Wednesday, April 1, 2015

News: Dog Wins World Championship, Dark Metal Dragon to Get Revival Legion

Tokyo Dome City, Prism Hall, Japan. Eight hours ago the 2015 Cardfight!! Vanguard world champion was crowned at 4:00 PM JST, marking the ascent of the first nonhuman title holder. The new reigning world champion is three-year-old Barcgal, a female black Labrador Retriever of American origin. Barcgal won the championship title while maining a Royal Paladin deck, using a popular variant on Thing Saver Dragon that incorporated Soul Saver support to build soul for Thing Saver's legion skill. Examining her decklist closely, it appears to be a card for card copy of Yukiya's second place deck from last year's fourth Tachikawa VGCS.

Barcgal's success was given a partial explanation by her trainer; due to her absence of opposable thumbs and inability to speak, the dog was able to claim disability and rely on an assistant to hold her cards for her. Her trainer assured us that Barcgal's decisions in her cardfights were all her own, as "in best-of-one, even a dog can win Worlds." Barcgal has spent the last three years training for the world championship, having first learned to play the game when she was only three months old. Black Labradors have a reputation for extraordinary intelligence, but international runner-up Almeida Stewart criticized the pup for her victory, claiming that Barcgal was only able to win by checking critical triggers every turn of the game against gradelocked opponents. Barcgal's decklist is provided further down.

In other news, Bushiroad of Japan's weekly NND broadcast has revealed the most recent entry in the grade 3 revival campaign, a Shadow Paladin grade 3 that will legion with Dark Metal Dragon, one of the clan's original boss cards from BT04: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows. The revival legion will be printed as a triple rare in the upcoming G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon, turning aside previous speculation that Gold Paladin would receive the set's revival. Dark Metal Dragon was originally printed as a double rare and special parallel in BT04, and according to the announcement will not be reprinted in G-BT03. Instead, one copy of Dark Metal will be printed with alternate artwork in the June issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine.

Regarding the revival, we at Cardfight Pro were able to secure a phone interview with Nakamura Satoshi, one of Cardfight!! Vanguard's preeminent game designers. The full audio and transcript of this interview will be available around the 31st, while a partial account is provided below.

"We really wanted to replicate the feel of 2011 Shadow Paladin for its fans." Mr. Nakamura explained to us, citing total agreement from his team on the direction of the upcoming booster set. "It's like an ice cream cone that you were about to eat, and someone runs by and knocks it out of your hand."

"That's what Shadow Paladin is really like?"

"A vanilla ice cream cone." At this point in the interview Mr. Nakamura began to laugh. "No, maybe it's more like...like going to Foster Freeze for chocolate ice cream, but they're out so you're forced to get vanilla or the trip is wasted. But then, just as you're about to enjoy your vanilla ice cream, this group of Singaporean mimes come along in a clown car and knock it out of your hand, honking and making a lot of noise and driving the car like they're at a monster truck rally. It's not even their car! They stole it from the clowns! It's so frustrating, and that's what Shadow Paladin is really like. So I wanted to properly communicate this feeling with cardfighters all over the world. Please continue to enjoy our Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game in the future."

World Championship 2015 Spring
Barcgal
Deck name: Pawprint
Grade 0
x2 Advance Party Seeker, File (FV)
x4 Loving Healer ST
x4 Margal DT
x4 Impact Seeker, Modoron CT
x4 Seeker, Hallowed Breath Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Defending Shiron
x4 Pongal
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x2 Grynngal Seeker
x1 Honest Seeker, Cynric
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade, Seeker
x4 Full Bloom Seeker, Cerdic
x4 Great Crossbow Seeker, Gildas
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x4 Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon
x1 Soul Saver Dragon

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Press Release: 3 Major English Edition Cardfight!! Vanguard Expansions in June 2015

The following is a press release distributed by Bushiroad USA and may not reflect the views or opinions of Cardfight Pro or its editors.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3 Major English Edition Cardfight!! Vanguard Expansions in June 2015

Singapore (March 12, 2015) – Bushiroad announced the simultaneous release of 3 Cardfight!! Vanguard G English Edition products which will be on sale on June 19, 2015. These expansions include one new Trial Deck, the 2015 edition of the Fighters Collection and an all-new product, the Legend Deck.
 
Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Deck Vol. 5 ‘Fateful Star Messiah’, Fighters Collection 2015 and Legend Deck Vol. 1 ‘The Dark “Ren Suzugamori”’ feature the latest in the Cardfight!! Vanguard G series and contain new cards that will feature units with the Stride and Generation Break abilities.

