KTM Ultimate Box Review
Welcome back to the KTM blog and thank you all for checking back in with us!
We have some exciting things to announce coming up in the near future but first and foremost I’d like to officially announce Richard Zapp as a new member to the KTM Pro Team (there may be another more officially official announcement soon). Richard has shown that he has the skills necessary to succeed at the highest level in this game as well as being a vital member of the community at large. At KTM we not only value the skills of a player but also their impact on the community. With two regional top cuts to his name as well as a background in writing quality articles for his former team, Intricate Gaming, Richard was a great add for us. We hope that you enjoy his content!
Joining Richard and myself this week is another lesser known KTM Pro Team member Zuhair Zaidi. Zuhair is mostly shrouded from stardom since he’s great friends with that other Canadian, Danny Hype, but is an integral part of this team and also the team scapegoat. Anything that happens, just blame Zuhair. Zuhair has 1 regional top cut (Indy) as well as a top cut at ARG Hartford. What we’re going to be doing for you is reviewing each card from the new Ultimate Box spoiled on 7/20 and giving our perspective on what we think the impact will be and then give the card a rating from 1-5. I’ll let Richard explain below what exactly the process is as well as introduce himself formally.
Richard - Hi all! Richard “Zappdos” Zapp, the newest addition Kitchen Table Meta Pro Team sponsored roster! Dedicated to providing the consistent, quality content you have come to expect from KTM, I’m here today with John and Zuhair to collaborate on the Ultimate Box spoiler list that was previewed today. This article will evaluate not only how the cards being introduced should impact the game in its current state, but how likely it may be seen in competitive deck lists in the future. To clarify on this, we will rate the cards included in this set on the following scale:
5- This card will impact the current competitive metagame and will likely impact it in the future 4- This card should have a lot of competitive merit now and/or will almost certainly have merit in the future 3- This card has little to no use in the current competitive environment, or the card should have an impact on the competitive metagame in the future 2- This card should not impact the competitive metagame, but may impact it in the future 1- Doubtful the card will ever seriously impact the game competitively now or in the future
The Ultimate Box is a product designed to support and offer buffs to leaders and archetypes that aren’t quite keeping up with the pack come Series 4. How do those cards compete with the current meta? Which one is most playable? Will they go another set not printing out a playable Cooler card? Let’s find out!
Explosive Power Kefla:
Richard - A Red Sayian leader (that can support Unnerving Awakening and Universe 7 Sayian Prince Vegeta) is always welcomed in my eyes. I think this is a card that I would play over Sayian Bond Vegeta when supporting Universe 6 cards. The biggest concern with this card is how it can fully take advantage of its Awakened Form giving other Battle Cards double strike. Right now, the only cards I would consider giving Double Strike with the U6 trait meaningful are Impeccable Super Sayian Cabba, Sayian Onslaught Kefla, and Namekian Duo Pirina; releasing more cards like this will certain help this card move towards the highest level of viability. 3/5
Zuhair - This card has a similar ability as Kid Goku from Set 4 on the front side but themed for Universe 6. This side is pretty decent, cycling through your deck is always good. The awakened side provides aggro and can synergize with the veggie engine including the ToP universe 6 ones. Overall, not really my type of leader though but can see some fringe uses. 2.5/5
John - Kefla is definitely the worst of the new leaders which continues the savage trend of red getting unplayable leader after unplayable leader. Universe 6 as a whole isn't bad but requires a lot of work as a team to do anything meaningful. Champa is probably better at what Kefla is trying to do but in the current format being able to draw 2 cards on the unawakened side for the cost of 1 U6 is pretty awesome. 2.5/5
Ghost Combo Gotenks: Richard - I’m always for a splashable red card; having access to a Combo-into-play card that can play around certain negation by nature of being a token is cute, and I’m sure someone out there is excited for more support in that category. As a whole, I don’t think this card will hit a high level of playability – the only meaningful interaction I can think of that involves a card commonly seen in the meta right now is being able to play it for free while Absolute Defense Great Ape King Vegeta is on board; not enough to sell me on the card for now. 2.5/5
Zuhair - Not a fan of this card. To capitalize on its ability you need to be in a pretty bad position already and in that case I would much rather use Unbreakable Goku, Red TP4 Gohan, or even Vegito, Here to save the day to draw cards. 1/5
John - Tend to agree with Zuhair on this one more than Richard although I think Richard mostly feels the same way that we do. "Free" tokens are always welcome but not at the cost of a 10k combo with a pretty steep restriction. Doesn't do anything to "catch you up" when you're behind and in fact tries to do the opposite and fails. The one redeeming factor this has is its use with Pan leader and being able to make another 15k on your opponents turn to draw a card. That makes it a 2 by itself. 2/5
Virtuous Strength Gohan:
Richard - It’s a very interesting design choice to print this card with a Gohan name; the card was printed with one of the best names in the game in terms of searchability and playability, but Buuhan variants don’t gain a meaningful buff because putting a Comeback Gohan under Grand Evil Absorption Majin Buu is generally just better. Still, direct damage can be really helpful while removing certain threats; I’m just not sure if I would play this card over Glory-Obsessed Prince of Destruction Vegeta (though the 1 Red versus 2 Red energy cost is noted). 2.5/5
Zuhair - This card is pretty interesting. It expands on a “burn” mechanic that Miraculous Comeback Gohan has as well. I’m sure there’s an interesting burn themed deck you could make utilizing this card. Also gives red another card to clear Barrier cards, alongside Chain Attack Trunks that stay in active mode and sit there all game. 3/5
John - GT Vegeta and Miraculous Comeback Gohan have a new friend for their direct damage party. This card would have been a lot better in a different meta but I still like it a decent amount. Attacking annoying battle cards that are in active mode is an oft overlooked ability and we don't have many of those that cost 3 energy. 3/5
Umbral Blade Dabura:
Richard - A support card to help one of arguably the worst leaders in the game, and it went… surprisingly well! Dabura is a reasonably strong closer, and if you were relegated to playing Babidi leader, I would almost always include 2-3 copies of this card; especially considering it’s a 0/5000 on the combo. For the more competitive players, any leader could support this card by including the 1 cost Agent of Resurrection Babadi. 3.5/5
Zuhair - Another attempt at making Babidi playable, but still isn’t able to do that for him. 5 Cost is just way too much especially in the current meta. The ability is OK, but can be played around easily. 1.5/5
John - I was ready to snap give this guy a 1/5 but Richard's comment about the 1-cost Babidi made me change my mind. I still don't think it's a great card but it could have some power in the future if 6-cost Babidi sees play again in the right deck. This is a pretty savage card to hit from that effect. Of note, I love these 5-cost cards getting the 0/5k treatment for their combo cost. That shouldn't be overlooked. 2.5/5
Rampant Evil Majin Buu:
Richard - Intended to support the blue Majin Buu leader by being able to quickly threaten lethal damage through Dawn of the Rampage or Awakening Evil Majin Buu, I’m not particularly impressed with this card. During the mid game, I’d rather work towards Full of Energy Majin Buu; and I would rather try to close games out with The Ulitmate Evil Majin Buu. I’ll keep this card in my binder until we get some more Majin leaders. 2/5
Zuhair - Another addition to the Buu engine. Not a terrible card, you could Union-Absorb into him and he will draw you back a card and untap an energy. There might be better targets to union absorb into but this gives you an extra option if the situation calls for it. It also has triple strike and deflect so you’d want to utilize it if you’re trying to go for game but anticipating counter-play cards like Cold Bloodlust or Crusher Ball. 2.5/5
John - I like this card just fine but it's heavily gated in who can play it. Currently (I think?) it's just the Buu leader and he's not super good at the moment (I think?). In that deck however I can't foresee not playing some number of Rampant Evil. Triple Strike is awesome, especially when you have ways to cheat it into play for the surprise factor. 3/5
Capricious Destroyer Champa:
Richard - At first glance, I gave this card a very, very hard time (and still kind of do). Generally, if there are 1/5 or 2/10s on the board, I want them to stay there so I can attack them when I don’t want to hurt my opponent. But on second thought, this card will probably see more play than most cards in this set just because it is a searchable target for Manipulating God Champa. Then I read the card a third time, I learned you can only resolve the effect if your leader is U6 or a God. 1.5/5
Zuhair - Almost like a mini Kale. Gives red options to clear blockers when trying to play aggro. Good side deck card option against blocker-heavy decks. 2.5/5
John - The U6 and God restriction is rough but I think we'll be seeing more of those - at least Gods - in each set. I also love that we don't have to play a do-nothing 2-drop Champa when we're also playing 1-drop Champa. Again, not in love with it but I don't hate it either. Extra half-star for being able to clear Blockers. 2.5/5
Explosive Power Vegeta: Richard - Hello, sweet prince. The second blue Vegeta leader we have had, I expect this one to easily be as impactful in the competitive landscape as the SSB leader was through much of this game’s meta. In case it wasn’t clear; the awakened form allows you to not only rearrange your color ratios in order to ensure you can play a certain curve, but it also gives you an extra energy for the turn! Check out this curve for one example of the kinds of play this leader enables!
Turn 4, charge energy so your energy spread is 2 Red, 2 Green
Play Sayian Cabba, successfully hit a Caulifa, play it. If the Caulifa does not add a Kale to your board, play Dauntless Kale for free. Swing with Explosive Power Vegeta, pick up a green energy, lay down a red energy. Swing with your other Battle cards Evolve Kale+Caulifa into Sayian Onslaught Kefla
And this is just one play, that does not consider if you Awaken on the same turn you attempt this play; you could easily extend this play more by using The Legendary Flute on Cabba, Awakening, and playing it again first.
And that’s before considering the implications with Results of Training Son Gohan, synergy with any other U7 cards, or any other rush-based strategy. Amazing leader that couldn’t be a better color right now fills a lot of niches and has access to running as many colors as it wants? Get yourself a copy. 5/5.
Zuhair - A new Vegeta leader! Yay! This leader is really good in my opinion. It has drawing capability on it’s front side, and the ability to pressure awakened leaders by gaining +5000 as well. On his awakened side, he has the ability to become permanent 20k attack and brings a new interaction to the game where you can swap your energies. You can swap an energy that is tapped into another new energy to “refresh” it. You can also swap energy colors if your plays benefit you from doing so. You can also essentially have a second pool of cards, picking and choosing cards from your energy to bring back to your hand when you need them. This leader gives a lot of options and I’m pretty excited to test with it. 5/5
John - After being explained to that the energy you bounce back can be tapped and the one you replace is untapped I started to grasp the power of the card. I still remain a bit of a skeptic but agree with most everything Richard and Zuhair said with nothing different to really add. 4.5/5
Awe-Inspiring Intimidator SSB Vegito: Richard - Situational, but I actually really like this card with Heightened Evolution Son Goku. In a lot of ways, it functions as a Senzu Bean of sorts, always being 20K+ and being difficult to move off the board without brute force. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this card make waves. Add a Senzu Bean to this card and watch them throw away their hand as you easily combo over their little Battle cards swinging helplessly. The card may have a lot of competitive merit with testing, but it loses a lot of strength outside of in decks that can’t generate additional energy to protect it. 4/5
Zuhair - Definitely an interesting card. This card has a similar effect to Bergamo. Difference is Bergamo only forced your opponents battle cards to target him, but Vegito forces your opponent to be unable to attack your leader when in rest mode. He also gains barrier with a 20k body, so your opponent WILL have to throw cards at it in an attempt to get it off your board. The Vegito name also gives it playability and synergy with other cards. One thing to note is that if you have 2 of these out in rest mode it will NOT lock your opponent. They can still attack other battle cards, just not your leader. 4/5
John - Agree with Richard and Zuhair. Was ready to just copy and paste what they said but then started thinking about it more in context with some other decks that we've been working on and considered King Vegeta's Surprise Attack. Suddenly you had a 30k that essentially makes them skip their turn. Tremendous in the blue/green deck where he can tag team with Kami's Power Piccolo and/or Combo Killer Anilaza to really do some damage. This creates a sort of soft lock that is only broken by running out of KVSA, defensive power, or Chain Attack into Zen-Oh. Watch out for this card. 4.5/5
Determined Time Leaper Trunks: Richard - This card is okay. The Trunks decks might play it; but trading consistency for the opportunity to draw more than once if it happens to stick on board is a net negative for me. There are some decks that would benefit from this card, but a lot of people won’t be taking those decks to competitive events. 3.5/5
Zuhair - 2 drop, turning into a 15k attacker that searched for a Trunks: Future from the top 7. Pretty standard searcher effect. Gives you the ability to search for Trunks, The Constant Hope. Other than that, I would generally prefer the 1 drop bulma if you’re looking to search a Trunks that is 4 cost or lower. 3/5
John - Unexciting but Trunks: Future has the right traits so it's also going to be at least playable at worst. Two-cost 15k attackers will also always have a place at least somewhere. 3/5
Nightmare Scythe Goku Black: Richard - I love how well designed this card was to support Zamasu and Goku Black archetypes. Unfortunately, the speed of the current meta does not allow us to easily play these cards with the card with it’s intended purpose of offering protection until you got to enough energy to play the Goku Black/Fused Zamasu finishers. I am confident this card will be good eventually, but in the meantime, players will have to find a way to take advantage of this card without relying on these closers. 4/5
Zuhair - From Terror scythes to Nightmare Scythes , we got it all. I’m not super familiar with the goku black/zamasu engines but this card seems decent. With barrier, it’s guaranteed to stay on board so that you can fuse with a zamasu later to bring out your big cards. Also, this card’s art is so sick. 3/5
John - Two sets ago I would have ranked this higher. It's a Barrier Goku Black to go along with previous hard to remove Zamasu for easy fuses but man it's just so slow and also at least one set too late. 3/5
Undying Link Zamasu: Richard - After sitting on this card for a while, I’m a little stumped on how to make this card good. It’s a free cast at 5 energy, which I do really like. But Infinite Force Fused Zamasu needs 7 energy to cast; I’d rather play Zamasu the Invincible on 3 and spend 5 playing destruction like At All Costs Vegeta. This card does set up well for Twisted Justice Fused Zamasu, but if you’re playing Nightmare Scythe Goku Black and Twisted Justice, you will have to stay very aware of your energy, needing to charge Blue the first three turns of the game, and then finally your green. The card does some interesting things for sure; I just don’t know if it’s better than the other Indestructible options for the time being. 3/5
Zuhair - I think this card would be too slow for Goku Black leader, by the time you’re at 5 energy you’re probably not wanting to take 2 damage to your life. On the other hand, Zamasu can play with this in different ways since he awakens at 2 and also can mill cards from deck if you’re awakened instead. Doing so will allow you to essentially play this card for free. Use your imagination for the things you can pull off with this card. There are many lines of play with this card in a Zamasu leader deck. 3.5/5
John - I think this card is just an attempt to make Twisted Justice more playable but it makes your energy really awkward. I like the card just fine as its self-awakening combined with cheating resources on a hard to deal with threat so that's not nothing. I'm just not sure it does much in the current format. A typical theme for this box set is cards being a set too late. This fits that theme. 3/5
Indiscriminate Obliteration Sidra: Richard - Serving as support for the Bergamo leader, this Universe 9 card gives you a lot of defense in the form of removal plus Blocker; but is taking a life in the process counter-productive? The card isn’t bad in a fair format, but I’m a little hesitant on this card when on turn 3 and 4, I’m often staring down Ex-Evolved monsters and boss Battle Cards like Perfect Form Cell and Mira, Creator Absorbed. The card has a couple unique niches; mostly giving blue removal on turn 3 it didn’t have much access to. 2.5/5
Zuhair - 3 cost blocker that can help you self-awaken and provides you with some removal. Pretty straight-forward effects and has it’s uses. 2.5/5
John - This is kind of like a Picollo for 3 energy instead of 4 but I'm not thrilled by it. Has its uses, even outside of the barely playable U9 team, but still really unexciting as a whole. 2.5/5
Explosive Power Son Goku: Richard - In what will initially be one of the less commonly talked about cards from the Ultimate Box, I think Explosive Power Son Goku is not only of the strongest cards in this set, but one of the best green cards we have ever had. The mono U7 Goku leader from ToP is a low tier monster; if the opponent doesn’t have a super aggressive strategy or hand destruction, a lot of decks could not compete with it. Being able to play Hope of Universe 7 Son Goku while generating the discard and field destruction you are rewarded for having a green leader is incredibly powerful; this leader gives you much of the same ceiling in your leader, without be relegated to skipping on Extra cards or staples Sharpened Power Son Goku cannot support like Objection and Full Power Energy. Not to mention having access to the SCR The Awakened Power Goku is a closer unlike any other. 4/5
Zuhair - This leader is pretty aggro for a green card! His front side provides draw power and aggro simultaneously. He has the ability to pressure awakened leaders by gaining +5000 on his front. On his awakened side, he continues being aggro by going up to 20k and gaining double strike if you have 2 universe 7 cards in play. Pretty interesting leader. I don’t think he is top tier but definitely has a niche market for him that I’m sure can still do well. 3.5/5
John - So his Bond on the front is pretty trivial and is almost always going to trigger unless you had some bad luck. The awakened side is a bit more of a challenge but still not a stretch. I think this leader is much better than the green ToP U7 Goku and as such we'll see some neat card interactions since we now finally have a playable green Goku leader. Going to default to everything else Richard said because he's on to something. 4/5
Last One Standing Son Goku: Richard - WOW. 35,000 Triple Striker that can’t be negated AND you blow up a blocker before swinging? Literally everything I want from a finisher. Getting 9 U7 in the discard isn’t a walk in the park; but I think a lot of leaders can support that requirement. Don’t forget that +10000 power would carry on to another Goku if you evolve it!
I think this card might have some competitive merit in a Fusion Warrior Vegito decklist. There is an interesting combo utilizing Spring of Rebirth with Vegito’s ability to change colors of Gokus in your hand which would allow you to trigger the Activate:Main effect of Last One Standing. Clearing two Battle cards, playing a leader that intrinsically mills, and then setting up for a big U7 play on the following turn can be huge. It’s unfortunate this U7 requirement makes playing Overrealm cards a liability, but I think once we get to a pace where we can reasonably play 5 cost Battle cards, this card will absolutely shine. 4/5
Zuhair - Bandai loves releasing Goku bomb cards! Here’s another one. It’s another variation of Goku in his mastered ultra instinct form. Can gain triple strike, +10k power and cannot be negated. Watch out for those Mafubas though boys ;) 3/5
John - Love this card but I'm also a sucker for removal effects that you can trigger every turn. I wish that he didn't cost 5 resources but regardless there are some sweet things you can do with him. Triple Strike is also not to be overlooked as I discussed earlier. 3.5/5
Vile Replication Cell:
Richard - This card is wonderful. When your opponent is low on resources after getting hit by a Cell chain, Vile Replication allows you to benefit from activating your 3 cost or 5 cost Union Absorb Cells in order to generate your own advantage is a card Android lists were waiting for desperately.
