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An Introduction To The Premium Format

Let's say you wanted to try the Vanguard Premium format. You already own some V cards or decks, but you don't know how to bring all of that together into this exciting format. What cards should you pick up for each clan and why? That's what we discuss today! The goal of this article is to give you access to some of Premium's most important cards without breaking the bank (where possible). You will also find some example deck lists. These can be starting points to learn with, but aren't necessarily the end-all-be-all perfect lists you NEED to run.

Generally there will be 3 categories of cards we will be discussing.

Category 1 is the Strides. Stride is a mechanic introduced in the G era of Vanguard and was further expanded upon in Premium Collection products. Usually, these will bring offensive power to your deck to overwhelm your opponent.

Category 2 is the G-Guardians. This is a mechanic introduced in the second half of the G era, often referred to by many as "the best time in Vanguard's history". The reason for this is that it's one of the few defensive mechanics ever introduced into the game of Vanguard. G-guardians will allow you to survive your opponent's turns more easily and thus increase your odds of getting to use your winning strategy before the game is over.

Category 3 is the cards that will be going into your main deck. Often, these are combo pieces or very powerful older cards that create interesting interactions with your newer cards. They could also be older cards that generate resources so that your newer cards can be used in ways normally not possible. This third category is the smallest one and might sometimes even be empty, as very often newer cards have better stats than old ones. Regardless, there are some outliers!

CARDS EVERY PLAYER MAY WANT ACCESS TO

Every single clan tends to receive support at once in the Premium Collection sets. Both years this product has come out, each clan received a special critical trigger with an ability. Since most triggers from V onwards have higher power than triggers from G and before, you tend to want to have those higher powered triggers. Luckily, the Premium Collection critical triggers have the V powers whilst still retaining an ability. For this reason, you will want to get yourself the 2 critical triggers for your clan from the Premium Collection 2019 and 2020. Generally you will want 4 copies of each.

The 2019 crits have the ability to give you a soul, draw a card AND give your Vanguard 10,000 power.

The 2020 crits can be discarded as a cost for striding, which means you get to use your important grade 3s for riding and other skills.

Clan Overviews

Overview Granblue

Granblue is a slow grind deck. It tends to work around drop zone recursion (reviving units and recycling resources). It tends to be able to run lower ratios per card (many 1-offs) because it can search for and re-use them.

Check out an example deck list
  • Large hand size
  • Controlled games
  • Toolbox deck
  • Can lose by decking out
  • Complex to pilot well
  • Resource-intensive

In category 1, Granblue has 2 big strides. Obadiah will find you ANY card you may need and put it in your drop zone, whilst reviving a few of them at the same time. No matter what's printed for Granblue in the future, I do not see this card becoming bad any time soon. Any Granblue G zone, no matter how small or budget, NEEDS at least 2 copies of this card. The 3rd is optional.

Its second stride is a bit more situational, but it will scale well with any grade 3 with an auto on-place ability or an auto on-attack ability that's released in the future, as it will let you trigger those in the battle phase. This card is currently being paired with V Nightrose for multi-attacks or with Skull Dragon for 1 large extra Vanguard attack that will often require a perfect guard to be guarded safely. This stride is also crucial in the Megacolony and Link Joker matchups, where you may not be able to revive many rear guards, but still want to create some pressure with 2 Vanguard attacks per turn. You tend to want to run 1-2 copies of this card in your G zone.

In category 2 Granblue has 2 main G-guardians. Negromode's shield will scale with your drop zone size. Since Granblue has access to a lot of mill cards, this is usually no problem. You'll want 1-2 copies of this card.

Negronora is one of the most powerful G-guardians this game has ever seen. Usually, you will want to revive a heal trigger and a grade 1 to your guardian circle. This means you will have 15k+20k+10k = 45k shield for a simple soul blast. Beyond that, you can also revive a perfect guard to the guardian circle, which then means you can discard a card to automatically guard an attack without issue. This is Granblue's way to deal with some nasty alternative win condition combos like Zoa-Rhino-Monoculus, which other clans can't deal with as easily. You'll want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 3, Granblue has 1 crucial card; Mighty Rogue, Nightstorm. This card will create an extra attack by reviving a unit after its own attack. This allows for some great attack combos with V Colombard and Skull Dragon. Since Granblue has full access to the cards in its deck through Obadiah, you only need 1 copy of this card.

Category 4: Nice-to-haves.

Megiddo: Granblue is one of the clans that benefits a lot from its Zeroth Dragon. This card is one of Granblue's most powerful finishing combos. While the deck doesn't always need it to close out games, if your goal is to eventually compete with Granblue at the highest level, you will still want to pick this card up.

Undying Departed Grenache: This old forerunner will refund 2 counter blast at the end of every turn. Some lists now cut it for a cray elemental; Tear, whilst others rely solely on Dancing Cutlass V or King Serpent for their counter-charge. This is why I would not recommend a new player look for this card instantly before grabbing some of the more crucial cards on this list.

Eclipse Dragonhulk, Deep Corpse Dragon: This G-guardian will mill 2 cards for you. It can often be a solid "first G guard" for your game.

Overview Aqua Force

Aqua Force is often seen as a tempo deck or an aggro deck, depending on the build. It tends to focus on launching a barrage of attacks. Thanks to a variety of Premium-exclusive cards, it can build large hand sizes unlike its standard or V counterpart.

