Friday, December 19, 2014

News: Bushiroad Publishes Revival Legion Decklists

To accompany a recent push for its grade 3 revival campaign, Bushiroad of Japan has published five deck recipes composed by its development staff. Each recipe corresponds to one of the five revival legions originally distributed in issues of Monthly Bushiroad magazine, which legion to one of each clan's iconic boss cards from 2012 and earlier. Decklists are translated below, with deck analysis provided by Cardfight Pro. The revival legions and their mates addressed here are going to be reprinted at Japan's Comiket 87, distributed between December 28th and 30th. Each card will be reprinted with its legion mark and a triple rare foiling, but older cards which do not have the legion mark will still be usable.

Those seeking advice from these decklists should take note that many of the development team's card choices would be considered suboptimal by professional cardfighters. Where more preferred options are available, these are noted in the analyses.
"Publishing the development team's deck recipes!
By referring to these deck recipes, see various ways to put [your] deck together!
Published here are the deck recipes recommended in accordance with the development team's planned themes and concepts!
*Cards with the same name and effect are posted as one."
Goddess of the Treasured Mirror, Ohirume
The development team's Ohirume deck relies on using the grade 1s Circle Magus and Battle Sister Cocoa as supporting pivots; when ridden or called Circle lets you look at the top card of the deck and leave it there, while Cocoa lets you choose whether that card will go on the top or bottom of the deck. Because this version of the deck uses Stellar Magus, even if the top card isn't a trigger unit you'll still win out with Circle regardless of what the top card is, because you can then use Stellar's on-attack counterblast 1 to declare the top card of the deck and add it to your hand. Cocoa is less preferable because of her 6000 power base, hence why she's run at fewer copies than Circle, but can still be viable because of the grade 1 and 2 units Sayorihime and Susanoo. Both of these units get +3000 power when attacking if you have an Amaterasu vanguard, and because Ohirume also has CEO Amaterasu's name while in legion, their skills will still activate. So with Cocoa these cards will make between 16000 and 18000 power lanes, effective for dealing with either standard 11000 power bases or with base 13000 crossrides.

The most unorthodox choice in the lineup is Obligate Robin, a base 8000 power grade 2 whose on-call counterblast 2 allows you to put a card from your deck's top 2 cards into your hand, and put the remaining card on the bottom of the deck. Because Ohirume and Ame no Sagiri both provide the deck with unflipping options there is more room for counterblast-heavy skills, but a draw skill from a base 8000 unit is problematic because without Oracle Guardian Gemini there's no way for Robin to form a 16000 power lane. This means that the card advantage Robin gives is offset by the opponent only needing 5000 shield to block him.

A more recommendable grade 2 choice would be Kuroikazuchi, a generation break 1 unit from G-BT01: Generation Stride. Kuroikazuchi's skill allows you to counterblast 1 and draw a card when his attack hits a vanguard while he's boosted, which like with Robin gives a +1 in card advantage but exists on a 9000 power base. Another option would be Oracle Agent Royce, whose on-hit counterblast 1 can search the top 5 cards of the deck for a grade 3 and add it to hand, which helps avoid being trapped on CEO Amaterasu in the fights where you don't have a copy of Ohirume immediately.

Grade 0
x1 Battle Sister, Eclaire (FV)
x4 Diviner, Sukunahikona HT
x4 Psychic Bird CT
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike CT
x4 Assault Dive Eagle CT
Grade 1
x4 Mediator, Ame no Sagiri
x3 Battle Maiden, Sayorihime
x4 Circle Magus
x3 Battle Sister, Cocoa
Grade 2
x3 Obligate Robin
x4 Battle Deity, Susanoo
x4 Stellar Magus
Grade 3
x4 Goddess of the Treasured Mirror, Ohirume
x4 CEO Amaterasu

Rising Star, Trois
The Trois deck is more straightforward. By riding each piece of the Riviere line in succession, you can draw a card; Mermaid Idol over Cadet Riviere and Super Idol over Mermaid Idol. Because the original line for Riviere was designed with the idea of riding Top Idol over Super Idol, riding the "wrong" grade 3 in this case is not as bad, since you can draw another card off of it that will hopefully help you dig deep enough in the deck to get a Trois for next turn. It's still better to open on Trois over Super Idol, because Trois' skill will allow you to search your deck for a copy of Top Idol Riviere which will make her persona blast active. In today's more defensive format, being able to grant a Soul Saver Dragon-like effect early on is invaluable, as it forces the opponent to higher damage versus Trois' 21000+ legion line, or otherwise expend unnecessary cards to guard that will leave them exposed later. Ultimately the goal of the deck is to use Trois' counterblast 3 discard 3 to restand the vanguard after attacking and go for an aggressive push while the opponent is at high damage, ideally winning that turn so that the net -1 in card advantage does not factor in.

