Justin McBride

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Justin McBride last won the day on December 22 2016

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  1. Admittedly, I had no idea who Chilled was until several months ago — assuming he was some non-canon or fan-made creation. His role as the progenitor of the “Legendary Super Saiyan” tale passed on to his descendants King Cold, Frieza, and Cooler definitely helps bring a sense of completeness to Bardock’s tale. The fact that Goku’s father becomes the first Legendary Super Saiyan after being sent back in time from Frieza’s blast is very neat, as any mythos that deals with time travel tends to be. It would’ve been very easy to shoehorn Chilled into the Named card/Frieza archetype that was reinforced with Frieza’s new level 1 and the King Cold ally in Celestial Tournament. But we wanted to make sure Chilled had his own place in the meta, and saw the opportunity to create a very unique beatdown personality as the final MP in Legends. Big life card attacks are game-ending fuel in DBZ. As power creep took hold throughout the game, 4 life cards became 5, then 6, and the number kept creeping up. When 1 attack can be dealt for more than 1/10th your Life Deck, it was considered a powerhouse card that had to be included in most builds. So why convert the life cards into stages? Isn’t that counter-intuitive? We had to build some rewards into Chilled’s MP stack to make this trade-off worthwhile. Right off the bat, you have an instant power that supports the constant with a Critical Damage effect, and a burst of 2 anger. While his POWER doesn’t necessarily support the damage conversion, it’s a solid draw/discard effect (giving you more choice than a similar discard/draw) that rejuvenates 1 as well. Chilled – Space Pirate offers more cohesive synergy with the constant effect. Not only does the constant start buffing damage by 1 stage, but Chilled now has his own Physical Attack for 5 stages (6 with the buff) built in. It has immediate anger and rejuvenation, and will automatically deliver critical damage if it hits. Chilled – On the Move ….. wait, no — Chilled – Pissed starts to turn up the heat on your opponent. The damage buff is gone, but now all of your attacks that deal 5 or more stages of damage are considered to do critical damage. As a nod to the Red Enraged Mastery (should we rename it the ‘chilled’ list?), you get 1 anger every time you use a critical damage effect. Chilled’s physical attack gets a major upgrade here, with 1 immediate anger (and 1 more upon hit if it deals all of its stages), rejuvenation of 2, and a powerful HIT effect that will banish an opponent’s Setup, Drill, or Ally from the game. You might find yourself not using the free anger from his constant in certain matchups, preferring to stay on Level 3 as long as possible to control the board. Chilled – Prophet is a critical damage machine. All of your attacks that deal a measly 2 stages of damage now enable you to use a critical damage effect. On top of that, Chilled channels Evolution‘s Hidden Power Drill and caps all Personalities at 5 above 0. Now that this effect is on a character and not a Drill, it should prove much more difficult to navigate. Chilled’s POWER helps him avoid hurting himself too much with his constant, gaining 3 stages and taking 3 away (or perhaps milling) from an opponent. Chilled’s Enraged Volley is a quality card, even just from the fact that it becomes a ‘must-block’ due to the HIT effect keeping it on the table to be used again. Combine that with its quality immediate effects – 1 anger, a Nappa’s Energized Strike-esque power stage drainer upon leveling (I hear decks like to level these days), and a floating effect that can stack with multiple uses to drain additional stages every time you use a Critical Damage effect – and you have a card that can devastate your opponent. Oh, and 2 endurance makes this card even better. Chilled’s second named card, Chilled’s Prescience, already catches your eye with 3 endurance. While it may feel like Cooler’s Rebirth, it plays differently and has flexibility all the same. The parenthetical is very unique, allowing you to surprise your opponent after an attack becomes successful with critical damage, while also replacing itself with a freshly drawn card. The event’s POWER rejuvenates a solid 3 cards, while also draining any personality in play 3 stages. Which effect of this card do you like the most? Chilled is the final MP to be revealed for Legends, which releases in just a few days on July 1st. Stay tuned to the blog and all of our partner sites/content providers for some final previews leading up to the big day. Click to read the full article...
  2. Spam is typically something that players don’t love in DBZ – whether its decks that generate action after action, cycle the same Dragon Ball multiple times a turn, or lay their entire hand full of allies, setups, and/or drills on the board during their Planning Step. One of the Ultra-Rares in Legends, Amphibious Exploration Drill, tackles the issue of the Planning Step spam. It’s no fun when your opponent drops 3 Dragon Balls on the first or second turn of the game, or when 3 Allies hit the board. This drill allows for a new kind of control deck to be built; perhaps one driven by Android 20 with his ability to tutor this card on his Level 1? To make this card worth running, the parenthetical will let you filter it out of your hand to gain stages in a pinch. While not as powerful as some other filtering effects, it still lets you ‘save it for later’ while generating a benefit. How will you use this card to drive your opponent crazy?   Click to read the full article...
  3. Drills are love-em or hate-em for most players of DBZ, but no one can doubt their power. Whether you’re an Orange Style fan and love using your Drills as much as possible, or you’re a control player just looking for an edge in Black or Namekian, there’s usually something to be excited about when it comes to new Drills. Enjoy these new Styled Drills from Legends, officially releasing July 1st! We have one more Drill to share — a freestyle Ultra Rare that’s Limit 2 per deck! This card will absolutely devastate decks that try and spam the board, so check back in Friday for the reveal.   Click to read the full article...
