Just another regular local Golden Age constructed event as much of the broader DM Community makes their way to Memphis.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Thanos Summer Storm.
I’m not going be in Memphis, so this wasn’t 11th hour testing or fine tuning of a team I intended to play at Worlds. It was just something I wanted to experiment with in a regular local event.
This week I chose to revisit Thanos: Reality Gem. I built and played a team based around this card back in July, with not a lot of success. But I decided I wanted to see if I could make it work better this time around.
Although this version is heavily modified from the previous one. First, I swapped out Scorching Ray as one of my BACs. That’s because I replaced it – or rather its intended effect with the Phoenix Storm SR from X-men First Class. Draw a die from your bag, deal damage equal to its purchase cost. Except Phoenix Storm deals it to your opponent and all opposing characters, whereas Scorching Ray deals it to either your opponent or a single character.
The seeming downside to this plan is Phoenix Storm is a ‘What If’ character, and those are difficult to purchase. You can’t use ? energy, and you need one each of the other four kinds to buy her. BUT – she has the X-men affiliation. Plurp-E to the rescue!
(Aside: As Pluripotent Echopraxia is a mouthful I have decided to refer to the Hope Summers card with that subtitle as Plurp-E going forward. If I’m going to say/write something that sounds/looks like gibberish I’m going to be concise about it.)
So I will copy the Phoenix Storm effect with Plurp-E’s ability and then field Plurp-E dice to trigger it.
This time around, instead of using Danger Room to make 1-cost characters into Villains, I decided to use actual Villains. The cheapest of thos are 2 costs. Kree Soldier, a 2-cost fist with Swarm, and common Jervis Tetch a 2-cost shield Villain, with a potentially useful ability were the ones I decided to go with..
The replacement BAC for Scorching Ray would be Big Entrance. So, if everything goes to plan, I use Big Entrance to buy 2-cost Villains for 1 each. Get 2 of them in the Field Zone, and then when I roll Big Entrance again return two Villain dice to their cards, buy Thanos for 1 mask and put him in my bag using Big Entrance. Then I field a Plurp-E die and draw Thanos, dealing 8 damage to my opponent and all his characters.
So who/what else is on the team? Bishop: Butterfly Effect for burn damage protection. Atlantis: Vast Kingdom on the hope that I can use it to clear Sidekick dice from my bag before I field Phoenix Storm Plurp-Es, guaranteeing at least some damage. And for my last character, Black Widow: Spider’s Bite. I’m running Kree Soldiers with Infiltrate. She can potentially make that Infiltrate more effective.
My other BAC remains Cake, mostly so the global can help me manage my bag.
On to the games!
Tag team of Batman: Plays Too Rough and Deadman: We’re X-Force. The former gets +1/+1 for each Sidekick in the Field Zone (either side) and Overcrush if the opposing player has an active Villain. The latter gets +3A and Overcrush if he is blocked. So he had multiple force block globals (Casey Jones and Wrecker) and he brought his own version of Atlantis so he could field Sidekicks.
I bought both my Plurp-E dice early, but I had trouble rolling fists when I wanted to start buying Kree Soldiers.
He got a Batman out early and managed 5 points of Overcrush damage when I left a Jervis Tetch in the field. I managed to keep Villains mostly out of my field after that unless I was going to immediately return them to their card in aid of a Thanos purchase. That greatly limited the threat from Batman.
There was one turn where I ended up with a Thanos and one other die in my bag, but I couldn’t roll a character face on the Plurp-E die I drew that turn.
I wouldn’t get another chance after that, despite my opponent’s misplay where he forced both my Sidekicks (the only character dice in my Field Zone at the time) to block, then attacked with Batman as well as both his 2A Deadpools. As there were someone else available to block, I did so, which means the +3A buff (and Overcrush) wasn’t triggered on his Deapool dice – and they went to the Used Pile instead of staying in the field to repeat the process on the next turn.
Even so, on his following turn, he wound up outnumbering me enough to get to lethal.
As best as I could tell, his planned win condition was Breath Weapon 2 Surtur. A 7-cost for Breath Weapon 2 doesn’t strike me as the most economical option, but he may have been restricting himself to Comic Book Universe characters.
