The Breakdown – Cardfight Vanguard – Angel Feather

This article is rated Experience Levels 3-6.  This article series is intended to cover a wide range of topics about particular sets, and will help players of all kinds when it comes to knowing their set or the set of an opponent.

Welcome to the Breakdown.  thenightsshadow here, and as we do each time on the Breakdown, we look at several questions about a series, deck, archetype, or card, then get on down to breaking down what makes it tick and how one should approach playing it.

This time, we’re going to cover the clan of Angel Feather, and the theme for this article is going to be “Abusing Hidden Information”, so even for those that don’t play Angel Feather they can still get something out of this article.

As a reminder, here are the general questions we ask ourselves for each set.

1) Competitively, why should I play this clan over other clans?
2) What is the ideal set up from opening hand to final turn?
3) How does our play look like versus an opponent?
4) Where are our good and bad matchups?

Once we answer these questions,  there will be questions about those questions, but we’ll cover those afterwards.

With that out of the way, let’s answer question 1.

1) Competitively, why should I play this clan over other clans?

Angel Feather has historically had one true identity: the ability to regular Heal outside of Heal Triggers.  This obviously is a powerful ability, so to balance it out, Semi-Heals were much more common: they were Heals that were combined with taking a damage to keep the damage levels equal.  However, this in and of itself is also powerful, since with the Damage Zone toolboxing Angel Feather obtained over the years, not to mention damage checking Triggers, Angel Feather found itself in a position of strength with the consistency of power and precision, allowing it to be a strong force in the game.

The potential of this ability was not lost on Bushiroad, who set a powerful limiter on its damage replacement ability: the new damage has to be face down.  So with that big nerf, why is it still a great choice?  Simple, it can still regular Heal, and quite reliably too.  Even against aggressive decks that push damage early, it can survive and counterattack without feeling any danger.  It’s also one of the few clans that doesn’t need to ride to Grade 2 if they don’t want to or need to, allowing them effectively three more cards in hand, which can make all the difference.  This is a clan that knows what it wants to do and sets up the game to be in their favor.

2) What is the ideal set up from opening hand to final turn?

Despite wanting to ride Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel first, it’s important to mulligan in such a way that you have the highest chance of getting one into Damage.  That way, you don’t have to ever worry about riding to Grade 2 as you can skip it completely when your opponent rides to Grade 3, and with a booster you can get over the minor power bump the opposing Vanguard would get.  This is especially true against Force decks if you’re going second, since even if you do ride to Grade 2, you’re not going to hit without a booster anyways.  Once you hit Grade 3, the ability to continuously ride Crimson Impact, Metatron to heal will be invaluable as the opponent must put more and more pressure to defeat you, while you can decide to let attacks that aren’t worth it to guard go through, giving you more Counterblast and thus resources to continue the attack.  With your opponent depleted and their attack stymied, it’ll be no problem to finish them off with a double Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace.

3) How does our play look like versus an opponent?

I’ve listed what would happen in an ideal game, but not every game will go like that.  There are decks that can rush at Grade 2 in Standard without needing to ride into Grade 3, which can tax early game defenses.  There are decks that can stay strong defensively throughout the entire game, leading the Angel Feather player to deck out.  What can you do against them?

Against rush decks, it’s important to not give them Counterblast when you can.  Some examples are giving Critical to your Rearguard in the back row if you have to attack their Vanguard and attacking only with your Vanguard.  When they try to rush you, take out their Rearguards and starve them, especially since you can function with a little or a lot of damage.  This will stunt their offense and they eventually will have little choice but to give you your free Zerachiel or stay at a weakened Grade 2 offense.  For the exceptions that can pressure you at Grade 2 without needing to ride continuously, then you can just ride normally.

Against strong defensive decks, in most cases those defenses come from Sentinels, but it’s easy to see an opposing Angel Feather player setting up for Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace since it requires two Grade 3s in soul, and just guard with Sentinels early and non-Sentinels late.  Against those decks, you can surprise them by riding Metatron and Zerachiel in the same turn, netting you two more Grade 3s in soul if you started with a Grade 3, but it’s more important to Heal more than anything.  Abuse the fact your shields are in general better than an opponent’s and guard exact as much as you can, not wasting anything.

