Wednesday, January 29, 2014

News: Trial Decks 14 & 15 Announced, Royal Paladins to Return for Legion Mate, Catastrophic Outbreak Sees English Release Date

Early this morning the Japanese cf-vanguard portal updated with information on two upcoming trial decks for the fourth season of the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime, Legion Mate. To be released on April 18, the 50-card preconstructed decks VG-TD14: Seeker of Hope (希望の探索者(シーカー) Kibou no Tansakumono (Shiikaa)) and VG-TD15: Brawler of Friendship (友情の喧嘩屋(ブロウラー) Yuujyou no Kenkaya (Burouraa)) will each introduce 17 new cards, with three foils in each TD, one RRR and two R-rarity cards. Unlike with past TDs which were reprinted later in the year of their introduction, both decks will launch alongside their Beginning Set equivalents, which will have the same contents but with RRR reprints of Claudia, Spark Kid Dragoon and two Royal Paladin and Narukami units from the as of yet untitled BT16. The Beginning Sets will also come with 53 official sleeves, a deckholder, a Fighter's Counter used to show power increases on cards, and a Cardfight Pack Vol. 13 with a random promo card inside. While TD14 & 15 will retail for 1000 yen each, their equivalent Beginning Sets will instead retail for 2400 yen. Unlike with past decks, there are currently no accompanying promotional images of the sets, leading to some speculation as to which characters will be using Royal Paladin and Narukami for Legion Mate.

Currently it is known that TD14 will feature "Seeker, Sacred Wingal" "Blaster Blade Seeker" and "Splendid Seeker, Cerdic" while TD15 will feature "Brawler, Skybeat Dragon" "Brawler, Skyhowl Dragon" and "Brawler, Wildfist Dragon." Based on the return of Wingal and Blaster Blade, TD14 is widely believed to be Sendou Aichi's trial deck for Legion Mate, but the seemingly deliberate ambiguity surrounding the deck and the presence of the young Kai's first vanguard, Claudia, in Beginning Set 14 has some Japanese fans speculating that Kai Toshiki will be picking up Royal Paladin for the fourth season, coming back to the clan that he used in his origin story Episode 0, and that Aichi will be missing for the beginning of Legion Mate. Regardless of who TD14 belongs to, the general consensus is that TD15's Brawlers are designed around Ishida Naoki's character traits.

The trial decks will introduce a new mechanic, dubbed "Legion" (双闘 Soutou レギオン Region pronounced in Japanese with a hard g sound.) This is distinct from the idea of a legion as a subclan, using the kanji for "pair" and "fight" together with an English reading. The details of Legion's function are as of yet unknown, but based on the reading of it as "fighting together/fighting as pairs" it has been variously interpreted as either letting units from different subclans interact or letting entirely different clans function together.

On our side of the water a release for VGE-BT13: Catastrophic Outbreak is finally in sight, with the stated release date of May 2 bringing the set worldwide in time for Team League 2014. BT13 is most noted for its introduction of Chaos Break Dragon, widely regarded as Link Joker's optimal grade 3 second only to Infinite Zero Dragon in importance, and secondarily for the return of the much-awaited Nubatama clan and their combination of bind and discard mechanics.The set's Reverse cards, Dark Dimensional Robo "Я" Daiyusha, and Deadliest Beast Deity Ethics Buster "Я" have likewise embedded themselves in competitive play as definitive decks for their clans in professional play, with Ethics "Я" most recently making the headlines in a combination deck alongside Ethics Buster Extreme.