Card games as a whole:
Over the last few decades, card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic The Gathering, Kaijudo, and Cardfight Vangard have transpired, and spread like wildfire. Hundreds of thousands of card game players across the globe have banded together to form local, national, and worldwide communities of like-minded enthusiasts to further their card-gaming experience. Regardless of age, location, or even experience, card games have developed into a way of being connected to other people. Lasting friendships and unforgettable memories have been created on a global scale throughout this worldwide phenomenon we know as “card games”.
Cardfight Vanguard is a prime example of a fresh, steadily growing game that with a warm and welcoming hand, has grasped the hearts of a multitude of gamers. Gamers such as myself, my friends, and even the friends I had not known, and never would have known before my embarkation on the journey of Vanguard have been captivated by the game’s simple, yet elegant design and gameplay. Comparable card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh delve too far into a maze of contradicting rules and regimens, while Cardfight Vanguard consists of a solid turn-by-turn basis that keeps the game running smoothly for both unseasoned and experienced Vanguard players alike. The unneeded complexity of game mechanics in most other card games can ruin a player’s sense of enjoyment, their “moment of glory”, which ceases to exist when an opponent’s trap card negates one’s every action. These card game styles of “hard counters” and decks that essentially counteract each other turn a skill and luck based game into a small match of rock-paper-scissors. On the other hand, Cardfight Vanguard has been very careful to create an environment where skill and knowledge prevail over deck lists and counters, creating a very enjoyable game where victory is never assured until the last turn is played.
It's in your head, not the deck.
In Cardfight Vanguard, the contents of a player’s deck are very important, but it is even more so important to have a knowledge of your opponent’s deck and play style, and to try and predict what your opponent will do using information that you already know. In card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh, (the best example) a deck may practically “run itself” in an over-conglomeration of chained effects. There is no need to know what your opponent is using, there is almost no way to guess what they have to work with, and there is almost no point in knowing, as victory is assured if a player can summon Monster A, and perform Combo B faster than their opponent can, (which is usually known quite quickly from the start of the match) making a further comparison between these styles of card games and rock-paper-scissors as mentioned earlier. In Cardfight Vanguard, the winning player is almost always the player with better skills, except for in some circumstances where luck plays an obvious factor in the player’s victory (hey, it happens in every game). With this, I can guarantee you that strong Vanguard Fighters (as we call ourselves) win more consistently with or without a “top tier” deck in the long run, and regardless of the many swings of luck throughout the games they play.
One of the greatest reasons that I play Cardfight Vanguard is because each turn accentuates one specific player. That means that every time it is your turn in the game, the entire game revolves around YOU. Does that not make sense? Is that a no-brainer? Many other card games involve initiating chains of effects during your opponents turn. This isn’t always a bad thing; in other card games there are many creative effects that can force your opponent to perform their turn in a certain way, and maintain “control” over the game by making actions during their turn. In my opinion, many of the popular card games have gone too far overboard with effects and mechanics that activate during an opponent’s turn, creating staple cards that players are forced to run in every deck, and could even be considered game-breaking. Examples would be: Card A: “Activate during an opponent’s turn; negate the entrance of an opponent’s card”, or even: Card B: “When an opponent’s card attacks, destroy all of the opponent's cards on the field”. I, as well as a great number of my friends in the Cardfight Vanguard community do not believe that these effects benefit a player’s enjoyment of the game, but instead create a tug-o-war effect, or a one-sided power struggle. The course of the game would be simple: Player A summons a monster; attacks player B. Player B destroys Player A’s field. Player B summons monsters and attacks player A. Player A destroys player B’s field…… Effects such as these transform card games into oceans of unbalanced, back-and-forth, contradicting waves that ruin the enjoyment of the gameplay, as well as the suspense of the game’s conclusion. However, creative effects do exist in Cardfight Vanguard, such as cards that force your opponent to move their cards around, or restrain them from “standing” (being able to attack). Virtually no solid “negation” cards exist in Vanguard, as a player’s turn was meant to belong almost solely to them. This gives players a sense of safety during their turn, comparable with chess. Players only need to worry about what their opponent will do during their opponent’s turn, and not about whether or not those ominous face-down cards will suddenly activate and destroy a prized unit the moment it is called to the field. This makes every turn in Vanguard a chance to swing the game into one’s favor. This makes every player’s turn a “moment of glory”, an opportunity in the spotlight to retaliate and win.
I would like to say that I have played all of the aforementioned card games in my article, and have found great enjoyment in all of them throughout many years. There are good sides, and bad sides to each and every card game that exists, and it is up to the card gamer to choose a card game to play based on what they want to obtain through playing the game; whether that is fame and glory through large events and competition, or just casual play with your friends. The choice is yours. Remember, it doesn’t matter what game you play (I may have bashed the above mentioned games), we all play on the same team. We are all united as a team of card gamers. I play Cardfight Vanguard. I hope this article helps you decide what card game you want to play next, even if it is Magic the Gathering, Kaijudo, or Yu-gi-Oh. Thanks for reading my article.
-Mackenzie “Mak” Myers