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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Vanguard’s Winning Horse and Denial
The universe won’t bend to your will anytime soon. Suck it up.
I recently saw a blog post from someone who’s name I forget basically bitching about how support for the clan he mained was imbalanced, and not in a good way. Not that there IS a good way, in my mind, but anyway. The usual fare applied: complaints about how the lack of columns or a re-standing Vanguard meant his clan was living in squalor while everyone else was riding the high of nigh-unstoppable butt fucks, and that he felt he wasted his money.
I can understand how he feels, sort of. I get that thrown in my goddamn face any time I make any sort of interaction with Vanguard. At the same time, I cannot empathise with that problem, for a good reason. Unlike many other people, I didn’t start the game under the pretence it would remain balanced.
What I mean by my first reaction to it is that I knew, from the history of it someone explained to me, that because it was centred around an anime, it would inevitably have to kill balance issues to promote whatever the show had. From that moment onwards I knew it was a safer bet to just stick with the most over-supported clan for the best shit. I wasn’t going to be burnt by Yu-Gi-Oh’s constant changing banlist and power imbalance again.
I know some people will long for the good days when Vanguard was balanced again, but I don’t think that ever really existed. If one were to follow the Japanese listings (as in the fucking chronologically accurate releases) it quickly becomes apparent that Vanguard hasn’t been balanced since Set 1. It was heavily biased towards the big 4 (Kagero, Royal Paladin, Nova Grappler and Oracle Think Tank) and only got worse with the advent of Crossrides. Even after that the sets up until 10 bombed in Japan because nothing released was better than the End and MLB. I didn’t even fucking know the End was a thing when I first started. I wish I did though, it would have made my life a lot easier.
However, I’m not about to preach about how shit’s fucked up. I’ve spent every sodding week since February basically saying that there’s a way to get things done the most optimal way. Instead, I’m basically using my time to basically vent about how much I dislike people who complain about Vanguard while continuing to obstinately NOT QUIT. If you’re in it for the long haul you might as well do it properly, bitch.
I’m not just talking about clans having the most stupid broke mechanic here but also the mechanics that have been with us since Day 1, such as Triggers. Critical Triggers for example are the ones people bitch about the most, no surprise if you’ve been kicked out of Round 1 at Nationals because one happened. They are the mackdaddy of Vanguard. Therefore, it would follow that running lots of them over other triggers would be the logical choice assuming you wanted to keep winning. Every game is selfish, and so it shouldn’t really be for other people to bitch at you if you decided to take it to the logical extreme, unless making small children cry is a regular habit of yours you refuse by choice to turn off even casually. But enough about why I’m not allowed to babysit anymore.
There is however one small aspect this era of Vanguard came with that I sort of guess excuses some of it. I will admit I main a clan with a fuckton of card choices. But here’s the thing: most of it is stuff I wouldn’t use in this day and age, and anything used previously tend to be things that either were vital no matter what age of Vanguard you’re in such as Perfect Guards, or stuff that were once good before Power Creep invalidated it down the line. Do not take this as me advocating Power Creep: to be honest, if the End and Majesty Lord were never made, it could just have resulted in interesting mechanics as opposed to directly stronger ones and we could have avoided all this in the first place. But I won’t deny that it has resulted in me basically eliminating the riff-raff in favour of a select few interesting choices with the rest being the new toys necessary to keep up with the meta of today.
I guess for most people, they’d be willing to drop their current archetype of cards for the new stuff, as long as it was for the same clan and the newest shit was accessible enough. I mean, I haven’t seen anyone go hardcore Blue Storm against all reason if better could be named (and it can, see Blue Waves) but for the most part, the game appears to have Power Creeped enough to a point where most decks can kinda sorta fight reasonably evenly with one another since they can access largely the same cardpool of stuff. I guess that’s why we have clone cards: as in GOOD clones like Glimmer Breath-esque cards, not shit like the generics in the original generation.
Alternatively, if one chooses to look past that, as I do, and focus on whatever seems to be the most optimal, then I would say that the business model employed by Vanguard is extremely cruel. There is always the promise that maybe one day, when the rare update to the underrepresented clan comes along, that it will shine brighter than the fucking sun and become the new Tier 1 deck to beat, and then your dreams get shat on once again when it’s revealed it’s just a simple hard advantage engine or it needs to hit Late Game. Yu-Gi-Oh doesn’t make much of an attempt to hide its contempt for old forgotten archetypes until several YEARS later, by which time you’ll have gotten bored and fucked off. In Vanguard, the kinda sorta balance is enough to entice some people to stick with what they have in the event it will at least go 35:65 in terms of win-rate, but at the same time it also makes them extremely salty at how they still cannot get off a decent win rate for themselves because we either got more shit, or better quality shit than them. So they don’t quit, yet. They’ll just keep stringing you little bastards along. And that’s precisely why I will just play my glorious master deck until we all shrivel up and die. Dragonic Overlord for Worlds.
Pitch an idea for an OTT re-standing Vanguard to me at email@example.com
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