Balance updates/patches?

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Hey all!  New poster but longtime player.

In my gaming group there is a strong consensus that Kalteros is by far the strongest leader.  Is there a consensus among the community as a whole that Kalteros rocks?  If so, does anyone employ any house rules to nerf him a bit?  On that note, are there any plans by WotC to implement any kind of balance updates or patches if there is a community consensus that something is over/underpowered?  What are some other things you think might be over/underpowered?  

My experience is that DC is an extremely well-balanced game overall, and our playgroup hasn't found Kalteros to be particularly stronger than any of the other good leaders.  IMO the list of good leaders is Draal, Malistros, Kalteros, Snigg, Rhynserra, maybe the vampire lady if you're running Undead.  That seems pretty healthy to me.

The only card I wish they hadn't printed is the Magic Short Sword; I'm not convinced it's unbalanced, but it is supremely un-fun since it makes about 33% of the cards in the game not do anything.  Maybe the bugbear since breaking the action economy is pretty dangerous, but I think if you can disrupt him with defense cards he's probably fine.  Other than that this seems like a sweet environment at the moment. 
Well I have to agree that Valnar is easily the weakest leader, but I'm surprised that Kalteros isn't the undisputed best.

He has the best leadership, which counts for more than morale or starting cards in our opinion, since it means you'll always have more creatures on the board and thus should always have map control, and thus more treasure.

And his ability, to get order cards instead of morale, is by far the best ability to boot.  Rhynseera might be second since she can swap order cards, but Kalteros doesn't really need to swap order cards when you can be drawing 2 or 3 order cards per turn easily.  Malistros' movement seems nice but consider that if you have 3 drow/spiders out, they are moving a total of 6 more squares.  Kalteros can have a whole other creature or two out on the board, which also probably moves a total of 6 more squares, and can fight and use order cards to boot.  Malistros' two extra movement will be a small comfort to her when she can't win a fight against Kalteros thanks to his extra fighting unit, and she can't stop him from getting all the rest of the treasure on the board even if she can win the race to the first treasure box.  Snigg's leadership is way too low; being able to deploy first can be nice but again, if he can't win a fight because he's down so much leadership, what's the difference?

Ultimately, it breaks down like this: Kalteros owns the map from the first turn because he can deploy 2 extra levels of starting creatures.  From there, things only get worse for his enemies because he draws order cards, not a puny 1 morale (which mathematically is worth only 10 HP, whereas order cards are worth minimum 20 and up to 100 HP).  The second best leader would probably be Tarkon Draal mostly because he has the second most leadership at 8, but he's still down on the same counts as all the other leaders compared to Kalteros: he starts out behind in leadership and he quickly ends up way behind in order cards.  The anti-cowering power is neat but niche; more often than not it's better to let a creature to die than to cower anyway.  On the other hand, aside perhaps from FFAs, it's always better to use Kalteros' ability to loot chests for order cards.

I'd agree that the Bugbear is a beast.  But his beastliness would be severely mitigated if he didn't have DEX and all the extra movement cards that DEX gives you like spring attack and hidden strike.  The same goes for the Umber Hulk; why does the Umber Hulk have DEX and not CON?  The Umber hulk with good DEX cards like acrobatics, loping stride, and quick strike, is an unstoppable sniper that can control the whole map from a position of safety, take out any guy on the other team,  and get away safely again if used moderately judiciously.
Perhaps you forget that the order card can only be taken for treasure when looted by a drow. limiting your creature deck while using him to presitess, wizard, house guard, assassin, blade master, and dryder. which while all decent figs pail in comparison to things like umber hulks bug bears and others.

yes his card draw is powerfull, yes starting with extra leadership is nice. but if you plan to run anything other then drow his power simply doesnt work.

See my post in the other thread; I think you're misunderstanding how shifts work and overvaluing Scuttle/Umber Hulk because of it.  In any case, I don't find that +2 leadership actually makes all that much difference if your opponent knows how to play against it.  You can go grab some treasures, but if your opponent is being properly aggressive, you can't really afford to go durdle around for too many of them because you'll be too far out of position and just get beaten down.

