This week I wanted to take a look at something from Lawtia, and a found a bit of a conundrum. (Which is a great word that both means confusing and is confusing to read.) Lawtia has lots of great units, like Shade and Counterattack, which sort of do their thing and then go away. Not exactly enough material for a whole column. Finally I happened across [card=34]Elite Crest Knight[/card], one of the most versatile front line fighters in the Basic Set. She also appears to be wearing armored spandex, if such a thing is possible.
Elite Crest Knight is level 4, which makes her a bit of a challenge to use effectively in Basic Set Card Files. However, she has a ton of benefits that make her worth the effort. First, she’s one of the only dedicated front line fighters at level 4. Most level 4 cards in the game are strong, but usually their value comes from a strange ability or gimmick. Voredore, Firestorm Wyvern and Deep Squid, for example, are among the strongest cards in their Spheres and they have great special abilities, but their statistics aren’t much better then their level 3 counterparts. Elite Crest Knight has good hit points and damage, a defense value (otherwise unheard of among the Lawtia), an AGI of 3, and two Skills that are perfect for a front line fighter.
Her Combat Support Skill is a Start Skill, which means that she’s got a big advantage over Kurina who, despite having 4 AGI, always seems to trigger her autoskill right after the Combat Monk has gone. (Gowen Iczers, you know what I’m talking about.) Elite Crest Knight is the only front line fighter who gives AT bonuses to her row, which is great because that’s exactly where you want those bonuses to be. Put her next to LeBeau, and not only does she make his Slash attack more effective, but she tanks for him too! Also, most support characters who give bonuses to AT don’t have the HP or DF to stick around for long, but Elite Crest Knight has both.
Her other big advantage is Penetrate. At 30 AT, she’s the strongest armor-piercer in the game right now. As Lawtia, you might need some LeBeau’s in your playing Set but your enemy won’t, so you can bet one of them is going to be in his Soul Cards. A powerful Penetrate is a must, and if Elite Crest Knight gets two hits in, or one hit with some back up from Annarose or Magic Doll, your enemy’s invincible damage sponge will be heading towards the Cemetery.
As a Soul Card, she’s just as versatile. She’s got 2 LP, and two different powers. Sure, they’re pretty minor compared to a lot of Soul Skills, but setting off two at once grantees you’ll have a good use for at least one of them. 30 damage to a target unit means you get to pick off a support character, and the +1 AGI will help your Moonlight Warrior and other Elite Crest Knights get the jump on the classic AGI 4 Gowen front line of doom.
Elite Crest Knight might not be as economical to get out as Moonlight Warrior and Crest Regenerator Knight, but once she’s out she fills a lot of roles and fills them well. She really shines in combination with other strong Lawtia cards, like Annarose, whose buffs will really let Elite Crest Knight put holes in the Gowen offense or the LeBeau Soul Skill defense. And, of course, she’ll look great doing it.