Food for Thought: An Argument Worth Saiyan

Hey everyone!

So as I’m sure many of you are aware, the Dev Team just put out a new addition to the CRD which changed some things that were popping up as an issue in the community – the biggest being Saiyan Oppressive Mastery and Trunks – Defiant.

These changes have caused a rather big discussion to brew on Retro, and so I thought I would take some time today to discuss my thoughts on the Saiyan Style as a whole, what these changes have done, and something else to think about with the design of the style moving forward.

The Freezing of Empowered Mastery

So the first big thing to talk about, I feel, is the freezing of Saiyan Empowered Mastery.

For a long time, this mastery was the de facto choice for many Saiyan decks. So much so in fact, that to see any other decks playing Saiyan Rampaging Mastery or Saiyan Dynamic Mastery often brought up the question “Why not just play Empowered instead?”

While Rampaging Mastery and Dynamic Mastery finally gave Saiyan the opportunity to win by MPPV, the raw power and consistent leveling of Empowered almost always won over the fact that you could unlock a different win condition for your deck.

So it’s no surprise that eventually this titan would have to be put to rest. I think that it was hindering a large amount of decks from fully developing because of its dominant hold on the Style. And while we did see other decks develop within the Style that used the other two Masteries, Rampaging Gohan (Awakening 1-4) or Dynamic Bardock for example; the truth of it all is Empowered was just too good to pass up.

With this giant hole left in the place of Empowered, we would really need to see something special take its place, or else the Saiyan Style would feel like it took a huge step backwards.

Saiyan Oppressive Mastery

And so Saiyan Oppressive Mastery was born into the world. But the link provided to this Mastery is not the original version of this card.

Preview Version

In its infancy, this Mastery was a force to be reckoned with! The original preview of the Mastery has each Saiyan Styled attack gaining “Hit: Your opponent skips” and providing stages or anger with each skip! And this mastery allowed for MPPV!

Next, its entering effect saw you drawing and discarding (much like the current). However, you also had to destroy the top card of your deck. If the card you destroyed was Styled, your opponent had to skip as their first action in combat. INSANITY!!

Finally, it had the same power that the current version has today.

Clearly this version of the mastery was far too strong to see the light of day, and so it went through some growing pains.

Release Version

The second version of the mastery (the officially released mastery), was changed to make your first Styled attack in combat force your opponent to skip as an immediate instead of a hit. A fair compromise, though certainly a power nerf.

Next, the entering effect was changed to just having the “loot” effect. Meaning you couldn’t set up a skip just from fixing your hand, but the card selection option was still available to you. Again, a very fair change but a loss in power to say the least.

And finally, the Power was the same as it had been.

This was a pretty substantial change to what had been previewed, and caused some uproar among the Saiyan player base. They felt as though this juggernaut of a mastery had been silenced before it even had a chance to prove itself. However, I feel had the preview version of the mastery actually seen the light of day, it would have far surpassed the expectations of the Dev Team and caused a substantial amount of harm to the community as a whole.

And so the change was made. And much of that last statement is still true. Even with the changes that were put into place to try and stop Oppressive Mastery from living up to its name, it still has dominated many testing groups. The raw power of making combat one-sided before ending it is a very, VERY powerful ability and one that should not be taken lightly.

If the game was to survive, changing needed to be made again to help stop the growing force of this new mastery.

The CRD Version 

This new version has a very subtle, but overwhelming change. “You cannot win by MPPV”. With 5 words, the dominance of this mastery comes to a screeching halt.

No longer can this mastery be used as a means to accelerate yourself towards your primary win condition while stagnating your opponent’s windows to prevent it. But what does that leave you with?

The Current State of Saiyan

I think this CRD update has put Saiyan back into the Status Quo that it has been accustomed to over the last several sets.

Before set 10, we had:
Empowered – With no MPPV, this mastery allows you stage recovery and fast leveling.
Rampaging – An MPPV option that lowers the amount of anger required to level.
Dynamic – A unique tool that still allows for MPPV but at a much slower rate.

We can see with these basic descriptions that Empowered was really a big step above the other options presented to the style. Empowered did exactly what Saiyan style has always  been about, grant you dominance in combat with little to no downside.

Now if we take into account the CRD update, we have:
Rampaging – An MPPV option that lowers the amount of anger required to level.
Dynamic – A unique tool that still allows for MPPV but at a much slower rate.
Oppressive – With no MPPV, this mastery allows you stage recovery and fast leveling.

If this feels a little like Deja Vu, you’re not alone.

The interesting thing about Oppressive Mastery however, is that it is not a strict parallel replacement of Empowered Mastery. And while some may see this as a downside, I actually think that this opens Saiyan up to much more interesting card design options moving forward.

By replacing the inevitability of Empowered mastery, with a new mastery that comes with its own unique bag of tricks, we are likely to see some much more powerful card designs coming from a style that has become known for its simple design space. Empowered adding stage gain and anger to each styled attack forced the scope and design space of the style to become incredibly narrow. With it gone, the style will be allowed to grow and bloom into something much more interesting.

Especially when you consider the fact that Oppressive Mastery comes with the ability to make skipping actions matter much more than before, as well as coming with free card selection options when entering combat; making your hand the best it can be with each and every combat! I’d say that’s a pretty good tool for the combat oriented style!

A Subtle Problem with Saiyan’s Card Pool

Now there is still one small problem I see within Saiyan with the removal of Empowered mastery. One that might not jump out at you right away, but one I’ve been closely monitoring throughout the sets to see if it will be addressed or not.

To the best of my knowledge it has not yet, and so I want to leave you all with this before I go. Why does Saiyan have so much rejuvenation now?

Saiyan and Namekian at the beginning of the game were the rejuvenation kings. And it made sense, they both came equipped with Set 1 masteries that cared about rejuvenation.

With the masteries that have been released over the last 9 sets, we have seen a push away from this passive sort of relevance in place of more active design choices. The difference between the two styles however, is that Namekian’s card pool has evolved with this change as well.

Many of Saiyans top cards still deal with rejuvenation. Yet there is no real benefit to this ability now outside of game longevity. While an argument could be made that this rejuvenation sub-theme makes the cost of Oppressive’s entering effect non-existent, is that really enough to justify the large amount of “rejuvenation” matters cards in a style with no pay off?

Hopefully we will see something come along to help with this awkward state of affairs left in the wake of Empowered drifting off into that silent rest. But until then, I think the major state of Saiyan is in a very healthy place, and cannont wait to see what comes out of it in the upcoming OP season.

But Hey, I’m Just Saiyan

Thanks for stopping by today! It’s always interesting to sit down and dissect a style that has gone through a major face-lift like Saiyan has been over the last several sets.

I hope you enjoyed the article, and look forward to hearing what you all have to say!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: The One Above All

Hey everyone!

We’ve still got a few MPs to go over for our First Impression series for Revelation. However, now that the full set has been released, we are able to add a theory-crafted initial  deck list for our MPs again!

Sorry, for those that were hoping for these sorts of lists with the MPs discussed before the full release, but since we didn’t have full information at the time, it would have been pretty hard to speculate. So think of this as more of an added bonus for our remaining MPs!

Today’s First Impression article is our first glimpse at the newest celestial being to grace the Earth since the 7 years of peace – Supreme Kai!

So let’s cut right to the chase and get into what the latest and greatest Kai as to offer us!

Level One

Supreme Kai’s first Level is: Supreme Kai – Mysterious. Supreme Kai’s PUR follows the standard 2-3-4-5 progression that most MPs have and his stack only has a single trait, that being God. So we won’t bother to mention those moving forward.

Supreme Kai is our first God character outside of Super Saiyan God Goku or the Beerus Ally to really flex his Celestial power passed being an underdog. I also believe that Supreme Kai is also our first character to completely blow passed B Bracket on a Level One, having half his stages in C Bracket and the other half in D Bracket.

Truly is he supreme in more ways than just title alone!

Supreme Kai’s stack is loaded with Instant effects on each level that trigger when entering combat. This level’s effect allows you to choose up to 2 cards from your discard pile and shuffle them into your Life Deck. This seems like a pretty good way of making sure the cards you want are always available for you to draw!

Supreme Kai also has an energy attack on this level. Costing 0 stages and dealing a minuscule 1 life card, it does comes with the benefit of searching your Life Deck for a God-traited Ally (like say, Kibito – Assistant, for instance) and play them. With only a handful of Allies that fit that bill so far, it is a rather limited choice, however many of these allies come with rather interesting abilities, and this effect can only improve as the game releases more God allies.

So this level is a peculiar one. It’s certainly not doing you any favors for leveling, like many Level One’s in the game do these days. So for those looking to advance levels with this MP are going to have to look elsewhere for support. It does however come with a pretty useful long game in mind. You are always able to shuffle 2 cards back into your Life Deck each combat and grab an Ally for no cost other than an action that might snipe a life card from your opponent. And since you can shuffle the desired ally back into your deck from your discard pile, it can always be active when you need it. Something to keep in mind.

Level Two

Supreme Kai’s next level is: Supreme Kai – Shin. This time around we see the Kai’s power level dramatically increase with 3 levels of E Bracket, 3 levels of D Bracket and 4 levels of C Bracket.

This level’s instant effect when entering is a bit more offensive; allowing you to look at the top 4 cards of your opponent’s Life Deck and place them back in any order. If you are playing an aggressive SK, this is a great way to try and minimize the amount of interaction your opponent will get to have with you during a given combat. Likewise, you can also set your opponent’s Endurance in useless positions allowing for the most damage possible to go through when you are entering as the defender!

His Level Two also comes with an energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 3 life cards of damage. This time around, the attack allows us to choose 2 cards from our discard pile and shuffle them into our life deck as an immediate effect, as well as allows us to discard a card from our hand to draw the bottom card of our discard pile on Hit.

We definitely have a much more proactive SK on our hands with this level. Again, anger is not a theme for this MP, so pushing up to and beyond this level is going to be a task. However, this stack really rewards you for being able to do so! I know we all hate to see this word, but Unleashed seems like a perfect way to launch yourself up the levels you need to really unlock this MP’s higher powers.

Level Three

Supreme Kai’s Level Three is: Supreme Kai – Ready for Battle. Again we can see that his power level is right up there with many of the heavy hitters of the current meta: with 5 stages of E Bracket, 2 stages of D Bracket and 3 stages of C Bracket!

His instant effect when entering combat this time around allows you to shuffle up to 5 cards from your discard pile into your Life Deck. That’s a lot of value!

Oh yeah, and he also has the ability to draw the bottom card of your discard pile as a Power on this level.

Being able to pick the perfect card to draw with your MP power on this level as well as increase your Life Deck by 5 cards is just so much value! This level is definitely a control player’s dream and will likely have your opponent getting PTSD flashbacks to Premiere Set Namekian with the amount of Life Deck you will have each and every turn, despite their best efforts to annihilate you!

Level Four

Supreme Kai’s final level is: Supreme Kai – Combatant. This level of Supreme Kai finally means business, with 2 stages of F Bracket, 5 stages of E Bracket, 2 stages of D Bracket and only a single stage in C Bracket.

His final “when entering” instant effect allows you to look at the top 5 cards of your opponent’s Life Deck and place them back in any more. Much like his Level 2, this level is the ultimate way to punish your opponent with the worst hand possible when entering as the attacker.

And while you’re giving your opponent a terrible hand, why not give yourself the chance at a better one with his built-in energy attack costing 0 stages that allows you to shuffle any number of cards from your hand into your Life Deck and draw the same number of card back and deals 5 life cards to boot.

I don’t think you’ll often see this level of Supreme Kai in action. But when you do, it will be the stuff of nightmares with the amount of hand manipulation present that effects both players!

Named Card #1

SK’s first Named card is: Supreme Kai’s Telepathy. This event is as straight-forward as I think you can get with a card. It allows you to end combat and makes both players discard down to 0 cards. This card also comes with 2 Endurance and is banished after use.

This card is very good at what it does. It gets you out of sticky situations and makes sure that your opponent is not able to set them up again for the next turn. You will also have to discard to 0 as a side effect, but given that your MP is designed to get cards back rather easily, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Named Card #2

His final Named card is: Supreme Kai’s Ki Blast. This energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 5 life cards of damage comes with the immediate effect of searching your Life Deck or discard pile for any Ally and playing it or searching your Banished Zone for a God-traited Ally and placing it into play at 5 stages above 0. It also happens to come with 1 Endurance and is banished after use.

This card is an interesting one. So we all know by now (more than likely) that Supreme Kai is a bit of a Celestial Taxi service for the Z Fighters as the series progresses from this point forward. So naturally it makes sense that he should have a way of obtaining the Allies he is looking for. What is interesting is the ability to grab them from anywhere so long as the Ally you are looking for is a God. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the typical “allowed” zones for searching.

Very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

But with that all said, what can a Supreme Kai deck really look like?

Initial Deck List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Supreme Kai, Mysterious
2 – Supreme Kai, Shin
3 – Supreme Kai, Ready for Battle
4 – Supreme Kai, Combatant
M – Blue Protective Mastery

Blocks (13):
3x Blue Deterrence
2x Blue Wrist Block
3x Blue Barrier
2x Blue Narrow Escape
2x Blue Rest
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Allies (2):
1x Kibito – Assitant
1x Kami – Guardian

Dragon Balls (7):
1x Namek Dragon Ball 1
1x Namek Dragon Ball 2
1x Namek Dragon Ball 3
1x Namek Dragon Ball 4
1x Namek Dragon Ball 5
1x Namek Dragon Ball 6
1x Namek Dragon Ball 7

Setups (5):
2x Blue Trick
2x Visiting the Past
1x Dragon Radar

Drills (3):
1x Blue Mental Drill
2x Android Efficiency Drill

Events (8):
1x Blue Farewell
3x Supreme Kai’s Telepathy
2x Confrontation
2x Heroic Energy Sphere

Energy Attacks (17):
3x Blue Clash
2x Blue Ki Ball
1x Blue Terror
3x Supreme Kai’s Ki blast
3x Optic Blast
3x Energetic Left Blast
2x Energized Strike

Physical Attacks (5):
2x Blue Head Knock
3x Sinister Choke

Breakdown of Deck Concepts

This deck hopefully is pretty cut and dry as to what it is trying to accomplish. This deck is a very passive DBV list that is going to do its best to get itself out of combat as fast as possible, or at the very least, make combat miserable for your opponent to be a part of.

So I think one of the best resources that DBV decks got out of this new set is one that might not have seemed so obvious with the set reveal, and that is Android Efficiency Drill. This drill has made it so that every energy attack you throw moving forward can threaten a crit so long as its damage is not prevented.

A major strategy that a lot of DBV decks have tried to capitalize on throughout the years is looping the Kami ally to grab Dragon Balls when he leaves play. Supreme Kai adds an interesting twist to this style of game play as he comes equipped with a Named card (Supreme Kai’s Ki Blast) that is specifically designed to grab God-traited Allies from the Banished Zone, as well as having the ability to search out Kami as his first action in each combat on Level One should he find himself back in your Life Deck, say from your Level One’s shuffle effect. This is coupled with cards like Energetic Left Blast, Blue Farewell and Blue Barrier may allow you enough chances to benefit from Kami’s effect as many times as possible in a given match.

While not conducting shenanigans however, we need to make sure that we are able to keep our Dragon Balls safe. Now it is true that Supreme Kai is likely going to have a rough time dealing critical damage to recapture any Dragon Balls that may get stolen. What he should have no problem with however is getting out of Dodge should things seem a bit stacked against us. With 3 copies of Supreme Kai’s Telepathy, Blue Farewell and Time at our disposal, we should hopefully be able to duck out of bad combats just long enough to secure our victory.

And with Kibito drawing us the bottom of our discard pile and Supreme Kai’s Level One shuffle two cards of our choice back into our Life Deck each combat, we should hopefully be able to recur that Time more than once in a single game.

Who Are You People? Don’t You See the Universe Matters More..?

Thanks once again for checking out today’s First Impression! We still have Piccolo and Hero A18 to go over before we return back to our normal TC-101 and other articles. So look forward to those coming soon!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: The Little Prince

Hey everyone!

While we wait for the official Revelation release set to drop today, I may as well continue with my First Impressions articles!

Today we will be looking at the newest member to the Saiyan Royal line – Kid Trunks! Ah, and it feels so good to say it too.

Now before we dive into the stack I’m sure some of you are thinking “But Vegeta is the Prince of All Saiyans!” and that is certainly what he calls himself. But considering the fact that his father, King Vegeta, was killed, logically Vegeta should be the King himself due to his bloodline. However, out of respect for his father and the destruction of his people, he has never claimed his true birth right. But seeing as he is the King in all things but title, that would make Kid Trunks our real Prince of All Saiyans! And with as spoiled as he is, even if he doesn’t know the title is his, he certainly acts the part!

So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what he has in store for us!

Level One

Kid Trunks’ first level is: Kid Trunks – Son of Vegeta. Kid Trunks PUR follows in his father’s footsteps moving from 3-4-5-6 throughout his levels, while having the same traits for each level: earthling and saiyan. So we wont bother mentioning those moving forward.

Like most of the MPs at this stage in the game, Kid Trunks sits with a single stage in D Bracket before spending most of his time in B & C Bracket for the rest of this level.

His first ability is an Instant effect that is used when a player skips an action during combat. When used, you get to gain 4 stages and lower your opponent’s anger 1 level.

Kid Trunks is also equipped with an Energy attack on this level. Costing 2 stages and dealing 3 life cards, this attack comes with the immediate effect of raising your anger 1 level and a Hit effect of making your opponent skip their next action this combat.

So right off the bat we can see that Kid Trunks is going to be about making skipped actions matter as well as energy attacks. The added bonus of his instant effect working defensively should you be forced to skip is also a nice little bonus added here. Should help against Red or Saiyan, as well as the potential mirror!

Level Two

Kid Trunks’ next level is: Kid Trunks – Dashing. This level comes loaded with 3 stages of D Bracket and 5 stages of C Bracket before settling back down into B Bracket. While not a total powerhouse, this should help keep your stages intact against physical opponents.

Again we see that Kid Trunks comes with an Instant effect used when a player skips an action during combat. This time though you are able to use a critical damage effect. This should come in nicely for keeping your opponent’s board or anger in check while keeping the pressure on (or for punishing them for making you skip!).

This level also comes with another energy attack, this time costing 3 stages and dealing 5 life cards. However the immediate effect this time around is something to note, making your next Styled or Named attack you perform this combat have its stage cost reduced to 0. Also, should you Hit with this attack, you’ll be able to banish the top or bottom 2 cards of your opponent’s discard pile.

This is a fairly interesting level for Kid Trunks. While it doesn’t offer up anything to help level you or accommodate his “skips matter” build, he is granted some interesting control tools. And with the added bonus of making your next Styled or Named attack free, you are still able to keep the pressure up even against the stagelock strategies that are bursting for the wood works in this set!

Level Three

Kid Trunks’ third level is: Kid Trunks – Competitive. This level of the young saiyan comes with 2 stages of E Bracket and 2 stages of D Bracket before spending the majority of the rest of his stages in C Bracket.

Kid Trunks receives his first parenthetical text of his stack on this level, forcing your opponent to skip their next action this combat when you reach to this level during combat (whether it be from advancing or lowering). With this effect we can see that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and although he isn’t able to flat out end combats with this effect like his dear old dad’s Awakening Level 3 parenthetical text, he can still capitalize on it all the same.

KT’s instant effect this time around lets you rejuvenate 2 and raise your MP to its highest power stage when a player skips an action during combat. This effect seems rather interesting when you take into account the fact that you can lower your MP to this level, make your opponent skip an action from reaching it this combat, then trigger your instant effect to make your MP gain 5 stages and rejuvenate 2! I feel some leveling shenanigans in the future for this lad!

Kid Trunks loses the ability to attack with his Power on this level, but gains the ability to draw a card and make his next Styled or Named attack this combat cost 0 stages and deal +3 life cards to boot!

This level is starting to feel like the tricky Kid Trunks we would expect. With the ability to lower his level defensively (say with Red Resourceful Block for instance), he could in theory bounce to this level, trigger the parenthetical text, trigger his instant, go to full stages and rejuv 2. Then use his power, to draw a card, rejuv 2 more and making his next attack free and +3, then use that buffed attack thanks to the free skip from this level!

It’s true what they say, Trix really are for kids!

Level Four

Kid Trunks’ final level is: Kid Trunks – Super Saiyan. Like his partner in crime, Goten, KT’s super saiyan abilities aren’t quite up to the rest of the group yet; leaving him just shy of F with 4 stages of E Bracket, a single stage in D Bracket, and nearly the rest in C Bracket.

Like his last level, KT’s parenthetical text forces your opponent to skip their next action should you reach this level during combat. Being able to set up chains from his 3 to 4, then possibly back down to his 3 could lead to some very brutal one-sided combats!

Kid Trunks’ instant effectused when a player skips an action, allows from some board control this time around, destroying a Setup, Drill or Ally when used. If you are the only player with one of these in play however, you don’t have to worry, as it is not required for you to activate the instant if you so choose to ignore it.

Lastly, we see an energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 5 life cards of damage. This attack also comes with some insane immediate and hit effects; making all your attacks this combat cost 0 stages and drawing you the bottom card of your Life Deck on hit!

The kid’s got moxie! This level is an incredible tool for energy beatdown decks. Allowing you to ignore stage costs for your attacks mean that no matter how hard your opponent hits, you are able to punish them all the same! The added bonus of drawing a card you tucked away for safe keeping with his rejuv earlier if this hits also means that you can extend combats well beyond your means normally. He’s definitely Vegeta’s kid, that’s for sure!

Named Card #1

Kid Trunks’ first Named card is: Kid Trunks’ Energy Burst. This energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 5 life cards of damage, looks to be the bread and butter of Kid Trunks’ strategy.

This attack’s immediate effect raises your anger 1 level, lowers your opponent’s anger 1 level and forces your opponent to skip their next action this combat. On top of this, should it Hit you can discard a card from your hand to search your discard pile for any Styled energy combat card (attack or block), and place it into your hand. This attack also comes with 1 Endurance and is banished after use.

Alright, so this is the card that is going to help set your tricks up, as well as being rather tricky itself. Granting a two-anger swing and making your opponent skip is already a pretty great effect, but being able to set up your next action and perform it uninterrupted is just the icing on the cake.

As stated above, this card can help set up combats where you open with this card, gain the skip, search for the energy attack that can enable your leveling, use it, make your opponent skip again if you happen to reach level 3 or 4, then perhaps perform an action that delevels you, forcing your opponent to skip yet again, all while popping your instant effects as you go!

This stack is going to be a lot of fun for combo players, I can already tell!

Named Card #2

His final named card is: Kid Trunks’ Quickness Drill. The one major downside for this card is the fact that it is Limit 1 per deck. However, we’ll see in a moment why that is.

So the first thing to talk about is the fact that this Drill counts as being Styled and does not get discarded when changing levels. This is going to be a huge factor in the success of this stack if you are able to keep it around for multiple turns while your opponent scrambles to find their drill hate.

So what does it do? Well, how about gaining 2 stages and drawing the bottom card of your discard pile when entering combat? Does that seem like a good deal to you? I’m sure it does!

Oh and this card also happens to have 3 Endurance just to boot. Just in case you weren’t sure that one spot in your deck was absolutely worth it yet.

This card is great! I can’t think of a single reason why you would not play this in every Kid Trunks deck. The advantage it gives is just crazy, and when you take into account the fact that Red and Orange both have ways of finding Styled Drills in their Banished Zone, you should be able to keep this drill active for most of a game!

Masteries to Think About

Like most of the MPs in this set, there really doesn’t feel like their is a Style that can’t support Kid Trunks. Each Style has their own particular positives and negatives for running energy based decks. Likewise, with the level bouncing potential in both Red and Saiyan (don’t you dare forget about Saiyan Overpowering Blast!), you could set up some pretty annoying situations for your opponent to deal with.

Of course this stack seems like it was built entirely for Saiyan Oppressive Mastery. And while it certain looks like it should be able to put that Mastery to work, I don’t think its the only option available to our young saiyan.

Another interesting build for Kid Trunks is Saiyan Dynamic Mastery. If you aren’t sold on the level hijinks his stack supports, being able to have a really useful control level that can grant a free crit on skip, make your next Styled or Named attack free, have a built-in attack that can threaten a crit, and manipulate your opponent’s discard pile should be just the thing this Mastery has been looking for!

With that all said though, I would recommending the following Masteries to explore first:

  • Black Conflict Mastery
  • Blue Resolute Mastery
  • Orange Retribution Mastery
  • Orange Combative Mastery
  • Red Ascension Mastery
  • Red Amplifying Mastery
  • Saiyan Dynamic Mastery
  • Saiyan Oppressive Mastery

That Little Maniac is Trying to Kill Us!

Thanks for checking out my first thoughts on Kid Trunks. Once the full set has been released, you can bet that you will be seeing a write up on this MP at some point.

With so many great deck designs opened up by this set, not only from its new Masteries, but the fantastic MPs as well, it’s hard to say which MP will get the limelight first.

But even before we get to that we still have first impressions on Supreme Kai, Hero A18 and Piccolo to make it through! So keep your eyes on the blog, as those articles should be making their way down the pipeline as soon as possible!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: The Son of a Farmer

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Hey everyone!

The first impressions keep on rolling as we look at the next Revelation MP – Goten!

As with the other first impressions, this article will go over each level, his named cards, as well as what Masteries may find themselves to be useful for the youngest Super Saiyan.

So without further delay, let’s get to it!

Level One

Goten’s first level is: Goten – Son of Goku. Goten’s PUR is the typical 2-3-4-5 as he moves up his levels, and he has the same traits (earthling and saiyan) throughout his entire stack, so we won’t bother mentioning those moving forward.

While this level spends the majority of its time in B & C Bracket and topping off with a single stage of D Bracket, Goten comes with the useful Constant effect of having all his attacks deal +1 stage of damage.

Goten also has a physical attack on this level that deals 3 stages of damage (4 with the constant) and has the immediate effect of raising any player’s anger 1 level. And should you hit with the attack, you’ll get the added bonus of choosing any drill in your discard pile and shuffling it back into your Life Deck.

So right away we can tell that Goten cares about dishing out stage damage and has some drill synergy, which will become more apparent as we continue with his higher levels. Like Videl, Goten is a weaker MP that wants to keep the stage pressure up. Unlike Videl however, his saiyan bloodline will quickly close the gap between him and the other heavy-hitters of the game once he begins to advance personality levels.

Level Two

Goten’s next level is: Goten – Floating. This time around we see that Goten has been eating his vegetables and sits in D Bracket for 3 stages, before spending the majority of his stages in C Bracket.

One thing to clarify about this MP stack that will be touched on once the official release takes place, is that Goten’s parenthetical text for the next 3 levels should work in such a way that you search for the Drills after your Drills have left play from leveling. So you don’t have to worry about placing drills into play with the parenthetical just to have them leave because of the level timing.

Speaking of his parenthetical text, we can see that when you advance to this level you get to search your Life Deck for a Styled Drill and place it into play. Pretty handy!

Goten’s Constant effect this level is that your attacks deal +1 stage of damage and your opponent’s attacks deal -1 stage of damage. I’m starting to sense a pattern here, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Hmmm. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Once again, Goten also has a physical attack this level, this time dealing AT+2 stages (+3 thanks to the constant), and allowing you to raise or lower a player’s anger 2 levels on hit.

This level is going to be a dozy! Not only do you get a free Drill just for leveling, but you now have a fairly aggressive attack that can ramp you up or keep your opponent in check on hit. Not to mention the defensive mod to your opponent’s attacks and the synergy his hit effect could potentially have with Blue Resourceful Mastery, should you be feeling generous enough to level your opponent.

Level Three

Goten’s Level three is: Goten – On the Move. Boy the Z Fighters really need to learn to take a minute and smell the flowers. They’re always on the move!

This level has Goten’s first taste of E Bracket for a single stage, before spending most of his time floating around between B, C & D Bracket. When you advance to this level you are again treated to a Styled Drill of your choice, but this time it can be from your Life Deck or discard pile!

This level also comes with the constant effect of dealing +2 stages of damage with all of your attacks. I’m still getting that Deja vu feeling. It’s like something familiar, yet different. I’ll figure it out sooner or later though.

Goten’s Power this level moves away from being aggressive and gives us a bit more of a defensive option. We are able to either discard a card from our hand or destroy a drill we control to draw a card. We also get the satisfaction of knowing that our opponent’s next attack this combat will deal no damage.

Being able to filter a card from our hand or exchange a used Drill for an additional card is definitely pretty powerful on its own. Gaining the extra ability of changing your opponent’s next attack to no damage (different from prevention), especially mid to late combat when they are likely holding some heater could change the momentum of a turn completely. Very strong level indeed!

Level Four

Goten’s final level is: Goten – Super Saiyan. As the youngest Super Saiyan, he doesn’t quite make it to F Bracket like most do. However, with 3 stages of E Bracket he’ll still be able to keep the pressure on!

Goten’s parenthetical text this level is very reminiscent of Premiere Goku’s Level 4. When you advance to this level, you are able to search your Life Deck, discard pile or Banished zone for up to 2 Drills (not just styled) and place them into play.

