Sunday, 10 January 2016

V-News: Ripples Victory, Rafli Attar Ricco New BWC Vanguard World Champion, Simon McGoldrick, 2nd Place Breif Interview

I want to try my hand at this journalism thingy again.


At 16:00 JST, 9th of January 2015 (7:00 AM here in the UK) The final battle to decide the World Champion of Cardfight Vanguard for the 2015 season got underway. The battle was fought between Rafli Attar Ricco of Indonesia piloting the newest meta deck on the block, Aqua Force - Ripples (2.0) his opponent, hailing from ScotlandSimon McGoldrick piloting Dimension Police - Metalborgs.

The final bout was a best-of-three with no time limit, this altered from previous years when even up to the final, the format was always best of one.

While Bushiroad have since taken down their footage, the English format final was recorded and commentary re-dubbed live by Mason Clark head of the Science Of Vanguard Youtube channel.

As you will see in the video, and from the title of this article, our new World Champion is Rafli Attar Ricco of Indonesia, making him the second World Champion to have come from the country and means that Indonesia is also the only country to have produced two World Champion for Cardfight Vanguard.

However, I must also flag several infringements of the rules in this match for which all parties are at fault, being failure to follow correct pre-match set-up order and numerous accounts of improper shuffling, and failure of the judges to enforce corrections for all of these infringements. Each of which may seem minor but have significant impact. Such as which may have affected the result of the match.

Previous World Champions are:
2012: Brandon Smith - USA
2013: Almeida Stewart - Belgium
2014: Fajar Muttaqien - Indonesia

Now we add the following:
2015: Rafli Attar Ricco - Indonesia

Decks from Worlds as follows:
5x Aqua Force (1 Blue Wave, 2 Ripples, 1 Thavas, 1 Strikehead Dragon*)
1x Royal Paladin (SGD)
1x Link Joker (Messiah)
1x Shadow Paladin (Revengers)
1x Kagero
1x Dimension Police (Metalborgs)

*Confirmed by handler, David Adipratama.

While history may be written by the victors let's not forget the day began with 10 gathered from the around the world, each a champion in their own right.

Rafli Attar Ricco and Simon McGoldrick I've already introduced, along side them the following also came together:

AISA-OCENIA - The continent with the least qualifying players.

Rafli Attar Ricco, newly crowned champion, fought his way to Japan with Royal Paladin's Sanctuary Guard Dragon, bringing light to the darkness and casting out Shadow Paladin, outshining the idols of Bermuda Triangle, out-paced the rush of the brutal Spike Brothers and repeating this again when they returned for revenge. Then, in the final match of the continental held in Singapore he met our next world finalist in battle... and in this meeting he lost-
In Japan the the white light was exchanged, for something old, something new, something borrowed, something BLUE, with Rafli building his world finals deck around the Aqua Force Ripples Ride Chain.

David Adipratama, of Australia, originally hailing Indonesia, this fighter commanding the Aqua Force navy from the start of the season saw his Marine army through the regional and continental stages, fighting his way through the fire and the flames of Kagero, overcoming the abyss of Shadow Paladin, and defeating many many more with Thavas, (or rather, as he has pointed out to me personally, Strikehead Dragon) he earned his spot.


Simon McGoldrick balances his hobbies with running his own store in Glasgow, Scotland. Using Dimension Police Metalborgs he bought Justice to any who crossed his path in Manchester, his black steel however, was ultimately tainted darker still by Shadow Paladin in the semi-finals. He rose again in the European Continental having reached 3rd in the UK, the same weapons equipped weapon, but slightly altered tools, through adapting his strategy he successfully fought his way through Oracles, Knights, and other cybernetic beings to reach the final- where he would face off with the fires of our next global finalist-

Hélène Bourrée, her home may be in France but that didn't stop her from making an appearance in Manchester for the United Kingdom Regional where she took first place, reaching the European continental for the second year in a row- last year she failed to qualify worlds but this year managed to come out on top in the European Continental also, defeating Simon Mcgoldrick to take the title- this earning her slot on the world stage. She used Kagero, Dragonic Overlord, The Xros for all stages of this season.

