Friday Follow-Up: The Static Theory vs. The Dynamic Reality

Welcome Strictly Broken, and welcome everyone else, to Friday Follow-Up!

Today’s article, or rather…video, comes from Strictly Broken’s main content creator, Yuwei Peng.  Provided below is a link to the video in question.  If you follow me but aren’t aware of Strictly Broken, I invite you to give their video a listen so you can hear their points, because this article is going to be in the framework of their video.

Strictly Broken – Strictly Rants: Oversizes vs. Runners

The entire video has quite a good loose structure.  Yuwei clearly states his bias for Runners, and yet is able to distinguish why he prefers Runners, and provides several examples.  He even goes over the benefits of Oversizes at the end.

But like many other content creators, and a lot of people who think themselves competitive, there’s a major flaw in their line of thinking.  You may have already noted it from the title, but it’s important to highlight and pinpoint it, to showcase it, because it’s a really common error to fall into if one isn’t careful.  I briefly covered a portion of this topic in another post of mine (see this post for more details).

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Their line of thinking is quite understandable, actually.  When you look at Weiss, it’s much easier and much simpler to provide scenarios and showcase a certain thing about it.  It’s even generally accepted as a method of providing proofs.  But providing static examples should never be considered proof when reality is dynamic.  Nowhere is that more clear than in Weiss, where the scenario changes if one Climax is just one card higher.

Of course Rika Jougasaki is great when your opponent plays two characters, you succeed in the mill, run to an open slot, your opponent swings twice, hits no Soul Triggers, and you don’t cancel with Miria Akagi, Minami Nitta, and Everybody’s Leader in hand! Those are a particular set of circumstances, and when everything works out, great!  But what happens when you fail the mill, decompressing yourself harder?  Or you cancel one of the attacks and the other attack gets a Soul trigger, leaving you at the so-called “dreaded 0/4”?  Or, perhaps more close to home, you have a hand ready to go to Level 1, your opponent tri-fields and kills your runner as a result, and you cancel on a 2-damage swing, leaving you at 0/4 and unable to punish their Level 0s due to only having utility Level 0s in hand?

The main argument against this, of course, will be that certain outcomes are more likely to happen, and thus in these likely scenarios something is bound to be better.  This raises an issue to the actual problem, however.  Players prioritize aspects of Weiss over others because there are too many to focus on.  Where one might be very skilled at recognizing ratios and calculating the probability of attacks to account for changes mid-combat, another might be skilled at recognizing when an opponent is vulnerable damage-wise.  And with all of these aspects come deck styles across the varied spectrum.

When players present a scenario as favorable, they do so with a few assumptions: assuming their deck, their opponent’s deck, their style of play, and each player’s priorities.  In the first example Yuwei provides, what changes if the opponent is a control player that prefers lengthening a game as opposed to shortening it?  It’s important for us to recognize this.

Let me provide an example using Yuwei and I.  In that Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls deck, Yuwei clearly prioritizes going to Level 1 first, and won’t mind going to hand with only 6 cards in hand.  With that same deck, I would dislike heading to Level 1 early, and would rather spend another turn at Level 0 slowing the game down (I’m not going to get too in-depth here, this isn’t the topic for that).  I wouldn’t call my approach superior to that of Yuwei’s, or vice versa.  However, what I would say is that when it comes to preference, Yuwei and I differ given the same deck, because we prioritize different things.  I think highly of giving my opponents less chances to damage me (and I would run the runner in front of the weaker character), Yuwei likes taking initiative and advantageous opportunities.  I only bring myself into the examples to show a quick but clear difference in players, and how key it is for us to recognize our own biases, and the strengths and weaknesses it entails.

I’m not saying Yuwei is wrong.  I’m also not saying he is right.  All I’m saying is that he prefers certain aspects, and if you also prefer those same aspects (and I’m not talking about blanket labels like “winning” or “right”), then you would do well to listen to his reasonings so you can incorporate them into your game.

I guess there’s also the problem of weakening the possibility of dialogue or discussion, but that’s another issue entirely…

~thenightsshadow, standard “add me on FGO” message

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