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Buffing Somer


Math Mathonwy
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Somer got absolutely gutted by the errata. And I feel that it has now been long enough that we've seen the results.

It was kinda weird and out of nowhere - he wasn't winning any tournaments, people weren't generally complaining about him (well, except that one random guy on the forums) and he seemed fine in general. Powerful yes, but difficult to play and very disruptible once you got the hang on how to do it.

Then he got hit with the double whammy of massive nerfs coupled with the Summoning changes.

I'd argue that if he was too powerful, the Summoning changes alone would've been quite enough to rein him in. Out of all the Masters in the game, I feel that he got hit the hardest by the change.

But he also got nerfed. And not just a bit but to an absolutely crippling amount. His summoning got nerfed, Bayou Two-card was hit with a gigantic double-whammy of a nerf and there was a couple of smaller things as well.

The end result is that I've not heard anyone doing good with him. He is still very difficult to play but the reward for skillful play is mediocre.

I also don't enjoy his playstyle all that much. It has been talked about before but his style in M1e was a combined arms approach with Pigs and Skeeters and Gremlins working in a delicate harmony. Now, I fully understand that there likely isn't going back to that style and I believe that he could be made fun with a less drastic rework. Kinda like what they did with McCabe.

I think that his main things are

  • His Summoning
  • His buff Auras
  • His Gun
  • Blowing up his own models
  • The deep and synergistic interplay between his various keyword models 

I think you could just remove the Aura from Bayou Two-card if you keep it the way it is. Alternatively, I could see giving it back on defensive flips whilst still keeping the once per activation thingy.

As for his Summoning, I really don't understand why they lowered his stat. It could very easily be six still and wouldn't be crazy in any way, I feel.

But then the buffs should be done to his keyword, I think. Lenny, G&O, and Spit Hog are good stuff. I also probably wouldn't touch Bayou Gremlin though I do kinda wish they were slightly more defining for the faction as a whole. But I can totally see the dangers in making them too viable so, as said, probably wouldn't touch them.

Similarly, Old Cranky and White Rabbit Co. are fine as they are, IMO.

But then there's the rest.

Banjonistas have been long considered to be among the weakest models in the game and their signature Dueling Banjos really doesn't happen. They are also super squishy and, as we know, squishy Models are a liability giving the opponent activation control which leads to victory points.

And this is kinda the crux of the issue, I feel. Good Ol Boys and Criers are fine as such but if the opponent knows what they're doing, Somer very easily slides into a situation where the opponent will have the final critical activations and can clean up the Strategies and Schemes.

What if Somer had an Aura or a board-wide buff that gave him a Pass Token whenever a non-activated friendly model dies?

But this is getting long.

Tldr: Somer kinda sucks after the nerfs and summoning changes. What would you do to make him better?

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3 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

Tldr: Somer kinda sucks after the nerfs and summoning changes. What would you do to make him better?

Cheers for opening up the thread, and putting emphasis on Ol' Somer. I really feel like he was left in the dust when Malifaux Burns came out. He is nothing compared to some of the keywords out there right now.

Totally support your thoughts on his crew, and personally don't think we need to see any changes to anything other than Banjonistas. With Somer however, I don't see him becoming viable unless they do a large set of changes. Truth be told, I'd much rather see them revert him to his original M3E form (maybe not One for the team).

I feel like Wyrd has made it very clear that Stategies (and to a certain degree, Schemes) in future GGs will continue to exclude summoned models. I really like this, but also think that this invalidates the old arguments against Somer in GG1.

And not to dilute this thread, but I really think his Loot Monger-title needs a semi-rework aswell. Any changes to the crew would affect both Masters, but I'd much rather see them focus on the Masters themselves.

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I agree.  Som'er 1 has suffered from his errata to the point where it's too much work when you can get comparable or better shooting, staying power and scheming with another keyword.

My thoughts:

Som'er 1 - revert his summon stat to 6, change Bayou 2 Card to at least work on enemy Activations.  One per activation and only friendly activations is way more restrictive than any other keyword with a 'give self a plus flip' mechanic.

