Due for an English release on August 7, 2015, Clash of Rebellion is the set following Crossed Souls.
Clash of Rebellion introduces four new archetypes to the game, whilst also giving support for some older archetypes which were in desperate need, like Red-Eyes!
Here I shall take a closer look at some of the new archetypes introduced to the game.
Aroma is an archetype which makes use of female plant type monsters who each have two types of monster effects. They benefit heavily from having a greater amount of life points than the opponent, as their effects only activate when you are ahead.
Having a life point advantage gives your Aroma monsters a continuous effect, which remains active whilst on the field until it is negated either by a card effect or by the user’s life points being reduced to a lower amount than the opponent’s.
The second type of effect these monsters possess is a trigger effect, which activates whenever the user gains life points.
Aromas gain support through means such as “Aroma Garden”, which is a field-spell card which gives the user 500 life points once per turn, during their turn, whilst controlling an Aroma monster.
This archetype has a major weakness against cards such as “Bad Reaction to Simochi”, which is a trap card that, whilst on the field, reverses all life points the opponent gains into damage taken, essentially turning their own abilities against them.
Here we have a new Pendulum based archetype, consisting of Fire-Warriors. Nearly all members of this archetype are normal Pendulum monsters with scales of either “2” or “7”.
This archetype focuses on destroying themselves through various means to then set up a mass Pendulum summon to the field.
All Igknight Pendulum monsters have the same Pendulum effect: “If you have an “Igknight” card in your other Pendulum Zone: You can destroy all cards in your Pendulum Zones, and if you do, add 1 FIRE Warrior-Type monster from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand.”
This archetype gains support through spell/trap cards like “Phoenix Ignition” and “Igknight Burst”, both of which enable you to destroy Igknight cards you control in order to add other Igknight cards to your hand. “Phoenix ignition” allows you to add one Igknight card from your deck, whilst “Igknight Burst” allows you to add one from the extra deck to your hand.
A good amount of the Igknight monsters are level 4 or below, so using “Reinforcement of the Army” will benefit users of this archetype by allowing the user to add Pendulum monsters of either side of the scale to their hand.
Performage is an archetype influenced by circus acts, which can be seen within the artwork of the monsters.
Currently revealed monsters within this archetype share abilities that prevent effect damage to you by negating the activation of those effects.
The majority of the monsters so far are level 4 monsters, so they will be easy to normal summon.
The highlight from this set for me comes from the support given to the Red-Eyes archetype, which was one of the very first archetypes released in the game. Red-Eyes were in need of some new support, since they haven’t had any for nearly 8 years running.
Clash of Rebellion changes the way Red-Eyes will be used by giving a lot of new cards to this previously underused, yet popular, archetype.
The main focus for these new cards will be fusion summoning the new boss monster “Black Skull Archfiend Dragon”.This powerful monster has 3200 attack with 2500 defence, and if this wasn’t already strong enough, the effects of this monster make him a force to be reckoned with. First of all, during the battle phase and when this card is in battle, the opponent cannot activate any cards or effects until the end of the damage step – this includes effects from the hand, deck and graveyard too. This effect enables this monster to attack without worries of traps such as “Mirror Force”.
“Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning” and “Red-Eyes Black Flare Dragon” are the new incarnations of “Summoned Skull” and “Red-Eyes B. Dragon”, these monsters are both Gemini monsters. Both of these monsters are normal monsters when on the field, then have very powerful effects when Gemini summoned, yet both still count as effect monsters whilst in the hand or the deck. Because of this, I would advise players to also run the original “Red Eyes B. Dragon” and “Summoned Skull” normal monsters in their decks, as this will be crucial for what is possibly the best card released for this archetype in this set, “Red-Eyes Fusion”.
“Red-Eyes Fusion” is an incredible card that allows you to fusion summon a Red-Eyes fusion monster by using materials from the field, hand or deck! That’s right, it uses materials straight from the deck, which could enable turn one fusion summons with ease.
Other great cards for Red Eyes are “Black Metal Dragon” and “The Black Stone of Legend”, which are both level 1 monsters which help the flow of the archetype.
Other archetypes within this set have been support too, although maybe not as notable as the support given to Red-Eyes.
Non themed cards
This set sees a lot of non-themed cards released for the first time, with some notable examples as follows:
This is a quick-play spell card which prevents either player from being able to add cards to their hand, with the exception of drawing them, until the end of the owner’s next turn.
This could be very effective to prevent the opponent from searching the deck for specific cards, such as by the effect of “Reinforcement of the Army”.
“Bad Reaction?” is a normal trap card that allows your opponent to pick a number ranging from 1-3 and then draw that amount of cards.In return for this, you gain 2000 life points for each card they drew.
This card could be very good if you are in a tight situation with low life points, or it could save you from losing during that battle phase.
If your opponent controls more cards than you have in your hand and on your side of the field combined, then you draw cards equal to the deficit. The maximum amount of cards you can draw from this card is twelve (if your opponent has all their fields filled, including their field spell and pendulum zones), as, at resolution, you still control this card.
This card is good for deck thinning and regaining advantage against any deck which has a large field presence.
I feel this set will be a very popular release: the new archetypes look interesting, and seeing Red-Eyes burn damage against Aroma’s life gaining abilities will be fun to watch.
Those who have been waiting many years for Red-Eyes’ support will be delighted to receive this set.
G Trial Deck 5 is on it’s way and will be our first glimpse of the new Link Joker cards. Messiah, originally seen as Harmonics Messiah (a Cray Elemental and the first ever G unit), is now the new leader of Link Joker. She takes many forms in this Trial Deck and will be getting another form in G-BT03. Despite this, Messiah is not treated as an archetype in this deck, with the possible exception of Neon Messiah (more on this later).
The new Link Joker not only focus on locking their opponents, but also locking themselves and gaining benefits from this tactic. Cards can lock each other to give power boosts to the users field. Further, some units have abilities that unlock others by force, which can also give power boosts. Coupled with these abilities are effects that trigger when a card is unlocked. This means you can gain power by locking a card, gain power by unlocking it, and finally gain an extra ability when that card is unlocked.
Inside the Deck
Alter Ego Messiah is the feature Grade 3 of the deck. Her on-stride ability allows you to lock one of your opponents rear-guards and gain +5000 power at the cost of locking one of your own rear-guards and counter blasting 1. This goes really well with her Generation Break: when a card is unlocked, you can soul blast 1 and draw a card. Because the end of stride and unlocking are both timed at the beginning of the end phase, you can choose to put your G unit back in the G zone and then unlock your cards, so you can use Alter Ego’s ability to draw a card.
We also get a Messiah G unit in this deck in Genesis Dragon, Judgement Messiah, who has a standard on-hit ability. It allows you to lock one of your opponent’s rear-guards in the front row and then unlock one of your units. This allows you to unlock the unit locked by Alter Ego upon stride to give that unit a chance to attack or boost. This ability was shown in the anime when Ibuki used Gravity Well Lady Battler to lock the unit behind her and gain a power boost, and then used Judgement’s ability to unlock that unit so she could get the power boost for free. This left a second unit to be unlocked at the end of the turn for Alter Ego’s draw ability.
The other Grade 3s we get in this deck are Astrobreak Dragon and Wings of Phenomenon, Wingmatter. Astrobreak gets +3000 if you counter blast 1, which can boost the attack power high enough to hit a 11k or 13k Vanguard if the unit behind him has been locked. Wingmatter, on the other hand, has a more interesting ability: when he’s placed on the Vanguard circle, at the cost of locking one of your own rear-guards and counter blasting 1, you can lock one of your opponent’s Grade 2 or less rear-guards. This means even the weaker Grade 3s in the deck can cause some of your rear-guard abilities to activate once they have been unlocked. Additionally he also has a Generation Break 1 where he gains +6000 power when attacking a Vanguard.
We get a good selection of Grade 2s in this trial deck. The first one to stand out for me was Sunset Edge, Duskblade, who is an extremely useful unit in most Link Joker decks. With his Generation Break 1 skill, when he attacks a Vanguard and is being boosted, you can counter blast 1 and lock one of your opponent’s Grade 2 or less rear-guards.
For defence we have Lightspeed Cheetah which shows us that we will now be receiving 15k defenders in Trial Decks. If you lock one of your rear-guards that isn’t being attacked then this unit gains 10k shield when it intercepts. His power is only 8k, but this deck makes up for this with Gyre Flower, Dark Chakram, our new 12k grade 2 for Link Joker.
All this self-locking becomes very useful with Awaking Messiah. When Awaking Messiah is unlocked, you can choose another rear-guard, stand it, and give it +2000 power. This especially benefits Duskblade because his skill is not limited to one use a turn. If you manage to hit with Judgement Messiah, then you will be able to unlock this card in the battle phase to make the most of it’s ability. Using Amnesty Messiah from G-BT03 would also be a great way to unlock Awaking Messiah in the main phase.
The Grade 1s in this deck are fairly basic. There may be no 10k vanilla grade 2, but there is an 8k vanilla grade 1 in Asleep Messiah. A 10k Vanguard booster, Protosun Dracokid, is included to add some offensive power to the deck. Our defensive cards are Lady Keeper of Virtual Reality, who is the perfect guard of this set, and Grab Hand Gorilla, who gains +5000 power when being attacked.
Despite this, we do get one fairly interesting Grade 1. Lockbreaker, Riddle Biter allows you to unlock a rear-guard when he attacks and, if you do, he gains +4000 power. You could put him in the front row and put Awaking Messiah in the back row; then, once you unlock Awaking Messiah, Lockbreaker gains enough power to hit an 11k Vanguard and Awaking’s skill can activate.
The second skill that activates once the unit is unlocked comes from the forerunner of this set. Neon Messiah, who shares her name with the movie, moves into the soul when she is unlocked and allows you to search your deck for a Grade 3 with “Messiah” in its name and add it to your hand. This card makes it easy and consistent to get the Grade 3 you want.
Beloved Child of Superstring Theory is the special trigger of the set, and can go into the soul to give +3000 power to another unit. This works well to set up Alter Ego Messiah’s cost of soul blasting.
Once again it can be seen that Trial Decks are getting more and more powerful. I hope that they make these kinds of Trial Decks for more neglected clans such as Granblue or Tachikaze. This deck, along with the next booster, G-BT03, demonstrates that Link Joker will be able to handle most match ups for quite a while, but it will still be interesting to see what kind of support Messiah will get in the future.
A prodigy from the rough streets of Zaun, Ekko manipulates time to spin any situation to his advantage. Using his own invention, the Zero-Drive, he explores the branching possibilities of reality.
Ekko is a high mobility, Ability Power champion who can be played as either a bruiser or an assassin. His high mobility, burst and sustained damage make him a great champion for both inexperienced and experienced players alike.
Z-Drive Resonance. [Passive] Ekko’s Zero-Drive charges his spells and attacks with temporal energy. The third hit deals bonus damage and saps the target’s movement speed. If the target is a champion, Ekko gains accelerated movement speed.
This ability is great for chasing down your enemies, as you’ll unleash devastating burst damage on your enemy and then be able to follow up for the kill. This ability will allow you to stick to anyone as long as you can attack-move.
This ability isn’t the best in the game, and it’s very weak if you’re behind in the game; this ability was created for when you’re winning, and, when you are, you’re going to keep winning.
Timewinder. [Q] Ekko throws a device that deals 60/75/90/105/120 (+0.2*Ability Power) magic damage to enemies it passes through. It expands into a slowing field on the first champion hit, slowing everything inside by 32/39/46/53/60%. It then returns to him after a delay, dealing 60/85/110/135/160 (+0.6*Ability Power) magic damage to all targets hit upon return.
This is going to be your poke during the laning phase, and will serve as your zoning ability to allow you to keep your enemies away from valuable members of your team.
Timewinder allows you to farm safely, and quickly conquer your enemies. Make sure you’re at full health for when the enemy finally tries to engage on you; you should make sure that you poke down your enemy’s life points before you fully commit to a fight as you are an assassin champion; you want to burst them down, then back out. Max this first.
Parallel Covergence. [W] Passive: Ekko’s basic attacks deal bonus magic damage to enemies under 30% health equal to 4% (+0.02*Ability Power) of their missing health (max 400 damage vs. minions and monsters).
Active: After a 3 second delay, Ekko creates a short-lived chronosphere at the target location that slows enemies who enter by 40%. If Ekko enters the sphere, he will detonate it, gaining a shield that absorbs up to 150/195/240/285/330 (+0.8*AP) damage for 2 seconds. Enemies caught inside are stunned for 2.3 seconds.
Cost: 30/40/50/60/70 Mana. Range: 1600. Cooldown: 22/20/18/16/14 seconds (based on progression).
The passive ability means that you will easily deplete your foes’ health pool before you realise how much damage you’ve dealt. However, don’t focus solely on dealing auto attacks – because you’re not a defensive champion, you will die relatively fast if you try to become an ADC.
The active on the other hand, is exactly why you’d want to level up this ability second, after Timewinder. Parallel Convergence will easily allow you to win many team fights with ease; having a 2.3 second stun on all enemies caught within the field is a game winning ability.
If you remember the Tempered Fate ability from our Bard review, imagine an ability that doesn’t affect your allies and still allows you to attack – this is what Parallel Convergence does.
Phase Dive. [E] Ekko dashes a short distance in the targeted direction. His next attack will deal 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.2*Ability Power) bonus magic damage and teleport him to his target.
Cost: 40/50/60/70/80 Mana. Range: 325. Cooldown: 15/13/11/9/7 seconds (based on progression).
This ability further allows you to stick to your targets, but can also serve as a good escape when you see a gank incoming.
It’s damage is minimal, but it is extremely useful in team fights for focusing on a specific target. Max last, as it is simply utility.
Chronobreak. [R] Makes Ekko invulnerable and untargetable, and teleports him back to wherever he was 4 seconds ago. Ekko heals himself for 100/150/200 + 20/25/30% (+0.03*Ability Power) of the damage taken over the last 4 seconds, and deals 200/350/500 (+1.3*Ability Power) magic damage to all nearby enemies on arrival.
Cost: 0 Mana. Range: 850. Cooldown: 90/80/70 seconds (based on progression).
Chronobreak is the ability that Riot has focused on to make this champion stand out. This ability is great for turning the battle when your enemy is chasing you.
This ability heals you, deals damage, gets you out of danger, and costs no mana; it is great for any situation, and can be used in combination with your Parallel Convergence to instantly stun the enemy team, but you need to make sure that your clone (teleport point) is where you’re placing it.
These are my masteries that are focused towards gaining damage, but granting Ekko some defence. For Ekko, I aim for Havoc for the +3% damage globally, along with Juggernaut from the defensive tree for the 3% increase to your maximum health.
I also pick up Arcane Blade from the offensive tree, for the bonus magic damage equal to 5% of your ability power to work in combination with your passive effect from Parallel Convergence.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
+4.95 Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
+0.87 Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armour
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
+1.19 Ability Power
The runes I use for this build are focused around gaining, and keeping the advantage against your opponents throughout the entire game, but you should aim to help your allies snowball to win.
Ability Power and Hybrid Penetration marks are optional here, but I choose to stick with a mix between the two. If you go full ability power, you always have the option of buying a Void Staff earlier to compliment them.
With Ekko’s unique mobility kit, the standard choice is to have Ignite and Flash.
You can of course pick Flash, along with Teleport, if that’s what feels right for you; it will help against champions that are going to focus on staying in top lane who pose a threat to your turrets, such as Nasus, Tryndamere, and Singed.
Early Game: During the early game, you need to focus on getting the best CS in your lane. You’ll want to make sure you’re using your Timewinder to keep the pressure up, and to keep up with the farm, otherwise you’ll need to be in melee range to last hit.
Enemies will try to dive on you while you are low level, because that’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. You can’t counter this without relying on dealing damage before hand from your poke.
The items you’re going to want are a Doran’s Ring, 2 Health potions and a Warding Totem.
You should aim to attack your teammates lanes, because you’ll easily be able to escape if it doesn’t go too well, or you can use your Chronobreak if you see an enemy approaching you from behind to lower their health pool dramatically, and potentially kill them.
The key thing to bear in mind when using Phase Dive on your enemies is knowing when your allies are going in for a kill. Don’t go in alone, only to realise that your burst isn’t sufficient to kill more than one person, and that you then have nothing left at your disposal.
The items you should have by mid game are Sorcerer’s Shoes, Lich Bane, and a Needlessly Large Rod for Luden’s Echo.
During this stage of the game, you’ll need to try to use Parallel Convergence decisively to achieve swift victory.
Try to use Timewinder on as many enemies as possible while focussing either their ADC or APC to potentially kill them or force them out of the fight. Your abilities will easily win you the game if you use them correctly: you can Phase Dive into your Parallel Convergence to activate its stun, instead of Chronobreak or Flash if you’ve previously used them to escape or to deal damage.
Teamfights are where you will contribute the most, with your huge AoE damage and CC abilities. You are a threat to the enemy team, and they’ll ignore your team to try and take you out; this is where you can heal up any damage with your ultimate, regroup with your team and quickly turn the tides of the battle.
End game items should be Sorcerer’s Shoes, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, and Lich Bane. Of course your elixir will be either the Elixir of Sorcery, or an Elixir of Iron against the more CC orientated teams.
For your last item, you’ll have the choice of either a Rod of Ages (if you buy it early), a Zhonya’s Hourglass, or a Guardian Angel, most of the time, I prefer to choose Zhonya’s Hourglass over the other two, simply because it gives me damage, and while in stasis, I can maybe get off another ability when I get out, or it can be used to set up Chronobreak for a huge burst of damage. Guardian’s Angel will be an option if the enemy’s team is comprised of 5 assassins.
Great at dealing with enemies from afar, and will leave you terrified as you attempt to keep even with the enemy’s CS.
The CC at Lissandra’s disposal will zone you out of your lane if you get remotely close to the creeps, and she will dominate your lane until you’re completely useless.
To counteract this, request a few ganks from your jungler. If he isn’t willing, or can’t do this, then try not to die, and gather as much experience as you can. Don’t think that you’re useless in this lane, because you can win it if you poke Lissandra down before she pokes you.
Simply, this is a range issue: Caitlyn’s Auto Attack range is double that of Ekko’s Phase Dive, so you won’t be getting anywhere close to Caitlyn, but even if you did, she’ll simply use her 90 Caliber Net to get knocked back, and will continue her onslaught.
Just keep trying to get onto Caitlyn with the jump you get from using Phase Dive on your next auto attack. Sooner or later, she’ll slip up, and you’ll likely kill her from full health.
Gnar has the ability to attack you from range, and then gain a massive buff that changes his abilities dramatically and turn himself into a melee champion. You will need to know when to attack, because Gnar’s damage output can leave you speechless.
Yes, your Timewinder does a lot of damage, but so does his entire kit. Stay away from walls, and poke him down enough to the point where a kill is possible.
Parallel Convergence [W] is an exceptional ability, considering it is a basic ability.
Insane CC possibilities – allows you to choose your fight.
High poke damage throughout all phases of the game.
Can work well with the summoner spells Flash/Teleport, instead of the usual Flash/Ignite.
Overall short ranged – hard to survive against certain match-ups.
Parallel Convergence can easily be avoided.
As an assassin, you need to stay away from the centre of a fight, and pick off your targets one by one.
Ekko is a very versatile champion, and should be feared throughout the game. He shines in the Middle and Top lanes, and has the possibility of helping your team snowball. Your auto attacks deal a lot of damage, along with the rest of your kit, and you shouldn’t under-estimate your ability to deal damage, but you shouldn’t get over-confident either, because you’re a very squishy champion. More often than not, you’re going to struggle to obtain creep score (CS), but don’t let this put you off this champion, because you’ll easily be able to win your lane versus your opponents, with your highly damaging poke, and the ability to escape from fights with ease.
Thank you for reading!
Luke – Big Orbit Games.
Big Orbit are a hobby games retailer that specialises in the sale of individual trading cards and game components – Big Orbit also runs a Gaming venue in Evesham, Worcs, UK.
Shadow Paladin have come into the G series with a bang. Along with the upcoming main booster set (G-BT03 Sovereign Star Dragon) we also get a new type of Trial Deck named the Legend Deck. It is believed that it’s named as such because nearly all the cards in it are old characters from Shadow Paladin, such as Blaster Dark, Phantom Blaster Dragon or Nemain. This is also backed up with it being called “Ren Suzugamori” who was a big part of the original series in the anime. Ren being on the cover may also indicate that he will be coming back into the anime as a major character and that we may get other Legend Decks for other characters such as Kai and Aichi.
