Saturday, June 22, 2013

News: Gauntlet Buster and Sweep Command Dragon Storm Fukuoka

This morning Doctor O tweeted the results of the Fukuoka branch of Fighters Road 2013, Japan's ongoing national championship. The Junior class champion took first place using a Narukami deck, with second place going to a Kagerou cardfighter.  The Open class tournament had both its first and second place spots taken by Narukami fighters, one using a now-standard Gauntlet Buster Dragon and Descendant deck, with the other using a different Eradicator build that combined Spark Horn and Sweep Command Dragon, using cards from the eleventh booster set, BT11: Seal Dragon Unleashed. Spark Horn has drawn some attention as a variation on the Eradicator formula, as when his attack hits a vanguard he can use an especial counterblast to retire an opponent's rearguard--without needing to be at limit break. This gives a Narukami fighter a stronger midgame, pressuring the opponent to drop cards for defense earlier in a fight, weakening their overall presence when the time comes for Sweep Command to hit the field, simultaneously retiring the opponent's rearguards and drawing new cards through his limit break and a combo with the Eradicators' many retire skills.

The Eradicators' continued dominance throughout this tournament season has drawn criticism, as the Narukami clan as a whole has continued to receive support from every core booster set since BT08, with multiple cards coming out as definitively competitive decks of their own, and this trend will not be broken until VG-BT13: Catastrophic Outbreak. With Descendant having come out as a competitive deck surpassing Dragonic Overlord The End in threat, the restricted list having done little to stop his reign, currently accounting for five of the eight Open class decks currently being used to contend for the national title and 32% of all 2013 tournament decks, an extremely powerful crossbreak Reverse unit coming for the clan in VG-BT12: Binding Force of the Black Rings, and the build only becoming stronger as a counter to the new Lock mechanic, many are calling for the plug to be pulled on the clan altogether. For some however, Spike Brothers having broken the Eradicator's stranglehold on the format at Hiroshima has inspired new hope.

The remaining three tournaments will take place in Tokyo, Sapporo and Nagoya with the Tokyo tournament being next in line on the 7th of July. This will be the first time that Okayama, Hakata and Osaka will not be participating.