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Eugh... So, I'm not going to lie, this is probably my first original Black Deck. I don't play Black, and I never really have (well, okay, that's a line. I did try out Black back in ScoreZ, but the face of Black has changed a lot). So, when going into this, keep in mind that my only experience with the style has been netdecking things to test against. That said, after the recent discussion of who our favorite MPs were, I kind of reminded myself of how amazing Pikkon could be for near-enough shutting down the opponent's Events. And never being one to turn up my nose at a good disruption strategy, I decided I'd find a way to leverage that so as to minimize my opponent's plays. And so Black Perceptive came to mind. Black Perceptive Pikkon Not going to write out Pikkon's levels, since he only has the one stack. Drills None Allies None Setup Black Power-Up x 3* Dragon Balls Earth Dragon Ball 7* Events Black Adaptation x 2** Black Invitation x 3 Black Reflection x 2 Black Scout Maneuver x 3** Pikkon's Hyper Tornado x 3 Time is a Warrior's Tool I will say here that after putting together this Event Line-Up, I definitely think that a Black Bardock deck should have a lot more oomph than I've seen. Just opening with his ability to screen the opponent's deck, then dropping Scout Maneuver to pull out any pesty attacks while you hit Time... That must feel satisfying. Add on a Black Reflection a bit later on into the match and pick out that big attack you swiped from them, and just... I need to make Black Bardock. Yummy. Physical Combat(s) Black Choke x 3*** Black Defensive Burst x 3 Black Dismissal x 3 Black Hug Maneuver x 3 Black Judgement Rush x 3 Black Punt x 2 (-) Black Vehicle Toss x 3 Heroic Dashing Punch x 2 Heroic Jab x 2 Black Energized Guard x 3 Black Knee Catch x 3 Energy Combat(s) Black Constant Barrage x 3 (-) Black Teamwork x 3*** Pikkon's Thunder Flash x 3 Torturous Volley x 3 * Combat Enders. While some people loathe them, my recent experience in this game has been that they are sorely undervalued by aggro decks, and while this is by no means an aggro deck, the point remains here all the same. Black Power-Up is a really fun card to put onto the field, especially as you watch your opponent try to come up with ways to push through it in a single action. The Dragon Ball is the same, and one I've personally taken to including in most decks. An instant-combat ender that you can drop for nothing and don't have to waste set-up on? Hell yeah. I will not be caught in your dis-favorable combat this turn. ** Black Adaptation and Scout Maneuver were weird ones for me, since my inclusion of them kind of ended up shaping how I built the deck. I really like the idea of catching an opponent's big energy combat early on, and then removing the threat entirely. By the same token, Scout Maneuver serves pretty much the same purpose. If I'm going in against a Vegeta deck, I can easily use one to get at his Galick Gun and the other to smack down on his Final Flash pre-emptively, eliminating a LOT of the threat from his Energy Beats. I imagine this is all stuff people already know, but hey. I'm learning Black. *** Black Choke was one card I could not pass up for it's synergy with Black Perceptive Mastery. Having my Mastery, on it's own, mill 3 cards unconditionally just seems like an amazing synergy to me. Add on things like Black Teamwork, Black Invitation, and etc. and you can hit some really big mill numbers. I think I'm finally understanding what the big deal about Black Mill Cell was back in the day, although I do still feel like it was a weaker variant than Namekian Cell. Also, can we address how amazing Teamwork is in this Endurance-heavy meta? God damn that's a good card. (-) These are cards I have minimal interest in. Punt is here for straight life-card damage, but I don't think I especially need it to enable any comboes. Likewise, Black Constant Barrage definitely has some synergy with the deck, but I don't know how this deck goes about grabbing Critical Effects, so I can't say I'm particularly attached at this moment. And this was my first proper Black deck, behind the wheel of Pikkon (who is probably not the best match, admittedly). I thought I'd try something a bit weird with it honestly, and while I'm pretty sure there are big holes here, I feel confident about this deck as a starting point on figuring out how to build better Black Decks. Probably going to actually try my own spin at Black Bardock now. Scout Maneuver is just too good to use in synergy with him...
So, with the recent inclusion of traits and the constant allusions to Blue Frieza in the build-up to set 10, I thought I'd go back to the Galactic Emperor and have a try at crafting him a deck for the modern format. ... except I have no idea what style to play him in, or even what style really benefits him the most. My thoughts mostly went back and forth between Blue Tag and Orange Ret/Combat. My thoughts with the former was mostly imitative of an old deck a friend used to play, going for King Cold ASAP and using HFIL/Golden Frieza to drop a Cooler/Chilled turn 1 (or really whatever other ally you want to tech in) so that our opponent cannot level you out of Golden. His variant played very defensively, and did an excellent job of rejuv'ing Frieza's banished zone while slowly building up speed to start dropping insane Supernovas in the late game. The latter was just an idea I was playing with, making use of Orange Sword Chop to net Frieza's Arrogance to your hand while using a handful of attacks that swing twice. This one mostly just lets you keep up defense while using Frieza's respectable PLs to really do some damage, and would rely minimally on any actual drills. Plus, Retribution + HFIL lets me just go and grab a drill of my choice as my first action in a combat, or even save it until my opponent is done swinging to net something I want to keep around, or I can forfeit my instant level up and build up from Frieza's level 1 for a chance at MPPV. But then I decided to go through the Set 10 cards, and I noticed Red Announcement. And how nicely that fits into Frieza's themes. And the fact that Red has just as many, if not more, attacks that stay in play to be used twice. Plus, I've seen the havoc this combo can pull from when my aforementioned friend was trying to find a home for his own Frieza, where he was able to go into combat on turn 3 and deal easily upwards of 32-ish life cards of damage because he'd just pushed me into such a corner with the endless assault of energy attacks. And all of this theory-crafting has left me where I am now; Wondering where the hell post-Set 10 Frieza should set-up shop and start trying to deal out the hurt. After all, Frieza has (on the surface) all the tools for a hyper-aggressive deck whether you level jump or try to grind up to MPPV. What are people's thoughts, and does anyone have experience with trying to build Frieza since set 10? Should I give up on the prick and turn my attention to his ever-rejuvenating brother, who may have very well gained more from Torturous Volley and King Cold? After all, a Red MPPV Cooler could be MEAN.