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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
February 14, 2017

Grade 1 Rush Isn't JUST To Seal G-Units


Big Bad Vanguards being rendered moot is a compelling reason, but it isn't the ONLY reason.


I did not expect the hitting of Seven Seas Apprentice Nightrunner, in the sense that I woke up one morning and discovered it had been hit for English format and suddenly we could use Conroe again (which has now opened up the possibility of Grade 1 rush for Kagero, tee hee hee), but I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. And there was much rejoicing, in that people thought this may finally stop scumbags from being scumbags. And I guess it would, but only for those who haven't realised that Seven Seas Scum was not the only Grade-seal deck. It's certainly not the only one that's good, at any rate.

Conceptually, I liked the old Seven Seas deck. It was an answer to an otherwise pretty bullshit meta which rendered hard work and effort irrelevant. But from what I could gather from everyone playing it and boasting of it, I think that it misses the point in a key area. Sealing off G-Units is a compelling reason to run such a deck, but it has one other merit. It doesn't just screw over a series of cards, it screws over an otherwise fundamental aspect of the game. Specifically, the idea that you can just sit on your fat ass and wait for what the other guy's going to do next. I mentioned it two articles ago but let me go into more depth.

With your abilities of old, like Limit Break, Legion and what have you, all of them rely on one thing: it requires that you first Ride up to the Grade 3 before your deck can take off. Time, in other words, is an essential and accepted function of the game: you spend the first 2 turns each feeling each other out before dropping your bass. Grade 1 Blitz, which is about Turn 1: beat face completely craps on this because they are ready to employ their gambit immediately, and because of how Vanguard is structured, every card you use to guard is one less piece for you to fight back with. Looking at something like Dark Irregulars, which has pretty bad rear-guard dependency, this just accentuates this problem. They are essentially in a lose-lose situation: save their key pieces and eat 4-5 damage before the've had a third turn, or throw them away and suffer later.

That is precisely why cards like Majesty Lord Blaster and Dragonic Overlord the End were complete bullshit compared to others of their 13k base ilk: because they could exert much more pressure, and with less waiting around. Despite this though, I know that they wouldn't have had as much of an impact had they come at a later time when the Grade 1 lineup for the popular clans had been better rounded. Because for all their bullcrap, both MLB and DOTE still suffered from the common weakness of needing to play by the 'feel each other out' style of play. They too would be crapped on by a deck that won't wait for them to catch up. Conceptually, I knew about Grade 1 Blitz at the same time they came out in English Format but because of Clan Fight rulings for tournaments, such a thing wasn't possible. And so people kept going as though that was never going to be a reality. Well look where we are now, bitchnuts.

That's what I felt was missing from the Seven Seas Scum deck and why I didn't really take to it: its dependency on external setup, and the willingness to sacrifice straightforward beatdown for tricks. No surprise, the more tricks a deck has, the more it can be screwed over by factors outside one's control. What I enjoy about the Gold Paladin variant of Anti-Stride Blitz is that everything is devoted to one gambit, so you could open with basically anything and it would allow you to get started on punching the opponent from the first Battle Phase. Seven Seas on the other hand seems to need to wait before it could execute its shit, so I felt that anything that can take the tank through hard advantage or just had good rear-guard presence like Aqua Force without the GB1 locked stuff that rack up battles, lookin' at you Blue Waves, had at least a fighting chance because it was still almost as slow as the others unless you opened really well. Don't get me wrong, once it got started it did what it did well, but I wasn't happy with it. Certainly the lack of generic Seven Seas units that Liberators have in fucking abundance certainly doesn't help.

I think there's a severe underestimation of the potency of decks as seemingly simple as Scum Liberators. What gave Seven Seas Scum its popularity was that it seemed to have a clear plan of attack besides sealing Stride, despite how it needed to get lucky and had room to get scewed over. This is what turned me off as I said, but the idea of multi-attacking for this sort of deck is an idea with merit, or at least if such a thing cannot be accomplished, columns are good enough. Because if all the attacks are simple to guard, then they can still be fended off. For Anti-Stride, I know for a fact there is still room for decks that deliver consistent columns, or for a Dark Irregulars variant using Doreen the Thruster, more than consistent columns. Whatever. I don't think multi attacking or attacking big for either deck is wrong, just watch that it doesn't take too long.

People are compelled to run Generation Break abilities despite this however, which ties in rather nicely to how I mentioned time as a function. Generation Break abilities and other such stuff locked to one part of the game and beyond tend to come with more rewards for waiting,or at least that's the general idea. Comparing Crayon Tiger to Binoculars Tiger, Crayon Tiger does more at the cost of waiting before it can be used. Fair enough, from one viewpoint. Assuming that both players are playing 'normal' decks, the first few turns are spent doing basically nothing but attacking and guarding, so why not wait before you explode in a turn of bullshit? But I didn't write this article assuming we're playing normal decks. Now that I know that Generation Break doesn't matter, all I can basically see it as a decision to run stuff that sucks more because people don't know any better, or want to sudden morph into fucking ostriches (okay, that's a bad analogy, ostriches don't stick their head in the sand, they run away like any sensible animal).

I still don't believe that as a solution, Limit Break is still the answer to Blitz unless it's a very specific one designed to ruin a board all at once at no cost to its user at all (so Chaos Breaker doesn't really count), but breaking it down to its base I can sort of see the point. Limit Break units at least have a chance to be at the 4 damage needed since 6 damage is how you win, and it opens up space on the Grade 1 and 2 lineup for more generic and perhaps less sucky units. Like how Floral Paladin Flogal at least lets you play the rush game for a bit, if you don't mind turning into Spike Brothers. And don't mind needing to ride more than once.

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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