Sunday, April 1, 2018

Today's Card analysis: Knight Squire, Allen

The first card of the day of Vanguard's Standard format is "Knight Squire, Allen," from V-Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi. While many are already familiar with the Allen featured in the Stardrive Dragon Start Deck deck, the Trial Deck version of the card has an entirely different loadout--namely, he's not a vanilla.
AUTO [Rear-guard Circle]: When placed, by paying [Counterblast 1], call up to card of equal or lower grade than your vanguard from hand to Rear-guard circle. If you called, draw 1 card, and this unit gets Power +3000 until end of turn.
The vanilla Allen distributed in V-SD01.
The new Allen establishes something fighters have suspected about Standard ever since the power difference between Trial Deck and Start Deck Wingal was revealed: the standard power for a grade 1 in the new format is 8000 rather than the 7k suggested by SD01 and SD02. This is important because it means grade 1s have scaled with the new base power of grade 3s--a 13000 crossride base is normal in Standard. Implicitly, it also means we haven't seen what a real vanilla looks like in the new format; it's possible that vanilla grade 1s are now 9k, or like their grade 2 counterparts simply have a higher shield value than their effect equivalents.

As for Allen's actual skill, he essentially attaches a counterblast cost to what would have been a normal call in order to add a draw effect on top of it. This is similar to how the Alfred Early previewed at Bushiroad's March conference was set up; Royal Paladin as a whole may have a new signature mechanic of calling from hand and then drawing off of the call. This encourages Royal fighters to conserve their calls and not rush in, instead calling at key moments and rewarding them for tight play.

Early also has an on-place call-draw skill.
For example, a fighter that opens 2 Allens in a game may want to wait until they have enough counterblast to call 1 Allen, use his skill to call the second, and activate that Allen's skill to call a third card, drawing off of each call and ending up with a serviceable pair of 11k boosters/attackers.

When paired with a unit like Knight of Devotion Belgius--a grade 2 that becomes 13k as long as you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard--Allen makes a 24k line, forcing the opponent to guard with either their 15k-shield critical or 20k-shield heal triggers if they don't want to end up blocking with more than one card.


Knight of Devotion, Belgius.
At the end of the turn Allen will revert to being a humble 8k, but that's the best base he could have in this format. Barring any other units turning up to compete for his spots, the go-to Royal Grade 1 lineup right now is looking like this;
x4 Strong Knight, Runoria (Perfect Guard)
x4 Wingal
x4 Knight Squire, Allen
Of note is that the final grade 1 revealed in the Start Deck, Radical Knight Anil, is known to be a base 7000 that gains 3000 when he attacks. Even if Anil becomes an 8k in the final Trial Deck, Allen can functionally do his job and then some.

Knight Squire Allen is #008 in the Sendou Aichi Trial Deck, and is designed by Itou Akira and illustrated by Koga Azusa. (古賀あずさ) Koga is also known for illustrating Genesis' "Bowstring of Heaven and Earth, Artemis" and Great Nature's "Acorn Master."

Trial Deck 01: Sendou Aichi and Trial Deck 02: Kai Toshiki will launch in Japanese May 11th, 2018, and in English June 8th, 2018. They will be accompanied by a new sleeve based on the "Imaginary Gift" design. The first Booster Set of the Standard format, BT01: UNITE! TEAM Q4! will launch in Japan May 25th, 2018, and in English June 22nd, 2018.

The accompanying new anime series, codenamed "Origin," will begin airing May 5th, 2018, on TV Tokyo and affiliated stations. It will be simulcast with English subtitles on YouTube and Crunchyroll.