Thursday, July 24, 2014

News: World Championship 2014 Announced, Cardfight!! Vanguard Neon Messiah Movie Trailer Airs

Three hours ago Bushiroad Inc. uploaded the formal announcement of the start of World Championship 2014 to the official cf-vanguard web portal and Cardfight!! Vanguard Facebook page. Slated for an August to December timeline, this year's international competition will use booster sets up to VGE-BT15: Infinite Rebirth, to be released in September. While very little information is available regarding WCS2014 at this time, fans remain hopeful for the implementation of the long desired best-of-3 format championed in VGCS, ARG Circuit series and Cosmic Oasis tournaments.

And earlier today Oricon Inc. uploaded a trailer for the upcoming Cardfight!! Vanguard Neon Messiah theatrical film to their YouTube channel. The trailer (embedded below) teases a fight between Aichi and Kai using their traditional Royal Paladin and Kagerou decks, appearances by Morikawa playing against Osamu's Megacolony, Kamui playing his Raizer deck from the fourth season versus Naoki with Big Bang Knuckle Dragon, as well as a match between Aichi's sister Emi and her friend Mai with different Bermuda Triangle decks. A stinger image planted after the trailer hints at the introduction of antagonist Ibuki Kouji's mysterious Deleter cards. A translation of the trailer's dialogue is hosted below.

The final image of the trailer is captioned ヴァンガード消滅の危機?! Vangaado shoumetsu no kiki?! "Vanguard annihilation crisis?!" hinting at one of the mysterious qualities associated with the Deleter cards, their ability to make the vanguard itself disappear. This idea was first introduced more than a year ago in Itou Akira's Cardfight!! Vanguard manga, from which the Deleters originate, and Neon Messiah's narrative appears to be following through on the plotline. The manga is at present being serialized in English by Vertical Inc., and late this August the third of the seven volumes currently released in Japan will be adapted to English.

Aichi: Every day we share the same dream. The dream of a wish that I entrusted to Blaster Blade.
Finally, the Cardfight!! Vanguard movie version will debut! Both the anime we all appear in, and the following drama!
Kai-kun, let's go!
Kai: Yeah!
Both: Stand up
Cardfight!! Vanguard: The Movie
On September 13th, Stand Up!
The movie has not yet been licensed for western release; at present English translation of the series is primarily handled by Crunchyroll, which is responsible for simulcasting subtitled releases of the anime. No word on their potential involvement with the film has been made.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feature: Quintet Walls as the Entry-level Perfect Defense and their Impact in a Professional Setting

Perfect defense cards are notorious as the most expensive and necessary part of every deck. In a format where the vanguard lane regularly pushes 31~41000 power with multiple criticals and restanding skills, the ability to totally nullify an attack is popularly understood as being too good not to have access to. Even in casual play it's difficult to simply enjoy the game when there are plays that are outright impossible to guard without a perfect defense. Consequently, the perfect defense cards for the most popular clans can go for $11~16 individually, with a full playset costing $44~64, and during the height of tournament season prices tend to climb into abnormal ranges. (World Championship 2012's Halo Shield Mark and the Challenge Cup's Wyvern Guard Barri come to mind, both marked up within their own eras to $30 apiece.) This has set a high bar for entry into the Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game, making it more difficult both for players on the fence about the game and those of lesser means to play against established cardfighters.

However, the international release of VGE-BT14: Brilliant Strike last Thursday has serious consequences for both entry-level play and professional Vanguard, marking the formal introduction of Quintet Wall to the rest of the world. Quintet Walls are new variation of cards bearing Sentinel, which previously belonged exclusively to perfect defense cards; the basic characteristics are that these cards have a shield of 0 and the Sentinel skill, which states that only up to four cards with Sentinel may be included in a deck. The actual skill of Quintet Wall cards is to counterblast 1 and superior call five cards from the top of the deck to guard with, potentially giving vast amounts of shield to work with that do not come from the hand. After playing a Quintet one is still free to call additional cards from the hand, opening up an alternative defensive option on par with perfect defense.

Having preordered in the range of half the price of the cheaper perfect defenses, some of these Quintets like Sword Formation Liberator Igraine have sold for as low as $4, in this example compared to her perfect defense counterpart's $13. These prices have developed in light the poor reception of the mechanic by more competitively-minded cardfighters, and because of these cards' perceived lack of use prior to the introduction of Legion. Halving the cost of effective deckbuilding encourages cardfighters to try out different clans, and makes it easier on entry-level fighters to learn different play styles without having to dedicate financially to a clan they aren't certain of. In this way Cardfight!! Vanguard is becoming cheaper to play. For entry-level players Quintet Walls are an efficient means to get into playing a clan without paying the exorbitant "entry fee" of assembling four perfect defense cards. This is not a perfect substitution; as outlined below, if Quintets are to be used at all then they are best used in careful combination with perfect defense, not as a total replacement. They're also dangerous when overused. So for beginning players running just three Quintets can be serviceable, both to prevent abuse and help with not over dedicating to the mechanic, leaving them prepared to eventually transition towards perfect defenses once this becomes financially practical. Having inferior but more strategically complete decks helps new fighters top more consistently at their card shops, accumulate store credit over time and eventually be able to afford the "completed" versions of their decks.

Outlining their characteristics as a whole, because a Quintet Wall only activates from the hand you cannot activate a Quintet called by a Quintet, but perfect defense cards called in this way will be usable because they trigger when placed on the guardian circle regardless of where they originate from. Since Quintet Walls and perfect defense cards share the Sentinel skill this interaction normally only compensates for not running a perfect defense instead of a Quintet in the first place. However, there are specific matchups that Quintet Walls shine in. Versus Dragonic Nouvelle Vague they make more efficient use of grade 0 units, as DNV only blocks grade 0s called from the hand not the deck, and those grade 0s are better off in the guardian circle than in your hand. You do run the risk of eliminating positive drive checks for next turn in this way. It can be argued that you could have used a perfect defense versus DNV to similar effect, but that would cost you another card from the hand which may be more difficult to front compared to a single counterblast. We can make a more general observation from this that using Quintet Walls has a side effect of conserving hand advantage over time, although this is not perfectly true as there will be cases where you need to patch up your defense with additional cards from the hand.