This Legend Deck is made to be a more competitive version of a Trial Deck, and seeing as the Trial Decks are getting a lot more powerful, that’s saying a lot. This deck focuses a lot on the Blaster sub-clan, but not so much that it’s completely useless at making other decks – a lot of these cards can work in other decks and will even work with the new Shadow Paladin cards coming out in G-BT03.
Inside the Deck
Blaster Dark “Diablo” is thought of as the main Grade 3 of the deck with his Generation Break 2 and Break Stride abilities. This is the first card to have a Break Stride ability that only works with a specific card, this card being Dark Dragon, Phantom Blaster “Diablo”. This could be to represent the old Ride Chain between these two characters, but it proves to be a slight problem with Phantom Blaster “Diablo”, as he needs two face-up cards in the G zone to activate his ability. Luckily, Phantom Blaster “Diablo” has a G Persona Blast, but for the first turn striding you may prefer to stride something else, preferably Dark Knight, Grim Recruiter or Dark Knight, Efnysien (who comes out on the same day in Fighter’s Collection 2015).
When you do stride Phantom Blaster “Diablo”, you can reap some benefits even if you do decide to stride him on the first turn. When Blaster Dark “Diablo” uses his Break Stride ability, if it is Phantom Blaster “Diablo” who strides over him, you can choose an opponents rear-guard and retire it, which recalls Blaster Dark’s old retiring ability. Along with that, his Generation Break 2 makes every card +3 Grade when paying for a stride with “Blaster” in it’s name, meaning that you can use a Grade 0 to pay for the cost of the stride.
Phantom Blaster “Diablo” himself is a very powerful G unit. If you Counter Blast 1 and G Persona Blast then you can gain an extra 10k power and +1 crit; you also gain the ability to retire three of your own units when attacking in exchange for forcing your opponent to either retire two of their own rear-guards or else lose the ability to guard from their hand until the end of the battle. This being specifically your skill means if your opponent has any cards with resist, or if they have Stamp Sea Otter in their rear-guard circles, then those cards can’t be retired by this skill. If your opponent can’t retire enough, owing to resist, or by not having enough rear-guards, then that means they can’t fulfil their part of the cost with the result that they won’t be able to guard from hand. This is particularly strong against certain Murakumo decks and if you are against another Shadow Paladin deck.
Although Blaster Dark is very well known throughout the series, he’s always had loyal and hardy followers. Two of the characters that have appeared in many decks with Blaster Dark are Dorint and Claudas, who both get new versions in this deck. Intense Fighting Knight, Dorint and Hard Fighting Knight, Claudas now not only work with Blaster Dark but also with each other. Dorint is now a Grade 2 with a Generation Break 1 who gains +2000 when you have a Grade 3 Vanguard with “Blaster” in its name, and can Counter Charge one if he’s being boosted by Claudas. The great thing about this is that he doesn’t have to hit, he just has to attack the Vanguard for the Counter Charge to happen. With Phantom Blaster, however, it’s likely that you will be retiring Claudas or Dorint with his skill, so try to use this as much as you can while they both remain together. Claudas also has a Generation Break 1 which also needs a Grade 3 “Blaster” Vanguard to get +2000 power, and if he’s boosting Dorint he gets another +2000. Together, this will make a column of 22k power and a free Counter Charge.
Outlaw Shield, Mac Lir takes advantage of the Shadow Paladin strategy of retiring their own units. If you have one or fewer rear-guards in the back row, he gains 10k shield when he intercepts, which is great against cards that won’t allow you to guard from hand with certain grades. The down side is that he only has 8000 power, but he’s mostly a defensive unit so this shouldn’t cause too much trouble.
Alternatively, if you decide you want to cut down on the number of rear-guards being sacrificed, then this deck provides Pitch Black Sage, Charon whose second effect allows him to count as two units when he’s being retired. This, along with him being able to reveal a Grade 3 from hand to search for a Grade 3 with “Blaster Dark” in its name, makes him a win-win card when placing him on a rear-guard circle, unlike other cards with a similar Grade 3 searching ability.
Along with Charon, Fullbau Brave also allows you to search for a Grade 3 with “Blaster” in its name and add it to your hand. This is a Generation Break 1, so you’re only going to be able to use it if you are already Grade 3. This is still useful if you rode a card other than Blaster Dark, or you just want more cards in your hand to be able to activate stride.
Young Skull Witch, Nemain is a Perfect Guard which is slightly different to the new Perfect Guard G cards, mixing her old drawing abilities with the Perfect Guard ability. If you guard with her, and there is another version of her in the drop zone, you can draw a card and then discard one. Being able to see what card you get first before you discard helps to choose which card you want to discard. If you wanted to, you could discard the new card you drew. As she has “Witch” in her name we finally get a Perfect Guard for Shadow Paladin Witches, but because Witches don’t need to Counter Blast many cards with “Witch” in their name and they don’t often retire their own units, a lot of people may wish to use Karma Collector, the new Perfect Guard G coming out in G-BT03.
Luckily we get a few cards that can fill up the rear-guard circles with Grade 1s ready to be sacrificed. Dark Night Maiden, Macha calls a Grade 1 from the deck if you Counter Blast 1 while she’s being boosted and she’s attacking a Vanguard. Dark Great Mage, Badhabh Caar has a similar ability, though he doesn’t need to be boosted but his attack has to hit. One other benefit to Badhabh Caar is that he can also call Grade 0s, meaning you could use him in Witch decks to bring out Witch of Goats, Medb or Witch of Black Pigeons, Goewin. The last superior caller is Darkheart Trumpeter. Her ability activates when she is placed on the rear-guard circle and requires you to have a Vanguard with “Blaster” in it’s name, but she also allows you to call a Grade 1 or less by paying one Counter Blast.
Owing to the the retiring abilities of Shadow Paladin cards, they have decided to break away from the rainbow triggers that they would normally put in a Trial Deck and instead have given us four extra critical triggers in place of the stand triggers.
All-in-all this is a great deck to get your hands on. It has power and consistency with the bonus of being able to use a lot of these cards in other decks. I would highly recommend picking this up, especially with the bonus of getting a promo of Dark Knight, Grim Recruiter to help fill up your G zone.
Fighter’s Collection 2015 comes with a little something for every clan, bringing them into the G series. All the clans that haven’t yet had G unit support get it in this set.
I notice that the clans that received a lot of support throughout previous sets have been allocated the GR spaces in this set, but it would have been nice to see the lesser supported sets get the GRs to give them the boost they deserve. Luckily, the clans that get GRs in this set miss out on getting a RRR, so at least they’re not getting a a huge amount of extra power compared to the rest.
This set appears to be structured so that each clan gets one powerful rare card, which can typically be used in a specific situation, and then a more common card whose skill isn’t as flashy but can generally be used more broadly.
All these new cards are G units apart from the grade 1, Light Elemental, Pica, which is one of the Cray Elemental cards, with Rain Elemental, Madu being the other. Both these cards are only RR, but they bring new life to the older decks in the series by supporting grade 3s with 10k or less power, something that many fans of old decks with be grateful for.
A lot these cards support old clan leaders. Cards such as Shirayuki, Leo-pald, Amon, Cecilia, and so on, have all been given some love, making each of these leaders stand a good chance against newer decks from the G series. This support begs the questions “Will we be getting more grade 3 versions of this character?” or “Will this card be reprinted in newer sets?”. Perhaps Bushiroad will release a set full of reprints of much wanted cards for all grades, maybe even bringing us the wonderful Doreen once more.
It’s nice to see that we’re getting this set so early. The previous Fighter’s Collection flopped a bit because it was a little underpowered and it didn’t really bring much to the table, but Fighter’s Collection 2015 gives us something fresh and provides great support for older decks.
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To compensate for Royal Paladins getting a lot of generic support recently, the only two units they get in this set are specific to certain decks. Soul Saver Dragon is back as Holy Dragon, Religious Soul Saver and her new version will only really work with Majesty Lord Blaster decks for the time being. If you have a heart with “Blaster” in it’s name, you can get that nostalgic Soul Saver feeling of giving three units +5k power. Another reason this works well with Majesty is that, if you have two or more units with “Blaster” in their name, then this gets +1 critical, making use of Majesty’s skill. It would be best to put Star Call Trumpeter in this deck to have a better chance of putting both Blaster Dark and Blaster Blade in the soul to activate Majesty’s and Religious Soul Saver’s abilities.
Sanctuary Guard Regalia gives a huge amount of power despite not having a cost. If you have a heart with “Sanctuary Guard” in it’s name, this card gives +3k power to the whole front row for each of your grade 1 or less rear-guards. This card works especially well with Sanctuary Guard Dragon, who can allow you to superior call a grade 1 or less when he’s placed on the Vanguard Circle. You can also use Sanctuary Guard Guarantee, but Sanctuary Guard Dragon’s superior calling allows you to get the much wanted +9k power more easily. If you are not going to be using many counter blasts in this deck then Battle Flag Knight, Constance is also a good option for getting rear-guards to help get that boost.
Many people will be happy to see that Tsukuyomi is back after all these years. Deity of the Evening Moon helps you fix up your ride chain and lets you look at the top five cards of your deck to choose two and put them in your hand. This version allows you to use an old deck, but one with the abilities of newer Oracle Think Tank cards. Using
Deity of the Evening Moon’s ability can also help give Battle Maiden, Tagitsuhime and Battle Sister, Maple a power boost by getting the required number of cards in the soul. One thing that would have been nice would have been to see Tsukuyomi all grown up like Susanoo.
Another useful Oracle Think Tank card is Nimbus Summoning Nine-headed Dragon King. This card allows you to return up to three unnecessary cards from your hand into your deck, shuffle, and then draw the same amount of cards. This also allows you to shuffle all the cards you put on the bottom of your deck during the game, giving you another chance of drawing, or even triggering them. I’d recommend using this after using Takemikazuchi a couple of times to shuffle any triggers that may have been left on the bottom of the deck from his skill.
Holy Seraph, Uriel has an interesting ability that seems to be inspired by the Gold Paladins. With Uriel you can look at the top three cards of your deck and put one of them in to the damage zone. This works really well with cards like Zerachiel, who grants other units additional power if another copy of her card is in the damage zone. It also works well with the other Angel Feather G unit in this set, Holy Celestial, Mikael, who can superior call a card from the damage zone and give them additional power if you have a card in the damage zone with the same name as a card in the heart. You can also use this card with Cleanup Celestial, Ramiel “Reverse” to try and get another copy of her card in the damage zone so you can manipulate your opponents rear-guards & damage.
