I’d like to give a very special treat to all the Pan enthusiasts out there. This document was theory crafted between the brains of a very good friend of mine, and myself. His name is Andy Pham-Nguyen. He wrote the entire document. We discussed all of these match-ups, and tested all of these theories. I used this for a full two weeks prior to the main event. I wanted to make sure I was as prepared as possible for almost any scenario. It is with his permission that I am sharing this document with you. I hope you enjoy.
Edit: I did make one last minute change to the side deck right before the main event. I did switch Forced Ejections for 2 black masked saiyans. I felt they helped a bit better over-all and I didn’t feel I needed the Forced Ejections. This was a spot we were switching around multiple times in testing, so I went with a gut feeling decision.
Pan Analysis and Sideboard for the extreme Pan enthusiasts.
The full list finallized:
1. The re-addition of Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness.
We originally tried the Vegeta and decided that it was too clunky and awkward at 3 energy so it was cut for the deck. After playing against various meta decks and rogue decks, we decided that its better to have him as a safety net board removal than to have to depend on Toppo to save the turn. This card is still very hard to play because spending 3 energy for a board clear is great but it might not be enough to save the turn if it results in tapping out and being vulnerable to big threats like Mira or 25k+.
2a. The removal of Afterimages.
I’ve been iffy about afterimages for a while now. I find myself using it in 3 situations usually
-Turn 1 and 2 against U6
-On odd energy turns (3 and 5) after I negate with Gohan or Toppo and they’re ballsy or stupid enough to keep attacking
-Late Game sparking negates to stop 1 attack
The reason why I couldn’t get myself to cut the card was because I felt like I was weakening my match-ups against U6 and HoM + Victory Strike. But the amount of times where I drew into it (even though the card was at 3) when I needed more gas and combo power was unbelievable. Additionally, trying to maintain Sparking 5 in the late game after overrealming each turn was super annoying.
2b. The re-addition of Afterimages and removal of Double-shot Vegeta.
After testing for a while, afterimages were too important not to have. Double-shots appeared more dead most of the time than afterimages. Afterimage provides 50k combo while Double-shots provides 10k for 1 energy. Also, afterimages allow us to correct our life with sparking if needed. Against Green Broly Br, afterimages are very important because we cannot activate counters of 2 or more when the 6-drop and the 8-drop attacks. However, no one expects us to have cut Double-shots so the fear factor is still there and can affect how they play.
3. The tweaking of extra card negates and addition of Is That All You’ve Got?
I’m getting really tired of not having a cheap negate for big boy Mira 7. We have amazing battle card negates in the deck already but they require 2 energy. Odd energy turns are super awkward for Pan, ITAYG helps us survive when Toppo gets countered or lusted.
The Main Board:
Intensifying Power Trunks: The best 1-drop for the deck. Chain Attack target, self-awakener, also the best turn 1 play.
Trunks, Surge of Energy: The best and worst card in the deck at the same time. Drawing 2 is nice for 2 energy but most of the time you don’t want to tap out for him. However, he serves a really important deck digging roll when you play him with familial bonds, pulling 2 dragon balls out of the deck and then proceeding to draw 2 cards in hopes of what you are looking for.
Chain Attack Trunks: Probably the most busted play extender of the deck. Needs a reprint so it can also be foil.
Digging Deep Vegeta: The MVP in the deck, contrasting his son, Trunks, Surge of Energy, he digs deeper into our life and is also a big dual attacking body. In certain match-ups where we need to awaken quickly, he is the key.
Fearless Pan: The boss monster of the deck, and you can play her for as low as 2 energy. The idea is why have a big boss monster when she turns everything you have into a boss with +5k double strike. Also, she is a barrier blocker which is important against stuff like Kaioken.
SS Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness: A very powerful card by itself but super awkward to play. It is the most expensive card in the deck for 3 energy. If played at the right moment, it can decimate your opponent and wipe their board.
Zenoh, The Plain God: Still a busted combo with Chain Attack Trunks. You can reset the game when your opponent has built so much advantage and then skew it in your favor.
Bardock, Awakened Instinct: The best overrealm card for Pan. It is a free overrealm which is very important because we need to be as energy efficient as possible and it is a 25k body that lets us draw 3 and pitch 1.
Son Gohan, the Avenger: An amazing battle card negate for 2 energy that if played correctly can stop 2 attacks and give you a 20k body on board. He has a unique effect that can minus power the leader, which lots of people don’t expect.
