Relic Dragon Saga Overview

Hi all, and welcome to the first post on the new site. 

Some things to note before we start. In my collab/event “overviews”, I try to avoid discussing any cards which have little to no value in any content. In other words, if I have not seen it used in a ranking, a farming setup (for a dungeon I deem worth farming), or the current end game (Alt. Shura 1, Alt. Shura 2), it likely will not be discussed at all, or only briefly mentioned. I also extensively research/play what the top ranking JP players are using for their current end game (Shura 3), so with two to three months of foresight into their current meta, I hope I can help you avoid potential pitfalls and better futureproof your box against upcoming NA content. 

This is the third run of Sacred Relic Dragon Saga, and sadly, quite a few of these cards received the short end of the stick. Sacred Relic also hosts one of the largest letdowns in terms of a newly released card. 

Before discussing the buffs, it’s worth mentioning that all the Sacred Relic cards were given the Marvel treatment, in that they now have 8 Latent Skill Slots for transform cards. Being able to take 6 Skill Delay Resist Latents while still having two latent slots leftover is a small, but not insignificant, buff. That Extra HP++ or Killer latent could save your life in a pinch, or could put you over the needed 600k Effective HP threshold for Alt. Shura 2.

Outside of the occasional use for Dyer as a leader pairing for Akine, this event consists mostly of cards which are more useful as subs. This REM features two top-tier subs for top-tier leads. With that bit of pretext out of the way, let’s dive head first into this very shallow pool, starting with the cards I feel you should be looking to chase.

The two main cards you should consider picking up from this event are Elven Emissary, Alynna and Journeyman Adventurer, Dyer

Elven Emissary, Alynna is the most valuable chase card from this event. Normally, I would offer up some alternatives to the cards at hand.  However, because of this card’s enormous utility coverage, no other cards can match the value she offers as a sub for Drillspear Jade Conqueror, Nautilus

Since JP first saw its release into the game in April, Nautilus has dominated the Shura 3 and Alt. Shura 2 meta and is one of the fastest Alt. Shura 1 leaders in NA. In fact, its endgame prowess has only recently been challenged by Hibiscus Dignified Star Spirit, Rosalyn. With Nautilus’ massive 10 million auto-FUA and huge 24x attack multiplier, there isn’t much else that can compare. 

So why is Alynna an unparalleled sub for Nautilus? Nautilus transforms twice, leaving players with a six-turn period between the initial transform at the start of the dungeon and the second transform which grants its full multipliers. To make matters worse, Nautilus has no RCV multipliers to speak of in either form. How does Alynna remedy this? Alynna has a very short 12-turn transform and, as a result, she will transform immediately assuming you are also transforming Nautilus turn 1. When she transforms, she gives you 8 turns of a 40% HP Auto recovery. This means that for those six turns before the second Nautilus transformation, you will have an auto recovery buff to assist in staying alive. Her three Skill boosts and inherent (pre-transform) cloud resist awakening is vital in Alt. Shura 2 and generally useful in other content. 

Barring her use as a sub for Nautilus, she should be compared to her other cleric contemporaries. While there are many other potential Green Cleric options, these are the best options in most cases: 

Card NameElven Emissary, AlynnaPropitious Goddess of Promises, TualaSuper Reincarnated CeresWitch of the Wood Chain, Chakeol
Cooldown of the skill4 turns7 turns6 turns9 turns
Clears BindFully ClearsDoes not clear7 turns5 turns
Clears Awoken BindFully ClearsFully Clears7 turns5 turns
Clears Unmatchable Orb StatusFully ClearsFully Clears7 turns5 turns
Secondary EffectsTop row changed to wood. Wood Orbs locked. 2x attack for Wood/Light for 1 turn. Recover 30% HP on use.Delays enemies next move 2 turns.

