News  /  Strategy  /  Patch notes: March 11th, 2016

Patch notes: March 11th, 2016

Written by Abrakam  |  03/11/2016

Hey everyone. This isn’t so much a patch as a reforging. Since the last patch we’ve analyzed mountains of player data, read thousands of feedback posts, watched dozens of hours of streams and of course just played the game ourselves. Here’s what we’ve come up with.

A new build-order strategy: The Forest Kick

We've got a big update for you today.

First of all, Crafting has been implemented! You can now disenchant extra cards and forge them into new ones, increasing your collection.

Read on for the rest of the changes. There's a lot to soak in.

Changelog:

  • Crafting has been implemented!
  • Balance changes have been applied, as described below..
  • Various crash fixes
  • Magda transformation bug fixed.
  • Ruunin will no longer revert to 8 cost when destroyed at 0 cost
  • Ancient Herald is fixed
  • Ruunin's Shrine Deathtouch bug fixed
  • Slight adjustments to star progression in matchmaking.
  • Fixed card text when transforming creatures in some instances
  • The animation duration when harvesting faeria when moving, collecting, and attacking in one motion has been reduced
  • Many other various small bugs have been fixed.
  • Various UI improvements have been made.

Card Changes

Special

Explore

Now gives you +2 faeria in addition to 1 prairie.


Neutral

Freedom Fighter

-1 Life


Blue

Gemsilk Faerie

Now gets +2/+0 instead of +2/+2 when you draw your first event.

Orosei, Dream of the Deep

Gift now transforms all your other friendly creatures into random ones that cost 1 faeria more.

Prophet of Tides

-1 Faeria cost, +1 Lake, -1 Attack, -1 Life

Wavecrafter

-2 life


Green

Ancient Beastmaster

Now gives +1/+0 instead of +1/+1.

Ancient Boar

-1 Attack

Flowersilk Faerie

Now gets +1/+4 instead of +2/+4 when you draw your first event.

Verduran Guardian

-1 Faeria, -1 Life


Red

Devouring Plant

-1 Faeria, -1 Life, +1 Mountain required

Flamesilk Faerie

Now gets +3/+1 instead of +3/+0 when you draw your first event.

Gift of Steel

+1 Faeria, -1 Mountain

Shedim Brute

-1 Faeria, -1 Attack

Volcanic Colossus

-1 Faeria


Yellow

Oradrim Monk

Now a 3 faeria 2/1 with haste. Instead of its old ability, it now draws you a card whenever it attacks a god.

Flash Wind

Now costs 0 faeria to use on friendly creatures. Costs 3 faeria to use on enemy creatures.

Khalim's Twister

-2 Faeria, +2 Deserts, now can target any creature (not just friendly ones).

Dune Drake

+1 Desert

Drakkar Skycaptain

No longer has charge 2

Death Walker

-1 Life

Lord of the Wastes

-1 Life

Khalim’s Follower

Now gets only +2/+0 against gods.

Oradrim Fanatic

Now can only move friendly creatures

Sunsilk Faerie

Now gets +3/+1 and Charge 3

Windborne

-1 Faeria, now gives +1/+0, flying and charge 2

Wind Soldier

Now dies at the end of the turn.

Zealous Crusader

Now a 5 faeria 4/4 that gets +1/+1 (while in your hand or deck) for each time you’ve attacked a god this game. No, it does not have haste.


You've reached the end of the patch notes! You need read no further unless you want further insight on why we are making these changes.

These balance adjustments will be applied in the patch to the Steam client today. Below is a more detailed explanation from Dan on why the team as a whole made these decisions. - Atmaz


Unwinding a Prehistoric Meta

We’ve mentioned before that we did months of internal testing tournaments with excellent players before releasing to early access. In this internal metagame, everything used to be a lot stronger. Rush killed you insanely fast and control was just as strong to compensate.

For example, the blue dragon combo with famine (which basically spends 2 cards and 12 faeria to make a gigantic dragon and destroy all your opponent’s creatures) was considered cool but nowhere near top tier. No deck using the combo ever won a tournament. The other options kept these insane combos fair.

