Hint #1 - Card Type: Energy
Energy cards can be extremely beneficial and, possibly, the most important card in setting up a big strike. When you win a hand with an Energy card, the power of the other cards in your hand will go up equal to the Energy card's power. For example, if you win with an Energy card whose power is 7, the other cards in your hand will go up a total of seven stars (divided among the other cards). Increasing an Energy card's power using a Power Combo or an Action Combo will increase it's effectiveness, but if one of those combos is going to require four of your five cards to be combined, only one card (the remaining card) will benefit from the effect. If you can do a combo with two cards and drive your other three up to a power of Z, it would only take one of those three being a Strike card to set up a potentially devastating attack.
Hint #2 - Card Type: Reverse
Reverse cards are quite possibly the trickiest card type. When played, they switch the two players' Power levels (no, they don't switch back if both players play one). What this means is that the Power level of your Reverse card will be your opponent's Power level, not yours. The bigger the power, the more likely you'll be giving the stronger Power to your opponent, handing them the win for the round. Yes, Power and Action combos are usually a bad idea for Reverse cards if they raise the Power level too high. If your opponent is always going for Power and Action combos, higher powered Reverse cards can still work. You could play a Reverse card with a Power level of two and still lose to a card with a Power level of one, but you won't be taking much damage. As always, you'll have to weigh the cards in your hand at the time and your opponent's strategies in the game so far before making any decisions.
Hint #3 - Card Type: Strike
Attack cards are the most important card in actually winning (the only reliable way to deal damage without relying on your opponent to fall for your Reverse strategy). The stronger the Power level of your attack, the more damage you deal (unless your opponent plays a Reverse card, of course). Power and Action combos will both boost the Power level of your attack and will result in that much more damage dealt. Remember that when planning a Power Combo or an Action Combo, you shouldn't neglect your Guard levels. If you do, and if an opponent plays a Reverse card, your attack strength could come back to haunt you.
Hint #4 - Card Type: Training
Training cards boost the Guard levels of the cards in your hand just like Energy cards boost the Power levels of those cards. While Guard levels won't help you a hand, they can still be crucial. Planning a big attack? If your Power level is greater than your Guard level when you attack and your opponent plays a Reverse card, you'll take damage - possibly a lot. Just like with Energy Cards, increasing a Training card's power using a Power Combo or an Action Combo will increase it's effectiveness, but if one of those combos is going to require four of your five cards to be combined, only one card (the remaining card) will benefit from the effect.
Hint #5 - Combo Type: Action Combos
Action Combos take all cards of the same type in your hand and use all of them at the same time, combining all of the Power levels and all of the Guard levels. Action Combos can be strong (remember, you don't want a high-powered Reverse - see above). The most popular type of Action Combo is with Strike cards, wince they're often the easiest to get five of at one time. Remember, though, that you should balance Action Combos and Power Combos. Occasionally, a Power Combo may be stronger in Power level, but an Action Combo adds the Guard levels together and makes defense stronger, especially from an opponent's Reverse.
Hint #6 - Combo Type: Guard Combos
Guard Combos are the way to go if you want to bolster your defense. Guard combos add the Guard levels together (but not the Power levels) of all the cards in your hand that share the same Guard level as the initially-played card. Since you're never SURE that you'll win (see: Reverse cards - above), you never know what will be coming your way. Is the Power level of your card play less than your Guard level? If so, it's worth boosting up your Guard level. In addition, to the basic of protecting hide from damage, having multiple cards with the same Guard rating can help you dump some of your crap cards (see below).
Hint #7 - Combo Type: Power Combos
Power Combos boost the Power of both your attempt to win the hand and the effectiveness of your action once (if) you've won. They'll add the Power levels of all the cards in your hand (that match the Power level of the intially-played card) to your card play. They won't give the Guard boost that Action Combos will, but the cards don't need to be all from the same action type. To decide whether Power Combos or Action Combos are the route to go, you'll ust have to examine the cards in your hand and the strategies your opponent uses. If you're using Power Combos, remember: beware the Reverse card!
Hint #8 - Dumping The Crap
Got some really bad cards in your hand? Having trouble boosting their Power and Guard levels using Energy and Training cards? Dump them! How? Add them into combos! All you need is another card with the same Power level, Guard level, or Action type, and you can add them to a combo. By doing this, you dump the crap card (as well as the card it's combined with in the combo) and you'll have two new cards drawn for the next turn. One (usually) good idea includes adding high-powered Reverse cards (Power levels of Z, seven, or even six) to Strike, Energy, or Training cards to boost them up. Another (usually) popular possibility is to take extremely weak Strike, Energy, or Training cards and combining them with almost anything in a Guard Combo to make use of what they have to offer in terms of defense (and, since you usually won't go out of your way to play weak-powered attacks when you don't have to).
Hint #9 - To Hear Or Not To Hear
The soound for each of the systems (the host's and the guest's) will be different. The host's Nintendo DS system will play music, but it'll also provide extra sound effects, which can tell your opponent how many cards are being played. Remember this well, and... beware the sound effects!
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