Saturday, March 16, 2013

News: Hobby Station Vanguard Championship Tournament Results, Shadow Paladin Victory, Eradicators Defeated

The Japanese pro scene is currently exploding from the Hobby Station Vanguard Championship tournament results, where in a surprise final match, a Dark Dictator-based Shadow Paladin cardfighter defeated his Eradicator opponent. Hot off the presses from BT10: Triumphant Return of the King of Knights, the Eradicators have been hailed as one of the definitive competitive decks of Japan's January-on format. Their defeat by Dictator, an underground deck that has never been mainstream in the nine months since its June 2012 release, has shaken the world of pros to its core.

Notably, photos of the event show the Shadow Paladin cardfighter with somewhere between five and eight base 8000 grade 1s, accomplished by running the TD09 reprint of Red River Dragon in addition to Black Sage Charon. Because crossride mechanics are currently irrelevant in Japan's break ride format, the current scene is dominated largely by base 11000 vanguards, which means that anticrossride base 10000 units like CoCo and Garmore have gone out of style. As a result, Dictator's full 20000 power is no longer a goal for Shadow Paladin cardfighters--with this in mind, tournament champion "Jaguar" likely realized that he could afford to miss out on that maximized power in exchange for a more consistent rearguard boost. While some blogs have speculated that this Dictator deck uses Phantom Blaster Overlord as a finisher, Overlord's continuous -2000 for having a non-Shadow Paladin rearguard in play versus the inclusion of Red River suggests otherwise. A proper deck recipe is forthcoming, expected to go up on the 20th.

Update 3/20/3012: The deck recipe has been posted.
Deck Name: ShadoPala
Handle: Jaguar
Grade 3
x4 The Dark Dictator
x3 Origin Mage, Ildona
Grade 2
x4 Knight of Darkness, Rugos
x2 Cursed Lancer
x3 Darkness Maiden, Macha
x4 Skull Witch, Nemain
Grade 1
x4 Black Sage, Charon
x4 Witch of Nostrum, Arianrhod
x4 Dark Shield, Mac Lir
x1 Red River Dragoon
Grade 0
x1 Creeping Dark Goat (FVG)
x4 Grim Reaper CT
x4 Death Feather Eagle CT
x4 Abyss Freezer DT
x4 Abyss Healer HT
VGCS tournaments are unofficial, large-scale amateur tournaments unaffiliated with Bushiroad Inc. that are often organized by Japan's network of fans and card shops. Despite their unofficial nature, these tournaments are being carefully observed in Japan because of their high turnout and utility as a way to observe the state of the game between official events. Hobby Station's VGCS is just the latest of these amateur events, boasting a massive bracket of 92 participating cardfighters. The large scale of the tournaments is self-supporting, as the entry fees go toward supporting prizes for the top eight cardfighters, which start at fifteen booster packs and can climb as high as five boxes from the latest booster set. Entry costs 1,000円 per person (a little under $11.)

VGCS is primarily organized by Kohaku ("Amber") of 立川VGCS, a blog that serves as the announcement page for the tournaments. Due to the high success of this VGCS, a followup tournament is in the works.

(via hstachikawa, 立川VGCS, Vanguard Announce and 2critical)