Thursday, February 14, 2013

When Redundancy Meets Uselessness

Upon re-writing the BT06 Narukami decklist, it reminded me of a post I wanted to make but never got around to. On Pojo, I remember replying somewhere that retiring isn't complemented by more retiring due to how redundant it is, and -scratch a billion and 2 details I can't remember- was very quickly challenged for my claim.

I'm...pretty sure those other details weren't important, and if they were, like any good natured writer, I'll just ignore them for the time being. What is important though, is exactly what I was trying to jab at when I said retiring becomes redundant.

First of all, I want to make sure that redundant is not a negative term, and in fact makes Goku a pretty strong decktype for what it is. Redundant retiring, to put it simply, is 'unnecessary' extra retiring. Which when you pit with chance based Goku, sounds about right. In any decktype that can somehow carry out enough retiring, redundancy is key to reducing the opponent's field to the bare minimum and weakening their resources and overall power output far below standard b.a.s.s. values.

But that's not the redundancy I'm talking about. No, what I'm talking about involves ever fabulous units like Heatnail Salamander and Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara. Long story short, you lose one of them to retire an opponent's unit. We've all seen them before and we've all either used or had them been used on us before. And I hope that everyone knows why after I explained in the last article. Kimnara's skill should always be aimed to weaken powerful 20+ columns into smaller, more manageable ones, as its skill will cause it to be a total break even for almost no change on both sides of the field or basically put, be worth nothing to you any time otherwise. So what does this have to with redundancy?

A lot, actually. After some point, you will retire and retire bigger columns and create smaller and more manageable columns for you to handle later on. At that point, Kimnara and Heatnail don't serve too much of a purpose other than burning out a Counter-Blast in Kimnara's case to do jack squat to push power distribution in your favor. And here's where and when redundancy meets uselessness. At some point, too much retiring will lead to Kimnara and Heatnail both ending up in a near useless position to use their skills. Redundancy drove retiring so far as to nearly invalidate the use of Kimnara and Heatnail's skills from being especially useful.

Another example of this is Advance of the Black Chains, Kahedin. Gold Paladin decks that are capable of spamming the midgame are more than able to quickly pump out multiple units out to the field, however due to the random nature of mostly topcalling, can leave multiple duds, triggers, and overall poorly placed calls everywhere. At that point though, Kahedin can swoop in and help fix the derp up of a field. But what about after? What if your hand caught up with field demands and covered all the derped zones? What if Kahedin's skill successfully cleans up all the derps? Then what? Still use Kahedin? I hope not, wow I used a lot of question marks. Overall, another example of redundancy to the point of near uselessness, instead replacing retiring with insistently topcalling.

And here's where we meet the crossroads of redundancy and usefulness. I hope the general idea has gotten across, you can't overload on a certain move or else at some point, something will choke up and there will be little to no point to continue spamming on. So why does Goku get away with this? This is because of, in his case, raw advantage. What I've been explaining to you this whole time is based off auxiliary advantage based on an unchanging raw advantage, aka everything breaks even. Goku however, while arguably can end up pushing Kimnara into a point of redundant until useless, has his own skill to generate raw advantage out of, overall becoming a general gain in your advantage and overall pushing your opponent much further behind through retiring. Going back into spamming calls, this also works. If you have a good grip of what goes in, out, stays, and does loop de loops onto and from your field, one can continuously resort to a Superior Call mechanic to constantly keep the field stocked and ready to go.

And so concludes my slightly random article. One can be redundant with skills, so long as they recognize their auxiliary advantage doesn't lead to breaking even, and any raw advantage is recognizable. However, there will always be a point where redundancy can end up meeting uselessness.

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