Welcome back to Level 0, the column dedicated to the basics of WS!
Next Article: TBD
Previous Article: Being Wrong
Today’s article is brought to you largely in part from Andree N. of the PH WS community.
The beginning of a game of WS is where the butterfly effect begins. We look at our opening 5, and ponder which cards to ditch and how many to draw. We look to see if we can setup for our level 0 and level 1 games, all while avoiding the dreaded CX flood.
That’s great and all, but what do we need to do turn after turn?
This is where this handy list comes in!
- Check your memory for characters that may need to return to the stage.
- Check your stage for change effects that trigger at the start of your draw. Remember, if you draw a card, you have passed the “at the beginning of…” timing!
- Check for colors in your clock/level. (Especially true if you are playing 2+ colors in a deck)
- Make sure you are not at 3/6 (or at 3/5 with a refresh imminent). If you are, don’t clock!
- Note the colors present in your clock if you intend to use a Shift effect; make sure to keep the necessary colors in clock if necessary.
- Evaluate the cards in your hand, and ask some questions:
- Can I play everything in my hand with the color restrictions and the stock requirements?
- Do I need to play everything right now?
- Are there any ‘dead’ cards in my hand; cards that will have a relatively low impact against the possibility of drawing two more powerful cards?
- Are my characters favored to win against their battle opponents, or is there something else I need to look for/draw into in order to handle them?
- Will I draw any CXs from this clock phase if I do? Will I need those CXs for a combo or for damage?
During Main Phase
- Check for a Shift effect, if applicable. The ability only triggers at the start of your main phase, so if you do anything (such as playing a character or even moving one), you will miss the timing window to use it.
- Check for any other applicable abilities from your opponent’s characters, and your own.
- Check the power levels of your opponent’s characters, and your own.
- Add the power of potential Backup effects to your opponent’s characters when considering how to place characters for battle. As a general rule (and it will vary by series):
- At level 1, a Backup can be reasonably expected to be from 1500 – 3500 power.
- At level 2, a Backup can be reasonably expected to be from 2500 – 4000 power.
- At level 3, a Backup can be reasonably expected to be less concerned with power, and more with a certain effect, such as damage prevention, or Heal.
- Check the number of CXs in your opponent’s waiting room. Always keep a mental note if your opponent triggered CXs during an attack the previous turn.
- Check the number of potential CXs left in your deck, gathering the number from CXs in hand, CXs in your waiting room, and any you may have triggered. (Marker cards can generally be considered non-CX cards, because more times than not, they will be a non-CX card, unless you have more than 4 blind markers under a card)
- Check how favored you are to trigger a CX during an attack this turn. (Depending on the types of triggers you run, this can affect your attack sequencing)
During CX Phase
- Check for abilities that trigger at the beginning of your CX phase. Remember, playing a CX is actually the last part of the CX phase. If you play a CX right away, you may miss an ability timing.
- Visualize the optimal order for your attacks.
- For instance, if you are playing a CX combo that allows you to search for a character upon reversing a character in battle, attack with that first. Why? It eliminates the possibility that the card you want will be sent to stock in a subsequent attack.
- If you have a character that gets larger when another character you control attacks, make sure it goes last whenever possible.
- If you have a character that costs stock on-attack, attack with it closer to last whenever possible; this will allow you to pay out triggered CXs.
- If you have a character that needs a large amount of stock, make sure it goes last when possible.
- If you know your opponent is less than favored to cancel an attack and/or is about to refresh, attack hard!
- Play your CX if applicable, and resolve abilities that may trigger as a result.
- Remind yourself exactly how many times you live.
- Turn the waifu sideways.
- If you did not win, repeat step 2.
- If you performed step 2 three times (or more, depending on series), and you did not win, pass the turn and proceed to the next section.
During Opponent’s Turn
The opponent’s turn is all about gathering as much information as you can. Because WS is a fairly low-interaction game, there are a lot of things you can do during the time that it isn’t your turn:
- Note every CX trigger your opponent has, especially if one is going to stock. Bonus points if you can determine how many and which kinds of CXs are in his or her hand.
- Prepare your backups and know how large you can get your characters. Determine if it makes sense to defend a character. For example, a character with encore gets less value out of having a Backup used on it, but a 2-stock character will usually always be more worthwhile to save via Backup.
- Ask for an ability check on applicable characters before, and after attack. (Especially helpful if playing quickly, or if playing in JP and translations are not readily available)
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, but using this list will provide a valuable base of mechanics for your WS game. As you practice and play more games, you may find more things to ask and add to the list. You can even go as far as to make a list for your individual deck!
Good luck, and happy testing! Thank you for reading, and please make sure to visit our sponsors and join the monthly giveaway!