Today I’m going to talk about the different triggers, when it’s right to have them in your deck, and how you can turn just basic trigger construction into advantage for yourself. I will also talk about some basic gameplay decisions involving triggers. This is going to be a little bit of a longer post so lets dive right in.
Draw Triggers. These provide the easiest way to generate raw advantage, giving you literally a +1 when you trigger it. This comes with the trade-off that each draw trigger only provides 5000 shield. This means that you will need to guard with more cards because you triggered a draw. These should be used in decks that do not generate their own advantage in order to replenish the hand. Using too many can be fatal.
Critical Triggers. When a critical trigger is activated, you can raise the amount of damage that one unit deals until the end of turn. This creates amazing pressure on your opponent and can even force them to guard in a situation they were not planning to guard in. Critical triggers provide the best pressure out of all the triggers, forcing the opponent into unfavorable situations while requiring no prior setup for the ideal situation.
Stand Triggers. When a stand trigger is activated you can ready a rested unit. These create pressure to the opponent, again forcing him to guard when he may not have planned for it. However, they require prior commitment on your part, making them much less ideal than critical triggers. Stand triggers are usually better in clans designed to abuse their use.
Heal Triggers. When triggered, you heal 1 damage if you are at the same or more damage than your opponent. All heal triggers in the game have the restriction that only 4 are allowed in the deck. This means that most decks will run the maximum, 4, without question. If you are thinking about NOT running heals, you should think again as they are game changers, and have the most impact on the result of the match over any of the other triggers.
So now that we’re done with the basic introductions, lets get into basic trigger construction and what to consider when creating your trigger line-up. I’m going to say it right off. Every deck should run 4 heal triggers. I can understand MAYBE dropping to 3, but do that completely at your own risk. Heal triggers are too strong to not run at 4 and provide yourself with more opportunities to no guard an attack. This is incredibly useful as it allows you to conserve your shield for the end game. Now, when to use what triggers. This is hard to answer and usually comes down to personal preference. However, there are still some basic rules you can follow that will help with your construction. For one, no deck should run stands unless their basic mechanics are able to turn that into advantage. Nova Grapplers are an example of this, because with Asura Kaiser and Death Army Lady running stands makes it so it is very likely that you will be attacking again. Most decks however don’t have this type of mechanic and requiring prior setup can really cripple a decks performance.
For the next rule, you need to understand how your deck works. This involves how many draw triggers you should run. If you have the option, running more then 4 draw triggers can be very beneficial. However, for every draw trigger you add, you need to be aware that you are reducing the maximum number of shield you have available. This is an acceptable risk if running the draw triggers will allow your deck to create advantage. There are a few decks in this game with little to no +1 cards, so running additional draw triggers in those decks are very important for the continued life of your deck in the late game.
The last rule again requires you to understand how your deck works. If your deck is able to generate lots of advantage through its basic mechanics, you should run few or no draw triggers. A very good example of this is Soulless OTT. This deck is able to draw a LOT without any help from any triggers. Therefore, running draw triggers is counterproductive, reducing the amount of shield you have in your deck, reducing the amount of offense you can create, and increasing the chance of you drawing into other triggers. Running somewhere in the region of 10 crit 2 draw or even 12 crit is something much more consistent and creates alot more pressure on your opponent. By running less draw triggers in decks that create their own advantage, you create a more stable trigger line-up.
One thing to remember is that triggers are entirely personal taste. However, it is still true that some triggers work better in the deck then others. Vanguard games can be won entirely on that miniscule difference. Hopefully these rules will help you in your next game and you can come out on top. Next time I talk about triggers, it will be about the different plays, when to go all in, and how the different structures can help the game.