Discussion in 'Ironfist Stronghold' started by Sokolov, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Sokolov

    Sokolov The One True Cactuar Octopi

    So @Axeraiser tells me that I should consider buffing some Paladins if I nerf the IS Angel, because it is a key champ in the theme, and that the theme would be crippled after the IS Angel nerf.

    Particularly, he seems to point out that it is the only offensive option, as well as the only ranged option for Paladins.

    I'd like to more insight into this and hear any suggestions for what Paladins needs to remain competitive post Angel nerfs.
    Woffleet and Poxlife like this.
  2. JazzMan1221

    JazzMan1221 Better-Known Member

    I don't know about "only ranged option", but definitely "only offensive ranged option". The IS Angel, post-Intensify, is tanky enough to weather all sorts of poke while dishing out great damage at a respectable range. I see her sort of like pre-revamp Jakei Elder, who could Crystalize and Force Barrier to defend himself while having the mobility from Domain: Snow to escape if necessary. He hit like a truck and while he didn't exactly carry the frost amp theme on his own, he provided a huge part of their ranged arsenal.

    Paladins, on the other hand, have only a few thematic ranged units to choose from: Angel of Mercy, Cardinal, Angel of Protection, and NCP/Aria. Angel of Mercy only has 6 base damage, and is decked out with several support abilities, making her a poor candidate for a DPS unit. Cardinal is in the same boat, with poor stats and an ability line that speaks to more of a backline commander role rather than a damage dealer. That just leaves NCP, who doesn't really do much damage unless a Mark is already on her target. None of these units can match the IS Angel, who boasts considerable durability and threat range, alone with a decent amount of base damage that is easily amplifiable through Tales of Valor, Tactical Manual, Commander, etc.

    This brings up another good point regarding Paladins and the IS Angel: it is incredibly tempting (and worthwhile) to drop a ton of nora on spell/equip support on her. An IS Angel with a Manual hitting from 6 range post-Intensify will do crazy amounts of damage while being very safe from counter-attacking. Most Paladin decks tend to fall into this superchamp-esque category of deck, where the goal is to enhance the power of your Angels (and previously, Crusader) to unstoppable heights. The theme has strong amounts of internal synergy to accomplish this, which is not exactly a bad thing, but it tends to lead to a very stagnant and repetitive style of play.

    To remain competitive, Paladins need to become more adaptable, i.e. move away from the superchamp category and focus more on playing off each other rather than buffing a few singleton units. There are a few redundancies in the theme, such as multiple sources of Commander: Paladin, that need to be removed (remember that Commander units do not get the Commander buff themselves). Elemental Warstaff, for example, could be changed into a range 2-5 unit magic damage unit while replacing his alt damage ranged attacks with bombs. Council Elder could also become ranged, with some adjustments to his base abilities.

    To sum it up, Paladins need replacement ranged DPS units to replace the Angel, without simply creating another problem champion. A big part of the problem is the efficiency of the theme's supporting spells (Tales of Valor, Mark of Redemption, Burning Crusade) and Tactical Manual. Hits to those runes will shift Paladins away from bulky superchamps into more streamlined play, along with buffs to substitute runes such as Warstaff and Elder.
  3. Sokolov

    Sokolov The One True Cactuar Octopi

    Good summary.

    So one thing I was thinking of was how the Mark/Branded is interesting from a single unit perspective, but it could probably be changed to be much more central to the Paladin theme.

    What if it was something like:

    Branded: "When a Paladin makes a basic attack against this champion, the target takes X additional fire damage and the attacking champion gains 1 AP."

    So now, instead of just Mark units helping each other. Any unit that Marks now benefits themselves in the future, as well as any other Paladin in play.
    TheBulwark and Poxlife like this.
  4. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    I'm sure my opinion isn't relevant compared to most peoples here but for the sake of trying, paladins already do pretty much everything in their extended theme. You shouldn't forget that priests and shamans both exist with in the "holy" theme and are viable options for design space shifts. If paladins as a class actually had some restrictions on what they could do, and the other classes were actually capable of doing that it would be a much more diverse theme and that has to be a good thing to you right?

