TAK Games > Heroes and Villains Previews | Guest Analysis by Kenny Phuong Nguyen and Phoenix Lee

Heroes and Villains Previews | Guest Analysis by Kenny Phuong Nguyen and Phoenix Lee

Resident Sydney writer Kenny Phuong Nguyen joins us on the TAK Games blog today to analyse the Heroes and Villains preview cards released so far. Fellow Victorian Phoenix Lee from For the Players also makes a special vlogger appearance looking in detail at Tenshinhan. Over to Kenny and Phoenix Lee…


Hey fellow Dragon Ball Z fans! If you’re like me, you’ve been holding out for this personality preview. When I woke up at six this morning, first thing I did was look for it. To my dismay, it had yet to be updated. However, since that crushing sadness at 6 AM, not only have we received a personality preview from Panini, but six other cards have been spoiled! Let’s have a gander at them and see what the next Dragon Ball Z TCG expansion Heroes and Villains has to offer us.

Tenshinhan (his friends call him Tien) seems to be a fantastic personality. Levels 1, 3 and 4 all offer us some kind of card advantage. Let’s mix it up a bit and look at Tien from back to front.

Tenshinhan has reason to be smug with a great Level 4 ability.
Tenshinhan has reason to be smug with a great Level 4 ability.

Level 4 Tien gives us a significant boon, reading “The first attack you play each combat stays in play to be used a second time that combat”. Holy moly, where to begin. Remember all those HIT effects that are super awesome, but require you to actually “hit”? Why not use them twice, pretty much guaranteeing their juicy backloaded effects? Hell, if you hit the first time, all the better! Get them twice!

What about all those other non-hit effects? Orange Stare Down, Red Left Bolt, Overpowering Attack, Red Heel Kick… the list goes on! The amount of power Tenshinhan’s ability gives you is insane. If I am interpreting it correctly, it will only work on cards played from hand, not printed abilities on characters or setups. This brings us to his level 3.

And what a level 3! 5 life cards of damage in a free energy attack? Why yes Tien, I do like to threaten critical damage for free. Oh, what’s that? Banish 8 cards to gain 6 anger and level up to that super juicy level 4, which you can use in the same turn? Looking real smooth right now, Tien. Even if you just stay at 3, 5 life cards a turn is no joke, especially when combined with Orange or Black!

A free energy attack for 5 life cards each turn? Thanks Tien!
A free energy attack for 5 life cards each turn? Thanks Tien!

Level 2 reads, “Your attacks do +1 life card of damage. Once per combat after using a critical damage effect, you may search your discard pile for a non-Styled card and Rejuvenate it.” and is, in this writer’s opinion, the worst. This level leaves us with much to be desired; +1 life card is decent, but nothing to write home about. The once per turn when you deal critical damage effect is a slightly improved version of Gohan Level 2. In fact, Tien is very similar to Gohan at Level 2, but Gohan hits harder. You’re also not guaranteed a rejuvenation with Tien, which could be awkward.

Now we reach Level 1. It reads “Power: Banish the top card of your life deck to search your life deck for a Named card and place it in your hand”. Without even seeing the named cards, this power is very comparable to that of SDCC Godku – take a damage to have an extra card. Whereas Godku could draw you a dud or something awesome, Tien’s ability is consistent in that it will always get you one of two cards, and always the one you want. But just what are those cards?

Set your eyes to stunned.

Tien's Preparation Tenshinhan's Draining Blast

What. On. Earth.

Tenshinhan’s Preparation makes a really good run at being the best named card in the game so far. Both players take 2 damage, you get 2 anger, helping you push towards those better higher levels, your opponent loses 2 anger, this goes back into your deck, then you draw a card? What am I missing? 9 times out of 10 I am grabbing this card at level 1, and I think the presence of this card will be part of the reason why Spheres get even better than they are currently. I know what I’m naming with Black Scout Maneuver!

And yet, if I do happen to name it, they can grab Tenshinhan’s Draining Blast instead and bring it back, still drawing a card in the process! Not to mention smacking me for 5 life cards! Oh, and it costs no power stages to perform. You do have to banish 3 cards from the top of your life deck, but who knows; you may hit Tien’s Preparation, which you can then Rejuvenate to draw a card!

Overall, I think Tien is a personality that works well in any colour. He’s flexible enough ability wise to fit just about anywhere, and his named cards are just fantastic! Whilst his average power-up rating and abysmal power level (currently the worst in the game) will certainly make him road kill against physical beat down decks (waiting for Nappa Smash!), I’m actually most looking forward to using him in a Red deck; I feel like he may have actually been the personality Red needed to succeed due to his guaranteed anger gain at level 1 due to his power, and the inherent card advantage that comes with it. He won’t punch hard, but he sure may be able to combo well (like that time he locks up Cell 2. He tried hard and didn’t do much damage, but he achieved his goal).

Good work Panini! I can’t wait to Ki Beam Haaaaaaaaaaaa! some people into the ground!

A few other cards were previewed on community sites around the web too, nothing too special though…

Oh, wait a minute, there was this little gem from DragonBall Radio – Orange Driving Drill.

Nice knowing ya Ginyu. It was fun. I would not wanna be piloting Captain Ginyu against an Orange Deck any time soon…or ever, really. This card alone is going to completely rattle the current “stale” (note the inverted commas) format. Its mere presence will make people think twice about piloting Ginyu and his goons into a tournament, which is great for the health of the game overall. Meta cards are conducive to a healthy game, and I am glad that Panini have printed such a card. It does seem a little too convenient an answer though. Especially in a colour that is able to search for and recur its cards so easily. Overall, a great addition.

Whilst less mind blowing, some of the other spoiled cards included:

Fanatics Gaming previewed ally Piccolo-Waiting: Realistically, this ally will see play only in a Gohan deck, much as Chi-Chi will only see a lot of play in Goku, Gohan and Goten decks. However, it does provide a fairly needed boost to the underwhelming personality, allowing Gohan to have Piccolo save his bacon from energy attacks (until he learns to dodge), as well as soaking up stage damage on his behalf. Good old punching bag Piccolo.

The Panini Dragon Ball Z News page on Facebook previewed Red Overpower: Another solid addition to red. 3 stages is a fair cost for 5 life cards. The ability to lower your MP a level (thus drawing a card due to the mastery) in order to tank up by giving all your cards Endurance 1 does give Red some sorely needed survivability. I’m not 100% sold on it yet, but it’s not bad by any means.

That’s it for today, folks. Until next time!

Kenny Phuong Nguyen

Check out Phoenix Lee’s assessment on For the Players for his verdict on the Heroes and Villains spoilers so far:

TAK Games will be joining the Heroes and Villains spoiler reveal with our first exclusive preview tomorrow – to make sure you’re up to date with the latest reveals, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TAKGames_au.

Game on!
– Kyp (@justkyp).