Sunday, April 29, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Grime, Chrono Dran Z, and Blaster Blade

The Japanese cards of the day for April 30th, 2018, are three promotional cards being handed out at the 2018 Great Vanguard Festival in Japan: Grime, Chrono Dran Z, and Blaster Blade. Each card is done in the style of a full-art SP, with gold foiling on Grime and Chrono Dran.

Of the three, only Grime fits into our traditional analysis section. Rather than being new card reveals, these are respectively the final promotional cards of the G format and the first promo cards of Standard; what began seven years ago with PR/0001 Blaster Blade now ends with PR/0727 Chrono Dran Z, and begins anew from V-PR/0001 Blaster Blade.

(Technically, the promotional prints of Rananculus of Phantasmic Blue, Daybreak Scharhrot, and Battle Sister Florentine, that will be packaged in the Jaime Flowers character song CD are going to be the final final promo cards of G. But Dran is absolutely being presented at the festival as a symbolic gesture.)
AUTO: When you ride, draw a card.
Grime's skill brings with it certain questions. Thus far, we've seen no Forerunner grade 0s in Standard format--units that move out from the soul when you ride over them. In the old format, units staying in the soul but still carrying effects were generally limited to ride chain cards, with the main exceptions being Hades Ringmaster clones and World Line Dragon. Grime and Lizard Runner Undeux could just be what you get at the Common level for grade 0s, in the same way that Shizuku clones worked in the previous format, and if so then we're likely to see Forerunner First Vanguards return at the Single Rare level. But this could also be a situation akin to the G Trial Decks, where what you see is the best you'll get for some time to come. It's partially a question of how realistic it is to expect Royal Paladin and Kagerou to have exactly identical FVs as their only option to start the game off.

(Worth noting is that in the manga's continuity, which the rebooted series is based on, Aichi sticks with Grime and Kai with Undeux throughout the entire first arc.)

Having FVs stay in the soul means no longer having an easy early game booster, resulting in less aggressive first turns. If you're dropping a grade 1 on the board this early, it's probably to boost rather than attack. Otherwise, it's too easy for the opponent to simply drop a trigger and guarantee you can't hit them that turn. What unique effects the new generation of First Vanguard will have is another can of worms--perhaps Royal Paladin could call a grade 1 when you ride over it (or just copying the vanguard outright to avoid exploits) and Oracle Think Tank letting you check the top card and put it on the top or bottom of the deck before drawing. How would one translate Kagerou's mechanics to an FV of this type, though? An on-ride retire can't work at a stage of the game where the opponent has no rearguards.

These are exciting times we live in. In just 25 days V-Booster Set 01 will hit the Japanese format, and at that time, we'll know everything. Are we prepared for the new era? Can we be prepared for the new era?

The previous Japanese cards of the day were Stardrive Dragon and Crested Dragon.