This metagame was prehistoric. It was filled with gigantic beasts and terrifying predators. If you spent even a single turn doing the wrong thing in a matchup you got absolutely destroyed. The power level was too high, punishing even slight misplays was game-shattering. The strongest decks also didn’t provide enough breathing room for all the other cool stuff in the game. We wanted creative players to be able to compete with slightly off-beat decks.

As such we lowered the power level of a lot of cards before the early access, particularly strategies that people generally didn’t enjoy playing against. However, lowering the power of the predators has revealed a lot of things that they used to keep fair. The dragon combo popped up again, as did a more aggressive yellow rush deck.

This is why we’re getting weird meta shifts right now. We hit our prehistoric meta with a meteor and it’s naturally taking some time to work out the new ecosystem. Luckily you’ve all been playing thousands of games for us to analyze and providing fantastic feedback.

First Player Advantage

One of the most consistent and obvious results of the new metagame was first player advantage. In the prehistoric environment playing correctly against your opponent’s strategy on every possible turn was massive. Having to reveal your plan first was a far bigger disadvantage. Additionally, neutral rush creatures were much stronger - so player 2’s ability to take advantage of the more flexible land building options was significant. Also, the cards themselves were so much more powerful that they could swing games far more dramatically.

In this less dangerous environment the inherent advantage of going first became obvious. After getting a sufficient sample size of games played, the win percentages for going second were only 37%. The reason is simple once you break it down by turns:

  • Player 1 Turn: Player 1 is 3 faeria ahead
  • Player 2 Turn: Player 2 is 0 faeria ahead
  • Player 1 Turn: Player 1 is 3 faeria ahead
  • Player 2 Turn: Player 2 is 0 faeria ahead

And so on. Player 1 always has the “initiative” because they get their resources first. On their turn they have more to work with than their opponent has. More power, more options, unfair advantage.

We used to have this problem with board control. Imagine players are just building with neutral lands for the sake of example. The explore card gives player 2 a free neutral land, so it looks like this:

  • Player 1 Turn: Player 1 is two neutral lands ahead
  • Player 2 Turn: Player 2 is one neutral land ahead
  • Player 1 Turn: Player 1 is one neutral land ahead
  • Player 2 Turn: Player 2 is one neutral land ahead

This is a lot more fair and works very well. Naturally we wanted to apply the same style of solution to the faeria advantage. Simple right? We’d just give the second player a 1.5 faeria advantage. Then each player would be 1.5 faeria ahead during their turn. Problem solved.

Obviously we can’t give exactly 1.5 faeria. Additionally, it wouldn’t be quite enough compensation. Player 1 also gets the first chance at drawing extra cards and the first chance at making special lands. Player 2 needed a bit more of a push.We decided to give them +2 faeria instead.

Is this option the absolute best? We’re not 100% certain. This is obviously a huge change with dramatic ripple effects through what is possible to do in the early turns. It’s seemed fine in internal testing so far, but we plan to keep a close eye on what happens in all your games going forward. If this proves to be an overcorrection we’ll fix it. Promise.

Playing the Explore Card will now give you 1 prairie and +2 faeria.

The Yellow Menace

Yellow Rush became the dark side of the force. If new players are Luke Skywalker, the conversations tended to go something like this:

Luke: “Is the yellow rush stronger?”
Yoda: “No! Quicker, easier… But okay yeah, also stronger.”

Yellow rush had previously been kept in check by the prehistoric meta’s version of red/yellow control and much stronger taunts. A previous patch also lowered the power of control decks in order to prevent endless turtling. Put these together and you’ve got a powerhouse. While it was possible to beat yellow with enough defense and/or lifegain, yellow rush demanded far too much of players to adapt. It choked out a lot of interesting playstyles and was brutal to players without the full collection.

We also felt the intense damage of the strategy was missing an opportunity. We love cards like Khalim’s Prayer, which give you rewards for attacking your opponent. It makes your opponent fear even the early hits that normally don’t matter much in rush games. It also makes getting those hits in feel even better. However, yellow’s damage was so high that it didn’t need any help to end the game. The rewards for attacking the orb were just a bonus.

