Monday, July 8, 2013

News: Shadow Paladin and Link Joker Top Tokyo Regional, Granblue Provokes Applause in Team Tournament

Update: The decklists for the tournament are now out.

Doctor O has reported the results of the Fighter's Road 2013 Tokyo regional tournament, which was just completed earlier today. Drawing much excitement, the Eradicator deadlock that has dominated much of the tournament season was broken by the arrival of VG-BT12: Binding Force of the  Black Rings and the new Shadow Paladin and Link Joker decks with it. Doctor O listed Tokyo's Open division top 4 as Shadow Paladin, Narukami and Link Joker, implying that one of these clans made two separate entries into the top.

Meanwhile in the VF High School team tournaments, the winning team drew cheers from the audience for its Granblue cardfighter, who carried their team to the top in spite of the clan having not received proper support since April of last year, in VG-BT06: Breaker of Limits. Decklists for the Open, Junior and team tournaments should be coming out later this week, providing a view of just how heavily BT12's release has impacted professional play.

While the success of Shadow Paladin and Link Joker was not completely unexpected, these new builds being able to compete with decks like Descendant on-release is still an unanticipated upset. Raging Folm Dragon's and Nebula Lord's prices in Japan have since jumped up into the range of 2000 yen per card (approximately $20 US) and Link Joker's perfect defense Promethium has gone to 1800 JPY, comparable to Barri's price during the Japanese reign of Dragonic Overlord The End. For comparison, the Revenger print of Mac Lir is hovering at 900-1000 yen, and the RRR print of Descendant has stayed at 900-1200. Cardfighters all across the country are eager to overturn the Eradicators' stranglehold on Fighter's Road, and with only two regionals remaining there is a limited window within which to do that. One trend that has been noted by attending cardfighters is the increased prevalence of Dark Zone clans; the introduction of Reverse units has deeply empowered Pale Moon and Dark Irregulars beyond their previous eras in BT03 and BT07, with Luquier Reverse and Amon Reverse being heavily proliferated across the different divisions. A distortion has appeared in the otherwise stable Japanese scene, and practically overnight the clan of the next national champion has become uncertain. Link Joker may be just the wild card pro fighters have been looking for.