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 SDE Boss Tiers: Ranking Bosses/Minibosses in Classic Mode 
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Denizen
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This thread will be about both Bosses and Minibosses, as there are too few Bosses to really have a solid discussion and it makes sense to keep them all together. The post after this will contain the Boss list, and the third Post will have the list of Minibosses.

At this point, I'm going to be simply listing the Boss/Miniboss description blocks outside the actual ranks, with the community providing opinions as to where each model belongs.

Note that this list is supposed to be relative to each other; while all the Bosses are certainly capable of beating down Heroes and (almost) all Minibosses provide a serious threat, some are more capable than others.

RANK SS
This Boss is patently broken in some way or another, and should only be taken when you're being extraordinarily cruel. Kind of a 'banlist' of sorts, as the Bosses here are just so strong that multiple Heroes will be destroyed by them without a great deal of luck.

RANK S
These Bosses are strong on multiple counts: regaining Wounds, killing Heroes, causing status effects, creating Minions, and/or have high Stats overall. Boss example: Goro, with his multiple Healing methods, high Attack, great movement, and excellent Dungeon effect, can ruin an entire party's day. Miniboss example: Death can potentially kill a Hero in one hit, can Heal from a Hero, and can teleport in, attack once, and teleport out for a perpetual hit-and-run machine.

RANK A
These Bosses may have multiple strengths, but they also have one or two weaknesses that a canny Hero could exploit. Boss example: Nocturne has high STR, 5 basic Attacks capable of killing a Hero in one activation, and Blood Drinker to heal off Wounds; however, he also has fewer Hearts that most bosses and relatively soft ARM. Miniboss example: TBA

RANK B
These Bosses are still strong, but require support to achieve their maximum effectiveness or have elements of randomness in their statlines or tradeoffs that make using them a crapshoot. Boss example: Starfire's Hoard can certainly make her a serious threat, but she can also pull WILL or DEX Treasure which will aid her not in the slightest. Rex has decent stats several good Actions, but needs Mob to achieve true greatness.

RANK C
These Bosses are just terrible, or require so much support from outside their card that it's hardly worth using them. Boss Example: Von Drakk relies on Bone Pile Minions/Elites to function, buffs Undead (which does include himself), and can only inflict Slow as an ailment. Miniboss Example: Gruesome George is slow, not very tough, his best Attack inflicts damage on him, and is crippled with EXTREMELY low STR reliant on Mob to bring it up to what would be above average... for a Hero.

OFFICIAL NAME: Just the name on the card, no custom names so we know who you're talking about.

AFFINITY: Just what Crystal Affinity the model has; helpful for getting Minibosses with compatible Spawn Points.

ATTACKING ATTRIBUTES: The stat which the (Mini)Boss makes their attacks. After the dice I list the average value of the roll, based on the formula below.

DEFENSIVE ATTRIBUTE: Worth listing too, for obvious reasons.


AFFINITIES AND MINIBOSSES
As Affinities can turn Minibosses from cruel to worst nightmare when matched with appropriate spawn points, here's a brief guide to how they rank.

Citrine is the strongest overall - it's the most common Spawn Point Affinity and can grant Fire (Lava Whirl), Mob (Kobold Warrens), and Poison (Old Growth Hollow); picture the Herald of Vulcanis backed up by Mob. Nasty.

Sapphire is second. All the Sapphire Points grant solid abilities, one of which is particularly useful to Minibosses and Bosses - Immune: Status Effects from the Rock Pile. The other two, Grabby (Grabby House) and +1W ARM (Tribal Stone), are handy, but not wonderful.

Ruby is third, but it's a close third, as most Ruby Minibosses are also range oriented and can use them more easily. Bane (Shallow Grave) is brutal, and Stealth (Salt Pillar) can certainly keep a weaker Miniboss safe from return fire but is probably still not worth using.

Emerald is the weakest for buffing Minibosses, as none of them actually GIVE buffs!

So the overall ranking of affinity is:

1) Citrine/Sapphire
2) Citrine/Ruby
3) Ruby/Sapphire
4) Citrine
5) Sapphire
6) Ruby
7) Emerald

These are just a factor in determining a Miniboss's overall Ranking; if a Miniboss requires help from Affinity just to be good than it's not good to begin with.

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Last edited by iamfanboy on August 2nd, 2015, 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.



August 1st, 2015, 11:37 pm
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Reserved for the Bosses.

Average stats for bosses are figured at about 6.33 for one stat, and 4.33 for the second, depending on whether the boss leans to offense or defense. Some bosses, such as Goro, throw this off with Abilities or Actions, but that's the numbers I'm going off of.

Currently, Rank S is empty, because the top Bosses (Goro, King Starfire, Nocturne, Starfire) are so close to each other that none have a clear advantage.

RANK SS

RANK S

RANK A
GORO
AFFINITY: Ruby/Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 1W3B1G (5) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 3R (3.5) HEARTS 8
Goro is currently a top Boss. His slow Movement on paper is completely a lie, as his Wind Spirit Attack has Pounce for 1 AP. For healing, he has the Feed Me ability to destroy a friendly model for a Wound removed; he also has Devour (+1G STR 2 AP) which will heal a Wound if it hits. Goro's already decent STR is enhanced by Mob to an average of 7, which the 4 Giris he spawns for 2 AP has as well! His AOE goes off his Will 3R (3.5), so not wonderful, but it does inflict Knockdown. Boss Spawn gives Fly to Minions/Elites, which is interesting but not wonderful; however, his Timeout spawns 6 additional Giri for even more Feed Me shenanigans.

