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Epic: Base Set Good Alignment

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Good cards feature many angels, priests, military soldiers and human-centric concepts. Their overall theme is to defend as hard as possible while punishing over-extension and going in for medium damage that is difficult to block. The alignment tends to rely heavily upon Airborne to deal their damage. Most of their champions are either going to produce a lot of 1/1 Human tokens or fly overhead and attack directly. Naturally, this means that many of Good’s champions are going to be weaker. It’s a natural fact in Epic that when a card is a token or airborne, it’s weaker to balance out the game’s combat system.

When you combine two types of damage generation (medium and weak), you get a very slow offensive game. This means you have to make up for it with defense. Good has just the means to take care of defense. Let’s break down their actual power bodies, not regarding abilities at all.

 

  • Sum total of Gold Champion Power = 72
  • Average of Gold Champion Power = 6*
  • Sum of Silver Champion Power = 13
  • Average of Silver Champion Power = 2.17

*One champion was discounted as it confounds the data. High King has 0 Power but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out.

As you can see, with their golds being an average of 6 Power, they aren’t competing very well. Their power sum is 72 total, which reflects their standing against the highest power alignment, Wild (116), which is 62% of the total. Being about 2/3 of the best isn’t very good when you have this much room for gradation. Therefore, Good must (and does) have an alternate solution. Instead, it uses the fact that it can gain a lot of life, block with ambush, play its options close to the chest, and swing over the heads of most blockers in the game. In fact, their average for airborne golds remains the same at 6.

  • Sum of Airborne gold power = 36
  • Average Airborne gold power = 6

They even have an airborne silver that’s a 5/5. The total non-good gold airbornes is 52 out of 10 cards, which is 5.2 average. This means, the average Good airborne beats the average non-Good airborne by 1 point in damage. So if the two were to just swing over and over, one card from good could kill in 5 turns, while every other color would take almost 6 turns. Reminder, that’s just a control scenario and doesn’t necessarily reflect any given game. This does mean that Good’s entire offensive strategy is to kill in the air.


Offense

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Defensive strategies are all about surviving while setting something up. Since ultimately the game must revolve around killing at 30 damage in constructed (never try to draw out in 60-card constructed), defense is a way to set up one’s offense. As Good has a pretty bad offense, it must therefore have good defense. Its primary strategy seems to be sitting behind huge blockers, huge numbers of small blockers, and gaining life en-masse to keep the opponent placing out Champions.

Once there are enough on the field, Good wipes the board and punishes the overextension, swinging in those moments where you start over fresh with very little board presence. As such, spot-removal in Good is actually best used on the opponent’s turn just after a board wipe (or the game start) to keep the opponent’s pace low while you swing with airborne. Or else when the opponent plays an airborne blocker. Or else when you have ambushed an attacker on your opponent’s turn, you can play spot removal on your turn. Any of these three will net you the best possible use of tempo control with spot-removal, and stave off that eventual board wipe while letting you chip some damage.

If Good can hit with 1 flyer per turn (average) for 5 straight turns, they can usually win barring odd scenarios. Generally, this means their defensive strategy is to just stuff a ton of humans onto the ground (or midrange blockers on the ground to stop breakthrough) and spam life replenishment on the opponent’s turns where they aren’t using spot-removal. Inner Peace is a particularly nasty reusable life gain that can sometimes fog an opponent’s entire attacking turn even if you have no blockers. Otherwise though, it can steadily pad out your life for those inevitable turns where the opponent takes the upper hand.

  • Sum of Gold defense Champions = 90
  • Average of Gold defense Champions = 7.5*

*One champion was discounted as it confounds the data. High King has 1 Defense but operates more like a reusable Event, so it was left out. Again.

As a percentage of the highest alignment Defense, Good has 73% of Wild’s (123, avg 9.5) defense, which is the highest again in Base Set. This is pretty good when compared to the other alignments which are all below Good, though Sage has 87 total, which is very close to Good’s 90. It’s significantly tankier than Evil but its tokens are much weaker and Evil also uses token walls.

