Sunday, June 11, 2017

Let's Translate Cardfight!! Vanguard: Lock on Victory!! Part 7: Freetime Events 2

Our next main mission is with Misaki, but before that we've opened up several freetime events, and there's a specific addition I'd like to try in our Sanctuary of Light deck.

Rise to Royalty is the English-exclusive equivalent to the Daigo Special Set, a "Mega Trial Deck" designed to promote the pop idol Daigo. It's mainly known for introducing Sanctuary Guard Dragon, the former-meme-turned-competitive-nightmare that's been dominating the game ever since May 2015.

For our purposes, the MTD matters because the Lock on Victory variant of it comes with four copies of Battle Flag Knight Constance, an on-hit CB2 search for any grade 1 and call it. Our deck is a little CB-heavy to make use of Constance normally, but he's a good pressure unit for this format and can substitute for Planetal when we're stuck on Ashlei like last time. So Constance will be stepping in to replace Palamedes for a while.

Our first freetime event is back at Fukuhara High with Tetsu.

Tetsu: How are you doing? Do you have a handle on Vanguard's rules yet? For you need to comprehend them, and from that you can become a strong fighter. This is a good chance, so I'll ask you one question.

Tetsu: From among these, which card cannot retire a grade 3?
>>Blaster Dark Spirit
>Blaster Dark Revenger
>Blaster Dark

Blaster Dark can retire any one of the opponent's rearguards on-ride, and Revenger can retire any of their front row rearguards, while Spirit can only retire grade 2 or less units in the front row. You'll almost never see vanilla Blaster Dark actually retire a grade 3, but the possibility is technically there.

Tetsu: Exactly! You've been studying.

We get a Flirtatious Succubus promotional card for answering the question correctly.

Tetsu: Next, you will fight me. Your understanding is only genuine when put into practice.
>Don't fight

VS Shinjou Tetsu
Dark Irregulars 1

Our opening hand has plenty of rearguards to harass him with, but no grade 3.

Planet Lancer's skill fixes that for us, grabbing an SP Planetal out of the top 7. It's a special feeling when you can search your SPs.

Tetsu's deck is following a particular trend you might have noticed with Kyou--the first incarnations of each clan in the game are non-limit break, "season 1" versions of those cards. Vermillion Gatekeeper does not have the Forerunner ability that would allow it to move to the rearguard, instead giving him an automatic soulcharge on-ride. That may help prep Tetsu's soul for later, but it also starts him off at a neutral +0 to our positive +1. Similar to Kamui, Tetsu begins the game with a disadvantage even before we really start playing.

What's more, because of that lack of a free booster, Tetsu has to play something behind the vanguard no matter what. Doreen the Thruster's certainly a good booster, but she's also better off in a rearguard column where she can function almost like a second copy of the vanguard.

We don't have Determinator in hand by the time we have to ride, but Little Storm searches it out of the top 7. Have I mentioned how much I dig this ride chain? It's the only one where it has all of these backups, yet even if it fails in its entirety all of the individual pieces are still useful since they get powered up by the boss card. It's about as nutty as the idea of having both grade 1 and 2 Masquerades as ride chain components.

We probably won't actually use Constance's skill at all this game, but we can beat the living daylights out of Tetsu with these vanilla 9ks.

This critical trigger ensures that Tetsu ends up at limit break before he's even begun his grade 2 turn.

Tetsu heals out of that particularly bleak situation, but it doesn't change that he's playing with no field right now. Facing down two turns of three attacks with no way to recoup lost card advantage later does not bode well for your long-term survival. Let's hope Tetsu's running 8 draw.

He then drops a very early perfect guard on Planetal, before being forced to 5 damage.

Tetsu: Drown in the power of darkness! Ride!

Tetsu goes for King of Diptera, Beelzebub. Dark Irregulars' second 11k base, following the promotional card No-Life King Death Anchor. Like Death Anchor and its contemporary Mistress Hurricane, Beelzebub needs 8 or more in soul to become an 11k base, which is normally easy in Dark Irregulars. Tetsu's setup must be severely lacking--he's still stuck at 4 soul, and can't even use Beelzebub's CB2 to power up his rearguards because it requires you to have 6 or more.

