Yo Ho, Yo Ho…

Last week was a little too spikey with Yawning Portal changing the flow of the game so much.  I decided to take things a little easier this time and try to make an overly complicated machine work.  I wanted to play around with a new mechanic to thin my Bag of some unwanted dice.

The whole plan revolved around this guy.  This hearty pirate will rid me of those pesky Sidekicks that keep clogging up the Bag.  Maybe not all of them, but hopefully a good number of them.  At a six cost, Jarlaxle will not exactly be an easy reach, but the idea of removing my own Sidekicks from the game is just too tempting.  Removing Sidekicks is not exactly a win condition, but does create some interesting options if I can set things up right.

When putting this idea together, the theme of the Team was pretty obvious.  I was going full Pirates here.  The good Captains Laskilar and Elok Jaharwon would be joining the Crew for some high sea battles.  Why not go for the Pirate Synergies here and use the versions that get +3A for each other Pirate I control.  With the Captains and Jarlaxle out, I should have some serious stats in the Field.

Wait… What do you mean Jarlaxle isn’t a Pirate?  He looks like he is wearing an eye patch and there is a large boat behind him.  He’s even using the other Pirate’s dice!  Dammit!  I guess we will have to ignore hit pirateness and just accept that the Captains will have to buff themselves for now.

What Did You Play?

The Team:  A Pirate’s Life For Me.

“Full” Pirates was the name of the game.  I just need to make them actually do something with them.  The +3A is definitely a nice start here.  The basic plan would be to Field Pirates and slam them into whatever my Opponent has.  The stats on the Captains are actually pretty good and should survive a lot of things.  The more I have out, the bigger the threat.  I still need to tie them together with Jarlaxle though.

This is where Stone of Golorr came into play.  My hope is to have a couple Pirates in the Field and have some in the Bag when this die comes out.  Ideally I draw either of the Pirate Captains and all of a sudden I have some fat stats swinging through unblocked.  There is the win condition and now I have a plan to make use of Jarlaxle.

In order to maximize my chances of getting a Pirate, I needed to declog my Bag of Sidekicks.  Jarlaxle would do that only if I had lots of Sidekicks in Used when he came up.  Xavier’s School from XFC will let me do that.  My Team will have no X-men, so when this triggers I will be emptying out my Bag and loading up the Used with any and all Sidekicks.  If I do this right before Fielding Jarlaxle, I should lighten my Sidekick load by a little bit.

The core is a little bulky, but still worth trying.  I now need some accessory pieces to help it out.  Bizarro was the next addition for his Global.  Since the Pirate buff is static, it will always be there even if I flip the stats.  My Pirates will now get a 2-3A buff for the price of a Shield.  Definitely worth that price.

I am in need of Shields on this Team, so I decided to give the new Intimidate Gazer a try.  2-Costs are always good and the ability will let me remove something troublesome.  As I do have some high costs on this Team, I defaulted to good old Resurrection for the Ramp/Bag Control.  It also fit my Shield theme that was happening here.  Sticking with this, and wanting to try out some of the new BAC’s from Waterdeep, I added Shield.  A little on the nose there, but it actually could be helpful.  Static Field is still a thing and could mess with my plans.  The Global also gives me the option of buffing the D before I flip the stats giving me just that little extra bit of damage potential.

My last slot I struggled to finalize.  My initial addition was SR Mimic so I could actually get another Pirate in the Field.  I did go with this in my first game, but then swapped out to my second choice for the remainder of the night.  That second choice was Foetid Bloat-Drone for its Global.  I liked the idea of this in order to get more Sidekicks into Used and help churn through the bag.

Would this be an high seas adventure or would the Team end up in Davey Jones’s Locker?  Let’s see how it ran.

Game 1:

Up against the Rare Firestorm from Green Arrow/Flash.  Partnered with the full gambit of energy types from other Justice Leaguers meant that each Firestorm that attacks will be dealing me 4 damage.  I managed to get one of each of the Captains out, but not much else was going for me.  He set up well and the Firestorm brigade began doing their thing.  I could KO them, but they came back just as fast.  His speed was much faster then mine.  Jarlaxle was bought, but never made it out in this one.

