Sunday, 29 November 2015

Brave's Battles: One off

Today I've been to locals for what will be my last time this year. I was going to finish the year off with Dimension Police- having unlocked the ability to use them again while at Nats in October. However I felt Sanctuary Guard would perform better for me and I think I chose wisely. Even though rankings are not affected currently.

Game 1: Vs Kagero - Perdition (Handler: T*m)

Favourite game of the day, spent most of it on the back foot due to being twin critted as soon as the opponent rode Grade 3. 3 of my heals were drawn by means of regular draw or Richard via my newest addition to the deck, Sage of Salvation, Benon.
I was able to make up the difference thanks to having lost the dice roll and getting the second move. Which also allowed me to turn my weak defensive hand into a strong counter offence. I was forced to ride Guarantee and dropped two cards to stride Gablade, opponent needing counterblast took the hit, I called a Benon having intercepted the last one and got out another Richard. Soul Blast what had been my Grade 2 Vanguard, (Knight of Twin Sword) and drew. My third heal.

Giving up on any realistic probability of heal chances I defended myself as if my life depended on it. Opponent goes through two legions of Dragonic Overlord, The Great and board wipes me both times. The second legion I had to no guard, sitting on four damage I needed to the opponent to not score a crit, of which there had a fair few in the deck. Fortunately they failed, and I was able to take one of the side lanes and guard the other. Final Turn I drew a Grade 3, stride Regalie, call the last two cards in my hand, both Grade 0 and lay it on the line. I can't remember the final drive but I know I managed to steal the win. Very close game, very enjoyable.

Result: Win

Game 2: Vs Angel Feather G (Fox)

No matter how you look at it, this game was decided by G-Assist. Fox needed to G-Assist for a Grade 1. Once at Grade 3 fox was being pounded by Regalie and friends but was using the abilities of angels to endure and keep the game going but resources were spread thin and trouble units were removed to make defence easier. That said Fox still managed to make 1-2 big turns with the stand trigger. Gavrail I will say is a pain to deal with, but that stand trigger and the Pegasus disgusting. If it hadn't been for Fox's failed early game the result would have been different. Angel Feather aren't the hospital of Cray any more, now they've become the hostel.

This was also Fox's only defeat of the day.

Result: Win

Game 3: Vs Neo Nectar - Musketeers (Kaiser Overlord (KO))
Played against a grade 2 game, but KO was sitting on a 7k Vanguard and I was able to take advantage of that and push KO to the brink, he was in a position of needing to G-Assist but not having an opportunity to do so due to consistently hitting Stand Triggers and successfully playing the abrasion game. Despite the shortcomings of his situation KO held on to consistent lanes and pressure, dealing me almost as much damage as he was taking.

I was calling Grade 3 rears since I was in the Grade 2 game and used Limit Break to bail me out of a sticky spot despite having run out of Limit Enablers to call, running only 2 in deck and having one in soul from riding, the other in damage. The Grade 2 game was broken when KO got a Vera, this telling me he'd been legitimately grade stuck and wasn't using stall to keep Regalie away. With the push from Vera I was forced into using 2 perfect guards for that turn but survived the turn to end up with a response from Regalie making a Guarantee pun having top decks said unit to enable the stride.

Result: Win

Game 4: Vs Royal Paladin - Jewel Knights (Handler: T***r)
Final round with both of us at 3-0. One shall stand, one shall fall. It was a very close game, and was ultimately decided by trigger choice, my trigger line-up for SGD was 10 Stand 2 Crit, opponent was presumably 10 crit 2 draw. The game was at a stage where I needed the crit to win, didn't have it instead checking one of my many stands however the opponent then blocked the following two attacks. Inversely I needed the opponent to NOT to check a crit in their following turn, which they scored, and that's what made the difference. Luck & Logic. Logic being the trigger choices, luck being the checking of them.

Result: Loss

Final Score: 3-1
Rank: 2nd

Deck Breakdown of all decks that were on show today.

4 Royals (1 Altmile, 1 Sanctuary Guard, 1 Seeker, 1 Jewel Knight)
1 Great Nature (Big Belly)
1 Angel Feather (Black Angels)
1 Kagero (Perditions)
1 Neo Nectar (Musketeers)
1 Gear Chronicle 
1 Link Joker (Deletors)

I think I've got the winning Jewel Knight deck listed down correctly on my phone, but I did it from memory after leaving the shop and anyone who reads this has probably read some of my other content, in which case the reliability of my memory is known.

It's not highly credible.

Anyhow, Chao!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

COTW (W/C:23/11/15): Original Deletor, Egorg

A new set is out. And it's one I actually know some stuff about and so with that Card Of The Week is back. It'll also give some filler content while I'm working on my current larger project.
The latest set, which came out last Friday is called Vanguard & Deletor. This booster falls into the same line as Comic Style. 1, Mystical Magus, Champions of the Cosmos and Divine Dragon Progression all of which were Extra Booster sets featuring units from the Cardfight Vanguard Manga. The fact that this new set is called a "Comic Booster" makes me hopeful that we will continue to see more of this trend.

