Author Topic: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope  (Read 4506 times)

Quazee

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[PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« on: 17:49:01 - 06/07/12 »
References : #1 and #2. In particular, take a look at Toben's insightful comments here and here.



Problems with spirit charms/decks/strategies :
P1 - Accessibility
PvE spirit decks must be accessible to anyone. That creates three separate issues.
  • All spirit options that a. are not class-restricted, b. also pack willpower destruction, c. deal direct Spirit damage, are extremely few (two, to be precise), and, more importantly, they're available at lower levels (before level 40). That's really unfortunate, as the said options are core components of (high-level) spirit shortdecks, mostly in (but no limited to) 1v1.
  • Most low-level (i.e. before level 42-ish) spirit options are insanely lenient as far as as the attribute requirements are concerned. That's really unfortunate, as low-level spirit decks simply lose their identity; anyone can competitively play spirit at lower levels. To give just an example : Withering Touch requires level 38 and a pool of 497 attribute points (yeah, I'm conveniently ignoring Voodoo Head, which is way more lenient); all Hyphused sets require level 37 and pools of 566 attribute points. How the hell is this OK ? Well, it's not... but we have to live with it, as spirit should be "accessible".
  • The spirit rune is linked to a disproportionately high number of "rare" (i.e. ignoring attribute distribution) options. Examples ? Power Corruption/Earth Dragon Crown/Robes of Majesty/Blightwood Talisman/Deathless Sentinel are all core components of their corresponding level-relevant decks.

P2 - Identity
The spirit rune is supposed to use the Pow/Dex pair of attributes. A person which goes for maximum efficiency when using spirit decks should sacrifice Int/Con, which would readily make unavailable/unfeasible many other strategies (we're still speaking about competitive PvP here, but with PvE in hindsight). There are quite a few issues here too.
  • As already pointed out, lower-level spirit is hurting on this front. The "rare" options make the situation even worse.
  • The "gimmicks" of spirit strategies are : self-buffs (DH/BwT), spirit banes and bane EAs (CS/LT/GP/Pandamius), [target lowest spirit] targeting (DS/FE/DlS). Do you see a recurrent theme here ? Yeah, that's right - all of them either have unspectacular attribute requirements (being lower-level options), either ignore the attribute distribution altogether.
  • At level 47, the spirit rune finally receives two charms with reasonable attribute requirements. Hooray ? Well, on one hand it's a "yes". On the other, it's easy to observe that both of them shine in multiplayer PvP, rather than 1v1. The 1v1-friendly options with reasonable requirements appear at level 49+. Not cool.

P3 - Support and self-sufficiency
Spirit decks are predominantly plagued by this one in 1v1. "Turtling" works at lower levels, it works even too well... but by level 42-ish it starts to struggle with the incoming damage.
  • On one hand, there are too few defensive options (FotE, BH; hell, even AoM). The direct consequence is that the regular (i.e. no shortdecking) spirit strategies struggle with (e.g.) melee, the very same way melee-oriented Assassins or Warlords struggle with spirit, unlike Berserkers. There simply are too few of them, and the draw order is overemphasized.
  • On the other hand, regular (again, no shortdecking) spirit decks are not "bursty"/"in your face", unlike melee/magic/high-level auras/banes/summons. Why is that ? Just count the spirit-damage options that happen to be EAs. Evidently, not shortdecking also severely limits the potential of VC.
  • Hell, just ignore the above issues and shortdeck Spirit,  right ? Well, no. You can use defensive options, or you can shortdeck, but either way you become vulnerable yourself to another spirit deck. Why is that ? The spirit options that also have some built-in defensive stuff (EDC, for instance) are too few and far between... a problem that is much less pregnant in the case of direct/indirect damage decks.

P4 - Scaling
If spirit often struggles in (higher-level) 1v1, it's also just too effective in multiplayer PvP.
  • On one hand, we have [target lowest spirit] and Ritual Mask. Too... much... synergy.
  • On the other hand, spirit and banes are inextricably linked by VC. Banes (and auras, FWIW), unlike summons, scale inherently well in multiplayer PvP. Again, too much synergy.
  • Conversely, spirit fails miserably in multiplayer PvP at lower levels. Why ? No special targeting, no RM, no banes/VC. Can you see a pattern ?

P5 - Counters
Two very different issues here.
  • By design, spirit is supposed to be a hard-counter to shortdecks. Even more so in 1v1. While regular spirit (full) decks do annihilate basically any spirit shortdeck, they are not hard-counters to any and all shortdecks. Even after being nerfed, (e.g.) GS/NB still are the basis of formidable shortdecks. Further nerf GS/NB ? No, adjust spirit accordingly; the conditional of Lobotomize is a step in the right direction, but more similar options are needed.
  • Back in the day, people asked for dedicated counters to spirit. And they received one such option, in the form of CoP. Where's the issue ? Nowadays, CoP is virtually ignored in competitive PvP. Why ? Because no sane person will bother with a dedicated option (i.e. which does nothing when not encountering spirit) when there are quite a few versatile alternatives. Do you fancy melee ? Great, MotI screams for you. Like running magic ? Fear not, your CPB/multihits are properly backed up by Empathic sets, so that the clueless VC spammer is rendered harmless.

P6 - Draw order
Much like Toben already pointed out, spirit (looking only at the spirit part) decks aren't that sensitive to the draw order. Yes, we have DH/BwT; yes, we have indirect+modifiers+AoE spirit. It still isn't enough, methinks. Particularly in 1v1, most spirit decks still seem to be composed of 60x Challenger's Pressure + 5x DH. The only redeeming part, especially so in higher-level PvP, is the inclusion of defensive options.



Suggestions : new charms can (and should) tackle P2/P3/P5 with ease; maybe even P6, but that one is fairly tricky. P1 and P4 aren't within reach, too many things would need to be reworked.

Sparky

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #1 on: 18:24:08 - 06/07/12 »
spirit often struggles in (higher-level) 1v1
Didn't take time to read anything else so far, was just scrolling through quickly. I know your intention is to be objective and improve the way things are and all.

But this. I'm. Not. Buying.
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Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #2 on: 19:00:18 - 06/07/12 »
spirit often struggles in (higher-level) 1v1

But this. I'm. Not. Buying.

That's a good observation, and an equally valid justification for nuances. Everyone can show ridiculous replays such as this one, but I still stand by the spirit (heh) of the quoted statement.

"spirit often struggles in (higher-level) 1v1"
  • "spirit" meant spirit decks that are not class-restricted. Don't look only at Inq/DK and then draw a hasty conclusion.
  • "struggles" is basically P3 in a nutshell. If the spirit full deck fails to draw the defensive charms at the right time, it's game over. In particular, "often struggles" shouldn't be mistaken for "spirit only has 10% win rates in 1v1". That's not what I've said, and no one would be able to defend such a preposterous argument.
  • "higher-level" is anything but a homogeneous domain. Comparing the effectiveness of spirit in 1v1 at level 42/47/51+ will lead to dissimilar results.

Eschatos

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #3 on: 11:23:33 - 06/08/12 »
Anything but Inq/DK should struggle with spirit in 1v1, lvl40-50. Every class comes with forced sacrifices and certain rewards, as do adventurers
« Last Edit: 16:33:03 - 06/08/12 by Eschatos »
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Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #4 on: 06:35:12 - 06/09/12 »
Anything but Inq/DK should struggle with spirit in 1v1

There are quite a few points to make :
  • As far as 1v1 goes, a DK isn't that much more proficient with spirit damage than anyone else. Their greatest assets, MC/Lobo, shine in multiplayer PvP.
  • The Inq sometimes manages to ignore the RNG (of drawing defensive charms when needed) and simply focus on being a "glass cannon", with the aid of SV and (particularly) FM. Did you notice the emphasized part ? It's there because the "glass cannon" approach does not work when encountering decks that are actually designed to be resilient to spirit.  You know, stuff like RS/CR/BWM/MotI/DR (as melee; do note that I haven't included the 1v1-specific MDB/RHS) or Cerpathos decks as magic. If they're forced to "dig in", you're forced too.
  • Conversely, there aren't many classes which appear to be inherently problematic (i.e. via class-restricted charms) to spirit decks in 1v1. Namely, Berserkers... and maybe Champions, as their Premo decks tend to be very bursty, particularly at lower levels.

To better illustrate the last point, consider the typical Pyro decks in 1v1. Are PS/PC/BI that problematic to spirit decks ? Well, no; the combination of Empathic sets, plus IM, plus the spam of epics (by late 50, or 51+), is. Do you see the recurrent pattern ? The latter are all free of class restrictions.
And another one : are the typical 1v1 Summoner decks (as already mentioned, GS shortdecks are an aberration) inherently problematic to spirit decks ? Well, no. BP and Dabih are much more irritating, and they're both free of class restrictions.

Summa summarum, saying that only DK/Inq make good use of spirit decks is an overstatement. All spirit decks are in the same boat, and they are all impacted by P3 from the original listing.

Eschatos

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #5 on: 13:58:14 - 06/09/12 »

Summa summarum, saying that only DK/Inq make good use of spirit decks is an overstatement. All spirit decks are in the same boat, and they are all impacted by P3 from the original listing.

I meant only DK/Inq should make good use of spirit decks:P In my mind, class charms should be more decisive on the turn of battle in 1v1 for all classes

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Astrolabia

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #6 on: 04:37:44 - 06/10/12 »
One of my main issues with the point that "spirit often 'struggles' in higher-level 1v1" is that if it often 'struggles' in that domain then most people wouldn't really even be using it in the first place. People employ easy-to-make decks that have a reasonably high win-rate. In this case, spirit fits the bill well, since the only decks that are hard counters to full Spirit are WP melee decks. Then you have things like this. You have to literally go out of your way to tailor your deck to throw a wrench in people who utilize Spirit. This has nothing to do with class charms either because it's already clear that DK/Inq will have an easier time doing well with Spirit than non DK/Inqs; that's not even disclosing the fact that POTENTIALLY ANYONE can do well with Spirit if they know what they're doing. Not to mention that Inquisitor is one of the most popular classes in the game. Regarding Spirit being unable to counter all short-decks, this is no longer applicable to Null Barbs, which, while it can still do some serious damage, is nowhere as strong as it used to be thanks to the timely nerf. I will concede that GS decks can still deal severe blows to Spirit decks full or not, but there ARE ways to tweak existing Spirit decks to mitigate GS damage.

"spirit often struggles in (higher-level) 1v1"
  • "struggles" is basically P3 in a nutshell. If the spirit full deck fails to draw the defensive charms at the right time, it's game over. In particular, "often struggles" shouldn't be mistaken for "spirit only has 10% win rates in 1v1". That's not what I've said, and no one would be able to defend such a preposterous argument.

If the gear facing the Spirit deck fails to draw the defensive charms at the right time it's also game over. It's an issue inherent with the RNG-influenced nature of the game. I don't think this is a valid complaint. The only case where this would not apply are WP-generating heavy Melee decks, which are basically undoubtedly the bane of Spirit gears in the first place, and it is impossible for any one single gear archetype to trump over all the others. In my case, where I run a WP-heavy Projection deck, I always find that I always lose to Spirit if I don't draw SiH at the right times, and if they don't get extended. It happens.

« Last Edit: 04:39:24 - 06/10/12 by Astrolabia »
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Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #7 on: 05:51:48 - 06/12/12 »
Astrolabia (and Sparky, to be fair), you guys have a perspective that's a bit warped. Spirit at level 51+ doesn't face the same decks that spirit at lower levels does. At 51+ there are a lot of normalize (and self-normalize) effects flying around. At lower levels they simply aren't there, and CPB/multihits decks are way more aggressive (high DPT from the get-go, exactly what spirit decks typically struggle with), generally speaking.

On another note, Inqs do have it easy in 1v1 (compared to anyone else also running spirit) because they can employ two class-specific multihits (FM/SGP) that tend to be more reliable than VC in 1v1. Still, you have to keep in mind that anything that isn't spirit/buffs (i.e. straight defensive options) is something that "dilutes" the spirit deck. They get to last longer, but stuff like CPB or slowly-building-momentum auras/banes/summons also have that extra time to build up. Quite frankly speaking, I don't think that spirit, in general, and Inqs, in particular, become inherently "OP" in 1v1 if another option like FotE/BH/AoM becomes available.


