Sunday, December 7, 2014

Today's Card Analysis: Spring Waiting Maiden Oz

Today's Japanese card of the day is a new first vanguard for Neo Nectar, introduced in the upcoming trial deck G-TD03: Flower Maiden of Purity. Like Gunner Gear Dracokid and his contemporaries, Spring Waiting Maiden Oz is intended to linger on the field for several turns before having her skill made active by striding a grade 4. This leaves her exposed to retire and lock skills like those of Gattling Claw Dragon or Mobius Breath during the initial turns of the fight, but if you can keep her around long enough to activate her generation break the results are stronger than skills that could be used on the first or second turns of the game.

Oz's generation break 1 costs a single counterblast, putting her into the soul in exchange for superior calling a copy of any grade 2 or lesser unit on the field from the deck. While this has immediate synergy with the old Arboros deck from BT08: Blue Storm Armada, which requires having multiple rearguards with the same name in order to give them power boosts, it's difficult to get Arboros away from his evolution line because of how beneficial it is to him. Considering more recent cards for Neo Nectar, the grade 1 Dandelion Musketeer Mirkka is a 9000-power booster during any turn in which the deck was shuffled by one of your card effects. Since Oz shuffles the deck with her own skill, you can bring out a second copy of Mirkka so long as you have the first and make it easy to form 21000-power lanes, as well as hit basic crossride numbers when necessary. Or from Neo Nectar's grade 2 lineup, having one copy of White Rose Musketeer Alberto out automatically lets you get out a second one with Oz, forcing the opponent to block two instances of an on-hit unflip.

The trick with Oz is that she lets your gameplay become better based on already having some form of positive setup. Her generation break escalates the existing situation by giving you another copy of whatever you have out to play around with, making each card you draw exponentially better. This is not a FVG like Maiden of Physalis or Shield Seed Squire that can make something out of nothing. Oz has to already be in a favorable position to become important, and has to survive long enough for that to happen when cards like Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss” and Dragonic Neoflame are running around ready to snipe her. This makes her a more technical support card like Evil Ferret, as well as one that is defined by her call targets. Since Snowdrop Musketeer Pirkko has effectively resuscitated the old limit break decks, Oz may well find a home in Venus Trap “Яeverse” or Arboros, provided you can determine useful call targets for her and find room for Arboros. In combination with the break ride Master Wisteria, Oz and Tamara from BT16, Arboros now has a multitude of options for setting up his ideal ~23000 power columns that don't rely on using his grade 0, 1 and 2 forms, so the deck has the makings of a niche carved out for itself.

It should be noted that Oz is not actually considered a part of the Maiden subclan, as in Japanese the subclan uses the English word Maiden while Oz is instead an Otome like Darkness Maiden Macha. Thus, any subclan-specific support would likely not benefit her if it were to arise in G-BT02.