Yomi is unique as it is a hybrid of resource based openings and optimization. Most of the time, all 4 options are available but sometimes during a card game, probability decides to interfere with play, resulting in suboptimal opening hands or after dumping a hand into a combo, lady luck decides to make you suffer by not drawing into a particular option. It’s like getting mana flooded or land screwed in MtG and there are no mulligans to save you. Read this article on Street Fighter to get a better idea of reaction/prediction based play.
Regardless, most openings consist of a small set of moves:
So, how to start a game? Here is a quick rundown of common character specific opens that I have experienced over the years and reasonings behind them.
- Lightning Cloud (J) – 2.4 speed means it will trade/beat all normals except Setsuki’s 2, stuffs a throw and negates the tempo boost of a block.
- Block – Grave only needs a few cards to do solid damage, a few early gains only speeds this up.
- Throw – As stated above, he only needs a few cards to do 18-21 damage, so an early throw can knock 20-25% off an opponent as early as turn 1.
- Smoldering Embers (10) – If she has one of these turn 1, 90% you will see it. Why? The faster it goes to the discard, the faster it can start punishing dodges.
- Charged Shot (J) – Well, if my opponent thinks I’m going to play a smoldering embers, it’s a free 8 damage to the face. If they want to try for block/block,
it chips 7.
- Dragonheart (Q) – It’s .2 speed, deals 13 and the faster your opponent knows you have it, the faster they have to start playing around it and you can act accordingly.
- Ninpo Flash (Q) – This should be self explanatory. 0.0 speed, is an opener and the best way to dump your hand.
- Throw – You are more likely to have one of these than a Flash, punishes opponents for thinking you’re going to flash and in general what you do when you don’t have a flash/dash. Also sets up for an early game cross up.
- Block – “Wait, what? Setsuki can block?” Yes, contrary to what most people experience playing against her, she is capable of blocking and by doing so, you can throw off turn 1 fast attacks intended to punish your throws/non Q attacks or feint a bad hand.
- Throw – Being a grappler means your throws are always a threat and turn 1 is as good a time as any to show this.
- Stone Wall (5) – If your opponent is going to punish your throw hard, this will teach them otherwise. Usually better to hold on to these for late game.
- Block – Like stone wall without the goodness of bashing them over the head with their own attack. Plus more cards == more Rock Armor beats.
- Block – Big hand Geiger is scary as Temporal Distortion makes large combos viable and deadly.
- Throw – Another way of playing Geiger is a throw/Time spiral heavy aggro that punishes players for trying to throw/block.
- Slow/Fast Time Spiral – Does the same thing as a throw but hedges against characters with faster throws and can trade with many other attacks.
- Point/Counterpoint (7) – Unless your opponent attacks with something faster, you win combat. A good way to set the tone early and with a 6J follow up.
- Ghost Riposte (A) – For opponents that think you’re going to point/counterpoint, this combined with a Pilebunker or fatty normals ended with a J will start the game well. As with Jaina’s Dragonheart, the faster your opponent knows you have it, the faster they have to play around it.
- See Rook. No Stone Wall or Rock Armor though =(
- Bubble Shield (A) – The best block in the game. Same thing as Ghost Riposte/Dragonheart, making your opponents have to play a certain way is very advantageous.
- J/Q/K/2 – Arg is rather fast when attacking and does solid damage, so doing it is a rather safe play. It also punishes the notion that many players have of Arg being a very defensive character.
- Throw – When attacking just isn’t enough and to punish those who want big hands (Val/Geiger/Lum), throwing is the way to go.
- Chromatic Orb (A) – The Mad King open. 10 damage at 1.0 speed and draws a card on hit, what’s not to like about that? Plus with how easily Val can power up for A’s, even losing combat often means 3 chip damage.
- Block – The more cards Val draws, the better her combos become. The better her combos become, the more A’s that get powered up for. Rinse, repeat.
- Throw – As a way to set the tone early and to set up an early cross up.
- Block – Lum likes cards even outside of gambling away the last tournaments winnings. They fuel his throws, power up for PANDAMONIUM and set up easy mode yomi aka Poker Flourish
- J/Q – Fast, deal solid damage and can get boughtback with his innate, yes please?
Why the lack of attacking? As of right now, blocking offers more benefits than attacking early. If/when the normal attack draw rule gets fully implemented, attacking will become a much less risky option.
That’s all for this yomi article. No yomi tournament this weekend means deluks’ tourney and the international team tourney better have good turnouts.