Visions of the Future: Dev Team Hints on Set 10!

Image result for dbz baba crystal ball

Hey everyone!

I know that set 9 has barely had time to learn to crawl yet, and there is still so much to talk about and explore with Legends; however, I got a chance to sit and talk with the head of the Dev TeamJoey DiCarlo – this past weekend at South Kai, and he drop a few hints for me to share with you all at what we can expect from set 10 dropping later this year!

So I thought what better time than the present to take a look at what will be coming down the pipeline and piece together what it could mean for the game moving forward!

Let’s dive into it, shall we!

Hint #1: The Time Period

This one should come down as little surprise I feel, given that we just came out of another movie/supplemental set, but set 10’s time line will pick up where the story last left off – starting at the 7 year gap after the defeat of Cell and ending at the Gohan vs Majin Dabura fight!

So what does this mean we will see in the set? Well likely:
– The Great Saiyaman arc
– The World Martial Arts Tournament arc
– The beginning of the Babidi arc

What we likely won’t see:
– Goku SSJ2
– Majin Vegeta
– Majin Buu

Hint #2: The World Martial Arts Championship Belt is a card!

That’s right folks! You too will soon be able to rep gold like The Champ himself very shortly in the game!

Not only is the belt in the game, but I’ve heard tell that it will likely be a non-Styled Attachment! Those looking to play cards like Unleashed in less promoted Styles, like Orange and Black, may soon get your wish if the belt is good enough!

As founder of the WMAT Format, which is played on the Dragonball Z OCTGN League, I know I’m personally excited to see what the Champ Belt will do (and may look into customizing or signing a few to give away for the official event if able)!

Hint #3: Number of MPs in the Set

Since set 10 will be a starter set of sorts (similar to Premium, Evolution & Awakening), we will be receiving a total of 8 full MP stacks as well as several single levels to help promote weaker MPs.

What could these full stacks entail? Well if I had to guess…:
– Gohan (as The Great Saiyaman)
– Videl
– Goten
– Kid Trunks
– Android 18 (as a Hero stack!)
– Majin Dabura
– Majin Spopovich
– Babidi

As far as the single MPs, my guess would likely be:
– Hercule (possibly a different level 1?)
– Krillin
– Piccolo
– Vegeta (Hero Level) [possibly to help with the Evo stack?]

Allies for this set may turn out to be any of the following:
– The Announcer
– Chi-chi
– Bulma
– Marron (Krillin & A18’s Daughter)
– Supreme Kai
– Kibito
– Majin Yamu
– Majin Yakon
– Majin Pui Pui

Hint #4: Heritage Matters!

Our final hint for the set is a rather interesting one – that of “Heritage Matters”.

Now for those that played in the original ScoreZ days, you may remember cards with the text “Namekian Heritage Only” or “Saiyan Heritage Only” dictating that only MPs of that particular heritage could use those cards.

Likewise, those who played the “Re-Z” brand of the game may recall that each MP and Ally in the game came keyworded with a particular heritage (called traits in the game): Human, Saiyan, Alien or Namek.

Could this be a similar mechanic that checks to see which sort of trait/heritage your personality has? Certainly we already have guidelines on “Heritage” of sorts thanks to the MPs that are allowed to use the Saiyan and Namekian Masteries.

What exactly will this mean for the game moving forward? Only time will tell!

Gaze into My Crystal Ball…

And that’s all she wrote for this one!

I hope seeing a few of these hints has gotten you excited about what may be in store for us in the future! I know I’m personally excited to see a few of these things see the light of day, should I be correct on some of the speculation presented above.

But until we get closer to the end of the year, all we’re left with is our crazy thoughts and hopes to keep us guessing on what might be.

Please don’t forget to check out the TC101 article for this week and vote on your favorite deck idea that you want to see broken down and discussed!

Likewise, please make sure to check out the KMDcast YouTube channel if you haven’t already. Matt Coombs, Wayne “Dakid” Bettis & myself drop some DBZ knowledge each week on the latest events, happenings in the meta, etc. It’s a lot of fun, and we want to hear more feedback from the audience on what they’d like to hear from us moving forward!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Theory-crafting 101: I Have to Protect My Image!

Hey everyone!

Today’s TC101 list looks to me like it could be a real sleeper powerhouse in the meta! I’ve always wanted to make Nappa a thing since his release, and as more and more tools came out to try and buff him, I think he’s finally almost made it!

Let’s take a look at what we have and see where it can take us:

The List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Nappa, Rested
2 – Nappa, Supportive
3 – Nappa, Overconfident
4 – Nappa, Enraged
M – Saiyan Dynamic Mastery

Blocks (10):
2x Saiyan Focus
3x Saiyan Blocking Hand
1x Saiyan Flip
3x Saiyan Outrage
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Allies (5):
1x Vegeta – Impatient
1x Turles – Fighter
1x King Vegeta – Ruler
1x Paragus – Desperate Father
1x Bardock – Oozaru

Setups (10):
3x Saiyan Flight
2x Saiyan Peace
1x Saiyan Tactics
1x Saiyan Menace
2x Visiting the Past
1x Tree of Might

Events (4):
3x Nappa’s Confidence
1x Saiyan Rescue

Physical Attacks (31):
3x Saiyan Overhead Kick
3x Saiyan Headbutt
3x Saiyan Uppercut
3x Saiyan Body Blow
3x Saiyan Thrust
2x Saiyan Clench
2x Saiyan Elbow Drop
3x Nappa’s Energized Charge
3x I’ll Dig Your Grave!
3x Sobering Hammer
3x Android Arm Breaker

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

So first and foremost we get to start the game on Nappa’s shiny new Level 2 thanks to Dynamic Mastery. Also, we are clearly doing Saiyan Clench shenanigans, as most Nappa decks tend to do.

The added +2 stages of damage from his new Level 2 is going to make this deck feel really powerful right out of the gate, as you basically get to start the game with a bonus Tree of Might attached to you!

Another great thing about “Clench Nappa” these days is the amount of relevant Saiyan Allies! As you can see, we are playing all Saiyan Allies in this list, making some of our turns potentially devastating if we happen to see Turles and Vegeta on the board at the same time! The damage can pile on incredibly quick if your opponent happens to find themselves without a block at the wrong time.

I really wanted to play Saibamen in this list, but there are just too many negatives against them to justify even one slot. First, they aren’t Saiyan, so I can’t get them with Saiyan Overhead Kick and Turles does nothing with them. Second, they don’t have a Constant Power, so I can’t get them with Sobering Hammer either. Lastly, because of the ruling on memory, if you have at least 2 Saibamen in play, you can only activate one of them (as memory checks name per owner), meaning the ability to run more than one in your deck is completely wasted! I’m so sad to see a preview card I got to spoil rot on the wayside, but as of this writing, they just aren’t worth sleeving up 😦

The Power is Yours!

And that’s our list for this week! Thanks for checking it out and let me know what you think in your testing with it.

Also, please don’t forget to vote on the poll below on which deck you would like to see written up for next week!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Black Crane Style: South Kai Deck Analysis

Hey everyone!

For those that were unable to attend South Kai this year, I have to say, you really missed out on an amazing day of DBZ!

With 28 players strong, great competition, and a wide spectrum of decks, it really was the perfect storm of circumstances to make it one of the better events I’ve been to. Everyone in attendance was immensely fun to talk with and play against, I got to meet several Retro personalities for the first time in person, and created some bonds with some great people in the process.

You’ll definitely see me back in Louisiana at some point!

But this post isn’t on the event itself. That post will follow later. I wanted to first present my thought process on why I decided to play the deck I did, and what changes I think could be implemented to see it go the distance in other events to follow.

The Night Before

So the first thing I wanted to point out before we go diving deep into deck analysis and revision territory is that Black Devious Mercenary Tao was not at all on my radar for South Kai prior to packing for my trip down to Slidell.

I tend to bring a number of decks with me whenever I travel to an event, in hopes of getting some insight on what will be the better choice through testing, talking to others about the meta, and general familiarity with the decks present with me. While in the process of sorting through my collection to put the two decks together that I was considering to play for the event (Orange Adept Chilled and Red Ascension Kami), I came across my Blue Resolute Tao shell I had played during set 7 and recalled a conversation we had in passing during one of our KMDcast recordings – is Black Devious Mastery good for Mercenary Tao?

For those who might not be aware, Mercenary Tao has been my MP pet project of choice since his release in set 7. I have written a previous article on this very blog about my Blue Resolute build, how to handle piloting it, and the pitfalls of playing him against some of the heavy hitters in the meta. What I’m trying to get at is, Tao is no stranger to me, but to the larger player base of the game, he is completely uncharted territory; making him a very appealing Rogue choice for an event, should you know how to maneuver your way to victory.

As I pieced together the other decks and thought about what he gained from the Mastery, I started running across glimpses of what potentially could be run in the Devious build and started pulling them to the side. By the end of it, the deck felt much more feasible than I had given it credit on the podcast, and so I decided to sleeve it up and take it on the road in hopes to try it out.

Luckily, Joey DiCarlo posted in Retro that some last minute testing was taking place right as SJ Brown and myself checked into our hotel room; so we rushed over to get some insight on the possible meta for the next day. I was eager to see just what Tao could do.

The testing didn’t go quite as planned. While I was able to get most of my opponents to under 12 cards left in their deck, none of the games came out in my favor. So if that was the case, you may be wondering, why did I bother playing the deck in the event anyway?

