Monday, 29 December 2014

V Update: Testing inconclusive

I've got a large post in the works for this week looking back on 2014 so that's part of why I didn't post anything last week, the other reason is that Christmas is a chaotic time of the year so I had to postpone some of my other plans.

In additional news, despite my raving in support of a pure seeker build over a hybrid deck with Abyss, my testing has so far been slow and inconclusive. It's hard to sit through sessions of 8 games at a time, and I want a total of 100? I must be going mad, I don't have time for that. However I will be pushing on and I intend to have that testing done before my next trip out into Birmingham for a Sneak Peak of BT17e, even though I'm not investing in packs, I will still be doing the sneak peak as it's something to do and I've not been out for a goo fight for several weeks now due to transportation problems getting in and out of the city.

So yes, testing is still on-going as current evidence is inconclusive, although I'm sure tossing a Frozen Ogle in to either build would shake that up a bit. Not that I will as that's not part of my testing parameters.

In terms of blog updates, not necessarily related to the game, I will be uploading my deck lists over the new year, now that I know from an experiment how to link to specific pages, I know that link (above) is currently a dead end but I will be restoring the page once I have taken some time to put my lists to it. I should also have an actual finished banner for next year in place of my current temporary choice. Should include some fancy typography to create my own logo, even though I realized after I settled on my chosen graphic that it's not a new concept as Black Veil Brides, a metal band, and other groups beat me to the design layout ages ago. But hey, it's tried and true, and it works very well.

Anyway, I'm going to resume work on my 2014 look back now and all I can say is, thank Touya, as I know I wouldn't have remembered any of these events if Vanguardus didn't have an archive of news for the entire year.

As for going into next year, I'll resume COTW for the Week commencing Jan 5th 2015, and in the same week I will hopefully be sharing my thoughts on a certain Extra Booster, I mean I DO main Dimension Police after all so it's not like I'm going to stay quiet when I can let a Roar of the Cosmos!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Card of the Week (W/C: 15th December): Light Source Seeker, Alfred Exiv

[ACT](VC)Legion 20000 "Blaster Blade" or "Blaster Blade Seeker"(If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[CONT](VC):During your turn, if this card is Legion, this card gets [Power]+1000 for each of your other units with "Seeker" in its card name. Then, if the number of rear-guards you have is five or greater, this unit gets [Critical]+1.
[ACT](VC):[Counter Blast (2)-card with "Seeker" in its card name] Search your deck for up to one card with "Seeker" in its card name, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.

Ok, so you're building your Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon deck because of that "Does not re stand, do not want!" mentality you've picked up from the Japanese meta players, so of course you want to build the notorious deck that topped in Japan,  Saver Abyss. But here's the thing, do you REALLY want to build the deck or are you just doing it to copy someone else?

Here's my case in point, we have options for the Sing Saver deck that Japan didn't have during the decks reign. And the deck is still popular In Japan, even now with G Support now being available, it remains a favorable choice for the Japanese player base. Yes they're running Altomile and Soul Saver as their back-up grade 3's. A) We don't have the former, B) I STRONGLY Disagree with the latter.

Here's my suggestion, you want to build a Sing Saver Deck? then use Alfred as your Alternative Grade 3, and potential first ride.

Alfred uses the same mate as Sing Saver Skill allows which allows for more support options in the deck's Grade 2 line-up than if you had to fit 2 separate mates. Additionally Alfred's skill means that your legion can be hitting anything from 21000-33000 and with 5 rearguards in play he also gets an additional critical, creating additional pressure.

In the Saver Aybss build, while you can almost be certain of getting to ride "Abyss" you aren't guaranteed to get off it's skill and it's even a one-shot skill that either works, or fails, and after that? Vanilla! No additional Pressure until you hit Sing Saver. Congratulations, You just done goofed. Due to Seekers often being Sub-Clan specific you have no Synergy with Abyss (Although that's what the Blaster Support is for.)

