Friday, July 6, 2012

[How to HERO] #2 - Mind Games

*I'm terribly bored at school right now, there is no Internet connection and class is in an hour (I'm typing this on Words), course mates all having their FYP meetings and I've met with my adviser earlier. *

I've decided to post something interesting for now and continue my HERO mind game strategies. I'll treat my Mask Change(from last year) post as the first post of the series, not gonna rename that for now. Also, note that I'll be using my deck as a standard and any other build I would treat as a variant to my deck. Some of these points I'll be covering might not work for every single build, do keep that in mind. For my decklist, please refer to last month (June 2012) archive, I've made some changes, but it doesn't change how the deck works so that list would be good as a reference.

I've emphasized quite a number of times, Gemini Spark is a card that would win you games, I'm gonna do that again. Now, I'm not gonna talk about how to maximize advantage with this card, well, in a way yes. Lets say you open with a hand of

Emergency Call, Emergency Call, monster (not Alius or Bubbleman), Trap, Trap, MST

Lets assume those traps are cards like Dark Bribe or Compulsory Evacuation Device, or any other card that won't instantly generate you good advantage. Now, assume that your opponent have say 2 cards set and a Centipede. Now, if your playing against Inzektors, your opponent would want to keep their on board insect as long as possible, right? What do you do now? Normally, you would E-call for Airman, grab an Alius or Bubbleman; attacks the Inzektor and hopes that gets through. You only have a single copy of removal (sorta) in your hand, if you can't get rid of the Inzektor, you would lose the game next turn, no doubt. To your opponent, keeping that Centipede might not be necessary since he had most probably already searched for Damsel the previous turn, BUT, if he keeps it, he would more likely than not win the game. Its the second turn of the game, so if Centipede played its effect last turn, the Inzektor he most likely used was Gruf, so it would be better for you to prepare for the worst and assume he has Hornet in hand, meaning if he has a Raigeki Break, he would use it.

Now, do you search for Airman? Sure, if your opponent doesn't have anything, it doesn't matter, but expecting the worst would be the way to go. If I were you, I would search for Alius instead. Why Alius? Because of Gemini Spark.

Playing mind games with a guy who doesn't know what are your possible plays doesn't mean anything, and it would put you in a bad position since your "traps" would more likely than not, never sprung. Also, if your playing HEROs, I doubt you would have any problems dealing with an opponent who don't know your tricks. So, we assume your opponent a veteran player.

Summoning that Alius onto the field instantly puts pressure on your opponent. Of cause, if your opponent has a Solemn Warning set, it won't matter which choice you've made. If your opponet don't have Warning, you're most likely safe (unless your opponent has some card to destroy Alius and a Forbidden Lance to protect Centipede set, then, your screwed anyway). The commonly played traps in Inzektors, Raigeki Break, Lair Wire and Torrential Tribute instantly became useless, Gemini Spark makes them minuses. If your opponent decides to play Torrential despite losing advantage, you don't just pick up your Alius. You put on a thinking face. Pretend that you have Spark, make your opponent think your easy to read, and you could try asking random things like "that wouldn't be a Lance, would it?"

Why is this move good? Its basic and downright written all over the text book, yes. But implementation wise, I've never seen anyone do it. Whenever I E-Call into Alius instead of Airman, people start asking questions and outright criticize the move, branding it as "misplay". I'm sorry, but this "misplay" won me games, more often than not. But, you should not play this move unless you have outs. You shouldn't grab Alius if you have no way to get Airman or you have no other monsters. This is a move to make your opponent play their resources wrongly, not a move to win you games. If you have no way to capitalize on the advantage, it means nothing. This is very important. Also, its is important to note that grabbing Alius from deck makes a much much deeper impression that you have Spark than to just summon an Alius. So, if you have the resource, grab an Alius despite already having 1 in hand.

Another move would be a very risky, but much rewarding one. Summon that monster, and attack, most likely, your monster is gonna get itself killed. Set everything, yes everything, and pray to god you opponent either don't have Storm or don't want to risk a potential Starlight Road. When he equips Hornet to Centipede, play MST on it, don't let it destroy anything. When your opponent summons for his turn, Compulse that away, now while your opponent is gonna have so much advantage, he can't kill you yet. So, go all out next turn and hope you take the game. And yes, I do not recommend this at all.

HERO Blast is another card that your opponent would be taking caution on. But, unlike Spark, it doesn't really generate as much advantage, and its not as versatile ( so your opponent might not have it on mind all the time ); nevertheless, there are ways to exploit this. One of the most obvious ways to make your opponent think you have Blast would be how you play Miracle Fusion. Leaving Alius in your grave and making Shining with Rai-Oh and Airman would results in a much smaller HERO. To your opponent, this is a misplay, cause not only you Shining didn't get pass 3000, you gave him an important tip that you have HERO Blast set, so he would just have to get around it before summoning a monster with 1900 atk or less.

