Hey there, everyone, how has it been going? Josephine here today with our coverage of the 2016 Asian Championship. Before we start, much thanks to Dempster for taking almost all the photographs for this article.
On the morning of the 2nd of April, an hour or two after the sun had long risen over the horizon, several of us had gathered at Suntec City Convention Center in preparation for this big day. And the very first thing that greeted us, as per every event, was the crowd.
A big crowd, scattered across the area near Hall 404.
Queueing for registration began about fifteen minutes before the appointed time as you can see from the time table above. The crowd, once divided, now gathered into two lines: one for Cardfight!! Vanguard, and the other for Weiss Schwarz.
As you can see, the queue for Weiss Schwarz pales in comparison to Vanguard’s.
For us at Crossbone Vanguards, only Ben, John, JJ and myself took part in the main tournament (for Vanguard, of course!). One of the reasons why some of us were perhaps reluctant to join was due to the tournament being held in the G regulation format, which meant that only cards printed with the nation’s flag at the bottom right corner of the card, cards that had been reprinted as well as the Cray Elemental and Touken Ranbu clans could be used.
Let us not dawdle on about this for now and leave that to the after-thoughts.
Upon entering the hall, we were greeted with the familiar mass spread of tables and chairs set out for both competitions as well as places for non-competitors to hang out and play.
And as per usual, as we proceeded to find us a place to drop our anchors and bags, the booths set up by various shops caught our eyes. All of them already had their wares in full display for people flooding in to take a gander. Our good man Leon was one of them. I hope you found something you liked?
As soon as we plopped down onto the seats, it was time for some warm ups. There was still plenty of time before the tournament starts, and both John and Ben got right down to it. Just not against each other.
In the meantime, for those not participating, it was time for casual fights, idle chit chats and simply just chilling around.
Don’t mind me looking a little zoned-out; it’s probably one of the after-effects of medication. And hey, Chrono is here with us too! He’s looking a bit grumpy because he was dragged out of bed extra early.
I’m sorry if the position of my hands there looks rather, well, awkward.
Well, here are some snippets of us during the tournament. Don’t mind if some of us happen to be looking rather unglamorous in some of these photographs; stones will be thrown at Dempster for that if any offence was taken.
We may not have had any friendly fire this time between us Crossbone members, but we managed to get a rather amusing match-up against Ben and my little sister. It would have been an interesting match to watch if she did not get terribly grade-stuck, however.
As the tournament was done as a five-round Swiss rather than double-elimination, we managed to fight a handful of fighters. However, not all of us stayed for all five rounds: JJ withdrew after his second fight and John his fourth. As my purpose for joining this tournament was for testing my deck, I stayed for five rounds and Ben had an extra round, totalling up to six.
And as the main tournament was still underway, Leon and the rest had another plan in mind: to participate in the special rules tournament!
The special rules tournament consisted of three rounds and was in the extreme format. For each round, there were two special rules that either made or broke the game, chosen from a list via dice roll.
In accordance to Dempster, the special rules for each round are as follows:
First round: All units gain the “Resist” skill and each unit gets an extra drive check. That would mean that grade threes would have triple drive and all stride units quadruple drive.
Second round: All fighters have to play with their decks face up (but decks are shuffled face down) and they begin with four cards in their damage zone. Anyone who reaches ten damage points loses.
Third round: All units can only attack once (per turn) and everyone starts with a grade three as their first vanguard and one face-up unit in their G-zone. In addition, before each attack all fighters have to shout out “kyun-kyun attack!” or they would have to take one damage.
Indeed, it does seem interesting. Let’s see the gang in action.
Unfortunately I was not physically well enough to stay through the entire event, but from what I have heard, Dempster and JJ won all three of their match-ups, Leon two and I’m not too sure on how Jasmine and Brian fared. But it does seem that everyone had fun, so that is all that matters!
I believe this is the first time that G-regulation is being implemented in Singapore at a major tournament. As a result, there are mixed reactions from the community as to the restrictions that accompany the choice of this format. Allow me to summarise some of the points that some of us at Crossbones have discussed about in reflection of the tournament.
Naturally, with the limited choice of cards, one would see some common cards used for each clan. For example, I had the fortune of fighting against two Pale Moon decks, of which both focused on “Masked Magician, Harri”. Certain key cards remain almost the same, but there are several minor variations. However, some of us felt that Royal Paladin had an overwhelming advantage above the rest of the support for other clans in the G-era. This is particularly so due to several cards not needing restriction of the GB1 requirement to activate skills. Some examples named by John include “Starlight Violinist” and “Sage of Salvation, Benon” which allow for early field reinforcement.
In addition, while G-regulation supposedly balances out the meta and is intended to give the clans an equal footing, we still see a lot of Royal Paladin players making it to the top. In addition, there are fighters who resort to grade locking in order to delay a turn to be able to stride first. Indeed, with G-era decks, the first to stride has the upper hand, as that means being able to activate GB1 skills. However, looking it from another point of view supplied by JJ, it means that it also prevents combinations that are not restricted by Generation Break or by grade.
Getting grade-stuck and failing G-assist is something that leaves all of us bitter, and this is because it leaves us with lesser options to cope with the situation. It makes it worse when it happens to be your opponent’s lucky day and their triggers decide to show up earlier than you would love them to. Then again, Vanguard is a game that is very much based on luck compared to other card games, even if you do have skills to make up for the lack of it. With G-regulation, however, it would often be difficult to put those skills to the test.
Personally, I had the fortune once more in not facing any meta decks (which I presume is royal/shadow paladin or Kagerou decks), but even though I lost all but one of my fights I felt that I have learnt quite a bit yesterday. I would like to say that I am satisfied, but it reflects that I have much more to improve as a fighter.
And with all that needs to be said already out in the open, it is time to end this article. For those who attended the event, I hoped you had a good time and had lots of fun, just as we did.
Until next time, happy fighting!