Return of the Dragon Emperor ~ Preview 7 ~ Almerius Returns

Well why not start off right with the leader herself, Almerius, Summoner of Spirits! She's a light and water dual attribute resonator with 1000 ATK and DEF for a total cost of five. Not terribly overpowered in the base stats department when you consider her cost, but she's packing Flying, giving her a bit of an edge against other resonators of similar cost. Additionally she's packing two automatic abilities. The first will trigger when she enters the field. You'll be able to Force for one and put up to three Spirit resonators whose combined total is X or less from your graveyard right into your field! Potentially this allows you to play four cards just for playing one! The only trouble is that you'll have to roll a three or higher on your Force roll to actually bring back three Spirit resonators. However that can always be rememdied with our good friend Pandora, the Hope Weaving Queen from back in Curse of the Frozen Casket, greatly increasing our odds of being able to play high cost Spirit resonators. Replaying this ability via Lumia can help you swarm the field and overwhelm your opponent. Her second ability will trigger whenever you a Spirit enters your field, and it will grant you 400 life. This includes any Spirit resonators you put into your field with Almerius'  second ability, so in addition to resonators you can even nab yourself up to 1200 life! Interestingly, this card makes for a good combo with Shade, Envoy of Darkness, who's own ability puts it in your graveyard, to be immediately resurrected when you play Almerius!

But we can't just rely on previous spirit cards, oh no. We've got plenty of new ones to look at today as well. Gnome, the Spirit of Earth is a total cost four resonator with 700 ATK and 1000 DEF. For his cost, we'd probably like to see something with a little more meat in the ATK area, but hopefully his ability will help make up for that. He's packing a Resonance ability that will trigger whenever a Light Magic Stone or Water Magic Stone (if it is a card that is both, the ability triggers only once). When it triggers, you'll be able to target a resonator and choose to either destroy it or bounce it back to it's owner's hand. The only caveat is that the resonator has to be rested, but considering the things you'd want to destroy most, like their toughest resonators or their will ramping cards, very likely are rested on your turn, that shouldn't be too much of an issue. Gnome can help you take back control of the field with some late game removal while still providing a fairly good presence on the field to dish out some damage or block for you as necessary.

Next in today's lineup of Spirit resonators, is Undine, the Spirit of Water. Something tells me this lady is really good friends with a bumbling skeleton. Anyway, she's a total cost two with 400 ATK and DEF. Not terribly exciting stats for her cost, but her ability more than makes up for it. When she enters the field she'll be able to bounce a resonator your opponent controls back to their hand as long as that resonator has a total cost less than or equal to the number of water magic stones you control. A great little tempo card to slow down your opponent and then can be made quick use of to play Adombrali to get something a little heftier on the field while also drawing an extra card, and putting Undine into the graveyard to be revived later by Almerius. Valentina, the Princess of Love fans will also enjoy her total cost of two, making her playable at Quickcast speed with that ruler. 

Moving on, we've got Salamander, the Spirit of Fire. A simple total cost one resonator with 300 ATK and 100 DEF, this card can be banished to deal damage equal to its ATK to a target J/resonator. On it's one, many would rather opt for Tama. This card is far more effective when combined with a spell or ability that can drastically increase it's ATK, like Blood Boil. This allows the resonator to destroy J/resonators of a far higher cost. And that's not even touching on the potential of this resonator when you use it's ability to target your own True Successor to Certo, Volga to deal high amounts of damage to your opponent.

Our last resonator for today, Silph, the Spirit of Wind is another total cost one resonator. She's only got 200 ATK and DEF, though hardly unreasonable for a resonator of her cost. However, she's got an automatic ability that will help her gain a little more power. Whenever another Spirit resonator enters a field, including your opponent's, her automatic ability will trigger and you'll be able to put a +100/+100 counter on her. If you're the only one using Spirit cards, you may find that she's a little difficult to beef up to the strengths that you want. However should your opponent make the mistake of running a few Spirit cards themselves, like the increasingly popular Shade, Envoy of Darkness, your opponent will be displeased to find they're powering up your resonator for you! As such you may want to keep this card in your sideboard if you plan on going heavy into Spirit resonators. That way you can see what your opponent's got in their deck the first round and adjust accordingly if they're using any Spirit cards themselves.

Last for today is an addition. Kingdom of Spirits is the Spirit race's very own addition to help them out and give them a bit more of an edge. This total cost two addition comes with an activate ability that can be played by resting it and discarding a Spirit. By doing so you'll be able to choose between either drawing a card or gaining 600 life. Honestly, in most situations, you'll want to go for the draw a card option, This addition is essentially hand fixing for decks making use of a good number of Spirit cards. 600 extra life can be handy in a pinch, but removing an unneeded card, while digging for one you do need is going to be consistently more valuable in most situations. What's great is that even discarding a Spirit ins't really all that bad. If it's Shade, he's got an ability to jump back to your hand once you've got the will for it, and even if it isn't shade You're just putting cards into the graveyard to bring them back with Almerius later!

That's all for today, but the final Return of the Dragon Emperor preview will be posted on Thursday at 8PM EST/5PM PST, so check back soon for more new cards! And don't forget to look for Return of the Dragon Emperor in stores, March 10th, 2017!

3rd Set「Return of the Dragon Emperor」