Hello everyone! Frank DeLuca here with a tournament report from the Last Chance Tournament of Power Qualifier held at Eternal Game in Warren, Michigan. For a quick intro to myself, I am 22, from Duluth, MN, and every few months travel to the Kenosha, Wisconsin area to play this game with friends. I usually stay with my friend Mike Tiegs, whom I met the first year of North Kai’s PanZ event in 2015. Mike and his local crew made me an honorary member of the “The Squirtle Squad”. Since then I have traveled mainly in the Midwest to play Dragon Ball Z through it’s phases.
For this trip, I traveled with 4 members of the Squirtle Squad from Kenosha and Milwaukee out to Warren, Michigan for the Tournament of Power’s Final Qualifier. My friend Cody Witt and I tested vigorously on Thursday, while myself and Mike Tiegs got a few games in on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning rolled around and the last two squad members, Nick Rodriguez and Derek Apfel joined us on the road to Warren!
Around a month and a half prior to leaving for the trip, I had been crafting and refining a deck that had reignited my Passionfor the game, Mischievous Dr. Wheelo. Ever since his premiere in the Panini WordPress article, I had been smitten with his stack. I loved mill and the 3 anger set on his level 1, the large life card mod on his level 2, yet I could never find a deck that could abuse the constant mill of his 3 and 4 well. I piloted Blue Protective Dr. Wheelo to a 6-2 bubble at the 1st Chicago Regional and a 4-3 record at the 2nd North Dakota Regional. As set 6 set in with Cooler and Broly, I thought my days of playing Dr. Wheelo were forever behind me….
Enter the Fusion Format!
I had since the days of Retro Z, loved the MP Stack Dr. Wheelo (Dr. Willow) had gotten in ScoreZ. The Black TS Kamehameha Deck that Joel Glasser had used with Dr. Wheelo had peaked my interest ever since seeing the report when I was in high school 6 years ago. When Didier Greenleaf announced the Fusion Format OCTGN Tournament, I knew I had to revisit the stack and see how the two games; PanZ and ScoreZ , could make one of my favorite DBZ characters pop!
As I crafted a MPPV/Mill/Dragon’s Victory deck with the Black Mischievous Mastery for Dr. Wheelo, I saw the power of the mastery’s interaction with the levels 3&4 of Panini Dr. Wheelo. One of the issues I had with Wheelo decks, was their lack of Destroy procs, even when you get to level 3 and 4. Now I always had one on the board….Snazzy. To top it off, it gave anger! Nice!
A dozen and a half games later of the Fusion Format and I began to tinker with a Panini Version. Initially I was looking at Android Trait Cards and came upon the old Evolution Card Android Presence. Wanting to make a joke of a deck, I made a Mischievous deck using not just Dr. Wheelo, but Clash of Wills, Unleashed, and Android Presence. Well after winning some games with it, much to my own surprise, I decided to refine the build. Away went Android Presence and all the crappy Android cards;in came more mill and tech. Two OCTGN tournaments, half a dozen at home games with friends, and some games with friends from afar via Facebook; and you have the decklist I was rocking on the trip down to K-Town.
I arrived in Kenosha Wednesday evening. I put a couple of games down and had brought a few decks with me. I mainly spent time Wednesday and Thursday taking off mental rust for not just Cody and Mike, but myself as well. Many of my friends had not played since March’s Kenosha Qualifier and North Kai events. We played a series of different decks with different tempos at each other. Members of the Squirtle Squad asked me what I expected the meta to be. “Mid Tempo and Anger..maybe a few ball decks?”. Between keeping up on some the the other area tournament reports and the state of things on OCTGN, I surmised that the meta was a bit slower than a couple of months ago. I also knew that my deck could probably afford to add more board cards, as I found myself passing combat until I had an auto level card. These factors as well as more losses than wins in my testing with Cody and Mike, influenced the changes I made in the trip to Warren.
