Attention Cadets, I mean Mysidians. Opus IX has landed, and we have new decks to share! I have been working on a lot of different builds, but so far one has been the most fun to play/build, and I just gave it away. That’s right, Type-O Cadets are back #cadetsarecoming. So, watch out, and enjoy this deck tech!
It seems like there is a split as to whether this deck should be 2 or 3 colours. From what I have seen in limited research so far, it is that Wind/Fire seems to be preferred over tricolour. My list is mostly Wind/Fire; however, it adds 10 Lightning cards for a very specific purpose. I definitely believe that there are multiple ways to play Cadets. For example, my friend Phil went 4-0 with Wind/Fire Cadets this week at Locals (I was not in attendance to give him a loss!). But before we get into variations, let's take a look at the list I have been running.
You will notice right off the bat that I haven’t just jammed a bunch of Cadets in there. Because of the key card in this deck, Ace, you don’t need a crazy amount of your deck to be Cadets. For reference, I run 25 Job: Class Zero Cadets in this deck. When selecting which Cadets to play, I generally went with the fastest Cadets. Sice is the slowest Cadet in the deck, but she is very cheap to play. Cards like Nine or Machina didn’t make the cut, as they are just 8k Black Belts until they do something. You can check out the entire deck list here.
Note: I can't find any of my Trey's. I definitely want to try 1 or 2 in the deck, as he has built in protection, but any analysis on him will have to wait!
At its heart, this deck is aggressive. We use cheap Cadets, Ace, King, and Eight to get on board quickly and start swinging for damage. We have lots of removal and bypass in order to sneak some damage through in the late game to close it out, or just to continuously apply pressure throughout the game. Try to get all your Cadet Backups in play each game to boost Eight and Sices’ effects.
This deck runs 3 elements, and only 10 Lightning cards. For that reason, I am currently running Cosmos, although I will test without her. Additionally, Rem can bring back ANY Type-O card (including Odin), giving you options to pitch Lightning cards later and grab them when you need them. Ace searches deep into your deck, so you can often colour fix that way. Caetuna also helps you colour fix by searching up a Summon in each colour if you need it. Our only Lightning Backup is Arecia Al-Rashia, but she is absolutely crucial for getting Ace as quickly as possible each game. Hence the Lightning!
Here we go, the guy that makes Cadets tick. He is so strong that it made me put Lightning in here to search him. Ace is both a beater, and a value machine. He often comes into play for a net 1 CP. Even with one Cadet found from his ETB ability, that is still a 3 CP 8k Forward, with a relevant Auto Ability. That being said, I have yet to miss with his effect. Sometimes I have to take the only two Cadet’s presented to me, but I have always been able to grab two. Just a reminder, this is with me running 25 Class Zero Cadets in this list.
Ace’s Auto Ability counts himself, so at the bare minimum he is pinging for 2k when he attacks. However, it is very easy to get him to 6k and sometimes 8k in this deck. Even if you can’t get to 8k, there are plenty of ways to combo with him. It should also be noted that his EX Burst triggers his ping ability, and not his search your deck ability.
The game plan in this deck revolves around getting Ace out as early as possible to generate value and apply pressure to your opponent. By playing him early, you can grab your Backups to set up, or grab more Forwards to get after your opponent.
Because Ace is so important, and because we are an aggressive deck that likes to close out games, having a searcher is vital. This gal can find exactly what you need to finish off an opponent. For example, a Queen or King to get rid of a blocker, or a Seven to get rid of several.
King has a lot of value. You will almost always cast him as a 2CP 8k, unless you have extra CP to spare. If you are able to develop other Cadets first, you can then drop King to make a Forward unable to block and sneak damage in in the early/mid game. Once King is down, he himself will challenge many Forwards in power and your opponent will be reluctant to trade into him.
Queen’s full ability is very hard to achieve and is likely a win-more ability. Her first ability (if you control two Cadet Forwards dull an opponent’s Forward), is very easy to get online. Queen is often able to drop and dull something letting you sneak in damage. Popping her as an EX Burst can mean victory for you the next turn.
Barbariccia can be used in conjunction with Ace, Firion, Vivi, Diablos, Sice, etc. to remove your opponent’s Forwards. But she can also be used similar to King. Just play her out MP1 and your opponent will likely not block with their Forward, allowing you to push damage. You can also bluff attacks with small Forwards. If they go through, great! If not, drop a MP2 Barb to finish off the Forward that blocked.
