---------------------------------
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Advanced Deck Building Guide
---------------------------------

Written by: 9°Kirsdarke!

Table of Contents

Part A: In the beginning...
  A.0 Version History
  A.1 About this Guide

Part B: Advanced Building Basics
  B.0 Leveling Up
  B.1 The Keyblades
  B.2 Magic and Summons
  B.3 Item Cards
  B.4 Enemy Cards
  B.5 Premium Cards
  B.6 Sleights

Part C: Building your Deck
  C.0 Deck Styles
  C.1 What 0 can do for you
  C.2 Making the right choices
  C.3 The Boss Deck

Part D: The Conclusion
  D.0 Contact Info
  D.1 Credits
  D.2 Legal Stuff


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part A: In the beginning...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well you know what happened next.

--------------------
A.0 Version History
--------------------

9/26/06 Version 1.0
Original Gamefaqs submission.


---------------------
A.1 About this Guide
---------------------

Welcome to my second guide! This guide goes out to all the tired, frustrated
and downright murderous people the Chain of Memories tends to create. I am here
to (hopefully) save the day and save you from yourself.

Also please this is my first crack at writing a guide to help people play a
game better. I've worked very hard to ensure that this guide is as good as
possible. If however you have played this game and disagree with my tactics, I
would like you to let me know. Preferably in the nicest way possible. I like to
listen to all opinions concerning my tactics.

PLEASE note this is NOT a deck list! All of the tactics below are to HELP you
build the ultimate deck by providing all of the info you need to make good
card choices, and also some strategies to help you build with what cards you've
got.

Now that I've said my piece here's where you start the copy/paste.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part B: Advanced Building Basics
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advanced basics? I believe that's an oxymoron...

----------------
B.0 Leveling Up
----------------

Since Chain of Memories revolves around your deck, leveling up does not play as
huge a role as it normally does in other RPG's. However leveling up should
neither be neglected nor ignored. The choices you make early in the game will
have a huge impact on the way you will battle the later bosses. 

Every time you level up, you are given the choice between one of three options:
Level up HP, Level up CP, or learn new sleight. As I said the decisions you
make will affect you greatly in the end.

Leveling up HP increases your Hit Points by 15. Obviously this is good because
it means that Sora can take more damage than he could before. Leveling up CP
increases your Card Points by 25. This allows you to have either more cards
or better ones. Sleight allows you to learn a new combo that can then be used
in battle. It's worth noting that even if you know a certain sleight combo, it
cannot be used in battle until you learn it in the game.


So now that you know what each option does, what do you do now?

Well first every time you are given the option of learning a new sleight, do
it. Sleights are more powerful that basic attacks and thusly increase your
battle strength immediately. If for some reason you miss a sleight don't panic.
The game keeps the sleight there for you to learn until you want to. All other
sleights you could have learned in that time are then stacked up so you can
learn them all in a row.

If for some reason you find a sleight you don't want and try to avoid it for
later and better sleights you can forget that right now. The game does not pick
and choose the order that you learn new sleights so trying to skip Slide Dash
until you want to learn Ragnarok simply won't work. Sorry :)


So how does do I decide between HP and CP?

Well many people think that the best way to go is a 1:1 HP to CP ratio is best
because it's the most balanced. Although this technique works fine early on,
it's inherent weaknesses become very obvious way to late. I very strongly
recommend at least a 1:3 HP to CP ratio. Well hear me out.

As I've said, the main theme of the game is cards. CP controls the number and
power of cards you can have in your deck. If you have more CP then you can have
more cards. The lack of HP that you have late in the game is easily surpassed
by the strength of your deck.

The problem with a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio is that late in the game you'll be acquiring
some great cards. However your lack of CP severely limits the number of cards
you can have and even the strength. A deck full of Ultima Weapons costs a
significant amount of CP more than a deck full of say Olympia. If you've been
religious about staying 1:1 you are not going to have anywhere near the CP
required to have a high level, high strength and or a high number of cards.
You're pretty much going to have to pick between one of those three as to what
kind of deck you want.


But wait... I don't have any HP!

So back to this point. While many see lack of HP as a game killer, a good
player sees a great advantage in it. It's true: less HP means you can take
less damage from enemies and requires a much faster response time to
danger. If you haven't trained up your own game skills you might have a
very tough time with this. I wouldn't recommend you try this on your first
playthru of the game. If you're on your second or third you're probably
good.

Other than quickly responding to dangerous health problems the other skill
you need is the skill to avoid the damage in the first place. Read up on
tough boss battles before you fight them to get an idea of the attacks a
boss uses and how to dodge them. Avoiding damage is the best way to heal it!