Trois' weakness is her heavy counterblast cost, as Riviere has a counterblast 2 attached while Trois has a counterblast 3, enough that together they consume the entire damage zone. The grade 1 Duo Clear Parasol Kura is intended to deal with this, since her soulblast effectively trades 2 soul to unflip 2 damage. Since the deck has no 11000-power grade 2 attackers, Trois' only place is behind the vanguard, which has the tradeoff of limiting you offensively and giving the opponent more opportunities to guard for no-pass early in the fight. Two or more turns of restanding can make up for these initial concessions.

However, there are serious flaws with the staff's lineup. This version of Trois is primarily made up of vanilla 8000 and 10000-power units, to the point that the only grade 2 with a skill in the deck is Riviere herself. Just running three or more copies of Pearl Sisters Perla would open up new rearguard options, since you could use her on-hit skill to return cards like Apprentice Idol Karen or Dream Team Dios to your hand, activating their on-return skills. Dios in particular would be desirable for the deck because she can soulcharge 1 and unflip a damage, which helps keep counterblast open for Trois' counterblast 3. This in turn would make the endgame less dependent on Kura. Mermaid Idol Flute would also be a good choice for the deck, as it lacks 11000-power attackers and Riviere does not have subclan support.

Grade 0
x1 Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Riviere (FV)
x4 PR♥ISM-Miracle, Timor HT
x4 Comical Rainie CT
x4 Gunslinger Star, Florida CT
x4 PR♥ISM-Miracle, Canary CT
Grade 1
x4 Mermaid Idol, Ellie
x4 Mermaid Idol, Riviere
x4 Mermaid Idol, Sedna
x2 Duo Clear Parasol, Kura
Grade 2
x4 Super Idol, Riviere
x4 Top Idol, Aqua
x3 PR♥ISM-Smile, Ligurian
Grade 3
x4 Rising Star, Trois
x4 Top Idol, Riviere

King of Knights' Vanguard, Ezzell
In contrast to Trois, Ezzell has more options than can be neatly fitted into one deck. As with Ohirume above, the grade 3 searcher Libergal is the preferred first vanguard for this deck, because it avoids being stuck on the wrong grade 3. The trigger lineup is also conductive Ezzell's skill; since he comes with a soulblast 2 cost attached but also calls one unit of every grade, Margal is the ideal grade 0 target. By sending her into the soul you can both power up a rearguard column to hit key numbers and prepare to use Ezzell a second time later on. For similar reasons, Silent Sage Sharon could effectively replace Margal if you intended to pursue stand triggers for better mixed aggression rather than defensively-minded draws.

Since Ezzell's skill has no counterblast cost, Royal Paladin fighters are free to use their damage zone to support the many rearguard options available. Agreement Seeker Menprius' on-hit counterblast 1 searches out the top 5 for a grade 3 like Royce above, and synergizes with Ezzell's need to discard a copy of either himself or Alfred to activate his skill. Blaster Blade and Blaster Blade Spirit allow free control over the front row, with Spirit's triggering when he's called out of the deck by Ezzell's persona blast. Isbuzzard and Cherin both activate when they're called while the vanguard is in legion, with Isbuzzard gaining +4000 power and Cherin doing the same but also giving power to another unit. So by calling an Isbuzzard and then a Cherin, you can turn what would have been a 16000 power lane into a 28000 power lane for a single counterblast. These skills also work when superior called from the deck, so using them with Ezzell can help to create huge aggressive rearguard lines for a very low cost. When coupled with the Royal Paladin grade 4 Shrouded Divine Knight Gablade, you can use Gablade's on-hit to superior call Cherin, dramatically increasing the power of your remaining attacks.

Knight of Steel Wing is an extremely strange choice of grade 1 for this deck. Steel Wing gains +5000 power when he is attacked, becoming an 11000 power base for that battle, which is primarily only useful during the one turn that Wing is on the vanguard circle. Because there are no Alfred-specific subclan attackers, Steel Wing cannot form an 18000 power lane without Margal's support. By contrast, the deck could benefit more from Toypugal, Royal Paladin's clanwide 9000-power booster. Since Ezzell legions to a grade 3 unit, merely being in legion satisfies Toypugal's condition of having two or more grade 3s in play. Not only does this guarantee anti-crossride numbers with the deck's plethora of 9000 power grade 2s, but by running Toypugal with the generation break grade 2 Knight of Vicissitude Brede, you can form 21000 power lanes for non-crossride matchups. Brede's generation break 1 gives him +3000 power when he attacks, turning him into a 12000-power attacker, which when lined up with Toypual will extract 15000 shield from the opponent. Although not as dramatic as Isbuzzard and Cherin above, Toypugal with Brede have the advantage of stability and constant presence throughout the fight.

Grade 0
x1 Libergal (FV)
x4 Healing Pegasus HT
x4 Margal DT
x4 Burning Mane Lion CT
x4 Knight of Flash CT
Grade 1
x4 Holy Knight Guardian
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x3 Flail Seeker, Isbuzzard
x3 Knight of Steel Wing
Grade 2
x3 Blaster Blade Spirit
x3 Agreement Seeker, Menprius
x3 Brave Stride Seeker, Cherin
x2 Blaster Blade
Grade 3
x4 King of Knights' Vanguard, Ezzell
x4 King of Knights, Alfred

True Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daikaiser
The development team's version of the True Great Daikaiser deck draws on the Dimensional Robo subclan's unique ability to retire cards in the guardian circle. By running 12 grade 3s instead of the normal 8, this deck maximizes its opportunities to check additional grade 3s at the risk of being gradelocked. The staff's choice of first vanguard is vexing. Daimagnum can put himself into the soul to give the vanguard +4000 power, but without cards like the original Daiyusha or Goeagle who rely on their power being increased prior to the attack step, there is little use for Magnum over Goyusha. Goyusha's superior ride sequence allows his cardfighter to put any four Dimensional Robo units into the soul to ride any Dimensional Robo grade 3 from the deck, allowing for risky but powerful plays like superior break riding True Great Daikaiser over Daikaiser on the same turn that the original Daikaiser was ridden.

The lack of a limit break enabler to make break ride and Great Daiyusha's skills accessible can be crippling in a format that relies almost exclusively on legion and generation break skills, but there is one concession available for True Great Daikaiser cardfighters to get around this restriction. As with Ohirume above, when True Great Daikaiser is in legion to Great Daiyusha, he has Daiyusha's name attached to him. This makes an in-legion Daikaiser eligible for Dimensional Robo Gocannon's skill; by putting the Gocannon and another Dimensional Robo into the soul, Daiyusha can be given an additional critical. While this won't initially increase the legion's damage output, it does in turn appease the conditions for both of Great Daikaiser's skills. As long as there are three or more Dimensional Robos in the soul, Great Daikaiser will get critical +1, and if Great Daiyusha's critical is 2 or greater, then when Great Daikaiser drive checks a grade 3, he can counterblast 1 and retire an opponent's guardian in addition to negating any effects of "cannot be hit" derived from a perfect defense card. While not as strong as it once was in a format that makes use of quintet walls, this still gives Great Daikaiser lethal gameplay that can activate early on and inflict damage to the opponent much faster than they're prepared for. Once of the consequences of this is that break ride Daikaiser can easily become a vanilla Dimensional Robo unit, as no wary opponent will allow his skill to go off. Triggering the break ride and True Great Daikaiser's skills in one turn can be a game-winning condition, as the resulting center lane would have the ability to retire two perfect defense cards and negate their effects, while attacking boosted for 41000 power and 3 critical.

There is one benefit to using standard Daikaiser in the deck, a Kaiser Grader tech. Grader is a 7000 power rearguard that allows you to superior ride Great Daikaiser if you have the grade 2 Kaizard on the vanguard circle, by discarding a grade 3 Dimensional Robo and putting Grader into the soul. This both sets up the soul-based conditions of the Ultimate Dimensional Robos and sets off Kaizard's skill to give Daikaiser +4000 power. Kaiser Grader's costs versus his output (-1 card from hand -1 rearguard +1 superior ride +1 additional drive check) work out to a net change of 0, which means that there's no reason to not use the skill when you are able to, and the additional power Daikaiser gains along with his twin drive versus Kaizard's helps push the opponent's damage zone to the point where True Ultimate Dimensional Robo's legion skills will matter.

Grade 0
x1 Dimensional Robo, Daimagnum (FV)
x4 Dimensional Robo, Gorescue HT
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daicrane DT
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daibattles CT
x4 Justice Cobalt CT
Grade 1
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daishield
x4 Dimensional Robo, Gocannon
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daitiger
x1 Dimensional Robo, Kaiser Grader
Grade 2
x4 Dimensional Robo, Daidragon
x4 Dimensional Robo, Kaizard
Grade 3
x4 True Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daikaiser
x4 Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha
x4 Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser

Amon's Mastermind, Astaroth
Finally, Amon's Mastermind Astaroth is one of the revival legion decks that have given cardfighters the most trouble in building correctly. The deck plays with a series of passive conditions based around soul manipulation, the most famous of which is Amon's constant +1000 power for each card in the soul. Since this a vanguard circle skill, Astaroth will benefit from this power boost while in legion to Amon, and in addition to that Astaroth gets +1 critical for every ten cards in the soul, creating a potential constant 31000 power 3 critical line. In contrast to Great Daikaiser above, the methodology behind this is that the opponent cannot guard the vanguard forever, whereas Daikaiser often only has to activate once and gamble on checking a grade 3 to win. The appeal to this is that it is safer, costs less card advantage, requires less setup and is active faster than Daikaiser, since there are no limit break restrictions on the mate, and the soul can be ready as early as turn 3. Furthermore, thanks to Doreen the Thruster and Psychic of Dust Izaya, Astaroth has access to strong rearguard lanes that can reach upwards of 28000 power every turn.

Astaroth's soulcharge 2 activates whenever an opponent's rearguard is retired, which lends itself both to using Amon's counterblast to put a rearguard into the soul and retire an opponent's, and to Gwynn the Ripper. As the resident Berserk Dragon clone, Gwynn has been the game-making feature for Dark Irregulars since his release years back in BT03: Demonic Lord Invasion. Unlike Amon's -1 for -1, the additional counterblast for Gwynn affords a real change in card advantage, rather than preserving the existing state of the game in miniature.

It's easy to be critical of the team using Fate Collector as this deck's first vanguard. Not only would Devil in Shadow deal with getting Astaroth into play better, but between Fate Collector and Greedy Hand, Greedy is much more desirable. For counterblast 1, Greedy can go into the soul and search the deck for a grade 1 to soulcharge, ideally Dimension Creeper. Dimension Creeper's skill can then soulblast it to soulcharge 2, giving you a total of three added soul and four instances of soulcharging to give Doreen and Izaya +12000 power each. Yellow Bolt is also a frequently challenged grade 1 choice, because soulcharging is already very easy for Dark Irregulars and he's competing with Bloody Calf, who can trigger Astaroth's soulcharge 2. Calf's counterblast 2 retires an opponent's grade 1 or lesser rearguard on-call, both taking from the opponent's field and giving more soul than Bolt would.

Grade 0
x1 Amon's Follower, Fate Collector (FV)
x4 Amon's Follower, Hell's Trick HT
x4 Hysteric Shirley DT
x4 Dark Knight of Nightmareland CT
x4 Amon's Follower, Cruel Hand CT
Grade 1
x4 Amon's Follower, Vlad Specula
x4 Dimension Creeper
x4 Doreen the Thruster
x2 Yellow Bolt
Grade 2
x4 Flirtatious Succubus
x3 Gwynn the Ripper
x4 Psychic of Dust, Iazaya
Grade 3
x4 Amon's Mastermind, Astaroth
x4 Demon World Marquis, Amon