Interview w/ Gleaming Garmore

Today we have a Cardfighter Spotlight! I’ll be having the opportunity to interview the Granblue player that recently accomplished 1st place overall in the Vision Remote eXperiment for the V-Premium Format! Her name is Gleaming Garmore and is from the United States! Let’s get right into the interview!

Interview

Jaime: First off, congratulations to Gleaming Garmore getting 1st place overall in the Vision Remote eXperiment for the V-Premium Format! Today I wanted to do an interview with you about your overall experience and even get to know you a little bit for the readers. Sounds good amiga?

Gleaming Garmore: How’s it going, Cardfighters? I’m Gleaming Garmore and contrary to popular belief, I play more than one clan.

Jaime: Of course! It’s a pleasure to have you on the blog since you’re a good amiga! To the audience, also feel free to check her YouTube channel for great content such as Lore videos and deck profiles! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Are you from any specific Vanguard teams/communities? Any other events that you and/or team have done well? Etc.

Gleaming Garmore: I don’t have a formal team, but I do have a lot of friends who play Vanguard and spend a lot of time playtesting with other VG content creators. I’d like to spend more time streaming the game once I upgrade my PC, especially with the new Vanguard TCG twitch category.

Jaime: That’s awesome that you get to play test with other VG content creators! I think it’s cool that you can play with some of your favorite content creators. How did you start playing Cardfight Vanguard?

Gleaming Garmore: In middle school, some of my friends that I played Yu-Gi-Oh! with were playing it one day. When they told me what it was, I went home and started looking into it.

This was in about 2015, so I binged the whole anime up to Vanguard G. I ended up learning to play the game on this awful website called TradeCardsOnline. If you think CFA is bad, this website literally has you drag around PNGs of trading cards and it runs at a snail’s pace. I started with the OTT Trial Deck and then eventually tried to build a sad attempt at Gear Chronicle.

Somewhere in there, I learned what a Legion was and dabbled with Bluish Flames. Fast forward about a year or 2 and someone comes into my locals with a series of hodgepodge Vanguard decks. I challenge him, betting a Yu-Gi-Oh! deck of mine in exchange for the Gold Paladin deck I borrowed if I could beat him. I won handily and I received my first real deck.

The boss unit was Great Silver Wolf, Garmore. I find out that there’s a shop in my state that was doing a prerelease for G-BT07. I went there with a friend from school, and we pick up new decks, the Kai legend deck, the Knight of the Sun start deck, and for him, a Neo Nectar TD. The rest is history.

Jaime: Oh wow, I think that’s cool that you played the game on your own time and later on challenged someone to win a deck! Most of the community I feel has came from Yu-Gi-Oh!, including myself. During your preparation, what are some things that you mainly focused on? Certain matchups, deck builds, strategies, etc.

Gleaming Garmore: My main focus was on the deck itself and my ability to pilot it. After all, it was a bit difficult arranging playtesting against specific matchups. Let’s also remember that I hadn’t touched V Premium since Spring Fest before I started testing for it, so I wasn’t 100% sure what people would be playing. I just had to be sure I could pilot my own deck to the best of my ability and adapt to the matchups as they came.

Jaime: Wow, at first I would think that wasn’t much preparation in terms of matchups. But the metagame hasn’t really changed much since you last played V Premium. What made you decide on Granblue to play with? Why Nightrose?

Gleaming Garmore: I had Granblue because I’d picked up a large majority of the cards for it at BCS 2019. I’d been playing the Obadiah Deck Thin version of the deck in Premium and it was probably my best deck. It was really cheap to get Nightrose cards the following year and I very much needed a new deck to play in V Premium.

I’d pretty much never won a V Premium locals because I was always on something weird and off meta. This felt like a good opportunity to play a stronger deck.

I’d ended up keeping the deck around because I very much enjoyed the depth of the combos and also attacking with very large Skull Dragons.

Jaime: That’s pretty cool you picked up the deck and really enjoyed it that much that you kept it. Awesome, let’s dive into your deck list. I see that you’re playing 4 copies of Nightrose, 3 copies of Skull Dragon, and 2 copies of Beatrice in the G3 lineup. Did you feel that it was too clunky?

