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Saikyo Cardfighter R
When The Vanguard Stands Alone
Saikyo analyses rear-guard dependant decks on how well they cope when they have no army.
If you asked me to recommend a clan for a total beginner to use, in this day and age I would tell them to use Gear Chronicle. It’s absurdly easy to start with and has simple enough mechanics to understand.
It’s also not reliant on setup and so covers bases against decks that fuck up rear-guards.
Decks like Kagero, Narukami and eventually Gear Chronicle were easy to pick up and use because the army they gathered was pretty much incidental. In the best builds the Vanguard can usually still do something and sometimes end a game on their own steam. Unless your deck was absurdly good at picking up the slack in this regard, I wouldn’t recommend a set-up reliant deck to anyone, partially because it needs a perfect field, which is a gamble, but also because if they fight a deck that fucks up enemy armies, you’re fucking screwed. See Neo Nectar for a case in point.
But of course I am well aware that’s cherry picking. Some decks that rely on a certain formation can of course succeed. But what is the secret to compensation? What can they do in the case of emergency should it not go as planned? Let’s take a look at some of them and rank them accordingly.
1. Decks that summon an army at the drop of a hat…but don’t do a lot afterwards.
Silver Thorns is a good example of this. The rear-guards basically fill soul for your main boss to use. The only problem is that Luquier (any version of her) exists specifically for when the user’s field looks horrible. The better the game is going, the more impractical her skill becomes. So against any deck that doesn’t work to kill rear-guards (which is most of them), it’s basically entering a contest of vanilla, and since the Vanguard usually is putting no other layers of pressure on, it’s going to lose. Fuck, even Kagero has the X now and that’s good enough to sit on. They don’t even need to flay anything; the rear-guard support sucks so why kill what’s not even threatening?
Decks like this suck because they’re trying to counter a certain play that isn’t even that vital, considering the Vanguard doesn’t do anything else. These are the worst ways to try and counter rear-guard fuck-uppers.
2. Decks that gather allies…but depends on certain allies to not horribly die.
G Neo Nectar is my example. First you need a decent clone target or two, and then duplicate them several times over to try and get a decent field together. Worst case scenario your field looks basically normal and you play vanilla. Same output as Silver Thorns really. But this deck is a little more acceptable in that it brings a new trick to the table in the form of big columns as a reward for your chance-reliant gambit. The big weakness of course is that if your perfect field is fucked with, you lose your main investment. And believe you me, there’s much more motivation for the enemy to mess with your field now, unlike decks falling under the first category.
Decks that try to call a certain field together tend to lack the cards that allow them to go mad summoning stuff en-masse, so these decks tend to do worse at speed of a perfect field, but should be decently competent enough to match the amount the opponent can kill.
3. Decks that always have a field that looks horrible to fight against and everything is incidental.
Extreme Battlers for Nova Grappler and Lambros-centred Aqua Force are the ones I’d vouch for the most. It is true they rely on key rear-guards, but these decks often have several of them so murdering a few may not get the job done. And using key cards together works as a damn good strength in here anyway. These decks tend to not have anything that lets them summon new shit, but then again they are excellent at taking card advantage away from you themselves. It’s just they tend to do it differently, focusing on minusing your hand via attacking rather than you minusing their field. It basically comes down to a contest of attrition which turns a win-rate against these decks into somewhat of a coin toss. But as long as something can be counted on to win roughly half the time against an awesome deck, that’s what I’d recommend most to people.
These are the most viable counters to rear-guard haters because they cover the main bases. They can garner back as much advantage as the enemy can take away, they don’t care if too much dies, and their Vanguard is sufficiently badass it doesn’t always require an entirely full field to function, although if they do more power to them.
For more details on why this is good, see my Card Advantage article. I’ll drill the lesson into your head, motherfuckers, see if I don’t.
Ask for the Extreme Battlers and G Aqua Force deck list at email@example.com
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