Friday, October 24, 2014

News: Dengeki Online Publishes Early Cardfight!! Vanguard G Screencaps

This evening Dengeki Online uploaded 21 screencaps from the first episode of Cardfight!! Vanguard G, "Shindou Chrono," which will air on TV Tokyo twenty-two hours from now. As the first proper sequel series in the franchise, G will follow three new protagonists introduced at Bushiroad's preceding press conference. According to Dengeki, the first episode is numbered 01 rather than 197, fitting its role as the introduction of the new series.

#01 "Shindou Chrono"
One day on his way to school, Shindou Chrono found a mysterious deck planted by someone in his shoe locker, alongside a map leading somewhere. After school, Chrono went to the place written on the map. That place was a card shop called "Card Capital, Location 2."

Set three years after Cardfight!! Vanguard, Chrono is a beginner in the game who receives a "Gear Chronicle" deck. Because of this clan that no one seems to know, Chrono's fate becomes entangled with that of Kijou Shion and Anjou Tokoha. The Card Capital 2 that Shindou visits bears some resemblance to Card Kingdom, the Japanese chain of card shops that Card Capital was originally based on.

Among the initial images are a cardfight between the now-10th grader Katsuragi Kamui and Tokoha's older brother, Anjou Mamoru. The fight takes visual cues from both the first season of Cardfight!! Vanguard and its sister anime Future Card Buddyfight, with cards levitating in front of the cardfighters while they imagine themselves on the planet Cray.

The artwork for the new series is notably of higher quality than its immediate predecessor Legion Mate, which was strongly criticized for its static animation and the perceived lack of effort put into cardfights. These initial screencaps of G compare favorably to the better-received first season and Link Joker arc.

Like past seasons, Cardfight!! Vanguard G will be simulcast with English subtitles through Crunchyroll, although for the time being it is listed under the fold of Legion Mate as its 197th episode. Viewers are asked to support this official release of the anime by registering a Premium account with Crunchyroll, which will also allow immediate access to the new episodes an hour after they debut, in high definition.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

News: Second Brave Cup Decklists Published, “Abyss”-Mordred Dominates Top 8

Nine hours ago the decklists from Chiba city's second Brave Cup were published, giving names to the decks that topped in the Cup over the 18th. Cup champion Azel is one of the first prominent Liberator cardfighters to emerge in the Neon Messiah-on format, and his victory is also the effective debut of the Bluish Flame Liberators in professional play. Alongside this, the Revenger subclan has come to renewed importance, with five members out of the tournament's top 8 playing Phantom Blaster “Abyss” paired with Mordred Phantom.

Up to this point “Abyss” was primarily paired with Raging Form Dragon as its alternative grade 3, as at the second Hokusetsu CS, third Kansai team tournament, and fifth Tachikawa VGCS. However, the Shadow Paladin use of “Abyss” with Raging Form paled in comparison to its Royal Paladin counterpart Thing Saver, who prior to recent rule reforms was also able to take advantage of “Abyss” as its supporting grade 3. Within the power vacuum created by Thing Saver-“Abyss'” collapse, these Mordred-based have emerged due to a combination of needing to succeed where Raging Form fell short, and as a result of greater discernment on the part of professional Shadow Paladin cardfighters.

This model for “Abyss”-Mordred had already coexisted alongside Raging Form from the beginning of their rivalry at the Hokusetsu championship. The argument for pairing “Abyss” with a break ride versus Form is that he will attack for greater power on his initial attack and every swing thereafter, and that the counterblast costs in “Abyss'” Legion deck are sizable enough that supporting him with Mordred's limit break does not significantly change the damage “Abyss'” restand is being played at. Even after counterblast is exhausted in this build, “Abyss” has a base attack of 22000 to fall back on. And with two Phantom grade 3 options, the subclan's primary first vanguard Judgebau is always available by grade 3. Even accounting for Revenger-specific retire, Judgebau into double Sword Breakers' draw skill is always worth investing because of how overwhelming it is in terms of advantage gain.

