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  #217  
Old May 5th, 2021, 03:00 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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  #218  
Old May 5th, 2021, 10:47 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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  #219  
Old May 6th, 2021, 04:46 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

@OEAO I was not expecting such a thorough or well-written response. You very clearly explained why units are ranked individually according to their strengths within their best armies (the 'Separation of Powers' principle as you've put it), and I think that, in general, this approach is correct. However, I wanted to clarify why I feel an argument can be made that Commander units (to use the "What's in an OM?" definition) such as Kurrok and Ulginesh should be ranked according to the 'Consolidation of Ranks' principle as opposed to the 'Separation of Powers' one.

The reason that I believe that units such as Kurrok and Ulginesh should be ranked under the Consolidation of Ranks principle rather than the Separation of Powers principle is because they are the single most vital part of their respective armies, such that the army would completely fail to function without them. Firestorm is completely unplayable without Kurrok, as the Fire Elementals are stuck moving and attacking with a single figure each turn. The elf wizards fare slightly better without Ulginesh due to Emiroon allowing them to pod up + decent offensive stats of Johrdawn and Chardris, however elf wizard builds are still basically unviable without their flagship unit. In comparison, the Romans and Death Chasers are still good without Me-Burq-Sa. They're not nearly as strong as they are with him, of course, but if Me-Burq-Sa didn't exist, Romans/Death Chasers would probably still be around B/B+ on the power rankings. This also goes for the Knights of Weston and Sir Gilbert, which you mentioned - the Knights would not be as strong if Gilbert didn't exist, however they would still be a solid army, perhaps around the B+ rankings or so.

You made an interesting statement near the end of your argument when you said that "Fire Elementals effectively function as a three-man, five-move squad". However, what allows them to function in this way (which you yourself point out later on in the section) is not some inherent trait of the Fire Elementals themselves, but is due to the presence of Kurrok within their army. The Fire Elementals are only as good as Kurrok allows them to be - here in lies the difference between Firestorm/Elf Wizards and other armies. Because the Firestorm build completely falls on its head if Kurrok doesn't exist, I believe that the Fire Elementals + Kurrok can very well be ranked according to the Consolidation of Ranks principle (in which co-dependent figures are ranked together) even whilst other figures on the power rankings are ranked according to the Separation of Powers principle. To rank them according to their respective strengths in the Firestorm army, as the Separation of Powers principle does, seems almost dishonest considering that their value as individual units is entirely dependent on the existence of each other. Other units used synonymously with each other that are in different ranks, such as Me-Burq-Sa and the Romans, still function fine even when not played with each other. But because the Fire Elementals and Kurrok are 100% co-dependent for their viability, I believe it is perfectly fair for them to be ranked under Consolidation of Ranks instead.

(There is also a separate argument that Kurrok is actually a stronger unit than the Fire Elementals themselves are, since getting to take a turn with 3 Fire Elementals > taking a turn with a single Fire Elemental. I won't go into it in depth here, but it is for this reason that I believe that the 'default' rank for Arkmer should be B. No elf wizard should be ranked higher than Ulginesh, the strongest elf wizard and the unit that makes that army viable. (Although some of the elf wizards could be ranked lower than Ulginesh if they aren't essential to the elf wizard build, like Emirroon and Morsbane). If Arkmer is going to be ranked higher than Ulginesh (which I actually agree with you on), it should only be on the basis that his value outside of the Elf Wizard build pushes him up from a straight B to a B+.)

Now, this might sound like this is just semantics about how Commander-type units should be ranked. And that's because it is! Fundamentally, this is your tier list, and if you want to rank all units according to the Separation of Powers principle, then go for it. I don't even mind that much myself whether you rank Kurrok and the Fire Elementals together in B+ or in separate ranks instead - the way that I see it, both approaches are valid depending on what overarching principles you decide you want to follow when constructing the list. All I wanted to really do today was to show that there is an argument for ranking Firestorm according to the Consolidation of Ranks principle, rather than the Separation of Powers one. I don't mind which way you do go. But fundamentally, I think it's worth considering whether there are situations in which Consolidation of Ranks is the right principle to follow, rather than always defaulting to using Separation of Powers.
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  #220  
Old May 6th, 2021, 01:27 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Personally I side on the "consolidation of powers" end as the best way to rank figures.

Power ranking figures is alone is tough because armies win games, not figures. Would there ever be a way to independently rate Gladiatrons and Blastatrons? No, they are so inexorably tied together in their best builds that having them at separate ranks would be be impossible.

I love Me-Burq-Sa, but I have him at an A- in my rankings. He is the best bonding hero for two different A- squads, so he's A-. The strength of Me-Burq-Sa is a big reason why the Romans and the Deathchasers are A-, but that doesn't change the strength of MBS, since they depend upon each other.

