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[Character Guide] Time Enough for Love: Thoughts on Geiger


#1

This guide was written by princess @deluks917 and princess ratxt1

To be honest calling this a guide would be somewhat odd. Parts of it basically are a guide. Other parts of it are rather inconclusive but interesting (to us) analysis. Certainly a more careful modeling might get dramatically more accurate results. What this write up really represents is what we would be thinking about in a general and in particular mus. What we think is good or what seems like it its worth exploring. How much our thoughts on this is useful is not entirely clear. Hopefully no one takes this guide as the definitive word on the character, its really just an exploration of what we are thinking. Anyway here is what we have. Hope at least it is maybe interesting!

The Basics:

1) Ok lets start with the obvious dynamic in a ton of MUs.

Geiger likes to block. Why? There are many reasons:

a) - Geiger’s AA+A+A is extremely great. Especially if you can pump it. And especially vs his hardest mus (Menelker/setsuki/Perse who have 70-75 life). Having a 0.0 that “almost” beats other 0.0’s (you take 6-10 and maybe discard, they take 20) totally changes how geiger can play. Of course powering up to consistently have it requires alot of cards. Besides AA he just has K for a fast attack effect so he badly needs Cycloid revolution.

b) If Geiger has a decent hand temporal distortion is an exceptionally strong effect. If he has a “good” hand the effect is unbelieveable. If geiger’s hand is small/bad the effect does rather little :(. There is more on how to play TD later.

c) Jack Spiral into throw costs more cards than throwing normally. Throw->J is 15. J->throw is 10. Q is only 13 vs 10 but Q is a significantly less “safe” combat card in many mus.

2) Obvious Question - If Geiger likes/needs to block so much can’t they just throw alot and win?

Answer: I think in most MUs you have actually have more than sufficient counterplay.

One obvious point is that while early spirals are not the ideal way to punish block they are an incredible way to punish a block/throw range. Most characters cannot avoid blocking a fair amount early. And do not reliably have methods to follow up throw after throw. So Spirals are great in most mus. The potential issues are characters who can play throw spam backed up with either attacks or dodges. This means basically Sets/Gwen/Perse/Zane and depending on hand Degrey and possibly Menelker (more so degrey).

You also have the normal resources. Early/earlyish game K can be very effective (ideally you have AA later). Throwing out normals is another good option vs block throw. And if they are throwing enough its good even vs someone who is not going to block much… One thing that is VERY sweet if it hits is gold burst. Geiger with AA in hand suddenly becomes super threatening. However you really don’t want to do more of this stuff than necessary (except normal early which is fine) to make blocking a good option. Also remember in most mus your 7 throw is still the second fastest and can be used defensively vs there throws if you are careful (if its not the second fastest it is useless for this imo). Extremely importantly they REALLY need to keep 7 throws for when you have TD. So you can get alot of mileage off 7 throw early.

Basically if they are a “normal” character who wants to block, not dodge, early you have fine counterplay to protect your blocks. And actually get in a good amount of early damage vs people who do not attack enough (by landing spirals). However if you are playing against aggro throw chars (sets/perse/gwen) you really do NOT have a solid line against throws. However such chars remember the number of cards you need in hand is mostly a function of your opponent’s HP. So if a normal hits you do good dmg plus cantrip. If two of these hit (or a normal and a K etc) they cannot really deny you enough cards to win. So overall you basically have enough have enough to handle throw spam. Though it may take some scrappiness.

3) Ok what about the REASONS Geiger is good!

This is partially explained in the earlier two parts. If you have cards you can build up a very good TD and AA is extremely good. In most mus it is actually very difficult to rush you down. With the exception of Gloria and perhaps Lum/Menelker you have better uses for cards than anyone else. So the basic game plan is “nice” mus is to chill out and have spirals protect you and maybe pick up some block dmg. Can of course also be aggressive a bit with throw and such . If you ever have a good number of cards relative to their life you have great tools to win the endgame. (vs gloria you basically try to kill her but this is easy). If a character does not have a good answer to this plan you actually have a great and pretty pleasant plan. Note even if I am explaining what I think the “main” thing to do is definitely play all options a decent percentage or your range is NOT sound. Really make sure no option of theirs is that favored vs your range. The one exception is often you can get away with blocking almost 50% if throw for them has fairly suboptimal payoffs.

4) Temporal Distortion

Ok so I want to first discuss the following situation. Say you have TD and have decided to only J a slow throw or to block. Assume the opponent will therefore win attack and throw ties, also they will dodge not block. So lets for interest assume a big enough hand the following approximate payoffs hold. But you have no reversals of your own (K or AA), or are unwilling to play them.

A D T
Jack -10 -10 +40
9Trw -10 +45 -10
Blk +7 +3 - 10 (getting thrown is worse in both cases than getting attacked).

