”Good evening rulers of the world! Welcome to our final preview article for the Reiya Cluster starter decks! We've had a look at light, fire, water, and wind so far and now its finally time to take a look at the much anticipated darkness starter deck. As many have guessed already, many of the cards have to do with Vampires and creepy creatures of the night. Spread your bat wings, my friends, because its time to take a look at this final starter deck for the Reiya Cluster!
First up is, of course, our J/ruler. Reiya, Fourth Daughter of the Mikage is a Vampire ruler card. She's got a Judgment of three, like nearly all other rulers we've seen from the Reiya cluster thus far. She's got Energize for darkness, as is standard. That means you'll be able to get a one time use coin that can be banished to get an extra darkness will if you're the player to go second. As for unique abilities, Reiya has an automatic ability that triggers at the start of the game. Upon resolution it grants her a single mystery counter. Like strength counters with Kirik, many of Reiya's powerful cards work around these mystery counters. Her abilities require and use fewer counters than Kirik's though, so starting out with only one isn't quite as bad as you might think it is, when comparing her to Kirik. She's also got an activate ability where you can rest Reiya to gain another mystery counter. Resting Reiya does mean that you won't be able to call a magic stone that turn though, unless you've got a way to recover your ruler, like《Hoelle Pig》, or a way to call a magic stone without resting your J/ruler, like 《Flute's Water Dragon》. Fear not though, as there are other ways to regain some mystery counters among Reiya's supporting cards without having to rely on her ruler ability. Even so, the option to rest her if necessary is still handy to have. Lastly, we have Reiya's mysterious Sealed Item ability. It appears to be a sword slashing in front of some celestial body (probably the moon) accompanied by a cloud and a bat. Oh what could that Sealed Item be? I suppose only time will tell for now.
Once you pay Reiya's total cost three Judgment and put her into the field as a J-ruler, she becomes a 1200/1200 with Flying. That alone for a total cost three is pretty good. Natural Flying on a J-ruler is quite valuable, considering that with 《Interdimensional Vessel, Apollo 》gone, players will need to use cards like 《Kirik's Partner》to give their J-ruler Flying. Having it naturally will make it much easier to deal damage with Reiya's powerful 1200 ATK. Additionally, when she enters the field she'll be able to gain three mystery counters, which is hand if you happen to be running low of the counters. Unlike Kirik's ability, this ability doesn't take the number of mystery counters on your J/ruler into account. No matter what, the ability will always grant Reiya three mystery counters. More interesting is the J-ruler's activate ability. You'll again have to rest Reiya, like her ruler ability, and this time you'll also need to remove a mystery counter. Once you do though, the ability allows you to destroy any target resonator. Resting your J-ruler and losing a mystery counter is a hefty cost, but destroying a resonator (especially at instant speed) can be absolutely invaluable. Remove a troublesome blocker, destroy your opponent's ace attacker, whatever you need. Lastly we have Reiya's J-ruler side Sealed Item, but what's this? It appears that Reiya has a different Sealed Item on her J-ruler side than her ruler side. How curious.
As befits a mysterious vampire, Reiya has her own signature magic stone, the Stone from the Dark Castle. Its a special magic stone, but counts as a darkness magic stone as well. This, however, does not mean that it counts as a basic magic stone. In terms of card sub-types it is still only a special magic stone. The card can be rested to produce darkness will, Reiya's primary attribute, and upon its entry to the field, it will give a mystery counter to your J/ruler. Since many of Reiya's powerful support cards require one or two mystery counters this magic stone can be invaluable in making sure you always have a good number of them.
And speaking of generating mystery counters, our first resonator is Ahriman, Malicious Eye in the Darkness. Its a total cost two resonator that enters the field with 600 ATK and DEF. While on the field its just a vanilla card, but when its put into a graveyard from your field, it will give your J/ruler a mystery counter. Admittedly a little bit of a delayed gain for the counter, but having it attached to a fairly decent resonator body is certainly helpful. With the combined counter gain from Ahriman and your Stone From the Dark Castle cards, you should be able to support yourself for a few turns. Once you start to run dry of counters, use Reiya's Judgment to gain three of them and replenish your supply!
Our next resonator is a pretty interesting little total cost one card. Bats from the Dark Castle looks pretty weak at first glance. Its a 0/400 that enters the field with Flying. Flying on a total cost one resonator can be pretty useful to start building soem early game damage on your opponent, but the card has no ATK! Or so you thought. Bats from the Dark Castle has a continuous ability that increases its ATK by +200 for each mystery counter on your J/ruler. With three mystery counters on your J/ruler (Reiya's Judgment) this card is a 600/400 Flying resonator for only one will. You can squeeze some good value out of this resonator, but its going to require skillful management of your mystery counters.
