Friday, March 11, 2016


The reborn apocalyptic flames - this is my true form!

What do you mean that isn't the correct image? Who the fuck is Toshiki Kai?! In all seriousness, though, this has been one hell of a Thursday night, and if you play Vanguard at all, I'm sure you already knew what the buzz was about before even wandering over to my nest.

Dragonic Overlord "The Legend" finally hits the table, and we now have a complete picture of exactly where Bushiroad was going with all that support. Specifically, threatening to deck yourself out at light speed as you desperately punch away with NeoNewNehalem and remove threats with Burnout, who's easier than ever to use due to the search effects of Lava Flow Dragon and Lizard General, Conroe on top of striding just naturally fueling the drop.

There are a lot of hot topics being debated in regards to the remainder of the deck at the moment, so before I throw a deck list at you, I have to debunk something that the majority don't seem to grasp.

The combination of Dauntless Drive Dragon's Break Ride and The Legend's Generation Break is astonishingly mediocre. Since Dauntless cannot be activated if the new Vanguard has already stood that turn, it has to be used first. And you have to attack the opponent's Vanguard too - attacking the rear-guard puts The Legend's ability into standby, meaning that if you choose not to use it at that time, you cannot use it at all that turn. Such is the definition of [1/Turn]. The fact that you're attacking the Vanguard first means that as long as the opponent hasn't been a complete and utter moron, they can, at the very least, use all their intercepts (even if they don't want to guard otherwise) so as to prevent you from being able to attack a rear-guard to trigger The Legend after attacking the Vanguard to trigger Dauntless. In the end, it boils down to you having spent an extra grade 3 in order to point a second triple driving swing at the opponent's Vanguard than you would have been able to just sitting on The Legend. That may not sound too bad, but there are other hidden costs involved. For starters, you had Dauntless sitting on your Vanguard Circle for a certain period of time, during which he wasn't doing anything that any other unit couldn't. No plus, no particular threat to the opponent, nothing. It was making their life easy. Additionally you had to allow yourself to reach the 4 damage threshold for Limit Break - or include Mulciber in your deck - when you may not have necessarily wanted to. You're also playing fewer actual Overlords in total, so Burnout and The Ace suffer for it, not to mention Nehalem. It's not a package of issues I'd care to accept.

Dragonic Overlord (BT15) at least lets you swing at a rear-guard, counterblast 1 and drop 1 in order to net your six drive checks and most likely remove said rear-guard while not being a logic bomb to every single one of the deck's operations. Even then, I wouldn't use him either!

The real key to keeping up with an increasingly early game centered format is to bite back with your own batch of cards that don't sport needless restrictions like generation break or an opposing field being lined up in a certain way. You haven't forgotten the apocalypse brought about by Awakening of Twin Blades, have you?

...oh, you say you weren't around at the time? Fair enough. I'm talking about Dragonic Overlord the End. He's about as much of an atom bomb on the initial ride going first now as he was back then. Much more than either of your potential legions could ever be. And those aren't necessarily the worst inclusions either, but making space is difficult.

All things said and done, I've arrived at this initial draft.

3 (minimum) Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Overlord "The Ace"
2 (minimum) Transcendence Divine Dragon, Nouvelle Vague L'Express
1 (minimum) Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Vortex Desire
2 other slots to be determined

3 Dragonic Overlord "The Legend"
4 Dragonic Overlord the End
1 Perdition Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Overlord the Great
1 Dragonic Blademaster

4 Emperor Dragon Knight, Nehalem
4 Dragonic Burnout
2 Armor of Flame Dragon, Bahr
1 Perdition Dragon, Dragonic Neoflame

4 Lava Flow Dragon
3 Lizard General, Conroe
2 Spear of Flame Dragon, Tahr
4 Protect Orb Dragon

1 Lizard Hero, Undeux
4 Mother Orb Dragon [HEAL]
4 Magnum Shot Dracokid [CRIT]
4 Blue Ray Dracokid [CRIT]
4 Gatling Claw Dragon [DRAW]

The emergency first stride The Ace play being as common as it is throws something of a wrench into the G Zone, as after using it you're left with two /other/ guys that probably won't ever get to do anything due to being on-hits as well as a 4th copy of The Ace that's dead, if you play that many. But for the slower games against other control-oriented decks, lacking a 4th copy of The Ace could very well get you killed since The Legend isn't exactly able to go face twice. 3 copies of The Ace is very manageable both ways, though, as if you /don't/ go into first stride The Ace, you can flip the extraneous third copy for Vortex Desire and still have a pair to use later. 4 Nouvelle seems kinda silly but may be the best overall option for its heal negating cheese. We'll have to see if Fighters Collection and GBT07 bring anything new to the table (HI BLADEMASTER, WHAT UP CRAY ELEMENTALS?) on this front.

Bahr and Tahr aren't strictly mandatory, but in my experience they help cover you in certain match-ups - Bahr against big bruisers with little to no control like the majority of United Sanctuary, and Tahr against glass cannons such as Nubatama and Spike Brothers that can easily overrun you if you don't command the pace of the game. Other options to consider are additional Neoflames, Burning Horn Dragon and Violence Horn Dragon, Calamity Tower, and even 8K or 10K vanillas. They all have merit.

And I guess if you're still hung up on The X, you could... er... I dunno, play more G3s and scale back on The Legend? It's really not worth it, though. Legion looping went the way of the dodo after GBT02 and shows no real signs of returning to viability anytime soon. 

The new era Overlord deck is looking to be fairly potent without being too terribly overbearing (except on one's wallet). It'll be interesting to see how the tournament format unfolds going into Team League continentals and beyond.

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