THE END! MAJESTY LORD BLASTER! PHANTOM BLASTER OVERLORD! The Sound that is constantly ringing from nearly every vangaurd players vocals.
As everyone should know. At the end of this February the newest booster set for Cardfight!! Vangaurd is BT05 - The Awakening of Twin Blades. With this new set a whole new aspect of the game is going to hit the North American Circuit, and that is the cross-rides. Cross-rides are basically a grade 3.5 type unit, for those who are confused it is a card you would "ride" ontop of your current grade 3. These cards are specific to certain builds that of if there is a certain Vangaurd in your "soul" it grants abilities to these cards being a increase in its attack power along with many other special effects.
The majority of the vangaurd community knows nearly everything about these cards already, but it seems that people are putting these units on such a high pedestal that they are overlooking the other aspects that this set is bringing. Those who know how the game has slated for release in a different way than most card games. So far there are 7 different box sets of boosters, however they release them in such orders that booster set 6 came out before booster set 5. They do this so that the game can remain balanced in that all decks have just about the same chance of winning a game as the next. I bring this up because while everyone is looking up to these high and mighty cross-rides, the thing people are missing is the support the other clans are receiving due to this games balanced nature of play.
Pushing these new cross-rides to the aside for now, this set introduces the two newest clans for the North American scene, Murakumo and Neo Nectar. Of these 2 Murakumo seems to be the more highly anticipated of the new releases do to the support it receives, where as the rest of the Neo Nectar will have to wait for the next set to get more enhanced support. The Murakumo units, are based on ninja theme, have abilities to basically "clone" themselves by allowing the user to search cards from their deck and call copies of itself to open spots, allowing the player to maintain their hand-size along with thinning out their deck for more chances for hitting a trigger. Not only do they have these "cloning" abilities but their main Grade 3 Vangaurd, Covert Demonic Dragon Mandala Lord, has the ability to weaken an opponents attacker by 10,000 power, which can pretty much nullify the effects of triggers along with those of these "god-like" cross-rides whose effects include boosting attack power at times and gaining critical power abilities, making this unit able to stand up to those more powerful decks.
The Neo Nectar, are a plant themed unit, whose strategy is based around boosting other units on the field through abilities, along with prolonging attack steps. By this for example the cards used have abilities similar to those of the Spike Brothers clan (or that of Madolches in Yugioh) where after an attack you can return the card to your deck/hand thus emptying your field for the time being, but with the effect of the Grade 3 unit, Maiden of Trailing Rose, when it hits the vanguard it allows you to look at your top 5 cards and choose ANY 2 from it and call it to the field, giving you ample opportunity to send more attacks towards your opponent. The thing about this is that even if you don't pull of the effect of the cards that return to the deck you can still call these units on top of another if you retire them. So basically you can get 5 attacks per turn for a easy cost of discarding a copy of the same grade 3 from your hand. Its a deck that a lot of people are underestimating because the units alone have a lower power, but are built around synching with the other units in the deck to boost the strength and remain aggressive with multiple attacks. I personally will be building this deck, becuase it seems interesting and its also a way for people to step back from the main decks of the meta, and see what these other decks can do.
The rest of this set consists of support for existing clans, The Dimensional Police receive quite a bit of upgrades with a new grade 3 unit along with more stand triggers giving them more options to having a new deck build with the Enigman Rain card, that can potentially grant an endless cycle of attacks through abilities. This is due to the effect of Miracle Beauty, the new grade 3, the stand triggers and Commander Laurel, a grade 1 card that allows the vanguard to re-stand by resting 4 rear guards. The loop comes from using this effect and triggering a stand, since with this set there will be 8, and using the effect on Miracle Beauty which has its own effect to stand a unit in the same column when it is stood. Thus looping Laurel for multiple uses per turn, as well as giving ample draw power with the twin drive effect.
The main attractions are the trigger releases in this set, as above stated the Dimensional Police, will put them up with the ranks of the highly played Nova Grappler, but also they add more critical triggers to the Oracle Think Tank clan which is a real pain, when up against a advanced player do to Silent Tom. Having 12 Crits in an OTT deck gives amazing advantage to players who use Tom and his ability to negate Grade 0 units from defending. And the pressure through a Soul-less Oracle build that already can hit for high numbers just got better as it gives more opportunity to do an extra damage, with 12 critical triggers in the deck assuming you have none in hand you already have a near 30% chance to hit a critical trigger with the odds becoming more likely as the game progresses and the deck gets smaller. So in all they may be increasing power with these cross-rides but as players may be beginning to see the cross-rides are generally a late game "one-trick pony" meaning you will probably only pull the effect once, and it will be late game, where as with these new clans, new supports and triggers, the aggression game early will be more consistent and the game can be over before you even have a chance to pull out said cross-ride. Moral of all this Don't Overlook the Support, Power isn't Everything.