Hi everyone, I hope you have been well. After a long period of hiatus, I am back at where I began a few months ago: Writing more tips! This week, I’m going to talk about decision making.
As easy as it may sound, some decisions are just not that easy to figure out. Competitive play mostly requires great planning and strategies to forge ahead many steps in a game but they all come from the same basis of logical play. Today, I will go through the following game tactics.
- Stage positioning and playing of character cards
- Making decisions at the right time
- Choosing the right openings for attacks
Note that some of these coincides with points gone through before in all other editions of W.T. Click here to read all of them, slowly of course. I would however, apologize for the lack of images for this post as we had really limited time with the deck and timing of photography =X.
For this week’s article, I will be going through some basic effective decision makings that can help a player make more discerning decisions to secure a game.
Effective Placement of Cards
Stage positioning is a very important element in WS. A wrong placement of Character cards can mean a great loss in Field Advantage. By making your character cards stronger on offense, and more formidable in defense, you can make your character cards just that much harder to take down.
This easily makes your character card slightly harder to take down, simply because your opponent might be able to put 2 +500 supports at his Back Stage and give whatever is in front that extra 500 Power sufficient to take you down.
Good field positioning always helps a lot.
If you haven’t got a good defense, and the level 0 in your hand is your only level 0, you might want to simply end your turn and hope to kill something with the level 0 in your hand.
This however is not limited to defense. Offensively you can make use of a double boost from dual supports to cleave out a border with some major offensive power. This works particularly well near mid game when your higher power supports are available to you.
Sometimes, decisions are also based on the game situation. Let’s say you’re already in the disadvantage of being at level 1 first, a good decision would be to either play down another level 0 that can match the opponent, or to play a lv1 character with Encore to hold your defense.
By placing out smaller characters to tempt out counters, the player can withhold important character cards in their hands and conserve this latent potential until the opponent dishes out a bigger character. However if you’re familiar with the opponent deck and know that there is nothing to fear, it might be a good choice to put down bigger cards for field advantage.
1 for 1 yea!
The most efficient however, is to play down cards for advantage, or 1-for-1.
Waiting for the Timing
A player can really add to his advantage should he know when to commit to certain decisions at the appropriate time.
By holding on to cards with cost in hand, players can wait for the right timing to pay out costs. This allows you to play out any Climax cards stuck in your stock more efficiently then just playing out cost cards without thinking through.
For some instances, players can pay out stock to get the cards you want. An example is Change. If you already knew your Waiting Room does not include the card that you want, yet your stock does, you can still Change as it is legal to pay the cost for an effect even though there will be no resolution (in this case, it will be legal).
Sometimes, Counter cards can also really save your butt. In most generic cases, they can help you burn away the Climax card that is just on the top of your stock before you Refresh. This not only saves you a character, but it allows you to increase another Climax card in your Waiting Room before you refresh.
You may also time Counters for their special effects. Some mill the deck, so you might want to bring yourself closer to then next cancel, while some allows you to refresh, so you can actually save yourself at times. Event Counters can also reach to other characters when other cards are being attacked first, so you can actually double buff a very very important character he if attacks wrongly.
Other instances involving Climax synergy combos, or on-attack requirement combos. With these abilities, you can pay out your Climax cards easily as they are triggered.
Poking the Right Places
So sometimes players have been rashly declaring attacks at the wrong order. How can you then, effectively call attacks sequences correctly? Firstly, you have to consider several factors.
- How many Climax cards are already out from his deck?
- Did he trigger or use a Climax card in his previous turn?
- Has he cancelled my previous attack?
- How many cards are left in your opponent’s deck?
- What kind of triggers are left in my deck?
- How many Soul does my characters have?
- How many Soul damage is my target this turn?
By asking yourselves these questions, you can easily make the most informed decision. Counting the number of Climax cards out of your deck can easily give you a more informed choice to use a Climax card, or perhaps hold on to your horses and poke the opponent slowly.
For example, 12 cards are left in his deck and 6 Climax are already out, maybe I’d want to hit for higher Soul for my first attack, hope he cancels the smaller Soul character and then finish the turn with another attack with a slightly higher Soul output?
A rough gauge of cancellation timing will likely be the opponent’s previous trigger or damage intake. Assuming the opponent’s Climax cards doesn’t stick, a good example would be: Opponent hasn’t triggered any climax, and his next cards are Chara, CX chara chara CX. If I’d attack first with a smaller Soul first, I might trigger a 1 Soul, and lead to a cancel. If I attacked with a bigger Soul card it would likely cancel. However, if I don’t trigger, I will deal 1 damage, of which i’d attack with a smaller Soul again for the next attack, hoping he’d cancel. In this case, he would, leaving the next attack to deal a successful big hit.
