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Bottomdecking: Paradox Armour

Decision: Should You Play Paradox Armour?

TL;DR:

In every new set, there will be some garbage.  This is it:  the Garbage.

Prelude:

Thanks to Michael C from Steel City Underworlds for suggesting I tackle this card in his article on neutral cards from the Thundrik/Ylthari set, which can be found here.

Factor: Block Defenses

Author's Note: Do not search "BDSM Orc" when looking for images for this section of the article.

Unless Bonekutta is some kind of secret masochist who desperately wants his leather-daddy to hit him and pull his hair, this card is terrible for anyone using a block defense.  This is easy enough to work out without getting into too much math: you lose one side of the defense die as a success and you gain a different side as a success.  If this was an even trade, you'd still be foolish to pay a glory to make it, but - importantly - it's not an even trade, as you now also automatically fail any defense where your opponent rolls a critical.  You've traded your +3 adamantite full plate for a seven-inch wide strip of bright green silk hanging in front of your giblets and the ability to jump out of the way real quicklike.

Factor: Dodge Defenses

One could be forgiven for thinking Paradox Armour might be useful for fighters with dodge defenses - after all you're trading one side of the die (crits) for two sides (blocks).  That's a 16.67% increased success chance per die!  And the more dice you roll, the better it gets, right?  Let's see...


Let's take a look at a hypothetical situation where Snirk is about to get smacked by a 3-hammer attack.  Without Paradox Armour, Snirk is going to dodge that attack about 60% of the time.  Now let's equip Paradox Armour on him (for some damn reason) and see how he does.  Well, for starters, your opponent is going to roll at least 1 critical symbol 42% of the time, and you'll automatically lose.  Snirk's survival rate is down to 58% already.  But you're also still going to lose some rolls where your opponent doesn't roll a crit.  When we factor in those cases, Snirk is only successfully defending only 46.46% of the time.

So all told, you've spent a glory point, an upgrade slot in your deck, and an action to upgrade your fighter - all to significantly reduce the chance that he will survive an attack.  Brilliant!

Factor: Flavor Text

Someone knew.  In the long course of designing this card - from concept to completion - someone knew how bad it was.  And that someone wrote the flavor text for the card.  "...this armour defies all forms of logic."  You absolute savage.

Alternate Path: Literally Any Other Upgrade With the Word "Armour" in the Title

If you've got your twisted little BDSM heart set on losing the ability to critically defend, take Light Armour and at least gain an attack die.  Blessed Armour certainly isn't great, but at least you'll get a bonus when you roll criticals, instead of being legally forced to say "oh bother" in your best Winnie the Pooh voice like you are if you play Paradox Armour.  Horrifying Armour is the trash heap where only the sketchiest raccoons lounge, but we still recommend it over Paradox Armour because Horrifying Armour doesn't make you pay glory to become measurably worse in every way.  Finally, Reinforced Armour is (no big secret here) extremely crippling against certain types of opponents but does nothing versus a majority of models - and paying glory to do nothing is somehow still better than playing Paradox Armour.

Alternately, if you'd actually like to improve your dodge-based defense, consider Ethereal Shield or Acrobatic.

Summary 

Every few months, I'll encounter someone in the ER who mumbles through a mouth full of broken teeth that they don't wear a seatbelt because doing so actually makes it more likely that you'll die in a crash because you'll be trapped in the car (nevermind the fact that "trapped in the car" is just one way to say "not ejected 35 feet onto hot pavement that's absolutely teeming with 2000-pound death wagons).  They trade their actual safety for the illusion of safety.  This card was printed for them - a love letter to antivaxxing, homeopathy, snake oil, and ghost shirts.  Unless you're also treating your sciatica with crystals and eating mummy wraps for your dizziness, please avoid this card.

Comments

  1. You made an interesting comment about Blessed Armour. Could you expand on why it is not so good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are simply too many ways to kill your average model with a single attack roll. Spells, Mollogs, Snirks, Great Strength, Trap, Encroaching Shadow, etc.

      Delete

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