Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bushiroad Institutes New Penal Code

Following Kanamaru Makoto's exposure at the Fighter's Road 2012 championship, Bushiroad has instituted a new policy to punish cheaters in official games1. Effective July 23rd, 2012 Kanamaru is disqualified from the championship and banned from participating in any official matches for the next eighteen months, until his punishment expires on January 22nd, 2014. This, combined with Kanamaru's prior banning from card shops in his home city of Osaka, will theoretically prevent Kanamaru from cardfighting at all for two years. Official twitter accounts also mention that repeat infringements could lead to harsher penalties being instituted over time, but Bushiroad has stressed the importance of prevention rather than punishment, as this incident of cheating now brings into question the validity of the results of any match in which Kanamaru participated.

Specifically, Kanamaru was found to have marked the sleeved backings of the trigger units in his deck, allowing him to tell when he would drive or damage check a trigger. This method of cheating was already quite popular before he was exposed at the championship, and was an ongoing problem shop judges in Japan had been dealing with over the past year. With the new penal code in place, Bushiroad has a stranglehold on these fraud fighters.



1. "Application History for Penal Regulations and Provisions (Last Updated: 2012/7/24)." Cardfight!! Vanguard JP. Bushiroad, 24 July 2012. Web. 24 July 2012. <cf-vanguard.com/howto/penalty/>.

Monday, July 23, 2012

News: Fighter's Road 2012 National Champions

Following last night's information leak, the official results of Fighter's Road 2012 have been announced. Exceeding many presumptions about what is competitive in today's format, Gotou Kiyomi has been made Japan's third senior class national champion and the first such champion of this tournament season. Rikino Sakura has been finally confirmed as the junior champion, making her the first person of any division or country to defend a title in consecutive years, and the first consecutive national champion in the world. Her deck this year shows a startling degree of innovation, completely abandoning the Kagerou decks she made her name with for an Oracle Think Tank deck using modern tactics.

While Royal Paladin, Gold Paladin and Kagerou are performing as expected, and this marks RoPala's third consecutive championship dominating the senior league, this was achieved using tactics now called ancient. Unlike past champions, Kiyomi took his place in history using a pure Alfred deck with absolutely no focus on Soul Saver Dragon or Majesty Lord Blaster, two deck builds popularly called "broken" since their introduction. In recent times the King of Knights had largely fallen by the wayside in favor of these units and their support cards, but Kiyomi has come out demonstrating that the power balance between sets one and seven is not so skewed that he can't take the national crown with old cards. In fact, Wingal Brave and Lamorak are the only cards in his deck to come from a set beyond 3.

Please note that Kanamaru Makoto, the famous Bermuda Triangle cardfighter from Osaka, has been exposed as an inveterate cheater, and was already banned from many card shops in his home region before FR2012 went underway. The matter is currently being investigated; if Kanamaru cheated during the Fighter's Road events, he may stand to lose his titles. As such, while his Bermuda deck is currently considered the second strongest deck in the country, it's unknown if he tampered with the match in any way.

Japanese National Championship 2012
Seniors Division
National Champion: Gotou Kiyomi/後藤聖弥
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x4 Toypugal
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x3 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Knight of Determination, Lamorak
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Runner-Up: Kanamaru Makoto/金丸眞人
Grade 0
x1 Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Riviere (FVG)
x4 Comical Rainy CT
x4 Cooking Caspian DT
x4 Drive Quartet, Flows HT
x4 Drive Quartet, Shuplu CT
Grade 1
x3 Mermaid Idol, Erie
x4 Mermaid Idol, Sedna
x2 Prism of the Water's Surface, Miltoa
x4 Mermaid Idol, Riviere
x2 Navy Dolphin, Ameer
Grade 2
x4 Top Idol, Aqua
x4 Super Idol, Riviere
x3 Mermaid Idol, Flute
Grade 3
x1 Top Idol, Pacifica
x2 Super Idol, Salem
x4 Top Idol, Riviere

Third Place: Nakamura Seishirou/中村誠士郎
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x2 Red Gem Carbuncle DT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Heat Nail Salamander
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Bellicosity Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Fourth Place: Minami Takeshi/南武志
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x2 Toypugal
x3 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x1 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x3 Blaster Dark
x3 Starcall Trumpeter
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x3 King of Knights, Alfred
x1 Solitary Knight, Gancelot
x4 Majesty Lord Blaster 

Juniors Division
National Champion: Rikino Sakura/力野桜
Grade 0
x1 Little Witch, LuLu (FVG)
x4 Lozenge Magus HT
x3 Oracle Guardian, Nike CT
x4 Psychic Bird CT
x2 Victory Maker DT
x3 Battle Sister, Ginger CT
Grade 1
x4 Battle Sister, Chocolat
x4 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x1 Weather Girl, Milk
x2 Luck Bird
x3 Dark Cat
Grade 2
x4 Battle Sister, Mocha
x4 Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
x3 Silent Tom 
Grade 3
x4 Scarlet Witch, CoCo
x4 Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya

Runner-Up: Murosaki Yuki/室崎祐希
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x3 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x1 Red Gem Carbuncle DT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x2 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x3 Cross Shot, Garp
x2 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Third Place: Nakamura Shunto/中村俊斗
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x3 Future Knight, Llew CT
x3 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x2 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x3 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x3 Knight of Friendship, Kay
x2 Apocalypse Bat
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x4 Blaster Dark
x2 Starcall Trumpeter
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x1 King of Knights, Alfred
x2 Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x4 Majesty Lord Blaster

Fourth Place:  Takenaka Shun'ichi/竹中駿一
Grade 0
x1 Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Speeder Hound CT
x2 Silent Punisher CT
x2 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x2 Little Battler, Tron
x1 Listener of Truth, Dindrane
x4 Scout of Darkness, Vortimer
Grade 2
x3 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x2 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x1 Lop Ear Shooter
x4 Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer
Grade 3
x2 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x3 Holy Mage, Manawydan
x2 Spectral Duke Dragon
x1 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore

News: Japan's 2012 National Champion Crowned

Information leaked through Japanese twitter accounts has prematurely revealed that Gotou Kiyomi of Sendai is the new senior class Fighter's Road 2012 champion and the overall national champion for Japan. His King of Knights, Alfred deck has surmounted the dominant crossride and limit break decks of this format, using an overall strategy previously criticized as a relic of BT01. For the second consecutive year, Royal Paladin has come in as the top deck of Japan's national tournament.

