Alright, after last week, I wanted to take it easy…but the team I considered running had a serious rulings issue that stopped it dead in its track. So I went for a backup plan, which, while silly, still had the potential for some serious pain. Let’s see what happens when…
Batman Goes Fishing
The Team: A portal to Atlantis.
Alright, if you’re familiar with Fish Slap, most of this will be familiar to you. If you aren’t, here’s a reminder of what it can do.
Several pieces are fairly typical for a Fish Slap team: Wong is the best aggro Ally character in Modern, Atlantis serves for insane ramp (especially with Wong counting as a sidekick), Professor X helps me field more sidekicks, and Supreme Intelligence allows me to Prep Atlantis dice to set up my ramp reliably.
However, where this varies from the typical Fish Slap is that I’m not using Black Widow. Instead, Batman is how I’m buffing my sidekicks. Regular sidekicks now have 3 attack, with Wongs dealing 4 to 6 damage. Each. This can set up massive attacks very easily. Not to mention Batman’s attack stats are also hard to deal with.
And to get to him…enter Yawning Portal. Ideally, I’m fielding tons of sidekicks in a turn, maybe even enough to buy Batman dice for 1 energy! Not to mention that Yawning Portal allows me to field for free, which gets around Batman’s horrendous fielding costs. I’m also complementing this with Haymaker, which is fantastic both for its global, and also for the action. 1-cost Haymakers to buff my Wongs and give them Overcrush? Don’t mind if I do!
With all of this out of the way, the rest of the team is utility. Shriek is her usual, reliable blanking self. Istrid Horn is a way to deal with any Static Field or Magic Missile globals that get in my way. And last but not least, Crowd Fighting serves for mass removal (up to 3 damage to all opposing characters is no joke) to make way for a massive assault.
And with all of that said, on to the games!
Let’s start this off gently, against Iceman. He recognized my strategy and went for Green Devil Mask, turn 1. Not a bad play, but going for it slowed his pace down. And honestly, I decided not to care about his Iceman or his GDM and just go for the throat. Atlantis and Yawning Portal hit the field T3, and the engine got going. By the end of the turn, I Shrieked his Iceman and bought some other dice. I had Yawning+Atlantis in the bag again, ready to go. He got GDM on the following turn. I started my T4 by running right into his GDM (kept Shriek and a sidekick!) and got the Yawning + Atlantis shenanigans going, fielding enough stuff (mainly sidekicks) to put 2 Batman dice in the bag. I prepped Yawning Portal. The following turn, thanks to the Portal, fielded both Batman dice for free, and all of a sudden my sidekicks were a serious threat. He’d been doing bigger purchases, so his field was lean. I charged in with both Batman dice and all of my sidekicks, giving me more than enough damage for the win.
This opponent brought a fun D&D team. But honestly I don’t remember the specifics because oh good grief, this guy brought me Clayface. As if my team needed to be any more nuts. I bought 2 Atlantis dice T1. And Supreme Intelligence took over to allow for consistency from there. T3, had both Atlantis and Yawning Portal. And my engine got going. Too well. After T4, I had bought 10 dice. Yes, 10! T5, Batman hit the field (again, thanks to the Portal for free fielding!), alongside Wongs and sidekicks galore. With the amount of characters I had (again, dealing a minimum of 3 damage each), I just had too much damage on the board, and I won through sheer numbers.
I finished the evening against an interesting Parasite+Obscure team that also relied on Yawning Portal to load up on characters. Speed was going to be the name of the game here, and we both saw it. Seeing as I went second, I had both Atlantis and Yawning Portal bought T1. I then started T2 by fielding a sidekick with Prof and using his Resurrection global (with 5 dice in my Used, guaranteeing I’d draw both my actions on T3), then buying Wong. T3, the shenanigans got going. My damage didn’t start as quickly as his (7 damage from just one Drow Mercenary on T3 or 4), but when I hit, I hit harder. Yawning Portal allowed me to set up a T4 where I drew Batman, Portal, Wong, Atlantis (yes really). Wong didn’t roll, but I still fielded Batman for free and got a Wong in my bag for T5. On which turn I also drew one of my Atlantis dice. Which got my engine going again, allowing me to field more sidekicks than he could stop, all of which were buffed by Batman. Add a couple of damage from the Haymaker global, and I won.
-Using Atlantis and Yawning Portal together is hilarious. It’s too bad I didn’t put a fixer in this build, as I often ran out of energy (since this build focuses on rolling action and character faces).
-Despite having little energy, I bought a pretty ludicrous amount of dice. I bought between 8 and 10 dice per game, including, in each game, one or two 5-cost Batman dice. And none of my games lasted more than 5 turns.
-I never got to buy more than 2 Batman dice. Not like I needed to. Still, from what I’ve seen so far, Yawning Portal isn’t something you should use to buy tons of expensive characters (at least in Modern). Getting purchase costs discounted by 2 to 3 energy seems to be the sweet spot.
-Yawning Portal is actually fantastic for bag control. I would purposefully pick my purchases to have exactly 4 dice in my bag. When your draw is literally 2 Batman dice, 1 Yawning Portal and 1 Wong, you know you’re about to have a good time…so long as the Portal rolls (for the free fielding).
-Speaking of which, do not underestimate Yawning Portal’s free fielding effect. It single-handedly makes characters with horrendous fielding costs very, very playable. And since this card does more than free fielding, it’s worth using in competitive settings. I could not have used Batman reliably in this build without the Portal.
So overall, I had a blast with this. This is not the last time you see me running Yawning Portal, that’s for sure. Not sure what to use with it next though. Portal + Instant War? Portal + Squirrel Girl? Portal + Tyrannosaurus Zombie + Absorbing Man? (Ok, that last one is just silly) The possibilities are endless. And hilarious.