Toppo: Righteous Aid: The best red battle card negate ever made. It can shut down your opponents turn if played correctly. Most decks neg 2 cards when playing him; however, Pan allows you to draw so in theory you only neg 1.
Supercombos Bulmas/Gotens: Gotens are the more efficient super combos because in the niche scenario where you can Familial Bonds him back out for more combo power you can because he is a Saiyan. However, I refuse to run Gotens because I love waifus in my deck.
Denial of Hope: A strong card by itself, a clunky card in the deck. The skill of Pan is to know what plays to deny and what plays to let through. If played correctly, you can shut down your opponent’s whole turn.
Afterimage Technique: Still a very unique negate because it doesn’t actually negate the attack which allows you the chance to awaken or combo cards away for set up sparking or a negate. It is here for the situation where we need to correct our life with sparking.
Is That All You’ve Got?: Probably the best red negate. It gives us removal for the smaller threats on the field while the red card we pitch synergizes well with familial bonds. It is also a 1 energy negate for Mira.
Familial Bonds: The most valued combo for the deck. You can monster reborn a 3 drop for 2 energy as well as search your deck for free dragon balls for combo power and card advantage.
Four-Star Ball: 3 copies are ran to get extra value out of Familial Bonds. Three is the perfect number because 1 usually ends up in life and you can still get full value after playing a Bonds.
Sideboard card choices:
Galick Cannon: A weaker Denial that can be a Denial replacement in certain match-ups for more efficiency.
Transcendent Strike: A cheap 1 energy answer to a lot of threats in the meta. Great card for apes on odd energy turns.
Saiyan Cabba: More gas for match-ups where defense isn’t priority such as Shenron and Janemba
Forced Ejection Masked Saiyan: Although Saiyan Cabbas are more gas against Shenron, they are vulnerable to Crisis Crusher, Striving to be the best, and Time Disruptor Kai. Forced Ejections just help us seal the deal.
Vegeta, Making an Entrance: We have to respect Janemba. This card lets us put cards back in the deck which will give us enough time to kill Janemba before they deck us out.
Haru Haru: Probably the most important card against green match-ups and helps extends plays against Broly.
Trunks, Dimension Sniper: A free card against Towa and also provides more gas against Shenron.
Pan’s Full Gas: Let’s just say if you hit pan going 2nd turn 1… You are getting punished.
T1: Play 1-drop trunks
O1: Take a hit
T2: Swing 1-drop, Bonds Digging Deep, Swing Digging Deep. Awaken, Swing leader (can pitch balls to fuel overrealm. Swing Digging Deep again. With 2 open, you options are endless. Leave 2 open for defensive Toppo or Gohan. Chain Attack evolve Zenoh for an advantageous reset. Bonds again into Fearless Pan or another Digging Deep for more gas.
T3: Overrealm for free, leave 3 for defense or spend 2 and leave 1 for defense with Fearless Pan on board and ITAYG.
T4: By this point of the game, advantage should be so far skewed in your favor that your options are endless.
Sideboarding and Match-Ups:
Everything below is a mixture of both experience and theory. You don’t have to agree with me but it’s what I think the deck should look like after siding against certain match-ups. I’m going to refer to sided cards as dead cards and disadvantageous cards in each match up and explain the reasoning for siding. Also, going first as Pan is usually always the same. Full gas on every match-up except for Vegeta Baby and then proceed to reset the game on turn 2 or Toppo on the defense. I will go over going 2nd on certain match-ups if it is different.
The recent changes to deck make this match-up quite favorable that it is almost free.
Dead cards: Denial of Hope
Disadvantageous cards: Son Gohan, the Avenger, ITAYG, Zenoh, the Plain God
Gohans are more disadvantageous than Toppo because when you get to the point where you can Toppo and survive, Shenron normally has a pretty low hand size at this point. Zenoh, although having no combo power, can still steal games if played correctly in niche situations, especially when they are tapped out and are preparing to Zenoh button. However, I don’t think we reset the game against this match-up regardless.
2x Denial of Hope > Forced Ejection Masked Saiyan
2x Zenoh, The Plain God > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
1x Zenoh, The Plain God > Transcendent Strike
1x ITAYG > Transcendent Strike
Two Words: More Gas. We want to overrealm every turn for an extra swing and Trunks can remove Porunga if they have one on board. If we can get out a Digging Deep turn 2 and another one turn 3 with a Fearless Pan on turn 3 as well, that is 4 double strikes and 2 single strikes that are very big for Shenron to deal with that early.
