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Thread: Coal vs Maeoni precons - WTF?

  1. #1
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    Default Coal vs Maeoni precons - WTF?

    Cross-posted from BGG. KC in a different post referred to Maeoni as an autopilot deck and I'm really feeling that in this matchup. Looking for input.

    I picked up the game when it finally hit retail shelves and have something like 15 games under my belt with the same opponent. Because we're still getting accustomed to the card pool and don't get to play a lot we've been sticking with precon decks using the suggested starting five. Up until now I've been pleasantly surprised at the balance and how tense, competitive, and interesting every matchup has been. However, over the last two sessions we've played four games of precon Coal (me) vs. Maeoni and I'm admittedly mystified on how to approach this matchup. The first two games were played in one sitting, one win a piece, the second two tonight where I lost both. The gist: it feels like Maeoni has so many more useful weapons that coupled with the huge life disparity that Coal's only recourse is to pursue extremely aggressive beatdown using slash and Frog dice and needs to play almost perfectly to stand a chance.

    That's exactly what happened with my only win: I focused almost completely on iron rhinos and an occasional iron worker and used everything else in the deck to power Slash to keep his battlefield as free of guilders as possible. The winning attack was made possible by a huge 5 direct damage attack on a snake that would have eaten me alive 1 or 2 turns down the road, powered by 2 frog dice and 3 slashes, all accomplished on the same turn by burning counters off an iron worker. If he had had a Golden Vein in hand that would have failed and I would have lost on the next turn as I only had 2 life remaining with a 2 attack snake and Hypnotize on the board.

    The subsequent two games tonight I tried slightly different approaches, neither of which worked and the second of which saw me wiped out without doing a single damage back to Maeoni. Here's some additional random stuff about the matchup based on my experiences:

    --Due to lack of utility in the deck, Coal is forced to rely completely on unit removal and attack damage.

    --The amount of work and resources required to power Coal's removal engine is almost always higher than it is for Maeoni to replace the removed units. Thus, you are always looking at a material and tempo loss unless your removal attempts will lead directly to a significant chunk of damage to Maeoni. In general, this "uphill battle" feel is the way I feel best describes the entire matchup for Coal.

    --Because of Coal's low life value and Hypnotize, this matchup feels like a ticking time bomb for Coal. Once Maeoni and Empower attack pumped snakes are allowed to walk in Coal unmolested the game is virtually over unless Coal has either found a way to inflict a lot of early damage on Maeoni and/or has a ton of potential damage sitting in his battlefield. That ALSO happened in my only win as a I got quick 9 damage on her with single hammer knight/rhino attacks and held on for dear life from there.

    --Because of how expensive Coal's heavy hitters are and the card costs of slash I haven't been able to get Protect, Chant of Vengeance, or Strengthen on the board in any of these games despite wanting/trying to.

    Card-specific stuff:

    --I love Hammer Knights but they feel frustratingly useless without at least a Protect on the board as they can be defended by a single gilder pumped up by Maeoni's special. I ALSO haven't been able to get that to happen in any of our games.

    --I've spent a ton of time and resources on Iron Rhinos in this matchup and have found them to be incredibly underwhelming for the cost due to Unit Guard and the consequent difficulty in getting through to Maeoni (unless she lets you in to spare her snakes).

    There's more but I'll leave it at that for starters. I know Coal is considered pretty bad and that deckbuilding and/or selecting a custom first five will help, but does anyone have thoughts on this matchup with the precon decks using the preselected first five?

  2. #2
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    When we play precons, the first person to play Iron Rhinos usually loses. I feel that this conjuration needs to be in a deck that can truly capitalize on keeping it alive and making use of its higher attack. I'm looking at you, Dimona. Spending an average of 5 resources just to get a single 5 attack in isn't worth it IMO.

    Since you already have 15 games under your belt, you should graduate to constructed decks. A whole world of possibilities is out there. Your first five is no longer guessable, and there is a great amount of surprise factor, especially with PBs like Coal and Dimona who have a huge Battlefield and Spellboard. Coal gets massive when he starts with a Sleight of Hand and Abundance and has a lot of resources to Slash with. In fact, he is the PB that thrives on having 1x or 2x of cards to tailor his strats against different matchups.
    Winter is Coming...

  3. #3
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    'swhat I suspected but just wanted to confirm. Time to put on the big boy pants.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn3e View Post
    Since you already have 15 games under your belt, you should graduate to constructed decks.
    There are 30 possible match-ups with the pre-constructed decks. Even repeat games can play very differently depending on the order of the cards you draw (e.g. see how Coal plays differently with a T2 draw of a Summon Iron Rhino and Expand Energy vs a T2 Draw of Protect and another Hammer Knight).

    If you look at it that way, 15 games means you have seen much less than half of the pre-constructed possibilities! My wife and I have played well over 30 pre-constructed games and I am still being surprised by how cards I had once discounted as useless are amazing when put in a different situation.

    Not saying you shouldn't do constructed play, but there is plenty of life in the pre-con decks yet.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by albino_penguin View Post
    There are 30 possible match-ups with the pre-constructed decks. Even repeat games can play very differently depending on the order of the cards you draw (e.g. see how Coal plays differently with a T2 draw of a Summon Iron Rhino and Expand Energy vs a T2 Draw of Protect and another Hammer Knight).

    If you look at it that way, 15 games means you have seen much less than half of the pre-constructed possibilities! My wife and I have played well over 30 pre-constructed games and I am still being surprised by how cards I had once discounted as useless are amazing when put in a different situation.

    Not saying you shouldn't do constructed play, but there is plenty of life in the pre-con decks yet.
    Well, you could play both of them. When I said graduate, I meant to broaden your horizons. I still play base sets from time to time.
    Winter is Coming...

  6. #6
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    Point taken. The best game I had in this matchup developed the way it did because I had all three Summon Rhino cards on the table by the fourth or fifth turn. I think I only ever had the second card out one other time in our remaining games, and that time it came out way too late to matter.

    Still, even with some card and dice luck this matchup feels uphill and less fun than most of the others because it feels like my opponent is on a Sunday stroll while I'm agonizing over every single action trying to make everything count. I might play this matchup again when teaching the game but otherwise...

    Can you think of any other precon matchups that are similarly difficult?

  7. #7
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    Aradel vs Jessa is pretty hard on Jessa.

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