Friday, 4 December 2015

Dragon Ball Z/GT: Integrated - Rules to better integrate the "Score Entertainment" version with the "Panini" version.

Having been a huge fan of the original Score Entertainment DBZ/GT CCG which was available from 2000 and discontinued in 2006, I was somewhat pleased to see that the 2014 Panini TCG had been designed to be fully compatible with the original cards from both the Z and GT sets released by Score.
However, once I had purchased a starter deck for the game and had reviewed the full rules documents available on Paninis DBZ website, I found that the two games are not as fully integrated as I believed.
Although a rule for "Gold" type play exists, this only covers cards which have been directly reprinted in the new game, however, some cards have the same name as cards from the original, but with slightly different effects.
In addition, some card types are missing completely from the new game, although they may be introduced in the future. This is fine for people who have access to  decks and boosters for the Panini version, but as this game is not available in the UK yet, and thus the cards are hard to come by, it makes attempting to play this game somewhat difficult.
Considering that a great number of cards for the original Score Entertainment game are available, it should not be difficult for players to be able to integrate the two games to play DBZ again using both new and old cards, so, to wit, here are my home brew rules for playing the game with both old and new cards...

(Apologies if this is a little long winded, however some items need in depth explanation)

Game Rules

Standard game rules are identical to the rules as presented in the Panini Rulebook v2.0 ( Download HERE ) , with the following notes/amendments (Note:- Unless otherwise stated, at the time of writing, game mechanics introduced for the DBGT CCG are completely disregarded, as are mechanics and cards introduced for the short lived Dragonball CCG released in 2008, as its game engine is completely different and thus incompatible)

#1 - Deck construction
  1. Your MP must be at least level 1-3. All the characters levels must have the same alignment, you cannot mix alignments.
  2. Your Life Deck must contain exactly 60 cards.
  3. You may use a mix of Score and Panini cards in your deck, however if you use a Score game card which has been reprinted in the Panini game, but has different card text, you may only use 3x of the Score version OR 3x of the Panini version. If both versions have exactly the same text, you may mix, but may never exceed 3x copies (named cards are slightly different, see point 8).*
  4.  If you are using a mix of Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT cards, you MUST use deck protectors. This is because DBGT card backings are different to DBZ card backings, and will give an unfair advantage if you can see which card is on the top of your life deck.
  5.  If a Score card has the same name as a Panini card (or vice versa), but a completely different effect text, this "counts as" two different card names for deck construction purposes.
  6. Score game cards are subject to their "Most recent print" text and/or Errata as of the games discontinuation circa 2006. Panini cards are subject to their MRP/Errata as per their documents. (An integrated Banned/Restricted/Errata document is available to view HERE , and will be kept fully up to date)
  7. Your Mastery/Tokui-Waza card must match the styled/coloured cards in your deck. If your deck contains cards of different styles/colours, you may not declare a mastery. Colourless/Named cards do not count towards this restriction. If your deck is made using only colourless or named cards, you may declare a Freestyle mastery and use a Freestyle mastery card. (i.e, the old concept of the "Rainbow" mastery has no place in the game any more, not that it ever should have to begin with.).
  8. If a named card matches your MP, you may have up to 4 copies of that card in your deck. If a named card does NOT match your MP, you are restricted to only 2 copies of that card, subject to banned/restricted lists, alignment restrictions and/or card text restrictions.
  9. If your deck includes "fusion" characters, you may have up to 3 copies of a named card that the fused character is named in, but may not play those cards until you have managed to put that character in play.
  10. You may only include 1 copy of any ally (except for Saibamen and Cell Jr...see section "Playing allies" for clarification). The ally must be of the same alignment as your MP, and must NOT have the same name as your MP. In addition, "Majin" characters may only include "Majin" allies.
  11. Any allies included in the deck must be at least 1 level lower than the maximum level of your MP (see section on gameplay for putting allies into play).
  12. "Hi-Tech" cards may NEVER be included in your life deck.
#1a - Sensei Deck.
The Score CCG introduced the Sensei deck mechanic, which as yet, Panini have not. Players may use a Sensei card, under the following rules:-
  • The Sensei deck may contain up to the number of cards as specified on the Sensei card itself.
  • Cards in the Sensei deck are not "public", and therefore only the owning player may see them at any point.
  •  Cards in the Sensei deck are placed face down under the Sensei card.
  • At the beginning of the game, the Sensei deck may only contain cards which state "Sensei Deck"** or "Sensei Deck Only".
  • The Sensei cards power (if any) may be used as specified by the power itself.
If a player is using a Sensei card, prior to the game starting, they may transfer cards from the Sensei deck to the life deck, using the following "sideboarding" procedure:-

