Brainstorming dominant strategy avoidance

TheDragonHermitTheDragonHermit Posts: 418 Mover and Shaker
A major issue of this game, in my opinion, is the presence of a dominant strategy, currently the one that jumps immediately to  mind would be cycling which, if you have the right cards, becomes an easly reached win condition for all colors. This results in boring gameplay, certain cards being almost vital to compete, limited deck design, and repetitive decks. This is a far cry from paper Magic, in my experience, where cards have lots of variety and the decks you face from different people are never the same.

How can we get this sort of variety in MtGPQ? 

What would influence deck design in the game? 
Or do you think that things are fine as they are? 
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Comments

  • babar3355babar3355 Posts: 762 Critical Contributor

    Interesting question. 

    One thing that would make the game more nuanced would be to increase the deck size from 10 cards to something greater.  I understand the challenge for newer players so perhaps you could scale the decks based on the player level. 

    Something like:

    Bronze - 10 card deck

    Silver - 12 card deck

    Gold - 15 card deck

    Platinum - 20 card deck

    I think this would really force players to be more creative and not just put 3 creatures and the same 7 mana fixers, draw cards, and defensive cards in each deck.  It would also make the game less easy as you can't rely on getting your same bomb cards each game.  Similarly it would help mitigate looping decks like we have seen with Swarm Intelligence, Omniscience, Baral, etc.  It might even muffle cycling decks a little bit because there aren't enough cheap cycling cards to fuel the engine. (Although I think all cycling cards should have their cycling cost multiplied by 2).

    Another big qualm of mine if the deck slots.  I don't understand why we have to pay exorbitant sums of resources to save decks.  Its such a pain to either have to save over a deck I will use in an upcoming event or just rebuild my new deck each time I switch nodes.  The inconvenience of deck slots is a big drag on innovation for me because I just use my prebuilt decks and modify them to meet objectives rather than building new and interesting decks. If they want to charge us for deck slots, sell us 10 slots for 200 crystals.  Not 1 measly deck slot.  Its a really annoying decision to force customers to spend resources on convenience.  No D3, the game should be fun and convenient.  Then you can charge for more fun content.


  • TheDragonHermitTheDragonHermit Posts: 418 Mover and Shaker
    The issue with increasing the size of decks is that each Planeswalker has a set amount of each type of card they are allowed to use. For instance my level 60 Ob can have 8 of each sort of card so that would be a 4 card leeway for your proposed platinum. So either we would need to have multipliers or deck content would become more restrictive. An odd problem to balance.
  • babar3355babar3355 Posts: 762 Critical Contributor

    Can't we just linearly scale the PW deck restrictions for each tier?

    So for your Ob Example:

    8/8/8 Bronze,

    8 * (12/10) = 9.6 so 10/10/10 Silver

    8 * (15/10) = 12 so 12/12/12 Gold

     8 * (20/10) = 16 so 16/16/16 Platinum

    Seems pretty simple to me.  If you apply the same formula to PWs regardless of level you would get a similar result. Just round up anything .5 or greater and down for anything less

  • Skiglass6Skiglass6 Posts: 76 Match Maker
    Maybe add 4th creature slot that can only be filled with a creature that has defender or reach (not vigilance)  It would make menace more important. 
  • wickedwitch74wickedwitch74 Posts: 171 Tile Toppler
    Skiglass6 said:
    Maybe add 4th creature slot that can only be filled with a creature that has defender or reach (not vigilance)  It would make menace more important. 
    This would also greatly boost green and white weenie decks. Green's biggest advantage is creatures (number and size), but this is rendered moot by allowing only three creatures on the battlefield. 

    This neutralizes strategies that go "wide", instead forcing us to rely on BIG creatures. The problem with this is that Green's creatures aren't necessarily the biggest!

