Dragonball Z Card Games Rules

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For the Gamer in You!
Only you, Goku, can save the world from Vegeta, the power monger wanting to exploit the Earth for all it's worth. "Take that," you're feeling as you deliver a Black Axe Heel kick to Vegeta in your surprise attack. But Vegeta is not without his own special talents, and he quickly couters with a...

Join the Adventure into the Dragon Ball Z universe, a world of unlimited possiblities and adventure. The game designers have taken years of resaearch and ideas and plowed them all into this game full of unique firsts and surprises. The Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game enables you to enter the adventure as Goku or Raditz and challenge other Heroes and Villians from the Dragon Ball Z animated series. Each player collects cards tht represent the powerful Dragon Balls and characters, plus all the attacks and powers they will use against each other.

Most people have found it easier to play their first game with just one other person. You can always add more. You'll have more fun playing Hero vs. Villian. All the DBZ starter decks are randomized, and each player will need one. Each two-player game will last about 20 to 40 minutes. You may want to add those optional Booster Packs after you play your first game to skip building a deck at first.

Winning the Game

There are three different ways to win the new Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.

1: Survival Victory. You can win by outlasting your opponents. When all of your oppents' live cards are turned over into their discard piles, you win. A player is eliminated from the game the instant he has no more cards in his life deck.

2: Dragon Ball Victory. You can win by collecting all seven Dragon Ball cards. As soon as you collect all seven Dragon Ball cards face up, you win. However, if you capture the last Dragon Ball card from another player to complete your collection, you don't win until the beginning of your next turn (provided you don't lose any Dragon Ball cards before then.)

3: Most Powerful Personality Victory. You can win by becoming the most powerful personality in the game. In the basic game, you would win the instant you raise your Main Personality to level 3. If you collect more cards (from Booster Packs, promotions, or tournament prizes) and have Main Personality cards higher than level 3 included in the game, the Most Powerful Personality Victory can be achieved only by players with Main Personality cards that reach that new level. For example, if you are playing with a Main Personality level 5 card and the other players' Main Personalities can only reach level 3 or 4, only you can achieve a Most Powerful Personality Victory. The other players can still win with a Survival or a Dragon Ball Victory.

Beginning a New Game
Summary of Beginning a New Game
1) If not already built, build your deck
2) Find and place your Main Personality cards
3) Announce highest levels of your main personalities
4) Claim any Tokui-Waza (Favorite Fighting Style Advantage)
5) Using Scouter, set your Main Personality's power stage
6) Shuffle and place your Life Deck
7) Set your Warrior Sword counter to 0
8) Begin play with the Hero player

Details of Beginning a New Game

After playing one time, you'll complete all seven items in less than a minute.

1) For a Quick Start game and first time players, if you have a Villain deck, simply remove any Personality cards that have blue backgrounds and are not your Main Personality. Keep them for Deck Building in the future. For more advanced players with additional game cards from Booster Packs, try building your own deck.

After playing the game a few times, you'll enjoy building new decks that focus on different strategies. That's part of the fun- using your own strategies to win!

2) Romove all levels of the Personality cards of your Main Personality from the rest of the deck. Place these Main Personality cards, face up, in front of you on the playing surface. The levels should be in order, with your level 1 Main Personality card on top and the highest level on bottom.

In the basic game, there should be levels 1, 2, and 3, plus a level 4 promotional card if that card has been collected.

3) All players announce the highest level of their Main Personality cards (probably 3 or 4 in the basic game) so that everyone knows the level necessary to achieve a Most Powerful Personality victory.

4) Any player claiming a Tokui-Waza (Favorite Fighting Style Advantage- using just one martial arts style in one's deck.) announces it.

5) Using the Scouter, set the power stage on your lowest level Main Personality card at 5 stages higher than 0. For example, on the card on the Personality Card Breakdown, the Scouter would reveal level 900.

Feel free to place the top Main Personality card (the one with which you are using the Scouter) directly on the table. If you do, turn your other Main Personality cards face down until using them as though they were underneath your face up Main Personality card.

6) Shuffle the rest of your deck (your Life Deck) and place it in front of you. Any other player may cut your deck once.

7) Set your Warrior Sword counter to 0. Place your Warrior Sword counter in front of you on the playing surface.

8) Begin the game. The Hero player starts the game by following the steps in the During Your Turn section. If there is more than one Hero player, do rock-paper-scissors to determine who goes first (or if rock-paper-scissors is not familiar, the youngest Hero should have the first turn).

