Appearing of consistent OTK deck(s) -> Starting hand suggestion

Hello there,

This topic may seem a little bit late, I know and I don’t see much of a chance that my suggestion being put into the game, but I’d like to start an argument about it, and talk about how to solve (if anyone else feels the same) the following problem. Oh, and I’m sorry, this is going to be long. :frowning:

First of all, I’d like to congratulate to the devs, and the community, because in my dictionary, a card game is becoming awesome and mature, when people are building consistent OTK (One Turn Kill) decks, and go for ladder/more serious matches with them. Since these kind of decks require hard combo building, and somewhat sophisticated deck construction, I take this sign as playing a card game which can provide such complexity. Today, as I was going for some ranked games I was surprised to see that from 4 matches, 4 opponent used the same Green/Blue Ninja Toad OTK, and my stat became 2/2, so in my opinion, the deck was consistent, and required great planning.

This got me thinking. Faeria’s basic mechanics are similar (if not the same) as Hearthstone (I’m sorry if I can’t talk about that game here, in that case please remove my topic). Of course a world-famous card game’s structure should be followed, so success is guaranteed, but I think that Hearthstone never grew up to the point, where it could be taken seriously. If someone has ever played a card game competitively (I myself was playing Yu-gi-oh! for years in that manner), he/she knows that Hearthstone only became an eSport, because Blizzard wanted to make it into the competitive scene (I hope I won’t be stoned here for this statement, I surely was on another forums), and duuuhhh… they have money. I’m sure Faeria is (and will be) a better choice for an online competitive card/board game.

And here’s my problem: Faeria decks can only consist 30 cards, and the starting hand allows you to draw 3 cards at the beginning of a match. I’m sure there’s a complex mathematical reason for this, but that means you can access the 1/10 of your deck at that point of the game, but also means that you have 1/10 of a chance to start your combo right at the beginning. That is, in my opinion, too little, and grows the role of luck, right from the first turn. Of course I know every card game has a luck factor, but Hearthstone never really wanted to thin it down, and then again, it’s like saying Uno should be played as competitively as Poker.

What I would suggest, is that raise the “deck cap” to 35, so a deck could consist 30-35 cards, and make the starting hand bigger, like 4, or even 5 cards (yes, that plus one card can make miracles). This is why I’ve said that I know, that it’s not likely to be taken seriously, so I’d like to hear your opinions about it as well. The other option that, in my opinion, could help, is making a “search from your deck, and add it to your hand” function, which would help make one’s deck thinner, and open a door for better consistency. I’m thinking on cards like “Gift: Search from your deck for a creature with 3 attack or less, and add it to your hand.”

Sooo, what do you guys think? Would this be a worthy topic to start an argument about?

Thanks in advance,

Hey Sinnerman, I was your opponent two times out of these four. I’m glad (and a little surprised) you still enjoyed to play against this type of otk deck. :slight_smile:

So, regarding your suggestions:

1) Increased deck size limit.
30 cards feel like pretty few to build a deck, indeed. Especially considering you can include each card 3 times. With a higher “deck cap”, I suspect you mean to make decks being able to still consist of a minimum of 30 cards, but a somewhat higher maximum? Like 35 or even 40 cards?
If so, I basically approve this - in constructed at least! Scrolls, another CCG had a similar system, where deck size contained of 50+ cards, while each card could be included 3 times (or 2 times in case of legends). So if you wanted, you were able to fill in your whole collection. (Which was stupid, because a bigger deck = more inconsistency of what you draw, so basically almost everyone went for exactly 50 cards anyways.)

However, there’s only one thing that’s bothering me: Other than Scrolls, both Faeria and Hearthstone have a fatigue mechanic (once your deck is empty, you take 1, 2, 3, 4… and so on damage for each overdrawn card). (Scrolls just had a graveyard where any card that wasn’t active on the board went. So when you got through your deck once, the graveyard was shuffled and you could cycle through it again and again.)
I like the fatigue mechanic more, as you can build decks around it: Fatigue decks (= survive your opponent) and mill decks (make your opponent burn cards by exceeding his hand limit and forcing him to draw anyways). So my only objection is this: I’m not sure how a flexible deck size would affect these type of decks.

2) Bigger starting hand
The issue about bigger starting hands is pretty much the same as changing mulligan the way that you redraw first and shuffle the sorted out cards into your deck afterwards. The devs explained the issue about that here.

Summed up, a bigger hand size (or more consistent starting hand) favors decks that either rush or combo (OTK). The thing is, combo and rush decks tend to ignore the opponent’s strategy for the biggest part. They have a pretty much fixed plan on what to draw to finish asap. Combo (OTK) even more than rush.
And I think pretty much everyone here agrees that rush decks don’t need a buff right now. I don’t think I want combo decks (at least the current SuperToad) to be buffed any further either. I didn’t do the math here, but considering a combo deck usually needs a certain amount of cards to begin with, a bigger hand size would favor it even more than a more consistent mulligan.

