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.