Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Dimension Police Week: Galactic Beast, Zeal (BT08, BT13)

Few monsters of the galaxy spread fear and terror as much as the Galactic Beast, Zeal. It took support spread across 2 different booster sets to complete the build but a successful ride chain of this Alien monstrosity will generate such an advantage in the early-mid game that you can smack your opponent's Vanguard in the face hard and gain additional hand advantage from doing so.

While the heroes of Dimension Police focus on breaking though with sheer power, Zeal and his compatriots instead gain bonuses via means of taking power from the opposing Vanguard.
Originally you only had the aliens that came out in BT08 (Blue Storm Armada) to work with him, that is until BT11 came out and fleshed out Zeal's support. Of which, my personal favorite Zeal support unit is, Fusion Monster, Bugreed. The ability of a free draw if you hit your opponent is amazing, and this can be active during the early game without even needing to use skill in the first place meaning it can literally be a free draw.
The alternative to this option is Assault Monster, Gunrock, whom if he attacks and the battle opponent's power is 8000 or less, he becomes a 11k base for that battle, which isn't all that effective really, rather, to put it bluntly, it's disappointing, but I guess it can have uses all the same. I know I used to use it, but only because there wasn't another option, even now, it's still in the deck but only used as back up in the unlikely scenario that I don't have a Bugreed to call.

The other thing to note with Zeal support is that, most of it is modified clone effects, often requiring an opponent's power to be 8000 or less, but this can also result in a very strong opening early game. Ironically, where Galactic Beast, Zeal struggles the most is in the mid-game at which point you may find yourself fighting with vanillas and access to your skills denied because of not satisfying the activation condition of having a battle opponent of 8000 power or less.

Aside from Bugreed, the only other support that really stand out for me is Psychic Grey, with the same requirement as Fusion Monster, Bugreed to go live but this also means that Psychic Grey can also enable your Vanguard attacks to hit  significantly higher than average power for early game making the attacks not worth guarding due to early game resources being limited.

Ironically (depending on your perspective) you can switch out Grey of Glory Maker in the late game to keep your 10k Vanguard boost even if you can't get the enemy down to 8000 power or less. Which vs. X-Rides you need ALL five slots occupied just to achieve that. But in contrast, with Glory Maker, so long as your damage is four or more, you only need to bring the opponent down from 13000 to 11000 to hit for 3 stages. (Stages are increments of 5000, going by shields needed to guard for one trigger to break)

It's strange when you think about it, that the key requirement for activating skills can also be your weak spot, but then again, when you think of Limit Break, in general, you come to realize that it's quite a common problem that plagues the Limit Break era in general. Galactic Beast, Zeal however highlights this problem even more blatantly than most because having ascended the grade system, the only other way to make the deck go live is by Galactic Beast, Zeal's Limit Break.

To properly explain this we're going to have to delve into the beast's ride chain in it's entirety.
The Deck starter is Larva Beast, Zeal. Typical skill text of a 3rd generation (on onward) Ride Chain starter, nothing special to see here.

You successfully ride the Chain's Grade 1 (in this case Larva Beast, Zeal) and you get to search for either the Grade 2 or Grade 3 of the chain to add to your hand.

You miss however and you get stuck with a 4000 power rearguard AND potentially lose some of your early game effectiveness. Although this shouldn't be too big a deal assuming you can get the right units before your Opponent hits Grade 2.

In the 3rd Generation Ride chains' the Grade 1's and 2's are essentially clones of each other, each requiring the previous form being in the soul when you ride it's next form in order to activate. This is no different with Zeal, who's Grade 1 and Grade 2 forms both sap 3000 power from your opponent's Vanguard for the duration of the turn you rode the next part.

As if the consistency of the deck didn't suffer enough, even after reaching Galactic Beast, Zeal, there's a different problem to have to work out having reached Grade 3.

[ACT](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (2)] Choose one of your opponent's vanguard, and that unit gets [Power]-1000 for each of your «Dimension Police» rear-guards until end of turn. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.
[CONT](VC):If you have a card named "Devourer of Planets, Zeal" in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+1000.

By the time you reach Grade 3 your damage will often still be 2 or 3, this means at least one turn without Limit Break, and it's during this point at which Zeal decks are most vulnerable. Even though, being a Dimension Police deck you are unlikely to have used Counterblast yet Zeal needs a field in order for his Limit Break to have maximum affect. the less rearguards you have the less powerful your Limit Break will be, and between hitting Grade 3 and your Limit Break is where Kagero, Narukami and Link Joker have their chance to strike and devastate your game plan. Attacks on your rearguard will have the same affect being that they may render you Limit Break's effectiveness crippled if they hit.

The problem with Zeal support is that your support consists mostly of clones and this means that aside from the few stand outs, there isn't really much to say about his support.

Now even though I want the next post to be ready for tomorrow, since it takes me an eternity to write, (I'm a slow type) and the amount of content that may be necessary to complete the post, it may not be ready until Friday.