Welcome to the 9th CX’s Set Reviews!
For this set review, we will be looking at a 100-card set from the series Terra Formars!
Terra Formars is a 100-card set, with 25 cards each in yellow, green, red, and blue.
You can jump to a section by searching for the tags [YEL], [GRE], [RED], and [BLU] respectively.
The card name will be in the caption, followed by the card text. The card review will be placed below it, and will be placed on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. Cards that would fall below 2, are vanilla, or have been repeated many times in other sets will not be rated.
Here’s the scoring scale we will be using (blatantly borrowed from other popular set reviewers):
5.0 – So powerful, it’s difficult to justify not playing. The card may see banning. (e.g. Nisekoi Marika)
4.0 – Deck staple. Great in multiples. (e.g. Kantai 1 Compass)
3.5 – A staple of certain decks, but may be edged out by other better cards in the same level slot. (e.g. Kantai 1 Musashi)
3.0 – Solid card, but overshadowed by other cards with either similar effects in the same series or possibly in different sets.
2.0 & below – Either only good in a dedicated waifu deck, or simply not as strong as other options found in the series.
Because the set has not been released yet, in-house translations will be used. “Official” translations will most likely vary, but all care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the card effects. That said, use the card texts at your own risk! (We aren’t perfect translators!)
If you have 2 or more Officer Joseph in your waiting room, this gets -1 level in your hand. If all other characters you control are [Modification], this card gets +1500 power and “This can’t be targeted by your opponent’s effects.” When played from hand, you may Heal.
Rating: 3 – 3.5
This card is decent, as it can jump out a level early and rewards [Modification] decks. It can let you Heal a level early, and can protect itself from Bounce effects. However, the potential upside is not as high as its reward, and if you are jumping it a level early, you can only land two at most (since its -1 level ability requires you to have 2 or more in the waiting room. If used in a deck, it should be used as a 4-of, but that’s a lot of slots it’s taking.
Whenever damage dealt by Officer Adolf is canceled, it gets +2000 power until end of turn. During the turn you play it, it gets a Punish burn trigger. (i.e. “This ability activates (triggers) once per turn. When damage dealt by this card is canceled, put the top card of your deck into your waiting room, and deal X+1 damage to your opponent, where X is the revealed card’s level. CXs are considered to be level 0, and this damage can be canceled.)
Ah, Musashi has quite the legacy in its effect. However, the punish burn cards seem to have different variations of where they find their power. Musashi set an interesting bar with being unable to side attack and having a base 11000 power. Adolf gets +2000 power but only if his damage is canceled. The trade-off there is that he does get to side attack. A solid card to secure a victory, but not an extremely unfair card.
When you play Squad 5’s Thunder & Lightning, Adolf, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a [Modification] character, put that card into your hand and discard a card. Otherwise, put the card back. It has a Bond for the card “One Grain of Thunderstorm” for 1 stock.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
This Adolf has a fine little ‘value-added’ effect because it can filter your hand and it can Bond. However, level 0 slots tend to be tight, and so I would anticipated that if used, this card would be used as a one-of at most.
Annex I Crew, Eva has a CX combo with “DESIRE Wish”: when this reverses a character in battle, you may send a character you control to the waiting room. If you do, search your deck for up to 1 “Officer Adolf” and up to 1 [Modification] character, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle.
This Eva has some synergy wtih Officer Adolf, in that it allows you to take what would be a dead card on board and convert it into up to two in hand. The CX combo is somewhat similar to KanColle’s Shimakaze search effect, but it sets up for the late game and the mid game simultaneously. In decks that use yellow, Eva should definitely be considered, as highly as a 3 or 4-of.
“Electric Eel” Adolf gets +500 power during your turn for every other [Modification] character you control. It has clock encore.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
A little pricey, but the electric eel can power out some solid damage during the level 1. For decks that are using yellow, it’s worth considering as a 2-of.
Annex Crew I, Adolf has a CX combo with “DER ZITTERAAL Blitz Organism”: when it attacks, you may put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, search your deck for up to 1 [Modification] character, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your deck. Then, this card gets +2000 power until end of turn, and your opponent cannot encore any characters he or she controls until end of turn. (This includes the 3 stock encore rule)
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Level 2 CX combos are difficult to evaluate, because they are so rarely worthwhile. Particularly with the way sets are printed in the JP game, a great amount of emphasis is put into getting as much of an advantage as possible during level 1, because more card advantage then will allow a player to sustain more damage into level 2 and then, cash that stock in at level 3 to finish the game. Annex Crew I, Adolf has a CX combo that is relatively low risk and has a very high upside in that it can facilitate a full board wipe. At level 2, where decks tend to have less power, this can be a huge unexpected effect, but the combo doesn’t shut down Backup effects. If a deck commits to this, it should know that the combo is a little greedy.
When you play Officer Asimov, it gets +2000 power until end of turn and gives all characters you control (including itself) +1 soul until end of turn. When it declares a front attack, if all other characters you control have [Modification], it gets +X power until end of turn where X is 1000 times the soul of this card. (This effect resolves before the trigger check resolves.) It has a CX combo with “CRAB Warrior”: when it attacks, all characters you control get +3000 power until end of turn.
