• Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game

    Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game by Panini America. News, Articles, Videos, and more!

    Vacaville, CA Regional

    This weekend, there is one of the last DBZ TCG regionals, in Vacaville, CA!
     
    For all the players that are attending, we wish you the best of luck and an enjoyable time! Be sure to say hello to any of our staff members in attendance.

    Final Awakening Preview - Blue Strike

    Thanks to Panini America for providing spoilers for this release!


     
    Blue combo players rejoice! Blue Strike has a lot of combo potential after Awakening's release. It's a physical attack dealing 2 life cards (3 life cards with Blue Resolute Mastery which will be it's home). This card is oozing with potential value! When running a high styled setup count, you can potentially net huge advantages with the card. Need to draw an extra card and prevent some damage? Pitch one of the setups to the mastery and go nuts. Keep the other for your planning step next turn and you 3 for 1'd them! The card even combos well with Master Roshi - Expectant, Blue Training, Blue Intimidation or Blue Upward Barrage. Allowing the possibility to get ahead in a game that may have started to go south.

    Las Vegas Regional

    This weekend, there is a DBZ TCG regional, in always-sunny Las Vegas, NV!

     
    You can check out more information here!
     
    If you plan on attending but are not pre-registering, make sure to check in on our Facebook page (doing this will help figure out table space needed).
     
    For all the players that are attending, we wish you the best of luck and an enjoyable time! Be sure to say hello to any of our staff members in attendance. In addition, for live updates, check out the Panini Blog.
     
    Note - Due to licensing issues on who can record video at the resort, there will be no Live Stream.

    Top 20 Most Important Cards in the Meta

    In this article I will discuss the 20 cards that have had the biggest impact on our current Regional environment. I'm not going to include MPs or Masterys as they would take up the vast majority of spots on this list. Keep in mind, this isn't a list of the 20 best cards in the game. Rather, it's a list of which cards either rose to prominence as the meta evolved or greatly impacted the decks that established themselves as tier 1 in the meta.

    20. Surprise Attack - While this card has only found limited success in Regional play so far, it was the entire backbone of Tim Batow's Regional winning Blue Tag Gohan list. It tore down the established pillars of deck building fundamentals and it made us all question the very idea of what we should consider a staple.
     
    19. Black Chin Kick - This card has been seen in many Black Devious Broly lists and some Black Android 13 lists this season. It has been the go-to silver bullet in any ally friendly meta and for good reason.
     
    18. Black Delay - There are so many good options for physical defense in Black and for the longest time this wasn't one of the premier choices. With many of the new MP levels having built in physical attacks this card has gained a lot of steam.
     
    17. Orange Fierce Attack - The one thing Red Yamcha had over Orange Yamcha was Red Static Shot. This card is better in almost every way and it fit perfectly into a deck that's very close to breaking into the tier 1 meta.
     
    16. Blue Decapitation - While this card is most common in Blue Cooler it has also seen play in Blue Android 13 as well as a few rogue decks. This card gives you a toolbox in which to draw from that Blue has been sorely lacking in the past. Blue Overpowering Drill adds some icing on the cake.
     
    15. Red Shoulder Grab - This card has always been a big presence in the meta. however we've never seen the likes of Red Enraged Android 13 before. It's arguably the fastest MPPV deck to ever be piloted. The fact this also blows up allies or counters your opponent's anger is sweet. With each new deck I design I am forced to ask myself the all important question... "Can this beat Red 13?"
     
    14. Saiyan Grab - Yamcha was built to beat decks like Broly, and he does a pretty good job. Unless of course you're talking about Saiyan Broly... With this card, and to a lesser extent Saiyan Face Strike, Broly has found his answer.
     
    13. Blue Blanketing Blast - This card does more than almost any attack in the game. It can help you loop Time, put an ally back in your deck to than tutor out, banish Super Nova's from the DP, wreck the bottom of your opponent's DP to mess up Red Relaxation, it can deal critical damage, and it has good endurance. This card is pure value and when you're running a deck like Blue Ginyu or Blue Gohan then value is everything.
     
