Today, I shall be discussing new Cardfight!! Vanguard set: G-BT13 Ultimate Stride, specifically the best cards we believe that are in the set (and some that are designed to work with said cards).
First, let’s look at the new rarity in the set: Z Rare (ZR). These cards basically take the place of the Super Generation Rare (SGR). As such, there are 2 Z Rares: “Zeroth Dragon of Inferno, Drachma” and “Zeroth Dragon of Distant Sea, Megiddo.” Each of them is intended to be played by their respective nations, Dragon Empire and Magallanica respectively. They also represent every clan in those nations and are treated as such in the rules. The mechanic used to play these behemoths is called Ultimate Stride, the set’s namesake mechanic. It functions just like Stride, except for a couple things: they cannot be played unless there are 3 or more face-up cards in the G Zone and, when they return to the G Zone, your entire G Zone is removed from the game. Essentially, this makes Ultimate Stride the final push to win the game, severely hindering a fighter should his or her opponent survive the turn. But, each one has a powerful effect to make that unlikely.
“Zeroth Dragon of Inferno, Drachma” and “Zeroth Dragon of Distant Sea, Megiddo”
“Zeroth Dragon of Inferno, Drachma” can obliterate the opponent’s field, retiring all opposing rearguards, discarding 2 cards in that player’s hand, and forcing him or her to ride a third. If, however, the opponent has no cards to ride either in hand or in the soul, he or she loses the game, thus giving an alternate win condition, though not one to consistently count on with which to win. Regardless, Drachma is certainly one of the best cards this set in terms of power level, acting as a veritable field-wipe and hand destruction all in one.
Drachma’s counterpart, “Zeroth Dragon of Distant Sea, Megiddo”, is no slouch either. For the same cost of 2 Counterblast, it can restock your field from either your hand or drop zone, increase their power by 5000, and allow for up to 6 total attacks with just the units on the field. With the various clans in the Magallanica often specializing in multiple attacks, you can deplete your opponent’s hand and field quickly. Whereas Drachma focuses on depleting an opponent’s resources directly, Megiddo will increase your advantage so you can use it to deplete your opponent’s more indirectly. Both dragons certainly have the power to end games the turn they come into play.
“Supreme Heavenly Dragon Emperor, Dragonic Overlord ‘The Purge’” and “Dragonic Overlord ‘The Destiny’”
There can be no doubt that the Z Rares are powerhouses, but they are not the only strong or game ending cards in the set. The Kagero Clan is well-known for the “Overlord” sub-clan. Since the beginning, Kagero’s most powerful unit has been “Dragonic Overlord” in all its forms, from the original to the crossride “Dragonic Overlord the End” through to today. Ultimate Stride brings two new “Overlord” cards: “Supreme Heavenly Dragon Emperor, Dragonic Overlord ‘The Purge’” and “Dragonic Overlord ‘The Destiny’”. “The Destiny,” being a Grade 3 Unit, supports “The Purge”. When you Stride “Purge”, “Destiny” can search for an “Overlord” card from among the top 7 cards, while still doing what Kagero does best and retiring an opponent’s unit. This “Overlord” card can be used to fuel the effect of “Purge”, dealing a free damage to the opponent if they are at 4 or less. And, while there is a cost to the effect (one must flip a facedown card in the G Zone face-up and discard an “Overlord”), the damage does not apply trigger effects, making it essentially a free damage in that sense.
That ability fuels the final ability of “The Purge”. It gets the same number of Drive Checks as the number of damage an opponent has, giving it as many as 5 Drive Checks, though only at Generation Break 3 (easily obtained on one’s second Stride of the game). That ability brings up some interesting game choices from both players. Does the defending player guard with enough that 5 triggers will be required to break the guard and damage, or would less shield be more effective? Would the turn player put any triggers on the Vanguard, hoping to get enough triggers to push through for damage? Or would that be a waste, depending on with what the defending player guarded? These questions are ones that can only be properly decided in the heat of the game. Such skills are where good players separate out from the not so good ones. Though, honestly, no one can really be prepared for 5 triggers breaking a 5-to-pass for game. That’s just the luck of the draw, sometimes, and can make for more interesting games.
“Supreme Ruler of the Storm, Thavas” and “Marshal General of Surging Seas, Alexandros”
This next pair also works fairly well in tandem. “Supreme Ruler of the Storm, Thavas” allows a fighter to place a unit on the field when you Stride, giving that unit Resist and the ability to attack from the back row (if it has the wave ability). This is the more useful ability with the Stride mechanic. Thavas’ other ability lets it Stand after battle for a counterblast, allowing it multiple attacks on its own. The first ability, however, shines with “Marshal General of Surging Seas, Alexandros”. Alexandros allows you to Stand two units after it attacked while also giving those units 5000 power for each face-up card in one’s G Zone. With Thavas’ ability, one could conceivably have 6-7 attacks in a single turn, whittling down the opponent’s ability to counterattack or even guard the later attacks. Still, this particular combination might be best left to the end game.
Master Swordsman of First Light, Gurguit Helios
On the subject of “end games”, Gold Paladin gained a new way to end the game in the form of “Master Swordsman of First Light, Gurguit Helios”. This card is fairly simple to use, given Gold Paladin’s forte of calling out masses of rearguards for relatively little cost. If one called 2 or more rearguards, Gurguit Helios gains the ability to give itself a fourth Drive Check. At the same time, if one timed things right and had Generation Break 3 active, Gurguit Helios can also limit how the opponent can respond to the attack while also raising its own power to make the guarding more draining on the opponent’s resources. That skill prevents grade 1 or higher cards from being called from hand to the Guardian Circle, leaving the opponent with only grade 0’s and G-Guardians while increasing Gurguit Helios’ power by 5000 for each of one’s rearguards (up to an additional 25000 power). It is yet another weapon in the arsenal of Gold Paladin players with which the game can be ended.
Thus wrapping up, the Z Rare units definitely can put the Ultimate into Ultimate Stride, ending games on their own by destroying an opponent’s ability to defend or respond the following turn. Where those two gain massive advantage, the Kagero “Overlords” press theirs as well, though not with the characteristic restanding for which they are known. The Thavas-Alexandros combo from the Aqua Force clan can lead to a barrage of attacks that halt an opponent’s momentum and can even be downright devastating to deal with in the right conditions. And the Gold Paladin Gurguit Helios just brings pure power to the table, ending the fight the old fashioned way. These and many more powerful cards can be found in the new booster set for Vanguard, Ultimate Stride.
Products in this post:
G-BT13/S03 Master Swordsman of First Light, Gurguit Helios – Special Parallel (SP)
$57.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/001 Zeroth Dragon of Inferno, Drachma – Z Rare (ZR)
$109.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/002 Zeroth Dragon of Distant Sea, Megiddo – Z Rare (ZR)
$89.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/003 Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Overlord “The Purge” – Generation Rare (GR)
$44.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/004 Marshal General of Surging Seas, Alexandros – Generation Rare (GR)
$29.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/008 Dragonic Overlord “The Destiny” – Triple Rare (RRR)
$21.99Restock Notice?Out Of Stock
G-BT13/012 Supreme Ruler of the Storm, Thavas – Triple Rare (RRR)