Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Cheer Girl, Franny

The Japanese Card of the Day for June 20th, 2018, is a Spike Brothers Common from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Cheer Girl Franny.
ACT [Rearguard Circle]: [Cost: Put this unit into your soul, put 1 card from your drop zone on the bottom of your deck] Countercharge 1.
Franny is Spike Brothers' equivalent to Giro, a grade 0 that's not a trigger unit nor a First Vanguard, with a powerful skill as a reward for decreasing the ride consistency of your own deck. If Franny were a grade 1 or 2, it would be easier to make an argument for her; the problem is that being a grade 0, you inherently increase your chance of being gradelocked by running her. While it's no problem for Megacolony to run the similar Jocular Cicada, Cicada is a dramatically more aggressive skill that Megacolony can reuse Cicada Stag Beetle or even set the card as their FV.

What Franny brings to the table is a net -1 to recycle a card from drop for superior calling later and an additional countercharge, permitting the reuse of General Siefried. Siefried is currently the only card in the clan's repertoire that benefits from the countercharge, but because his skill is not once-per-turn it can easily translate to a counterblast 4 or 5 rather than a CB1. This is Franny's role in the clan for the time being, enabling Siefried to bring out two columns with 20k on them, a powerful booster for himself, and pump up himself by 50k. Minussing oneself still isn't a great idea in Spikes, as the clan's only ways to plus are through Draw Triggers and Unite Attacker as a result of their core mechanic being one-for-one trades where they give up a card to gain a card, but final turn is final turn.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Water Gang.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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, June 19, 2018

Weekly Bites reveals: General Siefried, Daiyusha and World Grand Prix 2018 promotional cards

Super Dimensional Robo, Daiyusha
Imaginary Gift: Force
CONT [Vanguard Circle]: If its Power is 35000 or greater, this unit gets Critical +1.
ACT [Vanguard Circle] Once per turn: [Cost: Rest any number of your rearguards] Until end of turn, this unit gets Power +10000 for each unit Rested for this cost.
Note that this is altogether different from how the Daiyusha of the original series worked. The original Daiyusha had to meet his power benchmark before boosting, while the new one can reach it after, or even via having trigger effects applied to it.

Image 8: "Uproar!! Q4 vs NwO"
A shop showdown with Team Q4 representing Card Capital and Team NwO representing Voyage begins! The siblings Daimonji Gоuki and Nagisa are up first to face Team Q4.
Animation reference for Team Q4 out of their school uniforms. Note the fanny pack on Aichi.

Japan's Standard-format shop tournament promo for July 1st through 31st is an Origin Rare print of Oracle Guardian Gemini.

Eight new promotional cards will be distributed at in Japan through Special Fight Pack Vol. 1. Fighters will be able to exchange coupons received for participating at shop tournaments from July to September, then exchange them at World Grand Prix regionals for packs. Each pack contains 1 randomized card, with a chance for the card to be printed with a Double Rare foil instead of as a Common. This is similar to the redemption process used for past Spring Fest promos.

Double Rare (right) foiling compared to Common.

Royal Paladin
Holy Disaster Dragon
No Gift
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When it attacks, [Cost: Put 1 card from hand to soul] this unit gets Power +10000 until the end of that battle.
Eagle Knight of the Skies
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard/Guardian Circles]: When placed, [Cost: Soulblast 1] this unit gets Power +3000/Shield +5000 until end of turn.
Oracle Think Tank
Battle Sister, Torte
CONT [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: During your turn, if the number of cards in your hand is 10 or greater, this unit gets Power +10000/Critical +1.
Goddess of Tolerance, Oomiyanome
ACT [Rearguard Circle]: [Cost: Counterblast 1, retire this unit] Draw 3 cards, and at the end of your turn, discard 3 cards.

Kagerō
Chain-attack Sutherland
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: If you have a "Follower, Reas" on your Rearguard Circle, this unit gets Power +5000, and if you do not, Power -5000.
Follower, Reas
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When placed, 1 of your other rearguards gets Power +3000 until end of turn. If that unit is "Chain-attack Sutherland," it gets Power +5000 instead.
Nova Grappler
King of Sword
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When placed, [Cost: Soulblast 1] 2 of your units get Power +3000 until end of turn. If the number of your units is 5 or greater, they get Power +5000 instead.
Queen of Heart
AUTO [Rearguard Circle] Once per turn: When a Sentinel is placed in your opponent's Guardian Circle, Stand this unit.
Card supplies associated with V-Trial Deck 04: Suzugamori Ren will launch August 10th, 2018. They include Blaster Dark and Suzugamori Ren sleeves, each retailing for 740 yen + tax, and a Blaster Dark deckbox for 600 yen + tax.

Treasured, Black Panther
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When it attacks, [Cost: Soulblast 1] you may have this unit get Power +5000 or Power +15000. If it gained Power +15000, at the end of that battle, put this until into your soul.

