Had I mentioned Chaos Breaker, there is no way I could have avoided mentioning the rest of his clan and for one simple reason. Link Joker is a clan that debuted during Season 3 and with their play style of "Locking" the opponent's Rearguards they may in part have contributed to the rise in popularity of the restanding Vanguard, although that seems unlikley, more Vnaguard attacks was always going to be popular with or without Link Joker, but even ignoring this, Link Joker undoubtedly had an impact on the meta all of their own. This is one of the decks that set the benchmark for the 2014 meta.
In this article I'll be focusing on the "Star-Vader" sub-clan upto BT-13 as this was the deck more commonly used by professional Link Joker players during the 2014 world team league.
The Star-Vaders, with their debut, introduced 2 bosses.Nebula Lord Dragon, which focused on Beatdown, and Chaos Breaker Dragon, who with his Field Control was more favoured by the professional player base.
Or All-out Annihilation?
Even though each deck variants "Final Turn" gambits are different, their support is generally the same. For this reason some players also opt to use both Chaos Breaker and Nebula Lord, running the ratio 4-2-2 or 3-3-3.
The deck Forerunner, Star-vader, Dust Tail Unicorn isn't just the go-to starter for Nebula and "The Clown" but is generally as being the beat starter for the clan as a whole, unless you're using the ride chain. Working typically used to create tri-lock in combination with the Deck's Break Ride, Star-vader, Infinite Zero Dragon.
The strategy behind Link Joker's play is to keep your opponent tied down as long as possible while feeding off to gain all forms of advantage. To achieve this the deck makes use of 4 key cards.
Palladium is used to ensure that once you have an opponent locked, you're keeping them locked. Also he can be used to set up Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon for maximum devastation, a total wipeout of the opposing field. From which your opponent will almost always be unable to recover. And the forth card of this staple group helps to support this gambit.
Used to search out Palladium, to then use his skill and prepare or recharge Chaos Breaker for Limit Break. Essentially you want to treat these as being another Palladium.
It should be noted that while The Claws work better for Nebula, and Palladium & Colony Maker work better with Chaos Breaker, both pair may also be used with each other and each boss.
Along with the theme of gaining advantages from placing "Lock" on your foes, from the Trial Deck come another key card for the deck.
Doesn't need locks, just more Rearguard, well that's easy enough.
Being a 10k booster for any Link Joker Vanguard, with a stupidly easy, and free, activation condition to meet, Star-Vader, Aurora Eagle invalidates both bosses personal 11k boosters, each of which require a Soul Blast as the cost.
And while early game "Lock" doesn't really achieve much, it's nice to have the option for pressure.
And that is what this is for.
Ideal Grade 2 Ride.
One potential advantage you can get from early locking is the ability to prevent your opponent from using their Forerunner's skill(s) and in the early game both players will still be preparing their fields which means getting off that 10k boost and forcing more guard shouldn't really be all that difficult. And if you have the Prison Star-vader, Palladium on the field when this units attacks you have both threat and pressure. Especially if there's the chance you could compromise one of your opponent's core units.
Typical Deck Ratio in Break Ride Meta is 17>14>11>8, counting from Grade 0 to Grade 3.
Now let's build a deck aiming for Maximum Pressure.
Obviously 4 of your Grade 1's will be Sentinels.
Along side the Perfect Guard I've mentioned 3 other Grade 1s. To max all four out would be 16 Cards, so one unit must be dropped to 2 copies. That would be Aurora Eagle.
I'll admit, I don't own a meta Link Joker deck, it's out of my budget but I've built the deck several times for others who have already invested in the recourses. And by those people I've been able to refine the design. But the truth is, like with Revengers, there's really only ONE way to build the deck.
1x (Forerunner) Star-vader, Dust Tail Unicorn
8x Critical Triggers
4x Stand Triggers
4x Heal Triggers
4x Barrier Star-vader, Promethium (Staple Perfect Guard)
4x Prison Star-Vader, Palladium
4x Demon Claw Star-Vader, Lanthanum
2x Star-vader, Aurora Eagle
3x Furious Claw Star-Vader, Niobium OR Unrivaled Star-Vader, Radon (power gainer)
4x Star-vader, Mobius Breath Dragon (Ride Target)
4x Star-vader, Colony Maker
4x Star-vader, Infinite Zero Dragon (Break Ride)
4x Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon
Your Grade 2 powerhouse is down to your preference and what ever gambit going for. But do note the sub-clan beaters can offer constant power, and Link Joker's Lock Combinations don't go live until end game. This is also the clan's biggest weakness, if you can deny Link Joker the chance of Limit Break you'll be in for an easy win.
Solid Advantage Engine
Early and Mid game vanilla
Limit Break dependant
Combos require setup and field
It goes without saying that Link Joker will have a bad match-up against competitive Kagero and Narukami decks, most decks will. But it also has a bad match-up against itself and Dimension Police. A well built Spike Brothers deck may also take The Clown to Town. And Bermuda Triangle, being able to bounce units back to the hand, may also be unphased by the threat of lock. You can't lock what isn't there.
As for what Link Joker counters, it's super effective against Aqua Force, Royal Paladins, Neo Nectar, "Reverse" Decks and itself. Played well and maintaining Tri-Lock can also lock-out Revenger's Boss gambit.
EDIT: An afterthought, but Nubatama can screw over any deck once it goes live as well. That Includes Link Joker. I'll look into Nubatama as a "non-inpact" Clan Analysis as they deserve the mention.