Rogue Tactics – Tap Dancer
Posted on behalf of David Cox
Hi, I’m David Cox, a competitive player and brewer at heart. Currently I play part in pushing locals in Las Vegas where I help grow the competitive scene. A group of friends and I are constantly pushing the boundaries on new competitive and silly ideas in preparation for majors and sometimes those ideas lead to some pretty unexpected results.
This is part of an ongoing article series that attempts to create competitive brews unknown to the meta. Many of these start out as fun ideas that exceed expectations and warrant pushing to the limits to see how far they’ll go in a competitive environment. FFTCG is a game with a vast meta that still surprises us with unexpected decks in majors, so I hope these articles shed some light on what can be. The goal of these brews is to directly compete with the known competitive meta, as well as to provide a fresh direction for ideas.
Mono wind is perhaps one of the most brought up concepts when I hear try and failed experiments in deck building. I’ve tried it, my friends have tried it, new players love to try it, yet inevitably they turn into multicolor decks or depart from the idea entirely. It wasn’t till a recent joking challenge that I decided to take another shot at it before opus 4 and, to our surprise, it worked fantastically. That said I’m showcasing this deck a little preemptive to the amount of testing I’d normally require for a shared brew, but with Opus 4 on its way I wanted to give everyone a chance to try this deck before things get crazy with the new card pool.
The main goals of this deck are: quickly going wide and aggressive or playing control with repeatable removal. Playing to wind’s strengths, the deck will focus on the abuse of activating characters to help pay for things, repeat abilities, and keep things primed to deal with the opponent.
As mentioned, one of the two routes to victory is going aggro with a wide army of forwards. Cards like Vaan, Izana, and Chocobo are ideal early plays to establish immediate pressure as you switch focus to building backups. While you don’t have the best bodies, you can cheaply get multiple ones with the many cost mitigation effects of the deck. You’ll be using partying and the threat of multiple hits if they try to contend with larger more expensive bodies. Mid game, cards such as Maria, Dancer, Y’shtola, and Balthier will act as sources to extend your damage output in combat, giving your weak bodies more value after they would’ve fallen off to stronger forwards. Often combat will require multiple forwards to get through, leaving you open to attack; this is where Bartz, Asura, Nono, and Fallacious Wanderer come into play to help renew your defensive line. Late game Minerva, Chocobo, and Black Chocobo can be used to break through board stalemates.
Sometimes playing aggressive is not the best way and this deck has a very oppressive control aspect if you can get the pieces online. The concept is to simply to get Y’shtola, Balthier, and/or Dancers with a few backups on board. You can choose to cautiously poke with weak bodies, and threaten to add more damage to force bad trades or slowly attain free damage on players. You can also do this defensively. This lets you dictate the flow of combat, buying time to eventually stall the board till you have more resources and damage dealing pieces. Eventually you’ll have enough to be able to break forwards with multiple pings of damage each turn. When you can’t deal enough to kill off single targets or perhaps are stopped by damage prevention abilities, Barbariccia, Diablos, and Chaos Walker of the Wheel can 1 shot most forwards.
Like any deck that likes to go wide, there is one thing they all fear: board wipes. This deck is very susceptible to over extending and getting punished. Due to that, there are some key counter measures to prevent that. Seven is a key card in stopping the most threatening problems such as Shantotto and Cloud of Darkness. Her special ability will counter the auto ability, creating a devastating swing of resources for little gain. We run a full playset, but also Asura as well. Asura can fetch them at whim to improve your chances to always have this at your disposal and even create surprises when the opponent thinks you’re out of Sevens. As well, Valefor can save your forwards while resetting the opponent. Rebuilding after a Valefor is very easy for this deck and can reap more value from cards that have enter the field abilities.
This is a deck that needs to get back ups out to get going. Typically, at about 3 you’re online and can begin to net value from the synergy of your activating effects and afford repeatable abilities. Of those backups, we have five unique ones that cannot break themselves, however some are not required in certain matchups. If you can deem one of them as irrelevant to a current matchup, such as Aerith, it’s suggested you attempt to play multiple Dancers if the option is convenient. Multiple Dancers can provide some very abusive removal plays with the activating abilities you have at your disposal.
Here is an overview on how I play these cards and how they interact with other cards in the deck.
Seven (3-057R) – An evasive attacker that can get under 4CP+ drops, it doubles as a key defensive card to stop auto and special abilities that can disrupt your board. It’s job type also triggers Diablos’s activate condition.
Chocobo (1-075C) – The main use is to increase power output on weaker forwards to force bad trades or to protect integral forwards like Vaan that want to attack unopposed. It can be tutored with Izana and being a category VII, it will reduce Aerith’s cost by 1CP. Haste makes it great for early pressure and free damage post Valefor.
Balthier (2-065L) – Extends damage output on trades and can be repeatedly activated to break forwards. His ability to activate himself also give him the ability to attack with pseudo-Brave.
Barbariccia (3-066R) – With Balthier, Y’shtola, and Dancer it will break almost any forward. The ordering you do them in can be used to get around attempts to save the forward as well. Against pump effects: deal the damage first, then play Barbariccia. Against cards like Minwu: play Barbariccia, then deal damage.
Izana (3-049C) – This card is great value for cost. Since you tutor a card, it essentially pays for itself and is almost like a free forward. Being able to tutor chocobos is important as you’ll often want Chocobo at some point. Playing this card also frees up needing multiple Black Chocobos, that are often situationally useful, and lets us run 1 that we tutor as needed.
Y’shtola (1-084H) – The longer the game goes the more powerful this card is. At multiple backups, you can freely break enemy forwards. The card is a hot target for removal due to this, but can net its value in pulling the attention of expensive removal like Odins.
Fallacious Wanderer (2-069C) – Unimpressive body, but the utility to untap any wind character gives huge synergy to your damage dealers, freeing up resources, or activating forwards.
Zidane (3-056H) – Essential in removing potential problems or scouting your opponent’s hand to see what options they have. Post Valefor this can grab their best card. You can also use this before a Chaos, Walker of the Wheel, to see if it’s a wise decision.
Bartz (1-080H) – Allows us to fully dedicate forwards and other resources, then activate them all to do it again, or regain defensive positioning. He’s also our biggest wind body and gives us much needed presence in combat.
Vaan (1-063H) – We have many 3CP- forwards to make use of his enter the field ability, making him a great card to go wide with. His ability to activate backups is a major help in freeing up resources for the many tools of the deck. You’ll often want to party with him to ensure he can keep swinging when needed.
Black Chocobo (3-054C) – Not always needed, so we run 1 that we can tutor with Izana. The main purpose is to break through stalled boards or protect Vaan when he attacks.
Minerva (3-146H) – Huge, expensive, and risky if answered…still it is worth it in this deck. The deck’s nature to play things efficiently allows us to gamble with this card and see if it sticks without much draw back if it fails. Thankfully all 3 abilities are also extremely relevant for our deck. The +3000 pump is a game ender with how wide this deck gets and the ability to remove abilities can break open defensive cards like Minwu, The Emperor (2-147L), and Cecil (2-129L).
Diablos (3-061R) – With our ability to go wide it’s easy to deal massive damage with this card and break problematic forwards. Seven can be used to trigger the activate condition as well.
Asura (2-049H) – We have several 2CP- targets, with Seven being a major option, and several ways to abuse the activate modes to more than justify the need for this card as a dynamic tool for any situation.
Valefor (1-062L) – Gets us out of tight situations and can put us at a huge advantage when it’s time to rebuild; reusing our many enter the field abilities.
Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (3-071H) – Not always a great card due to the risk factor, it’s still wise to run one to deal with problem forwards that are hard to answer, or simply take the likely expectation of downgrading their best forward. Works great with Zidane or just before a Valefor. You can even use it to coax targets into your direct damage setups.
Archer (1-088C) – Handles problem backups and can help push the resource war even further in your favor.
Rikku (1-089H) – On the control plan, the ability to deck opponents can get very real. Use this with your activating effects to put a clock on them.
Dancer (1-066C) – Essential part of you damage synergies. In some matchups it’s encouraged to play multiples.
Maria (1-083H) – Helps improve your weak bodies and make them harder to remove.
Nono (2-062C) – Furthers your ability to activate cards like Y’shtola and Balthier or keep forwards active when dulled.
Aerith (3-050L) – Not always needed, but can be a major problem for decks that rely on back abilities. It can also be played for 1CP if you have a Chocobo.
Cards to Consider
Above are the cards I’m confident in running, but there are always flex spots with any build and cards that almost made the cut. Your flex cards are: Bartz, Minerva, Chaos, Walker of the Wheel, Rikku, Aerith.
Barbariccia (2-064H) – The special ability is basically a board wipe in this deck, and likely game with the forwards we run. However, this card is only useful if you do that. This means you need to dedicate more deck space to multiples of both Barbariccia’s. This can lead to tough calls over which to value in a game.
Balthier (2-066R) – Great value card, similar to Izana. Getting Fran can be helpful with your other Balthier.
Fran (2-068R) – Turns Balthier (2-065L) into a more threatening presence in combat with pump, and can be repeated with your activating abilities.
Shemhazai, the Whisperer (2-070R) – A solid game ender. We have a lot of cheap forwards, and running 1-2 of these can finish most matches. It however has the reputation of being a dead card until that moment.
Deuce (3-062C) – Adds to your theme of damage dealers. The special ability can give a bit of punch when you have a Seven out and similarly can be fed with Asura.
Dorgann (3-063H) – Can trade with any forward, however suffers from being slow and telegraphing the ability to do so and we’re already running cards that similarly suffer the same issues…but are repeatable.
Bartz (3-065L) – We have a very healthy spread of Job types and the ability to go wide, making it quite easy to get 3-5 types on the field. The first strike is also quite good with our ability to deal direct damage when we please. The only issue is he competes with our other Bartz and pushes us into a more aggressive build.
Wind Drake (3-067R) – Painfully slow, but in long games, can be a very powerful tool in reusing auto abilities or saving forwards. I suggest only running 1 if you attempt this.
Oracle (3-070C) – Great for explosive combos late game, but may lead to never getting its moment to before its useful.
Warrior of Light (2-145L) – Not quite the powerhouse it is in Water/Wind, it is still a VERY strong card in this deck. We have 3 Marias and only need to concern ourselves with 1 color, making it ideal for pushing the control aspect even more.