The Weekly Dice Arena likes big butts, and they cannot lie. This week, you were challenged to build a Team where your characters had to have a minimum defense of 4 on any level. You were restricted to a Modern build.
For those unfamiliar with the Weekly Dice Arena, Ross hosts a live stream on Twitch every Tuesday, starting at 9 PM EST. The Format varies from week to week and is always a fun time. Join the games here!
This was labelled as a “yellow” event. What that means is you want to avoid the super competitive cards as your win condition. This was where you might want to pull off the combos that might be a little complicated.
I didn’t really have a plan for this one. All I knew was I wanted to try something different. I went digging through the Team builder and a couple of cards caught my eye.
The first one was this guy… I apologize, as I don’t even know how to pronounce his name. I like the big body, and the ability seemed like… something. Probably not a win condition on its own, but something I wanted to see work. How could I make the KO work in my favour though?
Enter the Texas Rattlesnake. If you make it through his wall of text, you will find that he can bring things back from KO. I figured that this might pair well with He Who Shall Not Be Pronounced.
The problem is timing of these abilities. They occur at a very tricky point in the game. He Who Shall Not Be Prounced’s ability triggers after he deals combat damage. Stone Cold allows you to bring back KO’ed characters that attacked with him. My plan was to give Him Overcrush (or unblockable), somehow keep Stone Cold alive, and then KO a bunch of stuff that was attacking.
Now, does it work? I don’t honestly know. One player, who I consulted with beforehand, brought up a section of the rule book that supports it.
What Did You Play?
The Team: How the H**l Does This Work?
So, I have a stupid plan in place. I need a 6 and 7 cost as my main pieces. Tonight’s build is all about Ramp. Professor X was added for his Global Ability. Atlantis was on for both the Global Ability and to use the action in order to shove things into Prep. Supreme Intelligence made the cut to keep the fish moving (or a Sidekick as needed), with the superb Global. The Rock entered the Team, mostly for his discount Global, but his character could help in a pinch. I added Becky (not THAT one), again for the Global. With all of that, I SHOULD be able to afford what I need… but how else could I benefit from bringing those juicy Globals with me?
I had yet to play with Mankind, but tonight felt like as good of a time as any to try him out. There was a good chance that my Opponent will be using my Globals to add things to Prep. Why not get a few extra dice out of the deal?
The Team is now full except for BAC’s. Since I needed ways to get His damage through, I felt Overcrush was the easiest choice. For that reason, Raised Shields made the cut. My next problem was that I needed a way to attack with Stone Cold and make sure he stays alive. Booker T was the answer to that. I could pick and choose how the Blockers were assigned, almost guaranteeing that Stone Cold will live most times.
So, the plan is simple. Get some gigantic cost characters out, line up multiple actions, and somehow get to lethal damage. Easy… right?
The first night of the evening was up against Nick’s Becky Team… Yes… THAT Becky. Except not how you would think. He was using Riddler and Heist, along with Becky’s ability to burn your down. He used Nihiloor to recycle Becky instead of attacking with her. I got to Him pretty easily thanks to my Prep, but never really had what I needed to get to Stone Cold. The highlight of this game was the mini-game of Prep Chicken we played with both of our Mankinds. We both could Prep until one of us quit. It was actually funny. Without even getting close to my combo, my win was Heisted away from me in a very fun game.
Game 2 was against Dan L’s very interesting Deadpool/Seething Corruption combo. It made use of Grodd for a Board Wipe, and then hitting you with a big board. This time around, I was able to get both pieces into the Field. Now it was about surviving until I could line up the actions I needed. My first swing through was some damage with His fueled KO’s, and I got to keep my Field thanks to Stone Cold. Dan’s Deadpools were not cooperating on the night. He needed to buy all 4 to finally get one to work. I used the Booker T Global to help control his big bodies as I had Him out on level 3. I eventually was able to sneak this big body through thanks to the Booker T action. This brought him down to 2. Then Grodd hit. Anything that attacked or blocked was now dealt 2 damage. That combined with Deadpool’s massive force block ability and Seething Corruptions meant that I would lose everything at once. Thankfully things were not lining up perfectly for him to do me in. I ended up with two Raised Shields hitting along with the Booker T action. This was enough to give my Sidekick enough defense to survive Grodd and deal enough damage for lethal.
For the last game of the night, I played Ryan and his Rachel Summers/Cerebra nightmare. I was able to get my pieces in place again thanks to another game of Mankind Prep Chicken. However, Rachel made sure I would not keep them in the Field for long. I went for Professor X as I needed an X-men of my own. You pretty much know how your game is going when you actually purchase Professor X… not well. I was able to trigger his Rachel once on him with Professor X, but he always had the characters needed to clear me out. I eventually fell.
After playing this combo, I am still not sure it works how I thought it did. It felt too clunky when it did go off. I’d definitely love to hear opinions on this about the timing between Him and Stone Cold. Are you still able to KO characters declared as Attackers BEFORE damage resolves? He introduces an ability window that I don’t recall seeing before. I am open to discussion on this one?
Stone Cold is interesting to me. I feel there are some shenanigans to be had in a different build where there are not these limitations. I think there is some shenanigan potential here. I have not quite put my finger on it, but I will be looking for it.
Mankind is super fun to have around with lots of Prep Globals. An interesting question did come up with him on the night from our very own Reg. Does Mankind follow The Spot ruling… or the Tabaxi Rogue ruling? Does Mankind Prep die for die? Or one die no matter how much my Opponent preps? I always thought it was one die no matter what… but this is a legitimate question.
The Booker T Global is good, but I believe the action itself is even better. The ability to control how your Opponent has to block is an unbelievably strong ability. I don’t believe this is a big secret, but watch out for this action in competitive games.
As for the other pieces, I won’t really go into details. It was all about buying expensive characters. They all did their job well.
So, the famous question: Would I play this again? Nope. Whenever I come across a confusing combo like this, I don’t like to try it more than once. If I had a 100% definitive answer on the timing, I might be tempted to explore it further though. Otherwise, I am putting this Team to bed. Fun to try out, but not something I would really feel the need to try again.
What are your thoughts? Can this actually work? How else would you use Him to maximize His ability? What Stone Cold shenanigans do you see? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!