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[Opinion] Cleaver is too oppressive

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I would like to share my thoughts about Cleaver, which has always been problematic in my opinion, but the problem is getting worse now that 80% of the decks are using him (and they are right).

Cleaver is a very strong card. However this topic is not about the balance of the card, or the fact that this is another neutral damage dealer in a game that already has a lot. In another thread I suggested to make him faction specific but it did not reached consensus.

The problem is that Cleaver is really oppressive when you go first. Last night I felt very sorry when I encountered the same opponent three times, he was protecting his opener with tactical advantage, immediately punished with a 12 pts Cleaver. You already know what happened next: card advantage, easy win. Victory from Round 1 turn 1. Is it fair?

You will say : "oh but he should wait before using tactical advantage". Of course it is an error (and he seems to be a rather slow learner since I did the same move three times in a row) but I think that Cleaver is quite harmful to the game. Right know round 1 is limited to cautious moves to avoid the Cleaver threat.

What I want to underlines is that Cleaver, by himself, has a big influence on the game flow. The tactical advantage has been created to mitigate the penalty when going first, but right know this is not working, just because of this card. I cannot see any balance to correct this problem, apart from changing completely its ability.
 
Yes and no. You've highlighted the mechanic - play a card first, boost it by 5 and run the risk of getting slammed by Cleaver. The play-around is start with an artefact, a low unit hand boost, a mid-range bronze, etc. Draw out more cards and hey presto Cleaver's not great value.

However I do have a suggestion; Cleaver should damage based on number of UNITS in hand, rather than cards.
 
I do not want to discuss about balance of Cleaver. I do not want to state if he has proper or not proper statistics, I only want to point out false statement and unobjective evaluation of Cleaver in original post. There are more places, but I want to point out just one, which is to me the most visible unobjectivity.

The tactical advantage has been created to mitigate the penalty when going first, but right know this is not working, just because of this card.
I started playing Gwent regularly at end of October 2018. I learned mechanics, tactics, archetypes etc. and one of the first things, which I learned was, that it is not good to use Tactical Advantage right away, but it was not because of Cleaver, there were more reasons, which are mostly valid even today. First of all, there was Geralt of Rivia, Geralt: Professional (often helped by Eithne), Geralt: Igni (had trigger limit 15 at that time, which means playing just two 5-power units and boost one of them with TA was enough), Eyck of Denesle and Leo Bonhart. Because of that, I learned already within my first month of playing Gwent to use Tactical Advantage in 5th or 6th turn of the first round. And that was time, when Cleaver was played quite rarely.

Even if Cleaver would have been adjusted some way, it would be still bad to use Tactical Advantage in the first turn and if it would have been common practice in 50% of duels or more, it would probably lead to increased use of other cards, which I mentioned (probably with exception of Geralt: Igni). Using Tactical Advantage in the first turn is bad not "just because" of Cleaver. There are more reasons, than Cleaver alone; Cleaver is not the only one reason.

Please, be more objective in your evaluations. Even if something could appear as "the most visible reason", it does not mean, that final effect is happening "just because" of one exact cause. In todays society, it is so common to attempt to change whole surrounding, rather than to admit own mistake and change own bad habit.

PS: Honorable mention to Scorch back in October 2018, plus there is Curse of Corruption in Crimson Curse expansion, even Epidemic would do its job.
 
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Cleaver sees play due to recent nerfs to control cards; unicorns, regis, ifrit.

Cleaver sees play because he is a hybrid: The card can remove an engine, which are played more often due to nerf of control. And because he generates good value for its provision cost by damaging a tall unit, which also sees play once in a while.

Geralt used to be more popular because the prevalence of big monsters. Now that Engines are played more often, Cleaver is a better choice.
 
