Is Anyone Still There?

21 Jan

It’s Been a Long Time

Wow the last time I posted here was in June of 2013? *Brushes cobwebs aside* Honestly, the reason I stopped writing as much as I used to is because I really didn’t know what to write about anymore. I personally find series reviews pretty boring to read/write simply because pointing out the good cards in a set isn’t generally hard and can be done by many people. For deck reviews, I didn’t really feel like discussing the decks that the top players in WGPs use simply because they probably had something unique in mind when they made it and I wouldn’t want to write anything incorrect about their ideas/motives. I find tutorial or instructional posts relatively hard to write about as well because of the fact that there are so many scenarios that can occur in Weiss Schwarz and there are always best decisions for those specific scenarios that might not hold true to my teachings. In short, I had no inspiration.

Despite this however, I really do enjoy writing and conversing with readers so I’m writing this post to ask you guys: what do you want to read about? I’m not even sure if anyone still reads this blog, but if so, I would really rather answer your questions and help you guys out with your decks rather than talk about new sets and card of the days. So in the comment section below, leave me some questions and I’d love to answer them! I want this page to be more of a community where everyone, beginner or veteran, can learn something new and interesting. We’ll see how this goes for now and hopefully this will lead to me writing more in the future.

- Tien

The Future of Weiss Schwarz

13 Jun

A lot of you may be wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing for the last 5 months of seemingly no activity. In short, I discovered this thing called Netflix so I’ve been watching actual TV shows all day long as well as grinding in various RPGs. However, with the release of the first official English Weiss Schwarz booster box, I decided to take a little time and write about my thoughts on the future of Weiss Schwarz and it’s community.

Being the owner of a card store that mainly specializes in Weiss Schwarz and Vanguard, I try to pay close attention to how the members of these communities act towards each other as well as how the communities act towards each other. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I’m an American and during this article I’m going to be really only talking about the future of Weiss Schwarz in America. My comments can probably extend to other areas as well but I’m writing this mainly in response to the recent changes in the American scene.

As many of you may know, English trial decks for Fate/Zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica were released almost a year ago and following their release was a lot of discussion of how seriously Bushiroad was going to take the English side of Weiss Schwarz. There was also a Disgaea trial deck that was released a few years ago but it was never really a sign of Weiss Schwarz getting English sets because it wasn’t officially created by Bushiroad. Fast forward to where we are now: the booster box for Puella Magi Madoka Magica was released 13 days ago, Sword Art Online is officially getting an English release that is set to be released early July, and the language barrier that was stopping so many people from playing is starting to fade away. Exciting stuff! At this point you might be wondering, if everything seems to be going great so far then why exactly am I writing this article? The answer to this is that there are some concerns that I have for the future of this game and want to share my thoughts on these matters. I’ll start off with the biggest issue currently at hand.

When Bushiroad first announced that they were officially picking up English for WS, a lot of people (myself included) wondered what would become of the Japanese scene in America. I have about 13 decks that are all in Japanese so my first thought when they announced English WS was: Do I need to completely remake these in English if I want to use them in official tournaments? That would take a lot of time, effort, and money that I’m not sure I would be willing to spend. A little bit after the announcement, it was revealed on the English Weiss Schwarz website that English and Japanese cards would be allowed together. How great! Everything’s going perfectly! Or should I say, everything was going perfectly until 3 weeks ago when I received 2 e-mails from Bushiroad with links to sign my shop up for official tournaments. You may have guessed it when I said 2 e-mails, but pretty much Bushiroad decided to change their minds and sent me 1 message which was to sign up for English only tournaments and another message that was to sign up for Japanese only tournaments. A mountain of questions immediately started forming in my mind, when other card store owners started messaging me to ask if I had heard the news. We were all extremely confused and agreed that Japanese cards should be allowed with English cards in some way. We had always known that there would be 2 separate tournaments, but we were under the impression that 1 would be for English only and the other would be for both English and Japanese cards.

MADoka

Some of you may be wondering, “Why is this such a big deal?” Now keep in mind that everything I write is my own opinion and isn’t necessarily true or going to happen, but let me share my opinions on what I feel could possibly happen in the future because of this. The very idea of splitting English cards and Japanese cards implies the splitting of old players and new players. Bushiroad was hoping that the release of English WS would cause many new players to start playing and join the already existing community; however, by not allowing the 2 sides to be actively involved with each other on a competitive level, this makes one think that the competitive side of WS will never reach it’s full potential. The American scene isn’t really too competitive in the first place, but it’s definitely not because we just want to be casual players, we were just never presented a real competitive environment. Among all the players in America, I consider myself to be on the more competitive side since I used to participate in tournaments every week and have gone to some relatively large WS events; because of this, you may think that I’m biased when it comes to wanting a more competitive atmosphere. To ease your minds, I’ve asked many customers at my store (both competitive and casual) what their opinions on the competitive scene are and all of them, including the casual players, said they would love to see a more competitive environment. For the competitive players it’s a way to test their skills and play new players that they would otherwise never get the chance to play. For casual players it’s an entertaining thing to spectate and can help them learn by watching new play styles. Overall, a thriving competitive scene would help everyone learn more about Weiss Schwarz and would help grow the community. Similarly. if the old players aren’t allowed to play with the new players without having to spend time and money on new decks, it could cause a lot of old players to not really care about the new players and, although that doesn’t directly hurt anyone, it certainly doesn’t benefit anyone. It could potentially keep the old players in a stagnant state with no real reason to get any more into the game and therefore cause new players to stop playing the game since it seems like the game isn’t going anywhere.

