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Torquemada Coteaz Deck Thread

Torquemada Coteaz Inquisitor The Threat Beyond

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#441
SyntaxLost

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I've done 50 test draws so far and my opening hands have a lower cost than I can play out, especially with Muster. My Muster hands use up 4-5 resources and then I'm emptied. In almost every instance so far, I would rather have anything 1-cost or higher over the Warden for efficiency's sake. I went to the Acolyte because this deck is going to rely so much on cards in hand to keep the swarm going and play later Musters.

But that doesn't speak to mid or late game, where perhaps the Warden shines.

Edit: Augurs could be reasonable here - pulling out Inquisitorial Fortress or Troop Transport isn't bad, and digging for Formosan is never a bad thing. Really hate to see that lack of Command though.

Edit: Based purely on opening hands, Stalwart Ogrun seems to be the best package. Command icon, respectable 2/2, and immune to events - not relevant until that one game when it is.

 

You need to look beyond the opening hand. You really want the Ammo Depots churning cards for the whole game and you're going to be about 30 deep (or more) before it's over. That gives you a pretty good chance of hitting a cluster of cards that you can't play through efficiently when your average cost is higher. Especially so with Acolytes as Muster doesn't help much with dropping multiple 3-drops. Furthermore, because of their high cost and additional cards drawn, they tend to interfere with Ammo Depot operation which means you're not really gaining that much in terms of cards drawn by running them.

 

I don't see the deck so much as a Muster deck but rather as an Ammo Depot deck for which Muster helps keep running smoothly. A turn 1 Muster can be good if you can drop a ridiculous number of hammers, but it's not something you should be aiming for since you're conceding the golden hammer on a turn when you should be trying to maximise your farming. I normally find that you can gain a lot more value out the card later on, especially with Markis and a Henchmen since that allows you to ready Coteaz before command.

 

Ogryn is very average in Coteaz. As a 2/2, it doesn't represent much a threat to your opponent and you're basically paying 2 (or 1) for the hammer. As a 3/2 in Worr it's a lot better. Also running the numbers in simulation over 10000 hands, neither Acolyte nor Ogryn add a noticeable number of additional hammers on average to the opening hand if you're not Mustering.

 

Edit: Also Markis + Warden = Deployment Mind War.



#442
botounami

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You need to look beyond the opening hand. You really want the Ammo Depots churning cards for the whole game and you're going to be about 30 deep (or more) before it's over. That gives you a pretty good chance of hitting a cluster of cards that you can't play through efficiently when your average cost is higher. Especially so with Acolytes as Muster doesn't help much with dropping multiple 3-drops. Furthermore, because of their high cost and additional cards drawn, they tend to interfere with Ammo Depot operation which means you're not really gaining that much in terms of cards drawn by running them.

 

I don't see the deck so much as a Muster deck but rather as an Ammo Depot deck for which Muster helps keep running smoothly. A turn 1 Muster can be good if you can drop a ridiculous number of hammers, but it's not something you should be aiming for since you're conceding the golden hammer on a turn when you should be trying to maximise your farming. I normally find that you can gain a lot more value out the card later on, especially with Markis and a Henchmen since that allows you to ready Coteaz before command.

 

Ogryn is very average in Coteaz. As a 2/2, it doesn't represent much a threat to your opponent and you're basically paying 2 (or 1) for the hammer. As a 3/2 in Worr it's a lot better. Also running the numbers in simulation over 10000 hands, neither Acolyte nor Ogryn add a noticeable number of additional hammers on average to the opening hand if you're not Mustering.

 

Edit: Also Markis + Warden = Deployment Mind War.

Given that, is it worth going to 2x Muster? I've already considered 2x Troop Transport after having it in-hand with itself and Promotion more often than I'd like.



#443
SyntaxLost

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No. You want 3x Muster as you want to draw it consistently. If you draw an extra (which will be quite common), just use it as a shield. But this is much more preferable to the possibility of not drawing any at all and choking up on units you can't deploy.

