It released a little over two weeks ago. For the first time I can sink into my favourite series without referring to the web for every single card and memorize them. SAO is a weird duck, even if you have full playsets of every card, you’ll still make a cross colour deck with minimal maximum copies. This is both confusing and refreshing at the same time. There seems to be focus, but each colour has about 2-3 distinct differences and literally begs to be paired up with another colour.
So far I got almost every card except for Lightning Flash Asuna. Got two copies of Asuna Invites to Party instead (which, by itself, a very good card as well). The most duds that you can visibly see is Green, but I wouldn’t dismiss it yet. I’m pretty sure there’s an awesome deck waiting for Leafa/Suguha to be part of. Red gets a big boost by having part of Green’s card share it seems. Anyway, here’s the featured characters and their colours:
Yellow: Major Character: Asuna. Minor Character: Heathcliff, Kuradeel
Green: Major Character: Suguha/Leafa. Minor Character: Recon
Red: Major Character: Silica (a LOT of Silica), Lisbeth. Minor Character: Pina
Blue: Major Character: Kirito, Yui. Minor Character: Agil, Klein
Kirito’s card pool seems to be having a more supportive role than the main, especially backing up Asuna. Best character of the lot falls to she who was featured in only 1 episode, Silica. With Pina providing her Level 3 card a pseudo Encore of sorts, and multiple ways to retrieve Pina to your hand, she’s just insane. Her prices are quite a decent online as well. Out of the other major characters, Silica seems to have the best support and framework to get a deck solely featuring her alone easy to build and play.
Next up will be Fate Zero english booster. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into that, since SAO will probably take a lot of my cash for the foreseeable short future. I doubt I’ll go all the way to get 4 copies of every card, but I’ll hit enough that I can make a decent deck that I will want to play often without changing it up too many times.
Addendum: Errata: For Pina’s Heart, instead of search for a card with Pina in its name, it’s search for a character with Pina in its name. Just so you know. The reprints of this set will have the correct text.