I had been testing a lot of vegeta decks before I landed on the one I actually took. I owe most of my testing to my boys at Paper Heroes (my local shop) and Adam Richins. I had tried Resolute, Ruthless, Ascension, Conflict (which I really liked), and decided the best fit for me and my play style was Tag Vegeta! Adam helped me fine toon this thing to near perfection. His endless hours of sacrificially giving up his Friday’s to play Z with me via FaceTime was a huge help. Not to mention he and his wife were great hosts letting me crash at their place (which is right by the beach Say WWWAAAATTTT)!!
Back to the Tag Vegeta build. I really liked this build because it can be super aggressive and can be versatile. Against the anger match up I can always 1st turn drop Gohan and slow anger decks and allow my beat down style to hold them at bay via crits. Against Drawku I drop briefs and I can always keep pace with hand size. The build offers a lot of what I like in a deck which is mainly a lot of fire power (and even by my standards this one was super high).
I had purposefully planned to face a lot of either roshi or goku and had purposefully teched against those builds with my blue and free style package to de-level people or slow anger gain. However, these would be virtually unnecessary.
I have considered a few changes after this big event to incorporate natural anger gain since Level 2 and 3 are where it is at. Nothing can beat that unpreventable damage lv 2 and being able to throw attacks twice at lv3. Even unblockable lv 4 can still be prevented, and with the high high endurance counts in most decks these days lv 2 is incredible. So enraged blast, blue attacks that gain instant 2 anger are all going to be strongly considered and tested in the future.
I do not have any AK so there were none of those in the deck. I only run the Unleashed UR, so this deck is relatively inexpensive. Also, it’d be very easy to remove Unleashed, quick blast, and even Crushing Beam and throw in cards that gain 2 anger for easy leveling.
As always Vacaville was excellent. Not only hosting a top tier venue but the knowledgeable players they draw always makes for a great event. Russ and the crew always do an orderly, timely, and clean event. They always over preform in terms of their prizes (which makes the 5+ hour drive less burdensome), but also in their ability to stage, and host an event. Russ and all the local players have a solid understanding of the game and the rules. You never have problems that I’ve had at other events where people don’t know the rules (Which I have experienced even at a regional . . . . . unfortunately . . . . . someone from Panini owes me a Wold’s Dig for that Vegas nonsense #RedArialAssault #EnergizedStrike #Bogus, #BlueMasteryDoesntCountAsStyled . . . . . #YouKnowWhoYouAre . . . . hopefully no one takes that salt seriously).
Anyway, that’s never the case here, always up on rulings and the player base and judges are all so good there is never an issue. I hope they get another regional, this shop supports the game more than any other on the west coast for sure.
Game 1 – Mark Kretschmer
Tag Vegeta vs blue resolute Vegeta.
This was a very close game. I had gotten to level 2 off of natural anger earlier in the game but was delivered when he unleashed to level 4. I sat at level 1 for most of the game. When it was late game I drew a blinding energy move while he had visiting the past in play and he got out a blue shifting maneuver, so I immediately dropped the blinding energy move to end combat.
I kept track of which cards he was discarding throughout the remainder of the game. I noticed one combat he put a neck beam at the bottom of his deck so I knew he had one card with endurance sitting at the bottom. I also knew he still had the shifting maneuver in his hand. I waited until I got a destruction blast and entered.
I only had 4 life left so I did not have a lot of other options. My first attack was Vegeta’s destruction blast for 7 he tried shifting maneuver, which could not block it (he didn’t have another block in his hand either way). The destruction blast hit for 7 life cards clean no endurance until a neck beam on the very last card.
Mark’s Resolute Vegeta was great it ran AK and all the power card’s you’d expect in a Resolute Vegeta build. He got to level 4 super-fast against me which erased the early lead I built with the unblockable damage. He ended up being placed 7th overall after Swiss was over and made top cut.
Game 2 – Louie (Kurk Kaestner)
Namekian Restored Gohan
Louie ran a solid dragon ball ally build. In this game I got out to an early lead but against a dragon ball deck, life total hardly matters. Toward what seemed to be the end of the game he had 5 Namek Dragonballs in play and he placed ‘time’ on top of his deck. I knew that I couldn’t just enter mindlessly because the odds of him getting one of the 2 balls he needed were extremely high with the low life deck he had remaining.
