Carmona’s Card Critique: Top 5 Lightning Cards!

Hey Everyone! Manderville Man back at it again in the Meta Potion hot seat bringing you some spicy Opus 8 coverage. I hope everyone is living their best life, pulling god-like ratios with their pre-release kits, and no less than 3 legendaries. Let’s go!

I want to let you guys know my top 5 purple cards of the set and my initial feelings with how they’ll impact the opus 8 meta. Please keep in mind that these are my personal thoughts on some very interesting cards.

#5 Sakura (8-096L)

Initial Thought:

At first glance I wasn’t too sold on this card. Being she is very squishy for a 5 drop, but when you dive deeper into how this card is played you can see the power house and immediate threat she can be. At 5cp, dropping a body on board and hitting an active target for 8k seems like something lightning wants to do often. I’m glad the ping damage is on curve with most threats, just don’t expect to be hitting an untapped Yuri (7-128H) any time soon.

Meta Impact:

This card is a huge threat in Mono Lightning seeing as how most builds are now ramping backups with extreme speed, you can expect the deck to be sitting on 5 backups by turn 4. The ideal play is to have both her and Zemus threatening board presence which will force your opponent to choose which threat to answer. These are the typical situation you want your opponent to be in when playing Mono L, being able to capitalize on their decision will always lead you to victory. This is the equivalent of setting up an unblockable combo in fighting games. You’ll force an opening and create situations your opponent may not not be able to answer. Expect to see at least 1 copy of this card being played in Mono L. I doubt it will see play in any other deck that is dual colors with lightning.

#4 Alba ( 8-091H)

Initial Thought:

Hit or miss, I guess she never missed huh… damn TikTok memes. Anyways, yeah, this card is nuts. Live in all formats of play and an instant grab in sealed/draft. She’s guaranteed at least 1 dull on ETB. If your opponent has swung out for damage this is the card to retaliate with. Be prepared to see both Alba and Illua hitting for damage often. Absolutely an auto include in all Mono L decks, not doing so is an orbital misplay.

Meta Impact:

You all remember illua? Yeah this is her cousin. She goes to a different school but she’s just as popular. 3cp ExBurst, almost always live. This card will easily help against decks that like to go wide. Which is something Mono L decks tend to have a hard time dealing with if their removal isn’t falling in place. Al-Cid target as well is always a huge plus. The lack of an S ability may keep this from being a 3 of, but this is a must of at least 1. I understand if you want to play 2, I wont judge you…harshly.

#3 Alphinaud (8-092C)

Initial Thought:

I just wow’d at this card, hard! Seeing as how we had an Alisaie (8-090C) spoiled before Alphinaud, I thought it was going to be as useless as 4cp Thancred. Alphinaud is here and he’s ready to bust through walls and steal yo girl. I just pictured all these decks that love going wide, dulling over like a domino effect with one swing of this buff boy. That’s a nice wall of Vikings you have there. It’ll be a shame if they suddenly forgot how to stand haha! Yeah this card is sweet, it needs a little love to really get in there but it’s not very hard with the support available. One well-placed cyclops summon could be all you need to advance to victory.

Meta Impact:

I’m not sure if Scion decks will replace their back up alphinaud with the forward version. Maybe if the deck wanted to use the Urianger/Lava Spider combo and then abuse Alphinaud's ability to dull on attack it wouldn’t be bad. It may be more susceptible to removal (1 Ramuh could easily disrupt this) but I wouldn’t put it past some folks to try it out at their locals. In my opinion this Alphinaud has a better home in Mono L builds. You could attempt to include the Urianger/Lava Spider combo in mono L but I strongly believe there’s better ways to use Alphinaud. Just keep in mind he does have a dedicated backup that increases his attack by 1000 and dulls to enable haste. Seems like a cheeky package that can pop off at any time, leaving your opponent responding with heavy sighs. He’s a definite 1 of include and another very useful tool that Mono L can abuse.

#2 Jinnai (8-100R)

Initial Thought:

This is a ninja, that actually does ninja things, I love this card! This is the first "Back Attack" keyword card I have ever been excited for. Providing a body on board and potentially dealing with 2 forwards. Extremely great card if your opponent is still using Leila/Viking as it can kill both of them if one attacks. Be prepared to always question if your attack will be intercepted when playing against purple cards.

Meta Impact:

I consider Jinnai more of a summon than a forward. He is an instant include in anything running purple cards. He’s actually deadlier in Earth/Lightning Warriors of Darkness build since Glaive (8-076H) gives FFL forwards +2000 attack, enabling Jinnai to be a potential 6k while ping for 4k making him effectively a 10k power blocker due to the keyword "First Strike". Oh the mind games you can play with your opponent. Threaten the Back Attack but hit them with the Al-Cid, Sugoi!!! This is the core of Lightning removal from all directions. Force your opponent into less optimal situations that require them to either over extend resources or just flat out pass with no opposition

Before I get to #1 I do want to go over a couple honorable mentions.

Some sleeper hits that shouldn’t go undetected for me are Jake and Death Machine.









These 2 cards offer such an interesting interaction I’m sure they can be easily abused in certain decks. The only reason they didn’t make my list is that they are cards that root a game plan, and once removed, the plan goes down the drain. Other than that these cards will be heavily used to try and come up with some fun brews for my locals to play against.

#1 Rain (8-134L)

Initial Thought:

It’s a shame that they misprinted this card onto a light background, but I can assure you, my faithful readers, that this card is a purple card! L Rain is 1 part cyclops and 2 parts Illua.

3cp on curve stats with incredible abilities. I will definitely be playing 3 in my decks for a while.

Unfortunately, I did not pull any in my pre-release kits but facing against a Rain was not fun. He’s great for helping the rest of the Mono L crew swing in against forwards since they tend to be lacking in the power department being that they usually run no higher than 7k with Edea back up. Another thing to note, Rain is a Knight and what searches knights? Duke Goltanna. And what color is duke? That’s right! Purple, man you guys catch on quick.

Meta Impact:

It’s hard to contend the light spot with Yuri, as we’ve all seen how versatile he can be. However I always felt Yuri was just a tad bit slow for my play style in Lightning. I’m not saying it’s a bad card but it just wasn’t for me. I like that Rain feels more aggressive. Threatening board  power reduction and haste is just extremely important for what I am looking to do in Mono L. There is a slight lack of recursion but Golbez seems to be the ideal candidate for the job. This is just in case your answers end up in the break zone. This is definitely my most excited card from all of opus 8. I highly recommend everyone to familiarize themselves with Rain's abilities as you could easily find yourself on the receiving end of a board wipe

Thanks again for checking out another article from your boys here at Meta Potion. Feel free to sound off in the comments about your favorite top 5 cards of Opus 8. Until then, happy grinding! And may all your damages be ExBurst!

- Andy Carmona

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