Even if Cleaver would have been adjusted some way, it would be still bad to use Tactical Advantage in the first turn and if it would have been common practice in 50% of duels or more, it would probably lead to increased use of other cards, which I mentioned (probably with exception of Geralt: Igni). Using Tactical Advantage in the first turn is bad not "just because" of Cleaver. There are more reasons, than Cleaver alone; Cleaver is not the only one reason.
Let us be clear. I do not try to defend the use of Tactical advantage in first turn, I should not have taken this example as it appears to be confusing.

Even without TA, Cleaver is really oppressive in the first few turns. With other mentionned cards, you would fear a Geralt, Leo, etc. only for big units. The opponent would rarely commits for a 8 str unit for example, and would not be able to deal with a 7 str, contrary to Cleaver (still a 10 points play in this case).

The direct consequence is that it slows down the beginning of the round, limiting the openers to low str units. Or units that love damage (hey Svalblod). Or no unit at all.

Please, be more objective in your evaluations. Even if something could appear as "the most visible reason", it does not mean, that final effect is happening "just because" of one exact cause. In todays society, it is so common to attempt to change whole surrounding, rather than to admit own mistake and change own bad habit.
I do not see any problem of objectivity in my post. I've seen the same game evolution as you did and I'm not trying to justify my mistakes, which are by the way rarely linked to Cleaver. The fact is that the recent increase of Cleaver use enlighten the problem of this card, which limits the possibilities in round 1 and that is not satisfaying.
 
There is nothing wrong with Cleaver. Any cards that are overused should perhaps be considered by CDPR to increase their provisions to decrease their use.

I'm pretty sure CDPR is doing that already. They have already increased the provisions of many frequently used variance powerful cards.
 
Cleaver punishes players for going first which I think is the problem. You're already at a disadvantage when going first...that's why tactical advantage was introduced, but Cleaver says, "nah screw that." You either let your engines die from smaller removal or you let your opponent get a 10+ point Cleaver. Funny enough, I don't think the card is OP. It is certainly annoying and over-used at the moment. I can see the card getting nerfed whenever the next patch comes. As of now, I'm pretty happy with the state of the game. Only unitless decks and Cleaver seem to be kind of problematic, which I think is great.
 
The fact is that the recent increase of Cleaver use enlighten the problem of this card, which limits the possibilities in round 1 and that is not satisfaying.
But in my opinion, that is not problem of Cleaver. If Cleaver would go away, his place would probably take other cards. In addition to cards, which I already mentioned above (Curse of Corruption, Epidemic ... ), even Predatory Dive would be suitable replacement to use against first turn TA and they would not suffer from "8 limitation" of Geralt and Leo. As well as Gaunter O'Dimm combined with King Foltest.

Hypothetically, if all neutral damaging cards would go away, I can imagine Predatory Dive being played in "almost every" Monster deck, because its only 5 provisions.
 
Alot of things can punish the player who goes first. That's part of the opening game, to use the right tactic in that situation.

Who will use cleaver to destroy 3-5 power units?
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Only unitless decks and Cleaver seem to be kind of problematic, which I think is great.
Cleaver is not a problematic card for this game.
 
Cleaver punishes players for going first which I think is the problem. You're already at a disadvantage when going first...that's why tactical advantage was introduced, but Cleaver says, "nah screw that." You either let your engines die from smaller removal or you let your opponent get a 10+ point Cleaver.
This is basically the issue. It's not limited to Cleaver either. Marauder also punishes the player for going first and there are other mechanics that also work against going first.

Damned if I do, damned if I don't, comes to mind here. If I have a 4 str engine, I need to protect it with TA, but that leaves me vulnerable to tall removal. So, I have to guess whether or not the opponent has removal and whether or not it's tall. You can try to bait out removal, but at some point you need to play your engine for it to gain points.

Anyhow, it's not that Cleaver is OP, because he's not. It's just that he exacerbates an existing problem with the game that just makes players feel bad. For me, at least, I rather see a Scorch effect kill my unit than Cleaver.
 