Goten’s last constant effect has your attacks dealing +2 stages and your opponent’s attacks dealing -2 stages. By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that all these constant effects mimic those of the Awakening Goku MP stack, though focused on stages instead of life cards. While not a strict copycat, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plus who wouldn’t look up to their dad when he’s one of the strongest fighters in existence!

Lastly, Goten has a physical attack for 6 stages (8 with the constant), that has the immediate effect of destroying a Drill you control to increase this attacks damage by +2 for each Drill you control.

Now that can definitely pack a punch! Especially when you consider styles like Red or Orange that not only tutor drills into play, but also have ways of returning their drills back to play from the discard pile, and suddenly you are throwing a giant haymaker each combat!

Named Card #1

Goten’s first named card is: Goten’s Rock Throw. This physical attack dealing AT+3 stages (plus the mods from his MP stack!) comes with the floating effect for the remainder of combat to (as an action) banish a Styled Drill you control and destroy the top 2 cards of your Life Deck to perform a non-Styled physical attack dealing AT+3 stages. This card also happens to come with 1 Endurance and is banished after use.

This effect is pretty intense. I don’t think we’ve seen an attack this aggressive to date! With the right board setup, and a little love of masochism, you can dish out big hit after big hit to try and and the game in a single combat! If your opponent happens to be caught without Time or a way to end combat, it very easily could be lights out!!

Named Card #2

Goten’s other named card is: Goten’s Defensive Stance. This block allows you to stop a physical attack, raise your MP to its highest stage and search your discard pile and Banished Zone for up to 3 Styled Drills and rejuvenate them. Not to mention the fact that it also comes with a solid 2 Endurance.

So this is the card that’s really going to let you capitalize on Rock Throw. You’ll be able to pepper your opponent with pebbles, then fetch out the drills you’ve banished and tuck them back into your Life Deck to be found at a later date; like leveling for instance! Very useful tool for our lil slugger!

Masteries to Think About

So while being a Saiyan, Goten is likely to fit better in our standard 4 Styles (Black, Blue, Orange & Red) than with his Saiyan option. Now that isn’t to say that Saiyan doesn’t have useful Drills that can be taken advantage of with Goten’s ability to fish them out for you. But with the recursion of Red and Orange, or the utility of Black or Blue, Saiyan just feels like a lesser option for our tiny Super Saiyan.

One thing in particular that I want to point out is Goten’s incredible potential for cards like Blue Dominance. Being able to advance to Level 2, discard the drills you have in play, search your Life Deck for a Styled Drill and place it into play, then pick 2 drills back up out of your discard pile with Dominance all while entering combat is going to be a beautiful sight to behold. Not to mention you now have a +1/-1 buff to your and your opponent’s attacks and a physical attack with solid damage that also can keep your opponent locked on whatever level they find themselves on.  I’m personally very excited by this thought and can’t wait to explore it.

Outside of that mini rant though, here are some other possibilities for Goten:

  • Black Perceptive Mastery
  • Black Mischievous Mastery
  • Blue Tag Team Mastery
  • Blue Resourceful Mastery
  • Orange Adept Mastery
  • Orange Retribution Mastery
  • Red Ruthless Mastery
  • Saiyan Dynamic Mastery

Is It Okay If I Be Like You? You Know, A Super Saiyan?

Thanks again for checking out today’s first impression! One thing that i’ve noticed so far is the huge improvement from this set as far as stage damage focused MPs. With Videl, Dabura, Goten & now Piccolo all sporting physical beatdown, this meta is looking to be a return to form from the life card heavy strategies that have been dominating the game for some time now.

I look forward to all the aggressive builds that are likely to come, and we still have so much more to see with the set in just a few short days!!

I’ll be trying my best to continue with my first impressions up until the release (and likely following. There’s just so much to cover!), so stay tuned!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: Dance with the Devil

Hey everyone!

With so many MPs that have been released, I certainly have some catching up to do on these first impressions articles! So I thought I’d start off by talking about one of the MP’s I’m planning on building with first, and one that people seem to be the least excited about (for some reason!) – Dabura.

Now, as with these other First Impression articles from this set, we will be going over his levels, his Named cards, and some potential masteries to think about when building your first lists.

Level One

Dabura’s first level is: Dabura – Sinister Presence. Dabura has the standard PUR of 2,3,4,5 throughout his stack, and his only trait of Majin, so we won’t bother mentioning those moving forward.

With two stages in E Bracket and a single stage in D Bracket, Dabura has a relatively high power level for his first level. The downside being that it tanks rather quickly as he gets lower in stages.

Dabura comes with a pretty useful leveling tool with the Constant effect to add “HIT: Raise your anger 1 level” to all of your cards with “Sword” in the title. Something that many Sword cards are lacking!

His second effect is an effect used when entering combat which allows you to search the top 5 cards of your Life Deck for a card with “Sword” in the title and either place it into your hand or into play if it is a Setup or Drill. What is important to note, is that this effect currently is being ruled that you shuffle the remaining cards after this search, meaning that Dabura provides a shuffle effect for styles that have the rejuvenation effects but not the means to make those cards live again!

As far as Sword decks are concerned, this is a pretty strong level one. While not quite as good as Trunks – Protective for setting up constant sword advantage, being able to level easier is something to keep in mind for this stack.

Level Two

Dabura’s next level is: Dabura – Second in Command. This level is Dabura’s first dip into F Bracket and sees his power go a little deeper with 2 stages of E Bracket and 2 stages of D Bracket before plummeting.

Dabura has only a single power on this level, but it’s a pretty efficient one. With a Physical attack which deals 5 stages and raises your anger 1 level as an immediate effect. However, should it hit you also get to search your discard pile for a Styled or Named attack with “Sword” in the title and place it into your hand.

This is where Dabura starts to get aggressive. Being able to extend combat by getting a second use out of your sword attacks is going to be much stronger than people may think at first. While not as fancy as some of the other MPs in the game, this level has the potential to be brutal if you are able to capitalize on an opponent’s weak hand in combat.

Level Three

Dabura’s level three is: Dabura – Majin Warrior. Finally Dabura breaks out by having only 3 stages below D Bracket, making him a heavy hitter in combat.

Dabura returns with a Constant effect this level which makes all your damage from sword cards unpreventable.

As well, this level sports a Physical attack dealing 6 stages with a rather interesting immediate effect. You get to choose a card with sword in the title or text box and rejuvenate it, then choose any 2 cards in your opponent’s discard pile and banish them. You then can discard a card with sword in the title from your hand to use this attack a second time this combat.

This level is a bit of a strange case. Having the ability to make your sword damage unpreventable is very strong, yet it also sports the ability to get rid of your sword cards for discard pile hate instead.

Typically having sword cards in your discard is a pretty safe way to recur them thanks to Dashing Sword attack. So to actively choose to rejuv your sword cards can feel like a “non-bo” instead of a combo. However, because this card also allows you to place cards with sword in the text box as well, we may see more cards similar to Red Clock in the future which care about sword cards without being sword themselves! Definitely something to keep an eye on for this level.

Level Four

Dabura’s final level is: Dabura – Enraged. At his best here, Dabura is stockpiled with 4 stages of F Bracket and only 2 stages below D Bracket meaing that the fun and games are over!

Dabura’s Constant effect on this level grants the ability to lower all of your opponent’s personalities 2 stages whenever you perform an attack with sword in the title. If ever there was a sword deck that did not fear allies, this is it!

Dabura also has a very simple yet powerful effect to search your Life Deck for a card with sword in the title and place it into your hand, again being able to extend combats and keep the pressure going.

