Monday, 8 September 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C: September 8th): Commander Laurel

[AUTO](RC):[Choose four of your «Dimension Police» rear-guards, and (Rest) them] When your «Dimension Police» vanguard's attack hits, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your vanguards, and (Stand) it.

This weeks card if the week is one with a love/hate relationship to it. Allow to explain.

It's user LOVES the pressure his presence on Rearguard provides.
It's opponents HATES the pressure his presence Rearguard provides.

His user HATES having to ride him.
His opponent LOVES seeing him ridden.

I could go on but perhaps it's better I don't, we'll be here for ages otherwise.

So, yes, this week's COTW is Commander Laurel. One of the Dimension Police's main ace tricks, but also just as much their  potential biggest weakness.
Commander Laurel turns any Dimension Police Vanguard into an on-hit Re-stander. Ofcourse this provides a strong incentive yo guard your Vanguard, but then having said that, Commander Laurel has allies that allow him to thrive. Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser, Original Saver, ZeroMiracle Beauty, Galactic Beast, ZealUltimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daikaiser, and even Enigman Cyclone. No comment on Super Dimensional Robo, Daiyusha or Enigman Storm though with their extra criticals thy just provide even more incentive to over-guard. Which hurts Laurel's effectiveness if anything.

Essentially, Commander Laurel is to Dimension Police, what Dauntless Drive Dragon is to more popular clan of Kagero. The differences being that Laurel trades number of attacks for more hand advantage and is usable anytime of the game, so long as you have the setup. Meanwhile Duantless retains the more common discard cost and can only work at the limit break point of the game. However, with the correct, albeit rather situational setup Commander Laurel can become a key card in creating a looping Vanguard Attack when used as part of Enigman Rain Deck.

To maximize the chance of this specific combo you need a means to power up Engiman Rain each turn, for this a recommend Cosmo RoarHowever you'll also need to prioritize Stand Triggers over Critical Triggers opting for 12 Stand as opposed to more common 12 Critical and your gambit would be completely reliant on the presence of a unit called Miracle Beauty. It's a cheap gambit to build in general but it has low success rate.

Commander Laurel is more often used in Dimensional Robo decks as a way to guarantee that should your first attack go through and fail to kill your opponent that your second attack will surely finish the job. But I have problem with this image. If your opponent has survived your first attack, despite being being hit having made the effort to, most likely by a miracle heal, it is just as likely that your rearguard will finish the job as it is your Vanguard, Commander Laurel from my experiences, and trust me, I have a lot with Dimension Police as it's the clan I mainly use, he is better used for pressure and building up card as opposed to that final push.

One setup which will often have the opponent over-guard or force them to call your bluff is a live Dimensional Robo, Daiheart, with a full field and Laruel Present, but do be sure to keep atleast 2 cards in your hand that your opponent does NOT know, if they know at least one or more of your in-hand cards are Grade 3's then that's even better, as they will almost always guard for a no pass, which of course means their expending more shield.

Of course, doing this then means you miss out on the decks alternate, and more versatile Grade 2, Dimensional Robo, Kaizard.

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To summarize, the reason Commander Laurel is this week's card of the week is; despite his 4k base power, he makes for one of most universal supports in the Dimension Police Clan, making all your Vanguards re-stand capable while at the same time allowing you to build up card Advantage free of any discard or counterblast costs. This allows him to be used alongside units like Operator Girl, Mika and Dimensional Robo, Daibrave to build up even more significant card advantages.

Is he a staple, not really, but does he make defense easier, yes. Untill you have to ride him which is in fact a massive minus and allows you're opponent to rush you with even Grade 0's landing certain hits.

I also forgot to mention, he often becomes the primary target for Kagero Retires and Link Joker Locks and you can't really do much about that other than work around it as best as you can.

Primary advice: NEVER ride Commander Laurel unless you absolutly have no other option, you're even better off riding a sentinel than Laurel as daft as that may sound, at least you'd have a 6000 base that a grade 0 alone is never going to hit, unless vanilla, but how many people run them?

Secondary Advice: Use Commander Laurel to boost 12k beaters if possible, otherwise you won't be hitting that magic number of 16000 power.

Tertiary Advice: If you feel like going for final push, Commander Laurel more often than not will make no difference so you may as well swap him out for a stronger booster.