Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trial Deck Review: Resonance of Thunder Dragon

Last month I took a look at the Gold Paladins' first trail deck Slash of Silver Wolf, and today I'm going to take a look at its counterpart. Resonance of Thunder Dragon was the fourth trial deck release in the English Edition. The trial deck introduced Limit Break alongside Slash of the Silver Wolf and the new Narukami clan. The RR card is Thunder Break Dragon, and the two R cards are Djinn of the Lightning Flare and Djinn of the Lightning Spark.

Lackluster Boss

Thunder Break Dragon is one of the weakest boss units from a trial deck. It is nothing more than a copy of Blaster Dark in grade 3 form, a different clan, and with 10K power. It will become a vanilla Limit Break unit after its second skill is used. The card would be more useful if the second skill was an ACT instead of AUTO similar to its counterpart Great Silver Wolf, Garmore. Players are able to build good decks around Great Silver Wolf, Garmore, but are unable to build solid decks for Thunder Break dragon.

Horrible Supporting Cast

They always say a good boss has a good supporting cast, and we already know the boss is terrible. Don't expect much from the remaining cards in the deck because they are very ineffective. Djinn of the Lighting Flare and Djinn of the Lightning Spark are two of the worst designed R cards I have ever seen in a trial deck. Both units are restricted to attacking an opponent's vanguard, they also have a stereotypical skill to gain power with a Narukami unit as the vanguard.

There is some bright light at the end of the tunnel. Red River Dragoon, Thunderstorm Dragoon and the triggers are the only cards that are used in many competitive Narukami decks. These are the only cards in the deck that should be vanilla based on how 8K units and 10K units have been created in the game.

Missed Opportunity To Showcase Narukami's Abilities 

Narukami is very similar to Kagero, both clans focus on retiring opponent's units to control the field. Narikami's controlling tactics are aggressive and for gaining an offensive advantage by increasing an unit's power and gaining extra criticals. The units in Resonance of Thunder Dragon lack the skills to properly demonstrate Narukami's playstyle and potential as a clan. The lack of complex units does not create a good strategy for the deck.

Thunder Break Dragon is the only card in the trial deck that gives a weak representative of the clan's playstyle. The trial deck should have included a few units with skills to retire units and gain power when an opponent's unit is retired to the Drop Zone. It would have given veteran players and new players alike a very good perspective on how to build a good Narukami deck and what combos are the most effective.

The Final Word

Resonance of Thunder Dragon is by far one of the worst trial decks to date. My main complaints about the trial deck are the terrible boss unit, pure vanilla strategy, and not showcasing Narukami's playstyle. Trial decks are supposed to give players especially new players a general idea of how a clan and archetype operate, and Bushiroad failed to do either in this trial deck. Vanilla decks can give players an understanding of the game's mechanic, but these types of decks do not allow new players to critically think about combo plays that reflect the clan's tactics.

Do not buy this worthless trial deck. The only useful cards in the deck are triggers, Red River Dragoon, and Thunderstorm Dragoon. You are much better off buying staple cards as singles rather than spending $15 to $20 on a poorly designed trial deck.

Score: 1 out of 5

Monday, October 20, 2014

Card Discussion: Starliege Paladynamo

2 Level 4 LIGHT monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 2 Xyz Materials from this card to target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, its effects are negated. When this card you control is destroyed by your opponent's card (either by battle or by card effect) and sent to your Graveyard: Draw 1 card.
Starliege Paladynamo is one of nine Ultra Rare cards in the 2013 Zexal Collection. It is one of the tin's most sought after cards for its powerful effect and being only available in the tin. The XYZ monster focuses on using Light monsters to XYZ summon it, its requirements fit with its Light attribute. Despite being restricted to only Light monsters for its summoning's requirements, it can be played in many decks along with various archetypes.