  1. Declare you are swapping cards from your Sensei deck.
  2. Search through your Sensei deck and remove the cards you want, placing them face down on the table.
  3. Take a number of cards from the top of your life deck equal to the number of cards you have removed from your Sensei deck, and place them face down under your Sensei card.
  4. Shuffle the cards you have taken from your Sensei deck into your life deck.***
#1b - "Style" restriction.

Some characters are not permitted to use certain styles/colours, due to their race or "in universe" background, as depicted in the TV show. Below is a list of these restrictions:

Red Style:- Available to all characters.
Black Style:- Available to all characters.
Blue Style:- Available to all characters.
Orange Style:- Available to all characters.
Saiyan Style:- Characters with Saiyan Heritage, Saibaimen, Cell.
Namekian Style:- Characters with Namekian Heritage, Gohan, Cell, Pikkon.
Freestyle/Named:- Available to all characters within pre-existing deck construction limitations.

#1c - "XXX Only" cards.

Some cards are marked as being "Majin only". Cards with this keyword may only be used with a character whose name includes the word "Majin", or by the use of the effect of the card "M".

"Heroes/Villains only" cards may only be used by a character whose affiliation matches the affiliation of the card, unless otherwise specified. For example, Hercule/Mr. Satan is nominally considered a hero, but he may make use of "Villains only" cards via his MP card text.

"<character name> only" cards may only be used by the character whose name is specified by the card text. There are no exceptions to this rule.

"Tuff Enuff only" cards were a series of cards intended for use only in "Tuff Enuff" format games/tournaments. For the purpose of these rules, this restriction no longer applies and said cards may be included in any deck.

"League only" cards were a series of cards given as prizes for participation in the Score DBZ CCG organised play events, and were intended to only be used when participating in such events. For the purposes of these rules, this restriction no longer applies and these cards may be included in any deck, subject to deck construction restrictions and errata.
#2 - Game Setup

Players should proceed their pre-game setup as follows:-
  1. Reveal your MP and set starting power stage.
  2. Declare your Mastery.
  3. Declare your Sensei.
  4. Conduct Sensei deck sideboarding.
  5. Decide who will take first turn.
  6. Both players shuffle their decks.
  7. Begin play.

#3 - Gameplay
Play proceeds in the normal way, with the following amendments:-

Physical Attack Table.
This rule set uses the following Physical attack table.

This is done in the interests of fairness, as many characters from later Score version sets have much, much higher power levels than their Panini counterparts. Physical Attack table B is included due to the effect of the Location card "Majin Buus House", which modifies the game conditions to use it instead of the "Standard" one.

Energy Attacks.
Unless otherwise stated by the card text itself, the cost for performing any energy attack is 2 power stages, and the damage, unless otherwise stated by the card text itself, is 4 life cards if not blocked. This is also subject to any modified cost/damage effects, for example, if there is a card in play which increases or decreases the cost of  performing energy attacks by X amount of power stages, then apply that modifier to the attack cost before paying it. Similarly, if a card text increases or decreases the damage dealt by attacks, apply that modifier once the attack has become successful.

Location/Battleground Cards.
If you have these in your deck, you may play them from your hand during your preparation stage, however you may not declare a combat on the same turn as you played a Location/Battleground.
Location/Battleground effect texts affect both players unless otherwise stated.
If a player plays a Location/Battleground while there is already a location in play, the older location is discarded, there may only ever be one location in play at a time, regardless of who owns it.