Tiago Henrique Rosado of Portugal, he earned his spot by topping in an event that was part of a special circuit series held for Spain and Portugal, winning an event in the series qualified him for the circuit finals that would double as both a national finals event and act as qualifier for the Bushiroad World Championship. In the national finals he placed first, earning him his slot in among the 10 champions. Through both stages he passed through to make it to Japan (the first of which is not officially recorded by Bushiroad) he used Shadow Paladin- Revengers, a deck that has been a popular choice for competitive players this season, holding a top 3 highest saturation level at most recorded events.

Duy Mohamed, due to incidents in Paris this global finalist to be nearly wasn't. Terror attacks lead Bushiroad to making the decision to cancel the France Regional siting the importance of the safety of players comes first, cancelling this event would have costed Bushiroad and their Tournament Organizer a fair bit of money, rescheduling a replacement event at a later date costing them even more- and yet they did. On that day Duy Mohamed had his chance, the only way to advance further in this replacement regional, was to win it- and he did. Swallowing up Gear Chronicle, Megacolony, Narukami and all else who faced him, enshrouding them with Shadow Paladin- but not Revengers, nor Claret Sword but with a highly unlikely Diablo focused build. In the World Finals he played Royal Paladin, Sanctuary Guard turning darkness into hallowed light.

The United States is home to the largest organised competitive circuit for Cardfight!! Vanguard in the world, the Alter Reality Games (ARG) State Championships and ARG Circuit Series, combined with their 1K events brew some the most serious competitive players in the game, all these events are Best of Three- Bushiroad World Championship is not, but despite that, North America's Top 8 cut final rounds in all events were Best-Of-Three, and this was exclusively the case for North America.

The fighters from this region of the world are as follows:

Sebastian Teh from Vancouver, Canada North of the US Border but under the jurisdiction of Bushiroad USA and manged by them, this meaning the same conditions applied in Canada's regional as in America. It was in Canada's regional that Sebastian accomplished his first goal towards reaching Japan, using Dimension Police, Dimensional Robos he cleaved and Daikaiser'd his way to the US Continental/Nationals, by the time of US Nationals the meta had changed, and so to had Sebastian's deck. Playing Angel Feather's Gavrail he proved that even in a room filled with Shadow Paladin, the odd one out, can still win this proved two points;
Angel Feather can compete with the best decks in the game
And most importantly, it demonstrated his personal level of ability and consistency.
For that, he earned his spot.

Albert Hwang from the Indiana state took home the top spot in BWC Illinios where even in a top 8 that was mostly Shadow Paladin mirror matches, which in of itself showcased the deck's absolute dominance, using his knowledge and combining that with careful strategy Albert defeated his reflections to face off with Aqua Force for the final, he rode atop that wave to victory. In the continentals it was much the same for Albert and once again he bested the mirror as often as was needed to reach the final, where he met Sebastian and Angel Feather. While he didn't win this round he'd already qualified, for the World Finals, so in demonstrating his mastery of Shadow Paladin and his ability to remain on top of rivals using his own weapons against him- he earned his position among those in Japan.

Ryan Adams from the state of Tennessee entered BWC Georgia using Shadow Paladin Revengers for the first time having borrowed the deck from a friend he then went on to win the event with this deck that he had never previously used. The result garnered mixed reactions in the online community, many of which were using the result as evidence that Shadow Paladin Revengers were an "Auto Pilot" using this as evidence that any player given a good deck could win a BWC, using it as evidence of the flaws of Best of One claiming the result must of been one of luck, on the other side of that reaction was praise.
Ability to top with a deck never before used showed Ryan's versatility and ability to develop a strategy on the spot based on what's to hand and the current situation, these abilities form the basis for any card player in any CCG, these are principle basics, Ryan's victory demonstrated the importance of these most basic of skill-sets and saw him through to BWC US Nationals where he stuck to using Revengers where he made top four, his run ending at the hands of Albert Hwang, he qualified for the World Finals, but had to fund the trip himself, he did so, and made it to Japan on his own steam being the only competitor to turn up without having had Bushiroad's financial support for the trip. A display of determination to finish what he started, a deserving champion in his own right for both that determination, and for his demonstration of proficiency in the core skill set that makes any good player back in Georgia. He earned his spot at Worlds.


