• Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game

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    The Cooler Side of Orange

    This week, we're going to look at how we can make an effective build of Orange using Cooler.

    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...
    Deck List:
    Main Personality:
    1 x Cooler, Familiar Face
    1 x Cooler, Menace
    1 x Cooler, Overlord
    1 x Cooler, Transformed
    1 x Orange Adaptive Mastery
    Dragon Balls:
    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
    Physical Combats:
    2 x Orange Cover Up
    3 x Orange Quick Dodge
    3 x Orange Refocus
    Energy Combats:
    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.

    Team Badman BadBuilds - Red Ruthless Android 17

    A wild Badman appeared - and TopTier is the place! DBZTopTier now has a space exclusively for Team Badman videos, and we kickstart with an interesting anti-meta deck that may just be able to keep up with the rest of the meta!

    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!

    Awakening Preview #1 - Black Vehicle Toss

    Spoiler season has returned to DBZ Top Tier and this time around we have plenty of new cards to show you.


    Before we get started I would like to give a special thanks to Panini America for giving us the opportunity to share these spoilers with you.

    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.

    7 and Yes This is Happening Again...

    My SoCal Regional Journey.

    The Deck:
    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.
    The Trip:
    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.
    The Venue:
    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?
    The Event:
    Round 1
    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.
    Round 2
    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.
    Round 3
    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.
    Round 4
    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.
    Round 5
    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.
    Round 6
    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.
    Round 7
    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)
    Top 16
    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

    The Big Red Machine - San Gabriel Top 8 Report

    Uncle Sam posted his San Gabriel Top 16 report for you, featuring the redneck robot!

    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!
    Top Cut:
    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!
    The deck:
    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
    -Energy Combats
    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
    -Physical Combats
    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.

    Awakening Musings - Week One

    Justin takes a look at the new cards previewed this week as well as discusses the new "Frozen" list.

    Spoiler season is one of my favorite reasons to play any TCG. Theory crafting, discussing the card's usefulness and getting excited for things to come.
    If you haven't had a chance to see the preview article on the Panini Blog you can check it out here.
    First thing first the "Frozen" list:
    The frozen list is a very intriguing idea. Having another tool to help balance game play as well as open up design space for new cards is always a welcome addition to competitive play. The downside of course being that it is a temporary banned list. I think it will be interesting to see how forcing the Set One masteries from competitive play will change the meta. At the same time, I am a little sad that some of my favorite masteries are leaving the competitive field. This one is personally a mixed bag for me. However, I think it will be a great addition to the game in helping in creating longevity to the game.
    The Masteries

    This mastery looks fantastic!
    Wow. Even if Blue Protective Mastery didn't leave competitive play, I think I would still give this one a shot. It has life card modifier which will definitely help with many of the style's attacks. It's power is where I am really excited. You can pitch a styled card from your hand to draw a card and prevent damage from the next attack. No longer are you forced into making sure you have a certain balance of physical/energy combats in your deck to stop an attack. Now you can pitch any styled card to simply prevent upcoming damage. Also, filtering through your deck during combat is always nice as it reduces dead hands. The card is also great for creating a discard outlet for cards like Blue Guard or Blue Neck Beam. Interestingly enough, Vegeta, Calculating also gets a boost as it creates actual hand advantage. Overall, I feel this mastery will be the dominate mastery for the upcoming season and will simply replace Blue Protective Mastery. Blue Tag Team will still see much play due to it's unique effect. In this case, I would have liked to see the three masteries actually compete for space.