As for his second ability, it's fine and I've gotten some good use out of it myself, but it's definitely awkward that it only works for Drow.  The Wizard and Priestess are pretty good, but the Priestess has no trouble turning her standard actions into cards, and other than that and maybe the Drider sometimes, Drow are some of the worst creatures in the game, so if you want to reliably be able to turn every treasure draw into a card, you're either making sure you only loot with some of your creatures, or you're playing some dudes that are not very good.

I have a priestess-based Wis/Dex army that draws a bunch of cards like you described, and it's a fine, competitive army, but:

a) I've got and played several armies that have a fine chance to beat it.  Intelligence-based lists have a huge amount of ranged fire and maneuver shenanigans that can keep up with your ranges, and Tough as Nails is a huge headache for dex dudes, who tend to hit repeatedly with small attacks  and so lose a ton of damage to block 10.
b) I'd rather run Malistros in it every time, because +1 card to both of my hands just gets the steamroller going faster.  The creature hand in particular is a big deal; if you don't find a turn 1 priestess, Lolth's Blessing is way less good.  I think you also underestimate the speed thing; total extra squares of movement isn't a particularly useful metric because they're not an army-wide resource.  It's basically a 33% increase in speed to your speed 6 guys, or alternately lets you move an additional IIRC about 10% of the total length of the map (depending on setup).  That means your creatures are both far more likely to get away from a bad situation, and far more able to pile in on a good one.  It also applies to the level 1's, which are Spiders but not Drow, which is huge.  They're tied for Elf Archers as the best treasure hunters if you're into that sort of thing, and they can't use Kalteros's ability.  If you run Malistros you'll get far more treasures than Kalteros does, both because your guys can come back from fetching them much more easily, and because you can dedicate a level 1 to it rather than a level 2+.  Sure the treasures aren't as good, but getting a lot more without sacrificing for it makes the comparison a lot closer.
c) I think Snigg is also a very defensible choice for a Priestess-draw based warband.  Sure he has lame leadership, but he has a huge creature hand (5!) which pretty much ensures you'll draw the Priestess plus whatever other nonsense you want with her, and his ability saves you a massive number of activations if you take any kind of attrition.  Being able to drop stuff in around your Priestess at the start of your turn is a nightmare for the opponent and makes it very difficult for them to put effective pressure on your card engine, which is the big worry for the deck.

Side note: our playgroup has mostly stopped running the Bugbear Combo Deck because it's profoundly unfun, and quite possibly broken.  The best version of that deck I've found uses the Priestess draw engine, but it's never going to use Kalteros because it doesn't have any interest in running Drow other than the priestess and all it really cares about having on the board is a Priestess and a Bugbear.  So I'll run one of Malistros, Snigg, or Rhynserra with that deck every time.  (The first for fast Demonwebs and priestess mobility, the second for surprise Bugbeard death deployments, the third to assemble combo pieces most reliably.)  Kalteros is probably fine if you want to run a variant with Drow Wizards treasure hunting over Spiders, but certainly isn't significantly better; I definitely like it less.  Anyway I'm not including that deck because it leans heavily on the Magic Short Sword which is IMO the game's one problem card.
Thanks for the thoughts, we don't have any undead boxes yet anyway so I can't comment on the magic short sword from first hand experience but I know how good piercing strike is so I can imagine how powerful that card would be.  Especially since afaik there's no way to remove enemy attaches.  That would be a nice alternate use for Mage Hand, come to think of it....
So it seems like Kalteros is not considered the best commander hands down, but that bugbears and the Magic sword might be OP, is that a general consensus?

What is the consensus on the weakest creatures/cards?

In our playgroup, creatures that nobody takes include: the wolf, the human ranger, the halfling sneak, the giant spider, and the copper dragon.  Is there any love for those creatures? 

There's one way to remove enemy attaches, Dispel Magic, that's also in the Undead box.  It's a fine card, but doesn't really stop the sword because it's a minor, so you have to wait until your turn to remove it.  Only a minor problem in some cases, but it can do a vast amount of damage before then due to all the bonus attacks you can pile up, and a huge amount on a Bugbear combo run or the like.  And of course it's an Int card so not usable by everyone whereas the short sword just requires you to be a humanoid which is pretty common.

