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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
How Not to be a Terrible Deckbuilder
Saikyo guides you through the process of not sucking at making a deck, if you absolutely must.
For whatever reason, some of you may have decided to go it alone and build a deck that you didn’t blatantly copy off the internet and you’ve decided to try and make one yourself. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of pieces on the internet talking about how to build a Vanguard deck, with…uh…varying levels of validity. So I’m just going to get the common sense bits out of the way: Try to shoot for 17 Grade 0s including starter, 14 Grade 1s, 11 Grade 2s and 8 Grade 3s and max Sentinels. Sounds boring and it is, but I’m not here to talk about how to make something interesting. I’m here to talk about how to make a good and functional deck.
There’s a lot of pitfalls rookies (and rather frustratingly, veterans) fall into that can result in a smarter player handing them their ass. Luckily people can get away with this because most players will have made a series of terrible choices that sort of compensate for incompetence, and so it’s my sworn duty to highlight the mistakes people make when building their very own deck, so that you can be one of the few who understands why they work.
Now keep in mind, I’m going to assume that you’re somewhat decently experienced when it comes to fighting, so a lot of this advice will basically be me trying to avert the common mistakes people make when building something from the ground up. If you are absolutely new to this whole shebang I recommend that you take a small crash course before you try to go it alone, because odds are a first-timer will completely hash it. So without further ado, here are the reasons why I run what I run, as told by an intrinsically selfish Vanguard fighter. Have fun!
1. Assume the worst can happen, because it will. Surprisingly often.
Generally, I find the best decks are ones that can basically keep trucking along without too much difficulty if all does not pan out, or can at least fix it so they don’t have the problem for very long. Something like Gear Chronicle for example has Balih to assure you of actually getting the correct card on your Vanguard circle eventually. If it can’t fix it, a Grade 3 that does the next best thing to it helps a lot. A G-deck focusing on a Stride bearer like Chronojet Dragon has the advantage of having certain cards that can search it, so you can sometimes get away with a Grade 3 that does nothing otherwise. Basically, think about how you intend to play if things go south, because if Narukami told me anything, it’s that it never pays to expect anything to be perfect, which is why Ride Chains sort of went out of fashion until pretty recently. I don’t think we even GOT one after BT14. It’s because people only tend to remember what goes well, regardless of how much ON AVERAGE it’s actually helpful. If everything goes south because one card didn’t show up, scrap the idea and try something else.
2. Maximise your intended gambit before you throw stuff in ‘just because’.
Back in the old days when Majesty Lord Blaster was still good, I noticed that so many people couldn’t make it live without jumping through some unnecessary hoops, usually involving Starcall Trumpeter, because they were stupid little shits. Best list I saw maxxed all of the Blasters necessary instead and dropped Palamedes for Gancelot, and the result was it went live faster than other MLB decks I saw and without having to awkwardly set a field up. Ideally, anything that fuels your gambit needs to be run at 4 copies, and then everything else is a tech. By running cards you don’t need, you cut down on how consistent your gambit is. And don’t bitch to me with ‘but I might need it!’ I thought you were trying to maximise the odds of you ever requiring that card/play in the first place, so it makes no goddamn sense not to run 4 of it. Saying that maximising one card leaves no room for others is sort of like saying ‘I wish I could run less good cards just to make room for more okay cards!’
3. Don’t worry about netdecking. You’ll be doing it by accident anyway.
Once you’ve started building the deck, assuming you follow common sense advice such as Grade ratio, scaling columns (run plenty of 7k Grade 1s to compliment the 9k Grade 2s) you’ll probably find your list is more or less the same as somebody else’s. That’s not a coincidence and originality is certainly not needed in Vanguard, so don’t worry too much about it. It looks the same because both of you chose to run what works, which is perfectly normal and perfectly fine. In fact, I absolutely recommend that you netdeck someone at first by finding a list concocted by a more experienced guy. Then you can read the rest of my articles so that all the advice on here makes a ton more sense. Don’t be original. A bed made from mozzarella cheese is original, but I wouldn’t want to lie in it.
4. Don’t try and make the deck something it’s not.
Each clan functions completely differently, so even if the overall end result is pretty much the same, absolutely everything relevant has to stay. Streamline everything down to one gambit you want to see happen constantly and lose everything less relevant. The last thing you need is crap that’s only loosely related to what your deck does, or worse still is completely unrelated. A good deck uses the means it’s given to an end, but it’s just that: means to an end. Modern Nova Grappler, for example. There’s a few cards out there now that basically focus on retiring under certain circumstances, but I’m not a fan. Paying a cost to fulfil the initial requirement (usually standing itself), then paying another cost to gain a +1? That’s too expensive and eats into the main gambit of standing. Unless your deck can get the resources back easily, you should consider if there’s another deck that does what you want your current idea to do more consistently for cheaper.
5. ‘Just because’ also applies to triggers.
God helps those who help themselves, as most people ought to know. Just run 12 Critical Triggers and 4 Heals. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t have to waste space reiterating why when you could totally read my other articles instead, because I need to be constantly acknowledged by people I’ve never met and will never talk with.
Acknowledge me, dammit at firstname.lastname@example.org
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