Written and formatted by LordDravoth
Here comes V-Premium! Time to put my thoughts to paper and see what I think of the format now. We’ve had a recent major release that included some format altering cards for every clan in the form of Heal Guardians which had a huge impact on the premium event and I think that’s going to definitely also be the case here too – I’m expecting to see virtually every deck running them with only one or two exceptions.
V-Premium as a format actually feels in quite a healthy state to me after the Heal Guardians – that risk of dying to a T3 highroll is significantly reduced most of the time and whilst I definitely don’t think every deck is anything close to being on an even playing field, I do think they make some clans more or less appealing than they were before.
These are my top 5 decks (or entire clans) going into this event. That doesn’t mean I think nothing else is good, just that I think these are the strongest in the format right now – in terms of pure power, these are the decks that I think are most likely to top. Obviously, representation counts for a lot (as proven by the Premium BRO results) so these are far from guaranteed tops but I think some of them are pretty certain.
They are listed here alphabetically.
I’ve kept this vague and open to any number of decks because Prism and Melody both have a good chance at topping. Everyone knows what these decks do at this point and I think it’s pretty broadly accepted that most players consider at least one or both of those decks to be in the top 5 best decks so I’ve cheated and included both as one entry. It’s not a particularly spicy take to say that I think these decks are good and are likely to be well represented.
Perhaps a choice some people aren’t on board with. Whenever I bring up Chronojet in conversation about the best V decks, there’s always someone who says “What, really?” in surprise. It seems like Chronojet has been forgotten by some people but it keeps getting support and it keeps getting better – it generates force markers, has a decent number of rear guard attacks, multiple Vanguard attacks and lots of access to Guard restrict. It’s consistent, powerful and popular so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it do well whilst also being reasonably well-represented.
Whilst everyone considers it good, I think a lot of people were disappointed by its relative lack of tops in BSFO compared to other decks, Prisms especially. I think it benefits from the Heal Guardians more than it’s hurt by them too – a strategy the deck could struggle against was early aggression which is now something its less vulnerable too, not to mention the reduced likelihood of it being CB denied and the reduced effectiveness of CB denial. Slapping -2 crit on a T3 Hamiel isn’t the best thing in the world to happen to a Gavrail player but being able to survive more comfortably against early aggression outweighs that. Newer builds have higher shield value, less dependence on soul and are more flexible than the old Nociel builds. I think the deck is in a very good position to top.
After Prisms, Luard is the boogeyman of the format. The deck was so strong before the Nemain restriction that Luard will forever have a target on his back to some players so long as he’s considered a competitive deck and whilst the nerf made the deck more reasonable, it’s still a very powerful deck one year later. I think Luard is one of the decks most improved by Heal Guardians too – one of the problems the deck had before was being bashed down before turn 4 and that’s now significantly harder to do and I think we’re likely to see Luard perform even better than previously as a result.
The deck managed a top in BSFO earlier in the year and I think that combined with continued success in Japan where the deck is indisputably considered a tier 1 deck will see it represented quite well at BRO. Percival and Aglovale remain an extremely powerful combination and the reprinting of Aglovale has perhaps taken this deck down into an affordable price range for the majority of players which I think will definitely help its representation. Other Gold Paladin decks might show up to some extent but I think Duke is definitely going to be the most popular and will perform the best.
These are my picks for decks that might just get a top out of nowhere that might perhaps come as a bit of a surprise. This isn’t a continuation of my top decks – this is just a collection of things that aren’t going into the event with much hype around them that I think could still do well.
They are listed here alphabetically.
We (still) don’t have Pursuit Assault in EN and that hurts Thavas a lot but it got a top in Premium and I think it can potentially get a top here too. I think the clan overall has some really good decks that can play very aggressively in a format that I think is otherwise quite unlikely to have too much in the way of early aggression. Thavas is the obvious pick here but I’ve left this open to the whole clan because I think Valeos has some really good matchups despite being totally dismissed when it was first released and is still regarded as trash by most players and Tetra is pretty playable too. Heal Guardians have not been kind to Aqua Force and so that might be enough of a dent to keep it from success but I think it’s got a good chance.
Daikaiser has helped Dimension Police a ton and Dailiner is a massively improved deck thanks to its release. It’s always frustrating for your opponent to guard and is deceptively bulky for a top-heavy deck. Lots of people don’t know how to deal with it effectively and I think a decent player bringing it could coast through swiss. The main obstacle the deck faces is bricking with a handful of G3s but I think it’s a lot less of an issue than people might expect. Dimension Police is not one of the more popular clans in the game so I think we’re unlikely to see very many people taking it but I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs!
As with Bermuda, I’m listing the whole clan here because Genesis has a few decks that I think are capable of topping. Astral Poets was considered one of the big boys at one point but people seem to have moved away from more recently – it’s not the most consistent deck but when it all comes together, it’s really devastating. Regalia is definitely popular and whilst it’s not as good here as in Premium, the deck is definitely still solid and I can see some variation of it doing well (Pure Regalia or Himiko Regalia are the most likely). Genesis is a popular clan so I think it’ll make a respectable showing either way.
It’s as good as it ever was – sometimes it’ll highroll and just win the game even into Heal Guardians. It sucks to lose that way but that’s just how it goes sometimes – there’s only so much you can do about three Vanguard swings on a force 2 marker. There’s really not much to say about DOtX decks but we do also have the Turnabout in English now and I’ve seen some interesting stuff done with that deck in the past so it would be cool to see that do well even if it’s significantly less likely – The End is always going to be the partner of choice for The X.
I don’t like this deck personally, it feels a bit janky and bloated to me but I guess I’m in the minority on that and I still think the deck can definitely do well. Heal Guardians do hurt it, as with most accel clans but it’s not the biggest deal here – the combination of multiple attacks, passive power gain, reriding during the battle phase and binding (including from hand) gives opponents a lot to think about. Narukami is also a popular clan and Vanquisher is its most popular unit so I’m expecting this deck to be reasonably well-represented.
Take these with a pinch of salt – I’m just some guy and I don’t have any special knowledge or insight, these are just my gut feelings based on my experience with the game. I like making predictions like this before big events and I think it’s great fun to see if my takes are good or bad but don’t assume these to be some sacrosanct meta analysis claims – this is just a bit of fun!
Before I talk about specific clans and decks, I do think we’re going to see lots of budget decks popping up for Vemium BRO thanks to the V Collection sets. Many of these decks provide a cheap deck core to be carried by the (now reprinted and affordable) generic support – Granblue in particular is a great example of this kind of deck where their generic support is so powerful and affordable that not having Nightrose doesn’t mean you can’t play Granblue. I think a lot of these kinds of decks are going to make an appearance and whilst I don’t necessarily think any of them are top tier contenders (aside from Spectral Duke Dragon), it’s definitely nice to see highly affordable decks that aren’t a complete joke at a competitive level.
Bermuda will be the best represented clan in the event across all regions by some margin and I think Prisms will be the most represented within the clan but Melody will also have a decent showing. Luard and Gavrail will likely be the next most represented decks with quite a gap to the next most represented decks after them.
I think Gold Paladin will show up reasonably well with a decent variety of decks but Duke will definitely be the most represented and I’m expecting Chronojet to be one of the better represented decks too. I’d make a guess that Nightrose will probably have around the same representation as those two because it’s Granblue and people play Granblue.
Out of my rogue decks, I think Vanquisher is probably the deck that will have the most representation. Genesis as a whole will probably have decent representation too with Poets being the best represented and I’d guess Overlord and Pale Moon will probably have similar representation to that. I think Dimension Police and Aqua Force are likely to be the lowest represented clans that I’ve talked about.
Oh, and I think it’s really unlikely we’re going to see much Bang Dream.
I think all of my top clans have a good chance to top but I expect Luard, Gavrail and Prism to do the best. I think Chronojet, Duke and Melody all have a good chance to top too but it’s going to depend on what the representation looks like for those decks because they’re probably going to have half the representation of the big 3.
As with Premium, I think Pale Moon (specifically Beast Tamers but people will be taking Nightmare Dolls too) and Granblue (Nightrose) both have a good chance at topping – definitely the most likely out of the decks I haven’t talked about. Both were close to making my top 5 decks (I set a rule that it could only be 5, otherwise they’d have both been up there) but I consider them better than rogue decks so I haven’t talked about either before now.
Out of my rogue decks, it’s probably going to depend on representation and I think that’s going to be weighted towards Genesis and Vanquisher so they probably have the best chance there. Aqua Force is probably the least likely of my rogues to top because I think it’s going to see quite low representation and the Heal Guardian meta really isn’t the clan’s friend. The only other deck I want to mention is Messiah. If someone highrolls through the whole event with it, it could definitely win and it has seen some success in Japan so perhaps that’ll cause an uptake of interest in the deck – it very nearly made my rogue decks list but I decided Aqua Force was the more interesting choice so I went with that.
So, this is my take on V-Premium right now and how we’re likely to see BRO V-Premium play out. My premium predictions turned out quite well in terms of what would top and how represented certain clans would be but it seems like Eradicators was not on my radar when it definitely should have been.
I think people will be questioning my top 5 picks for Premium after the event as three of my top 5 failed to top – I definitely stand by all of these decks being top tier decks but with the power of hindsight, I think Pale Moon would be in that top 5 rather than just outside it, probably replacing Ezel which I definitely overrated going into the event and Overlord might also have to justify his position after a disappointing performance despite solid representation.
As for V-Premium, I’m pretty happy with these predictions but I’ve definitely played and analysed the format less than I had with Premium and considering that I got quite a bit wrong there, perhaps that confidence is misplaced! Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out!
Good luck to everyone taking part in the tournament!
Thanks to everyone in the Axis Vanguard family for your insight, support and feedback during the writing of this article!