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Challenge Difficulty Rating - set 1 completed (on 2 now)

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Challenge Difficulty Rating - set 1 completed (on 2 now)

Postby jatill » 10 Jan 2011, 19:16

About once a month I read that someone thinks the challenges are too hard, too frustrating, or down-right impossible. To my, that's part of what makes them "challenges", but also I think the claims are overstated. I beat every challenge myself before I release it to the world, so I know none are impossible. And I will do it again! But this time I will keep track of how difficult the challenge is, for reference. I'll update this thread as I complete more.

Caveats:
1) I know all the decks I will face, and the various twists and turns of each challenge. Therefore I know how to build a deck to beat a specific challenge. I think this is fine, since the decks forum gives everyone the same advantage.
2) I am good at Magic, so your mileage may vary.
3) I am going to do the challenges in the order that makes most sense (i.e. unlock Pit challenge early)

Challenge 1-1: Tribal Trials
Attempts: 3
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 2
Time to complete successful run: 25 minutes (this is basically the minimum for any challenge)
Comments: My 2 losses both came round 9 to the Soldier deck, but the first 2 tries my deck was not optimally built. That round still does require that you don't mulligan to oblivion.

Challenge 1-2: Vanguard Vengeance
Attempts: 2
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 2
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 25 minutes
Comments: Basically the only way to lose this one is on the Momir round (which I managed thanks for AI turn 4 Demigod of Revenge, turn 5 Viscara!). But since that's only round 3, there's not a lot of rework.

Challenge 1-3: Chipping Away
Attempts: 2
Difficulty: 7
Luck Factor: 5
Frustration Factor: 6
Time to complete successful run: 25 minutes
Comments: This is the first one I was dreading, so I made sure to finish Pit first. I still randomly died at 12 life against counterslivers. The final round does require a good hand to be competitive, so there is some luck involved there.

Challenge 1-4: Onslaught
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 2
Time to complete successful run: 50 minutes
Comments: I was 1 turn from dying a couple times, but other than that, this was pretty easy. Dredge takes a little skill to pilot, but mulligan into Bazaar makes things easy usually.

Challenge 1-5: Shandalar 2.0
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 6
Frustration Factor: 5
Time to complete successful run: 50 minutes
Comments: This is not really a difficult challenge with the right deck, but the last round certainly is luck-based. You basically need to both go first(75%) and have a good draw (65%), so you have about a 50% change of pulling it off with the right deck. Having to fight through opponents with 50 life each game makes this set even more frustrating.

Challenge 1-6: Banned
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 2
Time to complete successful run: 30 minutes
Comments: The only dicey matchup was Goblins, since my deck was Sorcery-based. I mulled to 4 and missed Oath, but drew it on time. Pit Scorpion certainly helped.

Challenge 1-7: 5:1 Odds
Attempts: 0
Difficulty: 10
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 10
Time to complete successful run: 0 minutes
Comments: I skipped this challenge. This is the only 1 of the 40 challenged that is really unfair. It will be replaced at some point with a new challenge.

Challenge 1-8: Magic: the Puzzling
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 10
Luck Factor: 0
Frustration Factor: 5
Time to complete successful run: 10 minutes
Comments: Obviously no luck here, just puzzle solving.

Challenge 1-9: That's Not My Deck
Attempts: 7
Difficulty: 4
Luck Factor: 5
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 70 minutes
Comments: So I tried 5 times with the deck that worked for me last time, but no luck. I switched to an all-gold deck and won in 2 tries after an unlucky run-in with Relentless Rats. Even though this challenge took me a massive 7 tries, it was fun, not frustrating, to me.
Last edited by jatill on 24 Jan 2011, 15:54, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - uo tp challenge 1-1

Postby jatill » 10 Jan 2011, 19:18

Challenge 2-1: Super Mulligan
Attempts: 10
Difficulty: 10
Luck Factor: 10
Frustration Factor: 10
Time to complete successful run: N/A - never compelted it
Comments: The deepest I ever got was round 6. This one is just too brutal when some decks can kill on turn 4.

Challenge 2-2: What Hand?
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 25 minutes
Comments: Obviously a little luck is required since you need a playable opening hand, but Ihad no trouble with a good redundant deck.

Challenge 2-3: That's Big
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 1
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 30 minutes
Comments: A cakewalk with the right deck. I beat Gaddock Teeg, and I beat turn 1-4 Relentless Rats on the draw. The hardest match was actually Turbofog!

Challenge 2-4: Epic
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 1
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 25 minutes
Comments: With the current implementation bug with Flashback (doesn't count as a spell), I can't imagine ever losing this challenge.

Challenge 2-5: There Can be Only One
Attempts: 2
Difficulty: 2
Luck Factor: 1
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 50 minutes
Comments: Not too challenging. Just make sure to include enough land (including probably 2 or more basics).

Challenge 2-6: March of the Machines
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 1
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 50 minutes
Comments: Affinity smash!

Challenge 2-7: Land Ho!
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 3
Luck Factor: 2
Frustration Factor: 1
Time to complete successful run: 60 minutes
Comments: This challenge was virtually impossible before Exploration. Now I did it on my first try, but it was not a cakewalk. It is enjoyable now, since you actually have to outwit the AI when they get an aggressive start.
Last edited by jatill on 11 Feb 2011, 15:55, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-1

Postby jatill » 10 Jan 2011, 19:19

Challenge 3-7: March of the Machines 2
Attempts: 2
Difficulty: 2
Luck Factor: 2
Frustration Factor: 2
Time to complete successful run: 50 minutes
Comments: The first try I got burned out before I could win. I unlocked Goblin Charbelcher and Cursed Scroll before attempting this challenge.
Last edited by jatill on 12 Jan 2011, 16:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-1

Postby jatill » 10 Jan 2011, 19:19

Challenge 4-2: Into the Pit
Attempts: 3
Difficulty: 5
Luck Factor: 3
Frustration Factor: 4
Time to complete successful run: 30 minutes
Comments: This one is tricky, since there is little room for error. I died to Silvos twice. I unlocked Goblin Charbelcher before attempting this challenge.

Challenge 4-7: Enchanted
Attempts: 1
Difficulty: 1
Luck Factor: 1
Frustration Factor: 3
Time to complete successful run: 40 minutes
Comments: Perhaps the easiest challenge if you are prepared for it. I required Pit Scorpion and Jitte unlocked. Frustration factor is only 3 because I have to win the final match by decking.

Challenge 4-8: Programmer's Delight
Attempts: 8!
Difficulty: 8
Luck Factor: 5
Frustration Factor: 7
Time to complete successful run: 60 minutes
Comments: This challenge got a LOT harder with most of the banding creatures removed from the game. I eventually had to brew a completely new deck that specifically beats the mirror match. I won through damage, but the plan was actually decking! Once I had the right deck, it only took 2 tries. Pit Scorpion is a must.
Last edited by jatill on 19 Jan 2011, 20:14, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby aww1979 » 10 Jan 2011, 23:17

I started a thread like this in "decks & strategy" but its on hold until I finish the tournament matches. If people want a slightly different perspective, that's there, too.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby thedrigo » 10 Jan 2011, 23:28

Hey, I've been gone a while, but I was casually looking around in the forum, saw this thread and hated the fact that this isn't Facebook and couldn't "like" it. :D
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby jatill » 11 Jan 2011, 15:29

aww1979 wrote:I started a thread like this in "decks & strategy" but its on hold until I finish the tournament matches. If people want a slightly different perspective, that's there, too.
I'm aware of your thread. Mine is about gauging difficulty, while I think yours is more about how to actually beat the challenges.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby aww1979 » 11 Jan 2011, 17:38

Fair enough. I haven't really gauged the difficulty too much, other than to say stuff like Vanguard=easy, Shandalar 2.0 = hard, and to give a few warnings about the tough parts, like the soldier round of tribal trials or the hondens of shandalar.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby frankzappa » 11 Jan 2011, 17:45

How did you beat That's Big in one go? :( I have tried about 50 times and still can't do it. I'm currently trying to beat Pit Fighting so I can get the scorpion but even that one is hard to beat. Furthest I've got so far is round 6 and then my first 4 spells got countered which was enough to kill me.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-2

Postby jatill » 11 Jan 2011, 18:02

I'm taking all my advise from the help in the decks subforum. For That's Big, I used the B/W deck, and it was trivial.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-3

Postby aww1979 » 11 Jan 2011, 20:08

I'm assuming your ratings are all on a scale out of ten? The other thing I notice is that your successful runs are taking about half as long as mine, as my videos for one run are anywhere from 45-60 minutes or more. I know some of that is the slowness of my computer, but I doubt even this old dinosaur of a machine is THAT slow, so either you are a very fast player or I am a very slow player.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-3

Postby jatill » 11 Jan 2011, 21:06

aww1979 wrote:I'm assuming your ratings are all on a scale out of ten? The other thing I notice is that your successful runs are taking about half as long as mine, as my videos for one run are anywhere from 45-60 minutes or more. I know some of that is the slowness of my computer, but I doubt even this old dinosaur of a machine is THAT slow, so either you are a very fast player or I am a very slow player.
Yes, my ratings are out of 10. So far 4/5 of my decks have been combo decks that win on or before turn 3. So my games go quickly. Emrakul doesn't leave the AI much to think about. These challenges have definitely gotten easier since the first time I did them, thanks to new cards.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-3

Postby frankzappa » 11 Jan 2011, 22:50

jatill wrote:I'm taking all my advise from the help in the decks subforum. For That's Big, I used the B/W deck, and it was trivial.
That's the deck I tried too (the BW one but with clone and Mulldrifter?). I can get far but still not finish. Last game I got killed by the red goblin rush deck with hasted goblins killing me before I could play a single card. I had to mulligan twice to even get something usable. Sadly it was a wall of rev that didn't even reach play...

As for turn 3 or earlier, I have a Eureka deck that does that, but it's just not reliable enough. It maybe gets me through several games, but not 9 to 11 reliably :( And even a turn 3 Emrakul is no good if they have already got me down to low health by then.

p.s. Is Jareth, Leonine Titan bugged? I can't cast any spells on it, even when the opponent has no land to trigger the protection.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-3

Postby aww1979 » 12 Jan 2011, 05:10

I remember asking about that when the challenge first came out. It's part of that specific challenge, that the titan has shroud.
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Re: Challenge Difficulty Rating - up to challenge 1-3

Postby frankzappa » 12 Jan 2011, 14:04

Ahhh ok thanks. I'll have to make him sacrifice or board wipe. I still haven't won a single challenge :( lol. I think I'm going to start focusing on Pit fighting one so I get the scorpion to help out.
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