Sunday, May 20, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: King of Knights Alfred and Lion Mane Stallion

The Japanese Cards of the Day for May 21st, 2018, are Royal Paladin's Vanguard Rare from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 and a Common from the same set, the King of Knights Alfred and his trusted steed Lion Mane Stallion.
King of Knights, Alfred
ACT [Vanguard Circle] Once per turn: [Cost: Counterblast 1] Search your deck for up to 1 "Blaster Blade," call it to a Rearguard Circle, and until end of turn, that unit gets Power +5000. Shuffle your deck.
CONT [Vanguard Circle]: During your turn, if you have a "Blaster Blade" on your Rearguard Circle, this unit gets Power +10000.
While many were expecting the cover card of V-BT01 to be a direct remake of the original King of Knights, gaining power for every rearguard in play and searching any unit, the new Alfred's skillset is instead inspired by his less-mentioned successor unit--Monarch Sanctuary Alfred.

Like Monarch this incarnation of the King of Knights gains 10k for having a rearguard Blaster Blade, but this time around it's a non-stackable Continuous ability. Rather than a finisher, Alfred is a midgame card intended to push the opponent to higher damage with his (boosted) 33 center so that they can be finished by Soul Saver Dragon on subsequent turns. His once-per-turn skill superior calls Blaster Blade from the deck at a net +1 in card advantage and gives Blade 5k for the turn, opening up the possibility of SD01 Jauron levels of power with Wingal's boost.

Alfred's Super Vanguard Rare print.
While these skills are in line with Alfred's overall theme throughout the years--drawing power from his rearguards, calling rearguards from the deck, and giving them power in turn--it's hardly the platonic ideal of the King of Knights. Being entirely dependent on Blaster Blade to resolve his skills leaves this Alfred estranged from the overall objectives of the deck. The new Blaster Blade contributes little to the Soul Saver-centric incarnation of Royal Paladin, taking away a valuable soulblast that slows down the vital SSD turn. Conjurer of Mithril is a much better use of the same cost, as he can superior call Funnergal or Akane into Pongal to restore the spent soul while gaining a net +1 or +2 for each counterblast spent on the play. Running the King of Knights means being forced to run Blaster Blade, and the ideal use of Blade in the current deck is as a vanilla--a Gallatin with 5k less shield.

As it stands, this is the only Vanguard Rare that's of questionable use. There's a case to make for running the Start Deck Stardrive Dragon instead, just to avoid using Blaster Blade. Seeing as Alfred will ideally only be in play for a single turn before switching to Soul Saver, it's certainly possible to make a list that dedicates only the minimum space necessary for a single Blade call for the +1 and power turn:
Grade 1
x4 Pongal
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x4 Lion Mane Stallion
x1 Knight Squire, Allen
Grade 2
x2 Blaster Blade
x4 Conjurer of Mithril
x4 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x2 Funnergal 
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x4 Soul Saver Dragon
The gameplan with the above decklist is to ride King of Knights turn 3, using Funnergal or Pongal (whichever is drawn first) to get the last soulcharge necessary for Soul Saver. Conjurer of Mithril is used to gain +1s, targeting Akane or Funnergal depending on whether or not that extra one soul has already been acquired. If it has, then Akane will refund Mithril's cost, and if it has not, then Funnergal will refund Mithril's cost this turn and acquire the final soul next turn. (Granted, this only works if the next turn isn't the SSD turn.) King of Knights vanilla calls Blaster Blade on turn 3 for another +1 and columns that will ideally read 23-33-23, and the game ideally ends on turn 4 when you ride Soul Saver and give 30k to all three columns. If you're forced to first ride Soul Saver that's fine, as she still gives Force to accelerate your gamestate and soulcharges on-attack to make up for missing a grade 3 ride. The only downside is being short 10k due to missing out on one more Force Marker.

The disadvantage to this gameplan is how counterblast-intensive the clan as a whole is. Conjurer, Akane, Funnergal, and Alfred are all CB1. Unless you heal away a CB, the plan calls for being at 2 damage turn 2, and 4-5 damage turn 3. Royal Paladin is very vulnerable to counterblast control, and is also easily pushed into being the first to guard while at 5--the clan's winning image involves being deliberately put in the defensive position.

