Definitely the least talked about card from the Anniversary Box, but arguably the most impactful card to be released due to its ability to bring Red mid-range decks back into the tier 1/1.5 discussion – Jiren, Legend of Universe 11 offers something that Red decks have been longing for: the perfect mid-game threat that mitigates the card advantage issues the color has struggled with for the entirety of the DBSCG.
Three red energy gets you a 20k body that not only is a natural double striker with the plus one, but also has an [Auto] that triggers when your opponent plays a Battle Card or Unison. When that card is played, you have the option to choose it and give it -10k for the turn. This may seem small, but in practice this effect takes a massive toll on the opponent due to how large Jiren is and how quickly he accumulates counters. Once he hits the board and ticks up to four, in the majority of games I have played, he never leaves. This means you have a 20k double striker FOR-EV-VER.
Oh and let us not forget the additional upside of having a minus three effect that gives -25k, ignoring [Barrier]. This is obviously a powerful effect, especially because it can even take out pesky [Indestructible] threats like 5 drop Zamasu from Draft Box 4. Do not get it twisted though, the money is in the plus one.
Virtual Card Advantage
A topic we have covered a few times, but Jiren happens to be a unique example of virtual card advantage. The first and obvious is that he is a 20k body which means that standard attackers, 15k’s, will require an additional card in order to be able to force Jiren to lose a counter. Jiren’s [Auto] throws quite a wrench into that plan though, since if is able to hit a 25k body or less, it generates even more advantage for you because the opponent is either going to commit more cards to combo, or in the best case scenario – they are losing that Battle Card entirely. Then add in the fact that Jiren is a double striker on offense and now you start to see the value skyrocket due to the cards Jiren will be trading for. The fact that you’re going to be netting a super combo, a negate, or multiple cards from your opponent is huge across the course of a game, and just looking at recent deck lists there are not a lot of 1/10k combo cards out there at the moment which means that you’re always netting the most value out of your Jiren swings. And of course the obvious, you gain access to the free Yamcha Counter: Play which when combined with Jiren’s ability becomes quite disgusting.
The last point to touch on here is just how oppressive Jiren is to opposing Unisons. Not only does his [Auto] touch them, but pressuring Unisons with 20k double strike is just too good right now.
Homes for Our Hero
A deck that has been going through an identity crisis in Series 10, Surgeku, has finally found its way. There is no mistaking it, this is a Jiren deck, but the ability of Surgeku to dig so hard to find it and your highest impact cards just fits so well together. Surgeku struggled in S10 due to how powerful Unisons were and the fact that the best variants of Surgeku to date all centered around the combo step, not to mention the pool of Unisons Surgeku has access to was relatively poor making it so attacking opposing Unisons was almost impossible. Now though, Jiren has changed the game and Red/Yellow is so fetch.
Taking you through the list I want to point out the dirty secret to deck building in the DBSCG – EVERYTHING MUST BE FREE, CHEAP, or BUSTED.
This list thrives off of the fact that, on average, the most expensive card in the deck is Jiren. Then the next most expensive cards end up being Toppo, Beerus Arrival, Gotenks Unison, Saiyan Instincts, Saiyan Lineage, and Raider’s Warcry. After that, everything in the deck is free or cost one.
Pilaf gets a huge upgrade from the existence of Jiren. The deck was already so potent with its ability to generate in upwards of 15 attacks on a given turn, but now with Jiren you can activate your leader ability to have a 20k, Triple Attack, Double Strike body that the opponent is going to either lose to, or dumb a ton of cards trying to defend. There are plenty of other Pilaf variants out there, but I have really been trying to push the power level with the addition of Nappa Super Combo and Gogeta, Resonant Explosion.
Beerus goodstuff.dec has always been a fan favorite, but again Jiren just brings exactly what this kind of deck was missing in the past – a perfect mid-game threat to begin accruing advantage with and the ability to pressure opposing Unisons to the max.
I think we all can agree that the hype for Anniversary Box is real, but I will definitely be the most excited to jam Jiren into pretty much all of my red decks going forward. Red had a ton of tools before with Toppo, Yamcha Counter: Play, and Bardock, the Resolute but the addition of Jiren just pushes the power level of Red so much.
Drop your comments below on what you’re excited about with the Anniversary Box, and share your own takes on Jiren decks as we move forward.