Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deck Dissection: Lawkeeper Kagero

As promised, today it'll be normal posts again. EB-03 is seriously picking up at a very fast speed here at my local meta. Everybody now is trying their new decks with EB-03 cards inside non-stop. So what about me? I also wanted to try them out, but the problem here is Kagero is so commonly played that I have a very hard time to find the Dragonic Lawkeepers that I need for my deck. I think after 3 days of searching it, I only managed to secure 3 pieces of it.

So much demand for this guy here... Sad...

Although my ideal deck is using 4 of those guys, but I have to improvise thanks to the lack of cards. However, my friend Rauzes gave me a good suggestion to build a deck with only 3 Dragonic Lawkeepers. And the deck is performing quite well despite not having a full set of Lawkeepers. So here's the deck that both of us came up with:

Grade 0
Lizard Soldier Conroe x1 (FV)
Embodiment of Spear, Tahr x4 (Critical)
Blu-Ray Dracokid x3 (Critical)
Gatling Claw Dragon x4 (Draw)
Dragon Dancer Monica x1 (Draw)
Dragon Monk Genjo x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Embodiment of Armor, Bahr x4
Dragon Monk Gojo x3
Wyvern Guard, Barri x3
Lizard Soldier Raopia x2
Demonic Dragon Mage, Kinnala x2

Grade 2
Cross Shot Gaap x4
Dragon Knight Nehalem x2
Berserk Dragon x3
Bellycoisty Dragon x2

Grade 3
Dragonic Lawkeeper x3
Dual Axe Archdragon x3
Dragonic Overlord x2

The base of this deck is very easy to come up with because most Kagero decks are using this as a template (mine at least). What you need to do is just change the G3s and the trigger set up then the deck will have a new flavor in it. Moving on to the selection of cards:

Grade 0
For the starter we have the best G0 available for us, which is Lizard Soldier Conroe. Thanks to it we can reduce the number of certain units to make space for others because Conroe can tutor them out. As for the trigger set up, I opted to go with my favorite - 7 Critical, 5 Draw, and 4 Heal as I'm a Critical fan. But this might change as I'm currently experimenting on different trigger set ups.

Grade 1
4 Bahr and 3 Barri, quite standard base. Gojo is there to help you cycle cards (seriously, this guy is my favorite G1 now, can't leave him out in any deck). Although Kinnala will eat some of your Counterblasts, but I really think that we can't depend on Lawkeeper's skill alone, hence she's there to provide a bit of board control, especially those threatening boosters like 10k boosts, Toypoogal, 8ks etc..

The key G1 here is Lizard Soldier Raopia. With Lawkeeper's Limit Break on, you can guarantee a 23k attack every time you use the LB skill, and ensure that your opponent will either say 'No Guard', throw a null guard, or waste a lot of cards to guard. Being able to be tutored out by Conroe, he's at x2 (you'll only need 1 on field anyway).

Grade 2
I'm playing 6 pieces of the 10k vanillas here to maximize the offensive power. Rauzes suggested me to play HIdden Dragon Striken initially, but I really can't find the guts to lose a Drive Check just to get a confirmed Critical Trigger. Similar to Kinnala, Berserk Dragon x3 is here to provide more board control as well as creating presence. Since this deck uses quite some CB, I added in 2x Bellycoisty Dragons just to help recover some CB. It also helps you to 'psycho' your opponent, whether he wanna let you unflip the damage or spend cards to guard.

Grade 3
Dragonic Lawkeeper at x3 in the deck. Although I would like to play 4 but sadly I only have 3 with me now. However, once you played enough, you will find out that you don't actually need 4. Because you need 4 damage to activate LB, means by then it's already in mid or late game already. Also, Lawkeeper is a VG only effect, means once you ride him, the other copies are useless already. So I guess 3 here is quite enough for the deck.

Dual Axe Archdragon, another partner card with Lawkeeper. Being able to hit 20k magic lines is good, nuff said. 3 pieces of it is because like the other cards, the requirements to get the +3k power is kinda hard, unless you trigger LB every turn. So most of the time, Dual Axe will only be a vanilla 10k if your opponent keeps on spamming units.

Hitting 20k+ magic numbers was never that easy until now... Welcome back my long forgotten friend...

The 2 Dragonic Overlords here is to fill in the VG spot while waiting to ride Lawkeeper on top of it. With its 11k defense, you can buy more time to fish out your Lawkeeper and proceed for your win. Besides, if you have extra CB to use, why not call out Overlord in RG and push for more damage?

So here you go, a sample Critical-based Lawkeeper deck. This deck is geared more towards offense, but now I'm experimenting a way to make the deck faster. Once I secured all my cards, most likely will give this deck a shot in my shop tourneys. Hopefully this deck will live up to my expectations and Lawkeeper can be my new Avatar besides DOTE (lol!). So until next time, this is Homura signing out!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Randomization: A Player's Mentality

Hello there and this is Homura with something different installed for you all today. Today, we'll not going to dissect decks, or discuss things related to the game. Instead, I'll be talking about mentality issues of players nowadays.

I'm sure that most of you that plays any game, not only Vanguard, will somehow want to gain some achievement in the game. Once you start winning, you'll want to win more, and hopefully gain recognition from other players as the top player of the community. Truthfully speaking, who doesn't? I'll admit that I do. After so many games that I've played so far, I have tried my best to be the one of the best, if not the best. But, no matter how hard I tried, I still can't, and I felt very disheartened and sad.

But then, I told my self, why take it so serious? It's a game, and we're supposed to enjoy the game. To enjoy the game, it's not necessary for me to be the best player. What I need is just recognition from others. When others know your existence, and they have respect for you, it's already good enough. I'm not saying that it's pointless to go competitive, but remember, just enjoy the game and don't really worry about the results.

I know, taking losses as if nothing has happened is very hard for certain people, when they have this thing called 'ego' in their way. But think of this in another perspective. When you play a game, there's always a winner and a loser. If you win, you should feel proud and happy because your hardwork in building the deck and testing out the deck finally pays off. If you lose, take it as an experience, and ask yourself what else you can improve to make yourself better. By doing that only you can overcome the feelings that come up after losing and do better next time.

Another thing, when people lose against an experienced player, they'll always complain that they're bullying and toying around with the newbies. What logic is that? Have you asked yourself, are they really bullying you, or is your skills still lacking? Playing against experienced players will only make you better, if you take it in a positive thinking. I ask you, do you really want to just stick with players that are same level as you? You don't even want to improve? If so, then I got nothing to say.

Besides, you think we experienced players were born a pro? The thing you didn't know is how many losses we have endured throughout the process to be at this level. We might be good now, but same as you all, we used to be noobs last time. If all of us only know how to whine about our losses and giving excuses, there won't be any good players around us right? It's the experiences of losing, improving, losing, improving, and finally winning that made us what we are now. There isn't an easy way to be good (unless you cheat, but what's the point, right?).

So yeah, don't take losses so seriously, and never stop improving yourselves. Gain more experience, learn more. I will not say that my plays are perfect, sometimes i still make stupid mistakes, but hey, I'm still learning. And so should you.

