The Renaissance of Big Blue

Strategies and Card File Construction

The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby GonFreeces31 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:59 pm

I recently decided to spend some time playing and learning the art of Big Blue. In my ~3600 matches I can never recall playing against it, and have only seen it done a handful of times by others. This seemed rather odd considering how common Zu, Allind, and True Retear reap their wrath in Folrart. Legyre always seems to get left out. Usually it is only referred to as an abstract term and some long term vets have vague memories of it from set 2, yet it really seemed to me like no one really had a feeling of what it is or how it is meant to be played.

So, in my prior attempts I tried to mirror other bigs, as in focus on the top bigs (Legyre, Vonderam) and fit in powerful mids (Alna, Mirelia). This can work sometimes, but I was not too pleased with the file considering it's enormous reliance on grims, and attempts to win games with only a handful of units. For my recent attempt at the file I tried to go with more of a "great creatures of the sea" theme. After some experimenting and many many hours of thought into the matter. I finally settled with a file that I am pretty happy with and just wanted to make a post on the matter.

Philosophy: Before one makes their attempt at this file it is important to grasp the underlying philosophy of such a file. In listening to others talk about it, I hear people conceptualizing selfish plans all focused on oneself. As in, you might be thinking things of the format: first I will do X, then Y, then Z. This is how most rushes work. Like say you are playing command dolls. You open however you want, then get White Lilly out, then Scarlet Rose, and go to town etc. What I am trying to get at is that Big Blue is a fundamentally different type of file. You must enter your matches with NO PRESET PLANS. As in, what you do and how you play is totally a function of the opponent's actions. You can not rely on gimics, you can not rely on tricks, you are not playing a "Legyre file" or a "Vonderam file" or a "Manta Ray file." You are playing "Big Blue" and are giving yourself many various options for different types of files. It is very important to make this distinction, cause you really, really need to play your opponent instead of playing your cards here.

Unit Composition

Sylph/Undine/Regus Patroller: These are all essentials for such a file. Your bigs are all really low agility units, and can die extremely easily before ever acting. Thus you must be able to force your Legyre/Vonderam/Leviathan to act first before the opponent moves.

Legyre: The token dragon emperor. Open skill is great verse and mid type files, and can totally clear enemy fields with auto skill cyclone. Playing the sylph/undine game with Legyre allows him to solo individual units.

Vonderam: The sea lord. Very powerful verse just about all level 3 rushes for obvious reasons. I've found rushing him to be generally ineffective, and usually it's best to do some kind of prelude to play him. As in, first play around with your mid wyverns, or levi, or Legyre then transition into Vonderam. It is important that you play him later in the match at a point where you have generated enough SP to really support him.

Leviathan: Combo with Regus Patroller for specific situations. Can almost win games single handedly. Once Regus Patroller puts Levi at perm 4AGI, you can use undines to return high agi units.

Wyverns: Lightning/Strike/Sea. All have great uses. Lightning Wyvern has great field wipe capability, Strike Wyvern has an amazing open skill and can solo many powerful mids such as Rivera. Sea Wyvern can give you back your great spirits for important turns later.

Tanks: Giant Ancient Tortoise/Manta Ray. Both have great uses. The turtle can act as great tank so your wyverns or Vonderam can go to town. Manta Ray can stop some rushes dead in their tracks like Undead or Wizard Kingdom.

Endgame power: Bog Wyvern/Durandel. When things go bad you can turn to this combo to hold out and overpower the opponent.

Grims: Personally I don't use many grims. However a Disjunction seems like a must. Tempest and Thunderheads could be options maybe. Beyond that you may not need anything else. There really isn't a powerful bigs-specific grim similar to how other spheres have Aura/Death Maker/Roar.

Results: I was pretty happy with the file. I played roughly 50 games with it, and wavered between 1870 and 1940 in RP. You have some good matchups, and enough options to deal with a broad range of files. Big problems for the file include almost everything Lawtia and the ease of level manipulation. For example many Lawtia units such as Dalos, Afel, Joachim, and EX Zuga can present huge problems for the file. Also, all it takes to counter Legyre/Vonderam is a measly miracle fruit. Like Vonderam and Legyre are literally rendered totally useless if the opponent just plays a fruit, OR uses level manipulation units like Violet X2, that Folrart chick, Broken Priest, and Heierrat Horseman. It's probably the weakest "bigs/dragon emp" file, but I just wanted to try to create it and show people how it works.

I felt like the great spirits of Vonderam and Legyre have been slumbering for far too long so I wanted to give them a voice and maybe show other people and/or inspire other people to make their own builds.


Verse Serpent: ... b1aa54f4ed
- Shows how effective Leviathan can be sometimes.

Verse Urgrant: ... a58aadac0b
- Luck helps but shows what the file is capable of. Also shows how important Durendel can be.

Verse Mid Lawtia: ... e57b011a95
- Sometimes you just gotta get funky.

Verse Winston/Rivera: ... d5609039e2
Take two: ... 718c52732c

Vonderam vs Johnjo ... b3c0cea75a

Vonderam vs Undead ... fd7a59d475
Last edited by GonFreeces31 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby Xovian » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:21 pm

Just so you know Gon, a little history of Big Blue, especially the one using Legyre (use to be 120HP).

The old file which was made extremely popular by one Iczer specifically during set2: ManiacalSoul.
With Renally, the various Great Spirits (including shade that was -2sp), with an assortment of both Grim/SS support , it was quite powerful, and deemed to powerful thus several key units were changed. Keep in mind during the time frame only 2 sets, and one EX had been released, thus it's power for back then isn't even remotely something that can be compared with, in today's Alteil. Given the changes to various units, even if Legyre had been untouched by the old nerf bat, in today's environment he's not nearly as effective or as efficient. Now that we have level 3, 4 and 5 units that can slaughter Legyre with one hit, it's not really surprising his "uses" have diminished with time.

To understand what the differences about the file really come down to is something very simple: Back then, there were very few bad matchups for Big Blue, now there are a good number of them.

It's good to see people still trying to get a use of him outside his 3lp SS, and hope you keep having fun with him, he deserves to be dusted off once in awhile. ;)
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby azurewrath » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:47 pm

Noze has taken his/her/its place for that SS =/. Shes far more sexy >.>

Anyway, I must say that lightning is very, very powerful. It is basically a 1 lp kill with a possible BoF attached (though it behoves the rival to let a SS off to kill it.....). I've been seeing Lightning a lot more recently.
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby sunbunman » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:09 pm

Been looking so long for something like this :D

But i have to question, do you carry 2 copies of each card and a random disjunction and single sea wyvern?
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby GonFreeces31 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:02 pm

I don't feel comfortable revealing the complete contents of the file... but I will say very few things in there I feel the 2nd or 3rd copy would benefit. The rest is for you to figure out yourself ;)
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby icyman » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:40 pm

Durendal and bog wyvern is like shin but without the setup. The only thing that can top that is deathmaker spam. Or maybe aano, but no one uses her.
Legyre is a really nice open skill, but you're losing 2 sp since you're going to 9 sphere for it. Don't like him too much.
Sea wyvern isn't too great imo. Especially now that you've shown your playing style, opponents are going to tidal your undines. Strike is better than most people realize. 4 agi and free 60 damage pinpoint (and I say free since your opponent needs to revive).
Also, congrats on creating a new working file.
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby Callonia » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:57 am

Nice duels gon.

I used to play a little bit of big blue back in set 5. So it was fun to watch.
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby sunbunman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:35 am

One of the more important lessons learned from watching these replays is how Falkow should be played i.e. not making a series of moves that hopefully would lead to some unbroken combo, but the actualy destruction of these combos so as to set up your own ^^

Its a sphere that bases its strategy on the opponent's decisions not your own xD
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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby Icyglare » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:12 pm

The last replay shows the Bringer nerf in action =)
For a large amount of various Alteil Replays, try youtube link

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Re: The Renaissance of Big Blue

Postby etphonehome3 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:25 pm

You can make an underdog file using most of the same cards. It will definitely be a weaker file but not significantly weaker.

The following same cards are also on the underdog list. water emperor,leviathan, sea wyern, sea lord/volderam, disjuntion, durendal, strike wyern, giant manta ray, wyern so most of the key units are there

other underdog bigs include elite mage knight of refus, mikasha, mirror shield soldier, giant ancient tortoise, alna

i got this from the link

A substitute for extra sylph copies can be sylph sorceross

A substitute for extra undine copies can be frozen lance
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