Monday, July 22, 2013

Deck Dissection (after so long...) : Attack of the Ginseng

Hey hey hey!!! Haven't been seeing you guys for so long, I wonder how many of you has gave up on my blog (LOL!) since I haven't been posting for almost half a year... Work and my life has indeed took the most out of my time, and for a period of time I was really demotivated to play Vanguard, thus my long hiatus in posting.  But after so long, I joined a shop-level tournament back at my LGS, and actually got 2nd place (despite haven't been playing for so long), hence it burns my passion to write back up XD !

So without further delay, let's start the deck dissection for the deck that I used today, which I called it 'Attack of the Ginseng'!

Grade 0
Devil in Shadow x1 (FV)
Dark Knight of Nightmare Land x4 (Critical)
House of Amon, Cruel Hand x2 (Critical)
House of Amon, Psychic Waitress x2 (Draw)
Hysteric Shirley x4 (Draw)
House of Amon, Hell's Trick x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Jet Black Poet, Amon x4
House of Amon, Vlad Specula x4
House of Amon, Hell's Deal x4
Yellow Bolt x2

Grade 2
House of Amon, Hell's Draw x4
House of Amon, Lon Shinrin x4
Gwyn the Ripper x3

Grade 3
Demon World Marquis, Amon x4
Demon Marquis, Amon 'Reverse' x4

Yes, what I meant by the 'Attack of the Ginseng' is actually an Amon-based Dark Irregulars deck. This is my 2nd attempt in using a DI deck in tournaments (IIRC, the last time I used it was when BT-03 for Japanese just came out, and never used any DI deck again in tourneys). When I first saw the spoiler for Amon R, the first thought that came to my mind is 'Sweet! Extra Critical!' (sorry, I'm a big fan of built-in Critical increases XD), and without a second thought, I straight away hunted for the materials and started building it.

Up to this point, my deck isn't actually complete, since the older Amons are quite some relic now (they're damn hard to find, no joke). Hence, I borrowed some cards from my friend that owns a DI deck, and built this deck from there. This tourney proved as a very good testbed for the deck. Now, here's a rough explanation on how this deck works and the logic behind my card choices.

Grade 0
The G0 I'm using as the starter is the now-famous G3 searcher. The reason why I used Devil in Shadow is because he can help to search out any G3 in case you're stuck at G2, or to search out Amon R for the 13k defence. Also, DiS can fuel up your Soul, as well as serving as a Lock target for Amon R.

The triggers for me is set at 6-6-4, because Amon R has a built-in Crit increase skill, hence I focus more of gaining hand advantage. The above 2 triggers are in because they help a lot in terms of feeding Amon, whereby  Dark Knight can increase power to create magic number lines, and Shirley is basically a SC2.

Grade 1

Hell's Deal is actually one of the key cards for the deck. This is because she can SC2 upon entering play when you have a Vanguard with the 'Amon' name (which almost 90% of my non-trigger units has it), which helps a lot for Soul fueling, and being a 7000 power booster, she's definitely a 4-off considering her utility and decent stats.

Here we revisit an old staple in DI decks, none other than Amon in basic form. Sporting 6000 power, he doesn't seem to look good at the first glance. However, his true potential shines when you have 6 Soul on your turn. Poet Amon turns into a decent 9000-power attacker or booster, and to hit 6 Soul is not a problem for the Soul-hungry DI decks. 4-off as well for me because Poet Amon can also create 21k magic lines, which I'll explain later.

4 pieces of Vlad Specula is staple. You can also use March Rabbit, just that I prefer Vlad as he looks cooler and easier to find since he's newly released. Oh, and having the 'Amon' name gives him extra benefit when you wanna play out Hell's Deal to start Soulcharging. the 2x Yellow Bolt is just a tech card. Being able to SC on turn 1 is quite good, and he is also a good Lock target for Amon R.

Grade 2

Hell's Draw, the G2 equivalent of Hell's Deal. I don't think this need more explanation, lol.

Another old staple, Gwyn the Ripper. Basically he is my countermeasure against pesky backrow boosters and annoying frontrow units like Silent Tom, Especial Interceptors, 12k attackers and more. This deck doesn't use a lot of CB, that's why having him as a 3-off sounds quite okay when you need to push in the damage by getting rid of their Interceptors.

Bearing the name of 'Amon', Lon Shirin is the equivalent of the 12k attackers when your Vanguard has a certain name on the card. The mainstay attacker in our deck, he can create the magic number of 21k in RG due to the combo with Poet Amon providing a 9000-power boost. If paired with other boosters, he can take down almost any non 10k-power rear guards by either forcing a 15k shield to guard or totally getting rid of that unit. While he loses his skill in the Vanguard circle, he is able to activate the skills of the Hell Sisters. No need to say more, automatic 4-off in the deck.

