We’ve all seen this coming for a long time now and have already experienced the 6-star plague invade last time’s lineup, but, at least for me, the reality finally hit home that the PCGF will never be what it once was. Sure, there were always questionable inclusions, but this time, instead of them occurring because good information failed to trickle down to the lowest common denominator, it happened because there’s little other choice. The bulk of high-impact cards either being shifted outside of the standard REM or to 6-star GFEs leads to 11 of the 25 cards being 6-stars and I can’t really find fault in it; in a popularity contest, what else is left for people to vote for? Even though 6-stars are featured every godfest, people are still going to vote for them regardless of the impact on overall value. The way GungHo has shifted the game away from pantheons made this outcome inevitable; I mean, JP had 10/25 (and this was before the Kanna uevo) and KR also has 11/25 so it’s not like NA is some sort of anomaly.
This is still a great opportunity for veterans chasing a handful of specific cards, dupes be damned. Particularly if those cards would never be featured together otherwise. It’s also still decent for new players with few dupes as there are plenty of core team building blocks whose quality helps overcome the lack of overall value per roll, but on the other hand, variance hits harder which can be difficult for such a player to cope with. For everyone else, it’s time to shift expectations from a highly anticipated event to one that’s just another godfest and adjust their stone budgets accordingly.
Anyways, I’ll once again go over the best and worst of the voting. The over/underrated categories lost a dimension since the voting tallies are hidden, but I’ll keep them around anyways. Just remember that these are just my opinions, heavily influenced by how I personally play the game. If you disagree, I encourage you to let me know in the comments.
Winner: Liu Bei
We all know what Liu Bei is good for. Even for those that already have functioning ALB teams, he’s still great in dupes as he’s one of the best MAthena assist skills. His relative value has diminished as of late with the rise of the speedy water farming teams, but the fact that he’s so accessible will cement his relevancy to the majority of the farming playerbase for the foreseeable future. He probably didn’t place higher since there are many people that aren’t interested in co-op farming or just farming, period, but also because many of those that are already got him in one of the recent godfests.
Runner Up: Kaede
The runner-up was a difficult choice, but considering Kaede is an elite lead and subs at least competently on a wide variety of high-end teams, I deferred to her in spite of being a 6-star. A rather boring, safe choice, but it’s impossible to overlook her raw power.
Dantalion is a mediocre, one-dimensional lead at best. As a sub, he supports a non-existent fire-heart archetype. Christmas Gremory helps things in that regard, but remember that the voting closed before JP announced the Christmas cards. It’s hard to believe he garnered enough votes to make it, but this is where we’re at. As with Gremory, something must be said about his skill inheritance applications. As a card no longer has to be max leveled to assist, it’s possible to get a substantial RCV bonus if you inherit him a level 1 (although you still need max awakenings, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever be inherited at that level). I’m not really sure if there’s any practical application for this, but it’s worth thinking about before max leveling him out of habit.
Runner Up: Scheat
It’s questionable whether Scheat was ever good. While five TPAs were impressive at her release, her low base ATK makes her over-reliant on them to deal sufficient damage. Considering that most of the popular water leads are heart-reliant or require matching five or more connected orbs, it makes utilizing her to her fullest awkward at best. I feel that a card in the PCGF should do more than be an assist skill for a handful of mediocre teams and a base sub for even fewer. On the other hand, how Hermes, a card that has so many more applications — like actually being a fine lead — doesn’t get more respect is baffling. I also considered Roots here, but even though he’s overshadowed in many of his applications, he’s at least still useful.
Orochi’s active is an essential utility skill and is almost required for smooth, consistent Arena clears. This is a card everyone can use at least one of, regardless of which teams they play. Utility cards may not have the flash to make the top of the voting, so I guess we should be thankful he made it at all — unlike Raphael — but I’ll still say he’s underrated at #23.
Runner Up: DKali
Maybe it’s a stretch calling the #3 card underrated, but after looking over the list several times I just couldn’t find anything else compelling so I’m using this slot to make a point. DKali is a must-have sub for what is arguably the best team in the game. Being voted under Gremory is a little embarrassing, but I guess she won out due to being newer, leading a decent team, subbing on more teams, and a lack of understanding of how good the new Ra Dragon is.
