Thursday, April 29, 2010

TSHD Sneak Preview Part 4: Back In Black

We have already reviewed most of the existing Cards that build and support the Blackwing theme, and we still have a few more to go. Ever since they started in CRMS, they have only taken a break in the latest set so far being Absolute Powerforce. This means that we have some Blackwing Cards in Ancient Prophecy and Stardust Overdrive. And whether you are a Blackwing player, or you are just sick of them, you will love (or hate) to know that there are almost new Cards for them in The Shining Darkness.

But back to the the present, or probably the past, let's start looking at Ancient Prophecy. We start with Blackwing - Fane the Steel Chain:

This card can attack your opponent directly. When this card attacks your opponent directly and inflicts Battle Damage to your opponent, change 1 Attack Position monster your opponent controls  to Defense Position.

Fane is very simple. Its first effect is a Continuous Effect, which we have reviewed a number of times already. Its second effect is a mandatory Trigger Effect. It activates at the "After Damage Calculation" Sub-Step when Fane inflicts at least 1 point of Battle Damage, and it targets 1 Attack Position monster.

The next monster from the same set is Blackwing - Mistral the Silver Shield:

If this card on the field is destroyed  and sent to the Graveyard, reduce the Battle Damage you take from the next attack this turn to 0.

This Tuner monster is also very simple, but slightly more complicated than Fane. Mistral has a Mandatory Trigger Effect which activates at the End of the Damage Step. This effect actually places a condition that will reduce Battle Damage the next time you take Battle Damage during this turn. This condition doesn't use the chain once you apply it. Note that this condition will be applied immediately for the next time you will take Battle Damage, meaning that you don't get to choose which attack to block. Your opponent is likely to attack with a weaker monster before using his/her most powerful monster, and Mistral will only stop the least threatening attack.

These two monsters aren't too surprising, or even worth of too much analysis. So let's move to where the juice is at. The last Blackwing monster from ANPR: Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor:

If this card is face-up on the field, you cannot use it for a Synchro Summon. If this card is in your Graveyard, you can remove from play this card plus 1 non-Tuner "Blackwing" monster in your Graveyard, and Special Summon 1 "Blackwing" Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck whose Level equal the total Levels of the removed monsters. The effect(s) of that Synchro Monster is negated.

Now this is something worth looking at. This Tuner monster has a Continuous Effect and an Ignition Effect. The Continuous Effect prevents it from being used as a Synchro Summon, which is somewhat counter-productive, but you can still use Vayu with Cards like Tuner's Barrier. The important thing here is that, being a Continuous Effect that is applied on the Field, it can be negated. So if you use Skill Drain, or the very negation caused by Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame, you can perform Synchro Summons with Vayu.

The Ignition Effect targets the other Blackwing monster in your Graveyard. It is not a cost to Remove either Card from Play. When Vayu starts resolving, first, you check that both Vayu and the targeted Blackwing monster are still in the Graveyard. If not, nothing is Removed from Play or Summoned. If they are, you remove both monsters from Play and look for a Synchro Monster that matches the sum of their Levels. If at resolution you fail to find any (because an effect caused it to no longer be there), then nothing is Summoned, but Vayu and the other Blackwing stay Removed from Play. If there are no problems with the effect, the Blackwing Synchro Monster is Special Summoned. This Summon is not a Synchro Summon. Additionally, the effects of the Synchro Monster are negated as long as it remains face-up on the Field.

A question as common as the Blizzard+ Whirlwind "trick" is in regards to Vayu vs. Royal Oppression. Many have heard a ruling saying that "you can't negate Vayu with Oppression", or that "Vayu is unaffected by Oppression". Both are using incorrect words. Vayu can certainly be negated by Oppression, and can certainly be affected by it. If Oppression, or any similar Card tries to negate Vayu, then the Synchro Monster won't be Special Summoned. That's pretty evident. The real reason why it is inefficient or pointless to negate Vayu (which are very different from "impossible") is because Vayu has no cost. If Vayu's effect is negated, then Vayu and the targeted monster will remain in the Graveyard, and the Synchro Monster will remain within the Extra Deck. In other words, Vayu has just met the requirements to activate its effect again. Using effect negation on Vayu is similar to trying to negate Treeborn Frog while it sits in the Graveyard during the Standby Phase: It will just activate again.

There is one more Blackwing monster before our brief break in ABPF. Blackwing - Silverwind the Ascendant was included in Stardust Overdrive. Let's take a look:

1 "Blackwing" Tuner Monster + 2 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned, you can select and destroy up to 2 face-up monsters on the field with DEF lower than this card's ATK. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect. The next time a "Blackwing" monster you control would be destroyed by battle during your opponent's turn, it is not destroyed; this effect only happens once.

The first thing to notice is that you need at least 3 monsters to perform a Synchro Summon of this monster. Since adding 8 Levels using 3 or more monsters is somewhat complicated for Blackwings, most players simply use Vayu's effect targeting Armor Master. Since Vayu doesn't perform a Synchro Summon, it doesn't need to fulfill Silverwind's demands for three monsters.

Setting that aside, Silverwind has a Trigger Effect and a Continuous Effect. The Trigger Effect is optional, and it targets up to 2 monsters. Their DEF must be lower than Silverwind's ATK upon the effect's activation and when it starts resolving. If you activate this effect, and the activation isn't negated, you can't conduct your Battle Phase (even if Silverwing falied to destroy the monsters because it was flipped face-down). Like we learned in a previous article, you can't flip this restriction around by conducting your Battle Phase and Summoning Silverwind during Main Phase 2 (the effect can't be activated).

The Continuous Effect is a little picky. The first time a Blackwing monster will be destroyed during the opponent's Battle Phase, that monster is not destroyed in battle. This effect can only applied once while Silverwind remains face-up on the Field. If the same monster is attacked again, this protection is gone. You cannot choose when to apply it. And of course, if Silverwind is flipped face-down and face-up, you can apply it once again.

It sure has been a long way to look at all the Blackwing Cards, but we still have one more theme to review while waiting for The Shining Darkness. Stay tuned for the next part! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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