I know this thread is super old, but Bleach will always be my #1. I won a few Regionals and ended up being an external playtester for the game. Im currently working on a revamped version of the rules so it isnt so broken. Some of the other external playtesters are close friends, and Ive talked to them about possible changes, too. Im mainly doing this cos I have people who would still like to play some casual games here and there, and the game as is just isnt fun to play casually. All the playable decks win no later than turn 4, and do it without looking at the opponent. So games just become two people playing solitaire and see who hits their win condition first. The fun part of games are the thought provoking interactions you have to make against opposing plays, which there were virtually none of in Bleach at the end.
To TLDR the changes:
- One energy per turn instead of two. Instead of getting the option to play an energy or draw a card two times, you cut one of those out. This is a guaranteed way to slow the game down.
- Remove most ways to free play characters. There are a lot.
- Ban/errata cards that Score wouldnt. Dark Ritual is an insanely toxic card, as was the Renji promo. We begged for those cards to not be made, but at the end of the day, the external playtesters werent the ones who made those calls. We just gave them info on our testing with their spoiler.
- Dont use set 7. Potential mini sets of set 7 cards that have changes. if you look over set 7, you will see a LOT of cards that you can either play for free, or get an amazing effect for 1 energy. They showed that they had given in to the speed of the game, and were just going to bring other archetypes up to speed. There were also a TON of cards you could play straight from the side deck, which I think is a terrible idea. Maybe a couple, but there are like 30-40 just in one set, and a good amount of those are free. As an external playtester, I can also say that this set wasnt finished testing. It's overally rampantly broken, even compared to the rest of Bleach.
The changes in theory make a lot of archetypes tier 2 playable. There will still be a top set of decks, but I think a very broad range of decks will still be playable. Two major strategies from classic card games were unviable in Bleach at the end. Rush and control.
Rush was a very strong deck in the earlier stages of the game. It was the main deck in sets 1 and 2. There were multiple variants in sets 3-4. But then we started to be able to land 8 cost characters on turn 3, and playing a swarm of tiny guys became irrelevant very quickly. Why play Menos who only buffs 4 cost and under when I can land 8 costs on turn 3? Or play Ban and Ho and play an "I win" card on turn 4-5.
Same with control. There were various control decks in the game. I won a regional in set 3 with Wholes which won VERY late in the game after taking control. There were also various decks like 7/9 and Byakuya Good Stuff. But the huge drops were way too good for control to deal with after set 5.
Slowing the game down lets rush decks try to duck under as much damage as possible before they are out gunned or before control takes over. And for control decks, it gives them the time to actually use utility cards to take an advantage in the game. Instead of games ending on turns 3-4, it would probably end closer to turns 6-10. Some rush decks can win turn 5ish if left unchecked. Kind of like how Red Deck Wins in Magic can often win turn 4 if you do nothing to slow them.
There are also a lot of good utility cards in Bleach that were unplayable because the game was so fast that you had to have the highest impact effects. So a lot more cards will more than likely become far more playable.
I made an early CRD to go with the changes to base testing around. There were a chunk of cards that needed banned else theyd be far too broken for far slower gameplay. Doesnt guarantee that everything is balanced though, but it's definitely a good start. Once I get a few more decks built that I feel will be fairly standard decks, I can start tinkering with potential problem cards. I have a watch list of cards that need looked at, but I need a somewhat defined meta to put them against.
Im not really doing this in hopes of a resurgence like Retro had with DBZ. There was never a playerbase big enough to keep Bleach going after it died, and people tried. Now almost a decade later? Not happening. I really just want to see what Bleach could really be if it wasnt insanely broken, and had thought provoking interactions. It's pretty slow going with full time work, but it's going fairly well so far. When I get something fairly solidified, Ill probably end up with a facebook page with updated documents in the files section.