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Malifaux's superior Spymaster


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你们好!

So, after Nexus and her shadowy Cadmus keyword from the Explorers' Society were revealed this week, I came to wonder (as the title suggests) who will emerge as Malifaux's superior spymaster: Nexus, the creepy new hive-minded spider kid on the block, the two-faced (or -factioned) OG mastermind Lucius Matheson, or the Ten Thunders' unseen but barely covered manipulator, Youko Hamasaki?

I myself can only contribute from reading the cards since I have zero games in ME3, but I thought it might be a fun discussion. :)

All three of the mentioned masters cost 15 points, so I hope they are comparable. Judging by the stats, Nexus seems to take the cake. She has a point of movement less, but that might not matter that much since she can measure LoS and range through friendly Cadmus models. She has two more HP than both Lucius and Youko but no built-in defensive abilities. In terms actions, she has a stat of 7 on three of her four actions, which is also better than Youko (4 actions, one with stat 5, two with stat 6 and one with stat 7) and Lucius (Two stat 5, one stat 6, one stat 7).

I would assume that Lucius might have the edge in terms of crew selection, since he has two factions and two keywords to combine. Now, Youko has access to very good models (TT versatiles, Kabuki Warriors, Hinamatsu). Nexus can hardly be judged in that regard before the Society's book comes up.

So, what do you think, fellow Thunder Siblings? Who will outmaneuver, outsmart and outmanipulate their foes?

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Oh hello. Youko Hamasaki player here.  Blackmail and We Own You are turbo obeys. It's short range because no matter what you do she still gets an advantage off the action. That's the point. She o

I think Ivan from the Explorer's society better fit the spy theme than Cadmus since Cadmus is (I'm not sure about that) a kind of hivemind parasitic thing!

Youko is weak overall with middling defense tech because she has to be. She fundamentally plays the game differently from other people. Pre nerf Tara shows that activation manipulation is key to scori

From a powerlevel point of view I think Lucius is in general considered better than Youko. It’s too soon to know how good Nexus will be, but she looks strong.

But certainly all those master can get you screwed in very different ways…

However the best spymaster of Malifaux hasn’t been released yet. Who is him/her you ask? That’s exactly the point!
 

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12 hours ago, Cursed25 said:

I think Ivan from the Explorer's society better fit the spy theme than Cadmus since Cadmus is (I'm not sure about that) a kind of hivemind parasitic thing!

back in lore, Ivan spy who worked to spy for Mei. I think we need wait for book to read all about this. Maybe he steal a spy on ramos side

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I still think Youko is just plain bad as a Master. She certainly doesn't look good compared to Lucius and the Nexus.

Blackmail needs to be reworked into Obey IMO. The range restriction on Blackmail just kills it, and Youko could really use some versatility which obeying her own models would give her. Also, Obeys can't control bonus actions, which would fix the niche swingy matchups where Youko could just eat an inexperienced player's master.

Slightly off topic, just need to beat this drum whenever I can.

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4 hours ago, Jinn said:

I still think Youko is just plain bad as a Master. She certainly doesn't look good compared to Lucius and the Nexus.

Blackmail needs to be reworked into Obey IMO. The range restriction on Blackmail just kills it, and Youko could really use some versatility which obeying her own models would give her. Also, Obeys can't control bonus actions, which would fix the niche swingy matchups where Youko could just eat an inexperienced player's master.

Slightly off topic, just need to beat this drum whenever I can.

.... and the point is that it is limited is because it can affect Bonus actions.  That's the point.  It wouldn't be behind the pay wall of limited range, card discard, & a trigger if it wasn't meant to be powerful.  If it was just an Obey action that just also affected bonus actions, it would be too powerful & kind of boring; just another Obey like every other faction has.  Instead, as per the feel of the fluff, you have to make that choice, is it worth the cost?  It backs you into a corner where you have to decide what you're willing to lose, because you WILL lose something.

Besides, there's less than a dozen models in the whole game that a Bonus action can use to kill/severely cripple other friendly models, and since you announce Masters, everyone knows you'll have Youko, so you don't take the few models it would be bad with (taking her as a second master is useless as she loses Unseen Manipulator and without it she's not worth 16 points).

I Countersong this drum beating wherever it rises.

