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!