Mikael is good for late game where you can bring out a new and powerful unit and give them +5k. With this skill you can move a card from the damage zone onto a rear-guard circle as well as bring out the card you put into the damage zone for this effect. As I’ve said before, this will mostly be used at the end of a game, I can’t imagine many people would use this card early on unless they were really struggling for rear-guards.
Dragruler Revenant is handy as he can get a grade 1 on to the battlefield during the main phase by retiring any other rear-guard. This is good if you have too many grade 2s or 3s in your hand and have nothing which can boost. With the +3k boost, this can get columns going in for around 21k, but apart from that, this card doesn’t bring overly much to Shadow Paladins apart from some skill fodder next turn. That being said, this effect works well if you are using Blaster Dark Revenger in your deck, if you are you will most likely be using Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint and will easily be able to bring him onto the field. You could also use this to bring out Transient Revenger, Masquerade on the front row to get a powerful grade 1 attacking your opponent.
Efnysien is a great card for generic Shadow Paladins. This card can retire one of your rear-guards to give himself +7k power and allow you to retire an opponent’s rear-guard on-hit. The problem with this card is that you have to retire one of your own rear-guards as soon as he is placed on the Vanguard circle, so it’s best to put something weak down the previous turn, even if you don’t need it that turn, just to make sure this skill works well for you. Using Darkness Maiden, Macha, Dark Cloak Revenger, Tartu or Dragruler Revenant on the previous turn can get you an extra unit to sacrifice on the turn you use Efnysien.
One of the first cards that was revealed in this set was Purgation Lion Emperor, Mithril Ezel, who is an amazing addition to the Gold Paladins. It may just be because he’s my favourite Gold Paladin leader, but I feel Ezel truly shines with this card. He has a combination of the previous Ezel card’s skills, with unlocking, superior calling and giving extra power all in one package, with the bonus of artwork that will make the fan-girls “squee~”. Providing additional power to your Vanguard with this effect will make it more likely for you to pull of Scarlet Lion Cub, Caria‘s skill.
Golden Dragon, Scourge Point Dragon gives +5k to every rear-guard called from the deck on that turn. This card has no cost but only works if you have specific rear-guards as he is not able to superior call. This card will most likely be used in early game to gain power as you fill the rear-guard circles, but after that I can’t imagine he will be used much. Using Nimue and Viviane can easily activate Scourge Point’s ability if you missed out superior calling in your main phase. If you manage to superior call Ketchgal, you can put him straight in to the soul and look at the top three cards for another unit to superior call, giving you an extra chance of getting a more powerful unit to devastate your opponent. If you are using a Liberator deck, Liberator, Cheer Up Trumpeter can start giving Scourge Point some power as well, which means all columns will get power major power boosts.
The new Genesis cards really help most previous decks for this clan, especially Regalia decks. Divine Flame Ultimate Regalia, Demeter works the best with legion, namely Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil and Midnight Regalia, Nyx. This card soul charges three and counter charges one (previously known as un-flipping) card in the damage zone for each heart, so when in legion you can soul charge six and counter charge two, making this the perfect card for Yggdrasil with her need to soul blast six. I’d suggest using this effect in early game to set your Vanguard up with the ability to dish out a flurry of strong attacks towards the end.
Archangel, Doombrace is a much more flexible option with the benefit of not being in a sub-clan. With a soul blast of three, you can give two rear-guards +5k each and, if you have two or less cards in the soul, you can soul charge three. This is best for the Artemis ride chain by getting rid of the cards that aren’t needed in the soul and inserting three new cards, hopefully including those needed for the ride chain.
We have a new addition to the onslaught of Dragonic Overlord cards. Dragonic Overlord “The Ace” has given this well known character a G unit with the classic Overlord effect of re-standing. To re-stand with this card you need to discard two cards from your hand, one having “Overlord” in its name. This can be made a lot easier with the help of Dragonic Overlord “The X”, Eternal Bringer Griffin and Doom Bringer Griffin. Like Victoplasma, if you activated his re-standing ability in your main phase, his triple drive gets down-graded to twin drive, but with the extra 5k, it shouldn’t cause too much trouble.
Divine Dragon Knight, Zahm is a nice, cheap stride for Kagero. Combining this card with Blademaster can easily retire two of your opponents cards right after you stride. Many Kagero cards support this G unit and you can activate his ability more than once in a turn, easily taking care of most of your opponents field. This card can activate its skill with the help of cards like Twilight Arrow Dragon, Wyvernkid Ragla, and Berserk Dragon.
Nubatama also get Six Realms Stealth Dragon, Jorurirakan who binds one of your opponents rear-guards and a card from their hand, and then retires them at the end. This retiring ability only takes effect if you have a heart with “Shura Stealth Dragon” in it’s name but, by using Six Realms Stealth Dragon, Gedatsurakan with Stealth Beast, Kuroko, you can retire your opponents rear-guards regardless of the heart, making this card viable in a lot of Nubatama decks. The main downside to this card is that the cost of the counter blast seems a bit high, considering what he does. Because of his counter blast costs, you might not want to use him in a deck with Dreadmaster.
Super Ancient Dragon, Parititan is an awesome card for Tachikaze which allows you to retire a card from each fighter’s field, meaning if you were playing a tag match you will retire a card from all four fighters. What makes this ability really good is that, this card gains power equal to the sum of all the retired units power, and if the sum is 20k or greater, he gains +1 critical. You can easily get the extra 20k from retiring a 9k grade 2 and an 11k grade 3 (Or a grade 2 like Cannon Gear). Retiring something like Tyrannobite means as long as you have face up damage you’re not really losing out. This is a great addition to Tachikaze and I’m glad it’s getting greater support.
Destruction Tyrant, Archraider is a weaker alternative to Parititan, but can still put some early pressure on your opponent with the risk of them losing a rear-guard if the attack hits. This can be used slightly more efficiently than Efnysien with the bonus of being able to activate the skill once he attacks and you can also bring some units, such as Tyrannobite and Iguanogorg, straight back from the drop zone.
Shirayuki has always been one of my favourite Murakumo grade 3s, and to see her get support in this set is great. The new Cosmetic Snowfall, Shirayuki does truly support the original. This card’s ability to call a card with Shirayuki in its name from the deck and then put it into the hand afterwards really is a boon to Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki. With Fantasy Petal’s ability to reduce your opponent’s attacking unit’s power by 20k, this card will make it so much easier to defend yourself against enemy G units. This effect can sadly only be used a handful of times because there isn’t really a way to get Shirayukis back from the drop zone after using them. Nevertheless, this card provides great support for Shirayuki. Using this early can give you the defence you need as you build up cards in your hand allowing you to play something powerful late game, such as Covert Demonic Dragon, Hyakki Vogue “Reverse” who will provide the final push you need after your opponent has worn themselves out from trying to attack Shirayuki for so long.
Kagamijin‘s ability works from other units superior calling and then giving those called units a boost. Giving the new unit +2k and the ability to attack from the back row lets you usefully place grade 2s and 3s in the back row, ready to take part in additional battles. The newly called units need the same name as two other units on the field, and the additional effects only last for one turn, but this card is good for a finishing an opponent off. This unit will work well with the much sought after Stealth Fiend, Oboro Cart who can choose a rear-guard and search your deck for a copy of the same card.
Remembrance Avatar, Vishnu is another great Noble unit with little support. On attacking a vanguard, Vishnu’s ability forces the opponent to retire one of their rear-guards for each “Noble” rear-guard you control. However, with the lack of Noble support, particularly their lack of 11k grade 3s, even after pulling off this ability it will be hard to attack your opponent with your own rear-guards. With this in mind it would be best to put Black Celestial Maiden, Kali in your deck so you are able to attack your opponent’s Vanguard without a boost.
The next Narukami G unit is the GR, True Brawler, Big Bang Knuckle Turbo. This card is an absolute beast, allowing you to attack three of your opponents units for each of your hearts. Your heart needs to have “Big Bang Knuckle” in it’s name, but seeing as the Big Bang Knuckle cards are legion cards then you will easily be able to attack all six of your opponent’s units in one attack and gain +5k for every card with the same name face up in the G zone. The only draw back is that your Brawler rear-guards with abilities that activate when your Vanguard is in legion won’t activate as when you stride, you are no longer considered to be in legion. That said, getting rid of all your opponents rear-guards is good enough on it’s own and your opponent will struggle to fill up all those spaces again.
Asura Kaiser returns as a new stride that feels like the classic Nova Grappler leader with an extra boost in strength.If you play Battle Deity, Asura Kaiser, you will likely want extra grade 3s in your deck just to make sure you can use his effect reliably. The cost of his ability is that you put a grade 3 from your drop zone back in to your deck and shuffle, then if you reveal a grade 3 on your drive check you can stand four rear-guards. This ability compliments stride in general by putting the grade 3s back in to the deck to give you a chance of drawing them and striding again next turn. Also, Immortal, Asura Kaiser will work well as your heart in case you can’t stride that turn because all the grade 3s would have been recycled into your deck, giving Immortal a better chance at activating his skill.
The second Nova Grappler, Tribute, is something we haven’t really seen before. When another unit stands you can counter blast one to give them +2k and retire an opponents rear-guard with that much power or less. This can prove to be a very useful skill, especially when you remember that Nova Grappler have consistent damage counter chargers. It’s odd to see a Vanguard that does not stand their rear-guard, but rather support a newly stood rear-guard, though this skill fits well with the idea of wrestlers standing back up and overpowering their opponents. If you are using this card I would recommend you put Hungry Dumpty, Clay-doll Mechanic, and Lady Cyclone in your deck to get extra counter chargers, especially if you plan to use this card more than a handful of times in a game. Cool Hank is also a good card to combo with this unit, giving standing units even more power to take out stronger rear-guards on the field.
Heavy Duke is the G unit that Metalborgs missed out on with G-EB01. This unit will put a load of pressure on your opponent by not allowing them to perfect guard or use a quintet wall against your attack. If the attack goes through, then this unit will also allow you to draw up to two cards depending on whether you’re in legion or not. With a counter blast of two, you may want to conserve your face-up damage until this guy comes out onto the field. This card is great if you are running out of units on field and in hand because you don’t need to reach a certain amount of power to activate his skill, and with the triple drive and legion, you can easily get five new cards in your hand by the end of the turn.
