Monday, 8 December 2014

Cray Journal: Gear Chronicle

Following the start of Season 4, our dear Bushiroad has decided to release a new clan, called Gear Chronicle, which is used by our new main character, Chrono Shindou.
For those of you familiar with Greek mythology, Chronos is the personification of time in pre-Socratic philosophy. If Bushi is trying to hint something, they certainly did a good job of it.
Anyways, back to Vanguard. Gear Chronicle was the first clan to receive a new TD for Season 4. The main boss of the TD: Chrono Jet Dragon
G-TD01-002 (Sample)
[AUTO](VC): GB2(This ability is active when you have 2 or more face-up G units in your G Zone and/or VC) When this unit attacks a Vanguard, until end of that battle, this unit gets [Power}+5000, and your opponent cannot call Grade 1 or greater units to (GC).
[AUTO](VC): [Counter Blast (1)] During your turn, when your G unit Stride, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your opponent's rear-guards, and put that unit at the bottom of your opponent's deck.

So this unit plays with the concept of "time", by sending rear-guards back to the deck, where they once were(in the past). The GB2 ability is pretty neat, considering by that time, the game would have shifted into late-game, and your opponent would need to guard almost every attack. 
Gear Chronicle's main mechanic focuses on sending their opponents' rear-guards back to the bottom of the deck.
Now let's look at their G unit from the TD:
Interdimensional Dragon, Mystery Flare Dragon
G-TD01-001
(G unit cannot be in your main deck)
Stride(Release it when both you and your opponent have a Grade 3 or greater Vanguard)-Stride step- [Choose 1 or more cards from your hand, with the sum of grades being 3 or greater, and discard them] Stride this face down card on your (VC) 
(When you stride, it gets the power and name from one of your hearts, and return this unit to the G Zone face-up at the end of your turn)
[AUTO](VC): [Counter Blast (4)] When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, you may reveal the top 4 cards of your deck. If the revealed cards have 4 different grades or more, you may pay the cost. If you do, you get an additional turn. If you reveal, shuffle your deck.

Welllll ok..... This seems rather OP at first glance, but the CB4 effect is REALLY hard to pull off in actual gameplay. If you do pull it off, the "extra turn" starts off with the stand-and-draw phase, and this unit would have gone back to the G Zone. 
I'll clarify this unit's effect. For it to actually go off, you need to reveal 1 grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 0 in the top 4 cards. Assuming you run a 8-11-14 build. By the time you have enough damage to pay the cost, the grade 1s, 2s, 3s, and 0s left in the deck would be around 6-6-4-9. So that's 25 cards left in your deck. It's simple probability mathematics. Chances of pulling this off at this point in time: (6/25)(6/24)(4/23)(9/22)= 0.0042687747= ~0.427%(3 s.f.) chance
That's not even a 1 % chance!
So for those of you who think this will break the meta, think again. 

As I said before, the main mechanic of Gear Chronicle is to return your opponent's units to the bottom deck. So here's a decent deck build based on the cards released so far, and those to be released in GBT-01

4 Chrono Jet Dragon; 4 Fatewheel Dragon
4 Steam Fighter, Amber; 4 Steam Knight, Puzur Ili; 3 Relic Master Dragon
4 Steam Maiden Alulim(PG); 4 Steam Breath Dragon; 4 Apex Standing Gearwolf; 2 Steam Rider, Burnham
4 Lucky Pot Dracokid(draw); 4 Steam Maiden, Ululu(heal); 4 Steam Battler Dadashig(critical); 4 Steam Battler, Mashuda(critical)
Starter: Timepiece Dracokid
G Zone: Interdimensional Dragon, Ragnaclock Dragon; Interdimensional Dragon, Chronos Command Dragon 

In this deck, Mystery Flare Dragon is replaced by Chronos Command Dragon, simply because the chances of Mystery Flare going off is too low, and Chronos Command is more consistent by putting on more pressure when he is on the (VC).
Fatewheel Dragon is in a word, ANNOYING. While it uses alot of counterblasts, it certainly has a good reason to do so. Its main effect is a silent tom that gets a critical when attacking for just 1 counterblast. It just wastes all your negates away. So while one Vanguard has a glory effect, the other has a silent tom effect. Good job.
Steam Fighter Amber is a core unit of this deck. As said before, the main purpose of this deck is to send your opponent's rear guards to the bottom deck, and this unit does it perfectly well. If this unit is boosted and it's attacking a Vanguard, the GB1 ability will let it CB1 to send a G2 or less RG to the bottom deck. Sounds good to me.
Steam Knight Puzur Ili is another card with the silent tom effect, except you have to pay the cost of SB2 when attacking the Vanguard to activate the effect.
Relic Master Dragon is a CB2 on call or on ride to send a G2 or less RG to bottom deck. It's quite CB heavy, like many other units in the deck, and that's why there's only 3.
I know the new negate has the restriction of only being able to protect the Vanguard, but you need the unflipping more than ever
Steam Breath Dragon gains +2 grades in the hand when it is to be used for the cost of striding. You'll need this because you can't keep dropping your G3s. Its other effect is to reveal a G3 from your hand and discard 1 to search for a Chrono Jet Dragon. Such a useful card...
Apex Standing Gearwolf is a key card. Since this deck focuses so much on sending RGs to the bottom deck, why not power up because of it? This unit gains [Power]+3000 on the RC when an opponent's rear-guard is sent to bottom deck. 
Steam Rider Burnham is a 10K booster for the Vanguard, and it's a GB1 skill. Best to have this behind your Vanguard when it is at Chronos Command Dragon to make sure that thing hits.
Lucky Pot Dracokid is a draw trigger with the Margal effect. You're gonna need this to fuel your soul for all the different card abilities your deck has.
Timepiece Dracokid is a G3 searcher with no restrictions. Nuff' said.

Overall, this deck is really fun to play but really CB heavy. You have to be careful not to spam all the skills when you play this deck or your deck will become vanilla once you hit late game.
There's nothing much more to say here, so keep on Vanguarding everyone~

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Cray Journal: Oracle Think Tank Stride~

As a huge OTT fan, I'm just sooooo happy that they FINALLY got support. It's been so long since they were supported it's hard to believe they were once considered meta. Anyways, moving on to the main point of my article, their new stride units and G-BT01 support.

Supreme Sky Battle Deity, Susanoo
G-BT01-S03-SP
[CONT](VC) Generation Break 2(This ability is active if you have 2 or more face up G units on your (VC) and/or G Zone) During your turn, if you have 4 or more cards in your hand, this unit gains [Power]+5000/[Critical]+1
[AUTO](VC): [Counter Blast (1)] During your turn, when your G unit Stride, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at the top 2 cards of your deck, search for one card, put it into your hand, and put the rest at the bottom of your deck in any order. 

Kinda lackluster for a RRR, but decent nonetheless. The GB2 ability will create a lot of pressure for your opponent. By the time you have used stride twice, it would be late game, with both opponents at 3-4 damage.
The second skill is the better part of this card. Since striding is essentially a net +/-0, this would make striding a net +1 for one counterblast. It would also let you stack your triggers at the bottom of the deck, so if you have a great memory, you will know what's coming once your stack is reached. In this sense, this card works rather well with the tsukuyomi ride chain.

Now let's look at the two G units that came out in this

Sword Deity of Divine Sound, Takemikazuchi
G-BT01-S02-SP
Stride- [Choose one or more cards from your hand with the sum of grades being 3 or greater, and discard them] Stride this face down card on  your (VC)
[ACT](VC): [Counter Blast (2) & Choose a face-down card named "Sword Deity of Divine Sound, Takemikazuchi" from your G Zone, and turn it face up] If the number of face-up cards in your G Zone is 2 or more, look at the top 4 cards of your deck, search for 2 cards, put them into your hand, and put the rest at the bottom of your deck in any order. 

Just like Susanoo, this card works really well with the Tsukuyomi chain, letting you reach your stack even faster and stacking more at the bottom. This ability is meant to be used sometime late to mid-game, to help you out of a pinch or get the desired cards into your hand.
Since the effect cost makes you turn another copy of itself face-up in the G Zone, you'll have to run an even number of these to fully utilize the effect.
But of course, you'll need another G unit in your deck to even use this card, so let's look at the other G unit released in this set:

Soaring Auspicious Beast, Qilin
G-BT01-025
Stride-  [Choose one or more cards from your hand with the sum of grades being 3 or greater, and discard them] Stride this face down card on  your (VC)
[AUTO](VC): When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, look at 2 cards from the top of your deck, search for 1 card from among them, put it into your hand, and place the rest at the bottom of your deck in any order.