Of course some people are alright with the division between English players and Japanese players. A lot of the new players that start playing as a result of English releases come from a long history of playing card games and therefore have a different view on card game communities than I do. You see, I was never really a card game player before I started playing WS. I was simply a college student who watched too much anime and one day walked into a store that sold Angel Beats! cards. Compared to me, people who start playing WS after Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! might not be so trustful of others since (though I hate to say it) there are a lot of cheaters and thieves in other card games. If I had known people who cheated in card games in the past, I would definitely not trust people telling me what every single Japanese card in their deck does. Many players may think that it’s good to have an English only tournament simply so that no one could cheat by mis-translating their card. Although I do agree with this, I am still in favor of when we thought there would be 2 tournaments: 1 for English cards only and the other for Japanese and English cards. I honestly believe that that is the best format we could have with the new transition into English sets and really hope that Bushiroad eventually changes their mind.

Another concern that I have for the future of Weiss Schwarz is that we have no idea which series are going to be released first. Madoka was a pretty solid pick as the first booster box, Sword Art Online is amazingly popular among both anime lovers and regular people so that will for sure be a huge success, and Fate/Zero isn’t as popular but it definitely appeals to the players that like more action oriented and realistically drawn shows so it’s not a bad 3rd pick. What concerns me is: what will be next? I don’t want to sound like I’m talking poorly of the higher ups in Bushiroad, but I have no idea who chooses what set will be released and, for all I know, they might not really know too much about the current Anime world and what people are into at the moment. I’ve talked to some people that work in the American Bushiroad branch about my opinions and what sets to release, and time and time again I keep telling them: release Fairy Tail in English. Fairy Tail (although not as popular in Japan) is extremely popular in America and would bring so many new players in just because it’s Fairy Tail. I don’t want this to become a rant that just talks about what I want to happen or anything like that, but can you imagine what would happen if the new set was something like Phantom or CANAAN? Obviously those 2 are less popular titles in WS so it’s very unlikely that they will be released in English anytime soon, but I can see sets that are decently popular like Da Capo or Milky Holmes getting English releases; even though those 2 are relatively well known, they definitely wouldn’t entice many new people to join just by their very existence being in Weiss. Of course this is all speculation but I worry quite a bit because I’ve seen Bushiroad make some pretty questionable decisions in the past.

I don’t want anyone to start thinking badly of Bushiroad because, without them, there wouldn’t be a community in the first place! I simply want people to start thinking about what all the recent changes mean to us as players and what we must do to overcome certain obstacles. As I stated at the beginning of this article, I’m a card store owner so I try my best to observe what’s happening in the community and try to resolve and conflicts that may arise. I don’t want to see a community that gets capped at a casual level where things never really get worse but never get any better either. On that note, I’ll talk about some of the hopes I have for the future.

One thing that I have always loved about Weiss Schwarz is the fact that when I play someone new, I know that I can relate to them in some way or the other. Whether it’s the fact that we simply both like Anime, or the fact that Kanade is also their Waifu, we can probably get along at some level. I’m always happy to meet new players because I find that most of the players in the world are relatively nice and always willing to help. I feel that if this kind of community kept growing then it would keep becoming better and better. Even if things never take a more competitive turn and we become stuck in a metaphorical hole of casualness, the one thing that would keep this community alive is the fact that everyone is generally nice to everyone. One possibility that could happen in the future is that the English side actually becomes extremely popular and the Japanese side itself starts to die out. Though this isn’t exactly “good” for the current community, I would argue at the same time that it is good overall because it would mean a larger player base and more inevitable support for the English market. This possibility kind of sucks for people like my current customers and I but we if we want to keep playing we would probably adapt and simply move on. One thing that I want to remind everyone is that Bushiroad is the first company to really bring a well rounded Anime card game to America (to the best of my knowledge). Even though they were pitted against companies such as Konami and Wizards, they were able to hold their ground and that definitely says something. If anything, Bushiroad is doing something right so far and all we can do is hope that they continue to make the correct decision.

I just reread everything I wrote so far and this really comes across like a long and disorganized rant. I hope that I don’t sound like I’m angry at Bushiroad or anything like that, I simply want to express my feelings about the current events that have been happening. I mean, Bushiroad could have simply decided to never make Weiss Schwarz into English and the community would stay in a rut, forever trying to solve the mystery of the language barrier. The fact is that Bushiroad is trying to help the community, and that alone is enough for me. I still think that they should change the tournament system to have both English only tournaments and mixed tournaments, but if this never changes then we just have to move on and try to deal with whatever happens.

That’s all I have for today. I want to say thanks to everyone who’s been reading my blog despite there being no updates in a long time. When I checked my stats today I was sure that there had been no views in the last few months but, to my surprise, there were actually quite a few! Hopefully this gives me the motivation to write more and more in the future. Feel free to leave your comments and let me know what you think about the future of Weiss Schwarz.

2,000 Views! (Reveiwing Some Sword Art Online Cards)

31 Jan

Hello everyone! I got on my computer today and checked how my little blog was doing and was pleased to find out that I have officially hit 2,000 views! I want to say a big thanks to everyone who’s been reading since the beginning and give a warm welcome to everyone who recently discovered this page. For today’s post, I’ll be going over the Sword Art Online cards that have been revealed for the booster box so far. I’ll do a review of the Persona 4 Arena cards that are also coming out in another post sometime later on. Before I begin, let me start off by saying that the cards that have been revealed so far aren’t anything extremely unique or new to the Weiss Schwarz world so I probably won’t have much to say besides basic praise or criticism. With that out of the way, let’s begin!

SAO/S20-079 R CH Putting Oneself onto the Battlefield, Kirito
Blue/Level:0/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:2500/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[AUTO] [(1) Put 1 card from Hand to the Waiting Room] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage, you may pay the cost. If you do so, look for up to 1 <<Avatar>> Character card from your Deck, show it to your opponent and add it to Hand. Shuffle that Deck.

