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:
Game 2:
Game 3:
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.

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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