Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quick Tips for Playing Competitively

You finally got a deck together, played a few games, entered a few tournaments, but you feel something is not quite right. You seem to be losing quite an awful lot than you would like to. Yes, we should be playing games like Cardfight!! Vanguard for fun, but let's admit it: losing constantly gets boring and irritating after a while. Well, allow me to give you a few quick pointers on some things you can do to redeem yourself from that losing streak.
Losing sucks, doesn't it? Well, stop moping and read on
to find out how to better your gameplay!

Maybe you should have changed up your game
plan a bit when you saw that Lizard Soldier, Saishin, so
you don't get completely shocked and pulverized.
1. Act according to the opponent's Starting Vanguard. Believe it or not, your playstyle can vary depending on what build your opponent is running. For example, if you see a Godhawk, Ichibyoshi, it would be in your best interest to play more aggressively. On the other hand, if you see a Hope Child, Turiel, you may end up playing more awkwardly than usual in preparation for the skills of Chief Nurse, Shamsiel and The Phoenix, Calamity Flame. Do not wait until your opponent has already set up to suddenly realize that you need to adjust your game plan. By that point, it would be too late.

If you noticed that your opponent has Drive Checked into
something like this the previous turn, you may want
to over-extend and attempt to push for game.
2. Knowledge is indeed power. Keep track of Drive Checks. Now, that's not to say you should bring a notepad and write down every single unit that you saw your opponent Drive Checked (which is actually against the rules, mind you). Knowing what your opponent has Drive Checked into can put you at a great advantage. What you know can prompt you to dedicate more offensively to push for game or hold back and slowly whittle your opponent's hand down. Short-term memory is also quite sufficient as well. If you see your opponent Drive Check into 2 Grade 3 units, it may be time to make that final push.

Contrary to popular belief, even the currently, consistently
topping clan of Gold Paladin has weaknesses that can be
easily abused. Of course, do not forget that your opponent
may actually know how to use the clan to its full potential.
3. Know your strengths and your opponent's weaknesses. It can be not only embarrassing but also game-devastating to not fully utilize your units. Knowing when to take damage or accumulate other forms of resources to use your units' skills via Counter-Blasts, Soul-Blasts, and other costs is key. Knowing if a skill will be more advantageous at one moment compared to another is also essential. If you are piloting a deck that cannot grind into late game, go for early damage. Likewise, if your build needs to build up momentum to be used in the late game, attacking rear guards may not be a bad idea. Knowing the most optimal attack pattern is also essential. For  clans like Nova Grappler, it is usually better to attack with a rear guard first. Part of this also goes hand-in-hand with my first tip. Abusing the weaknesses of your opponent's build can put you at a major advantage. If you are not too sure of what said weaknesses are, we have compiled a list of them that will be updated accordingly for your convenient reference.

Waiting until late game to guard for a 1-trigger pass against
a large Vanguard attack under Limit Break and/or other skills
can prove to be a detrimental decision. Guarding early on
using a smaller amount of resources may be a better choice.
4. Exploit, profit, and capitalize. If you notice your opponent is in a bit of an odd situation, perhaps it is time to take advantage of that. For example, it may not be a bad idea to Call your triggers onto the field when your opponent is Grade-locked at Grade 0 or Grade 1 just so you can put them in a bad position by the time they are able to Ride to the next Grade or even finish them off entirely. Likewise, it may be wise to drop a unit with 10000 Shield against an unboosted Grade 2 or Grade 3 Vanguard, so you can create a wider damage gap and some breathing room for you to take damage at a later time. Also, if you can, avoid using Perfect Guards against the Vanguard unless it's a unit hitting for insane amounts of power (i.e. Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel after a good Limit Break or Demon World Marquis, Amon). Saving up your Perfect Guards/Sentinels to defend against rear guards pumped up with 2 triggers instead of the Vanguard would be more optimal than having to use up 25000+ worth of shield. Changing up your plays according to the situation at hand can generate you better control of the game overall.

You wish your opponent would be so illogical to be
content with a hand such as this and not choose to
go for a redraw.
5. Do not make light of your opponent. Always assume you are playing someone who will make the best decision possible and triggers will be checked. Prepare for the most optimal play. Do not arrange your field in such a way that can be taken advantage of. The difference between riding a unit with 8000 Power and riding a unit with 9000 Power can be crucial. If you see yourself on the receiving end of a Vanguard with Twin Drive!! hitting for enough to require at least 15000 Shield to guard the attack, guard 20000 instead if you can afford it. That way, you put your opponent in a situation where he will either not get through or he has a chance to get through if his first Drive Check is a trigger but is not sure where to place the trigger effects on.

Rin Dunois

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