The North Kai 2017 Underdogs: Style Discussion Part I – The State of Blue

Hey everyone!

North Kai has certainly shown us that the most dominant Styles at the moment seem to be Namekian, Saiyan and Orange. Because of this, I will be devoting some time over the next several posts to discuss the state of Black, Blue and Red in the meta, and what each of their Masteries presents in the way of strategy and synergy with particular MPs. I hope the information these 3 articles present help uplift the Styles and convince players to shift their gaze outside of the big 3 for the remainder of the upcoming OP season.

Today we will be discussing the Style that I have personally played the most in PanZ, and what I think each of the 3 Masteries available have going for it; that being the Blue Style, with: Blue Protective, Blue Tag Team, and Blue Resolute Masteries.

As always, don’t forget to check out the poll at the bottom of this week’s “Theory-crafting 101” to cast your vote for Tuesday’s list. Voting is open until Monday @ Midnight CST each and every week!

North Kai Breakdown

While the official numbers have not been discussed yet, as The Dead Zone will likely be doing a complete Tournament breakdown, I did manage to get in touch with David Meckler who was happy to give me the lowdown on what Blue decks, if any, showed up to the event.

From the sound of things, there was a total of 3 Blue decks present at North Kai this year, and all of them were running Blue Resolute Mastery! While none of these decks happened to be duplicates, the low volume in attendance is quite alarming, especially given that Blue has many tools at its disposal to deal with a large variety of decks in the meta. Not to mention the varying strategies present in the Style itself thanks to its 3 distinctly unique Masteries.

Blue’s Over-All Strengths

Before we dive into the different Masteries themselves, I wanted to first touch on Blue as a Style in general. What defines the Style and makes it tick?

Anger/ Level Hate
Blue’s biggest advantage it has going for it is anger/level hate. As discussed in my previous article, leveling is one of the core mechanics of the game. The faster you level, the more powerful you become, and the more likely you are to succeed as the game progresses. Blue at its core is determined to make your opponent’s leveling aspirations a fleeting dream. With countless anger hate cards at its disposal, the marquee of the Style being Blue Head Knock, gaining anger for your opponent will be a chore at its best and nearly impossible at its worst. Should your opponent happen to reach their desired new level, Blue sports 3 different cards with the ability to force them down a level. That’s just brutal.

Allies Matter
Another core feature of Blue is the idea that your Allies are an integral part of your game plan, and as such, sports countless cards that can search them into play, protect them from leaving, give them control of combat or even return them from your discard or Banished Zone. No matter where your Allies may be, Blue’s got you covered!

Drill Control
Blue’s next strategy revolves around the idea that leveling yourself isn’t the only way to gain the upper-hand on your opponent. With an array of useful abilities, Blue holds a handful of powerful Drills that dedicate themselves to turning the tide of the match in your favor. Drills the like of Blue Positioning Drill, Blue Lifting Drill, and Blue Mental Drill come to mind almost immediately when thinking about cards that can shift the power of play almost immediately. With so many interesting Drills to choose from, there is no doubt that deciding to camp on a particular level might be one of the best options at Blue’s disposal.

Setups
While we haven’t really seen many MPs that particularly care about Setups, outside of a certain Low-Level Saiyan Warrior, Blue has a large amount of interesting Setups within its ranks. From attacks, to blocks, to all sorts of shenanigans, if you can think it, likely Blue’s already touched on it in the form of a Setup. On top of that, there are many cards that can search your Life Deck or discard pile for Setups, swap Setups you have in play for Setups in your discard, or even cards that let you discard your Setups for value then play them immediately. It will be interesting to see if the game decides to introduce any other MPs that have an affinity for Setups in the future, but if they do, you bet I’ll be looking at Blue first.

Minor Themes in Blue
– Energy Beatdown
– Physical Beatdown
– MPPV
– Dragon Ball victory
– Good Endurance on important cards

Blue Protective Mastery

PanZ’s first Blue Mastery may feel a bit out-classed by Resolute these days, as their function feels somewhat similar, promoting a more defensive game-state. However, Protective (like Resolute) has a lot more going on besides that. Forcing your opponent to gain 6 anger rather than 5 in order to level may seem like a small change, but that single point of anger per level can make a world of difference within the pace of the game. On top of this, having built-in anger manipulation attached to the defensive effect of the Mastery makes it both a slow anger engine for yourself to take advantage of, or another crippling hurdle for your opponent to deal with from turn to turn.

