Advance Play – Soul Trigger & Soul Damage
The topic on hand is trigger, to be more specific Soul Trigger. As one might know many 1/1 released these days are 1/1 7K without soul trigger, while previously 1/1 vanilla were 6K with soul trigger. Apparently the game have decided that a soul trigger is worth 1K difference in power. In the case of special triggers like gold bag, treasure, comeback, and book, the the difference in soul trigger is a whooping 2 soul.
Considering how powerful the special triggers usually are, this makes many question whether 2 soul trigger are worth packing at all. The point is further proven considering how trigger accident often messes up a player at late game. Said trigger accident have created a group of players that abhors trigger, and reduces trigger for stability.
However, soul trigger can be an extremely powerful tool, powerful enough to allow a deck that lacks both power and natural 2 soul characters to easily fight on par with a much more expensive deck with field dominance.
This is simply because of how the game works, in the sense that soul damage often hovers between 1~6. With any attack value above 5 to more often than not be cancelled. As a matter of fact, the reason why having field dominance in level 2 & 3 is deemed so important, is in reality, because most of the mainstay cards in level 2 & 3 are natural 2 soul beaters. However, a 1 soul + trigger is also 2 soul. This means that a deck with enough soul trigger could treat almost all his 1 soul cards as if they are 1.5~6 soul, as opposed to 1.2~3 soul. Which style has a higher general output over the course of the game is obvious.
Take into account a deck which pack minimal soul triggers, say, 8 special trigger for climax, and 12 natural soul trigger from level 2s & 3s with cost. versus a deck with somewhere around 30 soul trigger.
Unless the level 0s and 1s comes with soul pump, they are usually 1 soul, with around 12 soul trigger, there’s around 25% chance of a soul trigger, so we count per attack as somewhere around 1.25 statistically speaking. If a climax is played, it goes to around 2.25, this looks like a stable number but is not ideal.
The desired soul damage per attack, especially before your opponent refresh his deck for the 1st time, is ideally 3~4. This is simple math, if we take a 50 card deck with 8 climax, and divide equally, we can say per 5~6 card there is 1 climax. This means after an opponent cancel, there’s 5~6 cards of uncancellable damage. This is assuming opponent’s climaxes are perfectly split, though this is often not the case, to take into account number variation, we set our attack at 3~4 instead. As there are 3 attacks per turn, and we consider that every 5 card is followed by 1 climax, in the case of deck with no soul trigger attacking at early game, without climax.
If opponent cancelling once, he takes another 1.25 * 2 = 2.5. This means that the average soul damage per turn is only around 2~3.
In a deck with 30 soul trigger consider that every attack has 60% chance of triggering. Per attack is 1.6, and multiplied by 3 its 4.8. But we know that there’s no such thing as a fraction soul. So we consider that out of 3 attack, 2 will trigger a soul trigger, totaling to 5 soul per turn still within our pre-refresh ratio. So the attack is either 1-2-2, 2-1-2, or 2-2-1, we consider that opponent will cancel once. In this scenario the damage if opponent cancel once is around 3~4. If we take the minimum spectrum compared with maximum, that’s as much a 2 versus 4. As much as 2 damage difference per turn. And it’s much more likely to happen than expected simply due to pure number difference, and as long as the cap is around 3~4 the opponent is still likely to take the damage pre-refresh.
This is only on a 1 turn basis, consider as the game goes on, the soul trigger in the deck is depleted. Assuming a deck of 12 soul trigger trigger thrice per turn, in 4 turns, his deck will run completely out of soul trigger. versus 30 soul trigger, will last 10 turns. Again, this is simple math.
Another point to note is, if all the soul triggers are from level 2s and 3s, usually by refresh, chances are the player is level 2 and above. This means his field and hand will likely be level 2s and 3s. Whatever level 2s and 3s here will be discounted from the probability of soul trigger once the player refresh. This means during refresh it is very likely that the soul trigger ratio to the deck is lower. However, if a player packs many level 1s with soul trigger, even if they hold level 2s and 3s in their hand they will still have a lot of soul trigger after refresh. This difference will continue to play a part.
Even though trigger accident at late game often creates an illusion that trigger is unstable, in reality, triggers are neutral. In a mathematical sense, an addition equation doesn’t care about the order, so whether you trigger at early game or late game really shouldn’t matter. If you have an overwhelming difference in soul trigger, ultimately your total output should be higher than your opponent, and easier to win the game. Of course, climaxes, and soul pump ability, or deck compression for better cancel rate also factors in, but if 2 deck is even in field presence and deck compression rate, the deck with more soul trigger is more likely to win!
That’s it for this time’s wall of text.