Home > Special > Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 5: The Battle Triad

Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 5: The Battle Triad

June 5th, 2013

So far, we’ve talked about Battle Pack 2’s basic design goals, the very limited amount of removal in the set, and some ideas on cool ways to play with your friends to get the most fun out of your packs.

But now it’s time to move on to the real meat: monsters and battle.

Because of the lack of removal, and the lack of Extra Deck Special Summons, keep the following key points in mind:
1. Games are slower. You don’t have to worry about going from 8000 Life Points to zero in a single turn.
2. Because of #1, it’s OK to take a hit or two to your Life Points. If you’re still high on Life Points, don’t put down your best monsters just to chump block attacks, especially if your opponent has something stronger. Battle Pack play is all about using your monsters with your spells & traps to set up combos and win battles.
3. You want to control the field by having the strongest monster.
4. Only use your battle outcome changers when you really have to, to win important fights.

Control of the field is going to be a back-and-forth struggle between big monsters, smaller monsters, and monsters backed up by spells and traps. This is the Battle Triad of War of the Giants, and you need to master all three parts.


Kings of the Jungle – Level 7+ Monsters

High-Level Tribute Monsters are the most straightforward way to control the field. Once you have 2 monsters to Tribute (or 3, for the God Cards), plop down your big baddie and Rule the Duel.

With Attack Points ranging from 2400 (Brain Crusher) to 3800 (Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür), your high-Level  monsters will be able to win most fights.

Most. Don’t get cocky…


*Give your big monster backup! Don’t send him in alone.
Suppose you have a big monster, and your opponent has a face-up monster and several face-down Spells/Traps. If you attack with your big monster, you’re just asking for trouble. Summon a smaller monster first, and send it in to do battle. Bait out your opponent’s Spells and Traps – don’t let them use them on your big dude!
As strange as it may sound, the best way to use a high-Level monster can be to AVOID BATTLE unless necessary. Let your cannon fodder clear the way.

*Keep battle stoppers handy! Don’t get overconfident in your monster’s power. An ATK pump or two from your opponent, or a card that switches your big monster to Defense Position, can wipe out your dominant position on the battlefield. If your opponent attacks your big monster with something smaller, in an apparent suicide run, STOP THEM before they get to the Damage Step. (Of course, your opponent might just be bluffing, and be baiting out your own Spells & Traps to win a fight you were going to win anyway. Such is war.)
This also brings up another key strategy choice: If you have battle stoppers, do you use them BEFORE you Tribute Summon, to keep your weaker monsters alive so that you CAN Tribute Summon? Or do you take the chance that you can eke out a Tribute Summon even after suffering some losses, and then be in a much stronger position once you do Tribute Summon, since your monster will have more back-up? This is the kind of strategy decision only you can make, depending on the situation, your experience, and your gut feelings.


Teeny-Weeny Monsters (with Big Teeth)

Of course, low-Level monsters aren’t just there to sit around and be Tributed. Most of the monsters in the set are Level 4 monsters that are perfectly capable of waging – and winning – a War of the Giants.

Heavy Hitters, in particular, are important. These are low-Level monsters that have disproportionately high ATK for their Level, and serve 3 important functions.

FIRST, they can rule the field in their own right. By attacking and taking out your opponent’s monsters, you help stop, or at least slow down, the opponent from ever getting their big Tribute Monsters on the field. If you keep the Tribute Monsters off the board, you can win just with your low-Level Heavy Hitters.

SECOND, they help bait out Spells & Traps. Your opponent is going to try and STOP you from ruling the field with a weeny, so they’re going to be forced to prematurely use their battle outcome changers. And that’s fine. Better that they use them on your low-level monsters than on your big ones.

THIRD, Heavy Hitters are a fast counter-strategy that can kill Tribute Monsters with just a little support. Something like Goblin Attack Force, Maha Vailo, or the sad-eyed Steamroid, combined with just ONE Attack Point pumping card, can take down a 3000-ATK Tribute Monster. Assuming, of course, that your opponent doesn’t have cards to defend their monster. If they’re smart (and if they read the previous section, above), they’ve saved something to protect their big guy. But maybe they had to use it already to stop your Heavy Hitting weeny from killing their Tribute fodder….


