He’s finally here! One of the most well-known, debated, and controversial cards in the game has finally been printed in English. Dragonic Overlord the End is quite possibly one of the most feared and anticipated cards Vanguardhas ever seen. When the game first arrived to the English market, Awakening of the Twin Blades had just come out in Japan, and it was already known that Dragonic Overlord was making a strong showing overseas. Not only are his own effects strong, but being in Kagero, the deck has access to some of the best cards in the game. But before we go any further, let’s focus on the Harbinger of the End himself!
Being a crossride he has a printed power of 11000 and the standard crossride effect. Before I begin to use the term crossride more frequently, let me go in depth to define its actual meaning. The term “Crossride” means to ride a Grade 3 on top of another Grade 3 that has a connection to the previous Grade 3 Vanguard. All crossride units have a printed 11000 power, and share this effect:
[CONT](VC):If you have a unit named “(Previous Form)” in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+2000.
That means if you have the previous form of a crossride in the soul, it’ll be a massive 13000 on both players’ turns, not only making your attacks more fierce, but boosting your defensive capabilities as well.
On top of the generic crossride effect, Dragonic Overlord also has another powerful ability:
[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (2) & Choose a “Dragonic Overlord the End” from your hand, and discard it.] When this unit’s attack hits, you may pay the cost. If you do, [Stand] this unit.
This type of ability is known as a “Persona Blast”, where you discard an additional copy of the same unit from your hand to activate its effect. The capacity to stand while maintaining Twin Drive is a very frightening ability, and since the cost is a Persona Blast it means your opponent will have a tough time struggling to tell if you have it or not; they’ll probably spend numerous cards to make sure Dragonic Overlord doesn’t hit, just in case. Note that it doesn’t require you to hit the Vanguard for the ability to trigger, either: you can attack a rearguard to stop your opponent from using it to intercept, and to force more guard out of their hand if the unit’s weaker.
Lizard Soldier, Conroe: This is one of the best starting Vanguards in the game. The ability to search for a specific Grade 1 unit based on your needs at the given time not only helps you set up, but also allows you to run lower numbers of certain cards you don’t want to see too often.
Demonic Dragon Mage, Kimnara: This card can destroy strong boosters to make it harder for your opponent to form strong columns. Combine that with your chance to hit a 13000 power Vanguard, and this unit can make guarding significantly easier until your opponnt can find another strong booster. Kimnara is more of a control card, since it can hit the card at any given time as long as you have counterblast. Just remember, you can’t use it to boost that turn since it would be sent to the soul during the Main Phase. Kimnara also uses precious counterblast, and the deck doesn’t have a lot of counterblast available.
Heatnail Salamander: Like Kimnara, Heatnail Salamander also retires your opponent’s boosters. Its effect requires the unit you boost with it to hit the opponent’s Vanguard, but Unlike Kimnara, that ability requires no counterblast. The Salamander is more of a pressure card: it forces your opponent to guard attacks they normally wouldn’t in order save their boosters, but the requirement for the boosted attack to hit means that your opponent’s strong boosters may stay on the field longer.
Dragon Monk, Gojo: Replacing weaker and dead cards in your hand, Gojo lets you dig deeper to find more options. In a crossride deck, he can help you find both of the units required to crossride. It’s also a very useful card on Turn 1, since it helps save you from having to misgrade later.
Burning Horn Dragon: If you have either of your “Overlord” Grade 3’s as Vanguard, Burning Horn becomes 12000 while attacking, letting you achieve higher numbers more easily.
Dragon Knight, Nehalem / Cross Shot, Garp: In a format where crossrides will be standard, having more than four units with a printed 10000 power is very useful for hitting higher numbers.
Berserk Dragon: When this unit enters the field, you can counterblast 2 to retire any Grade 2 or lower unit. Though that effect requires a lot of counterblast in a deck with not much to spare, it’s still a decent choice.
Dragonic Overlord: Even while not on Vanguard, the Overlord has a strong 11000 power with an ability that, despite requiring a lot of counterblast, can help you make that last push to defeat your opponent.
Calling For The End
After reviewing all the options, this is the build I came up with…
Grade 1: 14
4 Embodiment of Armor, Bahr
4 Wyvern Guard, Barri
3 Dragon Monk, Gojo
2 Heatnail Salamander
1 Flame of Hope, Aermo
Grade 2: 11
4 Burning Horn Dragon
4 Dragon Knight, Nehalem
3 Cross Shot, Garp
Grade 3: 8
4 Dragonic Overlord
4 Dragonic Overlord the End
This build is more aggressive than some, and it’s focused on keeping pressure on your opponent while maintaining strong columns. Heatnail is more aggressive than Kimnara, so I decided to give him the nod here. The deck easily forms 17000 and 18000 rows, so it can hit Crossrides and MLB consistently for maximum guard. With Burning Horn Dragon, you also have the possibility to hit 20000 with a rearguard column, which is useful against some decks that run 10000 power Vanguards. The single Flame of Hope, Aermo can be searched with Conroe if needed, or Conroe can just search for a Bahr to make stronger columns.
Playing against Dragonic Overlord the End can be daunting at first, but the deck isn’t unbeatable; it’s not as unbalanced as some would lead you to believe. Keeping pressure up early, and preemptively placing boosters so your columns will be able to hit 18000 later on, can make the match easier. Also, try to remember which cards your opponent has revealed through drive checks and try to determine how many cards in their hand are unknown. That way you can attempt to determine the likelihood of your opponent having a extra copy in hand for the Persona Blast. Whatever you do, don’t get flustered, and remember that your opponent won’t always be able to crossride every game. Keeping the pressure high at the beginning of the game is a great way to make it harder for them to crossride.