I have with me here a Cardfighter Spotlight. I had the opportunity to interview the Grandblue player that made 4th place in the Bushiroad Rumble Online 2021 AO for the V-Standard format. Sabriye is an acquaintance from a Vanguard Zero group I am in and he was kind enough to accept my offer for an interview.
zellious: Thanks for taking the time to do this with me, let’s start with introducing yourself. Where are you from? Are you from any Vanguard Teams/Communities? Have you or your team done well in any past events?
Sabriye: I’m Sabriye from Manitoba in Canada, we have a small community at my University but no locals or anything. I joined BSFO in the summer and bubbled out of top 8 with Granblue there, ending at 12th place I believe and that was my first major event.
zellious: With no locals and only a small community, what made you join Vanguard?
Sabriye: I joined Vanguard when I joined the Anime Club at my university, the small community there were mostly members of that club and often played in the clubroom. I eventually tried it out with a VBT02 No Life King deck I was lent and ended up getting super into the game
zellious: An interesting beginning, what made you choose Granblue as your clan of choice to bring to BRO?
Sabriye: Granblue is probably my second favourite clan in both Aesthetics and playstyle, I really do love Dark Irregulars but I much preferred the playstyle of Brufas and NLK over Scharhrot so I ended up opting for Granblue as it is both currently stronger and I prefer Nightrose over the current strong DI decks.
zellious: I see, with this let’s talk about your deck list. Granblue decks have always been a talking point for a lot of people due to the multitude of tech options available for the clan, mind if you describe how you came up with your list you brought to BRO?
Sabriye: Yeah, I started testing really late due to schoolwork and part time work but I felt like I had a strong foundation in my list for BSFO. One of the main issues I faced was trying to slot in the new Sea Strolling Banshee while keeping what pieces were necessary and what pieces I thought would really help.
The biggest decision was keeping Cyrille and dropping Greed Shade to 2 which I made at the very last minute. I am really happy I did though as Greed Shade was almost always available when I needed him through Navigator mills and Colombard and Cyrille won me several games by just making the Vanguard column a much bigger threat that needed to be guarded with multiple cards.
The ghostie engine of Beatrice, Jessie, Damian, and the 1 Rick Heal I felt was a natural inclusion as it gives the deck way more options. I opted for 3 Beatrice as it provided an alternate ride which is better in some matchups that I thought I would be facing a lot more such as Gavrail due to its higher defensive capabilities but I didn’t run into any Gavrail.
I opted for Skull Dragon at 3 over 2 since the 4 Skull Dragon attacks are very integral as a finisher and I didnt want to risk taking 1 to damage and having a huge drop in lethality. Navigator at 4 is a must for Granblue currently since it’s the only way to accelerate drop zone enough to kill PRISM and Luard before they generate enough advantage to tank you out or amass enough force markers to blast you into oblivion.
For the trigger lineup, draw sentinels are a double edged sword in Granblue and especially with my playstyle as I go super aggressive on the Navigator mills so I only ran 2 just for the fact that they are PGs and those are really helpful against Luard and Valkerion, I ran the 1 Rick Heal because of the Hamiel matchup where I would prefer to ride up to Beatrice and choose Protect 2 as the gift. Having a 35k intercept against cards such as Hamiel is extremely helpful and with both Cyrille and Rick that is access to 2 possible 35k intercepts. The 10 Criticals just made sense to me as Skull Dragons already have a presence and throwing a crit on them is that much more terrifying. And the last 3 triggers are just the heal guardians which let you survive against Accel matchups which rush you down and Hamiel while you’re on Grade 2.
zellious: Cyrille the Ghostie is 1 that you will not expect to run in standard Granblue lists, as most people assumed the power is enough without needing extra beatsticks
Sabriye: Your rearguard power is definitely enough, but throwing Cyrille behind Nightrose makes her 35k or 45k depending on the grade of your opponent’s vanguard. It turns Nightrose from a 1-2 card guard or even turned off by 1 trigger on a force vg into something super threatening
It’s also very good at being a presence on a protect 2 while you’re sitting on Beatrice, being 28k both turns and a 35k intercept is very nice
zellious: Did the 2 draw sentinels matter in your games? Most people would scoff and say just use the Protect 1 you get from riding Grade 3s
Sabriye: Yeah they did. Against decks such as Luard which generate 3 force markers each turn you want more than just the 1 protect so your hand isn’t destroyed or you get blasted once they start swinging with all those high powered columns with crits, and Valkerion restands on Force 2 are very scary if your only perfect guard is the one protect marker.
zellious: For Sea Strolling Banshee, you mentioned it was a last minute inclusion. Do you think it had improved your gameplan instead of playing something like say, Tommy the Ghostie Brothers which was more commonly played by others.
Sabriye: I didn’t have Tommy in my initial build at all. Sea Strolling definitely improved my build but it more so replaced 2 Greed Shades and a 3rd Damian I used to play. I haven’t really run Tommy since Nightrose released due to Greed Shade, Colombard and Navigator just letting me toolbox drop at will and a 13k booster isn’t that valuable when I can have a 23k booster in Cyrille. Tommy definitely does have perks but I don’t think that they mesh with my playstyle.
zellious: It is obvious that you have thought a lot for the list you brought to BRO. So what did you face up against for your rounds in BRO?
Sabriye: My matchups were:
R1 – Altmile W
R2 – Messiah W
R3 – Luard W
R4 – Spec Duke W
R5 – Prism W
R6 – Prism W
R7 – Prism W
R8 – Prism L
In the Top 8 cut
Top 8 – Yasuie W
Top 4 – Luard L
3rd Place decider- Prism L
zellious: You fought a wide range of decks, is what I would like to say, but that’s a lot of Prism you faced. Any notable matches throughout your rounds, or would you like to describe your matches
Sabriye: The Altmile game was tougher than it should have been due to misriding into Beatrice but I ended up winning due to Altmile just not having the offensive power to make it past Beatrice’s extremely good defensive power.
Messiahs was a weird game, I G-assisted grade 1 and was losing due to him getting out an early Volkogode but he misrode into Harmonics Messiah and couldn’t finish me off allowing me to catch up.
Luard I had a bit of a rough start but he struggled getting to grade 3 and I managed to stabilise before his force marker acceleration got out of control.
For Spectral, I had a really good start and just blasted him going first and getting Quad Skull Dragons while he was still grade 2
The Prism matches were mostly the same, I just had to open both Navigator and Colombard in order to rush them down. 1 of them was decided by a double critical.
For my top cut games
This was the least familiar matchup for me so I played it safe and kept a heal guardian instead of mulliganing it which I would normally do. This ended up let me survive his first Yasuie turn going second and kill him without letting him get a 2nd turn
This was a rough game for me, I didn’t get the early Colombard which was essential for me and overcommitted on my grade 2 turn trying to make up for that. Giving him the 1 damage early to use Liafall and Charon to fill his field and refund the counterblast put me so far behind I couldn’t catch up in addition to the fact I had no heal guardian in hand to stop the rush at all.
3rd Place Decider-Prism
This was another rough game, I opened neither Navigator or Colombard and couldn’t kill the Prism player before his hand got so massive he could guard my Skull Dragons easily
zellious: You had your share of luck and misfortune throughout the games, during your games, what is something you appreciated from your deck with the preparation you have done? The strategy, consistency, power etc.
Sabriye: Cyrille definitely won me some games by making the Vanguard lane extremely annoying to guard when in combination with them keeping the 4 Skull Dragons in mind. I think he is one of the MVPs of the deck.
zellious: Despite the rough top cut matches, I hope you still had a great time making it this far
Sabriye: Yup, I had a great time with the tournament and I am really happy with top 4
zellious: So with the tournament behind you, did you take something back to reflect? Anything you have learnt from your experience?
Sabriye: I think I played pretty well in most of these matches. I prepared a lot for the Gavrail matchup which never happened but I think that was fine. I think I tested enough against Prism to know the strategy and Luard was mostly the same but I do think I needed to play that matchup more, but the Luard matchup is definitely something I learned more about how to play against.
zellious: That’s great that you have learnt more about your deck, especially against some of the top decks of the format in Luard, Prism and Gavrail. Would you like any shoutouts to anyone you know or helped you on this journey?
Sabriye: Yeah for sure, my locals who introduced me to Vanguard, Differentfight and his community and ItsTokuTV were all really helpful providing people to test against with a variety of decks as well as support during my run!
zellious: Great! I hope your locals will be happy and excited for your accomplishments! Any last comments?
Sabriye: Colombard for Zorga when?
zellious: (laughs) Looks like we can expect to see you in action again in a few weeks for D-Standard.
Sabriye: Yeah for sure, still testing but Greedon is looking super fun and I’m always down to play Zorga
zellious: And with that, let’s wrap things up here. Thank you Sabriye for doing this interview, and I hope we can see more of you in different formats!
Sabriye has shared so much of his exprience this BRO. There are 2 things that I took away from this interview
Deckbuilding is a skill that is talked about, but most people end up defaulting to standard ratios and filling up their decks with the best cards the clan has to offer. Sabriye showed here that with a deck like Grandblue, 1 ofs and tech options matter so much more due to the toolboxing the deck offers. These 1 off cards get so many more chances to shine and perform well.
Preparation is Key. Sabriye mentioned that he has prepared to face Prism and Gavrail but did not prepare as well against Luard, which he lost to in the Top 4 match. 1 Damage propelling Luard so far ahead that he could not come back is something that could be avoided with a better understanding of that matchup. With a multitude of clans that could be considered top decks in the format, it is understandable 1-2 matchups could be tough to prepare for. But as the old saying Knowledge is Power, the strategy formed for Prism did pay off for him, losing only due to being unable to draw the early game cards in the deck.
Thank you for reading this Article, and another congratulations to Sabriye for making 4th place. Till next time.
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