Gear Chronicle - What works and what doesn't

Gear Chronicle

What works and what doesn't

   Hmm? Did you just ask what the hell am I doing for even having a deck of Gear Chronicle? Well, it's definitely *cough* not because of their heal trigger nor PG-G of course *cough*. And no, it absolutely has nothing to do with me wanting to find a deck for those sleeves seen in the above image. Totally nothing do do with those. It's totally because I pulled 3 Ragnaclock Dragons from my 2 box of GBT-01 and 2 TDs. Hm? Why did I even buy the TDs in the first place then? Well let's not talk about that for now. *Um hum* Anyways...

   So I'm sure many of you have probably messed around either as or against Gear Chronicle, or at least heard and saw a couple signature cards of this new clan. A lot of people looked at what they have at their disposal, namely from pseudo-retire like Kagero or even a full-field wipe, to guard restriction in both the form of Glory and Tom and even a Stride with a bonus crit and guard restrictions, and screamed "WTF BUSHI! OP!!11!".

   Yet this clan didn't even make a scratch on the meta; not just against new stuff like DOtX, Susanoo, but also against older stuff like RPBA, Thing Savior, or even just Jewel Knights and Perdition Dragons. So what exactly isn't working out for this clan, and why does having access to what many would deem as the most OP mechanics in the game, not get them to where people expected them to be?

   There are actually a lot of factors that are not working out for these guys, and a lot of these factors are not only not unheard of, but ones that we have seen present in other clans.

The Deck is Slow and Vanilla

   The first and most glaring issue with the deck is that it is slow. This is actually probably the most obvious issue more experienced players sees even before play testing the deck. With the spoilers of Gear Chronicle revealed, a new mechanic called Generation Break was also introduced that acts similarly like Limit Break in the sense that it makes your cards vanilla until a certain point into the game.

   I initially looked at this and thought it would be something similar to the Limit Break, except that early guarding doesn't hinder it. I was wrong. Generation Break skills are often printed on cards of every grade, including G1 and G2 rear guards and even skilled triggers, and what this essentially means is that it's almost as if your rear guards are the ones having that LB4 printed on them.
Even the 12k beater is a GB1 unit...
At least this card actually works.

   Currently almost everything Gear Chronicle has, has some form of Generation Break slapped onto their skill. And when they don't require Generation Break, other than a couple of cards, the card is either vanilla itself, has a heavy cost, or requires your VG to be a G-unit. What this ultimately means is that similar to a LB4 deck, your deck mechanics is offline until you hit at least GB1, except that your deck would be even more offline than a LB4 deck because in a LB4 deck, most if not all rear guards are still fully functional regardless of your damage.

   This built-in slowness is only worsened by the fact that similar to Legion, Stride requires both players to be on a G3 or above vanguard to happen. What this means is that unlike LB4, having an opponent sit on G2 for an extra turn (which is a very viable and common strategy that we've been seeing ever since the Legion meta), will keep this deck up and playing for another turn of vanilla feast.

   All of this doesn't even take into account match-ups against decks that have an incredible early game, like the Jewel Knight based decks that can consistently and easily swarm a whole field on their turn 2 for a very cheap cost and start beating faces, and then proceed to keep the pressure going with stuff like Saint Blow that pretty much tells you to PG or die after having zerg'd devastated you early on with their swarm.

The Deck has no Built-In Advantage Engine

   This is another issue that we are familiar with and have seen in the past. Legion era Link Joker was plagued with this issue and then as a result, never saw much play because it never could do much. Gear Chronicle has no draw power nor digging power or even filter power outside of Stride itself. Their only form of advantage gain is through their pseudo-retire.

This card is broken. Like, super broken.
Such wombo, much combo. Wow.
   Some people may argue that "Kagero doesn't either, all they have is Calamity Tower Wyvern, which Gear Chronicle also has access to." The difference being, Kagero is so much more efficient at retiring, as well as being much more reliable, the efficiency of Gear Chronicle's pseudo-retire simply is nowhere near as efficient as Kagero is. Kagero also have access to restanding vanguards, which translates to more drive checks and more cards or hand filtering, depending on the restanding cost. When coupled with draw triggers, even if the cost to restand for a Kagero is to discard 2 hands (such as the Great), that in itself turns into direct advantage gain because draw triggers can be discarded, and restanding greatly increases the amount of drive checks you perform which can often further minus your opponent.

   The other issue with Gear Chronicle's pseudo-retire at the moment is that it cannot keep up with clans that superior call a lot. Clans like Royal Paladin can superior call just as cheaply as Gear Chronicle can retire, but also at the same time, can superior call a lot faster than Gear Chronicle is capable of wiping out each turn. Take a common combo for example, Violinist can fetch a Swordmy, who can in turn fetch any G1 Jewel Knight. Now all that took is 1 card from the RP player to instantly fill up 3 RG slots on the field, and it isn't even a multi-card combo where the player is required to have multiple pieces in hand; all it takes is 1 card. Take another example, the RP player can Stride into Gablade, and then use Gablade's skill to fetch Violinist, and then fetch Swordmy, and then fetch a G1 Jewel Knight. In this case, the RP player doesn't even need a specific card in hand; all he needs is to be able to Stride and punch you in the face to instantly fill up 3 RG slots.

The Deck has a Shallow Card Pool

   This issue, while will (hopefully) be fixed by time itself, is still an issue they currently have. There really just isn't enough choices for Gear Chronicle at the moment, and they are forced to often choose between bad choice and worse choices when it comes to deck building. Considering, however, that Gear Chronicle is a 'main' clan, I'm not too worried about this one for them. I'd be worried about mah Pale Moon and Granblue before I start worry about this issue for Gear Chronicle.

What Works and What Doesn't... For Now

   Now, Gear Chronicle has access to, like what I mentioned earlier, a lot of "OP" mechanics. However, a lot of them don't actually work, or at least work the way you expect them to be. This is mainly a list of cards that works and those that don't work, sorta like a card review.

Interdimensional Dragon, Chronos Command Dragon

   This card does not work. Or at least not nearly as well as you'd think it would or hope it would. Honestly, this card is the worst of all the Stride units Gear Chronicle have access to as of now, and I would expect this card to be replaced very quickly unless they get something that would make it bonkers. First of all, his cost is high. Very high actually, to the point that he struggles to even make is effect a break even or worthwhile in most cases. Lets first take a few steps back and just ignore that SB1 cost for a moment. For CB2, Chrono Jet can already retire 2 on his own. Add a discard 1 hand-cost, that needs to be worth at least another card retired for this effect to just make it break even. Then we take in the opportunity cost of Lost Age Dragon's on-hit retire 1 for free because that's your best alternative. What this means is that, ignoring the soul-blast cost, he has to retire at least 2 + 1 + 1 = 4 cards just to break even. So the only thing Chronos Command has really, is his speed and pressure of evaporating an entire field in an instant if it hits. In most cases however, you either could just straight win the game if you successfully hit with a Ragnaclock Dragon, or is just plain better off using Lost Age Dragon, further leaving this guy sitting on the bench. Not to mention that you have to leave at least 2 CBs and 1 SB open for him to even apply pressure, which while isn't terribly hard, isn't terribly easy either. He does, however, bait out PGs early on for Ragnaclock to beat face later. But that's really about it. Overall, not a great card.

Interdimensional Dragon, Ragnaclock Dragon

   This card, on the other hand, not only works well, but also is one of the few cards that is carrying the rest of deck on his back. He is deadly and pressuring, and is a great card to Stride into to finish someone off or just to swing in mid game just for the pressure or instant damage gap. Ultimately it's not a Glory clone nor a restander, but a often 32k 2-crit triple-drive Silent Tom for basically no setup is nothing to scoff at. He is both capable of stealing games and turning the tables. However, since a simple PG can still easily stop him, do not rely nor trust this card to turn the tables or win the game for you. He's a still great card, but just not a dependable option to bet all your eggs on.

Interdimensional Dragon, Lost Age Dragon

   This card works well. It's one of those 'simple is marvelous' cards where the effect is so simple, yet so effective. Stride him on Chrono Jet, you get up to 2 retires that turn, which is usually enough anyways when compared to Chronos Command.

Chrono Jet Dragon

   As much as how he works and works fairly well, I refuse to post his card image because I still hate his art. Anyways, his on-stride skill is fairly useful. Pop an interceptor down and they have 5k less shielding against your Ragnaclock Dragon. Or just pop some priority target down and the swing as Lost Age Dragon for some cheap retiring. Doesn't work too well with Chronos Command for obvious reasons. His Glory skill can also come in handy if the time calls, although often you'd just Stride anyways. It's also interesting to note that since his Generation Break is the opposite of Ragnaclock Dragon's skill, using one doesn't really make it easier to land a hit on your opponent with the other. However what it does mean is if you know what they have in their hand, you can choose the one that hurts your opponent the most. 

Steam Fighter, Amber

   This may come at a surprise... that this guy doesn't really work as well as one would hope he does. He has several issues. First off is that he's slow, and is vanilla until you stride. Second off is that he requires boosting, which when there are a lot of retires flying around and with 8/14 of your G1s that you'd usually want to avoid boosting with (namely the PG/PGG and Steam Breath), is actually quite hard to achieve reliably especially considering that Gear Chronicle has no draw power. Lastly, Gear Chronicle is relatively resource intensive, and often times either your Chrono Jet already covers his job making him redundant, or you need to leave the CBs open for your Ragnaclock to use. It is also important to make note that he has to attack before your Ragnaclock to remove an interceptor for your Ragnaclock either from his skill or just as a RG attack, risking and giving your opponent a chance to damage check a trigger to make guarding Ragnaclock easier. Overall, he doesn't really work.

Steam Knight, Puzur Ili

   OMG Silent Tom!!11!! Okay guys, chill out. His SB2 cost makes him basically vanilla 99% of the time. I for one still have not had a chance to have his skill go off even once out of who knows how many games I tested. The souls often just go to Gigi because drawing 1 card is pretty darn important when your deck has no way to plus. Seriously, this guy doesn't really work. Getting his skill to work is just as his flavor text implies: "It is not zero. Just an extremely small probability."

   Other than these cards I listed above, a couple of other cards are worth mentioning but I don't feel like I need to go into detail for:

  • Twin Maser Dragon actually works despite being slow. It works about as well as Burning Horn Dragon or other G3-based 12k beaters are, but just still a tiny bit slower then those.
  • Apex Standing Gearwolf doesn't really work. His skill often just doesn't matter because Gear Chronicle can't really retire enough times in a turn to make it matter. He also needs to boost G3s and Twin Master Dragon to work when often times you need your G3s as Stride cost.
  • Steam Maiden, Elulu is actually not bad and works better than that trash known as Fatewheel Dragon. Her +5k skill also puts your opponent into Ragnaclock's kill zone faster, and SB1 cost is very easy to manage in this deck. I like her better than both Ruin Disposal and Fatewheel.
  • Ruin Disposal Dragon kinda works and kinda doesn't. He doesn't really work with Stride since Legion's timing and Stride's timing are just off. He is, however, your only way to put things back into your deck, and only way to fill the soul (via riding). 
I like both the art and skill of this over
Ruin Disposal and Fatewheel

   So that's about all I have to say regarding Gear Chronicle for now until they get more new stuff to mess with. And since real life is still hard and busy I have no idea when my next update will be. We'll see.

   Oh and I forgot to mention, Steam Maiden, Ululu is Steam Maiden, Elulu's older sister. I await for Bushi to release their other possible sisters, namely Alulu, Ilulu, and Olulu because あいうえお