Let’s keep being bad at the game (A Lesson about DPT, Part 2)

Weiss Players Be Like:

anyways, today I plan to follow up in detail a few things I left out about DPT in my previous article.

You can find my previous article here: DPT Part 1

I’ll admit, that article was really bad. I had lame humor and there was just a lot of unnecessary cancer that shouldn’t have been there. Ill keep this one tame so that the people who came here to learn can actually learn.

Just so you know, this is going to be a pretty long string of articles. I plan on covering almost everything in detail, but throughout multiple articles.

So for everyone who wants to skip the previous article for whatever reason, I’ll do a quick recap:

DPT stands for damage per turn, which is an estimate of how much damage you inflicted throughout the game per turn. Ideally you want this number to be as high as possible.

Winning games more consistently is about increasing your own overall DPT while reducing your opponent’s DPT (through compression, refreshes, card effects, etc)

The most ideal play involves maximizing your DPT while setting up to reduce their DPT at the same time. Some of the best sets in the game to date (Kantai Collection, Little Busters, TLR) have cards that not only maximize their late game DPT but also to reduce their opponent’s DPT:

However, that is not to say that damage at level 3 is the only way to really win a game. Massive damage output at level 3 certainly can win games, but maintaining a massive damage LEAD can also win games just as easily.

How exactly do we do that? By increasing overall DPT and decreasing the opponent’s.

 Increasing DPT:

Calculating timed pushes

Playing a climax

Attacking directly

Playing bigger, 2 soul characters

Using effects

Delaying opponent’s refreshes

Decreasing opponent’s DPT

Refreshing

Compression

Using effects

Keeping characters on the board OR

Keeping characters OFF the board to force overswing and prevent effects

Advancing your refreshes

Calculating timed pushes: Doing damage or forcing climaxes out?

One of the most important skills to master in the damage race we call Weiss Schwarz is the ability to calculate a push and know the purpose behind each push. The mindset behind each and every damage push is that

1. Climaxes will be forced out so that your next push succeeds,

or

2. Your opponent will take a ton of damage and you will gain a lead. This mindset of calculating damage lets you think ahead and allow you to keep calm even if the opponent sacks and triple cancels. Remember the more often you can push, the better it will be.

Level 0:

Everyone has this mindset of delaying damage to level 1, and for good cause. There is nothing wrong with playing the game slowly at level 0 to build resources and recover from a bad start and delay the level 1 power spike. However, once the damage begins to rack up and we start getting closer to the 6-7 damage realm, that is when pushes need to begin.

if you are going to push your opponent to level 1 first, do it hard. 

it is much easier to pressure your opponent with an early damage or climax lead, even if you are behind in damage at level 0.  if you can push your opponent to level 1, 4 damage or greater before you hit level 1 you will be in a very comfortable position when you hit level 1 which is your first big power spike for most decks. If you can force your opponent to lose multiple climaxes before they can even get through half their deck that is equally as good since your next push will be more successful.

If you are going to make a push, always have a follow up.

“do or die” sort of pushes tend to happen either at level 3, or when someone is so behind that its a final desperation move to get back into the game. If you feel like you are going to lose the game anyways, go deep. You either go out like a man or you somehow win the game off it because it worked out. That said, if you are not in that kind of position then you should be prepared to have multiple pushes ready, either through card effects or another climax. While a lot of players like to avoid having more than 1 climax in hand, it isn’t the end of the world if you have a 2nd one to make a follow up push with.

Level 1:

Get the damage in, even if its 1 damage.

The easiest way to snowball a game in your favor when you have a damage lead is to make your opponent refresh with a relatively poor climax-to-non-climax ratio. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make your opponent level up before their first refresh, which makes the non climax cards go into the waiting room to be recycled and be taken as damage again. Do not be afraid to side attack if you see the need to land precise damage and ensure a cancel doesn’t happen. If you are behind, don’t be afraid to be more aggressive in your pushes. If you are on the receiving end of an early level up then the worst thing you can do is allow your opponent to maintain a damage and climax lead because if your opponent is playing well they will simply run with the lead and push you to level 3 while they sit comfortably at early level 2. You avoid this by pressuring your opponent hard enough with damage and/or bigger characters so that, at the very least, their damage lead is nullified and we go back to an even game.   

Stock should only be spent here if it is necessary. 

