About the Maps!
Special - Parallel Land
To be honest, it is a nasty map to play on. There are so many non-territory spaces, meaning if your luck is bad, you will have a hard time just getting something on the board. On top of that, you have two areas, meaning you will have a hard time even being able to influence the board.
But because of the two areas, Bird Maiden is extremely useful, maybe too useful on this map, as she will allow you to move to one area or the other as needed, which is helpful for evacuating weak Creatures.
Oh, and you have a Trap space too.
Honestly, it is a hard map to play on. I find myself doing Ranking more because of this bothersome map.
Ranking - Middle Circle
Not only is this a small map, but it is one-way. This means you always have to watch out for getting Holy Word-ed onto a high level territory. On top of that, because it is one way AND a small map, there will be a lot of landing on enemy territories. Because of this, I suggest using a Book that has sufficient resistance to invasion, such as using Vitality. However, you also want enough offensive power because of how much opportunity you have to attack your Opponents.
-Ranking (3 Players, Middle Circle)
Me: Kelpie Book
Opponent 1: Water Book
Opponent 2: Water-Wind React Book
Since it is a one-way map, I decided to use Kelpie once in a vs. human match.
...And yeah, I don't see why people would want to use Kelpie online. It is considerably nerve-racking because everyone noticed you and can easily invade the territory if they want to, meaning you cannot slack of on defenses at all throughout the entire match. Oh, and there is a Magic Circle. If you're unlucky, something like Blaze Splash comes out and just kills it.
Anyways, my Book involves using Merciful World to protect me until Kelpie is ready and then use Energy Field to make Kelpie immune to normal attacks. It is actually surprisingly common for a Book to not have any counter against Curses, which is one reason I decided to try Kelpie.
And indeed, the other two had no way to remove Energy Field. Disease popped up from the Magic Circle once, but I had kept another Energy Field in my hand, so I was able to immediately overwrite it.
To be honest, Merciful World was a bit meh. Maybe Dark World is better, but I guess it had some effect.
Opponent 1 did have Deep-Sea Dragon, which could go through Energy Field, but it only takes an armor to protect it. In the end, I was able to get enough Gain from Opponent 2 to reach the Goal. Opponent 1 had Magical Leap in his hand, so he was able to avoid Kelpie once. Of course, he would have landed on Kelpie eventually, but I was able to win before he went around again.
Although it didn't happen, another problem my Book has is that it is purely focused on Kelpie, including using Otohime, which means it has 0 invasion power. If someone had taken the Water territories, it would have really slowed down my progress. Of course, if you are going to focus on Kelpie, it may be better to fully focus on it instead of half-hearted actions.
Oh, and in a previous match, I used a Fire Book and all three of use turned out to have used a Fire Book. And I switch to Water... and now all three turned out to have used Water.
-Ranking (3 Players, Middle Circle)
Me: Water-Wind React Book
Opponent 1: Life Force Wind(?) Book
Opponent 2: Water Book
And... yet again with the Book elements. And there goes the Freeze Cyclones I added to the Book...
The reason I have a question mark over Opponent 1's Book is because it seemed he put 4 Tiamats as well as 4 Typhons. Yeah... I have to say that is kinda simple-minded to just throw in the "strongest" Creatures in the game in the same Book. It's a small map, meaning it is highly unlikely someone would be able to summon either Creature at one time. And indeed, he never was able to summon any of the 3 Tiamats in his hand. It definitely would have been scary to both of his opponents if he could... But he couldn't.
Oh, and to top that cake, he had a Breed Dragon named "Living Armor", as if it could fool anyone. Seriously?
Anyways, it wasn't too particularly eventful. Opponent 2 never really got to influence the game much, as he had a hard time getting Water territories. He also wasn't that good of a player, failing to notice important things such as using Swamp Spawn to erase Opponent 1's Life Force.
I would say the biggest moment of the match was when my Caladrius fought back Sleipneir using Storm Spear. I was about to win, so Opponent 1 used a last ditch effort to lower my total Gain by sending Sleipneir to attack Caladrius. Sleipneir had Harlequinn's boost, giving him ST50/HP60 and he used Gremlin's Eye to make sure to kill Caladrius, but Storm Spear's rarity is N, which meant it couldn't be destroyed and I was able to take out Sleipneir with Attack First.
Storm Spear is actually quite useful. While it fails to give a big boost to most of my Creatures, it is extremely cheap. I did not really think much about its rarity until now, but N comes in handy too. Also, when Rokh and Odontotyrannus use it after Reacting, they do 135 damage, which is enough to be fatal. Also, that is the highest damage my Book can dish out. My Book relies on React and Vitality to defend territories without having to use items, but because my strongest Creatures lack Attack First and can only deal 70 damage without items, it does have a bit of difficulty in controlling the board as much as I want.
-Special (2 vs 2., Parallel Land)
Me: Nebiros Book
Partner: Enchantress Armed Princess Book
Opponent 1: Powder Eater Kelpie Book?
Opponent 2: Fire Book
Let's just say, before this match, I played a Special match where my partner sucked... or lost on purpose. Anyways, he gave me a "Understood" sign when I signaled him to do something, and he didn't. And that was about one minute ago, so... yeah... I doubt he forgot in that minute.
So it was most certainly refreshing that there was no one idiotic in this match. From the beginning, people were throwing Poison Mind and Shatter and whatever left and right at each other. Everyone lost some good stuff, though I definitely felt the pain when I lost Napalm Arrow and Murasame, which would have allowed Nebiros to attack and possibly kill the Cait Sith that the opposing team lined up. Level 5 - Level 5 - Level 4, by the end.
So, early on, both me and my partner were sent to the North area. Due partially to the cost-performance of each others' Books, it looked like the opposing team was actually gonna win, just naturally without anyone actually landing on a high-level territory. Heck, the opposing team was even able to get the 700+ Gain in the Trap. But then, the opposing team got both greedy and hasty and make a few devastating mistakes that allowed us to win.
- For one, Opponent 1 uses up all of his Gain in order to level up a territory so their team will reach the goal Gain. However, on my turn, I was able to use Magical Leap onto that territory and take it with Nebiros, which also allowed me to draw 2 cards.
- Then, Opponent 2 decides to use Holy World 6 (Metamorphosis that got Metamorphosis-ed) on my Partner, which lead him to a Level 5 Cait Sith. However, my Partner had Angry Mask in his hand and Hell Pyron was on the field. This means Cait Sith will do 30 damage and then lose 30HP. So my Partner sends out Typhon and use Angry Mask. For some reason, Opponent 2 used Napalm Arrow, though this does not change the result. Angry Mask takes out Cait Sith's HP and not only does my Partner get a Level 5, but Typhon turns it into a Wind territory, immediately making our total Gain higher.
- Now the thing here is that Opponent 2 also had Chainsaw in his hand. If he used Chainsaw, he would have got +80, allowing him to kill Typhon and preventing Angry Mask from activating. However, he didn't seem to realize at all Angry Mask could kill Cait Sith, so he did not use it.
- That said, I also made a mistake of not realizing Angry Mask or Chainsaw until it was my Partner's turn. If I used Squeeze on Chainsaw, it would have been a certain victory instead of a victory from the opponent's mistake. That Squeeze was later used on Opponent 1's Angry Mask, which would have taken out any of our high-level territories, so I was at least able to use it somewhere.
- For some reason, Opponent 2 then told the neighboring Cait Sith to attack Typhon. I thought he was going to use Chainsaw to take the territory back, but my Partner used Warlock Disk, so Cait Sith was killed and the territory was left empty. And he didn't use Chainsaw.
But yeah, he just happens to roll 2 and land on the Level 4 Cait Sith. He couldn't do anything about it, but I had him sell my Level 4 Nebiros (which I took from Opponent 1), as it was a Water territory. If he sold a Wind territory, it would have dropped the Chain to 4 and selling Nebiros gave him enough Gain to use his Storm Shield.
Anyways, we still had enough Gain to Goal and then won. Very eventful match with few mistakes and thus quite enjoyable. Heck, I was perfectly fine that I was going to lose, since everyone did a great job. But in the end, a bit of greed caused the opponents to dig their own grave and we were somehow able to win. The graph at the end was quite amusing, with a huge dip and raise where the Cait Siths got killed.
-Special (2 vs 2., Parallel Land)
Me: Invasion Wind Book
Partner: System Creature + Water Book?