As far as Level four’s go, this one isn’t all that exciting. However, it is able to keep the pressure stacked on your opponent and removes their wall of allies from protecting them from your onslaught. Being able to search for cards like Dashing Sword Attack from your Life Deck also allow you to further extend combat should your opponent’s guard be down at the wrong time!

Now one of the big criticisms that I’ve seen involving Dabura over on Retro is the fact that he is far too narrow in scope as an MP. Only being focused on Sword attacks and nothing else, which makes him seem a bit stale in comparison to the impressive effects that the other MPs of this set are throwing around. And while it is hard to argue against that, what I think this means for Dabura is that you have a very clear path to victory that is boosted by the fact your entire MP stack is not split between several different deck strategies and trying to support them all.

Like a good blade, Dabura decks will be harsh and to the point. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that in a Sword beatdown list!

Named Card #1

Dabura’s first Named card is: Dabura’s Spit. The first thing you might notice about this card is the eerie similarity to Tug of War with its parenthetical text. However, the one big upside to this, is that it is a may effect, meaning that if you are the only player with an Ally in play when this is discarded or destroyed from your deck, you aren’t forced to banish it like Tug! Also like Tug, this card has 2 Endurance, meaning that you are getting twice the bonus while this card is in your Life Deck.

The card itself is a Physical attack dealing 2 life cards that comes with the ability to destroy an opponent’s Setup, Drill or Ally on hit.

Now while the stats on this card are a bit on the weaker side, the fact that it is almost always going to be an attack that demands attention from your opponent is no small feat. Many decks in the current meta are plagued with board presence, and with MPs like Krillin coming with Set 10, you can bet that Setups and Drills will be all over the place. This card has the ability not only to disrupt your opponent’s board state, but also to bait a physical attack from your opponent that could otherwise be used to stop one of your more powerful attacks; truly adding insult to injury like only spiting on an opponent could!

Named Card #2

Dabura’s final Named card is: Dabura’s Evil Sword Slash. While not the most impressive of names, this card really speaks for itself.

At 2 Endurance, this Physical attack for 5 stages comes equipped with the immediate effect of raising your anger 1 level and lowering your opponent’s anger 2 levels. While not quite Devastating Blow, this card is still a very impressive anger swing against most decks. Should this attack hit, you are able to search your Life Deck for a Styled or Named attack with sword in the title and place it into your hand. Finally this card is banished after use.

So this card immediately spoke to me that Black Dabura might be the best way to abuse this ability. Being able to play Black Punt before hitting with this card means that you are able to search for Dashing Sword Attack (now that it is styled) and then hit with it to search your discard for another sword attack!

The pressure is real, you mark my words!

Masteries to Think About

So, with all this in mind, where does Dabura really want to call home?

Well, as stated above, I think Black Dabura is a good place to stretch your legs and see what kind of mischief you can get into with Black Punt and the tutoring effects that his Named attack and DSA provide. It might not be the best fit, but it sounds like it could lead to some impactful turns that your opponent will regret.

As far as Masteries go, however, he seems like he will follow the same trend that Videl has. Orange Adept, Red Ruthless, and Blue Resourceful all feel like Masteries that can support this deck well. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a Black mastery that necessarily sticks out as being the most useful for Dabura, but I think he’ll be able to make due with any of the options presented to him. Perhaps Black Perceptive to help with the combat extension from cards like Black Protection or Black Double Team when destroyed from your mastery. Only time will tell.

Let’s Make a Deal

Alright, well thanks again for checking out my first impressions on our demonic swordsman! Stay tuned as we still have more MPs and the Masteries to discuss before the 15th; so be prepared for an avalanche of content over the next several days!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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A New Arrival: The Blog Family is Expanding

Related image

Hey everyone!

I know this isn’t my typical update article for the game, but I wanted to go over some changes that will be happening moving forward.

I have been batting around the idea to expand the scope of the content provided by the different blogs that I run, and this morning I decided that I would be launching a unified Patreon Page to increase the amount of content provided.

Currently this includes FanZ Warriors Gather, The Oblivion Bar (my MetaX blog) and Whimsical Happenstance (my poetry and short stories blog).

Links to all these blogs can be found on the Patreon Page, and each will continue to be updated for free.

With the creation of this Patreon, I hope to get a better gauge of what sort of reading audience I have and what sort of content they are looking to read about.

What This Means for this Blog

So the first thing I want to stress about this move to Patreon is that this blog will not be negatively impacted at all. I will still do my deck breakdowns, tournament reports, previews and reviews like I always do.

The biggest change is that there is now a Patreon link on the front page that will be visible in each article.

The only thing this Patreon will do is create additional content for Patrons that are at the $5 tier or higher. These patrons will receive other in-depth looks at decks or discussions as they arise.

One of the big things I have been thinking about for some time is adding to the Theory-crafting 101 articles. Starting at the $5 Tier, Patrons will receive updates titled “Theory-crafting 201” where we look at earlier TC101 lists, discuss what did or did not work for those decks and revisit what the deck should look like with this new information. I think it is a series that can be a lot of fun to explore, and hope that you all will enjoy looking back at previous decks and fine-tuning them more.

At the $10 Tier, polls will be updated each month on what exclusive Patreon content will be explored next. The final thing that the Patreon will provide is at the $15 Tier, people can request specific decks or articles they would like to see created during the next month.

Time’s Change, but Gaming is Eternal

Hopefully this has not scared you off, and has given you something interesting to consider with this and the other blogs I work on moving forward.

I still plan on putting out as much content as I possibly can, and with the help of the Patrons I will be able to provide a higher article turnover and more in-depth discussions than ever before. So I look forward to your support, whether financial or not, as we continue to discuss and evolve with the game we all love.

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

 

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Revelation Preview: Stance Dancing

Hey everyone!

Since Sword decks have been such a big topic of discussion over the last few days, it’s only naturally that we keep the ball rolling with yet another sword preview!!

If you weren’t a fan of sword-based decks before, this set is likely the best time to give it a try. With so many new toys to play with, you might find yourself brandishing steel without even realizing what you’ve done.

But enough about that, on with the preview!

So this card is a rather interesting addition to Red sword decks. The first big thing to point out is that it deals 5 life cards of damage rather than stages like the majority of the other sword cards. Looks like the training swords have been stowed away and we’re on to real steel here!

Now while this attack will cost you a stage to perform, it does comes with a great utility immediate effect. Being able to banish any drill you control to search your Life Deck for a Styled Drill of your choice and place it into play mid-combat has a lot of interesting applications.

You can cash in a used Drill to replace it with something new to use during combat. You can take a Drill you don’t need at the moment and convert it into something more meaningful. Because Red has several effects that search your Banished Zone for Drills, you could set up a line of play which takes a Drill you want and converts it into two Drills by snagging the original back out of your Banished Zone afterwards.

With so much interesting potential behind the card it should come as no surprise that this attack is banished after use.

One last thing to note, before heading off, thanks to Red Amplifying Mastery being able to add +X life cards of damage to any Styled attack, and not just an energy attack, this could be used as a sort of unblockable energy attack with some immediate board manipulation should you notice opponent toss away their physical blocks against your energy heavy build. Something to keep under your hat while building some new brews!

Thanks for checking out the preview everyone! With only 6 days before the official release of the set, I think I speak for everyone when I say, this is likely to be the most exciting release of FanZ to date, and possibly the most exciting set of DBZ in general since the release of PanZ!

So get hype, and get ready to put your brewing skills to work!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Revelation Preview: Sword and Board

Hey everyone!

