Look. If you had one shot. Or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment, would you capture it… Or just let it slip?
Is the tune going through your head too? Good. It went through mine while building this Team.
Now let’s get started. This Team is a twist on the combo brought to the forefront by DM Armada. You can check out his video below:
The core of the combo is to use Hope and Thunderbird to BUY ALL THE GOLEMS!!!! What do you do with all the Golems once you have them? You need to weaponize this to really get the best bang for your buck.
At the recent US Nats, one of the players did just that. Nick W (please correct me if I have the wrong name as I am going off memory here) added R Yondu (from GOTG) to drive home damage while Fabricating. This really adds to the combo and makes the damage output quite good. However, I’ve played that wincon before (prior to the existence of Hope/Thunderbird) and I wanted to try something different.
Each instance of Fabricate will give my Ork Nob +2A/+4D. You can see that will add up when you Fabricate ALL THE GOLEMS! One Ork Nob on the Field will be pumped to just short of lethal alone. With anything else on the Field, you will have plenty of damage on board.
How does this all tie into the song? Well… You only have one shot with this Team. If you miss it, you will never get another shot at lethal with the combo. If you cannot capture their entire Field, you are screwed. If they bring in a blocker after you clear things out, you are screwed. Basically… if they do anything to prevent your Ork Nob from storming across the Field, you are screwed.
You’ve got one shot with this Team. You better make the most of it.
What Did You Play?
The Team: One Hit Wonder.
The core is set with Hope/Thunderbird for Fabricate shenanigans. Doop is for mass board clear while you are pulling off the shenanigans, and finally Ork Nob is the magic bullet that has to hit.
Obviously for this to work, you need things to Fabricate. I decided to stick to Modern with this build, which did not give many options. Amber Golem and Stone Golem were the choices here, but really the combination of Golems did not matter. You just need two of them.
This is now a 6 card combo, and I really have no way of dealing with the things that are going to cause me problems. Since Bishtraction and Static Field are a thing, I chose to include Warbiker. He would basically keep those (and other) nasty Global Abilities off of my Nob.
The next obvious addition would be Shriek. I am not a fan of the card and try to avoid it whenever possible. However, I needed to be ready to deal with it. Enter Blob. He is really my Shriek killer on the Team. If she shows up, he can sit is butt right on top of her and keep her out of play. If she blanks him, Doop could be a back-up plan to take her out. Either way, I think I am covered now.
With only the BAC slots left, I needed some Ramp options. Resurrection is always safe and made it onto the Team. For the last slot, I struggled to choose between Misdirection and Create Food and Water. The Cake Global would definitely make bag management easier. However, Misdirection could help get things out in the Field a little faster. It would also get around some of the annoying Fielding costs on this Team.
There you have it. An overly complicated machine that has only one bullet to fire. How will it work? Read on to find out.
I was up against our resident youngster with her X-men Team. Jubilee was the main source of damage with her “When fielded” ability. I bought the pieces as the energy rolls allowed. I took some burn damage from Jubilee, but eventually my Fab 4 (that would have been a better title for this article) hit the Field. Then the shenanigans occurred, and lethal followed.
This one was up against what was going to be Scorching Ray drawing the discount Thanos from the bag. I really wanted to see this combo go off as it looked really cool. The challenge with this game was watching his Field size. I only had the chance to capture 8 characters. His Team made use of a wider Field and I was struggling to get my characters out on their first couple of trips through the bag. I still had all the pieces purchased (including an extra Nob or two), and eventually they hit. Luckily things lined up where his Field was small enough for Doop to eat it up and he did not have the energy remaining to mess around with me. Shenanigan… then lethal.
We played an extra game for fun as we finished earlier than everyone else. This one would have ended differently as he DID have the energy to mess with my magic bullet. We never finished this one as the next Round started, but it showed me some of the things I needed to watch out for (stupid Atlantis Global).
This was a Team that relied of Beholder to trigger Seething Corruption while Dreadnaught is active. Board clear FTW. Oh yeah… and he had a Shriek. First turn Shriek for him, and I respond with a Blob purchase. He initially Shrieked Hope, but decided to switch target to Blob when he saw that coming. Things again went a little slower on the build, as he had the Sage Tax going making Fielding and purchasing difficult in the same turn. It took some time, but the Fab 4 finally hit the Field and there was nothing he could do.
Let’s stay on Game 3 for a second here. There was an interesting interaction that could have come up in this game that never did, but it opened my eyes to some possible other uses of Thunderbird.
Now, I am not 100% sure of the order of operations here, but we asked some other local players and this is how we would have played it out. Beholder attacks and triggers Seething Corruption. Dreadnaught’s Range damage goes off and my Field is KO’d. Because Thunderbird was one of those character, everything comes back… before blockers are declared (this is the timing issue we were not sure of). His win condition of an empty Field would be shut down because of Thunderbird.
If we are wrong about this, then the rest of this theory doesn’t matter. However, Thunderbird looks like a decent counter to board wipe strategies. Sure there are ways to work around it, but he definitely makes life more difficult. This is something that needs a little more exploration as to how effective it can actually be.
Back to the Post-Mortem…
The core combo is hilariously fun to pull off. Extremely satisfying. Is it better than Yondu? I don’t know. I think Yondu is probably a little faster overall, but hitting your Opponent with a giant Nob just feels good.
Warbiker never came into play tonight. Given the amount of Globals that can make this Team’s life miserable, I would keep him on the Team. Watching my Nob fall to Bishtraction or Splinter’s Teachings would just make me cry.
Blob is really a flex spot here. I needed something that would deal with things that shut down the Fab 4. Shriek would work here as well. I thought about Mimic, but realized he would not work well with my Thunderbird tricks. I needed something that would not KO the opposing characters. Use whatever you like in this slot. Blob was fine for me.
Resurrection is always a good choice and I would include it in any version as Ramp is hard to come by while you are setting up the combo. Misdirection did not roll much on the night. I still think it works well, but I would be tempted to try this on another version of the Team.
Would I play this Team again? Maybe. It was really a fun Team to run. There are lots of weaknesses here, so I am not convinced it can be really competitive. However, on your local casual night… you have to try this out. Heck, maybe this can make a splash in an upcoming Two Team Takedown if someone chose to try it out (hint, hint, nudge, nudge)?
If you are looking for something fun to run in your local games, give this one a go.
Have you played with buying ALL THE GOLEMS? Yondu or Doop? Do you think there is some other potential use of Thunderbird on more competitive Teams? With the Iceman meta right now, probably not… but still worth exploring.
Thanks for reading!