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Post game analysis of CAFS 2016: Bravo840 ([Necro]/Blood/Ninjitsu) vs. FrozenStorm ([Past]/Peace/Anarchy)


#1

Starting this thread with the hope of gaining some insights about a recent game I played, and lost.

Before I get started, I wanted to say that I welcome feedback on my analysis, the game linked below, or both.

Game Link

Decks
Bravo840 - Necro/Blood/Ninjutsu

Looking to abuse Graveyard and Blood’s Tech 2 is the “go-to” play for the deck but there are lots of synergies here. The addition of Ninjutsu brings a few additions I think are interesting:

  • Stealthy options in the form of Hidden Ninja and Setsuki’s Ultimate, both of which could work really well with Captured Bugblatters. Ninja tokens could also fuel Corpse Catapults or Doom Grasps.
  • Inverse Power Ninja stays pretty big when Blood’s Tech 2 is dying every turn anyway and is quite the body to deal with early. She likely trades well with units but at 3 cost is a little more expensive than Necro’s Tech 1 which makes Undo gold neutral and $2 more than Crash Bomber.
  • Setsuki’s Speed of the Fox gives the deck the ability to deal with things in the Squad Leader position and having a hasty hero is nice. Early game, most heroes and other annoying units like Hardened Mox wont survive and midbanded Setsuki won’t even take damage.
  • Setsuki’s maxband is just good if you can keep her in play.
FrozenStorm - Past/Peace/Anarchy

Rather than recreate the wheel, I think this post by FrozenStorm sums it up nicely.

Turn-By Turn Analysis

P1T1

Probably could have workered the Archery upgrade instead of Pestering Haunt. I didn’t intend to play either of them but the Haunt is $0 and may have been a convenient sacrifice for Sacrifice the Weak or Death Grasp had I teched it a body albeit a small one.

Jandra seemed like the obvious play here. She out bodies everything Purple can play from the starter deck. I don’t anticipate her living very long and the Imp I know I will be playing next turn is a demon so her downside isn’t much of a downside for a while.

I will discuss tech choices prior to the start of my turn 2 since they aren’t locked in until after P2 takes their turn.

P2T1

FrozenStorm very conveniently put his thoughts regarding his turn in the post so I have them quoted below. In reviewing the game I was almost disappointed at how often he was right in predicting what my intentions were.

P1T2
Tech Choices
  • Bone Collector - Solid body, makes more bodies and only costs $2.
  • Speed of the Fox - I’m anticipating having to deal with Oni and I want options if (when) he comes in.
    I dismissed Inverse Power Ninja because she just gets blocked by purple all day, her lack of evasion here is what holds her back, and doesn’t do anything interesting again Brave Knight.
    Crash Bomber may have been a better choice than Bone Collector. He can trade with FArgo, Brave Knight, and may even 2-for-1 against Neo Plexus and Mox. He keeps Nullcraft out of the patrol zone which frees up targets for Shoddy Glider which isn’t something I needed but may have been nice to have if things had gone differently. He also only costs $1 which is attractive when I am summoning Imp almost every turn. Not teching Crashbomber here was probably a mistake.

I workered Sacrifice the Weak because I wasn’t going Skeletons despite the Bone Collector tech… And I didn’t want to be sacrificing Imp or Jandra and I already workered Pesting Haunt. Keeping this around would have made sense with Crash Bomber though… and as for “not going skeletons” Summon Skeletons could have been workered instead of my removal.

I was surprised to see FArgo in the Scavenger slot. I had assumed he’d be in the Squade Leader position to survive an attack from Jandra. Summoning Imp puts Frozen down on cards here and my intent is to keep him down for a while so giving him $1 and killing FArgo seems like a good trade. I assume Nulcraft is going to finish her off but Imp will survive so I’m not too concerned.

P2T2

He notes I skipped Tech 1 and correctly guesses that I have some trick in the form of a spell. I had skipped Tech 1 because after I worker and summon the Imp, I didn’t have the gold to do it. Maybe I over value Imp in this game and in general.

P1T3
Tech Choices
  • Crash Bomber - See my discussion of Crash Bomber above. Probably could have teched 2 of them here.
  • Bloodlust - Haste is good, the fact that this works on heroes too is nice, and the bonus attack lets Crash Bombers and Imp trade up.