General Siefried
Imaginary Gift: Force
ACT [Vanguard Circle]: [Cost: Counterblast 1, put 1 of your rearguards into your soul] Search your deck for up to 1 card with the same name as the unit put into soul for this effect's cost, call it to a Rearguard Circle, and this unit and that unit get Power +10000 until end of turn. Shuffle your deck.
AUTO [Vanguard Circle]: When its attack hits, [Cost: Soulblast 2] Stand 1 of your rearguards, and choose 1 of your opponent's rearguards, and retire it.
Note that Siefried's second skill caused some confusion on-stream. Its Japanese wording sounds vague due to literally saying "When attack hits." (アッタックがヒットした時 attaku ga hittoshita toki) The sentence uses a subject-drop rule of Japanese where the subject of the sentence is not stated if it is presumed to be obvious; all cards in Standard format are worded like this to save space, but Doctor O mistakenly skill would resolve when a rearguard's attack hit. He was then corrected--Siefried can only pay his soulblast 2 if his own attack hits. The wording is identical to Dragonic Overlord.

Next week will feature the voice of Inanaga Ichirō and Vanguard evangelist Maeda Seiji as a special guest, and a fight with cards from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar.

Episode 8 of Weekly Bites will air Tuesday June 26th, 2018, at 9:00 PM Japanese Standard Time.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Water Gang

The Japanese Card of the Day is a Megacolony Single Rare from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Water Gang.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When it stands, [Cost: Counterblast 1, put this unit into your soul] draw 2 cards.
Water Gang was a staple R when Megacolony's full support first debuted seven years ago in Booster Set 04: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows for giving the clan on-hit pressure and rare draw power, and his reimagining is similarly joined at the hip to the new deck for being a net +1 that's live from the moment you put him on the board. Right now there are two ways to use Water Gang--either you call him early and use his skill at the start of your next turn when you stand all of your units, or you superior call him with Machining Stag Beetle and stand him with Helldemise in your main phase. The fact that Stag Beetle calls from soul and Water Gang sends himself to soul as part of his cost gives the clan some incredible draw synergy, as each Stag Beetle ride is net neutral thanks to the Protect Gift adding a card to hand, and his superior calls are raw pluses with the trade-off being that they come out at rest. These two in combination allow you to reuse a single Water Gang across multiple turns to rack up card advantage.

With Water Gang's introduction, the Megacolony deck has taken on a more concrete shape, as it's much clearer what we do and don't want to be doing with our counterblast...
Grade 0: 18
x2 Jocular Cicada (FV)
x4 Paralyze Madonna (DT)
x12 Triggers
Grade 1: 12
x4 Machining Hornet
x4 Phantom Black
x4 Platoon Commander, Butterfly Officer
Grade 2: 11
x4 Machining Mantis
x4 Water Gang
x3 Bloody Hercules
Grade 3: 9
x4 Machining Stag Beetle
x3 Machining Spark Hercules
x2 Death Warden Antlion
Of course, several unknowns ambiguities remain about the deck. For one, a Helldemise skill on a grade 1 would be extremely valuable for the Stag-Gang synergy--or for grade 0s, Machining Worker Ant not being a Glyme clone and displacing Cicada could be the most pleasant surprise of the set. With tomorrow's stream coming in just a matter of hours, and full set reveals in ten days' time, we'll know soon enough what the final deck will look like.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Gyro Slinger.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Gyro Slinger

The Japanese Card of the Day for June 18th, 2018, is the final Spike Brothers Double Rare from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Gyro Slinger.
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When placed, [Cost: Place 1 card from your hand into your soul] look at cards from the top of your deck equal to your vanguard's grade, call up to 1 card from among them to Rearguard Circle, place the rest of them on the bottom of your deck in any order, and until end of turn the called unit gets Power +5000.
Originally a promotional card used by Morikawa in the manga, Gyro Slinger has gone from an Iron Tail Dragon clone to becoming a unique support card that trades a card in hand for one from deck. This has been a recurring cost for Spike Brothers across the past seven years, allowing them to trade fodder like vanilla Draw Triggers for quality units and build up towards powerful soulblasts. In Standard format  those "powerful soulblasts" are consolidated into their finisher, Unite Attacker. Alongside the likes of Brakki and Juggernaut, Gyro Slinger builds towards being able to pay Unite's cost while creating powerful 23-28k columns that force the opponent to reach a damage threshold where Unite is threatening. Comboing into the aforementioned cards is an ideal way to make lanes that exceed the magic 28 threshold, so this is one RR that's likely to be a staple of the clan just as Little Sage Marron is over in Royal Paladin.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Death Warden Antlion.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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, June 16, 2018

Episode 7 of Cardfight!! Vanguard reboot teases 12 new Dimension Police cards

12 Dimension Police units from V-Extra Booster 02: Champions of the Asia Circuit were shown in part in today's episode of Cardfight!! Vanguard. With the exception of the trigger units, the effects given are only partially complete or involve guesswork based on what was shown in the anime.

Dimensional Robo, Goyusha
6000 Power
Because Koutei had 6 cards in his hand on his grade 2 turn after drive checking--2 more than he should have had--Goyusha appears to be the clan's Glyme clone.

