A reader gives an overview of the new set of Final Fantasy trading cards and offers tips on how to get into the game and create your own decks.
A few months ago I wrote a review concerning the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (FFTCG) and its fifth core set. Time has now passed and we have moved on to the sixth set commonly known as Opus VI.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy IIs release, Firion, the protagonist of the game, is the cover star of the box display. Along with heroes, villains, summons, and monsters from the mainline series including Final Fantasy II, XI, and XIV Opus VI also features cards from various other games in the long-running series including Pictlogica: Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire Of The Rift, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Type-0, and Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia. To date the FFTCG features 35 different Final Fantasy titles. There are 130 cards to collect in this set, bringing the total card pool to just shy of 1,000 unique cards.
One new card mechanic that Opus VI introduces is the chance to take control of the opposing players card. There are only a handful of cards that are susceptible to this effect, including Leon and Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy II and IV respectively. This matches in well with their video game lore as in their corresponding games both men succumb to the enemies side only to re-join forces with your own party later on. To compensate for this weakness both are more powerful than other equally costed cards so this introduces a nice risk/reward scenario. This is a strong side of the game as almost all cards allude thematically with their video game counterpart.
The cards themselves have a wide array of artistic styles from the chibi versions of the characters, exclusive original art specially designed for the game, and perhaps my personal favourite card is the legendary Seifer card drawn by renowned Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Armano.
The current state of the game is seeing a lot of mono ice element decks dominating, with an emphasis on playing cards that when they enter play make the opponent discard cards directly from their hand. The newly introduced Rinoa card allows players to repeat these actions, leaving the opponent with fewer cards and therefore fewer options.
One strategy to counter to this approach is playing cards that retrieve cards from your break zone, aka discard pile, back into your hand. Another way to avoid this is to simply play all the cards you possibly can and rush the opponent, but you then run the risk of overextending yourself. These are fairly simplistic strategies that barely scratch the surface of the infinite possibilities.
There are also additional cards that give huge support to existing deck archetypes, like Chocobo and Dragoon themed decks. While these decks may not be top tier they still have some great synergy and combo potential. I am currently playing a mono wind Chocobo deck, which aims to swamp the field with as many attackers as possible with ways to make their attacks unblockable.
Sometimes it is possible to play up to three attackers a turn at a minimal cost. While the deck wont win any major matches it is certainly a fun deck to try and may catch an opponent off guard. If you are struggling for inspiration or looking for a more competitive edge you can head to FF Decks where you can find user-created deck lists, in-depth strategies and tournament results from across the world.
An official competition organised by the games creators, Square Enix, is coming soon in the form of five Grand Open events spread around Europe. There is a UK event which is to be held at Dark Sphere game shop in London in early October. As ever, the prize support is plentiful and includes booster packs, promotional cards, play mats and most importantly the opportunity to qualify for the European Championship held in London later this year.
Beyond this the next milestone to look forward to is the Opus VII release date on 2nd November, which will feature cards from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring Of Fates and Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius.
Happy deck building.
By reader Thomas Pozzetti/Eyetunes (PSN ID)
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