Finding Tournament-Winning Decks from Around the World

Globe Armadillo

Globe Armadillo

If you have been around your local game shop, you may have seen some of the same decks win over and over again several weeks or months in a row. It has happened to everyone, causing those who go through such an experience to wonder if it is the same everywhere in the world. Do the same decks top everywhere? Sometimes, but some players around the world can either win tournaments with such decks with variations, or something completely different.

This post will help those who are seeking how other players, those who share our love or intrigue for this game from around the world, build or play decks different from something one may be familiar with. With this in mind, I would like to give disclaimers before sharing locations where this information can be found:

  • Consider that metagames are different around the world. Though there may be similarities in the popularity of specific decks around the world, metagames may vary overall due to different tastes and strategies. It is wise to keep this in mind, since certain decks or builds have success based on the metagames in the regions they are played in. For more information on measuring metagames, please visit our article about metagames here.
  • Don’t blindly copy deck lists, but learn from them. Although playing deck lists from around the world may benefit the player using them, it does not make one a better player unless one learns why certain decks or deck lists were effective, which ties into the previous disclaimer.
  • This list may not be exhaustive. We are continually looking to upgrade this post if we receive any information about other websites or sources of information. If you would like to suggest some, please go to our suggestion box in the menu under the “Contact Us” section.
  • All owners of the referenced sources below retain their ownership and rights of their respective web content. Cardfight Lab Tech does not claim any ownership over other player or company referenced in this post other than its own content.

With that in mind, here are some of the locations that contain information about decks from around the world:

  • Bushiroad’s English Deck Recipes Page (Worldwide). This site contains the top deck lists from the Bushiroad premiere events over the years, ranging from decks used in single-player events or team events.  (URL: http://cf-vanguard.com/en/cardlist/deckrecipe/past/).
  • Bushiroad’s Japanese Deck Recipes Page (Japan). This site includes winning deck lists of major Japanese events beyond the world championships, ranging from local regional championships to national championships within Japan. (URL: http://cf-vanguard.com/deckrecipe/)
  • Vanguard Card Search (Japan). A directory of deck lists found at tournaments, local and national, which are cataloged for the sake of archiving the winners and players in Japan. (URL: https://vg.xpg.jp/deck/deck.fcgi?Flt=1)(Advanced Search URL: https://vg.xpg.jp/deck/deck_search.fcgi?Mode=1**)
  • ARG’s Metagame Page (USA). As a main tournament organizer in the United States, ARG is archiving the deck lists and players that achieve the top placements, which includes biographies of the players and their deck lists at each regional USA event listed on the page. (URL: http://www.argcircuitseries.com/metagame-page.html)
  • DifferentFight’s Competitive Wrap Up (Worldwide). Differentfight, a European Vanguard YouTuber, has done a fantastic job covering events in his videos of decks and deck archetypes that are victorious around the world. For a person who wants a quick reference to decks topping around the world, this is the best source one can have. (URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbYty8P2cOYJOjU1oYGdIWjcWbDhoNPVd)
  • Twitter Search Term “ヴァンガード 優勝” (Japan). Translating to “Vanguard championship” in English according to Twitter, this Japanese search term seems to be used at times among Japanese card shops and players that share deck list photos on Twitter, which are used to recognize and congratulate winning players. Although the search results are not all deck lists, there are a good number of Japanese deck lists that can be found in the results.*
  • Twitter Search Term “VGCS” (Japan). This search will typically return VGCS tournament announcements and results, including deck lists that have done well within the Japanese tournament scene at VGCS events. Results reported from such events may include deck lists or replays from tournament matches. In addition to this search term, drop-down suggestions from Twitter will suggest specific VGCS event tags if you want to follow a specific tournament event. **

I hope this helps you find out more about what players are using around the world in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. If you have any questions of comments, please leave them in the comments section.


https://www.reddit.com/r/cardfightvanguard/comments/3pah6v/where_to_look_for_japanese_meta_deck_lists/

** This is included due to reader recommendation.


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

Maelstrom Deck

Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom

Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom

As some of our readers may know, a reader known as Eddie would comment on every post, no matter how big or small, that every article needed a little bit more Maelstrom, much like the one guy in a concert that demands that Free Bird is played. For our dear friend Eddie, it is time that I finally give him what he asked for. Please enjoy this deck list created on April 1, 2017.