PS. Astro, what's the easiest and the most reliable way to deny GS shortdecks as spirit ? Yeah, that's right, shortdecking yourself. Isn't that a bit weird ? The hard counter must go the extra mile just to be able effectively counter that annoying shortdeck that shouldn't have been a nuisance from the very beginning ?

Arimith

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #8 on: 08:10:38 - 06/12/12 »
Try including some magic damage...
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Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #9 on: 14:45:08 - 06/12/12 »
Ari, we were speaking about competitive 1v1 PvP, right ? Not "help me use spirit decks" tutorials for beginners. :)

Currently, there are exactly three ways to include magic (or shifting) damage in spirit decks.
  • On EA charms
  • On mixed spirit/damage non-EA charms
  • On defensive non-EA charms

The second option can be safely ignored right off the bat. Tainted Marrow is way too unreliable in higher-level PvP (47+), as it's a dead draw against several very common decks (basically, it's killed by spamming bane reducers, quite common nowadays; moreover, aura-based projection is TM's ultimate counter), and stuff like Chaotic Shadow... well, let's be serious.

The third option is all about FotE. Which is a reasonable choice, but it surely does dilute a spirit deck. In other words, it's hard to consider it a generic "must be included in spirit decks" charm.

That leaves only the first option. And yeah, the people who actually care GS shortdecks do include at very least LR (if LA is still unavailable due to the high Int requirement). However, I can bet on one of my limbs that 5 EAs from a pool of 65-ish charms (remember, we were speaking about countering GS shortdecks with full decks) are not enough in order to reliably neuter the threat. Agreed, spirit shortdecks typically mop the floor with GS... but that's exactly where the issue lies.

As already pointed out, spirit decks do need more Lobotomize-like conditionals. However, implementing these conditionals is a tricky business, as spirit decks are already too effective in multiplayer PvP.

Gabbin

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #10 on: 21:34:37 - 06/13/12 »
I am confused over whats going on here, even after the followup posts.  Quazee, I cannot tell if you are looking for a nerf or a buff or a both or for only certain parties or?  You had an impressive list of bullet points, but only followed it up with a generic request for more charms.  Can you give fleshed out examples of what you would like to see?

There have been so many threads on Spirit that without some proposed solutions to whatever problems each thread's OP highlights, its very easy to dismiss the entire thing.  Even if the solutions seem obvious, some of us need it spelled out. The request for more EAs and Lobotomize-like conditionals are possibly the most concrete things here.
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Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #11 on: 15:51:53 - 06/14/12 »
(...) I cannot tell if you are looking for a nerf or a buff or a both or for only certain parties or? (I)

You had an impressive list of bullet points, but only followed it up with a generic request for more charms. (II)

Can you give fleshed out examples of what you would like to see? (III)

I. Probably "both" is the answer you're looking for. Nerf the accessibility, tweak the output/scaling/mechanics.
II. Speaking about implementation right now seems premature. The very design isn't ironed out yet. That's why I've started a discussion on what works well, what doesn't work so well, how/why spirit decks have shortcomings and how to address them. And I wasn't necessarily conveying new options to implemented immediately, rather than stuff to keep in mind for when the moment comes.
III. Well... I can throw out ideas, just as anyone else. I still maintain that we aren't there yet.


