Silver Thorn Dragon Tamer, Luquier

Silver Thorn Dragon Tamer, Luquier

   So next up after Luquier Reverse, comes the Luquier review! The reason I put priority on her over the rest of the deck is because a lot of people have a hard time deciding if they should justify dropping big bucks getting the original queen (which I personally got 4 copies when she was cheap. I think I spent a total of $16 for 4 Japanese copies, and she's going for $20 per copy now. The EN version's prices are more outrageous). So I'll review this card and explain her uses, and hope that it will help you guys out there to make the decision of whether or not she's worth the $$.

   Again, I assume my readers to know her effect. If you don't, feel free to look her up here. Also, some of the information overlaps with the Luquier Reverse review article, like what the 13k base can do for you. So feel free to skip it if you already know what's going on.

  So a brief overview of what the card can do. She gains power for every unit you call from your soul, and also has a situational effect to fully fill your field for a hefty cost. Anyone that had played her before BT12 knows that her LB4 is extremely situational, and that she was good due to the +3k per call effect.

Her Role in a Silver Thorn build

   So first of all, unlike the old days when she was boss, her main role and focus is no longer that +3k power. Silver Thorns RGs aren't particularly well know for calling stuff out of the soul consistently and easily, and even when they do, it's usually 1, up to 2 units during battle phase only if you actually land a hit on your opponent's VG. And since Silver Thorns doesn't run 8k vanillas, getting +3k doesn't do anything; it just looks nice because 20k VG columns are as bad as a 16k VG column. While the +3k power ability still makes a difference, the difference is so subtle that you probably won't notice it or see at work even once every 50 games (it's more common in a build with Eva though). So don't expect this to be a thing in Silver Thorns outside of some very rare occasion.

   Her first and primary role is an obvious one; she's the cross ride fodder who's greatest purpose is to sit quietly in your soul doing nothing so your Luquier Reverse or Luquier Venus gets a 13k body.

   She does have a second role though, and that is field recovery. It's extremely situational, and you'd probably only use it once every 10 games or so. But I consider 10% of my games to be a rather high chance, so I consider it not negligible. While Luquier Venus also does field recovery, and a better job at that, Luquier gives this option to a Luquier Reverse focused deck, and gives a Luquier Venus focused deck 100% G3 consistency to have the ability to recover the field.

   Considering that her +3k ability doesn't do jack most of the time, and that her LB4 is very situational, she's usually just vanilla and a bad G3 to ride.

What She Brings to the Deck

The 13k Base

  The largest difference is obvious; the 13k body. This is actually quite a difference for the deck due to its defensive nature and the advantage engine it has, as well as the deck's inability to push for a final turn.

   When a Silver Thorn player is playing by the technique of bullying RGs, it's not uncommon to render your opponent unable to consistently form 18k columns. When that happens, it's easy for the Silver Thorn player to proceed to snowball the advantage game, because when guarding a column with a 5k shield becomes an option, you gain a tremendous amount of advantage when you can generate 5k shields for CB1 (Reverse) or 2 5k shields for CB2 (Venus). The 13k body also renders re-standers much less effective, as mentioned here, which contributes to Silver Thorn's ability to anti-meta.

Your VG still swings for 16k without a booster
   Another major difference, as already mentioned in my Luquier Reverse article, is that  the 13k body enables your Luquier Reverse and Luquier Venus to hit for magic numbers when you have a Poison Juggler. At a 13k base, +3k allows your Luquier cross rides to hit for 16k solo. For Luquier Reverse, that meas you can safely lock your VG booster without losing stages, essentially allowing you to form a 21/16/16 field as opposed to a 21/16/9 field, assisting on your final turn push. The +3k also allows your VG to hit for 21k if your VG is boosted by a 5k base booster (11 + 2 + 3 + 5 = 21), or 23 if boosted by a 7k base booster (11 + 2 + 3 + 7 = 23). While these magic numbers do require quite an amount of pre-conditions to be met to attain, they are all just flat out impossible to achieve if you do not have the 10k base Luquier. And trust me when I say that Poison Juggler and a cross ridden Luquier Reverse/Venus actually makes a difference; Silver Thorns have almost no other way to push for a final turn outside of a break ride or a good usage of Upright Lions. To the people that runs 4 Eva and no base Luquier, this does mean that if you miss your break ride, you're left with little capability to push for game.

   Also keep in mind, with the help of Zelma and Emil, or even Eva (the SC1 from attacks and the break ride effect both assist in cross riding), achieving the 13k body is really easy; it's just slightly harder than Transcendence Dragon, who has it built in.

The Field Replenishment

   This is a utility that is useful in less occasions, but ultimately it is still useful to some extent. Similar to Luquier Venus, she can replenish your field in an instant, but with a heavier cost and worse quality as well as more restrictions than Luquier Venus. This is more useful for the Luquier Reverse build, because it aids in covering up the weakness that Luquier Reverse has. Yes, it's extremely situational, but it's there nonetheless, and it actually does help out quite a bit when you had a really bad start.

Those are huge columns
   This ability of hers also allows a Luquier Reverse cross ride build to achieve a similar power gain for Upright Lion to push for game even when you don't run Luquier Venus. The only catch is that Luquier shifts the power of one Lion to the VG when compared to Luquier Venus (Luquier Venus can call 2 Lions but doesn't gain power herself, where as Luquier can only call 1 Lion but gains power herself), and that while Venus can do it twice a game, Luquier can only do it once and eat up most of your CBs, meaning it's more of a do-or-die.

   In the case of when you are running Eva for break riding, this ability is actually a lot more useful because it guarantees a full field upon break riding, something that Eva needs to be devastating.

   Overall, this field replenish ability is really just an inferior version of what Luquier Venus does. You can rush early game and eat a lot of RG attacks and use it to pressure on, or use it with Eva to guarantee that you have a full field on your break ride turn. But even when inferior, it's better to have the option than not, and she provides this option almost for free if you are planning to focus on cross riding.

  Hopefully this article gives you an overview on what Luquier provides and helps in your decision of whether or not she's worth purchasing with whatever price tag you see her with.


Silver Thorn Dragon Queen, Luquier Reverse

Silver Thorn Dragon Queen, Luquier Reverse

    I'll start off my review with this card since this has been and still is my favorite Ace in the game, and even then I have found myself sometimes blinded by new ideas and forgetting how I utilized her strengths in the past because she is just so flexible. Also, I am assuming that the reader of my reviews already know the effect of the cards I am reviewing. I've added a link to the cardfight wikia page in case you want to look up the effects. Also keep in mind this will probably be the longest card review for the Silver Thorns, as Luquier Reverse is the center and focus of the deck.

   So some brief introduction about the card, she can basically CB-1, and lock anything, call anything from the soul, and call it anywhere on your field. Basically, as long as your opponent doesn't have a Chaos Breaker Dragon and at limit break 4, you are essentially gaining a flat +1 direct advantage with decent quality (because you can pick what you call), and also potentially make your opponent suffer a indirect -1 from the +5000 power.

Her Strengths

   Luquier Reverse is a powerful advantage engine. Over the course of a game, she can easily generate up to +5 direct, quality advantages, as well as potentially up to -5 out of your opponent through soft minus with the +5k power if you shift it to the right column. Being arguably the easiest to achieve 13k body thanks to the nature of Pale Moon as a clan, plus the fact that she's an advantage engine with a very low cost for her skill, makes her very hard to counter through playing around her, because she has no clear weaknesses that one can exploit easily.

   What do I mean by that? With a very easy to achieve 13k body, it means if your opponent can't consistently form 18k columns, you can easily guard attacks with 5k shields, or 10k shields if they check a trigger. With a skill that can replenish any rear guards you wish from the soul easily, means you are resistant to retires and great at reforming columns. With a skill cost that costs only CB1, it means her skill can go off and sustain herself for a long time. These three properties combined means it's very hard for your opponent to rush the VG because if they do, you can easily bully their power columns with 19k ~21k columns, making it much harder to maintain 18k+ columns. Couple that with free shields you generate for CB1, it makes it even harder to break through her bulky defense. It also means if your opponent decides to stall and do RG trades, they will have a hard time winning because you can replenish very high quality RGs with a very low cost. Finally, if your opponent chooses to try and stall you out to wait for you to run out of CBs, it's difficult because the cost of the skill is so cheap, that you can and will easily form 21k columns for as long as 5 turns.

   Luquier Reverse can also stall exceptionally well. She can literally grind her opponent to death, and a rear guard killing-focused strategy is actually very viable. Her cheap skill, tanky body and the +5k she gets makes bullying and trading RGs very favorable and a very viable strategy. In fact, she is so good at this that in the BT12 meta, it wasn't uncommon for me to play like the infamous Tsukuyomi deck and reach your stack of triggers at the bottom of your deck (that resulted as a side effect of BT12 Silver Thorn soul charging). Not saying that you should aim to reach your stack of triggers, but just pointing out that she can stall for a loooooong time.

   Her 13k body also means cards like Raging Form Dragon and Dragonic Descendant will be much less effective when they re-stand, because these units need to pay extra CBs or do extra work, or meet extra conditions to force out as much shield out of a Luquier Reverse player as those with a standard 11k body. A re-standing Raging Form Dragon can only force out an additional 15k shield, and an unboosted Dragonic Decendant that didn't drive check a trigger won't even be able to hit her.

Her Weaknesses

   Aside from being hard countered by Chaos Breaker Dragon, Luquier Reverse's greatest weakness is that everything she excels at will pay great dividends over the course of the game. If you need something now and you need to turn the tables now, she can't do it effectively because using her ability in successions quickly results in bigger and bigger diminishing returns if used in the same turn. Upon first use of her skill, you gain decent advantage. Upon 2nd use, you're starting to remove the advantage you gained from your first use in the form of starting to save shields for your opponent, because you are actually starting to cripple your columns.

   Another weakness she has is that she has no real finishing power on her own. The +5k power is very useful in burning more cards, again, over time, but due to the cost of locking units, it makes Luquier Reverse unable to really burst for game without the help of combo-ing with other cards like Eva or Poison Juggler.

Fielding with Luquier Reverse 101

The Common Pattern

  First of all, the most important basic to know about her is that since you can lock anything, call anything from the soul, and call it anywhere on your field, don't fool yourself into thinking her ability can only be used once, can only lock the VG booster, or that you must call in the same column as the card you locked. This is the first and most common mistake people make when they approach Luquier Reverse. Always remember that you can lock and call your units on different columns, and that it doesn't matter if your locked unit is actually a booster or not just because it's sitting in your back row. As long as you can still scale it later somehow rather than being stuck with 2 attackers in the same column, you're fine.

This field requires 1 additional card to guard
The most common example, and also a most common pattern of having the locked and called unit on different columns, is to lock a RG back row and call on the other column.Compared to a standard field setup of 16|16|16, the setup in the image on the left creates a 12|16|21 field (9k is fine as well for the left most column, as long as it can still hit something). One may ask, doesn't this require as much total shielding as the standard column? (standard requires 10 + 15 + 10 = 35k shield for 2-pass, where the locked setup requires a 5 + 15 + 15 = 35k shield for 2-pass)

   Yes, the total shielding is still the same. But the minimum amount of cards required to guard is not, because there are no 15k shields in this game. The standard fielding takes a minimum of 4 cards to guard (10|10 + 5|10) for a 2-pass, whereas the locked fielding takes a minimum of 5 cards to guard, provided as long as the solo RG column is still able to hit something (5 |10 + 5| 10 + 5 for 2-pass). The introduction of Quintet Walls have somewhat broken this pattern, but they are almost never ran at more than 2 copies a deck and are often just skipped over as a whole due to their CB cost or deck-thinning side effect, so we can safely say they are a rare case.

Uncommon But Possible Patterns

That Ana is now a solo 12k attacker
  Another thing to note is, don't be afraid to call boosters in the front row by locking an attacker. If that's what you have to do to scale your field later so you're not stuck with 2 attackers in the same column and you know you can't go for game this turn, go ahead and do it. A booster that's called to the front row will likely still be able to hit something, and as long as you are forcing a card out of your opponent, you're still good. Remember, every player by default draws 3 cards per turn, so as long as you are forcing out 4 or more, you are making progress.

Not optimal, but possible if you need the +2
   It is even possible to lock two cards if you need to replenish two units onto the field. While it is sub-
optimal and is just asking to be PG'd or NG'd (if you don't drive check a crit), sometimes it might be beneficial to lock 2 cards of the same column if one of the things you will be calling has a power of 10k or under, because 9k and 14k are really the same; chances are you're just getting a 5k shield regardless. Generally, unless you have to or knows your opponent has no PG, try to avoid doing this.

Push for Game

VG is still 16k without booster
   Honestly, Luquier Reverse doesn't have that many ways to push for game herself, and you need to have Upright Lion and Zelma at the same time, have a Poison Juggler when you are successfully cross ridden, or just happen to be broke ridden. Just remember that when you use Poison Juggler on a cross ridden Luquier Reverse, she becomes a solo 16k attacker, making it safe to lock the VG booster, as shown in the image.

You have 2 21k lanes and Maricica can attack an interceptor

   Another possibility is to lock an RG and call a booster behind the VG, essentially making your VG 21k+, and then apply the +3k from the Poison Juggler to a 18k or above RG column, making it 21k+.


Silver Thorns Single Card Reviews, Tips, and stuff like that

      I decided to make a brief introduction on the details of silver thorn cards after finding myself often revisiting cards after jumping and testing builds after builds. Due to the nature of Pale Moon having very open-ended and flexible effects to the point that it's easier to make misplays than to optimally use stuff if you're not 100% sure with what you are doing, it'd be nice to have an archive, or encyclopedia-kind of page for myself as references.

   There's also the reason that I recently saw certain websites and people giving out flat-out wrong information about Silver Thorn cards, making horrid reviews on cards, and plaguing players with incorrect information (eg. 13k body is irrelevant). I don't exactly want to reveal names, but those that know it will know which site and community I am talking about. While they may try to back their findings with science and math, they refuse to acknowledge their biases and flaws in their methods, as well as deriving flawed conclusions from their data due to said biases and bad assumptions (eg. assuming a deck to be perfect when it's testing between bad decks, 12 crits for nearly any deck recipe, etc). They also fail to recognize how different their method is to the real world, and hence their results may be true, it only holds true under their own biased little setting, and believes what happens within their own setting holds true to beyond their own space in the real world where things are vastly different from their setting. Having coming from a fairly heavy science and statistics background, I can say for sure that this is an absolute no-no in science.

   And don't get me wrong, people make mistakes and have flawed experiments and methods, and that is okay. That's how you refine your methods and improve, and establish better and improving experiments in the future. Even in statistics, it's hard to completely avoid biases for things like surveys. What you do is you try your best in avoiding or overcoming such within your power and budget, but recognize that your results may be biased due to whatever bias it potentially have. What is not okay is when one refuses to recognize it and remains adamant and believe that what they have is right because it's backed by science and math (it is not). There is a reason why for scientific papers and experiments, you need to clearly list your materials and methods as well as all data, so others reading it can replicate the experiment themselves, as well see any potential flaws.

   I've always hated those that spread myths and wrong information on the net, because I've been bitten by those things IRL. It's unfortunate that such thing exists not only for card games but for many things in life as well. But hey, that's the internet.

   With that being said, if any of you reading my stuff and find that I'm spreading cancer and writing carcinogenic articles, please let me know and leave a comment/message me etc, as well as why something is wrong. Obviously this doesn't mean I'll accept and agree with everything you write to me, but as I do with most other things in life, I'll read and take in the information with a grain of salt, and if it makes logical sense or is proven, accept it to a certain degree.


How to properly attack with Miracle Pop, Eva on your break ride turn

I get the 6 cards to guard when you have two RGs attack first, and then breakride VG attack to swap those two RGs (or two Purple Trapezists) for another two unboosted attacks/one full attack/two full attacks.

Just pointing out that unless you have Trapezist, that's not the optimal attack pattern. Even with Trapezist, it's rarely the best attack pattern.

The best attack pattern in general (meaning there are exceptions) is:

front RG (at interceptor or VG if it's a 11~12k) > front RG (at interceptor or VG if it's a 11~12k) > VG > full RG column > full RG column

Do note, the initial front row RG attacks should prioritize interceptors over VGs, because if they NG the attack to the VG and checks a trigger, you're screwed.

And the attack pattern is because interceptors are still worth as 5k shields, and generally it's very bad to first swing with higher numbered columns and then later swing with lower number columns. This is because if you swing with full columns first and leave later attacks on weaker attacks, then when you check a trigger, that trigger won't force out more cards. Passing +5k and crit to a 16k column forces 1 additional card, while passing +5k and crit to a 11k column doesn't because it can be guarded by a 10k shield.

Killing interceptors also have the added bonus of assuring that 5k shield's quality and some information about their hand; if they want to guard for that RG, chances are they're low on attackers or the quality of attackers, an information that you wouldn't have known otherwise.

And lastly, the most common attack pattern for me with the 3/3/2 BR turn is, assuming that I BR Luquier Reverse over Eva:

first form a 21/21/16 field by locking VG booster and calling a G1 booster from the soul, not attacker, and apply the +5k to that called unit. This gives you a 12k booster, which will give you a better attack pattern than calling a 14~17k front row attackers 99% of the time.

This setup allows you to swing for the following pattern:

9k > 9k > 21k(VG) > 16k > 21k = 7 cards to guard

and if you checked a trigger, you are essentially swinging for

9k > 9k > 21k(VG) > 21k > 21k = 8 cards to guard, without giving them a chance to damage check a trigger first before guarding the 21k attacks unless they NG your VG attack first.

Also, could you give me a step-by-step example of how Eva would give additional attacks with the help of Marcia or Ana?

It's not that Eva allows them to guarantee addition attacks, but that they apply the pressure of potential additional attacks if they successfully land a hit and you didn't damage check a trigger. Meaning your opponent is gambling on getting a trigger on his damage check to have you not perform additional attacks. This is a good thing because it does apply that pressure and tempt them to guard your potentially 21k RG attack that should only have been worth 1 damage, but 2 cards if guarded.