Dragon Ball Pack Battle: Which Pack has the Coolest Cards?

Which set of Dragon Ball trading cards has the best looking cards? Time to find out in our first ever Dragon Ball pack battle.

A pack battle? What’s a pack battle? Well I made it up, at least I think I did… I know they do pack wars, box wars and even crate wars — but I’d never seen battles before. In the war videos they are usually going for highest value pull, so money. In my pack battles I’m going for coolest looking card, that usually means highest rarity – but not always. For the very first edition of this I decided to dig into my archives and set up a Dragon Ball pack battle!

Battle Setup

For this first battle I really wanted to go all out. I’ve already got three different reviews of Dragon Ball trading cards written – so I had at least 3 different packs to pull from. But three isn’t an even number is it? Wouldn’t 4 be better, yes, yes it would. So I also grabbed a box I hadn’t opened or reviewed yet. This post will act as both the battle write-up and review of these simple beautiful 5-yuan LZ01 Dragon Ball trading cards.

So the contenders would be:

I set up my filming table with labels for everything so folks watching could figure out what was happening. I don’t have a quiet space to record in so I haven’t tried getting any audio yet – maybe after a few more weeks of this I’ll be brave enough to talk on these videos. Mostly you’ll just be hearing me WTF’ing as I try to figure out what I’m even looking at lol.

Back to the battle, every thing was setup. I put my two favorite cards in the 1st and 2nd place slots and left 3rd place empty to start off. The idea from here we will open each pack and then pull one card in round-robin order from each. We’ll show the card then decide if it should be one of the top 3 or not, and which it would replace. Since one pack only had 3 cards it skipped the first round.

The game went pretty well from there, I had to keep track with tick marks which pack I was on and how many I had pulled from each. And having to decide in the moment on the cool-ness of each card was a bit nerve wracking but also fun. By the end we had pulled 15 new cards, 2 more redemption cards and only 1 dupe – another LZ03 R Piccolo. Not a bad haul at all!

Turned out that is a pretty fun and also difficult game. In the end I found the top 3 cards you see below, all amazing cards to be certain! But I keep wanting to swap 1st and 2nd place – those are both such incredible looking cards. Krillin in 3rd is ok, the foil on those energy swirls is something else, but not really at the level of the other 2. It was a little sad to see Mr. Satan leave the top spot – but honestly he looks gross, and he’s slapping his butt.

That 5-yuan box and set

Let’s talk a bit about that 5-yuan box. This is the one I hadn’t opened yet before starting this. I always though it was a little weird as this box looks *exactly* like the yellow 10-yuan box for set 3. Like it’s the same size, same art style, same labeling – only difference is one is blue and the other is gold. Well that isn’t the only difference…

Left side is an SR of Black Goku from LZ01, right side is an SR of Son Goten from LZ02. They have similar designs, the LZ02 has better foil inlaid with the lettering, but I think the manga style background on the LZ01 cards looks cooler. The LZ01 is printed on standard card stock and has rounded cut corners. LZ02 is printed on thicker stock, maybe 60pt? And it has square corners.

What I think happened here, and it’s a theory I’ve been developing as I open more and more of these sets is that for set 1 the manufacturer went all out. Even the most base rarity cards have foil all over them. By set 2 that was still true, but by set 3 the base cards no longer get any foil – just color printing.

So while the set 3 cards feel nicer to hold, they look pretty much the same as set 1 – I think set 1 actually looks better. Then you have to remember that the right side card came from 28$ box, each pack is $1.92 cents on average. The left side comes from a 5-yuan box, it cost me just $19.84 to import – cheap even for 5-yuan. So those packs cost $0.99, almost half. But it gets worse for LZ03! The left side, cheaper, packs include 5! cards – the more expensive is only 3. So set 1 cards like this cost half as much for better looking designs, and you get more cards.

With a very similar set structure, I would highly recommend grabbing the 5-yuan LZ01 box if you get a chance and skip the 10-yuan set 3.

The Cards

Check out the Black Goku, that’s another set 1 SR. It has the same exact back art as set 3 even! I just love the manga style panel art used in the background on these. And even the silver lettering down the side looks pretty good – although I will admit that set 3’s lettering is better inlaid then these. Since the 5-yuan box has no redemption scheme – you get 5 actual cards from it

The two Androids, Lapis and Lazuli were pulled from the same pack. Again we see that super cool background at taken from the manga. I love the battle poses too. These are SR – so the base rarity in a 5-yuan box. Notice how they don’t really have any of those crazy energy swirls and beams that Dragon Ball is known for? Well check this out:

This SSR was the hit in that 5-yuan pack. It’s Gogeta, but this time blond haired Gogeta. And look at that foil – all those white beams are etched with rainbow foil that the scanner can’t pick up – but the video at the top does. I especially love how the beams go in front of some letters and behind others, it gives the whole card an almost 3d look. That other card came from the 10-yuan box (square corners), it’s a GR rarity which is actually lower than SSR. It features a child Kakarot ready to fight.

Conclusions

So that’s our first Pack Battle write up in the can, along with a mini-review of the 5-yuan box from LZ01. It seems with this series to older sets are much nicer than the newer sets. It’s clear the product evolved to be more mass market over time, which lowered the margins and forced the manufacturer to cut costs on future sets.

I can’t wait to set up another one of these. I have 3 different Gundam products and also 3 different Chainsaw Man products – yeah you heard that right, 3 different boxes. What’s the third? You will have to wait for another day to find that out.

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