Interview w/ Overtriggers FTW | Spring Fest 2022 Premium Champion Team | #BushiroadSpringFest2022

Hi amigos, today I have the opportunity to interview the Champion team for the Bushiroad Spring Fest 2022 Premium event at Rosemont, IL! They are Edward, Austin, and Benjamin! Let’s dive into it!

Interview

Team Name: Overtriggers FTW
Teammate A’s name: Edward Allen Young Jr.
Teammate B’s name: Austin Spees
Teammate C’s name: Benjamin Towles

Jaime: First off, congratulations to Overtriggers FTW for being the Champions of the Bushiroad Spring Fest 2022 Premium event at Rosemont, IL! Today I wanted to do an interview with you amigos about your overall experience and even get to know you a little bit for the readers. Sounds good y’all?

All: Yes absolutely, thank you for having us!

Jaime: Tell us a little about yourselves. Where are you from? Are you from any specific Vanguard teams/communities? Any other events that you and/or team have done well? Etc.

Edward: I’m from Mt. Washington Kentucky. I’m a part of the local community in Louisville KY that is currently based at the shop Draw 2 Cards. We really love Vanguard as a game and especially enjoy the premium format since we are long-term players for the most part.

I’ve got to add I’m very proud to be a part of this community I’m in because if it wasn’t for everyone’s contributions the 3 of us wouldn’t have won this tournament. We have a very diverse community here and that gave me an edge against most of the clan/decks out there. They gave me the time to test which allowed me to learn to play around with certain plays. My event history in Vanguard is kind of a short one. I have played in one regional level tournament before this one in 2013 when I won the regional with Majesty Lord Blaster to get my invite to the first NA Nationals for Vanguard that I was unable to attend, unfortunately. Also won the TCG Con Louisville Premium tournament too a few weeks ago.

After that, I took a very long break from the game until a little while ago getting back to it. So it’s quite awesome to think I’m 2-0 for these types of tournament levels 9 years apart and winning with the same clan and my favorite at that. For other card game event history, I’ve top and won numerous regional for Yu-Gi-Oh and day 2 National multiple years. Magic, i just really won 1k, 5k, and some 10ks cash tournaments but nothing really big.

Austin: I’m from Louisville, KY. I’ve been a part of the local Vanguard scene ever since I started playing, which mostly takes place at Draw2Cards. I’ve played in a few PPGs/ARGs and done pretty well in general in them. Thanks to inexperience and COVID coming up after I started to get better at the game, this is only my second Springfest, so I guess I have a 50% win ratio in all of my Spring Fest so far.

Benjamin: I was born and raised in Louisville, KY, and lived here my whole life. Part of my escape from this small town has been traveling to play vanguard and that is one of the reasons Bushiroad events mean so much to me. I have topped in the past in convention/ARG level tournaments winning one ARG and topping in Bushiroad regionals for Spring Fest, second in Atlanta, and third in Ohio in the years 2015 and 2016.

Jaime: During your preparation, what are some things that you mainly focused on? Certain matchups, deck builds, strategies, etc.

Edward: So for this tournament, I basically looked at what decks were topping and heavily thought about what I might see across from me and went from there. I place Narukami as the bar that a deck has to be able to beat with how strong it is as Vanquisher and Eradicater, and how popular it is in the west, I figured that was a good start. Then I would go down the list of the other consistently topping decks and just sunk in tons of hours against these decks.

Austin: I focused on making an anti-meta toolbox. I knew my three most troublesome matchups. would be Narukami, OrderColony, and of course, Nightmare Dolls. Narukami is pretty popular with my locals, so it was easy for me to get plenty of practice against all of its variants. Nightmare Dolls were the very first clan I ever built in premium, and I’ve played them continuously regardless of their meta status for the past 3-4 years. That being said, I know the deck like the back of hand so testing against it wasn’t really necessary for me since myself and everyone else at my locals knows how to beat the deck consistently from years of playing against it all the time. As for OrderColony, I chose a very different variant from most Granblue decks that wouldn’t be shut down as hard. Not that you can make that matchup into an easy win, but I think my build at least wasn’t a guaranteed auto-lose against it.

Benjamin: For the clan, I chose to play was Narukami Dragonic Vanquisher. For the deck building process, I specifically wanted to focus on consistency. The matchup I prepared the most for was Granblue and I faced it 4 times and only lost to it once.