Now this week I'm going to try and simulate 100 OR MORE games of Sing Saver Vs. Sing Saver, however, one build will be the Blaster build, (from the Japanese meta) the other will be an Alfred Build. Other than the Blaster Support in stead of pure Seekers in the Abyss build, I will build both decks the same. Trigger Line up I will use for testing will be 12 Critical and 4 heal for each side. However I shall also have strict rules in place to factor for chance and reduce the number of sack wins. There will be those that disagree with me using the V*Mundi Gauntlet Method, of testing, but on this occasion, I'm going for it.

So yes, my card of the week is Light Source Seeker, Alfred Exiv, and by the end of this week I intend to have proven that Alfred Saver is better than Abyss Saver.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C: 8th December 2014): Blue Storm Marine General, Demetrius

[AUTO] Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (1)] When an «Aqua Force» rides this unit, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose your vanguard, and until end of turn, that unit gets [Power]+10000, and "[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, if it is the fourth battle of that turn or more, draw two cards, choose one of your opponent's rear-guards, and retire it.".
[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.

From the recent Fighter's Collection I want to take a look at a card from a Clan I don't often mention. Blue Storm Marine General, Demetrius is the second Break Ride for Aqua Force, and unlike his predecessor, Blue Flight Dragon, Trans-core Dragon, Demetrius fully supports the Blue Strom sub-clan and is also a +3 in his skill alone, plus combined with Blue Storm Karma Dragon, Maelstrom "Reverse", the unit this card was designed to be paired with, you can kill two of your opponent's rearguard and pull a suddenly huge hand out of seemingly no where. But here's the thing to note, how much of a plus do you actually get?

Note: -1 to an opponent is a tactical +1 to you, not a literal +1.

BR Skill: +3
Tiwn Drive: +1
Hit-Y/N?: +5(2*)/+2(Retire+Draw)

So you'll ether make a total theoretical advantage of +6 OR +9, now bearing in mind what I previously said, (in different post,) about when an Advantage gap that reaches 8 or more. For the one on the back foot, it's Taggen Toppa or Game Over.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

V Rants: Mechanics - Twin Drive is unfair!

Thank to a guy on pojo called TehNACHO for helping me realize something that I never really thought about before, despite the fact I know I've seen this bought up several times, I myself never stopped to think about it personally- that is until now.

If you were looking at balance in Vanguard you'd have to first work out what creates imbalance, then you have to realize, what is the thing which most people despise about the game?

Grade Stuck!

But why is this? Well the source of the problem comes from an ability All Grade 3's have. Twin Drive.

Let's just look at how many cards you'll have gone through after each turn in a vanilla 2 player game, that means skill are not taken into account here. Also for this I'm Excluding damage from the card count.
Player 1 - Player 2 (16 turns, 8 each)
6-5 (EDIT: Forgot to factor first attack bonus so everything after this needs to be reworked)
24-24 (Typically by this point the game is over, each player usually only gets 8-10 turns each, although games can last up until deck-out.)

Now what if either player gets grade stuck? Double comparison required.
12-11 (Beginning of Forth Rotation and already the affects are felt, Difference = 1)
15-13 (Draw difference = 2)
18-15 (Difference = 3)
21-17 (Difference = 4)
21-19 (Difference = 5, that's a full a hand ahead)

The longer you remain Grade stuck, or rather the longer the game goes on with only one player having Twin Drive, the more necessary it becomes for the player falling behind to throw reason to the curb and doing the impossible! TAGGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN!!!!! style. If you get Grade have fallen behind and hit a permanent deficit.  Unless you can turn the tide using skill and exerting massive pressure, of course, if the opponent is also using a pro-active deck, or even using a reactive deck, this won't work. In a grade stuck game you'd be fortunate to make a comeback past the sixth or seventh rotation if you were unable to ride up.

Now, what if Grade 3's DIDN'T HAVE TWIN DRIVE?

