Opus VIII Set Review Pt. 7 – Light & Dark

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.

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Opus VIII Set Review Pt.6 – Earth

Hi guys – time to start rounding off my coverage of Opus VIII with the last major review of the set – earth. Perhaps I should have done earth earlier, to get some good groundwork down?

I’ve had a couple of people voice concerns that I’ve missed the boat or taken too long with the Opus VIII set review series, and while I’m thankful for any and all feedback, I just wanted to take a moment to address this & say that the reason that my reviews have come out significantly later than other content creators was that I didn’t want to make snap judgments about any cards, and I also wanted to make sure I’d had a chance to play all the cards in the set before making a judgement. Regardless, I will try and be a bit quicker for next set, if time allows. The last thing I want to do is to provide any rushed content or anything I wouldn’t consider up to par.

Less tarrying though, let’s get on with it!

Continue reading “Opus VIII Set Review Pt.6 – Earth”

Opus VIII Set Review Pt.5 – Ice

It’s a pretty warm day today, let’s cool off by looking at some Ice cards. After this, we’ve only got Earth and Light & Dark to look at, and I plan to do those sometime next weekend (or over the weekend depending on how things pan out!)

Let’s go!

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Nael – A tepid box topper

Hey guys, we’ve got 2 Opus IX cards out in the wild now, Nael and Vincent.

I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about Nael today, especially as it’s radically different from its Chapters source card, and a massive step back on what Fire needs in a 5 Cost card after the extremely good Cloud from Opus VIII.

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Let’s get the first thing out of the way – the art is really nice. Nael’s design from FFXIV 1.0 makes her one of the more memorable villains of the FFXIV series (especially with Gaius being an equally cool follow on pseudo-villain). Unfortunately the art makes the text on the full art actually quite hard to read, something probably made a bit worse by the foiling we are presumably going to get on this card when it releases.

I’ve seen a lot of reactions around this card (as is natural for the first revealed legend for a set) – a lot of experienced players are disappointed with it (myself included), but there is an equal amount of it that are viewing the potential of what this card can do if everything goes right.

Opus IX’s Nael is the very epitome of a high roll Card. To get maximum value out of it, you want to be running a high amount of forwards in your deck so that you get a 2CP 9k (which in fire isn’t really anything special compared to better, searchable attackers like mah boi Hien). Realistically, you can probably hope to hit 1 forward off of her effect, making her a 4CP 9k, at which point I honestly think I would prefer Rubicante. If you miss with the effect (likely, you’re only looking at the top 3 cards and probably running 22-25 forwards in an average deck), you’ve sunk 6CP into something that could be a Veritas of the Dark.

I’ve seen the counterpoint to this that if you pay 6, get 2 forwards off of her etb effect, and then pitch all 5 backups to 8k 2 forwards and then haste Nael, you’re probably winning the game, but it doesn’t take a lot to disrupt that. A random Famfrit out of nowhere, or the ever-present in the meta Diabolos coming down mean that you’ve just sacrificed 5 backups to effectively lose the game. People seem to only be looking at this card at the absolute peak of what it can be, ignoring what fire actually needs from a legendary card (especially one with this big a CP investment) – consistency. I’m happy to be wrong on this card, but I don’t see myself playing it unless it gets some REALLY good support to go with it, or if it works really well in a dual-element deck. Time will tell on that. The issue with the card is it not only doesn’t do things better than cards that already exist, it doesn’t do it even as well as card that already exist.

If you want something in Fire that searches and gets you value and a body, you run Marche with Montblanc. If you want a big attacker, you have plenty of natural haste,  you run the infinitely more valuable Cloud, or the incredibly threatening Ark Angel HM. You’re probably wanting to kill your opponent way before they (or you) get fully set up, and I don’t think Nael plays into that gameplan at all. If we end up with a “Big Fire” deck like we had “Big Ice” emerge in Opus 6/7, it could potentially see some play. But at that point if you want a forward without a meaningful etb to just attack with, I can guarantee you’re looking at Xande before you look at Nael.

Anti-synergy of wanting to run both a high amount of forwards and backups is what really hurts this card. The etb wants this to see play in an “all-forwards” deck – yet to get further value out of it, it wants to you to remove backups from the game for it? That’s a big ask for a not particularly game-changing effect. If I want to spot remove my own backups, I vastly prefer Firion from Opus 6 (and he’s a potential 2 cost 9k that can access Haste, Brave and First Strike, and he doesn’t even see play – that should tell you something.)

A couple of minor tweaks would be all that would need to change to make Nael more playable. Let us look at the top 4 cards of our deck, or top 3 and let us choose characters. Change the “remove a backup from the game” to be “Remove 1 card from the top of your deck from the game” for the first effect, and “Remove 2 cards from the top of your deck from the game” for the second effect, but make them once per turn if you’re worried about the removal being abused. In its current state, for 6CP it doesn’t cut it at all. 6 CP is the same CP investment for a Dadaluma and 2 Cactuar, after all. For 6CP you want to be bringing the centerpiece of your deck online, or lining up a fantastic swing play. Not just dropping a card onto the field.

