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NG_Beholder on 09:29, 3. Apr, 2013
Well, as you all know, I love to play Beast decks. I always used a Beast deck - pure, Beast/Frenzy, Beast/Barbarian and even Beast/Soldier back in the old days.

And now there is another round of Beast evolution, and I have to say I’m really unhappy about it.

Overall, I'm not against this kind of keyword change at all, but now you have to play this keyword completely different way, which I strongly dislike. How did you play Beasts before? A turn or two for supportive cards - Thunderbird, Fire fox, Giant bear and Wolf spirit are the reason why Beasts were really strong and effective - then an uncommon or a rare on token. That additional damage used to be really huge considering Beast cheapness. Even Griffin had 1.9 attack/cost ratio, Manticore had 2.8, and Beast mistress had 4.4 (not considering Frenzy bonus, but I'll speak about Frenzy later). How does it work now? 3-4 turns for supportive cards and then, if you have resources AND cards, big combo like Keeper of souls/Imperial griffin. It's like Undead or Soldier playstyle, except both Undead and Soldier decks still have MUCH bigger guns as well as good supports and resource returning.

And so we came to another problem. Cardset. Again, Beast cardset as a whole is focused on using its attack bonus to press and press and press. Flat attack from Beast cards is very low, but additional attack granted a decent damage even with nominal attack like 10 (Giant spider). What Beasts have now in terms of damage output, or, better to say, which cards didn't suffer from these changes? Keeper of souls (hand-dependent), Wolf raiders (hand-dependent), Forest spirit (hand-dependent, rarely played as offensive card because of mediocre attack), Vulture (doesn't rely on keywords), Imperial griffin (suddenly, this card became one of the best in Beast uncommon cardset), Beastmaster (hand-dependent), Byakko (doesn't rely on keywords, hand or Beasts at all). That's actually it. In other words, Beast decks became heavily hand-dependent. Moreover, Call of the wilds won't fix it, even with rebuffs. There is no more point to have a RARE Beast in hand and play it on token.

And now it's time to say a few words about Frenzy keyword. Now it's obvious that Beast/Frenzy synergy is almost lost. Wolf mistress became deadweight, because in most cases you must choose do you want 13 attack now or 6 attack now and N attack later. Giant spider became a weak version of Roc. Manticore became weaker, White crocodile became useless (22 attack is the power level of old Giant spider), Beast mistress became a joke (12-17 attack from a RARE without additional effects? Really? I'd rather feed it to Vulture, thank you) and Chimera became fat and unreliable.

I'll do more detailed analysis in next post.
NG_Beholder on 09:31, 3. Apr, 2013
Here is the Beast cardset.

Common cards which are fine:
Baku, Centaur tribe, Dire wolves, Fire fox, Giant bear, Minotaur, Petrified minotaur, Thunderbird, War wolf, Warhound, Werewolf, Wolf spirit.

Beasts have one of the best common cardsets in game. There is not much to fix, except Abyssal viper which I would like to see more relevant to Beast (additional Beast token gain?), Forest guardian which needs a minor flat attack (3 would be nice) and Shadow wolf which could use some defensive or stock increasing effect if no card was discarded.

Uncommon cards which are fine:
Basilisk, Forest spirit, Imperial griffin, Keeper of souls, Vulture, Wolf raiders.

Giant spider. Part of Frenzy deck. Won’t be effective in Beast deck without complete rework or reverted Frenzy nerf. Another suggestion – remove Beast keyword and leave it with Frenzy.
Griffin. Too expensive in recruits. My idea: maybe move a part of its cost to gems, something like 3G/7R?
Nightmare owl. Another card which is irrelevant to Beast deck. It’s a part of Illusion cardset. No idea what to do with it.
Roc. Attack 22 for double Giant spider cost wasn’t so bad, considering Horde keyword and additional effect. Attack 17 is definitely too low. My idea: I’d buff its attack somehow. Maybe even with Siege and slight direct tower damage (up to -3).
War elephant. It became too heavy with previous Frenzy nerf, and now on top of that it’s too hard to use in Beast deck. My idea: raise its base damage to 38 + (#Beast + #Barbarian + #Frenzy) in hand.
Wolf mistress. Again, attack is too low, cost is too high. My idea: 10 attack, 6R cost would be great.

Rare cards which are fine:
Beastmaster, Byakko, Centaur trainer, Cockatrice.

