For the latest in my series looking at some of the fundamentals of Weiβ Schwarz, I’m going to be looking at another keyword in the game, Experience.
What is Experience?
Experience is a game mechanic, introduced in Melty Blood, which adds another layer of strategy to the cards you place in the Level slot. Normally you only need to think about the Colour of the cards you place in the Level slot, since this is what allows you to play your higher Level cards to the Stage. With Experience you also need to consider the other aspects of the cards.
The most common type of Experience, and the one most familiar to English players, is Level Experience. One famous example of which is [Girl Who Met a Crab, Hitagi Senjyogahara] from Bakemonogatari. For Level Experience you add up the Level of all of your cards in the Level slot, then if it is equal to or greater than the requirement on your card with Experience, you’ll gain a bonus effect.
Typically lower Level cards will look for Experience of between 1 and 3, whilst Level 3s can go as high as 6. Sometimes lower Level cards will have a powerful effect that requires an Experience of 4 or more, to prevent it from being used early in the game.
Another type is Name Experience, where the card with Experience checks your Level slot for cards with specific names. The most famous examples are [Louise, Royalty’s Duty] and [Takane of Ancient Capital], who were both powerful enough to become restricted cards.
Both cards reduce their Level by 1 once you reach their Experience requirement, allowing you to play them during Level 2. In the case of Louise you needed two specific cards in your Level, whilst Takane only needed a copy of herself. In the latter case, whilst this meant you could only actually use 3 copies of Takane, you could easily fit her into many decks, because her Colour requirement would be met at the same time.
A very rare type of Experience is Attribute Experience, which (to the best of my knowledge) only belongs to a handful of cards, namely a PR from The Girl Who Leapt Through Space and two Shana cards. These cards check the Attributes of the cards in your Level slot before gaining their effects.
What can I expect from Experience?
Experience effects will usually give your cards extra Power, an extra effect or sometimes even both. The Hitagi, Louise and Takane cards mentioned above give you examples of some of the most powerful effects that can be gained thanks to Experience.
More ordinary, but still useful cards such as [Asuka, Unaccepting] are more powerful than their vanilla equivalents, and have relatively easy to fulfil requirements, which you will meet in nearly every game you play.
Unlike other cards which require a certain Stage set up, you don’t need to worry about your Experience cards suddenly losing their effects because your opponent has messed with your Stage.
How do I make use of Experience?
To properly utilise experience you need to take two matters into consideration. How you build your deck, and how you handle your Level slot and Clock.
If you’re going to play a Level Experience deck you will need to make your deck top heavy enough that you’ll be able to meet their requirements easily.
If you’re playing a deck such as Evangelion which has lower requirements (3 for Red / Blue, 4 for Red / Yellow), then you probably won’t need to go too far out of your way to accommodate this. 6 or 7 Level 3 cards isn’t an unusual number even for a deck without Experience.
Decks like Bakemonogatari which need 6 to reach their full strength will need you to load up heavily to meet this. It’s not unusual to see them playing as many as 10 Level 3s, because not only do you need them in your Level slot, but you also want to be able to play your other copies as well.
Decks which use Name Experience just require you to include those cards in your deck, so as long as you remember that you’re fine.
When it comes to actually playing the decks, you need to pay careful attention to what cards end up in your Clock, either by damage or by Clocking them. If you start with high Level cards you can Clock them immediately and then not need to worry about Experience requirements for the rest of the game. Just be careful not to get Colour locked or missing Experience if you get stuck on 0/6.
For decks which need more than one card in the Level slot, it can be important to hold onto cards until later, so you can Clock them during Level 1. You don’t want all your Level 3 cards in your Clock at Level 0, or both of the cards for Louise, since only one at a time can enter your Level.
Thank you for reading, and hope you’ll come back for future articles. I’m starting to run out of keywords and general effects, so if anyone has any suggestions for future articles, please let me know.