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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Top and Bottom 5 2016
Saikyo needs to work on his skills before he can take the title of Captain Hindsight.
Another year of Cardfighting has come and gone, and since I ended my last article on a fairly unusually positive and hopeful note, which may have frightened several people, I decided to reassure my readers by starting off 2016 bringing some hidden gems to attention while tearing the bad stuff a new anus as an afterthought, just to let them know I’m still a douchebag.
So, in light of this, I’ve decided to rank my top and bottom 5 clans with G-Support of 2015. Few rules: English format only, so nothing in Japan, even if I know what they are, only the stuff that got enough G-Support to run a mono-deck (discounting triggers which are almost always the same) will be rated. Okay, glad that’s sorted. Let’s fire away!
Fifth Worst: The bottom 5 was difficult to decide. This was largely due to the fact that each clan was doing a fairly decent job at addressing the issues it had last time. But in comparison to the decks in the top 5 which were piss easy to allocate, I was left with a lot of decks that were functional but left me lukewarm. So I guess I’m starting off with the best of the mediocre, Link Joker. Sort of appreciate you’re going for cheaper locking and shit, but to be honest save for specific matchups you’d be much better off getting rid of problems forever. Also, until we get G-Booster 5 next month Amnesty Messiah is still pretty shit.
Fifth Best: Don’t think this one even occurred to anyone but as you know I’m all for pre-emptive problem solving. So while G Narukami doesn’t fuck up field quite as badly as say, G Kagero, this had the advantage of Conquest Dragon, while the best Blademaster has at the moment is Root Flare. But the main reason I’m giving this to Narukami narrowly beating Kagero is the capacity for Early Game in the form of Chatura, the common that shouldn’t have been. Early Pressure wins in favour of vanilla. Also I am totally discounting the X since that really isn’t fucking fair, and half the cards in it are old cards which I’m staying away from this list. No, I’m not supporting set rotation, FUCK OFF.
Fourth Worst: Sometimes to be in my bottom 5 you don’t have to be terrible, just outclassed by something else. Admittedly whatever G Genesis does is competent enough, but it really depends on having a lot of the old crowd like Melissa and Chamomile, otherwise the only hard plus in the deck is Fenrir himself, and that won’t allow you much wiggle room against field burners. And if you wanted columns G Neo Nectar and actually another entry in the top 5 has you pretty much licked there. Vanargandr is also your main end result and he’s not exactly the most decisive finisher around. Let’s just hope when the support for this next rolls round you get a re-standing Vanguard, that would solve the problem no matter how initially shit the deck is.
Fourth Best: To the surprise of no-one (except for those who think this ought to be rated higher), one of the top slots is occupied by Shadow Paladin. I’m not however going to rank it any higher than this because while it makes anti-meta decks like Megacolony very unhappy by having rear-guards that don’t stay still, along with tools to retire, turtle hand, gain hard plusses and do whatever the fuck it wants, it doesn’t especially do anything with so much intensity that specialised decks can’t hand it its ass. Remember, trying to do everything means focusing on nothing. But despite being indecisive at times it’s still a decent tool to deal with any riff-raff who wants to rely on chance. Or run anything in the bottom 3. Actually, talking of which…
Third Worst: Oh, here we go, something actually pretty bad. Now we’re talking. Well, I say bad: it’s not especially terrible in real life, but all the same you must admit that without Commander Laurel, G Dimension Police would be going absolutely nowhere. Pumping up a Vanguard to massive numbers doesn’t do jack shit if 1. It returns to the old problem of being solved with a Perfect Guard and 2. It can’t be exploited more than once somehow. Not to mention it absolutely blows against anything that can readily control the field since rear-guards are responsible for giving the Vanguard bite and it struggles to hard plus without hitting. Now that’s Catch 22 in a deck if I ever saw one.
Third Best: I was actually going to rate this one as my second best initially, then last minute releases arrived and this got relegated to a miserly third. Don’t go thinking that G Royal Paladin isn’t worth your time though, because it is. Yeah, it still dies to board wipe, but all the same it’s done a good job solving issues of wonky field or lack thereof with G Booster 4, and for those who have decks that don’t do that, it hard plusses and can drop massive columns to steamroll to victory. The only thing that would totally ruin this for me are the people who run the most fucking wonky Grade 2 lineup because there does seem to be a bit too much choice here.
Second Worst: Falling into pretty much similar problems as Dimension Police, G Oracle Think Tank struggles without Silent Tom. That’s the only thing giving it bite, considering without a fuckton of external help the whole idea of him stacking the deck isn’t feasible: he’s too slow. So it’s basically nothing but hard plusses that will eventually get eaten up by anything that can take that much advantage away and then some. It also doesn’t help that I remember what we get next month and I can only weep for its reliance on some undead pervert card to get by. Lord only knows what would happen if G Regulation for English format appeared. Not that it would affect because I’d have fucking called it quits if that ever happened.
Second Best: The only thing stopping this clan from being number one is reliance on rear-guard formation and the need for nostalgic cards in some of its builds. Technically though I guess you could make a reasonably pure G Blue Wave Deck with Tetra Drive and Tidal Assault being the only old cards in it, plus as the first wave (heh) of support demonstrated the G Clan Booster was just icing on the cake, and so Aqua Force comes a very close second in the Best 5. Lambros made the deck and shows no sign of aging terribly. The only complaint is that the new G Support seemed a bit token but then again the clan I main is over-supported much like my home soccer team so who the hell am I to argue?
Worst of 2015: But even after all the other entries on the list, no matter how easily something can be fucked over, no matter how bad the overall gambit is, no matter how boring the deck is, only one stood out. Possessing almost nothing but a field-filling strategy, its column game was crap as fuck since that wasn’t its point, it did nothing unusually good with the advantage it gained, it fucking sucked at landing a decent punch with an almost entirely defensive strategy, and it wasn’t entirely that consistent to boot. Step up to the podium, Gold Paladin. Don’t think too hard about the rope I’m currently tying around your neck, or that the podium collapses unusually easily.
And the winner of the 2015 deck award is…
Best of 2015: Gear Chronicle. Okay, this may not have been entirely fair, since it got tons of cards and there was really only one build of it that was feasible anyway, but that’s how Bushiroad appeal to the kids. Ticks all the right boxes: a capacity for columns, addresses problems pre-emptively, a re-standing Vanguard, sustainability for the long haul, field consistency, you name it, it has it. The only thing it’s really missing is an equivalent to Divine Dragon Knight Zahm, which would push it into frankly absurd territory. Then again, G Booster 7 hasn’t been announced, so if it turns out they get one you can then proceed to name me the Vanguard Nostradamus, motherfucker.
Preach about how G Tachikaze will destroy the unbelievers at firstname.lastname@example.org
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