WHYP: Bat-Rush Returns!

So this week, our local group is starting a Legacy League, which starts with everything that is legal in Golden Age. No exception. And the ban list will work like this: every week, the entire winning team is banned.

Except it’s not just the cards that are banned; it’s the dice. So if I win with one Becky Lynch, all versions of Becky Lynch from that set will be banned. If I win with one Intellect Devourer, they’re all gone. What about Basic Actions? All basic actions with the same name are banned if one’s used on a winning team. This should make for some fun times and stop teams from stagnating for too long.

Now, we had a gentleman’s agreement not to use any Turn 3 win cons. So knowing not to use the absolute worst of the worst, I figured I’d go back to an old classic instead.

Bat-Rush Returns!

The Team:  Let’s play like it’s 2016 again.

Format: Legacy League, Week 1

This was actually the first team I ever took to a competitive event (with a couple of tweaks). I had actually written about it on the old Reserve Pool blog back in the day, but that has been lost to time. Mind you, I did retrieve the content. I might clean the article up and republish it on DM-North sometime.

On to the team. The basic concept is to use Bruce Wayne’s ability to bring out tons of cheap Batman dice. Each of my KO’d characters means one less character for my opponent (for the turn anyhow) and one more Batman for me.

This requires a KO engine however, and this team has a good one. I want at least two Alfred dice active, to then KO them with Green Goblin’s global (KO one to pay the cost, deal 2 damage to the other) to trigger Bruce twice. This leads to two opposing characters captured, two Batman dice on the field…all for one energy. Amazing value! Greatly overlooked global.

But wait, I need to purchase those Batman dice in the first place. If you read Batman’s card, he’s cheaper when used with other Bat-Family characters. I already have 3 of them on the team, but let’s add a couple more: Oracle’s an obvious pick that always helps and never hurts with her amazing fielding costs and global hate (especially with my ramp engine – see below). And Robin needs no introduction. He’s the big change from my original build – previously I used the WF Robin that was stronger when used alongside Batman, but this new Robin is so helpful. The global is amazing to help with some of Bruce Wayne and Batman’s…less helpful fielding costs. Plus, his “When fielded” ability is solid removal.

The plan is to have at least 3 different Bat-Family characters active (Bruce, Alfred, and one more), then purchase 2 Batman dice at 2 energy each, after which I can begin the shenanigans. If I play my cards right, I can easily swing into an empty field, and between two Batman dice, Bruce, Robin…not hard to get to 20 damage at all. It goes from zero to “you’re dead” in a hurry.

With the core idea set, now to fill the team in with utility. First up, the basic actions. Vigilante Justice is great; since Bruce’s ability can’t target level 3 characters, I need that action to get some of the bigger threats out of the way (assuming they’re not Bat-Family). Quite helpful that it triggers off the same Alfred shenanigans I use for Bruce! As for Dark Avenger, it’s essentially a one-sided Magic Missile for 2 energy. Good if I need a 2-cost but don’t have a shield for Alfred.

Next up is Hawkman, who is there to counter Static Field and the like. I previously had Doomcaliber Knight in this slot, but Hawkman is more thematic, has a better ability, and doesn’t require annoying numbered dice.

And finally, for my ramp engine, what else but the classic, old-school PXG. If you’re not familiar, when using that global, your entire view of the game changes. Masks become precious ramp currency, and if you play your cards (or dice) right, you might not have to use your dice bag all game. For a guide on how to use him, DMUnited published a video that’s a great starting point.

Note that since I’m running Oracle, if she’s active, PXG becomes almost entirely one-sided since my opponent would need to pay 2 per use of that global. She is very oppressive.

And there you have it. Again, with this being a Legacy League, I expect all sorts of nastiness. So how did it go? Let’s find out!

Game 1:

My first opponent ran a SR Ultraman team using U Dwarf Wizard (that gets buffed for each action used) and Dimension Door (to make said Wizard unblockable). Unfortunately for her, she never got to fire it off. She didn’t get the masks to use PXG and I did. To put it simply, I didn’t use my dice bag all game. Alfred, Bruce and Robin hit the board, then I did my KO shenanigans, flooded the field with Batman dice, and from there I just charged in and won before Ultraman even showed up.

1-0

Game 2:

Next up, I went up against a Nobby + Collector team. This team went pretty aggressive, going for multiple win conditions rather than control pieces (notably Black Canary + Danger Room). That played to my advantage, as Bruce and Alfred’s shenanigans went unimpeded when they hit the board. While he did get some Nobby damage in, he missed a crucial Black Canary roll that would’ve given him a chance to win thanks to Danger Room (I was out of bolts, so I couldn’t trigger KO shenanigans to capture with Bruce). After that miss on his end, I just kept up the pressure, emptied his field, and charged in for the win.

2-0

Game 3:

This time, I faced off against SR Jocasta and R Dark Phoenix, aka “Stop hitting yourself”. This team brought me Clayface, so I bought Oracle T3 and abused Clayface + PXG. That is, after a horrible T1 (3 Shields)…followed by a crazy T2 (4 question marks!). My opponent never had time to set up, because on Turn 5, Bruce was there, Alfreds got KO’d, Batman dice showed up, aaaand it was game over.

3-0

Game 4: 

For the last round, my opponent ran Hope + Colossus. My opponent made an…odd T2 decision to purchase Colossus and break PXG ramp. That ended up working pretty decently, as this game turned into a pure damage race. I was getting shenanigans active, he got Colossus + Hope active to deal me 8 damage T4. He had other characters purchased, he just needed one more on the board to deal me another 12 damage and win. Sadly for him, it was not to be. You know the story by now. Bruce shows up, Alfred gets KO’d, angry Batman dice show up to avenge him, I charge in and win.

4-0

Post-Mortem:

-It had been so long since I’d played this team. Even with the changes, it’s still highly reliable, and very hard to face off against if you’re not prepared.

-I definitely like the SKC Robin better than the WF one here. While the original team was certainly not lacking in removal, Robin’s removal is more useful than the stat buff by a mile (instead of being forced to systematically pivot to Vigilante Justice if level 3 characters show up).

-Alfred the Immortal Cockroach certainly kept his end of the bargain tonight (if you played with him before, you know what I mean). He’s obnoxious as he always was. So hard to get off the field if you play your cards right.

-Dark Avenger was very much a flex spot back then, and it’s still a flex spot now. Swapping it for an attack buff (e.g. Anger Issues) could be a way to optimize the team further. As if this team needs to be more nasty.

-I cannot emphasize how important R Green Goblin is to this team. The economy of paying one bolt to do 2 Bruce Wayne/Vigilante Justice triggers is key to this team working at all. Even with PXG, you don’t roll unlimited energy, so you need to spend it wisely (especially since you’ll typically purchase Batman and trigger Norman’s global on the same turn). And that one bolt for two triggers is key to use Bruce Wayne’s ability defensively as well. You are paying one bolt to take two characters off the table at global speed! (On top of gaining blockers if Batman’s in Used)

And thus…hurrah, I won! But now this team is banned. Drats. Ok, back to the drawing board for next week! Knowing that every version of the characters on my team is now banned, what would you try next?

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