I think this card may be good enough to justify skipping on the hand destruction-based Cell chain and instead focusing on just using Growing Evil Lifeform Cell into Vile Replication Cell as your advantage engine; it’s a great way to cut down on 1/10’s these Android decks are frequently wrestling with. 4/5
Zuhair - A new cell card! How fun. John Tatta is smiling somewhere (right here). This gives another option that 3 drop cell can union absorb into if the situation calls for it. The downside obviously, is that it cannot union absorb further into the 7 drop, but it definitely has it’s uses. Essentially, if you’re ahead, this card will help you get even more ahead. Fun card. 3.5/5
John - Solid card and a good "other Cell" in a Cell chain deck. Oftentimes Cell chain decks will play an extra 5 cost cell and this is the new best one. I think that there exists some space for this to shine without the chain like Richard mentioned but we might need just a litttttttle more support. Definitely love that its a 0/5k combo though. That's pretty key to this cards playability. 3.5/5
Deathless Warrior Broly:
Richard - At the time of this writing, there is a lot of controversy on if you play this card without a Broly Leader, if the effect triggers and forces two discards. Generally speaking, this is the effect players would want to trigger. While I suspect the ruling will be that you need the Broly Leader to trigger this effect, the playability of this card hinges on this resolve. In the meantime, we can hope the movie promo Broly leader increases this card’s playability regardless.
2/5 if you need Broly leader for this card’s auto. 4/5 if you do not need Broly leader for this card’s auto.
Zuhair - This card can evolve over Endless Evolution Broly for 1 green energy. That’s scary! This card will definitely see play in Broly themed decks and is another addition to the Broly engine line-up. 3.5/5
John - I'm going to pretend that you have to be Broly for the effect to trigger and then immediately get sad. This card has endless potential as do most of the Broly cards. All we're waiting for is a Broly that isn't terrible and I think we'll see these cards shine. Going 3-4-6 Broly for a grand total of 7 energy is awesome since the end result is your opponent discarding 4 cards and you getting a 30k DS out of the deal. 3.5/5
Limitless Energy Android 17: Richard - Finally, a reason to play Android 17 leader without Cell chain! This battle card invites for a powerful curve that offers this deck the defense it needs to compete. At 4 or less life, Limitless Energy sits at a 3/25 with Blocker and Barrier that blows up a imposing threat. Combo this card with things like Zarbon, the Emperor’s Attendant for a defensive turn your opponent won’t be able to play through for cheap. While this card is playable outside of the Android deck, demanding a green leader to get the full value of this card means it will only see play in certain decks, but shine in those lists. 4.5/5
Zuhair - If Vile Replication Cell made John Tatta smile, this card is making him cry tears of joy (It is). The missing piece in androids has arrived. They now have a barrier blocker that brings inherent removal. There is no restrictions to his removal in terms of energy costs. He can KO anything (without barrier, obviously). Very, very good card for androids. 4/5
John - One of the best cards of the set and an integral part of Androids moving forward. We desperately needed a 4-cost Android 17 or 18 and this doesn't disappoint. Barrier Blockers have historically been quite good and here we can potentially have a 3-cost 25k blocker that is nigh impossible to get through efficiently. I'm not sure if these decks are ready to shed the cell chain but it could be. Setting up a Fort Knox of Krillen blocker, Android 17 from ToP, this Android 17, Full Power Energy, plus King Vegeta's Surprise Attack, among other tricks, sets you up for a disgusting late game of Anilaza, Creator Absorbed Mira, and many of the other ridculous Mira's. We can also splash blue for Jaco, Senzu, and Whis' Coercion if we want to and just drive your opponent mad with defense. Only thing keeping this from a 5/5 is that it's only absurd in Android 17/18 currently. 4.5/5
Elegant Assistance Heles: Richard - If you haven’t played Set 4 yet and learned how Hoi is the second best super combo this game has ever seen, giving Champa, Beerus, Goku Black, Zamasu, Vados, Brianne De Chateau, Piccolo, and Zen-oh access to a comparable cards will make it the de facto Super Combo for most of those decks. 5/5
Zuhair - <<God>> Leaders and <<Universe 2>> just got a Hoi! In my opinion these variants of super combos are the best ones. It helps you get rid of unwanted cards in your hand and cycle through your deck. A lot of utility here. 4.5/5
John - I see no reason to not give this a 5/5 unless you think it's leader restriction is worth docking half of a star. This is just the best effect on a super combo. Period. Pitching dead cards, or extra cards, is broken. The end. 7/5
Explosive Power Jiren: Richard - While the Universe 11 archetype was probably the most playable archetype of the four main packages introduced in Tournament of Power, it’s hard to argue that the new Jiren leader is anything but a straight upgrade in the decks committing to playing the powerful Jiren finishers U11 deck has access to. Unawakened, the synergy this leader has with cards like Infinite Alertness Dyspo and Jiren, Universe’s Strongest is substantial. While I think the Awakened effect isn’t quite as powerful as most leaders, being able to go for a desperation alpha strike could be very powerful.
