I. Overview: Master Menelker is the personification of “playing to win” and he will utilize any means at his disposal to attain victory. He is unmatched in his mastery of the martial arts and can take on the form of the mighty Deathstrike Dragon, striking fear into the hearts of those who would oppose him. In Puzzle Strike Master Menelker is primarily focused on disruption. He forces opponents to change their general game play style and can take apart even the best of plans. Strengths: -Into Oblivion can be used to remove any chip pile from the bank that can threaten your strategy. -Bone Cracker can disrupt an opponent’s buying potential and can allow you to expect their next move by letting you see their hand. -Deathstrike Dragon is a really powerful chip that not only removes all 1 gems from your gem pile but also sends half of them to your opponent. Time the use of this chip wisely though as it must be trashed after you use it. Weaknesses: -No built in economy/rushdown/defence strengthening abilities means you will be less efficient at specific tasks against characters that specialize. -Buying combines early may hamper your ability to effectively use Deathstrike dragon but buying them late may mean that your opponent has already set up his economy and can efficiently retaliate against smaller (1 or 2 gem) crashes. Master Menelker’s General Gameplan Master Menelker’s general strategy revolves around disrupting and hampering his opponent so buying disruptive attacks with red arrows (such as Combo Practice or Sneak Attack) is often desirable. Make sure you buy a few 2 gems and brown banner chips to help with your late game economy and ability to play multiple chips. When your gem pile hits 6 or more 1 gems this is usually an opportune time to use Deathstrike Dragon to empty it out and send some gems over to your opponent unexpectedly. Near the end game (after using Deathstrike Dragon), buying combines and crash gems becomes very important for allowing you the ability to finish your game and attain victory. Be careful though, if you notice you are playing against a character that specializes in defense, build a strong economy early (as opposed to stocking up on attacks) or use into oblivion on a blue banner chip to remove a defensive option from your opponent. II. Puzzle Chips Chips Master Menelker Loves - Colour Panic, Hundred-Fist Frenzy, Pick Your Poison, Combo Practice, Sneak Attack, Stolen Purples Master Menelker wants to disrupt your strategy and attacks are the way to do this. Generally, attacks with red arrows are desirable so you can play more attacks and hence cause more disruption. Hundred-Fist Frenzy is a great brown to have because it makes your attacks even more disruptive and, should your opponent play nothing in his/her action phase to remove it from play, that will help your cause because it is a turn where your opponent is inactive. Be weary of what chips your opponent is buying early on in the game. If they try to buy lots of blue banner chips to ruin your day then focus on your economy or use Into Oblivion to remove the said chips. - Gem Essence, Roundhouse, Combos Are Hard, Punch Punch Kick Late game (after Deathstrike Dragon), Master Menelker will need a way to draw chips and gain black/purple arrows so he can make sure he is efficient with his action phase and so that he can crash gems as often as possible to make sure opponents can not mount a retaliation. These chips will help him accomplish just that task and Gem Essence will help him cycle out unnecessary 1 gems while still allowing him access to arrows that he will need. Chips Master Menelker Fears - Combo Practice, Pick Your Poison, Colour Panic, Ouch! Having no innate defensive chips, Master Menelker is very susceptible to attacks and can often be forced into inefficiently buying blue banner chips by characters that can rush well. Chips that force Master Menelker to discard chips will be a huge hindrance in that they will make purchasing good chips difficult and/or make his action phase very underwhelming. - Self-Improvement, Blues Are Good Very strong defensive chips that allow for ignoring attacks or drawing more chips need to be neutralized at any given opportunity or focus on building your economy and using late game purples to win you the day. III. General Tips - Though disruption is your main tactic do not be afraid to focus on your economy against rushdown or defense based characters. Deathstrike dragon can be used to clear your gem pile of gems and buy you the time you need for economy building. - Be careful when using Into Oblivion and make sure you do not remove a gem pile you may need at a later time. Also remember that Into Oblivion can cause Panic Time. - Bone Cracker is a very valuable tool as it will disrupt the buying power of your opponents but remember that as the game goes on having money (gems) in hand is not as valuable as it was in the beginning so don’t hesitate to skip using Bone Cracker if there are better plays. IV. Matchups: Matchups Master Menelker Loves Master Menelker is great against characters that rush him down and send him chips such as Jaina. His Deathstrike Dragon really shines as she tends to have a weak end game so beating her rush generally means beating her. Use Stolen Purples near the end game to secure victory. Matchups Master Menelker Fears Like Grave, Master Menelker does not have any glaringly bad match-ups but if one deserves honorable mention it is Onimaru. His Riposte is a great defensive tool that helps deal with Master Menelker’s disruptive tact, his Double Slash lets him keep pressure on in both the early and late game, and his Wartime Tactics allows him to adapt to any strategy you can throw at him.