This is all opinion, and if you’re hype for Nael I hope I haven’t taken a massive shit on it, but it’s not going to be the transformative boss monster for Fire that Cloud was. If there are backups that get effects from being removed from the game, she could be something. Not holding my breath though.

tl;dr: Run Veritas instead of this

BIG POST O9 LAUNCH EDIT: Happy to say my fears were not confirmed with Nael, and she’s actually really solid in a deck that prioritizes a high number of forwards. I still maintain it was a really weird choice for a box-topper, especially being a version of a character who is literally not visible in any FF games anymore (being from the now rebooted FFXIV), and in an element that’s largely unpopular. With the reveal of Gaius, this card got a lot better!

Thanks for reading!

Esufer

Opus VIII Set Review Pt.4 – Wind

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.

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Opus VIII Set Review Pt.3 – Lightning

Okay real talk – I 100% forgot what element I was gonna review next. I figured with the recent Death Machine errata, it’s time to get down some shocking opinions (1/1 puns) about lightning on paper. As always, I won’t be bothering with a number rating system as they’re pretty much arbitrary and very much subject to change in an ever-evolving card game like Final Fantasy.

Let’s go!

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Opus VIII Set Review Pt.2 – Water

Hey guys, it’s time for another part of my Opus VIII set reviews – I’ve had a chance to play pretty much everything in the set so hopefully my opinions on the cards have a bit of weight behind them as opposed to what I might have said had I rushed these out. As always, I don’t do ratings as they’re entirely arbitrary, and will instead be writing a bit about each card instead.

This week we’re gonna be looking at Water, so lets… dive in. /eyeroll

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Opus VIII Set Review Pt.1 – Fire

So I’m gonna break up the set reviews this time, mainly so that I actually get them done in a reasonable timeframe. We’re gonna be starting with Fire because let’s basically get it out the way, I guess. I’ll be forgoing a rating system, but instead offering my opinion on each card.

HERE GOES

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Noctis 8-079H – A Card to Watch

Hey guys, hope you’re enjoying Opus VIII.

I didn’t want to restart the Card of the Week series again, but there’s a card I really want to talk about that released in the most recent set that I think might not get a huge amount of attention now but could be ridiculously powerful in the future.

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If you think there’s even a remote chance you will want to play a Category XV deck in the future, I suggest you pick Noctis up sooner rather than later to avoid a price spike. I’ve been bothering Steve Dolman of the YYT (check them out) about this card, and I figured he was tired of my insane ramblings so I thought I should get something down on paper about how good this guy is.

So Noctis has a pretty good statline, 2 for 5k is enough to ward off any early forward throwdown such as Leila & Viking an early Porom or an opportunistic turn 1 Tifa going for a free point of damage, and he has an S ability for unconditional monster removal (which is likely to become more relevant as we got some really powerful monsters in Opus VIII!)

Noctis’ real strength comes from his auto-ability, which from a surface-level analysis isn’t anything exciting, especially as he only digs two cards into the deck for an FFXV card. This ability comes with a few advantages other similar auto-abilities have not in the past.

  1. What he finds is the same as Noctis’ cost. If you hit with this auto-ability (and if you max out on all the available XV cards in a Water/Earth deck right now, it’s not unlikely) you end up with a 0CP 5k beater, who enables Gladiolus to come down for 2CP 9k. If it hits, you’ve just basically played a Leila & Viking combo, except Leila has been hitting the gym and is now 9k. Yes, that faint sound you hear is me screaming internally.
  2. He digs for an FFXV card. This doesn’t mean anything right now, but it does mean that you will be able to pick up literally anything printed category XV. Most of these “dig x cards into deck” searchers either search for a specific type (usually forward or monster), and other viable searchers such as 5 Cost Steiner search for a character. Noctis will be able to pick up summons once they’re printed. He will get exponentially stronger as more and more cards are printed in the XV category, which is why I think you should be picking this up now rather than later. Right now you can be running a staggering 21 FFXV cards in a Water/Earth decks, so the odds of him hitting are not bad at all, and will only get better.
  3. He himself can be searched – Ignis into Noctis is just nuts, especially as Ignis will be giving Noctis +1k and brave. The value off of this search chain if Noctis hits on his auto is really something worth taking notice of. I mean he’s also a Prince too, so if you’re running Water/Earth you can search him off of Pieuje?
  4. He has an EX burst! – He did not need an EX burst to be good! EX searchers as a rule of thumb are just strong.

Just a bit of a quick rant about how good this card is, and more importantly how good this card is going to be. I strongly recommend if you think you’ll be playing XV in the TCG in the future, that you pick this card up.

Good luck at your upcoming regionals, and thanks for reading!

Esufer