This unit is meant for early game rush. The instant both you and your opponent are at Grade 3, release this to pressure so you can build your hand early. Most people would not have a negate by that time, and would not be likely to throw a 30K shield for 2 pass at this point. This gives you even more reason to go second at the start of the game(or so I feel).
And the fact that this is only a R is so great~

Now I think I've said enough about those 2 G units, so moving on to a proper deck build:
4 Supreme Sky Battle Deity, Susanoo; 4 Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi; 4 Diviner, Shinatsuhiko; 3 Silent Tom
4 Mediator, Amenosagiri(PG); 4 Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi; 3 Divine Sword, Amenomurakumo, 3 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
4 Psychic Bird(critical); 4 Battle Sister,Ginger(critical); 4 Dream Eater(draw); 4 Lozenge Magus(heal)
Starter: Godhawk, Ichibiyoshi
G Zone: 4 Sword Deity of Divine Sound, Takemikazuchi; 4 Soaring Auspicious Beast, Qilin

The G3 Tsukuyomi is here because, what better G3 to run than this? Monaka is fine too, but her effect is LB, and you don't exactly have enough G1 space to put a LB enabler. Her effect isn't exactly a finisher either, and you won't have enough G3s left to use as stride fodder.
Shintatsuhiko's name may be a mouthful, but it's nothing more than a GB1 12K whacker. Nuff' said.
Silent Tom. The silent killer. With triple drive check and a higher chance of getting triggers, why would you NOT run this?
Amenomurakumo. Another mouthful. It's a G1 with the ability to reveal a G3 and drop 1 card to search out Susanoo. This is effect is not meant to be used as it will ruin your stack. It's main effect is to drop for stride. If this unit is to be used to pay the cost for stride, it gains 2 grades, meaning you can just drop this card from your hand and stride.
I know the new negates have a restriction in that they can only defend your Vanguard. But in this deck, the CB usage is really high, and you'll need a way to unflip, and this is the only possible way. Running Lemonade(sb2, unflip 2) is not an option here as there isn't enough G1 space.
8 crit 4 draw is standard and will help maintain the large hand size OTT is known for.
Psychic Bird is a must because you'll need the 6 soul requirement if you were to accidentally ride Tsukuyomi first.
The main purpose of this deck is to draw until you reach your stack, and pull a double/triple trigger to kill your opponent instantly.

For those of you a little tight on budget, here's an alternative decklist:
4 Supreme Sky Battle Deity, Susanoo; 4 Battle Sister, Mille Feuillle
4 Diviner, Shinatsuhiko; 4 Diviner, Kuroikazuchi; 3 Battle Sister, Marshmallow
4 Mediator, Amenosagiri(PG); 4 Divine Sword, Amenomurakumo; 3 Oracle Guardian Gemini; 3 Battle Sister, Lemonade
4 Psychic Bird; 4 Battle Sister, Ginger; 4 Dream Eater; 4 Lozenge Magus
Starter: Battle Sister, Eclair

Mille Feuille is a C card with an on ride ability to CB1, SB1 to draw one card. Her GB1 ability is an ACT ability to CB2, check the top 2, take 1, and put the other at the bottom. She doesn't have much use on the Vanguard, so you can ride her first to fulfill the conditions for Marshmallow, and then use her as stride fodder once you ride into Susanoo.
Marshmallow is a pressure unit that lets you soul charge 1 and unflip 1 when her attack hits the Vanguard, and your Vanguard is a battle sister. It's a VC/RC effect, so it would be best to ride her on your G2 turn.
Kuroikazuchi is a RR. Her GB1 ability: when she is boosted, and attacking a Vanguard, you can CB1 to draw 1 card.
Psychic Bird again is a must to fuel the soul for unflipping. This build uses even more counterblasts than the previous one, so you're gonna need lemonade and the negate to unflip as many times as possible for you.
The main purpose of this deck is to filter until you have mostly triggers left in the deck. Lozenge Magus and Eclair are needed to shuffle so the triggers don't all get stuck at the bottom. If they do, by the time you reach them, you would lose by deck out.

Overall, OTT is still very fun to use, and you get to traumatize your opponents with your huge handsizes~
I really don't think I can say any more about this clan, so have fun Vanguarding everyone~

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Stride Generation~ G!!

Following the introduction of Cardfight!! Vanguard G, we have new G units, and stride.
What are G units?
G units are Grade 4 units with "Triple Drive!". They are not placed in the main deck, but in the G Zone, a zone right abobe the damage zone on the typical playmat. G units can be used for Stride, and each player can have up to 8 G units, with a maximum of 4 copies per unit. 
What is Stride?
Stride is an ability unlocked when both players' Vanguards are Grade 3 or greater. To stride, one must discard 1 or more cards with the grades totaling to 3 or more. All G units are face down in the G Zone at the start of the game. When you stride, choose a G unit and place it face up on the Vanguard circle. At the end of your turn, that unit goes back to the G Zone face up, and cannot be used for stride again. When you stride on your Vanguard, the G unit gains the name and original power value of your "heart". If your original Vanguard is in Legion, choose 1 unit to be the heart. The G unit does not gain the skills of the heart. As the term "triple drive" suggests, you get 3 drive checks when you stride. 

Generation Break
You may have noticed some new units have the symbol GB1 or GB2. These abilities are unlocked when there is the stated number of G units face up in the G Zone or on the Vanguard circle. So for example, if your grade 2 rear guard has a GB1 ability, it can be activated when you have a Striden Vanguard or when there is one face up G unit in the G Zone. 

G Assist:
G assist is a new mechanic designed to help with misgrading. You need to have at least 2 G units to use this. Here's how it works:
1)Reveal your hand to your opponent, proving you don't have a unit 1 grade higher than your Vanguard. 
2)Check the top 5 cards of your deck for a unit 1 grade higher than your Vanguard, and add it to your hand. Shuffle your deck. 
3)Choose 2 G units from your G Zone, and 2 cards from your hand, and remove them from the match. This is not bind or discard. The lost G units cannot be used to fulfil the conditions for Generation Break. 
4) Proceed to ride phase. 
If you did not add a card to your hand during step 2, skip step 3 and jump to step 4. 
The G Assist ability is very costly, hence it should only be used when truly desperate. 

Examples of G units: 
All clans: Harmonics Messiah; Heat Elemental, Magnum; Miracle Elemental, Atmos
Gear Chronicle: Interdimensional Dragon, Mystery Flare Dragon
Royal Paladin: Vague Sacred Knight, Gablade
Oracle Think Tank: Sword Deity of Divine Sound, Takemikazuchi
Nova Grappler: Meteorkaiser, Viktplasma
Kagero: Imperial Flame Dragon King, Route Flare Dragon

This is just a short list of the current known Stride units. Certain clans have new cards which combo well with the Stride mechanic to net huge advantages.
If your favorite clan does not have Stride units yet, you can use the generic clan G units to power up your current deck, or wait for Bushiroad to release G units for that clan.

Happy Cardfighting everyone~!

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Thursday, 23 October 2014

New Preorder Promotion :D


Le-vanguard TD promotion.
Preorder is now open for
G-TD01 "Awakening Of The Interdimensional Dragon" (Gear Chronicle)
G-TD02 "Divine Swordsman of the Shiny Star" (Royal Paladin)
Release Date: 21st November 2014
Usual Price: $18
ORDER NOW: $16 for 1 TD, $60 for 4 TD
Closing order date: 17th November 2014
Sms me at 96379686 or drop me a PM me via facebook https://www.facebook.com/SkyeLovesDespair to place your order.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Preorders And Limited TIme Promotion

Item code: AS-001
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer



Item Code: AS-002
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer

Item Code: AS-003
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer

Item Code: AS-004
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer
Item Code: AS-005
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer

Item Code: AS-006
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer

Item Code: AS-007
Usual Price: SGD 14
Preorder Price: SGD 12
Closing Order Date: 31st August 2014

Contact us to reserve your order:
SMS - 96379686
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lebanhammer

Sunday, 5 October 2014

WGP 2014

Well, this year's WGP, held at Expo Hall 2, was bigger than ever. According to the announcer, a total of 576 players signed up for this event. I think many people came for the promo cards given out. All players who entered wgp were given a special promo, promo pack vol. 13, and a special deck case:
The fighter's climax promo is a g3 searcher for royal paladin, the only one(sorry rp fans). The deckcase features the new main character for the Vanguard anime in Season 5. 

