Alternative working title: For Fuck’s Sake.

It’s occurred to me recently that I’m actually not as strong-willed as I thought. I mean, I made a point that should Bushiroad introduce Set Rotation as standard for Vanguard that I would kick that habit and never smoke that cardboard crack again. And that’s like suicide: once you’ve said it, there’s no real take-backsies otherwise you just look silly…not that it should outweigh the benefits of being alive, anyway. But now that I have a slightly better idea of what the new era of Vanguard is going to look like (and I say new in a rather loose term), those bastards seem to have found a way to worm back into my interest pipes. Damn you. Damn you for exploiting my past relationship with Yu-Gi-Oh for your sick sick benefit.

Oh, but don’t go thinking that I won’t vocally still shit on you, Bushiroad. Someone has to keep you on your toes. If it’s any consolation, I won’t be like one of those shitheads who try to quit smoking, fail, and then drag everyone else into their misery because they can’t stop ruining their lungs. But Bushi seem to be out to ruin something else entirely with segregating this new era from the old.

I mentioned a while back that I had no sodding clue how Bushiroad could possibly improve on the mechanic of a G-Zone without simply adding new elements on to it so that no major rule had to be overhauled. “Joke’s on you motherfuckers, we can’t!” said Bushiroad. “So instead we’re going to burn all our progress to the ground and reboot the shit out of this game and make sure that none of you who still have flip-phones and still run on Windows XP can gel with any of the cool kids until you learn to start living in the future.” Well, fuck you then. Come on people. I’ll see you at the retirement home this May-June period then.

And my word, they seem to have gone out of their way to seperate this generation from mine. Starting us off is the fact that triggers can grant 10k power instead of 5k, which I’m in two minds about. On one hand, it means that defensively you’re saving youself quite a bit of grief from not having to drop a bunch of 5ks just to stop something worth 10k. It means that G1 Rush is less feasible because as long as they can only scale normal columns, one checked damage trigger means their turn is shat on just like that, so it’s MARGINALLY more fun than it was. On the other, by fucking Christ would that piss on Draw Triggers. There was no indication that their shield value would go any higher, so if anything making them stronger only makes their flaws even more apparent. And it also makes numbers a bitch to calculate: I got by simply crunching simple numbers and simple shields. Now I have to do my maths homework again for Crits, Heals, Draws and Stands? Stands? Oh that’s right, we don’t have those anymore. Wait, WHAT?

Yeah, Stands are gone, to make room for a new Trigger altogether. Apparently this was done to allow Nova Grappler exclusive rights to multi-attack. Bushi, that doesn’t mean that other clans still can’t do that! They just Chain call to get columns back, it’s still not the same unit doing the beating. You might as well let them HAVE Stand Triggers, if only because of freedom of choice. On principle. Instead, we get something called a Front Trigger which is a very fetching shade of pink. The exact name of the colour escapes me but it looks distinctly fabulous, even if its mechanic could be a bit shit. Basically, when scored, the entire front row gains 10k. Main uses I can see: since we don’t get Stands anymore, the game’s going to pretty much be focused on trying to compensate for double the game’s power with the same amount of shield, which will piss on certain attack patterns this COULD solve by making your weaker stuff strong enough to at least get something in. No word yet on whether this is 5k shield or 10k, but I don’t think it matters at this point because allowing everything that can be attacked to be harder to attack during defense means this would be better than Draw Triggers still.

Right, what else? We obviously can’t have a reboot without a new mechanic, if only so that this era doesn’t get entirely mistaken for a huge step backwards, which would positively redefine a sequel series. So we have something called an Imaginary Gift. I would like to say first of all that the name is shit. Imaginary Gift? The name implies it doesn’t exist. Sort of like the remaining goodwill towards its customers, I suppose. Yes, I know it’s a reference to the Images that Vanguard doesn’t stop banging on about but the point still stands. So how this works is that some units will have one of three icons stamped on, and when you ride one of them, You move a marker onto one of your circles (there’s no designated spot for gifts unlike the G-Zone, so squirrel them from your asscrack if you must), and as soon as a unit is on that circle it gains the benefits of the mark. And apparently you can stack these gifts onto the same circle or multiple ones as long as you ride units with a gift icon.

Onto the gifts themselves, one opens up a fourth front-row RG circle that can attack with an extra 10k power but cannot be boosted. Okay, you know that something like Nova Grappler’s going to get this gift, since Royals got confirmed to get another one that grants a circle 10k during your turn which can stack on the same circle if you can ride. The third one is in my mind the worst: when you ride it the gift icon goes to your hand and it functions exactly like a standard Perfect Guard, except you can throw this one in the face off shit like Glory Maelstrom or Sentinel sealers because it isn’t a card with text. That’s cool and all, but it’s still effectively just a hard +1 to you that doesn’t even grant additionally power to a circle. Whatever clans get this thing will have to severely up the power output, especially with the reboot to triggers.

So my overall thoughts on gifts in general was that I had no clue as to why these couldn’t have just been combined as normal with the current cardpool. I saw one of the example cards, saw that it was 13k base, and thought to myself: okay, why the fuck couldn’t you have just made it 11k base, kept the old trigger mechanics and just allowed older cards to gel with these? And then I remember that the option that rakes in the least money for them. Oh well, a man can dream. My dreams involve sodomising an entire field worth of cows in record time while wearing a fez, but ya know. Dreams.

Also, this seems horribly skewed in favour of Accel, the one that gives you another rear-guard. 4 attacks every sodding turn in a game already biased towards damage seems rather overpowered, at least when not taking individual decks and effects into account.

And this isn’t even going over the new rules made to pre-existing mechanics or even to the new rules regarding…well, there’s been a change to the mulligan rule. I’ll leave it at that. Tune in for part 2 where I further express my exasperation at how much I don’t recognise Vanguard anymore. I’ve never been strung along like this except I totally have and so have you. You sheep. You Stockholm Syndrome suffering sheeple, just like me…

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