Santa decided to leave some Orks under the Christmas Tree for me. I looked through this final set of cards from the Warhammer 40K set and Ork Boy stood out for me. He reminded me immediately of Alfred from World’s Finest. One of my favourite Alfred Teams was Pennyburn.
Ork Boy looked like an opportunity to bring Pennyburn back with an Orkish flair. A big part of the original Pennyburn Team was the common Doctor Doom from the original AVX set.
The way it worked was that Doctor Doom would auto-KO any non-Villain with a defense of 1. This worked for Alfred and would also work for Ork Boy. The only difference here is that where Alfred would eventually not re-roll, Ork boy will always return to the Field.
This brought the concept of the “infinite combo” to my mind. Use this ability to either burn my opponent to the ground or buff something to insane damage levels.
Now some of you will realize that this actually brings about the first ever unstoppable infinite combo. Ork Boy and Doom put the game into a loop where nothing else can happen.
This brought about some immediate discussion on Facebook and Discord as to what happens if these cards hit the table together. Wizkids in surprising fashion, came back with an answer quickly and instituted a new meta rule that states,
1) If a static effect and an applied effect interact to create an infinite loop, and none of the cards creating this loop affect any other players or cards, the loop will repeat 3 times and then the applied effect will not repeat (regardless of if any other external effects are triggering off the interaction – they will only trigger the 3 times).
2) If there’s an infinite loop that neither player could select to stop, the game stops the loop after it triggers 3 times.
Now, this clears up the Ork Boy/Doom issue, but appeared to create some confusion about cards outside the combo. The big question was how cards like The Hulk worked here. In theory every instance of Ork Boy KO’ing would deal 1 damage to your opponent thanks to Hulk. With this card in play, there is no longer an infinite loop. However, the ruling states that cards outside the loop are not considered in ending the loop and the “3 Time Rule” takes effect.
Some agree with this, some do not. Unfortunately, we have not heard the “official” clarification from Wizkids on this specific situation (even though it has been asked).
As this is a little open to debate, I decided to take this to our local weekly event and see how people would play this (who may not know the new rule). I was going to leave this open and let the guys play it however they wanted to, but I wanted to see how things worked both ways.
However, my group is on the ball and they all knew about the “3 Time Rule”. Regardless, I wanted to see this play out.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Orky Doom
You see the core of the Team above. Hulk would be feeding some burn to my Opponent. Maybe infinite… maybe 4 per Ork per instance. I needed some ways to get to Hulk though. Thrown Brick, Resurrection, and Blue-Eyes were the core to that.
Ork Nob serves two purposes on this Team. First, he allows Ork Boy to do his thing. Secondly, he gets a ridiculous defensive buff with each KO. With the Ant-man Global, this now becomes a legitimate attacking threat. To round out this option, I added in Grodd for his Global… and just in case.
I really only had one slot left here, and the final piece of the puzzle came to me late today. Doom was the problem with the infinite combo and if there was a way to remove him, maybe the infinite part of the combo ends and it becomes possible. Enter Batma… I mean Bruce Wayne.
Every time Ork Boy KO’s, Bruce must deal 2 damage to SOMETHING. You start by clearing out the opposing Field, and then you eventually have to target Doom. Bringing the loop to an end.
Now, this either works as planned… or falls under the “3 Time Rule” and you get limited board clear with his ability.
Let’s see how this mess ran.
Hilariously enough, this first game was against Ork Boy OK shenanigans. He was using Aquaman as the damage source with Retaliation, giving him the Ork Affiliation with Infiltrate. His KO mechanic was lots and lots of Fabrication. Defensively, he brought Iron Fist to reduce ability damage by 1 and Bishtraction to bounce attackers back. Basically everything needed to neuter my Team.
My Doom made his combo more difficult to pull off as he could not control the KO as he planned. However, his Retaliation combo hit early. We discussed that he should have won right then and there. I still believe he should have, but we played it the “3 Time Rule”. I got my side set up, but Hulk could not deal damage because of Iron Fist, and Bruce took a while to take him out. I did get some damage through, but his Orks did their work.
Clever use of Shocking Grasp to KO Grey Hunter and deal damage across the board. The clever part was using SR Beholder to make this effect really crazy and teaming it up with UC Absorbing Man. In theory, with a perfect set-up, one trigger should deal out 8 damage. We played the “3 Times Rule” from the start here. I focused more on the Orks and Bruce in this one. When Doom hit the Field, it helped trigger enough damage from Bruce to clear the Field. This is where I learned it was important to read the cards carefully. I thought Ork Nob got the buff from MY characters KO’ed. Turns out it is for ANY characters KO’ed. That turn, I lost 5 characters and he lost 5 characters. Ork Nob was sitting at 22D. With a single Fist, that was now 22A. OTK.
Against our young player. No crazy combos here. Straight up purchasing of characters slowly. I tried to slow down the game and walk her through her decisions here, but she wanted to field her stuff no matter what. I won with Bruce clearing the path for stats. Nothing fancy.
While I still fundamentally disagree with the way this “3 Turn Rule” is interpreted, I am now a little more understanding of it. I am still of the mindset that something that breaks the loop should be considered. So, things like Hulk, Retaliation, and Bruce should work. However, that is up to Wizkids to clarify.
Having said that, even with the “3 Times Rule” in effect, Ork Boy is still an effective tool to trigger a large amount of damage. The Retaliation/Fabrication version I faced was a much cleaner use of this ability than what I ran. His did not depend on infinite jank, but could kill you in one turn when the dice aligned. It was really impressive.
Ork Nob was the surprise for me tonight. I knew I could potentially get him big, but when I realized that he counted opposing KO’s as well, I realized how big he could get. He might be fun to try on a Staff Team to see how much of a finisher he could be.
Infinite game breaking combos are not healthy for the game. I applaud Wizkids for answering this question so quickly for the good of the game. However, there is still a little work to do here. They need to fully clarify how things that COULD end the loop actually work.
I still feel that these cards should be allowed to work. It keeps the game simple in my view. A loop that cannot end is bad and should be limited. A loop that can end is not a problem in my eyes. That is my personal opinion, but does not seem to be the interpretation of the rule though. It is not the first time I question rulings, and will not be the last time.
I really hope Wizkids finishes this ruling and make it black and white.
What are your thoughts? Have you thrown caution to the wind and decided to see what the Ork KO engine can do? We’d like to hear what you’ve done with these guys. How do you feel about the new meta rule that is in effect? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!
As always… Thanks for reading!