Monday, September 11, 2017

Touken Ranbu Deck Set


The promotional clan Touken Ranbu is getting another row of support under the form of Deck Set: Touken Ranbu Hanamaru which will include two new trial decks for this clan.
Being a promotional clan at first, the clan is based on the online game with the same name and there is even an anime featuring the same online game.
The clan has not yet made an appearance in the Cardfight Vanguard anime yet, but I would really like to see it in the action as the clan really packs some punch. It carries some really unique units: an especial intercept who gains15000 power or a grade 3 legion pair where each can search for the other one and more. Also, if you will pay attention to the art, you will see that it is fundamentally different from other clans which ads even more uniqueness.
Based on what has been revealed up until now, the clan continues to amaze us with some unique features. For example, the clan has a G-guardian that gains +5000 shield for every face down card in your damage zone. While early game it may not matter, late game you have a potential of a 40k shield which may be enough to shield a powerful attack. Their offence isn't leaving behind either: quad-drive behemoths, power ups and even superior calling.
Another small thing which many may have observed already is a new "engine": vanguard's activates their skills if all of your rearguards are at rest which may gives some potential decks resolved around this particular condition.
Also, I would recommend to watch the anime featuring these characters or even play the game. It is really good and you can actually get some some spoilers of what might be reserved in the future for this clan.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Legend of the Tsukuyomi

With the new OTT support, some decks from this clan are getting a new life including the Tsukuyomi ride chain.
The strategy of ths ride chain is fairly simple: Godhawk, Ichibyoshi allows you look at the top 5 and, if there is a Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi there, you ride it and you put the rest of cards at the bottom of your deck in any order. In the same manner, the latest searches for Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi who searches for Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi.
However, the true strategy of this ride relies in stashing triggers and thus, ensure a lucky straw when you might need one. 
After testing some crazy theories, I have reached the deck list below:

Grade 0:

Grade 1:

Grade 2:

Grade 3: 

G-Zone:

Generally speaking, with the latest release the deck has become more efficient, strengthening not only it's offense but the search engine and the deck's speed as well. 
The weak link of this deck was failing to ride the Tsukuyomi units at the necessary moment which led to an undesirable outcome. With this in mind, I decided to play three copies of Virtuoso Housekeeper and three of Dawning Moon Miko, Akizuki  as insurance. By discarding the latest, if Godhawk, Ichibyoshi is your vanguard, you can search your deck for a Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi and ride it as Stand. Also, while in the rearguard circle, you can soulblast 1, you can look at the top card of your deck and put it on the top or bottom and it gets +2000 power. 
When called, Virtuoso Housekeeper, at the price of a counterblast 1, allows you to look at the top five cards of your deck, add one Tsukuyomi unit to your hand and put the rest of the cards at the bottom of your deck. As you can see, this unit is not only an insurance but also contributes to further stashing of triggers for the end game.
While both units have nice skills, they are highly efficient early game but kind of useless mid and end game so three copies is sufficient. 

Unfortunately, the new support did not include a special "1+2" fodder for the Tsukuyomi unit. I use three copies of Divine Sword, Ame-no-Murakumo but you're free to use anything that has that skill. Three copies of it shall suffice as the deck has insane draw power and a grade 3 that has the potential to recycle itself: Remaining Moon Miko, Haruzuki
When you pay the cost for stride with it, if you have Tsukuyomi unit in your soul or as your vanguard, you can draw one card, chose one of your Noble units (I usually choose the vanguard) and give it +5000 power and, if the attack hits a vanguard, you can choose one grade 3 unit from your drop zone and add it to your hand. This unit provides so much that is simply is a crime not maxing it out.
One Advantage Miko, Nanase has a skill similar to Dawning Moon Miko, Akizuki's second skill but I play it because of its GB2: +1000 power for every card in your hand during your turn. Now, taking into the account that when this unit will attack, you'll have a minimum 8 cards in your hand, mix it in some triggers and add Still Water Festival Deity, Ichikishima into the combo (it blocks your opponent from guarding with grade 0 and G-guardians), you'll have one hell of a combo.
Moon Deity Who Governs Night, Tsukuyomi is the unit you need to stride first. If you have a heart with Tsukuyomi in its name, by flipping a copy of it and put one unit with Tsukuyomi in your soul, you can look at the top five cards and add two to hand while the rest go to the bottom of your deck in any order. You can stride her once since the next turn it's preferable to stride Still Water Festival Deity, Ichikishima and the rest of the Tsukuyomi stride units will serve as fodder for it.
Since I upgraded this deck, I got to use Chief Deity of the Heavens, Amaterasu only if I ran out of G-Units to stride. It is a nice unit and is packing some fantastic power but, to be honest,  the game will end before you would could use her  GB8 so you can quit on it as well.  
When comes to defending, I use Arbitrator, Ame-no-Sagiri as a null guard but it's skill to unflip is not essential to the deck so you can use any OTT null guard you can get your hands on.
Sun of Eternity, Amaterasu is the best G-guardian OTT has at this moment. It gains +10000 power when called as guardian and by soulcharging you get to look at the top card of your deck and put it on top or bottom of your deck.
Overall, compared to its previous versions, the deck is more has improved it's speed and, thus it's efficiency.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Still Water Festival Deity Ichikishima Review

Still Water Festival Deity, Ichikishima is a new unit which has was released in the G-BT12 set. Just by reading the card you will understand why all the OTT fans are so hyped about it.


[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn]:[Counter Blast (1) & Soul Blast (1) & Choose a face down card from your G zone with the same card name as this unit, and turn it face up] Draw two cards.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn] Generation Break 3 Oracle (This ability is active when you have five or morecards in your hand):[Choose a face down card from your G zone, and turn it face up] Until end of turn, your opponent cannot call grade 0 cards from hand and G guardians to (GC).

The general advantage of this card is that it doesn't depend on a sub-clan which makes it viable in any OTT deck: Tsukuyomi, Battle Sister, Magus, Soulless Coco etc. In addition, the conditions are not so hard to meet which makes it even more valuable addition to this clan.
The first skill is quite useful as it ensures the the Oracle condition is met. It saves a lot of trouble, and you don't have to restrain yourself in using your hand on defending or using it to fill your rearguards. Also, to those who say to not use it, you will be forced to use it. Moreover, no opponent survived after the 2nd consecutive turn using this so you shouldn't worry about using its first skill.
The fact that it blocks the most used and efficient guardians in the game, makes half of your opponent's hand pretty useless and the other half doesn't have enough shield to defend against crazy attacks. It will either kill your opponent or at least, burn his hand really bad and you will finish the game next turn. Since your attacks will hit during the turn using this, it will be more efficient to use it in combos with on hit skills.
Another side effect of this unit was the removal of the long standing staple of any OTT deck: Silent Tom and his best pal, Oracle Guardian, Gemini. Since they have been released they could have been found in any OTT deck as they were pretty much deadly during the old days. However, with the release of this new G-Unit, this pair is not essential in the OTT decks anymore, and therefore, releases much needed space in the decks. The worst situation was in the Tsukuyomi decks where between the Tsukuyomi chain ride and them, there was not much to add to the deck in the first place. Removing those two from the deck has allowed to access more potential, especially for the new Tsukuyomi deck. However, the best combination so far was this unit and the Battle Sister sub-clan.
Overall, as mentioned above, this unit is bound to become a staple because it is practical and allows your decks to be a bit more on offense than defense. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Battle Sister Stride Deck

Battle Sisters, as a sub-clan, started as a support for other  decks: CEO Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi etc., However, it was at the end of the Limit Break Era, when they got a competitive boss of their own: Battle Sister, Monaka but even that was a hybrid deck, which still focused on the Battle Sisters but it needs some severe assistance from outside.
The deck presented below has the highest percentage of Battle Sister units compared to other Battle Sister decks 

Grade 0:

Grade 1:

Grade 2:

Grade 3:

G-Zone:

