Sunday, May 18, 2014

News: Nouvelle and Shotgun Blow Dragon Spread Sparks Over FR2014 Nagoya, Thing Saver Dragon Dominates Tokyo Regional

Runner-up Kajiya Takayoshi. Photo by the_Blue_13.
The first and second regional qualifiers for Japan's summer 2014 national tournament took place this week, with up-and-coming fighter Itou Tatsuya taking first at the Nagoya regional with his Dragonic Nouvelle Vague deck. Followed closely by Kajiya Takahito with Shotgun Blow Dragon in second, this marks the transition into the summer professional season with both a well established build of past formats and the rise of new blood in the format. Just days after BT16's release on the 16th, two Royal Paladin cardfighters playing the new Seeker Thing Saver Dragon took first and second at FR2014 Tokyo regional, one of the most difficult tournaments to qualify at in the Japanese system due to the high bi-annual turnout. Decklists for Tokyo are forthcoming, while in the meantime we have the top 8 from Nagoya along with the decklists from Fighter's Road, the Victory Cup and VF Koushien team tournament. The Nagoya decklists are below by the heading [FR14OC]
FR2014 Nagoya Regional Qualifier Top 8 (Open Class)
Itou Tatsuya/伊藤 竜也 - Kagerou
Kajiya Takayoshi/梶屋 隆仁 - Narukami
Fukaya Kouki/深谷 公貴 (Doctor O Award) - Neo Nectar
Ooshima Kazuhiro/大嶋 一弘 - Bermuda Triangle
Chikami Yuuki/近間 悠希 - Link Joker
Wakayama Masayuki/若山 将之 - Genesis
Kokui Shougo/國井 将吾 - Pale Moon
The Doctor O Award for the tournament went to Fukaya Kyouki's Musketeers deck, for smoothly integrating the old Cecilia strategy along with Fighter's Collection 2014's Holly Musketeer Elvira. This is the last pre-BT16 Musketeers deck to make top 8 in a major tournament after Tomato's success at the Kansai VGCS last January, and has been followed by a post-BT16 Musketeers cardfighter in the Tokyo top 4. According to tweets from on-site viewers, the Tokyo top 4 was Thing Saver, Thing Saver, Musketeers and Metalborgs. Thing Saver Dragon's success was well forecasted in Japan, where the card has been sitting at double Nouvelle Vague's single price for some time now. The card is respected as a self-standing vanguard that can be activated without needing to be at 4 damage, and with its Legion power boost and on-attack skills the Dragon already makes a 23000 power line, a peak number versus the dominant Nouvelle decks. Thing Saver's access to Margal for soulcharging and the promo card Glynngal Seeker for unflipping damage is also considered important because it allows the unit's Legion skill to be repeated several times to finish the opponent off, although this is ultimately limited by the number of Thing Savers available in the deck due to the need to superior ride one to stand.

Meanwhile Shotgun Blow's success at Nagoya is coming in the aftermath of its widespread adoption in the fan-run Vanguard Championships, where the Brawlers have been leaving their mark as a fast and powerful control deck in direct competition with the break ride-centric Nouvelle Vague. The Brawlers are projected to become even more of a runaway success with the release of Bigbang Knuckle Dragon and Wild Rush Dragon in BT16, but what exact form the new Narukami will take is uncertain. Bigbang is a modification to the Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion formula, attacking the frontrow for CB2 while in Legion rather than for CB3 while at limit break, and Wild Rush's skill effectively adds six critical triggers to the deck that give +10000 instead of +5000; when Wild Rush is in Legion, if it drive checks a copy of either of its Legion pair units, it can CB1 for +10000 power and +1 critical. Regardless of what combination of their core vanguards becomes the most popular, considering the relative expense of each deck, incoming cardfighters and those that did not adopt Nouvelle in the first place are considered likely to move in favor of the Brawlers, whose fast and easy setup allows them to easily compete with the grade 4 on equal terms.

