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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cooler has taken a few events this tournament season, from Blue Cooler to Red Cooler. In addition, quite a few Black Coolers have made it to top cut as well. What about Orange Cooler? is it a viable option? Let's have a look...
1 x Cooler, Familiar Face
1 x Cooler, Menace
1 x Cooler, Overlord
1 x Cooler, Transformed
1 x Orange Adaptive Mastery
1 x Namek Dragon Ball 7
2 x Orange Aura Drill
1 x Orange Burning Aura Drill
1 x Orange Captivity Drill
3 x Orange Devouring Drill
1 x Orange Examination Drill
1 x Orange Hiding Drill
1 x Orange Steady Drill
2 x Visiting The Past
2 x Enhanced Reflexes
3 x Stare Down
1 x Time Is A Warrior's Tool
2 x Villainous Energy Sphere
2 x Orange Cover Up
3 x Orange Quick Dodge
3 x Orange Refocus
2 x Blinding Energy Move
2 x Cooler's Rebirth
3 x Cooler's Supernova
3 x Orange Counter Ball
3 x Orange Energy Catch
3 x Orange Eruption
3 x Orange Fierce Attack
3 x Orange Offensive Strike
3 x Orange Overflowing Burst
3 x Orange Power Point
3 x Orange Stare Down
The strategy is pretty simple - Beat face with all the energy attacks this deck throws at the opponent while living long enough on level one until you can get off that level to finish off the game (because Cooler level 2/3 can easily swing games in their favor). Orange Devouring Drill will help get off level one pretty quickly (if you can draw into it early), and the deck has some decent ways of gaining anger thanks to a few card effects that raise anger straight up, and a few drills that require some successful attacks to work. Since the Metagame is fairly focused on Physical attacks, decks still are running less and less energy blocks (although with Namekian Restored Gohan taking the last event down, this can change). Something like this can easily overtake decks quickly if it's the right choice for a tournament.
The deck also has some very powerful cards like Orange Fierce Attack that can make your styled attack damage unpreventable for the combat (and it also happens to have a nice anger swing as well), as well as Orange Offensive Strike to push out decent damage when you're set up. But it gets better. One of the cool things this deck has going for it is the Orange Offensive Strike / Cooler's Rebirth Combo. Essentially with both of these in hand, and having enough power stages, you can use different Offensive Strike 5 times in a combat (if your opponent attacks you sometime in between). With an Orange Aura Drill out, this is some serious damage. It's a rarity to happen in games at times, but it does come up occasionally. Add an Orange Captivity Drill into the mix, and that's another possible level you gained in combat.
Because the deck's primary method of leveling up is using Orange Devouring Drill, you're going to want to watch out for Unleashed, which could drastically alter the game in your opponent's favor. Holding a Villainous Energy Sphere in a crucial combat for it can easily make or break a game.
Stage beats are a big worry in this metagame, and if you're caught without being able to perform attacks, you can be dead. Be sure to only stop key attacks that matter, otherwise you're going to be caught with hands you simply cannot use. On the flip side, while the deck has a very high count of Endurance in it, most energy-based decks are running cards to make damage unpreventable as well. If energy attacks are becoming an issue, I'd add a few more energy blocks into the mix.
Additional Card Choices
Villainous Power Ball - Lower's anger, and prevents damage. Very solid card, but with 8 physical blocks and 2 omni-blocks, and 2 combat enders it didn't feel needed. This can change quickly though.
Tug of War - Allies are seeing a lot of play in this metagame, and since we are running zero allies, this card's anti-ally and anti-anger can be a solid inclusion.
Any Card that Raises Anger 2 or More - There are still more options, like Enraged Blast and Orange Rage, but it's difficult to make room on these unless you run more 2-of's. Still, relying less on Orange Devouring Drill and more on natural anger can be a strength when Unleashed is running rampant.
