Wednesday, July 22, 2015

8 Reasons You Should Play Buddyfight

I've recently started writing for King of Cardfight! We'll see how the collab works out - hopefully it'll be a good thing for both of us. Please go check out their site at The following article is the same as the one over there.

This will hopefully be my first installment in a "8 Reasons You Should Play" series, so if you want to read about my thoughts on Vanguard, Weiss Schwarz, and Force of Will, keep checking their website!
I think Buddyfight is a great game. I really do. Unfortunately, not everybody agrees with my opinion for one reason or another. Well, we all know the main, Buddyfight? Seriously? Depressing as hell.

But let's all act like mature people for a bit here and try to evaluate Buddyfight as a game without getting hung up on its terrible name. What makes Buddyfight a good game, and why should you be getting into it?

1. It's Competitive

Bushiroad is a terrible company that makes terrible games. I really shouldn't bite the hand that feeds me, but I do happen to play every game they make. So I feel entitled to cast some judgement on their games.
Doesn't get much more competitive than this
Vanguard is terrible. Bushiroad's been trying to make it a better game over the years, and they've been getting closer to the ideal with Stride and Legion both being viable options. I'm pretty sure the average Vanguard player doesn't appreciate enough how much math and design went into creating these two mechanics. You really have to give Bushi credit where credit is due. Unfortunately, it still doesn't change the fact that Vanguard triggers are +2 advantage, not including the trigger card that you get as well. So with such a broken engine as the heart of the game, Vanguard doesn't and won't ever have a chance at being a remotely fair and competitive game.

It doesn't fare better in Weiss land, where a single game is easily more RNG based than a tonpuusen of mahjong. In order to figure out if you're a "pro" at that game, you need to play around 2000 games and come out with a winning percentage. 2000 games minimum. During the attack phase, you can trigger up to 3 times a turn, and damage is taken in even more random increments - when combined with ridiculous gambling options like 2-soul climaxes and burn-climax effects, the sack is real. At my locals, we have people bring packets of salt for the inevitable.

Don't even get me started on ChaOS.
Let's make this game more fair
How does Bushiroad change it up for Buddyfight? It's pretty obvious that Bushiroad tried to make Buddyfight competitive - they added a life pool, they took out milling/triggering, they created a proper gauge curve and paced the game to it. It's really amazing how less sacky a game is without triggering as a mechanic. Additionally, Buddyfight allows sidedecks and all the extra strategy they bring to the table, from being able to tech in counters to completely changing your gameplan within 10 cards. And best out of three in every official Bushiroad-sanctioned tournaments.

If you want to play any Bushiroad game competitively, this is the only game you can do it in. With all the other games, you might as well just roll dice. Best of three.

2. Mixed-archetype Deckbuilding

Clan Fight. Neo Standard. The former might be a Japan-only thing, but it doesn't change the fact that both Vanguard and Weiss Schwarz were built to be monotype games, constricted not only by rules but also by cards. Cards that target specific races. Triggering restrictions. Attribute-based effects. ChaOS is the exact same, where decks are largely built around the same series for the same-OS effects. Screw this crap.
We crossover now
Enter Buddyfight. With plenty of archetypes per world flag and no restrictions on how to use them, Buddyfight deckbuilders have a lot of flexibility and resources they can use. Choosing a flag becomes a meaningful decision rather than a restriction. Copies of the same or similar cards are distributed throughout the worlds so that no world has exclusive claims to such and such ability. There are still the archetype-related abilities that are powerful and impactful, but there are just as many synergies outside of specific archetypes that allow toolbox and beatdown decks to thrive.

And that's not all, because Bushiroad is totally throwing us a bone here. With the advent of Dragon Ein and Parade of Hundred Demons, Bushiroad itself is supporting the idea of cross-world decks united by attribute - giving rise to even more strategies and synergies previously denied. There's no telling where Bushiroad will take this, and it's very exciting to follow.

3. Diverse Metagame

There are no hard tiers in Buddyfight. Why? Because practically every deck is viable. Each archetype and world comes with the ability to win games definitively and it's hard to say that there's an outright winner. Sure, there might be in-season decks and out-of-season decks - that's normal. Buddyfight tends to have a lot of decks hovering around the A-tier with B-tier decks still having an impressive win percentage over A-tier decks.
So many options...
What does this mean for the player? It means that Buddyfight is a much better representation of a player's skill than other games. Your choice of deck matters far less than the way you put it together and the way you execute it. You can't netdeck your way to victory, and money decks aren't way above well thought-out budget decks. Your only path to victory in this game is to "git gud".

4. You Get A Real Avatar

Aka Buddy, but please don't actually call it that, I swear.

Vanguard? Avatars? What a joke, you ride over your freaking dude every turn. And you're not even guaranteed to finish at the one you wanted in the first place. And unlike ChaOS, Weiss Schwarz has no real way of choosing that one true waifu in your deck...until your deck becomes a mono-character deck.
Choose wisely
But in Buddyfight, you get to designate one character as your avatar and even get to play around with that mechanic. You get +1 life from calling designated character, and certain items, spells, and Impacts actually gain improvements based on what kind of monster you chose. Cool stuff.

5. Consistent Art

The one thing that bugs me the most in a lot of card games I play (Vanguard, Pokemon, I guess Yugioh) is the disparity of art styles and artists, even in a block or a set of related cards. I mean, come on. The least you could do is make all the Celestials drawn by the same dude. But instead we get a smattering of different styles, different fashions, different designs - and it doesn't look very pretty.
What color do you want to be?
Buddyfight has been very on-top of getting the same artists to draw for the same worlds, at least when there's an archetype involved. There's a greater unity of aesthetics and it makes a big difference when you're playing. Plus the card borders are well designed and quite impressive.

6. Reverse Holos

Every booster is an Extra Booster! Starting from BT03, all Rare and below cards got foil versions scattered throughout the boxes, just like what Pokemon does. For those of you who like their bling, you can fully bling out just about any deck you decide to make. Except Dragon World ones, since Blue Dragon Shield doesn't have a foil version. Yet.

7. Small Playerbase

It's a shorter road to the top.

This might be a disadvantage if you want to make trades and try to make money off the game (ha!), but it's a really, really good thing if you want to prove your skills. You have a better chance at meeting skilled players if you're skilled, a better chance at performing well at official tournaments, and a better chance at going to Worlds.

8. The Anime Is (Actually) Good

You should go check it out. Both the English and Japanese dubs are quite well done, although I haven't found subs anywhere. Of course, comparatively the Vanguard anime is basically crap to just about anything but Buddyfight the anime is actually enjoyable in its own right, complete with interesting and complex characters, actual plot development, and some good ol' tropes. It even has a bit of the OG Pokemon feel to it.
And that's all I've got for you. Hopefully, one or more of these reasons can get you to at least try the game out for a bit (did I mention that the Trial Decks are pretty godly in this game?), and then you can be the judge. Is Buddyfight an actually good game or does it simply not have what it takes to make it out there? That's something that we'll have to leave for the future to decide.

Blaise Tensai is an avid player of many card games, from Force of Will to WIXOSS and all the Bushiroad ones. He never turns down a deck idea and has become one with the salt. In his free time, he ends up watching way too much anime. You can read more of his writing at his blog, Buddyfight Theory.

All images were used obtained from the official Bushiroad website and used here solely for reference purposes. Future Card Buddyfight!, logos, and respective content belong to Bushiroad. Large images belong to the Buddyfight! Wikia.


  1. Buddyfight is a good anime? .-.

    What's appealing about it? The clich├ęd characters, the invincible protagonist, the Tasuku dickriding?

    I mean, I watch it, but I've always considered it a guilty pleasure. It has some good moments, but it's just token card game shounen number 25471.

    1. Buddyfight is extremely self-aware, which allows for the tropes to come off as genuine humor. It's hard to take the anime seriously and the anime itself doesn't try either, so it's a pretty enjoyable overall.

  2. I would have also mentioned just how easy it is to learn the basics of Buddyfight. By far the easiest card game I've ever seen to learn. Part of that is the existence of keywords and the lack of huge intimidating text boxes on most cards.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Also I would like to point out that Buddyfight is the card game equivelant of the Wii U. Both really amazing products with great features that just get better over time...that both struggle because of poor marketing and having stupid names.

  3. Buddyfight is a great anime, but personally I found Vanguard more to my liking.

    Why? Come on, you just can't disregard Character development. Aichi was such a perfect vessel for that. A noob just starting Vanguard? Okay I like it. Like... In Buddyfight, even though he just lost, I feel like Gao is winning too much. He lost once in the whole series. ONCE. While in Vanguard, Asia Circuit hen showed us what would happen if the scenerio was slightly different, Link Joker hen showed use Kai's jealousy, Legion mate hen, while rushed, showed us a whole new world withought the main protagonist. And now, in G, everything is new, and there are open rooms for everything to happen. Anything can happen anywhere.

    ... On the other hand, while Buddyfight is new, Gao should really be learning the game from scratch. Just debuting as the "Undefeatable hero" won't get me that much into the series. While the whole series is great, I feel like it could have been.... A bit more creative. It's going in a straight line, and they should have focused the Future Force plot a bit more.

    This is personal opinion, so people can ignore it. And Bliz, sorry for the wall of text.

    1. Vanguard too serious. Not enough fun. Not enough Kazane. Not enough Paruko. Too much nakama and shinjite. Not enough trolling.

    2. XD Okay you got me there. But there's Nagisa if she counts :P

  4. I really wish Battle-Spirits was in that list of games you covered, but I can understand why not. It never really got popular outside of Japan, (except in Italy for a while) and Bandai of America seemed too embarrassed to properly advertise the cardgame leading to its inevitable death over in the west. Still going on strong in Japan though. Sadly it seems to be doomed to not be noticed in by more people.

  5. to prove your point, I have topped at local tourneys with a deck that has no RRRs, only 3 RRs, built around rares, uncommons, commons and TD. :)

    1. It's extremely easy to build a deck out of Rs, Cs and Uncommons in Buddyfight. It's one of the reasons why I love this game.

    2. same here! i've tried magic, vanguard, weiss and Buddyfight is the best budgetwise by far...

  6. the show is so dumb it is good,enjoyable,and funny