Let’s set the record straight. My record evaluating cards is SPOTLESS. The two best Lightning Legends you ask? Well they’re Rufus and Noel of course (this one is for you Phil 😉). Even if those cards aren’t… competitive, they are both solid cards. Noel provides an interesting removal option with a body, and the jury is still out on Rufus seeing as we will eventually get more Member of Turks (that’s how you write job titles folks). My point is that once you get past initial reactions to cards, they can function just fine. Just because they don’t break the meta doesn’t mean they are bad, there are a lot of really strong cards in the meta. Mono Lightning in particular, although you might argue it isn’t meta right now, already has to pack a lot of specific cards in to be competitive, leaving less room open for other choices.
Moving along, on Thursday July 4th, 2019, a young Square Enix employee by the name of Richie Brady posted her delightful and well-received Card of the Week article. In previous weeks, both she and Kageyama had spoiled numerous interesting cards. Some cool, some powerful, and even some that were both! This week RB had the privilege of spoiling the Light legend for Opus IX. The reaction to the card was… poor, with people claiming:
“Why would you ever run this over Veritas”
-Inflamed Facebook Commenter
“This is just a skinned down Xande”
– Fire-Loving Vagabond
(I hope no one thinks these are specifically about their comment, I saw these thoughts echoed by many throughout the online community)
At this point a brave, some would even say heroic, Samsonite Prime jumped to the defense of WOL to say the following:
The thing is, he’s not wrong and I am not even convinced that this card is that bad. But before you change your mind, first let’s dig into the card itself. WOL is a 4 CP Light Forward with 9000 power. His text reads “You can only pay with Fire CP, Wind CP, Earth CP, or Water CP and you must use CP of two or more different elements to play WOL onto the field. When WOL is put from the field into the Break Zone, choose 1 Forward opponent controls. Deal it 9000 damage.”. P.S. This guy is Job: Warrior of Light.
Alright, so this card has some restrictions, you can only play this in the elements that have Warriors of Light in them, and if you run Materia for Light Forward searching, I don’t believe you can actually tap her to play WOL since she generates Light CP. Given his restrictions and his job, he will obviously have synergy in a Warrior of Light deck. However, RB already talked about that in her article, which you can find here.
Personally, I think this card has the potential to break into non-Warrior of Light builds. It likely won’t be played in many Mono-Coloured decks, except for Earth (because of Shantotto), unless those decks also run Cosmos to run multiple Light Forwards (which is unlikely), or to splash for 7 CP Phoenix (more likely). Ok, so looking at the available elements, this card could hypothetically fit (as in it’s playable) into the following Meta decks: Earth/Wind, Fire/Water FFIX, Earth/Fire FFVII, and Water/Wind.
Looking above, to play WOL he would need to co-exist with other Light cards or bump them (and any Dark cards out of the deck). Let’s pretend you are willing to cut these Light and Dark cards, why should you give WOL a slot in your deck?
I am going compare him to Veritas for a second (what is this, article suicide?!). Both have a similar enter the Break Zone abilities, although Veritas’ is better as it doesn’t target and gets around most protection. However, because Veritas is not targeted it can really mess up your plans when he sacks a card that your opponent A) Doesn’t care about or B) wants to play again. So, for the sake of this comparison I would like to state that:
Veritas and WOL’s enter the Break Zone abilities are very similar and have minor trade-offs in their function.
With WOL you can get this ability for 2 CP less than Veritas, but at the cost of no ETB ability. WOL’s other advantage is his power being above curve at 9000. With WOL there won’t be many Forwards that he cannot trade into. And when he does, he will take another Forward with him, going two for one. I think that 1000 power difference between Veritas and WOL is significant. I have faced situations with Veritas where he has to chump block a larger Forward to force my opponent to sac a card.
Comparing him to Xande doesn’t hold any ground with me, because Xande can’t be played in multi-coloured decks easily, whereas this card can. The difference between 4 and 5 CP is also very relevant, and not just because of the 5 CP Forward removal the Wind has access to. 4 CP cards can be played earlier off of Backups (2 or 4) and can be played from hand off of discarding cheaper as well.
I have copied some possible synergies with WOL below (leaving out WOL synergies, check out RB’s article!):
Its going to take some testing, but I think this card isn’t bad. Heck, it might even be good. I like the idea of an above curve blocker/attacker that has a payoff when it hits the Break Zone, even it does have some restrictions to how it is played. WOL will be played similarly to Galdes. Sure costing 1 CP more and losing some of those ability options is a downgrade, but it is still going to be a value play that your opponent will not want to get rid of. One major difference is you cannot drop this card on an empty board without fear of removal before it can get value.
What do you think? Am I out of my mind, or maybe just too optimistic? All I am saying is don’t rule out WOL too early. Whether it is a powerhouse in a Warrior of Light build, or tech choice in an established archetype, I think we will be seeing some WOL action in Opus IX.
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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.