Deck Building Tips & More

Building a Deck

§  A deck must consist of exactly 50 cards. (This number includes your first vanguard.)
§  A deck may not contain more than 4 of any individual card. The card with alternate images but with the same name will account as the same individual card.
§  A deck must contain exactly 16 Trigger Units.
§  A deck may only contain 4 cards with the Heal trigger.
§  A deck may only contain 4 cards with the Sentinel skill.

§  A "Flash Deck" can only have 25 cards total and it can be played in a "Flash Fight" with "Flash Fight Rules". The Flash Fight rules are identical to the rules below with two changes: a) You win by dealing 4 damage to the opponent's Vanguard, not 6; and b) Stand and Heal triggers must be ignored. Treat cards with these triggers as if they had no trigger icon on them - so ignore both the Stand/Heal effect and the +5000.

For those of you who do not know what it is, it is basically carefully observing your opponent's trigger pulls. In Cardfight!! Vanguard trigger pulls are the main source of gaining advantage and the best way to turn the tides.

By watching what your opponent draws and keeping track of what cards (or at least the guard value they draw you can keep ahead of their game (in combination with magic numbers!) 

This is best for some more competitive games but it's basically called "Counting Guard"
Some tips: 
--Get to know card pictures and grades (Usually, grade 0s will have 10000 guard) Grade 1s and 2s will have 5000 and 3s have nothing
--If you can keep up with what they are checking then you can store a number of how much guard they have (and set a goal to waste a specific value before pushing fully for game) 
--Ask your opponent if you can see their drive checks again, if they let you then make a quick note of the values and grades if you can (if you combine this with magic numbers their hand of 6 grade 1s and 0s can easily be brought down to 2 or 0 in a turn)
-- Keep moving on a strategic aggressive. When they have rear guards in the front row and they are grade 1s and 0s dont attack them, when they do have grade 2s focus at least 1 attack to try and bring down their interceptors, I'm pretty sure they will guard those. Make your opponent sit behind their unable to intercept Grade 1s because they will be forced to retire them before pushing, as opposed to you wasting attacks to clear them out for them. 
Also less rear guards means less hand because they need to play more to cover themselves and be agggressive

The other most helpful thing to note about counting guard is considering triggers. If your opponent draws a card off of a draw trigger, or for their turn. You need to have a cushion zone for the "What-ifs" when they trigger draw you can always assume its 5000 added to their hand. In my opinion +5000 may be off but they will still need to be forced to use it at some point.

If you go on the offensive push and they top a trigger and boost their vanguard, its best to not fully commit to attacking their vanguard, and more onto their rear guards unless you can brush off that +5000 or have game. Alot of times my opponent or myself would top 2 triggers in a turn and the extra 10000 just makes trying to go for game less appealing. Especially after Counterblasting, it means they guard less and you waste more for an attack that almost instantly fails.

Author tips:

Its better to concentrate on your deck builds. The main motive should be to pressurize your opponent.

