Sunday, December 14, 2014

Buddyfight Math - Vanilla Flavored

Who likes vanilla ice cream?

I know that the word "vanilla" itself has a lot of different meanings in different contexts and that some people don't like using the word in TCG for various reasons. Unfortunately, habit is hard to overcome and the term has firmly stuck around multiple TCGs and even other games in general. Especially for me. I'm particularly fond of the term because it sounds kinda fluffy. Don't judge.

Basically, we'll take the time to revisit my calculations for vanilla stats in Buddyfight because there's a better way to do them that also sheds some light on Bushiroad's philosophy regarding the game. Ready for another math journey?

Base Stat Totals

Armorknight Ogre
Check out my base stats!
Let's introduce a new concept into Buddyfight. I'm a borrower at heart, so I'll borrow this concept from Pokemon. In Pokemon, every Pokemon has certain base stat values that determine the maximum power a Pokemon's stat can be. There's a base stat value for HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Base Stat Total or BST is the total of all these separate base stat values. The total is usually helpful to determine what kind of Pokemon these stats are for. For example, a majority of Legendary Pokemon have a 600 BST delegated for all six stats.

Buddyfight actually has something awfully similar to this. Every Buddyfight monster has 3 stats: Power, Defense, and Critical. If there was some way we could weigh all three stats equally and then add them up to determine the result...

Oh, why don't we use the card advantage scale that I've calculated before? By this point, I've more or less patented it. I mean, we've already determined multiple times over that 1 damage = 0.5 advantage = 2000 permanent power/defense. Since crit is damage, we can assume that 1 crit = 2000 power/defense and calculate from there. I mean, there's no way my advantage scale is wrong, right?

Ha. Ahahaha.

Double Sword Dragon
Double Trouble
Anyways, by that logic, Thousand Rapier Dragon is 5000/2/1000. 5000 power + 1000 defense + 2 crit * 2000 = 10000. So we can expect Size 1 Dragon World monsters to have 10K BST. Let's try it with another monster...umm, Systemic Dagger Dragon. 3000 power + 3000 power + 2 crit * 2000 = 10000. Right on the dot. Perfect. One more...umm, Double Sword Dragon. 5000/1/4000 would mean 5000 power + 4000 defense + 1 crit * 2000 = 11000...

...umm...wait...let me check another monster. Blade Chakram Dragon? 6000/1/3000 = 6000 power + 3000 defense + 1 crit * 2000 = 11000...ummm, wow. That's not looking good.

So at this point, it's safe to say that I've messed up in some regard. What was my mistake? I assumed something. People, never assume. It just makes an ass with u and me. What I had assumed from the beginning was that crit = damage. You can look back at my earlier articles and see my mistake. I simply made a very circumstantial assumption to get my math working, similar to what I did with direct damage. The problem was that I knew direct damage was calculated differently and went back to fix it later. But I never realized I made the same assumption with crits.

When you think about it rationally, my logic at the beginning was flawed too. I can actually quote myself: 
When you place a card on the field, the transaction is a wash because you lose a card from hand and gain a card on the field. It now has the ability to exchange it's standing condition for an attack for damage. So every card you place on the field should, on average, be able to inflict 2 damage to your opponent. So it would be technically more correct to say that 1 Attack = 2 Damage. Of course, since cards (monsters) give you the ability to attack, it ends up being 1 card = 2 damage. Ish.
I said that myself in the very first article I wrote. These very fingers typed those words. And yet while I realized that direct damage was different, I never really thought that crit would be different. When it really is.

Dragon Knight, Nobunaga
All the crits!
Crit is a stat that sticks on a monster for as long as that monster is alive. Which means that while 1 attack = 2 damage, 1 card can possibly do more than 1 attack in a given game. If crit was directly balanced with damage, then that means that having a monster attack more than once would grant way too much advantage. Field control and field presence would be superiorly weighted, and the game would end up being a slaughterfest, kinda like the Systemic Dagger experiment I ran to prove that going first sucks.

