Saturday, May 2, 2015

Yesterday's Card Analysis: Abhorrent One, Gilles des Rais

"Behold, all the evil in this world stands there before you."
Friday's Japanese card of the day is a superpredator among vampires who stands apart from the infighting of Dark Zone's noble houses, the Abhorrent One. A triple rare stride for Dark Irregulars from G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon, the Abhorrent One is a lethal finishing move that rewards cardfighters for building up their soul in a way that surpasses all of the clan's past boss cards. Be sure to read his card lore at Arkadiaworks.

ACT (Vanguard circle): Once per turn: [Choose a face down card named “Abhorrent One, Gilles des Rais” in your generation zone, turn it face up] If the number of cards in your soul is 10 or more, this unit gets Power +10000 until end of turn. Then, if the number of cards in your soul is 15 or more, until end of turn, this unit gets "AUTO (Vanguard circle): When this unit attacks a vanguard, until end of that battle, your opponent cannot call grade 1 or greater units from hand to the guardian circle." If the number of face up cards in your generation zone is two or more, this unit gets Critical +1 until end of turn.

While past cards from the House of Amon series have advanced a center lane-strategy that uses the soul as a threshold to increase the vanguard's power and critical by, and the mutant Fighter's Collection 2014 unit Echo of Nemesis controlled the cards the opponent could guard with, the Abhorrent One unites these two ideas into a single killing blow. Several conditional factors ensure that the Abhorrent One can do progressively more damage to the opponent's resources the longer the game goes on; if the number of cards in the soul is ten or greater, the Abhorrent One's power increases by 10000. If the soul count reaches fifteen or greater, the opponent cannot guard with grade 1 or greater cards, negating the benefits of perfect defense and quintet wall skills. Finally, if there are two or more face-up cards in the generation zone, his critical increases by one--factor in triple drive and you have a surefire killing blow that will send the opponent from four to six damage immediately. With his power bonus and a booster with a base power of at least 7000, at fifteen or greater soul the Abhorrent One will attack for 43000 power, demanding 50000 shield to guarantee a block. That's approximately one-third the shield your opponent will have available to them in their entire deck with grade 1 and greater cards invalidated.

As a stride, one of the benefits the Abhorrent One enjoys is taking on the name of the grade 3 used as his heart card. Thus by striding over a unit that belongs to the House of Amon, like Demon World Marquis Amon or his legion revival Astaroth, it becomes possible to use Amon-series support with the Abhorrent One. This makes it easy to reach the requisite soul count using Hell's Draw and Hell's Deal to soulcharge 2 on-call for each, but more importantly it also allows you to take advantage of the new Amon support units introduced in Sovereign Star Dragon. The subclan's new first vanguard, Barmaid Grace, is especially relevant to the Abhorrent One. By resting her and paying counterblast 1, you can use Grace to soulcharge 2 and give your vanguard a continuous +1000 power for every card in the soul; with exactly fifteen cards in the soul, the Abhorrent One will reaches 58000 power after boosting, raising the threshold to guard him by one-tenth of the total grade 0 shield in the deck.

Running the Abhorrent One in Amon is not your only option. When using him in pure Dark Irregulars, you can benefit from their breakstride Charharlot Vampir, as well as an existing FVG from BT07: Rampage of the Beast King. Greedy Hand is an old hat combo for veteran Dark Irregulars cardfighters; the idea is that you use his counterblast 1 to put him into the soul and search the deck for Dimension Creeper (Binding Force of the Black Rings) to soulblast itself and soulcharge 2. This is a net -1 in card advantage, but with Charharlot's on-stride soulcharge 2 and additional soulcharges from the promotional card Flying Librarian, it helps expedite the initial buildup to 15 soul. A playset of Dimension Creeper can come in handy, since it allows you to effectively soulcharge an additional card every time you get Creeper into the soul, and unlike the Hell's series Creeper doesn't require you to have any specific cards in hand.

The chief difficulty behind the Abhorrent One is that his soul threshold is so much higher than what was once the standard for Dark Irregulars. Years ago it was feasible to stop soulcharging at as low as six or eight cards, and even Astaroth would stay at ten; twenty soul would only be reached very late in the fight. Needing to hit fifteen and have a third of the entire deck in the soul is a very high-maintenance strategy. Without the Amon series soulcharge support, reaching that number is an uphill battle. But the greatest vampire in the world makes it worth the effort invested, as he brings together the best of Dark Irregulars' past boss cards. Where the House of Amon struggles for total dominance of the nation Dark Zone, the Abhorrent One rejects all goals and seeks only to continue destroying, consuming and draining the world of life.