Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grade 3 Tutors

So, Spectral Duke Dragon and Pellinore aren't nearly as easy for me to write about as I thought. Oh well, I was bored and felt like reviewing a few under appreciated starters. Today, we take a look at 

ACT [R]: [Counter Blast (1) & Put this unit into your soul] Look at up to five cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one grade 3 or greater <_______> from among them, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck.
Skill copy and pasted from Spark Kid Dragoon, removing the clan specific clause. If any of these clones differentiate by one word other than their clan, I don't want to hear it.

These 4K starting Vanguards all have people's opinions on them. Some good, some not so good, some that I wish I never had to read nor hear, and now it's time to put my 2 cents and a bit of math on the table.

Playing with Probability

Alright, who can answer what role this card plays? Yes, you that I'm pretending to point at. Brilliant analysis!

This card acts as extra safely net for grabbing a grade 3 for your 3rd ride. If you asked how, go check out the effect again please. Though, in order for me to show off the actual usefulness this card is, I'm going to have to tell you how likely it is to get a grade 3 by turn 3. But because I don't want to spend the next hour typing out long calculations, I'm cutting straight to the point.

These examples are all assuming you're going first, you've done nothing to dig from your deck, there are 7 Grade 3, and you only take 1 damage per opponent's turn.

You have about a ~13% chance of not getting one of them by your turn 3 ride.

This is a very dynamic probability by the way, getting lower and lower the more your deck is cleared out, or flat out running more than 7 grade 3, etc., and getting higher and higher if you manage to damage check any of your grade 3. Basically, close to 1/10 of your duels may face a problem riding to grade 3.

Now, time to factor in these clones. Optimally, you'll play it by turn 2 in an attempt to prepare for your next ride. Multiply here, apply hypergeometrics there, and voila, the card has a 0.628693965022592, or ~63% chance of going off.

Now, we multiply again and come up with, after this card's skill, only an ~8.5% chance of not having a grade 3. After considering our drive check, damage, and then turn 3 draw, you now have a~ 5.75% percent chance of not having a grade 3 by turn 3. After considering rogue possibilities, the fact that people like running 8 Grade 3 a lot, and that a lot of this math is very complicated, this card will cut the amount of games you misride in half. Actually, most of the time, even less than half.

But, it's not about fixing misrides really. It's about the real prize, consistently riding your boss Vanguards.


These next examples shall assume the same as the last, except now we only care about 5 Grade 3, due to that being the general amount of boss monsters ran.

~24% percent of your grade 3 ride will not be one of your 5 boss units.

After considering all the rogue possibilities blah blah blah, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5 of your matches will not get you your boss unit off the bat. This percentage drops considerably with 6 Grade 3, as it probably should, but is beside the point.

Now factoring in these clone's skills at turn 2, and according to the calculator, I come up to these guys coming up to basically ~50% chance of success, and after factoring the turn's drive check and the next's draw, turns that ~24% to get a grade 3 by turn 3 into ~12%, so now less than 1/8 of your duels aren't going to turn up your boss in time, which is actually pretty damn awesome.

For the job they are trying to do, they do it pretty well.

On to why people hate them

Uhh, I mean, give fair and legitimate reasoning about them.

It's really simple really. 4K base power. That is absolutely pitiful. That ~76% of the games you don't need to use this guy's skill to confirm your ride leaves the second worst boosting power in the whole game on your field. 1K power makes all the difference between awesome starters like Goyuusha to these clones, as for the magic numbers they hit.

Let's think of it like this. Your opponent has a 10K vanguard. In your hand is a 10K vanilla, but the only space you have to place it is in front of one of these guys. Call it and attack. Boost with your clone and...not a single magic number broken.


Whelp, it's not all downhill for them. Actually, most clans have their ways around it. I'm not going to try to put up an illusion that 4K power is better than it is, because it isn't. It's bad. But, there are work arounds, and it is doable.

Let's name all the clans these guys show up in. Great Nature, Narukami, Gold Paladin, Angel Feather, Granblue, Pale Moon, Oracle Think Tank, Dark Irregulars, and Dimension Police. The ones that have work-arounds? Very few, to be honest. Let's go!

Okay, only Great Nature, Narukami, and Gold Paladin have workarounds. Actually, they're the only ones who would ever actually use these clones. Anyway.

Great Nature have near obvious ways of working around 4K power through their power-up skills. What once was a 4K booster is now and 8K Vanilla powered unit that you won't cry over losing.

Then, Narukami. Almost all of Narukami's usable G3 are atleast 11K attackers. What's 11+4? 15. 12+4? 16. Decent numbers and the latter is okay for Djinn/Breakthrough when facing an 11K.

Finally, Gold Paladin. Actually, I don't think I need to explain much here. Just the sheer bluntness in Gold Paladin players spamming units and conserving their hand, only using cards in their hand to set up spamming or replace cards, basically makes a perfect springboard for these guys to be used in.

And so, my I hope I've opened up some of you to these guys and hopefully opened some haters eyes to these...yeah that's probably not happening. Hope you appreciate.

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