    I'm confused by the whole "only offensive option" as there are more then a few offensive paladins, shamans, and priests out there. Does he mean only viable or high tier one? Their is agian more ranged paladin options out there as well, so again only viable one?

    As a side note, its the Angel of PROTECTION, surely bringing in its offensive power can open it up to better defensive power?

    edit: Also, the game seems ( been away a long long time" to be still heavily restricted to hyper efficient champion spam, if paladins are able to be viable as a super champ theme then isnt that basic difference a good thing? I liked to play them as a holy spell control/CC negation phalanx but I doubt its viable. That flexibility is at least something to shoot for in any changes.
  5. Cydna

    Cydna Forum Royalty

    One problem with Paladins is how squishy the units are. Yes, you have Euan, Talgar, Paladin Commander, and IS Angel, but the core of Paladins are squishy. So like Jazz said, this tends to lead to a Superchamp complex, in which we rely on those tanky champs to also be our main source of damage.

    Paladins depend on healing whatever your opponent doesn't one turn. So as long as you're healing more than they are dishing out damage, you'll be in a good position. Once IS Angel is nerfed, Paladins will definitely be hit hard since they are the main ranged unit. Since I assume Intensify is getting nerfed, Angel of Mercy will be a collaterally nerfed as well. This means that NCP and NCC can be the only two main damaging ranged units. Though, both are support units, little tweaks could be made to make them more efficient damage dealers. I don't think that would be flavorful though. One suggestion to make them more effiecient damage dealers would be to make it so Mark of Al'mara ignores Defense. Currently, when you attack a branded champ the 5 fire damage can be negated by Defense.

    Another suggestion would be to make a spell that turns Champions into Paladins. With the incoming Hallowed Ground nerf, I could see this happening. Although, that might be over the top so I am not certain. Making NCC 6 or 7 speed instead of 5 would be a big help.
  6. Cydna

    Cydna Forum Royalty

    That would be an interesting change to Branded. It would be similar to Revel in Misery or whatever ability that the witches have.

    Would it be possible to change Burning Crusade to give Mark of Al'mara instead of Branded? I feel like Brand is useless ability. If needed, bump its cost to 35 and/or reduce the nora refund.
  7. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Suggested Brand change would fit better imo in barbarians who have a clearer ap gen/damage buff synergy building.
  8. Markoth

    Markoth Lord Inquisitor

    Just saying but Platinum Wing looks like a Paladin (More so than Amethyst) and could be a good option as a new offensive ranged threat for Paladins. There also happens to be a wing update soon so *hint hint*.

    I like the Brand talk so far.
  9. Sokolov

    Sokolov The One True Cactuar Octopi

    That seems reasonable, yes.
  10. Markoth

    Markoth Lord Inquisitor

    I actually like this idea. Mark is better on ranged champs but Flame Aura is more beneficial on Melee so you have to decide how best to use it.
  11. Rapidice

    Rapidice I need me some PIE!

    I like the idea of reworking paladins around Mark. It would be nice if they received some ranged unit that is not Legendary.
    As it was mentioned, most units are really squishy, and they lack good defensive mechanics. This migth be because of the amount of healing they have, but thats not relevant with todays style of game of one-rounding.
    If it was my decision, I'd trade healing on Hallowed Ground for more defensive abilities in theme. Maybe make Hallowed ground grant 1 rank of tough, or reflexes/evasive. Just tougths
  12. JaceDragon

    JaceDragon I need me some PIE!

    Rework Magnus too, he is so boring to play

    I really like the new mark of al'mara idea, but i have a question, would the dmg ingore def? Because right now the dmg of brand doesn't, so unit with -2 def take 7 dmg for example.

    This was usefull when we had barbarian exemplar (aka sarghnathing exemplar) who stun so with the little def debuff you can do more dmg with NCP and NCC, but now i would like to see the dmg ignoring def

    and i'm a bit worried by this:
    So the new angel would be so bad?
  13. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Are we not counting healing/cleanse ( all forms) as defensive mechanics? What about Righteous Shield, Body guard, Enhance Armor, Block/Command: Block/Dodge, Duel, Defensive Stance, Enduring Aura, Damage reduction from Hunter: X, Shielded, Immunities/Resistances of all types, Inquisition/book burn/ignorance/ Abilities that restrict/deny actions like celestial spear/branded/G leap/Antagonize, etc? I ask because it would seem they have quite the few defensive abilities, so what types are you wanting to see added? Is it that they are not on relevant champions, and if so which ones should get/need to get added to what champions?

