Hello, everyone. This is Jorge, also known as Karu Panda, a CF!! Vanguard player from Brazil. I haven't posted anything related to this game so far on the internet, so this is my first actual article. I've been playing it since its Japanese release (or the closest to it) and then updated with the English release, but by no way I mean that because I have been playing for so long I am more experienced than anyone, which brings me to the title: I say "facts", however I mean it more towards what I've experienced in playing the game with friends and acquaintances and I take it as facts for me. Over all, I am going to explain through this article some things I think some people should know before playing CardFight!! Vanguard or try to make up the minds of those who have been playing (or not, we all have different opinions, after all). With all that said, here they go:
1. CardFight!! Vanguard hasn't been there long enough!
When we talk about how long this card-game has lived, many people consider it to be flawed and broken at some parts and have been considering writing Erratas and even fixing the power of some cards to "level" it with the cards we have on the latter boxes. However, we should consider that the first box was released on March, 2011, so it hasn't been there for very long. There's so much to be done in Vanguard still and as sad as it is, older cards tend to get, well, old, some will forever be powerful, some will be overpowered by newer ones. So I've heard some people saying "There should be formats for Vanguard, such as Championships 'BT-06 and forward'." and for that I must say it -could- work, let's take for example another card-game: Magic The Gathering; It's been way longer in the market than CardFight!! Vanguard, with 16 core sets and even more expansion sets, so it has experience, lived long enough to fix the problems of the past and change some rules to make the game more fun to play. Also, there's another point to be taken, which takes us to fact 2...
2. This card-game is fueled by the Anime/Manga.
That's basically it, CardFight!! Vanguard lives stronger and stronger because of that media, and in the anime there are some main characters and they have a Clan of choice, so that influences on the fact those Clans will always receive stronger cards. You may say "Yu-Gi-Oh! was the same, but..." and I reply with: There weren't Clans in Yu-Gi-Oh!, at least in the same life-span that Vanguard has right now, you could use whatever cards you had in your deck and the gameplay is very different, so if there was a very good card, you could simply put it in your deck and it maybe could help you in your strategy, but in CF!! Vanguard you need to focus on ONE Clan at a time (with the Lord skills and such, it only made it so you couldn't mix clans). Also, I shall remind those people that the cards in the anime and manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! could be worse or better than the real cards, since the effects would vary. To finish this fact: Think of fact 1 and 2 together, because of the Anime/Manga, the game tends to be biased to one side, leaving other clans with much less powered cards, but think of this as a really young game, so give it time, it may get better.
3. Now to the gameplay, the main factors that rule over it.
This one is more likely a matter of opinion, but considering the experience I had in playing the game I could say that the factors, in order of more important to less important, are: Luck, Deck, Skillpower and Math. Why's that? Here's a little list explaining each (again, this is a matter of opinion. Take it as you wish).
Luck: It doesn't matter if you have a really powerful field or if you've been reigning over the whole game. A matter of not getting Triggers at the right time can end the game for you pretty quickly. Who's to say that, also, your opponent may get more criticals than you can take in the beginning of the game? For me, Luck reigns over every other factor in the gameplay.
Deck: Of course, let's not forget that the cards you have may influence the match. I went through this last weekend, when I was at a con participating in a championship and I had my Majesty Lord Blaster deck and I was set against a guy that just bought the first Gold Paladin Trial Deck. By some people's eyes, the game was won for me, but even so I had some problems within the match (which will reinforce the Luck factor) since I sometimes didn't get the right cards for ride and even had misrides. But because of the combo I have in my deck, I kind of leveled with the luck of my opponent.
Skillpower: Okay, so we talked about Luck and Deck, but let's not forget that knowing how to control your field could mean a lot to the match, maybe more than Luck. Having experience on how to get your opponent not being able to guard (such as a well placed Silent Tom when your opponent has only Grade 0's in his hand to guard or when your opponent has that Perfect Guard in his hand but your Vanguard is one that, let’s say, cancels it). So knowing how to play with your cards helps a lot in winning a match. This factor can also be called "Experience".
Math: This one is simple. You need to remember how much you have to hit an opponent and how it could influence your match later on. This combined with Skillpower will help you out knowing, for example, when a Deck may have a Crossride, letting you know you should keep those 8000 boosts in your hand or such to be able to hit.
4. Perfect Guards are overrated.
This one may not be considered a fact, but then again, I did say it's things I consider as a fact for me. Well, it's pretty simple, they are needed, but not that much. Three of them in your deck are more than enough, you may say "but with 4 I wouldn't feel so bad if I had to ride with one", but then are you really using it for its real purpose? Instead of focusing on not feeling bad having to ride with a Perfect Guard, you should be focusing on having something better to ride with. Simple as that.
5. And finally. The game is supposed to be fun.
That's it. It's a card-game, it's a game that you're supposed to be playing for fun, try not to get frustrated if you're losing or if you're not getting triggers, luck is something that reigns a lot in games. "If you're not having fun playing it, then you're playing it wrong" is what I say.
And, well, that's it for my article. These are just some points I've decided to write about since I've seen some people discussing about it lately. Over all, just remember: There will always be stronger cards, some clans will get overpowered/focused because of the anime/manga, the factors I mentioned may decide the matches, perfect guards are good, but don't have too many of them with you or they'll become a burden... And finally, relax, sit down and Stand Up, Vanguard!