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Super Puzzle Strike Variant


#1

Hey guys. I used to play this game a long time ago as SteelCoil. I stopped liking it competitively for a number of reasons, but I still don’t mind playing the physical version with friends. I got an urge to play again and it got me thinking about what I’d add to the game to solve my issues, so I made a little work-in-progress variant that I’ll try the next time I play.

This just adds two things: Mini Crash Gems and Super Moves.

Mini Crash Gem is an addition to the normal bank chips to make rushdown more interesting in the early game, especially with non-rushy banks.

Mini Crash Gem – Cost 3: Crash a 1-gem. Cannot be reacted to. (Does not give $1. Cannot countercrash.)

Super Moves are unique for each character. They’re cards (not part of the bag), and can only be used once a game. If the player meets the conditions of their Super Move, it can be used at the cost of an action or as a reaction (or for free with Gloria). All Super Moves are gold banner.

This is to address my personal issue that some matchups/bank combinations can pigeonhole characters into boring, more limited strategies. These moves are meant to give characters an alternative gameplan, make them more well-rounded, encourage using different puzzle chips, and/or introduce interesting strategies and counterplay.

Here’s the ones I came up with:

Grave – True Power of Storms – If you have not played an action this turn, trash a Crash Gem, discard a red-fist, and then discard a blue-shield from your hand. If you do, a chosen opponent is sent five 1-gems. (The 1-gems come from the bank, not your gem pile.)

Valerie - Burst of Speed - Discard a puzzle chip and trash a Crash Gem from your hand. If you do, take another turn after this one.

Setsuki – Shuriken Hail – If you played two red-fist chips this turn, you may play them again.

Geiger – Time Stop (Gold Shield) – Reaction: If an opponent reacts with a purple-shield or blue-shield on your turn, you may immediately play a purple-gem from your hand to negate the shield, then trash your purple-gem. (You still get the effects of the purple-gem as usual.)

Degrey – Ghost Riposte (Purple Shield) – Reaction: If an opponent sends gems, you may discard a blue-shield from your hand to negate them. If you do, you may play a purple-gem and a red-fist as if it were your turn.

Argagarg – Blowfish Spikes (Blue/Purple Shield) – Reaction: If an opponent sends gems or red-fist attacks, you may discard a blue-shield from your hand to negate it. If you do, that opponent reveals their hand, discards any wounds, and antes a 1-gem for each wound in their discard pile.

Gloria – Overdose – At the end of your turn, you may discard a red-fist. If you do, +2Chips and each player antes a 2-gem.

Gwen – Gloria’s Remedy – +Black Arrow. Discard a blue-shield from your hand. If you do, you may remove a gem from your gem pile, trash a wound from your hand or discard, Shadow Plague does not give a wound for the rest of the turn, and +Chip.

Onimaru - Clockwork Soldiers - Trash a 4-gem from your hand. If you do, end your action phase, place 4 1-gems on this card, and
Ongoing: After playing any chip that crashes gems, send a 1-gem from the top of this card. These 1-gems are uncounterable.

Vendetta - Wall Dive - +Red Arrow. Discard a blue-shield from your hand. If you do, at the end of your action phase, you may put a red-fist you played this turn on top of your bag. (You cannot put trashed chips on top of your bag.)

Rook - Rock Armor (Blue Shield) - After an opponent red-fist attacks you, you may reveal a red-fist from your hand. If you do, play a purple-gem from your hand or discard pile as if it were your turn, then trash the purple-gem.

Lum - Great Pandemonium - Reveal a puzzle chip from your hand. If you do, +4 Chips -$4, discard gems drawn and play any puzzle chips drawn that don’t have +BlackArrow or +BrownArrow on them. If you played any chips this way, +BlackArrow. If otherwise, end your action phase.

Menelker - Playing to Win - Play a blue-bannered chip from your hand. If you do, you may search your discard or bag for Deathstrike Dragon, and you may put it on top of your bag. Then return a removed bank stack to the game until the end of your turn.

These are all untested, but hopefully you see my angle. The best part about this is that it’s trivially easy to DIY, so I’ll definitely try these when I get the chance.

If anyone has any ideas for Super Moves for the other characters or suggestions to the ones already here, I’m all ears. Frankly, I’m not good enough at the game to come up with stuff for a lot of these characters, so I appreciate any help.

Edit6: Made Val Burst of Speed require a Crash Gem instead of a purple. Made Lum’s super weaker.

Edit5: Made Onimaru’s super uncounterable. Gave Val and Rook new supers. Added Menelker and Lum.

Edit4: I removed Rook’s super because it was awful to play and I don’t think it’s salvageable. I don’t like giving Rook some game-warping move, so I’m going to go back on the drawing board for this one.

Edit3: Added Vendetta and Onimaru supers. Changed Rook’s super to only require that the bank has a red and a blue chip, instead of needing to reveal a red.

Edit2: Changed Val super to +2Draw instead of 1.

Edit1: Changed Grave to be “sent” instead of “ante.” Also added a Rook super.


#2

Cool idea. I have no idea how good or bad it is.


#3

Played a few games, but with mostly the same banks. I intentionally made these pretty situational, but maybe they’re too situational. I’ll try out more banks.

Mini crash is hilariously situational for what’s supposed to be a “normal” bank chip. Maybe that’s okay. I’m not used to playing with it.

