The math is wrong on Queen Grapplepot


#1

To be clear, this suggestion is coming from a place of mathematical imbalance. Grapplepot’s third trait is completely unhinged compared to similar third traits.

For an example; the Hero has a Bard class which gives yellow troops +1 to all stats as the final trait. the mythic unit Champion of Anu has an equivalent third trait which gives blue troops +1 to all stats.

Comparatively, the Dragonguard class has a third trait which gives all dragons +1 to HP on 4 or 5 gem matches, which functions the same as the legendary troop Queen Grapplepot who has a third trait which gives all goblins +5 to HP on 4 or 5 gem matches.

Now hold on a tick, something’s a bit off here, isn’t it? These are not quite equivalent at all. To be equivalent, Champion of Anu would be giving blue troops +5 to all stats per turn. Possibly even more given that Anu is mythical while Grapplepot is only Legendary. (And I think you can see how buffing Anu to this level would be completely insane) However, that still isn’t quite right because Goblins and Dragons behave completely differently from each other.

Dragons don’t really have a cohesive strategy built into them all. From one dragon to the next, you run the gamut from huge tanky beasts to frail magical creatures; from mass damage dealers to debuffers and support. Dragons come in all shapes, sizes and roles, so any particular dragon team will likely have a different play style from another, and that +1 HP per 4/5 match is sort of like a little extra frosting on the cake

It’s not a huge bonus, but it’s not completely negligible either. It might end up winning you a match when a spell that would have wiped your team out leaves you with 4-5 HP left on each after having made several 4/5 matches earlier in the match and collecting a few extra HP, but more often than not it’s not going to make much of an impact.

We look at goblins though, and the entire race shares one primary strategy; mess up the board, then get a free turn to take advantage of the manipulated board. Nearly every goblin gets free turns with their spells, and most goblins either explode gems, create gems, or destroy/remove gems, often setting up a 4 or 5 match in the process.

Looping is already powerful strategy as it is, but when you add Grapplepot to the mix, suddenly you end up with situations where in a single turn a goblin you have down to 10hp can end up with 80HP by the end of the next turn.

But wait, there’s more! There is another major difference between Bard and Anu, vs Dragonguard and Grapplepot; Trait cost. Grapplepot and Dragonguard have exactly the same cost for their final traits; 34 minor traitstones, 6 arcane traitstones, and 2 celestial traitstones.

The bard also costs this amount; but Champion of Anu? 12 of one arcane traitstone, 12 of another, and then 4 celestial traitstones. It is roughly four times as expensive, and therefor much more difficult to unlock and use.

Now yes, there are counters to Grapplepot in the game. Devour is a good one for dealing with teams that inflate their stats, as it by passes life and armor, and gives you the inflated stats of the troop you consumed. Freezing is also useful for goblins in general.

My argument is not that Queen Grapplepot is unbeatable; that would be a ridiculous claim to make. What I am saying though, is that the math does not add up here, even a little bit. For as inexpensive as her final trait is, it is massively out of balance when compared to how the Hero traits match up with other mythical troop traits, and especially when considering how much more often her trait triggers compared to 4/5 match effect traits for other troops will.


#2

This would hold water if HP were worth as much as the other stats. It’s not.

My Ishbaala team averages something about 3-5 skull matches per turn. That makes +5 attack worth 15-25 bonus damage on top of the 100-150 I’m already doing. Most of my damage dealers do at least 30 HP worth per cast.

So that means if, on my opponent’s team, they’ve been getting +25 HP, I negate it pretty fast. One Infernus cast is worth nearly 5 4-matches from Grapplepot.

In the grand scheme of things, Magic and Attack are worth more than HP, which is worth more than Armor.


#3

The game uses (or used to use) the ratios 1:1:2:4 for the relative worth of armor, life, attack, and magic (respectively). I admit that life is better than armor because of true damage, but they both help keep you from becoming dead.


#4

Using kingdom and troop-type stat bonuses (i.e. 3 of and 4 of) as a key, the result is I was typing that 1:1:2:4 for armor life attack and magic.

So we have a “face value”, as its called, of 5 for 5x life (1), against 8 for 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 for 1x all.

Furthermore, Goblins are a much more specific troop than “blue troops” or “yellow troops”. And Dragons are both stronger (typically) and more plentiful.


#5

I’m not comparing +1 all stats to +5 HP on a 1 to 1 basis though. I’m comparing Hero to Anu and Hero to Grapplepot on similar traits. The Hero’s +1 all stats trait is equal to Anu, but Anu’s is more expensive, while the Hero’s +Hp trait is 1/5th the potency that Grapplepot’s is for the same cost, and Grapplepot’s trait triggers far more often than the hero’s skill.


#6

Trait costs aren’t decided on a trait-by-trait basis. Anu is a Mythic. Its gonna cost that much no matter what it has. The hero classes are rated as Legendaries and cost that much to trait, no matter what they have.

So yes, it looks off that Anu and Bard cost different amounts. The same thing can be said for Umberwolf and Skadi, who have a similar discrepancy between their traits (which have arguably equal strength).

