Coming up to tier: A Comprehensive Guide to Meta and Player Improvement. Part One.

Meta and tier something you hear a lot about when you first get into card games. When I first started playing this game I was coming from yugioh so I understood. Sadly your average vanguard player looking to hit the bigger series like regionals, or ARG doesn’t understand this sometimes, so I am here to teach you all about meta, coming up to tier, and in general being a better player.

What is the “Meta” something you hear the best players talk about. Like a well guarded secret or something. Well I am here to demystify that for you here and now. When they say Meta they are talking about the best decks around currently, some examples are

Dragonic Overlord The Xrevenger phantom abyssMarine General of Heavenly Silk, Lambros









They are decks that abuse absurdly powerful effects; these decks are blindingly fast and powerful, and very overwhelming. Bu do not lose hope you too can have these decks but first let’s talk about tiers and understanding why things are put on this kind of scale.

Tiers, something else you probably have heard from that guy whose Lambros deck just won locals for the fifth time in the last month. Tiers are way to organize things here is a great example of tiers currently.

Tier one (cream of the crop, the absolute best)  

Sanctuary Guard Dragonrevenger phantom abyssMarine General of Heavenly Silk, Lambros









Tier two (still good but not the best)

Seeker, Thing Saver DragonInterdimensional Dragon, Faterider DragonBluish Flame Liberator, Prominence Glare









Tier three (everything else)

You are probably now noticing a trend; these are decks that always win your local tournaments or that regional tournament you hear about. They are what wins, and for good reason. They are fast, powerful, and they stomp your opponent with so many attacks they can’t possibly guard them all. You may hear some people say that any deck can win, and in the right hands they can but these are usually the top contenders. But now let’s talk about something that everyone talks about and that is the luck factor or sackyness of this game.

You hear it all the time, you’re so lucky you pulled that trigger, you are so lucky you got that heal etc. What if I let you in a little secret? You can win without ever needing a trigger, that’s right your deck can win without ever need a trigger. The truth is there is a lot of underlying strategy in this game that is neglected. Because think about it everything is a resource (something that can be used) in this game, even the damage you take! Let’s go ahead and break down all the resources this game has to offer you the player and what they do for you.

The deck: You’re most important resource

Your hand: Where you play your cards from

Your formations: How you attack

Your damage: You can flip this to activate effects and do limit breaks (manage this right and you win games)

Your soul: Where you ride, and soul charge this is the most important resource for some decks.

Your drop zone: Anytime you legion you will be looking through here. Tread carefully.

These are your resources and how you manage them will take you further in this game than you realize. If you legion do you just send back random cards? No, you send back your triggers to get the best use out of them. When you attack you don’t always swing at the back row. You attack their rear guards to try and whittle their hand away. You don’t just randomly soul blast you look through and make the best call you can. You always are trying to keep your hand in the best way possible why throw it away? There are many other underlying strategies that I will get into later in the Meta guides and will go into a deeper talk about. My point is there is a lot of strategy in this game that people neglect and that ones that do not neglect it always will come out on top.

Now for my final piece, what makes a good player good? This is a question a lot of people ask but few people besides top players can effectively answer. The top players start with forming good habits early. One of which is something I struggled with but I finally understood and still use to this day over a year later. It is called “The seven second rule” before you make a single play take seven and think about it. If I am attacking I take seven seconds or so and really think about my attack pattern and what I could drive check. Here is an example:

My Opp. Has a 10k rear guard, a 9k vanguard and a 10k rg with a support unit.

I have a 9k rear guard and a 11k vanguard with a support unit.

At first glance you think vanguard to vanguard and boost the rear guard if I get a trigger. Think deeper; I can attack with my vanguard to the 10k unit. But which you ask? Well the one with the support unit because that unit is a 15k unit on my opponents turn. Then I can attack my rear guard to my opponent’s vanguard since they are the same attack. If you can see where this is going you are already improving. But this is only part of what makes player. Now we get to the fun parts of being a card player, play testing and how to effectively do so.

When you are at a table you sometimes hear people talking about “Yeah man I play tested for about 6 hours this week I am set.” What is play testing and how do you do it? Well good thing I am here to help.

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely a demonstration.” – Trey Massengale

What Trey is talking about is about preparation. This is the work the “pros” put in before any event that sets them apart. One famous example is a yugioh player named Patrick Hoban, he play tested for 40+ hours a week before nationals. Play testing is playing your deck against someone over and over again making changes and figuring out what cards work best. For example when I was making my Gancelot zenith build I figured out I needed less blaster blade liberators and Star rain trumpeters in favor of Aglovales because they made my deck much faster. And I haven’t looked back since. Those changes took me from getting second to getting first at my locals 6 weeks in arrow and 4 of those wins were undefeated win streaks. When you learn the right combinations of cards nothing can stop you.

When play testing do not be afraid to ask someone to play your deck and have them give you suggestions. When I was testing I found some of the best people in my area and played them, I asked them what I personally could improve on as a player and what changes my deck needed to get to that next level. It is a habit I got into whenever I had a close match with someone or I was completely stomped on I always asked what I needed or if I was missing something.

Some good online places for play testing and other resources

The facebook vanguardians group they can direct you to great resources and help you a lot as well.

Trade cards online (they have online cardfight vanguard where you can build decks and play real people)

Cardfight online

In the next article I will touch on deck building and what card “techs” are I hope to put out artless every 2 weeks or so. So please keep your eyes open and I really hope you enjoyed the article. I want to help as many people as possible get better and take their game to thte next level they need.


Stand up my vanguard!!