Well, I guess I’m good enough to comment on Valerie. I wanted to give her a weak-ish but versatile super, but the costs are a little too much. It’s basically only usable in Dashing Strike banks or something, or if you have an abnormally high amount of money. The deck thinning it gives is useless if you’re just going to buy another Crash anyway. It’s not different enough from just crashing normally or using chromatic orb.

So I’m going to try it with +2Draw instead of +1. That’ll give it more use in rushdown and all-in economy strats, which is kind of what I was going for. Not buying purples for a turn is still a huge drawback for rushdown.


#4

Actually, i really like the Mini Crash. I think this game makes a little more sense with it. It’s really useful in fork banks, but I just like having it always there.

It somewhat reduces the impact of buying variance that -$1 Combines cause. Being stuck with a bunch of $3 hands in the mid-late game really sucks, but now you can at least guarantee one of those will be somewhat useful regardless of the bank. It’s nice to have it as a late-game last resort pile-control.

It also helps speed up the late-game, so I think it’s a good addition for newer players too. It’s a lot more clear that it’s an attacking chip, as opposed to the Combines which are only attacking if you combine to a 4-gem.

I think it sits well with the other $3 options too. The closest competitor is Sneak Attack, but that’s red banner and has a red arrow, so it’ll still see fine use with red characters, and no one else uses it anyway. The Mini Crash being a $3 purple banner ender makes it not the most enticing in a lot of situations, so it mostly just smooths out the rougher parts of the game and it’s great. I’m really struggling to see how the Mini Crash could ever make the game worse somehow.

In other news, Geiger’s super, which I’m calling Time Stop, is amazing. It has great synergy with Geiger’s bag control stuff. It’s really scary. It can potentially waste the opponent’s Crash Gem while also giving Geiger a surprise fork, so it can be scary to countercrash Geiger at all. The tension is palpable. Mini Crash Gems also buff Geiger since he can search for them, and they can be used with Time Stop too.

I almost think it’s too good. But who the heck is worried about Geiger being broken? I’d way prefer that over the current top 3 anyway. All I know is that the Geiger-Gloria matchup was the most fun I’ve had with this game in years. The super can only be used once and has a significant cost, so I think it still evens out.

Here’s some other ideas:

Onimaru - Clockwork Soldiers
Trash a 4-gem from your hand. If you do, end your action phase, place 4 1-gems on this card, and
Ongoing: After playing any chip that crashes gems, send a 1-gem from the top of this card.

Vendetta - Wall Dive
+Red Arrow. Discard a blue-shield from your hand. If you do, at the end of your action phase, you may put a red-fist you played this turn on top of your bag. (You cannot put trashed chips on top of your bag.)


#5

Valerie with a +2 draw Masterpiece is broken. If she can play it and still have 5 money for a 3-gem in her first cycle, it’s too good. Valerie cycles fast enough that she can econ her way up to a DCG, and her Chromatic Orb keeps her safe while she does it. Yikes.

I’ve fiddled with other ideas, but I don’t think this particular card idea is good enough when it isn’t broken, so here:

Burst of Speed - Discard a puzzle chip and trash a purple-gem from your hand. If you do, take another turn after this one.

OG Puzzle Strike players will remember this effect. Valerie had something like this as a character chip and was never broken…unless you played it on the first turn and bought a combine. Here, you trash a purple and it already requires for you to have a puzzle chip, so it’ll stay as a powerful mid-endgame effect, hopefully. It has some synergy with the Mini Crash too.

I wanted to give Lum something to help him when he has no combo-y puzzle chips in bank:

Lum - Great Pandemonium - Reveal a puzzle chip from your hand. If you do, +5 Chips, discard gems drawn and play any puzzle chips drawn that don’t have +BlackArrow on them. If you played any chips this way, +BlackArrow. If otherwise, end your action phase and -$5.

I got rid of the Checkmate Buster from Rook because it was horrible to play against. Rook seems like he’s already a solid character, so I’ll just give him this to help him with defensive red banks:

Rook - Rock Armor - Blue Shield - After an opponent red-fist attacks you, you may reveal a red-fist from your hand. If you do, play a purple-gem from your hand or discard pile as if it were your turn, then trash the purple-gem.

For Menelker…I have no clue. I don’t know this character very well, and also he already has the most super-y character chip, so this is the best I got:

Menelker - Playing to Win - Play a blue-bannered chip from your hand. If you do, you may search your discard or bag for Deathstrike Dragon, and you may put it on top of your bag. Then return a removed bank stack to the game until the end of your turn.

Also made Onimaru’s super uncounterable because the cost is so big.

Grave’s super is surprisingly fair. Five gems is scary, but it’s awkward to set up in the early game and leaves Grave with a less than desirable deck. In the lategame, not being able to combo into it is a harsh drawback, plus it’s counterable. I think it’s in a good place, it’s just not something you really want to build a whole deck for. Could still be weak but who knows.

Argagarg’s super is wonky. I think I’d rather give him something that has nothing to do with wounds to help him out against really strong trashers? Or something against fast rushes? I’m not sure yet.

I also don’t really like the idea of Vendetta’s super just allowing him to play more reds, when they can be countered again. He’s like one of the more extreme characters, so I’m thinking he should get something else too. Maybe something with a bunch of draws?

Well besides these characters, that just leaves Midori, Quince, Troq, BBB, Persephone, and Zane. Yay