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  #205  
Old May 4th, 2021, 12:07 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
This change isnít just for ScapeCon. I havenít had coffee yet, so expect a full reply in an hour or so.
<-- eager audience
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  #206  
Old May 4th, 2021, 12:20 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
This change isnít just for ScapeCon. I havenít had coffee yet, so expect a full reply in an hour or so.


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  #207  
Old May 4th, 2021, 12:36 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

OEAO, Competitive Armies Circuit Judge:

Petitioner Grey_Waves argues that this thread violated the general "Consolidation of Ranks" principle that has long dominated the Competitive Armies circuit. Today, this court rejects the interpretation of this principle as binding precedent and clarifies it as being a helpful starting point when determining the correct ranks of individual units. This court further holds that each unit must be individually assessed on its own merits in its top armies to determine how strong that unit itself is; this is known as the "Separation of Powers" principle.

Background

On February 1, 2007, spider_poison created the Classic Heroscape Power Rankings thread. On November 11, 2010, Jexik added the rankings for the D2 figures, including Kurrok the Elementalist ("Kurrok"), and revised the rankings for the elementals themselves. Notably, Kurrok was placed in the B+ rank, whereas the Fire Elemental was moved up to an A- from a C-.

On May 8, 2018, OEAO created the Orc's Power Rankings thread (since renamed "OEAO's Power Rankings"). On September 9, 2018, Jexik stickied Orc's Power Rankings, signifying a ceremonial "passing of the torch," just as spider_poison passed the torch to Jexik on August 27, 2009. OEAO's rankings moved Fire Elemental down to the B+ rank, joining Kurrok as the two components of the elemental faction in that rank.

OEAO announced "ScapeCon," the most prestigious gaming tournament in history, on April 5, 2021. The ScapeCon events schedule, including an event where only B+ and under units in compliance with OEAO's Power Rankings are legal, was announced on April 11, 2021.

On May 3, 2021, OEAO increased Fire Elemental back up to A-, while simultaneously dropping Kurrok to B and Sonya to B+. On May 4, petitioner brought this action, citing a violation of the Consolidation of Ranks principle.

The Consolidation of Ranks Principle

It is a long-standing general principle that figures that are always played together, and rely on each other, are ranked together. However, precedent illuminates that this principle is merely a starting place, not a binding principle that must be followed.

It is certainly true that many pairs of co-dependent units are ranked together: Gladiatrons and Blastatrons; Knights of Weston and Sir Gilbert; Heavy Gruts and Grimnak; Atlaga and both Minions of Utgar and Sentinels of Jandar. However, a pattern does not equate to a rule, and both threads (the Classic Heroscape Power Rankings and OEAO's Power Rankings) display breakings of such a pattern.

In Jexik's rankings, Nerak was an A-, while Heavy Gruts and Grimnak were both A. Now, it's certainly true that Heavy Gruts and Grimnak are the most important components of that army. However, Nerak is almost always taken alongside them, and significantly boosts the survivability of both components. For example, the best 400 point army with these figures is 3x Heavy Gruts, Grimnak, Nerak, Marcu; NOT 4x Heavy Gruts, Grimnak. (Notably, OEAO's Power Rankings rectified this disparity.)

Petitioner brings up the disparity between Arkmer and the rest of the elf wizards in OEAO's Power Rankings. This disparity exists for several reasons. As petitioner correctly assessed, Arkmer has value outside of elf wizards armies. See Coalition Wars (GenCon 2018 ); Main Event (GenCon 2018 ). However, even in elf wizards builds, Arkmer provides incredible value. The very nature of being a 50 point elf wizard with good survivability is vital to buffing units like Johrdawn. Further, Arkmer's own offensive output is solid, with a four-die, five-range normal attack. Even if Arkmer did not have value outside of the elf wizard army, a strong argument would still exist for him being the best elf wizard. As Arkmer does provide very good value by himself, I need not consider this further.

However, the most on-point precedent available is directly controlling here: Jexik's original rankings had Kurrok and Fire Elementals in two different tiers. OEAO moved Fire Elementals down after a few bad losses with the army. However, that doesn't eliminate the existence of the controlling precedent.

As such, this court holds that the standard moving forward is the Separation of Powers principle. Each unit must be analyzed on its own merits. What is important is the value that a particular unit provides to its best army(ies). The overall strength of that army is not indicative of the value each unit within that army provides.

