Wednesday, March 21, 2018

V-TD01: Sendou Aichi card listing

Sendou Aichi
To be updated as new cards are revealed.

MSRP: 1500 yen + tax (JPN)
Release Date: 05/11/2018 (JPN) 06/08/18 (ENG)
Comes with paper playmat and First Guide for beginners.
Contains 14 types of cards, 53 in total; 34 Normal Units, 16 Trigger Units, and 3 Gift Markers
All cards are exclusive to the Trial Deck.
Each deck contains 4 perfect defense cards and 4 Blaster Blades. (1 illustrated by Itou Akira, 3 by Itou Mishou) Each display case contains six Trial Decks, and each Trial Deck within that case has a randomly inserted Itou Akira-signed hot stamp Gift Marker, or a signed hot stamped Blaster Blade.

Assorted sleeves
The Stardrive Dragon sleeve is available by preordering TD01. (Japan-only) 70 sleeves are included.
The Sendou Aichi sleeve is available by purchasing TD01 as a 2500 yen bundle, with comes with the sleeve and Wingal promo. (Japan-only) 70 sleeves are included.
The Blaster Blade sleeve is available by preordering TD01 at one of the participating Spring caravan demo workshops for Standard format. (Japan-only.) 53 sleeves are included.

Alfred Early (V-TD01/001)
"The young king and the sworn friend of the light, continue along the path they believe in."
  • Imaginary Gift: Force
  • Automatic [Vanguard Circle]: When placed, you may pay [cost: Counterblast 1], and call up to 1 "Blaster Blade" from your hand or soul to rear-guard circle, during this turn, that unit gets Power +10000. If you called, draw 1.

Blaster Blade (V-TD01/00?)
  • Grade 2/Intercept/10000 Power - 1 Critical/5000 Shield/Royal Paladin - Human
  • Skill unknown
  • Also has a vanilla promo card print, VPR/0001.
  • Trial Deck comes with 4 copies, 1 illustrated by Itou Akira and 3 by Itou Mishou.

Knight of Silence, Gallatin
  • An alternate artwork version is available by buying two copies of the Trial Deck.
  • The demo deck version is a vanilla 10000-power grade 2 with 10000 shield.

Wingal (VPR/00?)

  • Continuous: [Rear-guard Circle]: During your turn, all of your "Blaster Blade" on the same column as this unit get Power +5000.
  • An RRR foil version is packaged with the Japanese bundle of V-TD01, and a set of 70 Sendou Aichi card sleeves. A means of obtaining them in English has yet to be announced.
  • Has 1000 more base power than the demo deck Wingal, and the skill is completely different. V-SD01/009 Wingal gives +5000 power to the vanguard that it boosts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cardfight!! Vanguard manga to rerun in full color

March 20th, 2018. In episode 23 of the Weekly Bites Z stream series, Cardfight!! Vanguard representative Doctor O announced that the May issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine will rerelease the first chapter of the original Cardfight!! Vanguard manga by Itou Akira in full color. The publication will coincide with the airing of the Vanguard reboot series, which itself more closely follows the manga. As the manga ran in KeroKero Ace from 2011 to 2013, this is the first time this chapter will be run in Monthly Bushiroad.

Itou himself is doing the color work, much as he did for the manga's set of LINE messenger stamps. This issue will cover approximately the first half of chapter 1, comprising 48 pages. It's currently unclear if the color edition will proceed into the June issue.

In related news, a series of Cardfight!! Vanguard short novels acting as excerpts from the card game's lore are being compiled in a standalone tankōbon format. Cray Chronicle Notes: Beginning will be available for purchase at the Monthly Bushiroad booth as part of the 2018 Great Vanguard Festival on April 29th. More information will be found in the May issue of Monthly Bushiroad.

Doctor O also announced that Bushiroad will be hosting a booth from March 24th~25th at AnimeJapan 2018 in the Tokyo Big Sight building. They will be doing a demo session of the new Standard-format game using cards from the Crested Dragon Start Deck, and will be giving out copies of the deck to participants.

Although currently only the Stardrive deck has been distributed to the participating venues as part of the March-June demo caravan for Standard format, the Crested deck will also be distributed beginning April 7th. It contains three copies of Dragon Knight Nehalem, who has been redesigned into unit that retires the opponent's cards rather than as a vanilla. A special edition version of the card with alternate artwork pulled from its original incarnation will be available in Monthly Bushiroad magazine, where it will be distributed as part of a Kagerou deck.

