Single Card Analysis – Flare Arms, Ziegenburg

As any reader might know one of my favourite clans is Kagero and with Demonic advent on the horizon (well September) I thought I would take a look at a card causing the most commotion for the clan.

 

G-BT11-006-RRR_(Sample)

Did you know Ziegenburg translates to – Goat Castle.

Ziegenburg the latest in Kagero’s long line of restanders and only the second to not be an Overlord (I’m counting Dauntless Drive) with a very interesting catch – the discard cost customary to restanders scales with how much you retire.

Zieg reads –

[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.
[AUTO](VC):Blaze
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn]:[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] Choose one of your opponent’s rear-guards, and retire it.
[AUTO](VC)[1/Turn]Generation Break 3:[Counter Blast (1) & Choose the same number of cards from your hand as the number of your opponent’s rear-guards, discard them] At the end of the battle that this unit attacked a vanguard, if this unit is blazing, you may pay the cost. If you do, [Stand] this unit, and it gets drive -2.

 

So there’s a lot going on here, obviously we have the restand but on top of that we have a very cheap retire skill.

So lets break it down, the retire is clearly here to help facilitate the restand allowing you to pick off a unit to reduce Ziegs own cost. You could almost consider it as swapping 1 soul for a hand card but that would be forgetting the persona flip cost. I don’t think this is too steep a trade off as chances are you aren’t going to be going into all 4 copies (provided you run that many) and soul for retire is great economy as seen with Dragonic Burnout.

That said don’t first stride this solely for the retire it’s really not worth it, only use the retire as a way to facilitate the restand.

Now onto the main meat of this skill. Restanders are losing favour these days as G-guards get larger and the meta tends to favour mass attacks. That said the potential free restand is excellent, it’s hard to go any further without comparing it to Kagero’s other finishing options.

 

So first off here’s a subtle yet important feature of Ziegenburg, both Nouvelle and Ace have their costs paid during main phase. Zieg asks for it during battle phase, this lines up much nicer with both Overlord and Blademasters main countercharge which was a bit of a sorespot for the clan.
We’ll start by comparing Zieg to Vague

Like I said earlier G-guards already give restanders a strain due to the massive shield potential but that’s nothing comapred to the catastrosphic effect they had on guard restrictors. Not only that but Nouvelle was already struggling, a guaranteed kill is great but nothing special when miracle heals are rare anyway and the tradeoff being a surprisingly relevant lack of restricted grades (only stopping 1s) meant this cards performance was already lacking. Nouvelle is almost certainly axed in favour of Ziegenburg.

So what about fellow restander the Ace?
Ace is old now at the time of writing this article FC2015 was released 743 days ago, (basically 2 years) Ace was already a little unwieldy upon release requiring 2CB and a specific discard lead to several unfavourable comparisons to the previously released Victoplasma. That said Ace proved its worth serving as the de-facto best finisher of the Overlord deck for the past 2 years. Comparing it to Zieg we have –

  • Same number of drive checks, with Ace going 2-2 and Zieg going 3-1. This means that while the second attack is easier to guard Ziegs first attack is a little more fierce. Ace however provides similar pressure with both attacks.
  • Blaze requirement, Zieg asks for you to be blazing where as Ace can go solo which can occasionally turn a bad situation into a win.
  • The aforementioned cost timing.
  • Named discard, Zieg can more consistently pull off its restand even if the cost is steeper.
  • Emergency first stride potential, due to the Ace being made at a time where Bushiroad did not want strides to have generation break (presumably for flavout reasons) his cost can be paid multiple times to allow for a powerful first stride potential kill turn.

With these considered it seems like things are somewhat balanced but I think Ziegenburg still takes it here.

An Ace turn is powerful for sure but if the attack fails to kill or at the very least cripple your opponent your left with far less resources than is ideal having only kept 2 drive checks and using a card from hand to stride this was one of the main reasons Nouvelle was run allowing for an alternate finisher that didn’t leave you as open to attack. Zieg should hopefully bypass this cost thanks to its scaling discard cost and restanding on an empty field is an extra card in hand overall. And again I cannot understate how important the battlephase cost is.

Obviously in Blademaster Ace was already shaky but I think Zieg means its no longer needed at all. Overlord however may want to keep a few copies if it can find space in its G-zone.

To top off these favourable comparisons restanding for free is a big deal even with large G-guards in the context of the clan it’s certainly powerful especially against evasive decks that leave an empty field. Allowing Kagero an alternate way to apply pressure and gain advantage against these kind of decks is really important and should give the deck enough of an edge to stay relevant in tier 2.

Zieg will however have issues with resist units as especially in Blademaster (the build that best backs it up) most retire is targeted, of course Blazing burst can be used as an out to this but that still has a GB8 requirement.

 

Flaring up

Well I’m certainly excited by this card and look forward to the English release in September, Zieg already seems to be making some waves in Japan as Blademaster is becoming a good meta call due to the resurgence of Wiseman loop decks. Whether or not we will see this happen in the English format we’ve yet to see but as for now –

 

Thanks for reading

Dragonic Overlord – Deck Profile

Looking for a more up to date deck profile? Check out my post demonic advent Blademaster by clicking here.

With 2016 finally dead now seems as good a time as any to go over my current build for Kagero’s flagship build.

the-legend

This is my main deck and the only complete one I own physically. I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of it and after a lot of changes from the release of G-BT07 and I think I’ve finally reached a build that functions pretty goddam well.

Enough waffling let’s get into it.

The List

I’m going to leave out triggers and the starter because I want to talk about them with a bit more detail. I’ll also cover the tech slots by themselves as well since there is plenty to talk about there.

Grade 1 – 13

Grade 2 – 11

Grade 3 – 8

G-Zone

Starting Vanguard

There are two candidates for this role

 

Undeax allows you to search for an Overlord which helps secure the Ace or use the Legends GB2 skill. Meanwhile Sadegh allows you to get an extra retire.
Sadegh has some nice synergy with cards that retire on your opponents turn and can help a lot against clans that rely on restanding rearguards (when combined with defeat flare).
This is very much a preference thing so choose what you like best personally I use Sadegh as I’m very big on counterplay and don’t like the counterblast cost on Undeax.

After the publishing of this article Conroe was unbanned here’s my article on it.

Grade 1 and 2

So before I go onto triggers and tech slots I want to talk about a few of my choices.

So first off I fully believe that even without as odd a grade 3 lineup as I use 4 Conroe is entirely needed since it’s the decks main source of countercharge on top of allowing you to get whichever Overlord is most effective at the time and is able to set up burnout and Defeat flare early if needed. I did test with him at 3 and found the extra consistency granted by the one extra copy was far too valuable to pass up.

conroe

Lava flow is at 3 right now because it’s the most spaces I feel I can give it right now. Stride fodder is incredibly useful to this build as Overlords themselves are a resource for the Aces skill. I’ll go into more detail in the tech slot section but if you wanted to you could use a tech slot for the fourth copy but I get pretty decent results from it at 3.

Protect orb is essential since despite it’s efficiency Conroe has one big issue in that the counter charge happens during battle phase it doesn’t exactly line up with what the deck wants all the time, most of your main skills in this deck are ACT skills meaning that open damage is needed most during the main phase. Protect orb grants you a single yet incredibly important charge that can also be utilised for your G-guards.pgg

As for grade 2s Nehalem is a given at 4, it’s your most important grade 2 and is essential for creating offensive power. The only other grade 2 that I believe is locked in is Dragonic Burnout which functions as one of the most effective retire skills in the game. I think there’s a genuine case case to be made for cutting it down to 2 in the current meta but thanks to Conroe you can set up and use this card for some early tempo if needed.

The Grade 3 Lineup

 

So my chosen lineup is slightly odd I go for 3 Legend, 3 End and 2 X.

This is probably the biggest point of contention with the Overlord deck as players are constantly changing the grade 3s. Many players use the great as backup so that they still have access to a legion and a powerful boss in the case of missing stride others have opted to run the breakride and even tech in the rebirth.

Personally I think the best alternate grade 3 to the Legend is the End. It allows you to keep up tempo even when riding to grade 3 first it’s hard to put down why this card is so good without filling an article all to itself. So with all this said why am I running the X?

Well the biggest reason is that the X can win games… in a very loose way. If a game goes long and both decks are close to deckout then you can use the X to guarantee the win. Of course this is a fringe situation I still think it comes up enough to be relevant. The other reason is a little bit dumber – Why not?

Seriously Conroe allows you to basically have whatever Overlord you need whenever and while there will be the occasional game where you have to ride the X it still doesn’t actually hurt that much, still if you want to shoot for more consistency go for 4 and 4.

G-Zone

This is pretty run of the mill but I want to discuss the choices I’ve made.

One of the big ones I have to argue for quite often is the inclusion of Mustafa mustafaI’ve bounced between cutting this card and keeping it in but I think I’m finally settled on this card staying. The best way to make an argument for this card is with actual examples most notably in the form of Tick Tock Worker and Commander Laurel. This card is for situations where you need a rearguard gone and don’t have any other available options in effect you sacrifice pressure for consistency. Even if you don’t use him you can flip him for Taiten so it’s not like the space is wasted.

