So, when the EX packs got released back in Set 1 everyone pushed up their noses and scoffed them. We say a few [card=173]Noirweiden[/card] decks, and [card=174]Broken Iron Soldier / XXXX[/card] saw a little bit of play in self-destruct decks, the [card=172]EX Lion Baron / Zagar[/card] got used as a Soul Card,[card=175]Fire and Gaia / Rougeerst[/card] got the most field time of any Angel and the Falkow EX pack was largely purchased for [card=178]EX Azure Dragon - East / Vordore[/card]'s Soul skill or [card=88]Deep Squids[/card]. But, the GMs assured us - it's just not the meta, wait until set 2 and you will be dying to have these cards. Well? Set 2 is here, were they right?
Let's start at the top:
[card=171]Sun and Birth / Weissvogel[/card]
The lovely morning angel. Yet another bit of SP generation for Refess, but only in the morning. She's fast, that's something refess doesn't have, but she does have the typical 25 ATK. What does Set 2 give her? Well, it gives one more way to run endless morning - but the card that does it, [card=183]Time Reader / Lavende[/card] also has 4 AGI, meaning there is a 50/50 chance that your angel has already acted before morning is ensured - not very helpful. Meaning, Sun and Birth still need [/card=0]Solar Prince / Verlaat [/card] to be super effective. Endless morning just isn't as viable in the metagame as endless night has ever been.
[card=172]EX: Lion Baron / Zagar[/card]
What can I say? His playability is the same as it was in Set 1, and if you see him I bet it's on the Soul Card line up. [card=192]Coatl[/card] and [card=189]Holy Dragon[/card] are just much better plays, though in such a high level deck maybe a level 3 DEF killer is viable - he answers the [card=30]Killing Machine / LeBeau[/card] problem, as well as taking down that unit that Coatl has DEF buffed to the moon, so maybe he does work in the current meta a bit better than before - what with a 2 LP LeBeau Soul skill out there and Coatl being a primary unit in many Refess decks, gotta clean up your own mess and EX Zagar can do the job. Not to mention he has 30 ATK.
[card=173]Moon and Soul / Noirweiden[/card]
The only card in the game that putting 2 or more in your card file is a waste of time, she just doesn't die! But she does steal your LP, and she has one insane ATK score. Low HP, half decent speed - what about in the eyes of set 2? Noirweiden is a unit meant to be played in the second line with a healthy bunch of defenders protecting her. In set 1 this meant [card=40]Moonlight Warrior[/card] or [card=43]Crest Regenerator Knight[/card] possibly a [card=70]Dryad[/card] buff in there to keep the guardians alive longer. Then she pops off a unit every round and when the going got tough you either ran an Assassin SS or played [card=39]Counterattack[/card] to get rid of her. Set 2 gave her lots more options. First of all, [card=225]Black Hound[/card] can be added to your defensive line - not only does it act as a barrier between heavy hitters and your angel, but it also makes any unit with AT < 30 unable to kill her, and adds longevity to your tanks. [card=206]Black Dragonrider / Millia[/card] is another viable tank - and if you go with the Lawtia/Gowen Norweiden of the past and add a [card=235]Fairy Dance[/card] or two, now your heavy hitting angel has 35 HP AND Millia's power becomes a huge threat to all who oppose you! That's two deadly units, no one enjoys facing that, ever. Lastly, we can't forget what [card=208]Chaos Ogre / Dalos[/card] can do, and he's a tank. Double up with Moon and Soul and victory is yours.
[card=174]EX: Broken Iron Soldier / XXXX[/card]
What can I say? He's a brute that goes bang. As he was before, a contingency plan - an alternate way to play a [card=39]Counterattack[/card] that ignores defense, but burns your side too. He has some punch, but nothing other Lawtia units can't deal. I don't think his presence in Set 2 has gotten any better than before - always was an always will be the emergency self-destruct most often present in files that thrive on this kind of behaviour.
[card=175]Fire and Gaia / Rougeerst[/card]
This angel is like a [card=56]Panther Soul[/card] that comes without the AGI/AT buff but brings a unit with some helpful powers along for the ride. With 6 new Rank-Up units and more ways to create armies her Open and Soul skills are still viable in a Gowen deck. [card=231]Fire Storm / Bander[/card], [card=232]Gunner Girl / Yuni[/card], [card=244]Lethal Archer[/card], [card=245]Highland-born Hunter[/card], [card=246]Unwilling Warrior[/card] and [card=250]Rifelman Knight[/card] are the new rank up units Gowen has brought to the game - all of which synergise well with Fire and Gaia.
[card=176]EX: The Red Mantle / DeFau[/card]
A Level 2 unit who turns defense into raw power. He answers [card=80]LeBeau[/card] (as most of the EX cards do), he can also turn a Coatl back upon itself, or if you run Refess/Gowen can take the DEF you just handed to your enemy and turn it into more punching power for your units. At his level, he is viable in a dual sphere deck - though one that runs Coatl as well would need to have some Sphere level boosting SC's. All in all, I don't think he got any more usable with Set 2 than he was before, I have heard lots of Gowen decks bring him for the sole reason of getting around High DEF units, something they have and always will have issues with. Also, this EX card can work well with [card=252]Petrification[/card]. You can make a unit dead slow, engage it then next turn take a 30+ (+ if the unit you petrified already had some DEF) ATK bonus by playing EX DeFau.
[card=177]Sea and Wind / Bluerigid[/card]
A cute, weak level 1 that can reduce AGI or kill an almost dead unit. Her synergy is best with [card=80]Aqua Sorcerer / Mystere[/card] which is a set 1 card, and about the only viable control tactic in Set 2 meta for Falkow. [card=94]Witch[/card] and [card=99]Return[/card] are no longer useful most of a game as the higher level units that we are now seeing lots of simply laugh at these level dependent control tricks - Mystere on the other hand with Sea and Wind can return any unit with AGI 1 or 2. 23 new units fall into this range - of those we have the [card=192]Coatl[/card], [card=237]Fire Dragon[/card], [card=264]Water Dragon[/card] and a Lawtia and Falkow secret card. Of course this return technique requires two things: 1. Good timing, because both units required are easy kills and 2. Lots of luck because both units have AGI 3! You need an AGI buffer or permanent AGI buff on Sea and Wind just to make her work well with her best friend. So 50% of the time, you get nothing for your hard work setting up this team.
[card=178]EX: Azure Dragon - East / Vordore[/card]
We were told that Falkow Def-less strategy would be part of the meta someday. Set 2 brought Renally, the Def dependent killer. She's easily the most useful and best unit that came for Falkow in set 2 and what's her ability? Subtract 2xDEF from HP of target enemy in range. EX Vordore would kind of ruin that. However, also looking at Set 2 Falkow only 3 units come with DEF anyway. Renally, [card=256]Mage Paladin / Distrier[/card] and [card=276]Sea Claw[/card]. Unfortunately for Falkow they have no real tanks that don't have DEF, the best tanks for this sphere always have a touch of Defense. Not to mention the fact that Coatl is a key part of the metagame and by removing defense of all units it makes it's counter ability a punishment free trick. I could see Refess using this EX card but not Falkow, not with the current state of affairs anyway.
EDIT: EX DeFau; Added synergy with Petrification.