Well, it’s pretty simple, even though the testing didn’t end in my favor, I saw a lot of the glaring issues my initial build presented, and the glimmer of actual potential against the powerhouse decks of the meta. Once we returned to the hotel room, the think tank of SJ, Matt Coombs (via text) and myself brainstormed the possible solutions to the list. We needed to give it the knockout punch it needed to seal a game away.

South Kai Deck List

As a reminder, since the Legacy Bonus Ruling is in effect for this deck, FanZ created cards were off the table and the following cards in the list were “(Limit 1 per deck.)”: Black Smoothness Drill, Black Strength Display, Black Memories & Unleashed.

Here is the list as it was during South Kai:

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Mercenary Tao, Old Foe
2 – Mercenary Tao, Reckless
3 – Mercenary Tao, Armed
4 – Mercenary Tao, Shielded
M – Black Devious Mastery

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

Setups (8):
2x Black Searching Technique
2x Black Power Up
1x Black Memories
2x Visiting the Past
1x Villainous Visage

Drills (1):
1x Black Smoothness Drill

Dragon Balls (2):
1x Earth Dragon Ball 2
1x Earth Dragon Ball 7

Events (11):
1x Black Strength Display
1x Black Scout Maneuver
1x Black Schematics
3x Mercenary Tao’s Puzzles
2x Stare Down
2x Villainous Energy Sphere
1x Unleashed

Energy Attacks (11):
3x Mercenary Tao’s Super Dodon Wave
3x Optic Blast
2x Villainous Power Ball
2x Blinding Energy Move
1x Villainous Energy Beam

Physical Attacks (14):
2x Black Vehicle Toss
2x Black Enraged Assault
2x Black Defensive Burst
3x Sinister Choke
2x Devastating Blow
2x Playful Punch
1x Wall Breaker

What Were We Planning For?

So I think the big thing you can see from the list above is that anti-anger was the main agenda for this deck. MPPV has a great place in the meta at the moment, and a lot of the popular Survival decks have the ability to level quickly as well. So I wanted to make sure that I was capable of denying my opponent’s levels as best as I could.

Another big thing about this deck is the amount of ways to end combat. Sitting in A Bracket for the entire game is something you really have to consider when building a deck like this. Bigger decks are going to try and manhandle you, and you need to be able to assess when it’s time to get out of dodge. I was running a total of 8 combat enders in the list for the day, with cards like Black Defensive Burst and Villainous Power Ball to help water down the combats I was unable to end on my own against Physical heavy decks.

Speaking of Physical heavy decks, stagelocking is a big problem with smaller MPs, so I wanted to make sure that the majority of my actions in combat were free, so that we could absorb as many hits as we could before having to assess the situation further. With only 6 attacks in the entire deck that cost stages, I think I was able to handle that threat pretty well.

The final thing about this deck was the amount of disruption it has. The main goal for Tao is to pick away at you slowly, removing your offensive capability until the slow decay of time eventually ends the game. With so many ways to remove cards from our opponent’s deck, hand and discard pile, nothing was safe or off-limits. Once a Dodon Wave is attached, the goal becomes ending combat as often as possible in order to deny the opponent a means to remove the card from themselves.

The Outcome

For those eager to know the story before my actual tournament breakdown article goes up, I ended the day at 3-2 and took home the Best in Black playmat.

I wasn’t able to crack the Top 8 due to tie-breakers, but all-in-all not too shabby for an MP no one plays.

What Was the Deck Weak Against?

So the deck seemed to be weak to a few different strategies:
– Dragon Ball Victory
– Energy Beatdown
– Other Mill Decks

I’m not sure what all could be done to hedge our bets against other small milling effects, as Black really doesn’t have a lot in the way of rejuvenation or recursion effects. However some small steps could be taken to help prevent the issues we faced with Energy and DBV.

My initial thoughts for this were:
– Adding in 2-3 Black Dense Ball
– Adding in 1-2 Black Declaration

With these small changes, the deck gains a few extra attacks capable of threatening critical damage as well as an answer to removing Dragon Balls in play, albeit temporarily.

Final Thoughts & Changes

Now certainly my Tao bias will be showing here, but I think South Kai proved that he can be a real contender if you understand the meta you are going into. Obviously, like all decks in this game, your match ups are really going to determine how well you do, but this deck has proved to me that it can hold its own against a lot of MPs if given the chance.

One big thing for the deck is there is a decent amount of anger cards slotted in the deck. With my Resolute build, Tao’s level 2 is the bread-and-butter to that decks success; and so naturally I felt like it would be the same for this build. However, a number of my matches were spent sitting on Level 1 until I was able to Unleashed up to Level 2 in the late game. With that in mind, I could certainly see cutting the anger cards for other non-anger versions, since Level 2 isn’t as necessary this time around. Black Finger Block over Black Knee Catch and Black Swipe over Black Resistance comes to mind immediately.

That being said though, Tao’s higher levels are also rather impressive late game. So finding a balance to anger up or level quickly to the right number against particular decks might be the better option. It’s all a matter of where the meta is at when you decide to try this deck out. Like most control decks in card games, understanding what you will be sitting across from impacts the control slots of your deck tremendously.

