Welcome back everyone, I apologize for the articles being few and far between. The busiest time of year for me is right after Christmas as my job as a teacher and athletic director really pick up. I also coach a wrestling team, and we are approaching our final two weeks of the season! I hope to become more consistent again with content in late February/March.
Today we are talking FFVII Starter spoilers. FFVII is such a popular archetype, and has a lot of viable strategies in Fire, Earth, Wind, Lightning, and Ice. This is a deck builders dream, as any 5 of those elements can be combined to promote different synergies. We received a lot of support this set in Ice, Fire, Earth, and Lightning, and will get more support once we see what else Opus XI has to offer us FFVII fans. Below I will go through each card and give my full opinion on it, please feel free to comment and let me know what you think or if I missed any important or cool interactions with a card!
Barret is an interesting card. On his own he won’t be better than a Vivi or even a Firion since you might only have 3 to 4 FFVII Backups in an FFVII deck plus whichever Forwards you have out. However, on EX Bursts he will be very strong giving it a huge upside over its competitors, not to mention we have Opus X Zack to make his ETB stronger. The question becomes “can you play this over the last starter Barrett?” since the 5 CP Earth Barret is integral to snowballing against other decks that don’t have timely removal for him. Personally, I think there might be a world where you can play both, or maybe a Mono Fire or Fire-focused FFVII deck that likes this Barret more. This card is searchable off Wedge 4-076R.
Red XIII 11-132S
4 CP Forwards are always tricky business, but Haste helps this card a lot, that and the fact that we don’t have any good Red XIII’s to compete with it. I think this card is just ok, it is kind of similar to Fordola without Brave and without having to remove a Backup (which is nice sometimes with Fordola), but with the downside is that he can lose his abilities if your other FFVII Forwards die. In the end this always has a chance of seeing play in FFVII decks but might be the first card cut in a lot of cases. One final note, Warrior is not a bad job to have since it has some synergies with Hugh Yurg and Ward, with the former being the more likely to see play in an Earth/Fire FFVII build.
This card seems nuts right? However, lacking the almighty keyword, Haste, may mean this card won’t get to do what you want it to do that often. If you are in FFVII Fire/Earth, you could Belias it, but that is a lot of commitment if your opponent turns around and removes it, or even just activates their dull Forward. The second Special Ability is definitely insane since it doesn’t end when you pass your turn. Breaking a Character means you can start taking out Forwards, Monsters, or Backups. I believe there is a ruling about whether you can stack the special and break multiple things, but to be honest I didn’t read it, so go check that out on the Facebook groups and report back to me. If it is stackable, again you need to be certain that A) your opponent can’t remove him after you pitch all your Vincents or B) that you have some protection like Layle or Sieghard out.
A lot of Magic players are calling this a birthing pod, but I don’t know what the #@$ that is. Basically, Cloud lets you break your VII Forwards to turn them into bigger Forwards. Ideally you want to cheat out something really strong and break something that gives you value, so let’s look at our options:
These are just some examples of combos you could use, but there are even more elements you can explore at each cost. I believe that Cloud will see a lot of testing, and perhaps even play, depending on how fast he turns out to be.
Cait Sith 11-133S
This card RULES. It should be a form of “Discard” that everyone can be happy with. This allows a player to play a solid early Backup and remove a potential threat from your opponent’s hand. The nice part is that it excludes Backups, we don’t have a 3 CP Zidane situation where wrecking someone’s curve can win the game. The player gets to draw a new card, which is important since otherwise Cait Sith could never cost 2 CP. But don’t get down on that detail, because Cait Sith is more useful than you might think. Some important targets for this early in a game might be: Veritas, Famfrit, Reynn, Paine, Zidane, and Sephiroth. Even later in the game this can take out key cards like: Diabolos, Y’shtola, Kain, Garland, Shantotto, Illua, etc. The absolutely essential detail here is that Cait Sith removes the card from the game, meaning your opponent can’t recur that Reynn that you picked, slowing down their WoFF strategy until they can draw/search another. Cait Sith also lets you peak at your opponent’s hand, giving you more information to map out your turns. This card should see a lot of play in Ice decks.
