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Character Tier List Discussion


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#21
brandondash

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Seelah stands alone. :\



#22
wakasm

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I don't see the "God" case for Merisiel. She's a slow explorer, and her combat prowess is highly dependent on being alone - which is hard to manage in large groups or towards the end of the scenario, when most locations are closed. Her evade is pretty great though, particularly when talented so you can chose to leave the card on top. But that's about it.

 

 

 

The reason why Merisiel is god tier is because of her Evasion.  IMO, the only two god characters are Seelah and Merisiel.  They are the only two with abilities that are just consistently strong or have a high ceiling for situational investment.  

 

I've posted this before but evasion is really strong in Pathfinder.  Arguably the strongest utility action you can do. Rivaled only by scouting or free explore mechanisms, or a few fringe case of future characters that are just nutty. 

 

Being able to reliably set up situations with zero downside is strong.   Here is a list of why she is god tier:

 

  • If Merisiel finds the Villian early, it almost guarantees you victory and potentially can save you many many blessings/explores for the entire party since you'll know exactly where they are.  This situation alone has huge payoffs, and happens frequently due to how locations work as a 1/8 or less chance.

  • She completely nullifies "summon X before" locations and cards.

  • She plows through barriers like they were her living room front door with her disable, stealth, and general dexterity stats

  • She can let the party prepare for good boons you really want if she discovers them
  • Alternatively, she lets the party prepare for the nasty banes that you don't have an answer to right away  
  • She avoids things that would make her lose important cards which gives her flexibility and preparation  
  • She can be built very flexible as well (she can take a cure if you want, she can load up on blessings, and recharge them)
  • All the while being able to be alone (and getting a bonus for being alone) and one of the best combat characters because she requires so little to be able to fight 

Last but not least, she can do all of this without specific cards! Evasion is free, and her solo ability is a recharge (which also keeps her alive longer!).  This means that even the worst item can do something on her turn, which means she can always for the most part, facecheck into a location. 

 

Here is the very loose math on why Evasion is strong.  Each location has 10 cards.  On average, you'll find a henchmen or villain in 5 explores.   If there are 7 locations, and she  finds the villian first... you literally just saved, on average, 5 explores per location you don't need to permanently close.   That means if you as a group zerg down two locations, leaving 4 locations untouched, and the 1 location that has the villian where they are... and just get people who can temp close the other 4 - that's a net savings of about 20 explores, which is about, on average, 10 turns assuming 2 explores a turn. 

 

Obviously, that's a best case scenario... and some scenarios this won't happen at all, She won't  always find the villian first, but because the net savings potential is so high - she is put into a god tier.  Even if she finds the villian after exploring 2 full locations is still a net savings.  No other characters can do this as consistently, but the basic idea of each location that you can leave unturned because you've located the villian (sometimes from scouting) saves avg 5 encounters an untouched location.   The reason why scouting is sometimes worse is because evasion is reactionary, and for Scouting for the most part is not consistant.  Sure, Harsk can look at the first card at the end of his turn, which helps him prepare, he can't freeze a villian unless she is the top card, where as Merisiel ges her ability for EVERY card she encounters.  

 

Bacause of this, In every set after this one, evasion comes at a price.  All future characters that come either can only evade in certain situations, and/or have to pay something to do it.  That means vanilla Merisiel is even more OP because of this.  It's also why in future content, they've added more situations where things can't be evaded, because of how strong evasion is in Rise of the Runelords.

 

The only downside with her is if you use evade needlessly, because it does net you a loss of explore... but in most cases... the gain in action conversation offsets this greatly.  


Edited by wakasm, 18 February 2017 - 01:42 PM.

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#23
Thyraxus

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It's also why in future content, they've added more situations where things can't be evaded, because of how strong evasion is in Rise of the Runelords.

And then they went and created a character like Adowyn who is arguably even more OP, because thanks to her cohort she has a scout ahead power like Seelah/Harsk, only on steroids because she's neither limited on how often nor at what point during her turn she can use it. Basically, she will know what's next in the location deck any time and as often as she wants to, as long as she has her wolf companion (who is trivially easy to keep around due to her powers) and a card to recharge. And scouting it is even more powerful than evasion because it works even on banes that can't be evaded.

 

My guess is that this was at least part of the reason they introduced the "trigger" keyword in the Mummy's Mask set (stuff happening even when you only examine a card without actually encountering it)...


Edited by Thyraxus, 28 February 2017 - 01:44 AM.


