Sep 19, 2013

UPDATE September

v-updateAs usual this is an update post to brief you all on site changes. BT-11 features most of these updates. Click the read whole article link to see comments on Set 11 and the new support. Warning: it’s a wall of text.

Updated this time:

  • Deep Clan Narukami is updated to include BT11 releases, missed BT09, some promos, and has had 2 new decklists added. Also an outdated section removed.
  • Deep Clan Angel Feather is updated to include BT11 releases, and has had 2 new decklists added (and 1 removed).
  • Deep Clan Genesis is updated for BT11 and had its decklist changed accordingly.
  • Deep Clan Kagero is updated for BT11, old BT05, and has 2 new decklists added.
  • Deep Clan Tachikaze is updated for BT11, and has 1 new decklist added.
  • Deep Clan Aqua Force is updated for BT11, has had 1 decklist majorly altered, and has had 3 new decklists added.
  • Each of these articles had their images fixed from the move earlier this year and re-vamped to remove old data.

Updated last time:

Set 11 is like a breath of fresh air, or as much of one as we can hope for with Bushiroad. Many of the new support units were actually fun to test, comparatively with BT09′s absolutely abysmal support. Though a lot of units are still fucking restricted to late game (and seem to be for a while to come) at least several of those units are good when they do go off, and some of those decks have mid-games from other units within the meat of the deck. Narukami really got a significant boost, and will continue to be supported in the future. This is great since Narukami were left in the dust pretty heavily by being stuck with one deck for a whole year (though that one deck is still good). If you were looking for a clan that looks to be getting good support for a while, Narukami is”it”.

Angel Feathers long-wanted support as well, though Shamsiel was still wrecking faces. Interestingly, none of the support really benefits her much. Or should I say, none of the support is good enough to change a single unit in Shamsiel’s deck as she’s already a well-oiled machine. Ergodiel and a few other units did get some significant support which was welcome. As it went, Hospital-Kiriel is so unusable now that it’s just not worth keeping the deck posted.

Genesis got the shaft hard. First with Bushroad not even releasing them at the expected date, causing all their BT11 support to be useless until December, then again by only really getting 2 worthwhile units (both of which were clones of each other). However, those two units made a significant impact on Genesis to the point that their entire focus shifted from the Artemis ride chain to a more consistent soul engine. As such, Artemis herself became a bit less useful over other units like Iwanagahime since her 11k Power was a draw for the card.

Tachikaze benefitted heavily from BT11 and it shows. They have gotten a new build (or revamp) every time they get support, but it’s always sketchy how much those units really benefitted them. While some of the units in this set were a bit mediocre or lackluster, a few gems carried Tachikaze finally into a competitive spot along with big game enders. The ability to now have game-ending offense combined with ultra hand guard will make Tachikaze a serious force (if slightly inconsistent one) to be reckoned with.

Aqua Force ended up getting some of the best support despite the abundance of low-quality units given to them. Enough so that they gained 3 new playable decks, and an old rush deck was changed to be far more effective. Those playing Aqua Force rush should probably expect to see a lot of salty losers on the opponent’s side with the newest units, and those playing for more big-play enders will feel a lot less chance-reliant as the old builds. Aqua Force as a whole has started plugging up many of the weaknesses that made them practically unplayable before.

I also have to apologize, and I realize I’ve had to do that a lot lately. This update took forever for many reasons, and I’d like to point some of them out: with the abundance of Promo units, this added a lot of time to testing as clans like Narukami ended up with whole new builds that needed to be perfected just from like 1 or 2 cards being released.

Also, I’m very aware that I skipped Gold Paladin in this update even though they were expecting a TD08 analysis. There’s a really good reason for this and it mostly boils down to TD08 doing basically nothing for them until BT10 is released. Since most of the Liberators are Legion-only, or don’t really help existing builds, it wouldn’t do any good to talk about Golds when the analyses heavily depend on a set that isn’t slated for any close release.

CRalert_MGYou probably also noticed these Alert! banners. These were my solution to the problems perceived with analyzing the Crossride units. There was a pretty big concern by both myself and my readers that non-familiar readers might get the wrong idea if I go about analyzing Crossride units. But as I said in another update, the units themselves are often fine to analyze so long as getting 13k defense isn’t capable in the deck. Which is something that’s very doable now that BT11 (and more soon) are released, since many of these units finally benefit and become playable without their base forms. As such, the “Alert!” are another reason for the longer wait as their testing was not fully completed yet and adding yet another analysis and decklist per article was really eating into the time of updating each one.

Finally the biggest eater of time, other than testing the mountain of new units of course, was that there were so many units an analysis had to be posted on. So really, I actually started updating these articles around 6 days ago, and did one per day. Believe me, I tried to push it longer but when a single article was taking me 4+ hours each to update, it started to get stale and difficult to make myself continue. This very update is being written after an extremely tiring bout with updating Narukami. Why do they take so long? It was puzzling to me too at first. I used to just pop down, write what was in my notes, try to make it entertaining to read, and done. There were two main problems with this: firstly, each article I updated had to be fixed heavily code-side. The migration earlier this year jacked up all the images and left all this junk code that was ruining my formatting. You may notice much smoother and more visually pleasing articles now. As well, I had to carefully read everything for errors, old outdated information, and just junk I didn’t want in there anymore and change or delete all that. So essentially every article started with an overhaul before I even got to the analyses. Then the analyses themselves usually required Looking at several units per clan which is pretty rare for any set release. My guess is that BT11 just had more key units, because I sure as hell remember having to test a lot more.

While this was the biggest eater-of-time this week, causing the updates to be staggered over 6 days rather than 1-2, it’s not the biggest timesink. Naturally, that’s testing. As I already stated, there were more key units this time, more useful promos, and the old Crossride units I skipped before. But in addition, the new meta has so many decks that you have to extend testing between all of them (and many of the old decks). In fact, I noticed this would be a problem one day sometime last year. I never did come up with a solution to this, but essentially if I want my articles out on time from now on, I either need a testing team that can bring back reliable data and cut my time down (as long as my preliminary tests agree with their conclusive tests) or I just have to cut out huge chunks of decks from the testing, determine the “best” or “most likely to be common” decks, and test against those exclusively. That second option causes problems where some of my posted decks may not be optimal, and that irks me. The first is problematic in that it’s hard to find people willing to dedicate the time and effort that I’m willing to put in. And I still have to check their work with a few tests of my own.

Not only that, but I’m nowhere even close to being done. BT10 aside, I won’t be able to start testing that until later next month. I still have to add the Nova Grappler, Oracle Think Tank, Bermuda Triangle, Shadow Paladin, and Gold Paladin crossrides (on the forums we call them “Hamburger-Time”, haha) and all of the new Promos for stuff like Megacolony and Gold Paladin. I also never bothered explaining Imperial Daughter and some other stuff people have asked about since release. And I need to go around to every clan and prune old ineffective decklists (like the first two Aqua Force decks for example, which are basically unplayable now that they have usable decks). Of course that will probably upset some people, just as omitting some decks upset some people (Raizers, Death Armies, Battle Sister, Arboros etc) but if the decks don’t exist, then they either don’t stack up to at least anything in that clan, or they do what another clan is trying to do, only worse (usually trying to copy Lohengrin. Badly).

At some point I want to get caught up enough that I can make some less-encyclopedic posts and more geared toward metagame analysis. There isn’t really anything like that on VMundi right now, and while I’m not for local tournament reports (so boring) I do see and hear a lot of what’s used and we could really use a Vanguard equivalent to J-Wittz’ “Prof-It”. While the individual cards are often analyzed and the decklists have extensive testing and notes on their usage, there’s really not much of a break down of how things work in the game. On the forums, there’s a hidden board called Valhalla where I tried this out but it got some time-consuming and math intensive that it was rarely worth doing, especially for how short-term it would end up being with the way Bushiroad is pushing new metas out the door so quickly.

Be that as it may, it feels like a lot of players are left dead in the water. Does anyone really know how well Sweep-Shaper will stack up to Dragger? How about if Glory-Transcore can hold a candle to Dauntless-End? I actually have pretty good answers to most of these matchup questions, but there’s really not any space in the clan articles to slap so much information down, and much would end up getting redundantly repeated across articles. I’ve also really shied away from stuff where I might have to say “This group of decks are really the best” because old vanguard metas from before BT05 didn’t really have a legitimate “best”.

The game was slow enough that you could do a lot of buildup with any given deck and kind of wriggle to the top. It’s not really like that now and there are several decks that you simply cannot beat on average with older stuff; things being released in Set 11 onward are really shaking up the game away from its cozy balanced womb. Also I didn’t want to do the analysis partly because I don’t fancy the backlash. It’s a bit more tame in Pokemon, Z/X, somewhat Magic and Yugioh, and Netrunner but Vanguard and Weiss-Schwarz players are rabid. Absolutely rude and rabid. It’s really not fun inviting the ire of any Bushiroad TCG players, even knowing how bad Yugioh’s community can get. In fact I’m actually really sorry for anyone who joins Buddyfight on release because I don’t know if new players will want to stick around such a toxic atmosphere.

So even though it’s probably a horrible idea given the consequences, even though I have almost no time anymore, even though it’ll all be temporary and vogue, I think I’m going to shoot for trying to do some matchup and meta analysis. It kinda feels dirty though because in a way, Vanguard has deck Tiers now. Anyway, I know I haven’t made any videos like I wanted to; but I think you all can guess at why that didn’t happen these past 2 weeks. The good news is that I got myself a new gaming PC built so I’ll be able to do my editing faster. However, I still really need video ideas from you guys. You guys pretty much run the show on the Youtubes as my analyses typically get relegated to articles.

Honestly, I didn’t expect this update post-notes to end up a full blown article, much less one that’s more personal talking and less analysis but there you have it. If you liked it and want to see more, let me know in the comments or you can use the magical buttons just below to share it with people you think might be interested. See you all next time!

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