Hello there, Decker crashing through! It’s time for part 2.
Something something justice- No! Nevermind, I just looked at the script and we’re talking villains
In the last section I finished with a reference to the trinity of crossrides, decks that would remain dominant forces for quite a while, in Japan restrictions were placed on the strongest established contenders, an action that was not repeated in English due to different release schedules but in any case the existence of 12000 and 13000 power bodies created an issue for decks that could only hit 15-16 consistently but struggle beyond that.
Enter original generation booster tech 08 Blue Storm Armada and unleash the beast.
Dimension Police’s second ride chain Galactic Beast, Zeal solved the problem of side lanes being unable to pressure cross-rides in a brilliantly clever subversion of Dimension Police’s already established style by turning it on its head. Instead of ramping power into your own vanguard, Zeal saps power from the opponent’s vanguard, performing this action whilst riding up the chain, ultimately climaxing in a Limit Break that can chip away more power than was possible earlier in the game. This game play aesthetic lended Zeal very well to aggressive rush strategies and forcing more shield out of an opponent that they would have otherwise been able to keep in hand which in turn landed the deck a decent but brief string of successes; mostly in large but unofficial fan run tournaments.
To elaborate on the deck gambit each successful ride up along the chain would cut 3000 power away from the opposing vanguard for the duration of a turn. The starter if the grade 1 ride was successfully triggered would aim to improve chain consistency by searching the top 7 cards of the deck for the Grade 2 or 3 forms of Zeal. Once at Grade 3, Galactic Beas Zeal (pictured left) you had access to the following:
[ACT](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (2)] Choose one of your opponent’s vanguard, and that unit gets [Power]-1000 for each of your <Dimension Police> rear-guards until end of turn. This ability cannot be used for the rest of that turn.
Potentially you could remove 5000 power off the opponent’s vanguard, a full shield’s worth
A regular 11k base would be reduced to 6000 allowing for lanes that could easily require 15000 shield (3 stages or 5000) to cover for. Cross rides would be reduced to 8000, a number key to Zeal’s support.
As a sample of this point take this Psychic Grey:
[AUTO](RC):When this unit boosts a <Dimension Police> vanguard, if the [Power] of the battle opponent of the boosted unit is 8000 or less, the boosted unit gets [Power]+4000 until end of that battle.
The issue, and why the deck has faded to obscurity over time is the deck wasn’t consistent enough or cost efficient enough to last the long haul, especially when the game shifted focus towards archetypes. And compounded atop that is the matter of what support Zeal has gotten is completely generic taking what could of been a nicely matured theme over time and not following through with it.
Fast-Forwarding to BT-13 Catastrophic Outbreak we see the card car that remains to this day possibly the best tool in Zeal’s box outside of his two later cards of direct support.
Fusion Monster, Bugreed
[AUTO](VC/RC): When this unit attacks a vanguard, if you have a «Dimension Police» vanguard, and if the battle opponent’s [Power] is 8000 or less, until end of that battle, this unit gets “[AUTO](VC/RC):When this unit’s attack hits, draw a card.”.
A very simple bare basics, on hit, draw 1. When this can be called the best card then we have a problem, and on the not of problems Zeal had a big one when this card released, he wasn’t the only Dimension Police deck build that could use it for the corrupting influence of Link Joker (and Bushiroad R&D) had given Dimension Police a second power stealer in the form of Dark Dimensional Robo, Reverse Daiyusha.
The fallen hero having no shortage of direct support to back him up and the fatal blow to the beast, a cheaper more powerful rendition of the same ability Zeal offered.
Dark Daiyusha‘s creation meant that Zeal needed a new way to define itself other than just power drain but what it yearned for wouldn’t come until we were into G-Era with Cosmic Roar. The first and only product marketed in G-Era as an Extra Booster.
Alongside a consistency boost for the Ride Chain in the form of ride fix unit Evolution Monster Davain in G-EB-01 Cosmic Roar, the new era gifted Zeal with a new form.
[ACT](VC):Legion21000 “Galactic Beast, Zeal” (If your opponent’s vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (1)] When a card is put into your damage zone, if this unit is Legion, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your opponent’s units, and it gets [Power]-1000 for each card on your (VC) or (RC) until end of turn.
[AUTO](VC):When this unit’s attack hits a vanguard, if your opponent has a vanguard with [Power] 8000 or less, Soul Charge (1), choose a card from your damage zone, and turn it face up.
New Era Beast, Zeal brought to attention the possibilities of utilising power drain for defensive benefits as well as when on the attack.
The card provided the old deck with the hopes of a revival and a deck based around New Era Zeal did indeed score a large event victory in the first year of the G Era but most of the pushing power for that deck came not from Zeal but rather Commander Luarel. And even then it was very much a one-hit wonder.
Most recently there is a card from the upcoming We Are!!! Trinity Dragon that was intended to toss Zeal a bone. Unfortunately for Zeal that bone also appealed to the other dogs in the yard, and Robos stole that for their most recent popular deck build instead, no wonder the kaiju wants to wipe out the heroes if they keep stealing his support.
Abatement Monster, Wilking
[AUTO](RC):[Soul Blast (2)] When your vanguard attacks or is attacked, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose one of your opponent’s units in the front row, and it gets [Power]-10000 until end of that battle.
Mechanically Zeal and the Kaiju propose an interesting play style but it’s become a bit of a constant that when Zeal does get good support not directly locked to him, someone else comes along and steals it which goes some way to keep the big beast somewhere at the bottom of the pile like the runt of a litter.
Overlooking this unfortunate circumstance though Zeal is inherently flawed at its core with the main vanguard’s ability power being relative to the size of your board and how many rearguards are fielded and in a clan that lacks significant draw power power this is Zeal’s ultimate downfall that led to its decline as cost efficiency of destruction improved. Perhaps one day the beast will return but his time has come and past, his return now would require a complete overhaul to modernise and bring up to speed the original concept. A deck that did what it needed to when it needed to, but hasn’t aged well since.
There’s a G-Unit named Dark Superhuman Omega that solves the board reliance problem for the most part but I’m keeping away from discussing G-Units in this retrospective until I properly explore Dimension Police in G-Era.
More imminently though about those Robos I keep bringing up. They truly started to become their own deck at the same time as Zeal’s début, thus that’s a story of evolution that requires going back to where we started in this chapter, yet from there branching down a different path. I will save that for a part 3.
I’ll be seeing you then.
Little bit of post script: Blue Storm Armada was the first booster product I bought into when I joined the game, wasn’t after anything in particular at the time, I’d been taught the game using Novas but started to branch out to find my own clan choice. Pulled Great Daiyusha and Galactic Beast Zeal from the same box and that sealed the deal on my choice. Zeal was the first deck I actually completed and I maintain a personal fondness for the beast. I find it regrettable that I can’t viably use it these days.