Wednesday, April 2, 2014

News: Duo Fighter Makes Top 4 in Second Kansai VGCS, Lock on Victory to Feature Multiple Endings

Higashiōsaka Civic Center, Higashiōsaka city, Osaka prefecture. Image source.
The last Vanguard Championship of March ended on the 30th, with the Dragonic Nouvelle Vague making an encore appearance in the Second Kansai VGCS' first and fourth spots. Turnout at Kansai almost broke 100, reaching a latent high point of 97 persons, although it was planned to accommodate up to 128 participants. Kagerou made up an overwhelming majority of the tournament with 42 entrants, but in spite of this dominance Kansai became the staging ground for Bermuda Triangle's revival in the Japanese pro scene, being tied with Aqua Force for the fourth most represented clan.
Second Kansai VGCS Clan Breakdown 
42 Kagerou
13 Link Joker
9 Bermuda Triangle
9 Aqua Force
7 Shadow Paladin
4 Gold Paladin
4 Pale Moon
3 Genesis
2 Narukami
1 Nova Grappler
1 Granblue
1 Oracle Think Tank
1 Great Nature
Just over a week after the release of VG-EB10: Divas' Duet, third place in the Kansai CS was taken by Kimuti, playing Duo Temptation Ried. Based on early previews of the cards in Monthly Bushiroad magazine, Duo builds were expected to do well in competitive play, but there was some debate over whether Ried or Iori would be the preferred deck in the current format. Where Ried is a self-standing vanguard like many of the currently favored decks, Iori's limit break allows her to search for up to two copies of any card in the deck as long as she already has one in play, forcing Duo fighters to choose between an offensive swing that can end the game or unparalleled access to the deck.

Duo True Sister, Mare.
The tournament had an entry fee of 1000 yen per person, and was held on the third floor of the Higashiōsaka Civic Center in Osaka prefecture. The tournament lasted from 11:20 AM until 7:30 PM, and had six 20-minute best-of-1 Swiss rounds followed by a cut to top 8 with four 50-minute best-of-3 games. First place won a Nintendo 3DS XL, second place a standard Nintendo 3DS, third place three boxes of VG-BT15: Infinite Rebirth and fourth place two boxes of the same.

The deck's cornerstone play is using the Duo break ride, True Sister Mare, with its self-standing vanguard Ried. Like the previous Dragonic Descendant, Ethics Buster "Яeverse" and Dragonic Overlord "The Яe-birth", Mare into Ried has the inherent advantage of the break ride power multiplying the effectiveness of multiple attacks, but Mare's counterblast 1 also returns all Bermuda Triangle units to hand when the vanguard attacks and then calls two.

Duo Temptation, Ried.
When used in combination with Ried, who can stand herself by discarding two Duos with the same name and paying 2 counterblast after she attacks, this allows for six attacks in one turn. The calling of rearguards also provides more opportunities to use Loulou in combination with the clan's base 12000 attacker Syrdarya, and Ural.

Like Nouvelle, one of the key points of success for the Ried build is its access to a Luck Bird equivalent in Duo Pretty Horn Ural, and Kimuti chose to run Ural at four to capitalize on Duo series' efficient one-girl soulcharging engine, Ricca. By being able to grab up that kind of cheap card advantage throughout the fight, compensating for Shizuku's failure or building on her success early game, then making additional plays over Ricca's soulcharging after using skills that return her to hand, Duo decks are able to effectively accelerate in a way that makes every one card count for two.

Adding to its effectiveness is that the deck has a special booster in Duo Beast Ear Loulou, a base 7000 grade 1 that when called can choose up to Loulous on the field to give +2000 power to. Since Bermuda Triangle makes its plays around being able to return cards to the hand,  she can be safely recycled across multiple turns, and at endgame when multiple Loulous hit the field the first one played becomes successively more powerful than those that follow, so that the backrow begins to look like 13000-11000-9000 or 13000-9000-11000 to make strong rearguard lanes that complement a high-power vanguard.

