Updated: May 30, 2019
Written and Edited by
Rodney "Based Crit" Chan, Chad Leiske and China Ross
With the announcement of the new Gift effects, it's time to take a look at the biggest winners and losers of the changes. This first article is going to talk about the three biggest winners out of clans that haven't seen a lot of love lately. I know Force II Bermuda Triangle is nuts, there isn't much to talk about there, let’s talk about 3 underrated clans that benefit from these changes: Spike Brothers, Tachikaze and Granblue.
Spike Brothers is a clan that hits for high numbers with all three of their attacks thanks to the deck’s natural ability to gain power when placed in addition to General Seifried’s ability to buff rearguards by 10k power. Even though the clan has rearguard columns that can hit for over 40-50k in power, the problem is that they only hit for one damage. The deck’s strategy falls apart when the opponent can safely guard Seifried and prevent him from triggering his on-hit attack and simply take the rearguard attacks for one damage. The new Force II marker allows Spike Brothers rearguards to apply pressure on their attacks and force more cards from an opponents hand per turn.
Let’s break it down:
Assuming Seifried uses his effect to bring out another copy of Brakki and Juggernaut:
As you can see, Spike Brothers do not have any issues hitting the 27/28k “Magic Number” without the need of Force I markers, thanks in part to Seifried. His skill is essentially a free Force I marker each time you use his effect. This, coupled with Force II, makes this deck extremely threatening going forward. Before the change, these rearguard numbers would not matter as they were only dealing one damage per attack with no on-hit pressure. Now, not only does your opponent have to guard Seifried’s attack, they have to worry about guarding the high numbers your rearguards will be hitting with additional criticals.
When would they use Force I? I do not think there will be a situation where Force I is optimal over Force II. However that doesn't mean that a knowledgeable Spike Brothers player may see something that we don't!
Tachikaze is a very unique accel clan in standard. It does not play the rush game that Gold Paladin, Aqua Force and Nova Grappler want to play. It also does not play the control game the way Murakumo and Narukami does either. Tachikaze is the most force-like accel deck. Tachikaze is a combo deck that requires multiple cards to combo off each other and generate advantage. Having their advantage generating cards such as Assault Dragon, Blightops and Vicious Claw Dragon, Laceraterex, along with their combo cards such as Ravenous Dragon Megarex, Sonic Noa and Tyrant, Deathrex is the key to their strategy. The deck falls apart when they do not see these combo pieces together. Thanks to the new Accel II gift effects, that extra draw they generate gets the deck one extra card closer to their combo pieces. The loss of 5,000 power is irrelevant to their strategy as the clan can hit for high numbers on their own. Ravenous Dragon Gigarex, Tyrant Deathrex and Savage King all hit for over the 27/28k “Magic Numbers.” Thanks to the new Accel II gift effects, the deck can see more cards early on and can help snowball the game in their favor.
When would they use the old Accel I gift effect? In the event that Tachikaze went first and opens up extremely well and have seen a fair amount of their combo pieces, Accel I should still be the gift of choice. Seeing as many cards as possible is extremely important to the deck's strategy and helps make those unique and flexible plays. When falling behind in the early game, the Accel II gift is perfect to help recover extra resources to help stabilize the game state as well.
Granblue is a deck that revolves around generating pressure and advantage through their Drop Zone. King of Demonic Seas, Basskirk is the deck's heart and soul. He has the ability to superior call a card from the drop zone every turn, furthermore he gains 5000 power and an extra critical when the drop zone has 10 or more cards. The issue with Basskirk is that he's so powerful that you very rarely ever want to ride onto a different card. Thus, Granblue generated a limited number of Protect I. Additionally, outside of Dandy Guy, Romario, there are no reliable and efficient ways to add Basskirk to hand. All other Grade 3’s the deck ran were more for rearguard pressure such as cards like Dragon Undead, Skull Dragon, who hits for high numbers on its own.
With the addition of Protect II, the deck has an alternate strategy by providing itself extra defensive resources. In the event that the deck cannot continuously re-ride Basskirk’s on top of one another, the Protect II provides utility to the deck’s strategy that cannot go overlooked. Captain Nightmist has great utility in it’s on-place effect as it can call any card from the Drop Zone. After he uses his effect however, he becomes a fairly vanilla Rearguard. Protect II can take advantage of this by giving him the 5,000 Power Attack boost which is enough to hit over Force Clans and provide it with an extra 10,000 Power in Shield value on your opponent’s turn. Those extra numbers are the incremental plays they can now make, that add up over time and can potentially swing the game in your favor. Stacking Protect II markers is also incredibly underrated. A 25,000 interceptor during your opponent’s turn is great value and nothing to scoff at.
When would they use the old Protect I markers? Granblue has the benefit of seeing how the game plays out before committing to a gift effect. If the deck is able to see multiple Basskirks in hand and is playing against either Force or Protect, the deck can get away with picking Protect I as its gift. In almost all scenarios against Accel or when Basskirk copies are scarce, Protect II would be the preferred gift as it provides the deck with extra resources to combat the multiple attacks Accel provides. This may change however with the new Granblue support we are seeing this fall.