Saturday, January 25, 2014

News: Beast Deity Cardfighter Places First in Fateclock Championship, Fighter's Climax 2013 National Finals Decklists

Kitano Civic Center, Hachiouji.
The fifth Fateclock Vanguard Championship concluded today with the only Ethics Buster cardfighter in the tournament topping first out of 81 participants. For the purposes of this VGCS, held on January 25th in Japan, the February 1st Fighter's Rules and accompanying restricted list were adopted prior to their effective date, providing a look into what the February-on format looks like. Although Kagerou and Genesis together accounted for 48 of the 81 decks entered, the top 4 still ended with two Nova Grappler cardfighters billed for first and second.

Interestingly, the primary influence for these Nova Grappler decks seems to come from the 2013 junior national championships. CS champion "One Way Road" fought with a Beast Deity deck similar to Nagoya regional champion Muramatsu Masakiyo's (村松真聖) decklist, with an identical grade 3 lineup that takes advantage of the Beast Deity's shared support to make an amorphous strategy based around Ethics Buster that can either set up an eight attack combo using its Reverse card's limit break in combination with Buster's break ride skill or use Ethics Extreme to form an independent strategy even if the break ride is missed. One Way Road's primary renovations were to run Street Bouncer and Energy Charger for cheap card advantage and Miraioh, the clan's generic grade 3 searching first vanguard, rather than Riot Horn as is more common. Meanwhile runner-up Ojima's Blaukluger deck drew inspiration from Nishida Sachi's (西田祥) Osaka decklist, using Galaxy and Mond Blaukluger in tandem with the Mars and Jupiter Blau series and 3 copies of the original Blaukluger for early game combos through low counterblast skills and damage unflipping. As in the official tournaments, some familiar names have cropped up as Gungnir has turned up on the radar once more, this time in fourth place with a Minerva-based Genesis deck rather than the Raging Form Dragon that first put him on the map, and Gaiji who some may remember from a previous Fateclock team tournament has likewise come up again right on Gungnir's heels.

The fifth Fateclock VGCS was held in Hachiouji city's Kitano Civic Center and used a Swiss tournament ruleset with 5 rounds of Swiss draw and a 20 minute time limit followed by a cut to top 16. For the top 16, 50 minutes were allotted for best of 3 sets between each participant. Under these rules the tournament began at 11:15 AM and ended at 6:50 PM, with the awards ceremony finishing at 7:00 PM. The tournament's entry fee was 1000 yen, approximately $10 US, and the prize payout was a Nintendo 3DS XL for first place, second place a standard size 3DS, while third place received three boxes of VG-BT14: Brilliant Strike, fourth place two boxes of the same and the rest of the best 8 one box each. The system used by the tournament is similar to that previously tested at the West Tokyo VGCS, which has been employed since then in the majority of CS events.
The Fifth Fateclock VGCS Top 8 
One Way Road/一方通行 Beast Deity
Ojima/オジマ Blau
Black-Rimmed Glasses/くろぶちめがね Dominate Nouvelle
Gungnir/ぐんぐにーる Minerva
Gaiji/カイジ Minerva
Miju/ミジュ Nouvelle
Tsubame/つばめ Dominate
Wago/わご Blau
Of the participants, 23 fighters played Kagerou decks (13 of those based around Dragonic Nouvelle Vague and 10 of them on Dauntless Dominate Dragon "Яeverse"), 23 played Genesis, 8 Royal Paladin (1 Jewel Knight, 6 Sanctuary Guard Dragon and 1 Majesty Lord Blaster), 7 Link Joker, 6 Nova Grappler (5 based on the Blau series, with 1 Beast Deity deck), 5 Gold Paladin (3 Gancelot Zenith and 2 Ezel decks), 3 Shadow Paladin, 2 Narukami, 2 Pale Moon, 1 Dimension Police and 1 played Oracle Think Tank. The top 4 decks have been translated into English at the bottom of the page, and can be jumped to directly by searching the page for [5FVGCS].

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops. Unlike Bushiroad's larger official tournaments, most VGCS events are done using a best of 3, Swiss tournament model. Turnout is typically 70-80 persons, but some events see 100 or more participants, all of whom compete using pseudonyms and internet handles rather than their real names as in official events.

