Do you think Shields are necessary to compete?

Discussion in 'Games: CCG, TCG, and Boardgames' started by Red84, Sep 3, 2003.

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  1. Red84 SWCCG Content Mgr. (Card Games)

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    I'm thinking on the higher levels of competition here, but feel free to weigh in on whether you think the level even matters.

    I personally think that they are not necessary.. and I say this from how I build and play my decks.
  2. PloKoon187 Jedi Padawan

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    Aug 9, 2003
    I would tend to agree and say not NECESSARY, especially if you have 2 or 3 of every card out there as some of you seem to enjoy boasting. But they do tend to make card selection easier, giving up one card to be able to shut down the effectiveness of 5 or so other deck types is a pretty effective thing. The problem with doing it is it takes up 1 card in the deck, effectively knocking you down another force at the start. But like I stated earlier, if you have the cards to effectively build a deck that is unstoppable (and if I had 2 or 3 of every card, I'm sure I would win a few tournaments cuz my strategy gets my by where my lack of cash/cards hinders me) without including sheilds.
  3. Shewski Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2002
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    They are nice in that they can enforce balance. I don't know the composition of the decks at Worlds yet, but I know last year most if not all of them used shields.

    I think the versatility of being able to deal with a variety of strategies and giving up one card slot will be needed to compete for a while.
  4. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2001
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    If you are not playing with D-Shields, you are at a disadvantage. Your opponent basically has a larger deck than you, and has more options than you. It would be like playing with a 55 card deck.

    So D-Shields may not be "necessary" to compete or to win games in a strict sense, but they are "necessary" in order to "keep up" with your opponents and keep the playing field level.
  5. Red84 SWCCG Content Mgr. (Card Games)

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    See.. I don't agree with that. My opponent has a larger deck? Perhaps, but but a max of three cards. Also, I play decks that the Shields either don't cover or don't effect. Sure, Allegations et al gets down, but that's about all that affects me.

    I kinda like it that my opponents rely so heavily on Shields because it gives me an advantage when they start playing my deck and they realize their Shields can't really do anything about it. At the end of the day, their deck still has to play me, not their Shields.

    So I'm not convinced that they are so necessary. Perhaps the peception is otherwise because so few players are willing to think out of the box..?

    (Huh, that turned into a bit of a rant, now didn't it ;))
  6. JediKynes009 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    I have to agree with red on this. I've had decks where I don't even bother with the shields. it's not because they don't work it's that one card slot I could use or something else. that one card could be all the difference in a game. Though I do have other decks that do use the shields cuz it needs it to work fairly well.
  7. Shewski Jedi Master

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    Jul 12, 2002
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    I agree that shields don't necesarily affect some decks. I think the more important thing they did was alter general deck building. For example, if you choose to go no space, be prepared to pay for your drains. The grabber affects everyone, but you basically design expecting an interrupt to be grabbed. Retrieval needs to be paid for.

    So if you made a deck that had ground/space, no interrupts that you majorly relied upon, and had little or no retrieval, yeah, shields wouldn't affect you.

    My opinion is that it's more important what they can do for you to your opponent. Someone playing cheese? Bam, shut em down. Are they focusing on ground/space? Bam, pay for your drains and slow em down. Are they being sneaky with Mob Pts? Bam, DDTA.

    IMO, being able to design your decks around shields (especially for the focused ones, like LSC and Racing) is a good skill, but everyone doesn't do that yet, so largely, it is an advantage to pack shields to mess with your opponent.
  8. Bib Fortuna Twi'lek Jedi Youngling

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    Jul 9, 1999
    star 10
    Shields make deckbuilding easier, because you don't have to devote all those card slots. It allows for more freedom, so your deck can focus on what you want to do, rather than trying to combat what your opponent could possibly play.
  9. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2001
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    See.. I don't agree with that. My opponent has a larger deck? Perhaps, but but a max of three cards.

    No, 9 cards (10 shields minus the starting effect). He may not get to play them all, but the fact is his deck is larger, giving him more options than you. Just compare his deck list (with shields) to yours (without). See? More cards. :)

    Also, I play decks that the Shields either don't cover or don't effect. Sure, Allegations et al gets down, but that's about all that affects me.

    And if you're not playing shields, that's an advantage that your opponent has over you. It cost him nothing to play Allegations. But if you play the Allegations Effect in your deck (without shields), you've taken up a slot in your deck. Not to mention you have to (1) play Allegations with your starting interrupt in lieu of something else, or (2) spend an action (and 3 Force) to upload it into your hand during the game, or (3) trust in luck to pull it into your hand during the course of the game, or (4) play without it. Each of those four options costs you something. The player using the shield? He just sticks it under his starting effect, and pulls it out when he needs it ... no cost.

    As I said, are shields necessary to win? No. Will shields make a bad player into a good player? No, that's why they aren't necessary to win. But if you choose not to play them, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. That's why they're "necessary" to "compete".

    IMHO....

