Sunday, 24 January 2016

Brave's Battles: ONE PUNCH

Sneak Peak weekend! And I didn't enter....



Turns out I didn't need to, I got hired into it anyway.

Pulls were terrible for value, just as well I hadn't entered myself. But I pulled Fiery March Colossus and that card steam rolled anyone whom it was used against. Especially since there are no heals. Which I factored in when playing. My strategy was to guard early if possible and not allow damage to be taken until Grade 3, while at the same time pushing a rush offensive. This plan worked brilliantly with what I had available to use, making it so that striding Fiery March Colossus meant certain death.
All was going well till final round, where I failed a Time Leap, my own fault, this was followed by my foe giving me a twin crit to the face for game. But that last game was crazy so I'm happy with the result either way. That marked the end of the first Sneak Peak.

Yes, I said first which means we're not done yet because we repeated the process a second time, but while the first Sneak Peak had 8 participants with drafting done in 2 pools of four, the second sneak was only 4 people, yeah- attendance figures for this set are heavily down from the norm for a sneak where we typically have 12-14.

We cracked open another box and played Round Robin, and pulls were equally bad so this time we decided to ignore the draft and decide who'd win the play mat with our own decks.

Angel Feather, Great Nature and Aqua Force were my opponent's in that order.

Vs. Angel Feather: Rushed out the gate against a grade locked opponent, Grandseed also getting in on the fun in the front line. I managed to force the opponent up to 5 damage before they could even get to GB2 with Blizza. They'd tried killing my Rearguards but I replenished my board with Daiearth and matter were made worse by me having Commander Laurel ready to go. In a desperate bid to turn the tide my opponent played their final turn gambit much sooner than they would have liked to and despite them looping power and building huge columns I was able to walk away from this assault intact, thanks in part due to the huge hand Laurel and Gradseed had collaborative built for me.

I returned the favour in kind by going for the Break Ride in True Daikaiser and calling Grade 3 over Grade 3 and repeating that process until all G3 in my hand were in my Drop Zone. I then went into Legion and went all in, One Punch to decide it, a gamble I shouldn't have taken, but I scored the hit so all is well that ends well.

Vs. Great Nature

Had to first turn G-Assist, dropping a True Daikaiser and a Daidragon and removing X-Rogue and 1 Daiearth from my G-Deck. Opponent dealt a single damage the following turn, so can only assume they lacked an offensive hand at the the time. On my turn 2 I was still able to go for an extremely aggressive run after top decking another Daidragon which I addded to the one in my hand, I rode Daifighter and called both Daidragons hitting for 2 stages repetitively against the opponent's Grade 1 Vanguard.
They Rode Hamasuke in their Turn 2, which made matters worse when I rode Daikaiser and was able to hit that for 18000. The opponent rides their Break Ride but doesn't stride, I can't remember the details beyond this point at all, I mean its hazy up to this point because I didn't write notes at the time or have a Dictaphone or anything of the sort to log the match. I know I stride Daiearth without using ability, then used Leon the next turn, debuting my latest stride since I was at 3 damage, without a Dailion and, only had 1 open counterblast, the opponent over-guarded with a PG and a 1 to pass in standard guard, and I still got through. The finishing blow though came from a Second Daiearth when I'd used my own units to intercept attacks which helped towards guarding the opponent's Managarmr turn with a nearly full board, although a previous misplay in guarding with a Grade 0 when I realised afterwards I shouldn't have could have easily been my downfall here and it probably should have been. Either way I managed to survive while also limiting the amount of defence the opponent would have their next turn since I was able prevent their on-hit draws that they'd been stacking on a Capable Assistant, Guru Wolf. I stride into Daiearth to deploy a new front row, and I also gain crit this time, I rarely stride into Daiearth twice a game but when the situation calls for it, it's worth doing so. On this turn I'm able to win through sheer power and sack, my attacks swinging for 26, 21 w/2*, and a second 21 w/2*.

I should have fought Aqua Force, which would have been a Maelstrom deck but opponent had to zip off so that didn't happen and I just go the win meaning I completed Round Robin 3-0. :D

This evening I've gotten home and since I failed to get them from my local shop I've ordered Daibazooka off the internet, can't wait till it gets here, that card will help so much.

