- A deck must have exactly 50 cards.
- A deck may not contain more than 4 of any individual card.
- A deck must contain exactly 16 Trigger Units.
- A deck may only contain up to 4 cards with the Heal trigger.
Your Deck should be placed on one side of the game area. When you Draw a card, you take the top card from your deck into your hand. If you have no cards in the deck, you lose.
The Drop Zone (discard pile, synonymous to YGO's "Graveyard") should be a separate pile of cards. When you Retire a card, you move it to the Drop Zone. When you Heal Damage, you move cards from the Damage Zone to the Drop Zone.
The Damage Zone is a small stack of discarded cards that must be kept separate from the Drop Zone. Cards in the Damage Zone represent damage to your Vanguard. If there are ever six or more cards in your Damage Zone, you lose the game.
The main play area consists of two rows of three spaces. The row nearer the opponent is the Front Row and the other row is the Back Row. The Vanguard Circle is the middle space of the Front Row. It may hold multiple cards in a stack. The top card in the Vanguard Circle is your Vanguard. Any cards stacked below it are your Soul. Your Vanguard is not part of your Soul. If there is only one card in the Vanguard Circle, that card is your Vanguard and there are no cards in your Soul.
The other five spaces in the main area are Rear-Guard Circles. These can usually only hold a single card each.
The Trigger Zone is a temporary area where cards are placed while their effects are being resolved. Its location is unimportant. If you are making a Drive Check, you move cards from your Deck to the Trigger Zone and from there to your hand. If you are making a Damage Check, you move cards from your Deck to the Trigger Zone and from there to the Damage Zone.
The Guardian Circle is a temporary area where cards are placed during combat. It is normally located in front of the Front Row. Cards are played here during combat and then retired to the Drop Zone.
Starting a Game:
1. Each player chooses a Grade 0 unit from their deck and places it face-down on the Vanguard Circle. That card will be their first Vanguard.
2. Decide randomly who goes first (there is no "choice"; if you roll higher than me when we roll for high, you must go first). The player who goes first cannot attack on their first turn.
3. Both players shuffle their deck and draw 5 cards.
4. Mulligan: If a player doesn't like their hand, they can place any number of cards from their hand back into the deck, reshuffle the deck, then draw new cards until they have 5 cards in their hand again. The new hand must be kept.
5. Both players, at the same time, turn their Vanguards face-up.
To win a Cardfight!! Vanguard match you must inflict 6 damage to your opponent's Vanguard. Damage to their Vanguard is represented by cards in their Damage Zone.
If a player ever has 6 or more cards in their Damage Zone, they lose.
If a player has no cards in deck at any point, they lose.
1) Stand Phase
All of your Rested Units return to the position (unless they are prevented from doing so by a card ability).
2) Draw Phase
Draw 1 card from your Deck and add it to your hand.
3) Ride Phase
You may place a unit from your hand on top of your existing Vanguard. The covered Vanguard card becomes part of your Soul. The new unit must be of the same grade, or one grade higher, than your current Vanguard. You can only do this once per turn. You do not have to Ride if you don't want to. Riding does not heal any damage to your Vanguard.
(Some cards allow you to Superior Ride. Superior Ride is usually found in two forms: a unit with a skill that allows you to ride another unit from your Deck, Hand or Drop Zone, like the effects of Blazing Core Dragon, Dragon Knight, Aleph, or a unit that allows you to ride itself onto a Vanguard if it is of a certain grade and if a certain condition is fulfiled, like Demonic Dragon Berserker, Yaksha and Spirit Exceed. A Superior Ride can Ride any unit over the current Vanguard, regardless of Grade. Also, Superior Rides are not limited to once per turn, and doing a regular Ride does not affect your ability to perform a Superior Ride, nor vice versa.)
4) Main Phase
You can do the follow things you want as many times as you want to:
Place a Unit with a Grade that is either the same as the Vanguard's or lower in a Rear-Guard circle. You may Call as many times as you want in a turn. Unless stated on the card, there is no cost to Call a unit. You may Call a unit into a Rear-Guard Circle that is already occupied, but if you do, you must Retire the unit already there (i.e., move it to the Drop Zone).
(Some cards allow you to Superior Call. This is a Unit skill which selects another Unit from either the deck or drop zone and allows you to Call it, for example Hi-Dog Breeder Akane (Deck) and Captain Nightmist (Drop Zone). When you Superior Call, you can Call a unit even if its Grade is higher than that of your Vanguard.)
- Move your Rear-Guards.
You can move your Rear Guard units back or forward between the Front Row and the Back Row. Units cannot move from side to side and cannot move into or out of the Vanguard Circle. Thus if a Unit is on the Circle behind the Vanguard, it cannot move at all. Two Rear Guards in the same column may switch places.
- Use card abilities.
