Final Fantasy Trading Card Game Opus IX: Lords & Chaos review – Reader’s Feature

A reader offers his impressions of the latest set of cards for the Final Fantasy TCG and explains why he think the game is need of a refresh.

The next set of the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (FFTCG) has recently been released, titled Opus IX: Lords & Chaos – the first Opus to have a snazzy subtitle. The Final Fantasy franchise features some of the most iconic boss characters in video game history and many of them are found in this latest set, however the cover star of this set is my favourite character, Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII.

There are 124 new cards in this set, hailing from a variety of games including Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire Of The Rift, Mobius Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes Of Time, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy XII. Opus IX also bolsters numerous existing deck archetypes such as Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy VIII.

If you purchase a booster box, which contains 36 booster packs, you will get an exclusive box topper card which is a full art foil card of Nael van Darnus from Final Fantasy XIV. Box toppers have been a relatively new addition since Opus VII but while the card itself is not that great it’s a nice bonus for buying a box, which is the most cost-effective way if buying cards.

Opus IX introduces a new card type, but it is a cosmetic change only and that is the introduction of full art cards; there are 16 in total to collect from this set. While they are great to admire, as you can see from the Lilty card, it adds yet another layer of collectability when there are already enough card variants already.

So far there are standard cards obtained from booster packs, foil cards, box toppers, promotional cards, alternative art, and now full art cards. From the box packs I tore open I only managed to obtain one of them, so they definitely fall under the very rare category. The full art cards are variants of the standard card equivalent, so you are not missing out if you don’t manage to snag one.

One thing that seems to be more prevalent in this set are cards with multiple effects, for example this Rinoa card allows the player to choose numerous actions if you meet a certain criteria; in this instance playing a card named Squall. So this opens up a variety of strategies depending on your playstyle.

It is hard to review the cards without mentioning the artwork. As I have mentioned in my previous set reviews (click here for Opus V, Opus VI, and Opus VIII) there are multiple artists that design the cards. Some card’s art are straight screenshots taken from their video games counterparts, while other cards receive exclusive art work specially designed for this game – which is always welcome. I have always had a soft spot for Yoshitaka Amano designs and love the simplicity of this Ultros card.

For an in-depth Opus IX set review by each element I would highly recommend this blog where each card has been covered in great detail.

It is a difficult task to judge a set’s worth straight out of the box, as it usually takes a few weeks before all of the cards’ usefulness is established; as cards are tested, experimented and competed with. Players can also upload their deck lists to particular websites for further scrutiny and critiques from the player base. However, first impressions are that is more of a solid rather than spectacular entry and that not many of these new cards will affect the current mainstay cards and established decks.

The current meta, which has been established for a while now, involves cards that have strong enter the battlefield abilities and remove a card to the discard pile or remove it from play completely. Basically, cards that have an immediate effect upon entry are the most useful.

Overall, I think the game is due a new mechanic to freshen it up, not since Opus IV and the introduction of Monster type cards has there been anything new. Items and Equipment card types have been discussed before and there is plenty of scope to choose from based on the sheer amount of lore in the video game counterparts.

Up next is Opus X with its own subtitle ‘Ancient Champions’, which releases 8 November later this year, along with a new two-player starter deck dubbed Wraith Vs. Knight. Spoilers for this set have already started to be revealed and will be subsequently drip fed to us by Square Enix and members of the FFTCG community in the upcoming weeks and months.

I especially like this method, as hard-working members of the community, usually fans who run dedicated YouTube channels or blogs/websites, are rewarded for their hard work. It maintains interest and generates discussions in the gap between set releases. Happy deckbuilding.

By reader Thomas Pozzetti (eyetunes – PSN ID)

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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