Sunday, May 6, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Flame of Hope Aermo and Lizard Soldier Raopia

The Japanese cards of the day are Flame of Hope Aermo and Lizard Soldier Raopia, two classic Kagerо̄ units being remade in V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4.
Flame of Hope, Aermo
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: During the battle it boosts, this unit gets Power +3000.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle[: When your opponent's rearguard is retired during your turn, by paying [Cost: Retire this unit], draw 1 card, and Countercharge 1.
Lizard Soldier, Raopia
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circle]: When your opponent's rearguard is retired during your turn, this unit gets Power +5000 until end of turn.
Before discussing any skills, it's  important to note that Aermo's set number is V-BT01/011 RRR. With Asura Kaiser as 012, this establishes that Nova Grappler will only get one Triple Rare in the whole set, leaving either Kagerо̄ or Oracle Think Tank poised to receive three RRRs.

That out of the way, Aermo is the second countercharger in the whole game after Boomerang Thrower. As Kagerо̄'s only means of unflipping damage outside of healing, Aermo is an essential staple of the Kagerо̄ deck. Thankfully with Barri having freed up grade 1 space, the lineup of choice for the clan looks something like this:
Grade 1
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x2 Dragon Knight, Burj
Aermo's versatility as a countercharger is dependent on what kind of retire redundancy you're running. In most circumstances, involving the likes of Nehalem and Spillover, he's a one-to-one replacement that simply makes your retire skill not cost counterblast. You activate the skill making Aermo live, and the play becomes a wash for. The keystone to getting positive exchanges is retire skills that cost no counterblast, something Kagerо̄ doesn't currently have access to. As it stands now, it serves to give you additional retires in a given game by increasing the number of times you can flip damage over to pay costs. Despite being a Triple Rare, the effect isn't quite as game-defining as the original Flame of Hope, who was largely responsible for making Kagerо̄ function at launch by filtering out the grade 3s Goku drive checked.

As far as making columns go, Aermo is likely to replace Gojo in the final Kagerо̄ deck. Aermo and other 11k boosters have seen a spike in potential as new base 12000 vanguards have been revealed, since he only needs an 11k partner to make a meaningful column against those. Versus other Force decks though, Aermo needs a 12k or greater base to boost; either Start or Trial Deck print of Dragon Armored Knight, Berserk Dragon, Crested Dragon, Bellicosity, Vortex, and...

...Our old friend Raopia. This is a card we previously saw revealed in English at Bushiroad's Belgian national tournament. While like Bellicosity, Raopia's use is limited by the number of retires we're willing to dedicate for him, he carries particular utility because of how he can act both as a powerful booster and attacker that scales up with each retire you make. Aermo forms a 19k combination with him just by existing, and each Raopia activation after that pushes you up another level of shield. However, if you're retiring with Aermo in play you're more likely to use his countercharge skill than his boost. The two cards don't actually mesh all that well in practice, but Raopia's versatility lets you make use of him in more or less any form you wish, to make a large center, powerful rearguards, or as an attacker in his own right.

The previous Japanese card of the day was CEO Amaterasu.

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 Japanese May 11th, 2018, and in English June 8th. They will be accompanied by a new sleeve based on the "Imaginary Gift" design.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 3rd 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.