Duel Masters Community Forum - Duel, Discuss, Trade, Share


[TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Share
avatar
ELTP
Admin
Admin

Posts : 385
Feedback Points : 1/1
Join date : 2016-11-22
Location : Finland, Hanko

[TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by ELTP on 23.02.17 14:21

For many, it's clear as day that Cranium Clamp shouldn't be allowed to be played in Duel Masters even if in theory it doesn't sound that bad. It's basically a nerf of Skeleton Vice, which was deemed to be too powerful and banned in OCG and thus Cranium Clamp was created as a replacement in effort to prevent same from happening in TCG. The effort was unsuccessful and Cranium Clamp is still almost as bad as Skeleton Vice. It's because the random discarding wasn't the real problem in Skeleton Vice: it was the fact that your opponent loses two cards, while you just "lose" Clamp.

Technically, Cranium Clamp sounds reasonable when compared to Energy Stream, which works always unlike Clamp. Both cards win you one hand card (if your opponent has at least 2 cards to be discarded). You could also think Cranium Clamp as 2 Ghost Touches but instead of having a shield trigger and having you to use 2 cards instead of one to get your opponent lose 2 hand cards, you just use 1 Cranium Clamp.

Cranium Clamp also has counters in TCG, the best ones being Arque Delacerna and Sanfist (there are also Dava Torey and Bingole), but these counters aren't that useful and they are far less versatile than Cranium Clamp. Arque Delacerna and Sanfist work best with Glais Mejicula and that's probably the best kind of anti-discard deck TCG has (EDIT: Doesn't work). A more versatile counter against Clamp is Rain of Arrows and it's pretty much guaranteed you can cast it before your opponent can cast Cranium Clamp, even if your opponent started the game. If your opponent has no darkness spells in his hands while casting Rain of Arrows, you at least get to see your opponents hand and make decisions accordingly.

The best multipurpose card against Cranium Clamp is Energy Stream, which can be used to negate Clamp either before or after your opponent casts it. It would be less effective and reliable afterwards (you could even lose Energy Stream) but still a very good way. Even Aqua Hulcus makes you less vulnerable against discard but only in that sense that you don't lose any hand cards by summoning Hulcus and you make it more likely that you draw other useful cards since your deck now contains less cards. Marinomancer and Illusionary Merfolk are usually too slow for Clamp since they very unlikely can be used before Cranium Clamp especially if you don't use 3 mana chargers like Venom or Slash Charger. It's very unlikely you get to have these cards in your hand after your opponent cast Cranium Clamp and if you went to top-deck mode, you might not even have enough mana even if you drew one of these cards. Besides both Marinomancer and Illusionary are conditional cards, which make them not as versatile as Clamp and thus harder to utilize.

It's also notable that by casting at least 2 Clamps in a game could already be enough to give you enough leverage over your opponent to win the game. Sometimes even casting 1 Cranium Clamp is enough especially if your opponent isn't using water. This means that the game can basically be resolved by the amount of Cranium Clamps and Energy Streams one is able to cast in comparison to his opponent. Of course you have to use other cards as well, but this is just to give you some thoughts on how well Cranium Clamp can disturb and even stagnate your opponent.

There are few ways of making Cranium Clamp less powerful and the first way would be restricting it. But restricting is a bit problematic especially in a vintage format like TCG since no new cards are being released. One could also argue if Clamp should be totally banned or should it be allowed as 1 since it's one of the most TCG defining card for many. No such card exist in Duel Masters OCG. Cranium Clamp is also very valuable. At the time of writing this, Cranium Clamp easily goes for ~USD20 and reasons for this are stated above. That's why Cranium Clamp is currently restricted to one since it's not a card that is got easily even if you had the money.

This is why it's seems very viable to make the card's effect weaker aka nerfing the effect. This way it could still be used and it wouldn't be as broken as before. But the thing is, how to balance playability and effectiveness. If it's too nerfed it won't be played, in which case it's pretty much same as banning it. If it's not nerfed enough, it doesn't really make the meta healthier. DM Reborn is far from the only concerned community when it comes to Cranium Clamp and for example KirriCorp has given lots of insight on their thoughts on Cranium Clamp and how they ended up handling it. So below I list some possibilities.

