Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CR Iluminal Dragon, Nova Grappler:Deck Breakdown

Stupid lung infection, slowing down my already slow post rate.

Tailored for an 11K metagame.

Like any Nova Grappler build, Iluminal Dragon is a mostly attrition based build suited for wearing out the opponent's hand through constant attacks. While it isn't nearly as powerful in this aspect as Asura Kaiser and Stern Blaukluger, simply for not forcing out as many cards, Iluminal Dragon has an edge over the others thanks to its 13K defense, something the other builds of Nova Grappler lack, and allows the deck to continue wearing out the opponent with very little risk of its own resources being deteriorated by the opponent's shenanigans, making this build one of the most balanced in Nova Grappler's arsenal. On to the deck

Beast Deity, Riot Horn
X3 Minimum Raizer
X4 Red Lightning
X4 Ring Girl, Clara
X4 The Gong
X1 Three Minutes

X4 Beast Deity, Blank Marsh
X2 Beast Deity, Herarti Destroyer
X4 Tough Boy
X4 Twin Blader

X4 Beast Deity, Golden Anglet
X4 Beast Deity, Hatred Chaos
X3 Street Bouncer

X4 Beast Deity, Azure Dragon
X4 Ultra Beast Deity, Iluminal Dragon

And so returns the use of 7 Crit 5 Draw, giving a good offensive edge while also providing a good buffer to help complement the Cross-Ride's defensive capabilities.

Between Riot Horn or White Tiger, I chose Riot Horn. With Blank Marsh already playing the role White Tiger could've provided, and also essentially having just the output as White Tiger, Riot Horn ended up taking the spot here. Riot Horn also pushes the 53.3K shield, 6.7 card output of Illuminal Dragon's Limit Break and ups it by 5K shield, ultimately demanding far more shield than that the opponent would readily be able to give if caught at a bad moment.

Speaking of Blank Marsh, while its skill isn't powerful enough to truly establish pressure, its applications are still amazingly well rounded, especially in this deck. Along with in general Rear-Guard bullying and possible outs for damage, Blank Marsh's break even drives the amount of shield down for both players, 5K from replacing Blank Marsh and 5K from guarding the new attack, or if the new attack killed an intercept. I hope with general understanding of how break evens work, we'd all know that this was a totally safe move to play. Very little risk to you and very little risk to the opponent, assuming you can both reassemble yourselves soon after. The key here however is within Iluminal Dragon. By artificially lowering the opponent's overall card count, the potency of Iluminal's Limit Break increases greater so by pushing the opponent into a more prone position to having to guard out that late game assault. Within also being a break even, no risk or notable backlash can also come back at you unless the opponent has some sort of explosive skill to fight back with, most likely deterred by your defense in most cases, hopefully. It can also shut down power columns by reopening another attack on their 13K attackers, allowing you to drive a net gain in shield and card advantage if they aren't able to replace it with another 13K attacker.

Herati Destroyer and Street Bouncer are actually the result of a lot of extra space in the deck, as the deck's key cards are really centralized into a small group, and not too much other support actually fits in right with this deck and how it works. While Herati is here purely as namesake in the case that there's no access to any more Beast Deity beaters, and will have to resort to restanding a column or so, Street Bouncer seems to be a card that receives a lot of bad credit. While it's true that potentially, it can play the inverse role of what you want to be doing, sacrificing a column to break even in card advantage with the opponent and creating a bigger overall buffer, this assumes that you had a full column to begin with. Instead, Street Bouncer can instead trade in what's inevitably a 5K cockblock and relative break even for the opponent, into a plus in overall card advantage that can benefit you. This situation also has a surprising amount of viability in those early stages of the game, which can best be explained by the Grade Ratios. After Riding up, you will have basically 12 boosters and 18 beaters running around in your deck, a 2 to 3 ratio of seeing those units. Since you'd have one beater and one booster from your Vanguard and Starting Vanguard, this leaves 2 spaces for both boosters and beaters that you have to fill. Naturally, beaters will fill out faster than the boosters, so you will drive that excess necessary to make Bouncer viable.

Finally, the boss dragons. Azure Dragon's skill may or may not be advantageous enough to generate pressure, but its applications are more than notable once they have gone off. For no Counter-Blasts, you can trade in another copy of Azure Dragon for what will often be one more 10K forcing attack. While yes it has some issues working that tiny window of opportunity if you plan to Cross-Ride right away, this works as a far more pronounced version of Blank Marsh's own skill, allowing you to safely push the opponent closer and closer into a killzone without truly compromising anything within the fight. All of this leads up to Iluminal Dragon, whose Limit Break amps the b.a.s.s. value from its vanilla state of 43.3K shield in the form of 4.7 cards by 15K shield and 2 cards (2855/49K, 326/49).

How the Deck Works

Like many Limit Break orientated decks, the general gist of the deck is to not lose too much advantage through the course of the match, just in general staying in the fight until just the last few moments. Unlike a number of other Limit Break decks, this one actually has a built in mechanic to set this up. Virtually resistant against 15K forcing Rear-Guard attacks without involving triggers, the main source of damage from the opponent will be mostly from and in a few cases only from their Vanguard, greatly allowing you to lead far ahead of the opponent's in terms of damage.

Along with the above par defensive value are all the break even shenanigans that Beast Deities Blank Marsh and to some extent, Azure Dragon can do. Without having to leave Iluminal Dragon to fight all on its own, Blank Marsh and Azure Dragon's tactics can often continue to push the midgame at a constant rate back at your opponent, allowing you to even further set up on the opponent by constantly wearing away at the opponent's hand.

Eventually, it all comes down to timing. By watching what enters your opponent's hand and guessing their Perfect Guards, you can work out that if they're at 5 damage, and if their hand wavers into only 6 cards or you know their hand isn't made up of at least 55K shield(or 35K+1 Perfect Guard), they are well within the killzone to take out. This value wavers slightly while at 4 damage, but the general gist is that because the opponent will need a really hefty hand to properly guard, and that your multiple Rear-Guard attacks do a good job at spreading the power around, that this window is actually still just as large as before.

Your final field should look something like this:



With an at least 11K attacking Beast Deity in front of Riot Horn, and any Beast Deity that could at least kill an intercept within the opposite column. The full power attack will start with the opposite column Beast Deity going off to attack the opponent's Vanguard or kill an Intercept, dragging out 5K shield from the opponent. Next, the Riot Horn column should attack fully boosted, another 5K shield. Finally, Iluminal Dragon's Limit Break activates as it attacks, basically resetting your attacks for the turn by leaving you with a full field to strike at the opponent.

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