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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
August18, 2017

Why Crap Old-Hat Support?


You look at Riviere and Coral decks and their recent support and think: what is the point of that?

I suppose what is incredibly annoying when it comes to giving a clan a lot of the limelight, particularly in Extra Boosters, is that too much of it ends up being filled with mulchy shit, as long as the ACTUAL chase cards are enough of a reason to turn a profit. But after the latest support for Worst Aestheitc: the Clan AKA Bermudas (FIGHT ME MOTHERFUCKERS) dropped some token support for old decks like Riviere, Coral, etc. taking up some other, better RRR rarity slots, I began to wonder what sort of place they would even have in the meta of today. Because the prospect is bleak, seemingly.


One argument I hear a lot, particularly online, is that if there is a deck going on that is cancer to your build (Seven Seas Rush being the most relevant these days) then you should go in with the perfect counter to it, bam, problem solved. I don't think that these people are taking into context what that decision entails. You are cutting out more relevant and possibly better shit for more of these early game cards, which will do the job at first but then peter out if you're fighting any other bog-standard deck and not your intended victim deck, or worse, you're cutting relevant cards for weird shit things that are only ever useful when fighting that one particular deck, for that one particular situation. To me that isn't worth it, not in the general context, or if only on an incredibly local level.


But whatever. Let's say I play along for a bit and assume that a meta can be made up of the following three decks: Grade 1 Stride-seal, a meta Generation Break deck like Luard or Gear Chronicle, and then the obscure early game weirdness like Coral and Riviere. It's no secret that Seven Seas Scumbag is more often than not the strictly better choice against the Generation Break Decks by sealing Stride. So where does the old-hat stuff come into this?


My inherent problem with old decks is that the support they get tend not to make them as viable as their Stride-heavy counterparts. Admittedly that's probably intentional on Bushiroad's part, because they want to keep up the pretense of equality without actually putting any work in, but you see where I'm going. Unless the Early Game centres around rushing the opponent to death, I'm not an overall fan of early game cards unless there's tech slots available, largely because whatever early advantage you can get is either thrown away eventually by guarding, made back later through the opponent acquiring more advantage for themselves later, or possibly both. Without any way to ensure a strong mid and late game, they are usually strictly worse than Generation Break decks, which are, in turn, strictly worse than Grade 1 Rush.


You cannot do any worse by switching to a Grade 1 Rush build, my Liberator one being the simplest and least likely to get hit, but you CAN do better. So if I want an optimal chance at winning I use that instead. It is that simple. Tl;dr, Improperly supported nostalgia decks are strictly dominated by Generation Break, which in turn are strictly dominated by Grade 1 Rush. So following this chain of logic, Grade 1 Rush is pretty much the only sensible option. It's the Nash Equilibrium deck.


To be fair though, I think that's probably down to the fact that the forgotten decks simply lack anything in the way of descisive finishers. I mean, Sushine Vert for PRISM decks pretty much carries it for being Nextage in a clan that is otherwise without any real pressure bringers. Even so, I would probably say that they are basically the only real exceptions to this rule, as it is properly supported enough to have answers no matter what part of the game the deck is currently in. In almost every other deck, if you have enoguh generic finishers that another deck can use it except with more answers, you're simply better off using that. Don't care if Homura Raider's baller, he's only practical in Yasuie and everyone knows it.

But if we must talk about some VERY extreme cases, such as a rogue like Tempest Bolt Dragon to counter rush plays, where does that fit in? It has the skill to boardwipe any field the opponent commits to, as long as you live to ride Tempest Bolt, but there's a problem. OTHER decks which can easily make up the advantage exist, usually through Generation Break plays, so you will get strictly dominated by those. That deck exists to take advantage of some opportunistic kills by shitting on anti-meta, so really it's only good if Grade 1 Rush decks are incredibly large in numbers. And assuming that players are rational, that actually may have some merit, as against Generation Break you cannot do strictly worse by switching to that deck, as mentioned before.


But this is assuming all players are rational, and that may have been easy to establish in an era of Crossrides (normal decks get shat on by Crossrides, MLB only really works if there's not a lot of him, PBO dominates MLB only if there's lots of MLB, the End dominates PBO, ergo The End is better), but people seem to favour a strategy that is strictly dominated by G1 Scumplay these days. You can bring as many Tempest Bolts as you like, it'll get shat on by the Luards and Chronojets as long as they are the most common deck of the format. So really the most sensible option is STILL to just keep going with Grade 1 Rush until the G meta ups and dies.


So no, I don't think old support has any real place in today's meta when all is said and done. Not unless it's something actually useful like Sunshine Vert, and that's basically ONE card solving every problem that deck had ever. Sorry nostalgia riders.


Basically, you can blame Bushiroad for simply not giving a shit about Coral, Pacifica and Riviere for making them so unforgivably ballsacks that you're forced into something better and more expensive. If it's any consolation, sticking with those decks means that you're going to save a lot of money for more important luxuries such as food. At the expense of victories, but never mind. Maybe Riviere will get to re-stand one day outside of Trois, you never know.


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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