Monday, July 29, 2013

Card Review:Grade 3 Searchers

What's the point of even having an update directory if I don't add links to what I update...

Anywho, today's article will be on:

4000 Power
ACT [R]: [Counter Blast (1) & Put this unit into your soul] Look at up to five cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one grade 3 or greater «______» from among them, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck.

And so on and so forth, mostly because I can't find a decent enough nickname or well spread fan term for them. Oh I know, let's call them Harbingers, as many of you may remember when the very first keywords for Forerunners were speculated/translated.

So how effective are Harbingers? Now, this is one of the harder things to calculate for but it can be done. If you're interested in looking at the numbers, ctrl+f [/numbers], and you can look at up to 10 Grade 3s.

The problem with Harbingers is that there's no realistic way to apply them to a deck. A deck literally needs to have less than a 70% riding success rate pre Harbinger and over a 70% success rate post harbinger for its ability to manipulate the consistency of your deck to matter. Quite frankly, the amount of decks that fit this is just so incredibly small. The majority of ratios that use a high number of Grade 3s and still manages not to break the 70% barrier are all generally clunky ratios with very little worthwhile value much of the time. On the other end of the spectrum, the decks that are low on Grade 3s aren't as heavily affected by a Harbinger's influence, and thus must tread a fine line between already meeting that 70% prerequisite or flat out not being able to be helped by a Harbinger at all. 

While this doesn't really help complete decklists, it may help trying to ride a specific Vanguard. If you were to look up the ratio 14-11-8, and only focus on 4 Grade 3s and riding them on turn 3, you'd come to some 60.4%. After the Harbinger's skill, this rises to about 72.5%, meeting the requirements for its skill to be useful...except, the fact remains that this is just over 10% difference, 1 in 10 games. The impact it has is tiny.

Okay, maybe if you're trying to use them for that sort of specific purpose, they don't really do much, but while you're using them, they can still help you just by activating them in general, right? Well...if you only care about activating them in general, the probability for it to successfully grab a Grade 3 when you run 8 is about 60.7%, almost 3/5 of your card advantage can come back. In other words, using it is a -2/5 on card advantage and I can draw a very blurry line of the quality of now having a Grade 3, so quite frankly, it's almost even more underwhelming in this aspect.

All things considered, Harbingers are lame. It's extremely unlikely for them to help a deck on a grand scale, and they basically fail card advantage 101 on a smaller scale. I'd highly suggest anyone looking for a starter to avoid these units if able to, as the failures of the card can easily outweigh its tiny benefits.


Since I already made this, I guess I might as well put it in action.

While the Harbinger's ability to help a deck on the grand scale is hard to realistically fix, one could easily fix its ability within a vacuum. Let's assume 8 grade 3s in deck for this.

For now, let's try to give it an at least 80% chance to break even, which rests just between 8 and 9 cards. Because it still has a role of autobalancing a misride, let's make this 8 cards. From here, I can say that its skill is a break even, resulting in a 0 Counter-Blast value. To bully players who know the advantages of and enjoy guarding early, it requires a face up damage of the same clan to activate. All in all, this should leave us with:

5000 Power
CONT【R】: If you have a face up «_______» unit in the damage zone, this unit gets "ACT [R] : [Put this unit into your soul] Look at up to 8 cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one grade 3 or greater «______» from among them, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck."

If there's anything else you'd like to add on or edit, and you can back it up with solid enough reasoning, please comment below.


Assuming you haven't drawn a Grade 3 by turn 2, that you are going first, and you've done nothing else to manipulate your deck, generally you're looking at:

1 Grade 3: 1-(42*41*40*39*38)/(43*42*41*40*39)=5/43

2 Grade 3: 1-(41*40*39*38*37)/(43*42*41*40*39)=200/903

3 Grade 3: 1-(40*39*38*37*36)/(43*42*41*40*39)=3905/12341

4 Grade 3: 1-(39*38*37*36*35)/(43*42*41*40*39)=1417/3526

5 Grade 3: 1-(38*37*36*35*34)/(43*42*41*40*39)=10968/22919

6 Grade 3: 1-(37*36*35*34*33)/(43*42*41*40*39)=25081/45838

7 Grade 3: 1-(36*35*34*33*32)/(43*42*41*40*39)=13943/22919

8 Grade 3: 1-(35*34*33*32*31)/(43*42*41*40*39)=45569/68757

9 Grade 3: 1-(34*33*32*31*30)/(43*42*41*40*39)=114057/160433

10 Grade 3: 1-(33*32*31*30*29)/(43*42*41*40*39)=120877/160433


  1. I know that you analyzed the card from a statistical standpoint, but do you think these kinds of forerunners will be more effective when the breakrides arrive?

    1. Not exactly.

      I mean, that 1 out of 10 games may be nice. But the other 9 out of 10? No difference.

  2. What's your opinion on having Harbingers in decks where you need multiple grade 3s, like Aqua Force?

    1. Meh.

      ...No really, that's my opinion. 2/3 of the time, assuming 8 G3s, you will get something out of it. Something. If we back off and say 4 G3s, like 4 Stormriders, this zone of viability is now about 2/5. Honestly, it has the utility to do something really good when it goes off properly, but when you look at the big picture, it's just subpar.