The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Game FAQ and Beginner's Corner

The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby GonFreeces31 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:01 pm

The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

By iczer GonFreeces31, or more commonly known as “Gon”

Introduction

Welcome to the best deck-building Alteil guide IN THE UNIVERSE!! Yup, you heard right! You will not find a better one here in the US, or in Japan, or ever Mars. So, without further delay, let’s get started!!!

There are few guides out there that address the issue of deck building. In a sense, one can think of deck building as an art, or form of creative expression. You have an array of cards, 25 file slots, and 5 soul skill slots. What tapestry will you create? How will you express yourself via your file? While the tremendous amount of options open available to you does present a world of opportunity, it is also a world full of traps and pitfalls. Many options also imply many poor options. Usually, it is near impossible for beginner players to create new files that are solid and can actually compete. Thus, I am writing this guide for both new players and veterans alike. There are many cards out there that people want to use, but simply do not know how to use. I think this is a very sad thing, however, now that this guide is out, instead of getting frustrated trying to figure out how to use specific cards, you can read this, figure out the fundamentals of the game, and then apply the basics into constructing a file for whatever card you want.

This guide is meant to be a comprehensive overview of the process of building a file. It’s going to go over all the fundamentals as I see them. I hope this will help, seeing as how most of the stuff in here I learned myself from endless testing over a very long time.

The SP Curve

Below is a diagram of what I like to think of as the “SP Curve.” It is a graph of how much SP you have based on turn. This does not factor in things like SS and abilities that change your SP, however, looking at it in this context can help you understand some basic concepts in the game.

Image

Efficiency

For starters, it is extremely important that you efficiently use the SP that you generate. Simple enough right? If it is turn 5, both players will have generated at least 13 total SP. So if one player has invested 10SP into units on the field, and the other player has invested 13SP into units on the field, who is winning? Clearly it is the player who has used their SP most efficiently. So one thing to look at while playing is, how much SP has each player generated, and how is that SP being used?

During your file construction/editing process, as you are playing, check to see how efficient your file is throughout the game. Are there any periods where you have a ton of extra SP? Good files tend to flow very smoothly, and at each point in the game, they are efficiently using SP and do not let any go to waste.

Where will my combo fit?

The other implication of this graph is that by showing you how much total SP you have at different points in a game, it can help you think about where you can play combos. While at turn 5 you only have 13SP, by turn 15 you will have generated 33SP. So if you want to run a SP-intensive combo, try to think about at what stage of the game you can do this.

For example, here are several high-level unit combos:
Bazgar + Fire Dragon
Kafhar + Dragon of the Mercurial Knight
Jerry + Volcano Wyvern
Vonderam + Ancient Sea Tortoise

These four combos are all good and powerful when on the field together, but the question is, how can you actually use these guys? If we look at the SP curve, we can clearly see that stuff like Bazgar + Fire Dragon won’t be a possible option to turn to until at least turn 8 or 10 probably. So the question becomes, what can I do in my game as a prelude to the combo I really want to enact? If you want to use Vonderam and the turtle, you could drop Legyre first, or mess around with Leviathan or the wyverns. Likewise, if you wanted to use Bazgar and Fire Dragon together, you could start your file with volcano wyvern shenanigans for the first 6-10 turns, and then transition to your real combo later on in the game. This enables you to fight the enemy, allow some time to pass, and then get to the combo you really want to get to later in the game when you have enough SP to support it.

Move UP the curve, not DOWN

As time goes on you get more SP. So theoretically, you should be playing lower level units early in the game, and then move on to higher level ones once they die and you get that SP back. Additionally, it is important that you play units that don’t require SP use early and save those units for later in matches.

Generic Gowen rushes take this principle into account. Bread and butter Gowen files tend to open up with Kurina, Man Eating Tiger, and Salamanders, and then move up to level 3 units like Forest Rhino and Mercenary, before ending with endgame units like Bringer and/or Athira Shin. This is a tried and true file type that has hit over 2000RP that beautifully moves up the SP curve. Low level free revive units early, level 3 units that use a little more SP next, and endgame unit at the end.