That's all for today, and I'll be back with my usual posts tomorrow, or later when I have the mood to write again (work is killing me lol...)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Deck Dissection: Primordial Shadows

Good day and welcome to yet another edition of 'Deck Dissection' by Homura. Today, we'll be looking at another deck played by one of my friend, Rauzes.

EB-03 was released last Saturday, and the stocks that my local shop brought in were gone almost instantly as a lot of people pre-ordered a lot of boxes. I myself was trying to hunt for my Dragonic Lawkeeper but sadly I only managed to secure 3. Despite only having three Lawkeepers, I still managed to come up with a deck, and sparred a few rounds with Rauzes' Shadow Paladins, featuring the new Limit Breaker for the clan - Primordial Mage, Irudona.

Rauzes was a good player, and as expected, his deck gave me a lot of tough times thanks to Irudona's card advantage from his LB skill. I won some games, as well as him, but his deck was so interesting that I decided to share some of my opinions about it. Here's my take of the deck:

Grade 0
Fullbau x1 (FV)
Death Feather Eagle x4 (Critical)
Grim Reaper x4 (Critical)
Abyss Healer x4 (Heal)
Abyss Freezer x4 (Draw)

Grade 1
Dark Sage, Charon x4
Dark Shield, Mac Lir x3
Nostrum Witch, Arianrhod x3
Blaster Javelin x4

Grade 2
Skull Witch, Nevan x2
Dark Maiden, Maaha x3
Knight of Fighting Spirit, Dordona x3
Blaster Dark x3

Grade 3
Primordial Mage, Irudona x3
Dark Mage, Badhabh Carr x3
Phantom Blaster Dragon x2

Quite an interesting build with both Irudona and Phantom Blaster Dragon needing to 'eat' units to unlock their skills. So let's see how this deck works and the choices of cards used in this deck.

Grade 0
Fullbau is our first Vanguard. Because SP really doesn't have any viable starter, we really don't have a choice and Fullbau saves our hand till Grade 2 because of its tutoring ability for Blaster Dark. The triggers used here was quite standard, 8 Critical, 4 Draw, and 4 Heal. Stand Triggers are really quite useless in this deck as this deck aims for high damage attacks instead of multiple attacks because your G3s will 'eat' your units, leaving you with no targets to utilize your Stand Triggers.

Grade 1
Since we're using Fullbau, I attempted in using the Blaster Ride Chain by adding 4 Blaster Javelins. This can fully utilize Fullbau's skill, and also to secure a way to ride to G3 in case Irudona didn't show up. Not to mention Blaster Javelin can thin down the deck a bit. Charon is at max for his 8k boost. Arianrhod provides a way for us to cycle useless card to faster get our G3s, together with her sweet 7k power. 3 Mac Lir is quite standard.

Grade 2
The line up here is almost similar to those that were used in Phantom Blaster Overlord SP decks, minus Masquerade because we don't have enough 'Blaster' Vanguards to fully make use of him. Blaster Dark at 3 to make sure that we get him, Masquerade is replaced by Dordona (the new 10k vanilla. Besides, he looks cooler that Rugoth, LOL!), and Nevan is there for a slight boost of hand advantage.

Instantly refills your board and provides a 16k line, and also can intercept once she's not needed.

In PBO decks, Maaha is used to search out boosters and Nightmare Painters to ensure PBO become 13k. In this deck, Maaha's purpose is to refill the board with units after they have been eaten by PBD and Irudona.

Grade 3
The main units here were Irudona and PBD. Since this deck focuses more on Irudona, he's at x3 while PBD was at x2 (not to mention PBD can be searched, and he's the alternative G3 here). Irudona gives you hand advantage and +3k power (in other words, replacement fodders compared to PBD's skill, where after you eat your units, they don't come back) when you use his skill, and another automatic +3k power when you're attacking the Vanguard.

Damage or card advantage? You choose. Either way works as well...

Even if you don't use his skill, by able to hit 20k and 21k lines without cost was already good enough. PBD's purpose here was to be the alternative Vanguard with its possible 11k defense and the final push. Since both our main Vanguards consumes units as a cost, Badhabh Caar provides replacement units as well as being a 'fodder' himself.

More FOOD!!!

Here you go, my take on the new Shadow Paladin deck. Of course, the deck's stability was not as good as the Phantom Blaster Overlord build (it's a metagame deck, what do you expect?), but the deck was still very interesting and fun to play with. It provides something different besides having super high damage count, and not to mention its easy to build (Irudonas are running rampant at my local shops). Try and give it a shot, you might fell in love with it compared to the other Shadow Paladin decks out there!

That's all for this installment of Deck Dissection, stay tuned for more as I will be dissecting the newer Kagero decks that uses Dragonic Lawkeeper! Until then, Homura signing out!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Randomization: Do You Have A Problem in Reading?

Hello there. While I was browsing through some Cardfight Vanguard group pages in Facebook in office (YES, I'm working on a freaking Saturday, FML!!!), a very interesting post caught my eye, and that post gave me some inspiration to write this article. Here's roughly what the post was mentioning.

This were the text written on Feather Palace's skill box:

AUTO [V]: At the beginning of your main phase, SC1, this unit gets +2000 power until the end of turn.
AUTO [V]: [SB8 & CB5] When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, for each <Angel Feather> Rear Guard on your field, choose a card from your damage zone to heal.

Got it? I presume that everybody here know's how to read ENGLISH. Okay, here's the funny part. In that particular group, someone mentioned that they checked the ruling for Feather Palace's Megablast skill. And the conclusion that they came up with was that Feather Palace's skill MUST FOLLOW the ruling for Heal Triggers, i.e. you can only heal until you have 1 less damage than your opponent.

Err... the moment I saw that comment, I was like "Hmm... WHAT?" There's not even a reference to this kind of ruling anywhere! And the most important 'Golden Rule' of TCGs is when a card's rule contradicts with the rulebook, the card take precedence, meaning you FOLLOW whatever the card says. I already asked them to show me evidence for their conclusion, and I'm still waiting (or kinda like expecting what are they gonna say).

Actually this kind of situation already happened once when BT-01 just came out. This was the confusion caused thanks to those that don't know how to READ (again, no offence intended):

The confusion that this card created was its CB3 skill. This was the actual wording of the skill:

ACTIVATE [V / R]: [CB3] During this turn, this unit gets +5000 power, and gain "AUTO [V / R]: When this unit's attack hits a Rear Guard, stand this unit", and loses [Twin Drive!!].

Got it? Yes? No? Maybe? The wording said that Overlord gains the AUTO ability, and loses Twin Drive in return, not "When this unit's attack hits a RG, stand it and lose Twin Drive". Some of the players that misunderstood the wording concludes that Overlord only loses Twin Drive when it is hitting a RG using its skill. When it is attacking the Vanguard, the Twin Drive still remain. NO! IT DOESN'T! The moment you activate the skill, you LOSE the Twin Drive for a new skill!

The point of this article is, don't simply come up with your own conclusions by just roughly glance through the card, and translate it with your own language (yet again, no offence intended). Ask someone that knows Japanese good enough to translate it for you, and please, don't trust Wikis easily, as anybody can just log in and edit the content. Always follow the official FAQ from the official website (if your Japanese is not that good, study or ask those that are good). If Bushiroad didn't mention any changes for a card, please don't simply create rulings on your own.

