So with the release of the new banlist, and with the World Championship over, I would like to go over a point that is the main reason for the banlist and a dominant factor in the World Championship. That is, I would like to talk about how much power of presence has in this game.
To start off, let me explain what presence is. Presence is the number of people that play a particular deck, causing it to have more of a presence in the tournament. This happens in all card games, and is usually what shapes a meta, as people will usually gravitate towards the decks that have been proven time and time again. What ends up happening is everyone gravitates towards these decks, and they end up being the most played deck in the tournament by a large margin. When this happens, it’s known as a “meta” as it is the deck that you either need to play the deck that beats that deck, or you need to play that deck.
Vanguard, in the English Meta, is actually mostly immune to this mindset. That is because the deck that defines our meta, Gold Paladin, has so many different builds that it provides variety on it’s own. This also poses a problem at the same time, as with the release of the Banlist, it is obvious that Bushiroad wants to push people in the direction of multiple deck gameplay, without one clan dominating it thoroughly. The ban on Royal Paladin is a good example of this, as it was a deck with multiple different builds, and they limited both of them. With Gold Paladin, there is no single card that can be limited to limit all the builds of Gold Paladin. This could be an issue if Gold Paladin ever begins to dominate in the tournament scene, as it will be very hard to limit the power of the deck.
Vanguard in the Japanese meta however, is not immune to this mindset. There are several clans that dominate over there, however, these same clans, with these same builds, have dominated the Japanese Meta since their release in set 3 in Japan, which was over a year ago. Even with all the new clans and powers that Bushiroad has attempted to promote in the past year, they haven’t taken hold due to the power of these previous builds.
So now we get to the reasoning behind the banlist. In Japan, over 3/4 of every tournament were these 3 decks. This meant that every tournament that was won, with very very few exceptions, would be won by these 3 decks. This wasn’t a one time thing either, and this wasn’t for just one major tournament. This was for an entire year, in multiple different tournaments, with different settings and different sets being released along the way being unable to dethrone any of these decks. This made limiting the power of the decks necessary in order to promote game growth. The timing was unfortunate, but the limiting was most likely inevitable.
Presence defines a meta, it defines a deck that will win a tournament, since if all the players are playing one deck, it makes it fairly obvious which deck will win the tournament. If everyone went into a tournament playing Angel Feather, the deck that comes out victorious would very likely end up being Angel Feather, as they would have more opportunities to advance over the other clans.
The Power of Presence defines metas, defines the tournament setting, and defines banlists. With the game going forward on the English side, this will be extremely important, as the Presence of decks will begin to be very important as it will define the meta, define our banlist, and define the future of our game.