Welcome back to another look at the fundamentals of Weiβ Schwarz! This time I’m going to be covering another keyword that you’ll find on many cards. I’ve already covered Brainstorm, Backup and Encore, so today I’m going to be looking at Bond.
What is Bond?
If you’ve seen a card with Bond before, then you’ll be familiar with how they work, since Bushiroad provide full explanation text with the effect. If you haven’t, they all follow the format:
Bond／ “Card Name” [Cost] (When this card is played and placed on stage, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose a card named “Card Name” in your waiting room, and return it to your hand.)
Typically, the cost for a Bond with either be 1 Stock, or putting the top card of your Deck into the Clock. Stock Bond is the safer option because you don’t hurt yourself, and it has extra uses which we’ll get to later. Clock Bond is a more powerful effect, but also more dangerous because it will put you one step closer to losing. Clock Bonds allow you to save Stock for your other cards, and can be used as early as turn 1, whereas Stock Bond has to wait until turn 2.
Bond effects will usually be themed around the series they are in, so you’ll often find that characters who are friends or allies will have two cards linked by Bond. One of the most famous examples is [Kyoko Shares An Apple] and [Second-year of Mitakihara Middle School, Sayaka] from Madoka, who will form the backbone of many Madoka decks.
Why is it useful?
Bond is a useful effect for many different reasons, some of which are straightforward, others less so. The most obvious advantage that playing these cards has is that they give you extra resources. You trade a Stock or 1 damage for an extra card. This can give you an extra attacker, more options, or simply replenishes your Hand.
Clock Bond is especially powerful because you’re gaining 1 extra card with no real impact on your other resources. You can still play your other cards and effects, because your Stock is untouched. There might even be instances where the extra damage is to your advantage, because it can push yourself up a Level earlier than your opponent might like.
However, from what I can tell there aren’t all that many Clock Bond cards in the game that are worth using. The cards involved are usually not great, old or from seldom played series. Probably the most notable is [Mikoto, Tokiwadai’s Lady] and her Bond to [Kuroko, Tokiwadai’s Lady] in Railgun, because it gives you easy access to a powerful 1/1. Since Kuroko is currently on the choice of 3 for the series, not all Railgun decks will opt to use this pair, instead preferring to use one of the other restricted cards. Other Clock Bonds like the one in Visual Arts are useful, but unlikely to be seen due to the rarity of the actual set.
Cards with Bond can also add consistency to your deck, because you’re essentially running extra copies of the Bond target, and have more chances to get your important card. Losing the Bond target through damage is much less of a concern, and you can afford to discard it via effects or at the start of the game. You know you’ll be able to get it back later, so you can exchange it for other cards which could be more useful right now.
It can even act as a sort of Encore , especially if the Bond target is free to play. When your Bond target loses in battle, you can just play the Bond on the next turn and go at it again.
Sometimes the two cards will also work together after you’ve used the Bond thanks to an extra bonus provided by one of the cards. The Kyoko & Sayaka combo mentioned earlier gives Sayaka an extra 1,000 Power, meaning she can reach 7,500 without too much effort, which is pretty good for a 1/0. It also means that even when you happen to draw the two cards together, the Bond card won’t go to waste because there’s nothing to get back with it.
A similar combo can be found with Araragi and Senjyogahara in Bakemonogatari. Sometimes the Bond can be a general use support, that also happens to be useful with its Bond target, as seen with [Patricia Martin] and [Battlefield Konata]
Beyond all of this, Bond can also be useful for paying out Climaxes from your Stock. Since they’re mostly Level 0, you can play them at any point in the game, and you’ll be loading up your Waiting Room with another Climax for when Refresh comes.
It’s important to pay attention to what is happening whilst you’re playing, because then you can keep track of where your Climaxes are, or even possibly where Bond target are, if you’ve yet to see any make it into your Waiting Room.
Thank you all for reading, and if you have any additional comments or ideas, such as what to cover next, don’t hesitate to drop me a message on here, or by contacting me via Twitter @Xagor1.