Another way to think of “moving up” the SP curve is to transition from low SP intensive units (no SP costing action skills, high HP), to higher SP intensive units (SP costing skills, low HP). For example, level 3 rushes like Wiz King, Undead, and Solar Kingdom don’t really need to use ‘endgame units’ like Gowen does, but they do need to find ways to make efficient use of SP they get late in the game. This is why you see more SP intensive units like Folrart Charge Knight, Sorc Monk, and Lich appearing late in games. So another way to think of “moving up” the curve is to move on to units that use up more SP for greater powers.

An example of moving DOWN the SP Curve would actually be the premade Serpent file. It generally starts with the level 4 tank, Sea Claw, but has no way to use the SP you get back from Sea Claw and Serpent when those units die. What you will frequently see, is this file with massive amounts of SP late in the game, and nothing to spend it on. Generally, the best serpent files you see will include units like Bog Wyvern or Sorceress Monk to turn to late in the game after your combo dies off. Not only is this more efficient, it also moves “up” the SP curve.

Open vs Opening Set

I often hear people talk about “opens” as if they are fixed in stone. People will say, “My open is X, Y, Z.” Well, a good way to tell if you are a noob is if you use the same open every single time. It should be obvious that the same open won’t work against every file and that many times you will have to adjust your open. This is why instead of asking how you “open,” ask what your “opening set” is. By opening set, I am defining that as a group of units that you play in whatever order early in the game depending on what the opponent is doing. It can be a very good thing to think more in terms of an opening “set” and not an open since a lot of times, subtle differences in the first 3 moves of games can decide who wins very early. A lot of minor advantages/disadvantages that happen early on can snowball into massive advantages later in the match.
The take home point is to get you thinking about your “open” as an extremely flexible thing, and not something set in stone.
For example, here are some variations in opens of some files.
For a Lawt rush like the pre built one.
Great way to approach a Gowen file with Lawt rush: Shade – Hellsmoke – Mindsoldier – LeBeau
The goal here is to simply “out-rush” the Gowen rush user. The second shade should also be played any turn you think you will be able to take 1SP on the open skill.
Great way to approach a Refess file with lawt rush (same file): Shade-Hellsmoke-Shade-Igina-Heavy Shield
The goal is to set up your high damage combo as soon as possible to hit through high defense Refess units.
For a Gowen rush (like monsters).
Good way to start verse Refess: Tiger – Salamander – Forest Rhino – Forest of Hate - Gorilla
The goal here is to get the rhino set up for repeated charges every turn.
Good way to start verse Falkow: Tiger – Salamander – Forest Rhino – Salamander – Forest Rhino
Verse Falkow, playing an early “support” unit like the Forest of Hate is a big mistake because of Return and Tidalwave threats. In this case it is better to play Salamanders on off turns when you have 2SP, and double play your Forest Rhino since one of them is guaranteed to get returned anyway.

Plan a PROGRESSION, not a Picture

When planning, it is natural to try to imagine a picture, and then create that picture. You might think, hey, what if I get cards X, Y, and Z together on the field! I’ll be unstoppable! This is a really bad approach.

Alteil is a turn-based game. Each turn you can play 1 unit at a time. Really, you need to think in terms of a SEQUENCE, or a progression. What unit will you play first? What unit will you play second? Will the second unit support the first one? Will the third support the first two? If you look at two player’s progressions, which one is superior and why? So when thinking of your file, instead of imagining a bunch of units on the field together, try to think about the sequence this will happen in. What’s coming first, what’s coming second, if you were to write down on paper the order your units will be coming out, how will it happen? Sometimes it actually helps to write down the sequence on paper to see it play out.

Also, keep in mind the duration of time these units will be on the field. Whatever unit you put down on the field first is likely going to be the first to die off. During games, it’s good to pay attention to what units are on the field together, and what units don’t get on the field together. Often people make plans to combo certain units, but if the first unit comes to the field on turn 4, and the second unit is summoned say on turn 6, the two units may only be on the field together for one turn.

