Ride breaks are a new mechanic only recently introduced by Bushiroad in Japan. It will be the new mechanic for the next generation of cards, and is an interesting concept which also brings forward some troubling concerns. But before we get into those concerns, we should probably talk first about what a Ride Break actually is.
Ride Break is a term used by players to talk about a new mechanic. An example of this type of card is something like this :
“[AUTO] Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):When a «Gold Paladin» rides this unit, choose one of your vanguards, and that unit gets [Power]+10000 until end of turn, and choose up to three of your «Gold Paladin» rear-guards, and those units get [Power]+5000 until end of turn.
[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.
CONT](VC/RC): Lord (If you have a unit that doesn’t belong to the same clan as this unit, this unit cannot attack)”
This is from a card named Solitary Liberator, Gancelot, a new card for Gold Paladins. As you can see in the effect, his effect is Limit Break 4, and activates when a unit rides on top of him, hence the term “Ride Break”
Now how Ride Breaks effect the game is an interesting one. They provide all decks with a final turn scenario just by existing, as well as needing good game sense in order to use them properly. If I rode on top of Gancelot when my opponent was at 2-3 damage, for example, I will have wasted his effect, as my opponent won’t be pressured to guard all the damage. This keeps these cards balanced in a sense.
However, the effects that these cards have also have a negative impact on game balance. Due to these effects, Bushiroad will always need to be aware of them when they print new cards, or they risk unbalancing the game severely. It also brings into question how this will effect older cards. For example, the new Spike Brothers ride break would be fine, except for the existence of Dudley Emperor. With Dudley Emperor and the Ride Break, Dudley’s final turn scenario has now become much more consistent, and much more difficult to stop.
Ride Breaks are a very compelling, very strong mechanic that bring interesting implications to the game. They have the potential to move the game forward, as well as allow Bushiroad to reign in the power of their final turn Vangaurds; They can rely on the Ride Breaks to provide some of power that the cards are missing. However, it also effects the past cards in the game. Cards such as Dudley Emperor are now in a place that they are dangerously close to being overly strong.
Ride Breaks I feel could be very good for the game. If Bushiroad reigns in the power of their final turn Vanguards with the intent of people using Ride Breaks, it could actually prevent some of the power creeping that has been happening in this game. At the same time, however, if they do not take these situations into account, it could be very bad, where these Ride Break cards become overly strong and imbalance the game in a bad way. We’ll only know for sure when we get to play these decks and test their power for ourselves.