Die Con Tournament Report

Yes. It happened. Buu won an event.


Is it time for a change?


Has your rage or disappointment settled yet? Well it better fast because we are diving right in here. We are fresh off the heels of a fun Diecon 2013 that featured several different tournaments. Those were the Apocalypse tournament (featuring the Four Horsemen of Supreme West Kai, Master Roshi, Tapkar and Piccolo the Trained in all their original, unerrata’d broken glory), a Tuff Enuff, an Old Z event and the main event Cell Games Championship using Retro’s format.


Who remembers this guy?

That last one is the focus for now. It was Retro, and I won using Buu. It was a tough choice to go with the big pink badass but it worked out for me. I had been woefully underprepared, having proxied my whole deck less than 48 hours before the event. I had been playing versions of Black Trunks Saga Mastery Buu since I got back into DBZ last year and helped playtest with Darryl Fisher who placed second with his version at the North Kai event. My other options were Goku, Young Again Saiyan and Red Trunks Saga Mastery Buu. I REALLLLY like Goku, Young Again but in play testing, he just couldn’t hit Buu hard enough to win and I figured he would be my main opposition. I felt that Black Buu would be better against Red Buu in that match up thanks to Black Buu’s ability to shut down attacks while being offensive at the same time (Black Energy Web, Krillin’s Solar Flare, Black Defensive Burst) and to keep Red Buu at bay with a lot of hand discarding.

Majin Buu, Evil Buu lv. 1
Kid Buu lv. 2-5
Black TS Mastery
North Kai Sensei

3 Black Pivot Kick
2 Human Extiction Attack
1 You’re Invited
1 Huh???
2 Gohan’s Kick
1 Straining Jump Kick Move
1 Black Exertion
1 Android 19’s Energy Burst
1 Black Energy Swirl

Battleground/Location: 3
3 City in Turmoil

Dragon Ball: 1
Alt. Namek Dragon Ball 4

Non-combats: 2
1 Fatherly Advice
1 Victorious Drill

Combat: 12
3 Android 18’s Stare Down
3 Hercule’s Amazing Techniques
2 Trunks Energy Spere (don’t think I used these whole event)
1 Time is a Warrior’s Tool
1 Super Saiyan Effect
1 Majin Buu’s Invincibility
1 Android 17 Smirks

Physical Combat: 40
4 Majin Buu’s Fury
3 Black Drop Kick
3 Black Body Destruction
3 Black Right Kick
3 Black Swivel Attack
3 Black Sweeping Strike
3 Black Face Slap
3 Black Light Jab
3 Black Diving Elbow Strike
2 World Champion’s Punch
2 Majin Buu’s Assault

3 Black Buffer Block
3 Pikkon’s Leg Catch
1 Nappa’s Energy Physical Resistance
1 Vegeta’s Physical Stance

Energy Combat: 17
3 Black Chaos Detonation
3 Krillin’s Heat Seeking Blast
3 Black Energy Web
3 Krillin’s Solar Flare

3 Black Recovery
1 Black Protection Orb
1 Nappa’s Energy Aura

Overall, I went with Black Buu because I felt it had no bad match ups. It was even keel against anything you could throw at it. That proved to be accurate as it faced a very diverse field, even though there were only eight participants. You may read this and think “Only eight?” but some tough guys showed up so if you do have unfavorable pairings, you will have to deal with it.

I went into this event choosing my deck the morning of and had built it with a few things in mind. The first was my sensei deck. I packed it to the brim with tech and meta cards. This freed up my main deck a lot to really let me bring the hurt there. My sensei of course was North Kai to help facilitate fast beat downs by shutting off Saiyan CS, Red TS (no first turn level jump for you) and Blue CS. On top of that, the sensei deck size is what I really wanted so that I can stuff it with Human Extinction Attacks, Black Exertion (since you only need one really), Straining Jump Kick Move (serves a few purposes) and Gohan’s Kick. Kick is the most questioned choice I made. Some will say in a super agro deck, that it should be main decked. My answer to that is “why?” Most the environment will be beats and most of my blocks are Stop All so it really would be a liability. I ONLY want it against those control or ball decks. One choice I made was to skip Black Scout Maneuver. I NEVER sensei deck anything in because my philosophy is that I build a deck to run like a well oiled machine and I don’t want to risk losing a single card. Since BSM can’t be grabbed with HAT, it was cut.

Once my tech requirements were filled by my sensei deck choice, next attention was turned to the main deck. It looks pretty basic and Spartan on paper. You will notice no EDB 3 or 5. In a super agro environment, they WILL be stolen and used against you. My goal was to run minimum amount of cards that could be used from my hand on a defending combat to eliminate bad draws. CIT and FA were it.
Another thing was that I wanted to run a fair amount of non-combat and board control, which Black has two great cards for but no one utilizes them (or at least I haven’t seen much of them personally). Black Diving Elbow Strike and Black Light Jab. Light Jab is a beefy +6 after the TS mastery and kills a non-combat if it hits. A diamond in the rough is Black Diving Elbow Strike. A solid 5 life cards and 2 stages after the mastery but when it hits, wipes the whole board (yours too, but not that big a deal). A personal favorite of mine was Majin Buu’s Assault; it is +5 and kills a non-combat? You can’t complain there. I was torn between Namek Dragon Ball 4 and Alt. NDB 4 but I felt since I had some things already that would clear non-combats, I went with Alt. 4 main deck for anti-ally and if it was stolen, no biggie.

In terms of attacks, the sky is the limit with black Buu. You can fill it with things to hit allies, things to hit drills and non-combats, things to hit their discard pile and all kinds of nastiness. This is where predicting your match ups comes in to play. I had NO CLUE what to expect so I played it safe and went with a focus on my attacks of killing the opponent’s hand. This would act as offense and defense by getting rid of blocks from their hand OR an attack that would hurt me. Then it was rounded off with Fury, Solar Flare and Energy Web. Like a dumbass, I forgot my Black Defensive Burst and had to go without L

With my deck built and randomly chosen out of my back pack, it was time to get the Cell Games Main Event on with.


Round 1 vs. Chris Smith – Black Baba CS
I know Chris well and he is a great guy. I had played him in the Apocalypse event the night before and won via first turn Dragon’s Victory so he owed me. J I had spent a lot of time playtesting on both sides of Baba so I knew she was still dangerous. I don’t want to give away too much of Chris’ deck out of respect for his wishes but he won by Dragon Ball victory.
Result – loss 0-1

Round 2 vs. Matt or Aaron (sorry mixed you guys up) – Krillin Freestyle
Ahhhh, Krillin Freestyle. I was hoping this deck wouldn’t show me up after a first round loss as I would have felt really bad losing too in a row. There was much hubbub about Krillin Freestyle lately, but he was only running levels one through three. This Free Krillin was using level 1 HT from SS, the level 2 redemption HT and WGS level three. It was obvious what the goal was by stopping at level three. We rolled and he went first and had 4 cards to my 3 thanks to Krillin’s HT power, which he used to ditch and get a Krillin’s Surprise. I took a couple of energy hits thanks to his hand combined with the level 2 power. I played Buu’s power and another attack from my hand and got him down close to zero to stop my pain but like a dummy I forgot to play the Black Energy Web before he could fire off his level 2 HT for a solid 8. Next combat was one I declared and I hit him pretty hard with a combination of my card power, +6 attacks with a hefty base of 4-5 stages. He played a Krillin’s Quick Kicks for some anger so he was very close to reaching level 3 a few times which would have spelled the end for me. Thankfully he didn’t get to do it more than once a combat so Vic Drill was helping keep him at level two. He hit me with a Krillin’s Destructo Disk which SUCKED. 4 life cards and down to zero. He eventually was able to grab a Krillin’s Surprise once more but a well-timed Buu’s Fury kept him from using it (I had North Kai’d a couple of times to buy me time) and this gave me the chance to kill him.
Result 1-1

Round 3 vs. Matt or Aaron – Fat Buu offensive HT Red TS
My other Buu option for this event was an Evil Buu anger deck so I was glad I didn’t play it. Two out of eight decks being anger would have been no fun. I was afraid of anger because it can be very fast and hard to hold down with its level hopping. I was hoping I could use my hand destruction to pin him down long enough to lay the pain. That didn’t quit happen though. He was leveling up consistently per turn, so at the start of each combat he would have 0 anger so Victorious Drill did nothing here. I wasn’t drawing into my hand destruction but I was getting my non-combat removal a lot. My damage output was hampered by his high base damage even on Evil Buu once he hit level 3. Now I was feeling the hurt everyone else was. Our life decks stayed pretty stead but he was getting pretty close to winning MPPV. We had gotten down to about 20 life cards each and his focused card powers were starting to pull him ahead. I slowed down his anger advance by getting into my discarding but it was too late. He played the red energy attack that let him put 3 energy combats on top so he stacked his deck with three endurance cards to soak up some damage. We both had about 8 life cards left so I was hoping I could hit two attacks to chip into those three cards and finish him with a Human Extinction Attack via Hercule’s Amazing Techniques. It didn’t work L He soaked up my my first two attacks with the endurance since he was saving a block for the killing blow. Combat ended, he drew and declared against me and hit me with his focused card power at level four to kill me.
The mistake I made here was going for the kill conventionally with a big attack. Afterwards I remembered I had a Black Exertion in my sensei deck that would have nullified the endurance he set up for himself.
Result – 1-2