Furthermore, the junior national champion used a Sakuya and CoCo-based Oracle Think Tank deck, and is rumored to be Rikino Sakura. How she entered the competition is not currently known, however misreporting is a possibility; until today it was widely believed that only the first-place winners in the Fighter's Road participated in the national championship, as was the case with most 2011 events, but the rules may have been amended since then to include second-place winners as ruled in the current North American competitions. If this were the case, or if the Nagoya regional champion was somehow rendered ineligible for participation, then Rikino has indeed qualified for the championship and may be the junior champion. Additionally, she would be the first person in Cardfight's history to defend a national title in consecutive years. The switch to Oracle Think Tank would be extremely surprising however, given her consistent track record with Kagerou decks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

National Championship Live Broadcast and Fighter's Interviews

Two hours ago Bushiroad aired a broadcast on NicoNico Douga, live from Japan's 2012 national championship events in Akiba Square, Tokyo. Meant to provide coverage before the actual events got underway, the show was hosted by celebrated TV persona, Doctor O and a guest commentator.


Opening the broadcast by discussing the entered decks, Doctor O highlighted Kanamaru Makoto's much-anticipated Bermuda Triangle deck. Kanamaru's deck has been singled out as the most watched deck of the Fighter's Road events, standing out amidst a flood of Kagerou, RoPala and GoPala competitors. Bermuda's inclusion in the tournament is seen as surprising due to the influx of Dragonic Overlord The End and Majesty Lord Blaster decks, now regarded as the two most popular decks in competitive cardfight. Doctor O also made special mention of Gotou Kiyomi's Alfred deck, which has garnered much attention for being a modern take on an extremely old deck type--the King of Knights does not see common play as a main unit, instead generally acting as a backup for Soul Saver Dragon or Majesty Lord Blaster.


The broadcast was followed up by a fighter's interview section, in which Doctor O interviewed Itoyama Shintaro (pictured) and Takenaka Shun'ichi, the junior championship fighters representing Hakata and Tokyo, respectively. Itoyama is a Royal Paladin cardfighter, while Takenaka cardfights with a Gold Paladin deck. Itoyama explained in his interview that he has a twelve-year-old younger brother, who usually wins when they fight; his brother uses a Kagerou deck. Itoyama's favorite character is Suzugamori Ren.

Takenaka meanwhile, is a sixth grader who cardfights with his father. Unlike him, his father uses a Narukami deck. His favorite card is Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel, and his favorite character is Aichi. In addition to Gold Paladin, he likes the Angel Feather clan because of the units' beauty.


Doctor O later tweeted live from the ongoing events, showcasing the standing fight tables being used in the competition's Free Area fights. Just two hours remain until Japan's 2012 senior and junior national champions are decided. This crowning will decide the two strongest fighters in Japan; and which decks will top the rest? Kanamaru is championed as a strong underdog candidate in the seniors division, and many hopes are riding on his shoulders. Shibata however, continues to remain the most popular name for the senior title, and besides him there are two other Kagerou cardfighters ready to seize his place should he falter. Things are heating up in Japanese waters as 40 fighters from two age brackets and one unified team competition fight it out for the throne of Japan.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spotlight: Yamaguchi Kouhei/山口晃平

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters across the globe.
Yamaguchi Kouhei/山口晃平
Age: Unknown; Seniors Division
Titles Won: Tokyo Regional Champion (Senior Class)
Current Status: Tokyo Regional Champion
Deck Type: Royal Paladin (Majesty Lord Blaster)
Yamaguchi Kouhei is the 2012 Tokyo regional champion and a past contender for the national title. One of two favorites for the title alongside Shibata Yuusuke, in his time he ranked among the stronger of the participating cardfighters.

Decks and Play Style
Yamaguchi's deck is a take on the popular Majesty Lord Blaster build, integrating the King of Knights, Alfred and Palamedes in addition to his Blaster-type support cards. Draw triggers previously made essential for this deck by Shinhori Kentarou's version of it are abandoned altogether by Yamaguchi, in favor of a three-criticial trigger base that complements Majesty's aggressive skills. Including Kay in the deck effectively allows him to run six early game attack units, while Toypugal supports a Palamedes rearguard strategy, forming a 21000-column with him the turn after Majesty's skills have drawn Blasters Blade and Dark into the soul. Akane is included to support Toypugal, while Starcall Trumpeter brings out either of his grade 2 Blasters, through which Yamaguchi's Wingal Brave first vanguard can support to prepare him for Majesty Lord Blaster.

The King of Knights' inclusion is somewhat surprising but sensible. While the deck does not have the same focus on superior calls as other Royal Paladin decks, even in the rearguard Alfred can bring out Blaster Blade just as Starcall can bring out Blaster Dark. Dark's inclusion can potentially hamper the King's vanguard skills, but with Wingal Brave included in the deck, the likelihood of Alfred taking point is low. Like many of his contemporaries including other Royal Paladin cardfighters, Yamaguchi faces criticism for what is seen as a lack of originality in his deck build, and the perception that his Majesty Lord deck in particular is simply emulating a deck type seen as strong. How much of this criticism is true or false cannot be determined, due to the lack of open interviews with Yamaguchi himself, but the same views tend to pervade his Kagerou rivals.

Summer 2012 Regional Tournament, Tokyo Seniors Division
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x1 Lake Maiden, Lien
x3 Toypugal
x2 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x1 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x3 Blaster Dark
x3 Starcall Trumpeter
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x2 King of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x3 Majesty Lord Blaster

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spotlight: Nakamura Seishirou/中村誠士朗

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters across the globe.
Nakamura Seishirou/中村誠士朗
Age: Unknown; Seniors Division
Titles Won: Hakata Regional Champion (Senior Class), National Finalist Third Place (Summer 2012)
Current Status: National Finalist Third Place (Summer 2012)
Deck Type: Kagerou (Dragonic Overlord-The End)
Nakamura Seishirou was the 2012 regional champion for Hakata. While he was one of the stronger candidates for the title, Nakamura was generally placed behind Shibata Yuusuke in terms of which Kagerou cardfighter was more likely to seize the throne.

