Fusion Fail: Do we really want a Panini America + Retro Dragon Ball Z TCG Format?

(Editor’s Note: This article only considers Retro DBZ rules changes and authentic Score Entertainment Dragon Ball Z CCG cards. Virtual Cards are not included in this discussion.)

One of the biggest selling points of the new Panini America Dragon Ball Z 2014 TCG is it’s compatibility with the Score Entertainment Dragon Ball Z CCG. And for the most part this is true: all the cards that we’ve seen and the rulebook is 100% compatible with old cards. Where the questions begin to arise is whether or not old Score cards would be allowed in officially sanctioned events.

Well I’ve been asking a different question: Do we really want the two formats to fuse?

Panini America Dragon Ball Z CCG 2014 Compatibility Sheet

A few weeks ago, I tried to make a deck with the handful of cards already revealed and the existing library of Score cards (ignoring the sixty card cap, the restriction of only Lv. 1-4 personality cards and the new named card rules introduced with the new set). The result was, unsurprisingly, a deck that had the potential to go infinite. Even just constructing the deck brought to light a few issues, as I had to take a few liabilities when combining the old and new rules just to come up with a working deck in way that I thought would be “fair”.

Overall, I think it will be fairly easy to decide what to do with most of the rules changes like what to do with named cards and various deck construction rules (basically just using the Retro rules over Panini where applicable). The issues are going to come from balancing certain cards like Orange Adaptive Mastery (see the previously mentioned Goku deck) and Frieza’s Supernova (there are thirteen different non-personality Frieza cards in the Score game), among others and some we’ve no doubt not seen yet.

Even more daunting will be trying to figure out what to do with reprints, partial reprints and “spiritual” reprints (like Heroic Energy Sphere). Do we allow a decks to run three Android 18’s Stare Down and three Stare Down (which was no doubt introduced to get around the named card rule change)? Do we play with the classic Black Defensive Burst or the slightly more powerful Panini version of Black Defensive Burst? Should you be allowed to play non-proxy Score versions of cards with exact reprints or must you run the Panini America version?

What do we do with Dragon Ball GT reprints?

What do we do with Dragon Ball GT reprints?

Unfortunately, the answer to all of this (if we are looking for a balanced environment) will be to basically have a second CRD-like conversion manual for a “Retro PanZ” format. This document will unfortunately have to go through and dictate which new cards are legal, any adjustments they might need to be balanced in a fused environment and how the various different reprints will be treated. This list will have to be developed via trial and error by the community as I can’t see Panini America devoting resources to running official events with product that they won’t be making any money on. This list will also have to be updated for every set release.

So in order to play in a non-broken Retro PanZ, we will have to basically develop a whole new game with a whole new set of rules. The results won’t be guaranteed, and I can’t say that the effort will be worth it when the Retro format is already pretty fun and the Panini America format is shaping up nicely. It’s fun to fantasize combining old and new cards, but in practice it will be a nightmare.

Compatible with the old game? As far as I’m concerned all that means is that I already know the rules. This isn’t Score Entertainment’s Dragon Ball Z CCG Set 12, this is Panini America’s Dragon Ball Z TCG Set 1. Don’t dwell on thoughts of official Retro PanZ events, because it’s just something I don’t think any of us will want.

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18 Comments to "Fusion Fail: Do we really want a Panini America + Retro Dragon Ball Z TCG Format?"

  1. Ghostz says:

    Good article, imo panz will be becoming the “errata’d” version of old z, so after a few sets maybe we can substitute the old z wth panz…

  2. gerame says:

    I’d rather just have PanZ only. and have them release full sets and not rely on the old cards.

  3. Ashire says:

    The line should be drawn in Retro at Kid Buu, with MAYBE the exception of the Broly’s Second Coming subset being allowed for play. I would like to see that. Maybe retro can make a list of cards that would be allowed to be ported over from Panini’s new game, instead of making more virtual cards. I believe this would keep the environment fair. Maybe 10-25 new cards with every set release, carefully chosen to keep everything balanced. There’s my two cents. As a general? I’d agree. I don’t want to see a hybrid of the two.

  4. I have my fingers crossed for the new game to be “phasing out” the original, but bringing back the fan favorites with each set. Allowing the original cards for friendly matches can and will likely hook the already financially committed fans, but after a few set releases I can see them pulling the plug on the old cards entirely.

    The great thing about both games coinciding is that we can still play with the cards we are familiar with, and once Panini gets its feet on the ground, it can be choosy as to which cards deserve to come back, and which cards were too broken to be re-released.