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9 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

.... and the point is that it is limited is because it can affect Bonus actions.  That's the point.  It wouldn't be behind the pay wall of limited range, card discard, & a trigger if it wasn't meant to be powerful.  If it was just an Obey action that just also affected bonus actions, it would be too powerful & kind of boring; just another Obey like every other faction has.  Instead, as per the feel of the fluff, you have to make that choice, is it worth the cost?  It backs you into a corner where you have to decide what you're willing to lose, because you WILL lose something.

Besides, there's less than a dozen models in the whole game that a Bonus action can use to kill/severely cripple other friendly models, and since you announce Masters, everyone knows you'll have Youko, so you don't take the few models it would be bad with (taking her as a second master is useless as she loses Unseen Manipulator and without it she's not worth 16 points).

I Countersong this drum beating wherever it rises.

My problem with this way of looking at it is: 

Blackmail is limited because in niche situations controlled bonus actions can eat masters -> if your opponent knows this they don't bring the few models this affects -> Blackmail is limited and doesn't eat masters if your opponent is aware of it, or Blackmail eats a noob's master and they have a bad experience.

It is an unsatisfying mechanic because it is very restricted due to a few disgustingly overpowered combos in a few niche situations that only inexperienced opponents will ever fall prey to. That's just bad design; if you get rid of the bonus action thing it fixes both the blow out noob games and the poor performance versus more experienced players. Win-win.

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17 minutes ago, Jinn said:

My problem with this way of looking at it is: 

Blackmail is limited because in niche situations controlled bonus actions can eat masters -> if your opponent knows this they don't bring the few models this affects -> Blackmail is limited and doesn't eat masters if your opponent is aware of it, or Blackmail eats a noob's master and they have a bad experience.

It is an unsatisfying mechanic because it is very restricted due to a few disgustingly overpowered combos in a few niche situations that only inexperienced opponents will ever fall prey to. That's just bad design; if you get rid of the bonus action thing it fixes both the blow out noob games and the poor performance versus more experienced players. Win-win.

It isn't just niche eating masters stuff. It is all the cool stuff locked behind bonus actions.

For example you can use Reva's bonus action to drain a bunch of burning when the opponent doesn't want to. Or you can force Archie to leap into something awkward. Same with Blood Poisoning eating poison. Or you can force the copycat to swap places with Seamus. The list goes on.

There's quite a few abilities locked behind bonus actions that normal obeys can't touch. Lots of crews are going to have something you can abuse (and even if you can't abuse it, it is ANY action, so is still a discard-or-be-obeyed).

EDIT: Although it does stand out how bad the crew is at draining hands at first glance, which is a bit odd.

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30 minutes ago, Jinn said:

My problem with this way of looking at it is:

This is obviously the hill you're going to die on, but I won't be the one to kill you. 

There are DOZENS of tricks that will cause new players to lose.... it's not an auto win by any stretch of the imagination.  Just making it an Obey is not a quick fix, it diminishes the card as a whole. It puts a semi-common action behind unnecessary steps, or it reduces the cards ability to reduce player hand/pass token generation. 

She's been through beta testing.  She's been through Open Beta. She's been through the initial errata. No changes have been made.  That tells you that she's designed exactly as they wanted and nothing unforseen slipped through the cracks.  It's as unique as Zoraida's Ensorcel, as Lady Justice's Restore The Natural Order, as Hoffman's Temper Steel, etc.  Masters get unique abilities and actions; this is one of them.

You can stay mad about it, but it's not going away.

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1 hour ago, Jesy Blue said:

This is obviously the hill you're going to die on, but I won't be the one to kill you. 

There are DOZENS of tricks that will cause new players to lose.... it's not an auto win by any stretch of the imagination.  Just making it an Obey is not a quick fix, it diminishes the card as a whole. It puts a semi-common action behind unnecessary steps, or it reduces the cards ability to reduce player hand/pass token generation. 

She's been through beta testing.  She's been through Open Beta. She's been through the initial errata. No changes have been made.  That tells you that she's designed exactly as they wanted and nothing unforseen slipped through the cracks.  It's as unique as Zoraida's Ensorcel, as Lady Justice's Restore The Natural Order, as Hoffman's Temper Steel, etc.  Masters get unique abilities and actions; this is one of them.

You can stay mad about it, but it's not going away.

You vastly overestimate how much thought and perfectionism goes into the design of this game. That isn't even a dig at the developers, there are just way too many interactions and cards to fine tune them to such a degree with such a small playerbase and design team (relative to say... videogames).

I'd give even odds that Youko's obey could only do bonus actions accidentally and they just left her that way because it's not like anyone was losing to her in the Beta lol.