    12. Android 15, Relaxed - The fact that this isn't the most impactful ally in the game speaks volumes about the other two... This guy answers Wall Breaker, gains you a ton of "out of combat" anger, and is one of the many reasons why non-combat cards in general are bad right now.
     
    11. Black Defensive Burst - Not much needs to be said about this card. Honestly, Black Broly, Black 13 and Black Cooler are all arguably a little worse than their Red counterparts. However, we are playing in a physical aggro meta and if you run Black then you get Burst... If there was ever a reason to chose Black over Red in all of those examples then it's this card.
     
    10. Villainous Energy Ball - This card is great against the 2 things that you want to be good against in this meta: Stage aggro and anger. If Yamcha had access to this card then Broly's head would explode, and this card is a big reason to run a villain.
     
    9. Broly's Eraser Cannon - This is yet another reason as to why non-combat cards just aren't very good right now. Broly get's to clear away problems and all of those people running 2 copies of this card are wrong. This card is absolutely nuts and if Turles had access to 3 of these a couple of sets ago we would have seen a different deck win the last World Championships.
     
    8. Android 13's Impenetrable Defense - This is the most unfair card in the game. The idea that only one MP gets to use it doesn't make it fair. I have literally lost games by throwing a successful killing blow into this card... The fact that I don't even have to mention what the card actually does beyond the parentheses to rate it's power level is just silly.
     
    7. Nappa, Space Traveler - As we receive more and more ways to keep allies in play Nappa just gets stronger and stronger. He is another reason why non-combat cards are just bad right now... This guy has found success in Broly, Android 13, and of course the Cap'n.
     
    6. Red Inferno - If this card didn't exist than Red Broly wouldn't be good... There I said it, and we were all thinking it. Black Krillin showed us the power of consistent critical effects and giving that power to Broly along with an Unleashed target is a recipe for pain.
     
    5. Black Command - If this card didn't exist than Black Cooler/Black Roshi wouldn't exist... Also, this is the second most unfair card in the game. Non-interaction at it's best, and the fact that it puts itself back for later is just plain troublesome.
     
    4. Saiyan Tantrum - Blue Blanketing Blast and Orange Fierce Attack are great examples of value attacks, but neither of them can live up to what this card does in Saiyan Broly. Here's your very own Red Inferno or just your big hitting energy that auto levels you on hit. Oh, and it has good endurance too.
     
    3. Cooler, Angered - This Ally shuts down the best decks in the game and demands an answer. Other than Black/Red Cooler there are almost no tier 1 decks in the game that don't shed a tear every turn that passes while this guy sits on the board. Combine him with Blue Tag ally support and a bunch of anti-anger and you have a recipe for tier 1.
     
    2. Cooler's Super Nova - A wise man once stated that this is the single best card in the game, and I'm starting to agree. At the very least this is the real reason why non-combat cards just aren't very good right now. Cooler's biggest weakness involves being stuck at level 1 and this helps you get rid of Wall Breaker as well as gain a ton of anger. This card blows right through endurance and puts itself back for later in a more effective way than Crushing Beam could ever dream of. I know it doesn't have endurance, but if it did and you used the endurance in almost any case then you'd be an idiot.
     
    1. Unleashed - This card defines the meta. This is the card everyone is either playing or playing to beat. It is the reason why Broly always finds that level 3 and why the best way to keep someone down is to just go up with them. This is the single biggest reason why Wall Breaker isn't good right now. Unleashed moved Saiyan and Red Ruthless from good to Tier 1. It adds a dynamic that has given players nightmares over that one nagging thought, "I could have won if I drew Unleashed..."

    Awakening Preview #5 - Orange Left Burst

    Today, Safe on Block takes a look at a great new Orange Attack that may see play after the release of Awakening!


     
     
    Orange Left Burst (OLB) adds a lot of, arguably, needed utility to orange. First, the attack gives two anger in a style that has had an increasingly strong support of anger cards over the past few sets. The continued anger support gives the Orange style even more opportunities to level outside of Orange Devouring Drill and Unleashed and open precious slots for more aggressive Orange Style builds. Second, OLB has enough base damage to threaten critical damage, which forces an opponent to think twice before they decide to take the damage. Furthermore, when paired with Orange Fierce Attack, OLB is a guaranteed crit. Finally, the hit effect of OLB allows banished drill recursion, which is something that has been lacking in the orange mastery. This will allow players to keep non ∞ 1 of drills in play even if they are banished, which can be incredibly strong. Furthermore, Anger victory in Orange style has become an increasingly real possibility, especially with the introduction of the new Orange Retribution Mastery.
     
    However, the card does have some setbacks: There is a lack of endurance, the anger stipulations may put players in a precarious situations because they may have to lead with OLB to gain the anger benefit when they may have an Orange Fierce Attack in hand. This stipulation could lead to sub optimal lines. Finally, limiting the drill recursion to non ∞ Drills is a bummer.
     
    Final thoughts: I really enjoy this card. I think aggressive anger builds will have fun with OLB. I would give this card a7 ½ out of 10, 8/10 for pure anger builds.
     
    Also, if you haven't had a chance, make sure you pre-register to the BIGGEST DBZ Regional this year! DBZ Top Tier will be hosting the 2016 Las Vegas Regional on October 8th! You can check out the details here.

    Las Vegas Regional Reminder

    The Las Vegas Regional hosted by DBZ Top Tier is this Saturday! Pre-Register for a chance to win a box of Awakening!

    You can check out more information here!
     
    If you plan on attending but are not pre-registering, make sure to check in on our Facebook page. (Doing this will help figure out table space needed!

    Awakening Preview #4 - Saiyan Clench

    Justin talks about one of the most hyped up cards to be released in the upcoming Awakening set!

    If you weren't able to attend the Colorado Regional, I'm sure you have heard musings about an incredibly powerful attach card that Saiyan gains access to in Awakening. Maybe you saw a post from Jarrett over on Retro showing a tiny glimpse of what many players are saying is an incredibly powerful new card.
     
    Well I don't have much to say at first, I'll let the card do the talking...
     

     
    This is another powerful tool to help a long list of personalities that have seemed to fall out of favor for the past few sets and wow, maybe they will come back...
     
    Saiyan Clench is a physical attack with three endurance! Three endurance is a great number to help reduce the damage you take when you don't draw a block. Currently, personalities like Nappa, Raditz and Turles can run this card for full effect. Now for that awesome effect: when it's attached, non-AT attacks have their power stage damage DOUBLED. I'll Dig Your Grave! for 12 stages. Android Arm Breaker for 12 stages. Even more obscure styled cards such as Saiyan Charged Fist or Saiyan Back Crash do 10 stages!
     
    It gets even crazier with modifiers. As an example, Turles with simply a Saiyan Back Crash would do 14 stages!!!! Unpreventable! On Nappa Level 4, that same Saiyan Back Crash would do 18 stages of damage! Even more insane, that same Nappa could discard Saiyan Dive to the Saiyan Rampaging Mastery (10 stages +1 stage from effect) and now you are looking at a physical attack doing 30 (!!!!) stages of damage! This card is definitely a great build-around me card and will reward smart deck builders in the upcoming meta!
     
    If you haven't had a chance, make sure you pre-register to the BIGGEST DBZ Regional this year! DBZ Top Tier will be hosting the 2016 Las Vegas Regional on October 8th! The event is only a week away and if you preregister you have a chance to win a box of the upcoming set! You can check out the details HERE.

    Awakening Preview #3 - Saiyan Dive

    This week, Misslehead4 previews our next card Saiyan Dive.


     
    The potential of this card is not difficult to see, and I think it’s going to make some serious waves in the coming months. The first attribute, and maybe even the best, of this card is that it's considered to have 10 endurance for card effects. WOW! What a card. This is the interaction Saiyan Rampaging Mastery has been looking for, after 3 sets it may now be playable. Now if only the attack was styled, that way you could gain anger off of it ( INSERT GOHAN HERE!!! ). With the introduction of the new Gohan stack, all of your attacks are considered styled so you won’t have to feel bad for wanting to do big damage with this card because it will still be gaining anger.
     