So I waited until I had an attack that ‘time’ couldn’t stop. I accumulated 2 Final flashes. The first Final Flash I threw leveled me to lv 2 which made it unpreventable. Since all he had was ‘time’ in his hand he couldn’t block it and I had to steal DB 1. I kept the second one in my hand because I knew he had time and would have to attack me to get ball 1 back. His next combat he entered on me and confrontationed. He took my final flash, however, I drew a Vegeta’s Destruction. So, knowing he had time still in his hand I threw Destruction for the game winning 7 life cards.
Louie would end up making top cut as the 8th seed.
Game 3 - Adrian Bowden
Namekian Restored Gohan
Adrain played a similar deck to Louie so I already knew my strategy had to be super aggressive. I entered first turn, opted not to use Briefs so that I could level with an unleashed. I also had a blinding energy move in my hand do I ended combat after his first attack hit for a few life cards. The second combat I drew another unleashed so I entered, jumped to lv 4 and ended combat.
From here on out I just went full agro, entering every combat because even if I spent everything in my hand Briefs allowed me to never have a hand disadvantage. By getting to level 4 super early which made all my attacks unstoppable the game ended rather quickly. This was likely one of the most lopsided wins I had on the day. Adrain played well, but my draws were very favorable and jumping to level 4 as fast as I did made it very one sided.
Adrain finished 13th overall after Swiss
Game 4 – Drew Cunningham
Draw Goku Ruthless
I have played Drew a large number of times in organized play. We have traveled to a few regionals together so we have seen each other a lot. However, every time we play we are both running something different it seems. This was the game I expected to see at the Meta and what my deck was more teched to face. However, the game didn’t go close to how I expected it.
It was certainly one of those unending ‘enter combat’ games, but it took longer than either of us likely expected. I do not believe I ever made it off level 1 in this game. Early in the game he had me stage locked this enabled me to utilize both Tien and repeated Chaozu attacks (since I could Blue Assault or Overpowering Attack to get him back).
Near the end of the game when he was near death he entered on me and used Red Tandom Blast. I had been holding ‘blinding energy’ in my hand in case of an event like this. This combat really made the game super close because I had hardly anything in my hand and no blocks and no stages or allies except Gohan.
The game was looking to be near over. I only had 13 life cards left. He then plays a unleashed to jump a level which I thought would end the game because he would just draw another card and keep hitting. However, when he leveled I used ‘blue rebuke’ and drew a ‘blue headknock.’ On my action I threw ‘blue headknock for the win.’ I do not know if he could have dealt 12 life cards to kill me with what he would have gotten with his Goku power (and with the endurance in my deck it didn’t seem likely). This was a super close game and I felt on edge the whole time. It was one of those games where you never really feel like you are in control and it was over before I knew it and I was able to defeat my arch rival KAKAROT. . . . I mean my solid buddy Drew.
Drew ended up with a solid day finishing 6th in Swiss and making Top Cut
Game 5 - Marc Johnson
Namekian Restored Cell Mill deck
This deck was certainly the dark horse of the event. At this point I was the only undefeated played left and I had to face a Namekian Cell. I honestly thought this game would be a waste of my time before it even began. I figured if I had beaten numerous Namekian decks already and Drawku how could Cell possibly give the Prince of all Saiyans a challenge. However, this game would prove to be an insane battle.
Early game I got arm arm breakered. While I was able to command an early lead (and seemingly convincing one), I focused my level 1 discard removal on his ‘unleashed’s’ I was able to remove them with little issue but I still was not able to shake my arm breaker due to all his endurance. While I let him get out his allies I didn’t see much of a problem since he wasn’t able to utilize them either. However, there came a point where I drew an unleashed and I had to hold it.
At this point I just kept passing waiting until I could draw either a ‘Sinister Choke’ or a ‘Galick Gun’ so my damage would be unpreventable. However that wouldn’t come until he had established a solid board. He then enters on me and hits me with 2 ‘Namekian Chest Explosian’ with Nappa, multiple Cell Jr’s and Captain Ginyu in play. Both Chest Explosion hit for 15 life cards since I was stage locked and had no allies.