Bushiroad is a smart company. They saw this coming and decided to weight crit a bit higher. Not high enough to make a huge difference, but enough to matter. In other words, not high enough to be noticed casually, but when the math is done, it's large enough to make a 1000 point difference in the calculations.

If 1 crit = 2000 is too low, and 1 crit = 4000 would equate 1 damage to 1 entire card, which is too much, then naturally we'd assume that 1 crit should be 3000 power/defense, or base stat points. Armed with this new information, let's try the calculations all over again.

Mobile Unit, Soldier Pawn
Your stats don't get more
suck than Generic
Thousand Rapier Dragon. 5000/2/1000. 5000 power + 1000 power + 2 crit * 3000 = 12000. So we're trying to aim for 12000 BST for Dragon World Size 1's. Systemic Dagger Dragon, 3000/2/3000. 3000 power + 3000 defense + 2 crit * 3000 = 12000. Okay. Double Sword Dragon, 5000/1/4000. 5000 power + 4000 defense + 1 crit * 3000 = 12000. Yes! Last check, Blade Chakram Dragon, 6000/1/3000. 6000 power + 3000 defense + 1 crit * 3000 = 12000. That's four for four. I say that's a passing grade (I've also done more than twenty others on my own time to check).

The craziest thing is that this works even with abilities. You can use BST calculations to prove that Penetrate is weighted 2000 BST per crit, Move is weighted 2000 BST, Soulguard is weighted 4000 BST (or should be). For example, Sniping Ninja, Yoichi's "snipe" ability is weighted at 1000 BST.

Here's a quick little list of the BST values for each world and each Size.
  • Dragon World: 8000 (Size 0), 12000 (Size 1), 18000 (Size 2), 22000 (Size 3)
  • Danger World: 8000 (Size 0), 14000 (Size 1), 19000 (Size 2), 23000 (Size 3)
  • Magic World: 11000 (Size 1), 16000 (Size 2), 20000 (Size 3)
  • Katana World: 8000 (Size 0), 11000 (Size 1), 16000 (Size 2), 21000 (Size 3)
  • Ancient World: 8000 (Size 0), 11000 (Size 1), 17000 (Size 2), TOO AWESOME (Size 3)
  • Dungeon World: 9000 (Size 0), 12000 (Size 1), 17000 (Size 2), 24000 (Size 3)
  • Legend World: 9000 (Size 0), 12000 (Size 1), 17000 (Size 2), 25000 (Size 3)
  • Darkness Dragon World: 8000 (Size 0), 12000 (Size 1), 17000 (Size 2), 22000 (Size 3)
  • Generic: 7000 (Size 0), 9000 (Size 1), 13000 (Size 2), 18000 (Size 3)
  • Hero World: 13000 (Size 1), 18000 (Size 2), 22000 (Size 3)
Of course, there's certain monsters that break the scale. Like Drum Bunker Dragon. And Nanomachine Ninja, Tsukikage. But the thing is, these monsters break the scale no matter how you decide to math them. They're just a little too good to exist in Buddyfight, but this was probably done on purpose because they're the "avatars" of the anime. If you expect any Blaster Blade deck or Dragonic Overlord deck to get some seriously heavy buffs, then expect this sort of thing to happen in Buddyfight as well.

I could spend the rest of this article just showing of Algebra skills, but I find that would be really boring. Basically, try calculating the BSTs of all the cards in your deck and find which ones stand out. It might put another perspective on what's good mathematically and help you fine tune a deck.
Huge shoutout to my editor Silent Tom for figuring this out and drafting a big portion of this article!

- updated to H-BT01, CP01, H-EB01, TD07, 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.


  1. Can you write a TLDR at the beggining of the article (with the values of the different key abilities) so if someone wants to make the math after that they could always easily refear to this article

  2. Good read as always although i'm not convinced Legend World size 3 are 25000 i seem to believe it's 26000 unless i'm doing the math wrong (and knowing myself i could well be) i also think Darkness Dragon size 3 is about 22000 based on Mavel, Curse and Malice. Although you're the smart one so please correct me if i'm wrong and i look forward to future updates.

