A tier thread

Discussion in 'Puzzle-Strike: Bag of Chips' started by rabid_schnauzer, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    Hm - a character strong against Jaina, Midori, Val and Menelker? How 'bout Oni? ;)
    Though he can have a hard time against Grave who is free this week.
  2. Star Slayer

    Star Slayer Well-Known Member

    Actually, I was just posting my results of playing with and against those characters. To give some feedback on the state of their power/style/interestingness. I mostly played different characters to test their power and style and not to climb the leaderboards. That comes when the game is actually finished. ;)

    I based my comments and ranking on the strength of characters. This may be a little bit subjective though and I am not claiming to be spot on. However, I don't think that I am far off, either. :)
  3. skies

    skies Active Member

    What do you use as criteria to place a character in a Tier? I always thought that it should be based on something like power level based on all possible puzzle chip banks and match-ups. Something like the lower for example:

    1) Top tier: These characters some very strong moves and very few exploitable weaknesses. They stay strong even when the opponent counter-picks because they are good in every match-up.

    2) Middle tier: These characters are strong, but can be slightly bank dependent and have trouble against a few other characters. In a small number of banks and match-ups winning is harder but possible without luck.

    3) Bottom tier: These characters are bank dependent and have trouble against a few other characters. On a couple banks and match-ups winning is really hard and maybe requires little luck.

    4) Garbage tier: These characters can be very powerful, but they have weaknesses that are too easily exploited. Opponents can almost always counter pick in such a way that you will lose the next game unless the opponent messes up. These characters are really only viable in the final game when you can't be counter-picked.

    If this really is the case (it's how I would do it), you would have to look for trends in which characters are used as a starting pick, and how the counter picks are used for each character.
  4. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    That's actually a really good question.

    Tiers can reasonably be based on number of good matchups, strength of good matchups, number of bad matchups, weakness of bad matchups, vulnerability to counterpicking, likelihood of favorable/unfavorable bank. It's probably also worth considering percentage and strength of matchups against the top-tier as well as the most popular characters.
    Star Slayer likes this.
  5. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    This really doesn't seem right to me... "Garbage" tends to really imply "not reasonable to pick in a tournament, ever". It's usually reserved for characters that are easy to counter *and* aren't really strong enough to get wins with their best play even when not encountered. Otherwise, they should probably just be bottom of tier 3 (using viva's chart from back on post 2).

    Other than that, I just think your list is too confining. A lot of establishing tiers is really situational. A character who happens to only have a few good matchups, but those good matchups are against top tier characters tends to deserve to be placed much higher than a character that has a lot of good matchups, but loses hands-down to one specific popular/top-tier pick.
  6. Star Slayer

    Star Slayer Well-Known Member

    Normally, I use the tier list that Sirlin talks about in this article. vivafringe quotes this very list in post two of this thread. However, since others have used school grades to diversify their lists beyond the normal three tiers (top, middle bottom), I did the same. I felt that there are enough noticible differences between the characters to justify further graduation. So, even if my last list has basically four tiers, none of them is meant to be god or garbage tier.

    This is how I rate the characters. Where I finally place a character is determined by looking at most of these factors together. I am no expert in counterpicking, so I normally leave this one out.

    This on the other hand is not how I rank the characters. Popular characters can change every week. Especially with the "two different characters each week are free" system. When Setsuki is free, playing Onimaru becomes less appealing, because he would encounter a bad match-up more often. Playing Jaina would probably be better this week. However, this doesn't make Onimaru any less good overall.
  7. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    However, I don't think that the puzzle strike metagame is mature enough for there to be strong consensus on a lot of matchups.

    While there's probably a lot of agreement on who the best and worst matchups are for established and heavily played characters like Val, Sets and Grave, there just isn't enough experience out there with some of the less popular characters like Quince and Vendetta nor with the most recent revisions of other characters like Gloria and Arg.

    So if we tried to who's advantaged and by how much in a complete list of matchups, we';re gonna have several unknowns and a lot of guesswork.
    Aesa and NidoKing like this.
  8. Star Slayer

    Star Slayer Well-Known Member

    I admit that there is quite a bit of guesswork and gut feeling involved in my ranking. I hope that I didn't give the impression of telling the absolute truth. I just wanted to provide some feedback after playing (with or against) the latest versions of the Puzzle Strike characters.
    rabid_schnauzer and NidoKing like this.
  9. Menelker

    Menelker Member

    When i think teir list, i think: How well does a character perform in a game used by competant players, compared to other characters with the same criteria in mind. In this game it is tough to discern this because of many factors. I will use myself as an example. I am the highest ranked Menelker on the leaderboards but i don't think (or know if) i am really the most competant of players that could play him. Also, i have used him all the way through when i started out as a student so i accumalted quite few losses while i was learning him which may skew the stats, were some to look at purely win/loss ratios (not saying i'm a good player, just saying that i am better now VS when i was a student and learning). Also, many characters are less popular, as has been stated, but that may not be because of power level (it may be because they haven't been the free characters of the week or maybe they don't appeal to a person in terms of their character). Thats enough rambling from me, just thought i might share a few of my thoughts.
  10. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Well let me just put this out there:

    If you think you really know a character, feel free to post where you think each of their matchups falls on a scale something like Strongly Advantaged, Advantaged, Close Match, Disadvantaged, or Very Disadvantaged. (or Unknown). Assume competent players of roughly equal skill and a tournament type format with a starting random bank but counterpicking in subsequent games capable of influencing the overall best of N match.

    For example, I would rank Perse as

    Strongly Advantaged vs: Val, Quince?
    Advantaged vs: Gloria, Oni, Grave?, Degrey, Troq, Gwen
    Close vs: Sets, Jaina?, Rook, Midori, Lum? Vendetta? Menelker?
    Disadvantaged vs: Zane, Arg, Geiger?
    Very Disadvantaged vs: BBB
  11. Parkinsonian

    Parkinsonian New Member

    I think Viva had a similar spreadsheet for Yomi. Perhaps we could make a 16x16 grid with matchup percentages given Rabid's condition, with an estimated +/- variance on matchups based on counterpicking in the bank?

    Example (Numbers are way off.)
    Perse .3 +/- .1 and so on, with two columns totalling matchup win % and variance
  12. Menelker

    Menelker Member

    Well, here's my go then for Menelker:
    Strongly Advantaged: no one
    Advantaged vs: Jaina
    Close vs: everyone but Jaina and Oni
    Disadvantaged vs: Oni
    Very disadvantaged vs: no one
  13. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    I think Menelker completely destroys Vendetta. Like, 8-2 or even 9-1.
  14. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    My take on Oni:

    Strong Advantage: Jaina, Vendetta, Geiger
    Advantage: Midori, Rook, Degrey, Lum, Menelker, Gwen, Zane
    Close: Grave, Valerie, Quince(?), Troq(?), BBB(?), Arg
    Disadvantage: Gloria, Perse(?)
    Strong Disadvantage: Setsuki

    Come to think of it, since launch, I don't think I've played against Quinec, BBB, or Perse with anyone, and I don't think I've played against Troq with Oni.
  15. Menelker

    Menelker Member

    You know you're not the first person to state that and even when i was playing against a few Vendettas they stated the same but i never once felt that was the case in the games. In fact, i felt that Vendetta vs Menelker goes back and forth and can really depend on what is in the bank.
  16. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    Hm. The one time I played you in a long series with Vendy, I think you took 8 out of 10 games from me. But that's quite possibly because I suck at Vendy (though I suspect it's in large part because Vendy sucks against Menelker).
  17. Inkstud

    Inkstud Patreon Supporter

    What is it that you theorize makes Menelker so strong against Vendetta?
  18. skies

    skies Active Member

    I played quite a bit of this matchup the other night.

    Menelker doesn't require combines as early as other characters because of DD. Stunlock is weaker to useless depending how the game is going.

