Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Snogal, Royal Paladin:Deck Breakdown

X4 Alabaster Owl
X4 Blazing Jewel Knight, Rachelle
X4 Bringer of Good Luck, Epona
X4 Enthusiastic Jewel Knight, Polly

X4 Flashing Jewel Knight, Iseult
X4 Knight of Quests, Galahad
X4 Snogal

X4 Beast Knight, Garmore
X4 High Dog Breeder, Akane
X4 Knight of Tribulations, Galahad

X1 Fang of Light, Garmore
X4 Sanctuary Guard Dragon
X4 Swordsman of Explosive Flames, Palamedes

Meeting and exceeding the Bo1 standard of at least having an 80% ride consistency, Drangal and Galahad allow the deck to fully utilize its unorthodox ratios. Because of this, the now inflated beater to booster ratio allows the deck 2 strengths that more standard decks do not have:

1) Due to how shield stages and field scaling work, the surplus of beaters means that the deck will tend to set up and call stage 1 attacks faster and more consistently than almost every deck without Superior Call capabilities. Along with taking the Ride Chain's capability of possibly getting you to Grade 2 without needing to use a beater from the hand, this means that, offensively, the deck will greatly outpace nearly everything in this offensive regard.

2) Because Grade 1s tend to be very permanent members on the field once they've been called, it's very challenging to actually utilize Snogal to its fullest without invalidating the need to call any other Grade 1s from the hand, which quickly becomes a problem considering the otherwise wasted space that goes into maintaining the deck's consistency. But with the Ride Chain no longer requiring a full 14-15 Grade 1 arrangement, Galahad being the prime Vanguard and (in the early game) immediately out of the way, and Perfect Guards naturally working while still in the hand, the speed and power given by a backrow of Snogals can be used to the fullest without the inhibitions.

In the end, the deck's ability to call Snogals rounds out the freedom that the Ride Chain allows on deck ratios, offering the best of both performance and consistency with both forces in tandem of each other. With that in mind, Snogal is the main card of the deck for all intents and purposes, and needs all the support it can get to get it onto the field faster. What's really interesting is that only 9 cards are actually necessary to have in order to get any 3 of them by turn 3 consistently; at about a 73% chance of happening. While these numbers can vary, what with the bias that goes into the mulligan being the deciding factor, ultimately this means that if one runs 4 Snogal, 5 Garmores are all that are necessary to deem the deck 'consistent', even if only 5 Gamores would essentially be the bare minimal of what's possible. With this in mind, with 5 Garmores lining the support role, with Akane and Sanctuary Guard only to offer even more chances to pull out Snogal, the deck's consistency around calling out all 3 Snogals quickly is nearly unmatched.

But with the inclusion of Akane and Sanctuary Guard Dragon, this begs the question; why not just run more Garmores? Akane being at X4 implies the choices going into the deck are being pushed in to the fullest to try to search out Snogal quickly, and while Sanctuary Guard's 11K status and Limit Break capabilities are a nice touch, Perfect Guards and the fact that Garmore's superior call skill also works in the Rear Guard circle should amount to something...right?

Ultimately, the deck relies entirely on its offensive capabilities to generate any card advantage in the game. The unique deck ratio and Snogal's support both contribute to the early game, easily allowing the player to rush the field with attackers that are immediately supplemented by 8K boosters. From the midgame onwards however, there's only one card that supplements the card advantage generated per turn, Palamedes. This means that Garmore's niche of being able to be used in the Rear Guard circles is slightly outmatched by Palamede's necessity to have some way onto the field. In the end, it simply becomes a point of prioritizing, between SGD and Garmore, which of the two serve better as a Vanguard, a role that SGD is simply superior in.

Interesting little tidbit; since 4 Snogals isn't exactly unheard of for the deck to do, this means that in the late game, SGD and Snogal can pair together to go as high as 32K, which is sure to flat out dominate any player that lacks a Perfect Guard at that moment.

How the deck works

Because of slightly complicated workings of the ride chain and the not so complicated workings of deciding what unit to call from Akane or Garmore's skills, the deck's actually rather simple to use, with almost no explicit need to focus on a given strategy past the basics.

One thing that is important to note howeber, is that it is paramount that you are consistently aware of the card advantage you are generating or throwing away. Due to the constant amount of card advantage that Garmore and SGD are most likely going to be converting into Snogals, the deck's capabilities become similar to that of a glass cannon — packing a strong punch when given the opportunity, however will be crushed if it lets its guard down and allows the opponent to push through. In the end, it simply becomes a numbers game, prioritizing the shielding that you need to maintain in order to defend yourself amply, while still putting emphasis on the offensive aspects of this deck in order to actually gain footing in a fight.

It should also be rather obvious to note, however still very useful to be aware of that 10K Vanguards are something to be abused by this deck. With some of the more important units of the deck situated around 8K or 13K attack power, bringing them up to their 15K or 20K Magic Numbers will generally only require 7K boosters. Since no opportunities for generating card advantage are apparently lost from not being at 8K, this means that the deck is allowed to set up even faster, as it'd only need 2 Snogals out with the option to use Galahad as the third booster. It also makes it far easier to go ahead and use a Snogal in the front row, as with the two together in the backrow would immediately allow a viable column under these conditions.

In the end however, it really comes to how well you know how to defend yourself. No matter how you spin it, the fact remains that the deck is a beatdown deck and relies entirely on the difference in Damage to make a point about how well it performs. Since the deck is generally self piloting enough to take care of itself offensively, this means that you absolutely must understand how card advantage when it comes to guarding works, and learn to recognize the greatest opportunities to follow through. From rushing the opponent to easy and consistent power columns to a good player that's able to make the right choices, the deck's offensive capabilities can become a serious threat to deal with, and very much will beat nearly all opposition that's unable to keep up.


  1. In your deck list you don't have Soul Savor Dragon listed. Just a 2x "Blank Space"
    How do you think the deck will fair against the Gold paladin spam that is swarming the english Meta?

    1. Dafuq happened to Soul Saver o.o

      That depends on your definition of Gold Paladin spam. But anyway:

      Garmore based builds aren't nearly as offensively orientated as this deck, but however Dindraine provides a lot of raw advantage for the deck. If one can establish their early offensive fast enough, the match is more than easy to follow through with your ~usually~ much bigger columns.

      Duke is a tad different, as it gains the advantage and the possible offensive. Simply put, it's a hard match up when they get the ride chain off. On that note though, the Ride Chain isn't even that consistent, only happening about 1/3 of its games, so on a consistent scale the match up is in your favor, as Duke is great and all but as a finisher, can quickly lose out to this deck's ability to set up quickly and push the opposing deck around.