railgunfan75's Geek blog

My thoughts on all things geek…anime, comics, conventions, etc. Just remember stay geeky my friends!

Weiss Schwarz Wednesday: 1/20/2016: Long Live Trial Decks!

Greetings! Railgunfan75 here with this week’s installment of Weiss Schwarz Wednesdays! This week we have another topic concerning the awesome game of Weiss Schwarz! Trial Decks are usually looked at with great disdain and disappointment. Many players completely write off trial decks as waste of money and card pool. I however believe that Trial Decks are important to the game and are actually a good thing. Today I will be arguing why trial decks are actually a good thing.

Charlotte TD_n

1). Trial Decks help to expand the player base by giving new players a means to get started.

Yes this reason is an obvious one but it is still important to discuss. This is one major reason trial decks exist. Without a relatively affordable means to try the game out, there would be very few new players joining this great community. Not only are the trial decks an affordable means of getting started in the game, they are a great teaching tool as well. Trial decks allow a player to practice basic game strategies and in some cases also allow them to get introduced to more advanced gameplay. This is able to happen because of the fact that the deck is prebuilt and built in such a way that a new player can easily pickup and play.

Let’s expand on the idea that trial decks are meant as a teaching tool for new players. Would a new player fully appreciate the meta changing level 3 from a particular set? Not necessarily. (I am not implying that new players are by means less intelligent than veteran players- many just haven’t learned many nuances of the game.) When I was a rookie, I didn’t appreciate some of the advanced techniques because I hadn’t really mastered the basics of playing and thriving at the game. One of the things which helped me to learn were trial decks. When I started playing, the player which tutored me used the trial decks as a starting point. From there cards and game play mechanics were gradually added to the deck until the deck had turned into a competitive and advanced deck. This made the learning process really easy and it is a method I would recommend for new players.

One common complaint concerning trial decks is that they are worthless because every card in the deck sucks. I would first contend that not every trial deck card is worthless. I would also contend that it would not be beneficial to place the absolute best cards in a trial deck.If the game and cards in a trial deck are overly complex, this will discourage new players from pursuing the game further. We all want the game to grow right?

2). Trial decks can be a great way to preview the game mechanics for a new set. 

Another reason that trial decks are a great thing for the game is that they can be used to preview some of the things the set will have to offer and can provide some insight as to whether a set will be worth a larger investment.  As we all know, Weiss can be an expensive game to get into. The cost for booster boxes can be considerably more than with other games. In addition, investing in every single set is very impractical. Weiss is a rare case because of the intellectual properties involved and many people will only invest in sets for series that they are fans of (myself included). However for those people just looking for the next competitive set, the trial decks usually provide a window into the types of things a set a set likes to do.

IMG_0340

Two great examples of this are the trial decks for Vividred Operation and Fate Stay/Night Unlimited Blade Works. In the Vividred Operationtrial deck we are introduced to the unique docking mechanic and are given more than enough copies of the necessary cards to pull off the combo. This combo works rather well. The Vividred set is centered around these docking combos and supplementing them with cards to support these combos. (The Vividblue docking combo is especially good). In Unlimited Blade Works, the resonance mechanic was introduced and included one of the important cards for this mechanic in the set. Imagine if they hadn’t included these mechanics in the trial deck but did in the booster. If you are not a a fan of these mechanics and dropped a couple hundred dollars on boosters for these sets, you would be disappointed. I know fellow players who have not properly scouted out a set before investing and they were disappointed with the results. And besides if you just can’t wait to play with the set which has your favorite characters, a trial deck is not a bad place to start.

3) Though it can be rare, Trial decks can actually have some good cards in them or be good decks themselves. 

Trial decks despite their simplicity in many cases do contribute to the overall card pool of the set. Because of this, trial decks will sometimes contain cards which are useful in a competitive deck. In many cases these cards are not cards that you wish to build a deck around but could provide support for the core of the deck.

In some cases the trial decks either contain a lot of useful cards or could be somewhat competitive themselves. In honor of it’s English release this week, let’s briefly explore the Haruhi TD. The Haruhi TD actually contains many cards which are useful in competitive play. The level 3 is a must for any Haruhi deck, The level 0 assist is an amazing card, tbhe level 2 game includes a change mechanic and a brainstorm ability, and the level 1 game has a pretty nice auto encore card. In addition the trial deck includes 4 gate climaxes. These are all things that a player would want in a competitive deck and the trial deck provides them for you. Many people would say in response to this, “that’s great but most trial decks are not as good as that one.” That is true but all trial decks can have some potential. I have heard numerous stories of players with a trial deck beating a player who spent 500 bucks on their deck. This can happen and this is one of the great things about this game- any deck has the potential to win.

weiss-schwarz-english-fairy-tail-ver-e-trial-deck-pre-order-ships-december-19-2014-21

In summary, Trial Decks serve important functions not only for the game of Weiss Schwarz but for the community as well. Trial Decks can teach players about the game, help to attract new players to the game, help a veteran player decide whether a set is worth investing in, and in some cases can be a viable deck. Hopefully this post may convince some of you that trial decks are not the villians of the game.

This concludes my weekly column on Weiss Schwarz. If you have any thoughts, comments, or questions, please leave them in the comments section below. Next week, I plan on profiling my Haruhi Japenese fan deck to celebrate the release of the set in English this week! Also please check out the other site I blog for MadMaz Reviews (www.madmazreviews.com) It is a great site so please check it out. Also please follow me on twitter (@Railgunfan75) and Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog). Until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off! See you next time!

 

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