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薔薇語

Season Three Arena Draft concepts

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With season two winding down for me I am starting to think of team themes for next season.

Things that I have learned to be great bonuses:

When in doubt, go for a cute or sexy female.

Fame is far more important than power.

Good guys play better than vllains.

Points are important but can be hard to gain in the draft.

I personly prefer having a theme rather than a random association but it can be hard to have a narrow theme when drafting as it makes snipes a bigger problem.

___

So thinking of the above I want to find a theme that let's me have a good chance next time while satisfying as many of my above observations as I can. To aid in that I thought I would outsource it a bit. Does anyone have any thoughts?

My first theme was Japan. My second was monstrous characters. For my third some ideas I have now are:

Mind over Magic: Only Science based characters who have advance degrees. Thus characters like the good Dr. Light or Peter Parker. No characters like Doom as he also has magic.

Pan Asia Power: Only characters from Asia in general. This should ease my need to find specific matches from as narrow a field as 'Japan'.

Villains Unleashed: Only bad guys for each pick. Lots of variety and many power houses but they are limited in their popular support so points will matter a ton.

Spring Time of Youth OR New Kids on the Block: The former is only children or youths. The latter is only children or youth who have a pedigree for heroism or villainy.

Any other ideas you all have? Or suggestions for how to fill one of those ideas?


La Rose.

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I am learning pretty much the same lessons as the OP for my first season as a player.

 

My recommendation is to go for Villains Unleashed. Find the most powerful and ugliest male supervillains you can and forge them into a winning team. Consider it a challenge. ;)

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I thought about drafting only characters that other owners declined to keep from last time - Etrigan, Krypto, etc.  Looking back, I'm glad I didn't go that way. I did manage to draft one such character, and he's gone 0-4 for me so far.

 

YUNoLikeBB_zpsdjex7bsc.jpg

 

 

I also briefly considered an all animal (or animal-themed) team for this time. It would have included the likes of Lockjaw, Krypto, Darkwing Duck, Underdog, Mighty Mouse, Magsquito, the Magnetic Mosquito, maybe Tigra, Vixen, Jayna from the Wonder Twins, etc.

 

I currently have four different concepts for teams for Season III.  If I end up discarding any of them, I'll post 'em here for general viewing.  

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The one character I have on my team that I think is punching well above her weight class is Phantom Lady. She's done pretty well in vote earning ability, even against some real power monsters.

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Indeed, the rehash characters I don't think have fared well. I originally thought about going after Squirrel Girl and Krypto myself (one being a former team member and the other being an enemy) but declined for a few reasons: the concept was hard to use* and I worried they wouldn't get any love. I figured I was safe with Big G because of his fame. I did get Hellboy but that was because I couldn't get Yoda and didn't want to put much more thought into who could qualify for that stop. So I went with an obvious choice that was around from last season. He has done okay but nothing spectacular. 

*One concept I had before Monster Mash was "The Rejects". Only characters who fought in Season 1 but didn't get picked up. I decided to not go with that idea. 

La Rose. 

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I am learning pretty much the same lessons as the OP for my first season as a player.

 

My recommendation is to go for Villains Unleashed. Find the most powerful and ugliest male supervillains you can and forge them into a winning team. Consider it a challenge. ;)

 

 

You have no idea how close I am to doing that. 

 

La Rose. 

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Another concept could be "A Family Affair". Every character must have some kind of family relation to another on the team. Something like how I have Mystique and Nightcrawler. But this idea, while novel, would be quite hard to pull off. A snipe on any character could be devastating. Plus matching two members from the same family up under two separate criteria would be hard. Perhaps if the Commish would allow a person to wait one turn and pic two at a time that could easy the selection process for them but means they have to survive two rounds of Snipes per character rather than just one. 

La Roe. 

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I am learning pretty much the same lessons as the OP for my first season as a player.

 

My recommendation is to go for Villains Unleashed. Find the most powerful and ugliest male supervillains you can and forge them into a winning team. Consider it a challenge. ;)

I kinda did this with my team of mostly monstrous misfits!  And it has definitely been a challenge.  Going all bad has occured to me and I even have a possible name: The Punishment Gluttons.  Is it possible to win any matches when you never get the popular votes?

