Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Today's Card Analysis: Single-minded Girl Riddhe & ♪♪ Harmony
AUTO (Vanguard/Rearguard circles): ♪♪ Harmony
CONT (Vanguard circle): Generation break 1: During your turn, this unit gets Power +5000 for each of your units in ♪♪ Harmony.
AUTO: [Counterblast 1, Soulblast 1] When this unit is placed on the vanguard circle, you may pay the cost. If paid, look at up to 5 cards from the top of your deck, search for up to 1 card with the ♪♪ Harmony ability from among them, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle that deck.
Riddhe's on-ride counterblast 1 soulblast 1 searches the top 5 cards of the deck for another unit with the Harmony skill, and then adds that unit to hand. Her skill is invaluable when going first, as it's a net +1 in card advantage that lets you search out the pieces of your ♪♪ Harmony strategy. This helps the Bermuda deck stand up to opponents that try to deliberately prevent skills from going off by staying at grade 2, and makes better use of the initial ride than riding a breakride or breakstride grade 3. When going second, Riddhe is still valuable since you can search out either herself or Lawlis from the top 5 cards and immediately discard one of those units to stride during the stride step.
Riddhe's generation break 1 is the first skill to make use of the ♪♪ Harmony ability effectively. To use her, you have to understand how this mechanic works; if any unit (including units that do not have ♪♪ Harmony) is placed in the same column as Riddhe, both units will be in Harmony. If either unit leaves the field, neither is in Harmony. This means that if any units are in Harmony at all, there will always be a minimum of two in that state. Like a pair of idols singing a duet, they're not in Harmony anymore if one of them falls off the stage. Also note that ♪♪ Harmony is not an instance, but a state like rest and stand; it is either on or off, and multiple Harmonies on a single unit cannot be accrued. Because Riddhe's generation break 1 is worded to receive its power bonus for every unit in Harmony, and by nature of the ♪♪ Harmony ability there will always be a minimum of two units in that state, if Riddhe is active at all she will have a +10000 power bonus. If any of your rearguard columns and Riddhe are also in Harmony with their respective boosters, this will translate to a +20000 power boost. If all three columns are in Harmony, Riddhe's power will cap at 41000 power unboosted, completely exceeding the likes of the King of Knights' Vanguard Ezzell or the Liberator of the Round Table Alfred. In terms of raw power, Riddhe is a new frontier.
One problem that Riddhe doesn't entirely solve is the stapling of ♪♪ Harmony to generation break. It's very arguable that because being in Harmony is already a strict condition, Bermuda Triangle's skills ought not to have the generation break restriction attached at all. Generation break requires waiting for several turns for skills to go online, while being in Harmony requires jealously safeguarding one's cards in hand from retire and lock skills by not playing them at all until ♪♪ Harmony can be used. When put together, generation break and ♪♪ Harmony restrictions translate to not playing any rearguards until both cardfighters are at grade 3, and the comparative reward for this passive play is low. Even in the case of Riddhe, whose power output for input dramatically exceeds that of most stride units, this skill synergizes poorly with not playing rearguards until the turn before one uses Riddhe's generation break, and doesn't provide an adequate means of paying back for all the time spent biding. The opponent will generally be at 3 damage by the time Riddhe first goes online, but to use her high power effectively you need them to be at at least 4 damage.
Shizuku, and the generation break attackers Lurrie and Sanya. Lurrie and Sanya are standard 10000-power and 12000-power grade 1 and grade 2 attackers, but have the additional caveat of needing to be in Harmony to function, with the trade-off that they can attack either a rearguard or a vanguard. Standard generation break attackers can only attack a vanguard for their skill. But Duo and PR♥ISM subclan attackers can already attack both vanguards and rearguards while not needing to wait to be at grade 3 to do so; generation break attackers are already a step backwards from subclan attackers, and so the integration of ♪♪ Harmony with generation break is a further step down. There is a real need for ♪♪ Harmony units that do not need to be at generation break 1 for their skills to resolve.
As a modern card advantage deck, the new Bermuda Triangle does have the benefit of being able to draw an extra card for every counterblast available. But unlike its contemporary, post-Generation Stride Oracle Think Tank, the new breed of Bermuda Triangle is discouraged from playing cards early game and has stringent requirements attached while also having no effective means of destroying the opponent at this time.
Drawing more cards on its own does not kill; it is telling that the height of Bermuda Triangle in the history of professional play is the rise of Duo Temptation Reit and her breakride Meer. What does it say that when Bermuda Triangle was given a revival legion in Monthly Bushiroad magazine, the unit created to revive Riviere was a restanding vanguard rather than a unit that supported Riviere herself? Every version of Bermuda Triangle that has placed in a major tournament since Divas' Duet has integrated either the stand skills of Reit, Trois or both. Prior to this, the primary deck for Bermuda Triangle in professional play was PR♥ISM-Promise Labrador, a Phantom Blaster Dragon clone that followed the formula of Death Army Cosmo Lord. Lawlis' generation break 2 is a Labrador for the current generation, dividing up the power and critical bonus into two instances of +5000 power on any two units and an additional critical for herself. Like generation break and Harmony itself, this is a step back from where Bermuda Triangle had progressed; and like virtually every clan of the game's ongoing fifth block, Bermuda Triangle is in danger of falling into a position where a previously existing subclan threatens to overtake the generation break support entirely by picking and choosing which units of the new support to integrate. Decks with strong early and midgame units that don't rely on generation break generally outcompete the new support, adopting the G-perfect defense cards from each set for their unflipping properties, clones of Steam Fighter Amber for their synergy with the existing deck, the stride units themselves and whichever support cards make the least trouble for that subclan's existing base of support. To avoid being overtaken by Duo or PR♥ISM, the Harmony deck needs to justify the long wait time with explosive gameplay.
As a whole the ♪♪ Harmony strategy has several holes in it that Academy of Divas has only just begun to address. Riddhe is one of the first cards in the set to make good use of its conditions, by benefiting from every unit in Harmony rather than having a more traditional skill attached to Harmony conditions. If Academy of Divas takes the Riddhe route of gaining bonuses for each Harmonized unit in play, the results will snowball into a strong gameplay variant that stands apart from the old engines.
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