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  • Large hand size
  • Fast-to-medium games
  • Aggressive multi-attacks
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium-Easy to pilot well
  • Piece-reliant

In category 1, Aqua Force has 2 big strides. Alexandros will create an onslaught of increasingly large attacks. One trick is to use rear guards that can restand themselves (like Tidal Assault), attack with them, then attack with Alexandros, restanding said rear-guard whilst also powering it up, to then finally attack AND restand with said rear guard again. (In order, this would look like; Tidal attacks for 14k on an accel 2 circle or 9k from a regular circle, Alexandros attacks for 27k and gives Tidal Assault power whilst restanding it, after that Tidal assault attacks for 29k (or however much it gained), restands itself and attacks for such large number again. It's probably best to own 2 copies of this card.

Its second stride, Genbold Dragon, is more of a resource-building stride. If you're still early in the game and you know you have some time before your opponent brings out their win condition, you may want to use Genbold to build your field and hand whilst setting up. Usually 1 copy of this card can be enough, but it doesn't hurt to own a second.

In category 2 Aqua Force has 2 main G-guardians. Galfilia is Aqua Force's most powerful option. While its shield value isn't incredibly high, it is one of the only G-guardians in the game that is able to flip itself back down to generate resources. You usually want to own 2-3 copies of this card.

Ihoannes is Aqua Force's potentially largest G-guardian. It will generate more shield, the larger your field is whilst also protecting it from attacks and certain abilities. Beyond that, it also flips up other G-guardians, which means you will have more cards face-up in your G zone and thus Alexandros will give you an even bigger power boost. Knowing when to flip cards face up for Alexandros' power and when to flip Galfilia back down to get some counter blast back, is a crucial skill in utilizing Aqua Force's G zone to its full potential. You usually want to own 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Bermuda Triangle

Thanks to its large variety of archetypes, Bermuda Triangle is often seen as a "jack of all trades". It has a lot of high-value impactful cards that don't necessarily focus on 1 gameplan. Some Bermuda decks can be extremely aggressive, whilst others can be very defensive.

Check out an example deck list
  • Medium-To-Large hand size
  • Varied game length
  • Bouncing cards around the field whilst creating advantage
  • Jack of all trades, but master of none
  • Medium-Easy to pilot well
  • Piece-reliant

In category 1, Bermuda Triangle has 2 strides. Shandee is a toolbox all to herself whilst also creating extra attacks. Even if your deck runs 0 Harmony cards, you can always call a single unit behind her, which means 2 units will be in Harmony. Afterwards, attack with your 2 front row units, attack with Shandee, check top 10 and call 2 more units to your front row. This will allow you to do 5 attacks whilst finding stronger pieces and perhaps activating some strong AUTO abilities. You'll generally want 2 copies of this card.

Its second stride, Tirua, is a restander. While not necessary for every Bermuda Triangle deck, having access to a restanding Vanguard is always nice. For a generic Bermuda deck, 1 copy of this card will be sufficient, while for a Riviere-Trois or Chouchou deck, 2-3 copies might be the way to go.

In category 2 Bermuda Triangle has 2 G-guardians. The first is Citron. Bermuda sadly lacks very high-shield G-guards but it makes up for that in utility. Citron allows you to call a unit during your opponent's turn. This means you could call a Honoly (which limits your opponent's battles) without them even being able to prepare for it. It can also be used to call a Liselotte, which might then find another card from the top of your deck. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

Its second G-guard would be Sandy. This is the highest shield any Bermuda Triangle G guard can reach. (Previously, Bermuda had access to the most powerful G-guard; Elly, but she was banned) You will want 2 copies of this card.

Category 3 is an odd one for Bermuda, as the big variety of builds means you'll need very different cards for each.

A Melody-based multi-attack build may want cards like Kruk (Stand trigger, limited to 1) and Spica (Grade 2 attack extender), while another build may want to run different cards entirely.

One very popular engine that can be splashed into any Bermuda Triangle deck is the "Riviere Engine". This refers to using 3-4 Spirited Star Trois, 1-2 Top Idol Riviere and 1 Riviere stride. When you go first, this will allow you to superior ride to grade 3 while your opponent is still on grade 1, which then means you will start your turn on grade 3 when your opponent is at grade 2, meaning you can stride while your opponent is on grade 2. This is a very powerful interaction that can instantly swing the game in your favour.

Overview Megacolony

Megacolony is often seen as a "floodgate" or "stun" deck in the control category. It tends to stop your opponent from playing the game in a variety of ways.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Controlled games
  • Steal your opponent's resources or lock them out of playing certain cards
  • Not a lot of power output
  • Medium-Easy to pilot well
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast

In category 1, Megacolony has 2 primary strides. Overwhelm can be seen single-handedly winning the Premium World Championship of 2018 because of the amount of cards it draws for you, whilst also giving a slight buff to your front row units. You'll want 1-2 copies of this card.

The second stride is Gredora. Seen by some as the most annoying stride to play against, Gredora stops your opponent's Rear Guards AND Vanguard from standing in the stand phase, whilst also stopping your opponent from being able to superior call from the deck/drop zone/soul. This stride is a hard counter to Shadow Paladin, Royal Paladin, Pale Moon, Spike Brothers, Gear Chronicle, Granblue, Gold Paladin and to lesser extent; Dark Irregulars. You'll want 2-3 copies of this card.

