This is our first article in the “Deck Strategy” Series where various authors will cover current strategies or their development within the meta. This is especially great for readers that want to know if the clan is anything they want!
Hello guys, I’m Misaka 10032 and I’ve been playing Cardfight Vanguard since Booster Set 03: Demonic Lord Invasion. With the rise of Neo Nectar’s keyword, ‘Bloom,’ I have decided to devote this article to the potential combos you can do in a G-Ahsha Bloom deck.
Before you begin, I would like to warn you this guide is suggested for audiences with solid background of Neo Nectar’s Bloom mechanic and unit pool but I will be as clear as possible for people with less experience.
What is Bloom?
“Bloom” is a keyword exclusive to the Neo Nectar clan, and introduced in G Booster Set 6: Transcension of Blade and Blossom.
A “Bloom” ability only activates when another of your units who has same card name as the unit possessing it is placed on your (RC). When it does, it allows you to perform the effects specified on it, such as power increase or getting new abilities (after paying any cost required).
With Bloom, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is power. From experiences fighting against and playing Neo Nectar, I can confidently assure you, their consistent 50,000+ columns is surely one of the clan’s main attractions. Although most people know it isn’t that hard to do that with units like ‘Osmanthus Maiden, Anelma’ and ‘Pure Maiden, Katrina,’ what most people don’t know is that you can potentially gain more value off Bloom if you time it right by keeping them on-hold.
For Example you stride into ‘Flower Princess of Perpetual Summer, Verano’ (With either Ahsha as your Grade 3) and call a Katrina from your hand, and clone that Katrina with Verano’s skill, Bloom activates however you can keep that on-hold and use Ahsha’s Stride Bonus to call forth another Katrina then resolve the Bloom giving the 3 Katrina +12,000 instead of one +8000 and two +12,000 which could be the deciding factor in your game.
As a keyword, Bloom receives the blessings from units like ‘Cornflower Flower Maiden, Ines’ and ‘Flower Princess of Beautiful Winter, Inverno’ therefore it is always recommended to keep your Bloom counts high. Furthermore as a mechanic that is based around cloning units, being aware of the Soul, Drop Zone and Bind Zone is crucial as there can only be up to four copies of a card in your deck. This means that you will indefinitely run out of units to clone at a certain point so keeping a tab on which units you don’t have in the deck is important even though there are a lot of ways to overcome this issue.
- Ranunculus of Searing Heart, Ahsha
- Ideal Maiden, Thuria
- Flower Princess of Beautiful Winter, Inverno
- Flower Princess of Perpetual Summer, Verano
Ranunculus of Searing Heart, Ahsha
[AUTO](VC):At the end of each turn, choose a card from your hand, and you may call it to (RC).
[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (1) & Soul Blast (1)] When your G unit Stride during your turn, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your rear-guards, search your deck for up to one card with the same card name as that unit, call it to (RC), shuffle your deck, and the unit called with this effect gets “Boost” until end of turn.
In an ideal Bloom deck, you should always have Searing Ahsha as a Vanguard as it is one of the most important units in the deck. With three useful skills, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the most expensive units from ‘G Character Booster 1: TRY3 NEXT.’
One of the key differences between ‘Ranunculus of Searing Heart, Ahsha’ and ‘Ranunculus Flower Maiden, Ahsha’ is the keyword Bloom. This downright makes G-Ahsha better than Normal Ahsha due to the synergy with Ines, a common backup Vanguard for Bloom decks with an ability to search for Bloom units. Secondly the stride bonus is arguably better as it gives the unit called boost instead of +2000 at the cost of an extra Soul Blast, which is surprisingly useful from time to time as it allows you to recycle importants unit you might’ve rode early on. Overall this is not the case of G-Harri versus Harri as there is no practical reason to use Ahsha over G-Ahsha.
The second skill of G-Ahsha is possibly one of the most useful addition as it allows you to have a unit to target before you stride, even after a field wipe, which was previously Normal Ahsha’s main weakness. Contrary to popular belief, retire is less effective versus Neo Nectar despite being a rear-guard centric clan nowadays due to the ease of calling units. The reason I have decided to talk about this skill separately is because of how valuable it is and the potential synergy with Ideal Maiden, Thuria. Neo Nectar doesn’t exactly have the lightest of costs but G-Ahsha alongside Thuria solves this problem with a pretty neat combo. By calling Thuria and naming it as G-Ahsha during the end phase of the opponent’s turn, you can use G-Ahsha’s Bloom to rejuvenate resource with a Soul Charge and Counter Charge. Then during the start of your main phase you can use Thuria’s skill to return it back to the hand at the cost of returning a unit with the same name back to your deck, which could be another Thuria or more likely a G-Ahsha you discarded to stride with. This boils down to a free unit recycle, Counter Charge and Soul Charge which is extremely useful as it ensures you have an open damage and soul ready for the upcoming turns. Despite the second skill stating “at the end of each turn,” it is almost always recommended to call during the opponent’s end of the turn as this means that the unit is not prone to being attacked or retired. You might think that you could pull off some combo by calling an Ines during your End Phase to activate the Bloom of another Ines on the field so you can return it back to the deck to search for something else but due to the flow of the game, Ines’ Bloom ability cannot be used as it has passed the timing for all “End of Turn” skills to activate so the “until End of Turn” skills to cease to exist hence both Ines’ skill disappears before it could be triggered.
Ideal Maiden, Thuria
[CONT](RC) Generation Break 1:When this card would be placed on (RC), choose up to one of your units. If you have a vanguard with “Ranunculus” in its card name, this unit is regarded as a unit with the same card name as the chosen unit. (It has the chosen unit’s card name when it is placed)
[AUTO](RC) Generation Break 1:[Choose a card from your drop zone with the same card name as this unit, and put it on the top of your deck] At the beginning of your main phase, if you have a vanguard with “Ranunculus” in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, return this unit to your hand, and shuffle your deck.
Ideal Maiden, Thuria is definitely one of our ideal units in Neo Nectar. The first skill, being a CONT, allows it to activate mid-skill for Ranunculus In Glorious Bloom, Ahsha or more importantly Bloom. As Thuria’s name changes as soon as it touches the board, it can virtually activate any unit’s Bloom ability, making it a vital part of the deck despite not having the keyword.
The second skill is also excellent as it allows you to reuse Thuria, especially as once you’ve chosen a unit, you cannot change Thuria’s name again as long as it remains on the field. The second skill can reset this by returning Thuria to the hand, allowing you to call it under a different name.
One interesting tip to know is that once Thuria copies a name, it carries two names being Thuria and the unit you have chosen. This means that if you called Thuria for ‘Ranunuculus In Glorious Bloom, Ahsha,’ you will be able to choose four different units to give the power too if they have the same name. For example if you have a Katrina and a Thuria with Katrina’s name on the field, you can use Glorious Ahsha’s skill to target the Thuria with Katrina’s name and call a new Thuria, naming it G-Ahsha. You can then proceed to resolve Glorious Ahsha’s skill, giving power to up to four Thuria OR Katrinas alongside giving Glorious Ahsha an extra critical as the newly called Thuria currently shares the name of the Vanguard. Do be aware that Glorious Ahsha’s power-giving skill refers to the unit picked to clone, not the unit called, therefore if you initially had a Thuria with G-Ahsha’s name on the field and you called a Thuria, naming it Katrina, you can only give the power boost to G-Ahsha and Thuria but not Katrina.
Another unit that has surprising synergy with Thuria is ‘Augury Maiden, Ida.’ Ida’s second skill allows you to choose two units and let them be regarded as each other so for example if you have a Katrina and an Odette on the board sharing each other’s name, you could call Thuria, naming it as Katrina AND Odette as the current Odette/Katrina is regarded as each other meaning that you can proc both Katrina and Odette’s Bloom with one call as Thuria now holds three names. This also works the other way round in which you use Ida to name a unit as Thuria, which bears two names giving the other unit you targeted with Ida three names.
Flower Princess of Beautiful Winter, Inverno
[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn]:[Soul Blast (1)] Choose up to five normal units in total from your (RC) and drop zone, return them to your deck, and shuffle your deck. If you returned five cards, Counter Charge (1)/Soul Charge (1).
[AUTO](VC) Generation Break 2:[Counter Blast (1) & Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] When your unit is placed on (RC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your units with the bloom ability, search your deck for up to two cards with the same card name as that unit, reveal them, put them into your hand, and shuffle your deck.
