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)