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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
November 28, 2016

One Card Doesn't Counter For Shit

 If their deck was designed specifically to crap all over yours, odds are one card won't swing a game back.

I've only got until January before I can work to a more relaxed schedule (unless I suddenly get hit with a sudden fucking wave of inspiration or something, email me to keep the spirit alive) so fuck it, let's harp on about bad advice on countering the anti-deck some more. I bring this up because of, you guessed it, another fucking argument online about how Conquest Dragon was your anti-Magia option. Of course, because I prefer to be pragmatic about the whole thing, I decided to watch the game unfold and to my surprise...I was absolutely right, Conquest didn't do shit.

There's a reason for that. Realistically, Conquest Dragon isn't going to swing things around for you against Magia. People THINK it is because Conquest exploits an empty field. I will not deny that. The problem is that it does not exploit enough: all it does is create big columns. This generally doesn't mean jack when between Harri, Darkside Princess and Cutie Paratrooper, they can make pretty much the same columns, except through a series of chain attacks they can do a lot more with those columns that Narukami cannot really do. And that's not even mentioning all that shit in their hand they didn't need to call, Perfect Guards and G Guardians. Magia cannot deal with Conquest? Bull-fucking-crap. Totally dealt with. Easily.

When I first saw Dragonic Vanquisher “VMAX” I have to admit I was mildly impressed. Of course, it was no great secret that Thunderstrike 5 was pretty much near-impossible to accomplish and once it was brought up, people pointed to Chatura and Zorras. This is my big issue with trying to design your deck to try and compensate for one flaw: in this case, it's not that it involved making bad deck choices, as Chatura and Zorras are staples. It's the fact that trying to set your counter up usually involves a long string of 'if' statements that render the whole thing both impractical and not worth worrying about when facing it yourself. IF I can get Chatura to hit, IF Zorras can hit, IF I can use the Early Game for some quick binds...it's all conditional. It's not reliable enough to act as a real counter. That's why I run Grade 1 rush – it's the only realistic answer to sealing off all the opponent's shit. Because it's all the same throughout the whole deck, it bricks less and is therefore more likely to employ what it wants while also shutting down the opponent.

Obtirandus for Megacolony isn't something I class as a real counter to Magia either. Look at its overall cost and timing. He's GB2, so you need to G Guardian to use him as a first Stride, and he costs a hefty Counterblast 2 and a -1. For the sake of fighting anything that ISN'T Magia he won't be run in big numbers, so he won't counter forever, and to be honest, he's too pricey. Every use is a -1. It's a high quality -1 given your dicarded card is essentially paying for the guard needed for one column, but you then have to recharge via Vulcan, who is another -1 to you or try to Perfect Guard to Countercharge. Once you run out and/or cannot pay for another, that's it. Your deck is vanilla against theirs and your ass is grass.

It's easy to think that way though. I've already made it plain that running one individual card, or even dedicating an entire slot for a choice of Grade to counter one strategy is a steaming load. Unless you can search your counter, all the time, and it can shut it down to any meaningful degree, you are talking out of your fucking ass if you have to draw it by chance. With G Units however, it is again easy to make such an assumption, because G Units can be run outside of the main deck with almost no consequence. Because the Vanguard is not bound to do one job all the time, people mistakenly believe they can then transform their Vanguard into the perfect thing needed to answer to anything that may happen to them. But that tends to fall flat on its face when there are too many conditions required to employ your supposed counter, or if your options basically boil down to you having accomplished what the opponent's stopping you doing, or every option you have is more of the same bad strategy.

Typically, I find that any sort of hard-advantage deck that's not Gear Chronicle, such as the above-mentioned Narukami and Megacolony, tend to get a raw deal, and that's not because they're undersupported in the G Era, although they sort of are. Kagero at least can use Vague and the Ace to try and milk something out. Megacolony and Narukami's biggest problem is that their main strategy of targeting rear-guards to ruin setup is what enables any soft advantage options they have. If they cannot accomplish the first objective, most of the time they cannot accomplish the second. Gear Chronicle in comparison doesn't have this problem because their main Grade 3, Chronojet Dragon, can deal with any problem rear-guards while the support can employ the bullshit multi-attacks with Melem and Time Leap that makes the deck functional. If not, the rear-guards can continue to do all the work regardless of what the opponent does to dodge any minuses to card advantage. It even has soft advantage G Units in the form of Nextage, followed by Gear Groovy.

I guess that was what eventually turned me off from that strategy, despite my initial predictions: even a deck focusing around hard advantage is still assuming that the opponent is only playing vanguard on its most basic level. There's too many outs to such a strategy without a good soft advantage option, whether it's Resist, running a deck based on Superior Call, decks like Magia where shit never stays still...there's just too many viable ways to fight back.

It boils down to a premise that is often not understood. Soft advantage wrecks more, particularly Late Game. More columns and more attacks means more cards being taken away, as opposed to a more predictable approach taken for field control and virtually nothing else. So it's more cost effective than pure retirement, unless you're G Nova Grappler in which case fuck that shit. CB1 for another attack?

So there you have it. If it takes an entire deck to crap on one strategy, fine. If it craps on almost every other strategy, even better! Largely because I find there is no sweeter justice than bullying those who used to bully you. Spare me your 'then you're no better than them' crap. They're no longer winning and I am so by that criteria I am better so shut your face.

I’m taking requests for articles if there’s something about Vanguard you need to gripe about. Email ideas at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com. Or drop a message on my Twitter account!




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