Ride 1: Kai may be an absolute Base-Breaking Character, but sure as hell he made one great impression in the second episode by riding Dragonic Overlord, widely regarded as his trump even with Vortex Dragon apparently usurping it, accompanied by one hell of an awesome line.
Kai: This is the real me! (Note however that he's lying and trying to convince Aichi that he is not a nice guy. And failing quite miserably.)
Ride 4: Misaki. Hell, Misaki. She trumps the main character in her first game. Yes, you heard me right. The compulsory female mainbeat the main character. Although Beating Aichi isn't an impressive feat. Aichi loses a lot of battles, considering he's the main character. However she still is one of the characters he has never beaten onscreen in the entire first anime series.
Ride 8: To start off, Aichi's first Ride of King of Knights, Alfred. The guy's completely and utterly being stomped by the Megacolony Units his opponent's using. And then he proceeds to draw Alfred and Ride it, accompanied by the Ride shout which is probably his second most famous behind 'stand up, my avatar'.
Aichi: Enter the fray! I ride the King of all Knights!
The above chant even gets an extra piece of awesome added to it when he Rides Alfred in one of his later fights:
Aichi: Grant me the strength to lead! Enter the fray!
Ride 22: Aichi's first Ride of Soul Savior Dragon. He's literally on the edge of defeat after Gouki used Demonic Sea King Buskirk's Mega Blast (Soul blast 8 Counter blast 5) to set-up one of the most powerful fields he could. If Gouki gets another turn, Aichi loses. He proceeds to draw Soul Savior Dragon, which Kamui stated earlier (seen via flashback) he shouldn't use due to the difficulty. Aichi Rides Soul Savior Dragon and uses its Soul Blast, powering up his Rear Guards for a winning flurry of attacks. Not to mention the animation got kicked up about eleven gears to make the thing look damn freaking awesome.
Ride 50: The whole of it. But in particular Kai's Final Turn. Not only did he use Alfred Early, something we never expected to see in the anime]] but the entire thing was set to ''Believe in my Existence'' by JAM Project. And it ended with Aichi finally casting aside PSY Qualia and the Shadow Paladins to use his Royal Paladins once more
Aichi: I don't want to become like you. ... I'm going to stick with a Vanguard fight that's different from yours. Then I'm going to fight you and win.
Ride 56: Aichi beating Koutei. His field is depleted, his hand is empty, and he will almost certainly lose on Koutei's next turn. But due to The Power of Friendship, he goes from near-certain defeat to victory. Complete with an awesome finishing shot of Blaster Blade unleashing an energy burst from his sword which knocks Enigman Storm flying. For reference, Blaster Blade is human-sized, while Enigman Storm is the size of a freaking Humongous Mecha. What's even better is that Aichi does this without using PSY Qualia. He earns it through sheer determination and his bond with his Units. Indeed, this is referred to as his 'true power', even more valuable than PSY Qualia. This is why the Unit he draws is so significant, it represents the past and what Aichi always had. Even before getting [PSY Qualia, he had his bond with his Units, and especially Blaster Blade, his avatar.
Aichi: Behold the king in his younger days, as he blazes a trail with his knights! I Ride Alfred Early!
Aichi: Stand up again, my avatar! Superior Call, Blaster Blade!
Ride 57: Kai finally works up the courage to try and get Ren back from PSY Qualia. Ren taunts him about how powerful he has become and how now any task he can set his mind to is easy, he could even Take Over the World. They spend several turns exchanging blows, before Kai draws a certain card. What happens next is epic.
Ride 58: Ren gets a villainous one. He lasts through Kai's attacks, even though Kai pulls off Dragonic Overlord The End's Persona Blast, and starts his own turn, stating that Kai will lose that turn. He then states that Kai isn't the only one with a trump card.
Ren: Crying out in despair in the chaos called silence... the power of shadowy darkness, obscuring all vision, is mine! I Cross Ride... Phantom Blaster Overlord!
