Editor’s Note: Lab Tech’s 1st Anniversary

Pearl Sisters, Perla

Pearl Sisters, Perla

Thank you so much for listening to our song, everyone!

Pearl Sisters, Perla

To all our dear readers, supporters, contributors, and friends,

I would like to start by thanking you for your overwhelming support of the blog and our efforts. Over the last year, seven contributors and myself have taken on the endeavor of supplying you with budget deck lists for Cardfight!! Vanguard. Although it seemed simple and unimportant at first, it grew into more that that over the course of the last year. It grew because you nourished it and helped it grow. For that, I thank you all.

It has been quite the eventful year. When I started this blog in November of last year, I had started it with the desire to help the community find ways to compete smarter and cheaper. People in my local community were having problems getting started in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, especially when many people in the community said that they needed the most expensive deck in order to do so. I started this blog with the intention to say otherwise.

And you all joined me in that effort. Writers joined the blog to show their innovation and help people get better at the game. Readers came to improve their game, even though we are slowly improving and growing along with them. Players attended tournaments around the world and won with decks that did not break the bank. Thanks for the journey. I would definitely do this all over again if I was asked if I would. Please keep reading, keep learning, and keep growing as a player.

In addition to improving as a player, I would like to thank you for showing me over the course of this year lessons that you either taught me or reminded me that I need to keep in mind in my daily life. Some of these lessons include:

  • Teamwork is meant to be done with many people.
  • In order to learn, you need to be teachable and humble.
  • It is okay to admit when you are wrong.
  • It is okay to defend yourself when you are right.

It is ironic that this post is being published during the Thanksgiving season, which, in the United States, is a historically Christian holiday spent thinking about all of the blessings and good things that have happened over the course of the general past. The past is not perfect (even for this blog), but I know that I can look back on this year and be thankful for the many great things that has happened and the amazing community that has come to support this effort. Thanks again, and I hope you have had as great of a time as I have had. Here is to more good times, good friends, and many more cardfights!

See You All Soon,
Jonathan Smith
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor in Chief


Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Editor’s Note: Ode to the Underdogs

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Wingal Brave

Courage is always within you.

Wingal Brave

It was another Saturday of Cardfight!! Vanguard. The drive was pleasant enough, with sunshine streaming through the trees and little traffic on the highway, quiet from the typical buzzing traffic found during the rush hour of the week. The regulars were at the shop, greeting me as I walked in. Nothing out of the ordinary happened as we started the weekly tournament. I was paired against a relative beginner of the game. Then it happened.

Someone cheered against the beginner.

The situation was innocent enough. I have assurance that the person cheering had no ill will, since the player only voiced his or her preferred winner in the matchup. We all cheer for some people to win, since we favor them. This is not what struck me odd when it happened. It is because I was in the beginner’s shoes at many points before. A game where the odds are stacked against me. A game that other people fated me to lose. A game that posed a daunting wall of a player or deck that I would rather not face. I waited with baited breath to see what the player would do in response to this. What would the player say? What would he do to defend himself?

He said nothing, shuffled his deck, and offered a cut. Nothing more, nothing less.

We all have been in this situation before, especially when playing Cardfight!! Vanguard. Logically, two options come to the forefront when in this situation: give up, or press on. If you give up, there is no chance of victory since giving up equates to a surrender or loss. In addition to this, giving up early enough in the game or before the game begins means that there is nothing to learn from such a loss. If you press on, however, you have a chance to win and/or gain knowledge of how to beat a difficult opponent next time.

As difficult as it seems, this player made the right choice, and I applaud him for it. It takes courage to continue cardfighting in difficult matchups. It takes great humility to continue playing without defending oneself and continuing to learn from others. At one point of the game, we all probably remember having the same struggle. It is time to remember that again. To remember that we were once novice players trying our best to learn the game. To remember that we had to learn from losses and input from more experienced players in order to get better, just like everyone else. Cheer for the underdogs too! We were all like them at one point in our cardfighting career.

To all underdogs and past underdogs, keep cardfighting and improve your skills one game at a time. If we improve together, our community will be stronger and more fun for it.

Best regards,
Jonathan Smith
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor in Chief


Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Editor’s Note: Stress With Losing

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Witch of Ruination, Scathach

Time for me to relieve some stress! You guys better run fast!

Witch of Ruination, Scathach

Hey everyone,

Sometimes when you play the game for a long time (or even when you have just started) and you find your deck just completely failing you, you truly wonder if the game is worth playing anymore. You wonder if you are good enough to continue playing the game. I can assure you it’s the opposite of that. Over the past year, I want to say I have been struggling with thinking I am a good player or not just because it seemed like my decks never really pushed. I have been playing this game since right before the Breaker of Limits set was released. Since that time, I thought I was a good player. Then, the legion era hit, and I did not feel the same way.

As a personal note, it’s not all fun and games when you feel this way. Though this is the case, remember that there are some things that you can do if you feel this way. For example, I played around with a bunch of random decks from week to week just trying to find my voice in the game, even to the point that I tried Touken Ranbu. I loved that deck just because of how versatile it was. If you don’t know how to build a good deck yet and you get torn apart by more experienced players, remember this: you are still learning. With this in mind, asking for help from your friends at your locals is very helpful in the learning process, potentially providing needed play testing or deck advice.

Something else you can do is take some time off from the game. I did this for a time, and it gave me a lot of time to think about the different situations in which I wasn’t happy with any of my decks. There may be not many tips that come from this that benefits you specifically, but just remember that there is always a way to improve and that you don’t need to always play the game on a daily basis. You can take a break and come back to it if it is healthy for you as a player and as a person. With that being said, I seriously hope that this little article has helped at the very least one person.

Thank you for reading,
Chris Brennen
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor


Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Editor’s Note: Encounters

Takeru_Baba

There is no encounter without meaning. I’ve encountered many people on my journey, and those meetings meant something.

Takeru Baba

(Cardfight!! Vanguard G Episode 14)

“What is your reason for playing this game?”

I was once asked this question by a fellow competitor, and it is now my favorite question to those playing the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. This question has been the driving force of me staying in this game in the past, and the reason that I still play at this point in time. My answer to this is the people, the players, the competitors that i have found in this game. Though the initial reason that I started was to find out about the game mechanics of trading card games, I have stayed because I have met different and amazing people along the way.

Like many other games, this game encourages each person to experience the game with other people. It takes two people to play this game. Two people to trust each other enough to play within the rules. Two people who strive to be the best in the face of opposition. Two people to enjoy the thrill of competition. Two people to enjoy the battles on Cray together.

Along the way, I have met many cardfighters and cherished memories of the comradery and challenge that they have presented on the battlefield. Along with these memories, there is something that I could learn from each of them. From a Granblue player, who shows me that strategy is preferred over a big budget. From a Dark Irregulars player, who is gracious enough to show me that I can always improve my game. A Neo Nectar player who reminds me to always stay humble. From a Dimension Police player, who shows me the way to charge fearlessly into the heat of battle with no regard for danger. From a Tachikaze player, who reminds me of the importance of friends to lean on. Even with the above people mentioned, there are many more players than I can mention in this post that have taught me something or reminded me of something that I needed to keep in mind.

To all of the players that I have encountered in this game, thank you for showing me once again how to compete as a honorable player who values fun, competition, and sportsmanship in the midst of play. I would also like to thank the writers and readers that have taken a chance on this blog so that the community as a whole will improve and flourish as a result. Even with this in mind, I apologize to those that I may have hurt along the way. I am still learning how to compete as a fellow competitor, and with learning comes mistakes. Even in the midst of my mistakes, I hope that you all will allow me to enjoy this game with them again someday so that we can play, compete, and grow together on the distant battlefield of Cray.

Best regards,
Jonathan Smith
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor in Chief


Images of the Cardfight!! Vanguard G show came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Editor’s Note: Genesis 3:19

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Neon Messiah

That is the faint light, that passes like a baby’s first cry.

Neon Messiah

Today marks the beginning of the series of events that will be taking place all over the world known as the Bushiroad Spring Fest. During this series of events, teams of three people each will be competing to see who is the best set of Cardfight!! Vanguard players are in the world. I would like to start in wishing everyone that is competing the best of luck in the upcoming competitions!

I have been competitive person for most of my life, and I have been competing in Cardfight!! Vanguard for around two years now. I have ranked in last place before. I have topped in several tournaments at this point, which are included in my writer’s profile if you must know what tournaments specifically. Over my experiences in this game, I have enjoyed the best and worst of the competitive scene in Vanguard. As I think about it, I wonder to myself at times what I would suggest to veteran players and new players alike. After having some time to think about it, I have thought of one thing that I would like to tell everyone: stay humble, and know that victories in this game are temporary.

It is good to enjoy the joy of victory, no matter what area of life you are in. On the other hand, it is another thing to think that the glory of your victories will carry you through the rest of your life. In episode 43 of Vanguard G, one of the main characters receives a note with this written on it:

By the sweat of your face
will you eat bread until you
return to the ground.
For you are dust, and to dust you
shall return.

If this excerpt of text looks familiar, then you have probably seen or heard this before:

 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

— Genesis 3:19 NIV

So… why would this show up in a Cardfight!! Vanguard G episode? Good question. To put this in context, this is a part of the story line of the show where certain characters are pursuing the continuous state of victory in the game of Vanguard. During the pursuit of victory by these characters, they receive a message with this Bible verse on it. This does not seem to fit until one looks at the Bible for context. Specifically, these were the words given to man after his disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. According to the commentaries around this verse, it shows that the verse speaks to man’s mortality1.

The victories or the losses that we receive in this game can be a positive force, allowing us to forge friendships and experiences that can last for a lifetime. Though this is the case, our life here on Earth is limited. Use it wisely, and remember that your past victories in this game are temporary. Remember the words of the George Patton, who spoke to the success of military generals.

For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

— George Patton

Play hard, stay humble, and good luck in the upcoming competitions.

Best regards,
Jonathan Smith
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor in Chief


1. “Genesis 3:19.” Bible Hub. Bible Hub. Web, 9 February 2016.

Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Editor’s Note: How to Learn from Failure

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Failure Scientist, Ponkichi

Looks like… failure is the mother of success.

Failure Scientist, Ponkichi

The world of gaming has had many features and experiences that make it enjoyable and worthwhile. Whether it is the aspect of figuring out a complex problem or gaining victory amid the possibility of defeat, gaming has been a good to many involved in it. Though this is the case, there is one aspect of gaming that many do not enjoy.

The possibility of loss. The label of being a failure.

The  aspect of losing in games can be hard on gamers. No one likes to lose, not even me. Sometimes, a string of losses can be the beginning of a inner struggle or the label of being a failure. Sometimes, some people find that the emotional turmoil of loss is enough of a reason that it leaves some players to quit. Though this is the case, I would advise a player to do one thing in this situation: don’t quit. Don’t stop because of your failure.

Why would I say something so irrational? I counter that with the response that this is not irrational. I have found that failure could be the beginning of success and loss can the beginning of victory. How do you get better at something? Through the use of practice and experiencing an activity firsthand. Software is created in this way, in a process that encourages people to fail faster*. In retrospect, this is how inventions and other mechanisms are refined and made great. This process may entail experiencing victory or loss, but only through the process of charging through difficulties and failures can you learn how to not fail next time. That is the very reason why history is useful: we are able to see the failures and successes of our ancestors from yesterday so we can have a better tomorrow. Take the quote from Henry Ford into consideration.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently

Henry Ford

My fellow cardfighters, do not give up. Learn from your failures. If your deck is operating in a way that you do not favor, try to test out changes in how it is built. If your play style needs improving, practice with friends and keep playing in tournaments. These opportunities and more are ways to use failure as a tool to make you a better player.

Fail faster, fight on, and stay humble.

Best regards,
Jonathan Smith
Cardfight Lab Tech
Editor in Chief


*To explain, failing faster is a process in software development that encourages people to have failures happen as fast as they can so that bugs can be found, allowing software developers to fix the bugs found through this process. Link around this process can be found here.

Images of cards came from http://cardfight.wikia.com/wiki/Cardfight!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.