 

Another rule: Winning Teams have at least one Martian or Kryptonian.  Martians and Kryptonians never lose.  Far from being considered ridiculous Munchkins with every power in the Champions rulebook, they are fan favorites. 

 

And a counter-intuitive one: do not pick popular characters with cinematic adaptations.  They are considered tired and blase.  Stick with heroic, handsome/beautiful second stringers.  (although imho this makes for pretty boring teams).

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With season two winding down for me I am starting to think of team themes for next season.

 

Things that I have learned to be great bonuses:

 

When in doubt, go for a cute or sexy female.

 

Fame is far more important than power.

 

Good guys play better than villains.

 

Points are important but can be hard to gain in the draft.

 

I personally prefer having a theme rather than a random association but it can be hard to have a narrow theme when drafting as it makes snipes a bigger problem.

 

___

 

 

Mmm, often true. Related:

Make sure you have one or two other art options in case the one the Commish puts up is deemed 'bad' by others. The Commish has put out some great finds, but sometimes not so much. Characters with less exposure have less art to draw from, so especially for them you're going to want to provide. Many people do go by the art. A great piece of art for a moderately powerful superhero means they have  a better chance against a megapowerful super who only has so so art.

IMO anyway

 

You can go for the sexy or cute female, but be wary, if you're too obvious (or even gloaty) about it, some may go out of their way to prove how they are immune to such charms "no really" ;) Even sex appeal can face a backlash.

 

 

So thinking of the above I want to find a theme that let's me have a good chance next time while satisfying as many of my above observations as I can. To aid in that I thought I would outsource it a bit. Does anyone have any thoughts?

 

My first theme was Japan. My second was monstrous characters. For my third some ideas I have now are:

 

Mind over Magic: Only Science based characters who have advance degrees. Thus characters like the good Dr. Light or Peter Parker. No characters like Doom as he also has magic.

 

Pan Asia Power: Only characters from Asia in general. This should ease my need to find specific matches from as narrow a field as 'Japan'.

 

Villains Unleashed: Only bad guys for each pick. Lots of variety and many power houses but they are limited in their popular support so points will matter a ton.

 

Spring Time of Youth OR New Kids on the Block: The former is only children or youths. The latter is only children or youth who have a pedigree for hwroism ot villainy.

 

Any other ideas you all have? Or suggestions for how to fill one of those ideas?

 

 

La Rose.

 

The problem with the Youth angle is you can have an opponent make a valid "Experience wins" take on his own counter to it. 

Don't forget to consider the limitations others' rosters will impose on you. If it seems like everyone has a Magneto, Polaris, or other electromagnetic member on their team, your "All tech team" may find its robots and devices fried routinely.

Know the forumites and their preferences: You've already got somethings covered, but as an example of catering to the crowd? If I had to assemble a theme team from scratch I'd probably fill it all up with LoSH members. They have some die hard fans on these boards if comments and votes are to be believed. They don't always win, but they have some almost guarenteed 'I always vote for' types. On the other hand, I can't believe I feel sorry for Batman, but folks really enjoy seeing Bruce gets his lumps. Some popular characters (Wolverine would be another guess) may face quite a backlash

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Thanks for the observations, Hermit. I agree that art work is important. I wish I had recalled that when posting the above. 

Part of the problem I had with drafting against other teams is trying to fit anti-pics in my already limited theme. Last season I tried to work around that obvious problem by pre-planning all my picks such that I wouldn't have any amazingly big gaps. I had a powerhouse: Big G. I had a completely different style powerhouse: Dr. Light**, my semi-familiar name: Flash (Rei Tanaka), cute girl: Go-Go, etc. But that didn't quite work.

I think one thing about trying to do anti pics is that everyone is going to try and do that. But no one is going to have a full team of Anti-Tech or Anti-Magic pics. And if they don't, then they really are only getting that edge for one match. It could be the match that decides a week, but it is still just one match. And unless one drafts a completely dedicated "All metal users" kind of theme, it would be hard for your opponent to know what you will bring out on any given day. 

Also, even if one does have obvious pics - such as mine, then it is still not an easy match up just because the opponent knows the team. I have always used Godzilla on the Islands. I have always use Swamp Thing in the forests. I used and would have always used Kurt on the plane. The Bridge, Cave, Manor and Coliseum were the only ones that were really up in the air - and even then you could probably guess who I would put in each given the layout of the rest of the week. 
 

