Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blau- Nova Grappler: Deck Run Through

Probably the fastest and most aggressive build of the Nova Grapplers, the Blau- series' Stern Blaukluger stands as one of the scariest on-hit Vanguards in the game. Utilizing column building units to set up on the opponent quickly to effectively capitalize on Stern's offensive capability and the effects of a 2nd Generation Ride Chain, this deck is one to fear in the right hands. On to the deck~

X4 Fighting Battleship, Prometheus
X4 Minimum Raizer
X4 Red Lightning
X4 Round Girl, Clara

X4 Blaupanzer
X4 Dancing Wolf
X4 Twin Blader
X4 Tough Boy

X3 Blaukluger
X2 Death Army Lady
X4 Magician Girl, Kirara

X4 Stern Blaukluger
X4 Death Metal Droid

Blaujunger.jpgA 2nd generation Ride Chain starter, Blaujunger here allows the deck's odd Grade Ratio to work optimally, further allowing me to follow through on, what is to me, far better deck choices. The ability to search out a Grade 2 right away also helps the deck's offensive measures, better allowing me to focus beaters in my hand to developing the field rather than being forced to use on I regularly drew to be forgotten into the soul.

12 Criticals actually play a vital role in this deck more so than others. Along with making Stern Blaukluger's On-Hit skill all the more absolutely devastating, they also double up on the opponent as they are basically forced to guard Stern Blaukluger. Thanks to Stern crashing through a lot of Guard from the opponent, their hand often can't keep up to guard another expensive attack that turn, often allowing a player practically free Critical boosted jabs, continuing to deal 2 damage even after forcing out 15K guard.

Despite it's measly 6K power, Blaupanzer's place in the deck cannot be understated. Along with activating Blaujunger's skill, Blaupanzer stands in as an 8K defense ride, helping to deter possible rush tactics the opponent may have which could put Stern far behind. Along with this, its on-call skill to trade out a Grade 3 from your hand for Stern Blaukluger greater allows me to utilize the 4-4 set up I have opted for in order to maximize performance. Its 6K power isn't even much of a detriment to the deck, being more than able to push Stern along just fine if I can't draw into a Dancing Wolf, and having only 5 Grade 2s out of 17 beaters that can't break 16K with it boosting means that field scalability is almost never an issue for the card.

Speaking of, Dancing Wolf was the unit I just had to derp up the Grade ratio for. Its solid 7K boosting power to supplement basically all my beaters and allow an 11K Sterns to size up Cross-Rides leave nothing lost from its presence in the deck. Instead, it offers Stern a free buffer from basically ever hitting weaker for its second strike. It's just so good at giving Stern extra security that it just has to be my highest priority booster to boost my Vanguard, basically warranting that I use 4 to maximize my chances of drawing it as early as I can so that even turn 3 rushing Stern will have a card to help set it up.

At 3 copies, Blaukluger's 10K defense ride is also a great asset to the deck, helping create a buffer from the opponent rushing you down too early on with unboosted units.

Death Army Lady is more or less here as filler. I am very disappointed in how much actual strength that Death Army units actually have at lower numbers. Unless I also want to fully invest in Asura Kaiser, something put aside for a completely different variant to this deck, then all I'm left with is either Vanillas or mostly vanilla units that otherwise serve very little purpose. While this lack of worthwhile units annoys me, Death Army Lady will at least serve to throw a nice jab at the opponent if they are to let their guard down, allowing me to further bully Rear-Guard intercepts, or throw off the opponent's guarding with a R-V-R attack pattern.

Magician Girl Kirara is here to double up on Stern's shenanigans, generating extra card advantage with Stern to almost totally overrun the opponent. She also acts as a good last resort for Counter-Blast usage, as it becomes very unnecessary for Stern to go for its own skill in the late game barring Heal Triggers, by being able to continue Stern's momentum, hopefully as the 4th damage dealer, setting off into the late game on a good foot by giving you one last draw on top of all the cards Stern has probably blasted through by that point.

On to the star of the deck. Every time Stern Blaukluger attacks during the midgame, you will end up generating more advantage than almost any other Vanguard attacking for the same power. If the opponent chooses to guard Stern's attack for 15K, they suffer a -1. If they lack the shielding to guard Stern out, Stern's skill for basically 1 card from your hand and 2 Counter-Blasts will deal on average of 1.98 more damage (ignoring Heal Triggers) right then and there. A lose-lose situation for the opponent and only ramping up a scary amount of auxiliary advantage for you throughout the course of a match. This sort of tactic is one that can absolutely drive opponents to the ground, leaving Stern a Vanguard to be feared.

