Friday, January 4, 2013

Deck Weaknesses

Almost every deck has a some kind of weakness.  It isn't necessarily an exploitable weakness.  It might not be obvious.  But more often than not, it presents itself to you in the most inconvenient ways.

In this article, I will attempt to describe the weaknesses of several decks.  However they will all be OBSERVED weaknesses rather than theoretical weaknesses.  (Mainly because I don't trust that I know what I'm talking about 95% of the time.)  I'll add to it as I become more certain about things.

EDIT: The rest of the Trigger Capital crew will be joining me in recording observations in this article.

The day before Christmas eve: at a card shop tournament!  Gotta cosplay!
This here is a photo from one of my tournament games (the one right before Christmas in fact).  Boy was that match long...anyways, on to the thing I needed to show.

Yes, I play Lawkeeper.  No, my opponent's field is not shown as the result of a limit break.  I didn't use it.  Her field is just empty is all.  She's not a bad player or anything.  However, I get the feeling she wasn't quite familiar with her Great Nature deck (I had to keep reminding her to retire her units that got a 4k...then I reminded her that she could use a counterblast to fetch another Hammsuke).  She made mistakes early game that accumulated as HUGE minuses end game.  Although her getting 4 heal triggers off and having Silvest as vanguard (13k = my columns are all 2 stage now T_T) for most of the game gave me a hard time, I managed to win that one without having to call "no guard" for vanguard at 4 damage, or guard for 1 to pass.  Overall, a very fun game.

Whoa, that started sounding like a segment of a tournament report.  But I feel I needed to share this as an example of mistakes people often make:

Not knowing your deck = Not knowing its drawbacks = Making mistakes that accumulate

(Oh, by the way, if anyone knows who took this picture, please let me know.  It wasn't me or either of my friends at the shop that day since we're all in the picture at least partially.)
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Royal Paladin:
-Rear guard Palamedes gets attacked a lot: Know when it's worth it to guard for it.
-Most standard variants: You cannot afford to grind. This clan needs to finish things soon after the Grade 3 ride. The clan lacks recovery strategies aside from costly Counter-Blasts that will not do much in the late game.

Gold Paladin:
-Random calls can be REALLY BAD sometimes: Know when to replace them to fix your field.

Shadow Paladin:
-Poor/insufficient knowledge of your opponent's hand can be fatal as you can easily lose card advantage with your boss units' skills, only to run into too much guard.
-Relatively weak early game but can also run into problems late game if skills involving retiring units are used improperly.

Oracle Think Tank:
-Very weak early game. You must find a way to buy time to drag out the game longer, so you can amass advantage. This is especially true for Tsukuyomi variants.
-As dangerous as a rear guard Silent Tom is, people will go after it. Just like with Royal Paladin and Palamedes, know when it is the right time to guard or not guard when Silent Tom is targeted for an attack.
-With the draw/deck-thinning power of this clan, you may amass advantage easily, but you may also risk decking out. Keep track of your deck!
-Tsukuyomi variants: Missing any part of your ride chain can be very fatal. If you must do so to recover, go after the rear guards if necessary just to be able to buy you time.
-Soulless (CoCo) variants: Not being able to ride Scarlet Witch, CoCo can be detrimental to your card advantage.

Angel Feather:
-Shamsiel: YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE TO COLUMNS EVEN AFTER GETTING +2K.  Remember this well.  And watch out for 22k and 17k columns.

-Lawkeeper: Field control becomes both crucial and difficult if you fail to ride Lawkeeper herself.
-Amber Dragon: Beware of running out of happens very often.
-Goku: You lack the power columns of the Lawkeeper variant in exchange for the "retire" triggers due to Dragon Monk, Goku's ability. Drive Checking or drawing into too many Grade 3 units before riding Goku or not riding Goku at all can be very fatal to your strategy.

-Vermillion: Early limit break means you have time to unflip with Garuda and do it again right?  Yes, and no.  Do it at the wrong time, and it just means that they can call "no guard" on replaceable rear guards (which they may have intercepted with anyways) and take 1-2 damage.

-You have to be careful with Counter-Blast usage in this clan. As of the English release of Booster Set 4: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows, the Counter-Blasts are paid 1 at a time, but you may find yourself running out early on. You also lack good rear guard power until the release of Booster Set 8: Blue Storm Armada.


Dark Irregulars:
-Very weak early game. You need time to amass Soul in order to carry out the full potential of your units.
-Reijy variants: Even with a 3 Critical Vanguard, Reijy will usually get laughed at with 15000 worth of guard on top of a 10000+ Vanguard unless he is being boosted by a Demon Bike of the Witching Hour with at least 2 in the Soul.

Spike Brothers:
-Rear guards tend to get targeted frequently due to the 4+ attack Battle Phases can consistently have.
-This clan cannot afford to grind for too long. It is meant to rush.
-Your lack of defensive ability can easily be abused especially in the later stages of the game.
-Dudley Emperor variants: Know when it is the right time to use Limit Break. Do not do so just to be able to set up a field for the next turn. Misusing it can result in a very fatal Final Turn for you.

Pale Moon:
-Running out of guard seems to be unfortunately common for some reason.  I think it might be because of requiring cards in hand for certain plays.  It's just a problem I have when playing the deck.  I might be doing something wrong.
-Your rear guards tend to make for nice targets. With them gone, your strategy of 4+ attack Battle Phases has more or less been obliterated.

-Your rear guard columns will never be 3 stage (unless you use Nightstorm and Romario; in that case, you have columns at the cost of not having things that fit Granblue's winning image).
-Cocytus: Run Guiding Zombie, who is kinda crappy, or run Captain Nightkid, and possibly not get Cocytus's effect to work due to not having enough counterblasts.

Bermuda Triangle:
-A good portion of your units are required to hit in order to get their abilities off.
-As much advantage as this clan can amass, this clan may be prone to decking out especially when playing Pacifica variants.

Aqua Force:
-Damage triggers and crossrides will make you sad.
-Rear guards can make for nice targets. Keeping key units like Storm Riders alive may be your key to victory.
-Navalgazer/Hydro Hurricane variants: Unlike Maelstrom, these two boss units have ACT Limit Break abilities, which immediately prompt your opponent to drop as much guard as needed to prevent them from activating. Know when the attack will hit for sure to take advantage of their skills.

Great Nature:
-Make sure not to neg yourself early game.  You'll hate yourself for it later.

Neo Nectar:

-Overextending and heavy field dedication seems to be bad for this deck for some reason.  I can't figure out why, but withholding attackers and boosters in hand seems to work well...(pre set 4 observations).

Nova Grappler:
-Damage triggers may make you sad.
-Non-Blaukruger variants: Stand Triggers may misfire early if you choose to play conservatively. Rear guards tend to make for great targets as your strategy is not Vanguard-centric.
-Asura Kaiser variants: As with Kagero's Goku, Drive Checking and drawing into Grade 3s early on can be fatal to your strategy.

Dimension Police:
-The Vanguard column is usually the most powerful and the only one that is of concern. This clan lacks power columns compared to most clans.

-Very weak early game. Rush them down to widen the damage gap, so you can afford to take heavy Vanguard attacks that this clan is notable for.

-Enigman Rain variants: Taking out the rear guards would make her skill void. Miracle Beauties are usually what you have to watch out for.

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