Anniversary Box Brews: The Grim Reaper of Justice

[Deflect] [Dual Attack] [Union Fusion] 2: <Son Goten> and <Trunks: Youth> [Auto] If your leader card is a green <Gotenks> card : When this card is played, draw 2 cards, then choose up to 1 of your opponent’s Battle Cards and KO it. [Auto] When this card is removed from your Battle Area by an opponent’s skill or KO’d, add up to 1 <Son Goten> card and up to 1 <Trunks: Youth> card from your Drop Area to your hand.

From Irrelevant to Competitive

Rise of the Unison Warrior was a set that brought a ton of balance back to the Dragon Ball Super Card Game, and that is most evident in the amount of success green has seen since the set’s release. The introduction of Unisons, the free Counter: Play, and Dormant Potential Unleashed truly pushed the color to the top tier of competition, and now we have even a ton of decks leaning into green just due to the power level of Demigra, Unison of Sorcery and Frieza, Charismatic Villain.

With these truths alone, it is fairly safe to assume that the only thing really missing from green was the presence of cheap and powerful Battle Cards that were less vulnerable to Counter: Play/removal.

The Anniversary Box finally delivered in the form of Gotenks, the Grim Reaper of Justice.

Not only was Gotenks given to us, but the tools from Anniversary Box have truly removed Prodigious Strike Super Saiyan Gotenks from obscurity and has pushed it HARD into more competitive, tier 1.5/2 territory.

The New Tools

Alright, so we have Grim Reaper… now what? Well, Bandai gave us exactly what this deck needed – consistency. Gokule is a one energy tutor for Grim Reaper that also has the upside of paying an additional energy to sacrifice it and grab both [Union Fusion] targets needed in order to play your Grim Reaper… two energy for all of that seems deece. Next we were given Son Goten & Trunks, Faultless Youth which for one energy, and placing a life in the drop, you get a 15k body that can swing, then you have the ability to use the second [Activate: Main] to return it back to your hand and search the top 5 cards of your deck for a green <Gotenks> card or a 2 cost Unison and add it to your hand. This built-in value for a fusion target is again… deece.

Tying it All Together

Click Here for the Shenron’s Lair Deck List

Inb4 “deck builds itself, breh”

This deck indeed is a ton of 4 of’s and truly focuses on the resolution of Grim Reaper of Justice as many times as possible, so we built it accordingly. There are a few things to note here though:

4x Demigra, Unison of Sorcery – quickly becoming arguably the best Unison in the game, Demigra offers us the best turn one play in the game and when combined with an unchecked Zarbuto it allows to take down opposing Unisons before they have the chance to get out of hand. Not to mention, it enables your Frieza, Charismatic Villain, makes Dormant Potential Unleashed free, and acts as a lightning rod to help get you awakened much quicker than you would in the past.

2x Bardock, Paternal Unison – I was testing this secondary Unison slot as AoD Vegeta and to be blunt, I just never needed or wanted to play it. I would much rather play Bardock for his [Auto] and -3 opposed to playing AoD Vegeta on turn 4 or 5. Additionally, I like having the extra target for Son Goten & Trunks, Faultless Youth. I am still trying to find the best home for AoD Vegeta outside of the actual AoD deck, so stay tuned.

4x Paragus VS Any Other Choice – I tested Lone Prince for a bit, but it just wasn’t necessary, nor did I want to play it over a Gokule or Zarbuto at any point of any game. Paragus allows you to see much more of your deck to find your counters and that is exactly what this kind of deck needs. Even with Bardock Unison, the +1 just isn’t worth downgrading the super combo. Lastly, I found that triggering Power of Legend was so easy with just proper sequencing and the Leader skill so I felt Lone Prince really had no merit at that point.

2x For the Greater Good – this card is just always gas, and being able to pitch it with Dormant gives you just enough incremental value to be happy. Drop area negates are also clutch against Apex of Power and just great in general whenever you’re in a pinch.

Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination – it is truly absurd how easily this deck abuses Cell Xeno. I understand the card has a hefty price tag, but combining the fact that you have the best floodgate in the game, arguably the best Counter: Play, arguably the best Unison, Grim Reapers, AND the best SCR – this deck truly has what it takes to steal a lot of games from a lot of decks who aren’t prepared for this archetype.

The Opener

The opening hand in Gotenks is everything, very similar to the Anniversary Box Vegito deck in that you need key cards in order to be able to do your thing. In these scenarios it is often best to determine your prioties:

Priority 1 – Resolve turn 2 Grim Reaper of Justice

This means that you’re going to be looking for Gokule and/or Grim Reaper, and some number of targets pre/post mulligan.

Priority 2 – Get Demigra, Unison of Sorcery or Zarbuto into play on turn 1

This is what it is. Demigra enables your best draws and Zarbuto is your best defense against opposing Unisons.

Ideal Sequence

Turn 1 – Demigra, Unison of Sorcery and tick up

Turn 2 – Fuse into Grim Reaper of Justice, Demigra or Leader swing based on hand sizes, swing with Grim Reaper once and then leave in active mode***.

***In testing the only way I have found myself disadvantaged is if I committed to a second swing while I was low on resources. You should be trying to keep your first Grim Reaper alive until you can play your next one and you want to force your opponent to either swing at Demigra or your life so you can Awaken faster. This is honestly the key, the longer your Grim Reapers live, the higher the likelihood that you’re going to win the card advantage war in the mid and late game.

Honestly, once you’ve accomplished that it is going to be a game of you dodging potential land mines while trying to whittle away at your opponent’s hand size and board presence until you can Awaken and then take over the game since your Leader’s draw 2 on Awaken plus Gokule leads to you swinging hand advantage heavily in your favor. You now get to defend yourself with Dormant, keep threats away with Gotenks and Frieza, Charismatic Villain, and cascade into more Reapers while also trying to find Cell Xeno to insure the game is over by turn 5.

Conclusion

It honestly has been incredibly cool testing and tuning this list over the past few days and I am so excited for the Anniversary Box to be released. Stay tuned as we continue to cover the archetypes being juiced up by the Anniversary Box and even try taking some of the AoD cards for a spin outside of the archetype – here’s to you Garlic Jr.

Click Here for Shenron’s Lair Deck List

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