|RIP, Rabies vaccine succesfully applied.|
With Mk. 3 these powerhouses were both taken down a notch. They are still very strong, in my opinion the best in Cygnar, but they lost some of the power which made them above and beyond nearly everyone else. Instead we got new powerhouses. It took a little while but we soon saw Wurmwood dominate the meta. Karchev's Mad Dogs were the next ones out and in-between fighting Circle and Khador you occasionally faced off against Protectorate's High Reclaimer with some Haley3-esque crazy angles.
I'll give you a little TL;DR before I elaborate further: The balance in Warmachine & Hordes is now better than it has ever been.
We sure do love to hate what's broken and many people have voiced their concerns over lack of nerfs to Una2 and High Reclaimer for example. Someone -has- to be top dog though, there's no way around that fact. In my opinion the top dog now is Circle, easily. They have multiple very legit casters, two of which complement each other very well. Both of them got hit in the errata. Not massively, but sufficiently to take them down a notch. That is inherently a buff to anything else not also nerfed and it reduces the gap between the factions.
The thing is, while the errata is more controversial than many would have hoped for, it's a cautious step. Cautious steps aren't necessarily a bad thing, especially considering they are in the right direction. For all the salt around the internet about the errata, I want to ask people a simple question: Do you agree with (the vast majority of) the changes made? I sure do. I think they are good and I think they improve the game. It's not everything I'd hoped for, but then again we don't know how this will impact the meta just yet.
Another thing to keep in mind which I have yet to see anyone comment on is the nature of the changes PP have introduced. Previously they were reluctant to change X or Y for whatever reason. Examples in brackets, we now see:
- Spell swaps (Haley2)
- Spell changes (Haley1)
- Point cost changes (Mad Dog)
- Rules swapping (Mad Dog)
- Stat changes (Zuriel)
- Warjack point reduction (Haley1)
- Weapon ability changes (Caine2)
- Ability changes (Jozef)
My take-away from this is that nothing is sacred, anything and everything is up for debate and subject to change if needed. I think this is awesome as it gives the game designers a bigger toolbox to balance the game with. Of course their new strategy of all-digital ties in really well (I love that part as well by the way!)
On the topic of the meta, one thing most people seem to forget in this errata debate is the enormous amount of potentially game-changing releases coming up in the next few months. I hope that the bi-annual erratas will keep taking down the worst offenders and keep buffing the sad factions. Now, there's no wonder there are tons of things we want fixed. Mk. 3 is still a new thing. Remember how Privateer Press said it wouldn't be "completely out" before July 2017? We're basically only halfway there. Who knows what the theme forces will do with the meta? Look at Kingmaker's, it's an absolutely bonkers theme force which single-handedly makes Mercenaries both more competitive and in my opinion more interesting.
Lastly, a few words on Cygnar in particular. Haley2 got a slight nerf. In general you want the ability to protect Thorn, heavies and Lances just that little bit more. Deflection was great for this. However she didn't simply lose the spell, and what she gained is situationally useful as well of course. No knockdown can be big for a caster as squishy as Haley2 so it's not a substantial nerf per se. Losing deflection amplifies her existing weaknesses to the point where it tips certain matchups I think. Sloan for example in a Cygnar mirror is a -lot- stronger with this change. Haley1's change makes little sense from a balance perspective, but I can see how annoying it can be for players to face with SPD4 jacks etc. I have played this in practice myself and yeah, trampling 5" because you'd otherwise run 4" is kind of stupid. I'm not a fan of Haley1 so personally I don't care too much about this, but from a balance perspective it doesn't make sense to me. Eliminating negative play experiences is an issue for PP though, no doubt. Lastly, Caine2. I'm not sure what to say about him. I'm basically not sold on the fact that it's all doom'n'gloom I guess. In my Caine2 lists I have plenty of infantry hate regardless and he's still putting out up to 9 highly accurate shots so for trick shots it's not -that- big. Grievous only needs to be applied once per target and I find he rarely manages to take out more than one anyways because POW 12 is POW 12 after all (i.e. not all that against harder targets). That leaves Black Penny, which is situationally baller. It's a significant nerf. Maybe it's worse in practice than it appears to be on paper. Time will show.
Oh, and RIP Lanyssa. At 3 points you were very interesting. At 4 points you compete with Rhupert, Ragman, Arlan and I doubt I'll field you again anytime soon.
It makes sense for Privateer Press to wait and not apply super-drastic changes. One step at a time. The important part is that it's a step in the right direction. While less drastic than many would have hoped, I still feel the changes as a whole are significant. I look forward to playing a better game, the most balanced version we've ever had. Now, if you'll excuse me I have some reports to write up on my Sloan and Stryker3 journey!