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.
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!