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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
A Brief Guide to How I Do COTD
It gets easier when you’ve seen it all before.
I’m starting to think that I may have gotten prematurely old: I don’t keep up with new tech, I find it hard to be entertained without being reminded of something else, and I don’t follow trends everyone else is raving about. Like Undertale. That’s probably why my reviews on Pojo seem to be quietly lacking in any sort of rabid and enthusiastic excitement.
I digress. I want to talk about how I understand cards and perhaps by proxy invite others to join the COTD crew. God knows I could do with the company. You see, you may have read some of my reviews and will most likely have realised it takes a LOT to actually impress me. Unless a card is a main-stay such as a Perfect Guard, I generally never give a card a good score; generally, they tend to float at about 3/5 average. That’s largely because of how I’ve played the game since it first came out to English shores and have lived through every format imaginable. I’ve seen it all before and all I can do is either roll my eyes or jump onto whatever happens to be meta after giving it a good score.
In fact, were it up to me, I actually wouldn’t leave a score behind on any of the cards I actually review. Not even I’m entirely sure on how I’m going to score something, but I tend to just leave a lot of it with a review along the lines of ‘yeah, it’s alright, I guess’. And it usually is. Some other factors may influence this decision, such as how good the deck it’s supposed to be in is, but for general cards it tends to fluctuate. The point I’m trying to get across here is that what rating it gets depends on my mood for that day, so really only my written word should carry any weight to it.
There are, however, some rules I follow when I write reviews. First, I examine a card and think about much it costs to use its skill or how reliable it looks. It used to be simple, but now cards that gain +1 advantage for only Counterblast 1 leak out of every deck nowadays, so it’s all down to what the perceived advantage is. You may remember my review on Mythical Destroyer Beast, Vanargandr: I was sort of lukewarm to it, whereas Nanya cacked his pants with enough force to take him to the fucking moon. There’s a good reason for my indifference: You pay a cost for something that doesn’t directly convert into any quantifiable hard OR soft advantage. It’s all dependant on what cards turn up: hell, Doom Brace at least grants 5k to columns for half of Vanargandr’s cost assuredly. Not to mention his timing comes at a point where it’s very unlikely the opponent won’t save a Perfect Guard for the GB2 G-Unit you’ve been holding regardless of whatever the deck fights.
Secondly, I notice that Nanya’s reviews tends to be heavily influenced by whether he can name a deck where a card would comfortably fit, regardless of whether or not said deck can make the slightest dent in the meta of today. Blaster Rapier Laura definitely doesn’t deserve a 4.5/5. Majesty Lord Blaster’s time has long passed. It’s a fucking relic by now. There are better decks out there.
Therefore, what the end result is going to look like is just as important as what the card itself can do. Ideally, the deck it belongs to should be decently fast, or if not fast, lead up to a conclusion that results in one turn ending the game or coming close. If that isn’t the case then the card can be as amazing for that deck as it wants, but if the deck’s shit gravy it means nothing at all.
Thirdly, I tend to be slightly more generous when it comes to any card that can generate any form of soft advantage and is decently easy to set up and doesn’t get countered TOO badly. In the case of something like a re-standing Vanguard, it’s decently easy to quantify them regarding card advantage. You just calculate the cards lost and gained, then for the re-stand, assume the opponent is going to -2 at least to block the second attack (a Perfect Guard is usually the bare minimum, given the G-Units that re-stand) to work out its minimum advantage to you. Cards that play the column game, I can take it or leave it, it depends on how abuseable they are and how much they can be maintained.
However, what you must also remember about the reviews here is that they all operate on whatever first impressions can be gleamed from the card, sometimes for the worse, see my earliest Glendios review. I had to establish all of my reviewing rules as soon as I started, largely so that my first impressions without testing sounded decently well-informed and so that I wouldn’t get reduced to a retarded quivering wreck yellowing my own trousers at every new card I saw.
Which brings me rather neatly to my fourth and most important rule: calm the fuck down. Once I have the card to review in front of me, I look up what it does, immediately start to re-read the skill, quantify it if applicable, and then write. I don’t fanboy over cards. It becomes a lot easier if what you’re writing about is something you’ve seen before. All you have to do in that instance is try to find a card that already exists and compare the two for efficiency’s sake. I know that it can be argued that it isn’t fair because each clan does different things, but given there’s more clans than mechanics and therefore they’ll probably be shooting for the same goal anyway, why the fuck not? I’m all for most optimal choice, remember?
Anything that looks flashy needs to be examined with scrutiny. Any sort of Limit Break or GB2 skill that requires hitting the Vanguard is probably worth ignoring, largely because it’s late in the Game, Perfect Guards will be saved, and it’s almost certainly never going to work. It’s all about being willing to not accept anything at face-value. Yes, maybe it’ll turn out what I decry as a total newb-trap may turn out fucking amazing, but to be frank, it’s probably better to assume it will either be boring or shit-gravy until proven otherwise, so at least you don’t wind up disappointed. Unless there is precedence for not sucking, hence why I try to compare cards to other cards.
So in summary, I don’t ever take a card at face-value, I quantify absolutely everything about it, I compare it to something that already exists (if only so that I have reference and I don’t pull my review out of my ass) and generally just use the new info I’m given to either confirm “Eh, I THINK my deck can cockblock this problem card” or just use it as a means to save money. Vanguard is all about jumping on the hype-train to idiocy, so it can’t be too difficult.
Confirm that my new resolution (that I’ve already broken) was to proofread more at firstname.lastname@example.org
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