Hey guys, Travis here, today I will be discussing and breaking down one of my favorite clans. This brings us to the question of the article, are Shadow Paladins broke or a joke? This is a common question among the Vanguard community, especially in comparison to the other hype clans such as Royal Paladin, Kagero, and Gold Paladin. The answer to this question is that they are absolutely amazing even against the clans that have overshadowed the others in the game. So, why is this clan good? The first notable interest of this clan would be its ability to generate pluses through abilities. Cards such as Skull Witch, Nemain and Darkness Maiden, Macha are two noteworthy cards that make this clan a top contender. Nemain filters the hand of one unneeded card by replacing it with two new ones, while Macha generates a booster behind her and both have very low costs for such a generous plus.
Speaking of generous pluses, this clan has a ride chain that provides a guaranteed ride to grade 2 just by opening up with the grade 1 unit, Blaster Javelin. When ridden over top of the starting vanguard Fullbau, this helpful little hound fetches a copy of Blaster Dark straight from your deck to your hand. Consistency and a plus all in one package, but it gets better. Normally, riding a 6000 power grade 1 would result in being open to a rush from your opponent, however this isn't the case due to Blaster Javelin's skill if Fullbau is in the soul, he becomes a passive 8000 Vanguard. Lets move on to the next stage which is the grade 2 unit known as Blaster Dark. This unit is strictly played to generate a free ride and a first turn plus, it does have an ability which isn't normally used. However, this ability can change the flow of a game greatly if played at the right time. Like his light counterpart Blaster Blade, he sports the ability to retire a unit at the cost of 2 counterblasts given that he is ridden as the Vanguard. This ability sounds good on paper, but in reality is a choice depending on the state of the current game. A prime target with Blaster Dark would be starting Vanguards with good abilities, such as Spring Breeze Messenger or units that are causing an issue. Units that may cause other issues are good boosters or a pesky 12000 power attacker that is waiting to make you minus shield to stop it. In the end, it all comes down to situation and the shape of the opposing player. Its pretty easy to spot a bad situation on an opposing player and making the opponent suffer more adds purpose to this deck.
At this point, we have reached Grade 3 which is in most cases is the midpoint of the game. This is the part where the game usually gets interesting. Everything adding up to this point is put into effect such as, hand size, units available, and damage count. Our first grade 3 Vanguard is a card that was a bit over-hyped by the anime. I am of course talking about Phantom Blaster Dragon. This card has sparked a'lot of controversy between players on whether it is good or bad. The issue with this controversy is that it is all about it's ability. The card's ability is to counterblast 2 and retire 3 Shadow Paladin units, during this turn this card receives 10000 power and +1 critical. Immediately, you can see where the controversy begins, although that is not what you need to look at in this card. First noteworthy ability of this card is, if Blaster Dark is in the soul it becomes a passive 11000 power Vanguard. The second bit of valuable information to remember is the key to the clan's 13000 cross ride. Having 10000 power and critical is nice but on average this skill will never go off and if it is used, most of the time it will not hit. This card's 11000 body and use for the better version of itself in it's cross ride is all that I need to want to play it. Phantom Blaster Overlord is the card that makes this deck viable, along with some of the newly released cards such as Masquerade, Nightmare Painter and Apocalypse Bat. Sporting an 11000 power body, and reaching 13000 when Phantom Blaster Dragon is in the soul makes this card one bulky powerhouse. In our English version of the game, only one other card can reach a passive 13000 power, which is Dragonic Overlord The End. In other words, the more power to his defense you have means the less shield that you would need to drop in order to guard. Flipping one trigger throws him to an impressive 18000, which can hold off most rows with a measly 5000 shield. This card, however, suffers from the same opinions of Phantom Blaster Dragon. This unit is a counterblast 3 and a persona blast to grant it 10000 power and +1 critical for the turn. This ability also suffers from the fact that it must be paid before you attack if you intend to use it. As I said previously, it's defensive capability is enough for me to use this card, as well as it's effect is far easier to maneuver and more affordable compared to its previous form.
As I wrap up this article, I'm going to leave you all with some final thoughts. Shadow Paladin is a clan that thrives with pluses and delivers devastating hits to your opponent. The one thing to remember is this deck has a momentum, that if lost, will start to falter. Be sure to use your resources and effects wisely. With the right pilot behind it, this deck is a force to be reckoned with and I have no doubts it will make some kind of an impact in the near future. Below is a list for all of you to try and I hope that it encourages you to give this clan a chance. So in closing, to answer the question 'broke or joke?', I won't say that it is broke, but it's certainly not a joke. This clan will mirror the skill of its pilot and in turn, show it's true potential.