Skills and Abilities Within the Meta

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Dragonic Overlord the End

The current state of Cardfight Vanguard’s meta game is actually rather diverse. While the decks that consistently place higher in tournaments only really seem to change when game breaking combo cards are introduced, the skills among the different decks includes a little bit of everything. Take some of the recent major decks: Sanctuary Guard, Ripples, and Seven Seas. Each of these decks received support that made them very hard to deal with, and each of these decks include a combination of old and new skill types.

When building your main deck, consider the different skills that are available among your units. For grade 1 and 2 units, they are split among support for: Legion, Generation Break, and restriction-less support. Grade 3 units are more diverse, including all of the skill types listed below. Let’s look at the different card abilities the players have at their disposal.

Skills with no restrictions: Skills in this category are not restricted to being at a certain point in the game state for their skills to be utilized. One of the splashable examples of these skills are the grade 1 units who can soul blast to draw a card when placed on rearguard. Within the current meta, the skills in this category usually support the advantage engine of the deck, or allow for faster skills. However, grade 3 units that fall under this category (such as Dragonic Overlord the End, Nightmare Doll Alice, etc.) are either heavily supported by the deck, part of the core strategy, or are able to offer different options depending on how the game has been unfolding. Stride helpers are a good example of this. These units can either be used to lessen the cost of stride, or to search for the main GB unit of the deck.

Some of the best skills in this category are restricted to an archetype or a sub-clan. Most of the best decks in the current meta fall under an archetype or sub-clan. Normally, these skills require a unit with a certain name to be on vanguard or the target of the skill. Special counterblast and/or soul blast refer to paying a cost with a unit having a specific name.

Mega Blast: The term refers to the skills that have a cost of counterblast 5 and soul blast 8. This skill is only available among grade 3 units. While each mega blast has a way to soul charge, they are still rather underwhelming when combined with their massive cost. Most mega blast units do not have a place in the current meta, they are simply too slow and expensive. While this is the case for most mega blast units, there are some decks that are designed to use mega blast units. These decks do not appear often, but can be effective if used correctly.

Cross Ride: A skill type exclusive to grade 3 units. This term defines a grade 3 unit that gains a skill from having another grade 3 unit in soul. Originally this skill was a continuous +2K power, though more recent cross rides have been getting more complex skills. During the break ride era, these units were everywhere and these units are still some of the game’s most defensive. In the current meta, these units are still viable with the addition of generation break. While they may not be used for their defensive nature, some do have skills on par with strides and can be equally devastating during the early stages of a cardfight.

Limit Break: Limit Break (LB) is also an ability exclusively available to grade 3 units. Limit Break units gained a powerful skill after the player had reached 4 damage. The term “Ultimate Break” still refers to a limit break whose requirement is 5 damage. While these units included some of the best skills for grade 3 units so far, they are almost useless if the player isn’t at 4+ damage. Within the meta, these units are still widely used either when paired with generation break support or with LB enabler units (grade 1 units that allow LB4 abilities to be used at 3 or less damage). All three of the decks stated above focus on Limit Break units, being supported by the rest of the deck.

Break Ride: Break Ride describes a unit that activates it is LB4 when another unit rides on top of it. The slowest form of limit break has seen less play in the recent meta games because legion hit almost as hard a turn sooner, and the benefits of stride usually outweigh the benefits of break ride. Though decks that can combine break ride and generation break units can have devastating turns without the need of Stride every turn. An example of this type of combination is Darkface and Cyclomatooth for Megacolony.

Legion: The skill type that had the shortest focus of only 2 sets in English, and saw the fastest game play. Legion is a skill that is included on some Grade 3 units that allows a player to add another unit’s skills and power to the current vanguard by placing it on vanguard as well. Legion has the same requirement for use as stride, but came at the low cost of putting 4 units from the drop zone back into the deck. The end result was having 2 units on vanguard with a base power between 20-22K. While this new vanguard only attacked with the critical of the Legion Leader, the Legion Mate can still use vanguard circle skills it may contain.

Most of the heavily supported legions were archetype and sub-clan oriented. The support for legion mainly focuses on the turn the vanguard becomes Legion or by having a vanguard in legion. Within the current meta legion is still valuable as a way to return key units and triggers back to the deck. Decks focusing on Legion will most likely have either a strong early or late game.

Generation Break: Generation Break (GB) is the slowest skill type in the game as well as being the most powerful. Every skill of this type is dead before the first stride or G guard. As a result, before the addition of Fighter’s Collection 2016, GB could be stopped completely by a player staying at Grade 2*. In exchange for this flaw, GB skills are both cost effective and synergistic. Within the current meta, GB is included in almost every main deck as the main focus, or to reinforce the effectiveness of combos.