The Maelstrom archetype is part of the Blue Storm archetype, which focused on hitting consistent multi-attacks that could hit the vanguard when on a vanguard with “Maelstrom” in the name. Such units focuses on two powerful mechanics, which consisted on preventing the opponent from guarding with grade one or greater units from hand to guard (e.g. Glory Maelstrom) or having the capability to retire rearguards based on whether certain attacks hit or miss the opponent’s vanguard (e.g. Admiral Maelstrom) . Without further adieu, here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
4x Blue Storm Master Dragon, Admiral Maelstrom
4x Blue Storm Helical Dragon, Disaster Maelstrom
1x Marine General of Heavenly Silk, Aristotle
1x Marine General of the Heavenly Scales, Tidal Bore Dragon
2x Marine General of Heavenly Silk, Lambros
3x Guard Leader of Sky and Water, Flotia (G Guardian)
1x Blue Storm Deterrence Dragon, Ice Barrier Dragon (G Guardian)

Grade 3 Units
3x Blue Storm Karma Dragon, Maelstrom “Яeverse”
1x Blue Storm Supreme Dragon, Glory Maelstrom
4x Blue Storm Dragon, Maelstrom (Break Ride)

Grade 2 Units
4x Kelpie Rider, Nikitas
4x Blue Storm Soldier, Rascal Sweeper
3x Blue Storm Marine General, Gregorious

Grade 1 Units
4x Mako Shark Soldier of the Blue Storm Fleet (Limit Break Enabler)
2x Blue Storm Marine General, Hermes
4x Blue Storm Shield, Homeros (Perfect Guard)
4x Blue Storm Battle Princess, Theta

Grade 0 Units
2x Blue Storm Battleship, “Wadatsumi” (Critical)
4x Blue Storm Marine General, Despina (Critical)
2x Blue Storm Fleet, Angler Soldier (Stand)
4x Officer Cadet, Alekbors (Stand)
4x Medical Officer of the Blue Storm Fleet (Heal)
1x Blue Storm Cadet, Marios (Starter)

Blue Storm Karma Dragon, Maelstrom "Яeverse"

Blue Storm Karma Dragon, Maelstrom “Яeverse”

The main objective of the deck is to ride Maelstrom “Яeverse” with the intent to finish the opponent off with the limit break. On the fourth battle of the turn and the cost of resting a rearguard and locking it, this limit break allows the player to give Maelstrom “Яeverse” to gain 5k additional power and an additional critical and the ability to retire an opponent’s rearguard and draw a card if the attack misses. To make this effect more powerful, the break ride version of Maelstrom allows the vanguard that rides this unit at limit break 4 an additional 10k power and the ability to retire an opponent’s rearguard, draw a card, and the inability of the opponent to guard with grade 0 units from hand if the vanguard attacks on the first battle. This is similar to Despina, which can prevent the opponent from guarding with grade 0 units from hand when it boosts a “Maelstrom” vanguard on the fourth battle of the turn with the cost of returning to the deck after the battle it boosted. In the event that the player cannot break ride Maelstrom “Яeverse”, the player can attempt to break ride Glory Maelstrom, which has the ability to prevent the opponent from guarding the attack with grade 1 or higher units from hand to guard at limit break 5.

Blue Storm Soldier, Rascal Sweeper

Blue Storm Soldier, Rascal Sweeper

This deck runs Rascal Sweeper and Nikitas in order to help this deck reach the fourth battle. At the end of the battle that Rascal Sweeper attacked a vanguard on the first battle of the turn, and the player’s vanguard has “Maelstrom” in the card name, it can exchange positions with a rearguard unit in the same column as Rascal Sweeper. Nikitas’ generation break one allows it to switch positions with a rearguard unit with the wave ability after the battle attacks the vanguard. Units with the wave ability in this deck include Theta, Maelstrom (Break Ride), Nikitas, and Homeros. In addition to this, both unit are able to reach 11k total power based on certain conditions. Specifically, Rascal Sweeper gains 2k power when a unit with “Maelstrom” is the vanguard, and Nikitas gains 2k power (even outside of generation break one) if it attacks on the first or second battle of the turn. Alekbors also helps with achieving multiple attacks by switching with a unit in the rearguard and returning to deck at generation break one.

