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.
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.
- Super Saiyan God Son Goku (Starter Deck)
- Son Goku
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.
- 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).
- Frieza (uncommon)
- Frieza (rare)
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.