Five By Five

Another interesting variant based on an off-hand comment at the end of the previous week.  While discussing on the formats for this week, someone suggested we play with only 5 cost characters.  He called it 5 by 5.  When we announced it on the Facebook Page, it was brought to our attention that if we were calling it 5 by 5, we should only have 5 cards (not counting BAC’s) on our Team.  Made sense.  We increased the challenge of the build by banning the OG Professor X and Rare Collector.  As was said, we didn’t want any crutches available for this one.

This made for an interesting challenge.  5 cards, all 5 cost.  There were lots of choices available here.  Dragons?  Nah… too easy with Silver Dragon.  Warriors 3?  Nah… been there, done that.  Joker?  I don’t want to be THAT guy.

As I was having a lot of trouble narrowing down what I wanted to play, I decided to let fate take over.  I let the Team Builder select my first card for me randomly.  From there it would be up to me.  Here is what the Fates gave me to work with:

Yeah.  Seriously.  This is the first card that came up.  I kinda felt bad starting here as it is a pretty good starting point.  However, that is what I said I was going to do… so I stuck with it.

What Did You Play?

The Team:  A Cop And His Bats.

So, obviously the wincon here is to field Batman and hopefully clear out the Opponent’s Field to swing in hard.  For this to work the best, I needed Batman to be big and maximize my chances at forcing a big reroll.  The best odds of that happening was to have Batman on his Villain side to force the non-Villains (Sidekicks) to reroll.  This is where Ra’s al Ghul came in.  His Global would help strip away the Villain Affiliation if I played against a mixed Team.  Otherwise, I could just Flip Batman if needed.  That solved problem 1.

Problem 2 (the big Bat) was solved with Bat’s buddy Jim.  This Gordon gave me a tool to Field Batman on level 3 for the cost of 2 fists, thanks to his Vengeance ability and built in Global.  The best part of this combo was, I could trigger it on my Opponent’s Turn.  Shenanigans achieved!

Now 3/5 cards are taken up with my combo.  I put in the Golem for a way to remove Batman if needed.  Also the fists would synergize well with what I was trying to achieve.

The last slot was the tricky one.  My first plan was to use Adam Warlock to double the Bat Ability, but I realized the chances of me buying all of those dice in my games was low.  My other consideration was that Wonder Woman Reflections would wreck me.  For that reason, and for the reason that I have never played this card… I added in Web Shooters.  A nice 5 cost version of Kryptonite.

Ramp was essential here, so Rez and Thrown Brick were there to help out.

Let’s see how she ran.

Game 1:

This match was against some Defenders.  Iron Fist was teamed up with Instant War for some nice burn damage.  I struggled to ramp properly in this game so I was slow to buy my pieces, but eventually it happened.  He got an early swing in with Iron Fist for 8 damage with some Instant War shenanigans.  Gordon did his job by calling in the Bat to clear the way.  It took a couple Bats in the Field to accomplish this, but it eventually worked.

1-0

Game 2:

Mirror match!  Same Gordon, but a different Bat.  This one was the one that gets buffed by Sidekicks and gains Overcrush with Villains.  His game plan was the same as mine.  His Gordon rolled.  Mine didn’t.  His Bats came out fast and furious.  I could not put my engine together in this one and lost to a Big Bat-Punch to the face.

1-1

Game 3:

This guy was using the available Gate characters to build his army quickly.  It was actually pretty efficient.  He started to get his available characters pretty quick thanks to some good rolls.  I was able to get Gordon out and managed to pull the Bat on their turn trick.  That was fun.  The Bat-Attack was too much though as it helped keep his field thin.

2-1

Post-Mortem:

This was actually pretty fun limiting the Teams this much.  Granted, the build was a little slow as if you missed out on your 5 energy, you were screwed.  That happened a few times to me where I sat on 4 useless energy.

Bat/Gordon was really good together.  It was super effective, and the ability to remove character on their turn is great.  I might have to try this out again on a full build some other time.

Wonder Woman never showed up, so Web Shooters was shooting blanks.  Ra’s was also not needed, but I think is a valuable tool with the Bat.  For this format, I didn’t really need the Fabricate option.  Like Ra’s, I would keep this on future version of this Team.

An interesting engine here and worked pretty well on this Team.

What would you do with only 5 cards that cost 5 energy each?

Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

– jourdo

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