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Basic Strategy for the Inexperienced 
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Post Basic Strategy for the Inexperienced
Matoc started a thread on ToL2.0 requesting basic tips for noobie types. I thought it was so awesome I copied and fixed it up a bit and here it is:

NOTE: Italics indicate a quote.

Matoc

Well, I just wanted to get some insight on basic tips for new players. I'm teaching a few friends to play and wanted to give them a break so they can be more competitive faster. What I'm looking for here are not concepts like tempo or card advantage(but I would appreciate BW's help) but rather simple, practical examples. Like, when starting a triple Urg formation, always attack with the middle one first, as it can redirect strikes from both sides, or, always attack the extreme D'ilchant Keepers, that way you neutralize the middle one as far as defend goes. all help will be appreciated.

Thankz in advance,

Matoc


Sakar207
Well, a lot of low level blitz helps, but that isn't always the case.

Always hit Novic Catin when he is in between two D'Ilchant Keepers. Or if your starting with 3 of the Front Line.


Terak_Justicebringer
Have them always look for cards that produce strike advantage..for example, Tresven which can inflict two wounds for one card. Muddflek, Stirges and Maxt Stormcrow also fall into this category.


37
In my personal experience a blitz style is the best way for new people to be good quickly. Also teach them the advantage of drawing more cards than your opponent. That is a basic principle in all CCG's.


Zechnophobe
Attack first, before Equipping.

Try to kill ready characters when you possibly can. Equipping items is generally the last thing you do in a turn. So, if the choice is between putting a bruntor's helm on Krun, or having Krun attack, attack with krun. The helm can often wait .

If you can spend an opposing warlord, do so.

Don't play cards your starting army can't use. When you get to know the game better, then you can consider combo's to get those level 9 items, or those level 6 actions played consistently.

Don't play action cards that only support other action cards, like Empowered Spell, Enlarged Spell, or Advanced planning.

Don't hold cards between turns unless you are SURE you will use it, or it will keep your warlord alive.

Very often, try to do as much damage to an army as you can. That means Swinging at things you can actually hit. Every kill you get is one less swing back at you. Every swing can do a wound.

Don't put level 2 characters in your deck that can't do damage the turn they enter play.

Don't play Ambassadors

Don't Play Wyrians Blood.

Those are some basics for deck construction. Obviously, if you play for a while you'll know when to break these rules, but it should get you playing a bit smarter.


37
Use your characters before you lose them. I see many new players equip items or do other actions when they should be trying to kill the opponent's characters.


chaosnake
Always play 50 card decks(never more).

Learn to bluff, also known as don't play a character if you know he's just gonna die after he enters play, instead wait out until there doesn't seem to be a threat.

Use threats on the board, before threats that your opponent doesn't see coming in your hand (this is one that really needs to be learned when to break this rule).

If you build a combo deck, you have three ways to go:

Build a deck which is strong by itself, and then add a few cards which aren't necessary for the deck to work, but which, if you happen to draw them, will give you a big advantage or an automatic win. The deck doesn't depend on the combination; it's just a nice bonus if it happens to work out.

Have so many interlocking combinations in the deck that, no matter what cards you draw, you're almost guarenteed to have something that will work as a combination. A deck of this type is know as a "cluster deck". (Multiclass warlords are usually needed for this to work well)

Find a core combination that pretty much guarantees a win, then build the rest of the deck entirely out of cards which help you get that combination into play, keep it in play, or survive until it's in play. This is by far the most difficult of the three, and playing a deck of this type requires radically different strategies from playing a normal deck.


DarkGuardian
Quote:
On 2005-04-07 21:49, chaosnake wrote:
Always play 50 card decks(never more).

Learn to bluff, also known as don't play a character if you know he's just gonna die after he enters play, instead wait out until there doesn't seem to be a threat.


I can't tell you how important this one is. Watching guys just throw down characters with no regard for what's going on frustrates me. A good bluff can mean the difference between winning and losing. A good bluff will also keep your opponent wary of what you are holding on to, which is useful in later matches.

Quote:
Use threats on the board, before threats that you opponent doesn't see coming in your hand (this is one that really needs to be learned when to break this rule).


Again, n00bs will ignore this, choosing to uber their WL instead of taking out my threats with theirs. Shoot first, ask questions later.


DarkGuardian
A couple of tips of my own:

1. Pick a faction and stick to it. The more you concentrate and know about the inner workings of a faction, the better off you will be. Once you get the hang of things, then you can branch out.

2. Pick one deck and stick with it for a while. This will allow you to get more familiar with what works and what doesn't work.

3. Only include cards your starters can use. I know Zechno said this, but I can't stress this enough. I've seen n00bs create decks, and throw in 2 spells and 2 spellcasters, just because they want to use the spells. Plus, it makes things more efficient.

4. Read ALL the cards in your deck. Read all the cards your opponent puts into play. Ask questions about anything you don't understand ASAP. If you're opponent plays somethign, and you don't know what it does, it could cost you the game. If you don't know what your own cards can do, you will make mistakes, and your opponent will call you on it, and you will lose games

5. Study your opponent, especially if he constantly defeats you. What is he doing that you aren't? Why is he winning? What is he doing that works against you so well? What can you think of to add to your deck so this isn't an issue in later games? Picking up general strategies from watching your opponent will help you grow as a player.


Granjero
If your opponent has run out of ways to kill you, don't spend all of your characters to attack straight away, but leave them ready to react to your opponent's actions. They can always attack later in the turn if they need to, but you don't want to run out af answers to your opponent's threats.


Morghen
Quote:
On 2005-04-07 01:00, Matoc wrote:
simple, practical examples...


First, trade for 3x Corinne Drac...


Matoc
Quote:
On 2005-04-08 10:50, Morghen wrote:
First, trade for 3x Corinne Drac...


LOL

Anyways....thanks for all the tips. I really appreciate it. I've been getting a lot better in the game, and feel secure enough to start teaching other players to play right now. I think all of you made excellent points and DG is right when talking about the factions and decks. I, myself, play mainly Elves, for the combo possibilities and blitz, but am also fond of the Freeks weakness. It appeals to me as a cry for help, even though they are getting a lot stronger. I believe I'm gonna build a low level NoThRoG Uthanak blitz, or even Kara (even though I think thats too many reacts and bonuses for them to think about).

Please, keep the tips coming, as they are great for all who play, not only the newcomers, but people in general who are trying to improve their gameplay.


TericGrammerBringer
-The vast majority of decks will want to play the most characters possible, 19 in a 50 card deck. They win games. This is another one you can learn to break, but only do so if you have a really good reason.

-Play Exhaustion. Force yourself to, it's the best card in the game, possibly. I usually play 2.

-Have cards that protect your WL in every deck you build. For Fighters, this will be armor/shields, for Wizards, Ironcloth Bracers/ Mirage Potion, for Rogues, Too Fast To See, Gloves of Mischief or Out of the Shadows. Clerics can play... almost any Cleric cards. . This is more important the closer to rank 1 you are- rank 1 WL should have maybe 10 protection cards, rank 2 should have 2 to 4, rank 3 can have 1. If you don't do this, your opponent will often beat your Warlord without beating your army.

There are some really good tips posted by others on this thread. They're not all just for newbys!


37
Play 3 Exhustions. They are good meta against just about every deck.


Radagast
- Never "pass out" near the end of the turn - in other words, don't admit that you are doing nothing until the end of the turn. I still see people do this, and unless it is glaringly clear that there is nothing you can do (no cards in hand, all abilities used, all characters spent or stunned) it just basically says to your opponent, "Do whatever you want to me - I am out of tricks."

Hold on to that one card in hand, even if it is worthless (and don't tell them it is worthless, unless it isn't and you can bluff them). Don't spend all your characters - leave a few floating around until later in the turn just because they force the other guy to think. And that means he can make mistakes.