Orange Freezing Drill - Our blocks in general would need to be reworked, but since decks are cutting energy blocks, they are running more reliant on omni-blocks (aka blocks that can stop both). Outside of Yamcha's Rescue, these type of cards are Events, which make Orange Freezing Drill very good at pushing damage.
Playful Punch - We cannot use it as a block in this deck, but we can use it for a surprise stage gain to throw some attacks. The extra anger lowering is nice too!
Overall, if you're looking for a different take to play with Cooler, Orange is a nice alternative to the Red, Black, and Blue Cooler decks that have been seeing success in tournament play. Try it out sometime!
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! Las Vegas is one of the most premier locations in the world, and is a fantastic place to plan a trip! You can check out the details here.
Courtesy of our fellows here at DBZTopTier, Team Badman now has our own sharing space on the site, and we couldn't be more excited! New videos, articles, updates and the like will be shared here, as well as on Retro and our Facebook page.
As a start, we present our latest video - our decklist for Red Ruthless Android 17! With the growing success and popularity of Ally decks again, 17 looks to be a more and more viable anti-meta option, useful to take on the Gohans and Ginyus of the metagame, while still keeping pace with physically aggressive decks such as 13 and Broly. A comparatively high power level, attack actions on Levels 1-3, and the strong buffed physicals of Red help deal heavy damage while also providing useful tech against a variety of popular options. While he's not perfect, 17 seems to be an overlooked option at the moment, and he could be just the ticket to dealing with the latest threats.
All aboard the Fun Bus!
Today's preview is going to be a welcome sight to anyone that has been playing with Vengeance's breakout out all-star for the last few months: Unleashed!
Black Vehicle Toss is a physical attack that does +3 life cards and +3 stages. It attaches to your MP. While it's attached, all your attacks do +1 stage and +1 life card of damage! Black Devious Mastery may have been placed on the "Frozen" list, but Black as a style may still be a style in the upcoming meta able to deal more damage than most!
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! Las Vegas is one of the most premier locations in the world, and is a fantastic place to plan a trip! You can check out the details here.
The list is posted here. A lot of people thought I evolved my Salem list, but in reality that list died as soon as Broly entered the meta game. If you're going to be playing stage aggro when everyone else is playing stage aggro then you better be doing it better than everyone else. I jumped right on the Red 13 MPPV list and decided that would be THE BEST deck in the game. As Regional events passed the meta evolved and Red 13 was on everyone's radar. I had to go back to the drawing board if I wanted to win. I decided to review the evolution of the meta game and that lead me to Tim Batow's Blue Tag Gohan. I realized pretty quickly that Ginyu could do everything Gohan could do but villains have better allies and villain cards are better. Blue Gohan also struggled against Cooler ball decks and I have Dodoria. After the list was established it was pretty clear that we had a killer match up against anyone running meta decks without the proper amount of ally tech. So, basically we were looking to dodge Broly decks loaded with ally tech and random decks like Orange 20.
We took I-5 and it took 6 hours. Pokemon Red/Blue was played. DBZ meta was discussed, but honestly it was already pretty fleshed out at this point.
Nice space, food not far away, clean store, decent air conditioning, good judges, no side events to keep everyone in the main event for optimum tie breakers, and awful prize support. What more could you ask for?
Me vs Red Cooler (Nor Cal's own Tim)
I wanted to see this match up all day, but not this opponent. The match felt like a local top cut match. Dodoria and Choke were huge in the match up. I gave him an opening to level 2 when I had Head Knock in hand... I threw Neck Beam instead and he was at 2 anger and he had Red Energy Defense + Super Nova to level. He was almost able to stabilize but Ball 2 was clutch.
Me vs Black 13
Even with Chin Kicks this match up isn't great for 13. He had no Chin Kicks. No Chin Kicks means this match up is free.
Me vs Namekian Piccolo triple victory (old school)
He didn't have Gut Punches. Frieza ally was huge here and you really can't MPPV against my Blue Ginyu without a miracle. DB victory was kept in check by Dodoria. Old Piccolo level 2 was relevant, but Namekian can't out tempo Blue Ginyu.