Misaki avenging herself against Asaka using her eidetic memory, which she used to hate, to memorize every card she's going to draw, and in what order. A perfect blend of her unique strength and her deck.
Not only that, but the way she does it is particularly awesome. Asaka guards her 'one attack' with a guard which needs two Triggers to break. Completely unfazed, Misaki calls out the cards she'll Drive Check and gives the boosts to her Vanguard in advance. She's perfectly correct, and checks two Critical Triggers, breaking Asaka's guard and winning the game.
This is, in fact, standard trick for Misaki's deck type, which builds a 12-15 card stack at the bottom of the deck with card effects, then hits this memorized stack to make informed plays. As mundane as that makes it, it's still awesome, even in real life.
Ride 63: Aichi attacks Ren's Vanguard (Blaster Dark) with his own (Blaster Blade). The two clash in avatar form and get into a sword-lock, as Aichi explains how Ren trampled on Kai's attempt to get through to him, saying that Ren is so hooked on PSY Qualia's power that he thinks it's okay to do whatever he wants. Finally, he declares he doesn't want to be like that and tells Ren straight to his face that getting addicted to PSY Qualia is a mistake before breaking the sword-lock and making an awesome slash with the Blaster Blade into the stunned Ren. Talk about taking a level in badass...
Ride 64: A very understated one, but Aichi declares he's had enough of Ren's mind games, and holds up a card. When we cut back to the action from the PSY Trio, he proceeds to reveal what it is, after making an awesome speech. And all while a very melancholic and sad, but very good BGM plays.
Aichi: Light isn't the only thing standing beside him. Darkness also stands with the King of Knights. Stand, my avatar! I Call... Blaster Dark!
Ride 65: Being the season finale, was sure to have several. It didn't disappoint.
Having barely escaped defeat by sheer luck, Aichi looks like he's on the ropes and facing near-certain defeat. He begins to question which of his selves will fight, his power-hungry other self, or his self which despises PSY Qualia. The two selves have a strange experience in Aichi's mind, at which point they become one. Aichi makes his draw, and proceeds to unleash his greatest strength.
Aichi: Light and shadow become one... and then true power is born! I Ride... Majesty... Lord Blaster!
One of the best is Aichi's final attack with Majesty Lord Blaster. Ren angrily declares he won't accept anyone, following Aichi's statement that he accepts Ren, and guards Majesty Lord Blaster's attack. Aichi makes his first drive check, and then smiles, reaching for the second card. He simply says 'Picture it', and as he speaks, the first chords of Believe in my Existence start to play. Aichi makes a speech on the value of Nakama, and reveals his second check, a Critical Trigger. After a long Heartwarming Moment, Majesty makes the attack, impaling Phantom Blaster Overlord with his blade for a Critical 3 blow which Ren cannot possibly survive (by this point he doesn't have enough Heal Triggers left). With that final blow, Aichi wins.
Season 2: Asia Circuit
Ride 77: CARD FIGHTS!! IN AVALANCHES! For context when an avalanche is coming both Kyou and Kai decide to stay on the mountain to finish their fight instead of running to safety like anyone else would do. While Kyou may have lost, his determination makes him a true fighter who even Kai acknowledges. To make it even better they both survive with Kai even walking out of it with Kyou in arms.
Ride 81: Ren and Aichi fight and Ren gets the upper hand. He attacks with Spectral Duke Dragon, and Aichi uses a Perfect Guard. Ren promptly Drive Checks a Draw Trigger, giving the Power to Spectral Duke. Aichi of course is shocked by this. And then...
And the cream of the crop, the producers took the episode Up to Eleven by highlighting the entire gattai sequence of Gouyusha into Daiyusha then Great Daiyusha!!! And Great Daiyusha was even voiced! And for the topping, we get Vanguard blaring in the background! Honestly, this episode has left many fans crying Manly Tears.
The entire sequence, from the Gattai Sequence to the victory itself, was nothing short of the most epic Call-Back to the Sunrise Brave Series the world has seen in a while. Manly Tears and immense feelings of nostalgia abound.