"Non-combat" cards.
These cards are normally played from your hand during your preparation stage, however some cards may allow you to put them in play from the hand, discard pile or life deck during the combat stage.
The Score DBZ card game classified these under the umbrella term "non-combat" cards, to be played during the "non-combat" phase, this however has changed since the release of the Dragonball GT card game, "non-combat" cards have been separated into two distinct types:-
  • Drills - Any non-combat card that has the word "Drill" at the end of its name is played from the hand during the preparation stage. Drills are discarded whenever your character levels up, unless another card effect states otherwise. Drill effects are always "on"from the moment they are played, and only affect the controlling player, unless otherwise stated by the card itself.
  • Setups - Any non-combat card which does not have the word "Drill" at the end of its name is now classed as a "Setup". These cards are normally played from the hand during the preparation stage, and their effects are normally activated during the combat phase in place of making an attack. Unless otherwise stated on the card itself, Setups are usually one use only and are discarded as soon as their effects have been activated and used, however some Setups have lasting effects regardless of whether they are still in play or not. This will be specified on the card itself. Setups are not discarded when your character levels up.
Dragonballs are usually classified as non-combat cards, this is because, unless otherwise stated by another card, they can only be played from your hand during your preparation stage, but their effects are resolved immediately.****

The Drill/Setup moniker has been carried over to the Panini game.

Anger/Levelling up.
The Dragonball GT CCG introduced a method of levelling characters up via removing cards from the discard pile from the game. This mechanic is exclusive to the GT card game and has not been carried over either into these rules or the Panini rules. In general, the only way to level your MP up is by reaching 5 anger, although there are some cards which allow you to level up via their effect text.

Playing Allies.
Allies are normally played from the hand during the preparation phase. When you play an ally from the hand, that allies level must be equal to or lower than your MPs current level. For example, Player A has a level 3 Goku as his MP, and has level 4 Krillin and a level 2 Tien in his hand. Player A cannot put Krillin into play until he has levelled Goku up, but may play Tien now.
NOTE - Saibamen and Cell Jr.s. - Unlike other ally cards, Saibamen and Cell Jr.s are not restricted to one copy per deck. Both of these character types are seedlings/clones and thus multiple copies of them can be in play at the same time, either from the hand or via a card text effect. You may not include any more than 3x copies of each individual "type" of Saibaman/Cell Jr in any deck. Other than that, Saibamen/Cell Jr.s follow the same rules as per any other ally card.
The following cards are available for this ally type....
Saibamen - Saiyan saga - Lvls 1 through 4 (card numbers #243,#244,#245 & #246)
Cell Jr.s - Cell Games Saga - Cell Jr 1 lvl1 (#94) Cell Jr 1 lvl2 (#115) Cell Jr 2 lvl1 (#98)
Players may never control more than 9 allies at a time, allies in play may never be "replaced" and may only leave play if they are discarded via effect text or are subject to a critical damage effect.
Players do not discard allies when their character levels up.

#4 - Combat phase.

The combat phase proceeds as stipulated in the Panini v2.0 rulebook, with the following annotation:-

"Combat" Cards.
 These cards have been renamed "Event" cards in the Panini version, but are treated in the same way, basically Combat card = Event card

#5 - Victory Conditions

This rules integration has been written as an adaptation of the old Score "Tuff enuff"play format, in which the only main victory condition available to players was via a "Survival" victory (i.e, one of the players runs out of cards in their life deck).However, even under this format some cards in the Score version were printed with alternative victory conditions as part of their card text, for example, the card "Dragons Victory" or the card "Cosmic Backlash". These cards may still be played under this format and the player using them is granted the win if they successfully fulfill the victory conditions as specified on the card (which incidentally are usually extremely difficult to achieve).

Players may use these rules to play "standard" format if they wish (i.e to win via either Survival, Dragonball or MPPV) , however during the Score years it was found that both Dragonball and MPPV victories were ridiculously easy to achieve, hence most players and tournaments would adopt the "Tuff Enuff" format in order to ensure satisfying play.
It is suggested that players agree which format the game will be played under prior to beginning the game in order to avoid arguments, crying, fighting and butthurt.

Suggestions on alternate Victory conditions:-

As characters were available in levels 1 through 5 in the original Score game, an MPPV may only be achieved if both players maximum character levels are equal. If one player has a character whose max level is 3, and the other players max level is 5, neither player may claim an MPPV.
(This victory condition represents characters in the show giving up when they realise that any resistance is futile, and thus makes for a rather boring game considering some styles and MP cards are geared toward gaining large amounts of anger and leveling up.)
Dragonball Victory
So long as a player controls 7 Dragonballs of the same type (including Alt versions) they win the game the moment they play their seventh Dragonball, unless a card has been played or is played in response to the playing of the final Dragonball that states otherwise.
For example, Player A controls Earth Dragon Balls 1 through 6, and manages to steal Player Bs Namek Dragon Ball 7...Player A does not win due to the Dragon Balls being of different types.
(This victory condition represents the characters assembling 7 Dragonballs and using wishes to get rid of the enemies...Victory via this condition is slightly more difficult than an MPPV however it can still lead to a boring game as some deck types can specialise in deck searching to quickly bring out Dragonballs and/or stealing an opponents Dragonballs. For a game based on combat mechanics, the concept of winning a game by simply searching out 7 cards is not terribly within the spirit of either the game or the TV show)
The "Overkill" Rule.
"Overkill" was a rule introduced under Score tournament format rules, specifically for use in "Tuff Enuff" tournaments. When a player beat their opponent via survival victory, and the final damage would result in the opponent being at -7 or higher life cards, then the opponent would be eliminated from the tournament, regardless of the stage they were at or their standing. This rule is not used in this rule set. 

#6 - Miscellaneous

Card "timing"
DBZ Card game does not have "timings" per se, like many other card games do, play usually takes place under either a "Effect > Response" system, or a "cumulative simultaneous" type system.
Card effects, regardless of type, generally resolve immediately unless another card is played which nullifies them.
Here are some examples of the "Effect > Response" system:-

  • Player A declares a Combat and plays a Combat/Event card from their hand, Player B responds by playing "Trunks Energy Sphere", which nullifies the effects of a Combat/Event card. Player As card effect is nullified, so it is discarded without its effect resolving, then the initiative shifts to Player B, who is free to play an attack or Combat/Event card from their hand, use a setup card, use a Sensei or Mastery power or use their MP or Allies card power.

Cumulative Simultaneous effects all resolve at the same time, no one effect takes precedence over another.
Here is an example of Cumulative Simultaneous effects:-
  • Player A is using the Cell Saga Saiyan mastery. They also have the location "Protective Shelter" in play, as well as "Vegetas quickness Drill". Player A declares a combat. As all three cards have effects that state "when entering combat...." they all kick in immediately, BEFORE Player B draws their cards. For the three cards cumulative effects, Player A draws the bottom two cards of their discard pile, then mills the top card of his life deck to reveal a saiyan card, which allows him to draw a further 2 cards from his life deck. Player B draws the bottom card of their discard pile due to the effect of protective shelter, then draws 3 cards form their life deck to complete the "entering combat" phase.

Effect "chains"
Effect chains are extremely rare in the DBZ card game, however there are some situations where they can be unavoidable. Here are two examples of chains I have encountered in the past:-
  • Player A plays "Tiens Tri beam", an energy attack which when played remains in play to be used 2 more times in the current combat. Player B responds by playing "Goku Swiftly Moving", a card which blocks an energy attack, and then remains in play as a copy of the card it was used to block. When the initiative switched to Player B, he uses "Goku Swiftly Moving" to imitate "Tiens Tri Beam", Player A responds by playing a copy of "Goku Swiftly Moving", thus copying the copy of "Tiens Tri Beam". The net effect of this chain is that Player A now has, in effect, 2 copies of "Tiens Tri Beam" in play, while Player B has one, meaning player A can use it 5 more times, and Player B can use it 2 more times. It gets really complicated if one of them uses another "Goku Swiftly Moving" (yes, that actually happened to me).
  • Similar to above, Player A plays "Saiyan Destiny", a physical attack which stays in play to be used 1 more time in the current combat, Player B responds by playing "Trunks Swiftly moving", a physical block which copies the attack it was used to block. Player B then uses "Saiyan Destiny", which Player A responds by playing their own "Trunks Swiftly Moving", meaning Player A now has a "Saiyan Destiny" which can be used 3 more times (again, this has actually happened to me a couple of times). 
Score "Saiyan" and "Frieza" Saga card text wordings.

