Long ago in a distant land; I, Valentina, the beautiful master of Shangri-La, unleashed an unspeakable evil. But a foolish songstress, wielding a magic instrument, slowly gathered forces to oppose me. Before she could spring her coup I made powerful allies from beyond space and time, to assure that my beauty is law. Yet even now the fool seeks to overthrow me and undo the overlord that is Valentina. *Ahem* Anyway, today’s article is about Shion. Valentina’s personal songstress, spy, and right hand. Yes, as you may have already guessed, Valentina is not the nicest lady. I mean, she was kind of a hands off kind of ruler for a while, but recently she’s gotten a lot more…ambitious. What with the murder and hostile take over and all. I guess things got oppressive in Shangri-La too, because Shion has organized a rebellion. So why don’t we take a look at what she’s bringing to the party.
All this scene is missing is one of those player pianos.
Now here’s something new. A Judgment of total cost of three is nothing new, though I’m always happy to see less attribute specific will in the cost, making it easier to pay using things like our new friend Moonbreeze Elf. Similarly to Gill Lapis, the Songstress only has one ability, but a very unique one, and one that permeates her entire strategy. As a continuous ability, you can look at the top card of your main deck and any time. Right now this only sounds kind of useful, but seriously, things get crazy. Obviously the knowledge of your topmost card can be useful for things like intentional deck shuffling through something like Cheshire Cat or cycling through cards with Trader of Shangri-La, but Moonlit Savior expands upon this concept so much more. So let’s take a look at the J-ruler side, shall we?
With that violin in her hand maybe I should call her El Kabong.
Dang Shion, you’ve really hit the big time. Gone from performing in a saloon/pub on your ruler side to a…bridge? Okay I guess times are tough in the music biz. Shion enters the field pretty bulky at 900 ATK and 1000 DEF, I mean she’s no Gill Lapis, but still. Thankfully, unlike Lapis, she keeps her continuous ability from her ruler side, still allowing you to look at the top card of your deck and we can see the first new use of this ability. When Shion hits the field, she lets you put the top card of your deck into play for free, as long as it’s a resonator with a total cost of five or less. Even if it isn’t, you still get a card in your hand. On its own this can be a pretty big power play, there are some powerful total cost five resonators out there, and you can easily put them on the top of your deck using something like Cheshire Cat, which of course you’ll be using because it’s a water deck, I mean come on, but Moonlit Savior provides more consistent ways of controlling the top card of your deck. Shion’s God’s Art is going to seem lack luster. No question about it. Especially because it’s more or less Beast Queen’s Counter Attack, but Shion doesn’t take any damage. However! The simplest abilities are often the strongest. For two will you can pump up Shion, deal 1400 damage (or possibly more) to a J/resonator, knocking out pretty much any resonator and forcing a J/ruler (even Gill Lapis) to protect themselves using a regalia or just straight die. Clever players will also realize this can be used at instant speed, meaning you can use it to remove a blocker for a guaranteed 1400 damage. A very strong killing blow, especially since far too many players forget about God’s Arts these days. Unfortunately Shion does not have quite as many abilities to discuss as Lapis does, but this is also because Shion’s real strength is in her synergy with the water cards of Moonlit Savior, whereas Lapis’ strategy is basically just him punching your face and working the rest out from there.
Is mayonnaise an instrument?
Now let’s take a look at Shion’s regalia. Thankfully it doesn’t generate will, so it won’t become completely useless the second your opponent sideboards in Lapis, or Barrier of Shadows. It provides some nice support for the whole deck control motif Shion is going for. By resting it you can put the top card of your deck on the bottom, very useful since with Shion you’ll always know what the top card of your deck is. Think of the hand fixing you can pull off with a couple of these on the field. By paying two void, resting and banishing the regalia you can search your deck for any any card and just put it right on the top of your deck (again great with Shion’s enter ability). The ability even costs one void less if you are using Shion, and much like Gleipnir you can discard the Hydromonica in your hand to draw a card. Now of course any activated ability of a regalia comes under suspicion with the increasing regalia hate cards that are around in the game. Thankfully the Hyrdomonica can be banished, preventing Hera from giving your opponent a draw off of it. Plus while the card is without question very useful, it is not so central to Shion’s victory that some wisenheimer using Barrier of Shadows or Lapis is going to ruin everything. This is a great support/utility card that can be swapped out for other things in your sideboard when regalia become too heavy.
You gotta wind it up or it doesn’t work though.
Aaaand welcome to the best magic stone in this set. I am not even kidding. Basically the stone is only useful if you are using Shion, and rightly so because the ability its packing is tailor made for her. It is only able to produce water will, but Shion’s mostly going to be running water cards anyway so that isn’t too much of a setback. When it hits the field you can declare the name of a card (Shion let’s you check the top card of your deck at ANYTIME). Then you reveal the top card of your deck, if it’s the named card (which obviously it will be), you can add it to your hand. Uhh, can anyone say “free draw”? Four out of your ten magic stone cards are now free draws, not a replacement card where your hand stays the same, a straight up total plus one. That is crazy town. Also…what is with all the gears in magic stones?
Just like many of the Rulers back in Twilight Wanderer, Shion has a spell that reduces the cost of her God’s Art. Though this spell actually costs more than her God’s Art with a total cost of three, it also makes the God’s Art free. Plus the ability is really good. You get to put target resonator on top of their owner’s deck, which can not only remove a big threat on your opponent’s field, but also stall out their draw with a card they already had. Additionally you get to reveal the top card of your own deck and put it into play as long as it’s a water resonator with a total cost of two or less (and with Shion as your ruler you know it will be). Then of course there is the previously mentioned God’s Art cost reduction. Sadly the card is not at instant speed, but honestly it’s pretty strong already. A lot of Shion’s best resonators are low costing, plus the amount of chain drawing you can pull of is incredible as you will soon see.
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.
So here’s our first resonator, and why not just start with the super rare? Muse is a total cost two for 400 ATK and 600 DEF. That’s…not bad. Her effect is, of course, what makes her super cool. Similarly to Hymnal’s Memoria, when the card hits the field you declare a card type, then reveal the top card of your deck, if it’s the correct card type, you add it to your hand. I think by now you can see what pretty much every water card in this set is based around doing. So basically play this with Shion and you don’t lose any cards by putting it into the field, which is nice. However, what’s even better is her second ability. Prevent any damage that would be dealt to any of your resonators as long as the damage is less than their DEF. Yeah, goodbye Demonflame sniping. As you can imagine this can grant you a nice defensive buffer as you amass your forces .
That bow-tie really makes him seem non-threatening.
Hey it’s that one guy that I revealed the picture for that everybody went crazy over, for some reason. His ability is pretty good, but a bit of a gamble, though far less of one if you’re using Shion. Whenever he attacks or blocks you reveal the top card of your deck. As long as it’s a resonator, all your resonators get +300 ATK and DEF, but if it isn’t, Drill Sergeant hops back to your hand. Yikes. Better make sure you’ve got good control of your deck with Shion and Hyrdomonica. A card like this is sure to challenge the skills of players, but reward them handily should they successfully utilize all the abilities at their disposal. I’m thinking this card plus fairies is going to be a lot of fun.
All we need is that Epic Sax guy and we can recreate Eurovision.
Lastly for today is a turn one resonator that is similar to Drill Sergeant. Whenever the card attacks or blocks you reveal the top card of your deck and as long as it’s a resonator the musician gets an extra 200 ATK and DEF, but if it isn’t a resonator the card jumps back to your hand. While Drill Sergeant can be a great asset for rushing your opponent, the musician is a little less…useful. With you likely already running four copies of Cheshire Cat as turn one resonator plays, you may be better off with another one cost water resonator who can help you draw or cycle cards like Alice’s Little Scout or Trader of Shangri-La. However if you’re confident with your abilities to cycle (and I suppose with Shion you’d always know whether it’s a good idea to attack or not) this card can be a pretty good cheap aggressor.
Don’t worry, there’s plenty more water support cards for us to reveal, but for now just imagine all the crazy combos and hand fixing you can pull of with the cards we’ve seen today.
Be sure to check back on Tuesday for another preview article! And look for The Moonlit Savior, in stores on March 11th!
Written by Jordan E. Blanco