I really think that's all he needs.  It alleviates the hand pressure and makes his summons back on par with other summoners.

Lootmonger - change Ransack to either - every time a friendly model removes a scheme; lose the discard cost; or make it happen when they drop a scheme (like Toni 2's summon).  As it is, Ransack takes a lot of work to go off outside of Som'ers own action since Big Hat doesn't have a lot of ways to remove schemes that isn't 'interact', and 12 cups of coffee costs stones.  

Change Work Together Would ya.  As it is, it's just not worth it to give yourself slow for a single plus flip. Making it "once per activation a model within 3" of this model or a friendly Bayou Gremlin may get a plus flip" makes it similar to Bayou Two card, encourages making Bayous, and let's you spread it out over the board.  And is also similar to Ophelia 2's ability to hand out upgrades

The only keyword models I'd touch are:

Banjonistas - build in tome on Rebel Yell, or replace it with a tactical action To remove conditions.  Maybe remove the card cost for Hootenanny.  I'd love for them to gain an aura of hazardous (Distracted +1) from either a tactical or front of card instead of their current bonus action.  The idea here is it makes them hard to hit, and provide that passive support that they currently do, but without the hand pressure.

Gremlin Crier - give them challenge instead of Spreading the Good News.  You really don't want to spend cards to keep them up - they either heal more with Spit hog, or discard for intimidating authority, or just die before healing.  Challenge let's them stay disruptive while also letting them fit the pseudo tank role they have.  Would also love them to have Draw out Secrets but that's probably not on brand.

I dunno.  I feel like these changes would be what *I'd* like to see to give the keyword some legs.

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On 8/16/2022 at 6:43 AM, GrumpyGrandpa said:

I really think his Loot Monger-title needs a semi-rework aswell.

I think it needs a major rework. There are no synergies with this crew.

I'll have to ponder about that. Most summoning masters got a second Title that provides some major synergy to make models that are normally summoned worth fielding. I'd like to see the old Rambo Somer be an option, but I'm not sure how that would work with the crew. 

For OG Somer I think just reverting to Pre-errata would be enough. They've given better bayou two cars mechanics to other crews now.

Banjoistas could use a major rework since they don't get summoned much and would need to do more work to be worth paying for. Personally I'd bring back the Deliverance reference and give them an Aura that gives models in range Terrifying 8-9. 

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I had played some games with Som'er in GG3. He is borderline playable at least, but suffers a lot as a bubble keyword and a summoning keyword. At this point I don't think he would be a considerable choice in any pool.

It does help that if his Bayou Two Cards and summoning are reverted to previous version (or with less restriction), but without a whole rework, I don't think he could suddenly become as appealing as Mah or Zipp in the current GG. I would like to see them tend more toward horde crew instead of bubble crew, by changing Bayou Bash and Gremlin General. I have no idea on how to change Bayou Bash, but Gremlin General can be a global defense ability, like "friendly Bayou Gremlin gains Take the Hit" or something.

I am not sure is Wyrd willing to make a such huge keyword rework or not, but I hope whatever they do, they can make Som'er becomes competitive again.

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45 minutes ago, Rufess said:

Gremlin General can be a global defense ability, like "friendly Bayou Gremlin gains Take the Hit" or something.

That's a pretty interesting idea. 

47 minutes ago, Rufess said:

I would like to see them tend more toward horde crew instead of bubble crew

This would be a cool. Horde crews are kind of hard to do currently. Most low cost minions are bad and summoning rules are rough. 

I think a Big Hat horde redesign should focus on that. Stuff like Kiria 2 where costs really matter. 

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2 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Just give them access to Yannic, and boom, sorted 🤣

Mannic, the bayou Yannic.

Believes themselves to be an "onion organizer" who is trying to bring more Democrazy.

Versatile or Enforcer version of a Crier who let's you do the 'discard becomes remove a scheme and draw' effect.

Also has Putrid Stench because Onions.

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2 hours ago, grundil said:

Too many abilities in big hat keyword need to discard card, i think something must change about this.

It used to work okay because Som'er's summoning was good enough to let you fill your hand up with Demise (Expendable). It could again if his summoning went the other way. That and Bayou Two Card meaning you probably aren't using cards on anyone cheaper than G&0. 

