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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
 October 5, 2015

Play Vanguard Like You’re A Reckless Douchebag

Call those rear-guards and swing already, you massive wimp.


You know the saying “live like it’s the last day of your life”? I know for a fact it can’t literally mean that, because if I did that I would probably curl up on the floor, bawl my eyes out about how I’m too young to die all the while affirming that we are indeed being digested by a thoroughly amoral universe.

Unfortunately there are people who take this to heart, basically playing Vanguard like some sort of oversized feline, or to put it simply, a massive pussy. Let me elaborate: there’s dudes who hold back a unit that can hit the enemy and just swing with the Vanguard alone. So they nervously poke at the opponent with a stick while the other guy gets the firing squad lined up ready to riddle massive holes in your damage zone. It’s worse when two complete pussies duke it out, or make some nervous attempt to, because at this point you may as well just be flailing your arms at the opponent, while your opponent nervously does the same until one of those hits the other guy’s mouth by sheer dumb luck.

There may of course some excuse for this behaviour: it could be for example the unit you want to hold back has a decently useful skill that’s on call and cannot yet activate. That’s all well and good, but the card advantage gained by the opponent not needing to guard one more attack constantly is definitely going to outweigh the +1 generated from your unit’s skill. At that point you would just be better off starting with a decently steady stream of pressure to put your opponent on the defence early, or get some damage in.

I’m not spending this article talking about them however, since at least that can be solved by telling them that sometimes, the shield means more than the skill. That can at least be solved fairly simply. No, what really pisses me off are people who should be spending their hand beating the opponent to death, but just let the opponent sort themselves out and kick them and their deck in the crotch.

For those who have units in their hand who don’t have this excuse of having an on-call skill and should be used for fighting, you ought to be calling them to attack. I’m not saying to call EVERYTHING that can be called to the field, but as long as you can start your first attacking turn with at least 2 attacks, unboosted or no, that’s a decent start in my book. Remember, before Grade 3 you’re using your initial turns to poke at the opponent with sticks, trying to get the dam to burst. Failure to use the Early Game to set up in time for the Mid Game means you’re going to have a mountain to climb from the get go.

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141116164256/cardfight/images/3/38/TD17-005EN.pngVanguard is a game where you attack and then keep attacking until the opponent can fend off your attacks no longer. You can’t hope to just try and put all the eggs in one basket and hope a finisher can get the opponent from healthy to dead in one shot. Not unless your Spike Brothers deck got really lucky or something. The reason is thus, Nervous McGee: you can’t finish off the opponent with Late Game skills if the opponent isn’t even in Late Game to begin with. 12 Crit, hard aggression and a strategy that’s designed to eat card advantage naturally is the solution to the Prisoner’s Dilemma. You should run 12 Crit because it is optimal. They must run it because anything else means they’ll do worse than you. As far as I’m concerned, end of story.

I’ve been trying to get into the mentality of why anyone would even do that in the Early Game in the first place. I bring this up largely because my own locals has one such guy who might as well have a massive clitoris on his forehead when playing Vanguard, and because I watched one tournament game (I finished my own round before everyone else because I’m a horrible, yet optimal player) where one guy lost because he didn’t call Swordmy without whiffing the skill. I guess the reason people hold back is because they don’t want their stuff to die. This is usually when playing a rear-guard hate deck, such as Narukami for example.

Well, let me point something out to you; if it’s not the skills that are going to send your units to the darkest wastes of the Stygian Pit, they’ll just send it there some other way, by their hand or yours. They could for example just drop a Critical Trigger in your face constantly and make you snuff them using them as guardians. Just because they specialise in fucking your formation up does not mean that you should spend the game never setting it up. Even putting them on the board and watching them die at least gives you ONE turn of that formation rather than no interesting play at all. You might even swing alone and still win if your Vanguard is strong enough, or seals Sentinel units or whatever. All you may need is a turn where your formation burns enough hand that you can clinch it, just. Every attack that didn’t happen is shield saved for the attacks that matter.

I should have probably mentioned this before like several weeks ago or something, but this way of thinking is also a contributing factor to games going to time in tournaments. I spent that article describing how poor deck choices lead to no way to bring enough pain to win in time, but I was assuming an otherwise rational opponent. Here, it is simply unoptimal choices in a game, sometimes being made by both opponents, meaning they don’t really go anywhere meaningful. And that just makes me want to yell at them to stop waiting for the other guy to hit him and hit him first, you fucking wusses. What’s the worst that could happen? A suspension or jail-sentence depending on severity of injury? Oh wait, that is pretty bad, okay.

Challenge me to a fight with fists instead of cards and get a frightened reply at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com


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