So, I’ve been pretty heavily focussed on the Limited Format Tournament I was planning for this weekend but had to postpone – doing a lot of experimentation and trying out a lot of ideas, which means a) I’ve found a number of things and b) I’ve not had anywhere near enough time to do testing threads for them. Hopefully I will in future, but for now I figured I’d put together a blog post – I know it’s not plastics but I did mention I’d probably do some limited format stuff for a little in the previous post, and that’s the case today!
In fact, I’ve had so much stuff I’ve been working on that I’ve had to split it into three different posts so I can actually get any of them finished and posted (and so they are of something almost resembling a length anyone could be expected to read about spinning tops)!
Today is the first, and it covers a bunch of combinations I’ve played around with and am quite fond of, most of which haven’t seen all that much (or in most cases, any) use or testing:
Really competitive stuff you should try:
MF-H Libra TH170CS: Able to outspin an absolutely ludicrous number of things using its force smash and stability (heck, MLD B:D can’t outspin it because it just gets force smashed and trapped under TH170’s upper section), and able to KO most things it can’t OS (mostly because those are almost all tall track customs and 170 gets you under them), MF-H Libra TH170CS is an extremely handy, dependable combo. That said, most attack types will make mincemeat of it, and this is why I’d advise TH170 over 230 even for people who for some reason don’t get the reliable TH220-beats-230 I do out of my TH170 – unless you like being knocked out by aggressive Earth __145RSF/RF customs, you want to use TH170. Still, really great combo, without being broken – tasteful, you could say.
EDIT 18 March 2014: I got a new Libra recently, and I’ve found the combination is much more effective with my very worn one, due to lower recoil. Not a gigantic difference, but MF-H Earth SagittarioII GB145CS is very hard to handle with a mint one (whereas with a worn one the lower recoil means you can generally force smash it at 220 as long as it doesn’t KO you). Would be interesting to see what a mold 2 libra could do on the setup, though I’d be very concerned about breakage.
MF-L Scythe (Metal Fury) Cancer B:D: Outspins every stamina and defense custom presumably aside from other scythe and maybe metal fury duo ones, doesn’t always get wrecked by F230CF/GCF (especially as it can KO them sometimes, though it might depend on exactly how good of an Orange F230 you’re up against as it is an extremely close matchup for me) and most importantly it’s surprisingly not awful at taking hits due to Scythe’s ridiculous defense. Won’t hold up to attack of course, but aggressive GB145/R145RSF defense seems to struggle to do much to it (though I’ve not really done too much with Libra or opposing scythe). I have an AA2 Scythe and I’d assume that’s part of how much the combo outspins, though Tri mentioned he was doing pretty well with his non-AA2 Scythe in it anyway.
MF-H Jade Lacerta CH120RF (4D Jade, Defense Mode): Solid attack custom able to handle basically any height of opponent, solid against Bakushin and better than most attack types vs Scythe Defense. Height choice is usually different to normal – 120 for non-Flame 230 combos, 145 for most 145 height defense customs. Also not awful against opposing attack types (it’ll wreck left spin but right spin is still a coin flip). Lacerta is really good at smacking taller opponents around – mainly with the exposed corners where the name is graffiti’d onto the clear wheel, but I am a little worried it might break (heavily using any plastic part for hitting stuff tends to break it in MFB, something I’ve only really discovered since “returning” from plastics – guess I do a lot more experimentation and informal testing now than back in the day). That said, other things may work though I wanted to stay around the 3g mark to capitalize on Jade’s weight, and Lacerta is awesome so you know, Lacerta, but if there’s really aggressive, exposed stuff in the 3g+ weight range it would probably work, but as it is I really liked how Lacerta worked (and as mentioned, Lacerta is awesome) so I stopped there.
NOTE: 4D Jade is currently banned, but it looks like it will be unbanned whenever the discussion actually finally happens.
Combos that are a bit situational but well worth being aware of:
MSF-H Samurai Genbull 85RB (Crystal Up Mode): Yep, rounding out the many chrome wheels effective for attack and the various Dark Knight setups used on F230CF/GCF (though these are generally inferior to meteo – maybe they beat it 1v1 or whatever but idk seem kinda dodgy to me), at long last a decent Chrome Wheel-Based defense combo, though to be honest it’s not exactly the Chrome Wheel doing anything other than “not messing things up”. Basically, Samurai takes the hits, basically providing a plastic barrier against CH120-up (though CH120 stuff can still land hits on the chrome wheel occasionally – which isn’t good, as Genbull’s shape is a little lacklustre in that regard.) Still, against opponents in that height range it’s generally a very capable defensive setup, probably better against MF-H Pegasis CH120RF than Bakushin though Pegasis still has a shot with the aforementioned hits on Genbull, but on the other hand, Bakushin can ramp some 145-Height Lightning Combos off itself in head on collisions using its slopes, while Genbull generally loses that matchup (though obviously lightning still has to knock it out).
