Tuesday, July 8, 2014

News: Phantom Blaster “Abyss” Tops in Hokusetsu CS, Neon Messiah Artwork Debuts on MSN

The second Hokusetsu Vanguard Championship took place in Japan over July 6th, with multiple Shadow Paladin cardfighters playing different variations on Phantom Blaster “Abyss” making the fan tournament's top 8. The 96-person tournament saw a clash between “Abyss” and the current Nova Grappler boss Ultimate Raizer Mega Flare for the tournament finals, with Seeker and Regalia cardfighters taking third and fourth place. While the new Blaster unit's debut was anticipated by the public, prior to Hokusetsu many expectations had shifted to the newly emergent Witch deck within the same clan, and it is to some surprise that Revengers have continued to hold favor.
In a move generally predicted by the rest of the community, Hokusetsu champ Mirutae's “Abyss” deck used the well-established Raging Form Dragon in combination with its Legion grade 3, providing two separate self-standing vanguards each able to attack in the range of 21~22000 power on their second strike. The pairing was debated leading up to the release of EB11: Requiem at Dusk, with many arguing that the slower Mordred Phantom would make for a more decisive turn by building a stronger center lane and rearguard formation. Mirutae's build lacked favor with the three other Revenger fighters of the Hokusetsu top 8, who instead followed up on the concept of integrating existing Phantom support with Legion. Among these fighters was Kimuti of the second Kansai CS, known for pioneering Duo Temptation Reit early after the release of Divas' Duet.

This was not the first appearance of Blaster “Abyss” in professional play either. Shortly before pro cardfighter Tochibi Yuusuke had captained Osaka's champion team in Bushiroad's ongoing 2014 VF Koushien tournament. Unlike the Hokusetsu champion, Tochibi's deck eschewed RFD in favor of splitting its grade 3 count between “Abyss,” Dragruler and Mordred Phantom, cutting the original BDR and Dorint entirely for Lukea and Rakia. By emphasizing Phantom support, the use of Swordbreaker soulblasts and prepping “Abyss” with break ride setup, Tochibi worked to enhance the gravity of his Legion's restanding skill, building up towards a single defining turn to finish the game.
VF Koushien Osaka: 栃尾悠介/Tochibi Yuusuke
Grade 0
x2 Judgebau Revenger (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x1 Brunt Revenger, Shadow Lancer
x3 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
x3 Self-control Revenger, Rakia
x2 Black-winged Swordbreaker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Wiles Revenger, Mana
x3 Overcoming Revenger, Rukea
Grade 3
x3 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x2 Revenger, Dragruler Phantom
x3 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
Registration for Hokusetsu began from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, with on-site registration being carried out from 10:30 to 11:00, and the tournament formally began at 11:10. The tournament opened with four rounds of Swiss draw which lasted until 2:20 PM, followed by a cut to top 8 and ended at 7:30 PM. Like other VGCSs, Hokusetsu followed a best of three format rather than the best of one endorsed by Bushiroad Inc. Rounds were 40 minutes in length prior to top 8, and 50 minutes afterwards. Organized by tomato (sic), kuroneko, Pere and Tawaran, the tournament had an entry fee of 1000 yen (approx. $10) per person, with first place receiving a Nintendo 3DS XL as a prize, second place a standard Nintendo 3DS, and third place six extra booster boxes, three each of Requiem at Dusk and Waltz of the Goddess.

Second place was taken by Minorun with Cat Butler Raizers, third by Nero with a Thing Saver Dragon deck, and fourth by Akiyuki with a combination Yggdrasil and Minerva. Minorun's deck is clearly derived from one of the original Cat Butler decks of the season, Silver Crow's, which debuted back in the second Beast Deity Cup and has served to inspire many imitators. Each of these decklists is translated below and may be jumped to by searching the page for [2HVGCS]

The previous Hokusetsu CS was held last May, and was held in a team tournament format, with Team Wild Hitter's captain Rinon being known for establishing a very early version of the then-new Seeker deck using primarily trial deck cards.

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.

In other news, MSN Japan has uploaded an article on the upcoming movie Cardfight!! Vanguard Neon Messiah, along with a promotional image of the main cast. Cinema Today had previously shown off lineart of antagonist Ibuki Kouji's primary unit for the film, an unnamed Link Joker from the Deleter subclan who will serve as the cover card for the film's trial deck, MTD01: Malefic Deleter. Plot summaries for the film outline Neon Messiah as being set during a global Vanguard tournament known as the "Messiah Scramble," and that protagonist Sendou Aichi will be fighting side by side with his lifelong friend and rival Kai Toshiki. The release date for Neon Messiah is currently set as September 13th.

Careful combing of each site's HTML has revealed higher resolution versions of the lineart and teaser, hosted below. The text off to the side of Ibuki's unit reads "G03" identifying it as a grade 3, but what would presumably be the unit's name appears illegible and attempts at transcription have only yielded nonsense phrases like いづう・ディ・い下り

Second Hokusetsu VGCS [2HVGCS]
First Place: Mirutae/みるたえ
Grade 0
x1 Frontline Revenger, Claudas (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x4 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x3 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
x2 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
x4 Dark Cloak Revenger, Tartu
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x4 Revenger, Raging Form Dragon

Second place: Minorun/みのるん
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
x3 Energy Charger
x4 The Screamin' and Dancin' Announcer, Shout
x3 Cannon Raizer
Grade 2
x4 Ultimate Raizer, DF
x4 Phoenix Raizer, FW
x3 Street Bouncer
Grade 3
x4 Ultimate Raizer, MF

Third Place: Nero/ネロ
Grade 0
x1 Advance Party Seeker, File (FV)
x4 Seeker, Loving Healer HT
x3 Margal DT
x1 Alabaster Owl
x4 Certain Kill Seeker, Modron CT
x4 Seeker, Herald Breath Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Good Faith Seeker, Cynric
x4 Lake Maiden, Lien
x2 Guardian Law Seeker, Shiron
x2 Flashing Jewel Knight, Iseult
x1 Glynngal Seeker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Blade, Seeker
x4 Full Bloom Seeker, Cerdic
x4 Crossbow Seeker, Gildas
Grade 3
x4 Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon
x2 Seeker, Sacred Wingal

Fourth place: Akiyuki/あきゆき
Grade 0
x1 Vivid Rabbit (FV)
x4 Regalia of Benevolence, Eir HT
x3 Regalia of Foredoom, Lot Angel DT
x1 Witch of Lemons, Limoncello CT
x4 Battle Maiden, Kukurihime CT
x4 Far Sight Regalia, Clear Angel CT
x1 Regalia of Prayer, Pray Angel
Grade 1
x4 Exorcism Regalia, Shiny Angel
x3 Goddess of Union, Juno
x2 Regalia of Purify, Pure Angel
x3 Regalia of Frozen Breath, Svalin
x1 Witch of Strawberries, Framboise
x1 Ordain Owl
Grade 2
x3 Regalia of Abundance, Freya
x3 Regalia of Midday, Hemera
x4 Regalia of Fate, Norn
x1 Goddess of Trees, Jupiter
Grade 3
x4 Cosmic Regalia, CEO Yggdrasil
x1 Omniscience Regalia, Minerva
x2 Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica