Tuesday, June 30, 2015

News: Weekly Broadcast Features New Angel Feather, G-BT03 Prerelease Listings

In today's weekly broadcast, host Doctor O discussed the approaching launch of G Title Booster 01: Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-, giving an early look at the first TV commercial for the title booster set. Doctor O also showed off a foiled poster for G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, one new Angel Feather card from the set, the previously-seen promotional card Light Elemental Sunny, the 1/8th scale Minerva figure that launched this month, and a new set of sleeves made available through Bushiroad of Japan's promotional campaign. The complete broadcast can be viewed below.

(TVCM shown at 12:12, figure shown at 17:43 to 19:18, sleeves at 19:33, new Angel Feather unit at 23:10)
The broadcast showed a new generation break grade 2 for Angel Feather, "Black Sniper, Harut." Named for one of the angels of the Qu'ran, Harut's skill acts as the new Angel Feather's equivalent to Steam Fighter Amber. When Harut attacks a vanguard and is boosted, for counterblast 1 she can add a card face-up from the top two cards of the deck to the damage zone, then call a face-up unit to the rearguard--these conditions prevent her from unflipping the damage that she just counterblasted, but can serve as either a net +1 in card advantage or allow for an aggressive means of getting out an additional attack in the turn.

Black Slice, Harut
AUTO (Rearguard circle): Generation break 1: [Counterblast 1] When this unit attacks a vanguard, if this unit is boosted, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at two cards from the top of your deck, choose one from among them, put it into your damage zone face-up, put the remaining cards on the bottom of your deck in any order, and choose a face-up card from your damage zone, and call it to a rearguard circle.

Doctor O also revealed an upcoming product available through the Japanese Get! Treasure Campaign, a set of 60 Vangarou-kun themed sleeves that were seen being used in previous broadcasts by the character himself. Japanese cardfighters will be able to exchange points found in their booster packs for a full set of these sleeves; importers will have to buy them secondhand.

Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week featured a fight between Doctor O and mascot character Vangarou-kun using Harmony and Duo Bermuda Triangle decks, while the week before contained the announcement of G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme.

In other news, the English-language Cardfight portal updated today with a list of participating stores for the G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon prerelease event. Held over the 4th of July weekend, participants will receive a PR/0194EN Sabmyu with their entry. The playmat for the prerelease will feature Genesis Dragon Amnesty Messiah, one of the two generation rares from the set.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

News: Cray Elemental Perfect Guard to be Distributed as Promo Card

The Japanese card of the day included a third card today. An unprecedented perfect defense card accessible to all clans, Light Elemental Sunny will be distributed next month as a promo card at the July 17th Bushiroad Summer Caravan in Japan. Past Cray Elemental units have had skills that rely on having face-up Cray Elementals in the generation zone. Sunny instead interacts with that zone in a completely different way, by providing support during the G Assist step.

CONT: Sentinel
AUTO: When this card is removed from your hand for G Assist, all fighters draw 1 card.
AUTO: [Choose 1 card from your hand, discard it] When this unit is placed from hand to the guardian circle, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose 1 of your vanguards that is being attacked, during that battle, that unit cannot be hit.
CONT: This card is from all clans and all nations.

Sunny's autoskill helps make up for removing a card from play during the G Assist step, negating the net -1 that a cardfighter that successfully assists has to take. In exchange the opponent also draws a card, preserving the different in card advantage while not punishing the assisting cardfighter as severely for being forced to assist. However, like the other G-perfect defense cards to be printed since G-BT01: Generation Stride, Sunny cannot protected rearguards from attacks, opening up vulnerability to Commander Laurel and Dragonic Overlord the End.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Announcement: Lycian League Launches

Today is the launch day for Cardfight Pro's sister project, the Lycian League, a Fire Emblem Cipher-centric news organization that aims to provide comprehensive coverage on Nintendo & Intelligent System’s latest trading card game. The Lycian League aims to provide information regarding tournament play, events going on both in Japan and internationally, as well as on upcoming booster sets and starter decks. This will not be at the expense of Cardfight!! Vanguard; by launching this branch, we intend to expand our audience through overlapping interests and help sustain both games. It is not in the interests of anyone for these two games to compete with one another, but it is in both their interests to coexist. The overarching goal of the Lycian League at this time is to support Nintendo and Intelligent Systems in bringing the game over to the international market, and to help foster a community for its fans.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

News: Cardfight Pro Editor Wins Origins Game Fair 2015

The following article was severely delayed due to corruption of the associated video files. At the time of this writing, the video of game 2 has still not been recovered; we apologize for this delay.

June 6th, 2015. This year's fortieth annual Origins Game Fair was also the third Cardfight!! Vanguard tournament organized by Bushiroad USA at the Fair, with 49 cardfighters participating in the competition. Cardfight Pro's editor-in-chief of four years, Alexander "Touya" Fisher, took first place with a Phantom Blaster “Abyss” deck. Unlike Bushiroad's ongoing Spring Festival tournaments, the Origins event was held in a best-of-three modified Swiss format. Double elimination rules were implemented so that only cardfighters who maintained a record of X-1 or better would be able to keep playing until the last round.

Second place went to an Oracle Think Tank cardfighter playing Susanoo with Sakuya, third place to a Narukami fighter playing Sweep Command Dragon, and fourth place to a Dimension Police fighter playing Sin Buster with Daikaiser. Top 8 at the tournament included two Thavas-Glory Maelstrom fighters and one Cat Butler; the eighth cardfighter was not reported. The tournament finals were recorded on video and are provided below.

Bushiroad USA sales manager Johnathan Lee (pictured above at right) attended the tournament as its organizer, with the assistance of local Ohio card shop The Soldiery. We were able to briefly ask Mr. Lee a few questions while on-site. According to Lee, the decision to use best-of-three at the Origins Fair was influenced by its popularity over best-of-one. A survey conducted by Bushiroad of over two thousand cardfighters showed a majority preference for best-of-three. The decision was also influenced by the Origins event not being incorporated into the world championship series or Team League 2015, as this gave the US branch greater creative freedom with running the tournament. However, when asked if the format used at Origins would be integrated into the 2015 world championships, Lee could not definitively answer in the affirmative. Doing so would require approval from Bushiroad of Japan, which has been running best-of-one tournaments for all of its card games since 2008.

