Arboros G Deck

Arboros Dragon, Sephirot

Arboros Dragon, Sephirot

With the release of the most recent booster set (specifically, Transcension of Blade and Blossom), Neo Nectar received interesting support outside the support of the bloom keyword or Ahsha’s archetype. If you are a fan of ride chains, you will enjoy seeing the Arboros Dragons make a comeback! With its new support and new combinations due to stride mechanics, there’s a new flair when one dusts off this ride chain and takes it for a joy ride. Here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
4x Arboros Dragon, Ain Soph Aur
4x Flower Princess of Perpetual Summer, Verano
2x Sacred Tree Dragon, Multivitamin Dragon
1x Flower Princess of Spring’s Beginning, Primavera
1x Dark Element Dyzmal (G Guard)
3x Sacred Tree Dragon, Rain Breath Dragon (G Guard)
1x Metal Element, Scryew (G Guard)

Grade 3 Units
4x Arboros Compost Dragon
4x Arboros Dragon, Sephirot (Ride Chain)

Grade 2 Units
4x Warden of Arboros, Airi
3x Maiden of Gladiolus
4x Arboros Dragon, Timber (Ride Chain)

Grade 1 Units
4x Screen of Arboros, Aila
4x Arboros Dragon, Branch (Ride Chain)
4x Maiden of Passionflower (Perfect Guard)
2x Valkyrie of Reclamation, Padmini (Stride Helper)

Grade 0 Units
4x Maiden of Zephyranthes (Critical)
4x Maiden of Dimorphotecs (Critical)
4x Maiden of Daybreak (Stand)
4x Fairy Light Dragon (Heal)
1 x Arboros Dragon, Ratoon (Starter) (Ride Chain)


The object with this budget deck is to push as hard as possible with the amount of attacking power that the ride chain generates through the copying of rearguards and giving additional power to copies generated. In order to enhance this, this deck uses newer support from the G era in order to make the Arboros ride chain more consistent and relevant with the use of strides, G guards, and additional rearguard support.

The original Arboros Dragon ride chain consists of Ratoon, Branch, Timber, and Sephirot. When Ratoon is rode by Branch, the player can search the top seven cards of the deck for one copy of either Timber or Sephirot, add that one card to hand, and shuffle the rest back to the deck. If Branch is rode by Timber, and Ratoon is in the soul, Branch’s skill allows the player can choose on of his or her Neo Nectar rearguards, search a copy of that chosen card in the deck, call that copy to the rearguard, and shuffle the deck. Like Branch, Timber has the same skill to copy a rearguard when Sephirot rides on top of it and Branch is in the soul. Sephirot does not copy units on it’s own, but its limit break gives every unit on the field the skill that gives a unit 3K additional power when an additional copy of the card with the given ability is on the field.

Arboros Dragon, Ain Soph Aur

Arboros Dragon, Ain Soph Aur

The grade 4 units in this deck either focus on strengthening the field by copying or powering up units or protecting rearguards for the sake of setting up copying units later in the game. The main stride in this deck is Ain Soph Aur, which focuses on having a heart with “Arboros” in its name. Once a turn, Ain Soph Aur can soul blast one if it has a heart with “Arboros” in its card name in order to gain two skills. The first skill allows Ain Soph Aur to copy a unit from the deck and call it to field when it attacks. The second skill is a continuous generation break two ability that gives all cards with “Arboros” in their card names in the front row to gain 5K additional power. After paying her cost (which is one soul blast, flipping over one G unit face up in the G zone, and returning one card from the drop zone to the deck), Verano allows the player to call up to two units from hand to the rearguard and the call a copy of one rearguard for each copy of Verano in the G zone when she appears on the vanguard circle. The player needs to make sure to at least have Compost Dragon in hand to call out and clone with Verano’s skill, since it can potentially a 22K column with either Airi or Compost Dragon or allow the player to have two Compost Dragons to swing from the front row. Both methods can apply pressure because of its on-hit skills. The same thing can be suggested with Airi as well, but it might not be as powerful. Primavera is able to call two copies of two rearguards from the deck when she attacks with the cost of putting units that are not grade 0 back to the deck, three counterblast, and discarding one card from hand. This stride allows the player to potentially finish the game with multiple attacking columns during the turn, in addition to setting up a field full of duplicated rearguards for future turns with Sephirot or Ain Soph Aur. Multivitamin Dragon gives 5K to a rearguard when calling a copy of that rearguard to the field from the deck. In terms of G Guards, they are either selected due to their ability to call units for later copying skills (e.g. Rain Breath Dragon) or protecting units with skills (e.g. Dark Element, Dizmel).

