1. Game Hype Square off, Enix Style!

 

The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game was first released in Japan in 2012 and made it’s way to the west in October 2016. The game consists of 2 players building a 50 card deck from a choice of 6 ‘elements’. Each element has it’s own unique play style (Mono Lightning being my preference). Each set of cards for the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game is called an Opus and earlier this month Square Enix and Hobby Japan released Opus V. Knowing what huge Final Fantasy fans the team here at Game Hype are, Square Enix kindly sent us some Opus V booster boxes for a ‘Sealed’ game (A sealed game is when players have a set amount of booster packs to open and build a deck with only the cards they ‘pull’ from their boosters). Having some experience playing FFTCG myself, off I went to meet my fellow Game Hype nerds (Damien, Daniel and Aaron) at a local geek-based establishment to get things started.

So a 4 player ‘sealed game’ with 9 Booster packs each began, excitedly we started tearing into foil packs of Final Fantasy goodness. Many an excited nostalgic exclamation was made as we pulled cards featuring beloved characters from throughout the storied history of the Final Fantasy franchise. As those of you with any drafting experience should know, drafting is all about making the best deck out of the random assortment of cards you ‘pull’ (get from the packs you open). Seeing as I usually like to use Lightning based decks I opted to change things up a little, mostly because I didn’t draft enough Lighting cards to build a deck with, but that’s neither here nor there. My deck consisted of mostly Earth and Ice, some fire was thrown into the mix to get my deck up to size, but in such a small amount I didn’t expect to really use them much. My game plan was to play as wide a field as possible with some strong earth forwards such as the mighty Berserker for some big hits and Lanista for some late-game blocking should the need arise. However, for the most part, it was Ice that kept swinging away to deal damage to my foes, namely in the form of Orphan! (Now seeing what this card is capable of it’s not shocking that it’s of Legendary rarity).

Daniel built himself an Earth and Wind deck hoping to utilise Chocobo Knight and his Chocobo buddies (Chocobo not taking damage when it forms a party is such a great ability especially when combined with cards from the previous Opus). However, it was the Legendary Wol (5-075) that caused the rest of us such problems in the game.

 

Damien opted for a Wind and Lightning based deck, hoping to pull some sneaky plays out of the new monsters. Bunker Beast popped up a lot in Damien’s games, but much to his annoyance we’d (especially Daniel) would often refuse to take the bait and thus not fall into the trap that is Bunker Beast.

 

 

Aaron went for an Ice and Water combo and played some great control, completely nullifying my attack at times with the brilliant Unei which can really stall a foes game plan while you work out a counter attack.

 

 

 

 

So after deck building was done, the real fun began. We opted for a quick best of 1 swiss style tournament. While I won’t go into a turn-by-turn breakdown of each game, I’ll provide my take on the highlight moments of our first foray into FFTCG Opus V.

So the fates decided that facing off for our first match would be me vs Aaron, and in an odd symmetry both wound up with Unei on the field at the same time, leaving us both stalled until more forwards entered the fray. I struggled to draw any back-ups and as such found it difficult to match the deployment of forwards Aaron had, thus the first of my matches ended in defeat to Aaron. Damien and Daniel faced off now and as previously mentioned Bunker Beast just couldn’t contend with the mighty Wol and the victory was Daniels, however, it was a close fought bout, in fact, it was the closest match of the day (7-6 on damage points in Daniels favour). The next two bouts (Me vs Damien and Aaron vs Daniel) were (to be honest) short-lived affairs. The might Orphan destroying any defence Damien could muster and I managed to inflict 7 points of damage rather quickly. No sooner had Damien and I shook hands following the bout, the tussle between Aaron and Daniel was over (in much the same fashion) Wol and his ability to give other forwards ‘Brave’ in this case Ingus had made short work of Aaron’s board. The stage was set, Daniel and myself for the title of Game Hype champion, who’d take the office crown first time out? Daniel on 2-0 and myself 1-1, could I beat Daniel and force a Tie Break match. (As it was the rest of the teams first time out, we’d decided that we wouldn’t count losses in the result of a tie, I mean, who wants to win because somebody else beat their foe, not the Game Hype lads that’s for sure, nothing but utter victory will do). 

The match began, all my hope reaching out for Orphan and a timely Unei (nicknamed the ‘sleepy card’ for its dulling effects). My plan, hope Wol comes into play early and dull him with Unei, leaving Orphan free to claim me victory…Well, that’s not even close to what happened.  The match was great fun, but in the end, my deck betrayed me every draw phase, my only decent attacker being Berserker, which while a great attacker ultimately failed to protect me from Daniels Earth-based wrath. Berserker can be great but his inability to block can be a huge problem, and it’s amplified when your opponents forwards are being given ‘Brave’, Daniel took the crown with an undefeated 3 wins to 0 losses. So after Daniel became the Game Hype office champion(A temporary arrangement, I shall claim the crown), we took a few moments to reflect on the game and which cards we enjoyed and which our favourites were from the packs we’d opened. My favourite card will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, it’s Lightning (5-116H).

Lightning is my favourite Final Fantasy character and as a 2CP forward with ‘Haste’ that quickly retreats from the board after striking like the commando she is couldn’t be more fun for me to play.

Wol was, of course, Daniels favourite card, it served him well through the day (5-075L), what Wol can do for 4CP is immense and will be forming the basis of Daniels new constructed deck.

Damien had a love/hate relationship with the Bunker Beast (5-110), while in perfect situations Bunker Beast can force an opponent to unintentionally sacrifice a blocking forward, in Damien’s experience the beast was more of a tame pet.

‘Sleepy card’ or to the rest of you Ueni was Aarons card of choice (5-027), the hilarity of both he and I stalling each other’s attack with the same card made the day for us. I’m sure the foil versions Aaron took home has pride of place on Aarons desk.

So…Daniel is Game Hype office champ and after a day of play, it’s safe to say that the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game has a trio of new players for me to spar with. 

I know what you’re thinking, ‘This looks great, I want to play!’ Well due to our generous friends at Square Enix we are giving away some Opus V starter decks! 

 

Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GameHypeUK/) and our official Twitter (@GameHype_) for your chance to win.

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