Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Steam Fighter Ul-nigin

The Japanese card of the day is a single rare from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, a named support card for Chronojet Dragon that complements Gear Chronicle's time-manipulation support. Steam Fighter Ul-nigin's generation break provides a countercharge option that doesn't touch the soul, freeing up its use for Steam Fighter Puzur-Ili, Glimmer Breath Dragon and others.

AUTO (Rearguard circle): Once per turn: Generation Break 1: When your opponent's rearguard is placed on the bottom of their deck by one of your card effects, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Chronojet" in its card name, countercharge 1.

While Ul-nigin has superficial similarities to Steam Fighter Mesh-he, Ul-nigin's countercharge has no soulblast cost, which is instrumental to a Chronojet deck that may not be using any of the clan's available legions. This answers a fundamental problem of soul management in the Chronojet deck, providing an opportunity to use Gear Chronicle's soulblast support while still maintaining face-up damage to keep its counterblast-heavy stride plays sustainable. Chronojet's stride bonus becomes functionally costless as long as Ul-nigin is in play when the skill is resolved, allowing one to use both Chronojet and Ragnaclock while only having one face-up damage. These types of plays obstruct the opponent from trying to do damage control against a Chronojet deck, taking control over which skills can go off away from them.

Like Mesh-he, Ul-nigin is limited in his immediate scope by his once per turn condition, being unable to combo effectively with Upheaval Pegasus or Chronoscommand Dragon. What Ul-nigin can do is open up Chronoscommand for play in the deck alongside other options that make use of the soul for costs, and if both Ul-nigin and Mesh-he are used together multiple countercharges can be made each turn while only using up half the soul that playing two copies of Mesh-he would. Hence, Ul-nigin can either replacement Mesh-he or be run alongside him in Chronojet decks, depending on which other grade 1s you want to make use of.

News: Leaders & Deletors Poster Shows Gaiden Units, Oksizz Stride

July 22nd, 2015. The first poster for G-Comic Manga Booster 01: Leaders & Deletors was made public today through Bushiroad's official Japanese Cardfight!! Vanguard Twitter account, teasing several units from the first Comic Booster of the G series. Intended to feature Ibuki Kouji's Deletor cards from Itou Akira's ongoing Cardfight!! Vanguard manga, and Sendou Aichi's Alfred cards from the same series, the booster set will also include units featured in Koshimizu Makoto's Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: Shining Swordsman manga. While Koshimizu's Gaiden manga has yet to be licensed by any western publisher, Itou's manga has been licensed by Vertical Inc. The seventh volume will be published in English this August, while the eighth volume will follow in early November.

The poster most prominently features Ibuki's signature grade 3, Docking Deletor Graywon, as well as Aichi's Blaster Blade. The poster also teases what appears to be a stride revival of Daunting Deletor Oksizz on Ibuki's side, and the Shining Swordsman character Lola--Blaster Rapier's past self. Leaders & Deletors will include 45 different cards, 16 of which are reprints from previous sets, and will only include support for Royal Paladin and Link Joker. The set's tagline is "Which will you choose? To command Ibuki Kouji's Deletors, or Sendou Aichi's Royal Paladins."

Itou's manga, which served as the template for the animated series and first debuted ahead of it at the 2010 Tokyo Toy Show, has gained steady popularity internationally. Most recently the title received a cross-promotion with the LINE messaging system, making Cardfight!! Vanguard manga themed emoticons available to users.

G-CMB01: Leaders & Deletors will launch on September 26th 2015 in Japan. No international launch date has been announced at this time. Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Dark Pride Dragon

The Japanese card of the day is a single rare from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, a support card specifically designed for Claret Sword Dragon. Claret's loyal followers created by the abuse of Aurageyser's powers, Dark Pride and Dark Quartz are made up of magic that can continually reanimate to give their lives to Claret Sword again and again. When sacrificed to the Supremacy Dragon, Dark Pride can be used both as a tool to countercharge damage, and as a means to conserve card advantage that would otherwise be lost.

Dark Pride Dragon
AUTO: Generation Break 1: When this unit is sent from a rearguard circle to the drop zone by one of your unit's effects, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Claret Sword Dragon" in its card name, search your deck for up to one "Dark Quartz Dragon," call it to a rearguard circle, and shuffle that deck. If you called that unit, countercharge 1.