    I hope Ixalan design addresses this.
  • KinesiaKinesia Posts: 384 Mover and Shaker
    I think the most important first step for breaking stagnation is making _all_ cards usable (even just by adjusting costs). _Especially_ all commons and uncommons should be usable, but the rest too.
    Since there are a lot of cards with the _same_ problems this can be done in groups and streamlined, it's not completely "analyse each card individually".
  • luckyvulpiluckyvulpi Posts: 40 Just Dropped In
    Since we're thinking of new ideas to add variance to the game, what do you guys think about having cards that synergize with specific planeswalkers.  Like in paper magic there are cards like Avid Reclaimer or Guardian of the Great Conduit that do something extra while you control a Nissa Planeswalker.  In Mtgpq, there could be some cards that draw you an extra card, or gets bigger but only if its in a Nissa deck or something.

    I feel like that would provide some reason for everyone to experiment and build with other planeswalker instead of using only Koth since hes the best red planeswalker and theres little reason to pick anyone else.  It could also indirectly buff the origin planeswalkers and help new players have a competative deck quicker if the card bonuses are strong enough and they arn't locked away as a mythic or masterpeice that most new players will probably never see.  I can already imagine a new player completing Heroic Encounters - Jace to get Jace's Mindseeker or something so that their Jace1 is good enough for the blue node in one of the events.
  • wereotterwereotter Posts: 1,112 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited November 2017
    babar3355 said:

    Interesting question. 

    One thing that would make the game more nuanced would be to increase the deck size from 10 cards to something greater.  I understand the challenge for newer players so perhaps you could scale the decks based on the player level. 

    Something like:

    Bronze - 10 card deck

    Silver - 12 card deck

    Gold - 15 card deck

    Platinum - 20 card deck


    Tagentally related, this could be a solution to duplicate cards. Make it a 40-card deck and you have to individually fill all 40 slots. So want 4 Onnicience in your deck? You better have 4 copies of it. 

    Would make bomb mythics still good but not game breaking, and create more of a reliance on lower rarity cards. It would literally destroy certain decks, yes, but it would also shake things up in a way the game desperately needs.

    As as far as cycling, at least for PvP events, put a hard limit on the 40 cards. Once you run out of deck, you lose. That would make other cards suddenly more valuable too, like Aven Mindcensor and Winds of Rebuke since they could be part of your win condition. 
  • RhasgetRhasget Posts: 80 Match Maker
    You could implement this in certain events to mix things up.
    Have the now standard enraged event to be a fast game with current settings. Mix it up with a 40 card deck event, maybe once/week. Or have different nodes in an event with different settings.

    And change the ribbon awards also for some events to emphasize the specific builds.
    Instead of giving 4 for a win /2 for first bonus objective /1 for second you switch it to 2/4/1. 
    An event like FiRF would reward you more for reaching the actual objective.
  • wickedwitch74wickedwitch74 Posts: 171 Tile Toppler
    edited November 2017
    First off, I would really like to see the users on this forum share more deck-building strategies. We neglect those pages and with all of the talented and imaginative people that play this game and share their opinions, it could be a lot more vibrant and informative, and we might see an uptick in the number of deck designs out in the wild.

    Secondly, the designers need to create content that rewards creative and innovative deck builds. I will get up on my soapbox one more time:

    Peasant Deck Events.

    Developers already have the ability to restrict cards to within certain set limitations. They could easily do this for rarity too.

    Theme/Tribal decks.

    Require the player to build a deck with X Zombies/Vampires/Dinosaurs/Wombats/etc... Ixalan has a heavy tribal theme. Require decks that contain specific builds.

    Vary/Stagger the secondary objectives.

    It's always the same, boring objectives. Cast two zombies. Cast two or fewer supports. Shake this up already. How about forcing the opponent to discard ten cards, or deal twenty damage to the face with fire spells. 

    Also, give the winner extra ribbons for going above and beyond the objective. Cast two Zombies? Get two ribbons. Cast ten Zombies? Get five ribbons, etc...

    Sealed Deck Events.

