Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spotlight: Nakagawa Yuuki/中川祐岐

Fighter's Spotlight is an ongoing project concerned with tracking real-world professional cardfighters across the globe.
Nakagawa Yuuki/中川祐岐
Age: Unknown (Junior Class)
Titles Won: Nagoya Regional Champion (Fighter's Climax 2012)
Current Status: Nagoya Regional Champion (Reigning)
Deck Type: Royal Paladin (Majesty Lord Blaster)
Nakagawa Yuuki is one of the first cardfighters to qualify in the Fighter's Climax 2012, the Winter tour of the 2012 Japanese national event. Nakagawa is a rising star among elementary cardfighters; due to his deck type's overall lack of presence in the Seniors division, the Junior class events are the primary tournaments in which it sees much use, and so Nakagawa is one of the only fighters currently in the running for the title representing the Blaster deck.

Decks and Play Style
Compared to contemporary builds, Nakagawa's deck places much heavier emphasis on critical triggers, numbering twelve of them in the entire list and even cutting one heal trigger so that these along with draw triggers could be fitted in. The deck is wholly devoted to its Blaster mechanic, with four Kay despite the benefit that extra Toypugals could have on his Palamedes, Bedivere and Starcall. Due to Wingal Brave being the only effective way to search for Majesty Lord Blaster, exploiting alternate search methods to gather the remaining two pieces of his skill is essential. The inclusion of a lone Gancelot allows for Blaster Blade to be effectively run in five copies, necessary for a deck where counterblast is reserved for a few occasional but very big moves with Starcall Trumpeter, to bring out the otherwise-difficult to grab Dark.

The deck uses only seven grade 3s, following a pattern of Nakagawa's time where Palamedes was generally run as a two-of staple rather than the three/four-of advocated by previous RoPala decks. This is to maximize the odds of getting out a first-turn ride with fifteen grade 1s, but also because Nakagawa seems to have put together his deck with the idea of repeating Majesty Lord Blaster's autoskill across multiple turns, and so having two frontline circles available would frequently benefit his high-pressure strategy. Unlike in 2011, running four perfect defense cards was very common throughout 2012, due to the rapid power acceleration of limit break and crossride units. Because of the ease with which a Blaster deck can set up its frontline formation, repeating that skill is a costly but sometimes worthwhile maneuver, and its setup can have a secondary effect of drawing attention away from the vanguard. Interestingly, Nakagawa's final regional match with Nakamura Shunto was very close to being a mirror match from grade 2 upward, with Alfred replacing Gancelot in Nakamura's deck. The defining difference between them then, was Nakagawa's use of four perfect defense cards over three, Toypugal over Apocalypse Bat, and maximizing Kay over including Lien. Part of this can be ascribed to Kay's attack skill, as with Wingal Brave's boost he can either force the opponent to guard for difficult numbers in the opening of the game, or make Brave's search skill highly effective at the start to compensate for the lack of general early deck-sifting that Lien gives.

Winter 2012 Regional Tournament, Nagoya Juniors Division (Japan)
Card Pool: TD01-BT08, PR 0001-0079
Grade 0
x1 Wingal Brave (FVG)
x4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona CT
x2 Knight of the Future, Llew CT
x3 Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine HT
x3 Margal DT
x4 Alabaster Owl CT
Grade 1
x4 Flash Shield, Iseult
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x1 Soul Guiding Elf
x2 Toypugal
x4 Knight of Friendship, Kay
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade
x4 Blaster Dark
x2 Starcall Trumpeter
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x1 Solitary Knight, Gancelot
x2 Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes
x4 Majesty Lord Blaster