The Shadow Paladin clan appears in the new V Series for the first time in their own pre-constructed: V Trial Deck 04: Ren Suzugamori. The set includes a 50-card deck, three Force Gift Markers, a beginner’s guide, a paper playmat, and four holographic cards. It has a manufacturer standard retail price (MSRP) of 11,50 € and it will be available on 14 September 2018.
Each Trial Deck also has a chance of including a hot-stamped Blaster Dark and/or a Gift Marker card with Akira Ito’s signature. Ito is a manga artist and the co-creator of Cardfight!! Vanguard. Last year, he revealed that Shadow Paladin is his favourite clan.
Shadow Paladin are often depicted as the opposite side of Royal Paladin. Lore-wise, this clan has selfish beliefs and their relationship with the other clans often changes. They have already started two different civil wars against other members of the United Sanctuary nation but also helped Cray when the Link Joker invasion occurred.
This selfish belief is well represented in the clan’s gameplay. The main strategy of Shadow Paladin is sacrificing their own rear-guards to activate a rather explosive and often deadly Vanguard ability. The clan also uses some of the Royal Paladin’s abilities as a draw engine, to gather resources that will be used later as fodder – and that’s what this Trial Deck is all about.
Units like The Dark Dictator and Blaster Javelin portray this advantage engine. When Blaster Javelin enters the battlefield, it can make the Shadow Paladin player draw an extra card by paying [Counter Blast (1)] if he/she controls two or more grade 1 or less rear-guards. The Dark Dictator is the key card that needs to be ridden in order to win the game. He not only gets plus 2000 [Power] for each of his own rear-guards, but by paying [Counter Blast (1)] the player also calls up to one grade 2 or less unit from his hand to a rear-guard circle. The unit that was called gets an extra 5000 [Power] and the opponent must choose one of his rear-guards and retire it.
However, the thunder is stolen by Blaster Dark who returns to the game with a big twist. Once Blaster Dark enters the battlefield, by paying [Counter Blast (1)] the opponent must retire one rear-guard of his choosing. If the opponent does not have any rear-guards, Blaster Dark’s second ability unlocks: By discarding one card, Blaster Dark gets an extra drive check until the end of the turn. And we all know that sometimes an extra critical trigger can be all that it takes to be victorious.
Like all pre-constructed decks, V Trial Deck 04: Ren Suzugamori is an excellent starting point to the game. Being ready to play out of the box is always the main selling point of these kind of products and this set surely doesn’t disappoint.
While lacking a good win condition (that will be depicted later in V Booster Set 02: Strongest! Team AL4), V Trial Deck 04 offers an excellent advantage engine that can be later upgraded to a full Shadow Paladin deck. The infamous Abyss Dragon will return once again in just a few months offering all players a Shadow Paladin teaser of what’s to come.