Crystal Dominion is getting closer and we are very happy, to be able to present a spoiler for this set aswell!
This time it's a very special treat. [15-060C] Leon will satisfy more than just mono wind players. But have a look for yourself!
3 CP, Wind
Job: Warrior / Rebel
When a Forward of power 10000 or more you control attacks, draw 1 card.
Damage 3 - When Leon enters the field, choose 1 Card Name Maria in your Break Zone. Play it onto the field.
Leon is one of the many playable main characters of Final Fantasy II, joining your party later on in the game. Being Maria's brother, it is no surprise, that his cards has a relation to Maria too.
As of now, there are 2 Maria's in the FFTCG:
Potentially another Maria could be introduced in Crystal Domion, but from our point of view, [1-083H] Maria is a great target for Leons Damage 3 ability.
Maria was a card favoured by many and used in almost every wind based deck in the early sets. Nowadays she is way too slow for the FFTCG and does not give enough value for her cost - even with buffing forwards regardless of their element.
Now that she can brought onto the field from the Break Zone, there's a chance for her to see play again in the current meta. Discarded to generate 2 wind CP for Leon, she immediatly returns onto the field, if you have already taken 3 points of damage.
This way you could also implement the Leon / Maria combo into almost all decks. Leons auto-ability benefits a lot from her additional +1000 power to all forwards: if you are missing a bit of power to reach the 10000, to draw a card on attack, Maria becomes a really interesting backup!
There's not much wrong to say about Leons effects. 3 CP and 7000 power is right on curve and can easily be lifted to 8000 thanks to the Leon-Maria combo.
Particularly the ability to draw a card, when a forward of power 10000 or more you control attacks, has caught our interest. Especially mono wind has proven in many sets, how fast and efficient it can flood the board with forward, thank to the incredible value plays it can provide with reactivation and such. Water / wind based decks often used the combination of card draw applied through water cards and reactivation from wind cards perfectly.
It also felt like mono wind gained a lot more support in the latest sets, once again to overwhelm your opponent with a mass amount of forwards you can play in just one turn. But especially these decks suffered from the lack in card draw and therefore the ability to control your deck fully. But wait a second - many forwards are all nice and good, but how can they also reach the 10000 power they need so quickly, to really use Leons ability?
It's not difficult at all, thanks to Sterne Leonis, who has been introduced in the last set. Just by removing 4 forwards from the Break Zone, all your forwards gain +4000 power and Brave. This way even small Chocobos can turn into mighty opponents, drawing a card on their attack on top.
As Sterne Leonis is a dark card, you could also implement him, similar to the before mentioned Leon-Maria combo, into almost every deck. Flooding the field now gives players a chance to draw while playing aggresive thanks to Leons ability. Their are plenty of options und we can see Leon becoming a card that might see play in a variety of decks.
Not to forget about earth forwards, who often come with a base strength of 9000 and highly benefit from Marias buff.
There are many ways to implement this card, just like there are many ways to get a lot of forwards onto the field and give them the needed strength.
An obvious combination provided by Crystal Dominion would be [15-059C] Llyud: "When Llyud attacks, all the job Warrior forwards you control +3000 power till the end of the turn." Just this alone pushes Leon to 10000 power, 11000 if you control Maria aswell. Lluyd himself manages to reach 8000 power with his own ability, or 9000 with Maria. If you really want to push for the missing 1000, you have many options to support him: [5-052H] Arc, [10-062R] Class Twelfth Moogle or a plethora of summons are some of the plenty options. You can also buff all job Warriors with [6-001C] Ward and combine wind with fire.
Not to forget about the many Chocobo variations, buffing other forwards when attacking in a party. This way you can draw a card for each member of the party, who reached 10000 or more power on attack.
Opus XII introduced the Shikarees into the FFTCG. As long as you had 3 of them on the field, their power increased to 9000. Another set of forwards, who can now reach the 10000. And two of these Sin Hunters even possess Haste. [15-051C] Shikaree G brings another Sin Hunter and may give these decks a revival in Crystal Dominion!
But let's face it: every great card has their downside. Especially decks like mono wind desperately want to reach their 5 backups as fast as possible, making it quite a problem to wait for the third point of damage if you want to keep a slot open for Maria.
So how are we making use of Leons abilities in an efficient way?
To be honest, it is not such a big problem at all. There are many backups who break themselves on effect and their abilities are often very useful on top. A scenario I really favour comes with [15-062C] Rem, another Crystal Dominion card: She activates a character when entering or leaving the field and has a really good action ability: If you dull and place Rem into the Break Zone, she generates a Crystal and thanks to her auto-ability, she also activates a character. This way, you could reactivate a Backup, who can now generate a CP for Leon, as he is a 3 CP forward. Now discard Maria, for the missing 2 wind CP, play Leon onto the field and get Maria back. There you have it: your backup line is full again, you used every CP in an efficient way and also have a Crystal gifted on top thanks to Rem. What a great combo!
A card with a lot of potential and possible applications, we could imagine to see in a variety of decks. We are really looking forward in which ways Leon may be implemented into some decks and if there will be more cards supporting him.
As always, a big thank you to Square Enix for providing us with another spoiler - it was a pleasure!