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Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom

- #BT08/005EN

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2013


Rating:  4.40

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  5 is the highest rating.

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"Gale" Gaylord

It appears we're on an Aqua Force binge this week, and leading the charge is the clan's most iconic Grade 3 - Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom. I gotta say, nothing quite screams "Boss" like doubling as a battleship.

11,000 base power continues to be an invaluable asset to anything that occupies the Vanguard slot. Maelstrom lacks any noteworthy abilities until reaching Limit Break, but once you've got the prerequisite 4 damage, he's a bit of a doozy. The fourth or later attack on the opposing Vanguard grants Maelstrom an additional 5,000 power as well as the ability to counterblast 1 for a draw and a retire of your choice when his attack hits. In tandem with Battle Siren, Dorothea this makes for a 26,000 power center lane that threatens to considerably widen the gap in card advantage each and every turn.

If you're wondering how a Vanguard can possibly make the fourth attack in a turn, look no further than the Storm Riders. Both Basil and Diamantes (okay, Eugen exits too, but...) shift themselves to the back of their column after attacking the Vanguard on the first swing of the turn, allowing you to then attack with the unit that was behind them, followed by the remaining rear-guard column, and lastly Maelstrom himself. Since this order of operations invalidates (either partially or in full) all trigger types except Stands, you'll want as many of them as possible in your deck, even if it means eschewing Criticals altogether. Late game will come slowly as a result, so make it a point to religiously attack rear-guards.

This setup has the distinct disadvantage of requiring many specific units, so the retire-based strategies of Kagero and Narukami can be expected to give you trouble. Crossrides also nullify any solo swing that hasn't been buffed by Accelerated Command, etc. Repeat perfect guards can spell doom. Given all this, I wouldn't expect Maelstrom and his buddies to make a large splash at the moment, but in a less tanky format? Everything points toward the pros outweighing the cons. 4/5


Where the heck is everyone else? Bah, that’s not important anyway.

Onto Maelstrom. Honestly, I kinda don’t like its Limit Break, at all. As an on-hit unit, and a pretty devastating one if it were to hit, you’d almost certainly expect the main source of advantage out of it to be the pressure it can generate in a fight. Instead, the entirety of this skill is near nullified by the fact that it’s a Limit Break, meaning the opponent is not placed into the position where they must guard for haphazard amounts during a time they would otherwise not need to, or not drop these haphazard amount of guards but face the wrath of the on hit skill. No pressure generated means very little actual advantage being drawn out of that, which quite plainly sucks.

On the other hand however, it still gets a +5000 power boost when attacking fourth. In fact, with an ideal field of a Storm Rider and a beater column at one side, any regular column on the other, along with a Dorothea behind Maelstrom, the field can actually average out to 45K shield forced out of the opponent in the form of up to 6 cards per turn. Impressive, right? Well…sure, depending on how you look at it. Many other decks of the metagame can more than easily match this value with their own ideal fields, some by leaps and bounds with the use of their Limit Breaks, though their fields can often take less effort for that output. Also, this is assuming everything lands just right. The attacker behind your Storm Rider can be anything over 9K to kill an intercept, which is fine, but the Storm Rider itself must attack the opponent’s Vanguard. Along with this, the 26K total of Maelstrom and Dorothea together will force out 3 cards in total, but 5K less, or with the presence of a Perfect Guard, and the opponent could get away with just 2 cards.

If you haven’t caught on yet, think of it like this. Once everything’s aligned and ready, but you’re facing against a Cross-Ride deck, the average amount of shield and cards forced out drops to a minimum of 35K shield, and only 4 cards. This is literally a drop down all the way to the equivalent of 18K columns all across to face these Cross-Rides, a huge fall from grace from all that effort you put into getting Dorothea, a Storm Rider, another attacker, and pieces for a regular 18K column. With the advent of Limit Break allowing other clans and their decktypes to further exceed these regular column powered tactics, and the existing king of the Cross-Rides, Dragonic Overlord the End, viable and ready within competitive play, I honestly see no chance for this card and its deck.

Overall, a poorly misplaced skill, a decently impressive maximum output once the work has been put into it, but a terribly lame ability to fight competitively. I can only give Maelstrom a meh, at 3/5


Okay, so I’m finally done with High school, which’ll allow me to do these on a much more regular basis.

Starting our Aqua Force-themed week, we take a look at one of the most, if not the most, iconic card of the entire clan and the cover card for Set 8: Blue Storm Armada: Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom.

Being an 11,000 power unit, Maelstrom grants its user a good defense to work with, requiring their opponent’s to reach 21,000 power and above to force out at least 15,000 shield, but this alone doesn’t make Maelstrom a great primary vanguard. What makes Maelstrom great is its limit break skill, which is:
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage): When this unit attacks a vanguard, if it is the fourth battle of that turn or more, until end of that battle, this unit gets [Power]+5000 and "[AUTO](VC): [Counter Blast (1)] When this unit's attack hits, you may pay the cost.
If you do, draw a card, choose one opponent's rear-guards, and retire it."
Now, unlike his fellow Tear Dragons, Naval Gazer and Hydro Hurricane, Maelstrom doesn’t require any counterblasts to be paid to use his skill, which means you have much more freedom with how many counterblast units you can include within a Maelstrom-centered deck. The initial part of his limit break makes Maelstrom an incredible offensive unit, requiring 15,000 shield to safely block it with a 10,000-11,000 vanguard while also allowing Maelstrom to hit cross-rides unboosted. If you stick a Dorothea behind him, Maelstrom is hitting for 26,000, forcing 20,000-25,000 shields from the opponent every time Maelstrom attacks. The limit break is also great because it grants its user a +2 in raw advantage should the attack succeed. Another advantage to his skill, which is shared by the other dragons, is that Maelstrom is always (or should be) the last attacking unit, meaning stand triggers are going to be your best friend when using it and will further allow you to force cards from the opponents hand and field.

Unfortunately, his skill requires him to reach the fourth battle in order to use him, so other units which require a fourth battle, such as Algos and Valeria, won’t get as much mileage out of the deck as they would in others. This also means that Maelstrom is entirely dependent on having units out that can help to achieve the fourth battle, meaning that clans with retire and stall skill, such as Kagero and Megacolony, can severely hamper your ability to use Maelstrom’s limit break when it’s needed.
Maelstrom is definitely the go-to build for anyone interested in Aqua Force and he is sure to get even more popular when his cross-ride, Glory Maelstrom, releases in June with set 9.
Rating: 4.75

Go Rogue,
Go Pro

What's up, you guys?! It's a new week of COTD, and for this week, we are looking at purely Aqua Force cards, and what better way to start this off than with the current main ace of the Aqua Force?

Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom
Power: 11000
Grade 3
Clan: Aqua Force
Race: Tear Dragon
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):When this unit attacks a vanguard, if it is the fourth battle of that turn or more, until end of that battle, this unit gets [Power]+5000 and "[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit's attack hits, you may pay the cost. If you do, draw a card, choose one opponent's rear-guards, and retire it.".
[CONT](VC/RC):If you have a non-«Aqua Force» vanguard or rear-guard, this unit gets [Power]-2000.

The fact that this card is the only 11,000 base unit in it's clan is noteworthy enough, but there's more to this beast's madness. One thing that needs to be noted with Aqua Force is that they are a very high combo based deck, but if the combo does go off, it's devastating! Look at Maelstrom here for example; if you can pull off making him the 4th attack when your Limit Break is online, then he automatically gains 5,000 power and a very pressuring ability which can let you draw a card and retire any of the opposing rear-guards at the cost of a single Counterblast! This is like taking Algos and Valeria's abilities and putting them together as a giant dragon! Personally, second to Dragonic Overlord The End, Maelstrom is quite possibly the most pressuring Vanguard in the game as letting him hit can cause dire consequences to your opponent but in a different way than his fiery rival in The End. With this in mind, Maelstrom can easily cause a +2 card advantage against your opponent as it allows you to gain a card and making you opponent lose a card in return...and did I mention that it's 11,000?

Overall, until when other Aqua Force cards come out, Maelstrom is the main boss for a reason.

Rating: 5/5

Next Time: Maelstrom's little brother...

Go Rogue...Go Pro!!!


Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom

Today we look at Blue Storm Dragon Maelstrom, one of three Aqua Force grade 3 vanguards to be released thus far. Maelstrom sports a solid 11k power, which instantly makes him more defensible than his 10k counterparts. As is not surprising, his limit break is what he is all about. When his attack is the fourth or later during the turn, he gains 5k, then if he hits, you can counterblast one, draw a card, and retire an opponent’s rear guard. The beauty of this skill is that it doesn’t need to be activated in the main phase like Navalgazer or Hydro Hurricane; you only counterblast when the attack hits. This can put monstrous pressure on the opponent, especially when backed by a 10k booster, since they are forced to lose either field presence or hand presence. The limit break will put you up two cards either way; either they guard with two cards, or they don’t and you gain a free card while they lose one of theirs.

The downside of Maelstrom is that he must be the fourth attack in order for anything to happen. This means that you must have a Storm rider rear guard at the ready in order to do anything. Having a storm rider out isn’t that hard for Aqua Force to pull off; chances are you’ll have drawn one by the time the limit break is active. The real problem with getting to that fourth attack will be the nature of the opponent’s deck. Clans like Kagero, Narukami, and Megacolony specialize in reducing the effectiveness of the rear guard, and since Aqua Force requires heavy field investment, it can be put at quite a disadvantage to these decks.

Rating: 5/5 – 11k body, cheap and deadly limit break. Need I say more?


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