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Nicodem Players - Dealing with the nerf

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They though it was for Marlena Webster's Soul Tethered condition, why not this? 

 

Probably they want Nicodem to play different way than until now. 

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Ouch. He may have needed toning down, but this seems a bit excessive. I was never a spam corpse person, but I find it hard to spend a Master AP, Upgrade slot, 2 corpses, and a high card to summon a model on 3 wds. I'm not sure how that will play long run. Summoning at 1wd is OK for Molly as she has a different summon mechanic. I will try to give this a go, but I have a hard time wanting to slog up that hill in the few games I get to play. Even if they had given them 2wds it 'might' feel better, but 1wd in most cases means I spent all those resources and a Master's AP and one gimpy hit from any peon on the opposing crew cancels it all out.

I appreciate Nicodem gave us great flexibility, but I still think the problem was the glut of resources recently - Asura, the Emissary, and other 'always' take models with him were a problem and really needed to be toned down. Even the downgrade on Undertaker would have done a lot to rein him in without hamstringing him.

I will give it a go and try and think of use cases, but I already used him more as a buffer rather than a spam bot and now the summons I do make are far less effective. I'm having trouble seeing how he is still effective as a Master. Ironically, now that I need even more corpses, I might have to switch the Asura/Emmissary play style to make him work when I've never used those models with him so far. I'm going to need far more corpses to allow for more healing than I used to rely on.

Maybe if they had buffed his attack spell to at least make that a viable alternative to his play style now that summoning is much more difficult?

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He’s still upper tier in my estimation. But you can’t play him the same, and for those in love with his drown them in summons mechanic this is going to be a wrench, no question.

But he can still give out fast. He still has buffing abilities on par with Nellie. He still can take an upgrade that gives him an equivalent to accomplice. He’s still good, but it is a massive scale back and anyone in love with what he did by breaking the system is absolutely going to be crushed by the fact it doesn’t work anymore.

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35 minutes ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

He’s still upper tier in my estimation. But you can’t play him the same, and for those in love with his drown them in summons mechanic this is going to be a wrench, no question.

But he can still give out fast. He still has buffing abilities on par with Nellie. He still can take an upgrade that gives him an equivalent to accomplice. He’s still good, but it is a massive scale back and anyone in love with what he did by breaking the system is absolutely going to be crushed by the fact it doesn’t work anymore. 

Maybe soon, with new ressers release, he can summon a kenaturoi without healing it back, give it fast then walk and charge with kentauroi...kentauroi dies and drop a corpse near enemies.

Then with Grave Golem reach the enemies lines, and attack them or do schemes (always with g.g.)

This would little bit encouraging, but probably make monotonous playingstyle of some ress. masters.

but mine are all suppositions..

 

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How do asura and the kentobois do with other resser masters?

In my experience playing against nicodem, the problems i faced are : summoning Punk zombies next to my peeps, and companioning into him to slice up my crew with 2x:+flip to attack, and not having slow and not caring if it dies after doing all the damage. the only difference in this style is that it'll take me one less AP to kill the punk zombie before i can move my crew for retaliation. The other thing is summoning a hanged, and having him do his thing that can't be undone unless i brought a specific model, still gonna happen.

The difference now is that his summons will possibly be less reliable without the excessive card draw, and I can spend an AP less killing those models before resuming the game, so I'm all in favour for his nerf.

I've also played against the summon a horde of non-slow zombies who get :+flip and use asuras attacks, and that'll likely stay the same tho, but I've only played this once.

All my nicodem games were against the same one person, so my experience is likely different.

 

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1 hour ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

He’s still upper tier in my estimation. But you can’t play him the same, and for those in love with his drown them in summons mechanic this is going to be a wrench, no question.

But he can still give out fast. He still has buffing abilities on par with Nellie. He still can take an upgrade that gives him an equivalent to accomplice. He’s still good, but it is a massive scale back and anyone in love with what he did by breaking the system is absolutely going to be crushed by the fact it doesn’t work anymore.

