Before I go any further I want to make my schedule for the rest of the year clear. This is the last big article until after the holidays.
Well this was an interesting year for vanguard, we saw the introduction of our first major defensive mechanic we also saw the “death” (and resurrection) of rush decks.So with the year coming to a close I thought I would share my picks for the 5 most impactful cards of this year.
My criteria is mostly based on how much they affected the meta so you can probably guess some of them already. My only condition was that it had to be released in 2016 (English realease date) so don’t expect Odysseus, I’m also keeping the number of gears cards down just so the list isn’t entirely made up of them.
Honourable Mentions – Tahro and Nightrunner
I think this is my only contentious choice here, it was almost my number 5 (both of them) they just got budged out because chances are they’re going to be restricted in some way (more likely wiseman for Genesis). They both fill pretty similar roles by accidentaly breaking their respective decks. Tahro allows for the wiseman loop to exist and Nightrunner allows grade 1 rush to fill its field and drop zone. While it’s undeniable that both these cards are very powerful and allow for 2 incredibly powerful decks to exist I put them at the number 5 slot as I don’t think these decks will be sticking around into 2017.
Number 5 – Flame Wing Steel Beast, Denial Griffin
Here’s a pretty polarising card. A lot of people really hate this card, it’s the closest thing vanguard has to a counter spell and can stop some decks in their tracks. Griffin was not only huge for Kagero but also had a significant effect on the resulting meta and can easily be seen as one of the reasons for Kagero having such a strong showing this year. I would’ve put this card higher if it wasn’t for the fact that despite its strenght Kagero’s days as top dog were pretty short as not too long after everyone caught on that Gears are pretty good. It’s number 1 in my heart though.
Number 4 – Favored Pupil of Light and Dark, Llew
This card is here to rep the blaster engine. I don’t think anyone really saw this coming Blaster Blade went from being a card that was a nice collectors piece but not really a good card to being one of the most important cards in the meta. Not to mention that all this is live without generation break restriction allowing for an insane early game, throw it into sanc guard or thing saver and you get one of the most deadly engines in the game.
Number 3 – Love Sniper, Nociel
Angel feather had a hell of a year. They went from being a deck with a lot of power that topped here and there to a real driving force in the meta, they continued on their rampage until they were finally hit, with Refros being restricted to one per deck and the deck lost a lot of its offensive push. But when it was still in its hayday Nociel was at the forefront,by allowing angel players cheap and easy access to cards via their damage zone while powering up your vanguard with broken heart the deck became the best example of how the best offense is a great defense.
Number 2 – Air Element, Sebreeze
You all saw this coming.
After the restriction of Odysseus Bushiroad made it very clear that rush decks were not something they had planned on becoming so powerful and so to drive the final nail into the coffin of players who stalled at grade 2 they created Sebreeze. Sebreeze finally allowed G decks to see some play and opened up the game in a way we were all desperately begging for. Personally I think this card is also one of the reasons gears have become so powerful since they no longer have much to fear from decks with a powerful early game. Still despite opening the floodgates for gears to spill through I think this card is an overall positive to the game and allows for even more decks to see some spotlight.
Number 1 – Steam Maiden, Melem
This is a pretty obvious choice…
The current bane of many peoples existence Melem is the little grade 1 that could. Originally written off as a junk RR we soon saw the extent of her abilities when it was clarified that her skill still activated if she was timeleaped allowing for shenanigans with Tick Tock Worker not to mention her incredible synergy with Ur-Watar. I think it’s fair to say she’s the driving force behind gears incredible power, hitting 11k for no cost allows them to fire off relentless small attacks that most decks can’t effectively deal with without a trigger. With a reprint in the upcoming revival collection I also can’t see her being restricted any time soon (at least in the English format). This card is easily the most notable card of this year.
So there you have it my personal picks for the 5 most impactful cards from this year, let me know what you think did I miss a really obvious one? Or did I overestimate certain cards? Let me know.
Thanks for reading.