Sunday, May 25, 2014

News: Soul Saver-Thing Saver Fusion Deck Emerges in Fourth Tachikawa VGCS, Cat Butler Raizers in First

Original photo by FarEastBirds.
Nine hours ago the fourth Tachikawa Vanguard Championship closed with a Nova Grappler cardfighter playing the new Raizer Legion deck in first place, followed closely by a Royal Paladin fighter in second running a Cosmo Dragon deck that synthesized three-year-old Soul Saver Dragon support with BT16: Legion of Dragons and Blades' recently-released Seeker units. Third and fourth were likewise filled by Thing Saver and Raizer fighters. Both Nova Grappler and Royal Paladin have enjoyed considerable popularity among professional cardfighters since the set's release day, gaining favor for their aggressive self-standing vanguards whose speed--able to bring out their skills as early as turn 3--has supplanted the formerly dominant Nouvelle Vague deck, a deck once feared as having potentially solved competitive play. Out of the Tachikawa VGCS' 96-person turnout, not a single person ran Dragonic Nouvelle Vague.
Fourth Tachikawa VGCS Deck Breakdown
33 Seeker
21 Raizer
16 Metalborg
7 Star-vader, "
Ω" Glendios
6 Spike Brothers
5 Musketeer
5 Brawler
2 Duo
1 Gold Paladin
According to tournament organizer Kohaku, the top 16 for the tournament consisted of five Seeker decks, five Raizers, two Spike Brothers, two Musketeers and two Metalborg decks. Although written deck recipes are not yet published, the top 2 decklists from the VGCS were photographed and uploaded to Twitter, and have been transcribed below. The first place deck was a streamlined version of Beast Deity Cup champion Silver Crow's Raizer build, running just four grade 3s to accommodate a Cat Butler playset, and focusing on setting up Legion quickly with Shieldraizer and Energy Charger while building card advantage using Street Bouncer.

Original photo by Yukiya.
Second place cardfighter Yukiya's Cosmo Dragon deck brought some much-needed innovation to the emergent format, running five grade 3s with a single copy of Soul Saver Dragon made searchable using the time-tested grade 1 Pongal. Yukiya's alternate artwork Soul Saver (illust. Studio TMS) served as a finishing move after several bouts of Thing Saver Dragon's restanding skill, taking advantage of the deck's strong soulcharging engine using multiple copies of File, the draw trigger Margal and Legion's special property of sending the entire Legion pair to the soul when another grade 3 is ridden.

Soul Saver Dragon's on-ride soulblast 5 is well remembered for being one of the first mass field power boosts in the history of the game, but is rarely played today due to contemporary cards often gaining comparable levels of power with minimal setup. Soul Saver also served an alternate purpose in facilitating the same kind of minimal grade 3 count as is played in Raizers, and due to the nature of her support is flexible enough to work either as a strategy in her own right or purely as a setup for Thing Saver Dragon to build more soul for his Soulmate Legion skill. Yukiya tweeted that the trigger count for the deck was 8-4-4, presumed to be eight critical triggers, four draw triggers and four heal triggers based on the general trends within Japanese play.

The fourth Tachikawa VGCS results were mirrored at the Fighter's Road 2014 Sapporo regional qualifier, where first place was taken by a Thing Saver Dragon cardfighter who was reportedly using a more normalized deck, followed in second by another Raizer fighter picking up on recent trends. Decklists for FR2014 Sapporo are expected to go out in the next few days.

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. The VGCS model of fan-organized play has begun to gain popularity internationally, with the bi-monthly BeNeLux tournaments serving as their European equivalent.

Fourth Tachikawa Vanguard Championship
First place
Grade 0
x1 Transmigrating Evolution, Miraioh (FV)
x4 Cat Butler
x4 Raizer Girl, Kate HT
x4 Raizer Crew DT
x4 Meteoraizer CT
x4 Minimum Raizer CT
Grade 1
x4 Shieldraizer
x4 The Screamin' and Dancin' Announcer, Shout
x3 Energy Charger
x3 Cannonraizer
Grade 2
x4 Ultimate Raizer, DF
x4 Phoenix Raizer, FW
x3 Street Bouncer
Grade 3
x4 Ultimate Raizer, MF

Second place
Grade 0
x2 Advance Party Seeker, File (FV)
x4 Unstated Heal Trigger
x4 Unstated Draw Trigger
x8 Unstated Critical Trigger
Grade 1
x4 Guardian Law Seeker, Shiron
x4 Pongal
x3 Lake Maiden, Lien
x2 Glynngal Seeker
x1 Good Faith Seeker, Cynric
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade, Seeker
x4 Full Bloom Seeker, Cerdic
x4 Crossbow Seeker, Gildas
x1 Knight of Loyalty, Bedivere
Grade 3
x4 Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon
x1 Soul Saver Dragon