A reader offers his expertise on the Final Fantasy TCG by reviewing the latest Opus 10 set of cards and the new rules they bring.
A lot has happened in the world of the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (FFTCG) since my last review of Opus 9. A new two player starter set titled Wraith vs. Knight has been released. Based around Cloud of Darkness and Onion Knight from Final Fantasy 3, it features exclusive and new full art cards. Another two-player starter set, simply called Cloud vs. Sephiroth has been announced for sale in February 2020, to coincide with the release of the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Finally, Opus 11 has already been announced and will release slightly later, in March 2020, and some spoilers are already out in the wild. I know we are slightly getting ahead of ourselves but it is an exciting time for FFTCG and players are grateful of the continued support.
On to Opus 10: Ancient Champions, the poster boy for this tenth core set is the fabled Warrior of Light and this latest set introduces a much-needed brand new keyword mechanic, based around how much damage you have taken, appropriately called Damage. This new word initiates effects once a player has taken a specified amount of damage. As you can see from the pictured Squall card when you hit particular thresholds of damage the stronger he becomes.
This opens up further tactical options, such as deliberately taking damage or holding off from dealing it in the early game, leading to even more exciting late-game developments adding a whole new level of tactics to your game. As the most common win condition is by dealing seven points of damage to your opponent (the only other way to secure victory is by making the other player deck out) this is a very risky strategy and probably best suited to skilled players who like to play the long game.
I do like that receiving damage can now be used as a resource and some cards, in particular Earth element cards from previous sets, will now become even stronger as they will benefit from this new keyword despite not having the keyword Damage itself.
A perfect example of this is the Gabranth card, from way back in Opus 2. If you have been dealt six points of damage – just one point of damage away from losing the game, remember – you could play this card for just one cost instead of the usual seven cost, which is amazing value but you run the risk of leaving it too late to turn the game around. Overlooked and long forgotten cards once again can become viable, so it is time to scan through the extensive card pool and build a deck around the Damage archetype.
Opus 10 has more original card artwork by renowned artists, as well as the introduction of a new spin-off title from the main series: Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings. It also features characters from World Of Final Fantasy, Mobius Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy 3, 4, and 12. Opus 10 comprises of 140 standard cards plus a whopping 22 special full arts. I was quite critical of full art cards in my previous article, for adding another layer of collectability, but I am now being slowly being won over by some of the wonderful designs. Take a look at this Penelo card.
FFTCG was in need of a slight freshen up, as it was becoming somewhat stale, but with the introduction of Damage and another promised new mechanic with a twist on the horizon things are back on the right track. Happy deck building.
By reader Thomas Pozzetti (eyetunes – PSN ID)
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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