Hello everyone! Kageyama here, the producer of FFTCG. This is my second appearance for the Opus IX preview. It’s great to be back. For my last preview, I introduced Yiazmat, which can be referred to as the “real boss” of FINAL FANTASY XII but this time, I would like to introduce the main boss of FINAL FANTASY VIII. Ultimecia has already appeared as a card in FFTCG three times, but she has always been a Forward. But this new Ultimecia [9-102H] will be the first time in FFTCG history where she is a Backup. In the original title, as a “sorceress,” she was the cause of great agony for Squall and Co. Let’s go ahead and see what kind of card she has become, this fourth time around.
Ultimecia has been made either Water Element or Ice Element in the past, and this time around, she has been assigned the Water Element. The Cost of the card is 4. As mentioned earlier, this card is created as a Backup card, and for a Backup, 4 is a hefty price to pay. But that said, this implies that the card has strong abilities to make the cost worthwhile, which is usually the case, so I think we can look forward to Ultimecia’s [9-102H] abilities. Let’s keep going and take a look.
Ultimecia [9-102H] has two abilities: an Auto Ability that comes into effect upon entering the field, and an Action Ability that is paid with CP. Let’s go into their details, one by one.
First, for the Auto Ability, you reveal the top card of your deck when Ultimecia enters the field. If it is a Character card, you can play it onto the field. As there are no Cost restrictions, super powerful Characters such as Yiazmat [9-057L] that I introduced two previews ago, can be played onto your field (without any cost) for example. The card seems quite powerful if you only look at this ability. But look closely. Your opponent can play a Character onto the field as well. So worst case scenario, you just end up helping your opponent by letting a powerful Forward enter their field!
The Action Ability, in turn, will help with cushioning the blow if this does happen. If you pay 4 CP, including 2 Water CP, and dull Ultimecia [9-102H], then you can put her into the Break Zone to choose one Forward to return to the top of the player’s deck. So if a powerful Forward does enter your opponent’s field, this ability will be a sort of insurance, even if there is a bit of a time lag to do so.
And this ability’s true powers lie outside of its role as an “insurance.” For example, if one of your Forwards attacks and is not blocked, you can use this ability to return a Forward that the opponent controls back to the top of their deck, which in turn gets moved onto the Damage Zone and ensuring it doesn’t come back. Also, using Characters such as Rikku [1-089H] to move the card to the Break Zone can be effective as well.
Also, if you use this ability on your Forward and return it to the top of your deck, you can play another Ultimecia [9-102H] to consequently bring that Forward back onto your field. It would be great to keep in mind that this card has great synergy with cards that have powerful Auto Abilities, such as Veritas of the Dark [8-136L] and Sakura [8-096L], when constructing your new deck.
So now, you know that the second ability can dissolve some of the difficulties of using the first ability, but this still doesn’t solve the important problem of not knowing what card you will be revealing from the deck. So lastly, I would like to introduce cards that will help you better utilize this tricky Auto Ability. One that quickly comes to mind is Oracle [7-124C]. When this card enters your field, you can choose which card to put at the top of your deck. This is a Backup card with only a Cost of 2, so it should be fairly easy to utilize. Whale Zombie [8-127C], which has a similar ability, can be recommended as well. Also, Geomancer [1-169C] can provide a quick solution. With its ability, you can check the top of your deck for each turn, allowing you to choose the timing to play Ultimecia [9-102H]. Also, if you are looking to expand your deck construction with Ice Elements, Yeul [5-154S] is a must. This card also allows you to check the top of your deck but without being dulled, so the card can also contribute to generating enough CP to play Ultimecia [9-102H].
Also, in order to keep the inconvenience of your opponent playing a card into the field to a minimum, the best option would be to use the abilities of returning one’s card to the owner’s hand, often seen with Water cards. Such cards as Leviathan [1-178R] should be able to support Ultimecia [9-102H].
So what do you think? I think this will be a card that will allow for new possibilities. I hope you will consider constructing a deck with this card as the backbone. Next week, RB will be back with the next Card of the Week preview. I hope you look forward to it, as it will be a Legend card!