Good really starts to shine with its life gain. As the average damage from the highest (Wild) is 9 per Champion, Good must therefore gain 9 life per turn per champion that it does not block to break even. Cards like Inner Peace and the Righteous-givers really take this to heart. Namely two ridiculous cards that I will cover later can easily make you not only break even but be practically unkillable.


Defense

Defining what is the “best card” is always difficult. What I’ve chosen to go with is how these cards compare with other cards that do the same job in any alignment. So I present Gold Dragon and Avenging Angel.

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Both of these cards make you invincible while they’re on the field (since Righteous means you gain your Power as life when you damage anything), have the average airborne damage in Good (6) which is 1 higher than the mainstream, both attack immediately, and both swing in the freaking air. It’s actually difficult to say which of the two is more insane. Basically, when either of these cards hit the field, the opponent has to get rid of them immediately or you’re going to dominate the game. These cards will easily win you games. At 6 total copies (in every Good deck), that’s 10% of a constructed deck. If you set up a draw engine with a Noble Unicorn, after your opening turn, it only takes 4 draws to see one of them. Their biggest weakness is hurr-durr “dies to removal” which is basically anything’s weakness.

Honorable mentions: Angel of Mercy and Angel of Light.

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These two are provably less ridiculous champions, however they both have a major advantage over Avenging Angel and Gold Dragon—Ambush, so you can play them on an opponent’s turn, have super-blitz (basically prep them on your first attacking turn), use their abilities one turn earlier, and open up your turn for more options including life gain and spot removal. Angel of Mercy is amazing since it can get back all of the other 3 cards after they inevitably die. Since there’s practically no opportunity cost for not playing her, you have every incentive to hold on to this angel until the perfect moment. Angel of Light is one turn of Inner Peace slapped onto a fast airborne champion. That’s just amazing. Thier Power is all average or below, but since this makes 4 really good airbornes for you (and most decks struggle getting even that many), you’ll definitely have air superiority for the fight. With 10% more added to you deck, you now know that 20% of your deck are going to be some of the best cards in the game and that makes it very easy to draw (about 1 of these four cards in the opening hand).

Overall, Good is widely considered to be the weakest of the four alignments as of the base set. I can see exactly how players would reach that conclusion both theoretically and in practice. Good has the worst overall power, only a mid-line defense, and relies way too heavily on stalling—a tactic that is historically bad in card games, since it gives opponents more turns play terrifying cards. It can also be very frustrating to play against as it gains a ton of life, which naturally tests the patience of card gamers.
Are you just griefing me? You’re not even hurting me, this game is just taking forever. ~Some Asshole

 

However, the good points that Good has are the best. It has arguably the best two champions in the base set and can both protect and resurrect them almost endlessly. Not to mention the scary draw engine it can use to get to these champions. However, two does not a deck make. This is where Good starts running into trouble. Their biggest weakness is actually consistency. Some games, Good “goes off” and does some pretty spectacular stuff, allowing it to compete and often win. Other games, it bricks and continues to brick. By the time you get what you need to fix everything, the game is already lost. Epic doesn’t have time for all this gathering.

Worse still, two of its best four cards are alignment-locked to Good (and Angel of Light is dependent). With very little ability to splash in other alignments that may fix its weaknesses, Good ranks firmly as the lowest of the four pure colors in base set.


Hopefully you all found this an informative and helpful article. If so, be sure to share this with your friends!

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Epic Card Game Review

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Epic is a game where two Elder Gods are vying for superiority. Each can call upon mighty champions or game changing events to alter destiny. The cards themselves and the gameplay really exemplify this. But is this game worth a shit?

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The game is fully card-based, so what you get is a cheap box full of cards. The box won’t hold more than a single sleeved preconstructed deck (60) of cards despite it coming with 128. The box is also low quality. Basically, getting a storage option is necessary to keep the cards protected. If you buy 3 boxes for a full playset, get a large storage option (384 sleeved cards).

The cards themselves are of middle quality. I was able to safely have 20 matches shuffling these before I saw wear on the edges enough to make me want sleeves. On a scale of “Yu-Gi-Oh” to “Vanguard” I give them a “Pokemon”. Anyone who has felt all 3 know that Vanguard is amazing, Yu-Gi-Oh feels like you pulled it out of a garbage dump and Pokemon is dead center.

