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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Do First Vanguards Have Targets on Their Faces?
First instinct is to murder Forerunner units ASAP. Saikyo examines why.
The universal truth in Vanguard is that you’re always going to be starting with a Grade 0 with Forerunner simply because it’s the only +0 transaction you’re going to get riding, save for exceptions like Lulu or Cat Knight in Boots. you then have an essentially free booster for as long as you need it and is just strong enough to make columns with your Vanguard for necessary attacks. What is a bit more perplexing to me is the insistence that they get removed from the rear-guard circle ASAP.
I’m not just talking from the user’s point of view either, although some noobs will be seeking to do this as soon as humanly possible. I never understood why. Most of them involve removing themselves in order to +0 wash you in advantage in some way, usually with an additional cost attached like Counterblast, and that’s it. Aiming to proc their skills this way always confused me. It wasn’t unwelcome as long as I was playing them, because every mistake means another stomping in their face, but you’d never catch me doing this unless I had no other alternative. My starter is Lizard Hero Undeux. You won’t catch me actually using him unless I have no confidence I’ll Drive Check another bit of Stride fodder or I need the Ace going off assuredly. I will never spring him and lose a booster for a card I might not need. I have to ACTUALLY need it right the hell now for me to use Undeux.
To me there is no logic in wasting your own resources for something that might not even help you immediately. Forerunner units serve a more important function as a Vanguard booster before they have skills that could use up more than you need and can spare. So far I observed it was mostly for ‘+1 to soul’ related reasons, like they wanted to use Calamity Tower Wyvern or something. To which I’d reply ‘you run that? WHY’. The Grade 3 attempted searchers are particularly notorious for this. Piss-poor power, the skill won’t even 1:1 all the time, and it’s just a waste of resources either way when you have so much more ways of obtaining actual pluses with the same resources.
So quite a lot of their skills aren’t dangerous, or at the very least they are delayed. And yet the first instinct for anyone using control decks is to murder them as soon as humanly possible. And since I used to main a control deck and still do when I’m in my extremely rare casual mood, I figured I might try and gleam some insight into the whole affair. I have made plays involving murdering starters in the past: hell, I still do whenever I can spare the time and I haven’t any better play to make. But that’s only when I feel that it has to be gone, when it doesn’t 1:1 or the 1:1 it does net is very high in quality, and my means of doing so aren’t always the same as everyone else.
The go-to cards that I tend to see when it comes to First Vanguard destroying are Gatling Claw Dragon for Kagero and Steam Knight Kalibum for Gear Chronicle, and occasionally Saishin for Narukami if you know some hipsters as well. I can understand the desire to run them but for the reasons I described above I can only conclude that it isn’t a good idea. First off is Gatling Claw’s problem. He gets rid of a card on a 1:1 basis for a Counterblast of 1. In this fast card advantage age, that’s not a good transaction when Counterblast can be better spent elsewhere. Also, he’s a Draw Trigger, the worst kind. Kalibum is Counterblast free, but he’s 8k base and it isn’t really a solid power to have without help, requiring you take liberties when you shouldn’t need to. I’m not saying that murdering Forerunner units is bad, given the earlier you kill something the less time it has to bother you. What I have a problem with is that these cards kill starters and have no other function.
As soon as the Forerunner unit is gone from the game, that’s it. You are now stuck with having to use inferior cards for the remainder of the fight when in all likelihood you could have left the starter alone (given almost anything the opponent could slap down would equal or surpass it in boosting power anyway) until you could kill it more efficiently. Given we have G Units and Stridebearers like Chronojet Dragon, I really can’t accept it as an excuse not to try and find a more cost-effective means. Saishin is pretty much the sole exception to this rule, given he’s available from the beginning assuming he does not get sniped back first and doesn’t interfere with the rest of your deck. And if nothing else, applying pressure is always good.
Only in the case of some rare exceptions like Judgebau Revenger would it probably be best to kill it as humanly possible, but having to alter a deck just so it has a slightly better time against one deck at the expense of its performance against everything else is fucking stupid. My go-to early starter murderer is Dragonic Burnout, given that he can be run at the same number of copies as Gatling Claw and thus has an equal chance of getting drawn early, except he can also murder other cards as I need it to. Otherwise, usually I don’t see any harm in leaving what is only a 5k booster for now alone until I need it gone.
Besides, in the case of these control decks, for Forerunner units that are designed to be replaced by something else, as opposed to taking a card away, there is no reason your field-removal based deck couldn’t then snipe the new unit on the next turn so that it isn’t bothering you anymore. Save for some exceptions like Resist, but they tend to have not great skills in return, or if they do, I haven’t seen too many starters that could search them reliably anyway.
As far as I can tell, people aiming to use their starters quickly use them because they don’t want them dead, and the ones sniping the shittier Forerunner units do so because of the other people who are aiming to use their starters quickly use them because they don’t want them dead. To be frank both sides would have a much easier time of it once they realise the starting Vanguard isn’t a priority skill to proc. Otherwise it’s like watching two mantises fighting over the right to get eaten by the lady-mantis: tragic and yet somehow hilarious.
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