Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kongai: I Hate (Almost) Having All the Cards

Back on the two-at-a-time schedule, this week's early challenge was to play Hexiom Connect (yay!) for the Origami Crane (boo!).

Hexiom Connect is an engaging little puzzle game that I quite happen to like. But the Origami Crane is a waste of space.

Seriously, I wouldn't play it if you paid me. It's not that its effect - removing the chance to miss from your cards - is all that bad. It's not and, in fact, it's actually rather powerful. The problem is that it's an effect stuck in the long line.

The Origami Crane is a purple-bordered card and those Martial Artists generally don't care about missing. I mean, what use is the Crane to Yoshiro? He's got skills that hit for 100%, 100%, 100%, oh, and 95%. And that last is on the skill he hardly ever uses - Open Palm. There's no earthly reason to slot the Origami Crane over any of his other choices.

Yoshi is the worst-case example but the rest of the Purples tell a similar story - the Origami Crane gives them a buff to their hit rates of 5~10%, at best, and that gives them a boost of maybe 2~3 points of damage (Onimaru could mount a decent case towards playing with the paper shapes but that would mean actually playing Onimaru. He's got a lot of problems, at the moment. Probably the worst of the close-only bangers. And I'd say that he might like to pick up the Crane points out his own flaws more than dissuades those of the Crane.). It helps to shield against accuracy debuffs but those aren't really scary in the first place.

I'd almost rather have the Crane's old effect. Back in the test, it used to be a copy of CC's innate, preventing any "stat" debuff - which means any lowering of speed, damage, or resistance. That would at least turn a few problematic match-ups more favorably. But I still wouldn't use it (That's why it was changed, after all.). And that's the Crane's real problem - not that it's a bad effect but that other items have better.

The Origami Crane would have to be insanely good before I'd put it on Yoshi over the Scroll or the Insignia. It doesn't matter how good it is at doing what it does, it has to compete for space with those other cards and until it provides a viable option, it's forgettable at best.

Still, I'm not so much frustrated by getting the Crane as I am by the fact that it's been more than a week since I've gotten a card I could actually use. And even that was Amaya, who's got problems all his own these days (Mostly having to do with the lack of killing power. I can put up with a card with 55 health but not when they take so damn long to put anyone away. If anything, Amaya should be a damage dealing beast since his low health means he's not long for the field - he should hit a lot harder because he won't be hitting for long. Yet his card is all about stalling and frustrating rather than going for the throat. Just...argh.).

I'm now - having picked up the Crane since it was so easy (Love those puzzle games.) - only six cards away from the full set. My problem now is that the challenges are repeating those cards that I've already unlocked. Either because I hold the originals, like with the Tiger's Claw, or because I looted one from the card chest after a win, like Ashi. And of the cards that are left only a few are even approaching playable. Mostly the characters - Anex, Le Morte, and Ubuntu. Because the items - the Girdle, Flash Powder, and the Jade Figurine - are decidedly underwhelming.

Ah well, here's hoping that tonight's challenge will be for...oh... Anex.

With my luck, though, it's going to turn out to be the Stoneheel Totem that I just managed to win.


Anonymous said...

...yosh almost never uses open palm?

Sausaletus Rex said...

Unless the latest update has completely rearranged the game, no, not if you're using him right.

Yoshi is a trap card, someone you send in to finish off a weakened opponent. You don't really want him to get into the sort of toe to toe fight where Open Palm really shines. Because you can't really bowl anyone over with Yoshi, he's just really good at closing them out.

He's not a card you lead off with and try to trade blows, in other words. You want to switch him against someone with little health and energy and use Rising Dragon to get a certain kill.

If you start off with him in Random or something or find yourself with Yoshi as your last card in a match starring down the barrel of something nasty like a Pilebunker, then, yeah, Open Palm comes in handy. That slight chance to stun can be what saves you and it's worth gambling on. But those are the sort of heads-up fight that Yoshi should normally be avoiding. Most of the time he's either facing someone with the low health that Rising Dragon can eat away (With its high speed you can generally get in two hits before your opponent and that's over 40 of their HP gone.) or he's pushed Far, in which case his Open Palm doesn't matter.

Being the worst skill on a solid bar isn't a shame. Open Palm isn't a bad skill and I'm not saying Yoshi should never use it. I'm just saying that of all his skills, it's the one that should crop up the least frequently because he generally has better options.

And that Origami gives Yoshi only +5% to hit on that skill that he'll be using less than the 25% of the time he'd use if every skill were equally useful. That's not enough to blow an item slot on.