I don't know how Loot Monger is supposed to work without those extra 3+ draws a turn. 

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several times I have tried to open the subject in the past; in another thread: I had proposed to make him become the only model that could place blasts by firing on his key-models (someone was told me, that perhaps it was "inelegant" and in fact it is) then I had proposed to increase his damage (but someone was told me that "the king of blasts in the bayou had to remain wong"...lol) now I propose instead to give him back an action that allows him to discard the entire hand to the opponent, also it would be necessary to remove the "once per activation" from "bayou two cards ". For the rest it could be fine. Isn't that acceptable? 🙃🙏

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I like the idea of making Bayou Gremlins more useful. Especially @Diceman87's suggestion for Work Together Would Ya seems very fitting, elegant, and encourages the play patterns of Somer2. Also, going towards a more horde style would both fit Somer and make for a pretty unique playstyle.

Also, the note on discards being a bit too prevalent without that much card draw is a good observation. I feel that the design philosophy kinda evolved here a bit in that most other crews with lots of discarding going on tend to have good card draw to back it up. Now, Bayou Gremlin Demise might've been the idea to help Somer but with the changes to Summoning it doesn't seem to be working anymore.

I'm not sure that bringing back Somer1's hand discarding would be a good idea - it was a bit nightmarish to play against and I think it was dropped for a reason.

But great ideas and good conversation! Really hope that something gets done!

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10 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

Bayou Gremlin Demise might've been the idea to help Somer but with the changes to Summoning it doesn't seem to be working anymore.

It worked pretty well when Somer was are stat 6. I used to pretty regularly dump 4 bayou gremlins on the opponent which is a pretty big card draw, if they die in the next turn or two. Or summoning one piece you need and an extra gremlin to get in the way. It's harder to do at stat 5. In general being a summoner master with stat 5 is a rough place to be. 

I will endeavor not to be too negative though. It seems like most of what I do on the forums is complain about So'mer. Lol

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On 8/16/2022 at 7:46 AM, Diceman87 said:

I agree.  Som'er 1 has suffered from his errata to the point where it's too much work when you can get comparable or better shooting, staying power and scheming with another keyword.

My thoughts:

Som'er 1 - revert his summon stat to 6, change Bayou 2 Card to at least work on enemy Activations.  One per activation and only friendly activations is way more restrictive than any other keyword with a 'give self a plus flip' mechanic.

I really think that's all he needs.  It alleviates the hand pressure and makes his summons back on par with other summoners.

Lootmonger - change Ransack to either - every time a friendly model removes a scheme; lose the discard cost; or make it happen when they drop a scheme (like Toni 2's summon).  As it is, Ransack takes a lot of work to go off outside of Som'ers own action since Big Hat doesn't have a lot of ways to remove schemes that isn't 'interact', and 12 cups of coffee costs stones.  

Change Work Together Would ya.  As it is, it's just not worth it to give yourself slow for a single plus flip. Making it "once per activation a model within 3" of this model or a friendly Bayou Gremlin may get a plus flip" makes it similar to Bayou Two card, encourages making Bayous, and let's you spread it out over the board.  And is also similar to Ophelia 2's ability to hand out upgrades

The only keyword models I'd touch are:

Banjonistas - build in tome on Rebel Yell, or replace it with a tactical action To remove conditions.  Maybe remove the card cost for Hootenanny.  I'd love for them to gain an aura of hazardous (Distracted +1) from either a tactical or front of card instead of their current bonus action.  The idea here is it makes them hard to hit, and provide that passive support that they currently do, but without the hand pressure.

Gremlin Crier - give them challenge instead of Spreading the Good News.  You really don't want to spend cards to keep them up - they either heal more with Spit hog, or discard for intimidating authority, or just die before healing.  Challenge let's them stay disruptive while also letting them fit the pseudo tank role they have.  Would also love them to have Draw out Secrets but that's probably not on brand.

I dunno.  I feel like these changes would be what *I'd* like to see to give the keyword some legs.

