Roughly a year ago, I argued that you can’t make a viable Infiltrate team without either SR Angela or SR Captain America. In this week’s Golden Age Constructed event, I set out to prove myself wrong.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Madame Infiltrate.
Rare Madame Web is the cornerstone of the team. You can’t get any mileage from the Infiltrate keyword if your characters are always blocked. So I needed a way to prevent that from happening, and Madame Web was it.
The big advantage of Infiltrate is it allows you to deal damage to your opponent without weakening your own wall. The problem is you don’t deal very much damage, so I added Black Widow: Spider’s Bite to help that along. Next came Rare Ricochet to give me a ramp option.
Under most circumstances I would not consider this Ricochet to be a good ramp card, but on this team he’s actually a decent fit.
The plan, as you’ve likely surmised, is to get Madame Web out and use her ability to suck up blockers while I attack with multiple Infiltrate characters. If Ricochet is one of them that gives me ramp, which might be useful for something like paying for Madame Web’s ability on the following turn.
What else did I need to make this strategy work? Cheap characters with the Infiltrate ability so I added the Protecting the Seat of Hala version of Kree Soldier. That is a 2-cost with both Infiltrate and Swarm giving me another early ramp option.
I threw in the Angela that deals an additional damage when she uses Infiltrate. One Black Widow die and one Angela die Infiltrating together would deal 5 damage, so I figured why not.
I included Supreme Intelligence: Assimilated Hivemind for two reasons. First, I thought I might be able use the global ability to Prep a Kree Soldier die to get my Kree Soldier swarm going a little earlier than simply waiting to draw it from my bag. Second was to make use of his actual text ability, which gives all my characters a +1A/+1D buff whenever I field a character with Kree in the name.
I wasn’t looking to do 20 damage in a single turn, but if I was softening my opponent up with Infiltrate damage, there was almost certainly going to come a point where just sending my unblocked characters through normally would give me lethal. Having Supreme Intelligence active and fielding a Kree Soldier or two might help that point arrive earlier.
I figured I’d buy Supreme Intelligence with his Fabricate 2-5 ability. One of the KO’d dice had to have ‘Kree’ in the name which meant one of the two dice used would be a Kree Soldier. With an open slot I looked for a 3-cost with a useful “when KO’d” ability and settled on the Mantis who lets me prep a die when KO’d.
For BACs, I went for Big Entrance, so I could buy multiple Kree Soldier dice quickly, and Confront the Mighty, to give me a removal option.
This was against the group’s resident youngster, who was running what seemed to be a random assortment of characters from the old Justice League set – Vibe, Blue Beetle, Black Manta, and the Lantern Power Ring action among them.
She won the roll-off and opted to have me go first. Possibly not the best choice considering she’d brought Investigation as one of her BACs. I wound up buying an Investigation die on each of my first two turns, while she bought the other on her first turn.
My field built up faster than hers, partly because I think the only character she had on her team that cost less than 4 was Black Manta.
She didn’t seem familiar with the Infiltrate keyword. I explained how it worked to best of my ability, but I’m not sure how well she understood it. She never blocked any of my Infiltrate characters that attacked.
At one point, I attacked with a Black Widow, four Kree Soldiers and a Ricochet. She chose not to block anything, so I ended up dealing 12 damage from Infiltrate and prepping six dice. That took her from 13 down to 1, so I could have won then and there if I’d wanted to* except I didn’t even realize it at the time. Besides, prepping six dice at once by a method other than PXG is cool.
Unsurprisingly, I won on my next turn.
*I started to write ‘by having my characters attack normally’ but I’m not sure that’s actually true in this case. With Black Widow in the mix a Level 1 or 2 Kree Soldier actually deals more damage using Infiltrate than if it attacks normally. But if I’d used Infiltrate with them and attacked normally with Black Widow and Ricochet that would have done the trick.
This was against Jourdo’s double damage Thanos Overcrush team.
I never posted anything about my team from last week. This was partly because I felt a little strange about it – It was a Thanos focused Special Event, and Thanos never hit the field (for either side) in any of my three games. Now that was largely because I was running Rare Blob and naming my opponent’s Thanos with Blob as soon as Thanos appeared, but the end result was no Thanos.
Some of that ‘Thanos Not Welcome’ dust must have still been sticking to me a week later because Jourdo simply COULD. NOT. ROLL THANOS.
