Ideaspace: Shifting Sands

I’m going to assume at this point that people know how shift works, and save you all the hassle of reading the rules text yet again.

Instead, I’m going to launch right into why I think it’s awesome.

The first reason is that it’s a skill intensive mechanic, both in terms of play and deck building. In order to get the most out of it, you’ve got to build your deck very carefully indeed. Other bloggers and posters have already detailed numerous scenarios whereby you can play out a slew of mid game drops to take control of the board, and as such, I don’t feel the need to crunch the numbers for you all. But that number crunching will be vital when we all sit down to build a Shift deck. Right now, it’s all pre-emptive, because we don’t know how many characters at each drop will have Shift, but when we have the full list, there’s going to need to be a lot of work put into figuring out the optimal way to do things.

There’s two paths to take with Shift. One is going the combo route, looking to set up a turn, probably around 4 or 5, where you abuse Blink and Proteus to build a massive board of 4 and 5 drops to take control of that turn’s combat phase. The numbers will follow a specific script, where things need to run pretty optimally to enable that powerful, game changing turn.

An alternate route is to use Shift to gain small advantages over a number of turns. This will be a less scripted, more flexible, and probably more consistent, but less explosive, build. In this version, you’ll be using Shift as a quasi-substitute effect to upgrade drops, to recover from lost board or missed drops, and to keep gradual pressure on the opponent. You won’t be banking your resource points into Shift characters that will sit out until the kill turn, instead using them more gradually. This kind of build will probably take advantage of carefully timed come into play effects and such – the other main facet of Shift is control over when certain characters hit the board. A lot of low drops have great powers that are balanced by the fact that they won’t stick around too long. With shift, you can hold them in reserve until their powers will have the most impact.

Shift decks will be powerhouses of turns 4-6, and I’m looking forward to that.

The next reason is that Shift manages to counter control in an innovative way. It presents multiple targets for the control players effects, and allows you to have a lot of 4 and 5 drops on the board – characters of this cost are a lot harder for stall decks to control – instead of investing your resources on low cost characters that are easy to bounce, stun, or exhaust out of combat, as 1-3 drops so often are, you invest on a more solid, resistant midgame.

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~ by Anthony on October 16, 2008.

One Response to “Ideaspace: Shifting Sands”

  1. Nice entry and break down on the potiential shift is going to have. I believe that shift is going to be the balance to all the heavy control effects that are currently available and to come. Soon people are going to laugh that they ever complaint about how the meta right now favors control. Hopefully when marvel evolution comes out shift will stand up to everyones expectations.

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