Quintet Walls also directly counter the Daikaiser break ride skill, which has been a menace in both the Japanese and English-language formats. Since Daikaiser can only retire one card per grade 3 drive check on the turn of his break ride, Quintet Walls are useful for dividing up the shield between units called from the deck. Let's consider an extreme example; 40000 shield divided among three 10000-shield units and two 5000-units. If Daikaiser attacks boosted for 30000 power after break riding itself versus a current defense of 51000 power, even two grade 3 checks will only bring the total shield down to 31000 power, just enough to block the attack. The remaining rearguard attacks are much easier to guard and the hand as a whole is preserved because the bulk of the turn's defense is split among a large amount of resources that you yourself do not have to front from your own hand. Quintet Walls are also optimal to stop early and midgame aggression, as they aren't as expensive in terms of cost as perfect defenses and so can be used more freely earlier in the fight. However, they have specific weaknesses versus high-power center lanes that can consistently demand excessive amounts of shield. Versus Tryannolegend, Labrador and Ezel Scissors, each of whom can consistently make a 31~41000 power 2 critical lane, perfect defenses are vastly preferable. The key to using Quintets effectively is to balance them with perfect defense cards, so that your plays can be more flexible. A ratio of 3:1 perfect defense to Quintet or 2:2 is considered a good balance. Of course, Quintets are not right for every deck, so the old standby of 4:0 is still very viable. If you have the open counterblast demanded by them, they can be beneficial to try and take advantage of, but they are not a straight upgrade nor an absolute replacement over perfect defense cards. Be wary of how many cards Quintets remove from the deck as well--using just two of them removes one fifth of the deck, and using four of them will take out 20 cards in total. This can make decking out a very real possibility. The Legion format on the whole benefits much more from Quintets than limit break vanguards do, as the mechanics of that format allows for trigger units called by Quintets to be freely recycled back into the deck on the following turns.

Versus Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion and other cards that can attack multiple units simultaneously, the cards superior called by a Quintet Wall can also be individually allocated to guard separate units. For example, if an unboosted in-Legion Big Bang Knuckle Buster attacks for 25000 power against four units comprising the vanguard (11000 power) both frontrow rearguards (9000 power each) and a backrow booster (7000 power) and your Quintet calls out one perfect defense card and four 10000-shield units, you can discard to activate the perfect defense and protect the vanguard, then allocate 20000 shield each to one of your frontrow units and your booster. The third unit which is unprotected will be retired when the attack hits, but in order for Big Bang to hit the remaining rearguards it will have to drive check a trigger, which is not a bad deal when you consider that you've only fronted two cards from your hand to protect three of your four units. While the same amount of cards was spent from the hand as if the Quintet were just a perfect defense, being able to pull out additional shield protects the remaining rearguards and decreases the overall impact of Knuckle Buster's Legion skill, while still leaving room to put down additional cards as needed to secure the rearguards it attacked and be able to take on the opponent's remaining attacks for the turn.

By 2015 a total of fifteen clans are to have received one or more Quintet Walls; Summoning Jewel Knight Gloria for Royal Paladin, Hatred Prison Revenger Cessair and Barrier Witch Graine for Shadow Paladin, Sword Formation Liberator Igraine for Gold Paladin, Shield Goddess Aegis and Regalia of Frozen Breath Svalin for Genesis, Dragon Knight Gimel for Kagerou, Hardship Brawler Toshu for Narukami, Silver Snow Sasame for Murakumo, Machining Ladybug for Megacolony, Moth Orchid Musketeer Christie for Neo Nectar, Blue Storm Guardian Dragon Icefall Dragon for Aqua Force, Duo Promise Day Colima for Bermuda Triangle, Reef Banshee for Granblue, Baron Amadeus for Spike Brothers, Metalborg Bri Knuckle for Dimension Police and Shieldraizer for Nova Grappler. Those expected to benefit the most from the mechanic are Granblue and Neo Nectar, whose drop zone-centric strategies make the cards a welcome addition to their playbooks, while at least one Quintet Wall has been a standard staple to help Legion decks accelerate their gameplan. Despite having a number of counterblast 2 skills in their respective variations, Nova Grappler and Megacolony do stand to benefit from Quintets' advantage-conserving aspects, as these builds have a difficult time amassing card advantage and being forced to drop an early perfect defense can represent a major setback to their gameplan.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

News: Phantom Blaster “Abyss” Tops in Hokusetsu CS, Neon Messiah Artwork Debuts on MSN

The second Hokusetsu Vanguard Championship took place in Japan over July 6th, with multiple Shadow Paladin cardfighters playing different variations on Phantom Blaster “Abyss” making the fan tournament's top 8. The 96-person tournament saw a clash between “Abyss” and the current Nova Grappler boss Ultimate Raizer Mega Flare for the tournament finals, with Seeker and Regalia cardfighters taking third and fourth place. While the new Blaster unit's debut was anticipated by the public, prior to Hokusetsu many expectations had shifted to the newly emergent Witch deck within the same clan, and it is to some surprise that Revengers have continued to hold favor.
In a move generally predicted by the rest of the community, Hokusetsu champ Mirutae's “Abyss” deck used the well-established Raging Form Dragon in combination with its Legion grade 3, providing two separate self-standing vanguards each able to attack in the range of 21~22000 power on their second strike. The pairing was debated leading up to the release of EB11: Requiem at Dusk, with many arguing that the slower Mordred Phantom would make for a more decisive turn by building a stronger center lane and rearguard formation. Mirutae's build lacked favor with the three other Revenger fighters of the Hokusetsu top 8, who instead followed up on the concept of integrating existing Phantom support with Legion. Among these fighters was Kimuti of the second Kansai CS, known for pioneering Duo Temptation Reit early after the release of Divas' Duet.

