Friday, January 3, 2014

Card Review:Demonic Conquering Dragon, Dungaree "Unlimited"

Oh dear god, I forgot to press 'publish' before I took a break for Christmas/New Years

[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (2) & Bind the top card of your deck face up] When this unit attacks a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to one of your opponent's rear-guards in the front row, retire it, and this unit gets [Power]+2000 for each «Narukami» in your bind zone until end of turn.
[CONT](VC):If you have a card named "Sealed Demon Dragon, Dungaree" in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+2000.
[CONT](VC/RC): Lord (If you have a unit without a same clan as this unit, this unit cannot attack)

Well it's a Cross-Ride, so automatically it has that advantage over every other boss that isn't in existence.

Quite frankly, there isn't much to say about this card since its skill is relatively simple in game theory and in actual execution. I should note however, that if you focus too heavily on the retiring aspect of the card in and of itself, you're probably doing it wrong. See, think of it like this. Retiring's best shtick is that it shuts down power lines, often having a permanent impact on the game. In short, one should always target stage 3 columns; those that force out 15K to guard. The problem is, Dungaree Unlimited is usually going to be sitting on 13K defense, which isn't exactly easy to set up upon. In fact, it usually takes very dedicated builds to be able to generate +23K Rear Guard lanes, and even among them, only a few can do it consistently and/or being able to reuse said lines easily. In short, Cross Riding ultimately makes the retiring aspect of Dungaree Unlimited's skill redundant. The argument can barely even be made that there are the occasions that you don't Cross Ride that you'd have to worry about, as in a deck with no means of manipulating riding consistency, the ability to Cross Ride will happen about 60% of all matches, and 75% of all matches that you rode up properly in the first place. Now, don't somehow misinterpret this as 'Dungaree Unlimited is bad' or 'Retiring with Cross Rides being redundant is the end of the world' or something silly like that. Rather, it simply means that Dungaree Unlimited's role here is not defensive, and should not be perceived as so.

It should be interesting to note just how easy powerful attacks can be achieved through Exorcist Mage, Dan Dan and the easy to use 10K boosters that Narukami has access to. Just by riding Unlimited, one use of Unlimited's skill grants it +4K power, which with a 10K booster leads to a 25K Vanguard column; 4 to 5 stages onto nearly every other Vanguard in the game. The moment that the original Dungaree gets involved however, what with supplying 3 more Binds and Cross Ride defense, Dungaree Unlimited is easily looking at a 33K attack; 6 stages against every other Vanguard in the game and requiring a minimum of at least 3 cards to defend against without Perfect Guards, or even only aiming for a 1 to pass. Considering that some more Binds may occur through calling Rear Guards, and Dungaree Unlimited easily sizes up as one of the bigger offensive forces in the game.

How to use this card

With how much emphasis I put on pointing out the potential power that Unlimited has, it should be obvious where I'm going to go with outlining Unlimited's role in the deck: An offensive finisher, meant to overrun the opponent through gigantic numbers. What really makes Dungaree Unlimited interesting is that it's not just a one trick pony, not counting the retire that comes with its Limit Break, and all this rests with how it interacts with its previous form.

It should be noted that Cross Riding right away is still in all around good move, regardless of these upcoming strategies. In fact, it's the exact same reasons that Cross Riding right away should be advantageous that fuel the strength behind these strategies, so if your opponent's forces are dwindling in any way, or if they're set up for 11K Magic Numbers, don't try to overthink it and go ahead with Cross Riding if it simply seems to be the best route to go with, as it's most likely going to be one way or another.

As for the strategies themselves, it all lies in how efficient Sealed Demon Dragon, Dungaree's skill is while playing off of Dan Dan. Since I assume we know to run 4 Perfect Guards or at least why one should, it should be easy to expect the opponent to have one in hand. Ignoring that you may use other units' skills in the fight, or Heal Triggers or Damage Unflippers, you're generally only going to see 2 shots at Unlimited's skill. With one Perfect Guard close to guaranteed and a second easily looming over, there's always the issue of finding ways around it. While strategies like Raptor Colonel's exist and are easily applicable here, SDD Dungaree provides an interesting spin onto standard finisher tactics. For example, if the opponent preemptively prepares for Unlimited by setting up for 18K numbers, it would ultimately make very little difference between going ahead to Cross Ride or staying behind on SDD Dungaree, at least defensively. Because of this, it's actually a perfectly valid move to stay on its previous form to wait it all out.

