Escalation Preview: That’s F**kin’ Teamwork!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to the 2nd (and likely final) Preview on our blog for the upcoming set – Escalation!

Like last time, I’m just going to dive in and talk about what I think: so let’s go!

That’s right, we’re back with another Blue preview for those out there wondering what else was in store for the Style!

Today’s card is certainly straightforward but VERY POWERFUL!

At the cost of 2 energy attacks (4 stages) that must be paid by an Ally, you are getting 2 1/2 energy attacks worth of damage (10 life cards). Now, I first just want to say that the flavor of this is on point, as we can see there are 2 1/2 grown Saiyans in the art, so bonus points for this.

The other major thing about this attack is obviously the fact that its damage cannot be modified. Now while that means you can’t buff it up, it also means your opponent can’t nerf it down, making this a constant threat to your opponent’s Life Deck whenever it hits!

Again, it does come at the hefty cost of having an Ally pay 4 stages, but that is certainly going to be no problem for specific decks such as Gohan, Babidi or Ginyu to pull off consistently.

Another interesting point to make about this card is you don’t even need to be a heavy Ally deck to take advantage of this card. Even being a one-Ally deck with Tag Team Mastery to protect your Ally from being Crit could be enough to push this card to a 3-of for your builds.

Could this attack potentially make an Ally like Frieza – Mastermind more reasonable to tag into? A 10 life card attack that can’t be modified and has all its damage banished is likely to be incredibly crippling to any strategy that gets hit by it!

Not to mention this card gives Blue more opportunities to deal Critical Damage so long as they have a friend to lend them some stages for this powerful attack.

All in all, I think this is a pretty solid card, and I look forward to seeing what decks put it to good use… so long as they aren’t on the other side of the table from me that is!

Take the Power Back!

Thanks for checking out the article for today! Before you go however, you may remember we recently ran a poll on which MP will be our first TC101 list for Set 11! It was a fairly close poll, but it looks like Buu will be our first at bat for the new meta!

But having the MP is only half the deck, as we still need to figure out which Style we will be building for him. So that’s where today’s poll comes in!

We’ll be voting on Style for this poll, with a poll to follow on which Mastery we will try out within that Style. Expect the final poll to show up on my full thoughts on Escalation once the full set has been released!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Escalation Preview: Chargin’ Mah Lazer

Hey everyone!

Welcome to our 1st official preview of Escalation preview season!

We’ve got a very interesting one today, so let’s jump right in!

While this card may seem pretty straightforward, there is certainly a ton to discuss here.

First, we are preventing damage from any attack. While this will still allow for HIT effects, and won’t do a ton against attacks that can’t have their damage prevented, there are still plenty of situations in each match where denying a bunch of damage is going to come in handy.

Next, we have the immediate effect to discard a card from our hand to perform a copy of the attack we prevent during our next action this combat. Now the nice part about this, is that it doesn’t care if we actually prevented the damage or not. So if your opponent happens to play some gross attack, why not just fling it back at them!

Not to mention the synergy that Blue has with discarding its own cards for effects. Chuck a Blue Guard and draw a card while attacking. Throw away a Blue Lifting Drill and put it right into play so your copy does +1 life card of damage! There are a number of powerful blue cards that have no issue with being discarded, so get creative!

Lastly, if your MP happens to be Alien traited, the copy you throw at your opponent is considered to deal Critical Damage and you get to raise or lower a player’s anger 2 levels! Being an Alien has never felt so good!

Now of course, there are some drawbacks to this card as well. Being an Event is certainly fair for this effect, but it does open it up to your standard Event hate. Likewise, not having any Endurance will make it difficult to want to slot into your deck, especially when most of Blue’s blocks come with 1 or 2 Endurance naturally.

However, I think the upsides are real, whether you’re an Alien or not. Of course, it’s much more justifiable to use in an Alien list, but even a list that’s focused on setting up prevention to unlock effects like Blue Zinger or that wants to take advantage of copied attacks will still look at this card.

Blue Overpowering Drill alone may make this card a secret all-star, especially in an Alien Deck like Cell or Cooler that actively wants to level and dish out big chunks of damage along the way.

All I’m saying is, do not sleep on this card. I think there is a lot to work with here!

Back at Ya!

Thanks for checking out our first preview for the season. With everything we’ve seen so far, I’m certain there’s plenty more excitement coming down the pipeline!

As a reminder, don’t forget to check out our First Impression write-up on Babidi. There’s a poll at the end of the article for you to vote on to see which new MP stack will be the first to receive the TC101 treatment in the upcoming meta! So let your voice be heard and it could be the MP you pick that gets first dibs!!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impression: The Man Behind the Curtain

Image result for babidi gif

Hey everyone!

Welcome to the (presumably) last installment of our Escalation – First Impression series!

I’d definitely say we are going out with a bang as well, as our final MP stack is none other than “the man with the plan” himself – Babidi!

I’m sure you’re excited to dive into what he has to over, so let’s discuss!

Level One

Babidi’s Level one is: Babidi – Mastermind.

One thing I’d like to get out of the way when it comes to Babidi is the lack of Alien trait he has. While I get the argument is that Majin is the biggest influence he has, being magic and all, the fact that his base of operations is a Spaceship he flew to Earth should really be justification enough as to why he deserves the trait. While yes he is magical, being a wizard and everything, he isn’t from another dimension like Dabura, just another part of the universe.

Nitpicking aside though, this MP has a lot of power behind him!

For example, you should have no problem at all getting off his Level One, as it ramps up the amount of anger you gain from it hitting with each extra Majin Ally you have in play! Even if they are willing to block it early, it’s only a matter of time before you have enough friends in play when it hits to level you instantly!

Level Two

Next up we have: Babidi – Scheming.