There is no need to fear your opponent's powerful boss monsters with Starliege Paladynamo in your Extra Deck. His first effect will render an opponent's monster useless by making its ATK 0 and removing all of its effects. The effect will instantly assist Starliege Paladynamo in destroying almost any monster on the field with ease. However, the effect only be used once if you are unable to attach new XYZ materials, and this situation will leave Starliege Paladynamo vulnerable on the field. The effect's high cost retains balance, and prevents players from abusing the effect every turn. For this reason, only summon this monster when you really need to destroy a threatening monster on the field.

Light themed decks such as Chaos, Noble Knight, Lightsworn, Photon, and various rogue decks can use Starliege Paladynamo's services to their advantage! It will help the decks overcome some of their disadvantages against particular archetypes and monsters. These decks have many ways to XYZ summon an XYZ monster in a single turn. A Noble Knight deck Normal summons Noble Knight Artorigus to special summon Noble Knight Gawayn from the hand, then uses the two monsters to perform the XYZ summon.

Finally, the second effect is a very nice bonus. A player can draw a card when Starliege Paladynamo is destroyed by the opponent in battle or with a card's effect. The second effect provides a quick recovery from the lost to regroup. It is a simple one for one play with the player losing his or her monster, and also drawing one card in consequence.

Overall, Starliege Paladynamo is a balanced and strong  XYZ monster that can make immediate impact in various decks. Its stats are not impressive, but its effect makes up for the lack of ATK to give it a temporary advantage over powerful monsters. A monster with the ability to destroy any monster is always a good card to me. Players should consider adding Starliege Paladynamo to their Light themed decks' Extra Deck.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Unit of The Week: Revenger, Desperate Dragon

Now is the time. ......Activate, Code of Ragnarok! 
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (1)-card with "Revenger" in its card name] When this unit attacks a vanguard, if the number of rear-guards you have is more than your opponent's, you may pay the cost. If you do, this unit gets [Power]+5000/[Critical]+1 until end of that battle.
[AUTO](VC):[Choose one of your «Shadow Paladin» rear-guards, and retire it] At the beginning of your main phase, you may pay the cost. If you do, your opponent chooses one of his or her rear-guards, and retires it.
[CONT](VC/RC): Lord (If you have a unit without a same clan as this unit, this unit cannot attack)
Desperate times call for desperate measures. A powerful dragon lurks in the shadows on Cray as it waits for its opportunity to prove its worth. Revenger, Desperate Dragon has come from the shadows to aid his fellow Shadow Paladins in the war against Link Joker. Blaster Dark gladly accepts assistance and commands Revenger, Desperate Dragon to lead an unit into battle to stop Link Joker's invasion.

Revenger, Desperate Dragon is one of the most overlooked Revengers. Revenging Form Dragon and Dragruler Phantom are more popular choices among players. Revenger, Desperate Dragon's Limit Break appears to be just as desperate as its name because it only boosts the vanguard's power. Its Limit Break gives 5K power and an additional critical to the dragon when the player has more rear guards than his or her opponent.

Furthermore, the power boost and additional critical will only give a slight advantage to the player. An opponent will always use a Perfect Guard to negate the attack to avoid risking two or more damage. However, an opponent will not always have a Sentinel in  hand to block the attack so it has the potential to quickly defeat an opponent in a bad position. The additional pressure from the Limit Break can force a player to either use a considerable amount of cards in his or her hand to block the attack or take the risk by allowing the attack to hit his or her vanguard.

Finally, the second skill can simply be looked at as a Limit Breaker enabler, and the skill is a simple one for one. The player retires one of his or her units and the opponent will choose one of his or her units to retire as well. Cards that allow the opponent to pick the unit to retire are not very good. A smart opponent will retire the least effective card on their field to retain the formation's best units. This skill is only useful to help set up Limit Break when both players an equal amount of rear guards, then Revenger, Desperate Dragon's player replaces the recently retired unit. Revenger, Dark Bond Trumpeter and Dark Cloak Revenger, Tartu  can be used to help rebuild the formation to set up Limit Break.

