Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In an attempt to keep myself better focused in the new year, I am going to do a weekly update on the major areas of the hobby.

First up: 500 Games in 2017

This goal is pretty straight forward- play 500 games this year, 50 of which have to be brand new games I’ve never played before. This week I managed to play a total of 6 games:

Of those 4 games (amassing 6 total plays), 2 of the games were new to me.  Those two being the Batman dice game and Billionaire Banshee.

Next up: Batman Miniatures Game

So this is something new for me.  I’ve never assembled miniatures before. The closest to miniature gaming I’ve accomplished has been Heroclix over the years.  My brother got me so much more to add to my Suicide Squad box.  I’m now up to that set as well as the Joker crew and Halrey crew set, as well as classic Harley Quinn and “Killing Joke” Joker.  I got Rob Nightwing, Cyborg and Kid Flash so he could have figures in the game he would enjoy playing.  I also got some terrain pieces from my Secret Santa at work.

I had a couple days off so I started to assemble some:



Miniatures from the Suicide Squad box set



These were fun to assemble.  With the exception of a handful of issues, rather proud of these.  I also managed to get the lamp posts assembled. Totally proud of these.  These are definitely a growing interest, especially considering the other games Knight Models are doing.

Then we’ll move on to…Dragon Ball Z

Yeah…that was fun. (Click the link to read my opinions on the recent cancelation)

Final: Cardfight Vanguard

New set launched this week- Revival Collection Vol. 1, but I haven’t bought any yet. First, my local shop didn’t per usual.  So I’ll have to order online. Second, with the cancelation of Dragon Ball Z, I find myself debating on what deck I’d like to focus on.  Right now, I have a Kagero, Link Joker and Shadow Palin deck. None are competitive at all and I’d like to try playing some tournaments. So I’m looking at singles vs what is coming set wise.

Also, I didn’t mange a single match this week. See what I did play above.

In coming weeks, this will definitely be more organized. I have some ideas of what I’d like to accomplish with this blog, but more on that soon.

Happy gaming!

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This wasn’t what I originally wanted to talk about for my first post of 2017.  I had this gut feeling that something like this was about to happen yet I couldn’t have expected the way it had happened.

Per Panini’s Blog:

“For the last two years, Panini Games was privileged to bring you the Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game.

As many of you know, Bandai (the master license holder for Dragon Ball universe properties) is releasing a trading card game based on Dragon Ball Super in 2017. So as to not over-saturate the market with similar products, Panini America will not be continuing with the Dragon Ball Z license. From the sparse known details, Bandai’s new game and our DBZ TCG are vastly different.

We will continue to provide sales and support throughout the transition, such as ongoing management of rulings and maintenance of tournament documents – including a final update to the CRD and Frozen List. The goal of any remaining updates will be to lay the groundwork for an eternally balanced “final environment.”

We want to thank all of our fans for their support of the game. The fanatical enthusiasm for the DBZ TCG carried the game through seven releases and helped the DBZ TCG to earn several accolades – including two of the highest attended events at Gen Con 2015 and 2016. We were also able navigate two seasons of Organized Play – including local tournaments with countless promos and other prizes, over thirty Regionals and premier-level events, and two highly competitive World Championships.

While this chapter of the DBZ TCG is coming to an end, Panini Games has numerous new products scheduled for 2017. Look for continued Afterworld content and support, along with a new trading card game based on DC’s portfolio of comics, movies, and video games – as well as several other exciting tabletop board and card game offerings.

We were very fortunate to produce the DBZ TCG for such dedicated fans. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support – and look for much more from Panini Games in the future!”

First, this was the first substancal blog post from them since the several recap enteries around the World Championships in November. The last several entries were bare bones and should have sent up red flags.  They come out of no where and just drop it. No real warning or transition period.

Second, in the same entry that they announced they are ceasing the production so as to “not over-saturate” the market, they sneak in an announcement about a DC trading card game.  The DC Comics portfolio of hobby games ranges the gambit of deck building games to miniature games. Two Dragon Ball Z games are in no way over-saturating the market. This goes doubly so if a.) the games plays completely different and b.) Bandai’s game is focused on Dragon Ball Super and Panini’s was focused on the Z era and earlier.