Paying stock at level 1 is a very difficult decision because how your first refresh goes is pretty dependent on how much clean stock and hand you can generate. Obviously you should be paying out stock if a climax is triggered to maintain a ratio. Remember that Every clean stock you make and maintain is a damage avoided later on in the gameEvery stock you spend is possibly another damage taken later in the game. However, that does not mean that stock is to be kept at a maximum at all times. When you are playing against an opponent everything is relative so if your stock investment will save you more damage in the long run or enable you to deliver more damage than you can take, then the investment was worth it. An example would be brainstorming  to get to your next refresh and decrease your future damage, as well as salvaging a critical character, playing an early drop, or using an anti-change ability. These kind of things change from game to game depending on the matchup so it is up to you to determine whether or not that stock spent was worth it.

And the most important thing to note when trying to increase your damage output:

Abuse your opponent’s misfortune

Sometimes you can just trigger 2-3 climaxes and lose. Sometimes your opponent can trigger 2-3 climaxes and lose. But most importantly, make sure that when it does happen you are ready to pounce and abuse that to your advantage. Sometimes you gotta be “that guy” and slam down the +2 soul when your opponent just went through 3-4 of his/her own climaxes in one turn.

Level 2:

Time your pushes with the number of climaxes you and your opponent will have left

This is so important. Do not push your opponent to level 3 if you are out 6-7 climaxes, or else your opponent can just force out your remaining climaxes and do a billion damage + a refresh damage to kill you.

On the opposite end, do try to push your opponent to level 3 when he/she is at least 5-6 climaxes out (any more and your opponent is most likely to set up a refresh easily which you want to deny as much as possible, any less and they will be in a strong position defensively after their level 3 push). This forces your opponent to spend stock and other resources to either refresh their deck to survive your level 3 push, or make a “do or die” push that will cause them to most likely lose if it fails.

Set up for late game

Most players already do this, so this one is a no brainer. Get that level 3 in your hand. Hold on to that climax if u need to. I won’t go over this too much because it is already done by 90% of players. Either get that search / salvage card to get your level 3s or the level 3s you plan to play.

Deny your opponent’s late game

pretty critical. If your opponent is playing a deck that relies on reversing the opponent at level 3, then start ramming your weaker characters in a turn early to prevent an easy restand/clockshoot/other effect. If you are playing an anti-change counter that sacrifices a character as part of the cost, that is also effective. if your opponent needs a ton of stock at level 3, push them in earlier so they don’t have that extra turn to generate stock. if your opponent is playing IMAS CG and is searching Rankos, push damage harder to force climaxes and reduce the amount of damage she can burn. There are plenty of creative ways to deny your opponent the ideal end game, and it is critical that you pay attention to your opponent’s level 3 lineup as you play and figure out how to deny it through smart counterplay before it occurs.

Level 3:

Don’t overswing. 

This one is kind of obvious, but if you only need 3 damage to win, then go for 3 damage. Attempting to do more than what is necessary will actually decrease the amount of damage you do and lose you the game since your opponent can cancel. Every cancel at this stage of the game is critical so work to deny it as much as possible.

pay attention to the refresh damage

The late game refresh happens pretty often, and going for an exact game push is pretty easy when you take the refresh damage point into account. For example, inflicting 3 damage + refresh is the same as doing 4 damage and is much easier than doing 4 straight damage from one hit.

Every damage matters. 

As both you and your opponent gets closer and closer to the game’s end, remember that 5 damage is easier than 6. Dealing 3 is a lot easier than 4. A lot of people underestimate the ability to burn 1 point of damage at level 3 and you should take advantage of any opportunity to do even the tinest bits of damage.

Refreshing on your turn is ideal

Ending your level 3 turn with a nice, clean refresh is pretty good and increases your chances of winning the game. Don’t pass on an opportunity to do this if it comes up.

Your attack order matters

Forcing out climaxes is a very important part of ending games and you want to be able to ensure your damage outputs actually stick. Its ok to burn for 5 to force the climax and get the next 3-4 damage in. Side attacking to get the 1 damage ping, or direct attacking for 4 to force a climax out can be critical. Also, your opponent may be playing cards that give power on reverse so if you are playing a matchup where power matters at level 3, pay attention.

Put down characters and win the Game

There isn’t a whole lot of intricate card interactions here aside from the obvious level assist / prevent restand / counters / etc that is at this point in the game that you aren’t already doing at level 2 and 1. Once both players are level 3 it just becomes a damage race to see who can get the 7 damage in first.

Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your win condition

Whether it is to build 10 stock to summon 3 sinons and win, or to +2 soul your opponent to death, your win condition should always be reflected in your play and you should always be playing to increase the chances of your win condition going through.

Anyways, that’s it for this article. I hope you enjoyed it. In my next article ill go more in detail about decreasing your opponent’s damage per turn.

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