Wednesday, July 30, 2014

News: Conroe Restricted for English Format

The English Vanguard portal just updated moments ago to reflect a change in the official Fighter's Rules governing Bushiroad-sponsored tournament play. Effective on August 20, all prints of Lizard Soldier Conroe are restricted from being used as the first vanguard in English tournament play. As with his predecessor on the restricted list, Barcgal, up to four copies of Conroe may still be included in any deck, but he may not be set as the grade 0 to begin the game with. This is the first modification made to the English-language restricted list since July 2012; while some discussion arose in the community over the possibility of Dragonic Overlord the End finding a place on the list last year, nothing ultimately came of this.

Restricting Conroe for the English-language format emulates an identical restriction made by Bushiroad of Japan in January. By eliminating Conroe from the vanguard circle, part of Nouvelle's central engine has been cut out. One of the supporting reasons that it has been so easy for Kagerou cardfighters to treat Nouvelle Vague as simply another grade 3 in the deck is that Conroe's counterblast allows his cardfighter to search for Nouvelleroman Dragon, who in turn can then return a copy of Nouvelle from the hand to the deck to search for Kagerou's grade 3 break ride. Effectively drawing a grade 4 becomes the same as drawing a grade 3, almost entirely eliminating the risk factor of playing Nouvelle and giving the deck an inordinate amount of consistency relative to its reward.

Removing Conroe makes it harder for Kagerou fighters to dominate above and beyond the other decks of the format, and bumps up the clan's grade 3 searcher Red Pulse Dracokid into becoming their go-to FVG. In order to both capitalize on the extra soul available from using Red Pulse's skill and compensate for no longer being able to search for any grade 1, most Japanese cardfighters adapted their decks with additional copies of Calamity Tower Wyvern, a Luckbird clone that when called can soulblast 2 to draw a card. English-speaking fighters are expected to follow suit, and this adaptation is important because it makes Dragonic Nouvelle Vague's persona blast much more difficult to activate. The persona blast requires three soul to use, so by encouraging multiple Calamity Tower calls the post-restriction format also puts a heavier limitation on Nouvelle's limit break--which can completely destroy every rearguard on the opponent's field. This helps to mitigate the grade 4's intense control of the game.

While Bushiroad USA attributed the restriction to the Team League 2014 results, it was likely also made with an eye to the recently announced World Championship 2014. The restriction encourages cardfighters who left the game as a result of Nouvelle's dominance to return to it, and promotes a lower bar of entry for newcomers, who already face an overwhelming number of professional decks to learn and keep track of.