Introduction

Table of Contents

Quick Guide

Game Play

Early-Game
 

Nova Grappler as a clan hails from the nation of Star Gate. Nova Grapplers participate in a wrestling sport known as Nova Grapple. Units featured on Nova Grappler cards are usually pro fighters that gather from around the galaxy to participate. Characters like Kamui Katsuragi and Taishi Miwa use this clan in the anime!

 

God Hand is a unique and aggressive build of Nova Grappler that focuses on maximizing the use of your front triggers. Their advantages lie in the synergy of tutoring/checking top for God Hand, being able to stack front triggers, and the massive number gains of checking said front trigger.

 

Having a grade 2 turn to swing in with at least three huge numbers is incredibly powerful, and your opponent either has to drop a lot of guard or eat a lot of damage. Guarding becomes harder because of the power increase, and it could only get worse if they do not hit any defensive triggers.

 

Pros

  • Defensive triggers matter less playing this Accel clan

  • Additional support for front triggers reduces reliance on criticals

  • Can end the game fairly early

Cons

  • Can be too reliant on front triggers to stand a chance

  • Weak recovery engine if board is lost

  • Susceptible to rush strategies

 

Fighting Fist Dragon, God Hand Dragon

Grade 3

4 Copies

Doubles power of front triggers

GainGain X2

Grade 2

3 Copies

Restands on front trigger

Grit Bengal

Grade 1

4 Copies

Stacks front triggers

Eight-language Announcer, Blabber

Grade 0

4 Copies

Ultra Beast Deity, Illuminal Dragon

Grade 3

4 Copies

Ride option and powerful RG

Kick Kick Typhoon

Grade 2

4 Copies

Grade 2 pressure enabler.

Transraizer

Grade 1 

4 Copies

Countercharger

Turboraizer

Grade 0

4 Copies

Fusing Striker

Grade 2

4 Copies

God Hand searcher

Star-Fighter, Silver Fist

Grade 1

4 Copies

Ride target, adds 5K to fronts

Hard Hit Scrapper

Grade 1

2 Copies

Powerful late-game attacker

Cannon Ball

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Twin Blader

Grade 0

4 Copies

Beast Deity, White Tiger

Grade 0

1 Copy

 

Fighting Fist Dragon, God Hand Dragon

Grade 3

4 Copies

Doubles power of front triggers

Fusing Striker

Grade 2

4 Copies

God Hand searcher, adds 5K to fronts

Grit Bengal

Grade 1

4 Copies

Stacks front triggers

Eight-language Announcer, Blabber

Grade 0

4 Copies

Powered Trooper, Singh

Grade 3

4 Copies

Allows another drive check

GainGain X2

Grade 2

3 Copies

Restands on front trigger

Gun Trooper, Klepths

Grade 1 

4 Copies

Allows another drive check

Turboraizer

Grade 0

4 Copies

Fever Rocketeer

Grade 2

4 Copies

Large interceptor body/12K attacker

Star-Fighter Silver Fist

Grade 1

4 Copies

Ride target, adds 5K to fronts

Transraizer

Grade 1

2 Coipes

Coutercharger

Cannon Ball

Grade 0 

4 Copies

Twin Blader

Grade 0

4 Copies

Beast Deity, White Tiger

Grade 0

1 Copy

 

Nova Grappler continues the trend of assembling key pieces in your hand to go off on aggressive push turns. Although you can take either build and assemble a grade 2 push turn, one defensive trigger will leave your front row rear guards open for attacks. Pieces that you should be looking for:

1. Fusing Striker

2. GainGain x2

3. Grit Bengal

With these three cards, you are preparing for at least four attacks on your grade 2 or your first grade 3 turn. Fusing Striker helps check the top five cards of your deck for God Hand if you don’t already have a copy. (If you do, discard any other card except the extra God Hand first). Additionally, Fusing Striker’s and Silver Fist’s +5k to front triggers can break through shield values that other clans can not. For example, when going second and riding Silver Fist, if they have a grade 1 Vanguard that is 7 or 8k, a 15k shield trigger for a no-pass would actually turn into a one-to-pass, because that extra +15k front trigger matches the shield value and breaks through shield to deal damage. This forces your opponent to think differently. Thus, this makes them choose between gambling a one-to-pass or just taking the hit outright to have Silver Fist filter through hitting their Vanguard. 

 

If you decide to play more Beast Deities (beyond Illuminal Dragon) such as Beast Deity, Black Tortoise or Beast Deity Scarlet Bird, you would have to ask yourself some questions:

1. Which strategy do I want more focus on?

2. What Beast Deity and God Hand support cards can synergize with each other?

3. How do I remedy sacrificing one Beast Deity card for a God Hand support card and vice versa?

It is not impossible to marry the two together to make a formidable deck, but be prepared for those awkward hands where you see support cards that are ineffective because you are on the other grade 3 Vanguard.

God Hand can set up a formidable rush early game, but defensive triggers will not only slow you down, but can also limit your mid-game and late game strategies.

 

Nova Grappler’s mid-game can be the end of the game, whether for you or your opponent. Having a great first turn on grade 3 is where Nova Grapplers set the tempo for the rest of the mid-game. Sometimes, you can get games where it ends on that first grade 3 ride. This is arguably the most important phase for Nova Grapplers. 

 

Ideally, you would want God Hand on your first grade 3 ride. However, in certain matchups, you would want Illuminal Dragon, which will be discussed in the matchups section. This mostly deals with maximizing the use of front triggers and deciding how much damage you would want to deal. It is easy to mindlessly deal damage, but you want to prepare some sort of defense to have another push turn. It is tempting to try and push, but if you push too hard, you are giving your opponent free range to potentially swing back for lethal damage. 

 

Unless you feel confident you can end the game on that turn, it is recommended to have having rear guards start attacking other rear guards before the push when they restand through Kick Kick Typhoon or by a front trigger from GainGain. Depending on how many cards the opponent has in hand, those rear guards were called out for a good reason and would warrant a swing to control your opponent’s counterblasting.

 

Thankfully, you are ultimately responsible for setting the tempo for the rest of the game. So, it is up to you to decide how you want to approach each match. You must gauge the situation, including your opponent’s clan and playstyle. This is limited by the cards that you have and your drive checks. So be prepared to make adjustments as this phase transitions into the end game. 

 

mid game

In the rarely reached late game, we look at one of the first checks: see how many front triggers are out, you want to aim to either still be on God Hand or be on your secondary grade 3 (if you have one). If you see that you are out almost all 12 front triggers with no access to Grit Bengal, you want to try out Illuminal for the pressure of adding +15k on multiple rear guards. It helps mitigate defensive triggers, causing your opponent to drop more cards than usual if they hit a defensive trigger. 

There is nothing wrong with staying on God Hand though. Having an extra critical and drive check for triple drive is still an amazing finisher. It also helps to end games as your opponent will probably run out of sentinels or high-power guard cards to take a hit. 

 

late game

Bermuda Triangle

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Bermuda Triangle is poised to be currently the best deck in the format again. You must be careful with approaching this clan with many of the builds within. Whether it’s the newly revived Top Idol, Riviere; the updated Melody cards with the fearsome Colorful Pastorale crew; or even highlander, you want to prepare your hand to guard early and focus on limiting your damage. With Crystal Melody, Bermuda Triangle snowballs into high numbers that rival, if not surpass Nova Grappler’s. Guarding early still remains the name of the game, and staying on 2 damage until the BT player’s first grade 3 ride is recommended. Additionally, keep an eye out for at least two crazy push turns, and save your sentinels for the huge swings. The only upside to rushing early is to knock out as many combo pieces into damage as possible. With Grade 2 Melody units and the ever present threat of Sonata and Caro; taking out those cards would sometimes be the more pressing task, instead of dealing damage to your opponent’s Vanguard. This will require you to think about what you are giving your opponent, and take each turn cautiously.

Dimension Police

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Similar to Bermuda Triangle, Dimension Police also hits major numbers and can snowball into the mid-to-late game with ease. What is different is that the Vanguard will remain the biggest threat in terms of numbers. If the player decides to use Force II, the threat will come in the form of Super Dimensional Robo, Great Daiyusha, where the whole front row could have Force II by the second turn on Super Dimensional Robo, Dailiner. Guarding early is also recommended to limit damage by their first Grade 3 ride, but do not be discouraged if you find yourself at 3 damage. Just protect yourself from the Vanguard and its high criticals, and then strike back with front triggers.

Gear Chronicle

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Gear Chronicle does not snowball in the same way that the Dimension Police and Bermuda Triangle decks do, but they do have a spike in power when they start “striding”. Although they can stack Force gifts more often, these players can get overwhelmed when they have to guard with their stride pieces, as well as with their triggers against God Hand’s front triggers. Keep the aggression high from grade 2 onwards, and your opponents will struggle with limiting their strategy in hoping to form an offense next turn. Once Chronojet and Chronofang get involved, this could change the way the matchup is played.

Kagero

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Kagero will always be a hard matchup for Nova Grapplers because of their consistent retire power. Whether it’s coming from Dragonic Burnout, Dragonic Waterfall, or Dragonic Blademaster, you have to be comfortable with investing in a board that will likely fall the next turn. The recommendation is to build your hand to have two good enough push turns to hopefully land the kill on Kagero. Focus more on board maintenance than damage control because without board maintenance, you cannot advance your win condition unless you run cards like Stylish Hustler that helps mitigate the retire. Even then, cards like those will be the first to be attacked.

Link Joker

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

As Link Joker proceeds further with Messiahs as the optimal deck build, you want to prepare for a lot of drive checks. The spikes are in their push turn, and restands with Harmonics Messiah. Similar to Genesis, they have spikes in power, but can be inconsistent without their combo pieces. Additionally, their big push turns would rely on some chance cards like Remarkable Burst Monk or the luck of the draw after Harmonics Messiah’s skill goes off. The opponent could draw all their triggers, or they could draw more fuel. Gauge your opponent’s reaction and anticipate the amount of attacks. It is recommended to have your rear guards out as bait, because on Link Joker push turns, they push hard to win and any attack used on a rear guard instead of your Vanguard is a win in itself, as it is one less attack to guard.

Neo Nectar

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Neo Nectar is next to Kagero and BT as one of the most overwhelming Force decks to play against. Arboros Dragon, Sephirot and Peony Musketeer, Martina now join the fray with White Lily Musketeer Captain, Cecilia. Although upgraded tokens are nothing to laugh about, the real power is them saving cards in hand to guard. Be also prepared for an earlier mid game as they can swarm a board by their grade 2 turn without much commitment. You must gauge board states, but it makes less sense to swing into their rear guards and instead you should focus more on aggressing them out of the game. Front triggers matter a lot, and they can only intercept with two upgraded plant tokens at most. This matchup is less favorable than BT, but more favorable than Kagero because their aggression can turn on earlier.

Royal Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Royal Paladin focuses on building a board and sticking with it. With the various Alfreds and Exculpate the Blaster, they can deal damage harder than other clans consistently throughout the game, but not much else. This is where resource management comes in handy the most for Force decks, as all of their cards would need counterblasts to keep calling out cards. You want to push them to three damage early, and then limit them to 1 counterblast for 1 damage because they can only rebuild a board so far with limited resources. Once you see that they have built a board that pumps lesser numbers on their swings, you want to counter that as hard as you can when you push for game on God Hand. Royal Paladin’s lackluster turns will be heavily punished, and you can find yourself on the winning side more often with this strategy against these opponents.

Shadow Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Shadow Paladin has one of the best resource systems in the entire game, despite having the heaviest costs to pursue their win condition. Phantom Blaster Dragon (PBD) and Gust Blaster Dragon (GBD) still are high level threats that can end the game before you even start. However, Shadow Paladin’s true payoff is maximizing your loss with their “investment” of killing their own rear guards. Keeping 1-2 rear guards or maximizing your board with 4+ rear guards will hamper the payoff Shadow Paladins get when they activate PBD or GBD. Since God Hand focuses on fronts more, you want to keep your front rear guards full each turn and throw some rear guards in the back to retire to keep them alive. That way, the opponent would have to swing at your rear guards to be truly rid of your threat. However, there is also the continuous deadly combo of Blaster Dark and Illusionary Revenger, Mordred Phantom. They go against the normal strategy of Shadow Paladins’ self-sacrifice. Instead, this build focuses on building a sustainable board with a deadly multi-attack strategy. You have to focus on ending the game sooner rather than later, or else you will be facing double strikes from Blaster Dark on their restand turn. You also do not want to be on the receiving end of Danger-lunge Dragon’s sentinel restriction skill, so always keep those threats in mind when you want to end the game.

Spike Brothers

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

At first, Spikes seem easy to guard against with General Seifried as the clan’s main boss card, because you can just guard his attack. However, with Deadheat Bullspike involved, things get a bit more complicated. Since this new VR can move Force markers, you will have to gauge what resources the opponent has. The unfortunate part is that Bullspike’s skill that draws and retires is more consistent than Seifried’s, as it requires the unit’s attack to not hit while on a Force marker. The limitation is that this second skill is once per turn, so you can feel comfortable taking damage early and guarding when necessary later on. Just keep in mind, the opponent will not be using much soulblasting per turn because they do not want to run out of resources so early. So keep up the aggression with a slightly more cautious guarding strategy to overwhelm your opponent.

Gold Paladin

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

When the opponent has the Incandescent Lion, Blonde Ezel ride chain through Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains or Flame Wind Lion, Wonder Ezel, this matchup can explode in their favor. If they succeed in superior riding, you must prepare for an arduous grind to Grade 3. This is one of the instances you want to deny counterblasts to stop their momentum, even if cards like Battlefield Storm Sagramore use soulblasts to fill up a field. Raven-haired Ezel remains a fast and large game-ending Vanguard through his built in sentinel restrict and critical pressure. However, in return, Gold Paladin does not have much defense, and there are matchups where the superior ride do not happen. So be prepared to punish and establish a more leveled game if this does happen to you.

Great Nature

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Great Nature still takes a top spot in one of the best Accel clans in the format with their milling cards for skills. With the Holy Great Sage of Black Shadows, Isabelle taking over for School Hunter, Leopald, Great Nature is looking fiercer than ever with both skills triggering regardless of the card milled. Additionally, the Hammsuke engine further supported with Hammsuke’s Rival, Rocket Pencil Hammdon and Hammsuke's Rival, Red-and-Blue Pencil Hammhiko carved out a different build that thrives on more consistency and support. You can aggro them out, but they can recover resources and turn the tides on you. Soon, you could see Binoculus Tiger’s and Monoculus Tiger’s skills signaling the death knell for you when Isabelle is present. The midgame becomes super important as you have to keep the aggression alive from Grade 2 onward. If you do not manage to end the game, Great Nature will likely overwhelm you with card advantage and end the game.

Murakumo

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Murakumo still rocks name changing and field control, so be careful with this matchup. Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki to can remove 10k power from your field when they use her to guard on your turn. However, the key unit to be wary of is Samurai Chieftain, HYU-GA. By the second grade 3 turn, HYU-GA can wipe all of your rear-guards away and shuffle them all back into the deck with soulblasting a single grade 3 card. Here, you also have to prepare two rows of attackers to keep the aggression alive. There is less emphasis of guarding for rear guards unless you want to force the opponent to activate HYU-GA’s skill too early. In this instance, God Hand does not have much recovery, so drawing into substitute attackers after the first field gets wiped is important to sustain aggressive turns. Couple this with Shirayuki, and you have a scarily consistent engine to deal with.

Narukami

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Narukami is a clan that revolves around the “Bind” mechanic. This mechanic removes a card from the game completely and it cannot be recovered. Detonix Drill Dragon may be one of the scarier Grade 3s with a restand skill, but the true threat lies in Eradicator, Gauntlet Buster Dragon. This card will destroy front rows as he can gain +5k and a critical for each open rear-guard circle. If you have an Accel circle open, he can deal 4 damage, (+15k and +3 critical) and end games very quickly. This matchup will force you to brace yourself as you must guard early and be comfortable eating a high damage Vanguard if you lack a sentinel. Trying to keep advantage is extremely tough, so it is advised to deal as much damage as possible to end the game before Gauntlet Buster’s first swing.

Nova Grappler

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

Welcome to fight club, pro wrestling, etc. at its finest. Resource management becomes the name of the game as swinging at rear guards will advance your win condition and take out theirs. Eventually, you will swing at Vanguard. However, if they play their cards conservatively, do not be so afraid to take aggressive swings at their Vanguard. Striking tempo first is important, but keeping your cards for a sustained second push is also important. Gauge if you can refill your field, and then commit to that push.

Pale Moon

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Pale Moon still remains one of the meta decks of soul charging and superior calling from the soul. Even going into the fish idol season that is Bermuda Triangle, Pale Moon can still deliver.  They have a fierce and reliable Vanguard in Silver Thorn Dragon Tamer, Luquier that potentially calls out an entire field of rear-guards for 2 counterblast and a discard, and then Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Doriane to draw out cards to replenish hand. It is a beastly combo, but leaves the Vanguard all alone to deal damage. Even with some defensive cards like Silver Thorn Beast Tamer, Sheyda; doubling front triggers with God Hand and additional support from Fusing Striker and Silver Fist will overwhelm their onslaught.

Tachikaze

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Tachikaze still needs to grind the resource game if the opponent wants dinosaurs to hit with equip gauges. With the introduction of Thundering Sword Dragon, Angerblader, opponents can generate equip gauges at a faster and consistent rate to retire rear-guards.  The aggression can come in at earlier turns than before, but as long as you still play aggressive against these dinosaurs, the opponent will not be able to hit the 3 equip gauges they need to enter their hard push turn.

Angel Feather

Matchup Difficulty: Moderate

Angel Feather is a toss-up depending on how they open their hand, and what pieces they have to focus on damage zone manipulation. Crimson Impact, Metatron still has an insane snowball power, especially after superior rides from Solidify Celestial, Zerachiel the turn before to ensure both skills are utilized. Topping this off with Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace, this unit with a built-in critical, power gain, and sentinel restrict will end games quite easily. With Cosmo Healer, Ergodiel introduced, this provides some mid-game and hard removal to Angel Feathers. So be careful with what rear guards you are fielding because they can potentially be removed to damage (although having a free countercharge is nice). It can be hard to grind out against Angel Feathers, but committing to early aggression will again force many cards out of their hands.

Dark Irregulars

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

No Life King, Death Anchor still remains one of the big DI threats, although DI’s hallmark of soul charging will take some time. Some of the recent aces introduced are finding their footing, like Demonic Deep Phantasm Emperor, Brufas and King of Masks Dantarian. They have some different approaches to the game, but soul charging the right cards will be inconsistent at times. Aggressing them out will remove cards that they could have played, but still do not underestimate their attack power. Additionally, check their soul for defensive cards like Emblem Master and Dark Soul Conductor before attacking so you can gauge what defending power you are up against.

Granblue

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Granblue relies on what goes into the drop zone and using it to further their win condition with power boosts. Ice Prison Necromancer, Cocytus is the deck’s main win condition and can bring multiple grade 3s from the drop zone to the field and swinging with a built-in critical. This is topped with Violence Flanger’s ability to prevent effective guarding, but they have to generate the resources necessary to pull it off. Until that time comes, you still have a shot to win as long as the aggression is fervent.

Megacolony

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Megacolony strategy has changed from a power differential clan to a reference to Great Nature where you mill your opponent’s cards. The recent ace, True Demonic Rifle Rogue, Gunningcoleo, gains power, drive checks, and partial guard restriction through milling your cards. This becomes a bit more of a randomized type of match because they can mill cards that don’t match the grade in your hand that can guard with, and sometimes they do mill that exact card. The only thing that you can do is to run your opponent out before they get to mill any more cards. By attacking the Vanguard relentlessly and keeping wary for cards that mess with your guard, you will surely find the win in short time.

Nubatama

Matchup Difficulty: Easy

Nubatama is one of the weaker Protect decks in this format. The deck has seen some recent power gain with Evil Decoy tokens that synergize with their ace, Evil Stealth Dragon Akatsuki, Hanzo. However, the advantage gain is still minimal, as Nubatama focuses more on making you discard cards from hand. The key is to attack and generate the aggression before they respond back. If there is a chance to rush early, then go for it. Nubatama can come back slightly earlier than Granblue, but still cannot be ignored when they pull off the mass discard with either Hanzo or Stealth Beast, Kokushigarasu.

Oracle Think Tank

Matchup Difficulty: Hard

OTT knows how to stack the deck and manipulate triggers, which leads to a big struggle in defending. With cards like Rectangle Magus, and Goddess of the Full Moon, Tsukuyomi that can manipulate what is on top of the deck, you can only expect the worst. Attacking rear guards can help and resource denial is one of the best strategies to think of going into this matchup. Do not give them too much counterblast because they will use them up and then stack heals to heal them off. You have to gauge also other cards like Weather Girl, Soda, that can give +10k power to a Vanguard for discarding their sentinels, which comes in handy against many Accel clans. You have to think a couple of turns ahead with OTT, so be prepared to switch strategies from resource denial to aggression before they pull off the dreaded Victorious Deer turn.

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