The trick with Cockatrice is, like Nyx, it can only get its own mana back so many times. In theory, a maximum of 4 times. Then the opponent’s been completely drained of mana and there’s no way to boost beyond the 6.
In practice, I don’t think it works like that. Usually there’s another brown generator that can generate cascades/free turns. I’ve seen Cockatrice used to great effect on Dragon’s Eye teams, which we’ve already discussed to death.
In general, I think @Razzagor’s right: while this is a dreadful nuisance within the bounds of “normal” stats, it’s no more powerful than “any other looping team” and not exactly an argument for a nerf. Many of the teams I field tend to have something immune to mana drain, so it’s more “a reason I might switch teams” than “something I fear”.
But when you pair it with something that can generate/explode brown in a scaling fashion…
The nightmare scenario is the generator gets an extra turn and leaves the board with 14+ brown. Then Cockatrice goes off. Even if there’s no mana to drain, Cockatrice is super likely to create some 4/5 matches there. That refills the generator and maybe some of Cockatrice. Generator goes off, 4/5 match. Cockatrice casts again. This can go on and on so long as the magic’s scaled high enough.
Does a combination like that exist? I’m not sure. I don’t have a perfect memory of the game. But I’d sure respect a Ragnagord / Cockatrice combo, and it doesn’t take much of a boost for Rag to keep a team fed. Gorgotha also comes to mind. Stick a duststorm in the mix and you’ve got issues.
It doesn’t help that depending on weaponry and team makeup, you might’ve summoned the duststorm yourself. I’ve observed, many times, my game is miserable and the AI gets a ton of free turns because I accidentally tilted luck in its favor.
And it’s really hard to talk about making scaling troops unfair. In some events, the design intent is to make it unlikely you will win at some point. That doesn’t make it any more fun as a player. Like, old arcade games did that, but every time you reached the inhumanly hard level and lost you got to start over at the easy levels again. Here you only get to keep banging your head against a wall until the RNG blesses you.