The Elder Scrolls

Arena state after JoO

TheElderScrolls4 - Arena state after JoO
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Greetins everyone.

Before i begin i ask your understanding about any grammar and formatting mistakes, as I'm neither a native speaker nor quite familiar with reddit thread creating tools.

I'm a long time Legends player ( had a long break – a year and a half i believe- after clockwork city and came back with moons of elsewyr) always going to legend rank, and when i feel like it i even go for top 100 or top 10 (the latter 2 times was really close but unsuccessful in the end). While i do enjoy the ladder, i find from my experience that to compete in the highest level you need a lot (like a lot) time invested and must no matter what have meta decks and ofcourse know how to play them. And while i enjoy competing in the versus ladder format from time to time my true love is the Arena format, and more specifically versus Arena (though solo arena is also fun)

And versus Arena after JoO came out is what prompted this thread. In Arena, besides the obvious skill to know how to play, it takes a different kind of skillsets to be successful, amongst them the most notable are knowing how cards perform, how to build solid decks and finding synergies and combos that are too weak to see ladder play but are solid enough to grant you some wins and good runs in Arena.

Granted there is some luck involved into drafting, but after playing a bit (and ive played a lot, like a lot) you know what to expect – more or less – from each colour combination. I strongly believe im above average arena player with over 200 7win arenas (if not more), 42x 7-0 , and I have long streaks of going infinite on arena from time to time. (infinite on arena means the gold you win from arena only is enough to be able to play more arenas, no dailies and tickets or log-in gold, which is extremely hard in Legends since only 7wins grand the gold back)

Anyway, weird flexing stops here, i just wanted to mention those things so you people and hopefully bethesda can understand that i somewhat know what im talking about.

The issue is somewhat unavoidable to be honest, but there are ways around it.

Early in the game, Arena format was very punishing, a simple mistake or drafting greedy or superfast with no value or lack of tempo could mean 0-3 no questions asked. You had to carefully pick the best card to fit into your deck during drafting and play above average to get to the sweet 7win arena run.

Over the time and with the powercreeping that naturally comes when introducing new cards/expansions those mistakes stopped beeing so meaningful. What that meant is that you were free to make not only drafting mistakes but mistakes in the game too and not be punished cause you had superior card quality. Granted again, you could be superlucky even before expansions and get almost constructed value decks but even then mistakes mattered a lot.

Ofcourse i understand this kind of thing is really unavoidable, if you are going to introduce more powerful effects than before, that are more swingy and can make comebacks easier. What that this also does though is lowering the skill required to play Arena, and this was really obvious even on MoE expansion, with one perpetrator being above all the rest by a long way. His name is Bandari Opportunist and if you are even a little bit familiar with his arena performance you know where this thread is going. Basically if you could draft Bandari Opportunist in MoE arena (and now also) you were guaranteed at least 2-3 free wins, legit FREE wins for luckily drafting this cards. Its oppresive and really anti-fun card to play against and even CVH and Bethesda recognized this but said its ok since he will rotate out at some point in the future. He is still in by the way, and keeps doing what he did since the moment he got introduced, making people miserable.

But enough about mister Bandari, you see he is but one card, Epic and only in colour Green, many random factors had to align so you could get this card into play.

In contrast to INVADE, that seems to be like a really, really dumb (yes i know excuse me) mechanic for arena Format, especially now that we finally got a more competitive Arena Format. Why is that you may ask. So here it goes:

– Red, Blue, Yellow, can all get invade cards

– Invade cards come at all rarity tiers, common, rare, epic, legendary

– Arena's nature (aka random draft) prohibits from legitimately crafting Invade counter decks or even teching invade-counter cards.

– With few exceptions, Invade cards inherently provide more tempo + value and can snowball harder than any other card (1 drops summoning 0/4 for a total of 1/5 stats plus future buffs and creating threats is insane that even exists)

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– Invade cards lower quality of games, lower the skill required to play cause its all random, and make mistakes in play and drafting worthless.

– Even if theoretically, there is always 1 option for invade, 1 for tamriel and one for all the rest deck combinations, when the rest of deck combinations include one of red, blue, yellow, invade cards DILLUTE and lower both the quality as well as the excitement of drafting a new arena deck.

– Invade mechanic and cards are to put it mildly extremely Invasive, Oppressive, Stressful and Anti-fun to play against

Ive seen lvl 12 Portals in ARENA, what do you expect us to do versus that Bethesda? At least Mundus Stone and Divine Fervor are Two cards one Unique Legendary and the other Epic that when you play them you lose INSANE TEMPO, you basically are doing nothing on the turn playing them. But invade? Let me play a turn 4 5/3 (if not more cause the portal might already be there) that will make a 0/6 portal next turn, or 6/8 worth of stats in creatures plus a 0/6 with ward turn 7 that also has the potential next turn to be a divine fervor plus mundus stone. This CANT possible seem fair and balanced.

Basically arena is a whole different kind of game, that some things simply do not fit or just break it. Invade is one that breaks it, horribly, and all you can do is go face as soon as you see those colours. And i legit believe nobody wants the game to be go face or go home

Arena doesnt have the luxury of having combos and answers sloted into your deck, doesnt have a legit game winning plan, and Invade seriously trumps any decision making and deck building element of the game. It might be ok to summon mini-Dagoths in constructed cause both players have a plan and a whole deck dedicated to that plan, but it is NOT ok for arena.

Basically invade cards should be cut completely from arena drafts, if not now, after a week or two just so that players get their fill of invasion because JoO is new and all.

Legit, i was super hyped as a predominantly versus Arena player to play arena with the new cards, but invade simply drains the lifeforce out of me, so much that i consciously try to pick the colours that dont have invade cards (i hadnt played scout before JoO for a long time) cause i know its soul crashing for the opponents too, to face insanenly highroll/snowball decks that require only luck and zero decision making game knowledge.

Arena has always appealed to me cause you could not go meta, every deck you played felt different, you were WOW that was a nice combo, WOW i didnt expect that, WOW that was a cool interaction, with the occasional damn that opener could be constructed or damn he had Odaviing, now its all : WOW he has invade, do i go face with my deck that cant push? Do i use all of my 2 removals on portals or the daedra creatures? Do i lose the value war cause im trying to kill the portal that can reach 10 hp and could be better than divine fervor and mundus stone or do i let the opponent summon mini-dagoths by turn 7-8? Which negative scenario do i choose? Lose or Lose ?

At this point even thinking of the things ive seen in arena provokes feelings of despair, and even if i was super stocked to play some Legends for new interactions and scenarios i wont be playing cause every game feels the same shitty (excuse me again) experience over and over again. Invade literally killed arena for me.

Thank you for reading. Im leaving with the hope that at some point in the near future arena will be the fun experience it had been for years (even if stale due to the lack of new cards from time to time) and for that to be the case invade should be removed from Arena , nothing less nothing more. No hard feelings, i had a lot of fun and continue to do so in contructed and casual modes but as an Arena player i sincerely dont wont to touch that format again as long as invade exists in it.

TLDR : Invasion cards and mechanic way too oppressive, stressful and anti-fun in versus Arena, breaks the format and makes it feel like you are playing the same match every time or playing constructed ladder. Battling against invade decks leaves you with three options 1) go face and hope your deck can do it, 2) have more invade, 3) simply lose . Remove invade from Arena format if not now after a week or so when the initial hype and novelty dies off.

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