This week’s Card of the Week, fittingly from Final Fantasy 8, is the two-cost terror, Squall!
Squall is a cool dude. 2 cost is nice, and fits into Ice’s arsenal of two drops really nicely, and he’s on theme in that he benefits from you having played the discard game, but isn’t quite as devastating as Cid Aulstyne (who does a bit too much for his condition, but that’s another article entirely – tl;dr is Ice doesn’t need a roided-up Edea that punishes your opponent for already being behind). Getting a reward for getting your opponent to two cards in hand is really nice, with a bigger payoff when you get them to no cards – which can even be used as a combat trick is really really nice. He doesn’t tempo swing so hard your opponent will never be able to come back, and infact he’ll drop back to 5k when they start their next turn and draw some cards, but he does reward you for doing what your deck does well.
Also giving Ice conditional access to haste is really nice, I can’t remember what tournament I was watching recently (I’ve been watching a loooot of tournaments), it was possibly German Nats? A game was decided on this guy and the gamble of “if he has Squall, I lose. If he doesn’t have Squall, I win.”
Squall came out and won that game by dealing the last point of damage. Rewarding Ice based on the number of cards in the opponent’s hand is awesome, providing the reward isn’t something that puts you so far ahead the game is essentially over. I think this is a good example of a reasonable reward.
Being a SeeD Candidate this guy is also searchable off of Selphie, and he also has some nice synergy with the Laguna we got way back in Opus 1 – and both of these cards are EX bursts, which is always nice to have. It’s also really good to see more playable versions of protagonists from Final Fantasy games, as so far a lot of the playable characters have been essentially random NPCs from Final Fantasy games that have ended up just being straight up more playable than their main cast counterparts.
As a final note as well, he’s a totally sweet over-extend punish in Golbez decks, and I fully recommend trying him out in your next Golbez build. You can legitimately pop Golbez in exchange for Squall, Ninja, Onion Knight and Tifa and immediately swing for 4 points of damage, which is okay I guess.
I’m rating Squall a whatever out of ten.