Amaterasu – The Good, The Bad, The Synergy

Amaterasu - The good the bad the Synergy

I’ve been very excited to talk about Amaterasu. She is a recent spoiler from the Opus XII card of the week FFTCG blog that has a powerful effect. Big thanks to Tim Schilder for the article.

The Good

Most cards that flop do so because they lack strength. They require too much synergy with other cards, the cost is too high for the value, or they simply don’t work in the proper Elements or metas. This is not the case for Amaterasu. Amaterasu simply stops an auto-ability. Basically every Forward that sees play has an auto-ability, which is bad for your opponent because Amaterasu can also break that Forward!

Compare and Contrast

Amaterasu is inevitably going to be compared to Y’shtola, because they offer the same protection to your board — but the moving parts are different. Y’shtola seems more “fair”. You can’t cancel any abilities until she is on the field. Surprise Y’shtolas don’t really happen. Your opponent will almost always see it coming, and they almost always have to play around her. This is not the case with Amaterasu (but this is also the case with Amaterasu, more on that later…) Amaterasu will simply stop something with no warning. She can be played without your opponent knowing and disrupts an important play line.

The other portion of Amaterasu’s effect is the above curve damage effect. The precedent that was set with Opus 10 Ifrit was that cards that cost 3 CP (Crystal Points) can now deal 8000 damage. If you want to learn more about the precedent set by that card, you can read more about it here. This is followed up with Amaterasu. Without any help from other cards, this Summon can break Forwards that cost 4 CP which traditionally have 8000 power.

The Bad

I don’t really have a whole lot of bad things to say about Amaterasu. If your opponent knows that you have it, they can play around it with Summons instead of Forwards. But if your opponent isn’t playing Forwards, you are in a good position. Amaterasu is an insurance policy. You want to draw this when you are winning so that you can finish the game. If you play this card when you have no Forwards, you don’t develop your field; you are only preventing your opponent from developing theirs. Outside of those situations, this card is fantastic.

The Synergy

Amaterasu’s strength isn’t about synergy. While there is some synergy with Amaterasu, her strength lies in what she can cancel and what she cannot.

I mentioned earlier that Y’shtola and Amaterasu had a big difference when it came to the surprise factor that Amaterasu had. Black Mage changes that. Black Mage means that an Amaterasu in the break zone is the same as an Y’shtola on the field. This changes the dynamic of the game at that point. If your opponent knows that you can return Amaterasu to your hand and play her in the same turn, your opponent will have to tread carefully when they play their Forwards. Other than that, Amaterasu has enough synergy with generic Fire Summon cards.

Additionally this is the first category FFEX that has been shown, which means there may be some synergy with FFEX cards that we haven’t seen yet. If they printed a card that can search Amaterasu as an action ability or recur it from the break zone, the power of this card may sky rocket.

I mentioned earlier that some cards flop because the synergy is too difficult to use. The Marche/Ritz combo is strong despite the required synergy. Fortunately, this combo is predicated on Marche, which means two things — all you need is the ability to make Fire CP to play the combo, and Amaterasu can stop it dead in its tracks.

Amaterasu - The good the bad the Synergy
Another problem card for Amaterasu is Braska’s Final Aeon. BFA is a powder keg; breaking him will often result in the destruction of your own Forwards. Amaterasu can help with that! When BFA attacks, he will trigger an auto-ability which Amaterasu can cancel, and then deal 8000 damage to him. The best part is that Amaterasu does not target, so BFA won’t trigger again! This means that a simple block with at least 2k Forward can finish him off.

The Fire/Ice Element has several cards that have auto-abilities that trigger upon entering the battlefield (commonly known as Enter The Battlefields, ETBs). I’ve highlighted the particularly powerful ones. Locke makes your opponent discard upon entry. It may be better to use Amaterasu than to lose a card entirely. Additionally, Amaterasu gains value on cards that have higher cost, which leaves Genesis and Shadow ripe for the picking. One thing to note: If your opponent doesn’t have the required amount of characters to trigger Locke’s ability, it won’t go on the stack, which means it won’t be cancel-able.

Amaterasu - The good the bad the Synergy
Reynn is the main reason that the World of Final Fantasy (WOFF) deck became viable again. It’s in a league of its own being one of the few cards that can cost 0 CP. She also grants haste and deals 4000 damage to a Forward when WOFF Forwards attack. She alone makes the deck, which is great to hear for Amaterasu! As soon as her auto-ability triggers for the first time, you may cancel and break Reynn, bringing the WOFF deck to a screeching halt.

These are all very popular cards in Ranperre decks. Vincent enables the combo, Fusoya adds card draw and removal, Gabranth adds consistency, and Rinoa adds immense power. All of these are very vulnerable to Amaterasu. Vincent will enable the combo, and stopping him ends the playline. Fusoya is a 7 CP investment that is never regained. Gabranth doesn’t seem as powerful, but the fact that he costs 4 CP and Amaterasu only costs 3 puts you way ahead. Rinoa is often played on a board with very strong Forwards and disrupting her is a very strong play.

Ice/Earth control doesn’t see very much play so these cards are stand-ins. Minfilia can stand-in for any value backup. Cards that are tempo 2 CP backups are susceptible to Amaterasu. There are many backups that search for other cards. In a pinch, you will be able to cancel the ability that searches out the key card and ends their play line. Sephiroth can beat nearly any large Forward with low stats. If your opponent invests a large amount of CP into a Forward that’s 8000 power or less, Amaterasu is an easy way to punish them for it.

Zidane is an even trade, you pay 3 CP and they pay 3 CP, but it will protect the rest of the cards in your hand.    Paine is a bit more tricky. Paine has two auto-abilities that trigger upon entry. One to activate backups, and one to draw. Amaterasu can only target one auto-ability.


Strong against Amaterasu

Amaterasu is strong when she can cancel and break the Forward. In an emergency just the cancel will do fine, but against these cards that may not be enough. These cards have power that is strong enough to withstand Amaterasu and keep going.

Shantotto and Yiazmant have powerful auto-abilities and have high power. Amaterasu may cancel the abilities but cannot break the Forward by itself, so you will need a follow-up play that is inexepensive to cleanly remove these Forwards.

Sephiroth and Kadaj are on another level. They are very low cost and aren’t broken by Amaterasu. Kadaj’s effect may not be powerful, but the amount of times that you can use it make is strong. It’s a matter of quantity instead of quality. Additionally, since Kadaj triggers during the end phase, the only time Amaterasu can deal damage to him is the initial use. Sephiroth is simply not a good target. He only costs 4 and his power is 10,000. His auto-ability triggers upon entry and his low cost means that there isn’t really a consistent way to cleanly answer him.

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