Midori: Strong Eco opening

Since the twilight of the online community, I’ve developed another Midori strategy that runs counter to most of the advice in the Midori Guide. The Strong Eco opening consists of playing turn 1 Dragon Form and turn 2 Purge Bad Habits. With both Dragon Form and Purge Bad Habits in hand on turn 1, it’s sometimes possible to go for a weaker version of Eco Midori - play the Dragon Form. It tries to present a conundrum where it can out-money an economy focused character who isn’t fully committed to his economy, while also presenting a credible threat to win by pressure in the midgame, and usually requiring the opponent to play into Rigorous Training to keep up.

The archetypical version of the opening is a Double Crash Gem rush, with runs unfolds as follows:
Buy [2]s on both turns. Keep Dragon Form on turn 2. After turn 2, you will draw 6 chips out of an 11 chip deck. Absent opponent interference, one of the following three cases must be true:

  1. You got very lucky and drew maximum money. You can drop Dragon Form and buy a Double Crash Gem immediately.
  2. You have enough money to buy a [3]. Crashing for money is okay, since Dragon Form gives more pile height than you need, but purging your Crash Gem isn’t. Buy the [3], or a [4] if you can afford it, and keep Dragon Form. You overdraw again and are guaranteed to be able to buy a Double Crash Gem sometime in the next two turns depending on when you draw the gem you just bought.
  3. Your hand is exactly three [1]s, Rigorous Training, Purge Bad Habits and Crash Gem. That means you have 8 money in the bag and will overdraw by one. If you’re feeling pressured, you can drop Dragon Form, Purge a [1], and buy a combine, and you’re 5/8 to hit the Double Crash Gem money on turn 4 with excellent prospects to win once you get back into Dragon Form. But keeping Dragon Form up and buying an econ chip is a safer play, such that you’re 6/7 to secure the Double Crash Gem next turn.

In any of these cases, don’t use Rigorous Training if it prevents you from buying the Double Crash Gem. After buying the Double Crash Gem, pick up one or more combines and then look for a window to re-establish Dragon Form.

The first cycle [2] buys aren’t the only direction to take a strong eco opening. In an engine-friendly bank, it’s often better to start on something like a fork+draw 3 engine from turn 1. This only comes with experience and experimentation, which I am unfortunately light on.

Eco Midori is notable in that, unlike the vast majority of characters, he actively wants to crash for money during the second cycle. He won’t fall behind the normal benchmark on pile height bonus, it makes him safer vs. light counterpressure, and it makes his first double crash that much more threatening. That first double crash often happens before Dragon Form is replayed. In that case, the backup plan is to make a [4] from two lingering Dragon Form [2]s so that it’s still unblockable.