Hm, flashy, but not particularly unfair nor techy about it. It’s a big wall and can help push for the game if trying to close the game from 3/4 or behind, but it’s not a great topdeck when your opponent is sitting at 3/6. It could see play as a 1-of to randomly ‘get’ your opponent, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
“Gentle Smile” Eva has an Assist ability that gives characters you control in front of it +500 power. You can pay 2 stock and rest it to search your deck for a [Modification] character and put it into your hand. (Search, reveal, shuffle, etc)
An assist that lets a deck search for characters early on? Sign me up! The assist ability is solid enough, but the ability to filter out bad triggers from previous turns in exchange for another card in hand is an ability to look out for. Yes, it is steep, but not every set can have an ITEM.
If you control no other characters, Annex I Crew, Joseph gets +1500 power and +1 level.
It’s a fine ‘loner’ to start off with on the first turn of a game; having +1 level makes it immune to level reversers, and it’s difficult to match 4000 power unassisted. Though it doesn’t get any type of encore, the idea is that the extra level and power should let it stick around for an extra turn.
When Annex I Crew, Александр attacks, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is 1000 times the soul it has. (This effect resolves before the trigger step) It also has character (hand) encore.
An interesting alternative to “Electric Eel” Adolf, in that it gets its power from its soul value and will attack for 7000 at minimum, and sometimes 8000. Hand encore does tend to be more taxing on the user especially in the midgame, but it’s substantially less painful than constantly having to revive characters with clock encore. The two probably don’t belong in the same deck together per se, and the desirability of either card is more of a deck style preference, as both are reasonably powerful.
Annex I Crew, Ivan is a ‘global level support’, but on your turn only. (All other characters you control get +X power where X is 500 times that character’s level) You can also rest it and discard a “Annex I Crew, Elena” to give all characters you control +1 soul until end of turn.
An interesting little effect, and it certainly pushes yellow’s flavor of “all offense, all on my turn”. The +1 soul is an interesting option, and it gives any deck that it’s a part of some pushing power during the level 2 if it finds itself ahead on cards or behind on damage. Decent, but probably not worth playing more than 2 of if a deck wants it.
The character across from Officer Liu Yiwu gets -1 soul. When it is in battle, your opponent may not use Backup abilities. (Events with Backup step timing are still OK) At the start of your climax phase, you send all of your stock to your waiting room and this card gets +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
Shields up, weapons online? Officer Liu is a battlecruiser that reminds us of Akagi Kai from KanColle, in that he forces you to burn all of your stock pre-battle. Granted, he gets +3000 power through your opponent’s turn, which is the trade-off. His power in multiples doesn’t necessarily scale per se, but having a center stage where everything attacks for soul -1 can make it very difficult for your opponent to end the game with smaller characters. This is the kind of card that a deck that uses the “Annex Crew I, Adolf” CX combo wants to have.
Annex I Crew, Nina gives your other character in the middle slot of your center stage +1000 power during your turn. You can pay 1 stock and rest it to give another [Modification] character you control +1 soul until end of turn.
The +1000 power effect is kind of ho-hum. 1500 power is pretty low for the abilities that it gives, and there are other better assist effects in the set. A marginal card at best.
When Annex I Crew Elena attacks, you can choose another character you control and give it +X power until end of turn, where X is 1000 times the soul of that character.
Helpful to push at level 0, but the effect is least relevant at level 0, and most relevant at levels 2 and 3 where the +2000 or more power can actually help. However, those levels aren’t really great for level 0 characters in terms of their ability to survive a turn, and the maximum upside is a character at most. There are better characters to use.
When Annex I Crew, Isabella is played, it gets +1500 power until end of turn.
A one-shot effect that at best trades with another character is not the best effect that any set has at level 0.
When played, “Departure” Eva gets +1500 power until end of turn.
The same effect as Isabella, only a level up and with only so much power. Staying power is practically a necessity these days at level 1, and this Eva doesn’t have it.
“Adult Personality” Eva has a 1 stock +3000 power Backup ability.
Most series have access to this kind of ability for the cost. Unless there is a specific reason to use them (which can include, ‘there are no better effects at that level’), they are usually passed on.
If you control no “Adolf” characters, you can’t play this card. Choose a [Modification] character you control, and it gets +3500 power and +1 soul until end of turn.
Very interesting to see that what is usually a backup event have some flexibility in being used on the offense. Normally, it feels like bad value to use an event with counter step timing on the offensive, but the +1 soul helps to alleviate that pain. The only catch is that you have to have Adolf characters in your deck, but given the power of other Adolf characters, this just adds to the viability of a deck.
If you control no [Modification] characters, you can’t play Datura Hallucinations. You choose a character you control, and it gets +4000 power and +2 soul until end of turn.
