This was the same event Jourdo described in his Along Came a SP//dr post, where you had to deal 20 damage all at once to win. Incremental damage and life loss was ignored.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Outlander Strike.
So I decided to run a team I’d brewed a while ago, but never run, expecting it to be too slow to be competitive. It was a long way from a great fit for this format, but it was a better fit for this format than any other format I was going to see any time soon, so I decided to get playing it out of my system.
So here’s my idea for an Orbital Strike team: Have 4 Human Outlander active when I use Orbital Strike. Then have the “when KO’d” effect on those that come up energy copied by Absorbing Man, doubling the damage from 2 to 4 each.
Now that rather depends on Absorbing Man being active, and Orbital Strike rerolls all of my character dice. Instead of using multiple Absorbing Man dice and hoping favorable odds worked out for me, I decided to go he surefire route:
If I run Shockwave, I can use it’s global to prevent Absorbing Man from being affected by Orbital Strike – if Absorbing Man is on Level 1. That guarantees it will be active to double the KO damage from any Human Outlander dice.
So how do I get Absorbing Man to Level 1? Both BAC slots are already taken, so Mutation/Polymorph/Energize is out. That leaves one of the Gigantas with the spin down global from the Green Arrow/Flash set, or, considering that Absorbing Man is a Villain, the Mary Marvel card to the right.
I went with Mary. She’s got an A of 4-5-6, which is potentially helpful to get to 20 total damage. Her ability can potentially slow down my opponent, if he is using any Villains. And, while it wasn’t a requirement for the event, it does keep the team Modern legal.
I also included common Kobold Traps on the team.
I went with the blank (except for the global) Kree Captain and Plague Marine: Festering Wound. They were cheap enough I could ‘buy’ them when my Kobold Traps were triggered, they were fist energy to potentially use with the Kree Captain global, and in the case of the Plague Marines, could maybe give me some blockers if an Orbital Strike roll went horribly wrong.
The final card on the team was Eye of Agamotto: Reside Within the Amulet. I initially put it on the team for the global, which is on two different Eye of Agamotto cards. I made a late switch between the two, having concluded the ability on this one was potentially useful.
How went the games?
Batman: Plays Too Rough and a horde of Allies. He was also running the action dice hating Scarlet Witch.
Turn 1 I bought a Kobold Trap and put it into my bag with EAG (Eye of Agamotto Global). Turn 2 I used two fists from the Kobold Trap die and three other energy to buy an Acererak die using the Kree Captain Global. All according to plan.
The rest of the plan didn’t work out so well. It involved getting Acererak into the field, then repeatedly fielding Kobold Traps (which counts as ‘using’ an action die) to trigger Acererak’s ability, allowing me to purchase a Human Outlander die for 2 less – 2 instead of 4.
I never got Acererak into the field all game. Sometimes I missed character faces on the Roll and Re-Roll. Sometimes I left it as energy because I couldn’t risk not having any bolts after the re-roll.
I ended up buying all my Human Outlander dice without any Acererak discount, although for at least one I did use the Kree Captain global.
He did trigger my Kobold Traps three or four times – his Scarlet Witch dice were very reluctant to roll character faces in the early game, although he did eventually get one in the field.
He got his field full of Sidekicks (including Allies) before he started buying his Batman dice. Once he got two of them in the field, each with 17A and Overcrush, I was toast.
Jourdo’s Jocasta SP//dr team. I opted not to bother with the Acererak/Kobold Trap folderol and just buy my Outlander dice straight up. I did buy Eye of Agamotto itself and place it on Orbital Strike.
I think it worked better, but not well enough. His SP//dr boosted by multiple Parasite dice got big enough where a S.T.A.R. Labs hit on Jocasta could get the job done.
Natalia Romanova SR, with D & D Doppelgangers and Mr. Mxyzptlk so he could make copies of her. He was also running Golden Age PXG, and Villainous Pact, even though he only had one Villain die.
When I saw VP, I changed my plans. I bought my single EoA die, and put in on VP. I bought Human Outlanders and Kree Captains as eventual attackers.
I consistently rolled enough mask and wild faces he didn’t outrun me too badly on the ramp front.
I got several characters into my field, then got one turn where I rolled four generic Sidekicks and still had enough energy to buy one of his Villainous Pact dice.
He hadn’t managed to make four copies of Natalia yet, and (a little bit surprisingly) he didn’t see the threat coming until somewhere in the middle of my final turn, when I’d drawn and rolled the Villainous Pact die.
My field wasn’t that big, but he only had two blockers, since he’d missed the opportunity to have his Doppelganger’s copy his Mxy to give him more Villains – and all my character dice were +1A thanks to the Eye of Agamotto die I’d placed on Villainous Pact earlier. Which meant I had 23A left over after he blocked my two biggest characters.
First, some comments on the format. I thought it was interesting, but there was one consequence of it I didn’t really care for.
In Round 3, with Golden Age PXG in the mix both my opponent and myself wound up regularly with less than four dice in our bags (after refill). Due to the format, we weren’t actually taking any bag burn life loss, but we were using the extra generic energy. This was a “didn’t think things all the way through” effect, not something truly deliberate, but I just don’t like the idea of rewarding players for what is, essentially, mismanaging your bag control.
Perhaps increase the amount of one-shot damage a player is required to deal to win by one for each die they can’t draw (of the nominally required four)? I.e. give yourself two points of ‘bag burn’, you get 2 generic energy, but for the rest of the game you have to deal 22 damage at one time to win. Keeps with the no incremental damage/life loss idea, but actually penalizes you for ‘bag burning’ yourself.
As for the team itself. With the advantage of hindsight, I see the Acererak idea was never practical. Buying a 6-cost character to save me, at most, 8 energy over the long run? Add in that I need to buy action dice to get his ability to trigger, and the idea is clearly a false economy.
I saw a way to use Acererak’s ability, but didn’t realize it wasn’t a good way until I actually played the team. At least it only took one game.
While I never got it to fire, I do like the base concept of Human Outlander-Absorbing Man with Orbital Strike. If I could just figure out how to get it set up in a timely fashion . . .
As I said earlier, I put an Eye of Agamotto card on the team for the global. (Mostly for use with Kobold Traps, which are unlikely to be on any future versions of this team). But when I looked at the actual actions, Reside Within the Amulet does synergize quite well with Orbital Strike. +1A for each surviving character (for each copy of EoA) means that much extra damage.
What ideas do you have for making Orbital Strike viable? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rolling.