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    Ginyu Force Rules! Ginyu Force Rules!

    Looking for something different to play this weekend? The Ginyu Force arrives!!

    Ginyu Force rules! Damn, I've got that jingle in my head now...

    This is something I ran at a recent 16 local person event (4 rounds with Top 4). It's a fun deck to play, as many people still haven't played against Captain Ginyu and can be easily overwhelmed by him. I had a really solid run with the deck, only losing by one life in Top 4 against a Blue/Green Vegeta being out combo'd for 5k.

    Here is my current Captain Ginyu Decklist:

    Leader:
    Ginyu, The Malicious Transformation

    Battle Cards:
    Mecha-Frieza, The Returning Terror x4
    Frieza, Hellish Terror x2
    Ginyu Force Jeice x4
    Son Goten, Family of Justice x3
    Appule x4
    Ginyu Force Burter x4
    Dodoria, The Emperor's Attendant x4
    Sui x4
    Ginyu Force Recoome x4
    Sorbet, The Loyal Commander x4
    Ginyu Force Guldo x4
    Avenging Frieza x4
    Elite Force Captain Ginyu

    Extra Cards:
    Crusher Ball x4

    Sideboard:
    Furthering Destruction Champa x3
    Elite Force Captain Ginyu x2
    Full-Power Frieza x2
    King Cold, Father of the Emperor x2
    Bad Ring Laser x2
    Cui x2
    Ultimate Judgment Jaco x2

    Strategy:
    The idea of this deck is to push out constant damage every turn while building up a board, then pushing an early "all-in" to win the game. Even if the opponent has a lot of cards in their hand, if you catch them early enough, you're going to auto combo them when they can't afford to pay for all the combo costs.

    When starting with the deck, you're going to want to mulligan for as many copies of Sorbet, Avenging Frieza, and Dodoria as possible. These are the cards that are going to win you the game with the final push with a Double-Strike awakened Captain Ginyu leader. Also, if you see any Ginyu force members, send them back in the mulligan as well as we want them in our life to make the most out of Ginyu's power. Use Ginyu power every turn (even if you start first in the game - it can make a big swing).
    Don't block with Sorbet unless you're going to lose - use his power and Dodoria to push final damage as much as possible (discarding a 5k combo or a Crusher Ball can during to 10-15K easily). Attack with Burter, Recoome, Sui, and Appule to apply early damage every turn.
    When you play an Avenging Frieza, keep him out to evolve to a Hellish Terror towards the end of the game to help push out end game damage.
    If they attack when you have 5 energy out, play out a Mecha-frieza to win the game (keep an energy open for a Crusher Ball - also be aware of an open Blue energy as Senzu Bean hurts this strategy). You don't really need Captain Ginyu since you usually win on T4 or T5 tops, but he's fun to include in the deck if it goes that far as alone he can attack with double strike and 30k.
    If you have the promo Mecha-Frieza, he can be in this spot as well since he can get rid of a key combo card and lets you know if you should go all in on a combo or not.

    Use Crusher Balls conservatively on low energy cost Battle cards, and save them for higher cost characters. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like Saiyan Cabba or Assailant Vegeta.  If you can, always keep an energy open to bluff the Crusher Ball, as needed. When you do this, a lot of opponent's play more cautiously, and because of that you're going to notice the games end up going more in your favor. 
    Sideboarding depends on many factors, but generally I have a basic strategy when utilizing it for this deck. When sideboarding here,  against control swap out the 3x Son Goten for another Elite Force Captain Ginyu and 2x Furthering Destruction Champa (although three Furthering Destruction Champa  would be acceptable too). If they lack Battle Card removal, add in the two Full-Power Frieza. If you have a feeling you're going to start second (or the last game you went a bit defensive), swap in two of the Jacos for Elite Force Captain Ginyu and a Ginyu Force Jeice.

    Overall, this is a really fun deck that's different to play with, especially if you want to catch people off guard with something different.

    If you enjoyed this deck breakdown, we've been doing more on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe if you want to see more decks with even further breakdowns. We'll also have more articles on the site in the future.

