Saturday, September 22, 2012

eGale's Emotional Rollercoaster: Chicago Qualifier Report

Hello, one and all. I'm kind of exasperated at the moment, so this could end up being rather short, I dunno. lol

I woke up around a quarter after five in the morning to do my usual rituals and eventually meet up with my group of friends at the local community college. A few people flaked in some fashion, a couple out of the day completely, others in their methods of travel, but after all was said and done we arrived at the venue around 8:15.

Ironically, it wasn't a very good day for trades. Since most people play Vanguard as a secondary or even tertiary game, there weren't many with decent collections, so unfortunately our group didn't snatch up as much as we would have liked that way. The vendors were pretty decent. While the stuff that was recently winning was overpriced to high hell (32 dollar Marks, lol), largely unproven decks got away with wondrous tags that were less than eBay and such, ie. $6 Battle Cupid, Nociel. There was a wide array of Bushiroad official sleeves (mostly BT07 variants, though) available; I got a set of LaLa sleeves myself just in case I'd need them.

Lots and lots of waiting later, we finally get ushered in and receive our swag plus paperstuffs. I took forever in writing down my deck list, but that's to be expected when you're mixing it up as much as possible and using a total number of cards with the longest names in the game greater than anything else out there (Tsukuyomi, hurr hurr). The event started around a half an hour late, and a fair few people were very disappointed that Doctor K was not in attendance to start us off. All the same, everything started off with huge enthusiasm!

Round 1 - Tsukuyomi vs. Royal Paladin

And right off the bat, a guy I knew. I was broadcasting my deck like no other, sleeving it with Full Moons. It ultimately wasn't a hindrance throughout the day, though. When I saw Drangal, I wasn't too terribly surprised, though I was expecting something else for whatever reason. Ah well.

I open the game with a Gemini ride. Bad news bears. His turn... no Knight of Quests, and no ride at all! He swung solo into my Gemini and managed to land a crit when I decided to not guard. Ow. From there on out I was on my auxiliary CEO plan, which of course ended up dominating the game while he struggled to make the grade and throw down columns that could at least do... SOMETHING. He did ultimately get a Soul Saver out there, but it wasn't doing anything to me without boosts, nor were his rears. Condolences aside, I got to move on.

Round 2 - Tsukuyomi vs. Royal Paladin

...again, though this time it was a stranger. This guy did play Godly Speed in his deck, but I was prepared for the worst. My ride chain went off, he missed his proper grade 1 but had the proper g2 and g3, plus a Margal, so he was able to pressure me with the counterblast. The first attempt was staved off with 20K shield, the second a null that I miraculously drew off of Petal Fairy the previous turn (I was prepared to not attack with my third column to protect myself, but when Chocolat appeared that game was over). Quick work from there.

Round 3 - Tsukuyomi vs. Gold Paladin (standard)

I missed my ride chain entirely, but I was fortunate enough to have 3 copies of Red Eye and two copies of Psychic Bird available to me in the first couple turns. He made the horrendous misplay of riding Gigantech Commander and calling Beaumains to the rear-guard, which my doggies (one boosted by Bird, even) were able to punish pretty hard. Next turn I was able to draw 4, but sadly I had to fight on with an incomplete soul. Ultimately, that made no difference. This came down to my being 5K short on my final push, and had I rode the CEO in my hand on that last turn (I was gone, I had no reason not to at that point, but I didn't...), I would have gotten a heal trigger to make that swing the end of it. Ah well. Being on the bubble, I started getting the butterflies.

Round 4 - Tsukuyomi vs. Royal Paladin

Wow, what are the odds? This fellow main decked Barcgal, which he played and used turn one after missing his Grade 1 entirely. He never did get that grade 1 to make the comeback. Sad day. My Grade 2s were happy to deliver a swift end.

Round 5 - Tsukuyomi vs. Kagero/Narukami

This one was fawkward~. His deck was incomplete, he got grade locked, and he kept blocking my Vanguard so my Petals couldn't sift the 4 G3s out of my hand. It came down to a moment where his G1s would have killed me with a critical due to my only having 5K available shield and a null. SUCKED. He didn't get it, though, and on my turn I rode the Full Moon with a complete soul to sift out all the garbage. I never thought I'd be so happy to draw 4 straight triggers. A few misplays on his end later, and the game was handily mine. I he did ultimately make it to the G3 Djinn, though.

Round 6 - Tsukuyomi vs. Gold Paladin (Aggravain and stuff)

Another incomplete deck by and large. He got locked for a turn while I got the nuts with multiple superior rides and criticals on most turns. By the time he made it to Grade 3, he had no cards in hand and couldn't stop my double Tom advances.

Round 7 - Tsukuyomi vs. Narukami (standard)

I saw the Saishin and was feeling like a boss. And I was - he wasn't able to make relevant columns that game. I think I say on Half Moon for an extra turn, but I opened with plenty of other G1 and G2 units to bumrush the everloving crap out of him, including my beloved Petal Fairy (who got my Full Moon to me!). Things didn't last long until I won.

So at this point we sit around for ages waiting for the judges to announced the top 8. My one loss had the same record as I did at some point, but I wasn't feeling too confident I'd make the cut since all my opponents aside from him were just... awful or terribly unlucky. My friends go out for food, and when they made it back the pairings were announced. After hearing someone else called for slot 8, I was sure I was done, but when my number came up for slot 7, things got real. o3o

For the record, top 8 was 3 Tsukuyomi and 5 GP (2 of which I believe were Duke, one was standard with a single tech Duke).

Quarter Finals - Tsukuyomi vs. Gold Paladin (standard)

Screw this noise, this is a match-up I practiced a lot against one who goes by the name Nightmare on BYOND; he's essentially Kai in the grand scheme of things. The build wasn't amazing as far as I could tell, and I pushed him around non stop by dancing around his potential limit breaks by way of bullying a deadly Garmore + Charjgal rear column. This was the first opportunity of the day I got to legitimately use my stack, and it was too much for him to handle at that stage. For the love of all that's holy, Garmore isn't worth burning ups of 30K on... At any rate, he was looking forward to my taking the event after that. I was psyched!

Semi Finals - Tsukuyomi vs. Gold Paladin (Duke)

I was sure as **** I'd end up playing in a mirror match at this point since the Tsukuyomi decks all won their quarter final matches. This was perhaps the most intense game I've ever played. I lost the roll, and with my sub-par hand it was already looking to be in the dumps. But I wanted it! The trip, the glory, everything, so much. I had to try. He rode Mark, and I opted to not ride after missing the top check and having no G2 in hand. Calling a draw trigger behind my Godhawk, I swung for a critical hit (which was canceled with a heal). I got my Crescent next turn, and Half too. From there, however... the certain lack of Petal Fairy and legitimate columns (calling draws in front of vanillas ftw...) made things really, really hard. I ended up with a stack of 23 or so cards. Knowing that and the positioning of all my triggers, my Full Moon and shots are rear-guards, with columns on my end slowly emerging began to do work.

I exhausted all of his Marks, and it was coming down to crunch time. With so few cards left in deck, things didn't look great. I have only myself to blame, but I drew one card too many, which shafted me out of the potential double critical to Tom play that might have won me that game by dealing the last three damage. I decked out.

It was a crushing defeat, and I genuinely wanted to weep. Watching something of a dream slip from your fingers at the last second is really tough to swallow. I had a lot of moral support, though. Many thanks to my friends who kept me fed and hydrated in those last few moments, and those who helped me assemble the deck of my dreams. I'll never give it up.

I got a ton of praise and inspired many to never scoop it up in this game, but I don't feel I deserved it. All I did was something any seasoned Tsukuyomi player could, and I succumbed to rough luck as expected. Fighting tooth and nail does feel good, though.

We were not done!

Playoffs - Tsukuyomi vs. Tsukuyomi

Here we were playing for third. I lost the roll and opened with a decent hand after mulli, but he was not so fortunate. Riding Battle Sister, Cocoa, he sealed his own fate. I destroyed him. With no evident Red Eyes or CEOs to get him out of that jam, there was nothing he could do with a 9K Full Moon.

I'm the first alternate for Chicago if the champion or runner-up cannot make continentals for whatever reason.

Afterword - But wait, there's more!

EPIC ROCK PAPER SCISSORS A GO-GO. There was some leftover swag at the end of the day, so the few people that remained in the crowed played a giant string of jan-ken-pon to determine who got what, and it was GLORIOUS. Mindgames abound, I got my revenge on the champion in this little series of games, and a friend of mine managed to tie about 8 times straight near the end. It was glorious. The only thing that could have made it better was flashing an "o" sign at Doctor K if he were there to play some rock paper scissors. xD

On the topic of the tournament format; Best of 1 double elimination is not the monster many make it out to be. Many decks are bad choices in this kind of environment, admittedly, but the best players at the event DID make the top cut, so something about the whole thing worked. A handful of players were so profusely upset by the notion of qualifying for top 8 and not making the cut in the end, or over other results during the day. To them, well, I can't offer any words. Vanguard will be Vanguard, and if you don't have the balls to accept the nature of the beast, you shouldn't be playing it. Be polite, be graceful, and be humble. After having played in many tournaments thus far, I can safely say that best out of three would not make things significantly more favorable for the better players, because the game still is what it is. Master your deck, be on your toes - anything could creep up on you, and anticipating your opponent's hot tech is a skill in and of itself (oh boy, there was a lot of that running around today).