Compared to what other Battle Sister units have to offer, Battle Sister, Florentine is the best main grade 3 Battle Sister has to offer at the moment. When you stride over it, you get draw power (you can look at the top two cards of your deck, add 1 to hand and put another one on top or bottom) and raw power (all your Battle Sister rearguards get +3000 power). In case of the latest skill, it's not a considerable amount per individual unit, but, collectively, it breaks the magic numbers. 
The starter that I use, Battle Sister, Kipferl, by putting it into soul, gives all of your "Battle Sister" units an additional +3000 power until the end of this turn.  In combination with Battle Sister, Florentine, it means a 6000 power per rearguard for one turn, which is more than plenty, considering that your opponent will not be able to call a grade 0 from his hand or a G-Guardian while Still Water Festival Deity, Ichikishima's is active. 
Other starters which I tested: Battle Sister, Compote and Battle Sister, Eclair proved to be not so efficient. Battle Sister, Waffle performed well so you might consider it as an alternative starter. 
In order maximize your impact it is better to run a 12 critical/4 heal trigger ratio. I have seen builds where people have used units like Efficient Carp (stand trigger) or Battle Sister, Ganache (draw trigger). First of all, both stand and draw triggers are not good to run in the OTT decks. The stand trigger is not typical to the OTT clan as they do not focus on the number of attacks but their strength. As for the draw trigger, the deck has enough draw power on its own and being a only a 5k shield, it can hurt your defensive power, which is a key element of any OTT deck.
Additionally, Efficient Carp is risky to run as it doesn't have Battle Sister in its name and a lot of costs that are paid, be it counterblast or soulblast, involve a "Battle Sister" unit. As for Battle Sister, GanacheBattle Sister, Muffin  offers more: you return it back to the deck, give +3000 power to a Battle Sister and when that Battle Sister unit attacks, you countercharge two so you have that part covered.
One of the key strategical point of the deck is to use the early rush (attack your opponent early in the game to increase the number of damage) which is why I run Battle Sister, Taffy and Battle Sister, Macaron. The have 7000 and 9000 power base respectively but both gain +3000 power when they attack if you have a "Battle Sister" vanguard. 
As null guard, I use Arbitrator, Ame-no-Sagiri. It is not a Battle Sister but, as the deck counterblasts heavy, Arbitrator, Ame-no-Sagiri provides the necessary late game countercharge. I have tested with Battle Sister, Marmalade but while her skill may sound good (at the end of the battle, if you have three or less cards in your hand, draw 1 card if there is a copy of Battle Sister, Marmalade in your drop zone) is not applicable all the time and Battle Sister, Chocolat, doesn't offer you anything else besides being a Sentinel. 
Generally speaking, my grade 2 line up gave me a bit of a headache. I could not figure on how to use to plus early or, at least, keep my hand and complete my field. The answer came under the form of Battle Sister, Cocotte and Battle Sister, Sable. The latest, when called to a rearguard, if you have three or more units (this includes the vanguard as well) with Battle Sister in their name, you can draw one card at the price of a soulblast. 
If the attack of Battle Sister, Cocotte hits a vanguard, allows you to look at the top card of your deck and if it is a Battle Sister, then you add to your hand. It can be used at any stage in the game, but it is extremely efficient if you use it in a combo with Excite Battle Sister, Miroir and/or Battle Sister, Muffin. 
Unfortunately, in this deck you do not have a "first stride" so to speak so you'll have to stride Excite Battle Sister, Miroir and Excite Battle Sister, Stollen. Even though their skills can be activated, unless you use a G-Guardian first, you will not be able to access their GB3 (giving +1000 power for every card in  your hand to the front row and giving +3000 power to all Battle Sister rearguards respectively). Depending on the circumstances, you can choose what to stride. If you want to deliver more damage, Excite Battle Sister, Stollen is your choice. It allows you to look at a number of the top cards equal to the number of Battle Sister rearguards you have and put them in any order you want at the top or bottom of the deck.
Excite Battle Sister, Miroir gives the possibility for you to draw a card whenever a Battle Sister attack hits. And, as I mentioned above, it works really great in combination with Excite Battle Sister, Miroir and/or Battle Sister, Muffin.
When comes to G-Guardians,  Sun of Eternity, Amaterasu  is the best G-Guardian that OTT has at the moment. The Oracle skill gives it +10000 shield power and also, by soulcharging one card, you look at the top card and put it at the top or bottom of the deck. Compared to Excite Battle Sister, Bavarois, this is much better and practical.
With this said, I am sorry for the long post and that you had the patience to read it. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A guide to Touken Ranbu

Touken Ranbu is a clan that has it's origins in an online game with the same name. A very interesting fact about it is that their skills themselves are spread all over the place: massive power up and standing, adding and calling units from the drop zone, bouncing units etc. Unlike other clans, their specific trait are the conditions and restrictions of activating their skills.
The first condition is Shinken Hissatsu. A skill that has this skill means that you must have three or more cards in your damage zone. One can say that this is inspired from Limit Break but, unlike Limit Break 4, Grade  1 and 2 and some grade 0 even, have this condition present. 
Another restriction, which I believe should be implemented into other clans as well, is the Homare restriction. The Homare skills are somewhat powerful but it can be activated by one unit per turn only.
The third condition is called Nitou Kaigan. It activates when a unit is boosted by a certain race. The best combination is when the boosting unit has skills that activate upon boosting a unit with the Nitou Kaigan abblity.
As for the deck variations, they're not that many. The sample below is the most optimal to play as it si suitable for to all kind of decks you meet.