This was not the first appearance of Blaster “Abyss” in professional play either. Shortly before pro cardfighter Tochibi Yuusuke had captained Osaka's champion team in Bushiroad's ongoing 2014 VF Koushien tournament. Unlike the Hokusetsu champion, Tochibi's deck eschewed RFD in favor of splitting its grade 3 count between “Abyss,” Dragruler and Mordred Phantom, cutting the original BDR and Dorint entirely for Lukea and Rakia. By emphasizing Phantom support, the use of Swordbreaker soulblasts and prepping “Abyss” with break ride setup, Tochibi worked to enhance the gravity of his Legion's restanding skill, building up towards a single defining turn to finish the game.
VF Koushien Osaka: 栃尾悠介/Tochibi Yuusuke
Grade 0
x2 Judgebau Revenger (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x1 Brunt Revenger, Shadow Lancer
x3 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
x3 Self-control Revenger, Rakia
x2 Black-winged Swordbreaker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Wiles Revenger, Mana
x3 Overcoming Revenger, Rukea
Grade 3
x3 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x2 Revenger, Dragruler Phantom
x3 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
Registration for Hokusetsu began from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, with on-site registration being carried out from 10:30 to 11:00, and the tournament formally began at 11:10. The tournament opened with four rounds of Swiss draw which lasted until 2:20 PM, followed by a cut to top 8 and ended at 7:30 PM. Like other VGCSs, Hokusetsu followed a best of three format rather than the best of one endorsed by Bushiroad Inc. Rounds were 40 minutes in length prior to top 8, and 50 minutes afterwards. Organized by tomato (sic), kuroneko, Pere and Tawaran, the tournament had an entry fee of 1000 yen (approx. $10) per person, with first place receiving a Nintendo 3DS XL as a prize, second place a standard Nintendo 3DS, and third place six extra booster boxes, three each of Requiem at Dusk and Waltz of the Goddess.

Second place was taken by Minorun with Cat Butler Raizers, third by Nero with a Thing Saver Dragon deck, and fourth by Akiyuki with a combination Yggdrasil and Minerva. Minorun's deck is clearly derived from one of the original Cat Butler decks of the season, Silver Crow's, which debuted back in the second Beast Deity Cup and has served to inspire many imitators. Each of these decklists is translated below and may be jumped to by searching the page for [2HVGCS]

The previous Hokusetsu CS was held last May, and was held in a team tournament format, with Team Wild Hitter's captain Rinon being known for establishing a very early version of the then-new Seeker deck using primarily trial deck cards.

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops. Unlike Bushiroad's larger official tournaments, most VGCS events are done using a best of 3, Swiss tournament model. Turnout is typically 70-80 persons, but some events see 100 or more participants, all of whom compete using pseudonyms and internet handles rather than their real names as in official events. The VGCS model of fan-organized play has begun to gain popularity internationally, with the bi-monthly BeNeLux tournaments serving as their European equivalent.

In other news, MSN Japan has uploaded an article on the upcoming movie Cardfight!! Vanguard Neon Messiah, along with a promotional image of the main cast. Cinema Today had previously shown off lineart of antagonist Ibuki Kouji's primary unit for the film, an unnamed Link Joker from the Deleter subclan who will serve as the cover card for the film's trial deck, MTD01: Malefic Deleter. Plot summaries for the film outline Neon Messiah as being set during a global Vanguard tournament known as the "Messiah Scramble," and that protagonist Sendou Aichi will be fighting side by side with his lifelong friend and rival Kai Toshiki. The release date for Neon Messiah is currently set as September 13th.

Careful combing of each site's HTML has revealed higher resolution versions of the lineart and teaser, hosted below. The text off to the side of Ibuki's unit reads "G03" identifying it as a grade 3, but what would presumably be the unit's name appears illegible and attempts at transcription have only yielded nonsense phrases like いづう・ディ・い下り

Second Hokusetsu VGCS [2HVGCS]
First Place: Mirutae/みるたえ
Grade 0
x1 Frontline Revenger, Claudas (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x4 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x3 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
x2 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
x4 Dark Cloak Revenger, Tartu
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x4 Revenger, Raging Form Dragon

Second place: Minorun/みのるん
Grade 0
x1 Transmigrating Evolution, Miraioh (FV)
x4 Cat Butler
x4 Raizer Girl, Kate HT
x4 Raizer Crew DT
x4 Meteoraizer CT
x4 Minimum Raizer CT
Grade 1
x4 Shieldraizer
x3 Energy Charger
x4 The Screamin' and Dancin' Announcer, Shout
x3 Cannon Raizer
Grade 2
x4 Ultimate Raizer, DF
x4 Phoenix Raizer, FW
x3 Street Bouncer
Grade 3
x4 Ultimate Raizer, MF

Third Place: Nero/ネロ
Grade 0
x1 Advance Party Seeker, File (FV)
x4 Seeker, Loving Healer HT
x3 Margal DT
x1 Alabaster Owl
x4 Certain Kill Seeker, Modron CT
x4 Seeker, Herald Breath Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Good Faith Seeker, Cynric
x4 Lake Maiden, Lien
x2 Guardian Law Seeker, Shiron
x2 Flashing Jewel Knight, Iseult
x1 Glynngal Seeker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade, Seeker
x4 Full Bloom Seeker, Cerdic
x4 Crossbow Seeker, Gildas
Grade 3
x4 Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon
x2 Seeker, Sacred Wingal

Fourth place: Akiyuki/あきゆき
Grade 0
x1 Vivid Rabbit (FV)
x4 Regalia of Benevolence, Eir HT
x3 Regalia of Foredoom, Lot Angel DT
x1 Witch of Lemons, Limoncello CT
x4 Battle Maiden, Kukurihime CT
x4 Far Sight Regalia, Clear Angel CT
x1 Regalia of Prayer, Pray Angel
Grade 1
x4 Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel
x3 Goddess of Union, Juno
x2 Regalia of Purify, Pure Angel
x3 Regalia of Frozen Breath, Svalin
x1 Witch of Strawberries, Framboise
x1 Ordain Owl
Grade 2
x3 Regalia of Abundance, Freya
x3 Regalia of Midday, Hemera
x4 Regalia of Fate, Norn
x1 Goddess of Trees, Jupiter
Grade 3
x4 Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil
x1 Omniscience Regalia, Minerva
x2 Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica

Friday, July 4, 2014

News: Link Joker Trial Deck VG-MTD01: Malefic Deleter Announced, Ibuki Kouji to Appear in Neon Messiah Film

The above teaser for one of the Cardfight!! Vanguard movies' promotional sets VG-MTD01: Malefic Deleter was put up on the Japanese Vanguard portal early this morning, giving an early look at the upcoming cards for the climactic movie tie-in to the ongoing fourth season. Set for a September 24th release date, the trial deck will promote the upcoming movie Neon Messiah by featuring cards used in the film by antagonist Ibuki Kouji (伊吹コウジ). Introduced more than a year ago in the Zero Starter Set chapter of the manga as a childhood friend to Kai Toshiki, Ibuki is the primary user of the Link Joker clan in the manga and a character many have waited for to be introduced to the anime series.

