Opus IX Set Review Pt. 6 – Water!

Hey guys, it’s time for the 6th part of my set review, this time we’ll be diving in and taking a look at Water! Are there some new strategies bubbling below the surface, or will Water instead prop itself up on Leila & Viking for another set? Will the new Porom make the waves everyone is expecting?

Sink your teeth in after the jump!

9-101R Adel (VIII)

Adel (VIII) – 9-101R

She could have had it all.. Adel (VIII) seems like she could end up being her own deck, if she had access to any protection to go with her – the issue is most ways of protecting her from things require you to run forwards (Y’shtola etc) mean that she wouldn’t gain the ability that makes her worth playing anyway. If a forward is meant to be the only one in play, it also really, really needs brave, otherwise Adel gets turned sideways and you end up taking a boatload of damage. An interesting card, I’m not sure we’ll ever see the full power of this if it doesn’t get backups that play nicely with it. I also checked into why she’s called Adel (VIII),  and it’s because in Japanese there is no distinction in how her name is spelt vs Adelle from FFTA2. In case you were wondering.

9-102H Ultimecia

Ultimecia – 9-102H

Hey kids, do you like high-roll? In an ideal world, you use this, you hit something stupid off the top of your own deck (basically any high value 5+ cost forward) and your opponent hits nothing. In actuality you hit a backup you already have out, your opponent hits Shantotto and field wipes you for free. I think if you want to play stuff off the top of your deck in Water, you just go with Agrias and build a deck around it.

9-103R Iedolas

Iedolas – 9-103R

I already thought Water was a bit strong on the summon front before this card got printed. Being able to Famfrit out of your break zone on one backup with an empty hand seems a bit much. We also have the obvious synergies of it being an FFXV card, meaning Noctis (2CP) can grab it in Water/Earth. One cool thing with it though is you can use it to cast Carbuncle, and if Carbuncle doesn’t buff its target beyond 9k, it will return to hand, as you resolve all the text on the summon before it comes time to see whether you are removing it from play or not off of Iedolas’ effect, which is actually really nice. Why did this guy get a card before Nyx or any of the Kingsglaive though?

9-104L Ultros

Ultros – 9-104L

Ultros is a good card. The main thing that hurts it is it’s definitely a 3 or 0 card. It can survive board wipes (and the on attack auto ability gets stronger when it does so), is a good Famfrit/Famfrit6 target being able to replace itself instantly, and 5CP for 9k is effectively the gold standard these days. If you start to combine him with Cagnazzo to soften the field up first, his 2-4k to the opponent’s board on attack becomes really relevant, especially as water also has things like Nichol, Cloud of Darkness, Leviathan, Bismarck to drop power before Ultros swings. I’m expecting to see Water/Ice FFVI builds start cropping up too! Also his Job means that as well as being a Chocobo, a God, and the President, Bartz is now also an Octopus.

9-105C Gau

Gau – 9-105C

I can’t see this getting played over the existing Gau unless you want more S-fodder or more Gestahlian Empire Cid targets.

9-106R Ghis

Ghis – 9-106R

Nice art, good cost, good power, but man does Ghis suck. Everything on the opponent’s field losing 1000 power until the end of the turn effectively makes him a worse Cagnazzo or Nichol, and his second ability should make him super good at trading with things, right? Nope. Like Baigan, if Ghis takes fatal damage, he isn’t in play to resolve his effect, so he cannot come back and trigger his -1000 power entry effect. Also self-mill on his ability is really odd, as Water already does an amazing job at decking itself out at record-breaking speeds, and that’s before we even throw the apex-predator Porom Mill deck into the equation.

9-107C Gogo

Gogo – 9-107C

Gogo gadget bad card – There’s not a massive amount of stuff that Gogo can actually copy, outside of maybe 4CP Porom, Y’shtola and.. that’s probably it? It could be niche playable vs things like that one guy that still plays Amon at your locals, but the big issue here is the game is really ETB focused right now (for forwards, at least). If it could copy the action ability of characters – that could be cool – turning Gogo into a Scholar/Summoner as needed, or even a Rikku! But that isn’t what it says on the card, so this card is not cool.

9-108C White Mage

White Mage – 9-108C

Effectively a 1CP backup that reads “2CP, draw a card”. Could see play? Water has better options being the main issue.

9-109H Cecil

Cecil – 9-109H

This card has some shenanigans potential. And I’m not talking about cheeky and fun shenanigans. I’m talking cruel and tragic shenanigans. Which makes them not really shenanigans at all. It’s actually pretty easy to get that first effect online, you have a Rosa that can search this, Porom and Cagnazzo are both Category IV, and that’s without even branching out into other elements. The thing that makes this card a real pain is that with Minwu and Cecil out, it makes your board effectively immune to damage based ping, as Cecil can redirect 4000 damage to himself (which Minwu makes fall off), and the thing that was being targeted in the first place probably isn’t dying if 4000 of the damage has been prevented. Also works really well with Noctis in Water/Earth, as Noctis can fight things equal to his power either through his own effect, with Cecil redirecting some of the damage to save him (much cheaper than paying 4 to save Noctis!) I want to build around this card but don’t really have the time to lab it properly right now with Nationals coming up. Also cannot get enough of Paladin Cecil art, such a cool character design.

9-110C King of Concordia

King of Condoria – 9-110C

I’m sure there’s something here. You could use it to win a combat with a Leila/Lenna and replay it potentially the following turn? It seems at first glance like a worse Miounne, but I think it might have potential as a +2k pump isn’t nothing – losing a backup is obviously not as good as gaining a backup and drawing a card, though, but I guess it depends on how reliably you can win combat off of King’s effect. Perhaps a one-of?

9-111H Banon

Banon – 9-111H

Banondorf. Banona. Banonononon. Banono, there’s no limit. God help you all if I ever play this card as I will be thinking of new and refreshing ways to not use his name during play. Banon’s got some weird synergies, with things like Light Yuna, Yeul, and perhaps Oracle? The main issue is with him being 4k, he’s hilariously fragile, and will likely get Fina’d to death anyway. And dies to Famfrit. Targeted removal is so last year. There’s probably something here, but it’s gonna need to be really busted to get me to want to play a 3CP 4k with an effect I’d have to build around. If you’re wanting to use the effect to add forwards to your hand, surely you would just use 5CP Golbez and smash them into play? Seems under-powered and over-costed, but I hope there’s a mad build around this card.

9-112C Paladin

Paladin – 9-112C

Paladin becomes notably better if we look at the first effect as if it reads “add a Standard Unit backup from your Break Zone to your hand” – as it gives water a bit of backup setup power (almost like an in-colour miner). Giving all forwards brave and +1k feels like it could be useful for breaking stalled boards or pushing for game, but Water has access to some amazing field wipes already that require more usable cards to go off, so a stalled board should never really be a concern if you have access to Cagnazzo and Scholar.

9-113H Famfrit

Famfrit – 9-113H

He’s Famfrit (3CP) but huge, which means this card is huge good, right? Cast this with a Porom and Veritas in play and pinpoint the opponent where your opponent leaves their physical body and momentarily crosses over into a dimension constructed from pure, abject anguish.

9-114C Cuchulainn the Impure

Cúchulainn, the Impure – 9-114C

I think this is better than Halicarnassus? Allows you to blank pesky stuff like Y’shtola to get through for game or to stop your big plays from being disrupted, and is a +1EX. Can also be used to blank things like Porom, the new Wol, Xande, Veritas, anything with an on-death ability before they hit the break zone so you get to draw and they generate no advantage from the death of their forward. Pretty cool! I think this one will come down to space.

9-115R Porom

Porom – 9-115R

And we come to the second Water Legend, Porom! Porom is, to deal in objective fact, completely horrifying. Recoverable with Phoenix, Lenna, to name but two: a prime unit you don’t mind sacrificing to opposing Famfrits (or even your own), as when she dies you’re going to get one of your pieces of removal. That this has EX on it is totally baffling, she was already very playable without it, but if you’re running any Water/X build with any amount of summons, you ARE running Porom, as she can effectively produce on demand, near-infinite amounts of each summon in your deck when needed, providing you have seen her and have built around her. It is not hyperbole when I say this card is easily one of the strongest cards in the set. I strongly suggest you give Porom a go. You’ll see quite a bit of Break Zone hate this set, and it’s basically purely for this card. And killed my Hraesvelgr deck. So thanks for that (Opus X has XI support, it will return!)

9-116R Moogle (XII)

Moogle – 9-116R

It’s cute. I first wanted to build around some nonsense with Fusoya with this card to line up good value EX shots off of Fusoya, but then they revealed Ultros and Porom and Water got massively warped into what it is now. Not sure if it sees play, but being able to sculpt the top of your deck is super interested, especially as there’s no reveals involved, so you can keep your opponent in the dark with EXs, or even go as far as to plan your draws even after letting a damage through. Potential!

9-117C Mog (VI)

Mog (VI) – 9-117C

That’s a damn load of text considering you’re just going to play Viking instead of this. The leave the field auto means you want to be prepared to go to 0 in the event it dies, just to avoid losing value, but also means that he’s a terrible Scholar/Rinoa for multiple plays of it, and the S ability seems a little too janky to be usable. Returning a forward to an opponent’s hand, unless you win that turn, is a very bad thing. If you want to dull and freeze something, just use Time Mage or Genesis to do so. Or even just run Yuri if you’re Mono Water.

9-118R Malboro

Malboro – 9-118R

I think I like this the most out of the current monster cycle. It won’t die to 3CP Famfrits thrown out during your opponent’s turn, and is basically never getting blocked. Plays well with Ultros, Cagnazzo, Nichol, Cloud of Darkness, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this crop up somewhere.

9-119C Larsa

Larsa – 9-119C

Larsa does not work the way I see people playing it thinks it works. Larsa’s tap ability is effectively “Remove all damage from Forwards you control” – like Opus VI Asura. Source. It is a not a permanent “your forwards never take damage again” card, it cannot save your forwards from lethal damage (they will die by rules process before you can activate Larsa). It also does not stop damage that has not happened yet. Ideally, the effects that are phrased this way should have been made a keyword like “Cure,” so they’re thematically appropriate and easy to identify when needed. That said, this card is pretty good if you want Minwu but don’t want a 3CP backup that might not do anything in some match-ups.

