Due to time constraints I am in caretaker mode. F2P. Log in twice a day to do maintenance and pvp. No war.
I am enjoying pvp. With no gems spent I finished in II last season. I expect to do the same this season.
So, without any war experience of Relics, these are my thoughts from my pvp experience.
First, disclosure. My last act before retiring was to spend my remaining gems on the big Relic chest, and got a Jakugan Sword, Comeback Essence, and Charging Banner. My Relics are on my defence team. My attack team has no Relics. My Relic wearing defence team has boosted my trophy count significantly.
There is a misconception that lower rarity Relics are useless.
The Klektus hidden path in the maze had a bronze relic - Slowing Trap - at the end. About 1100 coins to get it, I think. Free.
Because it is Bronze, it can be moved from monster to monster with 100k gold removal cost.
It reduces a random opponent's speed. Initially when entering battle. As re-balanced, after being hit.
This is an excellent Bronze Relic for a defence team, and better than many silver and several gold relics.
It will screw with an attack team's ability to PLAN. Even if they scout the Relic, they have no way of knowing which of their monsters will take the speed hit - and often, attack plans are carefully calibrated for enough speed while carrying enough strength to get the kills.
There are other excellent Bronze Relics. Some to counter Thetys without resorting to buying Nemesis. Some to reduce Volt/ Zyla threat. Others that mitigate possession exposure. Really, although there are many Relics, there are some clear front runners that expand tactical play, and not all in the highest tiers.
I am also pleased at how easily they are upgraded using the other trash Relics. The Relic prizes in pvp will either be useful or fuel for my existing Relics.
I have fought many, many pvp teams equipped with top tier Relics. And I have been enjoying those fights. They are challenging. I have hated the bugs where my Shallinar uses Inner Fire and disappears from the turn order forever (although, just throw Space Time and Looped Damage lol). I understand that will be fixed in the next release. I have learned to kill Essence wearers like Llum first (although this is no longer necessary due to the re-balancing of Uriel Essence). I have learned to identify which monsters are likely to carry which types of Relics and to anticipate what hitting them may do - without certainty.
And that is what I enjoy about them. A degree of, but not complete, uncertainty.
As long as SP continues to monitor and te-balance as necessary, I think them an interesting addition to the game.
The same cannot be said of the continued power surge of Nemesis monsters. Seriously, they are the real problem for game balance. It is one thing to re-balance Relics, another headache entirely to re-balance paid monsters. Monsters must be balanced before release - and that means slowing the release flood to carry out full testing. It is at the point where attacking top teams without including Timerion is suicide.
Last note: 3 weeks is too long for a season.