Thursday, August 21, 2014

News: Fake Restricted List Circulated by Americans, Fighter's Carnival Dominated by Six Thing Saver-“Abyss” Fighters

A falsified restricted list for the Japanese format began circulating on Facebook this morning, garnering significant attention for showing the alleged restriction of Revenger Phantom Blaster “Abyss” to two copies per deck. PhotoShopped to appear as though it were screencapped from the Japanese Fighter's Rules page, several errors exposed the list as fake. While the most obvious is that the Japanese Fighter's Rules do not show the restriction, the forgery also shows decentered card images in its examples of how “Abyss” was to be used. Real Bushiroad restricted lists sample card images from their online card index, and fits the images into an HTML template that centers them between borders, so that they do not touch the top or bottom of the OK and NO boxes. Another giveaway is the name of the card at the list's heading, which in real restricted lists hyperlinks to its entry in Bushiroad's card index.

Selected comments. Names removed for privacy.
As the falsified list has not been discussed by Japanese cardfighters on any of their major forums or within their blogosphere, the hoax is believed to have originated in the American fandom. While doubtless based on the overwhelming success of Thing Saver-“Abyss” decks in Japanese play, judging by the responses from English-speaking fans the intention of the prank is to play on the rising tensions between the players and Bushiroad Inc. Restricting “Abyss” is a move that virtually no experienced cardfighters would agree with, as many believe that Thing Saver itself should be targeted to curb the hybrid deck's dominance, and shutting down the Revengers' current core Legion would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The forgery is a commentary on the perceived incompetence of Bushiroad in managing the card game, showing something fans believe the company would do. Tensions have been running high between both parties for the past two years, particularly in light of Future Card Buddyfight receiving a best-of-three competitive format with a 40 minute time limit for its World Championship, while Cardfight!! Vanguard is still restricted to the popularly-despised best-of-one format with a 20 minute limit. WCS2014's new time rule has worsened matters, as it causes both cardfighters to lose the round if they hit the time limit. The distrust among cardfighters has also been tempered by Bushiroad's perceived willful ignorance of cheating, and refusal to investigate standing world champion Almeida Stewart after accusations surfaced alongside news of his robbery of a Luxembourg card shop during Team League 2014.

In Japanese news, a recent release from Duel Portal has revealed three of the upcoming card sleeves for Bushiroad's Cardfight!! Vanguard sleeve collection, based on the key cards featured in the September film Neon Messiah and in one of the upcoming cards from the anime series to be released in the film's accompanying booster set.

First is Daunting Deleter Wokshyz (威圧する根絶者 ヲクシズ  Iatsusuru Deriitaa Wokushizu) the cover card for VG-MTD01: Malefic Deleter. According to Duel Portal, the intended reading for this name is Daunting Deleter (ドーンティング・デリーター Doontingu Deriitaa) rather than the native reading of Iatsusuru "Overpowering." As Ibuki Kouji's key card, Wokshyz has been used prominently in promotional materials as the face of his personal variant on the Link Joker clan. Previously Wokshyz was thought to be Docking Deleter Graywon, Ibuki's key card from the manga to which it bears similarities, but now appears to be an alternate continuity equivalent in the same vein as Majesty Lord Blaster and Exculpate the Blaster.

Second and third are Light Origin Seeker Alfred XIV (光源の探索者 アルフレッド・エクシヴ Kougen no Shiika Arufureddo Ekushivu) and Star-vader Blaster Joker (星輝兵ブラスター・ジョーカー Sutaabeidaa Burasutaa Jookaa) representing cards from the Royal Paladin and Link Joker clans. The new Alfred has been noted to have a shield icon on its promotional mockup, normally not present on grade 3 units. This contradicts the most recent trailer for Neon Messiah, wherein Alfred was shown as part of a Legion with one of the Blaster Blade variants, and implied to be a grade 3 as a result. While this discrepancy could be dismissed as the result of applying a nonspecific card template to Alfred, as was the case with Platina Ezel two years earlier, Wokshyz above notably does not have a shield icon despite coming out of the same press kit.
Blaster Joker has been the focus of the most fan attention, as well as of attention from the card lore. Although comparisons have been drawn with the Reverse units of the preceding season, Duel Portal's article indicated that Blaster Joker will be a Link Joker unit and not a Royal Paladin, and thus far the card lore has contradicted this view. Blaster Joker is implied by Bushiroad's most recent articles to be an "Emotion Duplicate" like Star-vader Brave Fang (based on Wingal Brave) and Silent Star-vader Dilaton (based on Knight of Silence Gallatin) before him. These Duplicates are the products of copying the captive Blaster Blade's memories and using them as the basis for the personalities of newly created soldiers.

Wokshyz's sleeve is due for a September 29th release date, while Alfred and Blaster Joker will go out on October 3rd.

Meanwhile over the 17th the first Japan Fighters' Carnival was held, one of the few fan tournaments to use a three person team format. The top two places in the triples tournament went to two full teams of Thing Saver-“Abyss” cardfighters, while third was Brutus-Thing Saver, Purgatory Dragons and Brutus-Thing Saver. Fourth place was also filled by three Thing Saver-“Abyss” fighters. Decklists for the top 4 have not yet been published.