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4.8 Came and Life and Death is still the same

The devs said “tons of people were commenting about Sunspear so we changed it” – okay, what about the people commenting on Life and Death?

There is absolutely no reason for a weapon to be this powerful.

  • It deals true damage to two enemies – this is something that can’t be avoided by submerge, the targets aren’t random, and they are the same targets that get death marked, so for instance, if you were to put Queen Aurora on your team for a Divine team, well, Queen is great because she’s immune to Death Mark, and she can barrier and heal everyone… except herself. So you can’t put her in the back, because sure she’s immune to the death mark, but not the life steal.
  • It heals you for all the damage dealt – Especially now with magic ramping up, it’s not uncommon for Life and Death to be dealing 100 combined damage and healing for the same amount. That is absurd. Who else does something like this? Suna does. She steals life from the two weakest enemies. She doesn’t death mark them. She doesn’t gain enchant. She doesn’t bless herself, and she costs 20 mana.
  • It death marks both targets This one implores you to find troops that are immune to death mark, so you aren’t randomly losing TWO troops from turn to turn, meanwhile if the death mark isn’t killing them, the life drain is
  • It blesses you (cleansing you and then making you impervious) this removes any negative effects like stun (one of the most important because it removes Orbweaver benefits like Stealthy and summoning spiders), and then cleanses you, which only gets removed from Dispel or attacking with skulls (or using the ability again, which just blesses you again)
  • It enchants you (free 2 mana every turn, woohoo!) – one of the most annoying parts of fighting against you. You might think “I’ll just match all the purple and brown myself.” Nope. It’s still gaining mana. And because the mana cost is so ridiculously low at 15, and mana surges have such high chances (I’m at 65% for Purple), it’s usually one or two 3 matches, which would normally only be 3-6 mana, for it to be cast again, thanks to enchant pumping it with free mana turn after turn
  • It drains mana from the first target, forcing you to collect mana again to cast, which basically just sets you a turn back every time L&D casts.

These same issues have been raised since the weapon came out, and the only thing that was done was a nerf to Orbweaver’s spider summoning chance, which didn’t even make a difference, because 50% to 35% means nothing when it triggers off any damage it takes.

It also doesn’t help that the teams running Life and Death start it at 50% mana and use empowered troops to fill it on the first turn.

You know what the most telling part is? When someone like Salty fights players on her stream, she actually avoids Life and Death teams and has said so on stream that she won’t fight them – possibly because they are just going to win, or they’re so common.


All I’ll say is that people complaining about life and death is blowing it out of proportion. I play this game on the Switch and when the life and death weapon hit, sure it was winning by a large margin but it didn’t take long for players to find teams to counter it. It is no where near someone’s claim that it wins 90% of the time. Just so you know I was among the 1st group of players to use the meta life and death team when it came out on the Switch so I’ve observed its effectiveness over the months I had it on defense. I’ve also come across it in 3 trophy pvp and I’m not afraid to take it on. Do I lose against it? Sure, but more often than not, I win.

Playing against it in PvP is vastly different than playing against it in Guild Wars…

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Lol. I’ve come across it in GW in bracket 1. Did I have to go off color to beat it? Sure. It depended on which color day I encountered that team.

I also avoid L and D in pvp but I categorically would prefer it to remain exactly as it is. Yes it’s a pain but it’s avoidable except for one week a month in wars. I’ve suffered my fair share of LD defeats in wars but accept it for what it is. After all, we are all in the same boat so nobody is gaining an advantage. It’s not the only annoying defence but nerfing everything we are frustrated by is a bad idea. It divides the community and causes friction. There are teams to beat most stuff but a turn zero board in favour of AI is not unique to LD. One of the catalysts to these issues is the increase in empowered converters so it won’t be long before LD is no longer public enemy number one.

I think the current meta is well-balanced, and am against any significant nerfing at this time. Including to Life & Death, one of the few pvp weapons that is fun and worth using on offense that doesn’t involve board control.

What color days are problematic, exactly?

Most L&D teams are dependent on an empowered conversion to get started, and are pretty slow if they can’t get it. If you can prevent the team from getting an extra turn on the cast of their empowered converter, your team should be faster than most Life & Death teams.

(Of course, the other trick is to not give the Orbweaver hero easy summons by making sure when you attack the hero, you make it really count by doing big damage.)

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in my personal opinion, L&D certainly is not extremely overpowered. I can tell that from comparing the most meta GWs defenses in B1 to the L&D teams. there are very few days where L&D cant be countered and even on the days where L&D should run un-opposed, the Def win rate is lower than many other choices. for this and probably other usage statistics the devs have, is probably why it hasnt been nerfed.

However, i do believe that given the amount of very powerful abilities the OP pointed out, that L&D should be either a 18 mana weapon or have at least one of those abilities removed to better balance it with other weapon choices. Comparing abilities of other 15 mana and 18 mana weapons, L&D certainly does more as a 15 mana cost than it should, i would be fine with it increased to 18 mana so that it cant be triggered off of a single 3 match. Or removing something simple as enchant and/or bless would bring it down a notch to the 15 mana weapon range.


While I’m against removing abilities from Life & Death (why take stuff away from players because most other weapons have bad affixes and L&D doesn’t?), adjusting mana costs might be ok. It’s hard to say really, since so many of the 15-mana weapons are totally obsolete or used for scaling content. The one weapon that is comparable to L&D among the 15-mana, 2-color weapons is Secrets of the Crypt, a decent weapon that is almost completely overshadowed by L&D due to their similarity.