One of the members in the group even confidently said that Bushiroad already confirmed the ruling (what bulls*it is this?) Evidence, guys. Evidence. Rock-hard solid evidence. No evidence, don't try to talk big.

I know this post might get some hate if they saw this, but hey, I'm only telling the truth. So to prove who's right and who's wrong, let's just wait for Bushiroad's reply (I already asked them) and see who gets the last laugh, LOL.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Deck Dissection: Pirates of Magallanica

Hello there, Homura here with another installment of Deck Dissection. Today, I'll be looking at Granblue. This decklist that I'm going to show today is very unique compared to what I've played throughout the year in Vanguard, as it doesn't follow my personal standard in terms of unit composition and playstyle. I can say that out of all the people that I know of, there's only 2 of them that can pilot this build properly. Not to mention that this build is one of my friend's actual deck that he's using now.

With the release of Granblue's first ever Limit Breaker, Draw Trigger and a printed 11k unit, things are sure going to change for the pirates (including very unorthodox ones). Without further ado, let's bring up the list!

Grade 0
Captain Nightkid x1 (FV)
Chappie the Ghostie x4
Doctor Rouge x4 (Heal)
Knight Spirit x4 (Critical)
Helmsman of the Underworld x2 (Stand)
Banshee of the Rough Seas x2 (Critical)
Hooked Arm Zombie x4 (Draw)

Grade 1
Deadly Nightmare x3
Samurai Spirit x2
Dandy Romario x4
Gust Djinn x3
Evil Shade x2

Grade 2
Captain Nightmist x1
Deadly Spirit x4
Commodore Blueblood x3
Ruin Shade x2

Grade 3
Spirit Exceed x1
Deadly Swordmaster x1
Dragon Undead, Skulldragon x2
Necromancer of the Ice Prison, Cocytus x1

From the first glance, weird, isn't it? That is my first impression of the deck. The ratio of units and the way he built it is so weird until I really can't justify his choices until he explained and demonstrated the deck in front of me. Well, truthfully speaking I'm still quite blur of his build and what I'm going to explain here is based on what he told me and some of my personal insights about it.

Grade 0
Captain Nightkid is the First Vanguard for the deck. Comparing it with Guiding Zombie, Nightkid wins hands-down thanks to his skill. Getting a card that you want into the Drop Zone out of 10 cards is better than sending 3 unknown cards there.

Watch out! Cos' I'm the new kid here!

The trigger choices are also interesting. Knight Spirit is at x4 because of him being a Superior Ride material for Spirit Exceed. Helmsman of the Underworld is actually a very interesting and a 'tech' choice. Besides being a trigger, it serves as a 'free' body to be swapped into Deadly Nightmare or Samurai Spirit whenever a G3 hits the field. Other than that, the rest are actually quite standard I would say.

Grade 1
Deadly Nightmare and Samurai Spirit is at 3x and 2x because those two are Superior Ride materials that can be called from the Drop Zone as well as be tutored by Chappie, so they doesn't need to be maxed out. Dandy Romario x4 and Gust Djinn at x3 are quite standard, meanwhile Evil Shade is there to give a low cost 10k boost for the final push or mid-game pressure.

Grade 2
The lone Nightmist is actually there to be swapping fodder, especially for Skulldragon, because he can be revived as either a beater or interceptor for defense, and of course be tutored by Chappie. Deadly Spirit is a better Nightmist with a slightly lower cost and better power. It is also a Superior Ride Material for Deadly Swordmaster, but thanks to his 9k base power, he's maxed out instead of Nightmist. Ruin Shade is there for her ability to dump cards into the Drop Zone, possibly fetching cards that we need and attack with 11k power after that.

Grade 3
This is the weirdest part. Spirit Exceed, Deadly Swordmaster and Skulldragon are all at low numbers. Even the LB unit Cocytus is only at one. So what's the logic? Because the first two can be Superior Rode from the Drop Zone (which means Chappie can fetch them out from your deck), that's why only 1 is needed. Skulldragon is the main pusher (not to mention can be fetched via Chappie and revivable) and hence 2 of them. Cocytus is our final pusher when you hit Limit Break Threshold. Don't use him early game unless you really have no choice because you don't want to waste his revival skill and with his 10k base power, he'll sure get raped by 20k lines.

1 of each, at most 2.

Alright, after such long typing, the bottom line is Chappie the Ghostie is actually the key card in the deck. With only 5 G3s and not much searching mechanism, it just spells doom for other clans. But with Chappie, a GB deck with such setup will not stuck grade most of the time thanks to Chappie's fetching skill (My friend never stuck grade before since he completed this deck). So most of the time you really want to see Chappie in your opening hand.

This build of Granblue is seriously a skill-demanding deck. You must know when to throw what, and when to revive your units so that you won't waste your Soul  or Counterblasts.Try it out and give yourself a headache, it is really fun to play with, and play against. Until next time, this is Homura signing out, and start digging for those Chappies (heh!).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Defining the Metagame: Angel Feather

Good day to all of you out there, this is Homura with my daily (only sometimes...) post in Cardfighters Unite! Today, I'll be attempting to analyze one of the clans that I seldom play in the game - Angel Feather. In this post, I'll be giving a rough idea on how AF is played, it's state at the current metagame, and hopefully a decklist as I write till the end (fingers crossed!).

AF is getting lots of hype when it is first previewed. Besides having nice shoujo illustrations, this specialty of the clan - Damage Zone Manipulation also cause AF to gain popularity as this kind of skill is never seen anywhere before this.

Unlike other clans, AF does not have an 'autopilot' version of the deck. Instead, AF appeals more towards players that like to play skill-based decks, whereby you need to think a lot before applying your move. This is reflected in AF's ability to swap cards from the Damage Zone, where you really need to think carefully which card to swap out to maximize the profit made from the swap. For those players that has been playing non skill-based decks (like me for an example, heh!), AF might be hard for you to pilot.

There are 3 different types of decks that you can make in AF, as they have 2 distinct units that need to have a deck specially tailored for them, and another unit that can have a deck of her own or be splashed into the other decks. Here are the 3 cards that I'm mentioning:

First card that I'll be talking about is Cosmo Healer, Ergodiel. This is a Persona Blast unit from AF that can heal damage outside of Heal Triggers. Upon hitting the Vanguard, Ergodiel can Persona Blast to recover one damage. She comes together with a Chain Ride system, where the G0 shares the same skill as Bermuda Cadet, Rivere; the G1 and G2 shares the passive power-up when the previous grade is in the soul, as well as a damage swapping skill. This skill ensures that you will always have the card you need at that point of time while continuously ride to G3 without much problem. And backed with Ergodiel's 11k power, this is the most defensive deck AF offers.

The second card is Mobile Ward, Feather Palace. This one displays the Damage Zone Manipulation of AF through a Megablast skill. This 10k Golem (why a Golem?) has a auto SC1 that buffs it up to 12k, making a 20k line boosted by Besnel (the 8k vanilla). its Megablast allows you to heal 1 damage from your Damage Zone for each AF Rear Guard you have on the field, to a maximum of 5 (duh!). Imagine that you have 5 RGs on the field, essentially you just used a Megablast for free and you can take another 5 more damage before you lose the game! However, the downside of this card is there's not many ways to effectively SC at the moment, and the 10k base power will get raped for sure during defense. Verdict? Not so viable ATM.