Notice that at the start of the first rotation the first player will always have drawn one more card than the second player but this is balanced by player 2 having the first attack which counts as an additional draw, so theoretically

Sub-Conclusion: Grade Stuck isn't what screws you over, it's NOT HAVING TWIN DRIVE when the opponent does that screws you over, and the longer that lasts the harder the come-back becomes.


Point 2: Triggers

"Twin Crit 4 DAYZ!"

Triggers are unbalanced, and another factor that makes balancing Vanguard difficult. A Draw Trigger is +1 additional card.
Stand's are difficult to calculate, are they a -1, -2, or a -3 to the opponent? There's multiple factors to consider there, depending on the power of the unit they stand, and if that unit hits it's a theoretical +2.5 (Seen Heal and Critical next) to you, but potentially can also be a plus to them to if they need counterblast.
And what about Critical and Heal Trigger? Both these triggers generate relatively the same advantage difference to each other, and to work this out we have to calculate the value of damage. The value of damage is typically calculated, going by various sources as 2.5 cards, per damage. although quite how this works out I'm not too sure. 

In any case, going by that we can then assume that a 2 critical attack counts as a theoretical 5 card advantage difference. Meanwhile scoring 3 damage in once attack would count as 7.5 theoretical cards difference, which would have to rounded to 8 Cards of advantage difference. But this doesn't factor in Counterblast potential which to be honest skills aren't something raw maths can calculate for. 

Importantly to note when advantage difference reaches 8 cards or more, it's Taggen Toppa time.
You either concede accepting that you are logically highly improbable to make a come back, or push on knowing the only way you can win is by "throwing reason to the curb and doing the impossible!" if the latter, you have some serious guts.

Of course the same numbers used for damage also apply for heals, but in the favor of the one healing as opposed to the one dealing damage, and because of this a heal can cancel out advantage gain if it goes off, although it doesn't take maths to explain that, due to how obvious it is.

Sub-Conclusion: Twin Crit, when it occurs, more often than not will decide the outcome of a game, regardless of when it happens, unless heals negate the damage.

Final Conclusion: NOT having Twin Drive and/or being Twin Critical'd will ruin your game.

Does this count as a rant? Sure why not, I'm only complaining as ALL my games this past weekend were decided by Grade Stuck or Twin Crit. I'm still feeling bitter about it and I'm not playing as well as I should be as a result. And yes, I know I'm re-stating things that are said all the time, but how many of you have actually stopped to think of the numbers involved.

Oh and if you're Grade Stuck AND get twin crit'd. That a +9 the the opponent in that turn alone by which point they can be anything from 9-17 cards ahead depending on progression of the game, at a different of 10+, not even going all in, balls to the wall, Taggen Toppa style is enough, you are beyond screwed, beyond defeated, the fight is futile without anything short of a miracle to be able to push back. By this point you have been nothing short of annihilated. Good Day and sod the lot.

All of this highlights the need for G-Assist and also re-enforces that Vangaurd was NOT designed as a competitive game, but rather it was intended simply to be wacky and fun, which so long as you don't try to be overly competitive, it is.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Brave's Battles(?): Dimensional Malfunction

This did not happen!- Wait, yes it did and it pisses me off.

Entered a local today and got Grade Stuck EVERY SINGLE GAME! Except for one game where it was my opponent Grade Stuck...

I think I had it all today, lost by Grade Stuck, Lost by sack, won by Grade Stuck.... Just over all not a fun day at all.

After all the interest around Funturecard Buddyfight, I fought I'd give it a try and initially I'm not impressed. Played 2 games but both moved far too fast for my liking and become one sided in their outcome far too easily. One in my opponent's favor, the other in my own, I didn't  get any sense of balance from the game. That said I'm not willing to give up on it yet as I've only steeped in the shallows, give it another chance and I may like it, but won't know until I try. As for the local tounament results, Birmingham fighter, Fox won with Pale Moon legion. Really just a Silver Thorn deck with the Break Ride replaced by the Legion, the 12k sub-clan beater replaced by the mate.