  4. The following breakdown of Bardock was crafted by Phil McGrath. Enjoy the long awaited debut of the Father of Goku!     It could be said that the entirety of the Dragon Ball universe is set in motion on a day many years ago, when Bardock made his best Jor-El impression and strapped an infant Kakarot into a ship that would one day take him to Earth. This is the only interaction we see between Bardock and his son. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that Goku doesn’t seem to have any parenting skills himself. But today, in honor of Father’s day, we celebrate Bardock anyway! Bardock possesses some unusual powers for a Saiyan, and his iconic personality stack in the Score era reflected this. One of our design goals was to capture both his essence as a character, as well as the nature of his original stack. Bardock level 1 kicks things off by picking through your opponent’s deck and removing particular threats, as well as providing critical deck knowledge in the beginning stages of the game. His power also grants a peek at your opponent’s hand, a nod to his original level 1. This comes at the cost of a little bit of self-destruction, however there are ways to mitigate the cost (or turn it into a positive!) for those players out there with a keen perception. Additionally, Bardock possesses a unique constant that will guarantee 1 anger per turn in tandem with his power, and escalate quickly against decks like Orange Retribution or Restored Gohan that are repeatedly searching for things. Players can get the most mileage out of this power by utilizing other effects to pick through the opponent’s deck such as Surprise Attack and Black Scout Maneuver.   Bardock masters the ability to peer into the soul of his opponent at level 2, gaining a full hand reveal at all times. His constant continues to provide a source of anger, this time triggered by mill effects. In order to reach the upper levels of Bardock’s power, recurring mill sources such as Blue Waiting Drill, Orange Energy Dan Drill, and Black Perceptive Mastery will be a huge boon. This level also contains a familiar hand filtering power that Bardock can utilize both to permanently remove the very threats that his level 1 targeted, as well as control the flow of combat. At level 3, Bardock retains his mental abilities while sharpening his deck destruction focus. Although this level can only target styled cards, repeated uses can pick apart an opponent’s strategy with terrifying speed. On top of the ability to sculpt your opponent’s deck into the opposite of a fine oiled machine, his power provides a little bit of combo potential in multiple styles. Red Ascension and Blue Resolute have obvious synergy with this effect. This ability is strong on its own, but when coupled with hand and deck knowledge, it is especially potent! Bardock finally ascends to legendary status and his personality powers reflect that. He once again retains his hand knowledge. This time, he gains a vaguely familiar constant effect that heavily amplifies your opponents deck weaknesses. With full knowledge and persistent hand advantage (both in quality and quantity) he is a force to be reckoned with. His power also provides a moderate flow of stages and a decent sized mill effect with some additional utility. It’s not hard to imagine situations where Bardock could mill his own styled setups into play in a pinch! The ability to see beyond time surely presents some unusual choices, and this premonition will force both players to make difficult decisions based on what outcome they want! The card is an immediate +1 to hand advantage in Bardock’s favor, as well as a combo tool with certain Black effects. Bardock’s Spirit Javelin searches for, and destroys, a card from your opponent’s deck. This triggers his constant effects on both level 1 and 2. It also provides a lot of unusual utility. The effect will be unwieldy, and it is easy to imagine scenarios where it will not be especially strong, but against combat oriented decks it gives Bardock access to your opponent’s full arsenal of immediate effects. Critical effects, tech, and anger will be at Bardock’s disposal, if only for a moment in time. Stay tuned for further spoilers from all corners of the community, including a third MP reveal on the way! -Phil McGrath- Click to read the full article...
  5. Kami has had a rough go. In the original Score DBZ CCG, he never appeared as a personality card until the Retro days. “Kami Fades” and “Kami as Your Ally” were cute cards in the Frieza Saga, but such an important character deserved his own MP stack. Even in Panini’s version, he was only granted an Ally card (albeit a very powerful and popular one). Kami’s role throughout Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z is to be the guardian of Earth, and the creator of the Earth Dragon Balls. When Kami (or Piccolo) dies, they cease to function. With the Earth Dragon Balls being under-powered and under-represented in Panini DBZ, we wanted to craft a powerful character to take advantage of the large buff and ball-bouncing that the mastery provides. Kami – Earth’s Guardian starts off with a Constant effect that feels just like Namekian Knowledge Mastery’s mill effect. With the extensive ball-bouncing cards available to EDB’s, this ability alone can swing games. He even brings one to the table in the form of his printed, free energy attack, that allows you to search out incredible Styled Drills as an immediate effect. Black Smoothness Drill, Namekian Hospitality Drill, or Namekian Heritage Drill would all make great choices (just to name a few). Pepper in solid damage, along with anger & rejuvenation on HIT, and you have a very solid level 1. Kami – Prepared wastes no time in reminding you that you get to keep your drills when you advance to, or lower from, Level 2. His energy attack ramps up the damage, while adding targeted rejuv & an automatic Ball capture. You can even pile on with another drill tutor if it HITs and you have 3 or more EDB’s. You can use this to grab a drill that you just rejuvenated! Kami – Fighting Spirit lets you ball-bounce AND recover a banished EDB as soon as you advance to Level 3. His constant is one of the most powerful modifiers in the game, and rewards you for controlling 3 or more EDB’s with a massive -3 stage debuff on all of your opponent’s attacks, and a +3 life card buff to your own energies. That means with Namekian Radiant Mastery, you can be delivering an insane +5 life cards of damage to your attacks! His POWER also helps with the ball bounce/ball recovery game, not to mention grabbing important drills you may have lost to endurance or banishment. Yes, we see the typos on this card and they will be fixed before release! Kami – Overseer wants to end the game. When you reach Level 4, you get a free EDB capture or you can recover a banished EDB directly into play! Even though Kami loses his Constant abilities on Level 4, he packs a monster Energy Attack for 6 life cards that should easily meet its requirements to grab a Styled Drill & being unstoppable. That means if you are running Namekian Radiant Mastery and grab Namekian Heritage Drill, this will be an unstoppable Energy Attack for 12 life cards! No personality would be complete without their named cards, and Kami’s are some of the best. Kami’s Focused Beams is another named card that begs to be used with Defiant Challenge. An immediate effect that tutors a Styled Drill, along with the potential for insane damage output with double modifiers — oh, and a crazy HIT effect! Being able to give your opponent a Dragon Ball (for you to capture back) is the obvious use — but what other sneaky things can be done with this card? Want to make your opponent feel the mill pain, on top of your Level 1 power? Kami’s Guardian Drill will ruin their day. Tutorable with almost all of Kami’s levels & Focused Beams, this card will deliver massive amounts of mill damage every single turn while it’s in play along with some EDB’s. Targeted rejuv of up to 2 cards and endurance are just icing on the cake for what should be a very powerful card in the Legends meta. Thanks for reading our first Legends preview, and look for the set to be available on July 1st! Click to read the full article...