Keyword Skills: The newest skill type, which include the following terms: Time Leap, Wave, Blaze, Hollow, Brave, Magia etc. The main reason for this new skill type is to have a general understanding of what the unit can do. Stating that a unit can Time Leap when it attacks sounds better than explaining Time Leap each time it is activated. Units with this skill will define what the keyword means, and then include the keyword in the actual skill. These skills are becoming a focus in recent sets. These skills have a lot of potential to become competitive within the current meta.

I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to put them in the comments section.


*Although this is the case, there are cards coming out that help decks with GB operate and use skills, even if the opponent stays at grade 2 for the majority of the game. Such cards include Air Elemental, Twitterun and Air Element, Sebreeze.

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

Card of the Week: Heat Elemental, Juge

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Heat Elemental, Juge

Welcome to another card of the week! This week, we are taking a closer look at Heat Element, Juge. Beyond the wonderful art that this card provides, this Cray Elemental can prove to be very useful in providing defensive options to many players for any clan.

When Juge is used to guard against a grade 2 vanguard, it can choose one of your units being attacked and prevent that unit from being hit during that battle. This ability can be used early to guard against an opponent’s grade 2 rush, especially high-pressure grade 2 vanguards like Rising Ripple, Pavroth. In addition to this, this card is able to defend a vanguard that is in legion, since the grade 2 vanguard is attacking with the grade 3 vanguard when in legion. This is due to the ruling that happened around cards like Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist, which allows her and Juge to guard against the grade 2 in the legion, which would stop the legion’s entire attack. This ruling can be found on the Cardfight!! Vanguard Wiki, which is found here. In addition to this, it is a Cray Elemental, which means that it can be a good technical option for players when deck-building for any clan.

Although this is the case, this card does have some weaknesses. Since Juge can only guard against only a grade 2 vanguard, it will not be able to defend against non-legion grade 3 units and stride units, which seems to be the norm in the current format. In addition to this, Juge is a grade 1 unit with a base power of 6000, which can lead to weaker rearguard columns. This can prove problematic if the player does not include cards in his or her build that can attack for 10K or higher from the front row in the rearguard columns, which would help the rearguard columns attack for 16K or higher when Juge is boosting. This relates to the concept of magic numbers in columns, which can be described in greater detail here.

Overall, this is very useful in stopping grade 2 rush decks and legions that are seen in decks in the current format. In terms of legions, the author is referring specifically to grade 3 legions that include a grade 2 legion mate, revival grade 3 legions(e.g. Rolling Ripple, Miltiadis). With this in mind, the playability of this card hinges on whether the meta (whether local or general) contains many grade 2 rush decks and/or legions as specified above. Though this is the case, it would also be recommended to run this card in more defensive clans in order to advance the deck build’s strategy of defending against such threats. With the common rarity, this Cray Elemental would be a great defensive tech option for decks being played today.

Appearance: 9.5/10
Pricing: 10/10
Playability: 6/10
Availability: 10/10


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

Card of the Week: Snow Element, Blizza

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Snow Element, Blizza

This card of the week features Snow Element, Blizza, a card that often finds itself in the G zone of many decks.

Snow Element, Blizza is an interesting card in that its effect allows you, for a single counterblast to flip one card up in your G zone, to gain 5000 power for each face up card in the G zone. From the first time he attacks, he can attack for a minimum of 31k power. This skill makes Blizza ideal as the last stride of the game, assuming you have used the majority of your strides. Though its ability to power up is useful at times, most people in the current competitive scene do not seem to be using Blizza for his sheer power. His power gain is just icing on the cake, because the main purpose of this card is to get generation break 2 skills to be active from the first turn you stride.

Using Blizza, you can activate your deck’s generation break 2 on first stride, much like Aurageyser Dragon does for Shadow Paladin. This allows certain clans to end up with generation break 2 much faster than normal. Using Darkface? Stride Blizza first to get your GB2 active right away. Using Nubatama? Use Blizza to turn on Hayakujirakan for your second stride. Most older clans or under-supported clans do not have an efficient way of activating generation break 2, but this guy helps with just that. Since he is a Cray Elemental, you can use him in any clan you want.

All in all,  there isn’t really a lot more to say about Blizza. He is a decent card that works wonders in some decks to activate generation break 2 and is even a great budget option for clans Shadow Paladins and Aqua Force that want to activate generation break 2 without spending a large amount of money on Aurageyser Dragon or Storm Dominator, Thavas respectively. Lastly, he sometimes hits your opponent for big numbers for a relatively low cost in the late game, which is rarely a downside.

We hope you enjoyed this review and will see you guys next week!

 


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