Echoes of the New World ~ Preview 7 ~ The Dragon Shrine Maiden

Hello again, rulers! Welcome to the penultimate preview article for the rapidly approaching release of Echoes of the New World. At long last we're nearing the end, and in this article we're actually looking at the final J/ruler card in the booster set. There's been quite a bit of speculation as to who the water attribute J/ruler is. Most seemed to think it would be Alice or Charlotte. However, once the plate inserts included in the booster box were revealed people quickly hit upon the idea that the mysterious new horned girl was the water J/ruler, but still had no idea who she was. Well I'm happy to say that today, we're actually going to find out! 

Dragon Shrine Maiden is quite a basic J/ruler. But never confuse basic for bad, my friends! She's a water attribute dragonoid Ruler with a Judgment cost of one water will. She's got energize too, which grants you a will coin that can be banished to produce one water will if you aren't the first turn player. She's only got one unique ability, an activate ability that lets you draw a card. Having draw power stuck on a ruler is pretty dang handy, as it means it is always accessible to you. However, the activation cost requires you to rest the Ruler. That means, under normal circumstances, you'll be forgoing calling a magic stone that turn, which is a pretty hefty loss, especially in the early game. The ability is still useful of course, but without relying on will ramp, or waiting until the late game, when ramping up stones is less vital, this ability may be a little too risky. Hmm...if only there were a way to call a magic stone each turn without actually having to rest our ruler...Ah well. I'm sure that's absolutely impossible. For now, why don't we have a look at Dragon Shrine Maiden's J-ruler side. After all, she's got a Judgment that only costs one will, that's quite rare. So what does her J-ruler have in store for us?

Once you play the ruler's Judgment you'll put the card into your field as Flute, Time Altering Priestess. She sports 700 ATK and 800 DEF, which is quite good considering how low the card's Judgment cost is. She doesn't sport any keyword skills or any abilities that really help her offensively though, so if you're hoping for a ruler that can function as a hasty attacker, be ready to include a lot of Laevateins and other regalia, and post Alice Cluster rotation, you'll just be out of luck in that regard. However, Flute is so much more than just a low cost body on the field. When she enters the field you'll be able to put all non-magic stone cards that were put from a field into your graveyard that turn back into your hand. This is helpful for when you banish resonators, as using Flute's Judgment means you can easily snag those cards back into your hand so you don't have to lose them! This is great if you plan on playing cards with field wiping abilities like Yamata-No-Orochi. It can also be used as a recovery if your opponent destroys a valuable card or two during your turn. Be warned though, Judgment doesn't have Quickcast, so you can only have Flute enter your field (and therefor trigger this ability) on your turn. As such you won't be able to use it to salvage cards during your opponent's turn. Even so, the ability is pretty handy considering it essentially costs one will to activate and is attached to a 700/800 card. That's certainly not all though, Flute releases the Seal abilities of all water cards and spells you control as long as she's on the field. This is pretty huge. The other cards that release Seal abilities we've seen have all been resonators. Not only are resonators more fragile than J-rulers, especially post Alice Cluster rotation when Black Moonbeam is gone, but they also cost more and require you to actually draw them from your deck. You always have access to playing Flute and her low Judgment only makes that easier. Now, we haven't actually seen any water cards with Seal yet, but you wanna bet that's going to change soon? Finally, Flute has an activate ability that allows you to put her back into your ruler area, as a ruler by paying three will. Again, High Speed Dash does exist, but with this ability we don't have to worry about running that card, though this ability is a bit more costly. Being able to return Flute to her ruler side means we get access to her card drawing ability again as well as being able to play her Judgment to salvage cards that were destroyed multiple times. It does mean that water cards will become sealed again if you don't control enough magic stones though, so only play this ability if you really need to draw/salvage cards or get Flute out of a tight spot where she'd be destroyed!

Ah, at last we've got a new special magic stone! Though there are only two in this booster set, speculation abounded as to what they would be, especially because we haven't shown either of them until now. We'll you'll need to wait a bit longer to see the other one I'm afraid, but let's have a look at this one for now. Time Altering Magic stone could be considered Flute's signature stone, though there's no actual detriment to playing this magic stone without using Flute as your J/ruler. It produces water will, which is perfectly fine for water focused decks, but is noticeably lacking the ability that treats it as a water magic stone. While this doesn't matter quite as much as, say, counting as a wind magic stone (making a card more easy to be played via outside cards and abilities), it does mean that this card won't trigger Resonance abilities that trigger off of water magic stones, so keep that in mind if you're planning on including this card and cards with Resonance abilities in your deck. Beyond just producing will, this card is coupled with another activate ability. By resting this card and then banishing it, you can shuffle up to three non-magic stone cards from their graveyards into their owners' decks. This ability works somewhat like Flute's own automatic ability, though it can be played at instant speed. The downside is that you have to banish a magic stone to get the effect. As such, this ability is best kept in your back pocket until late game, or if an earlier situation is particularly pressing. This effect can be good for salvaging your own cards of course, but since the cards targeted by this effect are shuffled back into the deck, there's no guarantee you'll draw them soon. With this in mind, this card actually makes for a good way to stop your opponent from putting cards from their graveyard into their field or hand. The obvious comparison in this regard is, of course, Horn of Sacred Beasts, and while you have to banish a magic stone for this effect, the benefit is that its a card in your magic stone deck, not in your main deck, freeing up space in your main deck for other cards. Additionally, this card will stick around after rotation, once Horn of Sacred Beasts rotates out of New Frontiers. 

