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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
 May 26, 2015

Would You Not Ride To Cockblock Stride?

  Is the lack of bulk, trigger chances and skill unlocking worth it to avoid a bullshit death?

With the ever increasing popularity of Stride, you get quite a lot of people trying to come up with some sort of counter to the mechanic that allows even a Limit Break deck to have a decently interesting middle.

However, it is only possible if both players have a Grade 3 Vanguard. So, assuming a natural game, the player who goes second gets to Grade 3 last, and is therefore able to Stride first. So as a counter, a player going first deliberately holds off on riding so as to get the opponent to hit G3 first, thus allowing them to etc. etc. But honestly, is holding off the chance of another trigger and a bulkier vanguard worth the payoff?

Certainly, if you had asked me one format ago, I would have said stalling was simply not viable. Legion, whose activation requirements were similar to that of Stride (needing both players to be on Grade 3) may not get any more power, but unless you ride up you will simply lose in a contest of vanilla instead owing to more trigger chances and more defense. More power before 4 damage on a Vanguard is largely pointless anyway; who’s going to guard the vanguard at that point? Basically, Legion is not so broken that it actually justifies castrating your available offense. Particularly since only a handful of skills actually were THAT evil.

But in an era of Stride? Well, certainly, a big advantage Stride has over Legion is SLIGHTLY less strict activation requirements, plus the ability to make a shield-less unit translate into more guard quality is nice, plus the unlocking of often pretty strong Generation Break skills along the way, but it does still at first glance carry basically the same problems that stalling brings in the Legion era.

Only if the skills actually bring along an avalanche of damage and card advantage would it be somewhat feasible to actually hold off on it, but only if that’s what your opponent has to do in order to actually do anything interesting. Something that springs to mind is a deck that mostly relies on Limit Break to get a decent game in; if the opponent does have the gall to try and stall you out, you can just bring a sufficiently badass murder weapon like Omniscience Regalia Minerva to slam the opponent instead.

See, the biggest problem with a Mid Game deck is that they can’t maintain the pressure they need if they are brought to Late Game too quickly. Any sort of advantage they do gain after that would more often than not EQUAL the opponent but not actually overtake the enemy’s advantage. So at first, it may seem as though stalling may be the correct play.

Problem is, assuming deck with a standard ratio, odds are the deck won’t be that good at actually consistently bringing the same advantage as though they had just ridden to Grade 3. This is not helped by a lot of useful Grade 2s and 1s having some sort of arbitrary restriction being plonked on like a tramp stamp such as your Vanguard needing to be in Legion or being Generation Break. Not riding upwards is only for decks that are deliberately designed to not do that, such as Grade 1 rush decks.

There’s a reason for this. Grade 1 rush decks are designed to be able to make columns despite the restriction in Grade with as many high-power units as possible. A normal deck, in comparison, must not only mulligan their hand to try and ride all the way up, they must also hope to score some decent units they can call early to press an offensive. So when you are fighting a deck that must, at the very least, be bound by the same rules as you, it is a big ask for a hand so perfect it justifies sitting on a less powerful Grade.

No, the best thing to do would be to just play normally and get the opponent to drop their load as soon as you can. It’s like Megablasts and Ultimate Breaks; sure, holding off the 5 damage is certainly possible, but you can’t keep doing it over the course of several turns; you can only do it once before the opponent starts to gain advantage over you by card advantage quality. Besides, I haven’t actually seen any Stride units that worked as FIRST options that were sufficiently powerful enough to be frightened by them. Chronoscommand maybe, but a swift PG up its rectum-related area would solve that in a jiffy. Which you could potentially Drive Check into, if only you just rode to Grade 3.

Alternatively, just include Stride options in a deck not dependent on Grade restrictions like a Limit Break deck if you’re REALLY that worried. Or use a grade 1 rush deck.

Actually, a G1 rush deck is totally a thing. Royals have a ton of Swiss-army attacker boosters. Build that and the salt levels would kill a man. Let’s try and get the new anti-meta train a’ rolling.

Tell me your progress on winning the next Nationals with G1 rush at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com



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