Finally, the card selection and lack of play testing regarding Awakening, their last and final set from October 2016, becomes so much more clear as a cash grab that it is offensive.  From Goku’s interaction with Unleashed to the inclusion of, essentially, an Ultra Rare Destructo Disc for Saiyans, they only cared about pushing what was to be their final product than adding anything of substance to the meta or the game at large.

That being said, however, I will miss this game.  When the game was first released by Score over a decade ago, I went with Score’s other trading card game: Yu Yu Hakusho.  This was a rare second chance in a hobby that doesn’t usually see them.  This game was something that drew my brother and I closer together as card players.  It allowed us to meet new people that we probably never would have met or associated with otherwise.  It also opened my mind to proper deck building, meta appreciation and theory crafting.

I know that the game died once, was kept alive via a dedicated online presence and was ressurected.  There are already people talking about continuing it and hoping the Dragon Balls are called on once more for Shenron to bring back. I, for one, just don’t have that kind of faith or hope. As I said, I’m grateful for the last couple years.  My only regrets are that I didn’t try attending more tournaments and that they didn’t make it to Majin Vegeta and Majin Buu.

So for now, I’ll pour a drink and lock the decks away with the Enternal Dragon.

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail…

Publishers: AEG and Cryptozoic Games
Number of players: 2-4
Average game time: 15-20 minutes
Recommended ages: 10 and up
Suggested retail price: $9.99 (varies by shop)


 

Another year, another variation of Lover Letter on the store shelves.  Full disclosure- I currently own 6 copies of Love Letter. They are: Classic, Batman, Adventure Time, two copies of the Munchkin version “Loot Letter” and Archer. This was the first time I actually bought a copy.  The others were either gifts or from past Big Game Nights at GenCon.  Each plays nearly identical to the last, so how many copies does one truly need? And does this particular one deserve to be in the collections? Let’s find out…


 

Gameplay:

Archer, like every edition of Love Letter, places out simply enough. Each player is dealt 1 card and then 1 card is removed from play.  Each turn, a player draws a card and then plays one of the two cards in hand.  Each card has an effect, one that can either aid you in putting another player or aid in protecting you from another player.  The goal is to simply knock out your other opponents and be the last player standing, or at least the last player standing with the highest numbered card (in case of a tie). Win the round, recieve a point token.  Rinse and repeat until a certain number of points has been reached.

Since being released in 2012, the core game mechanics has been identical in every rendition of the game.  Save for a small change here or there, such as the Premium Edition being up to 8 players, nothing has changed.  Some have equated this to being the boardgame industry’s equivalent to shovelware (annually released software in the videogame industry), arguing it offers to real merit.  I’d disagree.

The Love Letter mechanics make it an ideal pocket game.  At some point or another, a boardgamer will have played Love Letter.  With that in mind, a player could throw this game into their backpack or deckbag, get in out, and just play.  Even when playing this game with random strangers while in line for something at a convention, I think I’ve had to explain the rules twice.

Presentation:

There are three components that make up a Love Letter game: cards, tokens, and bag.

First, the cards.  This edition opted to use screen grabs from the series, topping them off with a quote from the character featured.  All of the main cast of characters are present:

Outside of the character screen grabs, each card sports a unique color and set of bullet holes under their number.  The colors have a 1970’s feel to them, while the bullet holes serve a purpose.  Each set corresponds to how many of that card there are in the deck. Sterling Archer has 5 copies in the deck while there is only 1 Lana Kane.

As far as the quotes go, I’m a little conflicted.  They have no other purpose than flavor text/fluff, with no impact on the game whatsoever.  Therefore, they are good. On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of the Archer series and can think of a dozen quotes more iconic than what they did use.

Next, the tokens.  Every game of Love Letter uses some sort of token to keep track of points. For the classic edition, it used simple red blocks, while the Batman edition used little Batman symbols as tokens. For Once You Go Blackmail, an iconic prop from the show was used: Pam’s dolphin hand puppet.