In category 2 Megacolony has 2 G-guardians. Grysfort will rest your opponent's back row units. This can weaken certain key turns whilst even shutting down other decks' turns entirely. Some units require boosting to function properly and this G-guardian simply does not allow it. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

Its second G-guard would be Relish Lady. While this card doesn't actively gain shield, she will give your opponent an annoying choice: resting some of their rear guards before they get to attack or allowing you to draw a card and counter-charge + soul-charge.

Jumping straight into the "nice to have" category, Megacolony often lacks finishing power, as its goal is to stop your opponent from playing the game, but it doesn't necessarily have the biggest offensive output. For this reason, some Megacolony fans utilize the combo where they ultimate stride into Zoa, call a V Ant-Lion (sentinel restrict), boosted by Phantom Black (normal unit restrict) to launch a 99,999 power attack that can only be guarded with triggers (but no perfect guards) and G guardians. Be aware that you only need to play 1 Zoa for this combo.

Overview Neo Nectar

While in G, Neo Nectar was seen as a combo-based deck, its V support pushed it in the aggro direction. Currently its most viable deck builds tend to attempt to overwhelm the opponent as quickly as possible with an onslaught of tokens.

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  • Small hand size
  • Fast games
  • Swarm the field with tokens and quickly overwhelm the opponent
  • Tends to lose steam later in the game
  • Easy to pilot
  • Piece-reliant

In category 1, Neo Nectar is a bit of an odd one. While it only has 1 stride of its own that's really worth something given its playstyle-change since V, it does have another interesting toy in its arsenal.

The first stride is Sandrine. This stride essentially lets you active important ACT skills (like Ahsha's to create the token) and THEN lets you stride with a nice power and crit bonus on top. You will want 2-3 copies of this stride.

The second stride is one that you won't often stride. It's called "Cycloned" and we utilize it for its active G-zone skill. It will passively boost your units without abilities. Which units don't have skills? All your plant tokens don't have skills. This means your measly 5k power plant token becomes a gigantic 25k power token once all Cycloneds are face-up. The way you will want to flip this face-up is with cards like Tempest Sphere and Zarzan. You will want 2-4 copies of this stride.

In category 2 Neo Nectar has 2 G-guardians. Antero is one of the biggest G-guardians in the game and since Neo Nectar tends to spam its field full, it is very easy to get his full skill off. You will want 1-3 copies of this card.

Its second G-guard is Verna. Since a lot of your units will be tokens with the same name, Verna can be a handy big G-guardian whenever Antero can't be activated for some reason (whether you only have 3 units or you ran out of soul). You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Great Nature

Great Nature's V support tends to focus on an aggressive playstyle and while its G support can certainly deal damage quickly, a lot of its cards tend to draw a lot. Pair this with some of the strongest late-game turns Vanguard has ever seen and you get a deck that could be seen as both fast and slow, dependent on how it was built.

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  • Large hand size later in the game
  • Fast or slow games
  • Multi-attack and be rewarded with a lot of card draw
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium-To-Hard to pilot
  • Piece-reliant

In category 1, Great Nature has 2 strides: Balaurl is generally a solid finisher in the deck. The longer the game goes on, the bigger his power buff becomes. You generally want 2-3 copies of this card.

The second stride is Managarmr Aurum. This card has a dual function. On one hand, he can be a slow-and-steady stride where he allows you to get extra drive checks to build a hand and stall the game out until you reach your bigger win condition, but on the other hand, he can easily buff up a formation to a point where you win in a single turn. (Usually, you would have 2 Crayon Tigers and 1 Talented Rhino in your front row. The Managarmr would give all the power bonuses to the Rhino, then swing with drive checks, put all crits and power on the Rhino, after which, with the help of the Crayon Tigers, the Rhino attacks 3 times for a victory.) This, of course, requires those specific pieces in your hand and thus sometimes you're simply forced into a weaker lineup or the slow-and-steady game plan. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 2 Great Nature has 2 G-guardians. Ardillo is the most generic one, as it simply gains 10,000 power whenever you have some open circles. This isn't hard to do, as a lot of Great Nature units retire themselves. In the worst case scenario, Ardillo will also retire units for you. This can be especially powerful when paired with V Bigbelly, as they will then let you draw. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Its second G-guard is Spangled. This G-guardian has a very unique mechanic, where you want to guard with a variety of cards first, then activate Spangled and automatically get to draw new cards instead. This can be great to quickly dig for combo pieces OR to turn dead cards into solid new shield. Beyond that, a combo exists where you first guard with X cards, then G guard TWO Spangleds in a row and now draw X2 cards. (For example; guard with 5 cards, Spangled twice, after battle resolution, you will draw 10 cards, since each guardian got Spangled's skill twice.) You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Category 3 really only has 1 big card: Crayon Tiger. This is the attack extender I mentioned earlier and is absolutely crucial for any Great Nature deck that hopes to finish the game on a Balaurl or Managarmr turn. (Alternatively, one can win on a Zoa-Rhino turn. More on that later) You will want to own 3-4 copies.

For the nice-to-have category, the biggest one would be the Zeroth Dragon; Zoa. As mentioned earlier, Great Nature has access to a very simple OTK where if Zoa calls a Talented Rhinos, boosted by Monoculus Tiger, your opponent needs to guard a 99,999 power attack without ANY grade 0s AND without ANY sentinels OR only with G-guardians (depending on which effect of Monoculus Tiger gets activated). If they can't guard this single attack, they automatically lose the game.

