We’re back at it again, this time with Samurai Shodown. I opted to skip a Fate overview, as I felt like nothing in that collab had any real staying power. That isn’t to say anything outside Shizumaru in this collab really warrants very much attention either. This is another case of Gung Ho’s recent obsession with re-running old collabs and just adding an extremely strong Orb Skin card.
Starting from this collab onwards, I will be using a tier system. Instead of assigning numbers or letter grades, I will be breaking the cards into 3 separate categories: Chase, Potentially Useful, and Garbage. I should also say, I look at most cards through the lens of end game for the most part. So it may have some use outside of that, my knowledge in those areas is more limited, so my opinions on that will be less researched. I don’t want to provide anyone with an un-researched opinion if I can avoid it.
Cards in the Chase category will be units that I think are the most important to pick up, depending on what your box looks like. Potentially Useful cards will be cards that I think have very niche (but potentially important) use, or cards that seem useful, but currently don’t have a use. Garbage cards will either be skipped completely, or are just completely eclipsed by many other cards. It is more than likely I will just skip mentioning the garbage cards unless I feel like there is something noteworthy about them.
This collab has only 1 card that I feel is a true chase, but a small handful of cards I would deem potentially useful.
Shizumaru does everything Royal Oak could ever want. 2x RCV to help mitigate RCV debuffs, and he makes up for Royal Oak’s lack of any RCV multiplier. Shizumaru creates 3 of the 5 water orbs needed to activate Oak’s leader skill and 3 hearts which compliments the buffed RCV. The only very small downside to the active skill is that it replaces the 20 turn water orb skyfall that Oak gives on his first transform with a 1 turn fire orb skyfall. That being said, Oak’s active skill changes Fire into Water, so it isn’t like this really punishes you all that much.
The awakenings add to this card’s strength. He boasts a 22.5x personal attack multiplier, not including the VDP awaken (56.25x if you do). Very few cards can even hope to match a personal multiplier this high. Having Full Blind Immunity as an added bonus really helps push this card over the edge as well.
Outside of Shizumaru only one other strong Water card has Full-Bind Immunity attached to it, which is Bride Elsha –they are very similar cards. Bride Elsha offers the same Full blind coverage, a (Smaller) RCV Buff, 1 turn of VDP and 1.5x orb movement time. So where Shizumaru creates needed orbs, Bride Elsha gives time-extend as well as a 1-turn VDP active skill, so the choice of which to use comes down to the dungeon at hand. Sadly for Bride Elsha, her Time-Extend is almost completely eclipsed by Azure Dracoblader of the Split Sky, Kyori, however that is another review for another time. Ultimately, the damage awakenings on Shizumaru greatly benefit Royal Oak, far more than Bride Elsha. L-Unlock Awakens give consistent damage, where Takoyaki Awakens tend to not offer as much to a lead that wants to only make one L per board most of the time.
To really ice this cake, the pre-transform offers you not only 5 effective Skill-Boosts, but 3 of those can be used at your discretion. You could transform Royal Oak and use Shizumaru to give you an extra 3 turns of Skill-Boost towards the second transformation of Royal Oak. This means you only require another 3 turn haste or delay active to get you to your last transform.
The final quick point to mention is that Shizumaru can also be used as an Asymmetric pairing for Royal Oak in Shura 3. It sacrifices the 5 million Auto-Fua, and .5x HP for a 1.5x RCV multiplier. It obviously is less consistent than Oak x Oak, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Though if you own Royal Oak already, there is no reason to bother doing this.
Shiki is in this category, more specifically her equip form, Nameless. The 2 base forms don’t seem useful. Nameless’ unique offerings make it a mainstay on Royal Oak and Ryumei teams. Its main competition comes in the form of Demonlord Crasher. Where this card gives 2 Ls and no other utility, Crasher offers Tape and a -50% awaken but 1 less L and a -HP awaken. However, in the context of Royal Oak teambuilding it does make you a near perfect board. 5 of each color orb does essentially mean 10 blue, as dark will be changed to blue orbs with Royal Oak’s active skill. The unlock is useful when Kyori is on cooldown, or if you are trying to charge an inherited active. It has also seen very niche use on Rainbow teams that need L-Unlock but can’t get it from a sub.
Yet another entry into the ever growing list of strong Green Clerics. Alynna makes this card somewhat obsolete for Shura 3, due to her sub attribute and better overall use on Nautilus teams (please see my Relic Dragon Overview for a more in depth breakdown of Alynna). That said, this card has seen a large amount of success in other end game dungeons. For Shura 2 Yashamaru is completely acceptable as a cleric. There, players are given far more time in between Awoken binds and unmatchable orb status to reliably charge up this active skill. With his newly added 10c Super Awakening, he can now have 20x personal damage, far out doing even Alynna’s damage. However, it comes at the cost of not being able to take the second SB+ Super Awakening. It’s more likely this card sees play on non-Nautilus Green teams, such as Nadeko, Guile or the newly released Joachim—all three of which are consistent Shura 2 leads.
His equip form Shanao is one of only two full-cleric Green equips and it also comes with 4 Jammer Resists attached to it. The main competition for this equip would include TAMADRA Gift Box and Ippon Katana. In this case it offers the 4 jammers that none of these other cards do, so it would see use in those niche instances where the 4 jammers are required to get full coverage on teams. It’s also worth mentioning that equip stat transfers mean that on a green team, this will offer you some HP that those other 2 options will not. It also offers a board refresh, removing any locks or status orbs currently on your board. This can be a benefit or a detriment depending on the situation, but is most often a benefit.
The newest evolution for this card, Heroic Outlaw, Yashamaru Kurama, also has some potential use as a sub on some green teams as well. That being said, no team has really needed or wanted what he offers as of yet. 31.25x personal damage, with Two (Potentially Three with Super Awakens) Cross-Awakenings makes for great utility and damage as well, not to mention the full Jammer immunity. It just happens that no team currently requires this specific combination of awakenings yet, though one may in the near future.
His awakenings offer exactly what is needed for a damage stick in Shura 2. The use starts and stops there though, as outside Shura 2 these awakenings tend to have far less use. It just so happens that the most important floors are either Devil or Attacker. A 1-turn delay active skill is also useful, though often this card will be used to hold an equip active skill until needed. A small note to add onto this card is that currently in NA there is an extreme lack of viable Light leads, which restricts this card’s usage even farther.
This card truly personifies cards that might be useful but just don’t have a home right now. The first evolution Wicked Colossal Ninja, Earthquake, has one of the most stacked actives in the game. It could be used to farm daily dungeons or farmables right now, as the active would make light work of most bosses and difficult spawns. Though as far as Shura goes, it just doesn’t have a place to call home. His leader skill doesn’t fit late game content at all and the active skill is just too long to be relied on, though with 6 Skill Boosts (after Super Awakens) it may see use in the near future.
His equip form, Fujiyama, follows in the footsteps of its non-equip brothers. His equip has the same loaded active and a very strong set of awoken skills. However, while the awoken skills look great on paper, they end up not lining up the way almost any meta Red lead would want them to. A Skill-Boost is great, but tons of other equips offer this. 3 Red-Row awakens is strong no doubt, but many other great equips offer this too, especially Red Ney and Madoo’s equip. This card is worth the mention because while Japan has many better Red Row equips, we lack them (more than just one, as it’s 8 now at this point).
I feel like most everything else in this machine is either not worth your time to read about, or just will never see any real meaningful use. So that ends this overview; I hope you found something useful. Stay safe everyone, take care until next time. 🙂