Dark Pride's generation break superior calls his lower-graded servant, Dark Quartz, allowing you to mitigate the loss in card advantage from paying retire skills, while simultaneously thinning the deck of nontrigger units, bringing much-needed unflipping to Claret Sword's gameplay, and meeting the conditions for Dark Quartz's skill to resolve. An important element of Dark Pride is that even if you choose not to superior call Dark Quartz, because of how this skill is worded Dark Pride will still automatically shuffle the deck. This is important versus Gear Chronicle decks, which attempt to stack your rearguards on the bottom of your deck, and in a build that lacks legion every shuffle counts.

Dark Quartz Dragon
AUTO: Generation Break 1: When this unit is placed on a rearguard circle, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Claret Sword Dragon" in its card name, choose one of your vanguards, during this turn, this unit and that unit both get Power +3000.

Dark Quartz's power boost is cumulatively greater than what one gains from Night Sky Eagle in the Claret Sword deck, but only becomes truly relevant when two or more Quartz are played in the same turn, or when Claret Sword has a booster with a base power of 7000 or greater to form a lane breaking the 21000 power threshold. Being able to superior call on-retire in a Tachikaze-like fashion turns Claret Sword's generation break 2 into a net -1 for +10000 power/+1 critical that countercharges damage, and gives another option outside of David for turning Aurageyser Dragon into a net +1.


Because Claret Sword's name carries over to the unit that strides over him, these new Abyss Dragons will still function with either Aurageyser or Phantom Blaster “Diablo.” When played with Aurageyser Damned, Dark Pride effectively neutralizes both the counterblast and retire cost of the card, while ensuring that with a base 7000 booster Damned will reach at least 36000 power. However, while Pride is a necessary countercharge option for the Claret Sword deck, there are problems with trying to run Quartz; Night Sky Eagle is key to forming a 23000-power lane with Knight of Solemnity Balberith, which becomes a 26000-power lane when Howl Owl is added on top of that. Dark Quartz can only reach 22000 power with Balberith, putting him short of reaching another stage of power with Owl. Unlike Eagle, Quartz requires an attacker with a base power of 11000 or greater to breaking a 21000 power. Quartz cannot form such a lane with itself without a power boost from either Claret Sword or Howl Owl, making it more difficult to make the strong rearguard lanes that the Claret Sword deck excels at. Grade 1 space is already tight, with Swordbreaker, Karma Collector, Branwen, Night Sky Eagle, Decipherer of Prohibited Books, and Blitz Knight Bolfri all contending for the space that Dark Quartz would occupy.

Finding room for Pride means finding room for Quartz, and doing that requires sacrificing some of the deck's key cards from Sovereign Star Dragon. The Claret Sword deck seriously wants for grade 1s that it can play in the early game, prior to striding. It is sad that there are still cardfighters running Gururubau--who doesn't synergize in the slightest with Swordbreaker or Decipherer, two cards that are able to combo together very efficiently when given a proper countercharging engine to make up for Decipherer's cost. If Quartz's skill resolved on-attack or as an activated effect, he would be phenomenal for Shadow Paladin. As it is now, choosing to run Dark Quartz may mean rounding out grade 1 space, not running playsets and instead running 3-ofs to create room for the deck's diverse grade 1 lineup.

Soul Strike Against the Supreme will launch in Japan on August 28th 2015, and internationally on October 2nd of the same year. Be sure to read the Abyss Dragons' card lore at Arkadiaworks.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you. 

News: Japanese Cardfight Twitter Reaches 30 Thousand Followers, Dark Quartz Dragon Leaked by Weekly Stream

Today Bushiroad's weekly Cardfight!! Vanguard livestream discussed several cards from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, focusing on upcoming support for Claret Sword Dragon. In addition to this, the stream discussed upcoming promotional products including a Vangarou-kun themed deck box, and a new poster for G-BT04. Doctor O also announced that official Cardfight!! Vanguard Twitter account has reached over thirty thousand followers, thanking the page's fans for their support. A recording of the livestream can be viewed below.

Doctor O gave an overview of "Supremacy Black Dragon, Aurageyser Damned," introducing the the terminology cross stride to describe Damned's ability to turn a copy of the original Aurageyser Dragon face-up. He also discussed the current card of the day "Dark Pride Dragon," and revealed its support unit "Dark Quartz Dragon." Dark Quartz's generation break 1 gives both itself and a Claret Sword Dragon vanguard +3000 power when Dark Quartz is called, and by using Dark Pride's skill it's possible to superior call Dark Quartz from the deck when Dark Pride is retired.

