Nubatama Speculation: They wouldn’t be so bad

Nubatama is, or well to put it more aptly, was a clan that focused on forcing your Opponent to discard cards from their hand when their attacks hit successfully. They had an initial print of four unique Units in Booster Set 1: Descent of the King of Knights with the archetype name of “Stealth X” X being a creature type such as “Beast” or “Dragon” (their individual names were “Hagakure”, “Dreadmaster”, “Chigasumi” and “Voidmaster”). However there have been no more cards printed with the “Nubatama” clan since. It is speculated that they were discontinued, most likely due to their skills being far too powerful for this game. The introduction of Murakumo, who use a similar aesthetic to Nubatama and are the deck now used by Kyou Yagahi (who previously piloted Nubatama) in the Manga further suggested that Nubatama will never be granted any more support. The aim of the following article is to detail out why Nubatama aren't actually all that frightening with full support, provided of course certain caveats in design are enforced.

BT01-069EN C

“Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster” is the card that makes every player wary about granting Nubatama a fully functional deck, even if the additional Units are vanilla (without skills or their only skills are common power up abilities) at best. I can understand why they are so cautious but I honestly believe it's a misguided concern. Dreadmaster has the ability to discard a card from the Opponent's hand for a cost of a single counterblast provided the Nubatama he boosted landed a successful hit against any unit while the attacking player has less cards in his hand than his Opponent. I won't deny this skill isn't great, it is but what people fail to realize is that we already have a very similar card, in a different clan that is gaining support, that actually has the potential to do even MORE than Dreadmaster.


“Midnight Bunny” of Pale Moon is the card I'm referencing. Midnight Bunny allows the player to swap itself with a Unit in the soul (who comes out standing, ready to attack) for a single counterblast when the Pale Moon unit it boosted lands a hit against any Unit. I will concede it's a tad more difficult to have a viable attack Unit in the soul than it is to have less cards than your Opponent in hand but even then it's not too far of a stretch.

Both Midnight Bunny and Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster are practically useless in the early game because they have no counterblast available to pay for their costs and during late-game the Opponent won't be in a position to allow them to hit because if they can't guard, they have, sans a freak heal trigger, lost the fight already. Both units shine during the mid-game, where they have counterblast available while their Opponent isn't currently in the eventual “guard everything” late game (both units do excellent behind the Vanguard for this reason).

As I mentioned above, Midnight Bunny has the potential to do just as much as if not more than Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster. There are two main scenarios to consider,

The first scenario is the same for either card; Both units boost units with the same power and get guarded for an advantage of one card.

The second scenario is slightly different; Same as above except both units are not guarded and all attacks are aimed at the Vanguard, in the case of Dreadmaster we have gained an advantage of one card, from his skill, and one point of damage. In the case of Midnight Bunny, we have called another viable attacker so we have gained an advantage of one damage along with either one card, if the new unit was guarded, OR an additional point of damage if the new unit wasn't guarded.

To simplify that, Dreadmaster can do no more than +1 Damage, +1 Card but Midnight Bunny can reach +1 Damage, +1 Card or take it further to +2 Damage (I shouldn't need to explain why, strictly speaking, life is much more valuable than cards in Vanguard). There is a third scenario that involves attacking a rearguard but all you need to know is Midnight Bunny comes out on top again. So Midnight Bunny, a card in a clan that is still gaining quite a bit of support can, under the right (and relatively easy to fulfill conditions) do more than the card that everyone is quite afraid of “Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster”.

It should be also worth mentioning, that outside of Heal Triggers, Dreadmaster can only successfully use his ability up to five times a game and that is while not allowing for counterblast anywhere else in the deck. It sounds like quite a bit but it really isn't considering a few things, such as the fact that those five cards will be discard over the course of a game yet each players from mid-game and onwards draws three cards a turn through the combination of the normal draw and the twin drive. It's quite a miniscule amount when you consider it in light of that. At worst it emphasizes that the defending Player should guard the Vanguard during the mid-game more (which is, strictly speaking, a bad idea outside of circumstances like these) but ever since the introduction of units in Booster Set 4: Eclipse of Illusionary Shadows, that are considered acceptable by the majority, such as “Stern Blaukluger”, “Amber Dragon, Eclipse” “Evil Armor General, Giraffa” that has become quite a common practice. Again I'd like to emphasize the point that while Dreadmaster is quite a good unit, it doesn't do nearly as much damage as some would like you to believe.

