Monday, December 1, 2014

Today's Card Analysis: Jaggy Shot Dragoon

Today's Japanese card of the day is Jaggy Shot Dragoon, one of the first cards revealed from G-BT02: Flying Flowers. (風華天翔 Fuuga Tenshou "Flowers Soaring on the Wind") Dragoon's generation break is ideal for cheaply retiring the opponent's frontrow rearguards, as by meeting the conditions of an on-hit he also also undercosts his own skill in the process. When his attack hits and you have at least one G-unit on either your vanguard circle or in your generation zone, you can counterblast 1 to retire an opponent's frontrow rearguard; since this skill works in both the vanguard and rearguard circles, Jaggy's an effective pressure unit that can either take away an attacker that would cause you to drop 5~10000 shield next turn, or take away equivalent shield from the opponent this turn by forcing them to guard his attack.

His value as a pressure unit is potentially better than his value as a retire unit, and as you can expect to spend a significant portion of your endgame on your eight G-units rather than on Jaggy himself, he's not necessarily a bad grade 3 choice. This holds true for most decks of the current format, as the role of grade 3s from G-onwards is shifting away from heavy swings from limit break and legion grade 3s, and more towards smaller generation break skills that support your strategy in-between turns of stride. Grade 4s are now the primary offensive unit, so 3s are more effective at poking the opponent into situations where they'll be more vulnerable to grade 4 attacks.

You can see a similar idea echoed in the previous two trial decks and G-BT01's card pool. Chrono Jet, Altomile, Susanoo, Victor, Blademaster and Fatewheel Dragon all have relatively passive skills on their own, with minor boosts of +5000 power and smaller-scale supporting effects like getting a second critical, changing what the opponent can guard with and standing a single rearguard. These grade 3s do the most work for you when they use their on-stride skills rather than when they attack unstridden. In past formats the grade 3s of a set would do things like strike for upwards of 50000+ power, draw six cards, stand the entire field or retire all of the opponent's rearguards. These kinds of roles have been relegated to stride units, so 3s now straddle the line between support and offense roles. Jaggy Shot is both a common and an extreme example of this, but having such a small effect also makes him more versatile since his skills are live on both vanguard and rearguard circles. While he's unlikely to be a primary first choice for your deck, if Narukami ends up in a similar situation as Kagerou with disappointing secondary grade 3s in the higher double and triple rarities, Jaggy Shot will fill in the gaps.