How to play Vanguard in 5 minutes and a simple deck building guide for rushing newbies

Like any other ccg, simple games can carry huge intricacies if you wish to explore more about it. But for now, let’s just focus on hitting the ground running and make sure you’re able to play within minutes of reading this post.

0. Before starting, after determining who goes first, start with a level 0 vanguard face down and flip them up at the same time. (more or less)

1. Stand phase: Untap all your cards. In tournaments this order is very important.

2. Draw phase: Draw a card.

3. Ride phase: Put a card overlapping your vanguard that is either the same grade or one higher.

4. Action phase: Here, you can, in any order and as often as you want:

4.1 Call a card to your Rearguard Circle. They must be equal or lower grade than your vanguard.

4.2 Play ACT actions on cards.

4.3 Change the position of the cards within the same column.

5. Attack phase: Skip this if you’re the first player on your first turn.

5.1 Attack step: Tap a card in your front row and target a card in your opponent’s front row. You may add the power of your back row cards in the same column by tapping it IF it has the Boost ability (grade 1 and 0 cards only). Boost power bonus only last for one battle.

5.2 Guard step: The defender may call any number of cards to the Guardian Circle and add the shield value to the target’s power. The defender may also move a front row rearguard with the Intercept ability (grade 2) to the Guardian Circle as well, using the shield value.

5.3 Trigger check: If you’re attacking with the vanguard only, draw a card from the top of the deck and apply any trigger effects. Trigger effects are usually +5000 power and something else. You may assign these bonuses to different targets if you wish. The trigger power bonus lasts for the rest of the turn.

5.4 Damage step: If your power is equal or more than the target:

5.4.1 If it’s a rearguard, discard it.

5.4.2 If the target is a vanguard, the defending player reveals the top card of his deck for every damage (equals the card’s Critical value, plus any trigger bonuses or abilities) taken and puts it in his damage zone. Trigger effects apply while he does this.

* Special: Heal triggers: To heal, discard a card from your damage zone to your discard pile. You can only do it if you’ve suffered more damage than your opponent. You may heal first before adding this card to the damage zone.

5.5 Close step: Discard all cards in the Guardian Circle.

Repeat step 5 for every card you’re attacking with.

6. End turn.

Keep repeating from step 1 until someone gets 6 damage and loses. Easy peasy.


Now for deck building. the general rules are:

50 card decks.

Must have 16 trigger cards, maximum of 4 heal triggers. choosing the composition of your triggers can make or break your deck. It doesn’t have to be 4 of every trigger. You can maximize one and disregard another if your clan prints enough trigger cards for it.

Maximum of 4 copies per card.

The cards have 4 grades, from 0-3. The coolest thing here would be to ride to grade 3 every turn and wreck face as early as you can. Though some decks can throw this convention to the window.

For grade 0’s, your triggers and your starting vanguard usually makes up for 17 cards. There’s no stopping you from using one of your triggers as the starting vanguard though, your miles may vary. Doing that will free up 1 card to be used in another grade.

The trick here is to make the ride as smooth as possible. With 33 cards left, 11 grade 1, 11 grade 2 and 11 grade 3 would be equal but it sucks for riding consistency. This baseline however, might work:


But most decks would favour this:

14-11-8 / 14-12-7

I however, like this:


So yeah, the composition of the grades depends on your build. I secretly want to do this one day:

33 grade 1. Mmmmmm….

Tasty rush deck, but Aqua Force clan doesn’t have that much options yet (sigh). The hand size would suck though.

So that’s it! Deck building and playing in one post. The fastest (and cheapest) way to get into the game is to buy 2 trial decks of the same kind, maximize which aspects you want and start playing. Trust me, it’s more than decent at times. Two booster boxes can get your base common set completed, hunt the rest as loose packs or singles.

Have fun playing Vanguard!


Posted on June 26, 2013, in CCG, The Little Sensei, Vanguard and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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