Surprise Gr – Hey! That’s Not Grodd!

Do you remember the UC Gorilla Grodd from Green Arrow/Flash that gave Overcrush to all the character dice on his team and also gave +1A to all the non-Grodd character dice on the team?  He wasn’t on my team this week.  But that ridiculous ability was – kind of.

As for the event, it was regular Golden Age constructed.

What Did You Play?

The Team:  Citizen Viper.

So the key card on this team is Citizen V: New World Order, a double-sided card without the actual Flip keyword.  I have to start each game with it on a specified side, and use a certain mechanic, in this case Infiltrate, to get it to flip to the other side.

And that is something I definitely want to happen.  Because once he’s on his flipped side, while Citizen V is active all my Villain dice get both Overcrush and +1A.  Plus he has the Retaliation keyword and both the Villain and Thunderbolts affiliations.

So, if I’m running an all Villain team, on his flip side, Citizen V is even stronger than Grodd.  Except for the fact that Grodd would affect my Sidekick dice, while Citizen V does not.  Unless I have UC Malekith active, so let’s add him to the team.

Of course, there’s the matter of flipping Citizen V, which requires him to use the Infiltrate keyword.  Crossing my fingers and hoping my opponent decides not to block him does not strike me as a reliable plan, particularly given Citizen V’s respectable A on Levels 2 and 3, so I need a way to make him unblockable.

How do you make a character die unblockable?  The three old ways are the Dimension Door and Special Ops/Under Surveillance Basic Actions and, if you are playing Golden Age, the Silver Sable that can be sacrificed to make a character die unblockable.

Given that Citizen V’s starting side has the Infiltrate keyword, there is also a new way.  Black Viper: Reviving a Legend from the new Adventures in Waterdeep team pack has a “When fielded” ability that allows me to make a target character die with Infiltrate unblockable until the end of the turn.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Granted, Black Viper isn’t a Villain, and won’t benefit from Citizen V’s ability, but I pretty much have to devote one slot of my ten to something to flip Citizen V, and I still have five other character slots.

Fortunately, I don’t need to worry about the Static Field global, at least in regards to getting Citizen V flipped.  As readers may recall, the decision on whether or not to use the Infiltrate ability happens immediately after blockers are assigned (and any when blocks/when assigned to block abilities are resolved) – before the global window.  So by the time an opponent can use the Static Field global on him, he’ll have already used the Infiltrate ability, done his damage, and retreated to the regular Field Zone.

Kree Captain: Lost Purpose goes on the team, both because his +1A/+1D buff for each active Villain makes him a potential heavy hitter, and the global should make the 6-cost Citizen V a little more reachable.

Mystique: O Bitter Victory went on the team as another potential heavy hitter.  If you haven’t seen her in action yourself you probably won’t appreciate how big she gets, and how quickly, but that ability with Overcrush can be a real headache for an opponent.

I added Kree Soldier: Blue Angels to the team.  A 2-cost Villain with Swarm for a little bit of ramp, plus it will give me some Prep if I ever manage to damage my opponent with those dice.

The last two character slots went to Bullseye: I Never Miss and Toyman: Killer Toys.

Bullseye is from Civil War, so if you want to netdeck this team for a Modern event you’ll have to replace him (all other cards here are Modern Legal.)  I liked his cost, his 3-4-5 A and his D of 1 across the board.  That means when he attacks it will be nearly impossible to block him without KO’ing him, and triggering Citizen V’s Retaliation.  A nice manageable fielding cost of 0-0-1 is a plus, also.

Toyman was there simply because I wanted to see if I could get any use out his “when fielded” ability.

For BACs, well, this is me, this is a Villain team, so of course the first BAC was The Outsider.  When I play Villain teams, when the subject of BACs comes up the first question I ask myself is “Is there any reason not to run The Outsider?”  Usually, like this week, the answer is no, so on it goes.  That global is just that good on Villain teams.

For my second BAC, I went with Whoever Assemble!  It’s a 2-cost that might be a little bit useful to me, and probably won’t be terribly useful to my opponent.  As I only had a single 2-cost character on my team, it might allow me to buy something if I had an early turn where I was stuck with 2 energy and no fist.  Maybe it will allow me to Prep a die, or maybe it will allow me to save a little bit of energy on fielding costs.

On to the game results.

 

Game 1:

This team seemed to be mostly about Gazer: Tiny Beholderkin and the Nihiloor global.  He also had Aurinax and a Green Dragon although he didn’t manage to get the dragons out at the same time.

Gazer allowed him to draw two dice from my bag when it was KO’d, and place one or both of them in my Used Pile (being returned to my bag otherwise.)  Nihiloor allowed him to KO his Gazers more frequently.

He got an Aurinax out relatively quickly, which I let through the first time it attacked (including Breath Weapon) bringing me down to 12 life.  Aurinax returned to the field more quickly than I was hoping for, but he held off on any further attacks for quite awhile.  Looking for lethal, and never quite finding it, I presume.

I never bought Citizen V or Black Viper in this game.  That was because I was trying to buy Citizen V first, but could never get 6 energy with a mask (or 5 energy with 2 fists and a mask for Kree-Cap-G).

