Fire Emblem Cipher: First Thoughts

Hey everyone! I’m here with a cursory glance at the Fire Emblem Cipher game if you wanted to pick up another card game or are an avid card collector looking for sick art!

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TL;DR:

This game plays like a hybrid of Cardfight Vanguard with a Pokemon win condition and Naruto TCG-like mana cost plus a few unique mechanics. The art on the cards is stunning and an absolute must for those who are fans of the video game series! I would highly recommend it but be warned that you either need to know Japanese or remember translations and the community is fairly small here in America. For all the information you need about this game, check this website out: https://serenesforest.net/wiki/index.php/Fire_Emblem_TCG

A Foreword:

It should be noted that I am a huge Fire Emblem fan so I am fairly biased. It all started in middle school with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. For those that don’t know, this is where Ike, who is in the Super Smash Bros. series of games, came from. All in all, the video game series is filled with great gameplay, story, and lovable characters so when this card game was announced, I was hyped as all get out.

The Video Game Series Origins:

Fire Emblem is first and foremost a tactical RPG game franchise in the form of turn-based combat developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. There are 15 different titles but only 7 ever graced our American shores + a Shin Megami Tensei crossover in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Currently, there are 7 booster sets and 8 starter decks which  span 8 of the titles and Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

The Card Game:

  • Card Size – Standard sized (MTG, Pokemon)
  • Factions – Each video game realm has its own color besides Tokyo Mirage Sessions which is in Blue and Red and Fire Emblem Fates which separates Hoshido and Nohr into White and Black.
  • Deck Size – 49 Cards + 1 Main Character. Most meta decks incorporate 2-3 colors.
  • The Board
    • Units are placed in vanguard and rearguard areas. Main character starts in vanguard zone (like Cardfight Vanguard).
    • Retreat Pile = Discard Pile. This is shuffled back as your deck when you deck out.
    • Bond Area is is effectively like chakra in the Naruto TCG or mana in Magic.

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  • Mulligan – Yes. You may mulligan your 6-card hand once with no detriment
  • Mana – Similar to Magic. Must use at least one “bond” card of the same color to pay cost
  • Win Condition – Like Pokemon. Game starts with 6 “orb” cards taken from your deck and placed face-down. When your main character is defeated in battle, you draw one of your orb cards and when you run out and your main character is defeated, it’s game over
  • Combat – Like Cardfight Vanguard with a support check but with more varied “trigger” effects and the checked card is not added to your hand

More About the Product:

Each wave of starter decks includes:

  • 50 cards, many of which appear in their corresponding booster sets, plus some starter deck exclusive foils
  • A nice paper playmat
  • An in-game item download code for owners of the Japanese Fire Emblem Fates.

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Each booster box is 16 packs of 10 cards. The rarities in this game are as follows: Normal, High Normal, Rare, Rare (+), Super Rare, and Super Rare (+).

  • Normal and High Normal look exactly the same
  • R – Foil
  • SR – Textured Foil, approximately 4 in every box
  • (+) – A very accentuated border around the card art and some are signed

Each box includes 5 sleeves and a promo card which is an alternate art of a card in the next set. Each set includes 2 colors besides Booster Set 3 (shown below) which has 3 colors.

Here is the product and a sample of one of my packs:

It looks like I got lucky since I pulled this gorgeous signed Azura card which is approximately 1:4 per case.

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Where to Buy:

  • Amiami.com (cheapest for sealed product)
  • TCGRepublic.com (cheapest singles I’ve found so far)
  • Cipher Facebook Group or Serenes Forest Forum (probably actually the cheapest)
  • Ebay
  • Amazon.com and Amazon.jp

Everything you need to know about the game:  https://serenesforest.net/wiki/index.php/Fire_Emblem_TCG

Final Words:

  • The card arts in themselves made me want to play the game as they are created by various well-known video game artists. They have combined art cards like legion cards in Cardfight Vanguard!
  • As a card game, there are a few mechanics that I have never seen which are neither here nor there. But it is really cool that you can make a deck focused around your favorite character
  • The cost of cards is technically low if you get it in Asia but goes up due to lack of US localization so you have to import everything
    • Booster Box – (Imported) $42-$70
    • Starter Deck – (Imported) $14-$18
  • You have to learn Japanese, remembering effects, or constantly pull up translations

I want to be able to play this game in English one day, but until then I guess I will have to cope with these gorgeous cards being only in Japanese.

I hope this was comprehensive but not too long! I will get around to describing the meta at some point, I’m sure.

Thanks for reading :)!

Super Mega Important Naruto Banlist Update! You’ll never believe what happened! (Totally not a Magic Pre-Release Post)

They’ve finally done it. Naruto TCG has finally released its new ban list, one that will surely transform the meta. Of course the number one hit that everyone is talking about is the banning of N-203 Itachi Uchiha.