Grade 0:
1x Kashuu Kiyomitsu
4x Hirano Toushirou Toku
4x Shokudaikiri Mitsutada
4x Imanotsurugi Toku
4x Atsushi Toushirou Toku

Grade 1:
4x Horikawa Kunihiro
4x Imanotsurugi
4x Kousetsu Samonji
2x Nikkari Aoe

Grade 2:
4x Izuminokami Kanesada Toku
4x Ookurikara Toku
3x Doudanuki Masakuni Toku

Grade 3:
4x Tsurumaru Kuninaga
4x Iwatooshi Toku

Grade 4:
4x Iwatooshi
4x Mikazuki_Munechika_Toku
4x Tsurumaru Kuninaga Toku
4x Juzumaru Tsunetsugu

For the lack of a better starter, I use Kashuu Kiyomitsu. It provides that bit of extra countercharge in a pinch. As for the trigger ratio, I use the well-known standard of 8 criticals, 4 draws and 4 heals.  In a way, this ratio was expected since the deck has no extra draw power. Another reason is the skill of the draw trigger (Imanotsurugi Toku): you can countercharge 1 by putting it into the soul
The grade 1 section is also a bit straight: the classic countercharging PG (Kousetsu Samonji) and the 2+1 fodder for stride Imanotsurugi. As for Horikawa Kunihiro, he is the best booster for grade 2 with Nitou Kaigan abillity. In addition to its 7k power, it can gain up to 6k power it if boosts an unit with this ability.
Your main grade 2 rearguard in this case is Izuminokami Kanesada Toku. Together with Horikawa Kunihiro's GB, you can hit a wonderful 27k. With Ookurikara Toku you will hit lower numbers but it offers you more resources once it attacks. If the conditions of Nitou Kaigan are fulfilled, at the price of the soulblast 1, you get to countercharge 1 and if the conditions of Shinken Hissastu are met, then at the price of counterblast 1, it gains +2k power and you get to draw a card.
For main grade 3 vanguard I use Tsurumaru Kuninaga. When you stride over it, you can souclharge 1 and choose up to two rearguards and get +3000 power. Also, the Homare skill activates when it hits a vanguard: countercharge 1 and choose one of your grade 3 units from your drop zone and it to your hand. It is a good skill to use when you can't stride. Iwatooshi Toku, on the other hand. is a very good rearguard as it can your opponent's entire column.
When comes to striding. I open with Iwatooshi. It can attack your opponent's front row in one attack and, as part of the cost of this skill, you unflip one copy of Iwatooshi, letting to you activate the GB3 skill right from the second turn.
After that, it is your choice. You can go with Mikazuki_Munechika_Toku for more offense (you can stand your rearguards when it attacks) or Tsurumaru Kuninaga Toku for more resources.
The G-Guardian of the deck is Juzumaru Tsunetsugu. When called, at the price of a counterblast 1 and soulblast 1, the opponent's attacking unit loses 10000 power, and if a vanguard is chosen with this effect, than it gains +5000 shield.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Upgrade vs New Deck