    Without incredible luck, Vendetta will not be able to Surgical Strike DD every time, so while Menelker can't wait until the last minute anymore, it is still very strong because Vendetta has no natural pile control. Even a smaller DD is hard to deal with.

    Vendetta has low econ power and it gets worse against Menelker, so his buy options are limited. They are even more limited by Menelker removing a Vendetta's best puzzle chip choice.
  19. skies

    skies Active Member

    Would it be possible for the server to track character match-up wins between master 2 v master 2 and higher? I think at Master 2 it's safe to say that the player has a pretty good handle on that character.
  20. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    You can get Master 2 by playing something like three games on a character (assuming you've played another character through the Student ranks already).
  21. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    It's somewhere around master 4 to master 6 where rank converges with ELO.
  22. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Staff Member

    It depends on your win/loss also. I still haven't had rank/ELO convergence on my PS Onimaru (He is getting 20% per win/6% for loss)
  23. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    grandmaster world champion garcia1000 is not limited by concepts such as ELO
  24. skies

    skies Active Member

    Okay, then when whichever criteria is appropriate is met, would it be possible to collect that data?
  25. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Time for weekly leaderboard top 3 each character spreadsheet update:

    char player ranks wins/games ratio

    Oni g2m gm m8 253 / 331 0.7643504532
    Zane m7 m6 m3 84 / 114 0.7368421053
    Jaina g3m g2m m10 354 / 488 0.7254098361
    Valerie g2m m10 m10 350 / 484 0.7231404959
    Setsuki m9 m9 m8 179 / 251 0.7131474104

    Arg m10 m7 m4 137 / 196 0.6989795918
    Rook gm m6 m5 123 / 179 0.687150838
    Quince m5 m4 m3 61 / 89 0.6853932584
    Troq m6 m5 m4 80 / 119 0.6722689076

    Midori m9 m9 m8 325 / 514 0.6322957198
    Menelker gm m8 m7 290 / 461 0.6290672451
    Lum m9 m7 m6 168 / 268 0.6268656716
    Persephone m10 m7 m6 234 / 383 0.6109660574
    Vendetta m8 m7 m3 125 / 205 0.6097560976

    Grave m8 m7 m6 283 / 472 0.5995762712
    Bal-Bas-Beta m7 m7 m4 154 / 268 0.5746268657

    Gwen m8 m6 m4 425 / 774 0.5490956072
    DeGrey m5 m5 m4 168 / 315 0.5333333333
    Geiger m5 m5 m5 155 / 296 0.5236486486
    Gloria m8 m6 m3 118 / 226 0.5221238938

    And for comparison, here's a week ago

    A lot of the leaderboard top players are sitting on the exact same w/l record and big changes only really happen when a new player cracks the top 3.
    Chronic717 is now the 2nd player on this chart with over 300 games as Gwen.
    Aesa'a Zane, mrbuddha's rook and Aesa's Jaina are the highest three overall win rates
  26. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised that Grave is so low. I think he's fairly strong overall or perhaps more specifically, he doesn't have a glaring weakness.

    Maybe BBB is low because not many people play him, but I think he's quite a bit better than Vendetta. In fact, in my personal tier list, Vendetta would be between Geiger and Gloria, Arg would be a few notches lower, and grave would be a few higher and BBB would be one or two higher. (Only messed around with Quince and Perse and have literally never played Gloria, so I can't comment on them).
  27. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Well sorting by top 3 leaderboard players w/l ratio likely has a significant bias due to "who's playing these characters and how much." and likely a less-significant bias based on how hard they try to game the leaderboards. Assuming the game is reasonably close to balanced, then it's highly likely that anyone who the top dozen or so players plays heavily will end up with a strong w/l ratio provided that they match against the general playerbase and not against each other. Thus characters who any of the top dozen or so players mains in QM are likely to end up with a higher w/l ratio than characters mained by less skilled experienced players. Conversely, characters played as mains by players who are still learning or by players who are challenging themselves with repeated matches against better players will likely end up with worse ratios.

