Random 30 Stream Snipe Session

Stream Announcement

After two really fun Random 30 games today, I’ve decided to round out my stream snipe sessions with a Random 30 stream. Currently I’m planning on Thursday June 1st, 2017 from 11am CDT (UTC -5) to approximately 3pm CDT, and 5pm CDT (UTC -5) to approximately 9pm CDT.

I stream on Twitch: twitch.tv/tomsepicgaming
I’ll tweet when I go live: @TomSEpicGaming

Random 30 Defense

Random 30 involves dealing out 30 random cards to each player and playing. Simple as that. It can be done with a single collection, so each player has 30 different cards from their opponent, or each player can use their own collection so both players could end up with some of the same cards. (The app does the latter, intentionally.)

This is usually how I teach the game. However, I initially wrote it off fairly early as not a fun format for players that know what they are doing because it is too random; the better player isn’t as favored to win as they are in Dark Draft or Constructed. Recently though, I’ve been really liking the format because I approach it as just a fun experience where I don’t need to win to enjoy it. In addition, trying to figure out the best plays, using cards you wouldn’t use otherwise, in situations where your opponent is less likely to have the best answers, is exhilarating (and occasionally frustrating).

So, if you want to enjoy some less serious Epic, join the chat during the times listed, and I’ll be happy to play. As always, I will explain my plays as we go and provide a summary at the end of each match. Challengers are welcome to stay in chat with audio and video if they so desire, since it is a nice learning experience and wins/losses have no stakes attached.

Stream Raw Footage

Thank you everyone who played and watched. For those who could not, or if you want to watch your match, below is the raw footage from the stream with timestamps.

Part 2 (5pm CDT – 9pm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EPLTKjofDo
Part 1 (11am CDT – 3pm):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAzIzyu0z2M

Epic: Utilizing Revealed Information

Foreword

In Epic, many powerful effects involve showing your opponent cards in your hand. The most obvious of these are Loyalty 2 effects: when a champion with a Loyalty 2 ability enters play, you may reveal 2 cards of that champion’s alignment from your hand to get the effect after the arrow. Other effects that show your opponent a card in your hand include Recall effects (Lightning Storm), Memory Spirit-type cards, and bounce effects (Time Walker). Being able to effectively utilize this information allows you to play at a higher level.

The Basics

First off, there are a few simple practices that can make a big difference.

Loyalty 2: Reveal the Same 2 Cards

When you play a Loyalty 2 champion and reveal 2 cards to your opponent, try to remember which cards you showed them. (Moving the revealed cards to one side of your hand can help you remember.) If you play another Loyalty 2 card on a future turn, reveal the same 2 cards if they are still in your hand. Doing this restricts the amount of information you give your opponent.

Record Cards Your Opponent Reveals

If you want to play at a competitive level, tracking revealed information is critical. When playing in person, writing down the names of revealed cards (as well as cards returned to hand) can be helpful as it is difficult to remember everything. As your opponent plays these cards, cross them off your list. Personally, I prefer to leave all revealed cards face up to save time.

When playing in the app, you can go through the game log to check what cards your opponent has revealed in the past. (Open the game log and click on the “Player resolved effect: Loyalty 2: etc.” to see cards revealed to Loyalty.)

Playing Around Information

Once you start keeping track of revealed cards, the next step is to play around those cards to weaken their effectiveness.

Avoiding Opponent’s Best Plays

On a basic level, playing around the cards you know are in your opponent’s hand involves denying those cards their best possible use cases. In order to do this, understanding the best possible use cases of your opponent’s cards is critical. Therefore, this is something you only get better at by gaining a better understanding of the game. The best way to improve is to lose to a new tactic, think about why you lost, and try to avoid losing the same way again.

Playing Around Examples

Ceasefire Example

Ceasefire is one of the most controversial cards at the writing of this article because it is an essential part of Chamberlain Kark decks. When played in conjunction with a Bodyguard block, Fumble, etc., it can essentially negate an entire turns worth of attack damage bridging Kark decks into their next turn to safely gain health while also drawing 2 cards.