Does this post seem half-assed? Good, 'cause that would accurately reflect how I currently feel.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

V's Thoughts: Stride and G-Assist

So a new season means new gimmicks and new mechanics. In this Case, Cardfight!! Vanguard G brings with it, not just one, but TWO new mechanics that both focus on a new zone called the Generation Zone, Stride and G-assist. There's also Generation Break which I haven't yet toyed with.

So firstly, Stride.
Now I dare say, I like this mechanic, and I mean a lot.

It's comparable to Break Ride and despite initial expectations and assumptions.  Having had the chance to properly use it, I'd say Stride is far more balanced than Legion and the fact of it being accessible to all decks means it's possible to use old decks among even the modern meta.

To test this theory I even used my old Enigman deck and made some opponents expect easy wins, then they realized how I was using Stride to take full advantage of Commander Laurel resulting in several mixed reactions. Although in this scenario the opponent would typically change their strategy to prevent further abuse it also proved to be a gambit very reliant on having the element of surprise to work. Bear in mind the Enigman build is a first generation deck using cards from BT03-BT05. For my clan of choice there is no older builds. So this as an example is probably a good one to use.

The G-Units however also bring with them G-Assist, which while you hope you never have to resort to, it's better to take the chance of getting the grade you need that remaining grade stuck and be facing an uphill struggle from there on out. And if G-Assist fails it means you would have likely lost anyway had you not resorted to it. While having to show your entire hand give the opponent knowledge to formulate a full, potentially fatal onslaught, it's still better an auto loss. Still, even with G-Assist, one thing still needs addressing for the tournament format and that's that best of one is unhealthy in a probability focused games. To control more for skill and less for a chance sack, the format should be best-of-3. But that isn't probably going to be fixed anytime soon.

So for these two mechanics I'm going to give the thumbs up, a highly positive reaction, where as with legion I just flat out did not like it, finding it bland and boring, even though it has it's own advantages and is an evident power creep up from Limit Break, and yet I still prefer chaining "single-use" boosts and spikes in power. And I think this also why I'm more comfortable with Stride than Legion, even though the former may provide fuel for the latter, but this again works in Strides favor as it demonstrates further how it supports older decks and older formats. The Generation Meta has the potential to be the most Diverse meta the games ever seen and that's a good thing. Sure tiers are still going to be a thing but as it stand currently testing for tier and deck consistency just became alot harder as the doors and options have been blown wide open and off the hinges... so with that in mind, if anyone asks- I'm not helping with tests... I'll leave working out the tiers to some other group. I'll just be focusing on trying to test how my planned future builds for reality play out.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C/: 24th November): Oath Liberator, Aglovale

[AUTO]:[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (RC), if you have a vanguard with "Liberator" in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at three cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one card with "Liberator" in its card name, call it to an open (RC), and put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order.

So the trial decks are out, and if you were to ask me what is the best card between all 3 trial decks, it becomes a toss up between Aglovale and Companion Star-vader, Photon. Algovale wins because of the potential to spark a chain of top calls which give you pluses but can also ramp up the power of May Rain Liberator, Bruno and Overcast Liberator, Geraint. Also, theoretically should be available as a Rare in BT16 ver.E meaning you only need one Trail Deck and that's for the triggers. Unfortunately for the the Trial Decks, as they are with only one of each of their key units are becoming harder to justify spending money on, especially since we know we'll be getting G in February and with there being no major events between now and then it makes investing seriously in Legion in general less viable, at least for me.

This unit being a Mate for 2 separate Legions also in an odd way hurts it. You want to call it to rearguard, but need it as your mate, which is the problem with only being one per trial deck. The card itself is a brilliant asset in any Liberator Deck, but the product it is initially available in is easily passable on.

