Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Stagnant Air? Not on MY Planet!

You know Bushiroad is scraping the bottom of the barrel when they feel the need to unveil a new wave of Bermuda Triangle artwork to maintain viewer interest for their weekly Vanguard stream. :x

It's more or less true - with the remainder of Fighter's Collection 2016 presumed to be mostly-identical G-Guardians (which they're still a week off from properly showcasing), there isn't much left they could have shown us. But the Cray Elemental that Bushiroad held in reserve certainly has people talking!

For those who felt Twitterun inadequate, this is your new go-to. Air Element, Sebreeze offers a more widely accessible means to continue playing your own game even if your opponent doesn't ride their own Grade 3. For those who felt Grade 2 stalling to be the pinnacle of strategy, this is a wake-up call. Bushiroad always intended the first stride to be player two's exclusive privilege, and the outrage I'm seeing from certain individuals about Shibreeze cementing that ideal is, frankly, stupid. Yes, more so than the short-sighted design of the stride mechanic that allowed for the exploit in the first place.

...speaking of which, yes, Sebreeze won't keep anybody from stalling at grade 1. So what? Grade 1 cards, designed at their very core to be combo pieces, lack both the power and the quality of abilities necessary to hold out in the face of anything bigger than them, even for a single turn. That's why rush decks proved to be resounding failures in the Legion era and why going first had such a heavy impact on the outcome of a game for some years prior.

...and yes, Sebreeze is also disabled by the action of riding a second grade 2. Again, so what? That's one less attacker and/or guardian available to the player who does it when their card count is already hurting for their reduction in power and drive opportunities. It becomes that much easier to establish dominance by way of rear-guard sniping, a tried and true tactic that's been with us since the birth of Vanguard.

The real point of concern is that Sebreeze is a blank card in the G Zone in most games to offset the niche it fills otherwise. Because of this, I can see a handful (or more...) of decks not giving it the time of day. However, the fact that Sebreeze could be sitting on the sidelines is enough reason for players to carry on as if it is a certain threat, so even if you don't choose to play one in your G Zone, it's likely that you'll benefit from its existence anyway. Nice deal. If you're willing to invest the space? Just make sure to carry a generic G-blaster of some kind to flip Sebreeze in the event you don't need it. That goes double if you happen to be a fan of Pokkur as well, as Sebreeze is the Cray Elemental you need to meet the prerequisites of use.

I don't project any great change in the competitive format going forward, but nevertheless I'll admit that Sebreeze has me feeling a little more willing to experiment with dedicated G Era decks. It's just a question of which are efficient enough on counterblasts. xP

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