The event staff were really on the ball and kept things moving at a rapid pace for having no software and other such automatics available to them. Cool guys, every one, especially the head judge, JD. I'd have possibly joined them myself were it not for the fact there's only one of these in the area this year. They each got two BT03 boxes for their efforts.

By the way, everyone who made it to round 7 at this event missed out on free play, so as a result we were all given the promo cards we would have earned had we had the time ourselves. It was nice. I'll be putting that Sphere Magus to good use, I assure you! Now to get an SP Lozenge. I would have bought one from the vendors if they had it. xD

That's everything that comes to mind. Feel free to ask questions if you like, and do look forward to the vlogs my friend recorded popping up at some point in the near future!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Neonectar - Identity get!

And damn is that identity scary. No longer are they paladins lite, but a truly terrifying growth theme that's more flexible than it seems. Of course, I'm referring to the Arboros Dragon ride chain. The Musketeers, while neat and highly resilient, come up short on power for virtually the whole game.

When Sephirot pops out in his full glory, however, little stands in your way. The ride chain, having cloned two extremely solid units along the way paves the way for the limit break from hell that turns every column into a crossride-slaying behemoth. At its best, the deck can achieve 26K rear-guard columns without triggers. SURE IS NICE.

Sephirot manages okay even if it misses the chain, too, because of those CB2 draw 1 grade 2s and Lady of Kamorebi pooling together the best cards you can muster. Eventually your field is going to have some same-named units on it and hit those large numbers, albeit not as quickly.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 14

Finally, people show! Still a little late, but early enough to manage a tourney. I cruised through Swiss with a 3-0 record, hitting a slight hiccup when I got grade locked for two of the games against my pal's Spike Brothers, but I ultimately managed to pull through with a 2-1 against him. I lost in top four to an incomplete Tsuku deck because I was naive enough to believe my opponent wasn't going to start checking the nuts after sitting on Amaterasu for around four turns. It hurts, though, because they were betting on the second trigger rather than remembering and making a proper choice, and I was able to block for no pass and still survive. Bleh. Happens, though. My friend won in finals.

All prize packs today yielded jank, with the best pull being a Mirror Demon to second place. We'll get good stuff next time!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


No tournament. AGAIN. This time we were one man short because a certain nephew of mine decided not to go. <_<

And well, it doesn't help that nobody knows how to wake up. STILL.

Picked up my third Half Moon and located a potential fourth as well as potential third and fourth Full Moons. The offer of a whole deck can sway anyone into making a deal. o3o

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local WTFGUYS

Yeah. Nobody was there this week either. Even the YGO section seemed rather barren. With GenCon out of the way, though, we should be seeing most of our regulars return and we'll be back to business. With roughly a month to go until regionals, it's time to practice in a physical setting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Picture It! Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi pt. 3

Back to where I left off yesterday - Tsukuyomi card choices!

Grade 2

Oracle Guardian, Red Eye

It may as well be a staple, since it's the only way to fill the soul completely free of charge. While one can argue about the viability of on-hit skills, the fact of the matter is that this is used in addition to one's Psychic Bird and multiple ride options and doesn't harm the deck in any way by being used in multiples. Consistency is king. This little guy can help race to the cards on the bottom of the deck, too, since a soul charge will get another out of the way.

Silent Tom

One of the strongest cards in the English format, Silent Tom forces undesired hits to go through, or undesired guardians to be used. This becomes very crippling late in the game, as it's possible that a player will have to give up multiple offensive units just to stay alive. Critical Triggers and Gemini are his best friends.

His usefulness is slightly lessened in the Japanese format due to the presence of Vanguards that exceed 11000 power, but he's still boss early on in those match-ups, and in every other match-up, so it's worth keeping at least a couple copies.

Battle Maiden, Tagitsuhime

12000 power on a unit that can intercept just for doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Sign me up! When this card is an option, I highly suggest running it in max quantities, simply because she makes magic numbers against just about anything WITH just about anything and enables a player to commit less to the field early in the match. Pair her up with Gemini to lay the smack down on 10000 power Vanguards.

Battle Sister, Mocha

Strictly worse than Tagitsuhime, but a possibility in the English format for reasons similar to that of playing Tagitushime. Being able to hit 11000 solo is quite cool and will allow attacks to be launched on any unit in the format with less commitment. She also couples decently enough with Blue Eye for a 16000 power column.

Sword Dancer Angel

Hilarious on a turn Full Moon's counterblast is being used twice, otherwise it's inferior to Mocha. Hm. Patterns...

Onmyoji of the Moonlit Night

Inferior to Mocha in all but the most obscure situations.

Oracle Guardian, Wiseman

Well, a 10000 power wall that can attack most things on its own isn't anything to complain about. I'd play it before Mocha in an English deck, honestly, though of course that's because I wouldn't play Blue Eye. xP

Promise Daughter


No. Promise Daughter is, in fact, very good at ending games. When the opponent is sitting at 5 damage, they have no choice but to guard, so at this stage one would be trading a card of theirs for a card of their opponent's, assuming the opponent can guard at all when her skill comes into play. If they can't, game over, and the card that was dropped doesn't even matter. Bonus points for dropping a Grade 3! Try to avoid throwing out a 10000 s

Faithful Angel

A front line Blue Eye, and therein lies the problem. It can and will die in the face of just about anything. It only makes magic numbers against Grade 3 Vanguards with Gemini, sometimes. At others, it can't even do that much. Admittedly, it's hilarious to use in addition to Blue Eye for lightning fast results, but that power gap just isn't worth it. Steer clear.

Oracle Guardian, Shisa

Not a terrible card, but much like Faithful Angel, 7000 power has a hard time accomplishing anything later in the game, and usefulness at all stages of the game is something I often stress. It's the bees knees early on, though, provided a Dark Cat or something allows for an explosion of units. Could suit a rush-happy player.

Security Guardian

Ye olde Especial Intercept. I've said my piece on these cards before, and my opinion of them in <<Oracle Think Tank>> variants isn't any different. There's little reason to consider Security Guardian. As an attacker, it's outclassed by several other cards that can and will be played. When it comes to defending, Silent Tom and Tagitsuhime already draw fire from the Vanguard, because they're such good attackers. Even worse, Security Guardian's applications are invalidated completely in the Kagero and Narukami match-ups, making it dead weight. That's awful when the decks are popular.

Maiden of Libra

The Vanguard has a monopoly on counterblasts. An extra card in a losing scenario can be nice, though at that point I'd question why this isn't a card that could directly turn that losing scenario around.

Blue Scale Deer

Similar to Luck Bird and LuLu, a gimmick option for fun. How it would be used is beyond me considering that it is far from likely to be able to hit the Vanguard at the late stages of the game, but it gets the benefit of being an *okay* attacker even when it's not firing off its skill.

Grade 3

CEO Amaterasu

The go-to Grade 3 after the Full Moon herself, and boy can the Sun work wonders! Amaterasu patches up soul problems, throws more cards to the bottom of the deck, leads the way when the 'top' of the deck is trigger-heavy, and can even end the game with impunity thanks to her high offensive power and ability to sift through three cards in one's known pile (the draw for turn, the soul charge, and the ability to put a card on the bottom). Her megablast isn't even entirely out of the question since, provided Half Moon successfully went off, the player has six soul immediately after riding CEO. That can be threatened for massive pressure, even in the rear-guard!

Oracle Guardian, Apollon

Largely unplayable for the same reasons as Libra, especially since Grade 3 space is the tightest of all. Outclassed in the Vanguard Circle.

Omniscience Madonna

Underwhelming at best, though I guess it could be considered a step up from Apollon in the rear-guard.

Secretary Angel

By and large, this is better than Faithful Angel due to its 9000 base power that can actually push some effective attacks even with a weaker supporter. I've teched it before, and the experience wasn't so bad. Granted, it almost never saw table time. xD

Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya

A nice heavy-hitter that allows for field rearrangement and recycling of on-call skills. If it weren't for the fact that there are only so many of those to go around, a really powerful strategy could be built around Tsukuyomi and Sakuya. As it stands, though, CEO does far more for the deck as a whole considering the cards it already plays.

Meteor Break Wizard

In a typical game with no successful heals, there's going to be a counterblast leftover when the Full Moon finishes her thing. This guy can turn it into a 20+ column. Heck, he can make strong swings even when the Full Moon isn't working, and that's worth a look. Of course, Tagitsuhime makes every other rear-guard look stupid, so he's not an option by the time Awakening of Twin Blades rolls around.

Battle Sister, Souffle

Well, er, I suppose she's about equal in usefulness compared to Meteor. Hits some respectable numbers, but again, doesn't have reason to be played when the Grade 2 that does the job better wanders onto the scene. I'm not a fan of the art, either...

Imperial Daughter

Not many know this card even exists; it's regarded as so bad that it's never even mentioned. I've even seen it nicknamed "Forever Alone Princess". That's fitting on multiple levels.

Ironically, even I forgot it exists when I started this whole spiel. Full Moon is not, in fact, the only <<Oracle Think Tank>> with a static 11000 power. Imperial Daughter, however, comes with Restraint. She cannot attack unless the player consumes a counterblast and moves one of their Oracle rear-guards to the soul. If the field is empty for whatever godawful reason, she'll automatically lose restraint as well as gain 10000 power and a critical during the user's turn if she's in the Vanguard Circle.

There's niche use to this. When a game isn't progressing so well, the Tsukuyomi deck has a hard time committing anything to the field in the first place, so using Imperial Daughter as a backup Vanguard for the third turn can force damage through or drop a fair number of cards out of the opponent's hand without even having to try. It can even do what White Rabbit of Inaba intends to by placing a missing Tsukuyomi in the rear-guard, then pulling it into the soul to release Imperial Daughter. She's easier to defend than a CEO, too.

Would I play it..? No. It ultimately isn't that flexible, being a dead-weight grade 3 in all but the worst-case scenario. There's also the issue of it being part of Extra Booster: Comic Style vol. 1.

Almost done! I should be able to finish my coverage on Tsukuyomi in my next post.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Picture It! Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi pt. 2

Whew, feels nice when I can just play games without explaining anything or being asked what my static power levels are every turn...

Anyway! There's plenty more ground to cover in regard to Tsukuyomi. This time it's all about possible card choices for the deck. Four copies of each Tsukuyomi is implied. Spoilers! Japanese-only cards included!

Grade 0

Psychic Bird

A core element of any <<Oracle Think Tank>> deck, but it's imperative to be aware of all the possibilities it offers. It's a critical trigger. Awesome. It adds to the soul. Awesome. It replaces itself. Awesome. It helps arrive at the bottom cards in a more timely fashion. Awesome. It has 10000 shield. Awesome. But wait, there's more! Anytime a card skill presents the option of viewing the top card of the deck and leaving it on the top of the deck, Psychic Bird can sweep up said card. Awesome. It can boost. What?! It's true, and the brilliant part about using Psychic Bird to boost is that it can leave the field at any time it's no longer helpful. Awesome!!!

Seriously. This card is the ultimate Swiss-army knife. Its flexible to the point I enjoy seeing one in the opening hand and am inclined to keep it when I go to redraw.

Lozenge Magus/Sphere Magus

Not that anyone in their right mind wouldn't be using these, but skills on triggers lead to shenanigans. The most frequent use of the card will, of course, be in guarding - 10000 shield is awesome like that. Every now and again, however, a player might need to shuffle their deck. It may be due to most copies of a necessary moon phase landing on the bottom of the deck/in the soul/in damage, or it could just be that a game isn't going to last long enough to make any proper investment in reaching that amazing stack of cards. One more thing! She fattens your deck. If the threat of decking out becomes real, this provides some breathing room.

Emergency Alarmer

The mention of this may seem like I'm smoking the good stuff, but a predetermined stand trigger is going to win the late game, especially with Battle Maiden, Tagitsuhime sitting pretty on the field. When it pops up, an effective 10000 power is added to the field; 5000 from the inherent boost, and 5000 from the additional attack.

Not super practical early on, as usual... a novel concept, though.

Other Triggers

Well, they have to be there. Crits are preferred since Tsukuyomi is not a fast deck, and their key rear-guards really drive the effects home.

Little Witch, LuLu

What. Think about it. Full Moon's got a lot of leftover soul once her drawing job is done. Slot in LuLu via that skill, and she'll pop out with a re-ride of CEO later. Hilarious as a counterattack against Kagero, though obviously it's just for the giggles if there's nothing else to use in the deck (which I don't find to be the case).

Battle Sister, Eclair

The only other means <<Oracle Think Tank>> has to shuffle their deck, and if push comes to shove it can yield a necessary G3 as well. I only recommend this to players who like the deck but believe themselves to be godawful at playing the memory game and need some added security.

Grade 1

Oracle Guardian, Gemini

Staple. The most potent booster the deck has, and the ideal ride for grade 1 if forced to pass on the Crescent Moon.

Oracle Guardian, Blue Eye

For the stack fanatics. Blue Eye offers a beeline route to the bottom of the deck faster than anything else, but it sits at a sad 5000 power that can only be placed behind a select few cards while serving as an effective boost. It doesn't sit well behind a Vanguard CEO, and its skill is mandatory as long as its condition is met, which can at times do more harm than good. Takes extreme finesse.

Battle Sister, Cocoa

This is a fun one. While 6000 power can be considered lacking, especially in the Japanese format, her skill is incredibly useful at almost any stage of the game. Accelerate the deck, set up that necessary trigger to be checked, set up that necessary card to be drawn, or even soul charged! Misaki's little trick of placing Crescent Moon on the top to be lined up with Red Eye isn't out of the question.

Battle Sister, Chocolat

Always run four. An ironclad defense lends itself to victory many a time, and if it's not necessary for that purpose, it's still a passable booster.

Battle Sister, Vanilla

Cute tech, in particular for the mirror match since she skates around Silent Tom's usual forcing of two cards.

Battle Sister, Maple

Amusing if nothing else. When Grade 2s run low in the late game, move her to the front and continue beating face. Not so bad really early on, either. Mid game, largely lackluster.

Weather Forecaster, Miss Mist

Too situational. Go die in a fire. 8|
Okay, that's needlessly harsh. <<Oracle Think Tank>>, generally speaking, has a weak early game. This deck has a particular weakness to vanilla beaters when taking the second turn, and Miss Mist can offer some relief from that hell if she comes up. Boost or normally guard with it at any other point in the game.

Luck Bird

A possible one-of that can be effective in a way similar to LuLu, minus having to re-ride. Avoid the skill like the plague at any point it would cause less than six soul to exist, unless all counterblasts have been consumed.

Circle Magus

Half a Cocoa with 1000 more power to compensate. Does it work? I personally don't think so, but to each his own.

Petal Fairy

Solid card in certain setups. Deck acceleration and picking the contents of the hand are always nice, though Kagero and Narukami match-ups can become difficult if cards are just pitched willy-nilly. I personally don't like my cards to be dead in any given match-up, so I've given it a pass for the time being.

Moonsault Swallow

This is a gimmick at best. I don't hate the little 'hit and run' concept since it allows for attacks early without ruining a long term field setup. However, running into a damage trigger can stop that idea dead in its tracks.

White Rabbit of Inaba

Ahahahahahaha. No. While fixing the Full Moon's power is very important when it falls short, Inaba is forcing the player to lose out on card presence when they could just load up the soul through other means and have the Full Moon jam her mini-mes into the soul more naturally. It's pretty cute, at least. x)

Dark Cat

An ill omen. For the opponent.

Many players dislike using Dark Cat on the basis of it handing the opponent a card. Well, fair enough, but that so-called 'problem' proves to be largely baseless in actual game play. 

Since this card is played during one's own turn, they have first dibs on playing whatever card they draw. If said card can result in the opponent guarding at any point in the turn, directly or indirectly, then the opponent's draw was just negated in terms of the overall complexity of the game state. Cat's player also retains an advantage throughout the entirety of the game thanks to their additional booster, attacker, or so forth sticking around for an extended amount of time. Additionally, since Dark Cat is grade 1, it's speeding up the otherwise underwhelming early game Oracles have when it's not present. To top it all off? A respectable 7000 power. Actually, I lied, the real icing on the cake is the ability to call it late in the game to land on one's bottom cards with pinpoint precision.

I'll admit, it's an easy card to misplay, but that lies on the would-be user...

Weather Girl, Milk

HULK SMASH! Milk brings raw power to the table, allowing Full Moon to swing for 21 and CEO to swing for 24 (relevant in a crossride meta). I can't exactly deny the worth of having all three columns providing significant pressure, and this is the best path for the center line to do so.

Holy crap. It's nearly midnight, and I'm exhausted. Underestimating the extensiveness of the card pool FOR THE WIN. I'll pick up on the high-end grades tomorrow.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Picture It! Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi

For being my main deck, I haven't really said much on this blog in regards to Tsukuyomi, and there's no better time to do so than the day of Demonic Lord Invasion's English release! Since my last article in this style was a formatting hell, I'm just gonna leave wiki links rather than trying to embed images. ._.


Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi is a standout amongst <<Oracle Think Tank>> Grade 3s for several reasons, the first of which is her innate 11000 power, something no other card in the clan can boast. Additionally, she has two to three opportunities per game to draw two cards and filter out the least useful (or sometimes, the most necessary) card in your hand, sending it to the soul. Naturally, when you combine these two aspects of the card with each turn's normal draw and Twin Drive, striking the Full Moon when it matters most can be nigh-on impossible, and her army is just going to keep advancing no matter how many allies fall in battle.

Much like Spectral Duke Dragon, this Grade 3 is the end of a ride chain, so in order to get the whole picture of what it really does for the player, one must examine where everything begins, and what happens as the player crawls their way up to the top.

Godhawk, Ichibyoshi begins the game by searching for Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi amongst the top five cards of the deck. If found, the Crescent Moon can be rode on the spot without any commitment from the hand. If not, nothing was lost - the normal ride is still possible. The cards that are viewed are sent to the bottom of the deck in any order the player chooses. At this stage, the player knows a few cards they won't expect to see for awhile, and they've perhaps scored a free ride for doing nothing. It's quite powerful for a first Vanguard, as it nearly doubles one's odds of success in riding the matching Grade 1 when compared to the first Vanguards of other ride chains. Granted, there's no immediate reward for that success, but everything adds up later. The odds of starting with at least one Crescent Moon, without a mulligan, are slightly over 65%. With it? Expect a good three out of four games to start well.

Once Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi lands in the Vanguard Circle, the player then has the opportunity to hunt down Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi in the same fashion on the following turn, and again, sends any cards that weren't Half Moon to the bottom of the deck in any order. That's another five cards which can be ruled out from more immediate play possibilities, and another possible ride for nothing. Crescent Moon holds a respectable 7000 power, which allows her to attack most other Grade 1 units by herself. Further copies serve as solid boosters for attacks made later in the game. The second generation ride chains lack this luxury, as their Grade 1 units hold a mere 6000 power in the rear-guard.

Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi's descent begins the real payoff for one's dedication to the chain. When ridden, Half Moon lets the player Soul Charge twice so long as Ichibyoshi and the Crescent Moon are already present in the soul. Of course, they typically will be. This Soul Charge is an important step in fulfilling the requirement to activate Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi's skill; it places her pilot at a cumulative soul of five, leaving just one more to come in from external means. Do note that six <<Oracle Think Tank>> soul needs to be achieved, so there's no better reason to keep the deck free of tech from other clans. Half Moon has the standard power of 9000 for a Grade 2 unit, so it's not a terrible rear-guard if need be. As with Ichibyoshi and Crescent Moon, Half Moon looks to grab Full Moon each time she's in the Vanguard Circle at the start of the ride phase, sending one more batch of four or five cards to the bottom of the deck in the process. One might not ever see those cards again and as such needs to plan accordingly.


There's a certain bizarre phenomenon almost exclusive to the Tsukuyomi deck in which missing Grade 3 does not put the player at an immediate disadvantage. In fact, there are times when this is beneficial because another set of four of five cards are sent to the bottom of the deck for each turn Grade 3 is not achieved. There will come a point in longer games where Tsukuyomi's pilot knows the exact contents and the exact order of their deck, because they've already seen those cards thanks to the abilities of Ichibyoshi, Crescent Moon, and Half Moon. This allows for the option (key word) of a deadly finish with a barrage of double triggers each turn, provided the cards were placed in a fitting order to do so from the start and that the Tsukuyomi player can reach them. Of course, there are plenty of things that make this feasible!

Goddess of the Half Moon's soul charge two skill
Goddess of the Full Moon's draw two skill
Psychic Bird's draw one skill (which enables the Full Moon)
Oracle Guardian, Red Eye's soul charge one skill (which enables the Full Moon)
Oracle Guardian, Blue-Eye's draw one and send one to the bottom skill
Petal Fairy's drop one and draw one skill
Battle Sister, Cocoa's check the top card and send it to the top or bottom skill
CEO Amaterasu's soul charge one and send the top card to the top or bottom skill
CEO Amaterasu's draw up to five skill (albeit, this is super situational)
Dark Cat's both players draw one skill
Draw Triggers

In fact, the very notion of Tsukuyomi being able to do this will, at times, cause attacks to be thrown at rear-guards and make things awkward, so tread carefully!

It's quite possible to win the game through sheer advantage and power, though. Weather Girl, Milk; Silent Tom; and Battle Maiden, Tagitsuhime make for some crazy pressure.


Of course, I wouldn't be too credible if I only spoke in ideals, so it's time to go over the deck's most common pitfalls and how to address them should they arise.

Failing to ride Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi on the first turn

It happens, it sucks. There are two options; ride a different Grade 1 unit, or wait a turn in hopes of the Crescent Moon coming out to play. The latter is most feasible when playing first against a conservative opponent, while the first is the usual approach. Remember here and now that the five cards sent to the bottom of the deck aren't going to come back, and that three soul are going to be required to turn Full Moon's drawing skill online. Any copies of CEO Amaterasu, Oracle Guardian, Red Eye, and Psychic Bird are precious commodities that need to stick around to fulfill this task.

Failing to ride Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi on the second turn

This hurts, perhaps to the same degree as missing the Crescent Moon. From here, it's the same story; ride a different Grade 2 unit (Oracle Guardian, Red Eye if given the option) or wait for her to appear, and again that latter option is best used when taking the first turn of the game. If there is no Grade 3 on hand, the latter option essentially becomes the only one, as even if a different ride were to be used, there would be no means of securing a Grade 3 Vanguard.

Failing to ride Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi on the third turn

As explained earlier, this is not always fatal. The player has another shot at it next turn and can stay in the game by playing a solid defensive game. If possible, riding CEO Amaterasu instead tends to help in accelerating the deck further and keeping a good offense. She is quite prone to attacks by comparison to Full Moon, however. An extended stay could spell doom if the top of the deck isn't trigger-heavy. Ride Full Moon at first opportunity, and try to threaten the megablast if possible.

All/too many copies of a required Tsukuyomi were sent to the bottom of the deck, and/or damage checked, and/or soul charged

Odd, but not out of the question. In this event, Lozenge Magus can shuffle the deck after boosting, sending the remaining copies to random places in the deck rather than the bottom, so they have a chance of showing up as necessary.

Riding Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi without Ichibyoshi, Crescent Moon, and Half Moon all present in the soul

That terrible, terrible 9K. Most front line attackers can hit this without a boost, and it is top priority to make sure Full Moon's debuff does not make an impact on the game for an extended period of time. Keep in mind that, once her skill to draw is online, it's possible to place any missing pieces of the chain into the soul directly from the hand.

Overshooting the 'stack'

This is inevitably the player's fault for not counting, remembering, and making the utmost use of their remaining cards. In the same vein, failure to arrange cards in the most helpful order also lies on the player. One must lock the opponent out of any possibility of derailing the remaining cards from doing their job, so intercepts will be rather heavy late in the game, in particular if it's necessary to burn through an odd number of cards in deck (one, three, etc.). Psychic Bird needs a place to land, after all. CEO Amaterasu can also serve as a late game deck manipulator to finish the job.

Aaand that covers just about all the major problems one will encounter after having played the deck for an extended period of time. With some luck and the proper mindset, overcoming them is possible, so there's no need to be discouraged. If there are any further questions on how to build or play the deck, don't hesitate to ask! I've grown rather weary, so I'll have to leave the general tips, tricks, and techs plus full deck list for another post.

Galaxy Stores Local LOLWUT

No tourney this week. Several of the regulars didn't show for various reasons, and the majority who showed up were late and/or blew a ton of money on the arrival of BT03, though the latter is quite understandable.

Watched as someone pulled Half Moon, Full Moon, and G3 Palamedes in the span of 6 random packs. Crazy.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Unleash the Beast!

I'm just Saiyan - the 4 Great Nature cards in booster 8, much like the 4 Angel Feather cards in booster 7, tie the clan together so well as to push them into highly competitive status. Bison offers a secondary vanguard that can pump multiple units in a single turn whilst completely negating his own costs at the end phase via his Limit Break. Roll in the pluses when you combine Duckbill with Hammsuke variants and Leo-pald. Compass Lion's unbridled power can lay the smack down on ANY unit, and Ohm offers an alternative to Flask Marmoset if counterblasting with your starter doesn't suit your fancy.

On a side note, Stamp Sea Otter is a bro.

Feel the Love

...Machine Gun.

Been playing it over the G2 Doctoroid tonight, and the results are rather good. As I figured, one is not strictly better than the other. Too bad there isn't really room for both unless you forgo the option of Armaros.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 13


Round 1 - vs. GP

BATTLE OF THE GRADE LOCKS. That said I had slightly better fortune and won.

Round 2 - vs. CoCoBros

Older nephew sacked my socks off qq. Doesn't help that I can never take him seriously. Needless to say, his luck ran out at the end of the day and he had no idea what to do playing a game with normal progression. GOOD JOB.

Round 3 - vs. Spectral Duke GP

The curse continues. This guy has yet to beat me in the tourney. Game one was super weird. He missed the grade 1 ride and drove check the grade 1 Vortimer, while I chose not to ride a Ghost Ship because I had no Grade 3 or means to unlock it on hand. I never did reach grade 3, but won due to continued pressure from Ruin Shades and even a Skull Dragon in the end. Triggers on the turns he decided to Limit Break helped. Game two I just sorta ran him over, and I didn't find out until after the fact why - 8 draws in his deck due to not owning Flame of Victory. BOO.

Missed the top cut, nephews failed, friend decided to play a random budget deck because he wasn't feeling his usual decks, and that crashed and burned too. Oops.

At any rate, I'll be back to playing Oracles next week with any luck (ie. the BT03 boxes showing up on release date as opposed to shipping on release date).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 12

I'll just cut to the chase on this one. I had a 2-2 record at the end of the day, losing to Spike Brothers (non-teammate) in a stupidly close match that I perhaps might have been able to clinch by taking a crit to the face earlier in the game and Narukami that got a double crit when I was sitting at three damage while I was otherwise dominating. OH WELL. :v

The winner today was that very Spike Brothers player, making it his second time. His opponent had made finals for his first time. Somehow this other guy just can't get past the semis, ever...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 11

I'll be honest. I wasn't particularly challenged this time. :S

Round 1 - Granblue vs. Gold Paladin

Relatively poor draws on his part lead to some boring turns where he wasn't really able to mount an offense. Of course, I don't let these moments go - 3 attacks each turn backed by some fairly strong trigger luck took the match easy.

Round 2 - Granblue vs. Narukami

While a front row of two Red River Dragoons and a Saishin can be intimidating, he ran straight into my draw trigger and saw an empty drive check. I proceeded to swing back at these potential boosters, which ultimately sealed the deal in my favor. There was an instance of a sixth damage heal that he very well could have won with, but he didn't commit enough to that final push. My self touching powers swung back for the win.

Round 3 - Granblue vs. Spike Brothers

Oh hi teammate. I actually got locked on grade 0 for a turn in one of these games, lucking out and making a recovery by way of Banshee and amazing damage checks including a sixth damage heal! We didn't care too much about how this turned out since we were going on to the top 4 anyway, but it went in my favor.

Top 4 - Granblue vs. Gold Paladins

Welp... he got gradelocked both games. The second time was the worst, as by the time he saw Beaumains he had run out of Ezel and couldn't make a comeback by way of the superior ride. There wasn't really anything wrong with his deck, either... :/

My Spike Bros-wielding teammate also won his semifinals match, so we split the prize in the form of 6 BT02 packs - pulled a Tom and a Twin Blader, so the outcome was pretty great!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Burning Soul!

Fast, strong, and far more consistent than it should be, I present my 4 Ezel deck!

Grade 0 (17)

1 Crimson Lion Cub, Kyrph
4 Elixir Sommelier
4 Flame of Victory
4 Silent Punisher
2 Weapons Dealer, Gwydion
2 Speeder Hound

Grade 1 (15)

4 Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
4 Sleygal Dagger
4 Halo Shield, Mark
2 Little Battler, Tron
1 Black Mane Witch

Grade 2 (14)

4 Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
4 Mage of Calamity, Tripp
4 Gigantech Commander
2 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion

Grade 3 (4)

4 Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel (aka Jack Atlas)

Much like Invincible Overlord, this deck is built on spamming magic numbers to apply maximum pressure over the course of the whole game. However... this is faster, has access to nulls, and arguably has the superior safety net for when things go wrong. I'd say it's in another class. @_@

Key combos involve the Commander and Dagger column that hits 20K for a single counterblast, as well as Tripp and Dagger which can reach whatever number you need and just flip a damage back up after you inevitably hit.

I really hope Gold Paladins never get a third critical trigger. I'd feel dirty playing it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Episode 80


That is all.

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 10

It feels so glorious to screw up left and right all day... but at the very least I didn't get grade locked more than once. Q_Q

Took Granblue in again, modified from before so it can hit more significant numbers.

Round 1, vs. older nephew using younger nephew's deck

This came down to a rather obscure situation involving a 4 card hand with 2 nulls as well as two intercepts on board. The right move, after everything was said and done, was likely to give up the front row and play the Dancing Cutlass that I could have conserved. Instead I ended up burning the cutlass to keep an attacker I didn't ultimately need, then drive checked into nothing of importance for the loss.

Round 2, vs. Soul Saver RP

One trick pony and all that. Pendragon was present in the deck, but taking too much damage too early on certainly didn't help his case, especially since I was keeping my end to 3 so the Soul Savers ultimately couldn't push me. I'd say this deck would be a lot better off with Barron and more Pegasus Knights. It's dumb, actually, since I misplayed here too and won even so. (Deadly Spirit to soul blast out Skull Dragon and revive that for a 20K column).

Round 3, vs. Kiriel Angel Feather

I don't even remember if we had 3 games in this match or not. Stuck on grade 1 the entirety of the first game, with not a single grade 2 unit so much as leaving the deck. Ultimately, I did make a fatal error that I'll never stop kicking myself over - milling with Ruin Shade on turn 2 when I hadn't seen any triggers yet. Had I not, I'd have landed a crit as well as a defensive draw into a Samurai Spirit. I didn't even need the milling when I was set up to intercept with a unit to revive with Cocytus anyway...

Really off my game today. :/

A friend piloting Spike Brothers landed second place while a Spectral Duke Dragon deck took first (having used Duke like... once all day). That friend pulled a Lawkeeper, though. Went straight into the Kagero deck we have floating around.

Oh, and the younger nephew was playing CoCoBros today. Went well before the tourney, but he ragequit the deck after the fact. :v

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I can see it!

Random tech and unexpected inability to get cards notwithstanding, this is what I intend to take into Chicago's continental qualifier this September. I feel as though I've done all I can with the deck, so from here on out it's a matter of refining myself as a player.

Grade 0 (17)

1 Godhawk, Ichibyoshi
4 Lozenge Magus
4 Psychic Bird
4 Oracle Guardian Nike
2 Miracle Kid
2 Dream Eater

Grade 1 (15)

4 Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Oracle Guardian Gemini
4 Battle Sister Chocolat
3 Petal Fairy

Grade 2 (12)

4 Goddess of the Half Moon, Tsukuyomi
4 Oracle Guardian Red-Eye
4 Silent Tom

Grade 3 (6)

3 Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi
3 CEO Amaterasu

While running 4-4 in the Grade 3 lineup IS super consistent, the deck will ultimately suffer from a lack of shields. Beyond that, it also means you're losing out on vital support (Petal, Red-Eye) or offensive (Tom) units. It's just not worth the more frequent threat of megablasting, especially since that can lead to deck out anyway...

Most match-ups feel like they're in my favor, though Spectral Duke Dragon and other such incredibly offensive decks still scare the pants off me.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Yeah. They went there. One less thing for players to worry about this regional season.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Galaxy Stores - Week 9

Great day in terms of turnout - 15 players! Could have been 16, in fact, but such as it is. Terrible day for me, though. I'll be less lazy and pile shuffle every game from now on; I owe virtually all my losses to misgrading and the like. Similar things happened to my opponents as well... I was involved in perhaps one genuinely good game all day. Oh well. Happens to everyone. Finals was a Royal Paladin mirror match, with my younger nephew taking second. First time top for the other guy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


-2 Kiriel
+1 Shamsiel
+1 Calamity Flame

I realize that Kiriel just doesn't make this modern deck run. In other news, I saw another style of Shamsiel. Instead of Cupid, it runs Lancet Shooter for more aggression. Interesting take.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Super Bingo

Pegasus! Pegasus!

So yeah, I've hardly changed the initial BT07 Angel Feather deck list I came up with, but just so everyone knows where I'm at now:

G0 (17)

1 Hope Child, Turiel
4 Sunny Smile Angel
4 Critical Hit Angel
4 Rocket Dash Unicorn
4 Bouquet Toss Messenger

G1 (15)

4 Burst Shot, Bethnael
4 Thousand Ray Pegasus
4 Battle Cupid, Nociel
3 Pure Keeper, Requiel

G2 (10)

4 Core Memory, Armaros
4 Million Ray Pegasus
2 Doctoroid Megaros

G3 (8)

3 Chief Nurse, Shamsiel
2 Circular Saw, Kiriel
3 The Phoenix, Calamity Flame

I ultimately decided that a full perfect defense set was not worthwhile in this deck. Now before you call me crazy, here's the rationale:

- This grade ratio is set in stone. It can't be changed without throwing something out of whack, and as such I'm restricted to the maximum of 15 Grade 1s.

- 4 Bethnael and 4 Thousand Ray Pegasus are non-negotiable. They're integral to the winning image of the deck.

- Battle Cupid is an infinitely more flexible card. It toolboxes, it buffs your key units, and can even prevent missing grades all in one fell swoop.

Beyond that, I decided to add another Calamity Flame. It becomes a target before too long, and you'll need to be able to replace it in order to keep up your offense. Hurts a tad to ride it, but eh, the 5 Grade 3s that ideally occupy the Vanguard slot tend to be fine.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh yeah...

I should mention there wasn't a local tourney this week. YGO nats and everything dragging people away. :<

Saturday, June 30, 2012

News from Anime Expo 2012

BT07 - September 29th
EB02 - November 10th
BT04 - December 15th

Additionally, we know the general locations of the championship qualifiers. Check 'em out. BT07 won't get to make its impact until the last couple events, but BT03 and EB03 are out in full swing at all of them. See you guys at Chicago. xP

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dark Irregulars post BT07

Doreen the Thruster has got to be one of the most retarded things ever now. Just think of all the ways she can be pumped - Alluring Succubus, Succubus of Decadence, Succubus of Coquetry, Yellow Bolt, G3 Amon, Dark Lord of the Abyss, Greedy Hand, Hysterical Shirley, Dark Knight of Nightmareland... that being said, the deck is REALLY solid now, able to crank out 20K+ columns the entire game, starting on turn 2. The opponent will be hard pressed to guard any of your attacks, which is really nice considering the overall low card presence DI have had in general. And it makes those 8 crits all the more terrifying!

Bladewing, Reggie proves to be fun, but even with all the new soul charging support (ie. Emblem Master), he's still too difficult to prepare without minusing yourself into oblivion. Oh well.

Beelzebub is fairly playable now too, but how well it'll stack up compared to the usual Dark Lord and Amon setup is not clear to me at this point.