On Friday evening, we arrived after 5 PM at the hotel. We went to our hotel room where, conveniently in the room next door, was Kevin Dennis, Joshua Gregory, and Anthony Tardino. Joshua and I had met over a year ago, while I didn’t really get to know Kevin until the Dennis Bowl last December. Both are great guys whom I’ve had some very deep conversations about life in general with. Kind of a recurring theme with a lot of the players I’ve met through this game and why I’m still here! Trevor Cox and his friend whom I unfortunately have forgotten the name of, arrived around midnight and BS’d with us a bit as well. It was good to see some more familiar faces and get games in before Saturday’s event. Saturday Night’s games also gave me an opportunity to test my changes.
One such change was the addition of Black Signal to my deck and the dropping of Wallbreaker. While I was worried about Red anger, particularly Red Amplified Mastery + Red Tactical Drill’s near untouchable anger lock, I decided that having more board cards to drop on my passes was a better trade for the majority of my matchups. Black Signal also offered a destroy interaction with my mastery which came to be the best change I made that weekend. Black Haunting, which I had added, did not work as I had wished. Often Black Haunting was targeted by Spheres or oddly had little payoff in the matches I had with it. Black Swipe took the Black Resistance slot after a previous change had seen Black Corruption replace Swipe. Black Swipe’s Pile hate proved too key in it’s synergy with Black Foreshadowing, as well as for killing high priority cards hit by my destroy effects. Playing around with the numbers of Tug of War, Black Corruption, Black Energized Guard, Black Analysis, and Clash of Wills occured throughout Friday night into Saturday morning. It wasn’t until a quarter of the list had been written down for the decklist write up, that I put away 3 wall breakers sitting in front of me on the sheet of paper.
Going into the tournament, I knew the weak spots of my deck. While I would love to be rolling on the level 4 every game, it just doesn’t happen. Luckily the deck didn’t need to leave level 1, though level 3 was preferable to 1&2 most of the time. Ball matchups were very tricky. I didn’t have much capability to crit Dragon Balls, other than with one of my few attacks while on level 2. Dragon Balls also absorbed a lot of mill damage, my primary win con. Hard stage beats could be overbearing, and while I didn’t expect much of them at this event; I had 9 physical blocks including Time Is A Warrior’s Tool, as well as 5 auto leveling cards. Allies have seen very little play since the Namekian Restored Mastery Freeze at the end of set 9. At North Kai and Kenosha there had been a few ally decks played to top cut success: Matt Tambor’s Blue Tag Team Gohan, Kevin Dennis’s Protective Future Gohan, and Thomas Mains’s Mischievous Frieza. I advocated friends to run ally, ball, or mill decks as I felt no one was properly teching for them. Having started my deck off with 3 Tug Of Wars since it’s very first Android Incarnation, it was hard to cut them down to a single copy. After playing a match against Blue Tag Team Cell, advocating Kevin to play the deck, and cutting wallbreaker; I deemed a second copy of Tug, necessary to combat anger and any rogue ally deck.
Anger matchups mostly came down to draws. Do I see Black Trick Shot or x other anti anger card? Does my opponent run Red Tactical Drill, making Trick Shot useless? Truthfully, the only anger matchup I sweated would be one of Red Amplified running Red Tactical Drill. One of my worst losses in FanZ competitive came from Ryan Lambdin’s Red Amplified Goten deck against my Mischievous Dabura at North Kai. The Near-permanent board presence of Red Tactical Drill ensured I could never stop the leveling, despite almost 20 cards in my deck lowering anger. It was a combo that alone warranted running Wall Breaker. Knowing many of the players at the tournament, I assumed few would play the dreadedcombo. That knowledge payed off. I didn’t regret taking out Wall Breaker for Black Signal the entire tournament. The aforementioned Tug of War also did double duty in my tech slots for both anger and ally. With my teching done, I was ready for my matches.
