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Puzzle Strike Winter Series

One True Style is also critical for Lum in that bank as both a fork and a Bargain-friendly combine, so I don’t blame acrata for not swapping it out.

Yeah, in that bank it holds the entire HFF strat. together. In general, Oni’s rare blue washer means that he can often WTT a 4-cost into OTS for the 4-cost, then wash the blue for a purple or something. That’s a lot of value out that chip. The no-purple-arrow drawback is often circumvented easily by Oni.

What’s happening with the next round?

Sorry, wasn’t keeping good enough tabs. There was a no-show for the @Nopethebard/@zeromh game. I haven’t seen any further attempt to schedule, so I’m going to admin it and move on, I guess.

Bucky vs zeromh
3-2
:chibimidori: :pschip: :psfist: :chibigrave:
:chibisetsuki: :pschip: :psfist: :chibigrave:
:chibisetsuki: :psfist: :pschip: :chibigrave:
:chibisetsuki: :psfist: :pschip: :chibigrave:
:chibisetsuki: :psfist: :pschip: :chibigrave:

Bank:
Just a Scratch
Secret Move
Sale Prices
Bang then Fizzle
Money for Nothing
Risk to Riskonade
Chip Damage
Gems to Gemonade
Self Improvement
Punch Punch Kick

Game 1:
Zeromh used Bang then Fizzle to accelerate to a turn 3 DCG buy. I drew a weak aggro opening that was all in on the pressure from an initial combine, with no money to back it up. Zeromh successfully played around Rigorous Training for most of the game, and in the face of DCG I could neither keep Dragon Form up nor compete economically with Dragon Form down.

Counterpick Midori -> Setsuki who had several strengths in this bank.

Game 2:
Zeromh used an even more money-heavy opening: Bang then Fizzle, :ps3gem:, :ps4gem: while training for a :ps2gem:. I countered with an early Combine and four wounds, stopping the wound train only when zeromh bought Self Improvement. The wounds didn’t stop zeromh from getting a DCG in time to defend the combine rush. I took a couple of turns to buy money and DT Self Improvement to cement my slimdeck, while zeromh went back for their own combines. But immediately after that cycle, I suddenly lost with a bottom-bagged crash gem (5/12) against a first hand double-combine (out of 3) plus DCG.

Counterpick: Bang then Fizzle -> Training Day. I attributed the previous loss to not getting the economy to be flexible, and so wanted to maximize my DT flexibility for game 4, but BtF was also responsible for my opponents’ fast openings in both games.

Game 3:
After zeromh used an SI buy to induce me to abandon Just a Scratch after one wound, we proceeded into very similar shopping lists: Big economy into a DCG, into lots of combines and Punch-Punch-Kicks. Although I started the arms race about a turn behind since I needed to buy Training Days to match my opponent’s character chips, and failed to line up half my Double Takes, I gradually pulled ahead thanks to the wound opening. I won off a percentage play, gambling on a bottom-bagged Reversal, although the crash attempts were mostly defensive anyway.

Counterpick: Training Day -> One-Two Punch, an affordable fork to pair with Grave’s built-in draw,

Game 4:
I again opened with DT Just a Scratch, but this time used Sale Prices for bootstrapping afterwards. Zeromh abandoned the money opening in favor of Punch-Punch-Kick, Chip Damage and Just a Scratch. The Sale Prices let me multi-buy combines, which caught zeromh flat-footed without the cash on hand to respond in kind, although a skipped Reversal didn’t help in that respect.

Counterpick: Sale Prices -> Knockdown

Game 5:
Zeromh opened with a One-Two Punch buy into big money. I opened aggressively, double buying a Combine with my T1 Just a Scratch and following with Riskonade. Zeromh minicrashed to keep me from Double Taking the Riskonade, causing the rush to misfire. After zeromh bought a DCG, I eventually decided to fork and Riskonade at 7 pile and hope I draw a crash off it! I did, which let me buy my own DCG, and I won two turns later with my own lucky first-hand DCG draw, this time with Knockdown support.