Card abilities which are described as being used in the Main Phase can be used at this point. They'll more than likely be [ACT] Abilities.
- End the Main Phase.
When you have taken all the actions you want to in the Main Phase, the Battle Phase starts and the Main Phase is over.
5) Battle Phase
In the Battle Phase, you can make as many attacks as you wish provided you have units that can attack. Once you have started the Battle Phase you cannot go back to the Main Phase or take Main Phase actions (so you cannot attack with a unit and then Call a new one).
To initiate an attack select a Standing unit in the front row and Rest () them . Then declare an opponent's front row card to be the target of the attack (unless otherwise stated on the attacking unit's card).
If you have a card Standing in the back row directly behind the attacker you're attacking with, and they have the "Boost" icon, you can also Rest () them to add their Power to the attacker's Power for the attack.
The opponent can Call Guardians from their hand to protect the Unit under attack. The opponent may play any number of cards from their hand to add their Shield power to the power of the unit under attack. The Shield power is found in the yellow square on the left side of the card. Some units have no Shield Power and cannot be called as Guardians. The Guardians must also have a grade equal to or lower than that of your Vanguard. Called Guardians should be placed in the Guardian Circle to keep track of the during the fight. There is no cost to Call Guardians, but all called Guardians will be retired to the Drop Zone at the end of the battle.
The opponent may also use the 'Intercept' ability (specific to Grade 2). If you have a unit in a Rear-Guard Circle in the Front Row that has the Intercept ability, you may move them from there to the Guardian Circle and their Shield will be added to your unit's power as well. Just like other Guardians, they will be retired to the Drop Zone after the battle. Units with Intercept can Intercept even if they are Resting. You cannot Intercept with your Vanguard and thus having an Intercept icon gives no benefit to a Vanguard. Also, since Intercepting is a skill, you can even Intercept when you have a Grade 1 or lower Vanguard.
- Drive Check:
If you attacked with your Vanguard, you perform a Drive Check.
Reveal the top card of your Deck and place it temporarily in your Trigger Zone. If the card is a Trigger Unit and is of a Clan that is also in your Vanguard or Rear-Guard, then its Trigger effect activates. Regardless of whether the card is a Trigger Unit or not, add the card to your Hand after resolving it.
All Trigger Units share a common effect: they give +5000 Power to any Unit on the field that the player selects for the rest of the turn. You may add the power to the attacking Vanguard to attempt to land a hit during the current attack, or add the power to boost other Units.
There are four possible effects a Trigger Unit can have:
- Draw Trigger: When revealed during a Drive Check or Damage Check, select 1 of your own Units and it gains +5000 Power, and draw 1 card. Draw the card immediately after the Trigger is revealed (before your next trigger check, in case of Twin Drive or more than 1 Damage).
- Critical Trigger: When revealed during a Drive Check or Damage Check, select 1 of your own Units and it gains +5000 Power, and select 1 of your own again and it gains +1 Critical. Power and Critical gains may be applied to different units.
- Heal Trigger: When revealed during a Drive Check or Damage Check, select 1 of your own Units and it gains +5000. When the damage you've received before the Heal Trigger is equal or more than your opponent's, you put one card in your Damage Zone into your Drop Zone. (You cannot put more than 4 Heal Triggers in a deck.)
- Stand Trigger: When revealed during a Drive Check or Damage Check, select 1 of your own Units and it gains +5000. Then choose a Rear-Guard Unit and restand it.
If your Vanguard has the Twin Drive icon, two Drive Checks are performed. If a trigger is activated by the first check, the effects of the trigger must be completely resolved before a second trigger is checked. For example, when a Draw Trigger is activated, the player draws a card and allocates the damage boost to his units before drawing the second trigger. The Twin Drive icon has no benefit to any unit that isn't played as a Vanguard.
- Battle Outcome:
To determine the winner of the Battle compare the total Power of the two cards.
If the Attacking unit's Power is less than that of the Target, the attack fails. The Attacking Unit does not suffer any damage or other penalty.
If the Attacking unit's Power is equal to or higher than that of its target, the attack is a success. If the target was a Rear-Guard, it Retires and is sent to the Drop Zone. The attack is then over. The Critical value of the Attacking unit does not matter if the target was a Rear-Guard. If the attack was a success and the target was a Vanguard, the opponent must make a number of Damage Checks equal to the Critical value of the attacker. To make a Damage Check, the opponent moves a card from their Deck to the Trigger Zone. If the card is a Trigger Unit and is of a Clan that is also in your Vanguard or Rear-Guard, then its Trigger effect activates. Triggers have the same effect as they do for a Drive Check. The Trigger Unit does not have to be the same Clan as the target.
After the Trigger effect is resolved (if there was one), the card is moved into the Damage Zone. This process is repeated as many times as the attacker has Critical value. Each Trigger must be completely resolved before the next Damage Check begins.
