Standard not doing enough for you? See all those cool kids playing decks with GZones and staring in awe? Don’t know how to go about getting into Premium? Have no fear! For now you will also be able to play Premium with knowledge. Premium is one of the two formats in Vanguard, allowing you to use cards from Standard and everything beforehand. One daunting problem with the format as a whole is that it generally has a higher price tag then Standard does, which tends to discourage a lot of people from attempting to play, as well as far more cards to understand/play around.
Today we'll be talking about one subtype of Premium decks which are called Standard +. Standard + decks are comprised of what their name suggests: a mostly Standard deck, with minimal additions from Premium to the main deck, usually consisting of stride fodders (which are grade 1 cards that fulfill the requirements of striding), and a GZone. Through Standard + decks, you can enjoy a different format for a somewhat affordable cost. While you can choose any Standard deck that you have and add 16 GZone cards, I will just be covering the more competitively viable decks in this article.
Spike Brothers: This deck was the first Standard + deck to really see results, and it has the added bonus of being a fairly straightforward and low difficulty deck to pilot (as most of the Standard + decks will be). The cards from Standard all offer a strong early game since none of the cards are reliant on strides and they all supply themselves free power boosts, being an on-call +10k from Juggernaut Maximum and Highspeed Brakki and a +5k/+15k from Treasured Black Panther. The main addition from Premium is its stride Black Horn King, Bullpower Agrias. This card offers the clan great multi attacking options for a very small cost of one counterblast. Having the on-call power boosts from Brakki, Juggernaut, and the Force marker that you get from your grade 3 ride, you can have a powerful five attacks on your first stride turn, which is not bad for a mostly Standard deck.
Neo Nectar: This deck is what is currently one of the most prevalent decks in the Premium meta. And luckily for you, it’s one of the cheapest options too! Neo Nectar is along the same lines of Spikes in which it has a very strong early game with its token spam from cards like Mirkka, Maiden of Trailing Rose, Fruit Basket Elf, and Sylvia, extra draws from Irminsul, and power increases from Kaivant, Irminsul, and Trailing Rose for little or no cost along with a very strong first stride. The one main difference between the two decks is that the general first stride in Neo Nectar, Untainted Holy Damsel, Green Katrina, can win games outright or put your opponent in a very weakened position. With a board of four or five tokens (which is not hard at all to obtain), you can attack with 30K+ rearguards at least four times and a 43k vanguard. If you use the skill of Katrina to search out Maiden of Gladiolus, you can extend your chain of attacks by one. You can extend it with an additional attack if you have another copy of Gladiolus before you use Katrina’s skill also. With the addition of Force II, this deck can apply crazy amounts of pressure before you even have the chance to stride, making it a real force to be reckoned with in the Premium format.
Gold Paladin: Out of the competitive Standard + options, this is the one that is farthest away from being a “true” Standard + deck. As opposed to running just stride fodders, it requires the addition of some other commons and rares from Premium, being the old forms of Flame Wind Lion, Wonder Ezel and Crimson Lion Beast, Howell,. Wonder Ezel adds a lot to this deck by adding the ability to get more Accel markers than you usually are able to. This has become very impactful with the addition of Accel II giving you an extra draw, since every time you resolve a skill from Wonder Ezel, you get +5k to your vanguard, a draw, and an additional rearguard circle. Howell does not make quite the same amount of impact as Wonder Ezel does since its only use in the deck is resource gain, but it is put into most lists because of how easy it is to use, since Dindrane requires to be called by an effect whereas Howell can be called by any means.
While the old version of Kyrph was hit in the most recent banlist, Golds can still obtain their goal of superior riding (and sometimes striding), by utilizing the new Kyrph -- this just means you need more pieces in hand for it to be accomplished. Even so, this means the transition from Standard to Premium will feel even more seamless for Golds players, as it's the same superior ride!
The new stride introduced in Premium Collection is Golden Dragon, Spear-X Dragon and this card is pretty nuts. This card gives you the option, if given two damage, to stride into it if you’re at grade 3 regardless of what your opponent is at. Since his stride skill is an ACT, it can be used after you use your superior ride effects and even while your opponent is on grade 1, given that you have two faceup damage of course.
While Premium may be a daunting format for both players old and new, adding different mechanics and a plethora of cards, Standard + allows an easy way to get into the format. Spike Brothers, Neo Nectar, and Gold Paladin, while not the most skill-intensive decks, are very good options if you really want to learn and get into the format!
Follow us on our social media, and join our community Discord!