If an event is going to be played at level 2, it better do something huge, and Datura Hallucinations, though free, doesn’t really do that. 4000 power and +2 soul are nice effects, but it’s just a free card out of hand nonetheless.
2k1 + 2 soul
1k1 + Bounce
1k1 + Burn
Officer Shokichi Komachi has a CX combo with “War Fronts”: when it reverses a character in battle, you may choose a card in your clock and return it to your hand. If you do, put the top card of your deck into clock.
The CX combo is interesting, in that it lets you pick something out of a known pool of cards: your clock. The problem with this is that you can only choose from up to 6 cards at a time, and the card that you blindly clock can be a CX. It’s a fine effect, but there are much better things to be doing at level 1.
During the turn you play Annex I Captain, Shokichi Komachi, if it reverses a character in battle, you may discard a card. If you do, send that character to its owner’s clock. It has a CX combo with “Last Words”: when it attacks, put the top card of your deck into stock, and it gets +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
The captain is in! Discarding a card to send a character to clock is a fine effect, even if it is only available for one turn. The CX combo makes the card stock-neutral, which can be a huge boon in the endgame in case your board does get wiped on the following turn. This is probably going to be a finisher of choice for decks in this series that will be using green.
When “Bright as the Sun”, Sheila is reversed in battle, you may pay 1 stock, discard a card, and send it to memory. If you do, search your deck for a [Modification] character, put it into your hand, then shuffle.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
A searcher that pays for itself, and sends itself to memory? Solid! It can’t be used more than once per game because sending it to memory is a part of the card’s cost, but that is a fine exchange for never having to worry about it becoming damage in the future.
When you play another [Modification] character, you may look at the top card of your deck. (The card stays where it is) It has a Brainstorm ability for 1 stock and resting it: for each CX revealed, you perform this action: “Choose a card in your clock and put it into your hand. Then, put the top card of your deck into your clock.” (This means that if you reveal a CX with no cards in clock, you will put the top card of your deck into your clock.)
Clock-swap Brainstorm is always handy, even if it is only once per turn. Being able to check the top card of your deck is a pretty convenient value-added bonus, especially if you have ways of manipulating the top card of your deck, which this card so happens to come with as well.
At the start of your opponent’s attack phase, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If the revealed card is a [Modification] character, you may have “Friendly Teenager” Marcos run to an open slot on your center stage.
Whoa! The set has a runner! The ability isn’t free, but in a deck that runs only [Modification] characters, you should be able to get decent value out of having it run elsewhere. Even if it doesn’t succeed and a CX gets revealed, that’s more damage you know you’ll take, which is hardly a problem at level 0.
If you control two or more “Alex” characters, “Journey to Mars” Marcos gets +500 power and can’t be reversed by your opponent’s character’s effects.
Marcos and Alex appear to have some synergy, but in this case only getting to 7000 power and being immune to level reversing effects isn’t as great as it could be, especially in the absence of some form of special encore. In a deck that focuses on the two of them, this is probably a fine inclusion, but the set has more worthwhile utility and CX combos to use at level 1.
For every marker under Annex I Crew, Marcos, it gets +4000 power. It has a CX combo with “ANIMA Longing”: when it attacks, if you control an “Alex” character, you can choose a “Bright as the Sun, Sheila” in your memory and put it under this card as a marker.
Plucking a card from memory is certainly a rare effect, and being able to set up a very large character at level 2 can be pretty enticing. However, that style of deck is fairly rare and the combo requires a few things to go correctly. All in all, the setup is probably fine because it can top out at 24500 power, but it’s a bit of a long shot that doesn’t promise much in the way of card advantage.
“Giant Japanese Hornet” Shokichi Komachi gives all other [Modification] characters you control +500 power. It has a Bond with “Bug’s Surgery” for 1 stock.
Global support effects are always good, and being able to Bond an event back for extra value is decent. However, the event that it salvages is not incredibly powerful. It has strong competition from yellow’s Eva as a support.
“Mantis Shrimp” Onizuka Keiji gets +1000 power if you control 2 or more [Modification] characters, and has clock encore.
Level 1 characters with low base power, a small potential power boost and clock encore at 0 stock are fairly popular. While they don’t offer very much in the way of clearing power, they are a great way to start a level 1 game by clearing an opponent’s level 0 characters. They provide the least value to opposing level reverser effects, as their encore takes the lowest amount of resources possible (short of being completely free, that is). The Mantis Shrimp, for this sole purpose, is worth a look in a deck that uses green.
You may discard a [Modification] character to reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is also a [Modification] character, Annex I Crew, Sanjo Kanako gets “When this card attacks, you may choose a character in your opponent’s back stage as the defending character for this character’s attack.” until end of turn. (You put the revealed card back.)
Not an unfamiliar effect, but fairly expensive. If your opponent has a support that absolutely must be dealt with from a certain series, this card is an “answer”, but the support had better be worth the card or more for the hassle.
