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I’d like to open a discussion about the two newest adventures, with the purpose of actually thinking critically about them, recognizing both the bad, but also the good.

I understand the frustration; I also feel it. For me, it’s worst when you either:

1) Get blown out of the water completely with no counterplay or

2) Despite building up synergistic powers or a strong deck, you lose due to RNG or a stupid encounter.

But I feel like we should try to recognize what the actual issues are, instead of just mindlessly complaining. I also believe they do some things right that people aren’t giving them credit for.

This post will be focused on Lissandra and I will begin with what I think is good.

Lissandra

Pros:

1) The different Lissandra encounter powers (I Am Inevitable, At Last They Awaken, etc.) add variety to the runs. It sometimes forces you to adapt and problem-solve, which is nice.

2) The lack of healing after boss fights is a nice thematic fit to the ice tundra in Freljord and also makes you hyper-aware of your health. You think more in the long term than you do in other adventures. This is a good thing, in my opinion.

3) Having diverse run paths - The Ethereal Remitter and Mind Meld nodes are a nice touch. Having an “easy route,” a harder route, and then a really difficult route (top, middle, and bottom, respectively) is good, generally. For example, having to think whether to go fight an It That Stares with I Am Inevitable for a Remitter power are the types of decisions which can make each run unique. There is an overreliance on the Remitter powers, though, which I think should be slightly adjusted.

4) The epic shops giving you items for your deck and champions is nice; sometimes it can even be stronger than powers.

5) You can actually outvalue, outcontrol, and/or outsustain Lissandra. This is a great change from Asol, where it often feels like you’ve either won by turn 5 or you’re left behind in dust with two Asols on the board spamming Celestials. Lissandra can run out of cards or be outvalued fairly easily in the right circumstances.

6) The adventure is HARD. Obviously, I am going to talk about this as a con as well, but it does give a more challenging playground for some of the stronger champions (and eventually, for 6-star champions in general). I don’t have a 6-starred champion yet (I am F2P and I am close), but what I have noticed from gameplays of Snnuy and Spicy Toast Gaming, is that you always have to be on your toes. Even with a turbo broken 6-star champion, you might lose a life or the run if you’re not careful. I think that’s good; you shouldn't be on autopilot for the most difficult adventure in the game.

7) There is both SKILL and EXPERIENCE required in completing this adventure. An extension to the previous point, but I would like to emphasize this. I have been playing since the beta, played the original Lab of Legends mode, and I have hit Masters multiple times in PVP. I can recognize the need for skill and thinking, even versus Lissandra. Not everybody needs to win with Vex 0-star (I don’t even know how that’s possible, tbh), but most 3-star max level champions can consistently beat her with at least around 30-50% win rate, from my experience. Some need BiS relics, while others don’t. Some can almost never lose, others sometimes struggle to win even one encounter. BUT with proper piloting, the majority of champions are good enough to comfortably beat her. I am not trying to flame anyone by saying this. Instead, try to focus on what and if you might be doing anything wrong. Think if you should you develop a card or attack immediately? Should you cut a card or heal? The game is filled with options that can fundamentally change your game or run. I don’t buy the “doesn’t require skill” mindset.

I’d also like to say that when I first started playing PoC, Aurelion Sol seemed frustrating and too difficult to me, similar to what people are saying about Lissandra. I couldn’t beat him unless I had a 3-star maxed out champion, which felt ages away. Now I run him over with any 2-star lvl 10 champion no problem, and I find him quite fun. There is a learning curve to the card game itself, as well as to the game mode. And that’s good.

Cons:

I will be shorter on the cons because they have been mentioned in the past and are much more straightforward. However, keeping them short does not mean they are not absurd or incredibly problematic. They very much are, and I do think they are mistakes.

1) Lack of powers. The entire idea behind PoC is powers, so why are they gone? I personally don’t enjoy monthlies that much for the same reason, but Lissandra makes this much worse. Good powers make runs much more enjoyable; don’t limit them as much as you have here (but don’t go overboard either; it loses its uniqueness that way).

2) The little moments of RNG which are incredibly frustrating. I have lost way too many games because the thralls randomly receive scout from who knows where and just OTK me. I mentioned there is a clear skill aspect; here I recognize the abhorrent RNG that can end runs for no reason as well. Some nodes work too well with the Lissandra powers too, making it almost unwinnable (Bone Scryer with the doubling stats fearsome power, or Rimetusk Shaman freezing an extra unit every turn). I think some encounters should be banned from receiving certain amplifiers; the difficulty difference just feels unfair. Some RNG is good and needed, but you shouldn’t immediately lose because of it.

3) Lissandra limiting playstyles and fun with her 3 card per turn limit. I understand where they’re coming from with this, but the execution doesn’t make much sense. There must be other ways to do this, or if there aren’t, then don’t do it. Samira has to abandon her entire playstyle and use Oath of the Guardians to have a chance. Why? Some people enjoy playing Master Yi or Nami; don’t straight-up murder their champions...

4) Difficulty. The jump from Asol to Lissandra is not “a single star” (4 -> 5); it’s more. The difficulty should have been gradual. Going from Asol to Lissandra feels bad. I am hoping they release a proper 4.5-star adventure (which does not seem to be Swain), which would fill the giant power creep hole left behind.

5) Unfairness. It’s a boss fight and it should feel like an uphill battle, but the mana and power discrepancy is laughable at times. This is solved to an extent with the constellations, but even with a 30-lvl 5-star champion, some runs feel impossible to win. That’s how you know something has gone wrong.

6) Keeping the different paths hidden. Again, why? If you’re Jinx, you almost cannot win versus I Am Inevitable. Let me pick the proper path instead of hoping I will narrowly avoid that power.

7) Not drawing your main champion. As of right now, we are incredibly dependent on drawing our main champion. If we don’t, we probably lose. This is just a low chance, feels bad moment that serves no real purpose. We should be guaranteed to draw our champion for as difficult adventures as Lissandra.

As mentioned, I hope this can spark up some discussion about actual criticism of the adventures. Let me know if my points make sense or don't. But almost all complaints I have seen are of the type: adventure is horrible, it's too rng and 0 skill, etc. I hope to make a part 2 on the new Swain adventure (which has much different pros and cons in my opinion) after gaining some experience on it.

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27 days ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

This is a fantastic feedback post. Great analysis on what works for you, what doesn’t, and why you feel that way.