It’s Good to be the King – A Look at King Kai

Hey everyone!

While sitting here and thinking about what to write today, a thought kept coming to mind over and over again (hopefully not from any psychic interference); that thought being, where is the King Kai love?

Out of all of the MPs that have come out of Celestial Tournament, King Kai is the only one that has seen little to no talk at all in the Retro group, and has seen 0 decks played at either of the two Major FanZ events. What’s up with that?

So I figured, what better way to round out our talks about the North Kai 2017 event than with the North Kai himself!

Royal Court

Before we jump into the King, we are basically obligated to discuss the two Allies that will likely be in every King Kai deck, Bubbles and Gregory.

The first thing to note about both of these Allies is the fact that they are really hard to actually get rid of once they are in play! Both sport parenthetical text that return them to your deck in one way or another (shuffling for Bubbles, Rejuvenating for Gregory) should you try to discard, destroy, or banish them from play. Being able to go back into your Life deck (at the very least) means they won’t be gone for too long!

As far as actual abilities go for these two:
– Bubbles brings some control to the King in the form of discarding a card when entering combat in order to name a card and denying your opponent the ability to play it. While blind guessing may seem like a moot point, there are a number of ways to take advantage of this powerful ability in the game. Blue Mental Drill along with built-in Visiting the past and Namek DB 7 hate come immediately to mind.
– Gregory is the more aggressive of the two Allies, bringing a phyiscal attack for 2 life cards, with an impressive hit effect of being able to be used a second time for being the king! While he can’t use this ability regardless of MP stages, King Kai has a number of ways to allow him to jump into the fray and unleash his destructive potential. Add some damage modifiers to this, and it can be brutal fast (which makes sense for Gregory ūüėõ ).

Hail to the King, Baby

Now that you know what to expect from his lackeys, let’s take a look at the king himself.

The first thing to discuss with King Kai is the fact that he never goes higher than B bracket. While some people may have been hoping for a glimpse at Z stages again from ScoreZ, I think having celestial personalities with low stage levels but with powerful effects makes perfect sense. We don’t see them going toe-to-toe with any adversaries themselves, so I wouldn’t expect to see them in a Physical Beatdown strategy in the game either. Moving forward, I hope that we continue to see this sort of design for the Kais.

Another thing¬†to remember is that he¬†fits well under the “Underdog” limit of 500,000 or less at his level 4, making cards like Playful Punch or Pesky Barrage almost certain guarantees for any list he is piloting.

Level 1
King Kai – Mentor¬†has a lot going on at first glance. First, at the end of your Planning Step, if you control no Allies, you can search your deck for a Bubbles or Gregory and play them. Next, when entering combat you may choose a Bubbles or Gregory you control. For the rest of combat, the chosen Ally can take control of combat, regardless of your MP’s stages, and then you raise your anger 1 level. Finally, as a POWER in combat, you can draw a card then discard a card.

Man that’s a lot! So right away we get to see that King Kai has no problems giving up control of combat to his Allies. Just imagine the fact that you can search your deck for Gregory at the end of planning (costing you nothing), enter combat, choose Gregory as able to take control of combat for you (costing you nothing) and being able to use his attack potentially twice in that combat because you are King Kai (also costing you nothing). If that doesn’t seem good, you might need to rethink what¬†value looks like in this game!

It also goes without saying that effects that let you draw cards are incredibly powerful. Having to discard a card is no small cost, but seeing as you get to draw first, you have full information about what you want to keep. Likewise, if you play King Kai in Black, Blue or Red, there are a number of cards that have effects which trigger from being discarded by one of your other effects. Something to think about, if nothing else.

Level 2
King Kai – Joyful¬†is a little more straight forward with his abilities. His parenthetical text allows Bubbles and Gregory to take control of combat for you no matter what.¬†King Kai’s Power gives you the ability to Rejuvenate 2, raise an Ally to its highest power stage, and grant that Ally +3 life cards of damage for each of their attacks for the rest of combat.

