A-124 Driger MS
Initial Release: Summer 2003, Starter A-124 (Black)
Additional Releases: Hasbro's Driger MS Starter (Black), Sonokong's Driger MS Starter (Black), A-130 Double Shooter Set (White), Random Booster ACT 1 (Light Grey), Fukubako 2004 (Red), 5 Saint Beasts Booster (Proto-Grey), Various Tournament Recolours (Silver, Gold, Light Blue)
Bit Protector - "Small Type"
Should be noted that BP Size Type on initial release is not consistent for every cycle of production or re-release. Being reproduced the following year could mean a different BP Size Type for a given Beyblade.
Attack Ring (AR)
Metal Upper, ~20g.
Symmetrical two-sided tiger-headed Attack Ring that makes reference to its bit-beast, Driger.
Despite being the second release, Metal Upper does not suffer from a stingy weight, 20g or above is ideal for most ARs in the HMS series, and Metal Upper meets this threshold. Any AR below this weight will often struggle with, or lose to, those at or above it based on weight alone.
Best use is easily in an Attack-oriented combo that aims to knock opponents out with high-power hits.
In right-spin the prominent contact point is the thick chunk of metal that serves as a small ramp. It produces meaningful Smash Attack that can rival some of the best ARs in the HMS series.
In left-spin the primary contact point is the tiger head, more specifically the upper portion between the eye and the head-bolt. This also produces meaningful Smash Attack, and as a result, Metal Upper can be used with some success.
Left spin produces similar Smash Attack power, as mentioned, especially with the second Metal Upper mold (with a reinforced Tiger Head) but it is not as consistent, making it usable but not preferred at all. Consistency is key, and it plays a large part in making an AR competitively viable.
Notably less effective on any RC that isn't Grip Flat Core (Ultimate Version). Its performance suffers greatly when there is a lack of speed to generate momentum. Mint Grip Flat Core is acceptable for similar performance, but anything less (Metal-based RCs, Rubber Weight Core) is noticeably suboptimal for Metal Upper.
Best Potential Combo:
AR: Metal Upper (Right-Spin)
Game Plan: A standard Attack-type HMS combo, the aim of this Beyblade is to use its incredible attack power to knock the opponent out of the stadium. Sliding/Catapult Launching or Banking this combo will result in the ideal flower-pattern required to make the most of its short yet powerful life-span. The inclusion of CWD Free Defense Ring is necessary if you expect to go up against Defense combos using CWD Reverse Defense Ring or CWD God Ring, otherwise, other WDs will do fine. Getting in the opposing Beyblade's face, knocking it around, and out of the stadium, is your primary objective every time. Metal Upper, especially with some support from CWD Free Defense Ring, can give you enough power to get the job done well.
Running Core (RC)
Semi-Flat Core, ~2g.
The first 'balance' style Running Core of the HMS series.
SF Core is capable of being docile as well as mildly aggressive, this is completely dependent on how it is launched, and in some cases, how it is hit mid-battle. Compared to the later released Metal Change Core, it does a bit of a lack-luster job, though.
When launched in a standard way (straight and parallel to the stadium floor), SF Core will tend to be more passive, with conservative movement around the center of the stadium.
When launched aggressively using Sliding/Catapult or Bank launch, it is capable of spinning closer to the stadium's Tornado Ridge, and slightly flower patterning. While it certainly isn't perfect, it was a decent enough start to the series as far as hybridized RCs were concerned.
Similar to most other RCs that sacrifice specialty for general use, SF Core's versatility simply isn't enough to make it viable against other RCs that specialize in a certain movement type. It has more survivability than a rubber-based RC, and a more aggressive pattern than a bearing-based RC, so it may be able to best certain suboptimal specialist RCs, or other jack-of-all trades types, but usually falls short, and is again, second fiddle to Metal Change Core.
Best Potential Combo:
AR: Circle Upper (Mold 1, Right-Spin)
WD: CWD Defense Ring
RC: Semi-Flat Core
Game Plan: Because SF Core is capable of being both mildly aggressive and docile, even within a single match, it is best paired with an AR like Circle Upper that is incredibly versatile. Circle Upper can take advantage of both states, being able to knock out opponents, counter their attacks, or out-spin them. In cases where you are against a Stamina or Defense oriented Beyblade, it is best to try and get as aggressive a pattern as you can with this RC to afford Circle Upper enough momentum and speed to propel the opponent out of the stadium. In a situation where you are against a legitimate Attack Beyblade, you could once again launch aggressively in hopes of scoring a knock out, or you could launch more conservatively allowing for Circle Upper to remain close to the center, avoiding incoming attacks or being saved by the wall. Realistically, though, dedicated Stamina types, Defense types or Attack types should be able to overcome this setup if you aren't lucky, so don't rely on it too heavily.