Gleaming Garmore: No, not at all. The one time that came up as an issue was in the Semi-Finals, where I had to ride a Skull Dragon. But it was fine because I drive checked Nightrose and Skull Dragon gains its power on the Vanguard circle, so I still had a 30k Vanguard attack. I feel like these numbers are just right for increasing your odds of milling 2 Skull Dragons and 1 Beatrice.

Jaime: Yes, you definitely want to see at least 2 Skull Dragons and 1 Beatrice ASAP. I also see that you’re playing both Ruin shade and Skeleton Seas Navigator. I’ve seen this before with Cameron Stewart’s list. How did the split ratio work out for you? Any reason for the split ratio in your case?

Gleaming Garmore: The ratio worked out pretty alright. I mainly wanted to cut down on the odds of riding into a Navigator. There’s also the fact that Bermuda Triangle is very popular right now and has 10k power Vanguards.

Combine that with people wising up to how powerful Colombard is and you NEED a backup option for Grade 2 ride.

Navigator is an incredibly powerful card, but it is also a 3-card combo and ideally all 3 of the cards are Grade 1s. You need a ride target, a Navigator, and another card to call. This leaves you with 3 cards in hand to fight back against an opponent’s early game rush, which was not ideal in some of my later matchups.

Having just one more way to fill my drop zone without committing too many Grade 1 Rearguards was incredibly important. 2 Copies of Ruin Shade allowed me to see it when I needed it for the most part.

Jaime: That makes a lot sense! Very good points about how the metagame currently looks and also how other players are playing against your early game setup. I see you’re playing Negrobone, Cutlass, and Ripple Banshee in the G1 lineup. Can you elaborate why you came to those choices/ratios? Any other card choices you’d like to point out? How come no other Ghosties like Damian and Jessie?

Gleaming Garmore: Cutlass absolutely had to exist at 4 copies in my deck. One weakness I noticed when I was on the Ghostie/Nightrose hybrid was that we absolutely needed Main Phase counter charge to make sure that I could pull out the full 4 Skull Dragon combo at any time. Funny story, I ordered extra Cutlasses for this event because I missed them in my binder like, 4 times during deck building.

I tried playing Jessie in this deck but again, counter charging in the Battle Phase is a bit too late because it means I’ve given up a much more powerful attack, and sometimes even a Draw from Ghost Ship, to return a resource. Damian wouldn’t have been a bad ride target, but there wasn’t any room after I put in all of my engine G1s.

Negrobone is also a card I don’t see being run at anything less than 4 because the absolute best version of your final turn involves using 2 Negrobones to call 2 Skull Dragons. How else will you have enough copies in circulation at all times other than maxing out on them?

Having Cutlass and Bone as 4-of Grade 1s makes your 10k guards feel even better because you are actively placing combo pieces into your drop zone in preparation for your final turn.

Jaime: Awesome thanks for explaining those card choices. It’s so true on guarding with cards like Cutlass and Negrobone because it’s part of the plan of having them in the drop zone. I see what you mean with Jessie. With this build, what was your winning image for most of your games? Like did you have a setup, game state, or strategy that you focused on?

Gleaming Garmore: This deck relied on the standard 4 Skull Dragon finishing combo. A lot of games were decided by the fact that even at 3 damage, many decks simply cannot survive 4 59k swings (and a 33k Vanguard Swing. Thanks, Dancing Cutlass. You make me hit numbers against Force decks). The goal was to hit 10 at least cards in the Drop Zone because then Negrobone was online and Skull Dragons would be 37k minimum. It wasn’t very hard to get past that, especially when cycling Greed Shades in and out of the Drop Zone to return my 30k Sentinels.

Jaime: Yes, Nightrose has a really solid Winning Image with the 4 Skull Dragon finishing combo! Wow, that’s a good point on Cutlass helping Nightrose hit 33k! I had forgotten something small like that, that can matter in games. During your games, which decks/clans did you face?