But if you've got the skills then this route should make this game much
easier. With the lack of HP comes a huge surplus of CP. As I'm about to
explain later in this guide that CP is going to make you invincible.


------------------
B.1 The Keyblades
------------------

Since Sora does not have a strength stat his actual physical strength is
instead determined by his cards. Each Keyblade in the game has it's own
strengths and weaknesses that should be carefully weighed and evaluated
before you add it to your deck.

For example: The Ultima Keyblade is the most physically powerful card in
the game. A deck full of these would cut down any enemy in a matter of
seconds. However Ultima costs a huge amount of CP so you may be severely
limited as to the number of cards you have. 

Conversely the Kingdom Key costs hardly any CP. So you could have deck
with very little CP that has a lot of cards. However the Kingdom Key is
the weakest card in the game and makes battles very long and potentially
frustrating.

Here's a list of all of the Keyblades in the game with all of their stats:

------------                        ------------  
Kingdom Key                         Spellbinder
------------                        ------------

Location: Default Keyblade          Location: Hundred Acre Wood, Owl
Strike: D+                          Strike: D+
Thrust: D+                          Thrust: A
Combo Finish: D+                    Combo Finish: D+
Swing Speed: B                      Swing Speed: C
Element: Psychical                  Element: Lightning
Break Recovery: B                   Break Recovery: A
CP: S                               Required CP: B
     
-------------                       --------------
Three Wishes                        Metal Chocobo
------------                        --------------

Location: Agrabah                   Location: Olympus Coliseium 
Strike: C+                          Strike: C+
Thrust: D+                          Thrust: C+
Combo Finish: B                     Combo Finish: B+
Swing Speed: A                      Swing Speed: C
Element: Physical                   Element: Neutral
Break Recovery: B                   Break Recovery: B
Required CP: A                      Required CP: B

---------                           --------
Crabclaw                            Olympia
---------                           --------

Location: Atlantica                 Location: Olympus Colesium
Strike: C                           Strike: C+
Thrust: C                           Thrust: D+
Combo Finish: B+                    Combo Finish: B
Swing Speed: B                      Swing Speed: C
Element: Physical                   Element: Physical
Break Recovery: S                   Break Recovery: A
Required CP: B                      Required CP: A

------------                        ----------
Pumpkinhead                         Lionheart
------------                        ----------

Location: Halloween Town            Location: Traverse Town
Strike: C+                          Strike: B
Thrust: C+                          Thrust: B
Combo Finish: D+                    Combo Finish: B
Swing Speed: B                      Swing Speed: D
Element: Physical                   Element: Fire
Break Recovery: A                   Break Recovery: A
Required CP: A                      Required CP: B

-----------                         ----------
Fairy Harp                          Lady Luck
-----------                         ----------

Location: Neverland                 Location: Wonderland
Strike: C+                          Strike: C+
Thrust: C+                          Thrust: C+
Combo Finish: C                     Combo Finish: D+
Swing Speed: S                      Swing Speed: A
Element: Physical                   Element: Physical
Break Recovery: B                   Break Recovery: B
Required CP: B                      Required CP: A

-------------                       ------------
Wishing Star                        Divine Rose
-------------                       ------------

Location: Monstro                   Location: Hollow Bastion
Strike: C                           Strike: A
Thrust: C                           Thrust: D+
Combo Finish: D+                    Combo Finish: C
Swing Speed: A                      Swing Speed: A
Element: Physical                   Element: Physical
Break Recovery: A                   Break Recovery: C
Required CP: A                      Required CP: B

-----------                         -----------------
Oathkeeper                          One-Winged Angel
-----------                         -----------------

Location: Destiny Islands Boss      Location: Twilight Town after Sora game
Strike: B                           Strike: C
Thrust: S                           Thrust: C
Combo Finish: B+                    Combo Finish: S
Swing Speed: B                      Swing Speed: A
Element: Physical                   Element: Fire
Break Recovery: B                   Break Recovery: C
Required CP: C                      Required CP: C

---------                           --------------
Oblivion                            Ultima Weapon     
---------                           --------------        

Location: H between 12th and 13th   Location: Castle Oblivion after Riku game
Strike: A                           Strike: S
Thrust: A                           Thrust: S
Combo Finish: D                     Combo Finish: A
Swing Speed: C                      Swing Speed: B
Element: Neutral                    Element: Physical
Break Recovery: A                   Break Recovery: B
Required CP: C                      Required CP: D

-------------
Diamond Dust
-------------

Location: Castle Oblivion after Sora game
Strike: B+
Thrust: B+
Combo Finish: B
Swing Speed: S
Element: Ice
Break Recovery: S
Required CP: C

Other than CP requirements, There are three other important factors to
consider when adding a card: Level, Swing Speed and Card Order.


Many new players get caught up in only having high level cards in your deck.
The theory being a deck of all level 9s is practically unbeatable because
there is almost no chance of card breaks. But this is very untrue. A well
placed low level attack card can reek some serious havoc on an enemy and
give your deck a great strength boost.

In the beginning of the game when you are limited to only 2 or 3 Keyblades,
the best method is to have a deck filled with the highest level cards you
have. As you get some new attack cards with greater strength add them
in spaced out in your deck. Eventually you should have all of your weak
cards completely gone; replaced by high level strong cards.

Another very important factor to consider in a card is swing speed. Cards
like Lionheart and Olympia possess strong attack, but both are fairly slow.
This leaves you wide open for a card break or for the enemy to get away.
These cards are the exception to the low level/high strength rule because
of their ease to be broken and you'll be defenseless. Fast cards are strong
cards.

The final important consideration is the card order. Each card has a strength
for thrust, strike and combo finish. This is convenient because all of Sora's
combos are three hit combos. So se this knowledge to your advantage! Don't put
an Oblivion at the end of a combo because it's not going to do anywhere near
the damage it should. Put it either at the beginning or middle of a combo where
it's going to do the most good. If in battle your three card combos get thrown
off just do a one or two hit combo to get your balance back.


----------------------
B.2 Magic and Summons
----------------------

I'll bottom line this: Magic and Summons are the worst cards in Chain or
Memories. Sorry if you love them; this guide is about to get alot less fun
for you.

Unlike Keyblades, magic power does not change depending on your level, the
cards level, what day of the week it is, ect. The ONLY thing that makes a
magic card more powerful is stacking 2 or 3 of them in a sleight. Already
that puts these cards at a huge disadvantage because you already need 3
cards to equal the power of 1 attack. This eventually hogs up a lot of your
CP. Also all of these cards make shuffling through to the magic cards you
do need a huge pain in the a.. (ahem)

The other huge factor is that later bosses are all resistant to almost all
of the magic cards. So having a deck full of Firaga and Blizzagas isn't
going to do you much good against a boss that is totally resistant to them.


So do you like any magic cards at all?

I'm glad I rhetorically asked! As a matter of fact there are a few magics
I can't get enough of! First is Cure. Obvious. If you're taking the CP
route you're going to need a lot of these. I say for every 2 worlds you
visit add at least one Cure card. That way you always have enough Cure's
to perform Curaga.

My second favorite magic is Cloud. Cloud is about to become the most
important card in your deck. I love Cloud for his sleight, Omnislash. In
this sleight he flies around the ring and deals three massive blows to
enemies in front of Sora. A few Omnislashes can very quickly cut a full
health boss down in no time. Put as many in your deck as possible: you'll
be glad you did!

The other two optional magics are Tinkerbell and Simba. When you summon
Tinkerbell she automatically stays with Sora and heals his HP at set
intervals. This can be a huge help if you're facing a very fast boss and
you don't normally react in time to heal yourself.

Simba is the other magic card I'd use. When summoned he stuns/damages all
enemies in front of Sora. While this isn't much good against bosses it can
make regular enemy battles far quicker and less annoying.


---------------
B.3 Item Cards
---------------

Like Premium cards, Item cards are one time use only cards. All of the
item cards have effects designed to quickly get your cards back. Potions
reload attack cards, Ethers reload magics and Elixirs reload all of your
cards.

These cards can be a huge advantage in your deck because they a) save you
the trouble of reloading, b) can reload cards marked as un-reloadable and
c) reset your reload counter. If you have the CP its best to have at least
one of these in your deck.


----------------
B.4 Enemy Cards
----------------

Enemy cards are cards dropped randomly at the end of regular battles or after
many boss battles. Each enemy card reflects the strengths of that particular
Heartless. How long they last generally changes depending on the cards. Some
last for a certain amount of reloads, others for a certain number of card
uses. And even others affect sleights.

I think these cards are the most overlooked cards in the game. Many of these
cards have amazing effects that can instantly turn the tide of battle in your
favor. My favorite is Vexen which bestows Auto-Life, which does exactly what
it's name suggests. Other than Vexen it's best to use cards that reflect your
own personal strengths/weaknesses. One of my most common uses is Card Soldiers
which increases the swing speed for your cards. The choice is basically yours.


------------------
B.5 Premium Cards
------------------

Premium Cards are one time use only cards. Basically after you use a Premium
once in battle it will not come back the next time you reload. The only way
to recover Premiums is to use an item card that reloads all of your cards.


