Introduction

Table of Contents

Quick Guide

Game Play

 

As the antagonist clan for the first portion of the new V-series anime, Link Joker was originally made up of beings that wanted to invade Cray. But over time, and with a character redemption arc Link Joker now exists as a positive force for Planet Cray.

 

Link Joker is a very special clan in the landscape of the game as it has access to a myriad of special mechanics exclusive to themselves, which can be used as forms of board control, combos and as their win conditions.

 

In the newest expansion, however, we are introduced to Messiah, a savior deity contradictory to the sinister aesthetics normally found in the clan's other sub-clans. It is primarily used by Ibuki Kouji in the Cardfight Vanguard Anime. 

 

Link Joker has a few different sub-clans, each with different playstyles. Each sub-clan does have a unifying theme however, your Vanguard will be your win condition.

 

This makes it rather piece reliant despite being a Force Clan. So do take note of this while playing the clan. To break it down Link Joker features the following archetypes of playstyles which you can choose to focus on, with every deck aiming to fulfill their own missions.

 

Whether it plays a longer grind game with Messiah’s or to end the game as soon as possible with an aggressive Delete turn. The clan in general wins by maintaining their formation and executing a power play.

 

Link Joker is a Force deck that has many different win conditions depending on your card selection. Delete, Reversing Triggers and Lock are some of of the tools that the clan has access too.

Link Joker also features the ability to bind card face downs. This hurts many clans that may require the bind zone face up (such as Gear Chronicle) or clans that want to interact with the drop zone (such as Granblue). Link Joker is also a powerful pick against Bermuda Triangle due to your amazing board control, no Caro is safe against this clan!

 

Pros

  • Can bind and eliminate troublesome units easily

  • Has access to many different abilities

  • Has powerful push turns when pieces are found

Cons

  • Most impactful skills have a ramp up time

  • Reliant on key pieces and setups to win the game

  • Uses a lot of resources

 

Harmonics Messiah

Grade 3

4 Copies

Does everything you want and more

Remarkable Burst Monk

Grade 2

4 Copies

Great tutor target early and late

Fatal Shockwave, Jetshaft

Grade 1

2 Copies

Removal, great against BT

Calderon Wings

Grade 1

3 Copies

CC Engine that draws with Messiah

Pulse Monk of the Quaking Foot

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Ghastly Nail

Grade 3

4 Copies

Multi-attack enabler + card draw

White Outer Vect

Grade 2

3 Copies

Strongest G2 RG in the early game

Sunset Edge, Duskblade

Grade 1 

3 Copies

On-hit pressure that can net cards

Flowers in Vacuum, Cosmo Wreath

Grade 0

4 Copies

Lady Healer of the Torn World

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Blast Monk of the Thundering Foot

Grade 2

4 Copies

Incredible removal and soul charge

Lady Battler of the Gravity Well

Grade 2

2 Copies

Use to dig for Messiah and 5 attacks

Destiny Dealer

Grade 1

4 Copies

Ideal first ride that can net cards later

Asteroid Wolf

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Neon Messiah

Grade 0 

1 Copy

 

Harmonics Messiah

Grade 3

4 Copies

Does everything you want and more

Remarkable Burst Monk

Grade 2

3 Copies

Great tutor target early and late

Sunset Edge, Duskblade

Grade 1 

2 Copies

On-hit pressure that can net cards

Fatal Shockwave, Jetshaft

Grade 1

3 Copies

Hoses Bermuda Triangle

Pulse Monk of the Quaking Foot

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Ghastly Nail

Grade 3

4 Copies

Multi-attack enabler + card draw

White Outer Vect

Grade 2

3 Copies

Strongest G2 RG in the early game

Destiny Dealer

Grade 1

4 Copies

Ideal first ride that can net cards later

Flowers in Vacuum, Cosmo Wreath

Grade 0

4 Copies

Lady Healer of the Torn World

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Blast Monk of the Thundering Foot

Grade 2

4 Copies

Incredible removal and soul charge

Lady Battler of the Gravity Well

Grade 2

2 Copies

Use to dig for Messiah and 5 attacks

Calderon Wings

Grade 1

4 Copies

CC Engine that draws with Messiah

Asteroid Wolf

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Neon Messiah

Grade 0 

1 Copy

 

In order for Harmonics Messiah to come online, your deck must survive the opening salvos of clans like Bermuda Triangle, Gold Paladin and Nova Grappler. It's difficult, but building a deck around units that can stymie your opponents aggression can help you weather the storm. 

In the early game, you want to establish what your game plan is. Against Bermuda Triangle, do you want to pressure them early? Or would you rather turtle and go for a large punch in the late game? Against Nova Grappler, do you want to hide Jetshaft in your hand to bait your opponent into over-extending? You'll want to identify what your opponent's key units are, what their game plan might be and what cards  you will need to be able to handle that. For instance, against Kagero you'll need to bind their Dragonic Neoflame if you can rather than retire and against Royal Paladin caring about Blaster Blade takes the priority.

Outside of establishing a game plan for the match up, your primary objective is to draw into Harmonics Messiah. The biggest weakness of this deck is if you fail to find it by your second Grade 3 ride. While the deck doesn't roll over and die, the game will become progressively more difficult as you play.

Your ideal first ride is Destiny Dealer, as it generates a free card on the field. Even if it is just a trigger unit, you now have a 15,000 column once you get to your G2 turn. Don't blow through soul at this point, and but don't be afraid to expend counterblast freely if it's to search for Messiah.

Cards like White Outer Vect are phenomenal at punishing opponents even if they hit a defensive trigger. Forcing your opponent to grapple with the decision to over-guard a simple 10,000 power attack is a fantastic ability. You'll never get tired of the look that people have when they realize they may have to over-guard! Keep in mind that Vect's skill is active even when he doesn't hit and that you don't need to bind a unit to draw a card!

 
 

Once you've rode to Grade 3, the deck begins to show signs of coming online. But, you're not there just yet. Most of Link Joker's boss units do not come fully alive until the 2nd Grade 3 ride, and this deck is no different. You'll still be needing to think ahead, and the most important decision once you ride up to Grade 3 is gift choice.

Force 1 offers a form of consistency in the numbers that you can hit for, and the most ideal setup for Force 1 is going to be spread through each circle. Depending on your match up, and if you've gone first putting your first marker under the Vanguard is a perfectly fine play. Preventing easy "two to pass" guarding is the first step in utilizing the decks immense pressure correctly.

Force 2 is a different ball game entirely though. Decks that have a harder time setting up can fall prey to the pressure that a 21,000 power two critical Vanguard can have. But Force 2 generally is only good in this deck if you've gone first, and you have a Messiah in hand for the re-ride. Without the power from Force 1 Messiah's ability is required in order to exhibit any amount of reasonable threat. 

The decision between Force 1 and Force 2 is difficult, and changes from game to game. Messiah is a deck that rewards players for game knowledge and match up knowledge. The more you practice the deck the more you'll be able to see the nuances within it.

Keep in mind that your primary goal in the mid-game is still to draw as many cards as possible in order to hit Harmonics Messiah. This could mean burning through counterblast or soul in an effort to draw into it with Gravity Well, or Ghastly Nail. If you happen to ride Harmonics Messiah first, tutoring Remarkable Burst Monk just to CB1 draw a card is optimal. Though you may need to find Thunderfoot to bind some Mermaids. Against decks like Bermuda Triangle, not finding Harmonics Messiah is a death sentence.

You'll enter the "late-game" when you ride into Harmonics Messiah with a G3 unit in the soul. At this point a number of issues begin to arise:

  1. You've utilized a large amount of counterblast to draw into Messiah.

  2. You may have utilized some amount of soul to fend off your opponent's attacks.

  3. Your deck will begin to look very thin, very quickly. Deck out is a real issue.

  4. Playing out your hand offensively leaves you weak to Bermuda Triangle columns.

This is where Calderon Wing comes into play. This unit is a counter-charger for the low cost of SB1. Not only does it counter-charge, it locks itself to do so meaning that when you use Harmonics Messiah's skill you'll net a card! Now we've solved problem 1, and a bit of problem 4.

Next we need to fix our soul issue. To multi-attack, Messiah needs to be able to soul blast for Ghastly Nail and Gravity Well (not to mention you may still need to purge the front row with Jetshaft at some point). The G2 Thunderfoot Monk solves this problem. By utilizing his skill you get to bind a problematic unit (such as Caro or Sonata) and soul charge.  This enables your multi-attacking. A cool timing trick that utilizes both Thunderfoot and Jetshaft is that you can use Thunderfoot's ability to soul charge, then after pay for Jetshaft's ability! No need to get rid of that precious G3 in your soul! Problem 2 will never be fully solved, but this definitely helps!

Problem 3 is the real wall. With no way to shuffle cards back into the deck, and such powerful card draw abilities (that are mandatory by the way), Messiah begins to face the problem of deck out after about 2-3 full G3 turns. Balancing pressure and removal is going to be a difficult tight rope to walk. Do you go into Remarkable Monk for card draw and a possible re-stand? What about another Ghastly Nail for a big number? Or maybe your opponent still has a Caro on the field and you'd like to snipe it with Thunderfoot. These are all decisions you will have to grapple with at this point in the game. And I'll be the first to tell you there is no definitive answer. Everything will change based on the game you are in.

late game

 

Bermuda Triangle

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Even with your ability to nuke problematic units and punish Bermuda Triangle for using Fina, the raw power of the deck makes this match up hard. Pressuring them with units that generate "free" units on the board like Destiny Dealer, and units with punisher skills like Duskblade and Vect will be key to reducing the overall power of the punches you'll have to absorb. Keep active track of the number of Melody cards they have available, and don't be afraid to damage deny if you need time to recover from the earlier onslaught. You'll want to bind enough of their Melody units that they do not feel safe re-riding as more Force 2 markers only creates a problem for you. No matter how many cards you draw, there's always a time limit before you run out of cards to guard with. Don't be afraid of keeping a PG in your hand if you're going second!

Dimension Police

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Post EB-08 Dimension Police is an incredibly hard hitting, snowbally clan that utilizes Force 2 and it's innate power generation to crash in for incredibly high numbers. Bind their important rear-guards such as Daidragon, and with your superior draw power you should be able to find the guard needed to lock the game down. Don't be afraid of keeping a Perfect Guard in your opening hand if you are going second!

Gear Chronicle

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Similar to Dimension Police, Gear Chronicle is a clan that is very Vanguard centered. All their threats lie in the decks Grade 4 Interdimensional Dragon Mystery-Flare Dragon. Since you bind face down however, you don't have to worry much like Narukami. Due to Link Joker having higher quality cards, you should win as long as you play well.

Genesis

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Witch of Frogs, Melissa is one of the best cards against this deck. Often times you already push yourself to close to deck out, and Melissa only makes the issue worse. She can also take Harmonics Messiah out of your deck, so make sure to keep one in your opening hand if you have one! Watch out for the larger Himiko turns with critical, as their numbers will get sky high very quickly. This clan can utilize Force 2, so make sure to calculate that into your game plan!

Kagero

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

The ability to get rid of Neoflame permanently gives Link Joker an edge in this match up. However, you'll need to be able to weather the early and mid-game effectively. Much like you, Kagero doesn't come online until 2nd Grade 3 ride, and as such you should be able to stall long enough to hit your required pieces to begin the onslaught. 

Link Joker

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

The mirror is an awkward dance that favors the player that can get Messiah online first. However, cards like Remarkable Burst Monk have a huge opportunity to swing the game based on the reveal you get. Creating columns in the early game can have force your opponent to lose pieces they might need, and focusing your binding on boosters or key units such as Calderon Wing can leave your opponent without the counterblast they might need to use Messiah's ability!

Neo Nectar

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

The early game pressure that Neo Nectar has can prove to be a problem for Link Joker. A strong Grade 2 opening can spell certain doom for us. But, much like you Neo Nectar requires a G3 in the soul to fully unlock it's potential. Guarding early, and not being afraid to use Jetshaft early may be your key to winning the match up. 

Royal Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Binding Blaster Blade permanently, thus limiting the probability that Royal Paladin players will be able to utilize their large effects make this match up difficult for any RP player. They'll have to adjust their play-style and reduce their pressure. Bedivere and Kay are still fantastic units that warrant respect, they'll eat 15,000 guard out of your hand very easily.

Shadow Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

As a clan that focuses on assembling a board that requires specific pieces to be at full power, any clan with the ability to retire is going to cause issues. The one critical flaw Shadow Paladin has is that it doesn't have the draw power to keep up with Link Joker. Damage denial, and careful consideration of what rear guards to call will go a long way in this match up.

Spike Brothers

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

General Seifried is old now, but still packs a mean punch. Be wary of his on-hit as it can alter the flow of the game significantly. You'll want to bind key rear-guards such as Brakki and Juggernaut as those cards are the locus for Spike Brothers aggression. Cross your fingers that they don't slam an early juggernaut into play with any of their superior calling cards! 

Aqua Force

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

With the release of EB-08 Aqua Force maintains the same strategy as before but with more powerful cards. As a force clan Link Joker has a natural advantage in that extra 1000 power their Grade 2 and 3 units have. In addition, as a clan with access to a significant amount of removal ability you can target key rear-guards without much issue. Aqua Force struggles with draw power even with Accel 2 so targeting their Grade 1 units may be a great idea even if you don't get a soul charge off of Thunderfoot. You'll want to use your best judgement, but know that hiding your Jetshaft until they overextend can end the game on the spot.

Gold Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

If the Gold Paladin player goes first and has the Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel ride chain through Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains or Flame Wind Lion, Wonder Ezel this matchup can become quite difficult as you’ll be staring down a grade 3 against your your grade 1 Vanguard. It's a difficult decision to opt for a damage deny here, yes in theory you can ride Calderon Wing to opt for clever damage denial but you'll be putting yourself at a disadvantage if they opt for Accel I over Accel II. If you have a hand with larger than normal guard value, this may be the most viable option. Once again Jetshaft is a key unit against any Accel clan. Once they go for the all-in if you live you can wipe the board fairly reliably and setup for the grind game. 

Great Nature

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

While your field control may be superior if Great Nature can reliably re-ride Leopold they will replenish their field quicker than you can remove it. Jetshaft will be your key unit in fighting that, as you can begin to 2 for 1 and 3 for 1 them. What that means is that you'll need to soul charge, tutoring a Thunderfoot to the field may be your first priority depending on the board state. I want to stress that Jetshaft is a phenomenal card against any accel deck make sure to not reveal it until you have to information your opponent doesn't know is the most powerful. Remember that Great Nature does have the ability to retire your RG units, while rare it can happen. Be very cautious about calling Jetshaft out earlier than required, you don't want him to disappear before you can use him.

Murakumo

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Murakumo is a clan that prevents your opponent from re-riding a grade 3 on top of another grade 3 Vanguard thanks to Dueling Dragon, ZANBAKU. Avoid giving them 3 open Counterblast as they can perform a “Full Lock” with ZANBAKU and Right Arrester. This lock prevents you from re-riding and re-standing during your turn. Keep them at less than two open Counterblast and snipe any Arresters in the front row and this matchup can easily be managed. Be wary of Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki as she can debuff your field of 10k power when they use her to guard on your turn. While this advice may seem general, that's really it. Don't let your opponent lock you until you have a comfortable number of cards in hand and a G3 unit in the soul while riding Messiah

Narukami

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Narukami is a clan that also binds cards, however they bind face up and don't really interact with that zone afterwards. As an accel clan, Narukami has a natural disadvantage against you due to your extra power as a Force clan, in addition as a rear-guard centric clan Narukami will fall to targeted binding and Jetshaft activation. Detonix Drill Dragon is the decks biggest threat as he is a restanding Vanguard. Making sure to have a full field at all times is important as this helps prevent Detonix Drill Dragon from being truly effective and requires the opponent to discard multiple cards to be able to re-stand. At the very least, keep one card behind your Vanguard to avoid them getting a free re-stand as Narukami lack ways of binding cards behind the Vanguard. 

Nova Grappler

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Clearing the board and exploiting the fact that Nova Grappler doesn't have the level of advantage you do is the best way to establish superiority in this match up. Do not be afraid to damage deny before going into G3 as you can make their turn far less aggressive. Shout is good for you as you need soul to utilize important abilities such as Jetshaft so leave him be. Cards to be wary of include Kick Kick Typhoon, and Illuminal Dragon on any circle. Make sure to guard early as you'll want to take damage to prevent re-stands on their large Grade 3 turns. Playing against Nova Grappler may seem like a race, but you have the ability to slow the game down to your speed very easily if you utilize your tools correctly. Don't get caught up in the Nova Grappler player's gameplan!

Pale Moon

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Pale Moon is one of the most inconsistent decks out in Standard but if they open up well, you can expect to take a lot of damage. They can get upwards of 5-11 attacks a turn with the right pieces. Nightmare Doll, Alice and Golden Beast Tamer are both huge threats when paired together and the deck is able to push through at least 1 defensive trigger. Jetshaft once again plays a huge role in preventing Pale Moon form being able to over-extend unpunished. As Pale Moon is an accel clan without a large amount of card advantage consider sniping off their Grade 1 units with Thunderfoot even though you won't get the soul-charge. Hitting a Midnight Bunny can stunt their soul-charging significantly and prevent the large G3 turns that we're all afraid of. Prevent the circus from arriving because it's really hard to get rid of once it does.

Tachikaze

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Link Joker completely negates the Tachikaze mechanic of equip gauges fully. Because you bind unit and not retire them the equip gauges go to drop rather than allowing abilities to be activated. Furthermore, Jetshaft forces units to intercept and become guardians and when they are retired from the guardian circle the ability of those units does not activate either. Play conservative and don't let key rear-guards get sniped by Deathrex. Last but not least Gigarex will still hit like a truck due to his abilities so make sure to budget your guard accordingly.

Angel Feather

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Protect's natural advantage against you is diminished thanks to your increased draw power and strong multi-attack potential. While Angel Feather may still be one of the most powerful protect decks, the meta has shifted away from protect. No matter how many perfect guards you have in your hand if you have drop 4-6 cards per turn it's just not feasible at all to survive. Play smart, do not over-draw yourself just in case the match up goes long due to you not finding Harmonics fast enough.

Dark Irregulars

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

I don't often say this but unfortunately this clan doesn't actually exist at this point in time. Play tight and abuse their weak early and mid-game, ask for a soul count at the end of every turn and prepare your Perfect Guards for that all-in turn with NLK. 

Granblue

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Reinvigorated with support from EB-08, Granblue ascends to the best protect deck in standard until BT-05. With the ability to run 12 crit in their trigger line up, and a very strong 2nd grade 3 turn Granblue has the most aggressive turns of all protect decks. While the most important Granblue units retire themselves at the end of turn, you still have the ability to stunt their drop zone growth by binding units. Take advantage of their hand being smaller throughout the course of the game to push their damage. This'll be a slugfest, but with your ability to bind units you should be able to last till you get to Harmonics. 

Megacolony

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Megacolony's finishing turn involves guard restriction of sentinels and normal units. Keep trigger units in your hand and watch the number of Grade 3 units in the soul. Much like Dark Irregulars this deck unfortunately has too many missing pieces and will be irrelevant until it's new support later this year.

Nubatama

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

With very few potent card advantage engines and an overall lack of powerful units Nubatama is arguably the weakest protect clan in standard. With your ability to multi-attack and remove their strong rearguards  this match up should be a walk in the park.

Oracle Think Tank

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

If Oracle Think Tank goes first it can create massive problems for you as they'll be able to hit Deer before you can fully stabilize. Your goal is to save ideally one or two Perfect Guards for their Victorious Deer turns all while fending off their 33,000-41,000 power Imperial Daughter turns. It really isn't easy. Oracle Think Tank's weakness can be found in the difficulty they have in replenishing full boards to attack you with, and your ability to multi-attack for large numbers. If you live to your 5 attack turns, you'll quickly see the OTT players hand begin to diminish quickly. 

Team Vision is proud to bring you only the highest quality in Cardfight Vanguard articles and guides.

Follow us for notifications when we post new articles.

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon