Hey DBS players, here is an in-depth analysis of what the current Dragon Ball Super Card Game Set 4 Meta Decks are shaping out to be and what to expect at your upcoming big tournaments.
These decks are all viable in a competitive setting, although some could be proven to be more powerful than others. Each one will be discussed in a particular order, but that order doesn’t correlate to their tier in the meta.
The goal is to provide competitive players with insight into what decks will most likely see play and can be played competitively in the current meta.
So let’s get started with a deck that is utilizing some of the best new cards Set 4 brought us:
At first look you would think that a Hirudegarn deck would include some of the late game cards in the set, but that would be the furthest from the truth. This leader, with a highly aggressive build, has shown a consistent turn 2-3 kill on an unprepared opponent.
There are a few builds floating around that different players are testing.
With your Red/Blue Aggro deck, you have cards such as the Saiyan Cabba and the new Intensifying Power Trunks allowing for early game aggression. Partner that with loop combos utilizing Legendary Flute, Unyielding Trunks or Senzu bean, and you have yourself a hyper aggressive early game if left unchecked.
Other blue leaders do have access to these same cards and playstyle, but what may make Hirudegarn more dangerous is the synergy between the aggressive play style and the specific cards the leader has access to from Set 4. Utilizing cards such as Hidden Darkness Minotia, Hirudegarn the Wanderer, and one of the best super combos in the game Hoi, Emissary of Flame.
The draw power of Hirudegarn’s unawaken side is similar’s to that of U7 Frieza from Tournament of Power, but if you discard Minotia, you’ll end up netting yourself 2 cards because you can search out the Wanderer to your hand. This gives you an extra combo card or the needed blue energy for Senzu bean to keep the pressure on your opponent. Same idea when discarding a card for the super combo to draw 2.
The main goal of the Red/Blue Aggro Build is to attack your opponent more times than they are able to defend in the early game, amass a large amount of cards in your hand with pluses from taking lives using the red 1 drops, your leader’s auto, Legendary flute, and the super combo that helps filter through your deck. This type of deck had a great showing at different release tournaments such as some tournaments during release weekend in Florida. You can see the results of one of the tournaments here.
Mid-Range Red/ Blue
Another build is a Mid-Range Red/ Blue with cards such as Foreseeing Hit and Chain Attack + Zen-Oh combo in the deck. While the first build focuses on winning in the first 2 turns of the game, this one doesn’t mind going to 4 energy if needed to finish the game. This deck was shown to be very successful across multiple release tournaments. We saw this deck being played by pro player Eric Hill at the Brothers Grim Game’s release tournament in New York where it took 1st place. Then a similar deck took 1st and 2nd place at the CoreTCG release tournament in California.
The last build that is receiving some attention is the Blue/Yellow Build. This build focuses on using cards such as Bardock the Progenitor and the upcoming BBC promo Scrambling Assault Son Goten to pressure the early game while building hand advantage over their opponent. This one hasn’t seen play yet as the BBC promo doesn’t release until August. Once the card enters the game, I’m sure we’ll see this deck being played.
Although the Hirudegarn deck is strong, there are ways to counter the deck’s play style and many cards are seeing an increase in play. Cards such as Full Power Energy are being played to stop the onslaught of 1 drop attackers, Flying Nimbus is a good option against these aggressive decks, and Senzu Bean helps when you need to play defensively through multiple attacks.
For those of you unfamilar with what SS3 Variant means, it means the variety of decks that can be built using Heighten Evolution Super Saiyan 3 Son Goku as the Leader. His untap 3 energy ability on his awaken side, combined with self awakening and energy ramping in the opening turn makes SS3 a strong leader.
There are many different SS3 builds that can be considered competitive in the current format but there are 3 main ones that are starting off with strong showings:
Set 4 introduced the new Bardock the Progenitor. What makes this card so strong is the ability to take a life when he is played and it’s a 1 drop Bardock target for the Bardock Will of Iron ape to be combo evolved on. This card in SS3 apes allows this deck to potentially awaken turn 1 if they open up with double yellow energy by playing the Bardock, Swapping it back to hand and playing it again. Also, with the 1 drop in the battle area, if you combo a Bardock Will of Iron you can evolve it on top of the 1 drop Bardock. This allows a double strike ape to be played in the first 2 turns, instead of before where he wouldn’t be able to be played until at least the 4th energy.
SS3 apes already had a place in the last meta with showings in the top 32 of ARG Hartford and ARG Atlantic City. Now with set 4, this build sees a strong buff and is proving to be a strong contender in the meta. SS3 apes had strong showings at both the Brothers Grim Game’s and Pro Play Game’s release tournaments for Set 4. Both Anthony Hernandez and Alejandro Mena took 2nd place at their respective release tournaments running this deck. For the new players, Anthony Hernandez is a two time ARG Circuit Series champion and Alejandro Mena is a pro player on PPG that has topped 1st place at the Hartford Regional in 2017.