4) Where are our good and bad matchups?

Angel Feather is weak against decks that take an offensive or defensive stance to the extreme.  It’s hard for a deck that is able to be offensive or defensive to match a highly focused offense or defense.

Angel Feather is strong against decks that have a limited amount of damage it can deal before it has to setup again.  Since Angel Feather is very consistent in its power level regardless of the turn, it can take advantage of any lulls in the game to strike at decks’ weaknesses.

===

Let’s now get into the next wave of questions.  These are questions we ask that involve card and style choices.

No submitted questions yet.

===

Bonus Feature!

Here’s the decklist I would play if I were take Angel Feather to a BCS Shop Challenge or a BCS Regionals.

Warning: All decks I post fit the way I play and where I play, and may not be the same for your playstyle and locale.

Clan: Angel Feather

Grade 0 (17):
4x Battle Cupid, Nociel (Draw) [Sentinel]
1x Bouquet Toss Messenger (Draw)
3x Critical Hit Angel (Critical)
1x First Aid Celestial, Peniel (SV)
4x Hot Shot Celestial, Samyaza (Critical)
4x Sunny Smile Angel (Heal)

Grade 1 (12):
2x Doctoroid Circadian
3x Marking Celestial, Arabhaki
3x Thousand Ray Pegasus
4x Underlay Celestial, Hesediel

Grade 2 (10):
2x Essence Celestial, Becca
2x Million Ray Pegasus
3x Rear Impetus Celestial, Armaiti
3x Wild Shot Celestial, Raguel

Grade 3 (11):
4x Crimson Impact, Metatron (Protect Gift)
3x Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace (Protect Gift)
4x Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel (Protect Gift)

===

Let’s explain how this deck works, and what you can do to tailor it to your specific playstyle.

Grade 0

Starting Vanguard
You really have only one choice: First Aid Celestial, Peniel.  It draws you an extra card.

Critical Triggers
A standard offensive Trigger, helpful for finishing the game early.

Draw Triggers
Sentinels are always welcome, and any extras you may run are meant to be added help for obtaining particular cards.

Heal Triggers
No real explanation needed here.  Pretty basic.

Other Alternatives
Draw Triggers can be raised or lowered based on how well you want to be able to draw Underlay Celestial, Hesediel.  If you raise the number, watch your deck size and make sure to keep a constant tab on it and your opponent’s deck size to measure out the speed of the game and how long you have remaining.

Grade 1

Doctoroid Circadian
When waiting at Grade 1, the most important thing is using as little cards as possible while waiting for the opponent to reach Grade 3.  Circadian’s extra Guard helps out with that.

Marking Celestial, Arabhaki
Arabhaki lets the player grab key cards out of the damage zone, like Crimson Impact, Metatron, without too much investment.  It’s a hand filter for what is effectively one Counterblast.  Of course, Underlay Celestial, Hesediel does it cheaper, but having a backup to Hesediel is not bad.

Thousand Ray Pegasus
While on the surface it may not look like much, Pegasus’ ability to pump power is useful for the late game when combined with a single Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace, or just in general if you need a bit more power to force one additional card from the opponent’s hand.

Underlay Celestial, Hesediel
The most important Rearguard in the entire deck.  The cost is mostly meaningless, as unless you’re grabbing a card that is already face down, you’re flipping down the card you want to take in the Damage Zone and swapping it with a card in your hand that you want to be there, ideally the first copy of Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel.

Other Alternatives
Syringe Lesser can transform its shield into power by adding it to soul.  If you can spare the extra hand and room in deck it might be worth it.  Incise Angel is the Promo you obtain if you played in a Sneak Peak for this set, so I won’t include it in my deck so that everyone has a chance to build the set, but it is an alternative to Marking Celestial, Arabhaki that doesn’t force an immediate discard in hand as well as letting you choose which card you flip face down, both of which can help.

Grade 2

Essence Celestial, Becca
This card effectively functions as a back-up to a front-row Rearguard Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel’s power buff or an additional power pump if Zerachiel is in the back row.  While it cannot provide power to a Rearguard Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace, it can provide power to a Vanguard Feather Palace.  Having multiple cards to fulfill the same function makes up for using less Draw Triggers.

