Fractal is a very unusual spell card that generates multiple copies of a target creature in a player's hand. This mechanic alone allows a player to technically bypass the 6-card (creature) limit in a deck. However, because of this powerful ability, Fractal also drains the user entirely of their quanta, and thus is mostly used on other non-Aether creatures to play them upon duplication.
- Fractal will generate up to 8 copies of a target creature in your hand (not on the field), allowing you to bypass the 6-card rule" for certain creatures.
- This card consumes all of your Aether quanta upon use.
- Fractal will only generate regular copies of the creature (e.g. you cannot duplicate mutants).
Fractal essentially generates up to eight copies of the creature you choose into one's hand (not on the field). Depending on how many cards a player is holding, they can generate a massive army of a cheap creature, or substitute Fractal for a copy of the creature (similar to Twin Universe, but this is very inefficient). Regardless, one thing to remember is that Fractal’s usefulness decreases as the number of cards-in-hand increases; in other words, if a hand is cluttered, the potential output drops. Also, if the caster chooses not to play any of the copied creatures (or other cards) down before ending their turn, they will be forced to discard one of them. This also implies that lacking the necessary quanta to play any of the duplicated creatures (or other cards in hand) will resort in a forced discard. Note that players only create multiples of the basic creatures in question; for example, using this on a mutated Dragonfly with an extraordinary ability will only yield copies of the regular Dragonfly card.
Noted counters include various forms of creature control and Nightmare. Field (or AoE) creature control spells such as Rain of Fire or Flooding will limit the potential to play multiples of creatures down by killing them, and may ultimately reverse such tactics against the fractal-user if they play carelessly. Nightmare fills copies of a target card in the opponent’s hand; when played against a player utilizing Fractal, they’ll have a filled hand, which also limits the potential of Fractal’s massive creature generation. Since Fractal is about going beyond the typical card limit, any card that either kills creatures routinely or restricts the ability to play several creatures at a time are effective ways to shut it down. Conversely, cards that gain benefit with multiple creatures on the field also improve with Fractal; having multiple Feral Bonds, for example, allows for massive healing due to the number of creatures on the field.
Of course, the nature of this card (consuming all your quanta) confines this card in duo, trio, or rainbow decks that have creatures of another element. For example, you cannot play Phase Recluses or Psions because of being drained of quanta, while Phase Dragons and Immortals are immaterial, so you cannot target them.
Various cheap or cost-efficient creatures with high attack are good to combine with Fractal. Phoenix | Minor Phoenix, for example, is an incredibly inexpensive and durable creature with a 1:2 quanta-cost:ATK ratio; even upon death, the owner can resurrect the Ash back into a Minor Phoenix over and over again, making it a fast yet long-living creature for offense. Because the Phoenix is a Fire card, other uses for the excess quanta can be averted to CC such as Rage Potion or PC from Deflagration. However, it's important to note that the non-upped version, Phoenix, is more expensive despite the increased ATK, and thus might not work as well compared to the upped version for rushing tactics.
Creatures with unique abilities also have great synergies with Fractal, especially those that involve quanta generation. Devourer | Pest, for example, is an excellent target for Fractal as you can quickly generate a field full of Devourers that will eventually drain the opponent of their quanta, converting theirs into quanta for the Fractal-caster to play more Devourers (or other Darkness cards, such as Vampire for burst 'healing'). Decay (a false god) and the "Pesty FG deck" both follow this strategy.
Ray of Light is also one of the more popular creature choices, as the Ray of Light has a free cost to play. Because it has the ability Bioluminescence, players not only generate quanta (without the use of Light Pillars, Towers, and Pendulums), but can also play the Hope shield, which increases in defensive prowess with more Bioluminescent creatures. Normally players can only have up to 6 Ray of Lights on a field (thus preventing up to 6 or 7 damage), but with a full field of them, no creature with more than 23 attack can bypass the immaterial shield. This combination is more widely known in the RoL-Hope deck.
Other Cards With Synergy
Nonetheless, Fractal combines nicely with practically every creature in game, including those with unique abilities. While dragons and hard hitters can be produced for a final rush (when played simultaneously), other cards become just as useful or potentially lethal when spammed. Giant Frogs, Flesh Recluses, and even Ghost of the Past are great 'vanilla' alternatives for burst damage with Fractal, given the correct supply of respective quanta.
In some cases, quanta-generating cards such as Gnome Gemfinder, Damselfly, or even Firefly can all provide an alternative way of gaining quanta or using quanta-heavy cards (like Stone Skin for the Gnome). Ball Lightning is one of the few Aether cards that can be targeted by Fractal and played simultaneously due to its free cost, and can also grant additional bonuses due to its 0 HP (death triggers).
Despite its lack of compatibility in a mono-Aether deck, Fractal is one of the most flexible and powerful spells in the game. Utilizing this on a cheap creature with good damage, like a Vampire or Minor Phoenix, results in an instant rush of fast damage (with the former being useful for gaining life back, while the latter allows you to be more resistant towards creature control). Fractal is perfect for any rush or control deck, and thus, it finds a beloved spot in many strategies.
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