Hello FFTCG folks! I'm Jorge Torres (alias Lurvox) and here I want to present you this deck I've been playing and testing against my friends in the FFTCG Chilean community for a while.
What is this? A Masochistic deck?
This deck is a Fire/Water archetype variation of Akstar (13-002L) decks with a high amount of EX-Burst cards. As you would expect, you want to maximize the value of your resources by getting as many EX-Bursts as possible from damage.
Unlike most other Fire/Water EX-Burst decks, you deliberately take damage with cards like Sabin (11-018H) or Dadaluma (11-011R) .
With high value EX-Bursts as Remora (12-108C) or Thordan VII (6-108R) , the deck rewards you with huge tempo swings and generates conditions that enables your "Damage-X" abilities like Sabin (11-018H) or play Sephiroth (11-130L) at Damage 4 (or your opponent's Damage 4), which is one of the biggest threats and win conditions of the deck.
So,if you like a "high-risk, high-reward" reckless style, while you crazily take more damage from your own effects rather than your opponent attacking, and feel the thrill and challenge of making comebacks from having 6 damage vs 1 damage of your opponent (and actually winning the game), this deck is for you.
All right! So, let's talk about the deck. You can also check the list of cards here in FFDecks
Overall, this version of the deck contains 29 EX-Bursts to trigger. We use only 12 backups since 5 of them can search for other backups, like Thordan VII (6-108R) or Leonora (3-143R) . Moreover, these cards increase the total EX-Burst count. The remaining backups either increase our EX-Burst count or provide a specific utility that we'll cover later.
For summons, we play a total of 14. Six of them are Fire summons, which include 3 copies of Amaterasu (12-002H) as in most Fire decks., 2 copies of Ifrit (12-005C) to deal unconditional 9k damage on EX-Burst and 1 copy of Bahamut (6-017C) as a tech card against Braska's Final Aeon (11-015L) or Neo Exdeath (12-110L) . It can also increase our damage count by 1 and it helps us to set our late game plan.
The remaining 8 summons are Water cards, which is a good amount to fuel Folka (10-120L) 's action abilities. I play 3 copies of Leviathan (10-125H) which is a key card in this deck that helps you set-up your EX-Bursts before taking damage, specially Remora (12-108C) since it's the summon that gives us the most value out of any summon if we hit it from an EX-Burst, therefore we play 3 copies of it. And finally, we play 2 copies of Leviathan (13-100R) , which is pretty good against other Fire decks.
Finally, our remaining 24 cards are forwards. Terra (10-132S) and Porom (9-115R) increase our total EX-Burst count and fetch summons from the Break Zone, specially Amaterasu (12-002H) and Leviathan (10-125H) .
Our main self-damage dealers of this deck are Sabin (11-018H) and Dadaluma (11-011R) which we use to get damage in our turn and trigger an EX-Burst which can generate some value, either by gaining card advantage or by killing the opponent's forwards. Here it is very important to combine Leviathan (10-125H) with the self-damage effect from Sabin (11-018H) or Dadaluma (11-011R) to trigger the EX-Burst we want in our turn.
Once we have set-up some damage, Akstar (13-002L) becomes an option and an enter-the-field threat that can trigger Remora (12-108C) , Ifrit (12-005C) or Thordan VII (6-108R)
At Damage 3, Akstar (13-002L) generates more value when entering the field, by searching a FFBE character such as Folka (10-120L) or Rain (13-017H) which can either provide control options for our board or more pressure against the opponent with Haste. In the worst scenario, the search ability can be used as CP color fix. At this damage, Dadaluma (11-011R) also becomes a threat with Brave and a good card to deal against Ice decks (and Lightning decks in some cases).
If we do not have the desired EX-Burst for Akstar, we can use Larsa (14-112L) to fetch a card from our Damage Zone and replace it with an actual EX-Burst. Larsa (14-112L) also becomes a threat since it boosts our forwards with +2k power when we have 3 EX-Bursts. It can even boost our board with +4k power in the unusual case with all 6 EX-Bursts.
At Damage 4, Sephiroth (11-130L) becomes our best option and the biggest threat the opponent will have to deal with. This is because Sephiroth (11-130L) can break anything that other cards in the deck cannot do on their own (including pesky monsters like Scale Toad (8-034R) , breaking the opponent's backups to disrupt their economy) and having the opponent deal with a 10k forward.
