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 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
[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
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
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