#24
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It's also why in future content, they've added more situations where things can't be evaded, because of how strong evasion is in Rise of the Runelords.

And then they went and created a character like Adowyn who is arguably even more OP, because thanks to her cohort she has a scout ahead power like Seelah/Harsk, only on steroids because she's neither limited on how often nor at what point during her turn she can use it. Basically, she will know what's next in the location deck any time and as often as she wants to, as long as she has her wolf companion (who is trivially easy to keep around due to her powers) and a card to recharge. And scouting it is even more powerful than evasion because it works even on banes that can't be evaded.

 

My guess is that this was at least part of the reason they introduced the "trigger" keyword in the Mummy's Mask set (stuff happening even when you only examine a card without actually encountering it)...

 

 

I played as Adowyn on my first playthrough of Wrath - and she was indeed fun and powerful, but most of the characters in that set are due to the difficulty spike.  

 

To add to her OPness, her scouting also acts like a heal (since you recharge your cards), and there are lots of mounts that let you move locations as well.  And you can use your scouting for other players at your location due to that timing you pointed out. (And she potentially has the ability to evade summoned things, or let others evade as well!).  Plus her combat special abilities can be used with any Cohort, and some scenarios give your group 5.  Guess who gets all the useless ones!?

 

I still think Wrath is the best set just because your characters get a lot of deeper challenges, deeper interactions, and flexiblity with most characters with the Mystic Paths.  However, Adowyn definitely helped shape that opinion a bit on a first playthrough!  


Edited by wakasm, 28 February 2017 - 01:47 PM.

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#25
Thyraxus

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I played as Adowyn on my first playthrough of Wrath - and she was indeed fun and powerful, but most of the characters in that set are due to the difficulty spike.

She also was my character when I first played, and I had a lot of fun with her. The other players were so stunned by the stunts she can pull, they almost accused me of cheating, or at least of having read her abilities wrong. My favorite: recharging an entire bad hand (like when the starting draw doesn't have a weapon due to her favorite card being 'Ally') by repeatedly scouting 'in place' (which kind of feels dumb, because basically you're just looking at the exact same card over and over) so I could draw a complete fresh set of cards.
 

you can use your scouting for other players at your location due to that timing you pointed out.

Actually, that didn't even occur to me at the time. Nice catch.

#26
Faray

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I don't see the "God" case for Merisiel. She's a slow explorer, and her combat prowess is highly dependent on being alone - which is hard to manage in large groups or towards the end of the scenario, when most locations are closed. Her evade is pretty great though, particularly when talented so you can chose to leave the card on top. But that's about it.

 

 

 

The reason why Merisiel is god tier is because of her Evasion.  IMO, the only two god characters are Seelah and Merisiel.  They are the only two with abilities that are just consistently strong or have a high ceiling for situational investment.  

 

 

 

I have to disagree; I think evasion is not that strong.

 

Your biggest plus is, if she finds the villain early. First off, there is a low chance (Assuming a 4 person party it’s 1/6 that she’s in the location that has the villain). Then she isn’t guaranteed to find it early in the location (It could be at the bottom of the deck). Then (if on legendary) there’s the problem that the location might be out of the way, so if I move her without closing it, I might have to back track losing valuable turns). Even if it works out well, the evasion may shuffle the villain back to the bottom. You can do the same thing with Augury and some items, but Augury is much better as 1) It might get rid of other monsters you can place on the bottom 2) It places the villain on top 3) It doesn't cost tempo and can speed things up. 

 

On legendary when finding the villain (Depending on the scenario) it can be better to just take the free closing and know where the villain could be in the remaining locations (Especially on legendary if it’s a location with only one adjacent location)

 

Evasion is good when you are forced to summon something during an encounter, or someone else’s encounter (Goblin Raid, bandit tower). Any other situation is a net loss of tempo (If I explore and evade my encounter, I lost an explore)

 

Merisiel biggest flaw is she doesn’t start with a weapon in a deck that doesn’t have many weapons. This hurts Merisiel more than Seelah who also doesn’t start with weapons, because Seelah doesn’t need Dex to be strong, and without a weapon Merisiel is forced into strength. Sure you can evade encounters until she gets a weapon, but again that’s losing tempo and turns.

 

I agree she’s the best barrier killer, and alone if she gets a ranged weapon she is a very strong combatant.

 

I’m definitely not saying Merisiel is bad, and evasion has it’s uses, but it definitely isn’t god tier in my opinion.