Deck Lists:

Edward’s Deck Log: https://decklog-en.bushiroad.com/view/FPTU
Austin’s Deck Log: https://decklog-en.bushiroad.com/view/EW7E
Benjamin’s Deck Log: https://decklog-en.bushiroad.com/view/4S3E

Jaime: Awesome, let’s dive into your deck lists. With these builds, what were your Winning Images for most of your games? Like did you have a setup, game state, or strategy that you focused on?

Edward: My deck’s winning image is kind of simple and stride into Crystaluster onto Jewel Knight Salome with Force 2, 8 drive checks in total, restanding Vanguard, and a 4-11 Rear Guard attacks with a possible Guard Restriction. Luckily we got really good support in Jewel Knights with V clan selection and they allow you to gain advantage throughout the game and help control the tempo of the game with how aggressive you can be or pull back farm your resources which I love that playstyle.

Austin: My general winning image starts with superior riding Spirit Exceed to stride while my opponent is on G2 and turbo the Generation Break. Granblue’s first stride isn’t normally overwhelming aside from those rare occasions where Obadiah’s deck thinning helps you to sack into an early triple crit. Being able to superior ride against certain decks like NMD and OrderColony is crucial for setting up your ideal drop early and bypassing the strong G2 games that both of those decks have. The finisher I always build for is Negrobolt. When your opponent is on 4 damage your deck should ideally be all triggers, making it easy to combo into what should ideally be 4 massive (sometimes around 150k) attacks that each swing for game and essentially require a pg to guard.

Benjamin: My main winning strategy was the simple Stunverse, Full Bronto turns with Chatura being the extra thorn in everyone’s side to give me the win. I felt like Cho-ou affected that consistency though I believe he is a good card, I also chose not to run Dungaree as a mirror match tech option to send binded cards back because once again it muddied the vision of the deck. Shoutout to Voltechshred over Barca, drawing first then binding is better imo. Off Volt I drew into Chaturas and Full Bronto many times and was able to bind them ideally and preferably over something else.

Jaime: Great, can you elaborate more on why you came to those choices/ratios for your lists? Feel free to beak it down by Grades or groups of cards, which ever makes more sense for your decks.

Edward: Well it’s simple all the V Jewel Knights are great so 4 of each. 1 grade 1 Jewel Knight PG to recycle and to lower the number of draw triggers to 2 to lower deck out potential and one sentinal crit for the same reason and more crit pressure. Christine to attack extend.

Austin: Even for Granblue, I think I run quite a few one-ofs. 21 to be exact including the OT and starter. I’ll skip over the cards that most Granblue players will recognize as being commonly ran at 1 such as Nightstorm, Ghostship, Cannoneer, etc…The only G3 I run at four copies is Beatrice, and I would say it’s the center of my deck. Spirit Exceed is a key G3 even at 1 copy, and oftentimes, it’s your search target off of Sea Strolling Banshee. That’s also why I only run 1 copy, because it can’t go to damage if it’s already in drop, and aside from the superior ride, it’s a dead card. Skull Dragon is only at 2 because I dropped the Zeroth Dragon after realizing just how powerful Negrobolt could be in testing. I felt that it was a better card to set up for as opposed to Meggido which requires a copy of your VG in hand. Without Meggido, it’s very rare that you need more than 1 Skull Dragon on board at a time anyway. Dropping Meggido and 1 Skull Dragon gave me the room I needed for a 3rd Obadiah in my G Zone, as well as a new defensive tech card in my main deck, which ended up being Bikkun. I came very close to choosing a d series card (can’t recall the name) that was in Solemn Vanguard’s BRO deck profile, but I simply didn’t have time to test it before the deadline to submit my deck. I don’t regret it though because all but 1 deck I faced had the ability to attack with VG more than once, and I got a lot of use out of it. In my opinion, it can be better than Honoly against NMD since Honoly can be pushed into soul by Chelsea and become useless. Whereas Bikkun can at least 1 card guard the 2nd VG swing, which is still an important attack to guard against. I ran 1 Ghoul Dragon to both compliment Negrobolt as a means to stop yourself from decking out, and to occasionally counter Narukami in a pinch. I’m also running 4 different sentinels for different situations. This is a protect deck that can filter for pgs and guard from drop with Negronora, so running more than one Stoicheia pg isn’t necessary. The drop and draw from Dolph is simply nice to have as an extra ride target. Only 1 draw pg because decking out is a huge risk. 1 Crit sentinel because deck space is too tight to run another G1, and again, because of the deck out risk.

