Instead of Card of the week, I thought I’d do a quick strategy article that might be of importance to everyone, especially newer players who don’t have a lot of high rarity cards. This is the ability of Units, such as it is, to field multiple copies of one card. I call it an ability, because it’s the one true advantage of Unit Cards over those fancy Character cards.
Lets get one thing out of the way, the disadvantages. Clearly, if you are going to revive a unit you need another copy of the card. If you field two of one Unit, then you can only Revive one of them. If you field three, no Revival is possible. Up against enemies that can use area of effect attacks, including row clearing, you can lose all of your copies of a Unit at once, and this will be devastating. This can be mitigated if you use Ruby Carbuncle’s Soul Skill or some other Cemetery management card. It can also work well if you’re planning to set off Soul Cards anyway.
Okay, now let’s look at advantages. The first one is the Starter File classic: you have no choice. Yeah, Sea Hunter is great, it’d be nice to have another Falkow card with built-in defense in the starter, but you don’t. Still, fielding two Sea Hunters early can make you unbeatable in the defense department, so it might be worth the risk.
The number one real advantage is versatility. It’s nice to have a Unit that works well both in a pair, or by itself, depending if the enemy is using area of effects or single attacks. Sometimes you want to minimize the number of units you have on the field, but a lot of times outnumbering the enemy can make it harder for him to take down your units (since attack targets are often random, the damage will be split up) and more than make up for the lost Revive. Having that option can be a great thing. This is especially important because Card File Size is limited, and having three slots that could either be one or two Units on the field really opens things up.
Another time doubling up can be advantageous is when dealing with the “black sheep” of your Sphere. Each has at least one card that doesn’t really fit. Folrart Spear Knight and Devouring Lizard come to mind. These units just don’t have anything else in their Sphere that compare. If you have a strategy that requires something different then your Sphere specializes in, you could splash, play dual colors, or just bring out two of your Sphere’s black sheep. All of a sudden your weak point will be your strong point.
My last, and greatest reason to double up is Return protection. You might say that a Unit is a Unit, and it doesn’t matter if he returns your only Magic Sword Dual Wielder, or just one of your pair. However, there is one important thing to note. Return Files tend to try and overwhelm you, bringing your numbers below theirs and then overrunning your field, leaving you spending your SP on revival instead of bringing out more units. Even if you have the SP, you just won’t have enough Set Phases to bring your guys back out if he’s using returning effects consistently. Remember, if you have a few Units on the field, all distinct, and one is Returned, then your man is now sitting useless in the Card File, and so are his two twin brothers. Three useless cards in your File is a lot, especially in the late game. However, if you have two copies of Folrart Paladin on the field and one is returned, you aren’t scrambling to get him out again. You know is still playing an important part, letting the one Paladin still on the field Revive an extra time, making it more difficult for the enemy to overrun you. Now you can spend your precious SP and Set Phases bringing out other Units or setting off Grimoires that might turn the game around.
Now the question remains, what are good cards to bring out duplicates of? Well, it’s up to experimentation, but the card should have a way to make up for the added vulnerability of less Revives. Either good AGI or good survivability is a must. For good AGI, two Combat Monks can kill just about anything before it kills them, so they don’t die as often. For Folrart Shield Knights, dividing the damage between these to tough guys makes them take a long time to kill. In both cases, multiples of level 2 opening units makes for a fast start and early triggering of your first one or two Soul Skills, a strong addition to many strategies.
"Scissors are overpowered. Rock is fine." -Paper