Finally, at Damage 5 the game rewards us even further by giving us more options and expanding our threats. Cloud (8-006L) can hit for 8k when he enters the field (or even 9k at Damage 6) plus being a 9k forward for the opponent to deal with.
Also, Sabin (11-018H) can kill an opponent's forward by himself every turn he attacks from now on, by hitting 7k (or 9k with his own ability or with Larsa (14-112L) ). The backups Hilda (15-116C) and Gabranth (14-009R) also have their Damage 5 effect/ability enabled. The former one allows us to revive either Sabin (11-018H) , Folka (10-120L) or even Larsa (14-112L) plus drawing a card. The second one makes one of our forwards unbreakable until the end of the turn, meaning we can use this ability during the opponent's turn, halt almost any attacks from the opponent and buy one extra turn to finish the game.
Finally, let's not forget about Octaslash Special ability Sephiroth (11-130L) , which becomes a real option when both players are at 5 damage as this deck can generate this desired state of the game. Pulling out Octaslash is pretty devastating for the opponent, as we only need to discard one Sephiroth (11-130L) and we remove 1 Forward and 1 Backup from the game (and possibly 1 monster). If we are lucky and evil enough, we can pull out two Octaslash Special abilities in the same match.
So far, we talked about the overall gameplan of the deck. Now, let's talk about the card choices of the deck in deep detail.
Porom (9-115R) : Porom is a cheap forward that can chump block attackers and fetch a summon from the Break Zone. Adds to the EX-Burst count of the deck. In some situations, can help boost the damage of Palom (13-013C) to 8k. Can be searched with Leonora (3-143R) if you already have Palom (13-013C) in your field or hand.
Dadaluma (11-011R) : Helps you set-up damage for EX-Bursts. A cheap 2CP forward with good 8k power. At Damage 3, it becomes a solid card against Ice decks since your opponent cannot dull it and can also help on defense due to Brave, so take care of it in those matches. Can also be played recklessly on turn 1 for a first EX-Burst. Having this card in hand at Damage 6 feels bad and you only discard it to generate 2CP. We play only 2 copies since the self-damage ability when entering the field is mandatory.
Larsa (14-112L) : This card helps making this deck insane, so we play all 3 copies. Any card put into the Damage Zone is not actually lost since you can fetch them back. We can recover cards like Amaterasu (12-002H) or even Sephiroth (11-130L) to play it on the field (or pull Octaslash). Can also help to color-fix the payment of cards (by fetching a card with the color you need) or recover Water Summons for Folka (10-120L) . Can also fetch itself if it triggers its EX-Burst through Damage or with Akstar (13-002L) . Does nothing at Damage 0 or when you do not have a desired EX-Burst in your hand to replace the fetched card. Sets-up high value EX-Bursts like Remora (12-108C) for Akstar (13-002L) . At 3 EX-Bursts, it becomes a primary removal target for your opponent due to the +2k boost for your board.
Folka (10-120L) : One of the search targets for Akstar (13-002L) . This card is pretty hard to kill due to her action ability making her untargetable. She also enables good control tools due to her multiple action abilities. Also allows you to attack safely with non-Brave forwards since you can activate them later during your opponent's turn. Can hard-counter core cards from Avalanche or Knight decks, like Barret (13-002L) or Garland (14-007L) since these forwards do not have enter-the-field auto-abilities, their cost is 4CP or less, and Folka (10-120L) bounces them back. Can be revived with Hilda (15-116C) at Damage 5. In matches where we have no backups developed, Folka (10-120L) becomes our best card due to her cheap cost removal.
Sabin (11-018H) : My favorite character from FFVI and one of our best forwards so we play all 3 copies. Sets-up damage for EX-Bursts, forces your opponent to play the Damage Race since no one wants to block a 9k forward with Brave and First-Strike. Can also be revived with Hilda (15-116C) and at Damage 5, Sabin (11-018H) will almost always guarantee to kill one of the opponent's forwards when he attacks. Best friend is Leviathan (10-125H) to maximize the value from EX-Bursts. Can be played as early as turn 2 by tapping one backup and discarding a card, so we can set-up our "Damage X" abilities before the opponent can properly set-up their board.