The Separation of Powers Principle at Work

Perhaps the clearest example of the Separation of Powers is Me-Burq-Sa, rated an A. As a stand-alone hero, Me-Burq-Sa would be a B+, or an A- at the absolute highest. It depends on the army, but Me-Burq-Sa is not clearly better than Arkmer, Zetacron, or Samuel Brown, to name three B+s in the same general price range.

Me-Burq-Sa's true value as an A is in being one of the best bonding heroes in the game. The value of a range bonding option with decent survivability, high mobility, and a respectable attack for only 50 points is quite high. However, none of the three squads that Me-Burq-Sa bonds with are an A. Roman Legionnaires and Death Chasers of Thesk are both A-s, and Grok Riders are competitively irrelevant. Despite this, Me-Burq-Sa's individual power level within those armies is so high as to warrant an A, even when the cores of those armies don't quite meet the high bar for A status.

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.

The Doctrine of Event Simplicity

Petitioner also argues that a ban list could merely be added to the Three-Headed Hydra B+ and Under event for ScapeCon. Although a finding that the Fire Elemental deserves an A- means that I need not answer this question today, I reject this argument. The Event Organizer Circuit has long held that events should be simplified as much as possible while still retaining the spirit of the event (the doctrine of Event Simplicity). The Three-Headed Hydra event already has a multitude of complications, requiring players to: make teams of three; not bring any of the same figures; utilize OEAO's Power Rankings when creating armies; and go through a pairing and map selection process each round. Adding a ban list would serve to further complicate this event. The perceived harm of "problems in the rankings," even if true, would be outweighed by the benefit of maintaining a more streamlined event.

The Application of the Separation of Powers to the Elementals

The poor matchups into really strong range turn on two fundamental weaknesses of the army. First, Fire Elementals effectively function as a three-man, five-move squad. However, this is mitigated by their strong defense. Further, their offensive output is very high once they actually reach their target. These two differences, alongside their improved matchups into bonding melee, are what distinguish them from the Warriors of Ashra, another three-man, five-move squad.

Second, and to the crux of the issue at hand, is the fragility of Kurrok. Kurrok is 120 points for a three-defense, five-life figure. He is incredibly easy to assassinate with any strong, long-range attack (see: Major Q9, Major Q10, Krav Maga Agents, Airborne Elite, Marro Warriors, etc.), and the army instantly loses if he dies. This is the single greatest weakness of the army. If Kurrok was cheaper, or had more defense, or had more life, he would deserve a higher rating.

Or imagine a world where the "take three turns" granted by Kurrok was inherent to the Fire Elemental like it is with the Wyrmlings. It is quite possible that the Fire Elemental would jump to an A, as the number one liability would be removed. Further, the 120 points saved by not having to bring Kurrok could help smooth the problematic matchups with the inclusion of either anti-range figures like Phantom Knights, Krav Maga Agents, or Black Wyrmlings, or "can openers" like Nilfheim or Eltahale.

Conclusion

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.

AFFIRMED.

Last edited by OEAO; May 4th, 2021 at 01:10 PM.
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  #208  
Old May 4th, 2021, 01:05 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
OEAO, Competitive Armies Circuit Judge:

Petitioner Grey_Waves argues that this thread violated the general "Consolidation of Ranks" principle that has long dominated the Competitive Armies circuit. Today, this court rejects the interpretation of this principle as binding precedent and clarifies it as being a helpful starting place when determining the correct ranks for individual units. This court further holds that each unit must be individually assessed on its own merits in its top armies to determine how strong that unit itself is; this is known as the "Separation of Powers" principle.

Background

On February 1, 2007, spider_poison created the Classic Heroscape Power Rankings thread. On November 11, 2010, Jexik added the rankings for the D2 figures, including Kurrok the Elementalist ("Kurrok"), and revised the rankings for the elementals themselves. Notably, Kurrok was placed in the B+ rank, whereas the Fire Elemental was moved up to an A- from a C-.

On May 8, 2018, OEAO created the Orc's Power Rankings thread (since renamed "OEAO's Power Rankings"). On September 9, 2018, Jexik stickied Orc's Power Rankings, signifying a ceremonial "passing of the torch," just as spider_poison passed the torch to Jexik on August 27, 2009. OEAO's rankings moved Fire Elemental down to the B+ rank, joining Kurrok as the two components of the elemental faction in that rank.

