The format was the usual Golden Age Constructed this week, although most of us were still looking for ways to make use of the new cards.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Atomic Ignition.
The team started with the combo of the new Atom with the Awaken keyword and the new Energy Field BAC.
Take a careful look at the global ability on Energy Field. I suspect a lot of veteran players initially took it to be a slightly reworded reprint of the Polymorph/Mutation global.
That’s not the case. Polymorph/Mutation requires the dice being spun up and down be two different dice. Energy Field does not. That’s huge for Atom and indeed anything with the Awaken ability. The global can effectively be used as: Global: Pay [mask]: Use the Awaken ability on target Level 2 or 3 character die you control.
In Atom’s case that becomes Pay [mask] to deal 2 damage to target opponent. So, get Atom in field, keep him there, spend ten masks, win game. Sounds simple enough.
The next three cards were all added for their globals. They are a mask energy fixer, new Clayface, and modern PXG. This gives me a means of thinning my bag by fielding Sidekicks, and essentially guarantees I’ll have access to at least one mask on my own turns.
Next, I needed a 2-cost mask character. (I wanted to keep the team Modern Legal, so 1-cost Morphing Jars were not an option.) I opted for common Skeleton Key, because it allows me to remove Traps from my opponent’s field, and Green Devil Mask can seriously disrupt how this team is meant to work.
Parasite: Human Atomic Furnace is on the team as a ‘blanker’ in case I run up against R Bishop. I field Parasite, steal Bishop’s text, and do as much burn damage as I can before end of turn (when Bishop gets his text back.)
Actually buying my Billy Club dice is another removal option, if not the most reliable one.
The last two character cards were added as a way of dealing with someone who has a way of mitigating burn damage (e.g. the new OP Black Widow). Rare Pyro has a pretty powerful Awaken ability, if you can get enough bolts in your reserve pool. And Techno’s global should be able to manage that.
The trick will be finding the bolt to pay for the global, but with the Clayface global I just need one mask in my Reserve Pool and one Sidekick die in my Used Pile. (If things go smoothly, the only bolt die I’ve bought – Pyro – will be on a character face in my Field Zone).
So the plan is buy Atom, buy Pyro, field both of them, buy Skeleton Key dice as needed as fuel for Clayface, PXG and Energy field globals. Burn away with Atom’s Awaken ability to soften up my opponent. If opportunity presents use Techno’s global and Pyro’s Awaken ability to deliver the coup de grace.
So how’d it work in practice?
Hello, Maxwell Jensen. This opponent had the Strike version of Mary Marvel, which is what I believe he had in mind for his win condition. He never even managed to buy her.
He got a couple of Parasite dice out early, allowing him to hit me with a heavily buffed attacker each turn. But as those attackers didn’t have Overcrush it only took a single Sidekick to block each turn.
He didn’t have anything on his side of the table that countered any of my plans, so I opted not to buy Pyro. Just The Atom and Skeleton Key dice.
I got Atom in the field without any problem, used the Billy Club and Clayface globals and Skeleton Key dice to give myself plenty of masks and started burning away. I got him down to 9, then managed to produce 5 masks on my next turn.
Against a team that doesn’t have anything to mess with it, this team can do enormous damage in a hurry.
Jourdo’s Parasite City team. Hey look, there’s Maxwell Jensen across the table from me again.
A double Clayface global game. Wow, one of them essentially puts the game on fast forward, especially when someone (whistles innocently) brings R Billy Club.
He was running the new Black Widow: Agent OP card and bought one of her dice very early on. With double Clayface, he wasn’t the only thing he bought, and she took a while to appear, but since I knew she was coming I decided to skip buying The Atom and go straight to Pyro.
I managed to get Pyro into the field, turn six Sidekick dice into bolts, and Awaken Pyro three times for 18 damage.
He had a Doom Lance die in circulation which, in combination with his Deadly Grey Hunter, made it difficult to keep a large number of Sidekicks in my field. That meant it took a little longer to get to the Atom die I bought and the Pyro die that had been KO’d by a Doom Lance.
The Atom was practically the first die I pulled once I refilled my bag, but I got him as energy on both the roll and reroll.
Next turn, with five dice in my bag, the one I don’t draw is Pyro. Of the dice I did draw, I get a Billy Club which I roll on the action face in my initial roll. I also drew a Parasite die, so if I can get it on a character face in my reroll, I can field it and steal the text from Jourdo’s Yuan-Ti, so he’d become unblockable when I used Billy Club. And – Parasite comes up energy.
Matt won handily on his next turn.
I lost after I had my opponent down to 2 life while I was at full health. That sounds bad, but I honestly don’t think I played poorly. My dice (and draws) just stopped co-operating with me partway through the game.
Full credit to Matt, he did what he needed to do to survive and come back when my luck soured.
Third straight opponent who’s running Parasite: Maxwell Jensen. Look, we know it’s a great card. No, let’s rephrase that. As a 4-cost it would be a great card. Since it’s actually a 2-cost, it’s broken. Which is why I had three straight opponents running the exact same (global free) card. Seriously, has WizKids even heard of playtesting? (No, I will not promise not to run Maxwell Jensen myself next week.)
Besides Parasite, this opponent had Resurrection, Atlas, Hulk Out and the SR X-23.
He had nothing to mitigate non-combat damage, so I went for The Atom. Who refused to roll a character face the first two times I drew him. So I bought my other Atom die.
I finally landed an Atom on a character face, the turn after a Sidekick buffed to 8/9 by a Hulk Out and two Parasites had KO’d a L3 Skeleton Key and 5 of my Sidekick dice.
I wound up with a lot of mask energy, 9 if I recall correctly. I waited until his turn, just in case he had some crazy draw, and I needed masks for the Static Field global. He didn’t, I burned him down to 2 life, and then it was my turn.
Given that I had a Sidekick in my field and the Billy Club global I didn’t even need to roll a mask.
Our host store only ever does 3 official rounds, but this week several of us found an opponent and played an extra ‘funsie’ round. This turned out to be my best game of the night.
Dragon team with the promo Iron Fist.
With the help of the Clayface global he got a Gold Dragon and a couple of Iron Fist dice out early.
I bought both Atom and Pyro this game. With a Breath Weapon 1 in his field for the overwhelming majority of the game I couldn’t rely on my Sidekicks surviving. Fortunately for me, it was only Breath Weapon 1 which meant my 2 Defense Pyro would survive it and be able to block when I needed him to.
I used Pyro, the Techno global and two masks to deal 6 damage early on. After that it was mostly The Atom. I would save masks until my opponent’s turn, so I had them available to use with Static Field if I saw the need.
Then, usually, I would use it to trigger Atom. Iron First meant it was only 1 damage per mask, but it was still wearing him down, and he wasn’t dealing me any damage at all.
I had him down to 6 life, 3 masks after using the Clayface global, and I had 2 more characters than he did. I hadn’t used the Billy Club global, so if I attacked with everything, then used Billy Club to turn a blocked Sidekick into a mask, that would be enough to win – except that he had one mask for Static Field.
I attacked with everything, getting a couple of Sidekicks through, saving several masks for possible use with Static Field. A couple of my blocked characters had also survived my attack, as my opponent couldn’t afford to double block anything.
He drew a Bahamut on his turn, but when he couldn’t land him, he conceded.
This is a very dangerous team. It’s going to smoke any opponent who doesn’t have something that reduces either non-combat damage or damage from character abilities. My Round 1 and 3 opponents didn’t last long enough to buy their win cons (Mary Marvel and X-23) and in Round 3 I didn’t even manage to field Atom until the third time I drew him.
I lost to Jourdo’s team, but I feel if those two teams went head to head in a long string of games, I’d take the majority of them.
The toughest nut to crack was the team that had both the burn damage reducer and the Breath Weapon. The first slowed Atom down, the second greatly complicated any attempt to build up a Sidekick wall to use with Techno’s global to deal large amounts of damage from Pyro. Still, while it was a challenge, I did manage to win the game.
In retrospect, I should have considered buying Professor X in my last game, as the +2D buff to Sidekicks would have let them survive Breath Weapon, but it didn’t even occur to me at the time. Professor X was added to the team for the global, so I didn’t even think about the character ability.
The team as presented is Modern Legal. That’s not normally a requirement in our local scene, but I’m aware that for some scenes and for some readers who might be interested in trying some of these teams for themselves, Modern Legal or not is a concern.
If I want to keep the team Modern Legal, the only card I’d consider changing is Parasite. I did buy him a couple of times, but the one time I really wanted to use his ability I couldn’t land him. What would I swap him out for? Shriek, most likely.
If I’m not worried about Modern Legal I might switch Skeleton Key for 1-cost Morphing Jars. It would depend on how likely I felt I was to see a Green Devil Mask.
Still, this is a great team. It came within a hairsbreadth of going 4-0 despite the fact two of the teams it matched up were unusually difficult opponents for it.
What’s the Awaken ability you most want to use (or is that abuse) with Energy Field? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L