Terra (10-132S) : Can also fetch summons from the Break Zone and increases EX-Burst count of the deck. We rarely cast summons to break forwards with the extra 2k ping damage, with the exception of Amaterasu (12-002H) , which in combination can kill 10k forwards with auto-abilities. In the board, can also help to chump block.
Sephiroth (11-130L) : Really, really broken card in this deck since we get to Damage 4 before our opponent, most of the time. A 4CP forward with 10k power is hard to deal with, it escapes Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) removal range, becomes undesirable to be bounced back and forces your opponent to deal with him before your other threats. Besides breaking any forwards, it can also break any backups when he enters the field. This includes breaking the only second-color backup your opponent has on the field to disrupt their economy or backups that support your opponent's game plan like Snow (7-033R) , President Shinra (15-136S) or even Althea (12-038H) . Even if your opponent manages to kill Sephiroth (11-130L) , you can play another one. Does nothing at the beginning of the game and slowly bricks your hand as long as no player is at Damage 4. When the condition to pull Octaslash is met, it can make you win games if timed right. Can combine with Thordan VII (6-108R) to search for Octaslash.
Akstar (13-002L) : Another core card in this deck and the base of most Fire/Water EX-Burst variations. Best when used at Damage 3, can search for Folka (10-120L) or Rain (13-017H) . Its best friends are Remora (12-108C) , Ifrit (12-005C) and Thordan VII (6-108R) . Other EX-Bursts in the Damage Zone can also help with some shenanigans, in particular Blaze (12-016C) and searching Rain (13-017H) for double ping, Bahamut (6-017C) to set-up the 4th (or 5th) damage, or Leviathan (10-125H) to further set-up new EX-Bursts, or even put Folka (10-120L) or Rain (13-017H) back in your deck, then search for them when you know you ran out of FFBE targets. When you choose Remora (12-108C) to trigger, make sure it goes into stack first and then pile up the Damage 3 search ability, so Remora (12-108C) can benefit from the searching.
Cloud (8-006L) : Increases EX-Burst count of the game. Best used at Damage 5 or 6. In other situations, it can be ok to kill a smaller forward at earlier damage, although it can be expensive at this stage of the game. Can see play in the mid-game with 3 or 4 backups in the field. You should never overlook his second ability, do not be afraid to use it when the situation appears if you still have enough cards left in the deck and if you can kill another forward when he comes back to the field. This is a masochistic deck after all!
Rain (13-017H) : Another target for Akstar (13-002L) . In general situations, we'll have at least 2 fire backups on the field, so playing him at 4CP is ok. Best used in Damage 3 and when we have at least 4 backups in play, so he can ping an 8k forward twice (entering and attacking). The Haste helps to pressure the opponent and the 4k/5k ping on attack can force your opponent to trade forwards. In the early game and matches with no backups, he just gets discarded for two Fire CP.
Leviathan (13-100R) : Pretty interesting card. Gives you 1 card draw on EX-Burst, protects 1 forward from massive removals like Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) or even Shinryu (14-115L) for our 3CP forwards. Can also be used as a combat trick on attacking/blocking. But the most interesting effect is at Damage 5, which makes all our forwards untargetable besides the 5k damage reduction. Note that you can even choose your opponent's forwards when the EX-Burst effect triggers.
Leviathan (10-125H) : One of the core summons. Always played before taking damage from your opponent's attacks or from self-damage like Sabin (11-018H) , Dadaluma (11-011R) or Xande (13-006C) to set-up EX-Bursts on top of your deck. If you have no EX-Burst cards in hand after drawing 2 cards, you can still put one card at the bottom of the deck and gamble that the top card will be an EX-Burst. You can also put Sephiroth (11-130L) on the bottom of your deck if you overdraw it. At Damage 6, we cycle through the deck and put cards we do not need at the bottom of it.
Amaterasu (12-002H) : Auto-include card in every Fire deck, as the current state of the meta is right now. Cancels your opponent's strong plays like Cloud (15-139S) , Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) , Shantotto (1-107L) or Robel-Akbel (15-084L) . Even if your opponents knows you have this summon after fetching it from Terra (10-132S) or Porom (9-115R) , it makes your opponent to do awkward plays.
