They have one of the largest selections of builds in the Japanese format and even in English, they have several builds. Be that as it may, we will only be talking about the best builds available.
|Born from an egg on a mountain top...|
He also covers for Kimnara and Gatling Claw's effect by saving you the card cost. He has great synergy with Berserk Dragon which will retire their Grade 2 interceptors that Goku misses. Here's the drawback: running Goku without running more than the typical 8 Grade 3 units, is stupid. His 10000 defensive typing is a massive weakness which works out poorly for defending. Without the extra Grade 3s to pad out his effect, he just becomes a weak thing sitting there, missing his effect all the time. Since we run 4 perfect guards, it shouldn't be any problem for us to run extra Grade 3s. And we always have our backup doomtrain:
unflipped damages that Overlord can use. Otherwise, he's just an 11k beater. When using his skill from the rear-guard position only, it guarantees that you get at least +2 somehow. In some way. No matter what. Counterblast 3 for +2 is an established tradition in Vanguard and Overlord accomplishes this even more easily than his Narukami counterpart, Vermillion. When combined with ways to stand such as Stand Triggers, Overlord's skill can spell fiery doom
His Superior Ride? Garbage. Oh sure, it charges up your soul—and minuses you into oblivion. For a clan that claims to have no weaknesses, that sure doesn't fit the theme. Not to mention how horribly situational it is and how rarely you will actually pull it off. Go ahead and run that combo if you really want to be Kai from the anime. He doesn't really have a situation where his effect just fits. It's nice to have, and we certainly don't want our soul just sitting there, racking up, minusing us with no payoff at the end. The same goes for Vortex Dragon in that instance. It's a horrible card and his megablast requires us to invest so much in his appearance for the effect that we get.
|My love for you is like a truck.|
Thirdly, he only benefits from this effect if the opponent has interceptors, can use them to stop an attack, and if it's endgame. Blockade just has too many negative points going for him to even bother with it. Stick to what you know is good: Goku and Overlord.
|To infinity, and beyond!|
Using Aleph's first effect is pretty much stupid unless you're at end-game and absolutely have nothing better to do. However, in a deck with his and Blazing Flare's superior rides, you're almost guaranteed to get off one superior ride in a game. That's not the important part. What's important is what you do with that once you get it. If you get off Blazing Flare (yawn), you just wait to Soulblast 5 and kill something useful to the opponent. If you Superior Ride Aleph though, you're in business.
Dragon Knight Aleph is Counterblast 1, move Tahr and Bahr to the soul to superior ride Embodiment of Victory Aleph. You can use Lizard Soldier Conroe's counterblast as well if you're missing Tahr, Bahr (or for Blazing, if you're missing Gattling or Iron Tail). Make sure you take 1-2 damage as quickly as possible to ensure that this works out. Once Victory is out, you can play normally for a while until you have a total of 4 damage and are thrust into Late game. Call down a Berserk Dragon (or Kimnaras), counterblast your last 2, then remove Tahr and Bahr from your soul using Victory's effect to unflip all your damage. Now you can use even more Berserk Dragons, Kimnaras, Gattling Claws, or even Aleph's effect if you have none of those. Once the opponent's field is totally clear (and it should be by now), they probably will only call 1 card since you've depleted them so heavily. You have game at this point. Nothing can recover from an empty field in Late game except Basskirk (and you shouldn't be letting him get to 5 damage before Final Turn).
I was pretty surprised that this deck even works, but it does. You're extremely unlikely to not get some sort of Superior Ride off. If you get off Blazing Flare, his early turn Twin Drive and his Soulblast will actually make up for the minuses you accrue. Then you just put Bahr behind him and attack for 21000 (3 stages) every turn—you should be killing something every turn if you end up going the Blazing Flare route that game.
|Stop right there, criminal scum!|
His offensive skill is just straight built into the card. As soon as his limit break goes off, you're getting that power plus, putting him at Stage 3 territory when Bahr is behind him. In addition, his Limit Break also removes interceptors if your opponent has any left that late, and even better—Special Interceptors (he pretty much banishes Blockade into obsolescence). His cost to activate is hilariously low, and if you play his deck you're pretty much always going to have the spare counterblast, even if Late game drags on for 3 or more turns. His weaknesses are typical in that he's easily bullied by the same crap Goku gets hit with: 15k and 20k columns. Running vanguards like this does put you at a huge defensive disadvantage when your opponent is allowed to make sloppy columns or set up really bad, easily counterable plays like the 7k interceptors that draw (Field Driller clones) and the Gold Paladin Valkyries. We can just splice a few Lawkeepers and Archdragons into our existing Goku decks and keep on trucking. You would only run 2-3 Lawkeeper in Goku since he's only used during Late game. That's exactly when Goku starts petering out, so it makes an excellently synergistic card to keep the Kagero Hate Machine rolling.
Amber Dragon Dusk is granted additional power just by being on the vanguard circle. +2000 when you attack a vanguard, so if you have a Bahr (or Raopia) there pretty much isn't any Grade 2 vanguard that can stop you from attacking for 3 stages. Not really much of an issue in Early game most of the time since it's not very optimal to guard the vanguard at those times. So while the Grade 2 doesn't have a very amazing skill (most of the Rank 1 chains' Grade 2s do not), it the Grade 3 on the other hand is another story.
This skill sounds pretty bad. You need to pay a cost in advance for something that is great if it works, but terrible if it doesn't. Most people don't normally guard the vanguard since it's considered a misplay to waste two cards or more stopping the one attack (when they can turn around and put any checked critical triggers on their rear-guard anyway) so what Eclipse actually does is it forces the opponent so suddenly make a decision. I can lose two or more cards in my hand or two cards on the field. Most counterblast 2 cost units that give advantage in this game will give you +1. In the case of Eclipse, it gives you +2 but it's the opponent's choice which +2 and of that selection (hand or field) it's their choice which units. Ultimately, this makes Eclipse very efficient by paying a 1:1 ratio of counterblast-to-advantage. If you aren't planning on using many counterblast-heavy cards, Eclipse is an excellent choice to run in the deck. If you can get the skill immediately on your Turn 3 ride, it usually won't be guarded, leaving you a way to poke lots of holes in their field early (which also directly combats the strategy of Spectral Duke Dragon). The ride chain isn't actually needed and is preferred not to be in the deck. The same +1 that you get from the starter is a +1 you'd get from Conroe, and Conroe is the better unit since he's not chance-based. It's either a 56% chance at +1 in the form of Grade 2 ride consistency or 100% chance at +1 in the form of any booster you want. I'll take the latter.
Be careful where you put heatnail since putting it behind any rear-guard that isn't 3 stages doesn't really add any additional pressure to that particular column. Only when you have two on-hit columns does an on-hit for 2 stages become threatening enough for guardbait. What makes Heatnail useful in these situations is that he can just sit behind your attackers (preferrably vanguard) and wait until your opponent cracks and lets him hit. If it's never, then he didn't cause a problem. If it hits and you can replace your booster, then all is well. If you mind the common pitfalls of using Heatnail Salamander, it can become a very powerful tool in your arsenal, and is searchable with Conroe for early game access behind the vanguard (usually guaranteeing the hit).
|A BLOO BLOO BLOO|
The weird thing about Waterfall is that he doesn't even need his own build. He's like a tech into any given Kagero deck. If you play with Goku, all those extra Grade 3s become massive attacks in Late game. If you play with Lawkeeper, you discard with Waterfall in Mid game to keep huge pressure/damage going andthen use Lawkeeper in Late game. In Eclipse, he can be ridden over Amber Dragon once it runs out of counterblast, and just start getting rid of excess. It seems like no matter what Kagero build you put him in, he flows around the play style of the other vanguard units. You know, kind of like water.
Time to see the decks:
|Goku Law-pocalypse||Blazing Embodiment (Superior Riders)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Nightfall (Eclipse)||Dread Judge (Lawkeeper)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
Estimated Deck Cost: $200 | $145 | $220 | $225Closing Notes: The real bite is the Wyvern Guard, Barris which are $25 each minimum and usually $30. Lawkeeper is about $6. Some people have this insane idea that running any more that 8 Grade 3s is always wrongbadfun and leads to losing the game. In actuality, running 9-10 in Goku is no big deal. You can run Blazing Flare, but I don't suggest him anymore now that we have the mighty Lawkeeper. He sucks anywhere other than the superior riders build.
Each build of Kagero work slightly differently. All of them usually have a similar goal which is to control the quality or quantity of the opponent's field (playing defensively) and rack up advantage.
Goku Law-pocalypse - You ride Goku, check grade 3s until Late game, and then ride Lawkeeper. Each check-kill is of higher quality than the minus you incur during ride-over, so not a big deal. Usually, you get about 2-3 kills with Goku per game. Lawkeeper will get you 1-2 kills per game at best, but they're worth it for the ability to circumvent rear-guard skills, intercepts, etc. Berserk can probably get you 1-2 kills as well. Total advantage on average is about 3-6 (4.5).
Blazing Embodiment - Not a deck that attempts to get mad advantage in the same way as usual. The primary gambit is riding Aleph, with the secondary gambit then being to use Berserk Dragons, unflip everything, and use more counterblast. Typically in that scenario you can get +4-5 advantage during a game. The alternate route is Blazing Flare, where you just use the early commitment from a superior ride to try and deal a bit more damage, then get a couple Berserks off. Typically gets +3 per game. Total average advantage is somewhere around 3-5 (4) per game.
Nightfall - Probably one of the best decklists Kagero has available. Primarily you kill-check with Goku about 2-3 times and then ride over (minus) with Eclipse and start spending your counterblasts to get 1:1 advantage ratio (*Do this before late game!*). Typically this deck can get 5-6 (5.5) advantage per game, making it the highest raw advantage deck Kagero probably has available. Not to mention it's also the cheapest build!
Dread Judge - This is mostly unlike other Kagero decks. It splits its priority to one third control (Heatnail / Bellicosity), one third advantage (Lawkeeper / Berserk) and one third power-pressure (Lawkeeper / Dual-Axe). The idea is to ride Lawkeeper, sit on him and prepare your setup for late game while imposing heatnail, bellicosity, and berserk dragons to rack up whatever quality and quantity advantage you can. Typically the deck only gets a true +2-3 total on average, but has a higher pressure output during Late game than other Kagero decks. The opponent will suddenly start having to guard everything and those things are rather big.