Heyo everyone and welcome to the first edition of Nado’s Nuances!

In this series I’m going to try and cover just some smaller things to think about while you play! Some thought processes are hard to pick up on while just watching games, so hopefully I can help lend some insight on why some players make the plays they do.

For this first week of nuanced plays, we are going to go over “Stack Chicken”.

The basic concept of stack chicken, is whoever creates a stack first, be it with a summon or an enter ability or whatever it may be, opens up the opportunity for their opponent to react before it resolves.

So how does this apply to FFTCG??

Let’s start with an example.

You have just played Baugauven(7-014) and you have a Goblin(4-012) on the field. You can haste the Baug, and let’s say you have another copy in hand for S ability. You wanna go big right? Let’s say your opponent has a naked wol just waiting to be killed.

Sounds good, right? You go to activate the goblin, and you have gone first on stack chicken. Your opponent stacks a Diabolos to kill Baug before it ever gains haste, and now your forward is dead and your goblin is gone. Ouch.

Let’s say you wait, you read this article as I wrote it and you avoid the Diabolos blowout, you pass turn. Your opponent now has the hard choice, do they cast Diabolos on you, risking the Goblin into special? Granted, it’s less of a blowout on their side, but the choice remains.

So how do you take a concept like this into your games? It comes down to the good ol’ mantra of risk v. reward. Is the possible counter play to your action so huge that you would lose on the spot? Or do you just want to bait answers because jokes on them, you had a Famfrit in hand the whole time and now their Diabolos fizzles. Or maybe the answer just isn’t game losing, but if they don’t have it you pull massively ahead in tempo.

Let’s take another example.

Haste isn’t the only time this is relevant though, one of the most popular cards of Opus 7 so far has been Yuri. Yuri opens a lot of interesting stack questions, depending on the situation. Let’s go with a simple one. Your opponent has an active Yuri on field and 2 active wind backups. You have a Hades (6-038) and a Shiva (3-032) in hand. You could cast the Shiva to dull Yuri, turning on Hades to kill him. ezpz right? Sure, it would work, Yuri would die and your opponent would discard, but they would also be given a window to use Yuri’s effect, dull himself and the two backups to draw a card. Instead, you could pass priority to your opponent, signalling you wish to end turn. Chances are, they will still dull Yuri to activate his effect, giving you a window to cast Hades without having to burn 2CP and your Shiva.

Just little nuanced (ayy) plays like that can really take your play to the next level! (Or down one if you are already way better than me)

Hopefully you take something out of this(even if it’s just that I’ve been playing too much fire this week), and just consider the possibilities next time you play.

Thanks for reading the first article in this series!