If a Damage Check reveals a Trigger Unit that gives a +5000 Bonus to a unit, you can use it on the Target if you want to but it will not change the fact that they have lost the current battle. However, it can protect them against future attacks in the same turn.
If a Damage Check reveals a Heal Trigger you may move a card from the Damage Zone to the Drop Zone before placing the Trigger Unit in the Damage Zone if the number of cards in your Damage Zone is greater than or equal to your opponents. This means that if you have 5 cards in your Damage Zone and you make a Damage Check and get a Heal Trigger, you may heal damage before placing the card in your Damage Zone and thus avoid it being the sixth card to be placed there.
- End of Attack Phase:
Guardians that were called, or that intercepted, are retired (moved to the Drop Zone). If there are Units on the Front Row that can still attack, you can attack again with them. Declare their targets and repeat the process.
6) End Phase
Declare the end of your Turn before switching to the Opponent's turn.
Skills and Abilities:
Grade 0 and 1 Units have this ability. When declaring an attack, and a Grade 0 or 1 Unit is behind the attacking Unit, you may put the Grade 0 or 1 Unit to Rest and add its power to the attacker (this Boost only lasts for that battle).
Grade 2 Units have this ability. While one of your Units are being attacked and a Grade 2 is in a front-row Rearguard circle, this Unit can move to the Guardian Zone and become its Guardian. Afterwards, its treated as if it was Called as a Guardian.
Another type of Intercept is an Especial Intercept. This is a Unit skill which increases the Unit's Shield value if a Unit in the Vanguard Circle is from a certain Clan; for example Knight Of Truth, Gordon or Dragon Knight Berger.
Grade 3 Vanguards have this ability. When you attack with your Vanguard, you Drive Check TWO times.
- : Automatic Ability: This ability takes effect whenever a specific condition or timing is met. The condition or timing is written as "When ~" or "At ~". (Comparable to YGO's Trigger Effects).
- : Activate Ability: This ability can be used during your Main phase, once the conditions are met and you are able to pay the costs in [?]. This ability can be used repeatedly during the same Main phase as long as the cost is paid. (Comparable to YGO's Ignition Effects).
- : Continuous Ability: If no requirements are specified (e.g. "During your turn), this ability takes effect as long as the Unit is on a Rear Guard, Guardian or Vanguard Circle. (Comparable to YGO's Continuous Effects).
There are many different ways to pay costs. There's discarding (Discard X amount of cards from hand) and Resting (Rest the unit), but there are also three other ways to pay costs:
- Soul Blast (X):
- Retire X cards from Soul. (Send X cards under your Vanguard's stack to the Drop Zone.)
- Soul Charge (X):
- Send the top X cards of your Deck to your Soul (Send X top cards from your Deck to your Vanguard's stack.)
- Limit Break (X)
- If you have (X) (or more) cards in your Damage Zone, your Vanguard gets a new ability.
( :D Released in the English Version of Vanguard)
( Not yet released in the English Version of Vanguard)
Trial Deck 1: Blaster Blade (Royal Paladin) :D
Trial Deck 2: Dragonic Overlord (Kagero) :D
Trial Deck 3: Golden Mechanical Soldier (Nova Grappler) :D
Trial Deck 4: Maiden Princess of the Cherry Blossoms (Oracle Think Tank) :D
Trial Deck 5: Slash of Silver Wolf (Gold Paladin) :D
Trial Deck 6: Resonance of Thunder Dragon (Narukami) :D
Trial Deck 7: Descendants of the Marine Emperor (Aqua Force) :D
Booster Set 9: Clash of the Knights & Dragons [June 28 - 2013]
- Angel Feather
- Aqua Force
- Bermuda Triangle
- Dark Irregulars
- Dimension Police
- Gold Paladin
- Great Nature
- Link Joker
- Neo Nectar
- Nova Grappler
- Oracle Think Tank
- Pale Moon
- Royal Paladin
- Shadow Paladin
- Spike Brothers
We recommend best 2 of 3 rounds as our preferred tournament method for all events. Of course, please do run your tournaments as you see fit to enjoy Cardfight!! Vanguard and row your community.
Together, lets build the Cardfight Vanguard Community.
Normally, we do not delineate individual tournament rulings so as to provide organizers with maximum freedom to hold their events.
Timeouts are unusual in Cardfight!! Vanguard due to the fast paced nature of the game.
Organizers should take note that stalling in any form is heavily discouraged during games or, allocate more time to games.
In the event that a timeout occurs for any reason, the following judgments will apply.
1) the player who has taken more damage immediately loses the game at the end of the round.
2) in the event where both players have the same damage, both players continue until one player deals damage to his opponent, resulting in a win.
We hope this information helps you out.
Official Questions & Answers: