Almost 2 weeks after release, the preliminar conclusions of the cards that have been consistently pulling its weight on the testing matches; bear in mind Lawtia's EX: PoM has not been Folrart-tested yet, thus I'm reserving my opinion on her until I use her in a full TGC build (it's gonna take a while btw, too much EX's I don't own in sets yet).
5 - An all-star auto-include in basically all builds that can afford to play it, a multiple archetype enhancer, and quite possibly a meta-game warping card. Examples: Brave Hero/Dilate, Shade.
4 - A solid, competitive card choice, an unarguably essential card in its Sphere and in the files that chose to play it. Examples: Return, Salamander.
3 - A roleplayer, a staple of a file archetype. Examples: Priestess of Madness, Mage Knight of Regus.
2 - A niche inclusion. Examples: Talisman of Disruption, Miracle Fruit.
1 - Alteil. What are you doin'.
0 - Alteil. STAHP.
EX: Light Magic Archer
Card Rating: 2.5
- It can target, "attack" before anyone else, is cheap enough and can support. However, this is not a newcomer-friendly card, it requires some skill to use it to the best of its abilities and every other turn she takes a nap. Solid card, but not a mindless auto-include in Ref/Gow files, and sadly no synergy with Toromea will doom this card to rarely see play. An interesting card that could go all sorts of places, but not a game-definer right now.
Soul Skill Rating: 2.5
- Mass healer/buffer SS's will always be compared to either Cudgel or 2nd. Shrine Knight. It can help you push through opposition, specially if timed after a Chamail, but there are too much choices here.
EX: Ancient Zombie Lord
Card Rating: 3.5
- Single target Sergis as Refresh effect, a nice aggro-tank of sorts, decent damage and Max HP hate, all in the same card. In its theme, an ATK buffer and a recycler, and out of its theme, a resilient and deadly unit. Currently we're seeing him pop in all kinds of Undead files, but the card is so competent there's a chance we're going to see him as an include in non-Undead Ref/Law files. His dedicated build is a 1800+ RP file, and will probably be the next popular and big file to defeat during the following weeks, so dust off your Lawtia SP draining files and keep them handy.
Soul Skill Rating: 3
- Cheap dual elimination limited only by the ATK potential of your units. Still testing, but looks good enough.
EX: Mage Soldier Mercenary Girl
Card Rating: 3.5
- Utility and power, concentrated in a single Mage Soldier non-character unit. It can deal with a small field on its own, or knockout large, powerful units for 1 SP. A RNG 3 110 damage pinpoint attack at AGI 4 for a single SP is nothing to sneeze at. If anything, the card suffers from being in a Sphere combination that is very SP-intensive, and she doesn't help mitigate those issues, but don't underestimate her: the card is a powerhouse.
Soul Skill Rating: 2
- Limited applications (the revival clause hurts it a lot, instead of the more versatile "revive or heal"), but could end up seeing play as a regular SS of in a Rankup build.
EX: Mermaid Soldier [Human]
Card Rating: 3
- A synergy all-around auto-include in Mage Soldiers (alongside the previus EX Mermaid Soldier) and a defining card in the reborn Mermaid Princess/Emana build. She depends on a number of conditions to be fulfilled by your build and by your field, however. A clever opponent with some field disruption can quickly turn its AGI debuff against you, or force a Red Sword activation in order to kill her with attacks before she boosts. Very fun to play with in any case.
Soul Skill Rating: 2.
- We're seeing here an interesting variation of the "40 DMG target + effect" basic SS. This is probably a tailor-made soul for Balmoa and friends, but other decks could benefit; the issue comes when you realize the second part of the effect is better if you can trigger it with a certain field configuration, thus being more a 2-4 SS card than a 1st SS one, yet the first part of the effect is better at the early stages of the game.
Two quick conclusions: there are no "buy now if you play X sphere" cards (which is mostly a good thing) and Lawtia is the big winner, since both cards are promising.
- If your budget is 1-9.99 USD, skip this EX release, save for later cards. There's nothng here that is advisable as a 1x purchase.
- If your budget is 10 USD, maybe you want to grab single copies of some SS cards, but if your budget is 10 USD and you're an Undead player (which can be built for cheap, since the only necessary cards are Hell Smoke and Spirit Witch) go get 3x Lawtia packs right now and thank me later.
- If your budget is 10.01-20 USD, get only what you're going to use. There's no need to overextend to try to get everything in this release. A Lawtia playset plus a few Lottos or a couple of packs sounds ok.
- If your budget is 20+ USD go nuts.
There's way too much variety to get from pulls. You get used to it. I… I don't even see the names. All I see is 5 gran, 30 gran, 10 gran.
Hey, you, uh… wanna play?