Dragon….dragon, rock the dragon..

…Dragon Ball Z!

Last was a bit interesting. Not only was it my first constructed Dragon Ball Z TCG (Panini) tournament, it was also the first constructed card tournament I’ve participated in in nearly a decade. Now some might note that I did participate in a “league” event for Pokemon about a year ago. That was more of a casual event, and less of a tournament, as it wasn’t for anything major. Tonight’s event was for some fantastic promo cards and a stack of booster packs.

I played my Namekian Gohan deck. Gohan was originally, in my opinion, intended to be a Tier One Main Personality (MP). However, through reading online discussions and tournament reports, it seems most people have thrown him to the wayside. It’s understandable to see why. Power level wise, he is severely outgunned on the Attack Table on his first two levels when compared to all other MP’s. Add in the errata to the Namekian Mastery in which Anger via Rejuvenation can only be obtain by card effects during combat and you take away one of the fastest ways to his easiest win condition.

Still, I decided to run him tonight in a deck most people would laugh at. First, I have zero Heroic Energy Spheres. Zelp. Nada. I cannot bring myself to spend the money for them. Are they great? Absolutely. However, I need three and I’m not the kind of gamer who would put more money into three cards than the other 57 cards in their deck. Second, I have a strong focus on Dragon Balls. It is a secondary victory condition that I can hopefully fall back on of the going gets too tough.

I digress. Tonight’s outing had me finish in first place with a score of 3-0-1 (W-L-T). Here is the match break down with a little insight to how and why:

Round 1:

Vs. Vegeta Black

Black decks are made to be the control decks with a strong focus on Banishing cards. Given that my deck has a huge focus on Rejuvenating the cards in my discard pile to be able to raise my anger, this worried me. Luckily, I was able to top deck some strong block cards early on to stop attacks while building that discard pile. I made it to Lvl 4 Gohan and triggered the Anger loop to increase my Anger to 4, dropping a “Gohan’s Super Punch” to increase my Anger to 6.

Score: 1-0-0

Round 2:

Vs. Frieza Blue

Biggest problem with “Blue Protective Mastery” is that it requires a 6 Anger to level up your personality. This requires playing “Gohan’s Super Punch” at the right moment. A big hiccup was a mid-game “Frieza’s Supernova” doing 11 cards of damage. Final round I was able to draw the last two Dragon Balls needed for a Dragon Ball victory.

Funny little side note: My opponent was playing “Blue Mental Drill” as I drew my final hand. This is a card that requires your opponent to play with their hand revealed. I knew that as I was drawing that this was the last hand because I was sure he had another “Frieza’s Supernova” waiting for me. First card drawn was “Namek Dragon Ball 2”. Second was “Namekian Overtime”. As I’m about to draw my last card, a spectator asked, “Do you believe in the Heart of the Cards?!” Final card “Namek Dragon Ball 4”. After that…yes, yes I do.

Score: 2-0-0

Round 3:

Vs. Gohan Red

This was one of the two decks that actually had me most concerned. I’ve had very little experience building a deck around or against the “Red Enraged Mastery”. Also, this was a friend who I played a casual game against earlier and was wrecked. The first two rounds made me feel as though it was going to be a repeat. A bad top deck, followed by a brutal first attack and I was concerned. I able to squeak by a Dragon Ball Victory, getting (oddly enough once again) “Namek Dragon Ball 4” into play.

Score: 3-0-0

Round 4:

Vs. Ginyu Blue

And this was it. The deck that I feared most as I have yet to beat. He was fast to get his Allies out and I hit as hard as possible for those beloved Critical Effects. Early on, it was easy to decide what to get rid of, but they kept coming back. By the end, I was staring down the barrel of a loaded Ginyu Force protected by the best Blue Drills and Setups. Time got called and we began our 3-turn wind down. On my last turn, I had what appeared to be a potential to make him deck out. So rather than pass to purposely tie, I entered combat. This proved to be a mistake and it nearly cost me the game. At the end of combat, I had 2 cards remaining, he had three and it ended in a tie.

Score: 3-0-1

In the end…

I ended up winning, but just barely. This was all victories by pure luck. There is no skill, in my opinion, to winning by a Dragon Ball victory. I hate winning that way, but I run it as my “Plan B”.

The haul for the night was 5 boosters (No Ultra Rares, but did pull a few good Rares and a couple foils) and the alternate art promos of Goku’s Kamahamaha, Vegeta’s Galick Gun and Confrontation. I wish my venue ran more tournaments as I has an itch for more! Alas this is not the case and the next tournament isn’t until March 15th for the release of the next expansion: Heroes and Villains.

So until next time, keep your dice warm!