Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meta Shift thoughts: G-Guardians, Expanded G-Zone, Sebreeze



Bushiroad dropped some hot loads on the Cardfight Vanguard playerbase recently, and oh boy am I excited for the upcoming metagame shift. FC2016 is a great thing that's gonna happen to Vanguard. I just felt like blogging again since its been a while since I felt positive about the change of the game.


Air Element, Sebreeze




 This is a solution to the Grade 2 stalemate. As long as this card exists, the second player will most likely get off the first stride, and more importantly, get earlier access to GB2 (unless you get cucked by G-Guardians), This is a huge deal for units with powerful GB2 skills to seize the flow of the game (Lambros, VOLTAGE, NEXTage etc). There is no incentive for players to stick to the Grade 2 game anymore since the opposing player can reach GB2 first anyway. You can also use Sebreeze if you have no efficient Stride fodders and want to dig into specific cards in your deck if you have a shitty hand.

I feel that the argument of riding a Grade 2 on your Grade 2 Vanguard just to stop the opponent from using Sebreeze is pretty weak. You're gonna lose an extra attacker and still need to ride to Grade 3, making you behind in cards since you lost a card in the early game. Continuously doing this is detrimental to your card advantage. Players can still stick to this strategy, at the cost of losing an attacking unit early in the game.

The mindgames can be extended if the opponent chooses not to ride, thus forcing the player, who rides the Grade 2, to ride a Grade 3, and pay the cost of Sebreeze, making the player lose CB2 and an attacking unit. Will we see a metagame with a more saturated G2 count in decks? Who knows. Regardless, Sebreeze makes the game faster, which solves the boring G2 stall game.

tl;dr :
- Grade 2 game is phased out
- unless you get cucked by G-Guardian, second player gets faster access to GB2
- solves the G2 stalemate but makes games faster


G-Guardians



My initial reaction to the introduction to G-Guardians were very harsh due to the fact that I have no knowledge of the expansion of the G-Zone (which we will get into later). After knowing that, I feel that this is an excellent addition to the game, where the power levels of certain mechanics far exceeds the quality of defensive cards in the game.

I believe that the most important thing about G-Guardians is that you have access to it at any stages in the game. That means the first player can possibly use GB2 stride units on their first stride if they manage

It is harder to cheese with aggressive decks since the guarding value of heal triggers increase drastically. It also gives the player more longevity against units that can restrict the type of cards you can use to normal call to the guardian circle. It can also be used on any attacking target, making it easier to manage with units with lethal on-hit skills (Dragonic Overlord the X, Commander Laurel).

Outside of its defensive capabilities, G-Guardians gives Limit Break and Legion focused decks more chances to gain access to Generation Break skills without spending a turn striding. It is also a faster way to reach GB2/GB3, which could possibly see more in future sets.

I expect the game to drag longer with the introduction to G Guardian. The value of Legion units may increase depending on the impact of G-Guardians.

Overall, its a good step for Vanguard to move forward to balance the power levels of some mechanics in the game. The fact that its released in the Fighters collection benefits all clans simultaneously. I still expect G-Guardians to be printed in future set.

tl;dr
-  heal triggers increased defensive value, making it harder for aggressive decks to cheese you out of the game.
- more longevity against guard-restriction mechanics
- faster access to GB2/GB3, possibly more GB3 units in the future.


Expanded G-Zone



The news about the expansion of the G-Zone, doubling its size, was a huge shocker for me. The information reevaluated my initial analysis to certain cards released in the upcoming Fighters collection, mostly due to lack of space in the G-Zone. I have mixed feelings about it but mostly positive towards the change.

The expansion of the G-Zone expands design space for G-Zone utility in the future. The game designers may introduce more mechanics that interacts with the G-Zone in the future. Increased G-Zone space also means more space to include tech G-Units to be more favored for different matchups. This also provide ample amount of stride units to play with even after performing G-Assist. These are some of the good things that the new G-Zone size gives to all players.

Now that the G-zone size has expanded, I am a little unhappy at how the deckbuilding aspect of the G-Zone aspect is going to matter less. Before the change, the restricted G-Zone space forces players to include only the essential units to the gameplan, making them cut some units to make space for certain stride units, With the expanded G-Zone, the deckbuilding in this aspect of the game becomes more brainless.

I'm more concerned about the increased threat density of all decks in the game right now. Even with the introduction of G-Guardians, I am not sure that it is ever enough to fight against the power levels of stride units if explosive plays keep coming every turn in succession.

tl;dr:
- more design space for interaction with G-Zone
- more space to include tech-Stride units to improve certain matchups
- enough stride units to play with even after G-Assist
- deckbuilding of G-Zone becomes more brainless
- threat density of all decks increases


Conclusion

With the introduction of these mechanics, I believe the metagame will finally shift to one where Generation Break units will take center stage. The game will become faster with Sebreeze and G-Guardians. The flow of the game is no longer set in stone since G-Guardians can help players grab that first GB2 to seize the flow of the game.

The increased level of threat density and speed of the game will be daunting but it is a change that requires adaptation.

Thank you for reading. I will be more active to contribute more to the community.

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