Would I buy a trial deck for this card?  No, I'd rater get singles of this and Bluish Flame Liberator, Percival, but more to the point is this, the last Trial Deck I bough was Dimensional Brave Kaiser, and that I bought 4 copies of because it just that good of a trial deck you can compete with just what's in the box, which is quite rare. You can't compete well, but you can compete. What hurts the current Trial decks further is that with Break Rides, the Break Rides in a trial deck were often required to then build a clans completed deck. With the legion Trial Decks, you can completely skip them, unless Blaster Blade Seeker, Companion Star-vader, Photon and this are removed from their Rare slots in BT16 Ver.E, which, while unlikely, if it happens will force people to buy the Trail Decks for those units, but have unmatching art, or attempt to pull Legion Rares. Unlikely to happen, but a possibility.

I realize I've gone on more about general merchandising behaviors than the card itself but a valid point is always worth the mention.

Monday, 17 November 2014

News: European Continentals

I'm not covering this, instead I wish to pass over to a channel I'm subscribed to on YouTube.
I'm just pointing people in the correct direction.

To those that qualified to fight in on the world stage in Japan, I wish you the best.

Card Of The Week (W/C: 17th November): Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss"

Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss"
[ACT](VC)Legion 20000 "Blaster Dark Revenger "Abyss"" (If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (2) & Choose three of your rear-guards with "Revenger" in its card name, and retire them] During the turn that this unit Legion, at the end of the battle that this unit attacked a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, [Stand] all of your vanguards. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.(Even if you do not pay the cost, this ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.)[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.

Blaster Dark Revenger "Abyss"
[AUTO]:[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (RC), if you have a vanguard with "Revenger" in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your opponent's grade 1 or less rear-guards, and retire it.

I was going to do a genesis unit this week but due to Shadow Disaster pulling an SP Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Aybss" I had a change of plan one rather apt to considering the performance of "Aybss" deck in Japan.

This Friday Japan recives the G-Trail Decks, Awakening of the Inter-dimensional Dragon, and Divine Swordsman of the Shiny Star. Meanwhile we enter Legion Mate with the simultaneous release of FIVE different sets. Among which is of course EB11 Requiem at Dusk.

So aside from the SP pull, why did I change my initial plan?

Well because I wanted a chance to discuss why Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss" decks remain the go-to deck for the end of the Legion era, despite the existance of Kagero's Perditions and Link Joker's vast selection of weapons, play-styles and bosses.

Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss" is a Legion essentially an on-legion Revenger, Raging Form Dragon. A unit which itself has recently sprung back to action at the end of the Regional tour of the Bushiroad WCQ allowing for 2 qualifying Revenger decks to take places in the World Champion Continental rounds.

The "Abyss" deck, that has seen the most rise to fame, is itself essentially a modified Raging Form build, usaully sacrificing Tartu/Mana to fit 4 Blaster Dark Revenger "Abyss" while also keeping 3-4 Blaster Dark Revenger in the deck to use with Blaster Troop Revenger, Dorint as an un-flip engine.


Anyway, on to the card itself.
PB"A" when solo attacks for 13000 without a boost, on the turn it performs Legion it gains Revenger, Ragin Form Dragon's skill, a card which as I've pointed out is popular in it's own right. Additionally while in legion the PB"A" can hit 22000 power without needing a boost, that's 3 stages against a typical 11k base vangaurd, which means dropping 5 stages (5x5000) to guard for a two to break, and 6 stages for no pass.

The mate, Blaster Dark Revenger "Abyss" now snipes boosters, which contrasts with all his previous forms but more importantly it contrasts with Blaster Blade, demonstrating his own style instead of attempting to match and beat Blaster Blade at the latter's own game.

However I feel that the success of the deck in Japan has made the prices for this legion become inflated higher than they should be with some dealers asking for £20 for either half of it, one instance of the full legion will cost you £40, 40x4=£160, I could build a new deck from scratch for that much.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Brave's Buddies: Shadow Disaster's Requiem at Dusk (Sneak Preview report)

(Report written by Shadow Disaster)

The first sneak peak of a the legion era started and finished, with a fight between the 2 respected clans of Genesis and Shadow Paladin. In my honest opinion I do feel that the Booster Draft went well, I had 2 wins and 2 loses the first loss was to snake which was rather bitter and pointless, and the other was to Duke, both from Team Dark Sanctuary, to which i enjoyed and it a pleasant battle.

