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.