Their megablast units and Death Anchor are basically things of the past.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Picture it! White Hare in the Moon's Shadow, Pellinore

Moving on with reviews from Rampage of the Beast King, I'll be talking about one of the most interesting additions to the game yet: Pellinore. I'm not going to bother with images this time since they seem to uncontrollably screw up my formatting somehow. <_<

Auto (Vanguard) [LB4]: [Choose 2 of your <<Gold Paladin>> rear-guards, and place them at the bottom of your Deck in any order.] When this Unit Attacks, you may pay the Cost. If you do, choose up to 2 of your <<Gold Paladin>> Units, during this turn, they gain 5000 Power. 
Auto: [Choose 1 <<Gold Paladin>> in your hand, discard it] When this Unit appears in a Rearguard Circle from your Deck, if your opponent has a Grade 2 or higher Vanguard, you can pay the cost. If you do, place this Unit in your Vanguard Circle. 

Intimidating? Not so much. Quirky? Oh hell yes. Take a look at that second skill. In the event you're able to Superior Call him by way of Nimue, Vivianne, Spring Breeze Messenger, Lop Ear Shooter, or even the Vortimer family, you can immediately drop a card from your hand in order for him to occupy the Vanguard slot. Even better? You can follow up with another attack and a Twin Drive!! check. Not bad. In fact, this is the first way one can possibly superior ride from Grade 1 to Grade 3, skipping the Grade 2 in between. It manages to be balanced, though, on account it requires your opponent to be prepared for riding their own grade 3 already.

It's a bit of a pipe dream at this point, but one could theoretically build up some kind of unit stack on the bottom of the deck ala Tsukuyomi if you're able to spam skills akin to Pellinore's first enough. Speaking of that, it's a pretty impressive skill for having no CB cost. That means your rear-guards are free to use that damage as they wish before hopping off the field like a White Rabbit was meant to, then transferring a hefty 10K to your final attacking column. If we've learned anything from Majesty Lord Blaster, it's that giving up 10K worth of shields in order to gain 10K power is usually an even and worthwhile exchange.

I'm not about to get my hopes up on this one. Being what is almost certainly Kourin's brand of GP, it'll probably fall short just as her RP did in comparison to Aichi's, but you never know without testing! GP support is a lot more interchangeable in general.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 8

Yar har har, hellooo mateys. o3o

One of the regulars was unable to play this week, so we almost ended up in a bind where we wouldn't have had a tournament. But people showed up at the last minute... we'd appreciate it if they actually woke up! That being said, I went in with Granblue this week.

Round 1 - Basskirk Granblue vs. Kiriel Angel Feather

Remember, kids, test the decks you play with ahead of time!

1. Max on the Pegasi, both of them.
2. Include Calamity Flame, at least in some number.
3. For the love of god, don't use Sunny Smile Angel as your first Vanguard!
4. Play Happy Bells... you might go minus, but you're able to make bigger pushes.

That being said, he walked the plank. o3o

Round 2 - Basskirk Granblue vs. Vermillion Narukami

Generic match, really. Saishin applied minor pressure to me, the Grade 3 Djinn sucked nuts, and I only ever got screwed out of a game by not getting a Grade 3 myself. He also walked the plank. o3o

Round 3 - Basskirk Granblue vs. Gancelot Royal Paladins

Hello, younger nephew. I'm used to this by now. The pressure was off since we'd both be going to the semifinals either way, but I decided that this had to be a learning experience for him. Not sure what he actually took away from our match, though. I topped Cocytus at 4 damage (though sadly, 3 face-down) to swing for game.

Semifinals - Basskirk Granblue vs. Vermillion Narukami

Grudge match! Again, I suffered from gradescrew, and in the final game I had to cope with riding a Skull Dragon. It came down to the wire - I had 3 total cards and my Vanguard to work with, and I was staring down what I figured to be around 40K worth of shields. My heals were all but gone, so... I pieced together a field of Captain Nightmist + Deadly Nightmare/Lone Basskirk/Lone Deadly Spirit to retaliate. Spirit went for an intercept, Basskirk went for the Vanguard. Drive check 1 - Stand Trigger! Stand to Deadly Spirit and power to Nightmist. Drive check 2 - Draw Trigger! Power to Nightmist. Deadly Spirit took out the other interceptor, and Nightmist swung in with just enough power to win the game. This is the second time something of this nature has happened between us, actually. xD

Finals - Basskirk Granblue vs. Gancelot Royal Paladin

Good on him for getting this far. All pressure was off. I don't know what it is about me, but he tends to screw up left and right when we play each other. A victory could have been feasible on his end by calling Grade 3s and dismissing old rear-guards, but he let his hand be clogged and his field be weak. Again? Only game I lost was on account of misgrading. And it was at grade 0 that time... lol.

I pulled Ezel, he got an SP Vortex Dragon. We traded for an Iseult, a Soul Saver, and a Battle Cupid to further deck completion for our group. All in all an amazing day - I've never gotten a prize that good!

Grade 0 (17)

1 Captain Nightkid
4 Doctor Rouge
4 Rough Seas Banshee
2 Knight Spirit
2 Hades Steersman
4 Hook-wielding Zombie

Grade 1 (15)

4 Samurai Spirit
4 Deadly Nightmare
4 Gust Jinn
3 Dancing Cutlass

Grade 2 (10)

4 Ruin Shade
3 Deadly Spirit
2 Stormride, Ghost Ship
1 Captain Nightmist (he puts in a lot of work in the English format!)

Grade 3 (8)

4 King of Demonic Seas, Basskirk
2 Ice Prison Necromancer, Cocytus
1 Dragon Undead, Skull Dragon
1 Necromancer of the Abyss, Negromarl

Monday, June 18, 2012

Come on, step it up!

One more point the naysayers can find themselves wrong on - organized play is happening.

Pressure to get Tsukuyomi in time... rising...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 7

I had a lot of fun today. Made a bunch of trades, got in some epic games, and really... I just keep absorbing new little bits and pieces of information that make me an even better player. We played swiss today!

Round 1 - Oracle Think Tank vs. Standard Gold Paladin

Lesson for everyone - just because you have limit break does not mean taking damage is okay. If you're at 4 going into turn 3 (or before it, even!), you're not likely going to win. This guy had to learn it the hard way. Aggro pushes and appropriate triggers had me dominating the match despite getting these godawful hands loaded with grade 3s.

Round 2 - Oracle Think Tank vs. Ergodiel Angel Feather

Never saw a grade 3 in the game 1. Sadly, Tom cannot do all the work on his own, especially without Gemini in support. Game 2 was more of the same. I did get the CEO a couple turns late, but it wasn't enough.

Round 3 - Oracle Think Tank vs. Narukami

I took the hint from my first two rounds and decided to pile shuffle for every match at this point. It worked out! Brilliant hands on my end, mediocre to bad ones on his. Especial Interceptors can suck on my Gemini.

Top 4 - Oracle Think Tank vs. Gancelot Royal Paladin

Ohey dere younger nephew. We were both looking for our rematch against the Angel Feather player, so I couldn't just let him go.

Game 1 was comfortable outplaying. Game 2 had to be the funniest thing ever. I opened with the first turn and had no Grade 2 in hand, so I rode Cocoa, and I confirmed my top card to be a Wiseman. I kept it there with every intention of guarding his one attack and getting it. But he decided to go for two! I tried to keep Wiseman in tact, but a Stand Trigger busted through my 10K shield and I ended up getting hit yet again. My turn... top deck Maiden of Libra! Ride, swing at the rear guard Pongal to kill it and draw a card, denying him of the superior ride he was banking on to win (he didn't get gradelocked or anything, but his plan did fall to pieces).

Finals - Oracle Think Tank vs. Ergodiel Angel Feather

All in all it was a close and intense match with little to no misplays on either end. Narrowly lost the first and last games, with game 2 being a total curbstomp battle in my favor thanks to a combo of Libra and Mocha (he barely managed to reach grade 3). You basically always have to let your rear guards go unless guarding for 5K keeps them on the board. That goes for either side.

Pulled Beaumains and Barbiel, traded the Barbiel for Pongal, and got a chuckle out of hist straight rare packs as well. I might be able to play Granblue next week. If not, I'm just gonna take the tourney with Oracles! Here's what I played:

Grade 0 (16)

4 Lozenge Magus
4 Psychic Bird
3 Oracle Guardian, Nike
3 Miracle Kid
2 Dream Eater

Grade 1 (15)

4 Oracle Guardian, Gemini
4 Battle Sister Cocoa
4 Battle Sister Chocolat
3 Luck Bird

Grade 2 (12)

4 Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
2 Maiden of Libra
4 Battle Sister, Mocha
2 Silent Tom

Grade 3 (7)

4 CEO Amaterasu
3 Oracle Guardian Apollon

Gonna just go for the 8 crit after all; the best defense is a good offense.

Picture it! Chief Nurse Shamsiel

I really want to be asleep right now, but I just can't contain my excitement! Today's card is a new addition to <<Angel Feather>> from Rampage of the Beast King.

 AUTO 【V】: Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage): [Choose 1 <<Angel Feather>> from your hand and put it into your damage zone] When this unit attacks a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose 1 card from your damage zone, and add it to your hand.
AUTO 【V】: When a card is put into your damage zone, this unit gets POWER +2000 until end of turn.

At first, I didn't give this much thought - it's clearly a good card. Just how good, though, never really hit me until I gained some experience in having to ride The Phoenix, Calamity Flame. I'll have you know that despite being your "worst option", you're not going to die any time soon just because you rode it. Why? It's naturally resilient to harm, gaining power each time it's hit. Shamsiel not only shares that bulk, but she also possesses another sweet ability that really ties the deck's battle plan together.