- Remember that pound for pound, basic combat, most of it melee, wins games. Don't fill your deck full of neat guys with lots of tricks but who are as brittle as twigs. I've seen plenty of decks like this, often wizard decks, that have lots of neat cards and lots of frail characters with special abilities. These decks are nice when they work, but all it takes is a few good attacks or - heaven help you - a single guy with lots of good attacks - and your deck becomes a crumbling pile of spent and stunned characters.

Just a few points to consider.


Malexin
Quote:
On 2005-04-08 16:54, 37 wrote:
Play 3 Exhustions. they are good meta against just about every deck


Exhaustion is not meta. It never has been and never will be.

That said, 3 copies should be standard inclusion in most decks. Basically when building a deck start with three exhaustions and back down from there.

Veiled Passing if you want to run Clerics is an Auto Include. Deverenian's starting Justinian as well as FreeKs starting Aida make great use of Veiled Passing.


37
Quote:
On 2005-04-14 13:17, Malexin wrote:
Exhaustion is not meta. It never has been and never will be.


Why aren't exhustions considered meta cards? They meta against every deck somehow.


Malexin

LOTS OF QUOTING HERE. DELETED TO SAVE MORGHEN'S SANITY.

Meta implies strengthing your deck against something your deck is particularly weak against or susceptible to. For instance Warlord Rush decks beat your deck pretty handily. So cards like Mud slick, Selai Yscar, Rough Road and Dusan Drake (which specifically slow down decks with a ton of movement) are meta cards. While Exhaustion can serve the same purpose, also works against say a Lekar token creation deck and a Duty Fair Warning deck.

Exhaustion is not meta because the amount of stuff it affects is a broad range of things. Veiled Passing is not a meta card for the same reason. However Rough Road is a meta card, as is Certain Doom.


Devs_Shall_Rule
When I was tought how to play, the guy told me that timing is crucial, which I have found through mistakes that it is. If you move up your Krun when their (put beatstick warlords name here) is ready they can eliminate you. So wait till they're spent.

Another crucial tip is, if you dont have to risk it, don't. If you have to ask yourself, should I do that, most of the time the answer should probably be no.

And my last input is, if you can find a way to be a big threat from a different rank than rank 1 you should. Keep your warlord out of the line of fire as much as possible.


Captin_Dukat
There's nothing else to say but that I'm not sure about the 50 card thing because there are some really awesome decks out there with 60-70 cards or maybe even higher.


Devs_Shall_Rule
One other thing I forgot was, don't just play high level characters because you think they look or seem cool, because I've found out that the little guy seems to be the more crucial one.


Donnivan
This can not be stressed enough... The name of the game is WARlord, NOT PEACElord. In war, you KILL your opponent. There are way too many new players out there that have a really hard time comprehending that. I generally give people an elf deck if they have a hard time grasping that idea, or better yet a weenie rush NoThRoG deck. They soon learn to love the taste of blood!


Donnivan
As far as deck size, I had a friend that consistantly had 65-75 card decks that did very good 75% of the time, which is actually pretty good odds when dealing with a game that uses a 20 sided dice. But that same friend eventually started listening to the rest of us when after the 20th or so time he asked us for deck advice and we all immediately began pulling cards to bring it down to 50. Then his deck remarkably would work more consistently and usually faster.

It comes down to this. Most games you play will not go through an entire 50 card deck. That means you will not see every card in your deck. Which in turn means every "extra" card you put in is one less chance to draw the card you really want or need at a crucial point in the game. Once you begin playing combo based decks, this becomes even more evident. The best way to decide what to keep and what to pitch is to look at any card and put it next to the other card already in your deck and decide which one you would rather draw at the begining of the game. If it is a card that you would end up having to hold on to or throw away if you didn't draw some specific card in your deck first, get rid of it. I have only seen a couple of decks that honestly did better with more than fifty cards, but that was before campaign when you could draw a 65 card deck consistently by turn 3.


