Content warning: profanity, non-literal statements. If you don't like either of the above then fuck off.

hey fuckers im punf

Ok so every fucker ever is writing a prismata strategy guide because they think they're cool. But I know I'm cool so I'm going to write one so you can be good at Prismata. (Not cool, though. Just good at Prismata). Why should you trust me? I dunno, why should you trust any of the other fuckers? I'm higher rated than most of them so if you care about that then whatever.

First off, if you:

Ok so I assume you know how to play prismata somewhat decently (minimum: beats master bot sometimes)

The most important decision in every game is how much econ to get. Everyone ever says this so I'm going to try to do a better than average job at teaching you how many drones to get. Everyone ever says: absorber size is the most important factor. I say: fuck them. Absorber size is actually a fairly minor factor. I actually have evidence to back this up (holy shit! A prismata guide that backs up its statements! That's a high standard to expect from a chess strategy guide, and here you're getting it in Prismata? How spoilt you are, dear reader.)

Ok I'll cut the shit and admit it's shitty evidence but still:
Base+Matrix is a 2 engi set
Base+Thurnax is a 3 engi set

The thing with absorb is that engineer is a bad unit. Really, really bad. Drone is the least efficient unit in the game, and engineer lets you buy drones. So you're wasting money for the privilege of wasting more money. Kinda like buying power cores on Prismata. The theory (everyone ever says) is that attack is bad because absorb is really efficient, so if you buy attack then they get absorb value and you don't, and then you're sad. So you buy drones because drones aren't attack.

Yeah, drones aren't attack. You know what else they aren't? A worthwhile fucking unit. Attack is really, really good. Don't think about how to defend. Defending is how you lose games. Attacking is how you win games.

Okay, so when do you get econ, then? The main case is: some op thing needs you to get econ. Op things include:

The other case to get high econ is: when low econ dies.
Dying is probably the single most important prismata concept that the other guides don't mention. The fundamental insight is: Low econ (in particular red) is great at attacking but bad at defending. A noob's instinct against an early rush is to try to get a lot of drones and walls to defend. Do you see the problem with this plan? You're playing into the villain's strength, trying to fight against his strong point of dealing damage. Far more logical to instead exploit his weakness. Deal damage, even if it means defending is difficult. You need fast damage, to force them to defend, which low econ is really, really bad at. Get fast damage, throwing caution and drones to the wind (forcefield is your friend). Fast damage includes:

Don't respond to rushes by defending. Respond with fast damage. If there's no fast damage in the set, then you probably should have rushed yourself, because remember: damage is good. Defending is bad.
(Also, don't take this too literally. Obviously you buy a fucking wall.)

Now that we've discussed fast damage, we need to discuss its opposite: hyperefficient damage. This is damage that, if not killed, wins the game. You might think this is true of all damage but it's not: you can totally get ten steelsplitters and still lose. But if you get four tatsu nullifiers, it is physically impossible to lose.

Hyperefficient damage includes:

Remember:

Now the third type of attacker, the least game warping but the most common, is the cheap utility attacker. This is the widest category, ranging from efficient to shit. I'm not going to go through every unit ever but hellhound and grimbotch are efficient utility attacker/defenders, while militia and iso kronus are shitty ones.

Another hyperimportant thing to consider is obvious combos. Here are some obvious combos.

Also obvious counters:

And, breachproof. In fact there are three possible things you can do with regard to breachproofness: you can go bp, non-bp, or pseudo-bp. Full bp you know about, you sac your drones and buy attackers and whatever. It's interesting because playing against bp reverses the usual paradigm: now the focus isn't on attacking, but on defending. Efficient soak/absorb make bp a lot weaker. A very strong unit in either category (say, plexo or centurion) is usually enough to make bp unplayable.

Pseudo-bp is trickier and warrants an explanation. Basically: you're not explicitly asking to be breached, but you don't care too much if you are. Almost always, pseudo-bp takes the form of a fast attack vs. rush strategy. As we mentioned earlier, when you're countering a rush you really want to attack, not defend. To this end you can often pseudo-bp so you can build more attack. This can take several forms:

The first is a major case and one that many, many players misplay. Iceblade golem and Hannibull derive a lot of their strength from going pseudo-bp against a low econ opponent. Sure, they could breach and kill 3 drones, but they can't afford to because they need to kill your iceblade in order to not die. Be sure to not overdefend when going for frontline vs. low econ.

I'm going to note another related thing here: Don't defend for +1 if you're not getting absorb anyway. Defend for =0, or occasionally even less. E.g. you have wall+engineer against four tarsiers and two thermite cores. Don't hold a drone! Again, many, many players misplay this.

Tech. First off, if you're going high econ, you don't care, you can just get everything. But if you're going low econ then you'll probably have to pick.

I'll go through a few units where one line protips are helpful.

Centrifuge
Only good for cheating things, otherwise useless
Chrono Filter
Ditto
Endotherm Kit
Fucking useless
Ferritin Sac
Stop buying this when you won't use the blue, seriously
Iceblade Golem
Cancer or not at all, getting exploited is bad so you might as well spam the efficient attacker if you do
Resophore
It's actually really bad
Savior
Get iff no. op defenders > no. goodish attackers AND there are no hyperefficient attackers
Steelforge
pls stop forgetting to buy this
The Wincer
Extremely good, need a very strong reason not to buy
Tia Thurnax
Never counterthurnax
Wild Drone
Get it in high econ, get it in low econ iff it gives you a good line (but not if youd float the 1 saved gold for a couple turns anyway). Also this lowers optimal econ
Zemora
Get it on turn 3 or 4 (usually 4), off a C/C line. Get it iff you would otherwise play a normal high econ line.




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