Monday, 29 June 2015

Brave's Battles: Tag Team Terror

-And that (title) is alliteration. ^^

Well this was different. Locals that had a tag team tournament, and will now do so last Saturday of every month. It was enjoyable that much is sure and gave a different perspective on how to fight, There was 12 people present and so 6 teams were formed, with the pairings being randomly drafted by drawing cards and pairing with the player that held the matching card: Team Names, clans and results as follows;

1st: Big Bang Theory
A: Genesis
B: Narukami
2nd: Trigger Club
A: Shadow Paladin
B: Gold Paladin
3rd: Trust NO Bitches
A: Great Nature
B: Gold Paladin
4th: We Don't Give a **** (WDGAS)
A: Link Joker
B: Genesis
5th: Double Force
A: Spike Brothers
B: Gear Chronicle
6th: Techno-Organic
A: Nova Grappler (V)
B: Great Nature (D)

Where am I in all of this? At the bottom, as the Nova Grappler player in Techno-Organic. Oh dear oh dear- what went wrong?


Round 1 vs. Big Bang Theory
Personally bad match up vs Narukami paired with bad rides and all heals in starting hand.
Attempt to recover with Legion but countered by Zoras and killed in same turn.
Partner had opposite problem of attackers but no defence.

Round 2 vs. Trigger Club
Gold Paladin Early rushed me as soon as their second turn, and we learned the hard way that Diablo Vs. Great Nature does not end well, and that was despite Shadow Paladin's generally having a bad game.

Round 3 vs. Double Force
In being so concerned about Spike Brothers both me and my partner ended up making several misplays that while all minor, added up. I managed to do use Tribute to do some damage to my opposing Gear Chronicle field but retired the wrong units for the optimal play, I ended up being too concerned about Stem Knight, Puzur-Illi when the real threat at the time was Steam Fighter, Amber.

If I had to be honest I'd say I was the weak link in Techno Organic, I was playing Nova Grappler which need their field, and yet I was unable to establish that field in any of our matches.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

V-Reviews: G-LD-01 "The Dark" Ren Suzugamori

I've finally played enough game to review this beast so let's get to it! Or rather to rephrase, is this set really as good as it seems?

Well aside from the deck itself this set includes a few extras, a promo card, a deck box, and a fighter's counter. I didn't keep my Fighter's Counter as I simply don't use them but I'm fairly confident I know what I'm talking about when it comes to plastics since aside from playing cards I'm also a toy collector and have also built my fair share of Gunpla. The Deck box while not to same quality as the Japanese Legend Deck's deck box, it is still of decent quality and doesn't feel like it's it's at any risk of breaking or splitting due to something silly like being dropped that said I haven't actually done drop testing and quite frankly don't wish to in case I end up eating my words.

The remaining extra item is the Promo as mentioned in brief above.

Dark Knight, Grim Recruiter
Stride (Released when both players' vanguards are grade 3 or greater!)-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[AUTO](VC):When this unit's attack hits a vanguard, search your deck for up to one grade 1 or less card, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.

A simple on hit pressure unit but that's frankly all this unit needs to be, G Shadow Paladin seems to be focused around it's Grade 1's and superior calling them. As such, Grim Recruiter is the Grade 1 calling equivalent of Royal Paladin's Gablade; between these two it may be debated which give the better quality plus but Grade 1 calling in shadows chains better than Grade 2 calling in Royal Paladin so with those factors taken into account Grim Recruiter does become the better stride with the two compared but both maintain their respective valuable positions in their own clans.

As for the main deck which is what the set is all about, I don't really care for the foiled versions to be honest. Sure it's easy bling but the foil itself just looks kinda dull in person. It's a problem I also had with the foils of the Gear Chronicle  and Royal Paladin G-Trial Decks. Consequently I play with just flat versions of the cards except for where I have to use a foil, those instances being Fullbau Brave and Grim Recruiter, otherwise the deck, art wise is really nice. But ten again I've always liked Shadow Paladin art Be it the classics, the Revengers, Witches, or now, even the Legend deck, and then there's the upcoming Sovereign series, which brings even more of that art that I love so much, Especially with Aurageyser, but that may because of whom the artist is and how I've just decided I want to get any cards drawn by them.

