This is our final Opus XI Community Spoiler article. Hope you've enjoyed the new format! We've gotten a lot of positive response, so we would love to reach out for more Community articles in the future! For the final week we have 2018 World Champion Alex Hancox, Robert Meadows of fftcgcrystarium.com, FFTCG Commentator and Team Meta Potion member Brian Burckley, Team Meta Potion and Worlds Competitor Matt Okimoto, and Jonathan Southway.
Let's get to it!
Biran (11-075C) + Yenke (11-067C):
Biran: 3 CP 7000 Power Earth Forward, Category Pictologica / X, Job Ronso
If you control a Card Name Yenke, Biran gains +1000 Power and Brave.
[1 Earth CP]: Until the end of the turn, Biran gains Brave and “Biran cannot become dull by your opponent’s Summons or abilities.”
Yenke: 2 CP Earth Backup, Category Pictologica / X, Job Ronso
[Dull] Put Yenke into the Break Zone: Choose 1 Forward. It gains +1000 power for each Earth Forward you control until the end of the turn.
Alex: Biran is an odd card in that he has two ways of gaining the keyword brave: one through his action ability, and one through controlling Yenke. The latter also comes with a bonus +1000 power, which makes him slightly above the curve for a 3-cost, and with Brave on top makes him a potent attacker in L3. Along with his action ability – reminiscent of Opus 1 Guy and a number of other Earth forwards since – he is immune to the dull abilities from Lightning and Ice that cause Mono Earth problems. Yenke’s ability very much goes against his synergy with Biran, as he boosts a forward for each Earth forward you control, but Biran’s power drops as a result of him going to the break zone. For a 2CP backup this is a solid effect, but it will often be outclassed by Opus 10’s Miotsk, and Earth’s other 2CP offerings are also pretty solid. Depending on where Mono Earth sits in L3 with the rotation of the core FFXV cards, these two might see some play. However, they aren’t going to be a core focus of the game plan, and their usage will thus depend on the strength of similar cards in the element, like Black Tortoise L’Cie Gilgamesh and Enkidu Uruk from Opus 10.
Robert: Mono Earth decks are no strangers to building and maintaining a wide board of forwards which Biran plays on that well. Biran also embodies a theme I'm seeing in design for some of the more recent releases where it's a re-iteration of an older card that's since fallen out of favor and is now improved upon in order to keep up with the speed of the game. It's been a long time since Monk (2-089C) was a staple Earth backup in every deck, but perhaps Biran shortens that gap and breathes new life into Earths identity of added power on demand. It's also worth noting that this is a FFX backup and while I can't think of anything ground-breaking for that yet, it's definitely something to keep in mind. Don't get me hopeful with all of these Ronso releases, I've been waiting a long time for a Kimahri card I'm excited to play! Yenke continues with the theme of improving on old favourites, there's a lot of comparisons to be drawn to Guy (1-097H), but there's an important difference here. If we're already playing Biran, Yenke comes in at 1CP lower than Guy for every matchup that doesn't include Dull/Freeze, and that's an important improvement. Against Dull/Freeze however, there will be a lot of trade-offs to make and Yenke may end up more expensive. I like the design overall, trade-offs like this make for great deck building decisions.
Brian: Here we have Biran and Yenke. Both cards are strong enough to stand on their own but work very well together for more than a few reasons. Biran gains a 1000 power buff and brave from Yenke being in play. This should not be hard to pull off since Yenke is only a 2 cp backup. The 2 cards work very well together like Ashe and Rasler. Biran is still and independently strong card because he can still give himself brave! In an element that already has a lot of forwards with Brave this might not seem like the most relevant effect. However, it is also strong against Ice effects like those of Yazoo because he can also protect himself from dulling. Biran serves as a counter to most removal in Ice decks in fact. As ice grows in popularity, maybe this card would be a great tech to slide into your earth decks. Any card such as Biran that has built in means of protecting itself should be considered for slots in your deck to counter meta decks when constructing a deck. Maybe try him out with Brother (1-197S). Biran can also be used in Earth/Wind decks that play Vaan (10-133S). He is an on curve forward that becomes a problem card for some decks. Yenke is a great addition to the many earth backups that grant buffs. It only costs 2 cp so it is an ideal backup to play in the early game. As games progress into Mid/Late game, Yenke's effect becomes increasingly powerful. Mono earth decks typically play cards that are difficult to remove so boards can grow more wide as the game prolongs. This can easily make Yenke into a nice on board combat trick. Most other earth backups that grant buffs such as some of the monk back ups, require earth cp to apply a buff. The cost required to apply a buff from Yenke is much easier to use as it does not require additional cp to activate. If you cast the new Ursula and bring back an earth monk forward, Yenke can already buff a forward for 2000 power! If you are in a pinch and need to break a backup to cast Shantotto, this card can even target your opponent's forward. The power this card packs is very efficient for the required cost considering that using the effect will often remove a forward from your opponent's board. This is quite intimidating from such an adorable card.
Matt: I am a huge fan of the chibi style art that is used for all the Pictologica cards. I really enjoy 2 CP backups, especially with a relevant category such as FFX. Yenke's action ability doesn't cost much and can be used a very nice combat trick in a deck with many Earth forwards. In the more aggressive style Mono Earth decks I presume we'll see after this set especially the FFXV package based one. I could see this card taking up a 1 of slot to have some combat tricks for anytime someone wants to block one of your beefy boys. Overall great art, cool effect, and relevant category (Title fans!) Biran, wow!! Lets talk about an overstated 3 CP forward! With the addition of Yenke on the field this card becomes an 8k brave forward, and being category X benefits from other cards such as the Wakka bckup that buffs Category X Forwards. Not only does he become a huge forward but you can pay 1 earth CP to avoid all those annoying Ice effects that dull forwards! This has to be one of the coolest commons I have seen from this set so far and I really like how it has synergy with cards like Yenke from FFX. It goes really well with the story of the FF game and hits the nostalgia factor.
Jon: The ability to buff a forward by the number of earth forwards you control is interesting. It's been a long time since I have seen mono earth decks running around so with more support who knows.. It is a character that we have not seen before in the TCG and FFX fans will be happy that the game is getting more representation in the TCG. A 2 CP earth back up with an action ability that is relevant later is pretty decent. The moment all of your earth forwards die though this card goes back to square one. So you either need to play this card in a mono earth deck or at least in a deck that consists of primarily earth forwards. The downside is if you have no earth forwards at resolution. You have broken a back up for no value. So picking the right moment when to use Yenke’s [11-067] action ability will be key. Yenke does have one cheeky little smile though. Yenke [11-067C] will be reliant if mono earth or a deck with a lot of earth forwards start seeing play. If this is not really doable then sadly the card is not that great. He is able to give another forward at least +1000 power at a minimum. Biran’s action ability is what other earth cards have had in the past so it fits in a mono earth deck quite nicely. Biran will only see play if targeting forwards to dull them or dulling forwards becomes rampant within the game. The two elements that do this are Ice and Lightning. So if Ice/Lightning deck becomes meta maybe Biran [11-076C] will. It's a nice forward to have against Hein[10-129L], Cloud of Darkness[10-028L] and Squall [10-033L] which are being played a lot lately. However, I am not convinced this card will be a power house anytime soon. Just like Yenke, his facial expression is what does the card justice. It's nice to see the Ronso being more represented considering fighting both Yenke and Biran are a boss fight in FFX.
Loz (11-042C) + Yazoo (11-040C)
Loz: 3CP 7000 Power Ice Forward, Category VII, Job Remnant
The Job Remnant Forwards other than Loz you control gain +2000 power.
When Loz is put from the field into the Break Zone, your opponent discards 1 card from their hand.
Yazoo: 2 CP 5000 Power Ice Forward, Category VII, Job Remnant
When Yazoo enters the field, choose 1 Character opponent controls, Dull it.
When Yazoo is put from the field into the Break Zone, choose 1 Character opponent controls. Dull it and Freeze it.
Alex: The remaining Remnants of Sephiroth that pop up in the Advent Children film alongside Kadaj. Loz is the most interesting, providing a solid 2000 power buff to Kadaj (11-140S), who already sits above the curve at 9000 power. Ice’s discard options are practically non-existent in the current rotation, and it’s nice that the discard is attached to the better of the pair. If Ice sees more play in the next rotation, and the Dark slot isn’t reserved for Hein, Loz and Kadaj alone might make a potent pair due to Kadaj’s raw strength and Loz’s ability to take something from the opponent with him. Ice doesn’t really have anything like that right now and is very reliant on its dull/freeze abilities. Yazoo does that, but being under the curve at 5000 power really doesn’t help him, so unless another Kadaj comes along who has synergy with him he’s unlikely to be strong enough to make the cut.
Robert: First up, more Advent Children cards? That's awesome! Secondly, I've been eyeing off Cloud (11-136S) since his reveal, to use alongside DGS Troopers and Sephiroth in Ice, and Yazoo is a fantastic pairing with that idea, having both a potent entry and exit effect. FF7 synergies aside, there was a time where Gremlin (7-026R) saw competitive play in aggressive, discard oriented strategies and Yazoo is a card that can fill a very similar role, with two Dull effects while not needing to be enabled by discard effects. Outside of the FF7 theme I can see Yazoo working well alongside Rinoa (9-038R) or Snow (7-033) based aggressive lists to good effect. Yazoo is somewhat unassuming but could be a card to get excited about for more than one strategy. The Remnants of Sephiroth include Yazoo, Loz and Kadaj. Of course Loz will play well alongside the already revealed Yazoo (11-040C) and Cloud (11-136S) in terms of value. Loz is a little more difficult to evaluate, because the Kadaj (11-140S) we've seen so far is a Dark card and adding 2000 power to him isn't particularly relevant, especially since we're already inclined to play the new Aerith (11-139S) instead of Kadaj alongside Cloud (11-136S) in the deck Loz and Yazoo want to be played in. On his own Loz compares similarly to Serah (1-195S) trading off on-demand discard for an important 1000 power threshold which may not necessarily be a bad trade off, but it's also been a while since we've seen Galdes (7-129H) finding a home in most lists. This leaves Loz drawing his power from the +2000 power to Remnants. I don't expect him to take Serahs place, because he doesn't play as nicely with Cid Aulstyne but he does have the potential of working well within his theme.
Brian: Yazoo and Loz are 2 of the 3 remnants of Sephiroth. These 2 cards would be ideal candidates
for a popular deck such as Ice/Earth! They are both category VII which makes them searchable
by the backup, Jessie. Yazoo generates immediate value when it enters the field and gets a very relevant effect when it goes to the breakzone. It is important to note that both effects of Yazoo can choose a character. This means he can clear the way of pesky monsters or set up for ice removal cards like Cid Raines and Gladys Labolas. Choosing a character to dull makes Yazoo a more versatile forward and applicable to different board states. He is also a card that assists when both the
aggressor or defender. As the aggressor, Yazoo can clear the way for other forwards to sneak
in damage. As a defensive card, he can slow down aggressive decks by blocking and dull/freezing another threat. The enter ability of Yazoo is similar to another FFVII card, Cait Sith, a personal favorite card. However, Yazoo also has an ability when he goes to the break zone.
This gives the card more value. His ability to dull and freeze a character is more versatile when
Setzer (4-036H), a card that has seen a lot of competitive play, goes to the breakzone. On top
of all this goodness, he is on a curve at 5000 power with the bonus of being stronger when
joined by Loz. Overall, Yazoo stands out as independently strong due to the versatility and
searchablilty. When Loz joins the field, Loz grants an additional +2000 power to all other Remnants. This means that he grants a buff to Yazoo and Kadaj! Loz being on the field will allow Yazoo to
win/trade in combat when he normally should not. Loz is also a double edged sword to answer.
If your opponent decides to answer this card and it is sent to the break zone, it will cost your
opponent an additional 2 cp. The overall cp exchange for your opponent to kill this forward
becomes increased. Players trying to remove Loz would need to do so wisely or timely. If they
misjudge timing for removal, it can set a player further behind.
Together these 2 cards can create very tough board states. Even a control deck would be
punished for answering the ice remnants. Since Jessie searches the Remnants, this would be a
new archetype to add to an already strong element combination, Ice/Earth! Combine these with
Kadaj and Sephiroth (7-034L) and you have the foundations of a scary deck! Perhaps the 3
remnants will interact nicely with the dark Legend Sephiroth also coming out in Opus 11.
Matt: First off, its sweet to have some more FFVII Advent Children art! I figured we would get some since the Kadaj Spoiler in the new Starter Decks coming out and glad it came true. I like many things about Yazoo. It is category FFVII which seems that it will be very relevant in this upcoming set. It is of the ice element which is very flavorful considering most of the Sephiroth that currently see play are Ice, and Yazoo is 1 of the 3 remnants of Sephiroth. I like that there are 2 effects, an on enter effect and a sent to break zone effect. The best part is that is dulls (or dull/freezes) characters! This does not limit this card to forward and makes it universal for all types of cards in play. Loz is even better than Yazoo! It makes me curious what other job "Remnants" are going to be printed because this field ability doesn't seem too amazing, but lets get the the next effect. When he is sent from the field to the break zone your opponent discards a card! This is really good considering he is an on curve stat forward, category FFVII, ice element (everyone knows I love the Ice/Earth Element Combination) and has 2 effects!
Jon: To be expected we have new FF7 characters within Opus XI.This is great because a lot of the cast have had multiple cards and in a TCG that is character driven The more the better. Now onto the card itself. I applaud cards like this because of interactions with cards and their lore. The ability for Cloud to effectively “defeat” Yazoo and Loz is thematic to the film and I love card interactions like this. It would have also been cool to see an artist's interpretation of Yazoo and Loz rather than a CGI rendering taken from FF7 Advent Children. Perhaps concept art or Amano. On the whole I am happy to see new FF7 Characters thematic to the film's lore, especially with strong interactions from Cloud [11-136S].