Keyword Spotlight – Bond, Bodyguard, Alarm

Welcome to the 9th CX’s spotlight on keywords! This miniseries is geared toward newer players to go in-depth on the many keyword abilities in Weiss Schwarz.

For today’s article, we’ll be going into some smaller keywords that have more simple effects. Posting an article for each would be a bit inconvenient to sift through.

(つまり、ちょっともったいないだ。)

Bond

Bond is a keyword that allows the controller to pay a cost to put a card with a specific name from the waiting room into the hand.

Usually, this cost is 1 stock. Other costs can be a clock cost (top card of the deck into clock), rest and stock, and so on.

Why Use It?

At first blush, Bond is a very narrow mechanic. Why? Because Bond only applies to cards with certain names. But, because of the way Weiss Schwarz works, there is a degree of freedom that one is allowed when paying the cost and using the effect of Bond

Did you know?

You are allowed to pay the cost of the ability even if there is no card with the name the card is asking for in the waiting room. This can be used to an advantage. Let’s say that you are using a card that bonds with “Card Y”, and “Card Y” so happens to be the top card of your stock. By using the effect of the card that bonds with “Card Y” and paying the stock that happens to be “Card Y” itself, you can put “Card Y” into your hand! Note the difference between this and other card games, where a target is required to begin an ability. In the case of WS, you can simply pay for an ability and not get the written effect, for better or for worse!

But really then, why use it?

Bond allows you to convert stock into more board presence. If a bond is retrieving a character that has no cost, say a level 1, the bond will be at stock parity. That is, after that character has attacked, it will have paid for itself. It also allows you to potentially get a free attack in with a character if the character with Bond is not particularly combat-worthy (for example, if it has 1000 power and no other effects). Sometimes, a card with Bond will not be worth using for damage because it will have an additional beneficial ability, such as boosting power. If you use the ability and are able to have the bond target win an attack, the bond has also achieved parity. Bottom line? Card advantage!

How many cards with Bond should go into a deck?

Not too many! Flooding a deck with characters that have this ability can serve as a detriment to the deck, especially if the characters that are being retrieved are very costly. This is especially the case if the card the bond is returning is not meant for attacking (e.g. a bond with an Assist ability, or a character with Change, etc). On the other hand, if the deck does not mind spending its stock and using the characters right away for damage, even having up to four copies of a character with Bond can be okay. It should be noted though, that it is hardly ever worthwhile to warp one’s entire deck around the idea of maximizing what one can retrieve from the waiting room. Usually, sets have powerful interactions that go beyond “play character, pay for Bond, attack with both, go.” In the event that you do find a set you want to play in desperate need of power or lacking synergy, Bond soul rush could, in theory, be a legitimate strategy!

Bodyguard / Great Effort

I can assure you that your waifu will always love you, even if you put her in the front to have her absorb all the blows from an incoming attack.

Bodyguard (aka Great Effort) is an ability that gives the character with it the ability to absorb all incoming attacks. If you have a character with this ability in the middle slot of your center stage, all incoming attacks (including what would be direct attacks) become front attacks and go to it, so long as it is not reversed.

Is the effect any good? Well, it is exceptionally rare. And the characters that the ability is on tend to be “understat”, that is, they tend to be level 3, cost 2 stock, and have less than 10,000 power.  Backup effects last until the end of the turn, so any of those effects that you might apply to it will last until the end of turn (instead of just the current attack). Unanswered however, it can force an opponent to throw away his or her entire board. A fun effect, but rare and narrow.

Alarm

Alarm is an ability that applies an effect when the card is the top card of the clock. Usually, the effect applies during the player’s turn only because the card will rarely stay for longer than a turn cycle due to attacks or subsequent clock phases.

Sometimes the ability will allow you to encore characters for a certain cost, others will give a static boost to power. However, like Bodyguard, the effect is rare, and usually does not have very good returns. It requires you to either clock or take damage in a very specific way. Though the game is very luck-based, minimizing how luck can swing away from you is a good thing; Alarm is not a keyword that allows you to maximize good luck. In short, it is a rare keyword, but almost never worthwhile to use.

Questions? Comments? Have an idea for an article? Send your message to theninthcx AT gmail DOT com!

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