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Subject: Strategy Articles   PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:54 pm Reply with quote

Here we will be posting a series of articles written by Tom Rogers. Even though they are posted as user "admin" they should be credited to Tom Rogers:

Fact or Fiction: Progressions

Hi, everyone! This is a short blurb series I will be doing on some common player myths that concern Kaijudo.

Kaijudo is based off Duel Masters, which many players compare to other games a little too easily. As I will point out in this series, some concepts that are very valuable in other games may not hold as much water as you think in The Veil.

This is based on my experience as the #1 DCI-ranked Duel Masters player and knowledge from Gates of Fate having access to one of the first local Kaijudo metas.

Topic 1: Progressions

What is a "Progression?"

A while back I wrote a hefty tome on Duel Masters called "The Answer." In it I mentioned several powerful sequences of cards, that could be applied over a series of turns. I called these plays "Natural Strings."

The way a few players on the forums have been using the term "Progression" is the same thing. I'm not sure if we really need a standardized term for this, there isn't one and it's pretty common in all TCG's. I merely coined a phrase to make writing that article less confusing.

For example, Turn 4 Bronze-Arm Tribe --> Zaagan, the Dark Knight on the following turn. There are typically more cards involved but we're dealing with 2 starter decks so far in Kaijudo. A really easy one for Duel Masters is Turn 3 Bronze, Turn 5 Rumbling Terahorn, Turn 6 Magmadragon Jagelzor. Bronze facilitates the Terahorn faster, the Terahorn can search for Jagelzor. There's a level of synergy here.

Do We Need It?

Kind of. It's almost always "kind of" when asking questions like these. When there is a level of synergy in which the cards help each other come into play, it's very useful to know. It helps your playing and deck construction.

When it's just a "dream lineup" of cards that seem to be good, it can be interrupted. This can leave you with no recovery plan if you've constructed the deck to hit these dream lineups, or optimal progression.

So we want to have good combinations of cards in our decks that work together, but basing our deck around what we play on our turns can only take us so far. There's a whole other player in the game!

As an aside, I like "Natural Strings" because it's a lot more explanatory due to this information. The string can be broken and you need to start a new one!

How Important?

It's actually not super important. Some online players really get hung up on this, because the majority of playtesting is against other people doing stuff like this.

You only need to know 1-2 STRING PROGRESSIONS (see what I did there?) for your deck. They often won't connect unless your opponent is just handing you the game. MOST of the time, our opponent will do something that causes us to change our plans. Some sort of erm... opposition.

Final Stance

Keeping your back-up plans and safe hatches (see my next few articles) open is where you need to emphasize your deck-building skill.

String Progressions are definitely useful, but remember they are strings and can be broken! It's just not practical for a 2-player game to focus more than a little portion of your deck on this.
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Subject: Intermediate Tips #1: Deckbuilding & Card Costs   PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:17 pm Reply with quote

Hey guys, Tom Rogers here from the Kaijudo / Duel Masters section. Here is my latest article:

TITLE: Intermediate Tips #1: Deckbuilding & Card Costs

What's up everybody! Today we are going to deal with a very special question I have personally lost many matches due to misunderstanding in Duel Masters, the prior version of Kaijudo. As most of you know I earned the #1 global ranking for sanctioned tournaments, and this was one of the challenges I had to face to get there.

The Cost of Control

There are 3 main types of decks: rush, aggro, and control. Gates of Fate moderator Kyle has written a guide to these here.

In Duel Masters, I was primarily a control player. I helped create the popular Darkness + Water + Fire control deck that we are starting to see carried over to Kaijudo now. However, there are some major differences in the cards available for that game and this one. They are playing up an issue I had once other duelists also began playing control.

Stability or Consistency?

It may sound like I am splitting hairs, but there is an important difference. Throughout my "career" as the #1 duelist, I have been known to play a large amount of cards that cost more than 5 mana. However, many of them are creatures and serve to help me win the game directly as threats to my opponent's shields.

In Kaijudo many of what I call "utility" creatures, or creatures with abilities that help solve problems, cost more than 5 mana. So it's important we know this while building our decks.

The issue here is that using more of these utility creatures will grant you a big advantage in the mirror match, a round where you play an opponent using the same deck type as you. Most of these creatures give you options while taking away the opponent's, and having more can easily slant the mirror match in your favor.

However, these cards cost a lot. If you are playing a faster opponent, you will have a hard time getting to the point where these creatures are valuable. It's not worth much to summon Tatsurion the Unchained when you only have 1 shield left, and your opponent has a whopping 4 creatures in the Battle Zone. Playing too many high-cost cards puts you in a place where you are weaker early, and decks focused on that can take advantage of that to win the match!

The New Twist

Different from Duel Masters, almost all of the best utility creatures we have seen in Kaijudo cost 5 or more. In the past, we had a fair amount that cost less. These creatures were used to stabilize early in the game, by fighting the opponent's creatures and carrying us over to the point where the utility creatures are strongest. It was one of the big balances in that game to have enough creatures to consistently win the mirror match, but be able to stabilize against more aggressive strategies.

We have much less of these creatures in the cost range we want them in. I am writing this before Evo Fury, which does have some great preview cards such as Cyber Trader that can potentially help. However, the ones we see now are usually based on attack.

But Tom! You said we need the early guys to fight creatures, and Aqua Seneshal / Razorhide do just that while giving us more cards!

Settle down, Steve McGee. Aqua Seneshal very good right now, but wouldn't he be better if he drew you a card when summoned?

Here it is, guys. This card is NOT found in Kaijudo yet, but was the primary "fighter" in the Duel Masters control deck. The difference is Seneshal can be destroyed before he attacks and gets you the card. Also, if your opponent waits to attack Seneshal would have to hit a shield for his effect. That gives them more ways to take you on once they have gotten rid of your creature.

Aqua Hulcus is what we call a floater, a card that replaces itself in card advantage when it enters play. Aqua Seneshal is an indirect floater because he can replace himself through attacking, but only if he gets a +1 off the attack.

(For an explanation on Card Advantage, check Andy Criss' article here.)


We have virtually no immediate floaters in Kaijudo that can also destroy a good amount of creatures in battle. Hydro Spy is similar to Hulcus but only has 1000 power. Bronze-Arm Tribe costs 4, and by the time he is summoned it's harder to fight enemy creatures without having something else.

The Decision

So right now we are being forced to choose only a certain number of utility creatures because they cost so much, and that is making the control deck weaker. The "cost of control" has increased, meaning we need better low-cost cards to get us to a place to use them better.

However, there are less ways to do that in this first set, Rise of the Duel Masters. What's important is we don't overload the deck in attempt to establish complete control, and undermine ourselves by losing matches to the very types of decks we aim to control! You can win the mirror match all day, but you still need to be able to beat other decks. That was the point of the Dark + Water + Fire deck to begin with: to be able to handle every threat in the game the opponent can throw at you.

So remember to pick cards that cost above 5 very carefully, and try your best to make sure they either remove creatures from play or provide some muscle. It would be wise to make sure your deck can regain it's position while losing, as well as ensure victory winning with these utility creatures.

Until next time!

Tom Rogers was the #1 world ranked player in Duel Masters, the game which Kaijudo is based off. He co-admins the website Gates of Fate, which has the most competitive Kaijudo content on the internet.
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