*Disclaimer: Jourdo disavows this team and all it stands for. Hush Manta is a mean, mean strategy and should be handled with care. DM North takes no responsibility for any loss of friends, punches to the face, or voodoo curses that happen to you as a result of running this team.
Yep, still going strong on our legacy league, now at week 10(!). Looking at the ban list, I realized that the components of a horrible, horrible team were still legal. Let’s pull out some old school favorites, for…
Format: Legacy League (all winning cards, including BACs)
The basic strategy is not new. Have Black Manta (and preferably more villains) active, use Trusted Friend’s global to make anyone a Bat-Family character, and field Hush, who is instantly KO’d, both allowing you to draw dice and deal damage with Black Manta. With just 2 other villains active, you deal 3 damage per KO’d Hush die, making this both a very strong win condition and a one-sided ramp engine.
To complement this, I threw in Vigilante Justice for removal. This makes it so that every Hush KO also, on top of ramp and damage, allows me to KO an opposing character. I also added Poison Ivy, for obvious reasons; not only does she count as a villain to increase Black Manta’s damage, but she deals her own damage whenever I field Hush. It gets out of hand really quickly.
And of course, I included Doomsday. Remember: Trusted Friend can also give the Super-Friends affiliation. So I just make my opponent’s strongest characters into Super Friends and send them straight to Used before swinging in with Doomsday’s beefy stats.
I also felt like including rare Scarecrow to take advantage of his synergy with Black Manta (KO’ing him allows me to control an opposing die, plus it triggers Black Manta). This made my next choice easy: SR Malekith. The global allows me to KO Scarecrow on demand, and as a bonus, it allows me purchase Vigilante Justice at a discount. Not to mention that Malekith himself is worth using in a pinch.
This leaves me with two slots, and I realized that I needed to stop opposing sources of damage. I went for Kate Bishop, for the global (seeing as I expected to win through burn rather than combat damage) and Ronin, who is pretty self-explanatory. He’s not as strong as the SR, but he should allow me to slow my opponent down long enough to win.
And with that said, on to the games!
I started off against Ultraman. Sadly, because I got C Heimdall banned last week, his main ramp engine is gone. He tried using the GOTG Mantis, but his pace was not ideal (he should’ve used my Malekith global). Meanwhile, I got Hush, and Manta, and got my ramp going. Sadly, by the time he bought Ultraman, it was too late; my engine was well established, and I had Hush, Manta, plus Vigilante Justice floating around for removal. After I’d worn him down enough with Retaliation (in addition to emptying his field), I attacked with everything and won.
Hammer time…Warhammer time, that is. Ultramarines, Space Wolves and Foetid Bloat-Drone. It was a funky and surprisingly difficult game, as I had to keep more blockers than expected due to his strategy. This was difficult, since Hush+Manta generally aims for a relatively small number of active characters. We were dealing each other damage at a relatively even pace (with his Overcrushing cavalry and my Hush+Manta stuff), but I had ramp on top of damage, which gave me the advantage eventually. He got me down to a few life points, but I managed to KO one character and steal the other with Rarecrow+Vigilante Justice, allowing me to attack and win. Close game, and very well-played on his end.
I then went up against Iceman. Doomsday was the key piece here. Bag control was a bit difficult on his end due to a lack of churn, so when Doomsday would send his Iceman (and other characters) to the Used Pile, it got my opponent off his strategy for several turns. Plus, I’d attack with Doomsday for a lot of damage. This, combined with my Hush+Manta shenanigans, allowed me to outpace Iceman for the win.
I finished the evening against Green Goliath and other Avenger madness. Two things defined this match: First, he brought Bane (thanks!), allowing me to remove any annoying control that he would field. Second, my Scarecrow was a pain in his rear (allowing me to steal his Hulk). I did my Hush Manta damage while controlling his board with Bane and Vigilante Justice. At one point, he had no energy saved and he had Hulk on the board…and I rolled Rarecrow. The rest is history. I stole his Hulk, charged in, and won.
-Hush Manta is mean; this is something you should know if you ever played against it. I could easily have made it worse though; with a couple more 2-3 cost villains with a control focus, I could’ve dealt 4-5 damage per Hush easily, which would make this a build that wins through control. It’s a better way to approach this strategy, technically. But this worked out fantastically anyhow.
-Vigilante Justice was a great fit; it was so long since I’d used that card, and I see why I miss it. It’s just mean when you have a build with consistent self-KO effects. It made any character-based control useless against me, which is rather insane when you think about it.
-Doomsday was odd. I used him in exactly one game, but he was an absolute life-saver that time and functionally won me the game. When there is less ramp available, sending stuff to Used is insanely useful.
-Ivy was just overkill. Her 4-cost was mildly annoying, but she dealt enough damage to be well worth it.
-Rarecrow was a necessity because of the types of opponents I ran into. That Green Goliath would’ve been a serious pain if I didn’t have Rarecrow.
So overall, I will admit that while this was fun to run, it did not seem fun to play against. Apologies to my local players; I’ll be less mean next week, I promise.