Warden of Arboros, Airi

Warden of Arboros, Airi

New rearguard support allows this deck to fix the ride chain when needed and provide the player that uses this deck to threaten the opponent with powerful on-hit abilities. Compost Dragon can counterblast two when it hits an opponent’s vanguard in order to draw a card for each card with the same name as this unit on the field. For example, if the player had two Compost Dragons on the field, the player would be able to draw two cards with the on-hit skill. Due to such a powerful skill, opponents will typically guard this unit, making it a great candidate to power up with skills found in this deck to force the opponent to guards more. If the opponent lets this unit hit, it could give you enough card draw to out advantage your opponent. Although this is a powerful effect, it would be wise to use the skill sparingly due to the heavy cost. Like Compost Dragon, Airi sports a powerful on-hit ability. If she hits while on the rearguard, she allows the player search the top five cards of the deck, find a card with “Arboros” in the card name, put that card to hand, and shuffle the rest back to the deck for the cost of putting a unit from the drop zone to the bottom of the deck. In addition to this ability, Airi can use a skill once a turn that allows her to gain 2K additional power and the name of another rearguard unit for the cost of one counterblast per turn if there is a grade 3 or greater vanguard with “Arboros” in its card name.Her sister, Aila, has a vanguard skill as a grade 1 unit that can help repair the ride chain. Specifically, she can put Ratoon to the soul from the rearguard in order to search the deck for Timber or Branch, put one copy of either to your hand, and shuffle. In addition to this, if the card put to hand from this ability is Branch, the player may ride it as a standing vanguard, putting the player back on the ride chain. Although not specifically for Arboros support, Gladiolus’ generation break one allows her to call a copy of a unit from the field from the deck to the rearguard for the cost of one counterblast. This card’s ability pairs nicely with Multivitamin Dragon and Ain Soph Aur, since the unit called most likely will gain 5K power with the additional call of a copy of a card.

With all of this said, there are a few side notes that the player using this deck should be aware of. Hand advantage isn’t too much of an issue. Although this is the case, if I could make any changes, I would attempt to be able to work with things that control my board state more consistently, but that is my personal preference.

Above all else, have fun with the deck! It was a gem to find and a lot of fun to play! Please comment in the comments section if you have any questions or suggestions related to this deck.


Images of cards came from!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Characteristics of a Competitive Deck

Dumbbell Kangaroo

Dumbbell Kangaroo

Whether you are piloting* the best deck of the new set or piloting the old rogue** deck that has been around since the beginning of the game, it is important to know what makes a deck “good” or competitive in tournaments. Whether favorable or not, it is important to know what makes a deck competitive either for piloting a deck, building a deck, or counteracting a deck you face in tournaments. Good decks or tier*** one decks will always have some or all of the following qualities:

  1. Consistency. A good deck in any card game has to have consistency. Consistency comes up in the ability to get to your win condition on a more regular basis. This might come from just blind drawing a large amount of cards (e.g. Great Nature) or searching your deck for specific cards (e.g. Royals, Gears). All this being said, a consistent deck usually tries to achieve a winning board state+ and/or ensure it has enough cards to adequately defend itself.
  2. Pressure. Every good deck has a form of pressure, which is the instance a player is being threatened with the loss of advantage or the chance of victory. Pressuring the opponent can come in different forms. Be it in the form of controlling the opponents moves (e.g. Link Joker, Kagero) or just ripping into them usually in the form of either a large combo attack(e.g. Great Nature, Royals) or consistently jabbing (or poking) at the opponent (e.g. Gear Chronicle, Aqua Force). If your deck is consistent but lacks pressure, you need to do a revision.
  3. Recovery. Sometimes things fall flat. It happens. Recovery is the ability for a deck to come back from being put in a bind or drawing poorly (yes, even good decks have dead draws). An example would be getting Mikesaburo to grab your grade 3 unit after going 2 turns without seeing one. Another example is the grade 1 seven seas deck, which can constantly create a full attacking board from an empty field despite the opponent attacking or retiring rearguards.
  4. Match ups. A good deck will generally only have one or two horrible match ups if that. It’s very common for high tier 1 decks to only have a bad match up against a random tier 2 or tier 3 deck that nobody typically plays. Some decks do not specialize or excel in any particular strategy or play style, but they can fight every deck in the game adequately with a bit of practice.