Grade 3

Enter the main star of the deck, Amon himself. Those that played DI during the release of BT-03 already know what kind of havoc he can wreck. His attack gradually becomes deadlier as more Soul is fueled for him. And he also has a very handy CB1 skill to retire your opponent's units, by sending one of your guys into the Soul. This might cause a -1 on your field, but it sets up for the next stage, and your opponent gets a -1 as well, so I think it's actually a fair trade. Just one thing to remind you all, he is only a 10000-power unit, so careful when he is attacked by 20k magic number lines.

But, when Amon takes his 'Ginseng' form, it's a totally different story already. Amon R is the crossride of Amon, which comes together with a scary skill topping up his +2000 crossride bonus. For a measly cost of Locking one of your RG, Amon R gains the power boosting skill from his Demon form, and an extra Critical if you have 6 or more Soul when you use the skill.

The key to use the skill is your Soulcharging. Although DI is famous for being Soul hungry, this build actually wants you to limit your Soulcharging. Depending on what unit your're facing (11k, 10k, or 13k), you should just SC until you hit the number to force a 15k shield for a one-to-pass. This can ensure that you won't deck out fast, while also preventing you to further SC in precious trigger units. Trust me, when you continuing to ram your opponent's VG with a 21k/23k monstrosity without a booster, things are damn bad for the receiving end (it happened to almost all my opponent's today).

Alright, to wrap up things you just need to 'Charge smart, and Play smart' for this deck. This deck is very easy to pilot, and highly-recommended for beginners because budget-wise, the deck is not that expensive, you just need to be patient to hunt for the older cards. 

that's all for me today, hopefully I'll have the motivation going on to post newer stuffs. I know I'm very lagged behind in terms of information, but I'll try to come up with content whenever I'm free. Alright, this is Homura signing off for now. Bye! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Budget Building: Thunder Dragon Beatdown

Hey guys, Homura here again with a post dedicated to either VG newcomers or to those that wanted to try out the new cards from the new Trial Decks, but don't really sure how to fully utilize the deck. Recently, the new Trial Decks for Narukami and Gold Paladins were released, and as a Dragon Empire, I obviously went and bought myself 4 of the Narukami TD, TD-09 'Eradicator of the Empire'.

The thing that all Narukami players were expecting was obviously the new 'Eraser' archetype (I know the official translation is Eradicator, but I prefer to call them by the originally given name, Eraser). However, with the given amount of Eraser cards, there's actually no way to build a proper Eraser deck that can actually win you big tourneys, as their main support comes only in BT-10, which will be released mid February.

Even so, you shouldn't be disheartened, as the TD itself can provide you with a very fun and viable deck that you can play casually or even in tourneys. After I got the TDs, I went to analyze the current Narukami card pool available to us, and came up with a deck which I think, is very good and helps reduce the strain of your wallets. And here's the current deck that I'm having fun with (and winning quite a few matches with):

Grade 0
Spark Kid Dragoon x1 (FV)
Eraser, Yellow Gem Carbuncle x3 (Critical)
Malevolent Djinn x4 (Critical)
Eraser, Dragon Mage x4 (Draw)
Old Dragon Mage x1 (Draw)
Demonic Dragon Eraser, Seiobo x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Red River Dragoon x4
Wyvern Guard, Guld x4
Dust Storm Eraser, Tokou x2
Rising Phoenix x1
Eraser of the Pure Flames, Kougaiji x3

Grade 2
Eraser, Thunder Boom Dragon x4
Demonic Dragon Berserker, Garuda x3
Dragon Monk, Kinkaku x2
Dragonic Deathscythe x2

Grade 3
Eraser, Vowing Sword Dragon x4
Thunderbreak Dragon x2
Discharging Dragon x2

Here you go, a deck that uses mostly cards available from both of the Narukami TDs, and a few rares from BT-06, which is quite easily available. And now, let's have a look on how the deck functions:

Grade 0
Our starter here is Spark Kid Dragoon. Spark Kid allows you to fish out a G3 from deck for CB1, which I think is quite good to either fish out one in case your opening hand doesn't have a G3, or to search for Break Riding material. As for the triggers, I choose to go for my standard 7-5-4 lineup. Nothing much to elaborate here.

Grade 1
4x vanilla 8k booster is always a staple. The only expensive card here is possibly Wyvern Guard, Guld. However, being a recent reprint, the price of Guld in the secondary market has dropped quite significantly, hence I don't think it'll be that hard to get hold of a playset.

Tokou is the Iron Tail Dragon clone, with the skill of CB1 to +1000 power for the turn. In this build, he's quite good because you can hit magic numbers with him as long as you have CB to spare. Kougaiji is the alternate version of Photon Bomber Wyvern, and both are also easy to get (PBW being a R from BT-06, and Kougaiji being a TD card). The Rising Phoenix is there to net you an extra card, whilst replacing itself.

Grade 2

Since we're using most cards from TDs, so let's just add in a set of the 10k vanilla G2s. Whether to use Thunder Boom Dragon, or the original Thunderstorm Dragoon is purely up to you guys. Garuda is a must, given that this deck is quite CB hungry in a sense (Tokou, Thunder Break Dragon, Dragonic Deathscythe). Deathscythe is your only option to retire backrow units, and because he's only at 2x in the deck (to save some CB for Tokou and Thunderbreak Dragon), use him wisely.

Dragon Monk Kinkaku is the damange manipulator for the deck. Like I always said about damage manipulators, he can either help you to set up LB, or just to shuffle a trigger back to the deck for future use. If you prefer more offensive power, you can consider add in more 10k vanillas, or Hex Cannon Wyvern (8k into 11k if opponent has 3 or more damage at the Damage Zone of that player.

Grade 3
Now the G3s is the part where you need to spend slightly more because Vowing Sword Dragon is only a 1-off in each TD, hence you need to get four set of the TDs. Vowing Sword boasts incredible stats, and his abilities are no joke at all. Firstly, he has the Lord restriction, which is quite impossible to trigger unless you're mixing clans.

Secondly, Vowing Sword can gain an additional 2k power when attacking and if the opponent has 3 or more damage at their Damage Zone. This power increase makes Vowing Sword good against 11k units, and even Crossriders. Teaming him up with Kougaiji, he can attack with full power. The third skill is Vowing Sword's Break Ride trigger. Whenever a <Narukami> rides on this unit, the unit that rode him gains +10k power for the turn, and being able to retire a front row rearguard. With 2 good skills packed in a 11k body, I think he's quite a beast.

The other G3s I chose to use to combo with Vowing Sword is Thunderbreak Dragon and Discharging Dragon each at 2x. I think all of you should know how good is Thunderbreak already, and with Vowing Sword, basically on your Break Ride timing you'll have a very big VG, and you can retire 2 of your opponent's rearguards (one must be the front one though). This can be used during your final turn, or to force a null out.

The other G3, Discharging Dragon is a new type of card that serves both a s Limit Breaker and a finisher unit. Bascially Discharging Dragon has the LB skill of most Limit Breakers, which is when attacking the Vanguard, it gets a +5000 power until the end of battle. Despite having LB, Discharging can also make a pretty good RG because it also has the Dragonic Executioner skill (attack VG when you have nothing to use)

Well, here you go, a budget deck that only uses most cards from the TDs, and some cheap rares outside the TD. I think this deck is quite fun to play, and I'm still in the middle in changing and modding of the deck. So as a conclusion, since you've already bought the TDs, so might as well use it to the fullest! Have fun, this is Homura signing out for now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deck Dissection: We are United!

Hey guys, miss me? Haha, jokes aside, I'm finally back after a month's hiatus due to work (yeah, I know it's always the same old reason). As a compensation for me being MIA for such a long time, today I'll be doing a double dose just to give you guys more stuff to read. And rest assured, I won't be missing for so long again in the near future. Without further ado, let's start with part 1.

In part 1, I'll be providing a deck dissection for those long overdue decks post BT-09 which I haven't mentioned about. I guess you guys already try most of the new archetypes out already, but nevertheless, I still hope to share some of my ideas here, and also as a response from some of my readers (no worries, I'll try my best to fulfill all of your requests).

As the title suggests, I'll be talking about Platinum Ezel today. Platinum Ezel, which most of my gang prefer to call it Pezel, is the upgrade for most Ezel-based decks, by providing an element that most players always wanted - Crossrides. After the inclusion of Pezel, the deck included a very lethal game ender in the form of Pezel's Ultimate Break (the official designated name for LB5), which gives a +5000 power boost to up to 5 RGs. In terms of power output, GP now has the highest 'burst of power' output, with only Spike Brothers capable of matching it. Now, let's have a look at my version of the deck:

Grade 0
Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph x1 (FV)
Silent Punisher x3 (Critical)
Flame of Victory x4 (Critical)
Speeder Hound x3 (Draw)
Arms Dealer, Gwydion x2 (Draw)
Elixir Sommelier x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth x4
Halo Shield, Mark x4
Advance of the Black Chains, Kahedin x2
Silver Fang Witch x1
War Horse, Raging Storm x3

Grade 2
Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains x4
King of Passion, Bagdemagus x4
Master of Pain x2
Blaster Blade Spirit x1

Grade 3
Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel x4
Blazing Lion, Platinum Ezel x4

As with most crossride involving decks, the card pool for those type of decks are seriously restricted because not all cards can work with the core of the deck well enough. You may see some random one-offs in the deck, which somehow might contradict with what I mentioned, but I'll be explaining the reasons of those inclusions.