BT12-025Now, think of it like this. If I attacked with Dungaree Unlimited and used its Limit Break, and if the opponent only defends with a Perfect Guard, I'd be paying 2 Counter Blasts just to retire a Rear Guard, and most likely locking myself off to only one more use of Unlimited's Limit Break. On the other hand, I could save Dungaree's Limit Break and see if the opponent decides whether or not to drop their Perfect Guard then and there, and I still have two shots at Unlimited's Limit Break. Now on the other hand, if I used SDD Dungaree's Limit Break, I'd only spend 1 CB to retire a unit. Along with this, the opponent is forced into that position of deciding to use their Perfect Guard or not. Finally, if I (eventually) get to 5 damage, I'd still have 2 more shots at Dungaree Unlimited's own Limit Break.

That was just one example, where I would manage to attain every benefit from both outcomes of using Dungaree Unlimited simply by using SDD Dungaree. In another case, you could have used a card like Dragonic Deathscythe, which would cost you 2 Counter Blasts. Once again assuming you (eventually) will get 5 damage, that means that you can still use SDD Dungaree and Unlimited both once.

The only problem with this strategy is that it relies on using Dungaree Unlimited's 13K base status as a cushion for SDD Dungaree to not be especially beaten up. Once again, I really must point out that this is an added feature to what you should already be drilling, and along with constantly keeping track of B.a.s.s. Values on either side of the field, you absolutely must be able to recognize when staying on SDD Dungaree will become more of a drawback than it's worth.

How to Fight Against This Card

It shouldn't be hard to recognize that you generally want to have a well balanced deck that can handle having units retired from time to time, but since that's normally an inherent trait of any good deck, there really shouldn't be much need to go into detail.

With that out of the way, what should be important to note is how to use your Perfect Guards. Unfortunately, this is an extremely case by case scenario sort of thing to deal with, meaning I can't give any proper tips. What should always be kept in mind however is to understand B.a.s.s. Values or something of the like in order to consistently stay aware of when either player will lose, and then play around it. Ultimately, the reason why the alternate strategy with SDD Dungaree works is because the Dungaree player can take control of how long the match lasts. It's being able to recognize the length of the match under this influence that can outline exactly when a Perfect Guard would be most effective, and allow for avoiding and outmaneuvering some +30K attack.


Card Design

As usual, this thing. I'm also going to make no comments on the Cross Ride part, due to reasons...

Funny enough, the Limit is actually perfectly balanced; at least within a vacuum. 2 Counter-Blasts easily stacks up for the high quality +1 the retire generates, leaving Limit Break to count for the power boost. Ultimately, due to only one Bind in a vacuum, and the efforts of chaining multiple other cards otherwise, this means that every part of the skill is perfectly accounted for.

As per the request for the article: Unfortunately, the metagame isn't based off what is balanced and fair. Decks like Dauntless the End and Eradicators are teaming with units that functionally serve just as well as Dungaree Unlimited and SDD Dungaree can offer, while also being far cheaper and just far more easy to activate and utilize than the latter. From a Card Design perspective, the card just isn't well fitted for dealing with the metagame. While it does have the potential to do so, other cards in the game need a far more mellow and balanced out approach in their designs before such units like Unlimited, which are powerful and balanced, can really shine.


  1. If the real reason of the late article is that you forgetting to click the "Publish" button, I'm gonna rage hard.. D:<
    Lol.. kidding.. Thanks for the deep analysis of the card. There are some new things I understand about this card now..
    More questions:
    - Do you think this card will be any of use in a Dungaree Unlimited build? I think this will make the cb2 cost of Dungaree's skill cheaper upon activation and can make use of the wasted soul..,_Agatha‎
    - Do you think it's a good idea to have two or more Dan Dans in the deck considering the mass amount of Linchu in a given metagame?
    Thanks again..

    1. I'm not even kidding. I could've sworn I hit it before Christmas or something. D:
      -Should you find the space for it, Agatha's 7K base and cost looks more than reliable enough for the deck. Go for it if you want.
      -Ehh...if we're talking about metagame stuff, that's a serious double edged sword right there. For one, the deck lacks much any especially notable ways of increasing riding consistency to make up for the ratios, and while here are enough +11K beaters in the deck to fight in an 11K metagame, using multiple 5K boosters can easily backfire against Cross Rides.