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Hey, I won 2 of my 7 outings with her, so someone was losing!

His name was Rob, then he got the hang of 3rd edition Levi and that was the end of that run.

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56 minutes ago, LexLock said:

You vastly overestimate how much thought and perfectionism goes into the design of this game. That isn't even a dig at the developers, there are just way too many interactions and cards to fine tune them to such a degree with such a small playerbase and design team (relative to say... videogames).

I'd give even odds that Youko's obey could only do bonus actions accidentally and they just left her that way because it's not like anyone was losing to her in the Beta lol.

From the perspective of a relatively new player, I think you're underestimating the perfectionism in this game. And that's not even me trying to claim that the developers are even all that perfectionist, I'm just looking at the consistency in certain action types across the game and looking at how my own work would achieve that. They pretty clearly have templates for Obey-style actions, just as they do with Summon actions, and equivalent "types" of action in the game. That's just common sense. They have a clear framework for what can and cannot be obeyed and they're not going to be rewriting that text from memory when they could just be copying it across from the template. It's possible that somehow the bonus action part was left out by mistake, but that feels rather unlikely given how consistent the rule otherwise is.

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47 minutes ago, Azahul said:

From the perspective of a relatively new player, I think you're underestimating the perfectionism in this game. And that's not even me trying to claim that the developers are even all that perfectionist, I'm just looking at the consistency in certain action types across the game and looking at how my own work would achieve that. They pretty clearly have templates for Obey-style actions, just as they do with Summon actions, and equivalent "types" of action in the game. That's just common sense. They have a clear framework for what can and cannot be obeyed and they're not going to be rewriting that text from memory when they could just be copying it across from the template. It's possible that somehow the bonus action part was left out by mistake, but that feels rather unlikely given how consistent the rule otherwise is.

This can go both ways, though. Everyone is so used to how things are SUPPOSED to work, that when something is written incorrectly people accidentally play it the correct way. Dead Rider for example arguably has a broken trigger on his bonus action (the triple crow should ignore range, though it is a bit debatable), and yet it took me over a year of playing the model before I realised that the trigger technically doesn't work with RAW.

EDIT: Although reading over it a few more times, I think the argument that it does already work is pretty strong xD

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18 hours ago, Maogrim said:

Would anyone of the more experienced player care to elaborate on why Lucius is considered to be better than Youko?

My take.

Lucius largely buffs his own models which he can do from 12" away, so he can gladly hang out behind the lines. Issue command also only needs a 5, so not a huge amount of hand resources (which he generates a ton of)

Youko needs to be 6" from enemy models for pretty all of her best affects (so she needs to move more to be effectibe and she's a lot easier to go after). As she's attacking enemy models for debuffs, she's also quite a bit more hand intensive and really needs either suits or stones for We Own You (if this were built in, she'd be much better).

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All of the Lures in the crew help her not waste her time taking walk actions, but the crew focuses on ruining opponents hand, not getting more cards in her hand, and all those suitless actions add up.  Mind you, Leverage tokens gaining :+fliphelps, but not enough, and that's probably why the suits are not baked in.  This is why sometimes my 1 OOK model is Asami to get that Arcane Reservoir.

Elite, who already have Arcane Reservoir, are just cycling cards in their hand non-stop, rarely not having the number and/or suit they need.  Half of learning Elite is knowing which cards you need when and designing your hand appropriately.

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Oh hello. Youko Hamasaki player here. 

Blackmail and We Own You are turbo obeys. It's short range because no matter what you do she still gets an advantage off the action. That's the point. She owns hand pressure. Most crews don't have huge abilities to draw cards. She also has action manipulation with pass tokens. 

Blackmail is not the best action in the game. But it can be. It's significantly easier to land than an Obey sans the short range, but her crew is full of lures and neg willpower auras. You can use a ton of good bonus actions and just use them to do shenanigans. 

It also has no TN. Unlike Obey. Which may not come up ever but. You know. It's also a two card draw option as well off an opponent if they want to stop the over. 

Is she as good as Lucius? I think that question is unfortunately malformed. They are two different crews entirely. Youko is a control caster who focuses on debuffs and hand manipulation while Lucius is extra ap for his crew. 

It depends. And that's the beauty of Malifaux. Also. I'm 8-12 with Youko now. Hard learning curve but I've gotten out the win semi reliably now. 

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lets check pros and cons we own u and obey 

Pros

we can obey master

we can declare 0 action

no tn

cons

its trigger so no triggers from new action.