Luis Armando Pereira Cabral won the BCW regional held on the island of Puerto Rico where he used Bermuda Triangle with Rising Star, Trios and Top Idol, Revire to overcome Kagero, Royal Paladin and a fair share of Shadow Paladin and Nova Grappler as well. He then used much the same deck in the BWC Mexico where he scored second place, loosing the final to Megacolony Machining.

All these fighters made it to Japan, all have demonstrated their skills. And with the G-Zone and G-Units this season of Cardfight Vanguard competitive play has seen an added depth of strategy, when to Legion, when to Stride, when to go all in gambling on a Break Ride. Meta Saturation has shown a preference for Shadow Paladins but results have been spread far and wide, this has been the best year we've ever had for competitive Vanguard, so congratulations to all fighters who made it Japan and congratulations to the new Champion; Rafli Attar Ricco.


The Meta going into GIRS Spring is going to change, Shadow Paladin has dropped in popularity already in the wake of Ripples and Blue Wave decks for Aqua Force and the Navy is going to be a key player in the transition between seasons. Chaos Breaker is also about to receive upgrade and will no doubt be the go to answer for counter acting the resurgence of Aqua Force so the challenge for next season, as it currently stands, will be working out how to play against a deck that locks out legion and stride, but also be effective against the return of one of the strongest control deck the game has ever known.

I end this article with an Interview with Simon McGoldrick, second place finalist, whom I was able to have a brief moment of his time.


Simon McGoldrick Interview: (open the thumbnail to view his orignal post

Q: How does it feel to be ranked second seed in the world for the next year?
A: It feels great, I've been playing cards for 14 years now, this was my first world championship. I've won 5 national championships and I see 2nd at worlds as my greatest accomplishment.

Q: How do you feel about this years BWC as a whole?
A: I loved it, I've made so many friends across the world from the regional in Manchester, to the European championship in Dusseldorf to right here in Tokyo Japan. The judges know what they're doing, the player base is very respectful, I've been to a lot of circuits for various card games and honestly Bushiroad is my favorite.

Q: Out of the matches you played in the finals, which was your favorite?
A: Tough call, there are no easy matches in a world championship. The top 4 match was awesome, I played the Link Joker player who came 3rd and in round 2 I had an amazing match against Mohammed who came 4th with sanctuary guard. I think I "showed off" more during those games, I didn't really get a chance to properly play in the final. I've got a lot of respect for people who go into main events using non meta decks.

Q: Is there anything you would have changed going in, knowing what you do now?
A: Absolutely not. In nationals I played 3 Russel blizzard and they got swapped to 10k vanillas for euros. Up until worlds I played 8 crit, 4 draw, 4 heal, but I ultimately decided on 12 crit. I honestly believe Sapharian* is the optimal build for dimension police.

Q: How do feel about the meta we've had for this season (2016 2nd half)?
A: In some other games, you have to play meta, otherwise you just lose. Vanguard is different, with the level of skill involved you can play various decks and still do well. The sign of a skill based game is when different decks all top. The top 4 of worlds this year was Ripple, Metalborg, Messiah and Sanctuary guard. We had 1 Shadow, 1 Kagero player too, there was also a Thavas and a Blue Storm deck. I can't currently remember the other two decks (think there was a 2nd sanctuary guard) but the fact it wasn't 10 ripples in worlds shows 1. The player base, 2. The format, 3. The game.

Q: What are your plans now for next year?
A: Honestly, I was worried about what I'd do after winning worlds. At least I've still got an objective. I dreaded being like Alexander the great after conquering the world sat on a rock 
and wept.

*Sapharian is what Simon names his Metalborg deck.

Be sure to check out this week's Cardfighter's Coloumn for the official report and and most likely an interview with champion, Rafli Attar Ricco.

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