How ever with the wins I achieved the first was against Angel and i really enjoyed that game as I feel it was a close game between us, and make me want to face her again with my own deck, and the last game of the day against a random child, at first I felt it was be an easy win once I reached Legion but then as I let one of his attacks, through which cost me the only copy of my legion mate so I felt obligated to take vengeance. (I honestly felt like a butcher, a butcher that just got his hands on a very fresh piece of meat, so fresh you could say it still had a pulse and i reached for the biggest, sharpest, and heaviest blade I could get my hands on and started to slice and cut away at him till he hit 6 damage it wasn't enough i wanted to beat him even more to the point where he would have FEARED ME !!!!)

In concerns of my loot, I was very happy to walk away with an SP copy of one of the cards I entered for ‘thanks to the overlord’ and caused a bit of an upset with a card fighter in the sneak preview.  

He may have won the fight but I won the war.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Thoughts: Robos, possible lore plot thread

The Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha has served me well since August 2013, when I started Vanguard. My very first deck attempt mixing Platinum Ace and BT-08 Dimensional Robos together. Then as time passed I went full Robo, with reinforcements sent along Dimensional Robo, Kaizard to combat Link Joker, a force of Invaders possessing  the power of LOCK, lead by Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon, whom alongside the multiple other generals of the Star-Vaders also wielded the power of Reverse.

During the invasion of Star Gate, the Dimension Police and Nova Grappler fought fiercely to protect their territory, however they sustained heavy losses with powerful warriors from both sides becoming corrupted by "Reverse"

Now this next section is based upon my own hypothesis of what happened after Daiyusha was Reversed. The lore never explained the outcome of what happened next.

Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser was forced to fight the hero who had now become Dark Dimensional Robo, "Reverse" Daiyusha. The confrontation would prove to be fatal, the fallen hero was saved by Daikiaser, however I( expect) the damage endured was to great, Dark Dimensional Robo, "Reverse" Daiyusha, was destroyed, but his core, now liberated survived.

In the aftermath of several battles, Star Gate lay in ruins. Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser remained on the ground along with a small number of  companions as they raced to the Front Lines of the war alongside Nova Grapppler Beast Deity, Ethics Buster to join up with the Gold Paladin Liberators, Shadow Paladin Revengers, the Aqua Force troops under the command of Blue Wave Dragon, Tetra-Drive Dragon, and others.

However, with damage Kaiser Grader would have sustained int he battle for Star Gate, my guess would be that this is where Super Dimensional Robo, Shadow Kaiser steps in. or rather specifically the Kaiser Wing.

The Link Joker advance had reached the United Sanctuary and it was there that Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon unleashed his ultimate weapon, a being made from pure negative energy harvested from those he'd "Reversed"

The Doomsday weapon, designation: Omega, was defeated by the Liberator Army while the armies of other regions of Cray fought with the various generals of the Star-vader forces. With his weapon destroyed, Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon retreated, leaving his army to fend for itself, with the loss of their commander the remaining Generals were defeated and shut down.

In the aftermath of the Reverse War conflict came a time of reconciliation and rehabilitation, Dimensional Robo, Daiheart's Core was probably transferred to a new body, that new form being Super Dimensional Robo, Diard, it's power equating to being an upgrade of Super Dimensional Robo, Daiyusha, however the trade-off being that the reborn Daiheart losses the power to combine with he Rescue Yusha, however we can expect that these would have been destroyed along with Dark Dimensional Robo, "Reverse" Daiyusha.

I can work out a logical explanation to the origins of Diard, however what if Daiheart's Core was instead placed into the Kaiser Wing allowing Shadowkaiser to act independently of Dimensional Robo Kaizard? This is where the time-line also starts to become skewed making any plausibility even harder to calculate as the result is an endless stream of alternating timelines and possibilities, including timelines in which Daikaiser and Daiyusha never fought off against each other, and the latter never even being "Reversed".