The stride deck focuses on having synergy with the normal play with Maelstrom unit as the vanguard. Specifically, two grade 4 units focus on having a Maelstrom heart in order to activate their skills: Admiral Maelstrom and Disaster Maelstrom. Admiral Maelstrom allows the player to flip over a G unit and counterblast one in order draw a card and choose three rearguards of the opponent, forcing the opponent to choose one to retire among the three for each Admiral Maelstrom in the G zone. Disaster Maelstrom can flip a copy of himself when it attacks a vanguard in order to give 5k to three units in the front row if a unit with “Maelstrom” in the name is in the soul.

Units in this deck also provides ways to search “Maelstrom” units in the deck, making the list more consistent. Marios allows the player to search the top five units of the deck for a card with “Maelstrom” in the card name and add it to hand when it boosts a successful attack with the vanguard on the third battle of the turn or more. Likewise, Maelstrom (Break Ride) allows the player to search the deck for a unit with “Maelstrom” and add it to hand when it hits an opponent’s vanguard as the vanguard on the third battle or more of the turn. In addition to the skill mentioned before, Disaster Maelstrom allows the player to search the deck for a unit with “Maelstrom” in the card name when it attacks.

I hope you enjoyed this deck list. 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.

Shuffling

Label Pangolin

Label Pangolin

One of the more common elements of card games in general is the method and concept behind shuffling. Shuffling is the process of randomizing the deck or decks of cards that either the player or players by mixing the order of the cards in said deck or decks of cards. Many card games share this mechanic, as it relies on the shuffling of cards in order to bring an element of chance to the player’s experience when using or drawing cards from shuffled decks.

Types of Shuffling

Since the method of shuffling is very important to achieve randomness in card games before and during games, it is also important to know some of the common methods of shuffling that card game players use. Some methods of shuffling are better at randomizing the order of a deck of cards than others, and some have more utility outside of randomizing the cards in a deck. With these things in mind, here are some of the common methods of shuffling that can be seen in the trading card game community:

  • Riffle Shuffle. This method of shuffling involves taking halves of a card deck and letting the card cascade into each other in such a way that the cards in the two halves interweave each other at the end of the shuffle.
  • Overhand. Shuffling in this way involves continuously taking a portion of the deck and moving it to the top of the deck, which rearranges groups of cards to achieve the shuffle.
  • Mash. Like the riffle shuffle, this method involves taking halves of the card deck and pushing the two halves together in such a way that the two halves interweave and combine into a singular pile of cards.
  • Pile. This shuffle consists of separating cards in equal piles one card face down at a time until the deck is all separated into equal or semi-equal piles, which are then combined into one pile after sorting. Although this seems like shuffling, card players in other games do not see this as a effective way to randomize one’s deck.

Best Way to Shuffle Cards?

With all of these options for shuffling that the player could choose, which one is best for tournament and casual play? When looking for the best shuffle that the player should choose, it seems logical to choose the shuffling method that is the most effective at randomizing the order of the cards in a deck. With a little bit of research, the riffle shuffle seems to be the best of the methods mentioned above, which takes takes 7-8 times to randomize a 52 playing card deck 2,3,4,5. The overhand shuffle may be good at randomizing groups of cards, but some statistical research showed that it takes 10,000 times to mathematically randomize a 52 playing card deck 1. Mash shuffling can replicate the randomizing power of the riffle shuffling, but only if done correctly. Although not as effective as a riffle shuffle, the mash shuffle can be seen, as Escapist writer Joshua Vanderwall said, as a “general approximation of a riffle shuffle”6. Pile shuffling is good at counting the cards in the deck in the beginning of the game, but is not seen as an effective way to randomize a deck of cards, whether by outside sources 9 or rulings in other games such as Magic: The Gathering. Although this is the case, pile shuffling is recommended in order to make sure all the cards are present in your deck at the beginning of the game 8.

