CotF - Heierrat Army Results
Written by CSquared   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 19:55

(For the period of 7/2/09 - 7/15/09)

Apologies once again for the tardiness of this particular judgment. Harking back to two months ago, there was a Challenge of the Fortnight of a commonly used, but not always to its full potential, card named Heierrat Army. Due to the limited number of entries, there are only three runners-up instead of the usual five. But now, without further ado, is the final verdict.

 

WINNER

Iczer: Skewer
File Name: Ambush Loop

Soul Cards

  1. Owl Sage
  2. Solar Prince / Verlaat
  3. Solar Prince / Verlaat
  4. The Solar Eclipse / Alphonse
  5. Skeleton Warrior

Unit Cards

  • 1 Kesaran Pasaran
  • 3 Folrart Guardian
  • 3 Blessed armor Knight
  • 1 Holy Emperor / Retear
  • 3 Guard Leader / Renally
  • 3 Pirate King / Dub Rido
  • 3 Heierrat Army
  • 2 Salamander

Grimoire Cards

  • 2 Recovery Powder
  • 1 Instant Revival
  • 2 Meaning of Failure
  • 1 Cyclone

RUNNERS-UP

  1. Velosius
  2. neviscus
  3. SilentSigil

GAME PLAN

First-time fortnight winner Skewer has come up with an interesting File that has a standard Kesaran Pasaran to Healing Powder to Folrart Guardian opening. Most people would easily mistake this for being a standard Refess Swarm File but it quickly shifts gears into Falkow with a Meaning of Failure into... the capricious Dub Rido settled in the second row. Cyclone is available for use against overzealous rush Files. The shift to Falkow in game play changes things a bit for your opponent, as both Dub Rido and the Folrart Guardian are not exactly easy to get off the field. But if your opponent focuses on the Folrart Guardian, then it means facing a never-ending battle with the Folrart Guardian, since Dub Rido's Auto Skill will keep bringing them back from the cemetery. Granted, this goes for you as well, except for where this file goes in the midgame...

The Blessed Armor Knight comes out next, and perhaps astute Iczers can see where this is going. Yes, Blessed Armor Knight has an excellent Counter Skill that increases its defense by 30 every time he takes damage, making him an excellent tank. But the second condition of his his skill is to remove one of your rival Iczer's cards from his or her cemetery, thus negating any benefit an opponent might have from Dub Rido. To make matters worse, Dub Rido's other Auto Skill randomly hits one Unit on the field each turn for anywhere from 0 to 50 points of damage. This means that even if he doesn't hit a rival Iczer's Units, he is still setting off the BAK's and the guardian's Counter Skills. The fortnight card comes up in the midgame, as the Heierrat Army makes an unexpectedly late arrival to the party, and it is followed by an immediate Salamander, in order to Backlash against any who go sniping for it in fear of a bigger, stronger Folrart Guardian. But the +10 Bonus to AT and DF won't be going to her, but to the Blessed Armor Knight instead. This will afford the knight increased survivability as well as the option to dole out the pain at 50 AT, one of the magic numbers in Alteil. Sure, most would prefer that bonus on the Folrart Guardian, as that would increase her Counter Skill damage to the same amount, but that would involve your opponent blindly attacking, and having the Folrart Guardian attacking for 30 is kind of underwhelming.

As the name of this file indicates, the midgame signals a vicious cycle where your field is being maintained by your two level 4 tanks with Dub Rido constantly returning your copies and the Blessed Armor Knight emptying out your opponent's cemetery and ensuring that he or she cannot take advantage of Dub Rido's side effects. Meanwhile, Salamanders are going off to trigger Counter Skills as needed, and more Heierrat Army continues to coordinate some very effective buffing on any of your three field Units. Note that an additional advantage to the Heierrat Army is that their Action Skill makes the Unit leave the field, thereby saving you Life Points. This allows you to reuse Salamanders at will, since they will most likely be the only thing on the field costing you any LP at all.

The Instant Revival is there to help you maintain control should your Units be closing faster than Dub Rido can recycle your copies of them. Note that the Instant Revival will work on pretty much all of the cards in this File if required. The same can be said for Holy Emperor / Retear, who will also help revive any cards if you are out of copies, in addition to helping clear out your opponent's cemetery with his Action Skill, The Salamanders will also trigger the Verlaat Soul Skills, returning cards to your hand as well as giving you some more SP to play around with. Should the worst happen and one of your main tanks be permanently lost, they will be replaced by Renally, an excellent substitute. The Alphonse Soul Skill for the added defense will benefit any Unit, but Renally is probably the one who would get the most bang for the buck out of it.

STRATEGY

There you have it. An interest File that incorporates return from and destruction of cemetery effects. And what does this have to do with Heierrat Army? Why, everything of course. The recycling of level 1 cards has been a part of the game ever since the second set came out, particularly when taking advantage of the Open Skills of the great spirit cards. This File just does it one better in a sense. Yes, Open Skills are generally considered better than Action Skills since they are the first type of skills to activate, but the great spirit cards are also sitting ducks on the field that will cost you a Life Point once they are summoned. Heierrat Army is able to avoid this pitfall since it goes directly to the cemetery when its Action Skill is activated. Moreover, while the Heierrat Army is a very fragile card, it is also very quick with an AGI of 4, so you really only need to worry about protecting it in the Open Skill, Soul Skill, and Start Skill phases. Start Skills don't usually do damage, and you'll know if it's safe to bring out a Heierrat Army. As for Soul Skills, you know when you're going to use the Heierrat Army, so it is easy to manufacture a round in which enemy Soul Skills are not a factor by simply not closing an enemy Unit. If your opponent forcibly attempts to close his own Unit to activate a Soul Skill by taking advantage of your Folrart Guardian's Counter Skill, it's still a roll of the dice since they may hit the Blessed Armor Knight. And with the Heierrat Army buffing the knight and not the guardian, it's unlikely that you'll close an enemy unit on a counter hit anyway. If it does happen, you even have an Instant Revival that you may use on your opponent's closed card. How's that for playing it safe?

Regarding the Open Skill vulnerability, another interesting thing that this File accounts for is what a tempting target Heierrat Army is for Salamanders. By including Salamanders of your own, you are able to intentionally Backlash and protect your army, quite a high-level tactic indeed. The use of Backlashing has always been a controversial subject, and here it is as a practical strategy. If no Backlash occurs, then you are given even more options as you can choose to trigger the BAK's or Folrart Guardian's Counter Skill, or you may just do the traditional 10 points of damage to an enemy Unit. The world is your oyster, and the Salamander is your oyster knife.

CRITQUE

While it's true that this file does go into 3 spheres without the aid of Proxies or sphere-boosting Soul Cards, it's because it's all about Dub Rido's recycling effect. With the potential need for 5 in Refess, 4 in Falkow, and 1 in Gowen, it is possible to build up the SP needed to make it work due to the way Dub Rido's recycling effect allows you to slow the pace of the game down a bit. The File itself is actually pretty versatile in terms of the cards it uses, and though it does depend on a certain level of defense, shield breaking and penetrating effects really won't hurt it to any great degree since the Blessed Armor Knight gets more DF and the Guardian will constantly be recycled by Dub Rido even if she's shield broken. It can be a tricky File to play, however, and overzealous use of Salamanders and Heierrat Army might bite you in the butt if your opponent has a way to get rid of them easily. But all in all, it's still a fun File to play, and while its card recycling and destruction idea isn't unheard-of, it's still a pretty interesting application of the idea, and definitely takes advantage of the Heierrat Army's buffs to reach key numbers.

 
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