The last card is a very utility-based G3. Enter the Limit Breaker for AF - Circular Saw Kiriel. Among the 3 different types of G3s I mentioned here, Kiriel can be considered as the best one here. Nonetheless she's just a 10k base, but she has a very good LB effect that can help her to form 20k, 21k, 22k, 23k, and 25k lines which are very impressive IMO. Also, she also has a very good CIP skill. For a cost of CB1, you may Superior Call a face-up AF unit from your Damage Zone, and put back a card from the top of your deck face-down. Technically you're paying CB2, but for that cost to call a unit that may change the tide of the battle to your favor, why not? And it also help to trigger skills of units that has 'when a card is put into your Damage Zone' abilities. The most important thing is she's splashable in every AF deck you make, making her the most versatile card in the entire AF arsenal.

Besides the main 'stars' of your decks, AF also feature a 'sub-star' which are very important units for AF's strategies. Please welcome Nociel!

The 3 Nociels plays a very crucial part in an AF deck due to their skills to swap cards from your Damage Zone and Hand. The G0 Nociel is a Stand Trigger that allows a swap by Soulcharging her. The G2 Nociel swaps through a CIP skill. The G1 Nociel is the highlight here. You can see the other 2 Nociels has a ACTIVATE ability, while this one is an AUTO ability. Yes, Battle Cupid, Nociel's skill can be used during your opponent's attack phase to surprise your opponent when they thought that you won't have enough guard by suddenly swap out a 10k shield from your Damage Zone. Sweet~

Thinking of just stop here, but still feel like continuing. DECKLIST TIME!!

Grade 0
Miracle Feather Nurse x1 (FV)
Critical Hit Angel x4 (Critical, duh!)
Rocket Dash Unicorn x2 (Critical)
Happy Bell, Nociel x2 (Stand)
Bouquet Toss Messenger x4 (Draw)
Sunny Smile Angel x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Heavenly Injector x4
Pure Keeper Requiel x3
Burst Shot, Besnel x4
Battle Cupid, Nociel x3

Grade 2
Fate Healer, Ergodiel x4
Love Machine Gun, Nociel x2
Gatling Shot, Barbiel x3
Core Memory, Armaros x3

Grade 3
Cosmo Healer, Ergodiel x4
Circular Saw, Kiriel x3

The deck here is a Ergodiel-main with a splash of 3 Kiriels in it. Basically this deck gives you a basic roundup of AF's damage swapping skills with Nociels and the Ergodiel chain allowing you to swap whatever you want (swapping Heal Triggers sounds tasty...). Maintain the early to mid game with Ergodiel (hopefully Persona Blasting a few times), then reride into Kiriel for the finishing blow.

So far I would say that AF is at tier 1.5 now, but given the first wave of cards in BT-06, AF already has a strong base of cards. Whatever that's left to make AF a good deck that can compete with the other metagame decks out there is the pilot's skills. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Defining the Metagame: Kagero

Hello guys, Homura here again. It has been a while since I wrote some stuff about Kagero, so I decided to write one today. So without further ado, let's get started!

Every time I went to look up for tourney reports, whatever I saw there were always the same thing: It's either Kagero, Royal Paladins, or Shadow Paladins. Where are the Limit Breakers? Aren't they're supposed to 'Break the Limits'? Why am I still seeing the same old clans since a year ago? WHY!?!?!?!?!?

The answer is simple - consistency. In almost every TCG that I played, consistency always plays the most important part in a game. More often a win or loss is determined by the consistency of your deck (of course plus your skills). Kagero is one of the clans that really represents consistency to its fullest, IMO. Even though BT-06 gives us Limit Breakers, but yet Kagero still manage to stay at the top, without the help of any LB units.

I'm still a badass after so long, RAWR!!!

The epitome of consistency in Kagero is their current strongest/stablest deck of all time - Dragonic Overlord The End. Why? because the deck combines all factors of consistency in one whole package. Here are some staples in the deck that made is super consistent and stable:

Lizard Solider Conroe: Nuff said, the best G0 in the game.

Dragon Monk Gojo - 7k booster, perfect for creating 18k lines with the G3s, and 20k with Burning Horn. Also helps you to cycle cards.

Demonic Dragon Mage, Kinalla - Board control, breaking magic numbers for a cheap cost of CB1.

Burning Horn Dragon - Permanent 12k attacker during your turn. Sets up 17k, 18k, and 20k magic numbers.

Berserk Dragon - One of the best G2s we have. Board control, creates presence and removes interceptors.

Dragonic Overlord - God before he gets angry (LOL!). 11k tanker with a scary skill. Nuff said.

Dragonic Overlord The End - God when angry. even more tank with 13k, and when he stands again, it's usually 'THE END'.

So you see? Card cycling, cost-free power-ups, board control, defensive and offensive power, card advantage, tutoring all-in-one. What more you want? With all these goodies still available for Kagero, unless Bushiroad decides to come up with a super-crazy-insane-imba LB unit with 13k base power, DOTE will still remain the top of the ladder of competitive decks. With most LB units being at 10k base power, there's a reason why DOTE eats them for lunch (munch munch!).

DOTE aside, there's now a new contender to possibly join DOTE in the competitive scene to be a semi-meta, if not meta deck. Enter the new Kagero LB unit - Dragonic Lawkeeper.

This firebreathing dragon here sports 10k base power like most G3s, but the upside is it has a very funky LB skill. For a cost of CB1, you may bind all your opponent's Rear Guards for that turn. This skill actually has its own pros and cons. The good thing is you can remove Interceptors away to force your opponent to dump more hand cards. Topped up with Lawkeeper's automatic power increase when your opponent has 2 or less RG when it attacks, it can really dish out high amounts of damage. The downside is during your End Phase where you used this skill, up to 4 bound RGs comes back. It means that your opponent can rearrange their formation, and any units with CIP skills will activate again.

So, the key to using this skill is about timing. Basically, you only use Lawkeeper's skill when you have a chance to deal high power attacks. With that, you can force your opponent to dump hand cards, possibly removing higher level threats, and you will only need to deal with the same units once you end your turn.

I'm still tinkering around with Lawkeeper, and I came out with a prototype deck (with proxies) and modifying it from there. Truthfully speaking, I actually made a lot of people pissed off and frustrated because of Lawkeeper's LB skill (heh!). What you should put in your deck, I'll leave it for your own, but I'll show you some long-forgotten cards that will fit this deck superbly. Behold!

Yes, Dual Axe Archdragon and Lizard Solider Raopia. I bet you don't even bother playing these guys before Lawkeeper was previewed. All these 3 units share a common skill, whereby they all get a power boost when your opponent has 2 or less RGs. When combo-ed with Lawkeeper's skill, you can literally tell your opponent "In Your Face!!!" when you smash into the red zone with 3 lines of 20k++ power attacks. Luckily I still keep my playset of Dual Axe Archdragons (got them when they're like 10 Malaysian Ringgit per piece LOL!), because now this card will be a hot stuff (very hard to find them because nobody is opening BT-03 anymore).