The primary alternative deck runs Start Deck Stardrive Dragon, for its Force Gift and costless 3k. You don't get the +1 from Alfred and your midgame center caps at 23 rather than 33, but it also necessitates 1 less counterblast and can change out the Blaster Blades for Funnergal. Of course, it's also possible to cut Mithril for either version of Jauron, giving up a +1 option for higher base power and a reliable offensive. It's a matter of how you want to approach the deck.

The second Card of the Day is Lion Mane Stallion, who was previously revealed at the Mexico Team League event.
Lion Mane Stallion
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: If you have four or more rearguards, this unit gets Power +3000.
Lion Mane may only be a 7k base, but having a costless skill that counts itself for power gain and effectively raises the column it boosts by a trigger's worth of power makes it very versatile. In most cases the card will function as an 8k booster would, but unlike the other options Lion Mane can form an 18k+ lane with Conjurer of Mithril, and a 23 lane with Akane due to Akane's own +3 from being boosted by a High Beast. In a pinch the card will also work to form an 18 with any of the grade 1s, and of course forms a 23 behind any of the grade 3s.

Finally, Alfred's lore from the classic game:
The king who leads the Royal Paladins, and their strongest knight.
He is also the leader of the great knightly order, worthy of being called the very embodiment of justice.
Always putting those who live in the United Sanctuary first, he continually wishes for battles to end without bloodshed.
He is a good, understanding man, seen as a hero, to whom Blaster Blade has pledged his loyalty.
Lion Mane Stallion's lore:
The King of Knights’s beloved steed, with a fiery mane like that of a lion’s.
A dappled gray horse whose mane is rarer than that of the glowing blue mane amongst horses, it is a beast worthy of being a horse of legend.
Any time it hears the voice of the King of Knights, it charges recklessly across a thousand miles, breaking through even a horde of a thousand units strong, until it can rally around the flag of its master.
The previous Japanese Cards of the Day were Dragonic Waterfall and Dragonic Gaias.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wall Boy shown in third episode of Origin anime

As in the previous two weeks, episode 3 of the Cardfight!! Vanguard "Origin" anime series was light on card reveals, but nonetheless teased one card we haven't seen leaked: Wall Boy, a remake of the clan's Heal Trigger from the manga and Extra Booster 1: Comic Style Vol. 1. The card was not shown clearly, but Kamui guarded a Stardrive Dragon-Margal column (23000) with it while on Hi-powered Raizer Custom (9000) and it later appeared as a grade 0 in his discard pile.

The specific marking is obscured by his deck, but the yellow border at the bottom is a dead giveaway that this is a new trigger unit. If the resolution were higher it would be possible to confirm the type by its shield value, but for now we'll have to run with the assumption it's a Heal.

Wall Boy's Comic Style print from the original game.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Psychic Bird and Miracle Kid shown in Monthly Bushiroad

The June issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine contained a detail that flew beneath the notice of most readers: Oracle Think Tank's first trigger units of the Standard Format were shown in the magazine's demonstration of the new Amaterasu support. Although they're scaled down to be very small for the demonstration, close-ups reveal the returning Psychic Bird and Miracle Kid will be reprising their roles as Critical and Draw Triggers for the clan.

While Psychic was an effect trigger in the previous game, in Standard the only trigger units with effects are Draw Trigger perfect guards. Keeping with this, the new Psychic Bird is a vanilla with 5k power.

Miracle Kid is likewise a vanilla Draw, with just 5000 shield. While it may be tempting to say these are only mock-ups and the final versions could have effects, it should be kept in mind that neither Royal Paladin nor Kagerо̄ have triggers in the set outside of Iseult and Barri, leaving the Trial Deck triggers as the only ones available. It seems the standard for Standard is vanilla grade 0s, and for every clan to have at least two types of Draw, and likely two types of Crit as well. This would rather neatly explain Nova Grappler's nine grade 0s in V-BT01, where Oracle Think Tank will at most have six. Nova needs the space to fit in another Draw Trigger, two Criticals, another Front, a Heal, and Cat Butler, alongside the previously confirmed Battleraizer, Tap the Hyper, and Turboraizer.

105 more locations added to English Demo Caravan

The total number of participating locations in the 2018 Cardfight!! Vanguard Demo Caravan for the English format has been raised to 282, bringing the number of locations closer to the promised 300. Just two days ago that number was down at 127. The expanded lineup of shops includes many of the major locations on the American west coast and midwest that make up vital stretches of Vanguard's US market. Singapore, Bushiroad's international headquarters, remains curiously unattended.