Me vs Black 13
No Chin Kicks, no problem... He did manage to get to level 3 early enough to potentially mount a comeback, but he had 0 answers to my allies and so the lock down was never really possible. Luckily, I drew ball 2 immediately afterwards anyway.
Me vs Black Broly (Regional Winner Jason)
Now this was the match I didn't want to play against. I ended up winning by holding Time for 1 Chin Kick combat and baiting VTP with a hand full of blocks to survive another Chin Kick combat. Dodoria stealing ball 7 locked the game up. I could tell that Jason had no clue what Dodoria did as combat ended with ball 7 chilling on his side of the board. That was probably Jason's last mistake in the tournament.
Me vs Namekian Restored Gohan
I've seen Edison's list and this deck wasn't far off. This is actually a really bad match up for Gohan. This match up ended with him having to ball out to win. He got 6 balls in play after stealing 2 in a row. I had a ton of damage on board and got him down to 2 cards left in deck and 2 cards left in hand. I knew that he was dead on board and he passed after taking a mountain of energies that I threw that turn. I had Blue Clash for the finisher, but I searched through his piles twice over and I knew he had 1 Hybrid in his hand, since there was no way he didn't have 3 in his deck. I passed and he never got to play Hybrid and he died.
Me vs Red Cooler
This match up was very similar to round 1 and it ended when I luck sacked my ball 2 to drop him at the right moment. Otherwise, I out tempo'd him the whole game. I shook his hand and congratulated him on top cut.
Top Cut is announced
Me 7-0, Kelly 6-1, Jake 5-2 (bubbles out)
Me vs Orange 20
My plan was to mil him to death by throwing 5 to 6 energies a turn and keeping cooler in play as long as possible to dodge Devouring Drill. Hopefully I would draw Choke to finish him off. I got him to 10 cards, but ball 7 set him up with a kill turn allowing him to hit me for about 35 in one turn.
To Kelly for the invite
To Ginyu for being underrated
To Nor Cal for out placing So Cal
To Richie for promising Vegeta's new named card is really good.
To winning 8 packs after going 7-1 at a 115 person event with a $25 entry fee...
To Black Chin Kick for being OP
To going 14-2 this Regional season without an invite to Worlds
Hey, guys! Sam here again with another tournament report, this time a spot in the prestigious Top 8 at the official Panini San Gabriel Regionals (a more impressive accomplishment than winning States, imo). I played an Enraged 13 that I've used almost exclusively for the entirerty of Set 6, but nearly dismantled it in favor of Broly in the wake of whisperings that 13 was just a one-trick pony. In the, end I'm glad I ignored all the doubters and naysayers. My deck has strong match ups across the board but can struggle against Red Cooler's explosive level juggling and Blue Gohan/Ginyu's Legion of Doom, unless I rattle off some insane Shoulder Grab + Knee Lift combat and expend all my actions. I expected to see plenty of both in SoCal so I just prayed and hoped that I wouldn't meet a single one all day. My wish nearly came true and my only regret is wasting God's grace by being too reckless and throwing away an otherwise memorable (but winnable) Top 8 battle. It was a long day so my memory is hazy, but I'll try to remember all the good parts, so let's begin.
1) Saiyan Empowered Broly (Esau Hernandez)
Fantastic! A favorable match up right out of the gates. I win the roll and pass a few times until I have a favorable hand to enter with. I lead with 13 lv. 1 power followed by Shoulder Grab and combo up to lv. 3 while he's still one lv. 1. He has Saiyan Strength Test attached which pesters my discard pile some but not enough to really matter. He does Unleashed himself to lv. 3 eventually but never draws into Wall Breaker and at that point it's far too late for him. On the last turn he just enters on me knowing that I'm going to MPPV on my turn anyway and I steal my first victory on the day.
2) Namekian Restored Cell (Matt Smith)
Talk about a blast from the past! A deck that I haven't played with or against since the lv. 4 nerf stares me down across the table. He gets the jump on me with an early Leaping Kick to lv. 2 and then to lv. 3 the following combat. I throw punch after punch but he always seems to have a block or a Max Will/Side Kick on hand to keep me under wraps. I weather the storm of his lv. 3 & 4 and maneuver my way to lv. 4 myself as time is called at the start of my turn. Just a few anger away from MPPV, and with no chance of outright killing him, I decide to go for broke and declare. I throw a few non-Styled attacks which hit and force him to skip, allowing me to deliver a Shoulder Slam for 12 stages to life cards, netting me the final piece of anger to complete my MPPV.
3) Red Enraged Cooler (Eric Ruth)
Damn it! I knew it was just a matter of time until I had to face my nemesis. On paper it seems almost unwinnable for me but my deck is capable of angering out first under the right conditions. I go first and declare with a few attacks in hand. His deck is more combat oriented with Shoulder Grabs and Double Strikes which intrigues me greatly. The game gets really interesting when he plays Balls 3 and 7, both unprotected save for two Red Blaze on his side. I figure this may be the best chance I get to combo out so I declare and Knee Lift away his Ball 3... which he promptly Knee Lifts. We trade Ball 3 back and forth about 6-7 times in a combat for the ages and looks like I might actually be able to anger out before him... and then he Times me. =/ Welp, so much for that strategy, lol. By this time he's on lv. 3 or so and manages to anger out with Red's trademark Shoulder Grab combat coupled with Static Shot and Supernova. After the tournament, I learned from my friend Brandon (CRISIS) that it wad basically his Red Garlic deck with Cooler's named cards. Nice!
4) Namekian Knowledge Piccolo (Jose Ruiz)
Piccolo surprised a lot of people at this event, despite none making it to Top 16. However, I despise Piccolo so I was more than happy to teach that stupid slug man in his place. The game goes mostly in my favor and I beat him up pretty good, in spite of him getting an early Ball 6 out and banishing all three Weighted Clothings for anger. It all came down to the last combat. With both of us at 1 anger on lv. 4 and Namekian Fusion in play, I decide to place all my chips on going for MPPV. I 13 power him which hits and he pops Fusion, drawing Targeted Strike and rejuving to go to 2 anger. He has Balls 2, 5, and 6 in play and without an energy block I just know he's going to Ball 2 me back to lv. 3. I play Double Strike to go to 2 anger and he hits me with Targeted Strike. I mill 13's Defense as damage and go to 4 anger. Then I wait for him to drop me back to lv. 3.
He uses the effects Ball 5 instead, which completely covers up his Ball 2.
I've literally been handed the win! I Double Strike for game and show him his misplay at the end, to which we both share a face palm at our biggest "WTF" moment of the day.
5) Namekian Knowledge Piccolo (Hector Gutierrez)
Unlike my last game, this one isn't as much of a nail biter. Red Restriction finally pulls its weight by shutting off Piccolo lv. 2, Weighted Clothing, Tug of War, etc. Not too much to say about this game, other than killing his mastery with lv. 3 power and capping Ball 5 for even more glorious Red MPPV vandalism.
6) Red Enraged Android 13 (Steven Pehl)
Now HERE'S a deck I can get behind. I've never faced the mirror but Steve is a cool guy and I enjoy talking over the differences in our decks while playing. This match is wild with both of us entering on 3 card hands several times just so keep up the anger momentum. His Zarbon ally accelerates his leveling like crazy until I kill him for good with Sagacious Strike. His lv. 3 power threatens to take the wind out of my sails twice but I block it both times as I know even one hit from that beat stick is enough to end me for good. Shoulder Slam is the MVP of this game as it buys me enough time to MPPV while he Resourceful Blocks back down to lv. 3 just so he doesn't die. All in all, a very intense game that could have gone either way.
7) Saiyan Empowered Broly (Steve Garcia)
Steven came up to Vacaville with the Fresno crew for the Spring ARG States but this was the first time I ever faced him. Like my first opponent in Swiss, I win the dice roll but this time I fight him immediately with a hand that I don't think is terrible... until he Wall Breakers me. =/ Luckily, I knock him to 0 and slam him with Android Insubordination for 7 stages, which does exactly enough damage to knock Wall Breaker off of me. Combat ends and we pass a few before he declares combat on my VtP... and Wall Breakers me again. LOL. This time I have an unstoppable Sagacious Strike that takes it strips it right off and in spite of getting Dig'd for a bunch of damage, I roll past him with an explosive Shoulder Grab combat that puts me at lv. 4 w/ 4 anger. Combat ends and I MPPV on my following turn, securing my very Top 16 appearance!
T16) Black Devious Cooler (Douglas Perdomo)
I watched this guy place second at Vacaville last year with Black Krillin (though I remember him better as the guy who top decked three Declarations against Will Houser in Top 4, lol), so I know that I'm in for a difficult battle. Not much happens for the first few turns as I get setup with two Relaxation plus 14 and 15, while he drops two Power Ups, a Declaration, and a BST. I initiate combat first and neglect to use my Relaxations. He plays Villainous Power Ball to mitigate the damage from my Shoulder Grab combat but I totally forget its floating effect and he takes more damage than he should. We call Richie over and he issues a warning to both of us, then shuffles his deck. Combat resumes and I end up at lv. 2 with a few anger. A few more turns of passing and I finally draw Red Restriction, setting me loose without the fearing his setups and ending up at lv. 4 with literally one anger away from victory.
And then he drops Ball 2 on me. I just can't catch a break against that card, argh! A few passes later and he finally declares on me, plowing through my deck, utilizing his Power Up to regain stages, BST to snipe my Double Strikes, and Declaration to recycle Ball 2 for next turn. Combat ends and I hang on to Red Restriction for his final Black Power Up. Now, my hand is revealed from a Black Stop he played that combat and I draw into my final Visiting. Sitting at lv. 4 and knowing that I risk him drawing Ball 2 on his next turn, I decide to lay it all on the line. I Restriction for a non-Styled attack then Visit for another non-Styled attack. Both attacks connect and he's down to 3 life cards, so I hurl 13's lv. 4 attack for the KO and he concedes upon showing me his hand: a Command, a setup, and Ball 2.
PHEW! I narrowly avoid another close defeat and advance to Top 8.
T8) Black Devious Android 13 (Hector Gonzalez)
All stories must eventually come to an end but I never imagined mine would end like it did. I don't know if it was the fatigue or the high of winning my first Top 16 match that made me go full retard three whole times but it was such a winnable match and I just know that I could have made it to Top 4 if I had just kept my wits about me. All three misplays basically defined the game so I'll highlight each one in order as I recount the match.
Misplay #1: Entering against Black without a physical block
I've played with and against Black enough times to know that Defensive Burst is a card but I just couldn't say no to a hand of Shoulder Grab, Double Strike, and two more attacks. I somehow convince myself that his odds of drawing D. Burst this early are low so I enter and swing with lv. 1 power followed by Shoulder Grab and prepare to explode. I'm sure you know what happens next. I then eat face from two Pulverizes that banish A15 and a few other cards, but he only searches for one card - Wall Breaker - at the end of combat as the other card he would have searched for would have been shuffled back as each Pulverize search triggers separately. Combat ends and a few turns pass until he enters on me, and here's where I make my second error.
Misplay #2: Not rejuvenating 15 from the Banished zone
With his 14 and 15 in play plus a Wall Breaker in hand, I decide to declare just to get them all out of the way. He does his lv. 2 power to banish them and hit lv. 3, making me skip and playing Stare Down to see my hand. He discards Android Insubordination and later Wall Breakers me. I have Sobering Hammer in hand with 14 in the discard and 15 Banished. If I can hit with my lv. 2 power, I can rejuvenate 15, tutor him with Sobering Hammer, and advance with to lv. 3 with my own lv. 2 power to even the game. I swing with lv. 2 which hits, and like a dumbass I decide to rejuvenate Android 13's Impenetrable Defense rather than 15 like I planned. D'oh! I decided just then I could at least search for 16 to randomize the deck in case I knock off Wall Breaker and flip 13's Defense as damage. I eventually manage to free myself from Wall Breaker's oppressive grip through some clever sequencing of 13's Defense and Shoulder Slam for 8 life cards. Things are looking up, but just as it seems like I'm out of the woods I make my final and most costly mistake of the day.