Bahamut (6-017C) : Single tech card to deal against 10k forwards like Braska's Final Aeon (11-015L) or Neo Exdeath (12-110L) . Can even deal with early game set-ups like Tenzen (12-012L) . The self-damage cannot trigger EX-Bursts, but still increases our overall damage count to set-up other plays. Feels bad when the 6th card put on the Damage Zone is this card.
Ifrit (12-005C) : Good EX-Burst value. Always hits for 9k and kills something big. Might consider playing all 3 copies instead of 2. At 3 backups or more, paying the 5CP cost is not bad as it sounds as there's a good amount of big primals in the current meta like Leviathan, Lord of the Whorl (14-102L) or Bismarck, Lord of the Mists (14-042L) . Also, this deck generates plenty of card advantage to pay for the cost of this summon.
Remora (12-108C) : Best EX-Burst card. Most of the time, it kills 1 forward and gives 1 card. No matter what, you want to get this card in the Damage Zone, either with Leviathan (10-125H) set-ups before taking damage or using Larsa (14-112L) . You'll always use Akstar (13-002L) to choose this card for his enter-the-field effect. Make sure to have enough cards in hand, so the summon can kill something. You can also trigger this card on your own forwards, as long as you do not overdecrease their power if the opponent has no defenses. In some cases, the 6CP cost can also be paid from hand if we overdraw. In other cases, it becomes fuel for Folka (10-120L) .
Vivi (3-018C) : Just one copy in the deck. An enabler backup for turn 1. Hits 5k to kill small forwards or combine damage with other Fire backups. Has EX-Burst icon on its top-right corner, which is nice.
Xande (13-006C) : Also one copy of this card is enough. The self-damage from this card is good. Has the potential to kill 2 forwards with the EX-Burst and the 7k damage. Make sure to not kill your own forwards with the 7k after taking damage as choosing a forward with the delayed auto-ability is mandatory. If we are at full 5 backups, we can pay the action ability cost to make space for another one.
Palom (13-013C) : Only 1 copy in the deck. We always search this card with Leonora (3-143R) and we play 3 copies of her. Can combine with Porom (9-115R) to hit something for 8k. Depending on your initial cards in hand, it's ok to immediately play this without generating value after Leonora (3-143R) so we have 2 backups at the start of turn 2.
Gabranth (14-009R) : Another single copy in the deck. A good utility card due to his Damage 5 action ability. Protecting 1 of your forwards from breaking on your opponent's turn buys you one turn of time and stops your opponent from attacking. Even if you do not use the action ability. it will make your opponent feel doubt considering its presence.
Leonora (3-143R) : A backup that searches another backup and has EX-Burst. We aim to have this card in our hand at the beginning of the game and mulligan to find it, so we play all 3 copies. Can search for Porom (9-115R) as well.
Merlwyb (2-137H) : A backup enabler, included for having EX-Burst. Good to draw 2 cards, but might feel bad discarding one. Can be replaced with a third Thordan VII (6-108R) .
Blaze (12-016C) : A very good backup with EX-Burst that hits 2 forwards for 5k and can break itself to deal 7k. Most of the time, you'll break only one forward if you have this card on your hand, so the card is situational. In other situations, it can totally wreck small forwards like Sky Pirate boards by hitting Penelo (15-115H) and Kytes (15-047R) on EX-Burst.
Hilda (15-116C) : Another good backup that is situational and has EX-Burst. At Damage 5, the card generates insane value since it can revive either Folka (10-120L) , Sabin (11-018H) or Larsa (14-112L) to threaten boards. At the beginning of the game, it's ok to play the backup as an enabler.
Thordan VII (6-108R) : One of the best EX-Burst cards of the deck. Might consider playing all 3 of them in future iterations of this deck. Searching any card on EX-Burst is super strong as it can search the right card for the right situation. You can aim for this card in the mulligan and not feel bad by overpaying. Playing this card turn 1 and searching for Leonora (3-143R) will guarantee to have 3 backups at turn 2. Can be a life-saver if it hits on EX-Burst on Damage 5 or 6. Can also search for Akstar (13-002L) since you already have Thordan VII (6-108R) in the Damage Zone. Can also search for Sephiroth (11-130L) and set-up for Octaslash Special Ability. Overall, a good card.