2014's Victory Cup replaces the original juniors' division of professional play that has existed since 2011, although the term "open class" is still used to refer to the adult division by way of grandfather clause. Any cardfighters that are not in their third year of junior high school or greater can participate in the Victory Cup, which in the Japanese school system is equivalent to a fourteen-and-under division. Due to an error on the official Cardfight portal, the Victory Cup results are erroneously listed as a team tournament, although the decklists are appropriately headed "Champion," "Runner-up" and "Doctor O Prize" instead of "Foreward," "Midfighter" and "Captain." The Victory Cup decklists are by the heading [FR14VC] Meanwhile the 2014 VF Koushien is this year's major team tournament, named after the annual baseball tournament series of the same name. Unlike in 2013, there is no requirement this year for participants to be in the junior' division, and accordingly there is no separate team tournament for open class cardfighters as happened during FR2013. VF Koushien is thus experiencing a return to the 2012 system. The Koushien decklists are below by the heading [FR14KS]

Notably, this year's Victory Cup and VF Koushien tournaments are the first time we've seen Megacolony decks in professional play, with Tsurumoto Hiroki and Isogai Hitoshi both running variations on the Machining deck with the Cyclomatooth break ride to stall the opponent out, repeatedly preventing them from standing their field each turn and inducing a -2 for each -1 the Megacolony fighters incur. The Fighter's Collection 2014 boss card Machining Warsickle was particularly favored by Isogai, who used its limit break on subsequent turns after his break ride to continue preventing the opponent's vanguard from standing, giving him heavy leverage against Nouvelle's on-attack guard denial.

FR2014 Open Class Nagoya Regional Qualifier [FR14OC]
Regional champion: Itou Tatsuya/伊藤竜也
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Seal Dragon, Shirting HT
x3 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x2 Seal Dragon, Artpique DT
x1 Demonic Dragon Mage, Abarara CT
x2 Lizard Soldier, Goraha CT
x4 Seal Dragon, Biera CT
Grade 1
x4 Seal Dragon, Rinocross
x3 Nouvelle Roman Dragon
x3 Calamity Tower Wyvern
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
Grade 2
x2 Bellicosity Dragon
x4 Nouvelle Critique Dragon
x4 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x1 Dauntless Dominate Dragon “Я”
x2 Dragonic Overlord
x3 Dauntless Drive Dragon
Grade 4
x3 Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague

Second Place: Kajiya Takahito
Grade 0
x1 Spark Kid Dragoon (FV)
x4 Brawler, Green Gem Carbuncle HT
x4 Brawler, Dokouson DT
x1 Eradicator, Blue Gem Carbuncle DT
x1 Eradicator, Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
x1 Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
x2 Malevolent Djinn CT
x2 Brawler, Plasmakid Dragon CT
x1 Spark Edge Dracokid CT
Grade 1
x4 Wyvern Guard, Guld
x4 Tonfa Wielding Brawler, Ark
x4 Rising Phoenix
x2 Bonfire Eradicator, Castor
Grade 2
x3 Brawler, Skyhowl Dragon
x3 Military Brawler, Lisei
x3 Dragonic Deathscythe
x2 Brawler Youjin
Grade 3
x4 Brawler, Shotgun Blow Dragon
x3 Brawler, Skybeat Dragon

Doctor O Award: Fukaya Kouki
Grade 0
x1 Broccolini Musketeer, Kirah (FV)
x4 Hibiscus Musketeer, Hanah HT
x4 Four Leaf Fairy DT
x4 Blue Rose Musketeer, Ernest ST
x4 Night Queen Musketeer, Daniel CT
x4 Bullet Chestnut CT
Grade 1
x2 Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Rebecca
x4 Water Lily Musketeer, Ruth
x4 Red Rose Musketeer, Antonio
x4 Dandelion Musketeer, Mirkka
Grade 2
x4 Cherry Blossom Musketeer, Augusto
x4 Lily of the Valley Musketeer, Kaivant
x4 Pansy Musketeer, Sylvia
Grade 3
x3 White Lily Musketeer, Cecilia
x4 Holly Musketeer, Elvira

FR2014 Victory Cup Nagoya Regional Qualifier [FR14VC]
First Place: Tsuchiya Yuuki/土屋勇希
Grade 0
x1 Little Battler, Cron (FV)
x4 Liberator of Hope, Epona CT
x4 Strike Liberator CT
x4 Armed Liberator, Gwydion DT
x4 Elixir Liberator HT
Grade 1
x3 Little Liberator, Marron
x3 May Rain Liberator, Bruno
x4 White Rainbow Liberator, Balan
x1 Sword Formation Liberator, Igraine
x3 Halo Liberator, Mark
Grade 2
x2 Liberator of the Flute, Escrad
x2 Liberator of Royalty, Phallon
x3 Liberator, Star Rain Trumpeter
x4 Blaster Blade Liberator
Grade 3
x2 Liberator, Monarch Sanctuary Alfred
x3 Liberator of Bonds, Gancelot Zenith
x3 Solitary Liberator, Gancelot