Alright, you ready for an insane common card? 'Cause here we go. So remember when I coyly alluded to a way of calling magic stones without resting your J/ruler, thereby allowing you to use Dragon Shrine Maiden's draw ability at your whim? This is the card that lets you do it. Flute's Water Dragon is a total cost one Dragon resonator with 100 ATK and 400 DEF. It's stats are perfectly acceptable for it's cost, but they're not particularly special. What is special about this resonator is its abilities. The first is a continuous ability that allows you to rest Flute's Water Dragon to call a magic stone instead of resting your J/ruler. This is incredibly useful for any ruler with an activate ability that requires resting (I'm lookin' at you Yggdrasil from last preview.). However, this does not mean that you can call two stones each turn. The act of calling a magic stone can only be done once per turn, regardless of whether you're resting a resonator or J/ruler for it. Note that this is different from effects that allow you to put a magic stone into your field. "Call a magic stone" is once per turn. "Put a magic stone" is as many times as you want so long as you can pay the cost for the spell or ability. If that were all Flute's Water Dragon did, it'd already be pretty handy, but nope, that's not all. The adorable little resonator also has a Seal (5) ability, meaning it becomes active once you have five or more magic stones in your field. Once released, the seal ability grants this resonator an extra +400/+400 and Flying, turning it into a total cost one Flying resonator with 500 ATK and 900 DEF for only one will. That is some dang good value right there. What makes this even better is that this ability can be released incredibly early thanks to Flute's own continuous ability and her low Judgment cost. This card is all kinds of value, especially for Flute.

Hey, you know who likes drawing cards? Flute. Flute likes drawing cards. A lot. Which makes the ruler and her supporting cards fantastic for control decks that eventually eke out wins via resonators like Charlotte, Wielder of the Sacred Spirit. Need proof? Just check out these two chant cards! Truth of Time is a total cost one chant that let's you draw a card. It's also got Ancient Magic which Alhama'at and the other Mana focused rulers are sure to enjoy. However, Flute makes this card even better, as it comes with a Seal (6) ability that, when released, allows you to draw a second card. So with Flute on the field this card costs one will to draw two cards, an absolutely phenomenal ability. 

That's nowhere near the end though as we also have the card Flute's Awakening.This is also a total cost one chant, though it doesn't have Ancient Magic. When played, the card allows you to recover a J/resonator you control, however it can't attack for the rest of that turn. Then the card allows you to draw one, replacing its spot in your hand. This card is great for when you want to attack all out, but still want to call a magic stone with Flute or Flute's Water Dragon, or just need a recovered J/resonator to block during your opponent's turn. Remember that this card doesn't have Quickcast though, it will require a little bit of foresight when playing it!

And speaking of Ancient Magic cards, hello Luna! Luna, Magician of the Moon Star is a total cost three Seven Luminaries Mage with 800 ATK and DEF. She sports Will of Despair, making her easily playable in Book of Dark decks. More interestingly though, she's got Mana 4, meaning she enters the field with four mana counters on her. She can, as you'd expect, remove these counters to produce water will that can be used to play Ancient Magic cards. Luna is a great card for any deck focusing on Ancient Magic cards, she's especially helpful for when you want to play something like Ancient Knowledge and don't want to sacrifice your magic stones or mana counters on your J/ruler to do it. Beyond her Mana abilities, Luna isn't much more than a body, though if you're able to remove Luna from play and then return her to the field she'll re-enter with all her Mana counters which could be a nice little combo to play several Ancient Magic cards without using many counters. 

Last for today is a very interesting addition card, The Blue Planet. It costs two to play, and upon entry let's you draw a card. Under normal circumstances, that's all it does, which isn't particularly helpful. Especially when we consider that Truth of Time does the exact same thing for half the will. However, The Blue Planet has a Seal (7) ability. Once reached, it grants all of the cards in your hand Quickcast, which is incredibly useful. Normally you'd need to get seven magic stones into your field, making the consistency of this card somewhat low, but thanks to Flute we can bypass that and get this effect going incredibly early. Imagine having all your cards be Quickcast as early as the second or third turn of the game! Because this card let's you draw a card, having multiple copies of it in your hand doesn't necessarily ruin your hand completely either. Even so, you likely don't want to draw multiple copies too often, so including four copies of this addition in your deck may not be the best choice. Using only two or three may be a better decision, especially when you consider how much draw power Flute has. Experiment and see what number works best for you!

That's all for today, but the final Echoes of the New World preview will be posted on Monday, June 12th  at 10PM EST/7PM PST, so check back soon for more new cards! And don't forget to look for Echoes of the New World in stores, June 23rd, 2017!

4th Set「Echoes of the New World」