KC Cranium Clamp
Darkness / Spell / 4
Once this turn, when one of your creatures is attacking your opponent and isn't blocked, your opponent discards two cards at random from his hand.
(This effect activates once per Cranium Clamp played, and always on the first unblocked attack. The cards are discarded before the shield is broken).

Comment: This is the card created for KC community. The benefit of using Cranium Clamp like this is the fact that your opponent gets one card from his shields to his hand to replace lost ones and the effect of Clamp Clamp could be countered with blockers. I think the effect could probably even countered too easily and would consider the effect be activated when your first creature attacks your opponent. It would be very likely that your opponent would let your attacking creature through then instead of just blocking your creature with likely a more powerful blocker and thus making Clamp being a useful cast.


DMR-A Cranium Clamp
Darkness / Spell / 4
Discard a card from your hand. Then, your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand.

Comment: This seems my opinion the best basic option of making Cranium Clamp more balanced. Instead of just making your opponent discard cards, you would also lose one card resulting you both losing 2 hand cards. It would now work more similar to Ghost Touch. Maybe you could even add a shield trigger to it.


DMR-B Cranium Clamp
Darkness / Spell / 4
Your opponent discards 2 card from his hand. Then, your opponent chooses up to 2 player. Those player returns one of their shields to their hand. "Shield trigger" abilities can be activated.

Comment: Wording is a bit weird here, but you get the point. The reason why your opponent would first discard the card is that at least one hand card would be guaranteed for your opponent if he decided to return one of his shields to his hand. This would still make your opponent to get at least -1 one hand card while you would get either +1 or 0 hand cards, which could be make this card even more powerful than Cranium Clamp. It's just something to think about.


DMR-C Cranium Clamp
Darkness / Spell / 4
Draw a card. Then, your opponent discards 1 card from his hand.

Comment: A simplistic change, your opponent would lose one hand card and you would get one besides losing Clamp. Pure drawing doesn't usually happen in Darkness so this is also mainly something to think about.


DMR-D Cranium Clamp
Darkness / Spell / 4
Return one of your shields to your hand. You can use the "shield trigger" ability of that shield. Then, your opponent discards 1 card from his hand.

Comment: This is a combination of option B and option C. You get one more hand card (and lose Clamp) and your opponent loses just one, thus making this card similar to Cranium Clamp. This card also seems fair when compared to Benzo.


Straightly discarding 2 cards from your opponent hand is too powerful especially while you only lose Clamp. With these nerf suggestions I tried to think how to keep Cranium still relevant and most of the suggestion cause you to get +1 hand card than your opponent when compared to the situation before casting Cranium Clamp. The discard element should still be kept but it's a bit unclear if it should be tried to keep at 2 or reduced to 1.

This is what I come up with as an introduction for the topic on Cranium Clamp and how it could make less powerful. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us how you have seen Cranium Clamp been handled or how you would handle it.


Last edited by ELTP on 27.02.17 17:06; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Error)


_________________
The world changes, I change - My passion for Duel Masters persists.
Duel Masters Finland - The Finnish Duel Masters Community

striker EX
Apprentice
Apprentice

Posts : 19
Feedback Points : None
Join date : 2017-02-05
Location : Singapore

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by striker EX on 27.02.17 2:58

Does the DMR-A version allow cranium clamp to be casted even if you have no other cards in your hand? If yes I feel that it would be a reasonable change, given that you can plan when you want to cast it.
avatar
Yami_Michael
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 138
Join date : 2017-02-02

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by Yami_Michael on 27.02.17 4:30

@striker EX wrote:Does the DMR-A version allow cranium clamp to be casted even if you have no other cards in your hand? If yes I feel that it would be a reasonable change, given that you can plan when you want to cast it.

The game always has the "Do as much of a card as you can" as a basic rule.

You can cast it even if you have no cards in your hand, and your opponent has none in his (or just 1, even.


striker EX
Apprentice
Apprentice

Posts : 19
Feedback Points : None
Join date : 2017-02-05
Location : Singapore

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by striker EX on 27.02.17 8:05

@Yami_Michael wrote:
@striker EX wrote:Does the DMR-A version allow cranium clamp to be casted even if you have no other cards in your hand? If yes I feel that it would be a reasonable change, given that you can plan when you want to cast it.

The game always has the "Do as much of a card as you can" as a basic rule.

