Grade One- Not Only For The Sea Captains~

In this article, Griselbrando will discuss the pros and cons of potentially not riding to grade 2.

Hey there Fighters, Griselbrando here!
Been playing Cardfight!! vanguard since its first booster set release in 2011 with Descent of the King of Knights
seeing many decks come and go with the change of game mechanics and how the game was played then compared to now.
And sometimes I like to talk about them!

Cardfight Vanguard is an ever-evolving game where new cards often time lead way to how a format can go.
And often times we forget how important a strong early game can be.

Even in our current Stride Generation format!

So today I’d like to bring your attention to this week’s topic:


The hidden power grade 1’s can influence a game’s progression!?

Taking a hard look at how GrandBlue Seven Runner, Ripple and Blueish flame liberator lists made a big splash on the scene and taking the meta by storm.

Not forgetting to mention extreme format era before clan regulation we had 8k vanilla grade one rush.

This idea dawned on me when I was looking at this current 2017 meta and seeing that there are more G decks than ever currently that pretty much focus on mid game and late game. With the Shadow paladin Luard at moment being one of the best late game decks of the format.

This gave me an interesting idea;

“What if I went first and sat an extra turn on grade 1?”

Short history of the grade 2 game

Since grade 2 stalling was a bit more common of a practice that was introduced in the end legion era in 2015 and beginning of the G era.

When only we had an 8 card G zone at the time and to combat the intense pressure the second turn player was getting his/her 1st stride off was by staying on grade 2. And so, there was for almost half a season in the competitive scene where that was “the play” as for going first since the stride mechanic needed both players to be on grade 3.

But with the introduction of Air Elemental, Sebreeze in Fighters Collection 2016 changed the way we did things in that regard. Since now it became more of a chicken game and damage manipulation by both players to both stay on grade two and also make sure not to give them the open counterblast to use Sebreeze’s ACT skill.

Usually by attacking with vanguard on an opponent’s rearguard so that they could still get the get the extra card from drive checking. Also, making decks that could play the pre-grade 3 game all the stronger for it. They would also re-ride on grade 2 making it possible to rush at the VG a bit more if the opponent didn’t ride for that turn either.

At the time decks like Grandblue Seven seas, Bermuda triangle Prism, Royal paladin Sanctuary guard, Shadow paladin Revengers just to name a few that were pretty strong at the time. Since these were the decks that didn’t really need the G zone all too much at the time and were able to draw cards and spend little of their hand to pressure their opponent to 3 or 4 damage before the first stride.

This what I found from my findings so far and I’ll divide them into good and bad so these factors you can keep in mind if you want to sit on a grade one for an extra turn.

The Good:

When going first it gives you the first card of the turn and gets up this game plan the best since it gives you an extra card in hand to guard with.

Having an okay amount of shield and still being able to ride namely a 10k since you can pressure your opponent in calling more units to field

To challenge your field and proceed to take out some of his combo pieces or boosters he might need later in the game and set yourself a bit more ahead.

If you have grade 1’s with pre-GB effects that get power like UNITE or others like it, often times having a deck that has effects of getting more power makes guarding very awkward for your opponent.

They also might be playing lower power grade ones so, then this aggressive play may more than likely push him/her to guard way more than he/she would like to and set them to potentially 3 damage before either of you get to grade 3.

Playing and an early game Rush oriented deck is pretty similar to the third point. In that, a deck that can establish a board before your opponent can even get to the late game greatly swings the match in your favor and often times the decks that are really good at this are in topping best of one format.

If you play more than 5 draw triggers or stand triggers.

Since the defensive hand advantage from draw triggers being 5k shields early on if you draw them in the early part of the turn of your draw step is more beneficial than drawing a critical most of the time.  Most of the early attacks are unboosted attacks and 5k shield worth pokes. Trust me, there is some probability math behind it also known as Hypergeometric Distribution.

So, explain to a bit what Hypergeometric Distribution is basically probability mathematics using the following guidelines:
-Population size

-Successes in population

-sample size

-successes in the sample

And then you get the result in percentages to the decimal.

