Monday, May 14, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Circle Magus and Luck Bird

The Japanese Cards of the Day for May 14th, 2018, are two Oracle Think Tank grade 1s from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Circle Magus and Luck Bird.
Circle Magus
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When your vanguard's drive check reveals a grade 2 or greater, you may put that card on the bottom of your deck, and draw 1 card.
AUTO: When rode upon, [Cost: Counterblast 1] draw 1 card.
Circle Magus is Oracle Think Tank's second Triple Rare out of V-BT01, with their third and the final RRR of the set likely being Silent Tom. The original Circle Magus in both the manga and Trading Card Game simply allowed one to check the top card of the deck, but only allowed them to place it back on top and not on the bottom as Battle Sister Cocoa did; the exchange being that Circle was a 7k base while Cocoa was a 6k. The new Circle Magus instead gives card advantage when riding over her, like an inversion of the ride chains of yesteryear, and her primary skill allows one to exchange a grade 2 or greater drive check for another card. While this makes it possible to conceal one's hand from the opponent and potentially exchange those grade 2 or greater cards for higher shield ones, it both runs the risk of drawing one's triggers and is often less than appealing to use for what it gives up.

In a Protect clan, every grade 3 in hand can eventually be translated into another Perfect Guard so long as it has the Protect ability, and reriding those cards fuels the soul for paying costs. Moreover, knowing that our deck's grade 2s are likely to consist of Tom, Saft, and Sotoorihime, none of these are cards that we are likely to want to get rid of. Drive checking grade 2s and 3s carries inherent benefits in Oracle Think Tank that will often discourage the use of Circle Magus' first autoskill, reducing her role to being a particularly valuable grade 1 ride.

Luck Bird
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When placed, [Cost: Soulblast 2] draw 1 card, and this unit gets Power +6000 until end of turn.
Luck Bird's skill has gone mostly unchanged since its 2011 incarnation, except that the card can now act as an early 11k attacker or an 11k booster. Later in the fight he'll only be able to make relevant 17~18 columns with a relevant power attacker like Saft, or a 23 column with Sarasa. The latter case is what makes Luck Bird the easiest to run, but two factors work against him. First is that he sucks away soul from Saft, a valuable backup to Sotoorihime. Second is that Oracle Think Tank's Vanguard Rare, Imperial Daughter, is almost assuredly going to replace Sarasa in the final deck due to possessing Protect and a skill worthy of making her Misaki's "trump card." (As Monthly Bushiroad magazine described her.)

Is there room for Luck Bird? Given the amount of reriding encouraged in Gift decks, it's certainly possible. This skill has particular synergy with Protect, as receiving another card in hand in exchange for every ride already negates the loss of reriding, allowing Luck Bird to generate +1s with his draws. Oracle Think Tank as we currently know it isn't exactly starved for grade 1 space, as the deck makeup currently looks approximately like this;
Grade 1
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x4 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
x1 Shooting Bobby
We could easily fit in a Luck Bird tech by cutting Bobby, or acknowledging Mizunohame's limited utility as a vanguard-only booster adjust the deck to look more like...
Grade 1
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x3 Luck Bird
x2 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
Acknowledging that 3-ofs will generally be once-per-game cards while 4-ofs will be twice-per-game, there's room enough to run Luck Bird and set the card on the side to eventually boost a rearguard Amaterasu with her power-gain active.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Soul Saver Dragon.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.