Ain’t Easy Being Green

Welcome back! It’s time for us to take another dive into the Evangelion Card Game, powered by the Chrono Clash system. Today, I’ll be continuing my deep dive into each of the colors, or factions, in the game, taking a look at what each has to offer and speculating on tactics that can be employed against that color.

As a reminder, my analysis is based off a complete list of the cards in this game that I made. The card list (and my analysis) can be found here. In this document, you’ll notice that I put battlers into one of four categories: EVAs, Pilots, Angels, and Other. Two of these categories are huge monsters – biomechanical EVAs or unknowable Angels, and the other two are humans – Pilots and Other. Pilots, for those new to the game, can come into play in two ways – as an independent battler, or as an “attachment” for an EVA. While piloting an EVA, the pilot adds its strength and special abilities to the EVA.

Ok, with all that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the color that might be the polar opposite of last week’s color. For those interested in checking out my previous deep dive into Red, you can check it out here.

 

Green

Color Identity:

It’s tempting to assume that Green is simply the “Giant Battler” color. And it’s easy to understand why. As we discussed last week, Green has 1 fewer battler than usual (which appears to have defected to Red), and the average cost of Green cards (not including Extra cards) is 4.71, the highest in the game by a wide margin (followed by Purple at 4.33, Blue at 4.22, and Red at 3.68). But these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

You see, if we just look at battlers with STR 6 or higher (what I would consider the true giants of the battlefield), the difference between Green and the other colors isn’t as stark as I would have initially assumed. Green and Blue are tied in the lead with 5, Red and Purple trail behind with 4. Things look a little better when you add in the Extra cards. Green now leads with 9 total cards, Purple and Red trail with 7, and Blue brings up the rear with 6. That said, I don’t think it’s appropriate to lean on the Extra cards to entirely define color identity, just because they represent such a small fraction of the cards in the pool.

So, what is Green’s color identity? Well, it complicated. Some of it is the large battlers I spoke about before. Green is also arguable the most defensive color – it is tied with Blue for having the most battlers with Taunt and Sentinel, but Green’s battlers are much more resilient. The color also features at least average offense, which is greatly enhanced by its Extra cards, including 2 with Guardian Attack +3 (the highest in the game!). Green is also unequivocally the questing color. Sure, Red might splash around in those waters, but they are Green’s domain. Finally, while all colors spend time doing strength manipulation (gaining or losing it), Green is the most versatile at doing so.

So, what is Green’s color identity?

  • High Strength Defense
  • Strong Offense, particularly in the Extra cards.
  • Master of Questing
  • Strength Manipulation
  • Cost Reduction

 

Primary Mechanics:

Leadership Pilot
Having these pilots attack alone would be suicide.

Leader (3 + 1 Extra): This is an ability that lowers the cost of your battlers. Whenever a battler with Leader attacks, the next battler you play has its cost reduced by a specific value. Green is the only color that has this ability, with Leader values that range from 2 to 4. For a faction with the most expensive battlers, this is a welcome ability. The only potential problem is where the ability is found. The first card is a 3 cost event that grants all of your battlers Leader (2) for a turn. While this is very neat, it means that you have to have the 3 time to play the card and then attack with your battlers to get any benefit from it. The other two normal cards are pretty fragile pilots (STR 2 and 4). It is pretty unlikely that you would want to attack with either alone, which means that you already need a sturdy EVA for them to pilot. None of this is insurmountable, it just takes effort to set up. Finally, the Extra card is a 7 cost, 6 STR EVA battler with Leader (4). Being able to drop this and attack to effectively gain 4 time is pretty amazing, but it’s strength value means that you’ll have to be careful what you chose to attack. Fortunately, you’ll get the cost reduction whether you are destroyed or not.

Gendoh Ikari
Gendoh Ikari. Bad father and master of delay.

Gaining Time (3): While Blue is the master of gaining time, Green does dabble in it, and the ability makes a nice compliment to Leader. Two of Green’s cards can gain time repeatedly – one is a bonus gained from clearing a Quest (although its an expensive unit, so I’m not sure how often it will be questing), and the other gives one of your battlers a strength penalty in exchange for more time. If I’m reading the rules right, this card has to target an untapped battler, so it actively puts one of your units at risk (unless they were questing, of course!). Finally, there is a battler who gives you time when destroyed. I would usually prefer to gain time on my own turn, but since this battler also has Taunt, I’m guessing you will usually gain it on your opponent’s turn, which isn’t bad. This battler could be good fodder for an Extra card.