As a stride, Inverno should definitely be at least a one-off in your Bloom deck. The first skill is immensely useful for mass returning units as most of the recycles only target one unit which might not be enough for stalled out games. You also get a Soul Charge to refund the skill cost and a Counter Charge from this. Although that might not be worth the deck dilution, it balances the insane deck thinning you could do with the second skill.
Inverno’s second skill is basically an advantage engine you could use to refill your hand and field as it is not restricted to once per turn. At the cost of a measly Counter Blast and discard, you get to add two units to your hand when you call something so it is a strict +1 in terms of advantage. A weird suggestion for using Inverno is to search for G-Ahsha if you happen to have one on the field as it gives you an Inverno or stride fodder whilst thinning your deck of Grade 3s.
Despite the second skill stating that you can only choose a unit with the Bloom ability, it is possible to bypass this if you have Ida as it allows you to name a unit with Bloom as a unit without Bloom like Thuria and searching Thuria is always beneficial. Furthermore with the wording, you could even search for two different cards if they have the same name as the unit chosen so for example Thuria and another unit with Bloom chosen by Ida. As Inverno’s skill searches two cards, if you have one on the field, the second time you use Inverno’s skill you could only get one card as you already have all four copies of the selected card. One on the field and two in your hand but with Ida you can bypass this flaw.
With Inverno in mind, there often a debate of whether to run Cherry Blossom Blizzard Maiden, Lilga or Flower Keeper Dragon as your sentinels. Even though I have mentioned that the inclusion of a keyword is strong enough a reason, Flower Keeper Dragon is still a viable sentinel as it gives you a chance for a free card. Usually with how Neo Nectar setups their board, you will usually be searching for G-Ahsha as all the copies of your rear-guard is already on the field which is why the chance of getting a card from Flower Keeper decreases however a free card is still free nonetheless. For Lilga, the inclusion of the keyword and the Bloom skill itself is something worth noting. With Lilga’s Bloom, when you call copies of it onto the field, you can Counter Blast one to bounce it all into your hand so Lilga is useful in that it is a searchable sentinel. Despite this you do need at least one Lilga first to be able to search for more and holding multiple Perfect Guards is not really recommended unless you know you’ll have to guard scary things next turn as it clogs your hand so you have to time Lilga correctly to make the most out of it. The option of Lilga vs Flower Keeper is purely based on player preference however there are some reasons to pick one over the other based on your deck choices. If you run Ines, I would suggest Lilga as Ines can search Lilga but not Flower Keeper and if you run Ida, you could run Flower Keeper as the combo with Ida and Inverno makes Flower Keeper slightly more searchable.
Flower Princess of Perpetual Summer, Verano
[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[AUTO]:[Soul Blast (1) & Choose a face down card from your G zone, and turn it face up & Choose a card from your hand and drop zone, and return them to your deck] When this unit is placed on (VC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to two cards from your hand, and call them to separate (RC). Choose the same number of your rear-guards as the number of face up cards named “Flower Princess of Perpetual Summer, Verano” in your G zone, search your deck for up to one card with the same card name as each of those units, call them to separate (RC), shuffle your deck, and the units called from your deck with this effect get “Boost” until end of turn.
Verano is probably the best first stride option you have in Neo Nectar. The synergy with Ahsha is fantastic as you could use Verano’s skill to call units onto the field before cloning them not to mention you get another copy of that unit with Verano’s skill. Even though it is a first stride, Verano is special as it also scales well into late game. The number of units you can call increases by the number of Veranos you have face-up in the G-Zone making Verano a perfect stride for late game as well. Even the cost for Verano’s skill is useful as it allows you to recycle units or triggers, something the deck rarely does. A quick reminder, as the cost is performed all at the same time, the card Soul Blasted cannot be the card you select to return from the drop zone to the deck. Other than that there is very little to no downside to Verano and you should consider running at least three in all Neo Nectar decks.
The common debate of Verano or ‘Governing Flower Princess, Selfina’ is often brought up as they both fill in the same role of a first stride that scales into late game but in a Bloom deck, I strongly recommend Verano. Even though Verano costs a card from the hand, Selfina’s Counter Blast can easily be translated to a card meaning the cost is similar but Verano gets a trigger recycle. Timing-wise, Verano synergizes better with Ahsha’s Stride Bonus too compared to Selfina who purely works Main-Phase. And if you want to point out the fact that Selfina gains a critical, Bloom decks have access to critical strides in other forms such as Flower Princess of Balmy Breeze, Illmatar and Ranunculus In Glorious Bloom, Ahsha so there is no missing out. Overall, not to be too pessimistic, they generally work similarly but with the way Bloom decks run, Verano tends to be more worthwhile. If you have free space in your G-zone you can even spare a couple Selfina alongside Verano.
Units to Clone:
Flower Garden Maiden, Mylis
[AUTO](RC):[Put this unit into your soul] When your vanguard attacks, if you have a grade 3 or greater vanguard with “Ranunculus” in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, draw a card, choose one of your vanguards, and it gets [Power]+5000 until end of that battle.
As a generic clone, Mylis is sort of special in Neo Nectar as you can call more copies of it. As counterproductive as it is to call triggers from the deck, Mylis is very useful in situations where you don’t really know what to call as you can just send all of them to the soul to draw cards. A burst draw option is always nice to have especially as it fuels soul too, a resource Verano and G-Ahsha uses although it’s not really recommended unless you’re in a pinch as it reduces the chance of checking a critical trigger by a large factor.
Tenacious Maiden, Noel
[ACT](RC) Generation Break 2:[Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] If you have a vanguard with “Ranunculus” in its card name, until end of turn, this unit gets “[CONT](RC):This unit can attack a vanguard from the back row.”.
Bloom-[AUTO](RC):When your other unit with the same card name as this unit is placed on (RC), all of your units in the same column as this unit get [Power]+4000 until end of turn.
As a RRR, Noel does seem quite weak for its rarity however as you get to used Noel, you’ll understand why it is one of the best finishers the deck has to offer. Initially the Bloom skill seems less effective compared to Katrina’s power boost however it can stack up if you have two Noels in the same column as this translates to a +8000 to both Noels whenever Bloom triggers. With Thuria in mind, this can reach high numbers. What makes Noel even more threatening is the fact that you can make it attack from the back row with its first skill, giving Neo Nectar a multi-attack option. With this, you can perform maximum of six attacks with three Noels in the back row but it is often a misconception to put Noel behind the Vanguard unless you’re using Glorious Ahsha as they synergize much better when aligned in a column as stated earlier. A Noel behind the Vanguard gains +4000 for each Bloom compared to Noel Column’s +8000 and with Thuria it does stack up significantly. It is generally ideal to place units like Thuria behind the Vanguard as a Stride hits high enough and it doesn’t reset the power Noel gives when you call Thurias over each other. You can literally put down four Thuria on top of each other behind the Vanguard and give each Noel +32000 making each individual Noel’s power 41000 ignoring any other Blooms from Noels interacting with itself. Although you have to discard two cards along with retiring three Thuria, it is well worth it to finish the game which is why this combo should be performed when the opponent is at 5 damage as it is a high risk, high reward combo. Even at 4 damage I would be hesitant as any heal triggers or damage triggers can disrupt your victory undoubtedly leading to a loss next turn as the combo is very resource intensive.
Double Noel columns is easy to achieve but Verano is the key to achieving maximum power. As great as it might be to give Noels +15000 power from Glorious Ahsha’s skill, Noel gains much more power by mass calling them at the same time as all Blooms trigger upon each Noel being called. For example if you initially have a Noel on the field and clone three more via Verano (with 3 face-up Veranos in the G-Zone), you will get a column of Noel with +16000 and a column of Noel with +20000. They all get boost from Verano too in case you don’t have a hand to discard for Noel’s skill. This combo is easily accessible second stride onwards if you have first strode a Verano and have a Noel in hand.
Not only does Noel combo with Verano but it also works well with Inverno as it helps fuel your hand before the finishing combo with Noel. Although being a hand intensive combo means that Noel will usually be usable as a finisher in a Sunflower Bloom deck consistently where hand is barely an issue. Most basic Bloom decks will not have enough hand to fuel multiple Noels late game so it is generally recommended to discard for only one Noel and attack with the massive column afterwards since Verano gives boost anyways so you aren’t losing valuable power.
Overall I’ve covered most of the simple combos you can use in a basic G-Ahsha build so hopefully you guys can all give this a try. I apologise if I have not covered something you would’ve liked such as the Sunflower Bloom combo but I want to focus on the core of the deck rather than just one particular build which is why I’ve focused solely on units you would run in any variation of a G-Neo Nectar deck. I hope you guys enjoyed this read and I look forward to writing more articles like this.
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