So in short, DOTE will still dominate the meta until something stupid happens, and Lawkeeper will definitely gring a new twist to the existing Kagero decks out there. So remember to try Lawkeeper out, and let me know how you feel about it! If you want some sample decklists for any Kagero decks, just drop me a comment and I'll do a post or reply you with it (I can build almost any Kagero decks heh!). Until then, this is Homura, signing out for the day, and back to sleep in the office....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Randomization: Some 'Genius' Statement

I know that this is my third post of the day, but seriously, I found a very 'genius' statement in someone's blog which I think that I really need to 'shoot' that fella for making such an offensive (and somewhat idiotic) statement. This was what he said:

"if you don't use Limit Breakers and your clan has one, you're an idiot. Stop playing Vanguard."

Errr... The point that I wanna make here is, does Limit Break really necessary in your deck? Take myself for an example. I have been playing DOTE since it came out. Now Kagero has a Limit Break Unit - Dragonic Lawkeeper. Indeed, it's effect is good, but do I really need to play him? What should I remove? Use him as a Vanguard and render my DOTE useless? Let my opponent rape me with 20k lines after I used the LB?

Come on, LB is GOOD, but not GOD. There's a reason why clans with LB seldom top in tourneys. So next time, think carefully when you make such statements.

We eat Limit Break for lunch (LOL!)

Deck Dissection: Gold Paladins of the Red Lion

As promised, I'll be posting a sample decklist for Gold Paladins today. First up is Aichi's Gold Paladins, which uses the Paladins of the Red Lion. Together with it I'll also write about the card choices (bear in mind, this is just a sample, so if you think the one I posted doesn't work, feel free to switch it according to your playstyle. After all, this is just a base!).

Since the release of BT-06, Gold Paladins and Narukami had always be in a hype due to their statuses as the new main clans. However, compared to all the other new clans introduced, GP obviously gained the upper hand as the cards released were superior compared to the others. This point was proved when GP topped several tournaments in Japan, proving themselves as a contender for the top spots.

Here is a sample decklist that uses Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel as their main Vanguard:

Grade 0
Crimson Little Lion, Kyrph x1 (FV)
Flame of Victory x4 (Critical)
Silent Punisher x4 (Critical)
Arms Dealer, Gwydion x4 (Draw)
Elixir Sommelier x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Knight of Fine Skills, Gareth x4
Halo Shield, Mark x4
Sleygal Dagger x4
Sacred Axe Player, Nimue x3

Grade 2
Knight of Divine Skills, Beaumains x4
Sacred Bow Player, Vivian x3
Mage of Disaster, Trip x2
Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion x2

Grade 3
Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel x3
Great Silver Wolf, Garmore x3
Holy Mage Manawydan x2

At first glance, this deck is full of Vanguard-only-ability Grade 3s. Yes it is, since most of the Grade 3s that are good needs to be in the Vanguard Circle to use their effects. Still, I shall explain the logic behind this build. This deck gives the image of the Alfred-main Royal Paladins when they first came out. This is because most of the new GP units has the ability to superior call units out, albeit with a little twist.

Grade 0
Kyrph is the Starting Vanguard we're using here. The triggers are quite standard for a GP deck, where Stand Triggers are quite irrelevant due to the fact that besides Garmore and Ezel, the Superior Call ablities happens during the battle phase. so 8 Criticals, 4 Draws and 4 Heals is my choice here.

Grade 1
Standard inclusion of 4 Gareth because of his 8k power, as well as being the Superior Ride material for Ezel (you want to see him). Halo Shield, Mark at the maximum because by using the Superior Call abilities, you basically will be able to conserve quite a few hand cards for defense purposes. Sleygal Dagger is in there because it's a 7k boost with the potential to be a 9k, effectively making your units to hit the 18k, and 22k mark. Nimue is a unit that has the ability to Superior Call, but being a 7k and need a hit to use the ability, she's only a 2-off.

One of the best boosters for GP. 7k base power that can become a gigantic booster.

Grade 2
4 Beaumains because of 10k and Superior Ride material for Ezel. Vivian shares the same ability as Nimue, but she's better thanks to her being a Grade 2 (taking the bullet) and her 9k power. Trip is there to force guard and replenish Counterblast while Nemean Lion adds in more defense because GP is very very aggressive with near to zero ways to defend themselves. But frankly speaking these two units can be toyed around, if you think there's a better one you can just swap them out, but Beaumains and Vivian should be a staple.

Grade 3
3 Ezel. Why? I know when a unit has the skill to Superior Ride, people will usually put 2 or even 1, but my reasoning of 3 pieces is when to prevent the situation where 1 is in the damage zone, and 1 is in your hand. Heck, even if you already have Ezel out, the remaining pieces still serves as a 10k beatstick and a 10k boost for your Vanguard Ezel's LB.

Garmore, I can say is one of the best G3 that GP has. With a decent LB that can hit 20k, 23k, and 25k lines, plus a CITP skill that allows you to tutor out a G2 or below RG, what else you want from him? Since he's competing for a VG slot and his skill is quite CB consuming also, that's why he's at 3.

The highlight here is Holy Mage, Manawydan. Without a boost, he's just a vanilla, however, with a boost, he can hit almost all the magic numbers, to the maximum of 21k with Sleygal Dagger's CB on at 1. Bear in mind the power bonus does not only apply to attacking the VG only, but to everybody as well. I think Manawydan will slowly find a place as the main units for GP thanks to his cost-free power up.

Same as Narukami's Breakthrough Dragon, this is going to be a staple soon (IMO). Who doesn't want a cost-free 12k attacker?

Well, what do you think? I wanted to state again that this is only a sample, so please don't come and shoot me saying that this deck doesn't work when you lose. After all, decks must be built according to your preference. Have fun! And by the way, Ren's GP deck will be up once I can conduct a playtest.

Defining the Metagame: Gold Paladins

Hello there, Homura is back with another post (yes, I tend to write when I'm bored, seriously). And today, I'll be talking about another new clan that was introduced when BT-06 was released - Gold Paladins. Included in this article, I'll have an introduction of the clan, it's playstyle, and it's impact in the current metagame.

('Choose Your Avatar' might be replaced by this from now on... unless somebody requested for an overview of their clan...)

Back to the topic, Gold Paladins has replaced Royal Paladins as Sendou Aichi's main clan of the second arc of the anime. And being RP's successor, please do expect it do be strong and consistent. No joke, they ARE already strong despite it's only their debut set, and getting new reinforcements in the next Extra Booster, giving them the other side of Gold Paladins that Suzugamori Ren uses.

One of the new specialties of GP is the first appearance of a Grade 3 Superior Ride chain. This is very unique because Paladins were not known for it's speed of riding, but their tutoring and swarming abilities. Look at these cards:

Their ideal starter will be Crimson Little Lion, Kyrph. Kyrph has a Superior Call ability when ridden, and with 5k boosting power, he's quite a good starter. But what makes it from good to excellent is his other skill. When you have Kyrph and Gareth (8k Vanilla) on the field, and Beaumains (10k Vanilla) is your Vanguard, you may send the former 2 into the soul, search for a Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel from your deck and ride it. Compared to the other Superior Ride chains from other clans, what I can say is this one is BROKEN. Why? Because the materials that you'll be using are staples in your deck (4x of each), and it's COST FREE! No Counterblast, no retiring, no discarding, just send to soul!