Furthermore, running two copies of Dragruler Phantom in addition to Mordred has been common practice for Shadow Paladin cardfighters. The methodology is that each individual point of damage carries greater weight in Legion format than it did in the limit break format, which makes crossbreakriding Dragruler a vital play that can push the opponent to 4 damage and then face down “Abyss” on the next turn as an alternative to jumping straight to “Abyss.” Dragruler also has combo potential with Rakia, a popular grade 1 choice for Japanese Revenger decks; by calling two grade 0s and then retiring them for Dragruler's limit break, Rakia becomes a 13000-power booster to make most rearguard lanes attack for 21000+ power.

Perhaps the most unusual adaptation of the Cup was the emphasis on running both incarnations of Blaster Dark Revenger. The grade 2's “Abyss” incarnation has generally made the circa BT12 pair of Dark Revenger and his custom unflipper Dorint obsolete, consolidating both of their skills into a single counterblast, but every top 4 Shadow Paladin cardfighter at the Brave Cup ran at least two copies of the old Dark Revenger and Dorint. The adaptation is made possible by Mordred's deck searching, and serves both as an alternative to rearguard plays of Revenger “Abyss” and as an unflipping engine to offset the counterblast 1 for Mordred's break ride skill.

Illust. Hagiya Kaoru.
Meanwhile tournament champion Azel's deck is a Bluish Flames build focusing on Prominence Glare from MBT01: Neon Messiah, with the trial deck boss card Percival as his secondary grade 3. Azel's deck is one of the most visible tops to run stand triggers, reflecting one of the latent developments of the Legion format. Some cardfighters are now prioritizing stands over draws due to a combination of the increased importance of the rearguard lanes, less emphasis on hand size where many prominent decks can maintain it innately, and the strong skills being given to stand triggers to compensate for their perceived shortcomings in comparison to the other three trigger types.

In the Liberators' case, Catchgal's skill allows for his cardfighter to superior call a Liberator from the top three cards of the deck when he's called from the deck. This creates a +1 in card advantage where successful, while also synergizing with Prominence Glare's retire skill--for counterblast 1 Glare can retire a Liberator to superior call one from the deck's top four, trading out Catchgal for a more useful rearguard like Josephus or Bruno while also building up towards Legion and eventually cycling that trigger back in.

Illust. Hagiya Kaoru.
As a whole Azel's deck focuses on passively building up card advantage through on-call skills, using the top 3 and 4 skills of Percival and Prominence Glare to add cards to the hand off of superior calling Josephus and Destiny Aglovale, and calling further from Lawful Trumpeter and Oaths Aglovale's top 3 skills. This makes it possible to play a field almost entirely from the deck, conserving the hand to put down replacements after dealing with retire skills from Perdition, Revenger and Brawler decks.

Prominence Glare serves as the new Liberators' major push. By discarding one of the deck's eight Bluish Flame cards after calling a rearguard from the deck, Glare gains an additional critical and prevents the opponent from calling grade 1 and greater cards to the guardian circle from their hand when it attacks; this simultaneously blocks perfect defense cards, Quintet Walls, and special defense units like Glendios' Rubidium or the Liberator's own Guinevere. With a center lane in the range of 27000 power, Glare demands 25000 shield for two-to-pass from most vanguards, generally taking out between three and five cards per turn to wear the opponent down while his fighter passively builds advantage off of superior calls.

The Bluish Flame Liberators from TD16: Divine Judgment of the Bluish Flames will be debuting in English alongside the “Abyss” Shadow Paladins from EB11: Requiem at Dusk on November 21st, while those Liberators from TD17 and MBT01 will reach the format on December 16th in VGE-BT16: Legion of Dragons & Blades ver.E.

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-three, 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, and there are now similar grassroots organizations emerging in the United States like the ARG Circuit series tournaments and the ongoing King of Cardfight competition in the American midwest.

Second Chiba Brave Cup
First place:
Grade 0
x1 Fire Passion Liberator, Guido (FV)
x4 Liberator of the Holy Tree, Elkia HT
x4 Liberator of Good Luck, Epona CT
x4 Steel Edge Liberator, Alvira CT
x4 Catchgal Liberator ST
Grade 1
x4 Shine Formation Liberator, Eldol
x4 Fast Chase Liberator, Josephus
x4 May Rain Liberator, Bruno
x2 Little Liberator, Marron
Grade 2
x4 Liberator of Destiny, Aglovale
x4 Liberator of Oaths, Aglovale
x3 Liberator, Lawful Trumpeter
Grade 3
x4 Bluish Flames Liberator, Prominence Glare
x4 Bluish Flames Liberator, Percival

Second place: Getsu-ei/月影
Grade 0
x1 Judgebau Revenger (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x2 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
x2 Grim Reaper CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x2 Overcoming Revenger, Rakia
x1 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x4 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
x2 Black-winged Sword Breaker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x2 Battle Spirit Revenger, Mackart
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
x2 Nullity Revenger, Masquerade
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x2 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
x2 Revenger, Dragruler Phantom

Third place: Healer/ヒーラー
Grade 0
x1 Judgebau Revenger (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x3 Freezing Revenger DT
x1 Lizard Witch, Aife DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x4 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x1  Self-control Revenger, Rakia
x2 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x1 Sharp Point Revenger, Shadow Lancer
x4 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
x1 Black-winged Sword Breaker
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x2 Overcoming Revenger, Rukea
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
x2 Wily Revenger, Mana
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x2 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
x2 Revenger, Dragruler Phantom

Fourth place: Lallshare
Grade 0
x1 Judgebau Revenger
x1 Frontline Revenger, Claudas
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
x2 Overcoming Revenger, Rakia
x3 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x2 Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter
x2 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x3 Overcoming Revenger, Rukea
x2 Blaster Dark Revenger
x2 Battle Spirit Revenger, Mackart
Grade 3
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
x3 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
x1 Revenger, Dragruler Phantom

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Announcement: Jetpack Comics to Host Cardfight Invitational in November

Over November 15th, Jetpack Comics in New Hampshire will be hosting a large tournament celebrating Cardfight!! Vanguard's two year anniversary at the card shop. Taking place from 12:00 to 3:00 PM, the singles division tournament will guarantee $100 in store credit and a free playmat to the tournament's first place winner, with additional store credit to the top 8 being based on attendance. At minimum second and third place will each receive a playmat and five packs, while fourth place will receive a playmat and three packs, and fifth through eighth will win a playmat alone.

Entry fee to the tournament will be $10, and participants can RSVP through the event's Facebook page. Additionally, side events will begin at 1:00 PM and continue until 10:30 PM, with the prerelease event for extra booster sets VGE-EB10: Requiem at Dusk and VGE-EB11: Waltz of the Goddess taking place from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. From 3:00 to 10:30 PM there will be a workshop introducing the Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game to new players, and giving out free starter decks to every new cardfighter that completes three free fights. The workshop will be teaching general game strategy, deckbuilding and the ins and outs of the metagame.

Furthermore, a triples team tournament will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 PM, requiring a $10 entry fee per team and guaranteeing $40 in store credit to first place, along with a playmat for each teammate. As with the singles tournament, prizes distributed will increase based on attendance.

Jetpack Comics is located in Rochester, New Hampshire, at 37 North Main St., ZIP code 03867.

Monday, October 20, 2014

News: Liberators Win Second Brave Cup Championship, Revengers in Second

Chiba city, Japan. Three months ago the first Brave Cup was just one of five of Thing Saver-“Abyss'” latest victories, but following the implementation of the modified Fighter's Rules the deck has vanished overnight. The second Brave Cup held over the 18th has become an example of the Revengers' renewed dominance and the rise of the new Kagerou in professional play. Pure Thing Saver decks still controlled a significant fraction of the Cup, making up almost 16% of the competition. Dragonic Overlord decks accounted for approximately 26%, while the Revengers made up 24% of the tournament.

The Brave Cup's top 8 were four Revenger, two Liberator, one Regalia and one Seeker cardfighters. As illustrated by the deck breakdown below, this most recent shift in Japanese play has moved towards the next most successful restanding decks, Dragonic Overlord the Great and Raging Form-“Abyss.” The surprise factor in the tournament was the dearth of Blaster Joker cardfighters. Forecasted from the moment of its announcement as a much stronger contender in the present format than Glendios and a specific counter to most Legion decks, Joker's lack of a strong card advantage game and omega lock skills has proved to be a serious setback versus the aggressive retire and restand-centric focus of the format.
Deck breakdown (89 participants in total)
23 Overlord
1 Kagerou
14 Thing Saver
1 Vanguard of the King of Knights, Ezer
21 Revenger
8 Liberator
5 Regalia
3 Brawler
1 Dimension Robo
1 Metalborg
2 Link Joker
2 Deleter
2 Great Nature
1 Ezel
1 Pale Moon
1 Battle Sister
1 Raizer
1 Beast Deity
The remaining top 16 included two additional Revenger, three Seeker, three Liberator, two Perdition Dragon, one Regalia and one Battle Sister cardfighters. One blogger gave a tourney report of his experience going 1-2 in the Cup with a Purgatory Dragon deck. Faced with a Kagerou mirror match in the first round, a Revenger fighter in the second and a Thing Saver fighter in the third, he won the first round by double critical trigger and lost the second, and third by gradelock. Expressing sadness at the results and frustration at using Gojo's card changing skill ten times and still not drawing a grade 3, his report illustrates one of the primary differences in how VGCS tournaments have come to operate; the preliminary rounds of tournaments are now commonly held in a best-of-one format in the interest of time, with best-of-three being reserved for the top 16. During the elimination rounds fighters frequently only have 20~30 minutes to play, while the top cut receives a full hour for its three game format. Proponents of this system have countered that the top 16 having access to best-of-three is an important improvement over Bushiroad's system, and with closing ceremonies already not concluding until 9:00 PM there are few other options available.

Entry fee at Chiba was 1000 yen per persons, with a maximum capacity of 96 fighters. Tournament format was five rounds of best-of-one Swiss draw, followed by a cut to top 16. The winner of the tournament won an unofficial rubber playmat featuring several Revenger series Shadow Paladins, as well as two movies of VG-MBT01: Neon Messiah. Third place received three boxes of the Movie Booster, while fourth received two boxes, and fifth through eighth one box. The Swiss rounds lasted from 11:30 AM to 1:50 PM, with an hour lunch break from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. The top 16 was played out from 3:10 to 5:00 PM, with the semifinals and finals taking place at 5:10 and 6:10 PM, finishing at 7:00.

Rather than following Bushiroad's official rules for regulating games hitting their time limit, the Brave Cup used its own ruleset wherein when the time limit is reached, a count is made with the turn player's current turn as turn 0, and at the end phase of turn 2 the player with less damage is declared the winner. If damage between the players is tied, play continues until a change in damage is reached.

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-three, 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, and there are now similar grassroots organizations emerging in the United States like the ARG Circuit series tournaments and the ongoing King of Cardfight competition in the American midwest.

Decklists from Chiba have not yet been published.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

News: Interview with French Regional Runner-up Helene Bourree, Bushiroad to Open European Offices

Special thanks to Kyo of France, who conducted and submitted the interview below.

Over September 27th the Paris regional qualifier took place, with Pale Moon and Kagerou cardfighters Jeremie Raso and Helene Bourree taking first and second place. The tournament was the first time a French national has placed first in France's annual regional qualifiers, and a major victory for advocates of both Venus Luquier and non-Nouvelle Kagerou. 164 cardfighters participated this year, up from Brussels' 81 person attendance in 2013 and Paris' 60 person attendance in 2012.

French contributor Kyo was able to secure an interview with Helene Bourree, one of the few professional female cardfighters in the world. As the runner-up Bourree is officially permitted to take part in the European continental championship, and potentially the world finals in Japan, but under the current WCS2014 regulations all fighters from France cannot have their travel expenses paid by Bushiroad due to the tournament finals being in Paris. Topics of the interview included the beginnings of her career, her deck and the controversial organization of the Paris qualifier, in which several cardfighters who had not been eliminated were arbitrarily cut from the tournament by proceeding directly to the top 8. A video of French regional finals can be viewed here.

In other news, Bushiroad Global tweeted today that the company is in the process of expanding its international offices, with a Bushiroad Europe branch opening in Germany this year. The development of a European office reflects the growth of Cardfight!! Vanguard's popularity in the region, Bushiroad had previously created the body of Bushiroad EU Inc. to officiate its European tournaments, and as with Bushiroad USA control of the company resides in Singapore with Bushiroad South East Asia Pte. Ltd. All of these subsidiaries ultimately answer to Bushiroad Inc. back in Japan.