Other flexible choices
So, after a detailed explanation of the card choices, there are other cards that might have been considered for the deck, but for some reason they didn't or were replaced. Of course, this section is just my opinion and based on what I have learned with multiple games so far. Feel free to suit the deck to your liking or even experiment with other options. Something interesting can happen.
Palom (15-011L) / Porom (15-119L) : Doing free-cost abilities on every turn (including your opponent's) and growing power every turn can be very oppressive and can win you games alone. Unfortunately has name clash with the backup and the EX-Burst forward respectively. I prefer to prioritize backup searching for quick set-ups and keep the EX-Burst count high, since the deck aims to win in the late game.
Elle (13-088H) : A 3CP 9k forward on Damage 3 is pretty nice and a potential search target for Akstar (13-002L) . The card makes you self-mill faster due to drawing 2 cards and discarding 2, although it can generate value if you discard a FFBE card and it hits for damage. Might give it a try as 1 single copy since it can also be revived with Hilda (15-116C) and threatens to win the game if it attacks due to its unblockable effect.
Celes (11-118L) : Selects two effects on Damage 3 when attacking. Has the same role as Elle (13-088H) , without overdrawing, but with a temporary +2k boost in power. Only generates value when attacking and bouncing back your opponent's forwards and your own backups might not always be desirable, although it can generate insane loops by bouncing back Hilda (15-116C) at Damage 5 to replay her.
Citra (10-127H) / Macherie (14-116H) / Shinryu (14-115L) / Cosmos (1-183H) : Also known as the Light package variation. I've played this version before, increases EX-Burst count, fetches even more summons with Citra (10-127H) , gives more search targets for Akstar (13-002L) (specially Macherie (14-116H) since it hasn't been banned yet) and gives you tech tools against most decks. Ultima, the High Seraph (3-145L) even becomes an option since Macherie (14-116H) alone can reduce its cost from 7CP to just 1CP. However, it becomes easier to get a hand stuck full of Light cards that cannot be played on the field and the deck becomes too dependent of Cosmos (1-183H) .
Sara (13-093H) / Princess Sarah (11-128H) : A backup that searches for another package for early game set-up. The princess package is played in most Water deck. I've played this package many times in this deck and took it out after one of my friends learned to counter my deck by playing Amaterasu (12-002H) on Princess Sarah (11-128H) so she has permanent Light element on my field and bricking my Sephiroth (11-130L) cards in my hand forever xD.
Edgar (15-004C) : A situational backup. Since this deck plays mostly with FFVI forwards, this card is not bad, but I've never generated the situation where the card is worth playing. Besides, the delayed 7k damage on a single forward is not enough as most forwards that are played nowadays are 8k on average.
Sazh (7-008C) A backup with EX-Burst that always searches for Amaterasu (12-002H) and nothing else. There might be better choices.
Aemo (11-109R) : A very interesting card. Can completely mess up your opponent's plays by using their action abilities or auto-abilities against them. Trying 1 copy should be enough, but I would need to make the slot for it.
Fina (13-098R) : A backup that can be searched by Akstar (13-002L) and bounces back one of your opponent's forwards if you control a FFBE forward only at 2CP cost. In situations where you do not have a FFBE forward or even no targets at all, this backup does nothing. Probably you already removed them from board with other tools.
Oracle (7-124C) / Whale Zombie (8-127C) : Cards that can set-up the top deck card for an EX-Burst without spending Leviathan (10-125H) from your hand. The backup is good to combine with self-damage effect and the monster to receive damage from your opponent's attacks. I had to replace them for other choices and tools since Leviathan (10-125H) is already good enough.
Yuzuki (13-125R) : A tech card that gives protection to your Fire and Water forwards, but does not give protection to Light and Dark forwards like Sephiroth (11-130L) . Amaterasu (12-002H) is much better for protection since it cancels out the auto-ability completely.
Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) / Philia (13-129S) / Leviathan, Lord of the Whorl (14-102L) : These all fall in the "massive removal" category. They are a big CP investment and can be risky to fall into Amaterasu (12-002H) . The first might be worth a try since we can break Thordan VII (6-108R) for the extra card and the 9k range does not kill Sephiroth (11-130L) . The second does not always generate value from EX-Burst due to self-damage since you already wiped the board. The third one should only be used to close out games, but failing to do it leaves you with no hand to control the board.
