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Top 10 FF7 Cards in the Final Fantasy Opus Trading Card Game

Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.

What Is Final Fantasy Opus?

Opus simply refers to the latest and greatest Final Fantasy trading card game. Like any collectible card set, you buy booster packs, scour for the rare cards, and arrange your custom deck to be pitted against an opponent's.

An aging gamer like myself fondly remember the days where Final Fantasy could no wrong. At the pinnacle of that era came Final Fantasy 7, hailed as one of the most iconic RPGs of all time. But does mixing video game heroes with a trading card format succeed? And which characters reign supreme? Find out as we count down the 10 best Final Fantasy 7 trading cards! You can check below for a brief overview on how to play or instead skip straight to the countdown.

Opus Rules Overview

Explaining the whole rulebook to the Final Fantasy TCG would take an entire article, but here's a brief summary to give you a basic idea of the game.

Opus reminds me of a cross between Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon's trading card game. Instead of Magic's land cards, you play "backup" characters to accumulate resources of different elements that access corresponding cards. These cards are either forwards or monsters, the main units who attack and block enemies, or summons, instant-play one-off effects. Each forward card has a "power" stat that acts as both their offense and health, and they "break" (are discarded) when suffering more damage in a single turn than their power.

Similar to Pokemon's Prize Cards, whenever a player receives damage, they discard the top card of their deck into their "damage zone", and players lose after taking seven hits. A variety of status conditions and special effects also appear, many of which we'll cover below.

top-ff7-characters-in-the-final-fantasy-opus-trading-card-game

10. Sephiroth

Crystal Point Cost: 4
Card Type/Element: Forward/Dark
Card Number: 29/63

Sephiroth's iconic flames showoff this card's might. As a rare dark-element unit, Sephiroth cannot be discarded for crystal points like most elements, and you can only control one dark unit at once, but he wields a massive 8000 base power. Additionally, remember that dark (and light) cards accept crystal points of any element, meaning Sephiroth is easy to work into your deck.

Since power acts as both strength and health, you definitely want your forwards to surpass your opponent's, and 8000 is hard to beat. Additionally, Sephiroth's Hell's Gate ability lets you dull him (disabling him from attacking or blocking until your next turn), pay two crystal pints, and discard another Sephiroth card to break one of your opponent's backups, drastically slowing their resource accumulation.

Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife

9. Cloud

Crystal Point Cost: 2
Card Type/Element: Forward/Fire
Card Number: 1/63

As a Fire unit, at least one crystal spoint spent in playing Cloud must stem from a Fire source. Our spiky-haired protagonist enters the field as one of the game's cheapest forwards, needing only two crystals, and arrives with a decent 5000 power. However, if you control any other category VII forward (which today's countdown is filled with), his power jumps to 7000, an incredible bargain for his negligible price.

Additionally, when Cloud first enters the field, you deal an opposing forward 2000 damage. That won't kill a full-health enemy, but damages them enough to make your opponent think twice about blocking during the turn. Even better, if you play Cloud during your second main phase (after your combat step), you can use the trait to finish off weakened opponents.

Genesis Rhapsodos

Genesis Rhapsodos

8. Genesis

Crystal Point Cost: 4
Card Type/Element: Forward/Ice
Card Number: 42/63

Despite the oddity of seeing Genesis (traditionally associated with Fire in Crisis Core) carry the Ice element, his Opus rendition impresses. 7000 power is decent for four crystal points, and when he initially arrives, Genesis both dulls and freezes an opposing forward. If you're familiar with MTG, this is equivalent to tapping an opposing card and having them remain tapped even at your opponent's next upkeep. Basically, you're putting a foe out of action for two entire turns.

This ability combos well with Genesis's next trait: whenever he deals direct damage to your opponent, they must discard a card from their hand. With this and his high attack value, you put your rival in the tough position of picking whether to lose a blocking unit or take the hit but have to discard. And thanks to Genesis's dulling and freezing effect, they may not even have a character available to defend with.

Vincent Valentine

Vincent Valentine

7. Vincent

Crystal Point Cost: 3
Card Type/Element: Forward/Earth
Card Number: 30/63

Party member in the original game and star of Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent Valentine enters the fray as a mighty 7000 power card for only three crystal points. Beyond his impressive size, he wields the stellar Limit Break ability. By discarding a Vincent card and spending two crystal points (one of which must be Earth), Vincent gains an extra 5000 power, first strike, and brave until the end of the turn.

12000 power should decimate almost every unit in the game, first strike lets Vincent hit (and typically defeat) foes before they can strike back, and brave acts the same as MTG's vigilance ability, letting Vincent attack without dulling. A nice heap of effects to boost an already-formidable card.

Nero

Nero

6. Nero

Crystal Point Cost: 3
Card Type/Element: Forward/Ice
Card Number: 35/63

Nero's another three-cost warrior who arrives with a fantastic 7000 power. And if you happen to control a Weiss card (another villain from DoC), he increases to a whopping 8000 power.

Beyond that, Nero freezes a forward whenever he blocks or is blocked. This punishes your foes for entering battle by denying them access to their cards on upcoming turns, and it helpfully activates regardless of whether Nero is attacking or defending.

Jessie

Jessie

5. Jessie

Crystal Point Cost: 2
Card Type/Element: Jessie/Earth
Card Number: 58/63

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that even minor characters like Jessie, an Avalanche member who (spoilers) passes away early on can receive competitive cards. As a backup, Jessie enters the field dulled, but in future turns can dull to provide one Earth crystal point. Additionally, she offers a passive benefit that lets you play Cloud or Barret cards for one less cost.

Cloud has several powerful cards, although remember to include Fire backups to access him, while Barret shares Jessie's Earth element, making it particularly easy to combo the pair. Overall, a great passive benefit alongside the standard crystal-point backup boost.

Vincent Valentine

Vincent Valentine

4. Vincent

Crystal Point Cost: 4
Card Type/Element: Forward/Earth
Card Number: 37/63

Vincent here demonstrates why I'm listing each entry's card number: to avoid confusion since many characters have multiple card forms. This version of Vincent wields a formidable 9000 power and comes with a great benefit—for a price. Whenever he attacks or blocks, you must pay two crystal points of any color; if you don't, Vincent will deal no damage and be destroyed.

However, when you do, he deals 4000 damage to any forward. Combined with his impressive 9000 power, Vincent can deal an astounding 13000 damage a turn. Just make sure you have some backups like Jessie ready to supply him with extra crystal points.

Yuffie Kisaragi

Yuffie Kisaragi

3. Yuffie

Crystal Point Cost: 2
Card Type/Element: Forward/Wind
Card Number: 49/63

Speaking of Vincent, here's a great card to combo with him. Yuffie's Dige of Cerberus costume only costs two crystal points, but if you control a Vincent, you can play her for free! Additionally, while she's out, any Vincent cards you control gain an extra 1000 power and the brave status, letting them attack without dulling.

Beyond that, Yuffie wields 5000 power, a fair trade even if you don't currently control Vincent. This forward's a must for any earth-wind deck.

Shelke

Shelke

2. Shelke

Crystal Point Cost: 3
Card Type/Element: Forward/Ice
Card Number: 33/63

5000 power for three mana is mediocre, but Shelke compensates with two immediate effects upon entry to the field. First, she lets you play any non-Ice forward from your hand that costs two or less crystal points for free. As long as you're not using a pure-Ice blend (and most decks wield at least two elements), this fantastically swarms the field.

Additionally, when this effect triggers, Shelke forces your opponent to discard a card. Remember that in Opus, cards can either be played to the field or discarded to gain two crystal points, making hand size crucial. Anything that cuts down your opponent's not only reduces the number of cards they have available but also the amount of crystal points they could potentially use. Finally, since Shelke ignites both abilities upon entry, you can play her recklessly in combat—you've already gotten what you needed, making her survival secondary.

Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife

1. Cloud

Crystal Point Cost: 6
Card Type/Element: Forward/Fire
Card Number: 19/63

Cloud's base cost of six may scare off players until they read his effect and realize his demand is reduced by one for each category VII forward you control. In the right deck, you can lower Cloud to ridiculously low prices, and this offers some much-needed long-term power to the Fire clan, who typically fight for an early win.

Hopefully you'll be fielding Cloud for only three or four crystal points, and you'll receive a monstrous 9000 power soldier. Additionally, he boosts the power of all forwards you control (including himself) whenever they attack by 1000, further augmenting your army. Plus, the Climbhazzard ability lets you discard a Cloud card, spend a fire crystal, and dull Cloud, but deals 8000 damage to any forward, eliminating key opponents. Finally, remember that Cloud has many support cards, from Jessie to Zack Fair to further skyrocket his power.

Future of Opus

Final Fantasy has endured its ups and downs. While it isn't the definitive king of role-playing video games like it used to be, the series maintains a strong following and is working hard to regain its former glory. My initial impressions of Opus have been mostly positive, and I definitely recommend checking it out, especially to gamers who want to test the waters of trading card games but are intimidated by the thousands of cards in, say, Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh. Give it a shot and see what you think!

But for now, as we eagerly await the next expansion set of Opus, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next FF countdown!

© 2018 Jeremy Gill

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