Dark Quartz Dragon
AUTO: Generation break 1: When this unit is placed on a rearguard circle, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with "Claret Sword Dragon" in its card name, choose one of your vanguards, during this turn, this unit and that unit get Power +3000.

The latest G-BT04 poster features units from Royal Paladin, Shadow Paladin, Neo Nectar, Angel Feather, Genesis, and Gear Chronicle, several of which have yet to be properly unveiled.

Doctor O also showed off an upcoming deck box. As part of the Get! Treasure Campaign, a Vangarou-kun themed deck box will be available from events as a promotional item in Japan starting July 31st and August 2nd, and be available from TCG Station retailers beginning on August 7th. The base of the deck box has tiny black circles representing the bottom of Vangarou-kun's feet, and the back is modeled after the Friendly International Vanguard Association logo.

(Vangarou-kun deck box at 14:11, G-BT04 cards shown at 25:52.)
Thirteen thousand live viewers tuned into the stream during its run. Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week featured guest stars Enoki Junya and Hama Kento to commemorate the Japanese launch of G-Title Booster 01: Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-, while the week before covered new Machining, Celestial, and Jewel Knight support cards from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

News: Neo Nectar Revival Legion, Touken Ranbu Cardfight Featured in Special

In today's weekly broadcast, host Doctor O commemorated the upcoming Japanese launch of Title Booster 01: Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- by livestreaming a match between seiyuu Enoki Junya (voice of Horikawa Kunihiro) and Hama Kento (voice of Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki, as well as of Cardfight!! Vanguard Legion Mate's Olivier Gaillard). A complete recording of the stream is provided below. Doctor O also unveiled several cards from G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme. Maiden of Rambling Rose is a revival legion for Neo Nectar's original boss card from BT05: Awakening of Twin Blades, Maiden of Trailing Rose. The card breathes new life into Trailing Rose by attaching her on-hit skill to a high power center lane, and automatically searching for copies of either half of the legion.

Maiden of Rambling Rose
ACT (Vanguard circle): Legion 22000 "Maiden of Trailing Rose"
AUTO (Vanguard circle): [Choose a card from your hand, discard it] When this unit legions, you may pay the cost. If you do, search your deck for up to two cards with the same name as a unit in your vanguard circle, reveal them to your opponent, from those cards, choose one card and add it to your hand, call the remaining cards to rearguard circles, and shuffle that deck.
AUTO (Vanguard circle): [Soulblast 2] When this unit is placed on a vanguard circle, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your grade 1 or less rearguards, search your deck for up to one card with the same name as that unit, call it to a rearguard circle, and shuffle that deck.

Functioning like Dragonic Overlord “The X,” Rambling Rose's skillset can guarantee a Trailing Rose in hand on-legion to secure her persona blast. Rambling Rose can also easily set up the drop zone for legion with her on-ride soulblast, and secure a cumulative +3 in a single turn when all her skills are used in tandem.

The second card revealed by the broadcast was Hollyhock Knight, a legion support grade 1 that powers up based on the number of rearguards with the same name as the vanguard. By using Hollyhock in combination with Maiden of Rambling Rose's ability to superior call copies of herself, and Maiden of Flower Screen's ability to take on the name of another unit, it's possible to make Hollyhock an 11000-power booster for a grade 3 rearguard, creating a rearguard lane exceeding 21000 power. Flower Screen is scheduled to be reprinted as a single rare in Soul Strike Against the Supreme, making this combo all the more accessible to Neo Nectar cardfighters.

Hollyhock Knight
CONT (Rearguard circle): During your turn, if your vanguard is in legion, for each of your rearguards with the same name as a unit in your vanguard circle, this unit gets Power +2000.


(Cardfight begins at 10:12, ends at 39:05, G-BT04 cards shown at 58:52)
In their match Enoki and Hama both played decks built exclusively from Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-, showing off the huge variety of skills available to the Touken Ranbu clan. Unlike other clans, which are generally confined in their specialties, Touken Ranbu makes use of a varied amount of draw, retire, power up, simultaneous attack, restanding, and guard restriction skills, all accessible through the unique conditions of Shinken Hissatsu and MVP. Shinken Hissatsu skills activate while there are three or more cards in the damage zone, and MVP signifies a skill that may only be used once per turn in total by all units--so two copies of a card with MVP cannot both use their skill in the same turn, restricting the ability to going off once in that turn, and also setting the Touken Ranbu cardfighter back considerably if they're unable to meet the conditions for an MVP while it's in play Because there are a finite number of turns to each game, each turn that an MVP skill is available but goes unused represents an unrecoverable loss for the Touken Ranbu fighter, balancing out the dramatic diversity of the deck's support cards compared to other clans.