As I stated above, this is a very standard searcher that can be found in many other series such as Shakugan no Shana, Guilty Crown, Symphogear, etc. We don’t know the full card pool yet, so I can’t say for sure how prevalent the <<Avatar>> trait is going to be; however, going off of Accel World and simply the anime itself, I’m extremely certain it will be a predominant trait in the series. Of course there might be some super strong card that doesn’t have the Avatar trait which might cause this card to lose some value, but for now I’m going to assume that everything in this set is <<Avatar>>. The merit of these kinds of searchers compared to other searchers (who have abilities that activate upon being reversed/sent to the waiting room) is their abilities activate when played which means that they can precisely pay out climaxes that you triggered the turn before and also fix your hand for your current turn (or even for the turns to come). This card also presents a nice 2,500 power so with the right supports or with the help of a climax, this card can easily take out many other level 0’s in the game. Although this card seems like it would be more for early game, it actually presents a lot of utility during late game simply because it can thin out your deck by 1 card and also search for your important level 3’s. Overall a solid card; nothing special but nothing bad.

SAO/S20-003 R CH Lying Down On The Sofa, Asuna
Yellow/Level:0/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:3500/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[AUTO] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage, reveal the top 1 card of your Deck. If that card is not an <<Avatar>> Character card, put it to Clock.

Again, this type of card is found in many other series so it’s nothing amazing. I actually really like these types of level 0’s since they have utility throughout the entire game, but many people don’t like the possibility of having to burn yourself 1 damage. My reasoning behind why I like this card is simply because the rewards outweigh the risk. This card has the potential to be a huge level 0 beater, a way to check the top card of your deck so you know exactly where to attack for your first attack (for example: if you want to side attack, this card can reveal a trigger), during late game it lets you know how much soul you are going to be hitting for to better position your field, and it can help you get out of level 0 faster if you find yourself cancelling too much. This card has a lot of utility throughout the entire game and I feel like 1 potential burn damage is worth the value that this card brings to a deck. I don’t think that this type of ability is especially amazing, but this kind of card is always a safe pick to put in your deck if you’re not exactly sure how to build it.

SAO/S20-028 R CH Reliable Guide, Lyfa
Green/Level:0/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:2000/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[AUTO] When this card attacks, choose 1 of your other characters, and it gains Level +1, Power +1000 for that turn.

This kind of card has always been kind of iffy to me because I feel that the other level 0’s with similar abilities simply outshine it. There are cards that only give +1000 power but are base 2500, and there are also cards that give +1500 power but are base 2000. The +1 level that this card gives can be useful, but honestly it won’t really come in handy that often. There will be times when someone plays a suicider at level 0 because they have nothing else to play or their only level 0’s in hand are suiciders; in that instance, this card will become useful. Normally though, you would never play a level 0 suicder without crashing it into something because you wouldn’t be using the suicider to it’s maximum efficiency (your opponent could simply play a utility level 0, crash into your suicider, and still have their fighting level 0’s stay alive). The second common instance where the +1 level can become useful is when you have a support that gives level x 500 and you give someone +1 level for that extra +500 power you would need to get over one of your opponent’s stronger characters. Overall not a bad card, but I feel it will be out-shined by many other level 0’s in this set.

SAO/S20-057 U CH Beginning of an Adventure, Silica
Red/Level:1:Cost:1/Trigger:None
Power:6500/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[AUTO] [(1)] When this card attacks, if [First Adventure] is in the Climax Border, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 [Familiar, Pina] from your Waiting Room, put it in any Border you wish in Rest, and this card gains Power +3500 for that turn.

Silica was probably my favorite character in the early episodes of Sword Art Online so I might be naturally biased towards her cards. This card is pretty hard to review, however, simply because I don’t know what the climax is nor do I know what the card that it brings out is. The only thing that I can really judge about it is it’s usefulness at level 1. Being 500 under vanilla power, this card is more susceptible to being reversed than some other level 1’s but also presents the possibility of having a lot of utility. The main problem with this is that it can make you have less presence at level 1 since level 1’s with 1 cost are generally more for fighting than utility. Of course this isn’t always the case, but it’s something to keep in mind while making a deck. The usefulness of this card can only be determined after the cards that combo with this card are revealed. Also the 2 cards that go along with this card (the climax and the card it brings out) both rely on each other to make this Silica good. If the card that Silica brings out is good but the climax is bad, then that alone could be reason to not use this card; on the other hand, if the card that Silica brings out is bad but the climax is good, that could also be a reason to not use this card. In the best case scenario where both the card that is brought out and the climax is good, then this card becomes a lot more viable in a deck. I think the most important thing to remember when considering this card for a deck is, “Does this card force me to have low field presence and killing potential at level 1? If it does then how can I work around this to make my level 1 stronger without putting in more level 1’s with 1 cost.” Of course we can’t answer those questions right now, but in the future it’s something we’ll have to consider.

Alright that’s all for today guys. Once again I want to say a thank you to everyone who reads my posts. Seeing my view counter go up every day gives me the motivation to keep writing despite being as lazy as I am. I’ll continue to cover the Sword Art Online cards that come out in the future so be sure to look out for them!

- Tien

Tips and Lessons #1: Advantage

26 Jan

I’m So Lazy

Alright guys, no excuses this time. I’m just really lazy. Since this is the first post in a relatively long time, I thought I’d do something a little more informative and go for an article completely dedicated to teaching fellow card game players more about Weiss Schwarz. The topic for this post is “Advantage”. In short, what is considered genuine advantage in Weiss and how do you gain it? I’ll do my best throughout this article to explain my view on the topic clearly and accurately.

Basic Advantage

The literal definition of Advantage is:

“Any state, circumstance, opportunity, or means specially favorable to success, interest, or any desired end.”

In Weiss, there are many different types of advantages to be gained. Advantage can be achieved in almost every area of the game, but the degree of advantage in a certain area will generally always vary as the game progresses. The basic types of advantage that are easily seen are: hand size, field presence, and stock control.

