Tag Fight format is a rule format of Cardfight!! Vanguard that allows two player pairs to face each other in a Vanguard game. Though this is a different format of play, the basic rules of Vanguard remain the same. According to the Cardfight Wiki, the Cardfight!! Vanguard show set up the following rules for the Tag Fight format*:
- The team that reaches 9 damage, or the limit given. in total first will lose the fight.
- The fighter who starts last can attack first.
- The turn is a Zig-Zag
- Team will fight in pairs.
- Fighters’ opponent is the one directly in front of him/her. So fighter can only attack the one directly in front of them.
- Partners can guard, soul blast and counter blast for their partner but cannot attack during the other member’s turn.
- When guarding for your partner, you may NOT use Intercepts.
- Unit skills only affect the player and his or her opponent (for example, Silent Tom can be blocked by a Grade 0 from your opponent’s partner). This also affects perfect guard units. However, skills that apply to all cardfighters, like Eradicator, Tempest Bolt Dragon and Dark Cat can affect the partner and the opponents partner as well.
- Partners are forbidden from seeing each other’s cards in hand.**
- Players may not coach nor strategize with their partner.**
Although the rules have been displayed here, let us spend a few minutes clarifying details about this format in terms of technicalities and rulings.
NOTE: If you are still in the process of learning the basic rules of a normal game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, it is advised that you learn the basic rules before learning how to play in a Tag Fight format.
The Layout of the Field
Generally, a tag fight will be set up where a team of two players will sit across from two other players in order to face off with each other. Each person will have the same zones available to them as in a normal game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. With this in mind, a player’s partner’s game board*** will be set adjacent to their partner. In addition to this, each team will be situated in such a way that each player will be sitting across from another player from the other team. This positioning of the player’s matters, since the rules state that each player can only attack the opponent in front of him or her.
To reiterate the points made above, it is important to note that each player will have the same field layout as in a normal game of Vanguard. This fact remains true in this format, even if the players of each pair can use their teammate’s counterblast and soul blast. Although it seems trivial to mention it, this is specifically mentioned due to card skills that focus on the soul (e.g. Genesis skills) and the damage zone (e.g. Angel Feather skills). In relation to zones, the guardian circles in tag format only exist between opponents (aka people facing each other in the pairs). This is also mentioned due to the phrasing of skills due to guarding skills. This is the very reason that perfect guards cannot be used for partners, since they can only be used for the player’s vanguard typically.
Taking Turns in Tag Fight Format
As specified in the rules above, the turns are in a “Zig Zag” pattern. This pattern ensures that the turns are kept in order, since it is not as simple as keeping track of two players’ turns in a 1v1 game of Vanguard. In order to explain this format, a diagram will be used to explain the turn order. This pattern is established from the first player’s turn. Consider the diagram below.
We will be assuming that the Players 1 and 2 are a team and Players 3 and 4 are another team. Assuming that Player 1 has the first turn, the turn pattern would continue like the pattern in the diagram below.
With this being the case, Player 3 will have the first turn to attack the opponent, according to the rules listed above. An easy way to remember this turn pattern is to think of it as a fishtail pattern, where the first player to take a turn (e.g. Player 1’s turn in the diagram) starts the tail and the last player to take a turn in this pattern (e.g. Player 3’s turn in the diagram) finishes the tail.
Rulings Relating to Card Skill Phrasings
Typically, card skills will target the opponent unless it specifies otherwise (e.g. the phrasing “all fighters” refers to all four players in the tag fight match). In addition to this, card skills that have abilities that target the “opponent” target the opponent across from the player using the skill. At the same time, certain card skill phrasings also have the potential to become ambiguous if not read carefully, especially without considering the specific layout of the field and the details in the wording of certain skills. Below are some examples of how card skills are interpreted and special ruling cases in relation to the Tag Fight format. I will list the card, the skill text in question, and the ruling that I have found from researching the topic. Here are the cards:
Skill Text: [AUTO]: When this unit is placed on the (Vanguard Circle) or (Rearguard Circle), if you have an <Oracle Think Tank> vanguard, each player may draw a card.
Ruling: Since the card mentions “each player” in the skill, Dark Cat allows every player in the two teams in the tag fight to draw one card.
Undefeated Mutant, Avectro Zeus
Skill Text: [AUTO]: When this unit is placed on (Vanguard Circle), retire all grade 1 or less rearguards for all fighters.
Ruling: Since the card mentions “all fighters”, this card will retire all grade 1 or less units on all fields in the tag fight.