Unlike the Link Joker units introduced in the third season of the anime, Ibuki's Deleters in the manga each have a much more grotesque and alien slant to them, resembling monsters out of traditional science fiction rather than the Star-vaders' elaborate Cyber Dragons. Ibuki's strategy in the manga is to use the new mechanic Banish Delete (バニッシュデリート Banisshu Deriito) which sends an opponent's rearguard into the drop zone in the Locked position, in practical terms removing it from the game and preventing its use. This has so far only been demonstrated with his grade 2 Swift Deleter Geary, who retires one of Ibuki's own rearguards to retire one of the opponent's face down. Moreover, he has recently demonstrated another ability through his grade 3 Docking Deleter Gray One, "Delete End" (デリート・エンド  Deriito Endo) whereby the game is automatically won through the condition of having the opponent's vanguard face-down. Not much has been shown about how this is achieved, so the mechanic is poorly understood.

Swift Deleter, Geary/スイフトデリーター ギアリ
"When ridden, retire 1 of your own rearguards, and then retire 1 of your opponent's rearguards. Your opponent's retired card enters the drop zone face-down."

Malefic Deleter is slated to be accompanied by another movie-centric set with the same release date, VG-MBT01: Neon Messiah. Comprised of just fifty cards, MBT01 will support the Link Joker, Kagerou, Gold Paladin and Royal Paladin clans, and the cards present in the set will be compatible with those in Malefic Deleter.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

News: Dragonic Nouvelle Vague Tops in Cosmic Oasis Tournament, Third BeNeLux Won by Aqua Force and Blau Series

Special thanks to the community of Illuminaudi Cards, Cincinnati, for sending in photographs, videos and information on the tournament to our editors.

This past weekend saw a medium-sized American fan tournament take place at Meeple Fest in Richmond, Kentucky, an unusual sight in a country where professional play primarily revolves around shop tournaments and Bushiroad's official events. Organized by Ron Flickinger of card shop Cosmic Oasis, the tournament was held at Eastern Kentucky University, and had a turnout of 19 persons. While these are relatively small numbers on a global scale, within the United States where fan-organized tournaments are in their infancy the turnout is respectable, and was more than four times the turnout of CO's previous tournament.

The event was held in a best of three format, with five rounds of Swiss pairings between the entrants, followed by a cut to top 8. Bushiroad was supportive of Oasis' efforts, providing the tournament organizer with Creeping Dark Goat promotional cards (previously exclusive to World Championship 2013) and exclusive official deckboxes for distribution at the event, which were given to each of the participants during the fifth round. Those who made it to top 8 were awarded either a quantity of booster packs or a cash reward of equivalent value at their own discretion, with the prize pool increasing based on the number of participants. Each player paid a $20 entry fee, with first place earning two booster boxes, the top 4 receiving other prizes in descending value, and the entire top 8 receiving official playmats. Because each pack was valued at $2 rather than the $3.99 standard embraced by most American card shops, participants could get considerably more value out of the tournament than normal. Judging was handled by a combination of volunteer players, and on-site judges from CO to prevent any favoritism.

Flickinger's tournament was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception, and a followup tournament is currently scheduled for the next Meeple Fest on September 6th.

The tournament finals were recorded by a viewer and submitted to Cardfight Pro for hosting, and can be viewed below in two parts. As both participants were already satisfied with their results in making it to the top spots, the tone of the fight was considerably more laid back than is often seen in professional play, particularly in comparison to Bushiroad's regional tournaments where the difference between first and second place is a paid trip to the national finals. The two competitors had briefly discussed the possibility of splitting their winnings, before opting to play it out. These final games were between Link Joker cardfighter Alexander Wilson playing Chaos Breaker Dragon and a Kagerou cardfighter whose name we do not have permission to use, playing Dragonic Nouvelle Vague. Wilson had previously made a bid at professional play in the 2013 Stand Up Challenge Cup and Team League 2014, and had begun playing Chaos Breaker shortly before the Oasis tournament due to dissatisfaction with his performance using the Revenger series. He was in the minority however, as turnout at Cosmic Oasis saw just one other Link Joker fighter take part, using Nebula Lord Dragon, and five Nouvelle players in the tournament. In total the top 8 was comprised of Chaos Breaker Dragon, Dragonic Descendant, Aqua Force, three Dragonic Nouvelle Vague and two Gold Paladin fighters.

In the first game, Wilson was immediately behind due to being gradelocked at 0 for a turn, but this was somewhat offset by an early critical trigger. A lack of strong aggression on his opponent's part and an early damage trigger prevented the gradelock from being capitalized on, but Wilson was also forced to open his grade 3 turn on Chaos Breaker Dragon rather than the preferred Infinite Zero. He came back by immediately shutting down his opponent's field, using Chaos Breaker's discard skill and Dust Tail Unicorn to Lock both frontrow rearguard lanes, giving himself time to recover. A surprising and early double critical trigger could have potentially sealed it for Wilson, but his opponent healed out of the blow, and he was forced to stare down a 2 critical Blast Bulk Dragon that would restand with Dauntless Drive's breakride skill. Accepting a risk, Wilson allowed the first attack through so that he would go to limit break, used a perfect defense card to block Blast Bulk's second attack, and then activated Chaos Breaker's limit break in the end phase to replenish his hand. With Colony Maker he was able to even out the situation considerably, matching his opponent one-for-one in card advantage, but on the final turn his opponent found an opening by gambling on two triggers to break through Wilson's defense. He made the correct play in assuming that Wilson would be able to guard a rearguard with two triggers on it, and took his one chance to end the game by applying the effects of his first trigger to his vanguard without knowing if there would be a second one.