This Level is definitely going to be annoying to play against if you don’t have dedicated Ally banishing in your deck. Being able to sacrifice one of your Majin Allies each combat to mill your opponent for 3, then pick them right back up when entering combat is going to be a nice little engine to speed the game up quick!

Not only that, but being able to dwindle away your opponent’s discard pile and manipulate anger will make sure that you keep your opponent’s options as limited as possible.

This level is definitely going to be a jerk, so be prepared.

Level Three

Level Three brings us: Babidi – Worried.

This level is a bit more reliant on having a good Majin Ally in play. Luckily for us, it has the built-in effect to search for one and play it during our Planning Step!

While this level is not nearly as impressive as some of the others, being able to get rid of options in your opponent’s discard pile while Rejuvenating 2 of your own will definitely keep the swings in your favor the longer you are on this level.

The only big hurdle will be keeping your stages low enough to actually use the Ally you pick with this power. Thankfully, never going above B Bracket in his power level keeps Babidi pretty “open” for some stage damage to unlock your allies right when you need them!

Level Four

And finally, we have: Babidi – Controlling.

This level is rather interesting. So instead of getting your own allies from anywhere, Babidi can use his corrupting magic on your opponent’s allies in any zone instead! The downside to this of course is whether or not your opponent is playing allies at all, but having the option is definitely nice either way.

On top of this, making sure your allies are full of power definitely feels on flavor for Babidi. So granting them all +2 PUR is certain to help a lot with your plans.

Finally, this comes with an Energy attack that could definitely pack a huge punch, but may also only be a small drop in the bucket at times. My advice is to keep this Level open in your building as an option against other ally heavy builds, but focus more on your mid-levels to really get the job done.

Named Card #1

Babidi’s first Named card is: Babidi’s Corruption.

Right off the bat this card comes with a very interesting Parenthetical effect. If we are to banish this card for Endurance, we get to make our opponent discard a card at random and draw card. This could come in handy for disrupting our opponent’s game plan during combat, especially as their hand gets smaller, meaning the likelihood of hitting a card they really want to keep goes up! Now while we can’t 100% control when this effect will show up, I’m certain that it’s going to be annoying no matter when it happens to occur!

For the card effect itself, we get a Red Retreat style card that allows us to search for an Ally, play it, then decide if we’d like combat to continue or not by allowing us to banish an Ally we control to end it if we so choose. For a deck that is going to care about allies leaving and entering play often, this is a great tool. Not only can it be used as a “Get out of Jail free” card, but it can also find you the exact Ally you want in play, or the Ally you care the least about banishing to end combat.

Named Card #2

Next up with have: Babidi’s Dark Magic.

Once again we are given an interesting Parenthetical effect with this card, although it’s a much more defensive one. This card gains an additional +X Endurance for each Majin Ally you control. In a deck where flooding the board with allies should be a breeze, this card can really stop the bleeding quick when your opponent happens to connect with any of their hard-hitting attacks!

Like Corruption, this card also allows us to search for an Ally (albeit a Majin-specific Ally this time), and place it into play. Then we get the choice to either raise that Ally to its highest power stage or mill our opponent for the number of Majin allies we have in play.

I like the versatility of this card. Not only can you get a powerful Majin Ally to potentially fill with stages for your attack and defense purposes, but if you happen to find yourself on a full board already you can instead put the pressure back on your opponent.

The push and pull that Babidi and his Named cards create will definitely be a control players paradise, I can already tell!

Initial Deck List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Babidi – Mastermind
2 – Babidi – Scheming
3 – Babidi – Worried
4 – Babidi – Controlling
M – Orange Adaptive Mastery

Blocks (11):
3x Orange Energy Catch
2x Orange Dismissal
3x Orange Refocus
2x Orange Swerve
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Allies (8):
1x Buu – Feasting
1x Dabura – Devil
1x Pui Pui – Cocky
1x Yakon – Beastly
1x Spopovich – Enhanced
1x Yamu – Expendable
1x Vegeta – Content
1x Tora – Second in Command

Setups (3):
2x Visiting the Past
1x Villainous Visage

Drills (10):
3x Orange Assistance Drill
2x Orange Aura Drill
1x Orange Energy Phasing Drill
1x Orange Energy Dan Drill
1x Orange Freezing Drill
1x Orange Hiding Drill
1x Orange Checkup Drill

Events (13):
3x Orange Meditation
3x Babidi’s Corruption
3x Babidi’s Dark Magic
3x Stare Down
1x Villainous Energy Sphere

Energy Attacks (15):
3x Orange Stare Down
3x Orange Power Point
3x Energetic Left Blast
3x Overpowering Attack
3x Allied Blitz

Breakdown of Deck Concepts

Now it’s very likely that this is not the first Style that comes to mind when we look at Babidi. However, I’ve been really wanting to test out Orange Assistance Drill in other decks ever since I put Retribution King Kai together, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see how it works in a deck designed to want to keep its allies in arm’s reach.

While Orange does not have a ton of Ally synergy naturally, with no ways of recurring them or searching for them within the Style, it does naturally make sense since you are primarily an Energy focused Style, so the more stages you have, the more likely you are to do the things you want to do. Makes sense to me!

Also, this list gets to try another card out that I’ve had my eye on for a long time, Allied Blitz. I’ve never really been much of an Ally player to begin with, but I really like the combo potential of Allied Blitz into unloading our hand then using Babidi’s Corruption to walk out of combat once the dust settles.

I really wanted to put other fun cards into this list like Power Mimic, but with so many Planning Step cards already in the list, some things had to get the cut. No doubt this is not the most streamlined version of this list, but I think it’s a great place to start and see just what shenanigans you can get into with Orange when you have a whole group behind you.

While likely not as potent as the Orange Ginyu lists of Set 1, I feel like this deck is certainly on track to make for some interesting games. And really, what more could you ask for?

Paparapapa!

Thanks for checking out this final installment for the First Impressions series for Set 11!

As promised, I’ll be doing a TC101 breakdown for each MP once the set has been fully released. To get prepared for that however, we need to know whose first on the list and what Style we are going to try them in!

You will have this week to vote on which of the new MPs we will discuss first. Then, once we know who we are playing, I’ll release another article on my thoughts about the set as a whole with the poll on which Style we will be building for our first TC101 of the new meta!

So cast your vote now on who you want to see first!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impression: Pure Imagination

Come with me, and you’ll see, a new MP of Pure Imagination…

Hey everyone!

Welcome to our next installment of First Impressions for Set 11 – Escalation!

This time around we’re looking at the Candy Man himself, Willy… I mean Majin Buu!

I know a lot of people were really excited to see what Buu had in store for us, but not many seem to know what to do with him. So let’s take a look and see what we can figure out together!

Level One

Buu’s 1st level is: Buu – Playful.

As with Majin Vegeta, we see that starting the game in F Bracket is no longer left to Super Saiyan Gods alone. On top of this, Buu makes sure that there’s no need to wait for his Named Setups to show up, as he gets to start the game with them all banished!

Well, that doesn’t seem like the right place for them. Ah, but if we’ve learned anything from Frieza, we know that getting to remove specific cards from our deck can be a great bonus at the start of the game! So let’s keep that in mind as we move forward.

This beginning level seems to be nothing but utility through and through. We get stage negation as a Constant; and a Physical attack that both raises our anger 1 level and rejuvenates 1 as an immediate effect. While it only hits for 3 stages, that isn’t exactly a bad thing. As the damage is somewhat low, your opponent is more often than not going to let it through, meaning we also will usually get the benefit of discarding a card to draw a card.

As an avid Tao player, I cannot speak highly enough of hand filtering. Don’t sleep on it. It could save your life one day. Not to mention all the great cards that exist out there that have “when discarded” effects!

Level Two

Buu’s next level is: Buu – Abomination.

As with most MPs, Level Two is where things start to get more interesting. Instead of a -1 stage modifier, this time we have the Constant of rejuvenating 1 whenever we are hit with an attack. While that does mean we have to get hit, it also means that taking stage damage will allow us to prolong our lives thanks to the rejuv. Again, nothing to scoff at!

This level also bring us another Physical attack that gives us more longevity by letting us shuffle any card from our discard pile into our deck. It also dishes out a healthy 5 stages and comes with the added bonus of either raising our anger 2 levels or rejuvenating 2 on HIT.

I like the flexibility of this level. If you want to race to his upper levels, it lets you. But if you want to camp and be a pain to kill, you can do that as well! I’ll be interested to see how many people decide that staying at 2 is the way to play.

Will you be one?

Level Three

For Buu’s 3rd level we have: Buu – Monstrous.

This level is just as beastly as it sounds. First off, whenever we rejuvenate we get to increase that amount by 1. While that may not seem like a whole lot, it definitely adds up over time, and can lead to a lot of interesting interactions. No doubt you have seen the posts about it running around Retro at this point. But if you haven’t, I highly suggest looking into it. There could be a lot of fun to be had at this level!

On top of that, we get an entering effect of Rejuvenating the top or bottom card of our discard pile. Oh wait, I mean two since our Constant works for this as well!

Finally, we get a third Physical attack for 6 stages that lets us search our Banished Zone for one of Buu’s Named Setups and either use its power (attaching it to its target) or placing it into play (if we have nothing we want to attach it to).

Again, this allows us to be flexible on our hate for our opponent’s board. Nothing is safe in play while you are on this level!

Level Four

Lastly, we have: Buu – Steaming.

This level comes with the awesome Constant power of preventing all damage from the first attack your opponent plays each combat. While there are some builds out there that can waste throwing attacks for little value, not everyone can; meaning that you’ll get a lot of reach through this level against aggressive deck strategies.

On top of that, we have an Instant power that allows us to grab one of Buu’s Named Setups from the Banished Zone and again either use its power or place it into play after hitting with any successful Physical attack. Basically turning one of your attacks each combat into a slightly worse version of his Level 3 power. Not too shabby!

Oh, and did I mention this level comes with a 4th Physical attack! This time for 8 stages that comes with the HIT effect to banish all your Named Setups from play and Rejuvenate 3 for each card banished this way! That’s a lot of life gain if this bad boy hits.

Having a Physical attack on each level is really going to keep the pressure up on your opponents. I believe Buu is only the second villain MP to come with 4 built-in attacks in his MP stack (our favorite Redneck Robot beat him to the punch on that one)!

I’m personally very interested to see how aggressive people can get with our gumball looking friend. But we’re not quite done yet.

I’ve mentioned his Named Setups a few times, but what are they? Well let’s take a look!

Named Card #1

Buu’s 1st of 3 Limit One per Deck card’s at Buu’s disposal is: Buu’s Candy.

As with all 3 of his Named Setups, this card comes with the Parenthetical effect to banish the card it’s attached to whenever it leaves play, meaning that you hopefully won’t have to worry about that card anymore.

This card affects Setups and allows you to banish it once it’s attached to lower your opponent’s anger 2 levels and banish the top 2 cards of your opponent’s discard pile.

While certainly useful, I’m curious to see just how much mileage will come out of this one. Being able to blank your opponent’s clutch Setups will be nice, but I’m not banking on this one activating too many times throughout a match.

Named Card #2

Next we have: Buu’s Chocolate.

This version of Buu’s control attaches to Drills and allows you to banish it once it’s attached to raise your anger 1 level and make your opponent lose 3 stages.

This one will likely occur more often, and allows the pressure to continue thanks to the lose of stages. While your opponent gets to choose which of their personalities loses the stages, hopefully our next card will make that decision much more difficult.