Decks and Play Style
Nakamura uses a draw-heavy The End deck which is geared towards flexibility based on the opponent rather than on a direct, automated play style. Making full use of his Conroe first vanguard, Nakamura's primary targets for the Lizard Soldier's skill are Kimnara, Heat Nail and Aermo. Like with other The End decks, Aermo is used to cycle out cards in search of extra copies of The End to persona blast, while also dropping drive checked cards for its cost to fully conceal his hand from the opponent. Heat Nail retires the opponent's grade 1 boosting units while pressuring the opponent to guard to stop its skill, and this is where Nakamura's six draw triggers come in; they compensate for Heat Nail cycling himself back into the deck after using his autoskill, negating his cost. These draw triggers likewise make up for Kimnara leaving the field when her own skill is used to unavoidably remove those same units.

Bellicosity Dragon unflips damage expended on Conroe and Kimnara, as well as counterblast spent on Berserk Dragon, to prepare for Overlord and The End's self-standing skills. In the vanguard circle The End creates a 13000-power defense while providing Nakamura with an additional 11000-power unit for his rearguard circles in addition to Overlord. While each of these cards can be weakened by removing their rearguards with Lawkeeper and field removal units, those decks' lack of presence in the Japanese competitive scene makes Nakamura's deck versatile and dangerous to face.

Summer 2012 Regional Tournament, Hakata Seniors Division (Japan)
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x2 Red Gem Carbuncle DT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Heat Nail Salamander
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Bellicosity Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Nakamura chose to forgo some of his previous deck's early game versatility by removing Kimnara for the championship finals, limiting his options with Conroe. However, the counterblast-heavy nature of his deck leaves little room for her skill in the first place, potentially making Heat Nail the more useful unit.

Summer 2012 National Tournament (Japan)
Card Pool: TD01-BT07, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x2 Red Gem Carbuncle DT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Heat Nail Salamander
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Bellicosity Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spotlight: Gotou Kiyomi/後藤聖弥

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters across the globe.

Gotou is pictured at the bottom, second from the left.
 Gotou Kiyomi/後藤聖弥
Age: Unknown; Seniors Division
Titles Won: Sendai Regional Champion (Senior Class), Fighter's Road 2012 National Champion (Senior Class)
Current Status: National Champion (Reigning)
Deck Type: Royal Paladin (Alfred)
Gotou Kiyomi is the 2012 Japanese national champion. He is one of eight senior class fighters to define 2012 competitive cardfight as it was known in the game's home country. Coincidentally, he shares his surname with Gotou Hirotaka, as well as much of his deck strategy.

Decks and Play Style
While Gotou is a Royal Paladin cardfighter, his deck eschews Majesty Lord Blaster as popularized by Shinhori Kentarou in favor of a traditional, Hirotaka-style Alfred build with Palamedes filling rearguard attack roles. Although the King of Knights is his key vanguard, Palamedes could be called the deck's true centerpiece, as with either Marron or Toypugal (as called out by Akane), he can form a line above 21000 power, enough to consistently oppose Dragonic Overlord The End and his contemporaries. As these crossrides boast high defense, Gotou's rearguards are designed to oppose this; hence the inclusion of multiple base 10000 grade 2s, whom with Toypugal or Marron can demand more than a draw trigger's worth of shield out of those units. With Alfred's vanguard skill to support himself into being able to likewise assail The End and Blaster Overlord, Gotou Kiyomi's strategy can be defined as making consistent 18000-and-above attacks over the course of multiple turns to wear out the opponent gradually, making it a someone passive deck.

Despite this strong anti-crossride build, Gotou's Royal Paladins have several key weaknesses. Alfred himself cannot exceed 20000 power without triggers, in a limit break and soulblast dominated format where 21000 and above are the key numbers for offense. His Wingal Brave has very limited use due to the deck's lack of focus on Blaster units, being only able to boost Blaster Blade to search out a second Blaster Blade. The unit which Brave searches is more than likely to be relegated to being a shield, due to Gotou's counterblast already being dedicated to Akane and Alfred. His deck is also low on draw triggers, being entirely devoted to criticals, and so it does not perform particularly well defensively. How these flaws will interplay with the incredibly consistent and extremely dangerous The End is yet to be seen.

Summer 2012 Regional Tournament, Sendai Seniors Division (Japan)
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x4 Toypugal
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x4 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Knight of Determination, Lamorak
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Main Article: Alfred's Place vs Crossride: The "Fifth Marron"
Kiyomi's national championship deck was virtually unchanged from what he used at Sendai. The only difference is swapping out one copy of Gallatin for a fourth Blaster Blade, possibly as insurance for getting Wingal Brave off the field to make room for Marron, Lien or Toypugal.

Summer 2012 National Tournament, Seniors Division (Japan)
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x4 Toypugal
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x3 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Knight of Determination, Lamorak
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fighter's Spotlight: Shibata Yuusuke/柴田祐輔

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters and their careers.

Shibata Yuusuke/柴田祐輔
Age: Unknown; Seniors Division
Titles Won: Sapporo Regional Champion (Senior Class)
Current Status: Sapporo Regional Champion
Deck Type: Kagerou (Dragonic Overlord-The End)
Shibata Yuusuke was the regional champion and representative for Sapporo in the Fighter's Road 2012 national championship. One of eight senior class fighters participating, his Kagerou deck was at the time recognized as one of two favorites for the national crown.

Decks and Play Style
Shibata's deck is a popular take on Dragonic Overlord The End, using his Conroe first vanguard to bring the deck's single Aermo into the field and search the deck with each attack for copies of The End to fuel the crossride's persona blast. To support his vanguard, Shibata has four options; Nehalem can form a 16000-and-above line with any of his grade 1 units, while Burning Horn gains power from having an Overlord vanguard, and so reaches those same numbers while also climbing into the 20000 range with Bahr as his booster. Berserk Dragon is a traditional part of any Kagerou deck, used for fast and immediate retire moves, while Overlord can also fill in for any of them while using a counterblast 3 to reach 16000 power independent of any boosting units, and eliminating the opponent's rearguard besides.

The use of Overlord in the rearguard circle is a well established practice, and complements The End better than any of his support units. While Flame of Promise is not included to amplify The End's attacks, he's not really necessary with such a vicious rearguard pressuring the opponent into letting a vanguard attack slide. As Dragonic Overlord's skill usually demands a perfect defense to stop him from standing, this forces opponents to choose between letting The End attack twice and losing their entire front line to Overlord. The End's 13000 base defense makes even 16000-power columns blockable with a single draw trigger, while Nehalem and Overlord form similarly defensible rearguards that generally put Shibata's deck a cut above all but limit break and his Royal-Shadow contemporaries.

Summer 2012 Regional Tournament, Sapporo Seniors Division
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x3 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fighter's Spotlight: Kanamaru Makoto/金丸眞人

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters and their careers.