According to Ramora, the player who shared the SuperToad deck I played vs. you, he got win/lose ratio of 1.5 with the deck already (@Ramora: Thank you for sharing by the way. It’s so much fun to play it. :smiley:). So it may be way more consistent already than you thought. :wink:

  1. So, if you want to avoid buffing rush or 30-card combos decks, here’s another suggestion: Let’s say you increase the deck size to contain between 30 and 36 cards. What about increasing the starting hand to 4 cards, only if your deck contains of exactly 36 cards? Both, rush and combo tend to avoid adding any cards uneccessary. (SuperToad for example would probably remove at least the 3x wisdom, as their only purpose is to effectively decrease your deck size by cycling through your deck.)
    Also, unlike in Hearthstone, card advantage isn’t that important in Faeria, as 1. you need to gather enough faeria to play everything first and 2. you can draw up to 2 cards per turn anyways, if needed (admitted, at the cost of building a land/collect +1 faeria this turn, but it’s possible!).
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I’m of the opinion that starting hand size and deck size are about where they need to be. Luck should be part of card games. Card games are fun and interesting because no two games play out exactly the same and you can always get lucky and draw well or poorly, so even when playing against a player who is much better, or much worse, than you, the outcome isn’t predetermined.

I also think you are overestimating how random the draw is in this game. For reference, if you have a specific card (3x) that you are trying to draw in the first 3 turns, and you hard mulligan for that card as your mulligan strategy, Then in over 60% of your games, you will get at least one copy of that card in the first 3 turns.

Hey guys, thanks for your replies.

@Taiyodori I’m glad not only someone, who’ve played this deck, but has played it against me replied. Yes, I quite enjoyed the matches, first I was really surprised, since I wanted to improve my MonoBlue skills, and would’ve never expected anything like an OTK in ladder yet, but the next time we were matched together, the deck made me think, and try to abuse the weakness of the deck with the power of spamming creatures of the MonoBlue. Playing against an OTK deck is exciting, and quite the challenge. And as I’ve said before, OTK’s may do some damage to your sanity, but surely do good to the future of the given card game. :smiley:

So, for the first matter, yes I was thinking about that, and of course more cards equals less chance of drawing the right ones, but I think that the ability to put one or more extra cards to complete a given synergy one has planned would be a nice addition to the game. In Yu-gi-oh! (“YGO” for any later use :smiley: ) if you (or your opponents) have emptied your deck, you lost the game, which seems harsh at first, but YGO had a million ways to reach into your Graveyard and put some cards back into your deck. I like the fatigue system better as well, but here, you’ve mentioned something I haven’t thought about, but would be really great to have in Faeria: the Graveyard. And of course the ability to do something with the cards there, or have cards which has a summoning cost of having x cards in a given colour in your Graveyard. What do you think about this?

For the second matter, I thank you for reminding me the devs’s post, for some reason I forgot about it. Of course it makes sense, and I will think about it further. I like your suggested solution as of now, makes sense, since fatigue and control decks somewhere aim to have more kind of resources than the opponent. I think the problem would be the cards of the future expansions, I mean what if one year from now, there’s going to be 30 Haste creatures? A rush deck wouldn’t mind that, I guess. I also think that card advantage isn’t that important here, I’m more concerned about getting a match started with the wrong cards could mean you’re not able to win that game at all. I’ve thought about another possible solution, I talk about it in the last part of the post.

@Ramora Of course luck should be part of card games, sorry if I’ve wrote that like I want predetermined games, I’m pretty tired today, and can’t write down my thoughts clearly. :smiley: Faeria should have a luck factor, but if it isn’t controlled properly, I fear that the dependability of the competitive scene will slowly fade away. Anyways, you are right about me overestimating the randomness of the draw engine, but imagine a future championship, or a series of important ranked matches, where two, or three times a player can’t draw anything, but late game cards and buffing events on his/her first three turns, while the other player can set up, for example, a Hyper Toad OTK. But naturally I accept if everyone else is on the opinion that then that player should balance more during deck construction, these are just my humble thoughts.

I was thinking though, and I realised, I forgot about mentioning the mulligan. I had an idea of the ability of mulliganing twice, or from the three starter cards you could choose one, or two cards instead of three, and it would be guaranteed, that you won’t get that/those card(s) back (I mean right clicking on them, instead of left clicking). (My recurring problem is the returning Flash Winds, I don’t know why, they always come back to my starting hand.) What do you guys think about changing the mulligan in the mentioned, or any other way?

I think my degenerate all in toad list has generally favorable matchups against the field already. If you smooth its draws, even at all, its likely to just be the only deck worth playing.

EDIT: I mean, the deck is crushing midrange red because its so much faster than it, on average. the degenerate combo deck is often even capable of racing yellow rush decks.