Pretty Cat is our Catwoman inspired alien whose skill is an odd mix of a couple of Dimension Police’s effects. Her ability lowers your opponent’s attack by 5k, but in order to do this she must have 34k or more power during the main phase. Her ability at first might seem like something that would fit with Zeal, but the problem is that she needs a large power boost, which is more representative of the heroes of Dimension Police, and considering that she is one of the villains, you’re going to struggle finding a deck that she’ll work well in. She would probably do best in a Cosmic Hero deck because of how easily accessible their power boosts are. You would also do well to stride her over Gallop, activating Gallop’s breakstride effect and then using Grandbeat to easily get her over that 34k power threshold.
Now, a card that everyone will either love or hate: Death Star-vader, “Omega Loop” Glendios. This card makes it that much easier to reach Glendios’s alternate win condition. Like the old Glendios, this version’s skill works best when you are on five damage. This card can bring out and lock a number of your opponents units equal to the number of “Reverse” units you have on the field, and if you are on five damage then your opponent can’t unlock them at the end of their turn. This skill makes it so much easier to use “Omega” Glendios’s skill to win the game. Using Star-vader, Ruin Magician, it is possible to get the “Reverse” units you dropped to stride again next turn, making it easier to lock five of your opponents rear-guards.
The next Link Joker G unit is Nebula Dragon, Maximum Seal Dragon who can be used in multiple decks as it gains +5k for each of your opponent’s locked cards. This unit is very useful even if you only manage to lock three or less of your opponent’s rear-guards with Glendios. This card has similar problems to Scourge Point Dragon, but, with the help of Glendios, this card has a little more support to fall back on. This card will make good use of Star-vader, Dust Tail Unicorn being your forerunner to easily give an extra +10k to your Vanguard.
Dudleys get a unit that has the potential of letting you attack six times without any restands. Dudley Geronimo gives all your units a chance to attack with a boost of +5k power each, but with the downside that they are sent to the bottom of the deck afterwards. This card works really well with cards such as Juggernaut Maximum, who can soul blast one to gain +5k; Highspeed, Brakki, who has the same effect; and Sky diver who, if his attack hits, can move into the soul to call another unit from hand – this new unit then benefits from Geronimo’s ability as well. Sky Diver’s skill is also good to bring out Dudley Douglass, who can gain an extra +5k when he’s brought out, giving him an attack with +10k. Geronimo’s effect falls short if your opponent gets too many triggers, and with needing a Dudley heart you won’t really be able to have enough grade 3 space to put in Juggernaut or Sky Diver. This card is great for a final push on your opponent if they are on their final damage as they will struggle to defend every attack.
Godly-speed, Flash Bruise can put a lot of pressure on your opponent. If your attack goes through, you can put a unit into the soul and then superior call any card from the deck. The newly called unit also gets +5k power, which will make your opponent try their hardest to guard your Vanguard’s attack, which in turn will drain their hand if they aren’t holding a sentinel. The card going into the soul can provide ammunition for a card like Juggernaut Maximum or Highspeed Brakki. Flash Bruise works well with Bloody Ogle and Emerald Blaze decks. Combining the calling ability with Silver Blaze can provide heavy attacks for two turns, and by bringing out Frozen Ogle you can use a similar effect next turn if you can’t stride. This card will also gives a chance of setting up a good formation for Geronimo later in the game.
Great Demon, Soulless Demagogue is great for early game as you set up your soul for later on. With this card your whole front row will get +1k for each card put into the soul. With the cards at the moment, we may struggle to get this unit super powerful, but the anime gave us a small glimpse of a character managing to get his soul to fifteen cards in the first turn that he used a G unit, mostly using the cards from G-BT03. You’ll mostly be wanting to use this early game, as the more units you can put into your soul in one turn, the better. Looking at what we have so far, there are a number or cards that are available which you can use to support this. Decadent Succubus will let you soul charge every time another Dark Irregulars is placed on the rear-guard, so it will be best to get her on the rear-guard circle first. Accompanied with Decadent Succubus, you can use Flirtatious Succubus so that when she is placed on the rear-guard circle you can soul charge two. Yellow Bolt and Dimension Creeper will also provide a lot of help but, at the moment, having a Amon heart will most likely serve you best. With Amon’s Follower, Hell’s Draw and Hell’s Deal you can put two cards in the soul easily with both their skills. Additionally, Doreen is great to have around when Demagogue is out as she will already get a huge power boost for all the cards you will be putting in the soul.
After you’ve used Demagogue, if you are using an Amon deck, you can bring out Amon’s Claw, Marchocias for a final push. This card will give two of your rear-guards with “Amon” in their name +3k for every five cards in your soul. This makes Demagogue great as you set up your soul then bring Marchocias out to give your units as much power as possible when you don’t need to soul charge any more. If you bring out Ron Geenlin or Phu Geenlin they will gain an extra +3k from you just having a Amon Vanguard, so the power will just keep stacking.
Now for a card that I’m sure every Luquier player will use in their decks. Silver Thorn Dragon Master, Mystic Luquier is the newest edition to the series of Luquier cards. This unit allows you to put two rear-guards into the soul and soul charge two, then you may superior call two Silver Thorn cards from the soul. You can use this once per turn and there is no other cost other than putting the two units into the soul, which is great when you have run out of counter blasts for the original Luquier or Venus. This will also support Upright lion who gains +3k for each Silver Thorn put onto the rear-guard circle from the soul. To further support this you can bring out Zelma with Luquier’s ability to add an extra 6k power to Upright Lion.
Lunasquare Impact, Clifford can also be used to power up Upright Lion during your battle phase. If his attack hits you can bring out a unit from your soul, place it on a rear guard circle and give it +2k power. With this ability, you can attack with a rear-guard and, if the attack hits, bring out a new unit in place of the rested unit. You can also bring out Zelma or Purple Trapezist to put the rested unit back in the soul and bring something new out. If you have a stood Upright Lion on the field during this he will gain an extra 6k power. You can also use this ability to bring out a Crimson Beast Tamer or Turquoise Beast Tamer who may have accidentally ended up in the soul, and combined with Purple Trapezist, you would be able to put a Crimson Beast Tamer in the soul to power up your Turquoise Beast Tamers.
Epochmaker Dragon seems like an odd choice to put in the GR position. When his attack hits you can bind one of your rear-guards and call a grade 3 from your deck to the field for an extra attack, then at the end it is put back into the deck and your old rear-guard retakes its place. The best thing about this card is that there isn’t a cost provided the attack hits. I suspect this will be mostly used in late game when you have run out of cards to counter blast. Bringing out Smithereen Colossus will make it so you can damage your opponent without a boost even if they have a crossrode Vanguard.
Granblue’s new Cocytus Negative card has many different ways it can be played. If you use his effect to call a card with “Cocytus” in it’s name, you can superior call a grade 1 from the drop zone and give it +4k. You could bring out Brutal Shade to get rid of your grade 3’s limit break, or Dragon Spirit who specifically supports Ice Prison Necromancer, Cocytus, while Sea Strolling Banshee allows you to soul blast one to draw a card when she is put on the rear-guard circle from the drop zone. You can also use this card to bring out the new Cray Elemental, Light Elemental, Pica, who I’ll talk about later. This card still needs to drop three cards to activate its skill like the previous Cocytus cards, but with this cost and triple drive you’ll have to try especially hard not to deck out.
Pirate King of Abyss, Blueheart can provide a similar support to Cocytus but with slightly more consistency. With Blueheart’s skill you can call two units from the drop zone, but they have to be called over existing units. This card, like Cocytus, works well with Sea Strolling Banshee, as well as cards like Stormride Ghost Ship, Skeleton Swordsman and King Serpent. This card is much cheaper to use than Cocytus, with a counter blast of only one, making him useful in nearly every Granblue deck.
Legendary Glass Shoes, Amoris can be used efficiently in a lot of Bermuda Triangle decks. When she’s placed on the Vanguard circle, you can choose up to two cards from the rear-guard circles and bounce them back to your hand at no cost. This is great for all the bouncing units mentioned in the previous paragraph as well as just putting cards in your hand that you put out for early game pressure, but now want to use to defend.
Maelstrom is back with his new form Blue Storm Master Dragon, Admiral Maelstrom. This card allows you to draw on-hit and choose three of your opponents rear-guards, and for each of this G unit face up in the G zone, to retire one. His ability is best the second time around when you can retire three of your opponents rear-guards, but with it being an on-hit ability, your opponent will most likely prepare to guard the second time. This card would probably work best with Glory Maelstrom, to stride until you’re at five damage and then use Glory’s ultimate break from then on.
Megacolony have come back with the ability to stun your opponent’s Vanguard. Carapace Strange Deity, Machining Destroyer allows you to stun an opponent’s rear-guard, and, if you have four or more rear-guards with “Machining” in their name, you can stun your opponent’s Vanguard too. This is great in the new G series owing to the fact that, if your opponent decides to stride, their G unit will stay rested. They must first ride again and then stride if they wish to have a stood G unit on that turn. The turn before striding, if you don’t have many rear-guards, it would be good to ride Machining Warsickle or Machining Stag Beetle so that it’s easier to bring out more rear-guards to prepare for Machining Destroyer’s second ability.
Jaggies Devil is a great card to use against your opponent because he can put them in a difficult situation for their next turn. If this unit’s attack hits then you choose a rear-guard from your opponent’s front and back row and they can’t stand next turn. If you also have Toxic Soldier and Toxic Trooper attacking afterwards, then it will also prevent your opponent from intercepting with the card you chose from the front row. Your opponent will have to decide whether to keep them rested or to replace them with something from their hand. This can be especially troublesome for a Aqua Force player who relies on a large number of attacks in one turn, or against non-Jewel Knight Royal Paladin decks because they find it difficult to call grade 1s, so keeping their support rested can screw up their plans.
The RR from Great Nature, Wisdom Teller Dragon, is a fairly simple but effective card. When his attack hits you can give a rear-guard +4k and, if they are at 20k when they attack, you can draw a card. This works well with Crayon Tiger because you can attack with the affected unit to draw a card, then stand it back up with Crayon Tiger so that, when it attacks again, you can draw another card, then when the card is retired you draw yet another card.
Multivitamin Dragon is another great G unit for Neo Nectar. When a unit is placed on the rear-guard circle, you can choose up to three other units with the same name and give them +5k power. This works especially well with the aforementioned Musketeers because, when they’re called, you can search for more cards, which could keep increasing the power that it gives. This card works best if your Vanguard is Ranunculus Flower Maiden, Ahsha, because of her ability to search the deck for another copy of a rear-guard when you stride over her. More cloning units to help this card are Maiden of Gladiolus, Maiden of Frilldrod, Maiden of Cherry Bloom and Maiden of Cherry Stone.
