Article by: One Who Gets Crits, Commander Jaime and Zaee
Repost from Old Aqua Force archived blog.
Hi amigos, today we’re going to cover Ripples on their history and how they can function as engine for numerous Aqua Force decks. This will be an extensive article, so buckle in!
History of Ripples
Ripples has its own history on how it was a Ride Chain when it first came out and later on got more great support in the clan booster.
The 1st Wave of Support (Ride Chain)
As I mentioned, their first wave of support was the Ride Chain set. What is a Ride Chain? Glad you asked!
A Ride Chain are a set of cards from grades 0 through 3. They are a set of cards that interacted with the cards to use specific skills and even help with the consistency of “keeping the Ride Chain intact” as you ride up.
What does “keeping the Ride Chain intact” mean? Basically, the cards themselves had skills that helped ride up to the cards within the Ride Chain set and/or force a reride if you rode a card NOT from the Ride Chain set.
For example, when you ride Sotorio onto Alecs, you’ll get a chance to look for the top 7 cards for a Pavroth or a Genovious.
Another example, if you rode to G2 with a unit that is NOT Pavroth and had both Alecs and Sotorio in soul, you would get a chance to “fix the Ride Chain” by reriding into a Pavroth.
Another benefit of Ride Chains, is that they can get additional base power and become 8k on G1 and 10k on G2 continuously. This was helpful in G Era because going against decks that could rush early on, this 8k/10k base would help defend yourself more easily. Also, you get the benefit of using skills early on, while most decks couldn’t do any skills until Stride.
The 2nd Wave of Support (Clan booster)
In 2015, Aqua Force got their first clan booster and in it A LOT of great cards and support came from it. A lot of decks were formed or got stronger from this set.
One thing that wasn’t expected is that the Ripple Ride Chain got support. Not only did they get support, but it was great support! They got new cards for every grade.
Furthermore, the support actually helped the Ride Chain stay intact by fixing it with a card like Odysseus. Then a card like Miltiadis helps makes Genovious’ skill to be more consistent to use and even perform a Legion with the two G3s.
However, during this time in Vanguard, there was a type of counter play that utilized grade stalling to get around the Stride mechanic. This was bad for most of the decks that relied on Generation Break and even Legion.
- Sebreeze didn’t exist yet
- You can ONLY stride if your opponent’s VG was a G3 or greater
- Most decks relied on Generation Break to use ANY skills
Because of these restrictions and cards that didn’t exist yet, an aggressive version of Ripples came to be. The deck could be aggressive, generate advantage, and utilize grade locking by staying at G2 for the whole game.
Cards that helped the deck to even compete and even destroy other decks are Sea Turtle, Tidal Assault, and Odysseus.
Sea Turtle provided:
- Superior calling G1/G2 RGs from top decking
- Be abused repeatedly by Odysseus skill
Tidal Assault provided:
- Generic restander
- Abuse benefits from triggers
- Abuse of Sea Turtle and making it a 9K G2
- Abuse of Tidal Assault by making it 11K (great going against G3 VGs at the time)
- Ride Chain intact (Pavroth as a 10K VG with an on hit skill that can restand a RG)
- Deck thin because it’s a ACT 1/Turn skill
Let me explain more about Odysseus’ interactions. Bushiroad’s intention for this card was to fix the Ride Chain. However, its skill is an ACT 1/Turn skill without any hard restrictions. So starting at G1 you can use his skill for every copy you have on the field.
Why would you do it as much as you can starting at G1? Deck thinning is the answer. Every time you resolve Odysseus’ skill, you are taking a non-trigger card out of your deck and thus improving your chances of triggers in drive checks and damage checks.
Cards like Sotorio and Pavroth are useless on RG, so fetching them out and reriding also helps on getting your other RGs that are useful. Odysseus’ skill can put any card on RC into the soul to perform a reride, thus increasing your soul count.
Because of the accumulation of soul count, cards like Cloris and Light Signals Penguin, really help in this scenario. Cloris is able to provide the ability to guard from the bind zone, which makes it easier to guard against G3 VGs that twin drive. Light Signals Penguin can use the excess soul to draw you a card, while serving as a booster. Even the use of Quintet Walls over/with normal PGs became a great option for defense since the G3 count could be lower.
Bushiroad’s World’s 2015
It was during the finals that Bushiroad realized that the 2nd wave of support for Ripples needed to be addressed. In the finals, it was Ripples versus Metalborgs. Literally, Metalborgs couldn’t do much against a deck that had an aggressive early game and that utilized grade locking by staying at G2.
You can read here for more info: https://en.cf-vanguard.com/2016_01_15/
Winning Deck List: https://en.cf-vanguard.com/deckrecipe/detail/BWC2015_Final
So what did Bushiroad do? Odysseus actually got limited to 2 copies in any deck. Following up, the release of Air Element, Sebreeze came into existence. The deck wasn’t as oppressive nor consistent anymore.
Also, some of us in the Vanguard community believe that Bushiroad won’t make anymore Aqua Force cards with the name Ripple in it. That’s how much of a problem the support was. There hasn’t been a new Ripple unit in Aqua Force since that set.
The Ripple Engine Coming To Be
The Ripple support was still great, however, it wasn’t consistent enough to be its own deck due to the limitation of Odysseus to 2. So then Aqua Force players thought of ways to implement some of the key cards into other variants of Aqua Force.
Thavas With The Ripple Engine
Thavas has been a great G Era deck throughout the years. However, there were moments were it fell behind the meta game. Some players thought of adding a few cards from Ripples forming what they call an engine.
What is an engine? Let’s define it for the context of this article.
- A set of cards used together to help improve the main strategy or objective for a stand alone deck.
- A set of cards used together that are a part of a deck that is composed of multiple separate engines.
Thavas falls into the 1st category. Remember in G Era, most decks didn’t have any skills that could activate until Stride. Most of the time, if your deck had some good skills that could activate in the early game, it would significantly improve your chances of winning against most decks.
One of the first iterations of this new Ripple Engine composed of:
- 2x Odysseus
- 1x Sotorio
- 2x Pavroth
- 0-1x Alecs (Ripple starter)
It was a set of 4-5 cards that one could use in a deck like Thavas. Players around the world used this engine to help Thavas compete against the meta game at the time. The meta game consisted of the triangle meta that included Timeleap Gear Chronicle, Nightrose Granblue, and Luard Shadow Paladin.
Here’s an example decklist from Solemn himself using that Ripple engine.
In this version, it aided a stand alone deck like Thavas, an early game that can potentially have a better matchup with the meta game. It provided deck thinning and a better G2 game thanks to Pavroth’s 10k base and on hit skill. It allowed Thavas to be able to fight for 1st stride as well by staying at G1/G2 an extra turn if needed.
Another version of Thavas also existed that falls into the 2nd category. This version used much more Ripple cards to even have the Ride Chain be part of the game plan. Alongside with Thavas support to compliment it.
This version was composed of cards:
- 2x Odysseus
- 1x Alecs (Ripple starter)
- 4x Sotorio
- 4x Pavroth
- 0-2x Genovious
- 0-3x Miltiadis
- 4x Orest (Ripple Crit)
This essentially used 2 engines (Ripples and Thavas support) to make a deck. Solemn has another decklist to show this off. This deck had a more consistent better early game than Thavas alone had. It’s goal at the time was to help fight against decks that just had a better mid to late game such as Victor and Chaos.
16 Crit Ripple Deck
Yep, that’s right! 16 crits! In Japan, there was a 16 crit version of a Ripple focused deck.
The deck was able to abuse the Ride Chain and Odysseus to deck thin consistently enough to make every drive check scary! All of the triggers were crits, so it was always deadly.
This deck surfaced in 2017, so again G Era. This version of the deck actually had an amazing early game. The 16 crit pressure was able to end games when the opponent was on G2 if the Ripple player went 1st. It was a great rogue deck for the meta game at the time, because the top decks all were Generation Break restricted.
Here’s a deck list from Japan:
Also, a good friend of mine, Zaee (DMoC on Reddit) took his version of the deck to two BCS events. He was very happy with the deck and he even made it to day 2 on his second time playing the deck. Kudos again to him!
Reddit deck list & tournament report from May 2017: https://www.reddit.com/r/cardfightvanguard/comments/6a0b7v/bcs_toronto_tournament_report_qa_ripples_edition/
Reddit deck list & tournament report from August 2017: https://www.reddit.com/r/cardfightvanguard/comments/6rwdwc/bcs_toronto_ripples_20_mk_ii_the_revenge/
Odysseus Comes Back To 4
In mid 2018, our great amigo Odysseus comes off the restriction and now every deck can play 4 copies of him.
There were mixed feelings about this change. Some were fearful that this would bring back the oppressive G2 stall version of the Ripple deck. Some thought it was okay now at this point because of rule changes to the ability to Stride and Sebreeze now existed.
So what happened? Well a lot was happening during this time because V series was announced. The 16 Crit build got more consistent with now having 4 Odysseus.
Also the small Ripple engine changed a bit:
- 4x Odysseus
- 1-4x Sotorio
- 1-4x Pavroth
- 0-1x Alecs
We definitely appreciated Odysseus back to 4. It allowed us to even decrease the number of copies of Sotorio and Pavroth.
However, due to V Era being introduced, Aqua Force was getting new support and we obtain the Imaginary Gift: Accel!
Premium Ripples (Start of V Era)
During this time Gift Markers began to exists, so we have Accel I in this case. One of the first G3s with the Accel gift was Diamantes. Diamantes was a restander on RG too. We also got a retrains for both Algos and Tidal Assault. They’re both great 9k restanders for 1st wave.