As the unwritten spokesperson for the newest Blue Mastery, I am privileged to provide you all with today’s newest Revelation preview – Blue Sword Stance.

I’ve been noticing a lot of people asking what Style Dabura is best in now that his full MP stack and Named cards have been released, and I think this preview may have just helped his case for Blue.

Sword synergy aside, the case for this card in Blue Resourceful Mastery is already a pretty solid one. Being able to discard this card to the Mastery for a non-Styled physical for 4 stages that places itself into play and provides another action is already a pretty enticing offer. Add to the fact that this card is flexible, dealing either 4 stages or 3 life cards and 1 stage with the mastery, that also threatens to mess with your opponent’s anger and shuffle itself back into your Life Deck should it hit, and we have a very powerful card indeed.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that should it shuffle back in, we have the 2 Endurance to bank on, even if we never end up drawing it again.

As far as Sword decks are concerned, while it won’t be as appealing for non-Resourceful Mastery decks, it is a way to extend combats once you are ready to call on your opponent. With the new mastery however, you are able to Aggressive Sword Drill for this card when entering combat, and grant yourself not just one but two extra attacks! And should it hit, you are able to shuffle it right back into your deck to call upon in later combats!

The value is real.

Hell, it even has some decent potential in say a Blue Resolute Krillin build with the new Krillin MP stack. Having access to a Setup that can deal life card damage for free in Krillin will help keep your stages in check, and even let you bank away 2 free stages with his Constant effect to use for other cards while still keeping the pressure on! And like the sword based strategies, should this hit for you, Krillin is able to dial it up combat after combat, making sure the stage gain and life card damage keep on flowing.

With such a subtle design, this card may make its way into more decks than you might expect. Don’t catch yourself sleeping on this card, or it might just come back to haunt you over and over again.

As always, thanks for checking out today’s preview! This set has certainly proved itself to be the best FanZ set to date, and we still have so much more to see!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Revelation Preview: Total Dominance

Hey everyone!

So today’s preview is a special treat given to Dragonball Z OCTGN League!

For those in the know, Blue Dominance has been a favorite card of mine since its release in The Movie Collection. And while it has made a steady decline in popularity due to the increase in de-leveling tools throughout the game, it is something I always find myself going back to when exploring new deck ideas.

Of course, there is one other personality within the community that has voiced his opinion on this card even more than I have. A man that has been calling out for justice for this card and its deck strategy for quite some time. That man of course is Retro’s own Kevin Dennis.

No doubt you have seen him or myself talking on behalf of Blue Dominance in the past. Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, because we likely aren’t going to stop now! But I’ll go ahead and hand things over to Kevin so he can give you the first scoop on this brand new card – Blue Pacing Drill!

Words of Wisdom from Kevin

This preview, Blue Pacing Drill, ever so graciously offered by Joey DiCarlo, is an answer for something myself and other Blue players have longed for! When Blue Dominance dropped into the meta, it instantly became one of the most powerful setups, or maybe even cards period, in the game. Phil McGrath’s GenCon ‘15 Blue Dominance Piccolo is still one of my favorite decks I’ve ever played and one of the finest lists I’ve ever scanned through.

However, as powerful as Blue Dominance was (we’ll be taking in the present tense soon enough!), it had one major flaw: De-leveling. You pop off this card, proceed to get any 2 choice drills from your discard all the while you’re entering combat, and you’re sitting pretty! STOP!

STOP- REWIND: Your opponent has Dragon Radar in play. Welp, might as well pass until you draw an answer like Blue Betrayal or until you are able to Blue Decapitation for one. Any Ball-Play was always the worst thing to stare at as a Dominance deck and really undercut the strategy. Then came the mother load in Vengeance: Unleashed. The most polarizing card our game had seen, was also a card that destroyed Dominance builds. However, with Blue Pacing Drill, albeit for Namekian trait carriers only, Blue players can finally rest easy, and know the opponent will have to get through this drill before they can de-level you. With the other powerful drills Blue has, what will the opponent have to target first? HMMMMMM…

All this talk about Dominance, I forgot it does more! It is also an un-modifiable poke damage attack for 1 stage. Blue Farewell on Nail Lvl 2? Sure, I’ll trade an un-modifiable 1 stage physical into a 2 card mill. Need to get through those pesky Orange blocking drills? Throw this mosquito bite to buzz through, then throw your massive +5 physicals to your hearts content!

I for one am in LOVE with Blue Pacing Drill, and you should be too. A style defining card finally has some support! Hallelujah!

The FanZ Warrior Perspective

I couldn’t agree with Kevin more here. This card seems like a godsend for any Namekian personality looking to be an aggressive level 2 camping strategy. As mentioned, Nail is the first MP of choice that springs to mind.

No longer are you afraid of Orange Burning Aura Drill, or Yamcha’s Level 1 HIT effect. Your opponent put a hamper on your next attack? Good thing you have this throw-away 1 stage attack to eat right through it.

But here’s another important thing to consider – Blue Resourceful Mastery. Now while this attack cannot be modified, it certainly counts as being a Styled attack and can be yet another way to screw with your opponent’s anger! Oh, and did I mention you can put it directly into play with Resourceful’s Power? So good!

But those arguments aside, the biggest benefit is smack dab in the center of the image. Everyone’s favorite Space Dad Piccolo now has complete protection in Blue for camping on his ridiculously powerful Premiere Level 2! No longer do you have to struggle against de-leveling strategies to maintain your vice-like grip on the game state. This drill is everything the doctor ordered!

A True Display of Dominance

Thank you to Kevin for sharing this preview with the blog. And an extra thanks to Joey for being so kind to provide it. It makes my blue heart nearly skip a beat!

Keep your eyes peeled for more Revelation discussions as we get closer to the official release of the set!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: The Devil of Orange Star High

Hey Everyone!

So I know I mentioned that I would be putting out my First Impressions of the new masteries next on Retro, but since I’ve been invited onto the Brewcast to discuss them, I figured I would hold off writing about them until we have our big discussion and I’m able to get some different perspectives on their power.

However, for those that are curious as to what I think of them off the jump, here is my ranking for them after their reveal: Saiyan Oppressive, Black Mischievous, Red Amplified, Blue Resourceful, Orange Combative, Namekian Enlightened.

But now onto what I really have been looking forward to discuss for quite some time, Videl! For those of you who may not know, I have been working on a Videl stack for fun since way back between sets 2 & 3 of PanZ. I have thought about her role in this arc for probably too long and to finally see her officially spoiled has given me plenty of mixed emotions. I personally am sad to see her lose the “Villains matter” role she once had in the game, as I feel that really became a core mechanic for her, and if given the right support it could have remained her guiding force.

But regardless, I’m very excited by what we have seen for her so let’s get right to it!

Level One

Videl – Student is our first level of discussion. As with Krillin, the only trait found on Videl is Earthling, so I won’t bother to repeat it for each level. Likewise, she never leaves A Bracket, so again I’ll be leaving that out of each level going forward as well.

Videl sports the standard 2 PUR on this level and comes with some interesting abilities. First, her Constant Power has her gain an anger every time you perform an attack with AT. Next she has a Physical Attack dealing AT stages that on HIT either gains you 5 stages or destroys the top card of your opponent’s Life Deck.

So right away we see that AT is going to matter for her deck construction. That may seem a bit odd for a personality that never leaves A Bracket, but it will all become clear as we see her upcoming levels. So since she is AT based in the lowest bracket, it’s pretty safe to say that you won’t be doing much damage early with her. It’s good to note though that her built-in attack will always grant her an anger thanks to being AT based, and since her Constant power raises your anger 1 level on top of any other anger that it may already gain you, you likely won’t be on her level 1 for long. Cards like Red Double Strike or Black Hug Maneuver are going to put in some major work leveling this little lady in a hurry!

