Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Steam Fighter Ul-nigin

The Japanese card of the day is a single rare from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, a named support card for Chronojet Dragon that complements Gear Chronicle's time-manipulation support. Steam Fighter Ul-nigin's generation break provides a countercharge option that doesn't touch the soul, freeing up its use for Steam Fighter Puzur-Ili, Glimmer Breath Dragon and others.

AUTO (Rearguard circle): Once per turn: Generation Break 1: When your opponent's rearguard is placed on the bottom of their deck by one of your card effects, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Chronojet" in its card name, countercharge 1.

While Ul-nigin has superficial similarities to Steam Fighter Mesh-he, Ul-nigin's countercharge has no soulblast cost, which is instrumental to a Chronojet deck that may not be using any of the clan's available legions. This answers a fundamental problem of soul management in the Chronojet deck, providing an opportunity to use Gear Chronicle's soulblast support while still maintaining face-up damage to keep its counterblast-heavy stride plays sustainable. Chronojet's stride bonus becomes functionally costless as long as Ul-nigin is in play when the skill is resolved, allowing one to use both Chronojet and Ragnaclock while only having one face-up damage. These types of plays obstruct the opponent from trying to do damage control against a Chronojet deck, taking control over which skills can go off away from them.

Like Mesh-he, Ul-nigin is limited in his immediate scope by his once per turn condition, being unable to combo effectively with Upheaval Pegasus or Chronoscommand Dragon. What Ul-nigin can do is open up Chronoscommand for play in the deck alongside other options that make use of the soul for costs, and if both Ul-nigin and Mesh-he are used together multiple countercharges can be made each turn while only using up half the soul that playing two copies of Mesh-he would. Hence, Ul-nigin can either replacement Mesh-he or be run alongside him in Chronojet decks, depending on which other grade 1s you want to make use of.