My first team using any of the shiny new DC products used exactly one of those cards from one team pack, but that card was the linchpin of the team. It was one of our usual Golden Age anything goes nights.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Flower Shop Power.
If you’ve read Jourdo’s article for this week you already know my team was based around this combo:
Get Canary out, use Danger Room, attack with Canary and my opponent has nothing to block with. Also, since it looked like there were going to be a lot of Villains around, adding this guy:
seemed like a no-brainer.
Now, while Canary and Danger Room is an obviously potent combo, it comes with an Achilles heel attached: The global on the Danger Room card.
The combo relies on Danger Room being used prior to the Attack Step. Which means I have to pass priority to my opponent after using Danger Room and before starting the Attack Step. Canary is a Villain at this point, so if a clever opponent has saved a couple of bolts, a Level 1 or 2 Canary isn’t going to survive to reach the Attack Step.
My solution: Bring Uncommon Blackbird for its global.
Pay 1 energy before I use Danger Room to shut down the Danger Room global and Black Canary is no longer at risk of getting pinged out. Now, a clever opponent can potentially use the Blackbird global to shut itself down on his turn to keep the option of double pinging Black Canary open, but I figure if my opponent is spending one energy on shutting down a global to save two more to ping out one of my characters, that’s probably going to work in my favor in the long run.
Now, if you’re team relies on using action dice, you should included a plan for dealing with Scarlet Witch if she shows up. I went an unusual route on this one:
Save a bolt, then on my opponent’s turn, use Clea’s ability on Scarlet Witch (the action dice hate version of which has Villain and Brothehood of Evil Mutants affiliations, not Mystics, so I’m safe there) and she goes bye-bye, as Scarlet Witch has 3 defense on all levels.
Clea isn’t cheap, but with the help of the Kree Captain global, a 6-cost should be manageable. Yes, there’s a risk of my opponent shutting down that global (or any of my globals) but he can only do it to one at a time, and if he devotes too much effort to shutting down my globals, it’s probably going to do him more harm than good.
I was thinking primarily of Scarlet Witch when I put Clea on the team, but she can also potentially be used against other pests such as Shriek or Dwarf Wizard (although the latter would survive her damage on his Level 3).
Although the event didn’t require it, I decided to keep the team Modern Legal. That meant the way I decided to speed the team up was to add the Supreme Intelligence global. Said global costs two generic energy to, once per turn, move one die with a purchase cost of 2 or less from your Used Pile to your Prep Area. So for four energy I can buy and prep a Danger Room, so long as one of those energy is a bolt.
Also, I can use it on my opponent’s turn. If Danger Room comes up energy on my turn, I can spend that energy, then pay 2 other (saved) energy on my opponents turn to get that Danger Room die on my next turn instead of letting it go into my bag.
Now I’m going to need more than one Black Canary die and one Kree Captain die to win. Even if Canary is Level 3 that’s only 4A, and Kree Captain is essentially 3A +1A for each active die (including himself) once Danger Room goes off. I could probably use a cheap character that gets buffed by Villains. How about Ace the Bat Hound?
Cheap enough to target with the Supreme Intelligence global, and will deal at least 4A in conjunction with Danger Room (well, unless my opponent’s field is empty.)
My first BAC was The Outsider, solely for the global. The dice I’m going to be buying skew heavily to fists, so a double strength fist pump sounds usable. On this team the Villains only and once per turn per target limitations are negligible concerns.
The other BAC was Instant War. It has the potential to get a lot of character dice in the field quickly. If I’m able to use it on the same turn as Danger Room that potentially gives me 9 extra damage on the turn (assuming I have a single Kree Captain active.)
The last character was Tabaxi Rogue. Regular readers will remember that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with bringing a counter for Tabaxi Rogue the last little while. I’ve brought Shriek for that purpose the past couple of weeks, but I don’t want to be the guy that brings her every week. So I decided Tabaxi would be my Tabaxi counter this week.
If an opponent’s plan revolves around fielding Tabaxi and forcing me to draw dice, having a Tabaxi of my own allows me to level the playing field.
So how did things go?
Key piece was the Thanos whose Overcrush damage is doubled. He didn’t have a force block, so the one time he was able to attack with a Thanos I let it through.
He bought all 3 of his Improvised Weapon action dice, a Cheetah and an Uncommon Collector he used to get to Thanos. He may have been trying to keep a lean field to minimize the buff to Kree Captain.