Although the Caravan nominally begins May 29th, many locations are not holding their events until July and August or later--long after the launch of the first Trial Decks, Booster Set, and even after Extra Booster 1's launch on August 2nd. Other shops report not having been put on the list despite having their times already confirmed with Bushiroad; once again, readers are encouraged to contact their local store to ask about Caravan dates and times.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New sleeves feature V-BT01 Vanguard Rares


Web retailer AmiAmi leaked four upcoming Cardfight!! Vanguard sleeves today featuring the four Vanguard Rare units from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4. Respectively these are King of Knights Alfred, Dragonic Waterfall, Imperial Daughter, and Perfect Raizer. The sleeves will launch in the latter half of June at 800 yen per pack, and one pack will contain 70 sleeves.

King of Knights, Alfred
Dragonic Waterfall
Imperial Daughter
Perfect Raizer

Today's Card Analysis: Dragonic Waterfall and Dragonic Gaias

 
The Japanese Cards of the Day for May 18th, 2018, are Kagerо̄'s Vanguard Rare and a Double Rare from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Dragonic Waterfall and Dragonic Gaias. Kai's trump card from the climax of the manga's fourth volume was originally designed to give the most raw power in the game, a mark it's long fallen short of. The rebooted card restores Waterfall to its former glory by giving it the ability to override one of the game's fundamental balancing mechanics.
Dragonic Waterfall
AUTO [Vanguard Circle]: When placed, choose 1 of your opponent's grade 2 or greater rearguards, and retire it.
AUTO [Vanguard Circle]: When it attacks, [Cost: Soulblast 1 grade 3 card] this unit gets power +10000/Critical +1 until the end of that battle, and your opponent cannot call cards with "Sentinel" to Guardian Circle from hand.
The new Waterfall is designed to be used as a second or third ride after beginning the match on Dragonic Overlord, putting it in the same class as Soul Saver Dragon and Victorious Deer as an endgame finisher. Like Victorious, Waterfall requires soulblasting grade 3s as part of its cost, restricting it to the endgame unless you can randomly soulcharge a grade 3 off of Cruel Dragon's on-hit skill. The on-ride skill ensures the opponent is dragged down with you as you invest another card onto your vanguard circle, and allows for easy removal of key attackers like Maximum Raizer and Gigantech Charger.

Waterfall's Super Vanguard Rare print.
Waterfall's on-attack autoskill is the primary reason to run the card, and should not go underestimated. Like Overlord, Waterfall possesses the Force ability and Kagerо̄ favors putting its Force Markers on the vanguard circle to develop aggressive centers. The opponent will likely be exhausted from defending Dragonic Overlord up to this point in the match, and with two to three Force Gifts on Waterfall and a boost from Gojo, Aermo, or Raopia they'll be staring down a functional 53~63k 2 Critical center; Waterfall preventing the opponent from calling Sentinels means they haven o option to simply negate the attack. Even Protect Markers have the Sentinel keyword on them and so are not exempt from this, so the only means of guarding Waterfall is to guard manually. That's putting down 55~65k shield for two-triggers-to-pass, equivalent to two Heals and a Critical Trigger if 53k, or three Heals and an intercept if 63k.

As stated back in April, 53k is one of the most important numbers in the game because it is completely impossible to guard with less than three guardians except using a perfect guard. This means that Waterfall is at minimum a -3 for the opponent under optimal conditions, and more commonly a -4--guarding with three Criticals and one 10k, or a -5 for four Crits and a 5k guardian to make an 78k no-pass. Effectively doubling the strain on the opponent's card advantage engine when compared with being able to perfect guard means two Waterfall turns at 4+ damage will win the game, if the first turn doesn't do the other fighter in outright. It's simply not feasible to repeatedly endure Waterfall while still needing to guard the rearguard lanes.

The other Card of the Day is a fellow Tear Dragon to Waterfall and another of Kai's cards, Gaias.
Dragonic Gaias
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When it boosts a grade 3 or greater, [Cost: Counterblast 1, put this unit into your soul] the boosted unit gets Critical +1 until the end of that battle. (If you put it into the soul, the boosted unit does not receive Power.)
Gaias is a generally-faithful preservation of the original card from the manga. The original effect rested Gaias to give the boosted unit no power but increase its Critical by 1. Do note that because the additional Critical only lasts until end of battle, Gaias cannot be abused to give Dragonic Overlord 2 Critical on both attacks as Striken can. What Gaias can do is make Waterfall into a 3 Crit unit for a near-guaranteed on-hit win, as well as fuel the soul for Overlord's cost will increasing the impact of him hitting in the early game. You can also make plays like swing with a Forced Overlord unboosted for 33k on a rearguard, restand, then use Gaias during the second swing to guarantee a crit.