Named Card #3

Up next is: Buu’s Cookie.

This last Setup attaches to an Ally and turns off its ability to redirect damage; an incredibly useful ability. It also allows us to banish it once it’s attached to gain 2 stages and rejuvenate 2.

Being able to use this as a resource to keep your pressure up while alleviating the pressure your opponent puts on you should make this card a great fit for all the aggressive Buu builds to come.

Named Card #4

And the card that brings them all together is: Buu’s Candy Beam.

This Energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 5 life cards comes with the immediate effect to pick one of your Named Setups from the Banished Zone and either use its power or place it into play.

It also happens to come with 1 Endurance and the ability to banish an attached card in play if it happens to get discarded or destroyed from your Life Deck.

Like Buu’s upper levels, this card will allow you to access your Named Setups more actively in the early parts of the game. If you are running a deck designed to annoy your opponent’s board state, this card will be a no brainer to include.

But is that sort of deck really what you need to be doing with Buu? Or does starting the game with 3 less cards in your deck have a better advantage already?

Hmm…

Initial Deck List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Buu – Playful
2 – Buu – Abomination
3 – Buu – Monstrous
4 – Buu – Steaming
M – Orange Adept Mastery

Blocks (10):
3x Orange Energy Catch
3x Orange Refocus
3x Orange Juke
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Setups (5):
2x Visiting the Past
1x Buu’s Candy
1x Buu’s Chocolate
1x Buu’s Cookie

Drills (6):
2x Orange Joint Restraint Drill
2x Orange Disaster Drill
1x Orange Bottle Drill
1x Orange Checkup Drill

Events (6):
3x Orange Meditation
2x Stare Down
1x Villainous Energy Sphere

Energy Attacks (8):
3x Orange Power Point
3x Orange Energized Push
2x Villainous Power Ball

Physical Attacks (25):
3x Orange Uppercut
3x Orange Knee Strike
3x Orange Hug
3x Orange Bicycle Kick
3x Orange Lasso
2x Orange Extension
2x Orange Enraged Bash
2x Orange Collision
2x Shoulder Slam
2x I’ll Dig Your Grave!

Breakdown of Deck Concepts

I originally thought about making this into a Dragon Ball Victory Deck, but the more I looked at Buu’s power levels, the more I wanted to explore what he can do in the word of beatdown.

We are using our level 1 start of game power to trim our deck of 3 cards and try to come out of the gates running with this deck. No Candy Beams to mess with, and no shenanigans to our opponent’s board. Just hit after hit aggression.

Those that have played against my Adept Chilled list will probably find this very similar.  While not identical our goal is really only to get to our 2nd level and try to capitalize on dishing out big hits while constantly absorbing our opponent’s. If we happen to get higher than that, that’s icing on the cake, but realistically 2 should be plenty to keep the pressure up and slowly turn the game in our favor.

With Buu’s ability to rejuv after being hit coupled with his physical that shuffles a card and possibly rejuves 2 more, we should be able to make our opponent’s question if it’s even possible to kill us. All the while trying to dish out as much additional damage as we can thanks to our drills and other cards that pump our damage.

Is it a good build, hard to say. Will be be a fun build, almost certainly!

Most Adept lists are, after all.

The Candy Man Can

Thanks for checking out this latest installment of First Impressions.

As mentioned before, I will be doing a TC101 for each new MP stack once they have been revealed, so keep your eyes peeled for the poll to see which MP we’ll talk about first!

But before that though, we’ve still got one more MP to give a First Impression to. So check out next time when we take a look at the bringer of the Buu, the man behind the curtain, Babidi!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impression: Acting Demickey

Related image

Hello, everyone!

It’s that time once again to take a look at what the next FanZ set has to offer! I know I for one am really excited to see each of the MPs being released in this set!

And who better to kick things off than the one that can show us what for it means to be Super Sand-Legend, the Clown Prince of all Saiyans – Majin Vegeta!

Hopefully, by now you realize that this is where the goofiness ends, cause from here on out, this new Villain Vegeta is all business. So let’s dive in!

Level One

Vegeta’s Level One is Vegeta – Untethered Rage.

As far as Level One’s go, this is one of the more interesting ones to come out as of late. Not only does it come equipped with F and E brackets on Level One, and an aggressive leveling power (that just so happens to be an attack), but it also has an even more aggressive anti-leveling countermeasure should your opponent try to keep your MP in check.

Being able to give up MPPV to immediately launch yourself back to Level Two is going to be a big deal. Now you’re also giving up your discard pile and a card in your hand to do so, but that seems like a completely reasonable thing to do to make sure you stay on your relevant combat levels.

Plus this power can be used proactively. For example, if you are on Level Two and use Red Resourceful Block, you lower your MP one level, then trigger the Parenthetical Text of your Level One to jump back to Level Two. Then at the end of combat you go up another level! That’s a hell of an effect for blocking a physical attack, if I do say so myself!

It’s also interesting to have a built in physical attack that buffs a future attack. Basically telling your opponent to take the 4 now and block later, or you’ll regret it. Of course, you may have unstoppable Styled attacks like Saiyan Grab, or you might not even play an actual Styled attack this turn at all; meaning you’ve tricked them into holding a block all together. I like what I’m seeing here, for sure.

Level Two

His next level is Vegeta – Malicious.

This is definitely where things start to heat up. Once again we’re gifted a built-in attack with sizable damage that also brings discard pile hate and optional anger gaining. We’ve also got a truly impressive Constant effect that gives all our Styled attacks +1 stage of damage and completely negates ending combat, passing or skipping actions so long as the top and bottom card of your discard pile are Styled.

