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Niijima-san's Advice Corner: Vendetta vs. Argagarg

Most lower level historical charts have Argagarg beating Vendetta in this matchup. Just recently has @vengefulpickle 's tireless search for the best heuristics unveiled a previously underlying
“secret”: Vendetta wins this matchup. The question now, is why? Why am I 20-7 over tournament performance in this matchup while most everyone else flounders? Why am I revealing this now?

Well, I can answer the last part pretty easily. For a long time I wanted to closely guard my power in this game to maximize my winrate. Once you divulge your techniques in Yomi publicly, anyone can read them and then people can just straight counter them if they know what you are doing. Oh well, here are my thoughts:

  1. Argagarg can’t counter everything. For most characters, Arg’s counter is basically saved for ONE of their abilities (the most powerful one, duh). Well Vendetta has TWO abilities that harass the little fishman, so he has to make decisions on the fly on what to counter (what that ends up translating to is: counter the first thing you see).

  2. Hex is NOT inevitable. For almost every character in the game (other than Gloria), Hex of Murkwood has a finite clock, and it can lead to somewhat reliable checkmates. Gloria’s exemption also applies to Vendetta for a different reason: Vendetta can somewhat reliably knock down from any revealed option, and infinitely knock down with successful King combat wins. Acrobatics ALSO negates a turn of Hex so that can also be used if you slip up. Vendetta is one of two or three characters who can be facing 1 life to 85 and still conceivably win.

  3. (In general) don’t attack unless you have Acrobatics backup or you are fairly confident they don’t have A. There is no reason to give Arg Bubble Shield without working for it, especially since popping it can be quite annoying for Vendetta as he might have to sacrifice a valuable 7-throw or other resource with little reward.

  4. This is in general good advice for most characters, but don’t throw unless you have substantial reward for doing so. Don’t use a 9 throw just to get a knockdown. That sucks. If you’re going to put your ass on the line make sure they pay for it. Since the other person will know this, this leads to the next point…

  5. You should K throw early if possible. Since in the early game your normal throws are low-reward (which I specifically advised against a moment ago) they are subsequently also low-percent plays. Which means they won’t be looking for throws. Which means K throw might win combat. Yes it sucks losing a K throw to a biffed raw walldive, but that’s what backflips are for.

  6. The K/D game is all about 2.2, until they know that it’s all about 2.2, then it’s all about whatever you want it to be about. When you have the opponent in a K/D loop, NEVER play K attack. Ever. Always play mixup normals (leaning toward 2 attack of course), dodge into K throw AAA or J+++, or raw K throw. This is where you will get your dividends. Once your opponent realizes you will never play a K attack (which, now that I’ve posted this, may be immediately) they will start using Q to bust up your mixup attempts. This is what opens up K attack again. I will reiterate: don’t use K attack on KD until they prove they will play Q on wakeup.

  7. Only use Acrobatics on raw AA or A block.

  8. Try not to power up until you’ve had a few things countered. In general don’t power up until you have 3oaK or you’re going to go over your hand limit.

  9. Don’t get flustered. You will almost always start this matchup off behind. Vendetta doesn’t care. He can win in three combat reveals. Be patient and because of point #2 don’t panic.

  10. Keep Arg wanting cards. He will be spending counters to try and stop your wall dives and backflips. He will be spending cards to power up for As. He will be spending cards when you acro his As. Keep him low and he can’t constantly have As on deck and you will have advantage time. His combat wins will be insignificant compared to yours (they already kind of are).

  11. This is just general Vendetta stuff: Don’t play raw 7 attack unless the situation is extremely dire (like it’s a post acro turn and that’s your only attack). The reward is too low to lose such a versatile card.

  12. You may have to use 8 throw. Don’t do it until later in the match, but consider it a much higher percent play than against almost any other character. Conversely, don’t just use them all as throws. You want to put pressure on Arg’s counter game (and also, Acro is like one of the most powerful abilities in the game).


