Mech Matters on Meta

So, as discussed in the previous post, I wanted to talk about something we’re going to frequently encounter on the ladder. His name? Frustration, Mechaz0r. Mechaz0r at first seems like a super neat idea, it requires 5 cards to be complete, and then you win the game!

Sound familiar?

 

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Hmm…This isn’t Duelyst is it?

 

No, it’s not Duelyst, but there’s if you recall the discussion about when minions become answer or die, or else you lose the game, there is a very specific minion in the game that is extremely similar to that, except you can see it coming a mile away.

 

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For Mechaz0r to be built, it requires 5 of any combination of the following cards:

1 mana – Helm of Mechaz0r
2 mana – Wings of Mechaz0r
3 mana – Cannon of Mechaz0r
3 mana – Sword of Mechaz0r
4 mana – Chasis of Mechaz0r

With the exception of Helm of Mechazor, they all have innate abilities as well as progressing mechaz0r’s “birth” by 20% each time any one is played. It doesn’t matter if duplicates are played – they still progress to the mechaz0r.

1 mana – Helm of Mechaz0r –
2 mana – Wings of Mechaz0r -Airdrop (can be dropped anwyhere on the field)
3 mana – Cannon of Mechaz0r – Ranged (can reach anywhere on the field with attack without moving)
3 mana – Sword of Mechaz0r Frenzy (adjacent and diagonal tiles can all be targetted at once)
4 mana – Chasis of Mechaz0r(Cannot be targeted by spells)*

*Area of Effect spells not included

So what’s the big deal with this? Oh, well it’s just a card that’s 8 health, 8 attack, and receives all of the innate abilities and is played for 0 mana once mechaz0r reaches 100% completion.

 

MECHAZ0R

the forbidden one

 

So game over, right? The game has an internal clock that just determines that if you don’t win by the time the opponent gets out this card, you just lose, right?

No – that’s not the case, and that’s where the meta comes in. There’s a 3 attack, 3 health minion that costs 3 mana.

It’s value is 3. That’s right, it’s only 3. Using our algorithms, this card falls very very flat on it’s face when you compare the fact that our most basic card Windblade Adept has a value of 4 when zealed – which it should always be.

Crossbones

the main offender

I’m sure you can see where this is going, and that will be continued in the next article. But for now, know that Crossbones is a hard counter to Mechaz0r, and depending on the meta you decide on whether or not to play him.

Correction credits:
Boronian1

remoqaz

Summary:
There is a controversial “1-2-3-4-5” you-win in Duelyst that largely ignores the other elements of the game.

There is a hard counter that fails our algorithm test – Crossbones, that can instantly destroy a Mechaz0r with its Opening Gambit

Including Crossbones (a card that using our previous expressions to calculate value, the card would falsely appear to be useless.) in your deck depends on the meta – which is how many players are deciding to play the game this way (mechaz0r)

PS: If you guys could let me know about the length of each article (too long? too short?) I would greatly appreciate the feedback.

 

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More Matters on Meta

I know, I know. These posts have no pictures. How boring is that? Boring or not, still the meta is something we must continue to talk about. Yes, there’s more. I wrapped up the last article  by making a little bit of a strange reference to literature and other works of art to describe the meta in gaming. Does it still hold? Let’s bash some more on Kaleos and see.

A perfect example of this would be an alternate general (Reva Eventide) ending up seeing significantly more play on the ladder than Kaleos Xaan – Songhai’s main general.

Why am I talking about meta? It’s more important to the game than to just bash on Songhai’s main general Kaleos – it’s actually something we need to understand in order to play even semi-competitively against others.
Is this still looking about as clear as mud?

 

Let’s say, for example all of a sudden every single deck you saw had 100% rush minions.

How would you deal with this? How would you counteract it? What would you do automatically different than usual the minute you start a game?

 

The “Everyone has rush on every single card” is the meta and “I’m going to run 3x Nightwatcher and a buttload of provoke minions” is your counter-strategy to the meta.

Night Watcher.png
hey, a picture!

Making sense now?  Good. A term you’re going to hear a lot is viability in the meta. What this means is as new things are discovered, uncovered, or developed, new counter strategies are also discovered, uncovered, and developed while old ones may go to the wayside.

The meta is an important indicator of the health of a certain strategy, but that doesn’t mean that it is the end all be all of everything.

In closing, yes-  we can try to define intrinsic values for cards but sometimes we will add cards to our arsenal that don’t “work out so well” with our formulas we’ve developed thus far – but are an addition to the deck to deal with a situation that has become popular with the players.

These cards are called tech cards and they are designed to specifically hard-counter things in the meta that may be causing lots of difficulty for us in our deck.
next we’ll talk about mechaz0r and more specifically, how to counter that with a otherwise “useless” tech card.

 

Summary:

  • The meta can change and grow, causing players to find out what works and what doesn’t work
  • Tech cards, or “anti-meta” cards may not be viable with our algorithms and formulas we have come up with but can still be a necessity depending on the current state of the meta-game.

Meta Commentary: The Matter on Meta

Last article I concluded with a shocking and upsetting revelation regarding Songhai, the next faction available on the list in Duelyst. As I mentioned previously, I am actually a Songhai main, but when I took it apart and dissected it for purposes of blogging about it, I realized very quickly that there was an inherent problem with Songhai’s beginning deck, general, cards…the whole 9 and a half yards, so to speak.
Needless to say I was pretty taken aback by this. I had a hard time beating the NPC, nevermind beating a real live person. I wanted to continue the discussion on Songhai today with additional “back-breaking investigative research” (playing Video Games) but I happened to Superman Bounce (or double-jump: depending on where you live) my laptop out of my bed and onto the floor.
So for the majority of yesterday and today, I was computerless. For a guy like me, that’s pretty devastating. Needless to say, I don’t have much material in the way of Songhai to sling your way today.

 

However, the topic of meta comes to mind and I want to take the time to discuss that.
I know, I know I said this would be a jargon free, easy to read blog, but meta is such an important piece of jargon for gaming in general that if you don’t already know what it means there is going to be some point in your life (preferably now) where you find out just what exactly it does mean.

 
The meta, as defined by me is the game state and how it’s currently played not by development of the game creators and developers, but by development of the understanding of the game, the strategies that work, and the counters to those strategies as the game matures and develops itself over-time.

 
This might be hard to visualize without an abstraction, so I’ll give you a different example. Ever heard of the “Death of the Author” argument? No? How about this then, ever decide in your head that the real meaning behind a movie or book is different from what the author proposed? That, now that the author has released his or her universe upon the world, the world has free reign to shape and design it how they please and their old intentions and interpretations have died with their release to the public of the content.

 
Does that sound familiar to you? I’m sure it does.

In gaming, meta is like that except a lot less dramatic. It certainly has it’s fair share of people who disagree with what it really is, and even discussing what meta means is going to have it’s fair share of people who don’t agree with how I define it.
 

For our purposes, we needn’t care. In a less flowery, verbose format:

The meta is the state of the game as defined and shaped by the community at that given time, not exactly by the developers.

 

 

this is getting a little lengthy so I’ll continue the rest in a 2nd part released tomorrow.

Summary:

 

  • The meta, as defined by me is the game state and how it’s currently played not by development of the game creators and developers, but by development of the understanding of the game, the strategies that work, and the counters to those strategies as the game matures and develops itself over-time.