Episode 2: Diabolical Rematch! Defeat 17 & 18!

I haven't given up the fight! If you missed the first installment of my Dragonball Super tournament series, check it out! In a Goku-like quest to ever improve my skills, I've hit the hyberbolic time chamber and emerged ready for the next challenge. Time to see just how far I can take my new skills. I'm sure nothing can go wrong at this next tournament...

That's a lot of screaming and cheeky smiles.

Deck: Black/Red Aggro
Leader: Bardock, Unbound by Darkness
Win/Loss: 2-2
Winnings: One pack, Son Goten promo
Notable Pulls: Meh
Money Spent To Date: $55

Round 1: Bardock vs. Heightened Evolution Super Saiyan 3 Son Goku

Goku started this match on the defensive, building up his energy and preparing his techniques. I, on the other hand, launched right into an opening barrage of attacks. With Saiyan Cabba and Dimensional Support Trunks backing me up, I dealt some heavy damage right off the bat.

Under my onslaught, it didn’t take long for Goku to Awaken and unleash his full power. Now I knew that he would have an almost endless supply of energy, since this form constantly regenerates his power even if he spends all of it to attack. Basically, he would always have the energy he needed to defend against my attacks, but that was okay. I had planned for this.

At least I thought I had.

...Do I have to talk about this?

I led off my next attack with a technique called Minus Kili Zone. Once that was in place, I rushed forward with my backup, only to watch him fly away again on his Flying Nimbus. It turned out I had misunderstood how Minus Kili Zone works; it doesn’t prevent Counter: Attacks like the Nimbus, only Counter: Plays. It’s meant to ensure that my strongest fighters don’t get countered, but does nothing to help my attacks land. In fact, the only thing that does what I wanted is Bad Ring Laser, which requires a type of energy that I don’t use. So, back to square one.

Goku evaded my second barrage with the Nimbus and Instant Transmission, and counterattacked with what would quickly become my bane in this match: Foreseeing Hit. Hit used his time freeze to lock out my two best combo options, then Goku and his friends went on the attack. I survived that but took some damage. When I had an opening, I Awakened and launched another attack. I landed another hit, but not enough to bring him down.

At this point I still might have had a chance, but Hit used that same technique again. And then again. Three times in a row I was prevented from teaming up with my strongest combo options, and Goku delivered the final blow without much resistance.

Yeah, I hate you too.

Round 2: Bardock vs. Awakened Perfection Hirudegarn

Since I first stepped into the world of the Dragon Ball Super TCG, I’ve heard stories about The Legendary Flute: An item so powerful that it practically defines the current meta. It’s said to let fighters end matches with two or three seemingly-endless flurries of attacks. This fight was my first encounter with it.

While my opponent didn’t seem to be as proficient with the Flute as the people I’ve heard stories about, it was nonetheless annoying to fight against. From the very start of the match he was taking advantage of summoning cheap allies, attacking, then bouncing them back with the Flute to gain more options. That, plus couple of tricks to restore his energy mid-battle, and it felt like I was watching Hirudegarn dance around more than I was actually fighting with him.

Say, I think I met your brother over in Hyrule.

I could see how this strategy would lead to some overwhelming victories, though: Hirudegarn was able to attack far more often than he should have, and I was only able to keep up on damage with heavy support from Saiyan Cabba and Furthering Destruction Champa. It was his speed and combination attacks against my raw power, and we were actually pretty evenly matched. I might even have won except for a single mistake.

Near the end of the fight, my opponent and I were both exhausted and hanging on by a thread. The next one of us to land a solid attack would undoubtedly win the fight. He sent out Scientist Fu to attack, which I tried to stop with my Time’s Judgment. That was when I ran afoul of the very Bad Ring Laser that I’d learned about in my last fight. My counter was countered, and I no longer had the energy to mount a successful defense. If I’d been more wary of Yellow energy’s tricks, I’d have realized that wasting my last energy on a counter was unlikely to work. If I’d saved that energy it to bring in another ally to combo with, I’d have survived the onslaught and had a chance to clinch the match myself.

I’ll take that as a hard-learned lesson.

“Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing?”

Round 3: Bardock vs. Absolute God Fused Zamasu

After two losses in a row my spirits were a bit low, but my next opponent got my attention. I’d studied many of the leaders, and Zamasu’s legendary durability (he would call it immortality) had caught my interest. When Zamasu Awakens his life becomes untouchable, and any damage you deal burns away some of his stamina instead. You have to wear him down until he collapses from exhaustion.

Now, there is an easy workaround for Zamasu’s immortality: He can’t Awaken until he’s down to a mere two life, so if you hit him with a Triple Strike at just the right moment he’ll go down without ever getting the chance. Unfortunately, while my current fighting style is rife with Double Strikes, Triple Strike is not in my repertoire. That meant I had to bring him down the hard way.

