|I come in the name of America!|
Battleraizer one of your starting vanguards and his skill will put him into the deck any time he boosts a unit. This is almost always a bad play as adding a trigger to the deck for -1 sees no legitimately useful return. As you may guess, Stand Triggers and cards with effects that stand will be the key to our victory. Stand triggers have an advantage over critical triggers in that you make another attack all over from the beginning. This means you get more chances to activate effects as well as making the opponent guard more. A critical trigger aims to do the damage and mete out destruction as fast as possible; you want that attack to hit. In a deck that focuses on stand triggers, instead you don't actually care if the attack hits so much as the opponent loses something in the mean time.
|And then Cloud was a robot|
With this clan, any one slip-up can mean certain failure. It means you need to be predicting your triggers properly at all times. Just expect that you will get a trigger during a twin drive check. In this deck, you should almost never attack with the vanguard first unless the build runs criticals, given the high chances that you will stand some rear guard unit due to an effect caused by the vanguard's attack. In order to facilitate the standing effects and have them occur much more frequently, we would want to include a unit that can make this happen naturally. We have just such a unit.
Grade 3 that gives us an extra pseudo-stand trigger each time another Grade 3 is revealed. As I talked about in detail, units that can twin drive check into either a trigger effect or their own effect by revealing a Grade 3 are invaluable to us in battle. Asura Kaiser will significantly increase the chances that we can stand and continue our ridiculous onslaught. This card is why you should expect to constantly stand your units.
This deck will be extremely straightforward and only require you to have mastered the basics as well as being able to properly set up your field to always be scalable. From there, your only job is to carefully manage your resources and then strike at a constant pace while trying to maintain your advantage over the opponent. If you're not willing to give up all of your guards on one turn, make sure you declare a no-guard on the first attack just in case you hit a trigger and can power up your vanguard for the attack. Also make sure that you ride Asura Kaiser as soon as you get him. Your remaining Grade 3s can either be used for their effects, used to lock down your formation, or used as fodder for the cost of your perfect guard. None of this should be news to you if you've read any of my other articles.
When you call Genocide Jack as your rear guard, make sure you have damage flippers ready to go. Unflipping your damage is key to being able to use cards like Magician Girl Kirara to draw cards and keep the advantage going. Using up all of your counterblasts on Jack is suicide rather than genocide. Jack can often just attack on his own for 1 stage of power. Use this to your advantage to avoid having to commit to the field. When you release his restraint, count on standing him and going in for a 2-stage attack should a stand trigger appear, or count on a 1-stage again if Asura Kaiser's effect activates. His main purpose is getting multiple shots on the enemy vanguard free of boosters. Use this card on 10000 and 11000 vanguards just like you would King of Sword against the 10000 vanguards.
|Pegasus Ryu Sei Ken!|
If you couple this ability with Asura Kaiser, you get to check for Grade 3s and stand a unit when you do—and if that check was an Azure Dragon, you just netted yourself another 2 latent stands for its persona blast. Think about it: Asura Kaiser checks into Azure Dragon and stands a card. After you get a good amount of Azures in your hand, ride one and persona blast until your heart's content, standing 2 each time. That's 3 stands for every Asura check into Azure beyond the first one you draw. Including both would mean that you double up on 11000 vanguards, providing immense defensive capability. In the English format, Nova Grapplers will be a major offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with. It may seem reckless not to run Maoi or somesuch as your other Grade 3s, however it's important that you squeeze as many attacks out as possible in Nova Grapplers. So for the English format, I highly recommend running the Azure build with Asura inclusive.
|I guess it's Queen Gainer now|
Easy ways to stack this are the obvious; running with Asura Kaiser and running with stand triggers. If you can't make a proper column and Guy is your booster, a simple stand trigger or Asura check will do the trick to getting your column up to par for another full assault. If you have a full Death Army column, an Asura vanguard, and another column of something like an 11000 attacker; your Battle Phase could have you attacking with your two rear-guard columns, then the Vanguard, and if Asura hits a Grade 3, you're getting two more attacks off (one of which is fully powered). Obviously if you hit a stand trigger, you'd actually be getting two full attacks off and one is overpowered. A full field of Death Armys can actually cause easy gigantic battle phases. It's a very good way to put to use all of your Grade 3s. If you're combatting this deck, take out lady early and wane your attacks on her in the Late game due to there being less Grade 3s in the opponent's deck on average. Now that Death Army's exist, they should be considered a Nova Grappler staple unless you're playing a very specific strategy that can't include them.
|Check and mate?|
If you have bad columns because you didn't scale the field properly (why!?) or went for an early rush, you can make semi-use of one of the screwed cards by resting it and giving Cosmo Lord (boosted by Tough Boy) the extra stage. If you have something like a Jack or other 11000 power attacker, you can rest anything and do the same deal to make one column stage 1 and the Vanguard's column Stage 3. Eassentially, it's a power transfer rather than a "power up". If you're okay with taking a hit in card advantage, you can always rest something, call over it, and go from there. It's -1 every turn for a 3-stage Vanguard and not dent to your field, but requires that you have a new card to lay down each turn. And if you have to intercept ever, that starts to eat at your card advantage quick. However, it's still inferior to something as simple as Soul Saver Dragon which automatically gets the same boost when attacking. Spamming Cosmo Lord to make up the difference, really is not recommended. There just isn't a whole lot you can do with this guy.
|Fuck you, I'm calling him Blaukruger!|
This is important because Stern Blaukruger decks don't benefit nearly as much from having extra Grade 2s in as having extra Grade 1s and Grade 3s. They need those Grade 3s for the Death Army Guy and Lady cards to stand consistently in the battle phase and make your opponent leak damage like oil. The extra Grade 3s don't actually reduce your shield by more than a total of 5000 or so due to each other Grade 2 being swapped out for a Grade 1. The chance that you don't get Blaupanzer or a Grade 2 after mulligan is actually the same chance that you don't get any Grade 2 in a normal deck. Blaukruger's only skill is that when he's on the Vanguard position, he can unflip a damage if he hits. Since this deck only expends counterblast for Stern Blaukruger, that doesn't actually help, so Blaukruger himself should just be considered blank other than his power increase for having Blaupanzer in the soul.
|Translation: Star Blue Wisdom|
Stern Blaukruger can put on the scary pressure of Spectral Duke Dragon at the very start of Turn 3. Simply having two damage open, even with zero cards in hand, is enough to use this skill. Since the deck runs 12 critical triggers, there's not only a very high likelihood (~75%) to check one critical in the three total checks, but there's also a higher-than-usual likelihood of double critical checking. If Stern's 56% chance to check a trigger occurs before the third check and he hits, you can put the power on him, Stand Stern and his booster to now attack for 3 stages, Critical 2. If it hits once, it likely hits a second time (especially if the power is higher), dealing 4 damage in that circumstance. But the nightmare doesn't end there. A vanguard ability that must hit puts immense pressure on the opponent. Since the opponent has to guard, lest they potentially stare down an easy 4 damage in one turn, that means they now take one or more of your rear-guard attacks each turn and waste two cards per turn on your vanguard.
|How does he compete with robots?|
But nearly every deck will break. And most of the time they break in Late game. This is when you are most deadly. You could start that turn with 0 cards in hand. Draw 1 card, attack and hit with Stern Blaukruger, pay the cost of -2, Stand him and his booster with all trigger effects on him for more critical, then drive check 1 more (you now have 2 cards in hand again) and pay -2 to stand him yet again. Stern can chain his own effect twice without needing a single card in hand before you start you turn. With 4 total drive checks and a likelihood of several critical; usually 2 minimum. You can never let this card hit when the Stern user is at 4 damage. Rushing a Stern user is even worse since it means they can now deal anywhere from 4-6 damage to you in one turn because you put them at 4 too quickly. Having to hit isn't even a weakness with this card. Furthermore, you can't rely on damage checking triggers to make the second (or third) attack easier to guard. Not only does Stern get an additional stage from the trigger(s) applied, but if his booster is Dancing Wolf, it will stand and be granted +3000 power for 10000 total power, or +2 stages. Meaning Stern will be initially attacking for 2 stages, hit, then Stand his column for 4 stages with higher critical. You would need to damage check 2 triggers in order to be right back where you started with guard potential (2 cards, aka virtual Stage 3 due to drive check). You would need to damage check 3 triggers in a row to cut your total guard amount down to a safe 2 stages. Stern's only true cost is the total of -1 card advantage he nets per use. The -2 discard and +1 from drive check result in a total of -1, rather than the -2 that Spectral Duke incurs. This means Stern actually can use his skill and keep going through several more turns without losing steam (especially since his opponents have to keep guarding him for 2 cards every turn). In other words: be afraid, be very afraid.
Rutile's second skill is more of a clone of what Lion Heat gets on the Vanguard circle. When his attack hits a vanguard, you can choose a Nova Grappler to stand after paying counterblast 2. So part Lion Heat, part distributed Superelecromagnetic Lifeform Storm. This makes Rutile pretty scary as a single on-hit skill isn't usually all that effective at applying hard pressure but multiple on-hit skills, each one adding a level of severe danger, can be quite devastating to an opponent. They have to take some hit eventually unless they want to run out of cards and die in one turn. So this forces them to go into risk management and determine if it's scarier to have one or more of the rear-guards benefit from hitting or to have Rutile Benefit. And the problem with letting Rutile hit, is you know that you have another attack coming and that it might still give some on-hit effect. So while there may be a lot of weak attacks or some medium and weak attacks, anything that connects is going to give the Rutile player some utility or advantage.
But he also gets -2000 power (both turns) if you lack another Raizer somewhere on the field. That can be pretty devastating until you call another Raizer out, but in testing, this is only a problem for one or two turns. Not enough time to exploit. The biggest issue with Perfect Raizer is that the average minus you take with him is -3. One for riding, another for battle raizer which you're basically guaranteed, and one to two more for other rear-guards with "Raizer" in the name. That means any Raizers you call during Turns 1 and 2 are automatic minuses during Turn 3. This is a huge problem because it shuts down a whole rush strategy and gives you a weak Early game and starts you off with a weak Mid game.
Reason being; Perfect Raizer's vacuum is the only reliable way to gain soul in Nova Grappler. Any other way is going to be too conditional, so you really need to ride them or call before Turn 3. Meaning, ideally you get a Grade 1 Raizer, a Grade 2 Raizer, your starter, and any other Raizer (non-Grade 3) before Turn 3. And not counting Turboraizer or decked Battleraizers because getting rid of 2-stage shields for this is just beyond bad.
Chance to get G1+G2+Raizer before Turn 3: ~28.2%
Not very high. In just over 1/4 of games and just under 1/3 of games, you'll see a smooth Raizer combo go off which gives you net -2, not counting ride minuses (except the starting vanguard because it should've been +0 and most are). For each condition you fail (not getting a Raizer G1 or G2 in time to ride), you have another minus because you have to call it the next turn. So usually, you get a -3 not including rides. On top of that, you won't have 4 Raizers in your soul most of the time by Turn 3, so you have to ride another Perfect Raizer or call a Raizer and then ride another one. Like I said, the only reliable way of getting them in the soul is riding a Perfect Raizer. That means you usually need multiple Perfect Raizers to get the job done and each ride of him is at least -1. More if you were forced to call another Raizer rear-guard just to get some field presence. So assuming that you play smart (weak Early game and Turn 3) and aren't particularly fortunate, you'll probably have your Critical +1 by Turn 4-5 and you'll be about -4 or -5 in total just to do it, not counting natural rides.
Hi-Custom gets +8000, and Custom gets +6000. Each one doubling their printed power. Hi-Custom becomes a prime stand target what with him already being 2 stages alone (16000) and 3 if you apply the stand power to him. This makes him excellent as a tech into stand based decks so long as you make the starter a Battleraizer. Custom becomes 12000, which is nice for standing but bad for trying to hit the bare minimum of 2 stages. In both cases, you don't want to boost with Battleraizer because you'll -1 and stop your power increase, so that should be for Final Turn. Unfortunately, because it relies on a Grade 0 and a specific unit, these columns are easily shut down by any field destruciton unit in almost any destruction deck. That's a pretty big weakness so keep that in mind when you're choosing that tech.
|Beast Deity Blank Marsh|
In addition, since the big boss Azure Dragon's main focus in standing whole columns (though he can stand separate attackers, that usually doesn't get past since opponents can damage triggers), losing those boosters often causes a problem where you can't stand columns anymore and you've reached a point where even standing single attackers won't get over their trigger-enhanced defense. So keep that in mind. As for some of the others, Golden Anglet is a 9000 grade 2 that gains +3000 power when it is stood, and Yamata Drake is a 10000 grade 3 with an idential skill. As such, these make for ideal targets of standing since it puts them over the threshold of most solitary vanguard defenses just by themselves. Beast Deities sadly do not fare well as their own theme thus far (acting as an underpowered "Azure/Asura", see build below), but will come into their own with Set 10.
With that having been said, let's move on to the decks!
Decks tagged "Casual" are not recommended for tournament play due to some sort of extreme weakness.
|Nova Beat (Flipspam)||Azure-Asura (Standspam)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Novadraw (Hani + Kirara)||Star Blue Wisdom (Stern Blaukruger)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Iron Ball||Clockwork Gold Ultraviolence (Gold Rutile)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Transform and Roll Out (Raizer, Casual)|
|Grade 0: 16 |
Estimated Deck Cost: $175 | $186 | $174 | $218 | $176 | $168 | $204 USD
As for the Stern Blaukruger build, before you freak out about the Grade count, just know that the probability is the same for Rank 1 ride chains to only run 8 Grade 2s. Running the extra 9-10 Grade 3s only reduces the deck's total shielding by -5k (-10k if you go with 10G3). Most people don't care about reducing shielding by such an insignificant amount when they choose to run 4 Draw Triggers, so it really doesn't end up being a big deal. Just use those cards with your Perfect Guards or as fodder to pay for Stern's Skill. Using them in this way is very optimal. The chance to get either a Blaupanzer (which gives Kruger) or a Grade 2 is equal to running 4 + 8 = 12 Grade 2s. So don't worry about getting Grade 2s. This deck has a much higher chance to successfully ride Grade 1, same chance to ride Grade 2 (actually a bit higher than 11) and much higher chance to ride Grade 3. In short, it rides very well, it gets Death Army skills off very well, pays costs very efficiently, and works very brutally and efficiently.
Gold Rutile will be a pretty cheap deck considering its most expensive card is the perfect guard. If you already have a Novas deck built, it's a matter of getting spare Kiraras and buying singles of Gold Rutile to finish it. If you don't yet have Novas and want to get into them incrementally, this is a great starting position and the deck is an absolute terror beast.