Frenzy rares. Those Beast/Frenzy rares… Now only Chimera which even wasn’t THAT good before this change is somewhat useful (although I’d take Flood over Chimera every single time when I need to utilize gems). Oh, and Manticore with triggered Frenzy can do somewhat visible amount of damage. The whole idea of cheap rares with big attack/cost ratio doesn’t work anymore, because they should have an attack that can be actually noticed by opponent. When a rare has attack 12-17 (bad uncommon level), 15-22 (mediocre uncommon level) or 18-28 (decent uncommon level), there is something wrong. I don’t know what to do with these cards, to be honest. Swift instead of Frenzy? Additional attack? Some kind of Frenzy rebuff? Lowering its level to uncommon? I don’t know. Really.
Crimson hawk. Same, but it’s better because of Far sight. And yes, I have no idea what to do with it.

And we have ONLY THREE RARES that can deal a reasonable amount of damage. Hand-dependent Beastmaster, weakened Chimera and Byakko which is irrelevant to Beast. Cockatrice isn’t for attack, Centaur is a support. BTW, remind me, why Centaur champion isn't Beast?
NG_Beholder on 09:31, 3. Apr, 2013
And now about supportive cards. This is the most painful part.

Book of Life – while being OK for Nature decks, it’s completely useless for Beasts. Nature decks can utilize a non-common Beast, but Beasts usually can’t use a non-common Nature properly. Plus rare Beasts.
Beast farm – overall OK, but, again, rare Beasts.
Call of the wilds. Pfffff… Now you pay 5R, get Production x0 (or pay 3 stock), pay another 3R and get a hand full of crap instead of common Beast supports which could recover recruits loss. So you get nothing. Good day, sir. Double backward scaling killed this card, Beast change just raped its dead body.
Centaur trainer. I’d say it’s OK only because of +2 Dungeon, Horde and the fact that it can be played on token. But…

Summoners and rarity upgraders can’t be fixed (except revert-Call-nerfs, of course). It’s not summoners that need a fix, it’s rare Beasts that not worth summoning.

Dark forest
. Finally a non-summoning card. It used to be a great defensive card for both Beast and Nature decks because it could be played for free. Now, I guess, it’s fine for Nature deck. Beast deck can’t spend 8-10R on wall. My suggestion: 9G/8R cost, gems: +#Nature in hand, recruits: +#Beast in hand.

About keyword itself. I feared that it would be too strong compared with Swift. Now it’s token-based Quick with non-synergical, hand-dependent cardset which doesn’t synergize with any other keywords either. In needs higher token gain and/or some supportive cards to raise its token. Or production. Or part of its damage back. Plus we need to decide what to do with Beast/Frenzies which turned from main offense into deadweight. This change didn’t kill Beasts, but seriously wounded it, and they need serious changes.

As always, I’d like to hear any thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
Mojko on 10:07, 3. Apr, 2013
Thank you for feedback. I will be sure to use it in the next balance changes. I'm also monitoring the situation for both these keywords. I agree that the play style is different, however that was to be expected. For now, I plan to keep both Frenzy and Beast keywords as they are and balance the cards. I also wanted to add a new mechanic for cards to do bonus effect when played after your card (so when they are played either after quick, swift or after beast keyword effect).
jbryant3 on 13:37, 3. Apr, 2013
I agree with NG regarding the Beast keyword change. While the concept of an additional turn sounds useful, I don't think it goes well with the Beast keyword. As it stands right now there is very little incentive to play uncommon or rare Beast cards since you can gain the same effect by playing just common Beast cards, which are a lot cheaper and sometimes do as much damage as the others (due to the Frenzy nerf). I suggest either putting Frenzy on all uncommon and rare Beast cards or reverting the keyword back to its old state.

I'm fine with the current Frenzy mechanic provided we vastly improve the number of Frenzy cards in the pool (including common cards).
Fithz Hood on 20:07, 3. Apr, 2013
I just want to suggest to add a bonus based on the rarity of the card played:
common: recruits+2 beast tokens+20
uncommon: recruits+4 beast tokens+40
rare: recruits+6 beast tokens+60

this will give again importance to rare beast making the whole deck faster and with a better attack/cost ratio.

some alternatives to NGBeholder already good suggestions:

Giant spider: change best with horde (and create some other spiders for Horde cardset)

Roc and Griffin: ... come on! let's give them Aria!