Hand Size

As most of you probably know, the maximum hand size in Weiss is 7 cards; at the end of your turn, if you have more than 7 cards, you must discard until you have 7 cards in hand. Every turn you are forced to naturally plus 1 hand (drawing) and given the option to plus 1 more hand (clocking). In short, you are generally able to have 2 more cards in hand at the beginning of every turn. If you are able to always maintain 7 cards in hand by the end of your turn, you will almost always have the maximum amount of hand resource for your next turn which means that you will have the maximum amount of options to deal with whatever your opponent has. Of course this isn’t always possible if your opponent overextends their hand early on and you’re forced to match their field, but a good practice is to play only as many cards as your opponent has and try to take 1 for 1’s instead of playing more characters and going for more direct damage. This mentality should change as the game goes on since the ultimate goal of the game is to get your opponent to level 4, but not wasting cards early in the game gives you more options later on to deal with your opponent’s characters and deal soul damage to your opponent. One thing to always remember is the fact that climaxes (besides 2000 +1 soul climaxes and +3 soul climaxes) are always a minus 1. Climaxes will always leave the stage at the end of your turn so it is guaranteed 1 card that you can’t potentially “keep alive”. Because of this, I often refrain from playing climaxes early and mid game simply to maintain hand advantage over my opponent. At this point, you might be wondering something along the lines of, “How does conserving my hand as much as possible give me true advantage? Even though I have a large hand size, I’m still behind in damage and stock.” The answer to this lies in the advantage that field presence and stock control brings so I’m going to move onto another topic.

Hand Size gives the most advantage: Early game and mid game.

Field Presence

Imagine this scenario: You go first and attack your opponent with 1 character. On your opponent’s turn, he plays three level 0’s and attacks with all of them. In this situation, there are 2 possibilities that generally occur. The first is that you take all the damage and level up to level 1; the second possibility is that you cancel the attacks and stay at level 0. In the first situation, you have a huge advantage now because you are able to play level 1’s. If you play a whole field of level 1’s with 0 cost, you can effectively wipe your opponent’s whole field without the fear of counters or any of your characters dying. Also, since you are doing only 1 damage in comparison to your opponent’s constant 2 damage (direct attack), you have a lower chance of leveling your opponent up. If you are able to leave your opponent at level 0, you have effectively killed their entire field and have characters that your opponent can’t touch. In this scenario, your level 1’s will stay alive after your opponent’s second turn which means that your level 1’s are able to build at least 1 more stock and deal at least 1 more attack. In theory, if the rest of the game goes on with only 1 for 1 trades, you have more advantage than your opponent because 2-3 of your characters built an extra stock and killed an extra character. Going back to the other possibility where you cancel all your opponent’s attacks and are left at level 0, if you are able to wipe your opponent’s field with your own level 0’s than you have built advantage for yourself. For example, if your opponent played 3 vanilla level 0’s and you killed them with 3 over sized level 0’s, then once again your opponent took less soul damage so he is likely still at level 0. In this situation you have 3 cards on the field compared to his 0 cards on field and, since he probably used most of his level 0 attackers on his first turn, he most likely has very little or no responses to your field which means your cards gain 1 more stock and 1 more attack over his. Though things will not always go this perfectly, both of these situations are examples of genuine field presence. If you’re wondering what having  field presence really is, I would define it as the ability to have more characters on the field than your opponent combined with the ability to have more responses to your opponent’s actions than they have to yours. If you are able to achieve a large hand size while maintaining a solid 5 characters on the field, you have built genuine advantage for yourself. I can’t really explain exactly “how” to have field presence because it really depends on the situation you are currently in, but what I recommend is to always think about how you can keep your characters alive while still consistently wiping your opponent’s field.

Field Presence gives the most advantage: Early game and mid game.

Stock Control

Stock advantage in Weiss is extremely important because, similar to hand size, it symbolizes how many characters you can play and how many responses you can make against your opponent. A common mistake that people make is thinking that the more cards you play, the more stock you generate. This is true to some extent, but as I explained before, the more cards you play means the more chances for your cards to die while leaving you with less responses to your opponent. Therefore, the actual way to generate a lot of stock without losing advantage is to simply maintain field presence and hand size. Referring back to the 2 scenarios I mentioned above, in both those scenarios a few of your characters were able to build 1 extra stock that your opponent wasn’t able to build. If you continue building that same kind of advantage for yourself, then you will eventually have a considerably higher amount of stock than your opponent. At the end of the game, if you have more stock than your opponent, it means that you can play more level 3’s and sustain longer than your opponent. The main problem with building stock is the fact that it increases your chance of triggering a climax. Since you always want to maintain healthy stock (obviously climaxes are your only way to cancel damage so you don’t want them stuck in stock), it is necessary to always include ways of effectively paying out climaxes starting at level 0. A good example of effectively paying out climaxes early on is using cards that have an ability similar to “pay 2 cost to draw/salvage a card.” With these kinds of cards, you not only pay out a climax but also plus 1 to hand. If you take anything out of this article, let it be: “If I plus 1 hand size, this means that I plus 1 field presence which means I plus 1 stock.” Every time you plus 1 hand, you gain 3 different types of advantage over your opponent.

Stock Control gives the most advantage: Mid game and late game.

Is there anything else that I should keep in mind?

While hand size, field presence, and stock control can help you gain advantage, do they do anything else? The answer to this is: Compression. For newer players who don’t really know what compression is, it’s pretty much increasing your chances to cancel damage after refresh. If you refresh with all 8 of your climaxes back in your deck with a small amount of cards in your deck (let’s say somewhere around 25), you have an incredibly high chance of cancelling damage. If your opponent refreshes with all 8 of their climaxes back in their deck but has 35 cards in their deck, they have 10 more chances to not cancel compared to  you. So how do you refresh with as few cards in your deck as possible? Maintain 7 cards in hand, maintain 5 cards on field, maintain a large amount of stock, and try to refresh while you have a lot of cards in clock (refreshing at 6 damage is the best!). All these things take cards out of your deck and give you more advantage for every 1 card you have out over your opponent. Compression can be argued as the highest form of advantage that one can have in Weiss Schwarz simply because it makes it hard for your opponent to deal any damage to you while all you need to do is poke them until they lose. The core of compression is to build basic advantage for yourself and maintain that advantage throughout the entire game, the rest will slowly come together.

What are your favorite ways to gain advantage?

If you know me well or have been reading my other articles, there are 2 things that you may have realized: I love door triggers and I love the bond mechanic. My favorite way to gain advantage in a game is to consistently bring my hand size down to 6 and then trigger a door to go back into 7 hand. Imagine this scenario: Both my opponent and I are at 7 hand with no field, it’s my turn so I draw and clock into 9 cards in hand. I play 3 cards in my front row therefore bringing my hand size down to 6 and I attack 3 times. During one of my attacks I trigger a door and therefore have 7 hand at the end of my turn. My opponent then draws and clocks into 9 cards as well, he plays 3 cards to match my field but doesn’t have a way of replenishing his hand size so therefore ends his turn with 6 cards in hand. Currently I have one card advantage over my opponent, but if I play 3 characters again and then door one more time then I still have 7 cards in hand at the end of my turn. Assuming I wiped my opponent’s field, he draws and clocks into 8 cards in hand and is forced to play 3 cards again to match my field. At the end of this turn, my opponent now has 5 cards in hand while I still have 7. If this continues then I will eventually have an amazing amount of advantage over my opponent which significantly increases my chance of winning. Of course this situation only works if I trigger a door at least once per turn; however, in the case that I don’t, what do I do? If I play 3 cards in my hand and leave myself at 6, I can simply bond my next turn and go back into maximum hand size. Since bond is always a plus 1 to hand, it’s an extremely reliable backup plan if I don’t trigger a door. Another option I have is to salvage a bond when I trigger the door and effectively plus 2 instead of 1.

Other ways to build advantage include things such as: level 0 runners, cards that plus your hand, cards that are inherently hard to kill (defensive type cards), using counters effectively, and running ways to recycle cards/fix your hand. There’s a lot more that I could talk about in terms of gaining advantage but it would take a long time so I’ll probably discuss them more in another article later. From this article, I really want you to understand the importance of not overextending and to always think about how to gain the most advantage in whatever situation you’re put in. Advantage is hard to explain because of how random Weiss is in general, but every situation comes with a “best” way to gain advantage through it; if you don’t see any way to gain advantage in a situation, then you should think about how to not lose any advantage instead.

That’s all for now! Sorry if I got off topic during some parts of the post and sorry if it was confusing at times. Feel free to let me know what you thought about this article and hopefully I’ll update more in the future.

- Tien

Level 3’s of the Week

27 Dec

Konbanwa everyone! It’s 11 PM right now and I felt like writing a new post. Sorry I haven’t been posting as much as usual, I’ve been busy with Christmas and moving so I haven’t been able to find the time to write. Since I’ve missed a lot of the Card of the Days, I’m going to go through all the level 3’s that have been released (there’s quite a few of them). Let’s begin with some Da Capo!

DC3/W23-027 RR CH Self-Conscious Future, Himeno
Green Level 3 Cost 2 Trigger 1 Soul
Power 10000 Soul 2 <Magic>
[AUTO] When this card is placed from hand to the Stage, look at the up to 3 cards from of your Deck and choose 1 card among them and put it in your hand. Put the rest in the Waiting Room.
[AUTO] [Discard a card from your hand to the Waiting Room] When 「Irreplaceable Family」is placed in your Climax Zone, if this is in the Front Row, you may pay cost. If so, choose a <Magic> Character in your Clock and put it in any Slot on the Stage.

DC3/W23-049 CR CX Irreplaceable Family
Green Trigger 2 Soul
[AUTO] When this card is placed from hand to the Climax Zone, draw a card, and choose 1 of your Characters. That Character gains +2000 Power and +1 Soul for the turn.

First Impression: “A really solid card that goes with a good climax.”

This card’s “come into play” ability is pretty good with this card since it can help you dig for the climax instead of having to hold onto it for a few turns. Also, this card can help you accurately prevent damage in certain situations such as: 8 cards left in deck with only a 2000 +1 climax left, draw into the climax when this card comes into play, draw 1 after playing the climax, and after you attack you’ll have only 1 card in deck (prevented 3 potential damage). For Himeno’s 2nd ability, there are several pros and cons to it. 1 pro is that it can potentially heal every turn as long as you keep drawing into the climax, while the con is that if you never draw into the climax then this card is almost useless. Another pro to this is that it saves the cost that would have been required to pay for whatever you bring out from your clock, therefore letting you potentially summon 1 more character. Another con to this card is that if you already have 2 back row characters on the field and no back row characters in your clock and you want to use Himeno’s 2nd ability twice, you’re going to have to replace something useful with something not as useful; while healing is generally more worth it, it’s something to consider. In terms of hand size, since the cost to activate her ability is discarding a card, you don’t really minus or plus; it’s as if you regularly played 1 card on the field. Something that’s really important to remember for these kinds of cards is what the climax that combos with the card is. In this case, it’s a 2000 +1. Unlike any climax with a special trigger (tornado, shot, gold bar, gold bag, door, book) that will always give 1000 +1 to your entire field, 2000 +1 climaxes don’t cause you to overswing in damage and can give a really nice boost for added advantage at level 3. Overall this card is pretty solid but can be useless if you never draw into the climax.