The following interview is the result of contributor submission and may not reflect the views of Cardfight Pro or its editors. Spelling and grammar corrections have been made by the editor.

Interview with Helene "Reyson" Bourree
Q: Describe your career.
A: I started playing when the game was released in English. For a while, it'd been just a fun game to play with a bunch of friends during the weekend. But my vision of CFV changed after my first national championship in Manchester (2012). I went with Golds and went further as I could have ever hoped, as Garmore led me to top 16. It was a revelation, and I've been playing for competition since then, trying to attend all the main events in France and England. Unfortunately I couldn't enter the Team League French qualifiers in Paris last April, as I was asked to be the head judge. Another great experience!

Q: Describe your Deck.
A: The deck I used was inspired from a very close friend's build. I was ready to go with a Nouvelle Vague deck, but deep inside me I hated my own deck for offering nothing else but a win by sacking and going against the mechanics of the game. Taking a damage and hoping for a trigger to be able to guard the remaining attacks is part of the game and a valid strategy that we've all used, or relying on a 6th damage heal! But in my eyes, Nouvelle Vague and its skill broke the game.
This is why when Kyo showed me his Kagero deck, I got inspired again, and chose to go with a hybrid Overlord BR, Rebirth, Dauntless Reverse, and...Georgette deck! The focus was obviously on the Break Ride, as the push it allows is immense. With Dauntless, you can retire up to 4 G1/0 with 2 attacks! An amazing card that kills decks relying on their field, such as Kagero (Rebirth), Aqua Force, etc. Then of course Rebirth was my main focus, as you can stack the triggers on it, and attack 3 times. And Georgette...Well Georgette was supposed to used against Glendios...Which I didn't get the opportunity to face!

Q: What do you think about the fact you're one of the few women in the professional world [of Vanguard]?
A: It is a fact about card games in general. There are very few women, but I've been playing card games for 10 years, and got used to that.
Surprisingly enough, there were much more women in Paris that I would have expected! Usually we are 5 regular players (and not bad ones!), but I think remembering up to 15 women for the BWC this week end. Two of them went 4-2 (Genesis and Pale Moon), and another one went 5-1 (Genesis) but didn't make it to the final cut (her only loss was against me!)
Men tend to see women as fragile and shy players, but it is our duty to show them wrong.
I guess we can say that there are clans women are naturally more attracted to than others... But I personally prefer knights and dragons in general. I guess this is why my fellow men players and friends have been calling me for a while now "one of the guys"!

Q: What do you think about the tournament's organization? I have heard that there was a cut for top 8 while 16 players were remaining.
A: There were 15 remaining players after round 5, and the judges decided to go for a 6th one. After this round, 4 players were on 6-0, and 4 5-1 among the 8 (I guess?) still remaining. At this point I was on 5-1 too, as I lost during last round to the player who was about to become the French champion. My goal average was strong (among the players I beat, 2 of them were on 5-1).
It was the right decision to make.
The overall organization was a good one. Those big events are always complicated to organize, but we had space. 3 rooms (we were playing in a school) were dedicated to the tournaments (161 players), and 2 others were then opened for the ones who wanted to go for the freeplay.
4 judges were here, and decisions had to be made (a player was accused of cheating as there were huge fingerprints on his trigger sleeves.) A few problems with the pairings as well, but nothing as important as the top 8 cut, where a player on 6-0 was forgotten, and a player on 5-1 had to go...But it wasn't me!

Friday, October 10, 2014

News: G Assist Step to Eliminate Gradelock, Stride Effective November 21st

Accompanying today's Japanese card of the day profile is Bushiroad's newly announced G Assist Step, a major reform to the standard Cardfight!! Vanguard rules designed to help eliminate gradelock through the newly introduced G units. The Japanese announcement was quickly followed by an translated explanation on the English web portal, reflecting the company's recent pro-synchronization stance.

The announcement has clarified the Stride mechanic further, officially introducing a Stride step that will be put into effect during the ride phase and after the ride step, effective November 21st in Japan, with an effective date for the English edition of the game not yet set.

