Hello everyone! What did you think of Lyse [8-139S], introduced by RB last time? It’s quite an appealing card, isn’t it? Well, taking over from RB for this week’s column, I’ll keep things going by introducing another Starter Set card. Except this time, it won’t be from FFXIV. Instead, this card is from the FFVII deck, which is the other Starter Set – please bear with me as I introduce Cloud [8-143S].
Cloud [8-143S] possesses one offensive ability and one defensive ability. First, for the offensive ability, although of course it requires that a certain condition is met, it allows you to break one forward simply by playing Cloud [8-143S] onto the field. The condition is that you must be controlling four Category VII Forwards, which could pose a bit of a challenge. However, this just means the ability is really that powerful, so you probably want to pursue it actively. There aren’t many Earth characters who can break cards unconditionally and without being dependent on things like damage. There’s no doubt that he’ll serve as a valuable asset in any situation.
On the other hand, the defensive ability that he additionally possesses is easier to activate. When a Category VII Forward you control blocks, it gains +1000 power until the end of the turn. Though you might be thinking it’s only 1000, keep in mind that 1000 can make a difference. You might be able to survive a standoff that would have otherwise resulted in both cards breaking. Furthermore, he has great synergy with Hecatoncheir [4-093R] and Titan [6-075R], cards with the ability to have a chosen forward deal damage equal to its power. Barret [4-089R], who has Brave, seems like he’d also be a good partner. Of course, Cloud [8-143S] is Category VII himself, so the ability will activate for him as well. It looks like it’ll prove useful as an easy but effective ability.
Now, instead of Fire or Light, this time around Cloud [8-143S]’s Element type is Earth, which is atypical for him. But by no means is this a disadvantage. In the Earth Element category, there’s Jessie [4-082C], who not only can reduce Cloud [8-143S]’s cost, but can also reduce the cost of Barret [4-089R], one of the Category VII Forwards important to Cloud [8-143S]. Additionally, among the ranks of Category VII Earth characters is the WRO Member [3-084C], several of whom can be played alongside each other. Of course, something like incorporating Fire as well as a healthy number of cards named Cloud, then spamming Cloud [1-182L]’s Special Ability, would also work as a deck, I think. In any case, I suspect that the introduction of an Earth Element Cloud will open up new possibilities for preexisting FFVII cards as well.
As a side note, several characters in the Opus series have been appearing more and more as multiple Element types. One reason behind this is that in the original stories, each character is multifaceted. In addition to their personalities, the skills and magic they use, their fighting styles, their roles within the story – across countless areas, you don’t really think of them as being limited to a singular quality. Of course, there are also characters like “Rubicante of Fire” or “Cagnazzo of Water,” who don’t make sense as any other Element, and for these, please be rest assured that we have no intention of forcing change upon them.
One more thing – and this gets into the game’s qualities specifically as a TCG. Because always having the same Element type would result in Abilities’ characteristics becoming too similar, and considering the game prevents players from placing cards with the same name onto the field, a clear distinction starts arising as to which cards get included in decks, and which cards do not. This tendency is particularly pronounced in someone like Cloud, who is frequently reimagined as a new card. Considering this, it becomes imperative that we sprinkle in cases where we approach a card starting from the Element type, as in Cloud [8-143S]. This helps change the direction of the abilities, and as mentioned earlier, new possibilities open up not only for that particular card, but for others as well. Even though Cloud himself is just one character, if each of his cards is used in a different deck, then consequently a variety of Clouds will end up being used.
I’ve veered off a bit from the topic at hand, but personally I think Cloud [8-143S] is a card that will impact FFTCG more than it might seem at first glance. Well, that about wraps things up for this time. RB will return next week. It looks like another main character of a mainline title will be introduced, similar to this time, so I hope you’ll all look forward to it!