Finally, Bakushin outspins it, along with pretty much anything not on RF (which to be fair is not all that much worse than Bakushin anyway), but for those whose collections are primarily aimed at current day Standard/Zero G, and plenty of those beside given it’s probably comparable to one of the best Defense customs in the format, it’s a pretty handy combo for rounding out your coverage. The only downside is that you really do need 85 and RB, maybe a worn RSF would work, but any higher a track and the effectiveness drops noticeably. Also yes Samurai – seems like the best defensive crystal wheel to me (well, at least the best in the 5g+ weight range), I still don’t get why it was the crystal wheel people flocked to for right spin attack, but more on that another time.
MF-H Flame Cancer/Hades/Cygnus/Aquario/Bull 230RB: Basically the entire point of this, rather than necessarily absorbing/minimizing the effectiveness of hits, is to avoid them outright. Flame’s elevation means it’s pretty hard to land hits on for things below 145-height (obviously this depends on the wheel, but the most noticeable effect of its presence to me is that I can’t use S130 on Pegasis, which is about as effective against any given opponent as CH120 (also heavier), except this combo which it can’t seem to do much about. It’s also pretty difficult for things around 145-height that don’t have much in the way of aggression on their top surface as its underside is pretty hard to land solid hits on – RB is definitely the prime candidate here though, as it is required to make the combo stand up to one very prominent combo I’ll be blogging about in a few days which it’s a nice safe counter to (though there are more commonplace setups for that too). Do keep in mind that Flame has a lot of weight variation – so does Earth, in fact the two share a very similar weight range, from around 32g to sometimes almost or slightly over 33g – I’m using my near-33g Flame, and I imagine that helps particularly against the less-aggressive-but-not-reach-inhibited things I mentioned, as the particular example I’m being obtuse about is a pretty close run thing.
RSF and CS can also be used for a more balancey setup but if you’re using this combo you should be pretty certain about what you’re facing anyway and generally speaking, RB’s defense is a key part of it.
Combos that aren’t great, but are viable uses of wheels considered useless and I think that’s neato:
MF-H Killer Kerbecs TH170RF: You know how Killer has those big ridges on its underside? Those ridges that look like they could be used to hit things? Well, guess what? It turns out Killer’s big underside ridges can be used to hit things! Despite its light weight, it’s not total trash – it’s actually pretty decent against MF-H Earth Sagittario II GB145RSF! Okay, so anything heavier like Libra or Scythe will wreck it and you’ll notice Kerbecs being used which is entirely for maximising weight – and I stuck with that because Aquario seemed noticeably worse (obviously the lighter Hasbro Kerbecs couldn’t be used), which also means standard weight variation in the Killer wheel could bring you down to that weight anyway – so YMMV with this one. Kerbecs is also good at hitting taller stuff, and TH170 is low enough to allow that. Generally 195 seems like the best height for 145-height stuff but you know, play around with it – it’s been a while since I used it. Jade probably does it better (though as mentioned above, I find CH120 is better for Jade) but hey – the last time Killer was mentioned as possibly competitive was that murky transition period where we called some combos “destabilizers” when they were really just bad LTSC, and it wasn’t even really good at that so I think it’s nice that it’s doing something. Oh and for what it’s worth, like Jade seems to be to me, it’s not so much force smash as it is regular old smash attack that just happens to be using contact points on the wheel’s underside. Killer’s contact points are at least angled downwards so it probably has some “downward smash” (trying to tread lightly around the whole terminology issues of downward-hitting/pushing things here) but the KO’s are primarily just smashing the opponent horizontally.
MF-H Sol Bull 100RSF/RB: Okay, so it’s not super amazing but Sol’s top is less aggressive/recoil prone than a lot of defense wheels – Nightmare and Earth, and even Bakushin has its problems against certain things. Basically this combo did not-awful against MF-H Pegasis CH120RF. 100RSF/RB puts you at a bit of an awkward height, Sol (mold 2)’s weight and reasonably low recoil helps take hits – I quite liked how Bull covered it but other things might work too, and RB/RSF provide the grip. To be honest, Libra LTDC/Low Track Anti Attack probably do the same thing better, but come on – Sol was always notorious for being useless (though that did primarily refer to the much lighter first mold) so the fact it’s viable in anything is pretty neat okay?
Well, that’s everything for today – perhaps not as many things as I’d like – I mean I’ve found a fair few other things but I haven’t really played around with them enough to write about them, or they were outclassed by other things I found, or I forgot some of them, and there are a few more that I split off into a separate entry I’ll post in the coming days. Still, figured it’d be handy to get this up before Qualifiers start, especially the Genbull one, given complaints by some that they lack parts for limited (though really, it’s the cheapest format to get into right now – perhaps a little more notice before the first qualifiers to let people get stuff would’ve been nice, but even then there are still those US sellers who you could get stuff from in time). <3 – th!nk