I’m so proud to reveal this Spoiler for Opus XII. While I may not be familiar with the Crystal Chronicle series, I am excited about Belle!
Belle has a single effect. When she enters the field, you may look at your opponent’s hand and discard a card that costs 4 or more. This effect is reminiscent of Opus III Wind Zidane. Belle looks at your opponent’s hand and gives you the option of what to discard. Yet, because she’s a backup, Belle is more akin to Opus V Edward.
There is a lot to unpack with this effect. Zidane is strong because it’s almost always correct to play him. Choosing to preemptively stop the best play your opponent can make is strong. Though, Belle can’t do that consistently, her major downside is that she may not always be able to hit the desired cards. Early in the game you want to discard backups. While there are many backups that cost 4, there are many popular ones that cost 2 or 3. Forcing the target to cost 4 or more it is slightly better than a card chosen by your opponent. So, it lies somewhere between as strong as Zidane and as reliable as Edward.
Yet, the restriction is not as bad as it may seem. Sometimes, the best target will cost 4 or more. Therefore, here are some highly played applicable cards you want to target:
Fail to Find
Yet, missing a discard isn’t as terrible it may seem. There is massive value in being able to see your opponent’s hand. In the early game, you can often predict what your opponent will do for a turn or two. Towards the end of the game, you can see what you need play around. In card games, information is worth its weight in gold and Belle gives you a snapshot of information. While not a massive success, Cait Sith sees play in Fire/Ice decks as well as Tri-color Ranperre. While Cait Sith may not develop board or hand advantage, it grants key information.
Belle’s Main Strength
Belle’s largest advantage comes from her category. Due to her Category, she has undeniable synergy with one of the most popular backups in the game. Norschtalen searches other backups, making for strong early game setup. Prior to Opus XII, the only known Ice targets are Yuke and Cu Chaspel. Both are slightly focused. First, Cu Chaspel’s playability is based on category and element as opposed to effect. Second, Yuke is a multi-element card (read about the multi element cards here) that can search out a wind or a earth card. As such, it is shoehorned into decks of those colors. Yuke can have bad synergy with Norschtalen as you need Ritz to be the only wind card. This makes Belle a bit more exciting.
There is an additional mind game that comes with this. Norschtalen on turn 1 lends to an easy turn 2 Belle, but that gives your opponent a turn to play cards from hand. In response, they may dump their hand of cards that cost 4 or more to reduce the value that Belle can receive. Yet, this isn’t as bad as it may seem. You get to force your opponent’s plays before you even play belle. In this sense, she acts more like the Opus VI legend Zidane.
Her effect is better than previous Ice FFCC backups and is placed in a dual element combination that is getting a lot of support in this set. There hasn’t been many cards of that combination revealed but Belle fits in a deck with the dual-element legend Locke!
I’m glad that Belle is going to exist. She is strong but not overpowered. She provides great play and counter play and has a nice home in Ice/Wind.
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