What MPs are good with this Mastery?
This will likely be an interesting topic for debate, as it is unclear as to which MPs currently work best with the Protective Mastery. My gut instinct are those MPs that can either give you card advantage naturally (giving you fodder to throw at your Mastery’s power each turn), or those that naturally push towards a controlling deck strategy (particularly with anger hate in mind).

These MPs are likely:
– Goku (Awakening): Natural card advantage with Unleashed potential in Style
– Future Gohan (FanZ): “Do not pass 2 anger. Do not collect 2oo Zeni.”
– Raditz: Plays well at level 1 for card advantage & level 2 for late-game mill control.
– Cell (Perfection): Setting up a level 1-to-3 hop with Blue Cleanse is a nice advantage.
– A18: Natural control MP with new level 2.

Blue Tag Team Mastery

If you like Allies, look no further than this Mastery! Whether you are looking to play a swarm-style strategy or enjoy having a toolbox of Allies to choose from and keep with near impunity, this Mastery does it all. Searching your Life Deck at the beginning of the game for any Ally you wish and protecting it (or any others) from critical damage effects should they be the only one you have in play. And even if they aren’t, you have the ability to Rejuvenate an Ally from your Banished Zone at the end of each combat, making it nearly impossible to separate you from the ones you love!

What MPs are good with this Mastery?
The combination of MPs and Allies within this Style are honestly tiresome to think about. Any MP that wants to focus its gameplan around Allies is going to be the natural fit here. Whether it be searching out utility Allies like Master Roshi, Captain Ginyu or Dr. Brief, to starting your swarm off early and capitalizing on the other search effects present in your deck. There’s just no real wrong way to approach what this Mastery and Style can do for your Ally hopes and dreams.

MPs that play well with this Mastery:
– A17: Blue Eating Drill + Blue Transportation Drill + A17’s Van = Next Stop, Value Town!
– Captain Ginyu: The Ginyu Force works hard and plays even harder with this Mastery.
– Cell (Awakening): The antics that are Cell Jrs leaping in & out of play is a must-see here.
– A16: The synergy between A16’s level 2 and A20 – Mastermind is just magic.
– Gohan: This one is pretty straight forward. He fights for his friends!

Blue Resolute Mastery

This Blue Mastery has really become the Jack-of-All-Trades for the Style. Whether you are looking to increase your poke potential, smooth out your card draws, utilize self-discard, or just prevent some damage, this Mastery has it all. Like Protective, this allows your deck design to be a bit more free-form, allowing you to tap into a wide variety of tactics throughout the course of the game.

What MPs are good with this Mastery?
If you aren’t particularly married to the idea of anger hate or Allies as a main strategy for victory, this is likely where you’ll wind up in this Style. Not to say that this is second-string to any of the other Masteries within Blue, but the open-endedness allows you to really get into the meat of the Style and make it your own.

MPs that play well with this Mastery:
– A18: Having a +2 LC damage boost on top of near-perfect draws is just too good.
– Goku (Awakening): High damage output & extra card manipulation.
– Mercenary Tao: A control player’s dream. So many things are going for this combo.
– Krillin: Making sure Destructo Disk crits on time, every time.
– Turles: The potential to make your Styled attacks deal +4 S & +2 LC with no endurance.

A Land of Pure Imagination

Alright everyone. Thanks for checking out what Blue has to offer today. Keep your eyes peeled for the next two installments. Part II will focus on Red, and what its 2 Masteries (sorry, Red Enraged Mastery) can do for you in this wide open meta we call FanZ!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

Advertisements

About DArtagnanMF

Your Friendly Neighborhood Kreitzman
This entry was posted in General Articles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The North Kai 2017 Underdogs: Style Discussion Part I – The State of Blue

  1. sircreampuffbwellington says:

    Hiya, I’m still kinda new to this game but I really like this type of article, any chance you can do a similar type article about Namekian, Saiyan and Orange styles after you’re done with the lesser played styles?

    Like

    • DArtagnanMF says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s possible I may take a look at the higher played Styles later on, but I’m not sure when that would be. It is somewhat easier to find people talking about their top decks in Retro coming out of North Kai, so you may find some stuff there to lead you in the proper direction until I get around to the upper three styles.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s