On to the card.
Original Deletor, Egorg

[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.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn] Generation Break 2 (This ability is active if you have two or more face up G units in total on your (VC) or G zone):[Counter Blast (1) & Choose one of your rear-guards with "Deletor" in its card name, and retire it] If you have a heart card with "Deletor" in its card name, delete all of your opponent's vanguards, choose up to one rear-guard in your opponent's back row, lock it, your opponent chooses a card from his or her drop zone, and binds it face down(vanish delete). Then, if the number of cards in your opponent's damage zone is four or more, and the number of face down cards in your opponent's bind zone is thirteen or more, you win the game.

Of course I've started with the GR of the set. Original Deletor, Egorg is a G Unit to support the Deletor Archtype. A highly technical aggression deck in which every play you make is crucial, a single misplay and your fragile advantage is lost. Perhaps one of the most difficult decks to play in the game and certainly the hardest build to play in Link Joker. Equipped with an auto-win condition by way of victory if the opponent has 13 or more face down cards in the bind zone. This being the second alternate win condition built into the game, the first being "World End" belonging to Star-vader, "Omega" Glendios. However you are much less likely to accomplish this win-con than "World End" unless you have a very specific field and even then, that's not why you run this card.

For just 1 Counterblast and a -1 to your field you delete the opponent's Vanguard. Since you're likely to be running Stand Triggers to take advantage of the power difference between the target and your lanes chances are you're aiming for 4 attacks a turn against a 0 base. Also, due to the deck and it's way of maintaining advantage your lanes won't be aming to meet the usual 16k power target to hit for 2 stages, even with trigger boosters, your lanes would still be hitting for 3 stages each, being above 10k power per attack against 0 defence. This means each attacks takes at least 2 cards to defend and damage dealt is 1.5 value average, in this instance though the usual maths doesn't apply. Damage is typically worth the same number of cards as it would take to prevent that damage, that means that if an attack takes between 2-3 cards typically to guard, that the damage holds the same value as the number of cards reserved. This however is true only when you can afford to take damage. If you can't afford to take damage, 3,7(+3),3 with another potential 3 stage attack. With two stages needing a 10k to guard and 3 stages 15k (meaning two cards at least), and the total stages being 13(+3) with another potential 3 stage attack, the opponent is going to be dropping 8 cards minimal to defend, with the potential to minus them further, their loss of cards is only reduced slightly by use of a perfect guard.

They aren't going to be dropping as much as Vs. Sanctuary Guard but the opponent is still going to be loosing a huge stock of cards as they try to defend against your advances, and that's why you play this card. If the opponent has to keep dropping cards to defend, that's cards they aren't using to attack and that is favourable for you. Oh, and you lock an opponent's unit to which makes your following defence easier, especially in combination with Juxtapose Deletor, Gaele.

It's a good card, for an under rated and under estimated, but extremely hard to use deck. For most people this won't get the job done, but the right deck in the right hands in this case, can make all the difference.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

V-Talks: BWC 2015's Regional Results Collated.

All Regionals are concluded and that means all possible data is also collected (where possible)

We have a clear top 3, but the fight for the second spot came down to TIE between Aqua and Royals, this showing that while Royal Paladin had a later entry into the meta this season with Regalie, once they got it they stormed right on through and past Aqua Force to take the position of second best deck of the format. However, Aqua Force reappeared late-season and it's users scored enough tops to tie the two clans. According to the meta-data at least.

Link to provide the information in a spreadsheet form.

No surprise with the Shadow dominance taking over 25% of the 152 recorded tops. I believe all but 2 of those tops, maybe only one, are Revengers This despite the clan only having a approximate mean average meta saturation of 12.945% and even then not all of that is going to be Revengers. Probably about two thirds of it would be Revengers as that is the predominately played build but that's just speculation at this point. Bottom line here is a deck that makes up most likely an average of less than 10% of the meta, took 25% (26.97%) of the tops for this season's Regionals.

You may notice the chart is in a certain order with highest ranking first and then going downwards from there, in the case of ties, the order in in nation then clan order and on this chart there are certain things as we'd expect but also many that come as a surprise.

Link Joker only having 5 breaks is lower than anticipated for the clan.

Bermuda Triangle scoring more seeded placements than Nova Grappler reflects how the latter of the two quickly fell out of favour in meta play within a meta that has proven to be more rearguard reliant, but as such this also makes control decks much more effective, Bermuda Triangle succeeds where Nova Grappler failed because of their mechanic allowing offence to be be followed by a strong defence while also denying control decks of their targets. The only real enemies to Bermuda Triangle's mechanic are the two strides Conquest and Diablo the former is for Narukami, and the latter is infamously Shadow Paladin.

One clan that surprised everyone with it's single top is Murakumo, this is considered to be a statistical outlier and the situations behind it's ability to top remain unknown, supporters of the clan took the result as vindication that the clan was viable, and yet the lone top would be the only one the clan would get the entire season. The issue here is that Murakumo is inherently flawed by design. Their ability to Shadow Clone could have been improved so much by G support, but they where just not given the tools they needed to come out of the trash.