DC /W23-007 R CH Everyone’s Happiness, Mahiru
Yellow Level 3 Cost 2 Ttrigger 1 Soul
Power 10000 Soul 2 <Example> <Japanese Clothing>
[AUTO] If you have 4 or fewer cards in your hand, this gains +1K Power and +2 Soul.
[AUTO] Once per turn, during the turn this is placed from hand to the Stage, if damage dealt by this would be canceled, you may deal 1 damage to your opponent.
[AUTO] When this is Reversed, send this to Memory.

First Impression: “Dang this card is pretty funny.”

This card is pretty good, but also must be used well to be really effective. Let’s start with the first ability. 11,000 with 4 soul can be pretty devastating if your opponent isn’t well compressed or is already out a lot of climaxes, but comes at the cost of having 4 or less cards in your hand. If it’s still early into level 3, you probably won’t want to trigger this card’s first effect since it could mean that you won’t have as many characters to potentially fight with for the upcoming turns. That being said, this card’s first ability is more relevant later on into level 3 since it can also help you side attack for precise damage or swing for huge damage. The 2nd ability on this card is what really makes it shine. Similar to the level 3 Chihaya that was released in Rewrite Harvest Festa!, a built in shot trigger that’s activated the turn this card is played is extremely strong. Almost guaranteed damage every time this card is played/attacks pretty much guarantees either a massive amount of damage going through, or a nice poke that can slowly kill your opponent. Since this card has 4 soul if you have 4 or less cards in hand, there’s an extremely high chance that your opponent will cancel (if they don’t then they just took at least 4 damage!) The main con to this card is it’s 3rd ability, since it means that you won’t be able to loop the 2nd effect as easily. If your opponent is able to kill this card, then that means you won’t be able to salvage it back and use the ability again. I wouldn’t recommend putting 4 of this card into a competitive deck since it doesn’t give you any survivability so if you don’t draw into this card more than once then the 3rd ability can become a hindrance. Overall a good card, but has to be used correctly or it’ll simply cause the opponent to cancel every turn.

DC3/W23-077 RR CH Dream-like Night, Aoi
Blue Level 3 Cost 2 Trigger 1 Soul
Power 10K Soul 2 <Newspaper> <Waitress>
[AUTO] When a climax is placed in your Climax zone, this gains +1500 power until the end of the turn.
[AUTO] When ‘To “Onii-chan”‘ is placed in your Climax zone, if this is in the front row, you may choose a ‘To “Onii-chan”‘ in your Waiting Room and return it to the Library. If so, shuffle your Library.
[AUTO] When this is Front Attacked, look at the top card of your Library. Put it either back on top of the Library or in the Waiting Room.

DC3/W23-099 CR CX To “Onii-chan”
Blue trigger:Draw
[CONT] All your characters gain +1K Power and +1 Soul.

First Impression: “Whoa Bushiroad is thinking of some pretty interesting stuff.”

Compared to the old level 3, this is a good sign for Aoi fans! Since the first ability is simply a luxury ability, I won’t really talk about it that much. It’s a nice boost in power only if you play a climax, but shouldn’t be used just for the power if it causes you to overswing in soul. The 2nd ability on this card is pretty interesting. Pretty much, it’s good in almost every situation; if you are losing, it helps you become even with your opponent and, if you are winning, it helps secure your win. The main cons to this card are that you might not always be able to pull of the climax combo if you don’t have the climax in your waiting room and that it doesn’t give you guaranteed survivability (like come into play heal) since your deck will always still be random. What I really like about this card, however, is the fact that the climax combo makes it as if you didn’t draw into the climax in the first place; also, if you draw into the climax again after you used the climax combo once, the climax you had used earlier will for sure be in the waiting room so you can use the ability again. I don’t really know how I feel about this card yet since it’s a new type of ability that I’ve never encountered, but for now I’ll say that I think it’s strong. This card is already solid with just these 2 abilities, however, the 3rd ability makes this card extremely strong. The ability to check the top card of your deck every turn and check if you want to leave it there or not is pretty huge; it’s pretty much giving your opponent’s character +1 soul whenever you need it. Similar to this card’s 2nd ability, the 3rd ability can secure your win if you’re ahead and can also help you become even with your opponent if you are losing. Overall, this card simply has so many good effects that I don’t really care about the cons.

Let’s move onto Little Busters!

LB/W21-104 TD CH Our Story, Riki
Green Level 3 Cost 2 Trigger 1 Soul
Power 10 000 Soul 2
[AUTO] When this card is put from your hand to your Stage, choose 1 of your Character card. That card gains Power +3000 until the end of your opponent’s turn.
[AUTO] [Discard 1 Character card to your Waiting Room] When the Climax card 「Little Busters!」 is put to your Climax border and this card is in Center Stage, you may pay the Cost. Should you do so, choose 1 level 2 or below Character card from your Memory or Clock, and put it to your Stage.

LB/W21-105 TD CX Little Busters!
Green Level – Cost – Trigger Treasure
Power – Soul -
[CONT] All your Character cards gain Power +1000, Soul +1.
(Treasure: When this card is revealed during your Trigger, put this card to your hand. You may put 1 card from the top of your deck to your Stock)

First Impression: “What’s with all the heal from clock?”

