- Product Details
- Gatinko/GT Chip: Dragon (Dr)
- Layer Base: Imperial (I)
- Driver/Performance Tip: Ignition’ (Ig’)
- Recommended Combination: IA.St.Ds’
- The Good, The Bad & Final Score
- Where to Buy
- Photo Gallery
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Just when you thought Beyblades couldn’t get any bulkier … enter B-154 DX Booster Imperial Dragon.Ig’! The first evolution of the “Dragon” line from Beyblade Burst GT, which started with B-133 Ace Dragon.St.Ch Zan earlier this year.
The big questions on my mind going into this release were:
- Will Imperial Dragon be useful as an attack type in a metagame already littered with great options?
- Will Ignition’ live up to the competitive standard set by the first electric Driver Hybrid?
Well, the answer is a resounding yes for Imperial Dragon and … “not really” for Ignition’. Read on to find out more.
Off the top, I mentioned the size of IDr.Ig’ as a joke, but it’s actually incredible to look at when you put Imperial Dragon Ignition’ beside one of the original Beyblade Burst releases, like Valkyrie Wing Accel. Just look at this thing!
Perhaps more incredible however, is the fact that despite the obvious steady power creep in the Beyblade Burst metagame, TAKARA-TOMY has managed to actually improve both it and the product itself in meaningful ways.
The series was initially plagued by many issues:
- Poor, quickly-wearing teeth designs on highly competitive Layers (Valkyrie and Deathscyther being the biggest culprits)
- Part breakages (like Victory Valkyrie, which received several mold revisions)
- Few competitively viable parts (#deathscytherheavydefense)
- A metagame where attack types were not terribly reliable.
The game itself ebbs and flows, but in general all of these things have been notably improved over time.
In particular, the release of the potent attack-type Driver Xtreme’ with Shadow Amaterios in the summer of 2018 was one of the first meaningful steps towards improving the competitive viability of attack types. The next major milestones came in 2019 with the release of the Judgment and Zwei Layer Bases, which have impacted the game and made their way into the list of winning combinations for basically every WBO tournament this year.
This isn’t to say there isn’t still some product durability problems with Beyblade Burst (looking at you Long BeyLauncher LR), or that there isn’t any issues competitively speaking, but for a series about to enter uncharted territory for the Beyblade brand with the recent confirmation of a new fifth season for 2020, it’s a good sign that the game is as reasonably fun and balanced as it ever has been.
B-154 DX Booster Imperial Dragon.Ig’ continues this trend with a nice balance of both competitive value and pure, inventive fun in the parts which make up the release.
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Gatinko/GT Chip: Dragon (Dr)
- Weight: 2.95g
First up is the confusingly named “Dragon”.
Not to be confused with the original “Dragon” chip from Ace Dragon, this new GT Chip (abbreviated as “Dr” instead of “D”) has not only a cool new design on top, but a new teeth design on the bottom.
Dragon sports two larger inner teeth and two teeth with average thickness on the outside on both sides. The teeth are all evenly spaced apart. It’s well suited for attack types.
Teeth are associated with the bursting mechanism of the series, and in competitive play the frequency of bursting has reduced significantly over time, so the impact these GT Chips by themselves have on gameplay is somewhat minimal in top-tier combinations.
Still, it’s worth experimenting with to get a feel for what works best for the combination you’re building.
That said, some Layer Bases are designed in such a way to adjust the tightness of GT Chips used with them by raising their placement relative to the Driver they contact, as we will see in the review of Imperial below.
Layer Base: Imperial (I)
- Weight: 27.05g
The Imperial Layer Base is the star of the show for me.
Imperial is made up of several different layers of material. The top layer is primarily white plastic and is what houses two metal blades on each side. On the bottom is clear blue plastic and houses four red rubber contact points. In between these two layers are four plastic golden blades.
When fully retracted, the most aggressively designed rubber contact points are more fully exposed. When extended, they line up in parallel with the rubber contact points below them.
I found that the mechanism for retracting or extending these blades was extremely difficult to use … I even broke my thumb’s fingernail trying to move one of them haha.
But this is because it is actually designed to “transform” through battle.
Imperial Layer Base Stages
There is three “stages”:
- Initial Mode: This is what the Layer is in out of the box. None of the four golden blades have been moved and none of the rubber contact points are exposed.
- Bound Blade Awakened: Two of the golden blades which are spring-loaded can now move back-and-forth.
