Card of the Week 12/08/08 A new addition to the Lawtia lineup who solidifies the Duchy of Crest’s lead in the cute girl department, and has some pretty nasty tricks, to boot. I’m talking about the [card=291]Virtuoso / Rutina[/card] this week.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a single card write up, but I’ve been busy with Fortnight challenges and the like. Also, they’ve been fitting the bill a bit when it comes to looking at new uses for cards.
However, I felt that Rutina deserves some more face time so I brought the Card of the Week column out of retirement. Rutina is a level 2, which means you can bring her out any time, and it’s not too hard to let her go if you have to and bring her back later. 30 HP is as good as it gets for a support unit, keeping her relatively safe from Salamanders and most low powered area effect damage. RNG 2 is all she needs to do a little damage if you don’t have SP to spare, since she will pretty much always be in the second row. She could benefit from more AGI, but then she would probably be too powerful for her level, and buffing is always an option.
Her first ability, Melody of Dischord (pun intended), allows you to hit one enemy unit, bypassing armor, for an amount equal to the AT of another enemy unit. Actually, both targeted units can be the same, if you like. This means that as long as the enemy has one heavy hitter, you can pretty much kill any unit you want, no matter the DF, no matter the range, for 2 SP. Not bad for a level 2 unit.
Her Close Skill, Melody of Darkness, is really the most interesting thing about her. She sets the unit directly in front of her to HP=1, and gives it a +30 attack. The obvious thing is to put her behind a Lycanthrope or Noirweiden, or some other unit that doesn’t mind dying. Note, this will only be useful for the AT bonus if the unit attacks after Rutina is killed.
Things get really interesting when you consider that a card does not flip over, IE become Closed, until all Close Skills are resolved. What actually triggers the “Close Skill” is not Closing, but being damaged below 0 HP. This means that if there is another unit in front of her, and they are both knocked below zero simultaneously, then before the units are flipped over her Close skill will set the other unit’s HP to 1, effectively healing it and keeping it alive when it would have been killed! How often is she killed at the same time as the unit in front of her? If you use a lower HP combat unit, like Black Hound, all the time. Alind, Dalos, Spores, even Lancer and other column attacks, all these circumstances will likely end up with two of your units closing at once.You could even do it on purpose with a unit like EX: Broken Iron Soldier / XXXX, allowing him to survive his own sacrificial Action Skill.
This idea takes a new dimension when you think about other units with Close Skills. If the unit in front of Rutina has a Close Skill and she bites the dust as the same time as the other unit, the other unit will actually be able to use its Close Skill and still survive. First, both units will be knocked down to or below 0 HP. Then both Close skills will resolve, the first unit's going off, and Rutina’s healing the first unit back to 1 HP. Then, Rutina will flip over, leaving the other unit alive and with a bonus. As far as I know, this is one of the only ways you can use your Close Skill and live. This may not sound all that exciting right now. After all, there are only a few Close Skills in the game. However, just as Counter is Refess’ trademark Skill, Close is Lawtia’s. More and more cards will have Close Skills in the near future, so who knows how many good combos will pop up?
Let’s finish off this discussion with a good example combo. Put Dark Emperor / Zu-jyuva down in front of her. If she dies first, she’ll set him to 1 HP, so he’s likely to die next turn. Just Revive her and you’re ready for your combo. If they die simultaneously or if he dies first, the combo happens automatically. Here’s how it goes. Zu-jyuva is sent below 0 HP, and it sets off his Close Skill, which hits all enemy and friendly units for ½ his AT, or 50 damage. This automatically sends Rutina below 0 HP, triggering her Close Skill (before Zu-jyuva flips over). Her close skill buffs Zu-jyuva and heals him back up to 1 HP. Now it’s the end of the turn, and Zu-jyuva is all buffed and still ready to attack thanks to his 1 AGI. The enemy may be gone, but if he has one super unit that survived your Close Skill damage, you can finish it off with 130 damage from a straight attack. Even better, Zu-jyuva’s at 1 HP so you’ll probably get to do this again next turn!
"Scissors are overpowered. Rock is fine." -Paper