If you know your opponent has a Ceasefire in hand, attacking with multiple champions in a group attack might be the only way to get significant damage through. However, if they have ways to negate that attack with a 0-cost card like Spike Trap, attacking in a group can be very dangerous.

Ceasefire is also a prime example of a card that when you see one of them, in a format that allows multiple copies, it can pay to preemptively play around the card even if you don’t know if they have one in hand. Any turn where an opponent can spend their gold first to draw 2 and limit combat damage to approximately 4 is a strong turn, usually.

Preemptively playing around cards has a lot of caveats, relies on knowing your opponent’s deck/being able to deduce it based on cards played or revealed, and is out of the scope of this article. Essentially it boils down to learning when making the “wrong play” is the best play.

Hide Your Best Plays

While in many situations you only have 2 cards you can reveal to a Loyalty 2 ability, determining which cards to reveal when you have more than 2 is important. Generally, you do not want to reveal your most impactful plays or your plays that are the easiest to play around.

Card Hiding Examples

Hasty Retreat is a card I like to hide whenever possible. The reason for this is that it protects me from most Gold-Punishers if I’m forced to use my gold first on my opponent’s turn. It also protects me if my opponent commits a Lash/Rage to a blocked champion. If my opponent knows I have a Hasty Retreat in hand, they generally won’t commit resources that allow my Hasty Retreat to really shine.

Army of the Apocalypse is another card I like to hide. If my opponent knows I have Army, they can focus their discard pile banish effects on my champions to preemptively neuter my Army.

Amnesia is nice to hide in Dark Draft because your opponent could try to go for a draw out victory. If they do, you can punish them at the last moment and negate multiple gold spent to draw cards to a full-hand.

Inner Peace and other health gain can be nice to hide. Being able to lull your opponent into committing their burn to your face can be devastating.

Hiding a Winged Death to punish a Sea Titan is great.

In general, it is also usually great to hide your unusual inclusions. For instance, if you are going for a Drinker of Blood combo kill, revealing your Drinker early lets your opponent know they need to hold onto a Flash Fire or Wither to answer a board of small champions before you can play your Drinker.

Deciding which cards to reveal depends on what cards are in play, what you have in hand, and what you expect your opponent to do. As a rule of thumb, I like to reveal duplicates to only reveal 1 potential play. I also like to reveal cards I plan on using before my opponent spends their gold, such as Triceratops and other establishing champions. Cards I plan on using just to draw 2 can frequently be strong choices as well.

Playing Into Information

One thing that can be even better than playing around your opponent’s answers is to purposefully play into them. When playing against experienced players that won’t make weak plays, guiding them into the “wrong” strong play can be critical.

Examples: Playing Into Your Opponent

Below are 3 examples of playing into your opponent’s revealed cards in order to guide their plays to your benefit.

Muse (Draw Out Removal)

If you watch my streams or read certain articles of mine, you know that I think Muse is a frustratingly powerful card. It is a 0-cost card that can grant you a major advantage and is difficult to deal with efficiently (particularly in core-only). However, if removed in a 1 for 1 trade (Wither, Flash Fire, Fireball, etc.) or better (Forcemage Apprentice, Wolf’s Bite, Siren’s Song, etc.), Muse can be worthless. Therefore, if your opponent reveals a Wither, playing something your opponent can Wither (Guilt Demon for instance) can draw out their Muse-Removal before you play your Muse. Even though your opponent using Wither to break Guilt Demon is strong, if it costs them their only Muse-Removal, they are in a terrible situation.

Noble Unicorn Bait

In a recent Dark Draft I played, I had drafted Amnesia and a bunch of strong defensive cards in order to pursue a draw out victory. Near the middle of the game, my opponent played Angel of Death and revealed Succubus and one other Evil card.

