First Impression – Chronodragon Gearnext

Right in the middle of my gbt-11 articles a big spoiler from gbt-12 has come out and it’s a card I certainly feel is worth talking about and that card is none other than Gearnext –

G-BT12-009-RRR_(Sample).png

[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn]Generation Break 2:[Soul Blast (1) & Choose a face down card from your G zone with the same card name as this unit, and turn it face up] This unit gets “[AUTO](VC)[1/Turn]:At the end of the battle that this unit attacked, if you have a <Gear Dragon> heart card, reveal up to three <Zodiac Time Beast> from your hand or (RC) in total, and put them on the bottom of your deck in any order. If you put three cards, [Stand] this unit, and it gets drive-2.”
[CONT](VC) Generation Break 4:During this unit’s second battle, it gets [Power]+10000/Drive+1.

 

Well it goes without saying that it has quite a powerful skill with a lot going on and I’m amazed that gear chronicle would get a card that challenged Nextage for its slot.
So lets look at the pros and cons and compare this card to both Nextage and Gear Groovy.

 

 

As usual I will be covering this in the context of a timeleap build. Unfortunately I’m not well versed in ZTB although there are some interesting interactions Gearnext has in that deck.

Costs

Nextage costs an ever precious CB while Gearnext only asks for a soul. Time leap is a very counter blast intensive deck and the decks only real counter charge is Arlim (and Coatl come gbt11) which means you often end up low on CB with only just enough for the turn. So having a soul cost opens up a lot of potential options. That said soul has 2 very important units that consume soul that being Lishma and Heteroround however if you have Next in the G-zone you’re probably going to be more cognizant of how much soul you’re using. So in terms of the basic cost I think Gearnext certianly has the advantage, soul is a relatively easy resource to come by with gears (thanks to Melem being able to tutour out 0s suchs as hearthump and tick tock) whereas CB is incredibly valuable to the deck.
There is however a somewhat important caveat to gear nexts soul cost, the “discard” cost of Gearnext. While Nextage has a very clear and simple discard 3 Gearnext is a little more interesting.
Gearnext asks for 3 ZTBs, this is however helped by the fact that they may also be from field and they don’t even go to the drop zone, instead returning to the bottom of the deck. This is probably Gearnext’s biggest con for time leap builds. So what ratio of ZTBs are you running in time leap?
Well after gbt-11 the build is looking to contain-

  • 9-10 time beast triggers
  • 4 Revolver dracokid
  • 0-4 Arka
  • 0-3 Chronospin serpents
  • 5-7 G3s

which gives us a total of around 18-28 ZTBs which is a fairly significant gap between builds so I’m going to operate with the basis of what is best for the build itself over what best facilitates Gearnext. Which personally I see as –

  • 9 triggers
  • 4 revolver
  • Arlim over Arka
  • Unsure currently but we’ll assume 3 Serpents
  • 6 grade 3s

Which gives us a grand total of 22 now come Gearnext we can’t exactly expect none of them to be in damage, drop or bind zone. So come second stride at the earliest chance are we’ve burned through a few, tickaway can help to allieviate that though but nonetheless its very important to note the risk. That said because of the ability to pay from field timeleap can help circumvent it but then again you’re using your timeleaps Inefficiently to facilitate Gearnext (although not always). I wouldn’t say this is inconsistent but I can certainly see it causing issue unless set-12 offers more ZTBs that fit into the time leap deck.

The Restand

So this is interesting, Nextage’s restand is somewhat unique in that you aren’t totally restanding instead switching to your grade 3 for the second attack. While this grants you a new skill for the second swing it means you can’t stack trigger effects onto your vanguard for a more potent swing and time leap often won’t have anything to effectively stack the triggers onto if you’re going for a delayed blazer play.