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Game 2:

This next one was up against our resident youngster’s Legion of Doom Team.  Clayface was available so I jumped right into Gazer and started flipping him out onto double energy to buy things a little easier.  My field was setting up much quicker in this game and Jarlaxle hit the Field at a good time.  I was able to remove 5 Sidekicks from the Used Pile.  This thinned out my bag and meant I would be cycling the dice I wanted that much faster.  I had a massive Pirate attack pretty early on for around 18 damage, and then decided to back off.  All she wanted to do in this game was to buy Clayface.  I waited until she actually bought two and gave her a shot or two at the Overcrush, but it never happened.  The Stone of Golorr hit when only one Pirate die was in the bag and the other 3 were in the Field.  I could not ignore that and finished her off.

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Game 3:

The copycat Team from last week was back, this time with common Surtur to be the beat stick.  It was back to Resurrection and Bloat-Drone as the Ramp and Churn options.  Those two were just not working well, even though I got a Pirate out on the same turn as I purchased it thanks to Bloat-Drone.  The rolls were not going well and once he got a Surtur out he used his Doppelganger to copy it which was a problem for me.  He soon had multiple copies out and able to clear out my little guys with ease thanks to Breath Weapon.  I was forced to field Jarlaxle for defense and as a result, he only removed 3 Sidekicks as things were not lining up properly.  With the fatter butts of my character, I could at least have some blockers around to deal with the Doppel-Surturs, but I was constantly having to refield them on the following turn.  As we know by now, that just puts you behind when you are spending the time to get things back.  I eventually got one of each Captain in the Field and made a swing with Jarlaxle sitting back.  He let it through and forgot about Bizarro, which put me within 2 of lethal.  I forgot about Shield where I had the energy to pump the D stats of my characters before the flip.  I missed lethal and was dead the next turn when 4 Doppel-Surturs crushed me.

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Post-Mortem:

I will get this out of the way right off the top.  Yawning Portal would have been a HUGE help to this Team.  The multiple 4-6 cost characters that I needed would have been a much easier reach with that action.  However, it is not really welcome here until Waterdeep gets released.

Resurrection Ramp was a mistake with this Team.  Putting things into Prep actually hurt the Team as most of the time that was Sidekicks.  I wanted those in the Used as often as possible.  What this Team needed was a better Churn mechanic.  Something like Candlekeep or Investigation might have been a better choice, and definitely something I would play around with in a future build.

Shield was a bit of an odd man out tonight.  I think it is actually a good inclusion on this specific build, as I did have the opportunity to have lethal with it, but I am not sure it is the best use of a BAC slot.  I may have been better to not to worry about Static Field and picked something that would have helped my get my stuff out more.  This slot is a future flex spot.

Foetid Bloat-Drone was actually not bad on this Team.  The Global did give some churn and helped get the Sidekicks where I wanted them.  Gazer, while helpful with Intimidate, was really the most beneficial as a cheap source of shields.  When he worked with the Clayface Global, he was excellent.

The Bizarro Global was fantastic with the Pirates.  A very cheap way to get some extra stats on board.  The Captains themselves are always fun.  I like characters that synergize with each other like this.  It  would be nice to see more Pirates join the game though.  It feels like a missed opportunity with the new set not adding to the Crew.

Stone of Golorr was actually pretty interesting to use.  When it hit with the Pirate dice, it allowed me to hit hard.  I think this could be something to play with on other combat damage driven Teams.  There is some potential for shenanigans for sure.

Let’s talk about the main inspiration for the Team now… Jarlaxle.  The ability was really interesting going into this.  It was difficult to get to fire though.  I think that had more to do with my poor choices with Ramp/Churn though.  Xavier’s School did stack the odds in my favor when it came out at the right time.  That was the challenge though.  I think all night, Jarlaxle and the School came out at the right time with a full bag of Sidekicks only once.  The rest of the night it was hard to cull out the Sidekicks like I wanted to.  I definitely would like to give this another go, as I love the idea of the ability.  I just need to tweak how I want the machine to fire.  I would love to see more of this type of the mechanic in the game.

Overall, was this fun to run?  Actually… yes.  There are probably faster options out there, but I could not resist the Pirate theme on the night.  I think if I can get things moving a little better, this Team could be even more fun.  Would I play this again?  Not this exact Team, but absolutely parts of it.  I did like the combo of Jarlaxle with Xavier’s School, The Stone of Golorr with big stat attackers, and the Pirates themselves.  If I can put the puzzle together a little better next time, I think we have a great casual night Team.

How would you make your Sidekicks disappear?  What would you do with your Team if you could do that?  Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

– jourdo

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