Stater Deck Review: Dragon Ball Z 2014 Starter Deck

Panini America revived one of my favorite trading games from my childhood, Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game. The game’s new name is Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game. A few of the rules from the original game were changed to improve gameplay. The starter deck’s Main Personalities are Frieza Gohan Goku, Krillin, Piccolo, and Vegeta. Each starter deck includes one Main Personality set, mastery, and prism foil of one random Main Personality from the set.

High Tech Namek Piccolo!

My starter deck included Piccolo’s Main Personality set. I was lucky to pull the best character out of the set and in the game’s current format. All Main Personality cards and the mastery are high tech foils unlike in the original game when there was only one high tech card. These cards are very shiny. My camera experienced a glare after I tried to show the cards during my video. The bonus prism foil is a nice addition as well. It is great for collectors and players, who like multiple high-rarities for their favorite cards.

Powerful Cards!

Cards from starter decks normally are not useful cards for the long haul. This starter deck is loaded with very useful cards for every style. Blue Mental Drill could possibly become a staple in Blue decks throughout the game’s history. It forces your opponent to play with his or her revealed at all times until he or she is able to remove it from play. Saiyan Enraged is a great card for Goku and Future Trunks. It gives you a lot of advantage by raising your anger by at most 4 levels with your Saiyan Mastery, rejuvenates the bottom two cards of your discard pile, and allowing you to draw a card if your MP’s power level is higher than your opponent’s MP’s power level.

Not Tournament Ready!

Unfortunately, this starter deck is not tournament ready. Starter decks should be legal and ready to play in tournaments. Players should not be required to buy booster packs to make their first deck after buying a starter deck. It is not a pure Namekian deck for Piccolo’s main personality. There are Black, Blue, Red, and Saiyan cards in the deck. I need a structure deck to learn the basic on how to play Piccolo in Namekian decks. This is can easily be resolved by making structure decks for particular characters in starter decks.

Where Are My Accessories?

Score included a Z-Scouter for keeping track of your power level/stage and Anger Sword for managing  your anger level. Neither one of these accessories are included Panini America’s starter deck. They upgraded Main Personality cards’ quality, but failed to deliver useful tools. Why aren’t these items included in the package? It is not the end of the world for excluding them. I already have a box full of these accessories because I bought a lot of Score’s starter decks when I was a kid. However, new players did not play Score’s version so they are missing these accessories. Panini American should consider including them in future starter decks.

The Final Word

Overall, Panini America’s first attempt at making a starter deck was decent. It is imperfect, but it is also not so horrible that I feel disappointed after opening the package. They got almost everything right from upgrading all Main Personality cards to high tech rares and including useful cards that will not become forgotten cards from a starter deck. However, they dropped the ball in making a legal deck for tournaments just like original game when Score owned the game, and for excluding the Z-Scouter and Anger Sword. Panini America’s imperfections can easily be fixed in future releases. If you are going to give Piccolo to me for a main personality, then give me a complete Namekian deck instead of a deck with cards from every style.  The bar is set high for their next starter decks.

Starter Deck Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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