With this, the final Kagerо̄ lineup is at last taking shape.
Grade 1
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Dragonic Gaias
x4 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x1 Dragon Knight, Burj
Grade 2
x4 Berserk Dragon
x4 Prowling Dragon, Striken or Spillover Dragon
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
Grade 3
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x4 Dragonic Waterfall
Accounting for Oracle Think Tank likely getting a grade 1 perfect guard as a Single Rare and 4 trigger units along with Lozenge Magus for their grade 0 Commons, Kagerо̄ has just 2~4 cards left to reveal in the set, all at C rarity.

"Ride the Vanguard! Water Spirit Dragon, show yourself from within the fountain!"
The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Conjurer of Mithril.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Burstraizer revealed on Vanguard YouTube Channel

The official Japanese Cardfight!! Vanguard YouTube channel revealed a new card as part of its weekly roundup, a Nova Grappler Single Rare from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When your vanguard attacks, [Cost: Counterblast 1, Soulblast 1] Stand this unit, and if the number of cards in your opponent's damage zone is 4 or greater, this unit gets Power +3000 until end of turn.
As Bushiroad points out in the episode, Burstraizer is perfect to use in conjunction with Perfect Raizer to stand 3 units, and with Raizer Custom as the ideal booster to make a self-standing column. On an Accel circle the card will become 22k on its second swing, making a magic number versus 12k bases like Imperial Daughter.

While up to now the Raizer deck was shaping up to use some combination of Hi-powered Raizer Custom, Boomerang Thrower, and Iron Killer, Burstraizer is likely to take Killer's spot. The extra 5k shield Killer takes away on-attack is outweighed Burstraizer doing an entire second attack. However, with how counterblast- and soulblast-intensive the Raizer deck is proving between Perfect, Burst, and Transraizer, Boomerang Thrower isn't likely to leave unless Nova Grappler's final Single Rare or Commons contain a more compelling means of doing both countercharging and soulcharging.

Last week's YouTube exclusive was the Goddess of Insight, Sotoorihime.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

50 Demo Caravan locations added for the English format

The official English Cardfight portal updated with 50 more locations for the 2018 Spring Demo Caravan today, primarily in Canada. When the Caravan was first announced twelve days ago it comprised just 127 locations in total, and the new additions bring the total up to just over half of the promised 300+ shops. Most of the participating shops in the United States remain unlisted despite having already received their Caravan times; readers may do better by asking the managers of their local hobby shops directly to find out when the demo event is being held. Participants will receive a free Stardrive Dragon Start Deck containing alternate versions of cards found in the Royal Paladin Trial Deck, while its Kagerо̄ counterpart can be obtained at Bushiroad Spring Fest tournaments held on or after May 12th.

Additionally, the Caravan's Demo Caravan promos have been announced: Yoko & Nia for Weiss Schwarz, Garga "SD" for Buddyfight, and The Songstress for Dragoborne. While the Japanese format received a promotional Blaster Blade, no similar distribution has been announced for the English game.

Today's Card Analysis: Conjurer of Mithril

The Japanese Card of the Day for May 17th, 2018, is Royal Paladin's second 9k grade 2 of the Standard format and the clan's final Double Rare from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Conjurer of Mithril.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When placed from hand, [Cost: Counterblast 1, Soulblast 1] search your deck for up to 1 grade 2, call it to a Rearguard Circle, and shuffle your deck.
The original Conjurer of Mithril was a Devil Summoner clone that could superior call the top card of the deck for free as long as it was a grade 1 or 2, but had an extremely low 7k base. The English format never got the promotional version of the card--which in Japan was distributed in the packaging of the franchise's first Nendoroid figures--but instead saw Mithril included as an additional Rare in Booster Set 5: Awakening of Twin Blades. Fittingly, the new Mithril is the weakest grade 2 in terms of base power, but has a strong superior call skill that can fetch any number of powerful units.