Annex I Crew, Sheila is a “global” support: it gives all other [Modification] characters you control +1000 power. You can rest this to give a “Marcos”, “Alex” or “Shokichi” character you control +1000 power until end of turn.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Sheila has an unusually high power for a global support, which can help it deal with effects that attack the back row, but those effects are so rare it’s hardly worth mentioning. The +1000 power is very good and slightly better for decks that have more of a plan at level 2. At level 3, the static +1000 power is not as meaningful as a level support might be, but green has fine power at both levels 2 and 3.
“Threat to Humanity” Terra Formar gets +1000 power for each other “Terra Formar” character you control. When it reverses a character in battle, if you control 4 other “Terra Formar” characters, you may pay 2 stock to send the reversed character to clock.
Rating: 1 or 3.5
In a dedicated joooohj deck, the roach can threaten to punch characters into clock as early as level 2. The whole character costs 4 stock, 2 to play and 2 to use its ability, which is steep. The effect is only meant for the decks that have dedicated themselves to
the eradication of humanity the glory of johj, and shouldn’t be used in any other decks.
When you play “Silkworm Type” Terra Formar, you may put the top 3 cards of your deck into your waiting room. When it is sent to the waiting room, you can pay 1 stock and discard to search your deck for a “Terra Formar” character and put it into your hand. (Search, reveal, add, shuffle, etc)
Rating: 1 or 4
Johj johj johj brainstorm johj, johj johj johj search johj. Johj johj, johj!
When you play “Battle for Survival” Shokichi Komachi, you put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If the revealed card is a CX, put this into your stock.
A decent 3500 power character with a drawback that never hurts! It might sound fine, but the drawback is deceptively more painful than the typical “put that non-character card into clock” in that it makes you miss a whole attack. Some players will opt to use it to take the large percentage of the times that it won’t send itself to stock, whereas other more risk-averse players may never want it to touch their 50 at all.
“Giant Crab Spider” Marcos has a 0 stock +1000 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, you choose a [Modification] character you control that is in battle, and it gets +1000 power until end of turn.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
Looks like the Vice Commander Asuna (SAO’s Backup) has some distant admirers, because that’s who this Marcos is seeming to imitate. The power can’t be split between two characters (making it look more like Log Horizon’s Minori Backup), but a ‘free’ +2000 power Backup is still more than the standard +1500 power effect for the same cost. It isn’t even color-restricted, making it very easy to use in other (non-johj) decks.
For every marker under “The Worst of Pests” Terra Formar, it gets +1000 power. When it reverses a character in battle, you can choose a [Modification] character in your waiting room and put it under this card as a marker.
This card is difficult to evaluate. On one hand, you get ‘clean’ markers, but the card doesn’t gain any levels for the markers. On top of that, you have a card that is presumably in the middle of a [Modification] deck, and can’t be searched for by most of the set’s effects. With proper protection, you can “Build-a-Johj” to trample over your opponent, and the risk of entry doesn’t involve any stock.
If you control 3 or fewer characters, you can’t play “U-NASA Mars Search Team Captain” Shokichi Komachi.
It has the traits and power to be stock-efficient. The only drawback is that it requires a full field to play, so playing more than one at a time will require playing over other characters. Still, a big threat is a big threat.
Bug’s Surgery has you rest a “Shokichi” character you control. Then, all characters you control get +1000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
It looks like the effect doesn’t actually require you to rest a “Shokichi” you control to get the power. But, only getting +1000 power is pretty low even if it does last through your opponent’s turn.
When you play The Cockroach That Was Sent to Mars, if you control 5 or more “Terra Formar” characters, you may rest 2 “Terra Formar” characters you control. If you do, you choose a level 3 or lower character you opponent controls, and send that character to clock.
Rating: 1 or 3
The Roach, sorry, johj deck has some very interesting “burn” tech that doubles as removal. 4 stock is a very high price to pay for an effect, but the card certainly pulls its weight. Even though it requires a full board, having one or two copies to edge out the opponent in the endgame isn’t terrible, but the card is too expensive to be used more than once reliably during a game.
1k1 + Bar (Treasure)
2k1 + 2 soul
+1 stock (green card from waiting room) +1 soul / +2 soul
Annex I Crew, Alex gives all other [Modification] characters you control +500 power. It has a Brainstorm effect for 1 stock: for each CX revealed, you can send a character with cost 0 or lower on your opponent’s center stage to the waiting room.
Annex I Crew, Alex has a very rare ability attached to a repeatable Brainstorm effect, where it actually ‘kills’ characters outright. The card is a bit narrow in that it demands a commitment to red, but the global power alone is enough to warrant inclusion in a deck.
When Annex I Crew, Hizamaru Akari is played from hand or via “Hand Reached Out”, you may Heal. It has a CX combo with “MO Surgery”: when it attacks, you may 1 one stock. If you do, deal 1 damage to your opponent. When it is reversed in battle, if you control less than 1 other [Modification] character, put the top card of your deck into clock.
The card is OK, in that it has a Heal effect and can Burn your opponent. But, it can come back to bite you if you should have an empty board. A far cry from Nisekoi’s Marika indeed, and nowhere near the power level.