Friday, 22 January 2016

V-Talks: EN rule or J Rule? It hardly matters now.

So it happened, people said it wouldn't other's said it would, I have SGD with Benon and now I have the last laugh.
Bye Bye Swordmy, return to you kin where you belong.
Ripple Odysseus as of Feb 1st will also be restricted to 2 copies a deck in each format.

While yes, it seems likely that this is just copying the Japanese list, with exception of Cat Butler because Raizer's barely see play (for) now so it's a non issue to Bushiroad.

There's a fair amount of joy but also a fair amount of salt, and I'm here to say the restrictions  in the grand scheme matter not.

Swordmy can hit 2 stages or 3 stages early game and remain 2 stages against most vanguards even without stride, but is a +1. Benon can only hit 2 stages against a 9K or less Vanguards but can also be turned into a +2 with aid of Richard or Miron, besides which, it's SGD, Regalie is the reason you run the deck and that mean weaker lanes aren't an issue, and even if they were, we can swing that lane at a rearguard instead.

Odysseus at two? Lessens consistency of early game explosions but doesn't make them hurt any less when it does show up and do things, just the ability to turn Tidal Assault into an 11k base for a turn is enough a reason to fear Odysseus. The later phase of Ripple's game plan is altered and slowed but not really weakened. If they have a full field they are going to hurt you, if they don't then their strides will provide the pressure instead, either way the deck is still very powerful and remains high up in the tiers still remaining near the top of Tier 1 if not at the top.

Sneak Peak is tomorrow which means people will start playing Chaos casually next week and be bringing it to locals the week after, and between it and Messiah's own upgrades, Link Joker is the clan I still fear facing the most. Despite running Dimensional Robos as my main with their All On The Vanguard gambit, I still find Link Joker can cripple me quite heavily, much more so than any other opponent, much more so than even being rushed.


And Talking of Robos brings me to talk about Japan. The Japanese Fighter's Rule has released Luarel's restrictions so he's back at four over there, I disagree with this, aside from the fact that I think running four is all well and good- until you ride one and get destroyed because of it, I also think Laurel needs to be restricted to a limit of 2 per deck and phased out progressively so Bushiroad can give DP full support without having to tip toe over a mine field. 

I AM going to locals tomorrow and there IS a Sneak Peak on, but I have yet to decide whether or not I really wish to participate, although currently the answer is more a no than a yes because I really don't want all that much. Pale Moon would be my main treasure search alongside Chaos, but I'm still playing catch up with my existing decks so looking to build anything from the new set seems like a bad idea at the moment unless I sell some of my current stock- but why would I want to do that? Ideally I wouldn't And I've got more than enough Transformers I can sell before I sell cards, and a lot of my older Transformers I no longer really use anyway. Which to be honest I may have to sell some of the old bots because I once again find myself in a situation where I need more money than I can save up.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

V-Talks: Separating V-News

I've been thinking about this for a while, and now have reached a conclusion.
Since Touya dropped off the radar and out of the community. Cardfight Pro was previously a central hub for information when it was active, Touya bought us the news of Vanguard and the Meta Game from Japan so that we could predict where this game would be headed on the English side. My blog itself is behind most people because I focus on the English game and of that cherry pick the bits I wish to pay attention to, but I realized there's something else I could do since I can switch between being of an opinion and being objective. This blog will remain active as normal, but when I woke up at 4AM in the morning to then be able to Watch Bushiroad's Presentation it clicked, and I decided that while I knew the reveals would be posted all over forums and social networks within moments of them happening, there I was watching the stream and taking screen shots wherever was appropriate. And I wasn't going to let all of that go to waste so I decided to make something out of it which has resulted in the first two articles on my new cardfight news blog, and while I'm at it I'll put up an article for the Fighter's Rule update even though everyone knows about that already. For each V-News I do, I will also do a V-Talks here where applicable to express my own personal opinions and predictions and what not, that way I can serve the community and give myself topics to talk about at the same time.

So let me use this post to make one thing clear.
I will be making efforts to cover the Vanguard News but I have no illusion of doing it for the greater benefit of the community, I'll be doing it for myself and my own benefit, and if it happens to prove useful to others also then that all the better, but by no means would that mean I'm an intentional pillar of the community, if that were to be the case that would just be a by-product of fulfilling my own agenda of doing what I want and what I feel like.

