Cardfight 101: Deck Building

Charles Hsiao

For those that are new to the Cardfight Vanguard world, the game might seem a little confusing to understand. But once you play a few games and get a grasp on the rules it is a lot of fun. First thing though is to be able to build a deck that suits your need. In many Trading Card Games, deck building is a very important part in determine how the game will result. Understanding strategies and selecing cards to suit that strategy can make a different between victory and defeat; that's why there are tech choices that people use in their deck.

An ideal deck for many people is to base the deck around a single clan, although hybrid deck can work as well. When the game first came out, many people who could not afford to make their ideal deck combined two clans together to assemble a deck. The only problem that hybriding has is triggers. A trigger can only activate if there is a unit that is the same clan on your field; however, any unit can gain the trigger effect once that condition is met. There is no impact on how units can be boosted or defended. There have been mixed decks that have done well in local plays, commonly being Nova Grappler mix with either Kagero or Megacolony. So just because someone is playing a mixed deck doesn't mean that the deck is bad.

Now let's get to the structure of the deck. In Vanguard, a deck must be 50 cards, no more and no less. Of those 50 cards you must play 16 triggers, and only a max of 4 heal triggers are allowed. Most likely another slot in you deck will be taken up for your starter vanguard (Exceptions being Battleraizer, Lozenge Magus, and Turboraizer starting decks). That means the remaining 33-34 spaces in your deck is yours to use at your will. For a vanguard deck you want to be able to go from Grade 1 to Grade 3 without a turn of not riding your vanguard one grade higher, or a misride. You should do your own experimentation to see how you like your ratios of the deck, but the generic fomat of the deck is 17 Grade 0, 14 Grade 1, 12 Grade 2 and 7 Grade 3. Of course different ratios do well for different style decks. Cards like Goku or Brigitte that like checking Grade 3 from the deck will play 9 or 10 Grade 3 to get the effect off; I even know one person who uses a 12 Grade 3 Goku deck and he hasn't misride that much at all.

There is also a generic trigger line-up as well. Many decks play straight up 8 critical, 4 draw and 4 heal triggers. Decks like Nova Grappler and Aqua Force will be playing a few choice stand triggers so their line up is different. An extremely aggressive deck may play 12 or even 16 critical triggers and disregard their defense entirely, while a balanced player will probably use 6 critical, 6 drawand 4 heal to give a good sense of offense and defense. It is up to you though to determine the trigger ratio. I have seen some weird trigger ratios that ends up working for people. I saw a person play 5 crit 3 stand 5 crit 3 heal once and he ends up winning a few matches due to the 3 stands in the deck, so when people say stands are not so good don't listen to them.

The Grade 1 of your deck are the support of your attacking ability; they can give their power to the unit in front of them for a bigger attack power, and Grade 2 and 3 do not have this abiliy, so it is important to be able to have enough Grade 1 to ride, then call three more to maximize your attack power as much as you can. The average power of Grade 1 is 6000 to 8000 base, with some units being able to raise their power to 9000 or even 10000 under certain conditions. The aggressive decks will be playing 3-4 of the 8000 unit beause it allows the rearguard to attack with a power of 17000 or 18000 at least. The decks that revolve around units' skill will be playing units with 6000 and 7000 power as they possess the abilities the deck needs to set up for their win condition.

Grade 2 is easily considered the most useful grade as it has offensive power as well as defensive abilities. Most deck's Grade 2 will have 9000 to 10000 power, the 9000 power units being able to use abilities like Blaster Blade. The 10000 units are for beatdown, being able to hit the majority of Grade 3 units without a boost. The best part about the Grade 2 unit is the intercept ability, which allows the Grde 2 unit in the front line to help defend the attack. There are also units with the especial intercept ability, whose intercept shield increases by another 5000, allowing you to save cards from your hand to defend. The downside is their 8000 power, making them weak and vulnerable to rearguard attack.

And while not as versatile as Grade 3, the Grade 3 units are the most powerful units in the game yet, possessing game-breaking abilities such as Limit Break and Persona Blast. With a power average of 10000 to 11000 they can wack away at anything about without support when necessary. The deck's main point will be around the 7 to 8 Grade 3 that you choose to lead your deck. The majority of the game will be setting up for either these unit's Limit Break, an ability that activates by paying the cost when you have 4 damage, or Persona Blast, an ability that triggers when you discard a copy of the same unit as your vanguard. Later on some decks will be granted a unit with Ultimate Break, a form of Limit Break that is soo powerful that you can only activate the effect at 5 damage.

These are the things that you should be considering when assembling your vanguard deck. What is the main power behind the deck? What are the steps you can take to obtain that victory? What kind of abilities should the deck be using? What style does the deck use? As long as you think about these things while putting together your deck your image of victory will surly happen!

Charles Hsiao

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