Monday, 10 July 2017

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.