I don’t think L&D’s cost should be increased to 18; there isn’t a single usable two-color weapon that takes more than 15 mana, and L&D, likely not even the best weapon in the game, doesn’t merit that kind of nerf. But based on Secrets of the Crypt taking 15 mana, bumping L&D to 16 mana wouldn’t disrupt things too badly, if a change has to be made.

(Of course, you could just do the opposite and reduce the mana cost of Secrets of the Crypt to 14, to give players more options without taking anything away at all.)

It’s less about other weapons being bad than it is about L&D being too good.

People aren’t making the argument to gut it completely, just rein it in a bit. Even if, for example, the Bless was removed - it would still be a very strong choice.

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I think it’s really only when you use a hero with stealthy and summons that L&D is a real pita. Without these it’s not a big deal. Like so many defense metas of the past it’s not an individual troop or weapon that causes the problem it’s the combination. I would like to see the summon % lowered even further for orbweaver.


18-20 mana cost and halve the life steal.

I can get on board with your thinking. My main reasoning for thinking its a little ahead of the curve is that it does what it does AND can be full in a single 3 match. If 16 mana keeps it out of that range with any class except archmagus then I think that would be great.
Again not a super overpowered weapon but could merit some adjustment for being generally ahead of the curve.

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This is one of its biggest problems, in how often it can cast. One purple or brown match is a guaranteed 3 mana, on top of the 2 from enchant. That means as long as it makes one 3 gem purple/brown match per turn, it will be ready to cast on the fourth turn. However, because of surge probabilities, it’s more likely that it will be ready to cast on the third turn (routinely it reaches 13-14 mana by the end of the second turn, which allows enchant to push it to 15 at start of third turn).

Slowing how often it can be cast, from 3-4 turns up to 5-6, would go a very, very long way in helping to balance it. I would not be opposed to either removing the enchant, or increasing the mana cost to anywhere from 16 to 18.

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It doesn’t get enchanted though if it doesn’t cast. Delaying that first cast as much as possible (and having your own team do work) is very much the key to fighting L&D teams.

I’m with Fleg on this, in two respects. First, the only reason people are complaining about L&D is because of a defense team that pairs it with stealthy and summons; they are blaming the effectiveness of the team on the weapon. That is wrong, because the weapon, despite it’s strengths, is not being complained about in any other context or defense team.

Second, the L&D defense’s problem isn’t that it’s too strong, it’s that it’s a PITA to fight i.e. unfun. As we discussed in the other thread, I think the problem there is with the passive summoning in the game as a whole being too strong, not anything that L&D does.


Totally agree. Defence metas always seem to get folks screaming for nerfs and I think at times the devs feel obliged to act which I think is a very bad idea. There are far more urgent matters than a weapon/class/support troop/empowered catalyst combo which soon will be superceded by something else which is equally frustrating. Empowerment is a huge issue in my eyes because the devs seem to have a love affair with them nowadays. It’s not that long ago that rope dart and rabbit had players up in arms. A much more pressing matter IMO and the number 1 priority remains faction events which require far more time (and luck) than any other game mode. The community have been objecting about this for over a year and 4.8 is just the latest in a chain of updates that hasn’t tackled the issue on any level. Updates seem somewhat superficially aesthetic (revamping medals for example) because it’s easy and the devs need to concentrate on new content release. Reworks aren’t top priority and bearing in mind what happened with sunspear, perhaps we should be grateful.


For me, L&D on its own may not be OP, but paired with orbweaver class makes it so. It’s this combo that needs to be addressed.

That’s not really the issue though – you might think it is, but it isn’t, because Orbweaver’s trait shouldn’t be nerfed simply because of ONE weapon. There are hundreds of weapons that can be used with Orbweaver, but only a handful of classes comparatively in the game.

Here’s the problem I see:

Orbweaver has a pretty nasty combo of talents. It has Haunted Weave (web on summon), Root Trap (entangle at start of battle) from Forest tree. It has Dusk’s Aura (darkstorm at start of battle), Stealthy, and Rising Shadows (7% chance to kill last enemy when another enemy dies) from Shadow tree, and absolutely nothing from Morale tree, everything there is useless.

The Haunted Weave combos with summoning spiders, so you’ve got entire enemy team webbed, but obviously the most important talent is Stealthy. Stealthy normally wouldn’t be a problem – once you kill the two non-stealth and you’re left with the hero and Arachnaean Weaver, you’ve got two stealth to target. However, if Life and Death has already been cast, it will have bless.

The Bless part is what really enables it to shine, because without it, you can just stun Life and Death and shut it down completely. The Bless prevents that. So to get rid of that, you need Dispel + Stun. There are very few troops in the game with a Dispel, so the easiest is going to be taking a Hero that has it (any hero with access to Guardian tree to grab Banishment at 70).

Agreed. I’m proposing changing LD rather than changing orbweaver.

Put L&D with any hero class that doesn’t have both stealthy and summoning and it’s no real threat. So does that mean the weapon is the problem? No. The problem only exists when paired with certain classes.

Imo classes should not be allowed to have BOTH stealthy and high chance of summon. One or the other is ok but both together is obnoxious and not fun to play against.

Summoning when I take damage is one of the most annoying things in this game as it rewards a full bodied troop for doing nothing on the creator’s end. This applies to the Ancient Golem talent too. I would love if they just removed both instances from the game and replaced it with something else.