Echoes of the New World ~ Preview 8 ~ The Girl from the Blue Planet

Salutations, rulers, and welcome to the final preview article for the final booster set of the Lapis Cluster, Echoes of the New World! Well, we've had a good look at all of our rulers and some support for each of them. Many players were quick to point out that we hadn't seen many of the main characters yet, and that we hadn't seen as much Will of Hope support as we had seen from Will of Despair. Well, our last preview article is here to rectify that! Let's finally have a look at what Alice, Kaguya, Charlotte, Pricia, Maribell, and even Dark Alice are up to!

First up is our main mascot lady herself, Alice! And it's actually regular Alice this time! She's not unconscious, or corrupted by Alhama'at or anything else weird, she's finally back to normal! Alice, Girl of the Blue Planet is a total cost two Will of Hope resonator with Flying. She sports 500 ATK and 600 DEF, which is pretty good considering her cost and she's got Flying to boot. Will of Hope makes her easily accessible in Book of Light decks as you can play her with any attribute or even call her into the field from your side deck. However, in the early game she's little more than a 500/600 Flying vanilla card. However, Alice really starts to shine a few turns later. Once you have for or more magic stones, her Seal ability will be released, granting her her God's Art ability, Azure Bonds! This ability costs nothing to play and allows you to name a card and prevent all players from playing that card as long as Alice is in the field! Remember that a God's Art ability is only playable once per game, per player. Even if its a separate card with the same name! While not a win condition on her own, Alice is an interesting tech card that really shines when you know exactly what your opponent wants to play, so you can use to to shut their strategy down. As such she might be best kept in the side deck as that way you can call her in with Book of Light's Judgment once you know what your opponent is running. Alternatively if you're looking to release her ability early, you could run her with Flute as your J/ruler. If you do it still might be wise to keep her in the side deck until the second game of the set so you can get an idea of what your opponent's key cards are.

And since we're talking about Alice, why not cover her dark counterpart as well? Dark Alice, Manifestation of rage is also a total cost two resonator with Will of Hope, though she lacks Flying and has 500 ATK and DEF, making her a little weaker than original Alice, at least in terms of base combat strength. However, Dark Alice has some incredible abilities. When she enters the field you'll remove all resonators in your opponent's graveyard from the game. For each resonator you remove this way, Dark Alice gets a +100/+100 counter. Obviously, this is best used in the late game, or in a control type build where you can force your opponent to discard a lot of resonator cards through cards like Scorn of Dark Alice. But what if Dark Alice should be destroyed before we get to attack with her? It's pretty likely she won't have swiftness when we play her and your opponent could just play something like Heteroclite Excalibur to get her off the field. Thankfully Dark Alice covers this situation as well. When she leaves the field she'll generate a 100/100 darkness Shadow resonator token for each +100/+100 counter that was on her when she left the field. Dark Alice is a fantastic bench hitter for Will of Hope decks. She can easily be called in from the side deck with Book of Light during the late game to storm the field as a powerful resonator who, thanks to her second automatic ability, is touch to truly get completely off the field. Dark Alice also releases the Seal abilities of darkness cards and spells we control, but we haven't seen any of those yet. Hmm...

Moving on, we've got Kaguya, Love of the Moon. She's also a total cost two resonator with Will of Hope (noticing a pattern?). She enters the field with 600 ATK and DEF. She's got a continuous ability that prevents her from being attacked, which helps protect her from your opponent, but beyond that she's little more than a body on the field. That is, of course, until you release her Seal (10) ability. Getting to ten magic stones is near impossible at the pace of a normal game. Thankfully, we have Flute to release Kaguya's Seal ability for us any time we need! Once released, Kaguya becomes an 800/800 with Flying, dramatically increasing her value as a total cost two resonator. However it doesn't stop there. She also gains a continuous ability that replaces how your draw works. Instead of drawing a card you'll be able to put a card from your graveyard into your hand. However, any card that would be put into your graveyard is removed from the game instead. Be very careful as even if you have no cards in your graveyard, you still won't be able to draw cards from your deck while this ability is active. With all of this considered, Kaguya is best played and released in the mid to late game when you have a sizable amount of cards in your graveyard that are worth taking into your hand and playing again. Kaguya is a way for Flute decks to recover after they've expended a lot of resources and need to have access to specific cards again. Her ability, while a bit riskier, is also more instantly useful compared to something like Horn of Sacred Beasts, as instead of shuffling the cards you need back into your deck, you can just snag them into your hand immediately!

