017: Walls Were Meant to be Broken W/ OUR NEW PERMANENT HOST!

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A new challenger appears as the gang welcomes their new permanent co-host, turning this couple of podcasters into a full-on threesome. You read that right.

This time, the gang discusses everything Heroes and Villains related with a little more than a month of the set to work with. And of course, how could anyone talk about Heroes and Villains without getting de-railed into a lengthy conversation about Wallbreaker? We’re looking at you, Facebook.

Anyway, as is the tradition lately, here’s a decklist discussed briefly in this episode. Wombo-combos abound!

Nail 1-4

Namekian Knowledge Mastery

3 Namekian Backhand

3 Namekian Clash

3 Namekian High Knee

3 Namekian Chin Grab

3 Namekian Lift

3 Namekian Side Kick

3 Namekian Zone Pressure

3 Namekian Right Throw

3 Devastating Blow

3 Nail’s Dashing Attack

3 Namekian Energy Guard

3 Namekian Forceful Block

3 Namekian Hybrid Defense

3 Namekian Patient Block

2 Confrontation

2 Nail’s Heritage

1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool

1 Namekian Hurried Quest

2 Namekian Self-Training

2 Visiting the Past

2 Isolation

1 Namek Dragon Ball 1

1 Namek Dragon Ball 2

1 Namek Dragon Ball 3

1 Namek Dragon Ball 4

1 Namek Dragon Ball 5

1 Namek Dragon Ball 7

Anyway, let us know what you think about this episode, that deck, or anything else at dbzccgpodcast@gmail.com!

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Animarvel’s Avengers – Magic: the Gathering Deck Tech for Rogue Master Brewer

This site normally hosts the work of my co-host John Welter and myself on the Dragon Ball Z CCG, but this seemed a better place to post than my Tumblr, so please enjoy and excuse something completely different.

In undertaking the challenge posed last month by RogueDeckBuilder.com, the first thought that comes to my mind is how much fun it could be; the second is how crazily hard it can be to settle on a deck list. Animar, Soul of Elements may be the most challenging choice possible for tackling the Tiny leaders format.  The full competition description can be seen here.

Aside – For those who aren’t already familiar, Tiny Leaders is a new spin on Commander (Nee Elder Dragon Highlander), where decks are cut in half, starting life totals drop to 25, and no card can have a converted mana cost greater than three. Full details can be seen at http://tinyleaders.blogspot.com. Keep in mind the key differences between this format and the nothing-is-out-of-bounds Commander are a focus on competitive one-on-one, best of three matches, and eliminating much of the degeneracy rampant in competitive fields for that format.

So why is Animar such a bugbear of a problem in deck construction? There are some complicated reasons in a meta analysis, but we can break it down to three key points:

  1. Animar strongly encourages combo play via his cost reduction ability, but with less tutors and redundant card options, this is actually harder to support in 50 cards than in 100.
  2. Being a three color commander, Animar asks us to strain our mana base, making us particularly vulnerable that form of disruption.
  3. Animar can compliment a ridiculous variety of decks! How do you pick just 1?

Realistically, Animar will be intimately friendly with several creature tribes. Animar, Master of Elementals? Of course. Animar, King of the Faeries? You might be surprised. Animar, duly elected sheriff and chief executive officer to the Mayor of Avabruck? I’m on the re-election committee. Stretching beyond the subtype, it also becomes obvious quite quickly that Animar would love to help manufacture a machine army. You don’t need Llanowar Elves to help cast Myr Superion, when his cost gets discounted to zero.

Outside of these linear themes, Animar loves to play with comes into play and leaves play abilities, especially with his obligate sidekick Cloudstone Curio. The two together can lead to many infinite combos, while Curio alone can just play a very effective card d engine.

Even by himself, Animar can notably go into man-mode very quickly. With his natural protection from black and white, a single Sword of Fire and Ice can make him immune to almost all removal, while simultaneously turning him into a board-controlling, card drawing clock against almost any deck.

Keeping these things in mind, take a look at the deck list I’m submitting:

(full view at http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/animarvel-rogue-master-brewer-competition/)

General

181

Creature (21)

  • 1x Axebane Guardian
  • 1x Birds of Paradise
  • 1x Cloud of Faeries
  • 1x Drift of Phantasms
  • 1x Fauna Shaman
  • 1x Genesis Hydra
  • 1x Hooded Hydra
  • 1x Horned Kavu
  • 1x Lifeblood Hydra
  • 1x Llanowar Elves
  • 1x Loaming Shaman
  • 1x Overgrown Battlement
  • 1x Phantasmal Image
  • 1x Quickling
  • 1x Rattleclaw Mystic
  • 1x Reclamation Sage
  • 1x Scryb Ranger
  • 1x Scuttlemutt
  • 1x Selkie Hedge-Mage
  • 1x Sylvan Caryatid
  • 1x Wall of Blossoms

Artifact (2)

  • 1x Bow of Nylea
  • 1x Cloudstone Curio

Enchantment (1)

  • 1x Temur Ascendancy

Land (18)

  • 1x Breeding Pool
  • 1x Command Tower
  • 1x Dryad Arbor
  • 2x Forest
  • 1x Gruul Turf
  • 1x Island
  • 1x Llanowar Reborn
  • 1x Lonely Sandbar
  • 1x Misty Rainforest
  • 1x Mountain
  • 1x Opal Palace
  • 1x Simic Growth Chamber
  • 1x Taiga
  • 1x Tranquil Thicket
  • 1x Tropical Island
  • 1x Volcanic Island
  • 1x Wooded Foothills

Instant (4)

  • 1x Chord of Calling
  • 1x Force Spike
  • 1x Mental Misstep
  • 1x Spell Burst

Sorcery (3)

  • 1x Green Sun’s Zenith
  • 1x Life from the Loam
  • 1x Red Sun’s Zenith

Sideboard (10)

  • 1x Blue Elemental Blast
  • 1x Dwarven Blastminer
  • 1x Gaea’s Blessing
  • 1x Hydroblast
  • 1x Krosan Grip
  • 1x Memory’s Journey
  • 1x Savage Summoning
  • 1x Shattering Pulse
  • 1x Sword of War and Peace
  • 1x Vexing Shusher

So we can see this deck has elected not to take a primarily linear route to victory, though there is a small element of such in the defender mana creatures, specifically Axebane Guardian and Overgrown Battlement (and secretly Phantasmal Image). These creatures are reasonable ramp even without stacking the board but can get quickly out of hand and even contribute to combo wins.

You can also see that the deck has avoided the restriction of CMC 3 or less by including several Hydras for their X casting costs, as well as some potent X non-creatures. They are highly scalable cards, allowing us to exceed the normal cap on relative power levels for individual cards. Scalability is a concept I examine in any Tiny Leaders build. Basically, the foundation is that due to inconsistencies and lowered power compared to say, Legacy, Tiny leaders games will usually continue long enough for players to develop complicated board states and heavier mana pools.

Scalability insures your spells can continue to be relevant. In the case of Spell Burst, enough mana security can actually result in completely locking down the game. This spell can counter any opposing spell without its own X, and sometimes those too, then return to your hand, for 7 mana or less. Our creature base should allow that to happen. The particular Hydras chosen have also been included due to their synergy with other parts of the deck. While Apocalypse Hydra or Primordial Hydra might have greater raw power, the Hydras here generate card advantage with when entering or dying effects. Genesis Hydra can serve as a quasi-tutor for combo elements. Hooded Hydra makes replacements at death, but also plays as a colorless face down creature, quickly becoming free with Animar, and potentially leading to infinite counters for the man himself when the curio is active.

While the main deck features only a pair of morphs, the deck as a whole features many of these small high-synergy packages. Temur Ascendancy + Horned Kavu equals draw a card for RG. Life from the Loam + Cycling lands is another draw engine that many players will be more familiar with. Cloud of Faeries, Cloudstone Curio, and several other creatures will make infinite life, infinite card draw, or infinite mana via Karoo lands, even without Animar.

There are some cards that stand out in this deck, as not being especially combo-ish, but fill specific roles quite well. Drift of Phantasms is an effective defender (blocks Geist’s Angel), and can contribute to that mana making team, but also tutors for Curio, Temur Ascendancy and several other cards. Selkie Hedge-Mage gives you some life against burn decks and steals some tempo back from an aggressive deck via bounce, and can be part of a large package to gain infinite life. Loaming Shaman is a solid zenith active creature to give you an out against mill. Bow of Nylea supplements all these, as well as being a +1/+1 counter producer for Animar and hydras.

Two of my favorite cards in the deck, Scryb Ranger and Scuttlemutt, are little known. But the Mutt can come down for free, add value to “protection from” abilities, and is an all flavors mana dork himself. Ranger scares off a certain gang of popular fae, while also allowing reuse of multi-mana walls and uninterruptible protection of Dryad Arbor.

This article could go on about all the synergies available, but I’ll leave it to you to explore those.  Let’s start wrapping things up and talk strategic play tips.

Executing the Premise

Make mana, make huge things. This shouldn’t be complicated, but there will be a lot of subtlety in making the optimal move. Use Quickling and Scryb Ranger+Curio to save your team. Try not to tap out all the time; they can’t always assume you don’t have a counter spell. Let your opponent believe Temur Ascendancy is bad. Go for basics when you don’t absolutely need duals; that, as well as mana dorks and Life from the Loam will reduce the effect of that mana disruption I mentioned before. Past turn 3, the deck will give you lots of opportunities to make interesting decisions.

The Mulligan: It is dreadful when it goes wrong, but executing it just right will win games. The Partial Paris used in Tiny leaders lets you look for sets of cards, if you aren’t too picky. In this deck, you should prioritize 2 to 3 land, at least one of which is green. Afterwards, you want mana makers, with Sylvan Caryatid being your Gold Standard. Always throw back Dryad Arbor. Keep your tempo counterspells and cloudstone curio unless you have to toss them digging for the mana.

Sideboard options here are focused on what are likely to be the most common and problematic decks to face. Public enemies number one and number two are burn and blue control. Mill is less common and we’re better suited to tackle it main deck, but it’s still worth dedicating some slots.  Black board wipes are unfortunately something you just have to be prepared to live with and play around them; just hope they aren’t playing Nature’s Ruin.

You have 2 copies of the best Counterspell/Vindicate in the game against burn decks, lose the Scryb Ranger and and Rec Sage. Sword of War and Peace also helps turn tempo in your favor while making a key man unkillable. Don’t worry about going infinite and lose the hoody.

Counterspells can be disregarded by making your Summons Savage or Vexing. Here your first cuts are likely to be Quickling and a mana wall. You have to keep an eye out for Hibernation too, so don’t be afraid to keep morphs face down, and bring in Blastminer, even if they aren’t too greedy on the non-basic front. Don’t forget that Animar and Scryb Ranger have protection from Geist of Saint Traft.

Against Mill, bring in Gaea’s Blessing and Memory’s Journey. Cut anything but land, Bow of Nylea, or Loaming Shaman, and the match becomes almost un-lose-able. They will be sad. Offer to buy them a drink. Unless they are playing Tetsuo with Bitter Ordeal, then you be fast and ready to beat their butt like you’re their daddy and they broke into the liquor cabinet before they can use it on all your protection, or just hold it in hand until that spell has been resolved and be ready to play what will still be a slobber-knocker of a close game.

Final Thoughts

Animar has so many options that the winner of the contest is going to come down mainly to preference. He’s the kind of guy with whom you can always find something new and interesting to do. Post Dragons of Tarkir, an entirely new, highly viable deck type becomes available to him with the surplus of exciting morph creatures in that set (Bonus deck list, inelligible for competition: Animorphin’ Time!). I hope you’ll consider giving this particular take a go. Let me know what you think, and wish me luck in the Rogue Master Brewer contest!

016: Hypothetical Previews W/ Didier Greenleaf

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Didier Greenleaf joins us again to discuss the previews since set 2 and the biggest DBZ CCG controversy since #foilgate. But mostly just set 2. Listen with intrigue to our reactions and opinions that are often described as, “lukewarm at best”!

And with the new set, I bring you a deck list. But not just any deck list. It’s an old favorite that’s been updated with some cards from set 2. Let’s take a look at my Black Krillin Control as it last was:

3 Black Energy Web

3 Black Interceptor Barrage

2 Black Lightning Storm

2 Black Capture

2 Krillin’s Solar Flare

2 Krillin’s Destructo Disc

3 Black Defensive Burst

3 Black Side Thrust

2 Black Disorienting Blow

2 Devastating Blow

2 Blinding Energy Move

3 Black Delay

3 Black Finger Block

2 Black Knee Catch

3 Black Swipe

3 Black Adaptation

3 Black Scout Manuever

3 Confrontation

1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool

1 Heroic Energy Sphere

3 Black Power Up

3 Black Searching Technique

2 Visiting the Past

2 Black Smoothness Drill

1 Black Erasing Drill

1 Black Mischevious Drill

Let’s start our analysis with what I was happy with. Krillin himself and the mastery work great, which was the basis for this deck. I was always happy to have Smoothness Drill, Power Up or Searching Technique on the table. Interceptor Barrage was always a great draw. But what was I unhappy with? Firstly, our defense. The deck needed a lot of physical blocks to fuel its glut of energy attacks, and all of the ones available to us except for Black Finger Block sucked major butt. Delay is just… Not a very good card, and Knee Catch raised our anger which is bad for us. Secondly, some cards I had hopes for have under performed. Black side Thrust has a pretty minimal effect. It was probably the attack I wanted to draw the least. Its effect seemed like it was proactive, but more often then not I felt like I was just helping my opponent by setting up their next Visiting the Past. Mischievous Drill is a hold-over from the old game that I thought would transition smoothly. Sadly, it hasn’t. As much as I like the card, the 60 card decks and lack of super powerful drills make the cost associated with the card often not worth the outcome. If you only had to ditch one or two cards to use it, I think it would be fair and playable, but sadly it is not. Scout Manuever is great of course, but I don’t think we want 3 copies. It is a cruddy draw late game.

So how can we improve based on the cards from Heroes and Villains? Let’s find out:

3 Black Interceptor Barrage

3 Black Energy Web

2 Black Lightning Storm

2 Black Counterball

2 Krillin’s Solar Flare

2 Krillin’s Destructo Disc

3 Black Enraged Assault

3 Black Defensive Burst

2 Black Disorienting Blow

2 Devastating Blow

3 Black Upward Dodge

3 Black Finger Block

2 Black Delay

3 Black Swipe

3 Black Adaptation

2 Black Scout Manuever

2 Black Foreshadowing

2 Confrontation

1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool

1 Heroic Energy Sphere

3 Black Power Up

3 Black Searching Technique

2 Black Declaration

2 Visiting the Past

2 Black Smoothness Drill

1 Black Erasing Drill

1 Black Radiating Drill

So how have we improved? Side Thrust gets swapped for a card that does more damage and permanently gets rid of something instead of just discarding it? Check. Knee Catch gets out for a block that we are more than happy to play? Check. We gain an event that does damage that is hard to deal with, does not cost anything AND helps set up more energy attacks? Triple check. Cards I’m not sure about but will have to test: Radiating Drill and Counterball. They’re ones to watch.

Anyway, let us know what you think about this episode, that deck, or anything else at dbzccgpodcast@gmail.com!

015: Of Nameks and Mailbags

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The boys are back with another catch-all episode on not-so current events (College is more time-consuming than I remembered. Also League of Legends.) Listen with intrigue as Logan shares with us his menagerie of voices and John loudly unwraps plastic!

Also, here’s an article that talks about Captain Ginyu a little better than we did. And with more pictures!

Also, as is tradition of late, here’s another deck from yours, truly. Here’s one of the first decks that I built for the game. It was quickly retired because it just couldn’t keep up with Namekian Piccolo. But since the errata to the Mastery, the meta has opened a bit so that decks like this have a chance to shine! The deck operates on two simple foundations: Pure aggression and maintaining card advantage. SSG Goku helps to do this in two ways: His power will obviously net an extra card each combat, and his dominance of the physical attack table makes physical attacks that generate “two-for-ones” like Red Heel Kick or Red Shattering Leap all the more deadly. It also plays a small drill package to make use out of his level 2 power and Red Power Punch but keeps it slim so that you aren’t likely to draw them off of his level 1 power during combat.

1 Goku, Super Saiyan God
1 Goku, Kaio-Ken Enhanced
1 Goku, Energy Gatherer
1 Goku, Super Saiyan

1 Red Enraged Mastery

Attacks

3 Red Heel Kick
3 Red Lifting Kick
3 Red Power Rush
3 Red Power Lift
3 Red Power Punch
3 Red Shoulder Grab
3 Red Shattering Leap
3 Red Double Strike
2 Red Back Kick
2 Red Lightning Slash
2 Devastating Blow

3 Red Left Bolt
3 Red Energy Blast
2 Red Static Shot
2 Red Heating Beams

Blocks

3 Red Duck
3 Red Catch
2 Red Energy Defensive Stance
2 Red Energy Shield

Combats

1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool
1 Red Observation
2 Confrontation

Non-Combats

2 Red Intimidation Drill
1 Red Hunting Drill
1 Red Despair Drill
1 Red Forward Stance Drill
1 Quickness Drill

Until next time, talk to us at dbzccgpodcast@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @dbzccgpodcast!

014: Episode 14 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the New DBZ TCG

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It’s the episode that the entire podcast up to this point has lead up to. The DBZ TCG is back, and here we discuss our thoughts on it. What do we think of the set? What do we think of the way it was distributed? Why are we do racist against Namekians. Find all of that and our top 4 favorite Baldwin brothers all in this exciting episode!

Here are those nifty Virtual Cards we discussed during the episode!

Until next time, talk to us at dbzccgpodcast@gmai.com and follow us on Twitter @dbzccgpodcast!

Where’s Episode 14? And Where’s Piccolo? And Where’s My Dad?

It’s been a little while.

It wasn’t our intention to stay away for so long, but things have a way of coming up, and sometimes when it rains, it tends to pour. On thing lead to another and we just didn’t get around to putting anything out for you guys like we wanted to. But we’re back on track, and ready for the next episode. So the only thing to get done before that is to try to catch everyone up on what’s been going on these last two months.

To make a long story short, here’s what happened since our last episode:

– Logan went to GenCon. I went to a GP for Magic: The Gathering, instead. Logan played in the RetroDBZ Championship. Many other players did not because of the new game siphoning some interest from Retro, and a Legendary tournament with a large cash prize also pulling some of the regular players. Orange and Black control were more popular than in past years. Logan was close to Top 8’ing but got bumped out just barely. Roshi Speedball won. Joy, oh, joy.

– We recorded an episode that recapped this information and more. I put off working on it for a very long time because of school. Through some blunders in communication, Logan was not able to work on it either, and somehow the original file on my computer became corrupted. So no episode, there.

– I recorded a tiny, mini-episode in my car that recapped everything above. It was boring, very rambling, and all of the information in it is much easier digested in the form of a blog post. Which you are now reading.

– The Panini DBZ CCG Reboot came out. That’s kind of a big deal.

So that’s where we are. It should go without saying that the subject of our next episode will be the aforementioned Panini DBZ CCG. It’ll be part set review, part tournament report from our initial outings for the game, and a lot of back and forth about what went right, what went wrong, and what we hope to see for the future of the game.

So that’s what to look forward to in the coming days, but for now, feel free to check out what I’ve been playing lately. This is one of the archetypes that I was most interested in coming into the new game, and was the first deck that I decided to fully rare-hunt for. I’ve tweaked a few things back and forth in the last few weeks, but this latest incarnation plays a few less attacks and a few more disruption-oriented cards to shift it into the more controlling version of the deck, which I think is better suited to the strategy. So, here, I present Black Krillin Control:

1 Krillin, Ready
1 Krillin, Energetic
1 Krillin, Ready for Battle
1 Krillin, Enraged

1 Black Devious Mastery

[26] Attacks

3 Black Interceptor Barrage
3 Black Energy Web
2 Black Lightning Storm
2 Black Capture
2 Krillin’s Solar Flare
2 Krillin’s Destructo Disc
2 Blinding Energy Move

3 Black Defensive Burst
3 Black Disorienting Blow
2 Black Flying Kick
2 Devastating Blow

[14] Blocks

3 Black Delay
3 Black Finger Block
3 Black Swift Dodge
3 Black Swipe
2 Black Knee Catch

[8] Combats

3 Black Scout Manuever
3 Confrontation
1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool
1 Heroic Energy Sphere

[12] Non-Combats

3 Black Power Up
3 Black Searching Technique
2 Visiting the Past
2 Black Smoothness Drill
1 Black Erasing Drill
1 Black Mischevious Drill

With all that said, what do we want from you guys? Well, we want to know what you want! As always, we want your feedback and suggestions for the show in general, but this time we also ask for some questions you have for our next episode. What specifically do you want us to talk about as far as Panini Z goes? Let us know at dbzccgpodcast@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @dbzccgpodcast.

~ John.

013: The Boring But Informative One

 

Here’s the one a lot of you have been waiting for! All the info on RetroDBZ’s GenCon events, and as much info as we could get about Panini’s DBZCCG relaunch. Garrett Wilkinson joins us again to answer our many, many questions and hopefully some of yours, as well.

If you are confused as to why we’re talking about delicious sandwiches in context with the DBZCCG, read this:

http://retrodbzccgcom.fatcow.com/2014/07/24/the-dragon-ball-z-ccg-is-back/

If you are confused as to the cards we were talking about for GenCon, go here:

http://retrodbzccgcom.fatcow.com/card-images/virtual-subset-2014/

If you are confused about life in general, seek professional help.

Remember to talk to us at dbzccgpodcast@gmail.com!