Welcome people, I am your host Phantom High, but you can refer to me as Phantom. The longest time I have been fascinated with the various Paladin clans in Cardfight Vanguard. However I am not super competitive nor that smart so today let’s take a step back in time.
Times sure have changed in the past couple of years. Before there was only TWO paladin clans, and we liked it. Then Bushiroad decides to be a silly person and make a third Paladin clan, aptly named Gold Paladins.
I figured with so much that has happened, it will be nice to look back at how far we’ve come starting with their introduction, Breaker of the Limits.
Lore-wise they were the remnants of the Royal and Shadow Paladin armies that are trying to free their leaders from the Void. In reality, Bushiroad noticed that Majesty Lord Blaster and Kagero were really dominant in their times. As a result, they decide to temporarily axe those clans and instead invent a new one with a similar mechanic to their predecessors.
To start lets look at one of their stables for the longest time and my Gold Paladin waifu for a while.
[AUTO](VC/RC):[Counter Blast (1)] When this unit’s attack hits a vanguard, if this unit is boosted by a «Gold Paladin», you may pay the cost, and if you do, look at the top card of your deck, search for up to one «Gold Paladin» from among them, call it to an open (RC), and put the rest on the bottom of your deck.
What is this? CB1 AND has to hit? JUST for a random call? Actually this was Gold Paladin’s “gimmick” if you want to call it that. They were able to Superior Call their allies for a really cheap cost, for the time anyways. Their main drawback is that they can only Superior Call the top unit from the deck, which can either be good or bad. Good in the event that you can get another attacker or even a certain Grade 3 which I will explain later. Bad because the unit you may called won’t be able to attack the opponent’s Vanguard, or in some cases, it will call a Trigger unit.
However this was a huge stable simply because of the pressure and swarming capabilities she offered.
Another gimmick I should mention is that certain Gold Paladins have the ability to trigger effects if they were Superior Called from the deck much like this one.
[AUTO]:[Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] When this unit is placed on (RC) from your deck, if you have a «Gold Paladin» vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at up to three cards from the top of your deck, search for up to one «Gold Paladin» from among them, call it to (RC), and put the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order.
Gold Paladin cards, at the time, focused on the idea of top-decking their units to grant useful effects, such as the one with Lop Ear Shooter. The idea at the time was that even if you did top-called a Trigger Unit, they can still do something to the field in some meaningful way.
In Lop Ear’s case, he gives you more consistent calls if he was Superior Called, and you can even call it over an existing RG, a trait that is most unusual in the clan. He can potentially net you a certain Grade 3 which I will go over soon enough.
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Choose two of your «Gold Paladin» rear-guards, and put them on the bottom of your deck in any order] When this unit attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to two of your «Gold Paladin», and those units get [Power]+5000 until end of turn.
[AUTO]:[Choose a «Gold Paladin» from your hand, and discard it] When this unit is placed on (RC) from your deck, if your opponent has a grade 2 or greater vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, put this unit on your (VC).
Here is a card that if you pulled off its ability consistently, you probably should try your luck at a casino. Early access to Grade 3 and thus Twin Drive was a very nice thing back then, especially if your opponent was still in Grade 2. Another interesting note was that it could send your units back into the deck, including Trigger Units. An idea that won’t get popular for a few more years, and after several stumbles along the way. However during its inception it was mainly used to help Pellinore actually hit the opponent’s Vanguard. Not exactly the best, but real lulzy when you pulled off his Superior Ride.
The next set of cards are part of a Ride Chain, so it feels fitting to include all of them.
…I would add captions but I don’t have any ideas on how to make it funny.
Since I don’t want this article to go longer than necessary, I will explain the Ride Chain briefly: whenever you perform the Ride Chain, you can kill off one of your own Rear Guards and Superior Call two more units from the top of the deck. Combined that with cards like Lop Ear and Dindrane, and you can potentially plus a lot.
Spectral Duke’s effect is the following:
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (2) & Choose three of your «Gold Paladin» rear-guards, and retire them] At the beginning of the close step of the battle that this unit attacked a vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, [Stand] this unit, and this unit loses “Twin Drive!!” until end of turn.
[CONT](VC):If you have a card named “Black Dragon Knight, Vortimer” in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+1000.
