Welcome back! It’s time for us to take another look 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, of 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.
We’re back in the land of the offensive, baby! Purple wastes no time defending itself. It’s only goal is to kill before being killed. Unlike Red, it accomplishes this goal using mid cost (4-6) battlers who usually have Guardian Attack bonuses. Some also feature high STR-to-cost ratios and a drawback of some sort. Best of all, Purple has numerous ways of bringing these battlers back to your hand once defeated. By the end of the game, Purple effectively gives you the ability to draw the battler you think would be best in the current situation. And Purple’s battlers, especially the more expensive ones, have some really nice abilities, including, but not limited to, destruction. Careful identification of the board state and the battlers you have in your discard pile are important skills to cultivate when playing Purple.
Purple is also very well situated to play Extra cards. When you sacrifice one (or more) of your battlers to play an Extra card, you really want to get some sort of benefit from them beforehand. This could mean attacking with the battler first (although then you risk being destroyed), or sacrificing battlers with abilities that trigger on destruction. And Purple has 8 normal battlers with On-Destruction Abilities – more than any other color (followed by Blue with 5, Green with 2, and Red with 1). Better yet, 4 of these destroy a battler who meets a specific condition. What’s better than playing an Extra card? How about playing an Extra card and destroying an enemy battler?
Speaking of Purple’s Extra cards, they are worth talking about. Purple has the most expensive Extra cards with an average cost of 6.67 (followed by Green with 6.17, Red with 4.67 and Blue with 3.67). So what do you get for this cost? Well, how about the highest average STR value (7.0) and a suite of On-Summon Abilities that form a toolbox of unconditional destruction (destroy any target), drawing battlers from your discard pile, or activating other On-Summon abilities? Finally, Purple is one of only two colors that have an Extra event. Near Third Impact just destroys all battlers. If your board state ever looks particularly ugly, why not reset it and start over. Oh, and remember that as an extra card, it costs no time!
In short, Purple is flashy, aggressive, relentless, and has toolbox packed with destruction. What’s not to like?
Last Stand (3): This ability feels very much like Shinji to me. It’s a suicide ability where you gain STR and are destroyed at the end of the battle. The disadvantage to the ability is that it’s mandatory. If you have Last Stand, you have to use it. This means that you want to pick and choose your target carefully. I think it’s best used to take out a larger battler whose STR would normally be too high for you. Interestingly, there is a clarification in the Naruto FAQ – if you attack a Guardian that is revealed to be an event card, no battle happens meaning that Last Stand won’t trigger.
The cards that Purple has Last Stand on are also very interesting. None more so than the event Tohji & Kensuke, which taps a battler and gives all of your battlers Last Stand (+10 STR). That’s enough strength to take down the largest battler in the game. So you can suicide your small battlers into the largest EVAs and Angels to effectively clear the board. Also of interest is Asuka Shiknami Langley who is a pilot that gives Last Stand (+3 STR) to any battler when she is destroyed. This means that you could give it to an opponent’s battler who is now guaranteed to die the next time it is attacked this turn. That’s admittedly a bad trade for you (Asuka + another battle for one of theirs), but it could be tactically advantageous in the right circumstances.
Recursion (3 + 2 Extra): As we discussed last week, this is the term I am using to refer to abilities that target battlers in your discard pile and return them to your hand. It’s an incredibly powerful ability that acts as a form of targeted card draw (assuming you want a battler). Green is the only other color that shares this ability, but it features it in a limited fashion (Sentinels only) on only 1 card. This is really Purple’s domain. The triggers for this ability fall into two groups. 1) Single use abilities that your opponent can’t stop. These include 2 Guardian Abilities and 2 Extra cards who trigger it when summoned. 2) Repeatable abilities where you opponent has some measure of control over how often they trigger. This category includes Ryoji Kaji who taps to recur a battler and Evangelion Test Type-01 who does so when it attacks. Since neither can activate on the turn it is summoned, your opponent has an opportunity to deprive you of their use, although this can be partially mitigated using Taunt or other forms of protection. Furthermore, Evangelion Test Type-01 only has 4 STR, so it’s unlikely that you will get the chance to attack very often with it before it dies. Finally, the Extra card EVA-02 (Type S Components) deserves special mention. When it enters play, it returns ALL battlers from your discard pile to your hand, which could provide massive card advantage.
Opponent Gains Guardians (2): On the surface, this seems like an incredibly bad ability. Purple has 2 battlers that give your opponent extra Guardians when they are summoned. In exchange, they gain higher than usual stats for their cost. Each of these battlers has a Guardian Attack bonus equal to the number of Guardians they grant your opponent (+1 or +2). So on the surface, it appears that you just don’t get your Guardian Attack bonus the first time you attack. However, this assumes two important things: 1) that your battler is allowed to attack the enemy Guardians (it isn’t destroyed and there are no Sentinel defenders); and 2) that the Guardian cards don’t destroy you, return you to hand, or prevent you from finishing your attack. Nothing feels worse than playing a battler who gives your opponent +2 Guardians, only to have that battler be returned to your hand after hitting the first Guardian.
So, it’s a risky proposition, but the real question is are these cards powerful enough to make it worth the risk? Well, let’s first consider Evangelion Test Type-01. It’s a 3 cost EVA with 5 STR and Guardian Attack +1. It’s tied as the cheapest EVA in the game, so there aren’t a lot of good comparisons. But Red’s 3 cost EVA (also Evangelion Test Type-01) is STR 4, has Recovery, and when you summon it, you and an opponent draw an Extra card. Purple’s is clearly the more cost-efficient with STR 5 and Guardian Attack +1. But its medium strength means there is a real chance that it will die to a Guardian. Red’s suffers the same likelihood of death, but Recovery means that it won’t die while attacking. You can consistently take down 1 Guardian every turn with Red’s card. Not so with Purple’s. For me, this card is generally not worth the inherent risks.
The second card is 9th Angel (EVA-03), which gives your opponent 2 Guardians! It’s a 4 cost, 8 STR (!) battler with Guardian Attack +2 (!) and Taunt. Oh, and it also draws you a Extra card when you summon it. I think there is a good comparison to be made with another Purple card – 7th Angel. Both have 8 STR, a Guardian Attack bonus, and Taunt. Where they differ is that the cheaper card has 1 more Guardian Attack (+2), and draws you an Extra card. The more expensive card destroys all battlers of cost 3 or less when it enters play. There are enough differences that it’s hard to judge which is stronger – the mass destruction could dramatically reshape the board state in your favor. Neither are likely to die to a Guardian (although it is possible). In general, this card seems worth it to me while the other seems too fragile to be worth giving your opponent a free Guardian.
Guardian Attack +X (8 + 4 Extra): This is where Purple shines. It has the highest number of battlers with Guardian Attack bonuses, followed by Blue (7 + 2 Extra) and Green (5 + 4 Extra), and finally by Red (3 + 4 Extra). Purple also includes three of the cheapest battlers with Guardian Attack bonuses (3-4 cost). One of which is the only Pilot in the game with this ability, which allows you to easily give any EVA an extra Guardian Attack bonus (and +2 STR). The card becomes terrifying when you realize that it depicts Shinji Ikari in an unstoppable guilt and frustration fueled frenzy. Purple also has 1 of only 2 normal battlers in the game with Guardian Attack +2. And, as shown above, Purple’s battler is only 4 cost, compared to the 8 cost behemoth in Red. The Extra cards are on the expensive side, but the vast majority have some form of Guardian Attack bonus (+1 or +2).
(Conditional) Destruction (6 + 3 Extra): One good way of punching through defenses is to simply destroy them. Fortunately, Purple comes packed with abilities to do just that. While most of these abilities are conditional, meaning that they can only kill targets that meet specific requirements, Purple is the only color with universal destruction. Just point at a battler and destroy it. The most extreme version of this is the aforementioned Extra event Near Third Impact,which just destroys all battlers. Purple also has a battler who will destroy another battler at the cost of 2 Time when it dies, and 2 Extra battlers who destroy a battler when summoned. Notable among the conditional destruction effects is 7th Angel – the most expensive Purple card at 8 cost – who destroys all battlers of cost 3 or less. Finally, Purple has an event that provides pseudo destruction (it’s not included in the tally above, but is worth mentioning). DON’T RUN AWAY returns a battler to its owner’s hand and then forces that player to discard a card. If you happen to have 4 time, you can remove a pesky defender, and if you don’t have that much time, you can attack, and then use the card to remove a potentially counter-attacker.
Taunt (6): Purple has no Sentinel to offer protection to your Guardians, but it has more Taunt than any other color (followed by Blue with 4, and Green/Red with 3 each). For those who don’t remember, when a battler with Taunt is tapped, your opponent can’t attack your battlers without Taunt. These battlers constrain your opponent’s choices and pair extremely well with various abilities like Sentinel. Purple is also blessed with the only Pilot with Taunt. For a mere 1 Time, you can give any EVA Taunt and +1 STR – not too shabby. Also of note, many of Purple’s Taunters have abilities that trigger when they are destroyed (4) meaning that you get one last good effect from them after they’re done defending your other battlers. It’s an excellent ability that Purple can offer to another color.
Trigger On-Summon Abilities (1 + 2 Extra): This is a very interesting ability that allows you to use a Summon Ability a second time. These abilities tend to be powerful since the game can rest assured that they can only trigger once. Purple is one of only two colors with this ability (the other is Blue), and it narrowly leads as the color with the most cards dedicated to it. Befitting such an ability, Purple also has the most battlers with Summon Abilities (5 + 4 Extra). However, 2 of these have abilities that give you opponent extra Guardians, so I’m guessing you would never want to trigger them again. Purple has two Summon Ability (1 + 1 Extra) that simply trigger another Summon Ability (again, not good targets to repeat), which leaves Purple with only 2 +3 Extra Summon Abilities worth re-triggering. Most of these abilities (2 + 2 Extra) allow you to destroy a battler (either conditionally or unconditionally), which could be very strong. The last Summon Ability (on an Extra card) returns all battlers from your discard pile to your hand (unlikely that you’ll need to trigger this multiple times, but who knows!). The point here is that Purple has some very strong Summon Abilities, but they are highly dependent on their Extra cards, and are sometimes situational. A Purple deck looking to make the fullest use of this ability would benefit from looking for another color with many Summon Abilities. Red has 3 (offering Extra card draw, STR penalty, and conditional destruction), Blue has 2 + 1 Extra (offering Guardian Attack +1, drawing a card, and tapping a battler), and Green has 1 (recur a battler with Sentinel).
Card Filtering (2): This is a term used in other tactical card games to refer to abilities that let you make your hand better but not bigger. Purple accomplishes this by allowing you to discard a card (which should be your worst card) to get something (hopefully) better. One battler lets you discard a card to draw an Extra card whenever it attacks (you’re likely to only get 1 use of this as the battler also has Last Stand). A second battler has you discard a card to return any battler from your discard pile to your hand whenever it attacks. Again, you aren’t likely to get many attacks out of this battler, as it only has STR 4, but it’s possible for you to keep recycling your best battler back to your hand.
Drawing Extra cards (4): 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. Purple has an especially hard time doing this. Each other color has 6 total abilities that draw Extra cards, but Purple has only 4, 2 of which trigger when the battler is destroyed, another triggers when summoned (but it also gives your opponent +2 Guardians), and the last triggers every time this battler attacks (likely to be only once due to Last Stand). Purple’s saving grace here is that once you have an Extra battler, you can recur it from your discard pile to your hand fairly easily. This means that each new Extra card Purple draws is particularly important, as once drawn, it might keep coming back over and over again.
Guardian Abilities: 10 of Purple’s 18 normal cards have a Guardian Ability. This is typical for all of the colors except for Red. Defensive Guardian Abilities are somewhat average – Purple has 2 cards that tap battlers (hopefully preventing them from attacking), and another that returns a battler to hand (which could prevent an attack or stop a Guardian Attack bonus battler in its tracks). This is a powerful Guardian Ability that only Purple and Red possess. Most of the rest (6) are dedicated to card draw in one form or another – 3 return the Guardian card to your hand, 2 let you return a battler from your discard pile to your hand, and the last simply draws you a card. The final Guardian Ability is perhaps the most interesting as it is unique. It lets you activate a Summon Ability on one of your battlers, which could potentially destroy an enemy combatant… or do nothing.
Alone, Purple is a very offensive color. It’s only viable strategy is to race their opponent – to defeat before being defeated. Unlike Red, it accomplishes this strategy with mid cost battlers who often have a Guardian Attack bonus of some sort and sometimes have more strength than usual due to a downside. But that leaves defense as it’s chief weakness. It can protect its own battlers fairly well with all of its Taunters, but Purple’s best tool to deal with potential counterattacks is to simply destroy those battlers. But every destruction ability used for defense is one less available to push towards victory. Honestly, this is a bit of a difficult section to write as I think Purple is in strong contention for being the strongest color in the game.
Good Colors to Pair with Purple:
Purple brings a lot to the table in terms of offense. It therefore makes a good pairing with any color that can provide the defense, meaning Green and Blue. Either color will also appreciate the Taunt that Purple brings as these battlers can help protect your Sentinels. Recursion is a strong addition to any color. Which deck wouldn’t want the ability to draw the perfect battler when you need it? The fact that the ability can provide card advantage also means that Purple could nicely fit into a questing deck (like Green + Purple). Taunt is particularly useful here as it protects your questing battlers.
Finally, Red offers Purple the opportunity to morph into a hyper-focused offensive deck. Not only will this deck be brimming with low and mid cost efficient battlers, it will feature the most conditional and unconditional destruction effects in the game, allowing the deck to remove defenders too strong to battle. A great example of a Purple + Red deck can be seen in this deck shown on youtube. (Link shared with creator’s permission)
How to Fight Purple:
When fighting Purple, you should have a solid defensive plan in mind. Thanks to its recursion and card filtering abilities, Purple has the ability to send wave after wave of good battlers at you. Purple wants to race you to the grave, and no other color (except maybe Red) has the speed it needs to reliably win that race. Hence the need for defenses of some sort. That said, you also have to remember that defense won’t win you the game. You need a way to reliably strike back. Given the resources you’ll be spending on defense, these counterattacks might not be terribly frequent, so you need them to count. That is exactly Green’s forte, meaning that it has a reasonable chance of standing up to Purple long enough to punch back.
Finally, it is very possible that Purple will give you additional Guardians. You need to maximize the power of this gift by including cards in your deck that make good Guardians. This could be because they have a great Guardian Ability (like returning an enemy battler to hand), or because they have high STR and are likely to kill whatever battler is attacking you.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought when looking at Purple. 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 your successful Purple decks below!
Until next time, DON’T RUN AWAY!