Stoneskin on a Legendary also costs more than Stoneskin on a Rare.


#7

I get your argument and think perhaps if I wrote some analysis I almost started I’d agree with you.

But I also don’t think Queen Grapplepot is ever the specific reason I lose to a Goblin team. It’s a powerful arrangement and there are at least 5 or 6 different configurations likely to threaten other powerful teams. Nerfing/adjusting her doesn’t really accomplish anything in the grand scheme.

It’d be a little interesting if traits were costed according to their relative utility, but that would be a big maintenance burden. For example, if a new Blue troop that boosts itself like War comes out, it might cause the devs to have to revisit the cost of Champion of Anu’s trait. What does that mean for people who already traited it? Is it a refund? Or do they get to keep it?

Overall it’s probably best to keep trait costs tied to the base rarity. Grapplepot is a “good legendary” because her third trait is as powerful as some mythics. OR, we can say those mythics are “a bit disappointing” because their boost traits are comparable to a Legendary.

But if we really sit down and analyze all of these troops, we’ll likely find that the trait is only a small part of why people choose them.


#8

Whether or not the price of the trait is just “how it’s done” does not change the fact that a legendary troop exceeds the power curve using the hero as a baseline than a mythical troop by such a large margin. Good balance needs to be good both in math and practice, and both are skewed strongly in Grapplepot’s favor since her trait activates more often than most, and has a greater power than other legendary units.

Just to further illustrate; lets take a look at some more 4/5 match traits which affect stats from mythic units; not counting the several which have Huge:

The world Breaker: 4 points to a random stat. Using the ratio 1:1:2:4 you have a 50% chance of a bonus worth 4, 25% chance of a bonus worth 8, and a 25% chance of a bonus worth 16 on a single unit.

Plague: Enemies lose 3 skill points per 4/5 match. This is another random one if I’m reading it correctly, which on the curve can do anywhere between 12 worth of reduction to 48 at the luckiest if magic is hit for all four troops. Since it’s a 50% chance that it will reduce a stat worth 1, it will skew heavily towards the lower values, probably somewhere between 15-25 realistically.

Elemaugrim: Reduces enemy’s attack by 4 on 4/5 match. This one is a consistent one, and using the ratio given, is worth 32 points, so this one is the first one so far which beats Grapplepot in value consistently, though again, Grapplepot’s trait activates far more often than Elemaugrim will.

That is all of them. Only one out of the three consistently is worth more than Grapplepot, in spite of being a higher tier. So lets look at some from the legendary set, again not counting big and huge because that would be too long.

Kraken: Deals 3 damage on 4/5 matches. So, that’s worth 12 points according to the ratio.

Willow: All beast allies gain 2 attack and life on 4/5 matches. According to the ratio, that would be worth 24, so this one slightly edges out Grapplepot in value, but not frequency.

Emperor Liang: Exchanges 2 life for 2 magic on 4/5 matches. According to the ratio, that is worth 6, but it’s a first tier trait so it’s not supposed to be as big.

Hyndla Frostcrown: 2 life and magic to giants on 4/5 matches. so, that would be 24 again assuming a full giant team.

Behemoth: Gain 8 life on 4/5 matches. So, that is a flat 8 value according to the ratio.

Chief Stronghorn: Gain 1 attack, armor and life on 4/5 matches for tauros. So, on a full tauros team you get a value of 16.

DRACOS 1337: Decrease a random enemy’s magic by 2 on 4/5 matches, so that would be worth 8 according to the ratio.

Moloch: Enemies lose 1 skill point on 4/5 matches, which is a random one again which can be anywhere between 4 and 16, skewing low due to a 1 value being 50% of the possible values.

Hero: (Dragonguard) 1 life to dragons on 4/5 matches, worth a value of 4 if the team is all dragon.

That’s all the Legendaries with stat point affecting traits that activate on 4/5 matches.

So, when comparing just stat point value changes on 4/5 matches, using the given ratio, Grapplepot clearly beats 2 out of 3 Mythics, and 7/9 legendaries on raw value.

And that is, again, before even accounting for the fact that her skill triggers far more often than any of these other unit in this list. This fact raises her from one shy of the top 3 in the game for this type of trait to having by far the most powerful version of this trait in the entire game. And she is still only a legendary, and not mythic.

@slypenslyde: I’m not arguing that she is the sole reason goblin teams are hard to beat; but her trait is clearly unbalanced compared to anything else like it in the game.


#9

I think most players will feel “meh” about this particular issue. Sometimes what makes a card interesting is its power is higher than its rarity implies. For example: TDS is effectively a mythic. So is Queen Mab. Given how much power they represent, Forest Troll and Nyx behave like at least Legendaries. Valkyrie and Mercy frequent endgame teams and play Legendary-level roles.

I think this is fine. If we decided that certain levels of power could ONLY exist within certain rarities, it’d take even longer for players to reach decent levels of play. The day a player gets TDS is a life-changing event. It would be even more rare if TDS were a mythic. Similarly, what would the game look like if Alchemist, Valkyrie, and Mercy were elevated to “what they’re worth”?

