Quince has one of the only degenerate defensive strategies in the game, the Ebb lock.
To set up an Ebb lock, Quince needs the following conditions:
* The opponent has an empty gem pile
* Quince has a in his gem pile
* Quince has 3+ copies of Ebb and Flow, to his opponent's 0
* Quince has Flagstone Tax active
* Panic Time has not triggered.
Quince maintains the lock by playing Ebb and Flow every turn to undo the turn's ante, using the pig on Patriot Mirror to space them out. This causes many of the opponent's chips to be irrelevant or counterproductive:
* Tax means their money doesn't matter; they can't buy anything more useful than a .
* They only have a single gem in their gem pile and therefore cannot combine.
* Drawing chips doesn't matter if the drawn chips are useless. Similarly, the benefits of arrows and pigs are also limited by the other chips' uselessness.
* Crashes aren't entirely useless but are punished by forcing them to buy a wound. Meanwhile, extra Ebbs undo the crash's effect, assuming no countercrashing.
* s can be reacted to, again forcing a wound buy.
* The game cannot end because there aren't enough gems in piles.
As the lock progresses, Quince gains a snowballing deck quality advantage over his opponent; he can stock up on money or whatever s he wants while the opponent chokes on s and wounds and becomes dependent on Quince's Ebbs for survival. Eventually, Quince decides to win the game; he drops Flagstone Tax to buy s. Timed correctly, he has almost a full cycle of his opponent's bloated deck where he has pile control and his opponent doesn't, which he uses to Flow out some s and send them over.
The main weakness of the Ebb lock is that a in the opponent's gem pile cannot be removed; if they can buy their own Ebb or Flow, they can ante their way out of the lock.