Apologies for missing last week. Life got busy and I didn’t get a chance to actually write up my Team. It may show up in a future article though. 😉
Tonight’s theme may have been the most challenging build I have ever had to do. Over the years of playing this game, I have used many different cards in my builds. I’ve come across favourites that I like to include in different situations. I’ve experimented with many characters or actions when they get released. None of that mattered for tonight. Tonight, we were challenged with using 10 cards that we have NEVER used before. This was left to the honour system. It was up to us to remember over our time playing this game if we have ever used a certain card. This was going to be tough. However, I immediately had an idea where I would start.
That is right… we are bringing out Cleave! Half-Orc Barbarian is the only card in the game with this Keyword. I’ve never once thought about playing this, so tonight seemed like as good of a time as any to try it out. I really have no idea if this will work or not, but I will give it a chance.
I decided to stick to D&D for the remainder of this build. Mostly because I did not make great use of the earlier set, so I thought this would be my largest card pool to draw from.
TOA would have limited selection as I drafted that set a lot. FUS would be hit and miss, but I think there were some cards I have not used in this set. BFF came out before I joined the game and I mostly collected it to have the cards. I have used some of them, but there are many, many cards that I have not used.
Since I was going with the D&D theme, the second card that immediately made my list was the Unicorn from BFF. I originally planned to use the life gain one, but then found that the rare version might be actually useful… especially with the Half-Orc Barbarian. Maybe if I load up on good characters, I could just have a Field full of stats to bash against my Opponent.
Seems like a somewhat legitimate plan here. I will use cards that I have never tried before and also play around with Alignments… which I have never ever focused on.
What Did You Play?
The Team: First Timers!
So, I had a starting point to build here. Now I needed other (ideally good) characters to help make this work. First I needed the obligatory 2 cost on the Team… because every Team needs 2 cost. Blink Dog stood out because he has not bad stats when paired with Unicorn. Keep swinging with these guys and they might just do some damage or board control. Definitely worth a try here.
I knew that swinging with combat damage would be the win condition here, so I needed something to help with more board control. Enter Breath Weapon! I have played with this lots, and as a result many of the really good dragons were off the board. I went with Copper Dragon and Bronze Dragon for two different reasons. Copper Dragon gave me the Breath Weapon to clear out the weenies and force my Opponent to block with things they may not want to or take some potentially serious damage. His ability also would give me some limited Ramp in the right situation. Bronze Dragon was there in case someone had the same idea of bringing Dragons to the game. Most likely I would be facing off against Breath Weapon 1, so this guy would help prevent that from firing. Both of these also have the Good Alignment, so the Unicorn will buff their stats.
Half-Elf Bard joined the Team. No… not that one… or the other one. I went with the Prep one. Odds were good that combat damage would be the name of the game here, so there would be a decent chance that I could trigger his Prep ability. Not great, but I really had limited Prep options available to me here. Also… Good Alignment.
Dwarf Cleric was the next add. I went with the promo one here because the ability actually interested me. Maybe Overcrush would be showing up? This seemed like an ok option to mitigate it. Hey look… more Good Guys.
For my final character, I went away from the Good Guys to maybe give me some more Prep options. I chose to try out Vampire because… reasons. I really did not have a good reason here. Just a card that I have always wanted to try.
Sticking with the D&D theme for my BAC’s I started with Brazen Pegasus. This was the promo released with TOA. Again, combat damage is the name of the game here. This would actually make it harder to block some of my characters. Why not?
The final piece of the puzzle broke theme. I have used many of the other D&D BAC’s, with the exception of some of the really expensive or less useful ones. I went to Spider-man for some churn. Spidey’s Last Stand is not great, but better than nothing here. Low-ish cost, and maybe work through my bag a little better. Sure.
Not the worst looking Team that I have built. Somewhat decent synergy given that I have never played any of these cards before.
Let’s see how it played.
The first game of the night was up against some familiar cards (for me). Dragons galore, and Elf Druid to Prep from these Dragons. A Dragon Statue Trap to get these Dragons, and Might of the Astartes to mess with Fielding costs. Unicorn, Blink Dogs, and Bard were the early purchases. While he built his Field, I also got to build mine to include both of my Dragons. With the pieces in place, I would swing with Dogs as often as possible. They generally were enough to deal with his Dragons. Also, because his Dragons were monsters… I was gaining Experience with Bard. Eventually, I was able to get to the Barbarian… because Cleave. The Dogs continued to handle the Dragons to keep the Experience tokens flowing. Cleave also played a part by finishing off a bigger Dragon. Bard ended up with a +5/+5 Token on it, while the Barbarian I think was a +2/+2. He bought a Rolling Thunder that looked like it had my Unicorn’s name on it but luckily he missed when it came out. The game went to time and was a bit of a slog back and forth with little overall damage getting through. He swung his wall into mine and I was left standing with characters. Lethal was already on the Field for the next turn.
