Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moon Magic Revisted

It may be an understatement to say it's been awhile since I posted anything excessively in depth. I mean, it's been years, right? So it's only appropriate that I start anew by bringing ye olde Tsukuyomi theory up to speed.

For starters, a sample deck list.

1 Godhawk, Ichibyoshi
3 Lozenge Magus
1 Sphere Magus
4 Psychic Bird
4 Assault Dive Eagle
4 Oracle Guardian, Nike

4 Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Mediator, Amenosagiri
4 Divine Sword, Amenomurakumo
1 Battle Sister, Lemonade

4 Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Diviner, Kuroikazuchi
4 Promise Daughter

4 Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Supreme Heavenly Battle Deity, Susanoo

4 Sword Deity of Divine Sound, Takemikazuchi
2 Soaring Auspicious Beast, Quilin
2 Snow Element, Blizza

There's more room for customization than you might think - the only truly mandatory cards are Ichibyoshi and the Crescent and Half Moons. Well... as far as the main deck is concerned, anyway. The G Zone isn't quite so flexible. You need those Quilin and Takemikazuchi, and a power attacking generic is appreciated during end game scenarios.

However, no matter what you choose to serve you in the remaining 41 slots, your goal should be the same. Arrange the cards you see from the ride chain skills in such a way that you can hit triple triggers later, preferably multiple times. Moreover, it helps to remember what types those triggers were, and it's a basic requirement that you count perfectly so as to fire off that stack in proper fashion. With this knowledge, it becomes rather easy to close games no matter the situation, as even if the opponent is paying close enough attention to your deck progress, they won't necessarily be able to do anything about what's to come.

Unlike older incarnations of the Tsukuyomi deck, it's no longer imperative that you ride through the Moons smoothly; doing so is merely a bonus. This is because your G Zone now houses multiple additional ways to expand your hand and stack, so you are both able to last longer and dig further while setting up more. As a result, you'll almost always want to ride whatever you happen to have (with rare exceptions when going first) so as to keep up with your opponent and Stride your way into an increasingly better situation. It's worth noting that a Full Moon penalized with a power drop is far less likely to lose you a game now, because your G Units still inherit the printed power of 11000 and are able to use their skills unhindered. Do try to clear out 12K beaters in this situation, though. They'll still hurt pretty badly on the defensive.

Another rather profound benefit to the new Stride-centric model is that you don't need to extend a booster for the Vanguard most of the time. This is great for many reasons, especially for the sample build. Because half of the already limited number of solid boosters (7!) have a tendency to become Stride fodder first, you'd much rather save the remainder for your rear-guard lanes. Meanwhile, that empty back circle leaves a convenient space to drop nice techs like Lemonade or Milk when the time comes. There's also a certain value in swinging with a lone Quilin; opponents are far more inclined to guard when it's only clocking in at 26K, and in doing so, they leave themselves with that much less to survive oncoming rounds.

As the Oracle Think Tank pool has grown significantly over the years, I'd rather not touch on every single card as it relates to this deck (although most don't, truthfully), but to remain in the same vein as my older articles, I'll gladly touch on the ones I feel are best and otherwise high profile candidates.

Grade 3

Grade 3 Susanoo: Balanced almost to a fault, I find myself appreciating but not regularly requiring the headlining boss of G-BT01 to be in my Vanguard Circle. This is because Kuroikazuchi generates the same card for the same cost, and generally speaking, I'm making a conscious effort to slow my progress through the deck to ensure I don't go doing something silly like overshooting the stack by one or firing off a nice band of triggers too early. However, therein lie his greatest strengths; he's a deadly pressure unit in slower games. His GB2 is especially threatening if your opponent has been guarding those Quilins. He closes damage gaps generated by excessive healing. He offers the means to jump through the deck by two, something no other single card does. On the other hand, he doesn't provide a means to fire back against an early game rush when going first like the Full Moon can. He's shut off entirely by rogue decks that stay on Grade 2 or less. There's nothing objectively better to use than him, though, so I've made the effort to finesse each of his benefits to the greatest extent I can.

