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Thread: One off Forum Post - MuscleMountain's Earth Zangief (28th,June,2018)

  1. #1
    Junior Member MuscleMountain's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    United Kingdom

    Post One off Forum Post - MuscleMountain's Earth Zangief (28th,June,2018)

    It's been such a long time since I've used the forums to post an article. I have my own platform to post articles called (it's a working progress, I've found it hard to work on the site, but I do post on there)
    And I spend most of my time chatting in the UFS Discord called "Shameless Card Players" which despite popular belief, is actually a really good environment for the most part. Pretty much all of the players jumped ship over to the Discord from here a long time ago, if you get in touch with the well known players among the community, I'm sure they'll send you the invite code, we're very welcoming so do say hello to Daring, he's probably the first of us you'll meet on there.

    The reason why I've come back over here for this one off post is because despite how slow the forums run people actually still wind up here somehow (granted they quickly jump over to the discord once they find out about it)
    But earlier this morning I got a message from a new playerbase who were eager to hear about my views on things so I decided to make an exception.

    The player who got in touch with me told me he wanted to see a Zangief list of mine and in all honesty, despite how much I love the character for who he is, I haven't played as him since before Platinum got released.

    He's certainly outclassed quite heavily under all three of his symbols and isn't in the best places looking at how he reflects to the meta, but we aren't here to talk about what we could be playing instead, we're here to work with what we got.
    I must admit, getting a foil Zangief also from the prize support that our friend "Big Dan" Austin brought us all back has made me very tempted to play as him for the novelty at locals anyway so this is a good enough excuse to show what I believe he should look like and give some notes to give insight into the deck.

    Earth Zangief (60 Cards Excluding Character Card)

    Actions: 0

    Assets: 4
    Dragged to Victory x2
    Pulled My Trigger x2

    Attacks: 15
    Death Valley Face Plant x3
    Spider Suplex x2
    Tombstone Stunner x4
    Spinning Piledriver x3
    Sliding Ankle Breaker x3

    Foundations: 41
    Reclaiming What's Ours x2
    Surveyor x4
    Refusing to Let Go x1
    To Avenge a Loved One x1
    Syndicate Allies x1
    Presidente on the House x1
    Overly Dramatic x4
    Ozeki x4
    Patriot Stance x1
    Stronger than All x1
    For Mother Russia! x1
    Evil Imposter x2
    For Chivalry and Honor x1
    Arranging a Deal x3
    Police Connections x3
    Know Your Objective x3
    Pursuing a Vendetta x3
    Haunted by Loss x1
    Push the Limit x4

    Sideboard: 8
    Gabrek x1
    Stop! x2
    For Chivalry and Honor x2
    Evil Imposter x1
    Police Connections x1
    Pursuing a Vendetta x1

    When the player got in touch with me he told me about a Zangief deck that I made a while ago back when I use to go by the name "BlurdVisionary" and reading it back, not only do I sound quite arrogant.. that deck sounded pretty bad lol

    Things have changed since then anyway. We now have Bebop which has changed things both for the better and for the worse.
    I feel like Vincent Grey, Stone Man and Johnny Cage - the second someone uses the card "Bang!" against you to seal your character, you actually just die. So with that in mind, the foundation base for this deck has to try and work as a safety net if that just scenario comes up. It's funny actually, it reminds me of Legacy in a way, how all the foundations I added to my deck have to be (for the most part) way more influential, not only because I'm low hand size so I need to get the very best out of the foundations that I do happen to draw and get on board, but because like I said - at any given moment I could have Zangief tapped or sealed now and that doesn't just mean "Bang!" as there's actually a Sub Zero attack on the way if you've been paying attention to the Mortal Kombat spoilers on Facebook that can also seal your opponent's character.

    But if I were to build my favorite character in this game, this is how I'd build him.

    I think you have to run him off of Earth - it quite clearly supports him the best with having enough throws, let alone useful ones. A lot of anti-meta cards and damage resets.

    One of the mistakes I feel as though I made when building Zangief and 5hs for that matter in the past is that my deck was too big. I feel like our friend Oliver Hill hit it bang on the head when he said I should probably be aiming to run a slim 60 so that I can see all the pieces I need over the game despite how much I liked running bigger decks, but I think this applies even more so with Zangief as he doesn't naturally "cheat" his hand size.