    As to Grave specifically, EricF is over 300 games at around a 60% win rate - the #2 and #3 Grave leaderboard players were each under 100 games last update - so most of Grave's ratio comes from the wins and losses of just one player.

    As to BBB, I would hazard a guess that there are three issues inhibiting his ranking. Firstly, I concur with your guess of popularity among top players, as the m7 m6 m4 ratings imply. Secondly, there is his general difficulty of play - he really does have to adapt to the bank and play different types of games each time. And finally, his best matchups are against less popular and/or expansion characters.

    As to Vendetta and Perse, they both also seem to have a rather high difficulty of play ( Although she's my best character now, I literally do not play Perse unless I am fully awake). This may account for them having lower leaderboard win/loss ratios than they would see in a tournament-type cenario.

    Quince's ratio was based on the fewest total games of anyone - so it's most likely to fluctuate substantially in the future.

    Gloria's ratio is "tainted" by having had a couple different version live since the reset, so assuming that we have it right (I think we do) and the current version was a buff, her ratio is going to be artificially low and represent her old version for a while, but her leaderboard ratios should rise over time.[/i]
  28. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    For Vendetta, I got him up to M7 and I don't necessarily think he's difficult to play. I think he just has to get pretty lucky. One of his chips is mediocre at best (stunlock), one is situational and often just fails completely (acrobatics), and playing for the long game (buying any money whatsoever) makes both of them even worse (the opp doesn't have to worry about combining for defense and acro gets drawn with a bunch of gems instead of enders). So as far as I can tell, outside of a few chips (Training Day, Color Panic), his only game plan is to try to get a very fast 4-gem and poke your crash a cycle or two, then kill you, which is great when it works, but only works some of the time.
  29. Aesa

    Aesa Well-Known Member

    After playing Grave more I would personally bump him to A+ tier. I know it's been a really long time since this change, but I only recently realized that -$1 Combine helps him a lot since he can simultaneously play/buy these all day long while other characters often choose one or the other.

    In other words, previous to the Combine nerf, he frequently ended turns and bought a Combine with 5, 6, or 7 money- therefore it affects him much less than guys who like to barely scrape 4 money over and over.
  30. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    So you could say that this is closer to "who do the stronger players prefer to play in QM" which may or may not have a strong correlation with "who is the strongest char"?
  31. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    One other thing to consider is character with fewer vulnerabilities to counterpicking as also favored a bit here.

    In a vaccuum, you might see something like "Lose to your midrange, I counterpick Sets, you counterpick Jaina, etc". This naturally balances itself out over time. In practice, not everyone has a broad range of characters. It's entirely plausible for an opponent to simply not have access to strong rushdown.

    Even without trying to explicitly game the system, I'm less likely to QM with Sets on "free Midori/Rook week". I know the odds of seeing rushdown matchup are higher than usual, and it's simply unwise to ignore that. In contrast, this week is probably a better one for me, since neither Val or Lum is particularly frightening to Sets.

    This mechanic naturally means that the more "pure" characters gain a couple points here or there, since they end up dodging some of their natural predators. Dunno if this is enough to have statistical significance, but figured it wouldn't hurt to mention.
  32. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Well I do suspect that there is at least a bit of a correlation between "who the strongest players like to play" and "who the strongest characters are"

    Also in my experience, there's not a lot of counterpicking in QM - in my experience QM rematches are most often (by a pretty big margin) random bank, with "let me swap characters away from a really bad matchup" a distant second and "let me counterpick specifically for the sake of playing to win" happening almost never.

    However as to my current entirely subjective ranking of characters, here's how I'd order them within the context of a competitive tournament with best-of-N matches, standard counterpicking and the assumption that I was solely playing to win. (listed in order inside each tier):

    Top (these are easy-mode wins, I would prepare to play as them or as their nemesis characters): Sets, Oni
    Near Top (I would still feel comfortable maining any of these in a tournament) : Zane, Perse, Menelker, Grave, Val
    Middle (I would use these as counterpicks or mixups in a tournament) : Jaina, Troq, Quince, BBB, Arg, Lum, Rook
    Below Middle (aside from counterpicks in a few matchups, I would avoid these if playing to win): Gloria, Midori, Vendetta,
    Bottom (I would not ever pick these if playing solely to win; I smile when my opponents play them): Geiger, DeGrey, Gwen

    And it's worth noting both that I can win against the top characters with characters I rank lower and that there are players of the three characters I put at the bottom who can give me difficult matches - which is to say that I think the overall balance is currently pretty tight.