  10. Red84 SWCCG Content Mgr. (Card Games)

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    No, 9 cards (10 shields minus the starting effect). He may not get to play them all, but the fact is his deck is larger, giving him more options than you. Just compare his deck list (with shields) to yours (without). See? More cards.

    Ummm.. nooo.. mathematically it's 3 cards because a player may not play more than three shields :)

    I don't buy the "more options" either, simply because the range of options under the Starting Effect just doesn't vary that much between players. Compare them sometime and see just how many Shields are different. I can pretty much predict every Shield that's under there, therefore giving me more control of which decks I should play. And because I make my decks adaptable (which every player should be doing anyway), I don't much care what my opponent plays, making Shields less of an option for me.

    The only time I'll consider playing Shields is if podracing, interactivity, operatives, or saber combat becomes unbearably prevalent. Then my hand is forced.
  11. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2001
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    Red,

    Are combo cards "necessary" to compete? No. But if your strategy involves playing Imperial Arrest Order, why would you not play the IAO&SP combo? Is the combo necessary to win? No, but a deck that has the combo effect in it has an advantage over the same deck that has the non-combo IAO.

    The same arguement applies to the D-Shields. If part of my strategy is to grab your Interrupts, why play the non-shield Allegations? It is to my advantage to play the shield version. Even if my strategy has nothing to do with grabbing interrupts, why not play the Allegations shield? As I've said before, it costs me nothing to include it in my deck, or to play it during the game.

    I guess the point I'm making is that D-Shields, like combo cards (or characters with permanent weapons, or ships with permanent pilots) are card efficient, and card efficiency is a key aspect of this game.

    You wanna quibble over whether it is 3 or 10 cards? Fine. But would you really go to a tournament where you were forced to play with only 60 cards while everyone else was allowed to play with 63?

    Gosh, my tone sounded pretty harsh there. Wasn't what I intended. This is an interesting discussion, I like it! Please don't take my tone the wrong way....

  12. PloKoon187 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2003
    I guess the point I'm making is that D-Shields, like combo cards (or characters with permanent weapons, or ships with permanent pilots) are card efficient, and card efficiency is a key aspect of this game.

    Ok well there are cards that screw with all of those "effecient cards". Virtual Ineffective Maneuvers for example, makes characters with perma weapons less effective and has the added bonus of letting you get cards from outside you deck (NON SHEILDS TOO ... ala, virtual set #3 advance preparations and a few other cards). The admiral's orders cards screw with ships with permanent pilots. And lets not forget that the combo cards tend to lack some of the original card/cards effectiveness (example, Battle Plan/Draw their Fire does not have the direct damage AND retrieval of the single cards). So does that mean that to compete I need to play those cards because they make opponents effective cards less effective??? No. Getting back to the original question... "Do you think Shields are necessary to compete?" No they are not. Do they make Deck Building easier, yes they do. Personally I cannot wait for virtual cards that screw over people using sheilds.
  13. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

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    Aug 23, 2001
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    I hear what you're saying, PK, but my last point remains:

    Would you really go to a tournament where you were forced to play with only 60 cards while everyone else was allowed to play with 63?

    That's why shields are necessary. Because if I don't play shields, and you do, you have an advantage over me. You have a larger deck. Sure, I might still win games, just like I might win games if you have a 60 card deck and I only have a 57 card deck. But would you voluntarily go into a tournament game with less cards than your opponent?

  14. Red84 SWCCG Content Mgr. (Card Games)

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    Well, apparently I do..everytime I don't play Shields.. which is often :)
  15. PloKoon187 Jedi Padawan

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    Aug 9, 2003
    This all reminds me of M:TG. There are multiple ways to win and (non tourney) my brother used to play with a 120 card deck. I still beat him with my regulation 60 card deck. How did I do it? Did I use some card that made him somehow lose cards down to my level... did I overwhelm him with skill? Mebbe... Point is he had a 60 card advantage and I'd still win. Its all about using cards so that every card lost hurts. There should be NO CARD in your deck that you can "afford" to lose. All should be equally important. All sheilds do is give you an in game "sideboard" from magic. Years of playing magic and participating in many tournaments, I only EVER used my sideboard once. Think about it a bit.
  16. Artie-Deco Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
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    Red,

    You win games without shields; that's all well and good, but it doesn't really address the question. Is your deck really as good as it can be? Could it be improved by including just three more cards? What if it could include 10 cards, with the caveat that only three of those extra cards could be played?

    Forget D-Shields for a moment: what if you could include any ten extra cards in a sideboard, to be played at any point in the game, with the caveat that only up to three of those cards could be played per game? Any effect, any character, any weapon ... just reach under the starting effect and grab it when you need it? Would that make your original deck more competitive?

    How many of the top 8 players at the recent World Championship played without D-Shields? Would they have still finished in the top 8 if they had not played shields? Most of them probably would, but who knows for sure if all of them would have made it? A close game can come down to a differential of only 1 or 2 cards -- it's happened to me in the past, I know! The difference between being player #7 and player #10 is sometimes just a few differential points per game.


