Deck Talk [Gold Paladin] : Shining Force

Got myself a Gold Paladin trial deck recently and I have to say that it’s one heck of a monster! Bushiroad really went quite out of their way to make the new clans competitive, though this will be more relevant for the English rather than the Japanese format. As such, the observations here will be more relevant to those of you who only play in the English format, like myself :)

I’ve been testing out the Gold Paladin trial deck against my Kagero, Granblue and my friend’s Nova Grappler deck. The Gold Paladins hold up pretty well, especially if you get Garmore in your hand. It’s pretty much a mirror of the Narukami trial deck, except for the fact that their Grade 3 genie is far more powerful as a vanguard than our equivalent Grade 3 Slaygal. On a side note, I used to think that the Slaygal line was better than Sagremor, simply because you could Activate the Slaygal boosts more than once per turn. I now prefer Sagremor, and especially in a deck with 8 Critical triggers, simply because you can choose not to use up the counter-blast until after you have checked your triggers. This makes it much more efficient as compared to Slaygal whom you have to activate prior to using your drive check.

I’ve also been testing a build on Byond that I think will be a common skeleton build for all Gold Paladin decks, simply because the consistency it offers is just too good to pass up. Here’s the list I came up with:

Deck List ~

[8] Grade 3

  • 2 Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel
  • 3 Battlefield Storm, Sagramore
  • 3 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore

[12] Grade 2

  • 4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
  • 4 Mage of Disaster, Trip
  • 4 Sacred Bow, Vivian

[13] Grade 1

  • 4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
  • 2 Evil Slaying Swordsman, Haugan
  • 2 Charjgal
  • 2 Little Battler, Tron
  • 3 Halo Shield, Mark

[17] Grade 0

  • 1 Crimson Little Lion Club, Kyrph
  • 4 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion (Draw)
  • 4 Elixir Sommelier (Heal)
  • 4 Flames of Victory (Critical)
  • 4 Silent Punisher (Critical)

Winning Image~

Overwhelm your opponent through field dominance. Easy and cheap counter-blasts help you break the 20k barrier on both your vanguard and rear guard. Fill your field in the late game with Ezel’s limit-break to superior call more reinforcements while break the 30k barrier, forcing your opponent to drop either a null guard or risk emptying his hand.

Early – Mid Game~

  • There are three main paths this deck can take, trying for the superior ride with Kirufu to Ezel, opting to fill the field with Vivian’s counter-blast, or normal riding to Garmore. Just like the game Shining Force, tap on the specialities of each of your allies to take the surest path to victory!
  • If taking the path to Ezel, try to maintain a hand size advantage by not calling too many units before Grade 3 as you will be losing cards from your hand for the superior ride. While you may do twin drive check earlier than your opponent, there is a risk that you will not draw into replacements for the two boosters that you sacrificed. Moreover, taking Ezel early is not that beneficial since you cannot use Ezel’s limit-break until you reach 4 damage.
  • If taking the path through Vivian, note that you will need to have empty circles to call your units down from. In most cases, you will probably be only able to do this once, although this is already good enough of a card advantage. Since you cannot predict what type of unit you will be calling down, you will probably want to err on the side of caution and leave a front-row slot free to attack. If you are lucky enough to have 2 Vivians in your hand that early, by all means go for a full column. Even if you fail to pull it off, you’ve forced your opponent to guard early damage, which reduces their counter-blast ability and future guarding capacity.
  • The third path is to normal ride through to Garmore. This may not sound too exciting but against non-Kagero decks can set you up very well for a strong late game. Use Garmore to find Tron for your vanguard or Charjgal for your rearguard to set yourself up for easy 20k rearguards.


Late Game~

  • Ezel is by far the most powerful limit break vanguard in the game right now, capable of breaking the 30k barrier with just 2 counter-blast. Use this to your advantage to force nulls from your opponent.
  • Sagramore (and his counterpart in Narukami, Plasmabyte Dragon) is a highly efficient attacker, able to hit 20 or 21 k with a 7 or 8 k booster in the rear. Use him to pressure your opponent every turn or to take out pesky rearguards.
  • Poking with a Mage of Disaster, Trip who has a trigger boost can make your opponent think twice about guarding. Under most circumstances, players will not want to burn a 15k guard against a trigger-boosted rear-guard column. However, since Trip allows you to unflip your damage, they may have no choice but to waste those guards. If they don’t, then you free up more counter-blast to pressure with Sagramore or Ezel.

Playing Tips ~

  • Even with a superior ride option in the deck, it is still possible to misgrade. Keep in mind that Vivian calls out any unit that you reveal on the top, which will help you keep up with the pressure when you cannot find your higher grades.
  • Tron’s bonus boost only activates when you have more rear-guards than your opponent. This means that you can get a 10k boost very early on but it also means that at some point, you may have to take out one of your opponent’s rear-guards before attacking his vanguard.
  • Charjgal works really well with Garmore on the rearguards and for a measely 1 soul-blast you get a rear-guard column that hits for 21k. At 6k, Charjgal is also a good enough booster for your other 10k attackers, though your 9k attackers will probably be used most efficiently against your opponent’s 10k vanguards or rear-guards.

Variants ~

  • Instead of variants, here I’ll talk about what are the core cards for all Gold Paladin decks in the format right now that are too good to pass up.
  • Kirufu – Ezel line
    • WIth your vanilla units as the components to the line, it’s extremely easy to fit 2 Ezels into any build and use Kirufu as your starter.
  • Vivian & Trip
    • Even if you don’t feel comfortable running 4 of each, you can’t go wrong with at least 2 of them in your deck. Their abilities are pretty good if they go off at least once per game, and can be game-changing if your opponent is careless enough to let them through twice or more.
  • Tron
    • A 10k boost for your vanguard is a god-send and can potentially win the game for you in those crucial turns when 1 extra 5k guard makes all the difference. While a full Garmore build may want to have Charjgal as their ideal booster, remember that Tron does not cost you any resources and works for all units in the vanguard circle.

(Update 8 May 2012): Single Trial Deck Version

Modifying this list to accommodate only a single trial deck purchase will require more than just replacing your Grade 3s, as was the case with my suggestions for the Narukami Deck Blue Thunder. Here are the changes that I would make:

[8] Grade 3

  • 4 Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel (+ 2)
  • 3 Battlefield Storm, Sagramore
  • 1 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore (- 2)

[13] Grade 1

  • 4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
  • 2 Evil Slaying Swordsman, Haugan
  • 2 Charjgal (Remove completely; – 2)
  • 2 Blessing Owl (+ 2) OR 2 Silver Fang Witch (+ 2)
  • 2 Little Battler, Tron
  • 3 Halo Shield, Mark

Why these changes? Well first of all, it is natural to replace Garmore with more Ezel, primarily because Ezel is a far superior vanguard unit than Sagramore, capable of breaking the 20k attack barrier without needing to use counter-blasts.

However, with less Garmores in the deck, it makes less sense to run Charjgal altogether, since it is highly unlikely you will be able to have Garmore as your rear-guard attacker together with Charjgal. Previously, the higher number of Garmores gave you the option to search for Charjgals to boost your side attackers. With only 1 Garmore in the deck, using that ability is more of a bonus as and when you do draw him into your hand rather than a reliable strategy.

To replace Charjgal, I opted for two Blessing Owls, which you can also get from a single trial deck. The reasoning for these fellows is because the deck’s lowest attackers hit for 9k, which can be boosted to a reasonable 15k with Blessing Owl, or to 17k for one turn with Owl’s ability. More importantly, Owl can help Sagramore hit 15k as a solo attacker, even while boosting another attacker to 16k. These are very nice numbers that promote attack efficiency. In addition, you can also use Owl’s ability when superior called by Ezel’s limit break, which is a very nice bonus.

For those of you sharp enough to notice, my alternative of 2 Silver Fang Witches instead of Blessing Owl actually violates the single trial deck modification, since every trial deck only has 1 Silver Fang Witch. However since it is an R card, I presume that it would not be too difficult to convince someone to part with it, as opposed to a Garmore. The reason why I considered Silver Fang Witch is simply because I don’t like having unused resources; in this case the soul. While Witch is a poor boost for your 9k attackers, she does fine with your 10k attackers. Her main use is to maintain your hand size even while playing down boosts, giving you that one or two crucial additional cards.

Weaknesses ~

Unlike the Royal Paladins, the Gold Paladins do not have as reliable superior calling skills. However they make up for this with more than adequate power levels on their rear-guards. Unfortunately, they do not have an 11k Grade 3, which means that they while they can dish out a lot of punishment, their defences are just as vulnerable. Good Gold Paladin players will have to pressure very early on against strong 11k vanguard decks whilst protecting their own ability to maintain at least 16k if not 21k rear-guards against their opponent.

Final Thoughts ~

What I like most about this deck is the many paths that you can take to set-up your game. The various options make it easy for you to recover from a less than ideal start without compromising on your power levels.

- Magmario

If you liked reading this, comment below let us know! If you have a different opinion, we’d like to hear from you too!

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7 Responses to Deck Talk [Gold Paladin] : Shining Force

  1. Pingback: Deck Talk [Narukami] : Blue Thunder | The Magma Circle

  2. Kai says:

    I think its best to play 4 blond ezel while taking out some garmare. Since it should be your main vg regardless when.

    • Aldrich Payne says:

      Only in a perfect world. But then again, I don’t think 4 ezel is really needed. I only have 2 in my deck in case one of them goes to the damage zone. You only really need to use ezel as a vanguard.

  3. Pingback: Update to Blue Thunder [Narukami] and Shining Force [Gold Paladin] Deck Talks | The Magma Circle

  4. Timeless says:

    Have you considered playing in satellite fall dragon? Its effect goes very well with blond ezel or garmore. Good vanguard and rear guard. You may want to replace sagremore with it as it can save you that extra counterblast for blond ezel or garmore late game.

    • Magmario says:

      Yes I did, however I valued Sagramore’s ability to hit 21k when needed rather than Satellite Fall’s maximum output of 20k. Of course, it’s possible to have Satellite Fall do the same with a Sleygal Dagger boosting with one counter-blast, however Sagramore allows you to wait for your trigger check to see if you actually need to use the ability, potentially saving you one counter-blast. Moreover, if you need a solo-attacker, Satellite Fall will not be able to hit 11k vanguards on his own. Still, it’s a good replacement if you prefer, like you said, to save counter-blasts for your vanguard Ezel or Garmore!

  5. Danish Ternce Silver says:

    for me i’m trying to improve my deck by adding/recruiting these cards/allies:-
    Battle Flag Knight,Laudine x2
    Great Silver Wolf,Garmore x2
    Charjgal x4
    Halo shield,Mark x 2
    Incandescent Lion,Blond Ezel x2
    Knight of elegant skills,Gareth x4
    Knight of Endurance,Lucan x2
    Knight of Superior Skills,Beaumains x 4
    Little Battlers,Tron x2
    Little Fighter,Cron x1
    Precipice WhirlWind,Sagramore x2
    Sacred Guardian Beast,Nemean Lion x4
    Sleygal Dagger x1
    Sleygal Sword x2
    Sleygal Double-Edge x2

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