Wednesday, September 10, 2014

News: Fighter's Rules Kill Thing Saver-“Abyss” for the End of September, Modified Legion Ruling

The Fighter's Rules for the Japanese format were amended earlier today, modifying a portion of the standard Clan Fight ruleset that has been in place since January 2012; beginning on September 29, Royal Paladin cardfighters may no longer include up to ten Shadow Paladin cards in their decks. Instead, they may only include up to four copies of Blaster Dark. (BD variants "Blaster Dark Spirit," "Blaster Dark Revenger" and "Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”" are not acceptable.) The original ruling was made in order to promote the use of Majesty Lord Blaster in clan-restricted formats back when the deck debuted, as MLB is one of the few decks which is designed around mixing clans by using both Royal and Shadow Paladin cards, but of late the ruling has seen mass exploitation as an easy way of building up enough soul for Seeker decks to restand their core boss card, Thing Saver Dragon, twice in a turn. At the head of Thing Saver-“Abyss'” popularity the deck topped in five consecutive tournaments, and at the end of August was used by pro cardfighter Hayashi Hiroki to win the summer 2014 Japanese national championships.

This new rule is subject to some criticism, as it prevents Majesty Lord Blaster cardfighters from using other Shadow Paladin cards which support it. Past Majesty decks have made use of Apocalypse Bat and Blaster Javelin from the Shadow Paladin clan, cards which would no longer be permitted under the new ruling. However, Majesty Lord is generally considered irrelevant in the present format when compared to Royal Paladin's modern deck options, so while the principles of the rule may clash with the intent of giving fighters the freedom to play MLB, in practice few will be affected by it. The primary concern is for Seeker cardfighters, who will have to return to playing Sacred Wingal or Brutus as Thing Saver's alternative grade 3. Given the deck's overwhelming success prior to the discovery of “Abyss” however, it is unlikely that pure TSD's stranglehold on the format will be broken.

Also pressing is that the Fighter's Rules have changed the behavior of Legion. Originally, a vanguard which entered Legion through card effects (in the case of TSD's superior Legion from the soul, and in the Metalborgs' example of superior riding into a Legion) was still able to activate its Legion effect if it had not already, and return four cards to the deck. While this would not seek the Legion's mate, it would recycle trigger units and cards with the Sentinel skill, and help to prevent decking out in the slower format. The new ruling prevents cards which are already in Legion from activating their Legion altogether, dealing a further blow to TSD. It will be implemented by modifying Legion skill text to state "If this unit is not in Legion, and if your opponent has a grade 3 vanguard..."