Man…I don’t want to review Riki cause I hate him, but this card is pretty noteworthy. Similar to the level 3 Himeno I looked at earlier, this card also has the ability to grab a character from your clock and play it on the field with the added option of taking a card from your memory and playing it on the field instead. For a trial deck card, this is surprisingly good. The first ability isn’t bad since it gives you a significant boost in power while almost guaranteeing that 1 card stays alive until your next turn. Also, the first ability has some synergy with the climax; since the climax is a gold bar, it means that you have two times the normal chance of having it end up in your hand so, since this card can become 13000 and will most likely stay alive till your next turn, you will have more turns to use the climax combo or draw into the climax. This card’s 2nd ability is pretty interesting simply because of the fact that you can also bring a card from your memory to the field. In a situation where you have 0 damage and want to get rid of this climax, you can still use the ability to +1 field presence. The main problem with this is that there aren’t many good cards to bring out in Little Busters! that are level 2 or lower (my guess is they’ll release some more stuff in the new booster); the best way to combo with this card that I can think of is using 『すき』のはぐるま クド from the Kud Wafter set since the cost for it’s climax combo is to memory any character card in your hand. This doesn’t really matter too much though, since you’re going to be using this card for the heal rather than a +1 from memory. My main problem with this card is that it combos with a gold bar (the trigger I hate most). Gold bar is simply too random for me and can clog your hand with another climax if you’re already drawing into too many of them. Also the cost for using Riki’s ability is to throw out a CHARACTER card from your hand, so if you gold bar too many times you can’t even effectively toss them out using his ability. Overall, however, this card is still really good since it can potentially heal every turn and it’s simply a trial deck card! If there are cards this good in the trial deck, I can’t wait to see what comes out in the actual booster.

Alright everyone, that’s all for today. Late Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope you guys have a good New Years!

- Tien

12/19 Card of the Day

20 Dec

New day, new cards! Let’s begin as usual with the Sword Art Online Trial Deck card:

SAO/S20-105 TD CH Infiltration of the Underground Dungeon, Asuna
Yellow/Level:1/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:5000/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[AUTO] ACCELERATE [Put 1 card from the top of your Deck to Clock] At the beginning of your Climax Phase, you may pay the cost. If you do so, this card gains Power +3500 for that turn.

Pretty much the exact same as the level 1 Kuroyukihime that was put into the Accel World Trial Deck, this card is not that great but not necessarily bad at the same time. Being just under vanilla power, this card can easily hit 6,000 with the Yui supports and 9,500 after you Accelerate. My personal opinion on Accelerate is that it’s a pretty useful mechanic but the ability must live up to the cost. If the ability that a card gains from Accelerate isn’t really worth taking 1 damage for, then generally I’d say that it’s not worth putting in a deck. My opinions on this Asuna are a little different, however, because of the fact the card itself isn’t really underpowered. Like I said before, this card can hit a nice 6000 power at level 1 with just one support; in essence, you’re exchanging 500 power for the option to hit 8500 power if you really need it. This card is really situational and probably won’t be played in a real deck, but as far as Trial Deck cards go, this isn’t too bad.

MK2/S19-012 U CH Ellery Himeyuri
Yellow/Level:2/Cost:2/Trigger:Soul+1
Power:7500/Soul:2 <<Detective>> <<Police>>
——————–
[AUTO] [Put 1 of your <<Police>> characters in Stand to Rest] When this card attacks, if [Sudden Transfer Notice] is in the Climax Border, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 of your opponent’s characters, return it to Hand, and this card gains Power +1000 for that turn.
[AUTO] ENCORE [Put 1 Character card from Hand to the Waiting Room]

My first impression of this card is that it has extremely low stats with a mediocre ability. Like a lot of cards that have been revealed, we currently don’t know what the climax that goes with this card is so it’s a little harder to judge. The ability on this card is pretty bad for a few reasons:

1. After playing the climax and resting 2 characters, this card only becomes the power of a 1 cost, level 2 vanilla
2. Returning a card to your opponent’s hand is extremely situational since it might just give them a free card to clock or more options for their next turn.3. Considering the fact that it’s a climax combo, we can assume that one character/all characters received an increase in soul for that turn. If you use this card to bounce one of your opponent’s front row characters that you can’t deal with, you will probably be attacking for too much soul damage which will give your opponent a considerably higher chance to cancel.
4. Because this card’s ability only activates with a climax, this means that you need to either draw into the climax at the right time or hold the climax for a few turns. Both of these are rather risky since right before level 2/going into level 2 is generally around the time when you  refresh your deck; this means that you have to potentially refresh with 1 climax out of your deck simply to pull off this climax combo. Also, if you don’t draw into the climax at the right time, then this card is simply an extremely underpowered card with encore.
5. Why pay 2 cost to play this card when you can play a 1 cost with higher power and save 1 stock to use at level 3 instead?

Pretty much those are my main reasons for saying this card is bad. I may seem a little harsh on this card, but honestly it’s really not worth running. The only thing that doesn’t make it really really bad is the fact that it has encore so you can buy time while trying to draw into the climax.

DC/W23-101 TD CH Home Tutor Older Sister, Otome
Yellow/Level:3/Cost:2/Trigger:Soul+1
Power:9500/Soul:2 <<Magic>> <<Teacher>>
——————–
[AUTO] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage, draw up to 2 cards, choose 1 card from your Hand and put it to the Waiting Room.
[AUTO] [(1) Put 1 card from Hand to the Waiting Room] When this card attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do so, all of your characters gain Power +500, Soul +1 for that turn.

This card is another one of those level 3’s that are kind of worth mentioning but not really used as a main level 3 in a deck. My main problem with this card is the fact that it’s “Come Into Play” ability doesn’t have as much utility as many other level 3’s. While draw 2 discard 1 means that Otome replaces herself in your hand, it doesn’t really help you survive longer (which is everything at level 3). It’s not that big of a problem, it just means that you shouldn’t run 4 of this in a deck but simply tech 1 or 2 for it’s second ability. The second ability is pretty much the exact same as the level 3 Chihaya that was released in the Rewrite Harvest Festa! set not too long ago. While the +500 can be useful, the part of the second ability that really shines is the +1 soul. Being able to choose whether or not to give your other characters 1 soul for their next attack and being able to side for precise damage can really end games if you use it properly. Overall, this card isn’t really anything amazing but not bad to run a few of in a deck just for that end game potential.

