Gang of Swarmers

Casual Thursday Constructed: Golden Age allowed, Modern recommended

For my first team of 2018, I wanted to use some fun shenanigans with the new Doppelganger from Tomb of Annihilation.

The team

The goal is to use Doppelganger to copy Black Lantern Anti-Monitor (a.k.a. BLAM, hence why I originally called this “Army of BLAM”), attack with several of them, making my opponent lose massive amounts of life, all the while having to block some beefy attackers. Alternatively, copying Gold Dragon, with its strong stats, is a worthy secondary strategy.

Batiri Battle Stack serves as ramp to get to those 6-costs. And I figured being able to copy them with Doppelganger to boost their stats a bit might be fun. (it ended up being better than I could’ve thought!)

Birdsong was also there as another alternative target for Doppelganger; buffing my characters for each attacking Birdsong (or Doppelganger) can be quite helpful!

Shriek for blanking, Scarlet Witch for action hate, Green Devil Mask for added removal (and to lure opponents into buying their Scarlet Witch), Haymaker as a way of using any extra fists, and Resurrection for a bit of early-game ramp.

Game 1:

I started up against an Alfred/Fabricate team with removal to limit my number of blockers. I started the game going for my Battle Stacks for ramp. She quickly set up Triceratops (to remove sidekicks) and Alfreds and easily fabricated her 4 Stone Golems. So rather than go for the big bruisers, I got all my Battle Stacks and copied them with Doppelgangers. The Battle Stacks and Doppelgangers ended being as big as the bruisers would’ve been, and I overwhelmed her with large numbers.

Game 2:

This time, up against Bolt Ring. My opponent’s unlucky rolls prevented him from setting up adequately. I went for Gold Dragon (none of his characters had more than 3 defense) and a few other pieces, and swung in, with Breath Weapon active, for lethal damage before his Lantern Ring could deal me damage.

Game 3:

This one, versus Ultraman. I went for Scarlet Witch early, and he simply could not adequately respond. I managed to set up Battle Stacks and Doppelganger (by that point, it was pretty clear that this was the best approach), and I swung in with a swarm (pun intended) of 7-8 attack Battle Stacks for the win.

The tournament officially ended there, and I finished 3-0.

Bonus Round

We did a fourth round for fun, and I was up against SR Jubilee+Cube. I went for Shriek and Scarlet Witch to disturb Jubilee and Cosmic Cube, forcing my opponent to devote his blankers to them both while I set up Battle Stacks and Doppelgangers. Again, I overwhelmed him through sheer numbers and won.

 

Post-mortem:

  • Doppelganger was hardly used on my big bruisers at all. Using him to copy Battle Stacks was amply sufficient to deal lethal damage.
  • Using a cheap way to tie up blockers (Casey Jones or Madame Web) would likely have been helpful.
  • This same concept (Doppelganger gives you more of an aggressive character) could be used with lots of different cards. Doppelganger really opens the door to some fun shenanigans.
  • Batiri Battle Stack is very aggressive for a 2-cost with Swarm. I’m impressed at how much damage those can deal!

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