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C: 10th November): Mesmerizing Witch, Fianna (LEGION)

Mesmerizing Witch, Fianna
[ACT](VC)Legion 20000 "Witch of Reality, Femme" (If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[ACT](VC):[Counter Blast (2)] If this unit is Legion, choose up to two of your opponent's occupied (RC), your opponent reveals ten cards from the top of his or her deck, chooses one grade 0 card among them for each of those (RC), calls them to those separate (RC), and then shuffles his or her deck.
[ACT](VC):[Choose one of your rear-guards with the same name as a unit on your (VC), and retire it] If the number of grade 0 rear-guards your opponent has is two or more, draw two cards. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.

Witch of Reality, Femme
[AUTO](RC):When this unit attacks, if you have a vanguard with "Witch" in its card name, this unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of that battle.

Well then, witches have become a sub-clan and thanks to BushiNavi, I also have an English card image to use.
So, what are the Shadow Paladin witches about?
Manipulating both your opponent's deck and field, reducing the number of Grade 0's in their deck which weakens both the deck's defense AND offence (Triggers) playing mainly to a defensive style, which contrasts with the offensive strategies of Revengers.

Fianna herself has 2 skills that are designed to decrease an opponent's field presence while also generating advantage for yourself, so long as you're willing to make your own sacrifices in the process.

When In Legion, Finna's ability to manipulate the depths of your opponent's deck knows no equal, searching the top 10 cards to forcefully call out 2 Grade 0 units, more often than not triggers, furthermore is the knowledge of the opponent's deck that this give you, including discovering their trigger line-up and working out their full strategy, eliminating any surprise endgames that you otherwise not expect.

Her second skill, a persona retire also follows on from her Legion Skill, by retiring a copy of a unit that you also have on the Vangaurd circle you -1, but in exchange for this you get a +2, this means Fianna's secondary skill is a net +1. However, quality over quantity also becomes a topic for much debate and concern. Do you really want to sacrifice hard hitting units to possibly not be able to replace them?  This also applies to Witch of Reality, Femme, whom being a typical sub-clan 12k hitter makes getting in those 2 stage columns easy, even against X-Rides, is it worth sacrificing that for what is just a +1? That's not really for me to say.

The thing to note with Shadow Paladin Witches is this, Mesmerizing Witch, Fianna may hold a few tricks, and be one of the 3 RRR's of Extra Booster 11 "Requiem at Dusk" but she is only the set-up for the Witch deck's End Game.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Off Topic: App Review - Swiss System (Android)

So a while ago I reviewed, Brackelope Tournament builder for iOS. Out of interest I tried to find it on Google play, but was disappointed to find it did not exist. So- time to search for something new. Again sticking to the same rules, it has to be free to download (even if some features are premium locked) and it MUST work OFFLINE

Well I found something.

 Swiss Rounds is the typical format of a locals, so we're already off to a good start.

Unfortunately the app doesn't some with instructions, and neither are there any on it's play store page. So I guess I'm going to have to walk-through this step-by-step. When you first download and open the app. you will be greeted by a Black Screen. (Ignore the "VGSB 4.3", that's something I'm currently doing and is irrelevant.)

You can either set-up a tournament first, or set-up a player register first, I'll explain what the register does in a bit, but for now we'll set-up a tournament.

Press the "New Tournament" button and we shall proceed.
 When creating a new tournament, it's as simple as naming it. you don;t really need to bother with the date to be honest.

So yeah, just give your tournament a name then it is on to player registration.
 There's two ways to register players, for first time entry, you have to "Add new Player" note the singular tense. This is my one serious gripe with the app you can not add new players in-bulk, however any players who have previously been involved in a tournament recorded on the device are saved to the register. You can also add to the register without needing a tournament but again, this is one entity at a time so can become frustrating with a lot of names.

