Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Oath of Merlin (Overview)

Welcome to the land of the skill and the home of the skilled.

Magic World When it comes down to it, Magic World is set at the junction between math and strategy. You first have to build a deck that maximizes the potential of the variety of cards that Magic World offers. Magic World features the most impressive array of spells of any world currently and possibly to come. This means a ratio of monsters, items, and spells unlike any other. But once you have the deck down, there's still the actual part of playing the deck. This is where Magic World truly begins to shine.

Magic World can do anything. We're talking about everything between drawing tons of cards and gaining lots of resources to bouncing monsters back to hand and dealing direct damage. Most importantly, Magic World uses their effects not to win a confrontation but to bypass one entirely, resulting in an opponent who stares emptily as their winning image gets transformed into your winning image.

Whether you're backed by 72 Pillars of demons or Wizards of all kinds, Magic World is just a blast to play.

I'm going to put it straightly: this is not going to be a basic Magic World article. I mean, there's just too many spells and effects to deal with. For the sake of actually getting to the important points, I'm going to skip over certain cards. For example, I'm not going to talk about Nice One! Please, if you are not running 4 of this +0.5 advantage gainer in every Magic World deck then you might want to stop reading this article and read my card advantage article. Actually, you might want to review Algebra before then. Or maybe Pre-Algebra.

Magical Goodbye
I will, however, briefly talk about Magical Goodbye. Stop bouncing your opponent's monsters. Bounce your own monsters and actually protect the cards from destruction. This card is better than any negate, and is what allows Magic World to win with the most abysmal stats and lack of proper shields.

Cards I won't cover include all Magic World weapons. Please, the math is simple and I've given ample and detailed examples all throughout my Math articles. Trans-flame has already been covered, and I shouldn't have to say why you should run always run Oops! (or at least side it or heavily consider it). Additionally, while having the options are good (I guess), math and common sense should show that Quick Summon, Holy Moly!, Bastin Caps, and Bye Bye Later! are not options you should be considering for the main deck, or even the side deck, really. The bottom line is that you just have to look at each card carefully and figure it out.

For example. Begone!! Yes or no? The answer is no. You don't have the gauge to waste stopping a Size 2 or lower monster from hitting the field if you can just let the call happen and Magical Goodbye during the Attack Phase. Begone!! serves as a situational counter to two scenarios: on-call effects and Soulguard. The former usually isn't something to worry about - most on-call effects won't be more than a +1, which means that you'd be -2 for your opponent's -2, which is a wash. Not the best way to use resources, especially in Magic World.

I will say, however, that Begone!! serves as an absolute Jackknife slayer. Whenever Jackknife tries to evolve, one cast of Begone!! will send both Jackknives to the drop. And they still have to pay the gauge. Sweet.

Also, totally irrelevant, but Begone!!'s official Japanese name is ゴー・トゥ・ヘル!!I just couldn't stop laughing.

The Ark
Let the floodgates open
For me, it's much more fun to talk about cards like The Ark. Let's look at the effect before we estimate gross advantage. By setting the card and paying 2 gauge (a total of -2 from hand), you can soulcharge 2 into the card and let it sit there until you die. When you do, you can reveal the soul and if there's a spell, revive at life (+1) and draw a card (+1). It's a wash when it does go off, but it saves your life from certain-death. The question is, how often does it go off?

Magic World decks can have a lot of spells. While every deck is different, I can say that you should have a minimum of 22 spells. The main reason I used this number is because it makes the worst-case probability for The Ark turn out really nice - 60%. At worst, you will have a 60% activation rate which, as usual, changes as you play, so keep track of the actual probability in your head. While set, The Ark can be bait for a lot of different destruction effects should your opponent run it. Additionally, since the effect is an [AUTO] timing and not a Counter, your opponent can actually use a spell negate on this card to kill you off for good. It's an interesting card to use, but practicality says that it's just too awkward for most Magic World decks.

Abra Cadabra!
Your 2 gauge is probably in better hands with Abra Cadabra! (I always thought Cadabra was spelled with a "K" because...well, you know, Pokemon). Spell negates are always amazing cards to have on hand since spells usually have very powerful and game-changing effects. Abra Cadabra uses gauge, however, which really eats into the flexibility of Magic World decks. It's a good idea to have it around to Counter some ultimate spell, but always having 2 gauge around is a lot harder in Magic World than one might think.

Which is why this is one of the few worlds where I strongly suggest using the hand-to-gauge converter, Key of Solomon, First Volume. There are a variety of reasons why I will condone this card only in Magic World (future article!), but the basic principle is Magic World is one of the few worlds where gauge is dynamic and resource flows in both directions Magic World has plenty of cards that convert gauge into hand, which means that this card will never funnel resources to a "dead" sink. There will always be some immediate application and need for gauge.