Transcendent Strikes aren’t too useful but they are still Red cards that can be charged and used on Porunga and Shenron Figure of Majesty while keeping our color ratios in check.
Going 2nd game 2, assuming the Shenron player is smart enough to use the One-Star Ball to pitch the Super Ball and then proceeds to objection on turn 2, we can Chain Attack into Forced Ejection and rip the open energy and the game becomes free.
Pretty similar plan as Shenron, beat them down as fast as you can. Basically have 5 turns until they hit their win condition and the only thing you can do is slow them down.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Trunks, Surge of Energy, Bardock, Awakened Instincts
Basically, it’s a Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity against a mil match-up and it is not what we want.
4x Trunks, Surge of Energy > Vegeta, Making an Entrance
2x Bardock, Awakened Instincts > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
More gas, we swap Bardocks for Trunks so we can draw less and remove board at the same time. Since we don’t have access to cards like Desperate Measures, we need to focus on playing things on their turn. Son Gohans, Vegetas, Toppos are key cards in this match-up. Gohans stay in to deal with the negate Boujacks and remove their combo and arrival power. A well-timed Denial of Hope can devastate them on your kill turn as well. With the removal of Double-shots, we weaken our match-up a little bit, however, as long as we can keep presenting threats on board on their turn, it will hopefully give us enough pressure to win.
Towa originally was a tough match-up. Now it seems fairly easy; however, I am more worried about a more aggressive form of Towa that runs the new Miras from the draft box with free 25k double strike pressure. A Towa player in the current format will be able to adjust to a more aggressive playstyle instead of just relying on the Mira Chain. If a Towa player fails to realize that the key against Pan is to be aggro instead of trying to control them, then the match is free.
Seeing Digging Deep and Familial Bonds is key in this match-up as we can grab more balls to pitch for Mira chain.
Dead cards: Denial of Hope
Disadvantageous cards: Zenoh, The Plain God
Denials are too costly and the card that is worth denying has deflect so there is no point. Zenoh isn’t completely useless but 90% of the time resetting the game is very unfavorable for us.
Denial of Hope > Galick Cannon
2x Zenoh, the Plain God > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
1x Zenoh, the Plain God > Transcendent Strike
Galick Cannon gives us a cheap answer to Time Regulators. Trunks, Dimension Sniper gives us a free removal against Time Regulators and an extra attack while familial bonds will grab us balls to further hand advantage. Transcendent Strike can also help deal with regulators.
Going 2nd, we want to be mindful of turn 3. We leave 2 energy open to negate the big boy Mira 7. If we have 3 open, we can slam Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness when they play the 4 drop Mira and only that. A good Towa player will try to bait using the overrealm Mira with Union instead. If they do so, we don’t care and just focus on negating the big boy.
U/Y Broly Apes:
One of the toughest match-ups for Pan in my opinion. After testing for a while, we came to the conclusion that if we somehow make the apes hit the drop or warp, there is no way to get them back. Chain Zenoh puts them back in the deck which doesn’t matter because they can easily draw and play them again. Chain Zenoh is also somewhat unfavorable because of how easy it is for this variant to draw and regain advantage post CAZ. But a well-timed CAZ before they get to Zenoh button is still very powerful.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Denial of Hope, Afterimages
Denials are quite costly and Afterimages don’t save us from Mira 7.
1x Four-Star Ball/2x Denial of Hope > Haru Haru
2x Afterimages > Transcendent Strike
We want cheap ways to remove the Bardock apes. 1 Energy = Transcendent Strike. As for what to come in for Haru Haru we don’t want to flood the deck with too many black cards and drawing into balls against this match up feels very bad.
Post sideboard, our most dangerous problems are Mira 7 and the SCR. We have to be very mindful of the SCR and we cannot go to 3 life no matter what. Be very careful of being hit from 5 to 3 life.
Going 2nd against this match-up is very easy death. We need to Familial Bonds as early as turn 2 into 2-drop trunks or Digging Deep or Fearless Pan or even the 1-drop Trunks. We need to keep our life high while also keeping our hand size high. We combo our bonds target on the first leader swing and bonds it back next turn. Take life with Digging Deep slowly, 1 at a time is good, going from 7 to 6, 6 to 5, etc. Put them in a situation where they go for board clear while we go for their life and they will slowly lose advantage. We start attacking them at 6 life because most updated list of this variant now run self-awakeners instead of just the leader swing.
R/Y Broly Apes:
This match-up is basically the same as the U/Y version but slightly easier. Chain Zenoh against this variant of apes hurts them drastically once they establish the big King Ape. As for siding, I still think we side the same thing as U/Y Apes and here is why. Transcendent Strike will fail to hit Barrier targets, this is true.
But instead of hitting the Big Ape, we hit the R/Y King Vegeta. Most of them will try to arrival King Vegeta defensively on turn 2. We need to pay attention to their energy as King Vegeta takes 1 yellow energy to arrival. If they have 2 yellow and tap one for arrival, we don’t deny this and let them resolve the arrival and combo power. Most of them will only arrival once. Then we will proceed to Transcendent Strike the King Vegeta. Many players will not expect this and play right into it game 2. This will make it so that they have to arrival again and awaken in order to evolve and spend all of their energy OR they have to swing again the same turn and combo more cards again in order to attempt to arrival again. If we Denial of Hope on the first arrival, they can easily tap another energy and arrival a 2nd one which is pointless for us.
Game plan against this match-up is to survive to Chain Zenoh. We don’t need denials in this match because we will be playing very defensive with negates until they run out of steam.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Denial of Hope
The sideboard remains the same so I won’t bother to rewrite everything.
U/Y Broly U6:
This variant is probably the easiest of the Broly variants for Pan. The idea is to play defensive and if possible, denial Champa and Vados. This variant also runs the Bardock ape makes siding a bit annoying.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Denial of Hope, Zenoh, the Plain God
Although there are lots of targets to deny, the card is a bit costly against this match-up. As for opinions on the sideboard, we will side the same cards but we will side different cards out.
2x Denial of Hope > Transcendent Strike
3x Zenoh, the Plain God > Haru Haru
I think Transcendent Strikes should come in this match up regardless. They love to tap our energy so if we can spend cheap energy for easy removal, we should. Kefla is 19k and for 1 energy we can remove a big boss with lots of cards under it. There is no point targeting Champa/Vados with Transcendent Strike since they can just pitch a card to save it, however using it on 4-drop Caulifla/Kale/Kefla seems good. We also don’t really bonds multiple times against this match-up because we are playing super defensive until they run out of steam; therefore, drawing into Balls is very bad. Haru Haru helps extends our plays.
We don’t need to Chain Zenoh this match-up because we can just focus on killing their board and watch them run out of steam.
Yellow Broly HoM:
This is probably the rarest variant to see in all of the Broly variants; however, I still respect it enough to see it. So, for this match-up, we need to “prevent HoM and VS.” Which means Chain Zenoh and Chain Attack’s ability to attack active battle cards is key in this match up and also denying Path to Greatness.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Son Gohan, the Avenger, SS Vegeta Exploiting Weakness
Due to swap targets having barrier, Gohan can’t really remove targets. However, a 20k body is still amazing pressure
1x Four-Star Ball/Vegeta Exploiting Weakness > Haru Haru
There is really nothing else to side in this match-up other than Haru Haru to extend plays. The main board itself should be able to deal with this match-up very well already. We need to be mindful of Source of Power Goku being their self-awakening and Mira 7. Afterimages are key for defense and we cannot go below 4 life no matter what.
Red Vegeta Baby:
Probably one of the grindiest match-ups for Pan. Our 1-drops are kind of useless and we can easily get punished for not having 2 energy open. The key is to try to prevent the big Baby ape or Chain Zenoh to remove it after it comes out. What is important in this match up is to have “bait” for the Baby ape. We want things that we can play for free or cheap to bait the minus 20k power once the ape is established in order to chain Zenoh. This means more overrealm cards.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Intensifying Power Trunks, Denial of Hope
Denial of Hope is kind of weak in this match-up because it can only hit the 1-drop baby or the 4-drop baby. Anything higher on the chain cannot be denied. Therefore, I argue we replace Denial completely with Galick Cannon.
1x Intensifying Power Trunks/Four-Star Ball > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
2x Denial of Hope > Galick Cannon
We still want the 1-drop trunks for a scenario that makes it a cheaper Chain Attack Zenoh after baiting with an overrealm card. Galick Cannon can stop 1-drop baby for 1 energy instead of having to use Denial for 2. This is probably the only match-up where if we go first, we can’t full gas them because they can just kill the 1-drop trunks for free.