So yeah, a restanding Vanguard, which was pretty hype worthy back in the days.
As far as Ride Chains go, this was pretty decent. It is similar to Shadow Paladins, mostly the modern Luard deck, in that they kill off one of their guys to summon more Paladins. Their Grade 3 is a restanding Vanguard which is pretty cool as well as they weren’t all that common. Sure Spectral Duke loses Twin Drive, essentially giving it 3 Drive Checks, but keep in mind that at the time the only other card to Restand efficiently was The End. Combined with Gold Paladin’s swarming capabilities, and losing 3 Rear Guards is not that bad.
You may have noticed that I have avoided talking about the cover card of Gold Paladins in Block 2, but I wanted to save that because I felt it was better to let you people know what Gold Paladins were like, how they work, and some of their variations. Now here comes the card that both the anime and Bushiroad tried to push on…BLOND EZEL.
[ACT](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (2)] Look at the top card of your deck, search for up to one «Gold Paladin» from among them, call it to an open (RC), put the rest on the bottom of your deck, and increase this unit’s [Power] by the original [Power] of the unit called with this effect until end of turn.
[CONT](VC):During your turn, this unit gets [Power]+1000 for each of your «Gold Paladin» rear-guards.
Bushiroad does everything in their power to make Blond Ezel worthy of the Gold Paladin face card, much like Alfred to Royal Paladins (debatable since Blaster Blade has more of the limelight), Phantom Blaster to Shadow Paladins, and Amaterasu for Oracle Think Tank. Whenever I talked with the casual player about who was the most iconic Gold Paladin, its mainly Ezel. I cannot blame them since this was Aichi Sendou’s Avatar for Season 2. CB2 for a top-decked call sounds a lot, but it can power itself as well. It can conceivably hit 26000+ power which basically necessitates a Perfect Guard unless you were at 3 damage or were the most manly man to take the attack and live. That kind of raw power was almost unheard of at the time, and Ezel is the poster boy in that regard.
However what kind of ace monster it will be if it didn’t have a second form? At the end of Season 2, Ezel achieved his Super Saiyan form…ahem…I meant he achieved Ultimate Break.
[ACT](VC) Limit Break 5 (This ability is active if you have five or more damage):[Counter Blast (3)] Choose up to five of your «Gold Paladin» rear-guards, and those units get [Power]+5000 until end of turn.
[CONT](VC):If you have a card named “Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel” in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+2000.
[CONT](VC/RC):Lord (If you have a unit without a same clan as this unit, this unit cannot attack)
This was Ezel’s most powerful form…a mostly vanilla unit. Most people did not like the effect namely because CB3 in a CB-heavy deck was already too much to ask for. It also requires you to have 5 damage which may not always happen because opponent can kill you at 4 damage if given the chance, or the opponent is smart and instead goes after the Rear Guards to prevent the Ezel player from achieving Ultimate Break. The only noteworthy thing about Platina was it’s 13k defense, which was not a bad thing, but that was it.
This is where I end the first part of the retrospective…EXCEPT NOT! I haven’t talked about the best card yet. This card basically invalidated Ezel and was a popular card during its time period in the tourney scene.
The best part…this is a Trial Deck card.
[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+5000 until end of that battle.
[AUTO]:[Counter Blast (2)] When this unit is placed on (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, search from your deck for up to one grade 2 or less «Gold Paladin», call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.
Yeah Gold Paladins at the time had access to specific tutoring…and it is from the Trial Deck! The Grade restriction barely mattered as you want to call the lower grade units anyways, it’s Limit Break ability is simple, but can easily hit past 21000 which is amazing for it’s time period, and did I mentioned it is a Trial Deck card as well? Garmore basically shoved Ezel aside in tourney play on the basis that Garmore does Ezel’s job but way more precise and more efficiently. I have seen Garmore used in all sorts of Gold Paladin decks…Garmore Bunnies, Spectral Garmore, Garmore Ezel, freaking Garmore Chromejailer…the toolboxing it offered was something not to be trifled with.
Now this concludes the first part of the retrospective of Gold Paladins. Tune in sometime in a near future where we see Garmore bring his old Royal Paladin buddies to style in gold: The Liberators.