As the loser of the previous game, Wilson chose to go first in the second one. Forgetting Mobius Breath Dragon's skill, his opponent was caught off guard when Conroe was Locked going into his second turn, which made his grade 2 vanguard easier to defend and limited the options available on that turn. Several timely heal triggers become defining for the rest of the fight, keeping the Nouvelle fighter at a more sustainable damage count over time. Once again Wilson had to open his grade 3 turn without Infinite Zero, forcing him to eventually repeat his shutdown play from the previous game to Lock both frontrow units one turn later. The Nouvelle fighter's persona blast is where the game definitively turned around in his favor, taking four of Wilson's units down for the price of one, leaving Wilson at -6 and his opponent at -5 advantage. Nouvelle's guard restriction skill, preventing Wilson from using grade 0s to defend, forced him to drop two successive perfect defense cards over two turns, and DNV's 13000 power base also forced him to ride Infinite Zero Dragon later on just to be able to connect a hit with the vanguard. The lack of a breakride on the following turn severely hurt Wilson's ability to recover, and this snowballed quickly because of a double draw trigger on his opponent's end. While his last turn break riding Chaos Breaker over Infinite Zero left Nouvelle attacking totally alone, the number of cards under his control was so low by that point that CBD was likewise attacking by itself, and DNV in general has a much better time acting as an independent vanguard than CBD does. Ultimately the Nouvelle cardfighter was able to check one of the last two critical triggers remaining in his deck, and while Wilson pulled a sixth damage heal, its effects were nullified by Nouvelle's skill.

Where Cosmic Oasis was dominated by DNV fighters, the story was considerably different on the other side of the pond, as the third BeNeLux tournament concluded last Sunday in Antwerp Belgium on the 22nd with only a single Nouvelle Vague in the running. Unlike previous BeNeLux tournaments, this month's competition used a combination of tagfight and Invasion rulesets, where each team of two cardfighters acted as a pair sharing one damage zone (capped at nine cards for a game loss) while also being restricted in deck choices. Like in Team League 2014, any pair on the Invading side using Link Joker or “Яeverse cards was not permitted to use deck options outside of these, and any pair on the Defending side did not have access to Link Joker or “Яeverse” units.

A total of 30 persons took part in the third BeNeLux, divided into 15 teams. Exact clan turnout is uncertain, but the decklists of the top 2 teams were graciously submitted to us by the second place team. First place in the tournament was taken by the team of BeNeLux organizer Tom Staes. Staes is well known in the community as a devout Aqua Force cardfighter, and for one particular combo with his first vanguard Bubble Edge Dracokid wherein he sets Bubble Edge's skill on the grade 2 Tidal Assault in the backrow, and uses the grade 1 Wheel Assault to move the Tidal from the backrow to the frontrow after three frontrow units have attacked, allowing Tidal to use his own skill to create a fourth and fifth battle; this triggers Bubble Edge's draw skill twice during the fourth and greater battles, helping to overcome Aqua Force's consistency problems by building a high hand size on the second turn.

June 22nd BeNeLux
First place tag team: Unnamed
Ashley Annaert
Grade 0
1x Morgenrot (FV)
4x Regenbogen HT
4x Schnee Regen DT
4x Red Lightning CT
4x Schones Wetter CT
Grade 1
4x Blau Dunkelheit
4x Clay-doll Mechanic
2x Energy Charger
2x Stoic Hani
2x Screamin’ and Dancin’ Announcer, Shout
Grade 2
3x Mars Blaukluger
4x Blaukluger
4x Jupiter Blaukluger
Grade 3
4x Galaxy Blaukluger
4x Mond Blaukluger

Tom Staes
Grade 0
1x Bubble Edge Dracokid (FV)
4x Ice Floe Angel HT
4x Battle Siren, Mallika DT
2x Pyroxene Communications Sea Otter Soldier DT
4x Supersonic Sailor CT

2x Jet-ski Rider CT
Grade 1
4x Emerald Shield, Paschal
2x Light Signals Penguin Soldier
4x Wheel Assault
4x Mercenary Brave Shooter
Grade 2
3x Twin Strike Brave Shooter
4x Tidal Assault
2x Tear Knight, Lazarus
2x Battle Siren, Calista
Grade 3
4x Blue Wave Dragon, Tetra-drive Dragon
4x Blue Flight Dragon, Trans-core Dragon

Second place tag team: Dai Team
Kris Brazas
Grade 0
x1 Dimensional Robo, Daimagnum (FV)
x4 Dimensional Robo, Gorescue HT
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daicrane DT
x1 Army Penguin DT
x1 Gem Monster, Jewelmine DT
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daibattles CT
x1 Justice Cobalt CT
x1 Demon-eye Monster, Gorgon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daishield
x3 Dimensional Robo, Daibrave
x1 Dimensional Robo, Dailander
x3 Commander Laurel
x2 Dimensional Robo, Gocannon
Grade 2
x4 Dimensional Robo, Kaizard
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daidragon
x2 Dimensional Robo, Daibarrett
Grade 3
x4 Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser
x4 Dark Dimensional Robo, “Яeverse” Daiyusha
x2 Super Dimensional Robo, Daiyusha

Nelson Cheung
Grade 0
x1 Star-vader, Dust Tail Unicorn (FV)
x4 Star-vader, Stellar Garage HT
x4 Star-vader, Nebula Captor DT
x4 Star-vader, Meteo Liger CT
x4 Star-vader, Weiss Soldat CT
Grade 1
x4 Barrier Star-vader, Promethium
x4 Demon Claw Star-vader, Lanthanum
x4 Prison Gate Star-vader, Palladium
x1 Star-vader, Chaos Beat Dragon
x1 Star-vader, Aurora Eagle
x1 Mana Shot Star-vader, Neon
Grade 2
x4 Unrivaled Star-vader, Radon
x3 Star-vader, Colony Maker
x4 Strike Star-vader, Krypton
Grade 3
x3 Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon
x4 Star-vader, Infinite Zero Dragon

Friday, June 20, 2014

Feature: A General Discourse on the State of Professional Play on the Japanese Side of 2014

Dragonic Nouvelle Vague is dead and Thing Saver Dragon has killed him. This is the general situation faced by pro cardfighters in Japan; after six months of near-uninterrupted dominance, the competitive favorite evaporated and gave way to a new era of Legion decks. And while Nouvelle's reign had several upsets from the Dragruler-Raging Form cardfighters along with the occasional offbeat build like pre-BT16 Musketeers, it's no understatement to say that the deckbuild was previously one of the most successful in Cardfight!! Vanguard's existing history.