I think there are three variants of this deck; one focuses on resolving Absolute Justice Jiren, one aiming to resolve Jiren Universe’s Strongest, and one focusing on using the Leader’s ability with Bad Ring Laser to threaten lethal when the opponent is most vulnerable. Add on defensive cards like Flying Nimbus, Hero Combination Zolray, and Cocotte Zone, and you may be looking at the control leader to play next set. 4.5/5
Zuhair - Talk about a power house! At any given moment, you could be staring down a shirtless Jiren in all his bulking glory ready to QUADRUPLE strike you. Having Ginyu with the ability to double strike was already good. Having inherent Quadruple Strike? Watch your back, boys.. 4/5
John - So like I said, triple strike is really powerful. Quadruple Strike? LOL. If you plan on using his awakened power be sure to not leave home without your Bad Ring Lasers (which are already great in this new meta). I think his best use is going to be with the 12-cost SR from Colossal Warfare but time will tell. You build the deck to be very defensive with Nimbus and such and then get them in a single turn with 2 Quad Strikes as well as whatever else you have in play. Is it good enough? Maybe. What's 100% sure is that seeing this deck is going to make you play on the edge of your seat because one misplay and you're in trouble. 4/5
Indomitable SS Son Goku Jr.: Richard - In what will probably be the most slept on card in the set, I expect Goku Jr. to redefine the Swap engine. This card allows you to single-handedly take out the 3,4,and 5 cost Swap cards that are not viable in today’s meta, and instead opt for a strategy of using Ox-King Dad at Heart and Adoptive Father Son Gohan (ideally played when the player is at 4 energy), bring themselves down to 2 life, and then use their 5 energy to Swap in Height of Mastery Son Goku. Is that not the line of play for you? Then just Shugesh it into play! Will this new, more conservative Swap archetype be more competitive in the current meta? What else does mono-yellow Goku’s Lineage need to excel if not. 4.5/5
Zuhair - This card will bring more variety and variance to Swap decks. Give you alternate lines of play. A usual swap to an 8 drop from a 5 drop is 4 yellow. Goku Jr can do it from a 2 drop for 5 yellow. Swap decks do need a little more variance and lines of play and this will help bring that to them. 4/5
John - I've literally never played a non Bardock swamp card so I'll default to these guys opinions. Zuhair has been playing a swap deck since release so I assume he knows what he's talking about. 4/4
Space Pirate Chilled: Richard - The design of this card implies that the reason leaders like Chilled are not frequently considered competitive is because of issues getting key cards into the discard. I think Bandai missed the mark here; the weakness with leaders like Chilled and Cooler are in the decks inability to interact with the opponent’s field or stop aggressive onslaughts because their support cards, and the lack of powerful things one can do with Chilled tokens. This card is not unplayable, but there are a lot of things the archetype wishes it would have -the option to evolved Chilled tokens into Chilled Battle cards, less expensive cards you could use to make the tokens larger, and the ability to tribute tokens for more powerful effects.