    Make the cost of entry the purchase of an Elite Pack. The UI already shows the player all of the cards he/she has opened, so the developers would have to tweak this screen to allow the user to build a deck from these cards. This is a great way to get players to "buy" more boosters, enjoy cards that they might not normally play with, and explore strategies in a low-stress environment. This would require the most development effort, in my opinion, but would be pretty cool.

  • majincobmajincob Posts: 728 Critical Contributor
    First off, I would really like to see the users on this forum share more deck-building strategies. We neglect those pages and with all of the talented and imaginative people that play this game and share their opinions, it could be a lot more vibrant and informative, and we might see an uptick in the number of deck designs out in the wild.

    If you want deck building, that has mostly moved to third party platforms such as slack and discord. Msg me and I can get you invites to at least my slack group.

    Secondly it's hard to share strategies due to the difficulty of obtaining rare and mythic cards. Even missing key commons and uncommons can render interesting decks moot.
    Leader of GoblinPile (D3ceived) 
    Apply to the top coaliton  .
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  • wickedwitch74wickedwitch74 Posts: 171 Tile Toppler
    majincob said:
    First off, I would really like to see the users on this forum share more deck-building strategies. We neglect those pages and with all of the talented and imaginative people that play this game and share their opinions, it could be a lot more vibrant and informative, and we might see an uptick in the number of deck designs out in the wild.

    If you want deck building, that has mostly moved to third party platforms such as slack and discord. Msg me and I can get you invites to at least my slack group.

    Secondly it's hard to share strategies due to the difficulty of obtaining rare and mythic cards. Even missing key commons and uncommons can render interesting decks moot.
    Hello, Majincob. Yes, I agree. I've seen some great discussions on my Slack forum, which makes me realize it's a shame that we don't use this forum in the same way.

    I absolutely agree that it's much harder to share builds in MtG:PQ, since you can't just go out and buy the cards you need for your deck like you can in paper magic.

    There's nothing wrong with posting a deck list full of hard-to-get mythics, but I'd be more interested in seeing decks that build around Embalm creatures, "Gather the Pack" and "Reclaim". That deck would be meaningful to a lot more people.

    Also, maybe there could be a corresponding forum for each "Special Offer" card, with deck tech for building around it. Maybe more people buy the card.

    How about a single-card strategy forum that takes a random rare and tries to build a deck around it. I'm sure someone has a killer "Solemnity" deck.

    Hmmm... I suppose I should stop suggesting this stuff, and maybe do it.
  • ElfNeedsFoodElfNeedsFood Posts: 307 Mover and Shaker
    @wickedwitch74 Solemnity plus act of heroism makes a great troll deck. When I first saw these two cards together I thought for sure it would make one of the PvE decks, then they didn’t...
    I've not seen such bravery!
  • ElfNeedsFoodElfNeedsFood Posts: 307 Mover and Shaker
    Ooh!  Maybe a “modify the event deck” contest?  Sort of like the one we had right before deck slots were launched?
    I've not seen such bravery!
  • YirrixeesYirrixees Posts: 16 Just Dropped In
    Honestly, in regards to cycling, i think the biggest problem card is drake haven, and the biggest MECHANICS issue is the game modes themselves. The power of drake haven is absolutely bonkers in the hand of a player (only 'balanced' because AI can't cycle), assuming you have a deck that is half cycle 1 and half cycle 2, then that means once you cast drake haven every spare mana you have is worth a CUMULATIVE 3 damage on average (if i am doing my math right). That would like having a deck filled with 3 mana 9/9's that drew you a card... and had flying.

    For the other two major cards, faith of the devoted and new perspectives, i find them less of issues in themselves. FotD deals EXACTLY 5 damage per cycle and is not cumulative, which also leaves more time for your opponent to be a threat (the healing helps counter this, but at super high levels you can get bursted down really fast). FotD also is a nice crutch for players making up the ranks imo, it isn't super overpowered but as an uncommon lets newer players be competitive. As for new perspectives, if you picture a world without FotD or drake haven, i actually see it being a really fun card to play as most cycle cards are really overcosted, meaning you are using ONE card to make bunch of BAD cards work and for me, those kind of decks are actually really fun (zombie token Sorin anyone?).