The resulting NE strategies are VERY humorous.

Expected Payoff: EP= 2.03346203346
Geiger: 71% Block, 5% Throw, 24% J
Enemy: 54% Reversal, 22% Dodge 24% throw

Alternatively Geiger could use dodge over block. Resulting in a less extreme but similar situation.

A D T
Jack -10 -10 +45
9Trw -10 +45 -10
Dge +10 0 -10

EP= 2.94117647059

Geiger: Jack 24%, Throw 12%, Dodge 64%
Enemy: Rev 53% Dodge 24%, Throw 23%

Now of course this is little unrealistic, though I believe the dodge example actually results in something pretty realistic. But its not an entirely crazy model. And the ideal play it induces is fairly extreme. I would keep this in mind. If your payoffs are so extreme they are forced to reversal a huge amount even if they no it is less than 50% to work. If they are not doing this then to exploit you need to go for the TD combo even though it is not that likely to work. In some sense this makes sense to me. If anything but a small percentage of spirals led to big dmg then geiger would be truly absurd.

There are two major factors this model does not include. The less important one is they may not even have any throw faster than your 7. In this case basically they have no good range. The other important point is that you can play AA to beat (or at least tie reversals). Basically the net result is that if you can afford to play AA they are just screwed. Nothing is favored to work vs such a strong hand. This more or less justifies the fact that geiger does in fact have great payoff when he has a large hand. (oh also they can Gold burst btw, this is important). He is favored even in the models they have infinite reversals and you cannot AA, so long as your hand is big enough the payoff is sufficiently great.

A Note on Enemy Nash Equilibrium Numbers:

You may be wondering why I am giving the enemies ranges, shouldn’t I just keep those a secret, and let the pesky geiger killers figure that out on their own? Well actually knowing the enemy’s numbers is pretty important if you want to exploit an opponent’s range. If an opponent is playing something that isn’t close to the nash equilibrium you can use that to increase payoff a little bit and any edge adds up in the long run. How do you do this? Well it’s quite simple, look at what they should be playing (the Nash Equilibrium), determine what option they are not playing enough of and/or playing too much of, and increase how much you play the option that beats the option they are playing too much of and/or increase how much you play the option that loses to the option they are playing too little of.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way. lets consider the other cases (including reversals for geiger). These are Very favored for geiger.

A T D
AA 20 20 -15
J -10 40 -10
T -10 -15 45
D 20 -15 0

Geiger: AA 59% J 4% T 37%
Enemy: Reversal 29% T 35% D 35%
Expected Payoff 7.6

Here is the basic case where you have Cycloid Revolution and your opponent has nothing that ties or beats it. The numbers are fairly self explanatory I made AA running into dodge extra bad to account for you not just taking damage from the opponent but losing your AA as well which decreases your damage. I assume you had around 40 damage off of a hit which is reasonable to expect with AA in hand. The main number that can vary here is how much damage the opponents Attack does. It could be a simple mid damage ender like Troq Q or it could lead into a high damage combo like a valerie normal. The Above payoff shows what the NE’s are for the first case as you can see Geiger should Cycloid a little less than ⅔ of the time, Throw a little more than ⅓ and jack and dodge a negligible amount (the hover around 0-5% depending on what numbers you use). As your opponents Reversal gets stronger you should dodge more often and throw less. Below shows the Nash Equilibrium for when your opponents reversal does 35 damage the percentage is about AA:55% T:30% D:15% and if it does 45 damage (TPoS, not shown) it’s about ½ attack ¼ throw ¼ dodge (with more throw than dodge). Looking at the enemy at very low damages, they should be attacking dodging and throwing around equal amounts less reversal than throws, if you see the opponent not doing this play the option that beats the option they are playing too much of. At high payoffs their strategy will change significantly to one of attacking about half the time throwing about a 6th of the time and dodging about a third of the time. Again if you see the opponent not doing this adjust your range to a more optimal one against their range by playing more of the option that beats the option they are playing too much of…

A T D
AA 20 20 -15
J -35 40 -10
T -35 -15 45
D 20 -15 0

Geiger AA 56% J 0% T 28% D 16%
Enemy: High Damage Reversal 36% T 18% D 45%
Expected Payoff=4.4

Knockdown:

A T B
AA 20 20 -15
J -10 40 40
D 20 -15 0

Geiger: AA 26% J 30% D 44%
Enemy: Reversal 62% T 2% D 36%
Expected Payoff= 10.9

Looking at the knockdown case we see that it is much different than the case when the opponent is not knocked down and Geiger has a much more balanced range, as your opponents damage they can do off a Jack punish increases you should Jack less and Dodge more (wow something actually intuitive). On the other hand on the opponents side they should attack less the stronger their attacks become, this is something few people will realize which can potentially allow you to exploit their range.