In order to bait out the Succubus, I played Noble Unicorn on my turn. On their turn, after attacking with Angel of Death, they played Succubus to draw a card and Banish my Noble Unicorn, a very strong play. However, this allowed me to play Forked Lightning on their turn, break both of their 6/5 airborne champions, leave them with just a zombie, and get back into a defensible position. While drawing a card and removing a champion is strong, me being able to essentially off-turn board clear with no downside was much more important in that game.

Ambush Blocker?

In my Bo7 showmatch against John Tatian, I was in a situation where my opponent played Memory Spirit the turn before to return a Drain Essence to hand. Then, on his turn he attacked with the Memory Spirit. I played my Memory Spirit and here is what the casters (cnoz and CJ Moynihan) thought about the play, what my opponent thought about the play, and my explained reasoning at the time.

Casters perspective – 1:46:46 to 1:49:44

Opponent’s perspective – 1:49:37 to 1:51:40

My Explanation – 12:17 to 15:18

When I assembled these clips I was “remembering” that I was talking/thinking about playing Memory Spirit to “play into” his Drain Essence for multiple reasons. Since I knew he had Drain Essence, the obvious play would have been for him to Drain my Memory Spirit to prevent me from blocking/trading, and to get 5 damage through. I was fine with this for these 3 primary reasons:

In the clip, however, I primarily talk about “playing around” Drain Essence by not playing my Ice Drake. Then, I talked about not blocking to “play around” a possible Steel Golem. While John was incredibly close to taking my bait, unfortunately for me he proved again why he is the World Champion by passing up the obvious play. Looking back at it now, I still think this was the correct play for me in this situation though. (I also think John made the correct play in response: gain 9 health fairly safely, not overcommit to the board, and remove my 7 damage threat/card drawer.)

Feeding Your Opponent Information Examples

Sometimes, revealing a card to your opponent to force them to play around it can be beneficial. Basically, if you can force your opponent to disrupt their play in such a way that you can exploit it, you can gain an advantage.

Flame Strike

Fellow Pluck You team member and Epic personality Tom Dixon has gone on the record multiple times discussing one such example: include 1 Flame Strike in your constructed deck and reveal it as soon as possible. By doing this, you let your opponent know that 8 health is effectively 0 for the entire match. Therefore, your opponent will make sub-optimal plays to stay above 8 health, regardless of whether or not Flame Strike is in your hand at that point.

In addition, since you have already gained the advantage of influencing your opponent’s play, you can freely use your Flame Strike as removal. Since your opponent will probably expect you to have more copies in your constructed deck, they will still feel the need to play around it.

Ceasefire/Ice Drake

As mentioned in my Ceasefire example above, Ceasefire/Ice Drake are two powerful cards that encourage your opponent to attack in groups to play around them. Attacking in groups in Epic is usually “wrong” since 1 champion can block multiple. In addition, cards like Spike Trap and Hands from Below can punish group attacks. By showing your opponent Ceasefire/Ice Drake, you encourage them to play in a way that you can punish with your other cards.

Conclusion

Effectively utilizing revealed information is an important step in becoming a better Epic player. By playing around (and occasionally into) your opponent’s revealed cards, you can lessen their effectiveness, and by strategically revealing your Loyalty 2 cards, you can influence your opponent’s plays. From here, the next step is learning how to deduce the cards that might be in your opponent’s deck/hand, and to utilize this information in the same way.

Showmatch Raw Footage Posted

Yesterday, World Champion John Tatian and I finished our Best of Seven First Encounter Showmatch. It was a lot of fun, and we had quite a few games that were Epic in every way: close, exciting, and long.

So far we have my raw stream footage uploaded to Youtube, John’s raw stream footage can be seen on his blog, and both streams can be watched simultaneously with commentary from cnoz + CJ Moynihan.

My Stream: Part 1, Part 2
John’s Stream
cnoz + CJ’s stream (audio starts at 47:00)

Edited videos are planned as well.

 

Core Tier Charts (Wild Update)

I have updated my Dark Draft, Core-Only, Tier Charts article to include my Wild tier charts, included below. Check out the main article for explanations on when and why I draft specific alignments.

Wild Commitment Pick 1 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

Wild Commitment Pick 2/3 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

Core Tier Charts (Sage Update)

I have updated my Dark Draft, Core-Only, Tier Charts article to include my Sage tier charts, included below. Check out the main article for explanations on when and why I draft specific alignments.

Sage Commitment Pick 1 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

Sage Commitment Pick 2/3 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

Constructed Saturday

Dark Draft Saturday (5/13/17)

My favored Epic Constructed playstyle varies significantly from most other people I have played against. Usually, my constructed decks are hyper-distilled versions of my Get Ahead, Stay Ahead limited playstyle. I also favor tribute/loyalty -> draw a card champions higher than most. The best example of this is my Core Epic Humans deck based off of my Combative Humans deck.

On Saturday 5/13/17 I plan on streaming 6 hours of constructed from 11am CST to 5pm CST primarily highlighting my Core Epic Humans deck. Just like last time, I will be taking challenges from my Twitch Chat. Those that challenge me are welcome to “stream snipe” by remaining in chat and playing with the stream video and audio on while I explain my plays and give advice. Whether or not a challenger chooses to “stream snipe,” I’ll provide feedback at the end of each game.

It is also possible I might break out some of my other Core-Only decks or try out some chat submitted decks.

The stream (Saturday, 5/13/17 from 11am CST to 5pm CST) can be watched live at: twitch.tv/tomsepicgaming

At minimum, the raw footage will be uploaded to YouTube.

World Champion Showmatch Reminder

As I reminder, I will be taking on World Champion John Tatian in a best of 7 showmatch on 5/20/17 at 2pm CST. For full details click here.

For links to all of my Epic content click here.

Core Tier Charts (Good Update)

I have updated my Dark Draft, Core-Only, Tier Charts article to include my Good tier charts, included below. Check out the main article for explanations on when and why I draft specific alignments.

Good Commitment Pick 1 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

Good Commitment Pick 2/3 Chart

Searchable Spreadsheet

(Click picture for full size)

First Encounter Bo7 Showmatch Vs World Champion

Event

I, Tom’S Epic Gaming, have challenged the World Champion, John “Tatdaddy” Tatian, to an Epic best of 7 showmatch on the Epic Digital Alpha. This will be the first time we have ever played against each other. We will be live streaming the showmatch on our respective Twitch channels listed below.

Who will win, the Prolific Blogger or the Undefeated World Champion?

Time

Saturday, May 20th starting at 2pm CDT (UTC -5)

Where to Watch

Tom’S Epic Gaming’s perspective will be live streamed at twitch.tv/tomsepicgaming

World Champion John Tatian’s perspective will be live streamed at twitch.tv/johntatian

Format

This showmatch will consist of a best of 7 games with 7 different decks:

  • The first 2 games will be Dark Draft
  • The next 3 games will be Constructed
  • The final 2 games will be Dark Draft

Each game of Dark Draft will be preceded by a new Draft.

Each game of constructed may not feature the same primary alignment.

For example, if my first constructed deck has 33+ Evil, my second and third constructed decks may have, at most, 27 Evil each. If my second deck has 33+ Good, my third deck may have at most 27 Evil and 27 Good.

Stakes

If I win, John Tatian has agreed to write a guest article here on Tom’S Epic Gaming.

If John wins, I have agreed to treat him to lunch at a restaurant of his choice at either Origins, Gen Con, or Worlds.

Videos

So far we have my raw stream footage uploaded to Youtube, John’s raw stream footage can be seen on his blog, and both streams can be watched simultaneously with commentary from cnoz + CJ Moynihan.

My Stream: Part 1, Part 2
John’s Stream
cnoz + CJ’s stream (audio starts at 47:00)

Edited videos are planned as well.