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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Deck Speed Isn’t Everything
While being able to do stuff before Grade 3’s nice, it shouldn’t decide your deck.
Christ, people? Who in Cray’s name thought it was a good idea to try and infect my country of the UK with your dumbass tradition of crowding every shopping mall trying to get discounts on commercial crap? I thought Black Friday exists as a respite from Thanksgiving. We don’t fucking celebrate Thanksgiving where I live. It’s just a day where retail goes to hell for a day just because. But I digress.
If you asked anyone who plays Shadow Paladin what they would run, most of the time they’ll fall into two camps: Claret deck or Revenger deck. If you ask the Claret players why they chose it, they normally say “because Claret’s a badass and villains make me leave a small deposit in my pants”. Then once you’ve punched them enough to actually get a coherent answer out, they’ll tell you it’s because of the bang for the buck they get. Revenger players on the other hand prefer the speed that the deck can give you by having units that can do shit BEFORE GB1. Both cases in point, Blaster Dark Revenger (both versions).
A lot of people complain that GB1 is too slow. They don’t like the idea of having to wait until later before they can do whatever stupid bollocks wins them the game. I’m sorry, but that train of thought never made any sense to me. I lived through the Limit Break era, even the second half of it where almost fuck EVERYTHING was vanilla until 4 damage. Well, it was mostly so that decks could make Crossride numbers, but honestly, the only Crossride deck people use anymore is Big Bang Knuckle. We’ve passed that point.
When Legion came out I was one of the non-complainers. Honestly, by this point I was sick of vanilla-til-near-dead.dek and I just wanted to be able to have a faster game again. I was also at this point just wanting to put Dragonic Descendant to bed so I could run something similar but faster. Who the fuck cared if Legion turned out to be broken (it wasn’t, thanks for asking) as long as I could do interesting things again?
Generation Break 1 is no slower than Legion unless your hand sucks so much you can’t Stride. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to me: what right have you to complain about GB1 and Legion being too slow when Limit Break before the enablers was slower than that? A lot of the Limit Breaks aren’t even that busted either, being watered-down late in the game compared to G-Units or just having it arbitrarily tacked on like a tramp-stamp. Anything on-hit for example loses its potency as the game drags on as the probability of hitting drops like a stone with gravity multiplication on.
The big reason for my exasperation however is the aforementioned vanilla decks of old. The concept of 13k seems to have all been lost as an art except for Brawler Narukami players, and that’s because it’s ceased to be relevant as far as I’m concerned. Legion and Stride solves the problem of numbers and a ton of units in the G Era power up their columns as part of their gambit to reflect their plays. Which is great news for us since it can pump columns to be ridiculous against ANY deck, hitting the 26k+ threshold, while also leaving room for actually interesting units to run. We don’t need to dedicate the entire deck to making 18k+ and nothing but anymore when we have new units and fuck, even Vanguard skills doing that for us already.
As far as things go, people should have already gotten used to the idea of waiting until your Vanguard had evolved to its maximum Grade before shit can happen: it was pretty much this in the old days and Limit Break only ensured it overstayed its welcome. You just called a board, poking and prodding but not suddenly exploding out of the gate. In the long run, GB1 and Legion by extension aren’t as slow as the old days and provide more bullshit for you to do from that point onwards. Sure, we live in an age that for the most part punishes people who go first but that’s not the point. You only think this way because your deck runs on a similar clause and that you and you alone deserve to do shit first because you’re selfish.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am willing to put off a turn as long as I get it done before 4 damage. Whenever possible, sure, Early Game units would help for early kills or plusses, but for the most part as long as the result at the end justifies it then it should be worth running. I know G Aqua Force for example once Lambrose hits will almost always spell death or very close to it. That’s an example of something clearly worth the wait.
Even with that in mind though, it’s very difficult to find decks that would enable you to play a fantastic Grade 2 or 1 game without a catch added on. They tend to either require a G3 Vanguard due to Grade or name restrictions, so it would only really get you one extra turn of speed that doesn’t add to as much as you would like, or it’s on-call and thus only good once. Not that there’s much wrong with that if Swordmy is anything to go by, but not every card can be Swordmy.
Thinking back, I guess this is probably the reason we still have popular favourites, although I must say all thing considered we have a lot more viable options now, except for you G Gold Paladin you joke deck. Sanctuary Guard decks can gather their board fast and own. Brawlers can fall back on Chatura and Skyhowl (sometimes both in the same deck) for early plusses while having an explosive Mid and Late Game later. Until my own Brawler deck comes through the post all I have is Burnout, but that’s fine. We still have tiers, but that’s a problem that doesn’t look like it’s going away, so I’ve come to resign myself to that fact. My point is your own deck may not fall under this category. Even if you have early plays you can make, if they up their tempo to levels you can’t catch up to you’ll fall behind with the plays that are less bullshit. Nowhere was this more apparent than the 2 Revenger and G hybrid SP decks I fought at Worlds; they didn’t do what they did very well or in some cases consistently and so neither game escalated out of my control.
In the end, it basically boils down to whether your end result justifies having to work with a restriction or not, not the idea that you may fall behind because you couldn’t lift the seal first. And if that’s the case, then the option to run 12 Critical to make life easier is always open.
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