Yeah, and i never played that game with him anyway, but giving up a Master AP to give someone Fast is not always a great trade and kinda boring play wise. Buffing is good and he can companion still, so he has options, but they are definitely cuddled options. Crew selection will matter more for sure which could be good. I'll have to see how he feels on the table, but I do wonder if they swung a little too hard with this nerf hammer. I'll be curious to see how fares on the tournament scene, but I suspect we won't see him as much if at all. Instead you'll see more of Reva. 

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On 7/3/2018 at 3:35 PM, Paddywhack said:

Yeah, and i never played that game with him anyway, but giving up a Master AP to give someone Fast is not always a great trade and kinda boring play wise. Buffing is good and he can companion still, so he has options, but they are definitely cuddled options. Crew selection will matter more for sure which could be good. I'll have to see how he feels on the table, but I do wonder if they swung a little too hard with this nerf hammer. I'll be curious to see how fares on the tournament scene, but I suspect we won't see him as much if at all. Instead you'll see more of Reva. 

Gonna have to disagree, pretty strongly there. I think there is a fundamental disconnect in your post between how Malifaux is thought of, and how it actually plays. And to be clear I don’t think it’s on you, I think it’s a common misconception.

The issue is the disconnect between master AP and how they use them. I would argue that, actually, giving up a master AP to make something fast is actually more often than not a better action to take than if the master just took an action itself. Yes, there are factors that could upend that, range, resource requirements, targeting restrictions, but in general I’d argue the proposal that actually giving out extra ap is one of the strongest actions any model can have. Not only on masters, but especially on masters.

The reason for that is that Malifaux is at its most bedrock, fundamental, a game of resource management. You have a limited number of resources in AP and cards. You must do the best job you can during the game to spend those resources to buy victory points. At the same time also spending them to  prevent your opponent from buying more vp, either by actually preventing their ability to buy vp, or to spent your resources to deny them more than you spent. So the ability to directly “give” another model your resources is stupidly powerful because of how efficient it is.

AP in Malifaux become better and more useful to more you have. Consider this, imagine we had a model with a melee attack stat of 26. That would mean if this model attacked a model with Df 7 and that attacked model flipped or cheated the red joker, this imaginary model could flip anything except the black joker and still hit, and cheat the dmg. Now imagine this model was properly costed for that ability but they had 1 ap, how often do you think the model in question would get hired? I know the analogy breaks down pretty easily given all the unknowns of the rest of the model and rules, but it is a helpful example to illustrate how the actions a model can take in themselves are not in and of themselves predicative of usefulness to winning the game. So saying giving their AP to another isn’t really a master level action is hopelessley blind to how good that actually is.

The more actions any one model in particular has, the better that model is going to be. That was a major point of concern in the changeover to 2e. In Wyrd’s own explaination for some of the problems with 1e, they pointed to the overprevelence of models with extra ap. In 1e at a certain, relatively low point cost, if you didn’t have nimble, or casting expert, or melee expert, or instinctual you were just a garbage model. That was not only because it increased the general pool of resources a player had by taking it, but also because the actions a model has become more useful the more ap they have to spend.

If you have a melee beater model they become even more of a monster if you give them fast. If they aren’t in combat it increases their threat range to put pressure on models that would not have otherwise been threatened. If they are in combat with something, giving them an extra ap makes them better by increasing the likelyhood they will kill or cripple the model they are engaged with, and even possibly having ap left after killing it to pick up a head, or move to lock out interacts in space, or to move to engage or threaten other models.

For support or scheme based models it’s the same thing. If your leaping scheme runner is engaged, giving them fast allows them to still use two interacts by leaping, interacting, walking, and interacting. Or it could allow them to get to targets they wouldn’t have been able to normally have gotten to. Consider giving a model with a 6” walk and nimble fast. If we assume they deployed 6” forward, that means they can be in the opponent’s standard deployment zone on the first turn.

