Greetings, rulers! Welcome back to the Reiya Cluster starter deck previews. Thus far we've seen our light attribute deck with Taegrus Pearlshine and our fire attribute deck with Kirik Rerik. Now it's time to take a deep breath and dive below the waves, as we visit the undersea land of the mermaids.
Of course we start off with the main lady herself, Shaela (Shay-La). She's our water starter deck J/ruler and the princess of the mermaid kingdom deep in the ocean. She's taken a recent interest in the survace world and has ventured up onto land, quite unusual for her people. Like Taegrus and Kirik she's got a Judgment cost of three (noticing a theme yet?), costing two water will and one void. She's got energize for her attribute of course, the standard for all J/rulers since the Lapis cluster. Her first unique ability is something quite unusual. It's a continuous ability that states that the weather is 'rain' during your turn. Weather is a new kind of player state (to be defined further in the pending Comprehensive Rules update of course). Weather on its own, doesn't have any innate effects at the moment. Rather, there are cards and abilities that gain bonus effects depending on the weather state, and yes, there will be more weather states besides rain. Weather is also separate for each player, so this effect changes your weather state to rain, but does not affect the opponent. This ability on its own doesn't do much right now though, so let's move on. Her second ability allows you to rest her to search your deck for a card named Weather Change: Rain and put it into your hand. We'll have a look at exactly what that card does in a moment, but the ability to search something out is always handy if you've got a recovered ruler and no need to call a magic stone. Remember that both players skip their recovery phase on their first turns, so you cannot activate this ability before your recovery phase on your first turn, recover your ruler, and then call a magic stone. Finally we have Shaela's Sealed Item, which is, of course, a secret for the time being. It kind of looks like raindrops falling off an umbrella though doesn't it? What could it be? Oh the mysteries abound.
Anyway, once you pay Shaela's Judgment cost and flip her to her J-ruler side she becomes Shaela, the Mermaid Princess. She enters the field as a 1000/1200. rather hefty for her cost, which is always nice. Her weather ability gets upgraded now providing you with rain constantly rather than just on your own turn. She also let's you draw a card when she enters the field, which is small but extremely handy when you're low on options. She also retains her Sealed Item on her J-ruler side, though we still cannot use the ability. Shaela on her own, quite like the other J/rulers from the Reiya cluster we've seen so far, isn't all that exciting because her strengths and abilities are tied directly into her supporting cards. So how about we have a look at those supporting cards right now!
What would any princess be without a signature magic stone, right? Shoal Coral Magic Stone is a special magic stone that counts as a water magic stone. That means it will still trigger Resonance abilities that specify Water Magic Stone, though it still doesn't count as a Basic Magic stone, so be careful of effects that specify "non-special" or "Basic" Magic Stone. It can be rested to produce water will of course, and it can also be banished to change your weather to rain until the end of the turn. Admittedly banishing a magic stone for rain is a little desperate, but since all the Mermaids focus on your weather being rain it can still be a useful effect in a pinch until you get Shaela onto the field as a J-ruler.
Next up is the card that Shaela can search for on her ruler side, Weather Change: Rain. It's a total cost one chant card with Quickcast. It's effect is quite simple, it changes your weather to rain until the end of the turn, and let's you draw a card. This chant's low cost, Quickcast, support of Shaela's key mechanic, and the fact it replaces itself in your hand make it perfect for mermaids. Since it has Quickcast you can even drop it during your opponent's turn if you need your weather to be rain for another effect. You could also play the chant just before your recovery phase simply to draw a card if you so desired.
Alright, let's get into some cards that can actually start reaping the benefits of our rain weather status. First up is a total cost one resonator called Angelic Voice Mermaid. It's a simple 300/300, but will let you draw a card when she enters the field if the weather is rain when she's played. Since Shaela automatically makes the weather rain on our turn on her ruler side, we can play this resonator on the first turn and draw a card no problem! After that she's just a vanilla card so take advantage of her good stats for her cost and attack and block with her as you like!