I will be blunt about this: I suddenly got the itch to blog about Vanguard again. For how long, I do not know but I do hope it is for good.
The game has reached a stage where there are quite a few possibilities when comes to building decks. However, with every release, there is always the question: build a deck from scratch or upgrade an old one.
Upgrading a deck costs less than building one from scratch.  Let's take Musketeers for example. I managed to put a nice deck together with and whenever there were new releases, I slowly upgraded it and when they suddenly a massive support, I already had 60-70% of what I needed. Other people had to invest some serious money as after the announcement that Musketeers will get massive support, the prices for already released Musketeers units spiked up practically overnight. 
Another reason on why you should upgrade a deck is your familiarity with it. You already know the combos, the right plays, how to act with it when faced with different clans. I had many cases when I beat down powerful decks simply because the players simply didn't grasp the entire strategy.
A small change can change the entire strategy of your deck. In this instance I can bring my upgraded CEO Yggdrasil deck ((follow the link to read in more details). Initially, 99% of the soulcharge occured from the deck. However, in this deck, all I had to do was to drop the cards I needed to the drop zone and put them back later. 
Building a new deck requires a lot more finances. I will bring up the same "Musketeer" example. Like I said, players who already built the Musketeer decks had to invest much less in their Musketeer decks than the ones who had close to nothing from the Musketeer sub-clan. 
Another factor you should keep in mind is that building a new deck is stepping into uncharted territory. You'll have study a lot. I usually read every unit that might be useful, put together a concept and step by step through different methods (this will definitely not work, if I play this than I will have to play that etc.)  Afterwards, I go on testing it and, believe me, new decks require a lot of testing. With patience, you will have to go back and forth a lot. Test all of your "if" and "maybe" . In many instances, the devil is in the details: a little twitch in numbers, teching one copy of a one unit etc.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Glorious Regalia

With all of this chaos around, I decided to play with one of the most scariest unit in the history of Vanguard: Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil.
Apparently, with some simple modifications to the deck, you can actually make you make some real damage while trolling your opponent.

Grade 0:
1x Regalia of Prayers, Pray Angel
4x Regalia of Far-sight, Clear Angel
4x Mirror Regalia, Achlis
4x Regalia of Compassion, Eir

Grade 1:
4x Cold Blast Regalia, Svalinn
4x Witch of Oranges, Valencia
3x Ordain Owl
2x Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel

Grade 2:
4x Regalia of Fate, Norn
4x Twilight Regalia, Hesperis
3x Witch of Grapes, Grappa

Grade 3:
4x Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica
4x Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil

G-Zone:
4x Sacred Flame Ultimate Regalia, Demeter
4x Prehistoric Regalia, Urth
4x Goddess of Seven Colors, Iris
4x Sky-dome Battle Maiden, Hanasatsuki

When started to make this deck, I thought it would be a simple upgrade but, it turned out to be more than that. After each couple of games, I found myself of removing more and more from the original deck and changing it for other units turning it into a whole new deck with a new strategy,
Basically, in this deck, the drop zone becomes buffer zone for your soul. With some neat skills you put the cards you need into the drop zone and then add them into your soul. Then, through some early soulblasting, you can can move the cards which you will need in your drop zone. Afterwards, you power up Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil to the maximum, and then make one attack, which will hit and win the game.
The first task is to thin your deck as much as possible. This is why I play 4 Cold Blast Regalia, Svalinn. It is a Quintet Wall, and will send you a great chunk of cards to the drop zone. Witch of Oranges, Valencia and Witch of Grapes, Grappa can help you as well as they will allow you to soulcharge two per each when soulblasted. Sacred Flame Ultimate Regalia, Demeter can be of assistance since when attacking, it allows you to soulcharge three and not to mention it's triple drive.
Often, some cards you'll need into the soul, will end up in your hand. You can use them to guard early, which is not only desirable, but necessary. You need to control your damage to maximum. Take damage where there is no possibility of guarding and/or the attack will require a huge amount of resources to guard. This is an important and practically, the key in winning the game.
The second task is to sort the cards out: the ones you need into the soul and the ones you need into the drop zone. Let's start with Goddess of Seven Colors, Iris which is a G-Guardian of the deck that gains +5000 shield when called to GC if you put three units from your drop zone to the soul. Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel has a similar skill: when you call her, you can choose up to three Regalia  units and put them soul.
Prehistoric Regalia, Urth takes the skill to whole new level, allowing you to return all Regalia units from the drop zone into the the soul (pretty awesome) when you stride her. Furthermore, at a price of a soulblast 6, it gains +10.000 power and an extra crit. It's an average skill but the true purpose of this skill is to sort out the cards you'll need in the soul and the ones you'll need into the drop zone.
And here comes into the play one of the most trolling units of the deck is of course, Ordain Owl.  To stride, you usually, discard a grade 3. Ordain Owl, by returning a grade 3 Regalia from your drop zone, allows you to give a grade 3 Regalia +5000 power. So this why all grade 3 Regalia units need to be into the drop zone (I hope you see the trolling part)
Speaking of power,  Mirror Regalia, Achlis and Regalia of Fate, Norn also gives +5000 power but when soulblasted and this why, you will need them to be into the soul when attacking with Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil.
The reason why I use Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica in this deck, besides being a target for Ordain Owl and a free +2 cards in your hand, it's an an assured +10.000 to your vanguard (which can spike up to +25.000 power).
Overall, I can say that the deck is highly competitive and, even though has suffered many changes, the true core still remains the same. Handling it, at the beginning, might be hard but after some games you will master it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nature's Warrios 2: Special Team

