Misdrop Fixation

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Misdrop Fixation

Post  SirJeivus on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:07 pm

What is a Misdrop?

Misdrop, abbreviated as MD, is placing a piece where you did not want to place, causing an undesirable gap or slant in your stack and in general leading to a downright mess. Misdrops are often caused by:

Hasty play
Bad Finesse
Hesitation or lack of concentration
Game lag
Misdrops are never wanted, but it's important to know how to address them appropriately. In high level matches (ie: Blink vs Hebo), a single misdrop from one player will allow the other to take advantage and win that individual game.

An example of a Misdrop is the classic stick misdrop, here:


Although this MD is not severe, the opponent now has some time to try and pressure you before your next I piece comes.

Classes of Misdrops

Class A:

Class A MDs are easily fixed by tucking a piece in. Although the least severe of the MDs, some time is lost by soft dropping the piece. All in all, not a big deal.

Example: http://tinyurl.com/6vbtlhy

Class B:

Class B MDs are those that can be fixed using all-spins. Can be difficult for those who don't know all-spins, though. If you don't know all-spins, this instantly becomes a Class D.

Example: http://tinyurl.com/88vqxrg

Class C:

Class C MDs are types of MDs that span over a large empty space. Horizontal I pieces above a 3W stack is a common example. Tucking things under would not resolve the problem. Also, do not try to soft drop and start your combo. This is because it is very slow to do that, and the overhanging L piece will cause problems if your opponent spikes you with a ttcomb or some large attack, leading to you being KO'd.

Example: http://tinyurl.com/7oaysom

Class D:

Class D MDs are the general case. These usually occur mid game when you are trying to ds. You want to clear these with as few pieces as possible.

Example: http://tinyurl.com/7gxw5pv

More on Class D MDs

There are general rules of thumb for fixing MDs. If you do MD, don't panic! The below tips should definetly help you out.

Tip #1: Always address MDs immediately.

Always try to fix the MD immediately upon its occurence. You can think of the affected rows by that MD as garbage, because it is increasing the height of your field by that many rows.

Consider this example. Notice after I put two sticks in the Tetris hole, there are two lines remaining because of that gap I caused. That is basically an unnecessary 2-height which could be the difference between surviving or being KO'd.

Tip #2: Stack around MDs, not above them.

Think of it as trying to liberate holes ASAP. If you stack above them, you have to spend time to clear the blocks above the MD as well as the MD itself, wasting precious time and leaving you vulnerable to attacks or spikes.

Tip #3: Use as few pieces as possible to resolve the MD

Tip #4: Try to use the MD to your advantage

Now this is really important. It's like how that saying goes, if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Consider this example, where I made a Class D MD by putting the S piece one more to the left than I should:

Example of preserving attack via TSD: http://tinyurl.com/7gbe54r

Notice how I turned that MD into a TSD. That way, I still maintain good offensive power. In most cases, a MD will either ruin your flow of attack and good opponents will pick up on that and try to attack you hard.

The above example is more of an idealized case. In most cases, I would turn a MD into some sort of small combo to at least partially block incoming attacks.

Example of performing a mini-combo: http://tinyurl.com/882urds

This case, although following through with my other tips, would not be good because you are just clearing a bunch of singles. Clearing singles by themselves does not send lines, and therefore cannot pressure your opponent or partially block incoming lines.

Example of bad MD handling: http://tinyurl.com/6wyqon4

Application of Good MD Fixing -TSD MDs

Ever get a situation like this?

Let us apply the above tips to fix this one. Minimal stacking above this, and try to clear it off efficiently, exposing the TSD hole below. I turned this misdrop into a mini-combo.

Proposed Solution


Do not panic when you make a MD. Try to make the most out of that MD by turning it into a small 3+ combo or even a TSD. If not, just aim for clearing it with the fewest pieces without stacking on top if it. Good MD fixation involves the above rules of thumb, or heuristics, and can be a game saver.

Keywords: Fewest pieces, mini-combos, TSD, stacking on the side

End for now.

Last updated: January 16, 2012.


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