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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
 August 17, 2015

A Side-Deck for Vanguard Would Never Catch On  

You have the option of keeping with your bad deck or changing the strategy…by making it worse.

The imageSpring Fest 2015 tourney I went to employed Swiss, which I am grateful for despite the best-of-1 format and the sheer suckitude of my teammates, but I know a lot of people would prefer a best-of-3 format instead. Indeed, my local shop employs this and that’s how everyone likes it. Joy, more games to establish how fucking awesome I am for me.

Which brings me neatly to the idea of having a side-deck in between rounds, if indeed best-of-3 suddenly became the established norm for Vanguard.

For those who don’t know, between a best-of-3 round for most other TCGs you can swap cards from your main deck with a set of counter cards you took with you to have an easier time fighting whoever the hell you’re fighting. With the opponent doing the same, it’s basically a case of who can think the more nested levels deep as you try to out-gambit the other. It does sound nice in both practice and theory, but such a concept would never translate well into Vanguard.

The whole point of having a side-deck in the first place is so that you can take a series of all-purpose counters, or at least have cards that can work to counter more than one problem, that can be splashed into basically everywhere and use them to act as an anti-deck. In Vanguard, you are basically stuck with one clan which focuses on doing one thing and as a result obviously has a lot of tricks unique to only them. You do get clone cards that can be put into every other deck, but a lot of them already have clan or archetype requirements and a lot of them tend to be so shit you wouldn’t run them anyway. So unless you enjoy vanilla-ing yourself to victory (and not even well enough for it to be viable) you wouldn’t ever do this.

But the biggest beef I have with the idea of side-decking is the fact that the supposed ‘counters’ that a person could think of tend to be incredibly flaccid when put in a clan that doesn’t use that as their MAIN gimmick. Take Mellissa and Chamomile from Genesis, for example. You would think that they would be put in to counter decks that work to fuck up rear-guards, yes? Well, they do, but the problem is they don’t ENTIRELY solve the problem. Setting them up is already hard enough without riding them, and usually it doesn’t equal the amount of cards that is being taken away; it’s merely slowing it down. Add onto the fact that in some builds it cuts into the stuff that may actually work to fuel your gambit, and what you’re doing is making the deck actually WORSE overall. 

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120928222010/cardfight/images/8/8f/BT07-004EN_RRR.pngThat is what it all boils down to. By making a conscious choice to take cards out your deck to make room for cards that are in comparison less amazing, just to fight ONE opponent, you’re screwing yourself. To be quite honest, sometimes the whole counter could turn out to be a complete waste of fucking time. If I were to play something like Silver Thorn Pale Moon while maining the X, well, solving it is really as simple as refusing to play along with their little game. What’s particularly annoying about this is that I solved the problem by simply running a gambit that was from the beginning better than theirs. If I can’t retire stuff, then just sit on the X and force them into a contest of vanilla; they can’t hope to win that when their Vanguard is good for only one purpose, which I’m not obliged to let happen.

(I don’t actually condone doing this by the way, normally. I’m just saying this because it just so happens I personally can still fall back on another option in the event of failure with not a lot of penalty. This won’t hold true for most other decks; you either do what you intended to do with the deck or you’re using it wrong and will most likely lose.)

One other point I probably need to mention is the concept of changing the lineup mid-game, particularly in the case of triggers and such. I am of the firm insistence that triggers can be ranked in order of usefulness, Crits being at the top of the hill, and Draw Triggers mining at the centre of the earth underdogs WALK OVER. To me, if one is making a conscious choice to do that, they are basically changing their lineup to one that would have done better against any deck from the start, not just the one that you’re fighting now, or deliberately making it worse. This is the crux: the one instance where it would shine tends to be outweighed by the several instances when it would shit in your face. Which is a problem since the one instance tends to be enough of a deciding factor for people to run crap despite lack of context.

This is largely the reason why anyone who hangs out in a Vanguard online community asking how not to get shat on by whatever OP bollocks is causing them trouble is a fruitless and largely pointless affair. The counter would not really be anything other than to play a completely different deck altogether, since trying to adjust your playstyle to try and fight back against it would result in your own deck suffering because it can’t do what it normally does; you’re using it sub-optimally in a futile attempt to not die. Especially if it were in a tournament setting; curse your luck for getting a bad matchup, then move on. Get over the fact your deck will never be able to do everything competently.

No, as far as ‘counters’ go, you’ve got the choice of running sub-optimal stuff that takes away from your gambit, or alternatively, realise how easily cockblocked your own strategy is and just go play something universal. If you happen to find anything that counters you it’s purely incidental, after all.

By the way, do you like the picture I’m using in my articles now? I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. It looks nicer. And it fills up space without me having to write anything. Brilliant! I’m a genius. 


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