Welcome back to another Mysidia Post article. This week we will be talking about Title Format. If you aren’t familiar with Title yet, check out our page here describing it.
When I traveled to Los Angeles last month for Fan Fair, I entered the Title Tournament with my FFIV deck. I ended up coming second place, losing to a FFT deck in the finals. I had started playing Title Format just before Fan Fair, and the reason I started was to prepare for that tournament. After this whole experience I have become completely hooked on Title. It is so refreshing to build decks looking at new pools of cards that I would never consider for Constructed. It has also been a lot of fun building decks with cards from every element.
Since Fan Fair, I have been working on growing a Title Scene at my Locals. I have also been trying more a more decks out (so far, I have built FFIV, FFT, FFVII, FFVIII, and FFXI). Today I am going to provide a guide on my second-place deck from Fan Fair.
One last thing I would like to note before I begin is the current state of the Title Format meta. Generally, Categories V, X, and XII are considered to be the best. I was able to beat each of these decks on my way to the finals, although it was best of one, and I had some pretty unreal draws. I will talk a bit about each of those matchups in the guide below. Enjoy!
Cecil, the Twins, and some Monks
Deck list. Credit to FF Decks for their deck building site featured below.
This deck is pretty straight forward and has multiple solid openings. Ideally you will have an opening hand with a 2 CP Backup and Fusoya, but opening with Porom, Yang/Ursula, and/or Harley/Edward can also get you off to a hot start.
Begin by building a Backup line. The deck has access to searchers, removal, and utility all through its Backups. Don’t go too aggressive unless you have Yang/Ursula and can follow up with a few turns developing Backups. If you get Fusoya online, it will be easy to remove forwards as they come down and start swinging for damage. The summons in this deck are short term fixes and don’t offer full removal options. Early on they can be used as CP to ensure you are well set up, however, late game Leviathan and Cockatrice can be instrumental in helping to finish off your opponent.
Mid to late game cards like Barbariccia, Palom, Tellah, and the 5 CP Cecils will help you push through to close out the game. Kain is a total homer card and is not good. Do not play him in your IV deck, you will never hit him off a Fusoya and everyone will look at you in disbelief when they see he is in your deck.
Core Cards/ Combos:
Core Combo #1: Fusoya and Cecil (1-108H)/Cecil (5-086L)/Cecil (7-135S)
Many Cecils synergize with self-damage, which makes sense as Cecil is a Dark Knight (for part of the game at least). Luckily Fusoya, the king of self-damage, is also a Category IV card. If you have Cecil (1-108H) on the board, every time you ping for 7k with Fusoya, you get to put another 5k damage ping on the stack from Cecil. This ensures you can kill one forward with 12K damage, or you can spread it out across two forwards. The two 5 cost Cecil’s listed above both increase in strength as you take more damage, Cecil (5-086L) is a fantastic piece of removal in this deck, as he is not concerned with how powerful a Forward is, just that it is dull. Cecil (7-135S) can become one of the biggest Forwards in Title and his un-targetable buff means that he will stick around. Rosa pairs nicely with him to block.
Watch out for the following Title matchups when you play Fusoya:
FFVII: They have 2 different Aeriths that will rain on your parade.
FFXII: Balthier’s Fires of War special can get you, but more importantly always beware of Fran (5-157S) dropping to make all Balthiers (they will have a lot) un-targetable.
FFXIII: Jihl Nabaat will shut down Fusoya, but not Cecil.
Core Combo #2: Either tag team: Yang/Ursula, Porom/Palom, Cecil (2-129L)/Rosa
Yang/Ursula is a strong tempo play and with two huge Forwards out, if your opponent doesn’t have removal, you are in good shape. Yang having Brave generally means you are swinging in while defending which puts your opponent on a timer.
Porom is a great opener and helps you find whatever you need to make your deck consistent. Palom is fine on his own, because there is less removal in Title and in Category IV in general, but if you can get him out with a Porom out to activate his draw one card ability, then you are laughing. Leonora can search either twin in a pinch. One piece of advice, don’t have your heart set on making this combo happen, make sure you pick the sturdiest line, even if it means pitching a Palom for CP.
Cecil (2-129L) is a beast in Title. I was never able to pull this guy from a pack back in Opus II, so he wasn’t even in my deck list when I was traveling out for Fan Fair. The night before the event I was able to trade for one and put him into my deck, and boy what a difference he made. I have already acquired a second one and my latest list runs both. This card protects your entire board from a lot of the removal you will see in Title. His one weakness is that he has to block, however when you have Rosa out, you can ensure that he survives any blocks that he is forced into. His 1k boost to all your Forwards isn’t too shabby either.
If you can set up any of the other combos above, and then play this Cecil, you will be in very good shape to win your match.
Core Combo #3: Finish them off with Leviathan or Cockatrice
At the Fan Fair, Kageyama said that they do not design sets with Title in mind, but it is interesting that all of IV’s Summons are EX Bursts, perfect for Fusoya. Cockatrice and Leviathan are incredibly useful, while Asura is more niche.
