Hi amigos, we’ve recently found out that Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon is getting a new retrain. Which means Lock may appear in Standard but more importantly, Premium Chaos will get a buff and will see more representation in the metagame. Let’s dive into some tips on dealing with Link Joker and the Chaos matchup!
The Lock Mechanic
First off, let’s review what the Lock mechanic is and how it works. There are also some details of special cases that will matter for us. This is from the Wiki and you can look more into the page. But I’ll highlight the important details of it.
How it Works
- A “locked card” is turned face down, and loses all characteristics present on its face-up side, as well as any other characteristics that it received before being locked.
- A locked card cannot be used to perform any action; it cannot attack, boost, intercept, use abilities, be used to pay costs, be moved to another circle or zone, or be retired by calling another unit over it.
- A locked card is neither a unit nor a rear-guard, and while it is locked, the circle where it is on is not regarded as a rear-guard circle, but as a “locked circle“.
- A locked card is not considered to be in [Stand] or [Rest] state, but physically the player is free to choose the orientation of their locked cards.
- A locked card can only be used by effects that explicitly affect a “locked card” or a “card on the field” (without specifying that the card has to be a unit); and a locked circle can only used by effects that explicitly say “locked circle” or “any circle” (e.g. “Perfect Performance, Ange“).
- If a G unit that is a rear-guard becomes locked, it must be put into to the G zone face up immediately after it is locked.
- If a Protect card is placed face down as a locked card, it immediately disappears from the game as it cannot exist outside the hand or (GC).
- If an effect or cost places a card on (RC) as a locked card, that placed card is never regarded as a unit during this process, and “when placed” abilities do not activate.
- If you would put a card from a hidden zone (such as your deck) onto your (RC) as a locked card, you are allowed to look at the card first, then choose the (RC) you want to place the card on as a locked card.
- If a locked card is placed on an Astral Plane, or if a unit on an Astral Plane becomes locked, it is put into the drop zone as a rule action.
When a locked card becomes face up due to any method, it is regarded as being “unlocked” (解呪 Anrokku); it ceases to be a locked card and the circle returns to its original type. “Unlocking a unit” means “turn the locked card face up in [Stand] state“. A locked card normally unlocks at the beginning of its owner’s end phase, but it can be done during any phase with effects or costs as well, even if the effect or cost doesn’t explicitly state “unlock” (e.g. Blue Wave Armor General, Galfilia).
A locked card that is unlocked returns to being a rear-guard in the circle where it is located. However, the unlocked card is considered to be a different card than the original, and therefore all effects that the card received before it was locked are no longer applied. (For example, if a rear-guard was called due to a magia ability, and was subsequently locked, the rear-guard that was called does not return to the soul). Also, the unlocked card is not considered as being placed on the circle, and thus “when placed” abilities do not activate.
Why We Need To Know How To Deal With Locked Cards
For Granblue, the majority of it’s playstyle is Rearguard-centric. We rely on reviving RGs to do our work. Recently, in Premium Collection 2020, we got Bad Bounty and it’s a stride that works on its own and enables us to have a 2nd Vanguard attack. So that’s something that we can rely on with the matchup. More details in the later section.
If there are locked cards in our front row RCs, then we cannot perform any attacks with our RGs. Cards like Ghost Ship, Skull Dragon, Nightstorm, etc. become useless. We are limited in our plays and can hurt us in certain areas:
- Applying pressure
- Generating hand advantage
- The game prolongs and we’re more prone to deck out
Furthermore, G Guards like Cosmo Wreath and Lacus Carina are something we always have to keep in mind.
Disruption can occur with their G Guards and it can hurt us in other aspects. Cards like Grenache, Fatal Shade, Negrobone G, etc. are key pieces that we rely on and can be locked during our own turn. Which means we don’t get the benefit of their skills since they don’t get the chance to activate them.
Also, Lacus Carina has an errata in the English text. This is important because of the Resist keyword. However, Granblue doesn’t have any Resist cards within the clan itself.
How To Deal With The Basic Lock Mechanic
Clearing Your Field
The majority of Lock skills require an existing RG to be present. If you play your turn without any RGs or have them removed by the end of turn, then your opponent can’t Lock any cards.
Keep In Mind Of Their G Guards
Cosmo Wreath and Lacus Carina are something to be mindful of. However, they’re restricted to only locking cards in the back row.
- You can focus on only relying on front row RGs during the battle phase
- You can always revive cards like OG Rough Seas to SC itself during the main phase to still generate hand advantage
- Having 2-3 back row RGs are okay in case you need to deal with Cosmo Wreath, it can only lock 1 of them and you get to choose
- Retire their back row so they cannot use Lacus Carina with cards like Cannoneer and Dragut
If All RCs Are Locked
Bad Bounty is a great restander-like card that we can fall back to and still apply pressure. Skull Dragon as the reride target provides more pressure and benefit. Remember, you discard 3 cards but will have Twin Drive and generate a Protect I marker, which breaks even hand advantage.
Skull Dragon keeps getting bigger and bigger as our drop zone count increases. Lastly, our G Guards can SB any G3s for our following turn to reride with for Bad Bounty’s skill.
Can We Unlock Our Own Cards?
Sort of. Technically no but I do mention a strategy with the old Nightrose in one of my prior articles.
Because of the end of turn sequence, explained more in depth in the prior article, both Nightrose and Fatal Shade can revive another Hollow unit to clear our “locked card” from RC.
Other clans like such as Aqua Force and Nova Grappler have G Guards that can unlock locked circles.
Cards like Galfilia and Dogantitan can SB1 and flip themselves face down to “unlock” a card on RC. Unfortunately, Granblue doesn’t have anything like this.
So are there other options that we can tech then? Great question! We do have two cards that come to mind.
There’s Pokkur and the Order card Clear Frame. Both cards can be grabbed by Greed Shade from drop zone. Furthermore, Pokkur can be fetched and revived by both Obadiah and Colombard V.
Also, it’s worth noting that Order cards can be locked from hand; however, once they unlock they are immediately sent to the drop zone. See the wiki for Order.
What’s Omega Lock?
In Limit Break Era, a card called Star-vader, “Omega” Glendios came out with a LB5 skill that could win a game outside of dealing 6 damage to an opponent. At the beginning of your main phase, if the number of locked cards your opponent has is 5 or more, you win the game!
But wait, our locked cards unlock during the end phase, so how does the Glendios player win? Great question, that’s where Omega Lock was introduced! From the same Wiki, here’s how Omega Lock is defined.
Omega Lock is referred to as “cannot be unlocked during the next end phase”. When a locked card is affected by Omega Lock, during the owner’s next turn, on his or her end phase, they cannot unlock that card, but it will unlock normally during the owner’s next end phase after it is affected. Cards affected by Omega Lock still can be unlocked normally or with effects during any phase in any turn, except during the “next end phase” where they cannot be unlocked by anything. If a locked card is affected by Omega Lock multiple times in the same turn, it will not prolong the Omega Lock’s duration. In the anime, Omega Lock is depicted as “locking the locked card”.
The Problem Cards
Again, “Omega” Glendios has the LB5 skill that is the win con. To help accomplish that, its LB4 skill helps with Omega Locking cards.
Okay, so we just have to make sure we don’t have RGs and we should be good right? Not exactly. The stride “Omega Loop” can actually put cards from our deck onto RC as locked cards! Not only that, but when the Glendios player is at 5 damage, then it Omega Locks those cards too. Which helps with their win the game strategy.
Furthermore, they have cards like stride “Omega Fall” that can take all of the cards from the damage zone and put them onto RC as Omega Locked cards. The 2nd skill helps with them getting to 5 damage so they have LB5 active to win the game. This skill exists because a counter to this deck was to keep the Glendios player at 4 damage until we could push through. Crusgabel is a card the helps add more of their Яeverse G3s in order to help fulfill their win con.
Dealing With A Glendios Deck
There are a few things to help deal with this deck.
- Early game rush
- Cards the unlock your locked cards
Glendios decks have A LOT of G3s in their main deck. G3s don’t have shield value, so it’s hard for them to deal with decks that have an aggressive early game. The early game rush I will cover more in detail in the Chaos matchup section since it’s very similar.
Order cards like Clear Frame can help unlock your locked/Omega Locked cards. A card being Omega Locked can still be unlock by skills such as Clear Frame and Pokkur. The Glendios player will never be able to win with their win con skill. They would have to fall back unto dealing 6 damage.
The Chaos Matchup And Dealing With It
The Problem Cards
The problem that we have to face with Chaos in particular, is that the Chaos strides can lock cards from our hand onto RC.
