Although its simple skill may seem easy to overlook, the Dimensional Shield is one of the most powerful stall cards this game has to offer, and is definitely one of the defining features of the element of Aether. For 3 turns, Dimensional Shield will block all physical creature attacks, granting the wielder 3 turns of near-invulnerability as long as the shield holds.
- Dimensional Shield (DS) will disappear after 3 turns (its mitigation will stop the turn after its counter hits 0).
- All non-momentum affected physical creature and weapon damage is blocked while DS is active.
- Spell, poison, and other non-physical attacks will still bypass the shield's invulnerability.
The basic jist of this card is straightforward: it gives the player 3 whole turns of immunity against a vast majority of forms of damage in this game. In comparison to other shields that reduce damage, block only certain creatures, or provide indirect creature control, Dimensional Shield is the only shield in game capable of blocking any non-modified creature attack without any drawback.
Even with a moderate cost (6 or 5 quanta, non-upped and upgraded respectively), players using the shield can often survive an onslaught of creatures if played in succession without interruption ("chaining"), and can essentially cause unprepared opponents to wait 18 turns before being able to do anything (in some cases, players who cannot penetrate or find ways to get around the shield with their cards are guaranteed to lose before the 18 turn mark).
While Dimensional Shield appears to be an invincible defense, it is not without counters. Spell damage, from bolts such as Lightning to Fire Lance, to alternative sources like Unstable Gas and Poison can easily ignore the shield and cause damage immediately. However, the most famous counter comes from a status effect, called Momentum. Creatures with Momentum will ignore all shield effects, thus ignoring Dimensional Shield's invulnerable defense. A similar effect occurs from Shard of Wisdom and Psion, which involve spell-based creature damage.
Basic permanent control can also become a problem, as Dimensional Shield will last 3 turns; its power is only as strong as its longevity, and two, one, or zero turns of invulnerability due to a Deflagration can become severely demoralizing. Regardless of the counter, several decks have made note of such counters, and thus either splash additional cards to maintain the shield's effect.
Lobotomizer | Electrocutor is an effective way of removing various creature abilities that would otherwise make the creature futile. From stripping a Sapphire Charger of its momentum or rendering a mutant creature with Steal useless, the rare Aether weapon can turn any target creature into a vanilla, bland attacker incapable of doing any damage (unless they have a passive ability). Because of its cheap cost in terms of deployment and skill cost (3 for the cost, 2 or 1 for the actual lobotomy ability), almost any deck that utilizes multiple Dimensional Shields will usually have a Lobotomizer as the support weapon, given their mutual synergy.
Although expensive and not as strong as some of the other dragons, Phase Dragon | Elite Phase Dragon is only elemental dragon with an ability: immaterial. This dragon is incredibly difficult to remove from play unless one has indirect CC methods (such as Fire Shield), and because of that, it acts as a very reliable attacker. With 8 ATK (10 ATK upped), multiple dragons can be placed casually in play while Dimensional Shields protect the player's health. This combination may be costly, but is well known to work against various deck types that don't have enough control options to fight off the offense and defense.
Other Cards With Synergy
Cards that provide healing (Sanctuary, Shard of Gratitude, and Feral Bond) are decent choices in a stall-based shield deck, and can also seal an Elemental Mastery for the player should they find themselves unable to mitigate all damage. Sundial can extend the invulnerability period to 24 turns (excluding weapon attacks), as the permanent will stop all creature attacks. The Sundial can also provide an alternative form of drawing cards (or additional shields) in case of emergencies.
Both Cloak and Protect Artifact can serve as a way of maintaining 3 turns of invulnerable protection; as Dimensional Shield can be removed by permanent control, having an ensured way of keeping such defenses intact can be invaluable against PC heavy opponents.
A great addition to stall decks, Dimensional Shield can be helpful from OTK decks to Mono-Aether. With a high potential of ignoring almost all forms of damage for several turns (or throughout the entire course of a game!), players that encounter a shield must either find a way to deal alternative damage, remove it, or twiddle their thumbs at their eventual defeat.
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