Wolf mistress: the problem with this is that it summons also cards not useful for beast deck
I'll change it in this way: replace a card in hand with Dog mistress, Wolf mistress or Beast mistress. what is Dog mistress? a common beast barbarian frenzy that we could add. and let's add Barbarian to Beast mistress. In this way the "Mistress set" will be useful to both beast and barbarian (and frenzy) deck.

EDIT: after a quick google search I see that "dog mistress" is a quite ambiguous name. I'll search an alternative

Book of life should have modes:
Mode1: Beast
Mode2: Nature
If New

but it will be probably too good in this way.

Fithz Hood on 20:20, 3. Apr, 2013
And about Frenzy: I think it's better as a Frenzy(N) (like charge):
If played card is a neighbourg of a Frenzy card: attack N.
In this way it's easy to understand and calculate (now it's a bit foggy). And Frenzy cards can be balanced in a simple way, just changing the N value.
sq on 08:51, 4. Apr, 2013
Great analysis from NGBeholder and Some nice suggestions from Fithz Hood.
While new beast keyword is interesting to give it a go, it has completely broken the synergy of the Beast deck with its own support cards. We have quite a few rare beast summoning cards which are now close to useless as NG has pointed out. These rare beasts desperately need strengthening either through different token effects based on rarity (I like Fithzs idea on this) or by raising the attack rating for all cheap rare beasts.

Even in this case we need some reanimating efforts for such cards as Beast Farm (some recruits gain is the first that springs to my mind) and Call of the wilds (the mechanic needs to be changes – I suggest that it should replace your hand with non-rare beasts).

As Beast now has some resemblance to Mage in terms of tokens gain and effects, another thing that is begging to be added is a pure tokens gain support card in the same way as Librarian in Mage deck.

Frenzy also seems a bit underpowered, but I need a bit more time to see if it works out. Still I have one point – Heresy is now useful only in Frenzy decks, but feels somewhat out of place there
jbryant3 on 13:37, 4. Apr, 2013
Now I will say that I really like the Agility mechanic, which could be implemented as another keyword... such as Elven... which I had suggested before... in another post... ha ha.
NG_Beholder on 07:08, 21. Mar, 2014
Can't we raise basic gain to 10-12?
Because this effect is still not that strong to be triggered every fourth turn.
Myschly on 13:45, 20. Apr, 2014
I deleted all my decks a while back to get a fresh start, just made a Beast-deck, curious to see how the keyword feels now....
sq on 11:24, 12. Sep, 2015
It has been a while since the last changes on beast, and I think enough time has passed to see how it works as it is.

The conclusion is that the keyword, which once was quite powerful and popular, is nearly no longer used. There are several reasons for that, including several call of the wilds nerfs, but I think the biggest issue is the slow token gain and somewhat conditional effect it triggers.

I think a keyword needs a rework to boost its use, and the most obvious suggestion is to raise the token gain, since now it is dead slow when compared to similar effect, but more powerful keywords (e.g.alliance or barbarian).
Zaton on 11:28, 12. Sep, 2015
I would agree on the slow token gain. As for the effect, I would... call them both a defining feature of the keyword, and a necessary weakness? I dread the past days when Byakko was on the leaderboard;-;
Mojko on 11:50, 12. Sep, 2015
How exactly would you raise token gains for this keyword?
sq on 12:52, 12. Sep, 2015
My first choice would be to have big basic gain of around 15 and bonus gain of 5 (the idea is that you are able to trigger the keyword in 2 turns only with a full hand of beasts, but the keyword can still be reached even if you have few beasts).

Another option would be to keep basic gain as 5 and double the bonus gain to 8 or 9. This will reduce the number of effect being triggered in non-specialized beast decks, but is less flexible IMO.
Zaton on 21:11, 12. Sep, 2015
sq wrote:
My first choice would be to have big basic gain of around 15 and bonus gain of 5 (the idea is that you are able to trigger the keyword in 2 turns only with a full hand of beasts, but the keyword can still be reached even if you have few beasts).

Another option would be to keep basic gain as 5 and double the bonus gain to 8 or 9. This will reduce the number of effect being triggered in non-specialized beast decks, but is less flexible IMO.

I vote for the second for sure:3
DPsycho on 23:31, 12. Sep, 2015
Unless the player sets the Beast token counter, there's not any worry that the effect might trigger casually.

That said, I have at least one deck with a keyword set just in the event that I draw a Rare that fills my hand with said keyword, which always then proves worthwhile. It doesn't look like Beast has a similar, full-hand-replacing support card, though.