Hello Mysidians, welcome back to another Mysidia Post article! Last week I was on a bit of a staycation, and I focused on enjoying the Opus VIII release and spending time with my lovely fiancé. But now its back to work as I intend to return to my one article per week schedule.
This week I am going to talk about five cards from Opus VIII that I have been having a blast playing with. Since the set dropped, I have mostly been playing Mono Wind, Earth/Wind (No Dadaluma, running the new Aerith), Ice/Lightning, and Fire/Ice. Don’t expect to see any Water cards on this list! I also want to note that this is not a list of the most powerful cards in Opus VIII, but ones that have been very fun to play with. Let’s get into it.
1. Rufus (8-109L)
I was very hyped for this card from the second I saw it spoiled. Everyone at my locals knew this, and it was easy to trade for 3 when I didn’t open any in my box. I have been testing quite a bit to find out where this card fits. Mono Lightning seems like a good spot, but I prefer running many 3 CP Backups and Cid Previa, leaving little room to add a 5-6 Backup package.
I also tried some whacky stuff in Earth/Lightning with the Biggs from the Opus I FFVII Starter Deck. It was very fun, but too janky to be competitive. I tried some more competitive builds with Earth/Lightning but I think I was catering too much to Rufus as a defining card in the deck, when really, he is a package you insert into your deck to give consistency to your openings, and add removal through Reno and sometimes Rude.
Whenever I play Rufus, he becomes a beater. The amount of damage this guy has done for me is incredible. People just won’t block him (if their Forward can be targeted by abilities). Currently I am playing him in Ice/Lighting with Sephiroth, Genesis, and the 3 CP Light Cloud. I also have WOD package from Opus VIII that has been quite successful.
P.S. I received a hot tip from an experienced player that Rufus is very good in Wind/Lightning, something I will try in time!
2. Alba (8-091H)
Alba fills a similar role to Illua but isn’t quite as good on her own. However, in Ice/Lightning she has been an all-star for me (so much so that I run her over Illua). You want things to be dull when you play Ice and Alba helps cards like Cid Raines or Lasswell come in to ping a Forward. Since you have many other ways to dull Forwards in Ice, Alba’s second ability to gain haste and become untargetable will also be live.
I have been playing her recently with the Emperor (FFL), and yes, I have won games dropping an Alba to dull one Forward and dull/freeze another 5 cost Forward. I don’t think you need any of other WOD cards to make Alba more potent but fitting in one Diana does work quite well and gives you more options for swinging over someone. Make sure you run 3 Alba’s so if you have one out you can EX Burst another!
3. Imperio (8-025H)
At first glance, Imperio looks like a real dork. But despite his unfortunate art, he has risen to playable levels with his text. I have been using this guy in, you guessed it, Ice/Lightning. His ETB search target is 3 CP Cloud while his exit target is Galdes. He is Category FFL, so he has synergy with Diana and Emperor (FFL) as well. With the consistency of the Turks for setting up, I have easily had Backups to play Imperio, search for Cloud, and play that Cloud to break something on the board. Your opponent will be reluctant to break him, since they don’t want to give you a Dark card. I prefer to use cheaper costed Forwards for his search, so that you can play them out of your hand easier, and so that they won’t stick around as long (so you can play the other one). If you don’t have a VII themed deck, you can sub in the 3 CP Light Zidane for Cloud.
If I had the new Veritas, I would like to test it with Imperio as it would add some serious removal implications to your opponent breaking Imperio.
4. Celes (8-037R)
Turns out everyone had the idea to build FFVI Ice/Fire when the new set released, and I don’t blame them. Having access to two new VI Backups in Setzer and Edgar means that Locke is very hard to stop from discarding on entry. These Backups also provide easy activation for the new Celes. This card is straight up a better Kuja (3-030L), which breaks my heart as that is one of my homer cards.
At 3 CP this card is easy to play and can reach 8k power with Edgar in play. It also takes some heat off of Locke since if left alone Celes will carve a path for Locke to deal damage and force a discard. I haven’t seen her in and Ice/Fire’s yet in tournament results (I am sure those guys tested her too), but I recommend trying her out for yourself to see how it works!
5. Duncan (8-014L)
I pulled a Duncan in my pre-release kit and was a little disappointed, partially because I was so excited for Rufus. When I opened my box, I pulled two more Duncans, one foil and one non-foil. Since I had three and I do love FFVI (the game) and the other VI cards in the game, I decided to try Ice/Fire FFVI, and boy was I pleased. I have loved playing Ice/Fire ever since reading Yehosera’s blog posts about it (it is an archetype he has tried many times), and now I think the deck might finally be competitive at the highest level.
The deck overall is very strong, and Duncan has been excellent for far. My opponents are always worried about his Special, which can’t be stopped once its on the stack. Even if Duncan is removed, his power before he left the field will be used for damage calculation. Duncan’s ETB is also very useful, pinging and breaking small forwards like Leila, Viking, or the new Zidane. It also combos with the multitude of ping available to Fire, just as 4 CP Firion did when he saw a decent amount of play.
At first, I tried using Duncan with Cyan, so I could attack with Brave and always have his Special available. However, after testing I think there are more proactive Forwards than Cyan to play in this deck. You will still have lots of opportunities to use his Special, just make sure to attack last with him if you have multiple Forwards, just in case his Special can break up a combat trick.
Special shout outs to cards that didn’t make the list, but I heavily endorse for your playing pleasure: Palom (8-041H), Scholar (8-027C), Deathgaze (IX) (8-056R), Sherlotta (8-053H), Fordola (8-147S)
That’s it for me, thanks for reading. Have you tried these cards? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know your favourite cards from Opus VIII in the comments below!
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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.