Million Ray Pegasus
Million Ray Pegasus’ main draw is as a decent attacker that can gain additional power on offense and guard as long as you have access to Crimson Impact, Metatron.  The defensive power won’t matter very often; only if you get a Trigger on defense.

Rear Impetus Celestial, Armaiti
While it costs Soul, it’s effectively a plus instead of a hand fixer like Arabhaki or Hesediel is.  Instead, it lets you call a Grade 3 early, for instance if you have multiple Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel in your Damage Zone, or when you need it, such as when you need to go for game with Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace but it ended up in your Damage Zone.

Wild Shot Celestial, Raguel
Raguel is the other part to Armaiti.  Sometimes the card you end up needing is a card that you Heal or guard with early.  Raguel lets you grab cards from the Drop Zone, and needing a new card to go into damage means that using it incorrectly can be very costly.  Watch your resources and make sure you really need that Unit.

Other Alternatives
Shocking Shot, Nukael will get you a Grade 2 that can hit Accel and Protect Vanguards with an 8k booster, and can hit Force and Grade 4 Vanguards with a Zerachiel boost, without needing to use an effect to add a new card to the Damage Zone.  I personally like Million Ray Pegasus more for the extra Guard.

Grade 3

Crimson Impact, Metatron
An important cog in the entire engine, Metatron offers a one-time heal and plus as well as the only effect to “unflip” damage.  The cost of two Counterblast to heal can easily be replaced as long as you can play it, as healing one of the CB and then using the other CB to be placed at the bottom of the deck to take one damage means you have a potential power pump and the CB that you flipped face down are no longer.  Of course, the issue then becomes whether you can draw it or not, but thanks to Arabhaki and Hesediel, as long as you don’t Soulblast it or play/discard it from your hand, you can add it to your hand anywhere from the field of play.  Best part is, if you have too much damage and you can’t continue your healing, you can delay a turn and “unflip” one more damage so you can continue the following turn.

Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace
Angel Feather’s big bruiser, Feather Palace’s strength comes in its ability to abuse multiple uses of the ability.  Since turning all cards in your damage face down isn’t a cost, if all cards in your damage zone are already face down that part can be effectively ignored, and as such all that’s required is having four Grade 3s in soul, which is easier than it sounds since the ability to ride multiple Grade 3s in the turn is possible.  Hitting a minimum of 53k as a Vanguard in the right set-up with a second one as a Rearguard is the winning play of many Angel Feather setups in this deck.

Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel
Surprisingly a very important Unit.  The power pump can matter to hit specific numbers, and in multiples provide a sizable boost.  But what it’s really known for is its ability to superior ride from Damage Zone for effectively one Counterblast.  Because this is done during the Main Phase you can ride twice if you really need multiple Protect Gifts in your hand.  Zerachiel also becomes your main Rearguard later on when you need to push power, as even in the back row (if needed) it can provide power to the Units in the Front Row with a new card in the Damage Zone.

Other Alternatives
Don’t play Padrable Phoenix.  Please.

===

Thank you for reading.

If you have any questions, hit up the comments and I’ll be glad to respond.

~thenightsshadow, who appreciates how hard it was to make this clan balanced.

————————————————————————————-

2 thoughts on “The Breakdown – Cardfight Vanguard – Angel Feather”

  1. Hi, your description above is very interesting, and thank you for these strategy tips. How do you compare your deck with the one here:

    There are substantial differences and it is difficult for me to understand the possible differences in strategy. You include Becca and Circadian, which seems logical to me, since they can be used in the “waiting phase”. These are not included in the deck described in the link above. Could you comment on that?

    Best

    Fabio

    Like

    1. To be fair, this review is nearly a year old, and new cards have come out since then, so I’m not going to easily remember a lot of the rationale I had written about.

      However, I do describe the main reasons to play both cards, and since my strategy with Angel Feathers then was to have the ability to potentially take advantage of opponents’ clans who couldn’t afford to stay at Grade 2 and had to go to Grade 3, using up as little cards as possible for defense and field was ideal. The extra guard from Circadian helped, and Becca was just a way to play more than 4 Zerachiel, even if it was weaker. Consistency was important, especially without playing 6-8 draw, since I only ran 5 for more offensive push.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s