Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mask Change

Busy Saturday is ahead of me, gonna wake up early in the morning, go pick up my Shonen Jumps at KLCC, go to GA for some tourney and head back for a house warming party at night. And later, gonna prepare for the  big tourney the next day.

Yeah, spending Christmas eve with cards, and Christmas with more cards.

 Like I've said in the M HERO post, I see a lot of people "misplay" when playing Mask Change. So, I'll be discussing my experience with the card from the past year. I have been doing quite well with Mask Change and some people question me about this (including my team mate Nick on multiple occasions, well, his statement was "the card isn't good yet, why are you playing it?").

I'm trying to make this post like how Christ Bowling made his Maxx C video, in case you guys haven't watch that. Type it out on youtube, its a good 12 minutes or so video. It helped me a lot, since my Maxx C plays are definitely more effective now as to when I first got the card.

I know I don't have as much of an experience on the top tables as some of the players out there, but just hear me out and see if this helps.

1. Activation

Many people tend to play Mask Change during the main phase, which I don't understand why. The fact that it being a quickplay pretty much means its a card that you should only play in the battle phase. The fact that its a quickplay also means that if possible, you should always play it in a middle of a chain.

The most common of is to activate it in a chain, lets say, Icarus Attack, to gain pluses of it.

An E HERO deck is a deck that survives on pluses and making more pluses by wasting your opponent's resources. Mask Change is no different.

For Example,

Your Opponent has 2 Face Downs, a Librarian, a Formula and a Dopple token out.

I see quite a few would summon Ocean, play Mask Change into Acid(proxy) to take out your opponent's backrow and attack. There is nothing wrong with that, but your opponent will just sync for Scrap during end of main phase 1 or worst, Black Rose if you have backrows yourself.

What I would do, is to summon Ocean, declare battle phase. Your opponent may or may not perform synchro summon, as he might assume your just trying to get some damage. Why I take Ocean as an example is important, because Ocean doesn't have the attack to get rid of Formula Synchron, if you were to have a HERO that would take it out in battle, your opponent WILL synchro into something bigger.

IF your opponent allows you to go into battle phase, and assuming your opponent doesn't have Warning (which would basically make everything I just said pointless), attack the token for damage, if your opponent has plays Prison or Mirror Force, THATs when you play you Mask Change.

Both Acid and Vapor(if you really need to) can take out Librarian, and he can't synchro in the middle of battle phase.

What did you accomplished?

You've played an Ocean and Mask Change, so 2 cards. Your opponent lost Prison, Librarian, the token and another facedown assuming you've made Acid.

This might not be news for some of you guys, but I've seen people do the wrong things way too many times.

Another play which can be done now, is to treat Mask Change like Delta Crow on crack. With Acid of cause.

Summoning Ocean and set a couple of facedowns on the first turn is WAY to obvious. Don't do that.

But summoning Ocean and set a couple of facedowns when you have Airman or Allius in the grave is good, because the things that are running in your opponent's brain would be you trying to get your HERO back.

This may or may not matter depending on the duel, but I say most of the time, this play alone will win you the game if your playing a deck that is similarly backrow dependent. Set as many as you can (on your own risk),  now, your opponent will be more willing to set his whole hand, because you won't play Heavy Storm normally under these circumstance. Thats when you would generate the most pluses off Acid.

Basically, I'm saying mind games are important when your playing Mask Change. Never play it when its obvious because it'll end up being a minus 1. The more unlikely your gonna play the card (on your opponent's point of view), the more pluses you can generate.

Aside from the normal, beat, beat, beat, Mask Change, beat, Game. Which if you DON'T play Mask Change, your an idiot.

And if you have a HERO out and Mask Change set, when your opponent plays MST, DON'T chain the mask change unless absolutely necessary or you can reuse that M HERO (like Miracle Fusion). The simple fact being your most likely only going to run a copy of each Mask HERO, if your playing all of them in a FUSION HERO build, if your not, you don't have to worry about this.

Now, off to M HERO Daian. This perhaps is the toughest M HERO to play with in my books. Mainly because if your playing it using Forest or Wild Heart, theres no way this won't look like your trying to play Mask Change. Playing Daian means your attacking your opponent face on, there is no tricks to it. UNLESS you would fake a misplay!

If you played with me, you know I pretty much always fake misplays. Don't do it in a way where your opponent knows your faking it, this is something I can't describe, its in the blood I think.

How do you fake a misplay with, lets say Forest. Using the same 3 monsters your opponent had in my example just now. The easiest and perhaps the most effective would be this :

Act like your a noob (compulsory, if your opponent knows your good, then thats too bad), summon Forest and ASK him whether Librarian would allow him to draw if you synchro summon, naturally your opponent will be thinking Mind Control and he can easily chain Formula to it. His gonna let you pass.

Next, you act as if you realize that you need to kill that Formula Synchron and get into the battle phase, and you ask checking with your opponent, can he synchro summon if your attacking his Formula. Now, your opponent will think your just trying to attack the Formula (he will most probably think you don't know Formula has 1500 defense and your a noob) and when you got into battle phase, drop your act and show him how good you really are(not compulsory).

Attack the token, get Daian out and kill his Librarian and then Allius(from your deck) take out the Formula. Then politely thank him.

This of cause is not necessary because IF your opponent just syncs into Stardust, then there is no problem, problem was with Colossal and Scrap. Again, the faking was to gain maximum advantage and prevent a failed attack.

Thats about all I can say about when to activate Mask Change, aside from the obvious. Well, I bet most of the things I said were pretty obvious too.

2. Playing Mask Change by NOT playing it

The title doesn't make sense right, well, I'm not sure how do I make this clear with my inability to express myself.

If your gonna play Mask Change in 3s, then chances are your gonna draw into more than 1 copy. But, thats not necessary a bad thing, in fact, it can be pretty beneficial.

1st, we're gonna assume your opponent thinks Mask Change is some sort of tech and your playing 1 or 2 copies. If you draw 2 early and an Ocean. SET both of them, with protection from Heavy Storm of cause.

Now, there are 2 ways you can play around with 2 set up. The 1st would be wasting your opponent's Solemn Warning if he had them set. But its the second way to play this I wanna talk about.

Imagine your opponent has like 3 facedowns and an Ocean. You KNOW he has Mask Change set. So, your gonna summon something bigger and try to run over it, wasting the Mask Change and saving your set cards in the process. This is why Vapor is important in the deck. When your opponent attacks, your gonna bring him out. Your opponent mostly can't take him out in main phase 2 since he is blanket from destruction effects. Your opponent is gonna set his hand. Now, the 2nd Mask Change is gonna make him cry. If your opponent just sets 1 or maybe 2 Facedowns, don't play the Mask Change, since its more likely MST.

Thats how I think you should play if you have more than 1 Mask Change in hand. How does this differs from having 2 Gemini Sparks? Well, sending the HERO isn't a cost and only happens during resolution.

Treat 1 of the Mask Changes as bait and hitting him hard with the second one.

Also, theres a trick I like to play between matches. If you played Mask Change to its full potential during Game 1. When your siding, you CAN take them all out and put in the side deck cards, effectively, that gave you 3 extra slots. This is where playing Mask Change by not playing it starts.

Now, your opponent will not set his whole hand even with Judgment or Road if you have Ocean and a facedown. Your opponent is less likely to response to your attacks that may end up in a minus if you have Mask Change. This is just how the human brain works. When you are hit by something so hard, your gonna take more precaution steps against it. He may think that his doing the right thing by not letting you gain pluses for free, but in actuality, his just slowing himself down.

