Well, now that Canadian Nationals is behind us, I’ve decided to go after a fun idea I’ve had for a while. What if you run R Collector, but steer clear of the usual suspects? What shenanigans can you get to?
For clarity: when building, I challenged myself to steer clear of SR Norman Osborn, Shriek (all versions), and Black Canary, so that I would be forced to experiment with other cards.
Eventually, it led to…
A Collection Of Misfits
The Team: Keeping Cool and Collected.
Format: Casual Golden Age (Modern recommended)
Ok, clearly The Collector is intended to be the centrepiece here. I especially wanted to see how he worked with two cards: Toad and Parasite. Toad, when brought in with Collector on the opponent’s turn, can be a one-sided taunt with the potential to remove a large chunk of their board. Parasite, on the other hand, can show up right before the attack step to shut down an Iceman, or Dragons, a Canary, and so forth.
Kudos to JT, who used this Parasite on his Top 4 team at Canadian Nationals, and suggested using him with Collector over on Discord. Our discussion is what inspired this build.
But wait…all that this team is, at this point, is control. How do I win? I decided to go for 2 strategies: the first is to use Avalanche for removal and use Kree Captain, hopefully ludicrously huge by that point, for massive combat damage. Alternatively, Villainous Pact should be able to neutralize most of my opponent’s blockers, which would also allow my Kree Captains to deal some damage. It also helps that Pact gives me ramp and churn, very useful in the early game.
To counter potential threats to my win condition, I went for Blob (to stop GDM, the obvious way to hurt this team), and Wrecker (to protect against Static Field). I didn’t want to focus on using him to counter Iceman; I was going out of my way to experiment with Parasite, after all.
The other two cards were utility: Dark Beast was there to see if using forcing my opponents to attack into him to trigger Corrupt is worth it. Power Almighty was there for ramp; it feels like it should be strong enough to be used, but I never find a spot for it in most of my teams. Figured I’d try.
And with that said, on to the games!
I started off against C Hulk. He kept a lean field, so I bought some cheap villains, and Collector’d in Kree Captain for some early damage. I also brought in Blob to counter the GDM he purchased quickly. And then my Collector got Shriek’d, with no Shriek on my end. So I pivoted by going for Parasite, taking Hulk’s abilities, and charging in. We were trading damage for a while, but his lean field ended up being his downfall, and I did enough damage to win.
This time, I faced off against Dragons. Let’s just say Parasite earned his keep. Collector hit the field early, as he went for his win condition (seeing as he had the more aggro build). And then I Parasite’d his dragon before his attack. Which, of course, I would follow up by bringing Parasite in on my turn and using my opponent’s Breath Weapon against him while attacking with several smaller characters. He had a hard time getting damage in, and I was swinging hard with Parasite and other cheap characters. I kept this up and won.
Next up, I faced off against Iceman. Another case of Blob giving GDM the middle finger. When Collector hit the field, I got 10 damage in one turn through Kree Cap and a Dark Beast. Afterwards, I’d use Collector to bring Parasite in before my opponent’s attack step. Her Shriek simply wouldn’t roll, which didn’t help. Even where my opponent could’ve gotten rid of Parasite with Magic Missile, it would’ve cost her bolts which she needed. She decided it wasn’t worthwhile. I eventually brought Toad in with Collector and used her own Magic Missile global to thin out her field and sneak in the damage I needed to win.
To finish off the evening, I went up against an old-school Golden Age sidekick rush team. Falcon: Recon, used with Wongs and all that jazz. He even brought me old-school PXG, so I hardly used my bag all game. This was a fascinating puzzle. He Shriek’d Collector, and brought in SR Groot to buff his characters’ defense (seeing that my Avalanche was his main threat). I built up a big wall of characters and charged in to get my Dark Beasts KO’d, and he kept not having quite enough damage to win. Eventually, I fielded Parasite with Avalanche active, taking his Groot’s text (and thus taking away his defensive buff). 1 damage to his board, sidekicks are gone. Then a Dark beast. 2 damage, his Shriek and some Wongs are gone (my Collector is now free!). Collector in another villain. 3 damage. Everything he has is gone except Groot. This gave me just the opening I needed, and I swung in with everything, dealing enough damage to win.
-Toad didn’t work that well with Collector tonight, but that was in part because Parasite was simply better. Mind you, Toad would have come in very handy against, say, a Boom Boom + Hope build, or Collector control, or something else that strongly relies on a single affiliation. But in tonight’s matches, he was only relevant once.
-Parasite, on the other hand, was my absolute MVP. Defensively and offensively, he was so versatile that on the same game, he saved me from defeat one turn and allowed me to attack for the win two turns later. Definitely one to watch.
-The team had way too many 4-costs. I didn’t buy Wrecker or Power Almighty all evening. Should’ve put Outsider (for the global) instead of Power Almighty for sure.
-For anyone who didn’t know: R Avalanche is pretty darn good when things fall into place. I keep wishing he’d make it into competitive play, but he’s just one of those good cards that doesn’t have a meta build to be in.
-Because Toad didn’t get used that much, Dark Beast’s ability was never relevant. But holy heck did the cheap fists and cheap body help. Should’ve run the Dark Beast with Infiltrate though; would’ve been more relevant.
Overall, that was a fun and interesting build. Gives me some useful lessons learned for the future. Following the same rules I did, what would you do with Collector? Feel free to discuss in the comments. Until next week, keep on rolling.