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Game Breaker / Cardfight!! Vanguard

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  • Bushiroad does not like making these kinds of restrictions, so when they make these restrictions, there's a very good reason for it.
  • The fight formats were made specifically to help control these problems as well as having creative ways to build decks:
    • The Clan Fight format is the official format restricting all decks to their respective clans with some exceptions.
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    • G-Regulation is like clan fight but restricts all decks to any cards with its nation's flag (or any card that has been reprinted with its nation's flag), basically any card that has been released in the Vanguard G era.
    • Extreme Fight is meant to be a Game Breaker and throws any restrictions out the window, most notably clan restrictions allowing for multi-clan decks.
      • To expand on Extreme Fight, ever since Legion Mate, effects on units no longer specify clans unless the card is a reprint, thus it's easier to manage multi-clan decks.
  • In March 13th, 2018, Bushiroad has decided to reboot the entire game, not only sending the anime back to its origin, but having the game follow suit. As such, they have developed new Fight Formats (note that these follow Clan Fight rulings):
    • Standard: A modern format starting from V-BT01 and the first two Starter Decks of the reboot. Playable cards are denoted by the V icon next to the card code.
    • Premium: A legacy format, every card is legal.
    • G Format: A transitional format where everything up to Vanguard G's final set is playable.
  • In January 19th, 2021, Bushiroad revealed Cardfight Vanguard: overDress, rotating out the V Series. And because overDress is based on the Nations rather than the individual clans formats going forward will be based on this.
    • Standard: A nation based format using cards in the overDress series denoted by the D icon next to the card code.
    • V Premium: A clan based format using cards and rulings based on the V Series and will be supported bi-annually. As with before, usable cards have the V icon next to the card code.
    • Premium: A clan based format where every card since Vanguard's inception is legal. In terms of deck mixing, overDress cards will match the nation the clan belongs to. For example, Stoicheia, a union between Zoo and Magallanica, can be put into Neo Nectar, Great Nature, Megacolony, Granblue, and Aqua Force (The Bermuda Triangle clan is not a part of Stoicheia).

     Common Trends 
  • Restanding your vanguard is an extremely powerful ability; a decent chunk of all the restricted cards are one that either restand themselves or facilitate restanding your vanguard. Not only does this give you another attack, but it gives you more trigger checks as well, which means the potential for more damage. Often these attacks are powerful enough you need a perfect guard to stop it, and that won't help if you only have one at the ready and your opponent can hit you twice, either time with more critical. The "drawback" to these cards are typically at a high cost, mainly discarding roughly two to three cards from your hand depending on the unit, but players usually toss out cards they will not need later.
    • Note that some of these "restanders" do not restand at all but instead re-ride the unit, and unless it specifically says so, the Vanguard is ridden as standing, giving you a fresh new unit ready to attack. A player in this case needs to be more aware as any triggers the Vanguard may have had go away as the Vanguard is a new unit.
  • A common trend recently seems to be related to incredibly strong Stand Trigger loops. Starting from the Vanguard G Era (and arguably during the Legion Mate Era), many Stand triggers were designed to have effects, most notably to return that card back to the deck. This was done to encourage players to use Stand Triggers in their decks as many neglected to use them in favor of more Critical Triggers. With these Stand Triggers though, several decks, most notably decks that can manipulate the deck in some way, found loops to allow players to either gain near unlimited power, an extremely high number of attacks in one turn, or both.
  • Stalling, the act of not riding to the next Grade, is something that is often frowned upon in the community. The reason many stall is to do one of two things, either prevent the opponent from being the first to Stride or Legion, or to prevent them from performing Stride or Legion at all. However, stalling too long may cause the stalled opponent to catch up or punish them with an alternative way such as Air Element, Twitterun or Air Element, Seabreeze or to simply use a Vanguard that works without Stride. However some stalling decks are successful due to easy access to natural rear guard restands or calls, or a simply strong push early game. This is especially jarring for a G-Era deck as most of their abilities are Generation Break locked and thus unable to even play the game.
    • With the new V-era announced and G-format rule updates, grade stalling has been mostly dealt with with a new ruling allowing a player at grade 3 to stride a turn after the ride into grade 3, regardless of the opponent's vanguard grade. There is still stalling to be the first to Stride, but sometimes it is outweighed by how strong many V-era Grade 3s are, especially since they set up their Imaginary Gifts first.

     Banned Cards 
  • Esteemed Deity of Abundant Waters, Ichikishima is an Oracle Think Tank G-Unit released to support the clan in Premium format, with what is probably the most unfairly powerful effect in the game. For a single CB and flipping any card from the G Zone face-up: The player draws a card and disables the AUTO abilities of your opponent's guardians for the rest of the turn. This means that most if not all defensive options in the game (Sentinels, G-Guardians) become virtually unusable due to them relying on their AUTO abilities to function. On top of that: She also has an Oracle skill that grants your entire front row +2000 power for each card in your hand, and also has a skill that allows you to include the face-up cards in your G-Zone to that total hand count while a copy of her is face-up in the G Zone meaning your columns will be hitting for absurdly large thresholds that are almost impossible to guard against without a large hand (and even then, the Ichikishima player will more than likely survive, not to mention there's nothing stopping them from repeating the same thing 2-3 more times the following turns.) Add that to Oracle Think Tank's emphasis on deck manipulation to increase the chances of checking triggers in their Drive checks, and you these already hard to guard columns made even larger on top of possibly having extra Criticals on them. All of this led to Esteemed Ichikishima being one of the first cards to be outright banned in all of the game's history.
  • Luxury Wave, Elly is a Bermuda Triangle G-Guardian that was released at the end of the G-era, yet proved itself to be WAY ahead of its time. First off: Her skill grants her +10000 Shield for each sentinel card in your drop zone and for each copy of herself face-up in the G Zone. While on paper, this may sound like it requires dedicated set-up to use effectively; the clan has multiple G-Units that can flip anything from the G-Zone, along with Transcend Idol, Aqua - a perfect guard card that can be ran at six copies if it is the only sentinel card in your deck meaning that any excessive Ellys used as the flipping costs and any Aqua that is in the drop zone ensure that the Elly used as a G-Guardian already gains a massive amount of shield that can guard any attack even after apply triggers. She also has a second skill: When she returns to the G Zone face-up, you may pay a single Soul Blast cost to turn her back face-down (which the aforementioned Aqua also supports via her "cost" of putting a card in Soul as opposed to the standard discard cost) allowing you to reuse that lone copy over and over while the rest are flipped for other costs. Not helping matters is that the clan also has access to Attractive Glow, Sandy - a Grade 2 card that while in hand, may be regarded as a Heal that can be used as a cost to call a G-Guardian thereby giving Bermuda Triangle eight chances to access Elly throughout the game. All of this led to Elly, like Ichikishima above to becoming one of the first banned cards in the game's history.
  • The original version of Flame Wind Lion, Wonder Ezel, when placed on a rear-guard circle, can superior ride an Ezel from your deck for no cost, as long as your current vanguard is a standing Grade 3 or greater Ezel. It was mostly seen as a gimmick card at the time of release since the skill's main utility was for crossriding and the three Ezel crossrides available at the time were seen as inefficient at best (not to mention being released during the Stride Era). Much like with Kyrph (see Current Restrictions/Watch List) however, this got turned on its head with the introduction of V-Era Ezel cards. Wonder Ezel went from useless filler to a costless way to stack Imaginary Gifts and draw cards with the Accel II Gift, adding incredible consistency to the high-rolling Superior Ride based strategy that V-Era Ezel was famous for. Because of this, the March 1, 2020 Restricted List completely forbade the original Wonder Ezel from being used in a deck at all.
  • Untainted Holy Damsel, Green Katrina allows you to call Plant Tokens equal to the number of face-up units in your G Zone, and gives all Plant Tokens 10,000 Power for the turn, including tokens called by your other effects. Not only that, when she attacks she can call any number of units from your deck up to the number of Plant Tokens you have, so if you can call even more Plant Tokens with other cards, it becomes even more effective. This allows her to enable multiple incredibly powerful attacks for virtually no cost, all without needing to call units from your hand. This led to Katrina being banned on May 22, 2020.
  • Violence Flanger can Soul Blast a Grade 3 to gain a measly 5,000 Power and prevent sentinels from guarding its attack, but you can then discard any number of cards from your hand to also prevent your opponent from guarding its attack with units with the same grade as any of those cards. When it was first released, it was difficult to use effectively because of how reliant on a player having one of each grade in their hand, which would all but guarantee the attack would go through. However, the release of Greed Shade, which could return cards from the drop zone to the hand, along with cards that improved Granblue's ability to call cards from the drop zone to preserve their hand size, drastically improved its consistency to the point where using it was practically a guaranteed win. This generally led to games where players could stall out the game with their defenses (such as using the aforementioned Greed Shade to reuse their sentinels) until they were ready to call Flanger from the drop zone to finish the game. This led to Flanger becoming one of the first cards banned from the Standard format on May 22, 2020.
  • Likewise, if Variants Hardleg is called while your soul has three copies each of three different cards, it restricts your opponent to guarding with 3 or more cards if they wish to guard any of your attacks that turn, effectively preventing them from using sentinels to guard your largest attacks. While this might is difficult to do just from normal soul charging, each turn the effect of Demonic Deep Phantasm Emperor, Brufas can search your deck for 3 copies of any card in your soul, add one to your hand, and send the rest into the soul. This effectively meant that if you had Variants Hardleg (or had one in soul, at which point you could search it) and Brufas as your vanguard, your opponent had 3 turns before having to deal with an effectively unblockable turn. Bushiroad felt that even if Variants Hardleg were restricted to 1, it was strong enough that players would be incentivized to run it anyways, so it was banned from the Standard format on May 22, 2020, alongside the aforementioned Violence Flanger.

     Current Restrictions/Watch List 
  • The Thing Saver "Abyss" deck. A variant of Royal Paladin decks centered around Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon that used the Shadow Paladin legion unit Phantom Blaster "Abyss" to build up soul, so that Thing Saver's skill could be used twice per turn. It consistently topped tournaments, causing Bushiroad to put a term to the deck's existence by changing the rule that allowed Royal Paladin players to have up to 10 Shadow Paladin cards in their deck to a new one that allows them to have up to four "Blaster Dark" in their decks.
  • Commander Laurel, a card which has been with the Dimension Police since their formal debut in Booster Set 4, is being restricted on the eve of the release of the clan's first Extra Booster, Cosmic Roar. Unlike previous restrictions, this is the first card being limited to a single copy per deck. Laurel's ability to turn any Dimension Police Vanguard into a restander is a powerful ability which has been a powerful tool and crutch for the clan, which has only grown more powerful in the era of Strides and their Triple Drive ability. Given the preemptive nature of his restriction, Bushiroad must be confident that his ability would be too much when combined with clan-specific Strides and the other planned support. This is currently Japan-only.
    • This was possibly in consideration based on pre-existing strategies involving the Daikaiser line of units, which can remove guard, especially Perfect Guards on top of the Criticals they gain on top of that, and Sin Buster, which stops Grade 1 or higher units to be normal called to the Guardian Circle, mainly Perfect Guards. The presence of Laurel supported what would have been a strong attack into a near guaranteed win.
    • Laurel has since been unrestricted but remains under surveillance.
    • Laurel has finally been set to 1 for Premium and G Formats.
  • As of March 17, 2016, two cards that have been restricted to 1 are the Angel Feather unit Doctoroid Refros, and the Neo Nectar unit Cosmos Pixy, Lizbeth. Both are stand triggers which returns themselves back into the deck and draws if the conditions are right. Because of how they are utilized, they both can cause an infinite loop where, if their deck is small enough, they can continuously keep using the skill over and over. This also causes slow play which the player can take advantage of.
    • Of the two, Doctoroid Refros is easier to understand why is has the restriction. It Counter Blasts one damage to send two cards (one of them can be the damage you flipped over basically making the skill free) and itself back into the deck and afterwards, the two damage gets replaced and the player draws one. If the deck is small enough, chances are the card they drew back is another Refros. This allows them to recycle triggers and important cards back into the deck but that's not all. Several units that gain power when a card is put into the damage zone like Nurse of Broken Heart can take advantage of this strategy acquiring near endless power forcing the player to use their Perfect Guard or take the damage.
      • Speaking of Nurse of Broken Heart, she is currently on the watch list due to her ability to give power to both herself and the Vanguard when something hits the damage zone, especially on defense.
      • Refros is now seen a restriction internationally
    • Cosmos Pixy, Lizbeth is a harder nut to crack. She is a Bloom unit (in which if another copy of that unit is called, all copies of that unit can gain power and extra abilities) which allows her to put herself back into the deck along with any normal units of a single name from the drop zone, drawing a card after shuffling. However, the player can choose to send zero copies of that unit back into the deck, putting back the stand trigger and drawing and if the deck is small enough, chances are, it will be another one. Once again, this allows her to cause an infinite loop as long as one of the original copies of that stand trigger exists on the board. This combines well with Sacred Tree Dragon, Multivitamin Dragon who gives up to three units another 5000 power when another unit of the same name enters the board and with easy access to units that gain another's name, this also creates near endless power. To also help the deck, Maiden of Sweet Berry allows them to pull out copies of an existing card by putting itself back into the deck, thus drawing Sweet Berry is the same as drawing a Lizbeth, if not better.
  • Steam Battler, Ur-Watar and Battle Cupid, Nociel are being watched. Ur-Watar is being watched because of much the same issue as Tick Tock Worker, it is searchable off of Steam Maiden, Melem and can be used to gain massive draw power if comboed correctly. You can Time Leap it into Melem, use the effect to draw, then use Melem to call it again and use another Time Leap to call Melem again, giving the Gear Chronicle player great hand advantage and card filtering as well as letting them cycle Triggers back into their deck (Ur-Watar doesn't specify that you must send a normal unit from your hand back to the deck, so you can return your Heal Triggers for instance).
    • The 2017 January restrictions have now officially put Ur-Watar down to 1 card per deck.
    • Nociel on the other hand is being watched because of her interactions with Black Shiver, Gavrail, Nurse of Broken Heart and Love Sniper, Nociel. The former two are problematic because Nociel allows you to trigger their effects during your opponent's turn, raising their Power and making it much easier to guard your opponent's attacks. Nociel also allows you to retrieve any card you need from your Damage during your opponent's turn on top of that, making it easy to block even a volley of high-power attacks. Her interaction with Love Sniper is even nastier because Love Sniper's ability lets you turn the even trade into a +1 so long as you put a Nociel card into the Damage Zone (you can have up to sixteen cards with Nociel in its name in your main deck). Essentially, Battle Cupid, Nociel is being watched for enabling an Angel Feather deck to perform some nasty Stone Wall antics.
  • The Seven Seas Grade 1 Rush deck. The goal of the deck is to leave yourself at Grade 1, Zerg Rush your opponent and pretty much score a win by turn 3 or 4. Since the clan is Granblue, many cards that are dumped to the drop zone can be used later on in the fight, including higher grade units that are superior called and thus bypass the Grade Restriction rules. In addition, key cards to punish stalling like Seabreeze does not work because the player stays at Grade 1 (Sebreeze only works when the opponent's a Grade 2) and finally the opponent cannot Stride or Legion, basically shutting down all G-Era decks. This has led to 2 cards on the Restriction List:
    • Seven Seas Apprentice, Nightrunner can mill 4 cards at the start of your turn to revive itself, fueling the deck's entire mill engine by himself, and with no other costs this makes him essentially a +1 and then some. Furthermore, it had the Forerunner ability, it could be used as starting Vanguard and called over to guarantee that it would be in the drop zone as soon as possible. Because of this, when it was restricted in January 2017, it was restricted to 1 and could not be used as the starting Vanguard.
      • Thanks to the new Stride rules, Nightrunner can be the starting Vanguard again, but it remains restricted to 1.
    • Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow has a simple ability: retire any unit not named himself, to call it from the drop zone. Simple skill, but easy to use and more or less free to bring out, especially considering the aforementioned Nightrunner is called back easily as well allowing you to constantly maintain board. Because of this, Nightcrow was restricted to 1 in the Summer 2017 Restricted List.
  • The original version of Crimson Lion Cub, Kryph shows how an old card can suddenly escalate in light of new rule changes long after its release. Its skill reads that if you have a "Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains" on your Vanguard circle: You can send it, and a "Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth" to the Soul in order to superior ride "Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel" straight from the deck. While this skill was initially seen inconsistent even during its time (due to requiring two specific cards that had no skills whatsoever); this all changed in the advent of the V Series where both Beaumains and Gareth (and Blond Ezel) were rebooted with (new) skills but still keep their original names (and in the case of Blond Ezel, also gives access to Imaginary Gifts. The new Beaumains in particular, allows you to search and call Gareth from your Deck for a mere discard cost, thereby automatically fulfilling this card's requirements. And all of this can be achieved regardless of what Grade your opponent is, and when factoring in the new Stride rulings (where a player can already Stride if they started the turn with a Grade 3 Vanguard): This meant that not only did the Ezel player reach Grade 3 (and thus gaining Imaginary Gifts) at a much earlier pace, but they can also start Striding even if the opponent is still at Grade 2 at most - and all of this is achieved simply by having the new Beaumains (and discard fodder) in your hand. This made it that games against an Ezel player were literally decided on who wins the coin flip/die roll and if the Ezel player goes first; the game pretty much snowballs in their favor due to speed alone. As a result of this, the original Kyrph has since been banned from being used as a starting vanguard.
  • Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki immediately became a fixture of the V-Era Murakumo deck upon release. When placed on any circle, it saps away either 5000(rearguard) or 10000(vanguard/guardian) power from 3 units in the opponent's front row (their entire front row if they aren't using an Accel clan). This allows Shirayuki to either drastically weaken the opponent's defenses or completely neuter an offensive push. To put a cherry on top, Shirayuki's two support cards, Rainy Madame and Jakotsu Girl, made it much easier to get a copy of Shirayuki to the hand, allowing reuse of its powerful effect, especially the former as it allowed you to retrieve a copy from the drop zone if any of your attacks failed to hit. (Shirayuki herself could also retrieve a copy of itself from the drop zone if it was the Vanguard and its attack did not hit, but at the time there were much more powerful cards that a Murakumo player would prefer to use as the Vanguard instead.) The card was restricted to 1 per deck on the March 1, 2020 Restricted List.
  • Thundering Sword Dragon, Angerblader made Standard Format Tachikaze decks a force to be reckoned with. Its first skill allows it to send send rearguards to the Equip Gauge to retire enemy rearguards, while also fueling its second skill, where upon attacking the player can use a single Counterblast to stand up to 3 rearguards that have 3 or more Equipped Gauge each. While sounding balanced on paper, the card advantage of the Accel II Gift and the numerous cards that benefit from the Equip Gauge mechanic made it very easy for a Tachikaze deck to field several massive attackers on their first Grade 3 ride, resulting in a minimum of 5 powerful attacks and quite possibly a One Turn Kill depending on your hand. Angerblader was restricted to 1 per deck on the March 1, 2020 Restricted List.
  • Rain Elemental Zarzan quickly found a home among decks that sought to either: quickly get the deck to Generation Break 8 for degenerate multi-attack plays, like Hellhard Eight Turbo or the loop with Visible Songster, unlocking G-Units that could win games on their own at full capacity such as either form of Ichikishima, could be re-used over and over in Ripples with Odysseus now unrestricted for big lanes you could re-stand...but even without all of that it quickly dug through the deck for a cheap Soulblast of 1, and to make things worse you didn't even need to run too many 'vanilla' cards to make it work - triggers without any skills were a staple in almost everything anyway and were valid targets to call from its skill. Triggers weren't even bad boosters since Storm Elemental, Cycloned could make them into 10k+ powered units. As a result, it went on the August 1, 2020 Restricted List.
  • The V series incarnation of Dragheart, Luard swiftly ran into issues when released, taking a nigh-unprecedented number of top spots in Standard tournaments due to synergy with cards also released in the same set. Intended to support Phantom Blaster Overlord, Freezing Witch, Bende was meant to allow that deck to ride to Phantom Blaster Dragon on turn two to set up Overlord's Crossride bonus, with the Superior Ride's consistency bolstered via Damp Hood Dragon to search Blaster Dark and the powerful tutoring tool of Skull Witch, Nemain to fetch either piece. Unfortunately, Luard already wanted to run Nemain due to the free advantage she granted, so it was an easy matter for Luard decks to tech in a few copies of Bende, Damp Hood, Blaster Dark and Phantom Blaster Dragon, meaning an opening hand with Nemain and another Grade 1 was a guaranteed Superior Ride. This meant that on turn 3, the Luard player could Ride to Dragheart and promptly use his skill to Superior Ride Dragdriver, Luard with two Grade 3s already in Soul, giving all of their Grade 1s innate Critical 2 a turn earlier than that skill was supposed to be active on top of the existing pressure of the Superior Ride giving Luard a Force Gift a turn early. Bushiroad's reaction speaks for itself, only a few weeks after the set's release, Dragheart, Luard and Skull Witch, Nemain were given a choice restriction preventing them from being run in the same deck.

     Former Restrictions 
  • Barcgal holds the distinction of being the first card on the official Banned/Restricted list, and even then, it is only banned for use as a starting Vanguard. It's not so much Barcgal itself that is "broken", but the fact that it can be used in a unstoppable chain with Flogal and Future Knight, Llew to set up a Turn 2 Blaster Blade with five cards in the Soul, a perfect set-up for Soul Saver Dragon and its Soulblast 5. This combo was so potent that it destroyed the Japanese competitive scene at the time, at least in the Senior Division.
    • After so many years of being restricted, Barcgal can now start as the first Vanguard again!
  • Nubatama would have been worth a complete ban... had the clan been given more than four cards. The clan's entire premise is based around forcing the opponent to discard if they have more cards than you do. The only problem is that the hand is the primary source of defense. If this clan had ever been completed, it would have been more difficult to deal with than Barcgal-powered Soul Saver Dragon.
    • As of Booster Set 13: Catastrophic Outbreak, it is now possible to have a mono-clan Nubatama deck. However, they now have support that has been slightly toned down from their original strategy, going from outright discarding to binding with the potential for card loss, and currently only have one of each type of trigger.
    • They do have another critical trigger, however it is only given out as a promo card and thus difficult to obtain.
    • At this point in time, they are a major part of a new Technical Booster with a new set a triggers and even more ways to control the hand.
  • Eradicator, Dragonic Descendant got slammed onto the Restricted list a mere three months after its release. This may have had something to do with almost every professional Japanese player switching to near-identical Eradicator/Dragonic Descendent decks upon release. The card itself is absurdly effective, having 11000 Power (making it a good defensive card), and a self-standing ability that gives you two Twin Drives (all but guaranteeing at least one Trigger) and forcing your opponent to guard both attacks.
    • It's also worth noting that his self standing ability comes into play when he's guarded, AND giving him an extra critical to boot, making him deal two damage if the attack hits instead of one (and that's if the user doesn't get any other criticals during any of their drive checks). During the late game when this skill is most likely going to be going any hit from this guy will spell endgame for the opponent.
      • And even with being restricted to two per deck, Eradicator decks running Descendant are STILL topping in most tournaments in Japan.
      • It has finally been unrestricted.
  • Before Dragonic Descendant, there was the infamous Dragonic Overlord The End, which was the undisputed king of the Japanese meta for a year. Its self-standing Persona Blast allowed for two Twin Drives if the first attack hit, practically forcing the opponent to guard every single attack from The End. With a power of 13k (when crossridden) it was a powerful defensive Vanguard, and was backed up by a clan that could snipe any Rearguards who posed a threat. The End was finally stopped when it was put onto the Restricted list, and only came off in a (failed) attempt to wrest control away from Dragonic Descendant.
    • With the release of Dragonic Overlord "The X"(pronounced "The Cross") in G Booster Set 1, a Legion Revival for The End, Dragonic Overlord once again continues his reign of control. While he has a few competitors, "The X" was arguably the undisputed king of the meta-game for quite some time.
      • "The X"'s dominance caused Bushiroad to limit Calamity Tower Wyvern, a card used to facilitate the deck's ability to re-Legion (by using its Soul Blast 2 cost to send copies of "The X" and "The End" that had been ridden over to the drop zone, then back to the deck with Legion) and potentially draw additional copies of The End and The X (both Persona Blasters), to a maximum of two per deck. This was not seen as an effective way to hinder the deck by English players, but Japanese players typically played the card at four copies. It has since been unrestricted.
      • Bushiroad has also gone on record as stating that they plan to monitor "The X" in the future to determine if future restrictions will be necessary. It has since been removed from the watch list.
  • Hot on The End's heels was Majesty Lord Blaster. Like The End, it could also force the opponent to defend every turn by having 2 Critical permanently simply by sacrificing two units, both of which could be easily searched from as early as Turn 3. Add onto the deck's capacity to retire important units with one of those pieces and you had a deck that could gain advantage ridiculously quickly. Like The End, it was soon restricted after a year, but unlike The End, it has still not yet been totally unlimited, with only two copies of it allowed in a Japanese deck.
    • And now, he's back to being unlimited.
  • While not as well known as The End or Majesty Lord Blaster, Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi saw a restriction once. Her ability to basically stack the deck and draw cards was invaluable at the time. But unlike the other two, this didn't really do much to the deck as you basically played Amaterasu along with it and and another useful Grade 3. It has since left the restricted list.
    • To add onto it, Silent Tom was a part of the restriction as his ability to prevent Grade 0 Guards was seen as overwhelmingly strong as all Grade 0 cards (not including Draw Triggers) were 10,000 shield as opposed to the normal 5,000 that most cards had. This meant that you had to drop more Grade 1 or 2 units down, take damage or use up a perfect guard. But as the power creep continued, it was easier to deal with Silent Tom so he was taken off the list.
  • Cat Butler has been restricted to two in Japan due to its interactions with Legion vanguards such as Mega Flare.
    • To be more specific, most Legion units at that point in time are a Grade 3 Vanguard with a Grade 2 attached to it. Cat Butler's effect says that when a Grade 2 Vanguard fails to hit, Cat Butler can remove itself from the field to stand the Grade 2 Vanguard again ready for another attack and, more importantly, another Drive Check. This also applies to the Grade 2 Legion Mate which, if the Grade 2 Mate stands, the Grade 3 Legion stands as well, ready for a 20k+ attack with Twin Drive ready to go. What makes this strategy effective is the amount of Cat Butlers you can use in a turn as well as the units that it can stand. In particular, Ultimate Raizer, Mega Flare can constantly threaten players with an extra critical and Phoenixraizer, Drill-Wing can stand Rear Guard units for an all out attack.
      • The September restriction list has removed Cat Butler from the list.
  • Lizard Soldier, Conroe, widely regarded as the best starting Vanguard that the Kagero clan has ever received. The ability to add any Grade 0 or 1 to the player's hand at any time proved to be ridiculously versatile, especially after the metagame evolved to favor Perfect Defence cards (which are Grade 1s). The effect was good enough to make every other starting Vanguard, even those dedicated to supporting specific archetypes, sub-optimal.
    • Conroe eventually joined Barcgal as one of the only Grade 0s banned for use as a starting Vanguard. The tipping point was the rise of Dragonic Nouvelle Vague decks that would circumvent the deck's inherent Grade imbalance by using Conroe to search for Nouvelleroman Dragon, a card that would essentially turn all of your Grade 4s into Grade 3s.
      • Note that Nouvelle Vague was the only legal Grade 4 card in existence at the time. The only one other was illegal due to its own effect and it can be argued that Nouvelle Vague is highly superior.
      • It should also be noted that Mecha Trainer does the exact same thing as Conroe except he is used with the Spike Brothers clan. The only reason why Mecha Trainer has not seen a ban or a restriction at all is simply because the Spike Brothers clan simply does not have the wide and versatile Grade 0 or 1 pool that the Kagero clan has. In other words, Conroe is banned and Mecha Trainer is not simply because the Kagero clan is better.
      • However, Mecha Trainer is under surveillance by Bushiroad and will probably be restricted by Conroe should it proves too dangerous.
  • Sanctuary Guard has been hit in the January 2016 restriction down to 1 card due to the very popular Sanctuary Blaster decks where they still maintain a strong Grade 1 presence, but also includes the Blaster engine going straight for strong attacks.
    • In the September 2017 restriction list, they lifted the restriction on Sanctuary Guard. This is primarily due to the recent Aichi Legend Deck as well as G-Set 11, both supporting the Blaster Deck, enabling the Blaster engine to be a deck by itself.
  • Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon had been a dominating factor in the competitive scene since its release in Booster Set 16 rivaled by only a few decks. Like with "The X", Bushiroad has promised to monitor Thing Saver Dragon's future performance and, should it retain its hold on the meta-game, will receive restrictions.
    • It has since been removed from the watch list.
  • Jewel Knight, Swordmy hasn't been restricted yet but it's on Bushiroad's watchlist and for a good reason. It has the ability to call any grade 1 or lower Jewel Knight without needing a specific vanguard by counterblasting a Jewel Knight card, leading it to be played in many Royal Paladin decks such as ones focusing on the above-mentioned Thing Saver Dragon or the Sanctuary Guard cards.
    • As of 12th January 2016, Swordmy cannot be used in the Clan Fight format unless all grade 3 units in the deck are Jewel Knights. Internationally, this ruling starts on February 1st of the same year.
    • As of Febuary 1st, 2018, Swordmy can be used outside of the Jewel Knights sub-clan.
  • Flash Ripple, Odysseus is restricted to two in Japan due to it's incredible field it can create and the ability to fix the Ripple ride chain. Basically, Odysseus puts one unit into soul to allow the player to superior ride a unit of the same grade from deck as well as replacing the unit that was put into soul. This would normally be designed to, as stated above, fix the ride chain so that their skills would go off effectively. However, it can create a combo with Tidal Rescue Sea Turtle Soldier whose ability to possibly call a grade 1 or 2 from deck building field very easily. And note that Odysseus can be used in any grade which supports the infamous Grade 2 rush game and can go as far as allowing the player to ride to Legion, put 4 cards (preferably triggers) back into the deck, fail to find the mate, use Odysseus to re-ride to another Legion and Legion from that putting even more triggers back into the deck and call the other Grade 3 unit out.
    • The final nail in his coffin was probably the finals of the world championships shortly before the restriction was announced, where the second game of the final match was decided in five turns due to a rush enabled by Odysseus.
    • This has also seen a restriction internationally.
    • With the new Stride rules in Premium and G Format, Odysseus is no longer restricted.
  • From the 5th of September, 2016, Tick Tock Worker is not allowed to be your starting vanguard and restricted to one copy per deck. The reason for this is its interaction with Upstream Dragon and Steam Maiden, Melem, which exploits a quirk of Vanguard's rulings. Essentially, Upstream/Melem's ability to gain 4000 Power then return to the deck at the end of the battle can be exploited by using the ability, then at the end of the battle, Tick Tock Worker and Upstream/Melem's ability will go on the stack, with the turn player deciding which resolves first. You can resolve Tick Tock Worker first, Time Leaping the attacker to call a card one Grade higher from the deck, then resolve Upstream/Melem's skill. Because their returning to the deck is part of the effect, not a cost, Vanguard's rule of 'do as much as you can' applies and allows you to still call a card from the deck, turning the -1 from Tick Tock Worker's skill into a break even. But the thing is, Melem can call another Tick Tock Worker, letting you Time Leap the unit you called with the first Worker's Time Leap after it attacks. This combo gave Gear Chronicle decks absurd rush potential, not helped by their access to a powerful finisher in the form of Chronodragon Nextage.
    • Tick Tock Worker can now be starting Vanguard again for Premium and G Formats.
  • Mick the Ghostie and Family is a Stand Trigger unit that can be Hollowed, a Granblue ability to forcefully retire itself at the end of turn in exchange for additional abilities. Specifically for this card, when it's called from drop zone and Hollowed, give a single unit an additional 10000 power. In addition, when it is retired while Hollowed, it simply goes back to the deck allowing you to abuse its bonuses many times and set up for a turn guaranteeing roughly 5 to 7 attacks by the end of the game. It was restricted to 1 in the Summer 2017 Restriction List, but has since been unrestricted.

  • Most of Vanguard's errata is done to fix typos or other small errors, but a few cards received errata because they would have been broken on release without it:
    • Guile Shade, when first revealed, didn't have a Soul Blast cost on its second ability and could be called to any rear-guard circle, not just an open one. While not an issue in the Nightrose deck it was intended for, as soon as the card was revealed via Bushiroad's Card of the Day feature, players realised that when combined with Seven Seas Pillager, Nightspinel and Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow in the already powerful Seven Seas Grade 1 rush deck, you could infinitely loop Guile Shade and Nightcrow by retiring Guile Shade to resurrect Nightcrow, then calling Guile Shade on top of Nightcrow from the drop zone, in turn allowing Nightspinel to be pumped to infinite power as soon as Generation Break was available. Bushiroad responded by adding a Soul Blast 1 cost to Guile Shade's ability and restricting it to being called to an open rear-guard circle, preventing the loop from going infinite.
    • Perhaps the single most infamous case of a game balance errata was Zeroth Dragon of End of the World, Dust. Already widely considered one of if not flat out the best of the Zeroth Dragons due to its skill imposing severe penalties on your opponent's ability to guard, when Dust was first revealed, it was even more powerful due to the damage-dealing clause of its skill lacking the 'if your opponent has four or less damage' clause traditionally given to such abilities to prevent them being an Instant-Win Condition. This was not helped by Dust being accessible by clans like Spike Brothers, Dark Irregulars and Gear Chronicle, all of whom had access to extremely powerful attacking lanes, multiple attack combos, or both, allowing the decks that could use it to push the opponent to five damage easily before Ultimate Striding Dust for a high chance of winning the game on the spot if they didn't get a Heal Trigger. When it was later errataed to add that exact clause, Bushiroad noted that it was a decision partially informed by sheer negative reaction to a card that could easily reduce the game to a Luck-Based Mission.
  • Top Idol, Riviere was one of the most feared cards upon being revealed, for very good reasons. Her second skill allowed her to, after attacking, discard two cards to ride a copy of herself from the hand, with one less drive check. This skill was not limited to once per turn, and between her first skill allowing a double draw (with a discard) upon riding her, and her support cards providing a large amount of draws/searching, it was very easy to have 2 or 3 copies of Riviere in hand in addition to riding one as your first Grade 3. Once the combo got rolling, a Riviere player could unload three to five vanguard attacks, gaining a Force Gift and a double draw every time a new Riviere was ridden to increase the power even more. Riviere proceeded to achieve major results at tournaments until Bushiroad finally reeled her in with the March 1, 2020 Restricted list by introducing an errata to make the re-riding skill a hard once-per-turn.

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