I'm not saying this without references. I've done this a lot. I side out Polymerization and Mask Change almost every game. And that gave me at least 10 cards in my deck that I could side out. It doesn't just gives you a lot of freedom with the side decking, it also makes your opponent side in precautions for something thats no longer there. I would normally side in some Kycoos and Breakers along with BLS to make it Chaos Beat and gain access to Escuridao without Super Poly.

I'm not sure if this is effective, but I'm been successful so far with this game plan.

3. The don'ts!

This is basically a summary to what I've said.

Don't make obvious plays, play Mask Change only when you know your gonna gain massive pluses. Like how Gemini Spark should be played.

NEVER E CALL for a target thats not Heat or anything big. Its too obvious. Like, E Call for Forest ... I know, you have Mask Change now ...

Never play it just to gain extra damage, unless its gonna kill. This is where most people fails. They just drop Mask Change to deal an extra 2400 damage. In an E HERO deck, you can easily take out all 8000 life with minimal setting up, why bother for a 2K plus?

Never fuse into Gaia, unless you absolutely need to, if you don't have Mask Change. Because Gaia baits out stuff like crazy, same goes to Nova, but you need to randomly summon Nova for plus 1's. Your opponent is less likely to play stuff against Shining and ZERO, hence Gaia is the perfect bait. And he makes ANYTHING a kill target for Daian.

Don't randomly summon a M HERO without thinking. If you have 2 HEROs on the field that are Mask Change targets. You opponent plays Storm. Don't panic and chill the fuck down. Don't just play Mask Change and grab your extra deck. That would be a big mistake.

2 things you need to keep in mind. 1, will you get killed if you don't play the card, and if you do play it, does it matter? Depending on your opponent's hand size, and how the duel has been played, the answer can go both ways. 2, if you need to summon for what ever reason suitable, who you gonna summon. If you think just get rid of the HERO with the least attack, your wrong. The biggest difference in attack 2 HEROs can have would be 1000, thats HEAT and Forest. If that 1000 difference is more likely than not, NOT gonna kill you. You don't necessary need to bring out Daian. And if you 1 of your HERO is ZERO, then thats not even a question at all. Don't use it on ZERO, please. You need to question yourself,  which M HERO you are LESS likely to need later on in the game, or maybe if you have Miracle Fusion, who you wanna make.

While it may not make sense to you, as I suck at explanations. Thats what going on in my brain when something like this happens.


That concludes what I wanted to say. I'm sorry if the post is messy, I'm not entirely too sure how should I place the points.

But, playing with E HEROs basically means you need to know how to react to different circumstances. So, the things I wrote may not be helpful in your game. You need to think about things like what you may draw into the net turn. If your gonna lose the game if you play safe, why no set up for something that can help you win, but you don't have the missing piece yet. Then again, with the amount of tutors the deck have, its not as unlikely as you may think.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your time. Feel free to comment as those are just my personal thoughts on how the card should be played. I welcome constructive criticisms, both on your thoughts on Mask Change and how I presented myself.


Anonymous said...

Good post. +1 for you :D

mike said...

LOL wall of text, congrats!!!

bannified said...

Good read for people who's interested in running Masked Heroes.

Buu said...

Excellent post, I think that mind games and advanced strategy make a huge difference between players, and make the make more fun at all.
Here in my city I see these problems a lot, people just don't the right time to play or set some cards.

Again, nice post.

blackwingEX said...

you can rehash the post if you really want to...

you've made the point that counter-intuitive use of Mask Change can reap benefits

now I just hope we get a decent EARTH Hero that wouldn't make such an obvious Daian play

Anonymous said...

Great post amd explanation of mask plays. Really want to play that deck now. Anyone that plays at an advanced level should understand the message you are trying to get across. Now i just have to wait for acid to come to TCG.

-moz said...

Great post! You covered many misplays I see with HEROes, without giving a decklist to cookiecutters. Good job.

MaZura De Ville said...

wew..this dude is sure likely Yuki Judai in real world. Good job with your post. Now everybody will think that HERO deck is a big threat same as those GB or BW

GQ said...