Therefore, an example would be. Since we are playing 14 grade 1’s in our deck it would be if we would NOT a getting one:
-Population 49 (since our starter is outside of our deck)

-Successes in population: 14

-sample size: 5

-successes in a sample is: 1 (or 100%)
35/49= 71,4%

34/48= 70,8%

33/47= 70,2%

32/46= 69,5%

31/45= 68,8%

Then the odds of not drawing one grade one at all in your opener:
You multiply all of them together.

(35*34*33*32*31) / (49*48*47*46*45) = 0.1702 or 17% and then to know the chances of opening at least one grade 1 is then subtracting 17% from 1 or 100%

Which is 83% that you open up with a grade 1 in a 5 card hand every game playing a 14-card ratio.

And the reason I took grade ones as my example is the fact that we play 13 to 14 grade 1’s it is more a question of getting to that unit first since we need it most to even get the game started and riding the other grades, more or less a gateway unit and more or less the unit you G assist on outside of on your grade 2.

You could also use this for triggers and be able to give a ball park estimate of driving into one and what that can add to your pressure plays if you want to stall on grade one a little longer. But don’t forget taking damage and drive checking alters the probability factor a little so keep that in mind.


Do certain Triggers influence strategical?!

That being said; using a ratio of 6 triggers either on a stand or draw on a late game oriented deck gives you the same pressure as it would on an early game focused one.

Since you could attack with the one column first to see how your opponent guards to certain attack patterns and if you drive a stand or draw you get to set the hand difference apart by 1 since with:

  • Stand trigger: you get an extra attack which puts him potentially to 3 damage on a grade 1 turn or take out a rearguard that would back you on the following one
  • Draw trigger: Giving you an extra card that you can guard with or unit you can use the following turn to guard or attack with.
  • Critical triggers are always a factor but just like any trigger the percentage that your opponent hits a defensive trigger on a damage check is higher and a stand trigger fills sort of the same role in essence but more versatile in being able to reapply early on-hit effects that your rearguards might have.

And then there was the Bad!:

-You can end up losing some important grade ones due to having to commit one two too early guarding

– If your opponent plays 10000 power vanillas and that can end up walling off your early aggression since some decks are playing against the anti-grade 2 game of what other decks do example being Aqua force or royal paladin blaster.

– You get rushed back and lose your field due to that since unboosted units can still eat at your hand and put you in an awkward spot in over guarding some unimpressive attacks.
– Having to ride a 6000 power or less grade one unit on your first turns like a perfect shield or a combo piece you would rather have as a booster later in the match

And since most units tend to be 6k or higher your opponent can just move their forerunner to the side column and with a trigger proceed to pressure you from that angle forcing you to attack it or guard it which makes it easier for your opponent to go on rushing at your Vanguard.

– If your opponent has an early game oriented pre-GB effects deck that has very little need for a G zone can end up punishing you for sitting on grade one for too long with either multiple attacks or draw effects that can bully you out of the game.

Exceptions to this Theory:

Of course, there are a few other factors you might want to take into account as well, like what kind of triggers you could drive be it a stand, critical trigger or draw trigger. Or what possible triggers your opponent could damage check or what your opponent can drive against you during his attacks.

Unfortunately, you would need to ride to grade 2 in the case of riding a perfect shield since it has a base power of 6000 and there are a lot of current non-sentinel units sitting around the 6000 to 7000 thresholds. Variance is still a major part of this game.

“Why even try this!?”

Having to re-ride to avoid a grade two to avoid Seabreeze can often times set us just as far if not more behind compared to, if you were to just sit one extra turn on grade 1.

We still lose the potential attacker that we could have called on Rearguard anyway and if the opponent has an idea what’s going on, then moving on to grade two a turn later is just fine.
The idea behind this playstyle is that it forces your opponent to either also sit on grade one and force them to play to your own game plan.

More than likely them being a G- Stride focused deck and need to get to grade 3 anyway and puts some early pressure on him/her to give you the first stride. And in doing so, it gives you an extra turn of wiggle room to work up a game plan.

But trust me, it is not for every deck type so that’s why I’d like you to give me some feedback or if have any questions let me know how it went for you.


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