Here are some common opening progressions:

2-2-2-2: This is any basic form of level 2 rush. The most common types are Pixies and EN (endless night). They work by spamming level 2 units in various orders.

1-3-1-3: This is the basic opening for Lawtia. Shade -> Undead -> Shade -> level 3 is pretty standard and effective.

2-1-3-1-3: This is a typical opening sequence for Gowen. Something like Kurina – Sally - level 3 – Sally – level 3. It is good because you are starting with a free reviver, then work in your salamanders and level 3 units to ease you into the core of your file. It would work great for Merc Nation or Monsters or Warriors or anything really.

1-3-1-4: This is used less frequently, but regardless it is a very good opening for many files that rely on an early level 4 unit. This works well for using an undead file focused on Langbart, or a Gowen monsters file focused on Tree Giant. Note, the level 4 unit is played on turn 4 assuming the first unit you play dies and activates some soul skill that gives you SP. The progression would be Shade -> Hellsmoke -> Shade -> Langbart. Or, Buncle -> Rhino/Athira -> Salamander -> Tree Giant. If your opening unit does not die right away it would delay the open a tiny bit.

1-SP Gen-4: This is the basic progression for any file that leads with a level 4 unit such as Guardian or Sea Claw.

Power of the Great Spirits

Do not under estimate the power of the great spirits! Shade, Salamander, Dryad, Wisp, Undine, and Sylphs are good enough to affect the outcome of many matches. As a general rule, I think it is always good to include at least 2 great spirits in every file. Every Lawt rush should include at least 2 shades, every Gowen rush should include at least 2 salamanders, etc. 3 spirits is great for certain files, but depends a little bit on the Soul Skills.
If I had to describe it in one sentence: The true power of the spirits is that they give you a slight advantage on the field and then die to activate your soul skills (which is good). More will be covered on this later (see soul skill coordination). The other strength is that they all really help your timing and tempo early game. It’s really important to keep pumping a steady stream of units to the field so you don’t get outnumbered. So on turns where you only have say 2SP, you can play a spirit, and then move on to a level 3 the following turn.
Shade: People often use the term “timing shades,” but what the heck does that mean? Well, there is generally always a turn early where a player leaves 1SP unused. The goal of the Lawtia player is to pick when those turns are, and use their shades then to drain SP. Usually it is either on turn 2 or 3 that this happens. Guessing correctly and taking away 1SP really makes it difficult for the opponent to get their units out, and gives you a major advantage in the game.
Example: Falkow files frequently open: EX Wiz -> Owl Sage. Meaning on turn 2, they have 1 loose SP unused. Against these files, timing your shade correctly means playing a shade again on turn 2. This prevents the Falkow player from playing a level 3 unit on turn 3, and greatly slows down the pace of their file.
Salamander: Doing 10 damage as an open skill is perfect in so many situations. Most commonly, it can snipe 10HP units like Kesaran Pasaran and Owl Sage, allow a 40 damage soul skill to kill a 50HP unit, set your Kurina up for a kill of a 30HP unit, or sit peacefully in the back doing 30-40 damage with great range. Salamander is such a great Gowen card.
I was recently speaking with Worthing (arguable the best player in the game) about a file that I used with 3 Salamanders for a recent tournament. He replied, “I use 3 Salamanders in every Gowen file I make. I’m not sure why you would use any less. In sets 6-7 Salamander was one of the best Gowen units in the game.”
Dryad: Simply put, adding 10 defense to one of the many 60-70 HP Gowen tanks is tough to overcome.
Wisp: Absolutely perfect for saving 40HP support units from 40 damage soul skills. Saving your Refess unit means that turn, their start skill will activate buffing your whole field, and you won’t have to spend 1SP early reviving.
Undine: Amazing at rending high AGI units totally harmless. By manipulating agility of the right units, you can save yourself from being field wiped and strike back at the enemy. Additionally, Undine is also perfect for getting your Sea Serpent to act last, and hit engaged units.
Example: Let’s say you have a powerful AGI 3 unit facing down an equally powerful AGI 4 unit. If you take no action, your guy will die every turn from the other player’s attacks. By using undine, you allow your unit to strike first. Then the following turn, if the enemies AGI 4 unit misses and kills your Undine, well, that one card just allowed your AGI 3 unit to kill two copies of the enemies’ faster unit! That also means they have to spend 2SP reviving, and it is likely your next Soul Skill (being activated by the Undine) will kill the third copy of the faster unit!
Sylph: Sylph is most commonly seen powering up Rapier Fencer of Regus, but the wind spirit is also incredible at getting low AGI high power units to go first.
Example: My favorite example is with Vonderam. Vonderam’s “Wave Storm” returns a target level 3 unit, and deals damage to another enemy unit. The problem is he is only AGI 2 meaning he commonly doesn’t get a chance to act. Sylphing him can mean instead of just dying before getting a chance to act, he can return one unit and kill another. In this instance, the act of sylphing is having a major impact.
Focus on Unit Order

