DUELING BOOK LADDER CHALLENGE
TheNano here! I am back writing for GoatFormat.com and this time I have a challenge for the Goat Format Community!
This ranked session on DuelingBook will be over in a month or so, and I wanted to make the next one a little more exciting by putting out a challenge.
For the next ranked season, I will be accepting up to four players to play in this challenge. There will be an award to whoever succeeds! The challenge consists in playing the same combo strategy for the full ranked season and finishing the season in the top four.
There is a lot of controversy about combo decks in Goat Format. Many players don't like to play against them. Some players think they are the best decks, but not popular, and some think they don't get results often because they are inconsistent. Still others believe combo decks would ruin the format if they became popular, either from winning too much or from making games boring with no interaction.
Regarding fun, power level, or skill, I don't think this is the case. Personally, I really like combo decks. They open new dimensions of gameplay. Because they approach the game in a different way, combo decks require unique in-game skills both for playing with them as well as playing against them. If they became popular, competitive players would have to learn more matchups, and have more options when choosing what deck to use. They would also have a more challenging deckbuilding task, as they would need to cover more matchups, rather than just be consistent against aggro and flip-based decks.
I also think that because these types of decks are so underrepresented, they haven't had the chance to evolve like other more contemporary strategies, like Chaos Turbo or Warriors, which have had so many people playing them that they are regularly updated and improved. It's rare to encounter combo players, so most players don't have a good game plan when facing them, likely making obvious mistakes or not considering them during deck building. Having to play against such strategies more often would make everybody learn the match-ups better. It would also help combo players perfect their skills and deck building by having to deal with more prepared players.
The presence of more deck strategies surely makes the game less monotone and more appealing to new players who might want to pick the strategy that suits them the best. It might be that combo decks are just not good enough to match the S tier decks, but it also may be true that they are even better or at least another competitive strategy. There's no way to be sure until we get more data and perfect these strategies!
Given all these thoughts, I'm going to give an incentive to people who would like to prove that combo decks are strong enough to achieve consistent results over 100s of games. I hope this will be a growing experience for the challengers who want to perfect their skills and deck lists. I also hope for for those of us who are not experts that this will be helpful to understand these strategies better and be more aware when facing them, rather than just randomly hating on someone who wanted to play something different.
Also, this should be enjoyable for anyone who likes watching Goat Format material!
RULES AND CONDITIONS
1) I will be accepting up to four players for the challenge. I will be selecting them personally by playing and/or talking with them. To apply, just direct message TheNano on Discord.
2) Players will have to submit a deck list for the challenge, and stick to the same strategy for the full season. The challenge consists in piloting that deck to the top four of ranked ladder and stay there until the end of the season. Any deck dedicated combo will be accepted, but only such decks. No decks that are primarily aggro or burn which happen to contain combos will be allowed. Nor will decks with incidental combo finishes. Some examples of acceptable decks are:
If you are unsure if a strategy would fit the criteria, you are more than welcome to message me and ask.
You will be allowed to make changes to your deck list at any time, but you will have to stick to the same strategy. There are cut-off points that will determine when some changes will no longer be allowed. This will be decided before the start of the season.
3) Any player that succeeds in this challenge will receive $100 for each month that the season lasted. So, if the ranked season finishes after three months, I will award successful players $300. If it lasts a whole year, then $1200, etc.
4) It will be a requirement that every match played will be streamed live and put on YouTube. Simply saving Duelingbook replays will not be enough. I know this requires extra effort, but it's not much more effort than just playing a full ranked season. Commentary will not be required for daily updates, and streams can be kept private if requested. However, some level of commentary and infrequent streams with chat participation will be expected. So, the reward should be worth it, as you might even get some side benefits from your streaming. The reasons for these requirements are three-fold:
I will be watching every match of the challengers during the season, and I will be very happy to propose similar challenges in the future if I find it to go in a stimulating and exciting way. Alternatively, I will not do events like this in the future if I believe players to be taking advantage of loopholes, or otherwise abusing the spirit of the challenge. So, I encourage everybody not participating to just try as hard as possible to defeat our challengers!
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