Monday, May 21, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Silent Tom

The Japanese Card of the Day for May 22nd, 2018, is the final Triple Rare from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Silent Tom.
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When placed, [Cost: Counterblast 1] this unit gets Power +6000 until end of turn.
CONT [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: During the battle it attacks a vanguard, your opponent cannot call normal units to Guardian Circle.
The original Silent Tom from seven years' past blocked players from guarding with grade 0 cards, and the new print is effectively an inversion of Tom's classic skill. The old strategy was to line up Tom with Gemini, load trigger effects onto him, and create a column that could only realistically guarded with perfect defense cards. The endgame is still to line him up with Gemini and push triggers on him--and power Tom up with Victorious Deer--but the dynamics of guarding have changed. Because Tom can only be guarded by trigger units, even a 13k Tom would force a minimum 15k guard from the opponent. This is because 15k is the minimum shield value found on Critical and Front Triggers, so the only exceptions to this are guarding with non-Sentinel Draws and intercepting. (Intercepts are not and never have been calls, so the opponent can still intercept the attack.)

With his power boost, Silent Tom forms a 23 column when boosted by any base 8000 booster. On its own this number is functionally the same as a 13 or 18 in terms of guarding from hand; it demands a Critical or Front to successfully guard. But when you add one trigger on top of that, Tom demonstrates just how significant the new benchmarks are. A 33k Tom can only be guarded by two or more guardians, and even a Heal Trigger alone isn't sufficient. Ideally one would guard with a Draw Trigger Sentinel, but if that's not an option your next best bet is a Heal and an intercept. Ignoring Sentinels, a 43k Tom is optimally guarded by a Heal and Critical/Front Trigger, and a 53 Tom by two Heals and an Intercept. With only four Heals in the deck though, the more likely situation is only having Criticals or Fronts available--which means putting down three guardians for a 58 guard vs either of these.

The original theory that Tom would block grade 0s again lead to theorizing that grade 1 perfect guards would still have a place in the new format. R&D seems to have thought better of essentially having two cards in the format that block Iseult/Barri/Miss Mist/Twin Blader. Silent Tom's skill thus encourages us to not run grade 1 perfect guards at all due to them not being callable against him, freeing up deck space across the format. And speaking of deck space, we now have a more concrete sense of what Oracle Think Tank will look like;
Grade 0: 17
x1 Lozenge Magus (FV)
x4 Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist (DT)
x12 Trigger Units
Grade 1: 13
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x3 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x2 Luck Bird
Grade 2: 11
x4 Silent Tom
x3 Promise Daughter
x4 Goddess of Insight, Sotoorihime
Grade 3: 9
x3 CEO Amaterasu
x3 Imperial Daughter
x3 Victorious Deer
With only one Rare grade 0 or 1 and one Common grade 2 or 3 left to reveal for Oracle Think Tank, there isn't much left to change about the final deck. V-BT01 will hit in just 3 days' time, and we can expect the rest of the set to leak shortly before that.

The previous Japanese Cards of the Day were King of Knights Alfred and Lion Mane Stallion.

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.