One last thing to point out with Videl that will remain as a mechanic throughout her levels is the ability to make choices. This level for instance lets you choose between gaining stages or destroying the top card of your opponent’s Life Deck. Flexibility is going to be a major key to Videl’s success and it is definitely worth keeping in mind when assessing her raw strength.

Level Two

Videl’s next level is: Videl – Heroic. She’s graduated to a 3 PUR and a new set of impressive abilities.

Her Constant power has now changed to locking your AT damage to 3 for all AT-based attacks you perform. Her Power is also another huge ability involving choices. First, you can choose to discard a card to draw a card. Then, you can either choose to lower your opponent’s anger 2 levels or to increase the card destruction off the top of your opponent’s Life Deck by 1 for the remainder of combat.

Now something that is interesting to point out with this power is that it doesn’t specify your effects that destroy cards off the top of their Life Deck. So if they happen to be playing Bardock or SSG Goku for example, they will end up increasing the cards destroyed by their own built-in effects on themselves. I personally really like this design choice as it makes your opponent second guess just how badly they want to mill themselves just to get an advantage. That being said, having the choice to filter your hand on top of either increasing this threat or simply lowering their anger 2 levels is an amazing tool to have at your disposal.

Also, the fact that your AT damage becomes a fixed number is something that is really going to help sky-rocket her into being a beatdown threat out of nowhere. Fixed damage has always been an interesting subject. Often players will gravitate towards higher bracket MPs if they wish to play beatdown in order to go for the biggest numbers possible. And while you may get knocked down to lower brackets, the trade off of high damage early has always seemed to win out for those types of strategies. However, with Videl locking her damage in regardless of power level, she can easily stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Broly or Android 13 and give them a legitimate run for their money when it comes to heavy-hitting attacks. And unlike those beefier opponents, she can take a beating and still put the hurt in.

Level Three

Videl – Battle Ready is next on the list. Again we see that her PUR has gone up by 1, to the standard 4 PUR on level 3. Likewise her constant power has also gone up by 1, making her AT attacks dish out 4 damage instead of 3 this time around.

This level brings us back to having a physical attack as her second power. Like her level 1, this attack deals AT damage, however it comes front-loaded with a devastating secondary effect. You are able to choose between placing a Setup and Drill on top of their owner’s Life Deck or to use a critical damage effect and have this attack considered to deal critical damage if it hits.

So 2 pieces of board control or 2 crit effects. If that doesn’t immediately catch your attention, I’m really not sure what else could! This level definitely brings the pain the hardest so far and can be a real thorn in the side of any strategy. This will very likely be the level you wish to stick to the most depending on how the meta shakes out, so be prepared to see this on the other side of the table and plan accordingly.

Level Four

Videl’s final level is Videl – Battle Hardened. As this is her level 4, she has the standard 5 PUR of most level 4s in the game.

This time around though, Videl gives us not one choice to consider but two! First, her constant effect lets you choose for each attack whether you would like it to have an AT of 5 or for it to gain “HIT: Destroy the top 2 cards of your opponent’s Life Deck.” Next, she has a physical attack dealing AT+5 damage with the secondary effect of either gaining 10 stages or rejuvenating 3 cards!

Oh boy is this a final level! This level really lets you tune in to the best way of sealing your opponent’s fate. The fact that you can push some real raw damage down their throat if they are caught off-guard or force them to decide to waste blocks on little damage with the chance of mill is a thing of beauty honestly. And the fact that you can keep yourself from being beaten down by either going back to full stages or rejuvenating 3 is just fantastic.

This level is going to be the stuff of nightmares for a lot of decks. I’m very willing to call that right now.

A quick shout out to Cheyne Runnells who pointed out to me that this level 4 constant not only effects your AT attacks, but all attacks you perform. Meaning that you can have any non-AT attack gain the “Hit: Destroy 2” effect, like energy attacks for example. Thanks for pointing that out! It just goes to show how impressive this level really is.

Named Card #1

Now as we all know, very few MPs are worth their weight if they aren’t accompanied by interesting or useful Named cards. Not to worry however, as Videl has some spice to throw in here as well!

Her first Named card is Videl’s Justice Kick. As a physical attack for AT+3 stages and 1 Endurance, this already should seem like a noteworthy card for her arsenal. But don’t worry, it gets so much better! First, the secondary effect of allowing you two choose both options from your Named or personality effects is just bonkers! On top of this however is the HIT effect of either raising your anger 1 level or shuffling this attack back into your Life Deck. Or both, since the secondary effect takes place for this attack as well!

This card is amazing. It clearly will end up being the backbone that supports Videl’s strategy. The really subtle power of this card however is the fact that you can choose to do both options, but are not required to. So if you find yourself on her Level 3 and are the only player with a Setup or Drill in play and you have used this attack there is no need to worry. You won’t be forced to put your own board state on top of your Life Deck unless you want to, as the choice of having both options available is completely up to you.

So good; so very good.

Named Card #2

Videl’s second Named card is Videl’s Determination. So the first thing to realize about this card is that it is a physical combat card, and not an event. So try to keep in mind that there is no fear of this effect being sphere’d as we go over it.

This card is played as an instant effect once you have used a successful physical attack,  and like all Videl cards, comes with a choice. You may choose to have your opponent skip their next action this combat or you may banish the top 7 cards of their discard pile. Regardless which you choose, you’ll also draw a card. This card is also Banish after use and has 3 Endurance.

So. For those that played the old ScoreZ, you might remember a card called Combo. Essentially, this card is Combo with the upside of 3 Endurance, not being forced to attack or pass as your next action, and banishing 7 cards if you happen to have Justice Kick’d before using it.

Now my first impression of this card was that I wasn’t sure just how useful this would be in Videl’s arsenal. However, having remembered that Defiant Challenge is indeed a card, and the fact that this card is good in hand or in your Life Deck, I think I’m pretty sold on it.

What Styles/Masteries Are Good For Her?

Phew.

So with all that said and done, what Styles are going to help support her, and what Masteries within those styles?

Well I know a lot of the community has immediately flocked to Red Ruthless as being her mastery of choice. And they likely are not wrong. For me, the big factor is figuring out what version of her stack you want to build around. Either the more controlling, chip damage version that is supported by her early levels or the hard hitting, resilient potential that her later stack provides. Knowing this is going to be a key to playing her well. Likewise, having tools to switch one way or the other can help completely blindside your opponent once they think they have figured your gameplan out.

Since we are still missing a major portion of this new set, it’s hard to say for certain what is best for her at the moment. But while we wait for the full set to drop, here are a few of my recommendations to think about when brewing up early Videl lists.

  • Black Mischievous Mastery
  • Black Perceptive Mastery
  • Blue Resourceful Mastery
  • Orange Retribution Mastery
  • Orange Adept Mastery
  • Red Ruthless Mastery

School’s Out

Thanks for checking out my first thoughts with Videl. I know I personally will be experimenting with many different deck strategies involving her in the near future. So if you are interested in seeing any of those, keep your eye on the blog.

And again, stay tuned to Retro if you are interested in hearing my thoughts on the new Masteries with the Brewcast crew coming up soon. I’ll have a more detailed “First Impression” article up some time after the cast if  you want to hear more of my personal thoughts on them.

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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