Not that this isn't an incredible feat, but we should point out that Ren was not using PSYqualia at the time, and therefore was not operating at his full strength in this tournament. Its how he was able to beat Aichi after all. Also, Ren wasn't using his Gold Paladin Deck, which was his main and strongest Deck at the time, but a Dark Irregular Deck he borrowed from Tetsu for apparently no real reason aside from not showing franchise cash cows Gold Paladins losing However you'd then forget he''d still managed to play greatly with it without the use of PSYqualia and give Koutei a hell of a fight, he's just that skilled as a fighter.
Koutei becomes not only the second [[Muggle]] to be able to pull off a Final Turn (the first being Kai), but also the first one to do so against a PSYqualia user, something even Kai himself failed to do.
On a meta example, this Moment of Awesome has its own moment of awesome, by being the longest entry of all Cardfight Vanguard Moment of Awesome.
It's even a moment of awesome for Season 2 as a whole. Despite the massive flak the season receives from a good chunk of the fanbase, this one scene was so bursting with awesome that it has never been criticized. And those who utterly despise Season 2 for its various issues often cite the Great Daiyusha scene as the best thing to come out of the entire season.
This time even the skies rumble at Glory Maelstrom's appearance as lightning strikes the ground everywhere, even in front of Team Q4.
Everything about Aichi calling a certain familiar unit:
First Aichi has been knocked to the ground and sapped of his will to fight by Void, and begins to imagine everyone he cares about and is fighting for. His deck begins to glow and he rises to his feet, declaring that he isn't finished.
What's even better is, immediately after this, his deck begins to glow, dispersing away the Void from around him. Cue Believe inmy Existence, something we haven't heard in 38 episodes.
It gets EVEN better. Aichi activates Blond Ezel's Limit Break, and picks up the card he will Superior Call. A montage of Aichi as Blaster Blade from Season one begins to play, ending with Aichi raising up the card and making a call not heard since the very beginning of Season 2.
The appearance of Glory Maelstrom, taken Up to Eleven since the last episode, is awesome as well.
Ride 104: Aichi defeating Leon with Platina Ezel which allows Ezel on Cray to defeat Void and free the sealed clans.
Season 3: Link Joker
Opening 5: Infinite Rebirth: is one for Daigo. His two cameos in the anime have been... divisive at best, but the song he contributed is not only awesome in itself, but also features what is widely considered the single best animation of any of the Vanguard openings so far. Particular highlights include Last Card, Revonn flying through a city, dodging bolts of black lightning, and Nebula Lord Dragon descending from a massive Link Joker ring in the sky.
Ride 106: Naoki's Break Ride. He even asked if he can re-do it just to ham it up and make it sounded more Hot-Blooded. The resulting speech will make Domon Kasshu very proud.
Naoki: My heart is burning! It screams out "Let me join the Cardfight Club!" Gaze upon—My lethal! My invincible! My miraculous BREAK RIDE!! Discharging Dragon!!!
Ride 108: "Become a Legend! Break Ride! Liberator of the Round Table, Alfred!" 'Nuff said.
Ride 112: Holy crap, Morikawa. "The End...does not end!" Even Kai never did a final attack that ridiculous. THREE successive attack with the Vanguard. And even that doesn't beat Aichi.
Ride 118: Kourin and DAIGO's Big Damn Heroes moment to save the play of the Cardfight Club at the end.
Ride 121: Yuta Izaki. FULL STOP. He first had a "Can't Catch Up" syndrome but decides to grow out of it, earning Kai's respect, and proceeds to give Aichi a good beating. Even the audiences were moved by his passion. Heck even the Fandom commented that he had the same amount of character development as Aichi over 3 seasons, in just one episode.