 

There is a very high Limited clash rate for the deck. Around 25% of kept opening hands will clash. The problem is that both cards are really good and I'm inclined to agree with Ellonellanfair, run all six and just live with the clash. You can still use the excess Promos as shields. Losing a Promo costs you about 0.2 hammers in the opening and Troop Transport just gives you so much flexibility. Besides, what would you replace it with?


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#444
SyntaxLost

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Cards you could use to replace the 6th Limited card without having a major impact on Ammo Depot operation.

 

Snotling Attack: Worse than a Troop Transport, but it can be burnt as a shield if you don't have the resources to pay for the Snotlings. The Snotlings themselves make good Coteaz fodder, but don't do a whole lot beyond that. Guardsmen can at least be sacced to Markis.

 

Squig Bombin': Once in a blue moon it'll save you from auto-losing to one of the broken sig. supports (victory still not guaranteed). Most of the time it'll be a weak card.

 

Emperor's Warrant: Between Preemptive, Markis and Fortress, you already have a lot of unit control and this card is rather expensive to play. Most likely to be burnt as two shields but occasionally allows you to say, "Stop hitting yourself," to your opponent, which is always amusing.

 

Suppressive Fire: See Emperor's Warrant but with one less shield.

 

To Arms!: Shields or it cycles. Once in a while it'll ready a Black Ship, making a little more broken than its usual super-busted self. Otherwise worse than Warrant.

 

Mystic Warden: I suspect the 3rd won't add as much as the second. Far less flexible than a Troop Transport, but it doesn't impact the average cost of your deck and can't get stuck in your hand during deployment.

 

EAT: You actually have a fair few cards that card trigger this card (about 12-15 you'll be fine with saccing and about 20 total that can trigger it). It probably doesn't help to draw it early and drawing it late may be overkill. EAT tends to be a bit too combo-y in general, but it doesn't look bad on paper. Whether it's consistently better than the 6th Limited is another question.

 

Wroth: Allows you to pitch dead cards and keep a Depot rolling. A bit anti-synergistic with Coteaz though because he is still expensive.

 

Goff Big Choppa: Fun times with a Mortar Squad, but it only takes an Archon's Terror to ruin the party.

 

I've also been trying a strategy of not playing a turn 1 Depot against Kith with a Palace if I can spend the resource on a relevant hammer instead. The reason being that Kith will always block cards with a Palace unless you have a Depot, then she'll usually block resources. By delaying the Depot and gaining more resources on turn 1, you should be able to activate the Depot(s) more consistently over the subsequent turns. Not sure if it's worth the virtual loss of one card, but it's an interesting idea that I've been looking into.



#445
botounami

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Cards you could use to replace the 6th Limited card without having a major impact on Ammo Depot operation.

 

Snotling Attack: Worse than a Troop Transport, but it can be burnt as a shield if you don't have the resources to pay for the Snotlings. The Snotlings themselves make good Coteaz fodder, but don't do a whole lot beyond that. Guardsmen can at least be sacced to Markis.

 

Squig Bombin': Once in a blue moon it'll save you from auto-losing to one of the broken sig. supports (victory still not guaranteed). Most of the time it'll be a weak card.

 

Emperor's Warrant: Between Preemptive, Markis and Fortress, you already have a lot of unit control and this card is rather expensive to play. Most likely to be burnt as two shields but occasionally allows you to say, "Stop hitting yourself," to your opponent, which is always amusing.

 

Suppressive Fire: See Emperor's Warrant but with one less shield.

 

To Arms!: Shields or it cycles. Once in a while it'll ready a Black Ship, making a little more broken than its usual super-busted self. Otherwise worse than Warrant.

 

Mystic Warden: I suspect the 3rd won't add as much as the second. Far less flexible than a Troop Transport, but it doesn't impact the average cost of your deck and can't get stuck in your hand during deployment.