Grade 0

Our preferred starter here is Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph. The reason why I choose this over Coron (the Ezel tutor) is if you get nothing from Coron, you basically is at a -1 CB and -1 Field presence. On the other hand, Kryph can ensure you a early G3 lead, or to catch up when you go second, while doesn't cause you to lose field presence as well. Even though you did not manage to Superior Ride, you still have a 5k booster, which can help boosting.

As for the triggers, my setup is always standard 7-5-4 for aggressive decks like these. So if you managed to derive a setup that works better for you, by all means go ahead.

Grade 1

Mark and Gareth is at the standard 4-off, because Gareth is one of the Superior Ride materials besides being a 8k booster. Raging Storm is included because Paladins always have this luxurious option to ensure a 13k VG, and so why don't we utilize it? basically, Raging Storm's purpose is to Soul In Blond Ezel in case you have no choice but to ride into Pezel first. This mitigates the hidden worry of not being able to hit a 13k whenever you need it.

Kahedin is the new card given to us in BT-09. Besides having a 7k statline, he offers you a chance to Superior Call out new units by recycling older ones. Let's say you accidentally called out a Draw Trigger via Ezel, you can cycle the unit and hope to get a better one. The reason why he's not more than a 2-off because of the fact that he doesn't get a free call, but you need to retire one to call one.

Silver Fang Witch is a tech choice, which you can opt not to play her. The reason why she's in is because she can utilize your Soul, which will be left unused (just remember not to blast out Ezel) by replacing herself with a new card drawn from the deck.

Grade 2

Beaumains is at 4x, do I need to explain more? Basically the logic is as same as Gareth. Bagdemagus is the Burning Horn Dragon clone for Gold Paladins. He turns into a 12 attacker whenever you VG has the name 'Ezel', which is quite impossible to not have one unless you're stuck with Master of Pain or Beaumains (but if you have Beaumains, you are just that close to have Ezel right?) Definitely a auto 4-off for such stats.

Master of Pain is basically the damage manipulator and UB enabler for the deck. When your opponent decides to stuck you at 4 damage, slap this fella down and UB all the way and bring pain to your opponent. The added bonus of being able to reshuffle a trigger back in also tempted me to play him.

The tech card here is Blaster Blade Spirit. being a 10k and having a retire skill, it is actually very tempting to put 4 pieces in the deck, but sad to say the restrictions and his drawback backs me off from doing that. His drawback is the moment he's attacked, he must be retired during the end of battle, which means a measly unboosted 5k attacker can just say 'Shoo!' and he's gone for good. Whether to include this guy in, it's all up to your preference.

Grade 3
Without a question both Ezels are at maximum to ensure consistency of getting at least one of them in your hand. Ezel doesn't require much explanation, since the Superior Ride gives you speed and his LB4 generates field advantage and grants you massive power boost.

As for Pezel, he's actually considered a vanilla before you hit LB5, but despite that, he's good as a vanilla if he hits 13k, because you can save cards from hand to guard for him, turning all possible 15k and 10k guards into  10k and 5k respectively. Also, his game ending UB, Spirit Unite Platina, gives a super powered Soul Saviour Dragon boost to up to 5 RGs, giving you a full three lines of 25k++ attacks. If your opponent can't plan his guards well, it's just game over for them. Basically Pezel is kind no-brainer I would say, due to the fact that you only need to time the UB well, while whacking painfully before that time comes.

So, this concludes my first part of the Double Dose for today, and hopefully I can come up with another article before I sleep tonight. Thanks a lot for sticking with me, and hopefully I'll be more active as time comes by, and also providing more for you guys.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deck Dissection: 'THE BLOOD'

Hello guys, Homura is back again with a deck dissection of one of my favorite clans, Narukami. As we all know, BT-09 released a lot of new units that boosted a few clans decently, especially crossriders, which brought those few clans into the next level. As a Narukami player, I've kinda expected some 'proper' boosts for my clan as the previous few sets gave very awful cards to Narukami (at least in my opinion, those cards are totally unplayable at all, except for the Damage Manipulators and the Draw Trigger).