But, you don't have HERO Blast. You don't need to have it, you just need to let your opponent think you have it. Much like summoning a Light monster, goes into battle phase, and pretend to hesitate for a bit and pass your turn, telegraphing to your opponent, an Honest, only its not there. There is only 1 thing a 2900 Shining can't take down this format, Grapha with Gates. If your playing against Dark World, HERO Blast don't mean shit to begin with and most likely he would have Skill Drain out. So, the extra 300 attack won't mean anything for most match ups. Also, having more monsters in hand mean harder Bubbleman plays, this is something you should always keep in mind. You need to think of an out if you Shining gets run over, and Bubbleman is a very good out to that.

Back to HERO Blast. How is it good? It can be chained to Forbidden Lance (outside damage step of cause). If your opponent have Lance, would playing Torrential when you summon Rai-Oh and then chaining Lance be a good idea. Answer is, if my opponent have Blast, that would be the last thing I do, since not only I lose all my cards, my opponent would lose virtually nothing but their normal summon this turn. Damsel got Warning'ed, he most probably won't play that Reborn or Call of the Haunted right away and would be waiting for an out first, an extra turn might just help you draw into something you can use to counter that. Hope this makes sense.

Faking a misplay would be the best way to lead your opponent with false information, the more experience and cautious your opponent is, the better the effect. The last card I have on my mind right now (that fits the "misplay" theme) would be Pot of Duality.

Duality is a card that gives your opponent a lot of info on your deck. Depending on the cards reviewed, the selection theory would differ, that is of cause, a given. But there are some combination of cards that you can fake a misplay with.

Say, if your holding a pair of E-calls and Duality showed you Spark. Normally you pick that, no doubt, but what if 1 of the cards you saw was Storm or Reborn. If I was playing, I would not pick the Spark by default, instead, I would be thinking of the Airman Reborn OTK. By not picking Spark, despite it being the obvious choice, leads your opponent into the Spark mindgame easily, maybe not if you pick Reborn, but the only good reason not to pick up a Spark would be you having a Spark in hand, or at least thats how most people comprehend stuffs. Like what I've repeated throughout the post, don't do any of these when you have no outs, unless absolutely necessary. How well a certain move works depends on how real you make its looks and also how well you understand your opponent. Making something he can't comprehend WILL lead you to some really really unwanted effects.

Like always, most of these are based on my playstyle and makes no sense at all for some. And I might not get much of what I intended to say across, but bear with me okay. Feel free to ask me questions and stuff.


Anonymous said...

good insight. in your opinion, what would you change up in the deck for tcg format? i only ask because im having trouble with chaos dragons.

zzxiaoboizz aka pohseng said...

How about in game 2 and game 3 where some hero beat players just spark at the facedown they see from decks like ragia and machina gadget. Any tips on it for how both side should go about playing it out?

GQ said...

@anon1: Normally I would side out Skill Drain, Solemn Brigade, HERO Blast and Bribe. Side in 2 of each Prison, BTH, Super Poly and a Gorz. Chaos Dragons are a very troublesome matchup for HEROs, I agree on that one, especially when the deck is packs so much Inzektor hate in the main.

@zzxiaoboizz aka pohseng:

either play MST on the spark when you have no other cards on field. since it would be a one-for-one, and your opponent has now 1 less very annoying card in deck. Personally, I don't think Blind Spark is a very smart thing to do, same as blind MST.

if i would be siding against HERO beat, I would definitely side in at least 2, if not 3, Forbidden Lances. A trick with Lance, would be not setting it at all. The only time you would want your Lance set, is when you have a very good field and is pressing down on his. Else, I would simply keep Lance in hand to avoid risking random MSTs and stuffs.

Also, saving Lance for when it really matters, since if your opponent Dark Hole your board, lets say Laggia (without materials), if you play Lance, they would just walk over it, it won't matter. I would rather save it to protect my Rescue Rabbit next turn. Not the best of examples but hope I get this across.

I see Laggia and Gadgets as more or less the same deck, control and aggro styled. Definitely side in Prisons against HEROs, it hurts a lot. For Gemini Spark, you just either have to play around it, or make sure you have Lance before you push.

Laggia : outs : Guaibas; ins : Prison, Lance (if you didn't max them out already); Snowman (if your not maining them)

Gadgets : outs : Offering (ultimate and to the doom); In : Prison, Lance

Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

anon1: chaos dragons are so damn annoying its the only deck that is truly giving me a hard time right now. was even considering putting heroes aside the rest of the format which i really dont want to do. thanks for the tips though will try them out.