How the Gem Blenders game keeps evolving and the ever-immersive meta is keeping me addicted…
2020: If it has four legs, it has a chance
I joined the community in December 2019. With that I can still proudly recall the first match I ever played online. In this match I beat the lead designer Steve at his own game! Making use of a complicated one-turn-kill combination, I managed to surprise my opponent and gain my first victory.
However, this combo would, in this current meta, be considered a totally flawed deck. I will explain this shortly. The combo consists of four blends (2 Toxic Rams, an Ion Banger & a Herd Necromancer) and one specific hero, Beatrice. First I would take Ion back from my discard to then blend it again on Beatrice in the back position. By doing this, I would take 7 damage myself. This self-inflicted damage can be converted with the Toxic Rams and the Ion Banger to a whopping 28 damage. Thus, a one-turn-kill.
Now, the deck had many flaws. The first was the fact that it needed 15 gems on the field to work! This is unheard of these days. Without posing any problems for your opponent, you will never be able to place 15 gems on the field before losing the game. Second of all, besides a couple of actions, there were no gem- or blend-search options in the deck. And yet? I still won! A slow inconsistent deck did win me games.
2021: No turtles are allowed to race
As many will agree, 2021 has been the best year for Gem Blenders. And so it has been for the blenders meta. Growth of the meta can be seen when looking through the world champion decks for each month of the past year. Last year was the year of the engine-decks and the cheese-decks with a lot of cheese.
Although contrived before, in 2021 engine decks decided the pace that was required in modern decks. If you didn’t keep up with the gems, the other player would just pump out more blends and damage than you could handle.
The most standard engine was the Cone–Usher–Min-Seo engine. From the very beginning, Min-Seo searches out the engine-blends. Then Usher is used to rush out the gems needed for Cone, after which you would use Cone’s effect on your Ushers. You would search out gems and rapidly place them on your field.
As an answer to the madness, the game-testers and lead designer Steve came up with two ways to combat this. On one end, Steve made some cards that contradicted this strategy. Noticing that most engine decks relied on a lot of “on your first turn” effects, many heroes have come to life with effects that benefit from this trend.
On the other end are players (like myself), who still looked for ways to make powerful decks that didn’t require an engine. Admittedly, such decks would make use of broken combos that didn’t require many gems to pull off. Classic examples are Dexter decks that just require one gem and knowledge of your top-deck card. Consequently, most of these decks/cards got nerfed after the month they got their Champion status on Discord. As a game-tester, this is all you can wish for.
Some clear examples of nerfed cheese are Plume Charger, Jericho and Pixel. Compare the old versions of the cards with the new ones shown below!
2022: Even rabbits can’t rest
Now 2022 has begun, and even now, things are still changing. Even though no new content is being added, the way we play is improving every day. As the engines roamed free, since most cheese cards got nerfed, players sought ways to make these engines more efficient and effective. This means that more gems and blends entered the field in fewer turns. The classical modern example is the combination of three heroes and 1 blend.
On your field you have Claire, Francisco, Hickory and in your deck you have a Reflector. Hoping you have the gems needed for a Reflector on your first turn, you place one gem on Claire and then another on Francisco with Claire’s effect. Francisco then moves them both to Hickory to search out a Reflector from your deck to reflect your Claire. Congratulations, you have one blend and 3 gems on your field on your first turn, ready to get even more.
A turn makes so much difference in the competitive decks of today. Speed and efficiency are key. Personally, I love this meta. I love how far it has come and I’m curious to see how far it will go.
And I hope you are too.