Its brakes are completely broken.
In the wake of the introduction of the legion mechanic and the generation break mechanic, players worked to find ways to fight decks with such abilities without having to spend large amounts of money and ways to fight other decks in the meta in a unique way. One such way of doing this that players found was through grade rush decks, which were designed to kill the opponent before he or she could even play the game. So… what is a grade rush deck?
Anatomy and Physiology of Grade Rush Decks
A grade rush deck is a deck that is purposefully designed to rush the opponent at a certain grade. These decks typically run less or no grade 3 units compared to standard decks that are in the meta. These decks had the tendency to have low grade units that could attack grade 3 vanguards in a way that would force the opponent to use a large amount of shield in order to guard such attacks. In addition to this, some versions of these decks had the capability to superior call to the field, allowing the player rushing to guarantee an optimal field for rushing the opponent while maintaining a reasonable hand size in the early game.
Strategies of Grade Rush Decks
So what is the premise behind these types of decks? Well, there are several strategic reasons that they still remain relevant as a concept:
- Grade rush decks deny their opponents generation break. In order to achieve generation break, a player either needs to stride or G guard in order to activate generation break 1 skills. As a rule of the game, a player cannot stride or G guard unless both players in the game have grade 3 vanguards. With both of these facts in mind, grade 1 rush decks do not ride to a grade 3 vanguard (unless the pilot of the deck is ready to finish the game) in order to prevent the other player from ever striding or g guarding. Although this seems very effective, a player can use either Air Elemental, Twitterun or Air Element, Sebreeze in order to activate g break if the opponent’s vanguard is not a grade 3 unit. Twitterun is not run as often, but it allows itself to be put in the g zone if the opponent does not ride a vanguard and the player has a grade 3 vanguard. Sebreeze can be strode from the g zone if the opponent did not ride a vanguard, the opponent has a grade 2 vanguard, and the player has a grade 3 vanguard for the cost of discarding one card from hand and two counterblast. With the fact that Twitterun is seldom run in decks, and Sebreeze requires a grade 2 vanguard on the opponent’s side to activate it’s skill, grade 1 rush decks specifically have the capability of denying the player generation break for the entire game, even with these special elemental units in mind.
- Grade rush decks deny their opponents legion. Both players must have a grade 3 vanguard in order to perform legion. In addition to this, there is no current cards that allow the player to legion if both players are not grade 3 except for Metalborg, Blackboi, a starter specific to the Dimension Police clan. With the exception of Metalborgs from Dimension Police, the player can be denied legion if the opponent refuses to ride a grade 3 vanguard. This applies to either grade 2 rush decks or grade 1 rush decks, since both can refuse to ride a grade 3 unit or wait to ride a grade 3 unit until it is the moment in the game that the player wielding such a deck can end the game.
- These types of decks attempt to give as much damage as possible before the opponent can guard from hand. In a standard deck, a player will try to have the grades needed in order to ride each turn, which ends at their grade 3 ride. Grade rush decks will have the ability to call a viable attacking field with 2-3 attacks on the first turn. In addition to this, the grade rush deck builds typically area designed to force 10k shield from the defender’s hand near the end of the game. Against a rush deck, this puts the player at a disadvantage, since the player cannot guard with higher grade than the vanguard. Even if the player can guard many of the attacks in the early game, guarding too much early can rob the player of precious cards needed later in the game.
Historic Examples of Grade Rush Decks
Throughout the history of the game, players have tried to use the concept of grade rush decks to for the purpose of using the listed strategies above to undermine the decks in the meta game at the time of their use.Whether or not these rush decks are relevant now, these decks have set a certain precedent for rush decks now and in the future. Although these are not all of the rush decks that have appeared in Cardfight!! Vanguard, here are some of the notable decks from the game’s history:
- 8k Grade 1 Rush. Before the start of clan fight format, this deck was considered one of the best rush decks in the game. 8k base grade 1 units from multiple clans with spike bros support cards (mainly Reckless Express and Gyro Slinger) made up the deck with the goal to create early 16k columns. Such columns forced even grade 3 vangaurds to guard with 10k shield or more. A version of the deck list can be found here on an article by TimPowerGamer.
- Grade 1 Liberator Rush. This grade 1 rush deck contained units that could use the “Liberator” name on the vanguard or on superior calls to guarantee 14k-17k by the end of the game. This deck also had the option to run cards that could enhance the utility of the deck, from running two strong guard options (Starry Skies Liberator, Guinevere and Sword Formation Liberator, Igraine preferably, since they have the Liberator name) or generic cards from the Gold Paladin clan that can help create consistent columns that force 10k out of the defender’s hand each time a column attacks (e.g Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth). Although other blogs have created this list in the past, our list can be found here.
- Grade 1 Seeker Rush. Like the Liberator deck, this deck has units use the “Seeker” name to guarantee 14k-17k by the end of the game. This deck is able to do this by having four units that can gain power through the use of their sub-clan Seeker name (specifically, these units are Honest Seeker, Cynric, Righteousness Seeker, Gangaren, Heaven Arrow Seeker, Lunate, and Seeker, Sebrumy). Due to the large amount of beaters in the deck, it makes it easy on the player using this deck to make consistent attacking columns that force large amounts of shield out of the opponent’s hand. An early list for this deck build can be found on TimPowerGamer’s blog in this article.
- Seven Seas Rush. Originating in Japan, this build is focused on using the early-game mill mechanics and superior call mechanics of the Seven Seas sub-clan to rush the field, mainly using units like Seven Seas Apprentice, Nightrunner and Witch Doctor of the Seven Seas, Raistutor to do so. In addition to this, the build incorporates other units to fix the field (e.g. Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow) and guarantee multiple attacks (e.g. Seven Seas Master Swordsman, Slash Shade). Although this deck build does not use grade 1 normal units, the grade 2 units are able to be called from the drop zone due to varying methods, which will be set up with Nightrunner. A list of this deck can be found on TimPowerGamer’s blog on this article and a Japanese example of the deck in tournament can be found on syeeki’s channel on this video.
How to Combat Grade Rush Decks
In an format that is full of legion and generation break mechanics, the grade rush decks can be very effective. Although the concept of a deck type that is meant to deny skills and kill quickly is daunting to some players, there are ways to combat such decks. Here are a few tips for those facing these rush decks:
- Play limit break units in your deck if possible. For those who can fit it into his or her deck, playing powerful limit breaks can act as powerful deterrents to rush decks. Rush decks focus on rushing in damage on a player, which naturally fulfills the conditions of the limit break mechanic. This takes away the denial strategy of rush decks, and you will force the opponent to either ride to a grade 3 vanguard or fall behind.
- Rush back if plausible. If the player has the chance to rush back against a rush deck in order to win the game, it may be the right play. This is due to the fact that grade rush decks cannot typically keep a hand to defend itself (since the pilot of the rush deck normally uses the hand only to place a field of attackers).
I hope you enjoyed this strategy guide to grade rush decks. Please leave any questions or comments in about this deck list in the comments section.
Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.