The prince of Saiyans returns to his dark roots in set 11 Escalation, with a brand new villain stack centered around applying consistent pressure to his opponents. He boasts multiple ways to trap players in disadvantaged situations, significant tempo options, and a great deal of reliability. He is a viable MPPV option, particularly with Vegeta – The Crown Prince (Legends) as his level 1, although he excels at trapping opponents and winning by survival.
He receives a new named card, Vegeta’s Prideful Challenge. This setup locks both players out of their board state for a combat, and provides some decent discard manipulation during the pivotal When Entering Combat step. It is also considered styled, and won’t interfere with the conditions on Vegeta’s new levels 2 and 3. While every Vegeta stack has access to this effect, which is already juicy enough, Majin flavors of Vegeta are also granted an additional card in hand!
Vegeta – Untethered Rage starts things off with an intriguing parenthetical that Saiyan Dynamic players will adore. This buffer against delevel effects allows his higher levels to consistently shine, while bringing synergy with a number of tools Vegeta has access to, such as Final Flash, Vegeta – Redeemed, and Red Tandem Blast. The cost is steep, and repeated uses will rob you of valuable late game options via Visiting the Past or other tools. His attack deals moderate damage, but also applies a hugely impactful hit effect to his next styled attack. Although this effect is completely broadcast and easily planned for, it can be punishing early (particularly to ally centric decks,) and helps him reach his higher levels that much faster.
His second level can be seen as a bread and butter personality worthy of building towards. Vegeta – Malicious has the ability to trap opponents in combat and deny their tempo options. He is a perfect foil for Awakening’s herogeta, as well as a number of other passive strategies and personalities. Be wary, as your opponent can interact with this effect through discard pile disruption, particularly if Vegeta is running a non-styled package. His constant also applies a modest stage buff to his styled attacks, helping him make the most of the combats he forces. His attack is a free energy that offers further discard pile manipulation, either to set up/buffer his own constant, or pester opponents. Optional anger gain allows him to slime to 3 against less passive opponents or in MPPV strats, or camp at 2 when the moment calls for it.
Vegeta – Relentless is not as flashy as his previous level, however he has a great deal of utility and tech available. His stage modifier is increased, allowing him to really make the most of repeated hits from attacks like Red Double Strike and Saiyan Elbow Drop. Anger increases allow him to continue manipulating discard piles (once again, his own or his opponent.) This can be utilized to set up his activated power for coveted choice hand advantage. With liberal use of discard pile tech (or a very dedicated styled build) Vegeta is also able to destroy two cards on the table every time he uses this power. Even at worst, the option to discard a single setup, drill, or ally is a potent tech ability.
Vegeta’s arch is finally complete, as he reaches Vegeta – Redeemed, who is a re-imagining of a classic sacrifice. This attack has unparalleled reach, able to seal games all at once. The hit effect is particularly punishing, however it can be used strategically to bounce down to his level 2 (at max stages!) if the player is prepared to pay the costs. This level doesn’t offer anything to a dedicated MPPV strategy, but has the potential to end games in dramatic fashion through survival.
Overall, his stack offers a form of aggressive play that slants away from brutally overpowering opponents, in favor of consistency and reliability. An optional backup MPPV win condition can be potent, and anger will generally supplement both win conditions simultaneously. He is also a sneaky control personality, who frequently exerts his will on the state of the game’s tempo and discard piles. The only question left to ask yourself is this. Have you tried villain Vegeta?