I haven't said it's unprecedented, but it does feel bad to me. Verore, Sleepers, GI and Exiles have different ways they can be played as 3 Purity. They might not be as optimal as ONE TO RULE THEM ALL, supreme version of 3 P, but they do work more or less consistently (You still see Omnitron or Landstead decks played, as well as Verore who play on their Dragons and Apparitions, etc).
But more than nerfing or buffing a specific deck, this is a matter of faction identity. IW factions were originally all about a certain facet or play style they excel at. Presently, the "identity" of DoD decks is that they are basically Warpath with a bit of GI, punching trough the opposition via brute force.
That is why I feel that this decline of DoD Morale decks should not be allowed. And yes, I am well aware that you can make mixed decks, and in fact I've had good results with 1 DoD 2 CoV decks, but calling that a DoD deck would be factually wrong, as it used a small margin of DoD cards (9 of them specifically, 3 Wrath, 3 Will and 3 Spirit of Ancient Guardian, of which only Will of Lingbao was completely mandatory).
I've tried to play some decks based around Ju-Lin and they KINDA work, but the feeling remains that he is just as effective in a brute force deck as he is in a different one (and he is actually better in a 2 DoD/1 Exiles deck).
Overall what I'm going for is that I don't mind changes to the faction in general (I've had good fun during Order even if the new cards hadn't been too good for DoD for the better part), but I DO mind that while every other faction has kept their identity so far, only DoD is played contrary to it now, as all their tools that facilitated morale play options got removed (again, this is the issue of making a faction so ridiculously combo centric, messing with one card has the potential to wreak havoc on the entire faction).
Imagine if GI had almost all their Pump/Buffing options removed. I bet people wouldn't be happy. The situation here is exactly the same, 'cept fewer people cared about Morale decks in the first place, due to their playstyle being so passive. Spirit of the Serpent was certainly a step in the right direction, the problem is, since it was a weak card, and wasn't seeing play, that venue of DoD isn't developed enough to work yet (only other card to do something like it is Avatar of Lingbao, Monkey is a combo card that isn't too great on it's own, while Masked Warrior is just irredeemably bad, with both low stats like the monkey, however also unable to combo). There is Quest for Balance, but all the problems with it have long since been pointed out.
Overall, it's a problem if you think about it and realize "this faction that has so many things to deal with enemy Morale, only has one or two options that are actually ever usable at this point!"
Even when someone makes a hybrid morale deck with DoD it's not very often that it's a 2 DoD deck, it's far more likely it's 1 DoD for Lingbao's Will, Glorious Warrior and the like. It's a sorry state IMO, and saying "oh well, at least it's SOMEWHAT playable'' isn't something I'm wiling to do. I love this game, but I like morale DoD the most about it, and so far they are the only faction I saw to has been repeatedly hit on ALL their strongest cards (Coyle, Avatar of Lingbao changed, Counting the Days and Pacifying Winds, yet so far that power taken wasn't moved anywhere else, which LM claimed to be the motivation for the nefs, moving power from higher rarity cards to lower ones), let alone the fact that most other factions were given cards that 3 P Morale DoD outdated tools can no longer deal with.
So yeah, that's basically it. I think DoD is rapidly spiraling into losing all the things that made it different from, let's say, Warpath, as their new combat tools are great, compared to their Morale tools, which are outdated and outclassed, as they have lost the catalysts that made them work in the first place. I realize that this is a patty concern in the grand scale of things, but I've faith that LM isn't intentionally aiming for them to go that way at this point. However if things go as they are going at the moment, it seems like that is the way it will end.
tl;dr DoD need new ways to deal with enemy Morale, as it stands, their combat tools are so much better, that making them into something a lot like Warpath seems to be their only way to be relevant at this point (meanwhile WP are getting tools that morale DoD would kill for, but WP find redundant).
Edit: Sorry ,that was written early in the day, while the OP was late at night, so my thought process is fairly fragmented in these posts.
To surmise: DoD has always been a tricky faction to play, due to it being HEAVILY dependent on comboes of cards, it's lack of good draw, the mana curve that's so ridiculously overburdened on 3 and 4. The Morale variety also needed very specific matchups to get going, AKA lots of attackers, little removal and control.
While other factions for more focused tools due to their more tangible strong points, DoD got cards that were again, heavily dependent on other things, thus often overly situational (Chef needs good board presence, Monkey needs Wrath and Will, but suffers if you have Chef, etc) or just flatout weak (Spirit of the Serpent and Masked Warrior). In contrast, they were REALLY strong with the new cards in Opression.
Those cards were nerfed yes, but not because they gave 3 P DoD too much of an edge, but rather they made already too powerful decks even stronger. These nerfs hit the ones they were targeted to yes, and they DID make DoD stronger, but in a way that wasn't good for DoD as they were to be played until now. I mean, I can see it making some decks stronger, but it doesn't inherently fix any issues that DoD had. Hell NONE of the new cards fixed any issues DoD had (still no draw, still overloaded on 4 with few good drops before 3) and STILL the faction that is supposed to be all about defense has both little good ways to make the enemy attack, but ALSO little ways to make an enemy with good durability back off.
So yeah, that is my problem with 3p DoD morale decks in their current state. Considering their faction is so chock full of "defensive" tools with so many high HP cards, they STILL lack overall good tools to do their job.
I do play Brute Force DoD quite a bit and enjoy a small deal of success, but the way I got to playing them wasn't because it was "enjoyable" to play them, it was because all other options simply got too nonviable. And after a year of playing this game and gethering most of DoD cards, I now get to look at my collection and get "whimsical" comments from other players like "Why play 3 DoD with Avatar of Yuanshi?", "Surprise Defense is only good if you've an Ao Shun in hand" and "No one plays 3 P DoD".
Now I am not a game designer, but this isn't exactly a good state of play, for ANYTHING. Of course, some bad cards are needed in every card game, there WILL be ways to make them work somehow eventually.
But at the moment, this faction is pretty much made out of "good", buffing and durable cards (most pump cards, Coyle Immovable, all 2 lives cards, Gao Han command, Avatar of Lingbao) and while almost ALL other cards are considered "bad" within their own faction due to their standalone unreliability or just straight up sub-parness, looking into making the "bad" cards more usable is qeualy as important as is making the "good" cards work whiting your own faction. And it's great that DoD can now be a powerhouse with decent tempo if you set it up correctly, but that doesn't mean DoD is in a good spot as is, just a certain subset of it.
And that is why I made this thread, to say that, which I do often hear other people say in the game, but they don't care for one reason or the other.
2nd reason for this thread is to see if 3P Morale Decks ARE in a bad spot as I claim them to be (I don't consider myself a good player TBH). So yeah, do you have any ideas about that?