Universe can be used on 1st stride and Deluge is restricted to GB3. Respectively they can lock 1 to 2 cards. It makes it challenging to do our turns and weakens our hand at the same time. Furthermore, Deluge can deal a face down damage if we have 4 or less damage.
There are other cards that can also aid in locking cards from hand.
When Close is discarded and they have a Heart with Chaos in the name, we are forced to lock a card from hand to RC. Mulepton can also force us, although it’s 2CB.
Chaos has access to Globuladia as well. It can actually lock a card from our drop zone to RC! It’s still something to watch out for. Furthermore, they have a card like Zinc that can SC2 and CC2, while putting itself into Soul as well. This refunds their resources to continue their locking pressure.
Dealing With Our Cards Being Locked From Hand To RC
Protect I Markers and Quick Shields can be used as the card from hand to be locked onto RC. However, those cards cannot exist in those zones, they cease to exist immediately.
As a result, you just lose those cards from hand but you don’t end up with a locked card on RC. Which is great!
Remember the Bad Bounty reride combo? We can continually generate a Protect I Marker every time we perform a reride. This will help greatly on dealing with both Universe and Close.
Go To Key Plays
There are some key plays you can use in the early game to help deal pressure and set yourself up in a good position. These key plays can be also used against the “Omega” Glendios matchup.
Chaos and Glendios don’t have a great early game, so the Colombard fetch and revive Ghost Ship play on G2 turn can be very effective. You have 2 attacks and it’s a +1 in hand advantage.
Leading into your G3 turn with Nightrose, you can still do a 4-5 attack turn and retire all of your RGs. This will prevent them from locking those units. You can use Greed Shade on setting up your hand defensively since they’ll be taking the 1st stride. Ghost Ship can also be used to apply pressure and give you hand advantage.
Outside of the Bad Bounty turn, we still can take advantage of Obadiah and Twilight Nightrose. With Obadiah, we still want to set up our drop zone and revive key cards. We can generate advantage and work with our front row RGs to attack with. We can fetch cards like Pokkur, Clear Frame, etc. if we need them on hand.
With Twlight, it acts as pressure once we’re able to revive 3+ RGs. It gains a Critical so we can be deadly while the opponent is at 3-4 damage. Then we can pass on triggers onto cards like Ghost Ship and Skull Dragon.
Bad Bounty is a great restander-like card that we can also finish the game off with Skull Dragon as the reride target. Remember, Skull Dragon gets bigger and bigger, so it will be challenging for the opponent to stop 2 VG attacks while being at 4-5 damage.
We do have some retire options but this may be more on preference.
Remember, we have access to both Cannoneer and Dragut. Cannoneer is an easy 1 of card that we can use to help retire RGs and draw a card. With Dragut’s help, we can make sure they don’t have RGs to lock with for Lacus Carina. This also hurts Glendios defense since they play Taboo Star-vader, Rubidium, which redirects an attack to one of their RGs with “Я” in the name.
What about Messiah and Deletors? Messiah can only lock normally and Deletors tend to focus more on Deleting the VG. The V Era cards so far only bind our cards so it’s not much of concern if clean up our RGs.
Currently, we don’t know the retrain skill of Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon. But there is a guess that I’m leaning towards to.
One guess is that it will mimic a similar skill from Baryoend Dragon that was just released in Premium Collection 2020. A skill that removes ALL markers from the opponent’s circles and Protects! This is more aimed at the Gifts that each clan can depend on heavily. Furthermore, it hurts decks that depend on Markers such as Treasure Markers for Seven Seas.
Should we be concerned? It’s too early to tell but we are fortunate on having multiple ways of dealing with some of these matchups. Currently, Chaos Premium will benefit on gaining a G3 with Chaos in the name and access to the Force Gift which grants either power or Critical pressure. Although, thanks to being a Protect clan, we can easily deal with the locking from hand to an extent. I do recommend practicing the matchup in order to get a good feel for it.
I also like to credit Axis Vanguard for helping me fill in the gaps with their knowledge and tips on dealing with the Glendios and Chaos matchups. Thanks again for reading and till next time amigos!
2 thoughts on “Nightrose: Tips On Dealing With Link Joker”
This is a very nice, detailed, and resourceful discussion on the “Lock” mechanic and how to deal with it.
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Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! I appreciate it!