Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brave's Battles: That day, 5 Years On

((I need to preface this post by saying I've set CFN to private for now it's still there but hidden from public view. I need to write out report(s) for the VGCS of the month of February and this weekend's Spring Fest 16 Atlanta regional.
The plan had been to design a header for that site but that will now have to go on hold until I get Towa up and functional again. Something (don't know what) went wrong.))

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We've officially reached the 5 year mark since Vanguard came out. I wasn't there for the start, I never knew about the game until late 2013, but it's fitting then that the (27th) February HQ Monthly ended up being the largest we've had in a while with 14 people out of the maximum 16 players HQ can seat at any one time.

Decks used were as follows
2x Aqua Force (1 Blue Wave, 1 Ripple)
2x Gear Chronicle (1 Upheaval Beat Down, 1 Leap Nextage)
2x Narukami (1 Vanquisher, 1 n/a)
2x Pale Moon (Harri)
2x Royal Paladin (1 Altmile, 1 MLB) 
1x Angel Feather (Gavrail)
1x Dimension Police (Dimensional Robo)
1x Kagero (DOTX)
1x Megacolony (Tarantula Hercules)


You can guess which of those is me.

We had 4 rounds with top 4 cut I didn't witness the conclusion but the final was Angel Feather vs Blue Wave. I'll have to find out who won it, and I can't even lay a bet the Blue Wave deck was commanded by someone I don't believe I've ever met before.

My run ended without making top 4 this time as I finished 2-2.

Round 1
Pale Moon - Harri
WIN
 Opponent was a rookie with two merged trial decks and whatever moonlit Dragon Fang cards they'd pulled from packs, they committed multiple accounts of the same infringement of performing damage check before drive step was completely resolved which I did highlight to them but didn't report to the store judge because A) I'm not a douche and I'm not here to rule shark and B) What's the point when that would go completely against the point of just having a good time.
They have much to learn tactically, the most obvious one to mind is grade stuck with a hand full of G3 and needing the G2, it's much better to drop those excess Grade 3s so you can advance cause beyond the amount you need they are typically a dead card to the hand due to lack of defensive values. It's basic knowledge to veteran players but being a rookie there's no need to breath up their neck for it. I gave some advice on how they could both improve and speed up their play and eagerly anticipate to see them again hopefully having had the time to practice and prepare for a rematch.

Round 2
Aqua Force - Blue Wave
LOSS
In my opinion this was the match of the day. It was a long fought battle with my efforts focusing on field control and focusing fire on each multi-attacker as they came while being able to build hand to defend myself off of Laurel. I was able to survive 3 of their strides, Thavas, Tetra Boil, and Lambros this with an additional turn in which they just swung with Anger Boil. I made for a push with Leon (followong on from Daiearth) that ended with a 4 critical vanguard smashing through and making impact. My damage on 5 the opponent's on 2 and thus them needing the last Damage Check to be a heal. Amazingly they got what they needed and the game dragged was able to carry on five more turns after that point.
I am hammered by their last Stride being a second usage of Tetra Boil but manage to PG both VG attacks and drop enough shield for the remaining attacks. I have my turn and needing to return a mate to the deck I take the option of Break Ride True and firing off Ultimate Justice Cannon at a Magnum Assault and then a second time at the Vanguard. I fail to break. A follow up attack from a triggered Daibazooka is also stopped.
The final turn of the game I guarded two pass on their Vanguard but this was the fatal slip up that lead to the fall. I didn't think to count to opponent's used up triggers and even if I had I should have realised my only option was a 1 pass all attacks and if they got a trigger that was game. As it happens they didn't get the trigger and had I survived that turn I may have been able to finish it on the next.
An absolutely amazing game of skill with a fortunate second wind giving a deserving winner the chance they needed to take the game, turning it into a matter of who cracked (with us both teetering on the edge) under the pressure of the other person first. I can respect that game and it's outcome; it was earned.

Game 3
Pale Moon - Harri
LOSS
Grade stuck on Grade 1. Ditched Grade 3's in the hand to hit Grade 2 but then proceeded to pull more Grade 3 from the deck leaving me defenceless and whitewashed. It happens-

Game 4
Gear Chronicle - Fiery Nextage
WIN
(Cont. from section "Game 3")
-as does scoring two critical triggers on your first stride turn to get game.

