(If you wish to read the first article, you can click here)
(If you wish to read the next article, you can click here)
Finally the day to post the second article is here!! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum~~
Howdy, folks. It's Van Haym again here. So did many of you try out Granblue already? Still losing on many rounds and feel frustrated?
Well in my case both answers to those questions are "yes". But no, I didn't quit playing Granblue just because I did so badly in my local shop's tournaments. I continued to improve my deck, tweaking the trigger ratio composition, replaced some units, learned new combinations, and so on. Which brings me to the new version of Granblue deck, able to compete even in meta matches!
FYI my record with GB had almost been winning 1 out of 4 matches (25% chance of victory). On the last tournament I improved my score into 3 out of 5 matches (60% chance of victory). Well if you allow me to blabber, the rest 2 lost matches was because of misplays. Apparently the new deck has greater potential, and I was not yet able to handle all the new combinations. Well, lessons learned and it's time to move on!
So now you ask, what did I do exactly to improve my deck into 175% more powerful?
Actually 175% is just a promotional number *lol* erm sorry I didn't mean to trick you guys, but my deck definitely improved a lot. So without further ado, let's take a look at my brand new build below.
- 1x Captain Night Kid (Starter)
- 1x Chappie
- 5x Critical Triggers
- 4x Draw Triggers
- 4x Heal Triggers
- 3x Stand Triggers
- 4x Dandy Guy, Romario
- 3x Gust Jinn
- 2x Evil Shade
- 2x Dragon Spirit
- 2x Deadly Nightmare
- 1x Dancing Cutlass
- 4x Commodore Blueblood
- 2x Ruin Shade
- 2x Deadly Spirit
- 1x Pietro
- 1x Skeleton Demon World Knight
- 3x Cocytus
- 2x Skull Dragon
- 1x Basskirk
- 1x Thanatos
- 1x Deadly Swordmaster
What I did first was changing the trigger ratio. From 8/4/4 into 5/4/4/3. Why the spesific 5/4/4/3? Not something "prettier" like 6/4/4/2 or just a plain 4/4/4/4? Well the answer is that you can really benefit from the 3 stand triggers (I'm talking about Hades here). Hades is always nice to call 'for free' after riding your G3 Vanguard. Even better if your vanguard is Basskirk. Basskirk has 12k of attack power and together with Hades, you can achieve the magic number 15k. Good vs opponents with 10k Vanguard like Blonde Ezel or Thunderbreak Dragon. Also there is certain relation between stand and draw trigger. From my experience it's just better to run a total of 7 for stand and draw triggers. If you're gonna use 4 stands, then use 3 draws only. Of course I prefer draw triggers because they clearly give me a card advantage over Hades.
I also replaced [1x Samurai Spirit and 1x Gust Jinn] with [1x Dancing Cutlass and 1 more Deadly Nightmare]. Somehow 4x Gust Jinn is just not right; they often got stuck in my hand and I often rode it as my G1 Vanguard. I also decided to pull out 1x Samurai Spirit and added in Deadly Nightmare for consistency reason. Lastly that extra Dancing Cutlass is extremely helpful to give you a clear one card advantage at the cost of SB2. But running more than one Cutlass will make you stuck either on your field or your hand, so it is recommended to always and only run 1 Cutlass on your every Granblue Build.
For Ghost Ship users, you can try to replace Commodore Blueblood and Ruin Shade composition. Although no changes have been made for G2 and G3 lineups, I did try to replace 1x Cocytus with 1x Basskirk or one Skull Dragon with another Basskirk, which was not a very good idea. Skull Dragon was never meant to be run only 1 of, because when it gets stuck it's practically game over for you. Or at least for me. You might be asking, how the heck did it turn out to be 175% more powerful when you only replaced some triggers and 2 G1 cards?
Of course just by changing cards you won't get any powerful. You need to understand some card mechanism also, such as card value or what to do with your certain cards in hand.
Alright. So assuming you have been familiar with my build before, I will move on into in-depth guide and FAQs for this brand new deck composition.
- Opening Hand
As many of you already know, a set of cards in your hand at the start of battle can determine the tide of battle. We often don't have a set of perfect cards, and so we decided to mulligan. But what is considered a perfect hand on this build?
A perfect hand consists of no G0 card, and at least one of G1, G2 and G3 cards. Ideally you want your G3 to be Basskirk, as he will fill up your soul needs for mid game, and then ride him with Cocytus later for the win. Another perfect hand would be 1x Deadly Nightmare, 1x Deadly Spirit, 1x other G1, 1x other G2, 1x Chappie. That way you will be able to Superior Ride the Deadly Swordmaster on your second turn.