To support Blaukluger's assault is Death Metal Droid. The short explanation is that Death Metal Droid's power column shenanigans are just so easy to achieve thanks to the 8 +7K boosters the deck utilizes. Here, Death Metal Droid's usefulness extends even further, as the plethora of viable boosters means that Death Metal Droid can set up almost immediately on demand, so even if Stern has gotten an attack through and have thrown the opponent into 4-5 damage by turn 3 or so, you won't be bound to lose pressure thanks to a gimmicky field requiring too much set up to do much that quickly.

How the Deck Works

The Blau- line easily are the fastest pace deck in Nova Grappler's entire line, far outpacing even the most aggressive builds in almost any clan.

Everything revolving around Stern flows almost perfectly. From the very moment you ride Stern and attack with it, the opponent is forced to decide if they want to burn out their hand when in any other situation the decision would be inane and even a bit stupid, or they take the risk of getting struck again, which due to the constant threat of Criticals can almost always mean sudden death from as early as 2 damage.

Speaking of, 12 Criticals makes this deck absolutely devastating. Playing with the threat of some crazy amount of extra damage Stern can do, the opponent is usually forced to guard it out, a -1 for them. On top of this, if you can pull a Critical, the opponent is forced once again to guard it out or take 2 damage, completely canceling out the damage they would've saved from guarding Stern in exchange for the -1.

The combination of Stern's offensive skill and Triggers spreading this threat to the Rear-Guards easily creates one of the strongest midgames within almost the entirety of the game. The problem is though, that threatening the opponent with extra damage only works until the opponent is at high damage already. Come late game, the opponent is already usually forced to guard Vanguards and Critical Boosted attacks anyway unless they want to risk damage, meaning that Stern's midgame shenanigans provide close to no benefit towards the late game.

To counteract this, Kirara's here to give you one last opportunity to use Counter-Blasts. In any situation where Kirara can deal the 4th damage after Stern swings for the turn, her skill puts the opponent in yet another 'choose your poison' situation. Either the opponent is forced usually to guard for +15K and driving direct minuses into their hand and bullying them even further, or Kirara can let you into the late game on a good foot by dealing the 4th damage and giving you a draw in the process, giving you just that much more leverage in card advantage over the opponent, and still generating even further advantage for you.

But this still hasn't solved the issue that pressure shenanigans fall into almost uselessness upon the late game, so this is where the beater elements in the deck must act. Here, the deck is equipped with Column building units, Death Metal Droid and Tough Boy, all maxed out for the best access to high powered attacks possible. As mentioned earlier, one of the better highlights of using this set up is just how easy it is to deploy as required, which when Stern is involved can require them very quickly in a fight. As noted in the guarding half of this article, guarding for 15K is virtually a -1, or a +1 for the attacker, you. If done properly, this means that this deck can gain a +1 in card advantage for every turn of a fight if not more, midgame or lategame, completing the dangerous level of power this deck has.


  1. I like this build, but with Death Metal Droid not available yet in the English meta, what would you suggest as a valid replacement? From your post, I would assume Asura Kaiser, but would that also cause you to change anything else in the deck or would you make a one for one swap between the two?

    1. Asura Kaiser is definitely the first to come to mind, yes. That said, Stern-Asura isn't as dependent on Eisenkugals nor Tough Boys, so going by my build you can replace Tough Boys and Eisenkugals for DA Guy and Lady. For a 4th Lady, maybe lose a Blaukruger. This build runs 3 because I really want to secure that ride, but if you're running a Co-boss of Asura Kaiser, covering other priorities like DA Lady is the most beneficial way to go.

  2. I love the Blau line, and I agree that it's probably one of, if not the fastest paced beatdown decks Novas have...... tis why I'll probably run them once English comes around.

  3. Actually I would go for 12 crit. Or is there a reason for the 2 draws?

    1. Because I'm paranoid.

      On a more serious note, I just use it so I don't feel like I'm forsaking everything for the rush, but 12 crit works just as well if not better for just finishing the opponent.

  4. Great article. How do you feel about Armored Fairly, Shubiela for a temporary replacement for Death Armor Droid? It does the same thing Kirara does for the price of Soul Blast 3 and if you have to ride it it will be a 21K with Tough Boy behind it.

