Mercs and Faction balance
I feel like the different factions profit differently from new Merc champs/commons coming out. After the last 2 reinforcements I felt like Ė wow thatís nice for BD, FK, VG. Especially for VG and FK I feel quite happy for them to get a boost. Other factions kind of get new options or you can change the deck style a bit. Then some factions I do not really see myself including more then 2-3 common units or maybe substitute one Champ. Then you have some factions where putting in Mercs just weakens your best events. And thatís where I feel like new Mercs boosts some factions however some other factions cannot substitute Mercs without a huge tradeoff and therefore change the balance a little. Below just is a small breakdown. Iím interested in your opinion and maybe you can enlighten me with some Merc play in the less Merc friendly decks.
BD, FK, VG: There is no disadvantage at all using Merc champs. With the new champs I think VG and FK will slightly increase in their power curve. Benders you can play very differently since normally BD champs are fragile. Stonegolems and Apprentice mages are a very good addition to VG, BD and to some extend for FK (2-3 apprentice mages for DS and Elut bal)
GD, TO, MV, DD: They can substitute any champs without any limitation. Also some Merc commons seems like very fitting for them, especially with the event reinforcement or wake the fathers gem also working on Mercs (for example spear grounders and apprentice mages). However these factions already got a good selection of commons and champions that it does not change too much.
JE, SG: minor limitation as JE canít CoG Mercs and Duck and Cover (this event is rarely played) does not affect Mercs. However I do not feel like adding to much Mercs here, since champ and common selection of both factions is pretty strong (maybe Shikwa out for JE)
PE, SE: While they also have only one event type (3x) that do not affect Mercs I feel like missing Stacking advance or Spirit of the Phoenix is a really big deal. Oh I forgot Shadows also not working on Mercs. I can only see one champ exchanged for SE (Grubs, Hugorath, Naanashi) and Apprentice mages instead of fencers or scouts.
CL, SO: Yes I know lots of people play SO with Mercs (atm me too) but letís face it, after the reinforcement probably no one with include a Merc champ anymore. Yeah you can take in Etch and Rune Mages or Apprentice mages for cheap vine walls and lots of magic but 4 events do not work on Mercs which I really donít like. I also feel like cloaks are a very Merc unfriendly faction Ė Vlox canít copy and cloak of shadows does not work. Well at least Admiral protects Mercs as well.
CG: And finally the least Merc frinedly deck at all, I canít think of me doing any Mercs in this deck ever. With Sneeks and Mook only working on Goblins and Horde and Invincibility not affecting Mercs I donít think a Merc champs will be better than the Goblin champs to select. Youíre also forced to play with a lot of 0 costers imo so that leaves not a lot of Merc commons open.
The Cave Goblins need no stinkin' Ungobbo-like mercs in our faction.
I agree that some factions are much more merc friendly then others, although I do not think that changes the balance of them or anything at all. So I don't think it would be fair to say that the balance is affected by the ability to sub in mercs.
BD--Merc friendly, and need a few. I've seen Khan and SC wisely used, I could see maybe some Stone Golems, App Mages and a few other champs fitting well here as well
VG--Very friendly as well. I've seen lots of mercs used, Grubs, Malelovlence, SC, Spear Grounders all fit in well. I use SC in my deck.
FK--Merc champs fit in well, not so much merc commons. Even with the merc champs fitting in well, Elut, Skhull, and Anica are all very solid now too, not a faction that really desires mercs in my decks. Maybe 2 owls or something.
GD--Mercs fit, but there aren't a lot I'd add. I mean maybe after Baldar and Gror you could play around, but I'm a Thorkur or Tordok fan. Adding in some Stone Golems or Spear Grounders isn't a bad idea though.
TO--Mercs work in very well, but again the TO strengths are from their unit's strength, not much else. Not sure what champ you'd want to sub in besides for Grubs. As for commons, I'm not sure what you'd add. Between Smashers, Chargers, Thwarters, and Shamans you've got everything pretty well covered.
DD--Deep Dwarves certainly benefit from mercs. Lun and Kynder are needed, but the last champ I've seen Sairook used well, I bet Magos could be. Commons a few owls in this deck also help.
MV--I do not find these guys merc friendly at all really. There is no need to substitute in merc commons that I can find, and as for champs, you could play around with them, but I'm not sure what you're gonna sub in that's gonna help a lot.