When the game was originally released in 2000, cards printed in the Saiyan and Frieza Saga sets had card text which was somewhat vague with regards to their in game effects, reading more like an attempt to tell a story rather than being clear and concise instructions to game players as to what the card actually did.
With the release of the Trunks saga set, card texts became much clearer and more standardised.
Players using cards from the Saiyan and Freiza saga sets should refer to the MRP/Errata document for clarification on unclear text.

Glossary of terms.

"Mill" -
To purposefully discard cards from your own life deck, usually as part of a "cost" of using a cards ability, or when you force an opponent to discard cards from their life deck as part of a cards effect (which does not count as damage). In the Panini version, this mechanic is referred to as "Destroy".

"Constant Combat Power" - Some personality cards include this keyword as part of their effect text. The effects of a constant combat power are always "on" in a similar manner to a drill card, and cannot be ignored unless a card played specifies it does so.

"Omni Block" - Some cards specify that they may be used to block either a physical or energy attack, a player is free to use an Omni block in response to most attacks, unless otherwise specified, for example, some cards have text which renders them unblockable by any means, or are "Focused" (see below).

"Empower X" - A game mechanic introduced in the "Fusion Saga" set. Cards that contain the keyword "Empower X" can inflict additional life card damage at the cost of not using the cards secondary effect text, for example "Energy Attack for 5 life cards. Empower 3. Raise your anger 2"
In the above case, the player must choose to pay 2 power stages to do 5 life cards of damage AND raise their anger by 2, OR to pay 2 power stages and empower to do 8 life cards of damage.

"Focused" Attacks - Focused attacks are a game mechanic that was introduced in the Cell Saga set. Cards that contain the keyword "Focused XXX Attack" (they come in both physical and energy flavours) are declared like any normal attack, however if the defender wants to block that attack, they must use a block that specifically states that it blocks that kind of attack. "Omni blocks", such as "Time is a warriors tool" or "Smokescreen" may not be used in response to a focused attack. Cards with the text "Defense Shield" may be used, providing that they specifically block that kind of attack, and are not "Omni blocks".

"Defense Shield" - A keyword introduced in the Cell Saga set. Defense shields act as a one use per turn only "free" block. Defense shields are most often encountered in the form of certain drills, however some character cards have this keyword as part of their card powers. In addition, some cards from previous sets were erratad to include this keyword, as their effect was the equivalent to the new mechanic. (please refer to the Errata document for these cards)

"Cherry Picking" - Whenever a player searches their deck for a particular card or cards, unless other wise specified, they MUST show the cards they have picked to their opponent before placing them in their hand. The deck is then shuffled.


*.An example of this is the card "Saiyan Light Jab", which has been reprinted in the Panini version, however the Panini version has "Endurance 2", whereas the original did not. A "Legal" deck may only contain 3x Score version or 3x Panini version, NOT both.

** Cards that say simply "Sensei Deck" may be placed in either the Sensei deck OR the life deck during deck construction. 

*** Cards Taken from the Sensei deck are placed back there after the game is over. Cards placed in the Sensei deck from the life deck are placed back in the life deck after the game is over.

 **** If you capture a Dragonball from an opponent by inflicting critical damage, or by using a card which allows you to steal one, its effects resolve as soon as you take possession of it.

Edit History.

06/12/15 - updated formatting and made some minor rules edits.
08/12/15 - updated to include Physical attack table requirements.
10/12/15 - clarification on deck construction restrictions, victory conditions and ally rulings, added additional items in the glossary. Added full Banned/Restricted/Errata link.

No copyright infringement is claimed or intended. the above document has been collated by a fan of the game for use by other fans of the game. No profit will be taken from either the creation, use or distribution of this document, which wholly contains information freely available from the respective copyright owners website based gaming materials.
Copyright of Dragonball Z and all associated names, trademarks etc etc belong to their respective owners.

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