This guide was written by WaterD
Note: This guide is actually from version 1 of the game - however it is still considered a very good guide for learning Grave
The reason I made this guide is actually to annoy Grave people! The guide, while written as ¨how to play grave¨, its written with the intention of other people figuring out how to increase their winning ratio against him.
The reason is that I think is Grave is the char that stands out of the rest in terms of power, and while he is not broken or anything (is not like he goes around beating people 7-3, or something), its ridiculously solid compared to the rest of the cast. So, the hope is that people will use this guide against Grave. Having said that I also expect it to be a guide that helps new players that want to improve their strats and want to play Grave.
Disclaimer: This is my vision of Grave, and how to play him at his best, feel free to disagree saying Grave is about throwing people, have in mind this is My vision about Grave strengths, weakness and how to play him and against him.
1. The basics:
The most powerful move of Grave is Block, lets start with that. Grave early game block is really scary. Not only because its innate, but because if Grave builds a hand, it can become a lot of damage very fast. Grave is very card efficient, with many cards with 6,7,8 and 10 damage. More importantly, any pair can become a 12 damage ACE that is very easy to ditch, or all become the AAA for 45 which is 15 damage per card, which for a 45 damage hit, its fairly easy to ditch too.
The weakness of Grave is in certain way the Block too!. While Block starts the game very powerful, very fast it starts to lose Value. Grave is very card efficient but is not as efficient translating that hand into damage. So You are going to find yourself with a full hand, but not really able to translate that into damage. So blocking more its not going to be exactly great. It will increase your hand versatility with more dodges, counter, martial masteries and faster attacks/throws in general. But in the overall picture is not gonna be that amazing.
But the real major weakness of Grave are that his throws are not great. He has few of them, half of them with abilities he needs, and they arent specially fast. Also while he has some decent ¨ditches¨ for throws, like KK, 6J and A, its not as great as other throws in the game, and if Grave uses his abilities, and misses some throws, will find himself out of throws very often, nd its not hard to lose throws when they are 9.6 speed
The plan with Grave is to use his amazing blocks early on to get a hand and protect it with J and Q, the occasional A or joker depending on the matchup. A great defense too is 7 throw (8 throw too in matchups like Deegrey and arg). Then build a hand that is gonna be generally AAA based, and then proceed to hit confirm/Dodge into AAA or throw for KD or Throw for damage.
Thats the basic plan, but some matchups and players are going to demand deviations of it, but will talk about later. I think the important thing is to know what I consider the basic plan.
2. The cards:
2 A/D, 3 A/D, 4 A/D:
These are Grave dodges, and dodges are important to grave because of AAA mostly. So the main use of this cards are as dodges, but if you feel you have more dodges than you need they have other basic uses. the 2 and the 3 can be used as straight starters. But i wouldn’t really go for straights with Grave unless you are against throw heavy char like Rook.
As I said Grave do not have real problems to build a hand, so If you block with an 8, instead of a 5, because you have 356, and you are waiting for the 4, i think its a lot of the times a mistake.
My point is that straights is not a big part of Grave repertory against most chars, nonetheless if you start with 3456, yeah sure, try to land it. My point is, do not play really different cards because you want to build up that straight, you will find a lot by the time you do, you already have a decently sized hand.
As Hit confirm cards, I prefer 5 and 6. They are gonna beat everything 3, 4 beat anyway. The 3 is particularly nice, because in KD situations people tend to block with pairs. So there is merit to use 3 over 6. Yeah 2 is gonna beat some stuff, and is specially good against people that like to counter KD with their own straights.
But for the most parts 234 are dodges so the most important decision is generally if you have enough dodges that you can convert them into Aces.
5 A/B, 6 A/B:
The blocks: Basically they are the blocks you are gonna use, if you have them, you block with them.
A good thing about these is that they dont put a pressure on your hand. They are good damage on its own, very easy to to put into throws (I like to Throw into J6/5. ) I like them to Hit confirm into aces too, so i dont have to waste ¨dodge¨cards into it.
One of the hardest cards to play. Martial mastery is very powerfull ability. But throws are scarce, and this is the fastest. Against some chars is actually easy, Sets, Rook or Midori, just use as martial mastery most of the time, its not like the speed of the throw is gonna do any good. Against setsuki its good, but I find Martial mastery very good against sets, since she do not have many real options in hand in general.