G Trial Deck Vol. 5 ‘Fateful Star Messiah’ features the <<Link Joker>> clan, while the Fighters Collection 2015 will contain new G-units for all clans that have been released thus far, excluding the <<Etranger>> clan.

The Legend Deck series is a new product that shines the spotlight on “Legendary Fighters” from the Cardfight!! Vanguard animation. Legend Deck Vol. 1 will feature the fan-favorite Ren Suzugamori and his popular <<Shadow Paladin>> deck. It is the first of its kind, and will contain premium items such as an exclusive deck holder, fighter’s counter as well as a special foiled promotional card.

G Trial Deck Vol. 5 ‘Fateful Star Messiah’ and Legend Deck Vol.1 ‘The Dark “Ren Suzugamori”’ will also include one hot-stamped card randomly inserted into decks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

News: International Game to See LD01: The Dark “Ren Suzugamori” in June, VGE-TD05: Fateful Star Messiah and Fighter's Collection 2015

Today the English Cardfight portal updated with release information for the international distribution of G-LD01: The Dark “Ren Suzugamori, G-TD05: Fateful Star Messiah and G-FC01: Fighter's Collection 2015. All three sets will hit western shores simultaneously on June 19th 2015. The legend deck will notably contain all of the accoutrements of its Japanese counterpart sans sleeves, including the triple rare promotional card Grim Recruiter.

The Dark “Ren Suzugamori,” first announced in late January, will introduce the new Shadow Paladin cards used by legacy character Suzugamori Ren in the Cardfight!! Vanguard G anime series. Careful scrutinizing of a promotional poster distributed in early February reveals that the cards teased so far each have partial grade information in their grade circles. The number of bars inside their grade circles indicate that the new Nemain and Charon units are grade 1s, Macha and Mac Lir grade 2s, and Blaster Dark “Diablo” is a grade 3. Furthermore, Nemain's gold shield icon points to her being a card with the Sentinel skill, and Phantom Blaster “Diablo's” card color corresponds to a G Unit.

The legend deck will come out on April 24th in Japan.

Fateful Star Messiah was announced in Japan only last week, alongside the upcoming booster set G-TD05: Dragonic Star of the Supreme Way. The set will feature Ibuki Kouji's Messiah units, a new series of Link Joker-turned variations on the original stride Harmonics Messiah. Japan will receive Fateful Star Messiah on May 29th.

Fighter's Collection 2015 is a special form of extra booster that will provide G Units for every clan sans Etranger. The set will reach Japanese waters on May 5th.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Press Release: Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Decks Sold Out Within One Week

The following is a press release distributed by Bushiroad USA and may not reflect the views or opinions of Cardfight Pro or its editors.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Decks Sold Out Within One Week

Singapore (March 5, 2015) – More than 80,000 trial decks were sold within the first week of release of the Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Deck Vol. 1 ‘Awakening of the Interdimensional Dragon’, G Trial Deck Vol. 2 ‘Divine Swordsman of the Shiny Star’ and G Trial Deck Vol. 3 ‘Flower Maiden of Purity’. These trial decks were released on February 27, 2015.

These Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Decks join the ranks of other Cardfight!! Vanguard expansions that sold out within weeks of release; including Booster Pack Vol. 16 ‘Legion of Dragons & Blades’ ver.E, Extra Booster Pack Vol. 11 ‘Requiem at Dusk’ and Extra Booster Pack Vol. 12 ‘Waltz of the Goddess’. More than 950,000 packs of Booster Pack Vol. 16 ‘Legion of Dragons & Blades’ ver.E were sold within a month of release. Extra Booster Pack Vol. 11 ‘Requiem at Dusk’ and Extra Booster Pack Vol. 12 ‘Waltz of the Goddess’ sold a combined 600,000 packs over the release weekend.

The next expansion for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, G Booster Pack Vol.1 Generation Stride, will be released on March 13, 2015.

Cardfight!! Vanguard G marks a new beginning for Cardfight!! Vanguard and is the latest expansion of Bushiroad’s most popular trading card game. It features new cards, abilities and a new clan, Gear Chronicle. The new expansion introduces new abilities such as Stride, Generation Break and G-Assist into the game.

Cardfight!! Vanguard G Trial Deck Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 feature cards that are used by the new protagonists of the Cardfight!! Vanguard G anime. Each display contains a card signed by the artist of the unit, randomly inserted into one of the trial decks. Additionally, exclusive promotional cards were given out with every purchase of one of the three trial decks.

Friday, March 6, 2015

News: G-TD05: Messiah of the Fateful Star and G-BT03: Dragonic Star of the Supreme Way Revealed, Dragonic Overlord “The X” Sleeves

This past week Bushiroad has released a steady stream of information regarding the upcoming trial deck and booster set G-TD05: Messiah of the Fateful Star (宿星の救世竜 Shukusei no Kyuuseiryuu lit. "Savior Dragon of the Fateful Star" but with the forced reading of "Messiah") and G-BT03: Dragonic Star of the Supreme Way (覇道竜星 Hadouryuusei, written with the kanji "supremacy, way, dragon, star.") The most recent of these reveals has given us the set details through the Japanese products page, placing both TD05 and BT03 for a May 29th release. Messiah of the Fateful Star will feature Ibuki Kouji's Link Joker cards from the currently airing Cardfight!! Vanguard G anime series, while Dragonic Star of the Supreme Way will include support for the Shadow Paladin, Link Joker, Gold Paladin, Dark Irregulars, Murakumo, Kagerou and Cray Elemental clans.

Both the trial deck and booster set feature units that appear to be visual variations on Harmonics Messiah, the first stride unit that served as a focal character in last year's Cardfight!! Vanguard theatrical film, Neon Messiah. In the film Ibuki sought to take Harmonics for himself in order to erase the card game entirely, but only achieved his goal after he had already given up on destroying Vanguard. Harmonics then transformed into the grade 0 Neon Messiah. Neon Messiah will debut in the card game as the first vanguard for Messiah of the Fateful Star, and while Harmonics is the only card to have no original clan, Neon is a pure Link Joker. In the card lore Harmonics was summoned to purify the Deletors' home planet Brandt of Link Joker's influence, and its artwork depicted it holding Cray and Brandt on its shoulders. The trial deck's Messiah unit carries a similar theme, while the booster set's Messiah appears empty.

Supreme Way's cover card was also briefly teased in the thirteenth episode of Cardfight!! Vanguard G, where series protagonist Shindou Chrono envisioned himself fighting against a Messiah unit shrouded in darkness.

G-TD05 makes use of a complex visual pun; the name is written with the kanji 宿星 Shukusei "star of fate" but with the radical for "sun" 日 substituted by an illustration of a partial eclipse. A popular but grammatically incorrect alternative translation is "Messiah of Zodiac." Shukusei can refer to a singular zodiac (Pisces, Aquarius, Leo et al.) but not the entire twelve signs at once; for this 獣帯 Shuudai is used. Shukusei is also used in relation to the Chinese system of constellations. The trial deck is referring to a singular star with governance over fate, not a Zodiac sign that embodies a series of interconnected stars. G-BT03's ryuusei is a homophone for "shooting star," while hadou is a form of martial law that is also written with the characters for "Way of Supremacy," just as the samurai code Bushidou is written "Way of the Warrior" and the Japanese religion Shintou is written "Way of the Gods." Of note is that the kanji for Supreme Way has a black X crossed through it, which resembles another symbol found on the Malefic Deletor logo.

In other news, the Japanese Treasure Campaign has updated to reflect an upcoming promotional sleeve for the revival legion Dragonic Overlord “The X.” These sleeves are to be obtained by turning in trigger points distributed in Japanese booster packs, but as with past campaigns, overseas fans can expect to import them through secondary sellers. “The X” has been a popular figure in Japan since his rise to power in professional play, to the point of being considered for restriction. While post-BT02 tournament results have seen “The X” all but disappear from the top spots, that has not inhibited strong turnouts from Overlord cardfighters, who regularly account for the second or third greatest deck representation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

News: Clan Fight Rules Standardized in Professional Play

Originally uploaded by Bushiroad inc.
This evening Bushiroad's international branches announced their adoption of Clan Fight regulations, a system of rules that has been implemented in Japan since the release of VG-BT16: Legion of Dragons & Blades. Under these regulations it is against the rules of the game for cardfighters to mix cards of different clans in one deck, with a small pool of exceptions. The rules were originally implemented in Japan because all units printed after TD14: Seeker of Hope do not require same-clan vanguards for their skills to activate, and no grade 3 units from that point onwards have the Lord skill that prevents them from attacking if a unit on the field does not share their clan. The game designers are thus designing cards around the presumption that cardfighters may only use a single clan.

Bushiroad's decision was preempted by that of Alter Reality Games, organizers of the 2015 US national championships. ARG had already adopted Clan Fight a week earlier as a result of strong demand from the community. The decision was made following massive player outcry against the results of the Louisville regional qualifier, where half of the top 8 decklists ran the Spike Brothers unit Frozen Ogle while using no other Spike Brothers cards in the decks. Frozen was primarily used in Cat Butler Raizer decks to search for the eponymous grade 0, but also saw play in a mixed Dimension Police deck to bring out Commander Laurel and Mist Ghost. After considering the players' reactions, ARG elected to implement Clan Fight at all of its tournaments beginning on March 8th with the Fort Lauderdale regional qualifier. Extreme Fight, in which clan mixing is permitted, will only be implemented at ARG tournaments as a side event.