Tournament Play: Swiss
Round 1: Kris Ratkewicz – Retribution Cooler
Round 1 begins and I find myself matched up against Kris Ratkewicz with Retribution Cooler. He wins the roll and passes, grabbing crying drill with mastery. We pass twice and at this point has 4 drills on board. I had a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival and Black Android Programming on board I believe. Combats ends with me getting hit by 2 Orange Fierce Attacks and him at 3 anger on level 1. For some reason Kris choose to not use his mastery to level. Perhaps due to the drills being on the board or because he forgot? Kris had mentioned he hadn’t played much since PanZ, though he had contemplated using the mastery early in combat. Regardless, I ended up dropping a Black Smoothness Drill a turn or two after.
The next time we went into combat, I had entered with a hand of Villainous Energy Sphere, Time Is A Warrior’s Tool,, Unleashed, Black Foreshadowing, and Black Corruption. I lead with Unleashed to level and I think I sphere’d his sphere. I went to level 3 and mastery’d to get some more mill off and combat went in my favor. Eventually I ended getting to my level 4 and ran the game from there. Kris was unable to draw any big damage or anger hands. Between drawing Black Signals and Black Trick Shot, I kept him on his 3rd level all game. Eventually he dropped me a level with Earth Dragon Ball 2.I drew a Black Signal and Black Analysis the turn after. I asked him for a life deck count and he gave me 19. I entered with a 2 card hand; popping Visiting the Past to add a Villainous Energy Sphere to my hand. Between my mastery, Black Analysis, Black Signal, and some other card I got him down to something like 2 life cards. GG.
MVP: Black Signal.
Round 2: Cody Witt – Radiant Kami
Cody has been a friend the last 3 years whom I had met through Mike. We joked with some of our other friends that had gotten paired against each other, that this was almost like a local. I knew his deck and had told him the night before to add in Namekian Aggression Drill. Low and behold, that drill helped both him and me out that day!
I win the die roll and see a board card and a Villainous Energy Sphere. I hold Sphere and pass. Cody passes after dropping a Namekian Energized Glow. I saw Black Schematics and knew I wanted to try and steal some drills out of his decks. I entered and used my level 1 for the 3 anger. He uses Radiant Mastery to grab balls for Kami’s power. I play Black Schematics. He Spheres. I Sphere. It’s good! With that I secure the level to 2 and take Namekian Aggressive Drill. I proceed to repeatedly enter combat on his deck; using Dr. Wheelo’s Revivals, my sweep of powerful events like Black Taunt, and Namekian Aggression Drill to shut off his hands and kill every setup he drops. Unfortunately for him I also get an early Black Smoothness Drill and maintain control the entire game.
The second combat of the game I land a 8 life card Black Extreme Blast to take a Earth Ball 6. I also attach a Black Android Programming from my board in tandem with Unleashed to hit level 4. He knows the only way to win would be to ball out. Despite whipping out a lot of passive mill from Kami’s level 1 and Kami’s Guardian Drill most of the game, we slowly play the game of how long can you live with only Dragon Balls in the deck. He enters combat with 2 cards in deck and uses Kami’s Guardian Drill to rejuvenate 2 cards. I activate my mastery to keep him from using Kami to net more cards in deck. I hit him with a Black Invitation from hand to mill out the rejuvenated cards, followed up by Black Signal to make him draw and destroy the last card in his deck with mastery. GG.
MVP: Black Schematics
Round 3: Jovonnie Silva – Resolute Goku
Jovannie was another guy I’ve come to know recently in FanZ. He’s been playing Resolute Drawku since set 7 and had success at other competitive events with it. The Black Mischievous Mastery preys on Goku’s drawing, while Dr. Wheelo Preys on event heavy decks. I got first go and was able to get a Black Android Programming on board before the first combat. He entered and used I’ll dig your grave to advance us a level. I then proceeded to unleash him down to level 1, which he never left the entire game. A series of Dr. Wheelo’s Revivals and Villainous Energy Sphere’s kept him from using events against me the entire match. Eventually I drew a second Unleashed and went to level 4 where I sealed the game. At this point he was destroying 3 for every draw in combat and I was rejuvenating all the hits he got on me. I watched as his life deck melted to all my Dr. Wheelo’s Revivals being hit on level 4. It was a near perfect match for me and I knocked most of his auto levelers into the pile. I believe I finished this game on an enter,mastery, and a use of Black Analysis to make him draw his last cards. GG.