He was also running Jimmy Olsen, Static and Superman. It was the Superman that Preps a die whenever he takes damage, and once it was out, it was his target of choice for Static.
I managed to buy my Plurp-E dice and get some Swarm going. Also, he was running Parallax which let me re-roll dice one at a time without triggering Static if I felt it was worth the cost.
Anyhow, I ended up with a bag with a Thanos and a Kree Soldier when I had a Plurp-E ready to field. I pulled the Thanos, which wiped his field, which allowed me to do another 5 combat damage while still keeping some blockers.
About three turns later I had another Plurp-E die ready to be fielded. My bag was empty, and I had a Thanos die and two others in my Used Pile. I was able to buy a 2nd Thanos die before my bag refill, changing my odds of drawing his from 1 in 3 to 2 in 4.
And, after the refill, I drew one of the Thanos dice. Game Over.
Infiltrate team with SR Angela, Cable, Rogue. He was also running Plurp-E and Bishop and the same Kree Soldier I was.
Confession time: I haven’t mentioned it yet but the team I described above isn’t quite the one I actually ran. I grabbed the wrong Kree Soldier card when I put my team together (Blue Angels instead of Protecting the Seat of Hala). Amazingly, my opponent for this round had made the exact same mistake.
Also, this opponent had requested opponents to bring the promo Black Widow, because he wanted to see how his team fared against it. So I swapped the promo in for the GOTG Rare I had been using, including swapping the dice.
He bought multiple Plurp-Es early, channeled Cable and managed to deal me 6 damage over a couple of turns, before I got Widow and later Bishop out to stop that nonsense.
Then I started buying my own Plurp-Es and Kree Soldiers, working my way around to buying a Thanos die.
Eventually I wound up with a Thanos and two Sidekick dice in my Used Pile, an empty bag, and two energy, including a fist. I had a Plurp-E (channeling Phoenix Storm) ready to be fielded. I had to decide whether to take a 1 in 3 chance of drawing Thanos, or buy a Kree Soldier to up my odds of doing some damage to 50%.
As most of his field was Sidekicks and 2D Plurp-Es I decided to buy the Kree Soldier. Then I lucked out, and pulled Thanos. That wiped his field, and I was able to deal enough combat damage to get to lethal. Barely.
It’s a lot of fun to be able to say to your opponent, “You take eight, and all your characters take eight”. I got to do it three times total on the night. So it was a good night.
Still, I can’t deny there was some luck involved. Especially in Game 3, where I pulled the one die I needed out of four possibilities. My opponent would likely have gotten lethal on his next turn, thanks to unblockable Infiltrators and a disappearing Angela (removed by either Misdirection or the Odin’s Fury global).
Still, the team was a lot of fun to play.
Almost any 2-cost Villains would do, although I did find the Swarm on Kree Soldier useful. I did specifically choose a fist energy and a shield energy Villain, so if they came up energy, I could use them with the Atlantis global. I never used Jervis Tetch’s ability all evening. There was, I think, one turn where I would have used Infiltrate if I’d brought the intended card, so the mix-up didn’t make much difference. It was Swarm that mattered, and the card I did bring still had that.
Except that mix-up did make the Black Widow I brought, effectively a blank card. I think I’d be better off replacing her with something like Ork Nob, or Lord of Contagion anyway – something that gets (or gives) attack buffs when an opposing die is KO’d. When Plurp-E as Phoenix Storm does her Breath Weapon 8 impression, it’s usually going to leave an empty field on the other side of the table. But 20 less 8 is still 12, so a Plurp-E and some Sidekicks aren’t going to get you to lethal without some buffing.
I never bought an Atlantis die all evening, but I did find the global enormously useful. It makes it possible to get five or six Sidekick dice into the Field Zone at a time. But do remember, if you play this team, Sidekick dice are the only source of mask (or wild) energy, which you will need to buy Thanos – at least until you’ve bought your first Thanos die. So you will need to leave some Sidekick dice in circulation.
And, since, I’m almost certain somebody is going to ask – the other three What If Super-Rares from the X-Men First Class set also have the X-Men affiliation. So Plurp-E can channel any or all of them if they’re on the same team.
Which of the other 3 (Czar Colossus, Blink In-Betweener, Cosmic X-23) would work best with Hope Summers: Plurp-E? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L