When you’re a badass like Batman, the last thing you want is a chump like Mimic to show up and act like a cheap knockoff, a copycat. Or rather, a…
Format: Casual Golden Age (Modern recommended)
All joking aside, the win condition I wanted to build around was Batman + Mimic. Batman, by turning sidekicks into a genuine win condition, is an offensive powerhouse in the right build. And with Mimic copying Batman, that means I could give +4A to each of my sidekicks, dealing 5 damage per sidekick. Holy sidekick muscles, Batman!
With my win condition relying on sidekicks, this gave me the opportunity to try out an interaction I’ve had my eyes on for a little while: using Atlantis alongside Crystal. She hasn’t seen as much use recently, but Crystal makes it so much easier to roll sidekick characters (essentially doubling your odds on each die), and Atlantis then converts said sidekicks to ramp. I can then KO them with Plague Marine to roll them again the next turn and keep the fun going! Plus, thanks to Plague Marine and the Bat-Mimic combo, I can bring my sidekicks to 6A each! This is just ridiculous.
Now, it doesn’t matter how big my sidekicks get if they all get blocked. Enter Madame Web. She allows me to easily bypass whatever my opponent sets up and get obscene amounts of damage through.
After all of this, though, I still need some form of removal. I decided to put in Confront The Mighty…with a twist. I also included the OP Black Widow. The interaction between the two needs to be briefly discussed. Confront The Mighty is, so far as I know, character ability damage. Widow reduces ability damage by 1. Confront The Mighty gives you, in theory, just enough damage to KO an opposing character. By reducing said damage to 1, you won’t be able to KO the opposing character unless you deal some other form of damage as well. It’s a dirty trick, I admit, and one that could show up in higher levels of competition. Be prepared for it.
EDIT: For clarity, the dirty trick in this is that Confront The Mighty is a BAC, and would normally be useful for both players. However, in this build, if your opponent buys Confront, you buy Widow, and all of a sudden your opponent has a near-useless die going through their bag. Making such a powerful BAC essentially one-sided is very dangerous, and has competitive potential.
Now, to be honest, Widow was also included in case Dragons showed up. After all, OP Widow copied by SR Mimic means 2 less damage from character abilities. This shuts down Gold Dragon’s Breath Weapon almost completely.
As for the rest of the team, Jarnbjorn is there because almost everything needs fists, and Resurrection is there for ramp and bag fixing (to set up my ramp more reliably).
With that said, on to the games!
I started off against a Strike-based Justice League team that also included the Madame Web + Poison Ivy combo that Son of L so rudely introduced to the world. Still waiting on the Rules Forum to answer my question about that interaction. As for how the game went, my opponent didn’t go for Madame Web, presumably because she realized that my team is a bit too fast for that combo. She got some Strike hits in early, but I’d already set up my ramp engine. After getting Batman + Mimic out, and using Confront The Mighty to remove what threats she had left, I attacked her with tons of characters for 36 damage. I won.
Next up, another sidekick-based team. This one was based around Dum Dum Dugan and Spider-man: War of the Heart (also using Instant War to add to his army of sidekicks). With both of us using fast, sidekick-based teams, no time for Mimic. I set up my ramp engine to get Batman and try to outpace him. Unfortunately, Spidey + Dum Dum is hard to stop, and he got tons of damage in pretty quick. I had everything set up on my last turn to deal massive damage: Crystal, Batman, Madame Web, Atlantis on an action face…all I needed was a couple of sidekicks to get the fun going. I didn’t roll a single sidekick or question mark. He won the following turn. Well-deserved win for him, and this game could easily have gone either way.
I finished off the evening against Hulk + Thanos. His Green Devil Mask could’ve been a huge pain to deal with, but I got lucky and he rolled it on energy. By that point, my ramp was set up, and thanks to Plague Marine, my sidekicks were harder to KO with Magic Missile when it was time to attack. By turn 5, Batman was on the field, I had way too many sidekicks, and he only had 1 character active after I used Confront The Mighty. So I charged in for the win.
-Atlantis and Crystal are like peanut butter and jelly. Especially with Plague Marine there to KO the sidekicks. This is a dangerously fast ramp engine. Outside of that one nasty turn in game 2, it was a reliable and effective method of ramp and churn.
-I can already hear, “Why didn’t you put SR Jubilee?” With me fielding tons of sidekicks, she would’ve been an obvious fit. But honestly, I’ve done that before, more than once, so I just wanted to try a different approach. Besides which, I already had plenty of 2-costs on the team.
-The Bat-Mimic combo is really neat…but unnecessary. 4A sidekicks (Batman+Plague Marine) is more than enough to set up lethal damage. That 30+ damage in game 1 was oh so satisfying though.
-Confront The Mighty was fine removal as always, but relying on 2 different action dice going through your bag is not ideal. Sometimes I’d draw Confront when I’d want Atlantis. It’s not a new problem when relying on action dice for ramp, but the solutions tend to be unreliable (e.g. Mister Miracle) or expensive (e.g. DRS Scarlet Witch). Perhaps it would’ve been more effective to use character-based removal (e.g. Dreadnaught).
-I’m torn on Madame Web for this team. In theory, she’s just what the team needs, bypassing walls of characters easily. However, she’s a 4-cost with annoying fielding costs who also requires energy to trigger her effect; she makes it harder to set up my attack. It’s telling that in both games that I won, she was not even a factor.
Overall, Bat-Mimic may not be as good a combo as I’d hoped, but Crystal + Atlantis just turned into one of my new favourite ramp engines. With the amount of fun sidekick-based strategies in the Modern meta, expect to see this ramp engine again.