In the end, I felt glad that Narukami can finally shine to its best when the upgrade unit for Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion, Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion 'THE BLOOD' was released. When the entire set was previewed, a lot of people say that The Blood was subpar in terms of its Ultimate Break, compared to the other crossriders. Also, the existence of Shirayuki's LB, which minuses the power of a unit attacking her by 20k, fabricated a lot of comments too deeming that The Blood now is a stupid card because of the power reduction rendering its UB totally useless. But here I am now, to show you how false are those claims, and to restore The Blood to its proper position as one of the best cards ever printed for the set, not individually, but in the entirety of the clan. So for now, let's have a look at the build that I'm currently running:

Grade 0
Spark Kid Dragoon x1 (FV)
Spark Edge Dracokid x3 (Critical)
Malevolent Djinn x4 (Critical)
Demonic Dragon Nymph, Seiobo x4 (Heal)
Old Dragon Mage x3 (Draw)
Mischievous Girl, Jiangshi x2 (Draw)

Grade 1
Red River Dragoon x4
Wyvern Guard, Guld x4
Dragon Monk, Ginkaku x3
Photon Bomber Wyvern x3

Grade 2
Dust Plasma Dragon x4
Thunderstorm Dragoon x3
Dragonic Deathscythe 2
Demonic Dragon Berserker, Garuda x2

Grade 3
Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion x4
Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion 'THE BLOOD' x4

I would say my build is quite standard, but with some slight twists to adapt my ideas and theories. This is still a 1.0 version, so I might make some changes along the way after I tested more with this deck. And now, onto the explanations:

Grade 0
Nothing much changes for the G0 lineup. This has been my standard lineup for most of my Narukami builds unless the deck requires me to play Stand Triggers. Spark Kid Dragoon become even more important as he might be able to net you the missing piece of the puzzle to form your 13k The Blood. As usual, triggers is my favorite Critical-based set up.

Grade 1
The G1 lineup is also quite similar to previous Narukami incarnations. The new cards were not that viable in the deck (although I wanted to try the Demonic Seal Dragon, Indigo.) albeit how good they seem to be. Hence, I stuck with the cards from older sets as they looked more practical to me compared to the new ones.

The only new inclusion here is Dragon Monk, Ginkaku. Ginkaku is the clone of Disciple of Pain, which allows you to add a damage to your Damage Zone, and shuffle back one damage into your deck at the end of turn by paying a CB of 1. In my opinion, he is good in this kind of deck because The Blood's skill is an Ultimate Break, meaning that you need LB5 to use it. Ginkaku can provide you with the crucial 5th damage in case your opponent decides to stuck you at 4. Also, even if he's not used to manipulate your damage, he can still be used to return any possible triggers into your deck (especially Heals), essentially feeding your deck with more trigger units for you to hit during checks. Although Ginkaku's 6k power is a bit at the lower end, but a 18k line combined with Dust Plasma Dragon is good enough to force a 10k shield against crossriders.

Grade 2
Nothing much to explain either for the majority of the G2s. Deathscythe is to control your opponent's board presence by destroying anything that can hit 18k. Garuda is used to force shields, or to unflip your damage to regain your CB. As for Thunderstorm Dragoon, what is there to be said for a 10k vanilla? A beatstick.

In the G2 lineup, I'm going to highlight more on Dust Plasma Dragon. Like all the crossrider clones (with the exception of Illuminal Dragon), there is a 9k G2 that can grow into a 12k beater if you have a Vanguard of a particular name on your field. In this case, Dust Plasma needs a 'Vermilion' Vanguard to be able to hit for 12k. Combining Dust Plasma and Red River Dragoon will create a 20k line, and a 18k line can be formed with the remainder of the G1s, enough to force 10k shields out.

Grade 3
As a deck that aims to crossride, I'm playing a full set of Dragonic Kaiser Vermilions and The Bloods just to make sure that I can get them into my hand. the 21k line of DKV and Photon Bomber Wyvern was already scary back on those days, but now 23k? Shit has just gone worse. And now, let me show you how stupid is Shirayuki in front of The Blood (sorry, no offense to Murakumo players in general, just need to prove a point to those trolls out there).

Yes, Shirayuki has a LB that can minus 20k power off The Blood. But that skill needs a cost of CB1 and Persona Blast, so at any given time when you're extremely lucky, you can only do it 3 times. And frankly speaking, The Blood doesn't even need to use its UB to pressure you, so how can they say Shirayuki is the perfect counter for The Blood? And bear in mind, Narukami RGs can also hit for more than 20k, so even if you stopped The Blood, can you stop the other sides? Unless you're playing 16 10k shields in your deck, if not don't even think of anti-ing The Blood with Shirayuki.