More importantly than looks though, is how this deck plays. Well pure Legend deck can't really do much until you're in Generation Break and until then it's just vanilla and meh. That in mind, this deck as it comes can be easily wiped out by anything with a good grade 1 or grade 2 rush, or that can generally can just get away with not rising to Grade 3. This isn't anything unexpected of Generation Break restricted decks though really is it.

Everything in this deck begins from your starter, Fullbau Brave, pretty standard deal for a Trial Deck starter CB-1 into soul, do something, in this case Fullbau becomes Shadow Paladin's Gunner Gear Dragokid but restricted to searching for Blaster units, which in turn makes him a later, but better Wingal Brave so long as you're on Generation Break 1, and that's going to be a consistent issue here. 

Assuming we're in Generation Break then the deck has enough units in it to be able to recover a field if wiped out but can really only pull a full recovery so long as you have Dark Heart Trumpeter in hand or the deck. Dark Night Maiden helps to by superior calling into Trumpeter to then chain something else in but the fact is you are reliant on having one of these two units in your hand to be able to start your recovery. Sure you have Dark Great Mage, Badhadh Caar but being an on-hit means the opponent can just deflect him to but and end to you recovery efforts. Losing one or two units progressively won't shut you down, but 2 full board wipes might leave you in an awkward situation. At the same time though since this set was so accessible even to new players, in theory- stock shortages may have changed that, means that aside from dealing with board wipes you also have to deal with mirror matches but also there's Link Joker.

The Legend Deck focuses on the Diablo Units, these are Blaster Dark "Diablo" as your Grade 3 and Heartbreaker and Dark Dragon, Phantom Blaster "Diablo" as your stride unit. In combination these two units provide the Legend Deck with some serious firepower but also due to how they function, if you aren't striding you aren't winning, This also means that once you've used your strides, if the opponent is still standing, you better be ready for things to start heading down hill, the Diablo units when bought together are the only control the deck has on an opposing field and so long as they have 3 or more units on their field at the start of your turn there's a chance Diablo isn't hitting and if nither of your two Diablo stride swings hits all you have left is recovery from the opponent's own control.

In a mirror match this also means keeping at least 3 units on your field at the end of your own turn which the Legend deck provides the perfect tools for as mentioned above, and Pitch Black Sage, Charon also helps towards this, when killing you own kin for a Grade 3 or greater Blaster unit, Charon counts as two units instead of one this is of use in several ways as any future strides we get that stride atop a Blaster, he will help tremendously in keeping the number of retires down which is what you want in order to create, hold, and maintain an advantage.

Aside from board management though we have power and defense.

Obvious one aside being the Perfect Guard which in this case is Little Skill Witch, Nemain which may not be so perfect after all, she can only guard the Vangaurd in exchange for gaining a skill; if a copy of her is in the drop zone, draw a card and then discard 1, this may offer a chance to fix your hand but it can also prove a problem in other situations, and this skill is not optional. I'd think I'd rather have had a vanilla perfect guard instead should there be the need to defend Rear Guards from Commander Laurel, Dragonic Overlord, The End or any applicable others. Although the art is cute, which isn't something I thought I'd ever say about Nemain whom usually looks murderous more so than anything the other defensive card, and potentially often overlooked,  Unorthodox Sheild, Mac Lir a unit who used to be a perfect guard but down graded to powerful intercept instead, being a special intercept comes with drawbacks of being an 8k base, but in this deck specifically, that can be partnered with a 9000 power booster.

Talking about Power it's time to bring up the Revenger Brothers, Claudas and Dorint are back, having left the Revengers with their loyalty sworn exclusive to Blaster Dark. The two brothers have retrained to support Blaster units by providing extra hitting power, and when fighting in unison with Arduous Battle Knight, Claudus boosting Bloodstained Battle Knight, Dorint not only to the power up further to hit for 22000, when they do hit they countercharge 1 damage so that you may use it for more skills, even though interestingly the Legend Deck itself I haven't found to be heavy on the counterblast. Individaully I'd say Cluadus is his own little secert weapon by allowing an 8k front line, such as say Mac Lir (as pictured above), to hit for 17000, making 2 stages against most opponents. But bring the two brothers together and being the unflip engine they are, they will certainly be a staple in the finished deck, the Legend Deck is only the start of a new era of Shadows.