At the end of the day though, I think the numbers were a bit off on some cards, and I think, if given more testing these were the changes I would likely make:

Cut Villainous Visage. While it is a great card, it is highly luck based in this build.
Cut 1x Super Dodon Wave. We only really need one attached to slide into victory.
Cut Black Enraged Assault. We don’t attack enough to sneak the hit effect in.
Assess Unleashed Package. Cutting it frees 3 spots up, so it’s something to consider.
Assess Villainous Energy Beam. I never drew it, so it’s hard to say if it fits here.

With these few potential changes you would be able to fit up to 7 other additional tools in the deck; valuable real estate for hedging towards the weaker match ups listed above.

Shaolin Shadow Boxing

I hope you all enjoyed the journey through Black Devious Tao and where it could go from here.

Look forward to my actual tournament breakdown article coming in the near future, as well as our regularly scheduled articles for the week!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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First Impressions: Mr. No Chill…

Hey everyone!

I know it’s been a bit of a delay, but today we will be going over my first impressions for the tiny ball of fury that is Chilled!

As with the other First Impressions articles, we are going to be breaking down each of his levels, his Named Cards, and I will be presenting a deck list I think can help utilize his unique effects!

Stages into Life Cards into Stages into Life Cards?

Before we dive into Chilled, I wanted to go over the rules clarification that was updated in the latest CRD involving conversion from Stages of Damage to Life Cards.

The biggest thing to note, is that even though many of Chilled’s effects care about dealing Stages of damage, any damage that is converted to Life cards once your opponent has reached 0 stages on their personality WILL STILL COUNT as damage dealt as stages.

One of the examples from the CRD is as follows:

Your MP is at 1 stage above zero and is hit with an attack dealing 6 stages and 4 life cards of damage. Stage damage is dealt first, so you lose one stage. The remaining 5 stages you need to take are now converted into Life Cards of damage. You continue taking these 5 Life cards and find no endurance. Finally you must take the 4 Life cards remaining from the attack itself. The first card you discard has Endurance 3 on it, so you are able to prevent the rest of the attack’s damage by banishing it.

The final count of damage from the attack you took (for purposes of card effects) is 6 Stages and 6 Life Cards, despite some of these stages being converted.

This is incredibly important for Chilled, as many of his levels care about dealing at least 5 stages of damage. Because of this clarification, any stages that are converted to life cards will continue to count as stages of damage; meaning that all of Chilled’s attacks can still trigger these stage requiring effects, even if your opponent’s personality taking the damage is at 0 stages!

With that all cleared up, let’s dive into what Chilled is all about!

Level One

Chilled’s first level is Chilled, Familiar Foe. Sitting at the Standard 2 PUR for his Level One, we see that most of this level will be in C Bracket, with his first stage starting in B & his last stage reaching D Bracket.

Chilled’s big theme that will accompany him throughout his entire stack is the Constant Effect which converts all of your Life Card damage into Stages instead. On top of this, as an Instant Power, if one of your attacks deals 5 or more stages of damage, it is considered to deal Critical Damage and you raise your anger 2 levels! Finally, he has the Power to Rejuvenate 1. You may then draw a card, and if you do, you must discard a card as well.

As far as Level One’s go, this one is pretty terrific. Not only does it give you the ability to crit easier (having only to do 5 stages instead of 5 life cards), but it also grants you 2 anger and the ability to rejuvenate and filter your hand if needed. Chilled is certainly no slouch, it seems!

Level Two

Chilled’s next level is Chilled, Space Pirate. This level is a bit of an oddity as it also sports a 2 PUR, something I don’t believe we have seen as of yet in the game for a Level 2. What makes up for it, however is the fact that his stages are split nicely between 5 stages of C Bracket & 5 stages of D Bracket.

Again we see the “Life cards converted into stages” Constant effect, except this time it also comes with a nice little +1 stage damage bonus for all of your attacks. This level grants us our first attack of the MP stack, giving us a Physical attack which Rejuvenates 1 and is considered to deal Critical Damage if it hits! It has a base of 5 stages, yet thanks to our +1 modifier, it deals an impressive 6 stages base! If it does happen to hit, it will also raise our anger 1 level.

This level is a bit interesting. Having played with the MP a lot recently, I think it is safe to say it is the level you can find yourself trapped on the longest throughout a game. While you will be able to deal additional damage while on the level, the fact that you gain no bonuses from your Critical Damage means that you’ll have to be leveling the honest way this time around.

Level Three

Chilled, Pissed pretty much sums up this next level. Chilled jumps to an impressive 4 PUR from his lowly 2 from the last level. His stages are a pretty standard mix: 3 stages of C Bracket, 6 stages of D & 1 stage of E Bracket.