A T B
AA 20 20 -15
J -35 40 40
D 20 15 0

Geiger: AA 28% J 23% D 49%
Enemy: High Damage Reversal 47% T 3% B 50%
Expected Payoff= 7.4

A Note on Arbitrariness: It may seem like the payoffs chosen are inaccurate or just arbitrary picked, but the amount of variation in the percentages when you slightly raise random numbers 1-5 points is not that great, and yes the numbers are a little fuzzy but these numbers are just guidelines you shouldn’t actually play the hard percentages, and since random number generators are illegal it is not feasibly possible to do so.

Now let’s go the final step and talk about gold burst. If you look at the numbers when the opponent isn’t knocked down you will notice that the range is VERY weak to gold burst, and to be honest I probably should have spent less time looking at the case without gold burst, but the making of this guide was a learning experience for me as well and I didn’t know that the optimal range without taking into account gold burst would be so gold burst weak (so all you meanies trying to beat up on This section will be less in detail because I assume you know the drill by now. Here is the chart with gold burst (or final authority). Also something similar works for the case where you don’t have AA but have K and opponent has something that beats K, or the opponent has something that ties AA. The payoffs on Gold Burst could easily be off because it is quite unclear how much it is worth on a win or loss.

! A T D
AA -10 20 20 -15
J -10 -10 40 -10
T -10 -10 -15 45
D 35 20 -15 0

Geiger: AA 17% J 26% T 23% D 34%
Enemy: Gold Burst 14% Reversal 25% T 0.31 D 31%
Expected Payoff= 5.3

And when they are knocked down

! A T B
AA -10 20 20 -5
J -10 -10 40 45
D 35 20 -15 0

Geiger: AA 27% J 28% D 45%
Enemy: Gold Burst 33% Reversal 24% Throw 43% Block 0%
Expected Payoff= 10.0

And here is the case against a character with a 0.0 speed reversal

A T D
AA 10 20 -15
J -10 40 -10
T -10 -15 45
D 20 -15 0

Geiger: AA: 57% T 30% D 12%
Enemy: Reversal 44% T 26% Dodge 30%
Expected Payoff=5.1

A final word on all this TD stuff. We did not PROVE anything. And the models we are using leave out alot. But I think some of the results we got are rather counter-intuitive. So I honestly believe keeping this analysis in mind is useful. Also we know we left out a fairly large number of things (such as using AA spiral side, etc).

5) Quick Rundown of Your Cards

2/3 - Mostly dodges or power ups. 2 is also reasonable as a “fast” normal in some mus. Be careful with these as effectively they are Geiger’s only dodges (assume you are not going to dodge with 4 much).

4 - Played as TD a huge percent. Basically plan to do this.

5/6 - Multi-use. Can block, follow throws (such as 56). Or use it as a normal.

7- Basically 100% throw in mus where it is at least the second fastest throw. Only use this for anything else in those mus in niche cases. If its not at least second fastest basically do what you feel like with it. 7 dmg is nice.

8- The effect of 8 is rather good late to keep up pressure. And can especially be nice if you can shuffle to get rid of unwanted cards. However in some mus you need the throw. I would not suggest powering these unless you have 3 or 4 (though on 4 they are def worth powering). Personally I think using a little over 60% of these for ability is good.

9/10 - Great to follow up spirals. Geiger has bad throws anyway so I throw with these alot. Also are fine blocks but in some mus need to preserve throws. Probably want to 5/6 block over these in general but its not a strong preference.

J - In the mus its good the card is insane and super important for reasons discussed in part 1. In some mus (setsuki/gwen especially) its almost 100% combo/TD fodder.

Q- Basically a worse version of J until at least late middle game. Then it actually has alot of upside. Also critical to a ton of mus.

K - An insane card. In some sense you both can and need to be willing to spend these earlier than one might think. You can afford to as you have AA later if all goes well. you need to because they put alot of hurt on rushdown. The KD on this is so insane later when you have the risk of AA on the next turn. Leads to some really great chances to even land Time spirals etc.

A - The Cycloid side is incredibly important. Often it was makes them dodge enough that your throw are even meaningful. Also stiff arms rushdown hard. They are hyper needed in basically every mu. AA Spiral though is good in some mus. Also of course having an AA in hand makes your TD combos have a ton of teeth (basically as long as you have AA the td is pretty threatening, if you do not its usually not that great). One thing that is worth noting is that frequently you are going to say “if this AA in my hand misses my hand sucks, maybe I should not play it.” But I think actually you still have too some percent of the time, but try not to overdo it.

This guide was written by @deluks917 and ratxt1


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