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card review Progre Sapphire, Divine Blue Brightness: Rebirth of the shield burning finisher!

Card Review
Progre Sapphire, Divine Blue Brightness: click to enlarge
Progre Sapphire, Divine Blue Brightness

Card text:

*  Speed attacker (This creature doesn't get summoning sickness.)

*  Power attacker +3000

*  Triple breaker (This creature breaks 3 shields)

*  Whenever this creature breaks one of your opponent's shields, your opponent reveals that shield instead of adding it to his hand. Among them, your opponent puts all of his cards that have "shield trigger" into his hand and the rest into his graveyard. (Your opponent can use the "shield trigger" ability of those shields.)

  • Collector Number: V1
  • Rarity: Victory Rare
  • Type: Creature
  • Race: Oraclion
  • Power: 9000+
  • Mana Number: 1
  • Cost: 9
  • Civilization: Zero
  • Artist: YOICHI ITO
Progre Sapphire, Divine Blue Brightness
Rebirth of the shield burning finisher!

written by kokujo_the_fma LV40
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General description:
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, when metas were not overly crazed with psychic creatures, mana accelerations and graveyard filling to get finishers out quicker, there were two main Dragons that dominated almost everything. In the beatdown department, this little guy took care of things quickly, while in the mana ramp/somewhat controllish department, the White Dragon's stronger incarnation spoke its word.
So great was his might that many decks spawned, using him as an evil shield burn finisher that topped his controllish predecessor. Thus we witnessed the birth of decks such as Sapphire Fang in which strong mana acceleration with cards like this one were used to bring him out, and in case he fell into the mana zone, there was always this broken thing to swap a weenie with the Sapphire beast.
But by far, the final straw was when combining him with these guys and another broken thing. This evil combo crippled the opponent way too much and thus it lead to the banning of most cards, including our dear Sapphire, along with the subsequent restriction of the Eggplant.

But now when we return to the present, in which Outrages and Oracles are desperately trying to recycle old meta cards and oversimplify the game into mainly beatdown, control and with some combos here and there, we have witnessed the rebirth of our beloved Sapphire Dragon. Here he is: back once again!

Uses:
Now that he is back, it is obvious that it's mostly because the Japanese have tried to make him less broken. And on his own worth, because due to the quicker meta blockers and surprising ninja strikes he is not as threatening to shields as much as before. That, plus his shield burning ability is now nerfed, allowing shield triggers to return to the opponent's hand and be potentially used. But that is not such a problem, as the opponent's chances of receiving something into his hand will vary, most of the time in your favor.

Due to his high cost, he is mostly used as a finisher in controls, or as another fatty in mana accel decks, depending on the player's options. I do recall some interesting combos using quick 8-costers and yet another evil spell that will probably get banned.

Strategies and game play:
Nowadays controls wish to attack the opponent's hand a lot and not leave him with a card in it. Because of that, our friend Progre Sapphire and his shield burning can guarantee both him losing shields and not receiving anything in his hand. That's a +2 right there.
In mana accel beatdowns the players will attempt to ramp their mana quicker and team Sapphire along with other annoying finishers.


Combos with other cards:
In controls, most of the time you will have to stall and prepare the field for your finisher. So how does one do that?
Well here are some hopefully helpful cards that will ensure the opponent being limited by losing his battle zone mostly and also his hand a bit. Also, Pakurio affects the opponent without sending cards to grave, so you don't have to fear about Berlin, Bell Gravekeeper or Eternal Meteor Kaiser.
I would also add that if you intend on using Guard Hole, you might also consider adding this devil as a secondary finisher along with your Sapphire.
Now, most of the cards that I enlisted usually go in a hyperspatial control deck, nowadays having a weird but effective version called Mud Marr. Being a Zero card, Progre Sapphire can be easily adapted to a deck like this, and one shouldn't worry if Aquan Jr.'s Delivery or Cebu Aquman Jr. grave him because there's always Hyperspatial Revive Hole to retrieve him. ;)

In mana ramp decks, you will always expect the usual cards and the obvious triggerish defense, but there are noteworthy cards that can help you in case your Sapphire ends up in the mana zone.
Then again, if you're set on making a Nature/Zero mana ramp Sapphire deck, you can use Prelude of Horror I guess, but I don't guarantee it being stronger than Water/Fire/Nature and with some Light touches.

Being an Oraclion, he could be teamed up with Acid or Shoegazer, but unfortunately they require cheaper cards. He also could work as an evo bait for Rave Diabolos, but I don't see why Guard Hole into the original Diabolos wouldn't already be enough.


Ways to counteract it:
Progre Sapphire's weakness stands in his cost. That means that until you get him out, he might get discarded or the opponent might fill his battle zone with pesky blockers that will stand in his way. Then again, blocker removal will usually work, but not against some guys or some surprise guests. In an even worse situation, the opponent could either be burning your mana or using Silver Glory to make his blockers invincible, in which case our poor Sapphire will be crying unless he finds ways to become unblockable.
Then again there's the usual Darkness and Nature creature removal that we've all seen and heard of a million times, but if blockers don't stop him, then he would have caused some damage still!
By far his worst enemy is Ragnarok, the Clock, as he cannot disable it and it can stop his proccess of shield burning by skipping to the next turn if it was the first or second hit shield. Then again, we do have Inka, Karma's Curse Crest, but she's mostly quick beatdown material, so you won't see her paired with Sapphire a lot.
Against shield trigger decks such as Miramisu or the new All Yes ST beat, you would want a Queen Alcadeias or Codeking Number Nine to stand by your Sapphire's side and disable many pesky shield triggers.

Strengths/Pros:
* Powerful shield burn. (not as powerful as the original's though)
* Cheaper cost than the original.
* Being Zero makes him adaptable in more decks and doesn't require you to use Fire.
* Renders decks that don't use shield triggers weak.

Weaknesses/Cons:
* It is prone to shield triggers.
* Its lower power makes it easier to kill.
* It is not unblockable, so blockers and ninja strikes can have their way with him.
* Unlike its predecessor Wedding, it lacks Eternal Omega.

Variations:
So far we have only its foiled version from DMX-15.

Artwork and aesthetics:
Yoichi Ito pretty much took the original Bolmeteus Sapphire Dragon, gave him whiter tones to make him fit the Oraclion style and that's about it. Then again, I am a fan of the artwork, so I give it a 8/10.

Overall rating:
Shield burning has always been a strong strategy in Duel Masters, making its way in combo beatdown decks but being used more in control decks. Now with Progre Sapphire, people can hope for a quicker shield burning in their decks and will not have to rely on the slower (but better in effects!) Wedding, Zenith of "Celebration", thus gaining tempo advantage which sometimes can decide the game. Sure, the shield trigger sparing part might come as a disadvantage, but I believe that this way they have made Sapphire more balanced for his cost. Thus my rating for him is 10/10. Everything is great about him.
Here are some examples of decks in which Progre Sapphire is used:
control
mana ramp

 

Modified on February 8, 2014 10:07 pm



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Discussion about this Card Review
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Author Message
bolmeteus
LV5 United States send message

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Member since
October 2, 2013
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 10:50 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Gimme a good reason that why shouldn't i add this instead-
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bolmeteus
LV5 United States send message

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October 2, 2013
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 10:52 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Aw snap the picture isn't loading, anyways I was talking abut Galaxy Shot HELL, that 10 mana fire spell which destroys threats with total of 9000 power and for each target it burns of one shield.
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kokujo_the_fma
LV40 Romania send message

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October 9, 2008
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 10:55 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Progre Sapphire is a creature, which means it is also capable of todomeda, plus it acts like a finisher in control decks where your discards and earlier creature removals (Emperor Hole, psychic Ganveet, Thunder Tiger, Hide and Seek, Miraculous Snare, Divine Punishment of Heaven) already limit the opponent's battle zone. And personally, Galaxy Shot is outdated, if you really wish to have creature removal and shield burn, use GILL, Supergalactic Dragon.
Also personally I don't think you should strictly rely on Galaxy SHOT/GILL for removal because of their high cost, your deck will have to have either blockers, ninja strikes and shield triggers or some quicker removal if it will want to survive until they will be able to get those 10 mana cards out.
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madromanoff
LV7 India send message

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January 12, 2013
Subject: Someone said anything about Galaxy Shot?   Posted: January 3, 2014 12:29 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

Ah, Bolmeteus, I'll make a decktype soon on wiki relating an old decktype specifically dedicated to Galaxy Shot Hell and how to cast it quickly.

But yes, Galaxy shot is way too unreliable, though has a chance if control is WDF or sorta that.

For an example check spitfire's deck :
http://www.tradecardsonline.com/im/showDeck/deck_id/406240
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kokujo_the_fma
LV40 Romania send message

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October 9, 2008
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 12:41 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I for one recall seeing it a lot in Bolpheus Heaven/Bolshack Ulpheus decks. Though nowadays GILL is more preferrable and you see him a lot in Miramisus and mana ramps, though not enough in controls *seriously, what happened to shield burn control?!*
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dinumihai93
LV6 Romania send message

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October 27, 2013
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 02:03 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

Bolmete-us softcore brother, that really thinks about your feelings and sometimes gives your shields back.
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kokujo_the_fma
LV40 Romania send message

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October 9, 2008
Subject:    Posted: January 3, 2014 02:09 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

But if he is paired with the likes of spell banning Alcadeias and/or creature shield trigger banning Inka, they will be kinda useless.
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