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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard

My Deck’s Better Than Your Deck At Its Job
Even if they’re for different clans,
I can still say your deck’s bad.

February 9, 2015

I had to get this out of the way since a rather recent review on Nanya’s part (I think it was the Tetra-Burst Dragon one) made a rather interesting statement I couldn’t leave unexamined.

I'm not even going to compare to other clans, because that's not fair as other clans have different play styles.”

To that, I can only reply, “Why the hell not?” I spend almost every card review directly comparing some card to another card to judge how good or bad it is.

In my review with Prominence Core, I addressed the issue that you have to jump through several hoops to try and stumble across a few select cards in what makes up your deck. And after you’ve built your deck to chain into calling into another caller into whatever you need to actually call, you just gain a bit of power and Critical.

Comparing it to something like Alfred Exiv who gets this all for free with less effort we can see that it’s clearly the better option. Because of that, I find it largely pointless to try and get something else to try and compete unless it too requires little setup to do the same job. Hence why I said in my review you’re honestly better off with Percival, since in the wise words of Homer Simpson, trying is the first step towards failure. Certainly when you’re considering what must be given up.

But it’s not just individual cards. You could actually apply this to whole CLANS as well, hence why Nanya’s statement caught my eye. Having spent a good 3 years at the very least playing this game, it wasn’t exactly hard for me to notice that each and every clan utilised unique methods to achieve victory. I’ll grant that much. The problem is, although the actual methods vary because of how many factors the field, the turns etc. have when totalled together, the overall REWARD for each one tends to be largely the same. You’re either getting more cards ahead of your opponent, or you’re making the opponent eat more damage. And a gambit is only ever going to be as good as the reward at the end.

Card advantage-wise, you’re drawing more, guarding less, or taking cards away from the opponent either through retirement or making the opponent guard more. In terms of damage, it’s attacking more or gaining more critical. With only a few select rewards open to you, all it really boils down to is each clan using similar means to an end, or perhaps even a more chance-based and complicated means to an end another deck could achieve more consistently.

Let’s take an example to put it all in context. Neo Nectar is a clan that puts units on the board, and then proceeds to try and clone them through the game, unlocking skills as you go. Sounds neat. Unfortunately, the entire concept is flawed on inspection. First, it not only requires good units to clone, it also requires empty spaces for the new units to be placed so you don’t wash in advantage. The ones that aren’t reliant on chance only happen in parts of the game where the field’s less likely to be full, and what early cloning there is tends to be conditional, such as being on-hit.

If we were to directly compare this to something like Royal Paladin, who can fetch units and most of the time, know what they are fetching, with less conditions attached to them, we can see theoretically, the Neo Nectar deck’s going to lose out on average. They might be able to equal the Royal Paladin deck in terms of quality of advantage they get with the random stuff they have but there really isn’t much of a way for them to strictly do BETTER.

It’s largely because I can measure reward to effort that I don’t have much of a problem with people who copy decks for themselves. As long as they understand how it works, then I don’t see why they cannot use something that has been reasonably proven to be good. No-one can stop them, so why the hell not. Which is why I predict this year’s Team League will have every team taking this shit seriously have at least one guy running Dragonic Overlord “The X”.

But what about clans that never really specialised in one area in the beginning and try to cover two or more bases at the same time? Well, that’s not really exempt from the harshness of the reality, I’m afraid. Pale Moon for example either tries to garner advantage a ’la Royal Paladin by calling units from the soul, or trying to chain attacks during a Battle Phase because of same, but it’s still not competent enough in either area to meaningfully add up to much. The first strategy is basically swinging towards a consistent field and nothing but, which in today’s meta of Vanguards who are powerful enough to consider rear-guards a mere afterthought is not enough. And unlike Royal Paladin, you are subject to the whim of fate by being dependant on whatever happens to be added to your soul throughout your random chances at charging it. As for the second strategy, Nova Grappler and Spike Brothers already do a better job at garnering the same advantage or more with similar methods of consecutive attacks. And it doesn’t help that Pale Moon’s largely dependent on the first attack hitting, so it’s not even guaranteed to succeed.

The fact of the matter is this. If you are using a series of cards, despite other options that are more consistent and possibly more helpful existing, you’re better off using those. If you’re using them simply because no other better options exist, if I can point you in the direction of another deck, hell, another CLAN that’s doing a better job of it than you, I’d recommend just using that instead. Otherwise, it’s like showing me that you’ve built a car out of garlic mayo. I’d be impressed, but compared to a car made of metal, I still wouldn’t want to drive it.

Tell me how a garlic mayo car would be fuckin’ rad at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com




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