Summary: Roark-L has brought up really interesting question. As a non-Attrition deck user, I thought it was great to see weakening of Attrition support with PSP version. But does it take to the extreme, where you simply won’t see any more competitive Attrition deck? Here is a quick hypothetical analysis.
What is Attrition Deck?
First of all, if you are new to the game (I don’t know why you are reading this blog to begin with) you may question what is Attrition deck.
It is what Asahara called Reset Deck. It is essentially a deck to focus out decking a opponent rather than defeating by occupying 5 fields.
How does it work?
You win by out decking so it means your goal is to prevent your opponent occupying 5 fields until end of his last draw.
21 – X – Y
There are total of 30 cards in a deck. First draw is 5 cards. So if the opponent does not draw extra card, there will be total of 25 draws before your opponent runs out of card to draw. This means at most the opponent have 25 times to cast a creature on to a new field.
Now opponent will not win a game if he only occupies 4 fields, so the last 4 creatures, you don’t need to worry about. Therefore, essentially the goal of Reset deck is to kill 21 creatures.
Now this 21 is absolute maximum that you need to kill opponent’s creatures. In reality, most players have ways to draw extra cards, which will reduce total turns get to cast a new creature. So if we call the number of draws that is extra to the draw phase, X, then your goal becomes 21 – X. Though I have no stat to get calculate true average or mean for X, I would say it’s safe to assume at least 2, most likely much higher. So now it becomes 19 kills.
As there are cards to specifically destroy opponent’s library, you can further decrease the # of kill. Let’s call this library destruction # as Y. You now get basically 21 – X – Y. Remember Y can be achieved by using spell such as 294. Elven Subterfuge or using creature’s ability such as 238. Tritonan Sacred Court.
(21 – X – Y)/4 < 5
As the name implies, the Reset deck is called so that rather than killing a creature by creature, it focus is usually to wipe a board at once. This not only allow for you as a Attrition player to build enough resource to execute the big move, but also it break your opponent motivation. Anyways, so if you were to take this reset approach i.e. wiping board from 4 creatures (check state) to none (0 creature), you need to do so for at most 21/4 = 5.25 times. This means essentially if you can wipe board for 5 times, you can achieve your goal. With X & Y factor, this may perhaps be able to reduce down to 4 or with great deck building skill may be 3. So question becomes what cards can do such? Calamity was a big one. Blinding Sky was also one in the Set.1 era in combination with Calamity. Biolith God or Diosokuri can do so as well. Unforunately, Biolith Temple no longer can be used for this purpose as it only has attack of 1. But in a quick glance, it appears at least 2 runs of wiping is possible with the listed cards.
How to achieve 2-3 more board wipe? I guess that’s where the challenge comes.
It is still not clear whether the all changes will completely make Attrition deck to extinction, but for me in a quick glance making a competitive Attrition deck appears now as hard as making competitive unielemental decks. I really hope with PSP version, we see many different types of decks with all being competitive depending on the player’s skill.