I hope this article helped. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section.

Images of cards came from!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

* “Piloting a deck” is another way of saying playing a deck on a consistent basis.

** A rogue deck is a deck that is not seen often in tournaments but is deemed as a dark horse (or a deck that can win events without anyone expecting it).

*** Tiers are expected levels of performance that players sort decks into based on their hypothetical performance at tournaments.

+ A winning board state is a game or board state that the player tries to achieve that will have the best chance of achieving victory in a game.

Championing a Deck


Victory Maker

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.

In the trading card games, the championing a deck is when a player chooses to stick to a certain deck and master it. In the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, it is sometimes a wise decision to champion a deck to decrease the cost of buying too many decks while increasing the mastery of a certain game mechanic. When considering a deck to pilot, it is wise to consider the following:

  • Read the meta game. Among the general rules of Vanguard, there is something called the meta game at work. A meta game in a game consists of a group of strategies that people largely prefer when playing the main game. These strategies will be what the player has to play against, which matters when choosing a deck to act or counteract the meta game. For more about determining the meta game in Vanguard, read our article on how to read the meta game.
  • Pick a clan.*  Once the meta game is considered, it is time to pick a clan. Even if you don’t really know what clan is your favorite, it is important to Since meta games in Vanguard tend to be made up of several main clans, picking a clan that counteracts other clans in the meta game is wise when picking a clan to play. In addition to this, pick a clan that fits your visual preferences, personally preferred play style, or budget. For an overview of the clans, refer to our clan guide.
  • Obtain a deck. Having a physical copy of the deck is important when you want to become a pro at using it. When you reach this step, use the choices you made when picking a clan and reading the meta game guide you. If you need help with beginning deck building, read our guide to beginning deck building.
  • Play the deck.  This may seem obvious, but sometimes people forget that they cannot master a deck until they play it first. In order to become an expert, practice and play testing are beneficial in learning the mechanics and capabilities of the deck that you are trying to pilot.
  • Keep using the deck for as long as you want. Sometimes, people will advise you to get rid of the deck due to their opinions. If the deck is fulfilling its purpose for you (whether it is playing the deck for fun or for competitive reasons), then keep the deck. On the other hand, it is okay to sell or trade off the deck if it is not performing up to your standards. Either way, to keep a deck is your decision as a player, not anyone else’s.
  • Seek advice if needed. On the flip side of the point above, it is important to seek help on how you play the deck from other people who play the same deck if you need the help. Do not be afraid to ask for help, since most people are happy to help.

Hope this advice helps! If you have any questions or comments, please put them in the comments section.

* This step is specifically for Cardfight!! Vanguard.

Images of cards came from!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Giraffa/Goliath Deck


A-rank Mutant, Sangiraffa

There are many different types of units and characters in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard, but there is only a handful of them that that compose decks that makes the player feel like a conqueror. Out of the handful of deck builds that give off an atmosphere of dominance, the support around Giraffa has to be the most impressive for someone looking to build a deck on a limited budget. With the help of the new support from The Genius Strategy, the Giraffa ride chain has regained its ability to strike fear into opponents that face it. Here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
4x Evil Armor Mutant Deity, Goliath
4x Poison Spear Mutant Deity, Paraspear
3x Rain Element, Madew
1x Wild-fire Mutant Deity, Staggle Dipper
4x Dream Mutant Deity, Scarabgas (G Guard)

Grade 3 Units
4x Evil Armor General, Giraffa (Ride Chain)
4x A-rank Mutant, Sangiraffa

Grade 2 Units
4x A-rank Mutant, Guragiraffa
4x Elite Mutant, Giraffa (Ride Chain)
3x Rotating Scythe Mutant, Aristoscythe

Grade 1 Units
4x Elite Mutant, Tryghul
4x Pupa Mutant, Giraffa (Ride Chain)
4x Hexagon Mutant, Honeycomb Queen (Perfect Guard)
2x New Face Mutant, Little Dorcas (Stride Helper)

Grade 0 Units
4x Shelter Beetle (Critical)
4x Sharp Nail Scorpio (Critical)
4x Machining Honeybee (Heal)
4x Makeup Widow (Stand)
1x Larva Mutant, Giraffa (Starter) (Ride Chain)

NOTE: In order to reduce repetitive phrasing, I am using the first part of the original Giraffa units names in the ride chain to refer to them.