More than 3,000 people have already participated in the spring caravan demos in the four days since they began. Those that attend receive a free Stardrive deck with alternate versions of upcoming cards, and a promotional Blaster Blade exclusive to the event. All of these cards will be legal in the Standard game.

Doctor O also showed off the certificate fighters get for completing the demo workshop, which features art of the rebooted Kai Toshiki from the new series. The quotation on the certificate reads "So you were able to picture it. Let's begin...Now you too, are a Vanguard Fighter!"

The next episode of Weekly Bites will be air Saturday March 24th, at 9:00 PM JST on NicoNico Live and YouTube Live. The previous special episode featured 20 questions from fans answered by Doctor O, Vanguard executive producer Shimamura Masatoshi, and original concept creator Itou Akira.

Monday, March 19, 2018

A guide to what's legal in Standard format

Stardrive and Crested deck cards are tournament legal.
The V-series icon, found at the bottom left of cards printed for Standard.
For the Japanese format beginning May 1st, cardfighters playing in Standard format will have to choose a clan and compose their deck entirely from that clan, using only cards that have the V-series icon. The exception to the rule is that cards with the numbers V-SD/001~014, V-SD02/001~014, and VPR/0001 are all treated as cards with the V-series icon, and can be used in decks despite not actually having it. Included in this is the Blaster Blade promotional card distributed alongside the Start Decks given away at the demo caravan events, and all of the cards in the Stardrive and Crested decks themselves.

Conversely, only cards without the V-series simple (including the aforementioned Start Decks and promo cards) can be used in the G Standard format, which will only include cards printed prior to the V-series. All cards may be used in Premium Standard format, unless their abilities specifically prevent them from doing so like Epitome of Knowledge Silvest. Those cards may only be used in Premium Standard Extreme Fight.

For the English format, only cards released after April 28th can be used, excluding PR cards. Bushiroad has stated more information will be coming on this front, but it is safe to assume that the English demo deck and VPR promotional cards will be tournament legal just like their Japanese counterparts.

From Bushiroad booth at 2018 GAMA Trade Show.
The first Trial Decks of the Standard format, V-Trial Deck 01: Blaster Blade and V-Trial Deck 02: Dragonic Overlord will launch in Japanese May 11th, 2018, and in English June 8th, 2018. The first booster set of Standard, V-BT01: UNITE! TEAM Q4! will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd, 2018. Their accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," will begin airing May 5th, 2018, on TV Tokyo and affiliated stations. It will be simulcast with English subtitles on YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018 Blaster Blade promo recalls the beginning of Vanguard, seven years prior

Uploaded by @Sora_reunion2.
The first promo card of Vanguard's new era has gone out in Japan, distributed at demo workshops for the game's new mechanics. Each card is a base 10000 Blaster Blade with 5000 shield, with an advertisement for the anime series printed in place of skill text. These stats may sound par for the course for a vanilla grade 2 coming from the old Vanguard, but in the Standard-format game most grade 2s already have 10k base power, and the vanillas seen thus far have 10k shield.

The text on the card reads:

"A new work begins May 5th, 2018!!
The new TV anime starts broadcasting Saturday May 5th!
You can watch the whole series on the official YouTube channel!"

Although the card is numbered VPR/0001, it does not have the V-era symbol found at the bottom left of Alfred Early and upcoming Trial Deck cards. Some fighters in Japan have taken to going to multiple demo events to acquire additional copies of the promo.

This 2011 photo, taken at that year's Tokyo Toy Show, was among the first Vanguard-related images circulated on the web. The text reads "Cardfight!! Vanguard TV anime airing in 2011!!"
This is not the first time Bushiroad has slapped an anime advertisement on a card, rather than vice-versa. When Cardfight!! Vanguard was being brought out to toy and hobby shows in late 2010 and early 2011, the company distributed two similarly-structured Blaster Blades. The first was based on a prototype card design from before Nakamura Satoshi's team had finalized what Vanguard's aesthetic would be, using artwork drawn by Studio TMS of Aichi in Blade's armor.

The second was after the cards' frame and format had been decided on, and was distributed alongside the Stardrive and Crested Dragon Flash Fight half decks at demo events and in issues of KeroKero Ace magazine. (A third-party predecessor to Monthly Bushiroad.) The alternate artwork used in this vanilla version of Blaster Blade is often pointed to as the origin point for the character Blaster Dark (née Junos/Yuunos) who in lore lacked the courage to use his sword's hidden skill.