That’s because giving out ap is iterative work enhancement. Consider how much of the game is spent in trying to make sure the models we want to do actions with spend as little of their own actions doing things other than what we want them to be doing. How often have you heard people complain that it feels like they are wasting their model’s ap if they have to take a walk action. How often are we using lures to pull models closer to or beaters so they don’t have to spend their AP walking to the target and can just use them to attack. How often are we hiring models to move our other models around so they can use their ap in a more efficient way. All of that is encapsulated in actions that give other models fast.

The true power of a master doing it lies in the fact that it allows that model to have a greater board presence than they actually would normally have. If Nico gives fast to Archie, it’s like Nicodem just took an attack action that is ml 6 min dmg 4. If he gives a walk action to a crooligan he allows it to interact, walk, interact -activate Always On The Move, and place 5”. If he gives  fast to a model he just summoned inside his Death’s Whip Aura, and he has Love thy Master in the crew, his newly summoned model can activate immediately after his activation ends and go with 3 AP. Consider even if he summons a punk zombie on one wound in that situation that punk zombie could charge a model and then attack them again for 3 total attacks. It could flurry and then attack a model it was summoned into engagement with for a total of 4 attacks. It could slice and dice 3 times, and all that before you even got a chance to take an action to kill the zombie. And critically all of that work compression occurs without Nicodem needing to be in any of the areas affected. He doesn’t need to be engaged with whatever Archie is engaged with to make that attack, as he would if he had a melee attack instead. He doesn’t need to be up the board where the crooligab is to give it more ability to successfully do its job. He doesn't need to be where the corpse marker is located, just close to it, to make his summons absolute nightmares. And he can do all three of those things from the same position on the board. That is not weak by any stretch of the imagination.

 

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I don't disagree in theory, but I've found it can get pretty boring to play that way (and I've often used the Fast Spam with the Malifaux Child and Toshiro). It can be effective and a huge help at times no doubt, but I've never heard that it was a top tier strategy at any tournaments.

It also gets boring fast. My Master, the model most players really get into in a faction, gets a turn and just hands out three AP to other models and he's done.... Not very exciting when you've got  Masters that actually do something themselves which feels more thematic and fun to play. 

He's definitely going to play differently now, that's for sure. A Fast spam list might still be effective for him allowing his crew to get more done while he buffs them in his bubble. 

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I think Fetid put it very nicely. Giving out ap is very good, especially giving out ap to a model you also buff and can companion to. In my experience between McCabe and Lucius I would say that for many models an extra ap for their own activation is usually better than one and a half ap in one activation and then waiting to take your normal activation since lots of ap in sequence is better than split up between activations.

As for how fun it is to play a support master that seems like a matter of taste and I don't see how just summoning three times is objectively more fun than summoning, giving out some fast and then healing or summoning again. I find using any action three times in a row and doing nothing else to be pretty boring so Nico was a pretty boring master before, especially when his lists were all gravitating to the exact same list. I'm pretty excited to get painting on his crew now after having him mothballed for over a year.

Not saying he isn't worse than before, that was obviously the point of the errata, just that he might not be as crappy as some people think. For an a-level player who will only pick brokenly good models and play 100% to win tournaments he obviously dropped to uselessness but for the majority of players I think he should be plenty playable.

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He's also got one of the most AP efficient heals in the game with Decay. It shouldn't be uncommon to reverse 3 AP worth of enemy actions with 1AP worth of decay.

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11 hours ago, Ludvig said:

For an a-level player who will only pick brokenly good models and play 100% to win tournaments he obviously dropped to uselessness but for the majority of players I think he should be plenty playable.

I would even doubt that.

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10 hours ago, WWHSD said:

He's also got one of the most AP efficient heals in the game with Decay. It shouldn't be uncommon to reverse 3 AP worth of enemy actions with 1AP worth of decay.

Especially if he stays true to his beloved old punks and other stuff with htk I think he can still play thr attrition game quite decently.

36 minutes ago, Tors said:

I would even doubt that.

I think he'll have a rough time going up against Collodi (among others) these days. Stitched together absolutely adore the low defense values of ressers and Collodi itself is pretty nasty but you might be right.

Either way I guess we should keep this thread on topic and actually discuss tactics, not if he is playable or not. I'm not sure I have the resser experience to contribute in a meaningful way but I'd be interested in trying to pile on the support abilities he has on some models he made fast. Luring stuff close for punks/kentauroi/shikome/hanged to dogpile on seems good. The current scheme set often favours cagey play.

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I was really surprised seeing how much Nicodem was toned down. I know that there are players here in Kraków who were waiting for the errata to start playing Nicodem, so we will probably figure out soon what is he good at now.

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16 hours ago, WWHSD said:

He's also got one of the most AP efficient heals in the game with Decay. It shouldn't be uncommon to reverse 3 AP worth of enemy actions with 1AP worth of decay.

Landing blasts off of decay is really frustrating since so many of his summons tends to be hard to wound.  I'm pondering what ends up making the best target for decay if your goal is blasts, and I think Ashigaru might suddenly become one of Nico's best summons defensively.

I'm still trying to feel him out in generalist* crews to see if it's still viable and even on one target, decay being CA 6: TN 14 hurts.  It would feel a lot better if it either went up to cast 7 (dare to dream) or the TN came down a point or two (more plausible).

*Running him with "the full support boat" is going to have enough cards that he'd be fine obviously.

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11 minutes ago, Clement said:

Landing blasts off of decay is really frustrating since so many of his summons tends to be hard to wound.  I'm pondering what ends up making the best target for decay if your goal is blasts, and I think Ashigaru might suddenly become one of Nico's best summons defensively.

I'm still trying to feel him out in generalist* crews to see if it's still viable and even on one target, decay being CA 6: TN 14 hurts.  It would feel a lot better if it either went up to cast 7 (dare to dream) or the TN came down a point or two (more plausible).

*Running him with "the full support boat" is going to have enough cards that he'd be fine obviously.

I think he's going to have Ca7 all the time. My reasoning for this is the lower amount of summoning freeing up extra Corpse Markers for Embrace Death. It was never used before, but it will be now!

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31 minutes ago, whodares said:

My reasoning for this is the lower amount of summoning freeing up extra Corpse Markers for Embrace Death.

But you are not going to bring much corpse generation in post nerf crews (unless you're going nurse/chiaki route), you're going to hire models that can actually do something beside torn out their spleens. And because you will be short of corpses and at some point you will have to start to summon, corpses will be even more precious and important.

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39 minutes ago, thatlatinspeakingguy said:

But you are not going to bring much corpse generation in post nerf crews (unless you're going nurse/chiaki route), you're going to hire models that can actually do something beside torn out their spleens. And because you will be short of corpses and at some point you will have to start to summon, corpses will be even more precious and important.

I expected more corpses generated post nerf because you have much more use for them, and less card draw. And you will not typically plan to summon more than twice a turn, and if you are using undertaker it's because you hope to draw cards from the death of your summons rather than draw cards from the casting of them. Assuming you go for generating 2 corpses a turn, summon twice a turn and one dies each turn, you have 1 corpse to use either for extra healing, or for boosting Ca. 

So cut down on the card draw, but generate extra corpses, so a similar amount spent on support, just on different support. 

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Trying to game decay to get blasts out of it is obnoxiously card intensive in a resser crew.  You will typically need to cheat up the attack, down the defense, and then finally the actual damage flip. The hand requirements this creates are very strange.  I did some math and got the following info.  

To get blasts out of it, you have to flip at least an 8 as well as beat the Df flip by...

2: Mindless Zombie

4: Ashigaru, Crooked Men, The Hanged, KillJoy, Izamu

5: Yin the Penangalan

6: Crooligan, Drowned, Ht 1-2 Draugr

8: Bone Pile, Flesh Construct

9: Guild Autopsy, Little Gasser, Rotten Belle, All the Students, Kentauroi

10: Canine Remains, Necropunk, Doxy, Punk Zombie, Shikome

11: Ht 3 Draugr

 

As you can see here, the card differential between Nico and his target spikes up pretty hard as soon as hard to wound comes into the picture, with punk zombies and rotten belles (up till now common fodder for generalist Nico crews) being among the most difficult to make work.  This ends up in situations where my low cards are 4s and 5s and I literally can't get a belles defense *low enough* that I can get to a straight flip (4 needs a 13 to beat it, 5 needs RJ).

It's very frustrating that an ability that's such a thematic element of the resser faction (hard to wound) makes this ability so hard to use.  It would be like an arcanist model that could heal constructs, but reduced that healing based on armor.

edit: Updated with @Deathinabox's info.  It's likely one of Nico's best uses for mindless zombies now, especially if he goes full summoner.

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2 minutes ago, Clement said:

Trying to game decay to get blasts out of it is obnoxiously card intensive in a resser crew.  You will typically need to cheat up the attack, down the defense, and then finally the actual damage flip. The hand requirements this creates are very strange.

Remember, you can always target enemy models with Decay.

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22 minutes ago, Clement said:

Trying to game decay to get blasts out of it is obnoxiously card intensive in a resser crew.  You will typically need to cheat up the attack, down the defense, and then finally the actual damage flip. The hand requirements this creates are very strange.  I did some math and got the following info.  For now I'm only looking at his summons, but there's stuff like Izamu that could also serve as a target to get blasts.

How much does having the :+flip flips for Df from Nico help in getting really low Df totals?

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54 minutes ago, Mason said:

Remember, you can always target enemy models with Decay.

With respect, trying to get to a straight flip off decay when going off enemy defense is likely almost exactly as bad.  What this boils down to is "flipping at least a 4 or 5 on the defense will stop blasts from happening".  You could focus to ensure the straight flip, but at that point it gets rather technical as to if Focus + Decay enemy vs Decay ally + Decay enemy makes more sense.

Spending a master AP to land 2 damage and do nothing else to an enemy isn't very productive.  Other summoners and support focused masters usually trigger some other effect (Adversary, armor ignoring, slow) and often are ca 7 to boot.  Nico's turns, in my experience, tend to skip directly interacting with the enemy in favor of supporting his own squad.

I'm always open to new ideas though.  If there's someone out there who gets great millage out of "Nico the blaster" I'd love to see the crews they're doing it with.

33 minutes ago, WWHSD said:

How much does having the :+flip flips for Df from Nico help in getting really low Df totals?

I'm not enough of a statistics guy to know the details, but it would certainly help I suppose.  The real problem here is that the ability to flip let's say "3 or worse" on a :+flipflip is basically an identical question to flipping "11 or better" on a :+flip flip.

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32 minutes ago, WWHSD said:

How much does having the :+flip flips for Df from Nico help in getting really low Df totals?

From memory I thought it's about equal to averaging a 5. So it can help a fair amount, although I think I would either like to have the needed cards to be sure or otherwise target the model I most wanted to heal rather than the best for blasting. 

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Besides his summons, there's a lot of really good models to get the blasts off of

2: Mindless Zombies

4: Izamu, Killjoy,

5: Yin

One model that I think is gonna see a lot more play in a Nico crew is Hayreddin who can give :+flip to damage, making those blasts much easier. Between him and Nico's :+flip to defense flips, I don't think there will be much problem in healing your own models.

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27 minutes ago, Deathinabox said:

Besides his summons, there's a lot of really good models to get the blasts off of

2: Mindless Zombies

4: Izamu, Killjoy,

5: Yin

One model that I think is gonna see a lot more play in a Nico crew is Hayreddin who can give :+flip to damage, making those blasts much easier. Between him and Nico's :+flip to defense flips, I don't think there will be much problem in healing your own models.

I was going to make a crack about Yin being a singularly terrible choice due to mass of viscera putting Nico on :-flip flips, but then I reread it and saw it was enemy only.  Her stock in a Nico crew just went up a bit.  Pity Nico crews don't generally get a lot of use out of her WP trickery though.  Either way, good catch that.

Hayreddin I think is a much more "dangerous" choice.  I won't say "bad" because it's possible to play around it, but I'd be VERY nervous putting him near "castle Nicodem" since messing up his positioning will likely mean the death of everything you love.

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