Lock on Victory

In December 2013, FuRyu producer Fujiwara Ayano took the stage at Bushiroad's Cardfight!! Vanguard Special Conference to announce the 3DS game Cardfight!! Vanguard: Lock on Victory. Patterned after the just-completed Link Joker chapter of the anime series and eventually released in June, Lock on Victory proved to be a transformative title for the 3DS card-battling franchise. It was the first title in the series to have the player live through the events of the anime series rather than craft a post-script storyline for them, the first to feature multiple storyline routes, and Lock on Victory overhauled the reward system and card collection mechanics to completely subvert the first game's nigh-oppressive difficulty.
Owing in part to the era it came out in, Lock on Victory also has the best AI of the Vanguard trilogy, not having to struggle with the decision-making associated with balancing both legion and stride. Where its immediate sequel is dragged down by the weight of Vanguard G's wandering, this game relishes in exploring all the facets of the Link Joker chapter. It features the single largest character roster of the Vanguard video games, playing with the anime's associated plot twists to provide a buffet of fully-voiced avatars in online play. In each of these regards Lock on Victory is the definitive Vanguard video game, and one of the best games on the 3DS in general.

It has also never been translated into English. Until now.

Unlike its sequels, the original Ride to Victory lacks Miiverse functionality. So I'm choosing to begin this translation from Lock on Victory, the most popular entry in the trilogy. In the course of this playthrough, I intend to explore not just the script, but also the booster format the game is set in. (Characters start using cards from BT10 and earlier, then gradually move up to BT15 and EB09; essentially from the beginning of break ride format to the end of limit break.) In 2017, we've crossed the point where many of the more recent entrants into the world of Vanguard are unfamiliar with what the game looked like in this format, and there are a number of mechanics that shine here in a way they hadn't before and haven't since.

In the real world, I've been a dedicated Shadow Paladin fighter since late 2011. But during the format this game is set in, I lapsed for many reasons. The clan moved in a direction I didn't appreciate, and provided few to no alternative play styles. For that reason, you won't see my Shadow Paladins played for most of this playthrough. Instead, I'm choosing to focus on what I actually played at the time, an oft-underlooked deck within an otherwise-popular clan that I felt showed how you could support diversity within a larger group. I'm building Planetal Dragon.

This first chapter will (by necessity) be heavier than the rest. Expect daily updates from hereon out.

Part 1: Joining the Cardfight Club (06/05/2017)
Part 2: Freetime Events (06/06/2017)
Part 3: THE Kai Toshiki (06/07/2017)
Part 4: Kamui (06/08/2017)
Part 5: Yuri (06/09/2017)
Part 6: Kyou (06/10/2017)
Part 7: Freetime Events 2 (06/11/2017)
Part 8: Misaki (06/12/2017)
Part 9: Freetimes Events 3 (Ren) (07/08/2017)
Part 10: Freetime Events 3-2 (Nagisa) (07/10/2017)