Odysseus was able to take advantage of a card like Diamantes. Essentially during your G3 main phase you can do this:
- Ride Diamantes (Accel gift obtained)
- Use Odysseus’ skill to fix the G3 VG
- Ride Miltiadis, put the Diamantes from soul onto the Accel circle
- Legion if possible (return triggers)
What Odysseus allows is that you, as the Ripple player, take advantage of the generation of an Accel circle, get the RG benefit of that same G3, AND the ability to perform Legion all in one turn.
The Legion turn combined with an Accel circle, is even better. Let’s take a closer look at Miltiadis’ skills.
On attack, Miltiadis restands one of your RGs, CC, and potentially draw you a card. Ideally, Bushiroad intended this card to help Genovious skill activate more easier and less costly. But the skill can be used stand alone to extend another attack while giving you a CB to work with as well.
The attack sequence can look like:
- Diamantes (27k)
- Left column
- Right column
- VG boosted (28k/29k) (restand Diamantes, CC, and draw a card)
- Diamantes (24k or 34k/44k with triggers)
- Diamantes (24k or 34k/44k with triggers)
You get 6 attacks and 3 of them are from Diamantes. The last two attacks get the benefit of having triggers stacked on to them. Here are 3 videos from Wavenation. The 1st one goes over the interaction. The 2nd one is CFA play testing with this interaction. The 3rd one is the deck list at the time. All 3 videos are great to watch!
Glory Maelstrom Ripple Premium (2nd Wave of V Era Support)
The next V Era support included even more amazing cards such as Glory Maelstrom, Coral Assault, Wheel Assault, and many others.
Glory Maelstrom came out with an amazing skill! CB1 your opponent cannot intercept, can only call up to 1 card from hand to GC for each battle; if your soul has a Maelstrom card, all of your front row units get +10k until end of turn. Essentially, this restricts the amount of guarding power the opponent can use each battle and helping you finish the game.
Coral Assault was a great addition to hit over thresholds, especially while being boosted. It also has the benefit of being used again if you stayed at G2 another turn since it puts itself in soul at the end of the prior turn.
Wheel Assault helped in generating advantage and increasing the number of battles.
Nikolos was a great addition because it potentially give you a +1 in hand advantage by searching for an Algos. It helped consistency too and it can be used multiple times with each copy of Odysseus. It’s on place skill activates even when called from the soul. It also gets +3k with its own skill to give a bigger boost or even be an attacker.
Balanerena was also a great 1st stride to go into to help finish games because of its ability to destroy the opponent’s guardians.
Accel II came out as well! The draw that we get when riding to G3 helps make our turns more consistent and even Stride if needed to. It gives us a form of resource generation every time we ride a G3 with an Accel gift.
So how can Ripples aid Glory Maelstrom’s skill? Glad you asked! Odysseus is able to put any RG into the soul. Which means if you have a Maelstrom unit on RC, you can put it into the soul and Glory’s skill is fully live.
But wouldn’t you reride into a Ripple like Miltiadis? You don’t have to. Odysseus’s skill says search up to one Ripple to ride. You can choose 0. You -1 because you shoved a unit into soul, but it’s well worth it if it’s the last turn anyway.
Another great unit that is able to put Maelstrom cards into the soul is Eldermoss! Eldermoss’ 2nd skill has part of its cost to put a Maelstrom card from the drop zone into the soul. Which is great! So if you discarded a Maelstrom card, milled it, or healed from damage then you can still get that into the soul to have Glory’s skill fully active. A nice bonus is that he’s one of the few cards in G Era that was 10k base G2 with a skill.
Another benefit worth noting, is that Glory’s skill is active onto the player when it resolves. What does that mean? That means it’s not a VG CONT skill, it’s an effect that is just applied onto the player for the rest of the turn.
Which also means we can activate Glory’s skill, then use Odysseus’ skill to reride into Miltiadis and perform Legion if possible as well. You can do all of that in the SAME turn!
But you would need to use Odysseus’ skill twice, so you need 2 copies? Yes, that’s true and remember he’s at 4 copies now, so it’s doable. Also, thanks to Wheel Assault’s on ride skill, we can superior call ANY unit on RC, so we can superior call a G3 Maelstrom. Then use Odysseus’ skill during your G2 turn, to shove that G3 Maelstrom into the soul and reride into a G2 Ripple. You actually deck thin and break even as well.
You can use Eldermoss with 1 Odysseus too:
- On your G2/G3 turn, you use Eldermoss to CB1 soul charge a Maelstrom from drop zone.
- Activate Glory’s skill full benefit.
- Use Odysseus’ skill to go into Miltiadis.
- Legion and do your turn with Glory’s skill still active.