Overall, Revenger, Desperate Dragon is the second weakest unit among the Revenger grade 3 units. Revenger, Desperate Dragon is mostly a vanilla unit that only powers up every turn with Limit Break online. It's nothing more than a desperate attempt to gain a quick edge for victory. In some situations, its skill can actually overwhelm an opponent who is unable to guard the vanguard. If you're in a tight spot and looking for a desperate way to win a match, then unleash Revenger, Desperate Dragon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

News: Hero's Strike Structure Deck TCG Release Date

The TCG's players have been waiting for Hero's Strike to be released in English and the wait is finally over! Konami has announced that Hero's Strike will be released in the TCG on January 30th, 2015! HERO monsters are one of the most popular and fun archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh! Jaden won many duels using his heroic HERO monsters to save the world from evil forces. Hero's Strike features many reprints of our favorite HERO monsters, and introduces new HERO Fusion monsters! Contrast HERO Chaos is the featured Ultra Rare card.

Hero's Strike Includes

40 Common Cards
1 Ultra Rare Card
4 Super Rare Cards
1 Dueling Guide
1 Rulebook
1 Game Mat

Get read to get your game on January 30th, 2015 with Hero's Strike!


Starter Deck Review: Saiyan Saga

The Saiyan Saga starter decks were the first starter decks in Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game by Score. There is a Hero deck and a Villain deck based on the saga's most important characters. Starter Decks include 60 cards, 4 Personality cards including one high tech Personality card, a playmat, Scouter, and Warrior Sword. Gohan, Goku, Krillin, and Piccolo are the Hero Personalities, and Nappa, Raditz, and Vegeta are the Villain Personalities. This was the beginning of one of the most popular trading card games.

Random Main Personality

Starter decks include one random Main Personality, and this became a trend in the game. There are many cons with this setup. The cons are very oblivious which are getting the same character multiple times, never getting specific characters, and spending a lot of money searching for a character. Score obliviously randomized starter decks to entice players to buy multiple starter decks and even starter deck box sets to get every Main Personality. A lot of kids and their parents spent a lot of money buying the same starter deck in hopes of getting the desired Main Personality

I would prefer for starter decks to be labeled with specific characters instead of being a game of chance. As a kid I was very frustrated with always getting the same characters from starter deck. I got Raditz in my latest Saiyan Stage starter deck, and it took me 14 years to finally get Raditz's main personality set instead of Nappa who I always got from the Saiyan Sage Villain starter deck.

Why are there Hero Allies in a Villain starter deck? 

One would expect to allies from the same alliance as the starter deck's Main Personality to be included in the starter deck. However, that was not the case as shown in the video above. I got three Hero Personalities in a Villain starter deck and this makes the deck unplayable because its an illegal deck. The Saiyan Saga set did not have many options for Allies. Nappa, Raditz, Saibamen, and Vegeta were the only villains and the three Saiyans' level one and level two cards are only available in the starter decks. Adding one or two copies of a level one Saibaman would be the most logical choice, but Score failed to think before they acted.

Vanilla Game Plan

The deck's strategy is crippled by the randomness and having illegal cards in a Villain deck. My deck's strategy would have some idea if I bought a Hero starter deck. The Villain deck requires both players to agree to make minor rule changes just to practice with the Hero allies.

The best option is to use the deck to learn basics. It's the only positive highlight from the starter deck. It's as vanilla as a starter deck from any trading card game can become.  A new player will eventually become accustom to the game's rules and start to play at a faster pace. The basics will help a player get an idea on how he or she wants to create a legitimate deck.

The Final Word

In conclusion, the Saiyan Saga starter deck created basic the foundation for future starter decks. Random Main Personalities and accessories were staples in Score's era and they continue to be staples in Panini America's era. However, Saiyan Saga starter deck as a whole is very unimpressive. Card games do not start with perfection, but the horrific errors are inexcusable. There are definitely problems with this starter deck. Why add Hero Allies in a Villain starter deck? This is totally illogical because Villains cannot have Hero Allies. The starter deck is now unplayable because it is an illegal deck. Starter decks are for players to be able to play right away with a basic deck. Players should not be forced to buy booster packs to fix an illegal deck.