This is to draw your attention to the order that you play your units. In general, for any given tribe you wish to play, you always want to start with your free revive unit and tank units early, and then progress to more support focused, or SP intensive units later in the game. If you think about it, deciding what unit to play each turn has a pretty big impact, considering you will have to live with having that unit on the field for 3 or more turns most likely. If you are playing warriors, you will want to start with Light Heierrat Fighter (or Kurina), and probably Feria early in the match, or if you are playing Monsters, start with Man Eating Tiger and Rhino first. For Shrine Knights, first SK2 (free reviver) and then SK1 (front row tankier guy).

There are a lot of “ifs/ands/ors/buts” for a lot of files, but thinking about this is really important. Do not overlook these things. Unit order plays a HUGE role in some matches and I always get surprised it doesn’t get more attention.

More meat does NOT always make a better sandwich

It seems Americans have this belief that to make a sandwich better, the solution is to add more meat. So you end up with companies selling hamburgers with chicken breasts as the buns. With file building, some people seem to think, “MOAR UNITS + MOAR POWER!!” No. Just no. More units won’t save you if you are losing so horribly by turn 8 that you can’t get them out and are losing all of your LP.

There comes a point where “seasoning the beef” is a better solution than adding more beef. In this game, it is possible for 3-4 units played correctly, to defeat 7-8 units played poorly. So if you have a few file slots in your file and you aren’t sure what to do with them, instead of just randomly adding more units, try to ‘season’ the file. Add great spirits, add a few useful grims, add some support unit.

The take home point here is to try to get you to focus your file more, instead of being all over the place. Focus is good, especially when you only have 25 file spots.

2 copies vs 3 copies

A lot of times people assume that in order to use a given card you need 3 copies of it. This is wrong. As a general rule, vital front line units of 3x are a necessity. Ranged support or ranged damage cards 2x of is fine. Situational or endgame units 2x is fine as well.

Examples:

Guardian: Need 3x for sure.
Rasam: If you use Rasam in a file, only 2 copies would be sufficient. Think to yourself, if the first two copies of my Rasam die, will the third really help?
Forest Rhino: 3x for sure.
Athira Shin: Max 2 copies for same reason as Rasam.
Command Doll / Violet X2: 2 copies. She is a squishy ranged support unit to the other command models. Having 3 copies is probably excessive.
The Forest of Hate: Ranged support unit for monsters file. Only need 2 copies.
Soul Skill Coordination