 

EAT: You actually have a fair few cards that card trigger this card (about 12-15 you'll be fine with saccing and about 20 total that can trigger it). It probably doesn't help to draw it early and drawing it late may be overkill. EAT tends to be a bit too combo-y in general, but it doesn't look bad on paper. Whether it's consistently better than the 6th Limited is another question.

 

Wroth: Allows you to pitch dead cards and keep a Depot rolling. A bit anti-synergistic with Coteaz though because he is still expensive.

 

Goff Big Choppa: Fun times with a Mortar Squad, but it only takes an Archon's Terror to ruin the party.

 

I've also been trying a strategy of not playing a turn 1 Depot against Kith with a Palace if I can spend the resource on a relevant hammer instead. The reason being that Kith will always block cards with a Palace unless you have a Depot, then she'll usually block resources. By delaying the Depot and gaining more resources on turn 1, you should be able to activate the Depot(s) more consistently over the subsequent turns. Not sure if it's worth the virtual loss of one card, but it's an interesting idea that I've been looking into.

I was leaning toward EAT, Emperor's Warrant (for shields), or the Goff Big Choppa. The latter at least helps ever so slightly against Warpstorm and if they don't draw into their control it can be game winning. 

That said, I don't really want to cut a Troop Transport after running through some test games. Card is money with Coteaz. And Promotion is Promotion.

 

Actually, if we're looking for the highest impact card, it would probably be Squig Bombin. Hitting an Archon's Palace early may win this deck the Kith matchup. Maybe.



#446
SyntaxLost

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I've not found that to be the case generally. Typical situations involve Palace doing a lot of work before the Bombin' is drawn and you're already behind, Palace being drawn after you've used the Bombin' as a shield because you need to keep the cards in hand moving, or a second Palace being dropped immediately afterwards as you've given life to a dead draw.

 

Against a Palace, try to tie as many command struggles as possible. Denial is the name of the game as you use your Ammo Depots to get ahead.



#447
FightingWalloon

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Most Kith players run more than one Palace.

#448
botounami

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So sticking with 3x Promotion is the right call, eh? :)



#449
botounami

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Now sitting at 0-2 during the Store Championship (still having a great time, of course) - I do not feel in any way that the Swarm build with Ammo Depot is able to compete at serious Tier 1. It has sputtered both games due to lack of card draw and opponent card denial/golden hammers in the Command Phase. Thinking now that the SM build would be more robust and relevant, but mainly that Coteaz is pretty low tier. While it is for certain that my lack of experience with the deck is a factor, the decision points with it are not overly complicated and I believe that I am generally making the right choices. It simply lacks power compared to the "top tier" decks that I have played.

 

The first was Tyrannid with Savage Warrior Prime. Both the "put army into play at HQ" and "Trigger Battle Ability of another planet" planets were in play. I spread the planets wide for Command, he sat a 5-drop on first planet, then won the 2nd planet Command w/ Old One Eye. I grabbed the other three Command Struggles (only 1 card among them) and he used Savage Warrior Prime to trigger the unit drop from hand, putting another 5-drop into HQ. First three planets were green, so from there I just got obliterated as he munched through my weenies. I had 3 resources leftover after playing out my initial hand, then drew into Ammo Depot, Emperor Protects, and Muster the Guard. Played Ammo Depot T2, drew into an Honor Guard. Played him. That was it.

The second was classic Kith, who simply Archon's Palace'd the +card planets and sent Packmaster to the others. The struggle revolved around him committing and gaining a Kymera token and me, if attempting to defend, committing and destroying my own units if I wanted to contest. I mulligan'd and saw no Ammo Depot. Again, I played out my hand early, split Command Struggles, had no card draw (combined with the "discard 1 card" planet), and then was topdecking weenies. I ended the game with 7 resources.

Muster the Guard has been entirely underwhelming, and unplayed so far. I do not understand how you would ever have an opportunity past opening hand to make the card worth playing (how do you draw 5-6 cards in a turn?). Even in opening hand, I can usually play out without it. If anything, Muster should be used in opening hand in tandem with a 4 or 5 drop to get the best of both worlds.