Diamond Ace
Draw Trigger
5000 Power, 0 Shield
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.

Dimensional Robo, Daibattles
Critical Trigger
5000 Power, 15000 Shield
Dimensional Robo, Gorescue
Heal Trigger
5000 Power, 20000 Shield
Commander Laurel
Grade 1, 10000 shield

Dimensional Robo, Daitiger
Grade 1
8000 Power, 10000 Shield
Dimensional Robo, Daimariner
Unknown

Dimensional Robo, Daibrave
Grade 1, 8000 Power
Dimensional Robo, Daidragon 
Grade 2, 10000 Power
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circles]: When placed, [Cost: Soulblast 1] your vanguard gets Power +5000 until end of turn.
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: If your vanguard's power is 35000 or greater, this unit gets Power +10000.
Koutei uses Daidragon's soulblast twice in the fight, once when riding it and a second time when he rides Daiyusha to reach 35k. Daibrave seems to have a +3k effect, as Kenji's final power after boosting Daiyusha with it is 38k.

Because Koutei has 6 cards in hand on his second turn after his battle phase, either Daidragon or Daibrave appears to have a draw effect. Koutei never declares anything related to Daibrave, but it could be a Circle Magus equivalent. Or Daidragon could have a vanguard draw like Berserk Dragon.

Cosmo Break
Grade 2
10000 Power, 5000 Shield

Super Dimensional Robo, Daiyusha
Imaginary Gift: Force
13000 Power, 0 Shield
CONT [Vanguard Circle]: If its Power is 35000 or greater, this unit gets Critical +1.

Ultimate Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha
Imaginary Gift: Force
13000 Power, 0 Shield
Skills unknown

Friday, June 15, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Death Warden Antlion

The Japanese Card of the Day for June 15th, 2018, is Megacolony's final Double Rare from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Death Warden Antlion.
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circle]: When it attacks, [Soulblast 1 grade 3 card, discard 2 cards form your hand] this unit gets Power +10000/Critical +1, and your opponent cannot call Sentinels from hand to Guardian Circle until the end of that battle.
Already there have been accusations of power creep and predictions of the format's doom; but Antlion is not a card we should overestimate anymore than it is a card we should underestimate. Much hype has been made in the past twenty-four hours over combining Antlion with Phantom Black, a combo that prevents the opponent from guarding with both normal units and perfect defense cards. However, consider what you're realistically locking the opponent out of by adding on that additional discard--grade 1s with 10k shield and grade 2s with 5k shield. Antlion already pushes the opponent to guard with trigger unit guardians just on the virtue of those being the cards with the highest shield. Note that unlike in the case of Dragonic Waterfall you don't have Force Markers to layer power onto Antlion with, so with Phantom Black the card is functionally equivalent to 33k, which only requires 25k shield to guard--a Critical or Heal Trigger and virtually any other guardian.

The situations in which Black's normal unit restriction come into play are when the opponent would guard with a Heal and non-Sentinel Draw Trigger, Heal and grade 1, Heal and grade 2 from hand (as opposed to an intercept, which Phantom can't do anything about) a crit and grade 1, or a crit and vanilla Force interceptor. These are very specific scenarios--non-Sentinel draws are run sparingly by Nova Grappler and Kagerо̄, and intercepts are generally favored over guarding with grade 2s from hand.

If you're going to give up a card at all, a better use over Phantom is to stack Butterfly Officers onto Antlion to bump the card past the 38 and 48k thresholds. Of course they're not mutually exclusive, but contrary to popular belief all these discard, soul-in, and self-retire effects Megacolony is getting carry a significant impact on the clan. Megacolony can rapidly gain card advantage thanks to Machining Hornet, Machining Mantis, and Machining Stag Beetle stacked on top of the Protect Gift, but these skills involve deliberately giving up that advantage and crippling one's own defenses rather than maintaining it in the style of Oracle Think Tank. Just because he can use his skill on rearguard does not mean Antlion is a free win; the card has to be carefully built up to and used like any other finisher to close the game out, and botching the play by trying to go for it too early will only lead to making a fool of yourself.

Death Warden Antlion in episode 46 of the original series.
That said, a rearguard Antlion makes for a brutal win condition when combined with Spark Hercules in the late game. Hercules reducing the opponent's power by 5 while buffing both Antlion and your booster of choice by 5 functionally raises Antlion's final power by 15, and stands any Butterfly Officers you used for maximum synergy. Hercules himself can also put a grade 3 to soul with his second skill to set up Antlion, and being a 38k unboosted center isn't exactly something to sneeze at. The Megacolony endgame is shaping up as incredibly powerful precisely because every card the opponent doesn't take away from you in the preceding turns can be used to punish them with a harder push; if you have a hand full of Butterfly Officers and discard fodder, it's entirely on them for not beating those cards out of you.

Finally, Antlion's lore from the classic game:
An exceptionally brutal and cruel mutant that dwells in the deserts and sorts of faraway lands.
Despite being restricted, it has immense power, terrifying the people in the same area as it to the very depths of their souls.
No matter where it is, as long as there’s a few grains of sand, it can form an enormous quicksand trap called “Desert Prison”, which allows it to slowly torture and wear down its prey.
The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Unite Attacker.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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.