Shown below are 2 deck lists. The 1st is more Ripple focused and the 2nd one is more Maelstrom focus.
Revonn Ripples Premium (3rd Wave of V Era Support)
Last Card, Revonn got a retrain in this set and also some other Blue Wave units!
Revonn has 2 very solid skills, one gives the opponent’s VG a -5k for the turn and the second gives him an extra drive check, +15k, and a potential Crit if there’s a G3 in the soul. Of course he has resting and seeing rested RGs as part of his costs, but he doesn’t cost a CB nor a SB. Galleas and Foivos retrains are restanders and work well with Revonn. However, they are restricted to a G3 VG and the opponent’s VG’s power must be different from its original. So in Stride turns, both of those units are useless. So by this support alone, it seems that Revonn isn’t great in Premium and really only shines in Standard.
Is there a way to make Revonn’s support work and take advantage in Premium? Yes there is! Again it’s thanks to the Ripple engine! In fact, they compliment each other really well!
The benefits of Revonn are:
- Great 1st G3 turn and scales if you reride
- Cards like Galleas and Foivos are great to extend more attacks
- The -5k to the opponent is very good and helps even other Aqua Force cards hit great thresholds
- Accel II gift generator
- Both Foivos and Nerissa are cards that are meant to promote the Revonn turn
- End of turn skills of Coral Assault and Nerissa are great to maintain advantage in hand
So what does Ripples bring to the table to make this deck viable for Premium? Same concept as Glory Maelstrom! Odysseus is able to put a G3 into soul if you want the +Crit on your 1st G3 turn. Or if you have the opportunity to get 1st Stride, you can perform a strong Legion turn instead.
Let me explain the Legion turn with Revonn:
- Ride to G3 with Revonn. (get Accel II gift, draw a card)
- Use Revonn’s skill to rest a RG and -5k your opponent’s VG. (you can use Nerissa)
- Odysseus’ skill to shove a RG into soul and reride into Miltiadis. (you can use a rested RG if you didn’t have Nerissa)
- Legion and setup up the rest of your field.
Guess what?! Your opponent’s VG stays with the -5k and also you’re still a G3 VG thanks to Legion. So now cards like Galleas and Foivos are available to use!
Here’s an example of a battle formation. During the main phase the Revonn ride happened, his skill rested the Nerissa on the left, and Odysseus fixed the ride into a Legion turn. Odysseus was retired due to calling a 2nd Nerissa on the bottom right to make a 22k. Here’s 2 battle sequences that can do 7 attacks:
- Galleas next to VG (9k)
- Revonn (14k)
- Galleas on Accel II (14k)
- Legion VG boosted (21k + 8k = 29k) (both Galleas CB1 to restand, use VG skill to restand Revonn and CC)
- Revonn boosted by Nerissa (14k + 8k = 22k)
- Galleas on Accel II (19k)
- Galleas boosted by Nerissa (14k + 18k = 32k)
OR (if your opponent got a trigger on their damage check on the 1st Wave which makes them 17k)
- Galleas next to VG (9k)
- Galleas on Accel II to their RG (14k)
- Revonn (14k + 8k = 22k)
- Legion VG boosted (21k + 8k = 29k) (both Galleas CB1 to restand, use VG skill to restand Revonn and CC) (one trigger is checked and +10k is put on Revonn)
- Revonn (24k)
- Galleas on Accel II (19k)
- Galleas boosted by Nerissa (14k + 18k = 32k)
There are plenty of formations that you can do that can hit certain thresholds and number of battles. I highly recommend seeing the Magic Numbers table in the Revonn Guide in Axis Vanguard to get familiar with.
It’s also worth noting that Nerissa can help with staying at G1 an extra turn. Very similar with Coral Assualt, Nerissa goes into soul at the end of the prior turn. You can use Odysseus’ skill to grab it out again.
Through experience with this version of the deck, it really thrives in the early to mid game. The Revonn deck is great at having it’s powerhouse G3 turn and maintaining hand advantage thanks to Coral Assault, Nerissa, and the 3rd drive check. The Ripple engine adds a better early game, more deck thinning, and a powerful Legion turn that synergizes really well with Revonn and its support.
Here’s a deck list of this version of the deck:
Future Closing Thoughts
Around this time, it was announced that there will be critical triggers as new sentinel cards. They’re shield value are worth 30k. Which provide value of potentially using in a high crit count version of Ripples.
Premium Collection 2020 is coming out and we’re still waiting on the Aqua Force reveal. I’m hoping it’s a stride that can be effectively used on 1st stride.
You made it this far! Thanks for reading! I really hope that both Zaee and I (Commander Jaime) did a great job on Ripples in this article. It’s honestly really amazing how a Ride Chain from many years ago, got only a 2nd wave of support and has still to this day has been an asset to many Aqua Force variants. I’m confident that it will continue to do so! See ya amigos!
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