BT01-035EN R

“Stealth Dragon, Voidmaster” is another Unit in Nubatama that shares a similar skill to “Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster”. Again, for the price of a single counterblast when Voidmaster hits any Unit while the attacking player has less cards in their hand than their opponent, they can have their opponent discard a card from their hand. The kicker here is, and a clever one at that, is that Voidmaster is a Grade 3 with a mere 9000 power. Playing any Grade 3 with a power of 9000 opens players to abuse from attacking units who can now easily form columns that force 15000 or more guard each for basically no effort at all. It's pretty annoying to go around and do all that work to take a single card out of your Opponent's hand, only to have two taken out of yours per attack leaving you, the Nubatama player, in a worse spot than that of your opponent.

This leads me into the main design caveat if Nubatama were to become a fully functional deck If we consider the fact that 20000-21000 columns have become a common event since the release of Booster Set 6, during the late game, just as many, if not more, cards are going to be easily forced out of Nubatama's hand as they were pushing out during the mid-game. This would lead me to conclude that Nubatama would be acceptable provided, like Kagero, they have weak base power Vanguards (e.g. 10000 power) and a hard time to reach 20000 and or 21000 columns without dedicating themselves to Vanilla play or inflicting a penalty on the user.

It should also be noted that because Nubatama are essentially a control deck, that there shouldn't exist any cards that create instant advantage, such as Blaster Blade, but rather focus more on simplification and essentially be focused on card quality advantage rather than card quantity advantage. A good example of this would be a Persona Blast that costs a single counterblast to discard the specific grade 3 unit from to force your Opponent to discard. It's a one for one in terms of straight advantage, except you had to pay a counterblast to activate it but your Opponent probably had to discard something with a shield value of 5000 more often than not.

In conclusion, as mentioned above Nubatama has the capacity to exist as a fully functional deck if aforementioned caveats (and probably additional ones that currently elude me) are taken into consideration along with the above reasoning to as why Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster isn't all that much we fear him to be.



  • The following is a reply to ALTAADELA because for some reason I’m not allowed to reply directly.

    There is no indication that they would release a Limit Break for Nubatama, same for the clones (but I’ll admit they are likely candidates if Nubatama are to get supported). There is absolutely no real reason they couldn’t just release the basics and leave it at that. Vanilla Play is a very much real, alive and completely legitimate form of play in Vanguard. It’s not particulary interesting or exciting if you ask me but it’s legitimate.

    The entire concept Vanguard is to force as many cards as possible out of your Opponents hand. Nubatama simply do it in a different manner than other clans, Nubatama forces the cards out with more threatening than usual 16000 columns as oppossed to say Spike Brothers who do it with incredibly powerful rearguards who consistently break the 15000 or more to guard barrier and often combined with more than the usual amount of attacks.

    Why are you using cards that hit “bigger numbers” to define lackluster? Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi, Dragon Monk Goku, Nightmare Doll Alice, Demonic Dragon Mage Kimnara, Flame of Hope Aermo have absolutely nothing to do with hitting “bigger numbers” but are in no way lack luster and Tsukuyomi has even found herself limited in Japan suggesting her lack of lackluster. Not to mention, Dragon Monk Goku Kagero decks can’t hit big numbers consistently either but are considered one of the best decks in the game, same with Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi who chooses drawing cards over any potential offense they could have outside of placing stacked triggers on top of Silent Tom.

    I agree it would be stupid to have a card that discards two cards when it hits. There is a reason why I suggested designing them under certain guidelines. In fact, none of the new cards would essentially need to focus on discarding but rather focusing on getting around the Nubatama condition of needing less cards in your hand than your Opponent. For example, a Vanguard that binds a number of cards in your hand for whatever cost to enable Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster and Stealth Dragon, Voidmaster.

    I also have no idea what the time around Nubatama’s initial release has to do with now. The fact of the matter is that columns that force out 15000 minium guard have become incredibly common ever since Booster Set 6: Breaker of Limits and that Nubatama could match up but not easily defeat any decks that have a strong late game opposed to Nubatama’s strong mid-game.

    I never said there would be any Nubatama Support. I merely speculated on why it would be feasible and non-threatening to game balance if Bushiroad ever decided to continue it. You also fail to realize that Pale Moon is a fully supported clan that forces Players to guard everything, including their rearguards, from early enough in the mid-game onwards. I also pointed out in my reply to AE that Stern Blaukruger does in three turns, just as much as the entire Nubatama clan could feasibly do in any entirely given game (if they were following some guide lines) but Stern Blaukruger is allowed to exist, without complaint or major problem and doesn’t seem to be dominating at all.

    In conclusion, you haven’t provided any real evidence, your entire reply is a mesh of assumptions at best. You also seem to lack a basic of understanding of Vanguard if you think this game is anything but forcing cards out of your Opponent’s hand.

  • Apocalypse E

    You’re forgetting that Midnight Bunny switches itself for the new card, netting you an overall +/- of 0, and the new attacker will likely be unboosted unless you do a combo with Alice, Mirror Demon, or Purple Trapezist (all of which are also 1-for-1 cards, maintaining the overall +/- 0), while Dreadmaster (and, by extension, Voidmaster) stays on the field, netting you the +1 that makes him such a threat.
    Secondly, please tell me where you think the game is played from. Is it the field, the damage zone, the deck, the drop zone, or the hand? If you answered anything except the hand, you are an idiot. In Vanguard, you ride, call, and guard from the hand, so something as simple as “discard one” card can become something as serious as “choose between offensive power, defensive power, or your ability to ride”. Not only that, but pulling it off at Grade 2 will force your opponent to choose between being able to ride/what they want to ride, or losing shield.
    Note how all of these problems aren’t relevant with Bunny and the like. Also note that people can still have fun after being hit with Bunny and the like, while Dreadmaster and Voidmaster cause nothing but frustration. Making your opponent discard in a game centered around the hand is not fun for the one who has to discard.

    Nuba is a clan that punishes your opponent for EVERYTHING THEY DO, which is why they aren’t continued. Hagakure is a good example of their clan mechanic being abused. Guarding? Don’t care, you lost cards from your hand. Not guarding? Don’t care, they force you to discard anyways. Calling rearguards? Again, you lost cards from your hand. Attacking? They guard while simultaneously forcing YOU to discard. Even refocused Nuba released under the same name wouldn’t be fair unless you banned Dread, Void, and Haga, and in that case it would be the same as making Murakumo, which is what Bushiroad went with.

    • I’m aware that Midnight Bunny isn’t as instantaneous as Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster. However claiming that Midnight Bunny’s complete course is a +/-0 is a foolish assumption. I’ve already detailed that Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster at best can deal +1 Damage & +1 Card whereas Midnight Bunny, assuming the superior called unit is a viable attacker can at best deal +2 Damage (Life being a more valuable resource than cards strictly speaking). Midnight’s Bunny condition is slightly more difficult to fulfill completely because it at worse does just as much Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster and it at best does more. It’s condition isn’t particularly hard to fulfill in the Pale Moon clan either.

      Technically speaking all of those Zones should be taken into account when playing Cardfight!! Vanguard (admittedly the Drop Zone is of little consequence outside of Granblue). You brought up that something as simple as discarding one card can be “choose between offensive power, defensive power or your ability to ride”. Isn’t that what guarding is all about in this game? Grade 1 & Grade 2 units are both offensive and defensive units, guarding with either of those are making a sacrifice of both qualities, discarding a Grade 3 with a Perfect Guard is making a sacrifice of high offensive power and guarding with a Trigger is a sacrifice of high defensive power. This game is based on losing cards or taking damage.

