Thursday, September 13, 2012

News: VG-BT09 Clash of the Knights & Dragons

Set for a December 8th Japanese release, Cardfight's eighth booster set, Clash of the Knights & Dragons (竜騎激突 Ryuukigekitou lit. "Dragon Cavalry Clash" with the "Cavalry" being the same kanji from EB03) was announced yesterday evening. So far the set is to feature new cards for Murakumo, Aqua Force, Oracle Think Tank, Nova Grappler, Angel Feather, Great Nature, Narukami, Pale Moon and the Gold Paladins that its set image makes clear. Additionally, the possibility of unmentioned clans receiving support has been brought up in the ad itself. There will be 102 cards with 2 reprints from previous sets, 8 RRR, 12 RR, 22 R, 60 C and 12 SP-rarity cards.

The limit breaks of three key units are confirmed to play a role from the pack advertisement (アイチ、櫂、レオンが使う最強ユニットがついに登場! 限界を超越した三戦士の力がキミの手に!/ "The introduction of Aichi, Kai and Leon's strongest units! Hold the power of three warriors in your hands and rise above the limit!") Set 9 is being touted as an "all-star" pack that will reinforce multiple major characters' decks. As Japanese fans have been quick to note, set 9 seems to be a Circuit-era counterpart to set 5. Given that the set size is still BT06-on, and that this pack's season 1 counterpart was able to include support for ten clans with major support being devoted to five of those, BT09 leaves room for at least one or two more clans with major support for six in all or an equal division of support between all nine of the clans revealed. Gold Paladin, Narukami and Aqua Force are confirmed for major by the poster, while of the clans currently known Murakumo and Great Nature are arguably the ones most in need of updating. Since Nova Grappler and Oracle Think Tank are receiving their next updates in Infinite Phantom Legion and Celestial Valkyries, that leaves two slots open if the former approach is taken. Dark Irregulars is a possible unannounced candidate, as Tetsu will likely need to get screentime late in the season for his final confrontation with Kamui just as Asaka is bound to get the same for Misaki.

Other speculation is that BT09 will feature a crossride for Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel; given how similar speculation regarding BT08 and EB04 turned out, this may well be the case. The artwork definitely looks like Ezel, and Ito is credited for the illustration at the bottom right. His body armor also has aesthetic similarities to both Majesty Lord Blaster and the manga-exclusive Excalipetoza Blaster/Exculpate the Blaster (uncertain translations with no official name) possibly being a clue to this unit being its storyline equivalent. If the speculation proves correct, then this will be Sendou's first crossride, as Lord Blaster of the previous season did not meet the full criteria. While Great Daiyusha has certainly set a precedent through which 10000-power units can receive a crossride, the 13000 power of a prospective Ezel crossride would most likely be restricted by limit break, putting into question if it would really interact with the game in the same fashion as its season 1 predecessors.

Alternate speculations include that this Ezel be a darker counterpart for Takuto, or a simple alternate artwork reprint of Ezel. However, while alternate artwork cards have been issued in the past, they have only ever been cover cards in the set that their regular artwork debuted in. More interestingly this set's December release (set four days before BT05 was released last year) seems to suggest that the Asia Circuit will conclude in the same time frame as the first season, in March. As of this writing, that leaves around 28 episodes left in the season, for a 50 episode total rather than the 65 of the first season. While this is not concrete confirmation of the episode count, there is definitely a precedent for the inferred information.