As 2021 wraps up, let's take a look back at Bandai's Dragon Ball Super Card Game released. This year saw the release of the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth main series expansions, all of them under the current Unison Warrior Series banner that launched back in 2020. That wasn't it, though. Bandai also released their annual anniversary set, a special reprint set, and their first Collector's Selection. Let's take a look at a full year of the Dragon Ball Super Card Game and count down these releases from worst to best.
7 – Battle Evolution Booster
Battle Evolution Booster isn't a bad release by any stretch of the imagination. It's just not a set that rewards multiple visits over time. This was largely a reprint set, with a small core set of new cards that had a handful of SRs and one SCR along with a subset of straight reprints. Due to there not being many cards that would be considered hits, this is a set to buy one box of and keep it moving.
6- Vicious Rejuvenation
The first expansion of the year ranks lowest of all the main sets, but it's not a bad group of cards by any means. It has some great hits, with the Supreme Kai of Time being one of the most sought-after SCRs of the year. It focused on fusion but also dedicated a portion of its set to the O.G. Dragon Ball which led to some fun, nostalgic cards and a creative Launch SR. Many of the SRs in the set seemed very standard, though, which makes this set slip down the list in a year where the DBSCG tried many new things.
5 – Dragon Ball Super Card Game Collector's Selection Vol. 1
Speaking of new things! This is the first of its kind, and it makes for a promising start. Collector's Selection sets are only available through Bandai's dedicated pre-order site, which made this quite a difficult product to get for those who missed it. It contains premium, all-foil Alternate Art versions of some fan-favorite cards. As an idea and a presentation, it's terrific. However, pre-orders were held before a huge surge of interest in the DBSCG, which made this product a difficult one to obtain. As far as selections go, this was a strong set with great artwork, but it ranks a bit lower due to the upcoming second volume blowing it out of the water with its illustrations.
4- Supreme Rivalry
This set was elevated by cards featuring iconic Super Saiyan moments: Vegeta during the Android Saga and Gohan's second Super Saiyan 2 experience during his battle with Bojack in the non-canon movies. This was a fairly simple set which delivered less interesting SCRs than later sets but excelled with its SRs and SPRs.
3- Saiyan Showdown
To me, Saiyan Showdown had the makings of the best Dragon Ball Super Card Game set ever. It's focus was squarely on iconic characters from iconic storylines, but Bandai undercut itself a bit with a small selection of SPRs that ended up being hit or miss. This set has by far the best SCRs, though. Normally, a DBSCG set will have three SCRs with just one being the card that everyone wants. Saiyan Showdown delivers four absolute banger SCRs with Time Patrol Maiden, Pan being an all-time great. Even the promo cards for this set were terrific, with the Premium Pack featuring a holofoil card recreating Goku and Vegeta's beam struggle from The Saiyan Saga which connects to their Leader cards in the actual set.
2- Dragon Ball Super Card Game 2021 Anniversary Set
When it comes to pack opening experiences, this takes the cake. The Anniversary Sets come in large boxes decked out with premium foil, which includes the entire set… minus the Leader card. The chase of these becomes the bonus packs, which include premium foil versions of cards from the set. There is also a reprint subset of Alternate Art cards exclusive to these boxes. Those end up being the major hits, as the foiling and texture on these is even more premium, in my opinion, than Dragon Ball Super Card Game's SCRs.
1- Cross Spirits
There are many, many reasons why Cross Spirits is the easy pick for the number one slot. First, while its three SCRs aren't all amazing like those in Saiyan Showdown, it has an extreme breakout SCR with Son Goku & Frieza, Miraculous Conclusion which recreates the moment during the Tournament of Power when these sworn rivals team up. It includes a large selection of SRs and SPRs with incredible artwork. Best of all, though, this is the set where the Dragon Ball Super Card Game experimented with their SPR style, bringing in more foiling and textured corners. This isn't something that continued into Saiyan Showdown, which marks Cross Spirits as a beautiful, experimental set that is defined in part but not limited to the chase for one of the hobby's most valuable and elite cards.