An all Deadly Team with the Collateral Damage BAC. With Bloat Drone across the table, none of my things would be surviving here. I just needed to keep up enough of a wall to survive his. It took a bit longer to have the proper energy for the Unicorn in this one. Once it hit though, I was a little more free with the attackers. I kept the Dogs going to try and force him to refield things… knowing they would die in the process. Copper Dragon helps to keep the weenies under control, but was easily dispatched with the Deadly barrage. I bought a couple Brazen Pegasus in this game, but realized afterwards the use was really limited. For some reason, I thought they gave more characters the ability to be blocked by a minimum of 2 characters. With only 2 as the choice it did help, but not nearly as well as I hoped. He bought a Collateral Damage, which on his Team was extremely effective against my big walls. I decided to take a page out of his book and bought up this as well. Since I was decently confident that I would be KO’ing things as well… maybe this would work for me. I got lucky that I was rerolling things back into the Field as quickly as he was removing them. On my final turn, I used Breath Weapon in combination with Collateral Damage to bring him down to 3. I had just enough buffed attackers to finish the job. I have never really looked at Collateral Damage before, but on a Deadly Team… it was REALLY good.
Justice League, with some of the classics (Lantern Ring Green Lantern, the buffed Hawkman) plus discount Jimmy along with a Superman who gets buffed by the energy in his Reserve Pool. Unicorn would not roll in this one. I even ended up buying a second one and it missed a few times as well. The only saving grace was he was missing Jimmy with the proper energy to buy Superman almost as much. He bought multiple Jimmy’s for the same reason as me. Eventually we both were getting set up with our Boards. He played Pick Your Battles and attacked with Hawkmen… which I could not block as I did not have any Bolt characters. This along with Lantern damage was bringing me down. I noticed he was lacking in Shield characters with the exception of Superman, while I was swimming in Dogs and Bards. I decided to give this a try and use his weapon against him. Mine were not as effective as his since he could block some of the characters. He got me with another Hawkman swing.
This was actually more fun than I expected it to be. I got to see cards that I really have not seen played much on both sides of the table. Collateral Damage and Pick Your Battles are both BAC’s that I want to play around with in the future.
With what I brought, Unicorn was really the whole Team. Without it in the Field, I really did not stand much of a chance. When it was there, all of my characters got better. Blink Dog was a legitimate threat for a low cost character as a result.
Half-Elf Bard was ok for Ramp. The unfortunate part of his ability means that I am dependent on my Opponent actually attacking. In my last game, that rarely happened when I could use Bard. The other games were ok. Not really that effective, but I was limited with my choices.
Even though I came up against another Dragon, Bronze Dragon was not really needed for its ability. I used it more as a body when I did buy it. Copper Dragon was helpful though. I could clear out Sidekicks very easily, and it also helped my soften up bigger blockers for Blink Dog.
Half-Orc Barbarian was… ok. Cleave was… ok. While fun to play with, I am not convinced it is that good… right now. When the Waterdeep sets hits though, I will be looking at this again. There are abilities to add Experience Tokens to other characters in that set. If you could make this guy bigger… Cleave all of a sudden becomes something decent.
Brazen Pegasus did not really work out how I intended. I really needed multiple dice for it to really work well. With it being a 4 cost action and most of the rest of my Team having that same cost, this was difficult to pull off.
Spidey’s Last Stand was not the worst churn, but nothing crazy good. It was one of those “better than nothing” cards in this slot. It did help to work through the bag, but really needed Sidekicks in the Field for it to be useful. Sometimes that was harder to pull off on the night.
Dwarf Cleric and Vampire were never purchased once on the night. I thought about it a few times, but there were always better choices at the time. The purchase curve of this Team made it really difficult to make the switch to them. I did want to see what they had to offer though. Maybe on another build?
Would I play this again? It was definitely more fun than I expected it to be. I love combat damage and buffs. This is my kind of Team. I would probably consider some variation of it in a heartbeat. If I can open up the card pool, there might be some other “Good” characters that I could include here. Definitely something I want to try out again.
So, there you have it… A Team made up of 10 cards I have never played before. I challenge you to dig through you binders and find some of these forgotten or ignored cards. Let us know in the comments below what you can come up with when your card pool is limited by your past Teams.
Thanks for reading!
The TOTM scheduled for this coming weekend will need to be rescheduled. I will be updating the article with the new information, but it will be postponed until December 7. Sorry for any inconvenience with this.