Benjamin: My deck is truly self-explanatory for those who understand how Vanquisher works, however, there are a lot of minor differences amongst players that should be addressed. The G guardian Brahma should have been in my list and I’d change Demolition Dragon to 3 and Mighty Bolt to 4 because grabbing essential G3s is more important than threatening a draw. Also, Mighty Bolt is 18k on his own on an Accel 2 if you have bound that turn, 28k with vanquishers ability active. Voltechshred over the dragon dancer Barca was an easy call after playtesting because I want the option to draw a card and see what it is before having to bind first, I also luckily drew into great bind targets from Volt throughout my games and it proved it’s worth. Barcas ability to move a unit forward isn’t that vital because Stunverse does more than enough work already. I also opted to not run the grade 1 pgs because I liked playing aggressively and only wanted to draw into units that I would like to call and attack with and not hold onto defensively. Also, draw triggers help acquire pieces.

Jaime: Great feedback! During your games, which decks/clans did you face? How were your personal records?

Edward:
Round 1: G Luard-Loss
Round 2: Gold Paladin Ezel-Won
Round 3: Eradicater-Loss
Round 4: Bermuda Triangle Highland-Won
Round 5: Great Nature-Loss
Top 8: G Luard-Won
Top 4: Regalia-Won
Finals: Regalia-Won

My loss in round 1 was due to not seeing Salome and G Luard player was very good and his deck was consistently doing what it does best but I couldn’t overcome the combination of his skill and my low roll. Round 2 was the epidemy of off to the races. He superior rode and swung for the fences and I survived. Then I cracked back with the win with my stride turn. Round 3 Eradicater play was very intelligent and put up defensive plays to stop everything I was able to do and had 3 heals in his hand to g guardian to remove my rear guards.

Round 4 was against Highlander and I never played tested against it myself so I just turned up the aggressiveness and was able to control the tempo for the game and I hit an early Overtrigger to help push early. Round 5 was against a Great Nature deck list I’ve never seen before and just caught me by surprise and played very very smart and got me.

Top 8 match up was a round 1 rematch and I was able to redeem myself in this game and was able to outpace him with the power and speed of my deck. Top 4 was the hardest match and it was no other Team WCC. Our decks have a similar game plan in multiple drive checks and force 2 and restanding Vanguard but I hit my Overtrigger and did 16 drive checks and he survived but with only 3 cards in his deck and just ran out of gas when I had a 20+ card hand.

Finals I was able to started to outpace my opponent earlier than the last match and an obscure ruling helped me clinch the win that by not allowing him to get a perfect guard back to his hand. On the next turn on my first Vanguard swing my first check was my Overtrigger that just blew the doors open for the victory and was able to allow us to live up to the team name Overtriggers FTW.

Austin: I feel like my deck performed pretty well. All of our matchups were tough. One thing Solemn Vanguard was definitely correct about, is that having premium and D on the same day pushed a lot of great players to play in D format, but the ones who were left were very serious players. We didn’t have the luxury of getting any easy wins in the early rounds, every opponent we faced was tough, and 3 of our 5 opponents in swiss also made top 8, including our 1st round opponent who we rematched in the first round of top 8. As a long-time NMD player with a max rarity deck, I was of course very tempted to play my favorite deck, but I may have psyched myself out by knowing its weaknesses too well. Ultimately it was a great decision because I think the early Narukami and Himiko Reverse matchups I had could have been problematic had I chosen NMD, and obviously, the end result couldn’t have ended better.

Benjamin: I faced the mirror match once, Granblue 4 times (twice in Swiss and twice in top 8) only losing to it in the finals which my teammates ended up winning theirs, securing our victory. Two Megacolony decks (one Giraffa in Swiss which was a victory and one Order Colony in top 8) which was a loss. I also was able to claim victory against Nightmare Dolls, which was a hard match-up I had been preparing against as well.

Jaime: Was there a game you would like to highlight? Like your toughest matchup, best game, break or deal moments, etc.