Back at the beginning of M3E I made a post about the insane amount of discards that there were in the Keyword and it was absurd. It will favour to bring only the models that are not that reliable on it.

Both Som'ers are definitely in the bottom 5-10 of power level of all the 114 masters (including titles). Honestly, someone has to stay at the bottom for someone else to stay at the top, but what it doesn't make sense is that the ones at the bottom are unplayable if you want to have a real chance of winning a game.

Wyrd sould really think twice before some nerfs, because Som'er 1 is not the first model that gets hit way too hard and makes it terrible. Bokors and Yasunori come to mind, and even to a certain extend François.

12 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I like the idea of making Bayou Gremlins more useful. Especially @Diceman87's suggestion for Work Together Would Ya seems very fitting, elegant, and encourages the play patterns of Somer2. Also, going towards a more horde style would both fit Somer and make for a pretty unique playstyle.

Also, the note on discards being a bit too prevalent without that much card draw is a good observation. I feel that the design philosophy kinda evolved here a bit in that most other crews with lots of discarding going on tend to have good card draw to back it up. Now, Bayou Gremlin Demise might've been the idea to help Somer but with the changes to Summoning it doesn't seem to be working anymore.

I'm not sure that bringing back Somer1's hand discarding would be a good idea - it was a bit nightmarish to play against and I think it was dropped for a reason.

But great ideas and good conversation! Really hope that something gets done!

More than card draw, other keywords have discards with much more impactful abilities. So either Big Hat gets real cards draw, we remove the need to discard to things that are really lackluster or we give them a way to benefit from discarding cards.

 

 

Edited by ShinChan
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Lowered stat on the summoning is one thing, but much worse is the removal of the trigger to get rid of the summon upgrade. I understand it is to prevent bypassing the summon restriction on strategy marker, but this change does largely limit the number he can summon. I hope he can have a trigger(better to be a mask) that increase the TN by 2 to summon a Bayou Gremlin without upgrade.

Also since the Old Cranky has a duplicated Obey, why not changing the Obey to an action that can summon Bayou Gremlin as well? It can have some limitation like, copying from 2e, deals 2 damage to a Big Hat model to summon a Bayou Gremlin in base contact with it.

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Loosing the trigger to bypass summoning restriction hurts. But I was mostly talking about card draw. A better stat means more summoned models dying and drawing you cards.

I wonder what the thought process was for Loot Monger. I thought we might see an alternative title that had Grow shenanigans, like So'mer could target a Bayou Gremlin and Grow it into a model with Demise(I'm Done With This). It would exclude his heavy hitters, but still get some summoner-like shenanigans in and force the opponent to kill gremlins before they could become useful models again. Or failing that bring back So'mer & Peaches as Title.

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On 8/18/2022 at 6:44 PM, Rufess said:

Lowered stat on the summoning is one thing, but much worse is the removal of the trigger to get rid of the summon upgrade. I understand it is to prevent bypassing the summon restriction on strategy marker, but this change does largely limit the number he can summon. I hope he can have a trigger(better to be a mask) that increase the TN by 2 to summon a Bayou Gremlin without upgrade.

Also since the Old Cranky has a duplicated Obey, why not changing the Obey to an action that can summon Bayou Gremlin as well? It can have some limitation like, copying from 2e, deals 2 damage to a Big Hat model to summon a Bayou Gremlin in base contact with it.

Also not having the upgrade is no longer relevant, since all the summoned models get a token.

Honestly, they should bring the action to what it was before. It was fun, it was thematic and was way far from being OP. Even bringing the summoning back to what it was wouldn't even be enough to make him competitive, but at least it would be fun.

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3 hours ago, ShinChan said:

Also not having the upgrade is no longer relevant, since all the summoned models get a token.

Honestly, they should bring the action to what it was before. It was fun, it was thematic and was way far from being OP. Even bringing the summoning back to what it was wouldn't even be enough to make him competitive, but at least it would be fun.

It was not true for the pre-errata Som'er since model he summoned came with a summon upgrade, hence no token, and would not re-gain the token after the trigger got rid of the upgrade. That's the reason why the trigger was removed. We cannot just simply revert to the previous version, otherwise Som'er could have summoned model "not summoned" and broke the S&S balance.

