This was my first big card game event I ever attended. After playing this game for about a year and a half now, I wanted to challenge myself and see where do I fall when competing with such a high amount of players, all trying to be Europes next champion. Well, turns out I went 6-1-2 and I figured I stand ok. Right at the beginning I have to thank Matija Benci for being in the Hypeybola Mind Chamber play testing with me for a month or so, and Austin Parsons, who answered crucial questions regarding sequences against the U6 match up since we do not have these decks at our local scene.
During my Vs system days, I loved playing with the Secret Society team that had the gimmick of milling yourself or discarding cards so you can play and gain advantage from the KO’d pile. You can play aggressive or stall out, the best thing was that you don’t have to rely on your hand size because everything gains value when it gets in the Discard pile. In Dragon ball, we have the Drop area and the deck that could play that type of game was choosing Porunga, the Saviour of Namekians. This is the time to say that it’s not that easy to play the deck, since you can run into an aggro deck (looking at you yellow Broly:Br, the bane of my existence), and the mirror matches are uniquely designed to hold on everything you got so you can play all of the Objections on your kill turn since a lot of players mained tech cards to help them in the mirror during game one. The reason I chose Porunga over Shenron was because of his ultimate ability, so that in any scenario on seven or more energy I can play two battle cards to end the game.
You will also see that I played a lot of copies of a single card, and the reason for that is that I have to have all of the cards necessary all of the time, because if I see just one of them and have to, for some reason charge it, I want to fall back on the deck knowing I have some copies to spare.
I opted for these cards in my list:
1x Son Goku, The Awakened Power
2x Gogeta, Hero Revived
2x Kaio-Ken Son Goku, Defender of Earth
2x Ultimate Fusion Gogeta
1x King Vegeta, the Majestic Ruler
1x Ultra-Instinct Son Goku, the Unstoppable
2x SS2 Trunks, Memories of the Past
3x Whis, The Resting Attendant
4x Temporal Rescue Trunks
2x West Kai, Keeping Watch
2x Shenron, Figure of Majesty
6x Dragon ball
1x Super Dragon ball
4x Senzu bean
4x Whis’s Coercion
3x Zen-Oh Button
4x World Peace
2x Dragon Radar
1x Dragon Radar (for the Janemba matches to return any randomly milled wish card back to the hand and mirrors since it allows me to filter through my deck faster)
1x Mafuba (for the mirror or against any deck that has the one boss monster)
2x An Unexpected turn (against the U6 and KidKu matchup)
2x Time’s Judgement (while testing the limitations of negating every single attack versus the U6 archetype you can’t afford to let the enter the combo step. That is why I opted for this negate over Power Burst since I could return it to hand even once just to let them know they won’t be able to Arrival even on their next attack)
1x King Yemma, Soul Supervisor (for the mirror, and I got to tell you, it helped)
2x Kami, Global Unifier (for any swarm deck that ever existed in the twelve universes)
2x Dende, New to the Job (for the mirror)
2x Son Goku, Striving to be the Best (for any aggro match up)
2x Assembling the Squad (to double up on the battle cards in the side)
ROUND ONE (WIN) – Baby Vegeta piloted by Tommy Brouwers
The first match was easier in my head than in reality. I just had to negate the Ape attacks and let the leader damage me. Everything was okay until I stopped drawing my negates, but luckily I had the combo power to compensate for those shortcomings and stall out until I could hit the bombs.
ROUND TWO (WIN) – Broly U6 piloted by Axl Bell
When play testing against this particular archetype I thought that Porunga does not stand a chance. During testing, my brother from another mother who I took to the Hypersonic Lion Tamer with me always attacked with everything he had on board, spamming one drops just to force entering the combo step so he could Arrival, but this game was different. My opponent did not attack all of the time, so I had the necessary negates to prevent Champa&Vados from happening in the early game. The game went 2:1 in my favor, but the third match was a bit of a close call. I know why I lost one of the matches, and I laughed when I did, because I lost in a cool way. Yes, Cooler negated my negate. Who could be mad at that?
ROUND THREE (LOSS) – Shenron ramp piloted by Hien Nguyen Duc
Lost the first match because I needed to Objection so I can ramp, all the while his Dende was staring at me because he played it turn one. He recycled it so much that he removed all of my energy. After I sided my cards I was the one who played Dende on the first turn and waited. We played the third match and let me tell you. He expected that I’m waiting for a kill turn and I would Objection during it, but here’s the thing. I had only one Objection in hand and I needed a second one. After I dug through my deck in search of it using Super Dragon balls a couple of times I was left with four cards in deck. I passed my turn, he played everything and won. After he asked me why didn’t I play the Objections on my last turn I revealed to him the last four cards in the deck – three Objections.
