Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Earth Elemental Pokkle

The Japanese card of the day is a unit that doubles as both anti-Link Joker and “Яeverse” support, Earth Elemental Pokkle. The first grade 2 Cray Elemental unit, Pokkle's on-call soulblast 1 unlocks any of your locked cards as long as you have a face-up Cray elemental in your generation zone, providing an important support option for decks that are overwhelmed by lock but don't have reliable Lock Break Campaign support.

AUTO: [Soulblast 1] When this unit is called to a rearguard circle, if you have a face-up Cray Elemental in your generation zone, choose one of your locked cards and unlock it.
CONT: This unit belongs to all nations and clans.

Ironically, the decks that benefit most from the addition of Pokkle are the “Яeverse” decks that already lock their own units as part of their costs, as keeping around a counter just for Link Joker that's tied to a specific rearguard with no other function is overdedication when one may never encounter Link Joker in the tournaments they're attending. Meanwhile “Яeverse” decks can already anticipate needing to lock cards for their card skills, and so are able to carry with them both a utility grade 2 that can make their lock skills more effective, and a partial counter to the very clan that so often counters them.

Although not formally a “Яeverse” unit, Star-vader Blaster Joker can also make use of Pokkle to unlock the unit that he locks for his legion skill. However, because there's no benefit to repeating the skill and he's dependent on soul for using it in the first place, this is less advisable. One trick that Joker can exploit is with Infinitesimal Star-vader Mayoron, an existing support card that rests himself to give Blaster Joker +10000 power. By locking Mayoron for the cost and then unlocking him with Pokkle, Mayoron's skill can be repeated a second time because cards default to unlocking as stand even when they were at rest beforehand. A similar combo exists with the promotional card Roaring Legs Blast Monk, whose generation break unlocks a locked card for +4000 power in the battle phase, allowing Mayoron to be used as a booster. Pokkle provides one more option for achieving this combo, and the soul used for his skill can be replenished semi-consistently with Link Joker's upcoming Margal clone.

Not every “Яeverse” deck benefits equally from running Pokkle. Many of the existing “Яeverse” units can only use their skills once per turn, or otherwise have limited timings to their locks that prevent them from taking advantage of main phase unlock. Those units whose skills activate in the main phase but are once-per-turn can still benefit from unlocking the locked unit as a booster, eliminating the principle weakness of Ashlei “Яeverse” and similar cards. Below is a list of “Яeverse” cards capable of exploiting Pokkle.

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Eradicator, Vowing Saber Dragon “Яeverse” - Locking four Eradicator rearguards to retire four of the opponent's rearguards has always been possible, but Pokkle makes it easier by unlocking one of the initially locked units and still allowing for two rearguard attacks to be used in the turn. The issue with this is that Vowing Saber's limit break is attached to a counterblast 2, which severely hampers its use.

Silver Thorn Dragon Queen, Luquier “Яeverse” - The primary use of Pokkle in this deck is to enable Luquier “Яeverse” to call more rearguards than normal by using her skill multiple times and then unlocking the locked units, calling up to four rearguards from the soul in a turn. As Pokkle is technically a Pale Moon, he can also be superior called from the soul by Luquier's effect. More typically, Pokkle can be used to make two 21000+ power lanes with Luquier “Яeverse;” locking her booster with her limit break to superior call an attacker and give it +5000 power, unlocking the booster with Pokkle and then locking it again to superior call a +5000 power booster behind the Earth Elemental.

Cleanup Celestial, Ramiel “Яeverse” - Use with Pokkle is possible, but Ramiel's effect of "Choose up to three units in your front row with "Celestial" in its card name, those units get Power +5000 until end of turn" will be partially negated because Pokkle does not have Celestial in their card name. Instead, using Pokkle you can effectively retire two to three of the opponent's rearguards that turn and give Ramiel “Яeverse” +10~15000 power by locking two Celestials, unlocking one of them with Pokkle, locking two Celestials again, then calling another Celestial over Pokkle and locking the remaining units. It's entirely a question of how many Pokkles and Celestials you have available in hand, and where you want to stop. It's actually entirely possible to retire up to five units in a turn and give +25000 power to Ramiel “Яeverse” if you have four Pokkles and a sufficient number of Celestials in hand, by repeatedly calling over units to unlock locked cards and then relocking them.

Deadliest Beast Deity, Ethics Buster “Яeverse” - Ethics Buster's limit break has never been repeatable, as even if his cost is paid twice, when he attacks a vanguard “Яeverse” meets the criteria for both instances of his restanding skill, hence the second instance also can't be used for the rest of that turn. However, Pokkle does allow you to make one of your rearguard lanes attack for full power, which can be vital during the battle phase when “Яeverse's” crossbreakride rearguard stand comes into play.

Ice Prison Hades Emperor, Cocytus “Яeverse” - Due to Cocytus both sending three cards from the deck to the drop zone every time his lock is used, and superior calling and powering up units as part of his skill, trying to abuse Pokkle with him to repeatedly lock units is undesirable. However, it can be useful for restoring the unit originally locked to pay for his cost.

School Punisher, Leo-pald “Яeverse” - Leo-pald's lock skill can be used as many times as there are unlocked Great Nature units, and a common tactic in the past has been to lock all three backrow units to give +12000 power to the frontrow rearguards. On the surface it would appear that Pokkle doesn't synergize with this play style because calling him over one of the units powered up in this way ultimately grants you less power than you lose by retiring that unit. However, he can be abused by having open backrow circles to call Pokkle to, unlocking one of the units locked and effectively getting two more locks out of it. This upgrades Leo-pald “Яeverse” from giving +12000 power to the rearguards to giving +20000 power to each, locking both the unit Pokkle unlocked and Pokkle himself.

Covert Demonic Dragon, Hyakki Vogue “Яeverse” - As far as Vogue is concerned, Pokkle is not a new trick. Murakumo cardfighters have been using Stealth Beast Metamorfox to unlock their locked units and repeat Vogue's lock 2 to make the copies of himself attack for 31000 power each ever since BT14: Brilliant Strike hit. Pokkle simply adds another grade 2 option that's capable of pulling this off, replacing the filler grade 2s Grenjin and Bloody Mist that once took up space in the build.

Maiden of Venus Trap “Яeverse” - Like with Luquier, Pokkle is valuable because he enables Venus Trap to set up two powerful rearguard lanes in a turn. Moreover, since Venus Trap's limit break comes out of the top 5 cards of the deck, this also has the benefit of thinning the deck of nontrigger units, making one more likely to drive check triggers after bringing out those 21000+ power lanes.