Makoto is third from the left, on the bottom row.
Kanamaru Makoto/金丸眞人
Age: Unknown; Seniors Division
Titles Won: Osaka Regional Champion (Senior Class), National Runner-Up (Japan, Senior Class)
Current Status: National Runner-Up (Summer 2012)
Deck Type: Bermuda Triangle (Top Idol, Riviere)
Kanamaru Makoto is the reigning regional champion for Osaka, and a past contender for the Fighter's Road 2012 national title. One of the more visible underdogs, Kanamaru was noted for his unusual deck choice and the potential upset it could create between the tournament's many influx of Kagerou and Paladin cardfighters. However, the ultimate upset that Kanamaru created was of a very different kind, when it was revealed in the championship aftermath that he is an inveterate cheater, banned from many shops in Osaka. Following investigation, Kanamaru was penalized for marking the sleeved backings of his trigger cards; for cheating during the Fighter's Road finals, he has been banned from participating in any official games until January 22nd, 20141.

Since being exposed, Kanamaru has gained notoriety as the first player to cheat in a professional match.

Decks and Play Style
Kanamaru's deck revolves around the Riviere evolution ride line, riding from one Riviere in the line to the next while drawing a card with each ride's skill to eliminate the impact this has on his hand. These costless rides, along with Riviere's innate power-increasing abilities, gives Kanamaru more room to call freely while having an effective defense on his opponent's turn. Kanamaru's trigger choices are arranged so that he can call Drive Quartet, Flows as an alternative booster, gaining +3000 power from Shuplu being on the field; while Shuplu is herself only a 4000-power booster, with the additional power Top Idol, Riviere receives from her skill, these two can form a column strong enough to oppose any unit under 11000 power.

Top Idol, Riviere's skill acts in favor of his build, which omits stand triggers. By prioritizing the vanguard's attack, Kanamaru can potentially activate her persona blast on-hit, empowering three Bermuda Triangle rearguards by +5000 power.

Prism of the Water's Surface, Miltoa along with Ameer further promote multiple calls, while simultaneously searching the deck for additional pieces in the Riviere chain. Mermaid Idol, Flute's skill benefits from these calls, increasing her power up to levels that allow for unassisted attacks on higher-power vanguards once Riviere's persona blast readies her for battle. Super Idol, Salem also works offensively with Riviere, rising up to 18000 power with the Top Idol's and her own skills before being boosted.

Finally, Top Idol, Pacifica cycles out unneeded cards, forms her own 20000-and-up column as an alternative to Riviere, and even builds for a megablast in the event that the deck's other counterblast skills have not been used. It needs to be mentioned that, as only one of the other cards in this deck outside of Pacifica and Riviere use counterblast, the odds of Pacifica connecting and using her skill from the rearguard increases exponentially as a vanguard Riviere continues to be guarded. This forces the opponent to choose between taking a persona blast or a megablast. While this deck lacks the Triangle's favored return-to-hand tactics, its aggressive slant and ability to quickly fill the field while pressing the opponent to guard can exhaust any cardfighters' resources in short order.


Summer 2012 Regional and National Tournament, Osaka Seniors Division
Card Pool: TD01-EB03, PR 0001-0066
Grade 0
x1 Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Riviere (FVG)
x4 Comical Rainy CT
x4 Cooking Caspian DT
x4 Drive Quartet, Flows HT
x4 Drive Quartet, Shuplu CT
Grade 1
x3 Mermaid Idol, Erie
x4 Mermaid Idol, Sedna
x2 Prism of the Water's Surface, Miltoa
x4 Mermaid Idol, Riviere
x2 Navy Dolphin, Ameer
Grade 2
x4 Top Idol, Aqua
x4 Super Idol, Riviere
x3 Mermaid Idol, Flute
Grade 3
x1 Top Idol, Pacifica
x2 Super Idol, Salem
x4 Top Idol, Riviere

Citations and External Links
1. "Application History for Penal Regulations and Provisions (Last Updated: 2012/7/24)." Cardfight!! Vanguard JP. Bushiroad, 24 July 2012. Web. 24 July 2012. <cf-vanguard.com/howto/penalty/>.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

News: Fighter's Road 2012 Osaka and Sapporo

This morning the winners of the final two Fighter's Road 2012 regional competitions were made available through Bushiroad's official CF-Vanguard Japanese website. All of the regional competitions have now been completed.

While Dragonic Overlord The End continues to dominate as the most popular deck of the season, Bermuda Triangle, the new Oracle Think Tank and Nova Grappler are coming to prominence as major powerhouses in the current competitive scene. Gold Paladin is continuing to make steady progress with the first pure Spectral Duke Dragon build seeing use, while Royal Paladin appears to be experiencing a severe decline in light of The End's popularity. Dark Irregulars has also made its debut into the Fighter's Road main events.

Interestingly, this appears to mark the return of Horikawa Eiki, a participant from the Kanazawa Regional Trio Battle's runner-up team. This time making entry into the junior leagues using an Oracle Think Tank deck, the reappearance comes as a surprise. Eiki has an established background in card games, being the 2010 junior national champion in the Pokemon TCG.

First place winners in these competitions will go on to the national championship; one team and one individual among those at the championship will be crowned Japan's 2012 National Champions. We now await for the final matches between the eight regional champions and teams set to compete in Akiba Square on July 22nd.

Trio Battle results will be reported in a separate post, combined with the preceding three cities.

Osaka Regional Championship
Seniors Division
Regional Champion: Kanamaru Makoto/金丸眞人
Grade 0
x1 Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Riviere (FVG)
x4 Comical Rainy CT
x4 Cooking Caspian DT
x4 Drive Quartet, Flows HT
x4 Drive Quartet, Shuplu CT
Grade 1
x3 Mermaid Idol, Erie
x4 Mermaid Idol, Sedna
x2 Prism of the Water's Surface, Miltoa
x4 Mermaid Idol, Riviere
x2 Navy Dolphin, Ameer
Grade 2
x4 Top Idol, Aqua
x4 Super Idol, Riviere
x3 Mermaid Idol, Flute
Grade 3
x1 Top Idol, Pacifica
x2 Super Idol, Salem
x4 Top Idol, Riviere