Braska's Final Aeon (11-015L) : A 7CP 10k forward that forces your opponent an immediate answer. Very expensive, does not do anything when it enters the field and your opponent can play cheap removal to get rid of it, like Alexander (8-046R) or Bahamut (6-017C) .
Brynhildr (15-014H) : Has the same role as Remora (12-108C) by being a cheaper card, kills one forward and draws one card. Unlike Remora (12-108C) , the damage range is limited to 5k, while Remora (12-108C) depends on your hand size. Also Brynhildr (15-014H) is conditional in the sense that the damaged forward must be put into the Break Zone to draw a card, while Remora (12-108C) always makes you draw a card, even if it does not reduce the forward's power completely to zero.
Bahamut (13-012R) : A 5CP summon that hits for 8k and removes from the game and at Damage 5 its cost becomes 2CP only, which can be good in tight situations. However, I favor Ifrit (12-005C) since hitting for 9k kills almost any forward in the game.
Leviathan (14-113R) : Can fetch one of your Water forwards from the Break Zone, but bouncing back your opponent's forwards is not always the best idea. Putting your opponent's Light or Dark Forward in their top deck and forcing them to put their card into their Damage Zone is the best play, but highly situational. You can even choose your own Sephiroth (11-130L) to put it back on top of your deck at the end of your opponent's turn and play it again, but there are better and cheaper options to bounce back your own forwards.
Belias, the Gigas (2-019R) / Belias (9-017C) : Best combat trick of the game ever. Gives you 1 card, gives one forward +1k power and First Strike. The 2CP version always gives Haste while the 1CP version only does it at Damage 4, which we can benefit from. Can do crazy shenanigans by giving Haste to Sabin (11-018H) or Dadaluma (11-011R) on their self-damage effects and can threaten to finish games if we recover the summon with Terra (10-132S) or Porom (9-115R) . I'm currently lacking space in deck, so we can prioritize more Water Summons. Two slots are ideal, but making just one slot for the 1CP version should be enough,
Here are the 3 matches that I went so far during our third Pre-National tournament in Chile:
Round 1: vs Fire/Wind FFTA
My first match was against one of my friends with whom I lost in our last match of the Thursday Night Fantasy tournament of the same week. It plays the Marche (11-017H) / Ritz (11-063L) combo as win conditions, plus the Althea (12-038H) / Typhon (14-049H) loop combo every turn, which is pretty hard to deal with and hurts EX-Bursts badly.
From our past game, I learnt this match to approach carefully by developing backups, since Fire/Wind decks have lots of ping damage through backups and summons, including Brynhildr (15-014H) . My only forward on the first turns was a Cloud (8-006L) , which I used to kill a small Illua (14-003R) after she hit for the first damage with no EX-Burst. Then, my opponent killed my Cloud (8-006L) with Garchimacera (15-049C) after reducing the CP cost with a crystal token.
Then, he plays Kadaj (11-140S) , which is a complicated card to deal with since it dissapear on my turns, and removes two of my summons. Then, after I draw two cards of my turn, ready to pass and receive damage, Kadaj (11-140S) attacks and triggers Ifrit (12-005C) on EX-Burst, which is just enough to kill it. After that, I play Sabin (11-018H) and start hitting myself to reach Damage 4 for Sephiroth (11-130L) . When I reach Damage 4, I play Akstar (13-002L) to kill one of my opponent's forwards for 9k, then I play Sephiroth (11-130L) to kill his only Black Mage (8-007C) in the field, leaving him with no Fire backups in play. I won the match at 7-4, but the Ifrit (12-005C) killing Kadaj (11-140S) at Damage 2 decided the outcome. The Althea (12-038H) / Typhon (14-049H) loop combo did not appear in this match.
Round 2: vs Mono Lightning (featuring Eald'narche (5-147L) )
My second match was against one of my friend's wacky and weird decks, which we were testing the previous night in OCTGN. That deck has cheap removal cards and cheap forwards, so it can slowly win the value game in the long run and finish it with the extra turn from Eald'narche (5-147L) 's Paradise Special Ability.
If I remember correctly, his first turn was playing a free Roche (14-095H) , which immediately attacks and triggers Leonora (3-143R) on EX-Burst, which I use to search for Palom (13-013C) whose 4k damage is just in range to break Roche (14-095H) .
My opponent knew my deck very well and he was aiming to stall enough so that I deck out. This means he never attacked on his turns to avoid triggering EX-Bursts, so this gave me the opportunity to pressure him with my own forwards, in particular Folka (10-120L) and Porom (9-115R) . Then, after dealing the third damage to my opponent, he plays Ravana, Savior of the Gnath (14-087L) to stall me as much as possible with the reduced 5k damage ability. A couple of turns have passed since I wasn't able to draw Sabin (11-018H) and set-up some self-damage, so I needed to accumulate cards in hand. Amaterasu (12-002H) could not help to kill due to the massive damage reduction.
When I had 6 cards in hand ( Sephiroth (11-130L) included) and two backups on the field, I figured out I had a Remora (12-108C) in my Break Zone, so I deliberately attack with Porom (9-115R) hoping that if my opponent blocks her, I fetch Remora (12-108C) to reduce his Ravana, Savior of the Gnath (14-087L) to 0 power, or allow the damage to pass and enable Sephiroth (11-130L) , which the latter happened. My opponent could not recover and I won the match at 7-1.
Round 3: vs Samurai
My last round was against the well-known Samurai deck, which has been top-tier in most tournaments across many FFTCG communities and it has been updated with the new Cyan (15-006H) .
I start the game and my first play was Xande (13-006C) without self-damage or value. Then, my opponent plays Terra (10-132S) without backups or turn 1 Tenzen (12-012L) . Since I neither had more backups in my hand, my plan changed to pressure the board with Folka (10-120L) in my turn 2 and keep a good amount of cards to protect her. Next turn, my opponent attacks with Terra (10-132S) and triggers Blaze (12-016C) in EX-Burst, which kills her. Then, my opponent plays a backup on his Main Phase 2. On my next turn, I hit damage with Folka (10-120L) and Cyan (11-003R) triggers in the Damage Zone, then my opponent searches a Tenzen (12-012L) . So, I end up finishing my turn by playing Dadaluma (11-011R) and taking 1 point of damage with no EX-Burst.
My opponent starts his turn 3 with 8 cards in hand, spends 4 of them to play Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) , removing his only backup and trying to wipe my board. Looking at my hand, I had no Amaterasu (12-002H) to stop it, but I had Leviathan (13-100R) to protect Folka (10-120L) from damage. Then I get a godly top deck in Amaterasu (12-002H) with the extra card draw, so I kill Susano, Lord of the Revel (14-011H) while leaving my forwards alive. So my opponent used his remaining hand to play Tenzen (12-012L) and get a Samurai backup at the end of the turn.
So on my next turn, I had to get rid of Tenzen (12-012L) quickly, and since I wanted to push as much damage as possible, I attacked with Dadaluma (11-011R) , which was blocked and Folka (10-120L) , which was also blocked to trade Tenzen (12-012L) . My opponent got back 1 samurai from the break zone and I pass, since I needed to recover my hand from the Amaterasu (12-002H) play.
So, the next turn, my opponent plays Cyan (11-003R) and a backup. I play Sabin (11-018H) and hit myself to reach 3 points of damage. My opponent attacks with Cyan (11-003R) and I allow the damage to go and plays Mootie (11-012C) to search for a fire summon. Then, on my next turn, I hit myself for another damage to stay at Damage 5, so Sabin (11-018H) kills his Cyan (11-003R) and the deck starts to turn around the damage race. Then, Sephiroth (11-130L) appears to break the samurai backup.
So the rest of the game consists of attacking carefully and leaving Sephiroth (11-130L) active to block potential forwards with Haste. I also managed to set-up Gabranth (14-009R) and we reached the 5-5 damage state of the game. My opponent spends 7CP to play Cyan (15-006H) to hit Sabin (11-018H) for 9k and removing Sephiroth (11-130L) from the game. In response, I cast Amaterasu (12-002H) to keep Sephiroth (11-130L) alive while letting Sabin (11-018H) take the 9k damage and before the stack resolves so my opponent gets priority back to play a potential 3CP samurai with his remaining active backup, I pull Octaslash on his Cyan (15-006H) and his active backup. So my opponent has no choice, but to play Macherie (14-116H) . On my turn, with my opponent having no cards in his hand and only 1 backup remaining, I pull the second Octaslash on his Macherie (14-116H) and leaving him with no board. My opponent bounced Sephiroth (11-130L) back into my hand, but it will come back to kill whatever my opponent plays on his turn, so I won the game with 7-5 and qualified for Chilean nationals.
General tips and guides
Here are some tips that should be useful if you want to play with this deck:
- For mulligan, you want to find either Thordan VII (6-108R) , Leonora (3-143R) . One of them should be enough since you can search for your other backups. Do not be afraid of overpaying at turn 1. Finding two playable backups is also a good mulligan
- If you get only one backup, play it anyways at turn 1 and focus on the "no-backups" style of play. Prioritize Folka (10-120L) in this game. Also, take advantage of net 2-CP cards like Dadaluma (11-011R) , Terra (10-132S) and Porom (9-115R) .
- Make sure to have Remora (12-108C) in your Damage Zone, by taking damage after setting up with Leviathan (10-125H) or switching cards with Larsa (14-112L) . This is the best EX-Burst for Akstar (13-002L) . At Damage 3, make sure to search your FFBE character before resolving the Remora (12-108C) to take advantage of the extra card that was previously searched in your hand.
- Larsa (14-112L) is useful to color-fix your hand. Do not be afraid to put Sephiroth (11-130L) in the Damage Zone as you can fetch it again with another Larsa (14-112L) . Also remember in your calculations that Larsa (14-112L) does not increase the number of cards in your hand, to avoid any misplays.
- Similarly, if you draw multiple copies of Sephiroth (11-130L) at the early game, you can also use Leviathan (10-125H) to color-fix your hand and put one dark card at the bottom of your deck.
- Always play patiently with this deck, you'll be playing most matches at 5 or 6 damage before starting your comeback, so any mistakes can cost you the game. Do not rush to damage your opponent to enable Octaslash Special Ability if you will not have any blockers on their turn.
- When Sephiroth (11-130L) enters your field, prioritize any forwards that cannot be easily removed with your other tools. If your opponent has no forwards, prioritize breaking backups that provide their second color or with harmful abilities that can be used later against you.
- If conditions to pull Octaslash are met, the best timing to pull it is during your opponent's Attack Phase so you can remove their attacker and any backup that can be tapped for CP on their Main Phase 2.
- Sabin (11-018H) gives you the ability to control the pace of the match. There are situations where you can receive a point of damage to gamble for an EX-Burst and there are others where it is better to just attack without the point of damage, even if you still have very few points of damage.
- If you use the Leviathan (10-125H) / Remora (12-108C) combo, it is important that you count how many cards you'll get in your hand when Remora (12-108C) resolves to guarantee that you will reduce a forward to zero power.
- One of the deck's weaknesses is that you can deck-out faster that other decks due to the insane card draw and search. If your opponent is playing passively, without setting up some forwards, then take the proactive game plan and start setting your own forwards. Be careful not to overcommit to avoid massive removals from your opponent.
- The deck is also luck-dependent since you need to hit a good EX-Burst in your first 3 points of damage. Removing one of your opponent's forwards in the early game with an EX-Burst can make all difference. Remember that your opponent cannot answer EX-Bursts effects if they are triggered by damage.
- Folka (10-120L) gives you so much control on the board and so many options. In the late game it can be one of your best cards since you can safely attack with your other forwards and then activate them during your opponent's Attack Phase. Terra (10-132S) and Porom (9-115R) always help to keep at least one Water summon in your hand.
And that's about the deck. It is very fun playing with it, I love the high-risk high-reward challenge that the deck provides and it has also been a strong option against popular decks in the meta-game.
I would like to thank my close friends from the FFTCG community in Chile, with whom we play every week in the Thursday Night Fantasy tournaments. I would also like to thank the folks from Piedra Bruja game store for letting us play the game and organizing events even in these pandemic times. I also want to thank the FFdecks community for providing a really useful and cool application for FFTCG decks. And finally, I want to thank you, the reader, for making this far. I hope you have fun with the deck and I hope to write more exciting articles in the future!