Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Wit of Theseus (Overview)

Dungeon World
How would I describe such a wonderfully quirky world like Dungeon World? If anything, this world hearkens back to the earliest dungeon crawlers that hit the earliest arcades and consoles with a bang. I'm not talking about stuff like Diablo III and Dark Souls II. I'm talking about stuff like Dungeons & Dragons. I'm talking about the very first Zelda, the very first Etrian Odyssey, the very first Might and Magic. Ah, the good old days.

Combining the simplicity of role-playing games and the chance-based aspect of the adventure, Dungeon World focuses on creating your very own setup and executing it to the dot. The amount of tutoring and scavenging in the world is compounded with lucky gains to bring about impossible swings in the state of the game. Just like an RPG, you can have your own personal build to live, die, and win by. Every game with a Dungeon World deck feels like a new adventure, a new battle. The exhilaration factor of the deck and of the entire world's concept cannot be denied.

Like a classic RPG, Dungeon World is set in the never-ending war between the dungeon-diving Adventurers and the timely-respawning Dungeon Enemies.

Dungeon World is slowly turning into one of my favorite worlds, because Bushiroad is just using this World as a guinea pig for all sorts of fun and interesting ideas. I mean, come on, when was the last time Bushiroad officially supported no limits dual-archetypes? Royal/Shadow wasn't even close. Dungeon World has the full integration of Adventurers and Dungeon Enemies fighting side-by-side and working together. It's beautiful and honestly awesome. For the cards that fit in both archetypes, instead of being discussed in either page they'll be discussed here.

Dragonblade Wielding Sheela Vanna
I am a dragonslayer!
I'm talking about cards like Sheila Vanna. She has a freaking dragonblade. If that alone isn't awesome, she also comes with two awesome abilities, based on who she's fighting alongside. If she has an Adventurer behind her back, she gains Penetrate. If she's allied with a Dungeon Enemy, she gets an amazing crit +2. Both, by the way, are scaled to +1 each. Given her low vanilla stats (in this world, we would normally expect +2000 power and +1 crit), as long as she's paired with either ally she'll become an even wash. Given both, she becomes +1...if she can actually get both abilities off. Good luck with that, since Penetrate with 2000 power is almost surely a link attack.

Wait, the math is getting kinda crazy. Let's take this from the top. Call Sheila to the field (-1 in stats). Call a Dungeon Enemy (+1 in damage). Call an Adventurer (+1.5 in Penetrate ability). Link attack with another monster so that you can actually kill something in the center (-1 in attack). That's a lot of effort for a measly +0.5 that could be so easily removed by something like Dragonic Thunder. There has to be more to this badass than that.

There is. Thanks to the link attack bonuses applied by other Adventurer cards, this card becomes an absolute monster when granted Double Attack by virtue of a certain dancing rapper. Since you can link attack with multiple monsters, you can do something awesome like Sheila + Tetsuya + Dungeon Enemy and deal 3 damage from Penetrate. Then restand Sheila and swing for another 3 damage because dragon-related stuff is OP, no matter what world it's in. If you only have a Dungeon Enemy on the field then she's just a 2000/3/2000 damage missile which is perfectly fine and acceptable as a pressure column.

Magical Fortress, Orser Kleinz
Not a mere mage, but
an entire structure!
The fun continues with Orser Kleinz, a 4000/2/5000 no-cost Size 2. You know the drill. He's -0.5 in terms of stats as compared to Skull Golem, Mazubaha, and it's inconveniently taken away his 6000 power instead of the meaningless 5000 defense. But his ability more than makes up for it. You can return both 1 Adventurer card and 1 Dungeon Enemy card to the bottom of the deck to topgauge and draw 1. That's a free +1.5 for the cost of recycling cards. I pay the potential of tutoring key cards again in order to get +1.5 advantage? Oh hell yes, please. Note that you must return both cards in order to activate the effect. Note also that the cards do not have to be monsters.