  6. This guy gets it
  7. You-tuber The Crime Lord recently posted a video bout the deck, you can check it out here:
  8. “Have you tried Villain Vegeta?” While this statement from the old Panini Blog has become a tongue-in-cheek meme, it was only slightly away from the truth. With an amazing, anger-gaining named card in Vegeta’s Final Flash, Villain Vegeta was looking mighty interesting. His anger-centric powers lend themselves nicely to a monster attack, plus an aggressive personality loves ways out of combat once the damage is done. However, Vegeta’s original Level 1 from Premiere really doesn’t hold up these days. While it IS easier to achieve HIT status than ever before, Vegeta offers no card advantage, no active ability on his villain Level 1, and low power levels/power-up rating. In Legends, we get a glimpse at the powerful Prince of Saiyans as a child, long before he becomes Goku’s greatest rival. Note: This card should be considered still in ‘alpha’ status, as playtesting for Legends is still in full swing. Our intent is to keep the final product as close to the following as possible, but changes may occur. Vegeta, The Crown Prince addresses almost ever concern with the classic Villain Vegeta Level 1. His power level is still on the low-side, reflecting his abilities before the start of Dragon Ball Z. However, he won’t stay down for long, as his new constant ability adds extra anger to every card you play that doesn’t include ‘anger’ in the text box. Keep in mind this includes things that LOWER your opponent’s anger, so choose wisely! If that wasn’t enough, Vegeta finally has a strong ability to lead off the game with — a Physical Attack for 4 stages is equivalent to the power of Broly, and like Broly he also raises his anger by 1 as an immediate effect. The HIT effect is also solid, and will give your opponent pause and perhaps even force a block in a situation where they would normally let a 4 stage attack hit. Oh, and peep that PUR of 3! When Legends drops on July 1st, Vegeta won’t be the only Saiyan getting a legacy level update — but he may be the most exciting! So, are you excited to try Villain Vegeta? Click to read the full article...
  9. Hello there! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Justin McBride and I have been playing cards games for the past 20 years both casually and competitively starting with the Star Wars CCG printed by Decipher and most recently Star Wars: Destiny. One of my favorite decks from the old Decipher game was based on the Bring Him Before Me archetype. For those of you that don't know, it was basically a deck type built around the climatic end of the original trilogy, where you pitted Darth Vader against his son, Luke Skywalker in an all-out duel of fates for the entire galaxy. Overseeing this momentous occasion was the evil manipulator himself, Emperor Palpatine! The flavor that was oozing from those games was incredible, and it was an amazing feeling whenever you got to turn young Skywalker towards the dark side (though like the movies, it didn't always go as the Emperor foreseen.) When Spirit of Rebellion was spoiled, one of the first cards many people got excited about was Palpatine, Galactic Emperor. The idea of him zapping away at all of your opponent's characters looked incredibly hard to resist. However, I initially didn't think he was that competitive. Sure, you get to do damage with whatever you roll out, but dice control would instantly ruin your parade. I never thought I would play him in an actual competitive environment, let alone a store championship in Las Vegas (I currently live in the Chicago Metropolitan area)! Let's see how we got here... The Meta The Spirit of Rebellion meta is FAST! Decks are now able to achieve actions much more quickly compared to the Awakenings meta. Action cheating is rampant. Big, splashy damage is prevalent. The current environment currently favors incredibly different decks - One being incredibly quick trying to avoid traditional removal, while the other extreme being entirely too slow but almost invincible. With cards such as Planetary Uprising and Maz Kanata, ePoe/eMaz is an incredibly fast deck that is SUPER consistent at dealing a ton of damage very quickly and for many players, this deck archetype is probably their favorite going into the store championship season. Another interesting development in the meta - Vibroknife. Decks built around the card can take advantage of it's anti-shield ability which means shields are slowly dispersing from the meta. Locals For many players, local tournaments really are the gateway to competitive tournament play. I always like to think of it more as a unique place to try new ideas whether it's to test new inclusions for some of the more standard competitive decks, or it's to bust out new, experimental brews. For the most part, I try and bring a new deck with me every week. For the Spirit of Rebellion release week, I went with a rather unique version of eVader/Raider (I'll spare you the details, it was semi-good but KINDA risky.) However, two of my locals showed up with the shiny new Emperor. After winning my first game, I got to finally play against the Galactic Overlord in round 2... I lost. I wasn't accustomed to how quick Palpatine truly was. The second game against Palpatine fared a lot better since I gained a grasp on how to actually play against the deck type, rather I got accustomed to how many people would consider playing Palpatine. After I was done with the tournament, I had a sinking feeling that Palpatine was incredibly overbearing when you don't understand the match up very well, but that he is an easy victory for players that are prepared for the deck or understand it's weaknesses. That was my initial thoughts from the first week actually playing with him. In a few weeks, that would change, but let's not ruin this story just yet... Playtesting So a couple months ago, I planned a trip to visit my twin brother Jarrett in sunny, fabulous Las Vegas. (Seriously, if you've never visited you really, really should.) My brother called me up one day, and told me that when I was scheduled to be out there, a store called Maximum Comics was going to host a store championship. I was pretty excited. For the past few weeks, I had been building an incredible amount of decks to play test on Tabletop Simulator, as well as different decks for the local tournaments. The week before I was scheduled to go out there, I was dead set on running my variant for eVader/Raider I was working on. (The deck is 13-2 in tournament play as of this writing after playing three different locals.) It deals consistent damage, and it does great against mill archetypes. Well, after I flew out to Vegas, my brother and I devoted the entire first night I got out here to play testing (what can I say, I was excited for the SC, plus enjoying TCG's with my brother has been a thing for the past 20 years.) We started brewing, and it was then that my brother explained his local meta: For the most part, most of the competitive locals were on eMaz/ePoe, one was on eJabba/Dooku, a few enjoyed FN-2199/New Vader, a couple Crime Lord decks, Red Heroes, some Phasma variants, Jango builds and finally a heavy splash of Rey. A pretty diverse meta, however - based on the power level of Maz/Poe, I knew it would probably be the most played deck by a far margin (especially with Tiny Grimes posting his list a few nights prior, as well as some of the early SCs being claimed by the deck with top 4 places all over.) Oh, and did I mention the deck is all over the place on TTS??? After play testing various decks, I couldn't for the life of me figure out a deck built CONSISTENTLY to overtake Poe with his little orange friend (I found decks that did fine, but nothing that had an incredible overwhelming advantage). Finally admitting defeat, I settled on just simply running a Poe/Maz variant myself, but as I started to sleeve one up, I decided to take a look again into building a deck with Palpatine just because I thought he would be a fun deck to play that I haven't played before, but mainly because of another thought I had: Poe/Maz has many cards designed to deal damage spread out among many different characters (Thermal Detonators, U-Wings) and just does huge splash damage. What if I could play a deck designed to make some of those cards a tad bit worse? What if I could take advantage of the lack of shields in the meta? Most builds of Palpatine are designed to be slow, control-ish. What if I built him to be as quick as possible, but able to control the pace of the game on his own terms? A mid-range deck if you will. Well, here is what I came up with... Vegas Store Championship Palpatine Battleground: Otoh Gunga Upgrades: (13) 2x Sith Holocron 2x Force Speed 2x Force Illusion 2x Lure of Power 2x Force Throw 1x Force Push 2x Force Lighning Events: (17) 2x Enraged 2x Rejuvenate 2x Doubt 2x Isolation 2x Feel Your Anger 1x Overconfidence 1x High Ground 1x All In 2x No Mercy 2x Rise Again The Upgrades Let's start with the upgrades. Sith Holocron is a pretty powerful ability. This deck has nine targets for it, but overall it isn't a card you just jam down as soon as you draw it. Palpatine has to play smart (This goes for any of the upgrades included in this deck.) Really, for the most part, I just activate Palpatine right at the start of a turn. Why? We'll get into that later. Force Speed, while not entirely necessary, is a great inclusion for helping you resolve different dice types or by creating a small window to re-roll. Force Illusion is a great card for mitigating non-vibroknife-in-the-pool damage. Great against Poe specials, vehicle damage and planets uprising. Lure of Power is a great inclusion for this type of deck, mainly because we want to resolve our dice as fast as possible, regardless of what you rolled out. That's right, we don't really care what we roll out because we are trying to resolve Palpatine's dice ASAP. This allows you to get consistent damage out while furthering your own game plan. (See, I told you there would be some strategy.) Having a modified dice that can match any type allows the deck to push through the turns quicker. Force Throw is still one of the best upgrades in the game (which is why there are two.) Force Push allows the deck to gain a little more aggression while occasionally offering some mitigation or discard sides. Force Lightning is just an big, dumb upgrade that happens to be fetchable with Rise Again or able to be cheated into play by Holocron. When it comes to playing upgrades, remember this: Get Palpatine's dice out as quickly as possible. Even if you have a free, or affordable upgrade, get him activated. You can play upgrades later through the turn at your own pace, just remember to claim whenever you feel it's possible. ALWAYS value removal in hand over playing an upgrade. Removal whether it's turn one of turn 5 helps keep Palpatine around much longer. The Events With a game like Destiny, cards that your opponent doesn't know about can greatly affect the course of any given game. Let's start with our two most powerful, which happen to be the most expensive events in this deck: Rise Again and No Mercy. These cards do kinda the same thing, but do them drastically different. No Mercy shortens the game dramatically. If you happen to roll out a damage side, you can deal 7-9 damage in a single shot! Doing this puts your opponent on a very quick clock that many decks may not be able to deal with. On the other end, Rise Again is a card that you have to plan ahead on seeing many games as it buys you more time to finish the game. If you've taken a bit of an early beating, you need to try and conserve as many resources as you can to anticipate playing Rise Again. Both of them are very powerful, and as the game moves forward, you should be looking for these cards and plan on playing them when it comes time. Our removal is varied, and since we are stuck in mono-blue is somewhat conditional. Doubt is an all-star, it costs 0, and if you play it against the correct kinds of dice (Look for heavy modified sides, or inconsequential sides) it can be a game changer. Feel Your Anger punishes any type of roll that includes blanks. Just remember not to get too