The Mirror against Mono Red Pan:
Assuming we go up against a similar list that runs Chain Attack and not Travis’ Bonds.dek list, the mirror is all about board control and maintaining advantage. Hear me out on this before you disagree. I believe that against the mirror, Zenoh should come out. One reason is room for the side. Another reason is that we want to establish our board before they do and prevent them from resetting the game state. The mirror requires both Galick Cannons and Denial of Hopes. We cannot afford to swap one out for the other in my opinion and here is why:
Galick Cannons decimate Trunks, Surge of Energy and Digging Deep Vegeta
Denial of Hope needs to be there to deny Chain Attack Trunks and Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Zenoh, the Plain God
As long as we can maintain a board and Toppo them each turn, advantage will continue to skew our way.
2x Zenoh, the Plain God > Galick Cannon
1x Zenoh, the Plain God > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
1x Bardock, Awakened Instincts > Trunks, Dimension Sniper
Post side, we have 3 overrealm cards, 2 trunks and 1 Bardock. Draw 3 and pitch 1 is good, draw 1 and board removal is better. With the removal of Double-shots, we weaken the mirror match a little bit. However, the fear of Double-Shot is enough to change people’s mindset and playstyle. Double-shots have been in Pan since the beginning of time and no one would expect them not to be in deck.
G/Y Green Broly Br:
This deck is scary how it has the ability to just pop off turn 2. However, Chain Zenoh hurts the deck and can set them back quite a lot. Therefore, our gameplan is to survive long enough to CAZ. We don’t hit them and we let them awaken themselves. We combo our bonds target away if we can and take hits slowlt. We also need to be mindful of the broly chain. If we can keep our board clear by comboing away our body to prevent them from going up the chain via the leader effect then we should. NEVER charge afterimages and ITAYG against this match up because they are the only negates that work against broly. The 6-drop and 8-drop Brolys prevent us from activate counters of 2 or more.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: Denial of Hope, Son Gohan, the Avenger
We done really have a target to denial outside of the 4 drop broly. This means that if we go 2nd, Denial is actually a dead card. This card should be sided out for Haru Haru to extend plays.
2x Denial of Hope > Haru Haru
1x Four-Star Ball > Haru Haru
We still have to respect the one bloodlust. Swing with 2-drops or lower first if they are onboard due to Shocking Death Ball. Hit them from 2 life to dead if you can, less risk of dying to the SCR. If their life is at 1, chances are you are dead to the SCR unless they swing with leader first.
R/G CoF Goku:
One of the most annoying match-ups ever. They play defensive until turn 5 and slam Kaioken and win. If we go first, we need to rush them down as fast as we can before they have room to counter play us. Going 2nd is a completely different game plan. We need to flood the board with Fearless Pans and get them down to 3 or less life. At the same time, we need to hoard negates. It’s almost impossible to kill them before they reach Kaioken turn 5 going 2nd. We need to stay at 4 or higher life.
Dead cards: None
Disadvantageous cards: None
Every card in our deck can be useful in this match-up. However, we still need to find rooms for Haru Haru because it will win us the match-up.
3x Zenoh, the Plain God > Haru Haru
Resetting the game can be useful if we know we can’t kill them and pray they don’t get Kaioken post Zenoh; however, it is not exactly the best solution. It is better to establish a wall of Fearless Pans so Kaioken can’t push through while we hoard negates and kill them on the kickback.
Still have to respect this match-up. Although I feel like this match is basically free for Pan because we out value and out control them in the late game. We do our best to play self-awakeners and swing early if we can. Denial of Hope is our best card to deny Chain Attack and Babidi. Keep in mind that Live to Fight Another Day takes effect at the beginning of your turn; therefore, if they made the mistake to attack after playing that card, you can still negate and play things on their turn.
Dead Cards: None
Disadvantageous Cards: SS Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness
Vegeta is an amazing card but he doesn’t do anything in this match-up. This is the one match-up where I don’t think we care about siding anything.
Thoughts on things that needs to be addressed:
Kaioken 7 has too many effects and should be balanced in some way
Mira 7 should be limited to a black leader or at least have his power boost removed. Currently, he takes away the combo mechanic of the game when he attacks which is terrible card design.
Cold Bloodlust should be banned. The amount of times CBL singleton has saved a Frieza’s Army leader is unreal. It is still extremely unfair to just shut down someone’s turn for only 1 energy
Yellow Broly Br leader does too much for too little cost. He gets to rest a card for no reason at all and untaps any card on the field.
Gogeta 7 should be restricted in some way. Maybe via a color.