April 3rd, 2016. The day Bushiroad destroyed the internet. Again. And just when we were getting comfortable with the direction things were presumably going, too! It seems the introduction of G-Guardians isn't the only thing that's going to be turning Vanguard on its head in the coming months.
First things first, let's look at the specifics of how our new friends work. All G-Guardians share the following text:
[G-Guardian] (Use it when both players' vanguards are grade 3 or greater, and you have three or less face up G-Guardian in your G zone)-Guard Step of your opponent's turn-[Choose a "HEAL" from your hand, and discard it] Call this card to your (GC) from face-down.
Oh, boy. They went there. Bushi ain't settling for a mere bump in shield value.
The number one thing we need to take away from this is that G-Guardians do not have any Generation Break requirements. They can always be used from the moment both players reach Grade 3. This means that even if your opponent gets to make the first stride, you have a powerful option to use to stay in the game provided you fumbled into a heal trigger by then - not unlikely given that any card you play at four shows up over half the time by the first twin drive. Furthermore, employing the use of a G-Guardian at that early stage of the game enables you to Stride your biggest bosses right out of the gates, bypassing your programmed on-hit or similarly mediocre G-Unit altogether. It's a monumental factor in the ongoing debate of turn order value, for sure.
Also of significance is that G-Guardians can be called in response to any attack, regardless of target. This means it's impossible for an opponent to play around the aforementioned scenario that allows you to first stride a GB2-or-3 boss. It's also that much easier to shrug off Overlord "The X" or Commander Laurel plays that aim to exploit the hole in modern day perfect guards. You still want to avoid defending rear-guards most of the time to save shield, but an option is an option if the niche situation presents itself.
G-Guardians can be called in multiples, too, providing a silver lining for sub-optimal card sequencing.
Despite Heal triggers themselves being limit four, G-Guardians also soft limit themselves by disallowing further use after the fourth opportunity to call them comes and goes. This caps the otherwise ludicrous potential of Legion refreshing while still making sure it remains a valuable part of the game, as it's far easier for a Legion deck to call several G-Guardians during a game.
Decks focused on a Limit Break or Legion boss that benefit highly from the inclusion of particular GB1 rear-guards become that much more viable, as they no longer need to dedicate a turn to striding in every game if it wouldn't especially benefit them.
Power on rear-guards must now be bumped to 31K or higher in order to certainly force two cards out of an opponent.
It's simply too much to process all at once. But wait, there's more! Bushiroad announced that with the introduction of G-Guardians, we're also seeing an increase in the maximum size of the G Zone. How much, you ask? Well... they're freaking doubling it.
|Some fish just want to watch the world burn.|
That's right - we get to play 16 G-Units in total across G-Guardians and what we have now. I find myself utterly dumbfounded by the notion because we had just started to reach a point where the majority of decks had to weigh the value of one G-Unit against another and make cuts, focusing solely on what they need rather than having a toolbox. The opportunity cost of G-Persona Blasts began to catch up with us, curtailing how much power and longevity a G Zone could have at one time. Now that's all just gone, and I can't say I'm happy about it. Hopefully a year or two down the line we'll return to the same situation and not have an arbitrary inflation that invalidates the whole point of having a limit in the first place...
I mean, I get it. Unless we began to see cards that are outright better than behemoths like Chronodragon Nextage, we'd never be willing to update our G Zones, and Bushiroad largely wouldn't be able to move product. Having a bunch of extra slots lets us play around with new ideas more easily, and there's no excuse on our end not to. But is it really worth the even greater barrier of entry new players will have to face? Is it worth demotivating players from wanting to use multiple clans? What on earth is going to happen to our already baffling secondary market? I'm left crossing my fingers, hoping dearly that our community can hang on through this transition and live to see an even more glorious Vanguard scene.
Doom and gloom aside, I'm curious to find out just how much G-Guardians will extend the average span of a game and whether or not the expansion of the G Zone is actually justified in any way on a game play level. It would certainly be something if we returned to an average of seven or more turns per player. Well. So long as we don't have a drastic increase in the number of tournament matches going into time.
|Welcome back, fam.|
That's all I've got for now. See ya after Monthly Bushiroad drops.