Grade 3 Tsukuyomi: Far from a requirement, but I appreciate it above other options for two main reasons. The first is that it offers a play prior to Stride territory, so long as you ride the chain all the way up and use a Psychic Bird. The second and perhaps more important reason is that a superior ride into the Full Moon means one additional Grade 3 is free to become stride fodder or even enter play as a rear-guard. With no traditional beaters amongst the top end of my current build, the only way to make an 18K lane to tackle a rogue crossride is with these. Other situations may still call for a column of 11K + 5K. It's not a freedom to be understated.

Battle Sister, Mille Feuille: A more straightforward and easy-to-use Full Moon that trades the ability to be searched for a permanent 11K body. Not much to say. Good is good. Not reusable until you can Stride, though.

Grade 2

Diviner, Kuroikazuchi: A direct upgrade to Libra in both cost and effectiveness. There's no reason not to use him, really, unless you're really good at piloting Stellar Magus or something.

Promise Daughter: The simplest means of making your final push. An opponent at five damage is forced to feed you an extra card at the cost of one of yours, one that you likely won't be missing, especially if it means the opponent is losing on the spot.

Silent Tom: The old monster is back, though his lust for an 8K boost still persists. Thankfully, you can play upwards of 8 now, if you're willing to restructure the deck a bit. But that's my problem with him - I'd rather play other, more flexible Grade 1s.

Diviner, Shinatsuhiko: A card to keep in mind as crossrides drop in and out of viability. Not so relevant as I type, but you know how things go... and he's definitely the easiest 12K beater to maintain anyway.

Grade 1

Divine Sword, Amenomurakumo: Securing Susanoo at the expense of shuffling the deck will rarely be worthwhile. No, the main application of this card is serving as additional Stride food when it's not busy boosting. And you'd be surprised at just how often that can be when toting a twelve crit lineup and GB-locked draws out the nuts. Moving on...

8K Vanillas: Aside from being a requirement for Tom, they do have a couple benefits innate to themselves. They're nice rides when the Crescent Moon falls through, and they make 17K lanes with just about anything on turn two, perfect for beating 7K Grade 1 rides over the head in the event you went first.

Mediator, Amenosagiri: I find that a good 99% of the time, the inability to protect a rear-guard with the new era Perfect Guards is irrelevant, especially for OTT. The other 1% of the time I'm getting donked by Bluish Flames because GOD DAMN IT I NEED THOSE INTERCEPTS. I'm... surprisingly okay with a DOTE in Legion going off, though. At any rate, the unflip is positively wonderful, more than enough to offset a rare grieving. Each CB is another card, after all. And you can obtain and use all your PGs rather easily in this deck, for a total of three. Sweet deal.

Dark Cat: For the more aggressive types. Just one tends to be enough to flood the field with a complete formation on turn two, as has been the case in ages past. I dropped it, though, because I was finding it gave Kagero the ability to survive long enough to deck me out. Consistently. And that's not nice!

Weather Girl, Milk: 36K in the center is no joke. It's easy to maintain the power bump now, too.

Battle Sister, Lemonade: As resource deflation occurred, this little number's value increased, and now she's outshining Luck Bird for the most part. As she should - she's got a one or two turn delay for which to compensate.

Tankman Mode Morning Star: For Amaterasu variants. Don't consider otherwise.

Battle Sister, Lollipop: For Battle Sister variants. Both Parfait and Monaka are powerful options with her in tow. I... suppose you could try her with a Magus variant too, but I wouldn't bother personally. Lack of space and homogeneity and all that.

Grade 0



...okay, okay, Heals are still god tier, and you still want four. They expand your shenanigans in many ways, including the game stealing no guard on a massive lane that would have otherwise won were you not an evil asshole who stacked it.

But speaking from experience, Draws do absolutely nothing here. Every drive check that features one is better off being a crit to advance the game state, and every damage check that features one is just another step closer to deck out territory. The drop in overall shield value you eat for running them is rather harsh.

Stands don't make such a good fit either. They call for a lot of beaters at 11K and higher, and even if you were to pack as many as you feasibly could, there wouldn't really be enough in the deck to justify them. Maybe Battle Sisters could do it at a stretch, but you definitely want to stay away from Nono. She doesn't even stall deck decay like Lozenge can in vital moments.

Aaand since OTT doesn't have any nice tech G0s to look at, I think we're done!

Now sally forth with your new found (or refined) image of victory!

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding specific plays, match-ups, etc. The line is always open. By which I mean the comment section. And Pojo. And every so often Skype.

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