Sunday, June 22, 2014

Buddyfight Strategy - Weapons

I've had more than one Buddyfighter tell me vehemently, "Weapons suck!" or some variation of that statement. It seems like the community is really divided as to whether these permanent pieces of equipment are blessings in disguise or noobtraps.

To be fair, I don't blame the people who scorn items given that Bushiroad has released some seriously crappy items (*cough cough Dragobrave). And weapons do involve a lot of risk for sometimes not-so-important rewards. But trust me when I say that weapons can be pure amazing.

Dragonblade, Dragobrave
This weapon really sucks...
Remember the card advantage article and the field control articles I wrote? Remember what I said about attacks? Attacks generate advantage. I'm going to have you guys repeat this phrase until it gets ingrained into your souls (so you can Soulguard against Buddyfight stupidity). This is the fundamental foundation of Buddyfight, of why monsters are superior to spells, of why field control is so important, of why Bushiroad squeals in ecstasy every time a unit restands (I swear...). Attacks are amazing. You can't deny it.

How would you react if I told you you could have a monster that could not be targeted by attacks, could only be removed through a spell or ability, and could generate free advantage every single turn? Guess what? That monster is you! When you have a weapon, you're basically putting yourself out as an invincible monster. You sacrifice your life and make yourself an open target in order to exercise a stupendous amount of field presence and control. It's a tradeoff, and you have to make that tradeoff worth it.

Which ultimately means that you need to build for it and around it. A weapon-based deck needs to be just so, completely based on weapons. You're going to have to deal with an open center, you're going to have to deal with taking a lot, a LOT of damage. In exchange, you're going to be able to do some pretty sick things like calling a Size 3 to the side. Using weapons requires a totally different mindset that very few people are prepared to adopt. Most cardfighters are comfortable sitting behind their walls of monsters. Buddyfight gives you the option to ditch your throne and jump into the fray, and it wholly backs you up with the necessary support in the forms of monsters, impacts, and spells. Neither perspective is wrong, and both are successfully playable and, may I add, competitive.

The Weapon

What does a hero truly need? Something that can bash skulls and skewer hearts like a shish-kebab. Buddyfight weapons come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them are just downright badass.

Dragonblade, Dragobreach
Jade Dragon's sword
Weapons are an interesting variable in card advantage. While most monsters are a wash when you call them (-1 hand +1 field), weapons are not. I mean, when the weapon is on the field, it's not DOING anything. Monsters at least make for decent targets. When you call a weapon, you are making an investment into the number of attacks that the weapon can do. It's like giving a loan. You are loaning the weapon some advantage, and until the weapon starts paying off by attacking, you're going to be in the red. Since 1 attack = 1 card, cards like Dragofearless and Boulder Piercing Spear pay for themselves after one attack, Dragobreach requires two, etc. Until then, however, equipping a weapon is a -1 in advantage.

Since most of the weapons are or will be covered in their respective World Analyses, I'll take this time to note some general points of interest when using weapons.

"How many weapons should I run in a deck?" I get that a lot. The answer is roughly 6-9. If you have any more than that, you're going to be getting a lot of dead draws. 6 weapons gives you a chance to add a secondary gambit in case your weaponing-fails. 9 weapons is when you're going to go heavy deep. Can you run more? Yes you can, but you're going to have to figure out a way to get rid of excess useless cards.

Super Armordragon, Aura Sword Dragon
Behold the power of
the Aura!
Hand-soulcharge is a great way to do this. Usually you want to have top-soulcharge so it doesn't subtract from your hand, but not with weapons! Those excess weapons are going to be good soul fodder for some truly amazing cards. Most people don't give Aura Sword Dragon a bat of an eye. 3 gauge and no top-soulcharge is a hefty price to pay for such mediocre stats. But in a weapons deck, you can easily ditch an extra Dragoknuckle to fuel his soul and unleash a 3-crit PENETRATE attacker onto the field. Oh, he can also boost 3000 per tick of life you wish to relinquish. Which means he can hit 12000 with -2 life and actually destroy Tempest Enforcer. Damn.

