Echoes of the New World ~ Preview 4 ~ Lapis And Excalibur

Greetings once again, rulers of the world. Welcome back to another Echoes of the New World preview article. Last time we had a look at the Book of Dark and several accompanying Will of Despair cards. However, we're not quite done with the bad guys yet. The illustration for Lapistory, Subjugation Fairy Tale revealed many characters who were on the despair side of the final conflict, most of whom being characters we haven't seen yet in Echoes of the New World. Well, I'm pleased to tell you that we'll be rectifying that today! (Mostly) We've got a whole bunch of Will of Despair resonators to check out today, so let's get right into it!

May as well kick things off with the main man himself, Gill Lapis. He's claimed the power of Alhama'at and is poised to rule over the universe as he's always desired. Oh and he's also a super rare, so that's pretty cool. Nice job, buddy. All that planning and evil doing? Totally worth it if you can be a super rare. Anyway, he's a total cost three resonator with 600 ATK and 700 DEF. Those are some pretty low stats for a resonator we'd want to play on the third turn. However, Lapis is full of all manner of interesting abilities, so don't rule him out just yet! He's got Will of Despair, obviously. As such we can play him with will of any attribute or pull him into play from our side deck with Book of Dark/Lapistory, Subjugation Fairy Tale. He's also got Precision, which is handy as it allows us to pick off our opponent's resonators with his attacks, even if they're recovered. Very useful for taking out resource generation resonators our opponent is trying to keep safe from us. Lapis also sports an automatic ability that triggers upon his entry to the field. When he does you'll be able to search out a light or darkness chant card with a total cost of 1, and put it into your hand. Now that might not seem like all that much right now, how many spectacularly useful total cost one light or darkness chant cards are there, after all? So let's just set that aside for the moment. Don't worry, we'll be coming back to it. The next ability is a continuous one that prevents the effects of chants you control from causing loss of life. Remember that damage does not count as "loss of life". Again, another somewhat strange ability. What card would we want to use that would cause us to lose life? This is another ability we'll have to set a side for a moment. Lapis' final ability is a bit more straightforward, thankfully. He gains an extra +100/+100 for every other resonator with Will of Despair you control. While +100/+100 does make it a bit difficult to beef Lapis up to tremendous strengths, it's a handy bonus that can help him keep ahead of the progression of power during a game. All it takes is two other Will of Despair resonators to push him to 800/900, which is breaking into total cost four resonator territory. Combined with the rest of his value (as we will soon see) and Lapis can be a very useful card for Will of Despair decks.

Okay so here's the card that makes Gill Lapis, Usurper of Maddening Power actually good. This is a total cost one darkness chant card called Heteroclite Excalibur. This card, despite it's cost, has a pretty powerful ability. When played it allows you to remove a resonator from the game. Yeah. Remove. Not destroy, meaning this card dodges effects that prevent a card from being destroyed and even stop effects that would trigger when said resonator is put into a graveyard since removal does not put a resonator in the grave. The card comes with two hangups though. First is that it doesn't have Quickcast. Nothing to be done about that unfortunately, however the card's phenomenally low cost more than makes up for that. The other trouble is that part of the card's resolution causes us to lose 500 life. But wait...didn't we just see an effect that prevents this sort of thing? That's right, if you play this chant while Gill Lapis, Usurper of Maddening Power is on the field, he'll prevent the 500 life loss for you. And if you haven't figured it out yet, since this chant is darkness and has a total cost of one, it can be searched out with Lapis' enter ability, making it all the more accessible and playable!

Alright, alright. Here's what you're really after, right? Ever since she showed up on that Echoes of the New World poster a few months back, everyone's been speculating about Sylvia's return as a card. And yes, I'm happy to say, finally, that Sylvia is indeed back. Sort of. I mean she's a card, of course. But lore wise? Well, that'll come eventually. Okay, let's just look at the card, shall we? It's actually pretty simple. She's a total cost two fire/wind resonator with Will of Despair and Swiftness. Coupled with her 600 ATK and DEF, that makes her a great early game aggressor in Will of Despair decks. However, she's certainly not the first 600/600 with Swiftness we've ever seen. So until the Alice cluster rotates out, what sets her apart from Lancelot? Well aside from the resource accessibility of Will of Despair and Book of Dark's ability, she's got a handy automatic ability. It prevents a target J/resonator from blocking whenever she attacks. This is extremely useful in making sure Sylvia's attack reaches its mark, as unless your opponent is running a deck full of token resonator generation effects, it's rather unlikely they've got more than one resonator that their willing to block with on the field, especially early game. This effect helps Sylvia dodge whatever powerhouse resonator your opponent is hoping to use to stonewall your attacks.