The card frame design is pretty amazing considering the subpar quality of White Wizard’s other game, Star Realms. This far and away beats other card games out there right now.

The art in this game is fabulous and takes your breath away like in Star Realms. White Wizard seems to have found a handful of amazing artists who they reuse frequently and are on par or better than Magic’s new Zendikar art.

How does a game of Epic play? Each player can have Champions (cards with Power/Defense) in their deck or Events, which are cards that go to the discard after resolving.

First, players each gain 1 “gold” which is used to pay for all of the powerful champions. Gold champions must make up at least 2/3 of a player’s deck. Currently, only 1 gold cost Champions exist which is necessary due to how the game is balanced. Champions with a 0 cost are silver and can be played any number of times per turn. However you may only have up to 1/3 of a constructed deck being silvers.

Next, the turn player draws a card and play begins. The turn player may attack in any order, play cards in any order, and attack-and-play in any order. What this means is that you can start right off with an attack, then play a Champion, then attack, play an Event, etc. There’s no fixed phase system in play. This greatly increases the number of choices a player has. When a Champion is placed into play, it goes into the “Preparation” zone face up. This denotes that it cannot use its expend (turn sideways) abilities or attack that turn, but can block on the opponent’s turn. If a Champion has blitz, it ignores those restrictions while in that zone. Before this phase is actually a step where the turn player prepares all of their champions, taking them out of that zone and turning them vertically.

A player may attack and play cards until they are either content with their actions or have no more to take, then end their turn. This is the last time an opponent could play a card on the turn player’s turn. Only Events and Champions with Ambush can be played on an opponent’s turn and only during specific moments. These moments are:

  • When your opponent attacks, you can play an ambush or event
  • When you would declare a block, you can play an ambush or event
  • When your opponent’s turn starts to end, you can play an ambush or event

These seem limited, and relative to other games they are—but for Epic this is just right. There’s no “stack” in Epic, and they got rid of the old version of this game’s hideous “the line” as well (Epic was once an old terrible TCG). Instead, due to the new rules about when cards can be played, a card is fully resolved before priority of play passes to another player. So for instance, if you ambush in a Champion when the opponent attacks, you have time to declare it as a blocker too!

Combat essentially works the way you think it will (attack, block, subtract power from defense, break 0 defense champions) but with an important twist: An attacking player may declare an attack group of any size. This completely ruins the problem in Magic the Gathering where two players’ fields become a Game of Chicken. Your opponent can also block with any size group against yours. Usually both players have equal field standing and will be attacking and blocking one at a time. This is because a player chooses how her Champion’s power is divided among the opponent’s defense which could leave a player with many broken Champions depending on the situation. Combat feels fresh and fast in Epic, with many “back and forth moments”.

You start with 30 life. Attack your opponent directly or play burn events to reduce their life to 0 and win!

There are 4 factions, Good, Wild, Sage, and Evil. Each have a unique feel and do different things without straying too far from one another.

Good

Focuses on spamming tiny humans for guard, airborne angels (air champions can only be stopped by other airborne) and rapidly increasing their health. They feel powerful as they continue to move the opponent’s goalposts. Most of their attacks will be in the air and direct while having a huge ground army for guard as well as playing keep away with life. This makes for a gap-engineering play style.

Evil

Has several ways to synergize its champions, often by getting many types of boons from spamming mid-point demons or weak zombies. When I say “spam” in this game is mean it. Put 3 zombies into play. 3 demons. 6 humans. 4 wolves. Fuck your face. In addition Evil can nuke the most and has highest sheer quantity of spot removal.

Wild

Wild decks drop big shit that’s fast and aim fire at your face. Tons of their best stuff has Blitz which allows you to do things NOW, Ambush which is for very impatient people who want to summon on an opponent’s turn, and the ability to take huge 18 power champions and Breakthrough opposing guard for spillover damage. What if you aren’t going spasticly fast or hard enough? Make them eat fireballs to the face.

