Author Topic: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't  (Read 2060 times)

Offline SDSakuragi

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Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« on: August 03, 2014, 11:56:56 PM »
So, many people have been talking about (mostly being confused over Verorian Hydra) interactions that I figured I’d put together a post explaining common misunderstandings and/or bugs and explain what’s actually going on behind the scenes (according to my own testing) that causes these issues.

1.  The Hydras Don’t Heal. Many people don’t realize that the Hydra’s ability does not technically heal it, but rather it increases its max toughness value. A quick Lightning Blast confirms this. Yes, the Hydra will go from 14/14 to 18/14. But if you zoom in on the card you will see that the toughness of the Hydra is actually written as 14/18. Which means instead of having healed to full health, the Hydra simply increased its max toughness. In this game, any increase or decrease of the max toughness causes a correlating change in that character’s current toughness. This is as intended because if you read the ability text on Verorian Hydra carefully, it says the Hydra gains +1/+1 per point of damage taken during the turn. This means healing abilities like Matriarch and Tribal Medicine can increase the Hydra’s toughness past 14 once it had been previously injured and its ability triggered.

2.  Damage vs Toughness Reduction. This is a common one as players with little previous TCG/CCG/LCG experience don’t realize what the difference is. This issue arises when using the Demonic Corruption card on the Verorian Hydra. The card states that at the end of each turn the targeted character gets +4/-2. That -2 is not dealt as damage to the Hydra but rather it reduces its max toughness. As previously stated the decrease in max toughness causes a corresponding reduction in the actual toughness of the character. So while the Hydra’s toughness may have dropped from 14 to 12, it technically has not taken any damage and thus its ability does not trigger. As such, the previously mentioned healing abilities will also not work to increase toughness if the loss of toughness was the result of a reduction effect.

3.  Poison/Immolate Damage; It Does Not Work. Poison and Immolate does do damage, but it will not trigger the Hydra’s ability. Why? As far as I can tell this has more to do with the order the abilities are resolved in relation to “end of turn” conditions. It would seem the game program first checks to see if any characters have innate “end of turn” triggers, then it goes on to check for any conditions that have “end of turn” triggers. So in essence what is happening is that the game reaches the end of a turn and starts checking for triggers. First it resolves the Hydra’s innate ability and gives it any stat increase according to all damage taken up to that point. Then afterwards, the game goes on to resolve any damage from Poison or Immolate conditions, which means damage from these would not have happened when the Hydra’s ability was triggered. And since the Hydra’s ability only applies to damage done “this turn,” the count will have been reset to zero by the start of the next turn.

4.  Shirazius Combo Doesn’t Always Work! This is a weird one. The reasoning behind it is similar to the Poison/Immolate issue where Shirazius’s damage ability will trigger after the Hydra’s ability. But what some players have noticed is that this is seemingly very inconsistent. Sometimes one Hydra will not get buffed while at other times no Hydras will receive any buffs after taking the damage from Shirazius. The real question here is what is determining the order in which “end of turn” triggers resolve for characters in play and thus causing this chaos? I’m glad to say that this is NOT random and can be controlled and manipulated. The trigger order is actually based on the order the game loaded the cards when the match first starts. Cards that are loaded first have a higher priority when it comes to abilities being triggered first. And the order cards are loaded is determined by the order they were ADDED to the deck list in the deck builder, command zone first. Most Shirazius/Hydra deck players know already to have Shirazius in the first command slot. But the same logic applies to the rest of the deck as well. Add any extra Shirazius cards into the deck before adding your Hydras to the deck, otherwise the combo will not work properly. And also keep in mind that because the command zone is always loaded first, any extra Shirazius in the deck will never combo correctly with Hydras you’ve placed in the command zone.

5.  The Hydra + Apparition Bug. Technically what’s happening here has more to do with how Apparition works rather than there being a bug. Some people have noticed that using Apparition to copy a Hydra will produce a Hydra with “double” power and toughness instead of actually making a perfect copy. It is actually not “double” power and toughness, and, in fact, exactly how much extra stats can be calculated. What happens is when Apparition makes the copy, it tries to make the copy as exact as possible, including the current actual toughness and max toughness. But how it goes about it is what causes the problem. It actually creates the copy first based off of the max toughness. Then it proceeds to subtract an amount of health from the copy to match the current actual toughness of the creature. This subtraction is done in the form of damage, which at the end of the turn triggers the Hydra copy’s ability. So if you copy a Hydra that has taken 4 damage, the original would have 18 power and 14/18 toughness, the copy will end up becoming 22 power and 18/22 toughness after its ability triggers at the end of turn. However using Apparition to copy a 14/14 Hydra that just came into play will result in another 14/14 Hydra.

Anyway hope at least some of this was helpful to you guys. Let me know if you guys have any questions regarding any of these findings.

Offline Heart

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 01:36:24 AM »
The most interesting thing about this was whether or not the deck building aspect/mechanics of how cards are prioritized is true. If so, this could mean that it would be somewhat possible to correct for and implement a functional mass temporal anomaly shift deck with lucca or sacullus. I know before on the few occasions I;ve tested, that sometimes half my units would get rebuffed by lucca and half wouldn't, so maybe this has something to do with it.  More testing needed.
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Offline SDSakuragi

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 02:33:57 AM »
Another note on healing and "damage":

As some of you guys may already know, if Hydras take damage and receive healing in the same turn, its ability only triggers based on the net amount of health lost. For example if a fresh Hydra takes 12 damage this turn from 3 Firebolts, and is then healed for 10 using Tribal Medicine, it will only count as 2 net damage and will only become 16 power 14/16 toughness at the end of turn. If the Hydra receives more healing than damage during a turn, the result at the end of the turn would be as if the Hydra had not taken any damage this turn. In short, "damage" as it is written on the Verorian Hydra card refers to the net negative change in its toughness from the beginning of the turn up to the point its ability triggers at the end of turn.

One other interesting note is that the effect of Hubris of the Strong resets any damage that the Hydra has taken up to that point in the turn. So if a Hydra is dealt 12 damage via Firebolts and then Hubrised, it will remain a 1/1 at the end of turn.

Offline stranger42

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 03:30:50 AM »
Well, if this continues to be true, then we there is going to be some seriously insane stuff, with people who want to build decks in an ultra-competitive manner have to not only know what cards they want to put in, but also in what order. Also, tweaking a deck might produce unpredictable results and mess with the functionality of a deck. Granted, this only seems to affect certain cards, but I dread to think of the effort required to keep track of everything at once.

Offline SDSakuragi

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 07:57:02 AM »
The most interesting thing about this was whether or not the deck building aspect/mechanics of how cards are prioritized is true. If so, this could mean that it would be somewhat possible to correct for and implement a functional mass temporal anomaly shift deck with lucca or sacullus. I know before on the few occasions I;ve tested, that sometimes half my units would get rebuffed by lucca and half wouldn't, so maybe this has something to do with it.  More testing needed.

I tested TMRS with Lucca and Sacculas and it is indeed also affected by the order cards were added to the deck in the deck builder. So what happens is when cards are returned to the field at the end of the turn, they return in the order they were loaded, which means cards you added to the deck first come back first. This means any artificial characters placed into the deck before Lucca will come back before her and receive her +4/+4 buff. Those that were loaded after Lucca will come back into play after her buff is applied and therefore will be unaffected.

This was confirmed in testing by using a variety of artificial characters in a deck with Luccas. All soulbound version of these character cards were placed in the deck before adding Luccas, then all non-soulbound character cards added after. After casting the characters and Lucca into the support zone, I re arranged all the characters grouping all of the same characters (both soulbound and non-soulbound versions) together with each other and placed Lucca at the end of the line at the far right. After casting TMRS, they all came back in a different order: all soulbound characters to the left and non-soulbound characters to the right with Lucca in the middle. All the soulbound characters were buffed and all the non-soulbound characters were not buffed. After comparing with order with the deck list, it was further noted that the order of which characters matched exactly the order the cards appeared in the deck builder. A second test mixing and matching which versions (soulbound or non-soulbound) of each character was added before and after the Luccas also confirmed this.

This means the in order for a TMRS deck to work all Luccas must be added to the deck after your artificial characters. Also using a Lucca in command would be a bad idea since command is loaded before the rest of the deck, which means she would re-enter the battlefield before any on the artificial characters from your deck.

Also of note is that artificial characters created by abilities, such as the drones from Scouting Mission or the constructs from Splitter Bot, do not load with the rest of your deck at the beginning of the match and are only loaded once they are created. This means that no matter what, the characters created via abilities will not receive the buff upon returning to play after TMRS, and they always appear at the far right of whatever zone they were in, indicating they came into the battlefield last. This held true no matter when the the ability card was added to the deck in relation to when Lucca was added.

So back your your original idea, Heart. If we were to build a TMRS deck with BOTH Lucca and Sacculas, it would probably be most beneficial to add the Lucca second to last and to add Sacculas to the deck only at the end.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 07:59:11 AM by SDSakuragi »

Offline DrayGon777

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 11:06:34 AM »
Hmmm... All this deck building testing leads me to wonder if the randomness of Scramble might also somehow be affected by when a card was added to the deck, or at least Chaos in the Ranks. Thinking I may have to test this, but will need a partner in the case of Chaos in the ranks.
Just so you guys know, if you're ever vs WWK, just start putting out random numbers and mathematical symbols, he will surrender.

Offline Maphreal

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 12:15:08 PM »
I hope they end up doing like MTG, both digital and physical version, where when you trigger multiple abilities at the same time, you get to choose in which order they resolve. And, obviously, the player with priority would have theirs resolve first.

Offline nickellicker

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 07:12:57 PM »
There are 2 other examples which i'm interested to see if they follow this example.

1)  How the order is determined for cards that initiate multiple prompts at the beginning of the turn... example unstable bomb-bot, shield generator.

2)  How aoe abilities calculate damage to multiple units... Does this mean that aoe abilities like yuanshi's wrath damages units based on how the opponent created his deck?

Offline Clearbeard

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Re: Verorian Hydras and How They Work... or Don't
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 02:10:23 PM »
There are 2 other examples which i'm interested to see if they follow this example.

1)  How the order is determined for cards that initiate multiple prompts at the beginning of the turn... example unstable bomb-bot, shield generator.

2)  How aoe abilities calculate damage to multiple units... Does this mean that aoe abilities like yuanshi's wrath damages units based on how the opponent created his deck?

AOE at least, or any multi-target damage effect like laser cannon, seems to deal all of its damage simultaneously.  Otherwise you'd have endless dead further down the target line gaining health as their friends died and similar effects.  I know that in terms of the code there has to be some sort of sequence, but that appears to be handled properly to give the appearance of simultaneity. 

Has any of this changed with recent overhauls?  Particularly the apparition/hydra interaction seems like a big bug to target, since they reworked Hydra anyway.