Will keep things updated for those who are also considering this deck, and will certainly accept feedback!
 


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#450
Eu8L1ch

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Which decks do you have in mind?

 

GKZhukov's Kith and Kinglsey's Ragnar and Zarathur could be nice to analyse,since I think they are all strong tier 1 decks.

 

 

As for Coteaz, I think we'll have to agree to disagree, as I am not persuaded by your arguments nor you seem to be persuaded by mines: it looks like we have too different views of the game flow. :)

 

 

@botounami

Nice report, thanks.

Your first game was very unlucky I think.

My own suggestion is, if you really want to play with Coteaz, play him with Catachan and aim for bloodying/assassination, if anything to put serious pressure on your opponent and negating some of his strengths. Orks and SM are both ok IMO, even if I personally prefer having the Depot.
 



#451
botounami

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GKZhukov's Kith and Kinglsey's Ragnar and Zarathur could be nice to analyse,since I think they are all strong tier 1 decks.

 

 

As for Coteaz, I think we'll have to agree to disagree, as I am not persuaded by your arguments nor you seem to be persuaded by mines: it looks like we have too different views of the game flow. :)

 

 

@botounami

Nice report, thanks.

Your first game was very unlucky I think.

My own suggestion is, if you really want to play with Coteaz, play him with Catachan and aim for bloodying/assassination, if anything to put serious pressure on your opponent and negating some of his strengths. Orks and SM are both ok IMO, even if I personally prefer having the Depot.
 

Yeah, finished up the tourney 1-3, with a timed win that I would have lost had it gone another round - and that was to Straken. Here is my valuation of the day, which of course should be taken with a grain of salt.

Coteaz Swarm just does not play to the fundamentals of this game. It was extremely inconsistent for me, and I did not see it having a single strength that elevates it above other decks - even other AM decks. It just does not do anything. It puts cheap guys on the board, but those cheap guys do not synergize into a greater unity (like through a card whose effects are amplified by X units on the board). Your 2-Hammer units are ultimately weak and one-dimensional in comparison to the rest of the field (Psyker and Recruits both ineffective in combat) and with Mortar Squads at 1 ATK, you are not even able to abuse them well - which seems to be the only thing that Coteaz can claim as a defining strength. Your Preemptive Barrages do 4-5 damage in small pings, which makes it easily shieldable, and your swarm is easily contested by Kith and Eldorath, while simply being a source of resources for Cato. Muster the Guard was worthless for me all day. The deck never threatened anything to my opponent, and was easily controlled.

 

The reality here is that, having tried 3-4 different builds, I cannot see how Coteaz is not inherently flawed by his 0 ATK and weak sig squad cards. I've pulled fun tricks like EAT or Eager Recruit with Emperor Protects, but it is really built for cards that have "comes into play" and/or "leaves play" abilities, which we do not currently have (imagine that card with Klaivex Warleader, for instance). The Eagle makes Coteaz a normal Warlord, the signature support is of similar power to the other Astra Warlords, and the 1/3 Henchmen pales in comparison to the resource advantage of Straken's Command Squad and the offense of Broderick's Platoon. Even today, I would have taken the exact same deck with either other Warlord and felt in a much stronger position.

Ultimately, I felt that I spent the day playing a lot of low-cost, average units, and faced off against low-mid cost outstanding units. Looking at the deck side by side with a T1 Kith or Space Marine, it is clear that there is a discrepancy between what this deck gets for the cost that it pays, and the synergy that it brings to the table. I would say that if I were to do it over again, I would take Jeermaster's build which is much closer to what I have been running in the past. It at least looks to utilize the main thing that Coteaz brings to the table by using Catachan / To Arms! and forms a more solid strategy around Coteaz himself.

