Stages of Attacking Power and Shielding

One of the basic mechanics in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard is the concept of using cards in hand to shield the vanguard or rearguards from attacks that the opponent will through your way. Shield in the game of Vanguard, according to the comprehensive rules, is “[t]he numeric value that expresses the combat strength while a card is used as a guardian”. In other words, the shield value on the card is the amount of power that it adds to the base power of the unit being attacked. The use of shield in the game can either protect rearguard units from being removed from the field due to attacks or, more importantly, prevent the vanguard from taking damage. So… how should players use the basics of shielding mechanics in Vanguard to more efficiently play the game?

Basics of Power Stages and Shields

First of all, it is important to consider what happens in combat when the ties happen. Specifically, in the event of a tie between the the defender’s power and the attacker’s power in combat, the attacker will win the battle. This is also true when adding shield to the vanguard while guarding from hand. In other words, if the power of the sum defending unit’s power and shield from hand equals the attacker’s power that is attacking the unit, then the attacker will win that battle.

With this in mind, one will also notice that shield value in this game comes in the form of defensive trigger power and the shield that can be used from hand, which comes in the form of 5k power or shield or 10k power or shield. With this being the case, stages of defensive power come in increments of 5k power. For example, if the attacker is attacking an 11k vanguard for 15k power, the defender only needs to place 5k shield (since 5k shield + 11k defending vanguard power is more than the 15k attacking unit’s power). If the attacker wants to force the defender to drop 10k shield from hand instead of 5k, then the attacking unit must reach at least 16k power, which is equal to the defender’s 11k base power and the 5k shield that the defender would place.

Implications of Power Stages

So… why is this important? Answer: This is important in order to maximize the amount of shield that the defender will need to drop in order to defend against attacks. In order to aim to force the maximum shield out of the opponent’s hand, make attacking columns that equal numbers that equals exceeds the opposing vanguard’s power in increments of 5k power. For example, if the opponent’s grade 3 vanguard will most likely be 11k base power, the player would want to create columns on his or her board that would equal 11k power, 16k power, 21k power, 26k power etc. when attacking/boosting with each column. Keep in mind that the increments might change due to the base power of the vanguard.

This is also important for the defender, since the defender aims to maximize the impact of his or her shields. With all of this in mind, the defender wants to save shield in hand that can defend at larger stages of power by avoiding over-guarding. If an attack can be guarded by a 5k shield, it is recommended to guard with a 5k shield instead of a 10k if it can be helped, since guarding with a 10k shield would waste 5k shield that could have been used later to guard attacks from the opponent.

That is the basics around stages of attacking and shielding power in Vanguard. If you have any questions or concerns, please put them in the comments section.

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



***This approach takes its inspiration from Upstart Goblin University’s way to track card advantage, which can be found here:

Guest Post: Playing a Format Behind


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.

Deliberate Practice and Cardfight!! Vanguard

Capable Assistant, Guru Wolf

Capable Assistant, Guru Wolf

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.

Whether the readers of this article is a new player in Cardfight!! Vanguard or a player looking to become the best, many readers typically are looking for ways to improve performance in the game that they love to play. Although some players play nonstop, they tend to see no improvement. Why is this? Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson had a theory in the field of cognitive theory that describes the action of, for example, playing a card game does not necessarily lead to immediate improvement. In order to improve, it is important to go through a process that Ericsson calls deliberate practice. With this in mind, this article will attempt to describe the theory behind deliberate practice and how it may apply to Cardfight!! Vanguard.

NOTE: The following pieces of advice are based on skill mastery theory in psychology, which has not been 100% proven (even though it is backed up by extensive scientific research and study). Although this is the case, it is some of the most effective ways at describing skill mastery during the writing of this article despite competing theories at the time of the writing of this article.

Ericsson’s Theory

Deliberate practice is the collection of “activities that have been found most effective in improving performance”, according to Ericsson (367). In other words, deliberate practice is actions that are intentionally meant to teach and provide the best way for the player to gain mastery of a skill. If the theory holds, this can apply to any subject or activity in particular, including Cardfight!! Vanguard. According to Ericsson, there are three main characteristics of such practice:

  • Motivation. In order to for a person to acquire or improve performance in a skill set, the person must be motivated to do so. Deliberate practice offers no immediate rewards, so the person must be motivated enough to take the time and effort to practice and hone his or her skills. (Ericsson 367) This can also can translate to the satisfaction or passion that one has for skills enough to motivate someone to master them.
  • Knowledge. Knowledge of the skill that the player wants to master is important in learning the skill. Prior knowledge helps the player contextualize the progress the person has obtained in proficiency of the skill, and new knowledge from experts or instructors in the skill that is to be mastered. (Ericsson 367) In the instance of a game such as Vanguard, veteran players and guides are some examples of where this knowledge can be obtained.
  • Feedback. A person mastering a skill should receive information about whether the activity in said skill is correct or incorrect as the skill is repeatedly executed. (Ericsson 367) Although this feedback can come from players, games in general generate favorable or unfavorable feedback (e.g. loss of a rearguard, loss of a game, etc.), which can indicate to the player whether he or she is executing practical uses of the sought after skill correctly or not.