Runner-Up: Tokiyo Kenta/戸清健太
Grade 0
x1 Little Witch, LuLu (FVG)
x4 Lozenge Magus HT
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike CT
x4 Psychic Bird CT
x4 Battle Sister, Ginger CT
Grade 1
x4 Battle Sister, Chocolat
x4 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x2 Luck Bird
x1 Battle Sister, Omelette
x3 Dark Cat
Grade 2
x4 Battle Sister, Mocha
x3 Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
x4 Silent Tom
Grade 3
x4 Scarlet Witch, CoCo
x1 Battle Sister, Souffle
x3 Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya

Third Place: Tanaka Noboru/田中升
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Fourth Place: Nakano Naokuni/中野尚国
Grade 0
x1 Devil in Hand (FVG)
x3 Blitz Ritter CT
x4 Cursed Doctor HT
x4 Hysteric Shirley DT
x1 Mad Hatter of Nightmareland DT
x4 Dark Knight of Nightmareland CT
Grade 1
x4 March Rabbit of Nightmareland
x4 Doreen the Thruster
x2 Alluring Succubus
x3 Prisoner Beast
x2 Jet Black Poet, Amon
Grade 2
x3 Werewolf Sieger
x3 Demon of Aspiration, Amon
x3 Darksoul Conductor
x2 Emblem Master
Grade 3
x1 Stil Vampir
x2 Demon World Marquis, Amon
x2 Dark Lord of Abyss
x2 Mad Eye, Basilisk

Juniors Division
Regional Champion: Ushinohama Tatsuya/牛ノ浜達也
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x1 Lizard Soldier, Ganlu ST
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x2 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x3 Flame Seed Salamander ST
Grade 1
x3 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x2 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x1 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x2 Bellicosity Dragon
x3 Cross Shop, Garp
x2 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Runner-Up: Yokoyama Yoshia/横山義矢
Grade 0
x1 Crimson Lion Cub, Kyrph
x3 Greeting Drummer ST
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x2 Falcon Knight of the Azure DT
x3 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x2 Player of the Holy Axe, Nimue
x2 Waving Owl
x2 Little Battler, Tron
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x3 Evil Slaying Swordsman, Haugan
x2 Blessing Owl
Grade 2
x1 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x2 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x1 Gigantech Commander
x2 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
Grade 3
x2 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x1 Holy Mage, Manawydan
x1 White Rabbit of the Moonlight, Pellinore
x1 Knight of Endurance, Lucan
x3 Battlefield Storm, Sagramore

Third Place: Horikawa Eiki/堀川詠生
Grade 0
x1 Little Witch, LuLu (FVG)
x4 Lozenge Magus HT
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike CT
x4 Psychic Bird CT
x4 Battle Sister, Ginger CT
Grade 1
x4 Battle Sister, Chocolat
x4 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x2 One Who Gazes at the Truth
x3 Emerald Witch, LaLa
x1 Weather Forecast, Miss Mist
Grade 2
x2 Battle Sister, Mocha
x3 Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
x4 Silent Tom
x2 Promise Daughter
Grade 3
x1 Oracle Guardian, Apollon
x4 Scarlet Witch, CoCo
x3 Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya

Fourth Place: Uratani Riku/浦谷陸空
Grade 0
x1 Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Falcon Knight of the Azure DT
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x3 Sleygal Dagger
x3 Halo Shield, Mark
x4 Scout of Darkness, Vortimer
x1 War-horse, Raging Storm
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
Grade 2
x4 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x2 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x2 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x4 Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer
Grade 3
x4 Spectral Duke Dragon
x2 Gigantech Destroyer
x1 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore

Sapporo Regional Championship
Seniors Division
Regional Champion: Shibata Yuusuke/柴田祐輔
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x3 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Runner-Up: Hayasaka Kouhei/早坂亘平
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x3 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr CT
x1 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x2 Cross Shot, Garp
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x3 Draconic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Third Place: Oishi Tatsuya/大石竜也
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x1 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x3 Demonic Dragon Mage, Rakshasa CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Fourth Place: Takakura Eigo/高倉瑛悟
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x4 Lake Maiden, Lien
x3 Toypugal
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x4 Blaster Dark
x4 Starcall Trumpeter
Grade 3
x2 Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x4 Majesty Lord Blaster

Juniors Division
Regional Champion: Sasaki Masato/佐々木優人
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x3 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Rakshasa CT
x3 Flame Seed Salamander ST
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x3 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Heatnail Salamander
x2 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x3 Burning Horn Dragon
x3 Bellicosity Dragon
x2 Cross Shot, Garp
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Runner-Up: Akaiwa Masatsugu/赤岩政継
Grade 0
x1 Beast Deity, White Tiger (FVG)
x2 Lucky Girl ST
x3 Three Minutes DT
x2 Cannon Ball ST
x3 The Gong DT
x2 Red Card Dealer DT
x4 Wall Boy HT
Grade 1
x4 Tough Boy
x2 Screamin' and Dancin' Announcer, Shout
x4 Twin Blader
x4 Death Army Guy
Grade 2
x3 King of Sword
x4 Magician Girl, Kirara
x4 Death Army Lady
Grade 3
x4 Asura Kaiser
x4 Beast Deity, Azure Dragon

Third Place: Tanaka Kouto/田中滉人
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x2 Flogal ST
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x2 Pixie Fife and Drum ST
x1 Margal DT
x3 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x2 Wingal
x2 Pongal
x1 Soul Guiding Elf
Grade 2
x4 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 Covenant Knight, Randolf
x4 Knight of Truth, Gordon
x1 High Dog Breeder, Ceylan
Grade 3
x3 King of Knights, Alfred
x2 Solitary Knight, Gancelot
x1 Soul Saver Dragon
x1 Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x2 Holy Disaster Dragon

Fourth Place: Wakabayashi Yuji/若林佑茅
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x2 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x3 Margal DT
x3 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x3 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Pongal
x4 Toypugal
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x4 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x3 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x1 Knight of Truth, Gordon
Grade 3
x4 King of Knights, Alfred
x2 Soul Saver Dragon
x2 Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Monday, July 9, 2012

News: Barcgal Restricted as First Vanguard (EN)

Today Bushiroad's official website has announced the restriction of Barcgal, the main Royal Paladin FVG introduced in the first booster set, Descent of the King of Knights. As of August 1st, 2012 Barcgal will not be placed as the first vanguard in an official match. Up to four Barcgal may still be included in any given deck as per the official rules.

The restriction, while anticipated by many, still comes as a surprise as Barcgal has been otherwise given free reign in the English game up until this point. This announcement has been officially explained as being the result of observing Barcgal's skills as being unbalanced; as Shitakawachi Kouta and his contemporaries established in the 2011 Japanese tournament cycle, Barcgal's superior ride chain combined with Soul Saver Dragon and her support cards unbalances gameplay in the Royal Paladins' favor.

Furthermore, the next booster set "Demonic Lord Invasion," is to be released globally on August 11th and will introduce a new first vanguard for Royal Paladin cardfighters to default to, while also introducing additional support, primarily in the form of the Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes. This additional support is believed to interact with Barcgal and corresponding combo cards in ways that were not intended, further swaying the game in favor of the Royal Paladins.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

News: Bushiroad Press Conference 7/4/2012

At 1:00 PM JST, Thursday, Bushiroad conducted a special live conference over NicoNico Douga concerning their Tantei Opera Milky Holmes and Cardfight!! Vanguard properties. Drawing over 17,000 viewers and more than 14,000 comments over the course of an hour, the conference revealed key details about upcoming episodes of the anime's second season, Asia Circuit, as well as upcoming promo card releases and collaborations between Bushiroad and NJPW, whom they bought out earlier this year.


Previews of Cardfight's ED07 "Fighting Growing Diary," drove the viewers wild with what appear to be an image of an older Sendou Emi and Katsuragi Kamui, as well as Kamui's friends Reiji and Eiji in the back. How these elementary-school characters would appear when scaled up with the series' primarily middle- and high-school class has been a popular subject, and Emi's grown appearance is surprisingly consistent with the fans' image of her.


Celebrated actor and musician Daigo made a special video appearance, explaining his role in the upcoming eighteenth episode of the Asia Circuit, Ride 83: "A Legendary Fighter" (RIDE 18伝説のファイター.) His character is designed to emulate Aichi's first season appearance, as well as Daigo's appearance in many of Cardfight's TV commercials and national tournament award ceremonies. Amusingly, it was not lost on fans that Daigos animated character bore a resemblance to characters designed by his sister Eiki Eiki, a professional mangaka.


Several additional details were made available regarding Daigo's animated portrayal. The character in question is being set up to fight the newly-introduced Sohryuu Leon, the series' first Aqua Force cardfighter, who is also getting the same treatment as many main characters through a much-anticipated trial deck release. Daigo is currently set to use the Royal Paladin clan; how this will fit into the Circuit's current storyline is not currently clear.

Regarding Leon himself, preview images of his trial deck showed a previously-unseen draw trigger.


A special Midnight Bunny alternate artwork card, illustrated by the artist behind the Mini-Van omake comics, Quily, will soon be available as a promotional item.


Finally, Bushiroad CEO Takaaki Kidani made an appearance to announce additional information regarding the Vanguard World Tournament (ヴァンガード世界大会), discussing the inclusion of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia in the running for the 2012 crown. With these accounted for, there are twenty qualifiers being held worldwide across thirteen countries.


Related to this, the official English website was today updated to include prize details for the NA national championship. The top two finishers of each qualifier will gain entry into the North American championship via invitation, with travel fees being provided by Bushiroad. The top four finishers at the championship will gain an invitation to the world championship in Tokyo, where they will compete to determine the world's first Vanguard national champion. Concerning Asia-Oceania championship, it has now been established that the Korean champion will have an automatic invitation into that competition. Any fighters who already possess an invitation upon winning at a qualifier will have their prize passed down to the next in line.

The conference was highly successful, garnering a 68.8% most positive rating from NicoNico Douga's viewers. 25.5% felt that it was okay, 2.7% did not think that it was very good, and just 3% fell into the most dissatisfied category.

Monday, July 2, 2012

News: Fighter's Road 2012 Sendai, Hakata and Tokyo

This morning the winners of the three followup Fighter's Road 2012 regional competitions were announced through Bushiroad's official CF-Vanguard Japanese website. As in the preceding events, we are seeing the return of some of the previous year's pros, including Otobe Takasuke of the 2011 Grand Prix. In general however, Sendai, Hakata and Tokyo are seeing more newcomers than other cities.

First place winners in these competitions will go on to the national championship; two among those at the championship will be crowned Japan's 2012 National Champions. Following these three cities, we await results from Sapporo and Osaka.

This set of regionals saw the return of The King of Knights, Alfred, whose continuing popularity has bolstered him into Sendai's first-place slot. Dragonic Overlord The End remains a popular choice, and continues to vie with Majesty Lord Blaster for this year's most favored deck. Blond Ezel currently makes up the underdog deck, making a strong presentation at several of this year's competitions. Additionally, this marks the debut of Spectral Duke Dragon outside of the trio battles.

Trio Battle results will be reported in a separate post, due to the encroaching length of this article. Juniors Division results are now available.

Sendai Regional Finals
Seniors Division
Regional Champion: Gotou Kiyomi/後藤聖弥
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x4 Toypugal
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x4 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Knight of Determination, Lamorak
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Runner-up: Satou Souta/佐藤爽太
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x2 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Lizard Soldier, Ganlu ST
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x2 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
Grade 1
x2 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Goku
x1 Wyvern Strike, Jarran
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x2 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
Grade 2
x2 Dragon Knight, Berger
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Wyvern Strike, Tejas
Grade 3
x3 Dragonic Overlord
x2 Duel Axe Archdragon
x3 Dragonic Lawkeeper

Third Place: Otobe Takasute/乙部貴甫
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x1 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x3 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x2 Cross Shot, Garp
x2 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Fourth Place: Tsunoda Shinji/角田慎治
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x1 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x3 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x3 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x3 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Juniors Division
Regional Champion: Niida Kazuki/新井田和輝
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x2 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x3 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x2 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x1 Bellicosity Dragon
x2 Cross Shot, Garp
x2 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Runner-up: Hyougo Koyuki/兵庫小柚記
Grade 0
x1 Godhawk, Ichibyoshi (FVG)
x4 Lozenge Magus HT
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike CT
x4 Emergency Alarmer ST
x4 Psychic Bird CT
Grade 1
x2 Battle Sister, Cocoa
x4 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x4 Weather Girl, Milk
x4 Crescent Moon Goddess, Tsukuyomi
x2 Battle Sister, Maple
Grade 2
x3 Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
x2 Silent Tom
x3 Half Moon Goddess, Tsukuyomi
x2 Oracle Guardian, Red-Eye
Grade 3
x2 Oracle Guardian, Apollon
x4 Full Moon Goddess, Tsukuyomi
x1 Meteobreak Weizard

