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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Ripples Don’t Deserve That Much Panic
Ripples are simply a rush deck that just so happened to receive a lot of press.
So today (1st of February 2016) marks the day Odysseus gets Limited to 2 in English Format. Sort of glad they did, but not for the reasons people would think. You see, recently, I’ve been thinking about all the hype that Ripples received while thinking about how I can waste everyone’s week this time, and I remembered something that I probably should have remembered a while ago. Popularity shouldn’t indicate quality, if you intend to take this shit seriously.
If one were to think about what the deck actually IS, in its basest form, it is basically a rush deck that just so happens to contain an option that can pretty much get a good rush field set up whenever they want it. A Grade 1 rush deck would contain as many ways for Grade 1s to make 16k as possible and thus lessen the need for field consistency, so really, what Ripples have is a way to get Grade 2s in on their little game as well. But that’s basically all it is.
What people don’t seem to realise, however, is that in reality, actually countering rush is fundamentally not difficult. What turns me off from G1 rush (apart from the fact it’s a bit of a dick move and not even I’m that heartless) is the lack of consistency. For rush, their biggest fear is a well-timed damage trigger that lets the opponent stave off the columns. Or sometimes, it’ll boil down to some dillhole using anything that shits on their columns very early such as Revengers or Early Game centred Kagero, or fuck, Eradicators. See, that’s the thing. Once you have the right tools on how to put rush down, it will then boil down to whoever has the better hand and who gets the most triggers. What the deck actually is won’t matter, not unless rush is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to the deck for whatever reason.
So while Ripples may be something to be wary about, I would not rank Ripples as the deck that can basically work as an out to everything else in the meta. It’s got about a 50:50 chance to win, and if people were going to saturate tournaments with Ripples, then of course it stands to reason a lot of them will get past the rounds and make the top cut. I’m willing to bet money if people suddenly started entering with any other variant of rush, then odds are it would take down some of the meta decks, but half of them would also lose against the poorer ones that happened to get the trigger needed to survive.
Ripples operated on the element of surprise. No-one had any fucking clue what to do to fight it and so they pretty much auto-lost on the spot. Having said that, I’m not entirely sure if a good deal of the Ripple players understood what made Ripples, because with a game like this people can’t ever identify why they lost and thus never improve, unless of course some players read my rants masquerading as amateur journalism and get that damage > cards. Past the boiler point obvious plays there’s actually little beyond that that players exploit.
Let me give you an example of players copying a deck without transferring skills: Sea Turtle aka Aqua Force’s Devil Summoner. That card’s a coinflip at best: you need an entire deck centred around that card which runs more G1s and 2s than most, but because of its perceived +1, almost everyone thought it was staple regardless of how many times they’ve clearly forgotten about its whiffed in games and pulled nothing. It gets worse if the deck is actually running proper ratios since it’s a shit attacker and is too vanilla, which Ripples don’t operate on.
It frustrates me because I don’t ever want to build a deck based around trying to maximise one turn’s worth of potential, largely because I’m a player who goes by averages and thus will have a reliable out to almost everything. It’s far more practical to have the priority question to ask while deckbuilding be “what am I going to do if I don’t get what I want?” Without either Odysseus being drawn or Turtle plussing you by chance, the purpose of Ripples falls flat on its gormless face. Then you’re stuck as vanilla with little way to retaliate, especially if the deck happens to operate on Early Game madness like Revengers, Blaus with Morgenrot and/or Mars, Brawlers with Skyhowl and Chatura, etc. It seems silly to me to gear the deck towards what the perfect field with Pavroth as the Vanguard is going to look like, thus leaving a blatant flaw in the deck and giving up Stride support, not when all the pieces will need to be top-decked, and even mulliganing a hand only produces the 4-of card about 56% of the time.
The only illusion of its strength was the sheer volume. I’ve actually watched a Championship Match video on Youtube with Ripples and I found myself just yelling at the screen from all the misplays (pausing to laugh a little at the commentator who desperately wanted to explain Stride but couldn’t because they stayed on Grade 2, the monster). I hold no confidence in the people using the deck nor the consistency of the actual deck itself. So for the most part, I’ve come to terms with the fact that there wasn’t actually that much to be scared about regarding Ripples, at all.
So what does it mean for Ripples from this point forward? Well, assuming some people don’t accept that their time has passed (much like the Gold Paladin players when the End and MLB hit English meta) the deck itself will probably be geared towards the conventional style of Ripples. That or the people using it will try and use the same strategy with only 2 Odysseus and thus fail miserably. For the most part though, I expect the hype surrounding Ripples to die off and everyone can go back to using more traditional decks, ones that everyone knows about, especially now that Swordmy is only allowed in Jewel Knight decks with Jewel Knight Grade 3s. Ones I can pick off and hunt for sport because rear-guard dependency, like the chance and knowledge-abusing cocksucker that I am.
So that essentially boils down to the reasons why I’m glad Ripples finally got hit: because of the variety, not because the deck was GOOD, as such. It was you. You were what was wrong with Ripples. And just when you thought it was safe to read without fear of a Vanguard-shaped sledgehammer to the balls.
Let me tell you how the meta seems to operate on hype and how I exploit it at firstname.lastname@example.org
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