It has been a LONG time since I have had a chance to play live in person. Technically, our group got together two weeks ago and drafted Infinity Gauntlet for the first time. Nothing really exciting came from that, so I saved my first real post-covid write up to be the first constructed night we held.
So, how do you decide what to play after two years of not building Teams regularly? You hit random on the Team Builder and look for a card that you have not used before. And the winner is…
What Did You Play?
Harley is the win condition, and it looks like the best way to make use of her is to field as many Villains as possible and beat down my Opponent’s Field. Overcrush seems like a pretty obvious choice for her to get her damage through, but I decided I wanted to go with the “go around them” option. To accomplish that, I either need a bigger Field than the Opponent or I need to thin out their side.
That last part should be fairly easy to do by partnering Harley with her gal pal Poison Ivy. Criminal Because of Love will give Harley the buff and remove blockers (hopefully) from the Field. If I can get the Field thin enough, my buffed up Harleys should be able to do some serious damage. Also… THEME!!
Ivy is great as a buff, but I feel we need more Villains on this Team to make Harley even bigger. The easiest way to do that was to use Sidekicks for that purpose. Digging back into the Golden toolbox, I chose to put Malekith on the Team. Each of my Sidekicks now acts as a +2A/+2D buff to Harley. Pair this with a Sidekick fielding Global (in this case, The Collector) and you should be pretty well set.
The first problem that I see is that my win condition requires me to buy (multiple) 4 and 5 cost characters. I need to make this a little easier, and decided to go with the Kree Captain discount Global here. I chose the 2 cost Kree Captain in order to be able to buy it on Turn 1 and then use Clayface on Turn 2 to start buying the important stuff. Oh yeah… I am including Clayface for the Global to make that work. Since I have leaned in hard with Villains now, it might have made sense to choose the Kree Captain who gets buffed by Villains. However, Harley is supposed to be the star here, so I purposely chose not to go that way.
Harley, Ivy, and Malekith are now the core of the build. The purchasing Globals are Clayface, Kree Captin. The Collector is there for the buffs from my now villainous Sidekicks. Now it is time for the BAC’s. This was an easy choice. I am all in on Villains, so I went with the classic The Outsider and Villainous Pact combo. The Outsider gives me more buffing options for my Team. Villainous Pact is both Ramp and an alternate win condition to help get Harley through against non-Villain Teams.
With only two slots left, I needs some more tech. I chose Xanathar to give me another Global to sink useless energy into and get my Sidekicks over to Prep a little easier. The final slot went to the Rare Bullseye from Infinity Gauntlet. This was one of those cards I just wanted to try out. He fits the Villain theme, and gives me some situational removal. It was more of an experiment with him than anything else.
So, there is the theory behind the build. Looks decent on paper, but how would it stand up? Let’s find out.
I actually got the first round bye because I was running late and we were at odd numbers. The first actual game was up against the classic Jerry Lawler/Booker T Overcrush monstrosity. What was the monster? In this case Grodd from Justice. With Call Out and Strike, this could be super deadly super fast. I am hoping this one gets a write up as it was a really interesting take on the combo. It also made use of the discount Yellow Lantern Ring, that has been criminally underused in the past.
Harley’s got set up with Malekith and Ivy did what she could to keep the Field thin. I did my best to keep Sidekicks out of the Field when the monkey was going to be around. I didn’t want to make it TOO easy for him. A large hit from a large Grodd (using my own Outsider Global against me) took a big chunk out of my life… but got Grodd out of my way. I will fully admit that I got lucky here. He missed his next Grodd rolls and left his field weak enough that Ivy cleared it out leaving the door open for Harley to walk through for lethal. The player realized he missed the chance to save himself by using The Collector to bring in a blocker after Ivy did her thing. We’ll chalk that one up to rust from a long layoff.
This one was up against his Team from last week’s draft… with a couple additional cards lying around. He admitted that he didn’t have time to build anything more than that. A cheap Doctor Strange would be a tough thing to get around. However, STAR Labs did give me to another way to bring in Sidekicks for Harley. I stuck to the plan in this game and went through getting Malekith, Harley, and then Ivy to do the damage. Swing with my Sidekicks and Harley as much as possible and keep his Field thin. With Harley’s buffs it was hard to just let her through. Eventually I wore him down enough and he did not roll enough back to keep himself alive.
Mystic Attune was the next match. Phantom Stranger was going to be a huge thorn in my side. My plan was mass attack and he would make that almost impossible. I chose to stick to the plan here regardless. I built the board as planned and only attacked with Harley dice. Enough to be a threat and only kill my Sidekicks. Malekith has to survive, so I watched out not to attack with too much at one time. He was using Billy Club for removal, but my characters kept rolling back. To balance the scales though, no matter how many times I KO’ed Phantom Stranger, he kept coming back to make attacking harder. With a limited number of Harley’s as my sole way to cause damage, I reached across the table to purchase his Anger Issues. When it rolled, each Harley was buffed by +6A to +8A each time. That was more than enough to force bad blocking choices and choosing the best way to get the damage through with Overcrush.
Overall this Team worked really well. Harley and Ivy are a match made in heaven here. They synergize so well in this build. Malekith was a great addition to the Team as well. Really, those were the only three needed to make the combo work.
All of the Globals played their roll tonight. Villain Pact and Xanathar were great Ramp sources and I would keep them for sure. The Collector pulled double duty tonight. He got me a Sidekick to widen my Field, but also served to buff Harley because of Malekith. The Outsider was great in the early game when I would send a villainous Sidekick through and could buff for a little extra damage. Clayface and the Kree Captain Global worked exactly as you would expect… spectacularly.
Bullseye was the odd man out tonight. I did end up using him in an extra game at the end of the night, but honestly his spin down ability did not trigger that often as he never had level one characters out. Neat idea, but didn’t really work out on this build. He can definitely be dropped for something else. Maybe another Sidekick fielding option? I don’t know exactly, but something else is needed here. Maybe Dark Phoenix has something to slot in?
I am tempted to lean into the Sidekick aspect of this Team and try something like Instant War as an alternate BAC. Could be fun? There is lots of room to play here.
I was happy with how the Team functioned as a whole. It was fun and combat damage is always a good time. Would I play this one again? Sure! I loved the synergy of Harley and Ivy and am always happy when a Team fits a certain Theme.
I highly encourage you taking the randomizer out for a spin when you are looking for inspiration in Team Building. Go looking for something new and see what you can do with it. It turned into a fun build tonight.
How do you feel about the Harley and Ivy duo? What would you have changed with Harley as your starting point? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Socials (@dmNorthTV), or join the conversation on our Discord.
I’ve missed writing these up and I am hoping that we get to keep the live play going. It was great to be back and hang out with the old crowd again. Thanks for reading everyone! Catch you next time!