    But, ultimately, i think the biggest offender is the mechanics, in particular the freaking GREEN nodes. way way WAAY to many green nodes require X minions or less, which just makes me want to facepalm so hard. Imo, green is the LEAST powerful stand alone color, requiring VERY specific high rarity cards to be competitive. Couple this issue with two VERY good G/U planeswalkers (one of whom is BUILT around cycle) and you have a solution so obvious that you can't help but be bored and resign yourself to cycling OR risk losing points... or just losing period. 

    In conclusion: i think drake haven should be nerfed by at LEAST half (only one drake per cycle, maybe make it cost more too), add more creature slots so poor green can fight better and TAKE AWAY X or less creatures from Green nodes (make it X or more, or X or more with Y or more power/toughness etc...)
  • shteevshteev Posts: 2,031 Chairperson of the Boards
    Cycling is broken. Not efficient, not powerful, not overpowered, actually broken.

    The only reason we, the players, did not call it as broken before release is because Hibernum didn't explain to us how it worked then. "Surely", we thought, "Surely it won't simply be a case of paying 1 mana a pop to go through your deck looking for your other broken cards? That would be ludicrous!! Let's wait and see how it actually works".
  • ThuranThuran Posts: 187 Tile Toppler
    wereotter said:
    babar3355 said:

    Interesting question. 

    One thing that would make the game more nuanced would be to increase the deck size from 10 cards to something greater.  I understand the challenge for newer players so perhaps you could scale the decks based on the player level. 

    Something like:

    Bronze - 10 card deck

    Silver - 12 card deck

    Gold - 15 card deck

    Platinum - 20 card deck


    Tagentally related, this could be a solution to duplicate cards. Make it a 40-card deck and you have to individually fill all 40 slots. So want 4 Onnicience in your deck? You better have 4 copies of it. 

    Would make bomb mythics still good but not game breaking, and create more of a reliance on lower rarity cards. It would literally destroy certain decks, yes, but it would also shake things up in a way the game desperately needs.

    As as far as cycling, at least for PvP events, put a hard limit on the 40 cards. Once you run out of deck, you lose. That would make other cards suddenly more valuable too, like Aven Mindcensor and Winds of Rebuke since they could be part of your win condition. 
    I love the idea, but keep in mind paper mtg doesn't use 40 cards, but typically 36 or 23, since lands are not a thing in mtgpq. So, I'd say maybe 30 cards, to more closely reflect paper deck building, and still have a round number? At least for a version with unlimited deck size.

    Another option is the one magic duels used, restrictions are: 1 of each mythic, 2 of each rare, 3 uncommon and full 4 copies of commons.
  • majincobmajincob Posts: 728 Critical Contributor
    I'm not a fan of expanding the deck size simply because I like that the variance is reduced.

    That being said, if the designers play-tested it and found it be more fun, I'm all for more fun.
    Leader of GoblinPile (D3ceived) 
    Apply to the top coaliton  .
    Read our Charter
  • KinesiaKinesia Posts: 384 Mover and Shaker
    The cycling problem isn't only specific cards it's more how it works together with mana in this game, cards that add mana to cards in hand, but then you can rearrange your hand and pick and choose which mana to use when cycling something different, it means there are too many different ways to get almost unlimited cycling. What you use it for after that doesn't really matter, there are multiple things there too...
  • Mainloop25Mainloop25 Posts: 1,273 Chairperson of the Boards
    I always thought that cycling would be toned way down if you couldn't use the mana on the cycling card to cycle it. If you had to use a different card's mana to cycle it, you would run out of mana. It would feel like how I used to have to cycle stuff before I got New Perspectives. Better yet, just nerf New Perspectives while you're at it. 
    My "Fun With Cards" Youtube Page Now featuring Swarm Intelligence!
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