Third Place: Kai Ooyoshi/甲斐大吉
Grade 0
x2 Lizard Soldier, Conroe
x1 Amber Dragon, "Dawn" (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x2 Lizard Soldier, Ganlu ST
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x3 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x1 Flame Seed Salamander ST
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Rakshasa CT
Grade 1
x1 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x3 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x2 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x4 Iron Tail Dragon
x1 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x2 Amber Dragon, "Daylight"
Grade 2
x1 Dragon Knight, Aleph
x3 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x2 Blazing Core Dragon
x1 Amber Dragon, "Dusk"
x1 Burning Horn Dragon
Grade 3
x2 Dragonic Overlord
x1 Embodiment of Victory, Aleph
x1 Vortex Dragon
x1 Blazing Flare Dragon
x1 Dual Axe Archdragon
x1 Amber Dragon, "Eclipse"
x2 Dragonic Lawkeeper

Fourth Place: Hamato Hiroyuki/浜登洋行
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x3 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x2 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x3 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Hakata Regional Finals
Seniors Division
Regional Champion: Nakamura Seishirou/中村誠士朗
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x2 Red Gem Carbuncle DT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x1 Heat Nail Salamander
x1 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Bellicosity Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Runner-up: Itoyama Shintarou/糸山真太郎
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x3 Little Sage, Marron
x2 Lake Maiden, Lien
x3 Toypugal
x3 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x4 Blaster Dark
x2 Starcall Trumpeter
Grade 3
x1 King of Knights, Alfred
x1 Solitary Knight, Gancelot
x2 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x4 Majesty Lord Blaster

Third Place: Tanaka Yuki/田中優樹
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x3 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x2 Toypugal
x2 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x4 Blaster Dark
x2 Starcall Trumpeter
Grade 3
x3 King of Knights, Alfred
x1 Solitary Knight, Gancelot
x2 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x3 Majesty Lord Blaster

Fourth Place: Hayashi Junpei/林純平
Grade 0
x1 Shieldseed Squire (FVG)
x4 Dangan Chestnut CT
x4 Dancing Sunflower DT
x4 Sweet Honey HT
x4 Watering Elf ST
Grade 1
x4 Caramel Popcorn
x3 Maiden of Blossom Rain
x4 Corolla Dragon
x3 Lady of Kamorebi
x1 Bladeseed Squire
Grade 2
x3 Glass Beads Dragon
x4 Iris Knight
x4 Hey Yo Pinappo
Grade 3
x4 Maiden of Trailing Rose
x3 Forerunner Battle Maiden, Laurel

Juniors Division
Regional Champion: Ario Kousuke/有尾公佑
Grade 0
x1 Spark Kid Dragoon (FVG)
x4 Malevolent Djinn CT
x4 Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
x4 Old Dragon Mage DT
x4 Demonic Dragon Nymph, Seiobo HT
Grade 1 
x4 Wyvern Guard, Guld
x1 Desert Gunner, Raien
x3 Photon Bomber Wyvern
x4 Red River Dragoon
x2 Lightning of Hope, Helena
Grade 2
x2 Dragonic Deathscythe
x4 Thunderstorm Dragoon
x3 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Garuda
x2 Hex Cannon Wyvern
Grade 3
x2 Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion
x3 Breakthrough Dragon
x3 Thunder Break Dragon

Runner-up: Sougawa Yoshiki/早川嘉輝
Grade 0
x1 Lizard Soldier, Conroe (FVG)
x3 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gatling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Rakshasa CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x1 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara
x2 Iron Tail Dragon
x2 Flame of Promise, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x3 Burning Horn Dragon
x1 Bellicosity Dragon
x2 Berserk Dragon

Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Overlord The End

Third Place: Iwanaga Junpei/岩永準平
Grade 0
x4 Dragon Dancer, Monica DT
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x1 Amber Dragon, "Dawn"
x4 Flame Seed Salamander ST
x4 Demonic Dragon Mage, Rakshasa CT
Grade 1
x2 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Amber Dragon, "Daylight"
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2
x4 Dragon Knight, Berger
x3 Amber Dragon, "Dusk"
x4 Cross Shot, Garp
Grade 3
x1 Dragonic Overlord
x3 Amber Dragon, "Eclipse"
x3 Garnet Dragon, "Flash"
x1 Dragonic Lawkeeper

Fourth Place: Nakamura Ryuushirou/中村竜志郎
Grade 0
x1 Crimson Lion Cub, Kyrph (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x4 Sleygal Dagger
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x2 Charjgal
Grade 2
x2 Beast Knight, Garmall
x3 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x4 Gigantech Commander
x4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
Grade 3
x4 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x2 Holy Mage, Manawydan

Tokyo Regional Finals
Seniors Division
Regional Champion: Yamaguchi Kouhei/山口晃平
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Future Knight, Llew CT
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x1 Lake Maiden, Lien
x3 Toypugal
x2 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x1 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x3 Blaster Dark
x3 Starcall Trumpeter
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x2 King of Knights, Alfred
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x3 Majesty Lord Blaster

Runner-up: Nukui Yuu/貫井悠
Grade 0
x1 Crimson Lion Cub, Kyrph (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Falcon Knight of the Azure DT
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x3 Sleygal Dagger
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x1 Precipice Whirlwind, Sagramore
x3 Charjgal
Grade 2
x4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x3 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x2 Gigantech Commander
x1 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
Grade 3
x2 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x2 Holy Mage, Manawydan
x4 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore

Third Place: Miyao Yuwa/宮尾佑和
Grade 0
x1 Little Fighter, Cron (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Sommelier 
Grade 1
x4 Sleygal Dagger
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x2 Charjgal
Grade 2
x1 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x4 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x3 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
Grade 3
x1 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x2 Gigantech Destroyer
x4 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore

Fourth Place: Matsubara Ryoubun/松原諒文
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x1 Lake Maiden, Lien
x4 Pongal
x2 Toypugal
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade
x4 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x2 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Knight of Truth, Gordon
Grade 3
x4 King of Knights, Alfred
x1 Soul Saver Dragon
x3 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Juniors Division
Regional Champion: Takenaka Shun'ichi/竹中駿一
Grade 0
x1 Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x4 Falcon Knight of the Azure DT
x2 Silent Punisher CT
x2 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x3 Halo Shield, Mark
x2 Little Battler, Tron
x4 Scout of Darkness, Vortimer
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
Grade 2
x2 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x4 Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer
x2 Flash Edge Valkyrie
x3 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x1 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
Grade 3
x1 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x3 Holy Mage, Manawydan
x2 Spectral Duke Dragon
x1 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore
x1 Battlefield Storm, Sagramore

Runner-up: Katsumata Haruto/勝又悠斗
Grade 0
x1 Blaujunger (FVG)
x3 Battleraizer ST
x1 Shining Lady CT
x4 Round Girl, Clara HT
x4 Red Lightning CT
x4 The Gong DT
Grade 1 
x3 Tough Boy
x2 Screamin' and Dancin' Announcer, Shout
x3 Twin Blader
x3 Death Army Guy
x4 Blaupanzer
x1 Oasis Girl
Grade 2
x3 Genocide Jack
x3 Magician Girl, Kirara
x3 Death Army Lady
x1 Blaukruger

Grade 3
x1 Asura Kaiser
x1 Armoured Fairy, Sphira
x4 Beast Deity, Azure Dragon
x1 Death Metal Droid

Third Place: Abe Seigo/安倍聖吾
Grade 0
x1 Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer (FVG)
x4 Flame of Victory CT
x3 Falcon Knight of the Azure DT
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x1 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
Grade 1
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x2 Player of the Holy Axe, Nimue
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
x3 Scout of Darkness, Vortimer
Grade 2
x2 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x1 Mage of Calamity, Trip
x4 Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer
x3 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x1 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
Grade 3
x4 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
x3 Spectral Duke Dragon
x1 Great Silver Wolf, Garmore
x1 Battlefield Storm, Sagramore

Fourth Place: Ogura Takumi/小倉拓海
Grade 0
x1 Spark Kid Dragoon (FVG)
x4 Demonic Dragon Nymph, Seiobo HT
x4 Malevolent Djinn CT
x4 Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
x4 Old Dragon Mage DT
Grade 1
x3 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x1 Desert Gunner, Raien
x2 Photon Bomber Wyvern
x4 Red River Dragoon
x1 Lizard Soldier, Riki
x1 Lightning of Hope, Helena
x2 Djinn of the Lightning Spark
Grade 2
x1 Desert Gunner, Shiden
x2 Dragonic Deathscythe
x2 Thunderstorm Dragoon
x3 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Garuda
x1 Brightlance Dragoon
x2 Shieldblade Dragoon
Grade 3
x3 Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion
x3 Vajra Emperor, Indra
x2 Thunder Break Dragon

North American National Championship Qualifier Locations

Initially leaked in an Anime Expo 2012 announcement, revised dating and location information for the 2012 North America qualifiers has just been added to the Bushiroad website. With consultation from professional event planner and media manager Alyssa Fisher, here is our forecast for the events.

Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel, Toronto, Canada: September 1st. Most event spaces at this hotel only seat 12-16 people, so speculating on the event's locale is easier. The conference rooms have enough room to host the Canadian qualifier, but do not provide a single open space for the tournament to be overseen in. The Grand (840-1000 individuals) or Junior Ballrooms (180) are much more likely locations due to their open shape and high carrying capacity.

Wyndham Dallas Love Field Hotel, Dallas, Texas: September 8th. Less information is available for this location than most, but the First Class A&B rooms can accommodate 330-600 people in various configurations.

Update: This location has been changed to Hyatt Regency Dallas. This is probably due to Hyatt's higher carrying capacity, as virtually any event space in the hotel can hold 1,000 people. Marsalis Hall on the exhibition level is one possibility due to its enormous size, well suited to being stocked with arranged and cordoned-off tables to create competition space, but it may be too large for the estimated attendance. The Reunion Ballroom or Landmark sections on the lobby level are also probable, with many configurations that lend themselves well to the qualifier while maintaining a high seating count.

Gamesmart MX, Mexico City, Mexico: September 15th. Information on this facility is sparse, but notably the website mentions that the winner of the qualifier will receive plane tickets and accommodations to the championship site.

The Comcast Arena, (Listed as Seattle, Washington but actually in Everett, Washington): September 15th. The Edward D. Hansen Conference Center addition is almost confirmed as the site (it's specified on the CF-Vanguard website where otherwise you would only list "The Comcast Arena"), but any given event space inside of it can hold up to 800 people, so there's no specific location that can be said of at this time.

Chicago Marriott Schaumburg Hotel, Chicago, Illinois: September 22nd. The most likely place for the qualifier is the ballroom, which can seat up to 1000 people. The only other area within the hotel grounds of comparable size is the Grand Marquis Tent, which can seat up to 350 people, but as it is a tent it is most likely unsuitable for the qualifier's purposes.

New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, (Listed as New York but actually inside of New Jersey): October 6th. Any of the four exhibit halls has a carrying capacity exceeding 1000. The conference center can probably be ruled out due to how the space is compartmentalized, but exhibit halls A through D still stand. Taking into account the junior and main ballrooms, the designated space is basically impossible to predict.

North Atlanta Trade Center, Atlanta, Georgia: October 13th. Appears to provide only a single space, so speculation is unnecessary.

Anaheim Convention Center, (Listed as Los Angeles, California but actually located in Anaheim, California): November 3rd. This is where the national championship will be held. The situation is essentially the same as with the NJCEC, being that there's no particular space that lends itself well to the situation. The first floor exhibit halls are likely, however. Note that this was a past Anime Expo location.

While even the most popular of card games often only see a turnout of around 500 to these types of tournaments, when accounting for spectators, as well as friends and family brought in by the participants, the total room needed by the event space doubles.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

News: Asia Circuit to Air on Crunchyroll

Today it was announced at Anime Expo 2012 that the second season of Cardfight!! Vanguard, Asia Circuit, will as with its preceding season, be simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Asia Circuit has already begun airing and the initial three episodes are available to all viewers, while the remaining ten are available to paying members. Available to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland, remaining territories outside of these countries have yet to see the shows' doors opened to them.

Previously, the series' absence from Crunchyroll's lineup sparked a wildfire of controversy among fans, who until this evening had no access to the second season except through fanmade subtitles. Bushiroad's announcement that negotiations with Crunchyroll had ceased all but destroyed remaining hope for an official subtitled release. The appearance of an official YouTube channel led to alternative means of distribution being proposed; it appears however, that Bushiroad has settled on hiring outside translators to make the Circuit available overseas.

With Vanguard restored to its original place on Crunchyroll, hope is now spreading that the "dark age" of Cardfight is over and past.