Seven prevents Forwards of cost 4 or higher from blocking your Cadets. A well timed Seven can win you the game, don’t forget you can search her and recur her from the Break Zone in this deck! Seven’s special also allows you to stop board clears like Shantotto or Fina.
Ifrit is just a solid EX burst. He has potential to be cut. Possibly for a 7 CP Phoenix, however, I do enjoy being able to search him off Caetuna.
Diablos is deceptively good. Also, a strong EX burst, this card will often cast for free, or give you some extra CP after turning up in the Damage Zone. Even if you don’t have enough Characters to outright kill something, Diablos combos with a lot of different ping sources in this deck. The nice part about casting Diablos is that you can reactivate Cater and Deuce to then use their ping abilities to top someone off. Having access to Lightning CP means that Cater can reliably add 2k to your Diablos’s damage.
Odin is solid, and also Lightning CP. Break a 7k will help against Y’shtola and Aerith, but honestly Odin will almost always just say “Break a Forward”. Don’t forget to search this with Caetuna if you need Lightning CP!
She’s a 2 CP Cadet Backup, done. Her two Action abilities are very relevant, and she can combo with all types of ping that are included in this list.
She’s a 2 CP Cadet Backup, done. She also has a nice Action Ability when you are blocking and can combo with Diablos. Her Special Ability is easy to get online to deal at least 8k.
EX-Burst bring a Type-0 CARD back from your Break Zone? Sign me up. This brings back all Characters or Summons as long as they are category Type-0. This brings a lot of utility to the deck, as it is nice to play extra Aces, colour fix, or grab Cadets for Specials. You can also grab Summons at a crucial time or just set up early and get your Cadet Backups out so that Eight is free.
Vermilion Bird l’Cie Caetuna
Again, EX-Burst on a “2 CP” Backup. Searching Summons is a very powerful effect. You can use this to colour fix as well. As an EX Burst it is very relevant as it can change the rest of the combat phase depending on what you search. I played this at two until it was too good and had to move it to three.
This card is clearly insane. Helps you pick out board clears or just mess up their curve early game.
We need her since we go wide. Combined with Seven, we can stop a lot of stuff.
Good early game response to a lot of big plays like Ardyn, Sephiroth, or Garland (IX). Deathgaze also counts as a Character for Diablos, increasing its damage by 1k.
Firion and Vivi
Extra ping to help out with Ace, Barb, Sice, and Diablos. Can also combo with Cater.
Moogle (Class Zero)
I haven’t needed power that much in the matches I have played, since I opt to play aggressively and bypass Forwards. I have kept one in the list for certain matchups (Mono Earth for example).
DON’T LAUGH AT ME. This deck fulfills Wol’s requirements easily, just don’t forget you can’t use Lightning to pay for him. Wol is very hard for opponents to deal with. They don’t want to block him because of his ability, so he helps you push damage. Wol is often just bigger than your opponent’s Forwards, and can be used to push through, or as a blocker.
Easy to play, but the slowest Cadet in the deck in terms of abilities. However, she is a Cadet and Lightning CP, both important requirements for this deck. Costing 2 CP is relevant because you can play her off a discard if you don’t have Lightning CP from Backups. Her ability counts Cadet CHARACTERS and not just Forwards, making the power reduction pretty huge a times.
Why This Deck Will Crack the Meta
This deck is powerful, fast, and has lots of ways to gain card advantage. Ace is a clear push for the archetype and feels great to play. Other decks will have trouble keeping up with the speed of the deck, similar to Scions.
Why this Deck Will Not Crack the Meta
Decks with board clears have a shot at taking Cadets down. If you are too aggressive without your protection, you can lose in a big spot. Water/Wind with Fina/Valefor in particular poses a threat. Ice/Earth also has a lot of catchup mechanisms, and discard could throw this deck through a loop if it isn’t set up yet.
I really enjoyed writing this deck tech, and in general have loved Opus IX so far. Normally I have lots of meme decks to try out each set, but this is the first time where I have built 3-4 decks that I think could all be competitive. I think each colour silently got more power, and I can’t wait to talk about some of my other builds in the coming weeks.
Besides Deck Tech’s I also have a few other projects coming up. I want to ramp up my content creation and try to provide a source that all FFTCG players can use casually and competitively. I hope that I can count on you all to continue supporting me, thank you so much for your support so far. If there is any content you would like to see from me, or if you have any feedback on the content I am doing now, please reach out to me via email, twitter, or Facebook. I would love to hear from you. Until next time!
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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.