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This card is broken. The only characters that damage it are:

  • Sasuke Uchiha
  • Kakashi Hatake
  • and Madara Uchiha

You know what all three of these cards have in common? There all red! This one card is forcing everyone to either main or splash red just to deal with it. Sure you can kill it with jutsu, but it’s Itachi so you now they can just counter any jutsu with the Sharinghan anyway. This card was beyond unhealthy for the format allowing people to run the degenerate Itachi x4 Stall deck that summoned all 4 Itachis and decked people out by hiding behind them!

I for one am very happy with this ban. I won’t bat an eye to the many Itachi players who now have to give Naruto Rasengan Aggro or Temari Bounce Control another look.

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..

What do you mean April Fool’s Day was 2 days ago?

What the heck was I doing then?

 

While the actual answer to that is schoolwork, let’s pretend it was the Shadows Over Innistrad Pre-Release.

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Your Investigator’s Deckbox

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My Rares:

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My partner opened a Wolf of Devil’s Breach also letting him build a savage Red/Green Wolf/Werewolf deck. Using the 3 Angelic Purges we opened I build Black/White control.

Match-Ups:

Round 1: Vs the same Couple as like 4 times before/RB Vamps and GW Investigate

This is the 5th time I’ve fought this pair in Philadelphia 2-HG events, though this may be the first time my team has beaten them. They had to throw removal spells at my partner’s giant bombs until they ran out of removal in the face of Elusive Tormenter + Gatstaf Arsonists. 2 alpha strikes later they were done. MVP was Sinister Concoction for making combat math impossible for them.

Win: 1-0

Round 2: Vs 2 Pretty Chill Dudes/RB Zombies and GW Tokens

While our opponents got 2 copies of Infectious Curse on us, I had the nuts opening of Elusive Tormentor + Always Watching so I was swinging every turn with a virtually un-killable 5/5. Our opponents tried to stablize with an 8/8 Uwenwald Hydra, but my partner ripped the madness lightning bolt off the top with Wolf of Devil’s Breach on board. We swung out bolt 2 of their blockers allowing our team to take them to 1 life. I resolved Elusive Tormentor’s effect to deal the final blow on the next turn.

Win: 1-0

Round 3: Vs The No-Split Nancies/UB Control and Red/White Flyers

Yeah these guys refused to split forcing us to play out the final match. They had a lot of flyers and rekt us in the early game before Devil’s Playground allowed us to stabilize and recover. A few turns of consistent beats narrowed the gap until they used Welcome to the Fold to steal my Kindly Stranger and flip it to kill out dudes. We outed the witch, but barely dodged him geting madness off for his from under the floorboards. He actually forgot he had the zombies which the only reason we wound up drawing after they wrathed the board after a failed alpha strike. We topped decked a madness bolt for their tooth collector leaving neither side a way to win. Final life totals were our 6 to their 4.

Draw 0-1-0

Prize:

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I opened nothing to write home about, but my partner got a Sorin and another Wolf of Devil’s Breach xD

I’m going to another Innistrad 2HG Pre-release today so we’ll have to see what happens this time.

Thanks for reading as always.

TMCG New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year folks!

It’s been almost a full year since I started this blog. There have been ups and downs, but overall this has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in regard to card games.

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In 2015

  • I bought far too many cards
  • I entered nowhere near enough events
  • I watched Nekroz dominate, lag behind and then ultimately die
  • I watched Force of Will became my favorite game

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My resolutions for 2016 are to

  • Spend less on Yugioh (I say this despite having a Breakers of Shadow box on preorder, but more on that later)
  • Play more Magic (whether it be Commander or actually using my Modern deck, I do regret how little Magic I’ve played after leaving Standard)
  • Enter more FoW events (I have the meta cards so I might as well try to enjoy them before they rotate)
  • Actually play/post about the other 6 card games I claim to like (It’s not that I avoid these games, it’s more that I don’t actively seek out fellow players of them)

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I don’t have that much else to say other than thanks for stopping by and reading my random musings.

I’m just going to throw up a few more pictures of memorable events from last year. Thanks for reading as always.

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Life Recap into a Night of Yugioh into a Day of Wixoss

So despite not posting at all things still happened in the time since I opened that Weiss box.

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I found this Wixoss Lot on Ebay and bought it for $40. As ridiculous as that sounds this was a really good deal since the cards individually are really expensive to import.

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I took apart my Gruul deck. I know this may not seem like much, but my love of trading card games I’ve come to realize is based totally on building as many decks as feasibly possible. Each deck has a story. Each deck or build (bar a direct net-deck) is unique to its creator and in my opinion should be special to its owner. This Gruul deck for example was originally a Gruul EDH with Ruric Thar, the Unbowed as commander. However, Gruul (or aggro) was never my play style in EDH. Instead, I got far more into my Superfriends deck so I downgraded it into a Legacy deck. However, I came to the realization that I had no positive memories of this deck (there is a very distinct chance that I never used it). I might convert it into a RG Tiny Leaders deck (with Radha, Heir to Keld as commander) in the future,  but for now it’s just a source of mountains (I really just wanted to use the foil Savageborn Hydra I was given as a gift by a close friend a year ago in hindsight).