Summary of Game Play

Here's a brief summary of the game play that will help with understanding the rules. Much more depth is available.

1) Your play the game as one of the Dragon Ball Z Main Personalities, such as Goku or Vegeta. For example, Doug's three levels of Goku Personality cards represent Doug in the game as Goku. Goku is the character Doug plays, his Main Personality.

2) Your Main Personality wants to either save the world or control the world for his own self-serving purposes. If your Main Personality is a Hero, he'll want to attack a Villain to save the wolrd and win. The opposite is true for Villains. Heroes and Villains will fight back and forth in combat to win.

3) Higher strength gives a Main Personality a better chance of winning and blocking attacks. It also can get him closer to winning the game with a Most Powerful Personality Victory.

4) Strength is indicated by Power Stages. The higher the number in a power stage, the higher the Main Personality's strength. Your Main Personality reaches his highest power stages by tapping into a higher, stronger level of himself.

5) Anger (tracked on the Warrior Sword counter) moves a Main Personality closer to finding a higher level of untapped strength, just like in the DBZ TV show.

6) Successful attacks weaken your opponents' Main Personalities by lowering their power stages and taking cards from their Life Decks. This makes it more difficult for them to win attacks, and moves your Main Personality closer to being the last survivor, the second way to win.

7) Be sure to seek the 7 Dragon Balls, the last way to win.

During Your Turn

During your turn, perform all of these steps in order.

1) Draw Three Cards
Draw 3 cards from your life deck and put them in your hand

2) Play Non-Combat Cards
You may activate Non-Combat cards in your hand by placing them on the table face up, or you may pass. Each of the cards' card power (the benefit described in the text area following the work "POWER" on the card) stays available until you use it. To use Non-Combat cards on the table now, simply follow the instructions given in the card powers. Discard the cards after using them unless one is a Drill or Dragon Ball card or the card power states otherwise.

3) Power Up
Power up your Main Personality and all of your Allies on the table. The Main Personality powers up by moving the Scouter up a number of power stages equal to its Power Up Rating (PUR) number. All Allies power up only 1 stage regardless of their PUR number. A personality cannot power up above its highest power stage on a card, and does not go to the next higher level card as a result of powering up.

If you don't have an additional Scouter for an Ally, use a game card that is not in the game as a marker. Turn it face down and use a long edge to underline the power stage of an Ally.

4) Combat
To reduce any opponent's life deck, power stages, or anger, you may attack him now. See
Combat section. You also may pass now.

5) Discard
Place all cards from your hand, except 1 unused card, into the discard pile. If you attacked during the step above, Combat, then the opponent you attacked also discards down to 1 card in his hand.

6) Add Life Card for Not Attacking
If you did not attack by playing a card in Step 4) Combat, take the top card from you discard pile and place it face down at the bottom of your life deck.

When every step is completed, your turn ends, and the player to your left gets his turn, starting with Step 1) Draw Three Cards. Continue taking turns until someone wins!


Just like in the Dragon Ball Z episodes when two characters fight each other, this is your chance to sap the strength of your opponent and even defeat him! Thes section contains details on Step 4) of your turn, Combat. During this combat, you and the opposing Hero or Villain you now choose will attack each other back and forth until you both pass. Declaring your attack begins the combat phases with you attacking first.

By the way, don't expect to understand all of the details of attacks and defenses after reading this short section. More detail is provided in the following sections. After a couple more sections, start playing! You can always refer to these rules to help you out. You may want to have a stack of cards handy to look at while reading this, and be sure you've seen the card descriptions to see what they're all about.

Phase (a) Defender Draws 3 Cards
The defending player (the player you are attacking) draws 3 cards into his hand from his life deck.

Phase (b) Attacker Attacks
As the attacker, you may pass and go directly to Phase (d), or attack the defender in one of four ways:

1) Play a combat card (Physical or Energy) from you hand for an attack

2) Use one of your unused Non-Combat cards that you laid on the table earlier.

3) Use the card power from a Personality card for an attack

4) Discard any one card from your hand to make a Final Physical Attack

Phase (c) Defender Defends
The defending player may do one of the three below only if it directly blocks some or all of the attack:

1) Play a Combat card (Physical or Energy) from his hand to block an attack made on him.

2) Use one of his unused Non-Combat cards that he laid on the table earlier to block

3) Use the card power from a Personality card to block an attack made on him.