This level is going to be the bane of a lot of decks. Having control over combat is a huge make-or-break within this game. Being able to tell your opponent “no” to all their tricks is going to leave a lot of decks in very dangerous territory. In fairness, there are definitely ways around being locked in by Vegeta, whether by removing their discard or at least select cards should they find some non-Styled cards near the top or bottom of their discard pile.

It will be interesting to see if Orange Shopping Drill is enough of a pull to bring Majin Vegeta over into Orange’s side of the field. Anything that can protect your own discard pile might just be worth it to lock your opponent in combat!

Level Three

Vegeta’s third level is Vegeta – Relentless.

Once again we are graced with a damage modifier, this time in the way of +2 stages to all our Styled attacks! On top of this, we are given a built-in Saiyan Strength Test of sorts, except you get to choose which cards are removed instead. And you can choose your own discard pile with the effect if you choose, meaning all those “if banished from your discard” cards from Set 4 on up may have a new place to call home!

This level also comes with Goku – Determined type power allowing you to draw the bottom card of your discard pile. However, instead of discarding for a Crit effect, we are graced with board control. And even more board control so long as your discard pile remains untouched by non-Styled cards.

The downside to this level is that you have to destroy something, potentially twice. Meaning if your opponent doesn’t have enough things in play, you may find yourself destroying your own. Be mindful of your own board state on this level.

Level Four

Finally, we have Vegeta – Redeemed.

This is a very powerful level indeed. I’m not sure how many other Level Four’s in the game read “Block or die” as hard as this new level for the Prince does (though Broly certainly springs to mind in a similar fashion).

Having such raw life card damage at the price of deleveling all the way to One (or Two if you activate your Level One’s Parenthetical Text) is a big deal. There are plenty of games that end up delicately balancing on the razor’s edge towards the end. Having the means to push your opponent over the edge – even with such a steep cost – is likely going to swing games in your favor whenever it hits.

While I am disappointed that this level is mostly blank for those looking to win by MPPV with the Prince, I will grant that it is a nice way to change tactics late game if you begin to realize that Survival is just a better path to victory given the current situation. I personally would like to see some small effect added to this level to not make it completely blank for those of us out here looking to use the Prince in an MPPV strategy, but in either case it’s still a great level to finish on.

Named Card

Vegeta’s only new Named card is Vegeta’s Prideful Challenge.

As a whole, this is a pretty sweet Named card for Hero or Villain Vegetas alike. Having the ability to shut off Setups, Drills and Allies when entering combat is nothing to scoff at. There are very few decks that will be unaffected by this sort of effect. Not to mention you also get the ability to banish up to 3 cards from either player’s discard pile. Normally the wording for this sort of effect is labeled as “a player’s” discard pile. Because this effect is worded slightly different, I’m curious to see if you can split the banishing between both discard piles. Could be interesting if you can!

As a bonus, this Setup counts as being Styled, and if you are Majin Vegeta, you also get to draw a card! Oh, and why not 2 Endurance to boot!

Now clearly this card is a little more appealing for the newer Vegeta, but I still would not count this card out for Hero Vegeta builds looking to restrict your opponent’s options in combat.

Initial Deck List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Vegeta – Untethered Rage
2 – Vegeta – Malicious
3 – Vegeta – Relentless
4 – Vegeta – Redeemed
M – Blue Resourceful Mastery

Blocks (12):
3x Blue Leverage
3x Blue Guard
2x Blue Brace
3x Blue Shifting Maneuver
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Setups (15):
3x Blue Sword Stance
3x Blue Stretch Kick
2x Blue Off-Balanced Punch
2x Blue Friendliness
3x Vegeta’s Prideful Challenge
2x Visiting the Past

Drills (2):
2x Blue Overpowering Drill

Energy Attacks (11):
3x Blue Arm Blast
3x Blue Left Blast
2x Blue Neck Beam
3x Vegeta’s Final Flash

Physical Attacks (20):
3x Blue Determined Attack
3x Blue Round Throw
3x Blue Smug Punch
3x Blue Head Kick
3x Blue Tempo
3x Blue Lunge
2x Blue Elbow

Breakdown of Deck Concepts

This is a little more of your standard Blue Resourceful deck than I started to put together, but I think this is a good starting point to trying the new Vegeta. A feel like the real version of this deck is likely a camp at level 2 and profit form of this list, but I wanted to see what the upper levels of the Prince might be able to pull off in a list like this. So we set aside the Drills (mostly) for now and focused more on getting the beats in a early and often as we can.

You may feel like the Setup package is a bit of a “non-bo” with Vegeta’s Prideful Challenge, but follow along with me for a moment. There is nothing that this new Setup says about stopping the building of board states within combat. Meaning, on the turns where we don’t have enough action, we can still use our Mastery and other effects (like Blue Lunge or Blue Tempo) to build our board to a critical mass of actions to be used at a later time. Then, if we happen to be on our Level Two, we get the comfort of knowing that our opponent won’t be able to escape the devastation we’ve set up for them previously.

It might be an awkward build on the Prince, especially if you get to Level Three and your opponent doesn’t have much in the way of board presence, but I think it’s a fun experiment to think about while we wait for the rest of the set to drop.

Kakarot is My Only Objective

Thanks for checking out my initial thoughts on Majin Vegeta!

Stay tuned for more articles on the remaining MPs as well as further TC101 deck ideas for each MP once the full set has been released!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Theory-crafting 101: Heavy Metal

Hello, everyone!

It has been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these. But the people have definitely spoken on my somewhat recent Facebook poll, and TC101 remains one of the most enjoyed articles on this blog.

So while we wait for Set 11 to official begin its spoiler season, I wanted to take a look back and see if there were any interesting deck ideas that may have slipped through the cracks during this past Season of events.

And I think I’ve found one today that might be a contender!

So without anymore delay, let’s take a look!

