A Little of Everything (BWC 2016 Report)

Hey guys, Hime-senpai checking in. October 15 is the first day of Bushiroad World Championship Philippine Qualifiers, with the first day featuring Cardfight!! Vanguard, and the second day featuring Buddyfight and Weiss Schwarz.

Let me just say that it’s been a really really fun event and these major tourneys are events that players would regret to miss. There’s no entrance fee, and you get the best of the best players under one roof. It’s definitely an experience any TCG player should never ever want to miss in his “TCG career”. Even if you’re not fond of these large tourneys, you should try attending even once in your lifetime as a player. Until you’ve been in one of these, you haven’t seen it all. I entered the tournament with my Angel Feather deck, centered around Black Shiver Gavrail, her stride fusion, Black Seraph Gavrail, and the “Rescue” mechanic.

Deck Profileg-bt07-s18en-sp

Grade 4

Grade 3

Grade 2

Grade 1

Grade 0

Yes, not the most optimized deck, but gotta make do with what I have. Plus, I sneaked in that Lancet Shooter as a gimmick “avatar” for the lulz.

It’s my first time joining a large-scale tournament. Coming into it, I felt both nervous and excited that I didn’t even get much sleep last night. Bad idea, and you’ll see why later.

So what do we have here in this blog post? A (short) tournament report for Cardfight!! Vanguard. But first….!

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Yeah. You needed to buy merch in the Bushiroad booth to get a stub for Mark Ishii’s (the VA for the main character of Vanguard G) autograph session. So, what did I blow my money on? Yes, yes, I know I’m weeb trash.

First Match – vs Murakumo (Yasuie)g-bt03-016en-rr

I opened my first ever nationals against a clan that I’ve had a number of experience fighting. It’s the good old Murakumo Shadowstitch build, whose units’ skills activate when their attacks fail to hit a Vanguard. Naturally, that creates a very deadly dilemma against a player who is at 5 damage, as he either would have to take the rearguard attack and lose (unless he checked a 6th damage heal), or let the skills activate. Of course, with the most notorious Shadowstitch ability being one that allows the unit that missed to be replaced with an identical copy. Of course, that would mean another attack, and if the second attack was guarded, another copy of the same unit comes out from the deck for a third attack. It’s basically a very very long loop which would at least guarantee at least 8 or so attacks on the Murakumo turn. At 5 damage, that combo is a death sentence.

Now, I entered the game unconcerned about that play. I was more concerned about the first stride Kagamajishi, which would allow his units to attack from the back row. Being a user of a deck with a pretty terrible early game, I was naturally concerned about that, especially since I went first and would let him have the first stride.

What happened is that I just decided to yolo rush him at grade 2. I had my grade 2 vanguard, put down a 9k, put down another 9k boosted by Sunny Smile Angel (returning Heal trigger) and struck with three attacks on my first offensive turn. He guarded one attack and let the other two through, putting him at 2 damage.

I think that fast paced blitz that’s very uncharacteristic of my playstyle eventually secured my win. By the time I opened up with my first Stride of Zachariel, the opponent is at 4 damage with 4 cards in hand (2 which ended up being grade 3s). With my rearguards alive (he ignored them and rushed my Vanguard down to 4 damage on his first Stride turn), it was a series of cheap shots that eventually did him in, thanks to my Stand triggers and Rescue checks from Surgery Angel.

Come to think of it, how ironic that I sealed my first win doing the “Murakumo stuff” that I was worried about pre-match.

Standing: 1-0

Second Match – vs Link Joker (Messiah)g-bt08-s22en-sp

Ah, the moment I saw that he’s using Messiah, I just shook my head deep inside. I did not pack Pokkurs (the unlocker Grade 2) in my deck, and Angel Feather without it is pretty much helpless against Link Joker, especially Messiah. Talk about Lady Luck not being on my side during pairings. I have experience dealing with other Angel Feather “counters” such as Kagero or the Chaos variant of Link Joker, but the Messiah matchup is the one matchup that I can’t fully solve. It’s made worse with me bringing a deck that’s not even fully optimized to deal with whatever the tournament will throw at me.

I decided to just try to steal and sack a win from the get go and try a yolo rush like game 1. The difference? This guy’s not too unlucky with his damage triggers, managing to trigger around 2 or 3 damage check heals. With him healing and pretty much undoing whatever I threw at him early on, what happened next was a grindfest that’s basically a futile struggle for me. I managed to have only one column locked during most of the game, but that’s a lot, especially for such a rearguard-centric clan like mine.

I tried to look for an opening in his guarding where I can probably steal a win with sacking Critical triggers, but the guy never gave me that opening.

He couldn’t kill me quick enough, and I can’t do anything to break his defenses. We fought each other to a deadlock until time was called and we’re both awarded with a double loss.