STR Event
The versatility of this card is awesome!

Gaining Strength (4 + 2 Extra): While Green may not have the highest STR battler (that honor belongs to Red, as described previously), it has a number of ways of buffing its own strength. The most straight-forward way of doing so is gaining temporary STR when you attack (2 battlers). Green can also give STR to any battler – either by clearing a quest (which seems situational), or playing a 3 cost event that gives +6 STR to one battler or +3 STR to two battlers. Sometimes you need a big battler to take down a problematic battler that your opponent has, and a +6 STR bonus out of nowhere is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. Finally, Green has two Extra cards that grant ALL your battlers +4 STR – one of these triggers when it attacks, while another triggers when it is defeated.

Second Impact
So much potential, yet so tricky to maximize!

Strength Penalties (2): This is certainly a lesser theme for Green, but it shines through partially because there are so few cards (5 + 1 Extra) in the game that give strength penalties. Some of those other cards may be more reliable than what Green has, but none are as flashy. Second Impact is a 6 cost event that gives -5 STR to all battlers. The ability is significant because when a battler reaches 0 STR, it is destroyed. So this has the potential to be an asymmetrical board wipe, which clears away your opponent’s battlers while leaving yours ready to fight. Admittedly, you would need a lot of time to be able to play this and still have time left over to take advantage of the cleared board. Regardless, the card has tremendous potential. Green’s other debuffer imposes their strength penalty after clearing a quest. Both of these cards also have a Guardian Ability that lowers STR.

Gain Guardian by Quest
Wah!?! Gain a GUARDIAN?! Yes please!

Questing (5): Questing as a strategy is far too complicated for me to cover it in this article, so look forward to another after I go through all the colors on how to maximize this alternative victory condition. But Green is certainly king in the land of questing. If we just consider its Quest Clear abilities, they have 2 that draw Extra cards (one of which also gives a battler +5 STR), 1 that gives a -2 STR penalty (which could kill a small battler, or help you take down a large one), and 1 that gives +2 time. While all of those abilities are useful, it is the fifth and final Quest Clear ability that I want to discuss as it is unique in the card pool. Rei’s own Evangelion Prototype-00′ which will gain you a new Guardian when it quests. The card is offense and defense wrapped in the same package –  simultaneously moving you closer to Quest victory while bolstering your Guardian defense. It even comes in a 4 cost, 5 STR body which is fairly cost effective and not too expensive for a quester. I imagine this will feature prominently in a majority of the quest decks out there. It is likely to be a high profile target, so you’ll need to take steps to protect it.

 

Offensive Capabilities:

Guardian Attack +X (5 cards + 4 Extra): Setting aside the Extra cards for a moment, Green doesn’t look that impressive: 5 cards with Guardian Attack +1, and none higher. Compare this to Purple’s 8 cards (including 1 Guardian Attack +2), or Blue’s 7 cards. The only color with a worse offense is Red who only has 3 cards (although 1 has Guardian Attack +2). Now it should be said that some of these offensive Green battlers are fairly impressive in their own right. They include the only STR 9 battler in the game, whose strength is eclipsed only by Evangelion 13 in Red with STR 10.

But Green’s real offensive power comes from it’s extra cards. Like all Extra cards, they have Fast, and two of them have Guardian Attack +1, while two others have Guardian Attack +3 and STR 10! These represent 2 of the 3 Guardian Attack +3 battlers and 2 of the 3 STR 10 battlers in the game! Quite impressive. But while we’re on the subject of these Extra battlers, I’d like you to take a quick look at them.

Looks like identical stats, right? 10 STR, Fast, Guardian Attack +3. So why does one cost 7 while the other costs 8? Seriously, am I missing something? Was there a misprint? Will poor Rei’s EVA forever remain inferior to Asuka’s?

Anyway, while Green clearly can dish out some damage (particularly with its Extra cards), it just isn’t the focused on offense. Green instead compliments it’s strong defense with occasional and devastating counterattacks.

 

Defensive Capabilities:

Big Sentinel
The grand-daddy of Sentinels.

Sentinel (3 cards + 1 Extra): This is perhaps the area that Green shines brightest in. If you have a tapped battler with Sentinel (who isn’t questing), your opponent may not attack your Guardians. It is the only true defense the game has to offer you. Your other battlers would just watch helplessly as you lost the game. Not so with Sentinels!

This fundamental ability is only present in two colors – Blue and Green, which immediately divides the colors into Defensive and Offensive colors. And when you look at the battlers with Sentinel, the difference between Blue and Green becomes immediately apparent. Blue has 3 Sentinels, all of whom are STR 3 or less. They’re cheap and disposable. Green, on the other hand, has 4 Sentinels all of whom have STR 4 or higher (all the way up to STR 9!). To make the difference even more stark, Green has a Pilot with Sentinel, meaning that it can give Sentinel to any of your EVAs (along with +4 STR!). Blue’s Sentinels are speed bumps that absorb a single attack, while Green’s are major road-blocks that can derail your opponent’s entire plan.

Green Taunt Angel
Green has rather standard high STR taunters.

Taunt (3 cards): Taunt is a useful secondary defensive ability, as it prevents your non-taunt battlers from being attacked. As a result, it pairs really nicely with Sentinel. Imagine that you have a tapped Sentinel, and a tapped Taunter. Your opponent can’t attack your Guardians, and they can’t attack the Sentinel protecting them until they finish off the Taunter. It is also an ability that helps to protect your questers, allowing them to complete quests more frequently. All colors have access to Taunt, and Green is actually tied for fewest Taunter (Purple leads with 6, followed by Blue with 4, then Red and Green with 3). Taunter of all colors tend to have high (6+) strength, and Green is no exception. As a fun flavor note, almost all Angels have Taunt which seems really fitting to me. Whenever they show up, they demand everybody’s attention – ain’t no time for infighting between EVAs when an Angel’s around!

 

Support Capabilities:

Sentinel Recursion
Potentially a really key piece to Green’s defense.

Recursion (1): This ability has no specific name in Chrono Clash, but I am using this term to refer to abilities that target battlers in your discard pile and return them to your hand. It’s an incredibly powerful ability that simultaneously acts as a form of card draw and card filtering (you get exactly the card you want). This ability is almost exclusively the domain of Purple, but Green gets to use it on exactly 1 card. So why am I talking about an ability that appears on a single card? Because Green’s recursion card specifically retrieves battlers with Sentinel, which really strengthens Green’s theme of road-block style defenders. Even if you manage to deal with one of these large sentinels, it has the possibility of coming right back. The really nice thing about this ability is that it triggers when the battler who has it is summoned, which means there is nothing your opponent can do to stop the ability from happening.

Drawing Extra cards (6): Every color needs a mechanism to draw Extra cards. It doesn’t matter how fierce-some your Extra battlers are if you never draw them. Green is in a bit of a weird situation here as 2 of it’s Extra draw abilities are tied to Quest completion, which likely means you’ll never trigger them outside a dedicated questing deck or a switch deck that is able to pursue either victory condition, depending on the circumstances. Outside of questing, there are 2 Guardian Abilities and a 3 cost event that all allow you to draw an Extra card (the event also gives all your battlers Leader (2)). Finally, one battler will draw you an Extra card when it is destroyed. So, 2 Quest-dependent draws, 2 Guardian Ability draws, an event, and a draw-on-destroy ability. Workable, but not great unless you are seriously considering questing.

Guardian Abilities: 10 of Green’s 17 cards normal cards have a Guardian Ability. This is typical for all of the colors except for Red. However, defensive Guardian Abilities are in short supply – Green heavily relies on its Sentinels preventing their Guardians from being attacked in the first place. 1 card will tap a battler (hopefully preventing an attack), and another gives a battler “Can’t Attack” which will stop a multi-Guardian attack in its tracks or prevent a different attack. There are also 2 Guardian Abilities that give STR penalties. These could cause a battler to unexpectedly die, or could kill off small battlers, but I think it’s of limited usefulness on your opponent’s turn. The other 6 abilities lean more towards support – either drawing Extra cards (2), or letting you return the Guardian card to your hand (4). These Guardian Abilities are the only card draw that Green has access to, which isn’t too bad if you are questing, since you can prioritize putting these cards on your battlers when they quest. If any of them should be destroyed, at least the card returns to your hand.

 

Weaknesses:

Green is interesting in that on the surface, it has few apparent weaknesses. It has arguably the best defense in the game (particularly for your Guardians) along with descent Guardian Attack offense and the possibility for really devastating blows with their Extra cards. And if the standard attack plan doesn’t work, Green can always lean back on its questing capabilities.

But beneath the surface, you see that while Green can be very versatile, many of their strengths are tricky to set up and tend to feature multiple moving parts. Take Leader for example, most of Green’s Leader battlers are pilots who don’t want to attack alone, meaning that they need an EVA to pilot. Another example is questing. In an ideal circumstance, questing requires 2-3 battlers: a quester, a Taunter to protect them, and a Sentinel to protect your Guardians. Their straightforward strengths – like Sentinel defense, delay the game, rather than win it.

Normally in these tactical card games, decks that require multiple pieces will include additional card draw to increase the chances that they will get each combo part. However, Green has a notable lack of card draw. Apart from the Extra card draw discussed above, Green’s only card draw are Guardian Abilities that return the card to hand. Requiring multiple specific cards without card draw (other than the 1 per turn) means that you are particularly dependent on “top decking” the right card at the right time.

 

Good Colors to Pair with Green:

Each color has something to offer Green. Interestingly, Green already starts off in a fairly balanced position, so the question is what aspect of it you want to highlight. If you are looking for more offensive capabilities, Red or Purple might be the way to go. Purple focuses on cost-efficient battlers (who often have a downside), while Red offers lots of cheap battlers who can compliment Green’s higher cost. Purple has the added benefit of having lots of Taunters who can help protect your important battlers, while Red has some helpful Quest Clear abilities, and provides access to easy destruction. Finally, if you want to double down on your defense, Blue is your color. It also helps compensate for your card draw weakness, while also giving you better access to time generation. Focusing on using your battlers to generate time can give Blue/Green a very control-feel, as is shown by this deck build on youtube.

 

How to Fight Green:

Every deck needs a plan for offense (how you will win the game) and defense (how you will prevent your opponent from winning the game). When you are fighting Green, your offensive plan must include a way to overcome high STR Sentinels. This could be as simple as having high STR battlers of your own who can take them down (which any color can theoretically do). Or it could be more nuanced like Red’s ability to destroy Sentinels (either with the Spear of Longinus & Spear of Cassius or EVA-01 (Progressive Knife)), or Purple’s ability to grant Last Stand to a battler (granting it to the Sentinel means that the next time it is involved in a battle, it will die). And of course, it never hurts to have an effect up your sleeve that destroys any enemy without Cost or STR restrictions (like Purple’s 10th Angel).

As for your defensive plan, your first task when playing against Green is to determine their primary win condition. You see, when fighting the other 3 colors, it is almost always safe to assume that your opponent will attempt to win by taking out your Guardians. With this knowledge in mind, you can develop your defense accordingly: maybe you rely on Sentinel defenders to protect you or maybe you plan on simply outpacing your opponent and finishing them before they finish you. But against Green, that is only one of two viable paths to victory. If your opponent is questing, it may require a whole different defense paradigm. Sentinel defenders might not be as important, and you have to start preparing ways to strategically remove quest cards to prevent quest completion. This could be by attacking specific questers (usually those with the worst Quest Clear abilities), or destroying them.

Two final pieces of advice: First, watch out for Green’s Extra cards. All colors have extra cards that can change the game, but a Fast, Guardian Attack +3 battler changes the game just a bit differently. Having 4 of your Guardians unexpectedly destroyed may well cost you the game. And second, if you have determined that your opponent is playing a quest deck, don’t underestimate its combat capabilities. Most (maybe all) quest decks are actually switch decks in that they have the flexibility to pursue both victory conditions. You may find yourself in a situation against a quest deck where you have no defenses and your opponent takes all their questers and lunges for your Guardians. I recently lost a game by underestimating this lunge potential.

 


Hopefully this gives you some food for thought when thinking about Green. Do you agree with my analysis? Have I missed some core capability or weakness? Let me know in the comments below. And feel free to post about your Green decks that have been successful and the key to their success!

Until next time, keep your synchronization rates high!

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