The original Conjurer of Mithril, with Blaster Blade Petit Nendoroid.
In that respect, a playset of Mithril can effectively substitute for other cards and help you get away with running fewer copies of them. As it stands, Mithril has two primary targets that can help advance Royal Paladin's Soul Saver Dragon endgame; High Dog Breeder Akane and Funnergal. I point to these cards in particular because they both have a means of soulcharging that offsets Mithril's cost while allowing you to retain or build on the +1 from his superior call. Akane's own on-call counterblast can further superior call Pongal to soulcharge 1, while Funnergal can soulcharge every time he's boosted; although Akane brings you more immediate card advantage, over two turns Funnergal will pay back that soulblast investment, speeding up your Soul Saver turn. If you call Mithril on your grade 2 turn and fetch Funnergal, you can get Soul Saver going as early as your second grade 3 ride.

With Blaster Blade now looking disadvantageous in a Soul Saver deck due to his soulblast cost, the overall lineup for Royals has shifted significantly:
Grade 1
x4 Pongal
x4 Little Sage, Marron
x4 Lion Mane Stallion
x1 Knight Squire, Allen
Grade 2
x4 Conjurer of Mithril
x4 High Dog Breeder, Akane
x4 Funnergal 
Grade 3
x4 Knight of Knights, Alfred
x4 Soul Saver Dragon
The missing piece to this puzzle is Alfred himself. While we've already seen Perfect Raizer and Imperial Daughter, the Vanguard Rare for Royal Paladin remains under wraps. It's hard to imagine Alfred not advancing their overall game state with superior calls, given the card's track record. Presuming that much, the only thing that would upset this list is the still-unrevealed V-BT01/043, a grade 2 or 3 Common that could displace Mithril or Funnergal depending on its skillset. Royals have no other grade 1s left to reveal in the set, leaving Sage of Guidance Zenon--one of their key cards from the manga the new anime series is adapting--strangely unrepresented.

The previous Japanese Cards of the Day were Victorious Deer and Petal Fairy.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Victorious Deer and Petal Fairy

Meet the new Megablast.
 
The Japanese cards of the day are Oracle Think Tank's final Double Rare and a Common from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Victorious Deer and Petal Fairy.
Victorious Deer
ACT [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles] Once per turn: [Soulblast 2 grade 3 cards, discard 1 card from your hand] Look at 7 cards from the top of your deck, reveal up to 2 Critical Triggers from among them, put the revealed cards on top of your deck in any order, shuffle the remaining cards and put them on the bottom of your deck, and until end of turn 6 of your units get Power +10000.
Victorious Deer is a High Beast that gives us a direct look at exactly when Bushiroad Research & Development expects games to end. Soulblasting 2 grade 3s might sound like a strange condition, until you consider exactly what kind of gameplay the Imaginary Gift mechanic encourages; cardfighters are expected to be constantly reriding for additional Gifts in the new format, whether that's for another Accel circle in Nova Grappler or another Force Marker in Kagerо̄. Deer confirms that R&D intends for games to end on your second or third grade 3 ride; the only way to be able to use Victorious with the current card pool is to ride two grade 3s and then him, ride three grade 3s with a Victorious in the rearguard, or to ride him the turn after riding Imperial Daughter and sending a grade 3 from the top 2 cards of the deck into soul with her skill.

In practical terms, Victorious comes as close to unguardable as possible in the new format. Giving 20k to all three columns falls short of Soul Saver Dragon at a glance, but stacking 2 Critical Triggers on top of the deck means two more 10ks as well as +1 Crit to both rearguard columns. That makes Deer equal to SSD with +2 Crit. It's doubtful if this card is really intended to be interacted with all--or if it's just intended as a guaranteed win locked behind the condition of surviving to your third ride with a full field.

Victorious also possesses the Protect Gift like CEO Amaterasu and Imperial Daughter, but because the game is intended to end on the turn that you ride him, the purpose of this is not so much to be able to defend as it is to have something in hand to discard for his cost. The idea is that you'll discard the Gift Marker, sending it back to its zone. That way even if you topdeck draw Victorious with nothing else in hand, you'll still be able to use him.

