Bermuda Triangle is and will remain the best deck in Standard even deep into BT-05. With the majority of competitive players jumping into the water headfirst, I wanted to touch base on some fundamental concepts that you should be aware of. Bermuda Triangle is the strongest deck not only because of the raw power it has, but because of the insane flexibility that exists within the clan.
In a format where the majority of clans only have a single optimal list, BT stands out as a clan that has many differing builds that can fit different metas. There are some really simple changes you can make that will improve your BT game play significantly. While they will seem small at first, the small percentages you gain will eventually add up!
But without further ado, let me introduce you to the five concepts you can use to improve your Bermuda Triangle game play.
Mulligan and the mirror
Adjusting your deck based on the meta you're playing in
Force 2 placement
The most powerful card in Standard exists not as a VR, not even as a Grade 3 but as a Grade 2 unit from a trial deck. Liselotte has one weakness, her hard once per turn restriction on her ability. As such, understanding when to use Liselotte and how to benefit most from her is key to being able to exert the most pressure as possible on your opponent.
Have multiple Liselottes and going first? Call one to the backrow on your first turn.
Calling Liselotte to the backrow will enable you to make better informed decisions on where you call the unit she nets with her ability. With that additional information you can opt to make a decision whether you move any of the units to the front row to intercept. Having interceptors online as early as turn one can prevent you from suffering too much damage from the opposing BT players turn. Otherwise, you now have additional cards to create columns with on your Grade 2 turn!
Understand when and when not to soul charge.
Liselotte's flexibility as a card is what makes her so powerful. However, I've seen players all too willing to soul charge perfectly valuable rear guard attackers. If you do happen to reveal a trigger unit off the top of the deck, consider what phase of the game you're in and what "magic numbers" you need to hit to optimally pressure your opponent.
If this is your Grade 1, or Grade 2 turn the 5000 boost from the trigger unit can prove valuable as it can draw more cards out of hand, or make your opponent take damage in hopes of revealing a defensive trigger. This can change depending on the composition of your hand however. Have 2 or more Cier in your hand you want to activate? That will require you to soul charge to prevent running dry later in the game.
Last point to cover for this tip: in long games don't throw away your Liselottes without first checking how much soul you have. Sonata activations are critical to winning not only the mirror but any match up. If you run out of soul, and miss a Sonata activation that can hurt your tempo. Liselotte can save the day by being a decent attacker, and giving you the soul you need to keep up the onslaught!
Cier is the first non-grade 3 VR introduced in V series and boy does she ever earn that title. With two game changing abilities and an incredibly low cost Cier fills an important role in the deck as a form of card selection. But what cards should you select, and when should you play her?
Cier Pick Order: 1. Sonata* 2. Caro* 3. Serena/Fina
Please note that this order changes based on a number of facts about your current game state. I often treat the Cier pick order like an "if/then" statement. If you have a Sonata, but no Caro then pick Caro. If you have a Caro but no Sonata then pick Sonata. Those are simple enough, but it warrants repeating. Where the nuance comes in is when you get down to match up based pick order.
Playing against Link Joker and don't want to risk your board to a Jetshaft? You may want to pick Fina early so you don't call her off of Sonata. See an early Serena? Pick her up if you already have Sonata and Caro. As a general philosophy I tend to value Fina the least in most situations, as you are the beat down not the other way around.
Cier should be played on your first turn if you have her.
Have a Cier even though you went first? Call her to the back row and go digging. With a limited number of G3 units out your deck if you mulligan properly you should very easily hit a unit you will need. Additionally, you'll have thinned the deck slightly before your opponent's turn increasing your chance to hit a defensive trigger!
Choose what you reveal carefully.
The number of Caro in your hand is super sensitive information you want to keep hidden. Against Link Joker, and Kagero giving them knowledge of additional Caro in hand can alter their game plan of what units to remove. If you have the option of revealing Sonata or Caro for the cost of Cier you should always reveal Sonata. Whatever you do, don't reveal two different units if you activate Cier twice!
3. Mulligan and the Mirror
Understanding the mulligan is probably the most important skill to have in Cardfight Vanguard. When playing in the Bermuda Triangle mirror, there are a number of concepts you should keep in mind when choosing cards to put back into the deck.
The only Grade 3 to keep is Sonata
I'm actually an advocate of putting any and all Grade 3 units back into the deck. The opening turns in the BT mirror are critical, and you'll need all the guard value you can get. I have had too many a game where I kept a Grade 3 unit in my hand and drew into 4 more and lost due to lack of shield value in the early game. Or wasn't able to pressure hard enough.
Another issue can arise where your Liselotte plays are less likely to high roll a Grade 3 on to the board if they're in your hand. Your goal as a BT player is to set your opponent to 3 damage before your first Grade 3 turn, so you'll want to have as many of the odds in your favor to make that happen.
But, I fault no one for wanting to keep a Sonata in their hand. Having the confidence to pick other units on Cier activations is nice, and can add a level of flexibility to your game plan that will give you an edge.
Pay attention to the number of units in deck for Minne
Have an opening hand with Minne in it? Alter your mulligan strategy to be able to use her skill on your Grade 2 turn. Often times I'll keep a Grade 1 and Minne and send the rest back to fish for duplicates. Don't send back Liselotte though! That's always the Golden Rule.
Keeping a Perfect Guard in your hand
This one may seem a bit counter-intuitive but if you're going second in the Bermuda Triangle mirror you can opt to keep a Perfect Guard in your opening hand. Being able to safely guard the Force II column will be worth it's weight in gold. This isn't premium unfortunately, we don't get to run six PGs!
Liselotte wins games.
If there is ever a card to hard mulligan for it certainly is Liselotte. When I go second I often put more cards back for my mulligan then when I go first. Having Liselotte on your first turn is crucial to lessening the advantage gained by your opponent going first. It's really hard to stop the 18,000 power columns when you're at 8000 power!
4. Adjusting your Grade 1 and Grade 3 Line Up for your Meta
I utilize Japanese lists every time I play Cardfight Vanguard. In fact, before every weekend I take a look at recent Japanese tops and alter my deck based on their performance. When you do this you have to keep two things in mind: 1. JP meta is ahead of us, and 2. The NA meta is far more aggressive than JP. I learned this the hard way with Oracle Think Tank and Angel Feather during their heyday. The NA audience just loves Accel decks.
You should take a look at your local meta, or the distribution of decks that see play there. If you face a lot of accel, you can adjust your deck to benefit those match ups. See a high number of protect clans? Alter it again. Even when you go to shop challenges, you can get a general pulse of the meta if you travel enough. In Central and Northern California, I have a loose sense of what our meta is going to be at any point now that I've been around the block enough. Though right now it's a little easy to predict.
There's no hiding that you will be playing against Bermuda Triangle throughout most of your time at shop challenges. I'll be discussing some cards that can benefit you in that match up.
Eno cropped up in a few builds shortly before, and after Force 2 released in Japan. She often replaced Stezza at the time, due to the aggressive nature of the Bermuda Triangle match up. Eno can help create 18,000 power columns on your Grade 1 turn, something that was previously only achievable with Liselotte. Now your deck runs 8 different options for fantastic magic numbers on your Grade 1 turn if you go second.
Not only that, Eno provides value once you've moved into the Grade 3 board states. Normally you'd have to call over some number of units to achieve your full power board, but with Eno's ability you can safely recall her to hand the turn before if your opponent takes your Vanguard attack, or keep her on the field for the first Grade 3 turn to bounce her to your hand then. This 10,000 shield can and will come in handy at some point in the mirror.
With current testing, I believe that Eno should replace Ourora in a meta with a significant number of Bermuda Triangle players. Originally I was in the camp that opted to replace Stezza, but the value of Stezza just cannot be disputed.
Serena has always seen fringe play as a one, or two of in most circumstances. I believe that she fits that role fantastically. Post EB-07 and the rise of Harmonics Messiah Link Joker, I believe that Colorful Pastorale, Fina should be cut in some capacity. I personally run 11 Grade 3 units, with Fina at 2 and Serena at 1. Serena adds a unique on hit pressure that can make or break whether you guard the following turn. She's a great target to hit off both Cier and Sonata when you're needing a refill. Make sure you adjust your attack sequencing to get the maximum benefit off of her ability!
Not only does this card look fantastic as a RRR foil, it plays fantastic as well. The slot is traditionally filled by Blue-Silver Diva, Brume but I believe that in the mirror you won't ever actually get to draw a card, and she isn't worth using the counterblast for.
Hear me out on this one, what does the majority of your CB go to in BT?
Stezza 2. Sonata 3. Minne
These are the cards that eat up your CB. In all situations I would rather get to utilize Stezza to recycle a Grade 3 unit, or use Minne to shuffle triggers back into the deck than to draw a random card off of Brume. I prefer utilizing cards that don't let my opponent choose in BT.
Now that we've determined why we aren't playing Brume, let's talk about why we're playing Rilm. The 10,000 shield is fantastic in a match up that has numbers flying high, well above 51,000 most times. I've found that there are plenty of times where I have been 5000 shield off with a Brume sitting in my hand useless. Once you get to your Grade 3 turns, there is very little room for any Grade 2 units to be on the field. As such, Grade 2 units with value in your hand become much more valuable. Rilm has that value, both in-game and aesthetically.
Force 2 Placement
The last topic to cover is going to be regarding Force 2 placement.
No known PG in your opponent's hand? Slam the first Force 2 on your Vanguard.
Did you go first? Does your opponent have any known perfect guards in hand? If the answer to those questions was Yes, and No then you're clear to put the Force 2 marker on your Vanguard if you went first. It is absolutely terrifying to see a 51,000+ power column swing at you with two drive checks and two in-built critical when you're at 10,000 power. If your opponent has no PGs it is high likely they may just take the attack.
Did you go second? Does your opponent have any known perfect guards in hand? If the answer to that question is Yes and No, you're clear to put your Force marker on the Vanguard also. Even though they have more cards in their hand you'll still be able to force many more cards out with the threat of ending the game right away.
The only time I'd suggest altering your game plan is when your opponent has a known PG, or is at 2 or lower damage. But even in these instances, it pays dividends to be aware of your opponent's previous drive checks.
Re-riding is more powerful than you think.
Sonata is a fantastic rear-guard, and it's often times hard not to just slam her down. She grants a full melody board 25,000 power. However, if the game has "stalled" and you can't seem to push your opponent past 3-4 damage, re-riding Sonata may prove more effective than having her on the board. Now your opponent has two attacks that they absolutely cannot get hit by, and when those attacks are reaching above 41,000 power easily the game comes to a conclusion very quickly. This is especially true if you went first, getting a second force marker after your opponent has deployed their hand can often times end the game on the spot! Plus you get more soul, who hates having that?
Bermuda Triangle is, and will remain to be the best deck in Standard even into BT-05. The consistent ability to have three attacks on your first, and second turn yet net cards at the same time and setup up for amazingly powerful Melody columns once you reach Grade 3 is far too strong for most other clans right now. With the addition of Force 2, Bermuda Triangle now has a more useful Imaginary Gift option that widens the gap between them and the rest of the format.
There's plenty of other Bermuda Triangle tips and tricks out there, and I didn't have time to cover them all today. If you've got a concept, tip or idea drop it in the comment section down below or hit us up on any of our social media.
Want to play something other than Bermuda Triangle? I'd opt for Link Joker, with their removal centric kit and large amount of card draw it can keep pace with Bermuda if it gets the right pieces. Fortunately for you, we've just finished our primer. Check that out here.
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