Friday, August 5, 2016

My Top 5 Cards from BFA

Now that Battle for Attoractia has been out for a couple weeks, it's had more than enough time to wiggle its way into the meta and find niches for most of its cards. Here's a list of what I consider the top 5 cards from the set. There aren't any particular criteria for this list, i.e. this isn't "The Top 5 Most Meta Cards" or "The Top 5 Coolest Looking Cards" or anything like that. That being said, I'll dive right in:

5) Possessor Princess of Love, Valentina

Possessor Princess of Love, ValentinaThis card easily makes its way into the top 5, but I feel it's a fairly cemented 5th place on this list. This 4th iteration of Valentina continues her theme of stealing the opponent's resonators and using them as your own. Unlike her previous resonator form, her theft is permanent and isn't tied to her presence on the board. Add that to her steal trigger being her death, and you've got a pretty scary 3-drop. She's weak, with only 500/500, but that doesn't matter too much. No one in their right mind is going to drop removal on her, unless they have a terrible board to loot from. While she's out, you can easily wall the opponent from attacking, lest you block with her and steal one of their attackers, effectively negating 2 attacks with 1 card while messing with their tempo and board state. She's only #5 on this list, though, because she has a few glaring weaknesses. First off, she's only as useful as the opponent's deck is. If you're up against weenies or a combo deck, where individual resonators aren't very impressive, then she won't do much. Secondly, while she has access to instant-speed stealing via banishing her with Laevateinn, the opponent likewise has an easy counter in their own Demon Sword. Anything you target to steal with her can just get banished to it, preventing you from making use of it. Still, that essentially makes her "When this card leaves the field, destroy target resonator" which isn't bad by any means, but can leave you in a pickle if you needed that body to survive.

4) Remote Control Beast

Remote Control Beast
Some might have been expecting Remote Control Golem here, but honestly, Beast shines so much brighter. This game inherently hates large resonators as-is, and the game has too much non-destruction removal (*cough* R/R *cough*), and Beast is more useful in the more competitive version of the deck. He gives the OTK turn so much more reach than it had before. Previously, being 1 Machine short of being able to play March for free was all but a death sentence, since it gave the opponent a turn to deal with your board. Beast, being free when you have 4 Machines, lets you hit that 5 card threshold more easily than before. On top of that, 2-3 of them in your hand means you can go from 1 to 6-7 resonators on board on a Judgment turn. That's an extra 1100 damage each, possibly more, depending on how many Marches you play or if there is a Leginus on the field. He serves as the perfect stepping stone for cards like March of the Machines and Mariabella's Work. 

Croco-Shark3) Croco-Shark

You knew this was going to be on here. This card got so much hype when it was revealed, and even if it hasn't become the meta behemoth some people wanted it to be, it's still an incredibly fun and interesting card. It has the nasty New Frontiers/Wanderer deck with Kaguya 1.0 for a Turn 3 OTK, and it swarms like no one's business. Just the idea of running 40 of a single card in your deck is always fun, especially when it makes your deck into your personal sharknado. While cards like Interdimensional Escape, and especially Stories Told in 1,001 Nights, completely counter it, there's no better feeling than filling your board full of 6-7 of these turds in one turn and watching your opponent sweat themselves into defeat. 

2) Riza, First of the Dead / Melder, Last of the Dead

Melder, Last of the DeadWhile two cards, I put them together on this list because you likely won't see them individually. Their combo potential with each other is what makes them so deadly, and the speed of it is downright unfair. Setting 2 Riza in your Standby area, waiting until you have the 4 necessary stones, then flipping both of them to search out 2 Melder is too efficient for what it does. That gives you two 8/8 beaters with two 10/10 beaters set, ready to be played. And the 1,000 life cost for Riza to search Melder? Two Riza puts you at 2,000, just low enough to be able to immediately flip Melder. Flip her at the end of your opponent's turn to set 2 Melder, then flip them to put -16/-16 onto two cards your opponent controls? That's a pseudo-field wipe, especially if you've been playing control cards like Soul Hunt, Lapis' Dark Storm, and Scorn of Dark Alice to insure the opponent can't amass a proper field. Then they can immediately attack going into your turn, for a likely uncontested 3600 damage to your opponent. If you dealt them 400 damage at some point before that, that's GG. If not, you now have a beefy 4 resonator field to their likely empty field and low hand, which will spell GG in just about any situation. Heck, you can incarnate Adombrali to be a rude dude and finish them off right there.

1) Black Moonbeam

Black MoonbeamThis card had to be here. It's the first of its kind, and became an immediate main/side deck inclusion as soon as it was spoiled. Originally intended to be our much-needed counter to Reflect/Refrain, R/R inadvertently became the best ruler to utilize this card with, making this card one of the biggest backfires in the game. Decks like Valentina 2.0, Kaguya 3.0, and Gill Lapis all became nearly invalidated at a competitive level, as any deck with access to 2 Black will could shut them down. Granted, these decks weren't generally 100% Ruler-focused, but the loss of their behemoths was a huge shot in the foot. This card also single-handedly set the bar for future card design: Anything without a spammable/strong Ruler side effect became terrible, and any J-Ruler that didn't generate its advantage with an on-enter effect, or needed to stay on the field for a few turns to reach its full utility, instantly dropped down a tier in competitiveness. On release this card seemed like a god-send, something that finally allowed players to deal with overly J-Ruler-centric decks (which previously had very little, if any, counter play), but looking forward at future card design and this card's effect on the game as a whole, it may have done more harm than good. Black Moonbeam has effectively widened the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 rulers/decks. Anything that can skirt around it is instantly powerful, and any Ruler that falls victim to it, no matter how powerful they are, will inherently have a much harder time making their way to the competitive scene. Thankfully we have some semblance of counters to this card in the form of Wind-Secluded Refuge and the brand new Zero's Familiar, but forcing the splash of specific colors in any deck that wants to be J-Ruler-centric isn't exactly good card design. Only time will really tell if this card will become as oppressive as it could be, or if we'll get more forms of counter play to give a wider range of decks a fighting chance.

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