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Restricted List - artificial solution to a stale meta


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#1
sparrowhawk

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I was firmly against 6 in 6 on grounds of how dull it would be to have no new product for ages, nothing to talk about whilst gorging too much input over 6 weeks. It's a crap approach for LCGs that live and die over hobby content for enthusiasts to talk about.

The last Restricted List came out just before the proxy-Europeans at Expo and the rumour mill was right then. So let's discuss what the new Restricted List could be.

Here's my suggestion which is basically "let's shake up the meta via artificial FAQ changes to disguise the fact that 6 in 6 is a disaster approach for a LCG".


New FAQ Sep-18

Errata:
Hawk Tattoo: play on a character you control
Miya Mystic: now a conflict character instead

Restricted - immediate:
Policy Debate
Charge
Cloud the Mind
Reprieve
Let Go
Forged Edict
Voice of Honour

Restricted - after Worlds:
Feast or Famine


That's it.

FFG cocked up big when they created cards that undo for free other cards that cost more resources to play. Hence the last 3 entries, with Censure still available to contest Favour.

Charge and Reprieve both upset the game's economy, Reprieve far more common in the meta to Iron Mines.

Policy Debate is flip side of Charge Militrary aggression and far too easy Political control with full hand knowledge for free.

Cloud the Mind has become too easy to play and ubiquitous like Charge and Policy Debate. This follows a philosophy of letting decks do their fun thing by restricting too easy cancels, discards and blanks. This hurts Phoenix most but also upweight temporary blank cards like Oni Mask and A Fate Worse Than Death.

As for Feast or Famine, you can't restrict it now as decisions have been made based on its existence but it can be restricted for after Worlds, shaking up the role choices.

No Fury, no Blade, no Against the Waves, no For Greater Glory. Yep, let them be available and accept there already are cards that every deck must cut. Except Unicorn who are only strengthened by such a list.


I'd love a meta where Dragon splash for Let Go is not the starting decision, where people can play 2 cost attachments and know a fair price must be paid to remove them.

Post your Restricted List predictions below. And let's see how they will shake up the meta artificially and pretend their 6 in 6 decision is not to blame for product famine staleness. No wonder so many people I know have quit L5R to return to Thrones. FFG mismanaged some crucial aspects of what is a truly great design at its core.
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#2
Khudzlin

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Feast or Famine has always been busted. The new roles will only show how much (especially in Unicorn in combo with Talisman of the Sun). The role system only hides busted cards by making them less available.


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#3
Krokmaster

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My ideal update would be:
Hawk Tattoo - updated to “attach to a character you control.”
For Greater Glory - moved off the Restricted List
Feast or Famine - added to the Restricted List
Shameful Display - added to the Restricted List
Talisman of the Sun - added to the Restricted List

I think those are all solid changes for the game’s continued health.
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#4
Severijn

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My prediction would be:

 

Restricted:

  • Mirumoto' Fury
  • Against the Waves
  • Forged Edict
  • Charge!
  • Pathfinder's blade
  • Policy Debate
  • Iron Mine
  • Let Go
  • Feast or Famine
  • Hawk Tattoo

No longer restricted: For Greater Glory.

 

Hawk tattoo could also receive the aforementioned errata, though I heard that it was intended to also work on your opponent's characters. It's harder to do functional errata than a restricted list update, so I expect them to just add it to the list.

 

If Feast or Famine is going on the list, they will do so without adding a date clause on the addition, since that would be saying "the card is busted, but we're fine with still letting it run wild in the meta for the factions that voted a role for this card". I do not believe this is sufficient reason to add a date clause. Let everyone pay the iron price.

 

By the way, I think it is quite possible that they not only restrict a card, but outright remove one from the game. Charge breaks the economy of the game as long as you can do shenanigans like re-use your character for multiple challenges or let it stick around with a reprieve. There are too many cards that allow this usage, so I think it would be best to deal with the problem card directly and remove it from the game. They can print a fixed version that has the clause "put it on the bottom of your dynasty deck at the end of the conflict" which would make it a fancy banzai instead. Note that even this version would still be crazy with Fushicho. Perhaps we shouldn't have a card that bypasses costs and is this reliable?

 

Whilst I agree that the "you cannot do that" cards are an issue when they are free and can stop cards that cost multiple fate, I do not believe voice of honor should be part of that list. It is, like censure, a card that one can play around. In a sense, so is forged edict, but that card does have a cost of dishonoring your courtier, which costs honor (well, except for that free air ring scorpion gets every turn) and warps their dynasty deck. Forged edict is on the list because scorpion needed to be brought down a peg to hang out with the other clans.

 

Other things I'd like to see on the list, but that I doubt that they would be put on the list are Kanjo district and Isawa Tadaka. Kanjo district ends games when it is active, and with phoenix, that isn't all that hard to do. Tadaka blanks too much of the opponent's hand, and in a very non-fun way. The reason why I doubt that either make the list is because Kanjo is unreliable due to its deck limit and if you take away Tadaka, then I doubt phoenix would be much of a contender anymore.