I could have gotten Setsuki in play, killed Oni by midbanding her and playing Speed of the Fox, and then she’d have been maxband by end of turn. I’m leery of Origin Story here and this would mean I’m not workering and not getting Tech 1 online so this doesn’t really seem like a viable option.
Instead Graveyard comes out Tech 1 is built and Imp positions himself to not only put Frozen down a card but put me up a card. If Oni comes at Imp, he will go to Graveyard which potentially furthers the disparity in card quantity.

P2T3

In reviewing my previous turns, I am not sure how I could have had enough pressure to keep Surplus from coming out here. I even noticed as I was playing that he was floating more gold than I’d have liked but I didn’t . Frozen saying that he has basically never had an opportunity to safely build a Surplus this early makes me sad. I hope that someone can offer additional insights here. It is probably the sum of teching mistakes and not building Tech 1 on Turn 2.

P1T4
Tech Choices
  • Crash Bomber - Should probably have teched both of these already and been working on teching some T2 units.
  • Fox’s Den Students - I was hoping to be able to get Setsuki on the board. I think see that I “could” have had her maxbanded already made me tech this with no real plan of how to make than happen. You will see in future turns that I probable draw this 2-3 times but never get Setsuki on the field to begin with.
    Kidnapping/Doom Grasp/Nether Drain are better spells to have teched here. but if I wasn’t low on gold and behind in tech buildings, I think Tech 2 units was what I should have been going for here.

There are lots of ways this turn could have gone. I think resummoning the Imp here put me behind in gold in a way that I didn’t see for what it was: Terrible. I end the turn with 8 workers but no Tech 2. I was behind in T1 and I’m behind again for T2.
Bone Collector would have left me with a Skeleton as a defender and would have cost me 1 less gold than Imp. The Javelineer that I workered would have traded with Oni, cost me 2 less gold and would have gotten Drakk 2 levels. I don’t know what I was thinking here. This is probably my biggest misplay as far as Turn Actions go. I think one example of a better turn would have looked like this:

Get Paid + float - ($9)
Worker - ($8)
Drakk Ramhorn - ($6)
Javalineer - ($5)
Bone Collector - ($3)
Bloodlust Javalineer and Bone Collector - ($1)
Bone Collector trades with Fading Argonaut - ($1) (Summon Skeleton)
Javelineer trades with Onimaru - ($1) (Drakk gains 2 Levels)
Crash Bomber - ($0)

P2T4

Bravo840 - :frowning:

P1T5
Tech Choices
  • Captured Bugblatters (x2) - I think seeing Fox’s Den Students in my hand made me think I’d get this combo off. 2 Blatters with 4 ninjas is potentially 8-12 damage to his base in 1 turn depending on what they trade with. Also lets me beat up on Surplus.
    Considering that I was actually behind at this point, I think teching 1 Crashbarrow and 1 Shoddy Glider or 1 Ogre Recruiter would have been better. Reserve the second Crashbarrow for Garth’s maxband on a future turn.

This is pretty much a defensive turn hoping to keep Tech 2 alive long enough for me to get some more meat on the board and get a little ground back under my feet. I don’t have units in hand that can help. Jandra is just a target and would take the Crash Bomber with her if Frozen has a way to get to her and I need defenders here so whatever I have is going to Patrol.

P2T5

After killing my board and keeping units on the field, it is over here and Frozen knows it. He techs the Gunship and Origin Story. This provides an end (Gunship) if he didn’t already have the board to kill me and an answer to pretty much my only defense (Origin Story on Garth).
So not only did he have the board locked up here, he techs to keep me locked up on future turns. I need to have been playing more “in the future” like this.

P1T6

I don’t think a lot more analysis here is relevant. The game appears to be over already but I can explain Tech choices and their perceived relevance at the time.
Hidden Ninja gives my units, if they stayed in play, a way to reach his tech buildings since I’m sure he has prepared a Gunship to end me. This doesn’t deal with the fact that he has a full board, but it is something. Crashbarrow should 2-for-1 if I get a chance to draw it which could give me a little breathing room if I wasn’t already completely smothered.

P2T6

Turn things sideways, win the game.

Outcome/Final Thoughts

P1 Concedes. There is no coming back here. No units to summon. Summoning 2 heroes to defend is just a stall tactic and it probably wouldn’t have even bought another turn, not that there would be anything to play with no tech buildings on Turn 7.
Congratulations and my thanks to FrozenStorm for winning and teaching me more than a few valuable lessons this game.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading and please be reminded that I welcome feedback on my analysis, additional insights about the Linked Game, or both.

