On January 6th 2019, Gold Paladin had its first top at a major event since its new support from V-BT03. Pretty surprising it took that long considering many Japanese players thought the new Ezel support would be very strong at first. Regardless, it’s great news for us, Gold Paladin players from the west, as we can now analyse the winning decks’ blueprints and be ready when we’ll get our hands on the support a month from now.

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Gold Paladin recipe from the Hakata VGCS team tournament winning team, 田中1-4Japan

There seem to be two type of successful recipes for neo-Golds, but they ultimately come down to whether the player favors superior calling consistency or superior riding consistency. One of the things that stays the same throughout the many builds, though, is the trigger line-up. 6 Critical Triggers and 6 Draw Triggers seem to be the norm to go along with the critical pressure Raven-haired Ezel provides. Great news considering Gold Paladins didn’t really have a conventional trigger line-up prior to the new support.

The other thing that stays consistent among the different winning builds is the Grade 3 line-up. Sagramore seem to be the go-to backup Grade 3 to the full playsets of Raven and Blond Ezel. Unlike Mach Slash Dragon, Sagramore provides an Accel marker and actually pluses when he’s played. He’s also not as resource intensive as Garmore who needs one of Raven-haired’s precious Counter Blast to go off.

hakata 2
Gold Paladin recipe from the Hakata VGCS runner-up team, 勝ったらお年玉ください。

At that same event, another Gold Paladin appeared in the top 3 teams and this is where the distinction between the two builds takes place. Instead of going with the Beaumains line-up for Superior Ride consistency, this player opted to go with Azerus and Blennius who gives more superior calling capabilities to the deck. Not a bad option considering they do not require much resources to activate their effect and, as a result, can be very handy when we don’t have much soul or counter blasts to spare for those kinds of abilities.

Speaking of superior calling, notice how a playset of Viviane is still being played despite the new superior calling options being available? I hammer this point home because there were a lot of misconceptions about Viviane’s viability in the new deck after Azerus got spoiled. On paper, Viviane is still the best grade 2 unit and ride option Gold Paladin has as of right now. Some people would argue the she is counter productive to main strategy of the deck which is using Raven-haired Ezel’s guard restrict ability every turn, but that is a small price to pay for having that good of a Grade 2 unit in the deck; especially when Dindrane is there to make her ability free.

In any event, it might be too soon to say Gold Paladins are now relevant in the meta, but seeing them in teams that places high at events is a sign that tell us that they are at least not completely dead. We’ll have to wait until more results comes in until we know for a fact where they stand in the meta.

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