Edited by Faray, 02 March 2017 - 10:12 AM.


#27
MHCD

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I don't see the "God" case for Merisiel. She's a slow explorer, and her combat prowess is highly dependent on being alone - which is hard to manage in large groups or towards the end of the scenario, when most locations are closed. Her evade is pretty great though, particularly when talented so you can chose to leave the card on top. But that's about it.

 

 

 

The reason why Merisiel is god tier is because of her Evasion.  IMO, the only two god characters are Seelah and Merisiel.  They are the only two with abilities that are just consistently strong or have a high ceiling for situational investment.  

 

 

 

I have to disagree; I think evasion is not that strong.

 

Your biggest plus is, if she finds the villain early. First off, there is a low chance (Assuming a 4 person party it’s 1/6 that she’s in the location that has the villain). Then she isn’t guaranteed to find it early in the location (It could be at the bottom of the deck). Then (if on legendary) there’s the problem that the location might be out of the way, so if I move her without closing it, I might have to back track losing valuable turns). Even if it works out well, the evasion may shuffle the villain back to the bottom. You can do the same thing with Augury and some items, but Augury is much better as 1) It might get rid of other monsters you can place on the bottom 2) It places the villain on top 3) It doesn't cost tempo and can speed things up. 

 

On legendary when finding the villain (Depending on the scenario) it can be better to just take the free closing and know where the villain could be in the remaining locations (Especially on legendary if it’s a location with only one adjacent location)

 

Evasion is good when you are forced to summon something during an encounter, or someone else’s encounter (Goblin Raid, bandit tower). Any other situation is a net loss of tempo (If I explore and evade my encounter, I lost an explore)

 

Merisiel biggest flaw is she doesn’t start with a weapon in a deck that doesn’t have many weapons. This hurts Merisiel more than Seelah who also doesn’t start with weapons, because Seelah doesn’t need Dex to be strong, and without a weapon Merisiel is forced into strength. Sure you can evade encounters until she gets a weapon, but again that’s losing tempo and turns.

 

I agree she’s the best barrier killer, and alone if she gets a ranged weapon she is a very strong combatant.

 

I’m definitely not saying Merisiel is bad, and evasion has it’s uses, but it definitely isn’t god tier in my opinion.

 

Merisiel also has a decent strength, though (which is easily boosted by blessings), and she can recharge or even discard when in a tough spot.  She favors a quickly recycling deck anyway, so it shouldn't be too long before you find yourself with multiple weapons - she can certainly dig through her deck for them much better than Seelah, who is penalized for doing so and may end up discarding them anyway with an unlucky or unoptimal use of grace.  The fact that she can recycle quickly without investment means she utilizes items like the staff of minor healing better than some, mitigating the opportunity cost of using allies or blessings to explore.

 

Something I tried out a couple months ago and have had some fun with is giving Merisiel the Ilsoari Gandethus I found.  As she can evade a potential summon, the only downside is occupying an ally slot, leaving her a better scout than Harsk from the beginning of the game, since she can use Ilsoari's superior scouting method.  Repeated use occupies a slot in your hand, but you essentially buy the scouting power feat for the cost of an increased hand size feat.  And I know that card is not exclusive to Meri, but she can use it more easily than anyone, particularly in the early game.

 

Her evasion and spike damage potential may seem great but only circumstantial; however, the more she sees play (especially as the game progresses), the more often one can find those circumstances coming into play when her abilities are exceptionally effective.  I still don't know if I'd put her in "god-tier", but she certainly has a high floor with still room to grow.

 

 

 

I also agree with the comments regarding the impact on "tiering" played by factors like party size (and others like synergies with other characters, but that is a long and complicated discussion itself).

-  While I doubt anyone would give Harsk overall MVP, his potential undoubtedly scales with party size, for both roles and both alts.

-  I'm in the possible minority who prefer Valeros to Amiri in small parties, where the advantages of lower variance and Teamwork powers and the benefit of being able to recharge weapons are more significant for me; but the larger the party, the more Amiri can throw weapons at enemies and HULK SMASH her way through obstacles without worrying about death by discard (or requiring healing to recycle weapons).  Legendary difficulty also impacts the warriors' comparative effectiveness, which again scales based on party size.  I'd vote Val having a higher floor than Amiri, but at least overall, she has a higher ceiling (solidified when using her alt).

