|Nouvelle in the Cardfight!! Vanguard manga|
|Dragon Knight Ashgar|
Depending on the tempo of the fight however, a rearguard Nouvelle may never be seen. This is because Dragonic Nouvelle Vague's limit break is a persona blast; for counterblast 3, soulblast 3 and by discarding a copy of Nouvelle, all of the opponent's rearguards can be retired. Originally intended as an incentive for Nouvelle cardfighters to run four copies of the grade 4 instead of just two as had been seen in grade 4 playtesting with Epitome of Knowledge Silvest, the persona blast is often regarded as an incentive gone completely out of control. Achieving a total field wipe can make it impossible for the opponent to fight back at all, crippling setup-heavy decks like Aqua Force and Beast Deity builds, and coming back from extremely poor situations with a game-deciding limit break. Rather than considering this skill from an advantage perspective, it may be helpful to look at it from the angle of how many turns it takes to set up a field. It effectively puts the Nouvelle Vague cardfighter ahead one turn for each unit retired. The persona blast is the reason that a gradelocked Nouvelle fighter cannot be said to be totally out of a game, because the moment the skill goes off it puts Nouvelle five turns ahead by destroying that many turns' worth of drawing.
as if it were a grade 3 in deckbuilding, and the biggest wall between DNV fighters and gradelock. Given that each of Nouvelle's attacks blocks grade 0 units, there's inherent synergy between Nouvelleroman, the grade 4 himself and Kagerou's restanding break ride Dauntless Drive. The more attacks Nouvelle gets in per turn, the more attacks the opponent has to block without using grade 0s, pushing them steadily behind in card advantage and working to that key moment when there are nothing but 0s in their hand.
Overall Nouvelle Vague is a powerful format-defining deck that combines overwhelming control over the pace of the game with excellent resource management and hyperaggressive endgame pushes with a restanding vanguard that manipulates the opponent's defense, edging on being the best deck in the format. And in its favor, aside from Dauntless Drive most of the Nouvelle deck is compressed into VGE-EB09: Divine Dragon Progression, which greatly expedites assembly. It is far from the only deck worth consideration and faces severe competition from within its own clan, and as the "final boss" of Vanguard defeating it can be its own reward. It does not totally eliminate any particular decks from play as Chaos Breaker Dragon once did, but you cannot build in 2014 without accounting for the Nouvelle matchup. To do so would be like trying to ignore the existence of the sun.
Cruel's limit break is to counterblast 1 and soulblast 1 when it attacks a vanguard to retire an opponent's grade 2 or lower unit, incurring a -1 against the opponent while controlling the field with a cheaper Berserk Dragon effect. The soulblast requirement normally limits Cruel to twice per game, but with Conroe out and Red Pulse in this can increase to three times per game, and it can also work in tandem with Gattling Claw's main phase effect or that of Seal Dragon Artpique. The skill is not as dominatingly aggressive as DNV, but note that if you forego the superior ride it can also combo with Dauntless' restanding skill to retire two cards in a turn and effectively force the opponent to lose as many cards as you do for break riding.
|Cruel Dragon in the Cardfight!! Vanguard manga.|
Dragon Monk Goku, Dauntless "Яeverse" compensates for poor trigger checks by turning them into good ones, getting "half a trigger" in power whenever he checks a nontrigger units and giving the opponent a -1 in card advantage.
With Dauntless Drive's breakride skill you can simply sacrifice Dauntless' booster for the lock cost, and being able to restand for that turn means getting twice the chances to retire the opponent's rearguards. After potentially taking out 2~3 units and powering up your own with trigger checks, you can then go into a defensive game with his 13000 base when the opponent's field is already crippled and not well prepared to make lanes that can even hit the vanguard, much less create 18000 power lanes. This is one of the best ways to contend against both Nouvelle and Chaos Breaker in the current format, as assaulting the opponent's field is one of the few ways to reliably deal with either deck. Dauntless "Яeverse" is thus one of the strongest contenders within the clan for the Kagerou throne, and his bevy of support from BT14 assists that.