Key of Solomon, First Volume
"Local slang"? Who
writes these things?
Key of Solomon actually comes in two volumes. Second Volume has a weird effect where you can cast it to gain life (-0.5 total). But if there is a First Volume in the drop, you can also draw a card! (+0.5). Interesting. Gut instinct tells me not to run this card, but let me first explain what this card does. All that really matters with Second Volume is the draw 1. A card that does nothing else but draw 1 is something called a cantrip - it compresses the deck and makes it smaller, increasing the probability of getting something you want. This is really good for decks that have a very streamlined winning image, focusing on one single combo and nothing else. By reducing the amount of "fluff" cards, you can considerably improve the odds of getting the ideal hand.

Key of Solomon, Second Volume
Communicating with
Demons, part 2
This compression effect grows stronger as the game goes on, from a measly 0.01% difference in the beginning to close to 15% when your deck dwindles to oblivion. It's not something to depend on, but you're getting life while you're at it so it's not a bad tradeoff. If anything, in any Magic World deck that has at least 3 First Volumes, you can just stick 4 Second Volumes in and bump the total deck size to 54. The difference in consistency is small, and if you feel like you need the extra life then by all means.

Just take a chill pill
Magic World is renowned for not having many options against link attacks. This is so not true. If the opponent is link attacking the center, a simple Magical Goodbye on your own monster will not only stop the link attack, but it will also negate any Penetrate damage you might have taken. When your monster is gone, however, is when you need to utilize some urban slang: just tell your opponent to Chillax! This card is great for keeping alive and acts as a negate when being direct attacked. In addition, Chillax! works for any damage, including Gargantua Punisher!! In fact, Chillax! is one of the few ways to actually survive Gargantua Punisher!!, provided that you were at exactly 4 life before Punisher was cast.

When playing against Magic World, it's often very tempting to link attack the opponent directly. Don't. You'll do more consistent damage if you attack separately, even though it seems like they'll just Solomon Shield everything (they only have 4, remember). However, if there's any on-hit effect that you'd like to get through, feel free to link with the lowest crit card you have to force a Chillax! drop.

I-I-It's...It's a Thunder Devastation with a larger killing range. For the same cost. In a World where gauge is like air. What? Also, as if Set 3 didn't make enough things broken, we get ahold of a weapon that can attack with a center monster, equips for -1 life, and has 1000 more power than Burning Bow. With the rise of so many key monsters at 3000 defense or less, Magic Arm, Burning Fist is a huge asset to have.

No Pain No Gain
Kinpatsu Rongu
Ojou-sama chara
No Pain No Gain is a very bad card. Not only is it more expensive than Nice One! by 1 gauge, but No Pain No Gain also forces the player to discard a card after drawing. Which means that you actually -1 when playing this card. There's not much reason to unless, for some odd reason, you really need to discard a card. That kind of support, so far, is nonexistent in Magic World, so this card is relatively useless.

People like Overstand! a lot because they see it and immediately think "better Key of Solomon". Not true. Overstand! can only be cast when you deal damage to your opponent, and Overstand! is only better than Key of Solomon if you deal more than 3 damage in one instance - something that Magic World doesn't do very often. Key of Solomon, being able to gauge ramp whenever you need it and also consistently generating 2 gauge is much better overall. Consistency over possible cheesy bonuses.

Check It Out!
Yo wassup! Let's do this!
Check It Out! is a very interesting card to play. It costs 2 gauge and actually generates no advantage - all you're doing is returning monsters and calling one back. So why would a -2 be situationally good? Because if played correctly, you can both stop and deal multiple attacks with the card. Dealing an extra attack is pretty obvious (using it on your own turn), but how would you stop multiple attacks? The ideal situation to use Check It Out! would be when one of your own monsters is being targeted for attack - Check It Out! will bounce said monster and protect it from destruction (+1). Then, if you choose a good monster to call, you can successfully negate another potential attack from your opponent. On-play effects happen again so Demon Lord Asmodai can destroy one of your opponent's monsters and stop that corresponding attack. It's pretty great. You can use this to double up on other on-play effects like Buer, Mary Sue, and Axia, though the latter two are going to cost way too much gauge.

Magic School, Sephirot
School of Negates
BT05 introduces a new archetype for Magic World that utilizes creatures from both 72 Pillars and Wizards. Named Art, this new attribute is used solely by one Set spell - so it's not enough to warrant its own page yet. The Set spell is Magic School, Sephirot, and it functions as a consistent spell negater as long as its on the field. To set the card, you need to pay 1 gauge (-1.5). Then, every time your opponent casts a spell, you can lose 1 life and discard any Art card (-1.5) to negate that spell (+1 minimum, likely more). It's not a bad tradeoff and really limits your opponent's actions.

However, it's not as good as Abra Cadabra! Sephirot's problem is that in order to negate a spell you must first set the card (which can be destroyed) and then activate the effect, resulting in a combination far costlier than a single Abra Cadabra! to negate 1 spell. Even with 2 spells, Abra Cadabra! is cheaper. Sephirot must cancel 3 spells before it becomes cheaper to use than Abra Cadabra. The thing is, you don't really want to cancel 3 spells in a single game. Most matches can be won by canceling one crucial spell - it isn't something you aim to do every turn. And that's the second problem with Sephirot: you can only use it once per turn. So if your opponent stacks powerful spells back to back you can only at most negate one of them, and probably the first one. It's not flexible enough and there's a lot of counterplay that can be done. So while Sephirot is pretty great in transforming every Art card in your hand into cheaper Abra Cadabra, it's not that amazing in the whole scheme of things. Unless constant spell negating is the goal of your deck.

Never Say Never
Don't lose determination!
Better Bechstein is better. The second effect, Burst Out, is probably not going to be used but you never know what kind of cheese you can pull off in Magic World decks (I can think of several meaningful situations where you plus off it).

Never Say Never seems like a bad card at first, but then you realize the worst it can be is just normal timing +2 gauge and the best it can be is a huge life-saver. Also it's got Iris on the art. And a really bad Justin Bieber song as its name. Whatever. It's cute.

The best part about Gunrod Symphonion isn't the fact that it costs 1 life instead of 1 gauge. Nor is it the fact that it has 2 crit naturally, meaning that you can swing with it when you have an open center for more damage. Nor is it the fact that it can grab Great Spells from your drop zone with ease. But the fact that you can play it with all Magic World decks because they all use good Great Spell cards. In 72 Pillars, this grabs Saturday Night Devil Fever for those incredible OTK combos and in Wizards this is what guarantees extra turns with Grandfather Clock or a new lease at life with Auld Lang Syne. Actually, that's not true either. The best part by far is that this Gunrod can still rest to ping for 1.

- updated to H-BT03, CP01, H-EB02, H-TD02, PP01 -

All images 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.


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  2. Just to be clear. When you are Gargantua'd while your life is less than four, does it go minus or just stop at zero?

    1. It goes to 0, but technically the value is at -1. Bushiroad is awkwardly picky about this point. You can never go below 0 health on paper, but all calculations will be done as if your health dropped below 0. The same goes for power/defense - you can never have negative, but calculations are done as if you did have negative.

    2. (sorry if double post but i don't find the previous one)

      so you end up at one life point because reduce to 0 = nullify

    3. ...what? What's the context of this question lol

    4. With the chillax vs gargantua punisher, the first part of the chillax (reduction of the damages) does not apply, but the second part (+1 life) does?

    5. Yes. You can survive Gargantua Punishers if, after all the calculations are over (including the negatives), you are left with 1 life.

      In other words, you can survive Gargantua Punisher with 4 life but not 3.

  3. I'm afraid I don't understand the appeal of Oops. Yes, so-called "bounce" effects are handy to have, but is it really worth the two gauge, in a world that needs to make the absolute most of its gauge to succeed?

    1. The beauty of Oops! is the ability to bounce anything. You're not only allowed to bounce Size 3 monsters that Magical Goodbye cannot touch, but also items, set spells, etc. This gives a much greater freedom and ability to really destroy an opponent's strategy and guarantee a win. For instance, bouncing Glory Seeker before dealing game-winning damage so your opponent can't revive. Or bouncing Thunder Formation before the Final Phase so that your opponent won't be able to kill you that very turn.

      In addition, Magic World traditionally has issues with Size 3's, and Oops! gives great coverage in that regard. Also, with so much draw and search in Magic World, Oops! can be reliably teched in at 1 copy and still be accessible and useful.

  4. Great article! I felt so smart when I first magical goodbye'd my asmodai to avoid my friend's 4 crit link attack. Key of Solomon is alot like forbolka in ancient where both worlds have alot of conversion cards so I feel like it's a must I still need 4 to try second volume with it.

    Chillax can be tough to fit in but I agree it stops people trying to play around solomon which has won me quite a few games. I play 72 pillars as you might know from the face book group so I'm looking forward to more from you.

  5. Hi! Can you make an article about the wizards archetype? What are your thoughts about it?

    1. My thoughts are that I wish I have 48 hours in a day. Keep checking back, I'll get to them eventually.

  6. I think Sephirot is best used during your turn as an offensive card, namely getting rid of a nullify which would otherwise save your opponent's monster from an attack. being limited to 1 counter per battle, 1 counter will definitely be enough for the job. sephirot is also support with gamigin and zaggan, you can also discard sephirot itself from your hand to meet the cost, another combo with gamigin. :)

    1. also fills the dropzone to set up for saturday night

    2. Yeah, this is pretty much how you need to use Sephirot, so the minus doesn't matter much because you're closing out games quickly. Unfortunately, to efficiently do this, you need to run it in tandem with Great Barrier, which means...

      1) Devil Fever doesn't work because you won't have enough Size 1's.
      2) The amount of field investment it forces you to put out means you're not going to have a good time if you don't close things out quickly.

  7. I had to look up Power Ray Maximum because you didn't provide a name OR a picture. Either would be nice, yeah? Saves people work.

    And now I want to play 72 Pillars.