Feedback on Shaolin balance
Okay so here I my perception of them thus far.
1. AOE extreme vulnurability due to extremly average/poor healing options.
2. Combos hard to pull off offensively because of needed APs, lack of range/move distances
3. Combo bonus damage of 200 is the equivilant to 1AP so it's just as effective to shoot a second time. The combo is useful if moving towards the opponent/center is where you wanted to end up. However +200 isn't a large amount and you will still need one more hit unless your first hit was from a buffed poisoner.
4. Monks are very hard to utilize other than as fodder/meat shields.
5. taoists have to focus on healing and staying safe, and so can't really use their offensive debuff often (extreme rare utility, except in a mirror). The last thing you want to do us suicicde a Taoist to remove an enemy buff, see healing weakness.
6. Given low healing taosits end up on sword tiles and/or getting rune metal to keep up. Making you not benefit offensively from your attack tile, or making you have to use one runemetal on healing instead of attacking.
7. Your AOE output is quite limited due to range 2 strikes and low damage output of 100/50/25 compared to 100/66 of other teams. Range two also means you often get one shot less than the opponent if they are doing AOe hit and runs, forcing you to engage (see major healing weakness)
8. Combo potion won't be as good as a scroll unless you get a second attacker for a 3-combo, because you need to heal, you can't always control the timing of the potion. But because you need/want a 3-combo (ideally with a wind blade) you can't always plan it to use it as easily as you would, say, tribe-meat.
1. If you can push forward and keep your guys spread far enough apart from AOE threats, you can be quite hard to attack due to your defensive combo damage
2. The shadow is a great unit, range three move and attack makes it useful. Raising is often not going to result in a permanent unit, but the threat it creates will suck 2AP from the opponent to KO/Stomp it. It's damage output is very low, which often means you can't 2AP ko something when doing a combo, which means units you ko can't be stolen because you are missing 1AP to heal or run it away, but I see this as potentially an issue of the combo damage itself being potentially too low rather than his attack too weak.
3. Bamboo are excellent and very versatile, range stomp with it, block squares, steal crystal attack squares, deny enemy attack bonus square, combine with dragon...
Overall, I think the team has potential to be great, but right now is lacking. Their weaknesses are too big. It only becomes worse when you face a team like TF2 which is, in my opinion, too strong overall but also has an excellent grenadier, flamer, heavy who all do AOe and then a spy who will punish you if you leave gaps in your guys to try to mitigate the AOE attacks. I'd be quite surprised if a month from now the stats of TF2 kills over Shaolin didn't prove this.
here are my change suggestions, obviously many possible fixes could be done, but here are the ones I'd prefer-- give the team some flavor and originality:
1. Make the monk move 3 on its first move, 2 afterwards. He can now get into the fray and use his ability and assist with combos.
2. Wind blade: give her 10% magical armor and make its attack do 100/66/66 instead of 100/50/25. Why the armor? Most AOE in the game is magical, giving her a bit of armor will let her resist bombardment and get better healing. It will also let you place the helmets on other units (like poisoners) to make them also a bit more AOE resistant.
3. Make combo damage do +250 not +200. That extra 50 makes a big difference and it will help many situations to where you save 1AP to get your KO (hint: poisiner). It will make setting up combos that much more useful and beneficial, and indirectly buff wind blade too, to make it more useful because it tags 3 targets.
4. Taoist: allow his debuff effect to work at a range of 3, but keep his healing to range 2.
5. Poisoner is fine as-is
6. Shadow is fine as-is
These changes would still leave them very vulnurable to AOE (TF2 and Dwarves in particular-- who also happen to be the strongest teams right now; probably not a coincidence btw)-- but even though they would remain very weak at healing, they would gain, from above, more aggressive power and better benefits from combos as well as better ease at achieving them (monk movement).
Optional stuff, healing
if we do need to increase their healing, here is my suggestion. Please note that in a way I do sort of like that they suck at healing, but IF it just has to get better or else they will not be competitive, here are my suggestions, only ONE of these should be picked:
1. Give the Taoist combo-healing, if a second Taoist heals the same target, it gains the combo bonus in life. This will only make a difference when you are healing a monk/shadow, or if you are reviving a KO guy (first Taoist makes him 100 life, second one gives 200+200 (or 250 if you increase the combo bonus) x 2 = 800 or 900 life from the second Taoist. Letting two taosits working together permit you to fully reheal most guys.
2. Have the combo potion not just heal the target, but also heal, some smaller amount, all units adjacent to it (8 squares around it). Splash healing might be 200 or 400 life.
3. Give the bamboo some healing aura, it could heal your units that are adjacent to it by 100 life a turn. Letting you also use them as a way to counter-fight AOE abusive players who just do hit and runs/raids.
4. Same as 3, but instead give the healing aura to either the combo-potion aura (so as long as the blueflames persist, units next to her will heal a little every turn).
5. Give the healing aura to the Shaolin. However then I'd be concerned that they become too much like the dwarves.,, so this is my least favorite.
any one of these would be unique and also resolve their weakness.
hope some of my input proves useful!