 

Ace and Nouvelle share the same purpose but do it in very different ways. While Ace is the more effective and powerful of the two it is also much more costly and inconsistent due to the requirement to have an Overlord in hand and two open damage. However Ace can secure wins against small to mid sized hands and generates a lot of pressure especially when comboed with Nehalem. Nouvelle on the other hand is a little more niche with it’s odd guard restrict and trigger null it can guarantee a win especially when you know a fair number of cards in your opponents hand, it also only requires 1 CB and retains its triple drive meaning you finish with an extra card in hand.

I highly recommend against running 4 copies of the Ace it’s not consistent and while having acess to 2 shots of the Ace seems nice and will certainly win some games but the risk just isn’t worth it.

Triggers

So there’s a few ways to go here and I think it depends a lot on playstyle and meta. In the current meta I’m very in favour of 5 draw triggers especially in areas with a lot of gear chronicle. 12 crit is also as always viable and so is the old standard of 4 draw 8 crit.

Another option I want to bring up but not necessarily reccomend is running a few copies of Lizard Soldier, Veira.

veira

This card can be used with Denial griffin to give an extra 10k to your vanguard for the rest of the turn allowing you to defend against attacks much easier especially against clans like aqua force and gear chronicle. Of course stands aren’t the best in Overlord and this isn’t the most consistent combo but I thought it was worth noting anyway.

Other things to note are that you should run flame dragon heals for the Legends skill and Dragon Knight, Jannat helps to enable blaze in situations where you are short a rearguard without losing a card from hand. Draws also have the advantage of coming in the form of gatling claw dragon which is always nice.

Currently I’m running

Tech Slots

So the deck has a fair few of these allowing for some flexibility so I’ll go in order of grade.

Grade 1

 Lizard Soldier, Bellog

bellog

Bellog give you more counter-play allowing you to shoot down a rested rearguard this is my current choice personally mostly down to my love of counter effects but a good chunk of my preference and the reason I have it at 3 is it’s interaction with Melem allowing you to stop gear chronicles ridiculous attack loop or at least slow it down.

Dragon Knight, Nadel

nadel

An 11k booster and countercharge option that refunds your Taiten plays this card is definitely worth considering despite the blademaster restriction.

These are my picks but there are obviously many more that I don’t think are that good of course deckbuilding has a lot of personal choice so if that’s the route you want to go down feel free.

Grade 2

So grade 2 is probably the area with the most freedom in the deck and there’s a lot of options here too so I’ll what I consider to be the main contenders. I also personally split this slot into 2 sets of 2 rather than 1 set of 4 but like most tech slots it’s mostly down to preference and local meta.

Dragonic Neoflame

neoflame

Often cited as Kagero’s main anti-rush card it does that job fairly well but not without shortcomings. It will often hit the board as a 9k vanilla and the CB1 cost can also be somewhat restrictive. Still it’s definitely a decent option and it can put in work especially agains’t opponents who overcommit early on.

 Burning Horn Dragon

burning-horn

This deck can often have low backrow presence which means that a lot of the time your 9k rearguards will be unable to hit. Burning horn can help remedy this somewhat by being a 12k on attack, not much else to say but it does it’s job very well.

Berserk Lord Dragon

berserk-lord

I don’t like this choice but it’s worth mentioning it allows for some extra somewhat effective retire so if that’s an area you feel you’re hurting in it’s always there.

Radiant Dragon

radiant

I did a larger analysis of this card so if you want you can read that but in short this card makes numbers and has a somewhat cost effective retire. Only works on Taiten turns but they are fairly common anyway it also adds some extra power.

again there are other options based on preference and meta but I think these are the main choices. I’ve also considered Dragon knight, Nadim but not being a flame dragon means it loses points for me.

G-Zone

This is a slot that has gone from not being open, 2 open slots and now only 1. Innitially I considered Mustafa as a tech and as a meta call he would certainly fit but I feel as though his uses are far too valueable to pass up. I also once considered 3 Griffins essential but less so now.
I’m not going to go into much detail here since it’s probably the most open slot in the entire deck so go wild and find what works with you. I am currently trying out Dizmel but up until recently I was using Griffin here and I’ve even considered putting another Mustafa just in case I wanted the unflip. So like I said go wild and find what works for you.

Wrapping up

Wow that went a lot longer than I expected. I might revisit this fairly soon to cover some plays you can make with the deck but I think most people will either figure them out or already know them, but let me know if that would be an interesting article.

As always thanks for reading.