Black’s Positioning Drill?
With the release of Celestial Tournament by the FanZ Development Team, each card seems to bring a number of options to the table, showing the great diversity within the set. Today I’d like to focus our discussion onto a particular card: Black Absorption Drill.
When I first read this drill, a lot of MPs immediately came to mind. Master Roshi – Restrained, Dr. Wheelo, and even Tenshinhan jump to the foreground for strong MP’s capable of putting this drill to good use. But are there other applications for this Drill?
Outside of the MPs listed above, and others that seek to destroy multiple cards in a single turn, is there an advantage to using this Drill in a limited fashion to set up your future turns or hinder your opponent’s? While multiple uses can lead to some fantastic combos, I feel that waiting for the appropriate opportunity to set up a single card can still have its advantage and can slowly swing the game in your favor.
Setup and Drill Recursion
One of the biggest setbacks I have had with trying to create Board-heavy decks in this style, is the fact that you are highly limited by your recursion effects. Should you take some early damage, you may find yourself staring at some key components to your deck wasting away in your discard pile. Black Absorption Drill coupled with Perceptive Mastery can help solve this problem. Each combat you are given the opportunity to return one of your key Board cards back to the top of your Life Deck, making these sorts of strategies much easier to accomplish.
Imagine this card with Goku – Energy Gatherer for example. Each combat, you are able to pick up a single Setup or Drill using his power and place it into play. Black Power Up comes to mind as one of the best Setups you are able to recycle each turn. You can also use this power to pick up your Black Absorption Drill, should it be destroyed or discarded beforehand. Once the gears are in motion, the flow of the game should be fairly set in your favor as you are able to end combat as you choose and you are given access to a respectable damaging attack without the use of any resources in your hand. To me, this feels like a control-oriented Goku list just waiting to be explored.
Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Raditz – Confident also sticks out as an interesting control build for this drill. During combats on your opponent’s turn while you have this Drill in play, you are able to activate Perceptive Mastery, and place Black Power Up on top of your deck. During your Planning Step you can play Black Power Up, triggering Raditz’s ability and allowing you to place a defensive card on top of your deck, should your opponent want to call on you. The downside for this sort of build depends on how many Black Power Ups you currently have access to, as you will be unable to place Black Power Up on top of your deck and end combat at the same time. However, this type of strategy makes for a difficult decision line for your opponent, as you are allowed to decide how long each combat goes for while still slowly destroying your opponent’s Life Deck during your Planning Step. I certainly wouldn’t sell this strategy short without sleeving it up and giving it a test spin.
Speaking of Master Roshi – Restrained early, one of the biggest setbacks to that deck is finding your Turtle Ally in your discard pile. Having your engine turned off early by a critical damage effect means you will be spending most of the game at a huge disadvantage. However, with Black Absorption Drill, you are now able to pick your Turtle back up and remind him that you both are immortal thanks to those Phoenix tears.
Any Ally deck becomes less of a burden in Black with this drill. One of the style’s biggest flaws was the inability to return allies back to play once they have been discarded or crit away. This new tool offers up some interesting design space now that you are given a second chance on any of them you see fit.
An Engine for Older Cards
Besides using this card as a control tool, we have finally been given an engine we can use to actually enable certain cards presented to us in earlier sets of the game. Cards with “Name” effects such as Black Flying Knee, Black Discovery or Black Vaulted Strike may finally have a reason to be sleeved up outside of Premiere Set Trunks decks.
This drill also sets up some interesting play with the card Black Grounding Bash, should you find yourself in a drill-heavy meta. Using your Mastery to steal any drill currently in your opponent’s discard pile with Black Grounding Bash’s immediate effect could lead to some real shenanigans in your favor. Should you find your opponent playing Blue, you may even be able to set up the dream scenario of Black Extreme Blast + Blue Lifting Drill, milling your opponent to death immediately upon destroying a single card should they find themselves at 0 anger.
A Conflict of Interest
If you find yourself drawn more towards the newest Mastery for the style, that being Black Conflict Mastery, this drill can still be a powerful tool if used with the correct card pool.
Cards such as Black Searching Technique, Black Side Thrust, Black Scout Maneuver or even an attached Black Capture (to name a few) can still make sure that you are triggering this drill’s effect often throughout the match, while not limiting your deck design space to heavily. Even cards such as the new Black Constant Barrage can suddenly turn each crit into an avalanche of value, all thanks to Conflict Mastery’s lower critical damage range!
All-in-all, I think this drill has some amazing options and should be given its fair shot at high-level play within the meta. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting across the table from one of these; nor should you be surprised to find yourself losing to it.
Until next time, FanZ Warriors!