The exact mechanics of Nouvelle's defeat are best summarized as speed, cost and consistency. DNV can create a devastating, game-defining turn which involves two vanguard attacks each exceeding 23~28000 power in which the opponent cannot guard with grade 0 units while their defensive trigger checks are canceled out, meaning that if even a single hit from any unit is taken once the defending player is at five damage, they automatically lose with no chance to pull a heal trigger. Due to his high power and Silent Tom-like skill, it is not uncommon to see a player with seven cards in hand be unable to guard because their primary shield comes from 10000-power units. DNV's persona blast can also be a game-winning maneuver in the rare case that playing multiple Calamity Tower Wyverns is not the superior play, and if the opponent somehow survives the initial strike then DNV still has a base 13000 crossride-level defense to fall back on and retains its grade 0-stopping, trigger-cancelling skills for following turns. However, while these skills are some of the most devastating the game has seen, and can be understood as removing the chance aspects of the game without reintroducing an equal level of skill to compensate, they fall short of the bar set by the decks of BT16-on by needing extensive setup.

In order to have a properly setup restanding DNV that can win the game when it is put into play, Kagerou cardfighters need to first have Dauntless Drive Dragon ready on the vanguard circle at limit break, a copy of DNV in hand, the opponent needs to be at four or more damage so that the initial DNV attack will be relevant, and because savvy opponents will try to stay at three damage in order to take the first of Nouvelle's attacks this can all take four to six turns to arrange. Meanwhile, the Legion decks of the new format are active on turn three by drawing a single card. Through the normal process of guarding attacks to avoid going to higher damage earlier and card changing out less useful cards, the various builds introduced by BT16 are able to naturally achieve their setup without dedicating to a limit break of any kind. The competition between DNV and these new decks illustrates the unnatural nature of limit break as an artificial and redundant limitation placed on the game in an effort to rebalance it in BT06-on, and it's no surprise that two years after its introduction the first decks to abandon limit break are also the most successful. DNV needs Dauntless, needs limit break, needs to meet sensitive timing conditions and have the opponent in the right position, but the best Legion builds need only draw their intended grade 3 and immediately Seek Mate to trigger their abilities. The whole process is expedited by the presence of Quintet Walls and Luck Bird clones to quickly build up the drop zone for Legion.

So while Nouvelle Vague has fallen, why has Thing Saver Dragon risen in its place and not Cat Butler Raizers? To recap a bit, Cat Butler was forecast to be a primary feature of the new format after Bushiroad's celebrity personality Doctor O confirmed over Twitter that its vanguard-standing skill is compatible with a vanguard that is in Legion. Ordinarily Butler only retires itself to stand a grade 2 vanguard whose attack has not hit, but because a vanguard in Legion is considered to be both its grade 2 and grade 3 units, it's valid for Butler's skill. This has built up the new Nova Grappler Legion deck, Ultimate Raizer Mega Flare, into a considerable force to be reckoned with because its Legion skill already gives it an extra critical, and it can restand as many times as there are Cat Butlers to retire while also getting +1 card advantage off of each restand. A Legioned MF can only reach 20000 power unboosted, which in a format of primarily base 11000 vanguards means that its power is not quite on par with DNV's, but its restands come several turns in a row instead of being once per game. The Cat Butler deck has consequently been set up by the western playerbase as a potential best deck in format, with some even rallying around the idea of it being put onto the restricted list or receiving an errata to prevent it from being used with Legion vanguards, but Bushiroad Inc. has shown no signs of supporting these efforts and with the encouragement of Doctor O it appears that their full intention is to celebrate this deckbuilding option rather than try to limit it. Cynically, one could argue that Cat Butler is in fact driving both BT16's sales and clearing out old stocks of EB01: Comic Style Vol. 1, but the tournament results tell a different story.

While Cat Butler Raizers has been a major player of the format, as at the Second Beast Deity Cup, Fourth Tachikawa VGCS, Fourth Laketown CS and at the recent YVGCS team tournament where victorious team midcaptain Yuuhi immitated Tatarimetype2's Cat Butler decklist from Tachikawa, it has not been the most dominant or most used deck of the format. Not only have Thing Saver Dragon decks been close at the heels of Cat Butler builds at each of the aforementioned tournaments, but the build has dominated in competition with Narukami's Shotgun Blow Dragon at FR2014 Tokyo, placed first at FR2014 Sapporo and turned up on the first place team of the second Hokusetsu VGCS. Usage numbers from these VGCS tournaments slant towards Seekers, as in the case of Tachikawa's 33 Seeker to 21 Raizer tally, and Cat Butler can hardly be called Thing Saver's lone rival either. Dimension Police's Metalborgs have also accounted for a significant portion of pro play in the new format, drawing their strengths from preventing the opponent from using grade 1 or greater units--including perfect defense cards and Quintet Walls--against the deck's high-power grade 3 Sin Buster. Second place in the Tokyo Victory Cup went to Shibata Takuma with a Sin Buster-Draion deck, while Metalborgs were the third most represented deckbuild at Tachikawa, accounting for 16 players, and making top 8 at FR2014 Sapporo, Tokyo and Fukuoka's open class tournaments. Despite still operating in the constraints of limit break, Bermuda Triangle's PRISM-Duo series from EB10 has been the dark horse deck of the professional season, with the break ride True Sister Mare and self-standing vanguard Duo Temptation Reite as the preferred combination of the year. PRISM-Duo made an early debut in the season prior to Legion of Dragons and Blades' release, placing third at the Second Kansai VGCS and more recently taking first place under the command of Fukuoka regional champion Yamazaki Tatsuya (山崎竜矢) at FR2014 Fukuoka. Further complicating TSD's dominance and Cat Butler's high status, Shotgun Blow Dragon was shaping up as the dominant build of the season prior to BT16 hitting and has continued to prosper in wake of Wild Rush Dragon emerging as a complementary high-power, high-critical vanguard, with Brawlers making top 8 at four of the five Fighter's Road tournaments and accounting for a small portion of each VGCS. So while there is evidence in favor of Thing Saver and Cat Butler Raizers as the dominant decks within Japan, the fragmentation of professional play in light of Nouvelle's perceived lack of viability has caused the lower ranks to be filled with potential competitors, such that the Brawlers, Spike Brothers, Metalborgs, PRISM-Duo and other builds that have received less attention are potentially more dangerous to the most played decks than they are to each other. While some doomsayers are fond of ominously commenting about Legion being "dangerous" for the game, describing it as a "pure plus" or "broken," the reality is that the stark modifications to the pace of individuals games have not changed how professional play behaves on a large scale. The decks with the most potential continue to be those that break the mold and are understood the least.

