Mara of the Nordic Aflar
If this card is used as a Synchro Material Monster,
the other Synchro Material Monsters are 2 "Nordic"
monsters in your hand.
A very simple effect, but simple doesn't always mean
bad. Nordic decks have been gaining a bit of
buzz since their release in Storm of Ragnarok and
Jeff Jones' YCS performance. Vanadis of the
Nordic Ascendant allows ANY of the Aesir to be
played, but Loki has always been left out since
there have been no good Nordic Aflar tuners to use
as revival material. That is, until now...
Mara of the Nordic Aflar is similar to Valkyrie of
the Nordic Ascendant in that you can synchro from
the hand, but there are a few key differences.
On the plus side, Mara allows you to have cards on
the field already, sends the cards to the graveyard
to fuel Pot of Avarice, and it is a condition so
cards like Effect Veiler do nothing. On the
down side, you can only synchro from the hand, and
only with Nordic monsters. It'd be nice to
have the option of synchroing normally, but that is
the downside I guess.
So you have a LV2 Tuner (So now Vanadis can be a 2,
3, or 4 tuner, very versitile) that can put a
Trishula or Stardust on the field before the
opponent draws their 6th card, that helps your Pot
of Avarice engine, and enables the use of Loki.
At the end of the day, I'd definately recommend a
teched copy in a Nordic deck. Possibly 2 or 3
if Crush Card Virus ever comes back.
Advanced: 4/5 - But only a
teched copy or 2, in it's own deck.
Mara is a great addition to the nordic line-up,
netting you instant synchros as long as you have
plenty of monsters in your hand. In addition, Mara
is also a spellcaster, which could come in handy
should you decide to run a deck of that archetype.
Spellcasters needed a bit more support and Mara is
actually useful to them. Mara can make any synchro
as well, it isn't limited to just nordics. That is
huge considering you can turn a handful of monsters
into a big synchro early in the game like Loki. That
may give you the advantage right off considering
once summon, nordics are a pain to get rid of since
you can remove a nordic tuner to summon them from
the graveyard if they are destroyed. However Mara's
usefulness isn't overwhelming and is best suited for
decks focused around nordics and possibly
Advanced: 2.5/5 - Maybe 3/5 in Nordics or
Artwork: 3.5/5 Something about this art is just cool
Mara of the Nordic Alfar
The newest exclusive created just for the Nordic
archetype, Mara of the Nordic Alfar offers some
interesting Synchro Summon possibilities.
As with most Nordic monsters, Mara has no purpose in
any Traditional format deck that I am aware of.
Ironically, the Nordic archetype already has a card
similar to Mara, in Valkyrie of the Nordic
Ascendant. If only most archetypes had two ways of
making Synchros with only a Normal Summon…but I
digress. Mara offers the versatility of not having
any conditions on its effect, aside from using only
Nordic monsters from the hand as Synchro Materials.
It also does not go against the theme of the deck by
removing from play those Synchro Material monsters
from hand, but instead sends them to the graveyard,
allowing them to fuel Pot of Avarice in later turns.
These are two major advantages Mara has already. The
other advantage is that Mara is not inherently
restricted in what Synchro monster it can go for;
Valkyrie could really only go for a level 6 or 10 by
itself. Needing only a Normal Summon to drop a quick
Ally of Justice Catastor or Brionac Dragon of the
Ice Barrier seems like a very useful play. Still,
the fact that it drains the hand means that Mara can
only really be used in 1 or possibly 2 in most
Nordic decks, as the hand loss suffered would be
more detrimental mid- to late-game, where you won’t
have enough cards in hand to use with it.