The List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Android 13 – Robot Redneck
2 – Android 13 – Amused
3 – Android 13 – Dark Villain
4 – Android 13 – Surging Strength
M – Black Mischievous Mastery

Blocks (13):
3x Black Resistance
3x Black Knee Catch
3x Black Delay
3x Android 13’s Impenetrable Defense
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Allies (2):
1x Android 14 – Stoic
1x Android 15 – Relaxed

Setups (3):
2x Visiting the Past
1x Afterimage Technique

Events (10):
3x Black Schematics
3x Black Command
2x Black Interrogation
1x Defiant Challenge
1x Villainous Energy Sphere

Physical Attacks (32):
3x Black Judgment Rush
3x Black Sword Rush
3x Black Dive
3x Black Strike
3x Black Hug Maneuver
3x Black Dismissal
3x Black Back Strike
2x Black Defensive Burst
3x Android Insubordination
3x Android Arm Breaker
3x Devastating Blow

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

As I’m sure you can tell by the list above, this deck has two major priorities: get angry fast & get in combat often.

There shouldn’t be much stopping you from calling combat nearly every turn if you want, since we are playing a total of 5 Planning Step cards in the entire deck! If the conditions look good, then jump on in!

Now obviously you aren’t going to want to call all the time just because you can, and I’m sure there are going to be some match ups that make it rather difficult for you to accomplish what you want. Luckily with the help of our Mastery and Black Interrogation, we should hopefully be able to disrupt our opponent’s hand just enough each combat to get our goals achieved. Though it is certainly possible that more hand disruption may be needed to push this from theory to tournament ready.

One thing that may become a concern is the lack of Energy Blocks in our list. We are mostly banking on the fact that our stage lock game should be fairly strong, especially once we reach Level 3. But in order to try and protect our life and our anger, we’ve tried to seed our deck with as many Endurance alternatives to cards as we could. While there may be other cards that fit the build, we wanted to try and pad our life knowing that we are more vulnerable to energy attacks than maybe we’d like to be. With that in mind, the deck is sporting a healthy 62 Endurance, so if stuffing an entire extra deck into your Life Deck can’t save you, I’m not sure what will!

As for main objective, I think that leveling and beatdown are both fairly neck-and-neck in this list. I would strongly suggest figuring out which is going to be the better chance of winning quickly from match to match, as A13’s Level 4 isn’t the most impressive to jump to if you aren’t able to win quickly from it. It’s not nearly as  bad as Garlic Jr, but you won’t be happy leaving Level 3 if you can’t seal the game away with it.

Take the Power Back!

Thanks for stopping in to check out this quick brew as we wait to see what the next set holds!

While we wait, I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be doing a TC101 for each MP that comes out for the next set! However, I don’t want to set up the poll until we’ve seen each MP stack.

So while there is no poll this time, expect to see one as soon as every full MP stack has been revealed!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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“I Want to be the Very Best!” – OP Season 1 Champion Cards

Image result for vegeta gif

Hey everyone!

The wait is finally over! The Dev Team has finally announced the first OP mini set from our 2017 Kai Champions!!

And boy is it packed with goodies! So much so that I felt like sharing my initial thoughts on each card!

Who’s ready!?! I know I am!

Black Style – East Kai Champion

First card in our list is Black Judgment Rush by Josh Duquette.

There is so much going on with this card to discuss.

First, it’s considered a Named card. Right away this jumps out to me as something special. There are a select number of decks that really value Named cards, so to have another bonus card for those decks is certainly something to think about.

I’m looking at you Frieza!

Next, we have the attack itself: a solid AT+3 stage damage physical attack at the cost of 1 stage. Nothing too extravagant, but it’ll certainly put the work in if it hits.

Then we have its immediate effect of lower any player’s anger 1 level and destroying the top 2 cards of your opponent’s Life Deck if it’s stopped. So now we have an annoying anger hate card that converts into mill if you value your stages.

So far so good I’d say! Slap its 2 Endurance on it and let’s call this a day.

Oh, but let’s not forget that it also has the HIT effect of staying in play to be used a second time this combat.

I can already tell this card is going to be killer – and the best part, it’s not banish after use! The stuff of nightmares in the right beatdown strategy. I’m calling it right now.

Blue Style – North Kai Champion

Next up we have Blue Stylish Pose by Matt Tambor.

While not as flashy as our first card, this one is going to be a staple in every Ally build moving forward!

First, its parenthetical text allows you to banish it as an action from your hand during combat to search your discard pile or Banished Zone for an Ally and play it. So no need to worry about the fact this card is a Setup when being called on – it’s got you covered!

It’s actual effect while in play allows you to search your Life Deck or discard pile for an Ally and play it. Then raise an Ally in play to its highest power stage. And then if that wasn’t enough, you also get to use a critical damage effect!

So not only can you grab whatever Ally you may need and put it or any other ally you have in play to its highest stage, you can also get rid of an opponent’s Ally, steal a Dragon Ball or lower their anger to boot!!

And to top it off, it comes with a nice 1 Endurance (as if this card didn’t have enough reason to already be in your deck).

Namekian Style – Grand Kai Champion

Third on our list is Namekian Planetary Countdown by Tim Batow.

Our first Limit 1 per deck card on the list, and for good reason!

This Setup comes packed with a phenomenal instant effect, used when you would lose the game by Survival Victory during combat. With this effect, you cannot lose the game until the end of this action. You then shuffle the bottom 5 cards of your discard pile back into your Life Deck.

Let me just restate that – this card stops you from losing the game! Now for those of you that played ScoreZ, this phrase may not pack as much of a punch (as there were several cards in both Z and GT that stopped you from losing). But for those only familiar with Pan&FanZ, this is completely unheard of!

I think it goes without saying that this card also banishes itself after use.

If you thought Namekian was already annoying, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Orange Style – South Kai Champion

Our next card in the cycle is Orange Luxury by Cory Aquilard.