After doing one of the above or passing, the defender then takes the resulting damage from the attack by reducing power stages, reducing anger, discarding life cards, or all three, as described in later sections. Review life cards before discarding to prevent discarding a Dragon Ball card. You'll know if the card power blocks the attack since the terminology on both the attack and defense cards will involve the same concept.

Phase (d) Fight Back?!
If this is your first time to get to this phase during your turn, repeat Phases (b) Attacker Attacks! and (c) Defender Defends, except this time the defending player is the attacker, and the previous attacker becomes the defending player. Otherwise, skip to the next phase, Fight Back and Forth Until Passing.

Phase (e) Fight Back and Forth Until Passing
Continue to repeat Phases (b) Attacker Attacks! and (c) Defender Defends and alternating your roles as attacker and defender each time you begin the Attacker Attacks! phase again. When you and your opponent consecutively choose not to attack (a pass followed directly by the other passing), this Step 4) Combat is finished. Play continues with Step 5) Discard.

Combat Cards in Combat

Energy Attacks and Energy Defenses
An energy attack comes from the gathered force of the personality. Energy Combat cards will either make an energy attack or block and energy attack. You can tell the difference by reading the card power and by the symbol next to the word "POWER" (a Sword for Attack, and a Starburst for Defend). An attacking player can use an energy attack card in his hand to attack a defending player simply by reading its card power. If the defending player does not have an appropriate Energy Combat card or Main Personality card power to defend himself, then the attack is successful.

Succesful energy attacks force the defender to discard the top 4 life cards from his life deck unless otherwise noted. (Cards to be discarded must be reviewed to prevent a Dragon Ball card from being discarded.) Making an energyattack reduces the attacking personality's power stages by 2 unless otherwise noted (move the Scouter down by 2 stages). A personality who does not have sufficient power stages to expend cannot make the energy attack.

For example, if Goku is at his lowest power stage, he cannot make an energy attack. He must be at least 2 stages above 0 to have the power to perform an energy attack requiring 2 power stages.

After an energy attack, the cards used to attack and defend, other than Personality cards, are discarded by each player.

Physical Attacks and Physical Defenses
Physical Combat cards, representing martial arts techniques such as skilled kicks or blocks, will either make a physical attack or block a physical attack. You can tell the difference by reading the card power and by the symbol next to the word :"POWER" (a sword for Attack, and a Starburst for Defend). An attacking player may use a physical attack card in his hand to attack a defending player simply by reading its card power.

Consult the Physical Attack Table (Click on Physical Attack Table link at top of page) and cross-compare the number in the attacker's power stage with the number in the defender's power stage. The defender loses power stages equal to the nuber indicated in the table, and moves his Scouter accordingly. When the defender's power stage drops to 0 before losing all the power stages required, he must discard 1 life card for every power stage still to be lost.

For example, Raditz makes a physical attack on Gohan. Raditz is at a power stage of 1200 and out hero Gohan is at 200. Gohan is unable to do anything (play a card or use a personality card power) to block the attack. Consulting the Physical Attack Table (click on Physical Attack Table link at top of page) and using the fourth row down for Raditz, the attacker, and the second column of numbers for Gohan, the defender, we find that Gohan must lose 3 power stages. The Scouter would then be moved on the first level Gohan Personality card from 200, past 100, to 0 (two power stages lower). The player playing as Gohan discards the top card from his life deck to make up for the final power stage that he lost in the attack.

If your physical attack card is unusually powerful, it will indicate the damage directly in the card power. In that case, ignore the Physical Attack Table and simply follow the action stated in the card's card power.

Some cards have two parts to their card power (such as a card power reading "Physical Attack. Raise the card user's anger by 1.") If the word "or" is in the card power's text, the player must choose which power to use. If "or" does not separate the two parts, then each part of the card power occurs immediately. While the physical attack may be successfully blocked, it will not affect, for example, the attacker's anger being raised, which occurs before the defender acts.

If you have cards left in your hand but no attack cards or card powers to use, you can make a Final Physical Attack by discarding any one card from your hand. You can make only one Final Physical Attack per Step 4) Combat, and afterwards must pass in all remaining phases of that Combat. Use the Physical Attack Table to determine the outcome of the Final Physical Attack.

After a physical attack, the cards used to attack and defend, other than Personality cards, are discarded by each player unless the card power states otherwise.