      “Not only that but pulling it off at Grade 2 will force your Opponent to choose between being able to ride/what they want to ride or losing Shield. Note how all of these problems aren’t relevant with Bunny and the like”

      These problems aren’t relevant with Midnight Bunny because Midnight Bunny doesn’t allow you that choice, Midnight Bunny allows you to only choose defensive cards. Stealth Dragon Dreadmaster doesn’t restrict that, it allows you, just like Midnight Bunny, to choose defensive cards or to take the Damage and discard a (potentially useless) Unit. The thing that perplexes me about your statement is that if Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster is forcing you to chose between defensive cards, why don’t you just guard in the first place (since you just admitted having guard available)?

      I don’t think it’s valid to use “it isn’t fun” as an argument because that’s an incredibly opinonated statement to make. Maybe you have fun winning, maybe I have fun making the big “Endless Nightmare” play of Pale Moon regardless of winning. The concept of fun is essentially subjective.

      Nubatama doesn’t punish a Player for everything that Player does, in fact it merely punishes that Player for not doing just one thing and that is guarding, which is an essential part of every Cardfight. Nubatama aren’t doing anything that isn’t already be done, such as is shown by the Midnight Bunny & Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster comparison.

      If you think Nubatama should have never been created than you should also agree that Stern Blaukruger shouldn’t exist either. Stern Blaukruger can come out on as early turn three, during mid-game, and then for at least the next three turns, it can start forcing out either at least two cards from the Opponent’s hand unless they take additional damage (life being more valuable than cards). Over the course of three turns Stern Blaukruger, by himself, can force out at least an additional six cards that wouldn’t have been necessary if it were any other non-on-hit Vanguard. (In addition, he also has the potential to be a base 11000 power increasing his advantage only further).

      If we’re to compare Stern’s ability to that of Nubatama, then they would be on equal level or Nubatama would be potentially much lower because Nubatama needs to hit in order to succeed and in addition to that they need to pay 5 counterblast to merely discard 5 additional cards over a course of time which is little more than a scratch in the long run and is absolutely nothing compared to the devastation that Stern Blaukruger created.

      I will agree with you that Hagakure is kind of an insane card and should definitely be considered for erasure. I passionately disagree with you about Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster and Stealth Dragon, Voidmaster though. They are weak, they are particulary difficult conditions to fullfill and they do quite a bit less than 20/21/23 Columns do against a 10/11/13 Vanguard respectively during late game. I think having a strong mid-game is easily balanced out by having a weak late-game. It should also be noted that Nubatama all require to have less, not equal or more, less cards than their Opponent’s hand to activate. If anything, they way to deal with Nubatama is either to guard a lot or rush faster if possible negating their necessary condition to activate.

      • Apocalypse E

        Please remind me what resource you use to protect your life in this game. Because, last I checked, it was your hand. Nubatama have a fairly easy time bringing their handsize below their opponent’s against all but the most small-handed builds, and their disadvantage is easily mitigated by them forcing discards. Bring it to one or two below the opponent, attack with the VG last, gain size back to equal or more at the end. Bunny, in the best case, will combo with either Alice or Mirror Demon to remake the column and swing again. But that’s still not a guaranteed damage, and damage is not as valuable as a +1 because, while it does indeed bring you one step closer to winning, a +1 is an advantage that lasts the whole game, is hard to regain/mitigate in most cases, and directly affects what a player can do. Including their ability to not take damage.
        Moreover, Bunny needs to hit the VG, while both Dreadmaster and Voidmaster just need to hit while you have less hand than your opponent. Meaning they can hit RGs too. Something that Bunny and her friends would kill for.
        The fact that you overlook this is surprising.

        My point with Dreadmaster was A) you have to weigh whether or not it’s worth guarding, B) Stand Triggers, C) , and D) LB users may or may not want/need to take an extra hit to get them to 4 damage so that they can swing for end game.

        So you’d have fun being forced to choose between guarding everything or losing cards for not guarding? Because that’s what you’re telling me.