The strategy of the deck revolves around the Giraffa ride chain, a ride chain coming from the very beginnings of Cardfight!! Vanguard. Larva Mutant, the starter for the deck, allows the player to search for a copy of Elite Mutant when Pupa Mutant rides on it. Pupa Mutant also benefits from this, since becomes a 8K base grade 1 vanguard. Elite Mutant is able to prevent an opponent’s unit from standing on his or her next turn (this prevention of standing units is also known as stunning a unit) when Elite Mutant hits the vanguard while it is a vanguard unit. Although the player will not use its skill often, Evil Armor General (as the vanguard) is able to counterblast two and retire two rearguard units when it hits the opponent’s vanguard in order to retire two of the opponent’s grade 1 or less rearguards.

The emphasis of the units in the ride chain is on advantage, whether that is found in using on-hit pressure to take resources away from the opponent or using the ride chain to save resources in riding from one grade to the other. When the ride chain was released in the game, the ride chain may have not needed help in order to remain relevant in the game. Although that is the case, it has been many years since the ride chain first appeared on the scene, and Bushiroad has graciously given the ride chain new lease on life through the support found in The Genius Strategy and Fighter’s Collection 2015 Winter. In order to enhance these characteristics, such support around the Giraffa ride chain and Megacolony as a whole provide this deck the ability to maintain or gain resources and the ability to give the field power based on the rested units on the opponent’s side of field.


Elite Mutant, Tryghul

There are several notable cards in this build that help maintain advantage for defense and setting up for the final offensive pushes, since the deck relies on high-pressure rearguards in order to overcome the opponent (this is mainly referring to Goliath, which is considered the unit that finishes off the opponent). Tryghul allows the player to check the top 5 cards for a card with “Giraffa” in its name when a unit is rested on the opponent’s field at the beginning of the opponent’s ride phase. In other words, if the opponent has a unit stunned at the beginning of turn (whether that be the vanguard or rearguard), then the skill of Tryghul activates as a result. Although not specific to Giraffa, Makeup Widow’s generation break dark device skill allows her to stun one of the opponent’s grade 1 or less units and countercharge one damage for the cost of putting her to soul from the rearguard. Her skill is mainly for replenishing counterblast and stunning a booster, which potentially enables Tryghul on the opponent’s turn. Madew is run in this build when one has to stride on Evil Armor General, which allows the player to return a grade 3 unit from the drop zone to hand and, in effect, another Giraffa unit. Paraspear rests the opponent’s rearguards and gains 5K power and allows the player to draw a card if there are three or more total units rested on the opponent’s side of field. In order to help the ride chain gain consistency, Guragiraffa enhances the ride chain through correcting it. Specifically, Guragiraffa can be discarded from hand if the player’s vanguard is Larva Mutant (starter) in order to search the deck for Pupa Mutant, allowing the player to ride the ride chain correctly and subsequently search Elite Mutant once Pupa Mutant rides the vanguard.


Evil Armor Mutant Deity, Goliath

With its consistent engine focusing on gaining advantage and resources, it is ideal for setting up a endgame consisting of Evil Armor Mutant Deity, Goliath. Goliath is able to counterblast one when he is on a heart with “Giraffa” in the name in order to give units with “Giraffa” in their name two skills. The first skill continuously gives the unit with “Giraffa” in its name 5K power if all of the opponent’s units are at rest. The second skill gives units with “Giraffa” in their name the ability to stun a rearguard when the unit with the ability hits a vanguard.With these given skills, the units with these abilities can stun a rearguard on hit, but the power is not gained unless all of the opponent’s units are at rest. If the opponent chooses to not rest certain units, cards like Guragiraffa and Sangiraffa can help with resting them. Guragiraffa can rest a rearguard unit and gain 2K power for one counterblast, making Guragiraffa an 11K beater. With he hits the vanguard as a vanguard or a rearguard, A-rank Mutant, Sangiraffa rests a rearguard, stuns it, and gives that rearguard the ability to retire one of the opponent’s rearguards if it is placed to the drop zone from the rearguard or the guardian circle until the end of the opponent’s next turn for one counterblast. Along with Goliath, Staggle Dipper and Aristoscythe gain power based on rested units on the opponent’s side of field. Aristoscythe has a dark device skill that allows her to become an 11K beater. Staggle Dipper can give 1K to three units on the field for each rested unit on the opponent’s side of field for one counterblast and flipping a unit face up in the G zone.

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!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Starting the Game: Beginning Deck Building


Rainbow Magician

Cardfight!! Vanguard is a trading card game which requires players to build decks and face each other in cardfights. Naturally, a player who wants to play the game of Vanguard will need to learn the basics of deck-building. To help beginners to that purpose, this guide is meant to serve as a starting point for beginning players who want to start building their own decks in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard.

What is a Deck?

So… what is a deck? When literally defined, a deck is a stack of cards. In the game of Vanguard, the player has a main deck consisting of 50 cards and a stride deck of up to 16 cards. These two decks consists of the cards that the player will use to play the game. In a larger frame of mind, the player’s main deck and stride deck are the tools that are at the player’s disposal when trying to solve the problem presented in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. The problem in this game is the dilemma that is trying to be solved, which, in this instance, is how to deal six damage before the player’s opponent can deal six damage to the player. Since the main deck and the stride deck are the main tools for the player in solving this dilemma, it is up to the player to construct these decks to properly tackle the obstacles that are in game.

Basic Rules of Deck-building in Cardfight!! Vanguard

Before the reader can get in depth in the concepts and strategies of beginning deck building, he or she must know the basic deck-building rules that are present in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard. Here are the basic rules for building a deck in Vanguard:

  • Each deck must include exactly 16 triggers in the main deck.
  • Each main deck must include exactly 50 cards in the main deck.
  • Each stride deck can include up to 16 cards.
  • Only four or less copies of cards with the same name can be included in the main deck or stride deck.

Beginning Strategy for Deck-building

Now that the player knows the basic rules of deck-building, there is a process that I follow that might help the beginner build his or her first deck (in this section, I am referring to the main deck and stride deck collectively when I say “deck”). The steps of this process are:

  1. Choose a clan(s) to build the deck from. Due to the prevalence of the Clan Fight in most tournament areas, each player must choose a clan to build a deck with for the sake of playing in tournaments. The choice of a clan typically comes down to cards available to the player or the player’s preference. For more information about choosing a clan, one can simply refer to our article about how to choose a clan. For more information about the Clan Fight rules, one can go to Bushiroad’s official Cardfight!! Vanguard landing site.
  2. Choose a boss card(s) to build the deck from. In each player’s deck, there is a main unit(s) that the deck focuses on using in order to win. These units, also known as bosses, are normally the unit that the player wants as the vanguard he or she rides or strides into in order to win the game. The player has the option to choose more than one boss, but it is recommended that the player choose one boss unit when he or she builds the first few decks.
  3. Find out how the clan and boss card(s) can win games. In game mechanics, the specific game state that allows the player to achieve victory is known as a win condition*. In the anime, this is known as a “winning image”. In Vanguard, the main win condition for all players is to damage the opponent six times. Although this is the main win condition, decks and clans have different ways of enabling the player to damage the opponent six times or hinder the opponent from damaging the player six times. These different ways act as separate win conditions, and the clan and the boss card that the player uses will fall into these two secondary win conditions.
  4. Determine main deck’s grade ratio. A grade ratio is the amounts of each grade that is run in a main deck. In Vanguard, a good grade ratio will allow the player to ride from one grade to the next by giving the player a good probability of seeing the right grades in hand at the right point in the game. For beginning players, we recommend either a 8-12-13 ratio (meaning 8 grade 3 units, 12 grade 2 units, and 13 grade 1 units) or a 8-11-14 ratio (meaning 8 grade 3 units, 12 grade 2 units, and 13 grade 1 units) for the main deck. This recommendation is mainly derived from research and play testing over time for the use of the average Cardfight!! Vanguard deck.
  5. Add non-trigger cards to help the deck reach its win conditions. In order to effectively do this, the player needs to add cards that have synergy with how to deck and/or the boss card(s) win games. Synergy in card games is the characteristic of cards to interact with the other cards in the deck**. The player wants to place cards in the deck that have a high amount of synergy with the abilities of the boss card(s) and how the clan is designed to win games. When adding cards at this point, players should try to have cards that abide by the grade ratio that he or she determined beforehand. In addition to this, cards that a standard deck are required or are recommended to contain should be added the the deck first. Such cards include perfect guards, G guards, strides, stride helpers, strides, and starter(s).
  6. Add triggers to the deck. When the main deck has 34 normal units (or non-trigger units) including the grade 0 starting vanguard and the stride deck has up to 16 stride and/or G guard cards, the player can add 16 triggers to the main deck. For a standard main deck, it is recommended to run heal triggers in the deck if the player is running G guards. In addition to this, it helps the standard deck recover from damage during the game. Beyond this, a player should run triggers that have strong synergy with the goals that the deck needs to accomplish in order to win. For more information on triggers and attacking orders, go to our article on triggers.
  7. Play, change, and improve deck overtime. The best way to improve the deck after building it is to see how it competes against other decks that other players have built. Start playing the deck with friends and other people to see what the deck needs in order to improve. When an improvement needs made, the player can change the deck according to what he or she has seen in play and try the deck again. If the player likes the boss card(s) but still needs improvement, repeat 3-6 and try to play the deck again. If the player does not like the deck at all, he or she is free to repeat steps 1-6 and taking a different approach. This process of testing and rebuilding the deck is a form of incremental development***, and it can improve decks the more they are tested, played, and improved.