Anyways that aside, here's the link to the new page;
http://cardfighters-news.blogspot.co.uk/

Ta Ta for now, and maybe one day I'll finally get round to posting a set review for Aqua Clan Booster because once you fall behind on your projects it's very hard to catch up.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

V-News: Ripples Victory, Rafli Attar Ricco New BWC Vanguard World Champion, Simon McGoldrick, 2nd Place Breif Interview

I want to try my hand at this journalism thingy again.

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At 16:00 JST, 9th of January 2015 (7:00 AM here in the UK) The final battle to decide the World Champion of Cardfight Vanguard for the 2015 season got underway. The battle was fought between Rafli Attar Ricco of Indonesia piloting the newest meta deck on the block, Aqua Force - Ripples (2.0) his opponent, hailing from ScotlandSimon McGoldrick piloting Dimension Police - Metalborgs.

The final bout was a best-of-three with no time limit, this altered from previous years when even up to the final, the format was always best of one.

While Bushiroad have since taken down their footage, the English format final was recorded and commentary re-dubbed live by Mason Clark head of the Science Of Vanguard Youtube channel.




As you will see in the video, and from the title of this article, our new World Champion is Rafli Attar Ricco of Indonesia, making him the second World Champion to have come from the country and means that Indonesia is also the only country to have produced two World Champion for Cardfight Vanguard.

However, I must also flag several infringements of the rules in this match for which all parties are at fault, being failure to follow correct pre-match set-up order and numerous accounts of improper shuffling, and failure of the judges to enforce corrections for all of these infringements. Each of which may seem minor but have significant impact. Such as which may have affected the result of the match.

Previous World Champions are:
2012: Brandon Smith - USA
2013: Almeida Stewart - Belgium
2014: Fajar Muttaqien - Indonesia

Now we add the following:
2015: Rafli Attar Ricco - Indonesia

Decks from Worlds as follows:
5x Aqua Force (1 Blue Wave, 2 Ripples, 1 Thavas, 1 Strikehead Dragon*)
1x Royal Paladin (SGD)
1x Link Joker (Messiah)
1x Shadow Paladin (Revengers)
1x Kagero
1x Dimension Police (Metalborgs)

*Confirmed by handler, David Adipratama.

While history may be written by the victors let's not forget the day began with 10 gathered from the around the world, each a champion in their own right.

Rafli Attar Ricco and Simon McGoldrick I've already introduced, along side them the following also came together:




AISA-OCENIA - The continent with the least qualifying players.

Rafli Attar Ricco, newly crowned champion, fought his way to Japan with Royal Paladin's Sanctuary Guard Dragon, bringing light to the darkness and casting out Shadow Paladin, outshining the idols of Bermuda Triangle, out-paced the rush of the brutal Spike Brothers and repeating this again when they returned for revenge. Then, in the final match of the continental held in Singapore he met our next world finalist in battle... and in this meeting he lost-
In Japan the the white light was exchanged, for something old, something new, something borrowed, something BLUE, with Rafli building his world finals deck around the Aqua Force Ripples Ride Chain.

David Adipratama, of Australia, originally hailing Indonesia, this fighter commanding the Aqua Force navy from the start of the season saw his Marine army through the regional and continental stages, fighting his way through the fire and the flames of Kagero, overcoming the abyss of Shadow Paladin, and defeating many many more with Thavas, (or rather, as he has pointed out to me personally, Strikehead Dragon) he earned his spot.





EUROPE

Simon McGoldrick balances his hobbies with running his own store in Glasgow, Scotland. Using Dimension Police Metalborgs he bought Justice to any who crossed his path in Manchester, his black steel however, was ultimately tainted darker still by Shadow Paladin in the semi-finals. He rose again in the European Continental having reached 3rd in the UK, the same weapons equipped weapon, but slightly altered tools, through adapting his strategy he successfully fought his way through Oracles, Knights, and other cybernetic beings to reach the final- where he would face off with the fires of our next global finalist-

Hélène Bourrée, her home may be in France but that didn't stop her from making an appearance in Manchester for the United Kingdom Regional where she took first place, reaching the European continental for the second year in a row- last year she failed to qualify worlds but this year managed to come out on top in the European Continental also, defeating Simon Mcgoldrick to take the title- this earning her slot on the world stage. She used Kagero, Dragonic Overlord, The Xros for all stages of this season.