Again we have our Constant conversion power, but this time we also have the ability to crit with each attack that deals 5 or more stages of damage. Not only that, but we also may raise our anger 1 level each time we deal critical damage! Pissed indeed I would say!

We have yet another Physical Attack on this level. This time around it deals a base 6 stages of damage with no immediate effects. However, should it hit, it will gain us 1 anger (2 really from the constant effect!), Rejuvenate the top 2 cards of our discard pile and allow us to banish a Setup, Drill or Ally our opponent controls!

So this level is definitely Chilled’s best in the bunch. The ability to crit from every attack that deals 5 or more stages is an incredibly powerful tool, on top of the pseudo-Enraged Mastery ability of gaining us an anger if we so choose from each Critical Damage we deal. The hit effect on his built-in attack is also a game changer in the right place, giving you incredibly board and anger control.

Level Four

Finally, his MP stack is rounded out by Chilled, Prophet. His PUR hits the traditional 5 at this level, and his stages again are split: 3 stages of C, 5 stages of D & 2 stages of E bracket.

We continue the trend of having our conversion Constant Power and gain the same “5 or more stages” for a crit clause that we got from our last level. This time however we won’t be able to gain any anger from it. This level also comes with the rather interesting restriction of Hidden Power Drill, capping each personality in play to only 5 stages instead of 10.

Instead of an attack, we are given the Power to gain 3 stages then choose a personality in play to lose 3 stages.

Honestly, this is probably his worst level in the stack. While limiting your opponent’s personalities to only 5 stages, and basically have a PUR of “Go to Full” each turn, you really aren’t able to capitalize on the MPPV strategy that his other levels have helped you with.

Much like his Level 2, we have lost any added bonuses to our critical damage, so while our attacks feel more threatening, since having half the amount of stages makes each count twice as much, we really aren’t going to be able to seal the deal anger-wise on our own. Not to mention the Power on this level just feels really lackluster for a Level 4 power.

Chilled seems to have suffered from the same illness that Garlic Jr has, having much better lower levels with a stack designed to catapult you to your worst. Like Garlic Jr, I wouldn’t recommend jumping to this level unless you are able to end the game quickly!

Named Card #1

Chilled’s first Named Card is Chilled’s Prescience. First off, this Event has an impressive 3 Endurance, already making it feel worth the slots in your deck. It also has the parenthetical text of allowing you to discard this card after a successful attack to draw a card and have that attack be considered to deal critical damage!

The card’s Power itself allows you to Rejuvenate the top 3 cards of your discard pile, then choose a personality in play to lose 3 stages. Not too shabby of a damage swing.

So clearly this card’s parenthetical text is really where it shines. Being able to potential convert it into another aggressive card while allowing you to crit when you otherwise have no business doing so is just fantastic. However, should you find yourself behind, the actual power to rejuvenate 3 and lower a personality 3 stages (which could convert to 3 discarded cards if that personality is already at 0), is definitely nothing to write off either.

All-in-all I think this is a great, versatile tool for Chilled to possess.

Named Card #2

Chilled’s other Named Card is Chilled’s Enraged Volley. Again we see this card has an impressive 2 Endurance on it, pulling its weight both in your hand as well as in your Life Deck.

This time around we are given an Energy Attack costing 1 stage that deals 5 stages of damage. This card also comes with a plethora of immediate effects! First, we Raise our anger 1 level. Next, if our opponent happens to change levels during this combat, they are immediate placed to 0 stages (a la Nappa’s Energized Charge). Finally, whenever you use a critical damage effect this combat, you can choose a personality in play to lose 1 stage.

Oh, and did I mention the hit effect allows it to stay in play to be used a second time this combat? Meaning that critical damage effect buff is able to stack!

With so much on this card, it is no wonder it is Banish After Use!

If played at the right time, this card could spell a world of hurt for your opponent to deal with! Being able to potentially grant you 2 anger (more if you happen to be on Level 1 or 3), with 10 potential damage and 2 potential drains each time you use a Critical Damage Effect. There really is nothing bad to say about this card!

You’ll play it in every Chilled build you run, and you’ll love it every single time!

So with all that to consider, where do we go with Chilled? Well, let’s take a look:

Initial Deck Concept

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Chilled, Familiar Foe
2 – Chilled, Space Pirate
3 – Chilled, Pissed
4 – Chilled, Prophet
M – Red Ascension Mastery

Blocks (13):
3x Red Determination
3x Red Blocking Hand
3x Red Brace
3x Red Stop
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Setups (5):
3x Red Relaxation
2x Visiting the Past

Drills (5):
1x Red Tactical Drill
1x Red Forward Stance Drill
1x Red Intimidation Drill
1x Red Oversized Drill
1x Red Threatening Drill

Events (3):
3x Chilled’s Prescience

Energy Attacks (14):
3x Red Controlled Blast
3x Red Enhanced Beam
3x Red Static Shot
2x Red Freezing Beam
3x Chilled’s Enraged Volley

Physical Attacks (20):
3x Red Pound
3x Red Power Rush
2x Red Cheap Shot
2x Red Driving Knee
2x Red Double Strike
2x Red Face Break
2x Red Heel Kick
2x Red Mule Kick
2x Red Tandem Attack

Deck Concept and Goals

So the focus of this deck is MPPV first and foremost. With only 13 of the 60 cards in the deck unable to gain anger directly, jumping up levels should be a piece of cake. On top of our Mastery granting us 2 anger per combat (1 active, 1 passive), we should be able to climb quickly.

While there were plenty of other cards I wanted to test out in this list, cards like Red Energy Outburst or Red Sneaky Strike for example, there just wasn’t enough room for everything this deck wanted to accomplish. So at the end of the day, I had to make a bunch of sacrifices to try and get the deck to where I think it could function. I still managed to get a few cards into the list that I think could be pretty spicy, like Red Determination and Red Power Rush, but ultimately I didn’t want to clog the deck with fancy cards that do little to progress the deck’s main strategy.

As with virtually every Red Deck I build these days, we have a small Drill package that helps to support the driving force of the deck. Ideally I would love to play a second Red Tactical Drill and 1-2 cards that can help tutor our Drills out of our Deck for us, but since they are not the main game plan this time around, I had to give those slots to other more practical cards.

Who Do You Think You Are to Test The Almighty Chilled!?!

And that’s our take on Chilled.

Check back in tomorrow when we go over the new Levels for Vegeta and Nappa, as well as our first impressions on the 4 “Legacy” Named cards in the set.

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Theory-crafting 101: Are You A God?

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay on this post. I’ve been dealing with some unwanted pests in my apartment, and it has taken up a lot of my free time getting rid of them.

Now that it is out of the way however, I’ll be able to focus on the blog again and give you all the updates you deserve! And since South Kai is only a few hours away, it shouldn’t interrupt the update for Sunday either!

But enough about my troubles, let’s get into what you really came here for, Kami!

The List

MP Levels and Mastery:
1 – Kami, Earth’s Guardian
2 – Kami, Prepared
3 – Kami, Fighting Spirit
4 – Kami, Overseer
M – Namekian Radiant Mastery

Blocks (15):
3x Namekian Hybrid Defense
3x Namekian Knee Block
2x Namekian Left Block
2x Namekian Forceful Block
2x Namekian Buffer
2x Namekian Crossed Guard
1x Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Setups (8):
3x Namekian Growth
1x Namekian Wish
1x Namekian Dragon Clan
2x Visiting the Past
1x Dragon Radar

Drills (5):
1x Namekian Heritage Drill
1x Namekian Assistance Drill
1x Namekian Hospitality Drill
2x Kami’s Guardian Drill

Dragon Balls (7):
1x Earth Dragon Ball 1
1x Earth Dragon Ball 2
1x Earth Dragon Ball 3
1x Earth Dragon Ball 4
1x Earth Dragon Ball 5
1x Earth Dragon Ball 6
1x Earth Dragon Ball 7

Events (6):
3x Namekian Overtime
2x Namekian Chase
1x Heroic Energy Sphere

Energy Attacks (19):
3x Namekian Surge
2x Namekian Training Ball
2x Namekian Force Push
2x Namekian Maximum Will
2x Namekian Onslaught
2x Namekian Resourceful Shot
3x Kami’s Focused Beams
3x Optic Blast

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

I think the ideal list for this deck was somewhere around 75 cards haha. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself cutting cards you want to play in order to build your own version of this deck.

There isn’t really a primary objective for this version of the deck, as DBV and Survival seem to both be reasonable outcomes for your match. What you really want to do is try and get to Level 3 if possible, so that you can start dishing out crazy amounts of damage.

There isn’t a ton of anger built into the deck naturally, but using your Mastery’s ability to place Dragon Balls into play during combat to gain you anger passively, on top of being able to loop your own EDB 3 should hopefully creep you along.

Luckily, Kami’s Level One also acts as a fine anchor for this deck as well, making each DB that enters play mill your opponent for 1; not to mention you can shuffle that ball immediately back into your deck to get a Styled Drill of your choice.

So depending on how anti-anger heavy your opponent is, the flexibility of Kami’s Levels should keep you relevant throughout the match, no matter what level you find yourself on.

The other thing to be mindful of when playing this deck is that this version of the deck only has a limited supply of Rejuvenation. While big bursts from Namekian Growth or Namekian Buffer may help you turn the tide, they themselves are not recurring targets. Everything else at your disposal mainly deals in a single Rejuvenation at a time, so be careful not to get too greedy with the amount of DBs you have in play once Kami’s Guardian Drill is out.

The Power is Yours!

And that’s our first take on the Legends meta for TC101!

