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06-20-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default [blehnewish]'s Card Battle Guide

Card Battle Strategies for Intermediate Players

On first glance, card battling might seem relatively simple, right? I mean, basically, the higher number beats the lower number in Cavalier rule and vice versa in Guivanni rule. If the number is the same, the higher MP wins. It is for this reason that many regard card battling as a very simple game that requires no thought on the behalf of the players, rather only the players having the best cards possible.

However, this conception is completely untrue. The additional rule: that the rule is reversed if the card type is the same, may seem somewhat insignificant, but gives card battling a myriad of depth. Typically, when you're battling at a pro-level, you will use the same cards or at least the same levels of cards: levels 1, 2, 2, 3, 3 for Guivanni and 15, 14, 14, 13, 13 for Cavalier. So, what decides the battle in these occasions? It's not just complete chance, there is a whole level of strategy tied to the game. Additionally, it is impossible to get all of the ďbestĒ cards in one hand, forcing you to choose your cards wisely in order to beat your opponent. Finally, Card Battling is a very fun game of psychological warfare; you will often have to resort to coercing to prevent players from using certain cards or to predict what card they will use.

Why Card Battle?

It's unfortunate that Card Battling has been seeing a decline in popularity recently, so I feel that it is essential to point out some of the merits. So, why would you want to card battle?
ē Good way to connect with other TO players
ē Excellent TM XP from combos: My Coon is 112/105 thanks to card battling.
ē A fun break from hectic grinding.
ē Rare Cards won from Card-Battle only, can sell for millions to collectors.
ē Tournaments held by Card Community: Great prizes, great socialization.
ē Effortless way for beginners to level and maintain an extraordinary TM/Base gap.

And much, much more.

The Strategies...

And now, we get into the meat of this guide. What are some of the strategies associated with card battling?

Choosing your deck:

Firstly, let's analyze the cards that high levels most frequently use in both Cavalier and Guivanni rules. It may be wise to induct all of these cards into your deck.

Cavalier Cards
Level 15:
-Spicy Dragon: A must for any serious, pro-level card battler. This is the ONLY level 15 card in the game so far. However, the majority of hands in Cavalier rule will also comprise of another magic-type card (Fire Golem or Leviathan), making this card prone to countering.

Level 14:
-Beast Vincento: Has a MP level (1050) that beats out Count Blood.
-Count Blood: Lowest MP level (1000) of all level 14 cards.
-Fire Golem: Highest MP level (1200) of all level 14 cards. However, this is very easily countered by cards such as Leviathan.
-Fortuneteller: Common neutral card. Has a 1050 MP level, making it preferable to Count Blood. However, the disadvantage with this card is that you may not use level 13 Neutral cards.
-G. Smith: Rare neutral card (not many people own this card), has the highest MP level (1100) that beats out every level 14 card but Fire Golem, making it very desirable. However, it sports the same disadvantage as Fortuneteller.

Level 13:
-Captain Norman: Only level 13 Power Card, making it a highly desirable way to counter Beast Vincento (which is highly used). However, has a low MP value: Many level 13 cards will beat it, making Norman only valuable for countering.
-Regent Orc: Desirable way to counter Count Blood. Has a higher MP value than Captain Norman (750 MP), but on the reverse, Count Blood is used less frequently than Beast Vincento.
-Hunter Master/Prince Stefano: These NPCs (of which Hunter Master is the more common) are highly prized for their 950 MP value, the greatest of any level 13 card and their ability to counter Fortuneteller/G. Smith. However, you have to forgo using a level 14 neutral card in order to use these, a potential disadvantage. Hunter Master is rare these days with the loss of Ghost Blue.
-Leviathan: High MP level 13 card (900 MP) that is extremely valuable for countering (counters Fire Golem and Spicy Dragon). However, if youíre using Spicy Dragon (Iím under the assumption that you are), then you cannot use Fire Golem with this card. This card is rare these days with the loss of Ghost Blue.

Starting to see why Card Battling is such a strategic game? Itís completely impossible to chose any level 14/15 cards that are not counterable, and on that of that, you need to pay close attention to MP values (as your opponent at pro-levels will be playing high MP cards). The decision to include Fire Golem or a neutral card, the stronger of the level 14s, in your two level-14s in your hand will exclude you from playing Hunter Master or Leviathan in your two-level 13s, the strongest level 13 cards in the game. In short, you will never be able to use all of the best level/MP values, forcing you to rely on countering for a good part.

Sample Hand and Game for Cavalier: Advantages and Disadvantages:

To further extend this analysis of cards, letís look at a sample hand and game, their strengths and weaknesses. This section will sport a sample game and how to win them; this is essentially the mindset of the player in card battle. Analyze it: learning how to think like a card battler will greatly improve your game.

Spicy Dragon
Beast Vincento
Count Blood
Hunter Master

Analysis: This hand favors level 13 cards over level 14 cards. Although the level 14 cards are easily beaten by other level 14 cards, they can still give a strong fight. Vincento will trump any opposing Count Bloods and tie with Fortuneteller and Count Blood will defeat any level 13 cards. Additionally, Hunter Master is a great asset when you know your opponent is using a Neutral card. It beats any level 13 card, making it very desirable in hands. Donít be fooled by Leviathanís relatively low level; this card is key in deciding battles. It can beat every level 13 card but Hunter Master, and is godly for beating Spicy Dragon (which you can assume everyone will have if theyíre a pro) and Fire Golem. When formulating this hand, you should always put Leviathan in your back three cards unless you have a specific psychological strategy: that way, itíll be visible and likely make your opponent think twice before using Spicy Dragon or Fire Golem.

This hand in practice
Letís pit the hand mentioned previous against one of
Spicy Dragon
Fire Golem
Captain Norman
Regent Orc

How can we open up this battle? Firstly, we can see that our opponent is particularly susceptible to countering. This should be used to your advantage. However, do note that your hand is noticeably weaker than your opponents hand, and special strategies need to be used. It is important to remember that the strategy that I outline below will not guarantee you a win: it is simply the best tack to take, as card battling relies largely on chance (making it very exciting!). Youíll never be able to win 100% of the time in card battle unless you are cheating in some fashion, and thatís what makes card battling the fun game it is; you win some, you lose some.

At first glance, our best option seems to be to use Leviathan: we can easily beat 4/5 of the cards listed (everything but Fortuneteller) with this card. However, 3/5 of the time, the card in question will either be Fortuneteller or very likely (as your opponent will be ďtesting the watersĒ) Captain Norman or Regent Orc. In this case, you are left virtually defenseless to Spicy Dragon and Fire Golem; Fire Golem will devastate any card you use and Spicy Dragon can only be counted by drawing with another Spicy Dragon, but thatís dangerous as Fire Golem will counter it. There is no backup plan if Leviathan fails. However, assuming that Leviathan is visible, your opponent will likely not take a risk and use a magic card at this point. In this case, then, Hunter Master is a great card to open with; chances are, your opponent will be testing the waters and use a level 13 card, and it will easily counter Fortuneteller. Additionally, you retain your Leviathan to be used against the Magic Cards.

Your next options, assuming that either Fortuneteller or one of the 13 cards have been wiped out are: a) to use Leviathan, b) to use a level 14 card or c) to use Spicy Dragon. Option C is highly risky if Fire Golem comes into play now, but you do have the cover of Leviathan to somewhat prevent countering. Option B is risky too: if it is Fortuneteller that has been wiped out, you have a 50% chance of being beaten and a 25% chance of being countered. Option C will demolish any card if Fortuneteller was used, or any card but Fortuneteller if it was not used. However, if your opponent does not use Fire Golem, you become extremely susceptible; not only can he/she use Spicy Dragon at this point, catching you unawares, but you are probably unwise in using Spicy Dragon with Fire Golem still in play. This is quite a dilemma. At this point, it may also be wise to wait before taking your move in case chance comes into play. Your opponent may use chance if Fortuneteller is still in play because he/she has a good chance of winning; therefore, a chance will narrow your options down to Spicy Dragon only.

In this case, letís explore option C: If Spicy Dragon fares up against any non-magic card, youíre in the clear. Thatís two wins against you, and assuming that Fortuneteller has been used at this point, Leviathan will net you the third win and the game. However, if it draws with itself, then Leviathan should still come into play (hope to counter Fire Golem). At this point, you should have two wins and one draw, meaning you win the battle no matter what tact you take. (The circumstance is different if Fortuneteller has not yet been used prior to you playing Spicy Dragon; in this case, it comes down to a game of chance. You have to predict when Fire Golem will come into play (counter with Leviathan) and when Fortuneteller will come into play (counter with Beast Vincento)).

Guivanni Cards

Level 1
Don Cavalier: Very rare level 1 card, you will hardly ever seen this in play. The majority of pros do not own this card (in all my card battling games, Iíve only seen this card owned by 4 people). However, this card is very devastating in the right hands.
Endicladus 1: A common level 1 card, utilized by most people. Lower MP value than Don Cavalier. However, using this card restricts you from playing either Alicia, Endicladus 2 or H. Stallone in your level 2 cards, which is potentially disadvantageous.

Level 2
Reggae Orc: Highest MP value out of the two monster cards that are level two.
Bone Magician: Lower MP value than Reggae Orc or H. Stallone. Easily countered by Queen Odinea or Blue Goblin.
H. Stallone: Immensely powerful Neutral card, beats not only any level one card but all level two cards and any non-neutral higher level cards, too. Unfortunately, playing this instead of Endicladus 1 or Don Cavalier forces you to choose a level 4 card in your hand; this is potentially disadvantageous.
Endicladus 2/Alicia: Level two cards with low MP values (640). Very rarely used by pros, as there is no point Ė these cards are relatively weak.

Level 3
Sense Predator: Different from Power Predator, has a MP value of 900. Valuable for countering Reggae Orc.
Power Predator: Similar to Sense Predator. This card can more or less be considered uncounterable unless your opponent chooses a level 4 power card (very rarely). Because of this, this card is valued for its straightforwardness; you can always rely on this card to beat a level 4 or weaker level 3 without risk of being countered.
Queen Odinea: High MP value level 3 card (950 MP). Can easily counter Bone Magician.
Funky Orc: Used as a weaker substitute for Power Predator (which is very rare).

Level 4
Leader Toy: Rank 4 card used solely for its strength. Its MP value ties with Blue Goblin for highest of all rank 4s, 720 MP.
Blue Goblin: Valuable because it a) counters Odinea and Bone Magician and b) ties with Leader Toy for the highest MP value of all rank 4s. However, you cannot use both Odinea and Bone Magician in the same hand as this.
Aabon: Rarely seen. Used solely as a counter to Sense Predator, as itís very weak compared to Leader Toy and Blue Goblin.

To be continued later... XD I'm tired and you're probably bored out of your mind by now. Pictures to come later!

Please note that this belongs to blehnewish from MT
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