By the time the finals began, it was the fourth set that the two finalists would play with one another. In the minor tournament on the previous day they had fought during round 5 of Swiss, in top 8 of that same competition, and in round 4 of the June 6th tournament. Each player was thus familiar with the other's deck composition. Game 1 of the finals ended quickly, primarily due to trigger checks. Touya checked critical triggers on his first two turns of the fight, putting his opponent at 5 damage, and on reaching grade 3 he legioned immediately to end the fight. The game left both the finalists and the spectators grateful that they were playing a best-of-three set; Touya remarked after the finals were over that had this game determined the overall winner, no one would have accepted him as the champion. His opponent remained calm in face of the poor opening to the set, stoically carrying on with game 2.

Game 2 has been lost due to the video file being corrupted, and we are attempting to recover it. One of the critical weaknesses of the “Abyss” deck was demonstrated during the game, as Touya was forced to sit on Mordred Phantom for the entire duration due to not drawing “Abyss.” Because the deck hinges around the abilities of a single card, failing to draw it negated the primary threat of the deck, and without Branwen in the format his stride options were limited entirely to additional copies of Mordred. Meanwhile Oracle Think Tank shined in this game; the reliable draw options and the constant threat of Silent Tom kept his opponent continually ahead. Although the game went long, it ended with all four copies of Phantom Blaster “Abyss” still remaining in the deck.

In game 3 Touya capitalized on early guard opportunities versus his opponent's unboosted center lane to avoid having to block Silent Tom while at high damage later on. As the fight progressed he stayed very close in card advantage despite facing draw skills that should have changed the tempo of the fight immensely. His opponent blocking Judgebau took a perfect defense card out of their hand early on, which led to the decisive blow for the fight at around the 04:40 mark. The threat of “Abyss'” high-power second attack forced his opponent to put down 20000 shield in four parts, as 5000 shield guardians. That net -4 kept them from taking the lead in cards controlled despite using both Susanoo's and Takemikazuchi's draw skills to catch up.

Dry trigger checks throughout the fight left the Oracle Think Tank cardfighter at a severe disadvantage, while Touya was able to better dictate the pace of their game with “Abyss'” self-standing skill. While his opponent seemingly had an opportunity to stave off that offensive at 6:22 by not attacking the vanguard, in reality both cardfighters had seen Dorint and Blaster Dark Revenger in his drive checks on the previous turn--hence avoiding sending him to that damage line would have only resulted in Dorint unflipping a damage to enable a restand regardless.

Touya has played Shadow Paladin off and on since its 2011 Japanese debut, and after struggling to find a deck for himself made it his clan of choice in April 2012. A devotee of Phantom Blaster Dragon, he had voiced his disdain for the Revenger subclan repeatedly since it first began receiving support in 2013. Originally intending to play a Witch deck during the current tournament season, as a result of that subclan's primary grade 3 being short printed in EB11: Requiem at Dusk, every triple rare in his boxes of the set were either Phantom Blaster “Abyss” or Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss.” The difficulty of acquiring Fianna at the set's launch, as well as the generally overwhelming support for the Revenger deck from sets past and present, led Touya to reluctantly main “Abyss” since last November. Going into Origins Touya had a win ratio of 81% with the deck, 134 wins out of 165 tournament games. (Casual games were not included in this count.)

The beginnings of Touya's Dictator deck, which would later become “Abyss” (February 7th, 2014)
Touya had previously placed fourth in the Fair's minor tournament on the preceding day, while his opponent from the finals placed first. In the following tournament on the 7th, he captained Team Delta Attack in winning the team tournament; but due to poor promotion, very few cardfighters knew of the team tournament and only three teams competed. Following this, at the ARG state championship on June 20th, his teammate Alexander Wilson made top 8 playing a Megacolony Machining deck, and Touya himself placed in the top 16 with an “Abyss”-Phantom Blaster Dragon deck using legend deck support. Both fighters are currently qualified for the ARG national championships in August, as each of them has acquired the 20 points necessary to enter the nationals.

His Revenger deck listed below is primarily designed to optimize the number of triggers checked per game, rather than going for a single game-ending attack by breakriding over Mordred. From Touya's perspective, the primary value of Mordred was of baiting the opponent into leaving him at three damage, after which he would normal ride into “Abyss” and use his legion to stretch out a vast difference in damage between himself and his opponent. Being free to absorb attacks at that point in the fight while his opponent was forced to guard, this would cultivate a difference in available shield that would eventually leave them unable to guard. The more one attacks with “Abyss” in the deck, the deeper they can filter for its combo pieces to enable additional attacks later on. Readers should be aware that an ideal version of the deck would use four copies of Dark Revenger, not three--the deck's author dragged his heels in picking up Revenger perfect defense cards, both out of spite and in the knowledge that the upcoming Sovereign Star Dragon support nearly outmodes Dark Revenger.

First place: Alexander "Touya" Fisher
Deck name: Darkness Thunder Force
Grade 0
x1 Judgebau Revenger (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x4 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
Grade 1
x3 Dark Revenger, Mac Lir
x1 Dark Shield, Mac Lir
x2 Black-winged Swordbreaker
x3 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x4 Barrier Troop Revenger, Dorint
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Fighting Spirit Revenger, Macart
Grade 3
x4 Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
Grade 4
x4 Harmonics Messiah
x2 Heat Element, Magum
x2 Miracle Element, Atmos

News: Touken Ranbu, Shadow Paladin, Genesis Cards Shown in Weekly Broadcast, LINE Stamps for Cardfight!! Vanguard Manga

This morning's weekly broadcast commemorated the launch of Clan Booster 01: Academy of Divas last Friday with a special box opening guest starring Itou Ayasa, the voice behind Cardfight!! Vanguard G's idol character Yatomi Saya. For this box opening, Doctor O had Itou attack him with the units pulled out of their packs using a large paper fan emblazoned with the Harmony symbol, after which he would thank her for hitting him. (The gimmick itself was lifted from the most recent episode of Cardfight!! Vanguard G, turn 34 "The Mermaid Princess of Magallanica.") The box opening was followed by a look at Title Booster 01: Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-'s latest poster, and several cards from both Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- and G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme. The broadcast in its entirety can be viewed below, along with translations of the revealed cards.