Discarding effects are also useful. Nanomachine Ninja, Tsukikage's ability is discard to save his ninja butt, which means those extra weapons become extra lives for your ninja. Another cool thing to note is that if you discard a weapon with Hundred Face Ninja, Muraku's ability, you will still get the critical and power bonus from the weapon.

And of course, there's always charge-and-draw. It feels really good to have excess weapons in your hand that you know you're going to charge and draw, leaving the rest of your hand populated with a variety of available options (and it feels terrible to charge a weapon and draw into one).

Spells, a.k.a. CYA

For those of you who are not familiar with internet slang, CYA stands for Cover Your Ass.

Your spells in a weapon oriented deck are going to be covering all the places that you leave sticking out. You're going to use them to heal, to block, to stall, and to facilitate the smoothest heart-ripping in the history of TCG.

Day of the Dragon
Today is a good day
to die
I covered Day of the Dragon before, but it's just so good with weapons. Nuke your opponents field for only 1 gauge. Your monsters can't attack, but as long as you haven't given yourself over to bestiality yet (and the judges agree), you certainly can. That's 4 turns of basically guaranteed free damage.

If you want to go on the offensive, there's Red Dragon Knight's "Song of Burning March" that deals damage when you call monsters to the right or left...which is great, since you're not going to call any to the center. Slash Strike, Dragoslasher gives you the ability to screw over Soulguarders. The effect activates before the attack lands, so you're essentially doing 2 attacks for 1 (and with Dragoanthem, that's 4 for 2) against Soulguard opponents. If you want to pile on the cheese, run Victory Slash with 3 crit blades and clobber your opponent with a potential OHKO (50% of the time). It's a really sacky card, but the expected value is still a +0.75 and it puts a LOT of pressure on the opponent. The damage from Victory Strike doesn't count as an attack, so it's not blockable by any kind of shield except White.

When you need to get out, your shields are there for you. I would even run White Shield just to mitigate as much damage as possible. Green Dragon Knight's "Song of Ancient Lands" will help replenish life, as will Night in the Wild for Danger World. Dragonic Formation and Dragonic Paratrooper will call emergency units in to tank and wall for those critical moments. When all hope is lost, Dragon's Seal could potentially come out with a clutch save.

Monsters...

...are still the backbone of the deck. Don't ever forget this! You are going to be fighting with and alongside your monsters, not solo duking it out there. Your monsters are there to support and back you up. You're never going to be alone.

Thunder Knights, Halberd Dragon
Mobile Tank "Thor"
Not with a crew of Move bodyguards! This ability is the sole reason why weapon decks can be played competitively. Every World has access to Move monsters, and weapon-based decks are where these boys get their chance to shine. Move bypasses the weakness of weapons by allowing a weapon to attack AND a monster to occupy the center slot. During your turn, a monster with Move will be on the side, attacking along with you. During your opponent's turn, they'll move to the center to take a hit for you and keep your life high. It's almost touching. Thunder Knights, Halberd Dragon is especially awesome because of 6000 defense which can't be cleared by most Size 1s, either forcing Size 2 attacks or a link attack.

It gets better. Remember the Field Control article's part about pressure columns? Sometimes pressure columns will actually take precedence over you in terms of priority targets! When you leave your center open but put up some seriously threatening monsters to the side, your opponents should smartly attack the sides (unless they can go for game). Which means that pressure columns can alleviate pressure on you in addition to creating pressure on your opponents!

It. Gets. Better. Even without a weapon, most monsters in weapon-based decks are sufficient in their own right for subgambits and secondary winning images that don't require weapons. Katana World movers can utilize the spells Shooting Cross Knives, Right-hand and Spinning Windmill Knives, Back-hand to bait opponents into attacking a certain column and dish out due punishment. Dragon World plays the vanilla game all too well with 12 shields, and they have access to the game-finishing Gargantua Punisher to boot.

Counters

What's the best way to counter a weapon-based deck? If you thought removing the weapon is the best counter, then you're actually wrong.