KING STARFIRE
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2W2R1G (6.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2R1G (4.33) Hearts 8
King Starfire has an average Boss STR/ARM to start with, weighted towards STR with 2W. He has Inferno (Lance 6 Fire AP2) as an AOE and causes Fire with normal attacks; he also has an upgraded Berserk that gives a free Sweep 2 Knockdown attack - making him capable of killing a Heart 5 Hero in a single Round. Though King Starfire loses Fly and only has 6 Movement, he also has Shooting Star (Pounce Knockdown 2 AP) to move himself around the battlefield speedily. Lastly, he carries Immune: Fire, but also can Remedy himself for 1 AP. When he spawns, kobolds and drakes get +1B STR, which isn't always relevant, but on Timeout he removes a Wound for every Hero with Fire - it's the last one which makes King Starfire tick all the right boxes as it's likely multiple Heroes will have Fire by the time he hits Timeout.

NOCTURNE
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2W2B2R (6.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2B2R (4.66) Hearts 6
Nocturne is gruesomely strong, perfectly capable of killing a Hero in a single Activation with Berserk and his high STR; his Blood Drinker also gives him heals. If he really needs to Heal, Feast (+1R STR 2 AP) takes off a Wound Token as well. Lastly, Dead Cold (WILL 1W2R (3.5) Wave 3 Cold) is useful for shutting down dangerous Actions from weak ARM Heroes. Move 8 Fly also moves him around the battlefield very well. As Von Drakk, his Boss Spawn revives all Bone Piles, which is only situationally useful; however, his Timeout gives Bane to all the Heroes which can make Blood Drinker and Feast even more effective.

STARFIRE
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 1W2R1G (6) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 1B1R1G (3.83) WOUNDS 8
Starfire's success or defeat is defined by Hoard, which lets him draw and equip a Treasure at spawn. This can be brutal, or it can whiff entirely by giving him DEX or WILL. That, combined with his below-average stats (for a Boss), and lack of stat-boosting offense Actions, means that using him effectively will mean sniping with Inferno (Lance 6 Fire AP1) while Dragon Hoarding for useful Loot - which is also random. Aiding him in sniping is 8 Movement and Fly, and when he finally does get the right combination of Loot he can kill a 5 Heart Hero in one turn just like King Starfire, with Tail Sweep. His only immunity is Fire, which is helpful but not wonderful. Lastly, his Spawn lets Minions & Elites inflict Fire, which can help him stall for loot, and his Timeout gives Fire to all Heroes.

RANK B
RAGIN' ROXOR
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2B2R1G (6.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2B2R (4.33) Hearts 8
Ragin' is all about Offense. He causes and is Immune to Fire, both of which are helpful, and has two Special Actions: Volcano (Wave 3 AP2) and Molten Steel (Range 6 +1R STR Hex) are both brutal, as Hex can help Ragin' keep safe from Hero attacks. A good plan is to be in Rockin' Shapeshift when the Heroes can attack him, and changing to Ragin' to attack and move away. Spawning gifts Heroes with Slow, which isn't great but does work well with Roxor's ranged options; however, his Timeout gives Knockdown, which is very good indeed - especially with the Timeout spawn...

ROCKIN' ROXOR
AFFINITY: Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 2W2R (4.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2W2R1G (6.33) Hearts 8
Rockin' Roxor is extremely tough, with Immune: Status Effects backing up his high ARM - and making him able to cure Status Effects caused while in Ragin' form. Minion Toss, as per current rules, has a max of 6B (4) damage, so not very good, but Cave-In (Range6 Burst2 Knockdown AP2) is valuable - it's unlikely to hurt high-ARM Heroes, but can soften up a group very nicely. Burrow allows him to move through Walls. He's slow, to be sure, but Burrow is helpful as per Ragin's entry.

RANK C
FORGOTTEN KING
AFFINITY: Ruby/Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2R1G (4.33) Range 2 / WILL 3B2R (4.33) Range 6
DEFENSE: ARM 2B1G (3.33) Hearts 8
Overall, Forgotten King is the worst possible boss at this point. His below-average stats are barely made up for by Hubris, which will usually let him attack with +4B STR on most Heroes (+1B for every equipment slot filled on the target), but leaves him highly vulnerable because of his absolutely bottom-barrel ARM. Stranglethorn (Range6 Burst1 WILL Slow AP2) goes off his unboostable WILL, making it a depressingly weak choice. FK can spend AP2 to Teleport, and Wave 3 Knockdown as a non-Attack, but several high-Rank Heroes carry Immunity making this less than amazing. His Immune: Poison isn't too helpful, as few things inflict Poison, but is helpful in keeping him in AP for Teleports. Boss Spawn lets Heroes draw Loot for every Wound he takes, which in theory powers up Hubris but in practice only lets them filter for better Loot to kill him. However, Timeout gives all the Consul's non-Miniboss forces Immune: Status Effects, which is actually good - but not good enough to make up for the rest. Below-average stats, underwhelming Actions, and a hugely favorable Explore

VON DRAKK
AFFINITY: Emerald/Ruby
OFFENSE: STR 2W4B (4.3) Range 1
DEFENSE: DEX 3R (3.5) HEARTS 6
Von Drakk has some seriously low stats for a boss, which would be fine if he had compensating abilities... aaaand he doesn't. He works like an upgraded Necromancer from the Shallow Grave, buffing Undead for Aura 3 +1B STR (that does buff himself, by the way!), Raising in a Wave 3, and Controlling in a Wave 3 Compel 3 to mold the battlefield. His Blood Drinker, which lets him Heal from rolled Hearts, is helpful combined with his many blue dice, but overall he's weaker than his Shapeshift, Nocturne.

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Last edited by iamfanboy on August 18th, 2015, 5:02 pm, edited 7 times in total.