In other news, manga author and franchise creator Itou Akira announced over Twitter shortly after the broadcast that the LINE messaging service has added stamps of his Cardfight!! Vanguard characters to their store, allowing users who purchase the stamps to send them as emoticons in their messages. The stamps are colorized versions of specific panels from the first three volumes of Itou's Cardfight!! Vanguard. Readers can purchase the stickers in LINE's in-app store for 50 coins (in-app currency) or $0.99. They can be found by searching for ヴァンガード. Itou, who is credited with the original concept of Cardfight!! Vanguard and began developing the manga in advance of the anime's 2011 debut, has over the past two years had his works published in English by Vertical Inc. The English-translated manga is almost caught up to its Japanese counterpart, with volume 6 having gone on sale last May. Volume 7 will launch on August 25th, and volume 8 on November 3rd. At the current pace, it may be possible for the tenth volume to have a simultaneous launch in both Japanese and English.

Today's broadcast unveiled Horikawa Kunihiro, a grade 1 from the Touken Ranbu clan with the new ability Shinken Hissatsu, "True Sword Special Technique." The Shinken Hissatsu ability can only be used while you have 3 or more damage. Doctor O compared the ability to a limit break in the broadcast, as it has a similar damage restriction, but unlike with limit break Hissatsu is a skill that can be used with rearguard units. Damage restrictions have been seen as redundant in the past, particularly when they require counterblast, as counterblast already restricts one's plays by requiring them to take damage to use skills. Horikawa's Hissatsu makes him a temporary 11000-power booster or attacker in exchange for one counterblast, providing a mid to late-game power option on par with Flail Seeker Isbuzzard.

Horikawa Kunihiro
Auto: Shinken Hissatsu: [Counterblast 1] When this unit is placed on a rearguard circle, you may pay the cost. If you do, soulcharge 1, during that turn, this unit gets Power +4000.

From G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, Doctor O revealed Genesis and Shadow Paladin cards for each clan's Witch subclan, Cardamon and Adra. Cardamon is an updated version of Chamomile that is specific to the Witch deck, while Adra is a less restrictive print of Fiercebau that is specific to her subclan and its unique conditions.

White Rabbit Witch, Cardamon
Auto: [Counterblast 1] When this unit is placed into the drop zone from the soul, if you have a "Witch" vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, call this card to a rearguard circle, during that turn, this unit gets Power +2000

Secret Book Witch, Adra
Continuous (Rearguard circle): During your turn, if you have a "Witch" Vanguard, and your opponent has 2 or more grade 0 rearguards, this unit gets Power +2000 and "Auto (Rearguard circle): When this unit's attack hits a vanguard, countercharge 1 and soulcharge 1."

Itou Ayasa closed out the broadcast by asking viewers to say with them, "Stand up, myu Vanguard!" (Myu is the verbal tic used by Saya in the anime series.) Over twelve thousand viewers tuned into the broadcast, posting approximately eight thousand comments through NicoNico Douga's live commenting system.

Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week featured a fight between Harmony and Duo decks wielded by Doctor O and mascot character Vangarou-kun, while the week before contained the announcement of G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

News: Weekly Broadcast Features Harmony Versus Duo Fight

This morning Bushiroad of Japan's weekly broadcast commemorated the approaching release date of G-Clan Booster 01: Academy of Divas by featuring a fight between celebrity host Doctor O and company mascot Vangarou-kun. Doctor O played the new ♪♪ Harmony deck using Lawlis and Riddhe, while Vangarou-kun played a revamped Duo deck built around Eternal Sister Meer and her breakride from Divas Duet. Doctor O had just been in New York as part of Bushiroad's international Spring Festival earlier this week, and showed off a memento of the trip prior to the fight. Almost twelve thousand viewers tuned in to watch the fight, which is presented below in its entirety.

(Fight begins at 08:04)
Doctor O quickly took the lead with his explosive stride strategy, using the ♪♪ Harmony skills of Extraordinary Freshman Shizuku to remove grade 3s from his deck and ensure he could pay the cost of stride, while also repeatedly drawing off of Lawlis' and Emilia's generation break skills. This put him ahead in card advantage while necessitating very little counterblast, and due to Vangarou-kun running Cadet Shizuku as their first vanguard rather than Duo Lovers Singer Darling, it proved difficult for them to keep up versus the deck's draw power. With Doctor O at such a low damage count, Meer's restanding skill did little to make headway into his hand.

Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week contained the announcement of G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme, while the week before featured Ishii Mark (voice of Shindou Chrono) and mascot character Vangarou-kun in a fight using the Link Joker and Gold Paladin decks supported in G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

News: Narukami Fighter Wins Dolce Cup, Yamato CS Decklists

Original photo by @vg_dolce
Kanazawa Workers' Plaza, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. Twenty-one hours ago the Dolce Cup finished its run, with first place at the tournament taken by "Thermos," playing Narukami. Second place went to Bill playing Shadow Paladin, third place to Fujimaru and fourth place Mopii, both also playing Shadow Paladin decks. No decklists for the finalists have been given as of yet, but a complete breakdown of the participants by clan is available below. Shadow Paladin was the most played clan of the tournament, accounting for 25% of all decks played, with Royal Paladin as its closest runner-up at 15%.