-  Ezren is another who scales up with party size, especially when using used as a utility mage instead of a blaster.  The more blessings others have to pass around, the less the opportunity cost of bringing the wizard, and the more teammates facing various challenges, the more he can really bring to the table his ability to support anyone doing anything.  Unparalleled exploration in the right locations only exaggerates that curve.

-  Lem's change depends on grouping playstyle.  Some people are more likely to explore in groups with a large party size, but I generally spread out more with more areas, so for me, Lem's effectiveness increases with smaller parties who can travel and close areas together (though I think he can be played to handle his own in large parties as well, especially if you go with Virtuoso).  As a jack-of-all trades character, his value may further increase in smaller parties for those looking to cover more bases.  Even without Virtuoso or any superior skillful / clever use, you can always spam healing with Versatile Performance to nova top-tier blessings support, Seelah-level exploration, or just solo without worry of playing conservatively.

-  Sajan likely has the greatest disparity between optimization floor and ceiling, but if potential effectiveness is how things are ranked, I can't see him anywhere but in the same high rank as Ezren and Lini, though more because of differences in playstyle than party size.  Sure he can be misused/under-utilized and become the most regrettable choice on a team, but no one else provides both the best consistent spike damage for tough combat checks and the best blessings bank for versatile individual and team support - with healing support (and practice), he can even fulfill both at once while also exploring like a boss. 



#28
Edannan

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I played as Adowyn on my first playthrough of Wrath - and she was indeed fun and powerful, but most of the characters in that set are due to the difficulty spike.

She also was my character when I first played, and I had a lot of fun with her. The other players were so stunned by the stunts she can pull, they almost accused me of cheating, or at least of having read her abilities wrong. My favorite: recharging an entire bad hand (like when the starting draw doesn't have a weapon due to her favorite card being 'Ally') by repeatedly scouting 'in place' (which kind of feels dumb, because basically you're just looking at the exact same card over and over) so I could draw a complete fresh set of cards.
 

you can use your scouting for other players at your location due to that timing you pointed out.

Actually, that didn't even occur to me at the time. Nice catch.

 

 

I had a similar experience with the Cavalier(Lancer). Giving him a Mount (Or better, a variety of mounts) that can explore allows for utterly ridiculous situations, like closing two different locations on the first turn of the game. It turned Justifiable Deicide into an absolute joke, thanks to the Dire Griffon. Wrath is a bad set to compare to the others, because the character power is jacked up to compensate for the insane difficulty increase.



#29
wakasm

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It's all certainly up for debate.  

 

You can do the same thing with Augury and some items, but Augury is much better as 1) It might get rid of other monsters you can place on the bottom 2) It places the villain on top 3) It doesn't cost tempo and can speed things up. 

 

 

You certainly can do the same thing with Augury, which is why it's one of the best cards in the game.  However, any character can take that card and it doesn't define a character at all.  Plus, in addition, it's: 

  • A card that you don't consistently have in your hand
  • A card that takes up a card slot
  • Is like scouting that requires taking an action to do (play a card)

You can just easily waste an Augury by revealing cards of no interest/value... 

 

But evasion you can never waste!  The reason why Evasion is stronger than people think it is - is that it's reactionary.  You only use it when you need to use it.  Otherwise, it costs nothing at all times.  If you decide to use Evasion - it's only because it was the lesser of two evils or there was a benefit to gain from it.  So the argument of you "wasting" an explore is not as strong as you think, because generally, you only use it when you would be forced to waste an explore anyway - such as encountering something you couldn't defeat.  

 

NOT exploring is also wasting an explore as far as turns go, and many characters are forced into that situation because of the cards in their hand.  For every turn a character is forced not to explore, Merisiel often CAN still explore, regardless, because she can evade.  Evasion in fact increases tempo, because it means you can use your blessings/allies without any reserve, heal them back into your deck, cycle, and use them again.  It's why she is a location killer.  

 

All the other benefits of evasion need to be considered too.  When stuff is summoned or bad barriers arise, other characters have to use cards to deal with them, ultimately using blessings/spells or worst case, resetting a hand when things go sour.   This leads to less explores for those characters while Mersiel is not effected at all from these, which also leads to more tempo for the party. 

 

Despite that...  more often than not... when you choose to use evasion, it nets you something.  In the extreme villain example, it can net you many many turns and preparation.  In less extreme examples, it may net you a few explores over the game through cycling cards fast, or if you get unlucky, lose you an explore or two.. but that is more of a side effect of pushing your luck in any game.  

 

Typically, other characters will have to stop their turn, even if they can explore again, if they aren't prepared for the next explore.  Happens a lot with spellcasters specifically.  You can only explore as many times as you have spells to kill banes.  Merisiel doesn't suffer from this.  Neither does Seelah. 

 

Example:  There are only 8 blessing left in the Blessings deck, time is running out!  Merisiel is at a location where there are 2 boons, 1 monster, 1 henchmen/villian.  She has only a blessing and an ally left in hand - no weapons.  

 

Most characters would end their turn - because the potential to 50/50 the monster/henchmen and lose their other explore card is too high.  Merisiel has the opportunity of blind checking this location, if she hits a boon, she just used her time efficiently, netting an explore that another character typically couldn't do, and she will eventually heal that ally/blessing back into her deck for more explores over the turn.

 

if she hits the monster, she can recharge the other card and have a decent shot at defeating it since her strength is a d8 + d6 + X.  If it's a henchman or villian, the extra explore was worth it because now she can prepare for it the next turn (especially if she puts it on top). 

 

All of that flexibility without the cost of anything - because it's reactionary. 

 

I’m definitely not saying Merisiel is bad, and evasion has it’s uses, but it definitely isn’t god tier in my opinion.

 

 

I actually argue a lot that no one is god tier compared to future characters like Alahazra the Oracle who completely can break the game. :bow:  

 

But, whatever the top tier is for Rise, which people are calling god tier, my vote still goes only for Seelah and Merisiel in this set as rising above all the other characters for all character counts in terms of consistency, utility, and potential.   

 

On a side note, evasion's value also goes up when you play the physical board game in comparison to the digital game, because for the most part, in the physical board game, people don't "farm" endlessly for better gear to fully optimize your stuff (at least in my experiences) because of set-up and tear-down time... so Evading boons you want is also really strong in this regard - you tend to play until you win and move on. There are lot's of other weird ways to break this game with most of the characters when you can choose and farm any cards you want. 


Edited by wakasm, 03 March 2017 - 12:39 PM.


#30
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She also was my character when I first played, and I had a lot of fun with her. The other players were so stunned by the stunts she can pull, they almost accused me of cheating, or at least of having read her abilities wrong. My favorite: recharging an entire bad hand (like when the starting draw doesn't have a weapon due to her favorite card being 'Ally') by repeatedly scouting 'in place' (which kind of feels dumb, because basically you're just looking at the exact same card over and over) so I could draw a complete fresh set of cards. Actually, that didn't even occur to me at the time. Nice catch.

 

I'm not sure if this is still a valid tactic. There is an unanswered question about this over at the paizo forum, and the fact that there was not an official response yet seems to imply that they are still figuring out if this is intended or not. The idea is that you should only be able to use powers when they are relevant, and since you know which card is on top of your deck after the first examination, there is no point to playing Leryn again to examine, and the cycle breaks.


Edited by Doppelschwert, 07 March 2017 - 06:42 AM.


#31
Yorien

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*snip*

 

I’m definitely not saying Merisiel is bad, and evasion has it’s uses, but it definitely isn’t god tier in my opinion.

 

 

I also agree she's almost god tier, but not just for her evasion, but also for her sneak attack, and Inspired Dexterity once you enable roles.

 

Sneak Attack is essentially a "free" dice for all combats, as long as she's alone and has a card in hand.

 

Inspired Dexterity is essentially a "free" dice when a dexterity check is involved as long as she has a corresponding blessing in hand, and you'll eventually fill her deck with the proper blessings anyway.

 

That alone grants her good combat capacity in many situations. You might even keep an amulet of XXXXX fists as a backup "weapon" until you get your weapon of choice. Coupled with her sneak attack, you become pretty solid even if "unarmed".

 

And in case a powerful enemy catches Meri uprepared... you Evade and reshuffle the location deck.  You STILL explored (you just didn't clear the bane/boon), you know that there is something difficult or interesting there, and you even left without a single card lost. If you decided to "deal" with the bane/boon it's because you wanted too. You can (almost) always have the choice of ignoring the bane/boon, something almost no other character in the game has.

 

And that's extremely powerful.

 

Main issue of Evade is that it's weaker the more characters in your party. The more turns you can take with Meri, the more powerful Evade can become since you will benefit more from the reshuffles; the more characters in your party, the less amount of turns you'll take with Meri.


Edited by Yorien, 07 March 2017 - 07:47 AM.





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