Don Corneo 11-134S
I am having a hard time evaluating this card. Remember that cards milled from the top of your deck only matter if you deck out and lose the game, otherwise they are cards that you may have not drawn that game anyway! There is a lot of value here, especially with that second Action Ability. I think this would need to see play in a very aggressive deck, and maybe one that can utilize the Break Zone. The Forward having to be dull for the second Action Ability is what turns me off this card.
P.S. Boss is great job title.
“The new Dadaluma is here!” cried the FFTCG playerbase on Facebook. “Quickly, prepare our tributes lest he turn his wrath this way” a prophet exclaimed as he carefully placed foil 1 CP Cactuar cards onto an altar made of gold.
In all seriousness, this card looks very cool, but it isn’t quite Dadaluma level. Let’s go over the positives first. Azul (Spanish word for Blue) is a 3 CP Lightning Forward (wait what?). This 1 CP discount over Dadaluma means that it is easier to get him online. Lightning is also an element that has a lot of ways to ping Azul. Lightning also happens to be very synergistic with Wind and can recur Cactuars with Urianger without having to colour fix. Cactuar will also benefit a lot of Ligthning cards, but this isn’t new, Lightning/Wind has been “around” since Opus III or IV. Azul is easily searchable off of Restrictor 4-120R. Finally, Azul has the potential to ping for 6k per Cactuar, which certainly is an upgrade over Dadaluma (4k per Cactuar).
Now for the negatives. Lightning does have Break Zone recursion but is not on par with Earth’s ability to recur Dadaluma repeatedly to get the combo online. Azul also only pings when he takes damage, which works for our purposes with Cactuar, but won’t be the untargetable, defensive bastion that Dadaluma was. Azul is also a lot slower than Dadaluma. You have to get to Damage 3 before he is online, and at that point he is 1k weaker in ping strength than Dadaluma. At Damage 5 he becomes a beast, but when you take damage is so much harder to control for a combo deck that just assembling cards in your hand and on the board.
Azul is still good enough to see play, but I don’t think we will see Dadaluma’s reign of terror (if you want to call it that), return anytime soon.
This is one of the greatest arts used in FFTCG period and is going to look great in foil. Sephiroth is likely a late game card that will really finish off matches if you don’t deal with him. At 3 CP and 9k he is obviously over curve, but you will not be able to keep him around unless your Break Zone is full of cards. In the late game, a hasted-Sephiroth will be able to finish off your opponent in short order. It is nice to see Sephiroth in another element. They also gave him the Soldier job rather than War Hero. This is relevant for the Backup Zack, and I think that Fire/Lightning might be a good spot for this guy. Oddly, I don’t have a lot else to say about this card other than I am excited to play it!
Zero CP Forward alert!! That’s right, Aerith is more free in card form than she ever is in the game. I love the recursion this gives FFVII builds to bring back powerful cards like Barret, Genesis, Cloud, Sephiroth, etc. If you can hit this off the new 2 CP Cloud that will be a very powerful combo. Aerith’s Action Ability options are both fantastic and clears the way for you to play more Aeriths! I expect this to see a lot of testing in FFVII builds.
I am glad Kadaj is an EX Burst because if you look at his art, he clearly isn’t paying attention to what is going on in your game. It’s no wonder that sometimes he will just straight up leave before returning after your opponent’s turn when you needed him to BLOCK.
Of course, you can always keep him where he is rather than send him packing, but there is certainly a lot of incentive to flicker this Remnant. All three of Kadaj’s abilities are great. I like the wording of the 2k power boost + Brave, since it specifies your turn, it will last even though Kadaj returns on your opponent’s turn. Kadaj is like a weird mix of Meia and Wol that is not quite as good but has two of their best abilities. Removing Break Zone cards from the game is also incredibly relevant right now against the big three: Ranperre (#$% Illua), Wi/Wa (#$% Summons), and WoFF (get out of town Reynn). Slap 9k power on Kadaj and baby, you’ve got a stew going. I’ll definitely be playing this card.
That’s it Mysidians. As with most Starter cards, we seem to have gotten a mix of cards that range from meh to playable, to staples. We can start looking forward to the community spoiler season, hopefully there is even more FFVII support, we already know that we are getting a Legend Tifa in Earth. Rumor has it that Ban’s Final Fantasy Corner already has the text for it up on their Facebook page! As always, thanks for reading!
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Alex is a FFTCG player from Vancouver, Canada. His favourite Final Fantasy is IV and his favourite Elements are Earth and Ice, although he has a soft spot for fire.