The English world championship was happening at the same time as wgp, and all players who signed up received a promo and a special rubber playmat. 
Damn i'm jealous of those English players... >< Anways, moving on... :)

Several card shops came down to set up booths selling limited edition stuff. These were Gameplus, Rowell, Excel CS, and Thousand Taste Trading.  They sold the fighter's climax 2014 sleeve, as well as the Bermuda Summer collection pack. 
If you spent $30 or more at any one of these shops, you would receive a ticket for an autograph session with the artist of Cutlus Witch, Rias(forgot her name, sorry ><). She also designed several other cards, and you could ask her to sign one of your cards. If you don't have anything designed by her, she'll write on a postcard for you. 

Free fight was also open to all players. Although the regulation said only English decks are allowed, the judges didn't really care. The promos given out were in English though...
After each fight, you and your opponent(both must have a scoresheet) have to go to the judges to get an authentication signature. After 2 fights, you'll get the Shadow Paladin promo. After 4 fights, you'll get the Link Joker promo. They let you play free fight more than once, so you can actually get mor promos if you can find enough opponents. 

All in all, this was a very good event. They revealed stuff about Stride, which will b talked about here in a later article when more units with Stride appear. I just hope next year's WGP will be as fun as this year's. Until next time guys!! :)

Signing off, 
Megan Lee




Saturday, 9 August 2014

Cray Journal: Granblue, the strongest budget deck!!

Want to stay competitive in the current Legion meta, but have not enough money to buy a full build, expensive Legion deck? Fear not, Granblue is here to save you. The mighty pirates will cut down anyone who stands in your way, and will be easy on your wallet too. Let's look at their main boss:
BT17-018
Young Noble Pirate, Pinot Noir
[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Pirate Belle, Pinot Blanc" 
[AUTO](VC): [Put 3 cards from the top of your deck into the drop zone] When this unit performs Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one card from your drop zone, and call it to (RC).
[AUTO](VC): [Choose 1 of your rear-guards, and retire it] When this unit attacks a Vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, this unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of that battle.

 

BT17-038
Pirate Belle, Pinot Blanc 
[AUTO](Drop zone): [Counter Blast (1)] When your Vanguard performs Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, call this card to (RC)

That's Granblue's ace unit from BT17. Not too shabby for a RR, right? The good thing about Pinot Blanc is, if you don't have her in the drop zone when you Legion, but end up milling her as part of the 3 cards from Pinot Noir's skill, you can still activate her skill. Pinot Noir's ability to retire units for additional power is very useful. You can either retire some useless G0(like Hades Steersman) or your Sea Strolling Banshee or Corrosion Dragons to spawn them later to use their skills. With more support from bt17, the options for you to retire are endless! Of course, the main problem with Pinot Noir is that his skill is a one-time thing. Which is why we have the other Granblue Legion card from BT17:

 BT17-037
Witch Doctor of the Dead Sea, Negrobolt
[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Dragon Undead, Ghoul Dragon"
[AUTO]((VC): [Counter Blast (1), Choose one of your rear-guards, and retire it] When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if this unit is in Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose 1 card from your drop zone, and call it to (RC).
[AUTO](VC): When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if there is another unit in the center column, this unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of battle.
 BT17-039 
Dragon Undead, Ghoul Dragon
[AUTO] When this unit is placed on (RC) from your drop zone, until end of turn, this unit gets "[AUTO](RC): When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, choose 1 of your opponent's rear-guards, and retire it" until end of turn. 

WOOOOOWWWWW... I see so many ways to abuse these 2 together. A simple way would be to attack with a rear-guard column first, then superior call Ghoul Dragon in the front row of that column. With this, you get an extra 1 attack for that turn. Even better, Ghoul Dragon would add pressure to your opponent to guard. I must say, this is really impressive, considering it's only an R.
Here's a nice, cheap decklist for you guys:

4 Pinot Noir, 4 Negrobolt
4 Pinot Blanc, 4 Ghoul Dragon, 4 Corrosion Dragon
2 Universal Negate(bt16 or later), 2 Reef Banshee(QW), 2 Deadly Nightmare, 3 Sea Strolling Banshee, 2 Arman, 2 Evil Shade

Corrosion Dragon is almost like a staple in this deck... You can either call it via Pinot Noir, or Negrobolt's skill for a nice 12k whacker.
The reason i put deadly nightmare instead of samurai spirit, is because this deck is quite counterblast heavy. The soul isn't used for anything other than the banshee, so might as well use it to spawn perfect number 16k columns right?
Sea Strolling Banshee... Lets you soul blast 1 to draw when she's called from the drop zone. With the 2 bosses listed above, need i say more?
Chief of the Deck, Arman... He gains +3k when you superior call him from the drop zone. Basically a G1 version of Corrosion Dragon, i only run 2 of this simply due to the lack of G1 space.
Evil Shade boosts your Vanguard for 10k by milling 2 at once. Sets up for Legion and puts revivables in the drop zone for you? OH HELL YES.
The universal negate can be any negate post-bt16 since it doesn't have a clan restriction. If you want, you could run Gust Jinn, but this is meant to be a budget deck. Gust Jinn is from bt02, an extinct set, and you're gonna blow a hole in your wallet trying to get 2 of him.

Now to look at the prices:
4 Pinot Noir: ~$4 each, $16 total
2 Universal Negate: ~$5 each, $10 total
2 Reef Banshee: ~$4 each, $8 total
~$5 for all CnRs.
Total: $39
 Now would ya call that cheap or what?? :D
Cheap and good, welcome the era of the Granblue Pirates!!

Signing off,
Lee Megan 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Nubatama Legion

Well, Bushiroad's least supported clan gets support in the latest Anime Matsuri. Good for that :)
Let's take a look at their Legion units shall we?

Shura Stealth Dragon, Mantrakongou
[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Shura Stealth Dragon, Daranikongou"
[ACT](VC): [Counter Blast (1), and discard 1 card with the same name as a unit on your (VC)] If this unit is in Legion and your opponent has 4 or more cards in his/her hand, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose 2 cards from your opponent's hand, and bind them face down. Choose one of your opponent's rearguards, and bind it face up. During the start of your end phase, return all cards binded by this card's skill to your opponent's hand. 
[AUTO](VC): When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if there is another unit in the center column, this unit gets [Power]+3000.

Shura Stealth Dragon, Daranikongou
[AUTO](RC): When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if your Vanguard is in Legion, this unit gets [Power]+2000 and "[AUTO](RC)]: [Soul Blast (1) When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to 2 cards from your opponent's bind zone, and place it into his/her drop zone" until end of turn.

Well, well. I kinda expected this from Bushiroad. Although Nubatama rarely gets support, when they do, it's really good. These 2 cards add on to their gimmick of playing with the opponent's bind zone very well. The Legion effect can be achieved very easily, considering most Legion decks would have large handsizes, and having very few cards in hand is kind of Nubatama's "thing".
The G2 Legion mate combos with the G3 very well for high pressure. The Legion skill would place 3 cards at maximum into your opponent's bind zone, then the G2 can attack the Vanguard to pressure your opponent to guard. If he/she doesn't guard, that's an instant -2 for him/her, which is obviously a bad thing. For even more pressure, the starter from BT13 can be placed behind the Vanguard. Here is it's skill:
Stealth Beast, Kuroko
[AUTO] Forerunner (When a unit of the same clan rides this unit, you may call this unit to  (RC))
[AUTO](RC): [Soul Blast (1)] When an attack hits a Vanguard during the battle that this unit boosted, if you have a <<Nubatama>> Vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to 2 cards in your opponent's bind zone, and put them into the drop zone.
By using this unit and placing it behind your Vanguard, it adds even more pressure. Even if you attack with the G2 Legion mate first and it fails to hit, this unit boosting the Vanguard's high-powered attack would add alot of pressure to your opponent to guard, or it's -2 to them instantly.
Overall, I would say I'm impressed by these 2 units, as not only do they go along with Nubatama's old gimmick, they are very pressurizing units when used correctly in a well-built deck. To help you, below is a decklist I came up with. Feel free to follow it or share your opinions in the comments :)