You don’t have to agree with me but I think in the end, Grapplepot’s trait is a Legendary level of power, and in general “gain stats per thing that happens” is not as valuable as it looks unless it’s at least +3 Magic.


#10

I do get the math but I believe Queen Grapplepot isn’t that bad, most of the time I seldom run into her and most players are using Goblin Rocket and Goblin Shaman in her place. The unbalanced goblins are Nobend Brothers and Princess Fizzbang. And I’m starting to believe the AI is not ‘randomly’ generating their abilities are they should. And if you don’t beat these goblins by turn 3 you’ll got a 5 minute display of AI comboing your death. At this point I’m forced to retreat.

I do think something needs to be done with the goblins like the recent change with The Soul Dragon.

I do think freeze is a good fix but it’s not fast enough to slow them down but if we get a faster freeze then it might do more bad then good.


#11

How so? It triggers off the exact same mechanics. We have “per turn” traits and “on 4-5 match” traits, this is the latter and triggers no more or less than any of the other ones that trigger via the same. …


#12

@Slypenslyde Utility can be hard to balance; some units are game changers because they are so useful. That isn’t bad because the added utility adds to the variety in viable playstyles. The thing that I see wrong with Grapplepot is that it doesn’t add utility, she just gives her team hundreds of extra hit points per battle, while not actually changing the play style at all.

@Shimrra Her trait triggers off of the same mechanics, but since she is a goblin, 4/5 matches will occur with far greater frequency. Goblins mess with the board with most of their spells, which leads to 4/5 matches occurring at random, then also get free turns so any 4/5 matches that are set up by the board manipulation are also claimed by the player or AI using goblins.


#13

I don’t think that is true at all. While it may feel like that because of their inbuild extraturns there are plenty of troops far better at generating 4-matches than Goblins, transformer setups that can create virtually infinite 4-match chains for example.


#14

Ah, but most loop teams using transformers don’t follow the format of all units being the same species. For example, some of the better transformers, such as Alchemist, Valkyrie, Banshee, Giant Spider, and Green Seer are mostly different species; with Banshee and Green Seer being both Fey, but not being able to feed into each-other.

So, any loop team that happens to have one of these 4/5 match guys in it will activate a very low tier version of their traits potential, affecting only themselves, or one other unit, rather than the whole team.


#15

I bet if you had:

Nobend Bros, Fizzbang, Goblin Rocket and Grapplepot…

It’d trigger just as many times as with:

Nobend Bros, Fizzbang, Goblin Rocket and Elemaugrim.


#16

That is only true for the ones that actually do have trooptype/colour limitations, most of the ones you listed do not care what they are teamed up with at all just that they generate 4-matches.
If anything this shows up another limitation of Grapplepot only working with Gobbos.


#17

It would activate as many times, but after the 6-8th time or so, it would have no effect anymore. Buffs on the other hand have no limit to how many times it works.

@Gouki: There are no troops that have buffs that affect every other troop without regard to type or color. They all either buff themselves only, or have a type/color limit. The troops that debuff, meanwhile, have either a hard limit on how much they can activate due to the skill they target hitting 0, or are random in nature.


#18

Well you listed them yourself i don’t know why it matters that stat debuffs stop at 0 or that some traits are random in nature but if we need to go into specifics on other 4-match traits we also must consider the usefulness of Grapplepots trait i guess.
Lifegain has a hard diminishing return at the point where you have gained enough life to survive the battle until its end. Which in many matches goes as low as 0 with most of the time the healthgain on at least 1 often even up to 3 troops being completely irrelevant for the battles outcome.

I don’t believe there is an actual numeric value to compare 4-match traits by, if so the Devs have already ignored this value many many times before and after Grapplepot.
If i got to choose one of the existing 4-match traits for my perfect troop Grapplepots would be really damn low on the list.


#19

My opinion is if you allow Goblins to get the 20 turns it would take to generate 100 extra HP or the 40+ turns to get “hundreds” of extra HP, the Grapplepot slot doesn’t matter and the opponent would’ve won with 3 troops.

There are only 2 strategies that work against Goblins:

  • High amounts of aggressive damage. (Infernus does this well, as does Worldbreaker.)
  • Turn denial. (The Silent One, Queen Mab, etc.)

Both of these inevitably lose if Goblins get a 4-8 turn lead on you. That’s “dozens” of extra HP and easy to overcome with Worldbreaker or TDS or Infernus or Queen Titania or dozens of other very strong troops.

You’re vastly overestimating the number of 4-5 matches in the average game, or including games where you lost long before the last turn. I’ve had situations where Goblins killed 3 of my troops then, for whatever reason, took 10+ turns to go off. Nothing that happened after the turn where they killed 3 of my troops mattered: that was when the game was over. I just wanted the pity souls I’d gathered.


#20

100 HP isn’t 20 matches though. Goblins get 5 HP each from the skill, which is 20 total HP generated per match. 100 HP is generated in just 5 matches.