Thanks for checking out the article for this week. Don’t forget to vote in the poll below on what you’d like to see next week!

I look forward to seeing everyone at South Kai this weekend!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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South Kai Approaches…

Hey everyone!

In 12 short days at Showcase Comics & Collectibles in Slidell, LA we will be deep in Set 9 Tournament Flavor Country with the South Kai Regional!

I wanted to use today’s post to put some of my personal thoughts down as I prepare for the event and shed some light on some things that might matter for those testing over the next two weeks.

So let’s take a look at what lies ahead and see where it leads us!

The “Legacy Bonus Ruling”

So one of the biggest things moving forward towards South Kai is that Black Devious Mastery and Red Enraged Mastery have become unthawed…though with a few restrictions.

The biggest of these restrictions is that you are only allowed to use set 1-7 cards in your total 65 cards (MP and deck) if you choose to use these Masteries. Not having access to Celestial Tournament or Legends cards could make a huge impact on your decision to run these masteries!

The next big restriction for these Masteries are the MPs that are allowed to use them:

Black Devious Mastery:
Krillin, Frieza, Piccolo, Captain Ginyu, Vegeta (Villain only), Nail, Nappa, Raditz, Tenshinhan, Turles, Lord Slug, Garlic Jr, Dr. Wheelo, Android 16, Android 17, Android 18, Android 19, Mercenary Tao, Hercule, & Cell Jr.

Red Enraged Mastery:
Krillin, Frieza, Piccolo, Captain Ginyu, Vegeta (Villain only), Nail, Nappa, Raditz, Tenshinhan, Turles, Lord Slug, Garlic Jr, Dr. Wheelo, Android 16, Android 17, Android 18, Android 19, Mercenary Tao, Cell, & Cell Jr.

As you can see, the MPs allowed to use these Masteries are not currently the strongest in the field, giving them a new lease on life, but at the cost of not playing any of the FanZ cards that may help push the game further in their favor.

Finally, the last restriction for playing these Masteries is that the following cards become “(Limit 1 per deck.)”: Black Smoothness Drill, Black Strength Display, Black Memories & Assisted Kamehameha.

Limiting yourself in these ways is by no means a light cost, yet even through all this, there still might be justification in forsaking all of the new tools at your disposal for stronger Mastery options.

Decks like Devious Krillin or Devious Tenshinhan may once again rear their ugly head in the tournament scene. Likewise, the thought of Enraged Cell or Enraged Piccolo could be sleeper decks waiting to be unleashed on the meta.

Whether you are looking to play with or without the “Legacy Bonus”, the one thing that is certain is that you will have to keep these two Masteries in mind while testing for the event. It might be time to dust off a few of those old lists to play against before you forget just how much Krillin used to crit and show up with a DBV deck haha.

The New Legends Meta

With the buzz around town focusing on the 3 newest MPs to hit the streets – Bardock, Chilled and Kami – less attention has been given to the specific style cards which were also brought in with the new set. Not to mention some very interesting Ultra Rares in the form of Ocular Pat Down and Amphibious Exploration Drill.

With all of these new cards, what should we really expect out of the older MPs thanks to these new tools?

Well, right off jump, I feel like nearly every Black card in this set has been a quality of life improvement for the Style. Black Punt and Black Energized Guard feel like the cards you will likely see the most out of the pack, but I wouldn’t count out the others at all either.

I know that Blue Zinger and Blue Recuperating Drill are two of my favorite cards out of the set personally, but every style got something new and exciting to play with. Likewise, the 4 Legacy MP Named Cards are all spectacular in their own way and should warrant looking at their MP stacks again for tournament play.

While there are still a few MPs that I personally wish would have gotten a bit more love from this set, the meta is shaping up to be bursting with solid MP choices these days.

Test, Test & Test Some More

The biggest thing I can say about the next two weeks is that testing is likely to be an all-time high on OCTGN.

With so many new things to think about, and so many old favorites that have a chance to shine again, testing is going to be a huge benefit for those looking to find the diamonds in the rough this time around.

I expect that Chilled, Kami, Broly and Gohan will all be top runners going into the event, but only time will tell what might be waiting around the corner.

The Countdown Begins

And that’s it for today’s post. For those thinking about coming to the South Kai event, I hope to see you there!

July 15th is so close and yet still so far away.

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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Food for Thought: Determination

Hey everyone!

So today I wanted to talk about something that I’m sure we’ve all felt at some point or another. Whether it be in this game, another you play, or life in general. We’ve all been in a situation where it feels like everything has gone completely wrong, and no matter what we think we can do, the whole situation is hopeless.

Sometimes the universe just feels like it’s against you, and we feel like the only thing we can do is give into its will over us.

But what I want to talk about today is that things have a way of balancing out in the end. What seems like a hopeless situation could present something that, if capitalized on, can shift the momentum entirely in your favor.

What I’m trying to say is, nothing comes easy, and the best thing you can do for yourself is stay focused and stay determined to win.

Determination in Deck Design

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all been in a situation where we were really excited about a deck we built. We put in countless hours theory-crafting the perfect list. We ran all the scenarios in our head and found the perfect 60 cards to sleeve up. We can’t believe no one else has figured this list out yet!

Only to find after several test runs that the deck is a flaming pile of garbage.

Now, a lot of people are likely to take that deck and throw it in the proverbial dumpster. Let it rot in a box and forget they ever thought about it, or piece it apart and skulk in a corner somewhere feeling defeated.

But why? Why is this the natural inclination of players when their pet deck crashes and burns? Now while it might be true that some decks might be a little too ambitious to fit everything they want into one deck, that doesn’t mean that you haven’t learned something incredibly valuable from the experience. Why give up on the dream entirely when you can adapt it to fit in this new found knowledge? Does it feel like a failure to take a step back and think, “Ok, this version was a little too much. But I’ll nail it the next time around!”

As it’s been stated many times before, Rome wasn’t built in a day; so then why do we expect our decks to break these expectations? There is nothing wrong with taking your time and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your deck after testing it. In fact, testing is the best thing you could possibly do for yourself. Test it 10, 50, even 100 times. Find where the deck fumbles and learn from these short-comings. As odd as it may sound, poor testing results can sometimes be the best thing you can get when figuring out a new deck. Finding your weaknesses early on in the deck design can help you plan to overcome them well before they present themselves in a tournament environment.

There is nothing wrong with having an idea blow up in your face during testing. What is wrong, however, is disregarding these results and giving up entirely. We all fall down, but we’re not meant to lay on our backs forever. So get up, and give it another try, even if you have to fall a few more times to understand it all.

Determination in Matches

Another thing I’ve seen throughout my experiences with this game, and life in general, is that people are so willing to give in at the first sign of disaster instead of battling through it.

How many times have you been in a game where your opponent, or perhaps you yourself, have said, “Wow! I can’t believe that happened. There’s no way I am winning now. What crappy luck!” This is by far the biggest cop out on your skill as a player you could give into.

The nature of card games is centered around the balance of skill and luck. They play an intricate dance together, and more so in this game than any others I have had the pleasure of playing. The important thing is to stay positive. If your opponent has had a lucky break in a game, the chance of you having the same luck could be found within the next turn, or the next combat, or maybe even the next match.

Giving into negative experiences and chalking them up to “good luck” for your opponent or “poor luck” on your own part is no excuse. If you are not willing to dig in and figure out how to come back from those situations, you will never do well in a competitive setting.

Do not give up on yourself as a skilled tactician. We play these games because at some level we enjoy figuring out the “how do I beat my opponent?” puzzle presented to us. Sometimes that puzzle can present very abstract and odd looking pieces, but it is up to us as intelligent human beings to look at those pieces and fit them together. Maybe you won’t figure it out the first time you see them, but eventually you will see that piece and know exactly where it falls into place; but only through trial and error.

Giving up and admitting defeat will never help you grow, so do yourself the favor and roll with the punches until you hit that moment of clarity that brings the puzzle together.

Determination in Competitive Play

The last thing I wanted to talk about today is this misconception that “Top Tier” players will always do better than you ever could in an event. This concept is a bit of a double-edged sword.

Certainly these higher end players will have a record that shows their skill in the game. And while you might find yourself paired up against someone that has a much higher record than you at the game, don’t forget that this record took time to sculpt.

Think about how much time they have invested in learning their deck, or learning the decks in the current meta, or theory-crafting scenarios that might present themselves at any particular moment in a match. Compare that to your own time spent playing the game. It may not match up equally, but the point is that you should always learn from each experience you have. The higher end players are always reviewing their poor matches in their minds. Figuring out what went wrong in order to prevent it from occurring again in the future, if possible.

You have to be able to adapt to the circumstances in front of you if you hope to succeed at anything in life. Just because you find yourself dwarfed by someone of higher perceived skill does not mean that you can’t be the one to teach them something new. Being good at a card game is a learned skilled. At some point, that higher end player was exactly where you find yourself on the scale of player skill, and lower before that. You have to be willing to take the steps needed to grow as an advanced player, and often this means taking the time to play as much as you can. While you might not be able to do it as frequently as some of the others who play this game, that doesn’t mean that you won’t reach that tier eventually yourself.

All it takes is evaluating each situation that arises within your matches and fluidly adapting around them. Don’t be stagnant in your play approach, and don’t let yourself fall into the logic trap of “they are just better than I am.” These are the tools of your destruction if you let them enter your mind.

“Don’t Fight for Victory…Fight to Improve Yourself.”

Thanks for checking out the post today.

As always, please remember to vote in this week’s TC101 poll. Tuesday’s article will be our first look at the new environment, so let’s start if off properly!

Until next time, FanZ Warriors!

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