Hello Palemoon Enthusiasts. Today’s post is to cover the recent release of the effect for the new Masked Phantom, Harri. I was anxiously anticipating the release of this card, as I was confident it would have a notable impact on the clan in terms of competitive play. Boy was I wrong. With the release of this effect, Bushiroad has almost guaranteed the Harri deck will not see competitive play. I thought it would be beneficial to cover all the points that make this card so…terrible. I have included the card image and translation below.
As I began reading the effects of this card, my heart started to break. The Generation Break 2 is not balanced at all, in fact it is weak. In a meta where generation break 2 effects allow to players to be offensive if they are unable to stride, i.e. Chronojet Dragon G/OG Harri/Gavrail, this effect provides no way of applying pressure. Even if the card developers were aiming for guaranteed stride turns, this skill is hardly effective in comparison to cards such as Luard and Bravest Rush, Gallop. Had this been the original Harri’s skill, I would have gladly welcomed Masked Magician Harri as new Clan boss. Given this is supposed to be an improved clan boss, however, this skill is severely underwhelming. It would have been much better if the player was allowed to choose any card to add to hand from soul, noting that the once per turn clause keeps it balanced.
The AUTO ability of the card pushes it even further into mediocrity. While it is great to selectively soul charge, this card does not do a good just of setting up soul. Looking at two cards from the top of the deck is hardly different from blind soul charging, as you are forced to place a card into the soul before stacking. In terms of probability, you are not likely to see a decent target from your search. Additionally, the fact that you can only active the scrying skill on ride makes it a unlikely anyone would want to run the card at all. Unlike the new Nightrose, this card has no rearguard utility, making it a worse backup vanguard than cards like Flying Manticore, Praised Evil Tamer Mireille, and even Fullsmile Wyvern.
Players are honestly better off using cards like Dreaming Pegasus and Acrobat Bear to accomplish this. The card would have been totally different if the scrying ability could be active on VG or RG.
In terms of the on stride ability, it’s not bad. It could be better, but its not terrible. I don’t mind being able to call for free, although I worry the soul blast cost detracts from the maintenance of the soul.
To be honest, the reveal of Masked Phantom, Harri has made me hesitant about the future of Vanguard. Bushiroad has shown blatant favoritism for clans such as Shadow Paladin, Gear Chronicle, and most recently Granblue. I was surprised when they corrected the Guile Shade effect to eliminate the possibility of an infinite loop, but it also made me hopeful that the company was listening. I am hoping they are listening now. If not to support the player base, then the at least promote sales. Judging by the cards that have been release thus far, the Rummy Labrinth set was made specifically for Granblue fans, and I would not spend a dime on sealed product if I were a Palemoon player. While I mostly discussed Masked Phantom, Harri, there are other terrible cards which I will cover in the future which would add to this conclusion. I have written the company about this problem, and I am encouraging others to do the same before the cards are printed. I have included a copy of the letter below.
I am writing concerning the recent release of the new Masked Phantom, Harri’s effect reveal. As a lover of the game and Palemoon enthusiast, I was highly anticipating the release of this card. Given the recent power creep of the game, I must admit I am very disappointed in the effect. To be frank, it is bad. I understand what the card designers were going for, but if the card is released with this effect the clan has no hope of being able to compete with other better designed clans. I think Bushiroad has demonstrated favoritism among clans within the Cardfight! Vanguard game, i.e. Gear Chronicle and GrandBlue, but in order to make sure this does not demoralize the player base things have to change.
In order to improve Masked Phantom Harri’s effect to keep pace with the power creep of the game, I propose two small changes to the card. The first change is as follows: please change the Generation Break 2 effect to allow the player to place any card from their soul into their hand. The deck is notorious for blind soul charging, and there is no way to recycle triggers outside of legion. If you were to allow players to add extra cards from the soul to hand for guarding, you would at least provide them the opportunity to better defend against decks with multiple attacks. Additionally, the second change which would improve the card is to change the AUTO ability to: When this unit is placed on (VC) or (RC), look at three cards from the top of your deck, put a card into your soul, and put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order. This also helps to deal with the issue of blind soul charging in a deck which has no way of recycling triggers, while also giving some much needed rear guard utility.
The events concerning the release of Guile Shade’s effect has shown that Bushiroad is listening and is open to improving the game for its player base. I am asking that this trend continues and that the company addresses this issue as well. From a business point of view, it makes sense to improve the quality of the cards, not just art, in order to promote sealed product sales. Based on what cards have been released thus far, fans (myself included) will be less inclined to purchase product if it does not at least bring more enjoyment to the game. I hope to hear a favorable response .