Hey all, Jared Wallace (better known as eureka) here with my first-ever JP community spoiler, a Summon support card in a rather unexpected element, [13-008R] Vermillion Bird l’Cie Caetuna! Without further ado, let’s take a look!
I’ll go over the abilities in order, starting with Caetuna’s come-into-play auto ability which allows us to search up to 2 Summons. Being a 7 cost, this puts her ‘true’ cost at 3 CP, which is a little bit heavier than most other tutors (whose converted costs end up being 1-2 CP most of the time). Fire currently has two other primary Backups with which to search Summons in [11-012C] Mootie and [7-008C] Sazh, but as these are both limited to Fire Summons, Caetuna marks the first time Fire is able to reliable outside of its own element without relying on cards from another element such as [3-0096R] Rydia. This may not seem like a big deal, but it allows us better access to important cards in some popular Fire element pairings, including [5-062L] Diabolos and [8-046R] Alexander in Wind, [3-123R] Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud and [12-097H] Syldra in Water, and [10-068H] Cu Sith and [9-068H] Mist Dragon in Earth, which is a nice option to have while deckbuilding.
Caetuna’s second ability is an action ability, which uses your Summons in Break Zone as a resource by dulling her and removing them all to deal damage to a Forward. Many games with enough Summons to consistently make use of this effect are known for constantly recycling their Summons, but this ability provides an alternative way to get value of out of used Summons, as well as a strong way to remove Summons that might be used against you (say by an opposing [12-061L] Krile) from the game.
Caetuna is obviously going to be strong with most other Summon synergy cards, but these are some of the cards that I am most exciting to try with this card.
Terra has a very potent EX Burst ability, but requires that you always have a Summon in your Break Zone, meaning it can be beneficial to search out and dump a toolbox of Summons such that you have the ideal retrieval target for the situation ready at any given point in time. However, Caetuna’s action ability has negative synergy with Break Zone summon retrieval; you have to be very careful with when you use it to ensure that you don’t whiff any effects. Of course, you can use other Summon retrieval Forwards like [10-127H] Citra and [12-061L] Krile similarly.
Like Terra, Bahamut benefits from dumping Fire Summons quick and early. Caetuna alone will give you access to 2 of the 3 Fire Summons required to pump Bahamut to 9000, and get you a little closer to the 5000 damage wide on-attack ability. Of course, it’s not just about putting them in the Break Zone; were you so inclined Caetuna gives you immediate access to 2 Bahamut Summons which you can turn around and feed to Impulse, dealing 8000 wide immediately. If we get a new card name Bahamut in the next set or two this combo will even be legal for L3!
While the payoffs are very different, the new Doga is a non-Fire example of how getting early Summons can be beneficial. The Summons you search can be turned around and immediately fed to Doga for his ability, giving you Caetuna action ability fuel and potentially ramping up Doga’s power and ability to the very powerful 9 Summon in Break threshold. If we were so lucky such that Doga and other Opus XIII cards actually pull Summoners together, it will be very nice to have a potential (albeit color-splashy) method of searching for Summons besides [3-0096R] Rydia, given [9-077L] Rydia’s high priority in the deck.
Archetypes for Caetuna
In terms of cost, effect, and CP effectiveness, Caetuna’s ideal play timing is most comparable to Tyro, wanting to come out off 3 Backups in the early-to-midgame. I believe she’ll be played most often as a 1 of, but if you are totally sure you can make use of the action ability and believe it to be that important you might be able to get away with 2. Here are some of the archetypes I might expect to see Caetuna make an appearance in at one point or another.
The only FFTA deck that can search Summons outside of Fire is Fire/Earth (historically the best choice) and I think that’s not completely a coincidence. The popular 1-of Rydia is very helpful at getting you access to your non-Fire Summon choices, in Earth’s case particularly Cu Sith. Having better access to your strong non-fire Summons in other Elements with Caetuna will be a noticeable improvement for other FFTA archetypes, and it won’t hurt to grab a [12-002H] Amaterasu while you’re at it.
I touched on this a bit with Doga, but Summoners has a few different ways it could benefit from this card. Summoners is rather unique in that there are actually only a few Summons it cares about recycling (we don’t tend to add back and manually cast huge Summons unless we’re winning really hard), namely [10-068H] Cu Sith, which can be returned to our Hand with retrieval effects or returned to the deck with [11-123R] Yunalesca. As a result, it’s actually feasible to feed our Break Zone summons to Caetuna’s action ability for a decent shot a couple of times a game. Obviously, we also get access to our important Summons and thin our deck for [9-077L] Rydia hits when we get this out early, and I can definitely see it making the cut given how much Fire is in the deck as is.
Possibly the simplest answer, it’s very easy to see us possibly slotting this in some version of Mono Fire that values card selection and getting to key Summons very quickly. It would be particularly true important Light/Dark Summons were to come out sometime in the future. It’s an obvious staple for some well-loved Mono archetypes such as the [12-014R] Bahamut decks and [9-002H] Ifrita decks.
So, what do you think? I’m sure there are a lot of synergistic cards and decks that could benefit from this that I couldn’t cover in this article, so let me know what you think and how you want to use this card next set in the comments or on social media. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!