So, now that you have (hopefully) chosen a clan or clan(s) you’re interested in, what should you do to get started on them?  If you’ve chosen a clan with a Trial Deck, you’re in luck, because they’re the most easily accessible.  For anything else, it’s recommended that you either buy a box or two of a set saturated with cards for the deck in question (since it also helps build a collection).  However, if you’re already dead-set on something and want to immerse yourself into the game quickly rather than start off slow or build a collection right off the bat, you could buy an entire deck as single cards and have your dream deck built at a much lower cost than if you were to buy Trial Decks or boxes.!!_Vanguard_Wiki has complete listings of every card in every set, as well as their rarities, and also lets you know which cards exist in which clans, so it’s a very good resource for any player.
There are also some general guidelines one should follow when making most any deck, though there are exceptions to almost any rule.  First of all, the typical lineup is that of 17 Grade 0s (a starter and the 16 mandatory trigger units), 14-15 Grade 1s, 10-11 Grade 2s, and 7-8 Grade 3s.  This ratio is in place to help your chances of securing a ride up every turn until Grade 3 and also because cards of lower grades can be used earlier.  However, if there is a ride consistency-boosting mechanic in place within your deck (such as that of a ride chain, a superior ride, or a card like Solitary Knight, Gancelot) you may be able to safely break the convention if you feel it will strengthen your deck as a whole.  Without any of those though, it’s usually best to stay relatively close to the above ratio.  Notably, almost any deck with a Grade 3 that gains skills by Drive Checking another Grade 3 (such as Dragon Monk, Goku or Velvet Voice, Raindear) is encouraged to run 9-10 Grade 3s, taking away slightly from Grade 1 and Grade 2 numbers.
It is usually best to start planning a deck from the top; that is, starting at deciding your Grade 3 lineup.  It is usually a Grade 3 unit that you can build more of your deck to support, or to be supported by, although having the deck interact well as a whole is definitely important.  It’s also usually the Grade 3 choices that are more unique to the deck you are building.  From there, you can work your way down to Grade 2, Grade 1, and finally to Grade 0, as lower grades tend to have more unchanging “staple” cards that you will virtually always wish to run as well as cards with skills and statistics that are shared between clans.
Although Vanguard is a game that has few true must-run cards, as well as few outright unplayable cards, almost everybody that can afford them chooses to run 3 or 4 Perfect Guards for their clan.  These are usually amongst the most high-valued, if not the most high-valued, card of their respective clans.  They always come in RR rarity, every clan you can possibly make a pure deck with has one, and their text is written as “[AUTO]:[Choose a <<Clan>> from your hand, and discard it] When this unit is placed on (GC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your «Clan» that is being attacked, and that unit cannot be hit until end of that battle”.  They also have a shield value of 0 written on the side of the card to signify their special defensive role.  Although it may be a bit awkward to explain a specific type of card, I often see new players vastly underestimate what these Perfect Guards can do and thinking of them as bad cards for forcing you to use 2 cards as shield and being a weak booster if called.  Therefore, I think this is worth explaining.  In gameplay, it is not at all uncommon for the opponent to be able to create attacks that will force at least 2 cards from your hand if you do not wish to take damage.  In fact, almost every attack by the Vanguard does this.  A Perfect Guard allows you to discard itself along with whatever card is least useful to you at the time, thus possibly saving you a more useful card to call or guard with later and serving as an efficient form of quality control.  It allows you to guard opponent Vanguard attacks safely without taking a chance as to how many triggers they Drive Check and can be called as a decent booster unit in a pinch.  There are a fair amount of Vanguards in the game that can launch monstrously powerful attacks that can take more than 3 or even 4 cards to guard properly through normal means, in which case a Perfect Guard is an absolute lifesaver.
After you have decided on your core strategy or card, every time you wish to add something in, you should ask yourself “How will this card help me win”?  Because disruption is so minimal in Vanguard, and the cards so flexible in use, it is viable and often encouraged to plan your deck’s strategy with a single goal or method in mind.  There is both utility and power to consider in choosing cards.  First of all, realize that almost all Grade 3s in the game are, defensively, either at 10,000 Power or 11,000 Power at base and do not rise during your turn except in multiples of 5,000 via Damage Checked trigger units.  However, a few very popular crossrides can be counted on to sit at 13,000 Power, so this should be planned for as well.  Although Grade 1 and Grade 2 units are not quite so strong, do not worry too much about reaching good numbers against them beyond simply being able to hit them.  Also realize that all normal guards are either 5,000 shield or 10,000 shield.  For attacks with power that is not an interval of 5,000 from the defending unit’s power, the excess does not matter whatsoever.  An attack of 11,000 power or 15,000 power is the same thing against a defending unit with 11,000 power.   You can also expect rearguard frontrow units to be anywhere between 8,000 and 11,000; it is not unreasonable to say a lot of units with 9,000 Power and under will be called to the front.  You want to build a deck in such a manner that it should consistently be able to hit for 16,000 or more power in all three columns before triggers once you reach the later stages of the game.  The more combinations you can achieve this with, the better your field scalability is.  Mass return-to-hand skills, selective superior calling skills, drawing skills, and unit-swapping skills also contribute to field scalability, by the way, since field scalability is basically just a measure of how consistently you can achieve a field with a good distribution of power.  The power dynamics between Grade 1 and Grade 2 units, with almost all Grade 1s having 6K-8K power and almost all Grade 2s have 8K-10K power, also appears to be based around a median of 16,000 Power.
Naturally, it also helps to have a fair number of units that you can expect to be able to hit an opponent’s unit on their own as well, and you want combinations that can help you hit for 18,000 or higher as well in case you run into crossrides.  However, useful skills for Grade 2 and lower units often come proportionally to a loss in base power, if the skill isn’t one that gives power in the first place.  How to balance a deck’s raw statistics and utility is a very individual case and something that you will have to get a feel for yourself, since every deck has different aims and some are even dedicated towards making breakthroughs in field scalability and/or reaching higher levels of power (20,000 and up) in multiple columns.