This turn can effectively be ignored. Tetsu drive checks two 5ks, and his only accomplishment here is putting us to 3. With him still at 5 damage and only 4 cards in hand, we have a clear path to end the game without even limit breaking.

Margal on the vanguard, then swing from left to right until Diptera is well-done. With Ashlei in play Toypugal is active, and that 10k base won't take kindly to a 20k rearguard.

Tetsu doesn't even bother to block the first attack.

Tetsu: You have my approval.

This fight was so vanilla that we only got the 750 VP base score for winning it. (And a March Rabbit of Nightmareland, which I guess is an okay concession for a terrible game.)

Tetsu: That's it. You've become much stronger. However, do not simply ride on your current pace. Focus your energy.

Our second freetime event is with Christopher Lo, who will hopefully not go as easy on us.

We walk into Card Capital just as Aichi and Chris are finishing a game.

Aichi introduces us to Christopher Lo, who came all this way from Singapore. Chris is interested to learn that we're the latest member in Fukuhara High's Vanguard club, and "that" Suzugamori Ren's kouhai. Naturally, he wants a fight.

VS Chris
Great Nature 1

Our opening is one of the strongest we've had yet. We have everything we need to set up our rides, a break ride turn, and get Toypugal active. Determinator and Planetal will get us two of our three boosters.

We top 7 into Planetal. Having so many grade 3s can be something to worry about, and it means our gameplay will be significantly slowed down.

Chris is playing his Asia Circuit-era Leo-pald deck. It's the prototypical Great Nature strategy; you stack multiple power bonuses from Leo-pald, Binoculus/Monoculus Tiger, and/or Flask Marmoset onto a card in the Hammsuke series, give it as many "when this card is retired, draw/countercharge" effects as possible, and in the end phase the Hammsuke retires, all of those effects go off, it adds a copy of itself to your hand, and Leo-pald tops it all off by reviving the Hammsuke with his limit break. That whole process would generate an average +2 and start the whole thing over again next turn. It's one of my favorite decks ever, way more than the Great Nature builds that came after. (Okay, Tester Fox might come close...)

To cope with that grade 3-heavy hand, we do an early no-pass springboarding off of our 8k base.

We topdeck into a second Determinator that will work just fine as an early rearguard. Vanguard Determinator pulls out a Little Storm on-ride to boost it, and we go to town.

Chris responds by filling his entire field on his grade 2 ride. With four grade 3s and an Iseult in hand, we can really only stop one of these attacks, and only by perfect guarding--a matter of last resort. Should we check a damage trigger, then that intercept will come in handy, but otherwise we should expect to go to 3 this turn.

That trigger comes through for us on the first attack. We can't heal with no damage, but it's the power gain that matters.

Recognizing that we could intercept his other attack, Chris attacks our rearguard Determinator, forcing us to either give it up or put down a 10k shield. Determinator falls.

Chris checks an offensive crit that bumps us up to 3. If not for that heal trigger earlier, we would have gone to limit break this turn and probably been forced into using Planetal early.

Chris does something that I saw a lot of players doing back during limit break format, and which I never agreed with; no-guarding an unboosted vanguard just to reach limit break first. Almost none of the limit breaks that existed in 2013 were worth this, barring a few insane exceptions like Nouvelle's board wipe.

We punish him for that with a crit.

Chris: Look well upon the power of beasts...! Ride!

Oh. He opened his grade 3 turn on Magnet Crocodile. The 10k that gains +2 when attacking a vanguard. Suddenly any promise of a turnaround is out the window.

Chris drive checks two grade 3s, we let him put us to 5 and damage check a draw for our trouble. Next turn is the final turn.

"Break ride!"
Chris pulls out a 1-pass by dropping two 5ks from his hand alongside both intercepts. He's now guaranteed to take 2 damage no matter what, as he has literally no shield left and two rearguards are standing.

 Move along, nothing to see here.

Chris: I...Lost...

This went as he would expect of Suzugamori Ren's understudy. Chris promises he won't forget what transpired today, and that he'll fight us again at another time, another place.