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