Similar to the initial prototype card at the Tokyo Toy Show, an English-language Blaster Blade with a website ad in place of a skill was distributed in mid-2011 at the Anime Expo kick-off event to promote the game's English launch. While the flavor text was identical to its Trial Deck counterpart, the skill text instead read;
"The new era trading card game "Cardfight!! Vanguard"
Check the official website!"

The new anime series, codenamed "Origin," will begin airing May 5th, 2018, on TV Tokyo and affiliated stations. It will be simulcast with English subtitles on YouTube and Crunchyroll. V-Trial Deck 01: Blaster Blade and V-Trial Deck 02: Dragonic Overlord will launch in Japanese May 11th, 2018, and in English June 8th, 2018. V-BT01: UNITE! TEAM Q4! will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd, 2018.

Trial Deck Wingal and Gojo have different stats from Demo Deck versions

During your turn, all of your "Blaster Blade" on the same column as this unit get Power +5000.
The two Wingals (left) and two Gojos. (Right) Stardrive and Crested deck versions have lower base power.
Higher-definition images from Wednesday's bombshell announcement of a Cardfight!! Vanguard reboot series reveal a surprising fact about the upcoming first trial decks for the series, V-TD01: Blaster Blade and V-TD02: Dragonic Overlord. The Wingal and Dragon Monk Gojo promotional cards packaged with the decks have higher base power, tweaked effects, and different background art compared to the ones being used in the official demos of the game.

Both promotional versions of the grade 1s have 8000 base power rather than 7000, and while promo Gojo's skill is identical to its Crested deck counterpart, Wingal has a radically different skill that all but guarantees its staple status in Royal Paladin;

Dragon Monk Gojo (V-SD02/009 and VPR/000?)
ブーストした時 あなたのリアガードが相手より多いなら、そのターン中、ブーストされたユニットのパワー+3000。
"When boosting, if you have more rearguards than your opponent, during this turn, the boosted unit gets Power +3000."

Wingal (V-SD01/009)
"When boosting a vanguard, during that battle, this unit gets Power +5000."

Wingal (VPR/000?)
"During your turn, all of your "Blaster Blade" on the same column as this unit get Power +5000."

The sample image text compared with the phrase "on the same column."
While the resolution of the images is high enough to distinguish most of the text, "on the same column" should be treated as a tentative translation, as it's difficult to make out if the kanji really matches this phrase. Moreover, the promo card images are too low of a resolution to gauge their card numbers.

Vanguard has had multiple cards with the same name and radically different skills in the past, but usually separated by months or years. If the new Wingal really is as he appears to be, it's an upgrade competitive Royal Paladin fighters will be scrambling for. 8000 power grade 1s are sorely desired by those that have tried the new format, as while grade 2s have received a power bump to adjust for grade 3s being inflated into crossride-levels of base defense, the same can't be said for grade 1s as a whole.

Original image uploaded by @Bushiroad-Global. Note the Force Gift Markers near the edge of the table.
More than 300 locations "worldwide" are participating in the demo caravan campaign, which for the English game is set to begin in June, closer to the launch of the trial decks and first booster set. The first location to demo the English versions of the cards at all was the GAMA Trade Show in Reno, Nevada, over March 14th-16th. (Simultaneous demonstrations were held at Akihabara Gamers.) No English-language schedule of events has been released yet, while Japan has 318 such demonstrations scheduled in the months leading up to the May launch.

In Japan, the upgraded Wingal and Gojo will be distributed as part of a special bundle of one of the trial decks, a set of 70 card sleeves featuring Sendou Aichi or Kai Toshiki, and one copy of the promo card itself sporting an RRR-rarity foil. It's possible but not yet confirmed that non-foiled versions of these cards will also be in the Trial Decks, which are set to include four copies each of Blaster Blade, Dragonic Overlord, and their respective perfect defense cards. An English distribution for the promo cards has not yet been announced.

V-TD01: Blaster Blade and V-TD02: Dragonic Overlord will launch in Japanese May 11th, 2018, and in English June 8th, 2018. V-BT01: UNITE! TEAM Q4! will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd, 2018.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Not every clan will be getting Front Triggers, Triple Drive not in manual

A leaked image from the Japanese First Guides distributed with the first Standard format flash decks reveals that not every clan will be getting Cardfight!! Vanguard's newest trigger type.