6" instead of 12"

need to setup cause opp can just discard 2 cards.

can't use on friendly model

stun

This trigger need setup and suit so it less powerfull than obey 

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I play Ten Thunders. I do not play a faction with Lucius. So I can only compare what Youko brings to the table by comparing within the faction and the goals I want to achieve. Comparing across factions really is Apples and Oranges, and saying that Lucius does things better does not mean that Youko is bad. Lucius cannot Lure models forward out of cover to a waiting Fuhatsu. Lucius cannot store pass tokens and have multiple uninterrupted actions to score schemes at the end of the Turn. 

 

Plus I just went all-in on buying Qi and Gong and have to defend my choice. 😀 I fully anticipate a steep learning curve and losing my first 5-6 games as I feel things out. Unfortunately, my painter has the models so I don't expect to get any reps in until end of November...

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18 hours ago, regleant said:

I play Ten Thunders. I do not play a faction with Lucius. So I can only compare what Youko brings to the table by comparing within the faction and the goals I want to achieve. Comparing across factions really is Apples and Oranges, and saying that Lucius does things better does not mean that Youko is bad. Lucius cannot Lure models forward out of cover to a waiting Fuhatsu. Lucius cannot store pass tokens and have multiple uninterrupted actions to score schemes at the end of the Turn. 

 

Plus I just went all-in on buying Qi and Gong and have to defend my choice. 😀 I fully anticipate a steep learning curve and losing my first 5-6 games as I feel things out. Unfortunately, my painter has the models so I don't expect to get any reps in until end of November...

Yuoko is bad , she is powerless master.  she not lure, geisha do , and not have a lot off pass until opp crew score. 

Until we say she is fine she got no buff , but let be honest if she is good why nobody play her in big tournament.

I got awnser cuz she is bad. Keyword is nice but when u leader don't have enough impact , we not play him.

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19 hours ago, regleant said:

I play Ten Thunders. I do not play a faction with Lucius. So I can only compare what Youko brings to the table by comparing within the faction and the goals I want to achieve. Comparing across factions really is Apples and Oranges, and saying that Lucius does things better does not mean that Youko is bad. Lucius cannot Lure models forward out of cover to a waiting Fuhatsu. Lucius cannot store pass tokens and have multiple uninterrupted actions to score schemes at the end of the Turn. 

 

Plus I just went all-in on buying Qi and Gong and have to defend my choice. 😀 I fully anticipate a steep learning curve and losing my first 5-6 games as I feel things out. Unfortunately, my painter has the models so I don't expect to get any reps in until end of November...

u can def your choice, but before - play with her and crew-u will see that master doesnt do anything except -1 card in opposing player control hand

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Youko is similar to Tara in 2nd edition. Tara had to jump through a lot hoops and actions to get somewhere not very special. Some people would win tournaments because they have unlocked a specific trick, but the vast majority of players lost their games and had a bad game play experience with her. Youko will be in the same position, i think, for 3e, some people will do good with her but most players should skip her as she will most likely lead to frustration.

Also we have lots of evidence that Wyrd will leave weak models and masters alone, as they have other problems to worry about; like creating an entire new faction.

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2 hours ago, Duront said:

Youko is similar to Tara in 2nd edition. Tara had to jump through a lot hoops and actions to get somewhere not very special. Some people would win tournaments because they have unlocked a specific trick, but the vast majority of players lost their games and had a bad game play experience with her. Youko will be in the same position, i think, for 3e, some people will do good with her but most players should skip her as she will most likely lead to frustration.

Also we have lots of evidence that Wyrd will leave weak models and masters alone, as they have other problems to worry about; like creating an entire new faction.

so where are those people?)) they are hiding or waiting until... i dont know what they are waiting)) the problem with yoko that u are starting with 50ss crew, totem and thats all, because master do nothing)

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11 minutes ago, Plaag said:

so where are those people?)) they are hiding or waiting until... i dont know what they are waiting)) the problem with yoko that u are starting with 50ss crew, totem and thats all, because master do nothing)

One of the problems with the crew is that she took a long time to get all her keyword models released, (are kubuki warriors out yet I can't remember?) So the crew will have a much smaller player base than almost every other crew (I don't know if its still the case, but TT used to have the smallest player base anyway, also reducing the number of people that would try them). 

 On the original topic, I don't think Cadmus is a spy master type character in terms of fluff. They are trying to take over people rather than gain information. (In game terms it might be similar)

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