Genesis is another case of a clan that should have done better but just didn't make the cut this time.

Gear Chronicle started to get some results towards the latter end of the season but struggled in general due to a strategy that has become a core component of the meta-game. Grade Stalling. This is perhaps the most controversial strategy in the game at this time but it is a vital skill to be able to both utilise it and play against it if you want to succeed at the current meta game.

Many decks, even if running GB1 support have been falling back on older aces as their Grade 3 rides so that they still have active bosses even in situations where the opponent is refusing ascend first. This shift towards Legacy units and in many cases combining legacy and new support where possible, has also made competing at a competitively viable level more expensive than previous years, again this being on a mean average, this isn't helped by Bushiroad themselves either due the way of their current card design for your ace strides which most, if not all, decks needed in this format to be viable, this incurred higher values for car cards on the secondary market. I'll link an older post here since it's relevant.

Being frank, due to the current limited stride pool, while main decks may differ, all decks within a clan have generally been using the same finishers, with exception to when Fighter's Collection 15 bought a design mistake yet these "mistakes" were welcomed by loyalists and collectors, for example, in my case, I've Sanctuary Guard Dragon for a long time and gone through SoLGD, SGD/Altmile and then the latest build post Regalie is pure SG focused, while still keeping an Altmile Tech option. But because I had the older cards that Regalie supported, the rest was cheap and east too accomplish.

Getting back on topic to the meta chart, as with a previous version I compiled, unsure if published on the blog though, the top 3 clans, according to the data gathered, being Shadow Paladin, Royal Paladin, and Aqua Force make up just under half of the tops, this of course having the majority held by Shadow Paladin, adding in Kagero then makes the chart go past the 50% mark.

On which note, Kagero sort of faded this season, despite being present quite a bit in the Spring Fest season, the majority of the Kagero Players from last season seemingly favouring and piloting Revengers or Sanctuary Guard this year. Again speculation in accordance to the numerical evidence.

It has often been accused that we are in a stale meta, but the diversity of the tops I would argue disproves that argument, of course we have our top trinity but they have been far from ruling with an iron fist, well except may Shadow Paladin. But look at the graph and all those clans that have broken into 1 or more top spots. And even then the most used deck, still only accounts for 13% of the meta in use today so one thing is certain the meta can't be criticised for being stale. However it can be called the worst and a point of destabilisation.

One mention I want to take time to note is the winner of this year's UK Regional, what we call over here out Nationals. Héléne Bourree was last year's French regional 2nd place runner up, and is themselves from France, I pray you are well following the bloody events on Friday. As a person I offer my support to France, As a cardfighter, I offer you support in the continentals as the victor of the UK Nationals and therefore joint representative of your home nation and the UK.

The latest set to release (this coming Friday) Vanguard and Deletor won't have any impact on the meta going into continentals, but it's possible the World Finals might be flooded, excuse the pun, I know it's bad.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

V-Talks: drafts

You'd be suprised how much content I write in the spur of a moment and then decide for one reason or another to just not post it.

Well that's only part of why I'm writing this. It is now the early hours of November 15th as I begin typing.
To think it was just 24 hours ago France was the victim of a massive co-ordinated terror attack. We probably all had the same initial reaction of shock. 24 hours on and the clean up following that attack is on going. For those wounded I plead that you pull through and recover so that you may return to your families. For those who have lost souls peace be with you and those departed. It will take time for life to return to relative normality but scars will remain and things will never be able to return to as they were before the events of last night. For any who see this blog of the Vanguard community that went to France or were planning on making the trip. I repeat my prayers as above and hope you are all alive and well.

Those that went but are now complaining about wasted money or moaning about the regional being cancelled, money can always be recovered or built back up. And it's not worth risking human lives over a game. Lives that should anything bad happen- will be devastated, terminated, or scarred and changed forever. I stand with Bushiroad on their decision to cancel the regional. But beyond that and more importantly I stand with the Frence. As much as we British hate loosing to the French we are allies first and foremost and arch-rivals later. That attitude and that respect reaches all the way from the top to the common person.

I went out had a meet up with freinds today (yesterday) despite debating pulling out, for various reasons. But I'm glad I went, as ultimatly it was worth going, it was something needed to act as a reminder of what freinds mean, freinds that share an unspoken bond that won't be easily broken other than for an act of betrayal within the circle. Sure there was a sneak peak on that I was scheduled to enter as a hired gun, I didn't have my entry paid though so I didn't enter or carry out the pre-requested job. Which was fine with me. Did play some MtG 4 way EDH with convention buddies but didn't finish becuase we were interrupted just as we were getting to the good part of the game.
Meet up resuming later when I awake from my sleep. This time though I've got my travel arrangements prepared in advance.

Time now for slumber.
I'll look into the new sets cards this coning week to have something to put up for next week following it's official release. In this set very few of the cards intereast me. The lore is more interesting this time around. Alongside that we will be exploring the origins of the Shadow Paladin.

Another thing I'm currently working through is collating all the BWC data published by Bushiroad to write up a general season report.  (Not) Spoiler: there's a lot of shadows.

Singing off for now until there is actually something to post.