Grovenhold vs. Belnir

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aka-Phil
Grovenhold vs. Belnir

Obviously, this is a bad match up for Groven. Not unbeatable, but very difficult. Belnir has higher starting mana, more health over the course of the match and can semi-counter Groven's most powerful skill but removing a corpse before it can be returned to his hand, or just not even leaving one!

As a Groven player, a bad match up isn't what I'm complaining about. It's that Belnir is currently the most played T2 hero (or at least feels like it). So what can I do to increase my odds? What are the anti Belnir cards?

markmistr
markmistr's picture

I am wondering if Preserve would help (a rare core rune word for 2 mana). It allows the corpses to stay on the field for an extra turn. I just pulled one from a pack and I'll try it out.

aka-Phil

Belnir get's rid of the corpses. Increasing how long they stay wont help when he either destroys them or just doesn't leave them.

Fever
Fever's picture

I am a Belnir player and Grovenhold is a difficult matchup, so I guess there's something wrong in your deck, because the ancient hero can be extremely challenging for Belnir.

Grovenhold can shield his best creatures, saving them from Belnir's strike (and he can do it more often), and already starts with +3 health, compared to the +1 mana of Belnir.
It's true that Belnir can remove corpses for Grovenhold, but it's also true the opposite: Primal Recall can negate Divine Burial, preventing Belnir from gaining life.

In general, I think the two heroes are well balanced, I've had interesting games with this matchup.

aka-Phil

I agree they are fun match ups, but I have to use my bias to say I disagree with your assessment :P

Yes Groven can shield creatures, but Belnir can heal his while giving them armor with one less charge at that.

Over the course of a match Divine Burial gains way more life them the 3 extra that Grovenhold starts with.

And Belnir can use corpses on either side to gain life, Groven can only use his own with a MUCH longer charge time.

I never get dominated by Belnir but I lose more than I win, and my wins are very close matches at that. Maybe the main problem is just that Groven is a very card dependant hero and I just lack the proper cards to really take advantage of him right now.

Would you care to do some testing in Skirmish some time Fever? Maybe together we can find the secrets to this match up from both sides!

markmistr
markmistr's picture

aka-Phil wrote: Maybe the main problem is just that Groven is a very card dependant hero and I just lack the proper cards to really take advantage of him right now.

What cards do you think help Groven the most? I tried him for a while and while he is improved from before, I agree with you about the matchup with Belnir. So much so, that I am switching my limited deck to Belnir.

aka-Phil

He can make the best use in the game of Mana Sprite. Wait till you can protect it, put it's health really freaking high, if it dies just re-summon it, literally for free, and every turn he is slowly chipping away at your opponents health.

Hoard of Wyrms is also extremely good because you can recall a wyrm to gain 2 mana and replay it for free, maybe even heal it in the process if its health is under 3.

I find Grand Summoner Works decently, much in the same way as Mana Sprite. Not as well but cheaper creatures are cheaper creatures. Plus with the resist 2, he is nearly impossible to kill once you bump his health up. I'm not sure he will make the cut in the long run, but my deck did run smoother when I added 2. I also only have 1 Mana Sprite.

Vengeful Titan goes without saying, same with Skybreaker Giant.

Any "buff" creature like Captain of the Guard, Ward Mage, Angelic Captain, Ancient Being, Realm Sworn Bard, Battle Cleric, ect. Choose one, protect it, save it, recast it and let everything else you own reap the bennifits. Especially if you can put it between two wyrms from Hoard of Wyrms. Definitely don't run em all at once! Just examples of what will work.

I'm sure you see the problem now though, outside of Ward Mage everything I mentioned is rare. Theres not really any commons or uncommons that really work with Groven's abilities. Sure you could protect and revive and recast a woodland mystic for free, or Baby Whelp for that 1 damage, but that wont win you a game :)

I've been told theres stuff in Eve that can help smooth things out in the common and uncommon slots, but who buys Eve packs? :P Looks like I might have to start!

Also I could be entirely wrong about all of this, but as I've started playing with these cards and that kind of strategy in mind I've been doing better and better.

Alavarra
Alavarra's picture

I was running 4x Mountain Giant in my Groven and it worked reasonably well. He's expensive, but there aren't really a lot of good answers for him, especially in limited and especially when you can buff him (I ran 4x Holy Blessing since it has phenomenal synergy with Ancient Shield) and even if he does die, you can Recall him and hopefully recast him right away.

I also ran 4x Horde of Wyrms, but it's pretty situational and 3/3s aren't nearly as hard to kill. Still solid, but I hadn't considered Mana Sprite... might try that instead.

aka-Phil

Just remember not to play the sprite earlier than turn 5! If he does just get killed right away you want to be able to recall him and replay him the next turn.

markmistr
markmistr's picture

You hit perfectly on the problem - in limited, you can only run 4 rares. I don't have Horde of Wyrms unfortunately or many of the other cards you mentioned. I do have 3 Grand Summoners. If I ever come back to Groven, I'll try those out.

aka-Phil

I had a private conversation with Jeffo about this. He agreed that the problem wasn't the hero, it was limited card selection. Also felt the same for Noran in terms of the T3 heroes, and that the devs are looking at options to sort this out rather then just buffing heroes that are strong enough, just unfriendly to those lacking card selection.

Fever
Fever's picture

We met and realized that we were considering different formats. aka-Phil was talking about Standard, while I was considering Limited.

I think T2s' balance can only be judged in a limited format with rarity restrictions, otherwise it's the deck that makes the imbalance, not the hero.

Lifepath

I am Playing Imited and have reached up to rank 7 with my Grovenhold Deck.
I love him, I really do.

But Belnir is just more potent and straightforward and Versatile.
So i'm going to switch hero (i want to buy all the T2 eventually)

The gap isn't huge. But still Belnir is favored compared to the rest of the Tier 2.

aka-Phil

I'd love to see your limited list for Groven! I play mine in standard because I couldn't figure out how to make him work in limited.

While I do think that Belnir is a little pushed right now, I honestly don't want to see any nerf to him because the gap is that small. The slightest tweek may just push his fragile spot at top T2, making him fall all the way to the bottom of the pile rather than the middle of the pack.

markmistr
markmistr's picture

The problem with Belnir and especially Belnir vs Belnir is that the matches take so dang long! Matches almost always last past Turn 10 and sometimes even into the 20's. An average match probably takes 5-7 minutes. Compared to Arcanos in which I knock out a match in 2-3.

markmistr
markmistr's picture

aka-Phil wrote:
While I do think that Belnir is a little pushed right now, I honestly don't want to see any nerf to him because the gap is that small. The slightest tweek may just push his fragile spot at top T2, making him fall all the way to the bottom of the pile rather than the middle of the pack.

I don't really see that. I think a small nerf that would help balance things would be to increase the charges for divine burial to 4/5/6.

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