Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spotlight: Brandon Bastianelli

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters across the globe. 
Bastianelli is at the left, in his crowning match with Connor Murphy.
Brandon Bastianelli
Birthdate: April 18, 1989
Titles Won: Chicago Regional Champion
Current Status: Chicago Regional Champion (2012)
Deck Type: Gold Paladin (Spectral Duke Dragon), Dimension Police (Great Daiyusha)
Brandon Bastianelli is the former 2012 Chicago regional champion, having attended the event alongside his teammate Brandon Smith in a bid for the national title. Smith and Bastianelli are close friends, Bastianelli having been introduced to the game by Smith at their shop. Bastianelli was originally a Royal Paladin cardfighter, before discovering Duke's self-standing ability and later introducing it to Smith.

Following his original success, Bastianelli became a Dimension Police cardfighter on the English debut of BT04 to train for the eventual release of Ultimate Dimensional Robo Great Daiyusha, promising to run the deck in Worlds 2013. After some deliberation, he did run the Great Daiyusha deck on his return to Chicago, but was eliminated early. Since that time Bastianelli has expressed interest in running the new Link Joker clan for the 2014 tournament season, citing personal appreciation of control-based decks.

Decks and Play Style
Bastianelli's Gold Paladin deck was co-developed between him and Smith, with Bastianelli having developed the early build, later dropping it for the Royals while Smith fine-tuned it. As a result of their diligence, the finished deck would eventually top both the Canadian and Chicago regionals, with no modifications made between appearances.

The deck uses an eight critical, four draw build to try to maximize output critical, forcing the opponent to race Bastianelli for damage and activate his limit break more easily. The extra critical triggers also help with Duke Dragon's self-standing skill, as it retains the effects of the triggers upon standing, mitigating the relative lack of threat that it poses upon losing twin drive. Falcon Knight was passed over for Gwydion as his draw, most likely because Gwydion's 5000 power can still push Duke Dragon up to 16000 or Gigantech up to 17000.

Sleygal Dagger and Little Battler, Tron both work as alternative boosters to one another, Tron turning Duke Dragon into a 21000-power column while Dagger can achieve similar numbers by repeating her counterblast. Due to the popularly questioned integrity of the 2012 championship's double elimination single game format, the most widely agreed upon point about this deck is that its main feature is the ride security. Unlike other cardfighters, Bastianelli's use of the Vortimer ride chain gives him seven extra cards to parse through for his grade 2 and 3 ride, helping to ensure that he does not miss a ride or on his initial twin drive.

This Spectral Duke build also emphasizes Viviane more commonly than contemporary builds, compensating for the steep loss in advantage that Duke Dragon's powerful limit break confers. Aside from this, Viviane's main use is to force the opponent to defend at times when they would normally allow the attack through, as the threat of a superior call is oftentimes more intimidating to the opponent than the actual call itself. His deck is somewhat weakened by the absence of Tripp, as without the ability to unflip damage, any counterblast that is used is permanently lost. This weakens his capacity to survive the latter parts of a match, since without any counterblast the deck's skills are cut off from use, but as it's inherently difficult to survive a well executed Dragon rush, it's rare for the deck to reach that point in the game.

Winter 2012 Regional Tournament, Chicago: The Dark Knight
Card Pool: TD01-BT03, BT06-EB03, PR 0001-0029
Grade 0
x1 Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer (FVG)
x4 Silent Punisher CT
x4 Elixir Sommelier HT
x4 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion DT
x4 Flame of Victory CT
Grade 1
x2 Sleygal Dagger
x4 Halo Shield, Mark
x1 Little Battler, Tron
x4 Scout of Darkness, Vortimer
x4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
Grade 2
x4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
x3 Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
x4 Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer
Grade 3
x4 Spectral Duke Dragon
x3 Gigantech Destroyer