An In-depth Guide to Touken Ranbu in Cardfight!! Vanguard
“So, you went to your local card shop and saw a pack of cards that had a piece of art depicting a sexy samurai and wondered to yourself: ‘Now what is this and why does it turn me on?’ Well, here is your answer and SO much more!”
“What is Touken Ranbu?”
Touken Ranbu is a game that is popular in Japan. In the game you take on the role of a sage who travels back in time to defeat the forces of evil to change the course of history. Part of your powers as a Sage is that you can take historically famous swords, and bring them to life as Touken Danshi and have them fight for you.
“What does this bring to Vanguard?”
Touken Ranbu brought with it 2 new keywords with their initial release in 2015:
Homare (Literally “Honor”) – This ability can only be used once per turn, per ability. Meaning you can only activate one “Homare” per turn.
Shinken Hissatsu (literally “Certain Kill of the True Sword”) – a Passive skill that is active if your damage is at 3 or more, kind of like a cheaper LB4/5.
Then following up with the second set in 2016 (2017 in US) it added another new keyword to the game:
Nitou Kaigan (literally “Two-Sword Enlightenment”) – an ability when a <Touken Danshi – Wakizashi> boosts a <Touken Danshi – Uchigatana>.
These keywords added a unique twist to the card game taking advantage of certain card archetypes (much like Heroes in V-Premium) and introducing a once per ability mechanic.
In 2017, Bushiroad released a Deck Set for Touken Ranbu -Hanamaru-, one of the anime adaptations of the game. Currently, the Deck set is only available in Japanese. The deck set added 36 unique cards to Touken Ranbu’s roster of already powerful cards.
Following a long hiatus from the game, skipping V Format entirely, in 2022 Touken Ranbu had released a whole new set for OverDress! This set introduces much needed new triggers as well as a ton of new, and some familiar, strategies for the clan!
“What can I expect strategy wise from Touken Ranbu?”
There are so many strategies that Touken Ranbu brings to the game that it makes it one of the most diverse clans in the game! From the “Retire all of your rearguards” aspect of Kagero, to the “Hey, let me re-stand all of my rear-guards” aspect of Aqua Force, you will find a strategy that you will enjoy in Touken Ranbu.
With the OverDress support, you might see some familiar strategies within the new ride lines that were introduced!
Hachisuke Kotetsu – Reminiscent of Altmile/Royal Paladin as the deck wants the rear-guard to be filled and gives a bonus for doing so. Hachisuke also allows the back row rear-guards to boost despite grade for doing so.
Kasen Kanesada – Reminiscent of Dimension Police, where when Kasen reaches a threshold of power, he gets the ability to guard restrict the opponent.
Kashuu Kiyomitsu – Reminiscent of Oracle Think Tank decks as the deck likes to set up the top card of the deck.
Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki – Reminiscent of Kagero/Narukami where retiring the opponent’s rear-guards is crucial to gain advantage, in the form of a power boost.
Yamanbagiri Kunihiro – Reminiscent of Gold Paladin as the deck is known for superior calling to open rear-guard circles after attacking with Yamanbagiri.
Watch out for videos soon going over each Ride line and how they compete in the current game!
There are also very unique cards in this clan that are worth mentioning:
Kogarasumaru – <RG> When your overtrigger would be removed by its trigger effect you may put it into your hand instead of removing it.
- Very unique, literally the only card of its kind! In a deck where the Overtrigger doubles as an order, this is super handy when you hit the overtrigger! (provided they don’t get banned)
Clan Overtrigger – Order Card – When revealed during drive check – during this turn, all of your units get <CRIT> +1! When played as an order, choose a <VG> and give it <CRIT> +1 and if you have 5 or more damage, all of your units get <POWER> +10,000.
- What a really useful card! The fact that we don’t get a 50k shield is a bit of an offset, however you must admit that the card isn’t just a shield if you happen to draw it. Combo it with Kogarasumaru and get the absolute most out of the already insanely broken mechanic!
Monoyoshi Sadamune – <BACK ROW RG> When this unit’s <POWER> would increase by your trigger effect, double the value of the increase.
- This unit’s ability is super unique as its power increase still applies during battle, meaning that two triggers to pass suddenly becomes one trigger to pass and that can really make a difference when you only get two chances to get the triggers to begin with.
Oodenta Mitsuya – <RC> When this unit’s attack hits, if you Persona rode this turn, [CB 1], choose one card in your damage zone, and heal it;
- Obviously being able to heal a card on hit is super helpful, even if it can only happen on persona ride turns.
Another great translation from the web-game to the card game is the relationships, lore, and skills! Some of my favorite examples include:
Kashuu and Yamatonokami – Kashuu and Yamatonokami have a close relationship, getting on each other’s nerves but ultimately are still best friends! For this reason the Touken Ranbu community lovingly refers to Yamatonokami as “peanut.”
Taroutachi and Jiroutachi – Jiroutachi see’s Taroutachi as a Senior/Mentor and lovingly refers to him as Big Bro, so seeing the bonuses each card gets from being present on the field is perfect representation of their relationship. Not to mention the one legion duo in the clan is Jirou and Taroutachi.
Iwatooshi – True to the Naginata mechanic in the game, Iwatooshi’s ability to attack all units was carried over very well.
“So what should I play?”
Depending on which Ride line you choose can affect what you play, however there are a list of cards that are good for pretty much all of the decks:
Hakusanyoshimitsu – Sentinel with the effect to only discard if you have 2 or more cards in hand. Self explanatory.
Mikazuki Munechika – [RC] [1/TURN] When this unit attacks, perform all of the following according to the number of cards in your damage zone:
–3 or more: During this turn, this unit gets [POWER] +5000
–4 or more: Look at the top card of your deck, and put it on the top or on the bottom.
–5 or more: [Counter Blast (1) and Soul Blast (1)], and [STAND] this unit.
Obviously this has a lot to unpack but being able to multi-attack is always great and being able to stack the change the outcome of your trigger checks is also and excellent way to get ahead of your opponent
Monoyoshi Sadamune – [Back Row RC] When this unit’s [POWER] would be increased by your trigger effect, double the value of that increase.
As stated above, being able to make a 2 to pass into a 1 to pass is a super handy skill!
Shokudaikiri Mitsutada – When this unit is placed on [RC] from hand, if your opponent is grade 3 or greater, [Counter Blast (1)], and all of your front row units get [POWER] +5000. [RC] When this unit’s attack hits a vanguard, [Soul Blast(1)], choose an opponent’s front row rear-guards and retire it.
Having a pseudo-front trigger on place is pretty good, especially for decks that are more about the number of attacks, rather than the power of them!
How pretty are the cards?
That’s always an important question! The cards are super ‘pretty’! The prettiest cardboard around! Check out the Examples below!
From Overdress, the normal rarity of cards on the right are out-classed by the brilliant new rarity: “Touken Ranbu Rare.”
Also from OverDress, The SSR Cards for each of the grade 3 units for each ride line look SO beautiful!
Back in the day, the Special Parallel cards had Voice Actor signatures as well as a better view of the unit itself!
“What has Touken Ranbu brought to the table in the competitive scene?”
Touken Ranbu, though not a super popular clan by any means, actually won 2017’s World Grand Prix in Japan and placed 2nd in the WGP Finals! This was using the cards exclusive to Japan however but this list is pretty solid!
All in all while it’s not a super popular clan, I believe that everyone can find something to love in this clan. Plenty of different play-styles and card choices means that no one deck will ever be the same! Besides, who doesn’t like a cool, sexy samurai?
Be on the lookout for more videos and in depth articles for each of the different ride lines and for premium format!
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