Main Personality Cards in Combat

Each Main Personality card has a Main Personality's special power described on the card. These card powers represent Combat and Non-Combat powers. Follow the rules above in Combat Cards in Step 4) Combat for physical or energy attacks of defenses. An attacker or defender may use the card power from his face up Main Personality card only once during a Step 4) Combat, no matter how many phases are fought.

For example, Goku's card power could be used once when he attacks a foe, but never again for the rest of the Goku personality's combat phases until both players discard, that turn is over, and the next player's turn begins.

The single exception to this rule is when a player's Main Personality is sufficiently angered that he taps into his next level. The new card power can be used even if the card power from the previous level was already used in that combat.

*See the Allies section to learn about using Allies.

Warrior Sword, Anger and Levels

In the TV show, the DBZ characters become their strongest by tapping into higher, stronger levels of themselves. These different strength levels of characters are called Levels in the game. Each level of a personality has its own card. The Level of a Personality card, represented by a number such as 1,2, or 3 (the higher the number, the stronger the personality is), is in the upper left hand corner of the card.

Just like in the DBZ TV show, higher anger causes a Main Personality to tap into a higher level of strength. Anger is tracked on the Warrior Sword conter, which is marked with numbers 0 through 5. When card powers or various cards played raise the Warrior Sword counter to 5 anger, your Main Personality has become so angry that he taps into the next level.

For example, a player using a Personality card of Goku at his first level would put that card underneath his other Main Personality cards, and begin using the level 2 Personality card of Goku as his Main Personality card.

After raising the personality's level, the Warrior Sword is reset to 0. Set the Scouter to the highest power stage on the new personality card. Advancement of the Main Personality's level happens immediately at anytime during the game,even in the middle of an ongoing combat.

You must play the levels in numerical order. You cannot intend to use levels 1, 2, and 4 of Goku without having the level 3 card. If your Main Personality is already at his highest level when his anger reaches 5, raise his power stage to its highest power stage, then reset the sword to 0.

When your Main Personality taps into the next level, you must always reset the Warrior Sword counter to 0. If your Main Personality's anger is to be raised by 2 and only 1 is needed to reach 5, the extra anger does not carry over to game play with the new level.

When anger changes the Main Personality to a higher level during an ongoing Step 4) Combat, the Main Personality can use its card power from the new level card in the combat. This is true even if the Main Personality already used its card power from the lower level card in the same combat.


All personality cards in a player's deck other than the Main Personality cards are Allies. Allies are put into play in front of the player from his hand during Step 2) Play Non-Combat Cards. When placed, an ally's power stage is set at 3 levels higher than 0. Allies in play gain 1 power stage during Step 3) Power Up ever turn, regardless of the ally's PUR rating. Allies can be chosen to benefit from power-up cards instead of the Main Personality.

If you don't have an additional Scouter for an Ally, use a game card that is not in the game as a marker. Turn it face down and use a long edge to underline the power stage of your Ally.

Allies can take power stage damage directed at the Main Personality during combat, at the owning player's option. When an ally is reduced to 0 power stage, all remaining damage directed at the ally is taken as discards from the Main Personality's life deck as though the
damage were to the Main Personality.

Allies can be used in combat, but only if the Main Personality's power rating is at 0 or one stage above 0. When this occurs the ally "takes over" the battle, using its card powers and playing attack cards from the player's hand just like a Main Personality. The Main Personality resumes control immediately after this Step 4) Combat ends.

Card powers that stop a foe from making a physical or energy attack in the next combat phase must be directed at a player's Main Personality OR Ally.

Deck Restrictions
Hero Main Personalities can have only Hero Allies in their decks, Villain Main Personalities can have only Villian Allies in theirs. Neither Heroes nor Villains can use the other side's personailities as Allies or have them in their decks.

Placement Restrictions
An ally can be put into play in front of a player only during Step 2) Play Non-Combat Cards. A player may not play a duplicate personality card of an ally already in play by any player, but a Personality card with a different level of that personality would be allowed. For example, even though John has a Saibamen 2 in play, Jane can still bring out a Saibamen 1 as her ally All levels of an ally that you play are treated as one ally, however, so you cannot play Saibamen 1 and 2, for example as two different allies.

A player can freely cover an already played ally card with a higher level card of that same ally during Step 2) Play Non-Combat Cards. For example, a player can put down a level 2 Raditz card on top of a level 1 Raditz Ally he had played previously. Use only the higher level card in play. This will also allow other players to play any lower level version as their allies.

