LilArsynic

Hs forums hate QR

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So on the HS forums, 50-75% of the posts are saying Quest Rogue are OP, what does Icy Veins members think about it? 

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2 hours ago, LilArsynic said:

So on the HS forums, 50-75% of the posts are saying Quest Rogue are OP, what does Icy Veins members think about it? 

I wouldn't call it OP as it only has a 55%ish average winrate but I would say the deck itself is a problem for the Meta as a whole. It's late and I have work in the morning so I can't get too much into it at the moment so instead I will leave you with a video of Kibler's thoughts on the subject. I'm also curious to hear everyone else's thought on the subject. Enjoy. 

 

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It's not that hard to beat if you manage not to draw awfully bad and if you know how to counter it. Yesterday I faced 4 quest rogues and managed to beat 3 of them, with the fourth being lost likely because of my misplay. With that being said, it is not exactly a fun deck to play against.

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5 hours ago, LilArsynic said:

So on the HS forums, 50-75% of the posts are saying Quest Rogue are OP, what does Icy Veins members think about it? 

It's not. It's not even currently the best deck, oscillating between tier one an tier two depending on the day and being outperformed by Paladin by a margin.

The real problem with Quest Rogue is the way it plays. Against a brainless agrro deck ike Pirate Warrior, you can always drop a few taunts in its way and feel like you're actually playing the game. Against Quest Rogue, you merely watch her bounce stuff until the 5/5 swarm and the final (graphical description expunged), like you were watching a bad movie.

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TL;DR I'm making 3 major points :

  • Quest Rogue hate is a phase Hearthstone is going through. We've been through it already, and we'll do it again.
  • Public perception is generally flawed as far as "acceptance" is concerned. You should place your own judgement above all, unless you have significant reasons to do otherwise.
  • Relative power level is the most important metric, as far as "acceptance" goes, a.k.a. "It doesn't matter how toxic it is, you can have it if it's bad".
  • Yeah, and whatever you do, just listen to what Kibler says. This guy knows his stuff.

I'm specifically going to check out the video later on to compare my thoughts with it, but here is how I see it.

It's quite simple. What I feel is happening is that an average Hearthstone Joe is not ready to accept unfair strategies, partially on a basis "not fun", and that their perception of this issue is a bit limited.

Let's get the terminology done first.

Spoiler

 

In the decades of Magic : The Gathering theoretical writing we have developed two big names for deck types ; fair and unfair. These are the most basic, the simples qualities that a deck can have. Generally speaking, a fair deck has most of its cards trying to execute a "traditional" gameplan - pay mana for your stuff, put creatures in play, generate resources like cards and life, win with damage. A majority of Hearthstone decks are fair. From this perspective, a straightforward Pirate Aggro and a complicated Fatigue Control deck are pretty much the same thing - both of their gameplans is to deplete an opponent's resource. For Aggro, it's the life total. For Control, it's cards in hand (or in the deck).

Unfair decks are purposefully trying to ignore some of these "fair" parts to accomplish some goal that puts them closer to winning, or straight up wins the game. By not taking the fight they are not sure to win, such decks focus their attention on more important areas. For instance, Freeze Mage is a classic Hearthstone unfair deck. It does not try to generate board presence at all, but rather stall the board state and then win with the direct damage spells cast. An old Patron Warrior deck did not utilized the card advantage part of the game 100% ; it was looking for a specific combination of cards that could pull it very ahead, like Grim Patron and Whirlwind effects, multiple copies of Grim Patron and Battle Rage, or a combination of Warsong Commander and Fronthing Berserker. It did not matter how many cards your opponent had when they were facing a very tricky threat to deal with or were straight up dead to a Charge attack. Yeah, and Yogg-Saron is a definition of both unfairs. Screw that card.

Now, there are two caveats to these descriptions.
Unfair can pretty much be reduced to "anything you can't interact with"; it would be a very wide definition, but still accurate enough to get the discussion going. That makes sense, and also puts some of Hearthstone's most beloved decks under additional scrutiny - stuff like old Midrange Druid feat. Force of Nature and Savage Roar, Malygos Druids of previous Standard seasons, Reno Warlocks with Power Overwheling and Leeroy Jenkins Combo, or even the interaction between Brann Bronzebeard and Kazakus. Technically we can call these decks unfair, but they were not that dedicated but rather had these card interactions as additional tools to their disposal; we can call them semi-unfair, but personally, I don't like the word, because each case of such semi-unfairness is usually different from others.

Another part of this semi-discussion is generating mana. Spells like Innervate allow you to "cheat" on mana curve, and you never paid mana for Patches, which is what original, literal "unfair" stands for, and for the most part it's a borderline thing. Generating mana at the expense of other resource - e.g. cards in hands like Innervate - is what usually comes with the unfair decks, but you kinda use it to play a fatty, most of the time, and fatties are pretty fair cards. Generally, we should classify such decks based on their baseline gameplan - fair if they just cheat a fattie, and unfair if they are looking to do things like Malygos you into pieces.

The last but the most important thing is that fair and unfair are not bad or good or vice versa; it's simply technical terms and you should treat them as such. Unfair is often found near busted, but it's not a strict rule.

 

Now, let's round up the usual suspects. Quest Rogue is the definitive unfair deck of the current metagame. But it's farthest from the first of its kind. 2014 Miracle Rogue. 2015 Patron Warrior. Freeze Mage was prolific during all the ages of Hearthstone. FoN Druid; Malygos Druid; Anyfin Paladin - the list is quite big. 

What do these decks have in common, outside of the fact they are unfair? We hated them. All of them. Losing to Yogg-Saron sucks. Losing to Fronthing Berserker sucked. Losing to a 12/12 Stealthed Van Cleef sucks. 

And this reaction is quite normal for a person who is not yet accustomed to dealing with unfair strategies, You get confused because you don't get what's going on, then you get frustrated because there's nothing you can do about it, then you get angry because you lost the game you seemingly had no business winning, and then you go and let your steam off blaming Blizzard for making OP cards. That's dark side of the Force for you, folks.

What should happen next (and had happened before) is the acceptance stage. There decks weren't going anywhere just yet, no matter how loud we were screaming. So players just figured they should combat the problem. I mean, is there any real difference between losing to a Freeze Mage because you were durdling around and not killing them for 6 straight turns? Any deck could kill you in these 6 turns! And that's the whole point. There is no big difference between fair and unfair, between Aggro and Combo as far as having to fight it at a specific angle. The only difference is in our minds. I never got frustrated about playing against Combo, because it was never new to me in Hearthstone. I dedicated a lot of years playing different Combo decks over different formats in Magic : The Gathering, and I simply knew how to take it, while the majority been taking its time. 

There were some corner case problems, as far as history is concerned. Blizzard have nerfed Miracle Rogue severely, removed the kill combo potential of Patron Warrior and Druid decks. Their relative power level - a strength of what they are trying to do opposed to what the rest of the field tries to do - proved to be too big for the metagame to handle. During that age, I felt that Combo in Hearthstone was doomed. Blizzard made clear they had a hard time handling any kind of unfair strategy and were ready to address the issue with the worst means possible - banhammers. Yet Freeze Mage emerged unscathed, and it was a pretty viable deck all the way up to the Year of the Mammoth, where they rotated Ice Lance for the sake of diversity. I was outraged by that hypocritic move - why Patron and Druid have to suffer while Freeze doesn't, even though they were doing the same thing!

It took me all the way to this moment, and the creation of Quest Rogue, to figure that out. Combo is ok if you can fight it. It was hard to fight Patron and Druid because they were so good. It was easy to fight Freeze and Anyfin because they were not. The core idea of unfair strategies - ignoring one axis to focus on another - is a strong thing, but it has its flaws. You get free wins against the decks who can't fight on your field, and you get free losses as well, either to decks who excel at fighting at your axis or when you just draw poorly. Quest Rogue has a very high absolute power level - it is much faster than older combo decks like Freeze, Patron or Miracle. But the relative power level -  it struggles to beat contemporary Aggro, and if you take a look at the data, its success is pretty much the same as the rest of the field, which is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

In the conclusion, I'd like to offer you a chance to think about it and imagine a world that has no unfair decks, a barren wasteland of a game where the only real difference is whether your 2 mana are 3/4s or not, are your draw spells 3 mana draw 2 or 5 mana draw 3, where everyone tries to do the same thing and the only question is whether you'd like to go face and play it for 5 minute, go midrange and play for 10 minutes or go control and play for 20 minutes. Yep, that's Gadgetzan Standard and/or modern Wild, which are not specifically great formats to play. Unfair decks offer us a diversity we could not imagine before, and also the one we can't really go without if we are to have Hearthstone a healthy strategy game.

I admit I got a bit messy towards the end, but I hope you'll enjoy the long read and find something new to think about in my words. Quest Rogue is what brought me back to Hearthstone after 3 months of not touching it at all, and I'm ready to apologetically defend my combosexuality 'till my last breath.

Have a nice day.

Update : I've watched the Kibler video. Brian is my idol and the person I respect the most in the Hearthstone community. This man won 3 Magic ProTours and got to the Hall of Fame doing what he loved - casting huge creatures - and this is a feat that deserves admiration and respect. But I cannot fully agree with his point of view on the subject. Yes, there are some design flaws as far as the Quest mechanic is concerned. Yes, there are polarized matchups and some problems as far as "fightning the good fight goes". But data evidence is too much to be denied - this is not a balance problem for ladder, and for the competitive play as well. There is a conscious decision in queueing with your Priest Control. You'll taking the risk that you'll lose to Quest Rogue. Just as much risk as a Quest Rogue player has, embarking on a Carribean Ladder Voyage and hoping to plunder some Priest decks.

What this Quest Rogue debate does is essentially rising a philosophical question : what's more important in Hearthstone - fun or win? Given the facts that an objective of every single game of Hearthstone is to win the said game, it's being marketed as an e-sports venue, and simply that "fun" is relative while "winning" is objective, I'm strongly leaning towards the opinion that we should think about Hearthstone, the developers and the players, from the "maximizing wins" position. If you want to have fun over having wins, you should not be afraid of losing, and you surely shouldn't complain about the fact you didn't win. These concepts are mutually exclusive in a lot of ways. By playing a good, balanced game, people will get to fun, eventually, because winning is fun in the long run.

Edited by Paracel
Update

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the purest and most efficient version of Quest Rogue excels against slow control, but is wide open to fast aggro - any revised decks that attempt to counter aggro just dilutes the efficiency of getting that ultimate goal of the quest being complete by turn 3/4 and uses up valuable minions needed to fill a board with 5/5s. Priest decks with dragons will generally also contain naturally 2x Dragonfire Potion, (and/or a handy Shadow Word: Horror to clear a board of pre-quest 1/1s) - both fantastic board clears for quest rogue whilst keeping minions on the board - if the priest can survive that long. 

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Didn't we already have this discussion?

I can say I see a lot less of Quest Rogue since the introduction of Un'Goro.  I think that has more to do with people running that deck having moved up the ladder farther than I more than anything else.  Still annoying to face since I prefer Control decks.  No going to say more than that.

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