Thursday, January 19, 2017

Vingolf 3 Spoiler #3

Welcome back nerds and nerdettes. I was dying of fever last week so I didn't get a chance to upload an article, but I only missed the stones spoiler, so that's no real skin off my bones. But because I have no life and have nothing to do on a Thursday night, and I'm super hype about this article, I went ahead and decided to write this. Welcome to my 100% uncut first impressions of these amazing cards.

I have been waiting for Arla (and all the Seven Kings, for that matter) to get proper resonator forms for a very long time, and I must say, these do not disappoint. As a 4-cost Angel, Arla can be cheesed with Celestial Wing Seraph, and since he gives Barrier to everything with Flying, he instantly grants her protection. Apollo + this guy means any J-Ruler has immediate protection from Moonbeam. His second effect is an Artemis Bow for attackers, rather than blockers, which is a change that kind of hurts a bit. You can't use him to remove a blocker, but you can use him to supplement a block. He doubles Artemis Bow's kill range, too. His second ability lets you pop Additions or Regalia, rather than Artemis Bow's 2nd effect of killing standby cards. In my opinion, a very welcomed change. Stealth isn't nearly as prominent this cluster, but Addition and Regalia destruction is always welcomed. His 3rd effect is fairly costly, but is a copy-paste of Artemis Bow's last effect of outright killing anything with flying. As the game goes on and you get more will at your disposal, that effect only gets stronger. I love everything about this card.

Faria has a lot going for her here. A 2-drop 600/600 is standard, and she has Zero's clause of being immune to damage while battling. Her second ability covers anything that doesn't fall into the blanket of her first ability. She's a beater that's here to stay, which is something Light hasn't had a lot of. Unfortunately, I can't think of a deck that would need/want her off the top of my head, but I'm positive something will come up. With aggro falling out of the limelight thanks to things like Charlotte's Bear Magic and a heavy spell meta, something like Faria is just what the deck needs.

Melgis ascribes to the "keep it simple, stupid" school of card text. He attacks the turn he is played, and players can't gain life. Unfortunately, with only 400 defense, he's going to be dying a lot since Artemis Bow and Space-Time Anomaly are commonly played cards. Once Alice Cluster rotates out, though, he'll be one of the few Swiftness resonators in the game, and those cards won't be there to plague him. Without an oppressing effect like Lancelot, though, I really question how impactful he'll be.

First off, HNNNNNNNNNNNNNG. Second off, I love everything about this card. Swiftness and Flying while Sylvia is your J/Ruler, and since she's a 3-cost, you can play her the turn you Judgment and recover your 3 stones. She's also a strong Turn 4 play, when you're waiting to Judgment, by putting 2 fliers into the field for only 4 mana. You can even do that on turn 3 with a Sacred Elf. She just works so well in her deck.

Pricia is... interesting. She's 100/100, or 200/200 with Precision if you're using her J/Ruler. Calling a wind magic stone gives her 200/200, so plopping her out early and she can get very big very fast. She's a beast, so she benefits from Ratatoskr and Pricia's Call to Action, but other than that there isn't much to talk about. Almost no one will let her survive long enough to get big, and if you don't play her early, you won't be getting much power on her. 

I see the Tree and Melgis conspired together. For 4 will, you can play the biggest mana dork you've ever seen. There's one from Vingolf 2 that taps for 2 green and only costs 3, but she doesn't have the booty that this tree has. 1200 DEF makes it a LOT harder to kill, so your will is more protected. Unfortunately, I don't know of any deck that is willing to invest 4 will into one dork, since at that point you've either already ramped to what you needed to, or you just aren't getting there. The Tree deck itself has a ton of will at its disposal, since it never flips, so it won't have much of a need for this card.

Kaguya isn't going to give you much value, but by golly is she going to try. Tapping for a free token is pretty sweet, even if she has abysmal stats. As mentioned in the spoiler article itself, you can use this in the new Valentina deck and let the tokens fuel her J-Ruler's effect. You can also use something like Sprint of the Beast Lady to pump all those little tokens up. If you're using the Green Dragon Ruler from this Vingolf, all those rabbits will be mana dorks. You're getting a free resonator every turn, so even if it isn't the strongest or most useful card, there are a plethora of ways to make use of it.

I really wanted to like this card, but she's just so gosh darn... over-costed. She only loses 1 void cost if you're using the OG Valentina, but on a card as expensive as this, that really doesn't mean much. She has the old Shion effect of tap + discard to bounce a card, and provides a new way of stealing resonators, albeit at a cost of discard three. I think her race got misprinted here: It should have been Oni. She just costs far too much, with little built-in value and no protection, and in a meta with Bear Magic, that just won't fly.

Oh boy, Rezzard finally gets his time to shine. And he's a Vampire! So he can benefit from all of the Mikage support. Luckily he's adopted Deathscythe's effect, so anything he damages that dies will come right back to you at the end of the turn. Toss on Blood Covered War Axe (which already has synergy in a Vampire build with the 2nd Daughter) and go to town. Demonflame will be your friend here (which is also conveniently ran in Mikage) to snipe off things you ping. Your undead army will die if he dies, but there are ways around that. You can use the same ruling abuse as with Izanagi to make the steals permanent. If you have OG Rezzard as your J/Ruler, he'll also gain lifelink, although I doubt you'll be doing that often. Honestly, this guy could bump Mikage back into relevancy if his effect ends up being good enough. Being able to steal Chimera's with his ability is a huge plus.

The last card for the night is none other than Machina. He's rocking water and darkness costs, but he's still a void resonator. 600/600 is weak for his cost, but it's better than his other resonator incarnation. Rather than searching for any void card, though, he's limited to the top of your deck. On-enter, reveal it, and if it's a Machine, it comes into your field for the turn before bouncing back to your hand. Obviously this is risky, since that top card might not be a Machine. However, if it is, you have a huge tempo swing on your hands. Judgmenting Machina and putting 1, 2, or even 3 of these guys into play can be fatal. Two of them means you can potentially get 2 more free machines, for a total of 5, making March of the Machines free. Putting just one of these guys down, and getting a Machine off of his effect, means Remote-Control Beast then becomes a free drop. Its worth noting that there is no restriction on what he can put into play, so Leginus is a valid target, but so is Remote Control Golem. You could use Shion as a Ruler instead of Machina, to ensure you have a Machine on top, and if you combine that with Fairy Tale Library, Alexandria, whatever you rip off the top will have swiftness. Can you imagine a surprise Golem with swiftness? 

That's it for this week's spoilers. While a good chunk of them were rather disappointing, there were just as many that got me hyped. Fingers crossed these aren't the only Alice Cluster cards, too, because I need a new Alisaris resonator in my life. Jordan plz.

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