Besides having this new gimmick on them, they also retain the swarming ability of RP, albeit with less precision. The cost of their swarming skills are cheap (CB1, CB2), but in return for these cheap costs, they cannot pinpoint their search targets. Unlike RP which can tutor, they can only Superior Call from the top of the deck bearing the risk that a Trigger unit will be accidentally called out. Also, their conditions to do it are slightly harder, whereby you need to have a lesser than 4 Rear Guards, and you need an empty circle to call out the unit (the only exception is Great Silver Wolf, Garmore, which you can 'step over' a unit for the new one).

Comboing with their Superior Call skills, Ezel benefits the most from it with its Limit Break. Ezel's LB not only can Superior Call for CB2, but if the unit is successfully called out, Ezel gets a power boost equal to that unit's power. Together with Ezel's 'Alfred'-style passive boost (+1k for each RG), don't be surprised when you see a 40k-power Ezel come slamming at your Vanguard. In this set, GPs are all about high power counts (which applies to their RG as well).

If you don't really like the RP-ish style of GP, EB-03 gives you Ren's GP. Similar to its predecessor, the Shadow Paladins, Ren's GP focuses more on gaining powerful abilities through sacrifice.

In this set, instead of a Superior Ride chain, Ren's GP provides you with the 'Riviere' ride chain first introduced in the Bermuda Triangle EB. Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer is the starter. When you ride it's designated G1, 'Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer', you may check the top seven cards of your deck and add a 'Knight of the Black Dragon, Vortimer' or 'Spectral Duke Dragon' into your hand. Otherwise, it's a free ride by pulling it back.

Also, whenever you ride these cards back-to-back, the abilities of the previous Grade activates, where you can sacrifice a unit, pay the required cost, and Superior Call either 1 or 2 units from the top of your deck. This instantly helps you to develop board advantage to start pressurizing your opponent.

Spectral Duke Dragon's Limit Break is kind of special because it actually allows you to 'bypass' null guards. At the beginning of the Close Step of SDD's Attack Phase, you may pay the cost of CB2, retire 3 of your units to enable SDD to stand again, but at the cost of losing Twin Drive. Imagine a situation that your opponent null guards your SDD's attack, and you hit double Critical. Normally you will pass it to your RG, but with SDD's Limit Break skill, you can throw everything to it, activates the skill, and attack again with a 21k, 3 damage SDD. Unless your opponent throws a null guard or 'two-to-pass' worth of shield, usually that's the end of the game. And if you have Sacred Bow Player, Vivian and some CB left, you can instantly respawn your field with new RGs to maintain advantage.

Well, I won't be posting any sample decks here, but i'll be doing both the decks of GP in another installment of Deck Dissection.

Overall, based on the perspective of the current metagame, GP can be considered a tier 1 deck, with several tournament wins in Japan. However in my local environment, GP haven't get enough Top 4 achievements to be considered as tier 1 (not sure about other regions though), mostly because of either the player's mentality and skill, or because of 13k Vanguards and Persona Blasts still dominate the scene.

I think that GP, in the hands of a bold (Ezel build) or a cunning (Spectral Duke Dragon build) player, GP will definitely shine and given all the cards that they have under their arsenal, there's no reason to say that they won't surpass Royal Paladins to replace them as the top clan of United Sanctuary in the future.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Deck Dissection: Megamasters

Hey there, felt kinda bored after completing my work, so I decided to do another post for Deck Dissection (not to mention my posts regarding deck lists and techs were very few to begin with...). Today, I'll be looking at a non-meta deck that might be one of the new underdogs to challenge for a spot in today's environment. The deck which I'll be looking at is this:

Yes, enter the newest addition to Cray's criminal syndicate - Warlord Kaijin, Master Beetle. This is Megacolony's first card with Limit Break, and the first one with a printed 11k power. Finally the bugs will not be bullied by 20k lines anymore!

Thanks to Master Beetle's 11k power, Megacolony's defensive power has increased, and it also enables the player to form a 21k line with Stealth Millipede boosting him. And not forget to mention, Master Beetle's Limit Break, when used in the correct timing, can seriously take away your opponent's momentum, as well as a pseudo-hand stripper. Why? Because Master Beetle's Limit Break 'stuns' two of your opponent's Rear Guard when he's attacking the Vanguard. No need to hit, just attack, pay the cost, and you has just saved yourself a couple of cards from your hand. Plus your opponent might have to throw hand cards to maintain attack.

Here's a prototype decklist which I will be playing when EB-03 is out for sale soon:

Grade 0
Megacolony Combatant C x1 (FV)
Sharp Nail Scorpio x4 (Critical)
Shelter Beetle x4 (Critical)
Raider Mantis x4 (Draw)
Medical Combatant, Lamprey x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Phantom Black x4
Paralyze Madonna x3
Stealth Millipede x3
Machining Mosquito x3
Pest Professor, Mad Fly x1

Grade 2
Bloody Hercules x4
Toxic Trooper x2
Water Gang x2
Tail Jaw x3

Grade 3
Warlord Kaijin, Master Beetle x4
Bewitching Officer, Lady Butterfly x2
Master Fraud x2

From the looks of it, this deck is quite 'plain'. Yes, it is. Because I'm a 'plain' player. I don't like to have too many different aspects in a deck because it can ruin the harmony of a deck compared to one that was tailored to do certain things only. Alas, I did add in some funky elements into the deck that make the deck slightly more fun to play with. Now onto the choices of cards:

Grade 0
The starter that I chose to use is Megacolony Combatant C. He's a very good generic starter compared to to the previous ones due to the fact that it's generic. With a superior call ability, 5k boost, and a nice 'stun' ability, I think he'll be the preferred starter for future Megacolony decks. As for the triggers I went for my favorite beatdown set-up : 8 Critical, 4 Draw, and 4 Heal (never a fan of Stand Triggers).

So Gold... So Critical...

Grade 1
4 Phantom Blacks and 3 null guards, standard for me (might not be for you, just experiment). 3 pieces of Stealth Millipede for 21k, 22k, and 23k lines depending on which of the 3 Grade 3s you rode. You might ask why is a Machining unit is doing inside a non-Machining deck? This little bug is in because it's a 7k booster, and it can Soulcharge 1 upon entering the field, which at the same time, add up your soul to feed for Master Fraud. Professor Mad Fly is in singleton because you might need a hand swap sometimes, but it's 6k base power is kinda on the low side, that's why there's only one in the deck (you can change it, I think I might too, heh!).

Grade 2
Again a standard inclusion with Bloody Hercules at 4 pieces. Water Gang allows you to generate advantage in the form of a +1 hand card. Either your opponent spend hand cards to guard, or let the attack through and you get to draw a card. Tail Jaw is there to boost up your offensive power. With Tail Jaw included, attacking 11k Vanguards are no longer a tough problem for you. The interesting thing here is the 2 pieces of Toxic Trooper. Toxic Trooper is a 9k Grade 2 released in EB-03 with the ability to prevent your opponent to intercept when it attacks. I am still trying out this card, but I think that it might have potential to become a mainstay in Megacolony decks because of it's ability. By stopping interceptors, your opponent has no choice but to use hand cards to guard.

