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Deck Critic Corner: Messiahs
It’s a special two-fer Monday this morning! Bet you didn’t see that coming! But since I typed the previous article about a few weeks ago, another issue has since arisen, mostly in regards to how you would effectively go about building and using the new stuff if they occurred to you. But since as a card reviewer I try to remain professional and not be hyped by anything at all, I managed to spot problems in what might be the biggest money sink in G Booster 3.
I needed to talk about the latest addition to the Link Joker family, Messiahs. Well, I say Messiahs: that only extends to like a quarter of the actual fucking deck, so I guess its technical term would be G-Link Joker. How does it hold up and was the price of Amnesty Messiah actually justifiable? Short answer would be no. The long answer is the rest of this article, so stick around as I deconstruct this hype-train.
When I see a new series of cards, my first hope is that they would expand on their existing archetype while addressing some of its flaws at the same time. G-Aqua Force is a good example of this: I knew what would make Aqua Force cease to suck total donkey-bollocks would be something to reliably stand rear-guards so that the battle count wouldn’t just be a complicated and crap means to basically the same end as everyone else. Lo and behold Lambros came and suddenly it skyrocketed in popularity and competence.
So what’s G-Link Joker bringing to the table? Well, it’s basically all about locking the rear-guards of both players in order to gain bonuses of some description. Compared to the Link Joker decks of old like Star-Vaders, this basically acts as a sort of way to spam more of it by freeing up Counterblast at the expense of your existing cards. My first thought when seeing the new cards was that I still didn’t see a lot of point to this when Lock was still not as good as retiring, since it gets rid of a problem permanently. Sure, it frees up other areas cost-wise, but until we can Triangle Lock several turns in a row past 2 turns then I’m not sold on this. I then played several test-games and found to my disgust that it was basically only winning due to the other players’ incompetence, because as soon as I went shadowboxing against some of my other, more well-established badasses I found it was only able to beat rear-guard dependant decks like Nova Grappler and anything that gave no shits about formation like Narukami or similar ate the thing for breakfast.
The deck has several flaws which probably wouldn’t seal the deal alone, but when combined together it sort of makes me glad I didn’t shell out any more money than necessary on pre-orders. I did say in my G Booster 3 spoiler article it’d be overpriced. First off, the deck lacks any real way to basically push for game competently, although that’s a trait exclusive to all Link Joker decks to be fair. Secondly, I don’t like the fact it basically HAS to be mixed almost entirely with G-Link Joker cards, because nothing else can be combined with it without destroying the consistency. Duskblade is literally the only universally good card in Link Joker decks but that’s just one slot. Star-Vaders tend to need a Star-Vader Vanguard to work properly, or at least the ones that are actually good tend to. Again, that’s a trait I can forgive in other decks such as Revengers, who have pretty kickass support, but the support outside of Duskblade is sort of ass, the Grade 2 lineup especially. Whatever G2s we have that lock to gain bonuses have terrible power. In order to make sure they can keep playing the vanilla game when the chips are down, you have to shoehorn in Asleep Messiah, who has no purpose other than boosting and as a tanky first ride..
As well as being blighted by the issue of deck choice, even with the most optimal build of it, it is still horrifically technical and in quite a few cases the overall cost doesn’t always reflect payoff. If one wants to focus on Alter Ego Messiah – and you have to, otherwise what the fuck was the point in all that Amnesty money? – then you need to basically constantly have a perfect field in order for him to do well. Locking the VG booster deals with the issue of castrating a RG attacking column. but the problem lies in what gets locked. Dark Metal Chameleon seems like an attractive choice, but for him to work he needs to go behind the Vanguard. So that means you didn’t put your starting VG behind Alter Ego, but then your column over wherever it is suffers. Or you could lock Neon Messiah, sack it away afterwards, THEN put the Chameleon down, but by the time you can, you’re most likely on the second Stride and miss the timing to lock Chameleon. @r$e. So a lot of the time, it’s CB1 for 1 opposing lock, which isn’t especially new. I suppose it’s worth mentioning Awaking Messiah (or Arousal Messiah for the Japanese people, since the OTHER concept of “arousal” passed over their heads) which can generate another attack, but that relies on another unlocker, either a booster, which leaves not a lot of room for the Chameleon, or a G2, so no Duskblade for you in that case. I don’t fancy having to draw into both for best results with no capacity to search either.
But the biggest disappointment is Amnesty Messiah itself. This is what you’ve been locking your own shit for all this time: so that they can be freed by this rare and expensive-as-fuck monster. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my review of Amnesty Messiah, the support is basically ass, which sort of kills its potential. It’s a toss-up between stuff that lock themselves for bonuses and suffer columns which taste of despair and weakness, or play stuff that unlocks units to gain bonuses, power usually, and render Amnesty sort of redundant. But the most glaring issue I found was that even with cards like Alter Ego and similar support, although accomplishing the unlocking of 3+ units is doable, most of the time it’s going to involve the unlocking of your opponent’s units, which only helps them get their normal rate of attacks going, making the sum of all your efforts is an overly-elaborate, but earlier, Saint Blow Dragon. You’d honestly be better off relying on something like Big Crunch Dragon for this, since at least that can actually play sort of nice with unlockers since you only need to realistically shut down the front row to seal an attack.
In summary, Messiahs is a deck that is making the mistake of trying to turn its main unique gambit into something where the end result is boring and somewhat counterintuitive to itself. It’s not beginner friendly, it’s too much effort for such an ordinary result, and it’s too rigid in design, which isn’t even balanced by decent support. Oh Bushi, bless this fucking deck, oh Lord. Bless it right in the fucking FACE.
I guess all that’s left is for me to post the list that gave me the best results, for all you people who want to make the most out of the money you flushed away:
x1 Neon Messiah
x4 Asteroid Wolf
x4 Pulse Monk of the Quaking Foot
x4 Whatever Critical you can find
x4 Lady Healer of the Torn World
x4 Flower Blooming in the Vaccum, Cosmolis
x4 Destiny Dealer
x3 Dark Metal Chameleon
x3 Lady Battler of the White Dwarf
x4 Sunset Edge, Duskblade
x4 Awaking Messiah
x3 Gravity Well Lady Battler
x4 Alter Ego Messiah
x4 Neutron Star, Lady Gunner
x4 Nebula Dragon, Big Crunch Dragon
x2 Genesis Dragon, Judgment Messiah
x2 Genesis Dragon, Amnesty Messiah
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