Your best rear-guards used to be somewhat awkward and clunky; they demanded plays from these supporters every turn, lest they end up being decidedly average. You had at most 12 chances to pump your columns, only if the support came up, and only if your field setup allowed them to be played. No longer! Shamsiel, as long as you have 4 or more damage, will do the job for you every single turn, for no investment whatsoever! That being the case, the need for cards such as Love Machine Gun and Happy Bell is drastically lessened. Taking matters further, all 3 of your columns can now attack at full force, backed by 8 criticals. Delicious.

AUTO: [Choose an <<Angel Feather>> from your hand, and put it into your damage zone] When this unit is placed on Guardian Circle, if you have an <<Angel Feather>> vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose a card from your damage zone, and put it into your hand.

This little number just got a lot more effective. Who doesn't want defense on par with Booster 5's megabosses?

AUTO: When you Ride this Unit with another <<Angel Feather>>, you can call it to a Rearguard Circle.
CONT 【R】: If you have an <<Angel Feather>> Vanguard, this Unit gains: "ACT 【R】: [Counterblast 1, Place this Card in Soul, and Choose 1 <<Angel Feather>> in your Hand, and place it in your Damage Zone] Choose 1 card in your Damage Zone, and add it to your hand.

And how about this new starting Vanguard? Going -1 never felt so good!

AUTO: [Counterblast (1)] When this unit is placed onto a vanguard or rear-guard circle, if you have an <<Angel Feather>> vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, place the top card of your deck into your damage zone, then when this turn's end phase begins, choose one card in your damage zone. Return it to your deck, then shuffle your deck.

This card and its grade 1 equivalent are also options should they strike your fancy. As far as I'm concerned, though, the grade 1 slots are spoken for. Heck, most of the deck is!

Grade 0 (17)
1 New Starter
4 Sunny Smile Angel
4 Critical Hit Angel
4 Rocket Dash Unicorn
4 Bouquet Toss Messenger
Grade 1 (15)
4 Burst Shot, Bethnael
4 Thousand Ray Pegasus
4 Pure Keeper, Requiel
3 Battle Cupid, Nociel
Grade 2 (10)
4 Core Memory, Armaros
4 Million Ray Pegasus
2 Love Machine Gun, Nociel/Doctoroid Megaros
Grade 3 (8)
4 Chief Nurse, Shamsiel
2 Circular Saw, Kiriel
2 The Phoenix, Calamity Flame

Angel Feather, coming soon to a meta near you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yar Har Fiddle Dee Dee

Being a pirate is alright to be!

G0 (17)

1 Captain Nightkid
2 Doctor Rouge
2 Rick the Ghostie
4 Rough Seas Banshee
1 Knight Spirit
1 Ghoul Cannonball
2 Hades Steersman
4 Hook-Wielding Zombie

Yo dawg I herd you like triggers, so we put triggers in yo triggers so you can drive check while u drive check.

Seriously, though, this has to be the most trolltacular lineup I've ever seen. I love it. Just don't tell people your numbers...

G1 (15)

4 Samurai Spirit
4 Deadly Nightmare
4 Gust Jinn
3 Dancing Cutlass

Since this build is focused on never-ending field optimization, I'm choosing not to play Dandy Guy, Romario. The slight power advantage is rarely missed, as I'd rather not lock my field into anything specific.

The standard Cutlass -> Samurai/Nightmare play puts in work, as does Steersman -> Samurai/Nightmare. Maxing on both assures my field is always capable of shapeshifting into something situationally better. This allows maximum aggression from the outset at a low cost, even to the point of allowing plays such as calling triggers.

G2 (10)

4 Ruin Shade
4 Deadly Spirit
2 Stormride, Ghost Ship

Ruin Shade and Ghost Ship can stand up to the best of them, easily reaching 18K when the evil crossrides rear their ugly heads (Ruin is nice in front of Cutlass on any other day). Deadly Spirit is invaluable due to its recyclable 5K shield, and unlike Captain Nightmist, it doesn't need an 8K booster to reach significant numbers. If I were to consider any other grade 2 option, I'd probably be looking at Undead Pirate of the Frigid Night for its ability to swing 11K unboosted and 18K when backed by either Samurai or Nightmare, but this lineup seems quite adequate.

G3 (8)

4 King of Demonic Seas, Basskirk
2 Ice Prison Necromancer, Cocytus
1 Dragon Undead, Skull Dragon
1 Necromancer of the Abyss, Negromarl

Set 2 Granblue suffered due to a lack of suitable Units to take the Vanguard slot, but this has been rightly rectified with the addition of Cocytus. While most have chosen to simply bank on the new guy, I think Basskirk is still the centerpiece of the Granblue strategy. His ability to Soul Charge plays a pivotal role in setting up the rest of your most powerful skills, and his own offense is roughly on par with Cocytus anyway since, again, I lack Romario.

Skull Dragon still functions as the finisher it always was, and Negromarl's combo options have only gotten better with time. I couldn't see the deck without them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Especial Intercept - Not So Special

Ye olde booster 2 mechanic. For those unaware, I refer to the cards who's skills read:

Auto: When this Unit intercepts, and you have a <<Clan Name>> Vanguard, during that battle, this Unit's Shield gains +5000. 

Soon after its introduction, the skill was thrown on units from most clans, almost to the point of becoming part of the core 'staples' Bushiroad distributes universally. It's reasonable enough in theory; you can save a card or two in your hand by way of this skill (or the threat of it). In a more practical setting, however, the units sporting the skill often fall short and are excluded from the majority of decks.

8,000 power is below average on a Grade 2 unit. Defensively, this is hit by the strongest Grade 1s, most Grade 2s, and all Grade 3s - without a boost. The Unit becomes an easy target. Offensively, this fails to hit the majority Grade 2 and higher Units without a boost. A commitment of an additional card from one's hand becomes necessary to simply hit something, and that's not always possible. In such cases, the Especial Interceptor merely sits on the field, doing half of what a Grade 2 Unit really ought to. This mathematical inferiority combined with the requirement of strictly being a rear-guard makes it unreasonable to play several copies of the card.

Of course, reduced numbers leads to reduced reliability. For as much as the Especial Interceptor may show up on time, it may also appear when your front row is already filled with bigger and better units - a situation where it can't fulfill its purpose. The easiest way to avoid this inconsistency? Bingo! Excluding the Especial Interceptor.

(Decks with selective calling power such as Royal Paladin, Gold Paladin, and Granblue are exempt from this problem and can easily justify their own Especial Interceptors, however.)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 6

When will people learn to carry their commons and rares... a fair few of those things are necessary for their respective decks, and they're going to be wanted. It made finding Wiseman a royal pain in the ass today. :/

Anyway, I went in with Oracles, minus 1 Wiseman (in its place, I played 1 Security Guardian).

Round 1 - vs. Granblue

I believe this was his first time in the tourney for various reasons, but he knew how the game worked just fine. Well enough for Granblue, though? I couldn't say so... game 1 had me staring down a really scary crit that put me at 4 damage turn 3, but being the clutch cards that they are, Nike and Psychic Bird fired back on my own turn 3, landing him at 5 damage and basically sealing the fate of the game from there on out.

Game 2... I don't remember much about. It wasn't too special. Missed out on a bunch of trigs, but it didn't seem to matter. With all the pushing I was able to do in the mid game, my path to victory was clear. People like blocking Apollon...

Round 2 - vs. Oracle Think Tank

This was an unexpected match-up, to say the least. I had no problems cruising right through him, however, as conservative play simply does not work in the mirror match. Relentless swings from Tom, Mocha, Wiseman, and so forth never allowed Milk to make any significant impact. Meanwhile, he didn't appear to have Toms himself. Tough luck. I even got stuck on grade 2 for an extra turn in the second game, but the immense momentum I was able to build to me through to the end.

Round 3 - vs. Nova Grappler

Yeah, this teammate again. This time, though? +2 Asura Kaiser. And boy did those asspain me something fierce. Got knocked out here. Needless to say, I'm gonna have to study this match-up some more. It really, REALLY sucks to not have a 7K booster.

He went on to win in the finals, claiming his first victory. This time we managed to net a Wyvern Guard, Guld. Not bad.

The excruciating wait for Booster 3 continues. Or at least Circle Magus. I could deal with that. =(

Really, though, it was a good day. My older nephew got the Conroe he needed, the younger got 2 Llews to effectively complete his deck for the time being, and I went two rounds further with Oracles than the last time I played them. No shame.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All of my money!

Check it! Demonic Lord Invasion drops this August, with Rampage of the Beast King and Banquet of Divas confirmed for fall. I have a feeling this is gonna be a good year.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I heard YGO events are a great place to find Vanguard

-1 Photon Strike Bounzer
-1 Number 32: Shark Drake
-1 Inzektor Exa-Stag

+1 CEO Amaterasu
+2 Silent Tom

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Galaxy Stores Local Tournament - Week 5

This one was rather eventful. We had shaky beginnings, knowing not if we would get our eight players, but everything managed to come together. Now if only some certain other people would show on a regular basis, we could get 16 easily...

Round 1 - Overlord Unflip vs. CoCoBros

Teammate in the first round. Joy. Unable to counterblast with CoCo in the second game and suffering from grade lock in the first game, he couldn't get anything going. It was rather depressing since he sacked his way to the top with that very deck last week.

