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View Full Version : New Edition of Character 'Gems' Corner, this week Astaroth



NJBrock22
10-25-2010, 04:36 AM
Welcome back to Character 'Gems' Corner ladies and gentlemen; today we will do another Legacy thru Standard review of another character who is kinda underrated at this time and VERY overlooked. This character is probably one of the least played in the game and some would say for VERY GOOD reasons because of the support for the character being BETTER for other characters, but when you put his support with him he becomes ridiculously good. This character is Astaroth, the Golem of the Soul Calibur storyline and the Left Hand man of Nightmare, let us look at each version of him.

Astaroth1
[Earth, Evil, Void]
Hand: 6
Vitality: 30
E: Commit 1 foundation: Your attack gets +X Damage. X equals the number of other cards in your card pool.

This version is probably the most played in Legacy, and one of the most annoying; he has Earth which is a good 'Tank' symbol in Legacy; Evil, which has so much versatility and a lot of control check haxing tricks; and Void which has a lot of hand manipulation tricks to it. Add in that he has 30 vitality and you have a TANK of a character to try and deal with, which back in the first 2-3 sets 30 vitality was hard to kill unless you could get multiple attacks out quickly. His ability is very straightforward, for commiting a foundation your attack gets a damage bonus equal to the number of cards in your card pool -1(the attack being enhanced), which is VERY powerful when you take into consideration the one trick he had... which was Power Up -> Bo Rush, for those who have never read Bo Rush... it's 5 diff 3 control 3H3 Multi: 3, so off that simple combo alone, Bo Rush was usually 3H6 x3 which could bring you down to danger levels and he'd always throw 1-2 attacks on the turn before to get the maximum ability out of that, very good character early in the games history.

Astaroth2
[Chaos, Earth, Evil]
Hand: 6
Vitality: 28
R: Commit 2 foundations: Before you make a control check, your check is equal to your momentum(no check necessary).

A character that was probably 2-3 sets TOO early, was quickly overshadowed by a lot of characters that came later; he gained Chaos from his starter version and lost 2 vitality though gained a fairly strong ability, that by commiting 2 foundations could make his check equal to his momentum. This ability could have been VERY powerful if it wasn't for the fact that support to help him didn't come until a few sets later and he was being overshadowed by Vega2 and Voldo1 who could generate momentum MUCH faster and use it MORE Efficiently than him, unfortunate and doomed to be relegated to the trade binder of history.

Astaroth3
[Earth, Evil, Order]
Hand: 6
Vitality: 28
R: After your attack deals damage, reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card's control is less than the damage dealt, you may either add the revealed card to your hand or discard it. If you discarded it, your opponent loses X vitality. X equals half the revealed card's control (rounded down).

Wow... he gained Order which is an amazing Draw, Commital & Negation symbol and gets a very good ability to go with his new found tricks due to Order. He can either draw a card after his attack deals damage OR make his opponent take 1-3 damage for discarding it instead, which I remember having to play against this character and seeing 3-4 throws thrown at me each and every turn and with the addition of Glimpse of Fate and Fortune Teller he could stack his deck to make sure to get the maximum use out of his ability, him vs any Character of 22 vitality or less = 3 attacks and you die.

Astaroth4
[All, Earth, Evil]
Hand: 6
Vitality: 31
E: Commit: If this attack deals damage, gain X vitality. X equals this attack's damage minus its printed damage(minimum 0).
E: Commit: Your attack gets +X Damage. X equals the control of the preceding card in your card pool.

A very good character indeed, he had ABOVE the norm vitality for a 6 hander(31 vitality at the time was reserved for 5 handers), and had 2 very good abilities to make him even BETTER than he was. The first ability allows you to Gain Vitality upon the attack dealing damage. where X equals the attacks damage minus it's printed damage.. and do note it says THIS attack not YOUR attack, which means if your opponent planned on killing you off a 2-3 attack combo, you can absorb 1 of their damage pumped attacks with this ability + his support from the set, very nasty trick to do to an opponent. The other ability was more of a Defensive AND Offensive trick, which for commiting you could give an attack +X damage, where X was the control of the preceeding card in your card pool, an obvious trick is to block with a Foundation then play a Reversal... but my favorite trick was to play a Character as a form... then drop a Throw on my opponent and give it +6 Damage, and watch my opponent cry as i dropped 1-3 hammers(Absurd Strength) on their head, very nasty trick also.

Astaroth5
[Earth, Evil, Water]
Hand: 5
Vitality: 35
E: Commit: Your attack gets +X Damage. X equals the block modifier of the preceeding card in your card pool. If this attack was played durring your opponent's turn and deals 10 or more damage to your opponent, your opponent's Combat Phase ends immediately.

