If there was a lesson to be learned from 2017 in Vanguard it was the importance of the early game. From ripples to 7runner we’ve seen that decks with powerful early game can easily take control of the entire format. However what we’ve also seen is the more late game based decks adapt or play in certain ways to compete in those crucial 6 turns (or more) before stride.
Today I want to go over some tips for improving your early game performance and hopefully it helps you to win more games.
Generation Break Matters
It’s pretty common for cards to have versions that are just better after you’ve dropped that first stride, this has been the case since the start. However despite the seemingly easy condition GB is a huge restriction and the key factor for many decks failing the early game.
All this is probably pretty obvious but the first step to improving your early game is understanding the value of early game cards. For the longest time Kagero ran Neoflame for this reason, or Kalibum for Gear Chronicle.
These cards are relatively ineffective in the later game but the effect they have on early defence is significant enough that they earned slots in the decks up until better cards were printed.
Don’t let lower power or restrictive effects fool you these cards are potent and could fend of some decks long enough to get your own deck going.
A lot of people make the mistake of building their decks without early game considerations. Always remember GB units are vanilla in the early game.
10k is a Big Number
Don’t have access to any good early skills, well then the tried and true 10k vanilla is here to help.
Sitting on 10k changes the early game entirely for your opponent, their rears now need proper boosters to avoid and easy guard, they can no longer swing with a solo G2 and their VG can be no passed by a single 10k even with a booster.
All this adds up and gives you a defensive edge in the early game which can give you just enough time to get where you need to be.
The Grade 2 Game is Alive and Important
The importance of first stride goes without saying these days. The player who strides first gets to go all out on a hand that hasn’t even seen its first triple drive yet, this means everything is much harder to deal with. All the while gaining advantage to deal with the opponents response.
Getting first stride gives you a huge edge over the opponent so the 2nd turn player has a base level, how do we deal with this?
Pretty simply by not riding up. A lot of players take the loss of first stride without a fight despite its importance and I think this is one of the key reasons a lot of players end up behind.
Never forget the importance of first stride especially if you’ve been playing the early game. You want your opponent to be behind you and trying to catch up never vice versa.
Of course the threat of Sebreeze will always be there so playing around that is never a bad idea, whether that’s reriding a 2 or swinging at rears. You can also bait out Sebreeze, very few decks have a Sebreeze turn as good as their first stride so sometimes its worth taking that hit to get the upper hand after the fact.
Triggers Have Power Too
This is a huge thing a lot of people miss. Throwing down a trigger early as an attacker really isn’t a big deal, with a booster behind it they can hit numbers early on. Triggers are really effective as early attackers since even if they get attacked they still blocked an attack for you. Even better are effect triggers that can later leave the field and refund themselves such as Heart Thump clones.
Never underestimate these little guys as they can force the opponent to make some awkward decisions. The best part is almost any deck can do this so even if you can’t make an effective deck for the early game you can certainly fake it.
It’s a Resource War
The early game is all about who can output the most pressure while responding to the opponents. This is why decks like Blasters and Overlord are thought of as having good early game. They output pressure while not losing out of defence thanks to retire or superior call skills respectively.
Obviously not all decks have the blaster engine so in that scenario you need to think a little more carefully about how to approach the early game. Tactics like attacking rearguards to deplete resources are often effective and often the better choice for decks who make their biggest plays after stride.
Its a hard fight but a necessary one.
And there you have it my tips for improving your early game and winning first stride more often. Obviously I could go even further but for now that’s all I got. My only final comment would be to make sure you guard effectively but that’s an article to itself so until then…
thanks for reading
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