Monday, 10 July 2017

Brave's Battles: The forgotten Battle Log

The Spring Season has truly finished having reached it's Climax with the USA Long Beach Calafornia Grand Fest and the crowning of Kenny Omega as the IWGP US Champion at the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Special taking place within the evenings of the same festival. I am curious how many card players there also attended the NJPW shows.

I am reminded that I never posted my experience from UK Huddersfield at which I played Weiss Schwarz and Futurecard Buddyfight. And also took a judge interview. Something that I feel I might have blown. I more certain about having my rulings down but I'm not so confident about my implementation of sanctions in given situations. In regards to the weekend though my memory is as bad as ever and I remember nothing any more other than I'm 1-1 vs some guy in Weiss and I want to settle that tie breaker should we meet again. But I am not without a back up- since I knew at the time I wouldn't remember what happened by the time I got home.


The following is the stitching together of several notepad sessions on my phone

Tournament Date: June 17th Wiess -18th Buddyfight and Luck & Logic

 
I entered into Weiss Swarchz piloting two copies of the original Love Live Trial Deck mashed together with a focus on raw power.

R1 Vs Angel Beats
Don't ask me how this game works never mind this deck, but I do know regardless of the match up that when you lose 6 of your 8 Climaxes in the first 12 cards of a refreshed deck- prepare to get rekt. - LOSS


R2 Vs SAO
Could have clinched this one, only needed a single damage further but I played a skill that checked top card of the deck and because I just revealed last card I habitually go into refresh when not supposed to creating a incorrect and irreparable game state. The situation here is automatic loss of match no point in calling a judge and wasting their time when the decision in such a scenario is already known. So yeah... would have won but due to idiocy I threw it away. :L LOSS

R3 Vs Cinderella Girls

Idols of a different aesthetic. I happen to like them- but I like BanG Dream more so if I ever actually invested in this game that might be the way I go, except it wouldn't as I'D RATHER GO SYMPHOGEAR BUT THERE'S NO ENGLISH RELEASE!!! I lost again btw.

R4 Vs SAO
? (Even the me making phone notes couldn't remember at the time)
Opponent wins I lose and then we both drop from the main tournament to enter into an 8-man Knockout Brackets side event pod for packs.

While we wait for the pod to reach the required player count I try my hand at Dragoborne and boy is it a mechanical mess. I understand L&L was a marketing disaster, this was mostly due to the art crashing against western ethics. But the game was mechanically solid, unlike this abomination having an identity crisis. It's very similar to L&L but at the same time inferior. The game board is already cluttered and then they add in dice elements on top of that increasing the random aspects of chance within the game. I don't see this product taking off and I myself will be avoiding any investment into it.

Side Event R1
Rematch with my Round 4 Opponent of the main tournament this time with me scoring the win.

Side Event R2 Vs Kancolle Abyss Fleet
Game was very tight with and amusing but as for the details of what happened when I'm drawing blanks. The loss meant I was out of the pod but I did recover my entry cost, then blew on packs of Luck and Logic which were heavily discounted due to it of course being a dead game.

Overall for Weiss 1-5

Day 2:


I was more serious about Buddyfight than I was with Wiess but even so my objective was to try and get that first nationals match win, I certainly don't have enough experience to even be on par with the mid-card but even if I get thrashed constantly for some reason I still get more enjoyment out of Buddyfight than Vanguard currently.

R1 Vs Thunder Empire
Or as I call it 5LifeDead.dek

Highly popular, made up the majority of the metagame in Huddersfeild.

In game 1 I successfully nullified a Battz call using Plasma-mine but even with that threat thwarted I couldn't sustain my defence, in part due to having Ridden X-Blazer the worst Ride I could have gotten.

In game 2 post Sideboard I was able to fend of many attacks but repeated aggression wore my defences thin and once through Battz came in, I had no answer to this and his double attack put me into impact kill range.

I hate Battz. That may be salt talking but the card just doesn't seem fair at all.

In any case, a LOSS is a loss.

R2 Vs Duel Yeager (Vs Hughes)

Round 2 pits me against someone I know and a deck I know- or rather thought I knew.
Considering how often I have fought Ancient World and even this deck itself I should have done better than what actually played out.
 I didn't expect to win Game 1 as my tools for handling walls are all stored in my sideboard and infact the sideboard is especially targeted at being Wall Hate. Unfortunately sideboarding your tools in only matters if you ever actually see those tools and I did not.
2 rounds in and 2 losses right of the bat and this was one match that I really wanted to win to.

R3 Vs Golden Buddy Sun Deck
I lost to a stock pre-con deck- I've got nothing. No comment just shame.

R4 Vs Dungeon Memes
I have no other means of explaining the deck other than memes.
I won round 1, bring in side board thinking I had a good idea what the opponent's deck did and this ended up being a mistake. I got swiftly destroyed by something entirely different from what I'd prepared for happening, and then realised shit I don't have an answer to this the same happened in game 3.

R5 vs Thunder Formation
 I was the second Hero World user this person faced and it seems Hero World had his number. I didn't feel like I actually did all that much myself but at the same time sucesffully sitting atop a wall of defence limited the number of attacks he could make each turn and I was able to output more damage than him because of it. Round goes 2-0 in my favour. I didn't use sideboard after the first win this time.

OBJECTIVE ACHIEVED but 1 round remained.

R6 Vs Dragon Trials
What I mean by that is ALL the Dragon World Trial decks mixed together to make... something...
I was facing off against Jank, jank that by all accounts successfully defeated me. But the opponent revealed they had the kill, chose not to play it.
I won Game 1.
In Game 2 he launched an all out attack I used Body of Steel to repel but he answered with Drago Energy brining the sum of his attack once level with my enhanced defence overpowering me and hitting the lethal.
Game 3 he could won, he got into Punisher Range, had the card and the guage, demonstrated that he had the win but didn't finalise the play opting instead pass the turn. I don't understand why but as I was shown mercy, I repaid the opponent by wiping them out.
Rule of competitive play: never show mercy. I could have conceded knowing I had already been beaten but I was offered the window so I took the kill. Strange episode that statistically I won, but truthfully I lost. So how am I supposed to record this?
WIN or LOSS?
I don't know, so I'll turn that question over to the reader to decide.

Depending on interpretation my final score for Buddyfight is either 2-4 or 1-5

In turn for means for the entire weekend I went either 3-9 or 2-10.
Still a dire record either way.

I do have a parting word to say and that is that the venue and staff were highly pleasant, honestly preferred this space compared to playing at Play Expo though we were technically playing a basement. The IQ Games Centre store is very neatly laid out and with 3 stories they are able to have War Games on the shop floor, where there's dedicated tables, while also running at least 2 other events at the same time. 1 large event could take place on each floor and that's impressive though I shudder to think about the rent.

V-Out.

V-Talks: Restriction Time

Restrictions List update has been announced and what do you know, Seven Seas rush has been hit once again, this time the damage incurred will see it dropped from popular use, if you could ever call it popular. The last wave the pirate crew rode was an absolute domination of UK Cardiff with 3 pilots attending and all 3 taking the top spots. I notice no public congratulations has been offered from Bushiroad in regards to this triumph, rather they silently published the results then announced the Summer restrictions update near immediately after.

Unlike most of the community who seem to despise the existence of rush, and especially 7 Seas take on it, I instead am fully willing to advocate the use of such strategies so to those who have piloted the list and topped with it, congratulations to you all.


Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow is down to 1 copy per deck once we hit August but this doesn't mean the end for the deck, it can still function so don't jettison that seemingly dead weight yet- unless you wish for a disrupted coronation.
You don't want to do that.


In either case, aside from sacking out of a rush deck’s kill range these deck types are also vulnerable to Limit Breaks and Superior Stride where applicable, also in general susceptible to being beaten down by unrestricted cards, No Limit Break restriction, No Generation Break restriction, just active at all times.
These mechanical elements that while not frequently seen in the top decks of the game, your upper-card and main-eventers, there are more commonplace in the mid-card environment which in fact means the most dangerous phase of a tournament for rush deck is in the early phases where they are no seeds for pairing and the potential opponent pool is at it’s largest and most variable. This is something I find rather ironic, a deck type that abuses the developing stages of the game so effectively is also at it’s most vulnerable in that very same stage within tournament progression, before your upper, middle, and under cards ranks have been properly established.

The only truly severe harm rush causes is the damage to the current marketing as the strategy goes completely against the current design direction Bushiroad has in mind for the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, as such it makes sense why they would not wish to actively promote the results from Cardiff, in which Seas Rush took 1st, 2nd AND 3rd, thus taking up all published list slots, but the evidence to me is that the flaw doesn't lie in rush existing- it proved so effective because no one in the UK expected a rush deck to be used here as such pretty much all the deck in the field were Gen Break restricted. The flaw rather is with the current design philosophy. Instead of adding more restrictions to cards the better solution if Bushiroad wanted to really bring about an upgrade would be to bring be dual phase units where they have skill x at all times but can unlock a skill Y once stride is in play but that is a fix that requires time and effort to implement, and would require several expansions before every clan was gotten around to.
  In contrast it is much quicker and easier to solve the problem as Bushiroad sees it by the way of the restriction hammer.
 I personally certainly won't call rush bad for the game or unhealthy, rush decks have their place in a game space alongside traditional Aggro, Control, and Combo all deck types are able to safely exist in a healthy design space.