Against the rest its gonna be hard. My Standard Rule is, I use them early on as throws, and later as Martial mastery.
I heard you can block with this one, but i never tried.
8 T/B, 9 T/B
The Grave throws, They are kind of slow, specially the 9, but hey, you need throws. Dont block with them if you can avoid it, and be really really really wary of changing them for Aces. You really dont want to get out of throws(you probably will anyway :/)
The most boring card of yomi, if he does something just counter. It can be a reallllllly desesperate throw. And a somewhat desesperate block. But its mostly a ¨discard if your opponent did something¨
One of the best things in Grave arsenal. J is unfair and actually imo, pretty braindead. I know some people are gonna answer to this but, its just a pretty brainless card imo, you have it? play it. Thats how it works early on, later on you just change it for Aces if you really need to but mostly just add it to throws or some weird KK6J combo, etc.
This is very important, if you have a J early on, while your opponent is still likely to play block over dodge, just play it. Dont think what the opponent will do, just J.
¨But my opponent knows im gonna play J¨ If you have it!. The point is that you wont get in inital hand J enough to your opponent to make anything of it. What he is gonna do? play faster attack early on? dodge?, Ok welcome, you are grave so you are gonna block a lot early on, like every time you dont have J (ok sometimes you are gonna pull a fast throw).
So, your opponent cant do much about you just playing J early on, he has just to accept it and move on.
¨Ok I J, he blocked , now he knows i have J¨ Ok this is a little more interesting, still just Block/J. Nothing your opponent can do, just mix it up.
There isnt much to say, super efficient card that happens to be 0.0. If you want an attack this is your guy. Also its one of the main ways to beat other people attacks late on. When you dont have dodges or actually instead of dodges. Try to pack them for late, when Attack wars are more common.
This is a weakness on Grave arsenal (thank God!), its still not bad at all!. Its 7 damage the card, and when you have 2, you can do decent throws and less than horrible dodges. Its actually pretty fair when you need a fast attack, and Q and A are on shortage. It actually beats or trades on speed many many things. I still throw it a away a lot for martial mastery or KKK for AA if it seems better. Have in mind KK for A in a vaccum its wrong unless you want to complete your AAA set. KK is 14 damage against A 12. Both can be combed into as easy. A is faster so it will win more as naked attack, but KK is two cards so if you lose combat you only lose half the damage.
One of the best Aces in the game, despite A for 12 damage and AAA 45 (15 damage a piece) is not that impressive compared to other effects of Aces (Blackjack, Bubble shield, Chromatic Orb). The versatility makes out for it. The A can be slipped in very easily unlike the named cards. even AAA can be slipped in pretty easily. Also their speed its pretty decent too. Dont overdo AAA though. If you try to much to save Aces to do AAA it can backfire pretty quick. If he is good at bluffing jokers, it can put you in more troubles than just Throwing into A etc.
If you stick to AAA or go to single aces its one of the main valuation decisions for Grave. If the opponents makes your life easy throwing around jokers, good for you, but against a lot of players its better to save the headaches after a few turns of AAA not finding its way and just start slipping in Aces in simpler ways.
Everybody have these!. Its pretty close between Golden burst and Combo escape here. Since his Aces are pretty strong. I think this is very match up dependent.
3. How to beat grave:
Well its hard to say because its very char dependent.
But I will start with what I think its the biggest tip. Combo escape against him. Grave have troubles to translate hand into damage. IF you have a decently sized hand and combo scape, make his life miserable in the late game. If you know AAA is coming, Bluff or joker. I Dont have the answer, but bluff him a lot, specially after dodges. And of course joker if you think he wont stop there.
I think the main weapon to stopping grave is Joker bluffs. They are a real real pain.
Outside of jokers, Grave have probelms early on against fast throws and blocks. So do that. If you want you can open first with somethign that beats J or maybe second turn if you think he is capable of avoiding your first turn anti J. Some chars its not worth it though. Just block. But Geiger can open J, Deegrey can open A dodge, Arg can bubble.
Outside of that Block/Fast throws combo are hard for Grave to deal with early on. Later on, replace Block for dodges/Throws. Attacks that only lose against Q are ok too. But really all this depends a lot on matchups.
This guide was written by WaterD