Remember this man, Naoki Ishida, as he scores his most awesome moment ever in the series. He was in a precarious situation where he was 1 damage away from defeat, while his opponent Suiko is still at 4 damages. He was in a dilemma whether or not to use Armor Break Dragon's Limit Break, as he was haunted by his past mistake where it costed him the game. After several inner dialogues, Aichi asked him to believe in himself and in his decision, which snapped him out of his BSOD, and cultimated in his most Badass Creed up to date.
Suiko guarded his attack where it requires him to get 2 triggers to pass. Does this faze him? NO! He then proceeds to draw a Draw Trigger, which he fearlessly gives Armor Break Dragon the power. And pulled a Critical Trigger next, raising Armor Break Dragon's power to 42000 and critical 4, which is enough to break through Suiko's guard and scoring a victory for Miyaji.
Ride 125: Eru Nakagami, the assassin of the week sent by the Miyaji Student Council, achieved a 51,000 power, Critical 2 Werewolf Sieger, the highest power level ever achieved in the show which at the moment still isn't broken at the end of this series.
Ren's just barely survived Reverse Suiko's last turn of attacks and only has a single card left in his hand. He just smiles, says that he's prepared, and calls Final Turn. And then proceeds to reveal the trump card of the Revenger subclan.
Ren: Tremble in fear in the face of even greater rage! Break Ride! Revenger, Raging Form Dragon!
He Twin Drives into two Grade 3s after Suiko blocks Raging Form's attack with a Perfect Guard, and she mocks him, only for Ren to reply that he's not done yet.
It goes without saying that he wins, and that this entire turn is scored with a new piece of Awesome Music.
Ride 136: Kenji's flashback with Yuri. Turns out, Kenji was started a newbie player who just wanted to get better and looking for fights to improve himself when he came across Yuri and Gai. Needless to say he lost, a lot. But Kenji started getting better and better, learning a lot throughout his fights, eventually Yuri let him be apart of the team (Yuri and Gai were looking for a third member at the time). His enthusiasm was so great that both Yuri and Gai switched decks to Dimension Police, and of course they go on to win the Nationals. So if you take everything into consideration, Kenji was a noob who got better over time to eventually become champion and is now considered one of the strongest in the series.
Ride 137: Props one to the writers for turning the Nice Guy Kenji Mitsusada into almost a monster by kicking Leon. First, he insulted the Souryuu Tribe, then he insulted the Aqua Force clan, then he finished it by making Leon watch as Pajeel and Lee defeats both Gillian and Charlene in the most heart wrenching way ever. And to finish it up, he has reversed Gillian and Charlene to become his "subjects."
Leon Riding Tetra-drive Dragon to defeat Kenji.
After Kenji is back to normal, Leon and Kenji formed an alliance to bring the others back to normal, doing back-to-back while stand up their vanguard while playing the instrument version of the first opening, and Kenji ride Super Dimensional Robo, Daikaiser, complete with the Transformation Sequence and an art style not dissimilar of a mecha series and according to Word of God, that scene is directed by none other than Masami Obari.. Fans are going to shear Manly Tears again.
Kenji: Here I go! Chou Jigen Gattai! DAI! KAI! SER!!
Ride 150: Naoki throughout this and the prior episode. Not only did he approach Miyaji Academy knowing full well a majority if not the entire student body was reversed; he was able to defeat (with Shingo Komoi's help) all of them, combat and defeat a freshly reversed Shingo afterwards, and then finish off the very person who reversed him back in Episode 126 and closing the Link Joker's gate hovering above the school. The epitome of a One-Man Army.
Leon's last and final turn against Reversed Leon. His entire field and hand was depleted by the onslaught of Maelstrom Reverse's Limit Break but he not only stood his ground even though he was told that he was destined to lose on the next turn, he even give a ""The Reason You Suck" Speech" to his opponent. He then proceeds to break ride Tetra Drive Dragon, and gave a Badass Creed as shown below.
Leon: ...and the sacred wind that gives me divine protection!
*The fifth damage is flipped, giving Tetra Drive Dragon a total power boost of +10000 power.
