The current state of Cardfight Vanguard’s meta game is actually rather diverse. While the decks that consistently place higher in tournaments only really seem to change when game breaking combo cards are introduced, the skills among the different decks includes a little bit of everything. Take some of the recent major decks: Sanctuary Guard, Ripples, and Seven Seas. Each of these decks received support that made them very hard to deal with, and each of these decks include a combination of old and new skill types.
When building your main deck, consider the different skills that are available among your units. For grade 1 and 2 units, they are split among support for: Legion, Generation Break, and restriction-less support. Grade 3 units are more diverse, including all of the skill types listed below. Let’s look at the different card abilities the players have at their disposal.
Skills with no restrictions: Skills in this category are not restricted to being at a certain point in the game state for their skills to be utilized. One of the splashable examples of these skills are the grade 1 units who can soul blast to draw a card when placed on rearguard. Within the current meta, the skills in this category usually support the advantage engine of the deck, or allow for faster skills. However, grade 3 units that fall under this category (such as Dragonic Overlord the End, Nightmare Doll Alice, etc.) are either heavily supported by the deck, part of the core strategy, or are able to offer different options depending on how the game has been unfolding. Stride helpers are a good example of this. These units can either be used to lessen the cost of stride, or to search for the main GB unit of the deck.
Some of the best skills in this category are restricted to an archetype or a sub-clan. Most of the best decks in the current meta fall under an archetype or sub-clan. Normally, these skills require a unit with a certain name to be on vanguard or the target of the skill. Special counterblast and/or soul blast refer to paying a cost with a unit having a specific name.
Mega Blast: The term refers to the skills that have a cost of counterblast 5 and soul blast 8. This skill is only available among grade 3 units. While each mega blast has a way to soul charge, they are still rather underwhelming when combined with their massive cost. Most mega blast units do not have a place in the current meta, they are simply too slow and expensive. While this is the case for most mega blast units, there are some decks that are designed to use mega blast units. These decks do not appear often, but can be effective if used correctly.
Cross Ride: A skill type exclusive to grade 3 units. This term defines a grade 3 unit that gains a skill from having another grade 3 unit in soul. Originally this skill was a continuous +2K power, though more recent cross rides have been getting more complex skills. During the break ride era, these units were everywhere and these units are still some of the game’s most defensive. In the current meta, these units are still viable with the addition of generation break. While they may not be used for their defensive nature, some do have skills on par with strides and can be equally devastating during the early stages of a cardfight.
Limit Break: Limit Break (LB) is also an ability exclusively available to grade 3 units. Limit Break units gained a powerful skill after the player had reached 4 damage. The term “Ultimate Break” still refers to a limit break whose requirement is 5 damage. While these units included some of the best skills for grade 3 units so far, they are almost useless if the player isn’t at 4+ damage. Within the meta, these units are still widely used either when paired with generation break support or with LB enabler units (grade 1 units that allow LB4 abilities to be used at 3 or less damage). All three of the decks stated above focus on Limit Break units, being supported by the rest of the deck.
Break Ride: Break Ride describes a unit that activates it is LB4 when another unit rides on top of it. The slowest form of limit break has seen less play in the recent meta games because legion hit almost as hard a turn sooner, and the benefits of stride usually outweigh the benefits of break ride. Though decks that can combine break ride and generation break units can have devastating turns without the need of Stride every turn. An example of this type of combination is Darkface and Cyclomatooth for Megacolony.
Legion: The skill type that had the shortest focus of only 2 sets in English, and saw the fastest game play. Legion is a skill that is included on some Grade 3 units that allows a player to add another unit’s skills and power to the current vanguard by placing it on vanguard as well. Legion has the same requirement for use as stride, but came at the low cost of putting 4 units from the drop zone back into the deck. The end result was having 2 units on vanguard with a base power between 20-22K. While this new vanguard only attacked with the critical of the Legion Leader, the Legion Mate can still use vanguard circle skills it may contain.
Most of the heavily supported legions were archetype and sub-clan oriented. The support for legion mainly focuses on the turn the vanguard becomes Legion or by having a vanguard in legion. Within the current meta legion is still valuable as a way to return key units and triggers back to the deck. Decks focusing on Legion will most likely have either a strong early or late game.
Generation Break: Generation Break (GB) is the slowest skill type in the game as well as being the most powerful. Every skill of this type is dead before the first stride or G guard. As a result, before the addition of Fighter’s Collection 2016, GB could be stopped completely by a player staying at Grade 2*. In exchange for this flaw, GB skills are both cost effective and synergistic. Within the current meta, GB is included in almost every main deck as the main focus, or to reinforce the effectiveness of combos.
Keyword Skills: The newest skill type, which include the following terms: Time Leap, Wave, Blaze, Hollow, Brave, Magia etc. The main reason for this new skill type is to have a general understanding of what the unit can do. Stating that a unit can Time Leap when it attacks sounds better than explaining Time Leap each time it is activated. Units with this skill will define what the keyword means, and then include the keyword in the actual skill. These skills are becoming a focus in recent sets. These skills have a lot of potential to become competitive within the current meta.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to put them in the comments section.
*Although this is the case, there are cards coming out that help decks with GB operate and use skills, even if the opponent stays at grade 2 for the majority of the game. Such cards include Air Elemental, Twitterun and Air Element, Sebreeze.
Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.