Since we are on Musketeer theme, I decided to make another Musketeer deck. As you already read in my previous article, the general strategy focuses on retiring their own units to superior call others. This allows you to maintain a stronger field, provide fodder for units such as White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia and as a side effect, you increase your chances of getting triggers.
However, unlike the previous deck, this one focuses on White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia:

Grade 0:
1x Baby-blue-eyes Musketeer, May Len
4x Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst
4x Gardenia Musketeer, Alain
4x Hibiscus Musketeer, Hanah

Grade 1:
4x Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka
4x Red Rose Musketeer, Antonio
4x Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Rebecca
2x Amaryllis Musketeer, Tatiana
1x Anemone Musketeer, Susanna

Grade 2:
4x Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa
4x Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto
3x White Rose Musketeer, Alberto

Grade 3:
4x White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia
3x Lisianthus Musketeer, Loraine

G-Zone:
4x White Lily Musketeer Captain, Cecilia
4x Flower Princess of Autumn Scenery, Verna

This deck doesn't differ very much from the previous one at the first glance but with these small changes, the execution of the strategy takes a whole new turn.
Personally, I prefer this one as I believe it is more stable but flexible at the same time. It's not highly dependent on Generation Breaks meaning that you can go full blast without waiting for your opponent to reach grade 3. On the same note, it's recycling power it a bit more intense than in the previous deck.
Thanks to White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia and its G-version, White Lily Musketeer Captain, Cecilia as well as with the assistance of Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Rebecca and Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst, you have a more stable engine to power up Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa but without the risks of losing other valuable units like in the case of White Clover Musketeer, Mia Reeta.
Another part of the offense as well as a key feature of any Musketeer deck are Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto and Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka. Each of them gain +3000 power you have a Musketeer Vanguard in the first case and in the second, if your deck was shuffled by a Musketeer skill. Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto can be murderous early attacker alone if used early and mid-game not to mention the boost from the powered up Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka.
It may seem strange that I run only two copies of Amaryllis Musketeer, Tatiana. It's GB1 skill allows you to retire it and in exchange, you can stride without discarding. However, considering the super calling and its skill being a Generation Break 1, two will be plenty for usage.
The main downside of the deck it's the counterblasting which is manageable, but barely. Because of this reason, I am teching one copy of Anemone Musketeer, Susanna. Even though, usually, such units are run at two copies to make sure to get them in your hand, because of all the selective calling and moreover being able to pay the cost only once per game, running only one is more than sufficient. Gardenia Musketeer, Alain also can help you, but you should use it only in extreme circumstances as it is a critical trigger.
As for White Rose Musketeer, Aberto, I did not expect him to work so well. Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa and Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto as my rearguards, White Rose Musketeer, Alberto is the perfect grade 2 ride. In addition, it gives the possibility for some early counterblasting as when its attack hits, you can countercharge one card. It is a nice skill, especially combined with some breaking numbers.
If you have noticed, you see that I run only 8 cards in my G-Zone which is the absolute necessary. For the rest of the G-Units, you can run whatever you want, or better said, whatever you have.
As a whole, the deck runs very smooth but it takes some time to master and it requires a little more bit of thinking as it provides more and more choices at every turn.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Nature's Warriors

The very first thing I did when I did when I returned to the game was to check on how well my favorite clans are doing these days and I was really surprised to see that one of my favorite decks, Musketeers got some nice support to which I was immediately attracted.
Musketeers were firstly introduced in Booster Set 8: Blue Storm Armada and got more further support but they were not that competitive back then but a a lot of units from that set are now essential for any Musketeer deck. Gradually, they got more and more support, making them highly competitive.
Their strategy focuses on retiring their own units to superior call others not only to maintain a stronger field but also to provide fodder for units such as White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia.
Finally, with the latest support that Musketeers got, I was able to build a highly competitive deck:

Grade 0:
1x Baby-blue-eyes Musketeer, May Len
4x Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst
4x Gardenia Musketeer, Alain
4x Hibiscus Musketeer, Hanah

Grade 1:
4x Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Rebecca
4x Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka
4x Red Rose Musketeer, Antonio
3x Amaryllis Musketeer, Tatiana

Grade 2:
4x Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa
3x Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Kaivant
4x Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto

Grade 3:
4x White Clover Musketeer, Mia Reeta
3x Lisianthus Musketeer, Loraine

G-Units:
4x Rubellum Lily Splendorous Musketeer, Myra
4x White Lily Musketeer Captain, Cecilia
4x Flower Princess of Autumn Scenery, Verna

The general strategy of this deck, is continuously superior call units and to power them up. As a side effect of continuously calling grade 1 or higher units from your deck, you considerably increase your chance of getting trigger units.
I use  Baby-blue-eyes Musketeer, May Len as my starter since, at the moment, there is no better starter. You can trade this unit for another by putting into the soul. This will trigger a chain reaction and will not go -1, as other starters.
As for the trigger ratio, it is 8 criticals, 4 stands and 4 heals. This ratio is mostly determined by some of the their skills. The stand trigger, Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst allows you to return to him back to the deck whenever it is called to the rearguard and choose a rearguard from the top four cards of your deck. Also, in many instances, you might not get what you want in the first place, and Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst can be a second shot at getting something you need, or at least something better. Also, this can be a neat trick to give Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa an extra +2000. Gardenia Musketeer, Alain, one of the critical triggers from your deck, allows to countercharge up to two cards when called from the deck but I use this skill only when I do not have any other choice since there is no possibility of returning it back to the deck, unlike Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernst.
Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Rebecca and Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Kaivant can help you achieve certain power levels but also improve your field, thin the deck of grade 1's or higher units and will serve as an additional way to start the engine. However, as you can see I did not max out the latest because of its one time skill and, besides, your front row will be occupied with Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa and/or Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto, units which is not desirable trade for Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Kaivant for a its one one time skill.
Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka is the main booster of the deck. It gains +3000 power ( making it a  9000 booster) if your deck shuffled during your main phase, which, with all the units above, is bound to happen.
As a result of so much calling not only Dreamy Grass Musketeer, Tessa will break some serious numbers but also the rearguards you call. She gains +2000 power whenever a Musketeer rearguard is called and, if you have a face up Musketeer in your G-Zone, any called unit gains +4000 power. This unit profits the most from all the calling and it will be your main force of attack as well as the unit you will stack your triggers on.
What concerns your G-Zone, Rubellum Lily Splendorous Musketeer, Myra is the ace of the deck while White Lily Musketeer Captain, Cecilia will be the fodder for the first one. By soulblasting one card and turning one card with Musketeer in it's name in your G-Zone, all new called units gain power +2000 for every Musketeer unit on the field
Besides the null guard Red Rose Musketeer, Antonio, which is the only way to stop power creep behemoths these days, Flower Princess of Autumn Scenery, Verna is the G-Guardian I use. You may use other one of course, but I do prefer this one as it has a nice skill of giving additional shield. As for other units G-Zone, you can use whatever you like, since there not essential to the main strategy of the deck. Same goes for Lisianthus Musketeer, Loraine. Her skill it is not essential to the deck  so you can run any grade 3 Musketeer in its place.
White Clover Musketeer, Mia Reeta's is your grade 3 main Vanguard. Its generation break allows to return 2 normal Musketeer units from your deck. It is a nice skill, but I do hope there is going to be something better than this. Her other skill, which passes on to your Musketeer G-Unit, is that at a price of a counterblast 1 and 1 Musketeer rear-guard, it allows you to call two Musketeer units from the top four cards of your deck. The things which I do not like is that the rest of the cards go to the drop zone. This is precisely why I used this skill only in a dire need or I do not have anything else that will start the engine running.
Amaryllis Musketeer, Tatiana is the closest thing Musketeers have as a "1+2" unit (a grade 1 unit which allows gains +2 grade when paying the cost for stride). By retiring it from the field, you stride without paying the cost. The skill saves some hand or when there is no possibility to pay the cost for stride from your hand
Generally speaking, this deck has a lot of potential of winning as it breaks some serious numbers, allows you save hand and return key units back to the deck, making them reusable.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Build a G Deck