    No Actions in here I'm afraid. I don't think there's any he "-needs-needs-" to be running and running reactive actions in low hand size is quite detrimental so I opted not to run any.

    * 2x "Dragged to Victory" it's just a good card that doesn't need much explaining.

    * 2x "Pulled My Trigger" which in low hand size I usually wouldn't advocate for, but with Zangief I feel like once you get a bit of a staging area built you can combine both his bottom enhance to commit a foundation with "Pulled My Trigger" then to destroy said foundation to begin giving all your Throws +6 damage which is certainly quite something.

    I decided on running 15 attacks in 60. Pretty normal here for low hand size for a quarter of the deck to be attacks. You don't have to run or play many as low hand size and Zangief for that matter, I still stand by that statement at least because the attacks you do play are going to deal half and you ideally want to be playing 1-2 attacks most a turn then building a bit to progress and avoid over extending until later in the game where you can afford to lean a bit heavier on your opponent.

    * 3x "Death Valley Face Plant" - Just a solid attack, I don't want to max it out though as I have "Surveyor" to tutor them back and after all, they are 5 difficulty.

    * 2x "Spider Suplex" - Usually I'd run this card at 3 in my decks, but I feel like 2 is an acceptable number in here, again "Surveyor" tutor and less 2 checks will help consistency.

    * 4x "Tombstone Stunner" - Probably his best attack, which may come as a shock to some. Makes his next Throw not only bigger, but easier to play also.

    * 3x "Spinning Piledriver" - The Zangief Enhance is always there, but I don't know if that really warrants running 4 so I thought I don't want to run 2 and settled on meeting in the middle at 3 so I see it enough.

    *3x "Sliding Ankle Breaker" - The only Safe and low attack in the deck for that matter. I reckon this is going to be the attack I poke with for the majority of the time literally because it's Safe. Could warrant running a fourth copy, but I opted not to as I didn't want to reduce the number of other attacks in the deck.

    * 2x "Reclaiming What's Ours" Card is just good, I use to be in the habit of running "Wily's Master Creation" but have recently eventually came round to just straight up running "Reclaiming What's Ours" instead. Better Block, isn't Unique, has another ability that's helpful, lets you see your opponent's hand to get a feel for how you should approach your turn/sequencing and finally it's also a First F rather than a response which would open a window for your opponent to deal with it during the enhance step.

    * 4x "Surveyor" - Nothing new to see here. Low hand size character's best friend. Must 4x it in them.

    * 1x "Refusing to Let Go" - Usually people run 2 copies, but I much prefer personally to run 1 so I don't get my hand clogged by another and because I can also run cards like "To Avenge a Loved One" "Stronger Than All" or "For Chivalry and Honor" (to an extent) fill very similar roles, yet I don't have to worry about the Unique keyword and can also have them on board along side "Refusing to Let Go" for more damage reset/mitigation.

    * 1x "To Avenge A Loved One" I've recently been running this card at 1 copy in my decks and found it very useful. Reminds me a lot of a card that's now rotated (The Out Of Control Giant) which had a very similar effect.

    * 1x "Syndicate Allies" - can become useful against decks that utilize momentum, it also shuts down "Spike (2)" or "Finale Rosso" as they add a card to their momentum as one of their enhances so you can use your enhance window to ditch their momentum before they can spend it on the their Multiple enhance.

    * 1x "Presidente on the House" just here for the extra damage, practically free as it doesn't really affect the game state in anywhere near a drastic manner. The good thing about this is that you can use it's enhance and remove 2 foundations then commit it for Zangief's effect as you no longer need it anymore as it's a [once per turn] ability.

    * 4x "Overly Dramatic" - Widely considered the best control piece in the game through the sheer number of cards it hits and accidentally hits through rulings. Also Deadlock E is always good, tutoring attacks is sweet, but as low hand size that sh!t is Christmas for them.

    * 4x "Ozeki" - It's there for when I'm poking rather than going for a string of attacks and getting 2 on board and playing an attack a turn is certainly a viable gameplan in my personal opinion. Decency to have a nice block too.

    * 1x "Patriot Stance" - Good block, ability can come in handy.

