I Heard You Like Dragons…

Vermilion Bloodlines has certainly delivered a number of new power house archetypes that all have format changing implications, but with just a handful of cards being spoiled the Shadow Dragons archetype received even more juice allowing it to maintain its tier 1 status. In fact, the crux of the deck was that you had a lot of filler slots and overall the deck needed to have Ball 1 on turn 1 to create its most optimal lines of play, this set fixed both of those issues.

***Shout-outs to Chris Welch for making both “Boiz” and “The Juice” some of the most used phrases in my repertoire***

The List

Shenron’s Lair Deck List

Embracing the Nature of Vermilion Bloodlines

As you have all read, hopefully, by now overall deck consistency and the ability to execute your game-plan as quickly as possible is the key to success in this upcoming format. Game 1’s are more so decided by who establishes their engine first, versus the old formats where it really came down to adjustments in the middle parts of the game and who drew their more powerful cards more often.

Syn Shenron was a powerhouse in series 10 due to its ability to punish the fair decks, whereas the fast decks truly could punish a draw where Syn Shenron didn’t open ball 1. This changes with the release of series 11 and the introduction of Eis Shenron, the Cryomancer. Eis Shenron is a card that provides 2 modes: he either acts as a more expensive Crusher Ball or, more importantly, you can use his [Activate: Main] to pay a yellow, discard him, and then play a Shadow Dragon that costs 1. This means that now your deck contains 4 additional copies of whatever ball you want for a single energy. We all know the deck needs ball 1 on turn 1, and now we have 8 copies to mulligan for to get our engine online.

Overall, the Naturon and Eis Shenron cards don’t match the power level of Syn and Haze so it is hard to justify devoting more slots to them, instead I run 2 copies of the new promo, Surprise Attack Naturon Shenron, as an additional dragon that we can revive that can be impactful both offensively and defensively if we’re forced to pass the turn back.

Sideboard Considerations

3x Max Power Kamehameha – Gotenks and Gogeta: Br match-up
3x Dark Power Black Masked Saiyan – Vegeks and Red Broly: Br, Obuni
2x Final Flash – Invoker, Gogeta: Br
2x Released from Evil – Reboot Gohan, Gogeta: Br, Red Broly: Br
2x Mechikabura, the Broken Seal – Invoker, Blue, Gotenks, & mirror
2x Fu, Shrouded in Mystery – Invoker & mirror
1x Flying Nimbus – Aggro

VS Gogeta: Br

-2x Naturon Shenron
-1x Swift Retaliation Cooler
+3x Max Power Kamehameha: to kill Gogeta 6

-1x Mechikabura Unison
-1x Flying Nimbus
+2x Final Flash: to turn off Gogeta 6 and combine with Haze Shenron

-1x Vegeta, Prideful Transformation
-1x Eis Shenron
+2x Released from Evil: to turn off Gogeta 6 when we need to protect our board

VS Red Broly: Br

-2x Naturon Shenron
-1x Swift Retaliation Cooler
+3x Dark Power Black Masked Saiyan: to counteract Vampa and free playing Ba/Paragus

-1x Mechikabura Unison
+1x Flying Nimbus

-1x Vegeta, Prideful Transformation
-1x Eis Shenron
+2x Released from Evil: to turn off Swap

VS Vegeks

-2x Naturon Shenron
-1x Swift Retaliation Cooler
+3x Dark Power Black Masked Saiyan: to help counteract free play

-1x Mechikabura Unison
+1x Flying Nimbus

VS Invoker

-2x Naturon Shenron
+2x Mechikabura, the Broken Seal: [Deflect], can keep them off of their finishers to delay the game

-4x Zarbon
+2x Fu, Shrouded in Mystery: to close the game once we delay it with Mechikabura
+2x Final Flash: the ability to turn off Invoker on an aggressive turn

VS Blue

-2x Naturon Shenron
+2x Mechikabura, the Broken Seal: to keep them off of Obuni, Turning the Tide, and Baby 5

-1x Zarbon
-1x Eis Shenron
-1x Vegeta, Prideful Transformation
+3x Dark Power Black Masked Saiyan: to keep them off of Obuni

VS Reboot Gohan

-1x Mechikabura Unison
-1x Vegeta, Prideful Transformation
+2x Released from Evil

-1x Eis Shenron
+1x Flying Nimbus

VS Gotenks

-1x Naturon Shenron
-1x Eis Shenron
+2x Max Power Kamehameha: additional way to handle Gotenks 6 and keep them off of Successor 12

-1x Swift Retaliation Cooler
-1x Naturon Shenron
+2x Mechikabura, the Broken Seal: keeping them off of Gotenks 6 at any point in the game derails what their deck needs to do

Conclusion

Ultimately, I am very excited for where Syn Shenron sits heading into the upcoming format. The deck is linear but with tons of room for the pilot to adjust to a given match-up, has the ability to make changes post board without sacrificing consistency, and overall checks all the boxes in terms of power level when compared to the new decks coming in. I am also excited to see your thoughts on the list, sideboard considerations, and your own match-up experiences with the deck. Happy testing <3.

#scrubfamisbestfam #KTHXBAAAIIIIIIII

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