    I kind of had a feeling we would get a mastery that started a drill in play...
    This mastery is another victim of the "frozen" list as I think people would have played this regardless if Orange Adaptive Mastery stayed or not. It has a form of protection for your drills in the case you level, this time by allowing you to shuffle them all back into your deck. That is HUGE. The mastery allows you to play a styled card without paying it's stages. It gains 2 anger! Allowing you to achieve higher levels more quickly and pairs along nicely with Orange's anger abilities. Finally if you have leveled you can tutor for drills! Not to mention you get to start with a styled drill in play! Overall, a very powerful mastery!
    Overall, I think both of these masteries will simply replace our current Orange and Blue Mastery overlords. (I feel this will be the case for most of these new masteries.) While I am incredibly excited to play with them, I honestly think they made the frozen list to prevent having to make masteries more powerful than Devious and Knowledge. Only time and a couple weeks will tell...
    The Rise of the Saiyans
    Like the preview article had stated, Goku and Vegeta are poised to make a triumphant return to competitve play in the game. Let's just get this out of the way:

    Jarrett always said he wanted a card called Zenni Grab... Zenni is money in DBZ for the uninformed.
    Krillin's Destructo Disk, I mean Assisted Kamehameha is a really good, vanilla card. I will say that obviously this card is powerful (I mean we had a whole year where a card almost identical to this dominated the game.) Any saiyan personality paired which a life card modifier can now Destructo Disk like Krillin. While the card is slightly weaker than KDD since it is banished after use, this card will obviously see competitive play. I think the most jarring thing about this card, is the fact that it's an UR and that it is basically a card that we've seen since the game's inception. While no doubt the card is powerful and tournament worthy, I guess I am just a little disappointed that the card is kind of unoriginal. Overall though despite the unoriginality, this card will definitely shake up the meta, especially if these two guys had a say in the matter...

    If set one Goku is Drillku, and Evolution Goku is Broku, is this Goku Cardku? Or will he be referred to simply as Goku since he is just bad-ass?
    Goku can draw card, on every single level. He has a damage modifier on every single level. He's really good. I have no complaints. He's playable. His level one modifies all your attacks to do +1 life card and he doesn't take an action to draw a card, he just gets to do it. He is miles better (other than his power level) than Goku, Super Saiyan God since he doesn't have to destroy a card to gain one. (Though Black Devious might like Godku better.). Goku level 2 has a static modifier to increase damage, lower the opponent's damage, draws a card from your discards which helps preserve your life total AND has the potential for a critical damage effect. Goku 3 is the sweet spot. Providing a AT +4 life attack that draws a card from the top or bottom of your discards providing a great net of +2. Finally his level 4 is very similar to Cell's fine tuning power except he gains access to styled banished cards! In a vacuum, it's very hard to ignore Goku's potential!

    Vegeta makes his triumphant debut in the card game! Wait, he has older levels???
    In a lot of ways, Vegeta is slightly inferior to the new Goku. However he actually is a great foil to the personality as well. Though Goku can modify all attacks, Vegeta focuses on non-styled. To start with, his level 1 makes sure all your non-styled attacks do +2 life cards (and they cannot be modified by other effects, INCLUDING your opponent's.) He has a 3 PUR, he has solid base, he has discard banishment and he has an attack to boot. Oddly enough, he also helps aggressive ally build deal more damage to their attacks. His level 2 is very interesting since it has a non-prevention clause which will just eat through life decks with cards like Crushing Beam, Vegeta's Galic Gun or Vegeta's Destruction Blast. He also has inherent anger gain as well as stage gain, meaning Vegeta might actually be a great Saiyan energy personality! His parenthetical effect will cause havoc to decks trying to use setups or other non-attack actions during combat. His level 3 keeps that effect's pressure up when you get there but also makes it easier for your non-styled attacks to get through. Finally his new level 4 is a bomb, when you reach the level, your opponent must pass (in awe at the pinnacle of his power ) and his non styled attacks do +3 life cards and are unstoppable! Wow!
    It's too early to tell how the Awakening meta is going to shape the meta up, but I can tell you this even now: It looks like it's a game changer! I'll talk to you next week!

    Awakening Preview - Goku and Vegeta

    Panini released their first preview for the upcoming Awakening set!

    Check out the new MP Goku and Vegeta stacks and the new Blue Mastery and Orange Mastery!

    Warren, MI Regional

    This weekend there is a DBZ TCG regional, in Warren, MI.
    For all the players that are attending, we wish you the best of luck in your travels near Detroit, and an enjoyable time at the event! Be sure to say hello to any of our staff members in attendance.
    For those that are not going to be attendance, be sure to follow the updates on this topic, as well as the Panini Blog for more updates. You can also watch at home with the Cubicorn Twitch channel:

    Justin's Kentucky Regional Top 8 Report

    Justin takes a look back at the Kentucky Regional, heat exhaustion and all!