With standard Striding, if both cardfighters have grade 3 or greater vanguards after the ride step, then by discarding cards whose sum grade is equal to 3 or greater, the turn cardfighter can Stride a G unit from the generation zone. The G unit is placed over the original grade 3 in a manner that allows the name and power of the previous unit to be visible, reflecting the fact that the G unit gains the name and power of the card beneath it, and that the card beneath it is not a part of the soul (and therefore cannot be soulblasted), but is instead the "Heart" of the card that Strode over it.

To meet the necessary conditions to use G Assist, immediately after their draw phase and before their ride phase a cardfighter must have a vanguard which is not grade 3 or greater, they must not have a card in hand that is one grade greater than their vanguard, and they must have at least 2 cards in their generation zone. By revealing their hand to the opponent, the player can then look at 5 cards from the top of their deck, search for a unit that is one grade higher than their vanguard, add it to their hand, and then choose two cards from the generation zone and two cards from their hand and remove them from the game. This last clause prevents legion decks and other builds which benefit from having cards in the drop zone from using the G Assist to accelerate.

Following a successful G Assist, the deck is shuffled and the cardfighter is able to ride normally; if the G Assist fails, the deck is still shuffled but cards are not removed from the game. Overall a successful G Assist comes off as a -1 in exchange for avoiding gradelock, giving the same loss in card advantage as being trapped at a lower grade but being able to compete with the same level of power as the opponent.

Ironically, the new ruleset will be generally incompatible with “Ω” Glendios decks despite originating from World Line Dragon's mechanics, because that particular deck is heavily reliant on grade 3 cards which interfere with having no cards in hand one grade higher than the vanguard. An “Ω” cardfighter that does not have either Glendios or “Я” Cradle in hand will likely not be able to use G Assist because of the other (non-Link Joker) “Я” cards in their hand.

How the underground community will respond is uncertain. There are several VGCS tournaments coming up on November 2nd, 16th and 22nd, with the third Tsurumai CS taking place the day after the new Stride rules take effect. Vanguard Championships have made a habit of preemptively adopting new rule modifications and restricted lists ahead of their official adoption however, and we may see our first Stride-onwards tournament results debut at the beginning of November.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Announcement: Call for ARG Circuit Series Tournament Organizers

In order to promote the welfare of cardfighters across the United States, going into 2015 Cardfight Pro is collaborating with multiple tournament organizers and card shops throughout North America to support unofficial and underground tournament play.

Ohio-based card shop and event host Alter Reality Games is reaching out to the community to find tournament organizers for its Cardfight!! Vanguard tournaments. In the past the ARG Circuit series has acquired a respected reputation in the community; unlike Bushiroad inc.'s official tournaments, ARG's have employed a best-of-three Swiss pairing format. Rather than a cut to top 8, past Circuits have simply distributed prizes derived from the players' entry fees to the top players at the end of the Swiss rounds, and with a typical tournament size of 50+ cardfighters and $20 entry fees this has climbed up to $1000 in prize payout divided among the top participants. In spite of the rewards, the tournaments have faced obstacles due to a lack of organizers to help set up and run the events.

Alter Reality Games hosts its Circuit series tournaments monthly, and is currently looking for tournament organizers to set up Cardfight!! Vanguard tournaments alongside its Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering tournaments. If organizers sign up quickly enough, Vanguard tournaments can be added to the upcoming tournaments for October and November. The Circuit operates throughout several geographic sectors of the United States, and the present tournaments include Columbus (OH) from October 11th to 12th, Des Moines (IA) from the 18th through the 19th, Raleigh (NC) from November 8th to 9th and Seattle (WA) from November 15th through the 16th. Previous Circuit events have included locations like Chicago and Indianapolis.

In the future ARG plans to expand their operations from two tournaments monthly to three and four, and to hold Circuits in more cities, which would likewise allow for more Vanguard tournaments to be held. Those interested in organizing Cardfight!! Vanguard tournaments, please contact ARG president Jim McMahan with your application at

Saturday, October 4, 2014

News: Fifth Season Cardfight!! Vanguard G Announced, Harmonics Messiah Mechanics Detailed

Left to right; Kiba Shion, Shindou Chrono, Anjou Tokoha
A broadcast from Bushiroad's special conference today has announced the start of a new season of Cardfight!! Vanguard on October 26th, Cardfight!! Vanguard G. Coming alongside the introduction of a new separate product line for the multimedia franchise, G offers to both wipe the slate clean for newcomers and build on the material familiar to older fans of the series.

Taking place after a three-year timeskip, the series will follow Shindou Kurono, Kiba Shion and Anjou Tokoha as the new protagonists of G, with returning cast Katsuragi Kamui and Tokura Misaki serving as supporting characters. A website for the season went up shortly after the broadcast, describing the new characters introduced by G. Kurono is a protagonist who "lost his parents at an early age and relies on his own power," while Shion is "both the class clown and a cool young man, educated in fencing." Tokoha meanwhile is "a true Tokyoite girl with a graceful appearance." Kurono uses the never-before-seen clan Gear Chronicle, which brings together the destinies of these three towards an "impossible future, an impossible self signifying 'Generation.'"

Principle protagonist Shindou Kurono's name is a dual-language pun on the word Chrono "Time," while the kanji for his surname 新導 approximate the meaning "New Lead" in contrast to preceding Sendou Aichi's 先導 "Forward Lead." Returning character Kamui will be working part time at a second Card Capital location, while Misaki inherits the chain as a whole and serves as its owner.

Miyano Mamoru will be returning to voice Ibuki Kouji as a key supporting character, and to sing the new opening theme for Cardfight!! Vanguard G. Notably, Miyano's introduction in the stream doubled the number of viewers and caused a suddenly influx of Premium NND users to join, kicking out non-Premium members for the limited seating available to the livestream. The stream ultimately garnered a 72% approval rating with an audience of more than 22,000 viewers and more than 5,000 comments posted within the hour.

Starting with G the previous director and series writer Tsuji Hatsuki and Urahata Tatsuhiko will be departing from the franchise. These two have served as director and writer for Cardfight!! Vanguard, Asia Circuit, Link Joker and Legion Mate. For G their roles are filled by Yoshimura Kyoko (吉村清子) and Umemoto Yui (梅本唯.) Yoshimura is known for her work on Final Fantasy Unlimited and Witchblade, as well as serving as the co-director to Vanguard's Link Joker arc, while Umemoto is already well-appreciated for her contributions to the first season of Cardfight!! Vanguard. She has both storyboarded and directed Suzugamori Ren's introduction to the series in episode 23, the battle between Kai and Ren in 47, and the masterpiece episode 62, better known as the first instance of Tsukuyomi being used to stack the deck.

G will make use of the new Stride mechanic introduced earlier by the Neon Messiah movie promo card, Harmonics Messiah. Each of the main characters of G will be featured using a Stride unit, cards which are kept outside of the main deck and used after the ride phase of the turn; by discarding cards with total of 3 or more grade from the hand while the vanguard is at grade 3 or greater, a Stride unit can be placed over the vanguard until the end of the turn. So far this has not been treated as a ride, and according to the stream can be performed after a normal ride, meaning that break ride skills will not activate, and the Stridden card retains the names of both itself and of the base form it has Stridden over. The power of the unit Stridden is added to the Stride unit, however. The introduction of a "G-Assist Step" will see further interaction with Stride, allowing it to be performed to cope with being gradelocked.

Of the revisions made to the TCG by G, the upcoming trial decks for the season will contain four copies of their RRR-rarity card instead of just one, as well as two perfect defense cards and two copies of their cover card each. The products for the new season will also partially reset the set order, reflecting the divide between Cardfight!! Vanguard and Cardfight!! Vanguard G. On November 21st the first trial decks of the new season will come out, VG-G-TD01: Awakening of the Interdimensional Dragon and VG-G-TD02: Divine Swordsman of the Shiny Star. These will be followed on December 5th by VG-G-BT01: Generation Stride. (時空超越/ストライドジェネレーション Jikuchuuetsu/Sutoraido Jenereeshon "Space-time Transcendence/Stride Generation.") VG-G-TD03 and 04 will follow in January, then VG-G-BT02 in February, and the first extra booster set of the season will be released in March. TD01 will support the new Gear Chronicle clan, while TD02 will support Royal Paladin, and BT01 will contain cards for Royal Paladin, Gear Chronicle, Kagerou, Nova Grappler and Oracle Think Tank.