Hey guys, it’s time to take a look at the new set.
As usual I won’t be looking at this set from a limited (sealed/draft) view, especially as I certainly have some opinions about this set from a limited standpoint.
As always, we’re gonna go through it in order (do I always go through it in order? I’m not convinced), and everything is of course a matter of opinion – if you see some hyperbole it’s likely for comic effect. For starter cards, I’ll be including them with Light and Dark in the last review.
Grab a seat, pull up a drink, let’s look at an element that certainly got new cards this Opus.
Ignacio – 10-001H
I like Ignacio quite a bit more than I should. Definitely goes into the Barret “if he lives you probably just win” category, although we have a few saving graces that spare him my usual “he has no ETB ree ree” wrath. Ignacio’s effect can be force-triggered by a whole tonne of stuff, in an element that historically works really well with Fire. Chuck Ignacio in a deck, give him tonnes of Hecatoncheir (2 costs), Raubahns, Titans, and Yojimbos and just watch him go to town and get you a tonne of free cards. Because the source of the damage on these summons is technically the forward, he’ll not only kill the forward but also draw you a card, and that pump effect is perfect with fight effects! Yeah, he dies to Diabolos, but doesn’t every bloody thing these days? Great fit in Fire/Earth, might build a couple stupid lists with him in. Also searchable in Fi/Ea off of Gabranth from last set, and this set’s Prishe! Not too shabby. If he blocks a party as well, he’ll also draw equal to the amount of forwards he deals damage back to, which is worth knowing if you’re using him defensively.
His ‘tache makes him look like Demon Mario.
Ifrit – 10-002H
Square, stop it, you’re spoiling us. This card is bloody great. Actually really good removal that also has the upside of making all your Fire guys unreasonably massive for a turn. Stack it on top of Zell for a damage boost, or use it after baiting a block to remove two guys for 3CP. Annoyed I haven’t pulled any of these yet as it’s pretty much the best Ifrit we’ve gotten so far, and combine it with Caetuna for that all important 9k damage point. For 3. You can pick it up off of new Terra, Fritt… Yeah. I like this one a lot. Totally glad I pulled none out of 4 pre-release kits haha end it all now.
Balasa – 10-003C
Square, when I said “stop it, you’re spoiling us,” I wasn’t being serious. Balasa is potentially 10k removal for 4CP. Which is okay? Bland card. Might kill a few things off EX if you can develop to 5 reliably every game nice and quickly. I really don’t have much to say about this one, positive or negative, it’s just reasonably generic removal in the set.
Caius – 10-004H
Okay, back on track. Caius has a lot of potential, but I’m not convinced it lies in pure Fire. Caius’ downside is not that hard to avoid. In Fire/X, you can get access to self bounce effects like Miounne to avoid his ‘downside’ triggering, you also have the opportunity to use him to clear out spent backups that you may be waiting to replay. I think as a turn one play he’s pretty risky, as if he gets popped you’re probably losing the thing you played off of him, but I don’t think Caius is without his applications. I think I can see him in like Fire/Wind or Fire/Lightning, with the latter allowing you to go into Caius > Goltanna/Louisoix reasonably early game and netting you another backup to continue setting up. My main thing with Caius is that I’m actually a bit scared to include him in decks, in case it goes really, really wrong. Expect this one to make a showing though! Card has uses.
Gancanagh – 10-005C
Not a terribly exciting one, but it is searchable by another 2 cards in the set. Perhaps if we see a Goblin meta, or if FFXIII Fire/Lightning becomes a thing, this could see real play (as an enabler for Lightning Opus 4), but it’s more average spot removal in an element that already has an abundance of it.
Don’t think I don’t notice you’re Ruby Dragon in a Fake Moustache and Glasses.
Cloud – 10-006R
It can be reduced to 1 cost by Jessie, giving FFVII an Evoker, effectively – it’s rare you’re holding this to hit a dark forward in an element combo that can run Fenrir and do it better without clogging up one of Fire’s (and FFVII’s) most important card names. He can still be picked up by Opus 4’s Zack, but a big point against him is he does not enable Opus 8 Tifa’s reduced cost – which would make this card certainly an interesting choice making it reliably cheaper to deploy FFVII’s primary beater. If we get stuff that’s simply enabled by having a Cloud in play though, this could be one to watch. For now it’s a bit of a below-average 2 cost backup.
Zack – 10-007H
YEEEE. Now this is probably my favourite non-Terra fire card for Opus X, and only partially because I’m an absolute trash human for anything FFVII. This has some weird combos you can play with small forwards like Firion, and Opus 1 2 Cost Cloud! (Remember him?) – Chuck something like a Iroha/Manasvin Warmech into the mix and you can have Zack deleting things just by playing cards to the field! Sure, you’re probably running some sub-optimal or disruptable stuff if you’re going down that route, but being able to push things like Firion into kill range (8k, in this example) is never irrelevant. Drop Gadot into Cloud with this Guy on the field and accrue even more value than you were already getting off of the extra body anyway! I see this guy becoming a real part if Mono Fire Cat VII becomes a thing in the near future, and even if it doesn’t it’s a real threat in Mono Fire regardless, the ping isn’t irrelevant, and if you drop 5 Cost Fire Cloud into play while this guy is already out, something is dying. Good card! Could have aligned the art a little better though..
Xande – 10-008L
I…. don’t have as much of an opinion on this as I thought I would have. The majority of players worth their salt are going to take you from 4 to 7 in one turn to avoid the Damage 5 text that’s everywhere in this set, meaning unless you’re really losing you’re likely only getting the 1 cost and 3 cost off of this card.. Which is okay but the targets aren’t particularly great right now in terms of things that would swing you a game. Maybe pick it up if it’s cheap and wait for more things to get released? That said I am 100% here for someone that resolves this into like, 3 forwards while Zack is in play. Bonus points if any of those forwards are FFVII. Then we’re cooking with gas! You’ve also got some potential combos with Gaius too, who offers a 3k ping every time an XIV forward enters play – a potential 9k if Xande revives 3 targets.
SOLDIER: 3rd Class – 10-009C
SPAM STEAL UNTIL YOU GET A HARDEDGE (if you didn’t know about that, people going through the Shinra Building for the first time, you are welcome.)
Reliable, non summon-based First Strike is pretty hard to come by in FFTCG, and considering in Fire-based decks we can threaten ping from anywhere at any time (even more so than usual with the new stuff in Opus X), I think that this card could be legitimately good. Playing him and getting a copy of himself also makes him a soft 1CP that thins the deck, and a 1CP 5K First Strike that causes 4k damage off of Zack on entry (8k with Manasvin!) isn’t horrible at all. Maybe give this a shot if you’ve got a few slots to fill in Fire? Also swinging with this guy and threatening light Fusoya on block is probably a thing, or even the ping from could work too.
Onion Knight – 10-010C
*raspy, prolonged farting noises*
Naji – 10-011R
So 1CP 7k certainly is a statline, but as we know such statlines come with downsides, and in this case Naji can’t attack. Which is reasonably severe. Not being able to become dull is a really nice part of his effect, offering you a layer of protection from the dreaded Garland (IX) or Glasya Labolas, but not being able to attack is just too much of a deal-breaker for me. Perhaps if you’re set on running Xande, this isn’t a terrible target, but I don’t see either getting played right now. Maybe you use the new Ashe to blank him so he can attack. I’m sure that wouldn’t be terrible (it would).
Geomancer – 10-021C
OH BABY – effectively an Evoker that advances us one card into our deck? And has a no-cost breakable effect that will let us combo ping or trade? Sign me the heck up! It’s not a terribly exciting card, but this is really, really good for Mono Fire players. Noteworthy as well that it’s playable off of Caius, to generate some serious early-to-mid-game advantage!
Firion – 10-013R
Why, oh why are you called Firion? Not a terribly exciting card, although they have reverted him to his Warrior Job as opposed to Rebel. Firion’s got some potential as a good, hasty beater, and may be worth testing if you’re going down a route where you don’t want to play burn cards.
Mutsuki – 10-014R
I have no idea if this card is good. 4’s a lot to play a card that’s not doing anything when it enters – for 4 I would want to play something that is either a soft 2CP (Dominion Legionary, Setzer, Montblanc, etc), or something that’s gonna win me the game that turn (Snow). This does neither, but does have the application where it can be a good finisher for your combination burn strategies, especially as you get it back after you kill something, allowing you an extra CP to extend your board, or to try and kill something else. I’m gonna really need to put some testing hours into this one before I give it a firm “awesome” or a firm “dumpster fire.” Searchable off of Khalia Chival is not horrible though, and Cactuar on a backup isn’t awful either. I think I’ve convinced myself it’s good. Let’s go with it being good, for now.
Class First Moogle – 10-015R
Wait, are they sneaking Opus IX cards into my set review? Didn’t I review these already? In that case, my opinion of whatever I said last set still stands. Unless I was wrong, in which case I apologise and amend my opinion to the opposing viewpoint.
Class Second Moogle – 10-016C
He’s like the First Class Moogle except he takes 2-3 business days to arrive…
Terrible Royal Mail jokes aside, more cards like this are always welcome, but I don’t think this card fits exactly where you’d expect. Most playable Fire/Ice decks have no issue at all with colour fixing, and most of the time you’re going to want your entire backrow to be FFVI characters. This however does enable Red Mage (discard if paid with Fire + Ice) in Mono Fire, and allows you to run Lasswell which is a huge buff for Mono Fire. I can also see potential in Ice/Fire Moogles, but that deck’s okay with colour fixing anyway. I have no complaints with this one, but I’m not convinced it was needed – but they also needed to finish the ‘cycle’ of backups of this theme.
Lann – 10-017R
So Lann works with quite a few cards – those Monsters that we got last set that are also forwards on your turn, as well as the obvious Fritt, Zapt and Bablizz. And then monsters that can turn into forwards. Lann actually interacts with a lot more things than he initially appears to. One gimmicky thing you can do, with him being a 2CP forward, is resurrect him with Phoenix and then block with quite possibly history’s biggest Fritt. I’m not saying you should, only that you can. The other Lanns we have previously gotten are all pretty good, so if you’re building WOFF you really have some choices to make when considering the Lann for the deck. Do have a look into ones that this one can work with though! I mean, doesn’t a 13k Varuna sound useful? or a 14k Zaghnal? Totally practical!
Ryid – 10-018C
A big, angry chungus.
Lusse – 10-019C
We get a newly playable archetype with all these new WOFF cards, and one of them is a potentially 0CP backup that can tap for Brave? Yes please! Bonus points that it can fulfill Hope’s requirement for a job Mother card, so I guess literally anyone’s parents will do, which makes Hope’s character arc in FFXIII pretty weird in hindsight.
Reynn – 10-020L
When I first saw Reynn, I really wrote her off as just being a WOFF card I wasn’t going to play. Then I remembered I run this cursed website, and I was going to have to review her at some point. Reynn’s really good. It’s not impossible you will be paying between 0-2 for her off of a moderate field setup, and in the majority of cases she’s gonna cost you literally nothing. The fact she has the field ability of giving all your WOFF guys haste, as well as the 4k burn makes her a real force to be reckoned with. Something like an MP1 Firion may turn into a kill on attack, or you can combine it with any of the sources of burn in the game to guarantee yourself a kill. If all else fails, Lann/Hauyn/Reynn/Fritt can just party attack to force 8k (or higher) on something before block, which is nothing to balk at – essentially free removal is something that has not previously been afforded to Fire without having to commit a lot of moving parts to it. Worth nothing, if you want to amplify the damage from the auto with Manasvin, just apply it to Reynn and it’ll amplify the damage on each WOFF attack from 4k to 6k.
Rorrik – 10-021C
Not much to write about here, he’s effectively a 1 cost backup, makes Reynn cheaper, counts towards Hauyn’s total and also counts as a Father for Hope, if needed. Running multiple copies of this in your deck to pick up extra Reynns off of EX is probably not a bad idea at all.
So that’s my take on Fire – are you planning on running fire this set? Or have the red cards not stoked a fire in your heart this time around?
Thanks for reading!