Cid Aulstyne: Oh my god why

Okay so first off let me preface this by saying this is in no way a whining post about Ice getting good cards – I’m happy to see elements get better as it stops the game from stagnating. Spoiler came from JFB over at his twitch channel YehoseraTheHat – please check him out if you want to see iterative changes on decks & plenty of testing with some good explained reasoning all in real time. Good channel.

But at the same time, why does this Cid Aulstyne cost less than the new Irvine???

Right, anyway, let’s have a look at this one.

Cid Aulstyne

So Ice has always been super-tight on good 3 costs, with the deck historically wanting to run Duke Larg, Mog (XIII-2), Edward, and Gestahlian Empire Cid (I did not spell this right first time) as well as probably stuff like Devout or Snow at 4 cost if you want to put a timer on the game or build towards a big-boy Nidhogg/Sephiroth+Rinoa play.

But I don’t see a deck you don’t run this in. Most decks are going to try and hold on to 2-3 cards in a normal gamestate, unless they’re massively advantage based like Mono Water currently is. It can Dull/Freeze or Kill off of EX, and is a much easier curve play to slam down compared to his 5-cost version. It is also less punishing if your opponent wants to turn around and draw in response to the effect, as you’ll still get the Dull/Freeze which might let you go for game.

The gross thing with this card though, is that because you’re obviously not running forward Cid Aulstyne with this card, you run Opus 6 Kuja in that slot instead, which allows you to free up the slot to play another one if these basically whenever you want to. Finding space in the backup line might be tough, but this card is too good not to run. I’m not saying I wish it was a red card, but I am heavily implying it. In Ice/Earth (an extremely popular deck right now), you can even combo this card with the new Vincent to clear the backup out and deal a hefty 8k to a dull forward? And let’s be real here, keeping something dull in Ice is not hard at all, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see this card quickly become a mainstay in Ice/Earth and Mono Ice decks for a few sets, at least.

Ice/Wind is also really looking like it could be a thing next set, and this deck plays into that perfectly also, being a prime Miounne target, and the extra card you draw will likely enable the instant replay of this card, leading to it being used for some really heavy swing turns, or at the least, a couple of Dull/Freezes.

Absolutely love this card, I’m pretty confident it’s among the best spoilers we’ve had for Opus IX so far.

What do you think? Are there any other bits that it combos with?


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!

Continue reading “Opus VIII Set Review Pt.5 – Ice”

Card of the Week #8 – Squall

This week’s Card of the Week, fittingly from Final Fantasy 8, is the two-cost terror, Squall!


Squall is a cool dude. 2 cost is nice, and fits into Ice’s arsenal of two drops really nicely, and he’s on theme in that he benefits from you having played the discard game, but isn’t quite as devastating as Cid Aulstyne (who does a bit too much for his condition, but that’s another article entirely – tl;dr is Ice doesn’t need a roided-up Edea that punishes your opponent for already being behind). Getting a reward for getting your opponent to two cards in hand is really nice, with a bigger payoff when you get them to no cards – which can even be used as a combat trick is really really nice. He doesn’t tempo swing so hard your opponent will never be able to come back, and infact he’ll drop back to 5k when they start their next turn and draw some cards, but he does reward you for doing what your deck does well.

Also giving Ice conditional access to haste is really nice, I can’t remember what tournament I was watching recently (I’ve been watching a loooot of tournaments), it was possibly German Nats? A game was decided on this guy and the gamble of “if he has Squall, I lose. If he doesn’t have Squall, I win.”

Squall came out and won that game by dealing the last point of damage. Rewarding Ice based on the number of cards in the opponent’s hand is awesome, providing the reward isn’t something that puts you so far ahead the game is essentially over. I think this is a good example of a reasonable reward.

Being a SeeD Candidate this guy is also searchable off of Selphie, and he also has some nice synergy with the Laguna we got way back in Opus 1 – and both of these cards are EX bursts, which is always nice to have. It’s also really good to see more playable versions of protagonists from Final Fantasy games, as so far a lot of the playable characters have been essentially random NPCs from Final Fantasy games that have ended up just being straight up more playable than their main cast counterparts.

As a final note as well, he’s a totally sweet over-extend punish in Golbez decks, and I fully recommend trying him out in your next Golbez build. You can legitimately pop Golbez in exchange for Squall, Ninja, Onion Knight and Tifa and immediately swing for 4 points of damage, which is okay I guess.

I’m rating Squall a whatever out of ten.