Tiago Henrique Rosado of Portugal, he earned his spot by topping in an event that was part of a special circuit series held for Spain and Portugal, winning an event in the series qualified him for the circuit finals that would double as both a national finals event and act as qualifier for the Bushiroad World Championship. In the national finals he placed first, earning him his slot in among the 10 champions. Through both stages he passed through to make it to Japan (the first of which is not officially recorded by Bushiroad) he used Shadow Paladin- Revengers, a deck that has been a popular choice for competitive players this season, holding a top 3 highest saturation level at most recorded events.

Duy Mohamed, due to incidents in Paris this global finalist to be nearly wasn't. Terror attacks lead Bushiroad to making the decision to cancel the France Regional siting the importance of the safety of players comes first, cancelling this event would have costed Bushiroad and their Tournament Organizer a fair bit of money, rescheduling a replacement event at a later date costing them even more- and yet they did. On that day Duy Mohamed had his chance, the only way to advance further in this replacement regional, was to win it- and he did. Swallowing up Gear Chronicle, Megacolony, Narukami and all else who faced him, enshrouding them with Shadow Paladin- but not Revengers, nor Claret Sword but with a highly unlikely Diablo focused build. In the World Finals he played Royal Paladin, Sanctuary Guard turning darkness into hallowed light.

NORTH AMERICA
The United States is home to the largest organised competitive circuit for Cardfight!! Vanguard in the world, the Alter Reality Games (ARG) State Championships and ARG Circuit Series, combined with their 1K events brew some the most serious competitive players in the game, all these events are Best of Three- Bushiroad World Championship is not, but despite that, North America's Top 8 cut final rounds in all events were Best-Of-Three, and this was exclusively the case for North America.

The fighters from this region of the world are as follows:

Sebastian Teh from Vancouver, Canada North of the US Border but under the jurisdiction of Bushiroad USA and manged by them, this meaning the same conditions applied in Canada's regional as in America. It was in Canada's regional that Sebastian accomplished his first goal towards reaching Japan, using Dimension Police, Dimensional Robos he cleaved and Daikaiser'd his way to the US Continental/Nationals, by the time of US Nationals the meta had changed, and so to had Sebastian's deck. Playing Angel Feather's Gavrail he proved that even in a room filled with Shadow Paladin, the odd one out, can still win this proved two points;
Angel Feather can compete with the best decks in the game
And most importantly, it demonstrated his personal level of ability and consistency.
For that, he earned his spot.

Albert Hwang from the Indiana state took home the top spot in BWC Illinios where even in a top 8 that was mostly Shadow Paladin mirror matches, which in of itself showcased the deck's absolute dominance, using his knowledge and combining that with careful strategy Albert defeated his reflections to face off with Aqua Force for the final, he rode atop that wave to victory. In the continentals it was much the same for Albert and once again he bested the mirror as often as was needed to reach the final, where he met Sebastian and Angel Feather. While he didn't win this round he'd already qualified, for the World Finals, so in demonstrating his mastery of Shadow Paladin and his ability to remain on top of rivals using his own weapons against him- he earned his position among those in Japan.

Ryan Adams from the state of Tennessee entered BWC Georgia using Shadow Paladin Revengers for the first time having borrowed the deck from a friend he then went on to win the event with this deck that he had never previously used. The result garnered mixed reactions in the online community, many of which were using the result as evidence that Shadow Paladin Revengers were an "Auto Pilot" using this as evidence that any player given a good deck could win a BWC, using it as evidence of the flaws of Best of One claiming the result must of been one of luck, on the other side of that reaction was praise.
Ability to top with a deck never before used showed Ryan's versatility and ability to develop a strategy on the spot based on what's to hand and the current situation, these abilities form the basis for any card player in any CCG, these are principle basics, Ryan's victory demonstrated the importance of these most basic of skill-sets and saw him through to BWC US Nationals where he stuck to using Revengers where he made top four, his run ending at the hands of Albert Hwang, he qualified for the World Finals, but had to fund the trip himself, he did so, and made it to Japan on his own steam being the only competitor to turn up without having had Bushiroad's financial support for the trip. A display of determination to finish what he started, a deserving champion in his own right for both that determination, and for his demonstration of proficiency in the core skill set that makes any good player back in Georgia. He earned his spot at Worlds.