This card would have been okay in set 1 and 2, but I’m skeptical if it will ever see a meaningful amount of play. 2/5
Zuhair - I’ll be honest, I’m not that familiar with Chilled but this card seems to lend into his theme well enough. If your goal is to spam the board with Chilled’s Army token, this will help you in your conquest. 3/5
John - It's like they want Chilled and Cooler to just always be "the other guys." I know that they tried to enhance the strategy but it just didn't work out. Chilled is a very mediocre leader and polishing a turd still leaves you with a shiny turd. 1.5/5
Elite Bloodline Cooler:
Richard - Essentially a 4 cost 20k Dual Attacker if you're running a second-rate leader (with a few exceptions) Elite Bloodline Cooler is, to be frank, underwhelming. The card tries to help fix the Cooler deck issues of not being able to play their win condition before losing (Cooler, Blood of the Tyrant Clan or The Infinite Force, Meta Cooler core) by offering a Battle card that could attack 2 Battle cards in the same turn; but this card is rarely going to be worth the investment at 3, and almost never at 4. I appreciate their efforts to improve this leader, but I don’t think it’s leaving the common box any time soon. 1.5/5
Zuhair - At first glance, this card seems a little bland to me. He’s got a generic effect where he can untap himself, but it feels like there’s something missing. If this card had something like double strike or crit, it would be much more worth playing. At the moment, I’m not fond of this card. There are probably just better things you can do with the energy than play this guy. 1.5/5
John - Why is it a requirement that every Cooler be unplayable? 1/5
Frieza, Obsession of the Clan: Richard - As the trend continues of Frieza Clan cards that would have been subpar two sets ago and won’t have a significant impact in today’s meta, Frieza, Obsession of the Clan turns any of your other Frieza Clan cards into a negate once per turn. For 4 mana, I’m way too afraid of this card being destroyed before I can even resolve the effect. Give it Barrier, or the ability to trigger multiple times per turn, or decrease the cost significantly through an Evolve effect, but don’t waste your time on this otherwise. 1/5
Zuhair - Similar to Zamasu, this card gives you the ability to negate once per turn while he is on the field. As useful as that may sound, yellow already has access to Flying Nimbus, which trumps this card in my opinion. Find better things to do on your turn 4. 2/5
John - Are we done with the yellow cards yet? 1/5
Clownish Destruction Belmod: Richard - In one of the few cases of either/or effects in the game, choosing between a draw 1 and a destruction effect on a 4 drop body is slightly underwhelming. While Barrier and Double Strike are welcomed editions, this isn’t exactly the kind of card that screams “finisher” or “needs to be protected. Spending all 4 of your energy on a turn on this card probably isn’t a good look, but if you can Awaken and untap 2 energy on the same turn, this might be useful. 2.5/5
Zuhair - This card gives Universe 11 more options! It provides fuel for Jiren’s inherent quadruple strike, and allows you to choose to either replace itself by choosing a card from the top 3 of your deck and adding it to your hand or KO’ing a card in rest mode. It’s also has barrier and double strike, which gives it more utility. This is a good card for Universe 11 decks. 3.5/5
John - Solid card for U11 decks, not so much anywhere else which means that maybe it's not that good. It costs like 1 energy too much I think. 4-cost cards are really your game enders now and he does not do that at all. I don't hate him but I don't love him either. 3/5
Zen-Oh, Ruler of the Universe: Richard - I was head-over-heels in love with this card until I realized you cannot play any Overrealm cards alongside this leader. And then I realized you couldn’t play any Extra cards in the deck, either. While I think this leader would have been great in a Maiden deck (but you can’t play Maiden Transformation) or a Universe 11 deck (but you can’t run Cocotte Zone or Flying Nimbus), I think this leader’s restriction is too much for it to seriously impact the game – for now. 2.5/5
Zuhair - If you’re name is Danny Hype you are super excited about this card. The ability to draw on the front side, fuel your discard pile if needed, and have inherent hand destruction on its awakened side? Danny, you are on Bandai’s list. They threw you a nice one here. There’s a lot of things you can do with this leader. Very good card. 4.5/5
John - This card is perfect - for some people. Funny what Zuhair said about Danny though. Zen-Oh is bad enough to where Danny is turned on and good enough to where he can probably make his best friend work but I don't love it. I hate that his ability begs to play overrealm effects and his skill doesn't allow it. I think if we see some universe themed black cards in the future this card can be revisited but for now I think it's only uses are U7 whatever or U11 stuff. Mixing everything together just sounds like a disaster but I'm sure that there's a deck somewhere. 3/5
Forced Absorption Demigra: Richard - In what is arguably the biggest buff to a leader with questionable playability, having a searchable end game threat (Supreme Kai Continuity Keeper plus Power Overseeing Time Trunks if needed) is a huge boon for this leader. While the leader does clearly have some weakness to negates stopping it’s 30K + game-ending Triple Strike, hopefully you are able to utilize the less expensive Demigra cards, powerful OR threats, and other discard abilities to flush out any negates they may have come turn 5. 4/5
Zuhair - This card doesn’t care about your board state! He doesn’t care about your blockers or your barrier cards! He’s gonna steal them and use them as his combo! This is a pretty strong finisher card. With triple strike, and the ability to combo with your opponents cards, if this guy’s attack goes through, you’re most likely taking that L! 3.5/5
John - I don't think it's enough to get Demigra out of Tier 2/3 status but it's a start. Triple Strike is great (I just need to copy and paste that every time) and when it's on an overrealm card it's even better (most obvious thing ever stated).
