I played spies with the current version of Impera Enforcers before, and at first I wasn't overly concerned with the change back on the card. After all, you theoretically can actually deal more damage overall as they deploy and deal 2 damage. However, after playing with them in this patch for a while, they seem downright awful due to nearly every faction having removal:
NG alchemy- Viper Witchers
Scoia'tael- there are many variants out there, but most have Alzur's Thunder in some form
Monsters- This is not too awful, but there are some deathwish decks that run Cyclops. Oddly enough, against Nekker consume this is the one matchup I've found the typical spies list is actually better now.
Northern Realms- this is also not terrible depending on the variant, swarm is fine, and machines usually take at least 2 turns to bring them down
Cursed Skellige- I've been suspecting that cursed Skellige will be one of the stronger decks this patch, but I have yet to encounter it much. This is probably one of the better matchups as they really only have Madman Lugos (who often isn't run anyway).
Harald/Axeman- These decks rarely immediately remove Enforcers, but they will take them down eventually. This isn't the worst.
Maybe it seems like I'm not painting too terrible of a picture, but in my experiences over half of games played end up going poorly for the Impera Enforcers. Additionally, this really puts a damper on the ability of your Vicovaro Medics. If you're having trouble killing your Emissaries, Medics become much harder to play. I'm not declaring NG spies dead, but I'm posting this to see what you all think can be done to keep them more relevant. Prior to the patch, this was a pretty typical bronze list for spies:
3x Enforcer, 3x Impera Brigade, 3x Emissary, 2x Infiltrator, 2x Medic. The last two spots were often different. Most common would be another Infiltrator and Medic, some would run a Nauzicaa Brigade, some might even run a Nauzicaa Sergeant, Clear Skies, Assassin, or Ambassador. Regardless, I'm curious if you think it's possible to run a highly competitive spies bronze list WITHOUT Impera Enforcers. How would you do it?
Enforcers have merely been put back on the same power curve as every other similar type of deal 2 damage whenever you do X. Only difference is they come out 1 pt weaker, but allow you to do targeted damage.
The nerf was necessary and good. Yes they are much weaker now. But no weaker really than say a mangonel. Which are still a core include in reveal. Basically if they stick you will likely win the round. But aren't hard to remove.
If you find you are having trouble with them, perhaps time to actually try a different build than the same spies build that has been doing the rounds for months. One place I would start is with assassins, which are highly underrated removal cards. Also Nauzicaa brigades.
I do not agree that enforcers nerf was made properly, as 6 points is not enough. It should have at least 8, so that it does not get removed with a simple drowner and weather or Panther. No one takes Assire + Decoy with them to return enforcers to the deck, there's just to much hassle in it.
At the same time alchemy can resurrect OP witchers whenever they feel like to. So CDPR should really balance things out. Spies do not stand a chance in tempo competition if using Rot tossers or assassins.
Spies archetype is one of the most smooth and refined in the game imo, it was a bit OP last patch but nerfing it so badly is not an option. If it remains the same as now - well, then CDPR are real bad at balancing things as it seems.
I do not agree that enforcers nerf was made properly, as 6 points is not enough. It should have at least 8, so that it does not get removed with a simple drowner and weather or Panther.
At which point it would once again be ahead of the power curve compared to every other similar type of card (e.g. mangonel for reveal, the ships for discard, etc.) but with the added advantage of being able to target which enemy you hit. The nerf brought it very much in line with other similar units. If you want to make it 7 points I understand, but it would then need to be changed to hit random units.
This again is a case of people complaining because they no longer are easily able to achieve high win rates just because their deck is so strong. The nerf is entirely justified. Including the nerf so that it doesn't retroactively get multiple pings if it gets played at the end of a spy chain like it did pre-mid winter update. Even then it was the only unit of that ilk that didn't need to be on the board to reach a lot of value.
Damage over time units are risky by their nature. They are relatively low value cards to start that can achieve very high value over time. Key words - over time. And you can bet they will be a high priority removal for your opponent due to the high value they can potentially achieve. This is as it should be.
As for complaining about viper witchers, there is already a thread for people to b!tch about that too. Feel free to vent about them over there.
Enforcers are still very strong. Most factions have a similar card that pewpews in certain conditions (archespore, savage bear, elfy movement pewpew, mangonel, reinforced trebuchet, etc.) and before this change enforcers were clearly the best. Not only was their pewpew targetable, but it backlogged. Imagine if reinforced trebuchet did one damage for every turn that the round had lasted, and you could choose where the damage went. Or if the elf girl could do 2 damage for every enemy that moved in a given round, and could choose where the damage went. Enforcers were an oppressive pain in the arse.
I say that as someone who mains Nilfgaard by the way.
well.........yes. Cards like Enforcers are always nerfed in the moment when more playable removal is added to a game. For example I remember when many NR deck ran Siege Support but now it's simply bad.