In comparing Thing Saver Dragon and Mega Flare-Cat Butler's value as restanding builds, we need to be mindful of the same characteristics that caused Majesty Lord Blaster to prevail over Perfect Raizer back during Japan's pre-BT06 format. Royal Paladin is a clan which emphasizes conservation through superior calls, needing to put less cards down on average to fill the field than other clans, and in that way preserving the resources in the hand for allocation elsewhere. In TSD this is expressed through File and Gildas; File trades himself into the soul for a Blaster Blade Seeker when the vanguard Seeks Mate, while Gildas performs a flat superior call with the same timing. Since Legion vanguards can generally be flexible with their booster once Legion is activated, File allows easier setup of a rearguard column in exchange for giving up his boost. Gildas helps to complete that column, and the easy access to Blaster Blade Seeker gives Royal Paladin a cheap form of frontrow field control that Raizers lack. Seeker decks also need to draw only a single card to have their self-standing skill active, while Raizers need to draw two, making TSD immediately more consistent than Cat Butler decks. The only time that Royal Paladin will be in-Legion yet unable to use its self-stand is when there are no Thing Saver Dragons remaining in the deck, not enough counterblast or not enough soul, and each of these scenarios is less likely to become reality than not drawing a Cat Butler while in Legion. Cat Butler is also predictable, as the opponent can tell when it can and cannot be used because it must be on the field in order for its skill to be active, whereas they can't always guarantee that you'll play TSD's superior ride when you are able to do so. The card advantage game is an important part in comparing the two decks, because it's clear from how Cat Butler cardfighters are building their decks that keeping up with TSD is a necessary part of the format; the favoritism towards Energy Charger and Street Bouncer in Raizer decks highlights that importance. CBR relies on less stable rearguards with lower base powers and less efficient ways of building the field and advantage over time compared to TSD.

However, in establishing this binary dominance of TSD and Cat Butler, pro play has arguably fallen into a creative rut. The release of EB12: Waltz of the Goddess in Japan today is expected to bring at least one major change to the format, with the new Regalia series introducing CEO Yggdrasil, a Legion vanguard who combines high base power (23000 power unboosted) with an additional critical and not being guardable using grade 1 or greater cards. But by contrast, where Yggdrasil forces the opponent to put down a large amount of cards to stop her from almost certainly sending them from four to six damage, or from three to six with a stray trigger, the new Revengers from EB11: Requiem at Dusk have disappointed many. Monthly Bushiroad magazine's revelation that Phantom Blaster "Abyss" can only use its self-standing skill on the turn that it Legions has severely restricted the Revengers' potential in the current format, with many eyes now being on the new Witch cards introduced by EB11. While lacking a restanding vanguard, the Witch series is able to cripple the opponent's field with an entirely new mechanic, calling their triggers from their deck and drop zone over their existing units and then activating supplementary skills based on those triggers being on the field, doing such things as reducing the opposing vanguard's power by -5000 for a turn to effectively power up in the entire field in a “Яeverse” Daiyusha-like fashion, or simply drawing extra cards to build up advantage. Concern should be addressed at the effectiveness of the Regalia units and Witch cards in competitive play; if neither can sufficiently shake up the top brackets, then in absence of a breakout deck from among the aforementioned underdogs the format is likely to remain stale until the rise of VG-BT17: Blazing Perdition in early August.

With regards to BT17, the primary concern for the time being is focused on the announcement of a new type of grade 1 in Bushiroad's latest NicoNico Douga live broadcast. Described as a supporting grade 1 that allows the use of limit break while at three or less damage, the unit is expected to revitalize many decks that were outmoded in the emergent Legion format by allowing them to situationally ignore damage limits, as if every grade 3 were designed with a 2011-type format in mind. While the possibilities unleashed by this are numerous, it can be reasonably inferred that this new type of card will be distributed similarly to Quintet Walls during their original debut, and that only clans receiving support in BT17 will initially receive a copy of the new card. Currently this includes Gold Paladin, Link Joker, Kagerou, Royal Paladin, Aqua Force, Granblue, Tachikaze and Narukami as potential targets for the new limit break support. As this only extends to limit break 4 units, ultimate break skills like those of "Ω" Glendios and Platina Ezel are exempt from the support. The implications of these clans receiving this form of support are nevertheless severe; at present the most prominent decks of each clan to benefit from it would be Grand Ezel Scissors, Chaos Breaker Dragon, Dragonic Overlord “The Яe-birth,” Ashlei “Яeverse,” Tetra Drive Dragon and Maelsrom “Яeverse,” Nightsnow and Nightmist, Tyrannolegend and Tempest Bolt Dragon. The last of these is particularly notable because with the new grade 1 available, it becomes possible to retaliate effectively against an opponent who is filling the field quickly, calling few rearguards and using Tempest Bolt's counterblast 3 limit break on turn 3 to wipe out the opponent's field, punishing them for reckless attacks. And among the Aqua Force units mentioned, both Maelstrom variations can benefit from the new limit break support because benefits from being able to hit the opponent. Blue Storm Maelstrom's on-hit gives it an overall increase in advantage by two when its attack hits, retiring an opponent's rearguard and drawing a card, while Maelstrom “Яeverse” can reasonably land its extra critical when the opponent is at lower damage before moving in for a similar effect to its predecessor when the opponent begins to guard. While for many decks of 2012-on the new limit break support comes too little too late, those that were already powerful in the first place now have a chance at keeping up with the modern pace of the game. Even the possibility of DNV making a comeback is present, but unlikely because the card is still a grade 4 unit in need of a grade 3 to precede its debut and removing the sensitive timing would not make it any less slow compared to the benefits of running a self-standing Legion or opting for the much simpler “The Яe-birth.” Each clan represented by the setting receiving limit break support is not necessarily guaranteed; in the case of Link Joker this would make it much easier for Chaos Breaker and Glendios' Omega Lock to bring games to a screeching halt until one player decks out first, and depending on how the new Perdition Dragons are designed the limit break support enabling “The Яe-birth” could stand to undermine the reception of the new units.

