Are You Making The Right Plays?

Hey everyone Chris Welch from Shenron’s Lair here writing my first article and what I believe is one of the most important concepts in becoming a better player, making the right play. The game of Dragonball Super can get very complex, very fast. Especially in this meta with Mecha Frieza being able to use extra cards for free, you never know what to expect. Decisions like “Do I attack the rested battle card? Do I swing with my leader first? Do I combo to 25k?35k?” All these decisions have an effect on the outcome of the game and ultimately leads you to win or lose.

Many will argue that some plays “depend on your playstyle”. Well, I get very conflicted to hear the “playstyle” argument because in my opinion, playstyles don’t exist! You either make the perfect play, an optimal play, or the bad play. Let’s take a look deeper into these cases.

The perfect play is the play that has the best possible outcome. Generally speaking. There is always a singular best play or line of plays, These are commonly such as you combo all in with your whole hand to finish off the game and win, or when to drop a finisher and cripple opponents resources. Imagine this scenario:

You are playing Green/Yellow Androids vs Mecha Frieza variants. Its your 3rd energy play. Frieza has 11 cards in hand.

Do you drop Cell chain, tap out and hope opponent doesn’t respond with a bloodlust? Or do you opt to play something else and keep a yellow energy open for Flying Nimbus?

If you knew for sure that they didnt have have cold bloodlust, the perfect play is to climb up the cell ladder and have perfect force cell crush their hand to 3 cards.Unfortunately you don't know for sure if they have the bloodlust or not. Often times because of unknown variables like in this example, the perfect play is not clear. Which is why we go for the optimal play.

The optimal play is a play that you make based on variables. In the example earlier, the optimal play is to NOT drop Cell vs a Frieza with 11 cards in hand (one is likely to be bloodlust).

Generally, choosing the optimal path every game ensures success and is a key part in victory. Choosing the option to make an optimal play means that you are analyzing the possibilities, and choosing an outcome that hurts you the least.

It probably would’ve been devastating to drop the Cell chain on a Frieza on turn 3, but if they had bloodlust and you are tapped out, it most likely means you lose the game. Taking those outcomes into consideration, and choosing a play that gives you a better outcome, will end up giving you more successes rather than failures.

In the following video, there are two great examples of the optimal/best case scenario play, both in one turn!

Situation #1: Caleb swings in with a Cabba and combo’s to 25k

Markus’ Decision: At 4 life he has to decide between risking going down to 2 life (in range of a double) or get rid of half his hand. Considering Caleb only has 1 blue and 1 red energy open, its safe to assume the Cabba and Masked Saiyan are the last of Caleb’s attacks. So Markus decides to take the hit, even though he could've guarded it.

If Caleb had another Cabba drop and another swing to 35k then Markus would’ve lost because he took the two damage from earlier. However, Markus choose to do the optimal play for this scenario.

Situation #2: Markus at 2 life, Caleb swings in unopposed with Masked Saiyan

Caleb’s Decision: Caleb has couple options here, he could just combo with Furthering Destruction only, and be wary of the explosive spirit goku play but that would mean Markus has an easier time combo’ing over 30k. Or Caleb goes all in, and forces markus to have explosive goku or lose then and there. Had the game gone another turn, Caleb likely wouldve been in a worse position than he was in now. Taking these variables into consideration, Caleb decides to go all in on that attack opting for the most optimal play that turn, however it did not work that turn for him. It doesn’t mean Caleb’s move was wrong, rather the perfect play was unclear and he made the best decision he could with the information availble to him. This was just an example show casing the decision trees of optimal and perfect plays.

The optimal play is likely not the perfect play, but it's the best play we can make given the information we have to work with. It won't always be rewarded with a victory, but it's the consistently best play we can make given the circumstances presented to us, and choosing the optimal play will yeild the highest success rate. Sometimes you'll get punished for doing so, but you will not get consistently punished which is what matters in the end.

Thanks for reading, I hope you guys enjoyed it. If you have any comments please let us know!

Follow Shenron's Lair on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to contribute by writing articles or deck profiles, please feel free to email us at [email protected]

For all your DBS needs check out