#5
Caldera

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Thanks for another thought provoking post, Sparrowhawk.  For me the meta is far from stale, but that's probably because work and family life have both conspired to prevent me from spending any time on this fantastic game over the past couple of months.  But yesterday evening I finally sat down and opened packs 5 & 6, and logged on to CardgameDB to see what I've missed.  Pleasingly I have a lot of catch-up reading to do!

 

Onto the subject of restricted lists: I think your suggested errata to make Miya Mystic a conflict card is an excellent suggestion - no matter how unlikely that would happen.  It would significantly reduce reliance on the effective but incredibly dull default option of Dragon splash for Let Go, meaning Let Go itself wouldn't then need to go on a restricted list and nor would Mirumoto's Fury (which seems to have rapidly declined in popularity).

 

I'm not sure I'm in agreement with de-restricting Against the Waves. Phoenix was my first love and I'll always want to see them do well, but the thought of them being able to run both Charge AND Against the Waves in the same deck along with heavyweights like Tadaka and Fuschiko feels too intimidating...

 

 

My ideal update would be:
Hawk Tattoo - updated to “attach to a character you control.”
For Greater Glory - moved off the Restricted List
Feast or Famine - added to the Restricted List
Shameful Display - added to the Restricted List
Talisman of the Sun - added to the Restricted List

I think those are all solid changes for the game’s continued health.

 

I can see your reasoning here, but this would really screw Unicorn as the latter 3 cards on your list are pretty much all core staples of current Uni decks. Bearing in mind the two clans who can currently access the FoF/Talisman combo (Unicorn and Lion) are still generally considered to be the two weakest clans as far as I am aware, I don't think nerfing them is the right thing to do.  I can't deny that the FoF/Talisman combo has really boosted Unicorn, but its made them 'trickier to beat' rather than meta-dominating.  Even restricting FoF after worlds would be wrong I feel as Unicorn are stuck with Keeper of Fire now for the next 9 months or so.

 

Like I said, I'm  a month or two behind so don't have a firm handle on the meta, and consequently am not able to predict what the Restricted List might look like (personally, the only card I would 100% definitely want to see on the list is Calling in Favours as that card has probably caused my downfall as a Unicorn player in more games than any other - but that's just a personal choice/grudge).

 

But making Miya Mystic a conflict character.... now that would be great.


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#6
Krokmaster

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You’re probably right about it hoseing Unicorn too much. Truth be told, Unicorn’s my main clan and I game a little guilty rooting for other clans to get the nerfbat. However, I’d assess Talisman again after our clan pack.
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#7
flauscheohr

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My prediction would be:

 

Restricted:

  • Mirumoto' Fury
  • Against the Waves
  • Forged Edict
  • Charge!
  • Pathfinder's blade
  • Policy Debate
  • Iron Mine
  • Let Go
  • Feast or Famine
  • Hawk Tattoo

 

please do keep in mind, that the restricted list is a tool for restricting and balancing ALL clans and playstyles at the same time, trying to create more unique decks. your list (and others) smells like: "nerf the fotm clan / deck!!".

 

there will ALWAYS be a stronger clan / deckstyle, at every time in the lifetime of a card game. the idea of balancing is to CHANGE the strongest clan / deckstyle every now and then by enlarging the cardpool and by designing anti-cards to certain strategies. additional, there will always be a clan / decktype which is more vulnerable to another clan / decktype than others (for example event-heavy decks like scorpion or crane against Tadaka / Guest of Honor).

 

from your prediction list, 6/10 cards could be played in a dragon deck. not considering Charge you do have 5/10 must-be-played-by-dragon cards. this means, 50% of your restricted list punishes ONE clan. if this ever comes to reality, this will weaken or shut down most of the existing dragon decks (my prediction).

 

i know that especially dragon conflict cards are very valuable, for most if not all kind of decks. but this is some kind of a design failure, because this strengthens dragon in a general way.

but this design failure should not be corrected by abusing the restricted list.

 

i do like the approach with the restricted list, because it creates some more deck designs and creative ideas than just putting together the strongest conflict cards of the cardpool.

 

luckily, the restricted list is not linked to the will of players who just lost to a special strategy / card / combo / clan, screaming for a "nerf XXX!!!". :D

and good players keep an eye on FoF (fire role) and avoid running blind into an unrevealed province without an exit strategy. so please try not to project negative playing examples or playing mistakes (no matter who made them) on this balancing tool.



#8
Severijn

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My main objective is to get rid of cards that are convenient to use and that break the economy of the game. As it stands, we do not need hawk tattoo on the list anymore now that it has received its much needed errata. Other than that, let go has the serious issue that it is too efficient. You are commonly trading a card for a card plus 1 fate, and attachments that cost multiple fate do not get played. The only requirement to play it is that you need to have the card in your hand. Note that let go is played by many clans. It is the reason why dragon is the most popular splash.