For as long as I’ve been playing, I don’t recall Andromeda ever making a PCGF. She’s a good card, being a great sub for Summer Myr, Lakshmi, Sumire, and just about every other water team. She’s arguably one of the weaker cards to make the lineup, but I think her value as a core team building piece makes her better overall than other cards in the lineup that might have a higher impact, but with narrower uses.
Runner Up: Sanada Yukimura
One of the most surprising additions, especially since at the time of voting there really wasn’t all that much use for him outside maybe Krishna, Shiva Dragon and a few farming applications. Not to mention he can’t be used on fire-light teams. He’ll likely see use on Christmas Gremory for the few people that get her. He’s one of three cards with five fire rows and the only one immediately available on NA (post-buff, anyways). Of course, the active is incredible.
ROdin makes the lineup every year. And every year he’s overrated. I can’t blame people for wanting a ROdin button team as I use it all the time. It’s convenient to have such a team that quickly and reliably clears just about every trash dungeon, but after playing my non-IAP alt that has none I can say it’s superfluous. Especially now since there are so many button alternatives, many of them being farmable. ROdin Tamazo is also inheritable, should you need access to this skill otherwise. He only really stands out on the MZeus Thieves’ Den speedfarming team, but even then there are plenty of alternatives. As a base sub, bind immunity is nice, but offensively he’s been long overshadowed with the buffed Sanada making him look particularly bad. There is some hope that his split ult could be amazing, but that’s hardly grounds to vote him in right now.
Runner Up: Acala
She’s new. She’s flashy. She has an intriguing playstyle that uses a different sub set than the dreaded heart-cross. She’s flat out strong on top of everything. However, this category isn’t for evaluating popularity or value individually, but the discrepancy between the two. I personally feel getting in at #4 is a gross overestimation of her worth. Yes, she’s a fine lead, but is pretty much useless everywhere else; all other cards in the top five all having multiple applications. Personally, I’ve gotten the most use out of pairing her with Liu Bei for the no skyfall buff when farming trash.
Even for players that will never grind rank, Ganesha will still carry his weight even if you only use him for Experience of a Lifetime. Passing on an opportunity to increase the chances of obtaining the only card with this ability is baffling. The ability to shorten the time between your rank ups is basically the power to play more without stoning which isn’t something that appeals to everyone, but it should’ve appealed to enough to get him voted in. I can’t say I’m surprised by this, after all he doesn’t make an immediate impact on any teams and, like Orochi, he’s far from flashy, but I’m definitely disappointed.
Runner Up: Minerva
Looking over the remaining eligible cards, there were quite a few candidates, but nothing really stood out to me. I have some personal picks which I’ll go over later, but as far as cards most players might find a use for I gave the nod to Minerva. She gives every player easy access to a consistent Arena 1 farming team and various cheese options. It’s questionable whether she needs to be paired with Ilm at all anymore and it’s arguable that she’s just the better leader. I’ve never been very fond of the Greco-Roman resist leads, but in this case it’s hard to deny her usefulness.
I’m eyeing Sarasvati for her uses as a water farming sub, providing much needed skill boosts and SBR for Meridionalis-based teams. She also has uses outside of that, being a fine leader and a good inheritance base for most water teams, but I won’t delude myself into thinking she’s a great pick for the average player.
Runner Up: BOdin
Yep, *that* Odin. The Odin that somehow made PCGFs long ago despite being literally useless has found a way to become useful again. His split ult is amazing and will prove to be one of the best overall inheritance bases for water farming teams. Overall, it’s good he didn’t make it since he’d be useless to most players, probably more so than ROdin, but maybe people’s eyes will open once NA gets Meridionalis and/or uuevo Neptune Dragon.
Other Card Notes
While I don’t think Gremory should be voted ahead of DKali, it doesn’t surprise me that she was. As a fine leader and sub, she’s more useful than the majority of the cards in the lineup so, nitpicking aside, her spot is well deserved. With the 9.6 update, she now has increased usefulness with the new skill inheritance stat bonuses. In dark, only revo Anubis has more weighted stats and of the cards with 900 or more she likely has the most relevant active.
I was down on Eschamali for a while, but with the new Yomi Dragon she has found new life. Definitely a worthy inclusion, but like many of the cards like this I’m skeptical if she was voted in for these reasons. Should be particularly interesting with the buffed Ulquiorra.