DDЯ also has room for an alternative first vanguard to Red Pulse, Dragon Knight Sadegh. Sadegh's skill places him into the soul when an opponent's unit is retired, and in exchange forces the opponent to retire another of their rearguards, which when combo'd with DDЯ's limit break and Calamity Tower over two turns can make a net change of +/-0 on your end to the opponent's -3 cards. Berserk Dragon can also capitalize on Sadegh, but as counterblast is important in this build and DDЯ has his own grade 2 subclan attacker in Dominate Drive Dragon, space may be too tight for this particular combo.
Tsukuyomi and Mandalalord.
Also note that Terrycloth is the key to a specific Seal Dragon combo. The majority of Seal Dragons specialize in retiring units for cheaper costs than standard Kagerou cards would pay to retire any unit, attempting to pay less and then gamble that the opponent does not get a grade 2 off the top of their deck. These cards can retire any unit, allowing you to force the opponent to replace a grade 0 or 1 in a boosting position with a grade 2, which locks up their field. Furthermore, the Vanishing Field skill of this deck's key card prevents the opponent from intercepting, which completes the lock by forcing them to guarantee you a cheap retire by removing the grade 2 that your skill called. The point to be wary about with Seal Dragon retire skills is that they will also activate "when this unit is called" autoskills; so you could for example, end up superior calling a Blaster Blade that then retires one of your units, or a Nemain that reinforces the opponent's hand, or even end up helping the opponent to superior ride on your turn by calling a Lop Ear Shooter that they then combo with Pellinore. There's a lot of risk involved with sealed magic, and part of the reason that the magic of these cards is forbidden in the first place is because it operates in a completely different way from every other skill type in the game.
The grade 2 Flame Star Seal Dragon Knight is considerably less impressive, counterblasting 1 when called to prevent the opponent's units from intercepting. It is important that Seal Dragon Knight does not require Seal Dragon counterblast to use his skill, and with the original Blockade potentially out of the deck in favor of Georgette blocking the opponent's intercepts is a useful way to keep grade 2s around to activate the deck's other skills.
Weathercloth and Georgette are the kind of boss cards that Seal Dragons need. In conjunction with Blockade Inferno's limit break he creates a 31000 power center lane and has the potential to completely wipe their field, for effectively 2 counterblast and a -1. With Georgette, Weathercloth makes up for the lack of direct retiring attached to Georgette himself and strongly supports his own innate skill, making a center lane in the range of ~36000 power 2 critical before boosting and ~43000 afterwards. The main problem with the Blockade Inferno build at this time is whether or not his skill is enough to finish the opponent off and reign the game in. Arguably other late-game power pumps like Gancelot Zenith and Dragruler Phantom do even less than this the further the game goes on, so many fighters would say that this is enough to put Seal Dragons in contention for DNV's throne, but Georgette provides them an extra boost that helps define them in a different direction and in that way compete.
Dragonic Overlord "The Яe-birth" is one of the only cards in the game to be both a crossride and a crossbreak ride, as there are two cards that qualify his continuous +2000 power. The first is the original Dragonic Overlord introduced in VG-TD02: Raging Dragon of the Empire and VG-BT01: Descent of the King of Knights, but the second is a new break ride with the same name introduced by BT15.
Dragonic Overlord the End into a crossbreak ride. DOTE's persona blast is a familiar element to the game, restanding it whenever its attack hits, and this has been historically devastating when used in combination with Dauntless Drive Dragon because it puts the opponent in a world of bad decisions, but the new Overlord is a strong improvement by returning his defense to him and enabling his skill to be more powerful than ever.
While neither DO nor DOTE have stipulations demanding that they must not have stood previously, their skill interaction is made more complicated by sensitive timing. Overlord's break ride skill only activates when the broke ridden unit attacks a rearguard for the first time; if the cost is not paid and the vanguard restands by another skill, then like with Galaxy Blaukluger because of the clause "(Even if you do not pay the cost, this ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.)" Dragonic Overlord's skill will not be usable. So while the End and Dragonic Overlord's skills may both be used in the same turn, they must proceed in the order of Dragonic Overlord followed by the End even if their first attack is not defended. What this means is that the best option for the opponent is also the scenario in which they lose the most cards, no-guarding the rearguard attack and then dropping a perfect defense or greater when the End's next attack comes down. If the opponent chooses not to guard the End's second attack then they are conceding to staring down a third vanguard attack in addition to the still-standing rearguard lanes and giving DOTE a +1 where "The Яe-birth" merely breaks even. Dragonic Overlord as a break ride thus solves the problem faced by Dauntless Drive Dragon, that the exchange was 'solved' by being at two to three damage. Versus a crossbreaken the End, it's better to be at higher damage and a later stage of the game that justifies dropping a perfect defense than at lower damage where one is enabling the additional drive checks. At low damage it becomes a paradoxically necessary play for the End's opponent to let their rearguard go and allow the End to hit so that they only guard the last attack that DOTE makes on that turn, giving the End an overall +1 and the opponent a -3. The alternative is losing out on limit break during a crucial endgame stage of the fight, giving the Overlord fighter more time to recover and going into their next turn still at lower damage and still vulnerable to the End's persona blast. DOTE's midgame vanishes more quickly the sooner its attack hits.
The chief problem for all Overlord decks is that their strategies peter out after their break ride turns. This is more of a problem for the End than it is for "The Яe-birth" because the End becomes a vanilla crossride once his counterblast is spent. "The Яe-birth" can still repeat his limit break each turn to make two 23000 power attacks, preserving quality over time and scoring multiple drive checks, but faces problems with gradually approaching a deck-out the longer that the game drags on, and that his limit break may not always be superior to simply attacking with three lanes instead of one twice. "The Яe-birth" also has a notably poor matchup against Star-vader “Ω” Glendios because its requirement to lock all of the rearguards can walk right into Glendios' alternate win condition of having all of the rearguards locked, but only if Glendios reaches its main phase with five damage. Because DOTЯ does not make use of its rearguards very much, a Glendios cardfighter at four damage is liable to be trapped that way for the rest of the game, as the DOTЯ fighter will not be putting them to five with their rearguards. The matchup is thus not as bad as it may appear initially, although it is important to note that if all of the rearguards remain locked through Glendios' omega lock skill, DOTЯ may not use his limit break because at least one rearguard needs to be unlocked before the cost is paid in order to initiate it.
This also connects to the skill of Dragonic Burnout, another modified Berserk Dragon. Burnout's skill is to soulblast 1 when called and return any Overlord from the drop zone to the bottom of the deck to retire an opponent's rearguard. Like Nouvellecritic, there are no restrictions on Burnout's possible targets. This helps support a stronger endgame for the End after its break ride turn is over, capitalizing on his crossride defense by destroying the opponent's 18000 power lines and protecting the vanguard while the opponent struggles to recover from being crippled by the break ride turn.
The overall goal of "The Яe-birth" is to use the entire field as a tool to support the lone vanguard, making great use of Calamity Tower Wyvern, Dragonic Burnout, Gattling Claw and Berserk Dragon and then locking all of them to initiate a strong crossbЯeak ride turn that exhausts the opponent's defenses with its restanding strategy. While it has never been as dominant as Nouvelle, the various Overlord decks are strong contenders and have even seen mixed play with Nouvelle in Japan's post-Legion format as an effective means of piggybacking the old deck.
While Kagerou has always been one of the most well-supported clans, 2014 has a much stronger showing of support over previous years, and the rise of the Legion format in 2015 will mark a temporary dry spell for them until the arrival of the Perdition Dragons in BT17. With at least five distinct decks available that each occupy their own place in professional play, the clan is one of the best choices for cardfighters in 2014, both casual and competitive.