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Saikyo Cardfighter R
Offense Over Defence
The game’s skewed towards the Leeroy Jenkins approach, so get used to it.
I’ve been thinking about why people continue to routinely make terrible decisions when they do anything related to Vanguard, whether it be playing, or building a deck. If you’ve read any of my previous articles and card reviews I attribute it to things such as lack of context and understanding of how the game works in general. But now, I’ve thought of one of the most notorious reasons, which, at my local scene at least, was the big reason fighting me was basically only for those feeling brave or foolish enough.
A lot of people came to Vanguard from some other game such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, and they end up trying to apply most of their principles to Vanguard. Apart from the universal ones such as ‘running more of one thing is good because odds of getting it go up’, I wouldn’t say even half of those things are relevant. Vanguard is a much more subdued battle of wits. Yu-Gi-Oh! never has a quiet period where you can get your stuff together; from turn 1 it’s always gunning to kill the opponent in one go. The mood of the game is totally different. I mean, does Vanguard have anything that punishes the opponent for attacking in the form of a minus to the opponent? Only Stealth Beast, Hagakure can boast that, really.
I digress. One of those principles they carry over is the idea that basically any card advantage is good. Of course, as Gold Paladin players ought to have realised by now that is blatantly not true, but you’d be surprised at the amount of players who still think this. To that end, they run at least 4 Draw Triggers in every deck, despite the fact that there’s actually quite a lot that don’t appreciate the lack in offense.
If you’re the sort who plays Draw Triggers, next time you play, I want you to take a look at your opponent, potentially someone who isn’t running Draws at all (and given the tons of offensive decks that appreciate it, that’s more likely than you think). If their hand size is equal to yours despite their lack of draw power, odds are you’re currently losing.
The average Vanguard player isn’t good at thinking back several turns ago to identify what went wrong, not unless the problem is obvious like they had to resort to G-Assist. Nothing is ever thought of in terms of optimal plays over the game. And because of that, they don’t realise that just draws and draw related abilities is not enough.
If you read my reviews, I tend to give units that add to hand the cold shoulder, unless it is either doing it at a ridiculous level or can be combined with something else to bring it up to that point. It’s because Vanguard as a whole is biased towards offense, and so turtling your hand tends not to win, only stall the opponent for a bit longer until you lose. If a deck can blow through 5 of your cards or thereabouts in one turn (or hell, even one Battle Phase) then it’s only really delaying the inevitable. Particularly since you just end up with not a lot of way to clear a field staring you down, eating up your advantage the moment you even get it.
It’s not as though you’d receive any penalty doing so. Whenever you attack, one of two things happens. You either inflict damage, or your opponent goes -1 at least in card advantage. No matter how you spin it, not attacking means you just lose out on new card advantage. It therefore stands to reason doing a lot of attacks and/or damage is a more optimal course of action. I would certainly prefer taking cards away from the opponent for my card advantage as opposed to drawing blindly; at least I know what I’m getting every time.
Drawing and gaining new card advantage has to really be combined with something else in order to actually achieve something meaningful. Take Revengers, for example (thank you, I will). Almost everything in that deck that gains new card advantage is geared towards an end goal of Blaster Dark spam and/or gaining fuel for Raging Form or Phantom Blaster Abyss. And best of all, it does not come at the expense of actually interesting cards. Essentially, it can actually take whatever it gains and then use that advantage to fuel a greater whole, as opposed to mindlessly hoarding it.
It is one of many reasons I can’t recommend Draw Triggers to anybody. You could argue that you could run them for dickheads like me who run the X and murder shit constantly, but it makes no sense to try and offset the impact of one deck at the expense of performance over all the others. It’s not even that great a solution anyway; as I said, if the quality of advantage isn’t good the extra plus means little in the long run. You are better off being geared towards offense as much as possible (unless you have room to combine hand advantage with offense like Revengers and stuff) to try and offset the amount of ointment you’ll need for your opponent’s anal rape.
You hear that, Murakumo? Get your temporary advantage shit together.
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