LATIN AMERICA


Luis Armando Pereira Cabral won the BCW regional held on the island of Puerto Rico where he used Bermuda Triangle with Rising Star, Trios and Top Idol, Revire to overcome Kagero, Royal Paladin and a fair share of Shadow Paladin and Nova Grappler as well. He then used much the same deck in the BWC Mexico where he scored second place, loosing the final to Megacolony Machining.





All these fighters made it to Japan, all have demonstrated their skills. And with the G-Zone and G-Units this season of Cardfight Vanguard competitive play has seen an added depth of strategy, when to Legion, when to Stride, when to go all in gambling on a Break Ride. Meta Saturation has shown a preference for Shadow Paladins but results have been spread far and wide, this has been the best year we've ever had for competitive Vanguard, so congratulations to all fighters who made it Japan and congratulations to the new Champion; Rafli Attar Ricco.

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The Meta going into GIRS Spring is going to change, Shadow Paladin has dropped in popularity already in the wake of Ripples and Blue Wave decks for Aqua Force and the Navy is going to be a key player in the transition between seasons. Chaos Breaker is also about to receive upgrade and will no doubt be the go to answer for counter acting the resurgence of Aqua Force so the challenge for next season, as it currently stands, will be working out how to play against a deck that locks out legion and stride, but also be effective against the return of one of the strongest control deck the game has ever known.

I end this article with an Interview with Simon McGoldrick, second place finalist, whom I was able to have a brief moment of his time.

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Simon McGoldrick Interview: (open the thumbnail to view his orignal post

Q: How does it feel to be ranked second seed in the world for the next year?
A: It feels great, I've been playing cards for 14 years now, this was my first world championship. I've won 5 national championships and I see 2nd at worlds as my greatest accomplishment.


Q: How do you feel about this years BWC as a whole?
A: I loved it, I've made so many friends across the world from the regional in Manchester, to the European championship in Dusseldorf to right here in Tokyo Japan. The judges know what they're doing, the player base is very respectful, I've been to a lot of circuits for various card games and honestly Bushiroad is my favorite.

Q: Out of the matches you played in the finals, which was your favorite?
A: Tough call, there are no easy matches in a world championship. The top 4 match was awesome, I played the Link Joker player who came 3rd and in round 2 I had an amazing match against Mohammed who came 4th with sanctuary guard. I think I "showed off" more during those games, I didn't really get a chance to properly play in the final. I've got a lot of respect for people who go into main events using non meta decks.

Q: Is there anything you would have changed going in, knowing what you do now?
A: Absolutely not. In nationals I played 3 Russel blizzard and they got swapped to 10k vanillas for euros. Up until worlds I played 8 crit, 4 draw, 4 heal, but I ultimately decided on 12 crit. I honestly believe Sapharian* is the optimal build for dimension police.

Q: How do feel about the meta we've had for this season (2016 2nd half)?
A: In some other games, you have to play meta, otherwise you just lose. Vanguard is different, with the level of skill involved you can play various decks and still do well. The sign of a skill based game is when different decks all top. The top 4 of worlds this year was Ripple, Metalborg, Messiah and Sanctuary guard. We had 1 Shadow, 1 Kagero player too, there was also a Thavas and a Blue Storm deck. I can't currently remember the other two decks (think there was a 2nd sanctuary guard) but the fact it wasn't 10 ripples in worlds shows 1. The player base, 2. The format, 3. The game.

Q: What are your plans now for next year?
A: Honestly, I was worried about what I'd do after winning worlds. At least I've still got an objective. I dreaded being like Alexander the great after conquering the world sat on a rock 
and wept.


*Sapharian is what Simon names his Metalborg deck.
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Be sure to check out this week's Cardfighter's Coloumn for the official report and and most likely an interview with champion, Rafli Attar Ricco.

Be sure to check out and Subscribe to Science Of Vanguard for in-depth discussions about the state of play, card reveals, the meta, deck discussions and other miscellaneous content all relating to Cardfight Vanguard