later. Haladur: It alawys felt a little bit weird to play on this map. The middle of the map was pretty much perfect for you, because the power wells were pretty close to each other and it was not possible to get zoned from the first power well. Sounds great at the first look, but there was a massive downside. The main base was super far away from the middle position. This allows swift unit spam for the shadow/fire player and this is pretty nasty to deal with. Your opponent attacks your power well in the middle, but if you try to play units to defend he can just run down to your main base and leave your slow units on the other part of the map. You have to spend your power very carefully on this map, otherwise you'll end up with a massive amount of bound power, that does litereally nothing for you. Uro: This Map is your worst enemy. If your opponent starts immediatly with his swift unit he can block every spot on the map. You are pretty much forced into a dazed fight, which isn't favourable for you at all. Many Frost-players tried to start with 2 units immediatly and sent them to different positions to aquire at least some sort of mapcontrol, but that only works as long as your enemy doesn't pay attention. If you are in a tournament and your opponent picks this map you should consider playing something apart from Frost T1. Lajesh (standard version): You had a wellcluster next to your main base which is easy to defend. But on the other hand it's very hard to apply pressure due to the walls. Your T3 spot could get blocked pretty fast, but if your opponent takes the position himself it opened up opportunities for you to launch a strong attack. Lajesh (without walls): If both player agree to play without walls this map got just so much more interesting. When the power rises you can take an aggressive power well and force your opponent into a close well situation. Even though you had to spend 100 power into the power well you will come out on top. But take care of mortar & phasetower! Yrmia: I loved playing Frost T1 on Yrmia. The well distance is very short and the map in general is very small, which helps you alot to defend yourself against early aggression. If you get yourself into a safe position you will be able to launch super powerful attacks in no time. In my opinion this is the best map you can get as a Frost T1 player. Simai: A very passive map. It is very easy to defend yourself against aggression and you can take alot of power wells on your side of the map without losing to much map control. On the other hand it was very difficult to attack your enemy if he decides to stay on his side of the map. Pretty much an antifun map, but pretty favourable because it allows you to scale. Elyon: This map causes alot of problems, because it's small and mid centered. Since you wont be able to win dazed fights against fire or shadow you would lose the control about the mid position which means you would lose the entire map control. You have next to no available power wells & no T3 spot which causes serious issues. At least your T2 spot was very save, so it's not as bad as Uro. Whazai: It always felt a little bit weird to play on this map. You have no control about the middle of the map in the early stage of the game and your opponent has the pressure advantage. That said, Whazai isn't that bad for you. The map is small and that increases the power of your Ice Guardians (you can spawn dazed IG's with active shield over the cliff at your starting wells). If your opponent gets a little bit too greedy and takes a power well in the middle you can punish him for that. By way of conclusion I want to remark that Phasetower is broken on Whazai. Generated maps (small): The small maps were very threatening, because they are super mid-centered. The player who controls the mid position (usually 1 orb + 4 wells) controls the entire game, sometimes you could even deny T3 spots. In most cases you had at least a save well spot with a T2 orb, but you lost so much map control and you had to fight really well if you try to reclaim it. Generated maps (big): These maps are just bad designed. You need 2 entire minutes to walk up to the enemy. At least the maps were favourable for you, because no early aggression means you can take safe wells and scale into a T3 which should be not too bad for you since Frost T1 allows you to play a timeless one T3 regardless of your T2 colour. Still not the most enjoyable type of maps ... Frost may be very map dependend which makes the T1 a little bit unreliable for your casual ladder games, but just imagine how strong it can get in tournaments. There were a good amount of players, who used to play only pure fire. In a best of 5 you would get at least 2 free wins by picking a good map for Frost T1, because Pure Frost naturally beats Fire in T2. Mastering frost T1 can help you alot in these situations and can make yourself a way more threatening player even for opponents with superior micromanagement and decisionmaking when they aren't flexible in their deck choice. - Matchups - Frost vs Shadow Time to take a look at the specific matchups. I'll just start again with a short look at the core cards in this matchup: Frost: 1. Master Archers 2. Ice Guardian 3. Ice Barrier 4. Homesoil Shadow: 1. Dreadcharger 2. Nox Trooper 3. Motivate Core Strategy: There are 3 possible scenarios that can happen in this matchup and I'll descirbe all of them. First scenario: You don't get a powerwell If your opponent get's the opportunity to