There you go, some really crude suggestions, hopefully "concrete" to your liking.
  • Under no circumstance should new spirit options be insanely accessible. Do not make things like DH (core charm in every bloody spirit deck, at 50 and beyond) available at level 42. Limit dramatically the number of spirit "rares" (i.e. ignoring attribute distribution). Never ever reduce the attribute requirements for high-level (45+) spirit options; (e.g.) Acamar is more or less OK (it is slightly too accessible, though), whilst Body Begloomed is a disgrace.
  • A new defensive option, usable by (but not exclusive to) spirit decks. No more Gloom Knell shenanigans, no more EAs complementing Blood Aegis. A regular non-EA charm, with significant opportunity costs for anyone (spirit or not). In other words, not a FotE Mark II. The best candidate, in my opinion : (indirect/over time) life gain; if you want to make it really cool, as FotE/BH were back in the day, make it HP-aware. Sketch below (I).
  • Let 1v1-oriented spirit decks be slightly more "in your face", but not using regular spirit-on-it EAs (e.g. Seduction), and not using spirit on defensive charms (EDC/GK lookalikes). Sketch below (II).
  • Be extra careful when designing new spirit options, in order to limit the impact on multiplayer PvP. In particular, [target lowest spirit] and (group) attach-to-target banes/curses should be tightly regulated.
  • Differentiate spirit decks in 1v1 versus multiplayer PvP. Psychic Cry/Ritual Mask/Deathless Sentinel are all (really) weak in 1v1, but they shine in multiplayer content. Currently, there is no spirit option that is inherently weaker in multiplayer PvP. Sketch below (III).
  • Implement a dedicated counter for shortdecks, make it available to any spirit deck (more or less level-agnostic). The best candidate, in my opinion : a "multihit" based on spirit reduction. Sketch below (IV).
  • Implement another dedicated counter against spirit, in the hope that it will be more relevant than Crown of Prestige. Virtually anyone likes to "bitch and moan" (take it lightly, it's used with a tongue-in-cheek) about spirit, and yet virtually no one ever bothers using CoP. Let's make another try; how about purging the fekkin spirit decks ? Yeah, that's right... all hell breaks loose, as someone is actually suggesting a class-agnostic purge. Sketch below (V).


Sketch I :
Code: [Select]
Summon : for every A HP under threshold B1, gain C life, during D turns; consume effect if current life is over threshold B2

Deconstructing it :
1. Life gain because it's more versatile than straight immunities, whilst plain (cumulative) armor/ward are overused at this point. Life gain is also more versatile than straight healing.
2. Should be able to respond to the particularly bursty decks, not only to the slowly-building ones.
3. Summon, it's a safer (i.e. harder to counter/neuter) effect than on-self auras or banes/curses. Threshold B2 is there to assure that the charm isn't overplayed/abused by pure summon decks.
4. Tune B1/B2 according to the desired level of the charm.
5. Tune D to make it have a reasonable duration, at least 5/6 turns.
6. Tune A/C to finely tweak its output.
7. Make it freely available (no attribute requirements), but be sure not to include spirit or melee/magic or extenders/reducers on it. As previously stated, it should have a significant opportunity cost; no-brainer options aren't cool.

Sketch II :
Code: [Select]
Curse : Attach to self : 1 spirit during A turns; consume effect and deal B spirit if target's spirit is below threshold C

Deconstructing it :
1. Curse, not bane, to make extenders/reducers (and cleanse) irrelevant.
2. Tune A for a medium duration. A full deck (as opposed to shortdecks) must have time to "fish" for EAs, which means that any value below 4 isn't really feasible.
3. Tune B/C to address the issue of shortdecks. As stated ad nauseam, spirit must deny them effectively, even when not shortdecked itself.

Sketch III :
Code: [Select]
[For each ally]
     -1 to next spirit
[Target enemy with highest spirit]
     Destroy 1 willpower
     4 Spirit

Deconstructing it :
1. RM in the mirror.
2. The "each ally" part counts yourself, thus the "base" output is actually 3 spirit.
3. The targeting should make it obvious that the charm's not a multiplayer-oriented option.

Sketch IV :
Code: [Select]
[Target enemy with highest spirit]
     A spirit
     [If target's spirit is below threshold B1]
          Reduce target's spirit by C1
     [If target's spirit is below threshold B2]
          Reduce target's spirit by C2

Deconstructing it :
1. Available to virtually any spirit deck, from level 30 onwards.
2. Tune A in order to avoid creating rampaging spirit decks. The most likely value is 1.
3. Tune B1/C1 to be the first layer of defense, addressing medium-sized decks.
4. Tune B2/C2 to be the second layer, addressing the most aggressive shortdecks.
5. The second/third hits are not straight spirit damage, but spirit reduction. Ergo ignoring willpower/immunities/modifiers.

