Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Balance of Power in Vanguard

Cardfight!! Vanguard is widely considered to be a very balance game. English players quickly came to this assumption based on the game's pace when it was introduced to us. However, Bushiroad changed the release order of many boxes that led this to assumption. The fact is Cardfight!! Vanguard was not a balance game at the very start in Japan and in later releases for both the OCG and TCG. Clans do not receive equal support in a timely manner unlike the colors in Magic The Gathering. Bushiroad normally gives support to clans when they are currently active in the anime and played by the main cast of characters. Kagero, Nova Grappler, and Royal Paladin are updated the most among the clans and players have criticized Bushiroad for giving too much support to clans that do not need it as much as other clans such as Angel Feather, Megacolony, and Murakumo.

The game's prolonged problems were foreshadowed in the first trial decks and booster sets. Kagero, Nova Grappler, Oracle Think Tank, and Royal Paladin were the first four playable decks in Descent of the King of Knights. Megacolony and Tachikaze needed three booster sets to be able to have a
complete deck. Did Kagero and Royal Paladins need this much support? They were featured in the first trial decks. Their support should have been cut down to create more space for clans that needed support to be playable in a complete deck. Both clans dominated the first two formats all thanks to the large amount of overpowered support. Nobody was able to stop Dragonic Overlord the End from rampaging both formats with ease.

Next, came the Limit Break Era and the Break Ride Era. Equality among clans seemed to be coming into place with Aqua Force, Pale Moon, and Dimensional Police receiving support early and often during the Limit Break Era. The mechanics are based on unleashing power abilities when on the verge of defeat to make a miracle comeback. However, equality took a turn for the worst when Break Ride was introduced. Megacolony did not receive support for over a year, and Oracle Think Tank only recieved support in an extra booster set before Fighter's Collection 2014. Megacolony received its support way too late in the Break Ride Era. Legion was released by the time Break Ride's format was coming to an end. Bushiroad moved on to bigger and better things to improve the game's pace.

We were introduced to unlocking in. Salvation Lion, Grand Ezel Scissors was the first unit with the ability to unlock units. Unfortunately, not every clan has a card to unlock units to be able to counter against Link Joker's crippling mechanic. Genesis, Gold Paladin, Kagero, Link Joker, Murakumo, Narukami, and Royal Paladin are the only clans, who are able to break the spell. This is very concerning because rival clans are far behind in getting the ability to unlock lock units. There is not a good reason for them to lack proper support to counter Link Joker's mechanic. Link Joker's return in (the original version) was the prime opportunity to make more units with the ability to unlock, but Bushiroad failed to take advantage of the moment. The original series ended with just six clans to be able to unlock units as all of Link Joker's unlockers have been released in the Generation Break era.
Blazing Perdition

Equality among clans began to improve at the start of the Legion Era. Legion balances power and abilities among clans. Clans no longer received support based on their status in the anime. Spike Brothers received support in Legion of Dragons & Blades, despite not being played by Kyou in Legion Mate. Furthermore, Bushiroad released Legion promos early in the Legion Era for every clan to fight on an even scale. Angel Feather, Great Nature, Megacolony, Murakumo, and Pale Moon benefited from the Legion Campaign as they were not featured in any booster sets from Legion Mate. However, these clans are lacking more options for their Legion decks. The promo cards were very nice, but they are the only Legions for certain clans such as Megacolony and Angel Feather.

Finally, the Generation Break Era has continued the new balance of power in vanguard. Gear Chronicle, Royal Paladin, Aqua Force and Neo Nectar already have new trial decks. Link Joker and Shadow Paladin are next on the list to have new support released in trial decks for the Generation Break Era. Fighter's Collection 2015 is filled with new support for every clan. New G-units are reviving many classic decks from the Limit Break era to compete with Legion and the new Generation Break units. I expect Gear Chronicle to receive the most support during Cardfight!! Vanguard G's run because it is the main character's clan. It should come to no surprise if Gear Chronicle has the most cards in the Generation Break at the end of Cardfight!! Vanguard G.

To put it briefly, we're seeing a lot of improvement from Bushiroad in giving support to every clan in a timely manner. They are righting the wrong that was made in the game's early days. The game started with many rough edges. When in fact, it takes time for a game to balance, and mistakes have been made along the way that prevented players with clans like Megacolony to play on competitive level against Dragonic Overlord, Seekers and Star-vaders. Generation Break, Legion, and Stride are evening the battlefield for new and old decks to compete on a competitive level. Only time will tell if Bushiroad can continue to level the playing field for most players to enjoy Vanguard!