Second Place: Gotouyuusuke/ゴトウユウスケ
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Seal Dragon, Shirting HT
x4 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x3 Seal Dragon, Artpique DT
x4 Seal Dragon, Biera CT
x1 Lizard Soldier, Goraha CT
Grade 1
x1 Seal Dragon, Rinocross
x3 Wyvern Guard, Barri
x3 Seal Dragon, Kersey
x4 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x1 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x1 Lizard Soldier Grom
Grade 2
x2 Bellicosity Dragon
x4 Dominate Drive Dragon
x2 Dragon Dancer, Arabella
x2 Seal Dragon, Hunger Hell Dragon
x1 Berserk Dragon
Grade 3
x4 Dauntless Dominate Dragon “Я”
x4 Dauntless Drive Dragon
Grade 4
x1 Transcendence Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague

Doctor O Prize: Tsurumoto Hiroki/鶴本祐基
Grade 0
x1 Megacolony Battler C (FV)
x4 Machining Bombyx HT
x4 Machining Scorpio CT
x8 Machining Cicada ST
Grade 1
x2 Machining Mosquito
x4 Machining Hornet
x2 Machining Ladybug
x3 Machining Black Soldier
x1 Machining Locust
x2 Paralyze Madonna
x2 Machining Caucasus
Grade 2
x2 Machining Red Soldier
x2 Machining Mantis
x2 Machining Papillion
x4 Machining Tarantula
Grade 3
x2 Machining Warsickle
x1 Machining Spark Hercules
x4 Unrivaled Blade Rogue, Cyclomatooth

FR2014 Nagoya VF Koushien Team Tournament [FR14KS]
Foreward: Iwabuchi Kouya/岩渕宏哉
Grade 0
x1 Desire Jewel Knight, Heloise (FV)
x4 Jewel Knight, Hilmy HT
x4 Jewel Knight, Sacred Unicorn DT
x4 Blazing Jewel Knight, Rachel CT
x4 Jewel Knight, Noble Stinger CT
Grade 1
x2 Summoning Jewel Knight, Gloria
x2 Flashing Jewel Knight, Iseult
x3 Jewel Knight, Prizmy
x3 Stinging Jewel Knight, Shellie
x4 Security Jewel Knight, Arwen
Grade 2
x4 Banding Jewel Knight, Miranda
x3 Fellowship Jewel Knight, Tracie
x4 Linking Jewel Knight, Tilda
Grade 3
x4 Pure Heart Jewel Knight, Ashlei
x4 Broken Heart Jewel Knight, Ashlei “Я”

Midfighter: Ooba Shin'ichi/大庭伸一
Grade 0
x1 Morgenroet (FV)
x4 Regenbogen HT
x4 Schneeregen DT
x4 Shining Lady CT
x4 Schones Wetter CT
Grade 1
x1 Blaupanzer
x4 Blau Dunkelheit
x2 Flower Ray Leprechaun
x4 Clay-doll Mechanic
x2 Polar Stern
Grade 2
x4 Blaukluger
x3 Jupiter Blaukluger
x3 Mars Blaukluger
x2 Grosse Baer
Grade 3
x3 Mond Blaukluger
x3 Galaxy Blaukluger
x2 Stern Blaukluger

Captain: Isogai Hitoshi/磯貝仁志
Grade 0
x1 Machining Little Bee (FV)
x4 Machining Bombyx HT
x4 Raider Mantis DT
x4 Machining Scorpio CT
x2 Sharp Nail Scorpio CT
x2 Shelter Beetle CT
Grade 1
x1 Machining Mosquito
x4 Machining Hornet
x2 Machining Ladybug
x2 Paralyze Madonna
x4 Machining Caucasus
Grade 2
x4 Machining Red Soldier
x4 Machining Mantis
x2 Machining Armor Beetle
Grade 3
x4 Machining Warsickle
x2 Machining Spark Hercules
x4 Unrivaled Blade Rogue, Cyclomatooth