Welcome back, fellow Kaijudo players! Today I'm going to be taking a step back from the "deck type reviews" I've been doing lately and focus in more on one particular card. This card is Crystal Memory, a card that has quickly become one of my favorite cards out of the Rise of the Duel Masters set. For those who don't know what it does, it is a level 4 Water Spell with Shield Blast. The effect states: "Search your deck. Take a card from it and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your deck."
This card has maintained its status as one of the most sought-after rares from 3RIS, and for good reason. Gigahorn Charger and itself are currently the only two cards released which have the power of true search; searching your deck, taking a card from it, and adding it to your hand. Though Gigahorn is a creature and can be good in certain aggro decks, Crystal Memory's effect is on a different level entirely. Instead of being limited to searching creatures of a certain power, you can search any card in your deck!
Not only is the effect itself incredible, but because it can search for anything, you don't even have to show your opponent the card you added to your hand. This is often a disadvantage of cards like Gigahorn; while they usually get the job done, they still allow the smart opponent to prepare for the card they searched. Crystal Memory doesn't suffer from that drawback. For example, if I play Memory against a Hyperspeed Dragon deck later in the game, they could assume I have a Terror Pit for their finisher. They could either play a finisher and let their dragon be banished, or they might try to play around what they think I searched and hold the cards in their hand. If I already had a Terror Pit in my hand, I could have searched for Skull Shatter, capitalizing off their assumption and being ready for either situation. Now, I'd like to go over some situations and reasons why this card is so good, and why, if you're running control especially, you should give it a shot.
You might be thinking "Oh, well of course Shield Blast makes any card better." That's true, but I felt as though the versatility of this card even in shields warranted this mention. When I'm running a control deck, which is most of the time, I'm always happy to see this card in shields no matter what the matchup.
I was playing against a rush deck at my locals a couple weeks back, using a Water/Darkness/Fire control deck with 2 Crystal Memories. My only turn 2 Blocker was Reef-Eye, and unfortunately my hand started out pretty bad. Rush went first and summoned Blaze Belcher, and I passed my turn after playing mana. However, when Belcher broke one of my shields on his next turn, it turned out to be a Crystal Memory and I was able to search for the Reef-Eye which my hand desperately needed. On my second turn, I was able to play it and be as safe as I'd have been if I had opened with it. No Comet Missiles came down for rush, and that Reef-Eye allowed me to come back and win the game, something I might not have been able to do without it.
Expanding Your Finishers
The "finishers" of a control deck are, in my opinion, the cards with Double Breaker that usually lead to the late-game victory. Until recently, I was only running Bolt-Tail Dragons and a Moorna, Gatling Dragon. Since then, I've discovered that the use of 2 copies of Crystal Memory allows me to run more of a diverse lineup in my Water/Darkness/Fire/Light build. My current selection is as follows:
1 Bolt-Tail Dragon
1 Moorna, Gatling Dragon
1 Tatsurion the Unchained
1 Bolgash Dragon
Look a little odd or inconsistent? Well, it surprisingly doesn't play as either! The one problem that goes along with running all one-ofs in the finisher department is the lack of any effect which allows us to get back cards from the mana zone. Besides that, running Crystal Memory in addition to the draw and Dark Return already in the deck makes this lineup work perfectly.
I've played against two Rally the Reserves decks so far, and against both, playing Memory and searching for Bolgash Dragon almost single-handedly won me the match. Of course, Bolgash is dead in certain matchups, so running just the one copy along with the search helps it to appear at just the right times. Moorna, Gatling Dragon is also a very good card, especially in situations when the opponent is out of a hand and top-decking. If they can only play a maximum of one creature per turn, Moorna is able to keep their field clear. The same can be said of Unchained and Bolt-Tail; great in some situations, yet sometimes cloggy with more than one copy. Crystal Memory solves all of these problems and makes a finisher lineup like this much more viable.
Of course, in my control decks, there are quite a few other cards I can only find space for one copy of. An example is Skull Shatter. It can define the outcome of a game against another control deck, or any deck that can maintain a hand into the late-game. However, it's quite possibly the worst card to open with against rush, and some aggro decks, since their game plan is to win long before turn 8. Even if you make it to turn 8, they're likely to be out of a hand or only be holding one card. This makes Skull Shatter, as powerful as it is, the most inconsistent discard option in the deck, and running only one copy of it keeps it out of my opening hands as much as possible, while still giving me the ability to search for it when the time is right.
I'm of the opinion that even playing this on turn 4 can sometimes be the optimal play. I've heard a lot of players say that they'll always hold the Memory, but if I'm up against a deck focusing on Hyperspeed Dragon, having the Tornado Flame can be imperative. Playing Memory on turn 4 allows me to be prepared for that and can disrupt their deck's flow.
The Future of the Card
As you all probably know if you've been checking Kaijudo.com, the Evolution mechanic was recently confirmed for Kaijudo, and will be appearing in Evo Fury, the set releasing on November 13. An Evolution creature is played just as a normal creature is played, except it goes on top of a creature with the same race (For example, a Skyforce Champion Evolution would be played on top of a Skyforce Champion, and that creature would essentially become the Evolution).
The official website probably does a better job explaining this, but the point is that it could unlock some neat uses for Crystal Memory. I expect Gigahorn Charger to be able to search most of the evolutions, since their power will probably be pretty high on average, but in decks not running Nature, Crystal Memory could really help with the consistency of this mechanic. Holding onto an Evolution Creature with none of the proper "evo-bait" (creatures it can evolve from) on the field can be depressing, but Memory can help with that, as well as search out an Evolution as soon as you have the field to support it. I'm sure we'll see some decks utilizing that idea as the metagame progresses and evolves.. with evolutions.
And there we have Crystal Memory in a nutshell! Truly an awesome and effective card in tons of situations. I encourage you all to try a copy or two, especially in a control deck, you'll love the consistency this card can bring to the table. Until next time, leave a comment and let me know what you thought! I've got some very cool stuff planned for the coming weeks, so stay tuned!