Monday, December 1, 2014

Today's Card Analysis: Nebula Witch NoNo

Today's Japanese card of the day is Nebula Witch NoNo. The first support in two years for Oracle Think Tank's long-neglected Witch subclan, NoNo's generation break 1 skill lets her soulblast a card at the end of the battle that she boosted to draw a card, return her to the deck and shuffle the deck. The soulblast cost synergizes well with past soulless cards like CoCo and Battle Sister Glace, each of which requires there to be few to no cards in the soul for their skills to activate.

CoCo is one of many deck types that may enjoy a resurgence in popularity during the stride format; as detailed in yesterday's discussion of Jaggy Shot Dragoon, the primary shift of the format is towards grade 4s as the offensive juggernauts, and grade 3s now occupy more of a supporting role. Because Mille Feuille from G-BT01: Generation Stride requires effectively three counterblast and one soulblast to add two cards to hand (a +2 in card advantage) while CoCo with LuLu requires two counterblast and two soulblast to add three cards to hand and call a rearguard from the soul (a +4 in card advantage), Mille Feuille is effectively superseded by CoCo in her utility. CoCo is thus a better secondary grade 3 to Susanoo, and NoNo supports her by removing the single card remaining in the soul after she's been ridden a second time. The primary disadvantage to this is that CoCo interferes with Oracle Think Tank's primary stride unit Takemikazuchi, who requires 2 counterblast himself, but this is a flaw that Mile Feuille also shares.

Even outside of the soulless series however, NoNo brings something invaluable to the entire clan; a good stand trigger. Oracle Think Tank hasn't had need of draw triggers since BT03: Demonic Lord Invasion, which leaves critical and stand triggers as primary options to enhance an otherwise cut-and-dried offensive. One of the innovations of the legion format is the renewed life given to stands as an alternative to draws, as in a world with permanent large center lanes and a variety of on-legion skills that help even out card advantage between the different clans, draws are less important and stands provide the opportunity to change up gameplay beyond what is typically foreseen by opponents.

For a long time stands have remained in exile from real competition, but their entry into professional circles has been spearheaded by the introduction of stands like Bucephalus, Performing Zombie and Medb, stand triggers with unique card skills that surpass those that can be printed on the other trigger types. NoNo is this for Oracle Think Tank's legion deck; her soulblast makes use of the large soul built up by Ohirume, doesn't require dedicating to until after the battle is over, and costs no card advantage while also recycling a trigger unit. With Amaterasu's passive +4000 power, an in-legion Ohirume will hit 29000 power, just the right amount to trigger additional card from crossride defense while also threatening with a megablast. After the opponent blocks the attack to keep Amaterasu's skill from going off, NoNo returns to the deck and helps ensure a healthy offensive later in the fight. The only hangup is that Nebula's generation break requires G-units to be played in Ohirume, but accounting for the everyday hazard of needing to correct an initial grade 3 ride from Amaterasu to Ohirume, the setup in OraThin's legion revival deck is already slow enough that few fighters will feel weighed down by spending a turn on Qilin.