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I’m taking this Theros block Red deck and converting it to a Pauper Red deck. Pauper is a MTGO format where you can construct a deck with only common cards. I think this is amazing as its literally the first thing other than draft/cube that makes any use of cards I literally watch people throw into the trash (commons) regularly. Also while I cut him long ago due to inconsistency Akroan Crusader is still my favorite card in Theros block (right next to Titan’s Strength).

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From that Weiss box I built a Mami Tomoe deck and… begrudgingly a Blue-Red Sayaka Miki deck (I pulled one Kyoko that was too cool to not splash red for). I have enough spare cards for a green Madoka-Homura deck, but I don’t have 50 spare MTG-sized sleeves at the moment (or more likely I haven’t found them in the abyss that is my room yet).

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Moving onto the yugioh tournament from yesterday. Due to train errors I already regret submitting to the internet I only arrived in time for the last 4 rounds of the tourney so to speak. With no chance to place I played fairly casually. This tournament was VERY original in its structure, but to not reveal it’s full mystic the only thing I will mention is that the rounds were 1 game matches (which sounds weird, but let’s move on).

Game 1: Vs Infernoids

I Djinn-locked him and he scooped (surrendered)

Game 2: Vs Ritual Beasts

I somehow forgot how these darn things work outside of their trap card Ritual Beast Steeds (despite having a friend who plays the deck). In my infinite wisdom I tried to force out all of his Steeds until he ran out. Sadly I didn’t think that Ritual Beasts could OTK so I passed without recurring my Valk. My opponent revealed to me that they could OTK and that was that.

Game 3: Vs Infernoids again

We had a rematch…

I Djinn-locked him again…

He scooped again…

Game 4: Vs Yang Zings

He brought out his Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing and shuffled away my Nekroz guys, but I won in time somehow after that.

And that was the Yugioh event. I wish I could say more, but there’s not much else to discuss. Oh yeah the cards shown were ones I traded for while at the event.

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This sadly blurry picture shows the Wixoss decks built by myself and my friend Nyan (the one who brought me into Wixoss and also is ironically the friend mentioned quite possibly every time earlier in this post) over the last few months. I visited him today and we exchanged cards from the boxes we opened (more so I traded him the Green Anne cards I had for his Blue Mirurun cards.

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So from Box 4 I pulled Mirurun lv 1-3 and in his box 5 Nyan pulled 3 Mirurun lv 5s. Between the Anne cards I acquired from that Wixoss lot and the box we worked out a massive card exchange that bore each of us a new deck. And thus I’m proud to add Mirurun to the long list of decks I’ve built. I still need to purchase a lv 0 and a lv 4, but those can be acquired at tcgrepublic. I’ve bought from that site before and I’d recommend it for getting Japanese single cards imported to the US.

Nyan and I played out a series of almost matches (due to time constraints). However at the time of writing this I’m fairly exhausted so I’ll just explain each match-up in terms that a Magic player would understand (Wixoss -> Magic is much easier than Wixoss -> Yugioh sadly).

Anne vs Mirurun (Green/White Combo vs Mono Blue Control)

Hanayo vs Red Tama (Mono Red Aggro vs Boros Aggro)

Eldora vs Midoriko (Blue/Black Control vs Green Ramp)

Iona vs Tama (White/Black Combo vs White/Black Aggro)

Ok my eyes hurt. Probably a good time to call it quits. Thanks for reading my bizarre ramble and somehow tolerating my erratic reading schedule. Seriously, you’re awesome. Anyways, later.

Top 5 Random Yugioh Crossover ideas the World isn’t ready For (Also not being dead)

It’s somewhat ironic that the week I’ve been too busy to post is also my school’s finals week. Anyway, here are some name puns I thought might make someone somewhere chuckle guiltily.

#5 The Little Mermail

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#4 Snow Dragon and the 7 Dwarfs

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#3 The Super Noble Knight Brothers

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#2 Five Nights at Frightfur’s

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#1 The Ghostrick-Busters

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If you have any funny name puns please post them in the comments hehe. I’m going to a Yugioh tournament tonight so hopefully I’ll have that to post about tomorrow. Until then have a good game everyone.

Thousands of Yugioh Cards sprawled out on my bed which took way too long to put away…

So this blog needs more color, so I thought I’d post some pictures of my cards.SDC16508-001

^My anime yugioh decks (this is an old pic incidentally)

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^My Magic Bulk alongside my trade binder (Not even my decks)

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^My new herd of Ponytas (Strongly considering making a Ponya binder rather than a section)

I felt like brightening up the page (and testing how to upload images). In my next post I’ll show pictures of my newest pulls from my recent Yugioh boxes.