We decided to shift the power. We lowered yellow’s damage output on the hits themselves so they now rely more on the rewards for hitting. This also recaptures some more of the intellectual challenge of previous versions of yellow rush, which made it feel so different from other forms of rush.

A lot of thought went into yellow’s redesigns. We’ll go into them on the card by card level. Read below to find the detailed reasoning behind each individual card change.


Neutral

Freedom Fighter

-1 Life

Freedom Fighter is a great tool for breaking through early land blocks and even getting a hit in on turn 2. It can also answer low life structures pretty well. When it had 4 life it was a bit too hard for control to clear off the board. At 3 life it’ll be vulnerable to many more red tools as well as 3 power taunt creatures.

Blue

Gemsilk Faerie

Now gets +2/+0 instead of +2/+2 when you draw your first event.

Faeries have always been insanely strong when they triggered and pretty weak if they didn’t. In the old meta they were on the weaker side of high tier. Since we started lowering the power of the format, particularly rush and control answers, the faeries have become insane. We had to either increase the cost of most of them or lower the bonus. Increasing the cost would make them too swingy, as it relies way too much on the luck of the draw. At 2 faeria each, the faeries don’t lose you too much if they’re killed before they transform. We decided to reduce the power of (most) of their triggers instead.

Orosei, Dream of the Deep

Gift now transforms all your other friendly creatures into random ones that cost 1 faeria more.

Ding dong, the witch is dead. We’ve talked about this combo already. Orosei used to change the life of all enemy creatures to 1, leading to a broken combo with Famine (which dealt 1 damage to all creatures in play). This strategy had counters but was far too oppressive for free players to reasonably deal with.

Also the dragon was just kind of weird for blue. Blue has a more positive philosophy, it’s about improving the world through transformation. Even its removal is designed to just make an enemy creature harmless without killing it. Now the blue dragon is a suitably exciting, positive, transformation-oriented creature.

We were worried about the random effect, so we made sure that you could only affect your own creatures (not disrupt your opponent’s strategy). This lets you ensure some solid value by building a deck around the dragon’s ability.

Prophet of Tides

-1 Faeria cost, +1 Lake, -1 attack, -1 life

With the new +2 faeria advantage for the second play, Prophet of Tides enabled silly first turn plays. We upped the lake cost and lowered the faeria cost along with its stats (which were never the main point of its power) to lock out the turn 1 option while making it a more affordable tool for decks to deploy.

Wavecrafter

-2 life

Wavecrafter is a powerhouse and it’s designed to be. It prevents people from saving up infinite faeria, and rewards them for playing cards. It also can let you play a consistent stream of high cost threats. However, it felt terrible as the opponent to know the blue player was going to gain value on it no matter what you did.

If they played the wavecrafter when they were at 6 faeria, they would go back to 3 faeria at the end of the turn (effectively giving them a 5/5 for 3 faeria). If you killed the wavecrafter on your turn, you couldn’t take advantage of its ability. Even a Last Nightmare to destroy the creature was like trading 6 faeria for 3. It felt awful.

Lowering Wavecrafter’s stats to 5/3 means that lots of different decks can kill it for only 3 faeria. Wind Soldier, Flame Burst, Ninja Toad and friends all can take out a wavecrafter without losing value. Should feel a lot more fair.

Green

Ancient Beastmaster

Now gives +1/+0 instead of +1/+1

One of our guidelines for balancing is to keep an eye out for cards that get too good in multiples. Ancient Beastmaster is one of these cards. It’s very easy to get the faeria to play 2 of these cards and its 5 life body makes it hard to kill efficiently now that War Yak is a 4/5 instead of a 5/5. This card was way too good with Ancient Boar in particular. We’re toning them down together.

Ancient Boar

-1 Attack

Speak of the devil. A 3/5 for as little as 2 faeria is extremely good. Back when the rush meta was based around 5 attack creatures it was a lot more fair. Now it’s based around 4 attack or less. This makes the boar good on its own and insane with the old beastmaster buff. By lowering the boar’s attack by 1, it’s much more reasonable.

Flowersilk Faerie

Now gets +1/+4 instead of +2/+4 when you draw your first event.

Another faerie nerf. Same logic as Gemsilk.

Verduran Guardian

-1 Faeria, -1 Life

Just a slight tweak here to make repeated lifegain a bit more reachable.

Red

Devouring Plant

-1 Faeria, -1 Life, +1 Mountain required

Red nearly vanished from the top tier meta during the yellow menace. Its cards were still good, but green was the go-to deck for stopping yellow due to its taunts and heals. Green is also good against red with all its high life creatures, while a blue or blue/green deck can easily kill a monogreen one. Those decks tended to be weaker to yellow rush… Which created a rock/paper/scissors format that red was basically left out of.

The previous nerf to Devouring Plant was a major reason. Now the plant is once more possibly the best single card for stopping a yellow rush. This defensive tool gives red a lot more game as a counter to aggressive strategies in general and is powerful enough to be run even if you aren’t specifically trying to resist a rush.

Flamesilk Faerie

Now gets +3/+1 instead of +3/+0 when you draw your first event.

This faerie was the only one that got buffed. It was basically unplayed at high tiers last time and we prefer it when faeries can survive a falcon dive after they trigger.

Gift of Steel

+1 Faeria, -1 Mountain

This change was made to make this card both easier to play in multicolor decks and to restrict the option of a silly turn 2 play for player 2 (turn 1 fire elemental, turn 2 make a third mountain and play double Gift of Steel on the elemental - then attack for 8).

Shedim Brute

-1 Faeria, -1 Attack

Red control decks tend to be slightly strangled for faeria after Blood Obelisk’s cost increase. Creating a lower costed version of Shedim Brute is designed to help this strategy a bit while also making Choking Sands an answer to it (though it’s now inefficient to answer with Last Nightmare).

Volcanic Colossus

-1 Faeria

Now that the other red control tools like Blood Singer and Blood Obelisk have been nerfed for a while, we decided to reduce the cost of this colossus a bit to give red a more reliable finisher.

Yellow

Flash Wind

Now costs 0 Faeria to use on friendly creatures. Costs 3 Faeria to use on enemy creatures.

We’ve broken alphabetical order here because this is the most important change to yellow.

After intense analysis and testing, it became clear that the major reason for yellow rush’s oppressive game plan was its ability to efficiently move enemy creatures out of the way. Anyone playing against a yellow rush learned that it wasn’t enough to play a single taunt creature in front of your orb. They could just move it away. You had to commit a huge amount of resources into setting up a defense, which left very little for your own counter-attack.

We did a quick test with yellow having no way to move enemy creatures and the matchup instantly felt much more fair. A single taunt actually meant something now. However, it suddenly became too easy to permanently lock out yellow. So we gave them back the option to spend a lot to move an enemy creature, while reducing the cost of moving their own creatures. The card’s less elegant now but a lot more interesting.

Oradrim Fanatic

Now can only move friendly creatures

Similar to the Flash Wind change, Oradrim Fanatic can now only move friendly creatures. Now, back to our regularly scheduled alphabetical order.

Khalim's Twister

-2 Faeria, +2 Deserts, now can target any creature (not just friendly ones).

With Flash Wind’s drop in power Desert Twister becomes an option again, just at so many deserts that you really have to commit to it. Desert Twister gives you insane control over the battlefield. Now it’s an option for yellow to use if they’re willing to make this many deserts, but keeps it high enough (like meteor and aurora’s trick) in cost to keep it from ruining a player’s fun (which it used to do when it showed up frequently).

Drakkar Skycaptain

No longer has charge 2

Drakkar Skycaptain was already an extremely good gatherer, most flying creatures with charge 2 are. However it became completely bonkers when played on turn 1 with the new compensation for going second. This creature never really needed charge 2 in its current version (its design shifted, its old version used to need the extra mobility). We decided to take off the charge 2 rather than up the desert cost because it’s still important for flying decks to get to play it early.

Dune Drake

+1 Desert

Another card that got too good as a turn 1 play for player 2. Also, with flash wind now able to move your creatures for 0 faeria the drake’s mobility options intensified for lower cost. This desert change is to give the opponent just a bit more breathing room and increase the color cost of playing this control-wrecking tool.

Death Walker

-1 Life

Death Walker has long been a problem waiting to happen. It’s been overshadowed by even stronger yellow options in the past. These nerfs would have revealed the gaping horror of this card’s raw power. It’s still a powerhouse but at least it’s just slightly more possible for red decks to deal with it. Noticing the “red is getting better in the meta” theme?

Khalim’s Follower

Now gets only +2/+0 against gods.

No card went through more iterations in our internal tests over the last week than this one. Ultimately we settled on a slight nerf to its damage output. 2 damage is a lot less than 3. Our goal for yellow rush is to reduce its haste damage and shift more of its power to the on-hit effects. Khalim’s Follower dealing 2 damage instead of 3 is a big part of that.

Lord of the Wastes

-1 Life

Just like Deathwalker, a proactive nerf to reduce the sacrifice-yellow rush archetype’s power before it becomes too obvious in game. With a Khalim’s Follower to sacrifice, you still pay 3 faeria for a 7/3. That follower might have gathered faeria and attacked before the sacrifice too.

Oradrim Monk

Now a 3 faeria 2/1 with haste. Instead of its old ability, it now draws you a card whenever it attacks a god.

A complete redesign. One of yellow’s holes with lowering its per-card damage is actually getting enough cards to consistently deal with its enemy’s defenses. Oradrim Monk gives the strategy more value on its attacks that isn’t strictly damage oriented.

Sunsilk Faerie

Now gets +3/+1 and Charge 3

Sunsilk Faerie was way too swingy. Sometimes it was useless, sometimes your opponent attacked you for 12 damage on turn 3. This change should severely reduce its swingy nature as well as tone down its raw power considerably.

Windborne

-1 Faeria, now gives +1/+0, flying and charge 2

If Windborne only gave you +2/+0 for 2 faeria - without flying or charge 2 - it would still be a powerful card. Paying 2 faeria for 2 damage this turn and possibly more the next turn was huge pressure. Now the card is still a mobility tool to help your creature get in but drastically reduces yellow’s DPC (Damage Per Card).

Wind Soldier

Now dies at the end of the turn.

Wind Soldier is one of our favorite cards. It’s faeria at its core, a slightly simple appearance that masks a wealth of depth. Wind Soldier was one of the best cards in the entire game, maybe just the best card. It was a jack of all trades and a master of all of them too. It could kill creatures as efficiently as some top tier red removal and structures even more efficiently. It could break land blocks and rip into enemy gods. And it could do all of this after gathering in the same turn it was summoned.

This nerf makes the card still useful for breaking land blocks and fighting creatures, but weaker at fighting structures (which yellow is supposed to have more trouble destroying) and less insane when attacking an enemy god directly. It also makes the card more attractive to combo with yellow sacrifice effects, because you’re going to lose the soldier anyway.

Zealous Crusader

Now a 5 faeria 4/4 that gets +1/+1 (while in your hand or deck) for each time you’ve attacked a god this game. No, it does not have haste.

Remember when we said we were pushing the power around? This is where we’re pushing some of it to. Instead of yellow killing you just with face damage (though that’s still possible of course), their smaller earlier hits also build up the power of this late game threat.

Zealous Crusader grows bigger and bigger over the course of the game, while always being a low enough cost to gain at least some value if your opponent plays a Last Nightmare or Frogify on it. Even Humbling Vision isn’t amazing, because a low attack creature can still attack, building up the power of your future Crusaders.


You've made it to the end! Once again, we expect the changes to hit the live server today. Thank you for reading!

-The Faeria Team

We'd like to give a special thank you to our Vanguards for helping out in vigorous balance and bug testing this week on our Test server. We couldn't do it without you!

Adventure Pouch War Effort
Gold already gathered
559,217,565 / 750,000,000