Ahoy! I meant to do this earlier during the week, but RL stuff is crazy at the moment. Time to take a look at one of the elements that got the most love this set, Wind!
As always, we don’t do number ratings here, and each card will instead have some thoughts from myself on it.
Ark Angel MR – 8-045R
Morelike Ark Angel MRS on account of the top waifu status of this card, amirite? Ark Angel MR feels like a more relevant retrain of Opus 1 Legendary Zidane. 7000 seems to be the power of a lot of relevant forwards these days, and you can make her untargetable just by paying 2 Wind CP (and if you’re running Wind, you’re likely reactivating everything anyway). Although she hasn’t seen much play, she’s a good card, especially due to the XI category (which means she’s grabbable off of Star Sibyl, if needed.). If you’re gonna get this, get it in foil, all the Ark Angels look nutty in foil.
Alexander – 8-046R
I really liked Alexander when the set launched, but I find myself using him less and less. Against some matchups, he can be really crippling, but against matchups like Lightning and Water, you’re not really hurting them by playing this. Being able to pop a 4+ cost character is really cool though, and can out you to some situations you might otherwise be unprepared for (pop an Alisaie in combat prep? Nice! Pop that Ozma that’s been blocking your dark guys for a few turns? Go for it! Trash that Star Sibyl? Go for it!). I found in the first few weeks of the Opus it was invaluable for breaking Lunafreya (as she was in a lot of decks at the time), but he’s seeing less and less play lately. I’d have preferred if this was a 5 cost EX, maybe?
Waltrill – 8-047C
Breakable hand-filtering included in arguably one of the best backup packages in the game? Absolutely awesome card. While it doesn’t let you mull your whole hand like Artemicion does, it is searchable hand filtering. That you can break to hand filter again and clear the space for something more useful. A fantastic card, if you’re running Norschtalen, you should be running at least one Waltrill to accompany it.
Warrior of Light – 8-048H
If you like OTKs, this Warrior of Light is the card you want to be building around. In Wi/Li Dragoons, it becomes very easy to drop a field of 0-1CP Dragoons that all have haste if you drop them with a Barbara. An absolutely terrifying card, I don’t think his full potential is realised yet, but I can see something REALLY stupid coming out with this guy in in a few sets times. Would probably hold on to any you have incase his price bumps up like Dadaluma’s has.
Aerith – 8-049L
Aerith is just good. I don’t think she’s the gamebreaker that many have painted her to be, there’s plenty of ways to play around her or break her outright, but if you’re playing her, she allows you to punish breaking her with mills off of Rikku, or a big summon off of your newly reactivated backups. She also makes Yojimbo/Hecatoncheir plays quite safe with her built in Minwu effect (an effect I’m much happier to see on a forward, much easier to interact with!) When the set first came out, Aerith was very much the chase legend, but her price is levelling off now. A great card, and really nice protection for your field if twinned with Y’shtola.
Onion Knight – 8-050C
The first card in this element I’m not a huge fan of. He seems like he treads an objectively worse midpoint between Opus 7 Starter Cecil, Opus 1 5 Cost Bartz and Vata. I’m not sure why you’d include this in a build, unless there’s some gross play I’m missing with it. If you need other Onion Knights for an Onion Knight combo deck, there are certainly better ones already. Plus we’re getting a new Onion Knight in the Opus 10 Dual Starter deck that is arguably more usable than this.
Garuda – 8-051C
No strong feelings about this one on paper, it’s nice for Wind to have some viable spot removal that isn’t Diabolos or Chaos, Walker of the Wheel. Considering Wind vomits out 5 backups very quickly, this will be hitting for over 7k in the majority of games. I’ve seen top-level players use this to great success, if you’re playing a pure Wind build I’d definitely recommend trying it.
Thief – 8-052C
If this was a 2 or 3 cost, I could see this being good? As a 4 cost I kind of actually hate it. The discard mechanics feel entirely too finicky, especially as more decks are getting braver with the amount of weird splashes they’re putting in. Playing against Earth/Wind and call Earth? Congratulations, you just hit their Dark Fina and Phoenix in hand and played a 4 cost Evoker. Legendarily hard pass on this one.
Sherlotta – 8-053H
Good card. Searchable off of Norschtalen, has a dorky cat on, lets you do off-colour plays (and odd CP plays when completely tapped out.) If you have the room, or need a bit of colour fixing, give Sherlotta a try. Make sure you shout “that’s Sherlotta damage!” whenever you cast Phoenix off of it.
Cid Highwind – 8-054R
This guy was my absolute MVP at pre-release. Testing him in constructed though, and hoo-boy, he’s not great. He’s good if your opponent perhaps isn’t great, as you can basically make them waste a turn replaying a backup. More than likely though, he’s hitting a buffer or a searcher, the latter of which you really don’t want your opponent replaying. If he was 4 cost, I’d say give him a go, but he’s not, so maybe this Cid is best running Traverse Town’s item shop.
Selkie – 8-055C
Distinctly average, even against a mono deck. Not really much to say about this one. She’s technically 2 CP on death if they mill the same colour twice? I wouldn’t slot this, there are plenty of other 8k bodies that Wind and Wind/X have access to that are better. EDIT: An eagle-eyed reader spotted that I cannot read, and she in fact looks at type and not colour. I still don’t think I would dedicate a deck slot to this one!
Deathgaze (IX) – 8-056R
Deathgaze is great. He’s a great one-of in any deck that can run him. Really hard punish to the decks that forgo monster removal, and he’s still great even vs decks that do, even as a temporary solution to awkward cards. Plus gets rid of loads of nasty stuff that’s otherwise a real pain in the ass to deal with, such as Ardyn, etc.
Ninja – 8-057C
Archer, but cooler. Minor improvements are that you can play 3 cost Thancred off of this card and still get his bonus, and also that if you split your copies of Ninja and Archer when deckbuilding, people will have trouble tracking how many potential backup breaks you have left. If you need to run 3 Ninja, run 2 Ninja 1 Archer. Or run 2 Archer 1 Ninja. Mindgames!
Norschtalen – 8-058R
I really wish this one came earlier in the Article, as I’ve referenced it a lot. Historically, backups searching backups is great anyway. Norschtalen searches for some of the best backups in the game, with her current targets being: Tonbetty, Epitav, Pavlov, Moogle Brothers, Chime, Meeth, Latov, Cu Chaspel, Aleria, Alhanalem, Carbuncle, Kolka, Moogle (FFCC), Waltrill, Sherlotta, Norschtalen and Layle. 8 of those 17 targets are searchers. The only colour you cannot colour fix from Norschtalen is Lightning (and that’s just for the moment). Norschtalen is fully ridiculous, don’t overlook it when deckbuilding because of its simple text.
Basilisk – 8-059C
I’ve already written about this one so I’ll just link to my spoiler article for it.
Fina – 8-060L
Honestly, I wasn’t massively hype for this card when I first saw it, but I’ve seen people do some very silly things with it. Usually combo’d with Valefor, Alhanalem, or Chelinka, Fina likes to do massive boardwipes. In the same way that Nidhogg is a Raiden that can stab people, Fina is a Valefor that can stab people. Her cost to get both of her effects may seem high, but if you have a full backup line, you’re getting 5 of the spent CP back, which makes it a lot easier to combo off and wipe your opponent’s board. I was expecting a rotate out of cards like Minwu before this card was printed, now I think cards like Minwu need to exist to keep this madness in check.
Fina – 8-061C
Not sure why this one exists, it feels like it should have come out a set or two ago. Potentially a 2CP 7k that can net another CP when it dies. Pretty average, I can see it being a nice pick in a sealed/limited format. I much prefer the art on this one to the legend one, though.
Veriaulde – 8-062H
Not great right now. Good targets he has are Leyak, Deathgaze (IX) and Cactuar, but if you’re using Leyak or Cactuar, you’re already using a much better way of recurring them in Urianger, and Deathgaze isn’t always optimal as he’s a unique unit, so you can’t have more than one of him out.
Matoya – 8-063R
Unconditional monster break on an EX is pretty nice, however not enough decks run monsters that this can hit its value every time it’s played. Decks that do rely on monsters have lots of ways to pick their monsters back up, also. Probably a pass for now. Also, the card that used this art in Chapters was one of the most anti-turbo discard cards available! I’m surprised the one we got here was so different.
Yuffie – 8-064H
Speaking objectively, and not as an FFVII fanboy at all, this is an objectively amazing card, belongs as a 3-of in every deck and needs to be played by all. 10/10 I want to see it grow up strong and healthy.
Archer – 8-065C
Opus 3 Dorgann got his hair did, got some slick new art and a boob job, and then became an objectively less-playable card. Big avoid on this one.
Chaos, Walker of the Wheel – 8-066C/3-071H
A reprint of a solid card that is perhaps past its prime now. I was a massive fan of this card when it was seeing play, as it meant I got to drop Nidhoggs for 0CP. Absolutely fantastic. Not sure it sees play anymore these days, but it’s effectively unconditional removal at a very good cost with an EX burst. If you build around it with 3 or 4 CP Zidane to check the hand before you cast this, it’s an extremely effective card. Also good for those who like to live life dangerously.
Godo – 8-140S
A 2 CP backup that likely isn’t seeing play out of a Yuffie-centric build. Being able to give the 2CP Yuffie from this set First Strike is really scary, as it makes her 1k ping suddently massively relevant when it comes to disposing of things much bigger than herself.
Yuffie – 8-141S
Great art, kind of eh effect (when it was initially spoiled I had hoped it had searched for a Vincent instead of Red XIII). We have had a Snow with this kind of effect in the past, and that didn’t see much play outside of his ability to get a 2CP backup Lightning and throw it into play when he came down. Maybe this will see play if we ever get a backup Red XIII? For now, I don’t see this seeing play at all.
Red XIII – 8-142S
Not a fan. You can attack, bait the block, think that everything is going great because of First Strike, and then your Yuffie gets removed before damage calculation and you lose Red XIII. I could perhaps see him as a 1-of if you need some Haste in a Yuffie build, but even then I think there’s better options (if you want Haste for a closer, surely you just play Adelle?)
So those are my thoughts on Wind! Let me know if I’m massively wrong about anything in the comments or if there’s anything you think I’m sleeping on.
Thanks for reading,