Original photo by @vg_dolce
First place at the tournament won three boxes of Sovereign Star Dragon and a rubber playmat custom made for the Dolce Cup. (Pictured above) Round 1 began at 10:00 AM JST, with the finals being completed by 4:00 PM that day. Both the three opening elimination rounds and the tournament finals used a best-of-one format with a 30-minute time limit. Reaching time resulted in a mutual loss for both cardfighters.
VG Dolce Cup Deck Breakdown (47 participants in total)
12 Shadow Paladin
7 Royal Paladin
4 Neo Nectar
3 Gold Paladin
3 Kagerou
3 Link Joker
2 Murakumo
2 Nova Grappler
2 Great Nature
2 Aqua Force
1 Genesis
1 Angel Feather
1 Narukami
1 Dimension Police
1 Dark Irregulars
1 Gear Chronicle
1 Bermuda Triangle
Decklists from the Dolce Cup are not yet available, but the results of the Yamato CS have been made public through the tournament's organizational site. First-place team Suddenly Sussan was lead by Sanctuary Guard cardfighter Chris, and captained by Pitarui--organizer of the regular Pitarui VGCS tournaments--playing Phantom Blaster “Abyss,” with the team's eponymous fighter Sussan taking up Dragonic Overlord “The X” for the tournament. These three decks have emerged as some of the most prominent matchups of the Sovereign Star Dragon-on format, with Sanctuary Guard in particular being a breakout deck among Royal Paladin cardfighters due to how it can seamlessly integrate Jewel Knight and generation break support to overwhelming effect.

Although its contemporary contender Thing Saver Dragon will likely never disappear from the game entirely, for the time being Sanctuary Guard has against all odds come out as the dominant Royal Paladin deck. The addition of Sanctuary Guard Guarantee has given the deck stable grade 3 options for meeting the specific-heart criteria of Regalie; seeing as Guarantee is currently in circulation as part of Cardfight Pack Vol. 13 in the English-language format, his price internationally is likely to increase in face of these results.

Pitarui's “Abyss” deck notably omits the original Blaster Dark Revenger that was once a staple of Shadow Paladin builds, in favor of running both Macart and Macha. This reflects developing the strategies surrounding Phantom Blaster “Diablo;” as cardfighters have become more conscientious of “Diablo's” skill, and are maintaining larger fields accordingly, it is proving increasingly impractical for Revenger cardfighters to focus on emptying their opponent's rearguard circles to make “Diablo's” attack unblockable.

The Revenger gameplan has thus shifted towards taking advantage of the opponent fielding more cards than necessary in order to have retire targets for “Diablo,” by legioning with “Abyss” while their handsize is low from calling so many units. Macart and Macha better support this play style by superior calling Revenger grade 1s for “Abyss” to retire. Blaster Dark Revenger is not the only card to vanish from the deck, as the once-ubiquitous Mordred Phantom and Black-winged Swordbreaker have all but been eradicated from Shadow Paladin play. The soul once dedicated to Swordbreaker now goes to Aurageyser Dragon and Dark Heart Trumpeter, while Mordred has been abandoned for Blaster Dark “Diablo” due in part to the necessity of a Blaster vanguard for Trumpeter and Charon's skills to go off. Without a Blaster grade 3, Charon can't be used as a retire target for Aurageyser, leaving only David to build a net +1 off of in the early to midgame.

Sussan's deck sticks out, as they are one of the few cardfighters to stick by Dragonic Overlord “The X” in the post-legend deck format. Kagerou had all but disappeared from professional play shortly after the deck's Japanese launch date, yet Sussan played it with very few modifications to the deck. At present “The X” is sustained by his Fighter's Collection 2015 stride, Dragonic Overlord “The Ace,” which unlike “The X's” mate, the End, is an offensive rather than defensive stride that can restand regardless of whether or not it hits in exchange for requiring specific discard targets and being a net -1 rather than net neutral or net positive.

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops. Unlike Bushiroad's 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.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you. 

Yamato CS First Place Team: Suddenly Sussan/突然のすっさん (Totsuzen no Sussan)
Foreward: Chris/クリス
Grade 0
x1 Shining Knight, Millius (FV)
x4 Jewel Knight, Hilmy HT
x2 Devoting Jewel Knight, Tabitha DT
x4 Jewel Knight, Noble Stinger CT
x4 Blazing Jewel Knight, Rachelle CT
x2 Bringer of Dreams, Belenus CT
Grade 1
x4 Holy Knight Guardian
x4 Heat Wind Jewel Knight, Cymbeline
x4 Laurel Knight, Sicilus
x1 Jewel Knight, Sabremy
x1 Hidden Sage, Miron
Grade 2
x4 Jewel Knight, Swordmy
x3 Knight of Twin Sword
x2 Starlight Violinist
x2 Transmigration Knight, Brede
x1 Earth Elemental, Pokkle
Grade 3
x4 Sanctuary Guard Dragon
x3 Sanctuary Guard Guarantee
Grade 4 (Generation Zone)
x1 Shrouded Divine Knight, Gablade
x3 Holy Dragon, Sanctuary Guard Regalie
x2 Holy Dragon, Saint Blow Dragon
x1 Miracle Element, Atmos
x1 Great Sage of Contradiction, Jirron

Midfighter: Sussan/すっさん
Grade 0
x1 Red Pulse Dracokid (FV)
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo HT
x4 Gattling Claw Dragon DT
x3 Magnum Shot Dracokid CT
x1 Lizard Soldier, Goraha CT
x4 Dragon Knight, Janat CT
Grade 1
x4 Protect Orb Dragon
x4 Lava Flow Dragon
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
x2 Calamity Tower Wyvern
Grade 2
x4 Burning Horn Dragon
x4 Dragonic Burnout
x2 Dragon Knight, Jabad
x1 Perdition Dragon Knight, Sabha
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord “The X”
x4 Dragonic Overlord the End
x1 Dragonic Blademaster
Grade 4 (Generation zone)
x1 Divine Dragon Knight, Mahmud
x1 Divine Dragon Knight, Mustafa
x2 Imperial Flame Dragon King, Root Flare Dragon
x4 Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Overlord “The Ace”

