Budget Build Fridays are geared around making affordable decks that are a good starting point for newer players, that you can build from bulk or are affordable. We aim to provide a deck every week with a wide range of playstyles that won’t break the bank.
This week we’re having a look at something that’s a bit less off-meta than previous decks I’ve looked at, but is still modestly costed. For $47.32 (at time of writing), we’re having a look at Dadaluma Gullwings.
(Disclaimer: a large portion of the cost of this deck is the Dadalumas. If you already have these the build cost is significantly cheaper, or if you can pick them up below market price – eBay usually has them very cheap, this deck will come in well below the above price.)
Let’s have a look at the list!
As you can see by having a glance at the list, the deck is focused around using Dadaluma for free removal, and using the Gullwings to give you a board presence to deal with that’s a real pain for your opponent to deal with. Rikku and Paine will usually be completely untargetable, and your opponent won’t want to target Dadaluma in most situations, either. We’ve got the XI package in there to accelerate the deck a bit, and Kam’lanaut gives you another beater that can’t really be interacted with. Let’s go through the list!
(Note: if you’re not familiar with the Dadaluma combo, it revolves around pinging your own Dadaluma with low damage effects like Y’shtola, Semih Lafihna and Cactuar to inflict 4k to your opponent’s forwards – you can do this multiple times per turn for extremely efficient removal.)
Y’shtola – Y’shtola is a laser beam in a white hoodie. You’ll be using her in conjunction with Dadaluma to remove the majority of forwards for 2 CP. She’s also exceptional at dealing with things such as Vikings and Thaumaturges which are popular in the meta right now.
Nanaa Mihgo – Flex slot. She’s in the list for more Star Sibyl targets, and she allows us to put a bit more pressure on in the early and midgames. Also if you’re against mono decks, you’re likely going to be drawing every time she gets through! Her mill effect also works well in conjuction with White Mage to remove threats before your opponent can do anything with them.
PSICOM Warden – Good beaters, thins the deck and gets you disposable Earth CP if it’s ever needed.
Rikku – One half of the Gullwings in this deck. She makes herself and Paine totally untargetable by effects, which means you can drop her early without fear of getting hit by the Al-Cid combo, pings from enemy Dadalumas, etc. Great card, and the fact she’s on curve is just absolutely nuts. This could be a 3CP 6k and she’d still see play.
Zidane – Zidane is fantastic. He’ll let you check your opponents hand if you’re unsure if you want to push through for game, and let you get rid of anything you’re particularly worried about, which you can then follow up with a White Mage, if needed!
Barbariccia – Puts everything into Dadaluma kill range, even if it has a buffer (or even 2 buffers) making it bigger. Also allows you to turn a big threat into a 1k to allow you to push through for some solid damage. Ideally you’re going to want to follow up her auto ability with Cactuar or Y’shtola.
Dadaluma – The heart of the deck. Comboed with Y’shtola, Semih Lafihna or Cactuar and you have a lot of free removal for very cheap.
Paine – The same as Rikku, but for summons. If you get both Rikku and Paine out, your opponent is likely going to have a very bad times. Ideally you will want to put Rikku and Paine out in the same turn one after the other so that your opponent has no window to respond, as playing a character does not pass priority if there is no auto-ability entering the stack.
Kam’lanaut – Lets you search for a backup in the form of Chaos, or searches for another copy of himself. He’s a good target for Star Sibyl if you think you need to drop a big boss monster for your opponent to deal with. If your opponent doesn’t answer him immediately, he’s going to stick around for a long time.
Hashmal, Bringer of Order – Hashmal is a bit memey, but here he’s a great pick. If your opponent tries to get rid of any of your non-Gullwing forwards and you have your Gullwings out, just play Hashmal and call Gullwings as the additional job! Now everything is untargetable and has 1k. You can use this before attacking to avoid the majority of harmful EX bursts in the game (although Famfrit will still get you), or you can use it as a combat trick with the extra power it grants. Or even change everything to the same element for some party attacks! It’s useful in this deck.
Diablos – This is a flex slot depending on what you have available at your disposal. You may prefer to have legendary Diabolos in this slot, or you might want to run Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (which has excellent synergy with all the removal Dadaluma/Cactuar provides you). Diablos however, gets things down to 4k and lets you draw. 4k is convieniently Dadaluma’s ping damage, and it makes getting kills off of Y’shtola much more doable (2 wind CP and a tap), or alternatively you can just use it to win most combat.
Cactuar – Combo with Dadaluma for tonnes of free removal, combo with Y’shtola to put Vikings through the blender. The second action ability can also be used in a pinch to clear out threats that you might not otherwise be able to deal with. Solid 3 of in this deck, and will likely be what you search for off of Moogle (XI).
Cait Sith (XIV) – You don’t exactly need more protection in this deck, but on the off chance you’re caught by something that’ll disrupt your combo, Cait Sith (XIV) will have your back. Generally save this to dissuade people from Diabolos-ing your Dadaluma after you’ve pinged him.
Chaos – Search off of Kam’lanaut. Not very exciting, but helps with colour fixing.
Mog (MOBIUS) – Search for any forward in your deck! Use this to set your combos up as soon as possible.
Moogle (XI) – Search for any CARD in your deck! An insane effect, you can use this to pop any missing part of your combo into your hand, or use it to go and get something like Hashmal to make your opponent think twice about trying to push or use removal. Also searchable off of Star Sibyl, so you have quite a lot of search options in this deck.
Semih Lafihna – I have spelt this name wrong so many times while writing this article. She’s basically more ping for Dadaluma, and makes Star Sibyl a soft 1CP card due to her effect of lowering her cost. You’ll want to get this card down as early as possible.
Miner – Get back Star Sibyls, get back Dadaluma, soft 2CP backup. Card is great.
Star Sibyl – Morelike Superstar Sibyl, this card allows you to put down some good threats in a very cost-effective way. You can play Star Sibyl for 3CP, search Kam’lanaut off of her, then play Kam’lanaut for free next turn and search Chaos off of him – you can also use her to search extra copies of Moogle (XI) to then go on and search for any part of your deck, and even after that you still get the action ability of playing a forward for effectively 1CP. Very nice. The fact it’s an EX burst makes it an easy 3-of in this deck.
There are a few upgrades for this deck that slot in quite well without changing too much. Here’s the changes I’d look at:
Zidane – Legendary Zidane can be incredibly oppressive in this kind of deck. He attacks in, checks opponent’s hand for threats, and then discards a forward if able to. You can use this to check if there’s anything your opponent can get off of Chaos, Walker of the Wheel, and if there isn’t, hit them with that before blockers. Even if there is, you can feasibly Chaos, Walker of the Wheel your opponent, let them play a forward off of it, and then kill it with the Dadaluma combo. He’s also a great early play against a lot of decks as he’s untargetable by effects, so he’s harder to remove if your opponent can’t answer him with a summon quickly.
Wol – Wol just makes decks he is in better. You can use him to stop your opponents from targeting with EX bursts, which in itself is really oppressive, or you can use it to give Dadaluma brave to keep him up as a really threatening blocker, or just give Zidane L +2k to ensure his attack goes through. A great card, and definitely worth considering getting if you are planning on playing anything with Earth in semi-seriously. I’d likely drop the PSICOMs for Wol in this deck. Occasionally he can just blow up a Viking by moving into the battle phase too, which can be handy.
Shantotto – The budget for this deck was slightly higher than I wanted anyway, or Shantotto would have been in. Probably the game’s ultimate answer to pretty much everything, she colour fixes and is searchable off of Star Sibyl, she’s a great include in this deck.
Diabolos – Diabolos helps you do what this deck does all the better. You can reactivate your forwards or backups (the latter can often make this summon effectively free), but the most relevant effects at the moment are breaking a 5 cost forward (Lenna, Cloud of Darkness, Orphan & Estinien are likely targets you will see at tournaments) as well as shrinking another forward to 1k for an easy dispatch with Y’shtola, Semih Lafihna or Cactuar.
That about brings us to the end of this week’s Budget Build Friday – hopefully the above deck looks fun enough to try or has given you some ideas on a deck you’re currently working on. The Earth/Wind frame is super flexible, and you can do quite a lot of stuff with it!
Thanks for reading!