G-TD09-015EN.png

 

Gearnext is a good old fashined restand meaning you can stack criticals power onto it  for a higher pressure second swing. On top of the ZTB cost the catch on this is the loss of drive checks, however Gearnext easily circumvents that so long as you’re at GB4 (which is essentially any 2nd stride for gears) which not only restores one of your lost drive checks (Equaling Jets twin drive after Nextage) but giving 10k extra power. This makes it easily a far more potent restand second stride that Nextage which will usually be 21-26k on a Jet G. Jet G also has an associated field buff but this is rarely relevant for time leap. However after second stride the raw power of Jet Gs swing may be more desired but even then that would need 10 face up G-units to equal a Gearnext with no triggers (but the 5k to ZTBs is more relevant this time). Another relevant thing to note is that Gearnext means you are a grade 4 for both of your attacks which means you have more control over when you delayed blazer off of Lishma.

 

So with all that considered its pretty clear that Gearnext is the better restand offering much more efficient trigger use and easier power gain. However Nextage has one thing for sure over Gearnext.

Groovy

Well apart from having the best art of the trio what does Groovy have to offer to push Nextage over Gearnext?

 

If you read my previous article on Groovy which was made on release I said at the time Groovy was not viable as the best combo was too CB intensive and the card boiled down to being “win more”. Well one card has come out of gbt11 that changes things somewhat, that card being Pulsar Replenish Coatl which offers counter charge when you have no available CB which almost guarantees you will be able to use both of Groovys aquired skills. That said the extra skill offered by Haung is still win more and although I wouldn’t say its rare, it also isn’t often that Haung’s skill is relevant or more potent than a high power restand.
Unless another auto gear dragon comes out later that offers a more effective and powerful combo I don’t think it’s going to be Groovy keeping Nextage in the G-zone.

Gearing up

Well Gear Chronicle continues to introduce interesting and powerful cards that are hard to assess and Gearnext is certainly the most interesting for me so far. This probably won’t be the last time I look at this card and I’m interested to see the direction that time leap takes following the release of set-12. That said we still have a fair few gear reveals to go and Gearnext shows more than ever that anything can happen.

So that’s it for now, sorry for the slow content but I am working on both a Blademaster deck profile and updated Time leap deck profile following the English release of Demonic Advent. You can also expect an article with my thoughts on domination before content probably slows down again after that. As for now though…

 

Thanks for reading

 

 

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Altered Dragon – Altering the G-zone

alt

Here’s a card I didn’t expect to consider a staple. In fact when I made my time leap deck profile I didn’t even mention this card. However since I got my hands on this card and messed around with it, it’s easily something I would call a definite inclusion in the deck.

For the sake of this article I will only be covering this cards uses in time leap, there are obviously some similarities between builds but I won’t be mentioning uses specific to builds like Fang.

First Stride

At this point it is not a controversial statement to say the game is often decided by first stride. All the best decks have amazing first stride options and often games between tier 1 decks are decided by who strides first. In some cases this is due to the power of the strides themselves but in the case of Gear chronicle it’s more down to the unlocking of generation break restrictions.

 

 

Essentially so long as the infamous combo is unlocked you can mount your offensive and gain advantage. I know this isn’t exactly new information, first striding warp drive was already a similar situation merely setting up the board rather than doing anything itself. So why am I bringing this up in an article about Altered? Well quite simply sometimes you just don’t have the cards to stride. Maybe you had to ride your fodder or will have to dump a Melem and History to stride. Both of these situations suck and are enough to lose you the game especially against similarly powerful decks. Altered helps get around this issue, including Altered in your deck turns every zodiac time beast in the deck into a psuedo stride fodder, this tends to be your triggers and 10k vanillas. Even beyond first stride this card can help you keep up tempo in the later game just in case you were unable to get a card to stride with in hand.

Mulligan

If I’m playing time leap and know the deck I’m about to fight against is a fast one, I don’t know about you but I want my Lishmas in hand as soon as possible.G-TD09-011EN

Being able to get extra attacks early while removing troublesome units. Having Altered as a safety net lets you mulligan more aggresively to get that early game push while also dropping G3s for Lishmas discard cost.