Captain: Pitarui/ぴたるい
Grade 0
x1 Cutting Edge Knight, David (FV)
x4 Healing Revenger HT
x2 Freezing Revenger DT
x4 Grim Revenger CT
x4 Revenger, Air Raid Dragon CT
x2 Revenger, Wounded Angel CT
Grade 1
x4 Karma Collector
x4 Transient Revenger, Masquerade
x3 Pitch Black Sage, Charon
x2 Knight of Yearning, Branwen
x1 Dark Heart Trumpeter
Grade 2
x4 Blaster Dark Revenger “Abyss”
x4 Fighting Spirit Revenger, Macart
x3 Dark Night Maiden, Macha
Grade 3
x3 Blaster Dark “Diablo”
x1 Supremacy Dragon, Claret Sword Dragon
x4 Revenger, Phantom Blaster “Abyss”
(Generation zone unlisted)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

News: Sanctuary Guard and Kagerou Top Yamato CS, Murakumo in Second

Original photo by @kaki_excel
Original photo by Hachioji Culture
June 13th 2015, Koyasu civic center, Hachioji. First place at the Yamato Championship team tournament has been taken by Team Suddenly Sussan, running Kagerou, Shadow Paladin and Sanctuary Guard Dragon decks. Second place at the team tournament was taken by Team Nameko, running Kagerou, Shadow Paladin and Murakumo decks. The final set between team captains Battle Dome (Dragonic Overlord  “The X”) and Sussan (“The X”) were streamed live to Twitcasting, and recordings of the final set are provided below. So far only the Murakumo decklist has been uploaded to the web, with the remaining lists and tournament breakdown likely to come out of the woodwork within the next few days.

While this is the first major tournament that Murakumo has topped in, by this time Sanctuary Guard has settled in as a firm part of the Japanese game. Sanctuary Guard placed first at the Hakata VGCS earlier this week, despite Revenger cardfighters accounting for nine of the top sixteen decks. Prior to that, the deck had been used by the fourth-place cardfighter at the 193 Meieki Shop CS, a 64-person tournament held in early April. The deck's popularity as a rogue owes to the specific-heart stride it received in Fighter's Collection 2015, Sanctuary Guard Regalie. A renovated version of Royal Paladin's ancient Cosmo Dragon strategy, Regalie continuously endows the entire frontrow with +3000 power for every grade 1 or less rearguard in play. Regalie is not mutually exclusive with Jewel Knight support, so this allows for easy abuse of Swordmy, Tracie and Cymbeline in addition to genericized generation break support like Knight of Twin Sword.

With Tracie as a standalone 21000~31000 power attacker, and Knight of Twin Sword and Starlight Violinist to superior call one another in the battle phase, the Sanctuary deck has taken off as an overwhelming serial attack strategy that can also make maximum use of stand triggers after forcing the opponent to a high damage count with Samuel on a previous turn. The Sanctuary-Jewel Knight hybrid overwhelms assaults opponents with multiple high-power rearguard attacks without needing to dedicate to large single turns like in Thing Saver, creating an innovative fusion of disparate strategies that has just the right characteristics to thrive in the current format.

Meanwhile the Murakumo deck in second place is an entirely new breed; by appropriating the Magatsu revival legion purely for its legion functionality, the Murakumo cardfighter was able to cycle units back into the deck so that they could be targeted for same-name superior call skills even if they had already been removed beforehand. In the process they also gained access to Kuzunoha, a promotional grade 2 from last year's legion festival that can clone any other allied rearguard if the vanguard is in legion. The current incarnation of Murakumo specializes in a mixture of superior calling and then adding cards directly to the hand, keeping them on the field or sending them to the bottom of the deck at different stages of the fight, to build up both a strong offense and defense across multiple turns that can alternatively hide in the deck from retire or lock skills, or satisfy the retire condition of opposing Phantom Blaster “Diablo” strides.

Battle Dome (“The X”) versus Sussan (“The X”)
Game 1: http://us.twitcasting.tv/yamato03_16/movie/176155473
Game 2: http://us.twitcasting.tv/yamato03_16/movie/176163657
Game 3: http://us.twitcasting.tv/yamato03_16/movie/176170081
GmfWingal, winner of the first Sakura CS, reported going to the tournament and playing a Messiah deck, going 4-0 versus an opponent that did not show up, Revenger, Link Joker and Kagerou cardfighters, then in the top cut winning 2-1 against Great Nature in the top cut and losing 1-2 versus Kagerou. Link Joker's lack of presence in the finals is conspicuous, as the deck was highly anticipated prior to this, and the cards necessary to play it have jumped up to exorbitant prices in the lead-up to the current batch of tournaments. White Dwarf Lady Battler is the most egregious case by far, currently a 3000 yen promotional card--the currency equivalent of $24 per copy, more than Japanese Phantom Blaster “Abysses” go for.

Third place at the Yamato CS was taken by Team Deaspan running Kagerou, Shadow Paladin and Thing Saver, while fourth place went to Team Saitou (abbreviated name) running Kagerou, Shadow Paladin and Sanctuary Guard. Full decklists for all teams and a breakdown of the tournament results are pending.

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops. Unlike Bushiroad's 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 King of Cardfight competition in the American midwest.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Yamato CS Second Place Decklist
Grade 0
x3 Kusarigama Stealth Rogue, Onifundou (FV)
x4 Stealth Fiend, Yukihime HT
x2 Stealth Dragon, Hiden Scroll ST
x4 Stealth Beast, Cat Devil CT
x4 Stealth Beast, Moon Edge CT
x2 Dirk Stealth Rogue, Yaiba CT
Grade 1
x4 Stealth Fiend, White Heron (G-Sentinel)
x4 Gateway Stealth Rogue, Ataka
x4 Stealth Fiend, Lake Diver
x1 Stealth Fiend, Oborocart
Grade 2
x4 Stealth Dragon, Rune Star
x4 Overseas Stealth Rogue, Tokubei
x2 Transformation Stealth Rogue, Kuzunoha
Grade 3
x4 Covert Demonic Dragon, Magatsu Typhoon
x3 Covert Demonic Dragon, Magatsu Storm
x2 Fathoming Stealth Rogue, Yasuie
Grade 4 (Generation Zone)
x4 Ambush Demonic Stealth Dragon, Homura Raider
x3 Ambush Demonic Stealth Rogue, Kagamijin
x1 Beauty of Light Snowfall, Shirayuki

Friday, June 12, 2015

News: G-BT04: Soul Strike Against the Supreme for October English Launch

The English-language Cardfight portal updated this morning with a title and release date for G-BT04: Toujin Kongeki, which was announced in Japan earlier this week. Soul Strike Against the Supreme will reach the international game on October 2nd 2015, two months after its Japanese release on August 28th. Cardfight!! Vanguard is rapidly approaching total set synchronization between its English and Japanese set releases, with the only roadblock being the staggered launch of clan and title booster sets, as well as promotional cards.

