Attack Patterns and Triggers


Holder Hedgehog

Even though it was difficult, I’ve done it!

Holder Hedgehog

One of the main mechanics in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard is the checking of triggers when the player’s vanguard attacks or when the player’s vanguard takes damage. Not only do triggers add extra power to a unit when they are activated, but activated triggers have effects associated with them, including the addition of an extra critical to a unit’s attack (critical triggers), the effect of standing a unit that has already rested from an attack (stand triggers), the drawing of an extra card an extra card (draw triggers), and the healing of damage (heal triggers). With all of this in mind, two triggers among the four mentioned above are optimal in terms of offense: critical triggers and stand triggers. How is this? The reason that stand and critical triggers are optimal during the player’s attack phase is that they  can potentially cause the opponent to take more damage in the form of adding an additional critical to an attack or standing units to increase the amount of attacks. In order to use critical triggers and stand triggers effectively, the player must learn how to attack when using them. In short, this article will be covering the basics of how to attack when certain trigger line ups are present in the deck.

As an additional note, this article will not be covering the basic definition and function of each trigger in the game. With this being the case, if you have any questions on what triggers do in the course of the game, please refer to the Vanguard Comprehensive Rules, which is present here.

Critical Triggers Present In Deck, But Not Stand Triggers

Decks that contain critical triggers but do not contain stand triggers normally focus on pressuring the opponent with attacks that could potentially have extra power and critical through the use of drive checks. These decks do not need a field full of rearguards for critical triggers to be effective, but having a field is beneficial in the event that the trigger effects should not be applied to the vanguard (e.g. when the opponent uses a perfect guard against the player’s vanguard attack). In the event that the player with this type of deck has a field full of rearguards, the player should attack with the vanguard first, then attack with the rearguards. With this attack pattern, the player has several optimal options to consider. If the opponent does not guard the vanguard, the critical effect can be given to the vanguard and the power can be allocated to one of the rearguards in the event that a critical trigger is revealed during the drive check. This ensures that the player guarantees that the extra damage earned through the checking of a critical trigger can be achieved while the power can be given to the rearguards to cause the opponent to use more shield in order to protect himself or herself. If the opponent guards the vanguard and it seems unlikely that the vanguard will overcome the amount of guard placed, the critical effect and the power can be allocated to the rearguards of your choice in the event that a critical trigger is revealed during the drive check. This ensures that the player can use the critical effect and power elsewhere in the rearguard instead of using it on the vanguard and potentially wasting the opportunity that the trigger presented.

Stand Triggers Present In Deck, But Not Critical Triggers

Decks that contain stand triggers but do not contain critical triggers normally focus on pressuring the opponent with multiple attacks that can be achieved through the use of unit effects or stand triggers. These decks tend to rely on having a field of rearguards to provide targets for the stand trigger effects, since the stand effect cannot be applied to the vanguard. In the event that the player with this type of deck has a field full of rearguards, the player should attack with rearguards first, then attack with the vanguard. With this attack pattern, the player can pressure with the rearguards first and then use the drive checks from the vanguard attack to stand rearguards and give power to the vanguards or rearguards. Typically, the power from stand triggers are given to the rearguards so that they are more likely to hit the vanguard.

Critical and Stand Triggers Present In Deck

There are some situations where one may run both critical triggers and stand triggers in the same deck. If this is the case, the player will want to acknowledge that there is a chance of drive checking either a critical or stand trigger. With this being the case, the player should attack in a way that would optimize the use of both triggers. If the player has a full field of units that can attack, the player should attack with one rearguard column, attack with the vanguard, then attack with the remaining rearguards at stand. This allows the player to stand rearguards if stand triggers are found in the drive check, and there is a column to put critical trigger effects if critical triggers are found in the drive check.

How Attacking Strategy Applies to Deck Construction

These attacking patterns are not only important to know for when facing an opponent, but it is also important to know these attacking strategies when constructing decks. In game, each deck has a strategy for what attack pattern it favors in most situations. If the player can determine the strategy that his or her deck uses in order to win the game, then the player can determine the amount of critical triggers or stand triggers to run in the deck. Does the deck focus on having a high-powered vanguard (e.g. Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha) that does not rely on a field of rearguards to win? It may be best to run critical triggers without stand triggers in the deck to help the vanguard to cause the maximum amount of damage without relying on a field. Does the deck rely on wearing down with rearguards that have devastating on-hit abilities (e.g. Nightmare Doll, Alice)? Running stand triggers instead of critical triggers may be the best way to maximize the amount of rearguard attacks per turn. Does the deck constantly generate a full field of rearguards and give the front row an obscene amount of power (e.g. Holy Dragon, Sanctuary Guard Regalie)? The deck may benefit from running critical triggers and stand triggers so that the opponent has difficulty figuring out how to guard against attacks that the deck may generate. Determining the trigger line up should also factor in draw triggers and heal triggers, and the process of determining trigger line ups will be determined by what the player favors and/or finds optimal due to testing the deck. Though this is the case, the trigger line up in terms of stand triggers and/or critical triggers can be determined if the player knows the attacking strategy he or she builds into the deck.

Special Cases: Game Mechanics Considered

The advice in the sections above are typically safe to abide by in most decks. Though this is the case, there are some special cases that should be considered.

  • Restanding rearguards through effects. Units that either stand themselves (e.g. Tidal Assault) or stand other rearguards (e.g. Crayon Tiger) through the use of skills can be used to attack the vanguard multiple times. These abilities tend to go well with decks that run only critical triggers, which allows the player can put the power and the critical from a critical trigger to the rearguard that is to be stood up through the use of an effect. If this is done, the player would have the capacity to attack an opponent with a rearguard that would hit the vanguard for two damage. In this strategy, it seems to be better to attack as if there are critical triggers only in the deck to ensure that the critical trigger effects can be given to the vanguard and/or restanding rearguards.
  • Consistent field and front row power. There are units in this game that power up the vanguard and front row rearguards consistently but sacrifice field in order to achieve the skill to power up such units (e.g. Covert Demonic Dragon, Hyakki Vogue “Яeverse”). Though it may seem counter-intuitive,  the attacking strategy may favor stand triggers over critical triggers if the front row units are powered up enough, even if the back row may be sacrificed. This is due to the fact that rearguards with large attack power would be harder to guard if the power level is high enough, let alone if such rearguards stood up due to the effect of a stand trigger. In the current format, decks that can consistently power up rearguards to the point that the opponent must guard with 10K or 15K shield against each individual rearguard would fall into this category. Furthermore, such decks tend to benefit from attacking as if the deck contains stand triggers with a lack of critical triggers since the threat of multiple attacks from high powered rearguards is very difficult to defend against.
  • Superior call decks. This special case comes in many forms, whether its mechanics of superior calling is either from the deck, the damage zone, the soul, the bind zone, or the hand. With this being the case, these decks tend to fill the field easily, which could mean that certain decks that use the superior calling mechanic may benefit from using stand triggers. There is one caveat to mention: if the superior calling is used to replace units that have attacked during the battle phase, then the deck may not benefit from stands. This is due to the fact that stand triggers only achieve multiple attacks if the effect of standing a rearguard is used on a rested rearguard. Overall, decks that use superior calling seem to benefit from using either stand triggers or critical triggers, and each deck must be considered on a case-to-case basis.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to put them in the comments section.

*Images of cards came from!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

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