Imagine a combat where you have your Gregory taking all of your stage damage, and just when he is finally at 0, you get to rejuv 2 cards, set him back to 10 stages (virtually preventing your MP or life deck from taking damage instead), and then making his attack deal 5 life cards instead of 2, with the potential of being used twice! Hope your opponent is not playing a stagelock deck, cause it’s not happening!

Level 3
King Kai – On the Move¬†is where King Kai starts to get really nasty himself. First, like his last level, he grants your Bubbles or Gregory the ability to take control of combat. Next, when entering combat, you can search your Life Deck for a Bubbles or Gregory Ally and play them. Finally, unlike his other levels, this level has King Kai sporting his own attack! He has a physical attack which deals 6 life cards of damage and has the impressive ability of destroying the top 3 cards of your opponent’s life deck if this attack is stopped as long as you control both Bubbles and Gregory.

While this level isn’t buffing damage or refilling power stages, having such a hard hitting free attack at your disposal puts King Kai right up there in the way of potential tournament competitors. Most tournament level MPs sport an impressive attack on one of their levels, and the fact that King Kai¬†has two (which we will get to shortly) is definitely something to consider for any event ¬†you may be attending.

Level 4
King Kai – North Kai¬†is possibly the best Ally -based level printed in this game. If there is any other level that can compare to this MP’s power, we will have truly reached the “Allies only” meta. I’m honestly pretty shocked to see this level of power on an MP.

First, whenever one of your Allies would leave play, you can choose for it to remain in play. If this card power ended there that would almost be worth it by itself, but man, there is so much more. Next, your Allies with non-Constant effects can take control of combat regardless of your MP’s power level. Finally, King Kai has a physical attack dealing 5 life cards with the insane hit effect of having all attacks performed by your allies dealing +5 life cards of damage for the rest of combat.

What did I just write? What did you just read? This can’t seriously be true, right? Oh, but it is. Like the name of this post suggest, it is indeed good to be the King.

So What Are We Playing King Kai In?

Now here is the Million-Dollar Question I have been asking myself this whole time. What exactly are we playing King Kai in, style-wise?

Clearly he wants to have access to his Allies at all times. So I guess we are building Blue? Well, but he already has access to finding his Allies himself, so maybe some control would be nice. Okay, so then Black? Oh, but also he really wants to get to his higher levels as fast as he can to really start laying in the hurt to his opponent. Okay, so then I guess he’s in Red? But, what about building a diverse board presence of our own, making our opponents pick and choose between turning off our Gregory pressure or dealing with our other resources. Um, okay, so then Orange I guess?

What I’m really trying to get at is, while at first I thought King Kai would be pigeon-holed into Blue because of his reliance on his Allies, the longer and longer I looked at his Stack and his cards, the more I realized he really fits at home in any style.

He has the potential for some nasty Life-Card based Physical Attacks, so that seems like it fits right at home in Blue Resolute. Being able to look at your opponent’s hand from¬†King Kai’s Joy Ride¬†being discarded (say from your own Bubbles or his Level 1 power), means cards like Black Swirl or any of Black’s “Name a card” hand mechanics will never miss their mark. Not to mention Bubbles being able to basically turn a card blank in your opponent’s hand each combat, making him super desirable for a Black Control list. And because his level 1 gives you anger when entering combat, he seems almost begging to be placed in Red Ascension or Orange Retribution to try and just fly through his levels.

Really, I don’t think there are many wrong answers to building a King Kai deck. Nearly any strategy is enhanced by having King Kai being a part of it, whether that strategy be controlling your opponent’s actions, leveling like crazy or just dealing them tons of damage. No matter where you decide to try out the king, I have a feeling he’ll feel right at home.

King of the Castle

Thanks for checking in on our discussion for King Kai. Hopefully this will have helped you decide to give him another look and see if any of your decks feel a little more powerful with King Kai aiding them.

If you haven’t yet, please make sure you check out this week’s “Theory-crafting 101” article on my personal favorite, Blue Resolute Mercenary Tao. It has nice debriefing on what to expect while piloting Tao, as well as the normal list breakdown and poll at the end of the article. Every vote counts, so make sure you voice your opinion on what you’d like to see for next week!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!


About DArtagnanMF

Your Friendly Neighborhood Kreitzman
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