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ST is now a powerful faction alongside Skellige and Monsters

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With the introduction of new game mechanics in Crimson Curse, and new crimson cards, it is my opinion as a non-ST player that ST has been re-balanced and has become a competitive faction (again?). Many of these new abilities went in favour of ST, and they have many of these new abilities worked into their faction. If I'm not mistaken, ST is now the most powerful poison faction? New cards and mechanics added to already powerful ST abilities, like boosting.

It just feels different than before. I could understand the point that ST was underwhelming before the updates. It kind of felt a bit dreary to play against ST, because they were always lacking something. Regarding leaders, two are particularly strong, the dwarf and the one who can play a special card twice. Those are among the best leader abilities in the game. With the new cards, abilities, and with the old strengths and old leaders etc, I think ST now has become a competitive faction, alike to Skellige and Monsters.

Am I wrong in thinking this? Am I wrong in thinking ST got a significant lift with Crimson Curse? I'm not a ST player, but I like the faction, and I play against it quite often, and these are my observations. Am I wrong? Am I right? You agree? Disagree? How, why?
 
I can't tell about the general perception, but I can only tell my personal experience. In short, ST had got some good cards, both faction specific (Treant Boar, Materon) and neutral (Gregorian, That Artifact which does 2 damage to spawn and play a copy, and the bombs?) which helps various leaders. But Dana is not strong (or at least I can't play her well). Her hard condition makes her to go with full ST cards which forces you to include junk cards. She has absolutely no control and even her engines don't seem powerful enough. On top of that everyone bleeds Dana like crazy until you use her power in R2 (Dana Sheldon is overrated. It is a Mulligan nightmare which can brick more often than it can work).

I have around 30-40% win rate with her, but still going through that hell to support her in the Faction Challenge.

But I can say with confidence that ST on a whole is no where near SK or MO. It was pathetic, but now it has some viable good cards.

Pro rank may be completely different though
 
ST is definitely a top tier faction now.

Just to give you an idea: yesterday I lost 5 in a row to a combination of Dana & Eithne decks then proceeded to win 6 in a row against Bran, Morvran, Anna, Svalblod, Meve and Dana (didn't expect to win here).

I was using a Svalblod list that is more proactive/less control-oriented. It's good to have ST back in the race.
 
Pro rank may be completely different though
I'm not anywhere near that level, I'm just saying my general opinion. And by competitive, I mean at my own level, and I would think that somehow translate to higher levels as well. I notice a difference, and I don't even play ST as a faction. I just noted the new cards, abilities and synergies, and I thought there was quite a major improvement.
 
RED Points: rrc
ST is definitely a top tier faction now.

Just to give you an idea: yesterday I lost 5 in a row to a combination of Dana & Eithne decks then proceeded to win 6 in a row against Bran, Morvran, Anna, Svalblod, Meve and Dana (didn't expect to win here).

I was using a Svalblod list that is more proactive/less control-oriented. It's good to have ST back in the race.
What rank?
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I'm not anywhere near that level, I'm just saying my general opinion. And by competitive, I mean at my own level, and I would think that somehow translate to higher levels as well. I notice a difference, and I don't even play ST as a faction. I just noted the new cards, abilities and synergies, and I thought there was quite a major improvement.
From my experience SC is better than before but I don't find them as good as the other factions.
 
I agree, ST is so powerful now. They have so much removal and good proactive plays. I can hardly keep up with all the strong plays they have. I don't know what I would even want to tone down in that faction, everything they play is either 3 - 4 points of damage or boost. They don't even have any conditions unlike a lot of NG cards.
 
What rank?
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From my experience SC is better than before but I don't find them as good as the other factions.
Rank 2. I started beating the Dana lists consistently today with Svalblod though so I guess it's up in the air
 
Rank 2. I started beating the Dana lists consistently today with Svalblod though so I guess it's up in the air
There you go! Dana sucks actually. It's cool and awesome when you get all the cards you want having perfect hand (according to opponents). Mostly though Dana sucks. I first thought she is one of the strongest leaders in the entire game, but after trying a lot, I feel that she is just so-and-so.

She doesn't have tall removal, no neutral cards, and on top of that, she lacks the control needed for Sirisha and Brokilon Sentinel.

But if things align, you get a 10 turns R3 with her ability and a lot of harmony triggering units (Beast, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Dragon, Treant) then yes, you can beat pretty much anyone. But that rarely rarely ever happens.

After the event ends, I will rather try to make my Eithnè work rather than continue with Dana.
 
As a low level player (omw to third time 60, rank disabled at 26) I enjoy playing against Scoia'teal and Monster the most, because those are the most thrilling matches, where just 1 or 2 points decide over the winner. Spy decks are just annoying and I personally couldn't find any deck that could compete with a charge deck, unless in the rare cases, where you have all of your damage cards at hand right in the beginning.

Scoia'tael decks force me to stay alerted, because there are several possible combinations. And trying to prevent the installment of those is hard work. And once a combo is established, the tempo is insane. Yep, I enjoy a match against ST, wether losing or winning.
 
I haven't played since CC because I don't really know but ST was definitely already the third strongest faction if not second since brouver is such a strong leader. this is pro ladder I'm talking about. SK was obviously strongest last season. then it was MO or ST. Brouver is just such a strong leader as evidence by him being undefeated at the gwent open. Of course SK was banned a ton which shows that it was even stronger.
 
Well, looking at the pro ranks last season (and also those below), Skellige and Monsters were clearly the strongest factions. Sadly Skellige has way too many abilities, in addition to their own faction specific special abilities. It's like the guys at CDPR all play Skellige and want to have all the abilities of the other factions as well.

Monsters have a good concept and is a pretty complete faction. They have their special abilities and everything is built around those, and it's in harmony, and they have alot of strong units, especially those at below 6 provisions, relatively speaking.

What I meant by ST becoming competitive with the new changes is not that we necessarily will see them in the ranks this season immediately, but the faction now has the ability to compete with Skellige and Monsters.
 
Well, looking at the pro ranks last season (and also those below), Skellige and Monsters were clearly the strongest factions. Sadly Skellige has way too many abilities, in addition to their own faction specific special abilities. It's like the guys at CDPR all play Skellige and want to have all the abilities of the other factions as well.

Monsters have a good concept and is a pretty complete faction. They have their special abilities and everything is built around those, and it's in harmony, and they have alot of strong units, especially those at below 6 provisions, relatively speaking.

What I meant by ST becoming competitive with the new changes is not that we necessarily will see them in the ranks this season immediately, but the faction now has the ability to compete with Skellige and Monsters.
Agreed, Skellige is massively overtuned and has been for quite a while.

I don't know how CDPR keep making the same mistakes when it comes to that faction but right now, they're basically the only top tier deck in pro ladder with a few unitless monster decks and such sprinkled in.
 
Agreed, Skellige is massively overtuned and has been for quite a while.

I don't know how CDPR keep making the same mistakes when it comes to that faction but right now, they're basically the only top tier deck in pro ladder with a few unitless monster decks and such sprinkled in.
What exactly is the difference between pro rank and normal rank gameplay-wise (I of course know the technical difference regarding mmr etc.)?

From my own experience (normal rank, around rank 15) SK is fine, but not the uber faction, ST and MO are weak, NG is very good and NR is the absolute killer. While I win 2 out of 4 games with SK, I win 8 out of 10 with NR. ST was a pain to play 25 matches in a row, NR is a joy to do the same (I hardly need to think, just throw the points to the board and use their comprehensive abilities).
 
What exactly is the difference between pro rank and normal rank gameplay-wise (I of course know the technical difference regarding mmr etc.)?
In higher ranks players have enough answers to deal with NR engines. These answers may have two forms:
- Heavy control, eg. Eithné, Crach, Ardal
- Short rounds, through bleeding, where engines cannot reach their potential and NR loose vs point slam (right now Svalblod is everywhere).

For these reasons, NR is the weakest faction in higher ranks, because it really lacks versatility. Usually, in lower ranks, players lack the long-term vision needed to win against NR, often because they don't know the deck well.
 
What exactly is the difference between pro rank and normal rank gameplay-wise (I of course know the technical difference regarding mmr etc.)?

From my own experience (normal rank, around rank 15) SK is fine, but not the uber faction, ST and MO are weak, NG is very good and NR is the absolute killer. While I win 2 out of 4 games with SK, I win 8 out of 10 with NR. ST was a pain to play 25 matches in a row, NR is a joy to do the same (I hardly need to think, just throw the points to the board and use their comprehensive abilities).
As a noob not playing in Pro Rank, I can answer bluntly (I don't mean any insult/disrespect with the term 'noob'. I am a noob too). Anyone not playing in Pro Rank are basically not-Pros, which kind of means, we are noobs. It doesn't mean we don't know how to play or all the cards and archetypes, but it simply means that 1) we don't have enough time to grind to become pro rank player (either/or) 2) we don't have enough experience to anticipate the opponent cards and fail to play properly and due to which we can't rank up faster and stay in normal rank.

Even players in Pro rank make mistakes, but they have invested enough time that they can anticipate most of the enemy moves and play nearly flawless given the coin/draw/mulligans. I watch pro streams mainly to see their way of thinking. It will be surprising to see their choice from the mulligan or how to play the cards in the sequence. Even 'when they pass?' will be much different than what we would normally do. Basically, people want to know the rank to understand "Is the player playing nearly flawlessly and still lose to such cards/decks?" then it is an indication that it is a real problem. If I come and whine that a card is too OP, as a non-pro player, my judgement may be wrong. I might have failed to see an obvious combo coming and prematurely used the card which could have stopped it in a sub-optimal turn.

If a pro player plays my deck (which is a custom all-elf Filandravel deck) in which I can't even rank up above R5, I am sure they can easily *reach to Rank 0*. Even with a sub-optimal deck, a pro player who knows the deal can rank up and win against a superior deck played by another noob. But with the same deck, they can't climb the pro-ladder as they will face the strongest deck played by a much stronger player. That is why, in pro-rank there are only a few decks (in the current season, it seems like there are only a couple of decks) that is played because they are so powerful that even a pro player playing any other decks can't win against those decks.

[When the thread was created, ST had a good deck which can compete with the top MO and SK decks. But all those decks were nerfed and SK got million other buffs that it is still top tier other deck(s) and MO even with the nerfs and not much buffs in top tier, but ST is no where near how strong they were. So, basically, this thread can be closed as "Not-valid-any-more"]
 
As a noob not playing in Pro Rank, I can answer bluntly (I don't mean any insult/disrespect with the term 'noob'. I am a noob too). Anyone not playing in Pro Rank are basically not-Pros, which kind of means, we are noobs. It doesn't mean we don't know how to play or all the cards and archetypes, but it simply means that 1) we don't have enough time to grind to become pro rank player (either/or) 2) we don't have enough experience to anticipate the opponent cards and fail to play properly and due to which we can't rank up faster and stay in normal rank.

Even players in Pro rank make mistakes, but they have invested enough time that they can anticipate most of the enemy moves and play nearly flawless given the coin/draw/mulligans. I watch pro streams mainly to see their way of thinking. It will be surprising to see their choice from the mulligan or how to play the cards in the sequence. Even 'when they pass?' will be much different than what we would normally do. Basically, people want to know the rank to understand "Is the player playing nearly flawlessly and still lose to such cards/decks?" then it is an indication that it is a real problem. If I come and whine that a card is too OP, as a non-pro player, my judgement may be wrong. I might have failed to see an obvious combo coming and prematurely used the card which could have stopped it in a sub-optimal turn.

If a pro player plays my deck (which is a custom all-elf Filandravel deck) in which I can't even rank up above R5, I am sure they can easily *reach to Rank 0*. Even with a sub-optimal deck, a pro player who knows the deal can rank up and win against a superior deck played by another noob. But with the same deck, they can't climb the pro-ladder as they will face the strongest deck played by a much stronger player. That is why, in pro-rank there are only a few decks (in the current season, it seems like there are only a couple of decks) that is played because they are so powerful that even a pro player playing any other decks can't win against those decks.

[When the thread was created, ST had a good deck which can compete with the top MO and SK decks. But all those decks were nerfed and SK got million other buffs that it is still top tier other deck(s) and MO even with the nerfs and not much buffs in top tier, but ST is no where near how strong they were. So, basically, this thread can be closed as "Not-valid-any-more"]
Thank you for the insight. I really wondered why there is so much difference in decks played ranked vs pro ladder. Also, if I see matches from pro players, before the start of round 1, I always think "that deck is so weak, I would defeat it in 2 rounds", just to see reactions from the opponent I didn't expect (like not destroying a 1 or 2 str card), which allows that deck to grow in strength until it ends up somewhere at 60+.

I will work my way up (currently 1703, yay ^^ ), but I'm not sure, if I could adapt to the more cautious, almost defensive gameplay. So pro rank is probably something I would only try for a while, just because I'm curious, but wouldn't stand a chance. And when I see that (in normal rank) my highest faction mmr is just 36 points above 1000, I know I have to do a lot better.

But you forgot one point in your list. I think it is also very important to own most if not all cards. I see this as my biggest issue currently. I can't evolve my decks, because certain important synergy cards are not yet mine, because they are very expensive and I see no chance to get them by sheer luck through kegs. Just by using scraps - and that takes a while!