Budget Build Fridays #7 – Diablos Cadets

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 weeks article didn’t initially start out as a budget build, this is a deck that I built for fun but ended up costing way less than I projected (a happy coincidence) and was really, really fun to play. It uses some of my favourite forwards (Cadets!) as well as some really annoying summons to get the most out of them.

In terms of playstyle, it’s a pretty simple deck with you basically trying to win combat as much as possible, but also trying to get some good activations of Machina‘s auto ability using some neat tricks the deck has.

This deck at time of writing comes in at $38.66 (manually calculated, FFDecks has the price lower, at $23.96, so you should find the deck builds for somewhere between those two prices), and for the price I think it’s a really fun deck. I’ve had a tonne of fun playing it and am probably going to keep it on as one of my decks.

Let’s take a look at the list! Continue reading “Budget Build Fridays #7 – Diablos Cadets”

Card of the Week #7 – Zell

This week’s Card of the Week is Zell from Opus VI, who definitely deserved art with a nose.

Zell Opus 6

Upon seeing Zell & Kiros get revealed, I was super hyped to make an FFVIII theme deck to play in Opus VI, but then they went and made the cards all basically not interact with each other, and even worse, give them a searcher in Selphie who was almost great but searches for SeeD Candidates, not all of which are great (I just wanted to be able to search for Opus 1 Legendary Squall, damnit!)

Zell found a home in basically every mono fire deck I’ve built since the start of Opus VI, he’s great. He’s essentially Opus I Firion but with much more potential for advantage swings. With how prominent small forwards are in the current meta (turbo Ice’s Argath & Thaumaturge and Viceking’s Leila & her groupies), it’s not unthinkable you’re gonna break something with him the majority of times he’s played. The way his effect works means you can also buff him in response to his own effect for a slightly larger burn, which should hit for a respectable 5k-6k depending on what your buffer situation looks like. Combine him with another ping and you can get some really good damage off of this card, and because he has haste it’s likely you can swing through for damage too.

His other ability that lets you pop monsters is also useful in that it can disrupt decks that rely on monsters – smack a Cactuar and that earth/wind player is likely not going to be happy. Just be warned they’ll likely obliterate your Zell in response, but it’s almost always worth it.

I’ve found in testing that Zell is a really nice early game play, as he can put damage on something and swing straight away. Best case scenario, he kills something, and you get damage through really early. Elsewhere, you might hit an 8k forward for 4k, then swing with Zell. If your opponent takes the block, you’ve removed something bigger, if they don’t, free damage, and you can follow up with a ping summon or something like Irvine in main phase 2. It’s pretty much a win/win. Comboing him with Xande ping can be really strong, as well. 9k total to a forward, or remove two smaller ones.

I try to include Zell as at least a two-of in my fire decks I brew at the moment, although the more I test him, the more I want to max them out. He’s less useful if you have to deal with Minwu frequently, but the same could be said for quite a lot of cards in fire.

I’m rating Zell a “managing to get the last hotdog in the canteen” out of ten.

Budget Build Fridays #3 – Vermilion Fire

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.

Hot on the heels of our Card of the Week, Vermilion Bird l’Cie Caetuna, we’re going to be taking a look at everyone’s favourite underdog deck, Mono Fire! According to FFdecks.com, this week’s brew is buildable for a mere $13.74, so hopefully this can help you try out Mono Fire without a large monetary commitment! Plus, if you’re in the UK and ‘enjoying’ the hot weather at the moment, Mono Fire must be an appropriate deck… right?

This week’s deck is based around high-powered attacking forwards and multiple pings for removal – you’ll find that you need to play around Flintlock & Minwu for the pinging aspect of the deck, but Caetuna helps out there and the fact that our forwards can be a potential +4k when attacking is huge!

Continue reading “Budget Build Fridays #3 – Vermilion Fire”

Card of the Week #3 – Vermilion Bird l’Cie Caetuna

For this week’s Card of the Week we’ll be having a look at Vermilion Bird l’Cie Caetuna, a 6-cost fire backup from Opus VI.


I’ve found Caetuna has been a real help in mono fire for shoring up against bad matchups (which unfortunately was pretty much everything). While testing, getting her down as early as possible has really helped to put a lot more pressure on your opponent by making your best summons even better. The main thing you will want to play off of it’s auto ability is Bahamut, for a 9k burn with a remove from play effect if the forward you targeted dies, which is really nice considering it’s cast from the deck. By dropping Caetuna early you can really take the wind out of someone’s sails and put them on the back foot early which is what fire needs to do at the moment to stand any chance of winning – early pressure and then aggro aggro aggro.

Because her 1k boost effect is a field effect and not an auto ability as well, she also makes your EX bursts way more lethal. Flipping a Brynhildr for 7k is nice, but flipping a Brynhildr into damage for 8k is almost definitely going to kill something against most decks – it can be a really nice answer to see Ashe die to a Brynhildr EX burst that hits for 8k, so Ashe even with Wakka in play still dies. A little help against water is what fire sorely needed, although you might find you still have trouble with the Minwu backup.

She can also be used with the Opus V Caetuna‘s S ability to wipe board, although I tested (and got really hype) for the last Caetuna and she didn’t work too well. I feel the right amount of Caetuna is 2 of the Opus VI one, and 0 of the Opus V one, unless you’re playing something like Cadets. Even in Cadets, there’s better backup choices than Opus V Caetuna.

Initially I wanted to run this card as a 3 of because of how game-changing it is to fire, but felt that I’d see it all the time and probably end up hating seeing it if I had run more than 2. I don’t think she has a home outside of mono fire with the stipulation that her effect only boosts fire summons – then again I could see her being a little too strong if she was able to boost summon ping damage across all elements, so no complaints from me here.

Caetuna is all about value from her 1k ping, she makes your cheap stuff good and your expensive stuff better – seeing 9k and playing something from the break zone off of Phoenix for 7 is incredibly powerful, and the extra 1k helps you get kills on forwards that have been buffed (or are just big), even if you need to follow them up with things like Dark Lord or Emperor Xande to kill confirm. She can also be used with 9-cost Bahamut to hit 2 things for 11k and remove them from the game, but it’s personal preference whether you’re looking at Bahamut or Phoenix, and I personally prefer the latter.

You can also use her effect to pull Belias, the Gigas from the deck which allows you to sneak some unexpected haste out and get a point of damage in where you otherwise might not have been able to, which I’m sure will have some applications.

This card was also a hoot in sealed because you can pull the new Bahamut out (10/10 art in foil, but that effect makes me physically wretch) and bosh something for 11k, which feels good when everyone’s playing less-than-optimal decks.

Bahamut o5

This card will only get better as more fire cards are released, so I would pick a playset up now while they’re still cheap just incase they become scarcer or suddenly spike in value.

I’m rating Vermilion Bird l’Cie Caetuna an OH GOD EVERYTHING’S ON FIRE out of 10.