Welcome back to week(read: decade) 2 of Nado’s nuances!
This week we discuss the ideas around when to call bluffs.
So, how do we start this? The main bluffs we are going to be talking about here are combat bluffs, but we will touch on some other nuanced(roll credits) bluffs based around cards in hand.
The most common occurrence of bluffing in FFTCG is during combat. They swing with a 7k, you have an 8k, they are representing a Belias to trade up. Simple, right? Don’t take the block, life is a resource etc etc etc. But, what I see way too often is people not considering what the bluff is actually worth. Will Belias kill your forward? Sure, but will having 2 less cp available mean that they aren’t representing an Amaterasu next turn for your Thancred? What people quickly fall into is the “worst case scenario”. If their “bluff” is actually just playing an Onion Knight main 2, then suddenly the trade isn’t looking so bad. You can also trick yourself into never calling, they hold the answer forever and then use it on their terms to close out the game, instead of some incremental value during the mid turns.
What i’m really trying to get across here in the most simple terms is: Call the Bluff™.
A really important dynamic of bluffing is knowing where you are on the board state. Are you the player slamming threats every turn asking for answers? Or are you playing a longer game, trying to answer all their threats efficiently before making a push. Understanding where you are on board, and your long term wincon will go a huge way in helping you decide what blocks to take, what threats to present, and what removal to hold to bluff well.
A huge elephant in the room on this topic is Amaterasu bluffs. This is kind of where it gets tricky in the current Opus12 environment. I try to keep these Nuance topics broad so they apply to any format, but it feels a little disingenuous to ignore this. Yes, Amat has a huge blowout potential, and playing your Seph into it when they are holding 3 active backups is a quick trip to scoop town. Calling bluffs on Amat is not really something most decks can afford to do, and this kinda falls more into exhausting their answers rather than just hoping they dont have it.
As we progress further and further into sets, and decks become much more refined, card quality getting higher and higher, refining your skill on how to bluff, when to call, when to use your life as a resource becomes all the more important. I strongly encourage you, next time you are messing around slamming some decks for fun, just call every bluff that comes, you might lose the game horribly, but assess where the calls cost you the most, and improve from there! Unless you are already a god gamer, in which case don’t read my stuff I am the omega scrub!
As a last closing note, I take 0 responsibility for any losing games to a big ol’ blowout and please send all complaints to Crystarium head office, ty.
Thanks for reading! Look forward to year 3 of Nado’s Nuances!