Second Kansai VGCS Top 8 
1st Ishibaji/イシバシ - Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague
2nd Demon King/魔王 - Star-vader, Omega Glendios
3rd Kimuti/きむてぃ - Duo Temptation, Ried
4th New Moon/三日月 - Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague
Best 8 Nao - Star-vader, Omega Glendios
Best 8 Kuroneko - Star-vader, Omega Glendios
Best 8 Kouzan/光山 - Dragonic Overlord
Best 8 Nikoru/にこる - Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague
Also of note is Demon King's Glendios deck, in second place. While Glendios was previously established at the third Laketown, second Tsurumai and eighth Battle City tournaments as an effective deck in its own right, King's build deviated significantly from the established norms. Most Link Joker cardfighters run Glendios with thirteen grade 3s and seven grade 2s to make use of nine “Яeverse” cards, but Demon King's build instead cut back to eleven grade 3s with seven “Яeverse” units in favor of an additional Colony Maker and Rubidium, prioritizing Colony Maker's ability to search for Ruin Magician and streamlining how the “Яeverse” units are played. This is in contrast to Nao and Kuroneko's Glendios decks from further down in the top 8, which played sixteen and thirteen grade 3s respectively, and experimented with Infinite Zero and Cold Death Dragon to pursue Glendios' ultimate break instead of winning conventionally.

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.

In other news, the official website for Cardfight!! Vanguard Lock on Victory!! has updated with new information regarding the upcoming 3DS game. According to the newly established story page, there is a separate storyline for each of the three in-game high schools, with each character responding differently depending on whether the protagonist is male or female, and there are multiple endings depending on both the choice of school and character.
The protagonist (you) are a Vanguard Fighter just beginning high school. By certain chance, you are going to join your school's Cardfight Club! Aiming to win the VF High School Championship, you and your rivals study hard along with your club members. However, the shadow of the mysterious phenomenon "Яeverse" is drawing near to these people...
Building on the previous game's feature of being able to start the game over with the same card collection after completing it the first time, Lock on Victory takes full advantage of the system by letting them see each of the different storylines across multiple playthroughs.

Second Kansai VGCS
First Place: Ishibaji/イシバシ
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Dragon Dancer, Therese HT
x1 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x4 Seal Dragon, Artpique DT
x3 Seal Dragon, Biera CT
x4 Demonic Dragon Mage, Abarara CT
Grade 1
x4 Nouvelle Roman Dragon
x4 Dragon Dancer, Maria
x3 Calamity Tower Wyvern
x2 Dragon Monk, Gojo
Grade 2
x4 Nouvelle Critique Dragon
x4 Berserk Dragon
x3 Dominate Drive Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dauntless Drive Dragon
x1 Dragonic Overlord (BT15/004)
Grade 4
x4 Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague

Second Place: Demon King/魔王
Grade 0
x1 Star-vader, World Line Dragon (FV)
x4 Recollection Star-vader, Tellurium HT
x2 Star-vader, Weiss Soldat CT
x4 Star-vader, Spark Doll CT
x2 Star-vader, Scouting Felis DT
x4 Star-vader, Nebula Captor DT
Grade 1
x4 Barrier Star-vader, Promethium
x4 Star-vader, Ruin Magician
x2 Carved Seal Star-vader, Praseodymium
x4 Taboo Star-vader, Rubidium
Grade 2
x4 Star-vader, Magnet Hollow
x4 Star-vader, Colony Maker
Grade 3
x4 Star-vader, “Ω” Glendios
x4 Star-vader, “Я” Cradle
x1 Ice Prison Dark Lord, Cocytus “Я”
x1 School Punisher, Leo-pald “Я”
x1 Maiden of Venus Trap “Я”

Third Place: Kimuti/きむてぃ
Grade 0
x1 Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Shizuku (FV)
x4 Heartful Ale, Fundy DT
x2 Duo Lamplight Melody, Tigris DT
x4 Duo Tropical Healer, Mejelda HT
x4 Duo Gran Pasturn, Syanon CT
x2 Duo Pride Crown, Madeira CT
Grade 1
x4 Duo Beast Ear, Loulou
x1 Duo Afternoon Tea, Parana
x4 PRISM-Duo Aria
x4 Duo Pretty Horn, Ural
Grade 2
x4 Duo Kelpie Jockey, Syrdarya
x4 Duo Mini Hat, Rhone
x4 Duo White Ice Crystal, Rikka
Grade 3
x4 Duo Temptation, Ried
x4 Duo True Sister, Mare

Fourth Place: New Moon/三日月
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Dragon Dancer, Barbara HT
x4 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x1 Seal Dragon, Artpique DT
x3 Seal Dragon, Biera CT
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr CT
Grade 1
x4 Nouvelle Roman Dragon
x4 Dragon Dancer, Maria
x4 Calamity Tower Wyvern
x1 Dragon Monk, Gojo
Grade 2
x1 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x1 Seal Dragon, Hunger Hell Dragon
x4 Nouvelle Critique Dragon
x3 Berserk Dragon
x3 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Kumbhanda
Grade 3
x4 Dauntless Drive Dragon
Grade 4
x4 Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague