This Quest saw the setting of multiple records. First, I received nearly thirty entries. That blows all the other Quests (and Spectrums) out of the water. Well, maybe it’s not that dramatic but it’s still a record. Second, these files beat the NPCs on average must more quickly and soundly than did those from the previous Quests. The masses have spoken, and you have some good ideas for new starter designs. So without further ado…
Something else that surprised me was the sphere balance for this Quest. Refess was a strong leader just out of the gates, but then Falkow came from behind and made a very strong showing for itself. It seems a lot of Iczers wished to tap into the latent power of the blue sphere. Gowen made a surprisingly limited showing, and Lawtia, as usual, was about average.
Our winner this time is a regular in the contests I run, though it’s been several months since he last won anything.; He seemed hesitant in his write-up that some of the cards he included were too strong for an Alteil starter.; While that may or may not be true, it was the teamwork of those cards that won the day.
File Name: none
- Boy Combat Priest
- Knight of the 2nd Shrine
- Light Magic Archer
- Ruby Carbuncle
- 2 Servant of the Sun / Safiria
- 3 Folrart Guardian
- 3 Spiked Shield Knight
- 3 Priest of the Holy Word
- 3 Sunlight Knight
- 1 Over Soul
- 1 Recovery Powder
- 1 Key to the Holy Realm
- 2 Will o’ the Wisp
- 1 Kesaran Pasaran
- 1 Emerald Carbuncle
- 1 Folrart Flying Cavalry
- 1 Phoenix
- 2 Folrart Knight Captain
The file opens with your choice of the two most common openings that lead to a Guardian, either Kesaran Pasaran or Emerald Carbuncle, then Recovery Powder, and then the infamous lady herself.; It was Guardian who Otonashi seemed most hesitant to include in a “starter” file, so he offered the alternative of replacing her with Blessed Armor Knight. While this most likely would make it more of a balanced starter in the hands of a new player, it would also detract from field setup. Guardian, as many of you surely know, helps hold down the fort while the other tanks and support cards take the field. Besides, there are plenty of Guardian counters available, and many of them are included in the current starters.
One of the real keys here, and an often overlooked card, is Safiria. Without the EX benefit of the new Lapierre and her auto-healing, Safiria is very important to keeping your field alive as long as possible. This becomes especially true once the Knight of the 2nd Shrine soul skill goes off. Once this field is fully established, it’s a start skill buff-fest for AT and DF. Spiked Shield Knight has good lasting power with high HP, and his skill (especially if used just after casting Key to the Holy Realm) gives you a chance to randomly one-shot an out-of-reach problematic unit. There are only two copies of Folrart Knight Captain, so it’s probably best to keep him in the rear. Also, that way Safiria can engage him without any real loss each turn (after his start skill benefit) to engage a threat on the opposite field. Once something on the front line dies and you don’t need to put a sacrificial lamb up front, it’s probably best to move the Captain forward so he can tank.
Wisp and Carbuncle (or KP, depending on how you open) are handy to have around to stick in front and sacrifice for soul skills. Folrart Flying Cavalry becomes a nice mid-end game unit that receives all the theme buffs and then gets to attack once or twice a turn before going back to your file to be cast once again. The Over Soul grim helps you prolong the life of one of your tanks (I found Sunlight Knight was most in need). It might not be easy to find the SP to play Priest, but he can help further buff your field.
As a last case resort, Phoenix is there so you can reap back all your SP from dead units and try to carry the game at least to a draw, if not a win. Flying Cavalry can continued to be used during this period as well, as she’s not an LP liability.
This file is all about a slow build-up and a slower decay, while controlling when its soul skills go off (especially the second one). For this reason, an early aggressive Iczer attack can hurt it significantly, and the best way to stop it is to disrupt its flow early in the match. Even an Assassin soul skill will only put so much of a dent in it once enough of the units are fielded, so provided the setup works correctly, it’s a fortress to be reckoned with.
Congrats, everyone who won. For that matter, everyone who entered. These entries were quite good this time, and it wasn’t easy narrowing them down. Also, thank you for bearing with such an exacting set of conditions for the Custom Starter Quest. It was indeed confusing for many people, so to make up for that, the next Quest is probably going to be a lot simpler. Not necessarily easier, but much simpler. Until then!