    Edit: and this weeks leaderboard update:

    Oni g2m gm m9 261 / 340 0.7676470588
    Jaina g3m g2m m10 362 / 498 0.7269076305
    Valerie g2m m10 m10 353 / 488 0.7233606557
    Setsuki gm m9 m8 188 / 260 0.7230769231

    Arg m10 m7 m4 137 / 196 0.6989795918
    Zane m8 m7 m5 108 / 156 0.6923076923
    Rook gm m6 m5 123 / 179 0.687150838
    Quince m5 m5 m4 75 / 111 0.6756756757

    Lum m10 m9 m7 210 / 323 0.6501547988
    Midori m9 m9 m9 337/ 531 0.6346516008
    Menelker gm m9 m7 311 / 491 0.633401222
    Persephone m10 m9 m6 272 / 434 0.6267281106

    Troq m8 m6 m5 119 / 194 0.6134020619
    Grave m8 m8 m8 327 / 558 0.5860215054
    Vendetta m8 m7 m5 150 / 258 0.5813953488
    Bal-Bas-Beta m8 m7 m4 158 / 273 0.5787545788

    Gloria m9 m6 m5 136 / 238 0.5714285714
    Gwen m8 m6 m4 473 / 865 0.5468208092
    DeGrey m6 m5 m4 171 / 324 0.5277777778
    Geiger m7 m5 m5 95 / 182 0.521978022
  33. Inkstud

    Inkstud Patreon Supporter

    I am really surprised to see Jaina at middle rank on your list, R_S. She seems really super good to me. Like almost to a worrisome degree maybe. I guess I trust people ITT more than myself about this stuff but man, that double crash is real good.
  34. Aesa

    Aesa Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised to see Midori so low as well. Jaina/Grave are top to me but yea I agree balance is pretty much extremely tight.
  35. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Jaina is absurdly good in quickmatch, however she's pretty heavily a one-trick-pony and in a tournament setting opponents will likely know how to counterpick and play against her.

    Here're her likely matchups against everyone I ranked higher:

    Jaina may have the advantage over Sets, but if Sets counterpicks in Iron Defense, Ebb or Flow, Mixmaster, Safe Keeping or Dashing Strike it gets pretty close. Sets can also just barely pull out a five turn Master Puzzler victory if she hits the econ ramp ideally and Jaina gets stuck with a 2-buy (in a bank without any 2 cost chips) or drawing an unplayable combine off her 2nd or 3rd cycle PwF.

    Onimaru is considered to have the advantage over Jaina. His Double Slash makes him rushdown resistant, Riposte lets him replay key chips if Jaina uses Burning Vigor and if Jaina goes her usual pure rushdown, she's not out-econing him.

    It's close, but if Zane gets a 2 gem or two, he can straight up hold off a Jaina rush, crash-trashing doublecrash to self-wounding doublecrash. Zane can also Max Anarchy to line up either character's doublecrash.

    Perse and Jaina are roughly even. Anything in the bank to increase tempo and Jaina wins -- provided she doesn't increase tempo to end turn at a target pile height. Perse needs either One True Style, Mixmaster, Stolen Purples or a solid blue reaction to punish Jaina for trashing wounds. Also Perse absolutely needs to buy a first-cycle purple, psuedo-purple or CaH.

    Menelker has the advantage to start out, but if he loses a match, he just counterpicks in any chip with a pig and holds Deathstrike Dragon to fire Jaina's big doublecrash right back at her and her deck of wounds and combines that will never afford any more chips ever.