A situational character at best unfortunately, though i have heard of 1-2 versions of him actually working, the main problem with him is he either relies on you playing a HIGH Difficulty Block followed by a reversal OR Play foundation with mediocre block and then play an attack, the situational ability to end your opponents turn i think RARELY if ever came up, though at the time if you dealt 10 damage to your opponent ON THEIR TURN you usually killed them. There is now thanks to Amy Sorel's set a few tricks you CAN do with him, as he was never errata'd to read PRINTED before block, you can use Amyrillis Spin x4 in your card pool and just go off on your opponent with any attack you want, though with a 5 hand... yeah highly unlikely.

Astaroth6
[Earth, Evil, Fire]
Hand: 6
Vitality: 28
E: Commit 1 foundation: Your [Earth] or [Fire] attack gets +X damage. X equals the number of cards in your opponent's staging area minus the number of cards in your staging area(minimum 0).
R: Destroy a foundation: After your opponent plays an ability that modifies a control check, cancel that effect.

The current Standard Legal Astaroth, his only problem is you can probably tell he was designed with Extended in mind and can just sit and laugh at overly defensive opponents(aka players that take 3-4 turns of building before attempting to attack you) and start launching attacks at very high damage early and often if built right. Reason being well let's look at his abilities. First one is for commiting a foundation your [earth] or [fire] attack gets a damage bonus equal to the number of cards in your opponents staging area minus your staging area(minimum 0); this can be a game breaker if you plan your deck around this ability, he plays VERY similar to Nightmare5 and actually uses a LOT of his support cards to do said tricks. His other ability of Destroy a foundation, negate your opponents control check modifying ability, is SIMPLY GOLDEN, problem with a Jin deck in your area, side into Astaroth and watch your opponent have to actually hard check to play their attacks, or if your opponent is playing in extended and you see Akuma + BRT(now banned) + Seclusion + Anti K' combo just sit there and blow up your staging area and laugh as your attack will probably still pass and then you can start to go off for huge damage if ya have few foundations left. Now i will try my best to make a good Astaroth deck for Standard and hopefully it will give some insight into how good Astaroth6 can be.

Character: Astaroth6

Actions(0)

Assets(4)
Kulutues2 x4 4/5 +2M(can trim down as desired)

Attacks(28)
Astaroth's Body Splash x4 4/3 2H5 +2M
Backhanded Axe Slash x4 3/3 3M4 Weapon
Execution Technique 1st Rite x4 4/3 3L3 Weapon Stun: 2 Weapon +2L
Fire shadow x4 3/3 3L3 Weapon +0H
Leg Slash x4 4/3 3L5 +2H[B: 2]
Pomel Smash x4 3/3 2H1 Stun: 1(2)
Zi Mei's Wheel Kick x4 3/3 2H1 Kick Stun: 3 +2M

Foundations(40)
"From the Hawk" Alertness x4 1/5 +3M
All Life is Prey x4 2/5 +3L
Body Transformed x4 2/5 +3M
Corrupting Force x4 2/5
Enraged Golem x4 3/5
Hope for One's People x4 0/5 +3H
Intimidating Pressence x4 2/5
Nursing a Grduge x4 2/5
The Master of Ostrheinsburg x4 2/5
The Strength Within x4 1/5 +2M

Sideboard(8)
Immovable Object x4 3/5 +3M
Warrior's Path x4 2/5 +2M

Now first thing everyone is probably gonna say... 28 attacks... THATS SUICIDE, no not really, yes i am sane... don't look at me like that... ok it's simple, this deck is built to stay behind in the foundation count and start blowing up your own staging area to throw LOW DIFFICULTY HUGE DAMAGE attacks at your opponent and watch as your opponent is forced to use his resources to block them, only to get hit with bigger ones if you have a few foundations out. Now granted you can do something similar off Earth which is more a Throw oriented deck and could do amazingly well, but I find fire to have a slight edge in the versatility department, and as you can probably see the Foundations are mearly spam foundations OR have an ability to blow themselves up to do something nice for you(as well as feed All Life is prey AND your ability). Hopefully everyone has also noticed that every single check in the deck is either a 5 or a 3 which really helps the curve of the deck and will help you to get any early foundations you will need to start your onslaught, this deck CAN win while being ahead in the foundation count OR behind in the count but it's up to the player to determine how they wish to play it. Until next time this is Nathan "NJBrock" Spade, signing off.

(look for another one next week, still taking requests for either an economic build of a character OR a full character review)

N.J.

EscarcegaGuy
10-25-2010, 07:00 AM
I really liked this article, and the way that you didn't really trash the standard Astaroth. Jin, or chaos for that matter, is a big deal right now and I like the idea of Astaroth being a viable character in the format right now. Those pesky Kazuya decks, in a way I can see them pumping Astaroth. Now am I saying that he's the best character? No, but I think people are wrong when trash-talking him.

Tagrineth
10-25-2010, 07:08 AM
He's strong enough. The biggest problem he usually faces is he can't really do much about the opponent blocking his attacks since the only good speed buff he has access to is Nova. XD Basically forcing him to play the Throwdown-hoedown, something Bryan Fury, among others, simply does better.

Shinguyi
10-25-2010, 08:37 AM
He can always use Reaver's Ax to get a +1 Speed and +1 damage to his weapon attack. Sadly he doesn't have a lot of speed increasing cards, but I think its easily overlooked by overthrowing opponent with spam attack sthat will deal 7-10 damage each.

EscarcegaGuy
10-25-2010, 09:53 AM
He's strong enough. The biggest problem he usually faces is he can't really do much about the opponent blocking his attacks since the only good speed buff he has access to is Nova. XD Basically forcing him to play the Throwdown-hoedown, something Bryan Fury, among others, simply does better.

Ummm.... Defeated the Rifle, The Strength Within, and Looking for a Thrill. They aren't much, but they can make the difference.

Tagrineth
10-25-2010, 02:01 PM
Ummm.... Defeated the Rifle, The Strength Within, and Looking for a Thrill. They aren't much, but they can make the difference.


DtR isn't really a good speed buff, but I forgot about Looking (because we don't have enough of them, god... plus my 4ccs are pretty much accounted for)

NJBrock22
10-25-2010, 09:54 PM
good discussion guys, and Chris E. yeah i forgot about DtR as it's a good tech if your meta relies a lot on assets, but as Tag said not a great speed buff, but my deck i posted for you guys is just a reccomendation, you can build your own version and test it out i'm mearly giving a starting point, i wholeheartedly believe Astaroth CAN contend, yeah Fury does a lot more than him, but Fury does NOT like being way behind in the foundation count and almost dies to haxing abilities, but thats just my opinion, next project which will be out by Friday-Saturday will be Haohmaru + Mitsurugi(both are technically the same character), 1 extended deck and 1 standard deck.

N.J.

Hatman
10-25-2010, 11:02 PM
What I generally try to do with Astaroth is keep staging areas down. I find most decks in Standard to work well with well-stocked staging areas, and not work well with lesser staging areas.

NJBrock22
10-25-2010, 11:09 PM
yeah Astaroth is one of those characters that kinda breaks a conception for the game, oh must have big staging area, Astaroth says "no, thank you, i'll start here *launches small attacks* *attacks quickly become huge*" hehehe.

N.J.

Shinguyi
10-26-2010, 09:17 AM
Akuma in Extended just met its maker, hahaha. And so did ::Ibuki::

I need to see Astaroth· being played more in Extended and see what kind of shenanigans people can make him do. Care to make a fast build NJBrock22? If you can that is.

tannerface
10-26-2010, 05:55 PM
I find that on pretty much everyone of his symbols that another character just overshadows him. Which is really unfortunate since I love astaroth. Having an ability that forces you to build slower is really not that great of an idea especially when his second ability does not support this. Also putting a silver bullet on a character card is the worst idea STG/FFG ever had.

Shinguyi
10-26-2010, 05:59 PM
Other characters don't overshadow him, its that his potential can't really be seen in the Standard Format with little control check hacking there is (play him in Extended or Legacy and his potential might increase due to all those Akuma, Jin Kazama and Ibuki around). The second ability complements the first if your opponent does play control check hacking of course, but its situational.

Being a 6 Hand Size character helps with his first ability, since you are bound to play slow. I think it could work if he had more support for that mechanic (not counting Nightmare's support).

NJBrock22
10-26-2010, 07:31 PM
sure shinguyi, any preference on resource? It'll take me an hour or so to make a good deck for him but i can give it a try for extended.

N.J.

Shinguyi
10-26-2010, 07:39 PM
I have no preference or symbol, just an overall build of how Astaroth can be build to compete in Extended, hehe.

Thanks in advance.

NJBrock22
10-26-2010, 07:41 PM
k opening lackey now, will get back to you guys when i got a build down for him, warning before hand the deck may confuse a lot of people, just bear with me.

N.J.

