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Subject: Battle of Two Noobs rss

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Jevon Heath
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Go on 'head get down with it.
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David Sirlin is a good writer. I found his book and blog about a year and a half ago while looking for information on the Guilty Gear franchise. As Sirlin is also a game designer, I was led to Kongai and Yomi. I tried Kongai and didn't like it, leaving me doubtful about Yomi.

I'd had the Yomi files sitting on my desktop for a while, and yesterday I finally decided to do something with them. I printed four decks on cardstock, and bought sleeves so it didn't matter how well the cards were cut. The decks are perfectly serviceable, but I printed them in black and white to cut costs, and they just aren't as pretty as they could be!

The four decks I printed were Grave, Jaina, Argagarg, and Valerie. Grave and Jaina I chose as they seem to be the flagship characters; Argagarg and Valerie have been touted on the Yomi boards as good characters for beginners. These four decks in hand, I went to confront my eternal sparring partner, Alex.

[Note: we missed the rule that you keep blocks unless you're thrown. This would have made a HUGE difference to at least our last two games. Clearly we must play again soon!]

vs.


My opening hand had three aces. I figured it would be awesome if I could land a 45-point hit on my first play of a new game, so I went for the True Power of Storms. And of course, Alex blocked. I tried to use Grave's innate ability a couple of times to bluff Alex into throwing me, but either he wasn't familiar with the mechanics enough to pick up on what I was doing or he was just aware of what I was doing, as my bluffs never worked. The Hex of Murkwood ended up finishing me off.

vs.


Alex played six cards on his opening move (5, discard a ten, 4, Three Colors with two discards). He did thirty damage, but had so few cards/options left that I was able to do most everything I wanted to. Jaina's Unstable Powers helped increase my chances for combos. I ended pretty low on life, but Alex was lower!

vs.


I wanted to try a new deck, and Alex wanted to go back to Argagarg, so we ended up with this matchup. Cognizant of what happened to Alex when he spent his hand, I held back a lot. This didn't work for me; Alex stayed on defense, and I never had enough offense to capitalize on my successful throws. Hex of Murkwood killed me at last.

vs.


One more game! I went back to Jaina, as I wanted to be sure I'd have enough options to do what I wanted. I was very leery of using my ability though, given how much life I was already going to be losing. My first two plays were tens, which scared Alex enough that he never dodged once this game. I landed an early 40-point combo, and guessed right on a few Bubble Shields, but Alex got back in my head and got a couple of combos on me. I started playing attacks for the chip damage, but Alex's attacks were often faster. Finally, at 3 life I had no choice but to lay down my hand in a combo that reduced him to 7 life, but the end of turn damage reduced me to 1, with an empty hand.

I drew a 9. I had to Throw, as I would lose with a Block regardless. Alex... played a Block! My throw did exactly 7 damage, and I won the game.
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Colin Street
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Too bad about not noticing the block rule beforehand. Looks like you guys've learned some of the basic heuristics, though, like how hard it can be to get in of Arg, and that hand-dumping on that big combo isn't always the wisest play!

Something you may have overlooked against Arg is that you can delay his Hex for a turn by knocking him down, since being knocked down disables your innate. This can be really useful in the endgame, since it means you dodge into throw to keep alive at low life, or, if you get a throw, skip your combo option to get him into range where you can finish him with one big turn.

Your experience with Grave's AAA seems to mirror mine. I always seem to do it when my opponent's blocking.
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