Oh just kidding, read the card again. Not overrealm, just black. Much disappoint. So mediocre. 2.5/5
Forced Ejection Masked Sayian: Richard - This card is already getting attention; I think it’s unwarranted. While it is cool that you can cast this for 3 energy if you do not want to burn your Drop area to play this card, I would much rather Warp 2 additional cards in my discard pile in order to play Dimensional Banisher Fu. Even if I valued the Over Realm 3 versus OR 5 interaction, the requirement of playing against a deck with energy ramp or skipping on charges earlier in the game is not something is too situational for most people’s blood. 2/5
Zuhair - Tired of SS3 starting with more energy than you? Forced Ejection Masked Saiyan is here to help even the playing field. Also, this is an interesting card that you can side into in games where you will be going second and will be one energy behind. Interesting card. 3/5
John - I have literally been waiting the entire article to talk about this card.
It's not a good card. The hype is unwarranted. In order to get the effect off you have to either play suboptimally or be against SS3 or Objection decks. It's only good when you're going second, uses your overrealm most of the time, doesn't have any keywords, and is very bad in multiples. I guess it can be a sideboard card at best but you're jumping through a lot of hoops to just get SS3 to be even with you on resources while still conceeding a better leader skill. I don't get it. Rather play anything else. 2/5
Smiling Madness Towa: Richard - In a slower metagame, I think this card is fairly cool. Any time you can gain value by Evolving off of a 1 cost Battle card, I’m going to pay attention to it. While the discard+stealing a smaller Battle card will be worth it in some metagames, I’m reluctant to play a card like this in a format where The Legendary Flute will take that card back with a draw and mitigate most of my advantage. 3/5
Zuhair - Another Towa themed card. It’s a bit energy heavy but can alter board states in an interesting way. Not a huge fan of Towa line personally, but some people may find uses for it. 2.5/5
John - I'm a huge fan of control magic effects and killing people with their own cards but the advent of Legendary Flute really puts a damper on things for Towa and her "theme." Again, at least one set too late but if Flute goes away then we can revisit. The effect is great. 3/5
Forced Destruction Mira: Richard - Picture it. Turn 4, you Union Absorb into Mira, Creator Absorb. They discard 3 cards, maybe bringing them to 5 cards in hand. At the end of their turn 4, maybe they have another 5 or 6.
Turn 5, swing with your Mira, Creator Absorb, and gain 50,000 power or more. They take one or try to aggressively combo over it.
Then, you Xeno-Evolve into Forced Destruction, Mira, they randomly discard 3 cards (ideally including their negates) and you swing with your Triple Striker that maintains the pump form Mira, Creator Absorb, threatening lethal with over 100K.
Welcome to magical Christmas land. Unfortunately, having 10 Black cards in your warp with most Android decks will be impossible (though Set 3 Mira can probably swing this). This card is insanely powerful, but demands a lot of dedication to this card to be worth it. But if you can make it to turn 5, it probably will be. 4/5
Zuhair - Mira really likes making you discard 3 cards with his Goku-stolen haircut. This card provides more options for the Mira engine that was released in Set 4. If you’re a fan of hand destruction, you may like this card. Boasting triple strike, this will aid you in closing out games. 3.5/5
John - I swear I don't have a thing for Androids as a general theme but their cards are so cool and fit my playstyle the best. I love cards that allow me to gain hand advantage over my opponents and this just fits the theme like every other Mira ever. Slightly harder to pull off than your average Mira but more devastating as well. Triple Strike blah blah blah. Huge fan. 4/5
Toppo Unleashed: Richard - In what will be one of the only Black cards the Universe 11 decks will probably run moving forward, Toppo Unleashed will be an impactful card in ensuring you make it to your important Turn 6. While I’m not sure if this card will be used in the decks stalling towards playing Jiren Universe’s Strongest aggressively, I think paying 1 Energy to make your Ally of Justice Toppo a Blocker with Barrier and drawing 2 cards is a solid defensive strategy as long as you have energy behind it. I’m sure there will be times that utilizing this card aggressively will be useful as well; we’ll learn more with future testing. 4/5
Zuhair - If you meet all the criteria for this card, it will ultimately have Barrier Blocker, Double strike and critical. Talk about a lot of effects! It can EX-Evolve over the Toppo negate so you can negate an attack, play Toppo, then on your turn EX Evolve it for 1 energy. The yellow Toppo from Set 4 is also an EX-Evolve target. If you’re able to bring this card out, you can cause a lot of damage and change the tide of the game. Very strong in Universe 11 decks! 4/5
John - I actually had no idea this card was black until just now. Just assumed it was yellow. At any rate, the effect is really good for the U11 deck and synergizes really well with the rest of the team. Also convenient that you have a great target to Ex Evolve on. Barrier, Blocker, DS, Crit all on 1 card at times is pretty brutal. Certainly see U11 decks playing at least 2 of this guy for the foreseeable future. 4/5
And that’s wraps up our review for today! What are some ratings you agree with? What are some things you think we overvalued or undervalued? Why? I’m looking forward to some riveting discussion and theorycrafting in the weeks to come!