This past week my local scene played a jank format, that we didn’t actually come up with a name for, although matt christened it Loop De Loop in his WHYP article on his team from the same event.
In my head, I’d sort of been calling it the Ouroboros format, an allusion to an ancient symbol of a snake or serpent eating its own tail.
The format required the last letter on the name of each card had to be the first letter in the name of the subsequent card, and your last card had to come back around and connect with your first card in the same manner to complete the chain. You did not have to include your BACs in the chain, but you could if you wanted to be a glutton for punishment.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Jank chain team.
Use this area to give an explanation of what the plan for the team is. How are the parts supposed to work? As little or as much information as you want.
I actually tried to see if I could make something workable from the letters in Ouroboros. Or rather Oroboros, since the ‘u’ makes it impossible and removing it leaves me with 8 letters.
I ended up with Obelisk the Tormentor – Red Tornado – Ork Nob – Bizarro – Owlbear – Rhino – Orcus – Sinestro. Which was better than I expected honestly, but still not anything I’d call ‘good’. I only have two options for characters costling less than 4, and one of those is a blank card. I decided I wasn’t going to try actually playing this team.
I checked a couple of teams I’d been thinking about using at some point to see if they could be tweaked to be workable in this format. In all cases, the answer seemed to be no.
Eventually I just decided to start by using the Dice Coalition Team Builder to choose a card at random. That turned out to be Volo. Admittedly, I changed out the version, using the one with Attune on the final team.
Because using Team Builder to sort by first letter leaves you having to scroll through over three thousand cards, I instead filtered on ‘v:’ to find all the characters whose names end in ‘v’.
Yes, there is one: Citizen V. I was intending to go with ‘Justice Like Lightning’ which gives all my non-Villain characters +1/+1 on one side. On event day, I mistakenly grabbed ‘The Mask of Helmut’ which has a side which gives my Villain characters +1/+1.
I would use the last letter and colon filtering process to add each character. Next came Mimic: Borrowed Talent for ramp. I didn’t expect to be able to fit Professor X and his Sidekick fielding global into my chain, so the Mimic ramp would probably be less efficient without it.
After Mimic, I decided to add Rare Storm from UXM, which, along with my 2 BACS, would be my intended win condition.
Those BACs would be Thrown Brick, and the Force Beam BAC from AvX. I can throw up to two Bricks at a Storm die (at any level) on my turn and she will redirect the damage to my opponent. Damage and Prep in the same package!
As for Force Beam, on the burst or double burst sides each (undamaged) active Storm die ends up dealing 2 damage to my opponent for a potential total of 8. Plus they still deal 1 per Storm die on the no burst face.
From Storm I went to Pepper Potts as an alternative (to Mimic) source of ramp. From Pepper I went to Wasp: Love and Loss, mostly so I could punish any opponent who had the effrontery to buy ‘my’ Thrown Brick dice. That would be in addition to the possibility of using the global on the Storm card itself to change Storm into the target of my opponent’s Bricks. Of course, that global is also available to my opponent, so it’s definitely a double edged sword.
Okay that’s six cards, plus both my BACs. One of the other two needs to start with ‘O’, the other needs to end with ‘w’. And the two of them need to have a common link letter.
After perusing my options, I decided ‘Ork Nob’ and ‘Black Widow’ were my best options here. I went with the 2-cost ‘Big Choppa’ for Ork Nob and the 3-cost OP ‘Agent for Black Widow.
Ork Nob has a useful ability, at least on the right team, but was primarily there to complete the chain on this one. Black Widow can be a very useful defensive card, she helps complete the chain, and I don’t have to buy her if I don’t need her.
So that was my team. How did it do against live opposition?
Bye. Off and running.
This was a mostly lanterns team with some ‘bridge’ cards like Ork Nob to get from his Sinestro to his Batman. The Batman was the one that became unblockable when he used an action die, and the Sinestro gave his Yellow Lanterns +2/+2 when attacking or blocking.
I went for my Thrown Bricks early, while he went for his Nasty Plots. He managed to get the Nasty Plots cycling nicely, where he was rolling one each turn, so combined with the Batman global he was prepping three dice each turn.
I managed to get a Storm die out and start throwing bricks at her. Shortly after I got Wasp out, quickly followed by Volo.
He hit me with two unblockable Sinestro-buffed Batman dice for a total of 14.
That left him with four character dice in his Field Zone. Between Bricked Storms, Volo’s Attune, and damage from Wasp from his use of his Nasty Plots I had him down to 8 life.
After my first roll, I had enough character available to increase the number in my Field Zone to 12. Many of them were Sidekicks, but that was still enough to do the job.
This was against our semi-regular visitor from up north. He wasn’t there the previous week, so his introduction to the jank format was in a post in our local facebook group. Now that post included an example team which had both Gobby and Nobby on it.
I’m not sure the fellow from up north understood that example team was a joke, because his team had both Iceman: Right on Schedule and Zombie Magneto on it.
I had one character on my team that wouldn’t be blanked by Mags once he was active. Maybe I should have brought that Oroboros (without the u) team.
I bought his Unstable Canister dice as quickly as I could. It was unlikely I could hit him ten times before Iceman burned me to death, but it was by far the best option I saw.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work.
I ended up playing one game that wasn’t a complete mismatch with this team. That’s too small a sample size to reach any firm conclusions about this team. Plus, it was a jank format – if we do the format again somewhere down the road, I’ll probably use a different team for it.
But Storm: Lady Liberator and either or both of the Force Beam and Thrown Brick BACs is a combination I expect I will want to revisit somewhere down the road. Our northern visitor told me he’d seen Storm – Force Beam teams before, so it sounds like a workable combo.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L