deny you a powerwell and forces you to go into a dazed fight you will just lose. Master archer spam is the best thing you can do here, but you need at least 10-11 units with homesoil to stand a chance, because the Dreadcharger just demolishes Master Archers due to its bonus damage against S units. Ice guardians on an open field won't help you, because they have no iceshield and that leaves them as super squishy units. Lighblade costs too much & even a well placed Glyph of Frost won't save you, because there is just not enough dps early into the game to make good use of it. The shadow player motivates the focussed Dreadcharger and destroys you when he gets out of the cc. This is why you want to avoid this situation at every cost! Even if you have to give up alot of mapcontrol, getting a power well is the first very important step to keep yourself in the game. Second scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent attacks you immediatly. This is the most common situation in high ranked. The shadow player has a 100 power advantage and alot of strong players will attack immediatly at this point because this is a very micro intensive fight. The Shadow player tries to pick off your units immediatly, because your units are more cost efficient and if he waits to long or doesn't get his picks you outscale him, defend the well with glacier shell and get a massive advantage. This is why you have to micro your units as well as possible to survive up to the point where you can fight back. The units you need to play are Master Archers and Ice-Guardians. How much of each kind is decided by the units your opponent plays. If he plays many Dreadchargers, Ice Guardians are your way to go, Master Archers perform better against Nox Troopers on the other hand. Be careful with the use of spells at that point.Only use Glacier shell if your well drops really low. Otherwise your enemy can just switch his focus back onto your units immediatly and you wasted 50 power which could be invested into another unit. Only use Frost bite if you are 100% sure to finish off the unit & don't use home soil on just 2-3 units. It's better to get more units into the battle and micro them to build up a huge army. If you defend this attack successfully, the game is nearly won. Third scenario: You get a powerwell and your opponent takes one too Unless you are a really high ranked player this will be the most common scenario. And luckily this one favours you. If both players just take a well you are pretty much save due to the high cost efficiency of your units around your power wells. Just don't let your units die for free and wait a little bit up to a point where alot of power is in the game. Because at that point you can take another power well without any risk. Your opponent lost his momentum and can't attack you at a high power level even with his advantage due to the strong stats of your Frost units. This often results in a situation where your opponent decides to take a power well himself. And this is how you can take advantage of this: Try to take your wells in a way to close the gap between yourself and your opponent. If you reach a point where you just have to build 2-3 Ice barriers for your Ice Guardians so they can walk up to the enemies well without losing their shield to crush your opponent. Your unit composition should consist of 2-3 Ice Guardians + Master Archer spam. The Ice Guardians are a big threat to the Dreadcharger and Master Archers naturally outscale a nox trooper spam espcially since Nox Trooper needs so many extra hits to take down an entire Master Archer squad. The last missing piece is the homesoil that gives you the needed boost to wipe out the entire shadow army. In smaller skirmishes it's important to use Frostbite to pick off units and prevent yourself from getting outmicroed by swiftunits. Tips & cards to watch out for: Starting unit: Always start with Master Archers and don't get baited into the Lightblade start. Yes, the card allows you to skirmish well due to the taunt ability if both players take a well, but if the shadow player attacks immediatly, the card is useless, because it gets demolished by nox troopers while binding more power than other units, that would be more useful in combat. This will make a rush much easier for your opponent. Phasetower: This card can stop your aggression entirely, so try to figure out if your opponent plays it or not. Phasetower is strong enough to allow Shadow fighting in close well positions, therefore even at a mid/late T1 stage it can be risky going too aggressive against it, especially when the Shadow-player can make good use of terrain to protect the turrets from your Ice Guardians. But as long as you make sure to avoid being overaggressive there is not too much to worry about, because your units are strong enough to deal with Phastowers when the port ability gets used. Motivate: Not every Shadow player uses it, because Nature & Frost were sort of underplayed! If your opponent doesn't use it you will reach your power spike earlier to punish your opponent harder. So always be aware if your opponent uses motivate in the first skirmishes or not. Replays: - coming soon - Frost vs Nature Core cards: Frost: 1. Frostmage 2. Ice Barrier 3. Home Soil Nature: 1. Swiftclaw 2. Surge of Light 3. Dryad Core Strategy: This matchup is pretty easy to describe. Spam Frostmages ... and win. Honestly, that's pretty much everything about this matchup. Frost mages negate Windweavers & Spearmen entirely, outdamage