The broadcast drew up a considerable amount of hype due to its celebrity guests, with over twenty-five thousand viewers tuning in live, and many more timeshifting the stream to watch later. In total more than six hundred thousand have either timeshifted or viewed the stream live. Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- will launch in English this October.

Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week covered Angel Feather and Machining support from Soul Strike Against the Supreme, while the week before showed off Omniscience Regalia Minerva's 1/8th scale figure release last month.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

News: World Championship 2015 to Use Best of One

The official webpage for Bushiroad's 2015 WCS series has updated with details for all three of Bushiroad's current card games. The tournament structure for Cardfight!! Vanguard's WCS2015 regional qualifiers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Oceania will be a modified Swiss format. North America will use a double elimination ruleset, while in other territories cardfighters will not be eliminated until the end of the last preliminary round. The time limit for the preliminaries will be 20 minutes, and the format will be best of one games. The top 8 cut for all territories will be single elimination; in the Americas this will be in a best of three format with a 40 minute time limit, while all other territories will use best of one and a 20 minute limit.

Despite the company's own internal surveys showing a vast majority preference for best of three sets in tournament play, Bushiroad of Japan, Bushiroad South East Asia, Bushiroad USA, and Bushiroad EU have all adamantly clung to best of one as their primary format for tournament play. Annual stories of cardfighters traveling upwards of six and eight hour distances to reach regional qualifiers only to be eliminated 0-2 by gradelock have continued to come out every year, and will doubtless continue if no changes are made. Although some have pointed to best of three being used for the top 8 cut in North America as signs of progress, the same "progress" was made in Team League 2014, with 2015 reverting to best of one for all aspects of the regional tournaments.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

News: Sixth Season "Cardfight!! Vanguard G GIAS Crisis" to Air, Comic Booster to Introduce "Docking Deletor, Graywon," Granblue to Receive Trial Deck

July 9th, 2015. At Bushiroad's Grand Strategy Presentation, Cardfight!! Vanguard producer Shima P unveiled the next season of the anime series, titled the Cardfight!! Vanguard G GIAS Crisis chapter (カードファイト!!ヴァンガードGギアースクライシス編 Kaadofaito!! Vangaado G Giaasu Kuraishisu Hen). When questioned as to what the titular crisis would be, Shima P was reluctant to answer, telling the audience to wait and see for themselves. The 30 minute Vanguard section of the presentation can be viewed below at the bottom of the page.

The season will introduce two new characters designed by franchise creator Itou Akira, Yumizuki Luna (弓月ルーナ) and Chouno Amu (蝶野アム). Luna's surname is written with the kanji for "moon bow" and her given name is taken from the Latin name for the moon. Amu's surname is written with the kanji for "butterfly field;" her given name is a play on the Japanese word amu 虻 meaning gadfly.

Additionally, it was announced at the conference that the long-awaited followup to Comic Style Vol. 1 will finally debut. G-Comic Booster 01: Leader and Deletor (先導者と根絶者 Sendousha to Deriitaa) will hit store shelves on September 25th, containing support exclusively for the Link Joker and Royal Paladin clans. Featuring Ibuki Kouji's Deletors and Sendou Aichi's Alfred cards from the manga, it has been announced that the card will introduce Ibuki's signature grade 3 from the manga, Docking Deletor Graywon.

The producer also revealed the current schedule for Cardfight!! Vanguard's upcoming products. In October 2015 there will be a clan booster for Aqua Force, in November there will be a set of trial decks featuring Gear Chronicle and Pale Moon, and a booster set featuring support for those clans as well as Link Joker, Narukami, and Oracle Think Tank. In December the next Fighter's Collection booster will feature support for all clans except for Etranger, Cray Elemetnal and Touken Ranbu. January will see another booster set drop, containing support for Nubatama, Tachikaze, and Spike Brothers. Finally, in January Granblue will receive a trial deck, and the booster set for that month will include support for Royal Paladin, Neo Nectar, Nova Grappler, Shadow Paladin, and Pale Moon.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.