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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
May 2, 2017

Overly Complicated (Fiddly) Bollocks


There is no joy to be had on precise plays done badly. Stick to stupid, actually good decks.


Not long after G-BT10 rose up to steal our money away, this resulted in one of the people at locals upgrading his Gurguit deck. The result was, all in all, an unimpressive display as he got stomped on by deck after deck. I attribute this to the fact he isn't really very observant, but I suspect some of it was down to how the deck ran in relation to him. So in a way, the idea that everyone has a clan that suits them has one merit: only if the user is too fucking dense to learn about what they're currently using properly.


When I last talked about overcomplication in Vanguard, I mentioned the plays that were big and flashy, yet impractical. Today, I want to talk about the small changes, the 'just in case' cards that have a more devastating consequence than you think.


I don't personally believe that being clever is an attribute worthy of praise, particularly in relation to Vanguard. It's hard not to undermine it when the decks that you run for years are pretty much devoid of complications and yet do the job so well it renders smarter strategies irrelevant. With that said, I do think that if one wishes to graduate to something with a bit more nuance to it, they should at least understand some of the most basic principles and carry it forward. Said basic principles I always carry are: 12 Crit 4 Heal (unless a Stand actually does carry more advantage and isn't there just for surprise value), aggro or go home, and soft advantage when you can help it. My inherent problem with Stand Triggers, in case you've forgotten, is that they force a certain pattern of attack and if one's strategy runs directly contrary to their use, then all they do is blow a spot where a Critical would do better. Quite often my resident Gold Paladin-tard would use Heavenly Law Gurguit to make a column, leaving both columns at Stand, and then check dud Stand Triggers. A Critical has more uses overall and is less likely to whiff, not to mention it doesn't force you to run stand-able targets just to use them.


However, there is a more general problem with trying to put all your eggs into one basket, and that's the time needed to even load your basket. In Japan, running Grade 2s that are 10k vanillas is a popular choice because of the amount of players bum-rushing the opponent early game, although the fact they don't take it to the logical conclusion like I do is sort of dissapointing. Regardless, I can at least understand why they play what and how they play: because it subverts the expectation that people are supposed to use the early stages to feel out the opponent and take it slow. Except why would you when guarding is at its most sparce early game? Just gear the deck towards a fast early game and a fast late game and you'll have a better chance. 10ks stop 9k with skills from beating your face in unboosted.


But okay. Suppose the opponent allowed you to prepare by slowing down, either because they bricked, or you have a 10k wall, or whatever. You are still running a card that can potentially screw over your predicted output in a turn. As I said, a Stand Trigger has to play a very key role in a deck to have any merit in running (Ur-watar for GC because of the Melem loop, or Dreaming Dragon/Tahro for Genesis), otherwise you'd be better off with the simpler play. It's like giving the decks of any of the characters in Yu-Gi-Oh a look-over: most would conclude that in real life they'd brick constantly because of overly complicated bollocks. If you must run any Stand Trigger, you'll need to be able to tell the difference between a card that's related and a card that's relevant. I don't believe every Stand Trigger with a skill falls under the 'relevant' category, including Gerrie or Ketchgal for Gold Paladin users. Let's be honest, a -1 or a +0 wash isn't something overly game-breaking. And that cuts to the heart of why I think such fiddly hoops are not worth jumping through: because sometimes their reward isn't even strictly better than a more braindead, yet effective deck.


To be fair though, I think that it could be down to something I've dubbed 'Morikawa play'. No, not for that reason, because even the dumbest Vanguard player would realise the problem with building a deck that way. It's more to do with a sort of related problem: the problem of playing or running certain things and then leaping to do it against better judgment, not unlike cramming a deck with Grade 3s. Back in 2012, I really didn't understand why almost all Granblue players I met would rush to use Captain Nightkid as soon as possible. I never understood the need to go a card and 1 Counterblast down for a reward that wasn't very high quality anyway. Yet they still did it. The cards in that vein haven't gone away either, like Gerrie for Golds or D-Robo Daihawk for Dimension Police. I reckon that if given a deck with units that are only meant to be used when they CAN be used, the overall playstyle would become more sensible. Although the idiocy of humanity should never be underestimated, if the local political situation is anything to go by  (it works regardless of whether you live in the UK or US).


For those sorts of people then it makes more sense for them it makes more sense to run a deck that is more or less one note, like Gear Chronicle, where the second Stride will almost always be Nextage or in the right supported deck Gear Groovy. Yes, it isn't mentally taxing, but that's the point. Why does it need to be when it does what it does very well and cuts out all the idiotic trimmings? Just about the only thing holding it back are the poor deck-choices from the beginning, because a good GC deck in the hands of even a total scrublord should do halfway decently. If you want something clever but casual, you have a plethora of choices. But in all honesty, the simplest and best way to win in Vanguard is just to throw yourself bodily at the opponent and just go through the same motions over and over unless interrupted. Overlord Kagero and to a more extreme scale, Liberator G1 Blitz, everyone. In summary then, if you're finding yourself deliberately making stupid plays and running stupid cards to unlock a reward that sucks, then you're using a bad deck, or you're just a bad player, or possibly both, it's hard to divorce the two problems.


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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