I think Halfling Sneak and Goblin Cutter are two of the worst creatures.  Wolf is also pretty bad, though it's auto-feint is at least somewhat non-embarrassing.   Human Ranger and Drow Blademaster both suffer from Flashing Blades being pretty much a downside over running one bigger hit (due to block 10 being a thing that comes up and just cripples them).  I find the Giant Spider and Copper Dragon to both be side-case useful but pretty good in the right decks.  Giant Spider is a 2x2 base and Spider so is pretty good if you're running all spiders + Priestess which is a real thing you can do and not be ashamed.  Copper Dragon is Str/Int and level 5+ which is a nice place to be for using a lot of juicy cards (though some of the best, Cloud of Bats, Dimension Door, and Vampiric Touch, are out of Undead so you don't have them).  Str/Int also has tons of ways to slide the opponent around all over the place and Acid Breath/Fireball make that a fun thing to do.  You haven't lived until you've shoved a bunch of enemies into hazardous terrain with Forceful Strike/Blast of Force and then bathed them in AOEs, and the dragon does that better than any other single figure.  Cloud of Bats is also hilariously good (it's a level 5 Int immediate that prevents all damage from an attack and then lets you shift 6).

In general I think the worst creatures are the boring ones.  Things like Hobgoblin Soldiers, Goblin Cutters, and a lot of the level 3-4 Drow have few ability scores and no real standout role.  Being slow is especially bad in filler dudes like that; I think the Hobgoblin Soldier is my least favorite creature in the game just for being aggressively mediocre.  Someone might at least someday get some glorious run with Goblin Cutters with Goblin War Cry or hitting someone 5+ times with a Halfling since it can use Quick Jab and Heroic Surge and it's hard for a level 1 to be that disappointing. 
Yes the Hobgoblin soldiers don't really do much do they?  Only Con; their only justification for being level 3 is an extra 10 HP; if they had an extra 20 HP they'd serve a role as a good tank for their lvl cost.

I used to think the Copper Dragon was a beast of war, but then I realised that it's not Dex and can't use quick shots, so it's awesomeness was reduced by loads =[  Apparently Umber Hulks are more agile than copper dragons.  If there are bunch of sweet INT cards for it in the undead deck that's good though.  I think an all INT warband would be amazing but we don't have enough boxes right now to make one that viable unless you use literally every int card and creature, which some other players would probably object to =p 

But yeah I think a warband of something like 4x drow wizard 4x human wizard and a copper dragon + some good undead stuff would be a fantastic INT warband.  INT has easily the most powerful suite of order cards/lvl imo. 
Yes the Hobgoblin soldiers don't really do much do they?  Only Con; their only justification for being level 3 is an extra 10 HP; if they had an extra 20 HP they'd serve a role as a good tank for their lvl cost.

I used to think the Copper Dragon was a beast of war, but then I realised that it's not Dex and can't use quick shots, so it's awesomeness was reduced by loads =[  Apparently Umber Hulks are more agile than copper dragons.  If there are bunch of sweet INT cards for it in the undead deck that's good though.  I think an all INT warband would be amazing but we don't have enough boxes right now to make one that viable unless you use literally every int card and creature, which some other players would probably object to =p 

But yeah I think a warband of something like 4x drow wizard 4x human wizard and a copper dragon + some good undead stuff would be a fantastic INT warband.  INT has easily the most powerful suite of order cards/lvl imo. 



Yeah, I have an all-Int warband made up right now, currently running 2 Copper Dragons.  I'm not sure it's great in pure-Int since there are a ton of ranged 10 caster types you can run for that deck, but it's certainly not bad and having some beef that can use Cloud without leveling up or assisting is sweet.  I had a Str/Int build that I may someday return to where he was an all-star.
My fav thing to do with the copper dragon would probably be arcane ritual, since it's a tank ass mofo, even sitting in the open it's not like he's that easy to just snipe.  Put a bullseye on your beefiest guy and let your squishy bits hide out around corners and whatnot, gives your opponent a list of bad options really.
My fav thing to do with the copper dragon would probably be arcane ritual, since it's a tank ass mofo, even sitting in the open it's not like he's that easy to just snipe.  Put a bullseye on your beefiest guy and let your squishy bits hide out around corners and whatnot, gives your opponent a list of bad options really.



Yeah that's a nice one, though his range only being 5 on his ranged attack is a bit sad.  Another great thing to do with him is go aggro; a lot of the Int cards from the Undead are great on melee beaters, but we don't have a Bladesinger or anything similar yet, so there aren't a lot of Int creatures that can really get in there and mix it up, but the Dragon can.