Edward: The round and match that stood out for me was our top 4 match against WCC. When we heard that name my teammate Austin and I locked eyes in intimidation and knew we were in for the fight of our tournament day experience. When we shuffled up and drew our hands the atmosphere felt different this time. Watching my opponent play Regalia flawlessly was just amazing and he wasn’t taking any extra time for plays and just knew what he was doing. I missed this level of competition for years and gave me that energy to not get discouraged or intimidated as I was before our game. On my second to last turn, the game shifted in my favor as I hit my Overtrigger which allowed me to turn up the pressure and draw 12 plus cards to survive any crack back. Which I noticed was going to be minimum as he had 4 cards in deck, so I wanted the chip damage in no matter what so I can give him one more damage to shut off a Vanguard attack his next turn. So when my last attack that turn hit, and he took the damage I knew I had the win since it put him to 3 cards in deck so when he drew for turn he was down to 2 cards. My game plan worked and paid off forcing him to only attack with rear guards and no Vanguard swing. After the player carefully assessed the board and my massive hand he still gave it his all. He passed then I just finished the game with my combo of attacks. With this win in top 4 I knew I was, NO MY TEAM WAS, winning this whole tournament and giving us the confidence to bring home the win.

Austin: My first and final games stand out the most to me. I almost took out my GB8 for another Cycloned just in case I used 3 Obadiah because in testing, while I came close to needing my GB8 several times, I never actually went into it once. Then in round 1 of swiss, it finally happened. I had a match where I had no CB left, and was at GB11, and Immortal Galleon got me the win. It was a very good match, and my opponent got me back in top 8.

In the finals it was fitting that I was up against NMD, and my teammates finished their matches first going 1-1, so it was down to my match to decide the finals. I hit an early defensive trigger from a RG attack, and my opponent was about to swing with VG. It was already 1 to pass, but I put down an extra 10k shield to make it 2 to pass still. My opponent’s first check was a crit trigger, and took a chance on putting all effects to VG, and then they hit another trigger making it hit which put me at 4 damage while they were still on 0. At this point, I thought it was over because of the damage gap, and I was tempted to start swinging face, but I decided to stick to my gameplan for NMD and focus on targeting RGs. Thanks to the damage starvation he wasn’t able to do much each turn, and by the time I started giving him damage, I had Cannoneer set up to interrupt his combos.

I ended up surviving a Dust turn, and I was forced to use my 3rd Obadiah instead of Bad Bounty/Negrobolt due to Negrobolt being in damage, which was fine because I filtered out the last non-triggers in my deck and my opponent was on 5 damage. They no-guarded my VG and my drive check was 2 crits and a heal, dealing him 3 damage. We named our team Overtriggers FTW, but right then we were about to become Overtrigger FTL. His damage checks were then 2 miracle heals and a miracle OT. I used my Nightstorm and Skull Dragon to kill 2 more RGs and pass turn. Knowing I had all triggers left, I took the first damage to make it so that he had to swing with VG in order to hit me. With 3 cards left in his deck, 1st check no trigger, 2nd check, draw trigger. GG, it would have been hard to imagine a closer finals match.

Benjamin: The Granblue player in top 8 was a tough match up it was neck and neck and I was binding and calling a lot and hitting hard but he was defending well. I lived up to our team name when it came down to an Overtrigger to pass/win and I hit it on my first check securing us top 4 which eventually lead to 1st. Overtriggers should be banned though btw. Also not match specific but calling multiple Chatura a turn just feels wicked and no one sees it coming.

Jaime: Wow! Those were some crazy moments! During your games, what is something that you appreciated about your decks from the preparation you’ve done? The strategy of it, consistency, power, plays, etc.

Edward: All I can just say is I appreciate this deck more than anyone can appreciate cardboard. Royal Paladin was getting shafted for a long time and it just feels great to have good support for a deck for once and probably the most solid deck since the legion days. The consistency is high and requires very little setup compared to others, with the power ceiling being astronomical. Guard restriction with a restanding Vanguard and each swing is 4 drives each, then 4-11 possible rearguard attacks are just mwauh. But Bushiroad please give us more decent support to Royal Paladin 🙏.

Austin: I love the graveyard toolbox aspect of Granblue. The card pool is large enough to adapt to any meta, and if nothing else, I think playing an off-meta homebrew variant at least gave me the element of surprise.

Benjamin: As far as what I appreciate from my deck and Vanquisher, in general, is the power and consistency. Sadly the deck doesn’t have much room for experimentation but it is a solid rock that perfectly aligns with “ if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

Jaime: That’s awesome, thanks for sharing. After the tournament, did y’all take some time to reflect? Anything that you learned from your experiences?

Edward: Not going to lie we were all like “Hell yeah” after and still to this moment as of typing this. We learned we can keep up with the competition even if we don’t think so and have come to a conclusion that we want to stay as a team and continue to travel to more and more of these events to hopefully solidify our place as great players in this wonderful/best card game ever!