Another example would be Opponent triggered 1 Climax on the 2nd attack of his previous turn and his deck is as follows: Chara, chara CX, chara, chara, chara, CX. The player can opt for a moderately high 2Soul damage for his first attack.
By studying the number of cards left in the deck, the player can also give a good gauge of how many cards to attack with to deal a nice refresh damage. Sometimes gambling on the 1 extra damage after refresh can really help the opponent suffer more Soul damage. Alternatively, should the player only need the confirmed Refresh point damage to win, he can rush a higher Soul to deck him out and force that 1 confirmed damage.
Knowing your own deck can also help you make informed choices. Should your deck contain nothing but triggers, the player can easily plan out if his next attacks can perform side attacks. This can be done by observing the cards triggered and what are in the player’s hand. By reviewing what card has already left your deck, you can gauge if a Side attack will make Soul damage. Alternatively, you can boost the Soul of your Character cards with Climax cards manually. The reason why Side attacks are important is because they allow you to block 1 more Soul damage against the opponent should your deck be moderately or poorly compressed since you will unlikely cancel in those cases.
Last but not least, the player can set realistic goals to archive, in order to get the amount of damage you really require to give. An example would be overpowering level 0s. When you are already in an advantage of stronger field in level 0, you may choose to stuck the opponent’s level 0 field by holding him at 5 damage level 0. By making calculated attacks, you may be able to hold him off in a susceptible range of Power, since he cannot proceed to level 1.
Alternatively, perhaps you only need to deal the opponent 2 to 3 damage this turn, as he might have a really decent Cancel rate.
Although I mentioned that it is good to have reasonable goals, sometimes the player just needs to take all the above considerations and act on instinct, should he want to gain overall control of the game.
During the Clock phase, players may choose to put 1 card from his hand to his Clock and draw 2 cards
Or termed Clocking cards, is a unique gameplay mechanic within WS to acquire more hand cards. As the act of doing is able to give the player more hand resource advantage, it almost seem obvious to Clock for the most part of the game. It is also optional, so players can actually choose not to Clock.
Remember this post? Yes it gels together indeed
By Clocking away unwanted cards, players can get the chance to draw 2 cards which will be of use to them, this turn, or perhaps the next. Some players have opted to Clock higher level cards as they might become dead hand, or perhaps Clocking away Climax cards which doesn’t have a Climax combo or any tactical advantages when used.
Clocking specific colour cards also open up the option to use other cards of the same colour in hand. A good example is to Clock a colour which is not already in your Clock to use a +2k1Soul Climax card to gain momentary Power advantage. Alternatively, players with multi-colour decks can Clock those colours which are not yet available for use.
Sometimes players Clock to gain Alarm or Shift abilities. These “Clock Abilities” have very specific and often strong possibilities. For Shift abilities, it allows you to consider your need to switch hand cards with your Clock , after Clocking them. Alarm abilities however, often give very strong abilities and effects which are not usually seen in support abilities/inherent card abilities.
As much as Clocking gives advantage, players need to know when to Clock or when to stop Clocking. This usually comes in the case of players needing to know what they are Clocking for.
It is usually a good choice to continue Clocking in early game to gain more hand resources. Well, unless the player already has an overwhelming hand advantage.
However, near mid game, some players might choose not to Clock in level 1 because it would cause them to level up to level 2, reducing their deck compression if they already have a very small deck remaining. By leveling up, 6 extra cards return to his deck (unless there are multiple Climax cards in Clock)
Players can choose not to Clock during level 2 or 3 as well to maintain damage, or to catch up with the opponent in damage. As long as the player can sustain a full Stage without major loss to his handsize, the player can always choose not to Clock. Besides, by Clocking a card, the player is taking 1 more damage, pushing him towards Game Loss.
All in all, there are a big bunch of decision making in WS. What are listed above are just some of the common decisions players must partake in every game. Understanding the risks and the results of these decisions would allow you to make better informed ones as the player process information from the game.
The next article will be on Encoring, so do look out for it. I will also be attending AFAM so I hope to see all le Malaysian players there!
The above article is of my own opinions of the game, of which theories and styles can be derived from. They might be repeated or reiterated by other writers, or vice versa. Any or all opinions about my articles are welcome, but please note that they are plainly based on theory and play-tested ideologies.