If I was to grade this in the manner of treating this as two Trial Decks combined, it falls short of the mark set by Link Joker and Aqua Force's Trial Decks to be honest, as raw sets with minimal modification I think Aqua Force G-TD-04 is the one I fear the most. Does that mean you need to mix this and Revengers to have a good deck? No. The deck as it comes is perfectly playable, albeit not as simple and easy to play optimally as it may first appear, but played correctly and with just a few additions this deck is capable of destruction. It's strongest points are also it's vulnerabilities, and there's units that as the deck is are conflicting with one another and this is mainly an issue with the Grade 2 line up, none of them are bad, the the issue of all wanting to be on the front row while there's only two spaces means someone has got to go, and that someone is going to be Mac Lir as his limitations make him the weakest link. Of course the issue is then what to replace him with.
Dark Great Mage, Badhadh Caar will also face removal probably in favor of Claret Sword when available.

Final ranking: 8/10

Oh and just before I go, triggers. Happy the set came with 8 Crit, and do not under estimate Howl Owl, it may just prove to be a saving grace.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Brave's Battles: Shadows on Sunday

I hadn't indented to go out to yet another local this week, yet that's exactly what happened when I received a request from Teal Mariner to meet at Escape Games in Coventry; being a Sunday also I knew exactly where this was going...

We started the locals later than usual as we spent a lot of time collectively as a group just gossiping and going over a few trades and testing upgrades. I decided to use Sanctuary Guard again because well it's a break from robots, although this time I did have my DP G Units with me so could have stuck to using the deck I'm known for but sometime you feel like a change, which is why I have 20 decks in total, even though most of them still need a lot of work and investment to be even locals viable.

We had 6 people partake in the locals with the following decks.

3 Royal Paladin
1 Shadow Paladin
1 Granblue
1 Bermuda Triangle

Based on the title of this post take a guess what won. Shadow Paladins with Diablo Abyss Revengers. Deck is top tier in the meta at the moment and while at the local level that doesn't show too heavily when you only play 3 round in what isn't even an overly competitive scene, the power of the deck does become more obvious when showcased in larger level 2 events.

In any case I'm going to keep this brief as I am now overdue on the legend deck review so need to get to work on that.

Round 1 I faced Granblue and it was not a good game for them, however they managed to work with it anyway and that in combination with some places where I think I might of misplayed gave them the win.

Round 2 was vs, Teal which was not good for him as he doesn't really play, but rather just collects, however it did mean a relatively easy win for me, despite the game lasting longer than it should have.

Round 3 Vs. Diablo Abyss. Didn't have a good game on the whole, was unable to set up a decent field and this left Regalie as being less of a threat, never managed to get my 4 attacks a turn in during this fight either.

Finished the day 1-2 which I now need to add to my record for this year.

Right, now to play catch up before posting the COTW for this week. Actually there won't be one as I have something else in store this week, despite it going against my original plans....

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Brave's Battles: An gap of opportunity

Cheap wins are cheap, but a win is also a win.
Went to Local HQ yesterday, only six people as most of the local fighters were off at Team League, of which I couldn't afford to go. However while all the power houses are away I managed to play a locals that I actually could win with minimal effort. Or so I thought...

with 6 people we player 3 rounds of Swiss, I would have preferred Round Robin but that's the given format so deal with I guess.

Between the 6 of us our decks were as follows including final rank.

Royal PaladinSanctuary Guard Altmile
Shadow Paladin - Diablo Abyss
Narukami - Ignition Vanguisher
Aqua Force - 2 mixed G-TDs
Royal Paladin - Seekers
Kagero - Perdition Breakdown