I hope this helped clear up a few things about shuffling in card games for those who wanted a general overview. To view the sources referenced, please reference the list below. Please leave questions and comments in the comments section.


List of Sources

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01048267
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/09/science/in-shuffling-cards-7-is-winning-number.html
  3. http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/magic-fundamentals/magic-general/334934-shuffling-the-truth-and-maths-primer
  4. http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS/Repository/1.0/Disseminate?view=body&id=pdf_1&handle=euclid.aoap/1177005705
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxJubaijQbI
  6. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/columns/hexproof/9430-Shuffling-is-Not-a-Formality
  7. http://www.starcitygames.com/article/8565_The-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Shuffling-and-Deck-Randomization.html
  8. http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/magic-tournament-rules-release-notes-2017-01-16
  9. http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/4832_What_Was_Mike_Long_Doing_In_The_Last_Round_or_Why_Pile_Shuffling_Isnt_Random.html

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

Ripples Deck (After Limitation)

Rolling Ripple, Miltiadis

Rolling Ripple, Miltiadis

The archetype of the Ripples in the Aqua Force clan used to be on the top of the world, taking the world championships by storm as of 2016. After its time in the spotlight, Bushiroad placed a limitation on a card that enabled much of the strength of the Ripple deck: Flash Ripple Odysseus. Although this limitation is in place, Ripples are able to rock the boat in the casual or competitive scene if built and played a certain way. Here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
2x Marine General of Heavenly Silk, Lambros
1x Rain Element, Madew
1x Marine General of the Heavenly Scales, Tidal Bore Dragon
4x Surging Ripple, Prodromos
4x Storm Dominator, Commander Thavas
1x Dark Element, Dizmel (G Guard)
2x Guard Leader of the Sky and Water, Flotia (G Guard)
1x Blue Storm Deterrence Dragon, Ice Barrier Dragon (G Guard)

Grade 3 Units
4x Rolling Ripple, Miltiadis
3x Thundering Ripple, Genovious (Ride Chain)

Grade 2 Units
4x Unruly Ripple, Lapis
4x Rising Ripple, Pavroth (Ride Chain)
4x Couple Dagger

Grade 1 Units
2x Flash Ripple, Odysseus
4x Silent Ripple, Sotirio (Ride Chain)
1x Blue Storm Guardian Dragon, Icefall Dragon (Quintet Wall)
3x Emerald Shield, Paschal (Perfect Guard)
4x Dispatch Mission Seagull Soldier

Grade 0 Units
4x Ripple of Demise, Orest (Critical)
4x  Medical Officer of the Blue Storm Fleet (Heal)
4x Supersonic Sailor (Critical)
4x Battle Siren, Mallika (Draw)
1x Starting Ripple, Alecs (Starter)

Rising Ripple, Pavroth

Rising Ripple, Pavroth

The backbone of this deck is centered around the Ripple ride chain, which consists of Alecs, Sotirio, Pavroth, and Genovious. When the player rides Sotirio on Alecs, the starter of the deck, the player to search the top seven cards of the deck for one copy of either Pavroth or Genovious while shuffling the rest back into the deck. In addition to this, Sotirio gains 1k power consistently while Alecs is in the soul, making his base power 8k total. If Alecs is in the soul, and something else other than Pavroth rides Sotirio, the player is able to search the top seven cards for one copy of Pavroth, ride it, and shuffle the rest back. So… why spend all of this trouble searching Pavroth?  Pavroth is the heart and soul of the early game in this deck, allowing the player to stand a unit with an additional 3k power if Pavroth hits the opponent’s vanguard as the player’s vanguard. With Sotirio in the soul, Pavroth is 10k base as the vanguard, allowing for a good defense in the early game as well. Genovious, the grade 3 of the ride chain, has a limit break that allows the player to stand all rearguard units on the board if, at the end of Genovious’ attack, there are three rested units in the front for the cost of discarding a copy of Genovious from hand and two counterblast.