9-120L Rosa

Rosa – 9-120L

Rosa, Rosa Rosaaaa…  I’m hoping this card opens up a new kind of Water deck based around party attacking to gain advantage – you can get 2CP Water Zidane online really easily by party attacking with Mime and Rosa, and having things like Andoria out, allowing you to draw to the required 6 really really easily. Throw in that if you’re going mosty 2CP forwards with Mime, Zidane etc, you have some good Lenna targets, and if you’re swarming the board with characters stuff like Cagnazzo or Cloud of Darkness can become really devastating! Also couple her reduction ability and you’re making Minwu even more obnoxious. Pretty cool card, I hope I see people build around this and try some new stuff in Mono Water.

So those are my thoughts on Water – has it made a splash in your local meta? Or is the tide still out on Mono Water? Let me know in the comments and of course check out my page on Facebook.

Next up will be the final part of the review, Light and Dark.

Thanks for reading!


6 thoughts on “Opus IX Set Review Pt. 6 – Water!”

  1. Loved the factoid about Adel, I thought that was very odd they kept mentioning she was VIII, so that makes way more sense now. I love the Legend Rosa! Wish I had actually pulled some from my box 😦 Also that Malboro is pretty sick. I don’t know how good he will be in constructed but in draft/pre-release he won me every game I used him. Like you said, nobody dares block him and with a Wakka out he could always trade into a 9K. Pretty sweet and easily my favorite of the monsters 🙂 And yeah Porom is….everywhere. Why they thought that card needed to be an EX burst I will never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m new to the game (but I am a veteran to several other CCGs) and so I really appreciated your write-up as it helps point me towards the various meta aspects. I’m sure there is a lot of history and official rulings I’m oblivious to, but just from rules-as-written I think your summary of Ghis is wrong, with respect to how his ability can respond to fatal damage. From reading up on your blog, you know what you’re talking about with respect to rules, so being the newbie I’m thinking that you are right and I am wrong, but I’d like to understand why.

    Based on the rules posted on the FFTCG site, dated 22 Nov 2017 (the only copy I could find there), we start with combat damage: If an attacking Forward is blocked, both the attacking and blocking Forwards deal damage equal to their respective power values to each other. Next, put all auto-abilities triggered by dealing damage onto the stack. The turn player gains priority. Each player may use a Summon, an action ability or a special ability.

    Characters with lethal damage are only removed when Rule Processes are evaluated, which happens when a player gains priority.
    12.3. When a player gains priority, the game checks if there are any rule processes that are triggered. If there are, perform all of the required processes simultaneously as a single event. Then repeat checking for newly triggered rule processes (and triggering auto-abilities) until there are no more processes left to perform and no more auto-abilities to trigger. All auto-abilities triggered are then automatically placed onto the stack. After this has concluded, player priority is finally assigned.
    12.4. Rule processes cover the following:
    12.4.5. Characters that received damage equal to or greater than their power value are broken. If a Forward is broken by this rule process just after it took damage, the source of the damage is considered to have broken the Forward. Otherwise, the source is not checked.

    Therefore the effect is on the stack before Ghis is moved to the Break Zone, and stays there until resolved.
    11.5.2. There are four kinds of abilities; Field Abilities, Auto-Abilities, Action Abilities and Special Abilities.
    11.5.5. Abilities’ effects placed in the stack are independent from their card. Even if the card with the ability is moved to another Zone, the ability’s effect stays in the stack and will try to resolve rather than being cancelled.
    11.8.14. Some auto-abilities are written in the format: “When (trigger event), you may (effect)”. These abilities are put onto the stack, regardless of whether the player chooses to initiate the effect or not. The choice is made when the ability resolves.

    As the stack unwinds,the effect is reached and the player may now choose to mill 3 to return Ghis, dulled: Each card has an area of text where its effects are printed. If a card’s name is printed in its own text, it refers to this specific card.

    So when the effect resolves you remove the card from the game, wherever it is, then return it to the field. By my reading, because it doesn’t specify “from the Break Zone” then even if it was removed from the Break Zone by another effect, you could still resolve it. Baigan would be placed in the Break Zone from the Break Zone (in the case of fatal damage), but there is no rule I could find that says the effect wouldn’t resolve.

    So, am I missing something?


    1. Yeah, Ghis (and Baigan) needs to be on the field to actually do his effect. If he’s not there to trigger after he’s actually taken the damage (he’s not as he’s been put in the break zone as per rules process), he never triggers and you can’t remove him from play after he’s already died.

      Source is here: https://fftcg.square-enix-games.com/en/gameplay#faq

      Annoyingly I can’t link straight to the ruling but ctrl + F Ghis and you’ll find it.

      Hope this helps



      1. I dont know if this matters or is a typo, but I just checked that source, and on Baigan it says, equal to or superior to his power. But under Ghis, it only says, larger than his power, it doesn’t say equal to. Does this mean equal damage allows him to trigger his effect?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.