Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Null Guard!

Hello everyone, and welcome to SO IMBA!,

Where we learn how to be a better card fighter.

I am your host, Rauzes, and today, we will be discussing precisely how many Null Guards you should use in your deck!

Now, this is the topic of great controversy in every discussion, so I'm not going to advocate which style is the best and which is "bad". However, in the competitive scene, if you're into that, you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to using an increased or decreased number of Null Guards.

Simply put, in deck building, certain decks can run more null guard, and some decks can run less.

For beginners, I can understand how you have maybe none or only one null guard, so just focus on getting more of them over time. Be patient and work with what you've got.

We will be discussing today the choices available for you in a "complete" deck:

2 Null Guard
3 Null Guard
and 4 Null Guard.

Because people just dont play "only one".

Null Guards are an extremely powerful class of card. Although they are G1, they function effectively as 10k Guards, or more.

However, your deck will be played differently depending on how many Null Guards you use.

For instance, in a deck with 4 Null Guards, you will be throwing them instead of a 10k + 5k, a guard that would otherwise require two cards to guard.

However, in a deck with lets say 2 Null Guards, you would want to save them for the last few attacks of the opponents Vanguard to stave off Critical wins.

Lets start with the more common numbers: 4 and 3.

Now, 4 and 3 Null guards are similar in play, just that some decks would want to play 3 instead of 4(we'll come to this later)

In this playstyle, you will be confident in the number of Null Guards left in your deck, and hence you can use them to guard any amount of attacks that have a high guard amount.
Hence, you would want to throw the null guard INSTEAD of your 10ks and 5ks, if the situation needs so.

Of course, they're useful when the opponent attacks with something requiring a 20-30k Guard, but still, dont be afraid to use them for protecting your RGs.

Also, you may ride one in order to gain some form of early game advantage, such as in NN.

Another condition that will allow your deck to run 4 Null Guards with no hitch would be playing more than 6 DRAW triggers.
Heck, when you DO play 6-8 Draw triggers, your deck almost needs those 4 Null Guards to in order to compensate for the lost Guard power from the triggers.

In decks such as Granblue, there is WAS some controversy as to how many Null Guards you would like to use.
First off, it is one method of pitching units to the drop zone from your hand.
On the other hand, Granblue had already 16 10k Shields, And would probally also play in 2-3 Chappie the Ghost, another 10k Shield. With this many 10k guards, do you really need 4 Nulls?

However, with the advent of Granblue draw triggers, this has gone down the drain.
Chappie is less used and only played in 1 and 2s, and 3 seems to be the magic number for Granblue with no draws, and 4 for the ones with 4.

In decks such as Neo Nectar, players will play 3 for one specfic reason: Because playing 4 would mean dropping the amount of powerful boost units.
In Neo Nectar, one of the strongest plays you can open with is a Ride 7k and plop an 8k behind Shield seed, swing in and level up Shield Seed to Blade seed behind the Vanguard.
 Nobody calls Shield seed behind the Vanguard, unless you already are holding Trailing Rose, the 11k, and the opponent is something that will NOT have a 10k Vanguard(Nova Grapplers, Murakumo, etc)
Hence, in Neo Nectar, to increase the chance of this opening, players would knowingly give up one Null Guard.

Though, builds with 4 Nulls have topped tournaments, just with less frequency.

Thats about the only exception for the 4 Null Guards.
Shadow Paladin is another deck that "Could" use only 3 Null Guards because of the stability of PBO's 13k, but 4 is the recommended number, with so many weak 6ks coming to your hand and the ability to tutor your 8k boosts.

Now we move onto 2 Null Guard builds.

Now, 2 Null guards is a very different choice from other decks.

In playing 2 Null Guards, you are consciously and willingly giving up guard power and almost all of your late game presence for faster speed and harder hitting earlier in the game.

A lot of players dont take into consideration "Speed" when building a deck, where it is a factor.
In the early game, boosted units which never need to be replaced for the rest of the game allow you to push in damage with ease.
Hence, in decks that can tutor their G1s, have a lot of G1s(like G1 Rush style decks), you can afford to play in 2 or less Null Guards.

However, be aware that although you have shed the heavy armor, you have lost a lot of your defense.
To compensate, you must play in many critical.
Even 8 is not considered enough to bring your speed up to such levels you can simply throw off your Null Guards.

Think of Null Guards as a heavy and sturdy shield.
Although it will be able to protect you from many things,  it is heavy and wont come into play until late game, where higher power matters.

Thats all for today.

Until next time, see ya.


  1. What about OTT? Should an OTT CEO/Moon deck use 3 or 4 null guard?

  2. I'd say 4. You intend for the game to go on long, so as many as you can put.