What is a “Balanced File”
Having a balanced file basically means that your file is well rounded. You have no huge weaknesses and can compete with most types of files. In general, having some plan to combat all sorts of files is good and contributes to your file being “balanced.”
Balance also goes hand in hand with consistency. There are a lot of units and soul skills that are incredible, but only incredible… sometimes. Other times they totally fail. Ideally, you should strive for consistency as it will help you out most in the long run.
Balance is also a little easier if you think about what “imbalance” is. An ‘imbalanced’ file is basically one that is polarized. Meaning you have a lot of cards that help you win some specific match-ups, but completely ignore others.
One example of an “imbalanced” file would be a Falkow file that uses 3 Sweeping Tidalwaves, 1 Cyclone, and 2 Faytis. The idea here is that the person is using 6 cards that are only effective if the other person is playing a lot of level 2 units. If the opponent does not play any level 2 units, well then you have 6 useless cards.
Another example of an “imbalanced” file would be someone using nothing but units with 30 attack. Lots of 30 damage pecks is fine verse a Gowen file, but verse something with defense 30 attack is useless.
Another example of an “imbalanced” file would be one that uses Soul Skills that are inconsistent such as Smart Orc (lowers enemy gowen level by 2), Miandela (returns enemy unit with exactly 3 AGI for free), Magid Doll –Healer- (gives 30/30 buff to a unit)and Afeemina SS (sends level 3 unit to cemetery). The point here is that all these soul skills are inconsistent. In specific games they give you enough of an advantage that they can single handedly win you the game, but in others totally fail and will cost you the game.
On the value of imbalance: So to really compete at a high level and optimize your file to be the best that it can be, balance is ideal… However, if you’re really struggling, creating imbalanced files on purpose is totally fine. There are some types of files that are great verse rushes, but terrible verse big files... Or great verse Refess but terrible verse Falkow. Well, so what? If you’re just trying to grab some wins, and your file is amazing 35% of the time but fails horribly 65% of the time, that’s at least better than not winning at all!

File Composition Rules
In other card games, such as MtG, there are simple rules to follow for deck building. Ratios of monsters to spells to lands. What about Alteil? Well, as a basic rule, let’s use these ratios for every basic rush file:
- 2-3 Great Spirits
- 3-5 Grimoires
- 18-20 units
Some files can vary from this, but I think this is a really good starting place.

Soul Skills for Rushes
Generally when you play rush files (focused on units levels 1-3) it is good to have your first three soul skills be 1LP, but which ones do you use? Listed below is a nice way to think about what’s happening at the point in the game when these souls activate.
Slot 1: Your first SS usually activates fairly early in the match. At this point there will likely only be 1 or 2 units out on the field. Both players are in the beginning phases of setting up their field. The first soul is all about giving your file a kick start. Things that give you SP are almost always preferred here. Some good choices for the first SS are listed in the next section below.
Slot 2: Usually the second soul skill activates when both players are starting to get into the core of their file. They likely have 2-3 units out now, and are trying to establish field control. Rather than generating SP, more aggressive damage souls are a better fir for this spot.
Things like Sergis, Diondora, Larut, Scylla, Folrart Berserker, Giant Arthropleurid, Der Freischutz, Colossal Beetle, etc all work great here in slot 2.
Slot 3: The third soul usually activates when both players have gotten to the hearts of each other’s files. A lot of times the third soul reflects some theme of the file or compliments it in some way.
Removal skills like Assassin, Raste, or Bastondora are great for Falkow files in slot 3. Other files like Undead might use something like Pixie Greatswordswoman. TGC files might like to use SK2 to super buff their HP. Gowen files can always turn to tried and true damage souls like Earth Dragon and Efreet.
Types of Files

The first thing you should do when building your file is to categorize it as a level 2 rush, a level 3 rush, a level 3 rush that mixes 4’s, a mids file, or a bigs file. It is important to classify a file as one of the above, and then stick to that archetype. Doing other things, such as starting with an endless night lawt 2’s rush, then switching to some mids file is going to be horribly inefficient and make the SS really hard to coordinate. While occasionally you can get creative and bend the rules here, doing so is generally going to get you into trouble unless you are an expert file designer.

The level 2 Blitz

Level two rushes are all about spamming units and over-running the opponent. The most common ones are EN (Endless Night) and Pixies, however it is totally possible to do this with normal Gowen 2’s or Falkow 2’s as well. These files focus on getting lots of units out, using things like Cemetery Rats, or soul skills like Azure Beastmaster or Diosaur to buff them, and aggressively attack the opponent. You do not necessarily need an endgame for things like this. You just need to iczer attack more than usual late, and try to make the match as fast and furious as possible. The longer the match goes on the more of a disadvantage you are at. This type of file is dependent on field control, which is taking and controlling the field. If you lose field control, you will likely never get it back.