 

Feast of Famine also has the issue that it breaks the game's economy. If it hits, it will be killing off one of your better characters, usually with a fate swing of 2 or 4. That's way above the level that a province is. It does have counterplay as you mention. You could bow your attacker, run pathfinder's blade, cautious scout, not buy with fate and so on. The problem with this is that it is warping your game for one player while you're occasionally giving a free win to the feast or famine player. In addition, there are plenty of cases where your best play will be to risk not hitting that province.

 

Note that both let go and feast or famine are available to multiple clans. I'm not trying to hit a single clan here. I am targetting cards that break the rules of the game's economy. If I was planning to do that, it would be restoration of balance that would get added to the list. That province is a fair bit more powerful than feast or famine.

 

On a side note, there is a rumor going around that the update could have these three changes:

  • Reprieve replaces Iron Mine on the restricted list.
  • Isawa Tadaka or Feral Ningyo are on the list.
  • Let go is on the list.


#9
flauscheohr

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interesting ideas, thanks for sharing.

 

honestly i don't think that FoF is that much of a gamebreaker. sure, i've seen and won a game with it, but dragon is not strong because of FoF, but because of their design (strong dynasty chars with strong abilities and no real mass discarding of attachments). lion and unicorn can use it too (new roles) but they are both nowhere near the t1 clans right now. so restricting this card seems nevertheless only a dragon nerf to me.

 

if i could change anything, i would make all the must-haves as neutral cards, like they tried with censure. just make all power-cards free for everyone without splash limitations and noone should be worrying about them, anymore.

i would like to see FFG focusing more on clan-specific stuff, with the option for every clan to have anti-cards available.

 

in this way, you just put it down to drawing luck, rather than deckbuilding / splash choices.

 

add some more anti-cards to the cardpool, such as mass attachment hate or a neutral dynasty card stopping conflict chars.

make costly attachments immune to discard effects only for the first round, they are beeing played. make some events immune to cancels. add neutral chars which make your attachments on them undestroyable. add tutor cards for faster drawing.

 

add more variety in winning this game. more ways of honor win, choking strategies, weenie strategies and so on. FFG had some interesting approaches in conquest, where different warlords had different playstyles.

 

there are many ways of changing the gameplay in addition to the restriction-way of correcting design mistakes.

 

at the moment, it is easy to play the same theme in different clans (except for dragon, which is unique), with one clan beeing better than others in it. i would really love to see more clan specific differences in gameplay and deckbuilding.


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#10
Solaris

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I splash Dragon in my Lion deck due to Let Go, but I won't mind if it's on the RL; it has made attachments that cost 1 or more uneconomical to use, which busts the game imo. Without Let Go being in most of the top tier decks, it will make players want to use attachments again. 


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#11
Severijn

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Indeed. One thing people are clamoring about is that if you restrict Let Go, that Sashimono and other 2 cost attachments will dominate the meta. I do no believe this will necessarily be the case, mainly because 2 cost attachments are pretty expensive to play. It will be good though. I would prefer this reality, since we have a larger card pool.

 

Let go is to L5R what Parasite is to netrunner. Ruiner of tons of cards.



#12
Ignithas

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Sashimono won't dominate the meta, but I think the following will happen:

 

Phoenix becomes trash tier.

Unicorn becomes Overall stronger, because of FoF and that it becomes more difficult to interact with their attachment.

Crane will need to splash Scorpion and their powerlevel remains pretty much the same.

Dragon's best deck will be a Keeper deck, which replaces MF/PD with Let Go.

Lion becomes trash tier, because they have no way to win against attachment.deck or control decks.

Scorpion becomes better, because they have the best unrestricted attachment hate.

Crab becomes better, because they have the best attachment suit.



#13
Ultramarines

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Great way to balance Let Go would be to have it errata'd the cost of the card to X, with the added line of, "Target an attachment in play - X is equal to the printed cost of the attachment - Discard that attachment"


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#14
Antaiseito

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Great way to balance Let Go would be to have it errata'd the cost of the card to X, with the added line of, "Target an attachment in play - X is equal to the printed cost of the attachment - Discard that attachment"

I always wondered why the designers chose cost 0 instead of this ...

 

It could even say, "cost X for attachments on opponents characters, 0 on your own", IF a reason for cost 0 was to remove bad attachments from Dragon Voltron characters .... (just thinking out loud here)


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#15
Solaris

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My ideal RL:

 

Policy Debate
Charge
Cloud the Mind
Reprieve
Let Go
Forged Edict
Hawk Tattoo (no more errata)

Feast or Famine

 

 

Hawk Tattoo is now a terrible card due to errata. By putting it in RL and remove errata, it will make the card good again, while forcing the player to choose it and forsaken other cards on the list. 


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#16
DVeider

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My ideal RL:

 

Policy Debate
Charge
Cloud the Mind
Reprieve
Let Go
Forged Edict
Hawk Tattoo (no more errata)

Feast or Famine

 

 

Hawk Tattoo is now a terrible card due to errata. By putting it in RL and remove errata, it will make the card good again, while forcing the player to choose it and forsaken other cards on the list. 

 

Good RL so Lions can play both Charge & FGG...…………………. nice...….