The last week of August was filled with more Fate/Zero previews, so there are a lot more guys in the previews than usual. I know the whole set is out by now, but I’ll be continuing with these until I’ve caught up on the Card of the Day.
Trusted justice, Kiritsugu
Yellow / Level 3 / Cost 2 / 10000 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger
«マスター Master» / «武器 Weapon»
[AUTO] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage, choose 1 of your characters, and it gains Power +4000, Soul +1 for that turn.
[AUTO] When the damage from this card’s Attack is Cancelled, if [Origin Bullet] is in the Climax Border, you may choose 1 of your opponent’s Front Stage Level 3 or below characters, and put it to Stock.
First up we have a Kiritsugu Level 3. Instead of healing, drawing or soul reduction like most other Level 3s, he instead gives one of your characters a big power boost. +4000 should be enough to push things over or close to the edge of counter territory, making one of your attacks much safer. You could even give the boost to himself if you’re lacking in other powerful characters. The Soul boost is partly a gamble, since it could end the game faster, or delay victory by hitting a Climax instead.
However he has a Climax combo that could take advantage of this, if he gave the boost to himself. When his attack gets cancelled you get to turn and opponent’s Level 3 or lower into Stock. Barring rare cards that can increase their Level above 3, this basically means you can get rid of any Front Stage character the opponent has, and they can’t bring it back via Encore. Of course it does result in an increase to Stock for them, which could come back to kick you on the following turn, by allowing your opponent to play more powerful cards.
Power release, Saber
Yellow / Level 0 / Cost 0 / 2500 / 1 Soul / No trigger
«サーヴァント Servant» / «武器 Weapon»
[ACT] CONCENTRATION[(1)] Flip over the top 4 cards of your Deck to the Waiting Room. For every 1 Climax amongst those cards, choose 1 of your «サーヴァント Servant» characters, and it gains Power +2000 for that turn.
This Saber card has a fairly standard Concentration effect for a Level 0, giving a «サーヴァント Servant» character +2000 for every Climax you hit. Personally I usually prefer cards which have inbuilt card advantage, as opposed to potential advantage via battle, but +2000 is a huge boost during Level 0. Hopefully the boost will allow you to win a battle, essentially meaning that each Climax you hit will defeat an opponent’s card. Since +2000 is still quite hefty at any point in the game, this effect can be useful during most of the game.
Even if you don’t hit any Climax cards it’s still a useful way to thin your deck.
Void within, Kirei
Blue / Level 1 / Cost 0 / 3000 / 1 Soul / No Trigger
«虚無 Void» / «マスター Master»
[CONT] During your opponent’s turn, all of your other «マスター Master» characters gain Power +1000.
[AUTO] CHANGE [(4) Put 1 Climax card from Hand to the Waiting Room, put this card to the Waiting Room] At the beginning of your Draw Phase, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 [Kotomine Kirei] from your Waiting Room and put it in the Border this card was in.
Kirei comes with a useful support ability and a very costly Change effect. The first effect provides +1000 to all your «マスター Master» characters, making it a very powerful global boost, especially attached to a Level 1. To balance this though, the boost only applies during your opponent’s turn. This means you can set up a very powerful defense at Level 1, but you’ll be lacking when it comes to going on the offensive. Unless your opponent purposefully rams their characters into yours just to cause damage, you’ll probably only be able to afford side attacks on your turn.
The Change effect is every costly, coming at 4 Stock and a Climax card. It also works during your Draw Phase, meaning you need to keep him alive for a turn, which is fortunately easy since you want him to stay Back Stage. This will likely drain most of your Stock, but will bring forth a Level 3 character, who will probably be beating lots of cards until your opponent can bring one of their powerhouses out too.
Staying in this world with a body, Archer
Blue / Level 2 / Cost 1 / 7500 / 1 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger
«サーヴァント Servant» / «王族 Royalty»
[CONT] If you have 3 or more other «マスター Master» or «サーヴァント Servant» characters on your Stage, this card gains [[AUTO] ENCORE [Put 1 character card from Hand to the Waiting Room]].
[ACT] [(1)] Choose 1 of your «サーヴァント Servant» characters, and it gains Power +1500 for that turn.
This Archer could be quite a pain for your opponent, since he’s hard to get rid of and can provide powerful boosts to your characters. With enough «マスター Master» or «サーヴァント Servant» characters on your Stage he will gain Encore, which isn’t usually too hard to pull off during the later game. This means that even though he’ll be a prime target for your opponent’s attacks, they won’t actually be able to get rid of him that way.
His second effect just turns Stock into power boosts. He could use it on himself, since he’s rather lacking for a Level 2 at only 7500. Alternatively the boosts could be used on other characters to help push past your opponent’s most powerful cards. You could of course with enough Stock just boost everyone’s power. If you have Stock to spare late game this Archer could be useful for taking out your opponent’s best cards.
Price of life, Kariya
Red / Level 1 / Cost 1 / 4000 / 1 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger
«マスター Master» / «虫 Insect»
[CONT] ASSIST All of your characters in front of this card gain the following ability. [[AUTO] [(1)] When this card is put to Reverse, if this card’s battle opponent’s Level is equal to or lower than this card’s Level, you may pay the cost. If you do so, put that character to Reverse.]
