Sunday, March 2, 2014

News: March 2nd Broadcast Explains Legion Mechanic, Raizers and Musketeers to See Support in BT16

Following the end of Link Joker earlier today Bushiroad aired a special broadcast on NicoNico Douga, discussing the upcoming Legion Mate season and some of the card mechanics therein. The program was introduced by Doctor O, with the anime being addressed by the voices of Sendou Aichi and Kai Toshiki, Yonaga Tsubasa and Satou Takuya; Satou confirmed for the fans that Kai will be the main protagonist of Legion Mate, and to Yonaga's distress that Aichi will be disappearing during the season.

When things came back to Doctor O, the viewers were treated to two jumbo-sized replicas of the upcoming TD14: Seeker of Hope cards. The deck's key grade 2, Blaster Blade Seeker, is a variation on the established field control formula. Like the traditional Blaster Blade he can retire a grade 2 or greater rearguard, but this is only when placed on a rearguard circle and costs just a single counterblast as opposed to past incarnations' two. Blade Seeker may require a Seeker vanguard to do so, but this is difficult to confirm from NND's low resolution.

What really drew a surprise from the broadcast's 18,000 viewers was the explanation of the new Legion Mate mechanic and the skill of Seeker, Sacred Wingal. Sacred Wingal's Activate skill is not a limit break, but instead activates when it is Legioned to Blaster Blade Seeker. When Seeker's Legion icon is matched up to Sacred Wingal's, Wingal can pay a cost of shuffling four normal units from the drop zone into the deck, and then become joined with Blade Seeker as one unit with a total base power of 20000. Wingal's autoskill then triggers at the moment that it has been Legioned, letting it superior call a grade 2 or greater Seeker from the deck. As long as there are four or more non-trigger units in the drop zone, Sacred with Blade Seeker can fill the other frontrow circle while also being able to retire both of the opponent's frontrow attackers for a sum 2 counterblast.

How exactly Legion Mate interacts with established mechanics is unknown. It can be presumed that since the Mate is attached to the vanguard and they act as one with combined base power, the use of the Legioned rearguard column is lost for that turn. Legion units becoming a 20000 power base during their own turn was described as a typical attribute of the Legion Mate mechanic, so presumably most if not all Legion cards for this upcoming season will be a base 11000 grade 3 and base 9000 grade 2.

Interestingly, the introduction of Legion Mate may mark either an end or shaky coexistence with limit break; addressing the longstanding issue of the game's pace becoming more oriented around being at 4 damage over time, the only condition observed on Legion Mate skills is the ability to have a Mate on the field. Legion activates when a vanguard and rearguard with paired Legion icons are matched up, which gives their cardfighter greater freedom of choice on when to use skills, and rewards successful timing for using Legion Mate when the opponent is already at higher damage by giving them innately greater power to work with. Conversely, using Legion too early wastes a skill that can only be used as many times as the Mate unit can be played from the hand.

Doctor O revealed several different upcoming pairs of Legion units, including those from Brawler of Friendship and an alternate set of Legion cards from Seeker of Hope, but what drew the most excitement were the units from VG-BT16: Legion of Dragons and Blades. Nova Grappler will be receiving a pair of Raizer units with the new mechanic to round out their build, while Neo Nectar will start the season off with paired Musketeer units.

Additionally, Doctor O assured everyone that Tokura Misaki will also be returning with Legion cards, much to the relief of her voice actor, Kitta Izumi. What clan she will be using is unknown. Many fans are clamoring for her to return to Oracle Think Tank while others have suggested she stay with Genesis, but neither clan is currently scheduled to be supported by BT16.

The program was closed out by Morishima Shuuta, voice of Shin Nitta, who asked the audience to help him with the cheer "Ride the Vanguard!" The cards covered by the NND conference will be given better coverage in the upcoming seventh issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine. A recording of the broadcast will go up tomorrow.

3/3/2013 Update: The broadcast has been uploaded to YouTube. Highlights include an explanation of the Legion mechanic at the 22 minute mark, Blaster Blade Seeker and Sacred Wingal's debut at 23:37 as well as the introduction of Raizer and Musketeer support from 28:19 on.