Gleaming Garmore: Round 1 was against Prisms, which were actually piloted by Noman from WCC. I lost, but I feel like it says something that my only swiss loss was against somebody from WCC. If I’d farmed a few extra cards with Ship, I might have had it. I’d pushed him to 5 but was 1 card short on my guard.

Round 2 was Astral Poets, a win.

Round 3 was against Chaos. I unfortunately went second, which meant he was able to get 1 lock off for his first 2 G3 turns. I managed to use Ship and Ripple to stabilize and end the game on the following turn with Skull Dragons.

But round 4 was against CardFVExtreme, who was on Blademaster. Blademaster’s +10 was always online but in exchange, I didn’t have to pay attention to his Doha and Garran because getting rid of them didn’t make him any less powerful.

Jaime: Wow, you definitely got a wide variety of decks! You even faced somebody like Noman in the 1st round! Was there a game you would like to highlight? Like your toughest matchup, best game, break or deal moments, etc.

Gleaming Garmore: I’d LOVE for everyone to watch my Semi-Final match against MeloettaMatt. He was piloting Pacifica and he did things with that deck I didn’t even know were possible. I had to up my game bigtime and take a few gambles to make it through. It turns out that forcing you to guard with 3 cards is kind of an issue…

I also showed off a ruling that some fighters STILL don’t know, which is that Blitz Orders are not cards called from your hand to the Guardian Circle, which means I can use my Quick Shield even under Pacifica’s effect.

One of the rearguard columns attacked for 17k and I was able to Quick Shield and Intercept with a Greed Shade I’d called on turn 2 to put myself to 19k.

Jaime: Wow, even I didn’t know that! I usually discard my Ticket Shield with discarding skills or use for early rush defense. During your games, what is something that you appreciated about your deck from the preparation you’ve done? The strategy of it, consistency, power, plays, etc.

Gleaming Garmore: Even when I was missing pieces of the combo, it was pretty clear to me how I would find them. Colombard is such a powerful card that ups the consistency of this deck like you wouldn’t believe. And if you combine it with Greed Shade, you don’t even have to DRAW Nightrose.

Jaime: Yes, Granblue is pretty awesome! Your Drop Zone does feel like an extension of your hand so you can even grab a Nightrose if milled. I love how each card literally contributes to many flexible spots/roles. How many rounds were in the tournament? How was your record throughout? Was there a Top 8?

Gleaming Garmore: There were 4 rounds of swiss with a cut to Top 4. I’d gone 3-1 in swiss and my record between my two Top 4 matches was 4-2.

Jaime: Nice, how were your last games?

Gleaming Garmore: The final round was against Tachikaze, piloted by Sinddu, who won the Standard event two weeks ago with Hexaorb.

Game 1, I went first but I wasn’t prepared for the turn 1 combo that resulted in 4 attacks.

Game 2, I’d begun attacking Megarexes on the Rearguard to make sure that eventually the combos would have to stop. Sinddu was unable to G-Assist because he was holding onto the Grade 3 Savage Mercenary, who cannot be normal ridden. Game 3 came around and I kept up with the Early Guarding and the Pressure on Rearguards.

By the time turns 3, 4, and 5 rolled around, I’d locked Sinddu at 1 face-down damage and kept attacking Rearguards with Ghost Ship. Once I’d farmed enough cards and seen that his resources had depleted enough (about 6 cards in hand) I pushed him to 4 using a Skull Dragon combo, guarded his last swings with my surplus of cards, and then used another 4 Skull Dragons to finish it.

Jaime: Whoa, talk about a back and forth match! It’s amazing how powerful the 4 Skull Dragon attacks combo is. After the tournament, did you take some time to reflect? Anything that you learned from your experience?

Gleaming Garmore: Right after the event, I drank some water, tried to build Isabelle, and then took a nap. After that, I started thinking about my match against Matt. I knew in my head that I could have been placing Protect Markers and then not activating their skills so that I could get around Pacifica’s Guard Restrict. But for whatever reason, I just didn’t do that. Clear misplay on my part.

Jaime: Awesome, glad you did take some time to reflect on key matchups. Would you like to do any shout outs to people that you know and/or have helped you along your journey?

Gleaming Garmore: Shoutout to @NaichiSendou on twitter. She’s a good friend of mine who plays V Premium a lot more often than I do, and she was more than happy to help me playtest for the event (Even if it was against, like, MLB…)

Zero2Pass is a legend for contributing a total of 200 USD to the Vision Prize Pools this month. Both times, I got a cut of it.

And to you for sharing your interview with Cameron Stewart so I could get a feel for the deck after being away from it for so long.

Jaime: That’s great stuff! Absolutely, glad I was able to help you out in some fashion ha! Just one more question and we’ll be done amiga. While preparing with Granblue, did you use/see any social media to help you solidify your build? Such as blogs, YouTube videos/channels, Facebook, Reddit, etc.

Gleaming Garmore: Like I mentioned earlier, your blog was a big help. I’d turned to it in the past, when I was first learning the deck in 2020, and it definitely holds up.

Jaime: I appreciate the kind words, thank you! I’m glad it helps other players out with deck building and also performing better at events! Thanks again for joining me in this interview!

Gleaming Garmore: Thank you for the interview invitation. It was a pleasure to do this!

Jaime: I wish you the best and hope to see more from you in the metagame! Till next time amigos!

Takeaways

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this interview! I just wanted to highlight some takeaways that can help Granblue players out!

The Importance Of Learning From Others Before You

Gleaming Garmore mentioned, “And to you for sharing your interview with Cameron Stewart so I could get a feel for the deck after being away from it for so long….. Like I mentioned earlier, your blog was a big help. I’d turned to it in the past, when I was first learning the deck in 2020, and it definitely holds up.”

It’s great to hear someone like Gleaming Garmore mention that they took advantage of social media content that aided him in his performance. If you can have access to a deck list and that player’s mindset, it makes a HUGE difference on how effectively use that deck build.

Isn’t this net decking? Glad you asked! Net decking isn’t bad. What I’ve seen that gives it a negative connotation is that players just take a deck list (without much consideration of how the original player used it/built it for) and perform horrible with it and blame that the deck list sucks. Nor give proper credit to the original player/team that created it/shared it.

In Gleaming Garmore’s experience, she literally took the deck list and mindset from Cameron Stewart to start off with a strong understanding of it. Then with some play testing and having some experience already with Granblue, she performed well enough to win an event!

Learning from others has its benefits:

  • Saves a lot of time
  • You have a Winning Image already to work with
  • Tips on matchups
  • Scenarios you may have NOT of thought of yet
  • Playstyles that can vary
  • Etc.

It worked out really well for Gleaming Garmore in this case too. Great example.

Even myself learned from Cameron Stewart! He also topped at a Premium format with Genesis Fenrir. From that interview article I conducted with him, I learned his reasoning of a mini Zarzan engine.

That knowledge I applied at the BSFO 2021 earlier this year, to deal with damage denial scenarios and still execute a Gleipnir Tahro turn! Which helped me top as well! Feel free to watch my deck profile on it if you like!

Sometimes Old Combos/Winning Images Are Still Good

Gleaming Garmore also mentioned, “This deck relied on the standard 4 Skull Dragon finishing combo. A lot of games were decided by the fact that even at 3 damage, many decks simply cannot survive 4 59k swings (and a 33k Vanguard Swing. Thanks, Dancing Cutlass. You make me hit numbers against Force decks).

Don’t forget that some old combos/Winning Images are still really good in current/future metagames. From what I’ve seen, most players go by popularity and what’s the newest set support.

Sometimes even though new combos/decks are introduced that make the old metagame obsolete, there are still decks that can still compete against the new decks.

Furthermore, the deck list that was used still had a lot of similarities from last year’s popularity in the metagame. There’s a saying, “Don’t fix what’s NOT broken.” This is a good example of that.

Perhaps you already have some old metagame decks that can still compete. It’s just a matter of updating the build with play testing and assess it.

Final Thoughts

Thanks again for reading this Cardfighter Spotlight article! It’s great to see Granblue take 1st place overall in an event! Thanks again to Gleaming Garmore for joining us today as well! Till next time amigos!

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