Things went pretty much according to plan on my end. Bought Black Canary and a Kree Captain on my first two turns. Got those into my field and bought Danger Room on my next couple of turns.
I probably could have won a turn earlier than I did. I had a Danger Room on the action face, did the math and got a total damage of 19, but I forgot to take the Outsider global into account. I know I had spare energy. I’m not sure any of it was a fist or question mark, but it’s very likely it was.
I used the Supreme Intelligence global to bring back Danger Room for my next turn, and everything lined up.
Jourdo’s Assault ‘N Pepper team.
He won the roll off and elected to go first. Arguably a mistake, because it meant on my first turn I had 3 energy to buy a Black Canary and one more to shut down his Clayface global.
He would shut down the Blackbird global when he had the energy to spare from his own plans. I would shut down Clayface when I could (often after using it myself) but it was rather erratic in both directions. Still frequent enough to be annoying to both of us, however. But I knew something like this was a possibility when I added the Blackbird card to my team.
The key turn featured a few miscues on both sides. Looking back, I suspect Jourdo may have thought Bat Hound got +2A/+2D when the opponent has any active Villains (it only gets +2A). Because I’m trying to explain his actions to the reading audience I’m thinking more about the why composing this article than I was during the game. Frankly, now that I’m doing that some of his choices don’t make much sense to me – unless he thought Bat Hound’s D was buffed.
I had a Black Canary, a Kree Captain, two Bat Hounds and one Sidekick in my field. He had two Parasite dice, one Pepper Potts and one Sidekick in his. He’d shut down my Blackbird global, had saved two bolts and a mask, which he turned into two more bolts with the Clayface global when I passed priority.
My Canary was on Level 3, but with 4 bolts he still had enough to ping her out. So I opted not to use Danger Room in the Main Step and attacked with everything except my Sidekick.
He could only block with his Sidekick and his Pepper, because Parasite is already a Villain and affected by Canary’s ability.
He opted to block the two Bat Hounds and let Canary and Kree Captain through. Then he opted to use his bolts for the Excessive Force global, to buff his 1A Pepper and his 1A Sidekick to 3A each. One of my Bat Hounds was Level 1 (1 D) and the other was 2D whether it was Level 2 or 3, so 3 of those bolts were wasted.
Remember the Danger Room die I didn’t use in the Main Step? Here is where I did use it.
I’d saved two fists. Part of the reason I used the Danger Room die was so I could used the Outsider global on Black Canary. In fact, I forgot using it also created 6 more Villain dice, buffing Kree Captain by that amount, until Jourdo reminded me.
At the time we calculated I did 19 damage, although in trying to reconstruct it here I think we made a mistake. I had five dice in my field, Jourdo had four. When I used Danger Room that made Kree Captain 12A. Black Canary was 4A, so when I use the Outsider global on each of them that’s 14 + 6 = 20. We must have overlooked the single Sidekick I’d declined to block with.
Jourdo made a serious error in not blocking my Kree Captain while I still had Danger Room in reserve. He survived it, briefly, due to our miscalculation, but if he’d had the three bolts he hadn’t spent buffing his blockers (needlessly, due to his confusion) he could have used the Danger Room global to ping out my Sidekick, his Sidekick and my Level 1 Bat Hound, reducing Kree Captain’s A by 3. It probably wouldn’t have mattered in the end – whether he was reduced to 4 life, 3 or 1 he was unlikely to last much longer anyhow, which is how it actually played out.
He probably should have left Black Canary and my Level 1 Bat Hound unblocked, blocking Kree Captain and my other Bat Hound. He’d have taken 8 damage, I’d have used the two fists to move the Bat Hound die to prep on his turn (Danger Room isn’t that useful until I get Canary back in the field.)
I think I would have won eventually, anyhow, but sorry Jourdo, at the time I didn’t realize you had misread Bat Hound’s ability. If I’d made the connection I would have at least asked you about it.
Black Manta: Deep Sea Deviant team. With Anti-Monitor, Malekith and Mimic ramp. His plan was to buy Manta, Anti-Monitor and Malekith while fielding as many Sidekicks as possible. He had new PXG on his team to help with fielding Sidekicks (and Mimic ramp.) His goal was to get 7 Sidekicks, Manta, and Malekith in his field, then attack. He was running the UC Malekith, which makes his Sidekicks villains, and the Anti-Monitor which KOs all Sidekicks when it attacks. So with Anti-Monitor, Manta, and Malekith active every KO’d Sidekick results in 3 Retaliation damage from Black Manta.
He was not pleased when I used the Blackbird global to shut down the Professor’s global on my first turn, and he made a point to shut down the Blackbird global on every single turn going forward.
He got Malekith and Anti-Monitor out, but had trouble buying his Black Manta. He had 6, maybe even 7 Sidekick dice in his field, and no fist dice in circulation, so he was having a hard time finding the fist or ‘?’ he needed to buy Black Manta.
I bought a Danger Room sooner than I would have truly preferred (because of the energy types I was stuck with on that turn) and ended up using it and the global to Villainize and ping out his Mimic on a couple of occasions, but he always managed to refield it the next turn.
Of course, his putting all his Sidekicks in his field means Kree Captain is massive if I can get the Canary – Danger Room combo to fire. I looked to have it one turn, except I missed the action face on both the roll and re-roll. I used the Supreme Intelligence global, so I’d have Danger Room on the next turn, and I turned out not to need it.
He had Malekith out by that point, which made all his Sidekicks villains and left him with one non-villain character die in his field: Mimic. One of his BACs was Pandora’s box which has a shield Villain maker global. So even though I did get Danger Room on my reroll, I just used his global on Mimic and he had nobody to block with.
Kree Captain was something like 15 or 16 A on his own at this point which was almost enough for lethal by itself, since my opponent had deliberately taken 3 points of bag burn on an early turn. I had more than enough other attackers along to make up the difference.
This team was fun, and effective. With a couple of tweaks, say replacing Tabaxi Rogue with Shriek, I think it might even be capable of impacting the high-level meta.
It’s fast – one Black Canary, one Kree Captain, and one Danger Room and my opponent has to start worrying about keeping his field lean so as not to buff Kree Captain.
The Supreme Intelligence global is a big difference maker on this team. 2 energy might seem expensive to some readers but if spending 1 on Resurrection to Prep what is usually a random die is worth it, then I think spending 2 to Prep a die of my choosing is worth it, even if my choices are limited to 2 (or less) costs. I think it’s much preferable to flooding my bag with Danger Room dice simply to increase the odds I’ll pull one quickly.
The Blackbird global seemed to be a serious annoyance to my opponents. It was a bit of one to me too, but it was also amusing at times. My Round 1 opponent 1 repeatedly targeted the Kree Captain global, which I had no intention of using, since he had nothing I wanted to use Clea on. Nobody ever targeted the Supreme Intelligence global, which is the one I used the most heavily.
In fact, the most popular target for the Blackbird global was the Blackbird global itself. My Round 3 opponent basically spent 1 energy/turn for essentially the entire game just to keep the thing quiet. Not what I’d intended, but not a result I was unhappy with either.
My advice is never play this combo without a Black Canary Protection plan. If you try, you will never roll Black Canary on level 3, and your opponent’s will notice the Danger Room global and ping her out when you want to attack with her. If doesn’t have to be The Blackbird global, though that does seem to be a workable option, but bring some way of either spinning Canary up to Level 3 or buffing her D. You’ll be glad you did.
I never once thought about buying Instant War on the night. It might be useful in some circumstances, but I’m open to replacing it, if I can figure out something that would clearly be an improvement.
I’m almost sorry nobody brought out anything I wanted to blast with Clea’s ability. I was a little bit curious to see how the idea would work in practice.
Ace the Bat Hound is a good fit on the team. His Level 1 defense is a little low, but for a 2-cost I can live with it. Still, considering the concerns about Black Canary maybe I should look to add something that buffs D on multiple characters. Perhaps, Lord of Contagion: Plaguereaper? 4-cost bolt, If a Sidekick is KO’d while he’s active all other dice (both sides) get +1A and +1D. Use Danger Room, ping out a Sidekick (even one of my own if that’s my only option) and Canary gets tougher to ping out.
Tabaxi Rogue isn’t really needed on the team, and was only there because of my little psychological quirk. It can be replaced without any problem.
Do you ever try brewing a team that you like but saw it had an Achilles heel type problem? How did you deal with it?
What’s your favorite choice for protecting Black Canary’s low D while running a Danger Room team: Blackbird Global? Lord of Contagion? D-buffing global? Spin up global? Something else?
Let us know your thoughts on those questions in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L