The Collection has been out a few weeks now, opinions have solidified and what's decided now probably isn't going to change at all.
So, Fighter's Collection released May 20th, and in the UK it sold out in many places on release weekend. I've had to have a store hold a box for me till after team league so I could ensure I get it. The market has moved and even the singles sold out from national dealers doesn't surprise me.
First thing to address 16 is G-Zone.
Is it Good, is it Bad, is it healthy or ugly? Call it what you will one this it certainly is, is expensive.
An increase to the G-Zone means more spaces for G-Units meaning certain staples see a huge rise in price. One key example being Super Comsic Hero, X-Tiger. Previously attainable at $10, now the lowest you'll find is $22, all because there's more room to fit him now taking him from a two of, to a 4-of, thus increasing the demand, without an equivalent increase in supply. This is just talking a bout a RRR G-Unit, GR Staple G-Units were ridiculously inflated already and that only gets worse, even an increase in GR Pull rates from 4 GR a case to 6 a case (based on word from Japan for Set 7) this only means the problem remains the same, the pull rate increase isn't great enough to make main set GR's affordable to the majority of players.
Ignoring the secondary market and focusing on the game side of the argument, it's exceedingly nice to have, you get room to max out your best stride options and still fit in at least 4 G-Guardians, the latest mechanic bought in by Fighter's Collection, and the reason for the G-Zone increase. Obviously G Break centred decks benefit the most from this, and yet finding the balance and space can still groove to be difficult even at 16 G-Zone slots. So much for saying it was excessive in initial reactions. Even in cases of a deck where they don't have the best offensive options, such as Angel Feather, they can run more than 4 G-Guardians to make up for the lack of offensive strides by maximizing defensive utility, even if only 4 of those G-Guardians can be used in a game.
Based on recent tournament observations and discussion with other parties the over all affect of G-Guardians, the main point of Fighter's Collection 16, seems to be that games now have the potential to last well beyond the current sanctioned time limit of 20 minutes Many games going into the three turn rule that were previously over at the toss of a hat or just in the nick of time, depending on "welcome to vanguard" situations. This would explain why Japan has increased to 25 mins in their floor rules, but some people I've been speaking to have suggested the time limit should extend further, to 30 minutes.
It's peculiar though as on the flip side G-Guardians can also be the catalyst to accelerate and end games much faster than before. Key example being the possibility of a 1st Stride Nextage. That scrapheap hurts!!! Personal experience. Although in that example the extra salt in the wound is just how good Gear Chronicle's G-Guardian is, and that acts a good segway to my next segment. Top 5 G-Guardians from Fighter's Collections, in no particular order.
I'm not including the G-Guardians as they speak for themselves, they are staples and remain is use for some time to come in many many decks, so I'll get the obvious one out of the way first since I already mentioned it.
Retroactive Time Maiden, Uluru
So, the "cost" to gain +5000 shield for this card is to return two cards from drop zone to the deck. To clarify that, you can return to the deck the heal trigger you dropped to in turn access this card, for the normal unit, there's no shortage of options. The cost isn't so much a cost as it is more an additional benefit to the user, this card is incredible and that's probably why it's sold out on cardfightvanguardsingles when I checked the site prior to writing this.
To rephrase this card's wording Patriot essentially tells it's user "Is it worth using me? Yes? Ok, here take a free additional buff." Many of the G-Guardians in Fighter's Collection that are reliant on opponent board states are lack lustre due to their requirements being easily foiled, Enigman Patriot can't be foiled and any situation where an attack wouldn't be worth using her on, can be guarded by a single trigger unit instead.
False Dark Wings, Agrat bat Mahiat
Dark Irregulars already have an exceptionally powerful defence thanks to Blade Wing Sullivian toss in a G-Guardian to the mix, and you have a nigh-on unbreakable wall. Even outside of Sullivian this card is an easy 20k guardian by itself. Simply Soul Charge 2 card and then if the number of cards in your soul is 6 or more, which is an easy number for Dark Irregulars, this unit gains it's additional shield stage. Furthermore that Soul Charge works towards the deck's ultimate intention of sitting at the 15 soul mark.
Goddess of Seven Colors, Iris
On a similar note to the previous section, this card makes my list for adding fuel for it's respective deck's main resource, but in this case it's recycling cards from the Drop Zone to place into the soul. 2 cards once again being the number. Not so much a cost, more of a benefit, and it gets you the extra stage to. Yet isn't quite as stupid in the potential implications as Uluru thankfully.
Eclipse Dragonhulk, Deep Corpse Dragon
I've been following a pattern in my sections here, so what I'm going to say here should come as no surprise as it's repeat of Mahiat and Iris, however this is not as good as either of them as Granblue is a two phase tutoring deck and you want specific targets in the Drop Zone, while this card can give options it can't secure you anything specifically desirable. On the plus side it doesn't care what you mill, it's going to gain shield +5000 either regardless of the drops. This is the only reason this card has beaten Pale Moons G-Guardian into my list.
And yet despite my personal top picks I notice Genesis in particular is not making much an impact or taking up much of the meta saturation. The reason for this is quite simple, it's going to take more than just G-Guardian to bolster that clan back into metagame prevalence.
It should be noted that every clan now has some form of competitive edge over another. The meta itself is blown wide open. However rearguard reliant clans that lack consistent recovery should be concerned, as now the FC has passed Radiant Sword comes next, and that set has some nasty G-Guardians for Kagero so be on the lookout.