I think cleaver is a bit OP right now, but not a problem to the game, and I would like to see it as a ST faction card... instead a brown. That way could keep the same provision cost, but not be in 80% of the decks, like now.
 
This is basically the issue. It's not limited to Cleaver either. Marauder also punishes the player for going first and there are other mechanics that also work against going first.
However I would say that Cleaver is the only card of this type that is still a threat for half the round. AND another half if you go into a long round 3.

Of course engines should not be safe, and we all know that there is a tiny frontier between weak engines and overwhelming-uncontrollable-engine-fest. But Cleaver is clearly posing a problem in terms of rythm in my opinion.
 
Cleaver is at least a 9 provision card. Marauder is a 4P card which can basically kill your first card if you are going first. One of the worst cards in the entire game, but alas, it survives and thrives because it is in SK, a safe heaven in Gwent world. A very similar card Blue Mountain Elite was nerfed to oblivion because it was in ST. At least Cleaver can't kill an immune card! But Marauder can. So, if Cleaver is OP and obnoxious, Marauder is at least two times more oppressive and obnoxious. If CDPR wants to be fair, when it changes Cleaver, it should change Marauder too.
 
Cleaver is the perfect example of how Gwent's meta works in cycles:

The card has remained the same since HC, for over 6 months now, yet it saw a decent amount of play in the beginning, then no play, and now a lot of play.

This is because when control was running rampant, players opted for those 4-dmg options, enough to remove engines. Then there's also the fact that big unit removers see very little play - Scorch and G Igni are nowhere to be found, and Geralt and Bonhart have the risk of bricking, so arent used often.

When all that control was nerfed, the meta shifted a bit towards engines, and players started buffing their engine openers without fear it would get destroyed (more likely it would be locked), so now the meta adapted again and rediscovered Cleaver is really good and provides reliable value.

Like someone already said here -if they nerf Cleaver now, it'll just be a matter of time until the next popular control card surfaces.
 
RED Points: rrc
Cleaver is the perfect example of how Gwent's meta works in cycles:

The card has remained the same since HC, for over 6 months now, yet it saw a decent amount of play in the beginning, then no play, and now a lot of play.

This is because when control was running rampant, players opted for those 4-dmg options, enough to remove engines. Then there's also the fact that big unit removers see very little play - Scorch and G Igni are nowhere to be found, and Geralt and Bonhart have the risk of bricking, so arent used often.

When all that control was nerfed, the meta shifted a bit towards engines, and players started buffing their engine openers without fear it would get destroyed (more likely it would be locked), so now the meta adapted again and rediscovered Cleaver is really good and provides reliable value.

Like someone already said here -if they nerf Cleaver now, it'll just be a matter of time until the next popular control card surfaces.
My bet is Ciprian Wiley who is seen more and more now. If Cleaver gets nerfed, he may raise and the cycle will continue? But he is not as oppressive as Cleaver who denies the TA advantage.
 
Change Cleaver to "destroy a unit with power equal to cards in hand".

So it can still be as effective but it can be played around.
 
Alot of things can punish the player who goes first. That's part of the opening game, to use the right tactic in that situation.

Who will use cleaver to destroy 3-5 power units?
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Cleaver is not a problematic card for this game.
No, but I think quite a few people think so. I'm kind of in-between on Cleaver. I think he might see a small change since he is over-used.
 
In a game where dealing 4 DMG is considered high removal, we have a neutral card with 3 STR body that can deal betwen 9 and 5 DMG with ease - if this is not OP, I don't know what is (and I've been watching him for months now). I am also not sure that Cleaver's mechanic is for this incarnation of the game and if the devs decide to keep him like he is, he should be a) more expensive (Old Speartip is 12 STR for 15 PP and DMG should be more expensive than STR) and b) with 1 STR body. Right now he provides way more tempo. The example above with Scorch is perhaps the best one - when you are not putting points on the table when dealing massive amounts of damage, you are way more thoughtful of putting that card in your deck in the first place.