        Stern is not that bad, and is in no way comparable to Nuba. You speak as if he’s guaranteed to hit, which he isn’t, and as if his being 11k is amazing, which it also isn’t. 11k is average, especially for ride chains, and his effect is both VG only and a -1 in that you discard to to drive check one afterwards. Nuba have no such restrictions, instead they have the easier and less disadvantageous (in that you at least get to USE the cards) cost of having a smaller hand than their opponent. They’re a thinking clan. They pay you to use your brain, estimate what your opponent will do, including what they’ll guard and how, and then punish them for doing it. Stern is a pressure unit, providing more incentive to make sure you guard him, and punishing you for failing to do so while still bringing your opponent down a bit. Stern isn’t even the best pressure unit, even just taking NG into account.

        Yes, rushing does work against them, but it also works for them. It’s also not the only deck that suffers from being rushed, nor the only one that benefits from rushing. Crossrides in particular can suffer greatly from being rushed, and also suffer greatly from having their RG lanes attacked, which Nuba have a not so bad time against. And would also be a fairly good strategy for Nuba in most cases, because neither Dread nor Void actually need to hit the Vanguard and RGs usually have less power than the VG. And also need to be played from the hand, meaning replacing them takes away from the opponent’s hand, which is what Nuba loves to do. Even if they don’t, that’s still 1 less attacker for the opponent.

        • “Please remind me what resource you use to protect your life in this game. Because, last I checked, it was your hand. Nubatama have a fairly easy time bringing their handsize below their opponent’s against all but the most small-handed builds, and their disadvantage is easily mitigated by them forcing discards.”

          This is true but the point is they can only do this up to five times a game (outside of a Heal Trigger) at most which in the long run is far less than any columns that force out 15000 or more guard during late game. I mean, assuming your Opponent has an 11000 Vanguard while on five damage and you attack with them three columns for 21000, you’ve just forced out 45000 guard minium (6 to 9 cards) in one single turn. In one single turn, you have done at least as much as the entire Nubatama clan can do over the course of the entire game. 21000 columns have become a common factor in Vanguard since the release of Booster Set 6: Breaker of Limits and will most likely get even easier with the Booster Set 10 generation as well.

          I’m not overlooking anything. Firstly, Damage (Life) is more valuable than cards. If a Player takes six life from me, I lose, if a Player takes six cards from me, I haven’t necessarily lost therefore Damage/Life is far more valuable than cards. The -1 in card advantage isn’t hard to recoup at all, if you are playing a none control deck, you would catch up during the late game with your 21000 Columns, if you were playing a control deck, you would catch up with your own abilities easily (such as Berserk Dragon, Dragon Monk Goku, Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion). This is one of the reasons why the design caveats I suggested was to keep Nubatama having weak base Vanguard and their columns should only be able to at best force out 10000 Guard and never break the 15000 necessary guard barrier to have a comparatively weaker late game than any other none-control deck.

          Midnight Bunny (and friends) don’t have to hit the Vanguard either (

          If Midnight Bunny hits and Superior Calls ANY viable attacking Unit, then it is now doing more than Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster. Midnight Bunny overall result is +1 Damage/+1 Card Or +2 Damage whereas Dreadmaster is +1 Damage/+1 Card and no more. Midnight Bunny did as much and potentially more than Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster. If Midnight Bunny, the evidently better card is allowed full support, why isn’t Stealth Dragon Dreadmaster?

          I’m not entirely sure what Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster has to do with Stand Triggers considering that requires you to drive check two of them, which is an obscenely low occurrence and with Voidmaster, you are at best standing him with 14000 power which during late mid-game to late game is incredibly easy to guard.

          Regarding Limit Break, that’s a fault that lies with Limit Break and not Nubatama. Limit Break shouldn’t be something you rush too, that’s just awful playing.

          Also my point wasn’t that I was having fun or not, my point was that “fun” is an incredible subjective point of view and doesn’t equate to “fair” at all. Some players have incredible fun thrashing their Opponent’s with cards like Dragonic Overlord The End but that doesn’t in any way impact on the fact that the card isn’t in any way “fair”.

          You really missed the point I was getting at with Stern Blaukruger. Where did I suggest anywhere in my analysis that he was guaranteed to hit? In actual fact I was saying that all scenarios with Stern Blaukruger put your Opponent into a bad position.