    This is of course not stating the spell line up that enhances said defensive abilities.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  14. Axeraiser

    Axeraiser I need me some PIE!

    Jazz surmised her role as our only true offensive champ pretty well there. Like he said the only other options are Angel of Mercy, Cardinal and Priestess which have 6,7 and 8 base damage effectively. With range being such a dominant part of the game, you can see then how important the AoP is to us in terms of competing with the options other factions have in the range department.

    None of those other champs really do enough to warrant being ran in their current form. Mark definitely has potential and I like its design, its not just straight up raw high damage but with the right play it can add up pretty quickly, I like this type of play as its less powercreeped and more strategic and is a good direction to take the theme in I feel.

    With my proposed change to bring the Cardinal to 6 speed, and you're current suggested change to brand it would certainly help any knock-on effects to the nerfing of the Angel.

    The theme took a lot of hits, most notably Magnus, Charger Knight , Arch Angel and Crusader, all of whom were key champs that were made unplayable. We also lost a ranged option in the form of Barbarian Exemplar who lost the Paladin class, most recently Master Axeman lost it also and as such we lost a pseudo ranged attack in the form of his Axe throw(Although mitigated slightly by changing Warstaff to Paladin ) So as you can see the theme has already taken multiple hard hits which makes it frustrating to be discussing nerfs to yet another key champ.

    Also as Jazz mentioned the theme relies to much on super champing, this is mostly because all of our key units are so expensive. Angels, Bastion, Euan , Talgar. Paladin Commanders are 76 at optimal build, Ministers 77 . So whenever we deploy something its an investment, we also have some of the best support spells and abilities in the game that further promotes this still of play, which as mentioned is repetitive and bland. Im not sure how we can get away from this style of play ( your current suggestion on angel changes would put her in the realm of costing to much to deploy, and I suppose future change to Hero might have the same effect on Bastion,Euan and Talgar which would remove pretty much all of our super champ options) but I believe buffing cheaper options might help solve this in the short term by allowing diversification.

    Honestly there are so so so many changes I'd like to see, while the revamp was good in terms of toning down power levels it butchered so many champions that could now do with some real love , heres just a few suggestions I would personally like to see to the theme.

    Brubraker Brothers : Easily my favorite champs at the time they were released, incredibly flavourful and pretty much just cool af. Give them 6 speed base, change Brubraker Bond to give multi 1 instead of charge ( partly due to your upcoming change to sibling and partly because its buggy as hell with charge since it takes them out of Bond range ) . These will provide us with a cheaper melee 'tank' option which we are sorely lacking at the moment.

    Talgar : Nerf his Equipment, its obnoxious and stupidly overpowered, especially with Tales. Not sure what your plans for hero equips are going forward so I won't make any suggested changes for the Hammerheart Platemail at this time.

    Cardinal : 6 speed + proposed change to brand. Remove Commander Paladin from base ( Literally makes no sense on him ) this will keep him in and around the same cost as he is now and not too expensive to be worth it. This will give us a new decent ranged option after the AoP nerf.

    Inquisitor : Swap Righteous Shield with Swordbreaker ( I believe Swordbreaker is now 5 nora instead of 10, or will be I remember seeing that not sure if it went through with last patch or not) , the theme has no anti equipment options , 'but you have disarm!' i hear you say. Easy fix hard counter spells are something I'm against ( yes I'm looking at you Unobstructed View) and also limits deck diversification. I'd also prefer if Inquisition was made into something actually worth using , maybe Target Champion within 3 spaces gains Font Ignorance for 2 turns(recost appropriately). And remove Declare Hunted from base ( this is pretty much an 8 nora sandbag ).

    Its late at night and I'm just spitballing here, Il think on it more tomorrow and make some more suggestions.
    Thbigchief likes this.
  15. Markoth

    Markoth Lord Inquisitor

    Sword Breaker is 4. A simpler change for Inquisitor would be to just change Declare Hunted to Swordbreaker which would drop her cost to 73 while raising her utility.

