Sunday, May 2, 2010

TSHD Sneak Preview Part 7: Weapon X

Aside from twenty monsters that build a solid strategy by themselves, for the most part, X-Sabers have also received a small bunch of supportive Spell and Trap Cards. One more support Spell Card is included as a TCG exclusive in The Shining Darkness, but in the meantime, let's look at what has been released so far.

The first one from Ancient Prophecy is Sword of Sparkles:

Equip only to an "X-Saber" monster. If it destroys  an opponent's monster by battle, you can destroy 1 card your opponent controls. You can Tribute 1 monster you control to return this card from your Graveyard  to the top of your Deck.

Being an Equip Spell Card, it definately targets one X-Saber monster. Sword of Sparkles has two effects. The first effect is an optional Trigger-like Effect, which is activated at the End of the Damage Step. This effect targets. Note that Sword must be face-up at the End of the Damage Step in order to activate and resolve, so if the equipped monster is destroyed in battle (by a monster with the same ATK), or isn't face-up, Sword won't be face-up either, so you won't be able to destroy a Card. The second effect is an Ignition-like Effect, which can only be activated during your Main Phases. Tributing a monster is a cost, and this effect doesn't target.

The next Card is Saber Slash:

Destroy  a number of face-up cards on the field equal to the number of face-up Attack Position "X-Saber" monsters you control.

Slash is a slightly complicated Normal Spell Card. In order to activate it, you must control at least 1 X-Saber monster in face-up attack position. When Saber Slash resolves, it will count all your face-up attack position X-Saber monsters. Then, for each of these monsters, you must destroy one face-up Card on either side of the Field. Since you don't know how many Cards you have to destroy upon Slash's activation, it doesn't target. Being a Normal Spell Card, Saber Slash cannot destroy itself.

The biggest problem about Saber Slash is which Cards can respond to it. Mostly because, after receiving a yes/no answer, players make up the weirdest reasonings on what can and cannot negate Slash. First of all, Saber Slash is always granted to destroy at least 1 Card upon activation (the X-Saber monsters themselves), so Stardust Dragon can always negate it. Next, the amount of Cards can be calculated upon Slash's activation, even if it won't be the final result (for example, upon activation, it is considered to be about to destroy 3 Cards, but before Slash resolves, one or more Sabers may disappear and less Cards can end up being destroyed). However, the location of the Cards that Slash will destroy is not always fixed upon activation, as it is possible to destroy Cards on either side of the Field. This is why it's not possible to activate Starlight Road in most situations: You can determine whether 2 or more Cards will be destroyed, but you don't know whose. The type of Cards to be destroyed may also vary. Let's look at some examples:

1) 3 X-Saber monsters on your Field and 3 Blue-Eyes White Dragons on the opponent's Field:
-Stardust Dragon can be activated, as either the X-Sabers or the Blue-Eyes will be destroyed.
-Prime Material Dragon and My Body as a Shield can be activated, as Slash can only destroy monsters.
-Starlight Road cannot be activated, as you don't know if at least 2 of the Cards that Slash will destroy will be the Blue-Eyes or not.

2) 3 X-Saber monsters on your Field and 1 Black Whirlwind and 2 Blackwing Armor Master on the opponent's Field:
-Stardust Dragon can be activated, as either the X-Sabers, Whirlwind, or Armor Master would be destroyed.
-PMD and My Body can be activated. This is because even if Slash has the possiblity of destroying Whirlwind, it is still forced to destroy at least one monster (X-Sabers or Armor Master).
-Starlight Road once again cannot be activated, as you don't know whose Cards would be destroyed, even though you know that 3 Cards will be destroyed.

3) 3 X-Saber monsters on your Field and 3 Messenger of Peace on the opponent's Field.
-Stardust can be activated, as usual.
-PMD and My Body cannot be activated. This time, it is not certain that Saber Slash will destroy a monster, as it can destroy all three Spell Cards instead.
-Predictably, Starlight Road cannot be activated.

4) 3 X-Saber monsters on your Field and no Cards in the opponent's Field.
-Stardust can be activated.
-PMD and My Body can be activated.
-You can negate your own Saber Slash with Starlight Road in this case, as it is granted to destroy 3 Cards on your side of the Field only.

So hopefully that's a little clearer.

Let's move on with the next support Card, At One with the Sword:

Activate  while the only monster you control is 1 face-up  "X-Saber" monster. Equip this card to that monster. It gains 800 ATK. If it destroys  your opponent's monster by battle, draw  1 card.

At One with the Sword is a Normal Trap Card. In order to activate it, the only monster on your side of the Field must be a face-up X-Saber monster, which this Card targets. Note that being "alone" is only an activation requirement, and you can control other monsters later. Once AOwtS resolves, it will become an Equip Card (an Equip Trap Card, not an Equip Spell Card), and equip itself to the lonely X-Saber. Since it remains face-up, Trap Eater can send this Card to the Graveyard for its Summon. It will provide an 800 ATK boost with a Continuous Effect. Since it is a Normal Trap Card that provides an ATK increase, it can be activated during the Damage Step (from the Start, until the "Before Damage Calculation" Sub-Step, included). It also has a mandatory Trigger-like Effect to let you draw a Card, which is activated at the End of the Damage Step. And similarly to Sword of Sparkles, the Equip and the monster must remain face-up until that Sub-Step. Finally, note that AOwtS is not restricted to X-Saber monsters only: You can use Cards like Tailor of the Fickle to equip it to any other monster.

The next Card comes from a Starter Deck. It's Gottom's Emergency Call:

Activate  only if there is a face-up "X-Saber" monster(s) on the field. Select 2 "X-Saber" monsters in either player's Graveyard(s). Special Summon those monsters to your side of the field.

This Normal Trap Card requires that a player controls at least 1 X-Saber monster. It can be you, your opponent, or both. This is only an activation requirement. You target 2 X-Saber monsters on either player's Graveyard, and when GEC resolves, you Special Summon both. If one of the targets is missing before GEC resolves, it will resolve without effect. This is because this particular Trap Card asks you to Summon both monsters. Probably the main point to notice about this Card is its flexibility that allows you to use your opponent's X-Sabers as a requirement and as targets.

The last support Card comes from the latest set, Absolute Powerforce. It's Saber Hole:

Activate  only while you control a face-up "X-Saber" monster. Negate the Summon of a monster, and destroy it.

This Counter Trap Card is very simple. You need to control a X-Saber monster in order to activate it. It negates a Summon. It's very similar to Horn of Heaven on which type of Summons it can negate. It cannot negate Normal or Special Summons performed by a Card Effect. Most importantly, it can only negate Inherent Special Summons.

And that's the last about X-Sabers for now, and our final preview for The Shining Darkness. Next week we'll start talking about the set itself. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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