In a side-by-side comparison, it should quickly become apparent why Alynna is preferred to her counterparts. Not only is her cooldown post-transform the lowest by 2 turns, but she is the only one that fully clears all three statuses. While this may not have been notable a while ago, it is now; these days, most end game dungeons will drown you in combinations of all three. Having the ability to fully clear them as fast as possible will always be greatly beneficial. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that being able to create a row of green orbs and lock them provides great utility as well, especially as a counter to spinners. 

Now for the final cherry on this delicious sundae: her post-transform awakenings. While they may seem lackluster at a glance, I can assure you that they provide more value than may appear at face value. 

Once again stepping back into Nautilus territory, he has no RCV multiplier in any of his forms. This means players must find a suitable RCV solution. How does Alynna help with this? Those two Heart Orb Enhances prove invaluable when attempting to heal, combined with the many Heart orbs that Nautilus will create in his final form. Additionally, the pre/post transform cloud resist is always helpful. 

Her damage awakenings are lacking compared to that of Tuala and Chakeol, but in almost all cases, it is worth the trade-off. Most Nautilus teams will consist of many high damage cards, including Selica, Academy Valeria, and Nautilus himself. This means that Alynna’s lower damage output hurts far less than it would on most other teams. However, that doesn’t mean that 2 7c and a VDP isn’t a respectable amount of damage for a cleric. 

A small note on her assist Muy before we continue on to the next card; it has a great deal of utility, boasting a Physical Killer, 3 Green OEs, and 2 Team RCV. These awakenings, along with a potent full cleric active and 50% shield, make Muy unparalleled among equips.

Sadly, most of what it offers is either unnecessary for the current end game, or is done better by another equip. The OE is much easier to obtain via Aljae’s equip, Ghum, as it offers the 5 required OEs to have a 100% chance of green OE skyfall, rather than the 3 that Muy offers. The Physical killer is unnecessary, as no green team tends to struggle with any Physical spawns. Machine Killers, Devil Killer, and Dragon Killers tend to be far more effective (For Shura 1,2, and 3 respectively). The Team RCV is also less useful, as most teams have a relatively high RCV multiplier or Heart OE, to make up for their lack of one. Team HP tends to be far more needed to make HP thresholds for Shura 2 and 3. The active skill is also quite strong. However, it’s unlikely most teams will have the time to let it charge, as 14 turns is too long to wait for an inherited cleric active. 

Next the second noteworthy card from this event, Journeyman Adventurer, Dyer. This card’s desirability is measured solely by its niche use of providing a VDP option for Light teams that desperately need it. 

First, something to get out of the way: as it stands right now for North America, we only have 1 truly viable light lead which is Crimson Dragon Mystic, Ryumei. Soon we should be getting Academy Kio, but until then, it’s only Ryumei. Japan has had the Marvel collab and as many of you know, Captain Marvel dominates the light meta there. 

All that said, no matter which of these 3 leads you use, you will always have the same overarching issue thrown into your face–the best Light cards tend to lack VDP. Let’s look at a quick list of some of the best Light subs/leads and see which of them have VDP. 

As you should be able to quickly see, the list of viable subs that can take VDP is somewhat limited, especially in NA. This is made even harder in Shura 3, where you need All Attributes on your team. Stretching to get enough VDP while also covering 5 colors is nearly impossible. The compromise? Dyer

His short 18-turn cool down transformation should be easy enough to achieve, assuming you are using Ryumei (25 turns) or Captain Marvel (23 turns), who both take longer than that to Transform. It’s worth noting that he himself contributes 0 Skill Boosts to the team, which may cause team building issues. 

As opposed to Alynna, who we compared to several cards, Dyer is quite cut and dry, as he only has 1 card for competition. Let’s quickly look at them side-by-side to see the pros and cons: 

NameJourneyman Adventurer, DyerJudging Kouryu Emperor, Fagan – Rai
Active skill cooldown5 Turns10 Turns
Number of turns the VDP remains active1 Turn4 Turns
Secondary effects50% Shield for 1 turn.1.5x Attack for Dragon cards for 4 turns.

