Spotlight Series: Colin J Harris - FFT
Hello fellow Final Fantasizer's…. Fanaticizers? (Writing for a global audience is going to lead to some fun spelling)!
This is the beginning of a series of deck techs, format breakdowns and the occasional tournament report.
Today, we’re going to put the spotlight on one of the alternate formats for FFTCG, and in particular, a competitive list to help you navigate the field.
But first, I’d like to quickly introduce myself (as this is my debut for Meta Potion).
My name is Colin Harris, aka Shivan4RR on various platforms. I’m an Australian player with over 20 years of experience playing most competitive card games. Culminating in high Nationals finishes in TCGs such as Pokemon, WoW, The Spoils, and Duelmasters (now Kaijudo) along with a reasonable record in Magic Grand Prix, a crazy number of near misses in PT qualifiers and a Pro Tour appearance.
Now, on to the good stuff!
Spotlight on: TITLE SERIES
I’ve actually been really excited to play some of this format, as it was one of the first things about FFTCG I took note of. I assumed very early on that this would eventually become a supported format and I’m not disappointed at all that it is.
For those who don’t know about Title Series and what it entails, it is basically the same as regular standard constructed FFTCG but with a few key rules changes.
- Cards in your deck can only be from a specific FF title (IV, XIII, WOFF etc.…) with the exception of DFF (even though characters from DFF can still appear for their other title if they have one), plus the 6 different 1 CP Evoker/Summoner backups.
- Characters can be played using any element CP (abilities still require correct element expenditure in their cost).
- You can have as many of the same character name on the field at the same time, providing they aren’t the same card. Example, you can have 4 different Yuna (R, S, H and L) in play together as long as you don’t double up. You can not have 2 copies of the same Yuna in play, for example two Yuna H's.
Now, when it comes to finding out which Title to choose, a lot of players will tend to gravitate towards one of two things;
- Their favourite video game for nostalgia.
- The Title that has the biggest, greatest Legends, Heroes and/or Summons.
Now I’m all for playing based off nostalgia (personally, I’m a IX fanatic), but this is going to be about one of the more obscure Titles that has shown some promise in a competitive way. So let’s jump in!
Spotlight on: FFT
Now, when I first started looking at what decks to build in this format, the first port of call was Summons. Every deck in this format has the potential to have massive haymakers like Cecil, Vincent, Golbez, Cloud and Delita.
But which decks have the answers?
FFT immediately popped up because of it’s versatile list of tricks and removal.
Between Leviathan and Odin, we have arguably two of the best tempo/removal summons in the game on board (and with EX Burst to boot), and to top that off, we have some of the strongest support cards too.
Golem and Titan literally grant this deck free range in combat math, which, in a format with crazy deck construction restrictions, is probably as powerful a thing as the Legends and Heroes that make up most decks forward lines.
Speaking of which…
Well…Not a bad start to be honest.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows the strength of either one of those yellow monsters, but the real power here is old mate Ramza.
Ramza 3-119 is a demon in this format.
The rule allowing multiples of the same character allow for a more flooded board-state, resulting in a tremendously huge forward (and the board will fill up thanks to no Shantotto being available and Zodiark/Ultima being stuck in XII, which hasn’t got a lot going for it. Yet). Then throw in power boosting, Haste, and First Strike just for kicks. Having a core forward package of 9K’s and 10K’s that grow is something standard decks dream of.
Although the activation cost of 3 per pump may seem steep, it’s actually not as bad as it looks due to how this deck can easily generate a full backline to pump Ramza 1-144 all the while making very solid gains.
Like, this for example.
(Keep in mind you can also combo Orlandeau with Cyclops for a nice board wipe)
After all that, we still get to throw in MORE removal…
Now we have the inner workings of a very strong deck. Time to do some number crunching.
Based on the strength of our removal, we can skimp a bit on other tricks and alternate lines of play.
Let’s start with a basic summon package like this;
- 3x Odin 1-124
- 3x Leviathan 1-178
- 3x Titan 1-110
- 1x Golem 1-106
Now, we want to max out our core forward line-up that is gonna go above and beyond (half of these having [S] abilities is really useful too).
- 3x Delita 1-112
- 3x Delita 3-088
- 3x Ramza 1-144
- 3x Ramza 3-119
Backups, this is where the deck construction gets really intricate. The already shown package of Ovelia/Alma is a given and we can afford to run maximum copies of characters with Enters the Field triggers due to Delita.
- 3x Ovelia 1-156
- 3x Alma 1-153
- 3x Duke Goltanna 1-134
- 3x Mustadio 1-118
We’re going to add both Agrias here in order to make the full A/O/A line complete and to have a potential answer to little guys (especially IV’s Ninjas and Wonder-Twins).
- 3x Agrias 2-122
- 3x Agrias 1-151
Now, lets get our backup count to a respectable 16-20. To be honest, I would love to play Archer, but the lack of Wind cards to activate him is a major downer. So in came a small Black Mage pack and some Geomancer to aid Alma in keeping the deck running.
- 3x Black Mage 1-130
- 3x Ninja 2-115
- 2x Geomancer 1-169
There’s probably a decent argument for Dancer over Ninja because of the activation cost, but with a high enough concentration of Lightning cards and more activations requiring [L][L], Ninja fits the role plus more.
We are now at 48 cards. This a nice place to be, as a few flexible slots allow for some minor tuning based on what you expect to see in an event.
Some options include;
- Extra copies of Golem for added combat advantage,
- Ninja 2-114 for the mirror match,
- Cyclops if you decide to play Dancer, or
- A random Zalbaag for stuff like Standard Units III, Yuffie and 2 drops you get after breaking Golbez.
I personally would go with 2 Ninja.
- 2x Ninja 2-114
All said and done, this is the list that I’ll take to Australian Nationals just in case I bomb the main event (provided I don’t get conned into playing Wonder-Twins again).
For the full breakdown of cost/element breakdowns head to:
Thank you for reading along and watch out for more articles concerning all aspects of FFTCG in the future.
Cheers, and GL!
- Colin ‘Shivan4RR’ Harris.
Colin Harris is a 20-year veteran with high finishes across many games including MTG Pro Tour experience. He likes walks on the beach and well-costed removal spells.