Lee Innyeng (center right) and Adachi Yuuki (center left) hold up the first and second place trophies.
In other news, the FC2013 national championship decklists were unveiled through the Japanese Cardfight portal yesterday, revealing Lee Innyeng as the winter 2013 national champion. Lee achieved his position with a Revenger deck, based around the twin boss cards that have remained popular since their debut last July, Mordred Phantom and Raging Form Dragon. He is followed by Adachi Yuuki, Issei Sakashita and Hung Kai Chen in Japan's winter best 4, and is the first national champion to use the Shadow Paladin clan; his immediate predecessor, Kokubo Hikaru, played Pale Moon and was the cardfighter that first broke a two year chain of Royal Paladin dominance over the national title. Among the other developments since the previous national tournament, Sakashita's Gancelot build in third place and Hung's Minerva deck in fourth mark the first time that quintet walls have been used in pro decks, at a 1:3 ratio with their perfect defense cards. Quintet Walls are well liked for conserving cards expended from the hand when defending, using their counterblast 1 skill to put the top 5 cards of the deck onto the guardian circle, but can be difficult to manage in higher numbers with counterblast-heavy decks and conflict with perfect defense cards due to sharing the Sentinel keytext.

On the surface, national champion Lee's deck is a very traditional Revenger deck. While other Shadow Paladin cardfighters have experimented with running Creeping Dark Goat as the first vanguard and Claudas as a Dark Bond target, and running 12 grade 3s at the sacrifice of grade 1 space is common to max out Tartu, Lee has done something more subtle with his construction. Instead of running Goat he chose to run two copies of Claudas, the Revengers' unique first vanguard, to create several favorable scenarios for the deck. Primarily this is being able to fetch two Blaster Dark Revengers without needing to rely on Mordred's break ride skill, using Dorin to conserve counterblast and Darkbond to fetch the second Claudas if it is not drawn. Since Dark Bond superior calls Claudas at rest, Shadow Paladin cardfighters have every incentive to immediately put Claudas into the soul with his skill to turn Dark Bond's otherwise serviceable +1 into an active rearguard able to declare an attack that turn. Having a second Claudas ready to come into play also helps deal with Linchu, Moebius Breath Dragon and Dust Tail Unicorn, common staples in the present format that counter Claudas by restricting how quickly he can be used as with Moebius or outright removing him with Linchu or Dust Tail into Chaos Breaker. The core elements of the deck are still the same field buildup with Mordred and Tartu that previous Revenger decks have rlied on, controlling the opponent's field with Dark Revenger and striking a finishing blow with Raging Form's self-stand skill, but Lee has refined it to make the deck run better than it did in Fighter's Road.

Lee is the first Japanese champion to not be ethnically Japanese, born of Cambodian descent. Like the American and Luxembourgian world champions, Lee's achievement points to the globalization of Cardfight!! Vanguard as a competitive game and extends this even to within Japan, but also has deeper significance for everyday fighters in the country. Pro cardfighters in Japan primarily come from a Yamato Japanese background, leading to less visibility of minority ethnic groups in high level play. The FC2013 national decklists have been translated below, and can be jumped to directly by searching the page for [FC13OP].

The Fifth Fateclock VGCS [5FVGCS]
First Place
One-Way Road/一方通行
Grade 0
x1 Transmigrating Reincarnation, Miraioh
x1 Beast Deity, Bright Cobra CT
x4 Beast Deity, Banpauros DT
x3 Red Lightning CT
x4 Beast Deity, Death Stinger CT
x4 Beast Deity, Rescue Bunny HT
Grade 1
x4 Beast Deity, Desert Gator
x4 Beast Deity, Solar Falcon
x3 Energy Charger
x1 Beast Deity, Max Beat
Grade 2
x4 Beast Deity, Hatred Chaos
x4 Street Bouncer
x2 Beast Deity, Brainy Pabio
x2 Beast Deity, Golden Anglet
Grade 3
x4 Beast Deity, Ethics Buster
x2 Strongest Beast Deity, Ethics Buster Extreme
x3 Deadliest Beast Deity, Ethics Buster "Яeverse"

Second Place
Grade 0
x1 Morgenroet (FV)
x4 Red Lightning CT
x4 Schones Wetter CT
x2 Schneeregen DT
x2 The Gong DT
x4 Regenbogen HT
Grade 1
x4 Blau Dunkelheit
x4 Clay-doll Mechanic
x4 Stoic Hunny
x2 Screamin' And Dancin' Announcer, Shout
Grade 2
x4 Jupiter Blaukluger
x4 Mars Blaukluger
x3 Blaukluger
Grade 3
x4 Galaxy Blaukluger
x4 Mond Blaukluger

