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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
The G-Zone’s Getting Too Much Choice
As soon as I got as far as ‘4 Nextage as staple’ I knew we were in for it.
Even if the title of this article wasn’t all that clear, I’m pretty sure you can guess as to what this one’s about, given how recent it is. Well, as recent as it gets when I send my articles to the boss a day in advance, anyway. Recent gossip on the G Zone is of course the new G-Guardians, which we get in the English format at the end of May, and the fact our G-Zone is doubling to 16 cards.
There are of course going to be a mass outcry of people calling foul whenever a long established rule gets retconned, along with approximately one or more shit-tons of players quitting because power creep, so I’m going to try and analyse each of these new mechanics and see how healthy it is.
First up, G-Guardians. To use them, both players need to be on Grade 3. When the opponent attacks, toss a Heal from the hand, call up your G-Guardian to Guardian circle. Once the battle’s over, it goes to the G-Zone face-up. That’s the gist of it: I’m not going into the stupidly nit-picky rules over this new toy, that’s what the official website is for. Reading is power, bitch.
My first initial thought was “thank fuck, it’s sort of no longer biased towards going second.” Even if you cannot Stride first, as G-Guardians are still G-Units (had to double check this as it sounded a bit too good to be true) then as long as you have a Heal in the hand, the flavour of first Stride can be all the more deadly. You could get full mileage out of a first Stride whose skill happens to be GB2. I said “sort of”, because there’s only so many Heals in any given deck. I stole some math on the subject from somewhere and apparently 2/3 times, you’re looking at a Heal by opponent’s turn 3. That’s annoyingly high odds, all things considering. All it takes now is for Spike Brothers to get a finisher that can only be described as the motherfucking end of days for Vanguard and we are officially fucked. Until Mecha Trainer gets banished to Barcgal Jail, anyway.
Second thought was on how efficient this actually was. So you lose a 10k shield in the hand to call a 15k shield in play, 20k with its skill (although I have no doubt we’ll get more that don’t but have a pretty badass skill to compensate), so it’ll bypass a 21k column at least for the cost of only one card. Efficient enough I suppose and gives people more ways to bypass cards like Silent Tom, but calm your tits, it’s still a staple and it’s not perfect, given you need a Heal to do that. As far as they go, they’re a somewhat decent option and one that shouldn’t encroach on our existing options too badly.
Which brings me rather neatly to my second point: people might have noticed is that this is absolutely biased towards anything that has access to the most stupid finishers in the world. I’m sure no-one wants to stare down a fully operational Lambros as a first Stride for whoever went first, especially if they let the damage train go to town on them. Compare it to OTT that haven’t got a single bloody good finisher, hell, the new one from Fighter’s Collection 2016 is a bit crap, and you realise just how borked this ends up making balance. Then again balance issues was a problem at the moment of conception, see Booster 3 and 4 the original for anything that wasn’t the Big 4, but for me that’s all the more reason I picked up a clan I knew was going to get lots of support. I just wish our (Kagero that is to say) first Strides didn’t involve hitting so much. Not everyone thinks that way, I know, so this may or may not end up being the last straw for some people but hey, what are the odds of a Heal from the beginning? I’m being serious here, I actually would like to know.
But let’s get down to the meaty shit with the huge-ass elephant in the room: 16 choices of G-Unit. To be honest, I’m not really sure whether or not this was a good idea to DOUBLE our G-Zone size. Judging by the various comments heard all over the internet when this was confirmed I wasn’t alone in this either. You have an under-supported clan like Murakumo or something, with more G-Zone spaces than they can actually use (because I’m pretty sure their on-hit G-Unit isn’t a 4 copy of unless you need G Assist bait), whereas you are fucking spoilt for choice with Gear Chronicle, even when taking into account 4 staples like Nextage. You could, I guess, not run 4 G-Guardians, and I’m assuming people won’t, given how Heals are scarce and damage check is a bit of a bitch sometimes.
But the main reason I think 16 G-Units is overkill is simply because of what an average game is like in context. When the idea of an increase in G-Zone size was suggested about a year ago, I didn’t like it. At the time, I didn’t believe that a game should be aiming to constantly spam such a mechanic and shouldn’t be encouraged to do so. This isn’t because of deckout issues either, although that was one of the reasons. It was because it seemed pretty much unhealthy. Quite a lot of clans don’t have that many good finishers, because they can’t all be Kagero, with their Root Flare and the Ace and Nouvelle…and sorry, rambling. Those that are up to their fucking armpits in options however will happily abuse this to death, like Gear Chronicle. I don’t get salty at a lot of things but I do wish (and fervently hope) that Kagero will one day have plenty of options to punish decks whose rear-guards don’t stay still, because right now it’s pretty much “do what you always did some more. Oh they have Magia? Well then I guess we gotta DO IT SOME MORE.”
I guess that’s what it all boils down to. Increasing our G-Zone size means less thought into what’s necessary and what isn’t. It’s a pretty thinly veiled attempt to allow Gear Chronicle or something with about as many generic options as Gear Chronicle to just shove in basically everything without having to think about which ones can have the most advantages compared to disadvantages. Without that, I was thinking of dropping Root Flare for Nouvelle 2.0 because of the opportunity costs involved, but apparently fuck that. Too late for me to invest in Gears now, anyway, you assholes.
That is not to say that it can be considered ENTIRELY terrible. That new Cray Elemental, Sebreeze for example. I’m priming that to be a staple in every G-Zone from now on, given it fights back against deliberate Grade stall on top of the initial incentive not to do that with G-Guardians. Useful for anything that has more space than it can reasonably fill, right?
I guess there isn’t a whole lot else for me to say at this stage except fuck Gear Chronicle and your expensive Nextages. Oh yeah, and CFO when it comes out can suck it too.
I’m dreaming of an anti-Magia G-Unit here at firstname.lastname@example.org
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