Written by China Ross
BT05: Aerial Steed Liberation drops today, and with it, a plethora of support for five different clans. Some fared better than others (looking at you, Narus, OTT, and Royals), and one suffered the fate of having a single digit amount of new cards. Regardless, today we'll dive into some of the new cards, and what they do for their respective decks.
Narukami was already one of the stronger Accel clans -- and they just got a boost. Gauntlet Buster Dragon is INCREDIBLY strong, as we’ve known and theorized since its reveal. The old Narukami issue of not having any more bind pieces available is a thing of the past, as GBD does it bigger and better. Being able to bind the entire front row, as well as bring the back row to the front eliminates the previous need for Riki, and pairs nicely with the fact that GBD’s skill is not once per turn.
Gauntlet Buster creates the same fun scenario as Bermudas does early on/going first, especially when paired with Supreme Army Eradicator, Zuitan: PG or die. With a minimum of 3 critical, even two to passing GBD can be scary (as fronts are a threat as well now). Narukami has so many methods of applying pressure even apart from binding -- Zuitan buffs itself up, and Cho-ou can restand for a single counterblast. The clan is easily the best of Aerial Steed!
Oracle Think Tank
Oracle Think Tank saw the return of the beloved Tsukuyomi ride chain, and with it… a way to brick. Not seeing the grade 1 in your opening hand has the potential to kill the deck where it stands. But let’s not think about that, and talk about the good side of Tsukuyomi. The deck is incredibly pressuring once you either reride Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi, or get a third Tsuku in soul (via either Inaba or Euryale). It may take a bit to get there, but being able to stack two cards on top of the deck, and get an extra 10K to the front row if they’re both triggers is an incredibly powerful skill. Once new OTT gets rolling, it becomes harder and harder to break through their ever-growing hand.
Past the Tsukuyomi hype, OTT saw some more support for the Magus build, notably Fusilli Magus. If you run a Pentagonal Magus build… you could get seven drive checks, as cheese as that sounds! To me, that just sounds like a chance for seven blanks, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
Royals notably gained another grade 3, Solitary Knight, Gancelot. If seven drive checks with OTT Magus is too many for you, how about four with Royals? Giving Blaster Blades the ability to single drive means your opponent will have to think even harder on how to guard. Defensive trigger? You’re not safe, not with a Blaster Blade on rear.
Royal Paladin also now has another Knight to add to its already strong grade 2 lineup -- Knight of Truth, Gordon. While slightly different than the Kay/Bedi combo, Gordon is primarily a BB buffer. Not only does it give all Blaster Blades 5K, but it also can become a 10K booster! Along with this, Royals finally got a counter charger in the form of Pluck Enchanter. (It even soul charges!) One might think it isn’t all that great, since it’s only when Blaster Blade is placed and when you have no face up damage, but A) Royals uses counterblast like no other, and B) the deck also has a BB searcher now, in Knight of the Harp, Tristan!
Sadly, Gold Paladin was almost forgotten in this set, receiving only a measly 5 cards (and two of those were triggers). Platina Ezel, however, is a spicy addition to the deck. In almost OTT-like fashion, Platina allows you to manipulate your drive checks, calling one of the top two cards to rear guard circle and the other is, well, shown in your trigger zone. This not only allows you to hit triggers more often, but also creates a possible two more attacks on any given turn. Platina’s restriction of needing two or more grade 3s in soul (for the effect to work on both drive checks, at least), isn’t terribly hard to do, since a single Raven-haired reride onto Blond will get you those two already.
The other two Golds cards, Kahedin and Hoel, are a bit lackluster. Hoel giving power to something put in its column is great, but Kahedin is, in a way, a worse Vivianne. CB 1 and discard a card for the exact same effect, except with a shuffle and no power gained. If you don’t have a Hoel on the field, no draw for you!
Nubatama, much like Golds, got the short end of the stick, with about 10 cards, although none of them were triggers. Sadly this means Nubatma doesn’t get the option to run 12 criticals (although that wouldn’t really be optimal, but I want the opportunity!). Jamyocongo’s continuous skill, especially when ridden as a second grade 3 shifts the momentum of the game entirely. Only having four cards in hand to guard an entire turn, especially with Nubatama being able to multiattack can be game-ending.
Stealth Beast, Tamahagane pairs nicely with the VR, giving itself 5K if the opponent has four or less cards in hand. Even if Jamyocongo is your first ride, Tamahagane can still be online, as long as they guard with two cards during the turn. It also provides another discard opportunity, for a mere soul blast. Not a terrible card in itself.
BT05 created a lot of opportunities for older decks to come back into the game. While the set showed that not all clans are created equal, every clan is noticeably better and more fun to play. We're excited to see where these clans will go after getting even more support, like Nubatama and Gold Paladin will later on in the year. We'll be hitting you with an article soon on how Aerial Steed Liberation fairs in the metagame, so stay tuned for that soon!
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