greedy with it, if you can take even just one dice out if could be the correct play. Isolation is a solid inclusion just because it hits a deck's more valuable dice, your opponent's characters. Overconfidence is a very solid card, but can create a few random situations. (I actually didn't run it in the tournament, I actually went with two High Ground but I would change it to two copies of this over High Ground.) High Ground is decent enough, just too narrow for my tastes. One of these could easily had been a deflect. Enrage is a fantastic card that accelerates your resources. A common play i made with it was simply play it, not use my resources for the turn, the next turn play a Rise Again. Perhaps you foresee a need to play a 3 cost upgrade, or maybe you just need one resource to bluff a removal card. This card has you covered. Rejuvenate is a great card in Palpatine, effectively making him go from 15 health to 16 or 17. When combined with our battlefield, this gives Palpatine longevity in the match that he may desperately need. Finally, I included one copy of All In. This card allows you to quickly resolve multiple different sides in a pinch when you need it the most. It also allows you the opportunity to set up a quick claim. Definitely an underrated card. Muliganing This will ultimately depend on match up greatly. Keep up to 2 removal cards you draw, and try to look for an early No Mercy. Holocron/Force Speed isn't necessary right off the bat, but it doesn't hurt keeping them. Just remember to play them after you activate because it's important to just put Palpatine's dice right out there. The reason? If they are spending resources early game, they are not setting up. Any three cost is a fine keep as long as you draw an Enrage to go wth it. If no Enrage present, keeping a three drop to later pitch during re-rolls, discard step is acceptable to setup a powerful Rise Again. Send back any Force Illusions, Rise Again and/ or Rejuvenates you draw unless you are playing a super aggressive deck. Just don't keep all of them. A first turn Lure of Power is a fine play as well, just don't value it over removal. The Dice Just remember, with this deck (short of blanks) you really should try and resolve your dice as quickly as possible. Obviously resolve damage sides ASAP. Shields and Resources are also fantastic most of the time, so don't be afraid to resolve those as well. (Shields are the best against Poe/Maz.) The discard side can be useful as well. Remember, all of Palpatine's dice deal damage, the faster you resolve them the faster you accelerate your game. The Tournament I'll spare most of the details (mainly since I can't remember much and I can't take notes.) We had 15 players, one shy of a top cut to 4. But I played against two eMaze/Poe, 1 FN-2199/New Vader, 1 Kylo/New Vader. Throughout the course of the game, opponents would remove a Palpatine dice here and there, occasionally I would roll double blanks and a savvy opponent would Feel Your Anger away both of my Palpatine dice. Sometimes I would lose the battlefield, then subsequently my opponent would play a powerful Defensive Position. I was even shown the power of a Best Defense a few times. All of my games were incredibly fast, with the longest lasting 14 minutes with the shortest only lasting nine. Throughout the course of the day, Palpatine was victorious claiming character after character. Throughout the day, I won only 2 battlefield rolls (2 more than I actually expected.) The final game was a bout of epic proportions up against my twin brother's eMaz,ePoe deck. McBride vs. McBride. Brothers pitted against each other- one representing the lightness and the other eternal darkness. The winner getting all the spoils (and a regional bye) - the other getting mostly the same prizes, but no trophy or a regional bye. After a well fought match, unfortunately for Jarrett the dark side of the force prevailed that day. Young Skywalker is now one of us. Notable Exclusions/Mentions Premonitions - This card just feels too gimmicky for my taste. It is powerful, however I wanted to run Force Illusion in my build because of Poe. Therefore it runs the risk of milling the potential targets. Now You Will Die - Meh. This card is okay since it essentially turns non-damage sides into more potential damage. If Hunker Down was still prevalent, I would say run it to knock those bad boys off. Dark Presence - It cost 0 and is repeatable removal. However, we don't have that many discard sides and we generally want to activate first. Good card for a heavy discard themed Palpatine, just not this build. New Orders - I feel like I want to include a singleton of these in the build because it generates a claim ability whenever you can afford to pay for it. It also helps against decks you lose the battlefield roll to make sure Palpatine lasts longer because of Naboo. Defect - I like Deflect, I really do. It just does nothing against Specials or Melee damage. Some people still swear by it, and I can see myself adding back in one of them. Final Thoughts This early meta is still wide open. However, at the start of any rising meta, aggressive decks tend to be the most powerful until a true control deck can emerge. This early, many deck lists are still being refined and something that takes down one Store Championship can easily lose another. I actually enjoyed this variant of Palpatine very, very much but I do see weaknesses in this current build, that are exploitable. Do I think this is the best deck in the meta? No, that's still Maz/Poe. However, I feel this variant is highly favored in that match up (and I don't say that lightly.) I have still yet to lose that match up out of 19 games that I have played with the deck specifically against it, so there's got to be something there right?? I hope you enjoy the list, it's incredibly fast and consistent with the right player behind it. I challenge you to keep finding new decks out there. Try new cards and keep rolling those dice! I'll see you out there on the battlefield! Justin View full content
  10. Hello there! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Justin McBride and I have been playing cards games for the past 20 years both casually and competitively starting with the Star Wars CCG printed by Decipher and most recently Star Wars: Destiny. One of my favorite decks from the old Decipher game was based on the Bring Him Before Me archetype. For those of you that don't know, it was basically a deck type built around the climatic end of the original trilogy, where you pitted Darth Vader against his son, Luke Skywalker in an all-out duel of fates for the entire galaxy. Overseeing this momentous occasion was the evil manipulator himself, Emperor Palpatine! The flavor that was oozing from those games was incredible, and it was an amazing feeling whenever you got to turn young Skywalker towards the dark side (though like the movies, it didn't always go as the Emperor foreseen.) When Spirit of Rebellion was spoiled, one of the first cards many people got excited about was Palpatine, Galactic Emperor. The idea of him zapping away at all of your opponent's characters looked incredibly hard to resist. However, I initially didn't think he was that competitive. Sure, you get to do damage with whatever you roll out, but dice control would instantly ruin your parade. I never thought I would play him in an actual competitive environment, let alone a store championship in Las Vegas (I currently live in the Chicago Metropolitan area)! Let's see how we got here... The Meta The Spirit of Rebellion meta is FAST! Decks are now able to achieve actions much more quickly compared to the Awakenings meta. Action cheating is rampant. Big, splashy damage is prevalent. The current environment currently favors incredibly different decks - One being incredibly quick trying to avoid traditional removal, while the other extreme being entirely too slow but almost invincible. With cards such as Planetary Uprising and Maz Kanata, ePoe/eMaz is an incredibly fast deck that is SUPER consistent at dealing a ton of damage very quickly and for many players, this deck archetype is probably their favorite going into the store championship season. Another interesting development in the meta - Vibroknife. Decks built around the card can take advantage of it's anti-shield ability which means shields are slowly dispersing from the meta. Locals For many players, local tournaments really are the gateway to competitive tournament play. I always like to think of it more as a unique place to try new ideas whether it's to test new inclusions for some of the more standard competitive decks, or it's to bust out new, experimental brews. For the most part, I try and bring a new deck with me every week. For the Spirit of Rebellion release week, I went with a rather unique version of eVader/Raider (I'll spare you the details, it was semi-good but KINDA risky.) However, two of my locals showed up with the shiny new Emperor. After winning my first game, I got to finally play against the Galactic Overlord in round 2... I lost. I wasn't accustomed to how quick Palpatine truly was. The second game against Palpatine fared a lot better since I gained a grasp on how to actually play against the deck type, rather I got accustomed to how many people would consider playing Palpatine. After I was done with the tournament, I had a sinking feeling that Palpatine was incredibly overbearing when you don't understand the match up very well, but that he is an easy victory for players that are prepared for the deck or understand it's weaknesses. That was my initial thoughts from the first week actually playing with him. In a few weeks, that would change, but let's not ruin this story just yet... Playtesting So a couple months ago, I planned a trip to visit my twin brother Jarrett in sunny, fabulous Las Vegas. (Seriously, if you've never visited you really, really should.) My brother called me up one day, and told me that when I was scheduled to be out there, a store called Maximum Comics was going to host a store championship. I was pretty excited. For the past few weeks, I had been building an incredible amount of decks to play test on Tabletop Simulator, as well as different decks for the local tournaments. The week before I was scheduled to go out there, I was dead set on running my variant for eVader/Raider I was working on. (The deck is 13-2 in tournament play as of this writing after playing three different locals.) It deals consistent damage, and it does great against mill archetypes. Well, after I flew out to Vegas, my brother and I devoted the entire first night I got out here to play testing (what can I say, I was excited for the SC, plus enjoying TCG's with my brother has been a thing for the past 20 years.) We started brewing, and it was then that my brother explained his local meta: For the most part, most of the competitive locals were on eMaz/ePoe, one was on eJabba/Dooku, a few enjoyed FN-2199/New Vader, a couple Crime Lord decks, Red Heroes, some Phasma variants, Jango builds and finally a heavy splash of Rey. A pretty diverse meta, however - based on the power level of Maz/Poe, I knew it would probably be the most played deck by a far margin (especially with Tiny Grimes posting his list a few nights prior, as well as some of the early SCs being claimed by the deck with top 4 places all over.) Oh, and did I mention the deck is all over the place on TTS??? After play testing various decks, I couldn't for the life of me figure out a deck built CONSISTENTLY to overtake Poe with his little orange friend (I found decks that did fine, but nothing that had an incredible overwhelming advantage). Finally admitting defeat, I settled on just simply running a Poe/Maz variant myself, but as I started to sleeve one up, I decided to take a look again into building a deck with Palpatine just because I thought he would be a fun deck to play that I haven't played before, but mainly because of another thought I had: Poe/Maz has many cards designed to deal damage spread out among many different characters (Thermal Detonators, U-Wings) and just does huge splash damage. What if I could play a deck designed to make some of those cards a tad bit worse? What if I could take