« on: December 11, 2013, 04:43:52 PM »
To first understand my point, you will need to understand what I call a boom factor, a boom factor is a very big effect that is instantly visible, they are scary, big, and instant, to give an example of a well known game, in league, stuff like malphite's ult, ammumu's ult, even blitzcrank's hook are all boom factors, those are champs that are constantly banned, but don't do that well ( exept mummy), why are they so scary? boom factors, their VERY easy to notice, and always are followed up by something else. Meanwhile some champions with much better winrates ( did you know rammus is super strong atm?) are barely looked at, why? because there's no boom factor.
What are the boom factors in Infinity wars? The obvious ones are calamity, mass death, firestarter, constructor combos (Tough I wouldn't call herself the boom factor, just the scenario she bring), skraar, ect. This include the topic of this discussion, Martyr. Lets take a look at martyr's playability.
As you can see, martyr suddenly became very popular, only to slowly weaken at each meta shift. Still, its boom factor is there, and being a factionless card, many players do run that card, lets take a look at what martyr can do and what it can't.
-It can save your ass from a counter play, yes, martyr is a counter of a counter, this make it extremely frustrating for the player being countered. and this is its main boom factor.
-It can be comboed alongside stuff like infect and consume.
-It can be effective after the first turn its played, this make martyr a kind of spell that even if you miss, you get a good part of it still.
-It can stall one turn.
-It can be used to replace sage 1 when you don't want your characters to die from your sage 2, still, this is especially costly.
What is it that it can't do?
-It can't win the game, this is a big factor, martyr won't bring you closer to victory, only prevent the opponent from getting closer. This mean that martyr is a very one sided card, unlike most other cards. ( it can also prevent the opponent from countering your other source of win condition, ect: flamedawn rush)
-It can't block plays around mass death, exhaust. ect. Neither can it prevent the opponent from reaching a win condition such as casting call of the warpath, mega 02, ect.
If you miss-time your martyr, martyr can also be instantly killed by 1 heat wave, not bad for a 3 cost assassinate.
So, martyr must be comboed or timed, but if done so, it get a big boom factor, else, its on the weak side, a bit matchup reliant. lets compare this to the current meta card, wall of the dead.
wall of the end prevent all kind of win condition except moral ( that the faction happened to strongly counter.) and warpath, still, it does great at slowing those, better then martyr. it doesn't have to be timed, much easier to combo, much harder to counter ( a 6 cost card that very few players run except to counter wall these days) this is an uncommon(?).
lets take a look at an older meta, the flame bruiser meta, and specifically, knight of the flame dawn, back when it was a 8/8, nobody expected that card, its a common after all, has no boom factor, doesn't look even really fit with the faction that much. But one day, somebody realised just how ridiculously strong it was, and it quickly caught on, peoples would run flamedawn JUST for knight of the flame dawnm why? lets take a look at it. As a commander, its a consistent turn 2 8/8, so you deal 8 damages, what can the opponent do now?
Death ray, assuming it hit, you paid 3 to kill a cost 2 card, alongside with the 8 damages earlier, thats your lose.
block, at turn 2, no card could face knight, all of them lost, at turn 3, some few could, such as one of many and infected pack leader, this brought to players running those cards as commander only to counter knight of the flame dawn( you still take the 8 damage,) generally, only for the flamedawn player to play around since its so easy to predict. This made knight of the flamedawn a 100% effective card, its worst matchup was itself, making it worth to add as commander 100% of the time if you where at-least one purity flamedawn.
There is also a psychological part of it, a bit like how peoples still ban zed in league even tough hes weak, heres a quick history of martyr.
During the early closed beta test, martyr was very rarely played, even tough it was a very common card among the players due to the kickstarter and the playerbase ( most peps had a near full collection of core cards.), what was the focus of decks? generally, building an army, breeder decks where strong, flamedawn rush was and still is popular( it was more rushy back then), noble as commander wasn't uncommon. What about martyr? Well let me tell you, martyr was different back then. how different? IT WAS MUCH STRONGER! Back then, martyr worked in the command zone, so why would players play a noble over a martyr? simply put, clearing the board was not the meta and thus martyr could not tank a whole attack. This all changed when Aleta time traveler was released as a preview and had no +1 cost, sudently, aleta+double martyr as commander with 40 aspirants was simply ridiculous. Time traveler got nerfed to +1, and martyr got nerfed to not working in the command zone, still, this brought interest to martyr.
fast forward a bit, triple purity gluttony verore became popular, what countered that deck? Go figure, verore, so players started to stack control, and then due to the moral meta, players started to not play characters and sudently players started to make decks over 40 cards and stall, this was the birth of the 120 cards deck meta. What countered the mill control deck? flamedawn. what countered flamedawn? aoe, what countered aoe for the sake of flamedawn? Alongside with doing pretty well with stopping their agro? martyr. Martyr suddenly became a very popular card. This was when knight of the flamedawn became popular, and then later nerfed.
Fast forward to rise release, lethargy stone came out, most players adapted to a lethargy moral deck, others counterpicked with a flame/verore haste deck, once again, martyr was strong, but not as strong. Then came the warpath meta, where martyr could only block one character most of the time, still blocking a skraar's unstoppable was decent sometimes. Now were in the wall meta.
So to finish this off, as you can see, even tough martyr got a HUGE scary effect, some cards are better then it, just stealthily, may it be from pure power ( wall) or matchup (knight). Alongside with martyr's history and its high value, its simply natural martyr look a lot stronger then it is.