Seriously, these things are too damned adorable and classic. I almost want to but a few more copies just to replace the tokens from the other games with these.

Finally, we have the draw string bag.


For the Archer edition, they went with a simple blue with the show’s title logo. That’s really all that you can say on that.


 

Final Verdict:

Even though this is my 6th copy of Love Letter, I rather enjoy this edition most of all.  Stylish presentation (though not a fan of all the quotes, albeit) and great source material make it a game that I’ll happily throw into my bag and take with me to game night or conventions.  Granted, some people may be perfectly fine with a singular copy of Love Letter in their collection.  However, at a cost of $10, there is nothing wrong with having a couple different themed versions for different occasions.

So this game is…LATE NIGHT PLAYER APPROVED!


“Pocket Reviews” are reviews of quick, simple games with little to no foot print.  These are the kind of games you’d throw in your backpack and take on a trip, to school, or to play while waiting in long lines at a convention.  

Oh boy.

I’ve been told I can sometimes get a bit too into games.  Back with Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh!, I bought everything that came out, even if it was a reprint.  I even hunted down every copy of the now deceased Shonen Jump monthly magazines just for the promo cards.  With HeroClix, I turned my 6th period algebra notebook into a battle planner.  Every time, strategy and combo listed over and over instead of whatever formula was on the chalk board.  While those games have come and gone with me over the years, none have seemed to warrant as much attention from me than…

Luck&Logic_Logo

The newest trading card game (or TCG) from Bushiroad, Luck & Logic is a game that allows the player (or Logicalist) to defend their 6 circles/gates by combining their strengths with that of the Foreigners (Gods/Goddesses from another plain).  This combined power called Tranceunion is what the players will pilot to victory.

Qm_playmat

From the Luck & Logic wikia, this is an overview of one player’s side of the board.

Taking what seems to be the best elements from across their varied portfolio of titles, Bushiroad has created a game that is poised to take the North American trading card market by storm.  The game is selling insanely well overseas, with starter decks and booster boxes sold out in a number of markets.  It has a fantastic, if not slightly flawed, anime as a multimedia marketing push.

The game hasn’t even been released in English yet, and already players across the country have built translated proxy decks to test and teach the game.  When the game finally does release in North America and other English language regions, I can’t help but wonder if this game will be as big of a hit, if not bigger, than anything else Bushiroad has published to date.  The game is scheduled to release in English this summer, I’m assuming just in time for GenCon.

The best part, for me at least, is that they have already announced the first expansion to the game due out this March in Japan:

card-00000414

While it pains me that our brothers and sisters overseas, or those skilled enough in Japanese, will be two sets deep (with three starters/trial decks) before we are blessed with just one, I can’t help but also feel excited.  This shows that Bushiroad is putting a lot of thought, time and resources into Luck & Logic.  So many times, I’ve gotten into a game because of a game mechanic or an IP only to have the publisher discontinue it after a few expansions.  This is doubly true with games from publishers that don’t actually own the IP their game(s) are based on (Score and Yu Yu Hakshusho TCG).  With Luck & Logic, Bushiroad owns the game and the IP.  It’s a win/win.

So as 2016 finally starts getting into full gear, I felt the need to share what is my #1 most sought after game of 2016- Luck & Logic!

Let me please preface this with stating that this was not what I wanted my first article back, or of 2016, to be about. I had planned a year in review, as well as a challenge article, well in advance of this.  However, recent conversations, market trends and general befuddlement has led to this being both of those things.

For the better part of the last decade, I have been a proud hobby gamer.  Prior to 2005, I was a hobby gamer to lesser degree as I was in high school and on a budget.  My games at the time were mostly trading card games like Poke’mon and Yu-Gi-Oh! but miniatures squeaked in with the launch of HeroClix.  As time went on, work and life kept me from really doing much with it.  Then on Free Comic Book Day 2012, I found myself being slowly pulled back into HeroClix.  

Since then, I was head first back into hobby gaming. I took over as event cordinator for my local comic shop for all WizKids’ events.  I began branching out to other game types, moving from just strictly card games. I’ve even made it out to GenCon for the last two years in a row, with plans for the 2016 trip already in the works.

In that time, I’ve seen quiet a few things catch my eye about what there is to love about this hobby.  There have also been a few things to dislike, and possibly even hate, about it as well.  One of the worst has been this war raging not so silently in the background: local retail vs online retail, namely the average player’s role in this war.

Brick and mortar stores have always had a special place in many fans’ hearts.  Not only are they the place to buy their games, they are also the home of memories that are cherished just as much as the games themselves.  I know I have personally met some of my closest friends through my local store.  We’ve bonded over many a games, both casual and competitive.  The stores are also were we might demo a game and fall in love with it, thus equating the two for many years to come.  It is in those memories and love that we do our utmost best to support those stores.  However, in the last few years, a new player has entered the field: online shopping.

Gone are the days were a player would have to go into a store, order it through a third party and patiently await it’s arrival.  Gone, too, are the days of having to pay full retail for a title.  Now a player merely has to log onto their smart phone, go to one of a dozen various sites (out of hundreds) and order their game of choice.  It will be delivered directly to your doorstep, usually with free shipping and at a fraction of the cost.  The player never even had to go to their favorite store to get the game.

It becomes even more of a savage wasteland for our stores when a game is launched via KickStarter.  With so many publishers using the crowdfunding platform to finance their games, it has become a glorified preordering system with the magnitude of stretch goal and exclusive content.  This ties up a sale for the game months, or even years, before the game hits retail shelves.  A game initially launches the traditional way and a store sells x-copies of the title, but then it’s sequel/expansion launches and they order an equal amount (or more depending on popularity) but the majority of their customers get the KickStarter version in favor of all the extra content for the same cost.  Now they are sitting on product they may or may not sell through.

What are our favorite brick and mortar stores supposed to do to combat this?

Well, judging by a lot of message boards, KickStarter rants and online commentary, they are combatting it by blaming the customer.

Instead of focusing on ways to combat this rise in online shopping, many shop owners have taken to passing the buck off on the customer.  They rant and rave about customer loyalty and feeling betrayed whenever one of their regulars come in with a game that wasn’t bought at their store.  They cite that the store space is offered to the customers as a curtsey and as such we should support them, regardless of how much they charge.  I’ve seen some retailers go as far as to publicly shame their client base to the extent of claiming that every lost sale to an online retailer or KickStarter is money out of one of their employees’ pockets, less food for their family, and so on.  My personal favorite is when they claim it is a personal attack against them because we should support them regardless since they are local or privately owned.

First, lets put all their ranting to the side and look at it for what it is.  Brick and mortar stores have much more overhead (employee costs, utility bills, rent, ect) than most online stores, forcing them to sell at MSRP. Most online stores operate from a warehouse that may or may not be privately owned with fewer overhead costs, which in turn allows them to buy many things in bulk at a discounted cost from the manufacture/publisher.  That allows most online stores to sell product at a fraction of the cost.  That is just business basics.  However, caught in the middle is the average gamer with two finite resources that affects every purchase decision they make: time and money.

The fact of the matter is that, regardless of found memories or the love of a game, consumers have to do what is best for them and their resources just the same as a shop owner must do with theirs.  We work hard for our money and have to spend it wisely in the hopes of getting the biggest return on investment.  And that’s what a lot of these games are: an investment.  With some titles getting up in the hundreds of dollars, you want to make sure that the first thing you feel when you open up that game box for the first time is joy, not buyer’s remorse.   The problem is that some retailers don’t realize this, even though they are consumers themselves.

Lets use Star Wars: Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games as an example.  It is a lovely game, a must have for anyone’s collection.  The base game is MSRP $100, though.

 

imperialassault

You do get a lot for $100, though.

