The Dragon Ball Super Card Game arrived in 2017 and is still going strong, having tapped into an eager audience of fans, gamers and collectors.
Though the first Dragon Ball related collectable card game appeared way back in 2000, with others appearing in the interim, the current game has almost certainly already taken the prize as the longest running CCG based on the franchise.
It’s easy to see why; the cards are beautifully produced, with phenomenal artwork, compelling gameplay mechanics and plenty of spectacular, rare variants to collect, featuring iconic Dragon Ball characters from across the long history of the series.
Despite its success, there is perhaps a sense that the Dragon Ball Super Card Game is a little too complex and unwelcoming for newcomers; after seven years of cards being added to the game, with new mechanics and keywords being gradually woven in.
Perhaps as a response to this, rather than alienate the existing player base, Bandai have instead chosen to rebrand the ongoing game and launch an entirely new one: Fusion World.
As a result, the ‘original’ 2017 Dragon Ball Super Card Game has been rebranded slightly, now being known as ‘Masters’.
Though this will give new Dragon Ball fans a more streamlined and straightforward way to engage with the series on the tabletop and keeps existing fans going as well, it’s almost certainly going to be very confusing for many people.
Are Dragon Ball Super: Masters and Dragon Ball Super: Fusion World Cards Compatible?
Let’s get this question answered as quickly as possible – the two differently branded card game products, Masters and Fusion World, are not compatible with each other.
So, you won’t be able to buy Masters cards and use them with Fusion World cards at all; despite looking fairly similar in terms of branding, they’re different games with different rules.
Note also that if you’re buying a product that simply states ‘Dragon Ball Super Card Game’, but doesn’t specify either Masters or Fusion World on the packaging, then it’s Masters compatible going forward.
The Masters branding has been introduced as of the Zenkai Series Ex Set 07, Beyond Generations, so any previous sets won’t say Masters, but will be compatible with any new Masters releases!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the difference between the two Dragon Ball Super Card Game formats: Fusion World and Masters!
Dragon Ball Super Card Game: Masters
Games such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh having been around for decades; as such, each has thousands upon thousands of different cards available, numerous sets and mechanics that have evolved over time.
Each are intimidating and pretty daunting for newcomers in their own ways, with them having their own terminology, as well as new card types and keywords that may not have existed even a few years ago.
The point being that even if you have previously played a CCG or TCG (collectable card game or trading card game; the terms are pretty much interchangeable), if you’ve been away for any length of time you may still find it difficult to come back to, as so much can change in a relatively short period.
The same is true of the Dragon Ball Super Card Game; though it’s ‘only’ been around in its current form since 2017, numerous big changes have been made since launch that have changed the game in a fairly drastic way.
For example, the current Zenkai series sets brought an entirely new element to the game, in the form of Z-Cards and the Z-Deck.
This allowed players to build a mini deck of 7 cards to be placed alongside their main deck; examples can be seen with the above Z-Extra card and the below Z-Unison card.
The Z-Deck cards aren’t randomised and can be selected immediately, giving players the opportunity to create strategies and combos that aren’t reliant on the luck of the draw.
So there’s a lot of layers to Masters, which provides rich gameplay and plenty of opportunity for players to engage in very creative deck building.
Do note, just so this is crystal clear, that Masters is not compatible with Fusion World; this is something that may well trip up an awful lot of new players, who may assume that the two brands are just differently named booster sets.
Particularly as the Dragon Ball Super Card Game logo is very similar on each product. If you were to see the Masters and Fusion World booster boxes side by side in a game store, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you could buy a pack of each and use them both in a single game!
Dragon Ball Super Card Game: Fusion World
It’s apparent from looking at currently revealed Fusion World cards that they have a cleaner and more stripped down design, though they do share some elements with the Masters cards.
For example, ability keywords are still colour coded in the same way as they are in Masters and Leader cards are double sided, just as in the original game.
Text – at least for cards revealed so far – seems to have been massively reduced in terms of how much is on each card, helping greatly with the legibility of the wording.
The gameplay mechanics for Fusion World are also much simpler; it’s not too far removed from Bandai stablemate, the One Piece Card Game.
Of course, Fusion World also has its own rarity system and card types, with these even being simplified in comparison to Masters.
So, for example, the rarities you’ll find in Fusion World are as follows: Leaders, Commons, Uncommons, Rares, Super Rares and Secret Rares.
Compared to the long list and varation in Masters, which you’ll find a closer look at in our Dragon Ball Super Card Rarities guide, it’s another sign that Fusion World is aiming to be much more accessible and less intimidating for new players.
Fusion World is also leading the way with a digital app, much like Pokemon TCG Live or Magic: The Gathering Arena; within each booster pack of Fusion World cards, you’ll find a digital code card that’ll allow you to unlock more cards within the digital version of the game.
What Dragon Ball Super Card Game Is Best For Me?
From the details above, it should hopefully be clearer which of the two games is best for you.
If you’re already on board with Dragon Ball Super Card Game and have been for some time, Masters will undoubtedly be the way you continue to play.
There’s no indication that releases for Masters will be slowing down or stopping after Fusion World launches so at present there’s no reason why you can’t simply keep up with new releases of Masters.
Check out our Dragon Ball Super Upcoming Sets guide for more information on what’s on the horizon for both Masters and Fusion World.
If you’re already familiar with other CCGs/TCGs or you’re used to getting your head around more in-depth, complex mechanics, then Masters will likely also be the best choice.
Masters will also be for you if you’re a collector, hunting for the rarest and most spectacular cards to safely store or sell.
Check out our list of the most valuable Dragon Ball Super cards to see just how much some of the game’s cards can be worth.
If you’re a newcomer to card games, you may not realise just how many collectors there are, who buy cards for CCGs without ever intending to play the game!
Fusion World will be the game for you if you’re a Dragon Ball fan, but new to card games in general.
It’s also a great choice if collecting grading and selling cards isn’t a concern, but actually playing the game is what you’re after.
Whether you’re a veteran or a new player, you’ll want to keep your cards protected, especially if you’re going to be regularly handling them during play.
So we’d recommend checking out our best trading card sleeves list, which will give you all the guidance you need, as to which sleeves will be the right ones for your needs!
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