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How to win without crashing 4-gems (guide)

At higher levels of play, the usual way to end the game is to make an uncounterable crash involving a 4-gem. But the advice to be aggressive by only crashing 4-gems is a simplification; there are some common patterns for threatening to win with smaller crashes, and recognizing those patterns is of great importance.

First, a definition: someone is in ‘check’ if their ante puts them to 10 gems or more. A player in check needs to remove gems on their gem pile or lose.

With that in mind, here are some common crash-jutsu techniques:

  1. A Simple Threat: Crash a small gem to put them to 9 and hope they can’t countercrash. This is a good idea if you are losing, because it can randomly win you an otherwise unwinnable game. However, if you have more purples than your opponent, you should usually wait until you have a 4.

How to set it up:
*Buy combines and wait. Chances to put your opponent in check happen fairly often.

When you should do it:
*You are losing badly and it’s your best shot at winning.
*Opponent has few crashes, and by watching their discard pile you know the odds they have a crash in hand.
*As part of a more complex attack.
*When you’re fine with them counter-crashing

When you should not do it:
*You are slightly out-purpling your opponent
*You can instead crash a 4 next turn

2)Double Tap (a.k.a Fork You): Crash a gem that is counter-crashable but would
kill them. Then do it again next turn. If they only have one crash, they
are very unlikely to have it two turns in a row. (This is guaranteed if
they don’t shuffle) This attack can be very effective even with 2-gems,
because it forces the opponent to use their crashes before they can combine.

How to set it up:
*Catch your opponent playing greedy.
*Buy purples including a fairly fast crash gem.
*Use Secret Move or other easy pigs to distribute your crashes properly.
*Play as Jaina

When you should do it:
*Opponent has a high gem pile with only 1-gems in it.
*Opponent only has one crash gem while you have two, and is behind on combining.
*Opponent lets their pile get too high before buying a second crash

When you shouldn’t do it:
*Opponent has 2 crashes in their hand+bag
*Opponent might have a double crash gem

3)Sustained Check: As above, but repeatedly in a slimdeck or heavy engine. With
some way of refilling your gem pile (e.g. It’s Combo Time), you can keep someone constantly in check until they draw a hand with no crash.

How to set it up:
*Build an engine and trash your 1-gems (e.g. It’s Combo Time).
*Play as DeGrey.

When you should do it:
*As your endgame strategy with a favorable character/bank combination

When you should not do it: Deciding between slimdecking, engine play and other strategies is beyond the scope of this guide.

  1. Ninja Crash: Peek at their hand somehow, notice they don’t have a
    crash, kill them. Seeing all their crashes in the discard has the same

How to set it up:
*Watch the discard pile closely!
*Use chips that give you a peek

When you should do it:
*Whenever all your opponent’s crashes are in the discard
*You should try it whenever you can peek and then crash

When you should not do it:
*Never. Always look for the guaranteed win, and always take it when you can, although you should double-check that they have no other pile control available.

5)Red-Protected Crash: As above, but with a fork and a red gem that strips your
opponent’s crash (e.g. Stolen Purples, Color Panic). Even Mix Master is
effective at limiting countercrashes.

How to set it up:
*Buy purples, then forks, then reds.
*Play as Vendetta (Gwen and Quince also work in a favorable bank).
*Use pigs to align your forks with your payload.

When you should do it:
*In a friendly bank against a non-engine opponent.
*When your opponent is slimdecking.
*X-Copy Option Select!
*Off Master Puzzler.

When you should not do it:
*Forks or suitable reds are not available
*Vs. Self-Improvement without additional setup (bait reds)
*When you can more profitably go engine yourself

6)Overpower (a.k.a. Bully Crash): Opponent has a pile of 8+ 1-gems? Crash 3 at them and force them to counter-crash and still have a crash left over.

How to set it up:
*Out-purple your opponent
*Have it fall into your lap

When you should do it:
*Opponent is known to have at most one crash in hand
*Opponent has a fat bag with few crashes
*Opponent has a high combine-to-crash ratio
*You have a better economy, so you’d be happy with a counter-crash before any further combines happen

When you should not do it:
*Opponent has larger gems than 1-gems
*Opponent might have a double crash

7)Multicrash: Fork, double crash, X-copy double crash, Hundred Fist Frenzy. However you do it, crash enough times in one turn and they run out of counter-crashes. When you try this, it’s often best to crash 1-gems first to bait counter-crashes, then crash larger gems.

How to do it:
*Buy multiple HFFs, then reds, then combines
*Heavy engine with forks (X-Copy is effectively a fork) into double crashes.

When you should do it:
*As part of a dedicated endgame plan after establishing your economy
*When the forks and crashes all fall into your lap during the same turn.

When you shouldn’t do it:
*Master Puzzler wars (dedicate resources to MP instead. However, forking MP-gained double crashes is still a good way to relieve pile pressure)
*The setup would take too long.

8)Master Puzzler: Lets you do of the above. I think no explanation is necessary.

9)Deathstrike, Dragon Form pressure etc.: character specific options Included for completeness.

  1. Counter-kill: Your opponent crashes a gem to get their pile down to 9. You crash a larger gem back.

How to set it up:
*Your opponent is stupid or desperate.

When you should do it:
*You have an opening and your opponent has no actions left and few purple reactions.

When you shouldn’t do it:
*Your opponent is representing Gems to Gemonade or a similar reaction.

Author’s Note: This guide was originally published on in December 2011. It has been slightly revised for


While this guide was complete as written at the time, I’d like feedback on the “When you should(n’t) do it:” sections.

Mix Master is also a standard way to set up a Bully Crash (6).

(My edit privileges seem to have expired on this guide.)

I’ve managed to hit #1 and #2 against the bots haphazardly, will try to land them and #3 with intent. Let you know how it goes.