Infiltrate has always been something of an awkward keyword to use. Well, unless you’re building your entire team around one or both of the Angela or Captain America Super Rares from the Guardians of the Galaxy set.
That’s because the counter to the base Infiltrate strategy is both simple and obvious – block the attacking dice. Putting Infiltrate characters on a team is only a part of putting a viable team together – you also need a plan to prevent them from being blocked.
Or do you?
What Did You Play?
The Team: Battery Powered Infiltrate.
It was regular Golden Age Constructed this week. And since it was Golden Age, I decided to see if maybe there was an older Super Rare card that could make an Infiltrate team viable:
Once I get the Lantern Battery out, each character die I attack with will end up reducing my opponent’s life total by at least 1 whether he chooses to block or not. That includes any attacking dice with Infiltrate.
So the plan is to go on the offensive and attack as much as possible. Ideally any of my attacking dice my opponent can’t find blockers for will have Infiltrate, allowing me to keep them around to repeat the process on the following turn.
Obviously, the more Infiltrate characters I have, the better that will work. How do I arrange that? By putting these three cards on the team:
Rogue gives all my Sidekick dice Infiltrate, meaning I can attack with them and potentially deal damage while still keeping them in the field. As an Ally, Robin gives me up to four more dice with Infiltrate. Plus, his +1D buff to my Sidekicks (including himself) means, if my opponent blocks my generic Sidekicks with theirs, mine won’t be KO’d. Grey Hunter gives me another 5 cheap dice with Infiltrate. (And, since Primaris Intercessor and Grey Hunter dice can proxy for one another you only need to have bought one of each of the Space Wolves team pack and the Battle for Ultimar campaign box. Unless your local scene is really stringent about proxy dice.)
The Level 3 fielding costs for both Grey Hunter and Robin are ugly, but since neither’s purchase cost is more than 3, there’s a Kree Soldier card than can help with that. Of course, the fielding cost taxing Sage has been seeing a fair bit of use in our local scene as of late, so that’s another reason to use it.
Atlantis and Professor X were included because the globals provided a bit of ramp and allowed me to field Sidekicks rapidly. The Atlantis action was another potential means of ramp, and Professor X’s actual ability can be useful on occasion.
For my final core card, I decided to add the Batman that gives attacking Sidekicks a +2A buff. So, if I get Batman out, my Sidekicks become a significant threat.
My first BAC was Static Field because
1) The global doesn’t really impact an Infiltrate team, and
2) I actually thought of an answer to the question ‘Why would anyone ever use this action?’
For point 1, one of the peculiarities of the Infiltrate keyword is that the decision about whether or not to use the Infiltrate ability for a given die happens immediately after blockers are assigned, before the Attack Step global window. So, Infiltrate damage is dealt before the Static Field global can be used.
For point 2, when my basic plan is ‘Get Lantern Battery out, then bleed my opponent by a combination of 1-point life loss and 1-point Infiltrate damage’ I’m more interested in keeping my wall intact than KO’ing my opponents characters. If I have Robin out all my characters will have at least 2D, which means if I use a Static Field action die with Lantern Battery out, my opponent will have to pay 2 life to KO so much as a single Sidekick with his blockers.
Counterstrike went on as the second BAC for the global, as another ramp option.
So how did it all work?
Against Jourdo’s Jubilations! team.
I didn’t roll my Lantern Battery. He did roll his Blob. He named Battery with his Blob, so I ended up unable to use it.
I wasn’t silly enough to let his Kitty Pryde off the field, so he took a while to buy all five of his Jubilee dice.
We both ended up with fairly sizable numbers of character dice in our Field Zones. I was going for the Static Field action backup plan, but he got his quintet of Jubilees to fire off for the 20 damage, before I managed to use the Static Field action once.
Brief description of what you played against and how it went.
The Iceman that deals 2 damage each time you Ping him during the Attack Step. And he introduced me to this card:
Once he got her out, it pretty much nullified Rogue’s ability – and so much for having 5 dice on the 2-cost Grey Hunter.
Oh, and he was also running the new Professor X which gives life gain when Sidekicks are KO’d on top of the HXG global. Which he got out.
So when I attacked, he’d pay the Lantern Battery tax to block with Sidekicks and gain the life back when those Sidekick dice were KO’d.
Meanwhile he was steadily pinging Iceman during the Attack Step and burning my life away.
Bye. That’s one way to avoid a winless night.
Tsarina. Green Devil Mask. Sage.
This was an unofficial round. Why did I agree to play against this disgusting team?
With Tsarina a concern, I doubted I’d have the time to make the Infiltrate option work, so I went for Batman early and kept pushing with buffed Sidekicks. I also got the Lantern Battery out early.
This is where including Static Field on the team hurt me. He was losing two or three life to pay for blockers each turn, but he was using the Static Field global quite frequently – mostly on 3A Sidekicks.
The one Green Devil Mask he got out probably ended up working in my favor. With a Kree Soldier and a Grey Hunter die on character faces in my Reserve Pool I used the Atlantis global to field a Sidekick, triggering his GDM. I lost both Sidekicks but my Batman, which had been Level 1, landed on Level 3 and I also kept the other non-Sidekick die.
Having the L3 Batman to spin down proved handy when he attacked with a trio of Tsarinas shortly thereafter. I spun down one of my other characters to avoid the burn damage from the third one and let them through for 8 combat damage.
That was pretty much all of the damage he managed to inflict during the game.
He spent most of the game on the defensive – luckily for me, he had decided not to be a jerk and didn’t go straight for the Tsarinas out of the gate.
He spent most of the game paying life to field blockers, and scrambling to find masks to Static Field my other other attacking dice. Eventually the well ran dry for him.
Not including any blanking or removal seems to have been a serious mistake. I ran into two teams that happened to have control pieces to shut it down hard.
What do I take out? Probably Professor X. With Atlantis on the team, I already have a method for fielding Sidekicks.
Counterstrike was another card whose global proved redundant due to the presence of Atlantis. The Atlantis global looks more expensive at first glance, but for the same amount of energy (if not the same types) you get the same end result as using both the Professor X and Counterstrike globals. Plus the Atlantis global isn’t limited to either once per turn or only on your own turn.
I still like the basic concept of the team. Get Lantern Battery out, then attack character dice my opponent can’t afford not to block until I’ve done it a total of twenty times. Every active die I have with Infiltrate lowers my opponent’s life total by at least 1 each time it attacks, and so can become a steady drain if it’s not blocked and KO’d.
Do you have any unconventional ideas for making an Infiltrate team viable? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L
(If anybody needs their memory jogged, the cover image and lyric quote are from music video of Weird Al Yankovic’s ‘Party in the USA’. )