Grade 3
Master Beetle is at 4 pieces and it'll be the main Vanguard for this deck.With a printed 11k power and quite a good LB skill, he'll definitely will become a staple in most decks. Master Fraud is the second 'Master' in this deck as a substitute for Master Beetle. Although he does not sport such good stats like Master Beetle, but he still packs quite a punch when it becomes a 13k beatstick when boosted, and it nets you a card upon hitting and paying the cost of Soulblast 3. Bewitching Officer, Lady Butterfly is also a new unit from EB-03. She gains a 2k boost when attacking the Vanguard, and the ability works even when she's in the Rear Guard circle, in short, good unit (not to mention she looks hot too!).

Here you go, a new twist for Megacolony besides only playing 'stun' effects. You might not have much tricks, but you do have some punch there. Try it out, you might be surprised by what this deck can do. Until then, keep and eye out for my future articles! This is Homura, signing out for now.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Field Report: Toysbar Weekly Shop Tourney 13/5/12

Good day and this is your friendly neighborhood Cardfighter Homura speaking. I know this post is quite long overdue, but yeah, I can't think of anything to write thanks to my work (yes, I'm in my office now and doing this in front of my boss, like a boss, heh!).

This is my first field report of Toysbar tourneys because I haven't been playing there for quite some while due to laziness (cannot wake up too early for registration lol!). So without further ado, here's the report from the tourney that day.

Tournament: Toysbar Weekly Shop Tourney
Date: 13/5/12
Location: Toysbar, Damansara Jaya
No.of Players: 20
Deck Used: Dragonic Overlord - The End
Rounds Played: 4

1st Round vs Jin Hong (Gold Paladin)

I started quite steady, riding all the way from Conroe > Gojo > Nehalem > Overlord. Though I started first, I had a bit of worry since Gold Paladins was able to Superior Ride to Blonde Ezel to catch up with me. However he didn't, and the game went into my favor.

My attacks were quite cautious, slowly nitpicking off his threats while leaving weaker units on field to occupy the Rear Guard slots so that when he hits Limit Break threshold, he can't use it often. Also, my damage output control was quite good, that he wasn't able to hit LB threshold until I rode to The End. Basically a steady play for me, and eventually took him down with 3 big swings (18k, 19k with triggers, 20k)


Round 2 vs Kae Kwang (Majesty Blasters)

Can't say much about this game, basically his luck was quite bad, unable to hit triggers consistently while mine was quite okay (it should be since I had so much of bad luck yesterday *smirks*). At a point I have to take a 2 Critical Majesty swing because I couldn't afford to spend my hand to guard (where my hand was full of attackers).

I didn't Cross Ride in this game, and my Persona Blast hitting double Criticals (I love you, Blu-Ray Dracokid *lol*) sealed the deal.


Round 3 vs Sunny Tat (DOTE)

One of the high potential Kagero player in Toysbar, I actually intended to self-appoint him as my successor for Kagero at a point of time (LOL!). This game he was quite persistent and apparently Lady Luck was beside him that day. No matter how much I pummel his Vanguard and Rear Guards, he was still able to find replacements for them.

Well, I can say that I didn't made any mistakes during that game, just that my triggers were nowhere to be found (The Curse of Bushiroad Games...). What to do, I just lost flat like that, eating a Persona Blast from his The End in that crucial timing... And he eventually became 2nd place in the tourney, losing to Majesty Blasters.


Round 4 vs Shawn Bushido (DOTE)

One of my fellow pure Kagero players, he was also quite a decent player I would say. In this game, I finally managed to Cross Ride early in the game, just that I had Aermo behind The End so I can only hit 19k. But hey, eventually he also rode into The End so it doesn't matter. Bascially we're just trading blows here and there but I had the upper hand thanks to my timely Draw Triggers and Heal Triggers.

Both of us were just waiting for the timing to Persona Blast, and mine came first because he does not have enough guard in his hand to guard a 19k attack against his Burning Horn Dragon (9k). I hit a trigger during the initial Twin Drive, Persona Blasted and hitting another one to win the game.


Conclusion: Clearly I would say that Toysbar's players were of a higher standard, due to the fact that it was the most active Vanguard shop around the region (no offence to other players and shops!). The competition there was actually very high (no jokes!). And although I can consistently Top 4 there, but getting first place was very hard... In the end, I finished in 3rd place for this tournament.

So there you go, a long overdue tourney report. And I promise, the moment I can think of something to write, I'll immediately write it down. No more overdue stuffs okay? That's all for now, this is Homura signing off!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Calm Before The Storm: A Tale between Persona Blast and Limit Break

Hello there everybody, this is Homura speaking again. Today, I'll mostly be analyzing the 'in' thing of the current format, Persona Blast, and comparing it to the 'next in' thing available, Limit Break.

After the release of BT-05, the 13k Vanguards, as well as the Persona Blast ability obviously changed the overall environment in CFVG. During the older days, we're playing Vanguard. But now, we're playing the Big Three. From what we can see in tournaments worldwide, you basically don't have a chance unless you're playing Majesty RP, DOTE, or Phantom Blaster Overlord Shadow Paladins.

13k Vanguards are really a tough nut to crack thanks to their base 13k power. As for the moment, the top level of the 'magic numbers' is 21k. This number is already very dangerous to most of the clans out there, and also quite hard to achieve. However, with the advent of 13k Vanguards, 21k is no longer a threat. When facing these monsters, forcing a 20k shield for a two-to-pass can be said as near-impossible.

If you're not playing these, be prepared not to go far in tournaments

If you think 13k is hard enough to handle, top it up with their Persona Blasts I think most of us will be flipping tables. Gaining additional card advantage with DOTE, or a  possible instant kill with PBO, suffering from either one is pain.

Well then, let's move on. 3 months after BT-05 dominates the current metagame, Bushiroad decides to give us a change of pace. BT-06 introduces us with the new mechanic, Limit Break. Technically, Limit Break (LB) is just like your typical computer games' Ultimate, where by you can only use it after you fulfill a certain condition. 

Ranging from a simple power increase when attacking, or some really game-breaking effects like those from Blonde Ezel or Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion, LB actually offers a lot of varieties to the game now, and of course posing as a challenge to the Persona Blasters.

In my personal opinion, out of the released cards with LB, i think that only Ezel and Kaiser are worth mentioning here. I know that Kiriel and Cocytus are able to hit 23k with LB and boosted by a 8k, but it's just like a normal high power attack, whereby your opponent will just null it like what we all do before this. However, Ezel's LB is so good until the extent of being overpowered because it not only gives Ezel a minimum of 6k increase in power, but also having the option to add a unit on the field. Even though you reveal a trigger, the pressure is still on the opponent's side due to the numbers on the field.

As for Kaiser, its LB is kinda tricky to use. Under normal circumstances, you might be able to only use it once (or twice if you're really lucky), hence the timing to use it must be very nice. Kaiser allows you to instantly attack all your opponent's front row units in one attack, thus instantly shuts down interceptors and forcing opponents to commit more hand cards.

