The North Kai 2017 Underdogs: Style Discussion Part II – The State of Red

Hey everyone!

Welcome to Part II in our discussion on the State of the meta after the North Kai 2017 Tournament! As with all these articles, we will only be focusing on the 3 Styles that saw the least amount of play at the event. Though it may be possible that we will discuss the other 3 Styles in the game at a later date, should players be interested.

Today we are going to be discussing my 2nd most played color in the game – Red! Like Part I, we will be discussing the Style in general today, showcasing its strengths and strategies, as well as taking a more in-depth look at each of its (currently legal) Masteries: Red Ruthless and Red Ascension. We will also be looking at which MPs seem to lend themselves to these strategies the best.

North Kai Breakdown

As with last time, let’s take a quick look at the number breakdown for the color itself at the event. As a reminder, there was a total of 39 players this year. It appears as though 4 total players were in Red this time around, with 2 in each Mastery. Also, both players using Ascension appeared to be playing the same MP!

NJ Event Update

Yesterday was the NJ Cash Event at The Comic Book Store, which hosted 13 players in 4-Rounds of Swiss followed by a Top 4 Cut. The breakdown of Styles and MPs from the event is as follows:

1st – Orange Adaptive Yamcha
2nd – Orange Retribution Pikkon
3rd – Saiyan Empowered Raditz
4th – Orange Adaptive Mercenary Tao
5th – Red Ascension Yamcha (just missing Top Cut at 3-1 due to breakers)

The remaining list, in no particular order:
– Namekian Restored Lord Slug
– Saiyan Dynamic Trunks
– Blue Resolute “Drawku”
– Blue Resolute “Drawku”
– Orange Adaptive A20
– Blue Resolute Pikkon
– Saiyan Empowered Broly
– Namekian Knowledge Cell

So, as we can see from the info above, the meta for the event was:

4 Orange Decks:
– Yamcha (1st)
– Pikkon (2nd)
– Tao (4th)
– A20

3 Saiyan Decks:
– Raditz (3rd)
– Trunks
– Broly

3 Blue Decks:
-“Drawku”
-“Drawku”
– Pikkon

2 Namekian Decks:
– Lord Slug
– Cell

1 Red Deck:
– Yamcha (5th)

0 Black Decks:
😦

If nothing else, this event certainly shows the current superiority of Orange within the meta (possibly a discussion for another time!), and shows that Blue is beginning to make a resurgence in the tournament scene! While the Blue decks didn’t post up high results, the fact that several showed up proves that I’m not the only one out there who still has faith that Blue is a top contender, and for that I salute you guys!

As far as today’s article is concerned however, we had a Red Deck nearly break the Top Four! This has to show you that despite its low turn-out at North Kai, the Style is still strong and has some really great match ups!

And with that, let’s take a look at what those strengths are:

Red’s Over-All Strengths

Like last time, let’s take a quick look at the different Strengths and Strategies within Red:

Anger/MPPV
Likely the first thing you will notice in Red is the large amount of anger gaining cards! While sporting a decent amount of playable 2 anger cards, nearly all of Red’s signature cards gain you 1 anger, making most actions and reactions you perform net you anger! Because of this focus, leveling should be rather easy for you to accomplish throughout the course of the game. And though it might be difficult to actually MPPV thanks to the large amount of anger hate out there today, reaching higher levels is almost an inevitability with this style.

Crits Matter
The second thing you are likely to notice within the Style is the HIGH amount of times you will see the phrase “use a critical damage effect” throughout the card pool! Since Red’s introduction to PanZ (thanks by-and-large to the currently Frozen Red Enraged Mastery) critical damage effects have been the backbone of the Style. Currently Red Ascension Mastery is the only legal Mastery which directly references critical damage effects (netting you 2 Stages each time you use one), but the fact that they are such a versatile tool in nearly every match makes easy access to them a much desired commodity!

Drills Matter
Much like Blue and Orange, Red has an affinity for Drills, which may strike you as odd at first glance considering Red is one of the major leveling colors in the game. However, thanks to several cards within the Style, Red has a number of ways to search for, return to play, or even keep their drills from leaving if you change levels! And while Red is typically an aggressive Style, which tends to want attacks and blocks over anything else, it’s important to keep this strategy open in the back of your mind when deciding to play the Style, as it is home to many interesting and useful Drills!

Attack Recursion/Card Draw
One of the things that drew me to playing Red (even back in the ScoreZ days) was the amount of actions Red can have in any given combat. With attacks that can be used multiple times, cards that return attacks from your discard pile to your hand (or play them in the case of Red Ruthless Mastery), and several effects that include “draw a card”, Red feels like a powerhouse when given the correct hand in combat. When combined with particular MPs who also promote multiple attacks and card draw, Red can feel like an ungodly force of nature if they sense a lack of defensive ability on their opponent’s end of the table. A Red deck, left to its own devices can truly be a work of art if the stars align.

Minor Themes in Red
– Energy Beatdown
– Dragon Ball Victory
– Modifying your opponent’s Damage
– Rejuvenation sub-theme
– Restricting your opponent’s actions or skipping their actions
– “Level hopping”
– Stage loss (through other means)

Red Ruthless Mastery

PanZ’s second Red Mastery to appear, Red Ruthless functions basically like it sounds. The Mastery emphasizes Styled physical attacks, granting them the potential of +2 Stages of Damage and “HIT: Lower your opponent’s anger 1 level” if a Styled card is Banished from the top of your discard pile when entering combat. On top of this, if the top card of your discard pile happens to be an attack, the Mastery also has the effect to reveal a Styled card in your hand and place it on the bottom of your Life Deck in order to perform that attack from your discard pile! This effect is particularly useful when recurring utility attacks, or just for converting an unnecessary block or Planning Step card into an additional attack for the combat. Truly ruthless!

What MPs are good with this Mastery?
Any MPs that have a focus on physical attacks or recurring key attacks multiple times within a single combat will be right at home within this Style. As well, any MPs that focus on restricting your opponent’s ability to level will feel right at home with this Mastery.

These MPs are likely:
– Tenshinhan: If you’ve ever wanted to Tri-Beam 4 times in a row, this is your home.
– Turles: Has the potential to grant +4 Stages of damage with no endurance each combat!
– Broly: Solid physical beats, with bonus damage and stage restriction. Just Brutal.
– Gohan (Awakening Stack): Every physical attack you perform is Styled!
– A13: A physical beatdown deck that can take multiple actions in a row!

Red Ascension Mastery

The newest Red Mastery, Ascension has a lot going on for it. First, as mentioned earlier, it grants any personality you control 2 Stages whenever you use a critical damage effect. Second, it grants the passive ability to gain 1 anger at the end of each combat. And finally, as an action, you can Banish the top card of your Life Deck to gain 1 anger. If that card happens to be Styled, it also forces your opponent to skip their next action!

What MPs are good with this Mastery?
Any MPs that cares about gaining stages, critical damage effects, or MPPV fits nicely within this Mastery. Just because you see this Mastery across the table, doesn’t mean you have a clue on what may be coming your way! Because this Mastery is so versatile, you are likely to see many MPs using it, and they all may function completely different!

These MPs are likely:
– Trunks (Awakening Stack): If you’ve seen Ferrari Trunks, you know how fast he can level.
– Yamcha: The ability to gain stages & level means the Energy Beats can keep on beating!
– Piccolo (Evolution lvl 1): This level can mimic Red Enraged Mastery whenever you crit!
– Cooler: He loves Energy attacks and can rejuvenate your banished cards!
– Pikkon: Loves to level and fits nicely with Red’s Rejuvenation sub-theme.

Much Anger I Sense In You

Thanks for stopping by again to check out this installment of the series! Part III will be focusing on the final Style for discussion out of North Kai, Black! With this Style being such a controlling one by design, it honestly surprises me that it is part of this series! But we’ll get more into that next week.

Please remember to vote on the poll from this week’s “Theory-crafting 101” article to see which option will be up for discussion this Tuesday!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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About DArtagnanMF

Your Friendly Neighborhood Kreitzman
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