- Rubber Blade Complete Awakening: The two other golden blades are fully retracted, exposing the two most aggressively designed rubber blades on the underside of the Layer Base. The “bound blades” are now locked into place as well.
This is difficult to test for, but I would imagine that when brand new Imperial may perform slightly less aggressively due to the rubber contact points being covered. That being said, when the “Rubber Blade Complete Awakening” is complete, the two aggressively designed exposed rubber contact points do wear down quite quickly.
Comparative testing between the different stages would be interesting to conduct, but also quite expensivie! You can’t really change Imperial page to any of the previous stages as you advance through them without risking breakages.
In Beyblade Burst Takara Tomy seems to have really taken to the idea of allowing for Beyblade parts to “evolve” over time through use. Wear has always been a factor in the game as it is a physical game between two spinning tops hitting each other at high speeds, but I’m not sure if I can remember instances in previous series where it was advertised as a feature that through usage a part could evolve over time. We’ve seen it with Drivers like Variable and we see it here with Imperial as well.
I fully support this idea, but part of me does wish they would find a way to release some of these parts individually; they’ve done it before during Metal Fight Beyblade with various parts sets that included valuable quickly wearing Bottoms like Rubber Flat and Rubber Semi Flat.
One additional notable potential downside is that Imperial does not fit tightly with pretty much any Driver I could find.
Dash Drivers do fit tighter, but the loose fit is something to watch out for when building combinations using this Layer Base especially with non-Dash Drivers.
However, I can understand why it was designed this way … it has numerous other strengths, so something had to give! And what are those strengths?
What makes Imperial good?
- Width/Size: Imperial is one of the–if not the–widest Layers in the game, and is quite bulky. This means it has a greater chance of hitting its opponents; a strong quality for an attack type.
- Weight: Hovering just below or above 30 grams with a GT Chip installed, Imperial is the heaviest Layer in the game. It surpasses Layers like Perfect Phoenix and even Zwei Diabolos.
- Attack Power: Imperial has little trouble KOing or bursting popular opponents seen in tournament play like Perfect Phoenix or Lord. Although, it does have some trouble in general with Layers like Tact and Balkesh B3.
- Impressive Stamina: Given its sheer weight, Imperial actually has quite an impressive amount of stamina for an attack Layer Base. On regular stamina Drivers like Revolve it can actually outspin a lot of things … but it gets bursted or knocked out quite easily. So, it’s probably better instead to use this stamina to your advantage by experimenting with Imperial on plastic-based attack type Drivers like Destroy’, Spiral’, or Zephyr’. Of course, it still works well on traditional attack type Drivers like Xtreme’, though.
Imperial Dragon in Action
To prove my point, I was actually (unfortunately!) victim to Imperial Dragon at the WBO tournament “Beyblade West” in Huntington Beach, CA on November 30th, 2019.
In the final match of the tournament against King Loofa, he was able to sweep me with his Imperial Odin 00 Expand Spiral’!
Check out the (painful) footage here in Zankye’s video:
While not a must for competitive players, Imperial continues the trend of extremely solid attack type Layer Bases released in 2019 for Beyblade Burst.
In comparison to something like Judgment I would say that it doesn’t pack as powerful of a punch, but the sheer size, weight, and stamina of the Layer Base more than make up for it and provide a viable new alternative for right-spin attackers.
While not a must for competitive players, Imperial continues the trend of extremely solid attack type Layer Bases released in 2019 for Beyblade Burst.
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Driver/Performance Tip: Ignition’ (Ig’)
- Weight: 39.35g
Ignition’ is the second electric Driver released by TAKARA-TOMY. It has a motorized semi-flat tip, is quite tall, and bulky due to the electronic components required to make it work. The batteries do eventually die out after extended usage, but are replaceable with a tool included with this release.
The first electric Driver was Hybrid, released in the B-153 GT Customize Set with Regalia Genesis. Hybrid was designed to propel the Beyblade forward in the same direction it was launched by motorizing the semi-flat tip.
Ignition’ however is a bit of a call back to the plastic generation’s Right Engine Gear Reverse and is able to spin its tip in both directions mid-battle!
This creates some interesting movement patterns not possible with any other Beyblades and allows for the potential of a “reverse attack” by–for instance–starting the battle moving clockwise and then suddenly moving counter-clockwise. However, the big downside is that this can kill the Beyblade’s stamina (see Universe Coffee’s video here as an example). However, because it is actually motorized/electric–unlike Right Engine Gear Reverse–it does have the opportunity to be more successful.
