First Impressions – The Knights in the Clouds
Our first look at the Keter Sanctuary start deck’s ride deck cards. Whilst the have simple card design all round. I think there are some things to note about the design on these cards.
Knight of Heavenly Sword, Fort
[AUTO]:When this unit is rode upon by “Knight of Heavenly Spear, Rooks”, [COST][reveal two grade 3 cards from your hand], reveal the top card of your deck, call it to (RC) if it is a unit card, and put it into your drop if it isn’t.
[ACT](RC)[1/turn]:[COST][Counter-Blast 1], choose one of your grade 3 vanguards, and it gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn.
First up is our the first of our dedicated Ride Deck cards for the Start Deck. When ridden upon by Rooks (The G2), you are able to reveal 2 G3s from your hand to call the top card of your deck if it’s a unit card. Being a superior call, this ignores the current grade of your Vanguard and will always be a free unit unless you are unlucky enough to check one of the deck’s 4 order cards. It helps in the early game to establish something of a board albeit it has a fair amount of variance, even with 13 G3s still in the deck (Although there are 16 in the deck, there are at least 2 in your hand and always 1 in your ride deck). This random element is not unlike early Gold Paladin decks – sometimes you will be lucky and call forth a Grade 3 unit to start rushing, sometimes you will end up calling a trigger and sometimes, you will be discarding an order.
As a rearguard it has also has an ACT skill to power up a Grade 3 Vanguard by 5k for CB1, keeping it a useful rearguard throughout the game as Fort does not need to be called on the same turn to reap the benefits of its ACT skill (compared to the plethora of on place skills we used to saw in V series). CB1 may seem expensive for 5k to your Vanguard and only on T3 but we haven’t seen any other skills that use CB yet so it doesn’t have any competition for that resource right now.
Knight of Heavenly Spear, Rooks
[AUTO]: When this unit is rode upon by “Apex Ruler, Bastion”, [COST][reveal three grade 3 cards from your hand], and draw a card.
[CONT](RC):During your turn, if you have three or more grade 3 units, this unit gets “Boost”, and [Power]+5000.
When Bastion rides over Rooks, you have to reveal 3 G3 Cards from your hand to draw a card. While not anything too special on paper, we have seen very limited draw potential in the start decks so far and this is a draw skill with only a condition as its cost – no resources are expended. The extra card will definitely be useful when playing a deck with this many Grade 3s.
Its second skill in particular is what I would like to highlight. If you control 3 G3 Units, (including the VG), this unit gains 5k and boost. Effectively this unit will act as a 15k Booster most of the time. When paired with a G3 this forms a beefy 30k line as early as your first G3 ride. Remember with the drop in shield values for heals, this will always demand at least 2 cards to guard against outside of an Overtrigger.
This keeps Rooks very flexible throughout the game so long as you’re able to maintain 2 G3 rearguards, which given the deck ratios should be rather easy. It can either function as a 15k attacker and intercepter or as the strong boosters in the back row.
Apex Ruler, Bastion
[CONT](VC):During your turn, all of your grade 3 units get [Power]+2000.
[AUTO](VC)[1/turn]:At the end of the battle that your drive check revealed a grade 3, [COST][discard a card from your hand], choose one of your rear-guards, [Stand] it, and it gets [Power]+10000 until end of turn.
Finally, we get to the top of the chain with Apex Ruler, Bastion. He has 2 simple effects, both only activate when he’s on the Vanguard circle.
His first gives all your G3 units a passive 2k bonus during your turn which, while not much, helps to make your units hit number thresholds in particular against G2 units and when being boosted by an 8k rearguard. Still, we will have to see how influential this will be with more reveals and in particular what the G3 rearguards that line up alongside side Bastion will do.
A full G3 front row is always hitting over damage triggers with a booster!
- 8+13+2 = 23
- 8+13+2+5 = 28 (with 8k Booster + Fort’s skill)
- 15 + 15 = 30 (with Rooks)
Its second skill is something we have seen before, albeit rather unexplored considering within United Sanctuary, the predecessor to Keter Sanctuary, there’s no history of major skills depending on drive checking units.
At the end of the battle, if you checked a Grade 3 you may discard a card from your hand to restand any of your rearguards and grant it 10k power. It effectively converts the G3s in your deck into HOPT 10k stand triggers! This gives you access to multiple attacks, albeit with some variance. Do note that this skill is once per turn, and can only activate once despite how many G3s you may have checked
All the more , by using persona ride all of this numbers will go up a stage to demand even more shield out of your opponent.
The G3 Clause
The most concerning part of the design of these cards is its reliance on G3s for its skills to activate. The most notable decks with such a focus tend to be very linear or suffer from consistency issues, as we saw with Astral Poets which ran multiple G3s alongside Valkerion.
From what we’ve seen from the start deck, the suggested amount of G3s is 16. Excluding the ride deck, this means that 15/46 of your deck will be grade 3s which at the moment seems rather risky as Grade 3s do not have natural shield, which may leave us prone to being rushed. It also can affect how aggressive our early game is.
The Ride Deck
With the ride deck, misriding is no longer an issue. In fact this allows us to mulligan more aggressively for G3s to meet the requirements of Fort and Rooks to make sure we get most out of the ride deck cards consistently.
Overall, Bastion is looking to be a really solid boss for the start of overDress, it’s simple and strong and works best in formations, much like its predecessors in the paladins. I am looking forward to seeing if deck manipulation from the other clans in Keter Sanctuary makes it into early sets to add more layers to the deck. Imagining using that to plan out turns with Bastion more effectively!
With that lets sit back and watch on to see how Keter develops going forward!