Silver Thorn Starters

Silver Thorn Starters

Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Emil

   Next up is the review of starters! Silver Thorn starters are super adorable, and because they are both loli's because picking a good starter and the right one at that is super important to a deck, they deserve to be up next for the review! I mean, after all, they are the only loli cards the deck has your starter is the only card that you are guaranteed to have at the start of each game, right?

   If you are not familiar with Ionela or Emil, you can look them up by clicking on them respectively. This article will not cover Innocent Magician because he is not a loli, who will only be considered in a break ride build, and who is also a generic G3 searcher clone that have existed beyond the scope of Silver Thorns.

Silver Thorn Assistant, Ionela

Dream time is, starting, starting-!

   Starting off, we have the loyal and original Silver Thorn starter that had been waiting for her mistress's return ever since BT12! In a nutshell, she's Irina that requires an on-hit on the VG, meaning just like Irina, she stacks triggers at the bottom of your deck, forcing you to play OTT or suffer if you can't afford to stall for that long or have no means to shuffle your deck. Similar to any FVG that stays on the field and needs to remain on the field to for an extended amount of time to function, she's extremely vulnerable to retiring by cards like Gattling Claw Dragon, and you're pretty screwed if you need to rely on her to do the bulk of the soul charging if she gets retired.

   On the bright side, she can be used over and over again, and doesn't result in a -1 to use like many other Pale Moon FVGs. However, even though she can be used multiple times, keep in mind that because she requires an on-hit on the vanguard, she gets triggered 3~4 times at best (usually 3) on your average games, essentially allowing you look up to 6~8 cards and soul change 3~4 out of those 6~8 cards over the course of 4~5 turns. Also, due to how she doesn't leave the field, she makes it very hard to call an Ana behind your VG without minusing yourself.

   What does this mean? This means that unfortunately for her, a new loli competitor appeared that does her job better in almost every single aspect just as her beloved mistress came back to her senses after being corrupted by the void, leaving her sitting in a binder after all that wait.

Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Emil

I am, a beast tamer! Are you amazed? Amazed?

   And that competitor is called Emil, whom Bushi is too lazy to even give a CotD lore. Unlike Ionela, Emil requires a cost of putting herself into the soul to soul charge, resulting in a net -1 to use in exchange for higher efficiency and speed. However, due to the prevalence of retire-based decks out there, this very negative aspect of Emil is actually a very positive strength for her, further favoring Silver Thorns in using her as a starter over Ionela. The reason behind that is Emil can hide immediately into the soul as soon as the game starts if necessary because she is completely independent of counter blasts or any other factors, meaning you can use her skill as soon as possible without her ever being sniped, making her vastly more reliable than Ionela because you are not at your opponent's mercy.

   Emil is also so much faster and more efficient than Ionela in soul charging, that she essentially does what Ionela does over 3 turns in one, without even needing to land a hit on the VG for 3 times. It takes Ionela 3 hits to to view 6 cards and soul charge 3, and yet it takes Emil less than 1 turn to look at 5 and soul charge 3. On top of that, Emil doesn't care for the order of the Silver Thorn cards hidden off the top of your deck. Say you have 2 Silver Thorn units sitting back to back on the top of your deck, Ionela will only be able to soul charge one of them. Emil, however, doesn't care for the order as long as the Silver Thorn cards you reveal off the top 5 are of different grades, meaning even if the 2 cards are sitting back to back, she's able to soul charge both of them if they are of different grades. So with only 1 use, Emil already rivals what Ionela is capable of doing over the entire game. Add the fact that you can easily use Emil multiple times per game, she just blows Ionela out of the water. Remember when people said cross riding was easy for Silver Thorns back in BT12? Well, Emil made it even easier.

   Another aspect going for Emil's favor over Ionela is that she shuffles the deck after soul charging. Back when Silver Thorns relied on Ionela and Irina for soul charging, the deck has a side-effect of stacking a considerable amount of triggers at the bottom of your deck if you are unlucky. And if you didn't have a See-saw Game Winner or something similar that has a side effect of shuffling your deck for you, you're forced to play OTT if you ever want to see those triggers.

Imagine this being what's left in your deck.
And this actually happens quite a bit.
   This shuffling aspect of Emil also means that she condenses your deck with triggers every time you use her
ability, increasing your chance of drive checking a trigger. After several uses of Emil's ability, your deck can easily be left with a lot of triggers, and having your deck reach the point where there are more triggers than normal units in it isn't something uncommon in actual practice.

   On top of condensing triggers and allowing you to sack more often, she also thins your deck with stuff you don't want to draw into with each use. While that seems obvious, what does it really mean? It means if you are in late game, when you use Emil's ability and see multiple cards of the same grade, you can soul charge the one you don't want to draw into and leave the ones you would prefer to draw into in the deck. For example, at late game, Ana becomes vanilla when Zelma's uses skyrockets as you accumulate more and more soul. So if you see Ana and Zelma together in the same group of 5 cards that Emil revealed, you would soul charge the Ana and leave Zelma in the deck, essentially making your drive checks and draws end up being of higher quality. Another good example of this is you can and will be thinning your deck of grade 3s, increasing the chance of you drawing and drive checking into cards that have a shield value.

   The final nail in the coffin for Ionela is how much synergy Emil has with Luquier and Luquier Venus or the deck in general (unfortunately, Luquier Reverse doesn't have much synergy with Emil). Previously, in order for Luqier's LB4 to even be able to call a grade 0, you need to soul charge a trigger with Irina or Ionela beforehand, or use a Poison Juggler. Now the grade 0 is just there automatically without any set up, and a very good one that can further enlarge your tool box and hyper compress your deck. She also has high synergy with Luquier Venus, and makes the Ana/Maricica/Zelma combo significantly easier to achieve.


Emil wins!
Look at how proud she is!
   Emil is a vastly superior starting vanguard in pretty much every aspect there is when compared to Ionela. Even her only drawback (the -1) ends up being a pro rather than a con for her.

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