So if it's one time use only why bother?

Hmm good point. Well there are several advantages to using Premium cards.
First Premium cards cost significantly less CP so obviously they take up
less room in your deck. The second reason they are so great are for sleights.

Remember that in a sleight the first card used in that sleight is marked as
un-reloadable? Well, why not use a Premium card? Premium cards do great as
sleight starters because they cost less and save your other non-premium cards
for later. Also if you use a premium card later in a sleight it is NOT marked
as un-reloadable. So even a sleight with 3 Premiums will only lose one card.

So how does this apply to my deck?

The greatest use of Premium cards is in magic sleights. Think; you normally
use 3 magic cards in combination automatically to make your magics cards
more powerful. So by using Premium cards you can have a huge number of Cure
and Cloud cards and hardly use any CP. Doesn't that just make you warm and
tingly inside :)


-------------
B.6 Sleights
-------------

So as I've said, sleights are more powerful versions of your attacks.
Since they are more powerful attacks in theory they should be very
powerful additions to your deck. For the most part this is true. However...

Sleights can be hard to use. First because most of the powerful sleights
require very small total values. Ragnarok uses a value of 7-9. So in a
high level deck this requires 2 0s and 1 high level card. This gets even
more tricky when you try to do Ars Arcanum, which requires a 1-6.

Also sleights use up your attack cards. If you use too many sleights in
one boss battle, you are going to be in a massive amount of trouble. And
since later bosses all have a large number of 0s and use sleights of their
own many of your sleights end up being broken and your cards wasted.

Other than magic sleights, I cannot come up with any good tactics for
sleights. Consider this one a personal call as to whether you use these or
not.


-------------------
B.7 Aquiring Cards
-------------------

Now that you know what kinds of cards there are, where/how do you get them?
Well thats not the real question; the real one is how much time are you ready
to waste on this game.

There's 3 basic ways to get cards. 1 is through certain events in the story. 2
is randomly found in Treasure Spots in each of the worlds. What cards you find
change depending on which world you're in.

#3 is a real doozy: Moogle Shops. Depending on what type of person you are, you
may spend hours and hours on end saving for Moogle Shops. In order to purchase
cards from a Moogle Shop you need both a Moogle Room card and Moogle Points.
While the Room cards can only be found at the end of a battle, Moogle Points
are truly what you are gonna hate.

Moogle Points appear randomly at Treasure Spots like cards do. The best thing
I can say about this is that every time you leave and re-enter a room the
Treasure Spots all reset, making it possible to keep collecting points. The
best rooms for Points are large rooms: Teeming Darkness, Looming Darkness and
Almighty Darkness being the best of the best. You get to fight alot of
Heartless and get alot of Moogle Points.

So once you've got your points, you gotta spend em. Thats where a Moogle Room
comes in handy. Every new shop you open up nets you one free pack of cards,
and gives you the chance to purchase 16 new packs. Red are attack cards, Blue
magic, Green items and Multi are assorted.

But you probably knew all this already. So why bother mentioning? Well getting
Points and spending them are easy; picking what to spend it on can be very
hard. Do you save up for very long periods of time and splurge at the end or
buy every chance you get?

The answer surprisingly is both. Saving up Moogle Points for late in the game
is essential for later game play. You gotta have the cards to beat the bosses.
But it is also very difficult to NOT spend any Moogle Points at all. How can
you possibly beat bosses without any cards?

Well the trick is WHAT you buy, not how much. Late in the game you will be
given four possible options for what card packs to buy based on their rarity:
Low, Medium, High and Supreme. What packs are available changes as you progess
through the game. At first you will only be able to buy Low rare packs, but
as you progess you will unlock medium, high and supreme.

This is where decision making is critical. What to buy depends on
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part C: Building your Deck
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So now that you've learned the advanced basics now you get to actually build
a deck! Huzah!


----------------
C.0 Deck Styles
----------------

One of my personal favorite features of Chain of Memories is the ability
to have more than one deck. This gives you the chance to have one deck
dedicated to say enemies and another dedicated for boss battles. This
gives you plenty of flexibility to experimenent with new deck ideas because
if it fails to erase it and start over.

Basically there are two deck styles: Enemy and Boss. Enemy decks can be
whatever you want (for all you magic users) You use your enemy deck to
battle just regular enemies. Seriously whatever you want.

Boss decks, however, require much more thought. To save you the trouble I
have listed below some strategies to follow that will make any boss deck
a boss killer.


