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Mitigating the Dun Banner abuse

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#1
Mitigating the Dun Banner abuse

I'm talking about one of the most pervasive spy abuse mechanics currently out there, that's only second to the infamous trio of Brouver-Yaevinn-Cleaver in my opinion.

Back when I first saw the Dun Banner card, after getting into Gwent it seemed like a fun mechanic. Something to help out low tempo decks, something that needs clever maneuvering to trigger. But it quickly became apparent how easily they can be abused by relying on the two most broken RNG crap current Gwent suffers from: namely coin flip and Agents (aka CA Spies).

For the happy few, who don't already know what I'm talking about:
It's obvious how it's way more easy to pull Banners out if you play second as on your turn start your opponent always has already played one more card than you (as opposed to going first where both of you have played the same amount of cards), so he probably has more points on the table. It's even more abusive with Thaler, where you put negative points on the table, effectively creating a 20+ point difference of what normal dynamic would be (i.e. instead of putting down some positive points you put -13). So unless opponent can answer with his own Agent, Dun Banners will come, effectively resulting in a -1pt Agent instead of a -13pt one.

So here's my idea:
Make the card trigger on 15 point difference, but modify this limit by 10 times the difference between the number of cards you and your opponent are holding. (Both numbers are adjustable.)
E.g. I play second so on my turn start I have 1 more card than my opponent, so Banners only trigger on 25. If I then play an unopposed Agent, thus having 2 cards more the limit increases to 35. On the other hand if go first they trigger on -15 and I also got an unopposed Agent played against me, I only need be down -5 on my turn start.

In theory you could say Banners now don't only consider resources already committed but also resources left to play when assessing whether you need "reinforcements". But what's more important is that in practice it would help fighting both imbalances I mentioned. Of course this doesn't completely negate Thaler as the 20+ point negative swing he creates would only be opposed with a 10 points limit increase, but at least it would be mitigated.

An obvious drawback is that the cards text becomes more complicated and harder to understand for new players. It may also result in Banners being so hard to trigger that it wouldn't be worth playing them, but tweaking the two numeric parameters might help with this, if my first guesses won't work. The general idea is the important.
But there's possibly more pitfalls than these, that I just haven't thought about. :)

So what do you think?
 

Udalryk

User
#3
I have two possible solutions.
The first and best one would be for only one of them to trigger every time you're more than 20 points behind. But to somewhat compensate the nerf, they would instead boost by 2 when played from hand (or weaken by 2 from 6 when pulled from deck (Effort 2), whichever you prefer).

The second option would be to have them at about 5 and weaken by 3 (Effort 3) when pulled from deck, coming out as 2-2-2 (you could raise point difference needed to more than 22).

I heard a bit about their lore, but these changes don't really neglect it. And they weren't the only ones turning the tide of battle.
 
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CallMeHoot

User
#4
The are only as effective as they are right now because of the bloated bronze/silver point spam fest that the game has become. When Spies were 11, not 13, and most bronze cards were 6 to 9 point plays instead of the 12-15 point plays they are now the Dun Banner DID need some manoeuvring to trigger.

Now, you just play a spy.
 

CallMeHoot

User
#7
Void_Singer;n10947551 said:
Abuse? going down 20+point only to recover 12? you guys make me laugh = D
An 8 point gap is recoverable without losing card advantage. Their argument isn't with the strength of the Dun Banner card in itself, it's about how easy it is to proc them.
 
#9
CallMeHoot;n10947560 said:
An 8 point gap is recoverable without losing card advantage. Their argument isn't with the strength of the Dun Banner card in itself, it's about how easy it is to proc them.
so you're optimally 7pt under or will be, and you voluntarily go 8+ under for an extra card... TBH it's a weak play unless you require CA for your win condition. but I say the same about Venedal Elite / Cantrella.
 
#10
Udalryk;n10947239 said:
I have two possible solutions.
The first and best one would be for only one of them to trigger every time you're more than 20 points behind. But to somewhat compensate the nerf, they would instead boost by 2 when played from hand (or weaken by 2 from 6 when pulled from deck (Effort 2), whichever you prefer).
The second option would be to have them at about 5 and weaken by 3 (Effort 3) when pulled from deck, coming out as 2-2-2 (you could raise point difference needed to more than 22).
Pruny;n10947290 said:
Make them 3points so Dandelion will see some play.
I don't agree with these suggestions as they're looking to nerf Dun Banner, which is a completely fine card in my opinion. Only the interaction with coin flip and especially Thaler is problematic.