Flash Ripple, Odysseus

Flash Ripple, Odysseus

Although the original Ripple ride chain was released in BT11, later support for the ride chain made riding the correct targets more consistent. The main attack support for Ripples came in the form of Lapis, which gains 3k until the end of turn when it attacks and there are two or more Ripples at rest when it attacks (and yes, this power can stack if it attacks multiple times during the turn). Aside from attack support, the jewel of the Ripple support is Odysseus, which adds consistency to the ride chain and does not sacrifice advantage to do so. Specifically, Odysseus allows the player once a turn to put a rearguard other than Odysseus to the soul in order to search the deck for a card with “Ripple” in the card name that is the same name as the vanguard, ride it, and call a unit from the soul that is the same grade as the vanguard with 2k additional power. Not only does Odysseus’ skill allow the player to ride the correct unit in the ride chain, it also allows the player to allow units in the early game to hit the vanguard, even with defensive 8k and 10k bases. Since having the correct Ripple units is important, the rest of the Ripple support searches for units with “Ripple” in the card name, adding to consistency. Miltiadis, a legion created later to pair with Genovious, has two important skills for the deck that fit into the multi-attack mechanics of Aqua Force and the theme of searching for Ripples. The first skill allows Miltiadis to counterblast one when it rides the vanguard to check the top three cards for one card with “Ripple” in the name, add it to hand, and place the rest in the drop zone. This first ability can be abused with the skill of Odysseus, which might allow the player to ride twice and use the Miltiadis skill in the same turn. When the vanguard attacks in legion, the second skill allows the player to stand a unit and countercharge one damage if there are three or more units at rest in the front and draw a card if there are three or more units at rest in the back row. When two or more other Ripple units are at rest, Orest can be placed to the bottom of the deck to allow the player to search the top five cards of the deck for a unit with “Ripple” in the card name, place that card to hand before shuffling the deck. On hit, Prodromos can flip over a copy of himself in the G zone in order to search the top five cards of the deck for two units with “Ripple” in the card name and call them to the rearguard.

Although there is large amounts of synergy among the Ripple units in the deck, there are not enough Ripple support to make a deck fully out of Ripple units. With this in mind, other cards from the Aqua Force clan synergize well with the rest of the Ripple archetype. Thavas can help the pilot of this deck in the Link Joker matchup, allowing them to attack with units in the back row. Madew, which allows the player to get a grade 3 unit from the drop zone when striding on top of a vanguard with less than 11k power, can help conserve card advantage and/or set up for Genovious’ limit break in the late game when striding on Genovious or Miltiadis in legion. Mallika and Seagull Soldier can help allow single rearguard units to hit the vanguard when they give them 3k additional power. Couple Dagger helps enable multiple attacks with rearguards in the early game before striding, and Lambros enables more attacks in the player needs more attacks than the legion can provide. With many units in the deck that rely on soul and counterblast, Supersonic Sailor in the deck to be able to supply countercharge options if the need arises.

I hope you enjoyed this deck list. 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.

Starting Cardfight Vanguard: Things I Learned

Ironcutter Beetle

Ironcutter Beetle

I haven’t played Vanguard for very long, but that’s fine. I have a long history with card games like Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hearthstone, and many others. But this game locked me in, I owe it to a couple of people! For one I owe it to my friend Lawrence who bought a trial deck with me and taught me how to play and helped to see what deck to build first. Secondly, I would like to thank brgarnet17, who helped me by showing me a budget deck that would teach most of the game’s mechanics and how building decks in this game was different than how I did in any other card game.

