So, by now we've all seen 'em, the new angels and EX cards that've been released for the low low price of 400 gran. What do these cards mean for the meta? Well for one thing they're the first introduction of cards that don't come distributed randomly (and aren't in the starter), aside from that they've each got abilities that can be used to devastating effect by a well playing Iczer. I know, I know, enough jabbering and let's have a look at those cards!
I wanna start off with the angel I'm most excited about and think will see the most play floating about in the arenas. That card is Fire and Gaia, Rougeerst. Just a casual glance at the card can make any player's mouth water, the little thing's chock full of abilities! But before we get through those let's take a look at her stats, at level 2 her attack leaves something to be desired with a value of 10, and her AGI of 2 probably won't win her many races on the battlefield. Her RNG of 3 however, means she'll be quite happy plucking arrows into the enemy from behind the front lines and I'm quite happy to let her. Where this card really gets me, however, is her amazing stock of abilities.
On the top we've got the standard Gowen "Rank Up" formalities (it's inspiring to see that even heavenly angels can better themselves I suppose) which give her a decent attack for her level and 2 more AGI, a better punch and a quicker draw, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Her Soul Skill is enough to, well, make any Gowen player drool and make everyone else pass out: All friendly units get [LV+2/AT+20]/[fully recover HP]/[Rankup]. Feel free to read it again if you don't believe me, I swear I copied and pasted that line just to make sure I got the effect right. This Soul Skill is the ultimate in vindictive "Ha!" moves, you kill my unit and now all of my guys are bigger, badder, and fully healed not to mention whatever new abilities they get from the rankup! Falkow players watch your strategies around that first bit, as raising all the levels of your opponent's units will severely hamper what you can bounce about on the battlefield.
I can't believe how big this section is and I haven't even taken a look at her active abilities yet, so going down the list first we have Gaia Blinks. This is a standard enemy engage ability that we've seen used by Annarose to really seal the deal on a winning game. One of the main weaknesses most Gowan units have is their lack of a DF stat, well, why even bother when you can just stop the opponent's big bad from even raising a fist to strike you? Next we have her Gleam of Pure Flame ability which when she ranks up (I'll admit I haven't played enough Gowen to know if that conditional only happens when she ranks up, or if it happens every turn after she ranks up. All you Gowen folks out there feel free to leave an answer to that question!) deals 50% HP damage to an enemy of your choosing. If you read my last post about the current popular card files then you know how much I love pinpoint removal, and while this won't kill an enemy unit outright it'll certainly help against those high HP units.
And now for her final ability, the one I'm sure will get those Gowen players scrambling to the cashier's office, her Open ability gives all friendly units a Rank up! That's right people for the small cost of 2 SP, you not only get a boardwide Panther Soul effect but you also get a unit to boot! So now, instead of buying booster pack after booster pack hoping for the 3 star rare that is the Panther Soul, you can just buy one of the Gowen EX packs and get one guaranteed. Wow, I can actually hear all your cheers from where I'm typing (and the synchronized gnashing of teeth from all you non-Gowen folks).
Now let's take a look at the EX card that comes with her, The Red Mantle, DeFau. Well in this "more powerful" version he oddly enough gets a de-levelling, which means 10 fewer HP and attack. Looks like being younger doesn't affect his DF, AGI, or RNG though as those values all stay the same. While the old Red Mantle was an interesting little thorn in the side of Lawtia players, this new one looks to be aiming to make some new enemies in the factions of Refess and Falkow. Now, rather than draining away your SP, DeFau can steal the DF of an enemy unit and then add that value to a friendly unit's attack. Hey Insult, have you met my friend Injury? How many times have you folks out there been stunted from attacking for several turns due to one over armored unit planting himself on the front lines? Well here's your answer! Not to mention those folks out there who were particular fans of LeBeau's SS may need to start relying on other tactics, or at the very least feel slightly less easy about their tanks (which is something folks have been screaming at on the boards for a while now, seriously how many of you development guys got a laugh reading those things knowing this guy was coming out?
). Is he worth playing chiefly for that effect? Only time will tell, but I definitely think we'll see him around the arena a little bit for these first few weeks following his release as people experiment with him more and more.
So there you have it, originally I'd planned on posting about all the angels at once but I think I may have got a little carried away with Rougeerst. There's just so much to say about that one wonderful card, and I truly think that we're gonna see more of her than any other angel in the arena if only because she's the poor man's Panther Soul and I, for one, am truly excited to play her.