Round 4 vs. Robert Turner – Future Gohan Namekian WGS
I was 1-2 and was afraid of ending with a losing record like I did at North Kai. I knew Robert’s deck as I had played it before and knew I could beat it but he would have a few advantages on me. Future Gohan has some decent power levels once he uses his level 1 to get up and then the hand advantage just gets worse and worse. I had to hit him hard and fast, since a lot of Namekian’s attacks come by way of energy. And this was working at first. Two combats of North Kai plus four big attacks from my hand and card power put me in the lead by at least 40 life cards. I was feeling pretty good. But now it was Robert’s turn to return the favor. He started burning through my omni blocks with Namekian’s selection of focused attacks and avoiding my own beat down with Pikkon’s Leg Catches and Namekian Dash. Robert seem to be split between physical and energy and things like Namekian Combo, Dash attack at +4 and he evened it up in one combat since he was getting so many cards while rejuvenating some at the same time. I caught him in one combat to put myself back in the lead with a Krillin’s Solar Flare I think to lock him out of his attacks and blocks, and hammered him while I could. Late game we had about the same number of life cards, so I got a deck count of 10 from him, took into effect that he would draw three, then two from his mastery and declared and ended it with a Krillin’s Heat Seeking Blast.
Result 2-2

Round 5 vs Joe Tourville – Goku WGS Orange MBS ball
This was the game to determine who was making it into top 4 and I was confident. I have been many drill decks with Buu and knew exactly what to do. I had seen Joe’s other games and knew he had to be running over half his deck with non-combats and he was not using the HT with the block on it. I rolled and went first and drew a City In Turmoil. I wasn’t gonna play it because I wanted to declare and get the early jump and also to wait for Joe to drop three non-combats on his turn and Invite him when he had an empty hand, but I went with the wind of caution and played it and passed. He dropped a few non-combats and passed it back to me. I drew, shut down his mastery and declared. I hit him very hard as just as I expected, he ended up with hand full of non-combats. I hit for a about 12 per attack. He went on his turn, played a few cards that didn’t matter and next combat I had a repeat of the previous one. This is why I have learned to not play drill or ball decks in this format.
Result 3-2

I am last seed into the top 4. Games are now best of three.
Round 6 vs. Darryl Fisher – Saiyan Broly speed beats.
Darryl and I knew our games could go either way, depending on who goes first. He rolls and goes first and declares, hits me a few times and gets to level two. I hit an energy attack to poke him a little which hurt more than it should since he was running his deck close to, if not at, deck minimum. Next combat I get a Super Saiyan Effect and declare, play it and win with a few heavy attacks.
Darryl chooses to go first in game two and declares. This game is a little more even. He declares and hits me a few times including a Saiyan Gut Kick into Earth Dragon Ball 5. I use an Android 18’s Stare Down to waste any defense he has, and then steal his EDB 5 with an energy attack. Our hand size his the same but my hits are doing more. We wail on each other but my deck is full size so I out last him. Two games over fast.

Result 4-2 (five games won and two games lost over all)

Round 7 vs. Chris Smith
This was a rematch of the first round. Chris knew he could win since he had beat me first round but I was guaranteed money and prizes so the pressure was off.
We roll and Chris goes first. He gets Hoi Hoi Hoi Poi early and jumps up to level 2 fast and starts getting his meat shield/mill game going. I tossed in a Huh??? to scare him away from laying Dragon Dalls. I have a City In Turmoil out but he is nullifying it with Alt. Dende Dragon Ball 3. He soaks up my physicals on his allies while milling me at the same time. His Black Cell Saga Mastery keeps my energies from flying by hitting them and he wins again.
Second game, I go first and decide to start out fast and hard. I shut off his Mastery and go after him. I do a big chunk of damage fast and he isn’t able to get off level 1 soon enough. I hit him with a Huh??? but it wasn’t a big deal since he had sensei deck’d out two Dragon Balls. He can’t get the ally mill going fast enough and I win game two.
Game three we roll and I go first. It’s a repeat of game two with me trying to go fast and hard with the pounding before he can get to level two. A pivotal turn in this game is when he has three allies and I drop Alt. Namek Ball 4 to wipe them (they go back to sensei deck but at least I get a turn of him at zero with no one to protect him). I declare and hit a Krillin’s Solar Flare to lock him out of his defense and finish him with high powered attacks.
Result 5-2

Overall, Black Buu ends the day with seven wins under its belt and three losses, two of them coming at the hands of the same deck.