Next up is another total cost one resonator, Princess Shaela's Attendant. She also has 300 ATK and DEF, however instead of letting us draw a card, she gains an extra +200/+200 as long as the weather is rain, turning her into a 500/500. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that a 500/500 is quite good for a total cost one card. The trouble is that its only while our weather is rain. That's no problem during our own turn of course, but we'll need to rely on Shoal Coral Magic Stone or Weather Change: Rain if we want to beef her up on our opponent's turn before Shaela's on the field as a J-ruler.
Every now and then there are card names that are just too fun. Peko, the Wise Dolphin is definitely one of them. This resonator is a 600/600 for a total cost of two. He also gains Flying as long as the weather is rain. Rather simple, but the ability to gain Flying can make this card a great source of damage in the early and mid game.
Giant Sea Jelly is like a two cost version of Princess Shaela's Attendant. It enters the field with only 500 ATK and DEF, but can rise up to 700 ATK and DEF as long as the weather is rain, raising it above the normal stat curve for resonators of its cost, allowing you to put more aggressive pressure on your opponent!
Aqua Rifle Mermaid is a total cost three card with 700 ATK and DEF. Not all that exciting at first, since we just saw how Giant Sea Jelly can hit those same stats for one will less. However, Aqua Rifle Mermaid will allow us to bounce any resonator we like back to its owner's hand if she enters the field while our weather is rain. As such, she's best used to send back whatever high costing resonator your opponent has expending a lot of resources putting into the field, or to remove that blocker your opponent is keeping recovered to prevent you from dealing lethal damage. Aqua Rifle Mermaid is a nice simple bounce effect attached to a resonator body that can deals some good damage to your opponent as well.
Ah, here's our big damage dealer for the Below the Waves starter deck, the White Whale. This total cost three resonator enters with a massive 1000 ATK and DEF. However, this massive resonator is unable to attack or block unless the weather is rain. Attacking shouldn't be an issue if you're running Shaela as your J/ruler of course, but until you play her Judgment process, you'll need to use Weather Change: Rain or Shoal Coral Stone if you want to use the Whale to block, though it's far more likely you'll want to attack with the resonator. 1000 ATK for a total cost three resonator is just too good not to attack your opponent with.
Wave Rider Mermaid is our other heavy hitter in this deck. She costs a total of four and enters with 1000 ATK and DEF, making her the same power as the White Whale, but for an additional will. Don't count her out just yet though, as she gains an extra +200/+200 and Flying as long as the weather is rain, pushing her to 1200/1200. She's also got a useful activate ability. By paying two water will you can rest any target resonator, but the ability is only playable if the weather is rain. Use this ability to incapacity possible blockers or play it on your opponent's turn (if your weather is rain of course) to incapacitate a threatening enemy attacker. Then hammer away at your opponent's life with a 1200/1200 Flying powerhouse!
Just in case Aqua Rifle Mermaid wasn't enough bounce for you, we've got a chant card called Cleansing Rain. This total cost two Quickcast chant lets you return a target resonator to its owner's hand. However, if the weather is rain, you put it on top of their deck instead. A bounce back to the hand with Quickcast on its own is already useful, allowing you to remove a blocker or attacker at your leisure. However being able to put it on top of your opponent's deck (effectively making their next draw useless) is even better. Use this card to send a costly card your opponent will have trouble playing again back to the top of their deck, to waste their next draw and clutter up their hand as you beat them down with the White Whale and Wave Rider Mermaid.
Finally we have Stormbolt, an interesting total cost two chant. It presents you with three options, drawing a card, preventing all damage that would be dealt by a J/resonator until the end of the turn, or resting a J/resonator. However, if your weather is rain, you get to reap the benefits of all three effects, making the card much more valuable. Resting an J/resonator and drawing a card are the two big ones, allowing you to get a potential blocker out of the way and replace this card's spot in your hand. Preventing a J/resonator from dealing damage for a turn is useful of course, but without Quickcast it means the effect is only particularly helpful if you want to attack a J/resonator without it dealing damage back to you or if you don't want a card you think your opponent might block with dealing damage. That said, this card is still quite useful if you can play it while you have rain as your weather status.