Arsenal Building 101


Once you get this, you’ll never go back to the way you used to think about buying balls!

I have discussed this in a previous video, see links below. but I thought about bringing this topic back and simplifying it for 2022. Give you a way to think about very simply. So everytime you look to a new ball, you will ask yourself where does it fit. Now that seems natural but once I show you this, I believe it will make sense, simplify the way you think about adding or removing balls in your bag but even more importantly think about which ball you will need in a given scenario.

Let’s jump right in. I previously talked about the following 6 ball arsenal building.

That includes: Strong Defined, Strong Control, Mid Defined, Mid Control, Mid Late, Specialty/Spare

Before you say oh 6 balls are too much, that’s fine. We’ll have a solution to that as well.

It’s a simple grid to start. Which will help you drop balls in. Let’s first start with a visual and explanation. On one end, you have the reaction shape.

I use the terminology Defined and Control and there are reasons but for simplicity, think of defined as Angular and Control as Smooth shape. I created those little visuals to help you remember. Then in the other direction of the grid I say Strong and Mid. Strong is meant to signify higher volumes and Mid are lower volumes.

  • So if you start here, you have 4 blocks that you can fit a ball into.
    • Strong Defined: a ball that can handle high volume that also has some angle down lane.
    • Strong Control: a ball that can handle high volume also but is rounder shape down lane.
    • Mid Defined: a ball that is cleaner than your strong defined but still has strong angle down lane.
    • Mid Control: a ball that is cleaner than the Strong Control but still has the rounder shape
    • One more shape I want to discuss, Mid Late: and this is a ball that adds a nuance where you want a an even later reaction than the mid defined. This will be for the least volume handling duties in your bag. It’s a nuance because it’s the first time we are talking about the actual position within a box.

So in the simple form, here are 2 examples of potential arsenals:

  • Storm Bag
    • Proton Physix as Strong Defined
    • Phaze II as Strong Control
    • Altered Reality as Mid Defined
    • Zen as Mid Control
    • HyRoad Pearl as Mid Late
  • Motiv Bag
    • Jackal Legacy as Strong Defined
    • Pride as Strong Control
    • Trident Horizon as Mid Defined
    • Venom Shock as Mid Control
    • Fatal Venom as Mid Late

Now there are a couple of ways to go: I want a simpler bag or I want more options.

The simpler bag would shrink this to 3 balls. But you have these 4 buckets with 5 options? Well you have to try to blend some characteristics.

3 ball bag for a higher volume house. You may want to make sure you have a Strong Defined and Strong control but your 3rd or benchmark may have to be some kind of blend of characteristics. So not too weak and not too angular. In this example, you have a Proton Physix, Phaze II, and Zen.

Now if you are on a lower volume house for example, here’s an option where you drop the Strong Defined since you probably don’t ever need it and you have the Pride, Venom Shock, and Fatal Venom. This enables you to get through a night of transition on lower volumes.

With me so far? If you stopped here, you should already know how to create a 6 ball or 3 ball. However for the nerds, it gets more fun and complicated from here 😉

So we have these boxes but balls fit along somewhere in these boxes, not always smack dab in the middle. Think about this. I dropped all 10 balls I discussed in the 5 ball bag from Storm and Motiv into one graph and here’s where they fit when you compare the to each other.

Within Strong Defined, the Proton and and Legacy may have the same strength but they are different in shape with the Legacy being less angular. Within Strong Control, the P2 is a little stronger but about the same shape as the Pride. Look at the massive delta I feel with in the Mid Angular box. Trident at the top of the strength in that box but less angular than the Altered Reality. Hyroad Pearl and Fatal Venom are distinct in their angularity even if about the same strength. And so on.

So now when you think about all the balls manufacturers are releasing, it can be easy to get confused. So for example, here was my recent discussion around the Spectre, Phaze 4, Phaze III, and Marvel Pearl. In this table, I can’t even effectively show you how close the Spectre, Phaze III, and Marvel Pearl are. And even then, I asked the question do I need the Phaze 4 with any of these other 3. So if you keep your arsenal thought simpler where you want one Mid Late Ball, my answer is an easy no, you don’t need but one of these. Does that make sense?

Let me take you through my bag to explain my thought process. I have lots of balls so can change at any given point but this is a real example of a bag I have brought into the building.

Strong Control is the Jackal Legacy. It’s got the appropriate strength but not so angular which makes it versatile for me on the left side for different pattern shapes. Strong Control is the Rogue Assassin. A clear step down from the Legacy in strength and still has some angle. It’s not far right in terms of smoothness if you notice. Mid Defined is the Altered Reality because I like the heavy rolling nature with the clean look so I want the bang down lane so choose a more angular look there. The Mid Control is the Venom Shock. As you can see it really comes close to the crossroads meaning it really close to the middle of everything. That’s where benchmark balls tend to fit. Finally the Iron Forge as my mid late. I don’t need the weaker stuff like the Fatal Venom or Hyroad Pearl for the most part and the Iron Forge still has a heavy core I can rely on down in the bottom of my bag.

With all this being said, don’t forget your spare ball. Either polyester, urethane, or throw your strike ball straight, it’s the most underappreciated ball in the bag!

Thanks for watching this tutorial. I wanted to revive this and really help you all think about your arsenal and any ball I review in this manner. Where does it fit. I know there are lots of cool looking balls coming out all the time but at the end of the day while there may not be a finite ball reaction shape manufacturers can create, there is a finite amount of spaces and truly useful shapes to select from.