    Hello fellow Dragon Warriors! After resting up and finally recuperating from this past exhausting trip I thought I would finally sit down and write a tournament report.
    First off, I would like to thank all the staff and everyone who made this regional possible. Without your dedication and personal sacrifice these events would not be possible. So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you!!!!
    With that out of the way, I will say this: This was the worst regional event I have EVER been to EVER. Out of all my games that I have played, running back for the past 15 years of playing TCGs, this was single handily the WORST experience I have ever had. Throughout the day, I just was wishing it would be over with. It was hot. There were malfunctions with the pairings. The printer went out. We had to stand in long lines, in an excruciatingly hot/moist room. The actual venue was decrepit, unsanitary (It even scored a "B" from the health board which was surprising) and unbecoming. Now, a lot of this was out of the hands from the organizers. So I am not putting the blame on them. I'm sure the A/C was on when they checked out the actual venue. Now, if it were me running the event, I would be charging back that entire purchase and say that they voided their agreement. But hey, it's whatever. On a side note, I'm sure the concession stand made A LOT of money that day, charging us for water (THAT I HAD TO BUY EVERY ROUND NOT TO DIE FROM HEAT EXHAUSTION). Really, at a certain point it should have just been free, but I understand that you have to make some money running these things...
    Well, I won't continue rating about how awful the conditions were. If you were there with me, you are now a survivor. Hopefully you didn't end up sick like me after the event. If you weren't there, trust me when I say it was awful...
    ROUND 1
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Kelly Dennis Black Roshi
    I sit across and finally actually have a real conversation with the guy instead of two or three sentences. Always found him to be a good guy. We talk it up for a bit, seeing how his brother was doing (played him in TX last year). As we wait to get started Psyche! Re-match! Well, there went a good tiebreaker if I did in fact lose the game, though I tested my build against Black Roshi heavily, it would have been no means an auto win. Well, at least I have a shot playing a deck where I won't have to think as much.
    ROUND 1.1
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Eric Jones
    So I go to my new table, I'm playing Eric Jones. He might be a cool guy, or he may not even exist. I sat down and I wait, and I wait. He doesn't show up. PSYCHE! It's a re-pair anyways! Eric, I'm sure you are a cool guy, I just never met you.
    ROUND 1.2
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Sean Lambdin Saiyan Empowered Broly
    Hey! Another name I am familiar with, interestingly enough another player that has a brother that plays and is known in the community. We get to talking and he was actually a pretty cool guy. So we finally start the game. I lose the dice roll. He enters on turn one. At the end of the first turn, after he Unleashed and Saiyan Tracking Blast he ended up on level 3. I end up hitting him for a bit more damage/banishing from Broly level 1, Eraser Cannon into Saiyan Face Strike for the level 2 Banish. Then I take some damage. At the end of the combat. I am on level 2, he's on 3. My 50 cards, to his 48. My turn. I pass, rejuvenate for anger. Next turn he wails on me. I lost 23 cards (bringing me to 25, him 39) on that combat and he went to level 4. But hey, I draw my secret mirror match tech (can't say it just yet). Next combat, I Broly level 3 power, unleashed get to 4 and it's game. It was an excellent game. He is a great guy and I look forward to seeing him at future events!
    Performance: 1-0
    Dice Roll: 0-1
    Round 2
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Cole Redding Saiyan Empowered Broly
    Hey I'm playing someone I know. I guess that is how it goes. Cole is a Chicago guy that I have played a couple times in their local events before I moved out to Viva-Las Vegas. Pretty good player. His best friend is also Arvel Rowe. So he's pretty good. This also happened to be a feature match because everyone wants to see Broly beat on Broly. You can check the match out: https://www.twitch.tv/teambadman9001. Watching the game will do the match a lot more justice. I lost the dice roll. I only win that game because of my sweet Broly mirror match tech. If you watch it you will see it...
    Performance: 2-0
    Dice Roll: 0-2
    Round 3
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Drew Dodson Red Enraged Android 13
    Yet another person I know, and a really nice guy at that! He also happened to be the person that let me stay with him the night before. Ugh. I have played Drew in quite a few regionals. In Chicago (the last event I played him) I beat his Namekian Knowlege Piccolo with my Saiyan Cell. So going into the game, I was fairly confident. However, I was also kinda nervous because I know what 13 can do, and Drew is really due to win a game against me since he is actually a pretty ccompetent player. Winning the dice roll is crucial in this match. I roll a 4. Ugh. He rolls a 2. Wow. I won a roll!!! Hooray!!! Anyways. The game was pretty quick. I keep him off of three the whole game, my anti-Broly tech also happens to be really good against 13, so that helps. He also had two Android 13's Impenetrable Defense towards the bottom of his deck so that helped keep the anger in check. I finish the game on 3, he couldn't keep up with my hands. I know he wanted me to get to level 4, but then I unleashed myself back to three. He killed himself having four allies on the board and by advancing. Good game Drew, you'll get me one of these days
    Performance: 3-0
    Dice Roll: 1-2
    Round 4
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Derek Smith Black Devious Cooler
    I don't really remember a whole lot from this game. I lost the dice roll. At some point I rejuvenated a Saiyan Sword Strike. He rejuvenated a Black Defensive Burst on his turn, which gave me the tell he either had another one in hand or a Time is a Warrior's Tool, so the only way to enter next turn would be a block and a sphere. Low and behold, I draw a sphere, while I was holding the block. I don't remember much on this game, but I killed him that combat. Good game man!
    Performance 4 -0
    Dice Roll: 1-3
    Round 5
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Drew Borman Android 13
    Well if there was anytime to win a dice roll, I needed it to be now. Nope! I lose the roll. He draws three. He enters. Red Shoulder Grab. Red Double Strike. Use again. Red Double Strike. Use Again. When he leveled, he discarded a Red Sacrifice. He is at level 3 with 2 anger at the end of combat. My turn, draw crap. Pass and rejuvenate and gain an anger. He drops TWO Red Relaxations!!!!!!! TWO!!! He enters. Crit (3anger), (Crit 4 anger), leads with Shoulder Grab. Levels, discards ANOTHER Red Sacrifice?!?!?!?! Then wins by MPPV on the second combat. Nice shuffling man! He was a cool guy and all, but seriously, that wasn't a skill win. Nice deck selection making sure you COULD win by that, sure I can give you that. Sometime this game goes like that. Oh well...
    Performance: 4-1
    Dice Roll: 1-4
    NO, this can't be happening again? I took a loss in round 5, that is always a bad sign for me. The past few regional events where I X-0 up to round 5 and I proceed to punt in and not make it to top cut. It's been that way since everything after Chicago. I can't do this again. (SPOILER ALERT - I don't). I have to make sure I top cut. I'm better than this, right??? I built to the meta, I fine tuned this build to beat rainbow 13, Broly, Orange Yamcha and Blue/Red Cooler. I lost a game, now I go back into the "wild" decks again. I can't do this now, after suffering from heat exhaustion. It's got to get better right????
    Round 6
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Vinnie Delucca's Blue Tage Team Android 13
    NOT ANOTHER PERSON I KNOW!!!!! I also stayed with Vinnie the night before, and I pretty much told him how my build worked. He knew more than you guys Let me tell you a quick story first: It's top 16 in Chicago. I am running my Saiyan Cell. I look at the decks, and I like 95% of my matches. I didn't want to face the Namekian Restored Piccolo or the Red Ruthless Turles. I just so happen to play against Vinnie's Turles build. He won that roll. He enters turn one and hits me for about 30 cards. We somehow play a very grindy game where I got him down to 3 cards. I lost because I could't pay for the last attack in my hand and I draw out next turn. I know Vinnie is a good player, and I know he has actual rational thought to all his builds, so even though I won 90% of my Tag Team 13 games, I knew that playtesting didn't mean squat. Roll the dice... Loss. He draws 3, Drops Villainous Visage and rejuvenates a Sagacious Strike. His turn, he debates on which ally to grab, settling for Android 15. I don't remember much, but we traded a Ball 7 back and forth for a while, and I took a Visage for 18. I kept track of everything I drew and rejuvenated and set up a turn to kill him when I got low. It was a good game. Vinnie is a fantastic player, and I am sure he will get his invite soon.
    Performance: 5-1
    Dice Roll: 1-5
    Round 7
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs Ryan Lambdin's Blue Protective Cooler
    Hey, I just played your brother earlier in the day! Also another name I am familiar with AND he's playing Cooler who just so happens to be COOLER than Broly. I actually don't have many notes on this game. I actually won this dice roll, and drew an aggressive enough hand to enter on him and I kept him stage locked pretty much until he Blue Dominance after I killed a previous Dominance from a Ball 4. After that I remember Unleashing to 3 and just dealing lethal. Hell of a nice player, would love to play a control mirror against him on another day.
    Performance 6-1
    Dice Roll: 2-5
    Well at this point I relax and realize I 95% made top cut. Still, have to try and win that last one to guarantee it.
    Round 8
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs Scott Chad's Blue Protective Cooler
