Well we’re approaching the end of the year and it’s been an interesting one for Vanguard.
Earlier in the year we saw mostly lacklustre sets with a few standout cards, however in the latter half Bushiroad really kicked into gear delivering a homerun of new sets that changed things up.
So lets take a look back at what I personally think are the 5 most influential cards of 2017. These cards are cards that completely changed up the competitive scene forcing people to play differently or otherwise making it all about them…
The rules are simple, they have to have influenced the meta game, they have to have been released in 2017 and English releases only.
And without further ado
Jaeger is here for a pretty simple reason, it’s been out in Japan a while and although it definitely made a competitive splash I don’t think it was overly influential to the meta and it feels wrong to give it to card that’s been out in Japan so long.
Gearnext was so close to making my list but in the end I don’t think the meta warped around it. Zodiac time beast was undeniably the best deck of the set-12 format but I don’t think it really forced people to play differently to deal with it it. The deck is just brutally efficient and consistent. However to not shout out Gearnext would be to ignore the fact that the card is a key part of the ZTB deck and remains a power house even now.
Number 5 : Belial Owl
So Belial Owl is here because it was probably the only card in the earlier part of the year that really allowed a deck to break into the Rose-Leap metagame. Luard as a deck was lacking from the base it was given in set-9 having a high representation but awful conversion rate into the top 8, the deck was very clearly missing something. Belial was that something this single card pushed Luard over the edge and allowed it to break into T1 in an incredibly hostile metagame. While Luard did later drop off it is undeniable that Belial really changed the format up by adding another dynamic to the overall metagame and creating a major player during the set-10 metagame.
Number 4 : Gancelot
Two years in a row now Blasters has had a card make it to this list this time for a very different reason. Before set-11s release the new Blaster deck making its debut in the Aichi legend deck wasn’t a huge deal, it made use of the Blaster engine but lacked the explosive first stride of Sanctuary guard. However with set-11 came a handful of incredibly powerful cards. Most key of these was definitely Gancelot, Gancelot is the quintessential quad-driver offering not only first stride advantage but a minor pressure increase and incredible synergy with the ever trigger loving blaster engine. To cap it all off Gancelot offered resist to all Blaster Blades while face up in G-zone boosting the power of the deck even further and allowing them to make effective use of the legend decks Alfred stride.
With the set-11 support driving them Blasters immediately shot up to become not only the premier royal paladin deck but also arguably the best deck of the set-11 format.
Without a doubt this card made its mark.
Number 3 : Still Water Festival Deity, Ichikishima
Undeniable proof that one card can indeed make a deck or even an entire clan. Almost immediately after set-12s release battle sisters became one of the most powerful decks in the metagame. Not many cards can boast making 16+ cards in your opponents deck redundant. Not only did Ichi save the clan it definitely warped the meta around it. G-guard reliant decks were easily pushed out and decks with recurring PGs or other defensive methods were placed in a better spot.
Without a doubt if the next two cards hadn’t done even more to change up the metagame Ichi would be top of this list for the sheer power level of this card. However as we soon learnt the card was not overly metagame resistant and a large shift in the opposite direction cause Ichi and the decks she enabled to fall out of the metagame.
Number 2 : Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Overlord “The Purge”
The Purge is here because I feel this card is the de facto bar for how much pressure you need to be able to deal with to survive the (current) metagame. Purge is a card that forces you to play in the danger zone, if you’re opponent is playing Overlord; you’re playing at high damage. All the while this card offers insane tempo by drive checking a ton, which not only increases the chance to hit a trigger but also your defence for the coming turn. Coupled with Overlords stellar support its clear to see why Overlord was topping hours after the sets Japanese release. Going forward Overlord is the deck that you need to be able to survive to break into the metagame.
This card has easily earned its spot as my number 2 pick but even then I personally feel the impact of this card is far less important that my number 1 pick.
Number 1 : Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Crisis
I imagine a lot of you saw this coming. Very few decks can boast the ability to literally lock out a very large portion of the metagame. Very few decks can boast the ability to redefine an entire metagame.
Chaos is one of those decks.
Regardless of whether its the strongest Chaos is a game changer, if Chaos is in the playing field a lot of other decks cannot compete. Even the incredible battle sisters and blasters were immediately knocked out of the metagame by this bad boy.
Chaos even managed to deal with the wave of unlockers released in set-13 and continues to rampage even now.
Without a doubt, Chaos as a deck is the most influential on the metagame and I can’t think of a more fitting representative that Chaos Breaker Crisis.
On its own this card is an excellent boost to the Chaos deck offering an excellent on ride skill and stride bonus and a re-imagined version of the original Chaos breakers limit break this card is a powerhouse alone. Paired with the deluge of quality cards in the link joker set its clear to see that Chaos will be a major player for some time and that is why Crisis is my number 1 most influential card of the year…
~Thanks for reading