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Amanax

Oppressive Mastery and why it's doing what it's doing

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So now that West Kai is over and the competitive scene is coming to the final stretch I think it's safe to take a look back at this current season and wonder how and why a season full of Majin Vegeta is seeing Oppressive Mastery winning multiple events.

 

Over the next couple of weeks I plan on making a couple of Oppressive Decks (I've already had my own versions of Oppressive Goku and Oppressive Clench Nappa) and analyse exactly what about them is making them tick. Is it really the skips? Is it the hand filtering? Is it just the overall utility of Saiyan (Or in Clench's case the raw power of Clench)?

There are three decks that have topped the last three events. In order, we have Kid Trunks, Goku, and now Clench Nappa.

I didn't have the pleasure of playing against the Kid Trunks deck as I wasn't at that event, so I won't speak so much to that as I will the other two.

With Goku, Jesus built that deck for hand filtering and pushing unpreventable damage with 3x AK, 3x Sludge Bomb, 3x Rapid Fire, and 3x Sinister Choke. He had middle of the pack levels of anti anger, really only relying on the 3x Burst and then crits from his other unpreventables, oh and the 2x Dashing Punches. Those played a pretty big role. Playing my own version, which isn't quite as fine tuned as this particular deck, I like the skips giving me either stages or anger because Goku gives you so much potential to level with the addition of his Kaioken that the anger isn't usually needed to see those higher levels. The hand filtering is FANTASTIC in this particular deck. The chain skipping into combat enders is cute, but runs out of steam faster than, say Oppressive Vegeta would but they still let you get some decent poke damage through without too high of risk yourself. Even when playing against Majin Vegeta level 2 who shuts down your mastery pretty hard, you are still Drawku and have access to a lot of power cards. All said and done, the deck is solid though not unbeatable. I think it's biggest weakness is the lack of anti-anger options it brings to the table. Without some luck getting dashing punches to land it might see some difficulties with a true speed MPPV deck. Solid though, like I said.

 

Ty's Oppressive Nappa - I don't have much to say on this. It's a Clench deck and it does Clench things. I've personally always liked Oppressive Clench over Rampaging Clench. Sure, you lose the ability to pitch blocks and dive for decent to fantastic damage, but the skip actually plays a big part in this deck. Throwing an attack 20+ stages followed by another 20+ stage attack without giving your opponent a chance to recover can be deadly. Denying opponents the ability to use stages as much as possible, and if he enters enough he WILL catch you without enough blocks. However, the deck has the same weaknesses as always. Anything with solid answers to the attached Clench Card (Especially Buu who can rip them just for taking damage) will put some real hurt on this deck. Also, decks that can hand filter effectively (Ball 3 abusers) to cycle those bad hands tend to help. Very fun deck to play, but overall I think less reliable than the Goku. 

 

What is everyone elses thoughts on oppressive decks? How are you beating them, what are you noticing about them that are allowing them to beat you?

 

I'll be testing out an Oppressive Goku and Oppressive Future Gohan deck this Thursday if all goes well and will provide updates.

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tl;dr my thoughts:

  1. Saiyan Oppressive can easily function as a low-key replacement for Empowered.
    1. This enables a lot of the tempo-based cards in Saiyan.
  2. Skip-Beats and Clench-Beats are both very well fleshed out archtypes. Probably the most well-fleshed out in the game atm, but definitely in Saiyan.
  3. Few decks in this format are built to deal with Oppressive Beats.
  4. All of the MPs that are doing well with this Mastery are still strong MPs even when their Mastery gets shut down.


Personally, I think what's helping Oppressive out a lot is that it can low-key act as a substitute for Empowered Mastery and, in much the same way, better enables the Tempo play-style that Saiyan generally goes for.
Adding to that, Skip-Beats is one of the more fleshed-out Saiyan decks alongside Clench, and I think that consistency in theme and focus lets them perform at a much higher level than other Saiyan styles. Also, Clench has a LOT of pressure, and if even one hit gets through, your entire game plan can get fucked.

Another thing worth mentioning is that pretty much all Oppressive Decks are heavy-beats decks with a passive control over a combat in the middle of a control-heavy format. I plainly don't think most decks at this time are built for these match-ups, and if even one combat goes poorly for these control decks, Oppressive decks can capitalize and really run away with themselves.

And lastly, all the MPs that are getting through to the top with Oppressive are strong MPs even without Oppressive Mastery. I would say the MPs are high-performance sports cars, and that Oppressive Mastery is a nice, long stretch of road where they can really let loose on.

Even Nappa.
Nappa would be a muscle car.
Something like a mustang, maybe.
(Broly is then a more recent model of muscle car.)

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Yes I do agree with the Empowered-lite thought about the mastery. I forgot to put that in my initial post, but it certainly matters. I had a game just the other day where I was testing Drawku vs Ruthless Majin Vegeta. He started the combat on two but leveled to 3 in the first action. I was pretty low on stages, letting his attack hit but then since he leveled I just chained a few attacks together and gained all my stages back. Was very reminiscent of the old Empowered Broly vs Ruthless Broly matchups. Both could pump out some serious damage, but Empowered usually came out ahead in that fight just due to the passive stage gain giving that buffer to pull ahead.

