Change is Good!
Most characters in anime undergo changes as the story progresses, be it an emotional or personality change, or a physical change, like in appearance or form. Change is what keeps the story moving, and to embody that concept of dynamism and volatility, we have the keyword ability “Change”!
“Change” is a special keyword ability that allows the player to switch one character with another, often more powerful and advanced character. Think of it as a form change, like in Madoka! There are many different timings that Change can be used at, and at many different levels too. Let’s take a look at some examples of this!
Suguha Cheering On Her Brother →
Kirito’s Younger Sister, Suguha
Kicking off with one of my favourite characters, Suguha! Suguha Cheering On Her Brother is a Level 0 card that can Change into a Level 1 card, Kirito’s Younger Sister, Suguha at the start of the Climax Phase at the cost of 1 stock and 1 card from your hand. While this seems like a hefty price, Changing into a Level 1 card off the bat puts up a large wall which your opponent must overcome right off the bat. In most cases, they can’t, and your Level 1 character can stay on the field for most of your Level 0 and Level 1 turns. Kirito’s Younger Sister, Suguha also has a Climax synergy effect that allows you to pull out a Level 1 «Avatar» character from your deck too, so if you have the resources to afford this ability, you can wall off 2 slots of your field with Level 1 characters while you are at Level 0!
Mami’s Wish in Order to Live →
Mami Endures Her Fate
Another common timing that Change can occur in is the Draw Phase. Mami’s Wish in Order to Live is a Level 1 character that gives all other characters additional power during your turn, similar to a Support. Its Change ability turns it into the high-powered Mami Endures Her Fate, a Level 2 character that boasts 9000 Power and prevents both players from playing Backups from their hand during its battles! This is a double-edged sword of sorts, but it helps you keep it alive during your turn so you can bulldoze through some of your opponent’s characters with higher Power at Level 1.
Ambush, Nadeko Sengoku →
Girl Bound By a Snake, Nadeko Sengoku
BAKEMONOGATARI was one of my first series, and this Change was in one of the first decks I built! Ambush, Nadeko Sengoku changes into Bound By a Snake, Nadeko Sengoku at the Encore Step, but only if it is in Rest position, so do take care not to let it get reversed in battle! Although you don’t get to heal damage with Bound By a Snake, Nadeko Sengoku using this Change, you can use it to search for more of itself on the next turn in preparation for future turns for free with its climax synergy!
KAITO “Original”(F 2nd) →
KAITO “V3” OR
KAITO & MEIKO”Original”
Although this is rare, some cards are able to Change into one of 2 different cards! KAITO “Original”(F 2nd) can either Change into KAITO “V3” or KAITO & MEIKO”Original”, offering players some versatility in their Change targets. These cards offer different abilities as well, so choose wisely! One offers a heal effect and additional power for other characters in battle, while the other helps the player increase the number of cards in the hand, so choose wisely!
1st Kongo-class Battleship, Kongo
1st Kongo-class Battleship, Kongo-Kai-Ni
Kongou remodels at the end of battle! Our last example for Change today features the ship for which the Kongou-class battleships were named after, which Changes from its normal version to the “Kai-Ni” version! As you may have noticed, this is a same Level Change – that’s right, it Changes from the Level 3 1st Kongo-class Battleship, Kongo to the Level 3 1st Kongo-class Battleship, Kongo-Kai-Ni! Kongo-Kai-Ni comes with an ability to increase its own Power, and also comes with the ability to prevent itself from leaving the field! It also has a heal that activates when it enters via Change, which is a handy tool to have at Level 3 as well.
Kyubey Urges for a Contract
Certain series play heavily on the Change mechanic. Take Peulla Magi Madoka Magica, for instance. Every colour features at least 1 Change ability, and more often than not, players will attempt to repeatedly use the Change ability in a loop, so to speak. This can be rather costly to perform, but with support cards like Kyubey Urges for a Contract, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank (of cards in stock). It takes a card from the top of the deck and places it under itself as a marker, which then can be used to pay for the stock cost for Change. Considering Kyubey is the one asking the girls to make a contract with him to become magical girls, this is an eerily fitting ability…
What Have We Learnt?
While costly, the Change ability can often help to swing the game tempo over to your side, and put you ahead instead. Use it carefully to ensure that you can protect the new character from leaving the field! Otherwise your effort (and stock) would have been wasted.
That’s all we have on Change for you today, and we’ll see you in the next Weekly Column!
The Wandering Columnist
An avid card gamer who dabbles a little in every card game he can get his hands on. Considers weakness a sin. Thinks that the weak ones should just go home.
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