Cray Elementals, though the only clan in this set to get both of their cards as RRs, bring a lot to the game. If you have an old deck that you don’t think will do well these days because the main grade 3 in it only has 10k power, then you’ll rejoice at these cards. The G unit Rain Element, Madu is a great way to get extra strides in your game. Her ability allows you to choose a grade 3 in the drop zone and add it to your hand if your Vanguard has 10,000 or less power. This kind of effect also works with ride chain cards because G units go by the power that is printed on the card, so even if your ride chain is technically at 11,000 then this ability still works for you. This card can also be used for some of the modern 21k legions such as Amon’s Leader, Astaroth;New Era Beast, Zeal;Goddess of the Treasured Mirror, Ohirume;King of Knights’ Vanguard, Ezzell and Rising Star, Trois. These legion cards combine with an old 10k grade three which will activate Madu’s ability.
Next we have Light Elemental, Pica, who is the only non-G unit in this set. This card gives +1k to a Vanguard with 10,000 or less power when it is being attacked. That extra 1k may not seem like much at first, but when you’re playing you can really see how well defended 11k Vanguards are in comparison. Pica, being a Cray Elemental, can be used in any deck so test these cards out in some of your older decks and see how well they do now. You could use this unit efficiently with clans that are good at superior calling.
This set is full of great G units for both new decks and old. If you have an old deck that you can revive with these cards then I highly recommend that you do so. Some of these cards will make you feel nostalgic and you’ll be glad to be able to play with familiar old characters again, while on the other hand you can play with something new and fresh.
Cardfight Vanguard singles are available to purchase at Big orbit Cards: Cardfight Vanguard
“We count 30 Rebel ships, Lord Vader, but they’re so small they’re avoiding our turbo lasers!” – Imperial Officer
Wave 1 introduces the first squadron expansions, with Rebel Fighter Squadrons expanding the Rebels snubfighter line-up to include:
Tycho Celchu A-wing Squadron
Keyan Farlander B-wing Squadron
Wedge Antilles X-wing Squadron
“Dutch” Vander Y-wing Squadron
X-Wing: The X-Wings were already included in the Core Se,t but we get a new character squadron, Wedge Antilles, so I’ll start there. Coming in at a fair few points more than a normal X-Wing squadron, Wedge thankfully brings a lot for this extra cost. He keeps the Bomber and Escort rule and gains the ability of adding 2 blue dice to his attack pool against activated squadrons. Rolling 6 dice against other squadrons is deadly, even in the mirror, and he could easily take out other character squadrons in one salvo by denying the use of defense tokens with accuracy results. A nice little bit of synergy is with the Y-Wing character, “Dutch” Vander, whose ability causes a squadron to be switched to activated (more on him later). So use a Squadron dial, activate Wedge & Dutch, and pop an opposing character squadron in one turn. With double Brace tokens he has a good chance of survival, but combine him with his wingman and Wedge will be your sniping squadron.
A-Wing: A-Wings introduce us to the the new Counter ability. After being attacked, the squadron can shoot back (even if destroyed), making engaging squadrons beneficial in most situations. A single black dice against ships looks nice, until you remember that criticals don’t apply to them, so you really don’t want to be engaging ships with A-Wings (even if you want to try to recreate a certain infamous scene). They are however an exceptionally fast squadron at speed 5 and, with 3 blue dice against other squadrons, they fill the role of an interceptor perfectly. Tycho Celchu is the character pilot and he is allowed to move even if engaged, which fits in with how manoeuvrable the A-Wing is and will let him flee unfavourable engagements.
B-Wing: Now for the B-Wing, my personal favourite fighter. With 5 hull, blue and black anti-ship dice and Bomber, this squadron is designed for tackling the big boys, but the squadron is definitely a hybrid fighter-bomber as it can perform well in either role. A pair of these can easily put the hurt on ships late game and when you look at Keyan Farlander, who allows you to reroll any of your dice when attacking a ship, this squadron can do some serious damage in one turn. However this comes at the high cost of 20 points, which is steep for a single squadron with only double Brace and a slow speed of just 2. Combining Keyan with the new Nebulon-B title Yavaris, which allows him to attack twice in one turn, will be downright brutal and a ship-killing move. Right now with only X-Wings and TIE Fighters, squadrons have not been much of a hinderance to large ships, but now it has all changed with the B-Wings.
Y-Wing: Speaking of damaging ships, the last ship in this pack is the Y-Wing. In the stories, the B-Wing replaces the ageing Y-Wing in its role of anti-ship combat and this rings true in Armada. Having only 1 black dice against ships, still with Bomber, but now carrying the Heavy rule (They don’t prevent squadrons from disengaging), their damage potential isn’t as high as the B-Wing, especially their anti-squadron fire power which is a mere 2 blue dice. They do however come in 4 points cheaper and have an increased speed and hull so they can manoeuvre more easily with a bit more survivability. In the character slot we find “Dutch” Vander who brings an ability that sounds just like an ion cannon shot. When he damages a squadron they toggle to being activated, and if they already had activated they instead take 1 damage. A punishing ability if the opponent has flown in to tie you up, but otherwise its only a minor ability when used on its own, reflected by him only being 2 more points then a normal Y-Wing. However, as I wrote above, if you add Wedge in to the mix this becomes a nasty attack pattern.
Speaking from a fluff perspective the Rebel Fighters really shine with their ethos of using small snubfighters to tackle the larger ships of the Imperial, as they simply didn’t have the resources to produce massive vessels. When you look through the stats of each squadron you see that they all threaten to damage any ship, including the A-Wing, who, even with just a single black dice, still has a 75% chance to inflict one damage. Over the course of a game, this begins to add up and chipping away at an opponent’s shields will take its toll.
Each expansion pack has 2 of each squadron so it’s enough to supplement your fleet, but I can already see the need to buy additional expansion packs. Having only two A-Wings seems a little low as it would be good to fly them in a larger group where they can bring their number to bear on unsuspecting squadrons, and Y-Wings need to be supported by further squadrons if you want them to survive contact with the enemy. I feel this pack will bring a much desired aspect to the game, squadrons will become much more important now and will have a much bigger influence on the game as a whole. Wave 1 is going to make a big impact on Star Wars Armada.
Pick up individual components, models, cards and accessories for Star Wars Armada, along with sealed items at Big Orbit Cards: Star Wars Armada
Big Orbit are a hobby games retailer that specialises in the sale of individual trading cards and game components – Big Orbit also runs a Gaming venue in Evesham, Worcs, UK.
Escorts, swarms, cannon fodder, the Imperial starfighters have many different terms but what you can’t deny is their effectiveness in their roles. The Imperial Fighter Squadrons Expansion pack brings with it four types of starfighter, three of them new entries to Armada:
TIE Advanced Squadron
Inc Darth Vader TIE Advanced Squadron
TIE Bomber Squadron
Inc Major Rhymer TIE Bomber Squadron
TIE Interceptor Squadron
Inc Soontir Fel TIE Interceptor Squadron
TIE Fighter Squadron
Inc “Mauler” Mithel TIE Fighter Squadron
TIE Advanced: Commonly known as Darth Vader’s personal fighter, the TIE Advanced, on paper, looks like a simple upgrade from the classic TIE fighter. Keeping the same movement and anti-squadron fire power, they boast an improved hull, a black dice vs ships and they’ve traded Swarm for the Escort ability. For the small 4 point increase, the Advanced brings a bit more to the field over a regular TIE. Utilising the Escort ability will be their primary role, flying alongside Bombers to keep them from harm. As I mentioned, Advanceds are known because Darth Vader piloted one in A New Hope and he appears here as the character pilot. With double Brace, 3 blue dice, 1 black anti-squadron die and 1 black anti-ship die you get a lot more punch from him, while his pseudo-Bomber ability means that his critical icons add 1 damage to the total. This means that, against squadrons, he could potentially deal five damage in one shot, which is enough to insta-kill any squadron. However, this comes at a cost of 21 points, which is a bit steep for a sole anti-squadron ship. I can’t see the Advanced being used a huge amount, the same fate they’ve had in Star Wars X-Wing, as their all-round stats just don’t compare to the more specialised squadrons in most scenarios.
TIE Bomber: On to the squadrons they might be escorting, the TIE Bombers. A single black dice for both of its attacks looks lacklustre, but it has its namesake ability “Bomber” so against ships it can deal critical damage. They also have the Heavy rule, meaning that they don’t cause enemy squadrons to be engaged, which, when you add in their single black die, you can clearly see these squadrons should not be anywhere near opposing squadrons. At just 9 points they’re cheap and a swarm of these lumbering in late game could finish off ships easily. With a speed of 4, the Bomber is quite fast, faster then the Rebel Y-Wings and B-Wings who fill a similar role, and when you mix Major Rhymer’s character squadron into a swarm you get the added ability of being able to attack at close-medium range too. This dovetails beautifully in with escorting squadrons; the escorts move in to tie-up any surrounding flights, while the Bombers hang back and freely unload their bombs against the enemy ship.
TIE Interceptor: After all this talk of escorts and bombing, what about offence? That’s where the TIE Interceptors come in. At 11 points they’re only a small bump up from a TIE Fighter and they bring a deadly stat line to your fleet: they have a speed of 5, 4 blue dice against squadrons, the Swarm ability which grants them a reroll and, if that’s not enough, they also have Counter 2. When a squadron attacks them, even if the Interceptors are destroyed, you get to roll 2 blue dice back against the enemy. These fighters are a threat to any squadron and if left unchecked they could quickly ruin an opponent’s bombing run. Soontir Fel, the character pilot, adds a nasty ability to these already vicious fighters. If a squadron attacks someone else whilst engaged with Soontir, then they suffer a damage for not attacking him. Your opponent’s plans to deny you your Swarm rerolls or to take out the Bombers will need to be reconsidered if Soontir is in play flying as a wingman because that damage will soon add up. Additionally, weilding a Brace and Scatter defense token he won’t be easy to take out even if he is targeted. All this for just 18 points is fantastic and I will be happily fielding Soontir with accompanying Interceptors in the future.Unlike the Rebel Fighters, the synergy between these squadrons outside of the usual escorting roles doesn’t seem apparent, but there is something to be said about joining Soontir up with “Mauler” Mithel, the TIE Fighter character pilot. He has the same stats as a normal TIE Fighter, but its his ability that the 15 points pay for. After he moves, each squadron engaged with him automatically suffers one damage. That’s painful. Stick him to the side of Soontir, fly them in to an opposing swarm and watch your opponent try to prioritise who to take out first. Again, as seems to be standard for Imperial characters, Mithel has a Brace and a Scatter token to keep himself alive.