    I can only hope that is the mentality…

  5. Bryan Hayden says:

    I like the gold title distinction for exact reprints. I plan on supporting the new product regardless, but even if it’s not tournament legal I plan on running ScoreZ copies at home. Nostalgia….

  6. Nousername says:

    Since they have announced the game I’ve basically been thinking of the 2 games together like magic formats standard and legacy. In magic standard is usually the fair format that is pretty balanced and the more played, but legacy is a format where you go into it knowing that completely broken combos exist and things will get a little crazy sometimes. I think Panz will be the most played and focused on format. It doesn’t mean we can’t get a little crazy with the old cards though.

  7. Jason says:

    Realistically, if you use strictly PanZ rules and use old cards, it is not nearly as broken. I think you did it backwards. I have a PanZ style Tien Deck, using old cards obviously (Tien 1-4, using the name card rule from PanZ, 60 card life deck) and a PanZ style black Bojack deck (minus the lvl 4 Bojack, obviously). They are a bit too powerful for strict PanZ decks and starters, but other similar PanZ decks using the old cards would be an even match. With this format, the only needed rule change would be something like “required MP levels 1-3. Anger wins with lvl 4 personalities only.”

  8. Jay says:

    its safe to have only panZ tournaments honestly. I love score and wish it never faded out or introduced certain sagas but it should be separate from the new game.
    the new looks effortless and fair, the decks are pretty even with their own perks this time around.

  9. chris hinders says:

    I want the new cards but at the expense of my old. freestyle is my main style losing this completely sucks to me. I was hoping that they would have made a new mastery.

    • chris hinders says:

      as for mixing 60 cards plus the mastery and lvls. 3 of each card except for the limited cards Panini named cards are useable by their main personality only Score named cards are free for all to use. score cards printed by Panini cards should be considered as only version of that cards title to be used making the other not useable in tourney. characters that only have 3 lvls should be playable but they cant add another card to their play deck and cant win with anger. allow sensies and they don’t count against the play deck.. dragonball getting cards should be limited to 3 but wont be. don’t allow battle grounds or locations.

  10. Matthew Beattie says:

    I lost all my Score DBZ cards when my house burned down, so I am very grateful that this new set is coming out. Since I don’t have my Score cards, I’m obviously for keeping the old and new games separate. If you did combine them, you could have two combined versions, Score based and Panini based. In Score based, you use Score rules and just include Panini cards. In Panini based, you would need to adjust the Physical Attack Table I would think, and use Panini rules, but include the Score cards that would be considered legal. This means no location/battleground type cards, no Sensei Decks, allies must be Ally Cards – not MP Cards, and I’m sure that there are others that I’m just not thinking of right now.

  11. Here’s a real question, are we EVER going to get any tournament reports from GENCON and how the matches went, or am I blind and did I miss that, or does nobody but me care?

  12. Shin Shehong says:

    I think it’s obvious tournament play will be panZ only or contain two formats. What most of you seem to be ignoring is that many players will not have the old cards or have access to get them/ panz won’t make money even if you do. New players are required to get this game going, the original players are now older and less likely to pick up a “kid’s game”. This would require tournament play to be conducive to new players.

  13. Andrew Dill says:

    Guess I missed this article somehow, so a few weeks late in my response.

    I loved the old Dragon Ball Z card game, but I have no interest any longer in a format that uses its card. The new game just has better design mechanics, having learned from the original. A fresh start will be much better, and more interesting in my opinion, than going back to the old ways.

    People can still play with the old cards for fun all they want, but if I am going to invest time and money into preparing and going to a tournament, being fair, balanced, and having the most support are what I care about. I do not see these things being fulfilled if the old cards are legal. From everything I have seen so far it seems like Panini is doing their own thing, will only have tournaments and rules based on their new release and is not worry about balancing things with old cards in mind; but is also being nice enough to keep the format very similar so people are able to mix in the old cards if they want to for fun.

    If this is more of an opinion poll to gauge interest, then my answer is no I probably would not be interested in any kind of tournament combining cards from both games. My interest is in playing the new game competitively.

  14. klaas says:

    so which saga would the new panini cover? i already see super saiyan trunks defeating metal frieza. So the saiyan, freeza and trunks saga at once? And is there a date when the next release will be?

  15. […] is adequate interest for us to continue the Retro format. As it becomes more apparent that the Panini America game will not be as compatible with the old game as we thought, we feel that there is still room for Retro. Not only that, but we feel Retro has earned it’s […]

  16. John says:

    Can you play Panini DBZ 2014 Cards with Heroes and Villians and Evolution cards sets?

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