In the newest card of the week, we got an interesting addition. Opus XII will introduce the latest iteration of Galuf. So let’s take a look at what our favorite old man can do in The Good, The Bad, The Synergy.
He has three effects. Each of these effects are interesting and relatively new. He costs 3 CP (Crystal Points) and boasts curve power stats of 7000 power.
It’s hard to describe Galuf in a way other than “Earth-y”. His first effect is straight out of the Earth playbook and, as we’ve seen in the past, is a premium effect that Hobby Japan doesn’t like to use frequently. “This card cannot be broken during the attack phase.” The idea of being able to block infinitely is powerful. It shuts off aggressive decks for a turn. This effect also goes hand in hand with his S ability.
Unfaltering Volition may be one of coolest names for an S ability. It makes me want to play Final Fantasy V so that I can learn more about Galuf. As the name is cool, so is the ability: “Activate Galuf, gain +10000 and Galuf can attack once more. This effect can only be used if Galuf has taken damage this turn.”
This effect is very strong. I didn’t think they would ever make an effect that says gain 10,000 power. After one use of his S ability, Galuf’s power becomes 17,000. That’s more power than is seen in almost any match. The only thing that can regularly get bigger than that is party attack Chocobos. Needless to say, Galuf will be the biggest Forward on board after the S ability resolves.
His last ability is the auto-ability that triggers in the Break Zone. He will play a Forward of cost 2 CP or less from the deck, on Damage 3. Like many other effects, this one lives and dies on its targets.
Yda is a Forward that frequently has 10,000 power and usually has Haste. Noctis usually adds another card to your hand on entry (if the deck is built right) and greatly helps your card economy when played this way. Undead Princess is a Forward that already sees play in Earth decks, and does not want to be in the deck quickly. Galuf expedites her journey to the Break Zone. Prishe will add a card to your hand on entry and is a solid all-around choice for Galuf’s ability. Dark Knight is an okay choice. Galuf’s ability only works if you are at damage 3, which means Dark Knight will always enter at a minimum of 6000 power. She also has a power ceiling of 9000 power, which is strong. Dark Knight is not my first choice for target, but is far from my last.
Galuf can’t take down big threats; he can only stall them. His ability prevents breaking during the attack phase, so as soon as the second main phase begins he promptly makes his way to the Break Zone. While this can trigger the next ability he is still only delaying, rather than controlling, the board.
Unfaltering Volition has a major downside. Galuf must receive damage before it can work. It’s hard to surprise your opponent with this effect as an undamaged Galuf poses little threat. Additionally, he still trades with other Forwards that have 7000 power.
So, I’d like to get the obvious synergy out of the way early. With categories, Galuf has synergy with Opus VII Bartz and Faris. He also has synergy with both Kelger cards due to his job [Dawn Warrior]. In standard, this won’t be particularly useful. Dawn Warriors don’t see much play. In title, he is a great target off Faris and either Kelger. Overall category and job synergy is pretty underwhelming.
Here is the synergy I adore. Larsa is a backup that negates all damage. FFTCG uses the word “negate” in an odd manner. Instead of preventing damage, it will “heal” damage. Normally, this is detrimental. Larsa can’t “heal” damage if it exceeds a Forward’s power. The Forward will simply break. Since Galuf can’t break, you can heal him before the end of the attack phase and your unlimited blocker is immortal.
On that, Shantotto (4-083L) was mentioned in the Card of the Week article (linked above), but I didn’t like the way it was used. It was used to be able to meet the requirements for Galuf’s S ability. I believe that Larsa is also very beneficial. As Shantotto takes damage you can respond with a “heal” for a one sided board wipe. Shantotto’s S ability, Colossal Shantotto, could deal 5000 damage to all the Forwards. Then before her auto-ability resolves to deal the remaining 5000, Larsa can “heal” and save your Forwards.
All in all, Galuf doesn’t seem to be a meta-breaking card. I wouldn’t call him weak, though. If you open this card in a pre-release kit, you might want to see what other Earth cards you have and build an Earth deck with him.
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