4 Shura Stealth Dragon, Mantrakongou; 4 Shura Stealth Dragon Kabukicongo
4 Shura Stealth Dragon, Daranikongou; 4 Stealth Dragon, Kokujou; 3 Stealth Beast, Tamahagane
4 Stealth Beast, Minjakure(pg); 4 Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster; 4 Tempest Steath Rouge, Fuuki
2 Stealth Beast, Hagakure; 4 Stealth Dragon, Kurogane(critical); 4 Stealth Fiend, Mashiromomen(stand); 4 Stealth Fiend, Otsuzura(draw); 4 Stealth Fiend, Zashikihime(heal)
Starter: Stealth Beast, Kuroko

Kabukicongo acts as a back-up plan when your hand size goes too low, and you can't afford to use the Legion skill anymore. This way, he still pressurizes your opponent a lot with his LB4, and the help of the G2 Legion mate and Kuroko.
Kokujou is basically a staple in every Nubatama deck. Because of the cards in the bind zone, Kokujou will power up significantly when you use the Legion skill or Kabukicongo's LB4 skill. Tamahagane can be combo'ed with the Legion skill to set 4 cards in your opponent's bind zone, a nice even number for Daranikongou and Kuroko's skills to go off.
Dreadmaster is just a pressure unit for your opponent to guard, since you would very easily have less cards in your hand than him/her. Fuuki helps to build up the soul, and at the same time combos with the Legion skill to make 4 cards in the drop zone for Daranikongou and Kuroko's skills to go off later.
Hagakure is just fun to use as it makes your opponent use up his/her hand even on his/her turn, since you would very easily have less cards in hand than your opponent(unless he/she purposely decides to use up his/her whole hand on RGs, which would leave him/her quite defenseless later).
There is no other option than rainbow triggers for Nubatama, but it works well nonetheless. Stands can be used to restand pressure units on the field(like Daranikongou), criticals add to pressure on the high powered units on the field(like Kokujou), and draws help to maintain hand size at a decent level to maintain defense.

All in all, Nubatama is a very fun deck to use, but tricky as you need to know when to time your moves right. Feel free to share your opinions on these cards and the decklist in the comments below :)

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Genesis LB5 unit

Ohayo minna~ I think i forgot to write about this card during my article about the EB12 Regalia support. So sorry about that~ ><
Anyways, let's take a look at the new crossride for Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica, with a lb5 skill shall we?


Regalia of Wisdom and Courage, Brunhild
[ACT](VC): Limit Break 5(This ability is active when you have 5 or more damage)[Counter Blast (4), Soul Blast (6)] Retire up to 3 of your opponent's rear-guards. For each unit retired, you may draw 1 card.
[CONT](VC): If you have a card named Wisdom of the Sacred Regalia, Angelica in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+2000.

Okay, abit overcosted, but this is a decent card overall. The lb5 is devastating to many rg-dependent decks(eg, Aqua Force, Nova Grappler) and hand size would not be a problem in this deck with Angelica. The main issue here is deck-out. Your opponent might want to keep you from 5 damage to prevent usage of this card's skill, and as a result from constant soul charging, you would deck-out. To counter this, you may want to run a few legion units in the deck, for extra power pressure as well, since Brundhild does not have much power on her own unless you soul blast Norn or Achiles. 
You may also wish to run unflippers in the deck, since this card doesn't have Lord(yay! :D), to use the lb5 skill multiple times in one game, but watch out for your deck size once again. 

Most people think this card is no good, but really, it's all about how you use it and make it synergize with the other cards in your deck. I have constructed a deck around this card and beat quite a number of top-tier decks with it, namely, Raizers Legion and RPBA. You may wish to take a look at my decklist below:

G3
3 Regalia of Wisdom and Courage, Brundhild
3 Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica
2 Regalia of Cosmos, CEO Yggdrasil
G2
4 Regalia of Fate, Norn
4 Goddess of Trees, Jupiter
2 Regalia of Abundance, Freya
2 Evening Regalia, Hesperides
G1:
2 Witch of Strawberries, Framboise(Perfect Guard)
2 Regalia of Cold, Svalin(Quintet Wall)
4 Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel
2 Ordain Owl
3 Witch of Apples, Cider
Rainbow triggers(all with Regalia archetype)
Starter: Vivd Rabbit(G3 searcher)

The main focus of this deck is to Legion early, pressure the opponent and deplete his hand, then ride Brundhild to wipe the field and win the game. Sometimes i ride Brundhild first, so i would build my hand, and wipe my opponent's field. Once their defenses are withered down, i would ride CEO Yggdrasil to end the game.
You see, Brundhild is not really meant to be a main boss(imo) but more of a support card which you can use to pressure your opponent and reduce his hand size, as he would have to use his hand to replenish the field that you wiped out. Now do you believe me when i say Brundhild is actually a decent card, compared to what most people think? :D

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Angel Feather Celestial Anime Matsuri Legion!

It's Anime Matsuri again!! YAYYYY!!! On another note, several clans have gotten Legion during this event(see: "Legion: the basics"), and one of them is Angel Feather with their beautiful Celestials. Let's take a look at their Legion unit shall we?
 PR-0225 (Sample)
Holy Edge Celestial, Malchedael
[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Overdose Celestial, Asmodel" (If your opponent has a Grade 3 or greater Vanguard, only once, this unit may return 4 cards from your drop zone to your deck, and search your deck for the specified card, and perform Legion)
[CONT](VC): During your turn, if this unit is in Legion, all of your units in the front row get [Power]+2000. Then, if you have a face up card in your damage zone with the same name as a unit on your (VC), all of your units in the front row get [Power]+2000.
[AUTO](VC): When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if there is another unit in the center column, this unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of that battle.

PR-0226 (Sample) 
Overdose Celestial, Asmodel
[AUTO](RC): [Counter Blast (1) & put this unit into your damage zone]When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one face up card not named "Overdose Celestial, Asmodel" from your damage zone, and call it to (RC).

I don't know about you guys, but these 2 just makes AF even more fun than it already is. Looking at the G2 Legion mate, it's an easy way to achieve the 2nd part of the skill for Malchedael. It can also combo with Emergency Celestial, Danielle when it enters the damage zone, allowing for more attacks in a single turn. Asmodel is basically a very pressurizing unit which would force your opponent to guard if they don't want more full-strength attacks coming their way(Raguel and Danielle, I'm looking at you :P).
Now let's talk about the G3 itself. Although this might seem a little weaker than Zerachiel in terms of all-round field power, the Vanguard power is absolutely devastating. Let's take a look: 23K(when attacking) + 4K(first part of skill, adding 2K to each unit on VC) + 4K(second part of skill, adding another 2K to each unit on VC) + 9K(possible boost from Hesediel with Zerachiel in the damage zone)= A devastating 40K Vanguard attack
Comparing to Zerachiel with a maximum consistent attack of 26K per turn, this unit obviously outclasses Zerachiel in terms of Vanguard power alone. Run this in an 8 Crit build, and it's a hell lot of pressure. :D
I'll go into a basic pressure field setup for this unit:
Left column: Asmodel(front row), Hesediel(back row w/ face-up Zerachiel in damage zone)
Center column: Legion Malchedael + Asmodel(front row), Hesediel(back row)
Right column: empty front row, narelle/hesediel in back row
Damage Zone: face-up Zerachiel, face-up Danielle, face-up Raguel, 2 face-up damage
This is a basic field set-up i thought of which is very pressurizing to the opponent, because if they let Asmodel hit, it will open them up to 2 more full strength attacks from Raguel, and Danielle later. Of course, it's risky to be at 5 damage in the current meta, so the part about Danielle is optional, and you can have one less face-up damage.