    1. Honestly, it's a card that I view as tech card you'd use 1 of. It's not much a suitable choice to completely replace Death Metal Droid due to not hitting as hard as a Rearguard, and the pressure it could apply as a rearguard conflicts with Stern and its 11K base. However, it can serve as a more than decent back up ride and as a 1 of, any negative effects it may have, or at least the lack of benefits of whatever it replaces, will be more than small enough for Shubiela's skill to make up with.

  5. So, you don't think DA guys don't have their place in this deck? In other words, the space is better used for other stuff, for the purpose of this deck? And do you think I should replace my other 4 G3s Azure for the Droid? Thanks

    1. Also, you don't think that Kirara makes false pressure? Like, if you actually hit, would you waste the CB on it instead of saving it up for stern?

    2. Well, depending on how you're asking, yes and no.

      In /this/ deck, this build that I put up and you're commenting to, no. The aim is to quickly set up as fast as it takes for Stern to bumrush, which essentially means try to set up asap. The focus of the rearguards in this specific deck is almost entirely based on column building. I've got 8 total 7K and 8K boosters along with both Eisenkugal and Death Metal Droid to make use of the booster power. This allows for faster and more flexible set ups, usually more than keeping up to a successful Sternen Blitz so I can immediately take advantage of the opponent's now high damage to constantly jab at their hand with big and costly to guard attacks.

      In Stern Blaukruger decks in general, however, the Death Army duo both more than have their place in the deck. Look up to the first comment and my reply to it, and you'll see me advising Death Army and Asura Kaiser. This is a slightly different approach at the Stern rush, by using a secondary Grade 3 to pick up the 'slack' in the late game. In this case, Asura Kaiser, which combined with the Death Army duo eventually does lead to some explosive plays for late game dominancy to more than complement and capitalize on Sterns ability to turbocharge the pace of the game. The only reason why I chose not to is because it requires just a *touch of more setting up to go off just perfectly, and even then it's highly chance based. Think of it like the more explosive, but slightly less consistent between column building and DA Stern.

      And I'm a little biased for this question as I quickly lose interest in Azure Dragon when White Tiger isn't involved, and Death Metal Droid has its own upsides to counteract what Azure could do, so I'd have to recommend to go for Droid, if not Asura Kaiser if column building isn't your thing. However, 11K base and a Vanguard that helps with pushing through the midgame even if you miss Stern is never a bad thing, so it really comes up to you if you think you can justify Azure any more than the alternatives.

      And as for Kirara, actually that's exactly why I'm using it, false pressure. For anyone who doesn't expect it or is severely over-thinking it, that false pressure is going to work away at that hand, the hand that probably would've been better spent blocking of Stern. On the otherhand though, I almost never use its skill unless in very...unique situations and people tend to very quickly catch on when I don't use Kirara's skill if it would hit. At which, I'm usually forced to abort the false pressure I was aiming to build on. In my opinion, this is a perfectly fine thing to happen as the false pressure almost all benefit for very little if any risks, and if you were to check out the strategy sections, I already have methods to guess the opponent's hand and change my attack order accordingly to get the most out of Kirara and Stern in conjunction with eachother when I have to.

    3. Wow, thanks for the input. Very helpful! :D I might try Kirara after all, since your reasoning makes a lot of sense.

  6. I like this build, but i personally reckon that it might work better with 1-2 less death battle droids and instead 1-2 muscle Hercules, to refresh sterns cb.

  7. Love this deck. Are you going to refresh it?

    1. I do plan on eventually getting to the Stand/Hybrid Variant that fully uses Asura Kaiser and the DA duo.


      However, I did update the build just before linking back to it in the latest article.

      ...Yeah the latest cards don't do much for it.

  8. Hows this build

    Grade 0-17
    Shining Ladyx4 (critical)
    Red Lightningx4 (critical)
    Grapple Maniax3 (stand)
    Three Minutesx1 (draw)
    Ring Girl, Clarax4 (heal)

    Grade 1-13
    Twin Bladerx3
    Tough Boyx3
    Clay doll Mechanicx3

    Grade 2-11
    King of Swordx2
    Brutal Jackx2
    Magician Girl Kirarax2

    Grade 3-9
    Death Metal Driodx3
    Stern Blauklugerx3
    Beast Deity Ethics Busterx3

    1. Yeah get rid of Ethics Buster.

      Erm, which metagame is this for?