3 Likes

watches replays

Man, that Game 5 Risk to Riskonade had a higher probability of losing you the game than not. Did you do it because you thought the game was basically over if that didn’t work?

Quaz vs Boyd
3-0
:chibigwen: :psfist: :pschip: :chibigeiger:
:chibigwen: :psfist: :pschip: :chibiargagarg:
:chibigwen: :psfist: :pschip: :chibilum:

We used just the one bank as Boyd counterpicked characters. The bank featured Ouch!, Sneak attack, and pick your poison, and dashing strike, and a self improvement. Also MP was in the bank.
Gwen really shined with being able to play ouch! early in games 1 and 3.
In game 2 Boyd bought blues and I instead went for early dcg, then I had a pretty quick MP buy, MP decided the game.

Boyd tried heavy red based strats in games 1 and 3, avoiding any purple buys or blue defense chips. I think the games were very close but the pure red strat wasn’t quite enough.

1 Like

Boyd went for rushdown tactics with Geiger and Lum, but Gwen has a better rushdown (especially with this bank) than either of them.

In game 2, Boyd prepared for a rushdown that never came. Qauz went for economy right off the bat and Boyd couldn’t catch up.

Not over, exactly, but I thought I’d have less than a 10% chance to win. The key input was that I’d drawn just enough of my money with the Riskonade-fork that I’d be unable to match your DCG for the foreseeable future; however, the crash would give the ninth $ to buy a DCG immediately.

1 Like

Game 1 wasn’t close at all. Boyd’s arrow-flow wasn’t working for most of the game, the largest combo being a pair of chained sneak attacks. Boyd wasn’t making any effort to set Geiger’s washers up, either; no Geiger character chips were used except as discard fodder!

Game 2, I think Boyd was doomed by the turn 1 Blues are Good buy. Argagarg is extremely money-starved, and it took Boyd until turn 5 to finally get a :ps2gem:, which meant that even combines were unaffordable until after Quaz had a Master Puzzler. A single Shadowswarm rammed into a Self Improvement could’ve fixed the Argagarg poverty trap, but Quaz knew that and stopped using the discard.

Game 3, Boyd simply got caught with too much Dashing Strike and no reliable washer.

Game 1 if he had managed to chain 3 attacks instead of 2 he would have taken me to 10 and I didn’t have crash in hand although I think I still would have been ok with draws. So I would still call it close.

Is there an easy way to watch all these replays?

The latest ones are saved under each profiles recent games, I don’t know if older ones are retrievable unless marked as saved

Yeah, it’s kind of easy and kind of not easy. For example you have to know that qauz’s username on Puzzle Strike (at least for these games) is “quaz (2)” in order to find the replays.

@acrata over @petE 3-2
Lum vs. Midori all 5 games, alternating wins

It was all about the bank.

Game 1

Ebb or Flow
Knockdown
Repeated Jabs
Blues are Good
Color Panic
One True Style
Stolen Purples
Combos Are Hard
Option Select
Roundhouse

acrata used a lot of Color Panic and Stolen Purples to remove purples from petE’s hand, with One True Style as a fork.

Game 2: Random Bank

Just a Scratch
Safe Keeping
Thinking Ahead
Draw Three
Gem Essence
Risk to Riskonade
Axe Kick
Signature Move
Option Select
Custom Combo

I (acrata) had no idea what to do with this bank, honestly, with no pseudopurples and no big attacks.

Game 3: Random Bank again

Button Mashing
Color Panic
Gems to Gemonade
Iron Defense
One-Two Punch
Self-Improvement
Stolen Purples
Combos are Hard
Custom Combo
It’s Combo Time

acrata used a lot of Color Panic and Stolen Purples again. petE defended with Self-Improvement, but it wasn’t enough.

Game 4: Color Panic -> Option Select

I don’t remember this one that well, sorry. Looking at the replay, acrata didn’t have nearly enough purple power to deal with Dragon Form. Ended on turn 8.

Game 5: Self-Improvement -> Dashing Strike

acrata bought 3 Dashing Strikes, and washers were plentiful, so had enough pile control to deal with petE’s rush.