Here's a nice deck-list I thought up:
4 Zerachiel, 4 Malchedael
4 Asmodel, 4 Raguel, 3 Danielle
4 Aniel(pg), 4 Narelle, 4 Hesediel, 2 Nociel
Triggers: 4 Hot Shot Celestial, Samyaza(critical); 4 Rocket Dash Unicorn(critical); 4 Celestial, Landing Pegasus(draw); 4 Recovery Celestial, Ramuel(heal)
Starter: First Aid Celestial, Penuel

The reason I run Nociel in this build is to possibly swap Danielle or Asmodel into the damage zone, as well as obtain more shield for guarding during your opponent's turn. Hesediel serves as a good booster in the back row for higher powered columns. Narelle is a staple in practically every Celestial deck, because it has an on-call effect to allow you to swap cards from your hand with the damage zone, possibly setting up for more fun combos later. Penuel is still the best starter for the Celestials in my opinion because she allows you to superior call 1 unit straight from the damage zone for the effective cost of one counterblast(Asmodel & Raguel I'm looking at you :P).
Well, that's it from me for now for the Celestials. I run a Celestial deck myself, so I was able to write this nicely. Feel free to voice your opinions in the comments section though :D

Signing off,
Lee Megan

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Cray Journal: Genesis, the Sacred Regalia

One topic not covered in this blog yet, is the Genesis clan, and their atchetype, regalia. 
In the very beginning, we had Wisdom of Sacred Regalia, Angelica from the TD
After that, we had the crossride, Omniscience Regalia, Minerva 
Now, at Extra Booster 12: Waltz of the Goddess, we have legion for these beautiful ladies :D
Our main boss, the CEO of genesis herself, Regalia of the Cosmos, CEO Yggdrasil, and her mate Regalia of Fate, Norn. 
CEO Yggdrasil: [ACT] Legion 20000 "Regalia of Fate, Norn" (If your opponent has a Grade 3 or greater Vanguard, only once, this unit may return 4 cards from your drop zone to your deck, search for the specified card, and perform Legion)
[AUTO](VC): [Soul Blast 6] When this unit attack a Vanguard, if this unit is in Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, until end of that battle, this unit gets [Critical]+1, and your opponent cannot call Grade 1 or greater units to (GC) from his/her hand. 
[AUTO](VC): When this unit attacks a Vanguard, if you have another unit in the center column, this unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of that battle. 

At a glance, this seems like a very powerful unit, but overcosted with a cost of soul blast 6, considering soul charging support from bt14. But wait, let's look at support from eb12:

Regalia of Abundance, Freya: [AUTO](RC): [CB1] When your Vanguard performs Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, soul charge 3, and this unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn
Regalia of Midday, Hemera: [AUTO] When this unit is placed on (RC), choose up to 3 cards from your drop zone with "Regalia" in its card name, and put it into your soul
Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel: [AUTO] When this unit is placed on (RC), choose up to 3 cards from your drop zone with "Regalia" in its card name, and put it into your soul
Regalia of Foredoom, Lot Angel: [AUTO] When this unit is placed on (GC), you may Soul Charge (1)
Regalia of Prayer, Pray Angel: [ACT](RC): [Put this unit into your soul] If your Vanguard is in Legion, Soul Charge (3), choose your Vanguard, and that unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn. 

Now does it seem so hard to achieve the cost of Soul Blast 6? I don't think so...

Now let's take a look at what makes CEO Yggdrasil so powerful:

Regalia of Fate, Norn: [AUTO] When this unit is placed in the drop zone from your soul, choose your Vanguard with "Regalia" in its card name, and that unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn
Mirror Regalia, Achiles: [AUTO] When this unit is placed in the drop zone from your soul, choose your Vanguard with "Regalia" in its card name, and that unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn. 
Regalia of Purify, Pure Angel: [AUTO]: [Counter Blast 1] When this unit is placed on (RC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose your Vanguard with "Regalia" in its card name, and until end of turn, that unit gets [Power]+5000, and "[AUTO](VC): [Soul Blast 3] When this unit's attack hits a Vanguard, you may pay the cost, if you do, draw a card. 
Regalia of Congratulations, Preach Angel: [AUTO](RC): When this unit boosts a Vanguard, if your Vanguard is in Legion, the boosted unit gets [Power]+4000 until end of that battle

These are the various supports that allow CEO Yggdrasil to gain so much power. Norn and Achiles' skills can be easily activated when Yggdrasil uses her skill to Soul Blast (6). Combining that with Pure Angel, we're possibly looking at 58k power with 2 Critical, without a Vanguard booster. This element of being able to easily power up, and have a critical effect is what makes CEO Yggdrasil so threatening, and hence Genesis' main boss in the current Legion meta. 
But of course, CEO Yggdrasil and her mate cannot stand as solo warriors on the field. And that's why we have a second Legion unit for the Regalia archetype: 
Regalia of Midnight, Nyx: [ACT] Legion 20000 "Regalia of Midday, Hemera"
[AUTO](VC): When a card with the same name as a unit on your (VC) is placed in your drop zone from your soul, if this unit is in Legion, this unit gets [Power]+5000/[Critical]+1 until en of turn. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn. 
[ACT](VC): [Soul Blast 3] If the number of cards in your hand is 3 or less, draw a card. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.

The Legion skill seems abit hard to pull off at first glance, but remember the specific Regalia support like Hemera and Shiny Angel. These 2 units can get either Nyx or Hemera into the soul, and then you can use Nyx's ACT ability to place one copy of either herself or Hemera from the soul into the drop zone. Of course it's risky to have 3 or less cards in your hand at any given time, so this may not be a very good card to work with. 

All in all, the Genesis Regalia is a very strong deck to use, if you know exactly how each unit works with the other. Below is a decklist of this deck seen in tournaments, but your decklist is for you to decide. After all, Vanguard is all about having fun, right? :D

G3:
4 Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil
4 Regalia of Midnight, Nyx
G2:
4 Regalia of Fate, Norn
4 Regalia of Midday, Hemera
3 Regalia of Abundance, Freya
G1:
2 Regalia of Cold, Svalin(Quintet Wall)
2 Witch of Strawberries, Framboise(Perfect Guard)
4 Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel
3 Regalia of Purify, Pure Angel
3 Regalia of Congratulations, Preach Angel
Rainbow triggers(all with regalia archetype)
Starter: Regalia of Prayer, Pray Angel

Some may choose to tech in Angelica and/or Minerva as back-up bosses along with some older support from bt14 and td13, but ultimately, your choice of deck build is yours. Do what suits you best and have fun :D

Signing off, 
Lee Megan

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Legion: Preliminary thoughts

Mikeru follows up on Megan’s introduction of Legion with common opinions about how future games will pan out with Legion at work.

On first glance, Legion appears to be Bushiroad’s power creep in the works as with each new mechanic introduced at the start of a new season of the anime, though it also raises several considerations on their impact on gameplay.

Apart from being stronger in terms of raw power, Legioned vanguards fasten the pace of the game and makes it more mid-game-centric as Legion abilities, while comparable in utility and power to the Limit Break 4 skills you and I are comfortable with till now, can be activated as long as both players are already at G3, the point in time considered to be the start of mid-game. By then, it is likely that around 3-4 cards are already in the drop zone from guarding against attacks received during the first few turns and the first Legion can be performed. Gone is the need to wait till you have reached 4 damage, and even then, proper pacing of which attacks to guard against and which to receive had to be practiced to prevent crippling late-game guarding power at the expense of over-zealously and eagerly rushing to take 4 damage and start using your Limit Breaks.

Games will also be slightly more-fast paced since the Vanguard column’s power has increased but the base power of Legion Vanguards still remains unchanged at the usual 10000 or 11000, hence each attack received by a Legioned vanguard equates to more Shield being discarded in the guarding when compared to a non-Legion one.

Each instance of Legion also essentially recycles 4 cards back to the deck, with triggers being good choices for the return trip. Subsequent Legions increase the remaining guard value of the deck and increase the ratio of trigger to-non-trigger units, hence increasing the chances of pulling triggers. This is akin to the compression technique practiced by the much-luck-reliant Weiss Schwarz players, whereby they try to maximize the amount of climax cards (the damage-cancelling cards that are the closest equivalent of Vanguard’s Heal Triggers) in their Waiting Room (drop zone) before their deck is refreshed upon deck to increase the odds of striking a Climax when they run through their deck a second time.

However, Legion also has its drawbacks as the mate sought has to come from the deck. One  stuck in the damage zone, drop zone, soul (by accidental soulcharge on effect) or hand does not make an appropriate candidate, and it can be quite easy to have a card wind up in those places by chance. This makes the number of Legions you can perform per game up to the dice, and the importance of such chances increases if you are aiming for the one-turn-on-Legion effects. I forsee that this might turn problematic for Legions from the Genesis, Dark Irregulars and Pale Moon which soulcharge excessively, or Granblue recognized for milling cards to the drop zone and using it as a source for rearguard respawns and other effects. 

