"I really wanted a strong, bull-like look for this critter, and I feel that that's translated quite well indeed. The gravelly texture makes him look pretty tough, and the sapphires stand out well - especially with zanz' touches for the upgraded version." -vrt
Sapphire Charger is one of the few cards in game that can ignore shields when it comes to dealing damage. As a Gravity creature, the Charger has the well-known status effect, Momentum, allowing it to ignore all shield effects and damage reductions upon attacking.
As a balanced attacker, the Sapphire Charger is a 4|5 creature that costs a respectable 5 to play. Upon upgrading the card into the Elite Charger, the cost remains the same, but it gains a delicious 3 ATK, making it a 7|5 monster. Although its HP is fairly low, its simple damage capabilities are often favored and make it a staple card in any deck that has a significant investment in generating quanta. In many cases, the Charger has an undeniable advantage against major damage-negating shields ( Hope and Wings) or defensive debuffs (freezing from Permafrost and poison from Thorn Carapace).
The Charger’s “ Momentum” skill can still be removed by direct lobotomization, but cards such as Liquid Shadow and Acceleration will not overwrite the Momentum status away. Instead, the new ability ( Vampire for the first example) will be given to Sapphire Charger while the momentum ability still remains on the card (in the form of the icon). Two major counters to the beast are Antimatter, which (contrary to the card’s technically ‘reduces’ the ATK by inverting it to a negative number (healing the opponent that way), and Sundial, which stops all creatures (regardless of their status and abilities) from attacking for a turn.
While shields might not be able to stop the stampeding creature, other nasty CC effects ( Lightning for example) can cripple or even kill it after popping out the field. Given immortality via Quintessence | Quintessence, a player can have an unstoppable (no pun intended) creature that will be guaranteed to deal damage to the foe every turn. Sundial can still prevent immortalized Chargers from attacking, but one card (compared to dozens) makes this combination a formidable strategy in Gravity-Aether duos.
For those who enjoy swarming the enemy with multiple Chargers on the field, Fractal | Fractal can be a surprising spell. Despite their moderate costs, a single Fractal can greatly boost a player’s damage output when used on an Elite Charger, especially against swarm-countering shields. However, this tactic works best when a player can accumulate and quanta reliably, and thus won’t work well against quanta denial tactics.
Other Cards With Synergy
Because of Momentum, buff cards such as Blessing, Chaos Power, and even Adrenaline can help further the damage potential of a Charger against shield users. In some cases, having applying Mitosis to a Charger can be just as menacing as using Fractal (although it does make the Charger more vulnerable to CC if not protected via Quintessence).
As a core card of any Gravity-based deck, the Charger is no stranger at pummeling away the opponent’s health. Although the unupped version may be overlooked at its somewhat steep cost, players should never underestimate a creature that can penetrate through even the toughest of defenses, given the popularity of various shields.
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