Hi everyone, this is Tim. I’m going to alternate with RB to bring you some spicy new spoiler articles. As you might know from the last article, we have decided to spruce things up a bit by reaching out to players in the community about groups of cards and getting their opinion on the whole set. Each article will have different players from all over the world giving their thoughts on upcoming cards, so we hope you’re excited to see what they have to say! Also it's worth mentioning that the players did not know their groups and wrote their article just based on their view.
For today’s Community Spoilers, we will bring some Chaos & Death. Chaos and Marilith were revealed on the first Crystal Cup, but keep in mind that the players didn’t know about that before commenting on their given cards. Today’s group is Jared Scott Walters from The Zodiac Braves, White Mage David Nunez, Alex Scott from the Mysidia Post, James Duff from YYT and Metapotion’s Joshua Freeman-Birch.
Let’s check out the cards and what our community guests had to say!
The Deathlord 11-076C
5 CP Earth Forward, Category FFL, Job Deathlord, 9000 Power
When Deathlord enters the field, you may search for 1 Dark Character and add it to your hand.
Jared: To me this card is easily the most intriguing of the four shown here. The Deathlord is like Kam'lanaut's cousin from out-of-town. On-curve with 9k at 5CP, he doesn't come with the built-in protection that Kam'lanaut has, but carries the benefit of being able to be discarded for CP if he's not the right play to push your strategy forward when you draw him.
The Deathlord being a 9K for 3CP is pretty fantastic. The caveat of course is that when searching for a Dark or Light Character, that card isn't directly accessible as available CP but I would still tend to think of it that way in this scenario given that you are likely getting a very strong card that you intend on playing instead of discarding for CP.
David: The biggest advantage that Deathlord has that he can be discarded for CP. In earth there is another card that is very useful named Star Sybil. Star sybil can search out Kam’lanaut due to his category. Deathlord has the category of FFL. The card that searches the category FFL is ice. In a dedicated earth deck Kolka would be useful to search him. On the other hand. L3 is a new format that plays with a limited pool of cards. In L3 (at the time of its release), Hein, Emperor Gestahl and Reagan are great targets. We have yet to see the strength of Kadaj and we still don't know the effect of the Dark legend of Opus XI, but he has at least 3 great targets at the moment, which is enough to have him see played in any earth deck that uses the dark archetypes. Artwork is awesome 10/10
Alex: The Deathlord has come for Kam’Lanuat. Kam was already being dumped in decks for new Opus X cards Raegen and Hein, but now you don’t have to compromise on a Chaos Backup searcher if you want an easy colour fix. This will be important if you are playing a Job Chaos deck, as these fiends are in different elements. The Deathlord being able to search a Dark Character will fit into a lot of Earth builds in general. I am not worried about its steep CP cost, especially since it is on curve for power.
James: The Deathlord, FFL. And don’t forget the ‘The’!
Why risk playing him when 5cp slots, especially in Earth are highly contested, you might ask? Well, FFL itself is one of the most strongly supported categories in the game right now. Buffed by Glaive, retrievable by Diana, and searchable by The Mask, there is huge potential for any FFL deck playing Earth, Ice, or Lightning to now include an easy means of finding further cards. Chaos, to fix CP colours, or powerful silver bullet options like Nidhogg, Hein, or Shadow Lord to destroy those pesky WOFF decks? The versatility of The Deathlord is up there with even Opus 9 L Gabranth!
JFB: Edgy name and artwork aside, the card very potent as a searcher for Chaos/Hein. Sadly, Earth is not one of Hein's colours, but Hein is so potent that even without the ability to make use of his second effect the card is often still worth searching and playing. Being an FFL card, the card is searchable via The Mask (who is in Hein's colours) to open the card up as an option in some kind of Ice/Earth/Dark deck in place of Kam'lanaut who often times makes hands nearly unplayable/very polarized.
5 CP Wind Forward, Category I, Job Chaos, 9000 Power
When Tiamat enters the field, you may pay 1WW. When you do so, choose 1 Forward of cost 5 or more. Break it.
When Tiamat is put from the field into the Break Zone, you may search for 1 Job Chaos other than Card Name Tiamat and add it to your hand.
Jared: Wind is the element with the smallest pool of 9k Forwards (4 total) so any 9k body in that element is worthy of a look. As with the other Job Chaos Forwards seen so far, it has an optional auto-ability you can pay for when it enters the field and a second auto-ability when it enters the Break Zone. As of this writing, Category I doesn't have any support within FFTCG, but it would be interesting to see if we get a shell for an FFI package from other cards in Opus XI.
