1 Jiren // Full-Power Jiren, the Unstoppable (bt9-053)
1 Pan, Time Patrol Maiden (bt15-155 scr)
1 Fu, Shrouded in Mystery (bt3-118)
4 Son Goku, Steadfast Assistance (bt15-096 sr)
2 Son Goku, Return of the Dragon Fist (bt14)
2 Basil, Fatal Rampage (db2-111 (2))
4 Mecha Frieza, Robotic Riposte (p-331)
2 Swift Rescue Dyspo (ex19-19)
1 Zamasu, Sacred Disbelief (bt9-091 c)
3 Krillin, Moments Before Comeback (ex19)
3 Vegeta, Unison of Fury (ex12-02)
4 God of Destruction Toppo, Skillbreaker (ex19-18)
3 Dyspo, Unprecedented Speed (bt9-121)
3 Realm of the Gods – Black Kamehameha (bt16-092)
4 The Power of a Super Saiyan (bt13-120)
4 Marcarita, Angel of Universe 11 (bt16-144 sr)
2 Frieza, Divine Transformation (bt12-100)
3 SS Trunks, Altering the Future (bt13-093 spr)
1 Putine,The Dark Sorcerer (bt10-139 uc)
3 Toppo, Bestower of Justice (p-199)
Realm of the Gods definitely has some solid archetypes that will make a splash on the competitive scene. As always though, I love to dive into the lower tier of decks from the past to see if there is anything interesting going on that is worth exploring and has the ability to teach me something new while playing some interesting games of DBS. This version of Jiren checks all of those boxes.
The New Tools
Marcarita, Angel of Universe 11 is an absolute homerun for the archetype. It is another Universe 11, with Barrier, that you can play for free off of your front side leader skill, it can make your opponent discard a card on play or when combo’d, is a blocker, and lastly it gives you a reliable answer to Battle Cards played via skill or when an opponent triggers a Counter skill.
Realm of the Gods – Black Kamehameha is another way to avoid having to activate your leader skill on defense, provides the upside of being a strong removal effect during your turn, and offers you another highly playable extra card to get your Riposte and Steadfast online early.
What is this deck about?
Jiren in previous formats offered the ability to abuse the Successor mechanic and produce an overwhelming amount of attacks, alongside a combo-oriented endgame with Cell Xeno on turn 2/3. Once Set 10 was released and we saw the rise of free counters and decks with reduced ACEC (Average Converted Energy Cost), Jiren then had to transition to more of a midrange deck only used to take advantage of specific meta game shifts.
This variant of the deck still stays focused on playing a solid midrange game, but leans much harder into powerful cards across the progression of your energy curve to make up for hand/board size disparity. For instance, your standard flow often is:
Get a Marcarita established on turn 1.5.
Disrupt your opponent’s board on turn 2 via tap effects.
Deploy a SS Trunks Unison and Awaken on turn 3 to pressure the opponent’s life total or board. Then leave up an energy to save your Trunks from losing markers.
On turn 4, get the highest value out of your SS Trunks Unison before playing Toppo 4 and either stacking markers on Unison of Fury, or pressuring life total via the -3.
Play a Frieza 5 or Dragon Fist on turn 5 to either stabilize or take over the game.
Hopefully play a Fu, Shrouded to close the game out on 6, if the game gets that far.
The reason for this is because at each spot of the curve turn 3 and beyond, we have to be deploying a threat that either gets us back in the game or puts us ahead. These threats also require multiple answers. SS Trunks requires 20k swings, Toppo 4 drop requires removal and Vegeta Unison requires attacks invested, and Frieza 5 is an x for 1 that can’t be answered by skills. Couple these threats with our leader’s ability to be invulnerable and we now have a solid way to stay in each game with the potential of completely taking it over and grinding out a victory.
Overcoming the challenge of not drawing enough cards
Even if you don’t sleeve up this deck, we all know that we all have our favorite archetypes that fall victim to this new world of drawing 2 or more cards a turn and drawing 3+ cards on Awakening. It ain’t easy to keep up with these youngsters, which means that the overall power level of the cards in your deck must be higher on average in order to be successful. This leads us to rely on powerful effects that can net x for 1’s and often forces us into a more curve based approach since we can’t afford to lose pace both in hand size and board size. Not only that, but we also need to play more copies of these higher costed, impactful cards since we don’t have as high of a chance to draw them as our opponent’s do.
If you’re able to keep pace with your powerful, curve based, x for 1’s then you have the ability to keep the game close to parity, if not swing it into your favor. This ties us into our last article where we talked about creating tension. If you’re able to establish a tension generating threat on board multiple times over, this is how you will catch up on tempo, hand size, and board size. The major difference with an archetype that draws less cards is that you won’t have the ability to “pour it on”/overwhelm the opponent with your advantage; instead, the game is much more grindy even when you’re ahead.
Jiren is a solid tier 2 archetype that offers a lot of fun and interesting games. Not only that, but it also allows you enough open deck building space to be creative and try out some cards you may have never been able to test before. I personally have been playing a lot of games with this archetype over the last few weeks, and each time it either impresses me with how well it can perform, or teaches me something regarding deck building or the upcoming format pacing that will all translate to the other, more competitive decks I am working on. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some games!
Happy testing ❤