And another thing, regarding The Blood's UB, it's true that skill is just an upgraded version of DKV's LB. But look carefully, ignoring the 'whack front row' skill, basically you're paying CB3 to get a free Critical Trigger, and how bad can it be when you can force more guards while eliminating board presence anyway? As if when DKV uses its skill the opponent won't use a null if they're in a pinch?

Individually, The Blood might look weak, but if you factor in the entirety of the Narukami arsenal, The Blood is one of the most threatening cards in the new set, not because of the skill, but because of what he can do at normal times. Well, you might say that I'm a Narukami fanboy, but hey, that's the truth, and sometimes the truth is harsh for certain types of people. So what I can say now is have fun with the deck, and prove to those average minded people that The Blood is not weak at all. Until next time, bye!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Randomization: January 2013 Official Restricted List Thoughts

To those that are concerned about the banlist, here's something for you to read, and stop being childish and ranting, complaining and making a big fuss about the banlist (for those that think this post is offensive, please ignore)

To all the players out there, if you really think this banlist is going to make you quit Vanguard, by all means, go ahead please. If you don't really understand the logic behind the bannings and restrictions and just keep on complaining, why don't you all just move ahead and find another game to play?

The reason that they restrict all these cards is very easy, one word: SPAM. Didn't you guys notice that all major JP format tournaments' winners are from OTT, Kagero and RP? Well, I'll ask you this: If your favorite clan has near to zero chance of winning any top tier tournaments, will you still have confidence in it? It's to balance up the metagame by preventing overspamming of these clans in the tournament. It's to give other clans a chance to try to take the to spot of the meta.

And you might wanna say: why not ban Ezel, why not ban Maelstrom, why not ban Vermilion? For god's sake, they are not even considered a meta clan yet. If they are meta enough, they would have been replaced OTT, Kagero and RP eons ago.

In a sense, it might look like that those clans are 'dead', but it's not. Yes, you lose one archetype, but you still have others to play with. Use your brains, and start being innovative, this is not the end of the world.

In short, the new banlist is just to put your deckbuilding skills to the test and to provide a better environment, not for you to complain and whine. So, go back and think properly, and if you're thinking detailed enough, then you'll know the ban list is for the sake of the majority, not for you all power whores and metards.

I'll just make this really short, lazy to explain the whole thing in detail. If you guys needed any further clarification or explanation about why each of these cards are in the list, feel free to drop me a message and I'll discuss it with you. That's all for now, Homura signing out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deck Dissection: Phantom's Successor

Hey guys, Homura here after another long absence (lol!). Work is getting very hectic as my company's project is coming to its final leg. Finally found some time to post something, and that's only when my boss is not in the office. All these aside, today's article is actually another request from one of my readers. And since the new set is coming out soon, I would say why not I write a few articles featuring all the new cards from BT-09?

All of us should know by now that BT-09 is one of the best season-end boosters ever released to us, with decent reinforcements and boosts for almost all main clans, and sub-clans that hasn't been getting new cards for quite some while. And today, I'll be covering one of the decks that all the folks out there are quite hyped of it - Convicting Dragon, Chrome Jailer Dragon (CJD). And without further ado, let's have a look at my take of the deck:

Grade 0
Little Fighter, Cron x1 (FV)
Flame of Victory x4 (Critical)
Dantegal x2 (Critical)
Speeder Hound x4 (Draw)
Arms Dealer, Gwydion x2 (Draw)
Elixir Sommelier x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Knight of Fine Skills, Gareth x4
Listener of Truth, Dindrane x3
Halo Shield, Mark x4
Player of the Holy Axe, Nimue x3

Grade 2
Calamity Mage, Tripp x3
Blaster Blade Spirit x2
Blaster Dark Spirit x2
Lop Ear Shooter x3
Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane x2

Grade 3
Convicting Dragon, Chrome Jailer Dragon x4
Great Silver Wolf, Garmore x4

This deck only has one purpose, swarming the field with Superior Calls, and gain profit with it through units that has skills that activate when they are called out from the deck. CJD is the key card here as it allows you to swarm very fast at a small cost, and act as your finisher for the deck. Here is the analysis of the card inclusions.

Grade 0

We're not favoring any ride series in this deck, because CJD doesn't require any specific series to kickstart the engine. And also, because of CJD's Persona Blast, I opted to use Cron as he can possibly net me another copy of CJD in case I wanted to do a Persona Blast. The triggers here, as usual are pretty standard for Critical based decks nowadays.

