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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Why Even Important Vanillas Suck
Everything has to be a cog in the massive deck machine. Anything that does nothing can fuck off.
Unless you need the base power for anything like covering a really good Grade 1 or 2 (Calamity Tower Wyvern and clones don’t count, fuck you) then most people tend to leave the vanilla stuff and anything irrelevant in the spare pile. Well, I say most…if it happens regularly enough that it warrants an article then it clearly happens too often for my liking and must be addressed.
I’m not a fan of any deck that has to run any abundance of vanilla units in order to go off. If it requires too many then I generally won’t touch it. Not that I have to worry about that nowadays: Generation Break and all of the backward compatible cards that gained popularity got that licked. But even then, people still make some idiotic choice that then escalates into needing a certain other bad card to accommodate the first…and then it goes on. So really, I suppose one would call this an expansion on why Calamity Tower Wyvern is a newb trap waiting to happen, except this is extended to cards that other people like but I would sooner light on fire if they had absolutely no second hand value whatsoever. And that even applies to cards that don’t actually even look vanilla at first glance.
Let’s talk about Legion briefly. I’m all for Legion as a strategy. Nothing wrong with having a powerful Vanguard with skills decently early. At the same time however, I’m getting a little sick of people who decide to try and use Legion as some sort of automatic quick-fix. You know, those sorts of people who run a Legion unit and its mate as a fail-con because it’s a Legion unit. If I want to use a deck that has Legion, I would like to think that compared to Stride, I should be able to comfortably support either strategy, to give me more outs to situations. That’s largely why I hated Abyss Diablo: because it doesn’t work the way people think and they still can’t fucking see that. Sadly, it’s not just that deck. I’ve seen people throw something like Dark Zodiac into Messiahs, but as to why, I can only wonder. And then I have to stop wondering before I become incurably stupid.
What people don’t seem to realise about a deck using Legion is that the card initiating it isn’t the only one that matters. The mate should also play some sort of role as a cog in the machine. Running Dark Zodiac in Messiahs would involve having to run Astro Reaper as well, and I won’t mince words: Astro Reaper sucks dick. You can do a lot better than something that eats soul for a not guaranteed +1, especially not in a deck where Alter Ego is clearly the primary ride.
On top of all this, the entire point and end goal of modern Messiahs is Excelics, which means for the best game possible you’d have to be able to comfortably use Amnesty. In other words, Stride into that and lock with as much shit as you can so that Amnesty gains Crit while also denying enemy rear-guards. Zodiac cannot lock without giving up Stride, and Astro Reaper cannot lock, period. If you’re not intending to sit on Zodiac’s skill in the first place it therefore makes more sense to run some other non-priority ride that will do something once fuel for Stride runs out, or helps your main ride in some way.
That’s what frustrates me most: in a deck like that, Stride is clearly the primary goal of the deck. When you run a unit that performs Legion as a backup, the mate will basically be vanilla in your best case scenario (which will occur more often than not given most of the Stride enablers search for your ideal ride) and the rest of the time will ADMITTEDLY sometimes help in the event of failure, it depends on the sort of mate it is, but it isn’t worth it if the mate needs a certain Vanguard, or requires a VG to be in Legion, or cannot do anything useful right off the bat.
And by the way, don’t give me any of that shit about how your second ride may be useful afterwards once you’re all finished with whatever your Stride bearer is, because to be brutally frank I cannot name any recurring situation where you’d ever want to, or at the very least, I cannot name an instance that wouldn’t involve shafting the mate as well. Running Legion as a backup to a deck, particularly if it’s restricted to an archetype tends to be an uncomfortable and very messy affair, not unlike your first brothel visit.
It isn’t just Legion though. Decks that incorporate ride chains are also decks that I wouldn’t really pick up. Now, it had gotten a little better after certain support came out for it, and if it’s something like Sanctuary of Light and therefore cannot function without other Sanctuary of Light units, fair enough. Yes, I know it’s outclassed by the new shit, but you’re supposed to pay attention to the lesson here, not the cards, so bear with me. In bog standard ride chain decks, most cases you max the entire chain all the way up to 3. The problem we have here is when the pieces have no primary purpose other than their role when ridden and what happens afterwards. In a Riviere Bermuda Triangle deck for example, I’d run Trois and Grade 3 Riviere, but none of the other pieces. Why? Because it can’t really afford to. The ride chain pieces on RG circle cannot serve any other purpose other than the vanilla game, you won’t always +0 wash due to the search not always being successful, the supposed benefits from succeeding don’t outweigh any hard and soft advantage racked up from skills from other units especially if the first ride turns up nothing, and it leaves more room for more relevant i.e. INTERESTING cards.
Modern decks are all about speed and explosive plays, or at the very least falls under one of two of those camps. For that reason, only if a unit that may start off vanilla at first glance can actually gain a foreseeable relevance later in the game, long term, is it worth running. As much as it is nice to have a game plan, I told you before that a deck should also be flexible enough to at least be able to continue employing the intended gambit without being tripped up too badly, if it can’t fall back on another one comfortably. Your idea that your backup card will be able to fill a niche that’s better than the strategy you were shooting for at the expense of that one is nothing more than a dream. Or maybe goddamn everything you ever thought about Vanguard was a dream. And one day you’re going to wake up and we will all cease to exist. That would be fucking weird for everyone involved.
Find out if that’s the reason why the Great doesn’t work as a backup to the Legend at firstname.lastname@example.org
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