You may have duplicates or different levels of another player's Main Personality in your deck, but you cannot play any of them as Allies until the player of that personality has been eliminated fromt the game. For example, when someone is playing Vegeta as his Main Personality, nobody can play Vegeta as an Ally until the Vegeta player has exited the game.

Martial Arts Styles

Some Combat and Non-Combat cards represent certain martial arts styles of combat or non-combat. Those martial arts styles are Red, Blue, Orange, Black, and Saiyan. Each martial arts style can be identified by the style's name (Red or Saiyan, for example) in the card title.

Another way of indentifying a card's martial arts style is by the color of the diamond, if any, in the Scouter area of a card (the area containing the card power) and by the Japanese symbol for the style in that diamond. The Saiyan martial art style is identified by the color green and the appropriate Japanese symbol. (Move cards (defined below) and Named cards do not have a martial arts style, so ignore the diamond and symbol and treat them as if there were none.)

The Martial Arts Styles

Red, The Blocking Style-This style stresses a balance of upper- and lower-body defensive and offensive techniques that emphasize strength and flexibility. Ephasizes defense over offense.

Blue, The Calming Style-Blue martial arts stresses the use of leverage for attack and defense. This style also specializes in countering the anger of a foe.

Orange, The Cosmic Style-This style encourages the use of strikes coupled with throwing and grappling for a combination of defense and offense at all times. It concentrates more on energy attacks that physical attacks.

Black, the Foot-Hand Style-Black martial arts emphasize the stength found in use of kicks with hand strike combinations

Saiyan Style-Saiyan style stresses the use of power in all things. Energy and physical attacks are done from a position or are not done at all. Defense is secondary to a strong attack.

Tokui-Waza (Favorite Fighting Style Advantage)
When any player uses only a single martial arts style in his life deck, he recieves a bonus in power. He announces at the beginning of a game the single style of martial arts cards in his life deck. From then on, he is allowed to add 1 to his Main Personality's PUR number. A player using a Tokui-Waza, or favorite fighting style advantage, can have any number of Move card in addition to his single style of martial arts.

Only Main Personalities with Saiyan blood can declare the Saiyan style as their Tokui-Waza. All of the Villains may choose Saiyan, but only Goku and Gohan can do so for the Heroes.

Move cards (cards with the word "Move" in the card title) are another sub-group of Combat and Non-Combat cards, but are not a martial arts style. Moves are generally used as a last resort, and put results ahead of personal costs. Using these cards often means damage to both attacker and defender.

Drill Cards
Drill cards represent special powers gained by a Main Personality because of intensive study within a martial art. Because they are Non-Combat cards, they are put into play in front of a player from his hand during Step 2) Play Non-Combat cards. Unlike other Non-Combat cards, a Drill card is kept in play after use and its card power can be used many times for the owning player.

Drill cards stay in play until the Main Personality changes to another level. When anger or card play makes a Main Personality rise to the next level, all drills in play for that personality are discarded immediately.

A player can have Drill cards from only one color (as in the word "Blue" in the card title of a Drill card) in play at one time. A player may have more than one color of Drill cards in his deck, however. A player cannot have duplicate Drill cards (those with a color ithe card title) in play at the same time, but can have several different Drill cards in play at the same time. So, if a player has black Drill cards in play he cannot have red, blue, or orange Drill cards or any duplicate black Drill cards also in play.

When a player draws a Drill card into his hand that cannot be played because it does not match the color of a Drill card already in play, he shows it to all other players and then shuffles it back into his life deck. The player does not have to show it if he does not wish to shuffle it back into his life deck. He may discard it instead. In either case, the player does not get to draw another card.

A Drill card can have play restrictions such as "Cannot be used with other orange drills in play on the table." In this case, the Drill card cannot be played if any other player, including the card's owner, has orange Drill cards in play. Also, if another player places an orange Drill card on the table, the restricted card must be discarded immediately. If another player places the exact same card into play, both players lose this drill card. Similar card powers from two or more drill cards can be used at the same time by a player, and their effects are combined.

Special Powers for Named Drill Cards and Colorless Drill Cards
Named Drill cards (Drill cards with the Personality names in the card title) and Colorless Drill cards (Drill cards without a color word (i.e. Blue) in the card title) can be put into play along with any colored Drill cards without restriction. Unless otherwise restricted, up to 4 duplicates of any Named Drill card and 4 duplicates of any Colorless Drill card can be put into play at the same time, unlike other Drill cards. Named Drill cards and Colorless Drill cards are discarded just like the other Drill cards when the Main Personality changes levels.

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