 

La Rose. 

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Silly concepts are important to me. So....

 

If I were playing this game, I would be tempted to draft up a team full of underground comix characters and allied "super"'s, and close out with disgusting, smelly, ugly, stupid ones from other sources. Wonder Wart-Hog would be my leadoff man, but throw in Cheech Wizard, Fat Freddy's Cat, etc.

 

An intriguing if reprehensible team concept is "Who Had Who", a string of characters who were linked one-to-the-next by having slept with each other. Double points for things that were not human (or weren't any more).

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This quote is from a different thread:

 

 

However, in fairness, if the Commish wants to put her on the banned list at the end of this season, I would certainly understand.

I think this comment brings up a good point: what power levels are people really dealing with in the arena?

 

Without double checking, I think it is fair to say that everyone has at least one overly powerful character - Godzilla being mine, for example. These are characters who, while not actually being on a ban lit, are most certainly close contenders for it. Characters who, minus writer's fiat, should always win (or in the case of Batman - always lose). There is no real way that Groo is going to beat Ms. Marvel. Or that Tygra is going to stop Godzilla. The difference in power is absurd. YET that is the kind of variation we have here. So, is this a problem that we should think about or is the the status quo okay?

 

Let's take the latter first and assume it is okay. If it is okay, then why have a ban list that includes anything short of "Galactus", "Eternity", "The one above all", etc.? We have Hulk (essentially world buster) and Maxima, why not have Superman and Strange? They really aren't that far off from each other. I mean, Hulk did take out Strange in Continuity under reasonable terms. Maxima does fight Superman to standstills. Doomsday is the creature that killed Superman.

 

It just strikes me that we should probably contract the Ban list to only being truly intergalactic powers like I stated above. Perhaps what would be better would be to have "weight classes". People are only allowed one Ultra-Galactic, 3 World Busters / Savers, and 5 nation / City / Street Heroes. That limits the race to the top while allowing there to be a top. But then we would still have the same issue we do now where Michonne must find a way to KO the Juggernaut. So, unless we also define arenas to be class specific or give points to act as a handicap, we really can not avoid that issue.

 

The other side would promote an expansion of the Ban List. A move away from "Ultra-Galactic" and saying no one can go above the 'Nation' or 'world' level. Kind of like the idea of saying "if you can't build the hero on 500pts, then it can't be played". That might encourage some more diversity.

 

Anyway, those are just my rambling thoughts on this.

 

La Rose.

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While I like the idea of weight classes, I'm not sure if it can be done practically.

 

Part of the problem would be agreeing on who fits into what weight category, but I suppose the Commissioner could be the one to make that judgment.

 

Some skilled heroes like Hawkeye and Green Arrow do okay against superhumans, but others (like Blonde Phantom) don't. I don't think I'll be picking any more skilled hero types because it's more likely they'll get outmatched by some powerhouse and get rebooted.

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While I like the idea of weight classes, I'm not sure if it can be done practically.

 

Part of the problem would be agreeing on who fits into what weight category, but I suppose the Commissioner could be the one to make that judgment.

 

Some skilled heroes like Hawkeye and Green Arrow do okay against superhumans, but others (like Blonde Phantom) don't. I don't think I'll be picking any more skilled hero types because it's more likely they'll get outmatched by some powerhouse and get rebooted.

Yeah, it would seem like a hard thing to do (having weight classes). And that leads to a level of complication that might not be inducive to a purely 'for fun' game on a messaging board.

 

As to you not picking skilled normals - that is part of the thing I worry about. Leading from Season 1 and Season 2, I think people will be far less inclined to go for variety. While I don't have strong facts to back it up (because I don't have access to last season's rosters), I feel like we have already seen some power bloat from our members this season over the last one. I can't imagine that trend will not continue into the next one.

 

La Rose.

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Steve's right. There's a reason we just have to trust the commish to make the final call. "No way that should happen" or the equivalent has been argued over more than once after a win/loss by more than one person only to have someone disagree. Both make their points, and often hit that 'agree to disagree' stage out of necessity.  A large group squabbling over who should be in what weight class would probably take longer any of us would like to commit.

