Another Iczer has taken up my challenge to come up with a good strategy article, so here we go. This one by Cervelo is mostly about advance tactics, but he covers a lot of vital basics along the way, so I recommend everyone take a look.
To Iczer Attack or Not to Iczer Attack? That is the question.
While the decks have changed quite a bit over time there is one thing that still seems to baffle most Iczers. That of course is when to Iczer Attack and when not to. Universally the answer from most Iczers who do not Iczer Attck is their fear of the Soul Skills. Most Iczers out there have a good idea of who uses what. In fact most of the top players, play on the extra safe side. It is similar to that bad experience you have when you order lunch and it gives you a bad stomach ache. You will never order from that place again. The purpose of this article is to look a bit deeper into Soul Cards and the Iczer attack and see if we can make a more educated guess.
Lets first discuss the basics. Every player is given a choice of five Soul Cards. Each Soul Card has a number of life points associated with it. Adding all the life points from the five cards will make up your total LP. As you lose life points through either Iczer attacks or the loss of cards from the field the Soul Cards are activated in the sequence they were placed, only when amount life points lost is equal to the LP value of the card. This is actually one of the toughest concepts for new Iczers to learn.
In the beginning a new Iczer usually just places cards with the most damage potential and as time goes on they try and build a strategy that works with the cards on the field. This usually means that the Soul Skills must go off in a certain sequence or it will probably not work out as planned by the Iczer.
Lets look at the Soul Cards themselves. The designers of the game decided that the SS cards that do the most damage or have the most benefit have the lowest LP of 1. While the cards that have the highest LP of 3 actually hurt the Iczer as in the case of the Coatl which sets DF=0 for all your cards. So this means by simply looking at the rival Iczer’s total LP an Iczer should be able to determine the type of cards the Iczer has as Soul Skills. An Iczer should be able to determine by the total LP the type of deck an Iczer is trying to play. If an Iczer has a big deck where they are trying to get out Level 6 or higher cards, he will need to have a higher LP to survive long enough to build SP to get out those cards. With a low total LP more than likely the Iczer is trying to run a rush or return deck.
For example we have a rival Iczer with an LP of a 6 – 7 than at least four of the five cards are going to either do damage, give SP, raise sphere level or give large boosts to DF or AT for that turn. So while the LP cards of 1 and 3 are easy to see, the cards with LP 2 are much more difficult to figure out. Cudgel, Skeleton Warrior and Wizard Soldier of Regus all have LP of 2 and their benefits are quite good but they’ve been determined to be not as good as the 1 LP cards. I think of these as the hidden gems in the game as they offer the most of both worlds.
Besides learning the type of deck, as each of the rival Iczer’s Soul Skill cards are activated you get more information to help you predict the LP of each remaining card and also the potential consequence the remaining cards will have on the game. Besides the total LP, the first few cards played by the rival Iczer should give a good idea on the type of deck he will be playing and in turn the type of Soul Cards he is probably using. This should give an Iczer plenty of information about when to Iczer Attack. Even so, I have personally been in matches where the rival Iczer has had total field domination but because my Soul Cards were a little different this time, the enemy would not Iczer attack.
Is there really an advantage to this strategy?
Well if you do not Iczer Attack the biggest benefit would be the potential healing and recovery of HP for the remaining cards on the field. In addition you may feel that a Soul Card like a Skeleton Warrior or Dalos will Revive a rival Iczer’s fallen cards and allow him to attack again. Lastly, you feel that this disrupt his strategy which gives you the upper hand.
Let’s look at all these advantages closely. The healing of cards is a great idea but if a card goes off that will do damage you’re usually putting off the inevitable. In addition many of these cards will only do damage to disengaged units. That means deciding to not do an Iczer attack can actually backfire on the next round as all your cards are disengaged.
Now lets look at the revival cards. Most definitely in this case it would seem waiting would be appropriate but not in all cases. As long as the rival Iczer has a fallen card he can still revive it and get the benefit of the Soul Skill, even at the beginning of next turn. Also, if you still have units left to go after your Iczer attacking unit, you might be able to kill the Revived unit before he can threaten you.
In terms of disrupting the strategy of the rival Iczer, generally it is fairly obvious when a rival Iczer wants a Soul Skill to be activated. The Iczer will usually place a very low level card in the front row hoping that it will be hit with a random attack. In some cases this can backfire as too many cards are attacked and more than one Soul Skill will be activated. I have not yet seen a strategy where a rival Iczer is hoping that two Soul Skills will go off in one turn.
In the end the biggest factor that will determine whether an Iczer Attack should be taken or not is field domination. If you have field domination, the worst case scenario is that you are unlucky enough to encounter an Soul Skill that will do damage to all the cards of your sphere. However, in my experience the player with field domination will still come out of this in good shape.
One last note for all the Iczers trying to top the charts. Playing as many games as possible is a big part of placing high in the rankings, so the safer you play it in the end game and the longer you stretch out your inevitable victories, the less time you’ll have to rack up more victories in the day!
So next time you are playing and you are not sure of the Soul Cards that will go off. Think about the above and make a good educated guess.