All level 2 rushes should have between 6-8 LP, in a 1-1-1-1-2 lineup, or something similar. They commonly use removal skills such as Assassin to combat higher level units. Common souls for the first SS include Chiru, Sergis, Azure Beastmaster, Giant Arthropleurid, or anything else that is damage or group buff focused.

The level 3 rush

Level 3 rushes are focused on synergy between level 3 units. They are likely the most common file type and the easiest to pick up and play. The core units are all level 3 fighters, with level 2 support types and great spirits mixed in. These files do not necessarily need an endgame unit, although for certain files it helps. Each sphere’s rushes work a little bit differently, and I’ll talk about them below.

All level 3 rushes should start with at least 8LP and two 1LP soul skills. The best first Soul Skill for these rushes is the 40 damage +1SP skill. Gafc is slightly better for lawtia since it sort of amplifies the power of your early Undead unit. If you do not have those Soul Skills do not worry! There are many other interesting cards that can work as your first soul skill… In general, files with units that are dependent on each other should be favoring SP generating abilities, files with more independent fighters should be favoring damage, and control files should lean towards game manipulation type skills.

SP+2 cards: Very under rated card here. Sometimes killing the opponent isn’t as beneficial as getting extra SP to set up your own field.

Violet X2/Ruby Carbuncle: These cards works very well in conjunction with free revive units, especially with Wizard Kingdom files. Gets back copies of free revive units, and can also return grims that were baned from early uses of Tidal.

Wasseir: Sort of went out of style, but still a very, very good SS. Wassier returning one of the opponent’s level 2 units gives you a HEAVY advantage in the match. Sacrifices consistency for power.

Priestess of Madness: Can conditionally give +3SP. Commonly used for lawtia as you can sacrifice a shade. Sometimes can win you the match, other times can cost you the match. Also sacrifices consistency for power.

Okay, now on to a sphere breakdown!!!

Gowen

Gowen is all about attack power and damage. Common Gowen level 3 rushes include Monsters, Rank-Ups, and Warriors. These files work by playing lots of units and killing everything the opponent throws out at you. Generally you focus on playing nothing but units early, and then damage grimoires late. They are focused on damage and attacking. Soul skills can be all damage. Adding an endgame unit such as Athira Shin or Bringer can help, but is not necessary.

Falkow

The premier Falkow rush is Wizard Kingdom (aka “WK”). WK files are predicated on speed, hitting first, hitting fast, not landing a lot of blows, but making the blows you do land count. Falkow units are generally weaker, which is made up for by your game manipulation abilities. They also have special abilities that make them really shine. Falkow rushes work by only playing a few units, and then manipulating the game to their advantage. This is done with returns/tidals and great spirits. Falkow files do not try to kill everything in the opponent’s file, they are mainly playing for SP and field advantage. With this sphere you can take control and win by only killing a handful of units. Once again, I want to re-emphasize the point about playing a few units and then using manipulation effects. Regardless of what units you play, make sure you only focus on ties between 2-3 units and then use returns once your units are in place and can take advantage of the manipulation. Early soul skills do damage, usually using a removal SS such as assassin, or one based on agi such as Raste/Metia are necessary. Endgame Sorc Monk is also required.

Lawtia

Lawtia is all about tricks, timing, and SP drain. Fundamental to lawtia rushes is opening with a level 3 undead unit, timing shades, and working in some kind of trick. Lawt units are generally slightly weaker than units of other spheres, but that is basically because of the amazing power of shade. If you time 2-3 shades correctly in a lawt rush, that will put you 2-3 SP ahead of the opponent as early as turn 5. In Alteil, that is a HUGE advantage, especially early. The downside though, is that if you time your shades wrong and do not drain any SP with them, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. Common Lawtia level 3 rushes are Magic Dolls, Undead, and Duchy of Crest. The other aspect of lawtia that defines it is using tricks such as “Death’s Embrace” and “Consuming Grudge.” Both of these cards can win games single handedly if timed properly. Endgame units are not necessary for these types of files, however using a unit like Zugateroza can help.

Refess

Refess is all about healing, defense, and group synergy. When together, they are generally the strongest collectively, but weakest individually. They have no form of endgame, but are more predicated on surviving and outlasting the opponent. Refess is generally about spamming a ton of units early, and then using grimoires such as Instant Revival and Oversouls to maintain that combo, or grims such as Disarmament/Sunbeam Cage to neutralize specific threats on key turns. Common Refess tribes include Solar Kingdom, True God Church, and Shrine Knights.

Level 3 rush mixing 4’s

I am making this a separate category since mixing in level 4 units to a level 3 rush drastically changes how the file plays out. I am actually going to suggest that most people do not do this, as these files tend to be more difficult to use and run.

Mainly the issue is when you will work in the level 4 units into your progression. For example, if you use a warrior’s file that uses the level 4 Revolver Bladesman, try to keep in mind where you will play this unit. For example, if you start by rushing level 3 units, your SP will get chocked up in those units, and by the time you will have necessary SP to bring the level 4 unit out, your level 3 units will be dying off. In this instance there is a disconnect between the level 3 and 4 units. It is very important that if you DO use level 4 units, you think and pay attention to how you work them into the file, and check to make sure that it flows nicely. So it is possible to do this, in fact some of the best files fall into this category. It is just not easy, especially for beginners, to figure out how to do this.

Mids

People frequently mention “mids” files. However they are all pretty rare and extremely difficult to play. Generally speaking, mid level files focus on units levels 4-6. I am actually going to recommend no new player attempt these kinds of files. You would need a lot of LP, a lot of options in the file, and have extensive knowledge about the game.

Bigs

Big files are all focused on the four “Dragon Emperors.” Legyre, Allind, True Retear, and Zu. These files all start with the first soul skill that gives you +3 sphere level, and using lots of SP-generating cards. As opposed to being “field control” oriented, these files are all focused on a “read and react” type philosophy. Generally all spheres have different big units that are best verse different types of opponents.

As a real basic example… Let’s look at Big Refess. If the opponent is spamming lots of low level units without much HP, you would play Stardragon, who has mass AoE type skills. If the opponent is only playing a few units with higher HP, you would play something like Shadow Spirit since having higher base AT would be more valuable than the AoE skills.

There really are a lot of ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to creating and playing these files, and instead of going in depth on these I’m just going to ignore it here. Big files take a while to learn to play and are really different from traditional rushes.

If there is a lot of demand I’ll expand on this, but otherwise I’m just not going to bother.

Editing and Feedback

Last but not least is the issue of editing and feedback. First attempts at files usually end poorly. It happens a lot with everyone. The important thing is that you diagnose what is good/bad about the file so that you know how to fix it. Try to pay attention to the things mentioned earlier, is the unit order okay? Does your file make efficient use of SP? Are the Soul Skills synergized well with the file? Do you have any huge weaknesses? Can you adjust your SS to make up for your files weaknesses? Also, ask other people for input too. Asking questions is always a good thing.

Okay that’s all!!! I’m hoping this will help.

See you in the arena,
- Gon
Last edited by GonFreeces31 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:23 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby psylensse » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:54 pm

wow. that was thorough, and just an excellent read. I find that with a few hundred battles behind me, this was what i needed to see right now. I think implicitly so much is predicated on experience, specifically knowing a thing or two about your opponent: the idea of "open vs. opening", or "plan a progression" are based heavily on adaptability, but being able to adapt depends on how quickly you know what you're adapting to: shade + soul pact + two iczer attacks that have yet to trigger ss 1 to me now means GMB. Sea Serpents usually = Ex: Wiz open. However I don't quite identify BKR files definitively until several turns in (or usually until Beast King comes out). For the newer players, the realization comes too late (or not at all - I remember my first BKR match when this guy called Bringer came out and took what I thought was a game I had some control of and turn that upside down). In some ways I feel this article benefits those people who've "had some experience under their belt" the most, but consistently forget to think about one or two of these things in a match. Auto-pilot opening happens a lot to me.
A couple last things - I feel an entire treatise can be written about the Great Spirits, and that it would be really helpful. Right now I a) deeply respect Worthing as a player, but b) have no idea where his comment about Salamander is coming from. also, is Will o' Wisp really the last great spirit to get picked for every spirit kickball game? I don't use it personally, but I've found myself often wishing my HP = < 40 units having a little more to survive either dmg 40 +1sp soul skills, or ball of flame, both of which seem quite common these days.
Being adaptable sounds like sage advice. But sometimes it feels with 25 cards, you can only be "so" adaptable. How versatile can/should a file be? how much opening variability can you afford?
and now it's time for me to reread this article and give it more thought. Thanks for everything Gon!
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby GonFreeces31 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:35 pm