We both built up our fields.  Mine consisted of Kree Captains, Kree Soldiers and Sidekicks, and knowing the latter two wouldn’t survive the use of Breath Weapon, I eventually decided to start pushing with everything on my side.  Aside from one Aurinax die, nothing in his Field Zone had especially high D, and hoping he’d miss re-rolling some of his characters in the aftermath of this was looking like my best bet.

After a couple of turns of that, he made a miscalculation that cost him the game.  On his turn, he wound up with two Drow Mercenaries, one Gazer and one Aurinax in his Field Zone.  He did the number in his head (getting what would turn out to be an incorrect result) and attacked with all of them.

I had, I think, two Kree Captains to block with.  The Drow Mercenaries were the version that cannot be blocked by only one character die and I had to block Aurinax, so the Drow went through for 7 damage, taking me down to 3 life.

That left him with only Aurinax in his Field Zone, and me with nothing in mine.  But I had two Kree Captain and three Kree Soldiers in my Used Pile, and drew another of each, along with a Whoever Assembles die.  I rolled plenty of characters, plenty of fists for the Outsider global, and the Whoever Assembles die on the action face, which saved me as least 4 energy on fielding costs.  Given some earlier damage I’d inflicted, that was more than enough to finish him off.

Note:  The game was recorded on video, and is available on our youtube channel.  (DiceMasters Night in Canada, February 12, 2020, Round 1)

1-0

Game 2:

Against Matt’s Jubilation Lee with Yawning Portal revisit.

I managed to buy Citizen V this game.  And Black Viper.  And field Black Viper to flip Citizen V.

So I managed to deal some damage from the other Villains who’d attacked with Citizen V, since Matt had not anticipated those gaining Overcrush when he assigned blockers.

But I hadn’t managed to get enough Villains out against the stupidly fast Yawning Portal team to do decisive damage.

So his five Jubilees burned me to death on his very next turn.

Still, after my frustrating inability to roll masks in game 1, getting Citizen V and Black Viper purchased and fielded and the former flipped was very satisfying.  It convinced me that the core idea of the team was sound.

1-1

Game 3:

This was against our group’s resident youngster, who was running a mish-mash of mostly villains from the Justice box (Black Manta, Clayface, Poison Ivy) and Mystique – but not the customary O Bitter Victory.  She’d bought some singles for the extra dice the week before, which came with the associated card – and she was using one of those cards.  Ageless, the common from UXM to be precise, not that she got much use out of her ability.

She didn’t really have anything in the way of ramp, and I had my Kree Soldiers to Swarm with.  So my field grew more quickly than hers.  By the time I got Citizen V out and flipped I had Malekith and four Sidekick dice in my Field Zone.  Plus two other Villain dice besides Kree Captain.  Plus she had four Villain dice of her own in her Field Zone.

So my Kree Captain die was 17/15 with Overcrush.  She only took 9 damage, but lost most of her field.

I’d only attacked with Kree Captain (and Citizen V) so the game would last long enough for me to use Toyman’s “when fielded” ability at least once.  That proved a little awkward, because I whiffed on rolling character faces on the first three turns where I drew Toyman.

Eventually I got a character face on Toyman and fielded him for the damage.

2-1

Post-Mortem:

I don’t think I can read too much into the results from game 3, given the quality of the opponent.  And it’s going to lose when the other guy brings Yawning Portal and I don’t have any action dice hate.

Despite the results, I’m comfortable declaring it a very workable team.  It’s not really a competitive level team – anybody who wanted to take a Citizen V team to a major event always had the Under Surveillance option, since the JLL (Thunderbolts) team pack was released at the same time as Avengers Infinity (where Under Surveillance comes from) and it didn’t happen.  There’s probably a reason for that.

Would I run this team again?  Absolutely.  I probably will, at some point down the road.

What will I change?  Maybe add some higher-D Villains, in case I run into Breath Weapon again.  When I was putting the build together, I wasn’t thinking about Breath Weapon, so, given Citizen V’s Retaliation, I was fine with low D characters, such as Bullseye.

I might be a little bit more flexible about buy order.  I had the opportunity to buy Black Viper in Round 1, but didn’t since I wanted to buy Citizen V first.  There’s little point in fielding Black Viper until I have Citizen V active, but since they’re both mask characters, a Black Viper die might have helped me get the combination of masks and energy I needed to purchase Citizen V.

Or, I might consider adding a cheap mask Villain in place of Toyman, who was useful, but far from essential.

I would probably also include some action dice hate.  Yawning Portal has not (yet) become ubiquitous amongst our local scene, so action dice hate has not become ubiquitous in turn, which means YP is annoyingly effective when it does show up.  Of course, adding Yawning Portal itself to the Citizen V team is another idea to think about.

One thing I won’t be including is the Rare Danger Room action.  Matt suggested it to me, one the grounds it would make Kree Captain an even bigger beatstick.  But that Danger Room has the Magic Missile for Villains global, which would make it too easy for an opponent to ping him off if he happened to come out on Level 1 (which is what happened in both games where I got him in the field this week.)  Citizen V only has 2 D on Level 1 and unflips if he is pinged off (or ceases to be active for any reason).  Nor do I want my Swarm catalyst dice pinged off in such a manner either.

To summarize, now you should know why Matt told you to ask about opposing cards you’re not familiar with.  Just because you haven’t seen them used, doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!

Son of L

 

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