Saturday, August 31, 2013

News: Chaos Breaker Dragon's Skills Leaked

Following a long train of hype surrounding Link Joker's new boss card, Star-vader Chaos Breaker Dragon, his skill has been leaked through images of Monthly Bushiroad magazine. As Kai Toshiki's new key card, Chaos Breaker integrates Link Joker's Lock skills along with the retire aspects of his previous clans Kagerou and Narukami. The new unit's skill allows it to retire a rearguard when it is Unlocked and draw a card by eroding at Chaos Breaker's soul, preventing opponents from escaping Lock altogether.

Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon
Grade 3/11000 Power/No Shield/Link Joker - Cyber Dragon/
AUTO (V) [Limit Break 4]: [Soulblast 1 cards with "Star-vader" in their name] During the opponent's end phase, when an opponent's card Unlocks, retire that card and draw 1 card.
ACT (V): [Counterblast (1) "Star-vader" and discard 1 card with "Star-vader" in its name from your hand] Choose one of your opponent's rearguards and Lock it. This ability cannot be used for the rest of the turn.

Chaos Breaker is expected to carry a heavy impact on professional play, as prior to his debut Link Joker has been very reliant on the Infinite Zero Dragon break ride to achieve consistent field control, and his ability to retire Unlocked units is very destructive to the currently Reverse-centric Japanese competitive scene. At present there are two types of Reverse units that have shown themselves to be best all-around units in tournament play and preliminary testing. The first type are cards like Luquier “Я” and Cocytus “Я” that give +1 card advantage per counterblast spent, but are based on limiting that advantage to the manipulation of specific zones and rearguard skills. They get their mileage out of Lock by capitalizing on the fact that Locked cards open at the end of their owner's turn. Being able to retire the cards that the opponent's Reverse card Locked changes this, negating the +1 that Luquier and Cocytus “Я” achieve and instead giving it to Chaos Breaker.

The second type are cards like Vowing Saber “Я” and “Я” Daiyusha, which Breaker has an even better matchup against. This is because these units are reliant on Lock 2 skills to achieve overwhelming power. Normally, Vowing Saber uses his Lock 2 to retire 2 of the opponent's rearguards, which works out to a -2 to the opponent with only counterblast cost once the Locks open. “Я” Daiyusha doesn't directly take away the opponent's card advantage, but by decreasing the opposing vanguard's power he functionally forces the opponent to drop one more card per attack to defend successfully so that they incur a -3 each turn. Chaos Breaker breaks the formula because now Vowing Saber takes a -2 equal to the opponent's -2, and Chaos gets to draw 2 cards to replace the rearguards that Saber retired, while Daiyusha's impact on the game is similarly mitigated to a -2 for Daiyusha vs net -1 to Breaker. Using Reverse card skills no longer becomes sustainable because more resources are lost through using them than are gained. The use of those skills is likely to drive Chaos Breaker's cardfighter to limit break in the first place, enabling his counterplay. Furthermore, Vowing Saber and “Я” Daiyusha normally choose their vanguard booster as the primary sacrifice for their Lock 2 skills, because Saber gets +10000 power to go for 21-23000 unboosted and Daiyusha's Tyrannus Gravity has a functionally similar effect. Chaos Breaker's retire skill takes away those vanguard boosters, so that in either case Reverse cardfighters need to use their limit breaks just to attack at normal strength rather than to power up. This narrows down their resources even further when Breaker limit breaks again, perpetuating a vicious cycle that makes Chaos Breaker Dragon into a hard counter to Reverse cards.

Bushiroad has gone all out in making Reverse cards some of the best choices to build a deck around within their own clans, which suggests that Chaos Breaker will be a format-defining unit not just during the release of Catastrophic Outbreak, but also through future booster sets.