The question then is; how many Victorious do we run? On average we'll see 1 copy of a card we run 3 copies of per game, or 2 copies of a card we run 4 of. We only need to see one Victorious to win the game, and the card is really overkill on top of a second ride Imperial Daughter turn, so 3 will be fine for most decks. It's possible to simply 4-4 him with the other Protect unit of your choice, with Imperial Daughter likely being the majority preference, but because each of Oracle Think Tank's Protect grade 3s has an important role in the deck a more balanced option would be to run 3 of each.
Grade 3
x3 CEO Amaterasu
x3 Imperial Daughter
x3 Victorious Deer
This slots in nicely with the optimal grade ratios of 17-13-11-9 (reading from grade 0 to grade 3) ideally with you cutting one of your redundant grade 2s to make room for that last Deer. If you're not comfortable with cutting grade 2s then you can either go 3-3-2 on your grade 3s and accept a hit in Deer consistency, or run only 12 grade 1s and increase your risk of Assisting for a grade 1 by ~3%.

Petal Fairy
ACT [Rearguard Circle]: [Cost: Put this unit into your soul] Look at 1 card from the top of your deck, and put it on the top or bottom of your deck. If you put it on the bottom, 1 of your units gets Power +5000 until end of turn.
Petal Fairy is a net -1 that either tells you a trigger is coming or gives 5k to a unit. By itself this exchange isn't particularly impressive due to the inflated shield on Standard format cards, but it's worth noting that Petal Fairy will cause CEO Amaterasu to meet her check timing and so allow you to gain 10k out of the use of the skill, effectively giving up 10k shield to take 10k away from the opponent. If Oracle Think Tank ever gets a grade 1 version of CEO that gains 5k every time you look at your deck, Petal Fairy will become that much better--though 3-card combos are obviously less stable than 2-card ones.

The previous Japanese cards of the day were Transraizer and Twin Blader.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Weekly Bites reveals: Phantom Blaster Dragon, Golden Beast Tamer, Death Anchor, and ZANBAKU to feature in Foo Fighter Booster Set

 V-Trial Deck 04: Suzugamori Ren will launch in Japan August 10th, 2018.

 The deck will include 14 types of cards, totaling 50 in all, and come with 3 Gift Markers.

The deck will include 4 copies of The Dark Dictator illustrated by Takayama Toshiaki, 1 copy of Blaster Dark illustrated by Itou Akira, and 3 copies of Blaster Dark illustrated by Lack.

V-Booster Pack 02: Strongest! Team Apex Limited 4 will launch in Japan August 31st, 2018, containing support for the clans used by Team Foo Fighter AL4: Shadow Paladin, Dark Irregulars, Pale Moon, and Murakumo. Contains VR (Vanguard Rare) SVR (Secret Vanguard Rare) and SCR (Secret Rare) cards.

Features Team AL4's trump cards: Phantom Blaster Dragon with the Force Gift for Suzugamori Ren, Golden Beast Tamer with the Accel Gift for Narumi Asaka, No Life King Death Anchor with the Protect Gift for Shinjou Tetsu, and Dueling Dragon ZANBAKU with the Accel Gift for Yahagi Kyou.

Phantom Blaster Dragon is illustrated by Miyoshi Norikatsu, who illustrated his RRR artwork in Booster Set 4: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows seven years ago. Golden Beast Tamer is illustrated by Foo Midori, who previously illustrated her in Extra Booster 1: Comic Style Vol. 1, Death Anchor by Kondo Totesu who illustrated Vrykolakas, and ZANBAKU by Miyoshi Norikatsu who also did his illustration in Comic Style.

Weekly Bites reveals: Imperial Daughter, first Super Vanguard Rare

The Premium Standard and Standard-format shop tournament promos for June include Demonic Dragon Madonna Joka and an Origin Rare-style print of Lizard Soldier Raopia, as stated last March.

Demonic Dragon Madonna, Joka
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When a boosted attack hits a vanguard, [Cost: Soulblast 1] return this unit to your hand.
Oracle Guardian, Gemini
ACT [Rearguard Circle]: If the number of cards in your damage zone is 3 or greater, [Cost: Put this unit into your soul] Countercharge 1.
Promise Daughter
CONT [Vanguard/Rearguard Circle]: During the battle it attacks a vanguard, if the number of cards in your hand is 4 or greater, this unit gets Power +6000.
CONT [Vanguard/Rearguard Circle]: This unit is not retired by your opponent's card effects. (It can still be chosen)
Imperial Daughter
AUTO [Vanguard Circle]: When placed, [Cost: Counterblast 1], look at 2 cards from the top of your deck, put 1 of them into your hand, and 1 of them into your soul or on the top of your deck, and if you rode from a grade 3, this unit gets Power +15000/Critical +1 until end of turn.
ACT [Vanguard Circle] [Once per turn]: [Cost: Soulblast 1] Until end of turn, 1 of your units gets Power +6000.
Possesses the Protect Imaginary Gift.


SVR (Super Vanguard Rare) print of Imperial Daughter.

Weekly Bites reveals: Shadow Paladin Triple Monsters collaboration, Imaginary Gift T-shirt

As part of the "Abyssal Dragon" event in collaboration with the Triple Monsters mobile game, the Cardfight!! Vanguard units Blaster Dark and Phantom Blaster Dragon will be made obtainable starting May 28th at 4:59 PM JST. These units will use their classic 2011 artworks by Ryuutetsu and Itou Akira.

 The Team Jaime Flowers' character song CD will come with three promo cards, Special Parallel-style prints of "Battle Sister. Florentine," "One who Proceeds Towards Daybreak, Scharhrot," and "Rananculus of Phantasmic Blue, Ahsha," hotstamped with the autographs of Okazaki Kumi, Enishi Satoru, and Anjou Tokoha's voice actors from the Cardfight!! Vanguard G anime series.

The ongoing Bushiroad Card Fight tournament series in Japan features promotional prints of Lozenge Magus and Chrono Dragon Z as participation prizes; the tournament at the Tokyo Big Sight already concluded as part of this year's Great Vanguard Festival, and the still-upcoming tournaments are at Sapporo, Sapporo, Sendai, Hakata, and Nagoya.

This year's events include individual tournaments for both Standard and G Standard format, as well as team tournaments for Standard, and Bermuda Triangle Festa and Clan Leader tournaments for G Standard. Side events include Friend Fight, Women-Only Fight, and Rental Deck Fight Corner.

The items on sale at the event included a limited edition Bushiroad Cardfight 2018 promotional T-shirt featuring the Imaginary Gift emblem.

Today's Card Analysis: Transraizer and Twin Blader

The Japanese cards of the day for May 15th, 2018, are two Nova Grappler units from V-BT01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Transraizer and Twin Blader.
Transraizer
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When it boosts. [Cost: Soulblast 2], Countercharge 1, and if that attack targeted a vanguard, this unit gets Power +3000 until the end of that battle.
Transraizer was previously revealed at the Anaheim Team League event this past weekend, while Twin Blader was all but confirmed by the first episode of the Origin anime series. Due to the power of boosting units being continuously applied to the boosted unit during the battle phase, Transraizer's additional 3k will transfer to the unit it's paired with. Ideally that would be Extra Muscular, Iron Killer, or Cup Bowler to make a 23k+ column, but the 3k isn't what's really valuable about Transraizer.

Rather, it's the countercharge that makes the card useful. One countercharge off Transraizer means a second use of Perfect Raizer's counterblast or a full refund on Asura Kaiser. In conjunction with Boomerang Thrower you can further refund the soul cost and make Transraizer more sustainable, and by carefully timing your use of Hi-powered Raizer Custom you can pull Battleraizer out of the soul to soulcharge with Boomerang Thrower, then throw Battleraizer back into the soul mid-battle phase with Hi-powered, and soulblast the card with Transraizer to countercharge.

Twin Blader is the clan's Draw Trigger perfect guard, matching Iseult, Barri, and Miss Mist.
Twin Blader
CONT: Sentinel (You may only have up to 4 cards in your deck with "Sentinel")
AUTO [Guardian Circle]: When placed, [Cost: Discard 1 card from your hand], and one of your units cannot be hit until the end of that battle.
As in the other decks, Twin Blader is an important component of a good Nova Grappler build for freeing up grade 1 space. With Raizer Custom, Transraizer, Jetraizer, Death Army Guy, Rocket Hammerman, and at least one more unrevealed card all competing for those slots, the free space is a welcome addition regardless of whether you're maining Raizers or Heroes.

With this, all of Nova Grappler's Vanguard Rares, Triple Rares, and Double Rares have been revealed; There are two to three Single Rares left for the clan, depending on whether V-BT01/037 R is a Nova Grappler grade 3, a Kagerо̄ grade 1, or Kagerо̄ grade 0.