I can’t recommend it for competitive play, as despite the possibility for success with this gimmick, it isn’t consistent. I would encourage players to experiment with it to see what potential strategies they can come up with, and I hope to be wrong about it, but I don’t foresee it making a huge impact at tournaments.
Hybrid has a place in the metagame due to its strong same-spin stamina performance, but Ignition’ lacks this due to its gimmick. As a result, we are left with an interesting and fun Driver to play with, but one which is a bit too easy to knock out and too easy to outspin.
Update: I was proven wrong! If you wear down the tip of Ignition’ through extensive play, it becomes shorter. This helps to make Ignition’ a competitive Driver particualrly for opposite spin stamina battles.
Recommended Combination: Imperial Achilles Sting Destroy Dash
Imperial is the best part of this release, and this combination seeks to compensate for its downsides (poor tightness on most Drivers/GT Chips) while enabling it to make use of what makes it so good: its attack power and stamina.
This attack/stamina hybrid combination aims primarily to:
- Knock-out right-spin opponents
- Outspin some right-spin opponents (especially Xt+ combos) by chipping away at their stamina with strong hits if they don’t get knocked out first
- Outspin left-spin combinations with low- or mid-tier Life After Death (stamina combinations using Drivers like Atomic, or defence combinations using Drivers like Keep’)
What it won’t do consistently (or at all) is:
- Outspin top tier opposite spin stamina combinations with high Life After Death Drivers (like Bearing or Xtend Plus)
- Knock-out low recoil left-spin stamina combos consistently (such as Balkesh B3)
- Knock-out high speed attack types consistently (such as Judgment Diabolos on Xtreme’)
Why these parts?
The Achilles GT Chip is one of the few I was able to find that fit decently tight with Imperial. Dragon (Dr) does fit similarly, so this particular piece of the combination is a bit of a personal preference.
The Imperial Layer Base pairs well with the Sting Disk. Sting is four-sided and lines up well with the four rubber contact points on the underside of Imperial. Sting also has arguably the best same-spin stamina performance in the game right now, which contributes to this combinations ability to OS its opponents in the right situations.
The Destroy Dash Driver completes this combination through it’s unique combination of stamina, life after death, and attack power. It enables the combination to have a chance of evading opposing attack types, to knock-out stamina types, and to outspin some left-spin stamina types.
Imperial and Ignition’ are a reflection of the direction TAKARA-TOMY is taking the game; entering the fifth season they appear to be pulling out all of the stops as of late with the introduction of gimmicks like the electric drivers, infinite lock on Regalia Genesis and Prime Apocalypse, and inventive alternative (albeit sometimes flawed) “burst stopper” gimmicks.
While I believe TAKARA-TOMY has done well to release parts which have meaningful effects on the metagame this year–and I hope to continue seeing that from this point forward–it has come at a cost (literally). The retail price of B-154 DX Booster Imperial Dragon.Ig’ is quite high relative to normal boosters. Although, I suppose that is why it was designated as a “DX Booster”!
The Good & The Bad
+ Imperial is a legitimate threat as a right-spin attack type which differentiates itself in meaningful ways from the currently popular Judgment Layer Base.
+ The new Dragon GT Chip has excellent, thick teeth. It will be a viable new option for many different types of combinations.
+ When worn down, Ignition’ is a top tier Driver for opposite spin stamina battles.
– Imperial doesn’t fit tightly with most Drivers, which limits its use practically to Dash Drivers.
– Ignition’ when brand new isn’t a good competitively as the previously released Hybrid’ Driver, tending to kill its own stamina through the use of the reverse spin gimmick. However, it’s fun to use and perhaps it may find some yet to be discovered niche use.
– Ignition’’s battery does die down after significant use, so you will need to replace it eventually.
+/- The in-battle “permanent” transformation gimmick and wearing of the rubber pieces on the Imperial Layer Base may be a plus or minus depending on your perspective and goals while using the part.
Final Score: 8.5/10
B-154 DX Booster Imperial Dragon.Ig’ is a solid release by TAKARA-TOMY, and while it isn’t a must-buy for competitive players, its strong Layer Base, GT Chip, and fun Driver make it a welcome addition to any collection.