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Milutki

I think it's time to do something with Sandeep...

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Ok, i'll try to focus on Sandeep. I can't agree that he is 2nd in everything in Arcanists. He is certainly first in supporting his crew - Collette/Kaeris are worse than him in this matter, and Ironsides is equal or worse than him. Then, in my opinion he is currently a better summoner than Ramos. His summons can do a lot of different things, are more mobile and he can summon a hard hitter in form of Banasuva. Moreover, he doesn't need scrap markers and with Kandara, his upgrades are not limiting him. So I don't think that he is second in everything. He is first in areas mentioned by me, and good in other areas. That's too much for me, and I guess for many other people too. Nearly all of masters in Malifaux have some weaknesses, more or less obvious, Sandeep is certainly an exception to this.

The other problem is, that he will always be the most played AR master in this form beacuse of the above. If there is no scheme pool that is bad for him, then why bother with playing other masters ? And that's the issue. I think it is a lot easier to nerf one master a bit, than to buff all the others, and there is no problem with the other masters. They are mostly not bad (maybe except Mei Feng), Ironsides, Ramos, Marcus, Rasputina are all good and viable masters, but they have weaknesses, and Sandeep has none of them. I agree that he needs a reasonable nerf, but he needs a nerf nonetheless.

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8 minutes ago, Milutki said:

... and with Kandara, his upgrades are not limiting him ...

Kandara gets a Gamin upgrade out of play every other turn. In the best case scenario, this allows Sandeep to summon 2 extra Gamin in a 5 turn game. It's a stretch to consider that freeing him from the limits of his upgrades. 

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well it allows sandeep to summon banasuva without slow and then make him able to cheat fate anyway. But i dont see problem with kandara, shes made for sandeep and its obvious she works well with him

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45 minutes ago, raderk said:

well it allows sandeep to summon banasuva without slow and then make him able to cheat fate anyway. But i dont see problem with kandara, shes made for sandeep and its obvious she works well with him

That makes sense. I read "not limiting him" as referring to the limit on the number of Gamin that Sandeep can summon at once.

Kandara's fun and can do some useful things by removing the upgrades but I just haven't found getting more Gamin on the table to be one of them.  

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For skeeters no, since they can only do 0's. Child isn't specifically for any Master either. Changelings too.

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The real problem in Sandeep crew is that the whole crew is doing everything above average, contains big number of good models(9-10) and everything is combing with each other without any loses in efficient like in the other crews.

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14 hours ago, Rillan said:

@Kadeton btw u missed part that not only Sandeep but Entire Wave 4 is completely broken in comparison to other masters. Reva/Nellie/Sandeep/Barrows and e.t.c. they are all so balanced and good compared to others that u dont need other master and u play others only when u bored or need something special. If we talk about overall balance then either whole WAVE 4 needs nerf either whole bunch of BOOK 1-3 masters need to be rebalanced cause some of them are good and some long time ago went to gather shelf dust. Its completely bullshit when Malifaux meta and balance goes around WAVE 4 models and now in WAVE 5 they are trying to solve this problem by creating another.

I would suggest that the other Wave 4 Masters are strong, but they don't overshadow the rest of their Faction in the way that Sandeep does. Reva, while powerful, doesn't hold a candle to Nicodem. Nellie is great, but McCabe is an equally strong alternative in the same style of play, and the other Guild Masters gained a lot of flexibility and power in Wave 5 which can make them more appealing in some scenarios. Barrows was a poor contender against Hamelin and Jack Daw from the moment he was released. Titania is awesome, but so are Pandora and Lilith. No faction other than Arcanists has the "One Master to rule them all" problem.

Of the two options you present, I'd definitely prefer to boost the Wave 1-3 Masters that are lagging behind. Wave 4 Masters are multidimensional, flexible, and work with their crews in cool ways. The same certainly can't be said of all the earlier Masters - I'd much rather see them become more interesting to play than see the good Masters stripped back and made less interesting in order to match them.

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I've been looking at the Polish rankings, to see what I can see, and honestly, I can't see much in the way of evidence for Arcanist dominance (its split by faction obviously, so I can't tell anything about masters). There were actually 5 Arcanist players in the Polish nationals, and 4 did finish in the top 10 of the 46.

When you look at the top Arcanist Players, only two of them are consistantly finishing at the top 20% of events. The other well Ranked arcanist players are more just top half of the tables. 

This seems to be a similar pattern in the other factions. So this doesn't suggest that Arcanists as a whole are hugely overpowered compared to other factions. 

From their I'm going to apply My knowledge of The UK meta, and several of the top players there. 

Most of the players who have won the UK GT choose to play 1 master for the majority of their games. So I think this year Jamie Varney played Nicodem for all 7 games, Mark Elwood probably player Dreamer for the 7 games in 2016 when he won it, Joe Wood played Kirai for all 7 games when he won in 2015, and Ben Crowe played Levi for all 7 in 2014 when he won. 

These players picked the Master they got on best with and focused on learning how they coped with all the scenarios, so were most comfortable playing 1 master for everything. That doesn't make that master the best master in the faction, just the master the player was most comfortable with. 

Sandeep is certainly a very strong Arcanist Master, and one who lends himself well to being able to compete in all scheme pools, so good Sandeep players will be able to play him well for all games. But just because a few players are only playing the 1 master when they have the options of the whole faction does not automatically mean that master is the best at everything. (During Mark Elwoods Dreamer period I think Greg Piskos was generally doing very well with his Lilith list , now known as the "all stars", and 2 different Reserectionist Masters are in the UK GT results).

 

This doesn't prove that Sandeep is not to good,  but it does suggest that only a small number of Polish Players are posting good tournament results with Arcanists. 

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@Adran

Does it mean u advice to ignore the problem and just buy top tier masters like those u mentioned above cause why to bother anyone by complaining when u can buy Sandeep for Arcanists/ Nico for Ressers / Dreamer for Neverborn / Zipp for Gremlins and so on ? Any of those are much better than 20 others ... And whats your advice for those who don't play those masters and are no match to them cause others can't fight those ?
No! Thank u! But its not interesting to play Malifaux like that and while any other master wont match results top tier does problem wont be solved.

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13 minutes ago, Rillan said:

@Adran

Does it mean u advice to ignore the problem and just buy top tier masters like those u mentioned above cause why to bother anyone by complaining when u can buy Sandeep for Arcanists/ Nico for Ressers / Dreamer for Neverborn / Zipp for Gremlins and so on ? Any of those are much better than 20 others ... And whats your advice for those who don't play those masters and are no match to them cause others fight those ?
No! Thank u! But its not interesting to play Malifaux like that and while any other master wont match results top tier does problem wont be solved.

No, that's not my advice.

If you ever read my battle reports or Blog posts you will see that I personally am a big fan of using as many different models as possible to understand what is my best option for each scenario, rather than the other approach of picking a small subsection of models and getting really good with them. My advice is to pick what you enjoy, and get good with that. 

I have played this game for many years, and seen just about every master claimed to be over powered or rubbish (and sometimes its the same master at the same time for each). I have faced a lot of the "overpowered and broken" lists, and beaten them, even when used by good players. (I've also lost to the "rubbish masters" when they were controlled by new players).  The Master Tier lists exist largely in peoples minds, and for the majority of players the "power" difference between top tier master and bottom tier master is not very much. 

My general opinion is that the greatest deciding factor on the winner of the game is actually the skill of the player. Sandeep might be overall a fraction stronger that Marcus but not enough that even if the game is one that matches sandeeps strengths, a good Marcus player will beat a moderate sandeep player. 

And so I would suggest choose who you want to play. learn them, and learn them well. There is no forgone conclusion in any of the matchups in this game. If you prefere a "rubbish" master, then play that master, and you can still win against the top masters if you play well. And you can prove the internet wrong. 

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The problem with that argument is that while it may be true to a large extent it doesn’t change the fact that in a competitive event, unless you are the big fish in the tiny pond, eventually you are going to go up against someone equally good as you. As soon as skill levels equalize any edges any particular masters give become more and more important and noticeable. And that’s a problem.

In a competitive event I will posit you absolutely cannot win playing a lower tier master unless there is absolutely no one even close to your skill level also in attendance. For all the talk of it’s the player and not the master the exact same masters come up over and over and over. And that’s because good top tier players can recognize the edge a powerful master gives them and therefore chooses not to play those that are weaker. 

That to me proves that either Sandeep is too good, or every other master in the game that isn’t close to him is too weak. I would speculate, and I’ll admit I could be wrong, that if you asked a top tier player to play nothing but Sandeep, and also let it generally be known that’s all they were playing they would still be open to that and could still win the event. Yet if you told them to do the same thing with the masters that are considered weaker, Seamus, Parker, Hoffman, Colette, Kaeris, etc... they either would not agree to do it, or would and would finsh in the so called mid-table-mediocrity. That to me is a problem, especially since one of M2Es stated design goals was master to master balance.

If you have masters that can be played in all pools and also be known to the opponent in advance of what they are playing, and still repeatedly reach the highest tables and win events that is only a problem if every other master cannot do the same thing, and currently they cannot. So that’s a problem, in my opinion. 

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42 minutes ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

In a competitive event I will posit you absolutely cannot win playing a lower tier master unless there is absolutely no one even close to your skill level also in attendance. For all the talk of it’s the player and not the master the exact same masters come up over and over and over. And that’s because good top tier players can recognize the edge a powerful master gives them and therefore chooses not to play those that are weaker. 

I often find its the opposite. Exactly the same players come to the top, regardless of the masters they pick. Looking at the UK tournament scene, lots of the top players have been on it for years, and at times they have got bored with the factions they are associated with, and moved to a different faction. And more often than not, the player still ends up with podium positions. 

Now, some of this might be them just finding the "top" masters in the new faction, but often it has been a good player spotting things other people hadn't seen in the factions and making use of them.  

But in a few cases we have had top players play events with raffled off lists (so generally as bad as the winner of the raffle can make) and still done really well. So whilst I agree that not all masters are equal at everything,  I do feel that the gap between "good" masters and "bad" masters is lower than you feel. And its possible the top players I know are more happy to do silly things because of the amount of events they can easily get to in the UK meta. 

I have also heard several of the 1 MASTER players commenting on how the hope they meet the other top players in round x rather than round y, because they have the advantage in x, and the other player has the advantage in y. Which to me says that the skill gap between the players is close, and the advantage goes to the person who picks the best list for that scenario. 

 

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And yet those players picking masters are not picking what are considered the weakest masters in that faction, at least not from the results I’ve seen. You don’t see the top players suddenly deciding you know what, Parker, for example, is better than everyone thinks, and then going to a highly competitive event and getting the podium with just them. That can and does happen with better masters.

Malifaux certainly does reward skill, but it’s more system mastery than anything else. I could take a crew of no special rules generic, bland, pretty bad models and still beat someone new or less good than me, but the instant I play against anyone even relatively near my skill level any edge that any model gives becomes heightened.

The early waves of M2E were better at the balance band than 1E certainly but I feel we are skewing back to where we were in 1E where if you want to actually win a large event you only had so many actually viable masters to choose from.

Im not naive, and I know no matter what they do some master is just going to have that little extra edge. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to not be surprised if any master in the game was the winner of any particular large event. I think If Kaeris, or Hoffman, or Ophelia or any of the other less currently well regarded masters actually won a current world class event there would be way more interest in what was going on than if Nellie, or Collodi, or Hamelin did. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable ask for it to be unremarkable of any master went all the way, and i don’t feel we are anywhere close to that at the moment.

Now at least Wyrd is making an effort in that regard, but I think it’s got to be a combination of not only boosting those at the bottom but also filing down a little those at the top. And at present I feel Sandeep could use some filing.

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@Adran

OK let's take it from other side..

How much skill u need to win as Justice/Seamus/Kaeris e.t.c VS Sandeep/Nico/Zipp e.t.c? How big real chance this can happen twice?  U might disagree but in competitive aspect there is huge gap between Strong masters and Others and when u play for *fun* it's not a result. Strong players don't care about loosing those games but in competition suddenly all pro players pick best masters instead of lower tier.. 

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3 hours ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

And yet those players picking masters are not picking what are considered the weakest masters in that faction, at least not from the results I’ve seen. You don’t see the top players suddenly deciding you know what, Parker, for example, is better than everyone thinks, and then going to a highly competitive event and getting the podium with just them. That can and does happen with better masters.

Malifaux certainly does reward skill, but it’s more system mastery than anything else. I could take a crew of no special rules generic, bland, pretty bad models and still beat someone new or less good than me, but the instant I play against anyone even relatively near my skill level any edge that any model gives becomes heightened.

The early waves of M2E were better at the balance band than 1E certainly but I feel we are skewing back to where we were in 1E where if you want to actually win a large event you only had so many actually viable masters to choose from.

Im not naive, and I know no matter what they do some master is just going to have that little extra edge. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to not be surprised if any master in the game was the winner of any particular large event. I think If Kaeris, or Hoffman, or Ophelia or any of the other less currently well regarded masters actually won a current world class event there would be way more interest in what was going on than if Nellie, or Collodi, or Hamelin did. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable ask for it to be unremarkable of any master went all the way, and i don’t feel we are anywhere close to that at the moment.

Now at least Wyrd is making an effort in that regard, but I think it’s got to be a combination of not only boosting those at the bottom but also filing down a little those at the top. And at present I feel Sandeep could use some filing.

Agree with all of this. Player skill is important, sure, but at the end of the day games are won by players that use AP as efficiently as possible when earning or denying VP. The choice of master and crew determines the quality and quantity of the AP. Collodi trades 1 master AP for a ton of minion AP or, depending on the limited, trades minion AP for Master AP. On top of that, each AP from Collodi has incredible quality as it is not used for walking, benefits from focus, has built in + flips to damage, High chance of success with the CA value, deals damage, removes AP from the enemy, and gives you control of the opponent's AP.

In other words, Collodi lets players either multiply AP or increase the quality of AP.

Summoning Masters like Nicodem or Hamelin also generate a ton of AP while reducing the quality of the enemy AP by either forcing them to use them when they're least effective (And Pandora is the Queen when it comes to this), or by forcing them to be wasted by disengaging or otherwise taking actions that don't contribute to VP.

Card draw and positive flips also increase the value of each AP as you can greatly enhance the chance of success (In some case guarantee it, especially if the black joker is not looming about).

Sandeep has all these tools. He generates extra AP through summoning, extra actions, and by letting other models "borrow" high value actions. He also doesn't normally need to walk. He has card draw and grants positive flips.

Also, being able to kill things early is a very, very effective way of reducing enemy AP in both quantity and quality. An incorporeal Howard Langston that's immune to conditions can help with that (Shout-out to Viks too!)

So yeah, player skills matter but, depending on the crew (Which is largely affected by Master choice), two good players are not going to have a similar chance of winning if one has a lot more and a lot better AP that the other.

 

Edited by Saduhem
Autocorrect

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I think if there was a nerf to Sandeep, putting a :ToS-Range: on his Arcane Storm would require having the + to attack upgrade Gamin near certain models or would require focusing to make it work.  This at least requires more attention to proper positioning of models or more AP to get it to hit and make use of the discard to get Sandeep his 4th AP.  Also, this would not allow his Arcane Storm to be cast in melee which is a huge upside to this ability.  

I am in whole agreement that most of the Arcanist masters are still sorely lacking in the competitive scene.  I think our biggest issue is that there are so many ways to bypass armor and the lower tier master rely upon that to survive (Mei, Ramos, Kaeris).  Even though we can now give armor to masters with the Steamfitter, it still is almost a moot point when most factions can bring anti-armor and still punish the masters and models that rely upon it.  Ramos is at least a little better with his new wave 5 upgrades to give him a different playstyle but Mei still has the issue of needing to stone for her triggers or having the perfect hand or she is relegated to being a support model and then most likely dying to a beater from the other faction.  I almost wish that Mei would have the "Fake Soulstone" ability that Colette has to ensure she could get at least one trigger off a turn.  Kaeris is supposed to be a queen of burning but she requires too much set up to make us of it and her abilities revolve around being in the midline where she is vulnerable to a sustained assault, which she can hardly handle with her armor +1 (which is easy to bypass as mentioned above).  Not to mention the fact that the :ToS-Range: on her abilities completely shuts her out of doing her attacks into melee.  Colette has been mentioned and Ironsides is great to play so I won't say anything about them.  Raspy is decent if all you need to kill but GG18 is kill-y with stipulations so she's kind of in a niche spot, which I think is ok. Marcus is good though.  I love me some Marcus. lol.

So yes, buffing certain masters would help out the Arcanist faction immensely but to satisfy those who think Sandeep is too OP, a minor nerf such as I mentioned above could hopefully help. 

Edit: An additional thought - most melee masters have some way to heal but Mei only has it on an upgrade and that only heals one after killing.  Perhaps it should be reworded to say heal 1 (or more) when damaging and draw a card when she kills a model.  

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Fetid, What makes a Master a "good" master? 
I would say it is players perceptions, and seeing that people have won events with them. And you might disagree with me, but I have seen a lot of herd behaviour in Malifaux, when people follow what others have done. So One master doing well means more people play that master, so it does better and so forth. 
I don't recall much Levi hate until Ben Crowe and Icemyn were winning events with him. I don't remember seeing anything about Philip and the Nanny as a card draw for a couple of years until Joe Wood won the UKGT with it, and even then, now he has stopped playing Kirai, I don't hear anywhere near as much about her as a problem. 

Its not quite the same but i know the person who almost won last years UKGT used Kaeris in some games (He lost to Jamie in the last round, but was second at that point) because he beat me with her. But he didn't play mono master. 

Going back to First edition, you did actually see top UK players go to the factions, pick the masters that were considered the worse, and then discover they were actually pretty good, and use them to win multiple events (Marcus was the greatest example). I don't know of anyone that has done that in 2nd edition, but I do know of players winning big (30+players)events with masters like Justice when they weren't popular.

 
Rillan
I don't think you need that much more overall skill to win events with some of those masters than you do with the second list. Sometimes you've had to have greater commitment, becasue at mid skill levels some masters can under perform, so often get written off at that point as rubbish.   As I said above, I think there are a lot of people who say, Zipp is the best Gremlin master, so people then only go and play Zipp because they want to do well. This in itself does not prove Zipp is better than Ophelia, because in a lot of the cases, the players posting good Zipp results have never tried Ophelia. 
Perdita is a Master that if you talk to new players is often viewed as horrible to face and completly broken, but I don't know of any skilled and experienced player that agrees with that. And this is because she has a shallow skill curve to get great results, so when you start out, its easy to get her to do well. But she doesn't keep getting better as you improve at the same rate as another master does, so by the time you get to be a quite skilled player, you might get better results with McCabe or Nellie than you do with Perdita. 

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Assuming that player perception is the determining factor of how "Good" a master is implies the premise that Masters are all equal. That seems less likely than the opposite stance from a probability perspective alone. I'm sure not even the developers would ever think that's the case.

I am not going to go over the whole quality/quantity of AP again, but will provide some examples.

Pandora : No need to walk. Every AP spent can remove 2-3 AP from enemy models. Incite lowers quality of enemy AP by dictating when they are used.

Nicodem: Every 1 AP generates 2 AP. No need to walk. +Flips and extreme card draw make sure that, barring black joker, AP have very high quality as you can ensure success on duels. Can trade AP to other models in a better position to achieve VP.

For other examples of good Masters based on these criteria, refer to the previous post.

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10 minutes ago, Saduhem said:

Assuming that player perception is the determining factor of how "Good" a master is implies the premise that Masters are all equal. That seems less likely than the opposite stance from a probability perspective alone. I'm sure not even the developers would ever think that's the case.

I do think that player perception is a factor. It's not everything but it does make a difference. Masters that win big events will have more people play them, which increases the likelihood that they'll continue to win and place in events. It's not likely to happen if a master that has huge weaknesses or is mechanically not very good but I believe that perception shapes which of the better masters are actually considered the top masters.

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The point is Sandeep doesnt has huge weaknesses (hes weaknesses are very little) and hes mechanically best in everything. A master with "2nd in everything" suddenly became 2nd in everything except for a few things where hes best at (summoning and supporting in AR). Therefore he combined with other AR trickery (cheap and solid Academic Enforcers, card discard mechanics fixed by 4 cards from myranda without a drawbacks) he became huge.

Its not winning tournaments alone, we have a lot of tournaments won by Pandora, Collodi or Zipp. Yet still, playing against them feels more or less fair, even if collodi or zipp deserves a nerf, we can still wait for wyrd to take action, since its not like at the beggining you feel youre at disadventage as it is with sandeep. Its general consenus here in Poland where we take this game really comptetivly and doing our best to max out everything we can. Its not only my opinion, we have talked about it a lot and going to forum to complain was the best option we choose.

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And its not like we didnt test out things. On casual games people try Kaeris, Raspy, Ophelia and other weaker masters, yet still on competetive tournament setting its only sandeep for arcanists, just because hes that good. He outperforms any arcanist master in most of the things, and only other top tier masters in faction can compete with him on some ground, yet still lose in overall look. Thats the problem, hes just too good.

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I think Sandeep is overly effective and playing against him is an overly complicated and frustrating experience. My reasoning on this is as follows: 

In a typical game of Malifaux you look at your opponent's models and cards. You look at the actions they can take and when they can take them. Perhaps the crew is new to you and you study them a bit and eve misread a few. If you are familiar with the models you know what they can do and draw upon that knowledge as you alternate your activation and strategically plan what your models do. Summoners make this a little harder but most of them have a drawback: Either they can only make their model within a certain range of a certain place (in the case of summoning off a scrap or corpse marker) or have a model summoned with reduced effectiveness or a limitation imposed on it's gameplay influence (in the case of Dreamer or Assami). Some models can even take another model's actions like the Doppelganger, Changelings, or any model with Magical extension however they often suffer reduced effectiveness for this (See Doppleganger's Fists, Changelings stat 4, and both their inability to declare triggers).

Sandeep's limitation on this is once per turn per action that Beacon allows and a slight reduction in stat (-1) and a very generous range from Sandeep. Models must meet a target number that require unsuited 6+s for some of the most powerful effects in the game: Places, non projectile ranged ca actions, pushes, etc. This causes the opponent to consistently track turn over turn this action pool of incredible effectiveness. Now, in addition, Sandeep can summon models that are modified in the way the function and often powerfully suited for a particular task including generating an aura that gives :+flips to attack flips. In addition Sandeep and his coveted mages boast a damage reduction of 1 (to a minimum of zero) that stacks with armor and only applies until the model activates requiring additional mental tracking (Note to how Sandeep doesn't necessarily even need to activate to support his crew with proper preparation), and The Mage's upgrades and how the wards on which mages interact with what model.

This is an absurd level of increased mental tracking for any opponent to be expected to do for their opponents stuff and why Conditions are a thing to begin with; Sure I could take a piece of scrap paper with me, I often have them on hand in tournaments just for Sandeep match-ups  and I know it's not just me, either: Most players using him have to check off boxes for what's been used every turn, but nobody has to do that for anything I bring and I certainly don't need it for anything else so how is that okay? It also makes the process the opponent needs to go for to plan their own actions more complex then it would be against any other crew. Put all this on a Master with an incredible suite of defensive abilities, the ability to gain armor +1, a crew that can easily make use of a number of resources (Including having a place to chuck low cards - I see the crew's "Discard a card to..." mechanics proposed as a weakness but I strongly disagree that tossing a 2 to power anything is a weakness. Sure sometimes you'll have to make a choice but..... sometimes. Most crews are doing that all the time), and a Master that gets a 4th AP every turn..... I try not to label a lot of things as "overpowered" or "negative play experiences" but I can safely say I have never had a game against Sandeep that felt enjoyable given that everything is not only complicated and hard to track but also extremely effective: perhaps too effective.

I hope an errata, preferably to beacon, is on the horizon. My local meta is largely Arcanist players and I can certainly say playing Sandeep 3 times a week in casual play and 1-3 times every tournament I go to has done a fantastic job of sapping my desire to play Malifaux at all: far more then OG Levi, Rat-Joy, or even any of the late 1.0 silliness.

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30 minutes ago, necroon said:

Sandeep's limitation on this is once per turn per action that Beacon allows and a slight reduction in stat (-1) and a very generous range from Sandeep. Models must meet a target number that require unsuited 6+s for some of the most powerful effects in the game: Places, non projectile ranged ca actions, pushes, etc. Now, in addition, Sandeep can summon models that are modified in the way the function and often powerfully suited for a particular task including generating an aura that gives :+flips to attack flips

It also requires LoS to Sandeep. That restriction can be removed for Academics if Sandeep takes a particular upgrade. The place effect requires a 6 or greater or masks (and can't be used by models that aren't either minions or Academics). The ability that allows an interact requires an unsuited 6 or higher to use but requires a tome to interact while engaged or a mask to get the push.  

The -1 reduction in stat seems appropriate given that it is an extremely limited set of abilities that can be borrowed that all have a Ca value of 6. Ca5 is a fairly standard attack stat on minions and a lowish stat for models of a higher station. Attack stats at 4 on minions was more common in the early books but now it seems to be the exception.  

The modifications that the summoned models have are their limitation. They all have an advantage and disadvantage and limit the number of models that Sandeep can summon.
 

51 minutes ago, necroon said:

It also makes the process the opponent needs to go for to plan their own actions more complex then it would be against any other crew. Put all this on a Master with an incredible suite of defensive abilities, the ability to gain armor +1, a crew that can easily make use of a number of resources (Including having a place to chuck low cards - I see the crew's "Discard a card to..." mechanics proposed as a weakness but I strongly disagree that tossing a 2 to power anything is a weakness. Sure sometimes you'll have to make a choice but..... sometimes. Most crews are doing that all the time), and a Master that gets a 4th AP every turn..

I don't see how Beacon really makes planning for you own actions any more complex than it would be against a crew that has obeys, pushes, and other abilities that allow enemy models to things out of activation or force your models to do things.

I'm not sure that I'd call Arcane Shield, Impossible to Wound, and a suited healing trigger on his push "an incredible suite of defensive abilities".   

Having to pitch a card for one ability every turn isn't a big deal but you've got Mages that want to pitch cards to Furious Cast or to use Temporary Shield and Sandeep wants to pitch one for his extra AP. That's probably about 2-3 cards every turn that are going to be discarded. That's a big chunk of your control hand each turn. Go up against a crew that applies some pressure to your hand and it doesn't take much before you are having to decide between the 4th AP for Sandeep, being able to have a model Beacon his 6 inch place, or just eating the effect of a failed horror duel.

Pitching a low card is worse than ending the turn with it in hand. If you end the turn with it in hand then you have just improved your deck for the following turn. That's really a big advantage for crews with a lot of card draw. Sure, they are more likely to have good cards to cheat with but all of the low cards they end the turn with are out of the game for the next turn.   Their hand next round will be better and so will the cards they top deck. 

 

1 hour ago, necroon said:

This is an absurd level of increased mental tracking for any opponent to be expected to do for their opponents stuff

There are plenty of other masters that have things that are a pain for an opponent to have to keep in mind. Yan Lo with his Chi Generation and upgrade cycling is a nightmare. Parker and McCabe both have a lot of stuff going on with all the stuff they do with upgrades. Collodi has all sorts of crazy shenanigans going on. Hell,  I just believe that whatever ridiculous crap a Viks player says is happening is correct because there are so many shared buffs and effects that make models do things outside  of their own activation. 

 

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1 hour ago, raderk said:

Therefore he combined with other AR trickery (cheap and solid Academic Enforcers, card discard mechanics fixed by 4 cards from myranda without a drawbacks) he became huge.
 

Imbued Energies helps offset the need to discard for a single turn.  

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