MVP: Black Mischievous Mastery/Dr. Wheelo level 4.
As my match with Jovonnie had ended, I went to the 1st place table and saw Eric playing against my friend Ryan Taylor. Ryan is playing his Red Ruthless Goku that I’ve played against many times since I met him at last year’s North Kai event. Ryan is part of Jovonnie’s SheoForce crew. Eric is running Ascension Trunks. Eric is a more elusive member of the Squirtle Squad that I have only had a few interactions with. I look at the board state of the game and what do I see? A bunch of Dragon Balls! Turns out Eric was not just running MPPV, but ball victory as well. Eric eventually wins by MPPV and all I can think about is how much I really don’t want to play against Eric. Well as I’m asking around for people’s records, the call for the next round comes from Michael Ingersoll. Guess who I’m playing against? It’s Eric!
Round 4: Eric NG – Ascension Trunks
After Eric’s previous match I had congratulated him and told him how ingenious it was to run balls with Ascension Trunks. Trunks high amount of critical damage effects on level 2 and 3; the synergy of Red Panic with Trunks level 3 and Trunk’s Sword Slash. I loved it. I knew it would be a tough match because of the hard dual win cons and my admittance and acceptance of having a bad ball matchup. We roll die and I believe I got first go. We ended up not entering combat for a while but when we did he instantly hit his second level. I was reluctant to enter without a Black Trick Shot which I was unable to see until half way through the game. I ended up Unleashing to level 3 this game but was then Namek Dragon Ball 2’d back down. The combats were few but I made a significant dent into his deck. Black Trick Shot, despite being a late draw, allowed me to not worry about the anger. I eventually get into large milling combat where I must’ve hit him for a dozen or more mill. Every time I’m able to knock his last two balls in his deck to the bottom, he activates another shuffle card to restack his deck. He uses Red Bribe on Namek Dragon Ball 3 to draw one of the 2 balls. By the end of the combat the final ball is on the bottom of his life deck of 6 cards, however he managed to hit his 3rd level. It’s now Eric’s turn. He plays a Dragon Ball and enters using Trunks level 3 to grab Trunk’s Sword Slash from his discard pile. I knew it was gg. He banished a Red Panic from his discard pile for his last Dragon Ball. GG.
MVP: Black Trick Shot.
Round 5: Joshua Gregory – Retribution Kid Trunks
I love Josh to death! Really funny guy with a lot of interesting builds. Both him and myself were the two out of town members of the Squirtle Squad. I played against his deck the night before and due to a few misplays on Josh’s end I was able to capitalize and win. That didn’t happen in this match.
Josh win’s dice roll and passes. He uses Orange Retribution Mastery for Orange Crying Drill. My turn comes and I drop a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival and hold a Tug Of War. Josh enters on his next turn and starts with Heroic Dashing Punch. I block the punch. He then uses Orange Crying Drill. I know that his level 1 raises anger and skips me if it hits. He’s at 2 anger and I have no energy block in my hand. I make a hard choice. Do I pop Dr. Wheelo’s Revival or do I use Tug of War to try and interrupt his leveling. I opt to Tug Of War which is responded to with a Heroic Energy Sphere. I facepalm myself and watch him hit 4 anger on level 2 that combat. Adding to the blunder, I hit a Orange Refocus with my mastery’s discard effect after he had used his mastery to level and grab Orange Checkup Drill. The proceeding draw effect on his next attack nets him another 2 anger energy attack.
I begin to worry as I draw my next hand and see no anger lowering cards. I pass after dropping a Black Smoothness Drill. Josh’s turn comes and he enters again after slight hesitation. The combat proceeds with him leveling via mastery, skipping my action with Kid Trunks level 3’s effect instant effect. Josh than draws with his level 3 power and I proceed to get hit by 5 cards each giving 2 anger that combat. I was able to get quite a bit of milling off; bringing him down to <20 cards and hitting my level 2. The bad part is that he is on level 4 with 3 anger. My mastery ended up discarding an energy block from his hand that combat and giving him another attack. Thanks Black Mischievous Mastery!