My first round opponent was a player nicknamed Grey Wolf, He plays Shadow Paladins and ONLY Shadow Paladins, he entered with the new improved Abyss deck using Diablo. He wins dice roll to start and things are pretty tame on the first 4 turns. (2 each) On turn 5 he rides Mordred, I let it hit, Judgebau goes off and so Swordbreakers follow, but I allowed this since it didn't pull him too far ahead on card advantage since I'd graded up using the SoL ride chain which had given me an +2 of my own in the early stages. As of end of this turn damage is 3-2 (I think) with Wolf leading. On my turn I ride Sanctuary Guard Dragon, answering Wolf's Swordbreaker with my Sword of Hope, Richard and then dropping SoL, Brightness Dragon to stride into my new toy, courtesy of Fighter's Collection 2015- which is bloody scarce here in UK, Sanctuary Guard Regalie I had 2 grade 1s on field at this time which meant +6000 to entire from row, which consisted of Regalie and  Knight of Twin Sword.
Regalie attacks first, boosted by SoL, Planet Lancer for total of 39000 on the opposing Vanguard, not guarded. Wolf goes to 3 damage. Twin Sword follows the Vangaurd's lead and hits for 26000 thanks to a boost from Richard. Twin's Skill to grab a Battle Flag Knight Constance whom is left unable to attack due to Wolf getting defensive triggers.
Wolf makes his push for game now his damage is 4, Break Ride into Revenger, Phantom Blaster "Abyss" Break Ride skill to call Fighting Spirit Revenger, Macart who in turn retrieved Transcient Masqurade upon performing the action of Legion. A Dorint and Blaster Dark Revenger column turns up a counterblast and Wolf then attacks.

Block Dark, I'm still two damage. Abyss attacks with it's first swing, no guard, Wolf checks 2 Grade 3s. Retire to stand again, I nullify. Wolf checks another Grade 3, and a heal. I let the final attack hit. Putting us at 4-3 in Wolf's favour. But hit lack of shield leaves Wolf vunrable and my second stride of Regalie alongside triple driving 3 triggers; Crit, Heal, Crit- Game

Adding to the number of Matt, Mathews and Matthews in the area, my second opponent shall be introduced as Tridge, this game was evenly matched for most of it's duration, even with Tridge having to G-Sassit for a grade 1, only to ride a Perfect Guard
Even match and me having only a moderatly better time in comparitson as I missed the ridechain and thus my easy early set-up/ The game reached a point after each having had one stride that had Tridge been able to get to his next turn, it would have tipped the balance with crippling effectiveness, however I sacked crits just in time, and he never got that chance to unleash Conquest.

Round 3 was  against a guest to the shop, who had come from somewhere than even by train is an hour away, they were an unknown fighter who came in entering with 2 combined Aqua Force decks. I'd free-played the opponent earlier and also knew that once GB1 hit that things would start going live and getting dangerous, so I opted for a tactical early rush thanks to SoL ride chain skill on Determinator. Instead or retrieving a grade as I usually would I instead grabbed another grade 2, Sanctuary of Light, Determinator to hit with a decent attacker. The following turn I rode Altmile, opponent was sitting on the Grade 3 10 from the Trial Deck.went immediately into Gablade and alt's Stride skill to maintain pressure. It took 2 strides and Generation Break 2 to deliver the vital crushing blow. Managed to score and hit with Battle Flag Knight, Constance to use his skill to replace it's booster with a new one, this used in combination with Twin Sword to enabled me to rest the entire column for a 4th attack and potentially game. That said, I didn't actually get to finish this combo play due killing the opponent through critical sack once more.

Regardless of the how though, I managed 3-0 and that's an improvement on how things have been, but since most of the more difficult players to face were away fighting bigger beasts this local really can't be considered as any form of evidence of improvement.

Only down side to topping, I've got to defend next month- and when that time comes I'll probably fall. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

COTW (W/C 15/06/2015): Dark Knight Maiden, Macha (Joke Post)

[AUTO](RC) Generation Break 1
[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit attacks a vanguard, if this unit is boosted, you may pay the cost. If you do, search your deck for up to one grade 1 card, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.

I'll put my hands up here, I could have easily chosen either of the Diablo cards from the highly anticipated Legend Deck here, but I didn't because- WAIFU!!!!!!!

Ok, you should have worked this out by now but I've chosen this card, not necessarily because it's good, although it is an amber clone so that almost, without fail, means a card is good. Nope- on this occasion I've jumped off the highly illogical spring board all because it's the waifu, my waifu.

