Monday, April 29, 2013

Ride to Victory Translation Part 5: Shop Tournament Semifinals

←Part 4
Card Capital

The intense fights go on at the shop tournament's much anticipated finale. The semifinals are beginning! The first match is, the favorite to win through the round Sendou, and [Player Name] contending.

Wow! I was looking forward to being able to fight you. So that we have no regrets, let's fight fair and square with all our strength.

Whoever wins this fight will be well worth seeing.

Hmm? Won't Aichi win?

I wonder about that. I think you shouldn't be taking her lightly.

Having come this far, she could advance to the next round. Make no mistake, she has real ability.

Huff, looks like I made it in time for the semifinals. I almost missed it eating lunch. Good grief, it's because you guys asked for seconds on gyoza.

We're very sorry.

VS yo...

Gyoza are Japanese dumplings similar to pot stickers. The word actually has a long o ("gyouza") sound in Japanese, but like "Tokyo" this is one of those things that was omitted after the word was adopted to English.

Be quiet. The match is starting.

Aichiii! [Player Name]-san! Both of you, do your beeest!

Now, it's beginning. My Royal Paladin allies, lend me your strength!

"Enter the fray, king of all knights! I ride the King of Knights, Alfred!"
Grade 0
x1 Stardust Trumpeter (FVG)
x3 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x3 Margal DT
Grade 1
x3 Little Sage, Marron
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x1 Lake Maiden, Lien
x1 Pongal
Grade 2

x3 Blaster Blade
x1 Knight of Silence, Gallatin
x1 High Dog Breeder, Akane
Grade 3
x2 King of Knights, Alfred
x2 Soul Saver Dragon
(Above are the confirmed cards that we've seen; there are around 25 cards missing from this list, but until complete data can be assembled it should give you an idea of what to expect from Aichi.)

Aichi's deck is a fairly cut and dry Alfred/Soul Saver Dragon deck that just about anyone that's taken a glance at the deck recipes from 2011 can recognize, but there's a glaring hole in it. The first vanguard is Stardust Trumpeter, not Barcgal or even Wingal Brave. This is to conform with the game's internal restricted list, and Trumpeter does guarantee that he keeps one more soul for Saver Dragon where he couldn't guarantee Brave going back in, but Margal would actually give Brave a lot of synergy with this deck since he'd have a 17000 Blaster Blade and Brave vanguard line going, which almost guarantees a no-guard to get Brave in while also thinning his deck. Furthermore, basically no one has ever run SSD with Stardust Trumpeter because the Drangal and Galahad line was so much more efficient for both getting you the extra soul and an extra card lead. Now, there is a good reason that the game has to not use Drangal or Brave here because they need to differentiate Aichi from a couple other in-game characters, but it really would have been better for the game to break its own rules this one time to let Aichi have Barcgal as his first vanguard.

So, he's not going to be getting any extra advantage early in the fight, and he's gonna have to look to other sources for that fifth soul. Aichi's deck is pretty good on this front. Pongal gets him one more soul with his counterblast while also adding Soul Saver to the hand, and he can be a search target for two different cards, Akane and Alfred. Akane has an 8000 base and can call any Royal Paladin High Beast for a counterblast 2 when she's called or ridden, which nets Aichi a one-card lead. Other than Pongal, she can also target Margal, then move it to the soul for +3000 power and as another option toward the fifth soul.

Be wary of giving Aichi too much damage to play around with, because his AI loves Blaster Blade's counterblast 2 more than anything else in the deck and will freely retire your rearguards at the first chance it gets. On the other hand, it has trouble with Alfred. While the King of Knights is generally thought to be the one boss card that needs no introduction, I'll go over his skills just in case. In the vanguard circle Alfred can't be boosted, but he gets +2000 power for each Royal Paladin rearguard, which means that if your vanguard is at 10000 or less power, you have to drop 20000 in shield to make him need two triggers to hit. The majority of offensive vanguards from BT01-BT07 fall into that category, so Aichi already has a good way to force his critical triggers through and get you to five damage faster. Alfred's other skill is an expensive counterblast 3 to superior call any grade 2 or lesser Royal Paladin, which makes it difficult to combo to anything but nonetheless it's one card more that he doesn't have to put down from his hand.

The trouble here is that Aichi's AI doesn't handle Alfred's counterblast well. He prioritizes Blaster Blade and Pongal, which means that even when it would be better to conserve more of his hand for defense, he'll call from the hand just in case he can get those cards out later on.

The reason that Alfred getting you to five damage is so important is for Soul Saver Dragon, one of the very first explosive attack cards in Cardfight. On-ride SSD can soulblast 5 to give three Royal Paladin rearguards +5000 power, and on-attack she gets +3000, so you have a consistent 21000+ power vanguard line as well as two rearguards pushing 21000+. Luckily, Aichi doesn't seem to run Palamedes this early in the game, so you don't need to worry about 26000+ rearguard lines, but that's still a lot to defend against and you'll probably need to let one attack through. You can try to go after his front row to weaken the skill, but unless you're playing Kagerou or Narukami, if Aichi has a good back row out and gets Pongal going, you're in for a very destructive endgame.

It's my loss. You're amazing.  You've become strong in such a short time. I lost, but I can feel that it was a good fight, and it was fun. At last, the finals are next. I think it will be an intense fight, but do your best.

The next round is coming up, so please make your preparations.

←Part 4