Friday, April 18, 2008

Kongai: Who Says Juju is Bad?

Whooo...played an epic match today. 3-Card game that went real long, filled with tense moments.

Me on a random deck with Juju with General's, Zina with Coward's Rock, and Le Morte with the Vial (Which, yeah, ouch. Bad draw.).

My opponent constructed with Candled Helene, Rumicans with...I forget, probably Crane, and Amaya with the Pimp Cup.

I knew as soon as the first swap that I was in trouble because Amaya is one of those connoisseur's cards. People who know the game know that he's a good character and will use him. People who don't think he sucks and forget about him. That right there told me that my opponent knew what he was doing and I was in for a good fight.

Saddled with a bunch of random crap it would have been easy to give up and wallow in dismay but, no, that's exactly the kind of match that I live for. The one where I'm going to have to use every trick at my disposal to put the polish on the turds the RNG has handed me. Because, at the moment, I'm not playing for a good record and even to earn a reputation among the other players. I'm playing to test. To familiarize myself with the game. To figure out the different characters, to learn the various match-ups, and to find myself in situations that I need to work my way out of. Honestly, I could care less about my win-loss record at this point, what matters is the experience. The number of games I've played. The scenarios I've dealt with along the way. I'm not playing at all. I'm training. And the best games to learn from are those against a good player where I'm at something of a disadvantage.

He fronted Helene who was up against Juju. He was smart enough to push off the start to pass the Touch of Doom test. That left him at range against Hex to which he had no defenses. I figured I had even odds of him switching out but since I like to sucker my opponents into thinking I won't intercept and my energy meant I could chain a few Hex shots together before I was in trouble. So, I chanced one which, of course, went down the switching hole.

That's when Amaya hit the deck.

Amaya is a bad, bad match-up for Juju because he has a ton of dark resist that makes Hex useless. And Hex is about all Juju has. Beyond, of course, being an annoyingly hard character to get rid of - he's very resilient his problem is that you can't really do anything with it, of course, given that he slings ToD that's probably a good thing. He was also packing the Pimp Cup, the intercept champion's trophy that made any attempt on my part to switch out suicidal at best - besides it's not like anyone else in my deck was going to fare much better. Zina was too likely to have something important Xed out by Amaya's innate and while Le Morte was better, it was still risky since he could spiked out by Dark Chi if I was unlucky.

But the one saving grace I had was General's on Juju. It didn't do much - except turn my Staff Strike into an actually effective albeit low-priority attack. Especially against a character with low physical resist and only 55 health. The only problem? It had a lower priority than his Ninja-port so any time I could close he could just whomp me with that and skate away before I could land my blows. Meanwhile, bled of his energy, he couldn't fire a deadly Chi Blast up my behind and had to settle for Wrathing (Curse could work, too, but it's not likely to stick against Juju Bean's innate.). And Healing Touch could easily wipe that away. We went back and forth in a slapfight for a while until he finally pulled his Amaya back and sent Rumiko in.

And that's when the match was on.

After a parting blast against her 0 dark with Hex, I tried Le Morte against his Rumiko. She got semi-lucky with Eviscerate procs and polished me off before I could land the Touch that would finish her off.

I sent out Zina, he brought back Amaya. He got lucky again with his innate and locked out the critical Command I was counting on. So I closed and Pounced and swapped away to Juju again.

This is when I started to take over the match.

First, I masterfully worked his Amaya. Playing the same game before and poaching on him to take the opportunity to switch. Waited, waited, while we went back and forth and his Wrath kept bringing Zina lower and lower. Waited until I was sure. And, hit the intercept button. CRUNCH. One dead Amaya.

He brought back Rumiko and I polished her off with Hex.

That left him with the mighty Helene up against my depleted Juju and a weakened Zina. Helene's a strong card but she actually doesn't match as well against Juju as she does with others - it's his large light and dark resist values, they really take the teeth out of her Frenzies. But she can pretty well stop everything he can do to her since her Bash can take out any of his skills and Slash can dice him up since he lacks any physical resist.

She hadn't seen play since the start of the match and I was dreading when she came back. My opponent must have been holding her in reserve, something I've done myself with a particularly advantageous card. But she didn't have a scratch on her and a full bar of energy while my Juju was down to only 80 while we were at full range.

While I might have chanced letting her push close and zonking her with Touch of Doom I rejected that plan as soon as I thought of it - she was sure to Bash after stepping close, leaving me with nothing to show for my efforts. And even if she hadn't, it would have taken 4 turns to kill her off and I didn't think either Juju or Zina had enough health to last that long.

So, instead, I clicked the Far button, assuring that the range would stay the same. Using my last 30 energy, I hit her with a Hex. That took a full 40 health from her, leaving her with 45. But emptied my bar so I'd have to rest or live off regeneration.

The next round she stepped close and with her 40 energy had no choice but to attack with Slash - Frenzied wouldn't work, there was no point to Enchanting since it still wouldn't work, and she lacked the 50 for Bash. So that left me free to bonk her with my staff - at 20 energy I could keep it up forever. Helene has 8 physical resist which meant my Insignia was wiped out and more. But hat still left me doing 16 damage to her. With my low health, I had one, maybe two hits before she killed me off.

That was all right by me. All I wanted was to bring her under 30 health.

Because I had Zina with a full bar of energy sitting on deck.

Eye of the Tiger deals 40 physical damage and normally hits any random foe. But when your opponent has only one card left, it only has one target. All I needed for the Tiger bomb to go off in her face was to make sure she didn't have enough energy to attack.

It worked.

I brought in Zina and my opponent couldn't do anything but watch while I finished him off.

Great game. Just goes to show that even underrated cards can be effective if you stick with them.

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