You can cast it even if you have no cards in your hand, and your opponent has none in his (or just 1, even.

Yes so I feel this change is good, provided it doesn't have an additional line of 'you cannot cast this spell if it is your only card in hand'.
avatar
Yami_Michael
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 138
Join date : 2017-02-02

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by Yami_Michael on 27.02.17 9:20

To work like that, it would be worded as

"You may discard a card from your hand. If you do, your opponent discards 2 cards from his hand."

avatar
Neader
Initiate
Initiate

Posts : 9
Feedback Points : None
Join date : 2017-02-12
Age : 22
Location : Warsaw, Poland

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by Neader on 27.02.17 12:12

"Arque Delacerna and Sanfist work best with Glais Mejicula and that's probably the best kind of anti-discard deck TCG has"

You can't put Arque Delcaerna or Sanfist into the battle zone using Glais Mejicula's effet because of Double Substitution.

tannyboy2
Initiate
Initiate

Posts : 6
Join date : 2017-02-02

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by tannyboy2 on 27.02.17 15:45

@neader really? i didnt know about that. could you explain in greater detail?
avatar
ELTP
Admin
Admin

Posts : 385
Feedback Points : 1/1
Join date : 2016-11-22
Location : Finland, Hanko

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by ELTP on 27.02.17 16:52

@striker EX wrote:Does the DMR-A version allow cranium clamp to be casted even if you have no other cards in your hand? If yes I feel that it would be a reasonable change, given that you can plan when you want to cast it.
Yami_Michael is right, the wording is on purpose like that so that you could still use it when it's your only hand cards. To me, that seems only fair. Quite many people have said that DRM-A version seems fair and most fitting of those.

@Neader wrote:You can't put Arque Delcaerna or Sanfist into the battle zone using Glais Mejicula's effet because of Double Substitution.
This is what the Wiki says: "if two substitution abilities that say "instead" would take place at the same time, a double substitution effect will occur and the instead that would protect the subjected creature from a regular event will not occur".

You are right. Although this is a bit more indirect case than Rumble's substitution effect making Perfect Galaxy with an activated SF effect to be destroyed and thus leave the battle zone, similarly here Glais Mejicula make's your hand card(s) to to be discarded and thus it can't be put into battle zone instead. I'll remove the mention of Glais Mejicula in my text.


_________________
The world changes, I change - My passion for Duel Masters persists.
Duel Masters Finland - The Finnish Duel Masters Community
avatar
OcaVan
Master of Evolution
Master of Evolution

Posts : 91
Feedback Points : 1/1
Join date : 2017-02-02
Location : germany

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by OcaVan on 02.03.17 11:50

DMR-A is the best option there imo.
DMR-C is also a good nerfing option. If it would cost 5 instead of 4, it may be balanced. Needs testing if course.
avatar
Neader
Initiate
Initiate

Posts : 9
Feedback Points : None
Join date : 2017-02-12
Age : 22
Location : Warsaw, Poland

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by Neader on 02.03.17 11:55

duelmasters.wikia.com/wiko/Demonic_Vice
avatar
ELTP
Admin
Admin

Posts : 385
Feedback Points : 1/1
Join date : 2016-11-22
Location : Finland, Hanko

Re: [TCG] [Rules] Cranium Clamp - How to make it less powerful

Post by ELTP on 05.03.17 1:57

@OcaVan wrote:DMR-A is the best option there imo.
DMR-C is also a good nerfing option. If it would cost 5 instead of 4, it may be balanced. Needs testing if course.

DMR-C is pretty basic like DMR-A but DMR-A is more truthful to the original meaning of Clamp of getting your opponent to lose 2 hand cards. I think we are going with the DMR-A option when we are going to nerf Cranium Clamp.

@Neader wrote:duelmasters.wikia.com/wiko/Demonic_Vice
Don't remind me of that awful card that goes by the name of Demonic Vice... It never got a chance in OCG and even in TCG it would be too expensive. I suppose Takara Tomy wanted to see how this one would be received since Cranium Clamp was so dominant in TCG despite being nerfed version of Skeleton Vice.


_________________
The world changes, I change - My passion for Duel Masters persists.
Duel Masters Finland - The Finnish Duel Masters Community

    Current date/time is 18.11.17 13:59