TAK Games > Regionals Deck Analysis #3 | Nash’s Red Piccolo

Regionals Deck Analysis #3 | Nash’s Red Piccolo

Nash fights it out on Table 2 with Red Piccolo.
Nash fights it out on Table 2 with Red Piccolo.

Before taking a look at the remaining regional winner decks (Nathan W.’s Orange Krillin and Carl’s Namekian Piccolo), we wanted to highlight a regional finalist’s deck showcasing some of the versatility in deck choices available in the meta environment.

Nathan Ash – Red Piccolo

Nash piloted Red Piccolo all the way to a Top 4 showdown and proved Piccolo isn’t just a one trick pony with a Namekian deck. It is true, however, that some of the synergy between Piccolo’s personality powers and an MPPV victory remains just as valid in Red style as it does in Namekian. But the Red varient utilises some burst anger that only Tenshinhan can reliably match.

Piccolo does some great work from level 2 to 4, and uses those powers to his advantage to max out his anger either by directly using a critical damage effect or giving Piccolo the tools to generate one through damage. His only drawback in Red is his Level 1. With no anger gain other than cards drawn, this can sometimes leave Red Piccolo vulnerable early game. By maxing out on Red’s cards that gain 2 anger with secondary or hit effects, this helps to mitigate some of those problems.

I’m particularly impressed by the use of the sole Red Tactical Drill in the deck. On face value this might seem like wasted space, but when you team it with Red Stop which can grab the drill back to potentially help conserve anger it can put in some great work. This also adds to the flexibility of the defensive package in the deck. A vulnerability present is the reduced amount of pure energy blocks in the deck, which leaves you open to having your anger reduced via critical damage effects generated by your opponent’s energy attacks. Red Energy Defensive Stance is the favoured second energy block I see in most Red decks to help with anger.

Red Tactical Drill
Red Tactical Drill keeps you angry. Grrargh!

Having the Dragon Balls in deck as well to give a back up win condition is a great part of this deck. By making your opponent choose between you keeping your anger, or keeping your Dragon Balls, you keep some of the power on your side of the table.

The attacks used in the deck are all very solid. By focusing on using a majority of physical attacks to gain anger, you leave your opponent unable to stage lock you into not being able to play your attacks. When teamed with physical blocks being slightly less prevalent in the environment, it gives the deck some great tools to press on with a Survival Victory if it catches someone unprepared to halt the chain of attacks Red has the potential of bringing to the table.

With only 14 cards in the deck that can’t be used during the defender phase, it represents a good balance to help ensure you can pin your ears back and go for your wins either as the attacker or defender in most draw phases. And with multiple ways to help cycle cards in and out of your hand, the deck shouldn’t be as susceptible to bricked hands like some other Red decks can be.

If I was looking at this deck for ways to improve it, I would like to see cards like Red Left Bolt or Red Heel Kick added into the mix to help keep combats going. The longer you keep your opponent in combat, and generating anger through critical damage effects or pure secondary effects the better. Both these cards offer you ways to keep setting up your combats. Red Left Bolt isn’t going to get you the same value in Piccolo as it would in a Tenshinhan build, but you can always make sure that the card on the bottom of your deck is going to keep the anger train rolling.

These types of decks add some great variety to the meta, keeping everyone honest in their own deck building to be mindful of a burst anger deck that they might not see coming. As Nash showed, you can get some good success with Red in a meta that might be expecting more of the usual players in Ginyu, Krillin and Namekian Piccolo.

Good luck and game on!

– Trent (@TAKGames_Trent) and Kyp (@justkyp).

Meta the devil you know…

A touchy subject for some, the meta is a source of constant conversation. While some believe it is stale and the same three decks can be viewed vying for dominance every week, others say there is massive variance in the range of viable decks. Maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Since Heroes and Villains and Movie Collection dropped, loud cries exclaimed the meta must shift. The usual suspects of Ginyu, Piccolo and Krillin have been winning more often than not, with all notching wins at Regional Championship events around the world. A well thought out plan and a good read of the potential field and you can have half the battle won for yourself. This is the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors situation hiding within Panini’s Dragon Ball Z TCG.

No one style of deck has an impressive match up over all others, and we have seen the ebbs and flows of this in the different types of decks winning Regional level events. While there are the usual suspects in the mix, there are some great decks that can be the rock that smashes away an opponent’s scissors.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential Big 3 decks, and their counters:


The focus here is on Blue Ginyu as it has the most favourable match ups against other decks. While it is strong, the deck does have vulnerabilities you can exploit. Its greatest foe is the bald man. Krillin is dangerous to Ginyu in both the favoured Black style and emerging Orange variant. With his Level 1 critical damage effect, he is a constant thorn in Ginyu’s side that the opponent must be aware of to play around. Team that with the disruption and removal possibilities in Black, or the sheer board presence of Orange and Ginyu is forced to work for every card in their deck.

However, there are other great counters outside of the Big 3. Orange Goku has shown it can be an equally annoying thorn in Ginyu’s side. With Orange Destruction a constant threat; Heroic Assistance providing targeted recursion of the discard pile and Goku’s ability to maintain board presence, Ginyu can be left with few options. Blue Piccolo running Blue Dominance is also a good choice with Piccolo’s Level 2 power, hero allies providing control and drills like Blue Positioning Drill amongst others causing Ginyu to become locked down and denied its strength in maximising combat actions.

Some other decks that can provide Ginyu with headaches are:

  • Saiyan Vegeta (teched with ally hate, and running Saiyan Menace and Saiyan Rescue)
  • Red Garlic (if he can remove or keep Nappa ally off the field)
  • Nappa (Black or Blue style)


Black Krillin would have to be the most consistent performer of this year’s Regional circuit. Though it has only won two Regionals in the US, it consistently makes up the largest percentage of decks within Top Cut. With his great action on level 1 with the auto critical effect generated with his power and the Black Mastery, he provides Black an answer to the biggest flaw in its arsenal, control of anger and allies.

If Organised Play was a National Geographic documentary, Black Krillin’s natural predator would be Piccolo Namekian. While the match up can be won by Krillin, it takes some great draws and much luck to help get on top of a deck that can come at you with all three victories in its kit bag. The constant anger gain and the way Namekian can generate card draw once set up can leave Krillin with little to stop an MPPV victory, or even get decked out if Namekian can chain a few nice combats with multiple energy attacks.

Anger decks like Red Tenshinhan can also give Krillin a run for his money, due to Krillin only being able to consistently deal with 1 anger each combat. Orange Goku can also be favoured in the match up if Krillin lets the opponent get set up.

Some other decks to consider:

  • Black Nappa (Physical Beats)
  • Orange Krillin (Fight fire with fire!)

Namekian Piccolo

Blue Positioning Drill provides players with many options to continue countering the Big 3.

Movie Collection‘s release saw players drop away from Namekian Piccolo, particularly as decks capitalising on Blue Dominance emerged. Locking down Namekian’s constant anger generation while mitigating the rejuvenation Namekian provides through Blue’s own targeted recursion with Blue Positioning Drill can help to prevent Namekian Piccolo from changing gears constantly to pull out one of its triple threat victory conditions. For this reason, Blue Piccolo matches up favourably to the Namekian style version by taking advantage of all the tools it provides – allies for control, his level 2 power, and anger slowdown from the Blue Mastery. Using Blue Positioning Drill and drawing with his power helps you cycle through cards in your hand that might not be optimal to the match up.

The pure damage output and constant threat of being able to fish out Frieza allows Ginyu of all colours to cramp Namekian Piccolo’s style. Blue tends to be more reliable than others as it has the advantage of slowing down all three victory conditions, where Orange and Black can be vulnerable to an anger victory.

Other decks you may wish to trial against Ginyu are:

  • Red Garlic
  • Red Tenshinhan

The main takeaway is that while the Big 3 have their advantages, with the right forethought and purposeful playtesting, you can take another deck to provide an element of surprise and counter the meta environment you expect at your next Championship level event. The more chances you give yourself to sit down to favourable match ups, the more chances you have to make Top Cut and receive awesome prizes.

Good luck and game on!

– Trent (@TAKGames_Trent) and Kyp (@justkyp).

Perth Regionals Report

We are underway at Good Games Joondalup with 20 players turning out to fight it out for the last regional event before Nationals due in October.

The break-up of today’s masteries are;

Black Mastery – 6
Blue Mastery – 5
Namekian Mastery – 3
Orange Mastery – 3
Red Mastery – 3
Saiyan Mastery – 0

Don’t forget to check out the Twitch feed here

Feature Matches

Round 1 – Neil S. vs Tyler E.
Round 2 – Brodie R. vs Leigh E.
Round 3 – Adam S. vs Blair S.

2015 New South Wales Dragon Ball Z Regionals

The New South Wales Dragon Ball Z regionals are underway with 29 players from three different states testing their fortune in the battles to follow.

Today’s event ended up with the following counts on Mastery types:

Black Mastery – 12
Blue Mastery – 5
Namekian Mastery – 4
Orange Mastery – 2
Red Mastery – 3
Saiyan Mastery – 3

Streaming is available via twitch.tv.


(No particular order)

Michael T. – Blue Ginyu
Jared K. – Black Garlic
Eugene Z. – Orange Goku
Nathan W. – Orange Krillin
Chris K. – Blue Frieza
Nathan F. – Blue Wheelo
Damien H. – Black Krillin
Nathan N. – Black Krillin


Round 1 Feature – Michael T. and Andrew A.

Round 2 Feature – Eugene Z. and Damien H.

Round 3 Feature – Nathan N. and Daniel S.

Round 4 Feature – Abrehm D. and Jared K.

Round 5 Feature – Chris K. and Neville P.

Top 8 Feature – Damien H. and Nathan W.

Regionals Deck Analysis #2 | Dave T’s Namekian Piccolo | VIC Regional Champion

Trent continues his regional deck analysis series with Dave’s winning Namekian Piccolo deck from the Victorian regionals.

Dave T’s Namekian Piccolo

Vic Regionals - David T.All day I was glued to Twitch watching the Victorian Dragon Ball Z Regionals unfold. I was impressed at the meta choice of Namekian Piccolo considering the field. Namekian had strong match ups against a good majority of what was on offer to play so it wasn’t surprising to see three make it to the Top 8.

After watching South Australian players David T. and Matt B. pilot this particular deck, I was interested to see the final list. There are a number of strong choices made in both the cards utilised and the numbers in the deck. Given Matt B’s record in the Score Dragon Ball Z game, it was no surprise to see a multi-victory deck sported by Team South Australia. Having a backup victory condition helps to keep your opponent guessing with the cards they need to keep and how to best utilise them throughout the game.

The thing most people would find surprising is the amount of “1 of” cards in the deck. But such is the nature of Namekian. It can get away with this easily, giving the pilot the choice of cards they need to retrieve with searchers like Namekian Overtime, and selective rejuvenation late game to increase the chances of use. But, the flip side of this also means that should your opponent lock you down on both MPPV and DBV, you’re going to have to grind out the long game if these cards are removed either through Endurance or by other means.

The rest of the deck is fairly standard Namekian Piccolo that we have seen through Set 1 and 2. The block package is fairly standard, except for the choice of Namekian Stance as the second pure energy block. This does help in the match ups like Ginyu and other more aggressive decks, obviously to help protect your anger and Dragon Balls.

One setup present in the deck that I haven’t seen a lot of players use is Namekian Concentration. Teamed up with Namekian Growth, there is some serious rejuvenation that a lot of beatdown victory decks would find hard to overcome. Since the deck may be a little vulnerable to removal of other win conditions, this helps with the long game. Since Namekian would hardly be an aggressor, passing combat just helps feed Namekian Concentration and adds to the annoyance the deck creates for aggressive builds.

The list is very solid, without being too focused in any one direction. It will be interesting to see if a further tweaked version of this deck is played at Nationals to continue with the Namekian renaissance.

Game on!

– Trent (@TAKGames_Trent).