Combo Breaker: Wind Drake
Welcome to Combo Breaker, a bi weekly article series where we discuss particular cards and the wonderful card interactions they create.
This time I thought I would cover the card Wind Drake and see what all we can do with it.
Wind Drake is one sneaky dragon and some might say he has more stealth than any ninja in this game. The reason I say this is because killing a Wind Drake or any other forward while Wind Drake is in play is no easy feat.
The action ability on this card helps it survive for the long haul, and helps keep your other guys alive as well. Because of this wacky action ability there are a lot of fun things you can do with Wind Drake. Pair it with strong enter play abilities or use it to protect a late game threat, this little dragon has utility. Let’s take a look at a top performing deck that utilized this card.
4th Place しど – Wind Golbez/Archfiend Osaka Masters
It is clear to me that this deck was not built around Wind Drake, but hear me out. Wind Drake pairs very well with Paine, Barbariccia, and Scarmiglione. Wind Drake is a fine wine, and the package is a savory pairing of cheeses. With Paine you net additional cards, with Barbariccia you neuter enemy forwards, and with Scarmiglione you can prevent additional damage from getting through. All of these cards aid the Archfiend deck in setting up and giving it some inevitability. One thing I have learned from this list is that when I play Wind Drake I want more than one copy and I also want to pair it with the Red Mage that grants forwards haste.
Let’s take a look at this Lightning Control deck that adds Wind Drake to re-utilize all of Lightnings strong removal forwards who enter play and kill things.
Mono Lightning Wind Drake
One of the coolest things about this deck is the amount of removal it has. Like, SERIOUSLY, every deck in the format will have a hard time keeping forwards in play against you. More so because you have Wind Drake + Red Mage and opposing players are gonna have a very difficult time getting rid of your forwards. Say you play Wind Drake and your opponent wants to destroy another forward you control so they cast a removal Summon. You respond by using red mage, giving Wind Drake haste and can now use the Wind Drake to send it and the chosen Forward to you hand fizzling the Summon. Another difficult issue for the opposing player is if they try to kill Wind Drake himself, again you can grant it haste and use it’s ability. The only solution to this pesky forward is for the opponent to break it in response to Wind Drake’s effect while it is on the stack. As the controller of Wind Drake you can play around this by just timing your plays accordingly. Essentially be wary of a Hasted Wind Drake, for it flies faster than a speeding bullet!
Another powerhouse combo in this deck is the backup Dancer and Barbariccia from Opus 3. The backup Dancer also pairs well with the Al-Cid package, and considering we play plenty of Archer we get to be less worried about Minwu. Barbariccia also happens to be good against Minwu as well. What is nice about the above list is all the new answers it packs to Minwu which is arguably one of the few cards lightning decks don't want to see across the table.
Discard with Wind Drake
I am a HUGE FAN of ice, ice is nice ya know!
Traditionally discard mechanics in many TCGs are intentionally held back and rarely appear as a Tier 1 strategy. An incidental bonus to discard in this game is that as you pick apart your opponent's hand you are doing double duty by also disabling their ability to create crystal points to play their cards. In this game we have plenty of efficient discard cards and even a big finisher with the release of Opus 3, Cid Aulstyne. Cid Aulstyne pairs so well with Wind Drake, it was a dragon ride destined to happen. As long as you can keep cards out of your opponent's hand, you can keep threatening to bounce Cid Aulstyne and replay him. And if you don’t have Cid you still have: Argath, Serah, Genesis, Laguna, Squall, and Zidane to abuse with the help of our dragon. All of these cards either keep your opponent without cards in hand or keep enemy forwards at bay.
I wanted to get cheeky with this deck so i decided to play Vaan. Vaan’s action ability combos with Kazusa and Jihl Nabaat giving the deck an additional axis to keep enemy forwards locked down and enemy cards in hand relatively low.
That is all for Limit Break this time.
Have fun at Nationals!
-A Dragon Writer