I won’t cover the iconic TIE Fighters because we learnt all about them from the Core Set and this expansion doesn’t add much to them, other then enabling you to fly an even larger swarm. Comparing this expansion to the Rebel Fighters, I feel that the Imperials come off marginally worse because the variant TIEs don’t add huge amounts over the original Fighters, but they are all still inexpensive which is the Imperial way. Mass-produced, cheaply made and thrown at the enemy en-mass is the classic strategy and that rings true in Star Wars Armada.
Pick up individual components, models, cards and accessories for Star Wars Armada, along with sealed items at Big Orbit Cards: Star Wars Armada
Big Orbit are a hobby games retailer that specialises in the sale of individual trading cards and game components – Big Orbit also runs a Gaming venue in Evesham, Worcs, UK.
World Superstars is a 52 Yu-Gi-Oh! card set, 50 of which were previously exclusive to the OCG (Asian format) and are available for the first time in the TCG.
Much like The Secret Forces set, each box of World Superstars contains 24 booster packs with each pack containing 5 cards. Unlike The Secret Forces which gave 1 Secret Rare and 4 Super Rares per booster this set reintroduces the Prismatic Secret Rare which takes the place of the Secret Rare in the booster pack.
At first glance we see that “The legendary Dragon of White” has been chosen as the box mascot for the set. This card pays tribute to the Blue Eye’s White Dragon which was the mascot of the Legend of Blue-Eye’s set, the first set released in the game.
On opening the booster box one of the first things I notice is that the booster packs come with more than one cover art, this isn’t something you see often in Yu-Gi-Oh.
Within each booster pack the top card is a Prismatic Secret Rare, this rarity hasn’t been seen in the TCG for many years. Prismatic used to be available only as promos from early Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG video games such as Duelist of The Roses which gave you the three Magnet Warriors. This rarity is a welcome change to the types of rarity we have come to expect to see.
Whilst you won’t be able to create a full deck out of the cards in this expansion, these cards do offer a lot of versatility for many different deck builds. From this set there are a number of notable cards that improve synergy within each Archtype whereas some cards simply work on their own.
Star Seraph’s are an Archtype that primarily uses level 4 Light-Fairy type monsters; they mainly focus on swarming the field with effects that allow them to summon one another or by summoning themselves to the field once a condition is met. This Archtype was in need of some new powerful support and Star Seraph Sovereignty gives just that.
What this card lacks in attack power is more than made up for by it’s abilities. Star Seraph Sovereignty’s main ability allows you to special summon it from your hand by normal or special summoning any Star Seraph monster, this can be done at any point except during the damage step.
Additionally this effect isn’t limited to being used once per turn, so if you have more than one Star Seraph Sovereignty in your hand then you’ll be able to activate that ability for each you hold. The second effect for Star Seraph Sovereignty chains from the first effect, if successfully summoned through the first effect you can draw 1 card, if that card happens to be a Star Seraph monster then you get to special summon it. This card is really good for quickly filling your side of the field with monsters whilst also getting a free draw.
Pendulum Impenetrable is a non-themed, quick-play spell card which will be an asset to any deck that runs Pendulum cards. By preventing your opponent from using abilities that target cards in the Pendulum Zones will prevent a lot of returning to hand effects many decks have access too. Not only will this card prevent destruction of any card in either player’s Zones, this will also prevent any Pendulum card your opponent may have that triggers it’s effects by destroying itself or the card in the other Zone. This card will become a big problem for the upcoming Igknight Archtype, released in the upcoming Clash of Rebellion set, that specialises in destroying their own Pendulum cards.
However, this card is weak against decks that use cards with abilities like Satellarknight Triverr which sends all cards on the field back to the hand without destroying or targeting.
Number F0: Utopic Future is very interesting in that he is the first, and currently only, Xyz monster card in the game which doesn’t have a Rank. This card can be run in almost any type of deck, as long as you have access to 2 Xyz monsters with the same Rank that aren’t “Number” monsters.
A really good thing about Utopic Future is that he has the ability to use your opponents monsters against them, this can be used whether Utopic Future is attacking or being attacked. In the damage step any monster in battle with Utopic Future comes under your control until the end of the battle phase. This is a huge advantage to have if you are facing a monster with an attack you can’t quite get past. Use Utopic Future to attack that monster to gain control and attack your opponent with that very same monster.
Numeral Hunter is a level 4 Light based Warrior monster that will benefit from being in many Warrior type decks.
He’s a counter to Number Xyz monsters by simply not allowing them to be on the field at the same time he is present, any Number monsters that are on the field when Numeral Hunter is first summoned are returned to the extra deck, with all materials attached to them going straight to the graveyard.
This card also offers great defence against any deck that relies on Xyz monsters to attack, as those attacks won’t destroy this card nor will their abilities have any effect on this card.
Elemental HERO Blazeman – my favourite card in the set. Firstly, Blazeman has two different effects; either of these will increase the Synergy of many different Hero builds. Additionally, this card finally gives the Elemental Hero’s a good Fire type monster to use.
I personally find this card works best for the Masked Hero Sub-Archtype, Masked Heroes specialise in being easy to get onto the field from the extra deck through spell cards that Transform your Hero into one of the Masked Heroes.
You can activate Blazeman’s second ability by sending one Elemental HERO monster to the graveyard, by doing this Blazeman will receive that monster’s attribute, attack and defence points, however by using this you will be giving up the ability to special summon all types of monsters with the exception of fusion monsters.
This is a great ability that enables you to essentially summon any Masked Hero monster from your extra deck with the Masked Change spell card regardless of that monsters attribute.
To truly get the most out of Elemental HERO Blazeman you will want to use him to send Elemental HERO Shadow Mist to the graveyard, this in turn will trigger Shadow Mists second ability which at the same time will enable you to get any Elemental HERO monster from your deck to your hand.
The set covers a lot of Archtypes giving support to each, because this set offers a large range of variety there will be something that will appeal to most players.
The most appealing thing for me is how there aren’t any reprints of older cards that are already widely available.
Some of the cards this set introduces to the TCG really help out the Archtypes they are being added too, Elemental Hero Blazeman for instance can fit nicely into any Hero build as his effects will benefit you by attribute swapping with monsters in the main deck or by simply giving you a Polymerization if you need it.
Whilst it is great to see support for many different Archetypes this does unfortunately mean there is less support for each individual Archetype – the cards are spread to thinly. This is very different to what you would expect from a main series set release.
Unless you are someone who plays a large number of the Archtypes from that are included in this set it just won’t be worth buying a sealed booster box, you will likely save a lot of money by buying singles.
Whilst they are a nice tribute, another issue are the Legendary Magician of Dark and Legendary Dragon of White cards in this set. Collectors will appreciate these cards, but as these cards are banned from the advanced format they will not be very useful to the average player.
World Superstars lacks the same level of focus that a main set would have, it definitely feels like random cards exclusive to the OCG have just been thrown together in this release.
There are many cards in this set that will benefit the Archtypes involved, giving them more balance and smoother game play, Star Seraphs especially.
That said, for someone who plays just one or two Archtypes I would recommend singles over sealed.
Overall I really like this set as it adds a good number of interesting and useful cards to the TCG; I am looking forward to seeing the different ways that players put these cards to use.
This set follows on from G-BT01 in continuing to define & build upon the traits that make each clan unique.
When I look through this set, I can see that Great Nature have gained a lot of good support. They have been given a new mechanic where their rear guards get benefits from reaching a certain amount of power (Usually 20000 power), similar to how Dimension Police power up the Vanguard.
Narukami get a new mechanic too. Along with their usual skill of retiring your opponents rear guards, they also bind them afterwards. Binding your opponents rear guards, instead of fully retiring them can, can interrupt your opponents plans of legioning or if they are using a clan like Granblue.
There are only six cards for Royal Paladins in this set but this isn’t a problem seeing as they had a lot of cards in the previous set and they have had support since the very first trial decks.
In G-BT02 we get another look at the RR critical triggers that support Altmile and Chronojet. These triggers work the same as Cosmic Hero, Grandbeat but work for the Gear Chronicle and Royal Paladin leaders. It makes sense for Chronojet to get this support because his first effect preventing your opponent from using perfect guards, but it doesn’t seem that Altmile really needs it, or that it should take a space in the RRs.
We also get a few cards to support older decks, such as Jewel Knights, Eradicators, Maelstrom, Blue Strom, Musketeers, Vermillion, and even the Nobles from Narukami. There are a few cards that don’t belong to a certain sub-clan or archetype but still do better in older decks, for example, Hidden Sage, Miron would be best used in a Sanctuary Guard Dragon deck or a deck that has Constance in it due to her being a grade 1 but her ability only taking effect from being placed on the rear guard circle from the deck. Snowdrop Musketeer, Pirkko and Paint Otter allow a Vanguard’s limit break to be activated no matter what damage you are on. This is especially easy for Neo Nectar because they can look at the top few cards of their deck and search for the card they want to superior call, then when you don’t need it any more, you can recycle it for a different card.
Resist is a new CONT effect that has been introduced which prevents cards with the effect from being targeted by one of your opponents card effects. This is very handy for cards from clans like Aqua Force who rely on their rear guards a lot, and if their formation is broken then they loose a huge amount of power.
Flower Princess of Spring’s Beginning, Primavera may seem to have a hefty cost for her effect with a counter blast of three, but with the help of Wheel Wind Dragon you can easily unflip two damage just by attacking. You can also use Primavera’s skill to bring another Wheel Wind Dragon out to un-flip a total of four damage in one turn.
We get a second powerful G unit for Neo Nectar. Sacred Tree Dragon, Jingle Flower Dragon works really well with the new GR of this set. If you use Primavera to bring out two units with the same name as two other units already on the field, then next turn you can bring out this guy to give each of those units +8000 power each. The only drawback to this ability is that you will have to use four grade 1s or grade 0s to get the maximum power boost out of this guy otherwise you won’t be able to boost the front units, but the extra power more than makes up for it.