The issue is in the balancing and how these decks types are able to interact with one another.
Rush decks are typically budget builds that focus on all out aggression from the go but as a result have a limited kill range window, usually around their 4th turn. After that the tide turns in favour of more traditional builds. This is fine. And even then there exists traditional decks that themselves can pressure strongly in the developing stages if required, a key example relevant right now would be Blasters.


I realise I've spoken about rush only generally up until this point I've not specifically talked about Seas Rush as a deck to which I will now admit there is an imbalance but it doesn't root from where almost everyone I speak to seems to think. Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow is a fair card even in the terms of the rush deck. Most Rush decks their focus is on hitting for 16k-18k as fast as possible but as they often forgo utility to achieve this they lack reliable recovery. In this case making them expend more cards than they can restore makes sense, one means of doing this is in forcing them to keep adding further cards from hand to their board by taking out their support.

While this same premise is true in Seas Rush they can still make at least 3 attacks into the minimum target numbers of 11k+ with minimum physical expense, this is achieved through Seven Seas Master Swordsman, Slash Shade and Seven Seas Dragon Undead, Prisoner Dragon. Most people will point to Seven Seas Pillager, Nightspinal (pictured) as the card that makes Seas Rush the strongest rush and while it does help they are wrong to point at this card specifically the deck would still live on even if this asset was forcefully cut.

Think of the cost to revive the card. It's a discard cost. The player is still needing to drop hand to bring the card back from the dead, in a sense this is not much different to discarding to fill a gap- in fact that is exactly what is going on. Sure she can power up as other units also revive but she is a single attack, if all you were facing down was 3 attacks like most of any other rush you'd be under less pressure, but Seas Rush doesn't stop at 3 attacks, it can consistently mange 4-5 due to Slash Shade and Prisoner Dragon and as such it is these cards that are you targets to restrict in order to balance Seas Rush to be level with other possible Rush decks.

Ladies, Gentlemen and others I present to you the real offenders in this case!


And to fix them you don't even need to limit their deck count.
The solution here is Functional Errata, Buddyfight has shown it's willingness to do this and while a different R&D team works on that game it is a Bushiroad game so the precedent is there for such a fix to be applied.


The current wording on both cards is


When your vanguard with "Seven Seas" in its card name attacks,

The fix to this?

When your grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Seven Seas" in its card name attacks,

And just like that you can release Nightcrow as the combo he enables with Slash Shade in rush is shut down as for Seven Seas Apprentice, Nightrunner he might have to remain in his current situation all the same.

There's one other part of this list to discuss and that is Mick the Ghostie and Family.
A stand trigger that is staple in the Nightrose Granblue the thing with this card is the potential of resulting in a deck that will never run out. In essence an infinite loop though not on the level of Docteroid Refros or Cosmos Pixie, Lizbeth but even so infinite loops are bad. The very existence of them is an issue as opposed to Rush where it can exist in a balanced state. It's a hurt for Nightrose but it is far from being what could be considered crippling and is easily replaced in the deck.

Primary considerations to insert in your now 3 open slots would be Screaming Bnashee if going the way of keeping stands, this card enables the Hollow of another card on board upon entering play and when she herself dies due to hollow you draw a card to recoup your costs, however she does go to the bind zone preventing her from being used more than once. Or if you don't wish to put much thought into your replacements there's always more critical triggers to increase the decks killing power.



A notable exception from this English restrictions update that is on the matching Japanese list is that we have omitted Interdimensional Dragon, Hetroround Dragon. I would personally love to see this card hit but that's just bias against Gears due to being so damn bored of seeing them all the time- next I'll be saying that about Shadows. In any case this card staying around is fine in regards to the game in all honesty. It's limitation would open the flood gates for Wiseman Loop and I really don't want to be dealing with that, no one does. However from a marketing perspective it's freedom does create problems. Bushiroad is bringing further support for Deus Ex Machina, Demiurge in the immediate future, and so long as Hetroround lives that deck in turn can not. But if you want to build a Gear Deck around a completed gambit on the cheap it means that Deus Ex remains an option, just don't expect to do well with it against another Gears deck.