Implications of Theory

As an activity, deliberate practice is meant to improve specific skills during each practice session, meaning that not all aspects of an activity can be improved in one session of practice. It is different than play, according to Ericsson, which has no specific goal and are inherently enjoyable. It is also important to note that tournaments and competitions are not necessarily the best place to practice (Ericsson 368), although learning may happen through such events and casual games (Ericsson 367).

Criticisms of Deliberate Practice

Although the research community refers to Ericsson’s theory of deliberate practice in its research, there are some criticisms of the theory that need to be kept in mind. One such criticism is the amount of time of deliberate practice that it takes to master or acquire a skill. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell cites that 10,000 hours is enough to become an expert in anything (“Geek Pop Star”). Ericsson claimed that experts would tend to take 10 years to reach the top (Ericsson 366). Others argue that a skill can be acquired but not mastered in less time. An example of such a person is Josh Kaufman, who found in his writing that a person would likely gain a skill (not master a skill) with 20 hours of practice and time (Vermeer).

Another criticism of deliberate practice is that there are other factors that influence skill mastery beyond the use of mere practice methods. One such research article from the Association of Psychological Science concluded that Ericsson’s conclusions that the differences in skill performance were mostly caused by deliberate performance was not backed up by the study’s findings (Macnamara 6). Specifically, the study found that only 12% of general performance variance measured in the study was explained by deliberate practice (Macnamara 5). Although this is the case, the study also found that the effectiveness of deliberate practice varied based on the domain it was used in. For games, the study found that 26% of performance variance was correlated by the use of deliberate practice (Macnamara 8). With this in mind, such research shows that deliberate practice is not as important as once thought but not invalid in relation to skill performance.

On Practical Application

Although deliberate practice may not explain 100% of a player’s performance in the game, evidence from the study criticizing deliberate practice still shows that the increase in performance has some correlation to the deliberate practice that a player undergoes. With this in mind, here are a few ways to implement the concepts of deliberate practice in the game of Cardfight!! Vanguard.

  • Foster a desire for improvement. This ties into the motivation of deliberate practice. In order for a player to improve at Vanguard, that player must want to improve, plain and simple.
  • Use past experiences to identify weaknesses in play. According to Ericsson, knowledge can be used to contextualize progress in skill mastery or proficiency. On the flip side of this, a player who can identify where he or she has failed can identify what skills need improved in the future. These past experiences in Vanguard can include any games that the player has participated in or watched, allowing the player to learn from personal experience and the experiences of others. Weaknesses in a player are potentially skills that can be improved, varying from deck building to in-game decisions.
  • Research and practice sub-skills if necessary. In reviewing Kaufman’s book, Alex Vermeer learned that Kaufman suggests that the player break down skills that a person desires to learn into sub-skills (or smaller components of the skill in question). Some skills, such as keeping track of public game zones, can be broken down into smaller components that can be practice on individually (e.g. memorizing drive checks, memorizing cards in the drop zone, etc.).
  • Play practice games. If possible, a player is advised to work on skills during casual matches outside of a tournament setting that he or she can work on skills that the player has identified for the sake of improvement. If a player has trouble accessing people outside of tournaments, local tournaments can serve as a good alternative due to their tendency to be casual in nature.
  • Focus on one skill at a time. When playing practice games for the sake of improving skills, work on one skill at a time. Rome was not built in a day, and the same fact can be argued when talking about skilled players in Cardfight!! Vanguard. Acquire one skill, then move to the next one.
  • Learn from skilled players. Whether it is the strong local player or the Vanguard Youtuber that the general player respects, find a player more skilled than you and learn from him or her. Learning from such players can include watching games, taking advice, or playing games with that player as some examples. Ideally, stronger players in the community can serve as guides and teachers to beginners and aspiring competitive players that are seeking to improve their skills.

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.


Ericsson, K Anders, and Ralf Th. Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance”. Psychological Review 1993, Vol. 100. No. 3, 363-406. Accessed 27 January 2017.

“Geek Pop Star”. New York. Accessed 27 January 2017.