3 Likes

zeromh vs. acrata (3-2)

:chibimidori: :pschip: :pscrash: :chibilum:
:chibimidori: :pscrash: :pschip: :chibilum:
:chibimidori: :pschip: :pscrash: :chibilum:
:chibimidori: :pscrash: :pschip: :chibilum:
:chibimidori: :pscrash: :pschip: :chibivalerie:

Exciting games! In the next-to-last game Midori had two DCGs! Oh the power…

In general it didn’t seem like Acrata was watching out for Rigorous Training, which made it easier to upgrade for the chips I needed.

I’ll leave it to Bucky for doing a writeup if he’s interested.

Thanks for the games!

3 Likes

lum hit any jackpots?

Jackpot means revealing 2 purples, right? If so, no jackpots.

Bucky vs. Quaz
3 - 1

:chibijaina: :psfist: :pschip: :chibimenelker: - (CP out One True Style for Secret Move)
:chibijaina: :psfist: :pschip: :chibimenelker:
:chibijaina: :pschip: :psfist: :chibizane:
:chibigrave: :psfist: :pschip: :chibizane:

I didn’t actually use One True Style at all game 1, but I only had one chance to buy it before was sent Into Oblivion for the rest of the game.

2 Likes

Bank:
Risky Move
It’s a Trap
Gem Essence
One True Style -> Secret Move
Hundred Fist Frenzy
Ouch!
Self Improvement
Option Select
X-Copy
Master Puzzler

This is a relatively low-impact bank for the matchup, but I think slightly in Menelker’s favor on top of his usual matchup advantage because of Gem Essence and the medium-economy options.

Game 1:
Quaz bought an early Ouch!, and Bonecracker kept Jaina from buying a second combine. The game ended abruptly to a turn 6-7 double tap; with Deathstrike and Quaz’s crash in the discard on turn 6, I gambled on the Deathstrike not being in hand on turn 7 (it wasn’t).

Counterpick: One True Style out, Secret Move in.
The removal of One True Style doubled down on the Into Oblivion read, and Secret Move would give Menelker control of Deathstrike timing, but would also prove quite useful to Jaina.

Game 2:
This time I bought the first cycle Ouch! which Quaz countered with Self-Improvement; while I was worried about Quaz holding it with Secret Move, Quaz never actually did so. Instead, Quaz held Deathstrike to play at 10+ pile, while I held Unstable Power to survive the Deathstrike. Ouch! pressure forced the Deathstrike to go off first. In the meantime, Quaz built up a money advantage while I maintained a one-combine lead. However, the double crash buy came a cycle late, as Unstable Power backed by extra ante attacks put Quaz from 0 to 10 over the course of three turns despite a pair of defensive minicrashes.

Counterpick: Menelker -> Zane, switching from one soft Jaina counter to another.
Since my style so far had prioritized constant :psfist: pressure instead of building one big Unstable Power burst, trading Deathstrike for Potato seems like a good deal.

Game 3:
Quaz stole my Crash on turn 1 and bought Risky Move. I adapted with Ouch! and Hundred-Fist Frenzy, then loaded up on combines in the face of a quick X-Copy and Self-Improvement. Quaz very nearly got me on turn 6 with a Crash Bomb (3/4 chance!) but I survived by overdrawing one chip, Unstable Power. We then traded perpetual low% kill threats for several turns until I was the first one caught with a bottom-bagged crash gem.

Counterpick: Jaina -> Grave, the classic Zane killer for banks with a cheap fork (Gem Essence)

Game 4:
Quaz attempted to jump me economically out of the gate with Risky Move and a :ps3gem:. I opted to invest in a deck-size advantage with Gem Essence and Ouch! But then, Quaz tried to kill me on turn 4 by dropping the :ps3gem: into play with Risky Move and then Crash Bombing it… which ran into Reversal. That killed much of Quaz’s economic lead, and I got to DCG first.

Quaz had a second Crash Bomb assassination attempt, but with only a ~20% chance of working thanks to my deck-thinning. After that, though, I bought another crash and continued to thin, so further attempts were even more remote.