In addition, there will soon be a G1 7000 unit for each clan that enables a vanguard’s Limit Break 4 skill to be used before reaching 4 damage called as a rearguard. This restores some functionality to the older Limit Breakers, allowing them to start using their skills once they are ridden or gain the sharp power increments of breakrides in early game, hence keeping them up to pace with the Legions. Despite so, I still feel that the Limit Break vanguards will still be intrinsically inferior to Legion as the columns they hit for hover around the 18000-21000 power thresholds. Personal boosters and other power-increment effects can still allow them to hit for higher power values but require resource payment and field setup of the specific personal booster, hence they cannot be considered as constant or liberally-usable as the Legions’ power values.

Whether you buy the Legion concept or retain your reservations about the new mechanic, it will be here to stay for the next few sets, so be prepared to adjust your decks and strategy to keep abreast of its influence on the game and the meta as a whole.

Happy cardfighting!

-Mikeru

Friday, 18 July 2014

Legion: the basics

This is basically an article talking about the basics of the newest mechanic, Legion. Enjoy :)

For all who watched S4, you would know about Legion. Legion is a new mechanic in Vanguard, released by Bushiroad in BT16. 
What exactly is Legion?
It is an ACT ability to return 4 cards from your drop zone to your deck, search for a specified "mate" and perform Legion. The Legion Mate is usually a Grade 2, placed on the left of the Grade 3 unit. 

How do I Legion?
When performing Legion, most people would send back 3-4 triggers or some key cards, depending on the contents of their drop zone. People generally want to perform Legion early for high numbers pressure. To do this, it is important to have 1-2 Quintet Walls in a deck consisting of Legion units. The QWs will help to build the drop zone quickly, allowing you to perform Legion sooner. However, do note that if you defend early-game, you may not have enough defenses for mid-late game. So do be careful on how you Legion :D

Examples of Legion units:

Royal Paladin: Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon + Blaster Blade Seeker
Shadow Paladin: Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss" + Revenger, Blaster Dark "Abyss"
Genesis: Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil + Regalia of Fate, Norn
Narukami: Brawler, Big Bang Knuckle Buster + Brawler, Big Bang Slash Buster
DP: Metalborg, Sin Buster + Metalborg, Ur Buster
DI: Psychier of Ash, Hadar + Psychier of Dust, Izaya(Monthly Bushiroad promo)
NN: Penoy Musketeer, Martina + Peony Musketeer, Thule
GP: Bluish Flame Liberator, Percival + Liberator of Oath, Aglovale
LJ: Star Vader, Garnet Star Dragon + Companion Star Vader, Photon
Spike Brothers: Bloody Ogre + Frozen Ogre
OTT: Battle Sister, Jelly + Battle Sister, Pudding(Monthly Bushiroad promo)

This is just a list of Legion cards that have already been released by Bushiroad. If your favourite clan doesn't have a Legion unit yet, fret not, because more Legion cards are coming your way in the upcoming boosters. 

Remember, Vanguard is all about havig fun, so have fun, and Seek the Mate!! :D

For more information on Legion, do read 
http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Legion. They have an extensive article written on Legion here, for anyone who is still unsure of the mechanics :)

Signing off, 
Megan Lee

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Td16 & Td17

Here’s a quick review on the Trial Decks that came out last week, TD16 and TD17

Divine Judgment of the Bluish Flames and Will of the Locked Dragon respectively, allowing players to play using the debut decks of two members of the Elite Four, ahem, I mean Quatre Knights from the fourth season of the anime, Olivier Gaillard and their recently converted-to-evil leader, Aichi Sendou.

To sum up the 2 TDs, they are of course meant to be playable out-of-the-box for beginners as how TDs always are, but considering that they are based on the existing Liberator and Star-vader archetypes established the previous season, these TDs serve to introduce a few key cards that allow them to do what they usually do faster and more reliably, namely more cost-efficient superior calling for Gold Paladin (not so much extra focus on power increments this time round) and the lock that has become synonymous with the nefarious Link Jokers. However, these decks’ main point is still Legion, the name of the game status quo, hence they will also provide the debut for the Legion pairs in each clan and cards that support/benefit from a Legioned vanguard.

The key cards from each deck


TD16
Starter: Genius Liberator, Woltimer

[AUTO]: Forerunner (When a unit of the same clan rides this unit, you may call this unit to (RC)) [AUTO](RC): When this unit boosts, if the number other vanguards and/or rear-guards you have with "Liberator" in its card name is four or more, the boosted unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of that battle.

Bushiroad is nowmore generous for the TD’s starter vanguard. In past TDs, our dear publisher usually throws in a vanilla G0 as a starter that you will eventually scrap and buy a better unit in replacement. But for the first time ever, the TD comes with a Forerunner that essentially becomes a grade 1 8000 vanilla booster. The condition is extremely easy to achieve,considering that Gold Paladin emphasizes on filling as many Rearguard slots as possible. So as long as your backrow is full, the extra +3000 is yours.

Bluish Flame Liberator, Percival

[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Liberator of Oath, Aglovale" (If your opponent has a grade 3 or greater vanguard, only once, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone to your deck, and search your deck for the specified card, and perform Legion.) [AUTO](VC):When this unit performs Legion, look at four cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one card with "Liberator" in its card name, call it to an open (RC), and put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order. [AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.

Percival is the trump card of the deck similar to other TD-trump cards that usually usually give Power boosts or superior calling effects like the Great Silver Wolf Garmore. Looking for 1 unit among the top 4 upon Legioning for free is an average-good effect and the odds of you pulling an attacker or booster that you need is high.

Liberator of Oath, Aglovale

[AUTO]:[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (RC), if you have a vanguard with "Liberator" in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at three cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one card with "Liberator" in its card name, call it to an open (RC), and put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order.

Percival’s legion partner. If not used as such, Aglovale being called onto the rear-guard is a low cost way of increasing field size and you get to choose from the top 3 cards of the deck at a low cost of CB1. This card will become a splashable seen in most GP decks.

TD17

Starter: Vacant Space Star-vader, Quantum

[AUTO]: Forerunner (When a unit of the same clan rides this unit, you may call this unit to (RC)) [AUTO](RC):When this unit boosts, if the number of locked cards your opponent has is two or greater, the boosted unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of that battle.

A starter capable of forerunning like the one in the GP TD. Its power gain, however, is not as reliable as his GP counterpart since you need 2 locked cards on the opponent’s side of the field. Moreover, this deck, being so Legion-centric, offers very little opportunities for locking in the first place. The only times you Lock with this deck is when you Legion or if you decide to call your single copy of Photon as a rearguard, so tough luck trying to maintain weak Quantum’s +3000.

Even if this card is used as a starter in other LJ decks, the +3000 might be harder to achieve until mid-game when you have access to grade 3s that possess more certain lock effects, but by then you are better off retiring this puny G0 and replacing it with an actual 8000 vanilla or 7000-power-with-effect booster.

Companion Star Star-vader, Photon

[AUTO]: When this unit is placed on (RC), if you have a vanguard with "Star-vader" in its card name, and your opponent has a locked card, choose one of your opponent's rear-guards, and lock it. (The locked card is turned face down, and cannot do anything. It turns face up at the end of the owner's turn.)

Assume Photon to be the new Blaster Blade of sorts, the new G2 signature of Aichi’s that has a disruptive effect on the opponent’s side of the field a la Blaster Blade’s retiring. This card is close to giving the you a free Lock, usable almost anytime in-game, as all you need is to call it as a reagruard, which is more reliable and has even fewer strings attached than Dust Tail Unicorn and the Infinite Zero Dragon breakride. Sadly, with all good things in the TD, only 1 copy is included, but forsee this card to become a new staple to both new and old Link Joker decks like what Blaster Blade is to the Royals.

Star-vader, Garnet Star Dragon

The boss of the deck, basically a Legion version of Infinite Zero Dragon, which locks 2 cards on the opponent’s side of the field, one from the front row and one from the back.

ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Companion Star Star-vader, Photon" (If your opponent has a grade 3 or greater vanguard, only once, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone to your deck, and search your deck for the specified card, and perform Legion.) [AUTO](VC):When this unit performs Legion, choose a rear-guard from your opponent's front row and back row, and lock them. (The locked card is turned face down, and cannot do anything. It turns face up at the end of the owner's turn.) [AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.

LJ also received their first Especial Intercept in this TD, though we’re putting this to the back of our head as we rarely see use of the +5000 shield of this breed of G2s these days.

Since Legion is the new thing, a significant portion of the remaining cards that gain power increments when your Vanguard is in Legion. Each deck also has the “budget” Legion only there for the “+5000 when attacking” power increment which competitives will phase out. The remainder of your deck is your standard TD fare: straightforward “french vanilla” cards with simple effects or small power increments. You will definitely be throwing away the 7000s that gain 1000 with CB1 and in come the Sentinels or the other G1s that you have been using. I feel disappointed that Busiroad decided to dump in these 7000+1000s when they could have just printed 8000 vanillas like what they always did for previous TDs.

So, how worth it are the 2 TDs?

If this is the first time you are playing Liberators and Star Vaders, sadly you might not get much of the feel of these two clans’ traits because the superior-calling theme and Locks do not show much here - the only time you can do it with this TD is with the Legion components. TDs 16 and 17 are more about the Legion and generic power increments with the cards that support/gain effects when your Vanguard is Legioned than showing off what the clans are really unique at.

However, if you are an existing user of the said clans, you are most probably grabbing a copy just for the Legion couples and the better support cards that I have highlighted earlier. Most of the triggers and vanillas are mere reprints of the previous Liberator and Star-vader TDs which you will relegate to your common-and-rare scrap trunk.

And as with the recent TD bosses, do not count on them to win that many battles if you stick to using them as your main vanguard till the end of the battle, especially if you are a veteran or the competitive-minded. Moreover, at the point in time of writing, some of the cards in BT17 have already been revealed, including potentially stronger ace cards that Aichi will be using in the coming episodes of the anime. These new cards might easily overpower your the Legion couples you’ve just obtained from the TD. You might hold your horses and switch over to those if your wallet permits. Furthermore, there is also the Neon Messiah Deleter Deck used by Ibuki in the upcoming movie with the enigmatic Delete mechanic, which may prove to be a better Link Joker deck compared to Aichi’s.

Looking ahead for the villain clans

Gold Paladin and Link Joker will remain as relatively popular clans as it has always been for clans used by main characters in the anime. Furthermore, trends for the new and much-hyped Legion mechanic do not seem to be particularly detrimental towards any clan, unlike Locks which are a significant threat to decks that require a full field to function properly. LJ dominated the previous season because of the varied playstyles that they can achieve with Lock, which is not a mere stalling of attacks but from which, further injuries to the insult, such as chain-locking more cards or retiring Locked units, can be added. Of course, not to forget the amount of complaints we’ve heard over the feared Chaos Breaker Dragon. As for GPs, they have been around since Season 2 and will continue to be a clan favoured by entry- to intermediate- level players due to their heavy promotion in the anime and the easy-to-pilot nature of a clan that focuses on straightforward power increments and top-calls.

BT17 will bring upgrades to these clan soons in a month from now, but until then, enjoy Legioning with these two TDs for now.

Mikeru

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The manga promos – How useful are they? (Part 2)

Volume 4: The Dark Dictator

The Dark Dictator is the evil clone of The King of Kinghts, Alfred created by Phantom Blaster Dragon to slaughter his original. It does essentially what its benevolent twin does but is also armed with Soul Saver Dragon’s skill at a lower cost.

Dictator’s skill sticks out like a sore thumb among Shadow Paladin vanguards. The typical Shadow Paladin vanguard retires smaller rearguards to activate benefits deemed straightforward-powerful by game standards for themselves - the heavy +10000 power increment, vanguard re-stand or an extra Critical. In contrast, Dictator does not strengthen itself and instead gives power +5000 to 2 rearguards at the cost of 3 soul instead of Alfred’s search-and-call, a payment that is peanuts if you did not use a Forerunner skill for your starting vanguard. Shadow Paladins use more Counterblasts than Soulblast so said skill should not be a strain the resources of most decks.

The remaining evaluation of this card would turn out similar to Alfred’s, considering its +2000-power-per-rearguard and inability to be boosted is identical to Alfred. At the point in time of release, using vanguards with base 10000 is still commonplace even though there were 11000s around, for those ride-chain vanguards. Being able to hit the magic number 20000 was still quite a feat during that period of time.

Dictator might also have been printed as a cheaper alternative to the only other feasible vanguard option at that time - the all-famous Phantom Blaster Dragon and Overlord. They were an expensive deck to build back as 4 copies of each meant 8 RRRs. Cross Rides were king at the point due to their defensive capabilities and ability to reach high power levels than the other grade 3s before Limit Break and Legion were invented, and the high demand for this right chain pushed up their price further.

Of course, Dictator is less practical for use today due to 2 obvious reasons identical to Alfred’s. Firstly, most vanguards nowadays have 11000 base - that pesky extra 1000 that protects them long-term from attacks whose power is rounded to multiples of 5000.

Secondly, in the present day where Limit Break and Legion are the dominant mechanics, vanguards hitting for 21000-28000 is common fare. Dictator’s 20000 pales in comparison and to add injury to the insult, its power is easily reduced by Locking and retiring. More so when Link Joker is all the rage today and can achieve Locks rather easily with their Breakride, Dust Tail Unicorn and whatnot. Kagero and Narukami, the dragons well-known for retiring, have become increasingly strong with their recent Breakrides and Cross-breakrides, being able to retire multiple rearguards at once to similar effect on poor Dictator.

Dictator can make a budget deck idea but otherwise, it can be one card that is easily forgotten. It is obvious that newer cards like Raging Form Dragon, Mordred Phantom and (contestably) Gust Blaster Dragon make better vanguard choices for their generally better effects and higher power levels.

Volume 5: Exculpate the Blaster

The first thing that you are drawn to on this card is probably the very large chunk of effect text comprising 6 skills, the most a card has ever had. It is a transformation of Blaster Blade, the profound “exculpate” meaning “to purify”, that resembles what Dragonic Kasier Vermillion converted over to the Royals would look like. Consider it to be a pseudo-grade 4 unit as it can only be ridden over a Grade 3, though searchable by Pendragon’s effect.

Exculpate’s main plus is its field-clearing, which is very effective if you can pull off its effect, since only a madman will want to guard for 5 rearguards and decimate his hand in the process. It may not be a final turn card but provides you with field advantage for the late-game push. The fact that the rearguards usually go unguarded can be further exploited by boosting Exculpate with on-hit effects. Miru Biru is a good choice, allowing you to draw 5 cards when Exculpate hits 5 rearguards, essentially doing what Amaterasu does with her hard-to-achieve Megablast.

The catch: setting it up. Since Exculpate is a pseudo-grade 4, you will face consistency issues similar to Kagero players using the “real” grade 4 in the game, Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague, but without its dedicated support. Those who use Exculpate run 2, or reluctantly 3, copies of it in their decks, but doing so would exhaust space for other main grade 3s that you would run such as your Break Ride and rearguard grade 3 attacker. Being forced to ride Blaster Blade after the attack also renders you vulnerable to losing more cards on hand unless you already have a grade 3 ready to ride over it during your next turn.

Volume 6: Pentagonal Magus

Of the all cards covered here, her and Waterfall are arguably the most feasible cards. Pentagonal Magus pushes Oracle and Bermuda Triangle’s card-stacking theme to different variant and forces its user to build a deck based on rearguards and the Hexagonal Magus breakride to look at the top few card(s) of the deck for its effect. Moreover, these cards activate on-call/on-ride so no cost is involved; pull it off successfully and you get an essentially-free critical and 5000 power to pressure your opponent with. Quite a novel, gimmicky and interesting vanguard to build a deck around.

Volume 7: Gust Blaster Dragon

Gust Blaster Dragon is yet another addition to the “retire 3 to gain powerful effect” series akin to the Phantom Blaster, Raging Form and Spectral Duke Dragons.

The main purpose of GBD is to restore some functionality to the Phantom Blaster Overlord and Majesty Lord Blaster ride chains, both whose power have been diminished by Limit Break and Legion. PBO’s notoriously high CB3 and persona blast for a mere +10000/1 Crit is a bad deal by today’s standards. MLB, whose 20000 columns and passive +1 crit was struck much pressuring fear, is not seen as such – greater pressure through higher power increases and ways of getting criticals can be attained through the Royals’ Breakrides and Legion. GBD, when used after you do your thing with PBO or MLB will give the massive power and critical boost as a final turn card. However, be prepared to suffer a -3 in field advantage should your attack be guarded successfully.

A counterblast of 1 is cheap for a strong effect like GBD’s, and whether you are playing MLB or PBO, you are guaranteed 3-4 Blasters in the soul (Blasters Javelin, Blade, Dragon and Overlord for PBO and Blasters Blade, Dark and Majesty Lord for MLB) beneath GBD. How else you can optimize the effect depends on your setup to soulcharge Blasters specifically into the soul with other units.

Overall: a good late-game change-of-plan to bring life into those who want to be retroactive about their oldschool MLB and PBO decks.

Conclusion

Manga cards make novel twists to your vanguard choices and their effects are marginally better than that of your normal promo cards. You would, however, have to be reminded of they do not function as straightforward as more common vanguard choices and therefore are not for those who want to play a simple mid- to late- game.

Where to buy the manga in Singapore without ordering online?

It should not be that difficult to purchase the cards separately from the manga from card shops or dealers as with other promo cards. The manga is in Japanese-only (save for Volume 1) and obviously, local bookstores will not carry them due to the low demand.

However, if you are keen on getting it as a set, the manga can be purchased at Kinokuniya which imports a lot of manga and magazines for the Yu-Gi-Oh! and Cardfight!! Vanguard franchises.

Some neighbourhood hobby shops like Chak Fung and TTZ at Hougang Central and Best Games Centre at Jurong East will carry them, along with Monthly Bushiroad, the other major Japanese print publication that is generous on Promo cards and other freebies. Quantities are limited and shopkeepers usually only import current issues shortly after their release date, so tough luck to those finding older issues of the manga.

Mikeru

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The manga promos – How useful are they? (Part 1)

Today, I will be sharing about a sometimes overlooked place where you can get grade 3s to use as your vanguards: the Japanese-only Cardfight!! Vanguard manga series.

Before we start off with the cards themselves, here is some background information about the manga. The manga is published in Bushiroad’s magazines and in bound volumes released once every 4-5 months. The storyline differs slightly from the anime and is more concise. It focuses more on character development and is told in a darker tone as the author is allowed to be more liberal in his storytelling, unlike the anime whereby the story is heavily convoluted for the sake of introducing cards in upcoming expansions. There are also some differences in major plot points: for instance, Aichi uses Exculpate the Blaster as Blaster Blade’s “ultimate transformation” in the manga and not Majesty Lord Blaster in the anime.

As most of you already know by now, the cards that appear in the manga but not in the anime are eventually printed in the Extra Boosters. However, as an added incentive for people to buy the manga and enable them to replicate the fights depicted in it, some of the manga grade 3 cards are released together with the volume they appear in. With the exception of Dark Irregular No Life King, Death Anchor, these cards are mostly from the main characters’ clans, Royal Paladin, Shadow Paladin and Kagero – after all, that’s how Bushiroad makes them your trust-fund clans by making them look cool and pumping gallons lot of support, subclans and variants to key cards like Blaster Blade, Alfred and Dragonic Overlord.

However, as with promos given elsewhere, they are not necessarily clear-cut stronger than regular cards. This is in the name of fairness so that players who cannot afford multiple copies of the manga (which is hard to obtain outside of Japan in the first place) will not be relegated to a disadvantage. They are mostly for those who want to use novel cards and gain bragging rights about it. In addition, most of the manga cards often rely heavily on another card (yes, Blaster Blade, I am pointing at you) or a certain gimmick. Either that or the card does something that typical cards from the clan usually cannot do.

Now, on with the individual analysis of each card:

Volume 1: Alfred Early

Alfred Early is essentially the younger self the of iconic King of Knights, Alfred, Royal Paladin’s splashable ace that has been present since the days of BT01.

Early calls 1 Blaster Blade from your soul onto the rearguard circle, hence allowing you to re-use his retiring effect, assuming you already used it once when riding it over your grade 1 vanguard. How good this skill is is entirely conditional and depends on how else you want to use your damage, but from the looks of it, it is usually not worth it unless you are desperate to wipe a particular pesky rearguard.

At the point in time of release, players usually use Blaster Blade’s retiring skill only once per game. The remaining counterblasts are best saved for other purposes like calling rearguards or power-increasing effects that synergize well with the Royals’ strategy long-term, which are better deals than a one-time retiring effect. In stark contrast, Blaster Blade affects units on the opponent’s side of the field and this does not sync well with the Royal Paladin’s theme of increasing your advantage in terms of net Power and field size.

With only a one-time-use effect and 10000 power, we can shrug Early off as nothing too special or big a deal, and it is not a viable vanguard to keep for multiple turns. Thankfully, since Alfred Early has “Alfred” in its name, Lion Mane Stallion can be used as its personal booster but due to the soulblast requirement involved, it may not be worth it to use this pair of cards in the first place.

Volume 2: Dragonic Waterfall

This card was surprisingly good when it was released back in late 2011 when power increments of 10000 was a big deal prior to Limit Break, the LB4 + 5000 power breaker clones and today’s Break Rides.

The best card to pair it with is Dragon Monk Goku in a deck with 10-12 G3s to optimize its G3-checking effect. Goku goes first as your mid-game vanguard, bombing your opponent’s back row with is G3-checking effect and once you have around 4 damage or have 6-7 G3s in your hand and drop zone (whichever comes first), you can ride Waterfall and start ridding off the extra G3s Goku checked previously. Unfortunately, Breakrides have pretty much killed the use for Waterfall as they do essentially the same thing and give your Kagero an additional one-turn effect on top of that. Thankfully, Waterfall can still hit for 21000 columns with an 8000 booster behind it to take on the dominant 11000-base vanguards we usually see today.

Volume 3: No Life King, Death Anchor

Death Anchor can be a swift, effective setup for Dark Irregular vanguards that require heavy soul like Amon and Reijy. It soulcharges 5 cards, a the fastest soul increase to DIs, which need that need a heavy soul for its vanguards’ effects, and gains a +10000/1 Critical for doing so.

It is however dangerous only interested in its power-and-critical gaining effect as the deck burn involved is a grave-digger in the long term. You are best off using its soulcharge 5 a maximum of twice the game as rushing through more than 10 cards is suicidal, and not to mention it burns triggers from your deck. This skill also prevents you from counterblasting for other purposes during the game, whether you should mind is up to you. DI can do well without counterblasts to charge its soul and use cards that soulcharge on-event (when it is called or used to guard etc).

Mikeru

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Le Vanguard's New Look

Hey folks, This is Khai here AKA Le Jestre for those who knew me then. I would like to gladly announce that le-vanguard is changing its look and is restructuring to provide more value for you supporters.

What changes we have install for you.


1. A logo and a brand.

What does this logo stands for?
  1. Dragon Head
    Represents our dominance and monopoly over the online vanguard community.
    Shows a symbol of power and our seriousness to provide solutions to online vanguard threats and problems such as Aeroplanes and CyberBully.
    Resembles our iconic & badass vanguard card, Dragonic Overlord.
  2. Shield
    Represents stability in marketprices and the proactiveness of our services to take on challenges and solve solutions.
  3. Blade
    Represents our winning edge and our determination to drive forward to provide the best value to our users and members with up to date and relevant vanguard information.
2. A tagline to remember
More than just vanguard.

Why "More than just vanguard"?

We are not only a marketplace, we are a union of Cardfighters who shares a passion for CFV.
We aim to deliver a service to Passionate Cardfighters with a platform to buy, sell and trade cards. We also have set up a forum for cardfighters to held discussion and also to network with. We also incorporate trolling tuesday, Fan art friday, etc...
In other words, we are almost everywhere.

3. Partnerships

I think some have heard it about our expansion plan and that we are working with various partners to bring forth to you greater value.We will be partnering with our other groups, shops and services that are vanguard related.

Here are some of our partners
KyunKyun Ride
Adared Himesama
*Quadrifoglio@*Scape

Do support them too.

We will be going on our rounds too around the island to expand and get in touch with you guys all awesome ppl.

Signing off,
Khai :D