These numbers all require some consideration for the team/dungeon at hand. Thinking of it in the context of true cooldowns, Fagan – Rai actually only has a 6 turn cooldown after his VDP runs out, though Fagan takes far longer to get to his active skill the first time. Furthermore, not all teams are going to care about the attack spike for Dragons, as you likely won’t want to use this as your primary attack spike. The shield Dyer offers is universally helpful, as it essentially means you get 1 extra turn of safety after you do the VDP for the next floor’s preemptive attacks. 

Which dungeons/teams are they actually useful for? First and foremost, if your team uses Dragons, you may prefer Fagan–this especially applies to Ryumei. If you are running a dungeon that requires several consecutive turns of VDP, then Fagan may be your best choice (this applies to most dungeons Pre-Shura 3). As for dungeons, Shura 3 really only has 1 floor that requires VDP, and only for 1-2 turns at most, you can chip the floor down until you get to the point where you feel you can kill reliably. On the other hand, most prior dungeons (Alt. Shura 1/Alt. Shura 2) have several consecutive floors of required VDP. 

Another important thing to consider is that post-transform Dyer has the Guard Break awakening. This may not seem like much, but is absolutely essential for breaking defense without the Limit Break Latent in Shura 3. 

Overall, where is Dyer going to be used? Shura 3 Ryumei teams are a guarantee. Captain Marvel and Academy Kio are more of a toss up. As it stands, Japan can safely get a Dyer-less Light team through Shura 3, due to their server’s inclusion of Doppo Orochi to cover the Dark sub-attribute, Wolverine, and Mickey & Friends [Celebration]

Sadly, we currently possess none of these options (and in 2 of 3 cases likely never will). Getting Marvel would mean we have access to both Captain Marvel and Wolverine, but we still won’t have Doppo Orochi or Mickey. As a result, I can really only speculate on what Dyer’s true value will be outside of Ryumei. If you are considering Ryumei as your potential future Shura 3 clearing lead, then this trade has tons of value, as odds are that Dyer will almost certainly be used for Ryumei. If you plan to wait for Marvel or Academy Kio, then trade with caution as there is no telling if you will be using Dyer at all. 

Another quick mention on Dyer’s two equips before we continue to the next card.

Arwill (7112) is useful to be sure. Unbindable and a team RCV/HP awakening is strong, that’s for damn sure. A 12-turn CD, 75% shield, and a VDP with a spike, what’s not to love? Sadly, this card’s level of utility is very limited. That’s not to say it doesn’t see use, as it has a great deal of utility on Shura 2 and 3 Ryumei teams. Ryumei (and most other transform leads) is bindable pre-transform. However, Amakozumi, The Chinese Series Equips and Tamadra Gift Box tend to be the preferred unbindable equips. 

His second equip, Arwill (7116), is one of only 2 equips with Guard Break, and is the only one that doesn’t give you a stat drop in its awakenings. With that said, for Shura 3, Guard Break isn’t really needed outside of having it on 1-2 cards as a soft requiement. Also, while this may sound harsh, the active skill is pretty garbage and you likely won’t want it overcharging on your subs. 

Great, so that’s both the highest value trade/roll targets out of the way. Time to talk about a card that breaks my heart in more ways than one: Orc Musion, Firo.

Why does it break my heart? The answer is two-fold. Firstly, I had high hopes for this card. At first glance, its leader skill looks strong. It’s got a low 14-turn transform active with 2 SB and 3 turns of haste when it transforms, giving it effectively 5 skill boosts. Its awakenings are very unique, as 4 crosses and full poison immunity seems like it should be strong by default.You may think, Firo is the Fire/Dark Seina with a giant auto-FUA instead of + combos. Seems great, right? It has all the makings of a great lead with a unique set of awakenings. However, in practice, it has turned out to be lackluster at best. 

So what happened to make it so bad, if it has all this going for it? Simply put, Flame Wheel Mystic, Seina has something going for her that Firo does not. Seina is a 2-color required lead that is self-sufficient in making her own colors with her active. Firo’s active, while good, does not provide a system. In fact, no card in the game can reliably make Dark and Fire orbs every turn. Compounded with that issue, her active gives you an auto-recover which, unlike an RCV buffing card, does not remove RCV Debuffs. For most end game dungeons, you will still want a dedicated RCV buffer on your team. Furthermore, 2.3x HP with a small shield makes ASR2 very difficult compared to leads with a moderate-to-high HP multiplier and a large shield. 

The second reason this card makes me sad is that, without Marvel, this card may very well be your best choice for a Fire/Dark card to use on your Red focused Shura 3 teams. This highlights how badly NA needs Marvel to come, and how badly we will all need to roll it. This card sees very little use in JP, outside of an occasional lead swap pair with Magneto or Dark Phoenix to abuse crosses on 7×6. Even then, it is lackluster outside of Shura 2 at best, and impossible to use in Shura 3.

The best news I can give you for this card is that if you IAP, this card is the orb skin so you can just buy it without rolling. 

Now, to give brief thoughts on the rest of the cards worth discussing in the event.

Conykin Martial Artist, Deena has potential as a general purpose sub on your blue teams, but shines best on Royal Oak teams. She has a board lock active on a 1 turn cooldown, which is only matched by Magical Machinist, Menoa. While this active is useful in dungeons with many spinner floors, spinner spam stops being a real issue after Alt. Arena 4. 

The other issue that plagues Deena is that Shizumaru Hisame exists. We should shortly be getting Shizumaru, who is superior to Deena  in all aspects but board locking. Shizumaru has a 3-turn haste and 2 SB in base form which is essential to transforming Royal Oak the second time as fast as possible. He has a 2x RCV spike on his active skill and generates 3 water and heal orbs on a 2-turn cool down. Deena offers very little in the way of utility that Shizumaru can’t outside the board lock, making her use far more niche than her counterpart. One last small thing to consider about Deena vs Shizumaru is that while we don’t know that Samurai Showdown will ever return, it stands to reason that Relic Dragons, and by extension, Deena, will be back soon enough with more buffs. 

Dragonkin Merchant, Polowne, once stood undefeated as your go-to Fire (and in some cases Dark) Void Damage Absorb and Void Attribute Absorb card. She still holds that throne, but only for Alt. Shura 1. Starting from Shura 2 onwards, the need for a dedicated Void Damage/Attribute Absorb card is greatly diminished. Instead, most people opt to use an equip with a similar skill on top of a card with an active skill they don’t regularly use (Shiva or some other Red card with an Inosuke equip in most Red teams case). Polowne has essentially been replaced by cards that do more damage as opposed to her utility. In Alt. Shura 1 and most earlier dungeons, her cooldown is low to the point where you will never have to stall for her active to come up and the 4 effective skill boosts she offers you are valuable. 

Here are a couple of quick honorable mentions before I wrap this up. First goes to Fiendish Assassin, Shivnia, for being one of the best TA2 farming leads in the game. She makes sub 50% and dark row farming very easy. Even outside of Training Arena 2, she makes a great farming lead for collabs and events as well. Assuming the dungeon has only small or no preemptives, she is likely a very viable lead. 

Second honorable mention and last card we will discuss is Trinitas. While I think this equip is amazing, I also think it doesn’t really have a home right now. Most contemporary dark leads do not lack RCV, and the ones who do tend to get it from an RCV multiplier, like Old Castle Watchcat, Bastet. The spike on the active is a bit too long for most dungeons this would be required in. Furthermore, RCV tends to have less use than HP for most teams, as hitting health thresholds is more important than recovering after a hit. 

This ends my overview of this event. Most of the other cards in this event just don’t warrant any discussion on my part, as conceited as that may sound. They are just not worth considering for most teams, or are just directly outclassed by another card. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hope you will stick around for my future reviews. Until next time, stay safe everyone 🙂

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