Shamans & Dryads by a wide margin and outrange Swiftclaws, who are the only real threat to you. In the early game Swiftclaws do a massive amount of damage to M units and therefore you need to keep Distance from your opponent up to the point where you get enough Mages to oneshot the Swiftclaws in one attackrotation (you need around 8 Frostmages with homesoil support to do so -> 930 damage per rotation, which is enough to kill a swiftclaw even with the dryad damagereduction). The most dangerous thing for you is an early T2 from your opponent. Therefore you always have to be in a good position, where you can threaten a T2 rush while being in a safe distance to be not caught out by an early swiftclaw spam. The most popular decks with nature T1 were pure nature & stonekin (nobody played shadow nature or fire nature with nature T1). Executing a rush against pure Nature is pretty easy, because it lacks an M/M counter in T2 and as long as you split up your Frostmages against Curse of Oink there is nothing that can stop you (kiting Deep One with Frostbite is an easy task). Against Stonekin it gets a little bit more difficult, dependend on the cards you are playing against. Stonetempest for example can perma cc 3-4 mages, but Lightblade hard counters him, so try to play one if you see your opponent switching into T2. Razorshard got nerfed, which makes it easier to outmicro them, Stormsinger doesn't have enough dps to stop you and the other cards are also S units, so as long as your micro is on point you can rush against stonekin aswell even with alle the cc & building protects. Tips and cards to watch out for: Treespirit: The honorable nature players wont use him, but you will still encounter this card due its ridiculous strength. But the good thing for you is the fact, that your Frostmagespam can't get caught out by treespirit, because you can build up Ice Barriers pretty fast to block their entire damage. It's a little bit more difficult to build them in an offensive position, but if you manage to do so it isn't a big deal to win a fight against them. Primal Defender: Never underistimate the influence turrets can have on the game in this particular matchup. While bound power is usually a really bad thing, Primal defender can create a huge zoning are & on some maps (Haladur for an instance) your main base is super far away which allows to to stop any type of aggression. Your opponent can switch into T2 safely, which allows him to stay in the game. Primal Defender & Mark of the Keeper map have a big influence on this matchup, so keep that in mind. You probably won't play against Mark of the Keeper, because it's useless against Shadow (outranged by Phasetower), but people definitely used Primal Defender! But if your opponent doesn't use any buildings be confident try to finish your games in T1! Pure Nature does pretty well against frost splashes in T2 and you really want to avoid that unfavourable gamestage. Tip: Keep your Frostmages at one spot in T1 and don't split them up! You want all of them shooting at the same time at the same target (The damage can be bodyblocked by other units otherwise & having delays between the attacks allows your opponent to time more efficient heals betweeen the attacks) Replays: -coming soon- Frost vs Fire Core cards: Frost: 1. Ice Guardian 2. Master Archers 3. Lightblade 4. Ice Barrier 5. Home Soil Fire: 1. Scavenger 2. Sunstriders 3. Mortar Core strategy: To play against Fire T1 you need to follow one golden rule, that will bring you alot of success: Don't get Greedy! It sounds a little bit silly, but it's really important to handle a pure Fire player and I will explain this in detail now. Like in every other matchup you will be in an defensive position right from the start. If you survive the first attacks against fire you will gain a massive advantage and be able to apply alot of pressure or force your opponent into an early T2. So let's take a look at the different type of attacks a fire player may launch at you and how to defend them properly. How to defend a scavenger rush? I mentioned this scenario already a little bit earlier. It is a really dangerous strategy to play against when the distance between your power wells is really high. So I will choose Haladur to explain how to play in this situation, this map is a prime example due to the high distance between the main base & the middle. What's my starting unit? You have 2 viable starting units: Master Archers & Lightblade. Theses units will be needed in the defense. Lightblade allows you to make easy picks & is super tanky against the Scavengers. But I personally prefer to use master archers as my starting unit, because they are more reliable in the other scenarios against fire and if you see your opponent goes for the scavenger spam anyway you can still play the lightblade (pretty much as a surpise spawn to get a free taunt). - Do I even take a power well in the middle? - Yes, definitely. You stand no chance winning a dazed fight and you have to get access to at least 1 spot in the middle. Take the closest well next to your base (don't worry to much about map control, if your opponent takes the aggressive well on Haladur he puts himself into a close well situation which forces him to either bind power into a defensive mortar or he will just straight up lose the game from that point on). - My opponent started spamming scavenger, what shall I do? - Don't panic! You got less power, but way more efficient units, try to taunt one scavenger