Grade 1

Gareth and Mark is at 4x each without question. Gareth now plays a more important role because unlike Ezel, which can passively pump himself up, or Spectral Duke which has a base 11k power if you complete the chain, CJD doesn;t have any passive power bonuses, that's why Gareth is very important for him to construct 18k lines against Crossriders which will be running rampant this set. As CJD is a deck-based Superior Call deck, Dindrane is in for her self-replacing skill upon called out from deck.

Grade 2
Again no favoritism of any particular ride chains, Beaumains is omitted from the deck. You might wonder why is the 10k vanilla being axed? Because we have new replacements for him, the Blaster Spirits. An upgrade form from their previous incarnations, both Blasters retains their skills but with a additional 1000 power increment. Yes, their skills require them to be called out from the deck in order to activate, but even if they can't use their skills, they can be well considered as a normal 10k vanilla.

But, they do have a drawback by possessing such decent skills. When they are attacked, you must retire them during the end of the turn. In detail, as long as somebody attacked them, they have to die, regardless of the power, which means you can just call out a 5k Draw Trigger and attack them, and they WILL die at the end of the turn. Well, I wouldn't say this is a heavy drawback, if they attack the spirits, you just saved your Vanguard from a possible lethal attack, sounds good, isn't it?

This deck uses a lot, yes A LOT of Counterblasts, so Tripp is back in action to help recover some CB resources. Further emphasizing the deck-based Superior Callings, Lop Ear Shooter is here as well to help fish out more cards from your deck, hopefully netting out the Blasters in the same time.

Grade 3
Enter Chrome Jailer Dragon, the main star of the deck. CJD is a 10k unit, which doesn't look very impressive stats wise. But he does make it up with a couple of very decent skills at his disposal. Firstly, he has a CB1 Persona Blast which allows players to peek at the top four cards of their decks, and Superior Call up to two Gold Paladin units. This is a very good skill, as you're trading away a useless nonshield card for a more superior board advantage. And yes, you can call out the Blasters although they are originally from Royal and Shadow Paladins because they have a continuous skill which makes them Gold Paladins wherever they are.

The second skill, which is a 'combo' with the first, is a mirror of Phantom Blaster Dragon's skill. CJD's skill gets a reduced cost (you only need to retire 2 instead of 3 units), but the drawback is the skill is a LB4 skill, which makes it unable to be abused early game. But still, in a deck that can swarm easily, retiring 2 units to get a +10k and +1 Critical is not a tough job, and not a joke as well.

The supportive unit of the deck is none other than the first deck-superior call enabler from the Trial Deck- Great Silver Wolf, Garmore. Even if you failed to ride CJD, Garmore still has a Superior Calling skill, meaning you still can do your Superior Call mojos, albeit not so effective if you compared to CJD of course. And, Garmore also has a good LB, making it a 23k attacker once you hit LB threshold. So in short, no matter who you ride, the deck can still function properly, and you still have Cron to fish out the missing G3 for you!

And that concludes my analysis of the upcoming Chrome Jailer Dragon Gold Paladin deck. Those that played Phantom Blaster Dragon and Pellinore decks will definitely have an advantage in terms of understanding how this deck works.As for those new players, I don't really recommend this deck yet as it actually involves a lot of thinking because this is a combo deck more than a standard beatdown style GP. So, have fun trying this out, and good luck cracking out all your CJDs once the booster hits the shelves!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deck Dissection: Hi-Beast Rumble

Hey guys, Homura here with a double dose today, since I was absent for quite some time already, and people were bugging me to come up with something new ASAP. Well, I went for a vacation, and fell sick after that, that's why you guys were unable to see new posts coming up in the blog. But now, I shall resume my writings with another post dedicated to the VGE community in conjunction with the upcoming release of the new set, BT-04 'Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows'.

If I recall correctly, I've already posted up a Shadow Paladin article sometime back, so I won't be talking much about them except for certain playable cards sometime in the future. Instead, I'll be talking about their 'good' counterparts, the Royal Paladins today. In BT-04, the Royals will gain some new support, basically a totally new archetype that is quite fun to play with while it lasts. Remember when High Dog Breeder Akane was released as one of the first cards that work together with a specific 'race' instead of clan? Yes, the deck that I'll be mentioning will be centered around the Royal Paladins' most trustworthy and loyal allies, the Hi-Beasts. And let's have a look at the deck of my choice:

Grade 0
Bleugal x1 (FV)
Alabaster Owl x4 (Critical)
Bringer of Good Luck, Epona x3 (Critical)
Margal x4 (Draw)
Arms Dealer, Govannon x1 (Draw)
Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Little Sage, Marron x4
Flash Shield, Isolde x4
Pongal x3
Snowgal x4

