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Simple negative strategy notes for policy debate

Lets take a look at your strategic options……

Disad strategies alone


Strategic note:
• Disad + Case
• Disad + Counterplan
• Disad + Counterplan + Case

One and two are about equal (in the list of 3). Although 2 might have a slight edge. Note: this is just a general rule. If the counterplan ground on a part. But 3 is likely to be most advantageous.
Also note: the case strategy should be assembed to be ready to adjust to the inevitable ways in which the aff with probably be able to legitimately claim to solve something like hege or econ or environment or softpower better than the aff (ie it sends a better signal or coordinates better or gets better international modeling).

And disad strategies with “turns the case” are even more successful in each one of those cases–particularly in the context of impact comparison which actually isolates the impact filters the negative is likely to win…..and minimizing and/or accessing the ones its not likely to win.

Disad alone strategies almost always loose? Why?
1. The aff has better evidence. Its more specific & it has better internal links
2. Try or die & inevitability. Remember there are 2 core parts of the aff. Solvency plus harms. Disads only really generally speak to one of those.
3. Disads tend to be more one shot type harms, which have a timeframe and sometimes impact advantage

The counterplan makes large parts of the aff go away. It creates agreement–and focuses the debate to a place that is more like negative ground. This gives the negative much, much better advantages–assuming there is:
1. topic specific literature (or semi-topic specific literature)
2. a process counterplan the neg is good at running and defending (ie answering abuse/fairness claims & answering the permutation debate).

If all of the above…..seems to be at a loss… of the following is likely to work (or potentially could work)
1) backfile check
2) go for critique + alternative + framework.

Lesson learned:

Start with a winning strategy:
1. Disad + counterplan + case
2. Critique + alternative + framework
3. Backfile check (often means impact turn–like malthus, hege bad, de-dev, etc… ). Obviously certain backfile checks need to be used with impact takeouts/turns, etc.. to the other advantages.

Add 2 things:
1. Disad turns the case. Disad access the case. Ideally with a combination of cards & analytical reasons (ie a world of declined hegemony would mean….X, Y, and Z about the case. Our evidence speaks to how G, H, and I occur which would prevent solvency and/or make the problem worse).
2. Impact comparison which focuses on your strengths, while answering your weaknesses.

This is strategy at the meta-level for the negative. Pure and simple. Otherwise you will lose to semi-decent teams that can say the words “try or die” or otherwise prove your disad inevitable–and that the aff has a little risk of solving it.

I would build everyone of my strategies around these principles. Sure, you can win on theory or topicality–but thats generally only with:
a) bad teams
b) teams that blatantly violate the resolution (ie they are extra-team or run a rather squirrelly case which isn’t a core part of the resolution).
Otherwise, on topicality……you are devoting your time to research & strategy poorly…..

Don’t build your strategies so that you can only beat bad teams with them. Thats just silly. That means that the 70% of other teams will likely beat you.


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