And this therefore means now is as good time as ever to go over something. Wiess Schwarz is another of Bushiroad's TCG's and while not one I know much about, I do know how to play it. It is commonly said as a joke that this game is basically Waifu Wars, well that's partially right, taking into account the obsessiveness over certain characters some people have, be it SAO, Asuna or Shion, any of the Love Live cast, or to go obscure Tsubasa from Symphogear, yeah that anime has a deck to, in Japanese only. T_T But it's not just "Waifu" but what about about when it's the other way around? There's also the term "Mai Husbando" for when one is attracted to characters of the male gender.

Sure in either case being attracted to 2D characters is generally frowned upon, and yet it is common among us Otaku, and we will fight to decide the supreme Waifu, so I guess it's a good thing we have Weiss for that. Mind you, we could have also had Chaos TCG but I doubt that would ever be able to sold in the west with some of the content in that game. While we're at it, Takara, I've collected Transformers for 15+ years, now give me Wixoss in English! I DEMAND IT!

In seriousness, I'm getting a Legend Deck delivered on Friday (hopefully, so long as courier service's local driver doesn't accidentally deliver next door again. >:L) and hopefully picking up a box of FC so long as they haven't all sold out. UK supply is scarce, non of the retailers have any of the new stuff still in stock, and it's not even out yet. I will spend this weekend playing my Legend Deck to be able to give a deck review on Sunday evening (my time) next week I'll cover the Link Joker Trial deck to give me time to go over the Fighter's Collection strides I hope to be getting to test. I will have to use other people to help me with that article of course but I can have them do the foot work while playing at nationals to which I hope to be able to give some form of report for. Even though I myself can not go, I will have forces in my Cardiff and Huddersfield.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Virtual Decks: Dragonic Kaiser Crimson

Well that's a new topic type- but why? Simply put it's a heading prefix I can use for the decks that I do not and probably will not ever get my hands on IRL, regardless of how long I play this game, unless everyone went and quit leaving a huge stock market of collections on the cheap to to an over saturated and collapsing market but let's preferably not go down that road.

Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion is the OG Narukami deck, hailing from an era when Limit Break where over costed and you'd probably only get you big plays off once or twice at best. Dragonic Kiaser Crimson provided the old imperial dragon of the thunder dragons with the Legion Upgrade, and that along side some newer support units makes the deck viable once again, if you play it in level 1 or casual play anyway, higher levels of play might prove entertaining in terms of the match-ups. In any case, the following is the build I've been playing with this week and I must say, now I want to build Vermillion to- except Brawlers are better, like by a lot.

Deck Name : The Kaiser, Crimson red path.

1x Brawler, Fighting Dracokid (FV)
4x Demonic Dragon Nymph, Seiobo (HEAL)
4x Eradicator, Yellow Gem Carbuncle (CRIT)
4x Heaven Rising Brawler, Yohzen (CRIT)
4x Malevolent Djinn (CRIT)
4x Dragon Dancer, Anastasia (PGG)
3x Eradicator, Egghelm Dracokid (LB0)
2x Mighty Bolt Dragoon (Stride Assist)
2x Rising Phoenix
3x Tonfa Brawler, Arc
4x Demonic Dragon Berserker, Chatura
2x Dusty Plasma Dragon
4x Voltage Horn Dragon
4x Dragonic Kaiser Crimson
3x Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion
2x Dragonic Vanquisher

4x Conquering Supreme Dragon, Conquest Dragon
3x Lightning Dragon Knight, Zorras
1x Snow Element, Blizza

Have I mastered this deck? No, I've only been playing it for week, but I believe having toyed with this build that it's a good starting point with 2 routes to take between Crimson and Vanquisher depending on which you draw first.

User Notes:
Brawler, Fighting Dracokid is used alongside your Kaiser Legion to cause further damage an opposing field. This provides you one highly devastating turn, but against many decks today, one devastating turn alone just isn't enough, but then again, Vermillion reborn as a whole just is not Narukami's Most Effective Tactic Available so if you're playing this build, you're realistically doing so for fun anyway.

Your Legion, is you main gambit, and since it will always be attacking first, 12 Crit (as I've used) or switching in some draws are your realistic options, Stand Triggers will just not be of mush use here and placing them in would be highly illogical.