All that said, it was an excellent day and Conquest remains a remarkably good game. I'll be looking at Straken in the future, and firmly believe that at this point Astra decks need to get out of the weenie ideology and look into some of the bigger units and 2-shields. I know Asklepios has been advocating for this kind of thing for a while and at this point I firmly agree. I just wish that Warleader/Archon's didn't pose such a huge threat to every big unit in the game.

How is everyone else feeling on their Coteaz/AM journey?



#452
Solaris

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Thanks for the report. So far I haven't had much luck with Corteaz, and I've been bouncing from different builds, with the current version having Muster/Mortar/Depot in it. I'm also thinking about moving away from the weenie swarm mentality and experiment with bigger vehicles. I might as well make it fun if I'm going to lose anyway.

#453
SyntaxLost

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How is everyone else feeling on their Coteaz/AM journey?

 

It's a shame it didn't work out for you, Steven. I mean no disrespect by this, but I suspect there is more to the story than what you say as your experiences certainly don't match my own when playing. However, without seeing the games, it's very difficult to diagnose what went wrong. One thing that does stand out to me is the fact that you were facing boards with no card draw and no starting Depot which puts you in a really bad situation. The thing is that sort of opening is also incredibly uncommon.

 

With that said however, one thing that Ellonellanfair changed moving into Boundless Hate was to cut all the Void Pirates for Sacaellum Shrine Guards. While the latter has more combat potential and works with Muster, it also means that the situation you describe from your games is much, much worse as you have no other outs for card draw aside from Ammo Depot. The change could be worth the risk though (and you just have to live with occasional bad luck).

 

With regards to Coteaz/SM, my general finding has been that the deck is even worse in terms of command (no Depot and Cardinis is pretty useless early game) so it fairs even worse against Kith.  The command advantage (Palace vs. no Depot) allows her to draw answers faster than you can draw threats unless you get lucky or she misplays.

 

 

GKZhukov's Kith and Kinglsey's Ragnar and Zarathur could be nice to analyse,since I think they are all strong tier 1 decks.

 

Once upon a time, I wrote:

 

I can't simulate the effects of SPA (this one is quite difficult), PoG, Palace, Syren or Muster at the moment.

 

Edit: The only posted Ragnar deck that I know of is out of date.



#454
Eu8L1ch

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@SyntaxLost
Of course, I meant without taking those into account; it would be very partial but it could provide us with basis for further discussion. :-)
That Ragnar is still regarded as a solid deck as far as I know; anyway it would be interesting (at least for me) to know what was considered as strong command for SM with AM allies. Naturally if you don't feel like doing it it's totally ok!

#455
SyntaxLost

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@SyntaxLost
Of course, I meant without taking those into account; it would be very partial but it could provide us with basis for further discussion. :-)
That Ragnar is still regarded as a solid deck as far as I know; anyway it would be interesting (at least for me) to know what was considered as strong command for SM with AM allies. Naturally if you don't feel like doing it it's totally ok!

 

Ignoring Syren's reaction, unique, Palace and Raid. Mulligan for 5 hammers.

 

WC Kith (Superiority counts as 1-for-2 played off opening resources): 6.33 6.21

WC Kith (Ignore Superiority): 5.71 (3.84 actions) 5.55 (3.84 actions)

 

 

Disregarding Blackmane's Hunt and Ragnar's trigger. Howl is also a relevant card though it doesn't impact command directly the round it's played. Mulligan for 5.

 

Ragnar (IFSF counts as 2-for-2): 5.58 (3.96 actions)

Ragnar (IFSF counts as 2-for-1): 5.46

 

 

This is not accurate for Zarathur at all in my opinion. PoG and SPA make a big difference.

 

Zarathur (mulligan for Depot): 4.15 (5.57 actions)


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#456
botounami

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It's a shame it didn't work out for you, Steven. I mean no disrespect by this, but I suspect there is more to the story than what you say as your experiences certainly don't match my own when playing. However, without seeing the games, it's very difficult to diagnose what went wrong. One thing that does stand out to me is the fact that you were facing boards with no card draw and no starting Depot which puts you in a really bad situation. The thing is that sort of opening is also incredibly uncommon.