Third Place
Black-Rimmed Glasses/くろぶちめがね
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
x4 Blue-Ray Dracokid CT
x4 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Dragon Dancer, Barbara HT
Grade 1
x2 Nouvelle Roman Dragon
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x4 Calamity Tower Wyvern
x2 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x2 Dragon Dancer, Maria
Grade 2
x4 Nouvelle Critique Dragon
x4 Dominate Drive Dragon
x3 Bellicosity Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dauntless Drive Dragon
x2 Dauntless Dominate Dragon “Я”
Grade 4
x2 Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague

Fourth Place
Grade 0
x1 Vivid Rabbit (FV)
x3 Witch of Lemons, Limoncello CT
x2 Cyber Tiger CT
x4 Battle Maiden, Kukurihime CT
x3 Bandit Danny DT
x4 Witch of Big Pots, Laurier HT
Grade 1
x4 Witch of Apples, Cider
x4 Orange Witch, Valencia
x4 Goddess of Protection, Kushinada
x2 Ordain Eagle
Grade 2
x4 Witch of Ravens, Chamomile
x4 Grape Witch, Grappa
x3 Goddess of Trees, Jupiter
Grade 3
x4 Omniscience Regalia, Minerva
x4 Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica

Fighter's Climax 2013 National Championship, Open Division [FC13OP]
National Champion: Lee Innyeng
Grade 0
x2 Frontline Revenger, Claudas (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Morale Revenger, Dorin
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x3 Transience Revenger, Masquerade
x2 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
Grade 2
x4 Nullity Revenger, Masquerade
x3 Dark Cloak Revenger, Tartu
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Raging Form Dragon
x4 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom

Runner-up: Adachi Yuuki/足立優樹
Grade 0
x1 Extending Black Ring, Pleiades (FV)
x1 Star-vader, Dusttail Unicorn
x4 Star-vader, Nebula Captor DT
x4 Star-vader, Stellar Garage HT
x4 Star-vader, Meteoliger CT
x4 Star-vader, Weiss Soldat CT
Grade 1
x1 Star-vader, Aurora Eagle
x2 Star-vader, Chaos Beat Dragon
x4 Barrier Star-vader, Promethium
x2 Demonic Claw Star-vader, Lanthanum
x4 Prison Gate Star-vader, Palladium
Grade 2
x4 Star-vader, Colony Maker
x4 Star-vader, Moebius Breath Dragon
x3 Unrivaled Star-vader, Radon
Grade 3
x4 Star-vader, Infinite Zero Dragon
x4 Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon

Third Place: Sakashita Issei/坂下一生
Grade 0
x1 Little Fighter, Cron (FV)
x4 Elixir Liberator HT
x4 Weapons Liberator, Gwydion DT
x4 Liberator of Hope, Epona CT
x4 Strike Liberator CT
Grade 1
x4 Little Liberator, Marron
x4 Barcgal Liberator
x2 May Rain Liberator, Bruno
x4 Halo Liberator, Mark
x1 Sword Formation Liberator, Igraine
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade Liberator
x4 Liberator of the Flute, Escrad
x4 Liberator of Royalty, Phallon
Grade 3
x4 Liberator of Bonds, Gancelot Zenith
x3 Solitary Liberator, Gancelot

Fourth Place: Hung Kai Chen
Grade 0
x1 Vivid Rabbit (FV)
x4 Witch of Big Pots, Laurier HT
x2 Bandit Danny DT
x4 Witch of Lemons, Limoncello CT
x4 Battle Maiden, Kukurihime CT
x2 Cyber Tiger DT
Grade 1
x3 Goddess of Protection, Kushinada
x1 Goddess of the Shield, Aegis
x4 Apple Witch, Cider
x3 Ordain Owl
x3 Witch of Frogs, Melissa
Grade 2
x3 Grape Witch, Grappa
x3 Witch of Ravens, Chamomile
x4 Goddess of Trees, Jupiter
x1 Witch of Owls, Paprika
Grade 3
x4 Omniscience Regalia, Minerva
x4 Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica