Gauntlet Buster - Bringing the Thunder!

Written by Arcadia

With the recent release of V-BT05 comes support for the the Miyaji clans. From introducing  new deck building options like with the Tsukuyomi line, or simply giving new supporting tools for existing ones, the set has introduced many key pieces that undoubtedly improve current decks and help shape the meta. With this in mind, what would you say is the most impactful card this time?

In my opinion it would be the juggernaut that is Eradicator, Gauntlet Buster Dragon.


What does he do?

At first glance, he is a very powerful unit. Like most Accel grade 3s, he has abilities that are live immediately. During your turn, he is able to gain 5000/+1 Critical for every open front row rearguard circle, allowing him to be at the very least a 22000, 3 crit vanguard on his own if your opponent's front row is clear. And yes, in an Accel mirror this will count them your opponent's Accel circles as well.

This skill is very powerful, as it is able to quickly pressure the opponent into guarding him the minute he is ridden as taking 3-4 damage all of a sudden could definitely hasten the game state into one which is uncomfortable for your opponent. This is especially true when the Narukami Player is able to ride up to G3 first. This skill can also be used to damage deny certain decks which can eventually choke the opponent out of plays .

His second skill is also one of the most effective means of board removal in the current game, considering its otherwise low cost/requirement to use compared to other non targeted removal skills, such as Dragonic Blademaster. While it does not get rid of the entire field like Kagero does, Gauntlet Buster's skill is able to bind the opponent's entire front row with just one counterblast and card from hand, which you essentially are given if you chose Accel 2 (which can be combined with Rising Phoenix for more value) and is even able to force those in the back row to move up. This skill, just like its first is live immediately and does not require any set up -- unlike many other board removal abilities, allowing it to be an immediate answer to rush and can punish careless players easily.

His skill is also not 1/Turn, and can be used twice to get rid of troublesome formations as well. Its removal being bind too can interfere with strategies that involve specific rearguards as well, as unlike retire they will not be able to be retrieved from the drop zone. Dragonic Neoflame, Blaster Blade and soon Blaster Dark are some notable units that would suffer from this.

How has it performed and how does it affect deck builds?

While the card is still freshly released on the English side, it has already has some showings out in the Japanese version of the game. The deck is already showing some tops in some events such as Mitroco VGCS, where it topped first as well as the Niigata Grand Prix. Even in the V-BT06 meta, it is proving itself to be a strong contender even amongst the newer decks in the metagame.

Most builds do play it alongside Detonix Drill Dragon, the previous VR of the clan which has also benefited from the new support as well with cards like Chou Ou and Bolt Capture Dragon. These give the deck some added consistency, whereas before, riding Drill was the only really strong option going second.

What does this actually do for the clan?

Narukami in the V series has previously suffered from having consistent board removal, especially against clans that can easily recreate board. This created some problems setting itself into its preferred aggressive playstyle, causing them to eventually be beaten out by the opponent's more powerful plays, due to the lack of natural card advantage and power within the clan.

This is especially apparent in some force matchups where the binding, while useful, often could not slow clans such as Melody and Neo Nectar in time to turn the game. With Gauntlet Buster now in the fray, it is able to function as a stable ride no matter going first or second with its immediate presence. Clearing the front row easily also makes it an easy fit in with new and old support alike as many of the abilities in the clan do revolve around that and binding which this card is able to do on its own. 

Going first in general is now even more potent, as its ease of use can make it very deadly when your opponent has yet to stabilize. In the Accel matchup, its strength will certainly be a major threat as both its skills with grow in power with every accel circle the opponent generates. With the clan already having a natural strength versus most protect decks it most certainly is an all rounder.

While it isn't a particularly flashy finisher alone, as its attack can still be stopped with a sentinel, this card will truly shine is acting as the "current" that allows the rest of the deck to do what it wants, truly earning its place at the forefront of the clan.

The Pride of the Eradicators

Narukami received two powerful grade 2 units that are made to be played alongside Gauntlet Buster himself and are the tools you use to eventually overwhelm your opponent. Fiendish Sword Eradicator, Cho-Ou is a Grade 2 unit that works in tandem with Narukami's binding  strategy. Where it shines is its ability to bind as well as moving the unit behind the front row. This makes it very cost effective as prior to this set, these skills were often separated into various cards, making successful turns against decks that set up a field early a possibly difficult matchup. 

On top of that, it even has an ability that activates when your opponent has no front row rearguards, allowing it to restand. This works in tandem with Narukami's Grade 3s and especially Gauntlet Buster, extending your turns slightly.

Supreme Army Eradicator, Zuitan is Narukami's strongest beater to date, being able to boost not only himself but Gauntlet Buster Dragons by 5000 every time a card is bound. This is often a key card in your winning formations, as it makes your Gauntlet Buster into a larger threat that can heavily wear down your opponent or outright win you the game, all while itself too gaining power as well.

Secondly it even can get you a card in the end phase if you really need to strengthen your defenses at those key stages of your game. That extra card or two can be the difference between life and death, especially when games are nearing their end.

In summary, V-BT05 really brought the clan a much needed push and even strengthens the clan's signature playstyle. The presence of the cards will indeed continue to be felt by anyone intending to pick up or fighting the clan. Now then will you play with Lightning?

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