Setting up

Another use of Altered takes advantage of its second skill. 00

By using its selective bind you can set up for a Haung/Groovy turn by putting something important into the bind zone for later, while also slightly increasing your chance to hit a trigger. While it’s a limited use, small advantages can add up and netting another guard stage, a PG or even extra attack on your Groovy turn can make a difference. You could even use it to mitigate Nextages discard cost.

Altered opinions

This card is something you really need to see to believe, I know it certainly was for me. Thanks in part to them having it for longer this has been in most Japanese time leap builds since its release, I mostly overlooked it but the utility of the card is far too much to pass up. I highly reccomend giving this card a shot and myself consider it a staple of the deck.

thanks for reading

 

FC2017 – Gear Chronicle

Now to cap off the FC2017 reveals lets look at what Gears got.

Icon_GearChronicle.png

Gear chronicle the scourge of the meta-game, once again going into this set the new guards and stride hell even the heal trigger had a lot to live up to. Gear Chronicle already has an incredible suite of powerful finisher strides and defensive and utility G-guards so earning a spot in the G-zone is not an easy feat. So let’s see if any of the new units have earned a spot in the G-zone.

For this article I’m going to be looking purely at the effect these cards will have on time leap Chronojet builds. I understand that these cards have different implications in other gear chronicle builds but as time leap is the most relevant and also the one I have the most experience with I’m going to focus on that.

Heal and G-guard

Well once again Uluru makes a return this time as both a heal and a guard so how do these cards fit into the deck. Well first off the heal trigger actually has some competetion in the form of Chronotherapy Hamster not only is this little guy adorable he also has the benefit of being a Zodiac time beast, which is relevant for Jet G/Nexstage push turns and can be pitched to Altered Dragon in case you don’t have a way to stride normally. Now obviously as a heal trigger you mostly want to use it to G-guard but the racial implications of Hamster are worth mentioning, especially as despite being fringe situations they are somewhat important. So what does Uluru offer in exchange? When used to guard with New-luru she allows you to return a normal unit to the bottom of the deck. While not the most beneficial skill that gears could have gotten (countercharge would have been incredible) this defintely sweetens the deal. The old Uluru guard offered similar utility returning a trigger unit on top of the normal unit. On the whole the normal unit being returned is more often that not the more important part, but returning an Ur-watar that has found itself in the drop zone to the deck can be game changing so its still nothing to sneeze at. Old Uluru aside the new heal allows you to return important leap targets to the deck giving the new guard half the utility of the old one. To put it simple if you decide to run the new Uluru guard run this heal. And that of course leads us onto the guard iteself.

While this is certainly an impressive skill, with the potential to effectively be a perfect guard late game, space is tight. When guarding with New-luru by paying CB1 and flipping a guard it gains 5k shield for every face up G-unit. So undoubtedly this will be a large defense, but that wasn’t really a sore area for gears anyway. Because of the advantage gained thanks to Ur-watar gear chronicle will almost always have enough shield to block the larger attacks that most opponents can offer. This is even further magnified by the CatRound combo that allows you a 21k base on the opponents turn. Still using one card to guard a large attack vs using more is obviously better but now we come to the biggest hurdle for New-luru – that CB1 cost. Gears is a deck that can often go into turns with 1-2 CB relying on taking damage and Arlim to gain CB, this means that going 1 down can be the difference between attacking and drawing more cards.

So overall the new guard has potential offering similar utility to old Uluru and a near inpenetrable defense but is hamstrung by its semi-redundancy and cost. Regardless it can definitely slot into the G-zone if you find yourself in need of more raw guard power.

Generation Break 8

G-FC04-018-GR_(Sample).png

Beyond Order Dragon with a name like that this card better deliver and I’m really not sure if it does or does not.