Kagerо̄ overtakes OTT in 193 Vanguard Championship

Last Sunday the 3rd 193 VGCS in Nagoya saw Oracle Think Tank's train of dominance broken by the format's previous number 2, Kagerо̄. Dragon Empire's sole representative in Standard made up nearly 40% of the 193 Championship, with the finals coming down to a Kagerо̄ versus Kagerо̄ match and third place becoming a struggle between Kagerо̄ and OTT. Decklists for the top 4 follow below.
3rd 193 VGCS deck breakdown (68 participants)
26 Kagerо̄
18 Oracle Think Tank
15 Royal Paladin
9 Nova Grappler
The top cut consisted of 5 Oracle Think Tank, 7 Kagerо̄, 2 Nova Grappler, and 2 Royal Paladin cardfighters. The tournament began with five 30 minute best-of-one Swiss rounds followed by a three-round best-of-three cut to top 16 with hour rounds. The 193 CS was over capacity, as it was originally scheduled for 64 participants. Entry cost 1000 yen per person, and first place received a voucher for 20,000 yen in store credit (approx. $180 at present exchange rates) second place received a voucher for 10,000 yen, 3rd and 4th received 5000 yen vouchers, and 5th-8th received 2000 yen vouchers.

The next major tournament for Standard is the Preyz Cup hosted by Card Shop Preyz, on June 17th: it will be Japan's last large unofficial tournament prior to the end of the V-BT01 format on the 29th.

1st place: Shirokko (Overall record 16-3)
Shirokko went 8-1 against Oracle Think Tank, Royal Paladin, Kagerо̄, Royals, and OTT (loss) in the Swiss rounds, followed by OTT (2-1) Nova Grappler, OTT (2-1) and Kagerо̄ in the finals.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lizard Runner, Undeux (First Vanguard)
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo (Heal Trigger)
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri (Draw Trigger)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr (Critical Trigger)
x4 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Yakshasa (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 14
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x3 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x3 Dragon Monk, Gojo 
Grade 2: 10
x3 Berserk Dragon
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x2 Dragon Armored Knight
x1 Bellicosity Dragon
 Grade 3: 9
x4 Dragonic Waterfall
x4 Dragonic Overlord
x1 Cruel Dragon

2nd place: Momiji (Overall record 9-5)
Momiji went 7-2 in sets, facing Royal Paladin (loss) Oracle Think Tank, Nova Grappler, Kagerо̄, and Kagerо̄ in the Swiss rounds, then Kagerо̄ (2-1) Royals, Kagerо̄ (2-1) and Kagerо̄ (0-2) in the top cut.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lizard Runner, Undeux (First Vanguard)
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo (Heal Trigger)
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri (Draw Trigger)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr (Critical Trigger)
x4 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Yakshasa (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 13
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x1 Dragonic Gaias
Grade 2: 12
x4 Berserk Dragon
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Dragon Armored Knight
Grade 3: 8
x4 Dragonic Waterfall
x4 Dragonic Overlord

3rd place: Ramigyo (Overall record 11-4)
Ramigyo went 8-1 in sets, against Kagerо̄, Royal Paladin, Kagerо̄, Oracle Think Tank, and Kagerо̄ in the Swiss rounds, followed by OTT (2-1) Kagerо̄, Kagerо̄ (0-2) and Kagerо̄ (2-1) in the top cut.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lozenge Magus (First Vanguard)
x4 Sphere Magus (Heal Trigger)
x4 Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist (Draw Trigger) (Sentinel)
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike (Critical Trigger)
x4 Psychic Bird (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 12
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x2 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
x1 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
x1 Luck Bird
Grade 2: 11
x4 Promise Daughter
x4 Goddess of Insight, Sotoorihime
x3 Yellow Witch, MeMe
Grade 3: 10
x4 Imperial Daughter
x4 CEO Amaterasu
x2 Victorious Deer

4th place: Sakaki (Overall record 10-6)
Sakaki went 6-3 against Royal Paladin, RP, Oracle Think Tank, Kagerо̄, and OTT (loss) in Swiss, followed by OTT (2-1) Kagerо̄, Kagerо̄ (1-2) and OTT (1-2) in the top cut. 

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lizard Runner, Undeux (First Vanguard)
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo (Heal Trigger)
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri (Draw Trigger)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr (Critical Trigger)
x4 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Yakshasa (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 13
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
x1 Dragon Knight, Burj
Grade 2: 12
x4 Berserk Dragon
x4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
x4 Dragon Armored Knight
 Grade 3: 8
x4 Dragonic Waterfall
x4 Dragonic Overlord

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops in Japan. 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 net handles rather than their real names as in official events. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Strong Toxic Mutant Helldemise revealed on Vanguard YouTube Channel

The official Japanese YouTube channel revealed a new card as part of its weekly roundup, a Megacolony Common from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Strong Toxic Mutant Helldemise.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: When placed, choose 1 of your opponent's rearguards, Rest it, and Stand 1 of your rearguards.
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: During your opponent's Stand Phase, all of your opponent's units in the back row of the same column as this unit cannot Stand.
Helldemise's autoskill is designed to be used to stand the rearguards superior called from soul with Machining Stag Beetle's skill, while stopping the opponent from leaving one rearguard standing to interfere with the effects of Spark Hercules, Nasty Smog, and Helldemise's own continuous skill. That ability is lifted straight from Nasty, stopping an opponent's booster from standing.