I’m not quite sure why Ilm is so popular, at least not to the point where she’d make it and not Minerva. Considering the former is featured every godfest where the latter almost never is, I feel the the priorities should’ve been reversed. Still a great card, though, and one of the few that I’m still seeking dupes of.
As a staple Myr sub, this shouldn’t come as much surprise. I want to call the sisters overrated at #8, but looking at the rest of the lineup, are they really? A solid pick and a particularly good one for new players, giving them an early lead that will transition into a core Myr sub for the endgame.
If you’re a longtime follower of my blog, you’ll know that I’ve never been much of a Kanna fan, but the current circumstances actually make her a great card and, to my chagrin, I have to say she’s underrated. Being a key sub for both Ra Dragon and Myr on top of being a competent leader makes her one of the best value cards of this PCGF batch. Despite her active being trash, her offensive power can’t be denied and her bind immunity has put her over the top.
Basically on par with Acala, it should be no surprise Krishna got voted in. The more quality pantheon cards the better.
Easily one of the most overrated cards in the lineup and he would’ve supplanted my choice of Acala had she not been in the top five. He’s still a strong foundation for budding Myr teams, but he lacks the synergies or raw power to make himself a pivotal, build-around sub, making his #11 position a bit of a reach. However, for those looking for the pieces to start a Myr team, his inclusion is nothing but positive. Like Andromeda, there’s still value in being a core team building component. Three skill boosts are becoming a more common trait, but still have value, especially in light.
In the grand scheme of things, Roots just doesn’t cut it anymore. Whether paired with himself or Halloween Gran, he’s flat out eclipsed by the new Ra Dragon. As a sub, the only high-end team he’ll see use on is Ronove, but it’s questionable just how good he is there; color coverage aside, Ragnarok Dragon is just better. For all other sub uses, DKali is generally better. For inheritance, Lightning is generally better. Not being the premier option in those roles doesn’t make him a bad card per say, but as a 6-star he’s fairly disappointing.
A longtime staple of the PCGF and dark devil and heart-cross teams. About on par with Akechi as a sub, the trade-off of haste vs. orb enhance depending on the team being run.
As with DKali and Eschamali, it’s hard to tell how much the newest MP Dragons influenced the voting, but Isis appears to be worthy of her place on the list once again. It’s very much possible that her revo will go mostly unused as one of her main selling points is her color coverage.
Still one of the top leads in the game, but to many people he’s likely seen as a disappointing pick. Since he’s a 5-star GFE featured in the majority of godfests, chances are many people already have him and dupes are just about useless.
Not much of a surprise here; another solid pick. There was a time when he was considered one of the best subs in the game despite only having four awakenings, but recently, even after his split ults, he’s just been a solid sub for dark teams, heart-crossers in particular. This doesn’t mean he’s waned in power, but the context of the leaders he subs for matters a lot. While cards like Typhon Ana and Gremory are great, they aren’t dominating the game like Yomi Dragon once did. Although, there’s certainly a chance of that happening again with said lead, especially with all the ways to improve HP pools nowadays.
Another questionable 6-star inclusion that doesn’t make that much sense, but at least he makes more sense than Dantalion. Paimon is a good lead, but is overshadowed by Myr. He’s a fine sub, especially on Myr as a haste engine that keeps the actives rolling in. However, since Myr already brings 100% enhanced orbs, Paimon’s offensive contributions are a bit suspect. Same deal as Dantalion and Gremory, will be an interesting inherit choice for the stats.
After seeing Rozuel make the JP PCGF, I can’t say I’m surprised she’s showing up here. It makes a good amount of sense, too, as Ronove is a fairly common 5-star lead, she’s almost irreplaceable on the team and the Angels very seldom get featured in godfests. There’s also some future potential if NA gets a fire Myr (I guess the recently announced Christmas Gremory kinda counts) as she can serve a similar role as Ariel does on light Myr.
Considering that his revo isn’t actually making waves, I’m surprised at his inclusion. I’m guessing most of his votes were from people that wanted to use him as an assist skill; the numerous Liu Bei setups that use him probably being the biggest influence along with button farming in general. Dupe Ras are never a bad thing, either.