So, I’m not super experienced in this matchup, but I have a couple discussion points:

  1. I think Acro is absolutely the only card you should counter in this MU. Countering K is banking on them not having another K and I just think that’s super not worth unless it’s absolutely dire.
  2. Keeping Arg down on hand size without throwing a high % of the time seems hard, especially since Arg is comfortable going block/block vs most of the cast. Arg shouldn’t be spamming power ups and counter spelling Acro is net -1 card for each player (Though Arg shouldn’t be spamming this either).
  3. I’m interested to hear how you evaluate 7 in this MU. It has a rare KD ender on it, which is very good vs Arg, but 7 throw is very strong and having no 7 throw can be sketchy with Acro being your next fastest throw.
  1. not countering K is a mistake IMO, especially since ven might use those 8s as throws in this matchup anyway so you might miss your opportunities.

  2. counterspelling acro is not net -1 card for vendetta, it is even. You dont pay the dodge until the ability is not countered, and arg not spamming powerups gives his off kd game no bite whatsoever.

  3. i usually use 7 throw as an ender unless the arg seems especially throw happy.


Oh, right. I’m a dummy. I forgot you don’t pay costs if your spell gets counterspelled in this game.
Maybe I need to see the MU from the other side and see how it feels to have K countered. Acro is insane, though. Certainly one of the best abilities in the game.

Accro is generally at its most powerful against front-loaded damage, which Arg doesn’t really have, or to avoid really critical combat losses. I’m not sure there’s a combat loss that would be critical for Vendetta outside of avoiding lethal. Even having your attack blocked by Bubble Shield isn’t something I’d consider “must accro” given Ven’s tools.

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I consider Bubble Shield “must acro” personally.

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Fair. I might be overestimating Ven’s access to dodges and throws.

Yeah, I think getting BS is quite strong vs Ven.
After giving it some thought, though, I think countering K is stronger than I first gave it credit for. I’d be interested to see how games go with prioritizing K as a counter target over Acro, just for testing purposes. You can counter it early without penalty, and K loop is very destructive to Arg’s game plan. The problem is you’ll basically never get a successful BS or Blowfish with all of Ven’s acros online.

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Getting accro’d still puts you in advantage-time against Ven though.

Only for a turn, and only for offense, which seems less relevant to Arg? I mean, I don’t play Arg, but it seems like the value of one faster turn is significantly less than the value of BS.

True but Arg is easily underestimated when it comes to offense. Especially if he has more aces.

If you almost always just stay defensive on Acro turns, if the matchup is played how I describe then Arg will have to throw to capitalize and that’ll either keep his hand lower or not do much damage at all.

I’m just continuing to argue that accro is not a must-counter ability, compared to Ven K.

If Arg reveals A, and Ven has revealed an attack, then the cost to Ven of playing accrobatics is: the attack he played (if it was a normal, since it would ordinarily return to his hand), an 8, and a dodge. If Arg is steadfastly denying K’s with his counter, that is a 1 to 3 trade in Arg’s favour already. Plus you get a slight advantage on the next combat.


I see. I agree.

Although i think the card math us a bit messed up. I dont think you can count theoretical cards like that. If you do then you have to count the theoretical card arg would have drawn from blocking correctly, and the theoretical card ven would have gotten from notmal draw (if it was in fact a normal) and conversely the theoretical card losses ven would have trying to pierce the bubble shield.

I mean, you can count theoretical cards, you just need to do it thoroughly.

Attack Type Acro :vendetta: :argagarg: :vendetta: Card Advantage
Normal :x: +Normal, +Normal Draw +Block Draw, -A +2
Normal :white_check_mark: -Normal, -8, -Dodge -A -2
Special :x: -Special +Block Draw, -A -1
Special :white_check_mark: -Special, -8, -Dodge -A -2

So, acro-ing on a normal attack turn costs a lot of cards, but on a special only costs one, by my reading.

This doesn’t account for future card expenditure to pop the bubble shield, though.


Also Arg can recur the A if he really wants to while the acro is gone for good so there’s that

This is such a weird discussion. In the end the only thing that matters is that Arg does not get Bubble Shield up and has to keep struggling for aces, because Arg is just not that good without Aces.