But I do agree that his current summoning is not good enough as a primal summoner. I would like to see it changing to summon a single Big Hat minion with the summon upgrade, plus a trigger to summon multiple Bayou Gremlins without upgrade, base on the duel total and TN, or by paying cost like health or something else.

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1 hour ago, Rufess said:

But I do agree that his current summoning is not good enough as a primal summoner. I would like to see it changing to summon a single Big Hat minion with the summon upgrade, plus a trigger to summon multiple Bayou Gremlins without upgrade, base on the duel total and TN, or by paying cost like health or something else.

I really like the idea! I think it would be kinda elegant to require discarding a card for each Bayou Gremlin summoned since then you kinda "deposit" the card into their demise. Unfortunately the keyword has too much discarding as is for this to work currently but it would've been really neat.

But the idea of a Trigger summoning extra Bayou Gremlins sounds really good to me!

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A thing i hate about summon, Bayou gremlin are not mindless. So with Lootmonger, you discard a card when you remove a scheme marker, your opponent gain a pass token, your gremlin die, you get back a card thanks to the demise but you just lost activation control. Why would i summon with Loot Monger in this case ?

And i like to play both Som'er even if they are weak for only one reason : white rabbit co. Without this model, the keyword would be so much more trash.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/24/2022 at 11:38 AM, Math Mathonwy said:

I think it would be kinda elegant to require discarding a card for each Bayou Gremlin summoned since then you kinda "deposit" the card into their demise. Unfortunately the keyword has too much discarding as is for this to work currently but it would've been really neat.

But the idea of a Trigger summoning extra Bayou Gremlins sounds really good to me!

I very much agree with this one. There is far too many discarding-actions in the keyword to begin with.

I've had games with Loot Monger, where my starting hand was 4 severe cards and 2 moderates. And it was miserable since I couldn't summon anything now. Which feels really silly.

Also:

On 8/24/2022 at 8:36 PM, grundil said:

And i like to play both Som'er even if they are weak for only one reason : white rabbit co. Without this model, the keyword would be so much more trash.

I get what you mean, but I just don’t see the fun in playing a crew built around a single model.

A friend of mine linked me the between The Danger Planet and the Malifaux Development Team – It is available on youtube, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. Really cool people having a nice chat. It did make me a bit worried about any future revisits to Som’er 1, however. 

Now, English isn’t my first language, so I fully accept that there might be some misinterpretation going on. I got the impression that they would like to avoid continuously revisiting the same model and changing it over-and-over. Som’er1 has been reviewed twice now, and the quote “You got to get it right the 2nd time” makes me doubt they’ll give him a 3rd glance. They mentioned how multiple revisits to specific models is especially worrying for them, due to the community having different versions of the same model. I am personally not that worried about multiple versions existing in a play area, since it has been my experience that people stay very up to date on models that have been errata’ed.

They also mentioned how to want to have the game be enjoyable, and fun to play (with and against). Doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be top tier. To me, this translates to “If it is fun, and enjoyable to play against, then we will most likely leave it at that”. Which also worries me, since Som’er1 hasn’t had his playstyle changed. He still summons, shoots, and bloats the board with semi-flexible models – He just does it so much worse than before.

So, we have a model (keyword?) being revisited multiple times, and hasn’t changed its playstyle on any fundamental level – So why should they go back to it now?

Again, please watch the video to form your own opinion before taking mine at face value. 
 

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7 hours ago, GrumpyGrandpa said:

Som’er1 has been reviewed twice now, and the quote “You got to get it right the 2nd time” makes me doubt they’ll give him a 3rd glance. They mentioned how multiple revisits to specific models is especially worrying for them, due to the community having different versions of the same model.

This is a good point. It means we're probably stuck with the version of Som'er1 we have indefinitely. He might get a revisit in another edition way down the line. Hopefully we can still get a Som'er 2 tweak 

It also brings up the point that if you own the old card, you can just play the old version, assuming you don't use the App. The next time I feel like playing Som'er I'll run this by my opponent.

 

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