Likely the most sensible of our champion cards, but by no means does that mean it is any less powerful!

This Event allows you to Draw 2 cards, then discard a card from your hand. Then, you may choose a Drill in your hand and place it into play. Finally, this card is Banish after use.

Now, for such little text, this card can turn a completely terrible hand into something truly scary. I think we are all well aware what raw card draw can do when it comes to getting you out of a sticky situation in combat. And while this card comes with the price of discarding something, it also comes with the added bonus of filtering your hand AND potentially adding to your board mid-combat.

Don’t let its simplicity fool you; this card is right up Orange’s alley!

Red Style – West Kai Champion

Next up we have Red Shining Sword Attack by Oscar Lew.

This card is a bit of a reader, but I certainly like what it has going on!

Like our Black Styled Card, this card is considered to be Named – something again I highly value in cards.

Next up, we see it’s an energy attack costing 2 stages and dealing 5 life cards of damage. There have only been a small handful of energy “sword” attacks, so it’s interesting to see another get added to the arsenal.

The bulk of the card comes in its immediate effects. First you may raise your anger 1 level. Then, if you have played another “sword” card this turn (not just combat!), your opponent cannot modify or prevent damage from this attack and all damage from the attack is banished!

Finally, this card comes with 1 Endurance and is banished after use.

Phew, that is one hell of a card! At first glance I mistook the immediate effect only to care about combat, but the fact that you could play Aggressive Sword Drill, then enter combat, searching for this card, then use it as an un-modifiable, unpreventable, damage banishing attack really sold me on it!

Saiyan Style – Supreme Kai Champion

Our final champion card comes in with Saiyan Swift Sword Drill by Jordan Syverson.

This card is our other Limit 1 per deck, again for reasons that will become clear momentarily.

First, I want to point out that this is our only Drill in the cycle and that it happens to have 0 Endurance, making it particularly interesting for those Saiyan cards that care about cards with Endurance.

The first part of this card has the constant effect of allowing your MP to pay 1 stage whenever you perform an attack with “sword” in the title to give it +1 stage and +1 life card of damage. A solid way of chipping at your opponent once you know their guard is down.

The bigger part of this card comes with the Earthling traited instant effect, which triggers when you perform a successful Styled or Named attack with “sword” in the title and says: as long as you have 2 or less traits, that attack stays in play to be used a second time this combat.

Now that may come off as being a bit wordy, but basically – Saiyan Trunks players rejoice! You now have a way of further extending combat and putting the pressure on your opponent by making one of your Styled or Named “sword” attacks into a Red Shattering Leap with (likely) more upside!

Cards with Personality

Not only did we get our Champion  cards for the season, but we also happened to be graced by 3 new cards as well! 2 Allies, in the way of Guru and Raditz, and a brand new Nail lvl 1!

I’ll try to keep this section a bit shorter, since this was really more to highlight the Championship cards. But each one of these cards is certainly something to think about.

Guru – Great Elder is a nice way to both increase your MP’s PUR while he is in play, and to allow you to “unlock your potential” for a combat by jumping up a level if you are a Namekian or Earthling traited MP. You won’t be able to win by MPPV that turn, and you’ll have to lower your MP 1 level at the end of combat, but you’ll hopefully be able to put the hurt in while you can thanks to Guru’s aid.

Raditz – Proud I feel can really push the Saiyan Menace archetype into the hands of some of the other villain Saiyans. Being able to both play him as an action during combat to rejuvenate a Styled card or to use his effect to search your Life Deck for a Styled Setup and place it into play means that you have multiple opportunities to find and put on the board Saiyan Menace, so long as it’s not banished. And that’s only one application for this ally!

Finally, the card I’m incredibly excited to test with is Nail – Warrior. While not winning any strongman contests (spending most of his level in C Bracket), this MP is going to fundamentally change how Nail has been played in the past!

Not only does he keep the mill game from his previous stack, but he now comes equipped with the instant effect of making one of your Styled attacks gain the text “If stopped, use this card’s HIT effects” at the cost of 1 power stage and gaining “banish after use.”

This level is going to set up a lot of “no win” scenarios for your opponent. And while yes, you’ll have to pay the stage when you perform the attack, meaning your opponent could easily not bother blocking; it also means that you get to tell your opponent “no matter what, I’m getting this effect.” Something that no other card in the game has been able to do!

Just a pinch for Flavor

With just 9 cards, a whole new world of possibilities has been opened up for the current meta!

I know there are many cards in this set I’m excited to take for a spin. I can’t wait to see where these cards make their first splash in the Kai scene this season as well!!

Thanks for checking out today’s article. I can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks about this mini-set and what it’s going to do for the meta!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

 

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Food for Thought: The Circus of Value

Related image

Hey everyone!

I’ve decided to break the silence streak on here (and distract myself from going to bed early like an 80 year-old man) to talk about something that seems to be a somewhat heated discussion right now on Retro; and honestly not one I was really expecting – Android 19!

Out of all the Androids in the game up to this point, the two sore thumbs have always seemed to be Android 16 and Android 19. And while #16 received a new Level 1 back in Celestial Tournament, #19 is still left in the dark with his original Evolution MP Stack and Named cards.

So today I wanted to go over my thoughts real quick on how I feel about Android 19. What I think could be done with him moving forward, and what I think is better than people let on about him. And possibly a fan created card or two I’d like to see made for him to help elevate him from “Garbage can” to resident sleeper deck or beyond.

So let’s dive back in and see what makes this metal mime tick!

The Little Android That Could…n’t

So I’m not sure how many players have ventured into the world that is Android 19 brewing, but as someone that has prided himself on building a deck for nearly every MP in the game up to date (sorry Goten – I will eventually!), I must admit: it is not an easy task with this guy!

