Budget Build Fridays #6 – Dadaluma Gullwings

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!

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Card of the Week #6 – White Mage

This week we’re having a look at a stellar anti-meta backup, White Mage!

White Mage

At first glance, White Mage doesn’t look like it does too much, and admittedly it doesn’t, but White Mage’s strengths come from the things it can interact with. The a lot of current meta decks run a lot of recursion in the form of Phoenix, Devout, Urianger, Miner, Scholar, Leila, and Lenna, as well as the new summon recursion cards from Opus VI.

With the on-play ability, you’ll want to remove something that you perceive to be a vital part of the deck – be that a Viking waiting to give the opponent an advantage, a Cactuar waiting to come out and start gently caressing Dadaluma via Urianger, or a summon ready to get used by Yuna‘s action ability to activate and buff a Gullwing. If you’re running White Mage, you can answer a lot of plays you otherwise would not be able to answer at all.

The second ability is a bit trickier to use. I mostly practice against a Leyak Control/Urianger Mill deck, and I found pretty much every time I tried to fire off the action ability on an empty stack, it would get responded to with something that would resurrect it or put it back to hand – don’t gamble the second effect. It’s not worth guessing whether they have an answer for it. Wait for your opponent to target it with something like Phoenix, or Miner, and then pop White Mage in response to remove it and make their effect fizzle. If you see your opponent setting up a Zemus or Edea play, you can REALLY ruin their day with White Mage.

Also worth noting is that this backup does not have to be active to use it’s action ability, so it’s good practice to leave it dulled and pay for it with something else to see if you can make your opponent forget about it – you’ll find quite a bit opponents don’t pay attention to backups that you have dulled, and only consider the active ones to be valid threats.

There’s not a huge amount to write about this week’s Card of the Week, but I genuinely believe in the current meta, if you are running Wind in any capacity, at least consider running some White Mages, because it will just straight up win you the game in some matchups.

I’m giving White Mage a “That’s a nice Break Zone you have there, it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it” out of 10.

Budget Build Fridays #5 – Dirt Cheap

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 are having a look at a Mono Earth deck, it’s one I’ve been wanting to do for a while but couldn’t settle on WROs or… well. Not WROs. I settled on the latter. I think there’s something slightly wrong with how FFDecks is currently working out total prices for decks, as the deck at time of writing shows $28.73 as lowest price, but I calculated manually and it’s actually $18.15, which is much more on the nose for the budget builds I like to do. Let’s take a look!

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Card of the Week #5 – Titan

This week we’re having a look at another one of the Opus VI summons from category VII – it’s Titan!

Titan Opus 6

Now, in his source game, I was certainly not Titan’s biggest fan. He was just a bit pants. That’s not the case here, he’s the literal opposite of pants (…a shirt?). Titan capitalizes on what earth does best, and plays more into the ‘forwards dealing damage outside of combat’ thing that we’ve had so far with Raubahn and Hecatoncheir.

Titan can be used both offensively and defensively, and will usually be letting you remove two forwards for 5 CP – the fact that he’s an EX burst is also nuts, as it’ll usually kill an enemy forward, and stop any further attacks as your forward just got a 2k boost! I found I’ve been using Titan as a 3-of in Mono Earth decks that rely around buffing forwards to stupid power levels, as things like Enna Kros, Ingus and Wol make Titan even better, and you get very efficient removal out of him. Attack with a forward, if it get blocked, buff it with Titan and blow up another thing, it’s fantastic.

It also combos really well with Vermilion Bird l’Cie Zhuyu, as the forward is classed as the source of the damage, not the summon. That means that Zhuyu’s effect will trigger if you use Titan with him – most of the time Zhuyu isn’t blocked. If you want to get a second attack off, after you’ve already swung, cast Titan to blow something up, reactivate Zhuyu and then go in again! Because the forward is also the source of the damage, it also gets around things like Cecil and the damage protection effect from Leviathan, which would normally stop damage dead in its tracks.

I think it’s great value for 5 cost because of its multiple applications, it costs 1 more than Odin or Bahamut, and is arguably better at removing things than them (in terms of potential damage in a typical earth deck, you should be scoring 10k hits with this reasonably reliably) AND it has an EX burst, and unlike Hecatoncheir it doesn’t do damage to your own forward! The only real downside I can see with this card is drawing it early game when you’re not set up, or flipping an EX burst when you don’t have a forward out.

Also, with it being category VII, it’s awesome in the (already strong) VII title format deck!

I’m giving Titan a Big Guy out of Ten.

Budget Build Fridays #4 – Manikin Mayhem

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.

So, you’ve got playsets of the new participation promo Exdeath sat around doing nothing – let’s build something weird for under $15!

This deck will focus on the virtually abandoned Manikin archetype that was released in Opus II – with Dissidia NT having been out for a while, perhaps we’ll see an eventual resurgence in this archetype? For now, all the cards are dirt cheap, which makes it ideal for a budget build.

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Card of the Week #4 – Ramuh

This card of the week shouldn’t come as a shock, we’re having a look at the majestically-bearded Ramuh from Opus VI!

Ramuh

Ramuh has a staggering 4 effects to choose from for a decently costed 3 CP. I’d say he’s probably one of the most useful lightning summons right now that doesn’t have a massive cost (I still love you Raiden <3). He’s also category VII if title format is your thing.

The first effect is probably the one you will use least, depending on your local meta. Most commonly it’ll be used to blow up Cactuars to try and slow down Cactuar/Dadaluma decks. It can also be used to clear out things like Buccaboo, Gesper and Black Knight. It has some applications but isn’t really where this card shines.

The second effect is way more useful – it can be used either offensively or defensively, and is especially strong when paired with the other two effects on the card. Dulling something to sneak a point of damage through will win you games.

Up third, we have 7k damage to an active forward. At first, this effect is essentially Adrammelech, the Wroth‘s effect but without the EX burst portion. Combine it with the second effect, and you can make Al-Cids in the mirror match extremely un-fun for your opponent. Opponent summons Al-Cid targeting your active forward, respond with Ramuh, dulling your own forward and hitting Al-Cid for 7k – your opponent will lose the Al-Cid, and his effect will not go off, massive value for 3 CP.

The fourth effect is one to close out a game – I don’t use this one too much myself as a lot of things in my deck have haste anyway, but it has won me a few games. You can either ping for 7k and haste something like Seifer to remove a large forward, or you can dull a forward, haste your own forward, and swing for a point of damage.

Ramuh really is a swiss army knife that lightning sorely needed to stay relevant – it won’t help you too much against Ashe + Rasler, but it’s a great addition in almost all other situations. If you’re running the new Arecia Al-Rashia in your deck, you can also pitch this card to search for a big summon when needed, or if you need to use this card to go for game but it’s not in your hand, throw away that 7 cost Odin for Ramuh, haste your forward and win!

Summons with options only make the game more interesting, and I hope that other elements get some love with these too (please give fire a summon with selection options, and don’t make it terrible.)

Except Bismarck, Bismarck can die in a fire.

I’m rating Ramuh a Giant Electric Santa Gandalf out of Ten.