Today we have a special guest article presented by Matthew Coombs!
Matt was gracious enough to drop his wisdom on why he dedicates time to early playtesting in a meta and what he gets out of the experience.
With that, I’ll let Matt take over. I hope you all enjoy the bonus content!
“Why Do You Test So Early!?”
This question was raised by my boo, Ryan Zachary Lambdin, and instead of commenting on the thread in typical “Git Gud God” fashion, I have decided to turn it into content! Yay, content!
It’s preview season and speculation is running rampant! People are overreacting to every Orange card shown and losing their shit over each MP whenever they are previewed. Each MP’s potential impact on the existing meta game has us all in an uproar, due largely to the fact that the current meta has gone a bit stale.
This brings me to my first reason for testing sets so early:
Reason #1: It Makes the Game More Fun
At least for me, from a deck-building and game play perspective.
As a player and deck designer, I consistently get bored when a format feels solved. What I mean when I say “solved” is that it usually refers to knowing which MPs are top tier, which styles they pair best with, and what are the major archetypes that shape a given format. Once I feel that I have figured these things out, boredom sets in and I am in need of some inspiration in order to begin brewing new decks and playing games again.
Preview season allows me to do this by easily proxying up the cards shown and then jumping into “the lab” to start working on the synergies that lie within the current card pool.
Reason #2: Learning the New MPs Power Levels
The next reason why I begin my testing of a set so early, is that I can get a feel of the power level of the newly released MPs before the new meta develops.
A lot of times we can jump to quick conclusions without any data, and end up finding in practice that the hyped up MP is either too niche or too similar to another MP. If we look at previous testing of older sets, this data can be seen when it came to Master Roshi.
Roshi, upon reveal, was looked down on as the third or even fourth best MP in that set. People thought his abilities were too niche and wouldn’t do well in live game play. As soon as Roshi was previewed, I had multiple Roshi decks sleeved up and was grinding games against the other previewed MPs, as well as top decks from the previous format. The results were pretty astounding! After gaining all of that insight it was clear that Cell and Roshi were tied for first. Yamcha was a distant second or third.
Which leads me to the final reason I test so early:
Reason #3: Shaping the Format
The final reason I test this early is because I want to find the speed of the format and what strategies/archetypes will help shape the format.
If we look at Set 9, I currently feel that the format is going to speed up, mostly due to Chilled. Chilled is by far the most format-warping personality from Legends, and I truly hope that players take the time to get a feel for him and the way his decks want to play. Kami is a Swiss Army Knife in multiple styles. He provides a win condition through his stack and Named Cards, and can support any style looking to get into DBV. He so far is the control-based MP from this set.
Bardock falls more into the mid-range category, due to the fact that his decks will require more combat-centric cards in order to get to his upper levels, but will be able to use his Level 3 to slow a game down in order to win. Once on Level 3, he can win with whichever attack type you’d like to land in the late game in order to close the door on most decks, yet won’t have to rely on a heavy onslaught of attacks thanks to his ability to destroy 3 Styled cards from your opponent’s deck each combat.
Final Thoughts on Playtesting
These opinions will certainly shift throughout most of the early testing, and the release of the full set may change some of these opinions drastically, as most full spoilers do. But the information I have gained so far has been invaluable in finding the most competitive and consistent versions of the decks looking to enter the new meta.
Matt’s MP Predictions
Set 9 MP Stock Report: Bardock ↘, Chilled ↑, Kami ↗
Legacy MP Stock Report: Broly ↗, Future Gohan ↑, “Brohan” ↘, Pikkon ↗, Goku →, Trunks ↗, A20 ↗
Who’s Ready to Test?
And that’s it from our resident “Git Gud God”.
Thanks once again to Matt for sharing his thoughts on why we should playtest. I know we are all very excited for Legends full set release, coming up in just three (agonizingly long) days!
Please don’t forget to vote in this week’s TC101 poll on which deck we will kick off the new Set 9 meta exploring!
Until next time, FanZ Warriors!