Ancient Nights ~ Preview 6 ~ A Kingdom of Gems

Good evening, rulers. Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the first Reiya Cluster Booster pack, Ancient Nights! Last weekend saw the release of the new Reiya Cluster starter decks. Including our good friends the Pandas. We've seen support for a few of the starter deck rulers so far, but haven't touched the Pandas since their initial reveal article. Today we rectify that as we explore some panda/Gem support cards!

Our first card isn't actually a panda, but a cat. A cat with the sassiest face I've ever seen. White Cat of Sasaru Palace is pretty simple. It's a total cost one resonator that enters the field with 200 ATK and DEF. When its put into the graveyard from the field, you'll be able to gain a gem of any attribute. Pretty simple, and pretty effective. Gaining gems is going to be a lot more important than you may have previously thought, as will soon be shown. Thus, we're going to want a good number of cards that can generate gems for us and White Cat of Sasaru Palace is a card we can lay down first turn that can advance us towards that goal.

Next is Gem Minister Garnet. She's a total cost three Panda resonator that enters the field with only 500 ATK, but 900 DEF. Upon entry she'll grant you a gem of any attribute and let you draw a card. Not an offensive powerhouse, but her relatively high DEF helps you keep your opponent's threats in check, while also building your pool of gems and helping you keep hand advantage. 

Alright, here we go. So, why is building up our gems so important? We've seen that 《Taegrus Pearlshine, Lord of the Mountain》uses them to make himself stronger of course, along with a few other effects from cards here and there, but we haven't seen a particularly big play using our gems yet. Until now anyway. Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei, Acrobatic Twins are the big reason to stockpile gems. The Twins are a total cost five resonator that enters the field with 1000 ATK and DEF. Nothing too spectacular until you take a look at their ability. When they enter the field, you'll be able to search your deck for any Panda card and put it into the field if you banish two light gems. Yes, that includes playing another Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei. So if you play one of these and have enough gems, you can play all the other copies from your deck as well, as each one's ability will trigger when fielded, making this card a win condition by nature of swarming the field with powerful resonators with only one play, no tricky combos required. But wait! After we play the fourth Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei from our deck with the third's ability, if we have gems leftover, what do we play? Well, you've got quite a few options, 《Diamond, the One-Eyed Treasury Magician》from the starter decks seems like a good choice.

However, Gem Blade Emerald just might be the best. She's a total cost four resonator with 800 ATK and DEF. Pretty low stats for a resonator of her cost, but that's because if you play her while you control a wind them, she'll recover up to four target magic stones when she enters the field. Essentially, she's free if you play her with a wind gem, since she gives you back access to four magic stones after you play her. This card makes a particularly good combo with Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei as the card to play with the final copy of the twins' effect. You've rested five magic stones to play Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei, then banished a bunch of light gems to play all four copies of them from your deck. Sure you've got a bunch of 1000/1000 resonators on the field but you've used up all your magic stones! That's why you call in Emerald with the final Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei, to recover four magic stones to make more plays or to have open on your opponent's turn for counters. Even on her own, Emerald is essentially free to play as long as you've got a wind gem and four magic stones to pay her cost, making her a great inclusion in any deck with gems.

Now here's something interesting. Orphica, Dancer in the White Mist is a total cost two Dragonoid resonator that enters the field with 400 ATK and DEF. Don't underestimate her though as she powers up all Pandas you control by +200/+200. She also removes a target resonator from the game when she enters the field. Dont' rely on this for permanent removal though, as it will return to the field under its owner's control at the end of the turn. This ability can be utilized to remove a problematic blocker, sure, but it can also be used on our own resonators to abuse their abilities that trigger when they enter the field (Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei anybody?). Lastly, when she's put into a graveyard from the field, you'll be able to search your deck for a Panda and add it to your hand, making her quite useful in setting up a power play next turn with Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei or just pulling out whatever other Panda you think you might need!

Heavy Arms Panda is a pretty simple resonator and also makes for a good choice for the final Shin-Shin&Rei-Rei effect. He's an 800/800 total cost four resonator, but he gains +400/+400 as long as you control gems with three or more different attributes, pushing him to a 1200/1200, considerably higher than most other resonators of his cost. He can't provide the resources that Gem Blade Emerald Can, but he's a much better offensive force.  Make use of him if you're trying to go all out and deal as much damage to your opponent as you can.

Well that's all the resonators for today, but we've also got some chant cards to have a peek at. Discovery is a total cost one Quickcast chant that grants us a gem of any attribute and lets us draw a card. Simple, and incredible useful for Pandas. The ability to gain a gem of any attribute is very valuable for making sure we have the right gems for cards like Emerald, and drawing a card only makes the card even more useful. Quickcast is what really sets the chant off, allowing use to keep some stones open on our opponent's turn for counter options, and then play this card at the end of their turn if we ended up not using a counter.

Last for today is another total cost one chant called Gem Protection. It grants you a gem of any attribute. Then it allows you to banish a gem. If you do you prevent all damage that would be dealt to a resonator by sources that share an attribute with the gem you banished. For good measure that resonator also gains Barrier against the attribute of the banished gem. Pretty handy for protecting a key card, but without Quickcast, you're going to need some foresight to use it effectively. Play it just before you choose to attack with a key offensive card to keep it safe from your opponent.

Reiya Cluster 1st Set 「Ancient Nights」