Opus X Set Review Part 1 – Fire

Hey guys, it’s time to take a look at the new set.

As usual I won’t be looking at this set from a limited (sealed/draft) view, especially as I certainly have some opinions about this set from a limited standpoint.

As always, we’re gonna go through it in order (do I always go through it in order? I’m not convinced), and everything is of course a matter of opinion – if you see some hyperbole it’s likely for comic effect. For starter cards, I’ll be including them with Light and Dark in the last review.

Grab a seat, pull up a drink, let’s look at an element that certainly got new cards this Opus.

Continue reading “Opus X Set Review Part 1 – Fire”

Opus IX Set Review Pt. 1 – Fire!

Hey guys,

I’m looking at getting these churned out a bit quicker this time, but after the results of the poll (thanks to all that voted) it looks like you guys want multiple reviews rather than one big article, so let’s get the ball rolling with Fire. As always, not going to bother with ratings and I won’t be talking about draft, title or sealed (you got Jeff’s articles over at the FFTCG Crystarium for that) so let’s get on with it.

Continue reading “Opus IX Set Review Pt. 1 – Fire!”

Opus IX Exclusive Spoiler – Bomb!

Hey guys, Opus IX is almost upon us, and I’m here to show you all an EXPLOSIVE new spoiler that I think could see some niche plays and really BLOW UP some fields. Even though I’m usually pretty late into community spoiler season, I like to think I always go out with a BANG.

Okay I’ve run out of puns, it’s Bomb.

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So Bomb’s pretty interesting, in that in your opponent’s turn he’s not actually a forward, and reverts back to being a monster – this is pretty significant as it means you don’t have to worry about him being efficiently removed by an etb ability of your opponent, and they’re probably either going to have to waste spot monster removal on him, or they’re going to have to use a summon on him, either doesn’t sound like great value for your opponent. We’ve seen this “forward during your turn” effect already on the spoiled Tonberry and Goblin cards, it seems like it might be the monster gimmick for this set – I certainly think it’s one of the more playable gimmicks monsters have had so far (please give us ones we can tap for CP I’m sure it would be balanced).

I think this guy could see play in quite a few decks, as it gives fire something that genuinely just straight up survives Fina/Valefor/Chelinka/Alhanalem onslaughts, and something that survives Shantotto. With him being a forward straight away there’s no waiting around to get value off of him like Varuna, he’s good to go straight away, and being a forward can contribute to things like Firion as soon as he enters the field.

Being element Crystal Hunt is really interesting, are we going to see Square Enix branching out into more niche properties to introduce truly new cards to the game? If that’s the case, don’t forget that the Mana series started out as a Final Fantasy game in the West 😉 – Chapters even went to far as to have a Parasite Eve card!

I can see myself definitely giving Bomb a go, especially as he’s somewhat nice vs Veritas’ on death effect, and could even be usable to enable some field wipes in some kind of Fire Monster deck that’s really heavy on Bombs, alongside the new Ifrita we have coming in this set. I know there’s a fire monster deck floating around Australia that would probably love this card – If you have enough Ifrits in your break zone, you can use Ifrita to both break your own Bomb and deal 3k to board, then deal 2k to board with Bomb’s on-death effect, and then follow up with Royal Ripeness to pull off an 8k fieldwipe! Or even combine this with the Bomb from Opus VII to go even further beyond! We can also use this to threaten up a follow up from the newly revealed Chaos (MOBIUS), to follow up with another 5k across the field if they end up blocking Bomb! I think Mono Fire monsters based around boardwipes could certainly be a viable deck, even if it’s not a cutting-edge meta deck. It still doesn’t really let fire get past Y’shtola, though..

One thing that’s worth noting though, and I know I will get asked this a lot, is that Bomb’s on-death effect does NOT work with Iroha, she can only boost things that are on the field at the time. Manasvin Warmech works, though, so go mad with that.

I think the on-death effect is certainly an odd one as you’re literally never blocking with this card, but it does have it’s uses and can help you be the aggressor to threaten “if you block my Bomb, I will blow your entire field”. I’m certainly expecting there to be a fire deck with Ifrita, Ifrits, Fritt, Royal Ripeness and a ridiculous amount of Bombs. Historically whenever I’ve used Bomb cards, I’ve used it in tandem with Blade Beam on Opus IV Cloud for really economical fieldwipes.

If you can make him die in your turn, you can also then activate Opus IX’s Shadow to do another 8k to something?

Do be aware that he does deal 2000 damage to ALL forwards though, so pay attention to that if you’re worried about losing your own things or your opponent pushing back with multiple Valefors/Alhanalem activations on your turn.

Bomb’s cool. I like the “only being a forward during your turn” mechanic we’ve seen in a couple of places now, and it’s certainly nice to see new card mechanics as we move forward throughout the game. Hoping this one sees play, if not just in limited! I’m also very interested to see if Crystal Hunt ends up being a full blown category, or if it ends up being like ‘Special’ and ‘Theatrhythm’.

Thanks for reading, Opus IX is just around the corner now!

Esufer

Thanks for 90k! Midare Setsugekka v1.2 – Mono Fire Deep Dive

So I’ve missed a couple of key milestones for the site and wanted to get something written to say thanks to you guys for reading the site – I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I never figured it would come this far so I thought it only appropriate to do a write-up on a deck I’ve been seeing a lot of personal success with & took me to win Liverpool Regionals 2019.

More after the jump.

Continue reading “Thanks for 90k! Midare Setsugekka v1.2 – Mono Fire Deep Dive”

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.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

Continue reading “Opus VIII Set Review Pt.1 – Fire”