I think the "separation of powers" argument is basically a buy one get one free fallacy. Buy one: ranked C. Get one free? A+. You can get excited about how the second one is technically free, but you had to pay for the first full price one which you maybe wouldn't have done if you just thought about it more accurately as each one is 50% off.

Kurrok and the FEs is basically the same principle as Glads and Blasts, there's no way to break them apart. Yes Kurrok centralizes the vulnerability where Glads and Blasts each have their own vulnerabilities, but that doesn't make Kurrok bad, it just makes the army bad. The FEs come with all of the vulnerabilities of Kurrok in their best builds. Yes, they carry Kurrok up since Kurrok is worse without them (just like Deathchasers and Romans are notably worse without MBS). But they are worthless without Kurrok, even more so than MBS without bonding squads.
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  #221  
Old May 6th, 2021, 02:56 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

I'll keep this brief since I'm enjoying following this debate.

I believe you've set up separations of power and consolidation of rank are a false dichotomy. Personally, I don't like those terms, but I understand their benefit in this specific debate. Some figures are easier to judge independent of the rest of the army, and some aren't. Going further still, some units are a mix of the two. That's ok, there shouldn't be a one size fits all way to look at things. I'll piggy back on the Me-Burg-Sa example. Yes, he's a good character, but so is Grimnak or Sir Gilbert. The question becomes why is it justifiable to rank Me-Berg-Sa higher while the other are the same rank as there bonding squad. One of the things that sets Me-Burg-Sa apart is that he allows Romans and DCoT to play in a fundamentally different way. The bonding hero's I've mentioned as well as MDG, Mittens, etc, do not change the bonding squad play style to such an extent. He's a 50 point figure that usually kills way more points and drives the army's playstyle. This is not the case for the other armies I've mentioned. As such, it is easier to assess Me-Burg-Sa relative value.

As Veggie mentioned, on the other hand you have Glad/Blast. There terrible without each other, and all elite armies utilize both squads. It's easier to rank the figures based on how they do together. You could make arguments that either Glad or Blast are better, but a lot of it comes to semantics and subjective personal philosophy.

You have to look at the unique attributes of each figure/army. Fire is vastly superior to the other Elementals. You could make an argument that if Kurrak really is better then a B, mixed elemental or all Air/Earth/Water builds would be viable. Since they're not viable it shows that Fire carry the firestorm build, and thus Kurrok deserves a B. On the other hand it's also true that Kurrok raises Fire from the C range to A-, B+ range. Without Kurrok there is not firestorm. This dynamic shares similarities with Glad/Blast which are ranked together. Taking everything into account, I think it's justifiable to rank them together or Fire one rank above. Fire and Kurrok are sufficiently reliant on each other that a two rank gap is excessive.

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Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
Although we don't live in this hypothetical world, this Separation of Powers analysis illuminates the fundamental nature of the issue at hand: Fire Elementals are already plenty good. They are held back by taking an expensive liability of a figure who is "decent at best." Can an argument be made that Kurrok should be rated a B+? Sure, and one could certainly make that argument. However, that argument is not at issue today, so I need not consider it.
Hard disagree that Fire are plenty good without Kurrok.

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Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
With the announcement of ScapeCon, and the reconsideration of what units should qualify as B+, Fire Elementals were found to be too strong. As such, they were moved up to A-. Fire Elementals have great matchups into many A- and better armies: Heavy Gruts, Knights of Weston, Axegrinders of Burning Forge, Roman Legionnaires, and Death Chasers. They have winnable matchups into many others. They have poor matchups into really strong range. However, this court has long held that having poor matchups into even a large range of top-tier armies does not preclude A- status (see: Phantom Knights, with terrible matchups into all five of the aforementioned bonding melee squads; and Mezzodemon Warmongers, with terrible matchups into anything with special attacks or auto-wounding abilities, such as Braxas, Grimnak, Nilfheim, Major Q9, Major Q10, etc.). As such, the move of Fire Elementals back up to A- was merely a corrective measure taken to rectify a past mistake.
Mezzo's and PK are not Bread and Butter, so this comparison is moot.

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  #222  
Old May 6th, 2021, 03:56 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Some interesting thoughts from you all, and thank you @Grey_Waves for indulging my finals procrastination fake-court post.

I think responding to a few points made by IS will help me in clarifying why I don't see Kurrok/Fires the same as Glad/Blast, or KoW/Gilbert, or Heavies/Grimnak, or...

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Originally Posted by infectedsloth View Post
I believe you've set up separations of power and consolidation of rank are a false dichotomy.
I think you may have misunderstood; see below. It's certainly not a "one-or-the-other" situation.

