I came up with this proposal while watching the most recent monthly faeria cup. After discussing this idea with some other players, I have created this post to organize the arguments around my proposal. My proposal…
Registered decks for large tournaments should be made public at the immediate start of the tournament.
The principle reason to release decklists is too improve coverage. The esports casting team is derived from the traditional sports commentator team. Their primary role is “to describe each play or event of an often fast-moving sporting event.” By explaining the game to the viewers, the coverage team lets more users feel apart of the action. They make the game more accessible to a wider audience. But faeria presents unique challenges not found in traditional sporting events. Its not usually possible to understand a player’s strategy or plays unless you know the deck that player is playing. In order to understand and explain a player’s decisions, you need access to the same information that the player you are trying to comment on has. If you don’t give the coverage team decklists, they won’t have the information they need to cover the match, and the game will be less accessible, and less popular, because of it.
If you accept that the coverage team needs decklists, the only remaining question is how to give them decklists. The obvious sollution is to simply give them the decklists at the start of the tournament. But by doing so, you open the door for collusion between the coverage team and players. If the coverage team were to release the information to individual players, those players would receive an unfair advantage over their opponents. The only fair way to release decklists is to simply release them to everyone.
The advantages to public decklists should be obvious at this point. The drawbacks are less obvious. It can be argued that by releasing decklists you change the game of Faeria in way that is undesirable. Players would lose some of their ability to trick their opponent. The value of easily played around cards also goes down, as the opponent can simply play around them. I believe that these changes are relatively minor. I think players, in general, overestimate their ability to trick their opponents and overestimate their ability to play around their opponents cards.
I understand your point about coverage, but I disagree with the reasoning at the end. If you don’t run Garudan/Firestorm in your deck, for instance, and your opponent doesn’t know it, even if he’s seen a few of your games when you didn’t play it, he might still not be sure that you don’t have it and will play around it. If you publish your list, he’ll know exactly what he has to play around and what he can overlook and he will swarm the board without any thought, knowing he’s safe. Now, that goes both ways, of course, but I don’t think you can call this minor.
There’s also the idea of a new tricky build or tech, but anyway the tricks would be revealed by other players/streaming your game, so it might work for the first games only anyway. By revealing the decklists, it simply erases that surprise for the first few games. That is minor I think, at least if you aim for the top spots.
Your whole post is based on the assumption that the casting team need deck lists. This assumption is false. The casting team should be at a high enough level to know what each of the meta decks are. If the casting team can’t identify the decks that people are playing then they that is on them and perhaps they shouldn’t be casting. Not once was I unable to identify either players deck within the first couple of turns during the monthly cup.
Your suggestion would be very harmful to excitement that tournaments bring. Players just wouldn’t bother bringing exciting tech cards to surprise their opponents and games will be much more standard. Also a lot of tournament players may not want people using their decklist. We put a lot of effort trying to perfect every card in our lists to try to get an advantage over our opponents, players just being able to take them for their own use without us having to give our approval would be frustrating.
If you look at the hearthstone scene, there was quite a bit of an uproar that blizzard decided to release all of the players decks before the summer qualifiers, most people saying the decision was ridiculous. It would be the same here.
Yep definitely undervalue the element of surprise there, I would take my opponent’s deck list and cross it off like a shopping list. For example: “oh my opponent played firestorm and doesn’t run a 2nd, I can just flood the board and win the game cause I won’t get punished” or “Should I save my unbound for a big threat, oh wait he doesn’t have any big threats left time to go face.” Games wills become more linear and less logic is required making the game more basic as well. I’d rather the casters be a little in the dark than have the whole playstyle of faeria ruined in tournament play.
“The casting team should be at a high enough level to know what each of the meta decks are.”
What you are asking for isn’t possible. Not all decks are part of the meta before the tournament. Because of the monthly tournaments, the best deckbuilders are incentivized to hold their innovative brews, so how could the casters be aware of them?
The rest of the arguments in brought up in these responses amount to, “the game would be changed too much by public decklists.” As I said in my original post, I believe you all overestimate how effectively you can play around things. It’s quite common for high level players to overestimate the value of information in card games. The truth is that if you have a knife, knowing your opponent has a gun doesn’t do anything to change the fact that your opponent is going to shoot you. His gun is better than your knife.
card games are just about randomly clicking buttons anyway ^^
Ahh man, That advice just destroyed my collection
Regarding tournament decklists, we’re looking to make it much easier for us to pull the lists from players and post it after a tournament is complete. Right now it’s not a very simple procedure, though possible.
Posting them before a tournament begins certainly does create several issues, including a lot of those mentioned above. It has a strong possibility to limit deck diversity and tech cards used. We’ll likely do the former before considering the latter.
Regardless, thanks for the feedback.
In the medium term, a compromise sollution is to give the coverage teams decklists for the matches they are supposed to be covering. While there would be some potential for collusion between the coverage teams and individual players, the risk is small.
okay seriously though, what makes you think casters need decklists so badly?
I think there are other things to improve first and anyway them having decklists would probably change nothing
The function of the casters is to explain and break down the plays being made to make the game more approachable and easier to understand for the audience. By giving casters decklists, you give them the information they need to explain the game. It wouldn’t make casters perfect, but it should improve their performance.
There could be and almost certainly are other things to improve first. I’ve never claimed there aren’t more important priorities.
After the tournament. That’s a very good idea. Not for the casters but for us.