    This was a weird game. I lose the roll. He passes, I pass and at some point he decides he wants to enter on me. I end up taking 2 Supernova's to the face. Ginyu ally and Blue Mental Drill are making sure I never enter with sub-optimal hands. After his Ginyu ally draw, I realized that I am actually now the control deck (usually in this match up I am the aggressor) I end up down to about 18 cards with him at about 40 still, but the entire time I am sculpting my hands as I carefully rejuvenate a hand to where I can enter and just win. I drew a hand with a Saiyan Grab, pass, rejuvenated the grab. Next turn, drew an Unleashed, and rejuvenated it, holding a block. Next turn, rejuvenated a Saiyan Trample. As I am passing, I am waiting for a turn where I can just go off, He enters and I draw stuff, he gets me to about 11 cards. Perfect, I am one off from the draw I need it to be. My turn, my hand is Saiyan Grab, Unleashed, Saiyan Trample, Time is a Warrior's Tool!?!. Enter. Unleashed to three. He attacks. I time. Broly's power. Draw Saiyan Grab. I unload, get to level 4 and outright kill him while he still had 38 cards initially going into that combat. Sometime's patience is a virtue. A lot of players will waste Saiyan Grab as soon as they draw it, not realizing the potential damage they are wasting. Scott was a great guy, and I know he thought he had it, and I think most players at that point would think that too (at least I would). I'm sure we will get a rematch sometime, you are a great player.
    Deck Performance: 7-1
    Dice Roll: 2-6
    Whew! What a game. Even though I knew I made top cut, I had to stick around and wait for my name. Michael started to read off the top 16 in order (whoops!) I was second seed. I also tried to remember the second to the last name as it was read off. Chris Chapman. I'm going to be playing against Red Enraged Cooler in top cut.
    I did it!!!!!!!!! Top cut!!!!!!!!!!! Hooooooraaaaay!!!!!! Now to try and win it.
    Now we have to pack everything up and drive to the actual store since they only had the room until about midnight. When I get there, I'm talking to players as we wait for deck counts. I start talking to Chris and sure enough, he had come to the same conclusion too. They do our deck checks, I didn't fail it and sure enough it's him and I the first round of top cut...
    TOP 16
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Chris Chapman's Red Enraged Cooler
    This game was streamed, you can check it out: https://www.twitch.tv/teambadman9001.
    This game did not go well for Chris. I win the roll. I proceed to enter. He was stage locked and stuck on level 1 the entire game. The game lasted for maybe 8 minutes. I literally drew the best I did the entire event. I kept apologizing to Chris and Nikki (his girlfriend) as the game went on, it was that bad. It was his first event, and he had one hell of a run! It was nice meeting you guys and I hope to see you at future events!
    Deck Performance: 8-1
    Dice Roll: 3-6
    Wow, that went quick and a lot easier than I expected. That game I drew all my gas, and wasn't bogged down by some of my deck choices that made it the mid-range build that it actually was. It felt like I was playing Saiyan Suicide that game.
    Top 8
    My Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range vs. Black Devious Cooler
    Now, I don't think this is a bad match up by any means. First, he was running Matthew Coombs list card for card, and in playtesting it USUALLY felt 60/40 in my favor going second. I run enough blocks to make sure I can't get Black Defensive Burst (Spoiler: Still haven't).
    So we roll. I lose. He drops Black Searching Tech, Black Power Up. Pass. I draw Broly's Eraser Cannon and two other crap cards. I enter to protect my Unleashes. Remove BST. He Black Swipes. He Scout Maneuvers. Naming Unleashed. Ugh. Then he Wall Breaker-ed me. I pass. Next turn. He plops another Black Power Up. Rejuvenates a Sagacious Strike. I draw no attacks, pass and rejuvenate. He passes, Black Commands to level 2. Now we are at my 36 cards to his 34. I also know that I am stuck on 1 until I can get Wall Breaker off. I draw Saiyan Back Breaker and a Wall Breaker. Now he is Wall Breaker-ed for a couple turns and I get to level 2, however he Villainous Power Ball's to prevent most of the damage. I draw a Saiyan Flip and hope he Cooler level 2 powers, but he passes?!?!? Pro play, now I can't deal damage. I hold the Flip. He then enters on a turn with two Supernova's. That makes me further behind. I'm down to 16 and he is at 31. He has Ball 1 and 7 in play. My hand Is Saiyan Tantrum, Dig, Saiyan Flip, Saiyan Grab. I need to crit with Broly level 1 power to crit ball 1, go to 2 and and make sure Tantrum stays for another crit to steal Ball7. I throw Broy's power. He Black Delay's. Random discard. Saiyan Tantrum.... I was out the next turn. Good game though Thomas, I was rooting for you to come out on top after that game.
    Deck Performance: 8-2
    Dice Roll: 3-7
    Overall, I was pretty satisfied with my mid-range Broly build. I was the only Saiyan Empowered Broly to make top cut even though the field was littered with them. (Probably had something to do with the control aspects of the deck). Congrats to Alec Ruden for winning the event and Edison making top cut with his Restored Gohan!