Super Ancient Dragon, Pearly Titan
Skill Text: [AUTO]:When this unit placed on (VC), if you have a heart card with “Ancient Dragon” in its card name, choose one of each player’s rear-guards, retire them, and increase this unit’s [Power] by the sum of the original [Power] of the units retired with this effect until end of turn. Then, if the [Power] increased with this effect is 20000 or more, this unit gets [Critical]+1 until end of turn.
Ruling: Since it mentions “each player’s rear-guards”, the skill allows the player to retire one card from every field in the tag fight in order to fulfill the skill.
Destruction Tyrant, Twintempest
Skill Text: [AUTO](VC) Generation Break 2 [Counter Blast (2) & Soul Blast (2) & Choose three of your rear-guards, and retire them] At the end of the battle that this unit attacked a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, retire all rear-guards of all fighters.
Ruling: All rearguards are retired on all fields with this skill, since it targets all fighters.
Star-vader, Turndown Dragon
Skill Text: [AUTO]:When this unit is placed on (GC), if the number of locked cards your opponent has is two or more, this unit gets [Shield]+10000 until end of that battle.
Ruling: As long as the opponent in front of the player using Turndown Dragon has two locked cards on his or her field, the player playing this card should be able to guard for 15K shield for either him or herself or the player’s partner.
Blade Wing Sullivan
Skill Text: [CONT](VC):If the number of cards in your soul is fifteen or more, this unit gets “[CONT](VC):All of your guardians get [Shield]+10000.” and “[AUTO](VC):At the end of the battle that this unit was attacked, Soul Blast (2).”.
Ruling: “All of your guardians” refers to the guardians that are guarding Sullivan, since only the guardians in his guardian circle is affected. With this in mind, the partner’s cards that guard Sullivan will gain the extra guard power from the skill, but this does not apply to the guardians the player with Sullivan uses to guard his or her partner. Also, Sullivan can use the partner’s vanguard’s soul in order to soul blast 2 when attacked. Although this is the case, only the cards in the player’s soul is counted to determine whether Sullivan has enough cards in the soul for his skill.
Starry Skies Liberator, Guinevere
Skill Text: [AUTO]:[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (GC), if you have a vanguard with “Liberator” in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, this unit gets [Shield]+5000 for each of your <Gold Paladin> rear-guards until end of that battle.
Ruling: The player that uses this card will be able to activate Guinevere on either the player’s guardian circle or the partner’s guardian circle as long as the player has a vanguard with “Liberator” in its name. Although this is the case, the player can only count his or her Gold Paladin rearguards when accounting for the total amount of shield that Guinevere gains off her own skill.
Skill Text: [AUTO]:When this unit is placed on (GC) from hand, choose one of your opponent’s vanguards, and that unit cannot [Stand] during that turn.
Ruling: Although this card can be placed in any guardian circle, it can only target the opponent across from the player. In addition to that, even if the player guards for his or her partner at targets the opponent across from the player, Brillian Blister’s ability to prevent the vanguard from restanding will end after the turn that Brillian Blister is used to guard.
Star-vader, Freezeray Dragon
Skill Text: [AUTO](VC):When a card is put into your damage zone, choose up to one of your opponent’s rear-guards, and lock it.(The locked card is turned face down, and cannot do anything. It turns face up at the end of the owner’s turn)
Ruling: With the fact that each player shares damage amount but not damage zones, Freezeray Dragon’s ability only activates when he takes damage. To explain further, when a partner with Angel Feather moves cards from his or her damage zone, Freezeray will not lock an opponent’s rearguard since the cards are not moving out of the player’s damage zone.
Taboo Star-vader, Rubidium
Skill Text: [AUTO]:[Retire this unit] When this unit is placed on (GC), if you have a card named “Star-vader, “Omega” Glendios” on your (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your rear-guards with “Я” in its card name, the unit that is being attacked during that battle changes to that unit, and all of your guardians guard that unit.
Ruling: As long as the player has a vanguard named “Star-vader, “Omega” Glendios”, then the player can redirect any attack to one of the player’s rearguards with “Я” in its card name. This is possible since the unit there is no specification on whose attack can be redirected and no specification on whose guardian circle this unit needs placed on in order to do the skill.
I hope this cleared up any confusion around the Tag Fight format. If you have any questions for us or would like clarification on card rulings in this format, you can message us at our like page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again, and keep cardfighting!!
*These rules have been copied word from word from the Cardfight Wiki page. These specific rules for this format have come from Cardfight Wiki at this URL: http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Tag_Fight.
**These rules are optional, and can be decided on before the game by the players. Proof of this can be found here: http://blog.livedoor.jp/freedomduo/archives/17366131.html .
***Game board in the context of this article is defined by the player’s game zones collectively.
Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.