Previews dropped for Series 11 and the boys and I have of course been in the lab brewing, tuning, and testing these new archetypes trying to see the strengths, weaknesses, and exploits each of the new engines entail. We all had our early favorites – Zapp wanted to work on Gotenks, Frisco of course wanted to mess around with Red Gogeta, and I have been playing both Broly and Majin Vegeta trying to “crack the code” on the best builds featuring the intended engines.
Planet Vampa is a Trap
Broly’s front side ability to tutor a 1 cost extra card adds a fair bit of utility to the leader and the Series 11 reveals gave us a few extra cards to digest, Planet Vampa seeming like the most obvious to choose from for the deck. The card overall reads really well – you take a life, look at top 7, play a thing for free, and then discard a card. To put this into context, we can look at the hits and see that if you don’t hit a Paragus or Ba, you’re not going to accrue any actual advantage. If you hit a Broly, it is only good if you can go up the chain right away, and from there the biggest downside is honestly taking the life to enable something that just isn’t that powerful to begin with and requires you to discard a card. It may be too soon to tell because the set isn’t completely spoiled, but as of right now Planet Vampa feels like a trap in Series 11.
One of the first things you’ll learn in testing Broly is that the deck is hyper reliant on the opening hand plus some number of consistency contingencies added to help enable the deck’s peak potential. When you open a single chain, the deck is decent but loses hard to opposing pressure plus removal or disruption. When you can go turn 1 – 1 drop into 3 drop, then turn 2 – 3 drop into 4 drop, then another 1 drop into 3 drop, you quickly notice that this is exactly how the deck needs to function to be successful. The goal when playing then becomes to on turn 3/4 to get as many swings in a possible while moving up each chain into the 5 drops and then the 6 drop. The first time you achieve this, you then get a true glimpse into why certain cards are so important versus other. Not only that, you get a good look into how the sequencing needs to work, the priorities you need to have, and of course when not to swing so you don’t leave a Broly stranded in rest mode.
Kale, Paragus, and New Model Scouter all serve the purpose of helping us get to the pieces we need. Due to this, we max out on Paragus and Kale, and play 2x New Model Scouter, since it can be tutored by our leader. In addition, we also max out on all of the Broly pieces to ensure that we are always hitting on something. As I eluded to above, the deck is so dependent on an ideal board state to be successful that you need to take every measure to help ensure you get there one way or another.
Kale at first glance comes of so “meh” but in reality it is a 1 drop tutor with the upside of requiring an attack to answer it or it just has the capability of going off and enabling a huge kill turn if the opponent does not respect it. This is why I have ventured down the path of Wolf Fang Fist as a way to protect the unison and get something out of its existence in the deck.
Defense and Tech
With the majority of the deck having to be focused on maximizing the engine, there are a few choices I made outside of Bardock the Resolute plus Intensifying Power Trunks that take into consideration the deck’s core weaknesses and attempts to address other powerful strategies within the format.
The first thing I want to touch on is the power of Violent Rays and its ability to potentially supplant Toppo, Righteous Aid as Red’s floodgate. The card as written is a 1 cost negate that requires you to discard a card and then enable the ability to stop all attacks from battle cards 20k or higher, or stop 20k unisons from attacking for the duration of the turn. From what we have seen so far, the power of the average threat has gradually increased over time so Violent Rays ability to capitalize on that for 1 energy feels incredibly powerful. Especially when speaking of cards like Grim Reaper of Justice, or the Buu Chain featured in the Majin Vegeta deck, Violent Rays completely shuts those strategies down. Ultimately though, it really just comes down to being a 1 cost floodgate which is why it is so appealing in this deck. Broly needs to stay on tempo and use the majority of your energy every single turn, holding up two energy usually means you’re losing. Also not to mention that God-Sealing Trunks or Android 13 counter: play just completely wreck Toppo.
Wolf Fang Fist is trying to cover the other end of the spectrum and give you a cheap/free way to play defense for your leader or unison, if necessary. We then play 2x Loyal Kikono as a way to act as another copy of each, which can also be tutored by New Model Scouter, so we always have exactly what we needed to buy us more time.
Lastly, we play Secret Identity Masked Saiyan, a card which has been getting a lot of attention in Series 10, in order to net some X for 1’s when we are behind or fend off some of the biggest threats such as the new Gogeta 6 drop, which is an absurd card that takes over the game and if not dealt with will kill you offensively and defensively.
As stated above it may be too early to tell the designation for this archetype but in practice so far it does feel like it is slightly below the new Red Gogeta stuff in terms of overall power level. This is mostly due to the deck being so weak to variance and the deck’s reliance on threats that create so much room for the opponent to be able to interact. None of the cards have barrier or deflect and the leader’s built-in redundancy on the awakened side only gets you so far. Overall though the deck is quite fun to play and has been a really cool deck building puzzle to work through. I am super excited for Series 11 and what the rest of the set entails and I truly hope to see more support for this archetype moving forward since its ability to go wide and tall at the same time is incredibly appealing for new wave aggressive players.