When you play “Journey to Mars” Hizamaru Akari, you may choose a standing character your opponent controls and rest it. It is a level reverser.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
Level reversers are found in a good majority of competitive decks, as they prevent the opponent from getting too much value out of his or her level 0 characters. The effect of resting a standing character is a rather odd one, but if something gets more power based on how many resting characters your opponent controls, all the more power to it.
If you control no characters with “Akari” in the name, “Miracle Child” Michelle does not stand during your stand phase. It is a level reverser.
Rating: 3 – 3.5
Level 1 reversers have a slightly larger impact than level 0 reversers. The extra power is rarely going to be relevant, and level reversers are blanked by characters with character encore. Still, it helps to have effects that can answer characters with absurdly high power, and Michelle does that just fine.
When you play “Journey to Mars” Alex, if you control a “Marcos”, it gets +2000 power until end of turn. It has a CX combo with “What Should Be Done”: when the CX is played, it gets +1000 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that card on top of its owner’s deck.” until end of turn.
The CX that “Journey to Mars” Alex combos with is a +2 soul. The extra power is helpful for dealing more damage, but it’s more of a style call as to whether this Alex is worth using. CX slots are very limited, and putting a character on the top of the deck in the early midgame does not have as much of an impact as searching for characters, or Burn triggers.
Whenever another [Modification] character you control attacks, “Reliable Crew” Hizamaru Akari gets +1000 power until end of turn. Whenever a standing character your opponent controls is rested, it gets +1500 power until end of turn.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Ah ha! A combo piece for the level reverser Akari we saw earlier! At 1 stock, the card’s base power is relatively low, and if it attacks last, it can be a 7500 power character (assuming you control no assist effects). With the level reverser, this Akari can get itself to a decent power, but it only lasts for the turn. Note that the second ability will trigger if your opponent rests a character he or she controls through an effect such as Brainstorm he or she controls. To that end, this Akari can somewhat reliably protect itself, but a prepared opponent may just mow it down on the following turn. Decent, but not auto-include material.
“Miracle Child” Hizamaru Akari is a level support. At the end of your turn, you may choose a character your opponent controls. If you do, that character gains “This card cannot be moved to another slot.” until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
Rating: 3 – 3.5
Level supports are good for scaling into the late game, but the second ability is also interesting. It locks down a character your opponent controls, which can force him or her to react to the effect in strange ways. If you have a very powerful character across from the character you ‘locked down’, your opponent will have to play a character over that character. But on the other hand, if you were already winning the battle in that slot, wouldn’t it make sense to already have KO’d the character there? The effect can be used on other characters in the back stage though, so messing with your opponent’s level supports can also be relevant. It doesn’t cost anything extra, and the range of value can vary from trivial to decent. The second ability is definitely one of the more skill-testing abilities that has been printed in the set, so pay close attention to make sure you are getting maximum value from it!
“U-NASA Mars Search Team Vice Captain” Michelle has an Assist that gives characters you control in front of it +500 power. You can rest 2 characters you control to give a [Modification] character you control +1000 power until end of turn.
A decent power-oriented alternative to Eva (all the way back up in the yellow section). The ability costs no stock, and some mix of Michelle and Eva are good ways to round out the level 0 of a deck.
When a “Michelle” you control is front attacked, you may put “Reason for Fighting” Hizamaru Akari in your waiting room. If you do, you choose a character you control in battle and it gets +1000 power until end of turn. It has a Bond with “Miracle Child” Michelle for 1 stock.
Rating: 2 – 3
It’s a shame that the first ability is so small, because the second ability salvages a level 1 reverser! In a deck that focuses on the pair of Akari and Michelle, this Akari is fine, but probably as a 1 or 2-of at most.
For every other rested character you control, “Kick-off” Hizamaru Akari gets +500 power. It has clock encore.
Not bad! Yellow, green and red all have their ways to generate stock at level 1 with clock encore characters, and this Akari can tick up even more if your entire board is rested – 6000 power unassisted. If you’re going with red, this Akari is a good way to generate stock for the mid to endgame. Just make sure to include effects in the deck that can rest your back stage for free as much as possible. (i.e. use Michelle!)
“Prologue of Battle” Michelle has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup effect. When you use its Backup effect, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you choose a “Prologue of Battle” Michelle in your waiting room and return it to your hand.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
A Backup that can salvage itself for just one extra stock is promising. Using the second ability is taxing though, so make sure not to overdo it, lest you find yourself stranded with very little stock to work with on the following turn. One of the upsides of this Michelle is that it’s not color-locked; even a deck that doesn’t have red as a color can probably use this effect.
“Harpy Eagle” Alex gets +3000 power if you control a “Marcos” character on your center stage. When it reverses a level 2 or higher character in battle, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, salvage.
The color and character commitment are deep to make this Alex work, but it’s not a very tall order to control any “Marcos”. With a Marcos, it becomes a 9500 power character for 1 stock, which is decent. This card in particular rewards red/green decks that use Marcos and Alex, but given the strength of the other cards in other colors, it’s unclear whether this is the correct card to use in the strongest possible deck. If you’re already committed to using red and green though this is the card that the deck wants for its level 2.
When you play “Friendly Teenager” Hizamaru Akari, you can pay 1 stock. If you do, return a “Hand Reached Out” from your waiting room to your hand. When it attacks, choose another [Modification] character you control, and it gets +1 level and +1000 power until end of turn.
Level 0 is so crowded that cards like this, while possibly nice as a one-of for value, are just not worth seeing in multiples. (That is, in a deck that does not have a deep red commitment) If you have the deck that is all-in on getting as many Annex I Crew, Hizamaru Akari onto the board as quickly as possible, this card becomes much more playable, but otherwise, should stay at home.
“Friendly Teenager” Alex gives all other “Journey to Mars” Marcos characters you control +1000 power. It has a clock Bond for “Journey to Mars” Marcos. (The cost is putting the top card of your deck into clock.)
This is the card that makes the “Journey to Mars” Marcos look a little more viable. It is a potential alternative in a red/green deck to the more popular ‘only use clock encore and very big characters’ route that other decks go, but using other characters with clock encore is generally much better and has lower risk associated with it. In a world where neither red nor green in this set had access to neither type of encore, this would be king, but because both colors have access to functionally identical characters, it looks a lot worse.
“Committed to Hope” Michelle gets +2000 power until end of turn whenever you use an [S] (Startup) ability. (This includes Backup abilities)
Rating: 3 – 3.5
Interesting, and would be more viable if the series had access to a Backup effect at level 0. However, red does have “U-NASA Mars Search Team Vice Captain” Michelle which can make this Michelle hilariously large in the early turns (2500 + 2000 + 1000 + 500 assist = lolol) Given that 6000 power is enough to even trade with some level 1 characters, I give this Michelle a little edge.
When “Battle for Survival” Michelle is reversed, if you control 1 or fewer other [Modification] characters, send it to clock.
A fine character that has a ‘drawback’ that can actually help get you to level 1 in the early turns. The center stage in the most competitive deck with the series is crowded with effects including runners, but this Michelle adds another option to attack reliably.
When you play Annex I Crew, Yanasegawa Yaeko, your opponent may reveal his or her hand. If there is a CX among the revealed cards, rest this card.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
This card is a blessing in disguise. It’s the kind of card that rewards the user for knowing a lot of cards. Though the ‘drawback’ may be that it may be rested for free by your opponent, it comes at a great cost, in that your opponent has to reveal everything in his or her hand. Effects that let you see your opponent’s hand are very rare in the game, and as such, should be considered very valuable. Even if you miss an attack, you get to see if your opponent has a Backup or other event waiting in hand to punish you. The skill-testing portion can come from if your opponent declines to show you the hand, and then has a Backup or other effect ready for you when you do attack. If your opponent declines to show you their hand, the most conservative line to take would be putting this Yaeko in front of a level 0 character which has very little chance of reversing you. The greediest line is putting it in front of a character with slightly lower power, and attacking into it. Choose your lines of play at your own risk!
If you control 3 or more other [Modification] characters, “Inherited Power” Michelle gets +1000 power and hand (character) encore. Up to once per turn, when you use a [S] (Startup) ability, it gets +1000 power until end of turn. It has a CX combo with “TERRAFORMARS There and Here”: when it attacks, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you choose a level 2 or lower character your opponent controls on the center stage and send it to the waiting room.
As stated before, CX combos at level 2 have to be really good to warrant their use. The CX it combos with is a 2k1, so while it can help you break even on cards, the effect is not really new nor insanely powerful. It becomes harder to remove with a full board, but 2 stock is a heavy commitment to make at level 2. Not recommended.
Seed of Conflict lets you salvage up to 2 characters, then discard a card.
A ‘fair’ effect; not spectacular, but nowhere near unplayable.
You may discard an “Akari” character in your hand. If you do, choose a “Annex I Crew, Hizamaru Akari” in your waiting room and put it onto your stage in any slot.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Red apparently wants to Heal early too, and does so with this event. The discard is there to offer a way to level-skip an Akari into play. 2 stock is reasonable, but this card is only viable in the red and red/green decks from this series.
1k1 + Door (Salvage)
2k1 + 2 soul
“Those That Cause Disaster” Terra Formar gives all other “Terra Formar” characters you control +1500 power. (!!) It has a CX combo with BLACK BEETLE Dead People & Insects: when the CX is played, if this card is standing, you may discard a card, pay 1 stock and rest it. If you do, you search your deck for a level 2 or lower “Terra Formar” character and put it onto any slot on your stage. Then, shuffle your deck.
Rating: 1 or 4
Well, if you see one, there are probably at least 1,000 behind it, and this card fits that flavor pretty well. A +1500 power global support is nothing to shake a bottle of RAID at, and being able to search out any other Terra Formar from the deck is dangerous. Completely inappropriate in any deck other than the dedicated johj list.
