Kaijudo: When to Attack and Play Cards

Hey, everybody!  This week I'll be talking about some subjects that are relevant to every player, such as when to attack, what to attack with, and in what order to play certain cards.  Before I get into that, I just want to remind everyone about my Deck Doctor article.  I'm planning on having it posted in a week and I'd like a couple more deck lists sent to me before I write.  Like I mentioned previously, I'll take a look at any type of deck.  Just send me a list and a description of what you're trying to accomplish with it on YouTube.  Send me a private message on YouTube, and you'll be considered for the article!

Anyway, on to the subject at hand.  This was actually a request from a friend, which I thought was a very good idea.  There will always be some confusion on when the proper time to attack is, and I don't claim to always have the right answer.  A good deal of it just comes from playing a lot of Kaijudo and learning what generally works.  However, there are also some rules you should follow in regards to the subject.

Knowing Your Opponent's Deck

I can't emphasize enough the importance of knowing your opponent's strategy.  It's probably the most important thing in a duel, and a lot of times, it's taken for granted since you generally know the content of decks your friends are playing when you're at your local store.  With people you've never faced, even if you know your opponent's general strategy at a certain point in a duel, you probably don't know their whole deck list, so a lot of it has to be inferred. That can only be done through familiarity with different strategies.  For example, if you're playing in a control mirror match and your opponent is running Water/Darkness/Fire, you can assume that they're running full sets of Bone Blades and Terror Pit, as well as two or three Barrage.  This isn't always the case, but it's definitely a solid assumption since those numbers are very popular. If you haven't seen your opponent use many of those cards throughout the duel up to that point and hitting one of those could put you in a bad position, it might not be a good idea to begin breaking shields.

Knowing your opponent's deck isn't just important to assess their possible Shield Blasts; it's also important to assess what could happen if you're simply giving them more cards in hand.  Rush decks, for example, can get away with attacking as much as possible early on because they know that no deck other than another Rush deck would have enough mana to play early-game answers to combat their field presence.  If the rush deck has a Comet Missile or something similar in hand to help against early blockers, barring a deadly Shield Blast, no deck can compete with early game presence like that.

Breaking shields gets tricker as the game drags on.  In a control mirror match, it's always important to look at how much mana they have and what cards you think they're running, and prepare for the worst case scenario of how they could respond to your push.  If you have an Aqua Seneschal and King Neptas in the battle zone against a clear field on the sixth turn, it's probably safe to go in, because not only will you gain a card off Seneschal, it would appear that Neptas is safe for the coming turns and they'll be hard-pressed to deal with everything you have before you set yourself up for game.  Control decks can win a lot of games through switching to aggression when they know the opponent will be put on the ropes.  Thinking ahead is also important too; that scenario is one in which it's obviously safe to go in, but when other, more complicated scenarios arise, just think of the best possible play your opponent could make and make sure you have answers in your hand or on the field for it.

Attacking in the Correct Order

If you look at my Seneschal/Neptas scenario from the above paragraph, you'll notice that attack order plays a part in why it was so good.  Attacking with Aqua Seneschal first not only guarantees that you get to draw a card off its effect, but also that you'll be breaking two shields, since there are no current Shield Blasts that can deal with King Neptas.  If someone decided to attack with King Neptas first for whatever reason, they could hit a Bone Blades that would kill Aqua Seneschal, not only preventing them from breaking both potential shields, but also not being able to go through more of their deck with Seneschal.

This "order of attacking" is also relevant when you have an obviously threatening creature on the board.  If you have a Bronze-Arm Sabertooth on the field and a Prickleback, it's almost always the best play to attack with the Sabertooth first to get the guaranteed double break, even if Prickleback can get hit by more Shield Blasts.  If your field is, say, a Sabertooth and an Aqua Seneschal, the situation gets a little more complex, because in the worst-case scenario of your opponent having a Bone Blades or other removal Shield Blast in the first shield you break, you have to choose between the guaranteed card from Seneschal or the guaranteed double break with Sabertooth.  There is no answer that's always "correct" in these situations because there are no two situations that are exactly the same.  It honestly all depends on what matchups you're against and what point in the game you're in.  Field presence plays an important role, as do the cards your opponent has already gone through.  It takes knowledge of the situation you're in, and like anything, practice!  Good thing practicing is easy, since playing Kaijudo is so much fun.

Playing Cards in the Correct Order

As a quick aside to the whole "attacking in order" issue, I'd like to point out that it's sometimes very important to play the cards in your hand in the correct order.  A lot of times it's common sense, but I still see players make plays using the last of their mana that could have effected the other plays they made.  That might sound confusing, so I'll give an example: if you have seven mana, and know you're about to play a Frogzooka and Logos Scan, don't play the Frogzooka first.  You're not gaining anything from playing the Logos Scan last, and playing it first would give you options that you didn't know you had.  Who knows, you might draw into an even better level four play like Fumes that you didn't even realize you could have.  A good general rule is, if you have a play that would change the options you have for the rest of my turn, always make that play first.

And that about wraps it up for this article!  Hope you all enjoyed, and I hope it made you all think some more about the strategy that goes into every little play you make and how it affects the overall outcome of any given duel.  With WotC saying they have announcements for organized play coming in January, things like this are sure to just get more important.  Make sure you leave a comment down below with your thoughts (as well as a list in my YouTube inbox for the deck doctor article!), and I'll see you all next week!