A few years ago (late 2017/early 2018) my friend used my love of giant robots and Ultraman to introduce me to Cardfight!! Vanguard via the Enigman units in the clan Dimension Police, which also had a bunch of giant robots. I thought it was a lot of fun, but getting thrust into a game with so many foreign mechanics (Triggers, G-Zone, Guarding, etc.) was a lot for my little brain that was mainly used to Pokemon’s incredibly simple mechanics. I’m sure I would have got it eventually, but I was really stubborn and stupid. I was also trying to get over the heartbreak of Dragoborne.
Then, as if the universe was wanting to force me into learning this game, Bushiroad announced that Vanguard was rebooting into a new Standard Format with V-Series. It got rid of a few of the older mechanics, introduced new ones, and reduced the card pool to nothing. I had no excuse now! Come May 2018, the first start decks came out, and I hopped on board.
What stood out to me most about Vanguard compared to other games is that, while a meta is always present, and some cards will be naturally weaker than others, you never felt like you were automatically gonna lose. Even when looking at the Protect > Force > Accel > Protect triangle, there were plenty of times where, playing most Accel, I would still get beaten by Protect decks, or I would crush a Force deck. These strengths and weaknesses existed but it was never a for sure feeling unlike some mechanics in other games. Even if you were playing a deck that hadn’t gotten support recently, all it took was a well timed Trigger, or that miracle heal to stay in the game to turn things around and win.
There was also something for everyone. Knights, kaiju, robots, wrestlers, animals, sailors, sea creatures, spirits, vampires, dragons, plants, ninjas, if there is a motif you’re attracted to, it’s probably represented in Vanguard somewhere, and I think that’s super cool. It was neat to have a game that covered my love of badass giant robots as well as my love for cute fluffy animals. It was truly something I hadn’t experienced in a card game before.
It took a while for something that interested me to come out in V-Series. I liked robots and we didn’t get anything remotely robot until Nova Grapplers came out (and they weren’t that great), and it took a little while after that for Dimension Police to hit. Eventually, I had to be a big girl and stop borrowing my friend’s cards and ended up buying a degenerate Zanbaku Murakumo deck to call my own until Nova Grappler’s Beast Deity archetype came out. After a long wait, Dimension Police finally got more support, Dailiner was blessed into my life, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to now, and it’s safe to say that Vanguard has become a property I love, a game I love to play, and a world I love to learn more about. It gives me the same amount of love and passion I feel when I think about Pokemon, Transformers, or Power Rangers, and that always just leaves me excited. While this franchise is turning 10, and I’ve only been with it for a little over 2 years, I’m happy that the game is still going strong.
OverDress is right around the corner, and a whole new era of Vanguard is about to begin. Happy 10th Birthday, and thank you for being in my life.