    Dragon Ball Super Card Game Live Stream

    If you were interested in the Dragon Ball Super Card Game, you should definitely check out our YouTube Channel.  We'll be doing our first live stream today at 6:00 PM Pacific, with a few different decks in hand, as well as chatting with the community. 
    If you're interested, check us out:
    https://gaming.youtube.com/c/Toptiergaming/live

    Gencon 2017 - News and Exclusive spoiler from Anniv Tournament

    Reporting in from Gencon 2017 Day 3.  Today was the first of two "Release Anniversary" tournaments, being held off-site of the convention at Good Games in Indianapolis Indiana.  I was able to register online for the event, so I booked it from the convention center to the store as soon as my volunteer shift ended to check in.
    44 players came together, running may variants of well known decks like Broly green and Vegeta blue, plus a hint of Frieza Yellow and a strong showing from Champa.  The tournament's winner, in fact, was Anthony Hernandez with Red/Blue Champa.  Anthony took home a VERY large trophy, playmat and TEN additional tournament promo packs.  (for those wondering how I did, please just....move along.  Let's just say I'm lucky that the 2 promo packs they gave to ALL attendees netted me at least 1 foil).
    One of the more interesting prizes that players were given for entering (or for getting a lottery ticket and not getting in) was a set of sleeves.  This pack of 0 sleeves features a new piece of DBS artwork as well as the word "Winner" at the bottom, and they have said they will likely be prizes for future tournaments.  The REALLY cool part is in addition to the 60 deck sleeves, the pack included one leader sleeve, which was clear on both sides, but has a small border on the sides and bottom.  Expect to see these being gouged on eBay any day now.
    But the real story is not how we did, it's what was said!  In attendance were representatives of Bandai and game developers Moteki Yoshito Sensei (Right) and Kawashima Tatsuro Sensei (Left), both decked out in Turtle School gi.

    After the event finished they thanked us and gave us a bit of news about upcoming product and processes.  (NOTE: the following is not final and as always could be subject to change)
    - OP.  Bandai is currently working on large events, judge programs and more, hoping to release more info before the end of the year.
    - Set 2 will be releasing in November and spoilers will be hitting the website as early as next month.  There have already been pictures circulating on Facebook of some previews at the Bandai booth(including Future Trunks and Zamasu leaders), but the folks running the event wanted to give us all a little something extra and spoiled a THIRD new leader coming in set 2 that has some DEVASTATING effects.  Grab your Potara and hide the jawbreakers, because the martial artist formerly known as Vegirot is coming to town:

    Vegito - Leader - Red - 10,000
    Permanent - Each <Son Goku> and <Vegeta> in all of your areas gain red, blue and green colors.
    Auto - When this card attacks, place up to 1 card from the top of your deck in the Drop Area.  If that card is red, this card gains +5000 power for the duration of the turn.
    Awaken (Standard)

    Fusion Warrior Super Saiyan Vegito - Awakened Leader - Red - 15,000
    Permanent - Each <Son Goku> and <Vegeta> in all of your areas gain red, blue and green colors.
    Auto - When this card attacks draw 1 card and if there are 10 or more total <Son Goku> or <Vegeta> in your Drop Area this card gains +5000 power and Double Strike for the duration of the turn.
     
    Everything changes in Dragon Ball Super series 2, coming in November.
     
    Some quick shout outs to the crew of Good Games in Indianapolis for a great venue and an amazing hosting job, Anthony Hernandez for running a great game (and beating me soundly in round 1), Allek "The Beard" Pastrana of Bearded Collectibles for letting me get my only W of the night and finally, but most importantly, Moteki-Sensei, Kawashima-Sensei and the rest of the Bandai Crew for running a quality event and giving us fans so much to enjoy and talk about.
     
    ~Stryyder

    Deck Spotlight: The Prince of All Saiyans - Blue / Red Vegeta

    I've been playing a lot of the Dragon Ball Super Card Game lately and I really do mean a lot;  it's been played almost daily. On top of that, there have been several weekly events here locally since the game's release. Since then, I've tried building several different decks, some with a bit of success, and others just falling flat. However, after all the bad decks have been put to rest, I've finally found a deck that I not only enjoy playing with, but I also think is a little busted and could quite possibly be the best deck in the game.

    While I do enjoy playing with the deck, and could probably play it a few more times to great success, our local tournament area doesn't have any tournament packs, and I just can't keep playing the same deck over and over again (although I did win another event with a Yellow Golden Frieza deck, so maybe I'll share that list eventually). On top of that, I decided last minute not to go to GenCon (not that I could have scored a ticket into the event). So, because of those few reasons, I've decided to share the list with one person going to the GenCon event ahead of time that may be running a tweaked version of it at the event, but also with everyone else on TCG Top Tier to see if it has any effect on the metagame.

