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Sometimes The Best Offense Is A Good Defense
Part 1
By Darth Vailo
March 28, 2005

Foreword

Hello all and welcome to my first strategy article. This will be the first in an ongoing series on specific deck types and their inner workings. This particular article will have three separate parts. The first edition will discuss just what a defensive deck is as well as how it works. We will not get into a lot of detail as to what different types there are and how all those work here today. That will be saved for part two where I will explain how each different type works. As well as the certain strategies you can choose from to fit your own style. Then in our third and final installment I will give some examples of what a defensive deck looks like for you to play test yourself.

Please note that from here on out I will be using Zeke as an example. This is due to the fact that I have most of my experience with him. However, you can build a good defensive deck with many of the Shamans. (Although some are tougher to build than others. And some have far less defensive support as of now.) So feel free to replace “Zeke” or “Spirit of Fire Immortal Legacy” for example with your favorite Shaman or support card as we go along. I will also include spoilers for the cards listed in my article at the end of it for reference just in case you may not know them word for word. So if you need further information on a certain card just scroll down.

                Part One-Just What Is A Defensive Deck Anyway?

Defensive decks are decks that primarily use cards with very high intercept to block any and all attacks and count on Teamworks and Advantages to pump up their force. Take for example the card “Point Blank”. This is a defensive deck’s biggest ally. With a huge intercept of seven and a moderate cost you can quickly see why this is a defensive deck staple. The only problem is that “Point Blank” has a very low force of four. This is where the support comes in. Cards like “Spirit of Fire Immortal Legacy” will reduce “Point Blanks” intercept down to 6, but also boost its force up to six in return. This is how it goes in a standard defensive deck as far as your card choice. Cards such as “Swooping Talon” and “1080 Flash” are all really strong here since they are not franchised. (Franchised refers to a card that is not limited to a certain set of Shamans.) Basically anything with as moderate cost and a good intercept are wanted here. Cards like “Manifestation of Power”, “Relax”, and “Bestial  Savvy” are staples. These will help you gain furyoku advantage over the opponent. You are also going to pack cards like “Spirit Aim” and “Ward Off” for zone charging. Which is another important aspect. You may not score very often with your strikes. (This is not to say you will not score at all, however. 9 times out of 10 you will score with anything over 6.) This is a very important thing to do here since you can score really fast with quite a few different Shaman signature moves. (Such as Zeke’s Elemental Transmutation which can all but guarantee a point.)

While the card choice is rather straight foreword the real bane of any defensive deck is its strategy. While the card support is very strong most of them cost a good amount of furyoku. This means that you will be using cards to gain furyoku and using a strategy that was created by DefenseIncorporated. His strategy can be found on the Pojo boards in the Shaman King section. But basically what you are doing here is hoping to get the chance to defend against the opening attack. This nets you a plus one green furyoku. (3 2 2) Next up you are going to want to focus everything. Yes this means you will be taking a point. But you will also be at 4 green, 3 yellow, and 3 red. This is crucial to your success. After you take point one you will want to defend against the opening attack again. But this time try and charge some zones quick with cards like “Spirit Aim” and “Ward Off” with no intention of countering. If you were lucky enough to pull a “Manifestation of Power” or two in your first defense then this is a no brainer. You will have excess green furyoku to burn and charging is key for when we get to round three. I would ask that you not pay any yellow or red furyoku however just to get a zone charged. These are two resources you want to conserve and that you will need. (Especially your red.) However, if you pull one of your key Teamworks I’d suggest casting it. These are very important and you will need them. They are not doing us any good if they are in the furyoku pill. So we want to take two points initially while gaining the furyoku control and the zone charges where we can get them. Once you get to the third round defend again. Your opponent will be at a very big disadvantage already and you will now start to unload on them. Keep things tight furyoku wise but keep them on the defensive. F we are lucky they will opt to take a point so that they can catch up furyoku wise giving us some breathing room. If they do continue to charge and unload while maintaining furyoku control. Unload your first signature move when the situation is needed. If we get them to two points on two points and we are almost  ready to unleash our next signature move then we are doing everything right. This is why behemoths like Pumpkin Dumpkin and Elemental Transmutation were made for situations like this. You will want to defend from the green zone as much as possible not giving them any sort of chance to replenish in the lower zones. Keep it fast. I cannot stress that enough.

The name of the game here is rinse and repeat. You defend, gain furyoku, and pressure them with high force strikes due to your support cards as fast as possible. The more support cards you can drop the better. I cannot tell you how evil it is to play cards like “Point Blank” with “Spirit of Fire Immortal Legacy” or “Turbine” in any given zone turn after turn. This creates a very big advantage in many aspects. If you are able to get things set up correctly then nine times out of ten you will win. You must pick your cards correctly, however. And you must also pick your spots as well. Our whole strategy is to get them tied with us at two points apiece and then use our best signature moves.

This concludes my first article on how to play a defense deck. If you have any comments, question, or suggestions here are some ways of contacting me,
PM me on the forums at my user name-Darth Vailo
E-mail me at-darthvailo@yahoo.com
I ll do my best to get back to you asap. Thanks to you guys again for the kind words.

^_^v Peace, Love, and may you never find yourself on Tilt!

Card Effects

REI_002 1080 Flash Green >>> +1 Intercept. 1 3 2 Strike Common SK_0126 Anna's beads are very versatile.

REI_010 Spirit Aim Your strikes have +1 Force.<p>In your opponent's red zone, your strikes have -4 Force. 1 Advantage Common SK_0181 The job of a marksman is made easy when every shot has a chauffeur.

REI_024 Ward Off Your strikes have +1 Intercept.<p>In your opponent's red zone, your strikes have -3 Force. 1 Advantage Common SK_0042

REI_040 Swooping Talon -2 Intercept >>> +2 Force. Use only once. 3 6 3 Strike Uncommon NASK_0019 A hawk can rend a man's flesh to the bone or pick a field mouse off a distant rock, unharmed.

REI_042 Relax Immediate. Add two yellow furyoku. You do not charge from playing Relax. 3 Advantage Soul Uncommon SK_0156 "I'm going to beat you down . . . right after I wake up from my nap."

REI_066 Spirit of Fire Immortal Legacy You may play Spirit of Fire only if you are Zeke. <p> Your strikes in Spirit of Fire's zone have -1 Intercept and +2 Force. 1 1 Teamwork Spectregram NASK_0038

REI_078 Feral Instinct Immediate. Add two red furyoku. You do not charge from playing Feral Instinct. 1 1 1 Advantage Common SK_0095

REI_117 Turbine Desert Warrior Your strikes in Turbine's zone have +1 Force. 1 1 Teamwork Zeke Rare SK_0096 The desert turns out two types of people: warriors and corpses.

REI_139 Point Blank If you counterattack with Point Blank, look at the top card of your deck. You may put it in your discard pile. 1 2 7 4 Strike Common SK_0102


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