    * 1x "Stronger Than All" - I feel like one of the deck building traps I fell into last time back when I built Zangief is my misplacement of value in cards like Always Watching or Immortal Knowledge, not sure if the "drop in the ocean" saying fits in here, but you get what I mean. "Stronger Than All" however is a very powerful damage reset foundation, which I personally feel is the key to survival in the current format/meta (could certainly argue potentially increasing the number of these in the deck)

    * 1x "For Mother Russia" - Staple 1 of under any of it's symbols, very useful in certain matchups. Can shut attack turns down dead. Enhance being playable while committed is great also.

    * 2 "Evil Imposter" - I'd usually just run 3 "For Chivalry and Honor" in the main deck of my Earth decks, but seeing as Zangief already has built in damage reduction and I have damage reset foundations already in the deck, I feel as though it would be nice for a change to switch gears as I don't feel as though I need to focus on damage mitigation that heavily with how the deck is already looking. Super strong card. Can and will save you. Hits way more game changing effects than I can even think of.

    * 1x "For Chivalry and Honor" - it's just really here for the stuff I can't just reduce to small with Zangief so having this to hard bolt down an attack's damage is nice (Ailurophobia, Swimming Bird, Vengeance of the Fallen Angel etc)

    * 3x "Arranging a Deal" - I have a very high Desperation threshold so there's a high chance I'll be using this in the games that I have it on board, I'll also take all the draw power I can get under Earth. Decent block and a 6 check is A OK with me (could potentially warrant increasing to 4)

    * 3x "Police Connections" - There's absolutely nothing wrong with this card. It's crazily overstatted and has an ability that's more than relevant in our current environment.

    * 3x "Know Your Objective" - Use to run a full set but now with Bebop we have "Overly Dramatic" which helps keep speed down. I'm sure I'll want to use the Desperation E though.

    * 3x "Pursuing a Vendetta" - I really need to protect the staging area I'm able to build so this does wonders for me. I also noticed recently that it states "before a card" which also procs off of my opponent removing one of my assets off the board.

    * 1x "Haunted by Loss" - Use to run 2, but now with "Overly Dramatic" providing more speed reduction, I don't mind keeping this at 1 copy, it might save me.. who knows.

    * 4x "Push the Limit" - Hoping this can bate my opponent into Deadlock but if it doesn't then I'm not too bothered as my opponent will just have to function with fewer utilities.

    * 1x "Gabrek" - Gabrek is very similar to Zangief, he doesn't happen to rely on his character on defense though and can increase the damage on Reversals so I'll side into him where he sees fit.

    * 2x "Stop!" - These are very useful sideboard tech at the moment, but they'll probably only come in when I switch to "Gabrek" as it's a reactive action that I don't want clogging my hand as Zangief.

    Then There's:
    * 2x "For Chivalry and Honor"
    * 1x "Evil Imposter"
    * 1x "Police Connections"
    * 1x "Pursuing a Vendetta"
    See notes for these in the main deck. I keep extra copies of these cards in the sideboard to bring in where they'll see more value.

    The deck has so many strong defensive pieces in it to hopefully work as a safety net if my opponent manages to bypass Zangief's character card, I'll still have access to damage mitigation and I have ways to recur and tutor attacks back to my hand.

    I am glad that I took the time to build the deck as Zangief is the only character I like for who they are in UFS, it's just a shame that this version isn't as strong as he could be.

    Of course, the deck could be much stronger if it were a number of different other Earth frontiers but this was a challenge to build Zangief himself and let someone enjoy the novelty of playing as the character whilst still having somewhat of a say in their matches.

    You could argue that I have missed a card here and there to potentially run but at the end of the day I wanted to ensure it was slim 60 so I got to see all the pieces I needed for consistency.

    Anyways, thanks for reading as lengthy as this might have been for you.
    Hopefully chat to you in the UFS Discord.
    MuscleMountain out.
    Last edited by MuscleMountain; 06-28-2018 at 04:51 AM.
    2018 UK Teams Champion (card in the making)
    2015 UK Teams Champion "Death Charge"
    1st Place - Sheffield PTC
    1st Place - Doncaster PTC
    And a bunch of tops scattered about my record.

    Join the UFS Discord, everyone else is here waiting for you!

  2. #2
    Penguin Shaneth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    Very nice write up Rio.

    See you at UK Nationals this year
    ~ Shane Duckworth - UFS is too damn good

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