Hatman
10-26-2010, 07:53 PM
I find that on pretty much everyone of his symbols that another character just overshadows him. Which is really unfortunate since I love astaroth. Having an ability that forces you to build slower is really not that great of an idea especially when his second ability does not support this. Also putting a silver bullet on a character card is the worst idea STG/FFG ever had.
Action Lower Celtis Hunger for Souls off of Evil is pretty damn good.

Shinguyi
10-26-2010, 07:54 PM
Haha, perfectly fine by me. The more confusing the better.

(Still haven't played with LackeyCCG against someone. Need to test it out one of these days)

NJBrock22
10-26-2010, 09:10 PM
ok the deck is a LITTLE big but you can trim out anything you consider fat and the deck still works

Character: Astaroth6

Actions(4)
Sa, Symbol of Protection x4 2/5 +2M

Assets(4)
Kulutues2 x4 4/5 +2M

Attacks(20)
Flooded Nile Throw x4 4/3 1M4 Throw +3H
Hilt Impact x4 4/3 3H3 Stun: 2 +1M
Mezentus Style Santana Storm x4 4/3 3H5 +2L
Sardine's Beach Special x4 7/2 3M8 Throw
YS Tiger Claw x4 4/3 3H5 +3H

Foundations(48)
The Tae Kwon Do Zephyr x4 0/5 +2L
The Man Behind the Mask x4 0/5 +3M
Altered Mind and body x4 1/5 +1M
Brooding x4 1/5 +3H
The Glare from the Abyss x4 1/6 +3M
Torn Hero x4 1/5
Weapons are Unecessary x4 +1H
Enemies, Now Friends x4 2/5 +3H
Iga Legacy x4 2/5 +2L
Inhuman Perception x4 2/5 +1H
Coming thru in the Clinch x4 3/5 +3H
M-style Combat Arts x4 3/5 +2M

Sideboard(8)
Tieh Leh, Iron Thunder x4 2/5 +1H
Immovable Object x4 3/5 +3M

had to re-do this twice since lackey decided to crash mid transfer... dammit... strategy is just to sit back and wait for your opponents staging area to get fat and launch a couple sardine's at them, and if they attempt to hax it just start blowing stuff up, they try to negate your response thats what Inhuman is for, yeah no Seals of cessation or Lynettes in here, bleh to those cards, i DESPISE anything with infintity on it.


N.J.

tannerface
10-27-2010, 06:46 AM
Other characters don't overshadow him, its that his potential can't really be seen in the Standard Format with little control check hacking there is (play him in Extended or Legacy and his potential might increase due to all those Akuma, Jin Kazama and Ibuki around). The second ability complements the first if your opponent does play control check hacking of course, but its situational.

Being a 6 Hand Size character helps with his first ability, since you are bound to play slow. I think it could work if he had more support for that mechanic (not counting Nightmare's support).

I suppose, but even then I still see him as a sideboard character at best. Forcing yourself to under build someone is not an advantage, albeit his abilities do compensate for his underbuilding. However it is just silly to think that any other character (Ragner, astrid) wouldn't do better off the symbols they share with him. Now if his E was dmg reduction than I would totally have changed my opinion and say that he was awesome. If you do well with him than more power to you, I just can't get through building him without thinking "Well I could just play this character and they would work better".

SMazzurco
10-27-2010, 07:37 AM
Action Lower Celtis Hunger for Souls off of Evil is pretty damn good.

The CC bonus applies to the CC for passing the hunger for souls, not for its ability and thus doesn't effect how many foundations go boom.

Just want to make sure you are clear on that.

Hatman
10-27-2010, 08:49 AM
The CC bonus applies to the CC for passing the hunger for souls, not for its ability and thus doesn't effect how many foundations go boom.

Just want to make sure you are clear on that.
Because you TOTALLY have to play the E on celtis before Hunger. TOTALLY. Besides, Hunger specifically says "the control value of the card you checked." So even if you check 3 and it becomes a 6 for some reason. Only 3 foundations go boom.

The point is you make staging area go boom then play another attack. If you've Kulutues * on the table, use Astaroth as a foundation for +5 damage.

Ninja's rule
10-28-2010, 01:24 PM
Once the new set is released, i'm going to look into building Astaroth off of evil. I've already tried building Astaroth off earth and fire, and it didn't really work all that well. Maybe evil will get a huge boost in Red Horizon.

Shinguyi
10-28-2010, 03:06 PM
With the small Lizardman Support there is right now and Harnessed Chaos spoiler Astaroth might become much more playable by evil.

Ninja's rule
10-29-2010, 07:16 PM
With the small Lizardman Support there is right now and Harnessed Chaos spoiler Astaroth might become much more playable by evil.

This is what i'm hoping...