I highly doubt that there is any conspiracy to make NG spy unplayable and I don't know what you are talking about with "when more playable removal is added to a game" nothing changed about Alchemy NG (the strong removal deck currently popular) except for a trio of Slave driver NERFS its just that engines are more popular now since some of the point spewing decks were nerfed. The more Engine decks are played the better NG Alchemy will be given that it is essentially an anti-engine tech deck.
Personally I think they should just make enforcer like every other similar card and make the damage random. I know spy players will hate me for this but targeted damage is far stronger than a simple +/- of total point swing as it can reliably remove opponent key cards. None of the other Engine removal cards have this and in my opinion it makes no sense to give this to Enforcer. If Enforcer can target then it has to be weaker than all of the other options on a pure +/- points basis this is the reality of being a damage card versus a targeted removal card. I think where it is at now is fair and if they want to make it stronger on a straight forward basis they need to remove the targeted damage and make it random like all other similar cards.
Just to add to this on the season spy NG with enforcer is at 51.1% Win rate (Per GwentUP) so if anything it is currently slightly to strong not to weak ( I would consider 51.1% close enough to balanced).
Also it is simply annoying when an opponent has 5+ enforcer shots and I just have to sit there while they slowly pick each target it's annoying and not needed in the game. It stretched Spy matches out almost as long as Mill and was just annoying to play against. But that is just a personal gripe and not worth anything.
This again is a case of people complaining because they no longer are easily able to achieve high win rates just because their deck is so strong.
This is not what I was trying to do, and in fact I was trying to use caution to not come across that way. It's the internet though and everyone's just used to overreaction and outrage. While strong, NG spies has always been viewed as one of the higher skill gap decks out there. It's what I started on and played almost exclusively until I got better at the game, and I was shocked at how brainless some other decks are to play when I started branching out. Even if the deck is really powerful, I sometimes won't play it because I find it boring.
I really don't have much of an opinion on whether or not the nerf was warranted. And honestly, whatever I think really doesn't matter as the patch is in place now and we just have to deal with it :P Regardless, the reason I started this thread was to see if anyone had any good ideas for spy decks without using Enforcers.
I completely agree with you Noobsauce re: skill level of decks and their entertainment value. Spies I find really fun because it is one of the more challenging archetypes to play well (when not OP). And I really find a lot of the point vomit decks very boring and basically auto-pilot, so I tend not to play them (reveal being the exception - while it is something of a point vomiting archetype it is also a great combo of tempo, engine and control that I really do find quite entertaining to play).
In terms of your actual intent of this thread, my thoughts are that enforcers are still fine in the spy deck. Your opponent is going to be sniping units anyway, so may as well let them take out a unit that is only 6 str. You still get the 2 pts from its deploy ability at a minimum. But if you are worried about being able to kill your emissaries to cycle your deck I would also run a couple of nauzicaa brigades as the fall back option. And as I said originally, I think assassins are underrated control cards given they also boost your impera brigades (and give pings for any enforcers that stick). Having one or even two of those in your deck can be useful.
I actually stream letho spies pretty much daily at 9am EST on my Twitch. Its VERY good. Come check it out sometime if you have the inclination. I have about 100 games under my belt post patch with it, and am having no problems climbing. NG reveal is the most difficult m/u in my opinion.
As with what Laowinning said, I cant agree more. For maybe the first time in the game Enforcers are within the same power level of their faction counterparts. I think the "nerf" was good and necessary. You absolutely can still chain them off of emissary to use them as targeted removal.
Scooter, have you been watching my stream, bud? lol. I rant and rave daily about how its insane that assassin doesnt see more play. He is nuts right now.
The only question I have ever asked myself, is if they are a 2 or 3 of. Either way, they definitely make the team.
Also, if you just happen to be a fan of the archetype and have a few mins lol:
The previous enforcers created a really oppressive round 1 so the change was reasonable in my opinion. The game plan now has to shift a bit, rather than relying on an oppressive unbeatable round 1 into bleed round 2, you now have to actually play well and consider changing your list up. Perhaps you can consider they should be a 2 of instead of a 3 of.
Perhaps you can consider they should be a 2 of instead of a 3 of.
Thanks, that's something worth considering. In my experiences, spies prefer either long rounds (most preferable) or short rounds...it's the middle-length rounds that can get awkward sometimes. With two enforcers there's a pretty good likelihood you'll either start with one or get one out of a spy chain. Playing more than two enforcers in any one round is kind of tough to do.
The comparison with mangonels is completely right. That's exactly the type of card they are. They have exactly the same effect, just a different trigger. And emissary chains give them multiple pings must like reveal provides.
As for not having a Vrygeff - seriously? You have emissaries and Ceallach to cycle the deck and pull them. Vrygeff is the only tutor for mangonels.