The event was standard weekly Golden Age Constructed.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Token Terrific.
This team is about having as many active characters as I can get out reasonably quickly. Because both my primary and alternative win conditions became more powerful the more different active characters I control.
Doppelganger: Monstosity is a new card from the Zhentarim team pack. He gets +1/+1 for each other unique active character die I control. So if I have four unique active characters besides Doppelganger, all my Doppelganger dice get +4/+4.
I decided to take advantage of that by pairing Doppelganger with the Upgrade – Smokescreen Basic Action from Iron Man – War Machine.
So that’s the reason Giganta: Tall Glass of Water is on the team – for her spin down global.
Also, on the team are Squirrel Girl (the promo from Civil War) and the Uncommon Chipmunk Hunk. They both have abilities that allow me to field tokens, and the Squirrel Tokens from Squirrel Girl are distinct from the Chipmunk Tokens from Chipmunk Hunk, and both count as unique characters. So if I have a Sidekick, a Chipmunk Hunk, a Chipmunk Token, a Squirrel Girl and a Squirrel Token in my Field Zone with my Doppelganger, that Doppelganger is +5/+5. So by buying those two characters, I can potentially get four unique characters into my Field Zone.
So that’s how I get my Doppelgangers big enough to hit for serious damage. What would my answer be for Static Field if it showed up? I chose to go with the common Ring from Faerun Under Siege. The global was the original ‘Energy Fixer’ global, and can also be used to field Sidekicks, which is certainly useful. But I was also including it for Ring’s actual ability – any character equipped with it gets +2D and, much more importantly, cannot be the target of global abilities. Doppelganger has the Equip icon, so if an opponent does bring Static Field, I can make Doppelganger immune to that global by equipping him with a Ring.
She also benefits from each unique active character die I have. And her ‘when fielded’ ability is much simpler to make use of than having to pair her with a specific action die.
So the plan will be to buy a Chipmunk Hunk and a Squirrel Girl to give myself many unique active characters, then buy Boom Booms and start burning away.
I opted for Truce as my second BAC. If I have a couple of Boom Boom dice stuck in my Field Zone, I can hopefully use Truce to KO them, which sends them to the Prep Area, potentially allowing me to refiled them for more burn damage on my next turn.
That left two slots. One went to the Gnome Ranger that gives all other attacking character dice +1A. Squirrel Girl and Chipmunk allow to field a lot of weak character dice. Gnome Ranger means every one my opponent can’t find a blocker for does twice the damage.
My last spot went to Yawning Portal. Because it’s Yawning Portal.
On to the game results.
This was against the group’s resident youngster who was running the same Justice Villains team with not-OBV Mystique as last week.
To even the odds a little, I decided I would use only my alternate win condition and would not buy Yawning Portal. I would allow myself to buy one Boom Boom die, as she did represent an extra unique character to increase Doppelganger’s buff. But I was going to try to win this game through the Doppelganger/Smokescreen combo.
On her first turn, she bought one of my Smokescreen dice. So I bought the other two on my second turn. That was sooner than I would have preferred in many ways, but I didn’t want to risk her grabbing all of them.
And then – I could not roll any Doppelganger dice on character faces.
She fielded lots of Sidekick dice early on, at one point winding up with 7 of them in her Field Zone at once. She attacked with all of them, dealing me 6 damage as I only had one Sidekick to block with.
After that, we both concentrated on building up our fields. She did get a Clayface out, but never got the +5/+5 with Overcrush to trigger.
When you include the Chipmunk and Squirrel tokens, my field grew noticeably faster than hers. Eventually a fluky reroll – the only Doppleganger die I landed on a character face the entire game rolled on Level 1 for 0 fielding cost while the three Sidekick dice I was rolling all came up on the Pawn/character faces left me with 18 characters in my Field Zone to 5 in hers. One of those characters was Gnome Ranger, so given the buff she provided an all out attack from me guaranteed 26 damage.
Madame Masque who shuts down “When fielded” effects. Scarlet Witch which makes it difficult to get/keep action dice on action faces. Promo Black Widow. Cyclops – Slim. Power Almighty.
So he has a hard counter to what was supposed to be my primary win condition, and another counter which makes my alternate win condition highly unreliable.
So I decided to go with what I will call Plan C – Chipmunk Hunk (and tokens), Squirrel Girl (and tokens), Gnome Ranger (attack buff) and sheer advantage in numbers.
My opponent did not seem to have very good rolls in this game, and his worst seemed to come on his bag refill turns, where he had nothing in his Used Pile, and so, no means of using my Ring global.
I did buy one Smokescreen die. Scarlet Witch is not a complete shutdown for action dice, and while I couldn’t plan on consistently landing Smokescreen dice to make Doppelgangers unblockable, if I could just do it once, I’d probably have enough advantage in numbers that combined with the Gnome Ranger buff, I could get the remainder of the 20 damage I’d need in an all out rush.
I did get a turn where I landed a Smokescreen die on its action face one both the roll and reroll. Which allowed me to confirm my hypothesis about combing an unblocked Doppelganger with a mass rush.
Kuo-toas for Swarm. Gazer for sucking useful dice out of my bag. Blue-Eyes White Dragon (the Blue Titan starter card) for general beefiness, and Green Dragon for Breath Weapon.
Breath Weapon – another ability my team does not fare well against.
I got a big hit in early – I sent five Sidekicks and a Level 1 Gnome Ranger through his empty field for 13 damage the turn after he bought his first Green Dragon. That left my own field empty in turn, but I figured it was best to take the damage before I lost all those dice to a Breath Weapon.
He was running Thrown Brick as one of his BACs and was able to buy two dice from it. He’d use his Bricks to reduce my characters to one remaining point of D, then use Breath Weapon. Most turns I was able to find something to put in front of Green Dragon, but that would be KO’d also, so this was keeping my field very thin.
I had him down to 4 life, and I had a turn where I drew a Gnome Ranger die and a Boom Boom die, and couldn’t roll character faces on either of them, though I did manage to field a Sidekick that turn.
My opponent missed lethal on his next turn – he waited until the Attack Step to use Thrown Brick which meant I had one character survive just long enough to get in front of one of his beefy Dragons, so he only got me down to 1 life instead of finishing me off.
That left him with only one character die in his Field Zone. On my turn I was able to field a Sidekick, one other character, and a Boom Boom. Boom Boom’s ‘when fielded’ burn took him from 4 life to 1, and I had two more characters than he would be able to block.
Things this team doesn’t want to see on the other side of the table:
- Anything that shuts down ‘when fielded’ abilities.
- Anything that interferes with my use of action dice.
- Breath Weapon
- Betrayal BAC
I saw three of those, and somehow still went undefeated. Granted, one of those wins was a gift from an opponent who missed an opportunity for lethal, but I was close enough to be able to punish him for that mistake.
Gnome Ranger was a huge part of my success on the night. When the total number of Sidekick dice, Squirrel tokens and Chipmunk tokens approaches double digits, the face that an active Gnome Ranger makes all of those ‘dice’ 2A when attacking instead of just 1 is a huge difference maker. It gives the team a third way to win, besides burn damage from Boom Boom or the Doppelganger-Smokescreen combo. And that third way turned out to be sorely needed on this night.
I didn’t need Ring for its action ability, but the global was extremely useful. I hadn’t used it for some time, and I got something of a reminder of just how powerful it is. Not rolling a shield on a turn where I wanted to buy Chipmunk Hunk? No problem, as long as I had a Sidekick die in my Used PIle. A spare energy I have no other use for? Field a Sidekick. Which both thins my bag, and provides me an extra potential blockers and attackers.
Doppelganger, Chipmunk Hunk and Squirrel Girl worked pretty much as expected. Yawning Portal I deliberately avoided in Round 1, and my use of action dice was hampered by Scarlet Witch in Round 2. I really only got to use it in one game, where it was useful but not all that huge. I used the Giganta global once all night, but having Doppelganger on Level 1 as a result proved to be rather important. I never had to use Truce.
Would I play this team again? Probably. I’m not even sure I’d make any tweaks, except perhaps Shriek for Yawning Portal. The two meaningful games I played both had something that greatly reduced this team’s effectiveness. I think that was just the (bad) luck of the draw, but I’m curious how this team work if I could play one game with it where I hadn’t been stuck in some kind of quicksand.
Do you have any ideas on how to make use out of Token maker cards like Chipmunk Hunk and Squirrel Girl? Drop us a line in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L