    PK,

    Magic is an entirely different game. The comparisons don't always hold (sometimes, maybe ... but definitely not always).

    If I had a 120 card SWCCG deck and you had a standard 60 card deck, how do you think that game would play out? You would have to drain me by a 2-1 margin (roughly) just to have a chance of beating me! Now, if I have a bad 120 card deck, and you had a really good 60 card deck, yeah, you might still win. But let's level the playing field: Suppose we were playing Death Star II starter decks, but you were only playing with one deck and I was playing two decks shuffled together. How do you think that game would play out? Probably a lot differently than the 120 vs. 60 card Magic game you talk about!

    To my knowledge, SW:CCG is the only CCG/TCG where deck size is fixed. Only now, there is this "new" card type, Defensive Shields, that lets you get around that limit by sideboarding cards. (It's not really "new" ... it's been around for about 2 years now.) You may never need to play any of those cards in a particular game (they are "defensive" after all) but so what? They cost nothing. Before defensive shields, you would have to devote some part of your deck to defensive strategies. That hasn't changed, but using D-Shields lets you devote a little less of your deck to defensive strategies, which in turn lets you devote a little more of your deck to offensive strategies.

    Red and PK,

    You're both making the same mistake. You're looking at this as an either/or question: either defensive shields are necessary to be competitive, or they are not, and you're using exception cases to argue the point. I see it more as a question of degree, because there are degrees of "competitiveness": do defensive shields make my deck "more competitive" for an acceptable cost? In the case of D-Shields, the benefit ranges from "good" to "none", but the cost is virtually zero! The cost-benefit ratio is so incredibly low, that relatively speaking, yes, D-Shields are "necessary".

  17. PloKoon187 Jedi Padawan

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    Aug 9, 2003
    Good points Artie, but still taking a "shades of gray" arguement. If Red is able to win without them, I'd say they are not necessary to compete. The question is a simple one, intended for a black or white type answer. We can go on the shades of gray arena for decades. The banter is appreciated non the less.


    p.s. If you play a "turn luke" or "turn vader" deck, it often doesn't come down to who drains the most.
  18. Bib Fortuna Twi'lek Jedi Youngling

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    Jul 9, 1999
    star 10
    Actually, most decks that use the D*2 Objectives don't bother turning; they just deal massive damage by winning battles and draining.
  19. Statman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Red,

    I think you are missing something about the shields. In most decks, especially DS decks, contains counters of one kind or another. Sometimes they are point counters that function as helpful high destinies that you might also be able to recycle into your deck, and other times they are simply "get-them-out-and-help-defend-me" cards. :)

    Defensive shields, IMHO, are great for protecting against those decks that you are not going to see very often, that can have a HUGE effect on the game, but are not worth the card slot the rest of the time.

    While you may not play them each time, you still want that protection. Are 10 of these shields the equivolent of 10 in a deck? There's the effeciency question. For 1 card slot (that does not count against anything I might play with a starting interrupt!), I can get 3 cards out for free. THAT'S power. No tracking, no searching, no luck or other resources than one card slot. BAM! They're on the table helping me, hurting you.

    The shields allow a certain blanket protection against certain circumstances (so that you don't have to search for the Brangus counter and find room in your deck, etc) that would make a deck stand compared to times where if the counter is luck-based, you would fail.

    One of the reasons that I like the Classic version of the starting effect, is that it brings this back into balance. It's no longer a 10 for 1 situation like it currently is. There is a real price involved in pulling the shields.
  20. Red84 SWCCG Content Mgr. (Card Games)

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    Perhaps it should be said that I am not debating their efficiency. Of course they're efficient! :)

    I am debating whether a player can win without them.

    Another intersting aspect to this debate, is that players continue to use Shield-targeted decks consistently, even with the idea of Shields being played.

    I think the Shields cheapen the game. They were intended to give players more space in their deck for cards relating to their deck. Now in a deck based on draining, it means more drain cards.. Beatdowns, more PWCs. Whoopee. The Shields have served to make players lazy and eventually that will be exploited by smart players.

    Why? Even with the Shields, not every deck can be teched for. And at the end of the day I still think that those players who know how to play their deck will be the ones who win. All it takes is one random Operative deck.. or any other deck that a player knows will slip past his playing community's Shields. I know, it's been done to me.. and that's when I realized that the Shields are hardly the failsafes everyone else apparently thinks they are.
  21. Statman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2003
    I agree with you that they are harly failsafes. A lot of the counters are not genuine counters, but ways to level the playing field of some abusive decks.

    Yes, they make some players lazy. Along the same lines, a good portions of those plays might never have played the counter unless it was a sure thing that they would go against it.

    However, there are so many abusive, non-interactive strategies in this game that there is a need for the shields. I've found it interesting that there is less of a need for shields in the classic format, and the shield machanism is much more balanced.
  22. youngvader Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
  23. Capt_Piett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2002
    star 4
    Truth be told, people who play at my tournements are very predictable, so I don't use defensive shields.
    If I were to ever play in a tournement somewhere else, I would probably use them, just in case.

    -Piett
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