DarkGuardian
I've had a great many discussions on deck size in the past. Over the years, I've come to one basic conclusion:

Smaller is better most of the time.


Note I said 'most'. I even emphasized it. The majority of the time, smaller decks, 50-52 cards, work better than if the deck were 60 cards. Why? Simply put, these decks require certain card(s) ASAP. Krun needs movement, and wants to see it as soon as possible to get up front. Dezi wants to see Sniper Shot as soon as she can. Chyre wants to have his Xaros or Isadran on the table quickly. Obtaining these cards quickly is key to ending the game quickly. You want to kill your opponent quickly, before they kill you. And, for the most part, speed kills.

But like most rules, there are exceptions. Larger decks are not only feasble, but in some cases, necessary. You tend to find these more with character builds and Cleric decks. When I say character build, I don't mean Uber, but rather a strategy of overwhelming your opponent with superior number. This tends to go hand-in-hand with Cleric decks. These decks are designed to prolong the game, wasting and countering the opponent, while gaining board superiority. The better examples of this are Garn and Sjonegaard. By healing, recycling, and overwhelming their opponent with characters, they seek to win slowly, either through a tiebreaker, or by a prolonged game, allowing only one win, and time ending shortly after that. In this case, the larger the deck, the more resources they will have, and eventually take control by sheer numbers. Typically, these decks work best at 56-60 cards.


So when you are creating a deck, don't automatically think that a 50 card limit is the best way to go. Examine what you hope to accomplish in the deck, and tailor your deck size to meet that requirement. Blitz, combo, and uber decks should remain low, while character build and cleric decks should pack on a few more cards. I tend to set a limit at 60 cards for larger decks, as they become unwieldy after that, but with the advent of draw and other methods of deck thinning, feel free to modify this. Just remember to look at your deck, and really examine each card. As others have said before:

"Do I need this card to win?"
"Is this easily playable?"
"If I got this in my first hand, would I be happy, or would I prefer something else?"

This will go along way to making you a better deckbuilder.


Malexin
DG is right about deck size. 50 for the vast majority of decks, and up to 56-60 for any deck that is trying to win through outlasting its opponent. I like 60 as a hard cap for deck size, because it gives you two turns at full resources that your opponent doesn't have. And if you can't win with two turns of resources longer than your opponent having zero new resources then you need to seriously reconsider your deck.

Also find decks on the temple that have made the cut at events, preferably the largest events possible. Playtest those decks, and then learn how to beat those decks.


AdoramusTe
In Warlord, Characters are resources. Limit your opponent's resources by killing their characters. By killing characters you reduce the number of people who can take actions against you and, if you can destroy ranks, you limit your opponents ability to play more characters.

Remember that the reverse is also true. Keeping your characters alive is a good thing, even when the characters have leaving play or discard pile effects, it can't hurt to have more characters in play.

It's okay to skip an action or two occasionally. In other words, don't spend all of your characters and empty your hand while your opponent appears to be reserving cards or abilities. If you can end the turn while your opponent has more cards in hand than you and/or more actions on the board then you, you'll probably get the better end of the deal.

At the same time, if you feel you can finish the game in your favor that round, don't hold back. Also, try not to leave characters in your hand.

Pay attention to what your opponent has in the discard pile and what they have on the board. This will give you a good idea of what they have in their deck. It will also give a good idea of how they intend to win.

Ex: If your opponent has played 10 cards, 2 of which are Exhaustion, that means of the 34 cards remaining in your opponents deck, only 1 is Exhaustion, so you have no real need to fear it.

Ex2: Your opponent discards a Blacksteel Dagger rather than attaching it to a character in play. You can now assume that your opponent is playing a rogue in the deck that they intended to attach a BlackSteel dagger to. Also, they didn't intend the Blacksteel Dagger for their Warlord or they would have used it, so they're either not wanting to go to the front at all with their Warlord or they have a weapon in the deck that they think will be better than Blacksteel dagger.

