Opus XIII Crystal Radiance is here and it’s arriving at a time (at least here in the UK) in which the end of lockdown or pandemic related restrictions are beginning to be seen and we can once again hope to sit across a table from each other and enjoy the game we all love. 

Crystal Radiance is a set of 128 cards and including 3 full art legend reprints, Vivi (3-017L), Fina (8-060L) and Fusoya (9-094L) and Final Fantasy XII Lightning Returns makes its debut in FFTCG. 

While time in lockdown seems to be crawling by time seems to have flown by as far as TCGs are concerned given that we are now 13 sets into the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. There are new combinations of Multi-Element cards which will no doubt result in many a spicy deck build.

As well as a new set of boosters Square have also treated players to a new two player starter deck based around Final Fantasy XIV called Shadowbringers. Plenty of scions goodness that I know a friend of the site will be very excited to get their hands on. I pulled a foil Innocence (13-137S) from my pre-release box and its simple stunning, so stunning that I may just build a Fire/Ice deck for it. 

I’m glad square continue to release Two-Player starter sets, starting a TCG can be a difficult hobby to position to a friend, they can be costly hobbies which I’m sure we’d all agree on, but the price point of theses Two-Player sets means that they are perfect for one person to buy and through playing with friends (who as of yet haven’t had to invest anything more than time in the game) can help the hobby grow as their friends no doubt purchase decks themselves.

As always I’ve picked some of my favourite cards from this set and true to form theres a Dragoon among them, at this point it feels like I’ve become my own trope but I’m going to lean into it. 

So with that in mind, lets get to it:

Kain (13-073H)

Of course Kain was going to be one of my choices, although in this instance it’s mostly due to it being an Amano card, it’s simply stunning and I’m bound to add a foil to my Dragoon deck soles for this reason. As for it’s use in a deck, it seems decent at first glance but the idea of my opponent hitting my with my own Dragoon, well I can’t bare the idea. Although there are of course ways to remove counters (can’t type that without thinking of freeze tokens) it’s all dependant on being given the time to do so. Kain also has Haste which almost always feels pointless in a ‘Goon deck given that Barb is never too far away.

Barbariccia (13-047H) 

Entry effects, we love them, they are tasty and damm, does this Barbariccia have an enticing one. Obviously it’s themed to a specific deck build but if this hits the field at the right time it’s a dark time indeed for your opponent. Coupled with all the damaged forward removal available I think seeing (this) Barbariccia hit the table may become as irksome as seeing ol Shantotto used to be, I say used to be but I still hate seeing her clear my board of Dragoons, and no, I refuse to accept that playing every damm Dragoon I draw is overcommitting. 

Lightning (13—081H)

Lightning, as a character I adore her, as a card (or many cards) she’s a mixed bag, but this card, doesn’t seem to have a down side to me. 7CP for 9k puts her above curve, removing cards from the game is game is fantastic no matter how temporarily (I did love my Banisher Priests back in my MTG days) and if there’s nothing you need off the board, well just go fishing in that break zone of yours. I love it, I’ve been trying to decide between building a XIII or Type 0 deck and I think this Lightning may have settled that for me. 

Of course there are many more wonderful cards so some honourable mentions are of course required:

Odin (13-072R) cheap removal late in the game (be sure to check out the deck tech from the YYT). 

Behemoth K (13-079L) reading the card explains the card on this one (MTG references all over the place today).  

Elle (13-088H) Card draw is always useful and why not rotate some cards between deck and hand while swinging for some damage, after all we’ve all had situations where we desperately need to draw the right response or piece of a combo, Elle just bumps the odds in your favour.

Overall Opus XIII has me really excited, especially if it’s the set that just happens to coincide with us getting back into the world with lovely new decks to try out. Normally most Opus sets have an elemental winner, the element that seems to benefit most from the release, sometimes it’s obvious but in the case of Opus 13 I’m struggling to do so. Could this be the most balanced opus yet? Only time and many many games will tell. 

Hopefully I’ll be sat across from you all sooner rather than later and as always remember, Dragoons Eternal.