Compared to the other resonators we've looked at thus far, Charlotte is quite simple. She too is a total cost two resonator with Will of Hope and enters the field with 500 ATK and DEF. Aside from her keyword, she's only got one ability, but it certainly is a handy one. As long as she's on the field, she reduces the cost of chant cards by one void. Since this ability stacks, Charlotte is incredibly valuable for Ancient Magic decks looking to win via the big bomb cards like World Flame SUmmoning, Invitation of Disaster, and Rising From the Depths. Perhaps Rising From the Depths in particular, as Charlotte is water attribute, which that chant synergizes well with. Charlotte doesn't reduce the attribute cost of chant cards however, so decks that don't run high costing chant cards and stick mostly to utilitarian staples like Heteroclite Excalibur and Charlotte's Water Transformation may find this card clunky and unnecessary. 

Ah at last a resonator that doesn't have a cost of two! Mariabella joins the fray again, as I'm sure you'd guessed by now given the Machina resonator card we saw a while back. She only costs one void to put into the field and enters with 200 ATK and DEF. She's got two activate abilities that work together. By resting Mariabella you'll be able to put a +100/+100 counter on her. If it were just this ability alone, she'd be too slow to really keep up with the pace of the game, even if you rested her every turn for a counter. However, the counters need not be solely for combat. Rather, but using Mariabella's second ability which requries you to pay two, rest her, and remove any number of +100/+100 counters from her, you can search your deck for a resonator with total cost X or less with no attribute and put it right into your field! So in a way, Mariabella works similarly to how the original SKL Machina J/ruler worked. She's able to search out void resonators. Unfortunately she's quite vulnerable to your opponent's removal with such low stats. Thankfully, she becomes indestructible if you've also got Machina, King of Accursed Machines in your field, so be sure to run the two together so you can use Mariabella's abilities to their fullest effect!

Our final resonator for today is Pricia, Ready for the Final Battle. She's a hefty total cost five Will of Hope resonator that enters the field with 1000 ATK and DEF, making her one of the strongest cards Will of Hope has in its arsenal, stat wise. Once she hits the field, and whenever she attacks, she destroys a resonator your opponent controls with ATK less than or equal to her own ATK. If you do (which shouldn't be too difficult), she gains two +100/+100 counters, increasing the scope of what she can destroy the next time she attacks. Pricia is pretty simple but she's a powerhouse. She's a great way for Will of Hope decks to end the game, especially when you want to gain a little more advantage on the field as well. Just by playing her and then attacking with her, she should ideally already be a 1400/1400 and have destroyed two of your resonators, which is some pretty good value. Especially since Pricia is easily called into the field thanks to Book of Light's abilities and her being playable with will of any attribute in a Book of Light deck.

And for our very last card of the Echoes of the New World preview articles, we have the addition card, Neo Barrier of Shadows. This total cost two addition forces your opponent to pay an additional will whenever they want to play the activate abilities of a resonator they control. This essentially completely shuts down common will ramping cards like Sacred Elf and Melfee, since it now costs as much will to play their abilities as they would get out of them by actually playing said ability. At  base level beyond jamming ramp cards and perhaps a few other resonators, this card isn't particularly handy as most resonators are played for their automatic or continuous abilities. Additionally, since it only takes one copy of this card on the field to shut off Sacred Elf, playing duplicates to the field isn't going to be all that useful in most situations. As such, you'll likely want to keep the number of copies of this card in your main deck around two or three, or perhaps even keep the copies in your sideboard until you know what your opponent is running. However, this changes somewhat if you plan on running Dark Alice, Manifestation of Rage. Since Dark Alice releases the Seal abilities of darkness card's she'll set off Neo Barrier's own Seal (8) ability as well. That's not to say you couldn't hit eight magic stones on your own, but it's a lot more consistent to use Dark Alice. Once released, Neo Barrier of Shadows (in addition to the first effect, remember that the first effect doesn't fade away or anything) stops your opponent from playing any activate abilities, so long as they are not will abilities. That means your opponent can still use Sacred Elf's ability (though they'd still have to pay one for it) and they can still use their magic stones. But any activate ability that doesn't generate will is out. Rulers and J-rulers included, as the ability doesn't specify a card type, it specifies your opponent. This is fantastic against cards like Pricia, Reincarnated Maiden of Flame who takes hefty advantage of her God's Art (which is an activate ability), or Flute who's ruler side can rest to draw cards. An unsealed Neo Barrier of Shadows shuts both of those off!

That's all for the Echoes of the New World previews! Don't forget to look for Echoes of the New World in stores, June 23rd, 2017!

4th Set「Echoes of the New World」