    Inquisition is an ability that is very close to my heart since I was the one who created it but agree that there is little reason to use it over other options. I propose the following change.

    Inquisition: 8 Nora (+2 from current) - When this champion is deployed the closest opposing champion becomes Branded for 4 turns. At the end of your turns, the closest opposing champion within X spaces becomes branded for 2 turns. While this champion is in play, opposing champions that are Branded have Faithless.

    This would increase the usefulness of Inquisition while also creating a cool submodule of tagging as many units with Mark or Inquisition to give yourself Spell protection.

    These changes would put Inquisitor (Assuming you take the new Inquisition over Immune or Commander) at 75.
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  16. Rapidice

    Rapidice I need me some PIE!

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Maybe I didn't make my point clear. Paladins are mostly a melee/phalanx style, and if someone (like myself) tries to put a Paladin BG together whitout angels, you'll soon find destroyed by range spamming. Paladin beaters tend to be amazing in melee figths, but they lack any kind of defense against range. The only decent gap closer comes from Charge, and either you need Attendant, or your unit already has Charge and your opponent can play around it (relics, terrain modifications).
    For me, whitout angels, Paladins feel much like Minos, but whitout Dimension Doors for getting your melee where they should be: up in the face of your enemy.
    Paladins tend to have a wide variety of 7 speed champs, which is amazing, but that speed doesn't compensate the lack of viable ranged options. Usually I have to deploy Scarlets or Sharpshooters to be on par with what my opponent is deploying, and Priestess/Cardinal sit there in my Runedock, for when I have nora to spare, or need a support unit.

    Edit: I like Markoth's idea of making Platinum wing a Paladin, it could give a reason to run it over Scarlet, at least in paladin BGs.
  17. JaceDragon

    JaceDragon I need me some PIE!

    this is cool. And would give some utility fo the northen cross templar.

    Axe why didn't you mention Magnus? I now would like to hear your opinion on him.
  18. sassquatch

    sassquatch I need me some PIE!

    one overlooked aspect is that most of IS's bounty hunters were paladins and this allowed mediocre champs to dish out damage and survive also. I know people complain about it but it does help a champs viability output.
  19. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Just want to point out that you were complaining about a lack of defensive abilities in theme and then proposed removing one of the better ones already in there ( Righteous Shield) for an anti equipment option aka sword breaker. That doesn't really make a whole lot of sense Axe. Would it not make more sense to target one of the other options for the anti equipment, or more specifically one of the shamans/priests?

    You have the V Knight for cheap tank just fyi, is he not worth while anymore at that role? Ghoul Hunter is a shaman and is very cheap so it might be an option to also address the lack of cheap units? ( mid 70s is expensive now?)

    Are we really not willing to diversify class roles/bg champions away from sole paladin bgs? Make the Exemplar a shaman and shes there for your bg with minimum power issues ( you also have Vailwalker, E. Priestess. NC Priestess/Aria, Bolt Terraformer , Emerald Wing for range options. Is the theme so heavily restricted/biased that not having paladin as a class kills the options? Shouldn't that be a larger issue then tweaking a few paladins?), Cardinal is clearly a priest and imo so is AoM which would take them out of a few mechanics but still allow their use, especially with some mechanic tweaks down the line or new ones increasing priest/shaman synergy/roles ( or allow lower price?). It lets you have more defined class roles and helps expand the power base to make he shamans and priests of the world more worth while/ needed as well as synergisticly useful. Maybe paladins are just not a particularly strong range class?

    As an example, if only priests/shamans had Mark and only paladins could benefit from the damage boost they would be more mutually needed for their bg. If Their was Priest only mechanics, or if say the Spear was more useful it would also help.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  20. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Well then wouldn't the simplest thing to do be add more range protection styled mechanics instead of buffing range power? Markoths idea of a redone inquisition is great, Fix the Spear to be more useful, Adapt G Charge as a holy clause spell ( aka it gives something to priests/paladins/shamans when they use it), increase the access to things like attendant, command: charge, or AOE/single target protection effects that help them move in ala RS, bodyguard, divert, evasive, G Leap ( Can the fanatic get melee specy back?) things like that.

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