Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sephirot, Neo Nectar:Deck Breakdown

A 3rd generation Ride Chain deck, Sephirot's ability to power up any cloned units around it makes it extremely threatening with its access to 9-11K boosters, and 11-14K beaters. Ranging from stable 18K columns to 25K powerhouses, when all goes right for the deck, its output is absolutely devastating. However, its only real way of actually cloning units, aside from playing the waiting game to draw into more, is through the use of its Ride Chain. But with only a 1/3 chance of going off, and reliance on having multiple cards to combo with so early on in the fight, is there any way to consistently set up its skill?

Arboros Dragon, Ratoon
X4 Chestnut Bullet
X4 Dancing Sunflower
X1 Four Leaf Fairy
X3 Night Queen Musketeer, Daniel
X4 Sweet Honey

X4 Arboros Dragon, Branch
X4 Corolla Dragon
X3 Lady of the Sunlit Forest
X4 Maiden of Blossom Rain

X4 Arboros Dragon, Timber
X4 Iris Knight
X2 Maiden of Rainbow Wood

X4 Arboros Dragon, Sephirot
X4 Maiden of Trailing Rose

Due to how the Ride Chain works, there needs to be much more emphasis on the amount of copies to use for Grade 1s. While having to ignore a quirky tech like Lily Knight of the Valley, and it not exactly being as stable to run 16 Grade 1s in this deck for a roundabout 4-4-4-4 line up among the Grade 1s, 15 Grade 1s fitting as many units as possible are here to do the job.

A high priority of the deck is to make sure that Vanillas take the spotlight constantly. Not only for practical reasons like their base stats just being higher and much more stable to work with, but to make sure that Sephirot's skill is almost always active. While it's not as big of a problem for the Grade 1 selection, as anything over 7K power will become at least a 10K booster which either Sephirot or Maiden of Trailing Rose can use, and Iris Knight while fighting 10Ks, 9K beaters will only reach 12K power. While Corolla Dragon can still use them if you were to fight 10K Vanguards, not consistently being able to reach 21K power lines with them is near hazardous, seeing that almost the entirety of Sephirot's strengths lie within making power lines bigger than your opponent's. Along with this, the Grade 2 and 3 line up is especially important for trying to set up Sephirot's skill. Unlike the Grade 1s, which must combo off each other to get out those field set ups, the ability to intercept allows your frontrow to constantly change as you'd need, placing further emphasis on your beaters. Thus, the 10K powered, 13K post Limit Break attacking Vanillas have to take up 4 spots for the deck.

It should be noted that if your aim is to use Sephirot and specifically Sephirot for its Limit Break, you should almost never ride Maiden of Trailing Rose over it.

Okay, that's actually an extreme thing to say, but there is some cohesive logic behind it. Unless you want to involve a lot of Grade 3s into your strategy, or risk slowing down your field development by 2 attackers, Maiden of Trailing Rose is almost never the better ride if your aim is to specifically aim for Sephirot. While I'm not going to deny the pressure it can supply while there are still holes in your field, the entire principle behind Maiden of Trailing Rose's Persona Blast is to have a second copy of itself — a second copy that can trigger Sephirot's Limit Break. The entire principle behind using Maiden of Trailing Rose's Persona Blast to find another copy of a unit on your field is completely unorthodox in that the cost to activate it is to get rid of another copy of an easily fieldable unit. I'd really like to know if the logic makes sense, by the way, but with this in mind, it basically means that if you had to choose between riding Sephirot or Maiden of Trailing Rose, your choice will have to set up entirely different ways to play, from using Maiden of Trailing Rose for its Pressure or Sephirot for its raw power. But it's not efficient at all to use Maiden of Trailing Rose for Sephirot unless there was no option to do so otherwise.

That interesting little tidbit aside, there is one trick Sephirot has access to, without any misplaced need to use an entirely other card to supplement it. If anyone has ever faced off Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes, and have been annoyed by both its efficiency and power, well take another look at Sephirot. It's hard to imagine with this deck to not have an at least 7K powered booster behind the Vanguard, and just for the example, Sephirot's power is at 11K. If you were to call a second Sephirot, you create a pseudo-Palamedes. For little reason other than just to exist on the field, you are now loaded with a 13K Rear-Guard attacker which can easily be set up with an 8K booster if you played out right, and a 21K Vanguard column just for the double whammy on the opponent. No tricks, no gimmicks, ridiculously tiny margins for error. Just power. Of course, different variations of that move exist and all depend on playing out the situation correctly, but overall, it can definitely and suddenly turn the fight into your favor when pulled off successfully.

How the Deck Works

Past the Ride Chain, there's nothing to really make the deck very special, quite frankly. For the most part, the entire strategy of the deck relies on calling out units and beating away, simply that.

All in all, you must place emphasis on the cards you run 4 of. By the late game, if you run 4 copies of a card, you'll generally see 2 copies of it by then. This is obviously a key aspect to setting up your power lines with Sephirot that doesn't involve cloning, so Iris Knight, Sephirot, Maiden of Trailing Rose, and Timber if you didn't ride one should be clear targets in your hand to call. In my opinion, the best move is to focus on one of them and call any others. Since you're usually bound to draw a second copy of a card you run 4 of by the late game, you might see a second copy of each card, however that wouldn't help if you recklessly managed to throw down all of them, or lost yourself to being too greedy and holding onto all of them for too long.

As for Sephirot vs. Maiden of Trailing Rose, the player at hand must be able to call the shots correctly. While it's very clear to ride Sephirot right away if the Ride Chain has been successful up to that point, almost the entirety of every other scenario fits into a gray zone where a player must decide if they can deal with going vanilla for a few turns but setting up Sephirot, or establishing pressure to carry through the midgame but very slightly possible chance to clash with the deck's goal.

Other than that, what's important is that you always keep an eye on the cards entering your hand. It's suicide not to build your backrow right away, even if it may hinder Sephirot's skill, however it's something that must be done, so your best bet there is either dumb luck or Sephirot's Ride Chain. Up at the frontrow where intercepts can work however, far more things are in your control, and taking advantage of this control can easily lead to solid power lines thanks to Sephirot, and the ability to overwhelm most any opponent with the sudden power spikes.


  1. How well does that deck fare against MLB or The End?

    1. Very poorly.

      Yeah, this deck becomes far more gimmicky the higher the number you're trying to ramp up to. Couple this with its fragile midgame - something both MLB and the End's pressure will greatly abuse - and the reliance on Rear-Guards automatically making the deck prone to virtually any retiring whether from a Blaster or a Kagero, and usually you just can't help but watch the deck quickly fall apart in that match up.

  2. I routinely defeat MLB and DotE decks with my version of Sephirot. I lose too, sure, but it's usually a toss-up. Sephirot can be competitive in the right hands.

    To get around the early/mid game threats with MLB, attack sparingly so that your first Corolla Dragon isn't sniped right away -- this ensures that you'll get at least one extra on the field, which ensures that you'll get at least two on the field if you ride the whole chain. The only real problem is getting proper front row rear-guards to make up for it, and keeping enough pressure. If you play your hand wisely then you'll be able to out-pressure MLB. It's a rough game, but it's pretty 50/50 when both decks are at their finest and both players know what they're doing.

    DotE is much of the same, with the only difference being that you'll have to push harder and will have less hand to work with. You want to bait out nuke targets to make way for your final turn swingers, but otherwise you have to play a lot like you would against MLB.

    I prefer Hey Yo Pineapple over Iris Knight because it allows me to drop basically anything to hit at least 22k columns: Sephirot vanguard (22k, 25k with two), Maiden rear-guard (22k, 25k with two), Hey Yo Pineapple rear-guard (22k, 25k with two), Corolla Dragon rear-guard (22k with two), Glass Beads (23k with two), Timber (23k with two), Laurel (23k, 26k with two).

    That relies on having Corolla Dragons out, but when that fails you can still use Branch for 1k less on each column, Mina for 2k less on each column (earlier LB), or if needed Blossom Rain (2k less on each column).

    I run 4x heal 4x stand 8x crit plus 4x branch 4x corolla dragon 3x blossom rain 2x mina as g1, 4x timber 4x hey yo pineapple 3x glass beads as g2, and 3x sephirot 3x maiden of trailing rose 3x laurel as g3.

    I use 9 g3's -- from my 400 or so games with the deck so far, this is the best setup I've found success with. not having at least 4 cards on the field rarely happens, so hey yo is better for more consistent shenanigans.

    1. Eh no, once MLB turns live by turn 3, you have to constantly guard against MLB. Also, Sephirot only starts pressure at late game due to its limit break.

      Also it doesn't matter if you attack sparingly. MLB players can always use blaster blade effect later. Also, once The End appears, you have to constantly guard or prepared to be persona blast. Not to mention, with heatnail that acts as pressure constantly and kimnara to snipe backrow, Sephirot will fall apart.

  3. Also, I see no difference in using pineapple over iris knight. A 22k column compared to 21k column still requires 10k guard to crossride. And I don't see the point of playing so many G3.

  4. Sooo... not gonna use more Maiden of Libra clones? Once they're cloned and past 4 damage they're scary.

    1. Not exactly. Once boosted, they'll go for 12K. While this may be fine and dandy if you've got +9K boosters, the only way to do this is to have another set of cloned boosters. It's simply not as optimal to be relying on so many cards to go off correctly.