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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
The Refros Effect:
Saikyo talks about that fuckin’ Refros loop, and more.
The official story given out by Bushiroad regarding Doctoroid Refros being at 1 in Japan and recently over here has nothing to do with how bullshit it is, largely because they are really fuckin’ awful at identifying why something is absurdly OP and thus banned from overuse very format, but because of the potential to generate loops that go-on forever and waste time, waiting for time to get them to win by default.
I have had my misgivings about such tactics before, but largely that was restricted to the most tanky decks, largely because it just encouraged the use of otherwise average decks to beat better, more consistent decks. That certainly does not apply to Refros who is used primarily for offensive purposes. Yet, I didn’t really think the limiting was fair. And it isn’t really for the same reasons as any other limit-worthy cards. As I mentioned before, when you limit a card, you only make the deck more chance-based, and if they happen to draw the one copy of that card it steals a win that the player doesn’t really deserve.
Part of the reason can probably be blamed on the fact I main a deck that doesn’t really allow the opponent to keep doing what they want to do for very long. It’s Kagero’s thing, really. But it’s also down to me personally, as a fighter. I can pretty much autopilot the decks I want to use and even clans I’m not in the habit of using are pretty easy for me to play with. I play fast enough to compensate for all the time the opponent took to fumble with their dice for columns and how long it took for them to make the seemingly obvious move.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, limiting pretty much the only real source of good aggressive soft advantage in Angel Feather by putting the limit-hammer on Refros would not be fair on those who want to main Angels, and are also fast enough to track their columns. At the same time however, I can understand how this could be useful in curbing some rather notorious and unsavoury aspects of Vanguard. You can blame the fact I wrote the skeleton for this article several weeks ago and had a lot of time to actually get my thoughts together. You can also read about this next week.
Even when Refros was still at 4 copies I didn’t think that the odds of drawing into Refros so soon after resolving a first seemed natural to me, and yet that was what seemed to be constantly happening in almost every competitive game I saw that involved it. If they opened with 2 and thus was able to spam it I could understand, but drawing into another so often? No. It didn’t sit right. So if nothing else, it means that any win on Angel Feather’s part is down less to some stupid convoluted bullshit and more on the slightly higher than before Critical Trigger count stealing a win from better players. Hooray.
I digress though. Regardless, I certainly agree that anything single-handedly responsible for the backbone of a time-wasting deck ought to be hit. But that’s really only on an emotional level with me. From my perspective, if there is anything that isn’t clearly forbidden, then I believe that it is a player’s right to exploit that gap if need be. Back in the old days of the End and MLB, many would argue that the meta back then was staler than the air trapped in my attic, and if my kidnap victim is anything to go by that’s pretty fucking stale. At the same time however, I couldn’t fault anyone for running them, hell, I was one of them. We all ran it because it was the best deck around. So by the same token, if a player wanted to exploit the shortcomings of Bushiroad’s tournament system as well as create the conditions necessary for the deck to win, why shouldn’t they if that’s what floats their boat?
“But Saikyo,” say some of my sharper readers, “I read that you hated people for wasting your time and that they deserve to be labelled with demeaning names for ruining the enjoyment of your perpetual win record.” I would reply that definitely was the impression I’d give off, but in that instance that was more of a case of the opponent’s lack of awareness about the game and the deck that stalled the game to a standstill. The incompetence of the player in what is supposed to be a competition to decide who is the theoretical best is entirely to blame, because if they can’t play like a pro and make decisions quickly, then why the fuck are they here? This is fundamentally different from a player who is wasting time but in a controlled setting with deliberate actions. I had enough of people in Yu-Gi-Oh spamming a series of searches and draw and shit constantly without me getting to do anything nearly as impressive but it was not forbidden at the time and so I accepted that was normal. I quit as a result but that’s beside the point. And yes, I don’t like the other kind of staller but that’s only if they’re shit at what they do.
That doesn’t really apply to Vanguard though, where most of the time people are inclined to play whatever looks popular regardless of how good it actually is. It’s pretty much about riding the hype-train to retardville. Why do you think my primary deck was Kagero? I said it before: it’s because it doesn’t let these people feel that spamming the loop in the first place was always the right or even possible thing to do. This is my solution to people who wanted to answer these people: run the closest thing to anti-meta as possible. Fuck, my G1 rush deck ran on this principle to extremes. I don’t need to outpace everything, just what’s meta, and if it means you don’t get to do your shit, it’s still win-win for me and the tournament organisers.
Vanguard’s fundamental problem at its heart is that it isn’t a game that when taken as a whole can practically do more than best of 1 when you consider the sheer amount of other stall-clans out there and the sheer size of their biggest events. I wouldn’t even have called Angel Feather the best stall deck even if we still got to keep Refros at 4. It’s the most notorious certainly, but I can name slower decks. And at least fundamentally Refros was used for the play of landing decisive blows on the opponent, unlike something like Megacolony where it’s primarily played purely to defend. So really I guess it means that with the limiting of Refros to 1 Vanguard players can at least be motivated to play pretty much anything else. Unless all you shitheads intend to abuse Lizbeth in English meta instead just to give Bushiroad another middle finger.
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