It was appalling how easily he managed to die 3 dice of an 8-cost character, but he did have the use of the BEWD, Ring of Winter, and Kree Captain globals, not to mention Big Entrance.
Jourdo’s inability to roll Thanos gave me time to build up a field, including Supreme Intelligence. I didn’t use Infiltrate very much in this game, largely because I whiffed on Madame Web the first time I pulled her. When she came around again, I managed to land and field her and pay for her ability. I fielded a Kree Soldier on that turn, so I had around 8 unblocked characters all of whom got the +1/+1 buff from Supreme Intelligence. Even if nearly half of them were Sidekicks, there was still enough there to get me to lethal.
The sad thing about this build: He was running the Beholder that allowed him to use 2 globals for free when fielded, both of us were running Kree Captain, and he was only running one character that cost more than 4, and since that was Heimdall who was really only on the team for his global, my opponent only had one die on that card.
His other important piece was the old JL Hawkman that deals 1 damage when blocked. He was also running the Aftershock Black Widow.
I couldn’t seem to roll any character faces, not even a single Sidekick until about Turn 5. My opponent didn’t have the same problem and sent multiple unblocked characters through my empty field for 12 damage before I finally got a blocker active.
The Hawkman he was running meant I was on a clock, and the head start he got from that 12 early damage meant I had no time to recover.
Our host store only does 3 official rounds, but my round 3 opponent dispatched me so quickly we decided to have an instant rematch.
I rolled some early Sidekicks this time, and made sure to put them in the field to avoid a repeat of the previous game.
I got Black Widow and Madame Web out while my opponent built up his field. With chip damage from his Hawkman dice and the occasional attacker I couldn’t or chose not to block (because I wanted to be sure certain characters would be active at the start of my turn) he was whittling away my life total. I got in one round of Infiltrate damage for 6, and another for 9.
With both of us down to 5 life, and a fairly full Prep Area (from KO’d blockers) it essentially came down to whether or not I could land the Madame Web who’d been KO’d when I used her ability the previous turn. Fielding cost and paying for her ability wasn’t much of a concern given the number of dice I was rolling,
Anyhow I did land her, although doing so on her Level 3 face with the fielding cost of 2 meant I had to forgo fielding one of my Kree Soldier dice to leave me enough energy to pay for her “when attacks” ability. That still allowed me to do enough damage for the win.
I don’t think this is ever going to be a high level competitive team, but it might be fun for more casual events. But there are a few kinks to work out.
First, I had the blank Kree Captain on the team. Blank, except for the global included on all Kree Captain cards. I included it because was a 2-cost, and so could be targeted by the Supreme Intelligence global. And because it could be used to trigger the buff effect on Supreme Intelligence.
I never bought it all night, never seriously thought about doing so, and I think I used the global once on the night. My opponents got a fair bit of use out of that global, however, so I think it needs to go.
I’d take out Angela also. Black Widow and Ricochet do a lot more for the team. Angela’s ability isn’t actually powerful enough to justify her cost, especially how low in priority she fits in the buy order.
One aspect I realized I hadn’t given enough thought to is if I’m relying on Madame Web to suck up blockers over multiple turns, she’s probably going to be KO’d and need to be refielded. She costs 2 to field on Level 3, and a plan that relies on being able to roll and field a certain specific character every turn is a flawed plan.
The team I actually ran is Modern Legal, but my group normally plays Golden Age, so if I run this team again I intend to include
for the global. Attack with Madame Web, suck up my opponent’s blockers with her ability, remove her from the Attack Zone with the motorcycle global and do it all again on my next turn without having to concern myself with rolling her or paying a fielding cost. Maybe I’ll add
as well. If the timing works out, I can give Madame Web Deadly and have her wipe out my opponent’s entire field without being KO’d herself.
I do like the Supreme Intelligence-Kree Soldier-Mantis combo, even if Mantis is hardly essential. Stat buffs can come in handy, being Swarm dice the Kree Soldier dice will shorten the bag cycle time at least a little bit, and Fabricate 2-5 isn’t that difficult to arrange (even with the ‘one must be Kree’ limitation).
I’m going to amend my old argument and say you can’t have a decent Infiltrate team without at least one of SR Angela, SR Captain America or Black Widow: Spider’s Bite.
Are there any useful Infiltrate cards we’re overlooking? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L