OEAO announced "ScapeCon," the most prestigious gaming tournament in history, on April 5, 2021. The ScapeCon events schedule, including an event where only B+ and under units in compliance with OEAO's Power Rankings are legal, was announced on April 11, 2021.

On May 3, 2021, OEAO increased Fire Elemental back up to A-, while simultaneously dropping Kurrok to B and Sonya to B+. On May 4, petitioner brought this action, citing a violation of the Consolidation of Ranks principle.

The Consolidation of Ranks Principle

It is a long-standing general principle that figures that are always played together, and rely on each other, are ranked together. However, precedent illuminates that this principle is merely a starting place, not a binding principle that must be followed.

It is certainly true that many pairs of co-dependent units are ranked together: Gladiatrons and Blastatrons; Knights of Weston and Sir Gilbert; Heavy Gruts and Grimnak; Atlaga and both Minions of Utgar and Sentinels of Jandar. However, a pattern does not equate to a rule, and both threads (the Classic Heroscape Power Rankings and OEAO's Power Rankings) display breakings of such a pattern.

In Jexik's rankings, Nerak was an A-, while Heavy Gruts and Grimnak were both A. Now, it's certainly true that Heavy Gruts and Grimnak are the most important components of that army. However, Nerak is almost always taken alongside them, and significantly boosts the survivability of both components. For example, the best 400 point army with these figures is 3x Heavy Gruts, Grimnak, Nerak, Marcu; NOT 4x Heavy Gruts, Grimnak. (Notably, OEAO's Power Rankings rectified this disparity.)

Petitioner brings up the disparity between Arkmer and the rest of the elf wizards in OEAO's Power Rankings. This disparity exists for several reasons. As petitioner correctly assessed, Arkmer has value outside of elf wizards armies. See Coalition Wars (GenCon 2018 ); Main Event (GenCon 2018 ). However, even in elf wizards builds, Arkmer provides incredible value. The very nature of being a 50 point elf wizard with good survivability is vital to buffing units like Johrdawn. Further, Arkmer's own offensive output is solid, with a four-die, five-range normal attack. Even if Arkmer did not have value outside of the elf wizard army, a strong argument would still exist for him being the best elf wizard. As Arkmer does provide very good value by himself, I need not consider this further.

However, the most on-point precedent available is directly controlling here: Jexik's original rankings had Kurrok and Fire Elementals in two different tiers. OEAO moved Fire Elementals down after a few bad losses with the army. However, that doesn't eliminate the existence of the controlling precedent.

As such, this court holds that the standard moving forward is the Separation of Powers principle. Each unit must be analyzed on its own merits. What is important is the value that a particular unit provides to its best army(ies). The overall strength of that army is not indicative of the value each unit within that army provides.

The Separation of Powers Principle at Work

Perhaps the clearest example of the Separation of Powers is Me-Burq-Sa, rated an A. As a stand-alone hero, Me-Burq-Sa would be a B+, or an A- at the absolute highest. It depends on the army, but Me-Burq-Sa is not clearly better than Arkmer, Zetacron, or Samuel Brown, to name three B+s in the same general price range.

Me-Burq-Sa's true value as an A is in being one of the best bonding heroes in the game. The value of a range bonding option with decent survivability, high mobility, and a respectable attack for only 50 points is quite high. However, none of the three squads that Me-Burq-Sa bonds with are an A. Roman Legionnaires and Death Chasers of Thesk are both A-s, and Grok Riders are competitively irrelevant. Despite this, Me-Burq-Sa's individual power level within those armies is so high as to warrant an A, even when the cores of those armies don't quite meet the high bar for A status.

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.

The Doctrine of Event Simplicity

Petitioner also argues that a ban list could merely be added to the Three-Headed Hydra B+ and Under event for ScapeCon. Although a finding that the Fire Elemental deserves an A- means that I need not answer this question today, I reject this argument. The Event Organizer Circuit has long held that events should be simplified as much as possible while still retaining the spirit of the event (the doctrine of Event Simplicity). The Three-Headed Hydra event already has a multitude of complications, requiring players to: make teams of three; not bring any of the same figures; utilize OEAO's Power Rankings when creating armies; and go through a pairing and map selection process each round. Adding a ban list would serve to further complicate this event. The perceived harm of "problems in the rankings," even if true, would be outweighed by the benefit of maintaining a more streamlined event.

The Application of the Separation of Powers to the Elementals

The poor matchups into really strong range turn on two fundamental weaknesses of the army. First, Fire Elementals effectively function as a three-man, five-move squad. However, this is mitigated by their strong defense. Further, their offensive output is very high once they actually reach their target. These two differences, alongside their improved matchups into bonding melee, are what distinguish them from the Warriors of Ashra, another three-man, five-move squad.

Second, and to the crux of the issue at hand, is the fragility of Kurrok. Kurrok is 120 points for a three-defense, five-life figure. He is incredibly easy to assassinate with any strong, long-range attack (see: Major Q9, Major Q10, Krav Maga Agents, Airborne Elite, Marro Warriors, etc.), and the army instantly loses if he dies. This is the single greatest weakness of the army. If Kurrok was cheaper, or had more defense, or had more life, he would deserve a higher rating.

Or imagine a world where the "take three turns" granted by Kurrok was inherent to the Fire Elemental like it is with the Wyrmlings. It is quite possible that the Fire Elemental would jump to an A, as the number one liability would be removed. Further, the 120 points saved by not having to bring Kurrok could help smooth the problematic matchups with the inclusion of either anti-range figures like Phantom Knights, Krav Maga Agents, or Black Wyrmlings, or "can openers" like Nilfheim or Eltahale.

Conclusion

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.

AFFIRMED.
OMG, this is SO GOOD!
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  #209  
Old May 4th, 2021, 03:20 PM
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I See OEAO is Doing His Homework Here On The Site :P

I feel like the biggest takeaway from that is if OEAO does poorly with a unit and knocks it down a few pegs that means he's probably wrong. I feel like there's a figure who he has said on several occasions that he never gets full value from the special attack and thinks is bad. Maybe I'm just monkeying around but I feel like there's something in this range that would work but maybe I'm just autoloading incomplete information from my brain. Anyway, to sum up, I'm sure there's nothing else he's wrong about.

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  #210  
Old May 4th, 2021, 03:31 PM
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Re: I See OEAO is Doing His Homework Here On The Site :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysole View Post
I feel like the biggest takeaway from that is if OEAO does poorly with a unit and knocks it down a few pegs that means he's probably wrong. I feel like there's a figure who he has said on several occasions that he never gets full value from the special attack and thinks is bad. Maybe I'm just monkeying around but I feel like there's something in this range that would work but maybe I'm just autoloading incomplete information from my brain. Anyway, to sum up, I'm sure there's nothing else he's wrong about.

~Dysole, pokingly
It's ok Dysole, some rankings just Lag behind others when it comes to certain figures. It's hard for any rankings to be the Standard-bearer; it takes a real Enhancement to reach that level and get the Range of exposure to reach all 'scapers. But as long as you get the Symbol-ism right you can always continue.
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  #211  
Old May 4th, 2021, 03:39 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Laglor has been removed from the rankings.
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  #212  
Old May 4th, 2021, 04:03 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

I think I got it.

Chain fighters need to move up to a A- so that you don't see 16 armies with all chaingifhters in it.

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  #213  
Old May 4th, 2021, 04:32 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
OEAO, Competitive Armies Circuit Judge:



Conclusion

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.

AFFIRMED.
I look forward to seeing the same quality of work and dedication when you are clerking for me this summer.
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  #214  
Old May 4th, 2021, 05:20 PM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
OEAO announced "ScapeCon," the most prestigious gaming tournament in history,
Citation needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
OEAO moved Fire Elementals down after a few bad losses with the army.
Sounds more like OEAO needed to be moved down in the rankings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
Warriors of Ashra, another three-man, five-move squad.
Three-woman squad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OEAO View Post
the army instantly loses if he dies.
Hyperbole.

Good effort. A few flaws. I give it a B+.


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  #215  
Old May 5th, 2021, 01:30 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

Laglor has been moved to A-. I'm not gonna use him anyways, so if y'all want to ban yourselves from using him, that's fine. Congrats, ya played yourself.
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  #216  
Old May 5th, 2021, 01:42 AM
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Re: OEAO's Power Rankings

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Originally Posted by Dragon Ruler View Post
It's good to know that you don't have a final tomorrow that you're not ready for -- oh wait, you do have a final tomorrow that you're not ready for.
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