However, my endurance kept me alive and in the match. Even after taking 2 – attacks at 15 life each the game was still nearly even. However, I couldn’t shake my arm breaker. By the time I decided to ditch my unleashed (seemingly useless with all my attacked cards in my discard pile) it was too late. He was able to level up to level 3 and milled me to death.
The game was super close either way and Vegeta learned a hard lesson that day . . . . never underestimate the vermin known as Cell.
Why this deck is not in talks as being Top Tier Meta is astonishing to me. I personally only want to play Vegeta so naturally while I have an option where he can compete with top tier decks it is impossible to think about playing anyone else. But I expect to see this deck a lot more often and next time I will use my discard hate to banish his allies. Even if he can get them back on level 3, just letting them sit in play was a big mistake on my part.
Marc ended Swiss at 3rd place and made top cut as well.
Entering Top Cut I was excited to be the first seed. However, as my track record has proven it seems at big events that doesn’t always mean I will go deep into the top cut rounds. After the finalists were announced (oddly enough with all my friends there it seemed like no one clapped for me, needless to say the fans were a bit salty to see Prince Vegeta sitting lofty above his enemies), I noticed that 4 of the 5 guys I faced made top cut. This was exciting to me because it meant that I faced some steep competition.
For those who are not familiar with the crowd at Vacaville they have some of the best DBZ players in the game (and that isn’t even arguable). Just at this one 20+ player event there were over a dozen regional winners from the past 2 seasons and at least 2 guys who have attended World’s. Not to mention the notorious Kings of Captain Ginyu . . . the Bartholomew brothers (They both didn't run Ginyu this time). And the wild stallion himself . . . . Adam Richins. So while there was not a quantity of players there, there were certainly a lot of quality players there.
At Top Cut I was paired with #8 seed Louie. I had played Louie back in round 2 and I felt rather comfortable with the match since I did so well the first game. However, this game would prove to be much different.
I kept my aggressive strategy in place against what I knew was a heavy ally/dragon ball deck. I had an early lead and the game was going a lot like the previous game. However, while I was still on level 1 he got out my kryptonite . . . Ox King. This made all my attacks so weak I could never crit him away nor steal a dragon ball.
At about midpoint in the game, Louie has about half his deck left and 4 dragon balls out, while I still had plenty of life left I made two huge misplays. I entered with three attacks in my hand, ‘blinding’ ‘quick blast,’ and Galick Gun.
I threw quick blast, which he blocked. I then threw Galick gun . . . my problem here was I forgot that Piccolo was in play, so of course He blocked it. He then threw a ‘Max Will’ which I blocked with ‘Narrow Escape.’ I was able to stack Galick Gun and Overpowering Attack back on my life deck. You would think all was ok, because I could just pass and I’d get those two attacks back and be fine. But . . . . No . . . . bloodlust had taken over my mind. When I knew he couldn’t block anymore of my attacks I for some dumb reason threw blinding energy move and blew up my Galick Gun and OP . . . I have no clue what came over me in this entire combat. All I could see was red . . . all I could smell was blood . . . and I was winning.
But alas . . . . He started accumulating balls. I had him with a super low life deck so I figured I’d still be able to pull the win out. I kept entering hoping to hit him enough to pull out a win.
My next hand I had 3 cards, 2 Sinister Chokes, and a Quick blast. I thought for sure I could ensure my victory. So when I entered I threw my first choke, killing OX King. I could have taken a ball, but with less then 12 life remaining in his deck I thought for sure id hit him with my second choke, quick blast, and lv 1 power to steal a ball. However, he drew . . . ball 7 and confrontation. He confrontationed away my choke and blocked my quick blast and on his turn dropped ball 7.
The moral of the story kids is never underestimate your enemies, even if they are the most generic hodgepodge collection of genes on the planet or the son of galaxy gutter scum KAKAROT. . . .
At the end of the event the top 2 were Marc and Louie. The only two to beat me all day. Marc (Namekian Cell) ended up winning the event taking home my world’s dig and my dignity
. . . .but the one thing he can never take away from me is MY PRIDE!!!