Heavy Hitting monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the strongest have drawbacks, of course. Goblin Attack Force goes to Defense after it attacks. Maha Vailo only gets its bonus from equips, not from one-time boosts. Steamroid gains 500 ATK on offense, but loses 500 on defense. And so on. So these monsters are often best used for the third function listed – a surgical, one-time strike to take out something huge.

The rest of the time, you’ll rely on your rank-and-file Level 4’s. Most of these aren’t strong enough to take down a 3000-ATK monster with just 1 ATK pump. But if you can give them 2 ATK pumps, or shift the enemy high-Level monster to Defense, you can still win fights with them. An 1800 ATK monster with a +700 ATK Equip Card can quickly become the strongest monster in play, and with less time, effort, and risk than performing a Tribute Summon. But every strategy has pro’s and con’s, and the drawback of this strategy is the greater combination of cards required. Not only do you need more cards, but you need them all together at the right time.


Battle Outcome Changers

I’ve talked a lot about “battle outcome changers” but haven’t really defined what it means. These are Spells, Traps, and monsters that change what happens in a battle. There are lots of examples:


Battle Stoppers prevent a battle from resolving. You use these on defense to keep your monsters alive. As I’ve explained, you can use them to keep your Tribute fodder alive so that you CAN Tribute Summon, or save them to protect your Tribute Monster once it’s on the field – assuming you can get it out without protecting your Tribute fodder. Battle stoppers can come from the hand (Battle Fader), on the field (Threatening Roar), or from the Graveyard (Necro Gardna).



Position Changers are, in some ways, more versatile than Battle Stoppers. Position Changers alter the battle position of monsters on the field, either singly (Enemy Controller) or all of them (No Entry!!). These can act like Battle Stoppers, since an attacking monster that is suddenly shifted to Defense has to stop its attack. But you can also use these on offense. Your opponent’s 3800 ATK Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür may seem invincible. But shift it into Defense Position, and now you can attack its 1200 DEF and easily destroy it.
Position changers are also very effective when combined with the “Defense Killers” I mentioned before.



Equip Cards are a great way to give sustained power to your monsters. They’re best used on stable low-level monsters. (By “stable”, I mean monsters that maintain a stable battle position and ATK during both players’ turns.) As we discussed, many Level 4 monsters with just 1 Equip Card can dominate the field, and with 2 can even take out a high-Level monster.
While there is very little Spell/Trap removal in the set, Equip Cards ARE destroyed if the equipped monster is flipped face-down, so watch out for Book of Moon or Swords of Concealing Light (which are also valuable simply because they’re also Position Changers).



ATK Pumps are one-time adjusters to ATK that let you win a fight. These are the classic Traps and Quick-Play Spells like Mask of Weakness, Rush Recklessly, Shrink, Ego Boost, and Rising Energy. Read these carefully, since they sometimes have very specific timing on when they can be used. And remember: Your opponent has ATK pumps, too, that they can Chain to yours. Always keep this in mind.



Putting It All Together

The interplay of these 3 elements of the Battle Triad will be the focus of most of your Duels in War of the Giants. You will have to shift your strategy constantly, depending on the cards available to you and what you think your opponent has at their disposal.

Do you go all-in at the start, with a heavy weeny offensive? This can keep your opponent from ever Tribute Summoning, but if your offense gets wiped out by a surprise, it can be hard for you to come back.

Do you build up a strong defense, using your Battle Outcome Changers to protect your initial monsters so you can do a quick Tribute Summon? Your Tribute Monster won’t have much backup, in that case.

Just as often, your approach might be somewhere in between. Or you might start with one strategy, but then have to shift on the fly. If you have an opening, maybe you can adopt a best-of-both-worlds approach, picking off weak monsters where you can, while building up a field to Tribute Summon. This seems unlikely, though, unless your opponent is just playing poorly.

Hopefully you have a better understanding now of some of the card interactions and strategy decisions you’ll have to make in your Battle Pack Duels. Keep coming back as we continue to talk about the design of Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants.

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