    So for this week's Deck Spotlight, I'll be reviewing my personal deck - Blue / Red Vegeta. Here is the list...

    Leader (1):
    Vegeta / Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta
    Battle Cards (39):
    Botamo of Universe 6 x3
    Manipulating God Champa x4
    Energy Boosted Majin Buu x4
    Saiyan Cabba x4
    Boosted Attack Piccolo x4
    Furthering Destruction Champa x4
    Assailant Vegeta x4
    Energy Boosted Beerus x4
    Whis, The Resting Attendant x4
    Destruction Terror Champa x4

    Extra Cards (11):
    Vados's Assistance x3
    Whis's Coercion x4
    Senzu Bean x4

    Sideboard (15):
    Botamo of Universe 6
    Vados's Assistance
    Confident Botamo x4
    Assassination Plot x3
    Vegeta, Prince of Speed x3
    Objection x3

    The idea of this deck is very simple - mulligan for as many copies of 'Senzu Bean' and 'Saiyan Cabba'. Senzu Bean lets us ready Energy after we use it, which early in the game lets us abuse the game's one-a-turn energy system. Saiyan Cabba is the best one-drop in the game. He draws us a card from our energy and deals two damage with his Double Strike ability. Use said copies of Senzu Bean and Saiyan Caba to power out fast damage and more plays while you have two energy in play.  Because of Vegeta's Leader ability that also draws from the life, we should be lowering our life as fast as possible. Because of this, we'll be able to awaken fairly fast on our second turn for even more card advantage and faster damage. Ideally, the opponent would also be at 3-4 damage, but their deck isn't designed to withstand this typically. On turn three, use any blockers or attack negates to live long enough and attack with your leader, then on turn 4 pitch as many 10K combo cards as you can (hopefully there are a few copies of 'Boosted Attack Piccolo' and a 'Furthering Destruction Champa' in there) to finish with a "Big Bang Attack" combo at over 60K+ when they have 1-2 life. You should kill them very fast.  If you're not drawing quite right, drawing Manipulating God Champa and Energy Boosted Majin Buu allow us to dig for Furthering Destruction Champa to use with Vegeta's Critical ability for 2 life a turn they can't draw, or Assailant Vegeta to boost the control game as well. Once we get them down, then we can finish them off with Energy Boosted Beerus or Destructive Terror Champa to end the game. Use Attack Negates and blockers to live a bit longer at the end game. 

    The deck is a bit aggressive, but the sideboard is around to make us a bit more controlling. Confident Botamo replaces Assailant Vegeta in matches where the opponent wants to Evolve characters. Vegeta, Prince of Speed and Objection are great against mono-blue control decks (allowing us to play the same game). The extra Botamo of Universe 6 and Vados's Assistance are there to screw up the opponent's combat math and allow us to live long enough to play multiple Destrtuction Terror Champa or Vegeta, Prince of Speed.

    After playing in four tournaments with it, the deck is currently sitting 23-5. This is a tremendous feat, and I can attribute at least two of those games I lost to poor misplays - forgetting to combo with a card that was crucial (moving too fast in phases) and the other forgetting to drop an energy down (newbie mistake). After playing with the deck for this long, and watching other people try to mimic it, I realized the room for error is larger than it appears, and playing it perfectly does take a bit of finesse. All games will not go exactly as I described above and new things happen all the time. You can only learn how to handle the deck fully once you've gotten a lot of play experience under your belt. Going off a turn early or miscalculating how your opponent will respond can be disastrous (as I've learned with a few of my losses with the deck). In addition, there is a deck type that exists that completely shuts this deck down (by taking advantage of how decks are typically built), but we'll go over that another day...

    That's it for this today's Deck Spotlight. On the next Deck Spotlight, we'll be looking at the decks that topped the GenCon event.

