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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
I Went to Team League and All I Got Was This Lousy Deckbox
This week, Saikyo tells a tale of unfulfilled expectations, dependency, and FUCK Rescue.
That title isn’t hyperbole. The deckbox I got for showing up was too small for a 16 card G-Zone. Says a lot about Bushiroad when they use the template for their old ones to save effort involved, hurr durr shortcuts.
But yes, as you have probably reasonably guessed, last Saturday, I went to Huddersfield in good ol’ England with two other people to try and get a shot at glory of being best Team. We were all going for different purposes: one wanted to do well with a clan he liked, one was a decent first-timer who wanted to experience Springfest, and I wanted to confirm I would have done a shit-ton better had I competed on my own. Two out of three of us got pretty much what we wanted. Sadly, that doesn’t include grabbing the top eight spot, as one of my teammates hoped. Instead, I ended up repeating my performance from last year with a near-spotless record while the others tried their best not to be the one to ruin my own victories.
Just to clarify, I was running Overlord Kagero, because of course I am, have you learnt nothing the last 2 years, and my teammates had Shiranui Nubatama and Blue Wave Aqua Force. We only managed to win 4/7 rounds overall, but at least we learned something, and that’s what life is allegedly all about.
As far as reviewing my own performances go, I think overall I wouldn’t have changed too much. Well, one game it may have been more sensible to use Asyl Orb over Denial Griffin, but the only opponent I lost to (Pure Soulless Witch OTT) had such a massive advantage my extra Counterblast would have meant precisely jack shit. It’s all about starting strong and never letting the opponent take the rug from under your feet: something he and I knew perfectly well.
Oh, we started well enough. My first round saw me sat next to a Neo Nectar and Pale Moon user, and when the judges announced that dice were not allowed to column track, they had the best looks on their faces. I went on to win the first round, with an overall victory for the team, and then as my teammates encountered too much Granblue and too much Gavrail Rescue, we basically petered out and only made it to 35th place overall. I personally went on to beat Chronojet Gear Chronicle, Altmile/Thing Saver Royals, Blaster Joker, Rising Nova Spike Brothers, and Messiahs. Whereas my teammates went on to fight Granblue and Angel Feather constantly. My friend with Nubatama wouldn’t stop complaining about it on the ride home.
I still think conceptually Rescue wouldn’t really do much against a sufficiently aggro deck, but unfortunately my teammates certainly weren’t that and so the ridiculous defense caught up to them and they lost to those deck constantly. The rumours on the internet certainly lived up to the hype: we were later informed that Angel Feather, Granblue and Kagero were the most over-used clan of the entire tournament. Which is a pity. Why? One of the top 8 had Nociel Gavrail vs Pure Gavrail as a matchup and it was quite frankly the most boring spectacle I had ever witnessed. It dragged on and on and neither side showed any sign of actually doing anything remotely interesting (both of them kept attacking their respective Nurse of Broken Hearts WITH THEIR VANGUARD, what the actual fuck) and in the end it just went to time. It finished and they still weren’t on six damage. Rather depressingly, they weren’t even the last to finish.
That’s why, despite the size of the whole thing, I wouldn’t look to Team League to further a pro cardfighting career. To me, it’s more of a casual fling. It’s basically impossible for a great player to win the whole thing if your own teammates don’t share the same ideals and fighting style as you. In comparison, I took 4th at Nationals last October. Solo. Still learned a lot though, and we plan on doing it again next year, so overall, my findings can be best summarised as this:
1. Hard advantage, unless it’s lots of it near constantly, is basically pointless. I blame the lack of Mid Game options for the Nubatama deck because it had no outs to the large hand from not guarding thanks to Rescue. The Witch deck I lost to gets a free pass because the guy kept on spamming Mimi and Take-Mikazuchi near constantly and had G Guardians to boot together with Silent Tom. I lost because I was too slow and couldn’t keep up.
2. Finishers are basically that: finishers, and they should be treated as such. I think my good record this time around was basically never using L’Express or the Ace unless they were on 4 damage and their hand was pretty small overall. I mostly used Blademaster Taiten and/or Root Flare until then just to soften them up to that point, because if you’re using such powerful G Units to close the gap or further advantage rather than seal the win, you’re going to regret not having those options when it really counts. My teammate was constantly flubbing his Tetra-boil turns thanks to well-timed triggers and the opponent being on low damage when he dropped the bass.
3. I guess it’s all very well wanting to get good with a certain deck or clan that you like. The problem is, as I may have explained before, people who play vanguard as a collective whole are piss-poor at identifying mistakes (or at the very least learning from them). I didn’t have a problem with my teammates regarding identifying, but they need to get better at not doing them at all, particularly when the solution to what should have been done instead was really obvious. People may not especially like it when I run a deck that doesn’t require that much thought, but if it isn’t complicated and yields the results you want, who are they to argue?
4. On behalf of my Nubatama-playing friend: Fuck Rescue.
Three guesses what I’m maining next Nationals at email@example.com
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