Written by China Ross
Extra Booster 08: My Glorious Justice brings with it some much needed upgrades to some truly underloved decks. Dimension Police, Aqua Force, and Granblue all had not seen support since the end of August 2018 -- almost an entire year ago. Shortly after their release, all three of these clans had fallen into obscurity, not being able to keep up with the quickening pace of the meta. That all changes now, however.
No. 3: Granblue
Granblue, one of the early protect clans, initially was thought to be strong. The huge numbers of Dragon Undead, Skull Dragon, the power and critical pressure of King of Demonic Seas, Basskirk, and the looming threat of Violence Flanger created a scary deck to face up against. The only problem? If you didn't ride Basskirk, you might as well scoop then and there. Granblue had no ride targets other than Basskirk, as it's the main way you call things from the toolbox of your drop zone. Also, since you rarely got the chance to reride, most Granblue players would only gain 1-2 Protect markers per game.
Granblue's support brings with it Ice Prison Necromancer, Cocytus -- finally, another ride target! Not only is it able to buff itself up with power and possible criticals, but its second skill is where it really shines. Cocytus allows you to accelerate your milling, filling up your drop zone quicker than many cards are able to. At a minimum, you're calling two cards from drop zone to rear guard circles, which means you're calling more cards than Basskirk can, for a lower cost.
So Cocytus mitigates the issue of only having one ride target, and is basically just a better Basskirk. But what else has changed? Old Granblue also had the issue of either milling your Basskirks (thus why GB players never saw a reride to save their lives), or milling too many triggers. Not only does this mean less triggers in deck to hit, but also generally less shield value in hand. Enter Greed Shade.
Greed Shade is essentially just a better Ruin Shade. While Ruin Shade is an on-attack, Greed Shade is an on-place. However, Greed combined with Cocytus will still most likely get you to your 10 or 20 cards in drop zone faster than old GB could ever dream of. The ability to fetch a card from drop zone not only helps in the issue of reriding ,but also in case you're missing a piece you need, or a finisher.
Another notable card is found in Ripple Banshee. While she doesn't do a whole lot in terms of the drop zone/milling itself, she is a nice plus one and a good target to be calling with Cocytus, gaining 4K power and an extra draw.
Granblue is placed as number three mainly because objectively, it hasn't changed much. While it has definitely gotten better and more consistent, many of the new cards were just replacements for the old ones. Other decks in the set had new mechanics for their clan, or at least did more than merely implementing better versions of cards they already had (like how Cocytus is a better Basskirk and Greed Shade is a better Ruin Shade). However, Granblue's power increase shouldn't be downplayed. Much like DP, it has seen a fair number of tops in Japan, both in teams and singles events, and is a force to be reckoned with.
No. 2: Aqua Force
Aqua Force, in a way, was like Pale Moon. Piece reliant, could be scary when it popped off... and utterly shut down by defensive triggers. While Riptide Dragon and restanding rear guards could be scary, Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom rarely gets to restand, as long as you know which attacks to guard.
My Glorious Justice introduces Blue Storm Supreme Dragon, Glory Maelstrom, a new boss for Aquas. Glory provides a skill like we haven't seen before -- rather than guarding with two or more in hand for the attack/turn, (or even three, in the case of Spinning Valiant, but we don't talk about him), you're limited to only one card to guard. Blocking interceptors only makes this skill sound more insane, since it makes their only choices to drop a card from hand or to take a damage.
At first glance, Glory seems like a bad first ride. While old Maelstrom isn't great on its own, you want to activate the 10K to the front row, making it harder to guard with one card for every attack (if you hit a Front trigger, even moreso). However, I don't think it's necessarily terrible -- it gives an opportunity to force cards out of your opponent's hand, and that's never a bad thing.
Some of the pieces of the previous iteration of Aqua Force were mediocre -- Coral Assault, however, is anything but. Giving itself 15K power, it creates a 24K attacker, or 29K if on an Accel II circle. It reminds me of Riptide, in a way, except it isn't restricted by what attack it is specifically, just how many rested units there are. Its second skill is also nice, netting an extra card if you feel the need for the defensive power.
Aqua Force, while still piece reliant, has become much more of a threat. Accel II aids in finding your pieces and attackers, and Glory Maelstrom creates an intimidating presence that the deck lacked previously. However, the deck seems to be lacking in performance, barely seeing any tops in comparison to the other two clans in the set, and it still loses out to its rear guards being picked off or retire/bind heavy decks. Thus, it sits at number two.
No. 1: Dimension Police
Dimension Police originally was incredibly straightforward -- stack your force markers on your Vanguard, attack for multiple criticals, and if you had Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha, go for the superior ride! The only thinking in the deck was making sure you could hit the 35K and 45K power thresholds, and maybe a bit of multiplying with Commander Laurel.
New DP, however, revolves around an entirely different grade 3: Super Dimensional Robo, Dailiner. Dailiner creates immense amounts of pressure (assuming you hit a grade 3 off of its search), especially if you go first. A lot of the time you'll hear the words "no guard" when your opponent is staring down a 33K body with an extra critical while they're only on 9/10K. Instead of needing to be at 35K for merely an extra critical, it nets you another card in hand, and possibly 10K shield. This is a huge step up from the previous iteration of DP.
The biggest difference that this creates is another avenue for DP players to take -- while your goal of a beefy Vanguard with multiple criticals is still there, the deck can still be incredibly successful without the superior ride. Other cards such as Platinum Ace and Super Dimensional Robo, Daizaurus, which I'll go over below, further exemplify this change in identity for the deck.
Super Dimensional Robo, Daizaurus adds an element to Standard that we don't see too often -- an additional drive check. This allows your Dailiner, which most likely already has 20K power and an additional critical, to have an even greater chance of hitting.
Another notable addition to the deck would be Platinum Ace. If your Vanguard is at 30K or higher, for a mere soul blast you can give itself 10K and a critical. Having both Dailiner and Platinum Ace with extra criticals gives a bit more incentive to go Force I, unless you feel like going incredibly aggressive, trying to pack a huge punch in only a few attacks!
Possibly the most important change brought to DP in this set is its position in the meta. I'll be going over the EB08 metagame more in-depth in a future article, but part of the reason I place DP in the number one position is its meta significance. No longer is DP a bottom of the barrel deck -- it's seen quite a few tops itself, and has seen a fair amount of representation even into the Aerial Steed meta as well.
EB08 brings with it much needed support for underloved clans. DP and Aquaforce saw more drastic changes, whereas Granblue sort of just does the same thing it did before... but better. Not only are these decks better quality wise, but in general are just more fun to play! Because nobody likes getting beaten down by other decks in the game. We'll be looking forward to other clans like these who finally get their second round of support, and updating you with the breakdown when they do. Until next time!
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