That said, Helldemise has several things working against him. None of his abilities work on the vanguard circle, and the card has no Imaginary Gift, meaning he's a complete vanilla on vanguard. He already has two excellent grade 3s competing for space, and the only thing unique about the card is that it stands rested allies. If that skill reappears on a grade 2 or 1, such a unit would have excellent synergy with Stag and Jocular Cicada, but it's hard to see Helldemise itself making it into the final cut for Megacolony decks.

Helldemise is V-EB01/056 in the setlist, right above Nasty Smog, which guarantees there are no more grade 2 Commons for Megacolony left in the set. Of note is that while every past weekly video had official English subtitles, Helldemise's only has autogenerated captions.

Last week's YouTube exclusive was Burner Ant.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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.

Today's Card Analysis: Unite Attacker

The Japanese Card of the Day for June 14th, 2018, is a Spike Brothers Double Rare from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Unite Attacker.
ACT [Vanguard Circle] Once per turn: [Soulblast 7] Look at 5 cards from the top of your deck, call up to 5 cards from among them to Rearguard Circle, and place the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order. Until end of turn, 3 of your units in the front row get Power +5000.
Unite Attacker is a remake of a megablast unit from BT02: Onslaught of Dragon Souls, but is infinitely more playable than his 2011 counterpart. This incarnation of Unite preserves the call-5 theme of the original while making use of the heavy soul buildup from Wonder Boy, Highspeed Brakki, and Juggernaut Maximum. Note that you don't have to use Unite's call effect, since it says "up to 5;" you can simply soulblast 7 to put the top 5 cards of your deck on the bottom and give 5k to your front row. Under ideal circumstances you'll have a field of Juggernaut Maximums boosted by Wonder Boys for a total 41000 power (functionally equivalent to 38k) after Unite's power boost. That's before Force Gifts are factored in.

Variance being what it is, most games will see different combinations of which attackers you're using between Maximum, Brakki, White Tight and so forth. But the core idea is the same; where the other clans center their big endgame plays in single cards like Soul Saver Dragon or Dragonic Waterfall, Spike Brothers spreads out its power gains across the rearguards and vanguard so that your strategy isn't totally bricked when you have one and not the other. With the clan already having access to redundant units like Funky Bazooka that can fill in for other cards, you shouldn't need to worry about getting Unite off consistently. The card also gives an out against retire matchups, as it can create a field from nothing--though you have no guarantees on quality there.

Note that while Unite Attacker is a megablast remake, unlike Vortex Dragon he still has an Imaginary Gift.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was Attempt Mammoth.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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, June 13, 2018

Today's Card Analysis: Attempt Mammoth

The Japanese Card of the Day for June 13th, 2019, is a Tachikaze Single Rare from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar, Attempt Mammoth.
CONT [Rearguard Circle]: During the battle it attacks, when your opponent would call guardians, if they do not call 2 or more guardians, they cannot call.
AUTO [Rearguard Circle]: At the end of the battle it attacks, discard 1 card from this unit's Equip Gauge. If you cannot discard, retire this unit.
Mammoth is a powerful attacker with a similar skill to Battledore Fighter over in Nova Grappler. Unlike Battledore, Attempt Mammoth is costless when using its effect, automatically requiring the opponent to waste guardians even against low-power attacks or otherwise force them to take damage. The trade-off to this is that Mammoth needs a constant supply of Equip Gauge to function, only available thus far through Sonic Noa's on-boost skill and Savage Raider's on-place. That limits your freedom to use Attempt on an Accel circle, where its skill would do the most harm to the opponent's hand.

It's within reason to assume we'll see some kind of future means of attaching Equip Gauge to make the card less troublesome to play; in the meantime it seems the intended use is to poke the opponent early until you reach the point in the game when Mammoth's final Gauge has been exhausted, whereafter it becomes the perfect sacrifice target for Deathrex or another boss card, freeing up Mammoth's circle for calling out endgame attackers next turn.

The previous Japanese Card of the Day was White Tight End.

V-Extra Booster 01: 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, June 12, 2018

Weekly Bites reveals: Aqua Force never sealed in reboot, Daiyūsha key art

Image 7: "Unite!! Team Q4"
Mitsusada Kenji, 3rd place in the Asia Circuit and a member of "Voyage," has decided to participate in a shop showdown. On this day, Mitsusada suddenly arrives in Card Capital.
Key artwork of Mitsusada "Koutei" Kenji and Super Dimensional Robo Daiyūsha, used as reference while animating the 2018 Cardfight!! Vanguard anime. Daiyūsha will be facing off against Miwa Taishi's Hero deck in the new series. Daiyūsha is voiced by Inada Tetsu, voice of Shinjо̄ Tetsu.

In this week's anime Question & Answer section, Vangarо̄-kun explains that the Aqua Force clan was never sealed in this new continuity, so Leon's lineage was never destroyed, and so he was never seduced by Void. This time, Leon was able to peacefully grow with his friends as a Vanguard fighter.

Rather than a "remake," the new series is a "Reboot" which explores a "what if" scenario for various characters. Those familiar with the previous series will enjoy both reuniting with the old cast and seeing how they're changed by this "what if."

Weekly Bites reveals: Machining Stag Beetle and Machining Spark Hercules

Machining Stag Beetle
AUTO [Vanguard/Rearguard Circle]: When placed from hand, choose up to 2 cards from soul and call them to Rearguard Circle as Rest, and if this unit is on Vanguard Circle, it gets the combined power of all units called by this effect until end of turn.
Machining Stag Beetle is V-EB01/008 RRR, below Juggernaut Maximum and above Machining Mantis.

Machining Spark Hercules
ACT [Vanguard Circle ] Once per turn: [Cost: Counterblast 2] Choose 5 of your rearguards, Stand them, and they get Power +5000 until end of turn. Rest all of your opponent's units, and until the end of your opponent's next turn, they get Power -5000.
ACT [Vanguard Circle]: Once per turn: [Cost: Put 1 of your grade 2 or greater rearguards put into your soul] This unit gets Power +5000 for each of your opponent's Rested units until end of turn.
Machining Spark Hercules is V-EB01/003 VR, the first Vanguard Rare of the set to be revealed.

Weekly Bites reveals: New Vanguard manga "Vanguard Frontier" starting in Monthly Bushiroad magazine

In addition to the new MiniVan Hi!! manga by Quily, this month's issue of Monthly Bushiroad magazine will include a new original manga series called Vanguard Frontier, illustrated by new up-and-coming artist Pinko. It comprises more than 40 pages.


This month's smartphone wallpaper, given out for completing the issue's survey.

 This issue includes a four-page special on the characters' decks from the ongoing anime series.

It also contains spreads on Tachikaze, Spike Brothers, and Megacolony from V-Extra Booster 01: The Destructive Roar.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Novas take down OTT in Inaba VGCS finals video, tournament made up of 35% Oracle Think Tank cardfighters

Early yesterday morning the 2nd Inaba VGCS crowned Nova Grappler cardfighter Hyoga its champion, marking the first big win for the clan in the V-BT01 format. Previously the highest Nova Grappler had placed was second at the TraCaider VGCS, the day after the first booster set launched. The finals were livestreamed over TwitCast, and recordings can be viewed below, along with decklists for the top cut.
Deck breakdown (68 participants)
24 Oracle Think Tank
20 Kagerо̄
15 Royal Paladin
9 Nova Grappler
Grand finals saw Hyoga face off with Suga, playing Oracle Think Tank; the fight for third-place was also a Nova versus Oracle match, Bonba against Rizu. Suga previously made fourth at last week's Sukacat VGCS team tournament. These matches saw the most-played clan of the tournament and of the format going up against the least-played, which makes Hyoga's triumph all the more surprising.

Illustration used for the Inaba VGCS playmat.
Although originally set to have five 30-minute preliminary rounds of Swiss pairings, in the days leading up to the tournament fighters voted to reduce match time by five minutes and gain a sixth round of Swiss. After the final Swiss round, the top 16  cardfighters progressed to a best-of-three top cut with hour-long matches. In addition to paper pairings, pairings were posted online using the same TCGMeister software used in Bushiroad's official tournaments since 2015. Rather than player numbers, the pairings were done using player names.

Hyoga won a 500 Gigabyte PlayStation 4 and Inaba VGCS playmat, Suga won five booster boxes of V-Booster Set 01: Unite! Team Q4 and an Inaba VGCS playmat, Rizu won four boxes and the playmat, Bonba won three boxes and the playmat, and the rest of top 8 received the playmat alone.


In game 1 of Grand Finals Suga (right) failed to G Assist from grade 1 to grade 2 twice, doing his best to mitigate the issue by riding Circle Magus over Circle Magus to proc her on-ride skill and filter for his grade 2 ride, using Luck Bird to utilize the extra soul. Unfortunately Suga never made it to grade 3 for game 1, having already been pushed to a high damage threshold early.

In game 2 Suga once again had to G Assist, this time from 0 to 1, but was able to push Hyoga to 4 damage before he got to Perfect Raizer, derailing his gameplan. (See below.) That translated to Suga's second Imperial Daughter turn eventually becoming fatal, as Hyoga could one-pass the 27k 2 crit vanguard but couldn't guard a 29k Promise Daughter-Luck Bird column.

