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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
 July 18, 2016

Finisher G-Units Should Be Just That

Don’t think you’ll win that turn? Then don’t drop your best unit just to catch up.


A part of me sort of misses the old days when we only had, like, one G-Unit that functioned as Final Turn units, partially because it was easy to say “well, there’s fuck all else, might as well use it at 4”, but because it meant that there was less of a mistake on how to use them. Now, most clans are basically swimming in G-Units, Gear Chronicle and the other Big League clans especially, and to be frank, that leaves us sort of spoilt for choice.

My own Kagero deck has four GB2 restricted G-Units, and surprisingly, I wind up having to use a pretty broad spectrum of them in a lot of my games. I think that there’s been a misconception about these big boss G-Units that ought to be addressed. Certainly, trying to unlock GB2 as soon as you can so that you can bollock the opponent with ridiculous skills is a given, but what happens next is a bit iffy. To me, units intended to be finishers should be used for just that purpose: as finishers, and using them for the purpose of trying to come close to winning the game without actually winning the game is a no-no in my book.

What do I mean by this? Imagine if you will, a reasonably average game involving Gear Chronicle and whatever else you prefer to imagine. Metallica Phoenix has flipped a Chronoscommand Dragon, and the opponent’s on 3 damage with a big field and a decent guarding hand. You can either drop Chronoscommand Revolution, or Chronodragon Nextage. What do you drop? Not taking extremely specific game-states into account, I would have dropped Revolution at this point rather than Nextage. Why? Because at this point, if the opponent’s on 3 damage and I can’t guarantee double Critical triggers, Nextage would be poorly timed. It makes more sense to drop the unit that will provide me with the better safety blanket of board wipe rather than try to push for game that turn. A board-wipe gives me more information to work with as I know what’s being taken away, and replacing the units will require cards from the hand, creating a better setup for Nextage.

This is one of the reasons I missed the old days of only 8 G-Units. Now that we have so many good GB2 restricted units (unless you’re Granblue or something in which case it all ends in tears even saltier than your sea-bed grave) it meant that it was all down to only cherry-picking the very best units to use and timing them to perfection. I think that for some players, that never really sank in, and so they play the way they always did, rushing to their main finisher as soon as humanly possible without considering the finer context. The average deck usually only got to Stride about 4 times a game maximum, and after that if they couldn’t do it anymore, they sort of petered out. What’s more, quite a lot of them mainly focused on hard advantage rather than finishing the opponent, and so the players basically used them the same way because they were fairly universal and carried a sense of “well why the hell would you NOT use it now?”

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/cardfight/images/c/c4/G-BT01-005EN-RRR.png/revision/latest?cb=20150306184234For these sorts of decks specifically, that ought to be the plan, anyway. I know that for other decks there is a reason to use your best finishers, or at least one of the two uses of it, such as Transcending the Heavens Altmile is to flip a Clotenus to get maximum mileage if/when you need it, but for the most part, unless you have a spare use of it and it actually doesn’t hurt you, then I don’t believe running the risk of petering out Late Game is necessary. This is especially obvious with cards that pack a cost of Counterblast 2 or more to use, such as Victoplasma or the Ace. Most decks don’t have a good countercharge engine outside of the Perfect Guards, so really, anything that can function close enough without being ludicrously expensive as well ought to be enough unless you’re absolutely certain you can clinch the game that turn, because using one more soul or counterblast than you need can and will screw you later in the game if you’re not careful.

I suppose given context matters of course, but assuming you were not sacked horribly, you yourself ought to have enough shield and spare rear-guards going for you that it’s probably more sensible to further your own advantage the safest way possible, to compliment your ace in the hole better. “Speak for yourself,” you may scoff. “You run Denial Griffin, the stupidest G Guardian around, who sticks a giant middle finger up at re-standing rear-guards or columns. Of course you’ll have shield for days.” I suppose that much is true, but even then, if the intent is to catch up, even something like Jingle Flower Dragon for Neo Nectar is as near as makes no difference good enough over Glorious Bloom Ahsha if the opponent’s only on three damage. It’s also free.

That’s the thing about soft advantage: it tends to have more relevance later in the game. So unless you’re basically gunning for soft advantage right out of the gate, such as most Royal Paladin decks like Evangeline, Sanctuary Guard Regalie, Altmile with basically everything, if each column is only going to inflict one damage at a time, the opponent can safely let the attacks through if they’re healthy enough and thus save guard for the attacks that matter. Therefore, if the opponent isn’t guaranteed to die on the turn the finishing G Unit appears, it makes more sense for another G Unit to do the same job of playing catch-up. My own deck for example: if I can’t finish them and I know I can’t, something like Blademaster “Taiten” is a pretty excellent way to bait out G Guardians with his extra Critical and works nicely with any others I checked. If I went into the Ace straight away I would have not only screwed myself out of an extra card in my hand I also would have risked allowing the opponent to take advantage of the resources I spent too early. Not to mention all those rear-guards causing problems I didn’t address. Then they drop a Silent Tom, I have no Griffin, and I’m dead. It’s a very specific scenario but it could still happen.

I am of course assuming it wasn’t your fault it’s time for your second Stride and they aren’t dead yet. I’ve already told you about how best to avoid these kinds of scenarios, but to be honest, usually by the second Stride the opponent will be on 4 damage when the rules on guarding basically change. I mean, I only brought this up to remind people to try and make situations where your finishers work as intended. Which is why 12 Critical is pretty much the answer to most of your problems you can’t solve through overthinking everything. It sounds harsh, but that’s only because I’m right. Again.

Point out that Glorious Bloom Ahsha gains Critical as well anyway so why not drop it at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com

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