Format: Casual Golden Age (Modern recommended)
This week, now that we finally have some new stuff, let’s make something crazy. I’ve been fascinated by the Thunderbolts ever since the Justice Like Lightning team pack was spoiled. I just had to build a team around them. You could say they left me…
The Team: Thunder!
There’s lots to look at here, so let me draw your attention to this team’s win condition, Meteorite:
The team’s goal is to get her to that flip side, flip lots of cards, and swing in with a giant Overcrushing 4-cost.
So I started filling out the team with Thunderbolts. Thankfully, a lot of Thunderbolts have abilities that make other Thunderbolts better, chief of which is this guy:
So not only do I get a great global for ramp, but he gives everything I have Overcrush? Yes please! This became my secondary strategy/finishing blow.
As for MACH-1, he serves to make Thunderbolts bigger or harder to block, both of which help my strategy. Songbird acts as removal (that Intimidate side is awesome!), and Citizen V gives me something to flip characters with. Plus, all of these characters are ones I can flip each turn to make Meteorite bigger if she’s on the right side. Though sometimes, just keeping Songbird on that intimidate side is just worth it.
Before going further, I just want to take a second to acknowledge Techno; anti-Shriek tech! Seriously, having a card that is, genuinely, an anti-blanker is long overdue. Sure, it only helps Thunderbolts, but it’s still awesome to see. Oh, and he has Attune, so he can even troll Yuan-ti a little bit.
Now, you’ll notice that both Techno and Atlas rely on me using actions for them to flip (to trigger Attune and Amplify). So I went for Bat-Signal, whose effect can also flip characters itself (which comes in very handy to buff Meteorite or trigger other effects). For BACs, I went for Relaxing for ramp, and I decided to throw this little gem in:
Full credit to Zack Pope (of James & Zack fame). He highlighted this card in DMArmada’s recent community stream (you can watch it here) and it is a great removal tool (not to mention the offensive potential). Since my only other low-cost card is Bat-Signal, I figured another cheap action, which also acts as removal, would be a logical fit (oh boy was it ever).
And finally, I also included Shriek as usual for blanking.
Before discussing how the games went, some pointers on how to run this team:
-Go for Meteorite early. You’ll be using her to wear opponents down, not for a one-shot kill.
-Also go for Techno and Confront The Mighty early. The Attune chip damage and anti-blanking of Techno are excellent, and Confront the Mighty, when used with a sidekick, acts as ramp on top of being removal.
-Do. Not. Forget. Songbird. Intimidate + Thunderbolts synergy is very important. She’s also good to use with Confront The Mighty to keep Intimidating stuff. Unless you really need to stop a specific opposing card, get her before Shriek, every time.
With that said, on to the games!
I started off against a sidekick rush team that used the new Batman that gets buffed by sidekicks and gets Overcrush if the opponent has a villain. Since most of my Thunderbolts are also villains, yeah, that’s not fun. I had some really weird rolls in that one. While I managed to get Meteorite flipped over pretty quick thanks to Bat-Signal, the rest of the team just wouldn’t roll. One turn in particular, I could’ve dealt enough damage to win had I rolled MACH-1 and Techno. Neither came up. He won the following turn by using R Madame Web to tie up blockers and rush in with everything else. That Batman is really cool; I will definitely use him sometime.
I went up against a team that had Boom Boom and Morph, and also tried having The Warriors Three as another possible win condition. In this one, I ended up with some funky rolls that slowed me down significantly. Boom Boom and Magic Missile did their thing, and by the time I could do some serious damage, I was down to 4. Thankfully though, Meteorite did get some serious damage going. I fielded Atlas, got to flip him to give everything Overcrush (thanks Bat-Signal!), and since my opponent didn’t keep many characters on the field (and also since I managed to flip stuff so much on the last turn that my Meteorite’s stats were 12A/11D), I managed to swing in for the win. I was one Magic Missile roll away from losing that one, though; it was close.
My opponent for this one was the crazy Swarm team from last week. Confront The Mighty really shone in this one; getting Swarmers off the field at the right time meant his team never got going. I set up Meteorite, got her flipped (by attacking with Techno so he would flip by being no longer active!), and started attacking a fair bit with a giant overcrushing Meteorite. It was just a matter of wearing him down, and he simply could not answer fast enough. I won.
For the last game of the night, I went up against a Villain team. This was an interesting one, because my opponent was out-ramping me all game long (forgot how good C Harley from BAT can be), and she was starting to get a fair amount of villains on the field. Thankfully, though, she relied on U Blob for control, and using Songbird’s Intimidate and Confront The Mighty meant that Blob never stuck around for long. Neither did most of her field, for that matter. I eventually set up a big attack (with Meteorite, Techno, Atlas, Songbird), used an action to Amplify Atlas and give my Thunderbolts Overcrush, and swung in for more than enough damage.
-It should be fairly obvious by now, but this is not a team for beginners. The shenanigans are hard to coordinate, and you have a lot of things to remember (flipping cards, remembering to do amplify/attune/flip triggers). If you’re looking at making a team like this, I highly recommend you test this for a long longer than I did before playing it.
-Confront The Mighty is an absolute all-star. Not only was it fantastic at triggering Attune and Amplify, but it served as my go-to 2-cost, was fantastic removal, and even served as ramp (if I choose to have my sidekick get buffed and damage the opposing character). This is certainly not the last time I play with this fantastic new BAC.
-I did not use Citizen V all night except for flipping the card. Atlas was definitely the superior 6-cost.
-Using Techno to counter Shriek was hilarious. It just meant that my opponent would Shriek my Shriek, and I simply ended up not using her much.
-That Intimidate Songbird is fantastic. Flip card or not, this is an interesting one whose effect is the best of its kind (beats Batgirl for sure). Will definitely look at her again in the future.
So overall, will I do this type of team in the future? Probably. There’s lots of approaches you can do with Thunderbolts, and this was a good one to start with for sure.