    Jaina has the advantage against Grave, but he has a viable game by going monopurple and outlasting her. Jaina needs to leverage her red arrow to prevent this - Knockdown, Stolen Purples, Color Panic, Mixmaster or Chip Damage ruin monopurple and force Grave to buy forks

    Val generally has the advantage over Jaina with Chromatic Orb pile control, fast cycling and a the ability to more than match Jaina's red game. If a competent Val buys a combine and knows to track purples and prepare against the UP + BV max possible pile height, Jaina has a really hard matchup here.

    Troq has a much better lategame than Jaina - and he has reasonable (if not good) odds of getting there against her if she goes pure rush. Jaina needs the bank to either give her something to leverage her red arrow and/or to deny Troq any washers to tilt this from "pretty close" to "strongly in her favor."

    Jaina is likely a pretty heavy favorite vs Quince. PwF adds gems to ignore flagstone tax, and buying a wound against tax isn't that bad for her. Quince might have a shot if he coutnerpicks Iron Defense, Gemonade, Draw Three, or Mixmaster. (maybe an Ouch! + SI combo might also work)

    Jaina vs BBB is gonna be somewhere between bank dependent and "I have no clue"

    vs Arg, Jaina is still my #1 counterpick. Even with Ebb or Flow, heavy combining and Safe Keeping to time Prot Ward Jaina still likely has the advantage.

    Jaina generally has the advantage vs Lum, he needs a combination of things in the bank to have a reasonable chance here.

    Strength of Earh combining gives Rook a faster 4 gem than Jaina. Stone Wall means that crashing less than a 4 slows her rush, and Big Rocks gives him a better lategame. Jaina is at the disadvantage unless she can use her red arrow. Even then, things are tough unless Rook is left forkless.

    Gloria: Jaina has a razor-thin advantage here. Knockdown or tempo-increasers lets her rushdown work. Ebb or Flow, SI, Money for Nothing, or wounding chips let Gloria live long enough to econ to a defensive doublecrash and slowly take control of the match. Alternately If Gloria can Healing Touch against 2 early crashes-for-money she may be able to last until Master Puzzler.

    Dragon Form Midori out-rushes Jaina. Dragon-Form Midori dies if Rig Training doesn't get him a second or third purple and if he can't thindeck. Non-dragon Midori just loses to Jaina. Overall this is bank-dependent - forks help Midori, reds and HFF help Jaina.

    Vendetta: I rate this as "no clue" Surgical Strike and Stunlock should make it a lot harder for Jaina to combine and hit with the big UP...but UP means that Surgical Strike to poke Jaina's crash isn't a win like normal.

    Giger: R&D's orb-fetching gives Giger a lot of rushdown resistance and he has far better lategame than Jaina. Cycling chips and forks tilt this towards Giger, tempo increasers and a couple of the reds tilt this towards Jaina.

    DeGrey: If Chumpy buys the first-turn combine, DeGrey has a narrow advantage. Against other DeGreys, Jaina gets a combine and then just doesn't care that her econ is pilebunked into buying wounds.

    Gwen: Gwen can use a lot of the reds defensively better than Jaina can offensively - but if Jaina gets to go a pure 2 gem, combine, 2 gem, combine sort of rushdown then Gwen really needs to focus on purples over cycling. WIthout bank help, neither character has a lategame.
  36. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    And now a different sort of subjective ranking, how I think the characters rate for Ease of Play:

    Top: these characters are quite effective if played straightforward and face comparatively few difficult decisions Rook, Arg, Grave

    Near Top: these characters can effectively pursue largely similar gameplans in most matches and most banks Val, Troq, DeGrey, Gloria

    Middle: these characters require an average amount of adaptation to the bank and the opponent in order to be effective Geiger, Menelker, Quince, Lum

    Below Middle: these characters require a greater than normal amount of adaptation to the bank and the opponent and/or they face many difficult decisions in their matches Midori, Sets, BBB, Vendetta

    Bottom: these characters have a high potential of shooting themselves in the foot and/or playing them optimally requires comparatively many difficult decisions Jaina, Oni, Gwen, Perse, Zane
  37. JelloMonger

    JelloMonger New Member

    Can we really even talk about tiers? There hasn't been enough empirical evidence to even discuss this topic. Most other fighting games do tiers based on tournament victories. The tournament matches usually show who is favored for match-ups, and the characters with the least amount of unfavorable match-ups are seeded into the higher tiers. As it stands, this doesn't seem to be that useful of a conversation.
  38. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    Re: Schnauzer's ease of play, tier lists
    I don't know what this says about me, but my 3 favorite (and most effective) chars are all in the hardest to play category (Oni, Jaina, Zane).

