Sometimes, the worst of enemies can become the strongest of team-ups. If two bitter rivals can put aside their differences and work towards a common goal, they can be unstoppable. So…
Riddle Me This, Bats
Format: Casual Golden Age (Modern recommended)
The Team: A puzzling team, to be sure.
This team is based around the interaction between Batman and The Riddler. Batman forces my opponent to reroll most or all of their characters, and The Riddler hits my opponent for 2 damage per rerolled die. That can get out of control in a hurry.
Now, the first and most obvious challenge with this team: purchase costs. I need a way to afford both a 5 and a 6-cost in the same game. I went with a 3-card combo to address this: Batiri Battle Stack, Clayface and Kree Captain. Batiri gives me fists, Clayface makes those fists readily available, and I can then use Kree Captain’s global to discount my expensive characters.
Batiri also serves as a fantastic beatstick, which this team needs. My combo relies on my opponent keeping characters active. However, if I don’t have strong characters to attack with, my opponent could just have no characters active and not care. Batiri, with its potentially huge stats, forces my opponent to keep something on the field, or I can get to lethal damage very easily, especially if I draw multiple Batiris thanks to Swarm. Kree Captain is also a good option for a beatstick if I buy the character.
I also ran Green Devil Mask. The reasoning is simple: it forces my opponent to reroll characters, and can thus trigger The Riddler, for a minimum of 8 damage (4 dice). Would’ve been crazy not to include it. I added Investigation to mess with my opponent. If my opponent buys Investigation and I have The Riddler active, they can take 4 damage each time they use Investigation. A very effective deterrent for sure.
As for the rest of the team, Haymaker is there for the global, to give me a use for all of those fists I will end up with from Batiris. Shriek is there for blanking, and Yellow Lantern Ring is there for removal (to remove any opposing Shrieks before using my Bat-Riddler combo)
With that said, on to the games!
I got a bye to start. Easy win.
For my first real match, I went up against a Strike + Parasite team. This was a weird one, as I didn’t get The Riddler until really late in the game. By the time I bought Riddler, I had all my Batiris and I was just attacking and attacking, chipping away at my opponent’s health. I ended up forcing my opponent to block with her Parasites, and re-fielding them was difficult. At one point, an unlucky roll meant she had no characters fielded. I attacked with multiple Batiris for the win the following turn.
And let there be Dragons. My first roll in this game was lucky: fist, fist, bolt, bolt. So of course, Kree Captain Global, my opponent’s Ring of Winter global, and…Turn 1 Riddler. Oh yeah, this time he showed up early. My opponent messed up his early dragon, so the second Riddler hit the field, my opponent’s Dragon would always be staring down a blocker. He started buying Investigation dice…and had to use his Shriek on Riddler after realizing his Investigations were going to kill him. I started getting Batiris and Batman. Unfortunately for him, he kept a lean field, and Batman wiped every character he had right out (for which Riddler also dealt him damage). I then swung in for the win with Batiris and Batman.
There was no way to make proper matchups. I took a second bye to allow the others to have fun.
We officially ended the event there, but the two players I hadn’t faced off against were willing to stick around to play with me. (We were really efficient, so we were done early)
And now, a really intriguing team. He relied on damage from 3 sources: the BAC Ping, the SR Boom Boom, and using Parasite to buff his Boom Boom dice as he swung in. Probably my toughest game of the evening, as he kept chipping away at my health with multiple sources of damage, and he was trying to force me to block with the only Batiri I had active. Eventually, though, Batiri was both my main source of ramp and damage, with Batman serving as removal. I eventually charged in with all 4 Batiris, and he ended up taking 18 damage in one shot. He was at 2, I was at 6, and he realized he had to attack and hope I’d miss every character I rolled (otherwise he’d lose anyway). Unfortunately for him, it left him with no blockers, and I got enough characters to swing in for the win.
I finished off the evening against Hulk + Thanos (though these days it’s more Hulk + Dreadnaught, the way he’s running it). He got his Green Devil Mask early to try to stem the tide of Batiris I kept fielding. So I got my Riddler + Batman combo going and used my Batiri dice for energy. He started going for Shriek, I responded with Yellow Lantern Ring (his GDM already forced me to keep a lean field, wasn’t going to waste a spot on Shriek). It worked out quite well, and before he knew it, he had no active characters left and he was staring down way too much damage (especially since the Bat-Riddler combo had already dealt some damage). Even with me attacking with only 3 characters, I dealt enough damage to win.
-Holy crazy ramp, Batman! Between my Batiris and Clayface, used with Kree Captain, I never had trouble going for Batman or The Riddler. In fact, I hardly used Investigation all evening.
-Speaking of Batman and The Riddler, this should’ve been a slow combo…but it wasn’t. Thanks to my ramp engine, I managed to get it out relatively quickly. Mind you, I wasn’t dealing that much damage with it. Since my opponents saw the combo coming, they’d keep a lean field, which played in my favor (as I’d swing in with Batiris). It seems like the threat of the combo was enough to be effective.
-If you don’t want to tie up as many cards on a combo, using Batman + Batiri, with Yellow Lantern Ring for added removal, could be the core of a pretty decent aggro team.
-Funny fact: with Yellow Lantern Ring on my team, I didn’t really use Shriek as much as I expected. The Ring is simply a better removal tool when dealing with control or blanking. Mind you, Shriek still has a use in this context, to shut down opposing win conditions. Still, the more I play with Yellow Lantern Ring, the more I like it.
-Even though I thought I’d go for Kree Captain as aggro, Batiri filled that job more than well enough; I don’t think I bought a single Kree Captain at all.
So overall, I’m not sure what to make of it. This team should be too slow to be competitive, but no one could stop it tonight. I’ll have to give this a second look sometime.