David: As a longtime fan of Dungeons and Dragons, I'm excited to see the evil dragon queen make her FFCTG debut. The fearsome queen boasts intimidating stats at 9000 power. And her overdrive effect costs 3 wind cp. Overall, she has a cost of 8 (4 of which must be wind), which is expensive but impactful when the effect triggers. Naturally, this card will be compared to Yiazmat. Yiazmat costs 1 more, has 1000 more power, has more abilties, more flexibilty, and to top it off Yiazmat has a nice little EX burst symbol in the top right corner. The biggest downside is that Yiazmat always costs 9 and isn't particularly proactive by itself. Tiamat on the other hand can be played by herself, at five backups without discarding a card. There are some situations where Tiamat is better. Namely, when the player is only at 4 backups with two cards in you really need to break the opponent's forwards, or when you already have Yiazmat on board and you want to break another forward.
Alex: This is the first of FFI four fiends that the online player base has been asking for since the game came out. Each of these cards share a two mechanics, the first being the ability to pay extra CP for a Summon-like effect. The second is a enter the Break Zone ability that lets you search for a different Job Chaos (aka another one of the four fiends). Each of these fiends is a 5 CP 9000 power Forward, which is on curve and fine. But the enter the Break Zone effect is very relevant. It effectively makes them a delayed 3 CP Forward. This de-values your opponent’s removal because after they get rid of your Tiamat, you “draw” a card. This shared text of each fiend card already makes them worth looking at, and they have enter the field abilities on top of it all! It is a nice utility and I think it will see play because Job Chaos will definitely be an attempted archetype.
James: Tiamat’s on-entry ability will quite likely have powerful implications in Sealed, since the cycle of Chaos cards are all at Common rarity, there’s a good chance of seeing them in each opponent’s deck. Paying an additional 3CP to break a 5CP Forward is the first hard removal the fiends have offered.
Yes, it can be costly and something like our lord and saviour Yiazmat does outshine…. but what are you expecting from a Common? It definitely feels like these chaos cards have character that I think old arch fiend players or recursion decks will find room for in either L3 or constructed.
JFB: This one has the most potential in my opinion. This is because Mono Wind often does not have much to do with their CP after playing Bartz/Vata to the field so some big expensive point removal dude can be okay in the deck. The other Job Chaos would be there just for CP. While 8cp point remove a forward is not ideal, in a deck that plays Maria, the card can be formidable as Bartz + Y'Shtola + Tiamat puts a lot of power into play for not very much CP while taking away from the opponent's forwards. One of the big issues Mono Wind has vs Mono Ice is removing cards like Orphan and Cid Aulstyne consistently so this can provide some help vs the deck. It is worth noting that the card cannot be used as a topdeck vs mono Ice without the use of Sherlotta so while it is a bandaid it is not a cure-all for the matchup.
5 CP Earth Forward, Category I, Job Chaos, 9000 Power
When Lich enters the field, you may pay 1E. When you do so, choose 1 Forward in your Break Zone. Add it to your hand.
When Lich is put from the field into the Break Zone, you may search for 1 Job Chaos other than Card Name Lich and add it to your hand.
Jared: His first auto-ability is easily my favourite one yet. Unlike the others, his ability doesn't require an opponent's Forward to be useful, and although you are paying an additional 2CP, you're immediately getting another card back in return to replace it. I like to view it as Lich having an auto-ability that says when he enters the field, you can swap out an Earth card in your hand for a Forward in your Break Zone. As a long-time fan of the Final Fantasy series, I love when there are subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) lore references in card design that make it really feel like you're playing through a character's actions or the plot of one of the games. With these FFI Fiends, I enjoy the way the second auto-ability represents the sequential nature of Final Fantasy I, how beyond defeating each Fiend was the next one to face. It's a nice cross-section of lore and card design that also opens up new avenues as far as strategy and character choice.
David: The next of the four fiends! Lich is a wonderfully flavourful card. A lich is an undead being that is versed in the ways of necromancy. This particular lich is powerful enough to bring back forwards from the break zone. For 2 cp (1 earth/1 any element), his overdrive effect can nab you a forward from the break zone. He also carries the break zone effect, essentially adding 2 cards to your hand. For 7 cp you get two cards and a 9k forward. On paper, that seems pretty good. We can compare this to luminous puma, which seems ample play in most earth decks. For 5 cp, you can get two cards, one on entry and one on exit. The puma is not a forward and doesn't gain any other benefit. For an extra two cp you could have a big forward. Another similar card is the Opus 6 earth Legend Minfila. Minfilia returns two characters from the break zone upon entering the battlefield. For 6 cp you instantly get two characters and backup.
Alex: Same thoughts as above, except this card has a Cu Sith slapped onto it. This effect is easy to play off of 5 Backups and allows you to establish a threat while replacing a card you didn’t want in your hand (perhaps a Backup) with a Forward from your Break Zone. I think this will see play in Chaos or Earth/X deck, if it isn’t too slow to set up. This may even replace Luminous Puma as a more proactive play when you are behind.
James: Lich, the coolest new art to boot!