    Saiyan Empowered Broly Mid-Range

    Events: (13)
    2x Unleashed
    2x Villainous Energy Sphere
    1x Time is a Warrior's Tool
    2x Enhanced Reflexes
    3x Saiyan Outrage
    1x Saiyan Rescue
    1x Saiyan Scouting

    Dragon Balls: (2)
    1x Namek Dragon Ball 4
    1x Namek Dragon Ball 7

    Setups: (4)
    1x Tree of Might
    1x Saiyan Menace
    2x Visiting the Past

    Energy Combat: (6)
    2x Broly's Eraser Cannon
    3x Saiyan Tantrum
    1x Saiyan Demolishing Beam

    Physical Combat (36)
    2x Saiyan Flip
    2x Saiyan Arm Catch
    1x Saiyan Evasion
    2x Saiyan Backbreaker
    2x Wall Breaker
    2x Pulverize
    2x Saiyan Gut Kick
    3x I'll Dig Your Grave!
    3x Saiyan Spin Kick
    3x Saiyan Grab
    2x Saiyan Trample
    3x Saiyan Elbow Drop
    2x Broly's Face Crusher
    3x Saiyan Severing Punch
    2x Saiyan Sword Strike
    2x Saiyan Face Strike
    (Did you skim through just to look for a list, shame on you...)
    I believe that the list above is a great starting point to ANY Saiyan Broly list, as it contains enough raw power to win many games. However, I don't want to spoil the deck list just yet, as I hope I can still SURPRISE a few players with the build in Michigan this weekend. I'll post it irregardless of what happens next week.
    Also, if you haven't had a chance, make sure you pre-register to the BIGGEST DBZ Regional this year! DBZ Top Tier and myself will be hosting the 2016 Las Vegas Regional on October 8th! You can check out the details here: http://dbztoptier.com/index.php/index.html/_/news/las-vegas-nv-regional-2016-details-r252
    Thanks for reading!
    Justin McBride