I do not recommend players to buy this starter deck if they are interested in playing the game. This deck is only a collector's item. Don't waste your money on this deck unless you really want it in your DBZ CCG collection.

Score: 0 out of 5

Saturday, October 11, 2014

News: G-Assist

Bushiroad has created a groundbreaking and new rule for Cardfight!! Vanguard. The terrible days of being grade locked are finally over. The new rule is G-Assist, and it is to help players overcome being grade locked.

G-Assist happens after the draw phrase.


  • Your vanguard must be Grade 2 or lower.
  • Your hand must have no cards 1 grade higher than your vanguard.
  • Your G-Zone must have 2 or more cards in it.

How to perform G-Assist

  1. Show your hand to your opponent.
  2.  Look at the top 5 cards of your deck.
  3. Choose up to 1 card whose Grade is exactly 1 higher than your vanguard, show it to your opponent, and add it to your hand. Any other cards are shuffled into the deck.
  4. If you added a card to your hand in step 3, then remove 2 cards in your hand and 2 cards in the G-Zone from the game (this is not bind). If you did not add a card to your hand, then shuffle the deck and continue to the Ride Phase.
G-Assist also opens the possibilities to change grade ratios in decks. Some decks can become faster and stronger with more possible options. Players will not be punished for playing decks with crazy and wild ratios.

G-Assist will take Cardfight!! Vanguard to the next level. Players will no longer have to fear being grade locked at tournaments. They can now overcome the situation and find a grade 3 unit to ride the vanguard! Bushiroad received a lot of criticism from players for not having a rule to assist with being grade locked. It's great to see Bushiroad listen to the criticism and fixed the an annoying problem.

Unit of The Week: Cracking Beast Tamer

[ACT](VC): Legion 20000 "Barking Sky Tiger" (If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (2)] When this unit performs Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, Soul Charge (2), choose up to three cards from your soul, and call them to separate (RC).
[AUTO](VC):When your unit is placed on (RC) from your soul, this unit gets [Power]+3000 until end of turn.

Let's give a round of applause to Pale Moon's newest performer, Cracking Beast Tamer! With one crack of her whip, Beasts will submit to their mistress. Cracking Beast Tamer is just as powerful as her beauty. She is Pale Moon's first and currently only Legion unit. Her abilities use the Soul to gain advantage and power.

Cracking Beat Tamer's Legion skill continues Pale Moon's theme to superior call its members from the Soul. When she performers Legion, Counter Blast two cards in the Damage Zone and you may superior call up to three units from the Soul. The Legion skill is in perfect sync with the second skill that gives 3K power for every unit superior called from the soul to Cracking Beast Tamer. Every turn Cracking Beast Tamer should be able to attack with very high numbers in combination with her Legion ability and supportive rear guards' skills. This ability is also very useful against clans and decks that retire opponent's units because it gives the player a fresh supply of rear guards.

She is one the type of Legion that requires to perform Legion every turn to use her effect. Recycling the deck is always good for putting Triggers back into the deck. However, she can only ride in a match twice based on the Legion skill costing two Counter Blasts unless the player drive checks or damage checks a heal trigger. She needs to be in a cost effective deck. It is best to surround her with rear guards with skills that do not cost any Counter Blasts.

Finally, many rear guards have amazing chemistry with the Legion skill. Fire Juggler, Jumping Glenn, and Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Maricica are many units that have good combo plays with the Legion skill. These units utilize to the Soul to their advantage for power and superior calling units. Skyhigh Walker is a good option for the Cracking Beast Tamer as it fuels her Legion skill.

Overall, I am very pleased in Pale Moon's one and only Legion unit at the moment. Cracking Beast Tamer's strategy to reuse Legion every turn to be able to use her skills keeps her power in check to be balanced. Most importantly both of her skills work very with many new and old Pale Moon units. However. if the player is unable to perform Legion, then he or she is stuck with a nearly vanilla vanguard. Get ready to watch the next performer, Cracking Beast Tamer!