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The State of the Meta (Imbalance Between Skulls + Magic)

I feel like this is an important subject in terms of how the game has changed over time, and how there is now a massive imbalance of power in terms of mechanics.

As it stands now: skull damage troops, mechanics, buffs, classes…are VASTLY superior to anything you can do with magic…to the point now where even top tier troops a year ago are incredibly underwhelming.

I’m curious what you guys think.

Edit: I’m aware I didn’t list the %’s accurately, but the points of the video are still all valid.


I disagree only bc looping magic is a thing. Gobtruffle. Avelorn. L&D. Fkn spiders summons for days…


I tend to agree that the game has shifted heavier in favor of skull spamming/smashing teams. I actually kind of wish that Doomskulls had never been introduced. Although looping magic teams are still quite viable, skull teams still seem to have a noticeable edge and a bit more variety regarding troop composition.
Since Doomskulls are not going anywhere, I would actually like to see a new status effect introduced - something like Blind where a troop so inflicted would do no skull damage 50 or 75% of the time. Or perhaps Enfeeble where the inflicted troop will only do 25 or 50% of normal skull damage. A single, well devised new status ailment could help even the scales without shifting the balance too far in the other direction.


Variety is good. :blush:

As for other proposals, even when entangled and vs Gorgotha/Glacyon ToD rooms, Doomskull loops still pay off at times. Remember, nerfs to some game modes can have unintended consequences to others. Let’s not make delves harder. Thank you.

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I don’t see my suggestions as nerfs, simply a counterbalance to the proliferation of skull spamming troops/weapons. And regarding Delves, well that is a whole other conversation…

Actually, upon consideration, a skull mitigating status effect akin to the previously proposed Blind or Enfeeble could make Delves easier. A player almost always has a noticeable advantage to the A.I. regarding the application and clearing of status effects.


I agree…there aren’t that many magic boosters that can compete with skull bashing. There are one or 2 exceptions however, I use sacrifice quite a lot to boost magic in my Orbweaver team to help boost the class. Sacrifice p1 kills p4 but soon you have a spider summon for sacrifice to boost again. Weaver and L and D damage becomes colossal. Just gotta keep sacrifice alive long enough for a couple casts.

I think you have a good conclusion and I’d like to see a better balance, but here’s an alternate take on what’s “wrong”:

GoW is a PvE game, not a PvP game. People have different expectations for PvE vs. PvP. People want to win 90% or even better vs. PvE. That’s definitely an RPG expectation. The whole point of gaining strength through grinding is to get to a point where you routinely beat PvE opponents.

This clashes hard with the concepts PvP puts forth. Players DO expect to lose frequently in PvP. Another player is likely to play a team smarter than the CPU, and you expect that smarter opponent to be able to give you a better challenge. This is why (in general, not in GoW) some people like PvP, some people like PvE, and generally players gravitate towards one or the other.

GoW has nothing but PvE. Skull damage is really good for PvE. It’s fast, it scales fast, and it destroys troops fast with almost no natural defenses. Magic is better for PvP. That we are still fighting about Life and Death is an obvious reason why. L&D wins a long, stalled game. Skulls make sure games don’t go long. But L&D thwarts that by having a rare condition: “If you do skull damage the game gets longer!”

So I feel GoW is at a crossroads it’s always been at: does the design support mechanics like Doomskulls that speed up the game and favors PvE style players, or does it support mechanics like L&D that slow down the game and favors PvP style players?

Personally I’d describe myself as “I really like the faster PvE style play, but if you make the rewards for slower PvP style play worth it I’m listening.” If I make X resources per minute with skulls, the way to talk me into slower play is to make sure I feel like I’m getting AT LEAST X resources per minute using magic.


There’s already Entangle though. While it doesn’t stop damage completely(+X damage on 4 or more of a kind, and +damage from Doomskulls is a thing), Attack to 0 is still pretty serious thing that puts your team out of much harm.

That, and I still rely on Spell Damage anyway. Attack/Skull Damage may be more powerful, but Spell Damage is more reliable.

The A.I. does what it wants, it’s either gonna loop you to death with magic or skulls. LOL