Game 3 saw Suga opening strong, riding Circle Magus, getting out Luck Bird and two Promise Daughters for 15k attackers, but Hyoga was able to tip the balance of the game back in his favor after the two were tied up 2-2 in damage. Having a full front row of +5k attackers, he was able to poke Suga to 5 damage before even riding to Amaterasu. In general Hyoga drew incredibly well this game, seeing almost his entire Battledore Fighter playset.

Going into his CEO turn Suga attempted to play counterblast control to outlast his opponent, swinging at Hyoga's rearguards to leave him at 3 damage with only 1 open counterblast. Hyoga responded by calling Transraizer next turn to countercharge, allowing him to use Perfect Raizer's skill again to get in fifth and sixth attacks that put Suga into an unrecoverable position wherein he had to use his entire 10-card hand and only intercept to defend that turn. Even at this point, the game was only decided once Suga began damage checking on the turn after--with only a single 5k shield left in hand, Suga would not have been able to survive were it not for the Front Trigger he damage checked. That trigger put his Perfect Raizer up to 22, while Promise Daughter was only 24 boosted, just barely enough for Hyoga to pull through the turn. (Promise Daughter's skill was not active, as Suga only had 3 cards in hand after Twin Drive.)

(Note that while it may look like Suga won game 3 at first, this is only because the camera dropped below Hyoga's damage earlier--Hyoga was at 3 when Suga drive checked that crit, and Suga scooped. It was clear his last attack couldn't connect that turn, nor could he guard six to seven attacks the turn after, nor damage check enough heals to survive.)

Ultimately what Suga needed to do was call a booster for Circle Magus on his very first turn, so that Hyoga couldn't no-pass him with a single Front and would be forced into being at 3 damage on the turn of his Perfect Raizer ride. In the long term the only thing it would change for Hyoga's gameplan would be not needing to use Transraizer, opening up Rocket Hammer Man for use, but on Suga's end it would have disrupted his opponent's low-damage strategy and put them into a defensive position.

1st Place: Hyoga (Match record 8-1)
Hyoga went 11-2 against Kagerо̄, Oracle Think Tank, Royal Paladin, OTT, Nova Grappler, and Kagerо̄ (loss) in Swiss, then Kagerо̄ (2-0) OTT (2-0) and OTT (2-1) in the top cut. His list is unusual for running only one copy of Raizer Custom, while virtually every other Nova Grappler deck runs the card as a 4-of staple. His trigger lineup--5 Draw 7 Front--is in line with the week 2 average for the clan. The use of Hero support follows a general trend favoring Rocket Hammer Man and Cup Bowler over running Burst Raizer, as RHM enables Cup Bowler, who doubles as a second set of Iron Killers.

Hyoga published a blog post earlier today explaining his general strategy, which is summarized here;
  • His goal with the deck is to use the power boosts to consistently demand 15k shield with his Accel attackers while demanding just 5k with the regular rearguards.
  • Since it's generally impossible to win without taking a Waterfall, Victorious Deer, or Soul Saver turn, controlling both yours and the opponent's damage as much as possible is essential, preferably never going past 3 on your side.
  • Battledore Fighter, Cup Bowler, Iron Killer, and Jetraizer are the deck's Accel attackers; they each swing for the equivalent of 23k power on an Accel circle, with Battledore demanding 5k more shield if the opponent is an Accel or Protect deck.
  • Rocket Hammer Man is run purely for being an 8k grade 1 with the "Hero" race name, to get Cup Bowler live. Very rarely he boosts Cup Bowler with it, but the deck does not have the soul to spare.
  • Transraizer is run solely to be a vanguard booster, to countercharge 1 before using Perfect Raizer a second time. This is how the deck executes its endgame strategy without taking more than 3 damage.
  • The tech Raizer Custom is useful in the OTT matchup and not so much anywhere else. Originally it was at 4, but there's no opportunity to use it against Kagerо̄ opponents.
Hyoga also addressed specific matchups in his post:
  • The Royal Paladin matchup is neutral, the overall plan is to be at 2 or less damage when you ride to grade 3. When going first, attack twice on your grade 2 turn, 3 times if your vanguard can demand 15k shield to stop. As long as you can get past the Soul Saver turn, you can win. When going second, just attack unboosted each turn until you ride Perfect Raizer. [To deny them counterblast.] If you draw Transraizer on your grade 2 turn you can call it, otherwise just go it solo. Once you've deployed your Accel circles, graze them to death with 6 attacks.
  • The Oracle Think Tank matchup is very positive, the plan is to be at 3 or less the second time they ride Imperial Daughter. When going first, if you can get fill out your front row and Accel attackers it's a clear win, but they'll attempt to use Amaterasu and Sotoorihime to hang on. When going second, start swinging twice at your first opportunity, bearing in mind that every damage you give them is another card in their hand.
  • The Kagerо̄ matchup is "the end of the world" (世界の終わり sekai no owari) and the goal is to be at 2-3 damage on the turn they hit you with Overlord. When going first, in order to stop Berserk Dragon from going off stick to 1 attack per turn until you ride to grade 3, don't even call boosters. After riding Perfect Raizer, only call front row units to make their Nehalems dead. If the opponent has a bad formation due to Spillover or somesuch, it's okay to drop an 8k behind the vanguard, but even a solo attack will knock off 10k from them. With regard to Overlord and Waterfall, you stop Waterfall through Overlord. Overlord is a valuable means of cutting down Kagerо̄'s resources because it discards 2 to drive check 1--you can let Overlord hit to reduce their hand, then kill them before they can get to their Waterfall turn. When going second, it's ideal to ride Jetraizer to avoid giving them counterblast for Berserk Dragon. Swing at their rearguards to deny them counterblast, keeping them at 0.
Grade 0: 17
x1 Battleraizer (First Vanguard)
x4 Wall Boy (Heal Trigger)
x4 Twin Blader (Draw Trigger)
x1 Three Minutes (Draw Trigger)
x4 Turbo Raizer (Front Trigger)
x3 Cannon Ball (Front Trigger)
Grade 1: 13
x1 Raizer Custom
x4 Jet Raizer
x4 Rocket Hammer Man
x4 Trans Raizer
Grade 2: 12
x4 Hi-powered Raizer Custom
x4 Iron Killer
x4 Cup Bowler
Grade 3: 8
x4 Perfect Raizer
x4 Battledore Fighter

