CX Spotlight – The Effects

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

For this article, we’ll take a look at the most common effects on CXs, and the impact they can have on a game.

Climax cards are a central part of Weiss Schwarz. Eight CXs and eight only must be used in a deck. They add powerful bonuses when on the offense, and cancel damage on the defense. Most of the time, a CX is a welcome sight to see when canceling damage from an attack. The more damage the CX denies, the better it is. But, because of the math, it’s hard to go for an entire game without having drawn or triggered at least one CX.

Because of this, it’s good to pay attention to the effects of a deck’s CXs. Just as the trigger types are different, so are the types of CXs. So let’s look at some of the more popular types of CX effects!

+2 Soul

This CX effect gives all your characters +2 soul until the end of turn.

The simple, straightforward +2 soul CX effect is among the most powerful effects in the game. Sacrificing potential for card advantage for raw attacking power, +2 soul serves to punish bad draws to the maximum, and play catch-up in a big way if the user is behind.

+2 Soul CXs often have a 2 soul trigger.

“Soul rush” is a term players use to generally describe a deck that focuses on pushing as much damage as possible onto the opponent, without as much attention paid to board presence or card advantage. To the “soul rush” deck, extra damage is card advantage.

The same idea applies to the +2 soul CX, as it offers the most potential damage from a single card. It is the hallmark of any aggressive, “soul rush” deck. However, this is not without its drawbacks and balances.

A +2 soul CX is just that; it gives your characters +2 soul without any other power boosts. Therefore, it’s optimal for a +2 soul CX to be used when one of these conditions are met:

– All characters you have on the board already have greater power than what is in front of them

– If your opponent has very few CXs remaining in their deck

– If you need to control damage through side attacking characters that are level 1 or greater

– If your opponent is short on stock

– If you are at level X with 6 in clock, and have your next level’s worth of characters ready in hand to be played on the following turn

Note that these are examples given without the context of a game. Because WS has many effects and many possible combinations of board states, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether playing a +2 soul CX is “100% right” or “100% wrong” at a given moment, especially during a game. However, the examples do have reasons behind them, which will be explained next!

If one is already winning on the board and set to clear the opponent’s field, it could be because the player is a level behind. e.g. the user may be at level 1 and the opponent at level 0; characters at level 1 will most of the time have the stats to eliminate any level 0 character. If the player wants to push the opponent into the next level to keep up damage-wise or if the opponent is already at 6 damage in clock, a +2 soul CX is well-positioned. Ideally, the scenario would be to get the opponent from 0/6 (level 0, 6 in clock) to 1/5 (level 1, 5 in clock).

If you have a deck that uses +2 soul CXs, it’s a good idea to monitor the number of CXs in your opponent’s waiting room. If your opponent ever has 5 or more in their waiting room and has 12 or more cards remaining in their deck, slam that +2 soul!

Wait, where’s the chart?

No chart this time – if your opponent can only cancel a maximum of three times (or worse, fewer than that), it’s very much in one’s favor to use a +2 soul CX to deal as much damage as possible. Each attack that is made sets up the possible scenarios for your opponent:

– The attack cancels immediately.

Good, but only optimal on the first attack. Not as good if on the second, and less than favorable if on the last attack.

– The attack cancels on the last damage.

Usually unfavorable, unless the CX is the last card in the deck. If the CX is the last card in the deck, it will be stranded in the resolve zone while the deck is refreshed. While the probability of this happening is low, it is not low enough to be ruled out as improbable, especially as other CXs show up in the course of the game.

– The attack lands, and the opponent has greater than a 1:2 ratio of CXs to cards remaining in the deck after.

Generally favorable, but not optimal. If this happens on the first attack, it can make subsequent attacks feel awkward, but it doesn’t reduce their effectiveness any; any attack that pushes the opponent to having to refresh is worth making. If your opponent has anything notable to Bond, or Change into or is running Door or Gate CX triggers, this is also good because it reduces their effectiveness on the following turn.

– The attack lands, and the opponent has close to a 1:1 ratio of CXs to cards remaining in the deck after.

Highly favorable, usually. At first blush, this evaluation might look crazy, especially if the opponent has characters with Change on the field. While the opponent may have access to almost anything they need in their waiting room for Change effects,  it also means that they are clamped in a predicament. Say for example your opponent has 2 CXs remaining in their 4 card deck. If your opponent wanted to take the risk of potentially refreshing with both of them, they would need to: draw a card that isn’t a CX, not clock, and not make any attacks. If the opponent is short on stock, this path is definitely worth taking.

+1000 power / + 1 Soul

The CX effect often shortened to “1k1” is perhaps the most popular effect in the game. This is because 1k1 is found with a wide variety of triggers, including: Bar, Bag, Door, and Gate, with Door being the most popular trigger among them.

This effect gives all your characters +1000 and +1 soul until the end of the turn. While rarely relevant, this effect includes every character, not just the characters on the front row.

While 1k1 does not offer as much potential damage as +2 Soul, it does have some distinct advantages. For maximum value, 1k1 is best played when:

– Your characters have exactly the same power as the characters in front of them (meaning your opponent would need to have Backup effects to potentially save characters from being reversed)

– Your characters are higher power, but your opponent is a level ahead (e.g. you are at level 2 and your opponent is at level 1)

– If attempting to close a game, but needing to side attack (to use the penalty in one’s favor) to control damage

– Your opponent has insufficient stock to encore characters

– Your opponent has few/no characters on the center stage and few CXs remaining in deck

1k1 has an advantage over +2 soul when attacking on a clear board because it hits for less damage. If a character with 1 soul is given +2 soul and attacks directly, you can guess that the likelihood of the attack canceling is reasonably high. 1 soul, +2 CX, +1 direct, plus a potential trigger, is a minimum of 4 damage. (You can treat the cards like you would Brainstorm and look at the chart here) However, with 1k1, the attack will be for 3 damage (1 soul, +1 CX, +1 direct), plus the trigger that comes up. What it sacrifices in potential it regains in reliability.

In addition, 1k1 can allow your board to completely sweep away an opponent’s board, 3 for 1, with the 1 card being the CX you use. The 3 damage that +2 soul would consider its card advantage is realized by 1k1 as potentially 3 reversed characters for your opponent. And, each character that is chosen for an Encore, whether it be for 3 stock or for an alternative cost, is an advantage gained as a result of using this CX effect.

+2000 power, +1 soul, draw a card

This mouthful of an effect is mercifully shortened to 2k1 by veteran players. 2k1 selects a character you control, and gives it +2000 power and +1 soul until end of turn. The user of this CX effect also draws a card. The card draw applies even if the CX is used without a target.

2k1 CXs often have a 2 soul trigger.

2k1 is a rather low-impact CX effect. However, just like 1k1 has its way to realize card advantage in reversed characters and +2 soul in damage, 2k1 realizes card advantage through straight card draw, and a single potential reversed character. Because it only targets a single character, 2k1 has a very different window of optimal play:

– When at level 0 and the opponent has a single (very large) character

– If early in a level (0-3 in clock), and you need to use a CX while at the same time avoiding leveling the opponent

– If experiencing a CX flood; 2k1 can, with 3 characters, clear 4 cards from the deck in a turn as opposed to 3

2k1 also has some variations. Some variations will give characters (sometimes all characters) +1000 power and draw a card with no bonus to soul. Others will give +3 soul with no power and a card.

+1 stock +1 soul

+1 stock +1 soul (1 stock 1 soul) is a less common effect that either gives the user one stock (either from the top of the deck or as a character from the waiting room), and all characters +1 soul until end of turn.

1 stock 1 soul typically has a 2 soul trigger.

1 stock 1 soul is a less common CX effect, and has the advantages of some CX effects with the disadvantages of others. As far as damage is concerned, it has the advantages of acting like a 1k1 CX, but it suffers from the disadvantage that +2 soul may encounter in being unable to give any characters any power boost.

Arguably, 1 stock 1 soul shares the same optimal timing window as both +2 soul and 1k1, but because it gives an additional stock, there are some more conditions that make its use optimal:

– You have three characters on the front row

– You are about to go to level 2/3 and need to build stock for the next turn’s plays

It should also be noted that the CX does have a variation on where it gets the extra stock. Some effects retrieve a character or card from the waiting room and put it into stock, while others take the top card of the deck and put it into stock. There are certain advantages to both effects.

Salvage stock’ or the stock effect that takes a card from the waiting room and puts it into stock may not be always be available. It is possible, though unlikely, to have a completely empty waiting room at a given time and be unable to gain the extra stock. In addition, ‘salvage stock’ does not necessarily help compression if one is CX flooded and trying to burn through as many cards as possible. However, ‘Salvage stock’ can also setup relatively safer Change effects. Since there are much fewer cards that interact with a player’s stock than there are that affect the waiting room, a Change target can be tucked away safely (though beware that if attacking with 3 characters, an encore effect or other payment will be needed to get to that stored card).

‘Blind stock’ or the stock effect that takes a card from the top of the deck, is arguably the better of the two. It is always going to give an extra stock, at the cost of it being an unknown card.Though this does mean that the occasional disaster of it stocking a CX will happen, more often than not, it will NOT stock a CX.

In the long run, these advantages and disadvantages are relatively minor, and one is not strictly better or worse than the other.

CX Effects

In a deck, consistency is just as important as variety. Some decks split their CX effects 4/4, some 3/3/2, and very rarely you may see 4/3/1. When selecting the proper CX effects for a deck, the desirability of the effects and the triggers present on them plays into what the optimal number is. There is no hard and fast rule, but in general, if there is a very powerful and worthwhile CX combo, that CX should more than likely be a 4-of in the deck. If a CX is being used for just its utility (either its effect or trigger, but not both), it may warrant only 1 or 2 copies. The best way to find out the best number though, is to test!

Questions? Comments? Got an idea for an article? Send us an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com!

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