Reversed Leon had to spend his entire hand and interceptor just to block the 31,000 power Tetra Drive Dragon for 2 triggers to pass. And voila, he drew not only 2 triggers, but 2 CRITICAL TRIGGERS, defeating Reversed Leon and Maelstrom Reverse. Sure, he may have been extremely lucky, but that doesn't mean it's less awesome.
Leon: I'll live out my own future...WITH THOSE CLOSEST TO ME!
*Tetra-drive Dragon attacks, all while Reversed Leon has a glorious Oh, Crap face.
Leon: YOU COULD HAVE WON, BUT YOU WERE AFRAID!
Ride 156: Takuto thinks he's won against Void's Agent due to the Unlock skill of Grand Ezel Scissors, but Void's Agent just laughs and reveals the final ace of Link Joker:
Void's Agent: Sword of despair that dyes all brilliance black... Star-vader, Omega Glendios!
Ride 159: Ren and Kai's fight features several. First, Ren unveils his new ace card, Revenger, Dragruler Phantom and almost wins by using its Limit Break to send Kai to five Damage. But then, in a Call-Back to their fight in Season 1, Kai proceeds to unveil his own new ace card:
Amid the flames of purgatory that reduce everything to ashes, rise from the dead again! Resurrection! Strongest fiery dragon! Crossbreak Ride! Dragonic Overlord... The... Яebirth!
With Kai firmly over the Despair Event Horizon, Aichi still refuses to let him go and swears that he'll make Kai understand that he isn't alone. Set to the full version of Break Your Spell for added awesome.
And not to ignore Kai, he takes his new ace's ride sequence Up to Eleven:
Ride 171: Kamui actually manages to beat Kai. A guy who spent so long losing to established Badasses actually beats Kai.
Ride 172: Kenji just keeps on being awesome with more Testosterone Poisoning and Hotblood every time we see him. Sure, he didn't win, but the scene was so awesome that it ranks up there with any of his previous scenes. Bonus points for having the song "Limit Break" playing. This episode is the same case as Ride 82 to Asia Circuit. Despite the fanbase criticizing the season, this is one of the most memorable episodes in the season. The only complain by some fans is that Kenji should've won the fight.
Ride 182: Philip Neve's backstory. He lived in an unknown country divided by war (fan speculation based on his name is Ireland), and became a ranger protecting the wilderness because he was sick of the conflict. His friends suggested that he join the Vanguard European Circuit and in the end, he did so. He kept winning until he reached the top, and united by his success and cheering him on, his country stopped fighting. Neve was so awesome that he stopped a civil war with card games. On top of that, he took on an army of Reverse fighters and won.
This might be the Crowning Moment of Awesome for Legion Mate in general, with Gaillard managing to channel the other two non-traitor Quatre Knights, showing exactly why his convictions are strong and beating down Smug Snake Cera, even after he showed a new trump card. And then, he adds even more by hitting Cera with both the normal and Memory versions of Judgement, after pointing out how Cera is not a Quatre Knight anymore, thus his brooch breaks and he's not immune to the latter anymore. Even this troper, who didn't like Legion Mate at all, found that moment incredibly awesome. It should be noted that in the middle of both Judgements, Cera tries to freeze everyone in place and attack Aichi, only to be stopped by Neve and Ratie, making this a moment of awesome for the entirety of the (now three) Quatre Knights, not just Gaillard.
It gets even better because not only is Gaillard accompanied by images of Neve and Ratie throughout the entire turn, but:
Cue a Triumphant Reprise of the Quatre Knights theme over Gaillard wiping the floor with Serra.
It gets even better when Gaillard prepares to judge Serra. His voice is burning with Tranquil Fury and even though he's still composed, you can tell how furious he is about Serra's betrayal, and it's truly satisfying to watch him give that smug jerk his comeuppance.
Gaillard: You betrayed Aichi. You betrayed your mates. (Serra flinches) You should realise the folly of your ways. Judgment!
Ride 194: The climax of Aichi vs. Kai, was bound to have several. It did not disappoint.
