Androod’s Academy of Cerulea - Lesson 1: Sequencing

 


Hey everyone Androod here! This is the first installment of a new series I’m doing called “Academy of Cerulea” where my aim is help average players become better by diving into some game theory and more advanced concepts. These skills will help you gain percentage points in games independent of the match up or budget concerns.


Today’s topic will be sequencing which is one of the more important skills in the game. You will see me use examples from specific decks a lot in this article, but don’t take that to mean these are only applicable to those strategies. These are just real world situations you can gain an advantage in via sequencing.


Alright class let’s get started!



 

What you see here is a common Redlings opener, while not great it's not worth redrawing to six. Now if I asked a lot of players what they would do on turn one here they would say “I would play the Necropolis Coins” and if asked why they would say “Because it’s a slow resource and I’m not doing anything on the first turn”, this decision would likely be wrong. The correct decision is to lead on a Blood Shard followed by a second Blood Shard for a few reasons.


  1. We already have four resources in our opening hand. We’re not playing a deck that is particularly interested in having more than four resources. We already have our first three shards drops guaranteed with this opener and statistically we will draw another in the first few turns. If we end up having a string of draws that demands an extra resource we will likely have a spot on the curve to play this coin out without punishment. Due to our sequencing we have drawn an extra card and dealt two damage to our opponent with little to no cost simply due to thinking ahead and playing our cards in an optimal order.


  1. We are a Spulchra Crypt Dust deck that wants multiple ruby thresholds for Matriarch and Lazgar’s Vengeance. Leaving ourselves open to draw a Crypt Dust to be our first ruby threshold is very valuable as we only have a single ruby otherwise. We gain nothing by playing the Ruby Shard out before we require the thresholds, but make our potential draws down the road more potent.


Let’s look at another situation. It’s our turn three and we’re playing against Crusader Sockets. Our hand is just some coins and a Blood Shard. We know our opponent has an Aspect of the Squirrel in hand from a Withering Gaze we played earlier. We could just activate a coin on our turn and say go and accept our fate and take the hit from a squirreled up troop. But instead let’s wait to activate the coin on their end of turn.


We have no relevant plays in our deck that we could hope to draw into and the coin activation is quick speed, so we lose nothing by just using the coin on their end step. However by waiting to do this we hide information from our opponent. If our opponent is paying attention they know that we know about the Aspect and could be waiting to get the two for one with a herofall. They could go with a different line that maybe doesn't use their resources as efficiently gaining us back some tempo.


In the end we just activate our coins on their turn and proceed to our ready step. Not only have we possibly made our opponent play less efficiently, but we have also concealed the information that we do not have a Herofall. While some players may just activate the coin main phase, we have optimized the situation and given ourselves a better chance to win the game.



In Summary, will these plays always win you the game? No. However, sometimes they will and you will see your win percentage go up as a result. In the examples above we have seen how we have increased the potency of our potential draws as well as concealed information from our opponent to potentially making them alter their play. All of this comes at the low cost of just playing your cards in a better order. Next time you lose a close game on the ladder instead of getting frustrated by things you can’t control look back and think: Was there a turn better sequencing could allowed that top deck to win me the game? Or If I had thought ahead and played my resources in a different order could I have played two cards instead of one on that key turn? There are many more examples sequencing giving you an advantage that aren’t in this article and I hope these examples will help you start to realize better lines in your games to come. If you have any questions on anything you’ve read here or have suggestions for future topics don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter and I hope to see you all in class next time!


Thanks for reading!

~Androod






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