Without further delay, here are some things I learned about Cardfight!! Vanguard as a newcomer to the game:

  • Vanguard is enjoyable to me. For me, Vanguard is refreshing even after playing the same deck for a while. You could play 3 to 4 matches against the same clan, and it they could all be very different decks. The games are fun and well paced. One thing that really dragged me down in other card games were certain match-ups auto-killed you, they completely neutralize you, just because you played the wrong deck against them. Vanguard helps this with drive checks, it’s a way mid-battle to deal some damage, build hand advantage, or even heal at certain points in the game. The game mechanics feel natural to me, and the game allows for a good shift of advantage.
  • Veteran players helped me improve. For me, a big part of any game is getting better and improving your decks and play style. That is a big thing I am working on now with my Megacolony deck. One of the best things that you can do is ask someone who is more experienced in the game and take a look at your deck. I only recently took the advice of one of the other bloggers of this community, and that advice made a big change to my game that is already changing the win rate in my deck!
  • Buying cards from packs wastes money. Just like any other card game, a lot of good decks cost a lot of money, and if you’re like me you don’t have enough money for those decks. But there are some great budget builds, which have great consistency with their plays and allow for further building into greater decks. While on the subject of saving money, one of best ways is to buy the singles you need rather than the packs from the boxes that it comes in. Avoiding buying boxes early on can be really helpful. Instead of just wasting money on cards you don’t need in your deck, head down to a local card shop that sells singles or buying online from retailers such as Amazon or TCGplayer. This can be really helpful to building up a collection of cards that you need with less wasted effort.

These are my personal takeaways from Cardfight!! Vanguard as a new player to the game. If you have any questions or comments about my experiences, please leave them in the comment section.


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

Measuring Card Advantage: Pluses and Minuses

Red Card Dealer

Red Card Dealer

NOTE: Although the original intent of this article was meant to help Cardfight!! Vanguard players when it was written, the concepts described in this article can be applied to any card game.

As a term, card advantage describes the state in which a player generally has more cards than his or her opponent. With this in mind, the theory around this concept describes how the player can achieve card advantage and how to measure it.* Although the theory is not perfect, the basis of the theory is that the player with card advantage has access to more cards than the opponent, meaning that the player is closer to drawing his/her deck’s win conditions than the opponent. This is especially important for slower control decks, which focus on gaining card advantage slowly before finishing off their opponents.**

In the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, the total card advantage that a player has not only refers to cards in hand, but also the cards that are on the rearguard circles. Conserving card advantage in this game could make the difference between having enough cards at the player’s disposal to guarantee a winning game state, or the exact opposite. Although this is concept is being applied to Vanguard in this article, this concept can be applied to almost any trading card game in general terms.

NOTE: This article is mainly used as a guide to measure tangible card advantage in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. This method is not easily applied to virtual card advantage, which is described at this link.

Measuring Card Advantage

In Magic, players tend to measure gains or losses in card advantage in a way describes trades in resources. For example, if one card’s effect allows the player to force the opponent to discard two cards and the player to discard the card after the use of an effect, the player traded that card for two of the opponent’s cards. This, in Magic: The Gathering, is known as a “two-for-one”, describing the transaction that took place.

The approach this article will show the player is also taken generically without specific vocabulary, which allows the player to easily gauge the amount of card advantage being gained or lost in the course of the game. Specifically, this approach tracks the net card advantage between the two players in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard.***

When describing net gains and losses of card advantage on the board or out of hand, there are three ways to describe such trades:

  • Negative cards. Also described as a “-(number of cards lost)”, a net loss happens when a player loses one or more cards of advantage compared to the opponent’s cards. An example of this is when a player loses a rearguard due to an attack. This rearguard is discarded without the opponent losing any cards from field or hand, meaning that the player has lost one card in advantage.
  • Positive cards. Also described as a “+(number of cards lost)”, a net gain happens when a player gains one or more cards of advantage compared to the opponent’s cards. An example of this is when a player draws a card due to a unit’s on-hit ability to draw a card when it hits an opposing vanguard. In this instance, a player that is able to draw a card without having to discard cards from hand or lose rearguards, which equates to +1 net gain (assuming the opponent does not gain cards due to the skill).
  • Zero cards. Also described as a “0”, netting zero happens when a player gains no more cards of advantage compared to the opponent’s cards, even in spite of a trade or transaction. An example of this is when the player activates the ability to drop one card and draw one card. The player loses one card (-1) due to the drop part of the ability, but gains one card (+1) when he or she draws one card. The net of this transaction is 0 (or 1-1 = 0).

Applications of Measuring Card Advantage in Vanguard

This style of measuring card advantage can be tedious during game play, especially for those who do not wish to keep track of facts and figures while keeping trade of card skills. With this in mind, here are a few ways to apply the theory discussed here.

  • Analyzing card abilities. This method of analyzing card advantage can be used in the process of deck building to decrease the amount of inefficient cards due to the cost of abilities. In addition, this method can also be used to compare similar cards by comparing their effects on general card advantage.
  • Making better trades in battle. In the midst of game play, choices like attacking the vanguard versus attacking the rearguards can be crucial in taking advantage away from the opponent or obtaining advantage for the player. For example, if attacking the vanguard will force the opponent to guard with two cards compared to guarding the same attack directed at his/her rearguard with one card, then attacking the vanguard is a better choice in terms of card advantage (aka forcing the opponent to -2 instead of -1).

I hope this article helps. If anyone has questions or comments in relation to this article, please put them in the comments section.


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


*http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-academy/introduction-card-advantage-2006-12-23

**http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Card_advantage

***This approach takes its inspiration from Upstart Goblin University’s way to track card advantage, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peo3JrGedPc

Guest Post: Playing a Format Behind

vanguard-central-academy

Hello Cardfighters,

As many people may not know, I was always playing a deck that was a whole format behind the current meta up until the release of the stride mechanic. I first started playing Vanguard around the English release of BT11/BT10 (sets during the limit break format). The deck I decided to play? Dragon Monk, Goku. In the realm of competitive play, this deck had not been relevant for an extremely long time. Later, when the legion mechanic was released, I picked up a Great Nature deck consisting of the break ride combo Chatnoir/Polaris, again a format behind. These days, I tend to play whatever I feel like on the main channel, known as Vanguard Central. As a side effect of this, I have accumulated a lot of decks, but I felt that playing a deck that was so far behind or simply not on the same level as the competition around you can teach you a lot of things. So here it goes.

  1. The importance of player skill. Being behind the power curve in terms of cards meant that a lot of my success was dependent on how well I was playing. I realized this quickly, and I owe a lot of my success as a player to when I was forced to play starting from a disadvantageous position. I thought and read about the game a ton so that I could improve that way rather than completely switching to a top tier deck. I’m still lacking in a couple areas as should be expected, but a few of the things I taught myself/read about were card efficiency, optimizing attack/guard patterns, and memorizing the opponent’s drive checks (the last of which I still need practice with and have to constantly focus on to get right). Even with all the skill building I have done so far, I still have a long ways to go. I learned where I was lacking as a player, and I think that is an important thing to know.
  2. The willingness to try new strategies. So, if I had all this time to improve myself, why do I still suck at memorizing drive checks? Well it’s mostly because of this second point. I spent a lot of time researching similar decks, thinking of new ways to build my deck, and trying out combinations I had not heard of before. I tried out cards that people had long forgotten and trigger line ups that no one would expect. After spending all of this time and effort spent on trying to improve my chances of victory, I found out what strategies worked and and, well, didn’t work. During these times experimenting with the game, I think the best lesson I gained was learning not to count out any strategy and to explore all of your options. My favorite example was when I mixed Seal Dragons into my Goku deck, a deck where I started trying a really aggressive strategy of moving my starter to the side column to make multiple attacks quickly. There are lots of interesting ways to build decks that are outside the norm, so don’t be afraid to try out something new. You might be pleasantly surprised.

My experiences started out with decks that were far from being considered top tier. From these experiences, I was able to improve myself a lot as a player and as a deck builder. If I could go back and redo my experiences in the game of Vanguard, I’d probably focus more on my player skills since I think that I’m lacking a lot in that department. Then again, who knows? Maybe if I had, I’d still be here writing about how I wish I had tried more strategies, still striving to become the best that I can. There are lots of ways to improve at the game, whether it’s through tweaking your deck as a master deck builder or by becoming an expert player.

Keep on learning, keep on having fun, and thanks for reading,
Vanguard Central Academy


Thanks to Vanguard Central Academy for the great advice! To get more great content from Vanguard Central Academy, you can visit the official YouTube page by clicking here.