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Hard disagree that Fire are plenty good without Kurrok.
You definitely misunderstood what I wrote there. I wasn't saying that Fires are good without Kurrok. My point was that Fires aren't the issue. Making Fires better isn't really what would fix the core problems of the army. The flaws pretty much all lie within Kurrok (unless you want to make the argument that the army would have no issues if Fires had 8 move and 7 defense, but that's less realistic than an alternate reality where Kurrok is cheaper or more survivable).

And this is where I distinguish Firestorm from the other combos people have given examples of. The flaws in Firestorm lay in one half of the duo. This isn't true of any of the other pairs. Glads and Blasts are both nuts. Grimnak and Heavies are both very efficient. Knights do all the leg work, but Gilbert's facilitation of that is insane.

Sure, Kurrok is giving you the ability to play Firestorm. Ranking them together isn't necessarily wrong (I think it is, but we're allowed to disagree, of course!). However, my underlying point is that the precedent exists to where I don't HAVE to rank them together if I don't feel it's the correct thing to do. At the end of the day, that post was just meant to clarify the history of the rankings and my own personal philosophy when it comes to maintaining the rankings.

I suppose my stance can be best clarified at this:
(1) Years of results and my own experience is the bulk of the ratings. As such, figures played together will often end up together.
(2) Building off that starting point, I'm interested in WHY the results are the way they are. To do that, I try to understand what's happening in armies, which is the separation of powers principle (breaking the whole down into its distinct components).
(3) Using some combination of these, the final ratings of these figures are determined. Again, figures played together will often end up together, but I don't think they need to be ranked together simply because they're co-dependent.

I think I may move Kurrok back up to B+. Anywhere in the B range is fine. And the real history behind the power rankings is that they largely began as a joke. With my own history of moving Hatamato Taro up to A+ (for a year and a half, no less!) and renaming all the ranks to Marvel movies, I certainly don't take these rankings seriously at all times.

Quote:
Mezzo's and PK are not Bread and Butter, so this comparison is moot.
This just isn't true for a few reasons. First of all, PKs were played essentially like Bread and Butter when Jexik put them at A-. Second, I could have picked many other figures in the A- range, including a Bread and Butter unit like Romans. I simply picked two clear examples. Romans have terrible matchups into 10th, Zelrig, and Glad/Blast, to name a few. Greenscales are bad into the bonding melee squads (Heavies, Knights, Dwarves, Romans, and probably Death Chasers, although I admittedly haven't played that matchup). Regardless, the point is that bad matchups are allowed, and saying that that underlying point is "moot" because the unit roles of two quick examples given aren't the same is false.
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  #223  
Old May 6th, 2021, 06:14 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
You definitely misunderstood what I wrote there. I wasn't saying that Fires are good without Kurrok. My point was that Fires aren't the issue. Making Fires better isn't really what would fix the core problems of the army. The flaws pretty much all lie within Kurrok (unless you want to make the argument that the army would have no issues if Fires had 8 move and 7 defense, but that's less realistic than an alternate reality where Kurrok is cheaper or more survivable).

And this is where I distinguish Firestorm from the other combos people have given examples of. The flaws in Firestorm lay in one half of the duo. This isn't true of any of the other pairs. Glads and Blasts are both nuts. Grimnak and Heavies are both very efficient. Knights do all the leg work, but Gilbert's facilitation of that is insane.
If you're going to attribute the liabilities of Fire Elementals to Kurrok, you have to give him their strengths too. Sure, he's a liability for order marker management, but he's what enables you to take triple turns with them and stack Searing Intensities in the first place. Again, back to the Glad Blast comparison, it's like saying the Blasts are bad because they can get shot down over the screen and then the Glads are useless. Sure, sometimes, but it's just a weird way to talk about two figures that work together.

If you took away the Fire Elemental's "liability" of only being able to take a single turn when their Elementalist is dead and gave them traditional bonding, that would make them better. That single activation limit is flaw for the Fire Elemental; Kurrok fixes the flaw. Kurrok brings his own flaws of vulnerability to assassination, but the Fire Elemental flaws are what he's patching over.
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  #224  
Old May 6th, 2021, 06:16 PM
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Just gonna say that blasts are better by themselves than glads are but both play quite a bit differently solo than when combined.

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  #225  
Old May 16th, 2021, 09:00 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

I've moved Marro Dividers back up to A-. I think the rankings are pretty much set now (with regards to the B+/A- split).
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  #226  
Old May 17th, 2021, 08:21 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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I've moved Marro Dividers back up to A-. I think the rankings are pretty much set now (with regards to the B+/A- split).
I concur. Dividers were the best melee squad at B+ and lower with only slight debate against.

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  #227  
Old May 17th, 2021, 01:19 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Who do I petition to revoke @OEAO 's ranking privileges?


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  #228  
Old May 17th, 2021, 04:51 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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Who do I petition to revoke @OEAO 's ranking privileges?
Me.

Denied.
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