I kinda feel sorry for the guy though. Personally, I felt that I should have just conceded when we’re 30 seconds away from time and he’s on his way to victory anyway. I perfect guarded his Vanguard attack, leaving myself with 2 cards in hand facing two more attacks which required at least 20k guard each. Yes, I can heal at 6, but it’s not like I’ll come back to win the next turn even if I do. Sorry, man.

Standing: 1-1

Third Match – vs Gear Chronicle (Chronojet Time Leap)g-td01-002en

And so it was meta time…

Personally, I’ve learnt how to deal with the Time Leap variant of Gear Chronicle from the sheer amount of player representation in the local scene. It’s gained a bit of notorious reputation due to what people call the Time Leap cheese. What Time Leap cheese? It’s the Gear Chronicle play which allows him at least 4 little swings while increasing his handsize with the trio of Steam Maiden Melem, Ur-Watar, and anything that time leaps. Melem would swing for 11k, turn herself into Ur-Watar, which would then be time leaped back into Melem (drawing 2 and returning 1 card to the deck in the process), who would then attack for another 11k. Rinse and repeat. No damage trigger? Good luck guarding that looping 11k hit-and-run attack. Then again, my deck’s main “win con” on paper would have countered the Time Leap cheese and stopped it dead in its tracks.

This is the part where I became certain that my lack of preparation physically ended up costing me the game. I wasn’t ready for the atmosphere and strain of such a large-scale tournament, and in part due to the grindy nature of the matchup last round, my fatigue certainly showed in this game. One small misplay snowballed into another, then another.

You see, this is why people have been telling you to prepare yourself for major tournaments. I don’t care whether your deck and strategy are perfect, if your mind and body are not, a choke won’t be too far away, take it from experience. Prepare, prepare, prepare! (Which I failed to fully do)

I went first again, and we both started out playing with a slow tempo, never committing to the board. On my next turn, my hand had 4 Grade 3 units, a Grade 2, and a Heal trigger. I should have waited it out and stayed on Grade 2, to either force the Sebreeze (a G-unit Bushi made to help remedy the problem of people intentionally locking themselves out of riding, thus turning the Stride-reliant decks vanilla) at a hefty cost, leaving him with no usable counterblasts to further increase the Time Leap juggle.

I guess I tunnel vision’d on the G-Guardian, plus the terrible shield quality of the hand. I wanted to Twin Drive ASAP. In short, I made a gamble and lost. I rode into Gavrail, Twin Drive ended up giving me crap. I tried to perform a Rescue check with Suriel, failed to hit a trigger, and got juggled by the Melem cheese. With his open CBs, he was able to further extend the juggle with History Maker Dragon, giving him a huge handsize at the end of the first Stride turn.

Timely Heal triggers and Raphael’s heal, plus Gavrail’s innate defenses would keep me alive. We still managed to go back and forth despite his huge early advantage, but he would eventually win the battle of attrition with a last-ditch set of attacks. It just hurt to see that he’s left with three cards in hand at the end of the final attack, cards that wouldn’t have been there if I decided to take control of the tempo on that Grade 2 turn.

No, let me rephrase that. If I didn’t allow him to extend his own combo that much, he probably wouldn’t have some of the required combo pieces to put me to the brink in the first place!

Even then, I still had a chance with the last heal trigger inside my deck. I flipped my 6th damage and revealed Doctoroid Refros, ending the game. The card next to it? The last Heal trigger.

Oh well. That’s Vanguard. Besides, it wouldn’t have reached that point in the first place if I stayed focused and played better early on. That loss was totally on me and it’s one that will take time to get over, seeing as it’s a perfectly-winnable matchup.

Standing: 1-2

So that ended my run at Nationals. In the end, I would say I still had fun with my three games despite wanting to go deeper. Then again, I don’t think I can physically handle the grind of another round at the rate I’m going. If ever I sneaked a win from the GC player, I would probably just end up losing the next round.

At the end of it all, I hurried to the nearest fast food for food, before settling for free fights while waiting for my turn to get Mark Ishii’s autograph. Not much to tell for free fights except the funny scenario where our table was full of Bermuda decks. I was running Riviere, the guy beside me was running Raindear, and his opponent was running Lauris.

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Best Girl

Too bad my randomly-paired opponent had to play Amon, totally doing a combo-breaker. Talk about a scary demon surrounded by mermaid idols!

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Do I have the power to sack triple crits now?

Autograph session done, and it’s been a fun ride for BWC 2016. I wish a lot of my fellow NOHK bloggers good luck tomorrow for their turn in the Weiss Schwarz part of BWC. They’ll need it, and not just for the games. There seems to be a super-typhoon headed this way tomorrow, so there’s that.

I guess I did get a “Little of Everything” the event can offer for a CFV player, a win, a loss, a double-loss due to time out, the autograph, Love Live stuff, and a game at the free fight corner. The only thing missing is the game against Mark Ishii himself, but I wasn’t qualified for that in the first place, so yeah.

Till next time, Hime-senpai checking out!

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