This guide is meant to be a followup for the beginner's guide. If you want to take your Kongai skills up to the next level, this guide is for you.
The beginners guide says that you should minimize damage as much as possible. However, in some cases, it is better to do a damage tradeoff rather than to minimize damage. For example, take this situation: a Tafari and a Helene are both at close range at full health and energy. The first turn, the Tafari does a Hide. The Helene does an Enchant Blade. The proper move for Helene would not be to go far in order to avoid damage, but rather stay close in order to deal out a Frenzied Strikes. At first, Tafari's ambush seems like a scary move, dealing out 65 damage. However, Helene has 85 HP and 8 physical defense. Helene will be left with 28 HP. However, because she enchanted her blade the first turn, her frenzied strikes will leave Tafari at 20 HP, well within Helene's killing range.
Tradeoffs are also very important for certain characters, such as Cain Solomon and Anex, who benefit from being damaged. A Cain, for example, would be much better off getting hit by Vanessa Voss's Ray of Light than escaping, because his Rush of Bats move will deal out almost enough damage to kill Voss.
Switches and InterceptsEdit
There's a couple things to consider when picking when to switch and intercept:
- Has the enemy tried switching/intercepting in a similar situation?
- If I switch/intercept, will the penalty for guessing wrong be as bad as not switching/intercepting and guessing wrong?
- What will the situation look like next turn if the switch/intercept succeeds/fails?
Also consider why the enemy is switching out. For example, if you are using Rumiko's Eviscerate move every second turn (with rests in between), the enemy is more likely to swap out if they do not have a move of speed 8 or above that can deal damage to you before you stun them. The more helpless an opponent is in a situation, the more likely it is they will switch out. However, you can also twist this to your advantage:
E.g. in a face off between Cornelius Constantine and Ashi.
Turn 1) Cornelius uses Pilebunker, but misses. Ashi hits with signature slice. Cornelius now has low health, and low energy. Turn 2) Ashi tries to intercept, but Cornelius uses Voidstream instead. Turn 3) Ashi tries to intercept again, but Cornelius Voidstreams once more. Turn 4) Ashi believes Cornelius will finally switch, and so intercepts. Cornelius Voidstreams.
Now Ashi believes that Cornelius will not switch out, no matter what. The next turn, Cornelius can switch out with a lesser chance of being intercepted (since the other player believes there is no point intercepting), or (in this case), use Hypnotic Stare, reversing Ashi's next Signature Slice and killing her. The first player has been at a serious disadvantage the entire time, but because (s)he read the opponent's mind extremely well, was able to inflict three straight turns of damage with no loss, enabling them to switch out the next turn or fight on some more.
Sustainability and Energy CostEdit
Sustainability is one of the things to put into consideration when attacking an enemy. For example, if an enemy Helene closes in, will she be able to kill you using her now very limited amount of energy?
Sometimes, when fighting an enemy, it's better to drain down their energy using range changes. Doing this, especially with close-only heavy hitters like Ashi and Helene, they won't be able to sustain a heavy barrage of attacks.
Beyond range changes, it is important to be able to calculate your own energy needs for at least a few turns. For example, a move that costs 80 energy can be used twice in three moves (assuming you started at 100 energy) if you rest in between moves. For example, the beastmistress, Zina, can successfully complete 2 'eye of the tiger' attacks using this technique before falling to all but the strongest characters. TODO
Efficiency vs. PowerEdit
An attack that does 30 damage for 20 energy is more efficient and sustainable than one that does 60 damage for 80 energy, but you can also switch out to restore the energy while a character with full energy fights, making efficiency irrelevant. Of course, if your enemy anticipates this it can backfire, and isn't an option when there's no character to switch to, so both efficiency and power need to be considered.
Consistency vs. Variance Edit
Contrary to common complaints about luck, the hit rates percentages function vitally in important decisions made by top tier players. Tafari's 90% chance of hitting on Poison Dart seems to have good enough chances of landing every turn, but every half-witted person is supposed to know that the percentage chance of landing four times in a row is a mere 65.6% (when compared to CC Voidstream's 100% for hitting four times in a row).
Unfortunately, as any half-witted person DOES know, a game of Kongai is not a theoretical exercise, it is an actual event. This means that Tafari's attack has a 90% chance to hit EACH TIME it is used, regardless of how many times it has been used in a row previously. (Actually, even if it was a theoretical exercise this would still be true...) The hit rate percentage is entirely a function of luck, and mitigates much of the strategy in Kongai directly out of the hands of the player. An unlucky tactical genius will lose to a lucky idiot in Kongai every time.
While Popo's Slingshot has an expected damage per attempt of 32 damage for only 25 energy, there is greater variance on whether his shot will hit or not, or whether critically or not. So when a player uses Popo he must assume before hand that how the scenario plays out involves a greater deal of risk than if he were to choose another character, and that this risk is in accordance to his desired style of play etc. This is obviously contrasted with CC's Voidstream in the way that Voidstream offers a consistent source of damage against the opponent, but is contingent upon the fact that CC survives as long as to deal it out.
Building A Better DeckEdit
Your deck and the cards you use in it are very important to the strategy you use.
Different cards fall into different categories depending on their playability. Some cards are considered 'tanks' as they can endure a substantial number of attacks before falling while also dealing high damage before falling as well. Other categories include 'utility' cards which either augment the cards in play, 'survival' cards which are designed to stall the opponent (also called 'range changers'), and 'finishers' which are designed to trap, or directly attack cards with low health (e.g. Zina; Tafari).
When choosing, keep this in mind: most people start off with a 'tank' card. Such cards are high in physical defense and high in HP. They can also deal out a lot of damage if they can get a hit in. Rather than following suit, there's several other cards which you can start off with, which I call 'anti-tank' cards. These cards deal out substantial non-physical damage. One example would be Cain Solomon. His Rush of Bats move, especially when he's injured, lets him deal out a large amount of damage against tanks. Your other two cards should fill in holes where the first card fails. If your first card was an 'anti-tank' card, I suggest that your second card be a 'tank' character. Your third card should be more of a specialty card such as Ubuntu or Rumiko. These cards should serve a certain purpose in your deck or they should clear the enemy's weakened cards.