 

Don't get me wrong, if enough folks think This or that character is overpowered, then I think they have every right to mention their opinion to the Commish and then move on, but Log's worked his ass off for us and I think even if everyone doesn't agree with this or that, he's earned our trust.

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Yeah, I agree the issue of power disparity is not one that is easy to resolve even assuming it could be. That is part and parcel of the Arena. But I want to be a bit more clear in saying that I am NOT saying that is a bad thing all together. Just that if we are willing to accept such power disparities, why not just loosen up on the ban list and allow Superman and Dr. Strange? They are not really going to unbalance the matchups any more than Godzilla, Hulk, Thor, or Maxima do. All three of those characters have been taken down in matches. Yet at least one of them has fought Superman to a stalemate and another has broken Dr. Strange.

 

Sure, Franklin Richards might be a bit much (He does subjugate Galactus after all), but Dr. Strange is far from that. So is Superman, for that matter.

 

La Rose.

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I haven't gone through the statistics, but skill types seem to have a harder time reaching vote parity with true superhumans.

 

As time goes on, perhaps fewer skill types will be chosen. I once thought about picking Jonah Hex for Season 3, but if he was set against Swamp Thing or Maxima, the chances of rebooting would skyrocket.

 

One suggestion I would make would be to have one arena each week set aside for non-powered types. That way you could have Huntress matched against Nightwing, for example. If neither team has a skill type, they could then pick powered team members for the match.

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Regarding weight classes: not a chance. It's a good idea, and one I've considered before, but I can't even get everyone agreeing on what constitutes a legacy character or a focus wielding character; there's zero chance that agreement would exist on the different weight classes.

 

That being said, I was considering making a season (3?) entirely a "non-powered" arena where combatants would be centered around the Nightwing/ Green Arrow/ Black Canary/ Captain America level. This would still need power levels established first, but there are so many fun characters, including the Golden Agers people like dipping into, that this might make for an interesting set-up.

 

Thoughts?

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As to you not picking skilled normals - that is part of the thing I worry about. Leading from Season 1 and Season 2, I think people will be far less inclined to go for variety. While I don't have strong facts to back it up (because I don't have access to last season's rosters), I feel like we have already seen some power bloat from our members this season over the last one. I can't imagine that trend will not continue into the next one.

 

La Rose.

 

Oh yeah, there's definitely been a power bloat.  Just look at the Draft Picks for Round 4:

 

Round 4	Summary
	
bigbywolfe	Black Adam
Steve   	Sinestro
Bazza   	Dr. Doom
CaptnStrawberry	Emma Frost
Lady Pariah	Karnilla
SKJAM!   	Magneto
Enforcer84	Silver Samurai
The Rose	Mystique
Psybolt  	Darth Vader
Pariah  	Juggernaut 
BlueCloud2k2	Mimic
Hermit   	Maxima

Just in that one round, I think we saw a lot more heavy hitters (and characters more likely to break arenas and opponents) than we did last season.  I was going to draft Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) in that round, but after seeing who everyone else was taking, I felt like I had to take Juggernaut instead.

 

That has generally worked out, though, so I guess I've just contributed to the issue.

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Oh yeah, there's definitely been a power bloat.  Just look at the Draft Picks for Round 4:

 

Just in that one round, I think we saw a lot more heavy hitters (and characters more likely to break arenas and opponents) than we did last season.  I was going to draft Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) in that round, but after seeing who everyone else was taking, I felt like I had to take Juggernaut instead.

 

That has generally worked out, though, so I guess I've just contributed to the issue.

 

I have to be honest, that's the level I expected to see more of when we started. The game has really taken on a life of its own though :D

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Oh yeah, there's definitely been a power bloat. Just look at the Draft Picks for Round 4:

 

 

Just in that one round, I think we saw a lot more heavy hitters (and characters more likely to break arenas and opponents) than we did last season. I was going to draft Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) in that round, but after seeing who everyone else was taking, I felt like I had to take Juggernaut instead.

 

That has generally worked out, though, so I guess I've just contributed to the issue.

As a bit of a self serving notice, I would like to note I picked Mystique that round and my original pick for that spot was Groot. My Second pic (before choosing Mystique) was Mimic. (^^)

 

La Rose.

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