So we saw that Buu definitely is beatable, it’s just that he has no overall bad match ups and this lends to his usefulness in the format. At this rate, I can foresee several possible changes to the environment. My predictions for the future:

A change in the wind driving towards energy beat down making a comeback. If you look through the styles, several of them an woefully under prepared to deal with energy defense. Orange style for example doesn’t have any energy defense that compares to its physical blocks. Black only has Black Recovery and Black Protection Orb that are worth their salt. Red and Saiyan have cards that stop all energies built into their style but they seem to be exception to the rule. Everyone is meta gaming against physical attacks due to Buu breaking the power charts, so in games where I wasn’t accomplishing anything due to that, turning to my energy attacks made the difference. Orange Zarbon and some form of Saiyan Style Mastery MBS will be decks to watch out for. I would MAYBE even say some form of Black hybrid beats ally.

Speaking of Saiyan MBS, I can definitely see this getting more valuable in the future. It will be used to combat Buu dominance by always having stages and leveling up to even the power levels up and take Buu’s best weapon away. It’s hard for Evil Buu to pin someone down when every attack they do gains them stages and power up to full when leveling up.

Red Anger is a sleeping giant. NO ONE techs against anger! And if it can’t MPPV, it can easily beat the hell out of you. I think in the era of Blue Roshi DB, anger fell out of favor since outside of Gohan’s Kick, it couldn’t off much. Red to me was always the “poor man’s style” and I love it. I mean that in the sense that when compared to Dragon Ball or Namekian way back when, it could compete and win without the need for lots of ultra and uber rares.

I have to give props to everyone who came out to Diecon and provided players or prizes. I’ve given all my shout outs on the DBZ Championship Series Facebook page, so be sure to check it out! Thanks for reading.


14 Comments to "Die Con Tournament Report"

  1. Looks like I’ll have to be looking at Baba more closely before GenCon 😉

  2. Chris Smith says:

    Our third match in finals was way close, Krillin’s Solar Flare locked me out of three cards in my hand and i took tons of damage to my face. Even with that I still was close to beating him. He killed me with a KHSB (with TS black) and me only having 4 life left. Only needing one card to survive and I could’ve milled him that combat as well. (As long as he had no more energies. Which i think he had blocks and one physical).

    I totally agree that energy is going to make a comeback soon, with so much tech against physicals something is going to sneak through. Was a great time at Cell Games and can’t wait til GenCon.

  3. Joel G. says:

    Didn’t Buu win an event last month?

  4. Aaron Sauer says:

    Hi, its Aaron from that tournament, I played Krillin Free and Matt played Buu Red. Nice article, keeps me pumped for the next one.

  5. Edison Carasio says:

    Didier – why would you need to look at Baba more closely? She’s no different now than she was the last time she was talked about to death (post errata debate).

    • Yes, but I assumed her nerf would scare away anyone from using her. Usually happens in games (in my experience), things get nerfed and even if it’s justified it wards people from playing it. Chris’s success with her here shows the community that not only is she still viable, but may be top tier. So I need to look at her more than I have been, which is zero.

      • Darryl Fisher says:

        Baba isn’t close to being top tier really. Maybe mid tier. There was 8 people in the tournament with a cut to top 4. We had 3 people that were 3-1 at end of swiss. Baba got lucky and her top 4 opponent had to drop mid game due to prior engagements. That is how she made finals.

        • If I’m counting correctly, she locked even with Buu Black, which is probably one of the most consistent monsters out there. Though Baba is probably much weaker in control matchups from what I gather about her. Still the fact that she was 2 of the 3 losses this deck received at this tournament says something.

          • Shannon says:

            Baba is as good now as she was last time we discussed her. And Chris build was very much like the way Darryl and I had proposed building her even though most had disagreed with us. But Chris was on board since day 1 really. Props to Chris.

  6. Edison Carasio says:

    It would ward people off because they are too afraid, not capable of or lazy to do the critical steps of working around any changes. Happened with Piccolo the Trained as well. He was godly and then bumped down to “just really good” but no one played him anymore even though he was/is more than playable at present.

    There’s lots of things out there that give Baba trouble. Zarbon energy, Goku Young Again Saiyan, Broly 1-3 Saiyan, Buu Red TS 1-3 anger/speed beats hybrids, etc. And the mirror match between two Baba is horrendously boring.

    Baba is still “good” just like Piccolo the Trained. I also know that Chris put a lot of time into his build and to his credit did the opposite of what you described: he just kept playing her as is and worked around it rather than moving on to the next hot topic flavor of the week.

  7. Chipmunk says:

    Great tournament report! Very good read! =)

    Should Be Working

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