August 1st, 2015, 11:38 pm
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Reserved for the Minibosses.




RANK SS

GLIMMERWING
AFFINITY: Ruby
OFFENSE: WILL 3B (3.5) Range 6
DEFENSE: ARM 2W1R (3.16) Hearts 5
Glimmerwing is nasty. Movement 8 and Fly keeps her out of reach, and she has a solid AOE in Breath of Dreams (Lance 6 slow AP2), but what makes her truly brutal is Fae Curse (Range 6 WILL v WILL Hex Bane AP1) both of which she is also Immune to. Lastly, Verdant Maze (Range 6 WILL v WILL Compel 6) makes her even harder to reach. Her only real problem is when she goes against high WILL Heroes, but that's not enough to knock her down from her notch as a top Miniboss.

RANK S
CHAOS KITTY
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2B2R (3.66)
DEFENSE: DEX 1W2R (3.33) Hearts 5
Chaos Kitty is a basher, plain and simple, and is hard to kill to boot with 9 Lives! Teeth and Fur (+1R STR Pounce Knockdown 2 AP) only makes her more mobile and gives her opportunity to use Berserk, with Chaos Fuzz (Dangerous Wave 2 2 AP) likely able to hit an entire Hero party. Bad Kitty, her last action, is an automatic Poison in Lance 6 for 1 AP - which makes her even harder to kill. Bad kitty!

DEATH SPECTRE
AFFINITY: Ruby
OFFENSE: WILL 2W1G (4) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2R (2.33) Hearts 5
The Death Spectre is the most mobile Miniboss available, as his AP1 Teleport ignores walls thanks to Ghost - making him able to teleport in, hit once, and teleport out but it's his two special action Attacks that make him truly fearsome. Lifesap (Dangerous Wave 1 AP2) removes a Wound for every Wound it inflicts, and Soul Scythe inflicts a Wound for the number of Stars Death Spectre wins the roll by! Teleporting in to use them is dangerous as he has barely average defenses despite Immune: Status Effects, but Death can punish anyone closing with it harshly.

HERALD OF VULCANIS
AFFINITY: Citrine/Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 1W3R (4.5) Range 2 / DEX 2B1R (2.5) Range 6
DEFENSE: ARM 2R (2.33) Hearts 5
The Herald has high Offense, aided by his Shield Bash (+1R STR Knockdown AP2) and even an AOE with Flaming Javelin (Range 6 +1R DEX Burst 1 Fire AP2); what also helps him stand out is that his third AP is best spent on Phalanx for Aura 2 +1W ARM, aiding himself and the lesser monsters around him. High offense, high defense, Immune: Fire, Movement 7... what's not to like?

ROCK GUT
AFFINITY: Sapphire
OFFENSE: 1W3B1R (4.16) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2B2R (3.66) Hearts 5
Rock Gut has a number of things going for him: Tough and Immune: Fire makes it hard to kill him, he causes Fire, Burning Bile (Lance 6 AP2) is an effective ranged attack that covers his average Speed, and Feast (+1R STR AP2) can recover more Wounds. His Troll subtype also benefits from the Tribal Stone's Mistmourn Chieftain, making him nastier too.

SALT
AFFINITY: Citrine/Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 2W1R (3.5) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2W1R (3.5) Hearts 6
Salt has Fly that makes his average Move 6 better, and is also durable for a boss with Immune: Status Effects stacked on his native Defense. He's a vicious attacker, too: Summer and Winter are both AP1 Wave 2, meaning that he can hit multiple Heroes with each AP, and they inflict Fire and Ice respectively! His Immobile-causing Action is STR v WILL and only sometimes useful, but when those weak-willed Heroes show up can close them down hard.

RANK A

CAPTAIN R
AFFINITY: Citrine/Ruby
OFFENSE: STR 1B2R (3) ...kind of
DEFENSE: ARM 2B1R (2.5) Hearts 5
Captain R is, like Starfire, defined by Hoard, but UNLIKE her can make use of ANY Treasure and Loot card drawn. His Flintlock (Range 6 1B2R DEX AP1) and his Kraken (Cross 5 1B2R WILL AP2) help him cover all four stats, and if you'll notice that means he's got the same 1B2R in all three offensive stats. Spirits forbid he should draw any +AP equips with 'X' Marks the Spot (2 AP draw 1 Loot). He's random, but can become quite powerful with just a few XMTS draws.

NINJA COLA
AFFINITY: Emerald
OFFENSE: DEX 2B2R (3.66) Range 8
DEFENSE: DEX 2B2R (3.66) Hearts 5
Koga Cola (Miniboss) isn't broken, but he is strong - and only costs 1 Skull to activate, making him great for supporting another Miniboss or Boss. Frosty Soda Bomb (DEX v DEX Burst 2 AP2) can shut down an entire party by dodging past Defense rolls but doesn't deal Wounds, and should he desire to he can stay out of reach using his Super Shuriken (Range 8 +1R DEX Hookshot 2 AP). His Pounce attack is hardly worth mentioning, as he doesn't want to be close, but he can use up Hero Movement with Sidestep and his decent Defense, and Ranged attacks are hampered by Small.

REX
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 2B2R (3.66) Range 3
DEFENSE: ARM 2R (2.33) Hearts 6
Ah, Rex. With Mob, he's obviously designed to work with other Kobolds, but lots of things have it; at full Mob he's the strongest Miniboss at STR 5B2R (5.66). His Range also lets him reach over other Mob monsters, meaning he doesn't have to be in front to be effective. Thwomp (Push 5 AP1) gives him some Control and is cheap; Rex Cuddle (Hex Bane AP2) cripples a Hero effectively and covers his somewhat weak ARM; sadly, Rex Smash (+1G STR Massive Damage AP3) is a waste of AP unless the Hero is REALLY armored up, because an average of 7.66 is overkill. He's simple, but dangerous with other Mob monsters.