    The other side of this card is equally sweet. It’s a physical for 4 life cards that provides Saiyan with the crucial board control that has only come from cards like Saiyan Charge and Overwhelming Power. And although Overwhelming Power is easy to make work, there are some MPs like Nappa, Raditz, and Turles who had still struggled to fulfill the requirements to use its effect making board removal options for those MPs difficult to run. This card provides a strong option for those MPs, not to mention how unbelievably strong a future Siayan preview will make them (Stay Tuned).
     
    Finally, Saiyan Dive provides a viable avenue to bring Saiyan Rampaging Mastery into competitive play, if not top tier. I look forward to seeing what all the great deck builders come up with and to witnessing all the potential this card has to offer. I give this card a 8.5/10 and look forward to seeing it make waves in the format.
     
    Also, if you haven't had a chance, make sure you pre-register to the BIGGEST DBZ Regional this year! DBZ Top Tier will be hosting the 2016 Las Vegas Regional on October 8th! You can check out the details here.

    Pueblo, CO Regional Tournament Report

    Michael Joe Voght takes a look back at winning Colorado regional!

    Friends For Life
    Last year I attended the Pueblo, Colorado regional. It was the second regional I’ve ever attended. I finished that day going 4-2-1 with Devious Turles. The biggest take away was the friendships that I made while playing there. I met a group of friends from Amarillo, Texas before the pre-regional tournament. However, my friendship with them didn’t bond until the day of the regional. We were cheering each other on and congratulating or talking about our matches to each other after each round. Sadly, I faced 2 of them during swiss that day. After Swiss, we played in side events together, which looking back was probably a terrible idea. They had already won a box in the side events before I finished out swiss. They wanted to start up another one, so I joined in on the fun. Brandon and I faced off in the finals. I offered to split no matter the outcome, but Brandon’s friend, who paid for Brandon’s entry, declined the offer. It was Devious Turles vs. Devious Frieza for a box of the new Movie Collection. I eventually took the win and the box. After that, we were starving and Don had been yammering about some noodle place, so we pack up and take off.
     
    We get to this place called Noodles & Company, which we have some locations of in Washington. I find it to be overrated and overpriced, but it brings back memories of Don’s favorite noodle place that closed down about 10 years ago. We get our food and we’re eating, cracking jokes, having fun. This friendship spread to Facebook, so we could keep in touch, and ever since then, we have messaged each other over the past year. We would theory craft and help each other with our decks.
     
    I bring up this story because the friendships we make in this community are an amazing thing. If it weren’t for this game I would have never met Brandon, Don, Craig, or any of the other players that I have met over the 16 months that I have played this game. I enjoy the part where I can talk to people on Retro and come to a regional and put a face to the name when meeting them in person.
     
    Once the regional locations were announced for the 2016 season, Brandon and I knew we had to go. He lives 5 hours south of Pueblo, Colorado and it's really the only regional he could attend. There was no doubt that I would go to Pueblo and meet up with the friend I made a year ago. He brings 3 of his friends up with him, Don from last year, and two guys who were new to me named Tyler and Michael. Two more friends added to the list.
     
    The Night Before The Regional
    I land at about 12pm Colorado time in Colorado Springs. I grab my car rental and drive about an hour south to Pueblo. I arrive at the hotel, which has a Captain D’s Seafood restaurant in the same quarter lot. Brandon and the guys show up about an hour after me. We playtest a couple of hours before we head to the card store. Once we get to Chaos, Games, and More, we start to see some familiar faces and prepare for the pre-regional tournament. The McBrides make an appearance, and they hear me mention that they’re here so they come over and shake hands with us. We talk about their disgusting 17 hour drive and how tired they are. The McBrides take off and we continue playtesting while waiting for the tournament to start. I have not won a single match out of the 5 that I have played. I’m super salty and begin to doubt my play skill. Brandon has been complaining how hungry is for the past 3 hours. The tournament is about to start. I’m tired of losing and am also starting to get hungry, so we all decide to opt out of the tourney and get some food. Guess where we went… Noodles & Company. Dammit Don. The night continues with inappropriate jokes containing sexual organs. Shout out to Captain D’s Seafood restaurant for supplying us with endless dick jokes for the weekend. After dinner we head to Target to get some snacks and water for the regional. We are four adults acting like the most immature teenage boys in a grocery store. We are loud, laughing at everything, and continue with inappropriate dick jokes… It was a great night after being extremely salty. We head back to the hotel for one more round of testing before bed, but not without more teenage crude humor.
     
    Day Zero
    Two hours before doors open, I wake up from an awful night sleep. Mixtures of nerves, adrenaline, hard floor, and snoring kept me up. My sleep was so sporadic I couldn’t even estimate how many hours I actually slept. I take a quick shower and then get my cards prepared for the day. I attended San Gabriel two weeks before Pueblo. I didn’t eat breakfast before the San Gabriel regional, and that may have been the reason for a few misplays that cost me my bubble match. We decide to stop at Denny’s for a solid meal. More dick jokes are made when someone mentions shaved ham. I swear we’re older than it seems… a lot older. We arrive at the card shop a little after 9am, and the doors are to open at 9am. Group of people outside the store tells us that’s not happening. If I recall correctly, the same thing happened last year. The opening employee didn’t show up until an hour after they said the doors would open. Anyways, I meet up with Derek, who is a friend and is my local sparring partner, and introduce him to the guys. We talk a bit and the doors open about 9:30 and told it was due to a computer malfunction that happened last night during the Magic prerelease. We check in, fill out our deck lists, and I begin to look for trade (that last print 4 Black Delay eludes me!). 10:30 rolls around and pairings are about to be posted.
     
    Look Gud, Play Gud!
    Round 1 Ellis Davis – Adaptive Goku W
    Adaptive Goku was my very first deck, and I’m glad to still see people playing it. He gets an early Orange Focusing Drill in play with his level 1 power to protect his drills. He then Wall Breakers me, which is quickly removed by my Supernova near the end of combat. I keep his board tamed with ball 4 and Supernova while I’m making my ways to level 2. I enter and lead with my level 2 power and am quickly reminded how strong the orange styled physical blocks are when he brings back Orange Steady Drill with Orange Refocus. With Supernova in my hand, I Black Declaration his Orange Steady Drill, and it frees up my Supernova. After that he sticks me with another Wall Breaker, keeping me on level 2. The next combat, I opt out of using Cooler’s level 2 power in fear of another one of those strong styled physical blocks and Unleashed to level 3. At this point I’m hitting for a ton of damage and mitigating the damage he can output. His damage can’t keep up and he eventually decks out.
     
    Round 2 Timothy Cable – Knowledge Piccolo (old 2 and old 4) L
    I was excited to play Mr. Cable. I’ve seen some of his matches on YouTube, and I know he’s one of the stronger Piccolo players. I haven’t tested this matchup yet, and Tim tells me he’s nervous as he hasn’t tested against mine. The difference is Cable knew exactly what to do against a Black deck and a Cooler deck. I forgot what to do against a Knowledge Piccolo deck. We started off this match keeping each other’s anger in check. He would get some anger and I would remove it. I got to 4 anger and he Namekian Maximum Wills me. I get a Black Searching Technique off to see what possible blocks Tim may have in his hand. I catch only 2 Namekian Hybrid Defense, and what seemed to be all the energy blocks were still in his deck. I remove Time and a Hybrid Defense, which was a bad choice and I’ll find out why soon. I follow that up with a Black Swirl naming Namekian Hybrid Defense, which hits and puts me at 4 anger. Next combat he then reaches level 2 and I follow up by getting to level 2 as well. I use my level 2 power and then Unleashed to 3 to push more damage through. This was also a bad idea. He’s pushing level 3 and almost level 4, thanks to all the Piccolo’s Weighted Clothing being overturned by damage. His first turn out of combat, he draws ball 2 to bring me back down to level 2. I drop Visiting the Past and his next turn he drops ball 4. He’s finding the right balls at the right time. Eventually we get into combat and I have no way of controlling his anger and he MPPV’s me.
     
    Round 3 Joseph Meri – Rampaging Goku (Evo Stack) W
    Another shocking deck to see. This is also something I ran towards the end of Evolution as a fun deck. I start off by sliming my way to level 2 while keeping him on level 1. I use Black Searching Technique to deduce that he has a Saiyan Arm Catch in hand and opt out of using my level 2 power. I’m eventually able to Unleashed to level 3 and start dishing out some damage. I have about a 30 card life lead and he has about 20 life cards left. Over the next couple of turns he drops 3 Saiyan Enraged and I match that by dropping 2 Black Power Ups and Black Declaration. He eventually enters with a Saiyan Face Strike, which I decide to play Time is a Warrior’s Tool on for some reason. After giving him 2 anger and a free draw, I decide to Stare Down to see if I can take advantage of this combat. I remove his block, and start pushing damage with my power and a Supernova. We pass and rejuvenate for a few turns which allows me to drop Visiting the Past and seal the game.
     
    Round 4 Zach Johnson - Empowered Raditz W
    This is the round that everyone wanted to see Raditz on the stream, but he wasn’t comfortable with it and neither was I. I’ve played on stream with like five people watching and it was nerve racking. I wouldn’t want to play with hundreds of people watching.
     
    Pretty early in the match I decide to rejuvenate an Unleashed for a later use. Next turn my opponent draws Unleashed and enters with it to take him to level 4. He’s already got two menaces on board, and I’m able to Black Searching Technique the last one in his deck before he can get it out. I’m able to withstand most of the damage from menace by timing my leveling. I got hit the most while on level 2 with four anger as he had two Saiyan Peace on board. I wait for him to deplete his hand/actions so he can’t crit Saiyan Peace back into play after I Declaration both of them. I go up to level 3 and push some damage through while recovering some damage from the Saiyan Menace onslaught. He eventually gets a Villainous Visage on board while I’m dropping down a board of my own. He enters, and I draw into 2 Supernovas. He begins using his Saiyan Menaces. I have a good life lead and decide to throw the Supernova not caring about Villainous Visage. He surprises me when he blocks it, but he did it with hesitation and mentioned there would probably be another one. I decide to ease up on attacking because I have a Supernova in my discard pile and can remove Villainous Visage next combat. A few actions later his hand is gone and I look at my board and I have a potential 14 damage, so I take this opportunity to dish out some damage. I Black Power Up for stages and follow it up with my power. He takes all 7 opting to not use endurance, and he decides to use Villainous Visage and I mill 14. I follow up with the last Supernova. I enter next combat with a Stare Down seeing that he has 2 Saiyan Energy Deflection, so I take the physical block. I let him menace me a bit. I recover my stages with a Black Swirl landing to take me to level 4. I still have the option for MPPV, but his deck is extremely thin. He enters with 4 cards left in deck, and I draw ball 7. He menaces and I respond with my level 4 power to end combat. I drop ball 7 and enter to win by Survival.
     
    Intermission
    They give us about an hour for lunch and we walk over to Wendy’s, which is just packed with DBZ players. I use this time to refuel and dump off some unnecessary waste. At this point I have the best record I’ve ever had at a regional. All of us are talking about our records and matches and how we are doing. I mention that I need to play every match as if I’m 0-0. Don’t let my record dictate my matches. My friend Brandon is having a rough day at 2-2 with some really close calls, both of his losses have come down to a few cards. Don is 3-1 and is playing extremely well and beating some tough decks. At this point I notice I’m feeling a little different. I’m not nervous, but extremely focused and everything from this point happened so fast that the rest of the day was a blur. I didn’t take post game notes on my second half of Swiss or top cut. I remember most if not all my key plays.
     
    Going 1-0 Two More Times
    Round 5 Tony Taylor – Ruthless Broly W
    I start the game strong with two Black Defensive Burst and two Black Delay for the first four combats. I’m able to slime to 2 and Unleashed to 3 before he can get off 1. The final combat I drew Black Delay, Black Swirl, and Supernova with a Black Dismissal in hand. He has about 6 life cards left to my 45. I allow Broly to do what he does and smash my face. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to Black Delay and mastery his hand away. This takes a while as he’s able to Face Crusher into a Red Heel Kick grabbing Red Shattering Leap, which I’m glad I saved the Delay. He mis-sequences and plays Red Shoulder Grab leaving 2 cards in hand. I take the Red Shoulder Grab and he follows up with Red Shattering Leap. I Black Delay and pitch Black Swirl to the mastery. This gives me the opportunity to Black Dismissal to gain stages and throw Supernova for the survival victory.
     
    Round 6 George (Tim) Zerr – Devious Krillin
    I get paired down against George, so even if I win this match I may not have the tiebreakers needed to top cut if I end up 5-2. I’m able to Black Searching Technique early on and see that he’s a ball Krillin. A few combats put me ahead, but at one point he had four balls down, Kami and a dragon radar and I have one Tug of War in deck. He enters and I remove the Dragon Radar by rejuvenating Supernova. He starts off with power and I kill the crit effect with my mastery. I then go into a Supernova which he blocks to protect his 7 ball. I use my level 3 power in hopes for a crit, but endurance shut that down, but it’s okay because I have an Optic Blast in hand. Lucky for me the Optic Blast crits and I’m able to use ball 7, stacking my biggest attack from my discard pile on top of my deck and 2 setups. I then steal ball 3 to draw my attack and push more damage through. I now have 3 balls on my side and he’s way down in life cards. With two Black Power Ups on my side, I can prevent him from trying to crit my balls with his power. This eventually forces him to deck out and I win by Survival. I must go 1-0 1 more time.
     
    Round 7 Matthew “Git Gud” Coombs – Devious Cooler
    Both 5-1 and this is a match I did not want to see. Our decks are very similar, the main difference is he runs wall breakers and I run Unleashed. We both knew this was a race off of level 1. The match was pretty even for half the game. Both are building a board and gaining passive anger, while entering to deplete their opponent’s anger. Matt eventually takes the lead when he draws ball 2 a few turns after I hit level 2. I’m able to hop back up to 2 with unleashed and he’s already reaching level 3. Time is called as he hits level 4 and he rejuvenates 7 and ends combat. He has about 15 cards more than me. I draw an enterable hand, but not enough to beat him, so I pass. Matt takes his final turn and draws dead and the match ended in a draw.
     
    1-0 Four More Times
    After my 3rd regional this Season, I have finally accomplished my goal of reaching top cut! It’s not over yet though. I made it this far, why not push for as many 1-0 victories as possible! I’ve heard a lot of stories about the nerves and the shakes in top cut, but realized that I was calmer than I would have expected. My head was clear and I felt that every play that I made was to my best ability.
     
    Top 16 Timothy Cable – Knowledge Piccolo (old 2 and old 4) W
    Not the guy I wanted to see in top 16. He was my only loss of the day and I would hate for either of us to make it this far and get knocked out in the first round. I made some errors in our first match, but I made some adjustments to my game plan. I Black Searching Technique 3 times this game and the last one is what allowed me to win. The first one slowed down his anger race by getting rid of Piccolo’s Weighted Clothing. The second Black Searching Technique gave me block knowledge. I stayed on level 2 knowing that he had two energy blocks and only a single physical block. Once I saw him discard one of the two energy blocks, I advanced to level 3 to start pushing damage. I rejuvenated one of the Black Searching Technique from my level 3 advancement. I did not enter combat without some form of anger hate or Energized Strike. I eventually draw into the Black Searching Technique. The next combat I remove the last energy block left in his deck. He reaches level 4 at the end of this combat. I’m sweating now as he has Namekian Dragon Clan in play, and all my Supernovas are in deck. He enters with 6 life cards in deck, and I draw into a Supernova. Tim had many plays, but he felt his safest play was to Namekian Dragon Clan for ball 5 and then ball 3. This put him at three anger on level 4. My only play was to throw Supernova and hope that he wasn’t holding onto an energy block for a few turns. Supernova wins it for Survival Victory.
     
