Thursday, 21 August 2014

How we got here, and my opinion on Card Of The Day/Week

I realise this is a common thing that people do, and I think I also understand why they do it. Sometimes they may very well be cards that blow you away all by themselves or maybe cards that deserve a mention for having had a major affect on the game at any given point in its evolution throughout the past 4 years.

10000 power bosses was where we started, during a time in which the meta game was mostly Knights vs. Dragons. We had Oracle Think Tank and Nova Grappler as well but in the beginning it was only really possible to build a full deck for those four clans. Spike Brothers and Megacolony existed but there is one nation that at first didn't exist at all.

Among the most destructive of these first year bosses was those armed with the skill, unofficial called, Megablast. My favourites of these are CEO Amaterasu and Stil Vampir.

Then came the first impact...

Crossrides. All three of the X-rides from BT05  changed the game significantly. While their affect on the english game wasn't as heavily affected as the Japanese game was, these X-Rides were  almost a guaranteed win back in their day. I will be looking at each of these in time but moving on for now.

After BT-05, Bushiroad debuted Narukami and Gold Paladins and a new mechanic, Limit Break. While most early Limit Breaks left something to be desired, some boosters doing poorly, (BT07, I'm looking at you.) and X-Rides still dominating where ever they appeared. Early Season 2 looked rather bleak from a business and retail perspective, and the introduction of Aqua Force didn't really do much to change that, even though Aqua Force's combo play if pulled off could be lethally devastating, the problem it faced was Kagero, and now also Narukami. During this time Spectral Duke Dragon and Ezel represented Gold Paladin in the meta, Vermillion for Narukami, Maelstrom for the recently released Aqua Force and Shadow Paladin, Royal Paladin, and Kagero all being represented primarily by their X-Rides. Among others.

The end of Series 2 saw its own new trinity of X-Rides. In BT09 but before then another clan had gotten it's own X-Ride and it wasn't for one of the more widely used clans.

Gold Paladins were going strong into season 3, with both Ezel and Spectral Duke, this was further supported by the introduction of Break Rides, and Gold Paladin being among the first clans to obtain this new power through their new Trial Deck, Liberators of the Sanctuary. Although most of the contents were reliant on sub-clan conditions being met, the Break Ride was usable to the whole Clan. But Break Rides weren't the only thing that would come to be seen as a meta staple, the second impact- The explosion of Restanding Vanguards.

Eradicator, Dragonic Descendant and Revenger, Raging Form Dragon were the most popular restanders in both the Japanese and English meta.

Dauntless Drive Dragon, the Break Ride for Kagero made any unit that rode it become a re-standing Vanguard for the duration of the turn the Break Ride was performed.

With the power and skills that Break Rides offered to the Vanguard, having a way to make the most of that power was a must. The easiest way to achive this was a Vanguard that could attack more than once. This in turned made Critical Triggers more important than ever. Further more the Meta had fully become 11k meta, unlike Seasons 1&2 in which most bosses were 10000 power, and those with 11000 having the trade off of usaully having weaker skills. In Season 3 this was no longer the case. Now we had a fully dedicated 11k meta, and each deck being able to hit 18k RG coloumns, due to sub-clan power gainers, 11k and 12k beaters, 13k X-Ride defence became less of a game decider than it had previously been with almost every deck being able to hit atleast 18k with all 3 columns with relative ease. Crossrides were still having to guard for 2 stages minimal. This in of itself is ironic considering Season 3 also developed a new trend, creating a significantly sized portion of 13k meta decks with the advent of Cross Break Rides. (Or X-Break as I shorten it to.)

For Genesis, Omniscience Regalia, Minerva provided both a restanding Vanguard and was also a X-Break Ride, effectively providing the best of both worlds. For Genesis this was a blessing, for the players that wanted to build Genesis, not so much. Her price tag reflected the demand for her an it's not surprising either. Most of the Tier 1 meta consists of decks that exploit re-standing Vanguards, and for Genesis, Minerva is the card that allowed them to join those Tier 1 Ranks.

Despite the large increase in Restanders and X-Rides though, something bigger was to come, capable of bringing total devastation in it's wake- And I don't mean Link Joker and Chaos Breaker Dragon if I did I'd have mentioned that by now but it does deserve mention as being involved in the third impact.

Oh shit-! God or Devil, you decide.

Transcendance Dragon, Dragonic Nouvelle Vague, the first legal Grade 4. (Epitome of Knowledge, Silvest was the first but is made illegal in-game by it's own card text.)

If you want to compete in the 2014 meta you need to be able to defeat this. But between all it's passives that is easier said than done. Even though this unit has a Persona Blast Limit Break, it is a skill hardly ever used. Effectivly a X-Ride for ANY Kagero unit but then also eqquiped with a "Silent Tom" skill, locking out your primary guardians and the ability to negate all your opponent's triggers during your turn. Which means if you don't have the sheild to survive any of this cards turns. That's GAME OVER.

Once this card hits the field on top of Dauntless Drive Dragon, even if you survive that turn, your next turn, win or lose, will be your final turn. And if the Persona Blast IS used then you won't have any come back.

Also concidentially the Persona Blast perfectly counters any and all of this guy's Offensive Beatdowns.

I take it back, this is the devil.

With BT-15 coming out I can garentee it'll bring with it the forth impact, Legion will end up being the fifth. Now it may be me, but that way too many impacts in such a short space of time. But we'll see what the future holds. At least Ω won't be ble to have such a large used base as he did in Japan, but where he does show up in the World Championship you can be sure he will dominate.

Here's my advice for countering Omega, if you want to destroy his offensive potential, take Nouvelle as your weapon. If you want to counter the restrictions he places on you and prevent the World End gambit, take Grand Ezel Scissors or Liberator, Monach Sanctuary Alfred, although the latter is your better bet for consistency. 

All of these Cards have been peoples' COTD or COTW for a reason. The effect they've had on the game and on their clans is enormous, but not every publicly COTD/COTW has been Grade 3's, (or 4) cards of every grade have been chosen of these one of my favorites is one of the first cards in the game. And so on Monday I'll be adding my own contribution to this trend with my first COTW.

So at the end of this article in which I took the long way around. My opinion on having a Card Of The Day/Week is that I'm all for it. Vanguard has over 1000 Cards in the English game alone, and the Japanese version obviously has more still, among all those cards, there are those units that stand out, wether it be for impact, utility, pressure, threat or even nust personal taste. So why shouldn't we share what units have caught our intereast?

I didn't mean this to be an essay into the history of the game up untill now, but I'm glad it is. It helps me to put across my closing statement.

Here's to the sixth impact, we all know it's coming...
Deletion, the turning into nothingness, the very essence of Void...