The Elder Scrolls

Unpopular opinion: How to fix tricolor dominance [Warning: Long]

TheElderScrolls5 - Unpopular opinion: How to fix tricolor dominance [Warning: Long]

It has become pretty clear that tricolor decks are indeed more powerful than duals in every single play style except for combos. This has been brought into evidence during the MSQs, where dual color decks were almost exclusively represented by burn assassin/archer, while all other archetypes were dominated by tricolors.

Before going on the actual fix proposal, let's take a look at the reasons currently making tricolor decks overall more effective:

1 – Less weaknesses, more strengths: One of the things that defined dual classes was their identity. Just like Ian said on his video, each dual class has a specific set of strengths and weaknesses that defined their play style. Let's take a look at support removal for example. Unless you want to hard tech Dreugh or Dismantle, of the 10 dual classes, 3 do not have access to support removal cards (monk, mage and assassin). But in tricolor, only 1/10 lacks them (dominion). Another example is access to ramp. 4 of the 10 original classes had access to true ramp (endurance). But with tricolors, this number increases to 6. Now, you can try to convince me that this is counterbalanced by the need of a bigger amount of cards in the deck, and this is where the next topic comes in:

2 – Less consistency, more highrolls: By having more cards on one's deck, we obviously decrease overall deck consistency even when adding another attribute. But that doesn't mean the deck is inconsistent by itself. What happens is, the deck can be as consistent as a dual color, just less often. It is less predictable, but is bound to happen at some point. This causes those moments we've already seen plenty on the MSQs this year: This player needs to find X card really soon to survive or Whoever plays/draws X card/combo first wins the match. This develops matches that become dull and repetitive over time, in which what existed as a solid game plan for dual color decks is transformed onto a diluted strategy. Just compare tribunal/telvanni/ebonheart mirrors against old aggro crusader vs uprising scout. And I know some of you will say that tricolor decks do have consistency and establishment, which brings me to my final point:


3 – Tricolors aren't classes, they are hybrids: Let's go back to Ian's video. Remember how each class had their specific identity? Tricolor classes weren't introduced as brand new identities, but rather as mixes of existing ones. Let's dissect rage decks for a moment. Rage archer, the first popular rage deck, excelled at the synergistic intersection between strength and agility. You had the utility and versatility from green paired with rage, breakthrough and pings from red, easily identified by their dual cards Gambit and Allena. That made rage archer one of the best examples of dual color consistency out there, with a defined set of strengths and weaknesses composing their identity. When ebonheart came, all that was dissolved. Ebonheart did not introduce a new class identity that would shake up the whole game (Veteran greedy aggro doesn't work pepehands). Instead, it took everything good from rage archer, a pre-existing archetype set in stone by its class identity, and blended it with the access to ramp and discard pile interactions that were exclusive to purple decks. Before tricolors, you had to choose. You want to slay, okay. Pick green and something else. Go big and rage with a Vigilant Giant with red, or make your BML shenanigans with purple. Or play warrior and rage your BML, but you'll need to draw. really. really. well. Tricolors not only erased the sole need for all this deck diversity (who's seen rage warrior on ladder since AW? Anyone?), but they also eliminated the need for a specific game plan by allowing multiple class archetypes into a single deck. Again, in ebonheart this is easily displayed with the typical "Venomtongue-Gambit" or "Necromancer-Allena".

And that brings us to my humble proposed intervention:

Forbit tricolor decks from using dual color cards.

Think about it. If we want to imagine tricolor classes as a genuine different class, with an established identity with specific strengths and weaknesses, this is exactly the solution we are looking for. Dual color cards represent the heart of dual classes, their own identity, just like the tricolors represent theirs. Doing this would fix up the game for good.

Of course this action would also require a counterbalance by releasing more tricolor-specific cards, since they would, at their turn, have a smaller pool of cards to choose from.

Thanks for your attention!

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