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Ascension: Storm of Souls» Forums » General

Subject: Mechana too weak in SOS standalone? rss

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Nundo Bolas
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Hey,

We've been playing Ascension and some of my players claim the Mechana in this set are too weak, compared to the other colors. Especially Green-White seems to be the most powerful combo (i.e. green + draw).

Ironically, when we first started playing, mechana seemed very powerful compared to the other colors.

Anyone else have this feeling?

1.Do you think mechana are too weak in standalone?
2.I heard the first expansion boosted mechana a lot, should I add it?
3.Or should I wait for this edition's expansion (summer) and hope it will balance SOS as a standalone "block" experience?

As opposed to most reviewers on the geek, I dislike Godslayer (1st ed) and love the art in SOS far more than in the original.
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Benjamin Hillman
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I totally agree - Mechana are drastically underpowered, but hopefully the expansion will address this. I bought the SOS box as a standalone because I love the variant deck-building mechanic, but couldn't abide the art of the first base set. I am However glad that Ascension is being released in paired block sets that are complete in themselves- It's something a lot of publishers could learn from.
 
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Ryan Tullis
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You know, you can buy the previous expansions to the game. I heard that the second expansion (the one before SOS) adds in quite a few mechana cards to enhance the strategy.
 
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Eric Leath
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I don't know that the Mechana strategy in Block2 is "weak", it's simply very combo based and necessitates that you go all-in. You don't really get any benefit unless you purchase them en masse. This, is pretty much the same way they operated in Block 1, except you weren't bouncing them back and forth from the discard pile to play over and over.

Lifebound+Card draw is powerful because many of the Lifebound cards have abilities that are really good by themselves, but get ridiculous when you can trigger the Unite cost via draw.

Personally, I find SoS to be a little too skewed toward power strategies. There's nothing to punish you for going Heavy x2 on turns 1 and 2. If you need to make up for a deficiency in runes, power, or cards, you can just kill the appropriate trophy monster and bank it until needed (because there's NOTHING an opponent can do to make you discard them once you have them in play)

I also think Soul Gems are DEFINITELY gimmicky. MTVGeek spoiled them today. They're essentially cards we already have from Block 1 with different frames. It's great from a thematic standpoint, but feels like a tacked on afterthought from a mechanical standpoint.
 
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Scott Douglass
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I agree that mechana feels extremely weak in SoS. In CoG there were any number of mechana constructs that made getting more mechana constructs easier and/or better. However, if someone could knock your constructs into your discard pile a few times, it really hindered a mechana strategy. On the other hand, my highest points games all revolved around mechana constructs. Even if you go for them really hardcore in SoS, they will be much weaker than they could be in CoG. I've had games in CoG where I generated 16 power per turn from Hedron Cannon. You can get a decent amount of benefit out of the mechana constructs in SoS, but only if you get Weapon 303V. Otherwise you are pretty much limited to a few banish effects or a pittance of runes. Compared to the buying power of The Grand Design, the power generation of Hedron Cannon, and the Combo Potential of Hedron Link Device, the mechana constructs in SoS have pathetic powers.

I've also noticed that the way points for a card are determined are different in SoS and CoG. The cards that improve your deck are now more points on average. For example, Arbiter of the Precipice is 4 runes and only 1 point. Shadowcaster costs 5, gives 3 points, and isn't a dead card late game. This trend makes it much easier to beat the AI in the iOS app. In CoG, I needed to give myself a much larger early game disadvantage if I wanted to set myself up for a phenomenal late game. Taking cards like Arbiter of the precipice, which I will sometimes later banish, feels like a real investment in the future, while Shadowcaster is a card that is often the best card to take at any stage of the game (except late game if there is also a mechana construct).

Overall, I like how the powers are implemented better for void, enlightened, and lifebound, but I think the balance between the factions isn't as good, mechana is too weak, and the points on the cards should do a better job of encouraging decisions about deck improvement vs points.

I've taken my sets of SoS, CoG, and RoF, and constructed my own set that is somewhere between the number of cards in a big base game and a big base game with its expansion added. This allows me to include things like the axes and the events (I still haven't decided if I like those), without the size of the deck diluting them too much. It also allows me to have better balance between factions, although I need to try playing it more in order to know if I've done a good job.
 
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Justin Rizzo
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Mechana is really bad in SoS.
 
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