with your Lightblade! If your opponent runs away you got a very efficient trade, if he tries to attack, play maybe one additional Ice Guardian. Don't play more than 3 units immediatly! And DON'T use homesoil. If your opponent goes for the powerwell and it drops to 66% health start playing more units, only use glacier shell if it drops below 600hp! Your power management is the most important thing here. While it's usually good to play at your power limit it is important to keep some energy in you backpocket, so you will be able to react when the scavengers start moving down to your main base. Don't get too greedy and spend all your power at one spot, your other base will be left entirely helpless. Keep this in mind: If you play your defense perfectly you can ALWAYS defend a Scavenger spam, so stay calm! Second possible scenario: While the scavengerspam is just one possible scenario there is also one big threat, that is really dangerous to you, when you decide to take an overaggressive powerwell. I'm talking about the mortarrush. The threat of an offensive mortar is really big and forces you to make bad trades, which allows the fire player to snowball. Scavengers will rip Masterarchers apart while Sunstriders are a big threat to Ice Guardians. I finally found a great replay to showcase why this is the most dangerous thing you can encounter in this matchup: How to play this scenario properly: Sometimes you need to give up map control as a Frost T1 player due to bad map conditions. Even though you put yourself at a small disadvantage by taking a defensive power well, beeing too greedy may cost you the game against a top tier player and this just isn't worth the risk. Third possible scenario: You can also be lucky and get into a close well position, where your opponent has next to no chance of winning. But be careful at some positions. If the position is protected by terrain your opponent may try to build up a mortar, which can be really annoying to deal with. It's usually wise to have a well distance around 70-80m, which allows you to spam Ice-Guardians & Master Archers (their stats are faaaaar superior to Scavenger & Sunstrider) from a save distance. In later T1 stages you don't even have to worry about that. It is possible to beat out Fire even with a Mortar, your units have a great health pool and don't die immediatly, and with homesoil you can destroy the Mortar in about 3 seconds. Afterwards feel free to kill every unit around you. Tips & cards to watch out for Wrecker: This card is also used from time to time in a rush due to high dps & the rallying ability. But your Ice Guardian are stronger in theory, so keep in mind that you can take a well against a wrecker spam, but if you lose 1 or 2 units in addition for that things may snowball really damn fast. Firesworn: I didn't mention the card at all so far, but the S knockback can be a problem for your Master archers, so don't rely too much on them! Mine: Some people may try to protect their offensive mortar turrets with some sneaky mines for zone control. It's usually not worth it, because it's easily dodgeable (for the majority of people atleast) but always try to think about it so you don't get caught off guard! Replays: -> another mortar rush by Obesity vs freemka - coming soon- Frost vs Frost Core cards: 1. Ice Guardian 2.Frost Mage 3. Homesoil 4. Ice Barrier This matchup is pretty simple in terms of explanation, but pretty difficult when it comes to execution. First of all I recommend starting with frost mage (I know it's pretty uncommon, but that is pretty much because there were next to no experienced frost players around the high ranked ladder, since everyone played shadow & fire due to the high reliabilty). Master Archers don't have any particular use (there are no unitsquads to finish off and also no S units in general) and they get permacc'd by Frost mage. Lightblade isn't too bad, but it's just really useful against careless opponents who let their units get to close to their opponent before the true fight starts. Otherwise the Lightblade is just too expensive (with the taunt ability nearly as expensive as 2 Iceguardians, who have far superior combat stats). Apart from that there are 2 types of possible fights. 1. Ice Guardians vs Ice Guardians This occurs on small maps with close well positions. The winner of this matchup is going to be the player who has better micro management. So make sure to always keep track on your Ice Shields and move your units properly. In addition to that it's important to play at your absolute power limit, otherwise you will ultimately lose out due to lower dps. Try to have homesoil constantly active in combat (An Ice Guardian spam usually involves more than enough units to make it worth is), but don't get baited into using it too early at the start of the fight, otherwise your opponent may be able to retreat without losing any units and that would be a pretty huge loss for you. 2. Magespam This is why starting with Frostmage is so damn important and valuable. On maps without proper wellpositions to fight at, the Frostmagespam outscales Ice Guardians pretty fast. The amount of mages you need is higher than against nature so don't even think about attacking too early, but after 10+ Frostmages you will be able to oneshot Ice Guardians with a single attack rotation (75*10*1,55= 1163 single target burst damage). If you face a magespam with your magespam make sure to get off the first damage rotation. That's enough to win fight, because