Alucard is great if you want to build out your deck to focus more on the Vampire cards found in the starter deck and Ancient Nights. He's a total cost three resonator that enters with 600 ATK and DEF. Not too strong on his own, but he makes up for it by increasing the ATK and DEF of all other Vampires you control (including Reiya!) by +200/+200. Alucard isn't a great offensive option on his own, so make sure you get a few other Vampires onto the field first so you can really put is ability to good use.
Empress Carmilla is another 600/600 Vampire resonator for a total cost of three. When she enters the field, she destroys a resonator with a total cost of one. Removal is always welcome, of course, but Carmilla is best used in the early turns of the game when its more likely your opponent is relying on common total cost one resonators like 《Sacred Elf》. Cut them off from resource generating cards like this early with Carmilla's ability to make sure you can control the pace of the game.
Now this is interesting. Reiya seems to be employing some dark, corrupted versions of Fairy Tale characters we've seen before. Ashen Snow White is a total cost two resonator that enters the field with 500 ATK and 700 DEF. Good stats, considering that 700 DEF allows her to wall off most early game threats without her being destroyed. What's more you can remove a mystery counter from your J/ruler to increase her ATK and DEF by +200/+200 and give her Precision until the end of the turn. You can only play this ability once per turn though, so don't expect a surprise massive power up by removing a ton of mystery counters. The ability to gain Precision is handy, allowing for Ashen Snow White to attack and remove J/resonators your opponent might otherwise be able to keep safe from harm. Her increased stats of 700/900 are well over the average line for a total cost two resonator as well allowing her to deal some good damage to the opponent or take out most total cost two and even some total cost three resonators with impunity.
Now wait a minute. Grimm was a regular old human guy the last time we saw him? How'd this happen? Anyway, Grimm the Pitch Black Vampire is a total cost four resonator that enters the field with 900 ATK and DEF as well as Flying. The stats alone aren't too shabby, made even better by Flying of course and if we have Alucard on the field, he'll rise up to an 1100/1100. Even better, when Grimm enters the field you'll be able to put a resonator from your graveyard back into your hand. Finally, you can pay two darkness will for Grimm's activated ability. When paid the ability gives your opponent's J/resonators -X00/-X00 where X is the number of Fairy Tales you control. With enough Fairy Tales on our field we could even end up destroying several of our opponent's J/resonator cards if their DEF reaches 0. Now of course, Snow White and Grimm are the only Fairy Tales in the starter deck, but I'm sure Ancient Nights will have plenty more for us to get the most out of this ability. Sneaky players may remember there was a rather evil looking Red Riding Hood adorning the box design of Ancient Nights.
Our last resonator is a simple vanilla Vampire card, Moonlight Shadow. He's a 400/400 for only one will. Pretty good stats for the cost, all things considered. He can even become a 600/600 for only one will if we have Alucard on the field, turning him into a pretty decent threat. However the card can only function as a basic attacker and blocker so once you're ready to move beyond the starter deck and start adding cards from booster sets, you'll probably want to switch him out for something with an ability that generates more advantage for you.
That's all for resonators, but Reiya's real strength lies in all her nasty chant cards. The first of which is Dark Night Butterfly. Butterfly? Wasn't there another character who had a butterfly related chant card? Anyway the chant is a total cost one that forces your opponent to discard a card. This is an effect we've seen before on cards like 《Viola's Machinations》. However, if Dark Night Butterfly was awakened, your opponent must discard two cards instead. You can awaken the card by removing two mystery counters from your J/ruler. So by removing a few mystery counters we can essentially get the value of a card that would cost twice as much out of this total cost one card. Pretty handy for controlling our opponent's hand. Especially if we combine it with already existing hand destruction cards.
Next up is Sword of the Half Moon. Its a total cost two chant with Quickcast that gives a target J/resonator -600/-600 until end of turn. That alone is alright, but not too exciting. However, if you awaken the chant by removing two mystery counters, you'll be able to put the chant back into your hand as it resolves, meaning you can play it again! This chant makes certain you always have a way to weaken or remove threats from your opponent's field so long as you have the mystery counters to pay the awakening cost.
Our last chant card is Sword of the New Moon. Similar to its sister card, it's a Quickcast chant, but it only costs one darkness will. The card gives you two options, either destroy a target resonator with total cost one or less, or destroy target resonator with total cost four or less. Now, obviously we'd always want to choose the second option. The only hitch is that we'll need to awaken the card by removing two mystery counters to do so. With Reiya as our J/ruler and our mystery counter generating cards like Ahriman and Stone from the Dark Castle at our disposal that shouldn't be too much of an issue though. Low cost removal has become a bit harder to pull off with the rotation of the Alice Cluster, especially low cost Quickcast removal. So this chant is sure to provide great field control for Reiya players!