SS3 GT Flute
This deck is receiving a lot of hype. There were new GT cards introduced in set 4 with very powerful effects. Triple Flash SS4 Son Goku lets you build hand advantage when he is played and stops your opponent’s counter cards if he is buffed by 10k. Senzu Bean, Legendary Flute and Combination Attack Pan make this 10k buff very easy to achieve. If Triple Flash does come out and the opponent doesn’t have any blockers on the board, they’re in serious trouble. Building a deck around this card and other power GT cards is what makes this deck strong.
SS3 allows you to play higher energy cost cards earlier due to his ramping ability. The faster you can get your ender battle cards on the board the better chance you have of winning. Add this with Intensifying Trunks and Saiyan Cabba for easy early game awakening as well as Legendary Flute plays and you can put your opponent in a position to turn 2 or turn 3 kill them. This deck is able to pick up very fast and bring the aggression early.
SS3 Blue Black Control
With the introduction of Oath’s Power Tapion that helps self awaken, it opened up the possibility of a blue focused SS3 build because you don’t have to worry about getting stalled out as before there were no reliable blue cards that help self awaken. A new deck was showcase at the Pro Play Games Release Tournament where a Blue Black SS3 Anti Aggro deck took 1st place.
It ran cards like Piccolo, The Strategist, Trio De Dangers Bergamo and Beerus, Universe 7 Divine Vanquisher as its goal is to take you into the mid to late game and wear you down. It gets there with a lot of early negates and 1 drops that replaces themselves. If that Bergamo is able to be played by turn 3, without proper removal, which most aggressive decks lack, battle cards won’t be attacking the SS3 leader until the Bergamo is dealt with. With at least 3 open energy every turn, you can focus on protecting your board and lives until you’re able to drop the late game battle cards. You can check out the deck list here.
Many more SS3 variants are strong and can be competitive in the meta. Hand destruction with the new Combo Killer Anilaza, Veggies with the new Saiyan Onsaulght Kefla and even a deck built with Goku’s Lineage cards can be played with SS3. SS3 provides different decks with the potential to be played competitively. Although SS3 biggest weakness in an aggro meta is that it does start at 6 lives. This may prove to be a problem, but one of its biggest strength is how defensive it can be played so we will see how the meta unfolds going forward.
Blue Leader Aggro
These three leaders all can be played aggressively and use a lot of the same cards to get the job done as the Hirudegarn deck does. The Blue Aggro leaders want to rush you down with early aggression, using the 1 drops and Legendary Flute while maintaining a very large hand advantage.
Set 2 Combo Trunks
Trunks, Hope for the Future has shown to be a strong contender in the meta. It has access to all the aggressive blue and red cards, and his auto gives you the draw power you need to keep the pressure on your opponent. What makes Trunks strong in this meta is its ability to pick up very fast while having a layer of defense with access to the free Mai blocker in the aggro mirror match that will be common.
Blue Red builds are currently being played, but as previously mentioned once the new BBC Goten is released, you can expect to see a lot more Blue Yellow trunks storm being played. Plays such as these can happen in the B/Y build: 1 drop Bardock, draw 1 from life, attack, combo unyielding, draw 1 card from leader auto, swap into goten, attack with goten, draw 1 card, flute the goten, draw 1, and repeat by playing 1 drop Bardock again.
Realistically Vegeta already had the potential to end games early due to the aggressive self awakening ability to keep the pressure on your opponent. With the addition of the new 1 drop crit trunks and legendary flute to his arsenal, Vegeta is able to be more aggressive than he ever was with more options to land a crit double strike with Furthering Desctrion Champa. Although self awakening leaders may be put at a disadvantage in the aggro mirror match, Vegeta stands to be a strong contender in the meta until proven otherwise.
Universe 7 Gohan
Not many people knew about the potential this leader had until it was popularized by pro player Danny “Hype” Phongsavath. Danny brought a lot of hype to U7 Gohan towards the end of the last set. A lot of players began to pick him up as his ability to draw cards is very overpowering.
With Set 4, new Universe 7 cards were introduced that made Gohan an even more viable leader. The new Indomitable Link Piccolo and Indomitable Link Gohan from the Piccolo Starter deck as well as the new promo card Burst Attack Gohan really helps put this deck in a good place in the meta. It has a great matchup against aggro decks, but can come up short to decks with a lot of negates that prevent Gohan from really going off. The deck has seen an increase in play leading up to set 4 and will continue to see play if the meta stays aggressive.
Cell Chain Decks
Android 17&18 and Cell Leader
Cell chain decks simply refers to decks running the 12 card Cell package and both Android 17 &18 to make sure the 7 drop can be resolved consistently. The reason these decks see a buff this meta is the addition of Minus Kili Zone to prevent their opponents from playing Bloodlust and the decrease of Bloodlust leaders being played due to the silver bullet to Shugesh known as Time Control Chronoa.
