The Breakdown – Cardfight Vanguard – Gold Paladin

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 Gold Paladin, and the theme for this article is going to be “Taking Proper Initiative”, so even for those that don’t play Gold Paladin 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?

Gold Paladins maintain their identity as a clan based around Superior Calling in Standard, but separating themselves from both Royal Paladins and Shadow Paladins by combining advantage and aggression, which is showcased by their different Imaginary Gift than the aforementioned Paladins: Accel.

What this means is that Gold Paladins are much more focused on offense and aggression, and pressure from the word go is greatly appreciated.  If you want a deck that overwhelms opponents and puts them on the defensive from the very beginning, this is the deck for you.

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

At the start, you’ll want to set up your future plays.  You’ll want Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel and Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains in your hand, as well as any Grade 1 except Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth and Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane.  Ride to Grade 1 as normal, but your offense starts at Grade 2.  Ride Viviane, call a Unit, then call Beaumains from your hand and search out Gareth.  Soulblast Kryph and Superior Ride Blond Ezel, and your Vanguard gets much more powerful quickly, along with giving you an access to an Accel Gift before any other clan can even have one Imaginary Gift.  Your next turn will be a flurry of up to 11 attacks, and with that much early pressure most opponents will succumb.  Aim to crush the resistance before it has a chance to form, and you will succeed.

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.  Gold Paladins have no way of plussing without Soulblasting, and without any way to Soulcharge outside of Riding, you’re going to be limited on what you’re able to do in a turn if you don’t draw perfectly.  In addition, when you Superior Ride, there is nothing stopping your opponent from just attacking or retiring your Rearguards and not giving you Counterblast or Units to put more pressure on next turn.  Finally, as with most Accel Decks, Damage Triggers can slow down or stunt your entire offense.  What can you do?

Well, for starters, your Soul use is going to have to be managed very well.  Don’t waste it on abilities when you don’t need to, and focus on putting together a strong combo turn without relying too heavily on it.  Running Draw Triggers, especially any additional ones, can be very helpful in alleviating the need of Soulblast early.

As for your opponent attacking or retiring your Rearguards, evaluate your hand and your field and don’t be afraid to use your heavy guards early on your Rearguards.  The more power you’re able to save up the more you’ll be able to unleash.  Once again, Draw Triggers help with replenishing your Lineup, while Critical Triggers puts more pressure on your opponent and makes guarding every single attack more necessary.

Finally, Damage Triggers are painful when you’re facing them, but Damage Triggers on the final attack don’t matter if they’re not Heal Triggers, and any you obtain mid-attack can be mitigated by a Front Trigger or partially mitigated by any other Trigger.

Your Triggers will help make or break you, but with the ability to remove cards from the deck and to check cards off the top, it’s easier to achieve than it looks like at first.

4) Where are our good and bad matchups?

Gold Paladins have a bad matchup against decks that are able to stunt offensive pressure by being able to find Damage Triggers easier or run multiple ways to Heal.  You only have a limited amount of time before your opponent is able to stabilize, so anything that slows down your offense can be devastating.

Gold Paladins have a good matchup against decks that are not able to provide an early answer to guard the massive levels of offense that Gold Paladins are able to bring.  Most decks in normal play cannot naturally stifle it, so opponents must hope for a Damage Trigger or change their playstyle entirely to try and handle it.

===

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 Gold Paladin 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: Gold Paladin

Grade 0 (17):
4x Azure Sky Knight, Shanak (Critical)
1x Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph (SV)
4x Dantegal (Front)
4x Flame of Victory (Critical)
4x Halo Shield, Mark (Draw) [Sentinel]

Grade 1 (12):
4x Evil Slaying Swordsman, Haugan
4x Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
4x Listener of Truth, Dindrane

Grade 2 (11):
4x Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
4x Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
3x Warring Brave Knight, Tornus

Grade 3 (10):
4x Battlefield Storm, Sagramore [Accel Gift]
4x Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel [Accel Gift]
2x Mach Slash Dragon

===

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: Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph.  It draws you an extra card, and you need to Soulblast him to Superior Ride Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel.

Critical Triggers
A standard offensive Trigger, helpful for finishing the game early.  This is especially needed here because the pressure we want to mount comes very early in the game, so we want to make sure our damage is maximized so we don’t take too long and allow our opponent the chance to establish themselves.

Front Triggers
By basing the deck around the offensive pressure we obtain early, a single Front Trigger can invalidate many early defenses and/or negate a Damage Trigger, so it’s important to run enough.

Draw Triggers
Sentinels are always welcome, and drawing into more cards to call means we can’t cut these.  Draw Triggers are definitely important since two key cards, Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains and Battlefield Storm, Sagramore can only use their Superior Call abilities when played from hand.

Heal Triggers
A deck that wants to outpressure all other decks and be aggressive from the start can really only use the Heal Trigger as a powerful shield.  Front and Critical Triggers are more needed here and are only slightly weaker.

Other Alternatives
A deck based around White Hare in the Moon’s Shadow, Pellinore will want more Front Triggers than Critical Triggers for the Superior Ride mid-battle.  Of course, in that kind of deck it’s more important to hold Soulblast so you’ll need an alternative way to Draw since you can’t rely on Listener of Truth, Dindrane or Battlefield Storm, Sagramore to draw you cards, so Critical Triggers aren’t as useful.

Grade 1

Evil Slaying Swordsman, Haugan
An important card when thinking about offense and defense, Haugan lets you check the top card of the deck and gives you the option to leave it there or retire itself to call it if it’s a Grade equal to or lower than your Vanguard, letting you call a Unit to attack or boost with or leave the Trigger on top of the deck for defense.  Of course, your Vanguard has to hit, meaning that your opponent has to expend cards to answer this effect, meaning that you achieve pressure no matter what.

Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
Gareth’s power pump is more useful later in the game when you are going for the finish and need that extra bit of power to overwhelm an opponent’s defenses.  His real use is being able to be superior called by Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains from the deck, allowing an instant column and slightly compressing the deck at the same time.

Listener of Truth, Dindrane
The ability to Countercharge and plus power is most of the time the weaker of the two options.  Drawing a card is very important to continue the attacks, and it’s not too often you’re actually going to use all of the Counterblast you’re given.  Of course, it’s still an option if you need the power or Countercharge, or both.  The flexibility makes this a great card.

Other Alternatives
Waving Owl is a possible option if you’re not worried too much about effects and instead about hitting proper numbers against Force and denying early damage to your own Vanguard.

Grade 2

Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
Beaumains is an essential part of the deck.  At its worst, you ride him to Grade 2, discard a card to search out Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth, then Soulblast Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph to Superior Ride Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel.  But if you’re able to ride a different Unit (say, Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane) and call from hand Beaumains to the Rearguard then you can have a powerful turn 2 offensive burst.  Any drawn Beaumains later in the game are welcomed as long as you still have Gareth still in the deck, and the temporary boost to 12k when called by Blond Ezel, Battlefield Storm, Sagramore, or Mach Slash Dragon means that you still have a functioning attacker even without a booster against Accel or Protect decks.

Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane
Despite the heavy cost and the anti-synergy with Battlefield Storm, Sagramore and Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains, Viviane is a solid plus while still providing the same offensive capability that Beaumains can have, all without needing to be Superior Called.  She’s the ideal Grade 2 Ride.

Warring Brave Knight, Tornus
Because of the lack of Soulcharging, it’s important to manage your Soul.  Tornus takes advantage of your effects to gain more power, and starting with 1 Soul and Superior Calling a Viviane or Battlefield Storm, Sagramore when Blond Ezel attacks grants each Tornus a lot more power.  Having a Unit that can hit at Grade 2 even if your opponent gets a Damage Trigger is important.

Other Alternatives
Lop Ear Shooter doesn’t plus, but does provide another attacker even if your Vanguard didn’t hit.  It’s a pressure Unit that can come out of nowhere, especially if you didn’t have it initially and then you Drive Checked it.

Grade 3

Battlefield Storm, Sagramore
Sagramore is a solid card to Superior Call for the surprise of two Units out of nowhere at minimum.  Being able to chain Sagramores together make it a heavy pressure Unit, and raises the ceiling of the deck’s potential to ridiculous levels.  A Soulblast is all that is needed to replace himself and call a new Unit, and if that Unit is Player of the Holy Bow, Viviane or Mach Slash Dragon, it can still continue the chain even without it being another Sagramore.  All in all a very solid combo card that works well as long as you can pay the cost.

Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
The key card of the entire deck, Blond Ezel is key for not only continuing combos due to its Superior Call, but the ability to obtain an Accel Circle earlier than any other clan makes them the best early pressure clan in the game so far.  There isn’t much else to be said that hasn’t been said already.

Mach Slash Dragon
While Mach Slash Dragon doesn’t quite work well with Front Triggers, the ability to call mid-battle without requiring Soul is very helpful for continuing the attacks.  Lacking a Gift and not plussing makes it the backup Grade 3 but it still functions well when you need to rely on it.

Other Alternatives
White Hare in the Moon’s Shadow, Pellinore is an alternative Superior Ride that warrants an entire deck built around him because of his use of Counterblast and the massive amount of Soulblast necessary to pull off his Superior Ride.  Pellinore warrants more Front Triggers in his deck because he needs a Rearguard to hit in order to Superior Ride.

===

Thank you for reading.

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

~thenightsshadow, wondering why the name is Gold Paladins.  Like seriously, why “Gold”?

————————————————————————————-

Advertisements

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