Austin: The whole top 8 experience felt very surreal, and I don’t think it fully started to sink in that we won until we were walking out of the convention center. We were so caught up in the moment after winning, that as we were driving back to the hotel, which wasn’t very far away, we drove for quite a while in a city we don’t live before we realized we never put any directions into our GPS and were just driving aimlessly in a straight line. We’ve decided to try and stick with this team for any future team events, and hopefully, this will be the first of many times we top.

Benjamin: We absolutely reflected on the wonderful outcome of an incredible opportunity we were humbled to have experienced with a result we could only dream of. We are a team now and we plan to grow with each other in-game and in life.

Jaime: Love the camaraderie! Awesome! Would you like to do any shout-outs to people that you know and/or have helped you along your journeys?

Edward: I want to shout out to my teammates Austin and Ben for being the absolute best and carrying the same weight as each other and taking this seriously. Brandon and Jameil for being very active testing buddies. Murphy for helping to keep my confidence up after being out of the competitive scene for Vanguard for a while. The rest of the local players who have been willing to stick with the premium format and making it fun all the time. Then Draw 2 Cards for hosting our locals. And of course, my girlfriend putting up with my nerdy habits.

Austin: Firstly, I’d like to shout out my teammates Eddy and Ben for asking me to join their team, and for all of the hours of playtesting we invested in this tournament. Shoutout to my friends Brandon and Jameil for consistently showing up to locals and helping to keep the local scene alive and growing. Shoutout to Tony for helping to teach me how to play better when I was still new, and continuing to push me to be a better player. Shout to Draw2Cards for giving us a place to play and revive our scene after covid abruptly ended our previous scene. Shoutout to anyone else in the local Louisville scene I may not have mentioned, I got love for you all. Also, shoutout to Commander Jaime and Solemn Vanguard for putting out great Granblue content that helped me to catch up and make it to this level in what’s only my 2nd Springfest with no previous card game experience of any kind.

Benjamin: Would love to shout out the Louisville Ky Cardfight scene and all those who taught me the game and befriended me along the way.

Jaime: That’s all great stuff! I’m sure your friends are happy and excited for your accomplishment! Just one more question and we’ll be done amigos.

While preparing for your decks, did you use/see any social media to help you solidify your build? Such as blogs, YouTube videos/channels, Facebook, Reddit, etc.

Edward: Yes and no. So I used my habits from my wrestling days and went back to the BRO Fest on YouTube and study the tapes to understand how decks play/worked. Study and kept track of what was consistently topping in premium. I used social media to analyze the meta. For my deck list I couldn’t really base my list off anything and I love coming up with my homebrews as I always have done. I won’t lie I have the elitist mindset when it comes to Royals and never agree with anyone else’s list ever. I sink money into my Royal Paladin collection and try to get the highest rarity or the expensive cards like Swordmy if needed.. So I didn’t use social media when it came to making my deck list.

Austin: Quite a few actually. I read the Rogue of the Seven Seas blog and I’m in a Granblue Facebook group. As far as Youtube goes, I watch Solemn Vanguard for deck discussion and meta-analysis.

Benjamin: For my deck lists, I mostly used YouTube for decklists/meta analysis from Solemn and Different Fight. Also playtesting to weed out the cards you do and do not like. Barca is not for me and I want to give Cho-ou a second shot but that’s about it from me!

Jaime: Awesome! Thank you for sharing that as well, very much appreciated. Great content creators too ;). Thanks again for joining me in this interview! I wish you the best and hope to see more from y’all in the metagame! Till next time amigos!

Key Takeaway

Preparation Is Key (Regardless of decks/metagame)

It’s really cool to see a team made up of Royal Paladin, Granblue, and Narukami. During this time people are expecting to see NMD, Regalia, Order Colony, etc. What really helped them succeed at a high level is that they truly prepared for the event with their decks.

They literally play-tested against the matchups they were concerned about, they studied the metagame using social media, and even believed in themselves with their decks.

Seriously, preparation will get you far and even into Top 8. This time, it even helped them win it all!

It’s stories and Cardfighters like them, help instill more belief onto other aspiring Cardfighters! Thanks to them for winning!

Final Thoughts

I’m glad I had the pleasure to meet Edward, Austin, and Benjamin in person at the event. They’re really good people in general. Love their energy and enthusiasm for the game.

For those still not sure about attending an in-person event, I highly encourage you to do so. There are a lot of memories and new amigos that can be made.

Commander Jaime’s Social Media:

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