Green also has access to Full Power Energy to help against the 1 drop beater – unyielding trunks – flute combos blue leaders are looking to do. The new 1 drop Gohan, Newfound Power Son Gohan, helps crit your opponent and adds consistency to the deck with more options to self awaken. Also, if you get to turn 3 with all your cell pieces and bring your opponents hand down to 3, most aggro decks don’t have an out back into the game. Androids 17&18 Leader and Cell leader are still strong and may prove to be strong contenders in the meta moving forward.
Set 3 Dark Warrior Mira Leader
Another Leader that uses the cell package is the Mira leader. Both the Set 3 Mira and Set 4 Mira can run cell chain, but I believe the real one to worry about is the Set 3 Mira. Set 3 Mira with Cell chain was already showing up to compete at various Regionals and Circuit Series in the previous meta. One even made top 16 at Origins Regional.
Not only has cell chain received a buff, but Set 4 introduced a potent new Mira chain consisting of Dark Absorption Mira, 1 Towa, and Mira Creator Absorbed. To start the chain it requires at least 4 energy, at least 1 Towa in your warp and a 7 drop Mira in your warp or hand. When you overrealm Dark Absorption Mira, you pay 4 energy to union absorb the Towa and bring the 7 drop Mira out. Once he comes into play, your opponent has to send 3 cards from their hand to the warp.
Having access to a potential turn 3 Cell chain that brings your opponents hand down to 3 and then playing the Mira chain on turn 4 can prove to be very devasting for the opponent. What makes Mira chain so strong is that even if you get Chain Attack – Zen Oh after you Cell Chain, as long as you draw into the 3 drop overrealm Mira and the other 2 pieces are in your warp, you’ll be able to play it and punish the opponent who also has low cards because of Zen Oh. Also, the leader is able to draw on the unawakened side and has permanent crit on the awaken side. Overall this leader can prove to be very strong and can expect to see play moving forward.
Chain Attack – Zen-Oh Decks
Chain Attack – Zen-Oh decks refers to decks where the focus is to reset the game state using Chain Attack Trunks and Zen-Oh the Plain God. This combo already sees a lot of play in the meta across different leaders, but with Set 4 this combo sees a buff.
The reason is that the 1 drop trunks is a “Trunks:GT” making it a 2 Red energy evolve target for Chain Attack Trunks. That means it is now possible to Chain Attack Zen Oh for less energy and play it earlier if needed. Chain Attack Zen-Oh can be ran in a lot of different leaders, even in some mentioned above like Hirudegarn, Trunks and SS3.
More defensive decks that can survive long enough to drop the Chain Attack Zen-Oh will see play in this meta. Setting back these aggro leaders once they amass such a big hand advantage will be what leads these decks to victory. The mechanic helps to get out of any tricky situation. Leaders such as Pan and even Baby who utilize Chain Attack Zen-Oh can expect to see play. It will mainly come down to how the deck is built, how well it can deal with early pressure, and how well it can close the game out post Zen-Oh.
Yellow Leaders with a Splash of Shugesh
With the silver bullet, Time Control Chronoa, introduced you might think Shugesh is completely dead. That’s exactly what players piloting yellow leaders want you to think. Now you’re seeing players who play yellow decks aren’t fully centered around abusing Shugesh but instead play 2 Shugesh and 2 of another super combo so Chronoa doesn’t punish them as bad if it does see play.
Shugesh will be used more as a great tool to progress the game state if Chronoa hasn’t been played, instead of a means to amass an overwhelming board state against your opponent. But if it does get shut down at least its still a plus 10K for comboing. Yellow players will make sure their deck doesn’t require Shugesh for it to succeed but still have it to punish their opponent if the opportunity arises.
Leaders such as U7 Frieza and the new SS4 leader can expect to see play. The new SS4 leader with a Goku’s Lineage package using some Starter rare cards found in the Crimson Saiyan Starter Deck is actually strong and can expect to see play. There’s a new Gohan exclusive to the starter deck, Ultimate Potential SS2 Son Gohan. This card is the new Explosive Kid Goku as a Shugesh target because it KOs a card in rest mode when it is played while also putting a Swap Battle card on the board.
Unexpecting players who don’t play around Shugesh Gohan will be punished, so make sure you have those Time Control Chronoa in your side decks! Also, yellow does have access to Flying Nimbus which is great to help shut down aggression. U7 Frieza’s draw power is nothing to ignore either. I’m sure players will find a way to play him with his strengths in the current meta.
Overall, the verdict on which build is the best hasn’t been decided as the Regional season will kick off at Gen Con, to truly see what decks top the meta. These are the decks I think will be seeing the most play in this meta for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this article will help you prepare for your next big tournament! When the cards from the Ultimate Box are revealed, we’ll post a new article to touch on some of the new cards being introduced at the beginning of August and its potential impacts on the meta.
Dragon Ball Super Card Game Set 4 Meta Decks
If you have any feedback or want to voice any opinions about any of these decks, feel free to comment below. Thank you all for your time! We will be at Gen Con covering the awesome National Qualifiers so stayed tuned for upcoming coverage of this season’s Regionals.