With more LB units releasing soon, all the existing clans will have to face a very though choice, especially RP, SP and Kagero. 13k Vanguards or LB? For me, I'll still stick with 13k Vanguards. Simple, because most LB units are 10k units, and being a 10k, the defensive capabilities are very low. It's good to have an ultimate with you, but just make sure you survive to use it.

And this ends my (very long) review of Persona Blasts and Limit Break. Just try out both and see which one is better for your style. After all, there's no right or wrong in CFVG!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Randomization: Cheaters and Cheatings

I'm beginning to worry about the future of Cardfight Vanguard now... Why? Thanks to a bunch of cheaters roaming around the community.

Well, CFVG is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable game, whereby even beginners will also have a chance to win. Bushiroad even brought up the hype of the game by organizing tournaments, providing shops with Promo cards for their own tournaments to attract more people into the game. However, when it involves competition, unfortunately glory and fame will be brought into the picture as well.

Recently, a large-scale CFVG tournament was held. Me and my team-mates all went to give it a shot as our entry is free anyway. Unfortunately out of the 7 of us, only 2 made it to the top 4, and despite all the amazing efforts that one of my team-mate showed, he still lost to a beginner, ending up in 2nd place.

When I thought that the beginner's luck was incredible, and that's when I found his secret to winning - cheating.

How he cheated? Well, that way of cheating is kind of subtle in a sense that it's not like just marking your triggers and such normally. He did mark his triggers, but without knowing how he did it, nobody would know how it's done. The secret of his cheating was the sleeve guard, or more commonly known as the outer sleeve. He took advantage of the different cutting on both edges of the sleeve guard, sleeve in the triggers by flipping over the sleeve guard to the other side. When stacked together with the 'normally' sleeved cards, you will be able to see an obvious difference on the edges (the odd ones were the triggers). By having enough eyesight practice, basically that person will have the ability to anticipate triggers accurately.

I heard that quite a number of my friends were going to quit CFVG thanks to the game turning into a very unhealthy one thanks to these people. What I can say is that I know all of us wanted to win, but were you that desperate to cheat to win? So you win, but is it through your own skill? No, you're just depending on some stupid method where only noobs will use, and hence you'll still be a noob if you don't cheat. If you think that because that you can't win in some other card games and jumping into  CFVG can let you instantly be a pro, think again. If you don't cheat, we can just step you and crush you like an ant. Remember, without cheating, you're nothing.

So, to all those cheaters out there, grow some balls and face us with your own capabilities. If you really win because you're good, we'll gladly recognize your skills as a Cardfighter. If not, you'll only make a lot of enemies and indulging in the hopeless illusion that you're a strong and skilled player. One will never be invincible forever, as for you all, you all were not even close to being strong. You all are just a bunch of cowards that want admiration from those other people out there.

To make things short, I hope that when WGP comes, it'll be a fair and square tournament where only the best wins, not those that are best in cheating.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Defining the Metagame: Narukami

Hello there, this is Homura signing in again after a week's hiatus (had been quite busy lately, and a bit lazy to post, heh!). Since the release of BT-06, a lot of players started to branch out into the three new clans, namely Gold Paladins, Angel Feather and Narukami. Why? As usual, new stuff attracts people.

Among the three new clans, I myself started Gold Paladins as first, however I found out that besides having super big amounts of power during your turn, basically it's just a beatdown deck. Being a Kagero player for the past year makes me very uncomfortable when there's no way to retire my opponent's units. Hence, I traded away my GP stuff to get myself a Narukami deck.

In the end I still chose dragons... (bloody dragon fetish XD)

Frankly speaking, being a main clan in the new anime arc, I somehow expecting Narukami to be a very competitive deck at the beginning like it's predecessor, Kagero. However, it didn't turned out as I expected.

Alright, let's shorten the scope, and just compare it with Angel Feather and Gold Paladin. AF already have a few playstyles to tinker around with, and Gold Paladins is coming out with another ride chain in the next Extra Booster, whereas Narukami does not have much cards to tinker around with.

In short, after some playtesting and online research that I've done, there's only one way at the moment to play Narukami as stable as possible, which is using their ace card, Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion. With its 11k base power and quite a decent (decent, not broken) Limit Break skill, it packs both offensive and defensive capabilities that makes it one of the best Vanguards for Narukami. What about the other Grade 3s? Thunder Break Dragon, which also has an automatic +5k Limit Break skill, poses as one of the competitors for the VG slot. With the addition of its CIP retire skill, it really tempt us to use both of them in our deck. But, the problem is TBD is only a 10k, and it does nothing while as an RG (at least Vermilion is still a 11k beater).

As for rear guard choices, I personally suggest using Breakthrough Dragon or Djinn of the Lightning Flash. These two units has a passive power increase skill that does not require any cost to activate. With a 8k boost behind, these two can wreck serious havoc with 20k attacks. There's also the Vajra Thunder God Indra, but that's a totally different (more towards casual) deck we're talking about.

 Cost-free power increase, who doesn't like it. I prefer Breakthrough Dragon, just because it's a dragon lol!

Narukami also brings us two very useful units that gives a power increase for a very easily met requirement. Enter the Cursed Cannon Wyvern and the Photon Bomber Wyvern.

Cursed Cannon Wyvern is a 8k G2 Wing Dragon. While 8k doesn't look like a good number, it can turn itself to a fearsome 11k attacker on your turn when your opponent has three or more damage. For a super aggressive deck like this, how hard is it to deal three damage? Photon Bomber Wyvern also share the same requirement to boost it's quality. Once met, it turns itself from a 6k boost to an 'ugly' 10k booster for your Vanguard. 21k every turn with Vermilion? or 25k with Thunder Break? Sounds tasty...

All and all, the rest of the cards for Narukami are mostly clones of Kagero, and you'll be able to know what to pick for your deck as some of them are really staples. For your references, here my current Narukami decklist (this is geared to my own playstyle, so feel free to rip it apart!).

Grade 0
Lizard Soldier Saishin x1
Yellow Gem Carbuncle (Critical) x4
Djinn of the Poison Mind (Critical) x4
Demonic Dragon Nymph, Seioubou (Heal) x4
Old Dragon Mage (Draw) x4

Grade 1
Red River Dragoon x4
Wyvern Guard Garudo x3
Lightning of Hope, Helena x2
Photon Bomber Wyvern x3
Desert Gunner Raien x2

Grade 2
Thunderstorm Dragoon x4
Demonic Dragon Berserker, Carla x3
Dragonic Deathscythe x2
Cursed Cannon Wyvern x2

Grade 3
Dragonic Kaiser Vermilion x4
Breakthrough Dragon x2
Djinn of the Lightning Flash x2

Basically this deck only focuses in one thing, SMASH THE VANGUARD!!! With 3 lines of 20k attacks, your opponent will be spending more cards to guard, and if your opponent is foolish enough to overextend, just sweep them away with Vermilion's Limit Break. Test it out, and let me know how it performs, I'll really need inputs from all of you guys out there. How will it change the metagame? Definitely not for now while 13k Vanguards are still running around. But Narukami can still be a tier 1.5 deck at the moment. So let's wait what Bushiroad has installed for us in future sets.

Until next time, this is Homura signing out.