The lack of WWE in Calgary (still… WTF???) meant that jank night was in full effect tonight at Metal Galaxy. The challenge for this build was to build your Team so that your card titles loop using their starting and ending letters. The last letter in the title of your first card must be the first letter of the title of your next card. Repeat the process until you get to your last card, which must end in the same letter as the first letter of your first card. Basic Action Cards were exempt from this rule, but you were welcome to try to do it if you wanted to.
So, something like this is really difficult to decide on the starting point… at least it was for me. I decided to further restrict myself with this by using only Modern legal cards. I left my Team build up to the Wheel of Fate and clicked on the choose random card from the Team Builder. This was what I would be starting with:
I can honestly say that I have never looked twice at this card. That is all going to change tonight though. Red Hood’s ability seems to pair best with some way of clearing out Blockers. If I could figure out a way to wipe them from existence, while also giving him something like Overcrush, I think I have a decent win condition. That immediately brought two cards to mind:
If I am up against a Villain-based Team, the Overcrush thing is easy. Martian Manhunter will give all of my stuff Overcrush. Now that that box is checked, let’s move to the next part of the plan: Staff of the Forgotten One. Now I have a combo. Have an Overcrushing Red Hood attack and hopefully KO everything to have all of the Overcrush damage go through, while keeping him around for the next turn.
Easy peasy… right?
Well… in theory it is. Now to start working on my loop de loop.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Loop De Loop: Red Hood Edition.
So, the loop is actually already started here. Martian ManhunteR links directly to Red HooD. Now, I need to work my way over to Staff of the Forgotten OnE.
Since I was dependent on my Opponent having Villains, I needed a Villain-maker in case they don’t bring any. In Modern there are not may options, so I chose to throw in Danger RooM (immediately linking to Red Hood). My M slot was actually easy, as I needed a Ramp option… and I also had a plan here to get to the Staff.
MimiC made the cut because of his letters and he can be an excellent source of Ramp. This is where I found my bridge to the Staff. Casey JoneS was chosen purely for his starting and ending letters here. His Global would also be useful to ensure something blocked Red Hood when needed. Now I am linked to the Staff and need to find an E card. I dove into Team Builder and found a few options. I settled on Earth X Machine MaN here mostly because I didn’t love my other options and I have never used him.
For my final card, I needed something that started with N and ended in M to complete the loop. Again, there were not a ton of options here… but one actually looked like it could work with the Team. I threw on the uncommon Nova Corps UniforM to protect some of my characters (mostly Red Hood) from being pinged off from the Danger Room Global.
I did try and include the BAC’s in my loop, but it sent me down a path I did not want to go. So, I chickened out and went with Resurrection for Ramp and Cone of Cold to make my Red Hood damage better.
For better or for worse, this is the Team. Let’s see how it ran.
First game of the night and I am up against THAT Iceman and Zombie Magneto. Good thing I have the Uncommon Nova Corps on the Team to keep Iceman at bay. Too bad I forgot that fact until literally the last turn of the game. Between Iceman damage and my inability to roll Sidekicks naturally, I had a hard time getting to Martian Manhunter. I was able to control Magneto with Staff and his Unstable Cannister. By the time I realized my error with Iceman, I was long dead.
Beholders with discount Globals to buy Purple Worms. This time, I got to Martian Manhunter early, but struggled to get Red Hood (go figure). I let the first Worm through and took the punch to the face. Then my Opponent realized I had the Casey Jones Global to throw Sidekicks in front of his Worm. So much for keeping those in the Field from now on. I did manage to set up the combo and had Danger Room and Staff come out at the same time. However, Staff did not roll and I got Madame Webbed the next turn. It was also at this point, that we realized that my combo would not work if they blocked with everyone.
If Red Hood having Overcrush is conditional to my Opponent having a Villain and I clear out their Field with Staff/Red Hood… Red Hood no longer has Overcrush as the Blockers were cleared out before combat damage was dealt… oops.
Maybe my next Opponent will not catch this flaw.
Bye! My Opponent did indeed miss the flaw in my combo.
This was by no means an optimized Team build due to the limitations of the Format. However, it was a really fun exercise in Team Building. In retrospect, I wish I had not put the Modern limitation on myself. We’ll see why later.
So, the Rare Red Hood has some shenanigan potential and I think my shenanigan plan was right. However, the tools were wrong for what I wanted to do. Opening this up to Golden gives me more access to what I would need to make it work.
Subbing Uncommon Gorilla Grodd from GAF instead of Martian Manhunter would be the first thing I would change. Same effect, but there are no conditions on the Overcrush. Cone of Cold was fine and would work with this strategy. Staff of the Forgotten One is great as well, but there are options like the Uncommon Danger Room or Seething Corruption that could work as well. Pick your poison here.
If I stuck with Staff (which I probably would), I would be tempted to keep the Nova Corps for a cheap source of fists. You could also go with Batiri, Kree Soldiers/Captains… whatever suits your tastes. Maybe the Captain would make sense here as you gain the Global to discount Grodd?
If Fists are a part of the new plan, for sure Atlas makes the cut over Resurrection. Again with the Fist synergy, I would be tempted to bring Goblin Attack Force for the force block Global (a little upgrade over Casey Jones).
Mimic Ramp would still be helpful for this Team, but dear lord does he need a Sidekick maker of some type. I could not reliably roll Sidekick tonight. Not having another way to make Sidekicks just hurt Mimic all night. If I am going at this again with Mimic, I am for sure throwing in that tool.
So, this wasn’t so much a post-mortem on the Team I played tonight, but more of a “how would I make this work better for Round 2” thing. There will absolutely be a Round 2 with this. The idea of this combo intrigues me and I feel the need to make it fire. I’ll definitely be taking this down the Golden path the next time I try it though.
The Format itself is also something I would encourage people to try. It makes for some difficult choices when you know your cards need to link together. You will sometimes include something just to bridge yourself to another card… even if you have no intention of using it.
What changes would you make to actually make the Red Hood combo viable? Have you ever built a Team only to realize part was through playing it that it does not work how you thought it would? If you give the Loop De Loop Format a try, share your Team build. You can share all of this in the comments below if you feel so inclined.
Thanks for reading!