 

With that said however, one thing that Ellonellanfair changed moving into Boundless Hate was to cut all the Void Pirates for Sacaellum Shrine Guards. While the latter has more combat potential and works with Muster, it also means that the situation you describe from your games is much, much worse as you have no other outs for card draw aside from Ammo Depot. The change could be worth the risk though (and you just have to live with occasional bad luck).

 

With regards to Coteaz/SM, my general finding has been that the deck is even worse in terms of command (no Depot and Cardinis is pretty useless early game) so it fairs even worse against Kith.  The command advantage (Palace vs. no Depot) allows her to draw answers faster than you can draw threats unless you get lucky or she misplays.

Yeah, absolutely no disrespect taken! I do not expect to be running the deck at perfection levels my first time out of the gate - especially when Astra has an uphill battle anyway. My greatest concern is that I do not see the potential for T1 in the deck. When I first played Kith / Cato / Eldorath, it was obvious that even when I lost I was wielding something that had a solid shot at winning. Throughout the day today, I never felt that I could achieve even a 50/50 shot against any of the decks I faced, regardless of tweaking or player skill.

I think it cracks open a much greater AM discussion about what exactly we should be looking to as our winning objective. I can focus tactically on winning more Command Struggles than my opponent, but when I spend my deck slots doing that, it has to actually matter. Getting more cards that get more cards does not win. Getting more resources to get more resources does not win.

Let's say I have a game against Cato and I get 20 cards to Cato's 14 cards. I believe that Cato's 14 cards win the game. The quality of the cards, along with a synergistic strategy, form a deck much greater than the sum of its parts. The 20 cards that I get with Coteaz Swarm are simply the sum of their parts. 
 

My Astra builds have always felt like a one-sided equation. Kith takes an ability to create overwhelming value over the course of a game via free tokens and combines it with denial. Imagine that deck without either of those pieces and it becomes average. Cato takes an ability to accelerate resources via unit kills and combines it with battlefield flexibility through those resources. If you lose either piece, it's just an average deck. I'm sure that we could break down and formulate this more accurately, and more eloquently, but I imagine everyone gets the idea.

Now take Coteaz. He takes an ability to sacrifice his own units and combines it with - and this is where I get stuck. Sacrificing your own units is inherently disadvantageous. Every unit is invested resources, and usually cards, so these sacrifice abilities have VERY high real costs. The payoff has to be remarkably good. Therefore, Coteaz is only as relevant as the effects that he can utilize, and those effects must be significant. Are they?
 

Henchmen: 2r, 1c - ready your warlord

Formosan: 1r, 1c - 2 guardsmen, recurring

Cadian - readies itself

Elysian: 2r, 1c - free

Augur: 2r, 1c - 6-card Support search

Acolyte: 3r, 1c - 2 cards

 

I think we've tried to exploit and utilize all of these, but the reality is that these costs are too steep for their effects. That's what you run into in the standard Coteaz game. You find lose-lose situations of "take a swing with Coteaz at the cost of 2 resources" or "retreat and lose this battle", and that swing costs you bodies that cannot then later contribute to Command Struggles. Coteaz snowballs himself to the loss.

That makes it seem like he should not sacrifice until the critical moment of either assassination or sweeping a battle with Cadian / Preemptive type shenanigans. So we play Catachan and dig for the Eagle to make him act like a normal Warlord. But at every turn, I would rather him just be a normal Warlord. Relying on effects in the deck to make one of the critical components of your game function in an average way (and most of the time below average way) is not a winning strategy. Tier one decks take a good thing and make it better. Are Coteaz decks just taking a bad thing and trying to make it average?


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#457
SyntaxLost

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Yeah, absolutely no disrespect taken! I do not expect to be running the deck at perfection levels my first time out of the gate - especially when Astra has an uphill battle anyway. My greatest concern is that I do not see the potential for T1 in the deck. When I first played Kith / Cato / Eldorath, it was obvious that even when I lost I was wielding something that had a solid shot at winning. Throughout the day today, I never felt that I could achieve even a 50/50 shot against any of the decks I faced, regardless of tweaking or player skill.

 

These are all fairly linear decks, at least compared to Coteaz. Each card they play is individually quite strong. By contrast, Coteaz (and a number of Straken decks before him) is fairly combo oriented. There is no card in the deck that's as strong as Librarian or Destructor on its own (closest would be a Snakebite, but it's still behind a lot of top tier 2-drops). The command units are obviously very linear, but most of the combat units and Coteaz usually go off as a combo. It's akin to playing a Power Shutdown CI deck: If you try to play the cards as is, then the deck is going to seem a lot less powerful. Rather than try to win on the merits of individual cards, your aim is to push the opponent into one large combat with a death ball and go off with Preemptive (or draw into Black Ship and just win).

 

If you jump back to the beginning of this thread and when Coteaz was initially released (around a year ago), you can see similar complaints to the ones that you're voicing now (particularly Federico's post). Since then, people experimented a stumbled upon decks that look like this and this which relied on comboing off with Staging Ground and Preemptive Barrage. Early on, a lot of players didn't respect (or even know) just how much firepower Coteaz can throw down during ranged with a Henchmen and another AM unit. This resulted in a lot of bloodied Warlords and Coteaz able to bully his way to easy wins shortly afterwards. Over time though, players have learnt to respect The Hammer™ and so avoid pushing him, aiming to win the longer game. It was quite possible to push a win on the short game if the flop favoured such a victory, but you were ground out over time. Or so it was from my playtesting experience.

 

Ammo Depot makes a large difference to the longer, more grindy games, especially if you're forced to operate under the weight of a Palace. The problem with the card is that it can be very finicky about average unit costs, and even with the shortest cost curves, you can still frequently end up with turns where you cannot play down to three cards and the Depots become stuck from that point onward. In Zarathur (and Ku'gath) the card operates amazingly since there is a lot of flexibility in how you spend your resources and you have the possibility to spend cards to help pay for units (SPA and PoG). This is where Ellonellanfair's idea to play Muster comes in since it allows you convert a card into resources in much the same way.

 

Having tested a previous iteration of the deck, I've still found the Kith matchup a little weak, though not for the same reasons you've expressed. The typical loss would usually arise from longer games (short wins are near impossible) and Kith eventually drawing into Den and auto-winning while I'm unable to keep the Khymera under control as she draws answers for the Mortar Squads. It's not terrible, and drawing Black Ship is much like Kith drawing Den, but on average, it was still a little behind as you lack the unpreventable mass removal of Chaos to really keep the Khymera in check.

 

The current iteration has a little stronger early game pressure thanks to Transport which makes some difference, though I haven't tested it extensively. The matchup hasn't struck me as bad so far.

 

Let's say I have a game against Cato and I get 20 cards to Cato's 14 cards. I believe that Cato's 14 cards win the game. The quality of the cards, along with a synergistic strategy, form a deck much greater than the sum of its parts. The 20 cards that I get with Coteaz Swarm are simply the sum of their parts. 

 

This is where I'm going to have to disagree with you quite strongly. Mortar Squads, Coteaz, Markis, Preemptive and fodder are a monstrous deathball that's actually quite difficult to stop. You can get a shocking number of Mortar shots in with the right setup along with a few big swings from Coteaz.

 

 

Now take Coteaz. He takes an ability to sacrifice his own units and combines it with - and this is where I get stuck. Sacrificing your own units is inherently disadvantageous. Every unit is invested resources, and usually cards, so these sacrifice abilities have VERY high real costs. The payoff has to be remarkably good. Therefore, Coteaz is only as relevant as the effects that he can utilize, and those effects must be significant. Are they?