At this point in the game, we’ve been in two combats and I got to lower his anger 1 with a Black Energized Guard. I’m flustered at this point as it goes to my turn. I see a hand of Black Trick Shot, Time is a Warrior’s Tool, and Black Invitation. With nothing else as an option I enter and us BlackTrick Shot. He uses Orange Retribution Mastery to go to 4 anger then back down to 3. I pray he didn’t draw a two anger card and throw Black Invitation. Next action he plays Orange Eruption for game. His hand had another Eruption and some other anger card. This one was a hard loss because there was maybe one play I could have done different the would have changed the outcome. Never play events before you use Dr. Wheelo’s Revival! Just don’t do it unless you have a Villainous Energy Sphere! GG.
MVP: Black Energized Guard.
That was Swiss as best I could recall it days after. It was a lot of fun and I played with a lot of my friends! I felt really good about the decks performance and felt my changes were paying off really well. Trevor had came up to me after the 3rd round win and said that I was most likely in because of tie breakers no matter what. I waited around for the top cut announcement form Michael and surely enough…..I was number 8! I turned my deck in, picked up some promo swag from Michael, and went and got Indian Cuisine. I knew I would have the play the #1 spot, Matt Quinn.
Top 8: Matt Quinn – Ascension Yamcha
The round began and I sat down across from Matt. I asked him where he was from and mentioned how I recognized his name from Retro. We roll the die and I get first go. I knew that I couldn’t give him the time to dig for an Unleashed. Red Reverse is the sole reason red energy can even be competitive and I have all the tools in my deck to shut down Unleashed. I went very aggressive this match, getting to my level 2 early and dropping a lot of mill on him with my mastery, blocks, and events from my hand.
I kept complete control of all events played that game, sphereing a Confrontation and an Unleashed. Matt wouldn’t see the 2 remaining Unleashed the rest of the game.I also saw a Black Trick Shot in the early combats of the game, locking him on his level 1. I drew 2 Black Signals and Black Extreme Blast to further the anger lock. Eventually I entered a combat with no anger hate but armed with a couple of destroy cards and blocks in hand. Matt hit level 2 that combat but I was able to Black Swipe him twice between that combat and a previous one to leave him without any Unleashed in pile or many options for level 2 tutoring. I dropped a Black Absorption Drill and Black Analysis. We both passed a turn or two with me dropping another Black Signal and drawing an Unleashed.
I asked Matt for a deck count and he said “19”. I entered with a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival I believe, followed by him killing my drill with Red Energy Blast. Next action I Unleashed to my level 3. He throws another attack and nail’s a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival for 4. I activate my Black Mischievous Mastery. Matt at this time had two anger and threw a Red Static Shot or something similar in damage. After thinking about the numbers on my mill; I choose to raise Matt’s anger with my Mastery and the Black Energized Guard that I blocked Static Shot with. I proceeded to Black Taunt him for 6, shuffle his hand, and mill another 2. I then used Black Analysis to mill him a total of 5 plus make him draw. I finished it all with Black Signal for make him draw and mill himself his last 2 cards. GG.
MVP: Black Signal.
Top 4: Jovonnie Silva – Resolute Goku
Interesting side note going into this round, Jovannie was the only Blue player, I was the only Black Player, and we both made top cut! Represent the styles! Too bad there was no best in Style mats….not a complaint…just a dream. Any way to the match!
This match had him winning the roll but passing on his first two hands due to a lack of drawn sauce. I was able to get a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival, Black Android Programming, and early Black Smoothness Drill on board. He entered and tried to Unleashed ,but I sphere’d it. Next action I pop a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival. He spends the rest of combat throwing attacks and trying to use I’ll Dig Your Grave to level us. I use my level 1 power, mastery, and mill from hand. Jovannie slaps a Wall Breaker on me the next combat that stays on me until I draw an Unleashed. I enter and throw out a Black Extreme Blast. Jovannie Unleashes to level 3 only for me to send him from level 3, back down to 1 in the next action. It was arguable whether it was a good idea to Wall Breaker me in the first place, but I was ramping hard in anger with my mastery early game. I end the combat on level 4, right in the sweet spot.
