Saturday, August 18, 2012

Calm Before the Storm: Army Dragon 101

Yo peeps! How are you? Homura here again with another preview article for the upcoming expansion, BT-08 'Blue Storm Armada'. The previews are getting really fast now as the release period is approaching us with only a month remaining. As a Dragon Empire specialist, I'm very delighted when they previewed the newest reinforcement of Dragon Empire's Land Assault Division, Tachikaze - The Army Dragon Ride Chain. Today, this article will be devoted to do an analysis of the ride chain and how I think about it.

Army Dragon, Raptor Soldier

It all starts here. Raptor Soldier is basically a clone of the recent Chain Ride starters, For example Vortimer, Riviere, and Ergodiel. This card is a 4k power unit, and has 2 skills at its disposal. The first one, which will only work if the chain is successful, allows you to search the top cards of your deck for a "Army Dragon, Raptor Captain", or a "Army Dragon, Raptor Colonel" into your hand, when you ride "Army Dragon, Raptor Sergeant" on this unit.

This skill ensures a guaranteed advance to further complete your chain by adding in the missing part of your chain. The other skill is a very common skill found in other starters, which is the skill to Superior Call itself into a Rear Guard circle if something else other than Raptor Sergeant is ridden on it.

Army Dragon, Raptor Sergeant

The G1 of the chain. Raptor Soldier's skill will activate once you ride this unit on it, and Raptor Sergeant's passive skill will give a +1k power boost to this originally 7k unit, making it on par as a G1 vanilla when in Vanguard.

The second skill of Raptor Sergeant also only activates when the chain is maintained. When you ride an "Army Dragon, Raptor Captain" on top of this unit, you may search your deck for a Raptor Sergeant and Superior Call it into a RG circle. This skill turns the -1 of your hand size from riding into a +1 of your field presence (adding a valuable booster on your field). 

Army Dragon, Raptor Captain

This is the G2 of the chain. By riding this unit, as stated earlier, will activate Raptor Sergeant's duplication skill. Also, by having Raptor Sergeant in your Soul, Raptor Captain will gain an additional 1k power boost, making it from 9k into 10k.

Raptor Captain also shares Raptor Sergeant's second skill, whereby you can duplicate itself the moment you ride an "Army Dragon, Raptor Colonel" on top of it. Basically, the only difference between Raptor Captain and Raptor Sergeant is that you're now gaining the +1 in the form of a 9k attacker and Interceptor. Not a bad card I would say.

Army Dragon, Raptor Colonel

He's the pinnacle of the Ride Chain, and the art is freaking awesome (A Velociraptor mounted with giant cannons on the back and blasting everything into bits and pieces? YES!). Raptor Colonel is a 10k unit, with the skill to become a 11k when your Soul has Raptor Captain in it. 11k is always a good number, as it helps out a lot during defense.

However, the spotlight of this card is actually Raptor Colonel's Limit Break. Once you hit the fourth damage, you may activate his LB, which will definitely forces a lot of hand cards from your opponent to guard Colonel's attack. By paying the cost of CB1, and retiring 2 of your Tachikaze Rear Guards, Raptor Colonel gains a power boost equal to the total power of the 2 units retired.

Notice any similarities? Yes, Raptor Colonel's skill is a variant of Blonde Ezel's LB. The only difference is Ezel creates board presence, but can't be used when you have more than 4 RGs. On the other hand, Raptor Colonel's LB gains more power than Ezel, while freeing up another column to reorganize your attacks. Which one is better? It's really up to personal preference for that. But however, you must remember one crucial advantage that Tachikaze has.

Tachikaze has a few units that can be bounced back into the hand when they go to the Drop Zone from the field by paying CB1. So, when you use Raptor Colonel's LB, you can just simply choose those units, and retrieve them back easily. By doing that, you have just opened a lot of options to reform your attack formation as well as getting pluses to your hand size.

Alright, here's my analysis of the new Army Dragon Ride Chain for Tachikaze. I'm still neutral about it so far, as the Ride chain won't work if you missed any of the Grades. But I'll still test it out, hoping that the results will change my mind about this series. Until then, see you again next time!


  1. ....Dragonmaster Homura, do you think that there will be a new set of Triggers for Tachikaze in BT08?

    ...Also, Colonel doesn't have enough guns.

    1. I personally would love to see new triggers available for Tachikaze as the current Trigger lineup is very, very sad (they desperately need another set of Criticals). So fingers crossed, I want to see new triggers for them.

      ... Blame the artist then for not giving Colonel more guns, heh!

    2. Yay! There seems to be new triggers for Tachi!

  2. Homura-san, can you please post a decklist with these cards in it? I don't know how (just picked up the game yesterday) to build a tournament-competitive Tachikaze deck.