Choosing the Best Hunger Games Strategy For Your Survival

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Would you come into the game guns blazing? Would you sit back and hide in a tree until the time is right? Set a trap and take down goliaths bigger than you?  Admit it — as awful as it would be to become a government pawn and kill kids your age (or younger), the best part of the Hunger Games trilogy is grappling with your own imagination, figuring out how you would go about winning (or losing, you silly fatalists) during your time in the arena. 

This element is what makes Catching Fire the best part of the Hunger Games trilogy. With the games of the Quarter Quell bringing together 24 past Hunger Games champions, there is a bevy of new, colorful, sexy characters who each devised their own plan to win. Watching Katniss win in book one was fine, but hearing about electric booby traps, axe-wielding sociopaths and Finnick's abs makes book two go. 

That said, we compiled a list of winning (and some not-so-winning) strategies reaped from the first two films and books for you, tried to figure out what kind of personalities suit them best, and some basic tips ... just in case you ever find yourself in Katniss's situation, or umm, the movie theater on opening night: 

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The Champion

Only works if ... you're Katniss Everdeen.

Katniss's path to victory was pretty smooth. She's pretty and likable enough to get enough to get presents from sponsors, but she was also as skilled with a weapon and smart enough to realize that people like a showmance (romance on a TV show) once in a while.

Probably helps if you ... are good with a bow and arrow; are Ryan Gosling. 

Stay away from this strategy if you're  ... uncoordinated. 

Odds of living:  1:3

You are probably not this person. The person who kills you in the Hunger Games is going to be this person. 

The Brute 

Only works if ... you work out, and are good at killing people. 

In the first Hunger Games, it was Cato and Thresh who used this strategy to almost the very end of the first book. Cashmere, Gloss, Enobaria, and Brutus -- the cast of Girls who make appearances in the second book and film -- are all ruthless, very fit killers. The boys (and Enobaria) were all probably highly successful school football stars. Cashmere was probably a beast at field hockey. 

Probably helps if you ... are a gym rat.

Stay away from this strategy if you're ... more of a sidekick. 

Odds of living: 1:2  

This strategy is pretty good. Though, let's be real folks, how many of you are that  good with a spear. 

The Fake Weakling

Only works if ... if you are frail-looking.

In order to successfully employ this end game strategy, you need to give the appearance of being feeble, like so feeble that you can't really lift up an axe. People will underestimate you and string you along to the very end. Then, well... 

Probably helps if you ...are a sociopath or a Scorpio. 

Stay away from this strategy if you're ... a gym rat.  

Odds of living: 5:2

Johanna Mason used this strategy well to the very end of her games. She is also a psychopath. 

The Starving Artist

Works best if ... food isn't a priority in your life. 

There are some people who don't spend a lot of time thinking about their next meals. So, you'd think that an event called The Hunger Games would be right up their alley. They probably don't even know what hunger feels like. A modern day equivalent of these tributes would be someone who is still standing after 10-day juice cleanse. 

Probably helps if you ... are not thinking about tonight's dinner right now. 

Stay away from this strategy if ... you like dinner. 

Odds of living: 6:1

The books say there was at least winner who won just by starving out the others. Good luck with that. 

The Scientist 

Works best if ... you have an idea of electrical engineering. 

You're more active than a weakling, but aren't built like a brute. That's why you have to resort to things like traps to get your way. 

Probably helps if you ... are big MacGyver fan. 

Stay away from this strategy if you're  ... not smart enough to remember where your traps are. Being the first tribute to commit accidental suicide would be embarrassing.

Odds of Living: 3:1

Beetee was pretty good at traps. And his fellow tribute, Mags, was really good at making fish hooks. Being smart in this game helps. So does being active. And being a scientist gets you almost as far as being a brute. 

The Fox 

Only works if ... you are really good at hiding. 

In the first book and movie, we saw Rue, Foxface, and Peeta employ the tactic of running away from the conflict and hiding in the forest to various degrees. 

Probably helps if you ...  can paint yourself to look like moss. 

Stay away from this strategy if you're  ... bad at hiding or are prone to the church giggles. 

Odds of Living:  12:1.  

Rue and Foxface met their grisly ends with this approach. In Catching Fire, a pair of useless tributes called Morphlings were really good at this strategy too. The only reason Peeta is alive today is because Katniss not only carried him this far, but also forced him to change his game. 

The Sex Bomb (ESFPs)

Only works if ... you're good looking. Like really good looking. 

The most anticipated character in the new movie is Finnick Odair, whose special skill is the ability to induce instant ovulation swim, and look really good doing it. While he was a good fighter, part of the reason Finnick excelled was that he was so good looking that people wanted to donate money to his cause. That's how he got a trident to win his first Hunger Games. 

The Finnick road to victory requires that you be good looking. So good looking that someone may send a machine gun your way. 

Probably helps if you ... are Blake Lively, Alex Pettyfer, or Mila Kunis.

Stay away from this strategy if you're ... basic. Glimmer from the first book (the mean girl in the first movie) was only good looking enough to form an alliance. Then bees ate her face. Then she lost.

Stay away from ... bees -- or tracker jackers, more specifically -- that will harm your pretty face. Also, stay away from people you're physically attracted to. Part of the reason Finnick succeeded was because people wanted to sleep with him (which some did after the quell). If you start sleeping with people on camera, your viewers may not be so willing to pay for tridents and stuff. 

Odds of living: 1:1 

Odds decrease sharply depending on the symmetry of your face. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.