Cockatrice sees decent play in Constructed, so it is no wonder he is effective in this deck as well. You can use him to ensure a Forward can’t block to help you finish off your opponent, or he can be used in combat or as a response to removal to save your forward (if the removal uses damage).
Maybe it was because the Backup line is so solid, or you just don’t need to respond as much in Title, but I found that my hand size was generally larger than I might find it in Constructed, and Leviathan was a beast. Even if you only have a few cards in hand, Leviathan can return small forwards like Fran or Ursula so that you can do some damage. Leviathan was often available to close out games for me even with 4 CP forwards in the way.
Asura is a wonderful EX Burst, and can be used similar to Cockatrice in combat, but it is not a full save. By that I mean it doesn’t save your Forward from lethal damage, it only “heals” damaged Forwards. You can use this card to cycle if you are in a pinch, but otherwise it is better spent as CP.
I have talked about almost every card in the deck above, but I did include a few tech choices that I will talk about here.
Barbariccia (3-066R): This card can help you finish off forwards with either of Palom’s abilities (although his action ability is hard to use). She can also just be dropped on a MP1 or MP2 to deter a block or finish off a big Forward you attacked into.
Kain (1-127H): I love this game, and Kain is one of my favourite characters. I have always wanted to play this Kain, and I thought as an EX burst, he might work with Fusoya. He could also be used similar to Barbariccia to finish off a Forward, but he is just too expensive. He will not make it to an updated list.
Rosa (5-142H): Easy inclusion, you have a ton of Cecil’s to search which makes her a fantastic EX burst. Her Action Ability is almost always used on Cecil, and can swing a match your way, especially since you develop bigger boards in Title and have more time to use these types of abilities.
Evoker (1-105C): This is a very easy Backup to ramp with since you don’t have to worry about proper colour CP. He also helps provide Earth CP for Yang and Urusla’s Special Abilities.
Harley (3-044C): Makes Edward a 1 CP Backup, great value.
Edward (5-031H): Nice to have a little discard in your deck, he is very good value at 1 CP if you have Harley. Make sure you know which Titles have Summons as this guy’s special can win games, but don’t hang on to extra copies if you know the Title you are playing against doesn’t run/have summons.
Rydia (3-096R): Searching summons late game may help you close out the game. Earlier in the match she is just an efficient Backup, but you really don’t want your Summons too early.
Tellah (5-015H): Great removal card. Lots of Forwards will die to his Action Ability and then you can just play another Tellah. His Special Ability is also very strong, just be careful as we run 8 One-CP cards in this deck.
Tellah (2-012R): This guy has a pretty big removal attached to him, but you have to spend a lot to access it. He is mostly here for extra Tellah (5-015H) Special Ability costs.
Honestly, I like this list the way it is. The one exception being that I have cut Kain (1-127H) for another Cecil (2-129L). I would also like to try out Calbrena (5-079H), in which case I would cut Barbariccia or an Asura.
Most decks and possibly FFXII
I generally thought I had a pretty good time against most Title decks except for the big three (FFV, FFX, and FFXII).
However, I have had a lot of success against FFXII in testing because of how long it takes to get their deck set up. Porom can cancel the Action Abilities they use to pump up their Forwards and Leviathan has helped get rid of Fran in order to kill Balthiers. I am still wary of this matchup because FFXII is a very strong deck, but I don’t think it is as hard a matchup as I initially had.
FFV Dawn Warriors, FFX
FFV Dawn Warriors: This matchup depends on how quickly your opponent can play out their Forwards, and whether you get Fusoya or not. Xezat is a killer at 9K, First Strike, & Brave. He can single handedly win the match up since he is never dull for Cecil to kill him and he cannot be killed by Palom, Fuosya, or Tellah alone.
FFX: I think FFX is the strongest Title deck. Once it is set up, most of their board is un-targetable by anything, and Category IV does not have a board clear. FFX can also get very big between Rikku, Tidus, and Kimahri being buffed by Wakka. Watch out for Yojimbo turning a block against your Yang into a 2 for 1 as they snipe off Ursula.
If you are going to win this matchup you have to play fast and catch them before they set up. Category X has a board wipe in the form of Sin, but its hard to play around so I advise just trying to end the game quickly.
Conclusion: Why you should/shouldn't play this deck
Why you should play this deck:
Easy, Final Fantasy IV is a great Final Fantasy with some very cool characters. The deck has a lot of tech choices (Archfiends/Golbez, Edwards, more Twin synergy) so you can have a lot fun with just one category.
I think this deck is underrated and is one of the stronger categories in Title. Keep in mind that I am biased with my local results and nostalgia of playing the game!
Why you wouldn't play this deck:
You might come up frustrated if a lot of people play the Big 3 at your locals and you can’t get a win.
Thanks for reading! See you next week for the next article.
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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.