Aichi puts Kai completely on the ropes via the power of his corrupted avatar, Blaster Joker. You can tell that Kai's barely clinging on by the last turn, as Blaster Joker's ability to retire the Legion Mate forces him to continually re-ride his vanguard.
However, Kai counterattacks by continually re-riding Overlord the Great, culminating in a Final Turn where he declares he'll prove Aichi wrong. Cue Knock on your Gate as he performs Legion for the third time and attacks, first taking out Aichi's rear-guard Garnet Star Dragon while pulling a double Critical Trigger. Then he restands via Overlord's Legion skill and attacks, pulling ANOTHER double Critical Trigger to end the fight with a 40000 Power, Critical 5 attack.
Finally to cap off the awesome, Link Joker's seed emerges to possess Kai, but as it does so, he calls out for Blaster Blade. Cue the knight in all his glory, who cuts the seed in two while avatared by Kai. Then, he changes to Aichi and cuts it again. What follows is an awesome montage of Ren, Leon, Naoki, Gaillard, Neve, Ratie, Kourin, Miwa, Misaki and Kamui as Blade, each slashing the seed into even smaller pieces until all that's left is a few tiny fragments which fly into each of them. Blade reveals the point of this - to make Link Joker part of Cray rather than an invader.
Movie: Neon Messiah
Aichi performing the world's first Stride. Ibuki is about to win, when the Messiah card hanging high above them begins to glow and light surrounds Aichi. Cue a serene choir as Aichi is revealed to be holding a card with the Stride back:
Aichi: Lost young soul trapped in the darkness of confusion, accept the great light of faith and endless order of harmony! Harmonics... MESSIAH!
From the climax of the first story arc, Blaster Blade defeating Blaster Dark, taking up his sword, and becoming the True Vanguard, Majesty Lord Blaster. A being so powerful that even Link Jokerfear him.
He then proceeds to judge and strike down Phantom Blaster Overlord with such power that Phantom Blaster's soul is split in two.
Though Ezel is a divisive figure, breaking the seal and freeing the trapped heroes was a genuinely awesome moment on his part.
The Link Joker arc, being set amidst an Alien Invasion, naturally has many for the forces of Cray.
A villainous one for Link Joker, who manage to almost completely take over Star Gate in the early stages of their invasion and quickly gain a foothold across every nation on Cray.
Mordred Phantom in general. He's the reborn form of Phantom Blaster's good soul, haunted by the atrocities his past self committed and hiding his identity out of shame. Then, as Link Joker unleash their ultimate weapon and threaten the entire planet with destruction, he finally brings himself to put aside his guilt in the name of the planet and reveals his true form, Dragruler Phantom, to everyone. This is complete with a Rousing Speech which instantly rallies the Shadow Paladins as they enter the final battle.
Dragonic Overlord fights off Link Joker's attempt to Reverse him, hijacks their power for himself, and revives in a stronger form to go and settle things with his rival. Every single person subjected to Reverse previously submitted, but Overlord is such a badass he can take control of it rather than being controlled.
To finish the war, Alfred accepts himself as a true king and dons the legendary armor of the Sanctuary, giving him the power to not only free his allies from Lock, but to defeat Glendios. Alfred is just a normal human who manages to defeat a superweapon designed to destroy whole worlds.
The game itself, after one and a half years since its debut, had ads on TV Tropes and Youtube. And Bushiroad's president even quoted, the game itself gets lots of attention in the United States, even WITHOUT Bushiroad doing any active promotion in the States. Definitely awesome.
That is an understatement. In that one and a half years, Vanguard has risen enough to be considered by many as a serious rival to Yu-Gi-Oh! of all things. This is a one and a half year old game being seen as a serious rival to one a decade old. It's speculated that a major reason why Konami pulled back on the Duel Terminals and the Yu-Gi-Oh video games is that they're losing ground to Vanguard (albeit there are other financial issues which could also be a cause). But that is still. Freaking. Awesome.