I should, but I appreciate the gesture.Thanks and Respect for replying politely and on point!
Portal is mostly used as a power card to enable 2 engines at once, of course you are right that you can thin, however Portal forces you to give up on mulligan value, 4 provision filler cards and in case you want to re-use it you have to live with unreliable results on it.I believe that you mean WaterOfBrokilon as the non-brickable Portal. If that is the case, you are massively overlooking one aspect. Portal is used for thinning the deck where as WoB is not. With portal you have effectively played 3 cards in total, but with WoB you have played only one card. Double WoB by Francesca is scary, I agree. Water is a 11 provision card which brings two engines and 8 points on board. Water on its own is good and just and fine (as most of the times, one of the engines is killed the next turn and the other, the next turn after that). It is the double water that is powerful. I don't know what could be the solution. CoF, if it is just play any ST unit (without the +2 boost), it should then be 9 or less provisions, otherwise, it is just a horrible Decree. Personally I feel that CoF is good as it is. It is Francesca who makes these good cards seem broken. Lets wait and see what CDPR does to her this month end.
If Portal would be on par, why do Fran players not run Portal with Fledgelings ?
(If not instead, why not as well ?)
They do not because they get the power without the disadvantages and giving up on that many mulligans, while not being able to use 4 provision cards (like Agitator), as well as it being less reliable is just not desirable.
Edit: I am quite positive the advantage in deckbuilding and of being able to fully use one's mulligans more than outweight the thinning of Portal.
(Not to mention those power plays being far more consistent)
Now for the second card that I called a better Portal (Novigradian Justice).
Justice does not pull randomly, so it does not restrict one's lineup, can hit incredibly strong engines in Mercenary and Defender, as well as a non-synergy 10 point play in Marauder or Cleaver's Muscle (which also adds 2 Dwarf bodies for Zoltan synergy etc).
Justice is also almost unbrickable, given the fact that in the worst case it can fetch any bronze, which is a waste I admit, however better than just pulling a single 4 provision card in case you mulliganed into one of its targets.
Justice also only pulls one of the copies (so copying it can pull the second copy) and triggers deploy abilities (unlike Portal).
I also stated that being able to get a third card of that caliber with the leader is just too much.
Those 2 cards themselves are already incredibly strong, however being able to get even more than that (as well as 2 Justices in 1 turn to pull 4 Mercenaries/Defenders (to turn on with Cranmer) at the start of a round or 2 Fledgelings before playing a trigger on the harmony to make them resistant against 4 damage cards) is clearly too much.
Call of the Forest could go down to giving a 1 point boost, I feel that the Nature tag alone is almost enough to make it better than Decree though, given that Fauve is a must have anyways, given that Fauve has amazing targets and being targetable by that is quite good.
Even if there were no boost, as long as Fran can hit it it is pretty ludicrous, although the reason that Fran is ludicrous was mentioned above.
The game got a lot of targets (2) for Fran that are on the edge of too good (they are by themselves fine, but very very good) and being able to use those again and even chain them to themselves (or in the case of Water before a harmony trigger) is just absurd.
I do not want Justice or Waters getting nerfed, but if Fran continues to be able to pull them they have to get nerfed.
I hope that this made my position clear, if you disagree feel free to tell me where you assume/think I am wrong.