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An in-depth look at the URealms Meta

So a few days ago I realized that a lot of the characters I had played with seemed to have similar races, classes, and even abilities, which got me thinking. I started to think about the URealms Meta and how certain cards effected that Meta, and how players would choose certain cards over others. I found that players are more likely to chose certain races and cards over others, and tend to go for certain builds over others. I'll put my findings below for all of you guys to see and talk about.

Races:

To be honest, finding the meta in races was the easiest part in analyzing the URealms Meta because it's very simple and I can see the reasons behind it.

From what I found, Kobolds tend to be chosen the most (I have seen campaigns where 3/4 of the party end up being kobolds) followed by elves and dwelves. Behind those two races dwarves, gnomes, keens tend to be chosen around the same rate, although I'd hazard a guess and say that keens do tend to be chosen slightly more often than the other two races, although that could just be me. The races that have been chosen the least from my experience are Porcs followed by Black Boars. Which is interesting as Porcs CAN be some of the most powerful characters in a group, if they get the proper cards.

I personally feel that people choose Kobold as their race the most because not only do they roll with 2 dice, which gives a better chance at rolling crits, both fail and success, while decreasing the odds of a normal fail, I believe that players think that Kobolds have a better roleplay potential than other races. I could be completely off on this, but I think that players feel like they have to play as good guys when they choose elf and dwarf, and kobolds are a mixed bag of good and evil, which allows them to make more interesting characters that don't have to be good guys. Of course, this is completely false as we have seen but the stereotype of good elves and dwarves is probably a reason why they aren't picked as much as kobolds. 

As for dwelves and elves, the reason they are probably chosen over dwarves is probably because they get free spells at the beginning of their cc, and since spells tend to be better than melee, they're chosen more. The power of magic is a can of worms I'll get into later.

Keens and dwarves are very similar in their race powers, dwarves getting 400+ gold while keens get x3 to their gold roll and the choice of 3 cornerstones to choose from. Considering keens start with 120 gold as their race bonus (Citation needed) and an x3 to their gold roll, they have about an equal chance of beating dwarves at gold. Either way, they are both about the same and the reason Keens are chosen over dwarves is probably because of the 3 cornerstones, which can range from useless (being able to use spells of 2 elements when nobody has either of those elements) to powerful (casting 1 legendary spell out of 3 during the campaign or just having a companion off the bat), and being able to choose your cornerstone is a very good buff over 400 extra starting gold.

Gnomes are actually a very interesting race stat wise, gaining 4 random treasures at the beginning of cc, which is very similar to the elf ability but instead of spells they get treasures. Treasures are pretty good but again, magic seems to be better than melee in most regards, and there isn't much lore on them so that might also be a deterrent to players wanting to play as Gnomes.

I find the lack of Porc characters in my campaigns very interesting, as if you get the right cards, your character can be the most powerful character in the party. To those of you who don't know. Porcs get 5 companion abilities at the start of their cc, and those companion abilities do double damage. Not so bad right? Well considering they can get cards that force deathrolls onto people and can do up to 40 damage with their ability, they can be pretty powerful. However, I personally haven't had a problem with overpowered porcs so far as porc builds tend to go outside the Meta of URealms.

Finally, Black Boar is the least picked race overall in my experience, and probably for good reason. Their only real buff is that they are a large tile, which is nice but it can be replicated by a few cards in cc and they can still have their bonus from other races. In addition, I think players rarely chose porcs and black boars because they are kind of a stale race at the moment, with no real major Porc/ Black Boar characters in the official URealms. For the Kobolds you have Maelstrom, for the elves you have countless characters from the swordswords to the barringsters. For the dwarves you have Lance and other characters. You don't really have that for Porcs, so that may be a reason why people don't choose these races.

To put it simply, races seemed to be chosen based on their power and roleplay potential, which is why you find Kobolds, Elves, and Dwelves being chosen more than other races.

Classes:

Here is the real meat of the URealms character creation, and for good reason. Your class determines your abilities, your role in combat, and your abilities outside combat. It defines your character almost as much as your attribute and cornerstone does, and tells a lot about your character before the campaign even starts. Someone with a lot of companions is going to have a past with animals or magical creatures. A character with a lot of fire spells is going to have a past about fire magic. I've also found that some classes are chosen a lot more than others, and while I can't give you a comprehensive list of the choosing rate for classes atm ( I might make one in the future when I have the time.) I can say for sure that magic classes tend to be more powerful than nonmagic classes.

Magic focused Classes (Wizards, Sorcerers, Witches, Spellslingers (kind of)) tend to be much more powerful that Melee focused classes ( Warriors, Beserkers(?), swordsman) and characters that don't use spells a lot. This is simply because of how magic outclasses melee in almost every way. Wizards, with the right amount of gold, can cast a lot of very powerful spells (counterspell, pyroblast, fireball (if it crits or if you just have lucky), blizzard, conjure magic, ect.) that can force deathrolls, do lots of damage across the battlefield and tend to do 20 damage a round if they only cast one action spell. On the other hand warriors can only do about 10 damage with a basic attack or maybe 20 if they have enchantments, but they can't cause many instant deathroll abilities (Deathrolls that don't require the enemy to be at 0 health) and have almost no ranged capabilities unless they have a ranged weapon, and even then those tend to do 5 damage, so even with double damage they are doing 10 damage. It's honestly not worth it to take melee focused classes when magic focused classes outcompete them in almost every aspect besides possibly health, and sometimes not even then. 

So what does all of this ranting mean? It basically tells us that players are going to choose magic classes more than melee focused classes, due to the ration of magic to melee classes being very skewed in the magic classes' favor, and because magic classes are very powerful in URealms. There are a few exceptions to this meta, mainly the cabalist ( I've found they are either useless or balanced, depending on the amount of ageless in the campaign.) and the magician, which I've rarely seen chosen, but doesn't seem to do too much on the battlefield unless they draw a really good random card in my experience. That's my personal thoughts on the class meta here, and while I doubt I got the overall class meta perfect, I feel like I'm pretty close to the truth. I'll probably analyze specific class meta in the future, looking at the types of builds each class tends to go when I have the time.

Closing thoughts:

Overall, I'd say that the URealms meta is currently based around classes that can cast powerful spells and races that can easily be fit into the story. I think it'll be interesting to see how the meta shifts and evolves as Season Four comes out, as I'm sure Rob and Deadbones are doing some major tweaking to the cards. My personal question that I seek to answer with all this analyzing is how does one go about the meta of URealms. Should we simply ban cards, or should we tweak our campaigns in ways that give melee focused classes unique ways to go about problems while giving both types of classes challenges they need to overcome? Should we nerf players for choosing a certain race or should we give unique ways to solve encounters with the lesser picked races? I hope you enjoyed my little dive into the URealms meta, and I'm curious to see how you guys think GMs should go about the URealms Meta.

Comments

  • edited June 13
    I’ve experienced the exact opposite thought when comparing melee classes to magical classes. Melee classes can easily combo as there are a lot of other items/treasures in the game that work with Basic Attacks.

    For example buying a Wand of Limited Possibilites, Lethal Arms, Acidic Salivia, Giants Blood and also even Multiclassing into another Basic Attacking class (I’ve recently had a Sharpsword/Berserker).

    All I’ll say on Races is to not underestimate how powerful getting extra gold is. I’m cynical on how good 4 random spells is from Elf as there is a lot of junk EX spells in the deck whereas Dwarf could easily choose 4 spells and buy them with their extra gold.

    @IronLegionSoldier
  • I've gotten a soft spot for regular Gnomes recently.
    First off: it's the only race in the game that actively supports the rest of the group at character creation, in that you're able to share the treasures with the other players. You CAN keep those treasures to yourself, and I wouldn't judge you for it (out loud). But this is a team game, so I suggest at least giving the treasures a second thought, like have a look to see if one of the other players could make use of the treasures more than you, before picking all the good ones for yourself and maybe giving the less useful ones to the other players.

    Secondly: I think it's insanely fun to have all the players at the table roll off to see who gets to distribute ALL THE TREASURES as they see fit. So it's something I often do and suggest to everyone at the table when a lot of the players have the option of picking Gnome.
  • Rob
    Rob
    edited June 14
    It's no secret in house that we know that Kobolds = more fun because when you Crit twice as much and Crit Fail twice as much, funnier things just happen. As such, many of us will pick kobold when given the chance just based on that fact. Also rarely missing means that when you don't get a funny crit, you at least do what you wanted to do most of the time.


    I also think with the introduction of Legendary treasures, Gnomes will be pretty awesome. My goal is to have about 2% to 3% of Treasures be Legendary which makes drawing those 4 treasures give you a small chance to have a Legendary Item before you even picked your class. It's the jackpot of all jackpots and I know a lot of us are gonna wanna gamble Gnome because it will just be fun.
  • Can’t wait for the gnome who pulls 4 legendary treasures
  • @Stuart That is very true that melee classes can combo, I have found that most players tend to use 2-3 spells consistently (often) throughout the campaign. The other spells are used once or twice but tend to be either very general (mana spark ex being one, a base 20 damage magic spell) or very specific (eruption, requiring the use of rough terrain, so if you don't have any you basically have a useless card). I personally find wizard to be one of the best classes as I state in the main post, and for good reason, in addition to their combat abilities, they can force a critical fail, which can be very powerful against something like a divine, or just gain a spell through conjure magic.
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