SER SHARPCLAW
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 1W3R (4.5) Range 3
DEFENSE: ARM 1W2R (3.33) Hearts 5
Ser Sharpclaw is mobile with Move 8 Surefoot, and has two very nice attacks: Chomp! Crunch (+1R STR Bane AP2) is better than Onslaught (Lance 3 Push 3 AP2), but both have uses. In addition, he keeps up the theme of Kobolds buffing each other with an Ability, not Action, called Savage (Aura1 +1W STR to Minions). Overall, he's a solid and versatile Miniboss.

TRENT
AFFINITY: SAPPHIRE
OFFENSE: STR 1W2R (3.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 1W2R (3.33) Hearts 6
Trent is TOUGH, both literally (he has Tough) and statistically - he's also Immune: Poison. He doesn't quite have the best Defense, but balances that with a decent Offense, and threatens geared-up Heroes with Decay (AP2) which makes them discard equipment. Overgrowth (Wave 3 AP2) isn't that good as it goes off his 2R WILL, and his last ability, Uproot (Range 4 Compel 2 AP1), moves monsters around very nicely - such as the King Sprout. His Virulent Ability (+1B STR against Poisoned Heroes) is hampered by the fact that he does not inflict Poison, so supporting him with the Old Growth Hollow, Pumpkin Patch, or Kaelly is recommended.

RANK B

KAELLY THE NETHER STRIDER
AFFINITY: Emerald
OFFENSE: DEX 3R (3.5) Range 6
DEFENSE: DEX 3R (3.5) Hearts 5
Kaelly is devastating because she automatically inflicts Poison and has Hex Bolt (+1W DEX Hex) for more Statuses. Move 7 Surefoot keeps her moving, and Stealth means that it's hard to shoot back when she targets a Hero. Lastly, she can support a group of monsters with Aura 2 Stealth.

KUNOICHI CANDY
AFFINITY: Ruby
OFFENSE: WILL 2B2R (3.66) Range 6
DEFENSE: DEX 2R (2.33) Hearts 5
Kunoichi Candy only costs 1 Skull, has a great ranged Offense, a Wave 2 AP2 attack, and a devastating +1 G WILL Massive Damage AP2 attack, but she has low defenses and has to choose between dealing damage or keeping herself safe with a Wave 1 Hex AP2 that bypasses Defense. Still, with that 1 Skull she works great in tandem with another Miniboss or Boss. At range, she's difficult to hit with Stealth and Sidestep as well.

SER SNAPJAW
AFFINITY: Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 2B1R (2.5) Range 3
DEFENSE: ARM 3R (3.33) Hearts 5
Don't let that low STR fool you: Snapjaw has Mob, Immune: Knockdown, and works amazingly well for a jumped-up Ironscale. Blazing Blade (Sweep 3 +1W STR Fire AP2) hits 9 squares hard, and his Hightower grants +1W ARM Immune: Knockdown in an Aura 2 for 1 AP to aid the Consul's other monsters (and himself!) Lastly, Rally Cry is a frightening control ability with a gargantuan AOE for only 2 AP.

SHADOW MODE CANDY
AFFINITY: Citrine/Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 4B (3.66) Dark Radiance
DEFENSE: ARM 3B (3) Hearts 5 Dark Radiance
SMC has low stats, but it's belied by Dark Radiance - Offense AND Defense rolls made against her drop 1W, so statistically she's actually got +1W. Immune: Status Effects also helps her defense. Her Dark Howling (Range 6 2R DEX Burst 2 Ice) can cripple a party, and Nether Soul can use any Hearts rolled like a normal Hero and gives +1B. Lastly, Shadow can teleport her anywhere on the board next to a monster, not just 10 squares.

SUCCUBUS VANDELLA
AFFINITY: Ruby
OFFENSE: WILL 3B1R (3.5) Range 6
DEFENSE: DEX 3R (3.5) Hearts 5
Vandella is a useful and durable, but not devastating, Miniboss. Her Breathtaking Kiss (+1R WILL 2 AP) can Heal her, Alluring is a Wave 1 Hex AP2 Attack, and Come Hither is a WILL v WILL Wave 3 Compel 3, which can move the Heroes around quite handily. With Move 7 and Fly, she can also dodge around to target vulnerable Heroes.

RANK C

BASHFUL BORIS
AFFINITY: Citrine
OFFENSE: STR 3B2R (4.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 3B (2) Hearts 5
Boris hits hard and often, with Berserk and Pile-On (+1B STR if target has Knockdown), but his Sweeping Mace (Dangerous Sweep 2 AP2) hits his own side more than it does the Heroes. Earthshaker inflicts Slow with a STR v DEX, which is arguably the worst Status Effect, and costs 2 AP to boot! Because he doesn't deal Knockdown himself (though he is Immune to it), he needs backup for Pile-On to to trigger, and his awful Defense and average Hearts means that the Heroes will end him quickly, though they may take damage doing it.

GRUESOME GEORGE
AFFINITY: Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 2B (1.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2B (1.33) Hearts 6
George has Mob, but is defined by his Static Charge Ability: He gets +1B to STR and ARM for each Wound on him. This is weak, as even at 5 Wounds 7B is not super-strong (4.66), though with full Mob it does go up to 6.66. Most of his stuff involves putting on or taking off Wound tokens; Brilliant (Range 6 +1R STR AP2) inflicts a Wound on GG, Electric Jolt (2 AP) removes a Wound, and he also has Tough. Static Discharge (+1B STR Wave 2 AP2) is his final Action. Lastly, Immune: Status Effects does keep him safer, but overall Gruesome is gimmicky, hard to use, and even for a Miniboss that can Heal he's sub-par.

KASARO TO
AFFINITY: Citrine/Sapphire
OFFENSE: STR 1W2R (3.33) Range 2
DEFENSE: ARM 2R (2.33) Hearts 5
Kasaro To is a bit frail for a Miniboss, even with Tough; what makes him somewhat effective is his Serpent Coil (Range 6 Immobile AP2) which when boosted with his Zealotry (Aura 1 +1B STR AP1) can freeze Heroes at a safe distance. His Snare (Range 6 STR v WILL Pull 5 AP1) can yank Heroes closer, but overall he's kind of a sub-par Boss.

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SDE Hero Tiers: Ranking Heroes in Classic Mode
SDE Boss Tiers: Ranking Bosses/Minibosses in Classic Mode
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Last edited by iamfanboy on August 29th, 2015, 3:59 pm, edited 7 times in total.



August 1st, 2015, 11:38 pm
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Posts: 242
Find myself in agreement with these summaries thus far. A few things:

It's sad there are so many SS, S, and A rank heroes, but so few bosses to provide an equal level of challenge.

Given the low skull cost of the ninjas and there theme, it feels like they should always field together, like a 2 for 1 tag team special.

A simple edit to Boris making his slow status effect into knockdown would improve him quite s bit, though it in no way solves his other issues.

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August 2nd, 2015, 8:40 am
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My personal assumptions:

Glimmering: S or SS, easily. She's just insanely good, and while she won't be personally killing the Heroes, she certainly can make it so minions and elites will just destroy them. And she's fast with Fly, meaning she's likely to stay far away from the action, and just fly in when she needs to sew some chaos. Her one weakness is also her greatest strength: since she "buffs" minions, she needs them to fight at full effect.

Death Spectre: S or SS easily. He is the bane of parties. Despite his low defense, his healing can keep him topped off pretty much all the time. Use him beside a Shallow Grave so you can Ice, Hex, and Bane the Heroes, then go in with Death Spectre for Death Scythe. Then use Boneheads as sacrificial lamb to be hit by his Dangerous Lifesap, instantly healing a few wounds, and then raising the bone piles back up, before teleporting away. Despite that, he doesn't NEED to be used beside the Shallow Grave, its just that he benefits from it so well. (Another good synergy is with the Salt Crystal) His hit-and-run style can be very annoying, and with proper use, he will NEVER die. Watch out for Massive Damage though, or Heroes with 5 or more ACT.

Shadow Mode Candy: Hmmmm...B. She's pretty sub-par, with her low stats, even when Dark Radience is factored in, and her heal is too unreliable even on 5B. However, she ties, possibly even beats, Death Spectre in mobility, and also follows his hit-and-run theme. With her teleport being only 1 ACT, she can teleport in, smack a hero once, and then teleport to the other side of the map, all without fear of retaliation. However, unlike Deaty Spectre, she NEEDS support to shine, as she wount be kilking heroes by herself, but being able to teleport to safety means she could survive long enough to tag-team the Heroes alongside another boss or mini-bosses, especially one like Glimmering, who she synergizes well with.

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August 2nd, 2015, 12:00 pm
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Bosses: I'm going to disagree with all of these assessments. For me the ranking of the bosses would be:

1st Starfire: if you get the right relic draws you are more or less guaranteed victory. Even if you don't get one of the (surprisingly numerous) insta-win relics 5 AoE attacks per round plus ordinary unit activations plus Fire will usually wipe out the entire party in a few turns. Starfire also has a decent set of Explore cards for those who care about those. I think you've made a serious error in suggesting that Starfire is much worse that King Starfire - most of the time Hoard will be better than slightly higher stats and Burning Blades better than Zealotry.

2nd King Starfire: we don't seem to be in disagreement that King Stafire is good.

3rd Von Drakk/Nocturne: As you note Nocturne is good. Do not discount Von Drakk however - with small base + 8 MOV + Thriller + WILL VS WILL Slow he can kite extremely well. He also has the consistently most favourable Explore/relic package. A very versatile boss when both sides are used effectively.

4th Goro: The boss himself is powerful, but everything else about him (Explore cards, relics, Boss fight effects) is weak and his creep gimmick can be shut down by a variety of different techniques.

5th Roxor: Gimmicky rather than top dog and let down by his terrible Explore cards which give the party Princess coins.

6th The Forgotten King: okay but outclassed by the other options.



Minibosses: My big four would be Glimmerwing/Sharpclaw, Chaos Kitty, Ninja Candy/Cola & Rockgut. I actually think that Death Spectre is overrated now since he no longer has good action economy.


August 2nd, 2015, 1:30 pm
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CrashGem wrote:
Find myself in agreement with these summaries thus far. A few things:

It's sad there are so many SS, S, and A rank heroes, but so few bosses to provide an equal level of challenge.

Given the low skull cost of the ninjas and there theme, it feels like they should always field together, like a 2 for 1 tag team special.

A simple edit to Boris making his slow status effect into knockdown would improve him quite s bit, though it in no way solves his other issues.

Well, these rankings are more relative to each other, rather than to the Heroes. Statistically speaking, even the weakest Bosses can beat down a group of Heroes who've gotten poor equipment pulls. But that doesn't make Starfire the equal of King Starfire.

It might make a good thought experiment later on in the thread to figure out how each of the non-S and A Bosses could be upgraded. I feel like it's more important to rebalance Bosses to be on an equal footing, with how few of them we have versus the sheer number of Heroes and Minibosses. The only Heroes/Minibosses that should probably be rebalanced are the Rank C ones. And there's gonna be more Rank C Minibosses than I thought... Shame that Boris is one of them, but we can't all be a Death Spectre.

I'm not QUITE sure that Starfire belongs in Rank C, as she isn't as bad as Von Drakk, but the random element of Hoard can hamper her badly. Though both times I've played her she's drawn +1G ARM Treasure and once a Fizzy Beverage... :twisted:


SS is kind of a banlist, and I'm not sure the Death Spectre belongs there. He's certainly one of the three strongest Minibosses IMHO, along with Salt and Glimmerwing. But broken in the same way that Ninja Cola is... I'm not willing to say that, especially because he's really hard to use.

Dr Despair:

On Starfire, the problem is that - even if you go by the idea she can redraw from the Treasure deck until she draws a card she can equip (versus Boo Booty or Pet), which is not Read As Written but I do that anyway - the base deck + her deck has 19/30 cards which benefit her, some of which are partial whiffs. The Shadow Crown may give +1R DEX but that +1 AP is helpful, for example, and the Dragon Heart only gives her +1 Heart as she lacks the right affinity. A little over 1/3 of the time she'll get hosed, which by definition isn't reliable. As I said, I'm not sure if she's C or B, but for right now I'm playing it a little safe.

On Von Drakk, everything that you mentioned aside from Thriller benefits Nocturne as well, and he overall has the lowest stats of any Boss. It would help him kiting if he had a ranged attack - ANY ranged attack! - but as it is he's reliant on Slow to keep him safe if he zooms in and attacks and then tries to zoom out. In Spazzfist's thread, where we talk about speeding up the game, there's a possible rule variant where Bosses can shunt wounds to nearby Minions/Elites just like an Elite does in Arcade Mode when in a Gang - that would turn VD from bottom of the barrel to downright vicious, even with his sub-par defense.

I should definitely also take into account the Explore cards, this is true, but I haven't been playing with them very much

Anyway, back to the listing of models, and then to sort the Minibosses into a rough list. Had to stop last night from sheer sleepiness.

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August 2nd, 2015, 2:00 pm
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This is getting added to the first post.

AFFINITIES AND MINIBOSSES
As Affinities can turn Minibosses from cruel to worst nightmare when matched with appropriate spawn points, here's a brief guide to how they rank.

Citrine is the strongest overall - it's the most common Spawn Point Affinity and can grant Fire (Lava Whirl), Mob (Kobold Warrens), and Poison (Old Growth Hollow); picture the Herald of Vulcanis backed up by Mob. Nasty.

Sapphire is second. All the Sapphire Points grant solid abilities, one of which is particularly useful to Minibosses and Bosses - Immune: Status Effects from the Rock Pile. The other two, Grabby (Grabby House) and +1W ARM (Tribal Stone), are handy, but not wonderful.

Ruby is third, but it's a close third, as most Ruby Minibosses are also range oriented and can use them more easily. Bane (Shallow Grave) is brutal, and Stealth (Salt Pillar) can certainly keep a weaker Miniboss safe from return fire but is probably still not worth using.

Emerald is the weakest for buffing Minibosses, as none of them actually GIVE buffs!

So the overall ranking of affinity is:

1) Citrine/Sapphire
2) Citrine/Ruby
3) Ruby/Sapphire
4) Citrine
5) Sapphire
6) Ruby
7) Emerald

These are just a factor in determining a Miniboss's overall Ranking; if a Miniboss requires help from Affinity just to be good than it's not good to begin with.

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August 2nd, 2015, 3:28 pm
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I wasn't quite sure where your figure of 19/30 came from, so I decided to go through the whole core relic deck + Starfire relic set and sort the cards into three categories: cards which make Starfire much more dangerous than King Starfire; cards which make him as good or better; and cards which do not make him as good. These were my results:

Much better = 14
Amethyst Crystal Shard, Bejewelled Shield, Cloak of Wards, Divine Vestments, Executioner's Axe, Guttering Candle, Hero's Blade, Shadow Crown, Stone Heart, The Colonel, Dragon Lance, Gem of Greed, Fizzy Beveragex2*

*Not relics, but relic level in terms of power.

As good as or better = 11
Ancestral Mail, Blessed Spear, Citrine Crystal Shard, Miss G. Snorts, Monstrous Maul, Nether Sword, Pegasus Wings, Pixelated Pendant, Burning Horn, Dragon Horn, Wyrm Scale Cloak

Not better = 14
Admiral Fuzzybottom, Burning Eye, Emerald Crystal Shard, Sapphire Crystal Shard, Ruby Crystal Shard, Gem of Alar City, Lord Gruff, Lucky Striped Pants, Madam Hilde, Mr Chompers, Sceptre of the Archmage, Trusty Lock Picks, Dragon Bow, Petrified Dragon Heart



When it comes for me to interpret this data I see that the chances of Starfire not being weaker than King Starfire but still challenging are equal to the chances of Starfire being much much stronger than him. For me that makes him better.

As for Von Drakk all I can say is that you need to view Von Drakk/Nocturne as one boss rather than two - even if you find that Nocturne is generally the more useful form it can still be very helpful to switch to Von Drakk from time to time to pull out one of his support moves.


August 2nd, 2015, 3:39 pm
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Minibosses are done and Ranked.

Dear Doctor, don't count the Fizzy Beverages. They're from Loot draws, so can't affect the initial Hoard draw.

I discounted the Pets entirely, as they aren't 'equipped' and nothing in Hoard says anything about becoming a Master - I've been going by what the rule exactly says: She draws 1 Treasure and equips it. Until she can equip it, she hasn't fulfilled the rule, so she keeps drawing until she can. Boo Booties and Wonders are put on the bottom.

My criteria for useful Treasure was simple: Greens are what she REALLY needs from the Treasure deck, or a Hero-breaking ability like Backlash. Reds are good (it does bump her up past boss normal), and +1 AP without something else to buff it is good but not great.

If it gives +1G to STR or ARM, or +1R to either and a useful Ability (Backlash, Massive Damage, +1 AP) then it's great. That's 15/31 (I put her seventh treasure somewhere else so I'd forgotten about it). That's Ancestral Mail, Bejeweled Shield, Blessed Spear, Burning Horn, Citrine Crystal Shard, Cloak of Wards, Dragon Lance, Executioner's Axe, Hero's Blade, Monstrous Maul, Pixelated Pendant, Sapphire Crystal Shard (Even without Affinity +2R ARM is mighty tough), Stone Heart, Wyrm Scale Cloak, and Wyrm Scale Shield.

If it gave a +1R to relevant stats or +1 AP/Heart, or lets her Heal, then it's marginal - that's 6/31. Amethyst Crystal Shard, Burning Eye, Divine Vestments, Guttering Candle, Lucky Striped Pants, Petrified Dragon Heart, Shadow Crown are all in here.

And then there's the rest - 9/31. Dragon Bow, Emerald Crystal Shard, Gem of Alar City, Nether Sword, Ruby Crystal Shard, Sceptre of the Archmage, and Trusty Lock Picks need no explanation as to why they're bad for Starfire. Pegasus Wings MIGHT be marginal, as they do let the boss kite better while hunting down good Loot, but it's the TREASURE that makes or breaks Starfire, with the Loot only helping marginally.

Gem of Greed is in the same category - in order to make full use of it you'd have to Dragon Hoard seven times, and 5/12 Loot cards are whiffs for Starfire. The odds of being able to dodge around a dungeon freely for 7 turns with a pack of ravening Heroes after you AND drawing multiple Reds from Loot is so high that it's not worth even considering.

There's also the minor fact that - and I would NEVER enforce this - Dragon Hoard says "Draw and equip one Loot card" which could mean that if something's already in that slot, you may be forced to discard it in order to equip the new one. That's RAW, though, not RAI, and you'd have to be a real !SODA! to do that.

So, yes, 22/31 Treasure cards is okay odds, but it's random, and the fact of that randomness should be considered in her Ranking - she also has lower than average Boss stats, her spawn only affects Kobolds/Drakes, and she only has Immune: Fire which makes her not A/S material. A/S is ALWAYS good, not just sometimes. You know, I talked myself into it. She's definitely B rating, as I do like using her and she's not BAD, just random, with a few Loot bringing her up to Boss standards.



In Von Drakk versus Nocturne, I still heartily disagree. The job of a Boss is to kill Heroes and survive doing it, not move them around and inconvenience them with Slow. These are ranked against each other, and VD's stats are so much lower than almost every other boss - he's a full 3 Stars average below the 'baseline' of 6 1/3 4 1/3, and only comes close to the Forgotten King who can at least buff himself with Hubris.

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August 2nd, 2015, 5:17 pm
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Also, does anyone agree with the Doctor that Forgotten King is Rank C? I haven't used him yet myself, so I can't really judge him on more than raw stats and an educated guess on how his Actions stack up.

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August 2nd, 2015, 5:21 pm
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Great contribution! Now we're waiting for your analysis on the spawnpoints.


August 2nd, 2015, 6:50 pm
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I have not run Forgotten King in classic, so I have no rating for him. Really he reads as a paper tiger. Sort of a worse(?) version of the death spectre.

Small Von Drakk could at least get fly added to his abilities since his art and mini both depict him flying AND he has big old wings. WOuld go a long way towards helping the littlest vampire out.

Regarding the starfire vs. king starfire if you are averaging stars per dice, you can't stop using averages to gauge power when it comes to the treasure draws. Random is random sure, but averages are averages. Average numbers of stars per dice, average chance of being as good or better from drops.

King Starfire is reliably good. Starfire is almost always good, sometime EVEN BETTER, but has a chance of stinking it up. But then you also have a chance of rolling poop dice all night and the heroes getting the best loots right out the gate.

If anyone have a better way to handle Roxxor's throw move please let me know, I loved it so much thematically I sculpted my Rock form Roxxor getting ready to chuck a kobold, the move is lame sauce in practice.

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August 2nd, 2015, 7:00 pm
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iamfanboy: you make a sound argument. I think it all depends really on how much you value a) stats and b) consistency. I place a fairly low premium on each since I wager I believe in the heart of the cards and because I like the idea of crushing the party spirits with one lucky relic draw cunningly exploited.

As for the pet thing yeah it's definitely a stretch to say that Starfire can run around with support from a chicken with an eyepatch - if that actual situation came up though I would definitely run with it however to see what happens.

And CrashGem as for your question I got nothing - thwack just doesn't feel right in the new rules no matter who is using it. Without being able to move your entire army you just can't set up the attack the way you could before.


August 3rd, 2015, 3:39 pm
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Essentially this is how I rank bosses, somewhat:

  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage?
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects?
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack?
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they?
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy?
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks?
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes?

So then...

Forgotten King:
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? No.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? No.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack? Yes.
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they? Knockdown and Slow, somewhat good.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? No.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks or abilities? 2 poor ones.
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes? So-so.

Von Drakk/Nocturne:
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? Yes, as Nocturne.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? No.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack? Yes, but with no ranged attack.
  • Can the Boss apply powerful status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? Slow and Ice, pretty good.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? Yes, 1 heal as Von Drakk, 2 heals as Nocturne.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks or abilities? 5 OK ones.
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes? Hero-Hating.

Ragin'/Rockin' Roxor
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? No, but has Fire as Ragin' Roxor.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? Yes, especially as Rockin' Roxor.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack? Yes, as Rockin' Roxor.
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they? Fire, Hex, and Knockdown, all great.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? No.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks? 2 good ones.
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore cards towards the Heroes? To both extremes.

Starfire:
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? Yes.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? Yes.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack? Yes.
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they? Fire and Knockdown, very good.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? No.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks? 2 good ones.
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes? So-so.


King Starfire:
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? Yes.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? Yes.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack?Not really, but he's good at chasing.
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they? Fire and Knockdown, very good.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? Remedy.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks? 2 good ones,
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes? So-so.

Goro:
  • Can the Boss kill a hero in a single activation through things like Berzerk or Massive Damage? Yes, in a gimmicky way.
  • Can the Boss whether the storm from any surviving heroes through high ARM or Hearts or Immunity to Status Effects? Yes.
  • Can the Boss easily kite the heroes through high mobility or a ranged attack? No, but he's good at chasing.
  • Can the Boss apply status effects like Fire, Bane, Hex, or Knockdown? If so, how good are they? Knockdown, somewhat good.
  • Can the Boss Heal or Remedy? Yes, 2 heals.
  • Does the Boss have Area of Effect attacks? 1 OK one.
  • How favorful are the Bosses Explore/Treasure cards towards the Heroes? Hero-loving.

Now this isn't the entire way I rank bosses, but its a good template. Basically the more poor answers, the worse the boss is. The Forgotten King has only one good answer, and everything else is either meh or worse. On the other hand, most of the other bosses have plenty of good answers, with a few meh or poor ones that show their weeknesses. For example, Von Drakk/Nocturne is relatively good, with the capacity to OTK a hero, kite reliably, and heal, but he lacks a method of ranged attack and his low hearts and defense make him extremely vulnerable. Likewise, Starfire and Roxor are strong picks, but their lack of healing/Remedy capabilities can and do hurt them. Roxor also loses out on his explore cards, which go to either extreme in helping or hindering heroes. King Starfire on the other hand shores up Starifre's greatest weakness with Remedy, but looses out on his other form's massive mobility. Goro puts himself a cut above others with his two heals, his Giri summoning, and his immunity to some rather debilitating status effects, but his lacklustre AoE, the gimmicky nature of his summoning, his pounce-based mobility, and hero-loving Explore cards level out his effectiveness from OP to OK.

iamfanboy wrote:
Also, does anyone agree with the Doctor that Forgotten King is Rank C? I haven't used him yet myself, so I can't really judge him on more than raw stats and an educated guess on how his Actions stack up.


I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Despair that the Forgotten King is absolute cowpie. I also agree with Dr. Despair that Von Drakk is someone who shouldn't be trifled with in either form. To the same extent, Starifre is already wildly effective, and even though it is random, Hoard just makes him even more scary.

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August 3rd, 2015, 5:58 pm
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I have not used the forgotten king since I got wave 1 when I proxy him before getting the new stats he owned haven't used him since. I hated throw in v1 rules and it made me sad to learn most turtles have it now and roxor changed out back lash for throw.


August 3rd, 2015, 6:19 pm
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So, Goro isn't Rank S, despite his versatile stats and brutal healing abilities, because of his Hero-loving Explore Cards and mediocre boss effects. I can see that, and I'll change him to A. I need to buy him though, psycho Totoro is a definite must-add.

In my mind, S is an "OP but not overbearingly so" category, whereas A is "just about what the power level should be," B is "underpowered but not horribly so and a player can still use it," and lastly C is the "This is just freakin' weak and needs buffing, badly."

Though I will say this about Von Drakk: last night we played a game using the Experimental rules with the addition of Bosses using the Elite Mob rule from Arcade Mode (being able to dump wounds to nearby Minions/Elites), and man... he was great. 2W5B is surprisingly good at killing and healing VD, and his Wave raise kept him in ablative wounds nicely.

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August 4th, 2015, 10:09 pm
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I jest remembered something about Gruesome George you might find interesting:

He is the mini-boss that can spawn the fastest, reliably.

Why? Well, the Shamble Priest's Wakey-Wakey allows you to spawn one Zombie from the Spawning Pool adjacent to him, and deal him one wound. Nowhere does it say that the Zombie must be from only the monsters listed on the spawnpoint's card, probably as a future-proofing method to retain synergy with other Zombie based spawns in the future. However, this has the unintended synergistic consequences of allowing the Shamble Priest to spawn Gruesome George, as he is considered a Zombie and as part of the Spawning Pool. Now, this doesn't go to helping much of Gruesome George's problems, but there's certainly something threatening in having to face a mini-boss by turn two (if they didn't kill the spawnpoint turn one). This also means that Wakey-Wakey could be used to repeatedly spawn Gruesome Georege, so long as you have a Shamble Priest to do so. It probably also won't change his ranking much, but its something to consider for both Gruesome George and the Grabby House spawnoint, which may make you reconsider their effectiveness and rankings.

Its also a totally cheesy and oppressive reading into the rules. Totally "Rules as Written," not "Rules as Intended."

Edit: I didn't read your entire spawnpoint post till now. Now I see you noted Gruesome George as a viable target for Wakey Wakey. While probably not the best tactic, it can get a super monster on the table when you don't have one, cause you always want to be taking advantage of that free activation.

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August 7th, 2015, 2:53 pm
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I'm sure in the rules errata it says no on spawning him that way.


August 7th, 2015, 5:47 pm
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vreeleader wrote:
I'm sure in the rules errata it says no on spawning him that way.


Not at the current point at least. No rules errata from SPM has mentioned it yet.

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August 7th, 2015, 5:55 pm
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