Keep the true goal in mind at all times. The game is about killing your opponents warlord. It's okay to ignore characters who pose a threat to you in order to kill and/or seriously hinder your opponent's warlord (such as stunning them to the front). I don't know how many players I've seen go after a dangerous opposing character while the opposing warlord is sitting in the front rank waiting to be killed. Like I said before, if you can end the game in your favor, do so without hesitation. At the same time, try not to leave your warlord vulnerable. If you need to leave your warlord vulnerable to kill the opposing Warlord, it's generally okay to do so as long as you're sure that their warlord will die first.

Finally, don't roll below 16. Always roll odd against Astral characters and Even against Ethereal characters and always draw the cards you need to win.


Charon
In regards to deck size. Ratios matter alot. Some decks will run well with less than 50% characters, some of the more frail armies will not. These decks benefit at 60 cards. With both armies starting 6 characters on the field, a 60 card deck only has 10% of it's characters starting, where a 50 card has 12%. It's a small percentage in your favour, but still in your favour. This means that you will draw your characters slightly more often than your opponent's smaller deck.
This doesn't mean a 100 card deck will work better than a 60, it will just draw alot more characters, ultimately, you have to strike a balance, and I've found that if I include anything more than 60 cards, the overage must be cards that also produce a card draw.

Include cards that have similar, or just slightly weaker effects, to the ones you consider truly vital. Mass Blessing is good, but if you draw a Gift From Above instead, that's not so bad. Better than getting something you didn't need at all this turn.


Last edited by Morghen on Fri May 06, 2005 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:47 pm
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A couple more I was thinking about...

Know your deck. Netdecking is alright, but you must, I repeat, you must play the deck yourself, many times, the more you play it, the more you learn about it, and possibly tune it to your liking, most netdecks aren't perfect, and even if it was, that doesn't mean you know how to play it perfectly.

as Sun Tzu would say "if you know the enemy and know yourself, the victory is not at risk." Basically, it means, If you know your deck's strengths and weaknesses inside out, and you know the opponent's decks inside out and what you're up against, know the field, practice agains the cards you expect to see.

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Wed May 04, 2005 5:42 pm
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I'm going to do a pair of threads to replace this sometime next week.

The first will be

Deckbuilding 101

the second

Gamplay 101.

The first obviously training people how to build cohesive decks that know what they want from it. The second telling people the general best ways to play, and most important, common mistakes made during any given turn.

These are going to be VERY SIMPLE, designed at players who have not played a lot of the game.

Anyhow, I know there's a lot of you players out there (My other Darkhorsmen, Chris and Rob from over seas, and the normal clutch of great players from over here that I can't say all at once) that have some wisdom to share. SO go ahead and plop your simple thoughts into this thread (You can repeat someof the stuff above, I don't care). I'll make sure and quote you and fit all of the wisdom into the article.

If you think you can contribute, post here, and I'll see it done :).

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Thu May 12, 2005 1:22 pm
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You know, you could probably make a whole nother thread called Metagaming 101, or is that really Deckbuilding 102. :P

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Thu May 12, 2005 1:38 pm
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What? a method to class nomenclature? NO WAY! If the first installment is called Deckbuilding 101, by logic (at least institutional logic), the next part needs to be AT LEAST Deckbuilding 235. :D

I have but one piece of adivce for people who play this game;
You can bust out Excel, you can use any stats tool you want, but know that the die has a will of its own - It doesnt NEED your "Laws." In other words, I reccomend basing decisions somewhat on your own experience with things, in addition to raw numbers. i.e. if you KNOW you cannot hit astral for the life of you, aim somehere else for a while! If one card in your deck just HATES you and NEVER shows up for you, consider a different card (if possible). Etc. I suppose I could simply sum it up by saying that theres no substitute for personal experience.


Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:24 am
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Zechnophobe wrote:
I'm going to do a pair of threads to replace this sometime next week.


are we going to see any articles soon? :D


Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:44 am
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If I had any advice for new players it would be:

1) Don't sell out and play the most powerful deck builds all the time... Only occasionally when you want something ie: DL/Overlord

2) Play what you enjoy and play what you want... The more fun you are having, the better you will play and others will follow suit without thinking about it. A good attitude wears off on people, and might interest others to try the game out. :)

3) Be a good sportman in defeat... No one likes to lose, but give credit where credit is due.

4) Don't just learn from your mistakes, learn from your opponents as well.

5) Don't ever stop asking questions about the game. My best ideas are not mine alone. A lot of my success's in the game were a rusult of collective advice.

And Finally

6) Say your prayers to the D20 God before and after each game! :rofl:

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Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:57 am
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Keep pad and pen with you. Sometimes your deck will have a combo in it that you did not see initially and you haven't seen before.

Keep notes on your decks weaknesses and strengths and adapt to these.

Ask your local BH and older players if they have extras. We always try to help out the newer players with their card pools.

Even if you are losing, stay in the tourney and don't quit. You must endure to get better and psyching yourself out will only lead to constant defeat.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:47 pm
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here's the most important deck building tip (i think)

build your own decks, it's good to take suggestions, but don't simply take something out or put something in because someone told you to. If someone told you to take something out and you don't think you should, run it and try to understand why they told you to take it out, then decide for yourself.
more importantly, if someone tells you to put something in, and you don't think it's working right for you, take it out. Sometimes people are wrong, or you need to see the error of playing without it yourself.
That's how you actually learn the inns and outs of deckbuilding.

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Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:48 am
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When putting a card into your deck; ask why am I putting this card in my deck?, what is it supporting?, and is it easy to get rid of?

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:57 am
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Dutchess wrote:
Say your prayers to the D20 God before and after each game! :rofl:


Totally :lol:

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:15 pm
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Maybe this will help some new players...

Lesson 1

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Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:58 pm
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make sure and kill support characters(brother dominy,chant,urg,dreiga).
if you take their support away from the warlord it makes life alot easier.

That said know which characters not to kill(aida if you are a wizard,tybast if your opponents a wizard, etc.)


Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:10 am
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here is another VERY important deckbuilding tip that i havent seen in this thread. the starting linup. i've seen games lost because someones linup didnt work as well as the others.

so think about what you want the start to do, do you want to stall your opponents? use people that have high ac or abilities that raise ac or heal.

or maybe your running a blitz? then you want people with higher atk to overwhelm your opponent, or a level 2 wizard and pack rings of vorn for movement.

also try not using the same linup every time. countless times ive seen merc decks get creamed by NoThRoGs and dwarvs because they were expecting the brine fiends and started accordingly with timmuks and revenges

in short keep these 2 things in mind

1. know what you want your starting linup to do

2. change it up once in a while

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Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:41 am
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Post Re: Basic Strategy for the Inexperienced
Figure out this little thing I like to call "controlling the tempo of the game."

When you are dropping characters just to hold ranks against your opponents' onslaught of strikes, you are losing.

When the reverse is in effect, you are winning.

Know WHEN to play your cards so as to maximize your control of the tempo of the game. Don't start by equipping items, start by throwing down! I don't care if your opponent is starting D'Ilchant Keepers...smack them. Don't NOT kill Genecourt initiate because it will make your next strike miss.

Don't NOT kill Javyn because you don't want your ranks to break. If you leave Javyn alone, she's gonna be there to swing at you!

etc.

Control the tempo of the game and you win the game.

-nihil

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Darguth wrote:
I...agree...with Nihil

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You are correct on all counts.

Yamauta wrote:
Thank you Nihil. That badass post was one of the most informative posts I've ever seen here...

Fintago wrote:
...Nihil...When someone puts a keyboard in front of you, you become the worst kind of person. I mean Christ.


Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:57 am
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