Misplay #3: Entering against Android 13 lv. 3 without a physical block
In hindsight, this doesn't feel like a gameplay error as much as it does an admission of defeat. It seems ironic that any dedicated Android 13 player would understand the devastation his lv. 3 can cause but for whatever reason I had a Shoulder Grab in hand and decides to just go for it. 13's lv. 3 knocks me to 0 and he gets the first strike by leading with his lv. 3 power. I look at my hand and it only takes a few seconds for me to connect the dots and realize that I'm finished. My Shoulder Grab combat fizzles out and on the following turn he 13's me again, blocks my next attack with 13's Defense to mill 5, and swings with one final unpreventable attack to end the combat and bring my redneck Regional rampage to a crashing halt.
Of course, none of this is to take away from my opponent who played the match up correctly and punished my mistakes accordingly. Respect to him and the rest of the Fresno crew for being cool sports. I accepted my defeat (and top cut prizes) then hung around to watch the Top 4 match between Orange 20 and Blue Ginyu before heading back north with my crew.
I'd like to give a shoutout to the entire NorCal crew for showing up and repping a third of the top cut. I'd also like to thank my friends Brandon (CRISIS) and Tim (Zero) for making the long trip a memorable experience, and my good friend and playtesting partner Russ Park for recommending Shoulder Slam. That shit straight up won me games! Finally, a major applause to the Panini and venue staff for running a very smooth and organized event - barring an early hiccup with the table numbers.
In closing, I learned a lot lessons and things about myself as a person and a competitor that day. And to all you naysayers and doubters who would dismiss the might of the Red Ribbom Army, hear these words and tremble:
This won't be the last time you hear from The Big Red Machine!
1) Android 13 - Redneck Robot
2) Android 13 - Amused
3) Android 13 - Dark Villain
4) Android 13 - Surging Strength
Red Enraged Mastery
x1 Android 14 - Stoic
x1 Android 15 - Relaxed
x1 Android 16 - Unmoving
x2 Android 13's S.S. Deadly Bomber
x3 Red Energy Defensive Stance
x3 Red Escape
x3 Red Restriction
x1 Time Is A Warrior's Tool
x3 Android 13's Impenetrable Defense
x3 Android Headbutt
x3 Android Insubordination
x2 Devastating Blow
x3 Red Blocking Hand
x3 Red Double Strike
x3 Red Knee Lift
x3 Red Mule Kick
x3 Red Resourceful Block
x3 Red Shoulder Grab
x3 Red Tandem Attack
x2 Sagacious Strike
x3 Shoulder Slam
x3 Sobering Hammer
x3 Red Relaxation
x2 Visiting The Past
-Panini and MTGDeals for running a smooth event and choosing a great, large, air conditioned venue
-NorCal showing up taking the top cut by storm
-My friends for making the trip one that will last a lifetime
-Android 20 still proving he has what it takes to keep up with the youngsters
-Dickhead truckers cutting each other off on the long ass drive down I-5
-NorCal for not taking home the title
-SoCal for failing to defend their turf
-CenCal for trolling both
MVC: Red Restriction
I've seen some Red 13 builds floating around that don't run this card. This is a catastrophic mistake in my opinion, since Enraged aggro has limited board control options, especially against control heavy decks that thrive on their Setups and Drills. Overwhelming Power and Red Observation are options, but those are just more actions that.you could spend pressuring the opponent's stages or gaining anger. Restriction won me several games that day and I strongly recommend against cutting it.
Questions and comments are welcome.