Hey everyone, RB here with another Card of the Week! You may have noticed that each week I’ve written about a different element, so for observant readers, you’re probably expecting an Ice Element card this week. Well, as it just so happens, one of my favorite Ice Forwards made an appearance in Kaspar Wolf’s deck to win Germany Nationals, so it seemed fitting to talk about it this week. That Forward is none other than [2-035H] Shelke, from FINAL FANTASY VII: DIRGE OF CERBERUS!
Shelke Rui first appears in the FINAL FANTASY VII spinoff title DIRGE OF CERBERUS. She is a 19-year-old girl who had Mako experimentation forced on her for her entire life by a SHINRA secret organization known as Deepground. While this stunted her growth, it also gave her the ability to tap into technology with her mind, making her a powerful weapon. Mako poisoning, from all of the experimentation on her, has left her dependent on others to survive. Luckily, with the Opus II version of Shelke, she’s never alone.
Let’s take a look!
When Shelke enters the field, you may play a 2 cost Forward of any element except Ice from your hand onto the field for free. If you do, your opponent discards 1 card from their hand. This effect not only allows you to go wide with your Forwards, playing 2 Forwards for the price of 1, but it gives you card advantage by forcing your opponent to discard a card. That said, you can only play Shelke in a deck with more than one color, as her ability doesn’t work with Ice forwards. Let’s look at some options.
If you’ve been keeping up with each week’s Card of the Week article, you should remember Mime [1-173C] from last week. She’s just as effective with Shelke, since Mime requires another forward to party attack with for full value, playing Shelke and Mime together almost guarantees she’ll be able to party up and draw a card. Serafie [1-109R] is a great choice when playing Earth. Serafie allows both players to select 1 Forward from their Break Zone and add it to their hand. While normally this can be risky, Shelke’s discard effect means your opponent is already down 1 card, meaning you’ll be gaining a Forward while your opponent will more-or-less break even. Lastly, Gadot [1-007R] is an incredibly powerful combo with Shelke if you’re playing Fire. When Gadot enters the field, you may play 1 Fire Forward of cost 2 or less from your hand onto the field, and all Forwards you control gain 1000 Power until the end of the turn. That will give you THREE Forwards for just the price of playing Shelke, and a decent buff to any Forwards you might attack with that turn.
So, clearly Shelke is really strong in a Fire deck, let’s look at some other cards you would want to play in an Ice/Fire deck to use Shelke effectively.
Playing Shelke and Tifa early can be a devastating start as your opponent will already need to deal with two Forwards, they’ll likely have already taken a point of damage because of Tifa’s Haste, and they’ll be down 1 card in their hand from Shelke’s ability, she’s a great Forward for catching your opponent off guard with an extra attacker. Vivi [3-149S] is not only great at defending, but his abilities can remove any serious threats to pave the way for Shelke to attack. Also, when playing Shelke, you’ll definitely want to include Shalua [2-036R]. While Shalua is on the field, your Shelke gains 2000 Power. At 7000 Power, Shelke is a serious threat to many of the Forwards in the game. On top of that, you can Break Shalua to protect Shelke from the next damage that would be dealt to her, reducing it to 0. This means you can essentially use Shalua to fully block an attack, while Shelke goes unharmed.
What’s your favorite Forward to use with Shelke? Are there any new deck ideas you have in mind to play Shelke in? Let us know on our official Facebook at http://facebook.com/SquareEnixProductsEU/!
See you next week!