Soul Strike Against the Supreme is not a direct translation of Toujin Kongeki; the original kanji do not include 覇 Ha which has been translated as "supreme" and "sovereign" in the franchise's English-language materials. (Compare Blue Storm Supreme Dragon Glory Maelstrom; 蒼嵐竜) Moreover, the set's tagline "Do you have what it takes to stand up against supremacy?" is not found in Japanese-language materials related to the set. These additions to the English-language format allude to one of the set's featured cards, Supremacy Black Dragon Aurageyser Damned, whose Japanese name does include the 覇 Ha kanji for supremacy--but until recently was generally translated as Sovereign Black Dragon. Complicating the issue is that G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon also includes the same kanji for supreme, and Sovereign has been officially adapted as the English-language name of the set. Recent modifications to Crunchyroll's official subtitles of the anime series--which are supervised by Bushiroad's staff--have translated the original Aurageyser Dragon as Supremacy Black Dragon, adjusting it from its previous "Military Rule" and "Sovereign" names.

The red X marker that exists in both the Japanese and English set logos, and which was also found on both of Sovereign Star Dragon's logos, is likely another allusion to the three known Supremacy Dragons. Although once thought to be related to a symbol of Link Joker found on the Malefic Deletor trial deck, in light of Claret Sword and Aurageyser's recent involvement in the card game's ongoing storyline, as well as the presence of the X on the kanji for supreme in BT03 and the kanji for god in BT04, the connection to Shadow Paladin's rebel faction is more tangible.

Soul Strike Against the Supreme will feature the evolved forms of existing units from Generation Stride, as well as full deck support for the Genesis, Angel Feather and Megacolony clans. The set's cover card will be Chrono Dragon Nextage, and the Japanese edition will see the release of seven card sleeves, one for each clan supported by the set, sans Cray Elemental.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

News: Omniscience Regalia Minerva Figure Goes on Sale this Month

This month is the long-awaited launch of Kotobukiya's Omniscience Regalia Minerva figure, first announced and put up for preorder in November 2014. Originally designed by Tony Taka, Minerva has been a popular subject for sleeves, playmats and other merchandise since her introduction in BT14: Brilliant Strike. Kotobukiya's rendition of Minerva is a 1/8th scale figure, measuring 220 millimeters (8.7 inches approx.) at her highest point, is made of PVC plastic and comes prepainted by the production studio's in-house workers.

Cardfight!! Vanguard figures have been a favorite subject of hobbyists in the past, with amateur garage kit productions of Majesty Lord Blaster, Super Dimensional Robo Daiyusha, and Eradicator Dragonic Descendant all finding their way into annual figure festivals. Unlike Minerva though, these figures were only produced on a small scale to be auctioned to private collectors, and not as commercial products officially licensed out to a major production house. The Minerva figure retails for 13800 yen, approximately $112 at the current exchange rate. Figures will go out on the 27th.

The only other officially licensed figures on the market are Goodsmile Company's Cardfight!! Vanguard Nendoroids of Sendou Aichi and Kai Toshiki, and their original Nendoroid Petits. The Aichi Nendoroid in particular has become especially notorious among collectors, as it can easily go for more than $150 on the secondhand market. Kai's figure sells for less than half that price.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Today's Card Analysis: Dark Heart Trumpeter

The English-language card of the day Dark Heart Trumpeter, one of the Blaster series support cards from LD01: The Dark “Ren Suzugamori,” which will reach the international game in just ten days' time. Illustrated by Ryuutetsu, the artist behind Darkside and Dark Bond Trumpeter from BT04 and BT12, Dark Heart trades the early game utility of Dark Bond in favor of an overall cheaper cost and higher base power, at the expense of only being usable at the mid to late stages of a fight. In the majority of Blaster decks Dark Heart will be an effective replacement for Black-winged Swordbreaker, better complementing those decks with her higher power base and ability to rapidly fill the field.

Because she requires a Blaster vanguard for her generation break to resolve, Dark Heart's primary place is with Blaster Dark “Diablo” and Phantom Blaster “Abyss.” The breakride print of Phantom Blaster Dragon requires a soulblast 3 to use, and so running the breakride is generally going to be mutually exclusive to running Dark Heart. On the other hand, the BT04 print of Phantom Blaster Dragon can use her soulblast to help fuel his retire skill, superior calling rearguards to act as sacrifices that will mitigate the retire cost, effectively trading the retire cost for a soulblast cost.

For “Abyss,” Dark Heart can easily replace Swordbreaker as a staple card in the deck. The idea behind this is to use Judgebau to superior call two copies of Dark Heart while in stride with Phantom Blaster “Abyss” as the heart, then using both Dark Heart's soulblasts to superior call a Transient Revenger Masquerade and a booster for it. While the Dark Hearts will come out at rest, the Masquerade column will be as stand, allowing an additional attack that turn.