Kariya is a useful support card which you see in a few sets. He turns all your characters in front of him into Reversers. This means that your opponent has to be very wary of attacking you as long as Kariya is on Stage. It could potentially turn the game into a long run of Side Attacks, with both players resisting Front Attacking, so as not to leave themselves open during the opponent’s turn. The easiest way around Kariya is to simply play higher level characters, which means the Kariya player will need to be careful not to make the opponent Level up before them, otherwise they’ll likely take a big hit to their Stage.
There are of course disadvantages to using Kariya. Firstly is the fact that you sacrifice power boosts for him, but since most battles will now result in even trade offs this will be less important. Your third character will miss out on any potential global boosts that could have been played in Kariya’s place too. Also this card will eat through your Stock very quickly. If you’re constantly losing battles and forcing the opponent to Reverse you’ll only be able to build up any Stock with your final Front Row Character. Without careful management of Stock you could find yourself unable to play cards during the final turns of the game.
Cursed incarnate, Berserker
Red / Level 1 / Cost 1 / 6500 / 1 Soul / No Trigger
«サーヴァント Servant» / «武器 Weapon»
[AUTO] ENCORE [Put the top 1 card of your Deck to Clock]
This is your standard 1/1 Encore card. The offer survivability for a slight power reduction, so you’ll need to decide which is more important to you.
Green / Level 1 / Cost 1 / 2500 / 1 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger
«マスター Master» / «錬金術 Alchemy»
[CONT] ASSIST All of your characters in front of this card gain Power +X. X is equal to the number of your characters with [ASSIST] x 500.
[AUTO] When [The Bonds that Bind a King and His Retainer] is put in the Climax Border, reveal the top 1 card of your Deck. If that card is a «王族 Royalty» or «錬金術 Alchemy» character card, put it to Stock.
This Waver card is the new type of Assist first introduced in Madoka. The more characters with assist that you control, the more powerful his effect becomes. At a basic level this will make him the same as a +500 on his own, and the same as a +1000 with another Assist character. This means you can get a +1000 boost a Level earlier than normally possible. Finally with even more characters you can get even larger boosts, but this is unlikely since you’ll need to place an assist character on the Front Stage.
Waver’s second effect is a Climax combo that allows you to gain Stock. It’s not a fancy effect, but extra Stock is also a helpful resource.
Great king, Rider
Green / Level 1 / Cost 0 / 1 Soul / No Trigger
«サーヴァント Servant» / «王族 Royalty»
[AUTO] When this card attacks, all players put the top 1 card of their Deck to the Waiting Room. If the Level of the card you put to the Waiting Room by this effect is higher than the Level of the card your opponent put to the Waiting Room by this effect, you may put the top 1 card of your Deck to Stock.
This Rider has a very interesting effect, which comes at the cost of 1000 power. Whenever he attacks both players send the top card of their Deck to the Waiting Room, which can either help or hinder you. If your opponent hits a character they’ll now be more likely to cancel your attack, but if they hit a Climax you’ll have stopped a cancel. The former is much more likely to happen, but when the latter happens it could be game changing. On your part it will either stop you getting a Climax stuck in the Stock, or simply just thin your deck.
After this is done you’ll both need to compare the Level of the cards sent in this way. If yours is higher you’ll gain a Stock, which can be very helpful. With a top heavy deck you’ll see more success with this effect, but you don’t want to go so far as to imbalance your deck completely. I imagine most of the time you’ll just end up getting rid of both player’s top cards anyway.
King of all creation, Archer
Red / Level 3 / Cost 2 / 10000 /2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger
«サーヴァント Servant» / «王族 Royalty»
[AUTO] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage, you may put the top 1 card of your Clock to the Waiting Room.
[AUTO] [(1) Put 1 [Sword of Rupture EA] from Hand to the Waiting Room] At the beginning of your opponent’s Attack Phase, if this card is in the Front Stage, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 Climax card from your opponent’s Climax Border and put it to the Waiting Room, and this card gains Power +5500 for that turn.
Sword of Rupture EA
Red / 2 Soul Trigger
[AUTO] When this card is put from Hand to the Climax Border, draw 1 card and choose 1 of your characters, and it gains Power +2000, Soul +1 for that turn.
We finish off the week with an unusual Archer Climax combo. Beyond the combo he also comes with the standard heal effect you’d expect to see on a Level 3.
The Climax combo is unusual because it can only be used during the opponent’s turn, and works by discarding the Climax rather than playing it. He’s not the only card that works like this, there’s a similar one in EVA for example, but it’s just far less common than other types of combos.
The combo is best saved until the opponent tries to use their own, since it sends an opponent’s Climax card to the Waiting Room. At the right time this can really mess up your opponent’s plans, so they’ll always be wary of trying to attack this Archer card. In addition Archer gains +5500 Power, basically turning your Climax into a powerful Counter card. This means it’s going to be very difficult to defeat Archer.
Even if you don’t have the Climax in your hand, Archer can act as a powerful deterrent against your opponent making certain plays, since they’ll always be worried you could be holding the Climax.