Most item removal cards require a payment of -2 advantage in the combination of either cards or gauge...for a +0. That's right, you are paying -2 for no immediate transaction benefit to yourself. Remember how equipping a weapon is an inherent minus? Destroying a weapon is as well. When you destroy a weapon, you are investing in the inability of the weapon to generate advantage. That is, the investment your opponent made in the said weapon is now gone. Your opponent made a investment, and you made a counter-investment.

If you destroyed a card like Dragoanthem or Hysteric Spear that requires -2 to equip, then the relative advantage between you and your opponent is 0 (+/- the number of attacks your opponent managed to pull off). So in those cases the removal card is pretty worth.

Dragons have no
appreciation for art
But there's no way your opponent will run a weapon deck with just one or two weapons. Earlier I advised 6-9 weapons so that you can not only consistently get weapons but also replace them if necessary. There's no way you're going to want to run 4 Exorcist Stomps or Dragon Crush just to deal with weapons - it's inefficient and hinders your own deck's performance. You may want to tech in 2 to deal with fringe situations and set spells, but nothing more than that - and you can't rely on it to deal with a weapons deck on a whole.

The best way to deal with a weapon deck is to take advantage of the weaknesses of weapons. If you can rush your opponent with damage, they will only have so many shields in their hand to guard against that much aggression. Remember that your opponent will only pull out a weapon if they feel safe enough to start using it. Keep this in mind and pressure your opponent to the point where he cannot easily equip a weapon and gain the advantage or feel comfortable in doing so.

The Decks

Weapons can't be teched into any deck, it doesn't work that way. The deck has to be built to integrate with weapons already. While I won't be posting decklists, here are a few ideas of decks that do exceptionally well with their full-on weapon support.

Jackknife "Dispersal"
Sonic charge!
Jackknives belong at the side, and weapons belong in the middle. A match made in heaven. Since Jackknives are so threatening by themselves, a couple of Dragobonds would be an amazing throw-in to keep the Jacks alive while healing for good measure. The average Jack deck is quite heavy in gauge, however, so if you want something more vanilla then Thunder Knights is probably the way to go. Did you know that you can cast Dragobond before your opponent's battle phase and the Move a monster to the center?

Danger World is literally the weapon world. I don't even know how you would begin to build a Danger World deck without weapons. It hurts to think about it. You know why Duel Dragons aren't competitive? Because Duel Law flies in the face of what weapons are trying to accomplish. Duel Dragons have great stats, but few Danger World spells actually synergize with the entire huge-monster-in-the-center strategy.

The best Katana World weapons build is Zanryu-Mooncircle. Coupled with the typical Ninja toolbox, Zanryu-Mooncircle decks are able to do what usually comes very difficult for Ninja decks: get over huge monsters. Mooncircle clears the field like no other weapon, and Zanryu is an amazing pressure column that keeps itself alive.

Gunrod, Stradivarius
NONE OF THIS
APPLIES
If you're a Magic World player and you've read this far, then you deserve a pat on the back.

There are other decks too, like the ever-eccentric Burning Bow strat, but those we'll save for the creativity and innovation of deckbuilders out there.

So, everyone, let's not wildly say that weapons suck just because you don't understand how to use them. It's a different playstyle that most people aren't used to, but it is a viable playstyle nevertheless. And to my fellow weapons.dek players, I say it's high time we bring about a revolution to the way Buddyfight is played.

All images were used obtained from the official Bushiroad website and used here solely for reference purposes. Future Card Buddyfight!, logos, and respective content belong to Bushiroad. Large images belong to the Buddyfight! Wikia.

2 comments:

  1. Can u help me build a deck base on weapon
    For dragon world please.
    I'm new in bf and a total beginner in play card game and mostly building a deck
    But my interest to try someone art work and new cg get me excited to the max
    Thanks again for putting time into it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I basically gave you the run down of how the deck looks like here.
      If you want an example, you can check out my Thunder Knights deck profile under the Deck Profile section.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete