Format: Casual Golden Age (officially), Modern strongly recommended (and used by nearly everyone)
With Canadian Nationals just over 2 weeks away, everyone continued testing their teams for Nats. And like I did a couple of weeks ago, I built a team with the intent of testing out theories rather than trying to win. And for this week, I came up with…
The Team: Hulk BURP!
The basic strategy is centered around Hulk: Emerald Dawn from the GOTG set. I like to refer to his ability as “Hulk Breath” as it’s very similar to the “Breath Weapon” keyword. I’d say it’s arguably better, as you don’t need to pay energy when you attack.
The idea is to copy Hulk with Doppelganger, and attack with a bunch of them, spinning them all down to destroy everything my opponent has and just win. It can be absolute overkill.
As a backup plan (in case I didn’t get the energy for Hulk), I included Batiri Battle Stack. You may recall that I used Batiri with Doppelganger before, and it works quite well. Upgrade – Proton Cannon serves to give Batiri (or even Hulk) Overcrush when they’re big enough for it to matter.
Blob and Shriek serve for the basic one-two punch against Yuan-ti, and Mimic + Professor X (along with Resurrection) serve as ramp to get me the energy for Hulk (Batiri’s Swarm can help, but Swarm is rather slow in this meta, so I didn’t want to rely on it).
And wait, what’s this card there? Yeah, R Bifrost is in this team, and it’s not just there for the global (though it certainly helps!). It’s one of the cards I wanted to test. After trying to use it as an enabler of crazy shenanigans, I wanted to try a different approach. After all, Mutation/Polymorph saw play a fair bit, and Bifrost is essentially Mutation on steroids, even triggering “when fielded” effects. So why not use it to enable control cards to shine? Buy Shriek, use Bifrost, field a sidekick, and Shriek gets fielded instantly. And if Shriek is blanked? You can buy Blob instead. Or if you’re going for your win condition, just get whatever piece you’re missing on the field for the win. Heck, want ramp? Buy Mimic, field a sidekick, field Mimic with him copying the sidekick you just fielded. As a side note, Professor X’s global can also help trigger Bifrost if I don’t roll characters.
In short, I saw Bifrost as having the potential to bring lots of utility. So if Yuan-ti’s going to kick my butt, I’ll at least test a cool theory while I’m at it!
With that said, onwards to my certain doom! (or so I thought)
So game 1, against C Boom Boom + U Morph shenanigans. This one went nasty pretty quickly…for my opponent. I bought Bifrost early, and Bifrost worked like a charm, along with Mimic ramp. By turn 6, I had Hulk on the field (thanks Mimic!), some Batiris for extra damage, and the highest toughness on his board was 2. I just swung in (using Hulk’s ability to wipe his board) for the win before he could deal anywhere near lethal damage.
As I expected, I ran into one of the SR Yuan-ti teams. Expecting a bloodbath, I came in with control. Blob, Shriek (fielded when purchased thanks to Bifrost) dealing with whatever I could, trying to slow him down while I bought all my Batiris and some Doppelgangers (never got to my Hulk). My team’s pacing caught him off guard, I think. After all, who expects an instant Blob to just screw up your next turn? He was hurting me still, but not fast enough. At some point, I got his field lean enough and swung in with five 6A/6D Batiris and Doppelgangers and he simply didn’t have enough blockers to stop me by that point. I (barely) outpaced him and won. I think in that game, I managed to buy and field a Batiri and a Doppelganger on the final turn thanks to Bifrost, giving me just enough characters to win.
And of course, after playing one Yuan-ti team, I was paired up against the other. This matchup was really rough, because my bag control was terrible. I used her Heimdall, and regretted it all game long, as it made it so that I had to roll sidekicks along with Bifrost rather than use PXG’s global. That just didn’t happen most of the time (though once, I did accidentally reroll a sidekick I should’ve kept; d’oh!). Despite this, I managed to lock down Pseudodragon, and eventually Shriek Yuan-ti. By then, though, I had almost lost. With 1 life left, I had one roll where I could’ve won (she had Madame Masque on the field, but I already had Doppelganger on the field copying Hulk), as I could’ve bought a Doppelganger and fielded another Doppelganger with Bifrost active, leading to 3 Doppelgangers copying my active Hulk and 8 damage to her board while I swing in with a bunch of huge characters…but the Doppelganger I was rolling didn’t come up on a character face, so I couldn’t get the strategy to fire off. She won the following turn. It was close though!
My final game of the night was against Fixit. I actually got Hulk out turn 4, getting ready to wipe his board with Hulk + Doppelgangers. He realized that I could control the heck out of him by Bifrost-ing in stuff, so he went for Green Devil Mask…and I misplayed badly one turn (I forgot GDM was in his bag), leading to most of my board getting removed. Thankfully, I recovered quickly (again, thanks to Bifrost fielding from Used), and before his Fixit hit the field, Doppelgangers copied Hulk and swung in, leading to tons of damage and a win for my final game of the night.
-So it turns out that R Bifrost is good…really good. I bought it every game, and it saved my bacon so many times. So hurrah, I was right in thinking that it can work!…But I was completely, hopelessly wrong about how to use it before. Before this week, I kept trying to make it work as a jackhammer, a way to enable one giant attack to win. But really, it’s best when you buy it early (T1 or T2), and just use it to bring out what you want, when you want it. It won’t seem like much at first, but it’s a life saver in the long run.
-Instead of aiming for a giant character like Hulk, I think Bifrost is easier to use when going for mid-range characters (2 to 4 cost) or characters you get via Fabricate. Getting 7 energy plus Bifrost plus fielding a character all on the same turn is not something you want to rely on.
-This team, as it is built, is extremely vulnerable to Wonder Woman: Reflections, and Madame Masque. If I were to use these pieces in a more competitive context, I would not load this team this full of “when fielded” effects (or “when attacks” in the case of Hulk) like I did here.
-That Hulk is awesome, and copying it with Doppelganger is tons of fun, but I needed a self-KO or some spin-up mechanic to use his ability reliably. If I had that, maybe I could’ve won game 3.
-I won against SR Yuan-ti once, and almost twice, but I don’t see this team as a YT killer. This team gave YT a nasty fight almost single-handedly thanks to Bifrost bringing in control pieces on a dime. One time, I Blob’d Pseudodragon as it was about to show up the following turn. I suspect my opponent didn’t like me.
Overall, I loved playing this team. Hulk may seem silly, but he’s genuinely strong in the right context. Don’t sleep on that card. And R Bifrost? Now that I finally figured out how to use it properly, it’s not the last time you’ll see me use it, I can assure you.