Front Trigger
"All of your front-row units gain +10000 Power. This is a trigger that only certain clans possess."

As Front Triggers were created to replace Stand Triggers--which executive producer Shimamura Masatoshi confirmed there will be no more of--it's possible that Bushiroad R&D is seeking to balance Fronts by only giving them to the clans specifically designed for them. In particular, Front benefits Accel clans much more than it does Force or Protect, as it addresses both their weakness of being unable to boost their additional rearguard circles and their comparative defensive weakness by giving them a more powerful damage check. (The currently revealed Accel clans in Standard release order are Nova Grappler, Tachikaze, Aqua Force, Pale Moon, and Murakumo.)

Also of note is that where the First Guide describes the different unit abilities like Boost and Intercept, no description of Triple Drive!!! is presented, reinforcing the idea that there will be no strides printed for Standard format. It is possible that Triple Drive!!! is not explained because none of the cards in the flash decks have this ability, but Front Triggers are also not present in either of these.

Friday, March 16, 2018

G Units' future "unclear," new 3DS game "up to FuRyu" says Vanguard producer

Will Chrono appear in the new anime? How is Legion affected by Force? Producers answer 20 questions from fans.
March 16th, 2018. At 9:00 PM Japanese Standard Time, Cardfight!! Vanguard representative Doctor O began a special Weekly Bites stream alongside executive producer Shimamura "Shima-P" Masatoshi and original concept creator-manga author Itou Akira. The three of them answered 20 questions from fans about the new anime and game mechanics, and unveiled the first set of shop tournament promotional cards for the Standard format of the Cardfight!! Vanguard Trading Card Game, which will formally begin in May for Japan. The special episode of the stream was only announced the day before, and aired on both YouTube and NicoNico Live, with approximately 2000 and 1900 viewers joining in at peak times.

With regard to the appearance of G Units in the new anime and card game reboot, Shimamura stated that he was "unclear" on it. Explaining that "in the era Aichi and his friends live in, G Units do not exist yet," Shimamura considered it unlikely. In light of the official website displaying Gift Markers being used on a field with no G Zone present, this implies that no new strides will be printed for Standard format in the immediate future.

Concerning to the Cray Elemental and Etranger clans, Shimamura is likewise ambivalent on whether or not Cray Elementals will be available in the card game. As Etranger deals with cameos not from the world of Vanguard, he's certain players won't be able to build a full deck of them in the new series. For players that want to continue using G Units and Cray Elementals, Shimamura and Doctor O encouraged them to play the Premium format instead.

The May promotional cards for Standard format will be High Dog Breeder Seiran, and an alternate artwork print of Pongal from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4. Seiran is the participation prize for May, while Pongal is given exclusively to the winner and has embossed congratulatory text. This Pongal is being done in the style of an Origin Rare, using its 2011 artwork from BT02: Onslaught of Dragon Souls alongside its new effect.

For June the Standard format participation prize will be Demonic Dragon Madonna Joka, and the first-place prize will be an alternate artwork print of Lizard Soldier Raopia from V-BT01. Like Pongal, this Raopia is using its 2011 artwork from the BT04: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows.

The skills of these promotional cards remain "secret."

Doctor O also announced that Roselia, the band responsible for the opening sequence to the next anime season, will be performing a cover of JAM Project's Believe in my Existence as part of a crossover with Bushiroad's BanG Dream! Girls' Band Party! franchise. Believe in my Existence was originally used as the second opening to the first season of the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime, used from September 2011-March 2012.

The cover will debut in May.

The new restricted list for the Premium Standard and G Standard formats will be released on Tuesday April 17th. According to Shimamura, both the Premium Standard and Standard formats will be continued for "a long time." Premium is intended to be Vanguard as it has been up to now, while Standard will be a new body of regulations for a new Vanguard; these two will coexist, while G Standard will eventually be discontinued in October.

Doctor O also briefly showed cards from the first two 25-card flash fight decks, which will be used in training sessions across Japan from April 16th to May 30th. The full contents of the Star Drive and Crested Dragon decks have already been posted to the Japanese Cardfight portal.

A special version of the Crested Dragon deck will be distributed in the May issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine, containing an alternate artwork of Dragon Knight Nehalem that uses his 2011 artwork from TD02: Raging Dragon of the Empire.

Doctor O shows off the Force Gift Marker.
The trio took on 20 questions from fans, primarily clarifying the Imaginary Gift mechanic;

1.) Will Chrono and his friends, and the other G Series characters appear in the new series?
Itou: I can't say they won't.
Doctor O: Chrono does exist in this new world, though?
Itou: He does. [...] The manga is the basis for this new series, so we're following Aichi right now.
Shimamura: We're starting from the beginning with the manga as the base.
Itou: It's not exactly the "Comic Chapter" in the way that Vanguard G is the "G Chapter," but a new title.

2.) Will the broadcast/information delivery system used up to now continue?
It will continue on NicoNico Douga and YouTube.

3.) Is "Origin" the formal subtitle of the new series?
My apologies, it is not the formal subtitle. "Origin" is just a code name.

4.) Are Gift Markers only in trial decks?
Aside from the 3 Gift Markers you get in a trial deck, they will be available elsewhere, in booster packs and such.

5.) Please explain where we should place Gift Markers, how many we can have, how we should sleeve them, etc.
Gift Markers are placed approximately in the area used for the G Zone. They should be sleeved differently from both your main deck and your G Zone. You may have any number of Gift Markers.
Doctor O: Though it might be hard to use more than three.

6.)  Do we have to use the Gift Markers found in official products, or can we make our own?
In free play you may do as you please, but in the official tournaments you must use official Markers.

7.) Are the Gift Markers "Force" and "Accel" treated as cards while on the field?
No. Gift Markers are not cards. For example, they are not affected by Perfect Performance Ange.

8.) If a circle with "Force" or "Accel" on it is Locked, what do we do with the Gift Marker?
The circle becomes a Locked circle, but that is all. Even the card on top of a Marker is Locked, the Marker remains, and when it Unlocks, the Marker is still there.

9.) What happens if you Dominate a unit with a Marker on it?
[Force and Accel] Gift Markers only take effect "on your turn," and you only become master of the unit, not the marker, so it does not take effect while the unit is Dominated.

10.) What happens if the "Protect" Marker leaves my hand?
It returns to the Gift Marker area. Protect cannot exist outside of the hand or guardian circle. If it's placed from hand to rearguard Locked [like with Chaos Universe] or if it's bound from hand [like with Euryale] the Marker simply returns to the Gift area.

11.) Can the "Protect" Gift Maker be chosen for Super Dimensional Robo Daikaiser's effect while it's on the guardian circle?
When it is placed into the guardian circle it becomes a unit, so it can be chosen and broken by Daikaiser's skill.

12.) Will the triggers made up to now, that give +5000 power, become +10000 power triggers?
They will not. +5000 power triggers will remain +5000 power triggers. Although the power differential may make you want to use one over the other, many +5000 power triggers still have desirable abilities. So it's a trade-off.

13.) What will become of the Stand Trigger?
There are no plans to print new Stand Triggers in the future. Existing triggers can still be used.

14.) Will Narukami, Oracle Think Tank, Pale Moon, and Granblue ever get unique effect heal triggers?
It may take some time, but it will definitely happen.

15.) Will the activation conditions for "Stride" and "Legion" change?
They will.

[The change to stride has already been detailed on the Japanese portal. Stride can now be performed if at the beginning of your turn, before any of your phases, you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard, regardless of whether or not the opponent is at grade 3.]

16.) If the vanguard circle is under the effect of "Force," and you have a Legion active, how does the power increase apply?
Both the Legion Mate and Legion Leader get the power boost from a single Force applied to the vanguard circle. So if you have a 20000-power Legion, one Force would make it 40000-power by increasing both halves by +10000.

17.) When performing Legion, if a Front Trigger activates, what becomes of its power?
Because Front Triggers affect the entire Front Row, both Legion Mate and Legion Leader will gain +10000 power.

18.) At the Great Vanguard Festival's Fight Corner, what regulations will be used?
Because of the timing [April 29th-30th] we will use the regulations from up to now.

19.) What regulations will be used during the Bushiroad Card Fight and World Grand Prix?
BCF will use Standard and G Standard. Premium Standard will only be used in Free Fights. WGP will use Premium Standard and Standard.

20.) Will there be a new 3DS game?
I'm sorry, but it's up to FuRyu. I would like a new 3DS title, but it's in their hands.

The next regular episode of Weekly Bites will air March 20th, at 9:00 PM JST.