SG--Sand Goblins can take in mercs just fine. I'm not exactly sure what you'd want, maybe a Khan Queso if you're running heavy sandstorm and don't plan on summoning Silts
JE--I like mercs in my JE decks. Not a lot, but there are some uses for a few. Stonecloaks gives a lot of life if you think you may want that, vermin are a nice 1 cost that work nicely with a CoH for some extra damage if your opponnet positions themselves poorly, and Khan Queso is a very nice champ to put in, reduces champ cost to allow summoning of some Gorillas and expensive commons.
PE--I have no idea why you'd want mercs in anymore. I used to use some SG's but now there are FireBeasts.
SE--I'm a horrid SE player, but with the SE reinforcments I'm not sure why you'd want mercs.
CL--Not seeing a big reason to want any mercs here, but I also don't know CL well. Maybe an owl or two to help you set up combos.
SO--Until good reinforcements come out, some mercs are not a bad plan. I like Khan, allows you to summon 3 champs while still summoning a few Savagers. Common wise doesn't matter much to me, but can see the use in a couple of App Mages.
CG--I can't imagine much of a reason for mercs. Maybe a SC if you really want a beefy blocker? Maybe an owl or two to help draws as well. But outside of that not sure why you'd bother, for sure don't on the champ front..
Originally Posted by Phoenixio
Tournament Record: 31-11
Although he doesnt work with events or Vlox, Hulgorad is a beastly merc for Cloaks. He gives a fast moving heavy hitter to the Cloaks, something which they lack imo. I agree with most of the main analysis, but vermin and Hulgorad have always done me good with Cloaks.
I also really want to try the Seer with Cloaks. Wait until you have Spy in hand and then bam.
One thing that's kind of neat about the factions that don't benefit as much from mercs, is that there's some really cool stuff that can happen with 2nd summoners...
Last edited by Jexik; 04-25-2012 at 11:13 AM.
You forgot the filth...which are quite mercenary unfriendly, since mercs cannot mutate.
In any case, I think that your "mercenary friendliness" property disregards some things. Some mercs are not planned to be affected by events...and you do not care if they don't
Sometimes I just want them on the table for their cool power (right now magos and owl familiars come to my mind). In other occasions you don't even care if they don't benefit from the direction of your race.
For example, I see SO using a spear grounder behind a wall: her presence will make your opponent think twice on getting on the sides of the wall (since she can attack diagonally)...Who cares if she ends up entangled in a vine wall? I do not plan to move her
These are a simple examples, but I am sure you can think of similar situations
While the above is true, at the same time in SO let's say. You may not want to be moving the SG, fine, but if it can't attack it is a waste of magic and furthermore makes you more suceptible to CUE's. In addition it cannot benefit from Vine Guard or Ambush, both of which are nice boosts to the SO units.
Originally Posted by kalrhin
Let's say in the PE now. SotP is a nice event, it's better if you have PE units out on the field instead of mercs. There are few mercs that give a significant edge to the PE over the PE units, therefore little reason to do them.
That's not to say that mercs aren't ever useful in certain factions, but I think it's pretty clear there are some factions that play with mercs better and allow mercs in their decks easier. However the decks that aren't as merc friendly really don't need the help I don't think.
Originally Posted by Phoenixio
Tournament Record: 31-11
for some factions mercs can fill a niche - for example 0 costers for DD that also fit into the basic concept and work with the events. For other factions however (PE is a good example) you allready have very cost efficiant units that most mercs are just worse and the lack of SotP ... Then you have the Vanguard where lots of commons are only situational usefull and a good mix of mercs really help them out (AM as 0 costers, SC+Golems+DH as 3 life commons, mundol as an additional ranged champ).
However - you can't really mix in a lot of tough Merc commons and champs in a SE deck to make them more sturdy without loosing some of the speed and opportunity advantage of them. I'd also love to include Hulgorath (any 6+ life Merc) into CG but without the event, Sneeks and Mook interaction he will just be worse than a normal cheaper champ. So I cannot fill in the niche of a 6+ life champ. MV you really don't want to put in Merc commons but I'm thinking of putting Torodin out for Rygos (another Brute cannon ball finisher and good wall destroyer).
I find that my Filth deck is incomplete without Mercs. The Abom is the first to go, but I do sub in two Champs to make up for their weaknesses.
Originally Posted by kalrhin
haven't played the Filth enough, that's why I didn't comment. I however also feel like 3 really cheap champs might be a good idear, since I sometimes got my mutations stucked in the magic pile and couldn't got them out (just drawing commons and events suddenly) to recycle them.
But well again a very common merc unfriendly deck but merc champs will be common since the reinforcements come out. Wonder if we ever see a merc reinforcment since they allready got an increadible selection