Round 2 - Overlord Unflip vs. Aleph Kagero

Knowing what I was up against, I took the wisest course of action in the first game and only made one swing on the first turn. Sadly, my opponent opened Aleph, Bahr, and Tahr altogether and had no need to burn a Conroe search. I staved off as many hits as I could early on in preparation for what I thought was the inevitable Overlord CB -> Aleph Unflip -> Aleph CB... but he went for a double Overlord CB instead! It turned a hopeless situation into one with a faint glimmer. I did what any seasoned player would and declared no guard. Genjo answered my prayers! With that, the game was mine.

Game two, my opponent got grade locked. He was eventually able to drop Aleph and superior ride the Embodiment of Victory whilst I was locked at grade 2 myself, but it was too little too late. My beefy columns that were in place from the outset ran him over.

Round 3 - Overlord Unflip vs. Budget Nova Grappler

There was some grade lock in here too someplace, but I forget what difference it truly made. I game three, my teammate makes the foolish mistake of dropping a column of two Red Lightning in an effort to make more attacks given his week hand. While he did get some attacks through, he was left unable to guard anything, and I dealt a solid four hits on my second turn. Some back-and-forth heals happened, but I came out on top rather comfortably.

We pulled five straight rares for our insolence again, but this time we ended up getting some pretty beastly trades. The Nova deck is far less budget now, sporting a full set of Azure Dragon, and the OTT base is coming together nicely. Twin Blader, Gust Jinn... and my nephew went and pulled Alfred and Iseult in the span of three packs. What a boss. I might end up playing Oracles next week if things go well!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Do or Die

At times, it can be difficult to tell just what an opponent is holding in reserve to handle attacks (or launch their own in the future), especially if their deck draws a lot of cards outside the drive check. A lack of information heightens the all powerful element of surprise, and that can cause hesitation in regards to where and when one should make a big push. However, there will come a breaking point in most games where a player's own hand cannot realistically hold out further. At this point, I find it's best to go down swinging. Make that one last push as potent as possible, regardless of what might be lost, since the game is most likely lost anyway. And who knows? It might even score the win!

I've come up just short in many a game by not committing enough to one last swing when I knew full well that I wasn't going to survive another turn. In reflection, I'd rather not make the mistake again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stand Up! YouTube!

Check it out - Bushiroad now has a YouTube channel! They've been uploading the English dub over the past few days, and while they're not quite caught up to television broadcast in Singapore, it looks like it won't be long until you can watch Vanguard on a weekly basis. Awesome video quality, too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Picture it! Spectral Duke Dragon

For having been one to spam card reviews on the Yu-Gi-Oh! front, I've done surprisingly little of that when it comes to Cardfight!! Vanguard. Funny how that works. Today I'd like to touch on a card that has been met with mixed reception: Spectral Duke Dragon.

AUTO [V]: Limit Break (4) (This ability is active if you have four or more damage): [Counter Blast (2) & Retire 3 of your <<Gold Paladin>> rear-guards] When this unit attacks the Vanguard, at the start of that battle's Close Step, you may pay the cost. If you do, Stand this unit, and until end of the turn, this unit loses "Twin Drive!!".
CONT [V]: If you have a card named "Knight of Black Dragon, Vortimer" in your soul, this unit gets Power +1000. 

The spiritual successor to Phantom Blaster Dragon, Duke ends a ride chain and possesses a skill that requires sacrificing your rear-guards. What makes it different? Well, a lot of things! Spectral Duke Dragon's Limit Break takes place during the battle phase, after its own attack. Since you're free to attack in any order you choose, your rear-guards are able to push for damage or whittle down the opponent's hand before they get blown away. That's more economical than Phantom Blaster Dragon, even in the ideal situation where Nemain is used as cannon fodder. To make the comparison even more lopsided, standing Spectral Duke Dragon is the equivalent of gaining at least 10,000 power anyway. There's no critical bonus, but it doesn't matter - the opponent is forced to guard another attack, and you're getting another drive check (card advantage!) that could produce even more power. Best of all? Spectral Duke Dragon doesn't even need to hit in order to stand again. The threat is always there, making him a king of the pressure game. You can throw any and all triggers his way with no risk, too, since the effects are going to remain for his second attack even if your first doesn't manage to go through.

But enough about the card itself; judging in a vacuum is bad. Let's take a look at the deck around it, starting with the bottom of the ride chain.

AUTO: When you ride "Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer" on this unit, look at up to seven cards from the top of your deck, search for one "Knight of Black Dragon, Vortimer" or one "Spectral Duke Dragon", show it to your opponent, and add it to your hand. Return the remaining cards to the top of your deck, then shuffle your deck. 
AUTO: When you ride a <<Gold Paladin>> other than "Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer" on this unit, you may call this unit to a rear-guard circle. 

Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer is among the second generation ride chains, in line with Riviere and the upcoming Lox. Riding the matching Grade 1 on it results in a gain of one card a little more than half the time, made even sweeter by the fact that you can choose whichever one you need when the option of both comes up. If you miss the Grade 1, the fight becomes more difficult, but all hope is not lost - you get to keep the Whelp to use as a booster and ultimately a sacrifice whenever Duke manages to arrive.

CONT [V]: If you have a "Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer" in your soul, this unit gets Power +1000. 
AUTO: [Retire 1 of your <<Gold Paladin>> rear-guards] When you ride "Knight of Black Dragon, Vortimer" on this unit and you have "Black Dragon Whelp, Vortimer" in your soul, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at up to 2 cards from the top of your deck, choose up to 2 <<Gold Paladin>> units from among them, call them onto separate empty rear-guard circles, and place the rest of the cards on the bottom of your deck in any order.

Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer stands at a sturdy 8,000 power in the Vanguard circle, and an average 7,000 in the rear-guard. It's nothing to complain about when playing the numbers game. Unlike other decks, though, you'll want to be making at least 1 other call during the turn you ride this card, in preparation for the following turn. It doesn't matter what the card is; so long as it survives, your 1 card turns into 2. There is a slight risk in that you might get hit multiple times with no way to defend yourself when going second, but it's for the greater good.

CONT [V]: If you have a "Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer" in your soul, this unit gets Power +1000.
AUTO: [Retire one of your <<Gold Paladin>> rear-guards] When you ride "Spectral Duke Dragon" on this unit and you have "Jet Black Vanguard, Vortimer" in your soul, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at up to 2 cards from the top of your deck, choose up to 2 <<Gold Paladin>> units from among them, call them onto separate empty rear-guard circles, and place the rest of the cards at the bottom of your deck in any order. 

Second verse same as the first; Knight of Black Dragon, Vortimer clocks in at a great 10,000 power as a Vanguard, and an acceptable 9,000 power in the rear-guard. Since your Grade 1 Vortimer just turned 1 rear-guard into 2, you're making anywhere from 2-3 attacks this turn without committing much from your hand. Scary. Anything you don't want to keep becomes a sacrifice when you ride Spectral Duke Dragon, or functions as an interceptor. And you know what? The free cards don't even stop here!

AUTO [V/R]: [Counterblast (1)] When this unit's attack hits the vanguard, if this unit is boosted by a <<Gold Paladin>> unit, you may pay the cost, and if you do, look at the top card of your deck, search for up to one <<Gold Paladin>> from among them, call it to an open rearguard circle, and put the rest on the bottom of your deck.

Viviane may be a tad awkward in the Ezel and Garmore-centric Gold Paladin decks that can't do much with randomly called trigger units, but she's right at home in Spectral Duke Dragon's army.

AUTO: [Counterblast (1)] When this unit is placed onto a rear-guard circle from your deck and you have a <<Gold Paladin>> vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at the top card of your deck, search for up to one <<Gold Paladin>> unit, and call it onto an empty rear-guard circle, then return the rest of the cards to the bottom of your deck.

Flash Edge Valkyrie, along with her partner Blade Feather Valkyrie also have no problem churning out dudes with which to attack and fuel Spectral Duke Dragon plays. The duo is fairly luck-based, though, so don't feel obligated to play them if you don't want to.

AUTO [V] [Limit Break (4)] (This ability is active if you have four or more damage): When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets POWER +5000 until end of that battle. 
AUTO: [Counterblast (2)] When this unit is placed on the vanguard circle, you may pay the cost. If you do, search your deck for up to one grade 2 or less <<Gold Paladin>>, call it to rear-guard circle, and shuffle your deck.

And lastly, the backup plan for when things go wrong. Garmore grants stability in even the worst-case scenario of missing your Grade 1 Vortimer, as he can fetch any unit you need to mount an attack (or defense), guaranteed. Offensively, Garmore is about the same as Duke, so you're not completely out of the game while you're waiting for it. He's not a bad end game ride, either, if you somehow managed to run out of counterblasts. Great Silver Wolf, Garmore is to Spectral Duke Dragon as CEO Amaterasu is to the Full Moon Goddess, Tsukuyomi. The two shouldn't be apart.


Consistency, synergy, explosiveness... all the elements of a winning deck are present, and in time it'll easily be matching or outperforming Riviere and Tsukuyomi in tournament performance, both of which are tier 2 decks as it is. The future is looking good for Spectral Duke Dragon. I definitely wouldn't mind playing it on the side.