Before the Dragon Ball Super CG launched in 2017, there was a Japan-exclusive TCG known as IC Carddass: Dragon Ball that became the foundation of the game we all know and love today. Although there are some notable differences between the two games, there are also some striking similarities that range from game mechanics to recycled art.
IC Carddass Dragon Ball – The Game Mechanics
IC Carddass: Dragon Ball ended in 2017, with the last set being released in March 2017. This means that the game died around the same time as the DBS CG began. When it comes to playing the game, the decks in the Carddass game are limited to just 40 cards with 1 Leader card, while the current game began with 50 cards in the deck and a Leader, which was later increased. While the DBS CG has Battle, Extra and Unison cards, the Carddass version only had Leader and Battle cards in the beginning but later included Extra cards at a much later date with their final booster, set 5.
Although the Carddass version of Dragon Ball had a version of Energy Cost, Power and Skills on their cards, they also had an extra value printed on them known as ‘Strike Points’, which worked similar to ‘Double Strike’ in today’s game. This means that having ‘Double Strike’ or even ‘Triple Strike’ on both sides of a Leader was standard – something that we definitely don’t see in the DBS CG. The ‘Power’ of Leader cards are similar to the current game, with the front side of a card having 10,000 Power and the ‘awakened’ side having around 15,000 Power, although there were exceptions, like a Broly that had a staggering 25,000 Power. Just like the current game, you had to attack the Leader to take a ‘Life’ from your opponent, only you started with 7 Life instead of 8. A huge difference is that a player could only draw 3 cards to their hand at the beginning of a game with one chance of mulligan.
The Play Area looked extremely similar to the one we have today, with the ‘Combo’ area known as the ‘Melee Area’ or ‘Ransen’ Area. The IC Carddass game had an energy ‘Charge Phase’ just like the current game, only a card would be taken from the top of your deck and placed into the Energy Area after drawing a card to your hand. As all DBS CG players will know, this random drop could mean trouble if you were to lose cards crucial to your strategy. After charging, you could play your cards in the same way we do in the current game, turning them to the side (Rest Mode) after announcing an attack.
The biggest differences happen in the ‘Main Phase’ of the Dragon Ball IC Carddass game. To play a card, a player must send their ‘Energy Cards’ to the ‘Drop Area’, which must equal the play cost of a card. This means that you would be constantly building your energy but losing it to play stronger cards. It seems that this games version of ‘Awaken’ is known as ‘Unleash’, which flips the card over. It’s unclear if there is a certain requirement to ‘Unleash’ a card, which is the case in the current game. The ‘Battle Phase’ in the Carddass game is very similar to the DBS CG, with Combos and Skills kicking in when applicable. Similar to the DBS CG, when a Leader is attacked, the player getting attacked goes into the ‘Gaurd Step’, which basically allows a player to Combo, use a Skill or Unleash to prevent the attack from going through. What is quite strange is that the cards don’t have ‘Combo Power’ like in the DBS CG. Instead, they add up the Power of the cards involved in the attack (including the Combo cards), which gives them the final Combo value. Another big difference is that any Life taken from both sides is placed in the Energy Area instead of going to your hand. If a card has 2 strike points, it means that two cards are placed in the Energy Area. Also, if a Battle Card is KO’ed, it also goes to the Energy Area instead of the Drop Area, which gives them more opportunity to play higher cost cards. Finally, all cards involved in the combo become energy too.
Interestingly, there was an App that allowed players to scan their cards. This let players turn their physical cards into digital decks to challenge others online. Unfortunately, the App was closed down in 2018. Could this be something we will see implemented in the DBS CG?
DBS CG – Reused Artwork
Unbelievably, Bandai decided to reuse a lot of the IC Carddass: Dragon Ball artwork in the DBS CG. In fact, they also recycled the card names too. For example, ‘Dimension Magic’ remained exactly the same, while some cards had minor changes made to them, such as ‘Clan Leader Pilaf’ becoming ‘Group Leader Pilaf’.
If you would like to learn more about TCGs that have their roots in older games, check out our articles – ‘The Downfall Of The Original Digimon Card Game’ & ‘The History of Final Fantasy TCG – A Phoenix From the Ashes’.
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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