Android 19 on paper seems like he would be a pretty unique toolbox. All of his levels grant stage gain of varying degrees. He has effects that can tax your opponent’s next attack. His level 1 can force a crit, and his level 3 can grab an attached card from your deck and put it directly into play for you. All of this sounds like it would be incredibly useful.

The thing is though…it’s just not.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think the idea they were going for has merit. I think the big glaring factor however is: in a game where action economy is the real king of combat, having a character design that is meant to be a stage lock character, but only giving him 2 built-in attacks is never going to work.

Everything about Android 19 seems to scream stage lock. Both his Level 2 and Level 4 attacks do stage damage (even though his Level 2 is an energy attack). His Level 1 and Level 2 have abilities that increase your opponent’s next attack cost by +1 stage, draining them just that tiny bit more. His Named attack is a physical that cares about stage gain.

So what went wrong here?

Well, not having an active on each level is certainly something to look at. The big thing with this game (especially looking at the meta now after Revelation) is that every little bit of advantage you can gain off your MP is crucial for surviving out in the wild. You really need to press your advantages super hard if you are to take over a game in this day and age.

And unfortunately for Android 19, most of his MP abilities are passive. They require certain things to trigger. If they don’t, for the majority of the game you will likely be looking at a blank text box.

Mixed Signals

The other crippling thing about Android 19 is that he gains stages from taking life cards of damage. You know, the thing that only relates to stages if you happen to be at 0 when you are taking physical beats.

Now I understand the premise is that #19 is able to gather the energy he receives from his opponent and convert it back into stages for himself. And that is great flavor! But when you make half his kit care about stage locking, but then the other half about taking life card damage and preventing energy attacks, well…there’s going to be some weirdness.

Typically, when you are focusing on preventing your opponent from having stages on their MP, the last thing you are worried about is energy attacks. Because well, they cost stages to play (typically). So why on earth would you make him care about stage locking your opponent but then give him this natural defenses against energy attacks? Especially if he has no real way of converting his stages into anything relevant built into his kit?

There’s really a lot of crossed wires here, to say the least!

So then, what can we do to solve the problem?

Back to the Lab

Now I’m sure that a lot of people would probably be happy to see a full MP stack rework for #19. However, I feel like there is honestly something going here with him, despite how awkward his stack feels. If we could fine tune just a single level, I think that everything else may fall into place.

The question is, what level do you change to try and make the whole machine come together? I think the best step is to start with the Level 1 and see where that can lead us.

An MP’s Level 1 is almost always the signal to tell you what sort of deck you should be playing to take full advantage of their abilities.

So, if I were on The Dev Team, what would I do to save #19’s Level 1?

So right off the jump, I think this new Level 1 oozes with the different strategies that are going to be happening within this deck.

We’ve still kept #19’s ability to “drain energy” from our opponent’s successful life card damaging attacks, as the rest of his stack is going to keep that flavor.

We’ve also kept the idea of taxing our opponent’s next attack this combat, as I feel it was the strongest part of his Level 1 to begin with.

In place of the Power that makes our next successful Styled attack deal critical damage – in truth a very useful effect – we’ve instead made an Energy Attack costing 1 stage that deals 3 stages of damage. This keeps the flavor of his Level 2 more on course now that he has another energy attack for stages built into his kit.

On top of this, we’ve added an interesting HIT effect which allows us to reveal a card from our hand that can attach to an MP and place it into play attached. Since #19 cares a lot about attached cards (both his Named cards do attach after all), it makes sense to give him a tool that interacts with them.

Tutoring for an attached card would likely be too powerful, but with this effect playing attachable non-combat cards like Blue Rebuke or Tree of Might now seem rather tempting when you can slide them into play thanks to this hit effect.

Not only that, but it also makes your opponent play this interesting guessing game on whether or not you have an attached card to put into play in the first place. Should they risk wasting their energy block on a 3 stage damage attack when you might have something worse lurking in your hand??

Say My Name

While I think this new Level 1 is a great start to helping #19 along, I think he still needs just a bit more to bring the whole thing together.

So since I’m already cooking up card ideas, I may as well whip myself up a brand new Named card as well to round everything out for us!

Personally, I think this card really encapsulates what #19 is trying to bring to the table.

We’ve got yet another energy attack dealing stage damage to keep the stage lock theme running. Plus, it is yet another attach card for our arsenal.

The real deal with this card is obviously its attach effect. While attached, whenever we would gain stages during combat, instead you can pay 2 stages. If you do, your opponent’s MP is drained for the stages you would have gained.

Suddenly #19 gaining stages from those life card attacks is starting to make sense! He’s literally sucking the life out of your opponent for getting too close to him, though it still comes at a price for him as well.

On top of this, the card shuffles back into your deck whenever a player changes levels. This allows you to find it again with your various effects (his Level 3 perhaps?) even while you are leveling. Having a small bit of Endurance also makes it useful when you pop it into your Banished Zone to prevent damage then pull it back with cards like Defiant Challenge or Red Downward Burst.

A New Twist on an Old “Classic”

Well hopefully you all have enjoyed my thoughts on what to do with #19 moving forward. All-in-all I think he is a very unique and interesting MP. His major problem lies with the fact that his MP stack and Named cards do such strange things together.

With these suggestions I’ve made above, I think the old rust bucket could actual see new life in the game. And while I’m not part of The Dev Team, it is still enjoyable to put my critical thinking hat on to see how I would handle the situation.

What would you have done differently to #19? Would you have changed a different level? Made a different Named Card? Would you have scrapped his whole stack and started over?

I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks again for checking in. It was good to stretch my writing legs again after my most recent absence. I can’t promise this will start a new trend of writing as often as I once did, especially with the new job I have (finally). But I just wanted to stop in and let you all know that I haven’t forgotten about you.

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

 

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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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