The brand new series of Cardfight!! Vanguard, Vanguard overDress, released on May 14th of this year, and oh boy was it a big one.
We've seen major updates to the game made through new series before. Vanguard G brought with it the Grade 4 cards, and V brought a reboot of the cards. OverDress is no different, except.. it is different. VERY different.
3000 Years Later On Cray...
The new series of Vanguard (and subsequently the cards) is set on the original Planet Cray but 3000 years in the future. Torn by war and struggle, the 28 clans have formed into six nations: Dragon Empire, Dark States, Keter Sanctuary, Stoicheia, Brandt Gate, and Lyrical Monasterio. This new nation system replaces the old clans, meaning that cards that previously couldn't run together now can.
Your featured nation is overDress Sylvan King is Stoicheia. Sylvan King is played by Megumi Okura in the anime, who is one of the main characters. This new nation was formed by clans from the old Zoo and Magallanica nations, united by the teachings of the Great Sage Stoicheia. The clans that makeup Stoicheia are Great Nature, Megacolony, Neo Nectar, Aqua Force, and Granblue. Bermuda Triangle is not a part of this nation. The mermaid pop idols formed the nation of Lyrical Monasterio on the back of a flying pink whale. They are the only clan to remain solitary from the others.
Bow Down To Your Sylvan King!
The main card of overDress Sylvan King is Sylvan Horned Beast King, Magnolia. His name's a mouthful, I know, but it's a grand title for a grand character. Magnolia rules over all the beasts in the Great Rettia Valley, but is admired by all for his power and grace. His head is crowned by horns made of trees, which grows from his head. This card is, in my opinion, pretty great.
The first thing to note about Magnolia is the new symbol below the old Twin Drive symbol. This is Persona Ride. Persona Riding is a brand new feature in Vanguard overDress, and it provides a significant boost. It is triggered when you ride a card with the Persona Ride ability on a vanguard of the same name. When Persona Ride is activated, all of your front row circles get +10000 power and you get to draw a card. To clarify, when I say circles, I mean the circles and not the cards. That means that if you were to call a card to an empty front row rear-guard circle, or if you replaced one that was already there, that new card keeps the bonus.
In addition to the power that Persona Ride brings by itself, overDress Sylvan King is the first of the starter decks I've played that has an ability triggered by Persona Ride. Sylvan Horned Beast King, Magnolia has an ability triggered by Persona Ride and it's...broken.
So the ability by itself is that when Magnolia attacks, you can counterblast 1 to allow one back row rear-guard to attack this turn. If you Persona Rode that turn, however, you can choose three rear-guards instead of one. Oh, and did I mention that all those cards get +5000 power? Long story short, on a turn you Persona Ride, you can make 6 attacks at the cost of counterblast 1. There are drawbacks to this; if you boost with a back row card, it gets rested, meaning it can't attack. This is a shame, but with Persona Ride giving +10000 power anyway, it's not a major issue.
The Deck With Great Reach!
OverDress Sylvan King is built with a very simple goal in mind: attack lots. With Magnolia's ability allowing back row cards to attack like knights in chess, many other cards have abilities feeding into this.
For example, Sylvan Horned Beast, Charis and Sylvan Horned Beast, Lattice both have abilities that boost their power when attacking from the back row, with a boost of 5000 and 10000 respectively.
Another example is one of my favourite cards, Looting Petal Stomalia. Stomalia has an ability that can be used once per turn. At the cost of counterblast 1 and soul blast 1, this card can boost and gains +5000 power. Keep in mind that Stomalia is a grade 2 card. This ability is designed to promote keeping more powerful cards in the back row, ready to attack when Magnolia's ability comes into play. This ability is somewhat expensive, but realistically you'll only have to do this ability for one turn, given that Magnolia should be your next ride.
Secure The Ride Chain.
See you may be asking me now, "Joey, why should Magnolia be my next ride? What if I don't draw him?"
Well to you I must introduce the new mechanic introduced by overDress. There's now a new deck, the Ride Deck. Consisting of three cards of your choice, the Ride Deck sits beside your regular deck. In your Ride Phase, you can discard any card from your hand to pick a card from the Ride Deck. You can then ride this card. For overDress Sylvan King, you're going to want Charis, Lattice, and Magnolia in your Ride Deck.
Overgrow Your Vanguard
Not just your vanguard, but any of your cards! Yet another new feature of Vanguard overDress is a brand new trigger. You can have one card of this type in your deck, and for good reason. The Over/Trigger is the most powerful Trigger by far. All Over/Trigger cards have the same trigger effect: "When revealed as a trigger, remove that card, draw a card, choose one of your units and it gets +100 Million power until the end of turn!" Yes, you read that right. +100 MILLION power.
Oh, and that's not all. If an Over/Trigger is revealed in a drive check, it gets an additional effect that's unique to each unit. For example, the Cray Elemental (yes they're still a thing) Over/Trigger card of the overDress Sylvan King grants an additional 100 Million power to another unit. That means you can have two units on your field that have over 100 Million power. Now that's nuts!
There are Nation specific Over/Trigger cards too, but you have to draw them from a Genesis Of The Five Greats booster pack (review for that hopefully soon). The Stoicheia Over/Trigger is Source Dragon Deity of Blessings, Blessfavor. The art is just amazing on this card, I'd argue that it's the best art of any Stocheia card, and that's saying something. The additional effect for Blessfavor is also amazing. You draw a card, one card gets +1 critical, all of your front row units get +10000 power, AND if you have damage equal to or higher than your opponent, you heal. Try telling me that isn't powerful.
I love overDress Sylvan King, and it only comes second to Apex Ruler. This deck rewards having a high number of rear-guards through the abilities, and the cards you can call have abilities for every situation. Whether you need a mighty boost from Stomalia, or you need to flesh out your rear-guard with Cyrus, this deck can do a lot.
I can thoroughly recommend Sylvan King. It's a perfect balance of simplicity and complexity, allowing new players to use it, but experienced players to consistently win with it.