If called to empty rearguard circles, Judgebau into Trumpeter is a net +3, the same as Swordbreaker. But unlike Swordbreaker, Trumpeter is not a dead card if drawn normally prior to this, as her generation break can be used from the hand as well, and there's no risk of accidentally emptying valuable triggers out of the deck as there are with Swordbreaker's draws. Both units should result in generally identical handsizes throughout the game so long as you don't call to three of your rearguard circles prior to using Judgebau. Calling to occupied circles is only a net neutral exchange in card advantage (+1 -1) instead of a net positive exchange (+1). Furthermore, you can conserve more advantage using Trumpeter than you can with Swordbreaker in the long-term if you use Trumpeter to superior call a copy of Pitch Black Sage Charon. While the Trumpeters cannot be sacrificed for “Abyss'” retire skill because he can only retire Revenger rearguards, they can be used to pay for the cost of the stride Phantom Blaster “Diablo.” With Charon in play, “Diablo” only requires two sacrifices to use--one Trumpeter and one Charon. Hence, Dark Heart is not just a net +3 with Judgebau, she also mitigates “Diablo” down to a net -2, conserving more cards than Swordbreaker.

On a final note, examine Dark Heart's SAMPLE image carefully; the English edition of the card misprints her race as Human rather than Angel.

News: Chronojet, Altmile, Ashsha Evolutions in G-BT04, Megacolony Support

In this morning's weekly broadcast, Doctor O and a representative from Bushiroad's development staff, Mr. Yamaki, made the official announcement of the launch of G-BT04: Toujin Kongeki (討神魂撃 Lit. "Destruction God Soul Attack.") Yamaki introduced the "evolutions" of Team TRY3's units that will be coming out of the set, Chrono Dragon Nextage, Heaven-Soaring Paladin Altmile (飛天の聖騎士 Hiten no Seikishi lit. "Fly Sky Holy Knight"), and Dream-weaving Ranunculus Ahsha. Nextage is a stride unit that previously debuted in Hirakazu Raiti's Cardfight!! Vanguard G manga; at the time the manga was being illustrated by Itou Akira, who designed the unit for Shindou Chrono's Chronojet Dragon deck. The current version of Nextage is illustrated by Tanimeso, who previously took over for illustrating Itou's Machining Stag Beetle in Comic Style Vol. 1. The entire broadcast is provided below.

Prior to this, the news of G-BT04 had been partially leaked by an image of the pack design distributed anonymously on the 7th, but with the eight clans supported by the set blacked out. Immediately after the broadcast's airing, the Japanese portal site updated with further details regarding the booster set. G-BT04 will include support for  Gear Chronicle, Royal Paladin, Neo Nectar, Shadow Paladin, Genesis, Angel Feather, Megacolony and Cray Elemental. The set will include 104 cards, with 2 generation rares, 8 triple rares, 12 double rares, 22 rares, 60 commons and 12 special parallel cards. In addition to the three units named above, the seven sleeves produced for the set have revealed the names of boss cards for the non-TRY3 clans. The news has immediately taken off on Twitter, with the prevailing theory among Japanese fans being that Nextage, Altmile and Ahsha are each specific-heart strides for their respective decks in the same vein as Upheaval Pegasus from Fighter's Collection 2015.

Left to right; Supremacy Black Dragon Aurageyser Damned, Holy Seraph Raphael, Divine Destruction Beast Vanargandr, and Raging Spear Mutant Deity Stunbeetle.
Of the units named by the sleeve reveals, Aurageyser Damned, Raphael and Vanargandr each approximately correspond to the decks of the anime's current string of antagonists Kanzaki Yuuichirou, Hashima Rin, and Shinonome Shouma. Mr. Yamaki stated that Altmile, Nextage and Ahsha's evolutions will each be appearing in the anime series; it follows that their corresponding antagonists' cards will also make an appearance. Aurageyser Damned also appears to be connected in the card lore to Claret Sword Dragon's war on the United Sanctuary, which was just announced yesterday morning in Dragruler Revenant's card-of-the-day lore. G-BT04 will launch in Japan on August 28th, 2015.

(Set announcement begins at the 26 minute mark)
Over thirteen thousand people tuned in to the broadcast, posting more than eight thousand comments during the broadcast's short half-hour duration. In addition to the set announcement, Doctor O revealed the skill of Academy of Divas' cover card, School Etoile Olivia. According to Doctor O, Olivia's skill is designed to facilitate use with the ♪♪ Harmony mechanic, returning units to hand and then calling them back to the same column to put them in Harmony. Doctor O also revealed the results of the Monthly Bushiroad Cup from June 6th, which was announced last month. Over six hundred participants divided into over two hundred teams of three took part in the team tournament, with the first-place team being Great Nature, Shadow and Gold Paladin. Decklists will be posted later today.

AUTO (Vanguard circle): [Counterblast 1, choose a face down card named “School Etoile, Olivia” in your generation zone, turn it face up] When this unit attacks a vanguard, if the number of face-up cards in your generation zone is one or more, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to five of your rearguards, and if all of the chosen rearguards have different names, return them to your hand. If three or more cards are returned in this way, choose up to two cards from your hand, call them to separate frontrow and backrow rearguard circles, during that battle, this unit gets Critical +1.

Bushiroad's weekly information bulletins air every Tuesday evening at 8:50 PM Japanese Standard Time. They first began in late January to accommodate a new information distribution model for Cardfight!! Vanguard G, as the amount of card information covered in Monthly Bushiroad magazine decreased and was redirected to other routes of distribution. The previous week featured Ishii Mark (voice of Shindou Chrono) and mascot character Vangarou-kun in a fight using the Link Joker and Gold Paladin decks supported in G-BT03: Sovereign Star Dragon.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

News: Amnesty Messiah Prices Skyrocket

Price surveys of sales of Sovereign Star Dragon singles this week are demonstrating an alarming and rapid shift in price dynamics; over the course of just four days the set's second generation rare, Amnesty Messiah, has jumped up from a 1500~2000 yen card to selling for 6000~7000 yen each. (approx. $48~$56 at the current exchange rate.) The news comes on the heels of the set's other generation rare Phantom Blaster Dragon dominating price charts last weekend, with Amnesty matching Phantom Blaster coin for coin. The Abyss Dragon generation rare has since dropped to 5000~5800 yen, with his lows staying at the same ceiling as on the set's release date.

The inflated prices are likely owed to the modified distribution of generation rares in the set, as it has been independently confirmed several times over that in Sovereign Star Dragon each case of sixteen booster boxes comes with exactly one copy of each generation rare.

Prior sets Generation Stride and Soaring Ascent both distributed generation rares with the same frequency as triple rares, and the only real difference between GR and RRR cards were their foiling. Shadow Paladin and Link Joker are the highest priced clans in the set, with Dark Irregulars in third, and Gold Paladin and Murakumo in fourth.

Another reason for the rise is the lack of reliable unlock skills in the Messiah deck. Their key unlockers White Dwarf Lady Battler and Blast Monk are both distributed exclusively as promo cards rather than in booster sets. With few ways to unlock Arousal Messiah to initiate their combos, Messiah cardfighters rely on the high-rarity Amnesty to piece together their strategy.

Cardfighters in Japan are being forced to come to terms with the increasing expense of the game, as the popularity of specific clans dramatically increases the demand for high-rarity cards. Link Joker has always been one of the most expensive clans in the Japanese game, since the heyday of Chaos Breaker Dragon a year and a half ago. But the high prices of Phantom Blaster and Amnesty Messiah exceed anything seen in previous formats, as their absolute values have doubled; where 3500 yen was once the most expensive price one could pay for a single card in Japanese Vanguard, that value has doubled in the time since to 7000 yen. A game that was once priced for children is becoming prohibitively expensive for its target audience, leaving adults as the primary consumer. Two years ago Eradicator Dragonic Descendant was the currency equivalent of a $10 card, and one of the best decks in format could be afforded with a middle school student's monthly allowance. This dilemma is likely to hit the English-language game even harder with the international release of Sovereign Star Dragon on July 10th, as the most expensive standard rarity cards in the game are already $40~$45. The rarity of Amnesty Messiah and Phantom Blaster may drive the grade 4 units to $80~$100 per card, dramatically increasing the cost of deckbuilding. One of Cardfight!! Vanguard's original selling points internationally was the low cost of the game relative to its contemporaries Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Whether cardfighters would find the new decks worth investing in is questionable when one of the most important aspects of the game is that superior judgement wins out over the amount of money spent; a cardfighter that buys a $500 deck is no more likely to win than one who buys a $150 deck with similar levels of support.

Today's article was made possible by the donations of our patrons at Patreon. Cardfight Pro is funded by public contributions from readers like you.

The above buylist comes from card shop C-labo, written c. May 29th. At the time this list was written, the shop was buying Sovereign Star Dragon cards at their exact market value rather than at a 30~40% depreciation. Less than a week after these prices were listed, Amnesty Messiah's average selling price has already tripled from what is seen here, while Phantom Blaster Dragon's has stayed at a similar price point.

News: Monthly Bushiroad Spoils PR♥ISM Support, Izaya & Hadar Reprint

This month's issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine has had its street date broken, and fan photographs of the magazine's contents have spoiled legacy support for the PR♥ISM subclan, coming up in Clan Booster 01: Academy of Divas. The magazine cover features Sendou Aichi as a PSY Qualia zombie, an aspect of the most recently serialized manga chapter that commercials for the issue have played up immensely. The issue has also given a glimpse at several upcoming Special Parallel prints of cards in Academy of Divas; these cards all have alternate artwork featuring humanized versions of the booster set's all-mermaid cast on a beach holiday.

PR♥ISM-Promise, Princess Labrador
ACT (Vanguard circle): Once per turn: [Choose a face down card named "PR♥ISM-Promise, Princess Labrador" in your generation zone, turn it face up] If you have a heart card with PR♥ISM in its card name, choose up to two of your rearguards, during this turn they get Power +5000 and "AUTO (Rearguard circle): If this unit attacks or boosts, at the end of that battle, put this unit into your hand."

The section on Bermuda Triangle also revealed that the upcoming "Duo Eternal Sister, Meer" will be an "evolution" (進化 shinka) with a new limit break ability.

PR♥ISM-Promise, Princess Leyte
AUTO: When this unit is put into your hand from a rearguard circle, if you have a PR♥ISM vanguard, countercharge 1/soulcharge 1, choose one of your units, during this turn it gets Power +4000, during this turn, you cannot normal call a "PR♥ISM-Promise, Princess Leyte." (You can call that card by card effects.)

PR♥ISM-Promise, Princess Celtic
AUTO (Vanguard/Rearguard circles): [Counterblast 1 cards with "PR♥ISM" in its card name] When this unit's attack hits a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If paid, choose one of your other rearguards, put it into your hand, and if you put it into hand, draw a card.

Duo Love Trump, Chulim (White and Black editions)
AUTO (Rearguard circle): [Counterblast 1, put this unit on top of your deck] When another of your units is returned to hand from a rearguard circle, if you have a "Duo" vanguard, you may pay the cost. If paid, search your deck for up to one card with the same name as the card you returned to hand, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle that deck.

At left are the Special Parallel prints of Lovely Day for a Walk Emilia, and Kukuri, who is labeled as the set's G-perfect defense. Kukuri's skill allows her cardfighter to countercharge 1 when they guard with her, if there is an existing copy of Kukuri in the drop zone after paying the cost for her skill.

The set includes several alternate prints of existing cards, including Miracle Voice Lawlis at right. These prints only exist in SP rarity, and are made as part of the second Bermuda Triangle Summer Vacation event, succeeding the swimsuit edition prints of Top Idol Riviere, Velvet Voice Raindear, Costume Idol Alk, Planet Idol Pacifica and Shangri-La Star Coral.

Lastly, the issue revealed an upcoming reprint of the promotional cards Psychic of Ash Hadar and Psychic of Dust Izaya. Made to commemorate the launch of Sovereign Star Dragon and Izaya's legion revival Psychic of Storm Rigel, the reprint will include two copies of both Izaya and Hadar, packaged with the next month's volume of Monthly Bushiroad magazine.