Sunday, January 16, 2011

Regional Differences

Just wanted to clear up some differences between the TCG and OCG regarding the use of priority.

For example, say you discard Destiny Hero - Malicious to Special Summon Dark Grepher. The summon is not negated by either player. In the OCG, you can only call priority on Grepher's effect whereas in the TCG you can choose to use it on the effect of the Malicious in your Graveyard instead. (Note that you would not be able to chain both effects together as they are Ignition Effects.) 

Remember players, the game ends with you. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Passing the Torch

Rekindling (Normal Spell)
Special Summon from your Graveyard as many FIRE monsters as possible with 200 DEF. During the End Phase, remove from play all monsters that were Special Summoned by this effect.
When Rekindling debuted in Ancient Prophecy, my thoughts on the cards were mixed. Sure it was a great card for Flamvellsas it was intended to bebut the long term applications of the card were what worried me. As in the case with Lonefire Blossom, the card's potency depended the types of monster it can summon. (That's the very reason we haven't seen many potentially abusable Plants being made after Tytannial.)

In its case Rekindling can turn an empty field into a +4 for the one who plays it. Even with the stipulation of having the summoned monsters RFP during the End Phase, most players opt for spamming the field with Synchro Monsters to solve that problem. Even high level Synchros like Shooting Star Dragon and Red Nova Dragon can be summoned with ease thanks to Rekindling.

But that just where the problem lies. Thanks to Rekindling, the remaining Flamvell support appears lackluster at best. In fact the Flamvells themselves disappeared from the Duel Terminal series up until DT08, where they reemerged as Neo Flamvells only to be eradicated by Trishula. Since then no new support for them has been made.

They say when one door closes, another one opens. So while the Flamvells may have disappeared, their descendants, the Lavals, carry on their will. And a handful of them carry synergy with Rekindling as well. Unlike the Flamvells, which were centered around inflicting effect and battle damage, the Laval focus more on Graveyard manipulation, a strategy they inherited from the late Neo Flamvells. However this fact makes them more suited to work with the few support cards given to the Flamvells. Rekindling, Flamvell Counter, and even Flamvell Firedog can work with explosive results when you look at the all the options the newcomers have.

Laval Volcano Maid (Pyro-Type/FIRE/Level 1/ATK 100/DEF 200)
If there is already a "Laval" monster in your Graveyard when this card is sent to the Graveyard, you can send 1 "Laval" monster from your Deck to the Graveyard.
Laval Lancelot (Warrior-Type/FIRE/Level 6/ATK 2100/DEF 200)
You can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. If you do, this card is sent to the Graveyard during the End Phase. When this card on the field is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard, you can add 1 of your removed from play FIRE monsters to your hand.
Laval Cannon (Warrior-Type/FIRE/Level 4/ATK 1600/DEF 900)
When this card is Normal or Flip Summoned, you can select 1 of your removed from play "Laval" monsters, and Special Summon it.
And that's just a fraction of all the support the Lavals have at their disposal. Looks like I'll be holding on to my copies of Rekindling for a while longer.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Speak Up!

Apparently there are no limits to the ways in which people show complete and utter disregard to basic game mechanics. I cannot count how time I've seen people summon, declare an attack and end their turnin one sentence! In reality, however, things are not that simple. 

Take the following example: During my Standby Phase I revive Treeborn Frog and then declared that I wished to proceed to the next phase (Main Phase 1). My opponent states that at the end of my Standby Phase he's activates Raigeki Break to destroy Treeborn Frog, thinking that the game-state must proceed forward, but it doesn't work that way.

When it's a given player's turn and that player wishes to move on to the next phase, turn priority passes to the opponent and he/she is then allowed to activate any of his/her cards effects. If he/she does, however, you are allowed to chain your own cards and the phase will continue after both effects resolve. Once both players have no further actions can the game move forward.

In this case, I could revive Treeborn Frog again before moving on to my Main Phase, that is of course should either player have no further response.

The only exception to this rule in with regard to the End Step of the Battle Phase. After you enter it (if both players agree to enter it), it will be too late to declare another attack.
"Once players agree to move from the Battle Step to the End Step, play cannot return to the Battle Step. Requesting to move to the next step, however, does not advance play to the next step unless both players agree to do so."
Unfortunately, many players don't declare their phases which can complicate things especially when it comes to effects like Threatening Roar or Mirage Dragon. That's why its important to communicate with your opponent so that situations like this do not occur.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Knowledge is Power

Tech Genus Hyper Librarian (Spellcaster-Type/DARK/Level 5/ATK 2400/DEF 1800)
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
While this card is face-up on the field, draw 1 card each time a Synchro Monster is Synchro Summoned.
So Tech Genus Hyper Librarian is the latest crazy that's sweeping the OCG, replacing copies of Magical Android in most players' Extra Decks. Why? Because it's combilious!

Stat-wise Librarian is almost a carbon copy of Android, having 100 extra DEF, but the beauty lies in 2 differences:
  1. The Effect
  2. The Type
Being a Level 5 generic Synchro Monster is a real blessing as it essentially makes Normal Summoning a Junk Synchron equivalent to Special Summoning a Level 5 Synchro. Since it's so easy to summon, it's easier to gain even more card advantage from it, but I'll come back to that in a moment.