Grade 2
Beast Knight, Garmore x3
Knight of Silence, Gallatin x3
High Dog Breeder, Akane x3
Blaster Blade x2

Grade 3
Fang of Light, Garmore x3
Swordsman of Exploding Flames, Palamedes x3
Soul Saviour Dragon x2

As you see, this deck is lacking the presence of some Royal Paladin staples nowadays like KoK Alfred and the Galahad chain. Instead, this deck focuses its swarming abilities through Hi-Beasts, which can also in return power up their allies. Let's have a look at the choices of the deck I've posted:

Grade 0
Bleugal is the starter for this deck. Since Barcgal was banned, most people shifted to the Galahad series as their starting plays as they generates a free ride (+/- 0 from hand). But now, Bleugal returns as a starter that can be pulled back upon riding, thus also generates a +1 board presence during G1. Bleugal's power up ability can be ignored unless you are playing multiple copies of it, which I don't think it's a good choice. You can still switch back to the Galahad chain, you just need to adjust the deck composition a bit, then you're good to go.

The trigger lineup here is as usual, 7-5-4. With the capability of hitting high numbers, this beatdown deck really craves for Critical Triggers to end the game as soon as possible, as this deck in my opinion, is lacking the endurance to play a drag game.

Grade 1
The stars of the G1 lineup are none other than the Hi-Beasts, Pongal and Snowgal. Pongal is a good tutor for Soul Saviour in case you need her for your Final Turn, or in case you're gradestuck, plus it can be tutored out via Akane as well. Also, its 7k power makes it a very good booster to hit 11k Vanguards in the current environment.

Snowgal is the main booster for this deck. Starting as a 6k unit, it doesn't seem attractive at the beginning. But, once you have multiples of Snowgal on your field, they get +1000 power for each other one present, making them a maximum 9k power beatstick/booster once you have all 4 in play. However, having 3 is already considered good enough as they can be considered as your extra Marrons, plus they can be tutored out as well. Just beware of Kageros. I guess I don't need to further explain why Isolde and Marron are inside.

Grade 2

The G2 lineup for this deck focuses slightly heavier in the tutoring part, with as much as 6 tutors in the deck to search out the Hi-Beasts. Akane here is the universal tutor, whereby she can search out any Hi-Beast in the deck, whether its Pongal to further tutor for SSD, or Snowgal to increase their numbers.

Beast Knight, Garmore is the new entree in the deck. With a base power of 8k, he might not look that impressive on its own, but what makes him good is his tutoring skill. Upon appearing in play, you can discard a hand card to tutor out a Snowgal from your deck. And if you already have several Snowgals in play or some other boosters, Garmore himself can whack for up to 16k worth of power, which is considered decent in the current environment.

Blaster Blade is in the deck to take care of those pesky S-Intercepts, annoying Grade 2s, and some threatening G3, because in the current environment, only Blaster Blade can easily take care of G3s without sacrificing one attack. Gallatin is there to provide some extra punch, feel free to replace him with Knight of Determination, Lamorak if you prefer his design more, lol.

Grade 3

Here we go, into the Grade 3s. The main star here is Fang of Light, Garmore. This earlier counterpart of the Gold Paladin Garmore is the main Vanguard of this deck. Upon appearing in the VG circle, his skill, which is similar to Beast Knight's triggers, allowing to tutor out either a Bleugal or Snowgal from your deck and call it out. Plus, FoL gains +1000 power for each of those two units in play, enabling him to hit very high numbers, for example 21k when you have 3 Snowgals in play and boosted by one of them.

Our secondary beater here is Palamedes. Nuff said, Palamedes is one of the best G3 ever printed for RP, with the capability to handle even Crossrides on his own, he in automatically included in the deck without any question. A unit that can hit 21k easily? Why not!

As for Soul Saviour Dragon, as usual, she is the finisher of the deck. When you think its time, just Soulblast 5 and watch your opponent's hand cards fly away, or cards in their deck fly away into the damage zone. Definitely a solid finisher for any Royal Paladin decks.

Hence, this is my version of the FoL deck. Truthfully speaking, other variants of the deck can't really stray much from this 'skeleton', whereby the core of the deck like Snowgal, Garmores, Isoldes, and co. are no-brainer inclusions in the deck. The deck is quite fun though, so far the only bad matchup I see from my JP experience is Goku Kagero, whereby you must make sure the timing of your Snowgals must be correct in order to minimize casualties. So give this deck a try, and let me know how it feels.