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Wiktor Makowski

The Noble Art of Deckbuilding. Part 2.

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Previously on Battlestar Galactica...
In part 1 we covered core card choices. That's the part that answers how do we win. But before that happens there is something equally important,we have to not lose. Meta card choices deal exactly with that. Unlike core this category of cards that mostly deal with what opponents throws on us. Good meta includes those:

Removal:
Removal deal with opposing pieces in most brutal way, by getting them out of the field. The simplest way is just to KO them like she does;

Here we have what is called a hard removal, something that without any extra conditions just put's something into KO. There are soft removals as well, these often have some extra conditions that have to be met. Let's consider;
:avx56:
Grundy needs to KO'ed first, but that's easy with help of BEWD. Punisher not only needs to attack, but leaves a choice to opponent. It is a sadistic choice, but still he can choose what hurt's him less.
There are also sweepers, removal's that hit more than a single character at time;
:avx77:
is perhaps most widely used one as he can easily clear opposing side of the field with a little help of or two.
The other way is to put something into used pile. This is usually better than KO, as it bypasses prep area, so there is no chance that our opponent will immediately roll the character we just removed.
:avx92:
is well known AvX character, she can target two dies, and deal damage while at it. Since die's that deal damage unblocked go straight into used pile another way of removal is pulling someone into attack, and using your life point as a resource, to get rid of something, something she is well known for;
:avx118:
Removal is always needed, as it's one of purest form's of control. We just get rid of something that hurts as. Character removals are good choice, for providing us with a body after doing their part, and often can be easily killed to be used again. Action removal usually needs an extra setup, as something that can reuse actions is needed to get full mileage out of them. Global based removal is pretty powerful one ,as it's always there, and ready to be used on demand, but comes with a heavy price of working both ways, so it's best used with more aggressive strategies, or backed up by ways to mitigate it.

Disruption:
It's like throwing a wrench into engine. Disruption is there to make life harder for opponent, make him miss some crucial roll's, shut down his ramp, stop a field ability or two. It's something that is very broad, instead of targeting a particular troublemaker, disruption targets whole categories of potential threat.

is an disruption card, able to stop any while fielded abilities, and even stop active ones for the very round they come in, he can also stop from attacking on top of that. Constantine is in fact such a powerful piece that we meta just for him.

can force an extra re roll, possibly denying a character, or action dice face to your opponent, and that can mean a difference between winning, and loosing.
Another form of disruption is resource denial. This includes removing dices before they can hit the table, or stopping down some ramp. Let's consider;

Halfling can take dices from bag and put them into used without them being rolled. While Morphing Jar provides us with a chance to both slow down opposing ramp, and deal with resurrection shenanigans.
Disruption is something that is hard to grasp. It rarely nets you wins by a single use, it's more of a cascade, little nudge here and there, that throughout the game gives a large effect. Putting, and using right disruption requires a lot of experience or skill. Alternatively you can just pull Constantine from a pack. Character disruption is, as always coming with a body, but very rarely reusable, often requiring some extra setup to work. Action one, will be coming out all the time providing you with a constant way to pester your opponent. Global based one's should be treated with out most care, you need to be absolutely sure it will always hurt your opponent more that it can hurt you, or that it requires some additional setup that you have, yet your opponent will often lack.

Silver Bullet:
The most narrow form of meta. Silver bullet is a card that's main function is to counter another specific card. Once you find something that hit's you very hard, or gives you large problems, you may find yourself looking for a way to counter it.
:avx9:
is a typical silver bullet, most often taken because he can get rid of his brother Green Goliath.
Another example could be;
:avx2:
as he does a really good job at stopping Tsarina.
Silver bullets are something that are unique to specific situations, sometimes you find a need for one during play testing, other times you know your local players tend to abuse a single card, and you could use a way to prepare for it in advance. Silver bullets are as specific as threats they deal with and have only one thing in common, they should have some kind of use outside of they intent, to lower the chance of ending up of something completely dead in your deck. It's really great if you have a way to deal with card you hate the most, but it would be nice to have some use for it if through whole event you dodge the problem.

Counter:
Counters work a bit differently than other types of meta, they don't deal with problem, they stop it from happening. This can be done by simply being able to cancel an effect;

While he is active he stops any action your opponent would like to use. Those pesky Prismatic Spray won't hurt you, nor his dependent on Anger Issues win conditions. Just by having one on board you change the course of game.
Other way is to temporally shutdown opponents ability to use a whole type of abilities. Skeletal Warrior's uncommon brother is pretty good at it;

His powerful global makes attacking characters immune to global abilities.
Another way to counter is preemptively locking something down, just like the Clown Prince of Crime

himself is quite fond of. Preventing an character from being fielded is a great way to counter.
Counters are very powerful type of meta as they don't deal with opposing threats, they prevent them. This often will force your opponent to deal with presence of the counter before he can go to actually threatening you. Character counters are those that are most vulnerable as they are easiest to deal with. Action counters are more useful, especially non basic ones, as having something that your opponent does not have access to is quite strong. Global counters are very risky, they are worth it, when you don't have an effect they are supposed to counter. Otherwise this will often lead to tug o war effect when both players will start to push global around to find who's on the top.

So that's meta for you. Removal is the part that should be always present. Distruption is something you need to grasp first, then incorporate wisely. Silver bullets are there for you if you get some problems. Counters should be used wisely, as they are very powerful, yet overdoing on them can lead to your deck lacking the punch.
So we have core for winning, and meta for not loosing. There is one more category to cover, filler. It's the grease that needs to be applied to core and meta to make them work properly. This will be covered in Part 3.
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