 

For the most part I agree with the MPs already being good. Kid Trunks is certainly an outlier, but Nappa (With Clench) is a beast, and Drawku / FreeGeta have been good pretty much since release right there with Broly. 

With the exception of Kid Trunks though, all of these MPs also have access to damage modifiers as well. I wonder if this is still needed to really succeed with Saiyan or if another power house Saiyan MP like Future Gohan can also make use of the Mastery / Style.

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I would argue that Kid Trunks is actually as good an MP as the others are, just that he sees a lot less play because he's kind of ham-strung to specific playstyles.

  • His Quickness Drill won't get discarded, is considered styled, and gives you stages + an extra draw. This gives him some hand generation to keep pushing pressure.
  • His Energy Burst forces a skip. With his Level 1, not to mention Oppressive, this is potentially a massive stage gain card for 5 life cards. The card may as well read "Gain 2-4 stages," raises your own anger, lowers anger, and lets you tech any styled energy combat.
  • His Level 1 can force a skip, gain stages, lower anger, and raise its own anger.
  • His Level 3 can gain up to 10 stages after a skip and draws an extra card.
  • His Level 4 is the ultimate level for Energy Beats decks.
  • I think he has access to Dr. Brief? But also, Goten as a combat ender.

Deconstructing him like this, the only real downsides of Kid Trunks are his Level 2 and the fact that you're forced into a Skip-focused playstyle; but with Oppressive Mastery, that's kind of what you want. If we continue with the others as sports cars, I'd say he's formula 1. Incredibly powerful and efficient, but fairly frail and really needs a certain kind of road to perform.

ftr, I've not seen the deck that's won, but looking him over, he's got some really solid options and he was built for Oppressive. Heck, Oppressive allows him to operate at above-average levels while camping at 1. Throw in things like Overpowering Aura Drill to recur Sword Skill, Suppression Drill to slow your opponent's deck and net some deck destruction (as Oppressive will make up the difference for you), Corruption Drill for some overkill and some weird cards like Saiyan Clash and you could even go for a deck destruction build instead of just Beats.

Alternatively, do what I think would be the smart thing and go for life card beats with a drill focus. Turning Kick for unpreventable 7 life cards + drill recursion, Tandem, Aerial, Allied Blitz, Assisted Kamehameha.

 

On your final point of, does the style require stage modifiers; Probably not, but it needs a strong enough MP to make-up the gap between styles, and you're pretty much locked to Oppressive if you want to do really well. Future Gohan is a really hard one for me to place because of that.

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I had brutally lost to Oppressive Kid Trunks a few months ago, to the point where it felt like I was being retaught how to play this game for the very first time. I wasn’t very close to sober at that moment though, and when I thought about it later I assumed M Vegeta’s popularity would keep the deck in check.

But I still have no idea how to address this crap, x3 On the Move and M Vegeta lv2 are not enough of a force in the meta to keep decks like these in check.

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Yeah, testing last night at least was Majin Vegeta > Oppressive whatever MP which kinda confirmed our theory that the Majin Vegeta decks that came across these Oppressive decks either couldn't get to 2 fast enough or were pushing to 3. Because of this, I am actually starting to like Rampaging Majin Vegeta WAAAAY more than I had previously (I was a Ruthless believer before with all the level hopping and discard pile interactions he could do). 

But I agree Jaith, it doesn't seem like it's enough to really push these decks to the side like I would have expected, especially when Oppressive is coming out on top in multiple events against a variety of opponents. 

Okay, so we're ignoring the clench oppressive deck for now - All of the other decks rely on combat enders to avoid just getting pummeled after they have used up their hand right? Also, Saiyan's primary form of card advantage is through card draw. That would make me lean towards Mischievous and then a way to stop them from ending combat. The first thing that comes to mind is the Villain ally, Paragus. Are there other freestyle answers that I'm not remembering at the moment?

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Freestyle: Suppressive Strike, Stomach Crusher, On The Move!'s parenthetical (stops a skip technically, but that disrupts their gameplan a lot), and I think that's it?
Styled: Blue Battle Drill, Saiyan Interruption, Saiyan Recovery
It is funny to me that Saiyan is both the primary Skip Style, and the style with the most anti-Skip. Besides that though, I straight up think Blue Tag Team Mastery is probably the most versatile anti-Oppressive option at the moment. With a Villain Personality for Paragus, or with Goku Ally to search out Battle Drill.

Another option I've been thinking as a counter-pick would be an old-school Namekian "Wall" DB deck. These Oppressive decks somewhat rely on the opponent not being ready to handle their offensive, and on them not being punished for ducking and weaving through combat. So, how does a pure DBV deck go against them?
Still probably not well, but 'ey, it's worth a shot xD

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Tag Team Broly sounds like a lot of fun actually, with dominance plus paragus/anger he could, in principle, even get to level 2 consistently. He also has utilities in the form of cooler and nappa. I like it! But lets be real here, Ginyu should be in this meta, and will be. If you asked me now I would say Mischievous Ginyu will be an up and coming deck.

As a DB deck, I would not want to play against an oppressive deck that spams unpreventable damage and then ends combat. Imagine him grabbing namek ball 7... he wouldn't even need to filter through his hand anymore.

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Stomach Crusher is the card I was forgetting. I knew I used to run something in the older sets but couldn't remember what it was. Might sneak that back into some decks.

Tag Broly does sound fun, but Jaith I like where you are going with Ginyu. I have kind of off and on been poking at Ginyu here and there everytime I build him though I end up blue so I can get back my banished allies and then wonder why I'm not playing Gohan since he can do whatever my strategy was but better. 

Black Ginyu does sound interesting though. Still have to worry about getting your allies banished, but you have access to some good tech from black to try and snipe the opponents cards that banish. I might give that a try, especially with Raditz being able to grab those powerful black setups and Possessive drill acting as a backup to Shenron.

 

I also agree with Jaith about DB decks vs oppressive. It just takes one turn of them being able to cap balls and you are toast, especially with Saiyans reveal to crit cards for both Goku and Broly, and then Vegeta has access to things like his Galick Gun to double crit. There is a world where you could just continuously keep your balls uncapturable, but.. I don't have much hope for that match. I'd rather be ascension raw anger and punish their combat ends by furthering my win con lol

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14 hours ago, Amanax said:

I'd rather be ascension raw anger and punish their combat ends by furthering my win con lol

The crazy thing is that Kid Trunk’s Skip powers can trigger off of your opponent’s skips. Another thing I don’t like about Red is that Ascension Control Ball seems to be coming back, and it has always been an annoying archetype for me.

When I play ginyu outside of tag team Mastery, I try to shape my game plan around getting the most out of my allies when I have them but still have conditions to comfortable win without them... my idea is if you are critting my allies then you are not critting my anger. Aside from an MPPV variant, I think a level 1 camp variant can also work (like you suggest with Raditz).

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My Red Buu Ball is by far my best deck to date. Even as I'm playing it, I can see the frustration that it causes my opponents, and I can see why you would be annoyed with the archetype. But I love my Buu deck so please no nerf :(

 

I have been thinking about that Ginyu - the more I think about it the more I agree that black Ginyu has some power. I think you would be forced to level 1 camp though, just due to the sheer recursion pressure that Possessive Drill + Shenron creates and black / villains not having a good way to get that drill back after the level up.

That being said, I'm having a hard time picking my allies. Shenron obviously makes the cut, Raditz sounds fairly strong to me, Guldo is too strong not to bring... Do I bother with the other Ginyu Force? Beerus could be cute with Mischievous mastery. I feel Chilled and Cooler could be really useful so no one can level hop and can't force me to a level I don't want to be on or attach cards, but that also means I can't run Black Capture (With Chilled). Same with Nappa vs Raditz, they don't really seem to get along, but it might be worth having him in the deck and just not pulling him unless in a specific matchup but that's potentially dead space in the deck which I'm not a fun of.  Suggestions?

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On 4/14/2019 at 7:20 PM, Amanax said:

I'd rather be ascension raw anger and punish their combat ends by furthering my win con lol

... why didn't I think of that? I love it.
Especially with Cooler |: All of the punishment.

On the topic of Ginyu, I'm really curious what his main draw is to you guys. I wasn't really around during the early days of PanZ, so I never really saw him at full-strength, and nowadays, his toolkit seems a bit... Lacking? A named Level Up is rather strong, and I can see the utility in Captain Ginyu's pain. His power letting you pull any Ally without hitting also seems mighty strong, especially for an old MP.  He also has access to Recoome, but this still all seems underwhelming next to MPs like Frieza.

Like, taking Frieza - Resident of HFIL and Frieza - Golden as your alternative, you have an MP which instantly jumps to 2, can rejuvenate named cards from banished zone (and through Frieza's Arrogance, grab an ally in the same fashion as Ginyu can), brings more synergy with Chilled/Cold/Cooler, can restore their own stages, has some pretty strong AT defense, comes with a named Omni-Block, gives access to Supernova, and... Yeah?

Probably completely ignorant to what makes Ginyu a strong option, but that is why I am asking xD Like, historically, he was insanely strong for his time and came well before the game was ready. But nowadays, he feels like standard fare?

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The biggest advantage to Ginyu is he can pull any ally from deck as an attack without a condition to be met. At the same time, he consistently drains his own stages with said attack to allow you to pass control to his allies. 

 

Your right. By himself, his kit isn't very impressive by todays standards. Much like tag mastery, it's about versatility and the ability to adapt by pulling out a key ally for a situation. Though personally I have always liked the machine gun approach, putting all the attacking villain allies into a deck along side Burter and Guldo plus another mod here and there. Next thing you know all of your attacks are doing like, +4/+4 or at least +4 stage /+2 life (Burter+Guldo) and those little 1-3 stage attacks from those allies start to add up every turn lol. 

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