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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#CFV - Gold Paladin Impression & Review (Part 3)

Alas, I'm at the part where I give my impression about the heart and soul of Gold Paladin's decks! Among the six Grade 3 Gold Paladins currently revealed, only two of them are worthy of being main Vanguards: Great Silver Wolf, Garmall & Burning Lion, Blonde Aezel.

First, let me start by giving my impressions about Gold Paladin's mascot, Garmall. If we don't compare him to it's competition for the main Vanguard spot, Aezel, this card can be considered as a pretty good Vanguard for Gold Paladins. The search effect for 2 Counter Blasts when he is played on the Vanguard circle can be helpful for immediate support. Assuming you are missing a booster unit to boost Garmall, he can CB2 and go search for either Chargegal or Little Duelist, Toron that will both make him reach magic numbers when swinging (Chargegal being the best option here). The only flaw I find in this effect, though, is that it's not an activation effect and can only be used when he is called. If you don't have 2 Counter Blast available, like Blaster Blade, he becomes a vanilla unit when called (until you reach 4 damage that is).

Great Silver Wolf, Garmall
AUTO [(VC)]: [Limit Break 4] (Active when you have 4 or more damage) When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power] +5000 until end of that battle.
AUTO: [Counter-Blast 2] When this unit is placed on (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, search from your deck, up to one grade 2 or less <Gold Paladin>, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.
I would consider Chargegal a staple to Gold Paladin players that really wants to to get the most out of Garmall as it is the only reason why I think Garmall is a viable pick when Aezel is also around. With Chargegal behind Garmall, Garmall can ALWAYS swing with magic numbers. Let me explain: 16k power is the minimum they can achieve and this is already a magic number that forces out 10k blockers, they can get to 21k if one of them decides to activates their effect (either Chargegal's Soul Blast or Garmall's Limit Break) which forces out 2 cards from your opponent's hand regardless of their Vanguard and last but not least, they can reach 26k power which is pretty much considered as a guaranteed hit unless it gets null guarded. What is also good with this combination, is the fact that for only 1 Soul, they can reach the 21k power when Garmall in a Rearguard circle too!

   Auto [R]: [Soul Blast (1)] When this unit boosts「Great Silver Wolf, Garmall」, you may pay the cost. If you do, the boosted unit gets POWER+5000 until end of that battle.

In my opinion, Garmall is surely not a bad card, but it has it's flaws. The power boost he gets from the Limit break is good and can make him swing for big numbers consistently, but the fact that it comes so late into the game cripples it's effectiveness (only 1 Critical away from death). I think he becomes a viable pick more so because of the support he can have behind him both as a Rearguard and a Vanguard, but still, I'd rather be able to swing for big numbers early and be able to call support when in danger to try and finish the game as soon as possible - and this is where Aezel comes into play because he does exactly that.

Burning Lion, Blonde Aezel
Activate 【V】 [Limit Break (4)] {When you have four or more damage}: [Counter Blast (2)] Look at the top card of your deck. If that card is a 《Gold Paladin》, call that card to a [R] without an unit. If not, put that card to the bottom of your deck. This unit gets Power equals to the Power of that unit called by this ability until end of turn.
Continuous 【V】: This unit gets Power +1000 for each of your 《Gold Paladin》 rear-guards during your turn.

Burning Lion, Blonde Aezel is probably the card you will see most of the time in the Vanguard spot in competitive Gold Paladin decks. Although it's effects are really similar to Garmall's, their timing are not exactly the same and I believe that will make a difference between the two of them. With his second effect, Aezel is able to swing for big numbers as soon as he is called on the field depending on how many units you have on the field. With only 1 unit beside him (excluding the unit boosting him) , Aezel is able to swing for 20k+ if Gareth or Toron are the units boosting him. With 2 units, he can reach 20-21k+ power if the aforementioned boosters are still behind him, Hougang or Slaygal Dagger. While it requires a little more cards, reaching those magic numbers will most likely happen because Aezel does not need a single specific card to be able to hit hard unlike Garmall who absolutely needs Chargegal behind with some soul. As for Aezel's Limit Break, I think it's a really good effect if you want to push for game. Not only it is an activation effect (meaning you can activate it more than a single time a turn if you have the counters available), but the upcoming unit basically gives it's power to Aezel while boosting him because of it's presence on the field. Although it is true that the upcoming unit can be a card that you would not want on the field (i.e: triggers), the fact that it's an activation effect and that you can activate it before any other Rearguard gives the possibility to the player to place his units on the Rearguard circle according to what he revealed with the Limit Break. It's definitely a good effect in late game as it pressures the opponent with Azeal's huge power, and at the same time mills your deck for more chances to get the trigger you need to finish the job (assuming you don't reveal a trigger with the Limit Break).

The only real advantage Garmall has over Aezel is that there is no solid way for Aezel to get to 21k in the rearguard, but I think the fact that Aezel has a Superior Ride support compensate for all of this and makes him a better option. 

Anyways, that's my take on the two big bosses of Gold Paladins. I'm not an expert and I might be wrong and some place as this is only theories, so take this with a grain of salt.