    Rules Primer - Counter Timing windows - Play vs. Attack

    Hey all.  This seems to be a large point of contention, and so I wanted to expand upon it for a bit.  There has been a LOT of talk and confusion regarding the resolution timing of Counter cards, in relation to what phase they are used.  A lot of these are for the more high profile cards like Cold Bloodlust and Whis's Coercion.  People are using battle timing as reference for play timing and vice versa, but the fact is they are quite different.  In this post I'm going to go in depth on the timing for both playing cards and attacking during your main phase free timing.  You can find any referenced rulings in the official rules manual: here
    There are currently 3 counter types in DBS: Play, Attack and Counter. (though there is one "Attack" counter that is specific to Battle Cards attacking, King Cold)
     
    Counter: Play - Relevant Manual Section - 6-3-1-3-1 (Playing battle cards)
    In playing a battle card, there are 3 steps (6-3-1-3-1-1 through 6-3-1-3-1-3).  In order these steps are:
    1 - Declare the card you are playing and switch the appropriate # of energy to rest mode.
    2 - Counter Timing occurs - this is where Counter: Play skills may be used and resolve.
    3 - Actually playing the battle card.  This is where the card is placed onto the field and any "When played/evolved" auto skills would be triggered and resolved.
    What does this mean?  The only 2 current cards with a "Play" counter are Cold Bloodlust and Crusher Ball.  Per the timings above, these would resolve BEFORE the targeted card hits the field.  In the case of the former, it would hit the field blank (thereby negating ANY skills, including "when played" skills) and for the latter, the target enters the field in rest mode.
     
    Counter: Attack - Relevant Manual Section - 7-1 (declaring an attack)
    In attacking, either with your leader card or a battle card, there are 3 steps (7-1 through 7-1-2).  In order these steps are:
    1 - The turn player may choose their active mode leader or battle card in their leader or battle card area and turn it to rest mode to attack, declaring either their opponent's leader card or one of their opponent's Rest Mode battle cards as the target.
    2 - Counter Timing occurs - This is where Counter: Attack skills may be used and resolve.
    3 - A checkpoint occurs.  This is where "Auto" abilities that trigger upon attacking occur as well as when the defending player may use the "Blocker" skill.  NOTE:  there is a special clarification on this step in Rule Manual section 7-1-2-1 that states that even if a "Counter: Attack" skill used in the previous step NEGATED the attack this checkpoint STILL occurs and these Auto skills will STILL resolve.  There is also a clarification that Attacker's Auto skills resolve BEFORE blockers may be declared. (Q&A 63)
    (after these steps come the Offense and Defense phases where combo and "Activate: Attack" skills may be used, but we're focusing on JUST the declaration phase at the moment)
    What does this mean?  Just as stated above, even if a card would negate an attack, any "Auto" skills that trigger when attacking(ex. Beerus, General of Demolition BT1-041) STILL resolve.
     
    Counter: Counter - Relevant Manual Section - 4-7-3-2 (Counter Timings)
    Whenever a Counter Timing occurs (see step 2 in both of the above examples), there are 5 steps (4-7-3-2 through 4-7-3-5)
    1 - The player who DIDN'T play/use the triggering Card/Skill may use a relevant Counter card.
    2 - The other player chooses to use a Counter: Counter card or does nothing.
    3 - (situational) if the second player used a Counter: Counter, the initial player may use a Counter: Counter card or does nothing. (Repeat 2 and 3 until one player does not play a Counter: Counter and then proceed to step 4)
    4 - Resolve all Counter skills in reverse order (First in last out)
    5 - Carry out the original triggering action or skill if possible and then return to normal play.
    What does this mean?  While sections like 6-3-1-3-1-2 and 7-1-1 simply state "The Non-turn player can activate [Counter: ______] skills..." section 4-7 expands the counter timing window to its FULL form (final form?) in which players may bounce "Counter: Counter" skills as necessary.  (This can deter rules lawyers who may try and claim that sections 6 and 7 ONLY allow the non-turn player to activate counters, when it isn't that simple.)
     
    So that's it for now!  You now have a hearty knowledge of counter timings in any (current) situation.  Who knows what set 2 and on will bring up, but this is a good basis point for now.  Any questions, comments or accusations of lack of reading comprehension may be left below for subsequent follow up.
    ~Stryyder

    Set 1 Leader Card Rankings

    Man of Tomorrow here, I’m going to break down where I believe the Leader Cards for Set 1 shake out. This is obviously subjective, but the Leaders were evaluated on my ideas of how strong they are in their respective colors. Evaluating them based on how they'll work with 2, or more colors added a lot of extra complexity, and with a limited card pool, sticking to a mono-color for the purpose of this piece made it easier to digest.

    A caveat to the ranking is that the ability to draw 1 card when attacking on the Leaders’ Awakened side was not even considered, since every Leader card gains this ability after Awakening. Let’s get to it.
     
    Red
    Hit Champa Vados Hit is the best Red Leader in my opinion. His front side always gains 5,000 power when attacking, which will always beat a Leader’s front side. It would force a basic Combo just to tie, which still goes to the attacker. After Awakening, he still gains the power advantage, but can also negate Blocker, which is a huge advantage.
    Champa is second-best in Red and with 12 of the 20 Red Battle Cards having 15,000 or more power, you have a really solid chance to draw a card on his front side. After Awakening, losing a card from your hand to gain Double Strike isn’t nearly as effective if your deck consists of cards with 15,000 or more power, as many have Double or Triple Strike, or a way to get it naturally.
    I’m lukewarm on Vados, so here ranked third. Having to attack Battle Cards with your Leader offers board control, but locking yourself into that may be detrimental if your opponent is packing their own board control, limiting your options to effectively deal damage.
     
    Blue
    Super Saiyan God Son Goku (Starter Deck) Beerus Son Goku Vegeta Super Saiyan God Son Goku (Starter) ranks highest as it always has the ability to switch 1 or more Blue Energy to Active Mode. Blue is going to love that skill and it seems to play right into the theme. Also, after Awakening, having 5 Energy in Blue wouldn’t be as difficult as having, say, 7, to trigger the power boost.
    Beerus is ranked second simply because his board control is great. It’ll take a couple turns to get the required Energy, but Blue will be running cards to get extra Energy in one turn at 4 copies each (or should, I say). His alternate win condition is cool, but I doubt anyone will ever be pulling it off, especially with the current card pool.
    Son Goku is a decent Leader for Blue, and his +1,000 Power ability will be a simple tie-breaker early, but can’t overcome a basic Combo (+5,000) until later. Awakened, he maintains the power boost, but you may find games ending before you’re able to lay 7 Energy down for him to gain Dual Attack.
    Sigh. Yeah, I ranked Vegeta last. Critical is an extremely strong skill, however, there are too many hard counters. Blocker will ruin him, Counter: Attack can ruin him, then you’re simply killing yourself for little to nothing. It’s too risky out of the gate to be any higher than the other three Leader options in pure Blue.
     
    Green
    Broly Son Goku Son Gohan Broly is going to present the most problems for your opponent, and while depending on Broly’s Ring, you’re going to have 4 of them in your deck. Without Ring in play, it’s a 1-for-1 trade that doesn’t net much. Also, on Awakened, Broly’s Ring doesn’t affect the Battle Area, so remember, his effect will also hurt your board as well.
    Son Goku is just boring, but really consistent. Double Strike is solid damage, but he has the exact same ability on Awakened, which doesn't give you a new leg-up on anyone, since all Awakened Leaders have the 1 card draw as mentioned above. I ranked him higher than Son Gohan, simply because of the consistency.
    Son Gohan will require aggression to get mileage out of his front side, otherwise, it could wind up being blank if you get behind early, which really stinks. Son Goku's constant Double Strike outweighs the potential to blank your Leader skill after the first attack against you. Also, his Awakened side is so good, but not so much in mono-Green with this card pool. Will the game end before you're at 6 Energy? (Breaking my own rule, Son Gohan may really love being paired with Blue).
     
    Yellow
    Frieza (uncommon) Frieza (rare) Ginyu I really like the skill to switch Battle Cards to Active Mode, so uncommon Frieza gets the nod here. You have a lot of versatility with your board and Frieza doesn’t have to attack to gain this skill as it’s an Auto at the end of your turn. Switching 2 cards to Active on Awakened is gravy.
    Rare Frieza sacrifices the Frieza’s Army Battle Cards to gain 1 card in-hand and putting 1 Energy in Active Mode. The known quantity seems better, and there are few Frieza’s Army cards that have no beneficial effect to being in play. The Awakened side could potentially help you Evolve some of the more powerful Frieza Battle Cards, though.
    Ginyu has the ability to play his Ginyu Force (non-Ginyu) cards for no energy cost, provided they’re in your life. There are 4 Ginyu Force Battle Cards that aren’t Ginyu, so that’s 16 cards in your deck. The odds aren’t great, and it’s a high risk/high reward strategy. Awakened, you get a little more bang for your buck at the cost of Life, it’s just very risky here in Set 1.
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