We continue our SolForge Card Previews today with the Electro Net, our first non-creature Alloyin card! I had a very interesting IRC conversation to thank for picking out this particular card. Someone approached me out of the blue by saying that Electro Net might be overpowered and people just don’t know it yet. I strongly disagree. And while I’ll mostly stick to why I disagree for this article, I feel like there was one good point brought up in that conversation worth sharing as well. Here’s the card text:
Rank 1: Target creature gets -5 attack.
Rank 2: Target creature gets -10 attack.
Rank 3: Target creature gets -15 attack.
Pretty straightforward, right? At face value, this card immobilizes most creatures by making them useless for attack. I don’t want to get into too much of why I dislike the card, because I’d hate to sway your votes on the poll. Heck, I may have already done that. Let’s get to the poll before things go too far…
Whew. Now that the poll is out of the way, let me explain a little bit about why I feel like Electro Net is a hopelessly Weak card.
They way I look at SolForge (for better or for worse) is in trades. As we’ve seen in some of the Modules, trades can be favorable, unfavorable, or even. One of the major strategic goals in SolForge is to have as many favorable trades as you can manage within your two cards. You are constantly asking yourself, how can I gain the upper hand over my opponent with what I have in my hand? If a card makes an even trade, it’s a no-change situation. If a card makes an unfavorable trade, you’re probably kicking yourself or hoping that it will come back with a much more favorable trade later (say, in the case of Scorchmane or Chrogias). The more plays it takes to counter a singular play that my opponent makes, the more likely you can consider it an unfavorable trade. Example. If I have to throw two Rank 1 creatures at my opponent’s singular Rank 2 creature, I think it would be safe to say that the trade was unfavorable and has now set me back a little bit. I’ve spent two of my precious resources (card plays) to their one. Ouch.
So, the question arises for me, when will Electro Net ever be anything more than just an even trade when I play it? Think about it. Let’s say you just threw a Rank 1 Net at my Forgeplate 1. What have you gained? Well, you’ve successfully disabled one of my creatures with a single card. Now you don’t have to block that Forgeplate with anything. It can just sit there clogging up one of my lanes. How do I look at it? Well, I’d say just a smidgen better than an even trade for me!
That doesn’t make any sense, you might say. Let me explain. Even trades happen all the time. I kill your creature with mine in this beautiful Kharmic Strike (L5R reference for those of you in the know) that leaves both creatures dead. This kind of 1-for-1 trade is common. If you Electro Net my Forgeplate, I actually come out ahead of that circumstance, if only a tiny bit. My creature is still alive while your card is spent. A creature that is alive is still a threat, even if it has 0 attack. I can pump it with any number of cards (Enrage, Fangwood, General, etc.), I could sacrifice it for an effect (if a card in the future calls for such a thing), I can still use its abilities if they trigger from events (like a Shaper).
But it clogs up my lane and slows down my game, you retort. Well, I can easily argue that it clogs up your lane just as much, if not more! Since I’ve already relegated the Forgeplate to the equivalence of an even trade, I can feel free to replace it on the board without regret. It clogs nothing for me. It doesn’t even stall my game. If you want to play a creature into the lane with my Netted Forgeplate, on the other hand, you’re now spending a second card on killing it off. Advantage to me.
The one saving argument I’ve seen for Electro Net to date is that sometimes saving your own creatures from death can create more than a 1-for-1 advantage. Take Yuru for example. If Yuru is about to bite the dust, dropping an Electro Net on the creature across from him can allow him to create more Zombies and therefore more advantage. I’d say that this is a situational advantage and the one thing that stops me from saying that the card is completely Not Worth It.
Now, here’s there reason I think the card is hopelessly Weak, and why I’m going to vote it as such. It can’t be fixed. It’s on the cusp of being a strong card. It’s one of the few cards that can reliably stop a Zimus from rampaging in endless rebirth. How do you adjust something like that without tipping the scales too far in the other direction? I’ll just say that I don’t think that increasing the penalty is the correct path to take. I have a few ideas, but I’m curious as to what you think. Leave us a comment below with your vote and let’s start some conversation!