Numbers Game

So this was the week our local scene did the Birth Date Numbers Format.  Basically, players are only eligible to use cards where the last two digits of the Collector Numbers match one of the month (1-12), day of month (1-31), or year (actually, the last two digits of the year) the player was born.  It was Golden Age, because this format is plenty restrictive to begin with, and we’re not insane.  Well, not completely insane.

What Did You Play?

The Team:  Numbers Team.

The numbers I had to work with were 1 (and 101), 10 (and 110), and 65.

The best offensive option I saw among those options was Ant-Man: Petty Theft.  A solid, usable card to be sure, but not one to leave my opponents quaking in fear.

    

Of course, I need a way to spin Ant-Man up.  The go to method to trigger Awaken has been the Energy Field global since Justice came out, but I don’t have access to Energy Field in this format ( Its collector number is 66, I have 65 – missed it by *that* much.)

Fortunately, I do have access to other cards with spin up abilities,  Angel can give me the option to spin up a character every time I use an action die, and Cable can spin up *all* my character dice (that aren’t already at Level 3) if I can get his Energize effect to trigger.

The promo version of Focus Power has a Collector Number of 10, so it was an easy add.  On an Awaken team being able to spin characters down from Level 3 is very useful.  And there is some nice synergy with Angel – Ant-Man comes out at Level 3?  Spin him down with Focus Power and back up with Angel’s ability – Level 3 unblockable.

 

The Uncommon Nova Corps Uniform and the Rare Goliath were the next two cards added.  The ability on the former was basically irrelevant to me – what mattered was it was a low cost fist action die.  I could use the action to trigger Angel’s ability and if the dice came up energy I could use them for the Goliath global.

The prospect of my getting cheap Goliath dice might deter an opponent from being too enthusiastic about using globals, but Goliath was primarily on the team for the global.

Storm was another Awaken character I had access to, so she went on the team as a potential removal option.  Blink Dog seemed like a possibility for potentially inflicting a useful amount of burn damage.

I’d thought about including the Rare S.T.A.R. Labs on the team, but when I heard Jourdo would bringing Gobby, I decided against including it.  So I went with the recent promo Black Widow as my final character and Aftershock as my second Basic Action.

Let’s see how well it worked.

Game 1:

Control pieces and characters that buffed other characters.  Sage, Shriek: Sonic Beam and Joker: Clown Prince of Crime for the first.  Plague Marine: Vectors of Death and Disease and Gnome Ranger: Master Lords Alliance for the second.

Blink Dog was one of my first purchases this game, which proved to be a serious mistake.  I did get some damage from Blink Dog, helped by the fact my opponent had to draw Shriek six times before he actually landed her on a character face.  But eventually he got her out and blanked Blink Dog.

He had Gnome Ranger and Plague Marine out, so all his attacking characters were at least 3A, so letting anything through was a strategy with a very limited shelf life.  He was attacking with two or three characters almost every turn, and I kept having to scramble to find blockers.

Two problems with that:  First, he also had Sage out which meant I was paying quite a bit to refield KO’d characters every turn.  Second, his Gnome Ranger was getting a ton of Experience tokens – it’s an Adventurer, and I kept having to block with Blink Dog, who is a Monster.  Between coming out on Level 3 and the Experience tokens his Gnome Ranger had a double digit A by game’s end.

This was a game I wasn’t going to win without a very lucky turn on both draw and roll, and it didn’t happen.

0-1

Game 2:

This was against the group’s resident youngster, who we don’t require to pay attention to the special build rules on Jank nights, so she was running an X-Men team with characters from the new X-Men Forever campaign box.

I used the Angel/Focus Power combo to send an unblockable Ant-Man through on two separate occasions, once for 7, once for 8 (after buffs from the Goliath global).

She wasn’t very aggressive, although she did attack with the four Sidekick dice she had in the field the turn after I bought a Shockwave die.

I got a little bit cute to get to lethal – she was at 5 life when I rolled Shockwave on a burst face with Angel and a Level 1 Ant-Man in my field.  I used the Shockwave global on my Ant-Man, then used Shockwave (which did NOT knock Ant-Man out, since he was protected from the use of the global),  Since it was on burst, Shockwave knocked her life down to 2, and when I spun Ant-Man up with Angel’s ability, he became unblockable, and his 3A was enough to finish the game.

1-1

Game 3:

Red Hood who gets +1A for each other attacking character die, Black Widow who buffs other characters when fielded, and Gnome Ranger who buffs other attacking character dice.

I managed to get two Ant-Man dice in the field on Level 2, then get Cable on double bolt with a bunch of fists, allowing me to bring the total damage that turn up to 14.

Of course, that meant there were two less dice in my field to block with on his subsequent turn.  He used that advantage to keep whittling away at my life total.

With a Level 3 Ant-Man and an Angel in my field, I pulled a Focus Power die and landed it on my re-roll.  With a slight buff from the Goliath global, that got me to lethal.

Very fortunate for me, because with a Black Widow die in my opponent’s Prep Area, I was highly skeptical of my ability to survive my opponent’s next turn, had the game reached that point.

2-1

Game 4:

I squeezed in one last, quick unoffical game against our out of town visitor.  He was running Guy Gardner – Blinding Rage and the Sidekick stealing Blob.

Once he got all four Guy dice out on Level 3 it didn’t last long.  Every actual character on my team costs at least 3, and with Blob preventing me from using Sidekicks to make up the slack, I was at a serious disadvantage.

2-2

Post-Mortem:

Perhaps it was short sighted of me given everyone was operating from a highly limited card pool, but I was surprised how aggro-heavy the event turned out to be.  In most of my games, my opponents wound up attacking with at least some of their fielded characters almost every turn.

I could have included

on my team, but I opted not to, given he’s something of a double-edged sword.  A choice I came to regret, since Speedball has the potential to clear an opponent’s field when you block with him.  You’ll likely wipe your own field too, but since you did it while blocking, you’ll get the opportunity to roll and re-field your KO’d characters before your opponent.

I never got Storm’s ability to fire once on the night, but much of that was because when I had bolts, I tended to go straight to buying Cable dice.  Which may not have been the best strategy – a lot of my characters were getting KO’d quite frequently, and Energize isn’t much use when you don’t have characters in your Field Zone at the beginning of your turn.

I never actually used the Nova Corps Uniform action, although I did use the fist energy from those dice for the Goliath global on multiple occasions.  But were I to run this team again, I’d give serious thought to replacing Nova Corps Uniform with a 2-cost character, preferably a fist.

I never bought any Goliath dice.  My Round 1 opponent was running Villainous Pact and Resurrection as his BACs, and he used them enough I could have bought a Goliath die, but he also had Sage in his field for essentially the entire game, and Goliath’s fielding costs are brutal before you take the Sage tax into account.  So I passed.

As for the event itself, I quite enjoyed it.  Although I had not realized half my local scene has December birthdays – what’s up with that?

Anyhow we saw a few old favorites (terrors?) of yesteryear like Gobby and Blinding Rage get some dust shaken off of them, and a few other interesting but seldom seen cards show up.  It has some rough edges – particularly with the availability of BACs to people born mid-month (between the 13th and the 24th), but if your group is looking for a change of pace from regular Constructed I recommend you give this a try.

Do you have a favorite non-Standard format?  Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!

Son of L

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