The previous Japanese Cards of the Day were Circle Magus and Luck Bird.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kagerо̄ Start Decks being given out at Spring Fest 2018

Beginning with the Brussels and Anaheim Team League tournaments on May 12th, the English edition Crested Dragon Start Decks are being distributed at Bushiroad Spring Fest 2018 events. These are the first legal cards of the Standard format; the equivalent Royal Paladin Start Deck will be distributed to card shops beginning May 29th for use in the international Demo Caravan. So far the decks are being given out on both days of each event, even when day 2 doesn't otherwise involve Cardfight!! Vanguard.

Today's Card Analysis: Circle Magus and Luck Bird

The Japanese Cards of the Day for May 14th, 2018, are two Oracle Think Tank grade 1s from V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, Circle Magus and Luck Bird.
Circle Magus
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When your vanguard's drive check reveals a grade 2 or greater, you may put that card on the bottom of your deck, and draw 1 card.
AUTO: When rode upon, [Cost: Counterblast 1] draw 1 card.
Circle Magus is Oracle Think Tank's second Triple Rare out of V-BT01, with their third and the final RRR of the set likely being Silent Tom. The original Circle Magus in both the manga and Trading Card Game simply allowed one to check the top card of the deck, but only allowed them to place it back on top and not on the bottom as Battle Sister Cocoa did; the exchange being that Circle was a 7k base while Cocoa was a 6k. The new Circle Magus instead gives card advantage when riding over her, like an inversion of the ride chains of yesteryear, and her primary skill allows one to exchange a grade 2 or greater drive check for another card. While this makes it possible to conceal one's hand from the opponent and potentially exchange those grade 2 or greater cards for higher shield ones, it both runs the risk of drawing one's triggers and is often less than appealing to use for what it gives up.

In a Protect clan, every grade 3 in hand can eventually be translated into another Perfect Guard so long as it has the Protect ability, and reriding those cards fuels the soul for paying costs. Moreover, knowing that our deck's grade 2s are likely to consist of Tom, Saft, and Sotoorihime, none of these are cards that we are likely to want to get rid of. Drive checking grade 2s and 3s carries inherent benefits in Oracle Think Tank that will often discourage the use of Circle Magus' first autoskill, reducing her role to being a particularly valuable grade 1 ride.

Luck Bird
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When placed, [Cost: Soulblast 2] draw 1 card, and this unit gets Power +6000 until end of turn.
Luck Bird's skill has gone mostly unchanged since its 2011 incarnation, except that the card can now act as an early 11k attacker or an 11k booster. Later in the fight he'll only be able to make relevant 17~18 columns with a relevant power attacker like Saft, or a 23 column with Sarasa. The latter case is what makes Luck Bird the easiest to run, but two factors work against him. First is that he sucks away soul from Saft, a valuable backup to Sotoorihime. Second is that Oracle Think Tank's Vanguard Rare, Imperial Daughter, is almost assuredly going to replace Sarasa in the final deck due to possessing Protect and a skill worthy of making her Misaki's "trump card." (As Monthly Bushiroad magazine described her.)

Is there room for Luck Bird? Given the amount of reriding encouraged in Gift decks, it's certainly possible. This skill has particular synergy with Protect, as receiving another card in hand in exchange for every ride already negates the loss of reriding, allowing Luck Bird to generate +1s with his draws. Oracle Think Tank as we currently know it isn't exactly starved for grade 1 space, as the deck makeup currently looks approximately like this;
Grade 1
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x4 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
x1 Shooting Bobby
We could easily fit in a Luck Bird tech by cutting Bobby, or acknowledging Mizunohame's limited utility as a vanguard-only booster adjust the deck to look more like...
Grade 1
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x3 Luck Bird
x2 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
Acknowledging that 3-ofs will generally be once-per-game cards while 4-ofs will be twice-per-game, there's room enough to run Luck Bird and set the card on the side to eventually boost a rearguard Amaterasu with her power-gain active.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Soul Saver Dragon.

V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4 will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd. It will be accompanied by sleeves based on Dragonic Overlord and Blaster Blade. V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and V-TD02: Kai Toshiki will launch in English June 8th.

The first Extra Booster set of Standard, V-EB01: The Destructive Roar will launch in Japan June 29th, 2018, and August 2nd for the English-speaking world. The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," began airing May 5th, with an English-subtitled simulcast on both YouTube and Crunchyroll.