May 28, 2023

Hello, one and all! Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Today we have an interview with Kagze who accomplished Top 8 with Maelstrom! I feel like this is an absolute treat to be able to break down this accomplishment. Let’s get right on with the interview!


Evan: Hello Kagze! First and foremost. Congratulations on your placement in the recent BRO event! Is there anything you want to say to the readers to start things off?

Kagze: Hello guys, my name is Nguyễn Hoài Ân but you can also call me Kagze. I started Vanguard around 2 years ago, the same time when V-premium started.

Evan: Now I am sure people want to know, made you choose to play Maelstrom in the tournament? Did you not prefer the other deck builds like Thavas?

Kagze: Well I thought about Thavas at first; however after rethinking a lot due to the meta circle at JP, my local, and the new Heal G3 release, I decided to stick to my best deck, Maelstrom.

Evan: That’s great to hear! Always good to go with what you are most comfortable with. What choices did you make to prepare yourself for the decks you will fight? Was there anything interesting you found while making these preparations?

Kagze: I prepared myself by constantly training with Maelstrom, from training with decks I borrow from people within my community, constant testing altering, to keeping an eye on its weakness and finding solutions to counter it.

Evan: Being knowledgeable and flexible is great insight! Now, I am super excited to discuss your decklist. What was this deck’s main strategy and what is the end goal of your late-game turns?

Kagze: My main goal for my deck is pretty simple. Survive the first G3 turn, then control my opponent with Glory Maelstrom.

Evan: I see you chose to run 4x Radiate Assault and 4x Elpida to really maximize the chances of getting a card that activates all “on hit” effects. How did you feel about these cards and their consistency in your games?

Kagze: They were amazing. I could say without a doubt that Radiate is the real MVP of this deck. He shows up consistently, especially in moments I need him to because I don’t have enough CB for Elpida. But, she is a 14k attacker and 10k shield.

Evan: That’s awesome! How about Press Stream Dragon? I see you run a lot of Maelstrom searcher cards like Bubbleball Corporal and Analyze Shooter to capitalize on Press Stream and to get insane consistency with the proper Grade 3 ride target. Were there other reasons you chose these cards?

Kagze: There is no other reason to run these cards other than that they excel in what they do best. Which is searching for a proper target and discard cost for Press Steam.

Evan: Is there anything else you want to share with your decklist or testing? Were there any moments that made you go “aha!” and everything just clicked together?

Kagze: Well there was one time when I playtesting with my friend when I was able to use all 4 Press Streams. For the turn, I had a total of 12 drive checks and then I checked all 8 crits to my friend.

Evan: Okay that is probably the holy grail of “aha” moments. Thank you so much for your insight on your list! Now I am sure many are curious, what decks did you fight in the tournament?

Kagze: I played against 1 Gears, 2 Genesis, 1 Gravail, and 5 Prisms.

Evan: Ah, a lot of fish I see. Did you feel that your deck performed in all the games or were there any games where your card choices really shined?

Kagze: They shined in every game that I played and I didn’t regret any of my choices.

Evan: What was your overall record in the Swiss Rounds and Top 8?

Kagze: My overall score at swiss is 9-0 and my last standing is top 4   

Evan: OH WOW THAT’S AMAZING. Undefeated until Top 8! Did you want to mention any games that you consider to be the highlight of your experience in BRO?

Kagze: In round 3 when I played against Genesis, he rushed me to 5 damage despite me still being stuck at G2. But I managed to hard draw the 3rd Press Stream and do a total of 10 drive checks with 5 triggers.

Evan: The game screws with you and you decided to take all that and deflect it to your opponent. Fantastic! How did you feel about yourself and your deck during and after your last game in Top 8?

Kagze: I feel great! I didn’t think that I could go this far, and maybe I will have a little adjustment to my deck. It is at its best now and maybe with that tweak, it would’ve performed even better.

Evan: Going with what you are best in as opposed to what is the most popular can have amazing results! Looking back on the event now, after reflecting and letting your thoughts settle. How was your experience in BRO and how do you feel like you grew as a cardfighter?

Kagze: My experience in the event is so valuable. Having the opportunity to enjoy this event until the last minute makes me want to learn more and more about this game and know when to cool my head off at the right moment, when to strike hard and when not to. Just by participating in this event, I learned a lot more and there is nothing to be shy about not making it further.

Evan: Amazing! Did you want to mention anyone who helped you on this journey or give shoutouts?

Kagze: : Yes I would love to shout out my local card shop: FD cardshop and all my Vietnamese friends that took part in this event. They were doing their best in the event, especially Nhat Huy Dang, the one I fought for Top 8.

Evan: I’m sure your friends are proud of your accomplishment with Maelstrom. I certainly am in awe that you made such a splash with this deck aha! Is there anything else you want readers to know about your deck? Any last statements?

Kagze: My deck is not that special honestly, just because you don’t see it often in the big leagues doesn’t mean it should be underrated. I just stick to my best deck, the more you lose the more experience you learn with the deck you will fight against. The most important thing though is having fun while playing with your deck of choice.

Evan: Very true words that I hope those who are doubting their best decks will hear and resonate with! Thank you for your time today and best of luck in your future games in the new year! We hope to see more from you in the future! As always, stay strong and keep cardfighting~


I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Kagze. I certainly did. It’s always refreshing and reassuring to see players of this skill level prove that as long as you put in the effort, time, and investment into a deck that you will be rewarded. The results certainly don’t lie.

Thank you all for reading this interview with Kagze and I hope this inspires the Aqua Force players in V-premium.

I hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the holidays! I will see you all in the new year!~

CrieTEXe – signing off~

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