Being the kind of deck this is, Eradicator, Egghelm Dracokid, is an esstial component of you main gambit if you plan to be able to do some damage without actaully having 4 damage.

Mighty Bolt Dragoon is a way to search out your plan B Grade 3 should you feel like using Dragonic Vanquisher or rather be in a scenario where you need to use him as you rather Dragonic Vanquisher than riding Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion.

Rising Phoenix it's a Luck Bird clone card, nothing special but it is a +1, ok being placed behind Vangaurd, not so good being put anywhere else, reason being is it's 5000 power not being good for boosting rearguards, but you can still get away with this with the vanguard lane, and since you have a rear guard that attacks for 11k anyway, in the visage of Demonic Dragon Berserker, Chatura, this is one of the exceptions where even boosting a rear, with Rising Phoenix will most often be hitting for 2 stages. And well it could also be boosting Dusty Plasma Dragon, so long as it's not boosting Voltage Horn Dragon you satisfy the boundary for hitting for 2 stages.

Tonfa Brawler, Arc I keep forgetting to use this guy's skill, EVERY. DAMN. TIME. It's a good skill, I just NEVER remember to use it, that's called Vanbad people. He's good in this build just take my word for it, and don't do what I do. Make sure unlike me you actually remember to make use of his AUTO.

Grade 2:
Demonic Dragon Berserker, Chatura has one major restriction on him, and may have a low base power, but he is a high pressure unit, binding the opposing drop zone and giving you a +1 for counterblast 1 if he hit the vanguard, not that it's going to be attacking anything else.

The other two Grade 2 can both be summed up easily. Dusty Plasma Dragon - Vermiallion 12k, can easily use GB1 12k instead, neither going live till your at greade 3 anyway and GB1 is just one turn slower typically but works regardless of your Vangaurd, and so long as it's attacking Vangaurd, not that it's likely to attacking thing else, it's Narukami after all, play it well and what front line does the opponent have? Just swing dammit SWING AND LET THERE BE BLOOD! Whoa. that's not like me. PUNCH IT INTO OBLIVION! OK, I'm done. Last Grade 2, Voltage Horn Dragon is the clan's Amber Clone, and there hasn't been a single bad one of those yet.

You bosses, your grade 3's, two are OK in their own different ways, the remaining one you simply want to avoiding riding if you can as it will prove costly, in more ways than one. Dragonic Kaiser Crimson is you main ace and is what makes Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion work. The latter of which you do not want to ride, like at all. Crimson holds much better synergy with the deck, since it uses Legion support units. And allows you to clear that front row for free, Vermillion alone however is CB3 which then shut down the rest of the deck into a mostly vanilla game. Do not want!
Failing Crimson, you still have an easy way to wipe the front row and gain huge power benefits doing so but it requires being on your second stride or greater and going for Conquering Supreme Dragon, Conquest Dragon on top of Dragonic Vanquisher, This clears the opppoent's front row while giving all of your +10000 power, if you achieved the relatively simple combo that is. This same move is also your ideal finishing move.
I will admit, I thought Dragonic Vanquisher was a bad unit before playing this deck, but since seeing through tests how he combos with your finishing stride, I realize how mistaken I was, and sure, his GB2 remains underwhelming, but it's easy to trigger and it's pressure all the same, aside from which you don't really focus on the GB2, they are just there as a back up plan should you not be able to stride.

This leaves two other strides as mentioned above, Lightning Dragon Knight, Zorras is the simple on-hit stride, in his case retire and bind an opponent's card, the oddball, but not really, is Snow Element, Blizza- tossed in should you Ride Vanquisher so you can then use GB2 next turn if need be, a technical option for specific situation but can also be uased as an alternate finisher if your opponent's somehow survived 2 turns of a fully successful Conquest Dragon gambit, at that point that's at least 5+1 (6) Face up G-Units making Blizza 56000, adding in typical booster that's 63000, not quite a guaranteed PG or NG, but chances are by that stage of game if opponent don't have PG, they can not guard it, and there's only 4 PG.

When all it said and done, sure, it's not the strongest deck Narukami has to offer, especially post Fighter's Collection, but Vermillion revived is still a powerful foe to attempt putting down.