Bushiroad's move to imitate ARG may be in an effort to salvage the company's official tournament system, which has progressively fallen out of favor with fans as the company as repeatedly failed to introduce best-of-three competition. Some went so far as to doubt that Bushiroad USA and its associated branches would ever implement Clan Fight regulations in light of its slow response to the release of BT16. By contrast, the Japanese branch had implemented Clan Fight from the moment that TD14 was released. While ARG will be officially implementing Clan Fight on March 8th, Bushiroad will not do so until March 30th.

One noted difference from the Japanese ruleset is that the English Clan Fight rules permit Link Joker fighters to play units with “Яeverse” in their card name. The Japanese Clan Fight rules instead permit Link Joker fighters to play units with the Я character in their card name, hence permitting Dragonic Overlord “The Яe-birth” to be used. Like with the exception given to Royal Paladin cardfighters being able to use four copies of Blaster Dark for Majesty Lord Blaster, this rule exists to allow a specific deck to function, Star-vader “Ω” Glendios. The English edition rules otherwise closely match the September 29th 2014 Fighter's Rules implemented in Japan, sans the restriction of Cat Butler implemented on August 18th of that year.

March 5th, 2015 Update: Bushiroad international has since released additional material identifying “The Яe-birth” as eligible for Link Joker decks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Fullbau Brave

The Japanese card of the day for February 25th is a first vanguard four years in the making, the Legend Deck grade 0 Fullbau Brave. Both a remake of Shadow Paladin's original FVG and a long-awaited counterpart to Wingal Brave from BT05: Twin Swords Awakening, 2015's Fullbau is a Blaster series support card like his original incarnation. Yet while the first generation Fullbau could only search for Blaster Dark under very specific criteria, the fifth generation Fullbau's skill opens up many different options by pulling out any Blaster unit to alternatively support crossride, field control, restand, soul or stride-based strategies.
ACT (Rearguard circle):  Generation break 1: (Active if you have 1 or more face-up G Units in your vanguard circle or generation zone) [Counterblast 1, put this unit into your soul] Search your deck for up to one card with "Blaster" in its card name, reveal it to your open, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck.

While this skill is slower and more costly compared to Wingal Brave, it's also not an on-hit skill and can be used to facilitate true control over the fight. Even among Revenger cardfighters that would be unlikely to abandon Judgebau's double Sword-breaker combo, Fullbau Brave gives an advantage; Brave players that can defend through their opponent's initial Judgebau turn can then stride and immediately use Brave to search for Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss” and then use “Abyss'” counterblast 1 to retire Judgebau, indirectly turning the Sword-breakers in their deck into vanilla units. On a grander scale this kind of direct counter may not be necessary. The presence of Grim Recruiter in the format inherently decreases dependency on Judgebau to get those cards into play, making room for Fullbau to ensure multiple Grim Recruiter turns that will push the midgame.

The other options that Brave brings to the table include being able to search for Blaster Dark “Diablo” to correct an opening ride, searching for copies of persona blast-based Blaster units like Phantom Blaster Overlord, and more pertinently searching for a Phantom Blaster “Abyss” to secure a restand with. Revenger decks are capable of easily unflipping using Barrier Troop Revenger Dorint and the original Blaster Dark Revenger, so that Fullbau Brave's cost is entirely reasonable within the subclan. Brave's skill can also be used to search for a Blaster unit to put into the soul with Nightmare Painter for Gust Blaster Dragon, or to search for Gust himself after riding the original Phantom Blaster, but Judgebau is arguably better for this because he can search for the actual Nightmare Painters to get multiple Blasters in the soul in a single turn.

Although some Royal Paladin cardfighters will doubtless turn their eyes to using Fullbau to support their own Blaster decks, all professional tournaments in Japan currently prevent this due to the onset of Clan Fight regulations. Under these regulations, cardfighters may not integrate multiple clans into a single deck; even Royal Paladin fighters can only use up to four of the original Blaster Dark for Majesty Lord Blaster's skill, while Link Joker users can only access “Я” cards.

Fullbau Brave's gold calligraphy edition will be presented to attendants on the second day of this year's Great Vanguard Festival in Japan. The Legend Deck edition will have standard flavor text, but a triple rare foil.