    I talked to him before pairings and he mentioned to me that he got balled out on by an Enraged Roshi in 3 turns in Fargo’s top cut. He told me he would be okay if he lost in a hard fought match. I hope I gave that to him, because I felt that was a good match.
     
    Top 8 Jacob Daver – Empowered Broly W
    I sat down and this guy was all business, not sure if he was trying to be intimidating or what, but it came off more dickish than anything. I was here to have fun and I was in the zone, so I didn’t let it bother me. This is a deck that I prepared for the most, and feel Devious has a strong matchup against any Broly, but it’s the Unleashed that allows me to decide what level he gets to be on. He draws his 3 and enters by sticking a Wall Breaker on me. I do what I can in combat to mitigate the damage and buy my time until I draw an Unleashed. He’s entering every turn on 3 cards, so it’s pretty easy to control the amount of damage I’m taking. He gets to 2 and picks off my Black Power Up. Once his hand is depleted I take my opportunity to Unleashed to 3 thanks to his Wall Breaker. I don’t lower him, because I like that his level 2 is lacking an attack. Next combat he plays I’ll Dig Your Grave, he’s been pretty predictable so far entering every turn. I’m thinking he’s willing to level us, so I save my block. Sure enough he digs us up, and then use my power to rejuvenate 7 and end combat with 5 stages. I power up to full and drop a Black Power Up onto the board. He draws and drops Paragus (perfect timing), and without missing a beat he enters with 3 cards in hand. I block his power and respond with mine. I then take an onslaught of some combination of attacks with the last damage peeling a Tug of War to banish Paragus. Now he has no hand, I have a Black Power Up on board, and Unleashed in hand. I Black Power Up to full stages, spend stages on some attacks to push some damage through, and Unleashed both of us down to level 2 allowing me to push more damage at no cost. He’s extremely low in life deck, and I still have a good amount of cards left. I power up, hold onto a block, and let him enter on me. I’m able to keep stages with my block and finish the game off with another Supernova Survival Victory.
     
    Top 4 John Milner – Knowledge Piccolo (new 4) W
    I faced Milner last year in Colorado and it wasn’t even close. I then faced him in the Evolution release event in Vacaville and that wasn’t even close. I have deemed him unbeatable. However, this is a new season and I’m 0-0 against him so anything can happen. I’m told this match is on stream. I go into this match remembering what worked well against Timothy Cable. I also remember my history of dragon ball decks. I can often deal out the damage, but can’t finish the game before they ball out. Thinning out his deck will just lead him to victory. I play it slow and only enter on hands that I feel are strong enough to progress my game state while stalling his. I pretty much only enter on hands with some form of anger hate. Some sub-optimal hands I entered on were because I had Black Power Up to bow out if it was looking bad. At one point I passed on a really good hand that had Unleashed in it. I thought about entering, but felt that I didn’t want to risk not being able to finish the match just to lose to Dragon Ball victory. The second to last combat was very favorable for me, which was his enter, and that allowed me to close out the game. You can watch the match here at the 8:25:00 mark. I was told it was a really fun match to watch.
     
    Top 2 Michael McCutheon – Adaptive Yamcha W
    This match didn’t take place. After my top 4 match finished I was informed Michael had to head back to Denver to catch a 12 o’clock flight. I’m disappointed as I wanted to battle it out for first, but also am excited that I don’t have to play another match and can celebrate my world’s invite with my friends.
     
    Gid Gud Alumni
    After the news that I received my invite my friend Brandon came in and gave me a huge hug. Matthew Coombs came in and shook my hand and congratulated me, as well as other players. We decided to celebrate by going to the Old Chicago which I spotted the night before next to our hotel. We jokingly said that we would go there if I won. I ordered Pizza and Drinks for the table and we had a great time talking about the day. I will forever remember this day.