Hi folks, today marks the day of the new Trial Deck THE iDOLM@STER TV Anime ver release. Being the 3rd Trial Deck in this neo-standard, there has been a lot of talk about the potential of some cards included within.
Awesome packaging with very nice and striking colours!
And it sure didn’t disappoint! Read more to find out.
To begin with, a brief history of THE iDOLM@STER. Initially an arcade game by Namco, THE iDOLM@STER (or iM@S from henceforth) originally debutted in July2005, and eventually porting over to the Xbox 360 in January 2007.
There has been no increment in cast since the introduction of Hibiki and Takane, since IM@S SP
It subsequently released THE iDOLM@STER Live For You, THE iDOLM@STER SP (3 versions, for the PSP), THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars (Nintendo DS), THE iDOLM@STER 2 (PS3 and XBox 360) and a whole lot of THE iDOLM@STER GravureFor You.
Last year, THE iDOLM@STER had it’s first full anime adaptation! The franchise did had it’s run ins with anime though. Idolmaster: Xenoglossia wasn’t exactly a great spin-off and still isn’t exactly well received.
Being the third set for THE iDOLM@STER, this booster will provide an additional 80 cards, bringing the total card pool (including name repeats) to around 400 cards already. Very impressive.
The first booster, THE iDOLM@STER (called IMv1 from hence forth) had a very good start, being the 3rd set to encompass CHANGE ability, and was the pioneer of “running abilities” as well.
THE iDOLM@STER 2 (the previous booster, called IMv2 from hence forth) boasted a great boost in the C and U department, while upgrading character/team/theme decks with useful Rs and RRs.
From observation of cards revealed so far, this third outing (IMv3) might proof to be the charm. The set seem to be revisiting abilities utilizing the presence of certain Event cards when they are in Memory, as well as double reinforcing the core set cards that have already pre-existed.
The new Trial Deck boasts all new cards, 19 new card variants with 1 card amongst them an ability change from the previous version in IMv1.
Trivia: Originally not in the first line-up, Miki was first introduced in IM@S for the first 360 game.
【ACT】［①］During this turn, this card gains Power +1000. This card gains the following ability 『【AUTO】 When this card puts a Battling Opponent to 【Knockout】, you may put it to the top of your opponent’s Deck.』
A repeat ability from another set Bakemonogatari, this card is actually one of the few cards that can put the opponent to his top deck in the whole iM@S neo-standard. Apart from Haruka and Ai level 3s, this is probably one of the few rare cards in the set with actual damage control to the opponent. The additional 1k boost, along with CHANGE!!!! climax (+2k1s) can easily make an opponent lose an important fighting piece.
Pretty useful, especially with it’s 《Music》 trait.
Trivia: Makoto, always wanting to be girlish, has been the star of many fan mangas depicting her as such…
【CONT】ASSIST Cards belonging to you in front of this card gains Power +1000.
【AUTO】［①］ When this card is played from hand to Stage, you may pay the cost to activate this ability. Should you do so, choose 1 of your other Character cards with 《Music》 trait and it gains the following ability this turn.『【CONT】 When this Side attacks, there will be no penalty to Soul.』
A pretty useful support for this deck. As the deck revolves a defensive build and burst attacking, this card allows cards with small Power to Side attack without penalty for that turn. It will also allow for better Stage maintenance while using level 2s and 1s in this deck, since it does not support any CHANGE abilities.
However when compared to other support cards, both Ritsukos, Yayoi and the new Iori from the new booster, this card is but another option. The current obvious choice would be to follow the colour of the deck, but Ritsuko seemed to have taken the spot for blue.
Trivia: Haruka Amami’s seiyuu Eriko Nakamura’s pet name is Eririn
【AUTO】 When this card is put from hand to Stage, you may choose the top card of your Clock and put it to your Waiting Room.
【AUTO】 When this card is put to 【Knockout】, should your opponent be level 2 or below, you may put it to 【Knockout】.
Finally! A Haruka with heal abiltiies! With the help of 《Snack》 trait Encore support from IMv2 (also Haruka), players may expect a big longevity using this card. With it’s ability to self destruct any level 2 and below, you may choose this card to bomb the opponent’s Stage as well as create a lose-lose situation for the opponent. Very effective against decks which do not Change.
However, the ability comes a little late, at level 3. With no Change or early summoning conditions, this ability is useful, but not at all broken yet. It’s 9500 Power also makes it less of a threat, unless you play it with BK Maniac from IMv2…
Also comes in RRR rarity.
Trivia: Chihaya Kisaragi’s seiyuu Asami Imai’s pet name is Mingosu
【CONT】 Cards opposing this card gains Soul -1.
【ACT】［①］ Choose 1 of your Character cards with 《Music》 trait, until the end of your opponent’s turn, that card gains Power +1000.
A very defensive card, this card renders most 1 Soul character cards useless. With it’s second ability, you may pay up to an infinite number of Cost to give any Power to any of your cards and make sure it stays big until your opponent’s end turn, if you have that many Stock to use it.
Makoto Level 3 from IMv2 however, is a much better choice considering it gives 2 character cards 1000 Power on the opponent’s turn, as long as Makoto isn’t put to Knockout in the Center Stage. But yet, in comparison, Chihaya’s alternate level 3 from IMv1 seems to be a probable better choice.
Also available in RRR rarity.
Trivia: Hibiki’s seiyuu Manami Numakura performs best when she goes, out of tune.
A basic 8500 vanilla. Not too shabby, but not altogether very awesome neither.
To be very honest, in all my experience of Weiss over 5 years, I would say this is the first Trial Deck which has a use for almost every card, or build on to the strength previous sets so effectively. Below are my top picks for useful cards in the deck:
IM/S21-T01 新人アイドル 春香 / Newbie Idol Haruka – This is also the first time I’ve encountered a global Trait boost card, in a Trial Deck. And it’s Haruka, easily supportable with Encore [Discard 1 Character card]. It comes with 4 copies per deck, with 1 definite foil version and signed version. Also, because it’s red, it is a good option to consider with any deck that runs Gate.
IM/S21-T03 再び舞台へ 美希 / Returning to Stage Miki – A valid option for red 0 cost attackers.
IM/S21-T04 セクシーサンタ 美希 / Sexy Santa Miki – Finally a red 3000 Counter, this card can also solve problems with decks dependent on a small amount of Reds. Also, sexy santa Miki is sexy.
IM/S21-T05 READY!! – 4 Gates in a Trial Deck. ’nuff said.
IM/S21-T06 ゲロゲロキッチン 千早 / Gerogero Kitchen Chihaya – A level 0 with potential 5500 by tapping 2 Character cards? Especially when they’re global support Haruka? Not too shabby for a level 0.
IM/S21-T07 次世代の輝き 絵理 / Light of the Next Generation Eri – Being able to check your top deck will allow you to plan your next attack easily. Also allows the player to avoid triggering Climax cards by using it’s ability to put it to the bottom of the deck.
IM/S21-T09 アクションスター！ 真 / Action Star Makoto – With the potential to reach 5500 with Encore, this card can really help with field maintenance at level 1, that is if you’re considering only the Trial Deck cards.
IM/S21-T11 まっこまこりーん！ 真 / Makko Makkorin! Makoto – Another card which can attain conditional Encore, this card can help maintain Stage presence at lv2 as well.
IM/S21-T12 ある日の風景 / Scenery of the Day – A slight yet significant improvement from it’s counterpart in IMv1, this card allows you to discard, AFTER you draw your cards. This also improves on the playability of all cards that utilizes this Climax card from IMv1, including Chihaya level 3 and Ritsuko X level support.
IM/S21-T13 約束 / Promise – Book Climax cards, a secondary way to ensure good handsize. Also, awesome and powerful scene in the anime.
IM/S21-T14 CHANGE!!!! - +2000 Power and 1 Soul Climax, essential to keep pierce through the opponent’s defence, so as to hold the fort during your opponent’s turn. Very useful as it doesn’t reduce the player’s handsize as well.
Indeed, a wonderfully synergized deck, which opens up for both new players and old. The ease to maintain handsize with this deck, even against slightly more advanced decks make this Trial Deck a force to be reckon’ed with.
We would also like to thank Genesis Frontier and all involved persons that made this review possible. Do look out for more iM@S cards when we review the set on the first week of August!