at some point your opponents counterattack won't deal enough burst damage to kill mages and your additonal splash damage also adds up over time. So make sure to get a clean & fast damage rotation at the start. Tips & cards to watch out for: Glyph of Frost: Just make sure to respect its threat and you should be able to dodge it. But if you walk into it with your entire army, it can be pretty dangerous, because the enemies dps is really high in such a big spam and getting hit by a good Frost-Glyph can possibly cost you the game. Also be careful when playing a magespam, because you will have all of them pretty close to each other since you need to do this for better focusfire. This may lead to a full 7 unit freeze, which is pretty dangerous. So just dodge it & take the free 50 power advantage. T2 timings: Dependend on your T2 colour you should chose your T2 timing wisely. As a pure Frost player you can negate even a big disadvantage by just going T2, if there is at least some void power in your pool. War Eagles demolishe entire M unit armies. Replays: -coming soon- Frost T1 vs T2 This section will be added for Frost T1 specificly, because it's one Frosts biggest advantages over every other T1. It has enough power to even beat some T2's in a close well situation and I'm not talking about just defending with an extra well, I'm talking about straight up aggression. Here are the decks Frost beats in a T1 vs T2 scenario. 1. Pure Nature: I mentioned this already, Magespam can't be stopped by a pure Nature player. Ghost Spears & Spirit Hunter are useless against the S knockback, Deep one will end up getting kited with Frost bite, and pure Nature doesn't have any other swift units. You don't need a close well to do this, but Ice Guardians will also do the job pretty well combined with the additional mages. Careful: Dependend on your opponents deck you may have to play a lightblade to counter a potential Spikeroot. This is especially important against people who used Tresspirit, because it's often an indicator for root decks. 2. Stonekin: Pretty similar scenario. The Frost Mages will do a great job against stonekin and Ice Guardians are almost impossible to kill (Stonekin lacks high dps units, which leaves the deck with no option to kill any units, while beeing forced to spend more and more power for cc and building protects). Having a Lightblade as a hard counter for Stonetempest can be valuable too (even though Stonetempest isn't too popular anymore). Just make sure to split your units as well as possible against cc and aoe knockups (razorshard). 3. Pure Fire: If the pure Fire player goes T2 early into the game you can punish him by taking a close well. Your Ice Guardians have a great hp pool to survive initial Enforcer charges. Pure Fire has no cc and therefore has to rely on a combination out of units & wildfire to defend attacks properly. On a low power level you can just play either units or spells and that lets the efficency decrease by alot. In later game stages you shouldn't rush Pur Fire players because their defense gets much stronger and you don't want to allow the fire player to scale into the late game (Especially when you are playing pure Frost, T2 is such a great opportunity for you to win the game). 4. Fire Nature: This also works really well, because Lavafield doesn't do enough damage to deal with the hp pool of Ice Guardians. Try to split your Master Archers against Hurricane and focus single Skyfire drakes with Frost bite. The lack of cheap & spammable T2 units will allow you to apply alot of pressure in the close well situation. 5. Bandits: Well Bandits has no cc, the aoe spells don't do enough damage and this makes it alot easier for you. But Bandits has spammable high dps units (Nightcrawler & Darkelf assassins), who can punish you really hard if you micro poorly, so try to kite nightcrawlers with Frost bite and play a Frostmage to deal with the Darkelf assassins. 6. Fire Frost: The success against Fire Frost was really dependend on the situation. Most of the time you should look for a close well against a wellcluster to reduce the efficency of Glacier Shell. Otherwise Coldsnap & Building protects may stall the game up to a point with enough room for Skyfiredrakes and Scythe Fiends. Fire Frost has pretty expensive units though, which means you got a big advantage in the early fights. The other decks had some cards that were to strong to allow a favourable close well situation unless you've got a tremendous lead. -> Shadow Nature has the cheapest cc and the cheapest high dps units -> Pure Frost has War Eagle (The Ability is too damn powerful) -> pure Shadow has Shadow Mages -> Shadow Frost has Lyrish Nasty, cheap high dps units & building protects Overall playing pure Frost was always a great experience for me and I hope we see at least some Frost T1 players in the game, when everyone is able to play again. So I hope you like the guide and I hope it will be useful for some of you in the future. I'll update it with replays, when I found some good ones, currently there are sadly no impressive Frost matches on youtube. If you are interested in more content about playing T1 check out my Shadow T1 guide aswell! I guess that's about it, thanks for reading and have a nice day! Best regards, RadicalX
  25. RadicalX

    Frost T1 PvP Guide by RadicalX

    Thanks! Yes, I want to make a guide for every T1 faction. It may take some time though due to current exams.
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