This card is so hard to assess its ability is seems very obviously powerful but has so many conditions attached to it that I’m not quite sure how to aproach it. For 1SB, 1CB and 8 cards from the top of your deck, Beyond Order will restand and create and extra main and battle phase. Even looking at just the restand skill this card has some very obvious raw power having no disard cost and losing only 1 drive check and the implications of extra phases is certainly interesting. However just like Uluru we come back to the cost, CB1,SB1 is easily managed essentially you’re just substituting what you would pay for Nextage, but then we come to the bind 8 cards from the top of the deck. So theoretically this is a nebulous cost, you aren’t really losing any resources – these are not cards in your hand or cards from your field. Of course this is vanguard, deckout is a very real issue in a lot of games especially later on such as a GB8 turn. On top of this time leap is a deck already drawing a lot of cards and having important timeleap targets in the deck is essential to most attack patterns.

Gears obviously has ways to deal with this steep cost while retaining important targets but even then this card has such a huge dependance on the cards in your hand that it is a hard sell. So what value can we gain from going into Beyond Order over Nextage.
So lets imagine that going into my turn I have 2CB open (which is fairly common) and I have optimal set-up for each respective turn.

– Nexstage allows for 7 attacks
– Beyond Order allows for 10

So essentially whatever you call over the rested attackers from the first battle phase this is also best case scenario and isn’t likely to happen but it’s a good baseline for comparison.
Also worth noting is that the second attack from the Nexstage turn will be much higher power while the Beyond’s second swing could have criticals from drive checks.

This card is impressively complex to evaluate, it has so many moving parts and “ifs” that really it seems like it comes down to being about the games that go that long. I don’t think you should be passing up a Nexstage turn to use this card and from there you need enough cards in deck to use this card so it honestly feels like this card has such limited and situational use that is doesn’t earn its space.

However with that said those 2 extra attacks could very well decide some games. I will almost certainly release a follow up article when I can get my hands on this guy and get some proper testing done but for now I do not believe Beyond Order is an overly relevant stride to the deck.

Order up

At the very least this is an interesting set for gears and I look forward to getting my hands on these cards and trying them out for myself.

As for now more regular articles should start appearing on the site including a few I’m very excited to share with everyone, as for now-

 

Grazie per aver letto

 

Gear Chronicle, Time Leap – Deck Profile

Probably fitting considering how much time has passed since my last article.

chron-gg

Last time I covered an old favourite of mine, this time I’m going to cover a new favourite.

Gear chronicle is one of the most powerful decks in the game right now. A ludicrous number of attacks, insane advantage engine and powerful strides make this deck one of the most feared in the current meta-game. The number of resigned sighs I’ve heard after flipping over the Chrono Dran is more than enough evidence of this decks infamy.
So lets not waste anymore time and leap right into it.

 

The List

As before I’ll cover triggers and tech slots later.

Grade 0 – 18

Grade 1 – 13/15

Grade 2 – 10/12

Woah would you look at that strange bold text. I’ll explain in a minute so just hold on for a minute.

Grade 3 – 7/8

G-Zone ver 1

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Viva la bottom of the deck

 
Strides

Guards

This version of the G-zone is what I prefer the access to revolution is incredibly useful against decks that overcommit to the board or don’t have a good way of rebuilding the board. It’s rare but when you get to use it you will be glad you have it. This version is also a lot more open and you can tinker with it yourself to see what works.

G-Zone ver 2 (Let’s get Groovy) 

groovy

Groovy Baybee


Strides

Guards

I’m not nescesarrily fond of this version but some people are very fond of Groovy and this version does top once in a while so I thought it was definitely worth mentioning.

So as you can see it’s a very loose list but in an oddly restrictive way. Once you start finding your prefered techs and playstyle the list will become a lot more restrictive. I like to make my lists a little more comprehensive than “this is what I use” so that more people can learn about the decks shell and apply it in their own way. Now I won’t lie some of the openess of this deck is from lack of playtesting a lot of option I have heard are viable, but no I’m not hurrying out this list I genuinely think I’ve found a good quality shell worth sharing.

Hey also check out this article on a card that after the publishing of this article that I now consider a staple.

Triggers

Okay so as always triggers are incredibly subjective based on playstyles and local meta-games but Gears has a few locked in cards.

Heart thump is your strider crit and is useful in a variety of situations, such as the Nextage turn or even just getting soul for Heteroround.

Ur-Watar is restricted for a reason, in combination with Melem this card creates the advantage engine that builds defense for the deck with the added bonus of letting you return triggers or important units to the deck.

Vainglory is for chaining with Heteroround, when you use Hetero’s skill you can trigger Vainglory’s skill and gain +10k until the end of the turn helping you to block further attacks or even move out of range of them. Especially handy in the Sanc matchup and in some cases the mirror.

Apart from that its a pretty open lineup currently I’m running

  • 4 Heal
  • 6 Crit
  • 3 Draw
  • 3 Stand

Another thing worth mentioning is that Zodiac time beast triggers can be used to benefit from Jet G’s first skill.

 

Grade 1

So first off although I said that you could cut Steam breath and Melem from 4 to 3 I would not reccomend it. Consistency is always key and these cards are very important to the deck, Melem for obvious reasons and Steam breath is important for first stride or choosing a more effective Jet. Still if you feel like you want the extra slots then 3 is still pretty good.

Arlim is essential this deck will chew through CB very quickly and many turns will only need 1 or 2 CB but Arlims charge is crucial in far too many games to pass up – no matter how tempting the alternatives.

As for techs I have a few personal recomendations and 1 card I would like to recommend against.

Recommend – Lishma

Lishma was a card I innitialy underated, it looked interesting but I didn’t exactly see any amazing use for it. The card that really makes this unit shine is Delayed Blazer, by leaping Lishma into Blazer you can squeeze out another 2 attacks after your vanguard swing. If need be you can even use the skill for your first Nextage swing and put triggers to the 2 new units.

The draw skill is a little expensive just because its a CB and Gears needs its CB although I do use it quite a lot so it must be doing something right.

 

Recommend – Tick-away

Tick-away is a card that I almost feel should be a locked in slot. One of the issues you will run into is that often you will find your important leap targets in the bin. Tick-away helps a lot with this and in some of the more complex combos can even allow you to use a second tick tock in one turn.

At worst Tick-away will be throwing back triggers and at best it makes sure you have the nescessary targets for your combos.

Recommend – Mesh-kia

Mesh-kia is a card that far too many people innitialy passed on. Around this cards reveal a lot of people were comparing it to Gigi but without Upstream synergy. This card however is incredibly useful.

One of the decks weaknesses is that your opponent can hit a defensive trigger which disables your Melem attacks.

Mesh-kia is your go to in these situation, gain some advantage and try again next turn. I also find her useful on Warp drive turns since I sometimes have an extra pre-battlephase timeleap.

 

Be careful of – Causality

This card has the opposite story to Lishma and Mesh-kia. This was the golden child of gears of fate for a lot of people and if the deck was still the same as it was 1 year ago it would be deserved. It’s impossible to deny the use this card has with Upstream, granting power and a skill. However in a huge amount of testing (I wanted this card to work) and found that very rarely was I ever able to capitalise on the bonuses. Even when the unit with the on hit skill did connect I generally didn’t find a way to fit the extra timeleap in.

Of course if you do find this card useful it still has some interesting potential and would love to hear about it.

Other cards to consider

 

Gigi – A decent option if you decide to run upstream but just be wary of using too much soul, Heteroround is more important.

Timebreak – A mainphase timeleap to help fix your board, hard to fit in but can help in games where you find yourself lacking the right units.

 

Grade 2

History maker needs no explanation. Run it at 4 no questions asked, this card is so important to the deck and running it at any less than 4 creates a possibilty of you being unable to get it.

Run it at 4.

So in the next slot I’ve put in Delayed Blazer dragon in for at least 2 places. Blazer is a great option for getting more attacks in and a key combo piece for some of the more extensive attack chains. I like this at either 2 or 3 copies since its main use is as a leap target in the deck so most of the time you’re searching it out anyway.

Now as you can see there are a lot of tech slots, these will generally be filled by the same cards in a lot of the lists you see but I definitely do not think of them as set slots. Basically and grade 2 is fair game for these spaces and you would probably still be okay. I want to go over the most common (and what I feel are most effective) choices for these slots but again these slots are very open so feel free to experiment.

10k Vanillas

Gears is a deck that doesn’t like the early game a whole lot so 10ks help to alleviate this issue. Personally I really like this option as it helps to cover your biggest weakspot and get you to that crucial first stride turn. If you are going to run them use Chronospin Serpent, as a zodiac time beast it can transition into the late game by gaining boosts from Chronojet G.

Kalibum

In a similar vein to vanillas Kalibum is for the late game, by flinging away starters he can make guarding early VG swings much easier. As an added bonus he can be combined with time leap to get 2 shots at his skill which can come in handy occasionally.

Upstream

I think an apt way to describe this card is as the “best, worst card ever”. When time leap was first creating a fuss this card was an essential part of that, granting more options in case you didn’t draw Melem and it also had some great synergy with Gigi and Uluru/Tick-away that allowed you to soul blast out important targets then send them back to deck. Now the deck has moved beyond Upstream and while it can often find space in the deck its purpose is mostly as an attack that can hit. Don’t get me wrong Upstream is good but don’t mistake it for the key card it once was.

Clockfencer

A grade 2 version of timebreak dragon it serves the exact same purpose. Not much to say about it other than it is a field fix and that Japan really seems to like it.

Grade 3

Consistency is key.

There are arguments for grade 3 techs, I don’t think they hold water.

Nextage is essential and requires Jet, Blazer needs Jet, Phoenix needs Jet, Thump, Groovy, Dran – Basically Jet.

I mean it helps that both G3s are pretty great.

G-zone

These 2 are an obvious pick, Nextage is your high power finisher and Phoenix is your explosive first stride.

windy

This one should also be fairly obvious, the deck needs generation break so Sebreeze is there to punish gradestallers.
One thing I would say is try to be at 3 damage before going into Windy here. If you’re only able to stride into Sebreeze you aren’t really gaining anything, by having 1 CB you can use history maker to gain some advantage while doing some damage.

G-FC03-006EN-GR.png

Warp Drive is fantastic, if your set-up is too bad to Phoenix then Warp Drive in combination with Jet G’s stride bonus can allow you to easily make something out of nothing and throw one of your opponents units into the deck.

Your G-guard suite serves 2 purposes, utility and defense. Utility can be anything from disrupting the opponents field or correct your own.

Heteroround speaks for himself, a Griffin lite with way more utility and a much better deck to fit into.

Uluru offers effective defense while putting important units back to the deck that you want to time leap later on.

Raphana defends you against larger swings and nets you a grade 0 that you can later leap into a Melem if need be or grab a gear cat and follow it up with a Heteroround.

What I will say is don’t get caught up in the larger shield value of the Arlim G-guard and the upcoming second Uluru. Time leap doesn’t struggle with blocking large attacks and thanks to the cat-round combo you can even defang some of the higher intensity turns.

 

And there we have it

Well that took some time but now we’ve reached the end. I hope this was helpful to anyone looking into the deck.

Unfortunately as for teaching how to play the deck, I’m afraid that’s not an easy thing to do with words.
Keep practicing with the deck and always plan ahead, coming up with your entier attack patern before you even swing once is one of the most rewarding aspects of the deck.

Of course the deck will perform just fine if you leave it all to the Melem loop but if you can learn how to extend your turns beyond that the deck will become far more deadly.

Well good luck and

thanks for reading