Annex I Crew, Michelle cannot side attack. When it’s played either by hand or via “Medication”, you can pay 1 stock. If you do, until end of turn, if it reverses a character in battle, you may Heal. Up to once per turn, when you use an [S] (Startup) ability, it gets +2000 power until end of turn.
Being unable to side attack is almost not a downside, but the Heal being attached to an additional cost is kind of a beating. Add that to a very small power boost that it gets up to once per turn and you have the definition of a mediocre card which probably won’t see play outside of dedicated waifu lists. (Sorry, Michelle lovers)
When you play “Reliable Team Leader” Michelle, you may pay 1 stock to return a “Dosing” from you waiting room to your hand. It has a Brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each CX revealed, you search your deck for up to 1 [Modification] character, reveal it, put it into your hand, discard a card, and then shuffle your deck. (If you don’t reveal any CXs, you won’t shuffle your deck.)
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Having a repeatable Brainstorm effect is always good, especially if it means you get to filter through your hand and setup for future turns. It has some notable synergy with Officer Joseph (yup, all the way back up there in the yellow section), as you can potentially filter through your deck for 4 copies, pitch 2 to your waiting room and have the other 2 in hand for play later. Most of the card’s viability is in its Brainstorm ability- the ability to salvage the event that can level skip an Annex Crew I, Michelle into play is usually going to be a dead one.
During your opponent’s turn, if he or she controls 3 or fewer characters, “For the Promise” Hizamaru Akari gets +1500 power and +1 level.
Rating: 3.5 – 4
Whoa, a level 0 that gives your opponent the painful choice of committing cards or taking more damage? Sign me up! This Akari will typically be on side attack duty on your turn, but when facing down other level 0 characters, this is usually not a big issue. Still, it’s one of those characters that gets progressively worse as your opponent’s draw improves, which can lead to some lopsided early games. If your opponent is able to find a solution within a couple of turns either by leveling up or by drawing a larger character, usually the damage will have already been done with this card. It should also be pointed out that this Akari does not get any smaller if you control other characters, making it a great first-turn play and also fine in multiples.
When you play “To Protect the Subordinates” Shokichi Komachi, put the top 2 cards of your deck into the waiting room. If either is a CX, rest this card. It has hand (character) encore.
Rating: 3 – 3.5
Normally, a character with the effect that checks the top 2 cards for a CX has 4000 power. This Komachi has 3500 power, but compensates for the lost power with the addition of an encore ability. So many level 0 cards are viable in the series that this is probably a fine addition, but only might be used depending on user preference.
“Committed to Hope” Hizamaru Akari gets +500 power for each other [Modification] character you control.
Rating: 2.5 – 3
Slightly higher power, but at the cost of an encore ability? Risky business indeed, and given the color’s available power at level 3, probably not the best option.
Officer Michelle is a global level support, but only gives power during your opponent’s turn. (During your opponent’s turn, every other character you control gets +X power where X is 500 times the level of that character) You can pay 2 stock and rest it to return all cards in your waiting room to your deck and shuffle it.
Rating: 2 – 2.5
Interesting little ability that Officer Michelle has in offering a manual refresh of the deck. This particular refresh has to be done on your turn, and most notably before you attack. This means that even if you do have a “perfect” refresh of 8 CXs, you will still run the risk of triggering them during your attack (unless you are a madman and decide to pass the turn after shuffling everything back).
When you play “Friendly Captain” Shokichi Komachi, you may choose another [Modification] character you control and give it +1000 power until end of turn. You can also pay 1 stock and rest two standing [Modification] characters you control (including itself) to draw a card when you play it.
Decent, but has stiff competition. Blue likes to draw cards and give small advantages, and if you have an obsession with card draw effects, this could be used as a 1-of in some lists.
You can play any number of “Detestable Existence” Terra Formar in a deck. It cannot side attack. When it is played, it gets +X power until end of turn, where X is 500 times the number of “Terra Formar” characters you control.
No clue what to say about this card besides that it’s everything that the johj deck should run at level 0. Why? It can swarm the stage and eat most opposing characters with ease at level 0 with its power boost. There are 3 art variants for this card, so be sure to run them in equal quantities or for the most johj, all the same kind.
Up to once per turn, when you use an [S] (Startup) ability, “Bomb Carpenter Ant” Michelle gets +1500 power until end of turn. It has hand (character) encore.
Blue appears to have gotten the short end of the johj with this set, being that it is infested with roaches. This Michelle doesn’t really promise very much in the way of power either, so unless you’re running as many Backup effects as possible at level 1, this card is unlikely to see another turn.
If you control 3 or more other [Modification] characters, “Committed to Hope” Shokichi Komachi gets hand (character) encore. When another [Modification] character you control attacks, it gets +1500 power until end of turn.
Yes it can pump itself to 10000 power with two other attacks, and yes, it can get hand encore, but again it begs the question – why blue?
When a character your opponent controls is rested, “High Combat Power” Hizamaru Akari gets +1500 power until end of turn. It has a CX combo with “The Second”: when it attacks, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card. If you do, rest all standing characters your opponent controls, and you choose a level 3 or lower character your opponent controls and that character does not stand during its controller’s next stand phase. After that, you choose up to 2 [Modification] characters you control and they get “This card’s soul does not decrease if it declares a side attack” until end of turn.
Rating: 2 – 2.5
Okay, so we do have an incentive (however small) to run blue. The CX combo is a little obscure, because it lets you sneak damage with smaller characters and lock a character down for a turn. There is some cross-color synergy with the level 0 reverser Akari, but red/blue doesn’t have much more to offer.
“Earth’s Future” Hizamaru Akari is a global support: it gives other [Modification] characters you control +500 power. You can rest it to rest a standing character your opponent controls.
Rating: 2 – 3.5
There is a way to rest your opponent’s characters! The global power would be playable on its own, but then it comes down to what a deck wants to do. A deck that runs this Akari wants to run as many effects as possible that trigger off of your opponent’s standing characters being rested. Savvy opponents though, may find ways to rest their characters, and against decks that can do that for free (including other decks from the series!), the ability looks a lot worse.
If your opponent’s waiting room contains a CX, “Skin-head” Terra Formar gets +2000 power. When it is played, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is 500 times the number of “Terra Formar” characters you control.
What is usually going to be a 6500 base power character has decent potential to trade up for higher power characters. Full fields are good for the johj.
“Strong Spirit” Shokichi Komachi has a 1 stock +2000 Backup ability.
Editor’s Note: Couldn’t find anywhere what was meant by “Oominoga”.
At the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may choose a [Modification] character you control and give it +1500 power until end of turn. At the beginning of your opponent’s draw phase, you may pay 2 stock. If you do, rest a level 2 or lower character your opponent controls.
Strange, but a good flexible support ability. It doesn’t give a character any power as the result of a static ability, so the +1500 power can catch your opponent off-guard. Being able to “tap down” an opposing character is a rare ability, but is priced accordingly. The card makes blue look a little better in the early game, but the level 3 is still so bad that it’s difficult to justify including.
Up to once per turn, when you use an [S] (Startup) ability, “Strong Spirit” Michelle gets +1500 power until end of turn. It has a CX combo with “The First”: when it attacks, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card. If you do, choose a character your opponent controls that costs 0 or less, put it on the bottom of its owner’s deck, and until end of turn, this card gets +1000 power.
Not terrible, but not great either. It’s very similar to the red counterpart that puts the character on top of the deck, but the impact is just as low.
“Inherited Power” Hizamaru Akari gets +500 power for each other [Modification] character you control. When a character your opponent controls is rested, this gets +1500 power until end of turn.
There are only so many characters you can rest before the mechanic needs to be put to rest too.
When you play Devil’s Bloodline, you may choose a character you control and send it to the waiting room. If you do, choose up to 2 “Terra Formar” characters you control, and they get free encore until end of turn.
Rating: 1 or 3.5
If at first you johj succeed, then johj johj again? Devil’s Bloodline has to be the coolest card name in the set, and in the johj deck it’s pretty much a staple. Functionally, it’s a character encore for two characters, but being able to convert the worst character on your board into a card is pretty decent.
You may discard a “Michel” character. If you do, choose a Annex I Crew, Michelle and put it onto your stage in any slot.
When were you when johj was kill? No.
1k1 + Gate (Pants)
1k1 + Book (Draw)
What can we take away from the set as a whole?
Here are some observations from having looked through the whole set.
- Yellow has the highest concentration of ‘unfair’ effects in the set.
- The most competitive deck from the series is likely going to use yellow.
- The best level 3 characters in the set, arguably, are yellow.
- Blue is infected with johj and underpowered when compared to the rest of the set.
- There is a potentially viable blue/green johj deck.
- Red has a lower focus on salvaging effects than older sets.
- A red/blue deck that focuses on building the hand (4/4 split of Book + Door triggers) is viable, but unlikely to be very strong.
- The series does not have access to any disruption effects. It has no counterplay for an opponent wanting to Salvage, Heal, or even Change.
Here are some of the observations broken down by level:
- The best plays that the series offers at level 3 involves either punish burn abilities, Burn triggers, or ‘send-to-clock’ abilities. (i.e. Yellow or Green)
- The best plays that the series offers at level 2 involves having high attack power, and/or using very obscure effects. In yellow however, the level 2 is much more simple in that it offers Heal abilities.
- The next best cards that the series offers at level 2 involves supports, including scaling level and static +1000 power supports. Some of the supports have offbeat value-added abilities.
- The best plays that the series offers at level 1 involves a CX combo that searches for two characters.
- Red has access to level reversers at level 1.
- The next best plays that the series offers at level 1 involves yellow, green or red and various encore abilities.
- At level 0, the series offers runners, characters that get larger when alone, characters that scale off the opponent’s lack of characters, and characters that get larger with the use of Startup (S) abilities. Every color has a global support available, and the level reverser in the set is found in red. There is a wealth of diversity found in the set’s Brainstorm effects as well, including hand filtering and clock swap abilities.
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