Out of the box, you have just enough stuff to do a 4-5 player scenario game or a 2 player skirmish game.  Great options, but will get old after several playthroughs.  And given the cost of this game, it is a multiple playthrough title and not one you’d play once and place on the shelf.  Luckily Fantasy Flight has us covered and released two expansions so far in Twin Shadows and Return to Hoth.

pic2607812

Twin Shadows is a mini-box expansion, adding mostly new miniatures while…

star-wars-imperial-assault-return-to-hoth

…Return to Hoth was a big box expansion, with components more in line with the base game’s release.

Both are fantastic expansions players a considerable amount of contents.  Both, however, will set you back another $100 combined.  And if you want to play with the famous characters from the movies, like Han Solo, Boba Fett or Princess Leia?  Those are all stand alone add-ons ranging from $9.95-$19.95.  Just sticking with the base game and it’s two expansions, we’re at $199.85 before taxes.  And if you’re an average gamer, $200 can be a month’s (or several months’) gaming budget if you bought at a retailer that offered no discount or loyalty program.  Online, however?  Amazon has all three for $151.34 with free shipping.  That is nearly $50 in savings that you could save for another game or purchase the named heroes to flesh out your Imperial Assault gaming experience.

Now, if it were me, I know what I would do.  Would I love to support my local store with 100% of my gaming purchases?  Absolutely!  They deserve it just as much as anyone.  The problem is that I work a dead end retail job that only allows me so much I can spend on different hobbies.  As such I am forced to do what is best for the value of my money.  In the case of Imperial Assault, I’d have to buy the core game and expansions online and probably take the $50 I saved to my LCS to buy the named character packs.

In the end, however, there is a lot of blame to be had but there is no right place to put it.  Retailers shouldn’t be blamed for trying to run a business.  They do have families and employees to think of.  On the opposite end though, customers shouldn’t be blamed for trying to do what is best for them and theirs either.  With bills, families and other responsibilities, a gamer only has so many resources to spare and spend.

After all, regardless of our individual gaming background, we’re all playing the game of Life.

Another week, another Dragon Ball Z tournament.  

This week I ran an updated Namekian Piccolo build, modified after my 2nd place finish at last week’s International Tabletop Day event. 

Round 1: vs. Namekain Piccolo

This was a more Energy Aggro build with emphasis on Dragon Ball victory than my build.  Unfortunately, in the battle for the soul of Namek, I lost.

0-1

Round 2: vs. Red Tien

This match had me concerned as, by the second combat, he was able to get Tien to Stage 3 with little effort.  After a little Dragon Ball juggling, I was able to knock him back down and deck him.

1-1

Round 3: vs. Saiyan Trunks

My buddy David was my opponent this match and the last time I fought his Saiyan build, he almost had me but we had to call for time.  I was smart this time, however, hitting hard and keeping as much in my deck as possible.  Pulled it off with a Dragon Ball victory.

2-1

Round 4: vs. Saiyan Trunks

This one was over quickly.  I hit 4 out of 5 Crushing Beams and banished all of the Trunks cards with Special Beam Cannon.

3-1

With a score of 3-1, I was able to get into the finals. It was me versus the player that  beat me Round 1 in a best 2 out of 3 match up. 

Finals: vs. Namekian Piccolo

For what it’s worth, it was a good game.  It wasn’t as easy a fight as the first time, I went down swinging.  He won the first match though MPPV.  I won match two by MPPV.  He then won the third through MVVP.

I ended up winning four boosters (netting another Crushing Beam and a foil Nail’s Heritage), alternate art promo Frieza’s Supernova for participation and the alternate art Black Scouting Manuever for 2nd place.

This Saturday is International Table Top Day 2015.

uWuvvR1

I’ll be at the usual hang out, Comic Quest in Evansville, Indiana. I’ll be hosting several demoes and events around HeroClix, Dice Masters and Attack Wing (both Star Trek and D&D).

I’ll also be participating in a constructed Dragon Ball Z event. I am still debating between Namekian or Red. I’ll have to feel the crowd to see what gets played.

Until next time, keep your dice warm.