Your deck is quite amazing, but can be countered with patience and some creature placement, so I think smoothening the draw would benefit countering the strategy as well, since most of the time you go for some early creatures/events. Anyways I wasn’t thinking about the current game and the meta. Obviously, the game will change over time, new cards will be added, and stats of the cards are going to change. I’d have liked to talk about future gameplay, some months from now, as the game will be more tuned, I’m sure more OTK and “all in” decks will surface, and as you’ve said, people will abuse their strenghts, and they will be the only decks worth playing, but people will find counter measures against those (more fast, easily accessable como’d) decks. And anti-meta will be born. This is how a meta-game usually develops. But then, to access the “combo triggering cards” will be more than essential, and right at the beginning of a match. So this is why I’ve brought up the topic of ensuring some wider access to one’s deck. Like a mulligan, where it is guaranteed you don’t get the same card back.

Of course now, it would break the game, and maybe rush decks wouls rule unquestionably, since there are simply not enough cards yet to make a “countering-chain”, but if to be taken seriously, I think Faeria will need to change the method of the starting hand.

I think the balance of amount of cards in your startinghand, the decksize, decklimits and mulligan are good right now. Have you watched Faeria ESL or other competitive tournaments lately? Sometimes people only build two lands (deserts :rubyfish:) and then just +1 card each turn. I like the idea of combo-decks, but there are currently plenty of tools to cycle through your deck, I dont think we need to make it easier for the OTK’ers :slight_smile:
But on the other hand, I thought the new mulligan sounded terrible - but now I enjoy it :smiley: So, trying new stuff doesnt hurt! I am sure the devs have already tried different amounts of cards in startinghand etc though.

Aside from increasing the size of your starting hand, I don’t see how a flexible deck size of 30-40 cards would hurt constructed or tournament. Fatigue decks would probably benefit from that and otherwise it just allows some strategies that may not be possible with just 30 cards. Like Foxclear posted in the other thread: Sometimes you just want to include more cards than you’re able to. :wink:
Most of the time, people would probably aim for 30 cards anyways for consistency reasons. So in my opinion, at least the flexible deck size part of the suggestion would just allow new stuff.

Did I say that ? Can’t remember :slight_smile:

Well, that’s not wrong anyway, the only balancing issues would be with mill/fatigue decks and there arent actually (and decks would want to aim for ~30 cards anyway)

Increasing the starting hand size would buff the kind of decks that shouldn’t be buffed. It would make playing Toad OTK and Aurora’s Dream easier. Decks like that shouldn’t be the most popular ones, because playing against them all the time would get annoying.

Flexible deck size would be nice. Since including 3 of everything is usually ideal, a lot of decks only have 10 different cards in them. If you could make bigger decks, the increased amount of unique cards would make the matches more varied. Maybe even increasing the minimum deck size to 35-40 would be good. I would make some bigger decks even if it wouldn’t be ideal, since it would be interesting to have more options within that one deck.

@Taiyodori @Reath I don’t know wether the devs have tried the deck cap at 40 cards. Of course this would somewhat kill fatigue decks and matches would be +5-10 minutes long in average, but I would try out Faeria with a deck consisting 40 cards, or a deck where I can have 31-32 cards.

@J0k3se I’ve watched some finals, semi-finals from ESL, and the Monthly cup, and was surprised top players surrender on the 4th-5th turn. I asked about it on the Twitch chat, and someone said that it isn’t a rare occasion when the chance of you winning is literally close to 0% in the early game. I agree, I always surrender if I get a bad hand, and the enemy just got the perfect hand for his/her deck, but on a tournament, where you could win a shitton of money, it’s kinda surprising. I now agree, in the current state of the game, an increased starting hand size would be a bad idea, but I would try going for a mulligan, which would guarantee that you don’t get back the same card you sent back to your deck.

@Foxclear you’ve said that in a Deck constructing topic, on a G/Y Sacrifice deck sharing. :smiley:

I guess the outcome of the topic is coming to be a flexible deck size (30-40 cards) which would allow more strategies, and maaaybe a more consistent mulligan.

Yeah, people do surrender very early, which is surprising. Since the winner must play the same deck again, it would be wise to play it out even if your losing - just to see what type of tech-cards your opponent is playing!

And in competitive I tend to play as long as I draw my last possible card, since the opponent is a human being too, and can make mistakes.

So the decklists are not made public beforehand.
Thought I read somewhere that it was.

Toad seems countered with sufficient taunts and defensive playing based on the 3 games I played against it. But don’t take my word for it as I am new to the game. And you need hard removal readily if the toad player is going for a large toad.

The meta/feeding cycle will kick in if it really gets popular. People will play deck designed to prey on it. I have seen decks designed that seems to prey on Red Burn/Mid.

Taunts are great at slowing down a SuperToad deck. But playing defense is a fundementally bad thing to be doing against SuperToad decks. The longer the game goes, the more powerful the combos SuperToad has access too. Between three toads and three shifting tides, it’s incredibly hard to create a defense that can’t be broken through. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a defense. Your only real shot at beating SuperToad is through pressuring. If you can afford to have a measured defense while pressuring, even better.

But the toad deck doesn’t have to be a 1 turn kill, it can be 2 turn kill. 2 turn kills can happen quite fast. If you don’'t have a hard removal after a medium size toad >10 attack hits, or no taunts, gg.