Void_Singer;n10947551 said:
Abuse? going down 20+point only to recover 12? you guys make me laugh = D
Always happy to entertain. :)
My issue is you're not exactly going down. You're not behind in the slightest, you've just happen to have played less of your cards at the moment.

The problem is they are way more easy to trigger if you've won the coin flip and/or played an unopposed spy - both of them basically just luck of which neither you nor your opponent have a saying in. The difficulty to trigger them shouldn't depend on such that much.

Void_Singer;n10947797 said:
so you're optimally 7pt under or will be, and you voluntarily go 8+ under for an extra card... TBH it's a weak play unless you require CA for your win condition. but I say the same about Venedal Elite / Cantrella.
I'm probably not following you, but you seem to make the argument that playing a Spy is bad... I mean if playing them for -1pt doesn't worth it, surely it doesn't worth to play them for -13pt. :)
 
#11
time_drainer;n10948313 said:
I'm probably not following you, but you seem to make the argument that playing a Spy is bad... I mean if playing them for -1pt doesn't worth it, surely it doesn't worth to play them for -13pt. :)
playing them -13 is obviously worse...

think about this: in the course of of 1 turn you've accomplished exactly what?You've gone down another point, given your opponent a chance to go even further ahead, drawn a card, thinned your deck by 3, and changed the turn order (or gained 1 CA). Drawing a card could be accomplished with any other tutor, and to greater precision, so really only the last two have any value to you. Changing the turn order or even gaining CA is meaningless if your deck isn't designed to capitalize on that... and most NR decks aren't. So that just leaves the thinning effect. Is the sacrifice play really worth that? it's not like in MN where you can consume the dead spy later, or NG/ST where you can force it into their deck as a brick, and if you're already playing down from your opponent odds are thinning isn't going to save you. nevermind the potential bricking issues. That's why I say it's a weak play.
 

KenLBlack

User
#12
I actually don't mind the "...if played by hand" idea mentioned by Udalryk . Of course, this is spoken from the perspective of someone who has had to do that many a time because of the @#*! mulligan issues that crop up from time to time. But it's kind of fruitless to guess what CDPR have in mind for that and many other things until it happens; though I admit the speculation is kind of fun.
 

Udalryk

User
#13
KenLBlack Within the preferred rows system this could simply be done like this

R&S "If you are losing by more than 20 on turn start, Summon this unit" (R&S = Ranged and Siege symbols)
M "Boost self by 2" (M = Melee symbol)

I think you always should display the main ability and then the secondary, although some times both abilities could be unique, some times even three.
In this particular case, it's more intuitive to indicated "R&S" since they would be pulled from deck. But otherwise you probably wouldn't have to (although it would be slightly confusing, if you didn't notice the last part of description). This allows for many types of units, if only 2 rows are indicated with description, it would mean that unit couldn't be played in the third row, etc.
 
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Jeydra

User
#14
Void_Singer;n10947551 said:
Abuse? going down 20+point only to recover 12? you guys make me laugh = D
Imagine you play against NR. You get the blue coin. On turn 1, you play whatever. They play Thaler. You haven't drawn your own spy. Now what do you do?

1) Play - in which case they pass and you go down two cards.
2) Pass - in which case Dun Banner procs and they make up the missing 8 points with one card, followed by winning the round on equal.

Dun Banners are only a problem because Thaler (+ the coin flip I guess) exists. With CDPR having already said they're working on coin flip fixes, I'm hopeful that Dun Banners will cease to be a problem, in which case this thread is premature.
 

4RM3D

Moderator
#15
Jeydra;n10948613 said:
Imagine you play against NR. You get the blue coin. On turn 1, you play whatever. They play Thaler. You haven't drawn your own spy. Now what do you do?
1) Play - in which case they pass and you go down two cards.
This is also a problem with other factions/decks. For example, with Brouver (which is getting fixed in the upcoming patch). Anyhow, players quickly forget how easy Dun Banners can brick. So, there is an inherent risk with using them.

Jeydra;n10948613 said:
2) Pass - in which case Dun Banner procs and they make up the missing 8 points with one card, followed by winning the round on equal.
13 points can be overcome with one card, anyway. Dun Banners just make it more easy, but aren't crucial.


The Dun Banners aren't the issue, but the coin flip and CA spies are. Fixing those automatically diminishes the strength of the Dun Banners.
 

Jeydra

User
#16
4RM3D;n10948631 said:
13 points can be overcome with one card, anyway. Dun Banners just make it more easy, but aren't crucial.

The Dun Banners aren't the issue, but the coin flip and CA spies are. Fixing those automatically diminishes the strength of the Dun Banners.
Well not quite. With other decks, if you get the blue coin + opponent plays spy, you can pass and they will usually need two cards to catch up. If you played something that had ~8 value, then the spy puts you at 21. Very few cards are worth 21 points on an empty board. Dun Banners make the difference not 21, but 9. In that sense yes, Dun Banners are crucial.

It's up to interpretation if Dun Banners are the issue or if it's because of the coin flip / CA spies. Either way, as I wrote, since the coin flip is already being looked at I think this thread is premature.
 
#17
Void_Singer;n10948391 said:
playing them -13 is obviously worse...

think about this: in the course of of 1 turn you've accomplished exactly what?You've gone down another point, given your opponent a chance to go even further ahead, drawn a card, thinned your deck by 3, and changed the turn order (or gained 1 CA). Drawing a card could be accomplished with any other tutor, and to greater precision, so really only the last two have any value to you. Changing the turn order or even gaining CA is meaningless if your deck isn't designed to capitalize on that... and most NR decks aren't. So that just leaves the thinning effect. Is the sacrifice play really worth that? it's not like in MN where you can consume the dead spy later, or NG/ST where you can force it into their deck as a brick, and if you're already playing down from your opponent odds are thinning isn't going to save you. nevermind the potential bricking issues. That's why I say it's a weak play.
Hmmm, let's just agree then that we have a fundamentally different perception of the current game state, mostly on the importance of turn order and more significantly CA. :)
It must be absolutely baffling to you then, why everyone and their mother play CA spies, right?

Jeydra;n10948613 said:
Dun Banners are only a problem because Thaler (+ the coin flip I guess) exists. With CDPR having already said they're working on coin flip fixes, I'm hopeful that Dun Banners will cease to be a problem, in which case this thread is premature.
Exactly my point, coin flip and CA spies. And depending on the direction they want to go with these two, this suggestion may become obsolete.

The reasons I made it anyway:
  • I understand that current status is no more patches till Homecoming, and this suggestion probably came too late to make it to May patch even if CDPR would happen to like it. But things can change considering the extent of Homecoming overhaul. Release may get delayed and another patch may be necessary to keep to game going.
  • My last info on CA spies is that they're considering removing them after solving coin flip. While I very much hope that they do, because I think they're bad for the game for so many reasons, they may stay with us and remain an issue with Dun Banners.
  • The coin flip aspect depends on solution. Thing is, somebody has to play first and I really can't think of solution to the problem right now that would make my initial point on coin flip go away. It's true, that the post was triggered by the abusive nature of red coin + Thaler + Dun Banners, and without this the problem would be less critical. Still triggering Banners on red would probably remain a lot more easy than on blue and I just don't see a reason why it should remain like that.
 
#18
time_drainer;n10948694 said:
It must be absolutely baffling to you then, why everyone and their mother play CA spies, right?
On the contrary, I know why top players use them, because they know how to get the most value from them. But what I am saying is that some people use them despite options that work better with their deck focus. no card should be an auto include, it should serve a purpose within the deck, and be the best option to forward that purpose.
 
#19
Void_Singer;n10948781 said:
On the contrary, I know why top players use them, because they know how to get the most value from them. But what I am saying is that some people use them despite options that work better with their deck focus. no card should be an auto include, it should serve a purpose within the deck, and be the best option to forward that purpose.
Okay, then.
So it seems the difference in our view is that I think everybody uses spies to get CA or to counter opponent getting CA, and I consider the interactions you mentioned (Assire, Ozzrel) just added benefits that are not crucial.

E.g. after playing ~100 matches against NG I've had like 2 cases, where Cantarella in my deck was a factor, and you can just eat opponent's spy with Ozzrel cause really everybody runs them (it's also often used for graveyard hate instead). Sure it's nice to have these, but the reason to run them is really CA. And if you can get this CA for basically free, they're even more strong.
Yes, I'm also aware of the decks that laugh at CA (Consume, Sabbath and the likes), but I consider these rather the exception than the rule. Other than that you can also win 1 or occasionally even 2 cards down in R3, when you're deck is just more suited to the length of the round. But very often you get that -1CA as a cost for being in control of the round length, and going down another card because you don't run a spy is often too much.

While in literal sense I agree that no card should be auto-include, but unfortunately in the current meta I think they very much are. I've tried to make most of my decks work without spies, just for the sheer reason of how much I hate these cards, but each deck just works better with them (win rate-wise), even if the only reason for their inclusion is to play them when opponent plays his own.