BardockVsZamasu.gif

This was a marathon match and I was much better suited for a sprint. I started off with my usual quick barrage of attacks, supported by Saiyan Cabba and various incarnations of Trunks. Zamasu fought back using various Kais and other gods, but I easily overwhelmed them with raw power. At first.

As I expected, I started running out of steam halfway through the fight and had to ease off my attacks a bit, especially once Zamasu Awakened. From there it became less of a brawl and more of a fencing match, with both of us aware that this would be a drawn-out battle and trying to conserve our stamina. We landed a couple more hits each. I was starting to run dangerously low on life, not to mention my own stamina was getting a bit thin from constantly using my special ability. I needed to end this quickly.

I decided to commit everything I had to one last attack. I led the last charge myself, supported by Furthering Destruction Champa, and dealt a heavy blow to Zamasu’s remaining stamina. Cabba was right behind me, and after a brief hesitation, I remembered some advice I had been given: Don’t be afraid to commit everything to go for the win. Cabba’s attack got through without being negated, and I poured everything I had left into powering him up to a ridiculous level so that Zamasu couldn’t defend. With Cabba’s final Double Strike, Zamasu’s so-called immortality was overwhelmed, and he collapsed to give me my first win of the day.

 

Round 4: Bardock vs. Diabolical Duo Androids 17 & 18

And so I ended another tournament against the very fighter whom I first sparred with. These twin terrors warned me that they wouldn’t be pulling their punches this time (they used the phrase “Cell chain,” which I wasn’t familiar with), and I told them that was fine. This time I was ready for them.

As the match started, they seemed highly amused by whatever they had planned, but for their opening move they simply charged their energy and waited. Well, I figured, if they’re going to give me an opening like that then I’m going to take it. I charged in and hit them twice right off the bat.

Two hits is all it takes for Android 17 to Awaken, meaning that his sister 18 joins the fray. That was when I learned what was so funny, as Krillin jumped into the battle three times at once, somehow. He must have been using the Tri-Form Technique. The Androids darted in and landed a hit, then the three Krillins took up defensive positions around them.

Here we go again...

I brought in Dimension Support Trunks, who brought in Hit, and set to work dismantling their defenses. The Krillins took hits strategically, letting Trunks’s weaker shot through but sacrificing themselves to prevent any Critical hits from landing. They didn’t last long, but they did slow me down, which could be fatal in a close match.

This was when the tide started to turn against me. As I learned from my last tournament, the Androids have a fairly weak start but turn deadly about halfway through the fight. With their Android underlings both easier to bring out and powered up, they quickly took control of the field. Chilling Terror Android 17 locked me out of one of the main reasons I would want to Awaken. I tried a couple of times to take him out of the equation, but my opponents defended him well with Blockers and Combos (which I was actually okay with, as long as I was forcing them to use up their resources). It was then that Vile Replication Cell arrived to overwhelm me with numbers, and I was forced to Awaken just for the power increase. Incidentally, that was the only notable version of Cell that I saw. I don’t think that qualifies as a “Cell chain.”

Things weren’t looking great for me, but I was able to hold on (after double-checking that my opponents didn’t have any yellow energy) by using negates and some combo cards. I had to allow a couple more hits through, as I simply didn’t have the power to keep them away, but I bought myself a last chance with both myself and the Androids hanging on by our fingernails.

Time to send them to the junkyard.

I attacked and got negated. I sent out Trunks to attack, who baited out some of the Androids’ combo options. Then I used my last option: I called out Power Aura Mira and had him attack. When he didn’t get negated, I was fairly sure I had this one wrapped up. I used everything I had left to raise his power up above 50,000, which the Androids simply couldn’t match. Third time’s the charm, I thought, as I watched the mechanical monsters finally drop.

Next Time On Eric’s Journey

While I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far, somewhere in the middle of my last match today I had a surprising realization: I’m getting bored with pure aggro decks. I want to do things besides summon and attack a lot.

When I got home from this tournament I put in an order to shore up some of my deck’s flaws: I’m replacing some of my Saiyan Cabbas with Intensifying Power Trunks and adding in Mira, From the Darkness. My hope is that having so many Critical options will prevent my opponents from getting early card advantage. I also ordered sets of Dimensional Banisher Fu and Relentless Destruction Mira to give myself more options in combat. I’ve gotten a tip to replace my current, mostly-pointless Gokus with Unbreakable Super Saiyan Son Goku to add a bit of draw power, so he’s definitely going on the wish list for my next order.

I’ll admit, I’m getting worried that my deck will soon be about as strong as it can get without investing a lot of money in top-shelf cards like Foreseeing Hit (and I just saw firsthand how powerful he can be). On the other hand, there is a new set coming down the pipeline with at least one card that’s going to make red aggro extremely happy: Hidden Power, East Supreme Kai, which is effectively going to be a whole second playset of Furthering Destruction Champa.

I’ll admit that I haven’t looked too carefully at the upcoming World Tournament set, having been occupied with catching up to the game as it is, so I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

See you next time!