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.