    I think Vendetta is easier to play, he just falls victim to variance a lot (Either that or I suck at him and there's more strategy there than I can figure out). The only difficult decision he has to make is what to surgical strike and even his buys are pretty straight forward (get lots of combines and things that pretend to combine).
  39. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Fair Point.

    Here's my counterpoint:

    We have now had 13 online tournaments where the expansion characters were allowed. Given that
    • Many of those tournies had small fields
    • Record keeping was pretty universally shoddy
    • All characters, rules and chips were not in their final forms during those tournies
    It would be nuts to claim that we are sure about tiering in the current form of the game. The metagame for the final version 3rd Edition+Upgrade+Expansion is still pretty young and will likely evolve. But it's also nuts to claim that we shouldn't even be talking about it - our data isn't as solid or complete or current as I would like, but we do have quite a bit of tournament experience for people to draw on.
    Aesa likes this.
  40. Sun Bro

    Sun Bro Member

    Sounds to me like it's time for another tournament!!
  41. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

    I guess I'll start running regular PS tournaments as well. It's a bit late this week, though, so I'll pick it up next week.
    kaiavrani likes this.
  42. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Update on leaderboard stats, 2 weeks since last one:

    Oni g2m g2m m9 290/380 0.7631578947
    Setsuki gm m9 m9 185/252 0.7341269841
    Valerie g2m m10 m10 354/490 0.7224489796
    Arg m10 m7 m4 137/196 0.6989795918

    Jaina g3m g3m g2m 557/797 0.6988707654
    Rook gm m7 m6 132/190 0.6947368421
    Zane m8 m7 m5 130/189 0.6878306878
    Quince m5 m5 m4 80/118 0.6779661017

    Lum m10 m9 m7 210/323 0.6501547988
    Perse m10 m10 m7 297/466 0.6373390558
    Menelker m10 m9 m7 329/519 0.633911368
    Troq m8 m7 m6 144/229 0.6288209607

    Midori m9 m9 m9 331/527 0.6280834915
    Grave m8 m8 m7 211/351 0.6011396011
    Vendetta m8 m7 m5 150/260 0.5769230769
    Gloria m9 m6 m5 138/241 0.5726141079

    BBB m7 m7 m6 166/293 0.566552901
    Gwen m8 m6 m4 572/1058 0.5406427221
    DeGrey m6 m5 m5 183/346 0.5289017341
    Geiger m7 m6 m5 210/427 0.4918032787

    Observations: There's been notably more movement in the two-week timeframe than in prior weekly updates. This may have to do a bit with the influx of new players from PAX East, or it may just be a result of a longer time between updates. Still, there are some characters who haven't seen any changes in matches played by their top three players over this two week period. This is the first update where a character had a less than 50% win rate on this metric.

    Predictions: over the next month or so, I expect a gradual fall in ratios and position for Arg (power level, effect of final nerf) and Rook (small number of games, high ratio concentrated on one player), and gradual rise in ratio and position for Perse (improvement in player experience) and Gloria (effect of final buff). Otherwise I expect characters to be relatively stable - although those with more games already played (Gwen, Jaina) are likely to be more stable than characters with smaller sample sizes (Quince, Zane)

    Congrats to Claymask for topping the leaderboards lately.
    Anyone know what happened to viva - is he busy elsewhere?
  43. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    Poor Geiger. He's fun to play, but there are two characters at least (Oni and Sets) who seem to be able to do just about everything he does, but better.
  44. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Well, with R&D, Geiger has much better pile control than Sets - so he's usually got a better game against Jaina and Perse.

    and while Oni's Double Slash at least matches R&D for pile control, Geiger might have slightly better combine-based 4 gem rushdown than Oni and Future Sight gives him better econ in banks where Oni can't abuse ramp chips. Thus Geiger likely has a better game against Gloria (although that's all conjecture)
  45. swordsman3003

    swordsman3003 Well-Known Member

    So I decided to hunker down and play Jaina nonstop and was shocked at how easy it is to win with her. I don't consider myself to be very good, it just seems really easy to monopurp with her even with all the changes.

    Then I looked and saw that the leaderboard top ten is 5/10 Jainas.

    It seems to me that Jaina can beat the bulk of the characters just by buying combines, 2 gems if not, and if not just a wound. The only thing I find myself thinking hard about is carefully timing when I'll draw stuff using playing with fire, not even bothering buying a brown puzzle to use off it most of the time.

    I'm not arguing that Jaina is powerful per se, but rather airing my thoughts that her winning strategy is so low in complexity compared to other characters. I found myself tempted by puzzle chips a few games, and lost. When I go back to buying straight combines, 2 gems, and wounds, I find that I can win at least a high enough percentage of the time to climb in rank. I feel like someone who is much better at the game and knows when to use puzzle chips correctly with her should be unstoppable.
  46. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Well I think Jaina is likely gonna be queen of the leaderboards for roughly forever, but (as Fry points out) that likely has at least as much to do with the speed of her matches as with her overall power level.

    And to update my position in the ongoing disagreement with Aesa, despite Jaina being my highest ranked leaderboard character currently, I doubt that I would ever open with her as a blind pick in a best-of-many tournament - too many of the best players are familiar enough with her to counter her rush, counterpick well, and exploit her bad matchups against Oni, Val, and Menelker
  47. swordsman3003

    swordsman3003 Well-Known Member

    Supposing there's isn't a metagame where people are starting with Jaina's counterpicks in order to beat her, why not try to take the first win? If your opponent counterpicks to beat your Jaina, you'll have the option to ruin the bank or else counter-counterpick. Jaina's well understood gameplay means you don't have to specialize and can learn an econ character or something.

    Just thoughts - I don't pretend to be good. Like I said before, I'm shocked at how easy it is to win with Jaina with a thoughtless strategy. I guess it's because she's the character who can still function with monopurp?
  48. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still alive, but have mainly moved on to dota 2.

    Regarding Jaina: I think she is top tier for sure, and would definitely blind pick her in tournaments. Blindpick Jaina 100% is definitely not stable, though. I'd disagree that Jaina is "easy" though; I think she has a lot of tactical decisions that don't involve buys. Probably swordsman3003 is underrating his ability, and is outplaying his opponents (granted, it is easier to outplay your opponents with a top tier char, heh).
  49. ApolloAndy

    ApolloAndy Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't blind pick her, because if you happen to stumble into an Oni or Menelker match, you lose and then you have to try to counterpick those guys with char switch and if they have a strong bank, you cry. But if I'm up 2-1 or it's 1-1 and this is the deciding match, I'll definitely swap in Jaina if I feel like I have a strong matchup.

    The thing about Jaina is she's fast (second char I bought specifically because she's fast and easy to grind with) and demands high level play from both sides. Basically anyone who isn't Oni, Val or Menelker (people might say BBB, but I disagree vehemently) has to buy a combine with their first $4+ buy, as far as I'm concerned and I see way too many people facing Jaina invest in something else their first one or two turns. Basically, if you respect the rush even before Jaina has taken her turn, I think a lot of characters can stand up to it. But if you say, "Well it's the first turn of the game, surely I can buy a 3-gem here" then you're asking for trouble.
  50. halfassured

    halfassured New Member

    Oh god, I'm #2 for Geiger? Bwahaha, I'm so terrible. That can't be doing much for his rating, but I guess most good players have more sense than to play Geiger.

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