We all know having information is key to success in any TCG, Cardfight!! Vanguard is no exception. Having information on your opponent is a great thing, and no i don't mean what food they likes and what their hobbies are. I mean having knowledge on the deck they are playing and what cards they have.
Stand Up! My Vanguard!:
Now obviously, straight away you are not going to know what card your opponent has in their hand. But you should know what deck they are playing straight off the bat when they reveal their starting Vanguard. So straight away you are being given access to knowledge on your opponent, but remember they also have the same amount of knowledge on you too. But, now that you know what deck they are playing you can then start to play around to combat that deck and make sufficient decisions on yours and their plays. However, sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what deck they are playing from their starter, for example Kagero. Kagero use only one starter at the moment (unless you are playing the Amber Dragon variant) and that is Lizard Soldier, Conroe. Now come release of Set 5: Awakening of Twin Blades, their will be a New Kagero deck out. This uses Conroe as their starter. The other deck is Goku Kagero, meaning you now have to make a decision on whether they are playing Goku Kagero or the new boy Dragonic Overlord- The End. So having that information from the start of the game may not always help, but it will always give you some insight into what your opponent is playing.
As you start getting deeper into a game, you start to have knowledge on cards your opponent has in their hand. This comes through the power of the Drive Check. When your opponent is Drive checking they reveal the top card of their deck (or the top two in the case of a Grade 3) and add it to their hand. Be it a trigger or just an ordinary unit. This gives you immediate knowledge of some cards your opponent will have in their hand as you have just seen them. So lets say your opponent reveals a Perfect guard. If you dont know what one of them is its basically a card where when its place on the Guardian Circle, you can discard one and negate the attack, however you still get the drive check.
So now you have to play around that perfect guard and make your opponent either use it, or bring them down to enough cards in their hand so they can not use it. The latter normally being easier to perform when your opponent is at five damage and you have a full field meaning they have to guard every attack or take the risk on a heal trigger. So having that knowledge is great as you can play around it and put your opponent at a disadvantage forcing them to use it when they don't want to, or changing the game completely in your favour.
Now, obviously it may not always work out like that, they can drive check something and you have no way to play around it. But, having that knowledge is very key and gives you the opportunity to make reads on your opponent.
Triggers! Triggers are what make Vanguard what it is. Im sure we have all had the experience of crit for game. I know i have, more times than i can count. Its not a great thing but its how the game is. However, triggers are an extremely good way to read your opponent and make your own plays. A player has to play exactly 16 triggers in deck, this meaning that you can always make a prediction on how many triggers they have remaining. So lets say, its late game and its your opponents turn, you have 3 cards in hand all with a shield of 10000. Your opponent attacks with his Vanguard at you. You are already at 5 damage and they have a full field and 2 more attacks. You know you have to guard the next attack but you question how much for. 10000 would be enough without them revealing a trigger. You now have access to check their Damage Zone and their Drop Zone. "Why?" you might ask, quite simple really, triggers, you check to see how many triggers are in deck and this determines how much you guard for.
Having that knowledge can COMPLETELY change the tide of the game in your favour. Knowing how many triggers are in the Drop Zone and Damage Zone, and if you have been paying attention, in the handas well, literally can change everything. Making accurate reads on your opponents cards always assists in your Image of Victory.
The final portion of this is, your opponents body language. Being able to look at your opponent and read them is a key to a very good player. Being able to see their reactions either to a draw or to a drive check is great. Say they reveal a Grade 3 in their drive check and they sigh. You know that is not what they wanted and they may not have enough to guard your next attack now. All that can make a massive difference in the course of the game.
Making accurate reads on your opponent always helps in any TCG. Being able to react to their reactions will set you apart from being a good player to a great player. So many times i have been playing a game and i have revealed a grade 3 and sighed, i knew i did not have enough to guard my opponents next attack, however, one of my friends would say to me "Poker Face Ashlee". It's a term we use as probably most people have heard of, meaning you hide your emotions, so your opponent can not make a read on you. Being able to use this will also set you apart from other players, as people wont be able to read you, where as you can read them and make decisive plays, whilst they are attempting to gain knowledge on you.
Obviously, don't be one of these people who have no emotion, it just makes games less fun, and makes you an overall terrible player to play with.
Overall, knowledge is key in any TCG you play, and Cardfight!! Vanguard is no exception. I hope you have enjoyed this article, and remember have fun, and enjoy your image of victory.