2nd Place: Suga (Match record 6-3)
Suga went 9-6 overall, against OTT, Royal Paladin, Royal Paladin, Kagerо̄, Kagerо̄ (Loss) and Kagerо̄ (loss) in the Swiss rounds, and Kagerо̄ (2-1) Nova Grappler (2-1) and Nova Grappler (1-2) in the top cut.

Compare with Suga's previous list from last week's Sukacat VGCS; they chose to cut 2 Sotoorihime for an extra MeMe and an Onmyoji tech, and switched out a Luck Bird for an additional Mizunohame. They seem to have gotten the idea from Ryo, who went undefeated at Sukacat with an identical list. Onodera also topped with this list this past week at BatoLoco Oyama's weekly shop tournament.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lozenge Magus (First Vanguard)
x4 Sphere Magus (Heal Trigger)
x4 Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist (Draw Trigger) (Sentinel)
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike (Critical Trigger)
x4 Psychic Bird (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 13
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x3 Goddess of Time's Passing, Mizunohame
x2 Luck Bird
Grade 2: 10
x4 Promise Daughter
x3 Yellow Witch, MeMe
x2 Goddess of Insight, Sotoorihime
x1 Onmyoji of the Moonlit Night
Grade 3: 10
x4 Imperial Daughter
x4 CEO Amaterasu
x2 Victorious Deer

3rd Place: Rizu (Match record 7-2)
Rizu went 9-6 overall, against Royal Paladin (loss) Royals, Royals, Royals, Oracle Think Tank, and OTT in the Swiss rounds, and Kagerо̄ (2-1) Nova Grappler (0-2) and Nova Grappler (2-1) in the top cut.

Note that Rizu also topped Fullcomp Ikebukuro's weekly shop tournament this week, and won one of the Sukacat VGCS's playmat sub-tournaments last Sunday, using the same list in both tournaments.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lozenge Magus (First Vanguard)
x4 Sphere Magus (Heal Trigger)
x4 Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist (Draw Trigger) (Sentinel)
x4 Oracle Guardian, Nike (Critical Trigger)
x4 Psychic Bird (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 13
x4 Circle Magus
x4 Farfalle Magus
x3 Luck Bird
x2 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
Grade 2: 10
x4 Promise Daughter
x4 Goddess of Insight, Sotoorihime
x2 Silent Tom
Grade 3: 10
x4 Imperial Daughter
x4 CEO Amaterasu
x2 Victorious Deer
4th Place: Bonba (Overall record 6-3)
Bonba went 9-6 overall, facing Nova Grappler, Royal Paladin, Oracle Think Tank, OTT, Novas (loss) and OTT in the Swiss rounds, then going up against Royals (2-1) OTT (1-2) and OTT (1-2) in the top cut.

Top 8: Hanpen (Overall record 5-2)
Hanpen went up against Oracle Think Tank, Royal Paladin (loss) Royals, Royals, OTT, and OTT in Swiss, then was eliminated 0-2 in round 1 of the top cut versus Nova Grappler.

Grade 0: 17
x1 Lizard Runner, Undeux (First Vanguard)
x4 Dragon Monk, Genjo (Heal Trigger)
x4 Wyvern Guard, Barri (Draw Trigger)
x2 Red Gem Carbuncle (Draw Trigger)
x4 Embodiment of Spear, Tahr (Critical Trigger)
x2 Demonic Dragon Berserker, Yakshasa (Critical Trigger)
Grade 1: 12
x4 Flame of Hope, Aermo
x4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
x4 Lizard Soldier, Raopia
Grade 2: 13
x4 Berserk Dragon
x4 Spillover Dragon
x3 Embodiment of Shield, Lahm
x2 Flames of Destruction, Verti
 Grade 3: 8
x4 Dragonic Waterfall
x4 Dragonic Overlord

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops in Japan. 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 net handles rather than their real names as in official events.