Every clan needs their hero, and Gold Paladin’s hero is Tsang Chi Shing, the Hong Kong representative who brought a Garmore centric deck at Bushiroad World Championship. Tsang Chi Shing managed to go 3-1 in Swiss which, all things considered, is pretty good. Thanks to CanYouSayG, we can have a look at his build and analyse how the deck actually works :
Although Ezel is the more popular Gold Paladin build, Garmore has piqued the curiosity of a lot of Japanese players after the release of V-BT03. I believe part of the reason why is because the deck’s main strategy is reminiscent of what Gold Paladin used to do best back in the day which is superior calling a lot from the top of the deck, power boosting the units on the board and beating the opponent down. Garmore is pretty much all of these components in one card and the units that surrounds him helps him accentuate that strategy.
Garmore is honestly a very solid unit. Being able to +1 on-ride and give 6 of your units +3000 power goes a long way in a clan that lacks both a consistent advantage engine and powerful units. For example, that +3000 power can :
- Make Sagramore, Mach Slash Dragon and Garmore reach 15k which is a key number in the Force match-up.
- Make Dindrane, when called off of Garmore’s ability, become a 13k booster or beater after she has used her counter charge ability.
- Make Azerus reach 12k power which is good in the Accel and Protect match-up.
- Make all the other Grade 1 units in the deck 11k boosters or beaters.
All in all, it’s just a very useful ability for the strategy and the deck. The only downside to that ability is that it can only be triggered during the ride phase. That restriction obliges the player to constantly ride Garmore throughout the game and to always setup a field the turn prior to take full advantage of his skill. This can be troublesome when going against clans that retires a lot or clans that prevents you from riding another Vanguard.
Garmore’s superior call skill is also very important to the strategy of the deck. Not only does it provide free, valuable cards on the field for the turn, it also sets up a huge trigger stack at the bottom of the deck. The latter is relevant because, although the primary goal is to beat the opponent down as soon as possible, if that fails, the deck has good enough sustaining power to tough the late game and reach the trigger stack to finish the opponent off. This gives the deck an alternate win condition that is achievable by not running any units that shuffles the deck, by playing multiple copies of Viviane/Azerus and by running a good draw engine to speed everything up.
Of course, if we’re talking about having a draw engine, that means the deck would most likely have an above average amount of draw triggers included. In Tsang Chi’s case, he decided to run a total of five but I could see a case where some would prefer a total of six to make it more consistent and “round”. As for the other source of draw power of the deck, Dindrane, Sagramore, Blenius and, to a certain extent, Haugan, all have abilities that makes the player draw a card when a certain condition is met which explains their prominence in Tsang Chi’s build.
All in all, I feel like the Garmore variant has a really interesting concept and is a very fun deck to experiment with. I really hope Bushiroad’s development team push the concept /strategy of stacking triggers while still remaining aggressive further in Gold Paladin. Tsang Chi did not make it to the finals but he at least proved that the concept and Garmore can be competitive to a certain extent.