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Saikyo Cardfighter R on Cardfight!! Vanguard
 October 10, 2016
 

Competitive Vanguard
May As Well Not Exist
 

 

Saikyo doesn't see the point in trying anymore.

I could have started this week's article off with something a bit more clickbait worthy but given the circumstances I decided to just get to the point. I still plan on writing for the most part, I'm not going to bother with the competitive format of Vanguard anymore.

Whenever I put a new article up, I'm writing under the assumption that the whole point is to still have fun, while at the same time exploiting as much of the broken system as possible without resorting to truly dickish (but perfectly legitimate) strategies, such as Grade 1 rush. I am not ignorant of Game Theory. Assuming one wants to milk enjoyment out of Vanguard as their payoff, then of course it results in players running Generation Break restricted decks, or at the very least following the basic deck skeleton, because they want both players to have fun. I myself will use Kagero if I actually want to enjoy myself, but for the poor shitheads online and for local tournaments it's Grade 1 rush or bust. I've gotten everyone there to main as much non-GB1 stuff as possible thanks to my antics. Of course, if they had simply stopped and started maining the same deck as me they could scrape some wins 50% of the time, because chance.

Deep down, I want to do well in Vanguard. And I have, I reckon, all things considering. I managed fourth place at Nationals last October and my own local scene cemented my status as pretty much god-king of space. But what was really depressing was that it shouldn't have been this way. Vanguard is actually a very simple game to win in as long as you don't scrub-a-dub-dub with how you play and deckbuild. Whether if it was online or anywhere else, it mostly came down to me exploiting the flaws the opponent made during and before the game even started. Four years on and the collective playerbase is still composed of people I don't trust to carry me through Team League.

This to me was a rather depressing thought after I got over the initial giddyness of a cheap and fucking busted deck. At least during the first dark age where it was the End, MLB and PBO, there was at least still shenanigans and other broken shit happening, but at least there was actually still shit happening regardless. I would recommend people take GP G1 rush to a tournament simply because it was optimal, and during the Crossride era I recommended the End or MLB to people despite how same-y it was, but with Grade 1 rush? There's nothing. Not for you, nor for the opponent. Yes, I still main it for matches I feel matter but that's mostly because frustrating people is something I haven't grown bored of yet. For other games where anonymity is not possible, it's Kagero, so I can avoid being beaten half to death through me cheesing it.

In addition to the players, there's also the matter of the idiots staffing the place. I don't live in America but I have heard how the Atlanta tournament back in April was complete and utter shite. I suppose it would not be fair for me to judge the entire tournament scene based on this one fiasco, but the recurring problems such as a best of 1 format with a large margin of perceived chance, the lack of any actually trained judges, and a half-assed awareness of their own game means that you could show up, and then one bad run means some complete scrub takes the prize instead. So even if staffing was more or less perfect (and it isn't), as long as that tournament system remains in place I just don't see the point. And I'm not going to get started on the number of people who operate on a 'you didn't catch it so it's your own fault' mentality, hence the cheaters. It's bad enough that Vanguard was marketed as something that was not intended to be Magic the Gathering levels of uber competitive but when you're going to go out of your way to hold and organised event, regularly, for this game that you are trying to market, that is still no fucking excuse for your approach to its management to be just as casual. People are quitting over this. To be honest, I would not blame them in the slightest.

All signs basically pointed to one conclusion in my mind: if they haven't actually done shit to improve the scene of competitive Vanguard after four years, odds are they won't ever improve it. As I refuse to flog a dead horse any longer, I decided to wash my hands of all that and just enjoy beating the crap out of my local friends and online scrubs, which is both cost and consequence free for the most part. Do not take this as a sign of me quitting: I said before I've got no problem with the game as such, it's the shitheads and idiots ruining it for me, and as long as I have friends who still believe in the fantasy and still have cards I'll hold on to them until they too move on to greener pastures, but it's also because I'm largely very spiteful and petty. If Vanguard dies, I at least want to be there when it happens.

It was actually a rather liberating discovery when I stopped to think about it financially. I already had no reason at all to invest in anything other than Kagero and anything that may possibly help stuff I've owned before, hence why I sort of want to give Descendant Zillion a whirl before I put it in my box of forgotten shit, but once I bought all the pieces to my current deck, the reason to buy any cards for Vanguard at all disappeared, because everything was Generation Break and therefore worthless against it. Oh I'm sure it holds some relevance to everyone else wanting to at least take their new toys out for a drive against opponents that will let them, but first they'd need to overcome the first hurdle of setup. Come on, you must admit Demiurge with the leak of more Zodiac Time Beasts got more consistent but it has done nothing for how slow it is to set up.

So that's it then. I'm done. You can continue to read my shit, but I'm only writing them to make sure you can do well, and to leave anyone who isn't you in the motherfucking dust. As I said, it's an absurdly easy game to exploit once you've found all the loopholes and flaws.

So until I can actually play an official and professionally designed simulator I'm perfectly content to bitchslap my useless local friends and CFA randoms, since it's basically the same to me. (Yeah, I voiced my annoyance at free sims before but it's funnier when the opponent cannot even begin cheating at all, suck it Gen Break) Here's to hoping that Cardfight Online will actually come to fruition and, you know, not completely lose my interest by virtue of my own senility forgetting that it once existed.

I’m taking requests for articles if there’s something about Vanguard you need to gripe about. Email ideas at saikyocardfighter@outlook.com. Or drop a message on my Twitter account!

 

 

 

 


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