Opponent 1: Fire Book
Opponent 2: Wind Water Book
To be frank, all of the other three players weren't that good. Using items that wouldn't really help, attacking Attack First creatures with non-Attack First creatures and getting killed, for instance. And using Revival on the first turn... which is totally wasteful. Anyways, I expected a bit more from Cepters with higher AP than me.
Though, you can get AP from the Human vs CPU matches, so it doesn't tell much, I guess...
My Book was a simple offensive Wind Book. My opponents seemed to rely a bit too much on Negation, so Tearing Halo was quite effective. I was also able to pull off Tombstone once, drawing 3 cards. To be honest, I wasn't too sure why I put that in the Book, but it did its job.
My partner had a whole lot of system creatures with a touch of Water Creatures. While I felt he was relying on his partner a bit with all of the System Creatures, he did have the luck of being sent to the other area, so he was able to place Bird Maiden, Captain Cock, Fay, Fate on the map relatively undisturbed. Also, he had Thunder Spawn, which ended up playing quite the great role in the match as well as Bahamut, which helped our team rule the Fire territories on the South Area.
That said, his items were mostly defensive with little invasion power aside from Thunder Spawn, which requires set-up. It seems his idea was to use Fay to strengthen Thunder Spawn and then invade with him, but he didn't have Quintessence or anything, which limited his capabilities. Also, he only ever drew one Thunder Spawn, so I'm not even sure how much focus he put on Thunder Spawn. Thankfully, I was able to handle the opponents in the South Area by myself and Thunder Spawn was able to support me. And he pretty much ruled the entire area because no one could go there.
Opponent 1 is one of the reasons my Partner's Thunder Spawn ended up playing such a big role. By the end, he had Valkyrie, 3 Tiamat, and even drew Old Willow. As you can see, that is REALLY heavy on costs. At one point, he had a Level 4 Cait Sith beside my Partner's Bahamut, but I was able to destroy it by switching Bahamut out for Typhon and using Tearing Halo. He also had Gas Cloud, but I destroyed it with Martial Monk + Boomerang. Near the end, he was suffering from not being able to summon anything. His partner placed a Creature and changed it to Fire, but then my Partner used my Sleipneir with Thunder Spawn to take it out. He then defeated my creature with his Living Armor for a Fire territory, but then my Partner's Thunder Spawn went across areas to take that out. In the end, he had no Fire territories and was not able to summon anything. If he could summon Tiamat, it would most certainly have been terrifying to my Wind Creatures, but by actively taking out his territories, we were able to disable him until we goaled.
Opponent 2 had a Book with Water and Wind creatures. From the looks of it, his Book tried to use Shining Gazer with Rune Adept to constantly burn the enemy Creatures. However, a lack of defensive items (or that I destroyed the ones he had) allowed me to take out the only one he drew. By the end, his team made a Level 5 territory, in a last ditch attempt for a comeback, but thanks to him spending his Gain recklessly (using Armored Dragon to invade despite not being able to win if my Partner used an item, which he had plenty of), he ended up not having enough Gain to use any defensive items. So even if I did land on it, I could have taken it out (I think). He also had Shining Gazer in his hand, which would have made me go another lap before Goaling and possibly another chance at landing on the Level 5, but with no Gain, he could not use it on any Creature.
So overall, the map was interesting because Tearing Halo (and Tetrarm) was able to just go through defenses that relied completely on Negation, and it was really the first time I saw Thunder Spawn play such an important role. It was able to pick off Creatures that were placed on territory solely for the reason of placing a Creature, limiting the freedom of the opponents. If my partner added Quintessence, it may have been able to play even a more impressive role.
One reason Thunder Spawn is hardly used is because it requires a Wind territory to summon despite requiring Water territories to strengthen himself, but with a whole area to himself and a partner, it wasn't too hard to summon. Since his Book mainly focuses on Water creatures aside from the many System Creatures, he was able to get +40 by the end. Using Fay also further boosted it, though this was made partially possible because no one could really stop him.
Oh, and I made one mistake that needs to be noted, but when you use Living Glove as an item, your HP and ST revolves around all Creatures of the element of the Creature that used Living Glove. Living Glove as a Creature revolves around Neutral. Even if Living Glove as a Creature is strong, using it as an item generally is a bad idea.
Though the result is the same in my situation, regardless of if I used it or not.