In particular in Sealed, Lich’s optional kicker cost allows you to effectively turn the weakest card in your hand into the strongest card in your Break Zone, which has a track record of success in Sealed events to grant you more effective copies of your most explosive cards. In Constructed, Lich has greater competition from the variety of recursion engines and 9k bodies available - I feel with Raegan’s instant access to the Break Zone for no additional cost and helpful EX that Lich might be outclassed, but Dark slots are harder and harder to find room for these days. However, I can see this really shining in L3. L3 is in need of a new Star Sybil engine, and between the cycle of Chaos fiends, and potentially the right colorfixing Moogle support, there might be a niche worth filling.
JFB: Sadly Chaos (1-184H) is not job Chaos making the second effect not as appealing as it could have been. Lich is a 5cp 9k that has the ability to exchange one card in your hand with one forward in your breakzone. This can be good for setting up 2 card combos, most notably Kain + Shantotto (with Ranperre in play). Having to search a job Chaos other than Lich means that the card cannot see play in a mono deck and instead has to be played in a 2/3+ colour deck. As the other Job Chaos cards are not in Lightning or Ice (at least the ones I know at this point) the card does not have much potential in the Ranperre deck at this time.
5 CP Water Forward, Category I, Job Chaos, 9000 Power
When Tiamat enters the field, you may pay 1W. When you do so, choose 1 Forward. Return it to it owner’s hand.
When Kraken is put from the field into the Break Zone, you may search for 1 Job Chaos other than Card Name Kraken and add it to your hand.
Jared: The most interesting aspect of this card to me is the character choice. It's a novelty anytime we see new unique characters show up in FFTCG after the 10 previous sets, and its surprising that there has been so little representation for Final Fantasy I so far (Matoya, where are you?). The decision to make Kraken a Forward instead of a Monster is also an interesting design choice. Stat-wise, Kraken is on-curve at 9k for 5CP and comes with some optional "DLC" when he hits the field. 2CP for a Leviathan-type effect isn't bad on it's own, but given that this ability triggers when he enters the field, you're going to have to commit 7CP in the turn that you play him in order to get something other than a vanilla 9k body.
David: The fearsome and mighty Kraken! The last fiend of the article comes in with a great splash. Upon entering the battlefield, the kraken has an overdrive effect to target a forward and return it to your opponnent's hand for a measly 2 water cp. With the overdrive ability, Kraken is 7 CP. This is comparable to Styx and Opus X tidus. While Tidus requires the bouncing of one of your own backups, and styx requires water cp. All this without considering that kraken has an ability when put in the break zone. Kraken might actually be the best fiend on display! But Kraken suffers from a slight weakness. Kraken can be a very strong tempo play, but Kraken seems to do things that Mono water does. It wants to find a home in a mono water deck, but it is stuck in at least a two color deck.
Alex: Very psyched that this card’s extra cost is 2 CP. It is a very strong effect to have on a powerful Forward. The issue that bounce has had in FFTCG is that everyone plays Forwards with enter the battlefield abilities. This can make it undesirable to return a Forward to your opponent’s hand. Kraken isn’t fast either so it wouldn’t see play in an aggro list as a form of bypass. However, this card automatically gets a 10/10 for the art. My wife got a glimpse of it and thought it looked just like me when she tells me not to go back for seconds at dinner.
James: Kraken, the third chaos fiend and judges you on your fashion choices!
Kraken follows of being a big Common body that bolsters Sealed events’ reputations for revolving around big hitters. ‘Bounce’ effects like that attached to Kraken’s kicker cost are generally more powerful in Sealed than Constructed formats, due to the relative lack of cheap on-entry effects and the general aggressive pace of Sealed games. Again, Kraken’s fairly unique ‘Job: Chaos’ support fits well with the character from Final Fantasy I.
In Constructed, with the right set up (perhaps a Star Sybil to bring any of these large bodies in?) the fiends offer some great and unexpected plays to throw at your opponent.
JFB: Similar to Lich the card requires a 2/3+ colour deck and comes with the upside of providing a Leviathan type effect for 2cp when the card enters play. The card is comparable to Styx who sees no play, but it is a water target for Lich/Tiamat, so if a deck wants water as a secondary colour and wants to play Lich/Tiamat then Kraken could potentially find a home. The issue with Leviathan effects is that they're only really good for saving cards or denying the opponent's options during the battle phase, this is why Styx and Kraken don't/won't see a lot of play as gaining tempo in this fashion is generally not too useful, Tidus (10-117H) is the only Leviathan type forward that really sees play and this is because it is often used to return your own cards to hand to extend combination plays instead of the opponent's cards.
So, what do you all think? Are you excited for the new Job Chaos characters? Any deck ideas already?
Also am I the only one who celebrates Kraken’s Card number 11-111C? :P
We’ll be doing 5 more groups of Community Spoilers, so check back here in a couple days!
See you then!