Sketch V :
Code: [Select]
[Target enemy with highest spirit]
     [If target's spirit is below 80]
          [If target's spirit modifiers are positive]
               Purge
               A

1. Restrict its PvE uses (or deny them altogether).
2. Use a specific conditional to make sure it only purges spirit decks, being a dead draw against anything else.
3. Optionally, insert the on-self "effect" A (generic name/mechanic), to further increase the opportunity cost. If and only if deemed necessary.
4. The modifiers from the conditional must be positive, not non-negative.
5. Purge, not normalize, to address DH too, not only BwT.

Sparky

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #12 on: 16:07:54 - 06/14/12 »
My own thoughts on the subject, while not being backed up by arguments as elaborate as yours (I'm more the instinctive kind) was that spirit both needs a nerf on its usual "best spirit charms spam" strat, most reasonably enacted through implementing more charms that will make it difficult, while on the other hand it needs a lot more charms with various effects, allowing actually efficient creativity in building up spirit decks that will not all follow the same 2-3 general patterns that are the only ones viable overall as it is.

It's with such thoughts in mind that I've been thinking and designing/helping design new high level charms to come, some of which are completely unfit to the current spirit decks yet should (hopefully) offer decent enough alternatives, or at least the start of it.
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Toben

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #13 on: 18:28:41 - 06/14/12 »
I'm...still a little confused by some of this, I think you're contradicting yourself and your stated goals in a few places, though it's a little hard to pin down because I think at different points you are addressing spirit at different level ranges, but let me back up and attempt to address the main points in your initial post:

P1 - Accessibility - Honestly I pretty much think the cat's out of the bag on this one. If people can build viable spirit decks now (and they can) you can't really take that away from them; you'd either have to nerf the lower-level spirit charms or buff *everything else* so that their spirit decks aren't viable anymore. Which is gigantic can of worms for too littel benefit. I also think there's a lot of overlap between this point and the next one, such that you could probably have folded this point into point 2:

P2 - Identity - Stat builds in Estiah are pretty clearly defined and I think by raising the requirements you risk forcing lower-level characters to become one-trick ponies. The standard Estiah stat distribution is 1 primary stat, 1 secondary stat, 1 tertiary stat and 1 dump stat; spirit charms (and generally speaking, summon charms and bane charms as well) are roughly balanced so that both stat requirements are at about a secondary stat level, in other words, spirit charms requirements are "Pow-secondary, Dex-secondary"; melee/magic charms on the other hand tend to be more inflexible with both Primary and Secondary stat requirements. The "expected" Inq for example is Pow primary and Dex secondary (for Shadow runes) and has a choice between having Con or Int as their tertiary stat (allowing them a choice of secondary runes to use) with the remaining stat being a dump stat. If you raise the Pow/Dex requirements on spirit charms too much, the spirit-using Inq build has to become Pow-primary, Dex-primary, Int-dump, Con-dump; they lose a wide range of secondary rune-use options just to maintain mastery over spirit; if it's too drastic they'll struggle in PvE, but even if it's not that drastic they still lose a lot of versatility. IMO a better solution would be to have more spirit charms with a melee/magic rune as the second rune (e.g. Withering Touch, Soulcleaver) - that can give certain spirit charms less flexible requirements by making them Pow-Primary, or Dex-primary, or (if it's an off-rune like Axe or Lightning) giving them significant tertiary stat requirements (ideally making an Int-tertiary Inq play differently from a Con-tertiary Inq even when they're using Spirit). For comparison, look at Summoners, who have a choice between Dex-tertiary for better access to spirit to supplement spirit-summon decks, or Int-tertiary for earlier access to Unicorn, Pegasus, etc. (Summoners, in fact, could probably use a few more Dex-tertiary summon charms to make that choice a little more interesting but I digress.)

And again, it needs to be kept in mind that for endgame characters all this attribute distribution stuff is totally irrelevant.

P3 - Support and Self-Sufficiency - this is the part where I start to get lost because I'm not sure what level ranges you're aiming at. I've said elsewhere that I think the lack of level 50 Forge epics for the Armor, Ward and Willpower runes is a shame and causes high level PvP to be dominated by offense, and I think that might be something you're at least brushing up against here, but I get the sense that you're mainly talking about mid-40s 1v1, where the weakness of defense is that same weakness it has at pretty much every level; you never know what you're up against and very few defensive charms provide decent amounts of armor, ward, and willpower. This is the main thing that makes FotE good at level, and is why pure spirit will pretty much always beat spirit turtle; my gut inclination here is to say "working as intended". Though I do admit, I'd love to see an updated, higher-level Skull Shield.

P4 - Scaling - Scaling is an issue with a lot of multiplayer charms, and Spirit does seem to have quite a few of them (Song of Chaos, while not technically a spirit charm, is another noteworthy offender.) But generally I feel like high-level multiplayer spirit is in an okay place right now; adding viable lower-level multiplayer spirit charms would probably overpower higher-level multiplayer spirit and so this might again be one of those "cat's out of the bag" things. It'd definitely be nice if Song of Chaos, Vicious Circle, Gloom Knell and Curse of Pandamius didn't all show up in the same couple of levels and if a few of them were maybe toned down a bit and made earlier-40s charms instead, but it's basically too late to fix it now.

P5 - Counters - As to your point one: Yup, Lobotomize is good. I wouldn't mind seeing more anti-shortdeck options, and if they had the side benefit of making life harder with Kiaidonks that's okay with me too. Agreed.
As to point two: Pure counters against one specific strategy that don't do anything else don't get used, period, doesn't matter how good they are. It's not that Crown of Prestige is terrible, it's that it's a dead draw against non-spirit decks. A New and Improved CoP that is still a dead draw against non-spirit, still won't get used. Plus, as I mention in one of my posts that you linked to, the issue with single charms that are supposed to hard-counter spirit is that they have a good chance of never getting drawn. The key to consistent success in countering spirit is not a few charms with "ZOMG SPIRIT AUTO-LOSES", it's a little bit of willpower (or spirit immunity! spirit immunity is awesome!) on every single charm in your deck. The thing folks need, IMO, is a few relatively ordinary melee or magic type charms that give, say, 1 or 2 cumul willpower to all allies, right around level 47.

P6 - Draw Order - I uhh....agree. No surprise there. This is why I'll never take Blightwood Talisman out of my 1v1 spirit deck, I like keeping it interesting. Anyways, draw-order dependency is all about conditionals; I think there's a lot of room for future spirit charms to have various creative conditionals. Incidentally, since I wrote that post, Deep Corruption, Lobotomize, and Shaman Ghostly Pressure all got added, so IMO things have continued to go in the right direction. Even Body Begloomed has ward destruction (for synergy w/ SGP and Tainted Marrow, etc.) and a conditional on the debuff.

Now a quick look at your proposed sketch charms:
I: Seems overly complicated, which does allow for some really fine-tuning of its effects but in general is a thing to be avoided. Also does nothing to address your stated problem, which is that spirit decks that run defense so they can withstand the incoming damage end up losing to other spirit decks; healing does absolutely nothing to help vs. other spirit decks.
II: I like the "curse on self" aspect of this, and in general, I like the concept. Values will have to be considered that make this worthwhile (and not suicidal) vs. shortdeck spirit, though, without making it too OP in other situations. Unless the aimed-for values are just about making this a silver bullet vs. those occasional non-spirit shortdecks that still win vs. spirit, but in that case shortdeck spirit remains an un-addressed problem.
III: ....worse than Withering Touch (a level 38 charm! though admittedly, an amazing one) in 1v1 and even worse than that in multiplayer. The thing about "better in 1v1" charms is that they can generally just not scale up as well as other stuff, and then that other stuff will get used instead; putting a penalty for number of allies on it might as well just say "DO NOT USE IN MULTIPLAYER" which seems excessive. I'm not really convinced something like this is even necessary, though.
IV: See my earlier points about why nobody uses Crown of Prestige. Nobody will run this charm, and even if they did it wouldn't help them very much.

Quazee

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Re: [PvP] Spirit decks under the microscope
« Reply #14 on: 21:20:18 - 06/14/12 »
You may laugh at me all you want for the third sketch, but I actually had in mind a somewhat reasonable option. Withering Touch is ludicrous at level 38, plain OP by low 40s, becoming alright by higher 40s. As for the "DO NOT USE IN..." tags, that's exactly where Psychic Cry stands today; it reads "NOT 1v1" all over the place, and then some.