          It is a rule of competitive players in Vanguard that during the mid-game you shouldn’t guard the Vanguard because it’s a big waste of cards (1 Damage is more valuable than one card but 1
          Damage isn’t necessarily more valuable than 2+ cards). What Stern does is force your Opponent to guard, losing usually at least two cards as early as you ride him OR take damage and let Stern Blaukruger attack again either inflicting another Damage or forcing out at least 1 card.

          If it were any other non on-hit Vanguard, your Opponent wouldn’t be put in that position. It is true that you have to discard two cards for Stern Blaukruger but that is mitigated by his third drive (+1) and additionally inflicting the extra damage or forcing out at least 1 card from your Opponents hand resulting in a total of +2 Damage/-1 Card or +1 Damage/+0 Cards. However It is generally a bad idea to let Stern Blaukruger hit due to the additional drive check, so most Opponent’s will guard him as early as the mid-game which will require at least two cards (that would be unnecessary in most other match ups). Over the course of three turns, which I feel is a fair amount to have the Opponent forced into the late-game by Stern Blaukruger’s rearguards, he will have forced 6 cards from the hand easily. That is one single card over the space of three turns has forced out as much as the entire Nubatama clan could. Just as you said with Dreadmaster you have to weigh whether or not it’s worth guarding, you have to do the same with Stern Blaukruger (in both cases, it is usually best to guard).

          11000 is amazing. It cuts any decks in offense in half because they now require their absolutely best rearguards to hit the mark to force out 15000 or more guard. It is also second only to Cross-Ride (and Majesty Lord Blaster) whose defense is so great, it is consider for good reason broken. It is a minor point in the entirety of things though.

          “Stern is a pressure unit, providing more incentive to make sure you guard him, and punishing you for failing to do so while still bringing your opponent down a bit.”

          Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster does exactly that. You guard OR you take damage and lose a card. Stern is You guard OR you take damage and lose either another card or damage. There is absolutely no difference except Stern has a level of greater efficiency.

          If Nubatama’s Opponent rushes, then Nubatama rushes, then Nubatama will also have a lower defence to accomadate for the Opponent’s rushing. It’s premature to say that Nubatama has an easy time dealing with rushing because we simply don’t have enough cards to make any statement like that whatsoever.

          If the Opponent replaces them, then their hand is becoming lesser which is restricting the Nubatama condition. Not to mention, you could as easily say that about Goku Kagero, they retire stuff so they force the Opponent to play stuff from the hand.

          One last thing before I finish, make sure you get some facts straight before you reply because you
          didn’t read Midnight Bunny claiming that it had to hit the Vanguard to activate which is untrue, you claimed that I was acting as if Stern Blaukruger was guaranteed to hit despite my scenario was actually focused on Stern being good because it was not hitting (and therefore getting guarded) and you also claimed that Stern Blaukruger was a pressure unit implying that Stealth Dragon, Dreadmaster wasn’t despite both units forcing the Opponent to guard and punishing for them not guarding.

          Make sure not to repeat anything that will just make us go around in circles either.

          • Altaadela

            if they were to release support for this clan, it would be in the form of some sort of limit break skill, as well as clones of other units (damage unflippers, on-hit draw cards, a megablast unit somewhere, aermo clones etc) they cant just release a set of triggers, a starter and vanillas, and say “hey, here, play this deck without any sort of creativity, just put 4 of every nubatama card in existence in a deck”

            Basically, the entire concept of forcing your opponent to guard everything mid game is stupid, and can change even more say, if there was a unit that discarded 2 cards if it hit in the form of a grade 3. sure, they cant hit massive numbers, but being able to hit 16k at the time of the release was huge, and they cant just release lackluster cards that dont allow the clan to hit bigger numbers because that would not be fair in the meta.

            so, no, there will never be any nubatama support, EVER, because the concept of forcing your opponent to guard everything early, INCLUDING AGAINST THEIR REARGUAURDS, is retarded. I’ll just not attack the vanguard, and hit all of your rearguards, until you run out of cards to play, and by that time, I am in such a strong position that it wont matter that my columns are 16-18k, because you wont be able to guard at all.