Twas the Thursday before Nats, when all through the store
Strong teams all about; their fangs they all bore
Iceman, Atom, and Fixits everywhere
Running a quirky team, oh no one would dare
So I sprang out with Team Up, to break up the pace
Not hoping to win, merely to save face
But to my surprise and that of my friends
The team worked quite well despite odds and ends
So if you don’t like Team up, then it is a pity
Because it’s time to…
Return to Parasite City
Now, I make no claim of originality on this concept. Jourdo ran this exact combo a while ago. I always wanted to try my own take on it though, and tonight seemed as good a night as any.
The core combo involves using Yuan-ti, Parasite and Team Up. Pretty straightforward. Have both Yuan-ti and Parasite active, use Team Up, both characters get huge, and you attack with Yuan-ti, made stronger by Parasite. Since both are buffed by Team Up, it’s pretty easy to get 20 damage or close to with enough affiliations active.
Speaking of affiliations, we need a bunch of them. The 1-cost Parasite is an obvious fit, as is the OP Black Widow. Both are inexpensive, give me access to two unique affiliations each, and Widow’s ability, while not crazy, is still relevant in the meta. I also threw in Dreadnaught; he also gives me two affiliations, and he gives me removal as well. Between these three, Parasite and Yuan-ti, that’s 9 affiliations already. Yikes!
I couldn’t rely solely on affiliations. I needed some control. I went for Blob to try to counter the ever-annoying Green Devil Mask, this team’s main weakness. He also gives me the Brotherhood affiliation, which never hurts. I also used Wrecker, because this team cannot keep pace with a burn team if you’re just racing for damage.
As for the last two cards, Acererak is there for the global, to be used if Scarlet Witch is on the other side. And Resurrection, per usual, is there for ramp, churn and bag control.
And with that said, on to the games!
I started off against an Atom team that is identical to the one Ben Scott used at last month’s US Nationals. That should’ve wrecked me…but I had Wrecker. The fun thing about this situation is that because I went for Wrecker early, I wrecked his pacing and forced him to pivot to a secondary strategy (Dani Moonstar + Doom Lance). Meanwhile, I was getting my own win condition set up. His Dani + Lance combo was hurting me pretty bad, but after he got me down to 1 life, Team Up rolled, and I barely squeezed in a win.
So after Atom, here’s another fast burn team: Iceman. My opponent had Green Devil Mask, so I went for Blob early to shut that down. Meanwhile, she used Shriek to shut down my Wrecker. Her bag control was rather wrecked, and so was mine. I set up my Parasites and Yuan-tis to prepare to deal damage, but because I have no cheap actions in this build, it was hard to get damage through. By the time I got Team Up, my opponent had Iceman set up and was dealing some pretty serious damage. But then Team Up rolled. I then used Yuan-ti’s Attune and Magic Missile’s global to thin out my opponent’s field, and then attacked with everything for an obscene amount of damage. I won.
Next up, time to play against Fixit. He also has GDM, and he went for it early (not a bad move). It hit the field early and I had to play around it. But I had 5 affiliations, just with Blob, Dreadnaught and Parasite. Quickly, he ended up with a lean field due to Blob and bad rolls (his Fixit would just not roll!). I then rolled two Team Up dice and dealt him 31 damage with just three character dice (KO’ing his blockers with Dreadnaught). I won.
I finished off the evening against the Yuan-ti+Parasite+Boom Boom monstrosity from last time. He got sneaky damage in just like last time and got me down to 6 life before I could get Team Up to fire off. I was attacking with Parasite-fueled sidekicks to mess up his board, but not dealing any real damage. But when Team Up hit, it hit hard. Yuan-ti and Parasite dealt most of the damage, and he didn’t have enough blockers to deal with the rest. I won.
-The results are leaving me rather baffled, to be honest. I finished 4-0 with Team Up even though 3 of my opponents ran Green Devil Mask. Did Blob help? For sure. Would it have been more difficult had my opponents gone for GDM on turn 1? Perhaps. Still, running Team Up is not as casual as it would first appear.
-What hasn’t been said about using Yuan-ti with Parasite? They’re awesome together. However, I should’ve run some cheap actions to make this run smoother. Bah.
-Wrecker continues to be a giant pain in the kisser for Iceman and Atom teams. He is so oppressive. If you show up with a burn team but no answer to him, you’re going to be in trouble.
-The 1-cost Poxwalker was a fun gimmick, but really, going for the 2 cost like Son of L did recently would’ve been a better choice.
-This team did not have Shriek. I know. When I said in the intro that I wasn’t intending to win with this, I was serious. Chalk it up to luck.
So overall, this was a heck of a lot of fun to run, and I’m glad to have done so well with this. Now, back to hiding in a hole and panic-brewing for Nats.