The phrase “consistency is key” is not uncommon in deck-building. In fact it’s my golden rule, however that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions or rather no pitfalls.
Before I go further I’ll give a quick definition of what I call a “backup ride” (sometimes called failrides).
A backup ride is a grade 3 unit that you do not intend to ride in the majority of games and instead run for either its name or to have a more useful vanguard in the case you miss your main target.
The most notable examples are previous phase striders carrying a name and stride bonus surely must help to increase the overall output and consistency of your deck?
In all likely hood, no.
Obviously like everything there are some exceptions but for the most part failrides are just that, a failure and bound to lose you the game.
It’s a pretty simple issue when you break it down; if I’m going to lose on my failride anyway, why bother with it
The answer is don’t, chances are you gain a lot more from running a utility G3 instead of a backup ride. This is especially true when there are some incredible G3s built for rearguard use. Cards like Ines are far more valuable to the deck than running a Searing Heart, offering excellent value over a ride that probably loses you the game anyway.
It’s a lot harder for Ahsha to make its plays if it isn’t on Blue so riding into another version of her isn’t going to help the decks consistency since you’re now playing a deck with all the old weaknesses.
The other factor to look at is if you do ride Blue, Searing is now a dead card, with no skills you can make use of its relegated to glorified stride fodder. While dead cards aren’t the worst thing ever surely you opt for the card that offers more available plays, by running Ines you open up a lot of high advantage gain plays and have a card that is always a pretty decent option.
Sure if you ride it you’re in a pretty bad spot but as I mentioned earlier searing heart puts you in a similar spot.
Another argument brought up for running backup rides is alternate utility especially in the case of striders.
For example Vanquisher. It could be argued the potentially defensive GB2 of the original vanquisher could be useful in certain matchups.
However the loss of consistency you would get in terms of advancing your game plan is a rather large price to pay for a somewhat narrow return.
Due to the nature of powercreep old striders are just not effective enough to keep up with current gameplay, so again why not opt for another G3 unit that could instead increase your decks output in some way.
Obviously this isn’t an iron rule and some decks may have a reason to opt for a backup ride. However weighing up the opportunity cost of including cards is one of the biggest parts of deck-building. So next time you’re thinking of putting in that Anger Boil Dragon, stop and consider that maybe Arsenal Fleet would do a lot more.
And that’s all for today, I really wanted to get something out just but I’ve been hit pretty hard by writers block.
A lot of interesting stuff is coming in set-14 but as usual I would prefer to wait for the full set to be revealed before passing judgement.
As always thank you for reading.