Let’s have a look at the last 4 cards of a set, that hardly warrants its own article because let’s be realistic, it’s 4 cards.
Light and Dark Cards are historically extremely impactful, so let’s have a look and see if that is the case in Opus VIII.
Madeen – 8-133H
Madeen was an absolute beast in pre-release, for starters. I’ve encountered Madeen a couple of times out in the wild though, which I must say I didn’t expect. Especially horrible when paired with Opus VIII’s Garnet, likely setting up a 1 sided field wipe, and gets markedly stronger once you are behind (a field wipe for 6 is pretty solid value, especially as he can kill an unbuffed Aerith.) He’s a field reset that can fit into virtually any deck, but without the ridiculous drawbacks that cards like Ultima, the High Seraph have. If you have a spare slot in your deck and feel you need a mass field wipe, why not give it a look? Also combos especially nicely with Opus V Y’shtola and Opus II Cecil, allowing you to keep a board presence while still blowing out your opponent’s side of the field.
Rain – 8-134L
Man, am I glad that Rain doesn’t have haste. With a power swing of 4k total when he attacks, he can be an absolute nightmare to deal with. Combine with that 2 really good S abilities, and you have something that is certainly befitting of a Light Legend card – however as always seems to be the case with Light, it often feels weaker (and sees less play) than its Dark counterpart. The main thing that hurts Rain is we don’t have a second massively playable Rain to take advantage of his S abilities. Most of the time you’re probably going to want to dodge the first S ability unless it gets you game that turn, the second ability is far more versatile and powerful. In my opinion at least. Swing, gain 2k, opponent’s forwards lost 2k, and then another 4k off of undermine. An absolutely huge power swing, especially if you can follow up for a field wipe with something like Fina, Valefor, Chelinka, or Cyclops. I think once we either have another Rain with a similar level of playability to this, or an FFBE searcher, you might start seeing this more often.
Ark – 8-135H
I’ve seen Ark in a lot of lists, but I’ve only seen it cast a couple of times. In certain scenarios it is objectively better than Madeen, with the downside it can get you significantly closer to decking yourself out. It has the bonus of dealing with unbreakable cards, or dealing with annoying things like Cagnazzo, etc – and can even be used as a massively expensive combat trick (if you think your forward will survive). Worthy of note though, is that his effect is phrased in such a way that the forward MUST have its power reduced to zero by Ark to draw a card – so if it has some damage on it and is then reduced to the point that it dies, you do not draw a card. If you Ark, and then Cyclops, and it is Cyclops that makes the forwards go to the break zone, you do not draw any cards. If you Cyclops and then Ark however, you do! Be aware of this and then plan plays accordingly.
Veritas of the Dark – 8-136L
Honestly, I think the game has needed something like Veritas for an extremely long time. Non-damage based, non-break based removal that can go into literally any deck (and looking at ffdecks, has gone into pretty much any deck). I have seen a lot of people calling for this card to be banned, simply because it is everywhere, or that it is unfair. Perhaps my biggest criticism of Veritas is because it’s everywhere, some games devolve into playing ‘Veritas Chicken’ – whoever puts down theirs second probably ends up coming out better. Whenever I drop down a Veritas in a tournament, in invariably gets an eyeroll, yet it’s not massively hard to play around. Putting two forwards down will often be all that it takes to play around a Veritas, and if you end up killing a Veritas that is already in play, saccing a backup that has already had its use is often the best line of play to take. There are natural counters to Veritas in cards like Eald’narche, Hildibrand (Which is steadily seeing more play post the recent NA CC), Deathgaze (IX), Opus IV Bahamut, 5 cost Yuna, and of course the almighty Nidhogg (praise be his name). There’s also destroying him in response to his enter the field effect and saccing your own forward to his on-death effect, to mitigate how much he does when he comes in. While I agree he is everywhere, he’s a dark card – he’s meant to be extremely powerful, and if he’s a problem I suggest trying him yourself.
Thanks for reading, those are my thoughts on Opus VIII!