Yeah that's a good point. A lot of times I lose perspective on what it's like as a newbie. Okay so saying this is better for one with 100 games of experience is a good point then.

About the variation/adaptability, it can also mainly be about the way you bring your units out. Like take the lawtia pre-made file. Let's take a snapshot of your file 4-5 turns in. What have you done? Is it working? If you are playing against something with a lot of HP and some DEF, it would be best to get Igina/Halbred set up behind heavy shield. If you are playing some aggressive rush like pixies, well in that case the heavy shield combo would be terrible. Killing 1 pixie doesn't mean that much, so really you better have a ton of units out there swarming the field. So by adaptability, maybe it's better to think of adaptability in terms of unit order.

Also I'll probably add to this later. I could add more info on mids/bigs I kinda skimmed over those, and also a lot more could be said about soul skills.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby Teru » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:47 pm

For some reason the SP Curve reminded me of those supply/demand graphs of economics.
I'm thinking there's a lot of potential in these charts here.

I've always thought that there was too much speculation and personal experience in strategic talk around here, and not enough statistical or graphical analysis. Everything's too subjective and not objective enough. After all, this game is built on numbers: SP, Level, HP, AT, AGI, etc. It should be possible to interpret the interactions between these numbers within matches as a series of graphs and statistics. We just haven't discovered the right variables yet.

Right now it seems like we're still stuck in the mercantilist phase, where doctrine is based on speculation, theory, and circumstantial observation. Mercantilism was largely a common-sense system whose logical fallacies were not discovered until someone ran the numbers and did the charts. Perhaps the cornerstones of Alteil strategy today will be proven wrong tomorrow in the same manner that the principles of comparative advantage made obsolete the doctrines of positive trade balance.

Personally, I've been doing a lot of things with spreadsheets lately, mostly calculating P-values and such for certain stats of units within the same Level. I'm trying to look for a pattern here.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby LoneKnight » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:22 am

Great guide A+ would read again!

... is this sticked? It should be.

There are some very minor points that I kinda disagree on/would expand on but it's a very comprehensive basic guide to everything important a beginner would need.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby underdoghelper » Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:46 am

nice guide maybe add it to your sig.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby RedPhoenix » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:39 am

Nice guide Gon. I can see you put some work into this.

I wish I had something like this when I started out. Probably would've won more games, lol.

Great job.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby fargone » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:56 pm

Gon, this guide is great.

I'd like to put forward to the gms that you deserve a reward for this great work.

A job very well done.
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fargone wrote:I realise this is completely off topic, but Icy deserves the limelight more than others. Some of whom dominate the forums with their endless posts.


What, I make legit points too...
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby GonFreeces31 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:06 pm

BTW I'm looking for feedback about what parts are bad/could be improved/aren't clear enough.

AND/OR new ideas/focal points to add.
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Re: The Best Deck Building Guide in the Universe

Postby unownshadow » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:36 am

Hm... this was really helpful. It only seems that recently have I been able to correctly grasp the complexity of making files, but this really puts it into context.
I was wondering though, could you also put in some of your thoughts on multisphere-ing? I feel like that would change up your file a lot.
Personally, I've had some success with a rush multi-sphere file using EX: Wiz, annarose (Lawtia focued). I wish I had more copies of Kurina though.
With that, I'm pretty much can mass units and even if my opponent wipes out my field, I don't lose much SP since of all the free revives.
What do you think?

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