Oracle Guardian, Red Eye
It may as well be a staple, since it's the only way to fill the soul completely free of charge. While one can argue about the viability of on-hit skills, the fact of the matter is that this is used in addition to one's Psychic Bird and multiple ride options and doesn't harm the deck in any way by being used in multiples. Consistency is king. This little guy can help race to the cards on the bottom of the deck, too, since a soul charge will get another out of the way.
One of the strongest cards in the English format, Silent Tom forces undesired hits to go through, or undesired guardians to be used. This becomes very crippling late in the game, as it's possible that a player will have to give up multiple offensive units just to stay alive. Critical Triggers and Gemini are his best friends.
His usefulness is slightly lessened in the Japanese format due to the presence of Vanguards that exceed 11000 power, but he's still boss early on in those match-ups, and in every other match-up, so it's worth keeping at least a couple copies.
Battle Maiden, Tagitsuhime
12000 power on a unit that can intercept just for doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Sign me up! When this card is an option, I highly suggest running it in max quantities, simply because she makes magic numbers against just about anything WITH just about anything and enables a player to commit less to the field early in the match. Pair her up with Gemini to lay the smack down on 10000 power Vanguards.
Battle Sister, Mocha
Strictly worse than Tagitsuhime, but a possibility in the English format for reasons similar to that of playing Tagitushime. Being able to hit 11000 solo is quite cool and will allow attacks to be launched on any unit in the format with less commitment. She also couples decently enough with Blue Eye for a 16000 power column.
Sword Dancer Angel
Hilarious on a turn Full Moon's counterblast is being used twice, otherwise it's inferior to Mocha. Hm. Patterns...
Onmyoji of the Moonlit Night
Inferior to Mocha in all but the most obscure situations.
Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
Well, a 10000 power wall that can attack most things on its own isn't anything to complain about. I'd play it before Mocha in an English deck, honestly, though of course that's because I wouldn't play Blue Eye. xP
BOO, -1, SUCKS, HISS!
No. Promise Daughter is, in fact, very good at ending games. When the opponent is sitting at 5 damage, they have no choice but to guard, so at this stage one would be trading a card of theirs for a card of their opponent's, assuming the opponent can guard at all when her skill comes into play. If they can't, game over, and the card that was dropped doesn't even matter. Bonus points for dropping a Grade 3! Try to avoid throwing out a 10000 s
A front line Blue Eye, and therein lies the problem. It can and will die in the face of just about anything. It only makes magic numbers against Grade 3 Vanguards with Gemini, sometimes. At others, it can't even do that much. Admittedly, it's hilarious to use in addition to Blue Eye for lightning fast results, but that power gap just isn't worth it. Steer clear.
Oracle Guardian, Shisa
Not a terrible card, but much like Faithful Angel, 7000 power has a hard time accomplishing anything later in the game, and usefulness at all stages of the game is something I often stress. It's the bees knees early on, though, provided a Dark Cat or something allows for an explosion of units. Could suit a rush-happy player.
Ye olde Especial Intercept. I've said my piece on these cards before, and my opinion of them in <<Oracle Think Tank>> variants isn't any different. There's little reason to consider Security Guardian. As an attacker, it's outclassed by several other cards that can and will be played. When it comes to defending, Silent Tom and Tagitsuhime already draw fire from the Vanguard, because they're such good attackers. Even worse, Security Guardian's applications are invalidated completely in the Kagero and Narukami match-ups, making it dead weight. That's awful when the decks are popular.
Maiden of Libra
The Vanguard has a monopoly on counterblasts. An extra card in a losing scenario can be nice, though at that point I'd question why this isn't a card that could directly turn that losing scenario around.
Blue Scale Deer
Similar to Luck Bird and LuLu, a gimmick option for fun. How it would be used is beyond me considering that it is far from likely to be able to hit the Vanguard at the late stages of the game, but it gets the benefit of being an *okay* attacker even when it's not firing off its skill.
The go-to Grade 3 after the Full Moon herself, and boy can the Sun work wonders! Amaterasu patches up soul problems, throws more cards to the bottom of the deck, leads the way when the 'top' of the deck is trigger-heavy, and can even end the game with impunity thanks to her high offensive power and ability to sift through three cards in one's known pile (the draw for turn, the soul charge, and the ability to put a card on the bottom). Her megablast isn't even entirely out of the question since, provided Half Moon successfully went off, the player has six soul immediately after riding CEO. That can be threatened for massive pressure, even in the rear-guard!
Oracle Guardian, Apollon
Largely unplayable for the same reasons as Libra, especially since Grade 3 space is the tightest of all. Outclassed in the Vanguard Circle.
Underwhelming at best, though I guess it could be considered a step up from Apollon in the rear-guard.
By and large, this is better than Faithful Angel due to its 9000 base power that can actually push some effective attacks even with a weaker supporter. I've teched it before, and the experience wasn't so bad. Granted, it almost never saw table time. xD
Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya
A nice heavy-hitter that allows for field rearrangement and recycling of on-call skills. If it weren't for the fact that there are only so many of those to go around, a really powerful strategy could be built around Tsukuyomi and Sakuya. As it stands, though, CEO does far more for the deck as a whole considering the cards it already plays.
Meteor Break Wizard
In a typical game with no successful heals, there's going to be a counterblast leftover when the Full Moon finishes her thing. This guy can turn it into a 20+ column. Heck, he can make strong swings even when the Full Moon isn't working, and that's worth a look. Of course, Tagitsuhime makes every other rear-guard look stupid, so he's not an option by the time Awakening of Twin Blades rolls around.
Battle Sister, Souffle
Well, er, I suppose she's about equal in usefulness compared to Meteor. Hits some respectable numbers, but again, doesn't have reason to be played when the Grade 2 that does the job better wanders onto the scene. I'm not a fan of the art, either...
Not many know this card even exists; it's regarded as so bad that it's never even mentioned. I've even seen it nicknamed "Forever Alone Princess". That's fitting on multiple levels.
Ironically, even I forgot it exists when I started this whole spiel. Full Moon is not, in fact, the only <<Oracle Think Tank>> with a static 11000 power. Imperial Daughter, however, comes with Restraint. She cannot attack unless the player consumes a counterblast and moves one of their Oracle rear-guards to the soul. If the field is empty for whatever godawful reason, she'll automatically lose restraint as well as gain 10000 power and a critical during the user's turn if she's in the Vanguard Circle.
There's niche use to this. When a game isn't progressing so well, the Tsukuyomi deck has a hard time committing anything to the field in the first place, so using Imperial Daughter as a backup Vanguard for the third turn can force damage through or drop a fair number of cards out of the opponent's hand without even having to try. It can even do what White Rabbit of Inaba intends to by placing a missing Tsukuyomi in the rear-guard, then pulling it into the soul to release Imperial Daughter. She's easier to defend than a CEO, too.
Would I play it..? No. It ultimately isn't that flexible, being a dead-weight grade 3 in all but the worst-case scenario. There's also the issue of it being part of Extra Booster: Comic Style vol. 1.
Almost done! I should be able to finish my coverage on Tsukuyomi in my next post.