Sage

Sage focuses on having an answer to everything. Between constantly increasing their hand and options, Sage can usually play cards on their turn and opponent’s every round. With absolutely ridiculous endurance and reduction of chance, it’s rare you can come up with a situation to put Sage into that it can’t get out of. All your stuff is unkillable? Okay, they are just wolves now. By the way, freeze your whole field while I hit you in the air and drop dragons on your champions. My trun…draw 2 cards.

The actual exchanges in the game require tight assessment from both players. There is a lot of interactions. Despite this, you cannot stop your opponent from doing anything. It just happens to you. The best you can muster is an after-the-fact play. With 2/3 of cards costing 1 gold (the rest are free) and each player getting 1g per each turn (yours and your opponents) games can afford to have epic exchanges right off the bat with no boring buildup such as in magic, but no spunk-gargle cardspam such as in Yu-Gi-Oh. My best take on the feel is “Midgame in a MtG World Tournament” at all times starting at turn 1.

Throw the rulebook away. It’s useless garbage and worth less than the paper it’s printed on. My first 10 games were incorrect due to its terrible wording. Get the rules from the official site.

Magic players will struggle. You will constantly try to “translate” the game into MtG terms and fail because this is not Magic. In addition, you won’t be able to keep up with the deadly pace if you’re used to turns 1-3 being “do nothing but set up”.

Some reviewers and casual board gamers have called Epics games “swingy”. The idea being that since every single card is game shattering, it just randomly screws you. However, I have not found this. Maybe because my opponents are pro tour material. Every single card played can turn the game so that counts for your own. The entire game is about seeing the right play and reducing misplays.


Final Thoughts

Can I recommend this game?

I am morally obligated to. It beats every TCG on the market despite not being one (it’s an ECG, or Expandable Card Game). Epic comes with 1 of every tournament legal card you need. 3 boxes ($10-14 each) gets you a full playset and enough to cube draft. The base box has 4 balanced 30 card preconstructed decks. It has a reusable sealed format built in to each box as well as draft and open draft. The rules support multi-player and even some unique multi-player formats. The main site also states that more formats are coming. Basically $30-46 gets you every card for every format for a great game.

Verdict: We’ll be supporting this one on V-Mundi.

More

If you’re looking to get started more on Epic, try the following:

VMundi Changes

VMundi has undergone some changes as of late. The most notable being the theme, which is now responsive, mobile-friendly, retina-friendly and optimized. Also different is the inclusion of more games, which for now is just my own Digimon Battles. The logo is also slightly different, as I lost the original Illustrator file and took this opportunity to remake the brand. Visually, the site is still very similar but functionally, it is different and will continue to become more different.

Vanguard updates will be reduced to only the most important things (not the most commonly played), which will free up time for myself.

New authors will be coming on to help with the increased workload. New games will be supported and my own projects will be posted here.

Digimon Battles Card Game

Digimon Battles logo

Digimon Battles is a Digimon card game for two players made by me. Based on the Playstation 1 title “Digimon World: Digital Card Battles” with several changed and updated rules, many altered cards (plus new cards) and completely new game features and concepts. Pick a powerful partner Digimon that easily evolves. Play a deck containing any of eight types of Digimon, or mix-and-match types.

Each player will send out their Digimon, evolve, and support them with their own cards. The Digimon battle until one player achieves 4 KOs! Digimon Battles is an Expandable Card Game, (ECG) and is free for life. Several expansion sets are currently planned.

Download & Play

Currently the game is completely finished. Organizing a printable version of 200 unique cards (with different printable counts) is quite difficult and has not been completed. I own a complete collection of all of these laser printed but was unable to find a good way to make a printable library for players or to show each card.

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TABLETOP SIMULATOR MODULE:

http://steamcommunit…s/?id=710666368

Or search “Digimon Battles” in the Steam Workshop for TTS.

Read more

Van-Guardians Live Stream — Interview

This is the third Van-Guardians Livestream from Team 2XC featuring an interview of me with guest commentary. It’s over 2 hours long—the interview is just above one hour! Host Jonathan Mindham and the rest of these guys do well at providing informative and entertaining video so I suggest checking out the rest of their content and subscribing.

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