The next time we go into combat I enter on him with a Stare Down and a Villainous Energy Sphere. I snipe a Blue Slash and I think I then sphere a Confrontation from him. I mastery and begin complete dominance of the match. Everytime Jovonnie uses his Blue Resolute Mastery to draw, thats 4 cards leaving his deck.
I enter a devastating combat lead by Dr. Wheelo’s Revival, then followed up by Black Taunt. This Black Taunt only milled him out 6 total, but I end up replacing half his hand with events. He attacks me, after which I use the Black Mischievous Mastery to make him discard an Unleashed from hand. He uses his mastery to attempt to dig out Assisted Kamehamehas or anything damaging. Mill 3, Rejuv 2. I black Signal him. Mill 3, Rejuv 2. He attacks under effect of my mastery. Mill 3, Rejuv 2. He also ends up hitting a Revival for Mill 5, Rejuv 2. I took an immense toll on his deck that he was never really able to come back from.
Jovannie has less than 20 cards left in deck and enters to use Goku’s Kaio Ken to go to level 2. Blue Defensive Effect was on his bottom of pile followed by Time Is A Warrior’s Tool. Both cards did him no good and I keep milling him down to nothing with two combats. Due to all the Rejuvenating I was doing and the presence of 1 or 2 Dr. Wheelo’s Revivals being in deck, there was no chance of him coming back. I entered on him with a hand of Black Foreshadowing, Black Invitation, and a Black Signal on the board for game. GG.
MVP: Dr. Wheelo’s Revival
My match with Jovannie was fast, so I looked over and begin to watch Eric play Mike Tiegs. Mike was playing Amplified Yamcha but had been unable to get any combats to go past a few actions. By the time Mike has been able to keep Eric in combat, Eric was on level 4, soon searching out Red Tactical Drill. Unable to lower Eric’s anger, Mike lost. I finally saw the Drill that I knew could bring upon my downfall to MPPV.
Truthfully I had been wishing Mike would win for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he is one of my best friends. I’ve spent a lot of time testing with him and receiving advice about everything under the sun. Secondly, his deck was one I had much more control over than Eric’s. I had more counters to Unleashed and energies than balls. Third, me and him had an epic final swiss match at the first Chicago Regional back in 2015. He was the reason I ran Blue Wheelo at Chicago. He told me to run it! We built it the night before. All my Wheelo memories in the PanZ era truly began with his helping hand so long ago. It would’ve been picturesque for us play against each other again at a high stage with the MP he and I selected. Kind of a, “Look at us, can you believe it? We made it! We’re still here” type of moment. Regardless of the matches outcome, it was good to see him represent like he did months ago at The Kenosha Qualifier.
Finals: Eric NG – Ascension Trunks
Eric had only one loss all day, Matt Quinn’s Ascension Yamcha. I knew that I would have to try and be more aggressive than I was in Swiss. Right here was where I would find the ToP Invite. The hype of running Wheelo to the finals consumed me. I was ready. There were no surprises for me in my matches with Eric, just a lot of back and forth plays and prayers to RNGesus. He’s consistently proven that he is a top caliber player, topping at multiple ARG and Kai events over the years. This was it. I gotta hit him hard and fast. We talk with Michael Ingersoll about how we want to determine the winner. Best of 1 or Best of 3. I looked over at the guys and back to Eric. I knew I wanted a Best 2 of 3. It seemed the fairest and while maybe not an entirely favorable matchup for myself; it felt like my best shot. We agreed on best of 3 and began the match.
I had won the dice roll and dropped Black Smoothness Drill and Black Analysis. Eric passes on a Namek Ball 7. It goes to me. Visiting the Past and Black Android Programming drop, What a hot start for me! Eric still gets no board. I pass due to a mediocre hand of physical blocks. Eric Drops Ball 4. Ouch. Bye bye Black Smoothness Drill and Visiting. We pass a few more times, during which I play Namekian Dragon ball 7 to top deck the planning cards he destroyed. He enters and uses Red Ascension Mastery followed by Blinding Energy Move to Disrupt my Ball 7.
We again go into a series of passing and laying down board cards until I see a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival and go in. I get a Black Schematics off to steal his Red Swordplay Drill to stop any Trunks Sword Slash or Knee Bash looping. I enter again using my Visiting The Past to grab a Villainous Energy Sphere and open with Black Trick Shot. I would enter again to keep the Black Trick Shots going as long as I could. Eric took my Namek Ball 7 during this time, however his top decking would be interrupted by him hitting a Dr. Wheelo’s Revival with the destroy 3 effect.
Eric’s deck was low and I knew I could bring him down to almost only Dragon Balls. I repeat entered with mastery as my first action to try and get him to draw down and wittle his deck away. A Villainous Visage for 8 sped up the process. I held a Puzzler in hand for a combat trying to get him to activate a Red Relaxation. On his turn he dropped most of his Dragon Balls, but with only two in deck and my puzzler stopping his Red Relaxation for Red Sword Stab, there was little he could do to prevent me from winning. Eric scooped and we went on to the next match.
Winning the first match was a huge confidence booster. I wanted to try and repeat the same aggression I used in the first match. I got an early double Black Signal and we went into combat with me Black Taunting him at 4 anger for 5 on level 1. I save my signals for the next combat when he begins to gain anger on level 2. During this time he uses dragon radar for Namek Dragon Ball 3 to reshuffle the balls I had hit to the bottom of his deck. His deck is below half at this point, however the game swings on his next turn.
Eric drops two more balls to the table with another red bribe and red destiny. Not good. I know he still has Red Panic’s in pile and I count to see no Sword Slashes in the discard pile. I drop a Visiting The Past and Black Absorption Drill. Knowing that Eric has 9 in deck I enter and Visiting the past for Black Trick Shot. I had counted his pile and saw all Red Brace were gone and he had only a single Heroic Energy Sphere left. I had a Villainous Energy Sphere in Hand and hoped he would play time to stop Black Trick Shot. He and it seems like things were gonna go the way of the first game with balls hitting the bottom of deck. Well guess what? He had Tug Of War in hand and played it right after. ALWAYS. REPEAT. ALWAYS LEAD WITH REVIVAL! A Red Bribe for Namek Ball 7 to top deck Red Panic when all of my effects were done, sealed my fate.I scooped and we went onto game 3. Probably the closest of them all.
This whole match was fast. Less than 15 minutes and it’s down to the final combats. Anyone can take this one. I’ve beaten him before. I can do it again. I enter my first hand with a stare down to kill his only attack card, Red Sword Stab. I level 1 and Black Schematics to level 2, stealing Red Tactical Drill. The play I’ve wanted to do all day has happened! Eric now has nothing to protect himself from my Black Trick Shots. This combat puts me in a really good open. I enter again on him into a Visiting the Past. I go in with all blocks and destroy events. I manage to mastery away a Trunk’s Knee Bash and protect my board. Eric gets to level 2 and drops me to 0 stages. This works in my favor, because I want him to hit my revivals and thin himself out fast.
It goes to Eric and his drops me back down to level 1 with Namek Dragon Ball 2. I proceed to enter and throw a Black Extreme Blast that he attempts to block with Time Is A Warrior’s Tool. I sphere it and just miss critical damage to steal ball 2. (Oh how I wish I hadn’t been dropped!). I also manage to mastery away another Trunk’s Knee Bash out of Eric’s hand. As Michael Ingersoll said, “Dice don’t lie”. It was a massive moral boost to be hitting them. I take a few more big hits from Eric throwing large stage damage physicals at me. I prevent a good portion of it and keep throwing mill at him. I’m able to sent 2 Dragon Balls to the bottom of his deck and banish one of his Red Panics with my mastery.
