So, I think everyone in the community guessed that this week’s Bushiroad live stream would feature Dark Irregulars and their boss unit; No Life King, Death Anchor. We had already received the Pale Moon and Murakumo VR cards in previous weeks and Bushiroad was clearly saving Phantom Blaster Dragon to build up hype for Booster Set 02. So, without further ado, let us have a look at the big, dark and ugly VR of the Dark Irregular clan.
[AUTO](VC): When placed, Soul Charge (1), and this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of turn for each card in your soul.
[AUTO](VC):At the end of the battle that it attacked, if you have thirteen or more cards in your soul, COST [Counter Blast (1) & put a card from your hand and three rear-guards into your soul], ride a card from your soul as [Stand], and that unit gets [Critical]+1 until end of turn.
This card had to be good, Dark Irregulars as a clan are just one big engine. The clan is focused on filling the soul with cards to allow their boss units to use their high-cost skills that are usually quite powerful. In the past, boss units like Abominable One Gilles de Rais, Blade Wing Reijy and Demon World Marquis, Amon required a high number of cards in the soul to gain extra power, critical and even guard restricts. This unit continues the tradition in a spectacular fashion which in V series is something we don’t see very often.
First, let us compare to his original version. Death Anchor’s first skill is a combination of his original’s CONT and first AUTO skills. When placed on VC, you must soul charge one card and this unit then gains 2000 power for each card in soul until the end of your turn. The original gained 1000 power if you had eight or more cards in the soul, so a very big upgrade. The original also required you to soul charge one card at the beginning of your main phase instead of on ride while also gaining an addition 2000 power. On ride for 2000 times the number of cards in the soul is way better than a mandatory soul charge every turn for only 3000 power. So, we off to a great start, but it gets better. The original Death Anchor third skill required you to soul charge your entire damage zone to give the unit 10,000 power and one critical, then at the end of the turn, you would place the top five cards of your deck into your damage zone. Risky to be sure, but it is nothing compared to the shiny new variant.
This version’s second skill is why a large section of the community are calling this card the best VR of Booster Set 02. After this card attacks, if you have thirteen cards or more in the soul, you counter blast one, soul charge one card from your hand and three rear-guards. You then can ride a card from your soul as Stand and that new unit gains one critical. The ability of this card to take advantage of the randomness of DI is astounding. You can, for example, soul charges a copy of Death Anchor from your hand/field for his skill and then ride it with the vanguard copy from the soul.
If this scenario lets assume you ride No Life King, Death Anchor and have you twelve cards in the soul, Death Anchor soul charges 1 putting you to thirteen cards in soul and Death Anchor is now sitting on 38,000 power. You attack with a rear-guard column and then attack with Death Anchor (let us assume you hit no triggers). After the attack, you soul charge the four required cards and ride another copy of No Life King, Death Anchor and it gains a critical. This new Death Anchor is sitting on 46,000 power with 2 critical, the first attack requires 50,000 shields to complete guard and the second attack requires 60,000 shields to complete guard. This is a total of 110,000 shields to survive this attack which in the best-case scenario is three heal triggers and five 10,000 shields to guard or four cards when using two sentinels. This play not only rips your opponent’s hand to pieces, it sets up the same play with higher power on your next turn and you can just continue this play until you either deck out, win or lose.
But how consistent is this play you may ask? Let us do some simple math:
You have 13 cards in the soul, Death Anchor on VG, 1 card in hand, 3 rear-guards and at least 1 damage that is 18 cards out of your deck which means 18/48 is 37.5% of the deck. Depending on your damage being 1 to 5, the deck decreases by the same amount (e.g. 4 damage is 49 – 4 = 45 cards in the deck).
I’m going to use a hypergeometric calculator to work out the probability of this scenario playing out:
- Our population size is 48 cards (the deck minus your starter and the 1 damage for Death Anchor and we will also test this if you have more than 1 damage).
- Number of success in the population is 3 (because we have already ridden 1 Death Anchor and since you can only play 4, we want the odds of hitting one of the other three).
- Our sample sizes are 18 (cards in play minus damage).
- Our sample success is 1 (we want a second copy of Death Anchor).
Here is my output: (The calculator I used: https://stattrek.com/online-calculator/hypergeometric.aspx)
Death Anchors left
Success in Sample (x)
As we can see, even if you are at five damage, the odds of having that second copy of No Life King Death Anchor in play is 0.442 or 44.25% which is almost half. That is quite consistent for a Dark Irregular deck, heck even out of the other V series decks, this is impressive.
Now that is quite scary, but it gets even better. Say for example, we choose to ride Demon Eater instead to finish off your opponent. Demon Eater lets you soul blast ten cards, soul charge a rear-guard and counter-blast 1 to gain 10,000 power. It also prevents your opponent from guarding with sentinels when it attacks. This results in the before mentioned first swing of Death Anchor with 38,000 power (it’s a magic number against a Force vanguard too) and then a 22000-power attack with 2 critical that cannot be guarded with a sentinel. This requires the opponent to drop 30,000 shields if they are a Force vanguard or 40,000 shields if they have a 12,000 power base unit.
Now, of course, this unit is not perfect and has a couple of downsides. First of all, soul charging three rear-guards is a hefty cost as Dark Irregular isn’t known for its ability to build large boards or maintain card advantage. This is a hefty side effect of a clan based on filling the soul and not doing much else. You do, however, get four drive checks if you ride another Grade 3 so you essential would still go negative if it wasn’t for the Protect gift. Because Death Anchor is a grade 3 in a Protect clan, he replaces himself in hand with a Protect sentinel when you ride him. This also works if you ride him from the soul, so yeah enjoy having to guard two large attacks and breaking through two additional sentinels. Due to this dependence on rear-guards, Dark Irregular players will have to be a little conservative with their play against Kagero and Shadow Paladin players who will retire their rear-guards very easily. Kagero especially is the bane of your existence due to Waterfall’s natural ability to ignore sentinels.
Will this card be an expensive VR? Based on what it does for the clan, my estimate it will be the most expensive VR or a close second. Will it see play? It’s a Protect clan, the rest of the support will be quite cheap and it is pretty overpowered so yes, I believe it will see play in the Japanese meta. Is this card “good’? It is one of the best VR so far. I’m scared (and excited) to see how Dark Irregulars dominate the meta after the release of Booster Set 02 in Japan on the 31st of August.
Victory Ride is where I analyse, critique and see past the hype of the CFV community by checking out V series reveals of high rarity cards. These cards will probably break the bank but are they always worth the money?