advantage of the lack of shields in the meta? Most builds of Palpatine are designed to be slow, control-ish. What if I built him to be as quick as possible, but able to control the pace of the game on his own terms? A mid-range deck if you will. Well, here is what I came up with... Vegas Store Championship Palpatine Battleground: Otoh Gunga Upgrades: (13) 2x Sith Holocron 2x Force Speed 2x Force Illusion 2x Lure of Power 2x Force Throw 1x Force Push 2x Force Lighning Events: (17) 2x Enraged 2x Rejuvenate 2x Doubt 2x Isolation 2x Feel Your Anger 1x Overconfidence 1x High Ground 1x All In 2x No Mercy 2x Rise Again The Upgrades Let's start with the upgrades. Sith Holocron is a pretty powerful ability. This deck has nine targets for it, but overall it isn't a card you just jam down as soon as you draw it. Palpatine has to play smart (This goes for any of the upgrades included in this deck.) Really, for the most part, I just activate Palpatine right at the start of a turn. Why? We'll get into that later. Force Speed, while not entirely necessary, is a great inclusion for helping you resolve different dice types or by creating a small window to re-roll. Force Illusion is a great card for mitigating non-vibroknife-in-the-pool damage. Great against Poe specials, vehicle damage and planets uprising. Lure of Power is a great inclusion for this type of deck, mainly because we want to resolve our dice as fast as possible, regardless of what you rolled out. That's right, we don't really care what we roll out because we are trying to resolve Palpatine's dice ASAP. This allows you to get consistent damage out while furthering your own game plan. (See, I told you there would be some strategy.) Having a modified dice that can match any type allows the deck to push through the turns quicker. Force Throw is still one of the best upgrades in the game (which is why there are two.) Force Push allows the deck to gain a little more aggression while occasionally offering some mitigation or discard sides. Force Lightning is just an big, dumb upgrade that happens to be fetchable with Rise Again or able to be cheated into play by Holocron. When it comes to playing upgrades, remember this: Get Palpatine's dice out as quickly as possible. Even if you have a free, or affordable upgrade, get him activated. You can play upgrades later through the turn at your own pace, just remember to claim whenever you feel it's possible. ALWAYS value removal in hand over playing an upgrade. Removal whether it's turn one of turn 5 helps keep Palpatine around much longer. The Events With a game like Destiny, cards that your opponent doesn't know about can greatly affect the course of any given game. Let's start with our two most powerful, which happen to be the most expensive events in this deck: Rise Again and No Mercy. These cards do kinda the same thing, but do them drastically different. No Mercy shortens the game dramatically. If you happen to roll out a damage side, you can deal 7-9 damage in a single shot! Doing this puts your opponent on a very quick clock that many decks may not be able to deal with. On the other end, Rise Again is a card that you have to plan ahead on seeing many games as it buys you more time to finish the game. If you've taken a bit of an early beating, you need to try and conserve as many resources as you can to anticipate playing Rise Again. Both of them are very powerful, and as the game moves forward, you should be looking for these cards and plan on playing them when it comes time. Our removal is varied, and since we are stuck in mono-blue is somewhat conditional. Doubt is an all-star, it costs 0, and if you play it against the correct kinds of dice (Look for heavy modified sides, or inconsequential sides) it can be a game changer. Feel Your Anger punishes any type of roll that includes blanks. Just remember not to get too greedy with it, if you can take even just one dice out if could be the correct play. Isolation is a solid inclusion just because it hits a deck's more valuable dice, your opponent's characters. Overconfidence is a very solid card, but can create a few random situations. (I actually didn't run it in the tournament, I actually went with two High Ground but I would change it to two copies of this over High Ground.) High Ground is decent enough, just too narrow for my tastes. One of these could easily had been a deflect. Enrage is a fantastic card that accelerates your resources. A common play i made with it was simply play it, not use my resources for the turn, the next turn play a Rise Again. Perhaps you foresee a need to play a 3 cost upgrade, or maybe you just need one resource to bluff a removal card. This card has you covered. Rejuvenate is a great card in Palpatine, effectively making him go from 15 health to 16 or 17. When combined with our battlefield, this gives Palpatine longevity in the match that he may desperately need. Finally, I included one copy of All In. This card allows you to quickly resolve multiple different sides in a pinch when you need it the most. It also allows you the opportunity to set up a quick claim. Definitely an underrated card. Muliganing This will ultimately depend on match up greatly. Keep up to 2 removal cards you draw, and try to look for an early No Mercy. Holocron/Force Speed isn't necessary right off the bat, but it doesn't hurt keeping them. Just remember to play them after you activate because it's important to just put Palpatine's dice right out there. The reason? If they are spending resources early game, they are not setting up. Any three cost is a fine keep as long as you draw an Enrage to go wth it. If no Enrage present, keeping a three drop to later pitch during re-rolls, discard step is acceptable to setup a powerful Rise Again. Send back any Force Illusions, Rise Again and/ or Rejuvenates you draw unless you are playing a super aggressive deck. Just don't keep all of them. A first turn Lure of Power is a fine play as well, just don't value it over removal. The Dice Just remember, with this deck (short of blanks) you really should try and resolve your dice as quickly as possible. Obviously