ROUND FOUR (WIN) – Gogeta:Br from the main set piloted by Thomas Runeckles
The whole game I feared Denial of Hope, but the player either didn’t have them, or he charged them. So, I played all of my Resting Attendants and ramped to the bombs. In a certain situation he tried to defeat my only Whis with the six drop Gogeta so he can evolve on top of it and defeat me. Since I anticipated that I defended him with the Zen-Oh Button and negates.
ROUND FIVE (WIN) – Janemba GUY mill piloted by Jamie Wolf
People say that this should be an auto win, but Janemba can mill anything from the top, so it was challenging at times. I was heavily reliant on the Victory strike Goku and I’m glad I had it in the deck to help me against this certain match up because I did not run the One-star Ball so I was forced to play the Super Dragon Ball, further helping the mill win con. The match went 2:1 in my favour, but Jamie is a great player so he gave me a run for the money.
ROUND SIX (WIN) – Pan piloted by Jason Hartley
This was something I forgot about. I was so concentrated on the mirrors and the Brolys and the Towas that I forgot Pan even existed. So I played it cool, carefully arranging every defensive step I had and through it all emerged with the win. When we met and sat across each other, Jason saw my playmat and immediately recognised me as a member of the Lookout so he said to me that he is a member of Kami’s Lookout. Two Lookouts exist. Such a strange world. Shout out to Jason, you rule!
ROUND SEVEN (DRAW) – Porunga ramp piloted by Sergio Alvarez
Match one I had everything under control, I even defended myself against two Victory strike attacks, but for the last attack I had to take away his last four lives. I thought to myself, after ripping all of the negates in his hand with the Kaio-Ken Son Goku that I can attack him with the West Kai, Keeping watch and put just one card in his hand. The remaining three lives I could take with the Kaio-Ken even if he drew one negate. That one life was the negate, a Mafuba he mained against the mirror. Clever girl…
Match two I sided King Yemma and Dende and I controlled the whole thing so I easily won by putting all of his boss monsters back in the deck or returning them to his hand with the West Kai.
During the third match we both struggled and time was called. The judge was really cool after we put on some sad faces because of the draw. He said that even someone with one draw can be in the top 16 because of all of the results. We just had to win every other match.
ROUND EIGHT (WIN) – Broly U6 with Bardock Apes piloted by Peter Dance
Yeah, wanting to win the next two rounds was kinda challenging with immediately running into a Broly match up. But I thought to myself, you beat one already, you can win against this one as well. When I discovered that my opponent is playing Bardock Apes from the Draft box I thought that maybe I can win this because it is taxing for him to pay two energy and then I can just combo my West Kai. Negating all of his attacks, preventing him to Arrival was the first step, but when they ran out I had to rely on the Kais and they came in handy every time. If I remember correctly, I won each match with the five drop Gogeta since he was low on life and the Double strike was always in kill shot range. Also, the best board removal card in the deck and the reason I cut the Porunga.
ROUND NINE (LOSS) – Janemba mill piloted by Joe Dunthorne
I just had to win this and I would be in the top 16. After the eight round I was on the 14th spot so I knew that this was the crucial round. I won the die roll for the first time during the tournament and I felt confident in the match up, but at the end, what lost me the match was Janemba’s random milling. My opponent is a great and competent player so I couldn’t show or communicate the problems I faced, but the first match loss was because he milled me out, all the while putting blockers on board so he can avoid getting Victory striked. He managed to stall out long enough for him to mill me out so I figured okay, you will not get me the second time. I won the second match after he played the two drop Towa revenge blocker and the following turn I played King Vegeta, effectively negating every skill, then proceeded to play Son Goku, the Awakened Power and win with his attack. The third match was the one I had to win, but my deck had another plan. Victory strike was in the life and Janemba milled three Objections in a row, among other things I needed. His leaders RNG won him the match and I struggled to get some of the cards from the Drop for me to gain an advantage. I managed to ramp up to nine energy with battle card effects, with Kaio-Ken being World peaced and I started taking my life so that I can stumble upon the Victory strike. I got him and attacked with a battle card to combo him away so that I can revive him. He did not have anything relevant to play for his next turn and I knew that he can’t mill me out since I had six cards in the deck so I revived the VS with Porunga’s ultimate effect and attacked his leader. The thing is, he had two Boujack blockers on board that he managed to establish because the game took longer than it had to since I could not speed up the ramp process (again, Objections did not go to my hand, but in the Drop) so I knew he would block. I expected for him to attack and mill my two cards, try to do something and I will finish my next turn with playing King Vegeta and negating all skills on the field. But he drew an Awakening talent Pan, milled two cards with the leader and with him he drew the AoD Janemba and played him, activated his ability and milled my last cards. A firm loss from something that should have been an auto win, but the deck had a perfect pilot.