Hello all its Evan here with an update post and my current testing results with the new cards for Granblue! I will discuss each card first and then rate them by viability. If you are wondering how the new cards fare and their practicality then here you go!
First up we have a new candidate as a G3 vanguard and that is Pinot Noir. Overall, he performed as you would expect and that’s subpar. Viability is a 2/5.
The main weakness Pinot Noir has is that he has no value when you are forced to ride to G3 first and give up first stride. The first skill is a moot point since having 6 triggers in drop that early is a rarity and he doesn’t interact with any units. Unlike Beatrice and Rose where they can make use of ANY unit Pinot Noir can only interact with Pinot Blanc which forces you to call Blanc by means of Colombard from the deck or from the hand. Sure you get 2 additional drive checks but they still revolve around luck and therefore have little impact on consistency and practicality.
The next part is the kill turn with Bad Bounty. I’m sure you are all excited with Jaime’s great multi-attack combo video and were wondering how consistent it is. In case you missed it here it is!
Overall the combo itself gets a 2/5 from me in terms of its viability in the premium landscape and here is why:
- Too piece/condition reliant (this involves the resources required on top of the pieces)
- Too fragile (the combo stops when Nightstorm is retired during the battle phase ie. battle phase retiring screws the deck)
- Has too many exploitable weaknesses and no work-arounds that are consistent even with the help of existing units
If your deck wants to run Pinot Noir and are focusing on his endgame you need at the bare minimum 2 Nighstorms, 2 Beatrice, 1 Jessie, 4-5 counter blast and soul. This may not seem like a big deal but it actually is!
Your kill turns often resemble the above photo. Whether you have boosters or not varies but for this example assume that there is no Zarzan engine.
The combo Itself is essentially tied to your resources. The combo only goes as far as your resources. For every CB you need a SB. Aside from Negrobone, all other means of revival is locked behind a either a CB or a SB and Negrobone still uses up your hand. You effectively have to get a Nightstorm and a Jessie to your front row by some means for the combo to start.
You may not realize this but the above photo is really the ideal place to be. The clan is still a 2nd stride kill deck. Aside from hand there is no doubt you will be using CB and/or soul defensively. Our greatest defense comes from being able to use resources.
Its usually rare for you to start your turn kill turn with more than 3 open CB. Soul can be addressed since you can soul charge through various means but that means you have to actively shove units into your soul and they are often trigger units. To get the ideal Pinot Noir endgame you basically have to start your opponent’s stride turn with at least 6-7 cards in soul to make sure the following turn is efficient. Using either G-guard costs a soul usually and on your next turn, you normally have to call Grenache during your opponent’s turn if you can’t rely on Tear to mass CC. This already poses an issue since a Negrolily will be going to resource management instead of a Denail Griffin.
This not only forces you to adjust your deck to a soul generating deck but also requires the player to actively build soul and spend soul in a specific way.
Shoving triggers into your soul isn’t actually a bad thing. With Pinot you can actually do a nifty power manipulation. Since every board reset for the combo requires a soul you can time when your units will hit the next tier of power. This isn’t really that important since you want the maximum power buff as soon as possible but a nice thing to note if it does come up.
To actively use/call these units do hinder the deck’s performance in terms of offense and requires more milling to happen since Big Obadiah’s mill 5 on first stride usually isn’t enough if you want key pieces AND triggers to hit the drop. You basically have to consider trigger units as a key piece which does make the process and value of what you mill shift exponentially. You can have the key pieces but if you don’t have AT LEAST 9 triggers in dropzone all your attacks are hitting mediocre numbers. The deck is already inclined to use Protect 2 to make the power gain higher and more consistent.
All of these new conditions basically come from the fact that Pinot Noir NOT having a Vanguard skill that allows for use of other units (ie. no revival skills). It goes to show how a lack of a revival skill can really make or break a boss unit and this segue into the next 2 points.
Pinot Noir being fragile means that, aside from being 1 trick in terms of combo, once a unit is retired during the battle phase there is no chance of recovery. The only attack extension you get outside of Nighstorm is Pinot Blanc and that requires your vanguard to attack and the retiring of rear guards, which does come at a steep price since the power scaling in the combo comes from properly timed retires. If the boosters are retired preemptively then the last attacks are weaker. But then again, if the goal is to salvage whatever attacks you can get in from the combo then it doesn’t matter as much.
Beatrice and Nightrose have a solid work around the retire weakness. Both of these units have a skill that lets them revive units. This often leads to a different route in terms of offense which can often be beneficial because you can bait your opponents into thinking you are doing this chain of attacks but in reality you can change it up to have more attacks than planned though be it weaker pokes or to have a few massive attacks from Undead Dragon.
Does Pinot Noir have a place in Premium? Competitively as of this moment no because there is no way to freely utilize his front row power buff outside of a cheeky and heavy cost loop that is fragile if you are a deck that runs any form of battle phase disruption.
Is there a way to fix this issue? Surprisingly the fix to make Pinot a little more viable is actually an older card.
Nightmist doesn’t really solve many of the issues but it does address the consistency of the combo and allows of some neat attack extensions. The combo falls apart from any battle phase disruptions but the breakride allows you to get resources back during the battle phase thus making the combo more viable while being able to sacrifice resources during the previous defending turn. You can either call Nightstorm and Jessie from the breakride or if its easier call the resources management cards of the breakride (ie. Tear and Serpent).
The deck still falls prey to a lack of utility. If you choose to run the Breakride you are going even further from this since you are either having a huge G3 count, which will brick consistency, while also having to run different units to help with consistency (ie. the following example and maybe even other CC cards like Dancing Cutlass (V))
Here’s a neat attack extension that does require soul and proper hand but its pretty neat making Jaime’s 15 attack combo into a 16 attack combo. and all you need is to use 1 card.
If you have Starlight in the backrow then once Pinot Blanc revives you can use Starlight to either revive any G1 as another attack or revive a Zarzan to make the last 2 attacks even bigger by having beefy boosters!
Pinot Blanc is a decent card in terms of design and what she offers. Viability is 3/5.
Blanc works best with Pinot Noir as an attack extender and potentially a Drive Check extender by obvious design reasons but the additional drive checks often doesn’t happen due to low deck count and another soul as cost. Her main value comes from her benefits in a Pinot Noir deck and her occasional decoy attribute.
Here is an example of a offensive first stride turn with Pinot Noir as your heart card. Here you can really exploit a double Pinot Blanc in dropzone! (Note this is with a Zarzan Deck since you get to call 4 units) Your attack pattern would be:
- Attack 1: Ghostship (29k) (1 draw)
- Attack 2: Nightstorm (16k) (Call Beatrice to the opposite front row rear and with Beatrice call another Ghostship) (CB1)
- Attack 3: Beatrice (12k + booster)
- Attack 4: Ghostship (24k) (1 draw)
- Attack 5: vanguard (27k) (Call both Blancs by retiring Beatrice and her booster) (CB2) (2 draw)
- Attack 6: Blanc without boost (9k with triggers if any)
- Attack 7: Blanc with Grenache booster (19k)
- Overall net (Plus 4 in hand plus triple drive)
This is a strong first stride turn and one that is fairly common with how fast most decks are. But keep in mind you have to be on a Pinot Vanguard and this will use resources you will have to refund and/or manage in your next turn.
Outside of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is a great interceptor that can just attract a board removal skill. Her presence is sometimes a strong enough decoy that your opponent may focus on it since on P2 she does get fairly massive.
Pinot Blanc is a well designed card and is only hindered by Pinot Noir’s own effectiveness and, unfortunately, how tight our G2 lineup is.
Sea Strolling Banshee
Sea Strolling Banshee is probably the best performing out of the reveals. Viability is 5/5.
Sea Strolling has an interesting effect to all deck builds since she will take up 4 slots usually in the G1 lineup. The obvious reason is because of her first skill that allows a search of any card. Aside from the superior ride engine (will delve into the next article), this enables ways to enhance the aggression or to setup aggressively for your stride turn.
An example Banshee making things more efficient is actually with the Zarzan Engine. If you have 2 vanillas and Negrobone V series in your hand you can hard search your Zarzan so you can call Zarzan via Negrobone in the next turn. This doesn’t cost a CB so your Colombard call can be used for something else if you so choose OR if you miss Colombard in your opening game, at least trigger the Zarzan engine.
Sea Strolling also solves an subtle issue Granblue decks have and that’s a good booster. Outside of Vanilla Boosters, there really isn’t a booster that offers anything. Sea Strolling is a booster than is either a nice additional draw or milling filter while fueling drop. Either you hit a trigger and draw or you don’t and just milled normal units which is always a bonus.
More Information Sources
Weirdly enough Sea Strolling is the first rearguard with a controlled mill. As in the milling is optional and is after a boost. This may seem like a small and irrelevant point but its actually important in decision making later down the road when you have a low deck. This card does not direct reduce the probability of hitting triggers but does affect said probability.
A good way to explain this use is with a 10 card deck example. Suppose that deck only has 4 triggers left so you have 4/10 chance of hitting a trigger. Normally I use Sea Strolling to boost the Bad Bounty Vanguard attack for informed decisions in chance.
If the drive check yields zero triggers then the chances are now 4/7. In this case I will mill with Sea Strolling because and information are favorable regardless if Sea Strolling fully resolves or not. If I do not hit a trigger off the 2 cards milled the deck’s chance is now 4/5 to hit triggers. If I hit 1 trigger then the deck reduces to a 4 card deck after the draw. If I drew a trigger of the draw the chances are now 2/4 if I didn’t it is 3/4. If I milled 2 triggers and drew a trigger then the chances are 1/4. The odds of any happening is basically equal but the fact that those possibilities can now exist is a food for though when deciding on when to mill and not.
If you happen to sack triggers triggers and get the out by the drive check then you can mill for dropzone count and take out the potential trigger powers out of your combo plays since they may be irrelevant to consider when making numbers since they are not as likely to appear.
If you get a mixed drive check as in 1-2 triggers then its your choice to mill to narrow down your options and increase dropzone count. It most cases it is definitely worth to mill just to get more information and to narrow down the possibilities. The times it is not worth it is when you don’t have the resources or deck size to.
Sea Strolling does not change the probability and does not makes triggers more likely to appear. But in cases like this with a low deck count and you have a lot more information available, she can help narrow down said possibilities and helps make more informed decisions on when to take a chance in terms of milling. You couldn’t really do this before because by the end game the milling units we have access to have to attack in the front row. This will never happen since your end game you are using big beaters or attack extenders.
I hope you enjoyed this article and in the next one we will discuss deck builds and deck building once I polish it more!
Thank you so much for reading and if you have any additions let me know down below and until next time it is Evan signing off~