resolve damage sides ASAP. Shields and Resources are also fantastic most of the time, so don't be afraid to resolve those as well. (Shields are the best against Poe/Maz.) The discard side can be useful as well. Remember, all of Palpatine's dice deal damage, the faster you resolve them the faster you accelerate your game. The Tournament I'll spare most of the details (mainly since I can't remember much and I can't take notes.) We had 15 players, one shy of a top cut to 4. But I played against two eMaze/Poe, 1 FN-2199/New Vader, 1 Kylo/New Vader. Throughout the course of the game, opponents would remove a Palpatine dice here and there, occasionally I would roll double blanks and a savvy opponent would Feel Your Anger away both of my Palpatine dice. Sometimes I would lose the battlefield, then subsequently my opponent would play a powerful Defensive Position. I was even shown the power of a Best Defense a few times. All of my games were incredibly fast, with the longest lasting 14 minutes with the shortest only lasting nine. Throughout the course of the day, Palpatine was victorious claiming character after character. Throughout the day, I won only 2 battlefield rolls (2 more than I actually expected.) The final game was a bout of epic proportions up against my twin brother's eMaz,ePoe deck. McBride vs. McBride. Brothers pitted against each other- one representing the lightness and the other eternal darkness. The winner getting all the spoils (and a regional bye) - the other getting mostly the same prizes, but no trophy or a regional bye. After a well fought match, unfortunately for Jarrett the dark side of the force prevailed that day. Young Skywalker is now one of us. Notable Exclusions/Mentions Premonitions - This card just feels too gimmicky for my taste. It is powerful, however I wanted to run Force Illusion in my build because of Poe. Therefore it runs the risk of milling the potential targets. Now You Will Die - Meh. This card is okay since it essentially turns non-damage sides into more potential damage. If Hunker Down was still prevalent, I would say run it to knock those bad boys off. Dark Presence - It cost 0 and is repeatable removal. However, we don't have that many discard sides and we generally want to activate first. Good card for a heavy discard themed Palpatine, just not this build. New Orders - I feel like I want to include a singleton of these in the build because it generates a claim ability whenever you can afford to pay for it. It also helps against decks you lose the battlefield roll to make sure Palpatine lasts longer because of Naboo. Defect - I like Deflect, I really do. It just does nothing against Specials or Melee damage. Some people still swear by it, and I can see myself adding back in one of them. Final Thoughts This early meta is still wide open. However, at the start of any rising meta, aggressive decks tend to be the most powerful until a true control deck can emerge. This early, many deck lists are still being refined and something that takes down one Store Championship can easily lose another. I actually enjoyed this variant of Palpatine very, very much but I do see weaknesses in this current build, that are exploitable. Do I think this is the best deck in the meta? No, that's still Maz/Poe. However, I feel this variant is highly favored in that match up (and I don't say that lightly.) I have still yet to lose that match up out of 19 games that I have played with the deck specifically against it, so there's got to be something there right?? I hope you enjoy the list, it's incredibly fast and consistent with the right player behind it. I challenge you to keep finding new decks out there. Try new cards and keep rolling those dice! I'll see you out there on the battlefield! Justin
  11. Greetings, FanZ faithful! It’s been over a month since our last update — things have been busy out there in the real world. Thankfully, there is a ton of great content being posted from the fans, notably Random Number Gaming and FanZ Warriors Gather. Be sure to check them out on a regular basis to get your content fix! This blog will see a lot of activity around new set releases, mostly in the forms of previews (we are only a few weeks out from Legends previews). You’ll also get event dates, top decklists from completed events, and teasers of the Kai event winners’ custom cards that will be released in future sets. Don’t forget the CRD & Frozen List will be updated after the completion of the West Kai event, so that the final 3 Kai events of the season have a fresh feel & meta. (In addition, Set 9, Legends, will impact the last few Kai events!) East Kai’s Time to Shine Our second official Kai event – East Kai – is fast approaching! It will be held in Glassboro NJ at The Comic Book Store on Saturday, May 27. Click this link for the official event page. Expect a solid turnout with some of the big playgroups in the Northeast making the trip. I’ve even heard some rumors that a new MP from Legends may be on display! Check out a photo of the trophy: Legends say the trophy is filled with the tears of the Dennis Brothers. Only the champion will know for sure. Kai Event Schedule We have the official dates of the remaining Kai events, with the exception of Grand Kai (Gencon). Once the exact event date for that tournament is finalized, we will post it! East Kai – Black – Saturday May 27, The Comic Book Store Glassboro NJ West Kai – Red – June 17, Forgotten Path Games Vacaville CA South Kai – Orange – July 15, Showcase Comics & Collectibles Slidell LA Supreme Kai – Saiyan – July 29, Paradox Comics-N-Cards Fargo ND Grand Kai – Namekian – Gencon 2017 (exact day TBD) Indianapolis IN Australia events are still in the works – once we have concrete info, it will be shared. Click to read the full article...
  12. Saiyan Rampaging Trunks is a fantastic deck. Saiyan is fine and amazing at what it does.
  13. Someone also go one of these:
  14. In all actuality, if the game would have had more traits from GT, most of the cards that were printed would be completely different.
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuDRufr5YvA