So, what is Stride?. Stride is a new deck zone in vanguard a.k.a Extra Deck. Before we talk about the new mechanics based on this new zone, Let's talk about some common traits that all Stride units have a.k.a G-units.
Common Traits of G-Units.All G-units are grade 4 triple drive behemoths. You can Stride when you and your opponent are at grade 3 or higher. Also, when you Stride, you select one of your Vanguards and it becomes it's Heart. It copies the name (meaning that the Stride unit will have two names: its own and the Heart's) of the Heart but not it's skill (but I think that will change very soon.).
The triple drive is what buggs me the most since the only weakness of clans such as Nova Grappler and Narukami are gone (they always had hand problems.) But with this, that problem is gone and makes them the most terrifying clans ever: a huge attack power and a strong defense.
All Stride units are put face down in the G-Zone and they can be strided only when they are face down. At the End Phase, they return to the Stride zone face-up. This means that one copy of a G-unit can be Strided just once (like Legion.). Since you can put a maximum of 8 G-Units in the G-Zone (you can put a maximum of 4 copies of the same G-Unit so yeah.), logically you will be able to Stride 8 times. But that is not true. There are Stride units which involves turning one facedown G-unit face-up. That means the number of Strides you will have is of course less.
Now, in order to Stride, you need to discard card(s) which grades are equal to grade 3 or more. So, obviously, when you Stride, you will discard a grade 3. Sometimes I discarded a grade 2+1 or three grade 1 units. Considering the fact that they have triple drive, it makes sense that such cost will be put.
Mechanics based on G-Unit/G-ZoneNow, let's talk about the new changes that brought up Stride. Well, the first change was the introduction of two new phases: Stride Step and G-Assist Phase.
Stride Step occurs after the Ride Phase and only then you can perform Stride (unless stated otherwise. I have a feeling that soon we will be able to Stride outside of this step.)
G-Assist PhaseThe G-Assist Phase is a new phase and, personally, a very effective way to make some people buy the new products by pressing the point where it hurts most. This phase was introduced to prevent grade locking.
This phase is after the draw phase and in order to perform this step you have to fullfil all conditions bellow:
1. Your current vanguard must not be grade 3 or greater.
2. You must not have any card in your hand with one grade greater than your vanguard.\
3. You must have 2 or more cards in your Generation Zone.
If you fullfill all three conditions above, than you can perform the next steps:
1. Reveal the cards in your hand to your opponent.
2. Look at five cards from the top of your deck.
3. From among them, add up to one card with 1 grade greater than your vanguard to your hand, and shuffle your deck.
4. Send 2 cards from your hand and 2 cards from your G zone out of the game (This is not bind nor discard).
Note: In the case where you did not add any card to your hand during the step 3, shuffle your deck, skip step 4, and proceed to ride phase.
Now, if you read the 3rd condition, then you will understand what I mean by saying that G-Assist Phase is a very effective way to make some people buy the new products by pressing the point where it hurts most.
As a result of this new Phase, a new zone appeared which is named RFG: Removed from game. And mark my words when I am saying that a new clan will appear that will resolve around this zone.
Generation Break 1 & 2.Another mechanic that Bushiroard created based on the G-Units is Generation Break (GB for future refference). It is similar to Limit Break but instead of damage as refference, it uses the face-up G-Units on your side of the field. Currently there are two types of GB: GB1 and GB2.
GB1 (=Generation Break 1) can be activated when you have one or more face-up G-Units on your vanguard Circle and/or G Zone. GB1 is present not just in the grade 3 but in all grades (yes, in grade 0 as well.),. GB1 is a solid proof that Bushi still has some reason left. Since you can Stride when both players are at Grade 3, this is a very reasonable restraint.
GB1 makes grade 2 or lower units usable as simple beatsticks early, not abusable early as skills. This restraint has been included even on the common 10k/11k/12k attackers and on on-hit units, making impossible for a solid early rush and/or abuse. In a twisted way, you can think that triggers have a more important role than ever with this restraint.
GB2(=Generation Break 2.) is a restraint that so far only grade 3 units have. The skills they get are activated by having two or more face-up G-Units on your vanguard Circle and/or G Zone. These skills varies from lame to op, but the point is the same. Now, some people may that this will be a whole new LB era since you need some time to turn two G-units face up. That is not true since it doesn't involve a certain number of damage but involves the number of face-up G-Units on your Vanguard Circle and/or G-Zone. So early guarding is advised.
G-Units' AssistanceThe new grade 3's have another skills also concerning G-units. These new grade 3's have skill(s) that activate if you Stride while they are on the Vanguard Circle (similar to break ride but without the the Limit Bread 4 stuff.) The skills, again, varies from lame to op. However since you are going to Stride early, this makes even the lamest new grade 3's very effective.
As usual, some clans have cheating while others don't. Stand triggers have not been very popular lately so Bushi decided to give them skills that a certain clan and/or deck needs. So, it happens that the new Gear Chronicle clan has one stand trigger that when it boosts, you can choose one face-up Stride unit and turn it face down (talk about recycling.). If you do this than you will have to return it back to the deck. (very convenient.) With such dinamic change, it is always hard to predict how many times you will be able to Stride. Usually, in the recent games when I used Stride, I never Strided more than 4 times and I Strided every turn..
Another important addition and, of course, must have a.k.a staple, is the new 1+2 grades unit. This new card a is a grade 1 unit that has two skills. The first skill is that, when called, you may reveal one grade 3 and you can search your deck for one grade 3 add it and send one card from your hand to the drop zone. The second skill activates when you pay the cost to Stride. If you discard this unit as a cost for Stride, than it gains grade +2 => makes it a grade 3 => which is sufficient to Stride. Also, this means that you won't need to play more grade 3's than usual (even though they are the first candidates to do this).
Impact on the game
Some impact have been described above and now I will try to describe (predict would be better said) how this will impact the game. Besides a new level of power creeping, some old cards and also, ignored cards, are returning to the scene and/or are getting from the tier 2 or bellow back on top. Such as Tsukuyomi chain ride which has become op lately and especially with Lemonade and the Stride units, you will a super-mega cocktail which is greater than Amtaerasu Megablast.
The Limit Break era, well, it is not affected a lot even with the new Limit Break Cancelers. They mind their own business and G-Units mindtheir own. They can work together but not as the new grade 3 bosses do.
Legion is a little bit more complicated. Their interaction is much better than the Limit Break since you can return triggers back to the deck and combined with a triple drive behemoth.... you do the math. On top of that, you can still have both Legion support cards and GB support cards in your deck. Looks pretty promising to me. (a new deck idea came upon me.)
Now, I save the best for last: Break Ride. Since it occurs during the Ride Phase and the Ride Phase is followed by the Stride Step, is it worth to play them since you are planning to Stride right away? The answer is: yes, as long as the break ride skill will activate right away or as I like to say. "effective immediately". Of course, if you stride the same turn you will lose the 10k boost from the ride. However, the original power of your current vanguard is added to the G-Unit G-units so far have a 15-16k) so you will still gain 5k or 6k depending on the G-Unit so there is no loss here.
To understand what I mean by "effective immediately" I will give you an exanple between two breakrides: Prism Image, Vert and Duo True Sister, Meer. These two units, they are both break rides but they have different timing.
Duo True Sister, Meer gives the vanguard a skill that activates when you attack with your vanguard. So, if you Stride a G-Unit on the vanguard after the breakride, you will lose that skill since the G-unit copies the name but not the skill.But things are different with Prism Image, Vert. Her skill activates in the Ride Phase, before the Stride Step, which means the part about bouncing units will activate (and since Bermuda Triangle activates skills when are bounced back, you gain something.).
This can also be abused with the units such as Liberator, Holy Shine Dragon. This units abuse the breakride even more since they recycle themselves at the End Phase, after the G-Unit is returned.
So like it or not boys, Break Rides are still viable now (even after one era and the beginning of the a whole new arc.*sigh* )
This is all for this article.
This is all for this article.