As mentioned previously, Royal Paladin don’t get many cards in this set, but the ones they do get are a great addition to the clan. The most noticeable is the new RRR G unit, Flash Flame Divine Knight, Samuil. Samuil takes full advantage of having a field full of rear guards which is great seeing as Royal Paladins were the first clan to get more power from the amount of units you have on the field. For the low cost of counter blasting two while having five rear guards you can deal one direct damage to your opponent when you attack as long as they are on four or less damage. This move seems a bit dark for the holy Royal Paladins, especially when you look back and see that the other clans that have had similar abilities are Shadow Paladin and Kagero, two clans that have always been thought of as quite ruthless. Despite the fierce nature of this attack, this is a card that will come in handy in any Royal Paladin deck, and as a Royal Paladin player, I will definitely be putting it in mine.
Jewel Knights make a comeback in this set with the addition of two cards. These two cards give Jewel Knight decks a boost in defence and offence. With a soul blast of one, Kymbelinus can intercept with a 15k shield, and by resting Cymbeline when he comes on the field you can give another unit +10k power, making Broken Heart Jewel Knight, Ashlei all that more useful.
Dragonic Vanquisher is our new Narukami leader. If you combine Dragonic Vanquisher with the new G unit, Supreme Conquering Dragon, Conquest Dragon, you will be able to retire your opponents rear guards in the front row and give your whole front row 10k power. If you don’t want to use Dragonic Vanquisher then you can always use Jaggies Shot Dragoon as your supporting grade 3 to easily retire and bind your opponents front row rear guards when he attacks. Harbringer Dracokid makes full use of these abilities by him getting +3k each time an opponents card is placed in the bind zone, making him one of the most potentially powerful forerunners so far.
Another great card for Narukami is Roar of Chaos Deity, Rudra. When he attacks you can counter blast one to retire a number of your opponents rear guards equal to the amount of cards you have called “Roar of Chaos Deity, Rudra” on your rear guard circles. This works really well with an old promo, Thousand Name Wyvern Knight, who takes the name of Vanguard who’s race is Noble.
Cards such as Gearhound of Iron Fangs, Mistgazer Dragon, and Brass Feather Gearhawk for Gear Chronicle can gain a huge amount of power in one turn. All three of these units gain 5000 power for each card put at the bottom of an opponent’s deck during that turn. Combining this kind of ability with Chronoscommand Dragon, a unit that puts all your opponents rear guards to the bottom of their deck, can give all these units up to 25k each.
Another powerful unit for Gear Chronicle is the new G unit, Interdimensional Dragon, Fate Rider Dragon. This unit can get you a great boosting formation by putting any of your units at the bottom of your deck, and replacing it for any grade 1 from your deck. This ability can be used to bring out the afore mentioned Mistgazer Dragon to prepare for a powerful attack the next turn. This unit also gives a rear guard +3k for each face up card in the G zone, making this card great for early and late game.
As I mentioned before, Great Nature have got a lot of good support in this set and are proving to be a very powerful clan. Famous Doctor, Big Berry is their new leader and is a great example of what Great Nature are now about. When you stride a G unit you can give two rear guards +4k, and if their attack hits while their power is 20000 or more, then you can draw a card. This works especially well with the RRR G unit, Omniscience Dragon, Managarmr, who can give two more units +4k, and when they attack with 20000 or more then your opponent can’t guard with grade 1s or higher, preventing them from using perfect guards or quintet walls. If those powerful attacks weren’t good enough, Crayon Tiger allows you to stand a unit back up, give them an additional 4k and draw a card at the end of the turn, making it easy to draw 5 cards in your turn.
The new forerunner for Great Nature is one that I would recommend in any Great Nature deck. Pencil Koala gives +4k to a rear guard when the boosted unit’s attack hits, which is great for a card that has been affected by Big Berry’s and Managarmr’s abilities. At the end of that turn you have to retire the affected unit and then draw a card, giving the classic Great Nature effect of attacking with huge power and then having enough cards on your opponents turn to defend some of the strongest of attacks. Balloon Raccoon is another useful unit for his defensive abilities. When he would be put into the drop zone from a rear guard circle, you can instead put it into the bind zone. When you’re being attacked by your opponent, this unit can come to defend from the bind zone with a shield of 10k.
Rear guards of Aqua Force are being given their long-awaited power boost. The problem with Aqua Force before now was that they could attack a lot but a lot of the attacks wouldn’t be able to go through, even if your opponent didn’t guard. Cards like High Tide Sniper can soul blast one to gain 10k, Battle Siren, Sutashia can attack from the back row and get +3k, and the new legion, Michael, can stand two units and rearrange your whole formation. Lambros can also stand two rear guards and give them +10k each, which combos really well with High Tide Sniper to attack with +20k.
Rascal Sweeper and Despina provide good support for Maelstrom. With Rascal Sweeper attacking for 11k as a grade 2 and then switching places with the rear guard behind it. Despina is a trigger that, when she boosts a Maelstrom card, your opponent can’t guard with grade 0s from hand. This works great with all Maelstrom cards, but works best combined with Glory Maelstrom, making it so your opponent can’t guard with any cards from their hand. I’m just confused as to why this critical trigger got moved to common when Belenus and Throbbing Worker were RRs.
A lot of the rarities seem a bit odd in this set. The GR in this set, though good, could have been replaced with many of the other RRRs. The RR triggers also seem like an odd choice. I understood it a bit better with Grandbeat because it really helped out the deck, but these triggers for Royal Paladin and Gear Chronicle seem like they are more worthy of being R at most.
Aqua Force seems to have gained a lot of soul blasting units, though Aqua Force aren’t really known for their soul charging, so you’ll only be able to use a lot of these effects a couple of times every game. On a similar note: Neo Nectar is very counter blast heavy in this set. They are given a few damage un-flippers, but if you can’t get them out then you’re going to run out of counter blasts very quickly.
Finally, though Rudra has an amazing ability he is limited by the fact that multiple copies of himself need to be on the field to make full use of his ability. Being a grade 3 this is a problem. You won’t be able to boost some of your units, and the fact that he only has 10k power will make it hard to hit your opponents Vanguard.
This set has given a good amount of support for all the clans it contains, giving a boost to old decks as well as being a great way to start a new deck.
There are some specific cards in G-BT02 that feel a bit isolated in terms of support, however, this is more than made up for as many other cards in the set are very powerful and can be used to bring out the potential of the clans they belong to.
Aqua Force are a naval clan from Magallanica who patrol the seas with the goal of keeping order and justice among all marine environments.
This trial deck brings Aqua Force into the new G series with a pre-constructed deck containing 52 cards. As with all trial decks this comes with a rule book and playmat to help newer players get into the game. TD04 also brings multiple cards that older players can put in their competitive decks such as the new Aqua Force leader: One Who Surpasses the Storm, Thavas.
The box itself looks very nice with an eye-catching image of Thavas showing through the packaging, accompanied with a picture of Jaime on the box, the character who uses Aqua Force in the anime of Cardfight!! Vanguard G.
On the back of the playmat that comes with the trial deck there are examples of how to use certain cards to their full extent and how to combo cards to gain effects. Aqua Force have always been known for their ability to gain effects by organising the order of specific battles in a turn, so this guide will really help new players understand what Aqua Force is about.
From looking at the new cards we can see Aqua Force has certainly stepped up it’s game since the last trial deck. With the addition of perfect guards, G units, and two copies of the grade 3 leader, we can see that this deck can hold it’s own against even the strongest decks out there but there is still room for improvement…
We get a look at the first Aqua Force G unit. Marine General of Heavenly Scales, Tidal Bore Dragon shows us what kind of abilities we can expect from the new strides of this clan. With the classic “If it is the X battle of that turn” effect we know things aren’t going to be changing much in terms of skills.
This deck provides multiple ways of attacking more than three times in one turn which givees more support to cards like Thavas and for previous Aqua Force decks, such as Maelstrom and Tetra-drive.
The new leader, Thavas, is just as formidable as the previous leaders of the G trial decks. With a breakstride ability allowing you to retire your opponents rear guards and a generation break 2 that stops your opponent from guarding with grade 0s and deals extra damage. Just like the rest of the G units thus far, Thavas will be receiving additional support in sets to come. We get our first taste of this in G-BT02 Soaring Ascent of Gale & Blossom with Kelpie Rider, Nicky, who will help you search your deck for a card with “Thavas” in the name, indicating we may get more Thavas cards in the future.
Tidal Bore Dragon has an easy skill to pull off, with it’s ability being activated through the third battle of the turn, so even if you can’t pull off Thavas’s breakstride skill, having to be on the forth battle or more, then you can still put some pressure on your opponent. Another interesting thing about Tidal Bore’s skill is that you have a choice when it’s activated. Once you draw an extra card you can either keep all cards in your hand, ready to defend on your opponents next turn, or place another card down to get an additional hit in.
Aqua Force get a great advantage in this trial deck with the addition of Magnum Assault. This grade 2 stands himself back up after attacking, no matter when he battles during a turn, providing an easy way to get to the forth attack for Thavas. With this effect Magnum Assault also gains 2k power making it easier to attack a grade 3 Vanguard. (Note: on the first print in the English version of this card there is no counter blast cost but this was fixed in future prints and people playing this card should abide by this rule in competitive play.)
There are some minor problems with this trial deck such as the misprints. Not only do we have the before mentioned “missing counter blast” on Magnum Assault but Thavas had his own misprint. In Thavas’s description it’s breakstride ability said “When this unit attacks a Vanguard” which indicated that even after striding over him, Thavas still had to be the one to attack. In future prints this card will say “When your unit attacks a Vanguard” meaning that the G unit will gain the skill instead of Thavas.
Misprints aside, this deck has a lot of cards that show up in plenty of other trial decks, especially the grade 1s. Once you get this deck, if you are already familiar with Aqua Force and have plenty of cards from this clan then you will most likely be switching out a lot of the support cards. There is one benefit to the cards being this way, in that they are simple enough to help new Vanguard players to learn how to play with ease, but veteran players may find themselves buying this deck for a handful of cards and then placing the rest to one side.
Despite the amount of cards that are just clones of units from previous trial decks, this deck’s star units really prove to be great assets to the Aqua Force clan. Thavas seems to be a worthy unit on his own and I’m sure he’ll be used in competitive decks for a while to come.
All-in-all these cards seem to belong with Aqua Force, and if you are new to Aqua Force then plenty of support will be coming out in the next booster set to help modify this deck to make it even better.