Advanced strategy guide : Set reading
Advanced strategy guide : Set reading[edit | edit source]
The basics of set reading consists mostly on finding the best absorber and feeling the aggressiveness of the set to have a rough idea on how much economy you want, and what tech to aim for. While some sets are pretty straightforward, especially with only 5 units, others can be much more tricky with units that counter each other or synergise well together. Some units even have the power to influence a set on their own. Here, we'll see some general tips to improve your set reading, but we won't talk about specific units that can change the orientation of a set.
Big Red units[edit | edit source]
Big Red units consist on the few units that have a cost of RRR or RRRR, such as Amporilla. These units have a strong impact, mitigated by the high cost and the low defense value they provide. The will not react well against quick aggression, might break against breachproof, but will generally do wonders against high economy builds. They will benefit from low Red units, in order to spend the excessive R they cost, and R sinks (units that consumes R, such as Tyranno Smorcus). Obviously, as they are more efficient in high economy sets, they will also benefit from big absorbers and soaks.
Once again, I will refer you to this amazing detailed guide from 307th, dedicated to Big Red units : https://prismatalibrary.blog/2018/02/22/big-red-units-amporilla-vai-tatsu-lucina-shadowfang/
Aggressive units[edit | edit source]
Low cost attackers will have a tendency to drag a set toward a low economy. However, they're vulnerable to middle-tier absorb, such as Xeno Guardian, and to high burst units, suck as Plasmafier and Grenade Mech. They will usually also not like playing against breachproof strategies. They will, however, benefit a lot from low cost soak, such as Blood Pact, or high threat burst, like Tia Thurnax or Frost Brooder. They are usually a counter to high economy builds and Big Red units.
Damage sink[edit | edit source]
Damage sink is one of the trickiest aspect of the game : some units, such as Blood Rager and Thermite Core will absorb your own damage in order to deny opponent's absorption, while also getting some value out of it. Their value is incredible, especially against good absorbers. When these units are present in the game, don't go for big absorber until your opponent has enough damage he can't absorb it all. There's no worse thing as absorbing 0 on a good absorber multiple turns in a row while your opponent strengthens his position.
Defensive stuff[edit | edit source]
Big defensive stuff, be it absorber or soak, will help long games with big economies. They hate Big Red and aggressive strategies, but they will crush breachproof. The presence of damage sink will usually make you build that defense a bit later that you would normally do.
Breachproof[edit | edit source]
Pure breachproof is usually viable only when there are both breachproof alternative Drones such as Trinity Drone, breachproof attackers such as Tantalum Ray and bad absorb. But even if there is no alternative Drone or there is somme average absorb, it can be possible to set up a breachproof transition by playing normally except for buying only breachproof attackers. Breachproof is efficient against Big Red and aggressive strategies, but will not like high economy sets.
Rock, Paper, Scissors[edit | edit source]
As you can see, some of these strategies counter each other, in a Rock-Paper-Scissors way. When the advanced set has a lot of units, it is not rare that multiple strategies are viable, for instance take Big Red, breachproof and high economy : Big red will beat the high economy, but if you commit to it too early, then your opponent will opt for breachproof and gain the upper hand. If you obviously go breachproof, then your opponent will opt for a high economy and beat you. And if you develop a high economy, then your opponent will turn toward Big Red units. In such a situation, it is advisable to wait until your opponent plays a decisive move toward one strategy, and then you can go for the counter, or delay your choice enough so that the stalemate is broken : one strategy becomes stronger than the others as you have gained enough time and resources to ensure its success. Noticing the point where the stalemate is broken is no easy feat, though and if you miss it, your opponent might take it instead.
Counters[edit | edit source]
Some units absolutely counter others, making them a bad purchase if your opponent has the counter, or can afford building it. An example would be Shiver Yeti countering Plexo Cell. In such cases, consider that the countered unit is not present in the set when you're reading it, but if your opponent is in no position to get the counter (in the previous example, he has no access to R tech), then don't forget its existence !
Synergies[edit | edit source]
In the same way, some units synergise well with each other. Here's an example of synergy : Valkyrion and Cryo Ray : Valkyrion provides Barriers for your opponent which can be frozen with Cryo Ray, giving it some good value. Such synergies are strong : if you spot one between two playable units, then it should be a good idea to use it in your strategy. But the complex nature of this game and the wide range of advanced units also makes it that there are countless synergies available, and many might not be obvious.