I think I learned more about this game writing the review than I did by playing it first hand.


#2

I’m happy to expand upon my thoughts and give tips of what I would have done differently in your positions, I appreciated the game and love seeing new names in the forums!

P1T1

I think it’s always important to consider the matchup, and look a few steps ahead when starting as player 1.

Right now, you’ve got Black starter (great at owning the board early as player 1), Garth (great at generating econ advantage without sacrificing board position), and two heroes who are full of surprises to blow out the board. I’m still not sure what Ninjutsu is meant to do for this deck (the FDS + Bugblatter combo is nice but FDS needs a lot of meat to hide behind with my having Zane, and easy to get rid of with Origin Story as you identified), but Graveyard + Crashbarrow is a terrifying combo.

Anyways, the point of my rambling here is I think Garth + Skeleton + Haunt would have been a superior opening - you get the same attack power with the same cards + gold, and your goal with this deck is just to get to tech 2 with Graveyard. That’s your primary win condition, and against Purple starter (which mostly has poor early pressure with its bigger bodies) skeletons give a great wall to get you there.

I probably would have workered Rogue here, though I would have considered Jandra (my personal experience with Jandra is she is only very useful in demon-focused decks where Vandy can buff her or she can get Unstoppable from Shrine, or in Legendary-focused decks using Mythmaking, like Demon / Strength / Growth or something). It’s nice to hold on to Archery as well, in case you shift gears into skeleton offense (though it would have been fine to worker as well).

P2T1

Pretty self-explanatory, patrolled FArgo to recover from a StW and avoid a Deteriorate + Jandra kill with no benefit to me.

P1T2

Another spot to showcase where having Garth would help here: you could have played played no cards and just made a skeleton, built tech 1, and pinged my base, leaving yourself vulnerable to little (it’s too early for me to make Zane plays that make sense), gotten patrol bonuses from the skeletons, and been in better shape to pull off your combo. You’re floating a gold into a great situation. Otherwise, deteriorate to kill the Fargo with Garth + Haunt isn’t a bad move either, keeping 2 skeletons in front to stop me from going Nullcraft + Zane for an easy Garth kill.

I think Bone Collector is a great tech as P1 in almost any matchup, and against my deck is no exception. Speed of the Fox on the other hand I’m not a big fan of, I think Lich’s Bargain, Bloodlust or Kidnapping are things you’d much prefer. Crash Bomber wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

Definitely don’t worker Sacrifice the Weak, it is such a great means of dealing with troublesome units (shoot, it can kill a Pirate Gunship!) Probably would have workered Summon Skeletons here; most decks would probably worker Graveyard with this hand but Necro Blood obviously needs it. Imp isn’t a bad choice either, given that my deck is either playing not that many cards anyway (strong hero game) or has card draw to not care about hand size too much. I think you did overvalue the card bleed in this particular matchup, though you are right that usually it is very crippling to do to other decks.

P2T2

Not much else for me to say, I do think you overvalued the Imp in this matchup and should not skip tech 1 even with the strong spells you have access to.

P1T3

If you’d gone tech 1 last turn, you’d have the BC out here, and there’s no way I have space to build a surplus. Things snowball from the Imp / Jandra choices being so expensive, where Garth gives you such cheap ways to stay safe :wink: You did fine given the position you were already in, though perhaps bringing Garth out would have helped. This is also where Bloodlust > SotF would have helped, could have killed Oni

Your insights here that maxing out Sets only works if you’re sure you can keep me off Origin Story long enough to generate dominating advantage with it. I think you chose wisely to avoid that line.

Tech choices were good, worker choice was good, no other comments from me.

P2T3

It was arrogant of me to go surplus here, I did not properly respect bloodlust’s ability to ruin my day next turn. You could have killed the surplus with a bloodlusted Bone Collector, how awful would that have been!

P1T4

Definitely the “tipping point” from my perspective: if you get Drakk to survive here, you’re still very much in control. I don’t even agree with your alternate turn: I think the correct play was Bomber + Drakk, bloodlust both, take oni and fargo, level Drakk to mid to heal, lay BC in squad lead. That’s 8 gold, +1 for worker is the 9 you had, and now you have a 3/3 blocking and ready to attack frenzied next turn, a Crash Bomber to come from Grave, and a Midband Drakk who can heal off the 1 damage he takes from bloodlust when he maxbands and allows something to come in hasted and blow me out HARD. I easily could have lost with my greedy Surplus move had that happened.

Would have workered Rogue over Jav, tech choice of FDS is way too optimistic and realistically, you’re never going to play it. Crashbarrow, War Drums, Doom Grasp, or Glider all would have been superior choices for various plans (frenzied glider being a free surplus kill if I don’t patrol Nullcraft is scary)

P2T4

Nothing else to say, I had room to tech rush you pretty safely at this point.

P1T5

I would have played Bone Collector here instead of Imp, and ran Crash Bomber into Brave Knight, dealt one damage to a building of mine, and resummoned it from the Grave, putting it in SQL.

Definitely would have teched Barrow + Glider, you need to bring the pain soon to have a chance of stopping my teching.

P2T5

I got a bit lucky drawing the Marauder, but yea it was pretty over at this point.

P1T6

The Hidden Ninja choice would have been great if you had Barrows coming up to break stuff. I would have maxed Garth for a barrow here and teched Death Rites with the other card though, as that was probably your only way back in the game.

Okay, finished! Let me know if I can expand upon anything further, I hope my words are helpful and not taken personally. I think turn 4 was your only true “misplay”, everyone misplays (I usually do it more than once a game, it’s hard to see how the future will play out when so much focus is taken just maximizing the turn and board state of RIGHT NOW) and every one of your other turns was pretty reasonable overall :slight_smile:

I recommend you watch the other two [Necro] / Blood / X decks in this tournament that BarrelFish and Marto (game hasn’t started yet so no link) are playing to get some tips as well, they are both experienced play by forum players and @Barrelfish is like me in posting his insights on every turn!


#3

I’ll echo FrozenStorm’s recommendation to play Garth early. One of the real strengths of the Black starter is its spells, and having a black hero in play is the cheapest way to play them. Deteriorate and Sac the Weak are big tools for blowing up your opponents’ board, which as P1 should always be something you’re thinking about. One of the ways to erase the P2 econ advantage is to be the person on the offensive, exercising the options to make the most favorable trades. Garth & Graveyard will both provide you with card advantage, so you ought not worry too much about going down on cards imo. Plus if you’re sinking 3 early gold into Graveyard (potentially ceding the initiative to P2 for a turn or so), you need a way to defend it, and Skeletons are nice tools for that.


#4

I’ve actually been following this game since I played a bunch of matches as [Necro]/Blood/Growth vs. @FrozenStorm. I never played his PPA deck though, and regardless he won most of the matches so take what I say with a grain of salt!

When I play this deck I usually like to go for a bunch of small, cheap units rather than fewer big, expensive ones. There’s a couple of reasons for that. First, Crashbarrow + Garth maxband and/or Graveyard are great, but that’s a lot of gold for stuff that you can’t or don’t want to patrol. Having cheap dudes to fill the patrol zone after your Crashbarrows rumble through helps keep your opponent from just knocking you right back. The other benefit is that cheap dudes have great synergy with Drakk, especially his midband and ultimate. Any turn you start with a few units alive is a turn you can threaten a sudden Drakk midband and blow out their board. Which means that your opponent is forced to keep attacking into your cheap dudes (giving you Scavenger and Technician bonuses) to keep that from happening.

For those reasons, I agree with Frozenstorm that Garth + Skeleton + Haunt is a strong opening play. I usually try to make a skeleton every turn that Garth is alive. Jandra is actually my #1 worker target, since “expensive and kills my own cheap guys” is basically the opposite of what I want. Imp is usually an early worker as well. In the first cycle I’d prefer to spend the 3 gold on Garth + skele or Javelineer + Tech I, or even Summon Skeletons in some circumstances (I prefer two 1/1s to one 2/2 for this deck). Starting on the second cycle I have even better things to spend it on like BC + skele token. Maybe I don’t value the discard high enough.

One other thing - in your commentary you talk about being “behind” on tech buildings. I think your tech timing was actually pretty normal. P2 starts with an extra worker, so it’s common for them to get their tech buildings up before you can. That makes Crashbarrow rush a bit weaker as P1 than P2, since the whole point is to get them going before your opponent has the tools to deal with them. You might think about possible alternative strategies as P1, like an early Heroes’ Hall with Garth token spam and Drakk attack boosts.