Insert credits here
In fact, you can just return two Continues from the drop to the deck and activate his ability just fine. Which is great because Continue is the last card in the Adventurer-Enemy engine. By paying 1 gauge and casting the spell (-1.5), you can call 1 of each Adventurer/Dungeon Enemy from the drop to the field by repaying the call cost. That's a +2 if you can call both. Note that you cannot cast the spell if you do not have both in the drop. Yes, the translation is horrible but a reader directed me to a JP Bushiroad Q&A where they clarified this. It seems like they're getting more and more inconsistent with the rulings but I digress. The important thing is that this card is both Adventurer and Dungeon Enemy. It can be searched by Missions. It can be recycled by Orser Kleinz. It fulfills a lot of type requirements and brings even more consistency to Dungeon World decks in general.

Dangerous Fuse
Red! No, blue! BLUE!!
The last neutral Dungeon card we have to talk about is Dangerous Fuse. People are getting mixed reactions to this card, so it's high time for me to quell these disputes. Dangerous Fuse plays the random game and gives you either the option of 1 card for 2 gauge (wash) or 1 card for 2 cards (+1). The expected gain from this card is +0.5, which is good. On average, you'll get +4 cards and +4 gauge from playing 4 of these cards. Not many other cards can actually do this, so Dangerous Fuse is particularly helpful to gain advantage.

The inability to choose where this advantage goes can be frustrating. More often than not, it seems that your opponent will guess the same card when you need gauge and the other card when you need hand. This, I can confirm, is just your personal bias towards things that go wrong. Humans tend to notice the bad things and not the good things, and thus we usually retain bad memories and hold grudges. Mathematically speaking, you will get just as many good uses out of Dangerous Fuse as you will "bad" uses. And by "bad" I actually mean +0.5. Which isn't bad at all, really. Even the wash component of +1 to gauge is not a bad thing, especially in Dungeon Enemies where gauge disappears within seconds. Even if you overgauge, this just leaves you the option of skipping a charge-and-draw phase later on when you have all the right pieces in your hand. After all, gauge won't directly win games, but having gauge gives you more options. And Dungeon World is all about having lots of options.

The reason this card is not a good card to run in decks is because this card telegraphs everything. You gain advantage at the disadvantage of giving your opponent way too much information. After playing this card, you instantly reveal to your opponent a card in your deck. Then, your opponent can face two ending scenarios. Good end is where he chooses the same card you revealed and the other card stays a hidden threat in your hand like a mine. Bad end is where he chooses the other card and now knows that both cards are tucked into your gauge as the most recent additions. This is a trading card game, so knowledge is power. Let's say you Dangerous Fuse and are shuffling between Divine Protection of Shalsana and Brave's Sword, Soma Sword. Which one are you going to reveal? Obviously not your negate, because that's just stupid. You flash Soma Sword for your opponent to see, and now he chooses.

Divine Protection of Shalsana
When games get so
hard, you need
divine intervention
If he chooses Soma Sword, you place both in your hand. Now your opponent knows you have a weapon in your hand that requires 2 gauge to equip and gains Penetrate on it's 2-crit body when it link attacks with an Adventurer. Even if he wasn't familiar with the card, he can ask to read it when you show it to him, so now he's totally prepared. He knows your center is probably going to be empty within the following turns so that you can use the weapon, and he can combat that strategy very easily by not putting up a wall and focusing on doing damage. Of course, you could always charge away the weapon and change strategies but your opponent won't be losing anything by over-preparing for a certain strategy. It's merely a minor mindgame if you choose not to use the card that your opponent knows you drew.

If he chooses Shalsana, guess what, he now knows that one of your 4 negates is now in the gauge along with a weapon. He knows you can't pull off the weapon combo yet, so walling will still get immediate gains. Better for him, he now knows the location of one of your negates - not in your hand. By keeping tabs on negates, your opponent will be able to know when attacks will go through and can easily create a strategy that maximizes on this information.

This Strike, Shall Determine the Fate of the World!
*too epic*
Bottom line is, you give way too much data when you play Dangerous Fuse. Against strong opponents who use information wisely, Dangerous Fuse is the ticking time bomb for your own demise. You shouldn't run this card unless you have absolutely no way to guarantee an advantage engine in a deck. Since Adventurers get Mission cards and the mixed decks have Orser Kleinz, this spell should be solely used in Dungeon Enemy only decks.

It's bad, it's overcosted, but there are times when you just want to scream its name. This Strike, (comma for emphasis), SHALL DETERMINE THE FATE OF THE WORLD!

Hidden Crossbow
Thousand years of
Being able to cast a Counter destruction spell even with a center monster is a big deal. It also helps that the spell is free. Hidden Crossbow hits all the important pressure targets in meta decks, so it's entirely feasible to take out some Pillar of Fires for the less costly alternative in certain matchups.

Adventurer's Staff, Alcsbane will be placed here despite being an Adventurer weapon. 1 gauge for 6000/2 seems pretty good, but it has some pretty sweet synergies with Dungeon Enemies. When you damage your opponent or destroy a monster with Alcsbane, if you have a Dungeon Enemy (not necessarily monster) on your field you can top-gauge 1. Just like that super Dragon Knight weapon, just with 1000 power less. Pretty good, if you ask me. Since it's both a Staff and Adventurer, you can search it with Form a Party, Nazaro Hot Springs, Evil-Break, and more. Evil-Break even suffices for the top-gauge condition. Pretty great.

Phoenix Radiation!
Rise like the Phoenix
When you have an Adventurer weapon and a Dungeon Enemy monster on the field, you can cast Phoenix Radiation for 3 gauge. Wow, destroy all monsters on your opponent's field and deal 3 damage? What a card, this card values harder than Gargantua Punisher. You can focus on your opponent and casually wipe their field while dealing solid burst at the end. A great card to either focus on or use as a tech in mixed and Dungeon Enemy decks using Alcsbane.

For a World with very little life gain, Quiescence of Cassiade allows you to reduce a whole lot of damage, which is really important.

Fortune Select!
Fortune Select is kind of a clutch maneuver that you can pull when you're almost dead to get more cards. You rarely want to use the second effect because it only allows you to choose what you draw next, and unless that card will win you the game, you probably have a better chance at getting useful stuff by drawing 2. There is a case to be made about using the second effect to set up a spell for Glory Seeker, which seemingly puts you in a win-win situation: either Glory Seeker pops and saves your life or you get to draw into a good spell next turn. But that telegraphs the play pretty hard, so expect your opponent to play around that with their attack order, spells, or an Impact (if they can).

Indiscriminate removal is so valuable for Dungeon World.

I haven't talked about Dungeon mixed in a while, but it's coming back into popularity now. Mainly because of strong synergies and good cross-support like Incubus grabbing Mission cards. Also Kazane who has Double Attack if you have a Dungeon Enemy. And Bladewing Phoenix SD who can destroy any monster on-play if you have an Adventurer. I really think Blade SD is a definite playset in every deck, that's just so powerful.

Dungeon mixed now has access to Trap Room which is huge. For 2 gauge, you can wreak havoc on your opponent's board. Each trait unlocks a new target to destroy: Adventurer kills an item, Dungeon Enemy kills a spell, and Demon Lord kills a monster. Since both Misereas (normal and Dark) count as Enemy and Lord, you can activate this effect fairly easily. Against setup decks that rely on Set spells like Magic World or Katana World, you can break their souls.

- updated to H-BT04, CP01, H-EB04, H-TD02, H-PP01 -

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.


  1. Hhuhuuhu I thought Dangerous Fuse was a good spell :( I'll still run it though because my deck runs out of gauge easily

  2. great article
    anyway i want to make request about katana world, can you write an article about katana world? especially skull warriors.

    im sorry for being OOT

  3. great article blaise and i can say u made a lot of points that cleared some confusion in my mind and allow me to build and combat these decks in a better way. Continue the great articles and now i have to print out these new and updated articles.

  4. thanks man, i really thought 4 dangerous fuse would be my staple for my adventurers deck... oh well... ill test it out. but how is oracle in comparison? should i even run oracle?

    1. Oracle is good if you're getting rushed and helps with consistency, though when you have a hot spring out you need to time things correctly.

  5. I think Fuse works fine in my adventurer deck, because I don't usually let the opponent pick between shields or PoFs. you can always reveal a monster or an item, telegraphing nothing really as you will either play those cards anyway or charge them. the fun factor from the quick guessing game is a favorite of mine. seeing the opponent try to pick the right card, not knowing whether I want guage or more cards, its just too much fun!

  6. Fortune Select's second ability works well with Glory Seeker's because you can force a spell card on top of your deck.

    1. Oh, right! That's a good point, although if you do that it'll be exceptionally telegraphed and your opponent will probably try to think of some way to play around that. Regardless, I'll add it in the analysis.