Movement heavily underpriced


#1

Hi,
I want to talk about a matter that is bothering me a lot in the game. As you could guess from the title it is movement. Both extra movement from card effects and bonus movement that some creatures have is super cost effective. Thus I think the cards should be way more expensive. To make my point clear i will bring some examples.

Example 1: Campfire vs Triton Banquet

This is a positive example. Both Triton Banquet and Campfire give +1/+1, but Triton Banquet also gives Jump for 2 more fearia. Here we have an example how high valued jump is. Ironically IN NEARLY ALL OTHER CASES movement comes for free.

Example 2: Triton Warrior vs Maceman

Triton Warrior and Maceman are both 4/4 creature with 4 cost. Triton Warrior requires 2 blue lands and can only be placed on a blue land but has the ability “jump”. While Maceman is rarely seen, the Triton Warrior is a staple creature in most mono blue decks. This is becuase jump is such a strong ability. Jump gives you a lot of opportunities to pressure the enemy as well as the possibility to double collect without having to build lands between your well and the opponents well, which saves you ressources from the power wheel and accelerates your game. Another great benefit of having jump is, that you can secure a value trade more likely. If you run into a player and finish your turn two tiles away from the enemy creature which is a creature with normal movement, then you can attack the enemy next turn but he cannot attack you. If two creatures with normal movement are two tiles away from each other nobody can attack the other creature, meaning that the one that moves up a tile has to risk that the enemy buffs his creature or weakens your creature and then engages your creature. Preemptively buffing a creature vs a blue player is usually a risky thing because of frogify, which can ruin the value trade even more. And one good value trade often decides the map control midgame. Compared to this the requirement to have two more blue lands than the maceman is nothing, especcially since as first player you cant even place the maceman on turn 1 and on turn 2 the triton warrior can already be played. Also most of the other blue creatures also need 2 or more blue lands, so that you have to build this land anyway.

Example 3: Windstorm charger

We have a creature with 2/4 for 3 fearia which already is a cost efficient creature. But this creature then gets 2 extra effects on top of that. The first on is an event-related buff and the second is extra movenet in form of charge 2. Charge 2 is weaker than jump, because you usually still need land to walk over and you have to move in a straight line. However, considering the board leaves only five tiles between your opponent and yourself and the maximun distance between 2 tiles is seven and charge 2 still allows you to double collect without building lands between the wells, it is still a stong ability. Like the Triton Warrior the Windstorm charger also only needs 2 lands which you have to build anyways and the combination of the movement with an attack buff allows really cost efficient value trades which you -again- can choose. While the charge ability itself in combination with the stat line is not that dangerous the combination of mobility with a high attack stat is super dangerous. However the 4 Hp stat line makes it nearly impossible to remove this card in a cost efficient way. Fireball does not kill, Choking Sands costs more. Forgify costs more AND leaves a frog. Last Nightmare costs a lot more. and placing a creature with taunt next to it, leaves you open to yellow removal as well as a trade with a buffed Charger.

Example 4: Flash Wind vs Desert Twister

Flash wind moves your creature, while desert twister teleports your creature. For desert twister you have to fulfill the requirement of having five lands as well as the restriction that you can only teleport on your deserts. Flash wind on the other hand considers the extra mobility of your creature and you can also move onto the enemie’s territory, while this card requires 3 lands less. Overall i consider Flash wind the more verstaile card with a smaller land restriction. Unlike 2 lands 5 lands at least is a real restriction. in combination with high mobility creatures this card allows you to cross most of the map in 1 turn for 0 cost.

Example 5: Horsmaster/Grovecaller

Both the Hosemaster and the Grovecaller are cards that give a huge boost to mevement for 1 turn, allowing- again- to make a good value trade which can snowball the game (especially when Seifir does the value trade). Giving an immobile crature witha huge statline Charge 3 or teleport it to a forest, enabling it to move over half the map, all while getting an extra collector (Horsemaster is from his statline alone 2-3 fearia worth wihile Grovecaller’s statline is worth 3 fearia and the Hosremaster), makes the game super snowbally, especially since there are few options to play around if the enemy has seifir+Horsemaster or verduan force+horsemaster/grovecaller, taking over the double collection spot. Mobility gets more valuable on creatures with higher stat lines and to give this movemant freely to such a creature for nearly no cost makes such a creature hyper cost efficient.

Summary: The combination of high mobility with huge statlines and/or huge buff potantial allows to take over the control of the map easily without having to spend much faeria. In case of improved movement creatures it even allows a double collect without having to use ressources to build land between the wells. This would only be okay, if decks containing such mobility would fall off late but that is not the case

What do you think about this matter? Do you agree or disagree with me (and in case of disagreement: Where do you think my thoughts are incorrect?)?


#2

I disagree with you slightly for one reason. Movement is the only thing that makes this game really interesting. Other ccgs don’t value board positioning at all, and its really the thing that makes this game unique. If we try to balance the movement, it could only be done in 3 ways, with land cost, faeria cost, or stat values in creatures.

If we increase the land cost movement would be worthless because it would happen too late into the game to make a difference, see windborne champion.

If we increase faeria cost movement would be too costly to be effective, those cards still take up deck spots and your faeria is a limited resource, even if you use your movement to get more faeria the increased cost would negate the point and the utility is niche enough that the cost can easily sink a movement card, see triton chef, or triton banquet.

And finally the stats need to be on par with other creatures, or there would be no reason to play the creatures to begin with, mobility doesnt really matter if the creatures that are able to move cant contest the board on which they move around on.

Moving around a board is what this game is based on, and if we take away the strengths of the maneuverable creatures, we take away the biggest strength of the game. Games have to reward the players for playing the game in the way that makes the game most fun, or interesting, or else people will just play the game in the most boring, but effective, ways.


#3

I’d say it’s slightly underpriced - mainly due to a small number of strongly OP cards.

  • Maceman is somewhat UP - but I don’t know if that’s a big problem. Neutral cards are mostly there to fill gaps.
  • Triton Warrior is pretty good but I don’t think it’s unbalanced.
  • Windstorm Charger is one of the most OP cards at present IMHO and in many others here too. I expect a nerf sometime soon, which will probably cause a lot of deck redesigning.
  • Desert Twister I don’t see much. A lot of its value comes from the ability to also teleport enemies.
  • Grovecaller is OP and identity-breaking IMHO.
  • Horsemaster - I think it’s a very good card but I wouldn’t say it reaches the point of being unbalanced.

#4

Well they heard you, Grovecaller is now 3 lands requirement. But wont change anything since the decks with grovecaller need 3 lands minimum anyway without spamming blank.


#5

Yeah, I agree that’s hardly a nerf. Problem remains IMHO.


#6

Well, better give it two small nerfs instead of one very big nerf that proved to be overkill.


#7

I can partly agree with it. However, in a certain sense i disagree.

First of all movement is not necessarily restricted to the early game. I would say that jump gets slightly weaker in the late compared to other movement tricks, while charge gets stronger in the late game because you have more land to move on. Movement is an issue in the early game but also relevant in mid and late. Cards like grovecaller become stonger in the late because you have more teleportation spots. The ability to fly is pretty much useless in the late and aquatic is a bad ability in the late.

I can agree to the statement that movement itself needs stats and/or effects to synergise with. However if you have these traits the synergy is really stong. Movement, without doubt, is a benefit. You gain the ability to double collect, you can threaten your opponent’s creature uncontested and are faster on the board and want to tell me that I have to accept that all of this comes for free?

I can live with the idea of having cost efficient jump cards in the game if the blue identity is tied to it. Green for example has pretty beefy and very cost efficient big creatures. However green pays a price for that. The smaller creatures of green are not that good and have more supportive character and green does not have good removal. Blue on the other hand has the ability to control the board with his jump creatures and then playing out super efficient big creatures like the wavecrash colossus. And that is the point where it is not okay. You cannot have super efficient early game cretures which automatically develop super efficient late game creatures. Either you are strong in the early and have to close out games fast or at least have a huge advantage to compensate for costly late game creatures or you have strong creatures in the lategame and have to stall out the game.

A good example of such a creature is in my oppinion the prophet of tides. He can snowball games really hard, but the land movement becomes weaker when the game takes too long, because more land is placed to block the free movement.

Winstorm charger is in my oppinion a really badly designed creature. With 4 HP and 3 fearia there is not a single card in game which can remove this creature cost efficiently aside from attacking with a creature. But it can run away from the creature with his mobility and even turn the fight and get a huge value trade because of his event boost. And again, yellow events is not a deck that scales badly into lategame because of other cost efficient creatures (windstorm colossus). This card needs to get nerfed heavily like +1 fearia- 2 atk and -1 HP.

And yes I think if a creature has the ability to double collect every turn, it should have a higher price. Basically you should get punished for not using the cards potential to the ful extend. And blue/yellow events usually try to take control of the wells anyways. Having control over 3 of the 4 wells (which is not that hard with blue jump or yellow events) boosts your income by 100% while also starving your enemy from such boosts.

Also there would be some other possibilities to nerf movement like adding a negative effect into it. Let us take a look at the dune drake, who has an enormous board control early, due to his mobility and his ability to fly. However for this the dune drake pays a price- it is unable to collect faeria. And when I compare the dune drake to the Trition warrior I think the warrior is still the better card. Other possible stuff would be losing attack or life each turn, so you have only limited time to have an impact with this card.


#8

This. The only card with movement that really needs a nerf.