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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Cute and deadly! And now suitable for PvP play! 04/19/2018

layer-41I’m a veteran of Usenet, and America Online during Eternal September, but sometimes I think there’s been nothing as sour as the SPPD subreddit.

I wholly agree that there’s a lot to complain about: Wildly unpopular development decisions in the name of card balance, software that goes buggy at the worst possible times (speaking of which, today my Powerfist Dougie hit enemy NK with 2 health two times, and it didn’t die, while my NK did), an expensive and time-consuming upgrade path that locks you into one way of doing things (resulting in a lack of cultural diversity), opponents who cheat, opponents who don’t play.

I’ve written about all these things before; the suboptimal aspect of SPPD that I haven’t experienced yet is matchmaking among the legendary ranks because I haven’t reached that rank yet (but I’m getting there; I’m learning that SPPD is further from chess than I knew).

This week’s balance update favored two of my favorite cards, cards I was going to play with always, whether they were acceptable to top players or not.

Gizmo Ike is my favorite card. Ike the TV character has soul, intelligence, patriotism, humor. The Gizmo Ike card has the niftiest detail that you have to look for: a Mysterion comic book. (The Mysterion episodes were among the best, and if a Mysterion SPPD card is issued, I’ll play with it without regard to community opinion.)

The Gizmo card just wasn’t very good in the PvP game because the master Gizmo rarely lived long enough to split more than once. In PvE, on the other hand, Gizmo could usually hit the limit of 13, but the PvP excitement isn’t there.

The update slowed the master Gizmo, so it wouldn’t rush to its doom, instead having time to split. And then split again. And again. “ANOTHER! ANOTHER!” is a Gizmo Ike battle cry.

It’s amusing as hell. One of my opponents’ Zen Cartmans reached my NK without support, and attracted an entire fleet of Gizmos. The Gizmo copies don’t hit very hard (roughly equal to the other fast, tiny, annoying swarmers like rats and gnomes), and Zen takes thousands of hits, so it was a spectacle.

More than that, the updated Gizmo helps win matches in the way you’d want it to. With four or eight Gizmos running around, your enemy’s units can’t fight them all, so a few of them can sneak into to pop NK, and the little pops add up.

I laughed more today while playing SPPD today than I have before, and that is a complete reversal from the typical bored, weary, frustrated feeling afterafter losing again (or winning) to the monotonous “meta” decks.

Score one for RedLynx!

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