 

Complementary to the combo idea presented above, you also have the idea of trading down a board position. If you've been able to outfarm your opponent, your situation isn't nearly as bad if your sacrificing units that also trade down the opposing board. Card-for-card, you're ahead if you can reduce a board of 10 vs 8 resources to a board of 3 vs 1. The question is manipulating the board situation into one where you can start making that sort of exchange (or better via combo). Triggering one Mortar Squad in a small skirmish isn't going to get you very far. Triggering two in a large pitched battle, and suddenly the sacrifice seems a lot smaller. Similarly, sacrificing a ready unit costs you in future potential, but exhausted units in the HQ train are an excellent resource that should be readily exchanged for opposing ready units.

 

With all that said, if you want a more linear deck that features Muster, I would recommend that you try this one out. Infantry Platoons are pretty busted and give you a solid early game threat that's difficult to answer at green planets and it definitely doesn't start out behind compared to other decks. I'm not fully convinced Muster is the right call when you can't re-ready during deployment, but it's an interesting idea and I've certainly spammed a lot of units with it.



#458
botounami

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These are all fairly linear decks, at least compared to Coteaz. Each card they play is individually quite strong. By contrast, Coteaz (and a number of Straken decks before him) is fairly combo oriented. There is no card in the deck that's as strong as Librarian or Destructor on its own (closest would be a Snakebite, but it's still behind a lot of top tier 2-drops). The command units are obviously very linear, but most of the combat units and Coteaz usually go off as a combo. It's akin to playing a Power Shutdown CI deck: If you try to play the cards as is, then the deck is going to seem a lot less powerful. Rather than try to win on the merits of individual cards, your aim is to push the opponent into one large combat with a death ball and go off with Preemptive (or draw into Black Ship and just win)... [and the rest of the post]

 

Yeah, that is an excellent way to put it, and it explains why I was not particularly good with the deck. I'm trying to play fundamentals with a combo deck. Very well put! The history makes total sense.

I do want to challenge one assumption that continues to be made here, though. The Coteaz "death ball" needs to be fully spelled out and evaluated, because I was able to create some "death ball" style scenarios that fell completely flat.

The basic gist is Coteaz + Henchmen (as many as possible) + Cadian (as many as possible) + 1-2 decent units like Mystic Warden or the new Honor Guard and a line of chuds (Psyker, Recruits, Tokens, etc). You get this on a planet where the big climactic battle takes place (which is a challenge all its own). Let's assume we have 1 of everything.

  1. Play Preemptive Barrage on Coteaz, Mystic Warden, Honor Guard (at green)
  2. Swing with Cadian for 1 damage
  3. Swing with Warden for 2 damage
  4. Swing with Honor Guard for 2 damage
  5. Sacrifice Psyker
  6. Swing with Cadian for 1 damage
  7. Swing with Coteaz for 3 damage
  8. Sacrifice Henchmen
  9. Swing with Cadian for 1 damage
  10. Swing with Coteaz for 3 damage
     

While we can talk about having 3 Cadian and 3 Henchmen and churning steps 8-9 a few more times, no matter what it looks very underwhelming to me. For this end game, not only have you lost two units during "processing" (at least 2-3 resources and 1-2 cards invested) but you have spent the entire game trying to win Command Struggles with a Warlord who cannot attack without supporting units - and even then, a single 2-shield means that you have to retreat.

I understand more than ever that this is a "combo" deck, but why is anyone convinced that this combo is strong enough to make fundamental sacrifices? What am I missing?



#459
dnapolitano

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I think catachan and to arms! should be considered as a bloody combo. Also augur for its ability to pull up a catachan after sacrifice which itself changes the combat math.

#460
botounami

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I think catachan and to arms! should be considered as a bloody combo. Also augur for its ability to pull up a catachan after sacrifice which itself changes the combat math.

Yes, it seems very much like the "death ball" combo must include Catachan / To Arms!. That's why I'm confused by Coteaz Swarm. I do not understand what combo it is building to.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Torquemada Coteaz, Inquisitor, The Threat Beyond