And speaking of fan favorite characters, it's non-other than everyone's favorite waifu killer, Valentina! She's uh...she's not looking too good this time though. Don't let that fool you, however, her effects are still quite powerful. Like Yamata-No-Orochi and Umr at Tawil, she's a very high costing Will of Despair resonator, clocking in at a  total cost of seven. She enters the field with only 800 ATK and 900, so like Umr at Tawil, we're really relying on her abilities to be useful as her straight power to cost ratio is not exactly the highest. However, Valentina actually has a kind of way around that. She reduces her own cost for each resonator in your graveyard. So that means with five resonator cards in your graveyard, she only costs two will to play! Be careful though, as this ability does not work when attempting to put her into your field with Lapistory, Subjugation Fairy Tale's ability. The ability refers to her total cost, which is always seven, so you'll always need to pay seven to judgment Book of Dark to field her from your side deck. As such, Valentina is better off kept in your main deck, since that allows you to play her for a lot less. She's not just a resonator you can cheat in for cheap though. She's got a very powerful automatic ability. At the beginning of each of your turns you'll be able to put a resonator from your graveyard into your field! Re-animator? Did someone say re-animator? I did. I said that. Valentina provides a way to cheat in other high costing resonators like Yamata-No-Orochi and Umr at Tawil into your field quickly as long as you can stack your graveyard full of resonators quickly as well. The only trouble is that you'll usually be playing Valentina during your main phase. Which means she'll need to survive a turn before your next "beginning of turn". As such, you'll need to make sure your opponent doesn't have anything to remove her from the field during their turn. Whether it's via control, a counter spell, or granting Valentina barrier, keep her safe until she can start resurrecting stuff.

Since we're covering Lapis and his various allies, why not give a little love to the Vampires too, right? Mikage Seijuro is back as a resonator after an absence since the Lapis cluster starter decks. He's a Will of Despair total cost three resonator with 800 ATK and DEF. Those stats aren't too shabby for the cost, especially when you consider that this resonator has Quickcast, making him playable outside of your main phase. The ability to enter as a surprise blocker isn't all that Mikage's Quickcast affords us though. He's got two automatic abilities that can be taken advantage of via Mikage's Quickcast. The first triggers when he enters the field. You can pay any amount of life and give your opponent's J/resonators -100 ATK for each 100 life paid via this effect. While it won't be destroying any J/resonators directly, it's a hand ability for weakening a resonator to a point where Mikage or another one of your J/resonators can safely block your opponent's threat without being destroyed, helping to maintain your field presence. Mikage's other automatic ability triggers whenever a resonator is put into a graveyard from your opponent's field. Upon resolution the ability grants Mikage a +100/+100 counter. Combined with Quickcast, you can sneak the Patriarch of the Vampires onto the field when you're expecting a resonator of your opponent's to be put into the graveyard and Mikage can enter the field and immediately gain a +100/+100 counter, putting him at 900/900!

And since the father's here, why not the rest of the Mikage faimly? The Mikage Sisters is a total cost two darkness Will of Despair resonator with 500 ATK and DEF. This vampire resonator enters the field with three separate activate abilities that all require you to rest the resonator. Each ability is representative of a different member of the three sisters. The first ability allows you to destroy a resonator with 200 or less ATK, a useful ability for picking off cards like Guinivere, Sacred Elf, and Tama. The second ability deals 200 damage to your opponent and heals you for 200 life. It might not seem like much when compared to the card's 500 ATK. However this ability sneaks around the trouble of having to attack, meaning your opponent can't stop it with a blocker. Sapping 200 life every time seems trivial at first, but it quickly adds up, especially with multiple copies of this resonator on the field. The final ability allows you to steal +100/+100 counters away from other resonators, though only one at a time. This can be useful in certain instances, but for the most part you'll likely be leaning on the first two abilities which are a bit more consistently useful than the third one.

Last for today is another chant card. Ambition of Lapis is a total cost three chant that will destroy a resonator. Now compared to Heteroclite Excalibur at first glance this seems a little disappointing. Especially since this card too, doesn't have Quickcast. Both cards only remove one resonator and Heteroclite Excalibur does the removal a little bit better. However, whereas Heteroclite Excalibur forces you to lose life (unless you've got Lapis on the field of course), Ambition of Lapis actually does the exact opposite. It forces your opponent to lose 400 life. This is where the value of this card lies. It is removal plus it pushes you closer to victory with a loss of 400 life, Loss of life in particular is enticing as it doesn't count as damage, meaning it'll be harder for your opponent to prevent it without a straight counterspell to this chant. Even so, this card's high cost is likely a bit of a deterrent to running three or four copies in the deck. It's better used as a mid to late game card to help you take control of the field and push for lethal damage with a single card. As such you'll likely want to keep only a few copies running in your deck at most, and then rely on cheaper chant cards and resonator effects for removal during the early game.

That's all for today, but Echoes of the New World previews will be posted on every Monday and Thursday 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」