Thank the creators for the Player Register, as if anything, this is the app's saving grace. Any name you input to the register or a tournament is saved to the register for later use in another tournament.

Interestingly, I've put up to 50 players maximum so far and have to hit a capped limit. For a free app, that is surprising.

(Sorry to those of you whose names appear in my following screen captures, I was too lazy to edit the register for review purposes)

 Now this is the part where I explain how Swiss Rounds work for anyone who isn't aware. The first round is always random parings then following rounds, parings are decided by similar scores. Ranks for tied scores are calculated based on the respective points of each opponent you defeated, if you defeated the 1st ranked player while tied with some one who had only beaten second for example, the one who beat the guy in first will get rank priority.

You can also set custom scores by pressing the menu button of your mobile device and accessing preferences.
I use the following:
Win: 3
Draw: 0
Loss: 0

I choose this set up to use the Double-Loss rule of official events, in Vanguard there is no such thing a draw.

Opponent's scores are calculated after inputting the result of each match they have fought in.

 A nice touch is seeing the progress as a percentage, unnecessary but the developer put it in there anyway, of each round, note you can exit the pairings page to look at player scores at any time. 

Be aware that you can not compute the next round until all matches of the current active round are completed.

You can keep going until you're satisfied you have a top-4 cut, but it would be sensible to set a realistic cut-off point because you only have so much time to a day.

Heck Insomnia 53 has 4 blocks 64 players with 5 rounds of best-of-3 swiss. That's 10-15 games per player, you really shouldn't need any more than 8 rounds of swiss.

In any case, once you have a top 2/4/8 you may switch to elimination brackets pairing up the top fighters, dropping everyone else.

Anyway, as for the app, final thoughts?


Brackelope set the bar high, and I doubt I'll find anything that comes close to beating it that also works offline, but this takes my second place marker. While this app doesn't meet my expectations in some areas, it's functional and gets the job done, which is what matter, I just wish it was slightly easier to use and looked nicer.

If it did either one of these things I'd rank it higher.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C: 3rd November): Seeker, Light Saver Dragon (LEGION)

Seeker, Light Saver Dragon
[ACT](VC)Legion 20000 "Seeker, Light Blaze Dragon" (If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[ACT](VC):[Counter Blast (2)-card with "Seeker" in its card name] If this unit is Legion, choose up to three of your units, and those units get [Power]+5000 until end of turn. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.
[AUTO](VC):[Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] When this unit's attack hits a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, search your deck for up to one card with "Seeker" in its card name, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.

Seeker, Light Blaze Dragon
[AUTO] (RC):When this unit's attack hits a vanguard, if you have a vanguard with "Seeker" in its card name, choose one of your other units, and that unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of turn.

There's no denying that this is another Soul Saver Dragon, type gambit, something that this has in common with a card I use in current actual Royal Paladin deck, that card being Sanctuary of Light, Brightness Dragon. So, why have I chosen this as my Card of the week? Quite simply because it takes a play style I already use but adds additional pressure play, dropping a card from your to superior call a unit from the deck, may be a +/-0 but depending on what you call you can also make it into a +1 or +2, but that's not all there is to it, this is a legion in which the Mate can be used to provide as much pressure as the main Vangaurd and additionally it does so in such a way that it complements and combos well with the Vanguard skill.

Also... "Saver" and "Light" I can't help but feel that Bushiroad were targeting SoL and SSD players with this card. Well it's working because it caught my interest.

While there is no denying the dominance and results of Seeker, Sing Saver Dragon in the Japanese meta, something that will occur just as equally in the English meta, when it comes to building Seekers this is the gambit I'd want to focus on. But then again, I don't want to necessarily win, unlike meta-sheep & meta-heads/pros, what I look for in a deck is a deck that will give me good matches in casual and locals play, if I'm going big there's only one clan I'm equipping for the event, and fortunately for me, we'll be getting an extra booster in time for the next pro season (team league)