Macnamara, Brooke N. and David Z. Hambrick and Frederick L. Oswald. “Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-Analysis”. Psychological Online ScienceFirst 1 July 2014. Accessed 27 January 2017.

Vermeer, Alex. “The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman – Review & Summary”. June 2013. Accessed 27 January 2017.

Arusha/Chatnoir Deck

Special Appointment Professor, Arusha

Special Appointment Professor, Arusha

When it comes to boss units in the Zoo Nation, Arusha is extremely underestimated due to other Great Nature bosses that overshadow it (e.g. Famous Professor, Bigbelly and Magic Scientist, Tester Fox). Although this is the case, Arusha paired with the Chatnoir break ride provides the player with a combination that allows the player to draw a substantial amount of cards for defensive plays and restanding vanguards and rearguards for offensive plays. If you favor an aggressive style of play and a way to conserve resources for offensive pushes, this deck definitely fulfills this and more. Here is the deck list:

Grade 4 Units
1x Air Element, Sebreeze
4x Omniscience Dragon, Hrimthurs
1x Omniscience Dragon, Cath Palug
2x Immortality Professor, Phoeniciax
2x Omniscience Dragon, Managarmr
2x Saint-sage Professor, Bigbelly
3x Head of the Bastion, Ardillo (G Guardian)
1x Immortality Professor, Kundalini (G Guardian)

Grade 3 Units
4x Special Appointment Professor, Arusha
3x Honorary Professor, Chatnoir (Break Ride)

Grade 2 Units
4x Binoculus Tiger
4x Sleep Tapir
4x Anchor Rabbit

Grade 1 Units
4x Honorary Assistant, Mikesaburo
4x Diligent Assistant, Minibelly (Stride Helper)
4x Contradictory Instructor, Shell Master (Perfect Guard)
2x Coiling Duckbill

Grade 0 Units
4x Protractor Orangutan (Stand)
4x Watering Elephant (Stand)
4x Holder Hedgehog (Critical)
4x Draw of the School Cafeteria, Abysia (Heal)
1x Telescope Rabbit (Starter)

Anchor Rabbit

Anchor Rabbit

The deck’s main strategic focus of this deck is to allow Arusha and the rearguards supporting it to stand multiple times through the use of Great Nature’s Success, the use of stand triggers to restand, and the use of attackers that add 4k additional power to rearguards. To reiterate the point made above, the main unit of this deck is Arusha, sporting the ability to restand when it becomes successful at 25k power at generation break 1 and the player discards a card. In addition to this ability, Arusha is able to give give 4k power to a rearguard (which will retire the rearguard at the end of turn) and give Arusha the continuous ability to not receive trigger effects until end of turn. This second skill is the main reason for running a large amount of stands in the deck. This card also has great synergy with Anchor Rabbit, which is able to restand for the cost of one counterblast at generation break 1 and retiring at the end of turn when it becomes successful at 20k power.

Omniscience Dragon, Cath Palug

Omniscience Dragon, Cath Palug

In order to help Anchor Rabbit and Arusha become successful, there are many ways to give rearguards 4k power provided in this deck. Tapir and Tiger are able to give a rearguard 4k power and retire the powered-up unit at the end of turn when they attack from the rearguard*. Phoeniciax and Hrimthurs can give additional power as a result of attacking a vanguard (whether during battle or afterward respectively). Among all of the methods to power up rearguards, the best way for Arusha to achieve Success 25000 is to break ride on Chatnoir at generation break 1. The break ride skill allows the player to give 4k power to a rearguard unit when a rearguard unit attacks. In addition to this, the rearguard unit that is given a power boost from the break ride will retire at the end of turn and allow the player to draw one card**. With this in mind, it is important to note that the more attacks achieved during the turn the player break rides, the more power that can be given to the rearguards.

There are a few things to consider when running or purchasing this deck that one should consider. First of all, if the player does not fear control in the meta (such as Link Joker or Kagero), then the player can run 12 stands instead of 8. Secondly, the player can add two more copies of the Bigbelly stride when he or she decides to invest more into the Great Nature clan. Although this is the case, the deck runs only marginally better with four copies of the Bigbelly stride compared to two. Finally, it might be wise to run Dark Element, Dizmel in place of one of the G Guardians in this list if the player has access to it.

I hope you enjoyed this deck list. Please leave any questions or comments in about this deck list in the comments section.

*Binoculus Tiger can also give a rearguard 4k power when it attacks as a vanguard, enhancing the early game of this deck.

**The card draws from the effects of the break ride will be able to stack due to Chatnoir’s phrasing. Specifically, it allows the player to draw one card before retiring the unit given power from the break ride skill.

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

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.