But what if your opening hand sucks? You get so many triggers, like 3x G0 and you don't even have a G1? Do you just mulligan all of your cards but keep a G3? Do you keep a G2 and mulligan all other cards instead? Or you just turn a blind eye and mulligan ALL the cards instead?
To answer those questions, I'll give you a general hint. The most important card you want in your hand is one G2. Anything else can be mulliganed.
You heard me, man. If you get a G2 in your opening hand, that's a good call for you. If you get a G1 and a G2, that's perfect. Otherwise, just mulligan ALL the cards and keep a G2 instead. Riding your vanguard to G2 is the first thing to keep in mind. You have the option to Sp. ride Swordmaster or Cocytus later anyway.
So here are the FAQs for this section:
1. What if I only have a G3 and everything else is G0? Do I keep that and mulligan the rest 4 cards?
No. You mulligan all the cards instead. There is little to no point in keeping a single G3 in your hand, if you don't manage to draw a G1 and G2 after mulligan. Remember, the key card we want is the G2, not the G3.
2. What if I have a G3 and a G1 and everything else is G0?
Mulligan everything else except the G1, for the sake of higher chance getting a G2 on your re-draw.
3. What if I have a G2 and a G3, and no G1?
Mulligan everything else except a G2, for the sake of higher chance getting G1 cards.
4. You said that G2 is important. So now I have two G2s in my hand now and no G1. What to do now?
Keep one G2 and mulligan everything else.
- Game Start
So now you have a good hand already. It's not a perfect hand, but you get everything else you need to start the game, in a nice way. But now you are given several options to ride your first G1 Vanguard. What to ride?
So let's see, you have a [Dragon Spirit, Deadly Nightmare, Ruin Shade, Thanatos and a trigger]. You begin your first turn. You draw a card, say it's a Gust Jinn. Now it's your ride phase. So, which one do you ride?
G1 of your choices are Dragon Spirit, Deadly Nightmare and Gust Jinn. You obviously won't ride Gust Jinn, so it leaves you with Dragon Spirit and Deadly Nightmare. You don't see either Deadly Spirit or Chappie in your hand. So you think the chance of superior riding is very slim to none. You don't have a Cocytus, but you think that Dragon Spirit is a valuable booster for Cocytus later. So you decide to ride Deadly Nightmare. But guess what happens next?
Ta-dah! You draw a Deadly Spirit on your second turn. If you rode Dragon Spirit earlier, you might have been able to Superior Ride into Swordmaster!
Guess what? Even if you didn't draw a Deadly Spirit earlier, you still get to keep a nice 7k booster for late game. Even if your Dragon Spirit is stuck in your soul, you can just SB it later and revive it with either Cocytus or Thanatos. That means, nothing to lose here.
That is one example from my experience with the deck. The lesson here is to never throw the possibilities you might experience later. Remember that "luck = chance + capability". Opportunities can happen anytime, but if we don't have the ability to grab the chance, it just flies away.
- Gameplay 1: Starting Vanguard
Ooo, finally you get to explain things now eh, Van Haym? Did sh*t just get serious?
Before I get deeper into the topic, let me review about our beloved Granblue clan beforehand.
Unlike other clans that provide a clear card advantage (Royal Paladin, Gold Paladin, Kagero etc.), Granblue does not provide a clear card advantage. It, however, does provide you with a card value advantage (this is kinda similar with Spike Bro clan). That means even a G0 card can be as valuable as a G2 card, or even a G3 card.
Take a Zombie Hook (G0 draw trigger) for example. With SB4 CB1 it can turn into some terrifying Skull Dragon, provided that you have the amount of resource for the cost. And with that in mind, let us continue to the topic.
This section will explain more about what to do's and what not to do's rather than card-specific strategies. Let's start off with our cute little starting Vanguard, Captain Night Kid. So, you're correct to say that he's our best starting Vanguard these days. What's so good about him? That's right, his ability that says "CB1 > Look at top ten cards from your deck and put one of them to the Drop Zone". So, just because this ability looks nice, you use it as soon as you can do CB1?
NO. This is a grave mistake made by common Granblue players. You can't just mill a random card at a random time with random things in your mind. That just makes Night Kid no different from Zombie Guide. Zombie Guide mills random 3 cards without any cost, so if you prefer the random things, go use Zombie Guide instead.
What's the deal, Van Haym? Are you trying to mislead us or something?
Let's do the math. When you ride something on Night Kid, you call him to the RC, giving you +1 card advantage. When you CB and put him into soul, you lose the card advantage. Let me tell you one thing, this 1 card advantage can be huge for a clan like Granblue. Night Kid has 5k power, enough to boost Comm. Blueblood and Ruin Shade to 15-16k, and of course he can also boost all of your G3 units up to 15-16k.
So are you telling us to never use his ability?
BEEP that is also wrong. There can be one-page-long to explain each situation you will need or not use it, but I will try to make it simple. Only remember these two points:
- 1. Use it when you need a unit to revive or Sp ride ASAP.
- 2. Use it when you need that slot for more powerful G1 and there is no other slot left.
There are also situations which forced me to do neither. This may sound strange, but I actually used him as sacrificial for reviving Deadly Nightmare once. This is quite a rare situation when you desperately need one 7k booster but you don't have any G0 left in your field or in your hand, and you don't really need to mill for anything because all the revivables you need are in your Drop Zone already.
So many of you might still be asking "Why not use the underlooked Skeleton Troops Captain?" Well there might be a simple answer for this question: because his power is 4k. Look at his ability, it only looks at the top 5 cards for a G3. The miss ratio is quite high here, not to mention you will clearly lose that +1 card advantage, from what I explained above. Even if you don't activate his ability, his lowly 4k power can hardly be useful to boost anything to 15k.
- Gameplay 2: Attacking a Rear Guard
So somehow after many battles have been fought, you have realized the "true value" of each card without confusing yourself.
So now your opponent has 6 units on his field already. He still has many cards on his hand, and his Rear Guards on the field are potentially dangerous. One of them is a special interceptor G2, and the other one is Thunder Break Dragon with RaiRai behind it. Which one to attack first, his G2? His TBD? Or just attack his Vanguard straight away?
Here's a quick answer, that depends on the situation. If your opponent is at 5 damages with 5 or less cards on his hand, you will go for his Vanguard directly. But if he has 6 cards or more, it's probably a good idea to bring down his RG first. This is to lower the chance of enemy counterattack while maintaining your hand count to 6 or more. Now what happens if your opponent has 2 G2s without special abilities? I'd say, just ignore them and go for the Vanguard directly. They hardly can be threat to you anyway, aside from being able to intercept your attacks.
Currently I'm out of sample problems, so if you have some example situation to discuss, feel free to post it below =)
- Gameplay 3: Basskirk or Cocytus??
So now you have two Vanguard-wannabes on your hand.
The left one provides infinite soul support.
The right one provides Limit Break +5k.
Which one do you choose?
Which one do you prefer?
It's just a matter of taste.
And either one will go to waste.
On a serious note, if I do have both of them on your hand, I'd ride Basskirk first. Why? The simple answer would be because Basskirk is useless as a RG, and very useful as a Vanguard. Cocytus is powerful when you ride him as a Vanguard late game, but he has a weaker early game presence if you ride him as VG. And not to mention you can opt to call him as a powerful 21k RG when boosted by Dragon Spirit.
Now what do you do when you already ride Cocytus on your 3rd turn, while you just draw Basskirk and you're still at 3 damages?
This situation is rare for me, so I don't actually have the exact solution in this case. But in my experience once, it's still better to re-ride into Basskirk to provide soul resources, which will be useful later. Cocytus as your Vanguard without any soul is pretty weak. However if you experience another option not to re-ride Basskirk and still win the game, please share with me here.
But if it's already late game, it might not be a good idea to transition into Basskirk. I have yet to experience this also, so please share with me if any of you have found the answer already.
1. So what do you do with FAQs?
- I will try to answer players' questions as much I can. The questions that are frequently asked and answered will be posted on this section.
2. Your Granblue deck looks very weird. I don't understand why you don't run Ghost Ship or John the Ghostie bla bla bla...
- Well I don't really care if you tell me my deck looks crazy or something. But what I present here is a good example of of Granblue lineup composition that you should try to run for your Granblue deck. Personally I'm not a fan of Ghost Ship or John the Ghostie for that matter, but if you're gonna run them, then feel free to do so. My build is certainly not the best, and I'm always open for discussing =)
If you have anything to share or discuss, please post it below. Many sorry for other players who have been asking for this article consistently, as I just moved into new office and it's pretty hectic here ^_^"
So that's all for now, folks. See you around and..
HAPPY DECK BUILDING =)
(Again if you wish to read the first article, you can click here)