Alright that’s it for today. Sorry for always posting these so late at night, I get pretty lazy throughout the day.

- Tien

12/17 Card of the Day (Henriette Cards!)

18 Dec

Hello everyone! It’s once again time to look at the new cards that were revealed today. With that being said, let’s begin with the new Sword Art Online Trial Deck card:

SAO/S20-T01 TD CH Jumping to a Wrong Conclusion, Asuna
Yellow/Level:0/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:2500/Soul:1 <<Avatar>> <<Weapon>>
——————–
[CONT] During your turn, this card gains Power +1000.

Very standard ability, I won’t really say much about this card since this ability exists within almost every series and has often been chosen as a “go to” effect for Bushiroad. These kinds of cards aren’t necessarily bad, but definitely aren’t the best; they can potentially kill one of your opponent’s characters on your turn at the cost of being extremely vulnerable on your opponent’s turn. Overall, probably the most generic ability next to no ability at all.

Moving onto Little Busters!

LB/W21-T10 TD CH “Close Friends” Komari & Rin
Green/Level:0/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:500/Soul:1 <<Animal>> <<Sweets>>
——————–
[CONT] ASSIST All of your characters in front of this card gain Power +500.
[ACT] [(1) Put this card to the Waiting Room] Choose 1 card from your Clock and return it to Hand. Choose 1 card from your Hand and put it to Clock.

Since this card is from a Trial Deck, you can’t really expect anything super amazing. With that being said, this card isn’t really great but is definitely not something to be overlooked. A basic “+500 to all characters in front” is always good since it helps establish your backfield early on; in theory, the earlier you play this card the more usefulness it will have throughout the game since backfield generally never dies and it represents 500 – 1000 more your opponent has to get over in order to kill your character or get out of counter range. The second ability is also pretty mediocre since the cost of fixing your hand is to pay 1 stock and minus 1 card. The reason I say that this card still has merit is because the second ability can actually come in handy once in a while and when you don’t need the ability it still presents itself as a basic support. Pretty much, it’s something you would potentially play with an added on second ability that you can use when you need to.

Time to move onto Milky Holmes:

MK2/S19-080 R CH Elegant Everyday Life, Henriette
Blue/Level:1/Cost:0/Trigger:None
Power:5000/Soul:1 <<Detective>> <<Student Council>>
——————–
[CONT] When this card is in the Stage, this card gains <<Phantom Thief>>
[AUTO] [(1) Put 2 of your other 2 characters in the Center Stage to the Waiting Room] When this card attacks, if [Oolong Tea of Despair] is in the Climax Border, you may pay the cost. If you do so, put all of your opponent’s Level 1 or below characters in the Center Stage to the bottom of the Deck in any order you wish.

My first thought when I read this card was, “Oh man, this is pretty funny.” I have actually always thought that the Phantom Thief set in Milky Holmes was extremely underrated since it contains some amazing cards. Since I don’t know what other Phantom Thief cards will be in this set and what the climax that works with this card is, I can’t really say too much about this card. For now, I’ll talk about it in relation to the old set and how it would fit in with the other cards that already exist. Since this card gains the <Phantom Thief> ability on the field but is a <Detective> inherently, it works well with the level 0 support that gives +500 to all <Phantom Thief> and has the added on ability of being able to pay 1 stock to give a <Detective> +1000. With 2 of these supports on the field, this card would be able to hit an easy 6000 power all the time. Currently, compared to the 1-0-4500 Henriette that has encore and gains +1000 power if you have 2 experience, this card is still inferior simply because the old level 1 is extremely consistent and provides field presence/good power all throughout level 1. While the new card that was revealed today has the ability to wipe your opponent’s front row (assuming they are all level 1), it doesn’t actually give you any resource advantage since your opponent loses 3 cards on the field at most while you minus 2 cards on the field plus 1 card from your hand (assuming the climax is not a 2000 +1 climax). Since you wipe both your opponent’s and your own field, this means that you will have 2 open spaces on your opponent’s turn. If you were successfully able to kill all of the level 1′s that your opponent had on the field and they happened to have no more level 1′s in their hand, they could simply play level 0′s in front of the empty spots that you now have and use the next 2 turns to fix their hand. With all this being said, this actually isn’t the main reason that the new card isn’t that great; the actual reason is that this card has no synergy with the common Phantom Thief level 2 game. One of the reason’s that the Phantom Thief set is extremely strong is because of the level 3 from the extra booster. It’s ability is:

[CONT] If you have 4 or more 《怪盗》 Characters or Characters with 「アンリエット」 in its name, this card gets -1 Level in your Hand.
[CONT] During your opponent’s turn, this card gets +1000 Power.
[AUTO] When this card attacks, if 「決戦!怪盗VS探偵」 is in your Climax slot, place up to 1 card from top of your Clock into Waiting Room, until the end of your opponent’s next turn, this card gets +1500 Power.

This is, in my opinion, one of the best level 3′s in the entire game because it has the potential to heal every turn while presenting amazing field presence starting from early level 2. Looking back at the Card of the Day, since you have to kill 2 cards on your field as the cost to activate the ability, you’re going to have almost no field presence at level 2 (which is extremely important in being able to bring out the level 3 early). Getting the level 3 out at level 2 has pretty much been the win condition for this deck so you want to have as much synergy with this card as possible. Like I said before, I don’t know what other cards are going to be released so this is simply a look at the card with relation to the old cards. If cards come out that simply outshine the old level 3, than this card may become more viable. Overall, not a really bad card but not extremely useful either. I actually own a Phantom Thief deck and, in my deck, I will probably run 2 of this card just in case I go against a series with an amazing level 1 such as Angel Beats! or Guilty Crown.

Well, that’s all for now guys. See you next time!

- Tien

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