Final Score: 2-2

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I did have casual games of course and one of these was a rematch against Gears while the top 4 round was going on on the next set of tables. First time I've survived their Colossus AND Nextage; Laurel and his advantage engine with the ability to build hand resources early was absolutely vital in outlasting the clock and being able to score the kill over time. Even in clocking my key units I was able to keep up the pressure by rebuilding my field with the cards Laurel had collected for me, including my second Laurel. A proper game unlike out in-tournament match.

I also played against Liberators which honestly I think I played badly against. I was exercising damage control here as a way to restrict the ability to swarm the field but I also drove myself to near deck out, and as we neared the endgame running only 2 Mates came back to bite me as I had to legion THREE times (each with a different ride of True of course) just to prolong my lifespan. In the end though I still decked out. Opponent was never pressured despite my efforts to balance damage and control, yet they never felt in any actual danger or risk of loosing. So I guess I lost to my own mistakes, in playing too cautiously I played myself.

There was one last casual game I played which was against a deck I highly expected to lose to: Ripples. This, incidentally, was actually the first game I played of the day and the only thing that saved me in the match up was an incomplete investment and the price of Lambros making him unjustifiably expensive to acquire even just to have 2 copies. The game ended with a double break for game having never coming under as much pressure as I feared I would. Typical Laurel plays were less effective in this match-up mind you due to classic style Perfect Guards in the opponent's deck instead of the more recent VG-G PGs.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Brave's Battles: RAMPAGE!!!!!!

I can't stress how much I've been waiting for this set since it was confirmed, and it's also the reason I didn't get any Aqua Force clan booster boxes. Nubatama a deck that I was able to acquire last year along side Omega Glendios and I instantly loved it. While it took a while to become proficient with it was never not fun.

The sneak peak today was disappointingly empty. We only had 3 people turn up and needed a fourth person to be hired in just to meet the minimum player requirement to hold the sneak peak.

I had two casual games before the sneak peak itself I should probably mention, the first of which saw the use of Sanctuary Guard vs Blade Wings but this turned into a Grade 2 with us both being Gradestuck and unwilling to G-Assist, my decks very nature gave it the advantage in this scenario and I capitalized on that, my field remained full while Dark Irregular's was forcefully kept as empty as I could maintain. The second of these two games I debuted for the first time at HQ, Omega Glendios against the opponent I intended it to debut against the whole time, the local Link Joker clan master if such a position were to exist. He used Messiah which led to me being promptly crushed as I don't have Amnesty Messiah due to it's cost, even though I do acknowledge it to be a staple due to the high probability of facing a mirror match, especially should you attend a larger event, like the team league.

Of the three of us that entered for ourselves we all wanted the different clans from each other and it worked out since that meant after the sneak peak we could just split by the clans and that also worked out as the pulls from each clan were even, although I probably did walk away the largest benefits but that just makes it that much sweeter. Ultimately everyone walked away with a RRR and/or a GR and 2 or more other RR and above for their respective clans so from only a pool of 4 you can't get much better than that.

Being one pod of 4, the format was of course Round Robin.
I won this without striding in any of my games. My first opponent never got off Grade 0, my second rival was faced with Silence forcing a drop of potential boosters/attackers instead of the usual guard fodder, my third foe was driven to deck out but they did have me on the ropes. I was only able to recover and outlast them due to using a legion skill to recycle cards, even though I had no mate to seek.
So I left the sneak peak with all the Nubatama cards pulled, and the booster draft's mat.

For the draft deck I played with see the attached image. What ultimately won me each of my games was the ability to use Legion as a skill to drive me away from deck out and filtering back in my spent triggers. I notice I've improved at draft since picking up Hearthstone, which is a game in which your deck is 30 cards so maybe that limited deck count there with only max of 2 cards per deck provided me with some skills that I were able to carry over? I don't know but it's a possible thought.



After the sneak we headed from HQ to Global Gaming (Net Adventure) there I played a lad who was not local, they used Beast Deities, I fought them with both Glendios and Dimensional Robos in succession of each other, and won both times. I afterwards swapped back to Omega Glendios for a 2V1 facing off a mish-mash of old Narukami, and budget Messiah, knowing full well that in those given conditions Omega can only lose if you never ride Omega, otherwise completing the setup for World End is easy since Loop exists and thus in that game type it can't be beaten. I feel in hindsight that doing this was cheap and disrespectful to both my opponent's.

After this I was challenged again by both of the defeated double team, each wanting a one v one, first Narukami stood up, and was met with Sin Buster. Stride was never used throughout this game and even then Legion was only the killing blow, the opponent staying at Grade 2 yet me still being able to achieve pressure and advatage by sacrificing the full boost of Mist Ghost and using him on a solo Sin Buster to break 20000. This was done for two turns in a row.
Rounding off the day Nubatama, as yet unchanged from the shape it was in when I went into the city that morning, came out to play against the budget Messiah. The game was disappointing as Messiah became grade stuck but there was still the satisfaction of being able to jump on an opponent not being familiar with the deck they were faced with, the two factors combined meant they were doubly punished.

Generally fun, but then again I was winning most of the day, even if some of those victories were cheap comparative to others the aim was entertainment and today was certainly entertaining.
Daily stats
L1: 3-0
C0: 6-1 (or 7-1 depending how you count a 2V1 victory as the solo player)

Sunday, 7 February 2016

V-Battles: Because the apostrophe is not currently working

It was a cold, wet, and miserable day, well better stay indoors... I didn't.
The HQ Monthly was on and I'm not missing that because of some rain.

We didn't have an exceptional turn out and the weather was a big factor in this, leading to us having only 9 Players, and of course the same number of decks, each of which was different.

Gear Chronicle - Nextage
Aqua Force - Thavas
Dark Irregulars - Scharolot Blade Wing
Angel Feather - Gavrail
Dimension Police - Dimensional Robos
Kagero - The X
Royal PaladinSanctuary Guard of Light
Narukami - Vanquisher
Royal Paladin - Altmile

We had 3 rounds where we should have had 4 due to having 9 people, but it's a minor nitpick, as for my matches...

Round 1:
Vs The X
-Win-
Had to ride Laurel and was severely outplayed, forced to go for broke with Break Ride Legion but I tunnel visioned and forgot the details of my soul. Opponent over guards picking up on my mistake and bargaining it would therefore be a safe bet. Truthfully they deserved to win  as they had clearly been the better player up till this point, but I got lucky and drive checked Daibazooka which activated my Legion and Limit Break abilities and that with the Break Ride gave me victory. In hind sight it was a shallow victory but as the saying goes a win is a win. Had we been playing Best of 3 format, I would have most certainly lost this match.

Round 2
Vs Gear Chronicle
Loss
Opponent breaks both my 1 to pass on both their turn 1 and turn 2 attacks. Both times with a Critical.
The first attack knocked out both Great Daiyusha locking out Legion for the game. Being on 4 damage so early and then being forced to my fifth on their opening Stride, Fiery March Collosus, with little hand and my one possible way to get back in contention via Commander Laurel being blocked and then retired. Forced to last resort of Cross Break Ride and now reliant on getting a PG, but even that I doubt could have saved me from the finishing Nextage turn. By then the game had already been decided by the two earlier Criticals.

Round 3
Vs. Angel Feather
Win
Close Game but with Fox our games usually are. I had to G-Assist for my Grade 3, irnic in a sense, and due to that I knew allowing him to keep field would be problematic. Even though that's the case in the match-up anyway but when you just dropped 2 cards it's even more of an issue. I divided my attention between his center and sides. Fox's first Stride was unsurprisingly Ice Element, Blizza putting him at GB2. You do damage, they gain defensive power making landing attacks much harder and thus each attack that did hit more precious and important. This means what I had to do was something in direct contrast with how my own build is configured, and yet I was able to benefit from my stand triggers and extra attacks to put mild pressure on the opposing rearguards, but I didn't actually succeed in being rid of them until scored some key retires with
Daishoot and X-Rougue, still barely surviving their power play when it came, with it taking all I had from both Field and Hand. Their big push done it was my turn to try close the game turn done I Break Ride and go for the game myself. I needed criticals to pull it off though, I was fortunate enough to get them. Honestly I can't decide in that match-up whether of not critical or stand triggers are better although I'd lean HEAVILY towards crits being better for the match up?

It's funny every time I find myself beginning to have issues I always go back to increasing my critical count, even though my deck is already constructed with masses of in-built critical even without factoring for triggers.

Score of the day 2-1, 2 promo packs, along side the current promo, 1 booster pack.
From among those, I didn't gain much value but did gain cards I can use that not that many other people would consider, not now there's more up to date and out right better versions of the same cards. In either case it's a day out, win or lose that's not the issue, it's how you get there and what you make of it that counts.

Next week there's a Sneak Peak, I want to do it, I can benefit from doing it, but I have no idea how I'm going to get there. Money is tighter than I would like. Although with an English version of the Daigo G almost certain in some form or another, I could sell off my current SGD's if the need ever arose. It's an option, not one I want to consider but it's there is that resort is needed, but so's a lot of old plastic.