--------------------------
C.1 What 0 can do for you
--------------------------

0 cards are the most important cards in your deck. The reason for such a bold
statement becomes  very apparent late in the game. In the end of the game
bosses LOVE sleights. Unless you plan on countering every sleights with a
sleight you are going to need some method of deflecting these attacks.

Enter 0. 0s can counter anything as long as they're played second. If you see
a boss about to perform a sleight, just scroll back and play a 0. By the end of
the game you are looking for at least 4 0s with 6 being preferable.

The 0 is a lifesaver. It can knock off any and every sleight in the game. And
as I said bosses LOVE sleights. Riku IV is one of the most frustrating bosses
in the game due to his Dark Aura sleight. But now if you had a 0, and it just
happened to be at the front of your deck, you will have a unbelievably easier
time. At the beginning of any battle merely scroll past all of the 0's until
you hit your attack cards. When a boss gets ready to use a sleight, scroll
back one card onto a 0. Viola! Card Break!


-----------------------------
C.2 Making the right choices
-----------------------------

So now that you've read all the strengths and weaknesses of all of the cards,
you may be wondering where's the list of the ultimate deck? Well sorry to say
there is no such thing. The reasons are very
simple. 

1) Not everybody has the same cards. While I may be lucky and have
a deck of all level 9 Ultimas, not everybody has those kind of cards.

2) Everybodys CP is different. Even if you follow my ratio of CP:HP you still
might end up with far less CP then I have. I usually take my ratio all the
way to a 6:1 or higher, so I typically have far more CP then I actually
need.

3) Where you are in the game is very relevant to what kinds of cards you have
in your deck. You can't possibly have more than a few Cloud cards if you're
only on Wonderland and haven't even VISITED the Colesium. How could I
possibly expect everyone to have those cards?

4) I am a total lunatic. When I game, I get very into it. So while to me a
few hours of hunting down Moogle Points or a few hours leveling up seems
like nothing. I don't expect anyone to game even half as much as me, and if
you do thats great but I need to help everybody; not just the crazy.

5) Premium cards. I mentioned them, but people still don't understand the
importance of them in your deck. Premium magic cards will make you totally
invincable and will drastically cut back on your CP.

So if there's no ultimate deck list, how do you know what kind of cards to
put in your deck? Well the answer is one that you have already read! Every
single section above explains the different cards, their strengths and
weaknesses, and what kind you should have in your deck.

Use your brain! I don't know what level you're at or what kind of cards you
have. You need to make your own choices based on the information I've given.
I have below a great outline for an amazing boss deck, but again I do not
expect you to have half the cards you need for such a deck.

So reader, it really is up to you what to make of your deck. I've given some
great strategies and information to help you make the best choices. If you
follow my CP:HP plan then you fill find everything said here to be very
informative and helpful. Its up to you what you want your deck to be.


------------------
C.3 The Boss Deck
------------------

This is a basic checklist of what you should have in your deck. Again this
deck does NOT depend on your CP. It's give and take: if you have the CP,
throw in a few extra Clouds. If you're lacking, take out a 0 or a few
low level keyblades.

So here you go; your deck checklist.


The 0s
First you start off your deck with the 0 cards. That way all you have to do is
at the start of the battle scroll past them. Then whenever you need them simply
scroll back one and horray your 0 is there. Getting 0s fast is essential very
late in the game.

The Keyblades
Next have all of your Keyblade cards. Have all of them arranged to reflect
their own individual strengths/weaknesses.

Magics
These come next. Put all of your Cloud and non Cure cards in order here. I
recommend as many of Cloud as you can get in your deck.

Items
Next are items. Save these for when you really need them.

Cures
The last cards in your deck should be Cures. That way you can scroll all the
way to the reload counter and there are your Cures.

Enemy cards
Last pick an enemy card that most reflects your personal strengths.



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Part D: In Conclusion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I would like to thank the academy...

-----------------
D.0 Contact Info
-----------------

If for any reason you would like to contact me please email me at keyblade_
master_02 (at) yahoo.com or AIM me at skye0052. Unfortunately I don't check
my email enough so if I take a while to get back at you sorry.

------------
D.1 Credits
------------

Other than the academy I would like to thank Square Enix and Disney for having
the balls to do something nobody ever thought possible. Also a lot of credit
goes to myself because hey I wrote this thing. I think I've earned it.

---------------
D.2 Legal Info
---------------

This guide is to only be posted on 
Gamefaqs.com
Neoseeker.com
SuperCheat.com

If you wish to put this guide on your site contact and I'll let you know.
I'd say you've got a good chance though; any publicitity is good for me.
This guide is not to be reproduced for profit; only personal use. But you
wouldn't even think of doing something like that, would you. :)

Copyright Cody Trombley 2006