Triggers *16: (10 Crit/2 Draw/4 Heal)
- Dynamite Juggler (Crit) *2
- Poison Juggler (Critical) *4
- Silver Thorn Barking Dragon (Critical) *4
- Silver Thorn Marionette, Natasha (Draw) *2
- Silver Thorn Juggler, Nadia (Heal) *4
Grade 1 *14:
- Silver Thorn Magician, Colette *3
- Silver Thorn Assistant, Zelma *4
- Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Ana *3
- Silver Thorn Hypnos, Lydia *4
Grade 2 *11:
- Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Maricica *4
- Silver Thorn Magician, Clemens *4
- Silver Thorn Upright Lion *3
Grade 3 *8:
- Silver Thorn Dragon Empress, Venus Luquier *4
- Silver Thorn Dragon Queen, Luquier "Яeverse" *1
- Silver Thorn Dragon Tamer, Luquier *3
- Silver Thorn Dragon Master, Mystique Luquier *3
- Miracle of Luna Square,Clifford *1
- Ardor Dragon Master, Amanda *1
- Jester Demonic Dragon, Lunatec Dragon *2
- Dragon Masquerade, Harri *1
Wow, I have been incredibly busy recently that I don't even know if I'll come up with a recipe I'm happy with before GBT-06 hits, so I'm kinda merging a deck post with card reviews. We'll see.
So a little bit of what's going on here for me...
The most recent event that happened was the CA regionals that attended and scrubbed out with a 0:2 using my gorilla Rrisms, where both games I lost when I was at 2 damage versus my opponent's 5 with basically no cards in hand or field on their end, only for me to never drive check triggers, not draw into PGs, or draw into all my G3s and die to their 6th heals and double/triple crits. Oh well, that's CFV in a nutshell, and considering my deck did perform exceptionally well, I'm ok with it. I mean, consistently taking control of the game tempo and driving my opponent to the corner with a 3 damage lead and a 6~8 card lead while drive checking pure crap is no simple feat, even if I literally died to a combination of 6th heals and double/triple crits or getting 6 of my G3s all happening at the same time. My gorillas did well, and I have no regrets. Ok maybe I do, I wanted the name gorilla to become more public, but yeah.
Other than that, work has been a sh*storm for me recently, and I've been incredibly busy the past couple of weeks; working late, skip entire weekends, etc. Fortunately after working over weekends for 2 weeks back to back, we got most of our stuff done. Busy season for our clients means busy season for us too. Meh.
Anyways, now that the rant is over, let's get to the new toys Silver Thorns got from GBT05. Specifically, we got 2 new Silver Thorn units and some generic support.
|Wa... wait! Stop, stop soul charging|
that non-Silver Thorn!
The best asset we received by far is Silver Thorn Magician, Colette. Colette is great; being a 10k booster in a deck full of on-hit pressure units that can reuse on-call abilities to re-use that 10k boost is pretty darn good. She significantly reduced our reliance on Upright Lions to do anything in the late game, and removed the complete reliance on superior calling to create big columns. She easily forms 21k columns with Clemens and Lions, and she makes Mystique Luquier able to form 21k columns much more consistently, and removed the reliance of needing Zelmas to make larger columns. To make things even better, even with Colette's slowness of requiring a G3+ vanguard, she can punish those playing G2 games very hard by pushing Maricica or Clemens to a 19~21k column with on-hit effects. Yup, we not only have the luxury of playing the G2 game, but we also have the luxury of choosing not to participate in that G2 game and begin with a punishing G3 turn even without stride. If we ride to G3 with being the first to stride? Ouch.
Obviously, it's not all pure goodness for Colette. She's not online until we sit on a Luquier, she's adding more competition for the already very cramped G1 space, and for whatever reason, Bushiroad decided it was a good idea to give her a chance to fail. However, even with all that in mind, she's still easily the 2nd best G1 we have access to now following Zelma because she boosts our mid/late game power quite significantly, and also greatly improved our finishing capabilities.
|If only she's online with any Silver Thorn|
VG, like Machining Mosquito...
Another thing we received is Clemens, who while is not bad, isn't nearly as great as Colette. She's not even a direct upgrade to Rising Dragon that we've learned to love. While she largely fulfill the same niche of being a solo beater as Rising Dragon, she's completely vanilla early game, cannot solo swing at a 7k VG body with a trigger, and cannot form 19k columns. However, she does add that delicious redundancy to our already plenty on-hit pressure, and makes it much easier to achieve a field where there's on-hit effects across the board. To make things better, her (to-VG-only) Mirror Demon ability is free, and theoretically she can perform infinite attacks with 2 Zelmas if the opponent somehow cannot guard and doesn't check damage triggers. She is also quite delicious when we toss a Colette behind her, making a quick and dirty 21k column with some on-hit effect that also baits bad plays out of your opponent. Overall, she's not-bad/10 but also not-great/10.
|Not being a Silver Thorn hurts a ton.|
I tested the deck with 4 of her, and then 3, and then 2, and now completely removed her. It's a shame that she's kinda necessary to spam stride consistently without hurting yourself, but her very existence itself is hurting yourself. I'm still trying to find ways to fit her in, but so far it seems unlikely.
|Apparently he likes candies and children.|
Lunatec also plays awkwardly with Silver Thorns. His ability doesn't really mesh with Silver Thorns at all, and he basically just ends up being a very bad version of Saint Blow Dragon in Silver Thorns as we don't actually do superior calls mid-battle unless we land hits... and Lunatec doesn't actually make those attacks harder to hit unless you hit them first (even when you do, 2~4k power doesn't break into a new stage that often). See the problem here? Essentially, he's a card that threatens your opponent that "if I land hits on my attacks, even my 9k beaters will become 11k solo beaters" and potentially carry a crit himself. But that's all he does other than being a CB-free Blizza.
|Well Primerva didn't have a GB3 slapped on her.|
Why do you do this to us, Bushi!
Harri on the other hand is actually not a bad finisher; you can achieve attacks with similar effects to Primerva with Harri where you attack 5 times (Zelma can stand a column), and at the same time powers up Lions and Colette to achieve even better numbers. However, that GB3 slapped on Harri is a very significant drawback as it makes him incredibly slow. With the only way to speed Harri up being using Blizza or Lunatec Dragon, when Silver Thorns don't actually spam stride that much and when Lunatec is so mediocre for Silver Thorn, that GB3 becomes very hard to achieve, rendering Harri mostly unused or unusable in the vast majority of your games. Also do note that Harri gets completely tyrannosaurus rekt by lock, which is quite unfortunate.
Now to the deck... First keep in mind that this is still a prototype and not even a stable build yet, as I still feel there are parts of the deck that runs 'clunky' and not 'smooth' or 'flows properly' yet. In essence, even though I have started testing this deck for a while, it's still far from finished as I just don't feel the deck flows right yet.
Colette is a great asset to Silver Thorns, now the only real issue is that, due to PG and Zelma being absolute staples, Colette needs to compete space with Masquerade Bunny, Breathing Dragon, and Ana (and even LB4 enabler, although I can't see that really trumping over any of the 3). Considering that Colette is vanilla pre-Luquier, replacing Ana with Colette wouldn't really be an upgrade to the deck as it'll just be shifting power from early to mid/late. Keeping both however, we are adding a much stronger late game without giving up what gave Silver Thorns a good early game and earned them the impression of being a weenie deck. As I've explained in my card review, I have decided to drop Masquerade Bunny due to her being a dead card way too often.
The logic of the deck is actually very simple: we keep what made us good at early game, and we add in new assets that gives us a much stronger mid and late game than before. We still have the early rush, but now we have a stronger on-hit pressure across the board, and we get bigger columns and more consistent big columns in our late game.
I'm still tinkering with how the deck is going (this is still a prototype, even if it is revision 3), but I think I'm on the right track. I'll be testing stands as well as we now have 8 on-hit beaters in the deck, although I have a strong feeling that crits will mesh better with this current deck due to Silver Thorns being able to make larger columns more consistently and more easily. I also am thinking of testing a Silver Thorn-Harri hybrid build as it can potentially be the 'mesh' that fixes Harri's early game and Silver Thorn's late game due to Silver Thorns while being quite xenophobic, doesn't care that much about who your vanguard is.
Ultimately as I mentioned earlier, the hardest part to decide is still the G1 line up, as after the staple 4 PGs and 4 Zelmas, there's only 6 spots left for all the other G1 goodness, and all of the G1s are very valuable assets that one could potentially run; I feel like whatever happens before GBT06, chances are if this deck recipe is going to change, it'll happen largely on the G1 lineup.
One other thing I did notice through testing PMs in general (not just Silver Thorns, but also the Harri and Catherine variants. Yes, I do like Pale Moon a lot.) is that PM has an incredibly weak overall stride lineup. Most strides PM has access to right now are quite lackluster, and feels that there's something missing. The variant with the strongest initial stride is Harri due to synergy with Lunatec Dragon, but even then it's still rather mediocre. Lunatech Dragon is still essentially a largely worse version of Saint Blow, and Harri being a largely worse version of Primerva due to that awkward slowness and the inability to actually plus from it (yes you do minus your opponent quite a bit, but you can't actually plus off it like Primerva can). Clifford still is just another typical on-hit stride, and Amanda unfortunately is a largely-inferior but occasionally-superior Clifford. Considering GBT06 will further PM's support, I feel that's when Bushiroad will wrap up PMs with their (hopefully) proper support.
As usual, if you have any questions, suggestions, etc, feel free to leave a comment below.