Monday, February 13, 2017

RDE Preview #3 - Impressions

What up party people, we've come to yet another Monday which means another spoiler article. I am oh so hyped today, not only because of some good slew of cards, but also because of the lore implications of these cards. We'll be looking at the Light/Blue support today, so let's dive right in!


Millium makes his triumphant return this set, after not receiving any actually support last set and only appearing on one or two cards. I'm going to preface this by saying I'm really not a fan of having Rulers appear as different Rulers in the same cluster since it really cuts down on aesthetics and giving people a variety of characters to get attached to, but by golly am I satisfied with the way they've done it this time. Millium has a base Judgment cost of 7, 5 of that being void cost. You can reduce this by 1 for every four "Dragon Power Counters" he has on him, meaning you'll need a whopping 20 of these counters to completely remove his void cost. Luckily he adds 1 counter each time you do a Force roll, and it's important to note that it's only 1 counter per Force ability, not 1 for every die you roll. Sorry Pandora. But what do you get for all your trouble of amassing 20 of these counters? A Harpies Pet Dragon of course! But oh, he has 0 ATK and 0 DEF. Looks like all your effort was for nothing, since he just dies to game mechanics when he enters...

Hold on there baconator, because he's got a whopper of an effect when he enters. Not only does he have Flying (as a Dragon should), but as he enters you'll do a Force check of X, where you roll 1 die for every Dragon Power Counter he has. You went through all the effort of getting all twenty counters on him? You roll twenty die. TWENTY. DIE. Then he gets the result as 100/100 counters. If you rolled 40 or higher, you nuke the opponent's J/resonators. For the D&D players out there, Millium is the final boss of a dungeon, the opponent's field is the adventuring party, and you're doing a massive constitution check. Spoiler alert: They all die. Naturally, getting the 40 to trigger this effect means his attack is going to be 4000 or higher, so he's going to 1-shot the opponent. Throw a Laevateinn in and just make it game then and there.

What I love about this card is that he's interchangeable with old Millium. They both focus on getting huge J-Ruler sides and beating the opponent down, but Millium 1 does it over time and pressures the opponent over the course of a few turns, while this Millium does it in one explosive play. Millium 1 can flip a lot earlier than this card, but doesn't have as impactful of an entry. They both work best in Force-based decks, so you have two J-Rulers that pull from the same support pool and offer two different ways of playing the deck. A+ cluster design here.

What would a Ruler be without their special stone? Stone of the Dragonoids has all the standard shock rock effects, with the unique ability being that it puts a Dragon Power Counter on Millium when it enters. Totally useless outside of his deck, but also offers a good way to turbo through those counters. When 20 is your goal, every bit helps.

Here we have Valentina Moojdart Ryula, Alabaster Dragon Princess. Aka Millium's bae. 3-cost with 800/800 stats is standard, and she has a modal effect on-enter. You can either put a 2-cost or less Dragonoid into play from your graveyard or heal your Astral Ruler. Yup, you read it right, we can now heal dead J-Rulers. This is huge news for post-rotation, since we'll be losing all the regalia that give us easy Imperishable, and she offers great utility to J-Ruler-centric decks that might have fallen on hard times and gotten Moonbeam'd early. She works especially well with Millium since he keeps all of his counters even after he dies as a J-Ruler. In old Millium this means you can re-flip him, keeping your previous Force checks, and start pumping him up again. In this new Millium you get even more value out of her. Dragon Millium keeps all of his counters, so if you flip him and only get like 14 on your rolls and he ends up dying, Ryula can heal him. Then he'll still have all his Dragon Power Counters and those 14 +100/+100 counters. Flip him to do his effect again, which adds to his existing counters, and even lets you hit his 40 counter threshold if you didn't roll a 40 either time. That's some nice synergy. She also pumps your other Dragonoids and Ancients by 200 ATK/DEF, which is a nice little bonus.

That leads us into our next Dragonoid, Alabaster Dragon Knight. He's a 2-cost with 400/400 stats, so below par for what he should be. However, he's a 2-cost Kid Puss-in-Boots and will Force roll on-enter, potentially netting you a 1000 ATK/DEF 2-cost. Or a measly 500/500. If you have Pandora out and get two rolls, you're just making it rain pain on your opponent. He can be revived by Ryula's on-enter, which will trigger his Force roll again, netting you even more Dragon Power Counters for Millium.

"But even with Alabaster Knight and Puss-In-Boots, you'd still have to play twenty of them to get Millium's counters up!" You're absolutely right, which is why we have this little tool right here. Tiny Alabaster Drake isn't a Dragonoid, so he won't benefit from Ryula's power pump, but he doesn't need to. A 1-cost 100/300 isn't the worst, especially with Flying, but he also has a reusable Force ability. Whenever he attacks, you Force 1 and he gains that much power for the turn. If you have Pandora out, he's just a monstrosity that will fly over the opponent and beat their face in. The best part is that you can naturally play him Turn 1 and Pandora on Turn 2 and get the full benefits from her, unlike Puss-In-Boots where you lose out on so much power if you play him before Pandora.

First Sylvia's Roar, now Millium's Roar, it's like I'm watching Fairy Tail with all these dragon roars going around. Millium's Roar isn't quickcast, which is always sad on any chant, but will let you Force 1 and pump up to two different resonators by the result. That's a substantial amount of power being distributed to the field, especially if Pandora is out.

The final card today is Dragon Power, where we see Natsu and Igneel doing a combo attack Alabaster Dragon Knight either transforming into a dragon, or pretending like he can. Unlike Millium's Roar this card does have Quickcast, letting you drop a surprise power boost on your opponent's turn. It's basically a more expensive Dreams of Flight, giving you 1 Force roll and powering up a card by the result for the turn. It lacks remnant, costs 1 more will, and doesn't give Flying. What it does do, however, is recover the target if it's a Dragonoid. The only Dragonoids we saw today were Ryula and Knight, but even Knight alone makes this a powerful card. If you played him and rolled a 3 or 4, he'll be a 700-800 attacker. Swing with him, then drop this to pump him up even more and let him swing again. We've been promised more Dragonoids too, so this card can only get better. The most interesting thing to note, however, is that it's an Ancient Magic.

That brings me to the lore part of today's spoiler. A lot of these flavor texts refer to Force being the last power/chance to stop Alhama'at. Millium's flavor text mentions that only he can wield the power, due to being a descendant of someone who could. This "Dragon Power" being an Ancient Magic, and the lore articles specifically mentioning that Millium's stone has almost identical power to that of the magic the Luminaries use, starts to add up. This sounds like Millium is the descendant of one of the Luminaries, potentially the Light one. Does this mean Grimm is/was a Luminary? Or does it go back further? If Millium has Altean ancestry, but isn't aligned with Altea and doesn't know of it's existence, that likely means the Light Luminary betrayed the others in the past. These Dragonoids being a tribe/race of people who use this magic could mean the Light Luminary broke off and founded his own faction. Jordan has said we won't get all the Luminaries, and if that's true, it could be because some of them are dead/gone. And how does Gill Lapis play into all of this? In the lore, Charlotte noted how similar Millium's stone's power was to Lapis', but it's been stated/implied that Lapis hates the Luminaries and his father. There's a ton of stuff going on here and the lore is getting juicier and juicier each set. I'm loving this.

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