Hello fellow Vanguardians! My name is Adam Jackson, a.k.a. Agent of TeamNoGuard, and I am from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I've played Cardfight!! Vanguard since it's english debut in North America. Since then, I've competed in 2 regionals, and judged one; getting Top 8 in the Toronto Stand Up Cup! hosted in April. When the game started, I bought my first Kagero trial deck, sticking with the clan ever since, going from Goku, to Overlord Beatdown, to Lawkeeper, and finally to DOTE. Throughout the history of Vanguard after it's release in set 5, DOTE, (Dragonic Overlord The End) has been a stupendous competitor in any tournament scene, whether it be local, regional, or even national. The ability to have a re-standing vanguard with twin drive is the epitome of pressure.
Now, this card on it's own can do some amazing things. First off, if you have it's well known counter-part, Dragonic Overlord, in the soul, this unit is continuously 13k base on both player's turns. Second, it has a potentially game winning persona blast. Having a 13k base means that in order to hit decent numbers, your opponent now has to create 18k columns, which a lot of decks have some trouble doing. If the deck can't create multiple 18k columns, chances are you're already ahead in the game. The persona blast however is what really makes this card pack a punch. The text reads: "Counter blast 2, & choose a card named 'Dragonic Overlord The End' from your hand, and discard it. When this unit's attack hits, you may pay the cost. If you do, stand this unit". The most important thing to note about this skill is that it doesn't need to just hit Vanguard, it can attack a rear-guard, and re-stand. Plus, on top of that, it also keeps any trigger effects you decide to place on it. So say you check a crit, and apply all effects of that trigger to the Vanguard, when it re-stands, it's now at 16k, as opposed to 11k, but is also hitting for 2 critical! Remember how I said potentially game ending? Yeah.
Dragonic Overlord The End is a superb card, and it can hold it's own against anything. But, just recently, there was a new set released for the Vanguard english game titled: Set 11: Seal Dragons Unleashed! This set came with support for a bunch of clans, ranging from Tachikaze, all the way to a not yet playable clan, Genesis. However, there has been one card in this set that has been receiving a lot of attention, and that card is Dauntless Drive Dragon.
For starters, this card is the first and currently only break ride for the Kagero clan. A break ride is when you re-ride over a grade 3, with a card that is grade 3 or higher, at 4 or more damage, in order to gain a certain ability. Dauntless Drive Dragon reads: "When a Kagero unit rides this unit, choose your Vanguard, and until end of that turn, it gains 10k, and: AUTO, 'choose 3 cards from your hand, and discard them'. At the end of the battle that this unit attacked, if this unit has not become stood during that turn, you may pay the cost. If you do, stand this unit". It also has another skill that makes it gain 2k power when attacking if your field has more rear-guards than your opponents. This card is mainly talked about being used with none other than the infamous DOTE, and the deck has respectively earned the nickname: Dauntless DOTE. Some of you may be wondering, what does Dauntless do for DOTE, DOTE already re-stands, so why do I want this card? There are some upsides to running Dauntless DOTE, one of them being when you break ride, you almost have a guaranteed extra attack in that turn. And like any re-standing Vanguard, any trigger effects you get from drive checks, if applied to Vanguard, stay there until the end of the turn, meaning you have more potential to swing for 2 crit. Although one of the most unreasonable fears of this card with DOTE, is doing 6 drive checks in one turn. That's a lot! Now while 6 drive checks may seem like a whole lot, (trust me it is) it is also incredibly hard to pull off. Usually the purpose of a DOTE deck is to maintain field control with cards like Berserk Dragon, and Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara.
Berserk Dragons ability to retire the opponents backrow, and attack the front row, was and still is on of the key components of DOTE, along with pressure. In a typical DOTE deck, pressure can be applied as early as turn 3 if Lizard Soldier Conroe has not been used, forcing your opponent to guard, or risk you getting the game ending persona blast off.
Earlier on, I stated that it was incredibly hard to actually perform 6 drive checks in one turn, and it is. So first what we need to do is Break Ride DOTE over Dauntless. Next, we need to make sure we have 2 open counter blasts. Then, we also need to have another copy of DOTE in our hand, after we break ride, (2 before break ride). All that isn't necessarily that hard to achieve, but the next part is a bit tricky to say the least. Dauntless Drive Dragon states that if the Vanguard has already stood once that turn, it is not allowed to re-stand again that turn. For example, if I break ride DOTE over Dauntless, then I attack the vanguard, and my attack hits, if I choose to use DOTE's persona blast, I've now just lost the ability to use Dauntless' skill. But, if I attack with my vanguard, and choose to use Dauntless' skill first, I now have a chance at getting of DOTE's persona. There's just one problem, most people will just guard the second attack. But why not just guard the first attack? See, if you guard the second attack via a perfect guard, or a few 10k shields, you now just made them -3 to attack into nothing. Overall, after all 4 drive checks, they've negged 1. Say they start with 2 in hand, and break ride, so they have 1 in hand. They drive check, and have 3 in hand, then use Dauntless' skill, have no cards in hand, and drive check 2 more cards. They're now back where they started, with 2 cards in hand, and they've gained no advantage. Consequently, if you guard the first attack, then you just set yourself up for failure. How? After you've guarded the first attack, they use Dauntless' skill. Well now since Dauntless' skill has been used for the turn, they can use DOTE's ability. But, because them getting off persona would be a bad thing, you should more likely than not guard that attack too. So by guarding the first attack, you've now made it so you have to guard the second attack too.
While that last part makes Dauntless DOTE a tiny bit better, the players who know what they're doing will take the first attack, and the break ride is rendered useless. There is one more bit that I'd like to touch upon before I wrap this article up. As previously stated, DOTE is a control deck that can start from anywhere as soon as turn 3, making for a possible persona blast then and there. Though with Dauntless on the vanguard circle, you now have to wait until you hit limit break, which is usually turn 4-5, in order for an attempt at the persona blast. An attempt; that doesn't sound all that great. Wouldn't you rather it be more than an attempt? Me too. Also, one last very important thing to note, when Dauntless is on the Vanguard circle, Burning Horn Dragon, the decks signature 12k attacker, becomes a 9k vanilla until you ride DOTE over Dauntless, and there are some games where you will never see DOTE.
All in all, Dauntless DOTE isn't the best 2 combination of cards. Dauntless hinders the deck more than it supports it. It makes your 12k attackers 9k until turn 4-5, doesn't apply pressure early game, and in the competitive scene, you will almost always -1 with it after break riding.
Hopefully this article will make people see Dauntless DOTE in a different light aside from "6 drive checks", and makes them think carefully about what they're putting into their deck, and how it directly and indirectly affects it.
Thanks for reading!