Greetings dear readers! I bet you thought I died, but I didn’t! And I’m back with Mailbag #3.  Emails are light this week, BUT we have a new set release so I imagine that won’t stay true for long.  Besides, I’m sure I can find stuff to blab about.

What have I been playing?

This past week for our last Convergence meta standard event, I played an eIden/eBeckett deck.  I’ve heard a lot of off and on hype about this deck over the discords so thought I should give it a spin.  I have to say I find it to be one of the most boring decks to play in Destiny.  It really doesn’t do anything exciting and its “big” plays top out at merely good instead of great.  I don’t see the appeal.

This past Friday, we ran a sealed even for the Spark of Hope release.  I pulled a Jango out of my packs and opted not to run him due to not having much in the way of equipment and no bounties.  I did pull a Rey, Jedi Lightsaber, and Untamed Power which seemed decent and an obvious choice to put together.  Really a lack of anything good in yellow pushed me to run Fenn with a EL-16 Heavy Field Blaster, which wasn’t great.  And rounded it out with the trusty Clawdite.

We had 9 players, so I of course snagged the bye round 1, which is always what you want on release night, then lost round 2 and won round 3 to pull off the 2-1 with a bye.  Inspiring performance.  The deck wasn’t that great and Rey encapsulated one of the main problems with blue hero right now – you can make a bunch of shields, but that only means you are losing more slowly, not winning.

This week we’re doing Spark of Hope draft as we’re all in “new set mode”.  I’m excited to crack some more Spark packs and play with some new cards.  Next week I’ll be digging into some constructed standard decks before Gencon.

Bourbon of the Week

This week I was coincidentally drinking Booker’s 2019-01 when the sad news hit that a fire had broken out at a Jim Beam warehouse destroying 45,000 barrels of bourbon.  While Jim Beam white label is rather lackluster, they also were the creators of Booker’s, Basil Hayden, and Knob Creek which put out some fine whiskeys.  They opted to let the warehouse burn to hopefully prevent the whiskey runoff from contaminating local rivers, but that was unsuccessful and fish are dying a hopefully happy, bourbon-imbibed death in the Kentucky river anyways.

But the task at hand – Booker’s came in a really nice wooden box with a burned in label that will make a nice piece on my office shelves for years to come.  And the bourbon was really good as well.  It was strong on the caramel and vanilla flavors, light on the spice and makes a fantastic sipper neat or over a couple rocks.  It’ll be hard to mix this one into an Old Fashioned, but I’ll probably do it at some point anyways.  If you can find it, I highly recommend snagging a bottle (particularly since supplies will be limited from the fire).

Rules Kerfuffle

If you are a frequenter of the Artificery Discord and the rules channel there, you probably bore witness to a little spat between myself and Discord regular R2Deakin.

The gist of it came down to “Modify Droid character or support” upgrades and whether they could be moved by redeploy to non-droid characters.

The contention is that since redeploy has a bullet that says, “The Redeploy keyword ignores play restrictions when attaching to a new character.”  And Modify has a bullet that says, “Modify is not a play restriction.”  That Redeploy must not ignore Modify when attaching to a new character.

That would be a logical mistake though – “A does not equal B.  Redeploy ignores B.” is what it says if that makes it any simpler.  There is no correlation between A and Redeploy stated.  A does not equal B, but that doesn’t mean it is the opposite of B in all respects.  These are separate rules.

The bullet under redeploy is a bit of an issue though since it is unnecessary since it is really a clarification of the redeploy rule and doesn’t really have any rules impact itself.  I can see why that is misleading.  If you removed that bullet, redeploy would work functionally the same.

If I lost you in the last 3 paragraphs, the main point is “Modify” only effects what you can PLAY an upgrade on, not what you can move it to.  Redeploy and other move effects can move a “Modify droid character or support” upgrade to another non-character droid.

In the end R2Deakin understood the logic, but still thought the Rules Reference should be updated to clarify, which also isn’t a choice that is taken lightly.  Do you update something that isn’t technically broken?  There’s a whole other discussion to be had over whether it is worth making your rules document bulkier, going through approvals, and going through translation.  Plus yet another discussion about whether frequent clarifications makes the player-base over reliant on clarifications.  This section has gone on rather long as is.

To wrap it up, I’d like to apologize to R2Deakin for taking the debate the direction I did.  I know we both want what is best for the community and I should have kept the discussion to the facts.

On to the mailbag questions

What are your thoughts on cards being misprinted and immediately having clarification upon release (Force Tree, anticipating Separatist Embargo)? It doesn’t really bother me, and this is my first CCG. Is it a nonissue or something that should be caught in playtesting?
-Matt Hayes

I hate it and wish it would never have to happen, but sadly we are a bunch of humans working on this game and we aren’t infallible.  I’ve worked in software development and QA for over a decade and at this point I’ve learned to not be surprised when stuff slips through no matter how many eyes were on it.

A great example was the finals of the North American Championships at Gencon last year.  There were literally 20 people watching that game in person including a judge and Jeremy himself and nobody saw the player mistakenly take 2 starting resources twice!  Humans are a bunch of big, dumb animals.

So I don’t put the responsibility on play testers or designers or all on myself – it really isn’t a problem of “that person/people need(s) to do better”, it’s a problem in the process as a whole that needs to be improved.  And I’m not talking about FFG here, I’m talking in more general terms that when you have this kind of issue, you address your process not your people.  Maybe you need to have more edit checks, more passes that look for specific issues, more eyes possibly.  There’s a lot of ways you can go.

The other thing you can improve upon is your response when an issue inevitably happens and I think FFG has made great strides here.  The implementation of the “Official Rules Thread” on their forums gives the designers and OP a quick way to address a problem.  We’ve seen Rules Reference documents become more timely.  FFG has really stepped up here.

And regarding Separatist Embargo, it doesn’t need an errata – ongoing effects already only apply while a card is in play.  If Separatist Embargo leaves play, its effect no longer applies.

What happens if I choose witch as a subtype for the Clawdite Shapeshifter and then play the Talisman of Resurrection on it?

I am assuming that the spot only matters when I play the card? 

Just wanted to confirm. Do you think this is a problem?

-Rich

“Witch character Only” is a play restriction.  Play restrictions are only checked when playing a card and in this case, Clawdite Shapeshifter would be a witch when you played it on her (him? it?).  When the Clawdite Shapeshifter stops being a witch it doesn’t matter, the Talisman of Resurrection stays on her.

Is it a problem?  I don’t think so – there have been a lot of cards that have allowed you to get upgrades with play restrictions onto characters that don’t match.  Sith Holocron, anything that moves upgrades, cards that ignore play restrictions like Grievous2.  This is just another way to do that, but you’re putting a 3 cost upgrade without redeploy on a 6 health character – good luck with that.

Postscript

That was it for the questions I got this week.  The new Rules Reference and Holocrons just dropped while I was writing this.  Next week I’ll get into some discussion on the restricted list changes and any question you guys send me about it.  Until next time!

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