Saturday, December 6, 2014

Today's Card Analysis: Interdimensional Dragon Ragnaclock Dragon

"Ah, the time for everything to end
has come once again."
Today's Japanese card of the day is a stride unit for the Gear Chronicle clan, Ragnaclock Dragon. Illustrated by Amemiya Keita (Werwolf Sieger, Dark Lord of Abyss) Ragnaclock is intended as a game-finishing generation unit that combines the overwhelming power of a stridden grade 4 with guard manipulation and additional critical to help secure the end of the match, and the opponent with it.

When Ragnaclock attacks the vanguard, you can counterblast 1 and turn a copy of itself in the generation zone face-up; this prevents the opponent from calling grade 0 cards to the guardian circle from their hand, and if there are two or more face-up generation units in the generation zone, Ragnaclock will get an additional critical. Since getting the most out of Ragnaclock's counterblast requires you to have already stridden on a previous turn, he's ideal as a followup to Chronos Command Dragon. For counterblast 2 soulblast 1 Chronos Command sends the opponent's entire field to the bottom of their deck when his attack hits the vanguard, and as a stride unit he will innately attack for ~26000 power, forcing the opponent to spend perfect defense cards on his attack even while they're at 2~3 damage, or otherwise risk taking up to a -5 from what is effectively a field retire skill on par with Nouvelle Vague's. The counterblast and soulblast costs do not have to be dedicated until the moment he actually hits, so keeping up with defending against Chronos Command for several turns severely taxes the opponent's hand and leaves them open to rearguard attacks that will eventually put them in the range of 4 damage. This is when Ragnaclock is intended to come out, catching the opponent without the perfect defense in hand to guard with.

Alternatively, you can bring Ragnaclock in when the opponent is still at 3 damage if their hand is full of 0s, to try and go for the endgame. Attacking boosted for 31000 2 critical effectively takes a leaf from Genesis' book, requiring the opponent to either drop a perfect defense or risk the critical. Like Vict Plasma and many of the other grade 4s from G-BT01: Generation Stride, Ragnaclock's persona cost prevents you from using his skill more than twice per game under normal circumstances. But Gear Chronicle is one of the few clans with a means to circumvent this; their stand trigger Waku Waku Worker has a generation break skill that turns a G-unit face-down after its boost, then recycles Waku back into the deck. Ragnaclock's persona cost is thus limited only by the number of Workers that can be brought out, but seeing as it's critical triggers that make Ragnaclock threatening prior to 5 damage, it's difficult to recommend a default trigger ratio to this kind of deckbuild. A 4-4-4-4 rainbow trigger spread is just as easily recommendable as 4 stand 8 critical, but more unorthodox ideas like 3 stand 3 draw 6 critical--effectively a standard 6 draw 6 critical option with 3 stands substituted in--are also feasible. As one of the newest clans in the game, Gear Chronicle has a lot of room for experimentation with new ideas tailored to its stride-centric strategies.