I follow up with another enter and use Puzzler to counter his Red Relaxation once again. I hit him with a nasty 5 mill Black Taunt but allow him to get to level 3. His deck is under 15 cards at this point with only 3 balls in play. I begin to count his blocks left and ask for a life deck count. He’s at 11. I know if I can mill him down to only Dragon Balls and land one of the 3 remaining life card damage attacks left in my deck, I win. I knock Namek Dragon Ball 3 to the bottom of his deck and Eric discards ball 4 to join it at the end of combat.
Eric’s turn comes and he takes his time combing his piles and thinking. The was probably the longest amount of time spent contemplating a play that either of us made the whole match. He was down to only 8 cards in deck, with 3 Dragon Balls in play. He plays Namek Dragon Ball 7. He spends a few minutes more picking out Blinding Energy Move, Red Panic, and Red Brace. He top decks them. I reveal the cards off my deck for the destroy 3. First card flipped….is DR. WHEELO’S REVIVAL!!!! Oh my god. Everyone watching let out a sound. Eric passes and I know I have a very small window to win. I count his piles again and see all Red Braces in the zones, Time is out, and so is a Red Stop. I have Visiting the Past and Black Signal on board. I have two stages. I enter with Visiting the Past for Black Trick shot as the 3rd card in my hand along with Time Is A Warrior’s Tool, and Stare Down. I know if I can hit and use Black Signal I win, just like how I did against Cody. I immediately throw the Black Trick Shot and…out comes a Red Stop! NO! WHY! He only had 6 cards left! It would have been perfect!Why didn’t I use Stare down!?!??He passes and I use Black Signal before he can use change his mind and level 3 a knee bash. He attacks with Trunks’ Slam and I block with time. I Black Mischievous Mastery and knock out a Trunks Sword Slash from his hand. He passes. I level 1 and send Namek Dragon Ball 3 to the bottom of his deck and he uses Trunks level 3 in response to bottom deck a card and grab Trunks’ Sword Slash. I stare down and he has Dragon Radar and Trunks Sword Slash. I stare down Dragon Radar but I know he will draw his Namek Dragon ball 4 on his turn, enter, level 3, grab Sword Slash, and banish his last Red Panic from pile to win.
What a game! I’m not sure why I didn’t lead staredown. I think I got flustered thinking about how he would kill my Black Signal or that I would get stage locked. I needed to slow my mind down and think. There was a lot of Adrenaline circulating through my body. I made a mistake and Eric took the game the moment I threw that last Black Trick Shot. He played an excellent game and when you’re playing against someone his caliber, all it takes is one mess up to lose a game. Had I just Stare Down’d the block, I probably would have won the match. Watching the games off of the livestream link on the Retro DBZ facebook page gives me something to learn from.
I had a great time playing in Michigan with some great friends and new faces. It was a wholesome experience to play a very under the radar MP that most people have written off. It was gratifying to forge more memories with my cards the last couple of months and to reinvigorate my interest with the game. I can’t wait for more sets in the future. I’m looking forward to the future of this game. We have a great community of players across the states that I hope to get to know more as the years pass. Thank you to my countless friends and opponents that i’ve played with through FanZ, you make it worth continuing to play. Thank you Eternal Games and Michael Ingersoll for the tournament. Thank you devs for continuing to support this game. I’ll see you all on Retro!
Black Mischievous Dr. Wheelo
Physical Combats 11
X3 Black Punt
X3 Black Knee Catch
X2 Black Easy Block
X3 Black Energized Guard
Energy Combats 9
X2 Black Swipe
X2 black Extreme Blast
X2 Black Corruption
X3 Black Trick Shot
X1 Time Is A Warrior’s Tool
X3 Black Taunt
X3 Black Invitation
X3 Black Foreshadowing
X2 Black Schematics
X3 Stare Down
X3 Villainous Energy Sphere
X2 Tug Of War
X2 Clash of Wills
X3 Black Signal
X1 Black Analysis
X1 Black Android Programming
X3 Dr. Wheelo’s revival
X2 Visiting The Past
Dragon Balls 1
X1 Namek Dragon Ball 7
X1 Black Smoothness Drill
X1 Black Absorption Drill