    1. I'm actually thinking about taking the Size 3 numbers off completely because I don't believe in them. If you read my article on Size 3's, you'll see that I argue for them quality-wise and honestly the numbers don't mean jack. What matters is the Double Attack, Penetrate, guaranteed destruction and other game-changing effects.

  3. Is Life Link worth 3000? If so does that mean Health is worth more than gauge cause i thought they were both worth 2000 each or is that just how Life Link works? Sorry to keep bothering you with these things but i just like knowing this stuff.

    1. Oh hey, you're right! That's convenient and fits with Lifelink logic. Wow, my respect for Bushiroad just went up a bit. Lifelink is 3000, gauge is 2000.

  4. Lol, you're just now figuring this out, BlaZ? We've been using 3000 base stats to calculate crits in the Wiki chat for months. I thought you knew!!! -Kota

    1. Err, I was given the data for this article in July. I just never got around to writing it.

  5. Well....I did some calculations of my own. You're correct about some things, but not all. Sometimes, it seems like you aren't....Using...The...Vanilla Stats Buddyfight math....Btw, Katana World has a new Size 0 Skull Warrior, 1000 power and Defense and 2 crits. So its 8000. Btw, Dragon World has a new Dragon Knight, Ranmaru. Also 1000/2/1000. So we can also assume its 8000. And I guess for certain worlds abilities can be more costly. In Dragon World, we know Drum has 5000/3/5000 And Extreme Sword has 5000/3/4000, but Drum has, well, Soulguard, for one gauge. Next, comparing Gust Charging Dragon, and Blade Axe Gewitter Dragon. Blade Axe has a call cost of one gauge, giving it +2000 more defense. So since Drum has an extra defense of 1000, the Top Soul Charge only uses up 1000. It's fair. But then it makes Zweihander Dragon even more stupid, cause it takes away 5000 for the Counterattack ability. Now to prove Soulguard is more costly in some worlds, you can look at Demon Lord, Joker Grunwald instead. 5000/2/5000. One less critical, but you know that Dungeon World Size 2s have 1000 less. So where did that 2000 other go? My guess is that its Soulguard's cost instead. And btw, I don't think that just because a buddy monster is in the anime means its more powerful, look at Blade Wing Phoenix. It's short of an extra 2000 somewhere. Assuming that Double Attack uses 6000. Comparing to Inazuma (Which is already stronger if 1000 Defense goes to his power instead. I already taken note of how Katana World Size 2s lose 2000 when compared with Dragon World too. So there you have it.

    1. Oh yeah, another comparison between Pile Bunker Dragon, and Awl Pike Dragon.

      Using the one gauge theory again that gives a card 2000 more in stats, and comparing Awk Pike Dragon to Grave Horn Dragon, we know that Awl Pike Dragon lacks 1000 Defense, and has a gauge cost of 1, which is 2000. 3000 Lost, for the Penetrate effect. But it's different for Tuck Sword Dragon, cause he only loses 2000 Defense for Penetrate. But he only has 1 critical. So we can say that 1 critical Penetrate takes 2000. 2 critical Penetrate takes 3000. On Size 1s.

      But on Size 2s....

      Look at Pile Bunker Dragon and Jamadhar Dragon. 4000/2/4000 8000/2/4000

      So we know Pile Bunker loses 4000 Power to gain Penetrate with 2 criticals. But then last we checked, Awk Pike only uses 3000.... SO, apparently Size makes a difference as well.

    2. I mention in the article that some monsters break the scale either positively or negatively. It's really up to Bushiroad to decide what to change or break, knowing that some changes will be very impactful and some won't. However, we need to find the average case scenarios to set the standard instead of finding the exceptions that break them - that was my goal for this article.

      Penetrate is usually costed 2000 per critical, Awl Pike got the better end of the deal by 1000.

      I'll update the Size 0 numbers for Dragon and Katana.