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Geiger R&D :: Copying Other Characters (Openings)

Ever pick Geiger and then wish, as soon as turn 1, that you had any other character? It’s too late to repick. But you can often do the next best thing with your first buy.

Geiger’s ability to use It’s Time for the Past to play a puzzle chip on turn 2 with fairly high consistency is a powerful opening tool; he can play his first puzzle chip when most characters are stuck with only character chips. In an “adopt an ender” strategy, he buys a cheap but strong puzzle chip early and plays as though it were an extra character chip.

With the right choice of puzzle chip, Geiger can borrow another character’s strategy.

For example, suppose Geiger wants to be Argagarg. He can buy Just a Scratch or Really Annoying and play it every cycle - or twice if It’s Time for the Past lines up right.

  • Really Annoying substitutes for Hex of Murkwood. The blue arrow matters less than the ability to play it as a reaction, and Really Annoying doesn’t fizzle if they have two wounds.
  • Bubble Shield’s pile-defense is sorta made up for by R&D. Its reaction’s deterrent function can be taken over by Really Annoying. If immunity becomes important, immunity :psblueshield:s are available as puzzle chips.
  • Protective Ward is so bad in matchups where Geiger wants to mimic Argagarg that he usually won’t miss it.
  • R&D’s draws compensate for the faster cycling from Argagarg’s Ongoing effects.

But suppose you want someone higher tier than Argagarg. Can he do that?

Sure. Buy Chips for Free and transform into Grave. The correspondence is almost exactly one to one. They both have:

  • Two Draw Twos
  • Slowly upgrading their deck, with the upgraded chip going to the discard
  • Two brown-to-black washers
  • Pig access.
  • Once again, R&D compensates for other defense in the form of Reversal’s reaction, although Geiger can just buy a second crash gem to match it exactly.

There is some strategic divergence; Grave has an extra :ps_2: option on Versatile Style, where Geiger has the discard-fishing from It’s Time for the Past. Furthermore, Geiger is Old Grave, with the ability to upgrade his starting crash. But Grave and CFF Geiger play very similarly.

Is Grave not your style, or inappropriate in the current bank? Then buy Risky Move and a combine, and mimic Rook.

  • Strength of Earth is replaced by the pile effects of combine into Risky Move dropping a :ps1gem:.
  • Big Rocks is replaced by the gem-upgrading effect of Risky Move and the to-hand money boost is replaced by Risky Move’s :ps_3:, even after subtracting the Combine’s :ps_1:.
  • Stone Wall’s main is matched, and doubled, by Future Sight.
  • R&D once again substitutes for a :pspurpleshield: on defense, although Geiger can profitably match the effect with a Gems to Gemonade buy if it’s available and substitute a Crash if it isn’t.

With Grave and Rook as high tier options, what’s the downside to playing Geiger compared to Grave or Rook? There are two. First, the corresponding puzzle chips aren’t always available, and even if they are, further copies don’t complement the basic gameplans very well. Mimic Geiger will end up with slightly weaker banks on average, although he can choose some other strategy if the bank requires it. Secondly, since Geiger needs to spend a buy phase on the pseudo-character chips, he’s a turn or two slower than the character he mimics. Fortunately, his character chips all help him make that time up in various ways, and the most expensive aspects to mimic - the :pspurpleshield:s - are least relevant in the early game.

Geiger R&D will be a series of articles exploring Puzzle Strike’s resident time traveler. Its purpose is to help experienced players add Geiger to their competitive repertoire, since he’s known to be very difficult to raise to a competitive standard.

About the author: Bucky is an old online tournament player and current Puzzle Strike coach. He was the only player to reach Grandmaster rank with Geiger on the online leaderboards after the 3rd edition updates.

This space reserved for highlights from the discussion thread.


Thx for the games, neat to see demonstrated after reading it. I tried Oni and his WTT reminded me of Geiger’s Turn 2 puzzle trick. See you next week!