I had today off.  No work. No plans. No events.  Just a day to myself to do what I please.  What do I do? I build a new deck to play test with and against. What deck do I choose? Why the only deck type I’ve yet to ever beat in an official tournament setting: Blue Ginyu.

I hate it so much.  It requires absolutely zero skill to pilot. I’m sorry if you are a fan of the deck type and are offended, but it’s true.  At least with Black you have to have a good working knowledge of the cards most likely found in most decks.  Orange requires reading the board constantly, knowing what each of your dozen or so Drills do and how they interact with one another.  Namekian is about maintaining  a rejunivated discard pile and balancing your power levels for the various energy attacks.  Blue Ginyu?  Get your allies out to fight the battle for you.

Thematic? Yes. Powerful? Absolutely. Fun? Not so much.

I digress.  I wanted to try something completely different than the various variants to Namekian I’d been running the last few months.  I get why it’s popular and why it wins.  I do, I really do.  I just don’t think it’s for me.

Since Panin’s first expansion to their hit revival of the DragoBall Z TCG comes out in a few short days, I thought I would share my deck list for the Namekian Gohan build I’ve been running.  This is the same deck I’ve ran since day one.  It is also the same deck I ran at the tournament a couple weeks ago.

First, let’s look at the cards before discussing what, how and why:

Personality:

Lvl 1- Gohan, Resilient Child

Lvl 2- Gohan, Young Warrior

Lvl 3- Gohan, Determined

Lvl 4- Gohan, Armored

Mastery:

Namekian Knowledge Mastery

Ally:

Chichi, Armed and Dangerous 

Dragon Balls:

Namekian Dragon Ball 1

Namekian Dragon Ball 2

Namekian Dragon Ball 3

Namekian Dragon Ball 4

Namekian Dragon Ball 5

Namekian Dragon Ball 6

Namekian Dragon Ball 7

Events:

Namekian Regeneration x2

Namekian Hybrid Defense x2

Namekian Overtime

Time is a Warrior’s Tool

Setups:

Namekian Concentration 

Namekian Fusion

Namekian Wish

Namekian Dragon Clan

Dragon Radar

Heroic Plan

Energy combat:

Namekian Overhead Blast x2

Namekian Crossed Guard x2

Namekian Stance x2

Namekian Energy Guard x2

Namekian Double Strike x2

Namekian Dragon Blast x2

Namekian Onslaught x3

Namekian Targeted Strike x2

Namekian Palm Shots

Namekian Planned Strike

Gohan’s Masenko x3

Physical Combat:

Namekian Crushing Slam x2

Namekian Knee Block x2

Namekian Flinch x2

Namekian Chop x2

Namekian Forceful Block x2

Namekian Side Kick 

Namekian Elbow Strike 

Namekian Narrow Escape

Devastating Blow x3

Gohan’s Power Punch x2


So obviously, even with the nerf to the Namekian Mastery, I am able to win based on all three Victory Conditions currently present in the game.  Dragon Ball and MPPV come more naturally, of course, with this build.  The Lvl 4 Gohan Anger Loop is a personal favorite, though it can be tricky against most Black Mastery builds.

Of course, it’s been pointed out to me that I am missing some key cards.  The biggest, and easiest fix, is Visiting the Past. At this point I have no excuse as to why there isn’t at least one in my deck.  The other notable missing card is Heroic Energy Sphere.  The reason for that omission is fairly simple: they cost too much.  Average going price is $125 per Sphere.  If you want to run three, you’re talking a $375 minimum investment…in 3 cards!  This isn’t Magic the Gathering. The return on investment isn’t there yet.  Right now, our tournament prize support is restricted to reprinted, alternate art variations of Set 1 character attacks and rare cards.  Yes, there are some playmats, but that’s nothing.  But I digress, that is a conversation for another article.

Anyways, this is a look into my original build.  As I’ve said before, this has been the deck I’ve ran consistently since the games relaunch in November 2014.  That is probably the longest I’ve ever ran a single deck build (except maybe my Water/Psychic Pokemon deck).  I’m looking forward to what Friday brings!

Until next time, Z Warriors.

…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!