Exactly where professional play is headed in EB12-on is fairy easy to predict. The existing BT16 decks are here to stay, while Yggdrassil and perhaps Fianna are to join them. The bigger overarching question is how much one card can redeem two years of limit breaks and how relevant the old material will be in the present format. None of the most played decks of the format shut down the opponent in the same way that Nouvelle Vague did, which leaves more room for a response and gives more of a role to the less played builds. The relative stability of the competition at the moment is liable to break down into a more of a free-for-all as the pace of limit break decks develop around staying closer to the same damage as Legion builds, disrupting the certainty that TSD and CBR have brought with them as alternative decks become more viable over time. One of the domineering aspects of the format though is that not every clan will immediately have access to these limit break enabling cards. The Revengers in particular are unlikely to experience a revival without promo card support, despite being major players since BT12, while Great Nature, Angel Feather, Oracle Think Tank, Murakumo, Nubatama, Pale Moon and Megacolony are each left without an easy option to stay relevant in an increasingly midgame-centric format.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Statement of Purpose & Ethics

Last updated June 18, 2014.
Over the past three years the research methods, style of presentation and integrity of Cardfight Pro as a publication have undergone dramatic transformative revisions that stretch the limits of what can be defined as a web log. Although statements have been made in the past regarding the general direction and purpose of Cardfight Pro as an organization, there has never before been a single defining document which outlines the goals, methods and ethics it answers to. In light of recent events, it is the view of the head editor that such a document, testifying the will of the organization and the responsibilities of its editors, is called for.

Cardfight Pro maintains that it is not in fact a blog, but is a journalistic resource of integrity that is also hosted on Blogger and makes use of its features. It is generally recognized as a reputable source by the global community of cardfighters, and handles a certain responsibility of disseminating information about the progression of the game across the world, with special attention given to professional play. In absence of other uncensored and unbiased publications independent of Bushiroad Inc. and its related companies, the weight of that responsibility to report professionally and in a trustworthy manner to the general public is severe.

We recognize a special right of the public to be informed and a right of the individual to inform. Even when the truth is painful, it must be pursued. That is not just the right of journalists, but our obligation to the next generation; the community of cardfighters owe to its successors an explanation of why and how we can come to do terrible things. When a chance at absolute truth is present, it must be taken. This process of handing information down among generations of people is a defining feature of human cognition, and through it the praxis of journalism may be considered a form of fuller humanization of those involved. We recognize that truth and transparency will beget deeper understanding of one another.

Journalistic Ethics
Websites hosted by Blogger and their associated writers are not presently afforded the protection of state-specific shield laws within the United States of America unless sufficient professionalism is demonstrated; what constitutes professionalism is not clearly established, and there is no nationwide recognition of bloggers as journalists. This much we acknowledge. However, the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics defines and provides guidelines for the field of journalism as a practice. Journalism is a self-recognizing field wherein a journalist is defined by their recognition among other journalists. Academic degrees, the presence of a publisher or the titles associated with any particular company position are irrelevant in this matter. A journalist is made when journalism is practiced, when the truth is pursued through conscientious reporting and voice is given to the voiceless. Those who act according to the Code of Ethics are journalists, and any individual can be a journalist with or without a publication; to arbitrarily restrict that privilege based on the possession of a print platform is to be counter to the very principles of the field and to obstruct free speech.

With or without recognition as a journalistic resource, Cardfight Pro recognizes and abides by the SPJ Code of Ethics to the best of its journalists' abilities. The full scope of the SPJ is available online, but the premises of it and how they affect Cardfight Pro are outlined below in a condensed list. Due to the nature of the Code, it is not and cannot be made legally binding. The Code transcends all legal systems and extends as an international master work of ethics under which each journalist is to interpret independently. Failure to comply with the Code has no legal ramifications, but due to the trust-based nature of journalism it is impossible to work in the field without observing it, as job security, the reliability and bartering of information, promises to sources, and guarantees of anonymity all rely on observance of the Code.

Through abiding the Code, Cardfight Pro promises to:
-Publish information only if it has been validated to the best of our ability, and believed to be reliable. Rumor and hearsay will be clearly labeled or not published at all.
-Pursue both the objective and humane realities surrounding current and past events, providing an opportunity for dialogue among the public on key issues and for individuals to be represented.
-Identify sources where possible, and protect those sources who must be protected.
-Keep promises.
-Not falsify or distort the facts.
-Avoid advertorial and subservience to corporate interests. Uninhibited advertorial will never be permissible on Cardfight Pro, and private interest will never write or buy the news.
-Question the motives of companies as much as those of private individuals are, and never become slaves to hit count.
-Promote transparency between all parties.
-Never plagiarize.
-Seek and fight for the truth even where it is unpopular to do so.
-Break stereotypes and promote understanding of subjects as people, accepting views in conflict with those of the editors.
-Treat victims with compassion and tact.
-Avoid dramatizing personal tragedies.
-Not report harmfully, except where both necessary and unavoidable.
-Weigh carefully the public right to information and the right of private individuals to privacy, and act in balance to these principles.

Kindness, empathy, ruthlessness and antipathy are tools; these qualities should not obstruct the truth, but assist it. In like, advertisers and sponsorship are necessary evils which support journalism, but are never pillars of it. If it does not support the pursuit of an objective and humane truth, it has no place in Cardfight Pro.

Loyalties & Goals
Cardfight Pro recognizes the following charges of it as a publication;
-To uphold the ideals of Akira Ito in cultivating a safe environment for both children and adults to play, compete and interact together.
-To promote and support a professional community of cardfighters in cultivating their careers with integrity and dignity around the world.
-To pursue the truth as it is owed to the public, even at the risk of personal endangerment.
In informing the public on the actions of pros, we recognize that even casual fighters that play for fun can learn and use the techniques developed in the course of professional Cardfight. We also duly recognize the potential conflict of interests between the company and the community, the internal elements of Bushiroad, the visionaries and technicians, and between the fundamental artistic pursuits of what the game should be as envisioned by its many authors versus the practical reality of how it is implemented and is under the established system. Where Ito and Bushiroad conflict, it is our choice to side with Ito.

Therefore, our first loyalty is to Akira Ito and the art of the game and our second loyalty is to the player base. Nowhere within this does Bushiroad Inc. nor any other corporate body have direct influence or control over the publication. The actions of Cardfight Pro International as a journalistic body must always be in harmony with these ideals. The betterment of the community, the individual growth of veteran cardfighters as well as newcomers, and the artistic vision of Ito must each be respected by CFPro as an organization. Whosoever holds the chair of head editor must never compromise one principle for the other, nor attempt to subvert these ideals for his or her own personal gain, nor yield to attacks on these ideals. Cardfight!! Vanguard is a game which brings people together; and Cardfight Pro should do the same.