I hope you enjoyed this strategy guide to beginning deck-building. Please leave any questions or comments in about this deck list in the comments section.

Images of cards came from!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.




Strategic Guide to Grade Rush Decks


Reckless Express

Its brakes are completely broken.

Reckless Express

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, GangarenHeaven 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!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

Pure Darkness Keyword Deck

Frosty Steeple

Frosty Steeple

Dark Irregulars have always been a clan than revolved around a strong end game. The problem with this is that they would normally lose triggers in the process of soul charging, reducing their impact. In addition, the looming threat of deck out means they usually only get 2-3 turns at full power. The new support focusing on the keyword darkness provides some answers to these problems due to selective soul charging and adding soul back to deck*. Here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
4x Rebellious Retainer of Fresh Blood, Fredrick
4x Love Tempest, Kisskill Lira
4x Mask of Demonic Frenzy, Ericrius
2x Nighttime Gentleman Saint-Germain (G Guard)
2x False Dark Wings, Agrat Bat Mahlat (G Guard)

Grade 3 Units
4x Frosty Steeple
4x Glenzend Vampir

Grade 2 Units
4x Demented Executioner
3x Tragic Claw
3x Doppel Vampir

Grade 1 Units
4x Succubus of Avarice (Perfect Guard)
3x Succubus of Pure Love (Stride Helper)
3x Edge in the Darkness
4x Serpent Charmer

Grade 0 Units
1x Werfleder Ordonnaz (Starter)
1x Enigmatic Assassin
4x Wertigre Fanatica (Critical)
3x Amon’s Follower, Cruel Hand (Critical)
3x Hysteric Shirley (Draw)
2x Monochrome of Nightmareland (Stand)
4x Alice of Nightmareland (Heal)

The strides in this deck list are mainly pressure attackers either through the use of on-hit effects or the ability to gain obscene amounts of power**. Fredrick allows you to place a card from hand into soul once a turn to give Frederick 1k additional power for each card in soul. If Frederick gains 10k or more from this skill, the front row rearguards gain 5k additional power. In addition to this, this card’s cost allows you to achieve darkness. Lira’s skill allows you to soul charge 2 and draw if there are 6 or more in soul when her attack hits an opponent’s vanguard. When he attacks, if darkness is active, Ericrius can soul charge 2. Then, if the number of cards in soul is 6 or more when Ericrius attacks, he gains the ability to retire an opponent’s rearguard if he hits the opponent’s vanguard, and for 15 or more gains 1k for each card in soul.

Mask of Demonic Frenzy, Ericrius

Mask of Demonic Frenzy, Ericrius

The grade 3 units focus on gaining cards with the darkness ability to hand or to soul while gaining large amounts of power. At generation break 1 and with darkness activated, and if you have 10 or more cards in soul, Frosty Steeple gains 10k additional power. Then if you have 15 or more cards in soul, the opponent can only call grade 0 guardians from hand to guard Frosty Steeple. With a boost from either Tragic Claw or Enigmatic Assassin, Frosty can hit 32k power or more. In addition to this generation break 2 skill, Frosty Steeple allows the player to check the top 5 cards of the deck for a darkness and add it to hand when placed on vanguard for the cost of one counterblast and one soul blast. With the new support, this skill finally becomes viable (since 30 cards in this deck list are darkness, including the deck list’s perfect guard). Glenzend Vampir, the new darkness main grade 3 unit, needs some explanation. Glenzend’s generation break one skill can help recycle some resources like enigmatic assassin for example. Specifically, the skill lets you place a darkness unit from hand or field into soul at the end of turn if darkness is active. As a result, Glezend allows you to draw a card if the there are 6 or more cards in the soul. The same skill also counter charges one damage and retires one opposing rearguard if Glezend has 15 cards or more cards in soul. When Glezend is placed on vanguard or rearguard, you can counterblast one to check the top 5 cards of the deck and put as many darkness units from among them into soul and the rest to the bottom of the deck.

The grade 2 units of the deck are made to help with consistency and pressure. Tragic Claw has the option to soul charge when another unit is placed in the same column. It gains boost for darkness and 10 or more in soul and gains 2k additional power for 15 or more in soul at generation break one, making Claw a potential 11k booster. This means that if it is behind the vanguard, it can soul charge when the player strides, helping Glenzend use darkness. Doppel Vampir gains 5k additional power for 6 or more in soul and restricts grade 0 guards for 15 in the soul if darkness is active. When placed on rearguard, Demented Executioner checks the top 7 for a darkness unit and puts it into the soul. When darkness is active, Executioner can also gain 2-5k power depending on the number of cards in the soul.

Serpent Charmer

Serpent Charmer

The grade 1 units in this deck list are about are all about utility. Serpent Charmer gains 2k additional power for darkness and 10 in soul. If darkness is active and there are 15 cards in the soul,  it can retire itself at the end of turn, choose 13 cards in soul, shuffle the cards not chosen from the soul into deck, and draw a card. With the skill, this card helps prevent deck out while being able to cycle triggers from the soul back into the deck. Edge in the Darkness gains intercept and and the ability to intercept from the back row when 10 or more cards are in soul. This card also gains 3k power for generation break one, darkness, and 6 or more cards in the soul. If darkness is active and you have achieved generation break one, you can retire one of their grade 1 or less units to add Succubus of Avarice to hand from soul.

There are two grade 0 non-trigger units used in the current build. While there are a good number of usable starters, only two are used here. Werfleder Ordonnaz can go into the soul and soul charge 2 for counter blast one at generation break one. If after that, you have 6 or more in soul after the cost is paid, you can draw one card. If darkness is active, and you have 10 or more in soul, Enigmaic Assassin can call itself from soul to the rearguard at the beginning of the attack step. If you call it, it gets 5k additional power till end of turn. If you have 15 or more in soul, Assassain gains 10k additional power.

The rest of the deck consists of triggers and G guards, which help the deck soul charge and protect resources based on the amount of units in the soul. Hysteric Shirley goes into soul from the rearguard to soul charge 1. Monochrome of Nightmareland generation break one allows you to shuffle it into deck from rearguard, then soul charge 1. After the skill is activated, you can counter charge one if there are 6 cards in the soul, and draw a card if there are 10 cards in the soul. Agrat Bat Mahlat can soul charge 2 in order to gain 5k additional shield when placed on guardian circle. Saint-Germain can gain 10k additional shield if there are 10 more cards. In addition to this, if 15 cards or more in soul, Saint-Germain can give the field resist.

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!!_Vanguard_Wiki. These images may have been re-sized.

*The Darkness keyword is activated when a card is put into the soul during the turn through any means beyond riding a unit or moving a unit to the vanguard circle.

**For those who want to take the deck beyond budget, use One Steeped in Sin, Scharhrot and Abominable One Gilles De Rais.