Format: Casual Golden Age, Modern recommended
This week, I realized that I was really, really sick of using Shriek on all of my teams. But I also didn’t want to get completely chewed up by everyone. So I decided to revisit an old concept I’ve kept on the backburner for a really, really long time. A team where every character I use is a 2-cost, so no Shriek allowed. And this leads me to…
The Dugan Room
Weird name, for a pretty fun team.
As I said, every character I use is a 2-cost. This is on purpose, as my two main forms of removal are globals (Bane and Magic Missile, the latter especially when Danger Room is active). Elektra serves to protect my characters against these globals.
And you likely wonder, “how do you win”? Simple: I equip Nova Corps Uniform on one of my characters, use Danger Room, attack, and wipe my opponent’s entire board. Whatever I’m attacking with goes through unblocked. Cheap aggro weenies for the win.
Dum Dum Dugan and Wong are my main sources of damage. Wong hurts decently by himself, and since he counts as a sidekick, he buffs Dugan, as do any other sidekicks I have on the field.
Big Entrance is a must in this, allowing me to purchase multiple dice in a turn easily (though this leads to issues, as I’ll elaborate on in the post-mortem). Chalkboard also helps me set up a winning turn and acts as ramp otherwise. Grodd serves for consistency and a secondary win condition.
Important note: Having Danger Room active as often as possible is really useful; paying a bolt to KO any opposing character is fantastic removal. Being able to do it on my opponent’s turn is why I went for Danger Room over the Staff of the Forgotten One.
Why Bane, then? Two reasons: Scarlet Witch can be a pain and stop Danger Room from triggering in the first place; and Wrecker can fully neutralize Magic Missile, whereas I can still use Bane’s global if I field him.
With that said, on to the games.
I was up against SR Jubilee + Cube. A nasty first couple of turns left me stranded with little to no energy to buy characters and no way to set them up properly. Trying to stop Jubilee without Shriek is tough. Bane helps, but not enough, especially with Cube buffing Jubilee’s damage. He outpaced me and won.
This time, I was up against C Hulk + Babs. Since Hulk’s a bit tougher to get out, and a bit slower, I managed to keep my opponent’s field lean. Danger Room+Magic Missile, as well as Bane, really helped, but I never got to clear the field with Nova Corps. Instead, I KO’d my opponent’s characters by using Bane to make them attack into Wong, and I then attacked with Wongs and Dugans in an empty field.
Up against Jubilee + Cube again. (seriously, every other player was running Jubilee or Hulk…) This game was paced very differently. I used Bane on Jubilee a lot, and with sheer luck, that led me to have Jubilee off the field on key turns. This led my opponent to buy Shriek and blank Bane, but by that point, I had the time to set up a fair bit more than in my other games. I used Big Entrance to set up Nova Corps + Danger Room, gambling that I would survive until the next turn. And sure enough, my opponent only got me down to 3 life. I then used Nova Corps (equipped to a Dugan) and Danger Room, and dealt exactly 20 damage (5+6 with two Dugans, 4+4 with two Wongs, and 1 with a sidekick). Talk about a close shave.
-This combo is wonky as all heck. First, I need enough damage on the board for lethal. Then, I need Nova Corps equipped, and then I need to activate Danger Room. But when it fires off, it’s oh so satisfying.
-I really, really needed more ramp in this. When buying multiple dice with Big Entrance, you’re essentially tying up resources to set up, but you’re going to run short of energy to field everything. That was a recurring issue tonight.
-It was very refreshing not to use Shriek, but stressful because all of my opponents had strategies that need blankers to stop. But I still did alright, to my surprise. Aggro strategies can still hurt even in this world of non-combat damage.
-One thing about this team is that I went out of my way to have options for every energy type. If I use Big Entrance, I can buy Elektra with masks, Dugan with shields, Wong with fists, and Danger Room with bolt+1. Having this kind of variety really helps with consistency when using Big Entrance. But I still needed ramp.
-One mistake I did is that I ran this a bit too tentatively. Ramming Wongs and Dugans at my opponent with reckless abandon should’ve been my first reflex, but I was focusing on the combo. This was a mistake, and I’m lucky it didn’t hurt me more than it did.
-C Jubilee and Mutation/Giganta could’ve been very helpful instead of Nova Corps. However, Jubilee’s vulnerable to Shriek, whereas Nova Corps is not. Definitely worth thinking about though.
Overall, this feels like a rough draft. Could it lead to something better? Possibly. But its current form is an odd one to run, and definitely better suited to a proper casual night, and not one dominated by crazy direct damage teams.