Monday, February 25, 2013

On Glass Cannons and Power Creep

"It's like I'm a cannon made out of glass. Like a... y'know, like a dainty figurine so ornately decorated you can't imagine how something so fragile manages to exist in this brutal, ugly world... And it makes you weep."
- Black Mage, 8-Bit Theater


With the blatant RNG screw that DeNa recently imposed on its playerbase, I think the best approach is to reduce everything to minimalist proportions and maintain a very small but useable amount of familiars. Unfortunately (or fortunately, rather), I picked Blue Beard - which means that I'll be sticking to what I do best - building glass cannons.

In theory, glass cannons work well in turn-based settings because they only need to proc once to do their job. Granted, they're squishy but I think the best way to work around luck-based scenarios (especially if they're rigged) is to reduce the dependency on chance.

I've mentioned before that I always splashed Blue when deckbuilding in Magic, not because of its effective disruption (which I tend to avoid, by the way), but because of its naturally occurring search engines, deck acceleration and combo potential - which often leads to game-ending plays, much to the dismay of everyone else (and I mean multiplayer, multiteam games) playing at the time.

I guess there's something oddly rewarding in seeing synergies get pulled off after hours of number crunching and working on reducing the effect that randomization has on such scenarios.

Anyway, nukers in Blood Brothers. I managed build a hefty Odin this past week thanks to this guide. It's nice when folks somehow manage to beat the system (and by system, I mean money-hungry gaming companies) by being such huge nerds (and I mean that as a compliment). I also managed to snag a similarly built Thor for cheap since I started putting the old stuff on the Bazaar for resources. I guess being one of the pioneering players has its perks. Thanks to the newly released skill system, I modded Blue Beard to have the following skills:

Syphon
I picked this because it was really cheap, and increased the survivability for adjacent familiars. The other options were skills that required to take damage in place of familiars, which obviously isn't what glass cannons are supposed to do.

Guile of Runes
This was an obvious choice. It essentially doubled, or in some cases tripled, the damage output of Blue Beard and any adjacent familiars and ensured that even Legendaries would be taken out of play once a skill procs.

Torrent of Flame
Simply put, Torrent of Flame is incredibly powerful - double the damage of the Wisdom stat is nothing to scoff at. Given the fact that Fafnirs are reasonably priced in the Bazaar, this was a no-brainer. While it isn't as useful as something like Flash of Rage (which is pretty expensive) during raids and tower events, it still does its job. I was only aiming to farm for silvers anyway, so this is as good as it gets.

For the two side familiars, I currently have old trusty Ghislandi on one flank and Tametomo on the other, which I plan on replacing soon. I'd like to think that the flanks are like sideboards (another MTG term), and could be best used for either additional protective buffs (because more offense is overkill) or for some sort of cleanup crew like I have now. I think those Ward familiars are really nifty (although Blade Ward is really difficult to acquire) so I might aim for those.

Well, that is unless they release more familiars based on Nordic mythology (because Tyr, Baldr or Loki sound like really good ideas), in which case I'll spring for those.

I'm a sucker for themes.

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