TL; DR – Redemption is balanced but Prince Julian (particularly with redemption) is a big problem
Arguments FOR nerfing redemption:
Redemption is an enormously powerful ability (“when this monster dies, it does two damage to all enemy monsters”). The one mana Death monster Cursed Slimeball frequently does 12 damage to your opponent’s monsters. Indeed, the ability is powerful enough that a neutral reward card was nerfed by replacing it with blast because it made it too easy to have two – or even three – cards with redemption.
The power of redemption can be seen in the following battle. Before any of my monsters could attack, my opponent landed two hits and promptly lost the game.
The two most popular redemption configurations (Death & Dragon) both use Cursed Slimeball. The Death version uses Undead Priest and Death Elemental to reduce enemy health by two (putting four health monsters into redemption range) and Darkest Mage to remove two armor from all enemies. These four cards plus Jarlax the Undead total a measly 8 mana and leave two slots open to protect the three magic users from the front and the rear. At the lowest mana levels, this is normally done with Maggots and Furious Chicken.
How to nerf redemption:
Some people have suggested changing redemption so that it only does one damage to all enemy monsters. I believe that nerfing Cursed Slimeball to have a different ability would be a better choice.
Arguments AGAINST nerfing redemption:
- While redemption does force you to change your play style in some instances (particularly under low mana rules), there are a number of solid counters that it will auto-lose to – white with three armor (The Peakrider, Defender of Truth or Truthspeaker), the black line-up designed to counter it, blue line-ups with Naga Warrior and Crustacean King, and any line-ups that use strengthen.
- Anyone can play redemption. The cards aren’t particularly hard to get or expensive.
Don’t nerf redemption. It can easily be played around, and anyone can get the cards.
Arguments FOR nerfing Prince Julian:
Prince Julian is an amazingly powerful two mana Dragon Summoner with the ability that all enemy monsters have -1 health. It is the only two mana summoner with an ability. As a dragon summoner, it can pair dragons with any other splinter. The -1 health ability is strong enough that it is only otherwise seen on two five mana summoners.
The Prince Julian Death redemption Death line-up can add Fire Spitter to kill any enemy monster with seven or less health/armor for a measly 12 mana and still leave a slot open. For higher mana games, Prince Julian and Fire Spitter can be joined by Life’s Thunderbird, Angel of Light and High Priest Darius to kill any enemy monster with nine or less health/armor for 24 mana and still leave a slot open. I do not believe that there are any counters for this madness.
Worse, Prince Julian is so incredibly rare and expensive that only the richest and highest-level players can afford to play it. The game is already too tipped in their favor. Also, even though these players are generally so far above most players that the points that are lost to them is negligible, the ranking points and DE not gained in the subsequent matches after a win streak is snapped can besubstantial.
How to nerf Prince Julian:
Change the ability to be +1 health for friendly monsters rather than –1 health for enemy monsters. PJ will still dwarf the frequently used Lyanna Natura both by being a Dragon Summoner AND costing one mana less.
People who purchased PJs should be reimbursed in Untamed packs for the difference between what they paid and what the price stabilizes at in a few weeks.
Arguments AGAINST nerfing Prince Julian:
- Some might claim it’s not fair to people who got lucky and got one. I claim that they got lucky having it overpowered for a while. Those who sold it got really lucky.
- Some might claim that it’s not fair to people who bought one. I claim that reimbursement makes it fair.
- Some might claim that reimbursing those who bought it is too expensive. I disagree. The number that have been sold is small. The team can add that many packs to the print run and we’d all effectively (and progressively) share the burden.
Nerf Julian now before it gets more expensive and upsets more people.