Format: Golden Age legal, Modern recommended.
I wanted to make a team punishing my opponent for fielding, or just stopping them from fielding anything. So I went for this.
Black Cat and Triceratops are the core of the team’s control. Black Cat stops my opponent from fielding level 3 characters, and Triceratops KO’s any level 1 character that my opponent fields.
That leaves level 2 characters. This is where Kobold Trap comes in. If my opponent does finally get a level 2 character in, then hey, I have a free Yuan-ti!
Which leads me to this team’s win condition: C Yuan-ti and Team-up. Fielding tons of Yuan-ti dice, using Team-Up, and swinging in for 5-6 damage per Yuan-ti wins pretty quickly. I didn’t go out of my way to make this team affiliation-heavy, but even so, it worked quite effectively.
Shriek and Dwarf Wizard serves for blanking, and Giant Spider’s global serves for removal (which, when fielding is nigh-impossible, can be quite effective). Cyborg serves for consistency, and Resurrection provides ramp.
I was up against Babs+Static with C Hulk thrown in. Nasty control and removal all around with some big pain. This was a very clumsy game. I got Black Cat, Triceratops and Kobold Trap on the field quickly, but he kept rolling Babs at level 1 (hey, free trigger and board wipe!, he says), and Shriek at level 2 to blank whatever he wanted. But eventually, I got Shriek and Dwiz out to neutralize Babs and Hulk, and from that point on, thanks to Kobold Trap, I got my Yuan-ti dice for free, and started attacking with her. It was long and grueling, but eventually I won.
I was up against Jubilee+Cube. This one, it felt like I was one turn behind the whole game. Some painful rolls (Triceratops would just not show up!) hurt me really badly, and eventually Jubilee burned me down to 0 before I could set up.
Side-note: We did a second game for fun between rounds, which I won after setting up my control and forcing him to waste his Shriek and Dwiz on Black Cat and Triceratops, while I set both of my blankers on his Jubilee and started attacking with Yuan-ti + Team-Up. It didn’t count for the scoreboard, but yes, this team can beat Jubilee+Cube.
This time, I was up against the Warriors Three. I set up Triceratops and Black Cat pretty quick, which led my opponent to blank both as soon as she could (the first level 2 blanker she got went straight to Black Cat, so she could field her other blanker to blank Triceratops). But that left Yuan-ti open. Thanks to Kobold Trap, again, I could get numbers of her without paying, and this led me to have several Yuan-ti dice pretty quickly. Two Team-up dice later, probably a turn before I would’ve gotten overcrushed to death, I swung in with unblockable Yuan-ti for the win.
-C Yuan-ti + Team-Up is disgustingly good. It deserves a proper build with more affiliations to take advantage of it.
-That Kobold Trap is easy to overlook, but over the course of a game, if you get 2, 3 dice out of one, that’s a lot of energy you save in the long run. I’m impressed.
-Black Cat + Triceratops is fun to do, but it turns out that getting a character at level 2 to get around them is not that hard, and my opponent was blanking my control at first opportunity. If I had Madame Masque, it might have helped keep my control working. But that would be 3 4-costs for control, and that feels like a bit much.
-I’m not a fan of using two blankers. I know it’s something a lot of people like to do, but I find I’d prefer having multiple threats that my opponent must deal with over using multiple blankers. And that made the pacing of the team a bit weird to me.
Overall, I find that Black Cat + Triceratops is too vulnerable to blanking to be a serious control threat, but it’s definitely fun to play with. And a real pain to be up against. Maybe I’ll revisit this in a different context sometime.