When someone starts to play a game which already has developed to a certain degree of complexity is the actual "adaptation" that takes time to learn, filter and become better and Cardfight Vanguard is no exception to this.
I do remember when I started to play Yu-Gi-Oh. I was practically an idiot at building decks. I would throw literally everything that would seem to fit in the concept of the so-called strategy and create the most hilarious decks ever. However, with time, I learnt on how to do a proper deck.
The first thing I did was, probably, something that any new player does in any gam:  google things. In the TCG world, this is called netdecking. It is a natural thing to do at the start, but eventually you will have to walk on your own two legs and this will help you on doing it better. 
A key facilitator in building a deck is that half of the deck is made of staples but the problem stands in  choosing the other half of the deck. It can be very hard, especially when you have a very diverse choice of cards.
The first half of the deck is composed by:

Grade 0:
1x Starter
16x Triggers

Grade 1:
4x Perfect Guards (also called Null Guards)
3/4x "1+2" units (these units are considered as a grade 3 when paying the cost for Stride).

G-units:
4x G-Guardians
Every deck has a starter unit with an ability that will give you somehow, a starting point in activating skills. As for the triggers, the most common ratio is 8 Critical Triggers, 4 Draw Triggers and 4 Heal Triggers but as from any other rule, there are exceptions. For example, Oracle Think Tank decks run 12 criticals/4 heals as they have enough draw on their own. 
Apart from this, each clan has some specific staple units which are present in every deck, making the approximate number of staple units in your main deck of 25 and in your G-Zone of 4 cards.
As for the second half of the deck, it is essential to take into the account that interactions in a deck are like wild chain reactions. You activate one skill, and that leads to the second skill activation and then a third and so on. Taking that into the account, I have learnt that excluding irrelevant units (units which do not work together or are useless in any deck) and after some careful reading of rest of them, I decide on the final units.
Having done the above, you can start to build the rest of the deck in reverse order. You should start with your G-units and as they will be your main force and move to the grade 3's. Keep in mind you have to select a grade 3 that will not only activate its special skills when you stride over it but also that that skill will harmonize with the G-units' ones. It is very important to do that as they either provide a nice strategic support or start a chain reaction of other units' skills. Moving down to the grade 2's  which can be considered as the "adrenaline" of your deck's strategy. They not only make sure your vanguard skills can be activated but also amplifies them, taking them to the level to an atomic explosion.
Grade 1's importance cannot be underestimated. By default, they are the only ones who have the ability to boost (give their power to the front row units when those attack) and also, one of their primary attributions is to ensure the fluidity and sustainability of your deck. For example, your deck counterblasts a lot. There are some grade 1 units which can let you countercharge independently or as a result of another skill.
The tricks mentioned above will work only if you have a clear and neat strategy.  It doesn't matter if it is a a common known strategy or an obscure one. You should take into the count that each deck is, basically, a series of chain reactions. You activate one skill which leads you to a multitude of possibilities.  The worst thing that can happen is when your strategy is falling apart by mixing cards designed for different mechanics or even units. 
Even though the tricks above can help you in building decks, the only and true way of making it perfect is through trial and error. Build, change and make the best decks ever.

G-Reboot

Hello. boys and girls. After a long absence in the world of Vanguard, I am back and I hope, for a very long time.
However, this time I will try to post regulalry and, not just particular deck profiles but also some general theory which I do hope will help the new players and give some headaches to older ones with my rather peculiar views. Nonetheless, I am receptive to feedback and criticism as long as they are well argumented and based on sound reason.
Tears of rejoice aside, I was surprised when I found out that you can have up to 16 G-units. Of course, there are units such as Blaster Dark "Diablo" or Dragheart, Luard which can easily bypass the grade 3 restriction and with the latest, avoid to deckout but I believe that is a little bit of overkill, even with the need of G-guardians.
Speaking of G-guardians, this is one of the best thing that happen to this game. Even though, it is a late answer to the power levels going berserk, I believe that this is a proof of Bushiroads sanity and sense of balance.
Moving suddenly to another topic, I began trolling with my good old Legion Musketeer decks, with a bit of G twist and I managed to actually win by outlasting my opponent.  Nonetheless, the Legion deck with which you could blast your opponent in a couple of turns (Oh, Yggdrasil,) are not that competitive anymore, even with the G-support they got. Limit Break still packs some force, mainly because that period was one of the craziest because of the "early rush" (which I do still use now).
Also, at the same time I became intrigued by Gear Chronicle so do expect some deck profiles from this clan as well.
With this, folks I am leaving you in hopes that this blog will get a second life.