Now in the past I've attempted to construct a deck based around tuning Junk Synchron and Synchro Fusionist to search for Miracle Synchro Fusion. However, at the time Magical Android, Ally of Justice Catastor, and Junk Warrior were my only Level 5 options, and MSF is often a dead draw without the right materials or if your opponent doesn't destroy it (they might get cautious of your set cards after Game 1). It was then after looking through some old cards that I came across this beauty:

Magicat (Spellcaster-Type/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 600/DEF 500)
If this card is sent to the Graveyard for the Synchro Summon of a Spellcaster-Type Synchro Monster, you can return 1 Spell Card from your Graveyard to the top of your Deck.
See it yet? With Magician of Faith and Dark Magician of Chaos banned, recovering Spell Cards is often a costly endeavor. Thanks to Hyper Librarian, however, the synergy is just amazing. You can easily reuse cards like Monster Reborn over and over, and when you're done gaining card advantage you can just synch Librarian with Formula Synchron for Arcanite Magician and gain even more advantage. 

Not bad for an archetype card, eh?

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Duel Terminal Story (Parts I - VIII)

Many cards have a story behind them. Often it take countless sets and several years for fans to get the whole picture, but they are amusing to hear about nonetheless. The Duel Terminal series is different, however, as even succeeding set continues where the previous series left off, and nearly every new card plays a part in the ultimate story. Today I'll attempt to describe the story that occurs in OCG Duel Terminals 1 through 8. But first let me answer a question that's on a lot of people's mind: Where do these stories come from?

After inquiring from several OCG players it appears that the Duel Terminals there display a short clip of images that describe the events taking place that particular set. Mini-games also somethings reveal the relationships between two or more cards. For example, the Fuwa Fuwa Gusta minigame is said to reveal that Windaar, Sage of Gusto is the father of Winda, Priestess of Gusto (Duel Terminal 10). The remaining bits of the story are taken from the cards themselves: art, effects, flavor text, etc. And recently advertisements in magazines unveil the central conflict in upcoming sets, making it easier for fans to follow along.

Duel Terminals 1 through 8 include the following:

Our story begins long ago, in a galaxy far, far away... 

There is a planet, for convenience let's refer to it as the planet DT. Several tribes lived together here, and though they were not particularly friendly with one another, for the most part they lived in peace. 

The Flamvells worshiped the Ancient God Flamvell, the X-Sabers were renowned heroes of lore, the Mist Valleys looked over their homelands, wary of trespassers, and the Ice Barriers kept to themselves, refusing to associate with the other tribes.

In the events of Synchro Awakening!!, a meteor from the Worm Nebula crashes onto DT releasing cosmic particles that invoke the power to Syncho Summon among the inhabitants. This meteor also unleashes a wave of invaders known as the Worms on the planet and in retaliation the X-Sabers and Flamvells join forces against them, creating the Allies of Justice. In the ensuing battle several members of the X-Sabers perish and the tide is only turned when the Ice Barriers are forced to release one of their Guardian Dragons: Brionac, into the fray. The dragon's presence, aided by the Synchro Monsters of the other tribes brings the battle to an end.

Invasion of Worms!! continues where the previous battle left off, and more Worms arrive, overwhelming the inhabitants. To aid the AOJ in their fight, the Genex were developed to augment their abilities. Due to the refusal of the Ice Barriers to assist the other tribes however, the remaining forces of the X-Sabers were obliterated.

Hope is not lost, however, because in Justice Strikes Back!! new allies join the fray, the Naturias. When their forest paradise was threatened they quickly came to the defense of the other tribes. Ice Barriers themselves realized that they could not remain a neutral party and sent out forces led by their young Prince Dewloren into the fray. Genex units also begin to become more specialized for interaction with other tribes. Unfortunately, most of the Flamvells lost their lives in by this point.

In Demon Roar God Revival!!, the planet is so devastated by the war that its surface is badly scarred, and it's from within this war-torn land that ancient forces, once considered beings of myth, are unleashed: the Jurracs and Fableds. The two forces also join in the planet's defense, but a sinister plot was already underway. The Fabled were secretly aiding the enemy forces and it's due to their actions that the inhabitants of Mist Valleys perished and damaged countless AOJ units in the process.

In Champion of Chaos!!, being unable to fulfill their primary function of supporting the AOJ, the Genex are ungraded into R-Genex, capable of autonomous action. Although they fight valiantly it is not enough and once again, the Ice Barriers are forced to unleash their second Guardian Dragon: Gungnir. The second dragon's power obliterates most of the Worm army. The battle against the worms has reached its climax!

In Dragunity of the Hurricane, the guardian forces of the Mist Valley, the Dragunities, reveal themselves and dive into battle. Not wanting to risk releasing their last dragon, the Ice Barrier send out forces led by their strongest warrior, General Grunard. The Worms unveil their trump card, Worm Zero which overwhelms the tribes, but the they have one as well: Ally of Justice Decisive Armor. In the battle between these titans, the Worms are ultimately defeated, but one enemy remains: the Fabled. The Great War is not over.

In Charge of the Genex, the R-Genex and AOJ join forces to form the Genex Allies. The Ice Barrier become increasingly involved, sending out General Raiho to help turn the tide of war. However, this proves futile once the Fabled unleashes their minions The Fabled (Beasts) to fight back. The Jurracs, tired of the fight, try to end everything with one decisive blow from Jurrac Meteor, but the fight continues even after their demise.

In Pulse of Trishula, the survivors of the Flamvells, the Neo Flamvells summon their god Flamvell to save them. However, the god's powers are not enough and in desperation General Gantala and the other generals of the Ice Barrier are forced to remove the final seal unleashing Trishula into the world, and all is destroyed.

My hands are tired from all that typing so I'll save the rest of the story for another day. ^__^

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011