If you're more of an Isabelle V player, you may want to consider playing Marimarten V grade 3 and the G-guardian, Al-Mi'Raj. This G-guard will allow you to call Marimarten onto a circle during your opponent's battle phase, triggering Marimarten's retire skill while they're attacking. This is an extremely powerful combination that can swiftly turn the game around.

Overview Shadow Paladin

Shadow Paladin is a toolbox deck. Ever since G, it has been able to search its deck for a variety of cards. Combine this with a lot of card draw AND aggressive combos, and you have a recipe for one of the most versatile decks this game has ever seen.

Check out an example deck list
  • Large hand size
  • Fast or slow games
  • Toolbox deck with strong combos
  • Jack of all trades, but master of none
  • Complex to pilot well
  • Running high counts of combo pieces from G can make it fragile at times.

In category 1, Shadow Paladin has 2 strides. Morfessa is one of the most powerful strides in the game. Not only does it let you retire 2 cards to potentially draw into far more powerful ones, it also forces your opponent to guard with at least 2 cards every single battle whilst also giving your entire front row 15,000 power. You will want 1-3 copies of this card.

The second stride is Chainrancor. This stride will work better in a V+ deck, where your goal is to copy powerful Vanguard skills from your V deck and combining it with Chainrancor's strong guard restrict and potentially even attack extenders from G, like Dagda. You will want 1-3 copies of this card.

In category 2, Shadow Paladin has 2 G-guardians. Plotmaker Dragon has long been the standard by which other G-guardians are measured. It virtually always has +10,000 shield because of how easy the condition can be met and so whenever one judges a G-guardian on its shield alone, most players ask the question; "Is it as good as or better than Plotmaker?". Needless to say, the answer is very often; "No!". You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

The second G-guardian is Jeliddo. While not as simple to use as Plotmaker, its potential for far higher shield whilst also drawing a card makes it a crucial addition to any Shadow Paladin G zone. You've been calling free Nemains all game? How about you sacrifice 'em, guard an attack for free and draw a card on top?

In category 3, Shadow Paladin has 1 main card. This card is Dagda. Do note: This card is only relevant in Luard decks. It is essentially an incredibly powerful attack extender that can be combined with both Morfessa and Chainrancor to tremendously increase the power output of your turn.

The nice-to-have category for Shadow Paladin is quite large, as in its history, it has received a lot of very powerful cards.

Esras: this perfect guard has long been a staple in G Luard decks and while I would definitely look for a playset if I were playing some type of Dragfall Luard deck, the format is currently quite fast and one may ask the question whether the perfect-guard recursion even comes up often enough to be relevant. If you have the budget and want to try out a variety of Luard decks, this would be the #1 buy, but a deck can be built without her given the current format.

Belial Owl: At one point the most expensive trigger in the game, this birdie draws, draws and draws more. Over the years, its value has decreased as higher power demands higher trigger power, but I wouldn't be opposed to picking up 2 copies for a G-based Luard deck.

Cursed Eye Raven: An incredibly powerful stand trigger that creates free resources for combo-heavy Luard decks (usually with a focus on Morfessa-Dagda turns and less V-focus). In said deck, I'd run 4.

Overview Royal Paladin

Royal Paladin is a more aggro-based toolbox deck. Where shadows tend to have larger hands and extra control, royals tend to be faster and more aggressive.

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  • Small hand size
  • Fast games
  • Aggro deck with multi-attacks
  • Small hands make it fragile when its strong rush was survived by an opponent
  • Easy to pilot
  • Very piece-reliant

In category 1, Royal Paladin has 2 strides. Twin Sword is a strong multi-attack creator that can search your Blaster Blade if you're still missing it for your combos. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

The second stride is Crystaluster Dragon. This stride will copy the skills of the grade 3 under it, meaning you get to utilize your V VRs to their fullest potential, whilst also adding a powerful GB3 guard restrict to your turn. You will want 1-2 copies of this stride.

In category 2, Royal Paladin has a powerful G-guardian, named Marron. Be aware that this card ONLY works with Alfred or Blaster vanguards. This means it is compatible with a majority of grade 3s from the V-series, but it won't be compatible with Altmile. You want 2-3 copies of this card.

The second G-guardian is Igraine, which only gains its ability when you have an Altmile vanguard. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overall, Royal Paladin's G-guardians have always been a bit awkward in their use, often requiring units in the front row to function. That shouldn't deter you from playing them, of course, but it's something to be wary of.

In category 3, there are a lot of solid potential candidates, but none are quite as impactful as Floral Paladin, Flogal. This G trigger allows your Blaster Blade to perform an extra attack, which can be devastating when he's on a rear guard circle with a lot of force markers. Any blaster deck will want to run this card for the potential multi-attacks it provides. You will want to run 3-4 copies of this card.

In the nice-to-have category, Royal Paladin has a variety of cards, depending on your goals and builds.

Knight Of Twin Sword: A grade 2 attack extender that can search your Blaster Blade on an important Crystaluster turn. You can run 1 copy of this card.

Blaster-Friend Barcgal: A countercharger for the Blaster archetype. You could run 2-4 copies of this card.

Wingal Brave: A starter that can search a Blaster card. I would argue the grade 1 Wingal from the Majesty Lord deck performs a similar function with less downside, but if you want to run this card, you could.

Overview Oracle Think Tank

Oracle Think Tank is a slower deck. It tends to amass a gigantic hand whilst pressuring the opponent with self-stacked critical triggers, until it reaches its unguardable win condition in GB3 Ichikishima.

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  • Large hand size
  • Slower games
  • Controls the game flow by easily guarding most lethal turns this format has to offer
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium-hard to pilot
  • Tends to require Silent Tom V to finish off games reliably, which means games can go to time in major events.

In category 1, Oracle Think Tank has 2 strides. Ichikishima has long been a boogeyman for new players to the Premium format. Whilst the card hasn't performed super well the last years, it has consistently been a strong tier 2 contender that can catch certain people (and decks) off guard. Combine Ichikishima with Silent Tom V to create unguardable attacks. You want 2-4 copies of this card.

The second stride is Momo. This stride will give a huge boost to your front row whilst also being a restander. Combine this with critical trigger stacking skills to perform some powerful offensive turns. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 2, Oracle Think Tank has 2 G-guardians. Bavarois is a very strong G-guard that will let you draw a card. You will want to run 2 copies of this card.

The second G-guardian is Amaterasu. Not only does she gain a lot of shield, she also allows you to stack your deck, increasing your odds of a defensive trigger. You want to run 2-3 copies of this card.

Overview Gold Paladin

Gold Paladin has known a variety of playstyles through the ages. With Gurguit having a cool defensive trick and Ezel being a fast rush power house, it's tough to say what the playstyle of this clan actually is. No matter which build you prefer, this deck will call from deck and seek to overpower the opponent with a large number of attacks.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Fast games
  • Calls from deck to create multi-attacks
  • Usually struggles with defensive triggers
  • Easy-medium to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Gold Paladin has 2 strides. Spear-X is an incredibly versatile stride that single-handedly catapulted Ezel to tier 1 a year ago. (By now, Ezel has been nerfed because of a restriction on Wonder Ezel G). You want to run 2-3 copies of this card.

The second stride is Brambent Dragon. This stride will create multi-attacks whilst also drawing cards. You want to run 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 2, Gold Paladin has 2 G-guardians. Sleimy Flare is one of the most powerful G-guardians in the game. Not only does it give access to very high amounts of shield, it can also find a perfect guard in the top 5 check, call it to the guardian circle and then let you trigger it to automatically block any attack. You want to run 2-3 copies of this card. It is entirely possible this is the only G-guardian you'll need, to get you through an entire BCS tournament.

The second G-guardian is Ellise. While not nearly as powerful as Sleimy Flare, sometimes you do not have the field to activate Sleimy. That is when Ellise saves the day. A single copy of this card should be sufficient.

Overview Genesis

Genesis is a combo deck. Throughout many iterations of its competitive life span, it has used a lot of interactions and synergies that come together in a singular devastating turn. Whether we look at a large turn 3 Valkerion setup, a Wiseman loop or a Gleipnir loop, this deck tends do a lot of setup for 1 impactful payoff.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Medium-long games
  • Sets up long chains to create combos, often abusing Tahro to create multi-attacks
  • Tends to be a one-trick pony
  • Complex to pilot well
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Genesis has 2 strides. Amaruda will allow for some powerful combo-oriented turns, granting a critical and power to one of your pieces, whilst also drawing cards and soul charging. Top it all off with a sentinel restriction should you reach 15 soul, and you'll understand why you definitely want her in your deck. You want 1-2 copies of this stride.

The second stride is Marduk. He will allow you to activate your grade 3's ACT skill before striding onto it. This can be crucial for certain bigger combo plays. You want 1-2 copies of this stride.

In category 2, Genesis has 2 G-guardians. Iris fixes your soul with important pieces. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

The other G-guardian is Laurier. She lets you recycle important cards whilst also getting a lot of shield. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 3, Genesis has 1 key card. Tahro is part of a lot of multi-attack combos. By soul-blasting Tahro out of your soul during an attack of Wiseman or Gleipnir, it will restand the rear guard and your attack will still resolve. After that, this rear guard can attack and soul blast another Tahro to attack again.

Overview Angel Feather

Angel Feather is a control-combo hybrid. They often utilize healing and defensive abilities to last long throughout a game, after which they will utilize some type of combo to instantly finish the game.

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  • Medium-Large hand size
  • Long games
  • Heals and deals damage to survive until it ends the game with a strong combo
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too quickly
  • Complex to pilot well
  • Does not create a lot of pressure early on in the game

In category 1, Angel Feather has 2 strides. Gavrail Eden will essentially be a setup stride in case you don't have all the pieces to do a full V gameplan (like a Hamiel OTK). You will want 2 copies of this card.

Our other stride is Basasael. This is one of the most unique designs this game has ever seen. Not only does she extend your damage zone, she also has a huge guard restrict that grows, the more damage you have available to you. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 2, Angel Feather has 2 G-guardians. Suriel is an interesting card that will let you get extra potential damage triggers. You will want 2-3 copies of this card.

Our other G-guardian is Eleleth. Where Suriel is utility, Eleleth is all about raw shield power. Thanks to Basasael, the potential for gigantic G-guarding grows every turn. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Link Joker

Link Joker has gone through many iterations in its life. Its most known mechanic is the "lock" mechanic, where the Link Joker player is able to lock opponent's rear guard circles, essentially locking the opponent out of playing the game, at least to an extent. This is a floodgate-like mechanic and is often seen as part of the "control" deck type.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Long games
  • Locks rear guard circles to gradually out-grind the opponent
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast
  • Easy-Medium to pilot
  • Not much aggressive output in the Star-vader archetype

In category 1, Link Joker is a bit of an odd one. Due to its big variety in archetypes, one needs to choose which build to pick. A Messiah deck will play entirely different strides from a Chaos Breaker deck. If you're looking for a generic great stride to turn a Messiah V deck into a Messiah premium deck, look no further than Amnesty Messiah. He will give you the same unlock multi-attack potential as your Messiah V grade 3, whilst also instantly giving a critical to your Vanguard. You will want 2 copies of this card.

For a Chaos Breaker deck, Universe is the most generically useful stride. Unlike V Chaos Breaker, this stride can lock cards from your opponent's hand, getting around decks that can empty their field, like Granblue and Pale Moon. You will want 2-4 copies of this card.

In category 2, Link Joker has 2 G-guardians. Cosmo Wreath is an absolute terror for certain decks, which may require a fully functional back row to execute their game plan. One deck that comes to mind is Dark Irregulars. You will want 2-3 copies of this card.

For your second G-guard option, you will want to look at Destiny Guardian. While its restriction to gain power is quite harsh, it is the best generic thing Link Joker has access to.

Overview Nova Grappler

Nova Grappler is a multi-attack-based mid range deck. Whilst most accel decks tend to be seen as aggro, Nova Grappler's power peaks around Bustered and Favorite Champ.

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  • Medium hand size (Big after Bustered)
  • Medium games
  • Uses restanding rear guard abilities to multi-attack
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Nova Grappler is the only clan on this list where 3 strides feels like a must. The first is Bustered. This card will allow you to have a ridiculous amount of drive checks and a restanding Vanguard, whilst flipping up your G zone simultaneously. You will want 1-2 copies of this card.

Your second stride is Winning Champ Victor, which will allow you to perform a multitude of attacks with your rear guards, whilst flipping up more cards in your G-zone. You will want 1 copy of this card.

Favorite Champ, Victor will often be the win condition of the deck. While Bustered and Winning Champ get your G-zone (or in Bustered's case; hand) ready for a big onslaught and definitely deal a lot of damage on their own, Victor's victory will often still rely on this stride (or the GB8) to come to fruition.

In category 2, Nova Grappler has 2 G-guardians. Dogantitan is one of the most versatile G-guardians in the game, as it gets big, unlocks units AND can even countercharge. You will want 1-3 copies of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Gundreed. This card will countercharge for us. You will want 1 copy of this card.

Overview Dimension Police

Dimension Police is a Vanguard-centric deck. Often, this clan will utilize various abilities to grant their Vanguard extra drive checks, extra power, extra attacks, extra critical or even sentinel restrictions. In Premium, one of its biggest assets is Geomaglass, which makes the deck incredibly tank-y the longer the game goes on.

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  • Medium hand size (But lots of shield)
  • Medium games
  • Uses restanding Vanguards for lots of pressure
  • Very little impact from rear guards
  • Medium to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Dimension Police has 2 strides. Geomaglass is our new toy that will gradually increase the shield of our grade 3s as the game progresses. Beyond that passive skill, however, it also packs a punch with its field building. You want 3-4 copies of this card.

The second stride is X-gallop. This is a powerful restander that Dimension Police has relied on for years. You want 1-3 copies of this card.

In category 2, Dimension Police has 2 G-guardians. The most impactful one by far is Atlantis Dolphin. The ability to gain massive amounts of shield whilst simultaneously countercharging and soulcharging is incredibly useful. You want 2 copies of this card.

The second G-guardian is Great Galactic Beast, Zeal. Not only does it have a decent amount of defensive power, it also can increase your Vanguard's power for the rest of the turn. This way, you can stop smaller attacks from happening altogether or you weaken all the power lines your opponent wants to throw at you this turn. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Kagero

Kagero is another Vanguard-centric deck. It often relies on a restanding Vanguard to deal devastating blows to the opponent. Beyond that, it also has some of the best removal abilities in the game, so you can expect your opponent's field to be empty permanently.

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  • Small-Medium hand size
  • Fast-Medium games
  • Retires opponent's board whilst multi-attacking with the Vanguard
  • Needs to G-guard to have a decent defense
  • Easy to pilot
  • Linear gameplay means it relies on 1 plan to win

In category 1, Kagero really only has 1 crucial stride. While there are definitely strong useful strides in this clan, Dumjid Valor tends to be the stride you choose to utilize in 90% of circumstances. After this stride, you will often try to use the legion ability of Overlord The X, or simply stride Dumjid Valor again. You will want 2-4 copies of this stride.

In category 2, Kagero has 2 G-guardians. Denial Griffin might be the most famous G-guard this game has. The ability to retire an opponent's unit during their own battle phase without having to utilize a crazy combo like Pale Moon, Granblue and Great Nature have to, is simply too strong to pass up. You will want to own 2-3 copies of this card.

Its second G-guard definitely is no slouch either, Abd Salam gets BIG and I mean; REAL BIG. Most decks struggle to keep fields filled against a Kagero deck and this G-guardian likes to capitalize on that. You want to own 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Narukami

Narukami is an aggressive deck that tends to multi-attack with rear guards whilst binding the opponent's field away.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Fast-Medium games
  • Binds opponent's board whilst multi-attacking with rear guards
  • Most of its G support is strictly inferior to its V support
  • Medium to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Narukami really only has 1 stride. For the longest time, Naru was known as the clan without any viable strides. All of that changed when they received Stunverse Dragon in Premium Collection 2020. Stunverse essentially allows you to replace your stride with your grade 3, but before vanishing from the field, he first likes to annoy your opponent with some extra resource loss. You want 2-4 copies of this card.

In category 2, Narukami has access to 2 amazing G-guardians. Both of these will mess with your opponent's board during their own battle phase. Impede Dragon will always bind 1 rear guard with the potential for binding 1 and retiring another. This means you're potentially removing 2 rear guards at once. This trick can easily ruin an entire turn. You want 2-3 copies of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Bulwark Dragon. This card will only retire resting rear-guards, but don't worry! There are a lot of decks that intend to utilize their resting rear guards. Granblue, Pale Moon, Aqua Force, Great Nature, Dark Irregulars and Shadow Paladin are all examples of decks that don't enjoy to face a well-timed Bulwark. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Tachikaze

Tachikaze is an extremely aggressive deck that creates multi-attacks whilst retiring its own board to create benefits.

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  • Small hand size
  • Fast games
  • Lots of multi-attacks to overwhelm the opponent swiftly
  • A lot of its G support does not synergize with its V mechanic
  • Medium to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Tachikaze has 2 strides. Do note, however, that the Angerblader deck can easily win without even touching its G zone. Your choice of grade 3 will therefore impact how useful these strides can be for you.

Our first stride is Gyanchuraptor. Often referred to as "Angerblader Lite", this card will essentially give you an extremely similar turn to your typical Angerblader plays. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Our second stride is Gluttony Nebiros. This is a powerful restander that doesn't lose any drive checks when doing so. The cost for this is that you have to get rid of 5 rear guards and/or equip gauges, but given the payoff, that is highly worth it. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 2, Tachikaze has 2 G-guardians. Ganga quite simple gets big whilst simultaneously having some interesting interactions with retire and self-retire. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Bullish Primer, which gets huge, given Tachikaze's willingness to retire its own board during a Gluttony Nebiros turn. This card also got better with the introduction of accel circles, as you now have extra circles that can potentially be open. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Nubatama

Nubatama tends to control the opponent's hand and board. One part of its support deals with rear guards, while the other discards cards from the opponent's hand. In G, it received a "dominate" mechanic, which allows them to make your opponent's rear guards attack their own vanguard.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Medium-Long games
  • Discards your opponent's hand whilst gradually dealing damage
  • A lot of its late V support does not work with the typical discard game plan
  • Easy to pilot
  • Can lose by being overwhelmed too early

In category 1, Nubatama has 2 strides. Because of the restriction between Jamyocongo and Rinne, a lot of Nubatama players do not have access to Rinne. For this reason, Jakumesso is our second most lethal stride. He will create multi-attacks whilst refunding his own cost, potentially drawing into more useful cards. Combined with Jamyo, Jakumesso can be quite lethal, despite its relatively "fair" skill. You will want 2-3 copies of this card.

Our second stride is Mukuro. Whenever players see Jamyocongo, they often start calling their hand onto the board, knowing they'll otherwise have to discard it anyway. That is when you punish them with a strong field wipe like Mukuro. You will want 1 copy of this card.

In category 2, Nubatama has 2 G-guardians. Gehourakan can steal your opponent's units and use them as guard fodder. Not only does this give you free extra shield, it also can disrupt certain combos from opponents. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Gandokurakan. This card quite simply gets BIG. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Overview Murakumo

Murakumo is an aggressive multi-attack deck. It tends to call units from the deck. Often these units need to have the same name as another unit on the field.

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  • Small hand size
  • Fast-medium games
  • Multi-attacks with rear guards
  • A lot of its G support does not mesh well with its V support
  • Easy to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Murakumo has 2 strides. For the longest time, Murakumo didn't have the greatest strides, but all of that changed, when the Nue Daioh nation attacked. Nue Daioh is incredibly powerful, although he only really works in the Hyuga V deck. You'll want 2-3 copies of this card when you play Hyuga.

Our second stride is Shibarakku Viktor. This stride will create extra attacks with its Shadowstitch skill even if you don't stride it directly. Beyond that, it can also plus. You want 2-3 copies of this card.

In category 2, Murakumo has 2 G-guardians. Overall, Mura's G-guards have never been amazing. Hougen Wing can at least get a bit bigger now that grade 1s from V have 10,000 shield. You want 1 copy of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Shishiyuzuki. She can get quite large, but only works when your opponent's Vanguard attacks yours. You want 1 copy of this card.

Overview Spike Brothers

Spike Brothers are generally known for their multi-attacks whilst calling from deck. This usually made them a solid mid-range type of deck. Because of the GB8 stride Hellhard Eight, however, this deck can also adopt a more control-oriented playstyle. The deck can be designed to tank a lot of turns and then OTK an opponent once it's set up for the big combo.

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  • Medium-Large hand size
  • Medium-Long games
  • Multi-attacks with rear guards
  • Can lose if it's overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium-hard to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Spike Brothers has 2 strides. Violence Ace will let you draw an absurd amount of cards, whilst also buffing units, should you have the soul for it. Usually this will be the resource-generating card in a Hellhard Eight GB8 build. You want 2-3 copies of this card.

Our second stride is Agrias. This card will create strong multi-attacks if your intention is to play a beatdown type deck. He will, however, not be used very often when playing a Hellhard Eight type deck. You will want to own 2-4 copies of this card. (2 for Hellhard, 4 for beatdown)

In category 2, we have 2 G-guardians. Hecaton Gyace will allow us to recycle some of our key cards (or even triggers... OverTrigger anyone?). You will want 2-3 copies of this card.

Our second G-guardian is Terrible Linus. He quite frankly gets BIG, but his most important power is flipping up other G-guardians in order to do our Hellhard Eight combo. You will want to run 2 copies of this card in a "normal" or beatdown Spikes deck and 3 copies in a Hellhard Eight deck.

This guy deserved a category all to its own. Hellhard Eight is an incredibly powerful loop-creator in the Spike Brothers clan. Usually when spike brothers see success in premium, it's because of this card. This does not mean you're forced to play him, as spike brothers have a variety of other strong moves, BUT if your goal is to play Spikes optimally, you will still want to look into this card.

Other cards often played with Hellhard Eight are Jelly Beans and Dudley Cheers, Linsey. (Jelly Beans can search for Linsey, so you can G-guard more easily to reach GB8 and unleash this card's fury.)

Overview Pale Moon

Pale Moon is one of the most versatile toolbox decks in the game. It has access to aggressive multi-attacks, incredible card draw, an infinite loop, disruptive board control and more! Because of its limitless access to the soul, it also gets away with running a lot of 1-off cards, which it can recycle over and over.

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  • Large hand size
  • Long games
  • Toolbox deck
  • Can lose if it's overwhelmed too fast
  • Complex to pilot
  • Resource intensive

In category 1, Pale Moon has 2 strides. Darklord Princess is incredibly powerful as she will automatically give you an extra Vanguard attack, whilst also giving you access to other strides' skills. You will want to run 2-3 copies of this card.

Masquerade Master Harri will allow you to create multi-attacks with your rear guards whilst simultaneously giving you access to a large variety of combos. You will want to run 2-4 copies of this card.

In category 2, Pale Moon has 2 G-guardians. Wandering Dragon will not only give you extra soul and a lot of shield, it can also let you call a perfect guard from soul to G, meaning you get to guard virtually any attack. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Coulthard? Coulthard gets BIG. Run 1-2 copies of this card.

In category 3, Pale Moon technically has a lot of cards. Most G support synergizes perfectly with newer cards (and new strides) in this clan and thus it's very common someone finds some new combo by utilizing old cards with new cards. Peryton and Purple Trapezist tend to be the best staples the clan has access to.

Cat In Boots is another great combo extender and Prankster Girl of Mirrorland will give you access to any 1-off from your deck. You may want to run 1 cat and 2-4 Prankster Girl.

Overview Dark Irregular

Dark Irregular is a combo deck. It tends to use a lot of cards to set up 1 single overwhelming blow. Thanks to Enigmatic Assassin and No Life King Death Anchor, it has been a strong contender in the Premium metagame since its inception.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Medium-Long games
  • Combo deck with close-to-OTK potential
  • Can lose if it's overwhelmed too fast
  • Medium-Complex to pilot
  • Resource intensive

In category 1, Dark Irregular has 2 strides. Gastille is the stride you will go into 99% of games. The goal of Dark Irregulars is to finish off opponents on the first stride through an NLK-loop combo (or a variant of this combo). One copy of this card should be sufficient, but if you're afraid 1 loop may fail, a second copy isn't bad to have.

Bledermaus is what we fall back on when an opponent magically survived our Gastille combo and now we're getting close to deckout. Not to worry: usually opponents will lose on this Bledermaus turn, as we are close-to-confirmed hitting all triggers on our drive checks. You want 2 copies of this card or 4 copies of this card, depending on how aggressive you think you can play this deck.

In category 2, Dark Irregulars have 2 G-guardians. Bat Mahlat will fill up your soul. You want 1 copy of this card.

Druj Nasu simply gets big. You want 1-2 copies of this card.

Another "gets big" G-guardian would be "Medical Studies of Extinction, Vincent".

In category 3, Dark Irregulars has quite a few cards.

Enigmatic Assassin is the extender that makes the NLK loop possible. This is a must for every Dark Irregulars deck, but luckily you only need 1 copy.

Monochrome of Nightmareland is an amazing stand trigger that will give you endless resources. You want to run 3-4 copies.

Dimension Creeper from back in the day (before V) is another powerful soul creator. You want to run 4 copies.

Overview Gear Chronicle

Gear Chronicle is a jack of all trades. Thanks to its G support, it has access to a variety of rear guard multi-attack, Vanguard restanders, board control and card draw, while its V support provided more rigid support that didn't always blend well with the aforementioned G cards.

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  • Medium hand size
  • Medium-Long games
  • Multi-attacks with various combos
  • Most V support is not compatible with most G support
  • Medium-Complex to pilot
  • Piece reliant

In category 1, Gear Chronicle has 2 strides. History-Build Dragon will create a barrage of multi-attacks by time-leaping a variety of rear guards and giving them power. You want to run 3-4 copies.

Grogrock Dragon will synergize well with a variety of V boss units. You want to run 1-2 copies.

In category 2, Gear Chronicle has 2 G-Guardians. Heteroround Dragon will only work with a Chronojet vanguard, but that's not a big problem considering Chronojet V is the best boss unit the clan received in said era. It is one of the best G-guardians in the game because of its disruptive capabilities with very little resource requirement. You want to run 1-2 copies.

Our other G-guardian is Uluru, which lets you recycle some key cards (including a trigger!). You accidentally drew an OverTrigger instead of triggering it? Why don't you put it back with Uluru and try again? You want to run 1-2 copies of this card.

*Special thanks to contributors: Solemn Vanguard, Yellowcard Vanguard, Mohammed A. , DifferentFight *

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